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Hinduism in Indonesia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Balinese Hindu ritual

Hinduism in Indonesia is practised by 1.7% of the total population, and by 83.5% of
the population in Bali as of the 2010 census.[1] Hinduism is one of the six
official religions of Indonesia.[2] In 2010, there were an estimated total of over
4 million Hindus in Indonesia according to Indonesian census.[1][3] The Parisada
Hindu Dharma Indonesia disputed the census methodology, and estimated 18 million
Hindus lived in Indonesia in 2005.[4][5] In 2010, the Ministry of Religious Affairs
of the Government of Indonesia estimated that about 10 million Hindus lived on
Indonesian islands, in contrast to the Indonesian official decadal census of over 4
million.[6] Nevertheless as of 2017, Indonesia has the largest number of Hindus
living in the region and outside of South Asia.

Hinduism by country
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Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 Arrival of Hinduism
1.2 Hinduism in colonial era
1.3 Hinduism in the modern era
2 General beliefs and practices
3 Hinduism in Bali
4 Javanese Hinduism
5 Hinduism elsewhere in the archipelago
6 Demographics
6.1 Official Census (2010)
6.2 Official Census (2000)
7 Hindu holidays in Indonesia
8 Social life
9 Tourism
10 Symbolism
11 See also
12 References
13 Further reading
14 External links

Religion map in Indonesia with Hinduism shown in red

The natives of Indonesian Archipelago practiced indigenous animism and dynamism,
beliefs common to the Austronesian people. Native Indonesians venerated and revered
ancestral spirit; they also believed that some spirits may inhabit certain places
such as large trees, stones, forests, mountains, or any sacred place. This unseen
spiritual entity that has supernatural power is identified by ancient Javanese,
Sundanese and Balinese as "hyang" that can mean either divine or ancestral. In
modern Indonesian, "hyang" tends to be associated with God.

Arrival of Hinduism[edit]
Archeological evidence suggests Tarumanagara as one of the earliest known Hindu
kingdoms in Indonesia. The map shows its geographic spread in West Java in the 5th
century CE.
Hindu influences reached the Indonesian Archipelago as early as the first century.
[7] Historical evidence is unclear about the diffusion process of cultural and
spiritual ideas from India. Java legends refer to Saka-era, traced to 78 AD.
Stories from the Mahabharata Epic have been traced in Indonesian islands to the 1st
century; however, the versions mirror those found in southeast Indian peninsular
region (now Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh).[7] The Javanese prose work
Tantu Pagelaran of the 14th century, which is a collection of ancient tales, arts
and crafts of Indonesia, extensively uses Sanskrit words, Indian deity names and
religious concepts. Similarly ancient Chandis (temples) excavated in Java and
western Indonesian islands, as well as ancient inscriptions such as the 8th century
Canggal inscription discovered in Indonesia, confirm widespread adoption of Shiva
lingam iconography, his companion goddess Parvati, Ganesha, Vishnu, Brahma, Arjuna,
and other Hindu deities by about the middle to late 1st millennium AD.[8] Ancient
Chinese records of Fa Hien on his return voyage from Ceylon to China in 414 AD
mention two schools of Hinduism in Java,[7] while Chinese documents from 8th
century refer to the Hindu kingdom of King Sanjaya as Holing, calling it
"exceedingly wealthy," and that it coexisted peacefully with Buddhist people and
Sailendra ruler in Kedu Plain of the Java island.[9]

The two major theories for the arrival of Hinduism in Indonesia include that South
Indian sea traders brought Hinduism with them, and second being that Indonesian
royalty welcomed Indian religions and culture, and it is they who first adopted
these spiritual ideas followed by the masses. Indonesian islands adopted both Hindu
and Buddhist ideas, fusing them with pre-existing native folk religion and Animist
beliefs.[10] In the 4th century, the kingdom of Kutai in East Kalimantan,
Tarumanagara in West Java, and Holing (Kalingga) in Central Java, were among the
early Hindu states established in the region. Excavations between 1950 and 2005,
particularly at the Cibuaya and Batujaya sites, suggests that Tarumanagara revered
deity Wisnu (Vishnu) of Hinduism.[11] Ancient Hindu kingdoms of Java built many
square temples, named rivers on the island as Gomati and Ganges, and completed
major irrigation and infrastructure projects.[12][13]

