Ini adalah kisah perjalanan spiritual seorang gadis sasak dari Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat yang masuk agama Hindu dan telah melaksanakan Upacara Sudi Wadani, semeton Hindu bisa translate ke bahasa indonesia dengan menggunakan Google Translator, caranya copy artikel ini kemudian paste di text box yang tersedia, tentukan bahasa yang dikehendaki kemudian klik tombol translate pada sisi kanan. Semoga bermanfaat untuk meningkatkan sradha kita kepada Hyang Widhi Wasa.
Image by: Sejarah Hari Raya Hindu; Ilustrasi
My Journey to Hinduism. by Mayshia Kalyani
Om swastyastu, Om krim kalyai namah. I would like to express a journey of my life to embrace Hinduism, a faith that I never imagined before. I was born from a Muslim parents in a village where the population are predominantly Muslim, in Lombok island of Indonesia. My birth name was Maisah, my family and friends used to call me Aisah instead. My father can be said was a good Muslim, even he was sick, he will not miss the 5 prayers. My mother personality was totally the opposite to my father, she often sparked disputes in the family. My parents went to Mecca for Haj when I was 3 years old. Three years later, my mother gave birth to my younger sister whose name was Syariah. When Syariah was 10 years old, my mother got very sick, her sickness was not able to medically detected, doctors were unable to find the cause of her illness. She lost her memory so sudden and unable to walk. Knowing this situation, my father then took her to an Uztad however, his effort did not bear any fruit/ similarly, my maternal family of my mother then took her to a Shman. After several visits to the same Shaman, my mother’s health gradually began to recover. Since then, there were changes in my mother’s mind set and behavior, her behavior effect the patern of her life. Due to this problem that she suffered, she was rarely fulfil her obligations to pray and she belief more in occult related matters. This was opposed by my father. Due to this reason and other factors, my parents finally decided to get divorced. As a muslim girl, I was no different to the other girls at my age in my village, I used to not know anything about other religions other than Islam, I never knew what was Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism, no one of us ever heard about those religions but Islam. As far as the people that I knew almost all of them were Muslim and my social interaction only with those of the same faith. Moreover, my father was very strict to my social interaction. When I was on the 5th grade of elementary school, I did not received my raport from School due to the problem I had in reading the Quran, not only that, I was frequently skipped from madrasah too. Religious teacher at school was very strict so I often got physical punishment,i.e. standing in front of the class or runing around the school yard. Consequently, my father was embarrassed to hear my bad achievements in the religion subject at school. To my father I was considered to have a problem therefore, I wasn’t interested to the Islamic teaching. So, he took me to an Uztad for treatment, the Uztad had given me water to drink, that water was given sacred verses in Islamic by the Uztad before he asked me to drink it. It was not only that strange effort enough for me, the next weird effort was that my father took me to a shaman too. But from those efforts my father did for me, none was given any improvement in me, I was in no way indicates any better changes. Two years later, my father decided to marry again. From this marriage they were blessed with a daughter. The good thing was, my stepmother shown equal care towards all of my father’s children. Since the divorce my father issued an ultimatum to us not to deal with my biological mother, so it is in this stepmother who parenting and raising my brother, myself and Sharia (my step sister). For us, as a Muslim family, it is an obligation that the children should properly be educated in Islamic way, at home and at school. I was also sent to a Madrasah to affirming my conviction and not to deviate from Islam. In Islam, there is a reward of sins, punishment and so forth if later became apostates. That was also taught by my father in believing Islam, so I always carried out that doctrine (during that time). But as an immature child, lazyness and bored always influenced me, especially when I have to get up in the middle of my sound sleep for prayer. At least to comply the order of my father then I do all the obligations as his child and as a Muslim. Not much I could say in my next journey, because indeed I did not care with various matters that happened around me as in the case of the life in my village. To cut the story short, in 2008 I decided to leave my village in Lombok island to go to Bali island, an island with majority population is Hindu, one of the best Island of the world, one of the best Tourist destination of the world, island of gods and goddesses, Paradise on earth, island of thousands of temples (Hindu), etc.. As Bali’s population is majority Hindu, most of the blind fanatic Muslim or th hardline Musims in the country called Bali as the island of the kafir. As Bali is the destination I would like to reach and live, my father given me advices dasy and nights before I left home, those advices were, don’t eat haram food (pork), and don’t establish relationship with the Balinese (Hindu) because they are infidels, etc. Those advices from my father, at that time, I’ve seen from the Islamic perspeftive, were nothing wrong with its due to the dogma that we believed in our religion (Islam) that mankind categorisation according to Islam in responding to the guidance of Allah Subhanahuwa Ta’ala was divided into two classifications that are those who who belief in Allah and the infidel or kafir (who do not belief in Allah). about the kafirs, my father said that the “eyes and ears of the infidels or kafirs were closed tight from the absolute truth (Al-Haqq) so they won’t be able to understand Allah’s guidance in Al-qur’an, Allah had locked their heart and eyes and their listening, their sights were closed and to them (the infidel) that’s very heavy torture “. I was not paid much attention about that because my goal at that time was to leave my village and to find a job there in Bali. Finally, I got a job in an Art Gallery in Kuta, Bali. unknowingly, actually this was the beginning of my journey embraced Christianity. I tried to enjoy this work, at least because I was feeling free. The Art Gallery where I worked was owned by a Christian man who treated me good enough. The owner was quiet young with beautiful wife, however, their marriage wasn’t blessed with a child. He was graduated from a Cristian Theology college in Philadelphia. Can be understood how aggressive they (the Christian) could be in spreading Christianity. So did my boss! He was very intensively made an effort to carry out the conversion to all of his employees, including to myself about anything related to Christianity. My relationship as an employee to my boss was very good, exceeded the other employee. One day my boss gave me a bible, he gave various explanations about Christian, Jesus and all related to Christianity in order that I would be interested to embrace his faith. Honestly, I was indeed sceptical to Islam, but never thought to convert to other religion. I was still wanting to continue to study many things that I was not aware of about Islam. In the sceptical condition plus the kidness of my boss and his attitude which was so intensively preaching about Christianity to me and other employees, that made my faith to Islam was fallen apart.