Many know Tanah Lot as one of the most beautiful Hindu temples of the world and much has been written about its majesty and power. As we have blogged about previously Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s seven sea temples to protect against and worship the Balinese Sea Gods. The temple serves many other purposes as well. We have spoken at length about the spiritual attributes of Tanah Lot as well as its history, but many do not realize the seven sea temples of Bali serve another purpose.
They were all built within a viewing distance of one another forming a protective ring around the South-Western coast of the island.
It is said that Dang Hyang Niratha, a traveling Hindu religious figure From the 16th Century, left the Majapahit Empire in neighboring Java and came to Bali in 1537. He is credited with influencing the formation of Balinese Hinduism as well as the architecture of Balinese Hindu temples and shrines. He is also the creator of the village temple complex that is still used in Bali today. It consists of three temples in each village (Northern temple for Brahma the preserver, central temple for Vishnu the creator, and a Southern temple for Shiva the destroyer). This triumvirate is seen throughout the island of Bali, depicted in religious texts and seen in temples and is referred to as Trimurti.
Trimurti, being a centerpiece of Balinese Hinduism, is often confused with another triad that is also central to the religion and philosophy in Bali, Tri Hita Karana. Tri Hita Karana, the Balinese philosophy of life, is composed of the balance between God and human, human to human and human to the environment. If these physical and spiritual worlds are in harmonious balance, it will lead to peace and prosperity.
Photos are courtesy of our partner Balifornian Tours