I love saying the name Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. Sometimes saying it reminds of Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory, and it cracks me up!
However, this is the Balinese Head Dude, the GOD of GODS and he is the One to be deeply connected to while in Bali. Or anywhere is my guess. This is head honcho Mack Jack Daddy GOD of all GODS anywhere! I have a real passion for him actually. His depictions are not as beautiful as Krishna, but I know who he is~and looks aren’t everything when it comes to GOD.
Since I have become so fascinated with him since arriving in Bali, I felt it very appropriate to have a whole blog dedicated to this well loved and venerated King God and his many aspects.
So here is some information I found out about him:
In Hindu perspective, God is known as a term of Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, which means God, Almighty. The God is only one, though He has various names. From the various names of God, there are three which are well known by the adherers of Hindu in Bali, namely, Brahma, Visnu and Siva, which are called as Tri Murti.
Brahma is the Dimension of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa as the creator, Visnu is the manifestation of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa as the caretaker and Siwa is the manifestation of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa as the destroyer. That’s why Balinese believe that all the creation of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa will face the cycle of birth, life and death.
This “All-In-One God,” a term invented by early Christian missionaries to describe, for conversion purposes, the biblical ‘God the Father’ to the polytheistic Balinese people. However, the concept of an ‘All-In-One God’ was already inferred by Hinduism but remained unnamed and ineffable since to name and thus identify the All-In-One (particularly by gender) was seen as ‘limiting the unlimited.’ In art, Sanghyang Widhi Wasa is based on the Hindu Trinty or Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva of Indian Hinduism.
Balinese Hindu Gods and Goddesses
Today, there are many parallels between Indian Hinduism and Balinese Hinduism. For example, within Indian Hinduism most people worship Brahman as a supreme deity and within Balinese Hinduism most people worship Sanghyang Widhi Wasa as a supreme deity. Sanghyang Widhi Wasa is similar to Brahman, in that Sanghyang Widhi Wasa is believed to embody all universal dualities. Also, Sanghyang Widhi Wasa is believed to have many incarnations.
Almost all of the Balinese Hindu Gods and Goddesses (incarnations of Sanghyang Widhi Wasa) were historically assimilated, into Balinese Hinduism, from Indian Hinduism. However, this assimilation process did not always take place as a result of direct contact between the Balinese and Indians. Many Balinese Hindu beliefs and practices, were assimilated into Balinese Hinduism because of historical contacts that the Balinese had with the Javanese.
Historically, the Balinese rarely assimilated deities, into Balinese Hinduism, without altering their form or the beliefs that surrounded them. As a result, although almost all of the Balinese Hindu Gods and Goddesses ultimately originated from Indian Hinduism, today, there are few similarities between, for example, Durga from Indian Hinduism and Durga from Balinese Hinduism. Durga, within Indian Hinduism, is believed to be one of the female incarnations of the God Shiva (who, in turn, represents the God of paradoxes). The paradoxical nature of Shiva, is further illustrated in the Indian Hindu belief that Shiva can take the form of Paravati and Uma (mild mannered and maternal figures) or Kali. Kali is often depicted, within Indian Hinduism, as being a vengeful incarnation of Shiva, a black figure, a figure with multiple hands holding a bloody knife and another hand grasping a severed head, and a figure that has a necklace of skulls. Within Balinese Hinduism, Dewi Durga is believed to be the consort (spouse) of Dewa Siwa. Along with Dewa Siwa, Dewi Durga is believed to destroy negativity. Statues of Dewa Durga can be found at Balinese Hindu Pura Dalem sites. Within Balinese Hinduism, Rangda is believed to be one of the incarnations of Dewi Durga. Rangda is similar in nature to Kali. However, where as Kali, within Indian Hinduism, represents a very dark and vengeful side of Shiva, within Balinese Hinduism, Rangda represents a very dark and vengeful side of Dewi Durga. Rangda is often depicted, within Balinese Hinduism, as being the Queen of Witches, an expert in black magic, bloodthirsty, a cannibal, an arch enemy of Bali’s beloved protector(s), and a figure with grotesque physical traits (such as 6 inch long nails , hairy knuckles, and drooping breasts). Rangda is believed to be a figure that the Balinese historically derived from the Javanese.
Within Balinese Hinduism, Dewi Sri represents a very special deity. One reason for this is that Dewi Sri is believed to be unique to Bali. In other words, Dewi Sri is believed to be a Balinese Hindu figure that the Balinese historically did not derive from another culture. Dewi Sri is the consort of Wisnu, the Goddess of rice, the Goddess of sustenance, and the protector and nurturer of Bali’s rice fields.
Which to me seems that she is the same as Divine Mother Lakshmi.