…I left Islam and embraced Christ faith. My boss introduced me to people who appealed on behalf of Christ, the survivor. Generally they talk about Jesus’s miracle and peacefulness that they found in Christianity etc. To penetrate the defence of my faith, they carried out real efforts, given me extraordinary compassion to persuade that Jesus was the only survivor to the mankind who are smeared by sins. And the most impressive, they also said that Jesus is good and patient, through his death in the cross he redeemed all of mankind’s sins. In this spiritual adventure, I carried out the comparative study by asking questions. Is Jesus Christ the Lord? This question emerged because explicitly Jesus Christ had not claimed that “I was the Lord”. There is a believed that he was a moral teacher, others believed that he was only a religion leader. However, Christians believed that Allah paid a visit to us in the form of mankind. “Because if you did not believe, that I was Him, you will die in your sin” (Yohanes 8: 24). “I and Father are one” (Yohanes 10:30). “He that saw me saw Father also” (Yohanes 14:9). In the following opportunity, my boss introduced me to Mr. Joko, a Muslim who embraced Christianity. He was from Solo, Central Java, who migrated to Bali due to ill discriminated manner he received from his Muslim family as well as his environment. As suggested by my boss, on a Sunday Mr. Joko took me to a Church near the International Ngrurah Rai airport, upon arrival there we sat while waiting for the other congregation to arrive. Because this was the first time I attended Sunday prayer, I did not know what to do. He then gave me the guidebook and taught me several prayers, one of them was the prayer known to be quite potent around other prayers. “Our Father in heaven, was sanctified your name; came your kingdom.” Give us every day our food adequately and pardoned us of our sins, because we also pardoned anyone who were guilty to us; and do not bring us in the trials. Because you are the owner of the kingdom in the earth and heaven. One by one the congregation arrived, sat in the seat faced the altar. All of them sang the glorify Song, I was only observed thoroughly and listen to it. Afterwards, listened to the sermon about Adam and Eva who fell in the sin. The sermon was an activity in spreading the bible in stages which was led by a Reverand in front of the congregations. Theologycally there are several similarities in Islamic religion and Christianity, the mithology of Adam and Eva is not something new to me, so it wasn’t much of difficulties to me. And before the closing prayer, I saw several people brought the pocket of the dedication. Those people assigned to collect donation from the congregation who present and those donation will be used in renovation of the church or helping poor people. Every first week they were also asked to pay the “Persepuluh”. According to the bible, persepuluh was 10% from their earning should be given to the Lord. When I asked about it to Mr. Joko, he then showed his proposition: “Bring all the decimal dedication into the treasury’s house, to have food supplies in my home and test me, the universe Lords decree, didn’t I open windows” of “sky lavished abundant blessing to you (Maleakhi 3 :10)”. In this long journey, I was also acquainted by Mbak Atik, the cousin to Mr. Joko. With her, I visited various Churches in the city. Mbak Atik was not bundled into the organisation of any Church, so she did not take me only to one church. One day Mr. Joko again visited me with one of his friends. Let say his friend’s name was Mr. Andre, who was a friend of the clergyman (Mr. Erick) who in the future baptised me. My relationship with my boss increasingly good. In several opportunities he invited me to his house to show videos of various testimony from people who “said” accepted the miracle from Jesus.all sorts of propaganda videos he played so that I can really be converted to Christian. At the end of the show, my boss showed a recorder in Ka’bah which evidently was gotten several statues. The understanding of my boss more into Protestan (Christian), so the worship using statue means an action which duplicated Allah, not as in the Catholic church. Therefore objects were needed to represent people or leading figures in the holy scripture. Noted that those statues not to be worshipped but to use them as the leading figure that was represented by those statues. Nevertheless, my boss clearly criticised the idol worship, the Catholic church eliminated the second law about the ban of creating and worshipping statues. According to him, although theoretically Catholics worshipped the leading figure or the spirit which was represented by the statue, this action considered to be wrong because according to Matius 04:10 “Only to Allah we worshipped”. Although the aim was correct but if the method was wrong that is sin. How stupid is the practice of the idol worship, mankind prayed to died thing, something that could not help itself. On December 25, 2008, I was taken to a Katolik Church in Kuta by my bos and his wife and several of their friends to celebrate Christmas. As usual, I followed everyone who was present in that prayer. In that moment, my boss also introduced me to the Church people, they were seen enthusiastic after being told briefly about my identity that I was previously a muslim. In between his busy time, my boss questioned my seriousness in believing Jesus and he said if I wanted to be saved then I must be prepared to be baptised. Baptise is an initiation ritual in Christian symbolizing admitting all the mistakes which had been carried out in life and afterwards begin new life which is based on Allah’s desire. However at that point his wife adviced me that I should not be reckless in taking the decision, I should think about the result of my decision if in the future discovered by my parents in Lombok, as what was experienced by Mr. Joko that he was rejected by his family and was expelled by his community who is majority Islam. Nevertheless, she convinced me by quoting Mazmur 27:10 said: “Although my father and my mother left me, but the Lord welcomed me” which significantly safe in Allah’s protection or Father in heaven. I thought it thoroughly for quiet sometime, honestly I admitted that I felt comfortable being a Christian. Finally on the day that we all agreed, April 12, 2009, on Easter, I was ready to be baptised. By 9am on that day, my boss, his wife and myself were ready to head the Lembah Pujian Church. On arrival in the Church we followed the prayer together with the other congregation. There was almost no changes to the atmosphere of the church, there was not special preparation prior to that day. Things went as normally, sang and prayed as well as listened to the sermon. After all duties were performed we headed towards a house of one of the congregations near the Church, in that house there were 2 ponds which noramally were used as the place to baptize people, one pond is meant to baptise children and the other pond is for adults. All was prepared, i.e., white clothes for people who would be