The Phenomenon of Sampradayas within the Dynamics of Hinduism in Bali

Title : The Phenomenon of Sampradayas within the Dynamics of Hinduism in Bali
Author : I Gusti Putu Gede Widiana (CRCS, 2006)
Keywords : sampradaya, dynamics, Hinduism, Balinese culture
Abstract
The topic of this paper is the phenomenon of sampradayas within Hinduism in Bali. Until now, very few social researchers have taken them into account. Therefore, I hope that I can disclose some important things related to social religious dynamics of the Balinese Hindu community since the appearance of sampradayas in the second half of the 20th century. The paper will explain the characteristics of three sampradayas, the response of Balinese Hindu to them, and their influence on the institution of Parisada and the institution of Desa Pekraman.The research is qualitative, using field observation, interviews with the respondents, participation in their activities, and collecting other important data. To understand the influence of sampradayas on the institution of Parisada and the institution of Desa Pekraman I collected information, which was reported and documented by the mass media. Then, I analyzed the data using the anthropology of religion’s theory.

In the field, I find the facts that the appearance of sampradayas have caused different perceptions among Balinese Hindus, which generally can be separated into three types: those who accept the sampradayas as a spiritual messenger; those who ignore the existence of sampradayas; and those who are suspicious about their appearance, that they would be harmful to the Balinese Hindu order, which is handed down from generation to generation. The culminating point of that rejection is that the government banned a sampradaya in 1984. The suspicion was also present inside the religious institution of Hindu community, the Parisada, which manifested in the mahasabha or the general meeting. The attendants of the meeting did not come to an agreement as to Parisada’s attitude toward sampradayas. On one side, some went Parisada to facilitate the sampradayas while the other side is the opposite. The conclusion is that the appearance of sampradayas in Bali has been causing different opinions within the society and within the institution of Parisada.

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