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Tri Hita Karana

Tri Hita Karana

Three Elements of Wellbeing

Tri Hita Karana is a principle in Balinese Hinduism that emphasizes the importance of maintaining a harmonious relationship between humans, nature, and God, as they are all significant and interconnected aspects of life that contribute to the overall balance and harmony of our world.

God represents the spiritual and moral aspect of life that guides individuals in their values and beliefs. Nature encompasses the physical universe, including all living and non-living things, and the environment in which we live.

The three elements of the principle are:

Parahyangan – refers to the relationship between humans and God or the spiritual dimension. This is the basis for all the magnificent rituals, from the daily offerings to the major ceremonies such as Galungan and Nyepi. Such elaborate rituals serve to maintain the balance between the spiritual realm and the physical world.

Pawongan – focuses on the relationship between humans and other humans. It emphasizes the importance of social harmony, mutual respect, and prioritizes community over individualism. One example of the manifestation of this principle is the strength of social cohesion in each banjar.

Palemahan – emphasises the relationship between humans and the environment or nature. This includes sustainable living practices, such as protecting natural resources, planting trees, and minimizing waste. Humans depend on nature for their survival, yet they have also caused significant harm to the environment through activities such as deforestation, pollution, and climate change. The relationship between human and nature should be a partnership, where nature provides resources and services that sustain human life, and humans should protect and preserve the environment.

The three elements, that make up an entire philosophy of well-being in Bali, are simple and yet complex, as humans are free spirits to interpret their roles in this harmony of life. Tri Hata Karana is a system of balance that offers guidance and practice in spiritual harmony between humans, nature, and the Gods.

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