Several notable ancient Indonesian Hindu kingdoms were Mataram, famous for the
construction of one of the world's largest Hindu temple complexes - the Prambanan
temple, followed by Kediri and Singhasari. Hinduism along with Buddhism spread
across the archipelago. Numerous sastras and sutras of Hinduism were translated
into the Javanese language, and expressed in art form. Rishi Agastya, for example,
is described as the principal figure in the 11th century Javanese text Agastya
parva; the text includes puranas, and a mixture of ideas from the Samkhya and
Vedanta schools of Hinduism.[14] The Hindu-Buddhist ideas reached the peak of their
influence in the 14th century. The last and largest among the Hindu-Buddhist
Javanese empires, Majapahit, influenced the Indonesian archipelago.

Hinduism in colonial era[edit]

The Balinese Om symbol

Sunni Muslim traders of the Shafi'i fiqh, as well as Sufi Muslim traders from
India, Oman and Yemen brought Islam to Indonesia.[15] The earliest known mention of
a small Islamic community midst the Hindus of Indonesia is credited to Marco Polo,
about 1297 AD, whom he referred to as a new community of Moorish traders in Perlak.
[16] Over 15th and 16th centuries, a Muslim militant campaign led by Sultans
attacked Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms and various communities in the Indonesian
archipelago, with each Sultan trying to carve out a region or island for control.
[17] Four diverse and contentious Islamic Sultanates emerged in north Sumatra
(Aceh), south Sumatra, west and central Java, and in southern Borneo (Kalimantan).

These Sultanates declared Islam as their state religion and pursued war against
each other as well as the Hindus and other non-Muslim infidels. Hindu, Buddhist,
Confucian and Animist communities in these Indonesian Sultanates bought peace by
agreeing to pay Jizya tax to the Muslim ruler, while others began adopting Islam to
escape the Jizya tax. For example, Jizya was imposed on unbelievers of Islam in
Sumatra, as a condition for peace by the local Sultan.[19] In some regions,
Indonesian people continued their old beliefs and adopted a syncretic version of
Islam. In other cases, Hindus and Buddhists left and concentrated as communities in
islands that they could defend. Hindus of western Java, for example, moved to Bali
and neighboring small islands.[20] While this era of religious conflict and inter-
Sultanate warfare was unfolding, and new power centers were attempting to
consolidate regions under their control, European colonialism arrived.[20] The
Indonesian archipelago was soon dominated by the Dutch colonial empire.[21] The
Dutch colonial empire helped prevent inter-religious conflict, and it slowly began
the process of excavating, understanding and preserving Indonesia's ancient Hindu-
Buddhist cultural foundations, particularly in Java and western islands of

Hinduism in the modern era[edit]

A Balinese-style sculpture of the Hindu deity Saraswati installed by the Indonesian

After Indonesia gained its independence from Dutch colonial rule, it officially
recognized only monotheistic religions under pressure from political Islam.
Further, Indonesia required an individual to have a religion to gain full
Indonesian citizenship rights, and officially Indonesia did not recognize Hindus.
[23] It considered Hindus as orang yang belum beragama (people without religion),
and as those who must be converted.[23] In 1952, the Indonesian Ministry of
Religion declared Bali and other islands with Hindus as needing a systematic
campaign of proselytization to accept Islam. The local government of Bali, shocked
by this official national policy, declared itself an autonomous religious area in
1953. The Balinese government also reached out to India and former Dutch colonial
officials for diplomatic and human rights support.[24] A series of student and
cultural exchange initiatives between Bali and India helped formulate the core
principles behind Balinese Hinduism (Catur Veda, Upanishad, Puranas, Itihasa). In
particular, the political self-determination movement in Bali in mid 1950s led to a
non-violent passive resistance movement and the joint petition of 1958 which
demanded Indonesian government recognize Hindu Dharma.[23] This joint petition
quoted the following Sanskrit mantra from Hindu scriptures,[25]

Om tat sat ekam eva advitiyam

Translation: Om, thus is the essence of the all prevading, infinite, undivided one.

