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Hinduist History In Indonesia

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The history of Hindu religion in Indonesia is of course connected with that in India. It does not happen with the war and the invasion of the weapon, but rather by the commercial relationship. There is still a typical influence that makes the difference with the religion of origin in India.

It is believed that the spread of Hinduism in Indonesia began at the beginning of our era, at the same time as Buddhism, around the second and fourth centuries of our era. This is when traders from India came to Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi, bringing their religion with them. Hinduism and Buddhism developed by traders successfully influenced many wealthy kingdoms, such as Kutai, Srivijaya, Majapahit and Sailendra. Then, with the construction of the largest Buddhist temple in the world, Borobudur and the Hindu temple, Prambanan by the kingdom of Sailendra. The golden age of Hindus was in the 14th century CE with the grandeur of the Majapahit kingdom at that time.

The written evidence or archaeological artifacts of the teachings of Hinduism in Indonesia were discovered in the 4th century CE. There are unclear about the process of dissemination of cultural and spiritual ideas from India. There is the discovery of seven Yupa, the legacy of many Kutai kingdoms in East Kalimantan. Among the seven yupas found, it is explained how king Mulawarman made his “yad” in a shrine called “Vaprakeswara” to worship God Siva. The growth of Hinduism has been proven not only in Kutai (East Kalimantan), but also in West Java, as evidenced by the discovery of seven Sanskrit inscriptions and the use of the letter of Pallawa in the 5th century – Ciaruteun, Kebonkopi, Guava, Pasir Awi, Muara Cianten, Tugu and Lebak. All the inscriptions that prove the king of Tarumanegara, King Punawarman is a Hindu worshiping Tri Murti as a manifestation of Almighty God.

Beside East Kalimantan, West Java, Central Java and East Java, Hinduism was also spreading in Bali. In fact, Bali is today the most important place where many teachings of Hinduism are still practiced.

In Central Java, there are Tukmas inscriptions on the slopes of Merbabu mountain, Arjuna and Srikandi temples on the Dieng plateau, near Wonosobo and Prambanan temples, which are decorated with the statue of Tri Murti. Three of them were evidence of Hindu influence in the region. Meanwhile, in East Java, the influence of Hinduism is proved by the discovery of Dinaya (Dinoyo) inscriptions, the Budut temple as sacred buildings located in the Malang region – a relic of the most ancient Hindu kingdom of East Java – and the discovery of Hindu literature. , such as Smaradahana book, Bharatayudha, Lubdhaka, Wrtasancaya and Kresnayana book and many more.

Java legends refer to the Saka era, which dates back to AD 78. Stories from the Mahabharata epic have been traced in the Indonesian islands to the 1st century; versions of which match those found in the peninsular region of southeast India (now Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh). The 14th-century Javanese Tantu Pagelaran prose, a collection of ancient tales, Indonesian arts and crafts, makes extensive use of Sanskrit words, names of Indian deities, and religious concepts. Similarly, ancient Chandis (temples) unearthed in Java and islands in western Indonesia, as well as ancient inscriptions such as the 8th-century Canggal inscription discovered in Indonesia, confirm the adoption widespread iconography of Shiva lingam, his companion goddess Parvati, Ganesha, Vishnu, Brahma, Arjuna, and other Hindu deities around the middle or late first millennium AD. Ancient Chinese records on Fa Hien on his return voyage from Ceylon to China in 414 AD mention two schools of Hinduism in Java, while Chinese documents dating from the 8th century refer to the Hindu kingdom of King Sanjaya as Holing, calling it “extremely wealthy,” and that he peacefully coexisted with Buddhists and the ruler Sailendra in the Kedu plain on the island of Java.

Around 1400 CE, the Indonesian island kingdoms were attacked by coast-based Muslim armies. During the 15th and 16th centuries, this sultan-led Muslim campaign targeted Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms and various communities in the Indonesian archipelago, with each sultan trying to seize a region or island for control. Four diverse and controversial Islamic sultanates emerged in North Sumatra (Aceh), South Sumatra, West and Central Java, and South Borneo (Kalimantan).

The violence ended Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms and communities in many islands of Indonesia. In other cases, Hindus and Buddhists left and concentrated in communities on islands they could defend. Hindus from West Java moved east and then to the island of Bali and the nearby smaller islands, creating Balinese Hinduism. As this era of religious conflicts and wars between sultanates unfolded and new centers of power attempted to consolidate the regions under their control, European colonialism arrived. The Indonesian archipelago was soon dominated by the Dutch colonial empire. [12] The Dutch colonial empire helped prevent inter-religious conflict and slowly began the process of excavating, understanding and preserving the ancient Indo-Buddhist cultural bases of Indonesia, particularly in Java and the islands of Indonesia. western Indonesia.

Upon its independence from the Dutch colonial power, Article 29 of the Indonesian Constitution of 1945 guaranteed freedom of religion to all its citizens. In 1952, says Michel Picard, the Indonesian Ministry of Religion came under the control of Islamists who severely limited the acceptable definition of a “religion”. To be acceptable as an official Indonesian religion, the ministry defined “religion” as being a monotheistic religion, codifying religious law, possessing a prophet and a holy book among other requirements. Balinese Hindus were declared as “people without religion” and available for conversion. Balinese Hindus disagree, debate, adapt and declare that their form of Hinduism is monotheistic and present it in a form to become “agama” under the amended articles of 1952. To do this, Balinese Hindus initiated a series of student and cultural exchange initiatives between Bali and India, which helped to formulate the fundamental principles of Balinese Hinduism (Catur Veda, Upanishad, Puranas, Itihasa). In particular, the political self-determination movement in Bali in the mid-1950s led to the 1958 Joint Petition which called on the Indonesian government to recognize Hindu dharma. This joint petition quoted the following Sanskrit mantra from the Hindu scriptures.

Know that it is ekam eva advitiyam

Translation: Om is therefore the very essence of infinity, infinite and predominant.

– Joint request of the Hindus of Bali, June 14, 1958
The petition focused on “joint ownership” to satisfy the constitutional requirement that Indonesian citizens have a monotheistic belief in one God. The claimants identified Ida Sanghyang Widhi Wasa as undivided. In the Balinese language, this term has two meanings: the divine ruler of the universe and the absolute and divine cosmic law. This creative phrase fulfilled the monotheistic requirement of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion in the primary sense, while the latter sense of its meaning preserved the central ideas of dharma in the ancient scriptures of Hinduism.

Bali became the only part of Indonesia to remain predominantly Hindu.

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