Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: GUNUNG by Wayan Juniarha

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Gunung’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 21st November 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Gunung (Mountain)

Why do you think a volcano erupts?

“It is because gods are angry because of bad human behaviors; corrupt high ranking officials, bad police (who are no different than criminals); criminals who have no fear in fighting the police; and more and more human beings who have ignored God,” says I Made Karauhan Kasurupan (I Made ‘Trance on Trance’).

It seems that I Made would like to be the spokesman of gods. Every time they have a topic for discussion, from wallet lose, accident, to sickness, he always relates them to gods or unseen world. According to him, the gods or the ground spirit guards may get angry, or probably ancestral spirits that need attention.

Everyone nods. Many believe that natural disasters occur because God is angry.

“Doesn’t that mean that gods are ‘uneducated’? asks I Wayan Campah Kelur (I Wayan Undiplomatic Talking).

Everyone is surprised. It is for the first time they hear somebody says that gods are ‘uneducated’. Good for him that he is Hindu. If he was a Muslim, he might have been beaten by the Muslim mass organization (FPI).

“If gods are ‘uneducated’, why they don’t punish bad people such as the Legislative members or a person like Gayus, or judges or public prosecutors who take the funds for the flood victims,” adds I Wayan.

“You can see the victims of natural disasters such as mount eruptions are mostly unprivileged people, the old and even the innocent ones. They don’t even have money at all; a very contradicted situation with the legislative members who use people’s money for holiday overseas. The victims of tsunami are also the unprivileged ones as well.

If you think that a volcano erupts as gods are angry, that means that They punishes the wrong people. Instead, They should punish a person like Gayus who still can enjoy watching tennis championship in Bali, in spite of what he has done.

“So you only have two choices now: Are our gods ‘uneducated’, or do natural disasters really have a connection with gods? I myself believe that natural disasters are natural cycle. When the time comes a volcano would erupt itself, you know,” says I Wayan.

Everyone agrees with I Wayan’s opinion. They don’t think that gods are ‘uneducated’ and punish innocent people. It doesn’t make sense either that gods angry and create natural disasters such as volcano eruption and tsunami. Otherwise They will be just the same as sick criminals.

“Are you saying that Mount Agung and Mount Batur can erupt anytime in spite of offerings (aci-aci) and ceremonies we Hindu Balinese make? Doesn’t that mean that it is useless for us to make offerings to gods?” asks I Made.

“You know, they are volcanoes that can erupt anytime.”

“If that’s what you have been thinking, then you are wrong. You make offerings to gods, but you shouldn’t expect something a gift in return; if that’s why you stop making offering, it means you’ve been following your religion because you are just scared, and afraid that something bad happen to you. That means you are a fake Hindu,” comments I Wayan.