?Joint petition by Hindus of Bali, 14 June 1958[23]

The petition's focus on the "undivided one" was to satisfy the constitutional
requirement that Indonesian citizens have a monotheistic belief in one God. The
petitioners identified Ida Sanghyang Widhi Wasa as the undivided one. In the
Balinese language this term has two meanings: the Divine ruler of the Universe and
the Divine Absolute Cosmic Law. This creative phrase met the monotheistic
requirement of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion in the former sense, while the
latter sense of its meaning preserved the central ideas of dharma in ancient
scripts of Hinduism.[23] In 1959, Indonesian President Sukarno supported the
petition and a Hindu-Balinese Affairs section was officially launched within the
Ministry of Religion.

Indonesian politics and religious affairs went through turmoil from 1959 to 1962,
with Sukarno dissolving the Konstituante and weakening the impact of communist
movement in Indonesia along with political Islam.[26] Nevertheless, officially
identifying their religion as Hinduism was not a legal possibility for Indonesians
until 1962, when it became the fifth state-recognized religion. This recognition
was initially sought by Balinese religious organizations and granted for the sake
of Bali, where the majority were Hindu. Between 1966 and 1980, along with Balinese
Hindus, large numbers of Indonesians in eastern Java, as well as parts of South
Sulawesi, North Sumatra, Central and South Kalimantan officially declared
themselves to be Hindus.[27] They politically organized themselves to press and
preserve their rights. The largest of these organizations, Parisada Hindu Dharma
Bali, changed its name to Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) in 1986,
reflecting subsequent efforts to define Hinduism as a national rather than just a
Balinese concern.[28]

While Hindus in Bali, with their large majority, developed and freely practiced
their religion, in other islands of Indonesia they suffered discrimination and
persecution by local officials as these Hindus were considered as those who had
left Islam, the majority religion. However, the central government of Indonesia
supported the Hindus.[27] In the 1960s, Hinduism was an umbrella also used by
Indonesians whose faith was Buddhism and Confucianism, but when neither of these
two were officially recognized. Furthermore, Hindu political activists of Indonesia
worked to protect people of those faiths under rights they had gained at the
Indonesian Ministry of Religion.[29]

To gain official acceptance and their rights in a Muslim-dominated country,

Hinduism in Indonesia was politically forced to adapt.[10] Currently Hindu Dharma
is one of the five officially recognized monotheistic religions in Indonesia.[10]

Folk religions and animists with a deep concern for the preservation of their
traditional ancestor religions declared their religion to be Hinduism, considering
it a more flexible option than Islam, in the outer islands. In the early seventies,
the Toraja people of Sulawesi were the first to realize this opportunity by seeking
shelter for their indigenous ancestor religion under the broad umbrella of
'Hinduism', followed by the Karo Batak of Sumatra in 1977.[citation needed] In
central and southern Kalimantan, a large Hindu movement has grown among the local
indigenous Dayak population which lead to a mass declaration of 'Hinduism' on this
island in 1980. However, this was different from the Javanese case, in that
conversions followed a clear ethnic division. Indigenous Dayak were confronted with
a mostly Muslim population of government-sponsored (and predominantly Madurese)
migrants and officials, and deeply resentful at the dispossession of their land and
its natural resources.[citation needed]

Compared to their counterparts among Javanese Hindus, many Dayak leaders were also
more deeply concerned about Balinese efforts to standardize Hindu ritual practice
nationally; fearing a decline of their own unique 'Hindu Kaharingan' traditions and
renewed external domination. By contrast, most Javanese were slow to consider
Hinduism at the time, lacking a distinct organization along ethnic lines and
fearing retribution from locally powerful Islamic organizations like the Nahdatul
Ulama (NU).[citation needed]

Several native tribal peoples with beliefs such as Sundanese Sunda Wiwitan, Torajan
Aluk To Dolo, and Batak Malim, with their own unique syncretic faith, have declared
themselves as Hindus in order to comply with Indonesian law, while preserving their
distinct traditions with differences from mainstream Indonesian Hinduism dominated
by the Balinese. These factors and political activity has led to a certain
resurgence of Hinduism outside of its Balinese stronghold.[31][32]

General beliefs and practices[edit]

See also: Hinduism and Balinese Hinduism

Acintya is the Supreme God in Balinese Hinduism.

