In my early days in Bali I notices a priest sitting on the side of the road at an intersection with two men who had just had an accident. He appeared to be performing a spiritual ceremony.
At a later time a friend explained, with a story the details of what had happened. ‘This is one of the ways Balinese teach the wisdom of their culture, through stories as well as music, dance, and their art instead of books and teachers.’
The following is the story he shared;
AN ACCIDENT IN BALI
A young Balinese man was driving his car through his village, which was located in the northern mountains on the island of Bali. He was very alert for there was a lot of traffic on the narrow streets. As a Balinese he had an intuitive sense that without looking would tell him where all the motorbikes, cars, transports and buses were.
Each vehicle would turn and move like fish in a barrel, as they passed as well as flowed with each other without touching. It was as if a single collective force of total harmony, oneness of purpose, and movement extended from each person and their vehicle as it protected and guided them in this magic dance of life.
As he drove through an intersection his car shook from an impact of another car that had run a stop sign. Both drivers without hesitation moved their cars to the side of the road. Turning their engines off, they stepped out and walked towards each other.
Their movement was one of flowing with the soft gentle characteristic that is so typical of all Balinese. The persona of their appearance and movement simply reflected their state of heart-centered awareness, which said, “O! We just had an accident.”
Meeting face to face, they both nodded as they lowered their eyes and placed their hands in the prayer position over their hearts to acknowledge the other’s presence. The silent message which each conveyed was, ‘Please excuse me for my part of the accident. It was my karma, which caused us to meet in this way.’
The Balinese believe that everything is energy and must remain in balance with the energy of life. When there is an accident or other what we would call negative event, they believed it is to tell the people that their personal energy is out of balance with the Energy of Life. When they are in the flow they are in the state of inner peace. When dis-ease arrives it’s telling you, you have stepped off the path for your energy is out of balance.
Continuing this same Balinese grace and reverence for all of life, both the good and so called not so good, they walked to the home of the nearby village priest. Approaching his home they saw him standing at the gate to his family compound. It was as if he knew they were coming.
The drivers shared that they had an accident at the intersection and knew that their accident had caused the energy of the intersection to be out of balance. They asked him to perform a ceremony to rebalance the energy. The priest collected the items necessary for a ceremony and walked with the drivers back to the intersection.
With the traffic passing by, the sat at the side of the road with a young man on each side of him. He placed the offerings on the pavement in front of him and began ringing the bell as he recited the Sanskrit Prayers for bringing more good energy to the intersection and return the balance.
After the prayer for the re-balancing of the inner section the priest performed a prayer to clear the negative energy and karma from the drivers. At the completion of the ceremony the priest said, “The intersection is back in balance. You both are now clear.”
They all stood without judgments or blame the two men with bowed heads and hands together in prayer position over their heart thanked the priest for the ceremony.
They then turned and faced each other, with bowed heads and hands in the prayer position they then returned to their cars and continued their journeys.
Everything in Bali is related to the balance of the black and white in the circle called the Yin and Yang. The accident had increased the dark negative energy thus creating the imbalance of the intersection as well as in the two drivers.
The ceremony increased the white energy thus bring the intersection and the two drivers energy back into balance with the Energy of Life.
This story illustrates that the balinese believe there are no mistakes in ones life, for life is there teacher and guide. If they do what is necessary to stay in harmony with the Energy they will always carry an inner peace. Because they radiate with their thoughts words and actions this inner peace, all that comes to the carries that same vibration.
AN ACCIDENT IN BALI
Offering on the road to honor the spirits of the earth.
Re-balancing the Energy of Life.
Symbol of the in - Yang at the temple entrance.