baptised. Mr. Erik was the person who will conduct baptize ritual, questioned me regarding my conviction in Jesus Christ and continued reading several articles in the Holy Scripture. When that was completed, I was invited to the pond to jump in the water pond which simbolysing my death with Christ, and when emerging out of the water it symbolised my revival. I was very happy, everyone who present there were praying for me. With this birth, I was rescued, all my sins were redeemed with his holy blood through his death on the cross. One day I pondered all that happened, I was baptised without permission and foreknowledge of my parents as well as my family in my village (Lombok). Frightened and confused that was for sure. The fear was not because I betrayed my previous religion, but the fear of what will happen if my family in Lombok come to know all these things? I was not even able to imagine to what’s going to happen if they know that I betrayed my faith. Fortunately, all the concerns were vanished for the time being because my boss was really care and paid much attention to my being. Moreover, because he did not have any children, I was adopted by him as his own child, though was not legally. I was shifted and started living with my boss’s family, the boss who becames my adopted father. Not only that, he filled all my requirements for my future, such as, he sent me to English and Computer classes plus several other facilities which I had never owned before. In a blink of an eye everything had change drastically. Time passed by, I then knew that actually papa was a Buddhist as his two parents in Palembang, South Sumatra island. Precisely I did not know why he then converted to Christian (he was baptised exactly one month after I was baptised, in the same church). Papa’s mother-in-law (Oma) also a Buddhist, she was a staunch Buddhist and had strong Buddhist basic. Possibly there was an indication to convert her from the surrounding environment considering Oma once have said to me “sometime in the future if Oma died, Oma must be cremated”. Mama was a firm Catholic who had pertinent personality, she never passed any prayer at the Church. Although they both were Christ followers however there were several fundamental differences in both Catholic and Christian. The result from these differences and other factors, sometime it created quarrel between them two. My faith in Christ increased strongly, in fact exceeded to my previous faith. I was really inspired by the presence of Jesus in my life. I went to the church every Sunday, was always involved in each Church activities. At that time I felt really happy, lived in peace, although occasionally that feeling was disappeared when my thought was directed to my village in Lombok. After all I knew that my adopted father did not love me as a whole, he did not allow me to speak in my native accent, I was forbidden to discover my original identity to others that I was a Sasak native (native of Lombok island). I asked my father why I was not allowed to tell others of my identity? He said that the view of the community in general was negative about Sasak people (people from Lombok). Other than that, papa also forbade me to socialise with our surrounding neighbors, he said they were not our level. So my life was really isolated. In 2010 suddenly I felt the longing to my village, beside that, my biological father insisted me to come home to celebrate Eid with the family. I express my desire to go home to my adopted father, he permitted me to come home for three days with one condition that he must go along with me. He was worried if I would not return again. One day before the Eids, at 9.30am we went to the airport to catch a flight to Lombok. The presence of papa in my family in Lombok was welcomed, there was no discussions about my new faith, papa only said to my father that my existence is already like his own child. The next when Eid prayer will be carried out, I really got no ide what should I do? Beforehand, I was recommended by the clergyman in the Church to continue to carry out prayers as it should be if the situation forced, with my aim note was Jesus Christ. Anyway, I have chosen the safest route during the rpayer, I was only pretended, gladly that wasn’t recognized because of the time factor, my environment in the village also began forgetting several articles in the Koran. Three days passed by quickly, the agreed time was over. However my father banned me from leaving. That made my adopted father shocked and fell ill. We took him to the closest Hospital, he was frightened that this ban will be valid forever. Two days treated in hospital, my adopted father’s condition was back to normal! He then held a thorough discussions with my biological father and made him finally allow me to go back to Bali. The visit to Lombok had relieved my heart, I hoped this good relationship between by biological father and my adopted father could be maintained forever. There was a maid in Papa’s house, let say her name was Mbak Cantika. She was the person who accompanied my days, from her also I knew that there was a disagreement between papa, mama and Oma to adopt me. I noticed that since the beginning, mama and Oma did not like my appearance in this family and they both were not happy to the affection and attention of papa was divided between me and them two. The more affection and care I received from papa, the more hatred was developed in mama and oma towards me. Moreover Oma was not shy to show her inhuman attitude to me when papa wasn’t around, I received not only mentally abused from mama and oma when papa was not around but also physical abused. They both, mama and oma will be very sweet to me when papa was home, they treated me like a princess. Although papa really love me, but occasionally he became short tempered to me when I have done something wrong. On March 30 20011, not known by anyone, I secretly established a love relationship with a Hindu Bali man, let say his name was Krisna. He was not the kind of man that expected by papa because he is a non Christian. Because of that matter, Krisna and I were agreed to undergo these relations secretly, if that relationship was discovered by papa, he definitely will oppose us. The view of papa to the Balinese and his religion (Hindu) was very negative: they (Hindu Bali) like the worship of the idol etc. It has become a routine, on Sunday I always attended prayer in the Church, then left the Church earlier just to meet Krisna, although it only for a moment. It is like an automatic activity in the Chruch that during the sermon given by the priest in the priest will victimize the Hindu (Bali) practices in order that the Church will get easier ways to convert the Hindu Bali people. Because of that, when ever I met Krisna, after the prayer, I always discussed the sermon regarding Hinduisn. One of them is about Karmaphala, is it true that karmaphala is one of the foundations of faith in the Hindu religion as the law that doesn’t know love or care, no pardon? Not as taught by Jesus Christ in Crhistianity. Evidently, indirectly that was the beginning for me studied Hinduism. Krisna replied: there are five foundations of Hindu religious faith were acknowledged as Panca Sradha, they are: 1) Believe in Brahmn/Ida Sang Hyang WidhiWasa /Tuhan/God. 2) Believe in Atman who supported each creature, including the animals. 