Ritual paraphernalia like kober (flags) are used as symbols of greatness and have philosophical meaning related to the power of the gods. Thus, it is common to find such objects bineng used in the the Hindu rituals of the Balinese community – especially in temples. The scale of these ritual objects is pursuant to the
Ritual paraphernalia like kober (flags) are used as symbols of greatness and have philosophical meaning related to the power of the gods. Thus, it is common to find such objects bineng used in the the Hindu rituals of the Balinese community – especially in temples. The scale of these ritual objects is pursuant to the scale of the ritual being held.
The use of flag or kober with the figure of Hanuman is frequently identified as a symbol of strength. Hanuman is a character in the Ramayana epic, often told in the form of a puppet show in Bali. According to mythology, Hanuman is son of Lord Bayu known as Maruti, he is not worshipped as a god.
As Prof. Dr. I Made Bandem explains, Hanuman appears in the story Arjuna Pramada or Arjuna Pradalba. When Rama and Laksmana were leading their troops to build a bridge to Lanka, Arjuna came with Krishna. At that time, Rama-Laksmana and Krishna-Arjuna shared physical resemblances.
Because the scene in this part of the story was crowded with many people the two pairs got mixed up so that Arjuna was with Rama and made the mistkae of saying that he could constuct a brigde from India to Lanka that was more robust than the one that Rama had made with his monkey army.
Arjuna was asked to prove his words and he drew his arrow from South India to Lanka in order to crete the bridge. Since Rama was still in doubt about the strength of the bridge, Hanuman in the form of a little monkey tried to walk across the bridge, but as he walked, he grew in size. By the time he arrived to the middle of the bridge, the structure collapsed under his weight.
“This story goes beyond the standard patterns of the story that tells of the meeting of the the Ramayana Story with the story of the Mahabharata. Although this story is classified as the creation of puppeteers, it is said to have been narrated in a palm-leaf manuscript”, explained Prof. Bandem.
As the story goes, Arjuna then kept his oath to worship Hanuman for his success. However, Hanuman could not stand to be worshiped by Arjuna so he finally apologized for having dared to dabble with a deity (pramada). With this apology he also promised to help Arjuna when needed.
Arjuna took the initiative to make a flag with the figure of Hanuman that also symbolizes Lord Vayu which was then installed on his chariot. From this story was born the tradition of putting up these kober flags at temple.
There is also another version of this story , said Dr. I Gusti Made Ngurah, which begins with Arjuna accompanied by Krishna who was send by Yudhishthira to the former kingdom of Lanka to look for a refferences that could for a symbol when carrying out a ritual.
On the way, Arjuna and Krishna encountered a little monkey on a bridge. Arjuna was arrogant and insulted the little monkey. The little monkey answered that he was actually Hanuman and challenged Arjuna to try to destroy the bridge. Arjuna failed to meet this challenge.
Arjuna was tested several times by the monkey but always failed. Finally the little monkey revealed his identity as Hanuman son of Lord Vayu. Hanuman said that he would respect Arjuna because he is a human but that Arjuna should also respect Hanuman as he is son of Lord Vayu and in this way there would be mutual respect.
“Finally, Hanuman requested that Arjuna to create a flag that depicting Hanuman. This flag was then taken everywhere. The flag with the image of Hanuman ths became a symbol of Arjuna honoring Hanuman”, said Prof. Bandem. (was)