Sanatana Dharma in Bali

Intelligence in paradise

A cleansing ceremony at Sebatu, Bali

Bali is an island (state) of Indonesia and one of the worlds most popular tourist destinations. Yet while Indonesia is a secular country with the biggest Muslim population in the world, the state of Bali is almost exclusively Hindu.

It is generally thought that Buddhism arrived in Indonesia during the reign of Ashoka (269-232 B.C.E.) but there is uncertainty whether Hinduism preceded of followed Buddhism. However, given the widespread influence of Hinduism around the entire world it is most probable that Hinduism was influencing life across the Indonesian archipelago long before Buddhism arrived1.

The ancestors of today’s 4.22 million Balinese Hindus had to flee from other islands of Indonesia

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A land of mysteries

One of the worlds most exotic countries, Indonesia is a tropical archipelago with more than 17,000 islands of which about 6,000 are inhabited. It straddles the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans (between mainland Asia and Australia), and it’s one of the worlds most crowded countries with and estimated population of over 238 million.

There have been some controversial archaeological discoveries in Indonesia from pigmy men dated to more than 70,000 years ago and more recently architecture has been uncovered dating to more than 30,000 BC. In more recent history, about 5000 years ago Indonesia like much of Southeast Asia came under the influence of Hinduism.

Then Buddhism spread across the region. It complemented Hindu

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