3) Believed in the Karmaphala law, the cause and effect law, in mathematical logic could be written if-then. 4) Believe in the rebirth or Punarbhawa or Reincarnation. 5) Believe in Moksha, the liberation as the highest aim of the Hindu religion, Atman or the individual spirit achieving liberation from the circle of the wheel of birth, the unification of Atman with Brahmn. Like water from various sources where they all will return to the vast samudra. Krisna said: Concerning to your question regarding Karmaphala, it consisted of two words, namely Karma and Phala. Karma meant the actions, and Phala meant results. So Karmaphala could be interpreted as the results of the actions. Karmaphala was known as Rta or the law of nature, so on this earth there is not place for all the creatures to hide from it, Admitted or not, this law is valid in fact to the persons who do not even believe in it. This is not by chance subjective truth, in the pure awareness everyone surely agree. Because it is the truth, it is wide, could not be stemmed by any religious dogmas also. Karmaphala was the logical consequences of each action which was carried out by mankind. Like the farmers who planted rice, it is not possibly if afterwards the farmers will harvest palms or coconuts or mangos. Karmaphala placed the God as that super JUST, afterwards through punarbhawa HE undertook HIS function as the Super kind and loving, at the same time given the chances or opportunities to repent, conduct in accordance with dharma or the truth, that covered the good law of nature, physically and mentally. Must be remembered, in Hinduism, the word SINS did not occur, which meant the accused forever in the pond of fire of the hell as taught in Abrahamic groups of religions that you were understood. The speech of the Reverand in the Church was not only wrong, not true, but has vilified, lead astray. Karma phala reacted through three matters, that in the Hinduism were known as Tri Kaya Parisudha, they are Kayika (thoughts), Wacika (words) and Manacika (the actions). And from this point of view, the clergyman in your Chruch has made his own karma himself that, sooner or later he will reap the rewards or results of its. May: Good, I understand now. But how could it be that this weak humankind could bear the burden of the sins from each mistake which possibly we made almost daily? Morover in Hinduism known the existence of reincarnation, the sins from each life cycle will be increasingly heavy, while we must achieve the liberation. And for that reasons the God paid a visit in the name of Jesus Christ, through his death in the cross he redeemed our sins, there the unlimited love of Jesus is located. Krisna: Your argument is beautifully heard but was not based on the correct structure. Where is the difference between the criminal and the nice noble one? If in the long run will receive the eternal life only by believing that Jesus death had redeemed all of our sins, without making the efforts to purify oneself. May: I did not know. But this could be the surplus of the Christianity! Krisna: My logic could not really accept this, then I myself will choose to be sinful forever. Honestly, that statement made my heart restless and could not continue the discussions. But I might not be offended, this kind of comparison should increasingly cultivated the interest in studying the great religions of the world. One month we tied ourselves as a pair of sweetheart, Krisna questioned my seriousness in fighting for our relationship. As a woman, of course I was really thrilled, but it became different when the commitment we would like to develop was against the religion I believe in. I felt I could carry out anything in order to bring about our hopes in the future, but I felt I could not leave Christianity because if I do this matter, who am I will be kept stood to face His furious, kept stood straight against His firely burning anger? According to the Old Agreement, the God is the jealous and respondent Allah. On the other side in my heart said, is it the same in Hinduism? A religion full of superstitions, idolatory, strange and did not make sense if see it from the my religion point of view. With his annoyed tone Krisna said: Have you ever realized that ever since you had not been rescued, because your faith to him was developed based on hatred. The hate where you look down is insulting (gaze at low), Hate to those who are equal was angry and arrogant, boasted. And finally, hate that look above was frightened. You were frightened to the God, if you were faithful to Him only because of the fear actually you hate Him! The sanctity of the God is to be loved, so as therefore we will always want to bring ourselves closer to him comfortably, not frightened. In the Islam there was also mentioned syirik khauf/frightened, one of the kinds was khauf sirri that is frightened to apart from Allah, took the form of the idol, the spirits and the dead body, with the conviction that they could blame the disadvantage. Allah decreed: “Don’t you frightened to them, frightened you to me if you really the faithful persons”. As the closest person that most understood me, Krisna is the only one whom I discussed my matters including religion matters. He understood me in many wayss exceeded myself. He was very critical and had strong rational characteristics, so as therefore I always wanted to discuss things with him. When I looked back my life, I became pessimist, my life was realy complex and heavy. It seems, the God will not give the ordeal exceeded his creatures’ capacity, but what I experienced in the past almost made lost hope. Krisna: When I must share mind with you, you should emptied the water in your glasses beforehand. According to me, statetment that your life was an ordeal that really did not make sense. Didn’t the God has anthing else to do so as to test his creations? Just to satisfy His curiousity, the God spent time to find out if this humankind be classified as faithful or not. In the pure awareness, you try to think, on what basis the God tried his creations? By considering all that were the ordeal from the God, weren’t you actually made an effort to shift your mistakes to the God personally? You were really coward! Or, did you indeed try to be a coward? Think correctly, because that will produce the correct and tru words and actions. The reality of life that you dealt with, good and bad were just the results of your own karmas/your actions personally. From the perspective of the Hindu religion, there were no luck received coincidentally, and there was no bad luck as His fate. Anything that you experienced were the results of your own actions. By believing in the law of Karmaphala, that meant you became a person who had the spirit of the noble, dare to do things, dared also to be responsible. And observed well, someone who had the spirit of the noble did not need the sin amnesty, moreover showered with asubha karma to him that you mentioned as Survivor. May: Hadn’t you thought that this comparison will hurt my feelings and influence our reltionship? Krisna: I only said the truth that I understood. Why must be offended and influence our relationship? Did you come with pure heart or with blind fanaticism attitude? May: Is it only your religion the most true one? Krisna: The truth will always be the truth. If 1 + 1 = 2, all religions acknowledged that was true. Even so of bad karma, then its reward also bad. May: Then, what I experienced was karma? Whereas I myself felt I had not made the mistakes as resulting from what I received. Krisna: alright. Karma was inspected from the period when producing results was grouped to three kinds, that is: 1. the past Actions that results were reaped in this period of life. 2. the Actions of this period that at once the results could be enjoyed. 