Penjor, the Symbol of Devotion

At the end of May, travelers who came to ali will find the biggest ceremony of Balinese Hindus called the Galungan and Kuningan. The series of Galungan and Kuningan are to celebrate the victory of Dharma (Good) against Adharma (evil). There are some unique characteristics of the celebration. One of them is Penjor.

Penjor symbolizes devotion and the upright of Dharma. Besides it also symbolizes prosperity.

Penjor usually installed one day before Galungan, in the right side – front of home yard or at the roadside. Penjor is made from bamboo which is decorated with coconut tree’s leaf, with ornaments like leafage, coconut, and many others in order to make the Penjor looks good, either also as part of the offerings.

Penjor at Galungan ceremony is a sacred one, means it has role in the ceremony. That’s why the making of Galungan’s Penjor should follow the rule, especially in accordance to its material.

Some of them are – White fabric, symbolizes the power of God Iswara; Bamboo, symbolizes the power of Brahma; Coconut, symbolizes the power of Rudra; young coconut leaf symbolizes God Mahadewa; and others which each of them has its own meaning.

According to the Chairman of the Indonesian Hindu Association (PHDI) of Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, Penjor is a symbol of devotion to the Almighty Creator.

“In Hinduism, Penjor is a form of devotion to our Creator for the welfare and peace of the people,” he said.

According to Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, the devotion to the Creator could be manifested in the form of beauty as symbolized in Penjor.

Similar thing was said by the Chairman of the Council of Hindu Youth Association of Indonesia (Peradah), Ida Bagus Putu Oka Suryawan, that to make Penjor on Galungan is based on the sincerity.

“Hindus seek to make the most beautiful Penjor because Penjor as a symbol of the prosperity of this universe,” he said.

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