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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Balinese Hinduism
 
BALINESE HINDUISM
 
The new form of Balinese Hinduism, which is not exactly the same as the Indian Hinduism, is pacticed in Bali and is called Agama Hindu Dharma, which be called as a blend of the elements Hinduism and Buddhism. These arrived through Java from India between the 8th to 16th asturies. Elements of Mahayana Buddhism practiced in Japan, China and Korea as well as the Indian caste system are now important components of the religion.

Intellectuals and artists, priests and princes, soldiers and artisans arrived in Bali with their precious books and records. The island was suddenly flooded with the sudden flow of creative ideas and skills, and the culture developed significantly. By the beginning of the 19th century, Bali was still an isolated island relatively unaffected by the west, with its unique ever-evolving culture still intact.

The main symbol of Balinese Hinduism or Agama Hindu Dharma is the swastika, or the wheel of the sun. The foundations of the practices are to acquire knowledge of the epics and of theology of ritual worship. The main purpose of life is to be released from the wheel of reincarnation. One's lot in one's present life is believed to be a result of one's good or evil deeds accumulated from his previous life or lives. Once the soul released from the cycle of reincarnation, he will become a god.
 
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