3. the Actions of this period that results will be received in the period to come (the upcoming birth). So, from three kinds of Karmas that I mentioned above, we could take a conclusion if it is true you did not carry out the action that results you received. The kind of Karma that you experienced was the number of one, according to the above explanation. For example, your aged father in Lombok had planted coconut trees, the results could not be enjoyed by him, because when those coconut trees grew big and fruitful in that lon period of time possibly he died. This really found it easy to you to understand. One day I attended a prayer in the church, all went as normally, ended the clergyman’s prayer then preached the followers that is the obligation for Christ’s followers to spread Christianity. I left the church and met Krisna and discussed this matter. Krisna said: “with the proposition that there was not a single person that the God chose to save the mankind; the safety was only found through him (Jesus), made the Christian increasingly thirsty and starving as well as was full of ambition.” Did they think the religion was a merchandise item? So the Christian missionaries shamelessly knocked on the door to the inhabitants’s house peddled the religion with promises of heaven and the permanence or eternity or promises them money for an exchane. At that time I felt that what he said was correct because the church had an organisation that was assigned to spread the Christianity. In the church there was usual scenery that I encountered that some were converted, like me. Sometimes, several of them were screamed hysterically, in trance. Possibly the spirit of these persons refused the Christianity but people of the Church said that the “devil of the Balinese” (Hindu) were issued. In my following weeks I was so lazy to go to the Church, I prefer to spend my limited time discussing religious matters with Krisna, as I started interested in the Hindu religion. We often discussed the concept of God especially in the religions that I had been believed. I also asked about various connected sort of matters related to Hinduism based on what I’ve seen and heard. At that point I asked a question, after so many years I have been living in Bali usual the scenery I encountered was that the Hindus worshipped at the cross road, put offerings at the trees, the vehicles, the offices, places for animals (cows, pigs), etc. is the God really found in those places or objects? Krisna: Is God in Christianity the Great and everywhere? May: Yes, of course, but in different understanding. The God was everywhere that doesn’t mean that He is in an Object. Because, if He was in an object then he became limited. Krisna: Why so was so conditioned? The God will always be God with all of His powers. Take note the 2nd verse of Tri Sandhya: O? naraya?a eveda? sarva? yad bhuta? yac ca bhavyam ni?kala?ko nirañjano nirvikalpo nirakhyata? suddho devo eko naraya?a? na dvitiyo ‘sti kascit Meaning: O God, Narayaa was all this, what available and what will be available free from stains, free from the wastes, free from the changes could not be depicted, holy Narayaa, He is just one, there is no second. The planet, humankind, the animals, plants as well as the inanimate objects, all of them were in the God, because the God was the biggest, everything, everywhere. If you said that the God was in your heart, actually you have shrunk the meaning of the God. Because there is no one object in this universe which is not available in the God, then there is no other place than the God. The God was also free from the stain despite Him being there, could be compared as in the case of the sun rays. He did not become clearer by illuminating the place of religious places and not become overcast because of illuminating the waste, excrement or even immoral places. He was not contaminated by the object around Him, the sun continue to illuminated with the same light. In Atharvaveda X.7.35 mentioned: Skambha idam visvam bhuvanam a vivesa. Meaning: “Brahmn covered the entire universe”. Rgveda X 90.4 firming the greatest of the God, as follows: Tripad urdhva udait purusah Pado asyeha-abhavat punah. Meaning: “3/4 of the existence of the God was outside the universe.” Only a quarter of His existence could be seen here. We lived in the earth that goes surrounding the sun, and so do other planets. Immediately could have been known several galaxies like Bimasakti and Andromeda. That not to mention the Radio Galaxy, had very far distance to the earth, was estimated around 1 billion lightyear (one lightyear = 9,5 trillion km). All of these were in Himself, and all those only a quarter of the part! As the time pass by, through his guidance I began to practise Hinduism like meditation known as Dhyana in Sanskrit, that is focussing attention continually in something that was made to be the object of meditation. At that point I was interested seeing the image of Dewi Kali that I saw in Krisna’s notebook. Then I dreamed I was visited by a scary figur, dressed in white with loose hair. I asked about this dream to Krisna, honestly he answered: although I was a Hindu since I was born and after experiencing the process of self-maturing through spiritual practices but it was not too much progress. According to me, he said, possibly the figure in your dream was Kali Maa, as the reaction from your dhyana that you carried out that time. You were Her bhakta, and She will definitely meet you in many ways and forms. May: I felt frightened to the figure of Dewi Kali wih her scary look. Krisna: Remembered, the Gord did not hide in yourself, but precisely you are in the God’s. As said by Shri Krishna in the Bhagawad Gita “I was everywhere all over the universe in my formless form.” All the living creatures were in Me, but I was not in them”. The two of us very rare gazed at the face, nevertheless communication had not been cut off, whether through telepone, text messages or via face book. One day, after chatting on facebook, I forgot delete our conversaion and forgot to log out too. That time was really my bad time, papa checked my laptop and all the secrets between Krisna and me were discovered. Papa was firely angry, he threw away my mobile phone against the wall, the laptop and all the communications equipment were seized. That was not the only thing that papa di, he also forbade me to go anywhere, to go to the Church I will be driven by his driver. After so many days I was disappeared without tracks and were not in touch with Krisna, finally I summoned up courage stolen opportunity when papa was careless. I called krisna to tell him what’s going on with me. During the exile period papa certainly asked me to forget Krisna, papa read Krisna’s status on his face book was very controversial in criticizing religions that were not in accordance with his personal perception so that status often provoked debate. Papa also gave various bad stigmas to Krisna. Actually, papa felt there was