Bandrang, Umbul-umbul and Kober, Symbols of Majesty and Strength

Bandrang, Umbul-umbul and Kober, Symbols of Majesty and Strength

For members of the Balinese Hindu community, religious ceremonies are inseparable form wht is known to many as art. The unique artistic values of Balinese Hindu rituals are also sometimes performed as a cultural attraction. Everything from the dances, pslamodies and even ritual paraphernalia are embed with aesthetic beauty of great meaning and value. Objects

For members of the Balinese Hindu community, religious ceremonies are inseparable form wht is known to many as art. The unique artistic values of Balinese Hindu rituals are also sometimes performed as a cultural attraction. Everything from the dances, pslamodies and even ritual paraphernalia are embed with aesthetic beauty of great meaning and value.

Objects such as banners, kober and bandrang (spears) that are used in temple ceremonies also contain great meaning and value. Apart from their decorative aspects, these banners also have spiritual meaning and provide protection.

Balinese humanist, and former rector of ISI Denpsar (1981-1997), Prof. Dr. I Made Bandem, explains that these ritual paraphernalia are important in religious processions like ngunya, ngelawang (gallivanting street show) and melasti and are used in accordance with time, place and circumstance as well as the scale of the ritual, whether large, medium or small.

He added that in the past these objects were the property of kingdoms and were used to show or display the majesty of a kingdom. In modern times such paraphernalia are used when escorting the deities. Indirectly, they contains meaningful philosophy related to showing off the beauty, greatness and grandeur of the deities that are venerated by the community.

“All ritual paraphernalia including the bandrang (spears), banners, kober (flags) and so forth are believed to serve as both phyical and spiritual protectors. The use of these objects is also related to the Balinese Hindu community’s respect for local venerated deities”, explained Prof. Bandem.

While serving as a means to show respect for the deities, these ojects are also based on the values of Hindu philosophy. Dr. I Gusti Made Ngurah, Chairman of the Sabha Budaya Hindu Bali Foundation said that in the Purana and Itihasa scriptures bandrang are mentioned as being an ordinary spear embellished with feathers symbolizing the power of Lord Brahma, while  banners symbolize the power of Lord Vishnu and kober -especially when they bear the image of Hanuman Maruti (son of Lord Bayu) symbolize strength. Due to the forces of such symbols, they are used in combinations with hope of producing balance.

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Ngurah added that the use of kober with the image of Dewata Nawa Sanga (gods of the nine directions) has become a necessity for the Hindu community of Bali and represents something about the arrival of Hindu religious teachings to Bali. This symbol also represents the the concept of Sarwa Dewata or Sarwa Samudaya which translates as something like ‘the god amounting to more than one’. The nine gods represented in the Dewata Nawa Sanga are each equipped with their own are each equipped with their own weapons as manifestations for their receptive powers.

“The use of bandrang, banners, kober and so on are important for their philosophical meanings but also as a sign that a ritual is being held in a particular location” added Gusti Made Ngurah. (was)



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