Balinese Hindu Believes in Sekala and Niskala Realm

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small temple under banyan tree
Illustration of a temple under a banyan tree. (Photo: Dezalb on pPixabay
  • DUALISM of sekala and niskala (the visible and invisible) is always taken into consideration when doing any activities, including spiritual activities. Hinduism maintain its harmony with fellow humans, environment and the Creator.

The Hindu (Balinese) community highly maintains the sacredness of their holy places, as well as other related entities. Why do they do it? Because they really maintain harmony caused by three relations in accordance with the concept of Tri Hita Karana.

Tri Hita Karana

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Literally, tri means ‘three,’ hita means ‘happiness’ and karana means ‘the cause.’ So, Tri Hita Karana is defined as the three causes that bring in happiness, namely the harmonious relations between humans and others (social aspect), the natural surroundings (environmental aspect) and the Creator (spiritual aspect).

Then, in the practice of daily life, they always maintain the harmony of this relationship in the concept of what is known as sekala (visible) and niskala (invisible) realm along with its communities.

In every religious ceremony, they always make offerings for the spiritual realms or the upper realms such as the God, gods, ancestral souls and sacred beings and the lower realms such as bhuta kala, spirits and others who are also His creations. It is meant to keep balance or good relations.

In a smaller scope, households, for example, after cooking, they put saiban offerings, the contents of which are steamed rice and the side dishes they have cooked. This offering is dedicated for the subordinate creatures around them. With such a gift, they hope to create harmonious and reciprocal relations. In larger scope, there is called caru ritual held on particular occasion and regular one every year one day before the celebration of Nyepi (Day of Silence).

If they are walking towards the fields or moor, they would ask for permission to pass, who knows if there are invisible beings that are passing or crossing the paths. If this happens, hopefully they could be avoided from bad things, disaster or inconvenience.

Likewise, if they are driving a vehicle or riding a motorbike, they don’t forget to turn on their horn when passing large trees on the side of the road, grave areas, holy places and others. It is merely meant to avoid bad things from happening or affecting them. Basically, they want to appreciate and keep harmony among the creations of God.

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