something different in me from several last months, because I began to defens myself or became ignorant to what pap said. Not only that, papa also tried to invest bad opinion about the Balinese (Hindu) and gave the assessment to the Hindu religion from the perspective of the Christian religion. Almost two months papa tried hard to influence me, he also questioned my faith in the Christian religion. Because I was choosing the safest route for me, I only kept myself quiet without anwering him a word. Papa possibly really loved me, but he wasn’t really understood how. Before I met krisna, I felt papa’s love and care precisely was the prison for my life. I didn’t know why that time (afer meeting krisna) I had the courage. The more I was curbed the more I became rebelled to papa. Suppose if I leave the house I have the aim, I know where to go. Then based on this consideration, I contacted Krisna through the mobile phone of Mbak Cantika, the house maid, to help me to leave papa’s house. Unknown by anyone at the house, every early morning, 5am sharp, I placed a package of my clothes near the wastebin in front of the house. After a few minutes, Krisna came and took the package away from the wastebin. Several days before leaving my house I experienced the heart conflict. One side I really felt hard to leave this house, papa during the last few years became my adopted father, guarded and protected me as his own child. The sadness that I could not described. However on the other side, I was also not able to bear his dictatorship which is further from the meaning of real love of a father. On September 07, 2011, I was able to escape from the house. I was so happy of course, but I could also not deny the sadness when the relationship between a father and a child must end this way. Through my new facebook account papa repeatedly persuaded me to cameback home. Initially he asked in a good way, then papa provoked me with promises of buying the latest serie of mobile phone that I was really wanted in the past, diamond ring, holiday to Thailand, but I refused all that. Financially, will possibly experience degradationin my life, but I realised that happiness could not be measured with anything, the love and the affection that grew from the heart was the wealth that was no measures and was the true happiness to anyone who received it. After the break up with papa, to support my life I work for a Travel Agency. In between those weeks I suddenly got sick, this happened for almost two months, Possibly I was stress. Apart from going to see a Medical Doctor and taking the right vitamins I tried to motivate myself to rise up, Krisna suggested me to bring myself closer to Dewi Kali, as the ruler of darkness who could destroy the dirtiness of the heart and ward off the bad influences from outside. He often took me to visit several temples like the Jagad Natha temple, Tanah Kilap temple, Candi Narmada, Griya Kongco, Uluwatu, Tanah Lot, etc. On January 28, 2012, coincided with the Penyajaan Galungan day (2 days prior to Galungan festival, the celebration of the victory of Dharma over Adharma), Krisna took me to his home in his native, Singaraja, in the north of Bali. He introduced me to his parents and siblings as well as other family members. My presence in Krishna’s family was welcomed, his mother was very good and given me good attention. I’ve seen, his mother and his siblings were so diligently and patiently made jejaitan from janur (the based of flower offerings made of young coconut leafs)), various sorts of foliage and the offerings as preparations to celebrate the holy Galungan day. I tried to involve myself in this activity although this was the first experience for me. Krisna’s mother was really patient in leading me, this step cultivated the closeness between two of us. Two days afterwards, the Galungan day has arrived, I was dressed up by Krisna’s mother wearing kain and kebaya as the Balinese traditional costume. Afterwards we all prayed in the Shrines of family temple as the sthana of Krisna’s Ancestors, then to the Pura Desa, dedicated to the Tri Murti (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). At that point I did not yet memorise the Tri Sandhya and Kramaning Sembah mantram, I only chant Gayatri Mantram using Rudraksha mala. Krisna and his family took me to the Pulaki Temple and the Melanting temple near Pulaki temple for praying. The public holiday was over, Krisna and I returned to Denpasar to undergo the day as normally. No one understood, since that time in fact as far as this story I wrote, I had in no way fallen ill again. Not even once! I began to analyse what had happened? But I could not take the conclusion, because of not having material to study. Is it related to this spiritual journey? Ah whether, let the time tells. So far, Krisna had not required me to obligatory the prayer of Tri Sandhya, according to him there is no obligatory apart from the awareness from the people personally. What he stressed was really simple that is: do as per Dharma. He said, as far as my knowledge, in Hinduism did not have the obligation in worshipping the God. In various philosophy possibly was found the conduct of the worship towards one of his incarnations but wasn’t stressed as the obligation as in any of Abrahamic religions, if not then this and that would happen. So as of now I had never heard a Hindu person saying “I wanted to carry out His order”. If you wanted to carry out Tri Sandhya, Gayatri Mantram meditation or meditation to any Mantram 108x. etc, I’ve seen it as the choice of life. To strengthen my relationhips with Krisna’s family as well as to increase the concept towards the Balinese culture and the Hindu religion, several months afterwards Krisna asked me again to his home in the north to attend cremation ceremony. In the morning all of us were ready to go to pay a condolence call, departed towards the funeral parlour, where the family and relatives as well as other society members and the near by societies were gathered and busy for the ritual. To my knowledge, the funeral parlour should be coloured by the crying and the mourning atmosphere, but here is completely different. I in no way met someone who cried sadly as the person who was left by the dead. Moreover, what I have seen they precisely joked as there was nothing happening to them. Krisna said, the death actually was a process of releasing the attachments to the body and all the sufferings that were caused by him in a life cycle, the return of the Atman headed to where he belongs. Then, the death actually not a disaster but a gift. Sad feeling that is for sure, but shouldn’t have to drag it on for long time, because that could hinder the trip of the Atman headed the liberation because still having strong association in the world. After nyiramin (bathing ritual for the dead body) all of us, including me, gave the last respect to the death. Afterwards the body was moved to the tower to be carried by the society and family members together to the cemetery. This procession was accompanied by gamelan (traditional music) and the holy songs. Upon arrival in the cemetery, the body then moved to the pyre be cremated. This is the first time I see and follow the cremation ceremony, honestly at that moment I was very sad to witness the burning dead body. May: Why was this body burnt, was not buried as the Christian and Islam do? I felt this