Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Greetings In Bali

The formal way Balinese greet each other is to say "Om Swastyastu," which means "May God always protect us."  The proper response is to repeat the phrase back to the one who greeted you, "Om Swastyastu," which then means, "We are always safe."

This symbol is called the Ongkare, and is the symbol of the universe and everything in it.  It is the Balinese Om sign and you'll see it all over the Island, made into jewelry, and painted on fabric to adorn the entrance to homes and buildings.

When Balinese view the Ongkare, they think of the three aspects of God (known as Trimurti,) the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Dissolver.  There is a saying in Balinese, Telu Teluning Anunggal, which means  that the three functions of God are linked together.  It's not enough if we only create without preserving or sustaining, and it's not enough if we don't allow things to dissolve so that they may transform into something beneficial.

The sound AUM (or OM) begins all Balinese prayers, and our greeting, and is symbol of the Trinity.  In that way, OM itself means god.

I'm a local Balinese guide and private driver and I'd love to show you around our island.

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