Bali Charter promotes tolerance and harmony
The two-day meeting of 200 prominent Hindu figures has resulted in the issuance of the Bali Charter, which promotes inter-faith respect, human values and world harmony.
Signed during the final session of the World Hindu Summit 2012 in Denpasar on Monday afternoon, participants also agreed to establish the World Hindu Parishad, an organization to unify Hindus, as well as to globally coordinate activities and to propagate Hindu Dharma (Hinduism as practiced in Indonesia).
I Made Bakta, chairman of the steering committee of the World Hindu Summit 2012, said that the meeting had also resulted in a plan to develop a World Hindu Center in Bali.
“Under the auspices of the World Hindu Center, we have agreed to hold an annual World Hindu Wisdom Meeting,” said Bakta.
Bakta said that Bali had been chosen as the location for the World Hindu Center because of the uniqueness of the island. Bali has a majority Hindu population, with more than 3 million Hindus, and is considered an enclave within Indonesia, which is predominantly Muslim.
“The Hindu religion is the fundamental root and spirit of Balinese culture, which colors all aspects of Balinese people’s life. Hinduism in Bali has been reconciled with the indigenous way of life and, fundamentally, the religion has successfully synchronized all aspects of Balinese life. Consequently, the Hindu religion cannot be separated from Balinese culture and the life of Balinese people,” Bakta said.
The development of the Hindu religion in Bali carries a long history, beginning around the sixth or seventh century in Indonesia. It reached its golden era with the Majapahit Kingdom period from the 12th to 13th centuries, but eventually fell with the development of Islam in the country. At that time, most people who still strongly held to their Hindu beliefs moved to Bali and have maintained their beliefs until now, while the majority of the Indonesian population turned to Islam.
Bakta explained that Hinduism in Bali had been proven to have a sufficiently powerful philosophy to face the strong influences, both internally and externally, from Islam, from Europeans with their Christianity, and even from modernization and globalization. “The uniqueness of the practice of religion in
Bali brings harmony to our lives,” Bakta said.
Dharma Adhyaksa Hindu Dharma Council of Indonesia, Ida Pedanda Sebali Tianyar Arimbawa said that the decision to declare Bali the World Hindu Center was an honor for Bali. “We are sure that we will do our best. We have to do everything with a positive perspective,” he stated.
Swami Sai Ravichandran, a Hindu figure from India, said that the World Hindu Parishad needed to be an umbrella for the Hindu religion globally.
He also welcomed the idea of Bali as the host of the World Hindu Parishad, as well as building a World Hindu Center on the island. “I have come to Bali 20 times to perform meditations and for other reasons. I felt comfortable. I think an umbrella for Hinduism globally is really needed,” the founder of
Akshaya Sri Sai Dhiyana Sabai said.
Chairman of the executive board of the Hindu Dharma Council of Indonesia, Sang Nyoman Suwisma, said that the council would be ready to work hard to prepare the World Hindu Wisdom Meeting in 2013.
The World Hindu Summit 2012 has also agreed the Bali roadmap as a guideline to set up the target base on the Bali Charter. “We are now strengthening our networking between Hindu figures all over the world,” he said.