action was really inhuman. What do you think? Krisna: The aim of the burning of the dead body is to return it to the five elements that were known as Panca Maha Bhuta, consisted of Pertiwi (the land), Apah (water), Teja (fire), Bayu (the wind), as well as Akasa, the empty space. Those five elements joined formed physical mankind that afterwards was motivated by the Atman. When someone died, only his body is died, not his Atman. Please compar and imagin, if his body is buried, his body will be rotten, sucked and eaten by the caterpillars, worms for years. So, who was more inhuman? May: Is the Atman be not feeling hot or feeling sad because his body was burnt? So as he will disrupt, and roaming around. Krisna: If that person was died inappropriately, there could be, his Atman will roam around here and there, sometime could scare or harm people. But to avoid this matter usually the Hindu Bali carried out the Mecaru ceremony. Atman was the sprinkling from Brahmn/God, therefore, Atman has similar characteristics like: Achodya – won’t be injured by the weapon, Adahya – won,t burnt by fire, Akledya – won’t be dried by the wind, Acesyah – won’t be wet by water, Achintya – not thinkable, Nitya – stable forever, etc. What you have to remember is, the aim of the Hindu religion was Moksha, free from punarbhawa or reincarnation. If he must be born again, he needs to buy “new clothes” from the results of his karma during the period of his previous life. May: Though it said so, I felt sad. Krisna: Your sadness was caused by the ignorance, I will give the analogy so that could be easier for you to understand. Have you ever be a blood donor? Then, have you ever felt once you were in that plastic bag of your blood? May: Certainly not. Krisna: From the answer that you gave actually Atman was separated with the body, he became tied or attached to the body because the awareness of humankind is generally shackled by the awareness of the body. For instance your foot or hands were amputated, will you feel that you were in one of those cut organs of your body? The answer is certainly not! Back in Denpasar from Singaraja I carry out my swadharma as normally. One day several colleagues in the office said that actually I was not allowed to pray at Krisna’s family temple, if I am not yet legally embraced the Hindu religion, because the spirits dedicated in Krisna’s family temple are Krisna’s Ancestors,not my ancestors. Knowing that, I was very sad, and competed to Krisna! According to him these colleagues are the people who was still lay. In each Pamerajan (family temple) there was HIS Padmasana as the symbol that depicted the position of Ida Hyang Widhi, the God. Wasn’t satisfied with the answer from Krisna I post this matter to the Foundation of the Hindu Indonesian Archipelago Network where I am a member there, invited by Krisna, I questioned this matter. Many comments were received from the elders and the known in this group, I also received in box messages from one of the elders, Mr. Nengah Sudana telling me that he was in a discussion with Mr. Kantha Adnyana (one of the founders of the foundation) for Sudi Wadani ceremony for me and some others. If dharma became the aim of my life afterwards, certainly I was very happy with the proposal that was put forward. But I still felt too naive. Ironically, something that I had not been thought about beforehand almost happened twice. This could be made an indication by others in considering that I was indecisive in being religious, did not have the conviction, didn’t have strong foundation, and other bad stigmas. I also began to put forward critical questions to Krisna such as, is Hindu religion polytheism so as often I was encountered the names of the Deva/ Devi (gods and goddesses)? The caste sytem that was really identical to Hinduism? Did Hindu worship cattle, so as you really avoided to eat anything content of beef? Why doesn’t Hindu has a Prophet that really sacred in the Islam and Christian? Alright, let’s discuss its one by one, Krisna said. First, “Is Hindu religion polytheism so as often was encountered the names of the Devas/Devis (gods and goddesses)?” There are many slokas clarified that the God is just one, but the wise persons called Him by many names. The Atharvaveda XIII 4,20 for example stated that the “the God is one”. The Rgveda I. 164. 46 also stated the “the God is Single.” The wise called Him by different names. They called Agni, Yama, and Matarisvam”. According to sloka this was clearly mentioned that the God in Hinduism is one there is no the second. The Hindus called Him by many names because each name given the omnipotence impression, and from this impression was recognised His characteristics. Afterwards, each representative name of the characteristics that wanted to be known. For example your father who is a Medical Doctor by profession; your mother called him husband, your grandma called him son or child, your father’s employee called him the boss, your father’s patience called him Doctor, you will call him papa or father, etc. Thre are various sorts of understanding of the God could be indeed encountered in Hinduism, but as I explained earlier, according to me the concept of the God was pantheisme or Wyapi Wyapaka literally meant the God was all of them and all was the God Himself, there is no place that wasn,t covered by Him. The intensity of the sun in the middle of the desert that is the God, the coldness of the temperature in the North Pole of the globe also the God. You, me, they and all of them were the God. May: It is too arrogant to compare ourselves with the God. Krisna: Repeatedly I explained, that because you were still thinking that you were the body. Redemption (united with the God, not beside Him) only could be reached by increasing the awareness. You were Atman, the sprinkling from Brahmn! You must understand Brahmn, and realised who yourself are, where you came from. You must increase your awareness in order to be able to scrutinise what I have said. This is similar to ask a small child who just learned how to count, how much is 3- 5? He definitely would find it difficulty to answer because he did not yet have the awareness about the integer. But if he has grown more mature certainly he can answer it easily. Lets continue to the following part which is still connected with the first question. About the gods (Deva) and goddesses (Devi). It came from the word ‘DIV’ which mean the holy rays of the God. The holy rays of the God indeed had a great numbers, the Hindus generally worshipped in accordance to the requirement of the function. For example, when a farmer want to plant the rice, he will worship Dewi Sri as the symbol of prosperity in order to be able to develop prosperous life. A Brahmacari before beginning his lesson, he would pray to Dewi Saraswati. So, the gods and goddeses were part of His identity according to the function of the deity’s metaphysics. The second, regarding caste which is identical to Hinduism. The question is, who identified this matter? In many parts of the world, the existence of Islam was always accompanied by conflicts, Middle East countries for example. Therefore will we give the assessment that Islam is a violence religion? In England where majority is Christian, the caste is there too. Or at least, see in Jogja Palace. Is there no caste? As I explained to you before that mankind was formed by various layers, the outside body that apparently seen by naked eyes were the part that the most easiest to be known as an entity. Afterwards there is the one that acknowledged as the soft body, the Atman. Once more, Atman was the smalest sprinkling from Brahmn, the God. So that actually mankind. Then how could there be classification of Atman? The difference was only located in the awareness. In the higher awareness all of Atman was Single. Tat Twam Asi. In Hinduism caste system was not exist, but Veda explained about Varna. Varna was the social function that covered Brahmana, Ksatrya, Weisya and Sudra. Varna was not based on the line of the descendants as the caste, but the struggle. “Do the Hindus worship cattle or cow?” Preferably we could distinguish between worshipped and honored. In the Hindu tradition was known several entities that could be acknowledged as mother who we honored, like: 1) She that gave birth to us. Your biological mother!. 2) She who breast-fed us, although she is not our biological mother. 3) She who take care of us, although did not breast-fed and did not our biological mother. In this part precisely like the stepmother, but also your adopted mama. 4) The Motherland, the earth, Prtivi. The place where we stood our feet. 5) The cattle that gave us milk, the cattle who milk us from small to old. Isn’t it to date each one of you drinking cattle milk? Male cattles were also made use of by his power to hijack the paddy-field by the farmers, because we are living in an agriculture country. Moreover, his waste could be also used as fertilizer, as well as fire to warm us during cold time, also for cooking and that fire to light the darkness during the night. From the urine until the waste of a cattle was proven scientifically contained antiseptic that could be used to treat various sorts of illness. So, from my explanation above do you have a heart to kill a cow, or ate beef that was so beneficial for the life of the mankind? You please imagine this, with love, gaze in a careful manner at the cattle’s eyes that you would cut his head off. Did you have the heart to kill a cattle? And the last, why Hinduism has no Prophet?. What do you know about Prophet? If prophet means a person who received the message from the God, in Hinduism we have Sapta Rshis. Sapta Rshis mean, Sapta means seven, Rshis means Saints or Priests. Those seven Saints/Priests were Rshi Girtsamada, Rshi Wiswamitra, Rshi Wamadewa, Rshi Atri, Rshi Mharadwaja, Rshi Wasistha, Rshi Kanwa. From all the discussions krisna and I had, finally I concluded that, to me, the Hindu religion is not conservative as the negative stigmas of the pople generally because the explanation that I got was precisely very logical. After satisfied with all answers that I asked for, I express my willingness to go through Sudi Wadani ritual to to Krisna. Although seen he was enthusiastic but apparently he himself doubts to my faith to Hinduism. One day I was asked, what I actually was looking for in Hinduism? Honestly, I did not know how to explain because this is a matter of feeling. Although someone shift from one religion to another had not been free from a motive or two. There were those who wanted to undertake the Ancestors’s tradition, if the previous religion carried him went too far through so that he was isolated in his birth land. There are also pople converted because of the political motives, embraced new religion for reasons of authority politics, some were converted because they were in the minority position. But to me was, how a religion teaches the harmonious life, not only was related to the relations between mankind and the God, but rather it was stressed to the mankind or even to the environment, Tri Hita Karana. There is no dichotomy between the infidel and the faithful, between those who were saved and the condemned, forbidden (haram) and lawful (halal), excrement and etc. Several days later Krisna received tet message from the foundation, Mr. Nyoman Suharta that the Sudi Wadani ceremony was determined on Sunday, Feebruary 26, 2012 in the Besakih temple, East Bali. I was thrilled, all of the ritual requirements was prepared by the Foundation, so as I was not caused any cost of it. The foundation of the Hindu Indonesian Archipelago Network was an organisation that is not only involved in the religious matters, but also humanity. It existence not merely exist in the world wasted much time in the discussion level, but also gave direct contribution in promoting the Hindus from the aspect of tattwa (holding dharma tula, donated Hindu books) and the requirements for upakara or tituals. The uniqueness again, if they hold Sudi Wadani ceremony was not because they became the hands of the God who must spread the religion to convert those who were in a religion. But to fill the Hindus’ call that needed the acknowledgment. On the day that was agreed, by 6am sharp Krisna and I headed the secretariat’s office to gather with other members and afterwards headed to the Besakih temple. Approximately by 9am we reached Besakih temple, while waiting for Ida Pandita (the Head of te Priest) to prepare all requirements for the ritual, Krisna and I sat at the Bale Agung of Besakih Temple. All went as planned accordingly, the Sudi Wadani ceremony went through smoothly. We were about to close this ritual by praying together and hold dharma tula, suddenly was heavy rain pour from the sky. Krisna and I did not move from our sit under the heavy rain, we continued to carry out our prayer up to pedharman shrines. Here, in Besakih temple of Bali, I was formally reborn, as a Hindu woman, with His guidance and blessings…. My relations with Krisna become clearer and stronger and we planned for marriage. I contacted my father in Lombok and told him that I will marry a Hindu Bali man and we (Krisna and I) will hold our Wedding ceremony according to Hinduism on August 23, 2012. He was firely angry, he could not accept that I wil marry a Hindu. I explained to my father that was my choice for my life, as a mature person I knew what is good and true for my life. Still, my father can not accept it and insisted me to convert Krisna to Islam and asked me to take Krisna to Lombok so that my father can convert him before I marry him. At last, I said honestly to my father that I am legally a Hindu and went through the ritual in Bali. My father’s anger was worsen and said that he won’t acknowledge me as his child anymore. I accepted his decision, did not want to worsen his anger again. August 19, 2012 was Eid, I called my father on the phone, but only my brother who answered my phone call. My father did not want to talk to me. I only sent him a text message that as his child, I asked for his apology. Received no reply from him to date! Lets the time soften my father’s heart to accept and respect my marriage with Krisna and to accept and respect the fact that I am a Hindu married woman. I wanted him to know that I found my life better in Hindu. In Hinduism I found a friendly God who accept anyone who come to Him, on their own ways, males or females, children or adults, white or black, short or tall, etc. Hinduism, a religion who never promises of heaven in instant ways to any of His creations. We are the one who will determine where will we go after death, that will be depending on our own karmas. Om shanti, shanti, shanti Om
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