The general beliefs and practices of Agama Hindu Dharma are a mixture of ancient
traditions and contemporary pressures placed by Indonesian laws that permit only
monotheist belief under the national ideology of panca sila.[10][33] Traditionally,
Hinduism in Indonesia had a pantheon of deities and that tradition of belief
continues in practice; further, Hinduism in Indonesia granted freedom and
flexibility to Hindus as to when, how and where to pray.[33] However, officially,
Indonesian government considers and advertises Indonesian Hinduism as a
monotheistic religion with certain officially recognized beliefs that comply with
its national ideology.[10][33][34] Indonesian school text books describe Hinduism
as having one supreme being, Hindus offering three daily mandatory prayers, and
Hinduism as having certain common beliefs that in part parallel those of Islam.[33]
[35] Scholars[33][36][37] contest whether these Indonesian government recognized
and assigned beliefs reflect the traditional beliefs and practices of Hindus in
Indonesia before Indonesia gained independence from Dutch colonial rule.

Some of these officially recognized Hindu beliefs include:[33][35]

A belief in one supreme being called 'Ida Sanghyang Widi Wasa', 'Sang Hyang
Tunggal', or 'Sang Hyang Acintya'. God Almighty in the Torajanese culture of
Central Sulawesi is known as "Puang Matua" in Aluk To Dolo belief.
A belief that all of the gods are manifestations of this supreme being. This belief
is the same as the belief of Smartism, which also holds that the different forms of
God, Vishnu, Siva are different aspects of the same Supreme Being. Lord Shiva is
also worshipped in other forms such as "Batara Guru" and "Maharaja Dewa" (Mahadeva)
are closely identified with the Sun in local forms of Hinduism or Kebatinan, and
even in the genie lore of Muslims.[38]
A belief in the Trimurti, consisting of:
Brahma, the creator
Wisnu or Vishnu, the preserver
iwa or Shiva, the destroyer
A belief in all of the other Hindu gods and goddesses (Hyang, Dewata and Batara-
The sacred texts found in Agama Hindu Dharma are the Vedas and Upanishads.[28] They
are the basis of Indian and Balinese Hinduism. Other sources of religious
information include the Universal Hindu Puranas and the Itihasa (mainly Ramayana
and the Mahabharata). The epics Mahabharata and Ramayana became enduring traditions
among Indonesian believers, expressed in shadow puppet (wayang) and dance
performances. As in India, Indonesian Hinduism recognizes four paths of
spirituality, calling it Catur Marga.[39] These are bhakti marga (path of devotion
to deities), jnana marga (path of knowledge), karma marga (path of works) and raja
marga (path of meditation). Bhakti marga has the largest following in Bali.[39]
Similarly, like Hindus in India, Balinese Hindus believe that there are four proper
goals of human life, calling it Catur Purusartha - dharma (pursuit of moral and
ethical living), artha (pursuit of wealth and creative activity), kama (pursuit of
joy and love) and moksha (pursuit of self-knowledge and liberation).[40][41]

Hinduism in Bali[edit]
Main article: Balinese Hinduism

One of many Hindu temples in Bali

A Balinese Hindu temple offering

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgamation of Indian religions and indigenous animist
customs that existed in Indonesian archipelago before the arrival of Islam and
later Dutch colonialism.[42] It integrates many of the core beliefs of Hinduism
with arts and rituals of Balinese people. In contemporary times, Hinduism in Bali
is officially referred by Indonesian Ministry of Religion as Agama Hindu Dharma,
but traditionally the religion was called by many names such as Tirta, Trimurti,
Hindu, Agama Tirta, Siwa, Buda, and Siwa-Buda.[43] The terms Tirta and Trimurti
emanate from Indian Hinduism, corresponding to Tirtha (pilgrimage to spirituality
near holy waters) and Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) respectively. As in
India, Hinduism in Bali grew with flexibility, featuring a diverse way of life. It
includes many of the Indian spiritual ideas, cherishes legends and myths of Indian
Puranas and Hindu Epics, as well as expresses its traditions through unique set of
festivals and customs associated with a myriad of hyangs - the local and ancestral
spirits, as well as forms of animal sacrifice that are not common in India.[43]

Balinese Hindu temple

The Balinese temple is called Pura. These temples are designed on square Hindu
temple plan, as an open air worship place within enclosed walls, connected with
series of intricately decorated gates to reach its compounds.[44] Each of these
temples has a more or less fixed membership; every Balinese belongs to a temple by
virtue of descent, residence, or affiliation. Some house temples are associated
with the family house compound (also called banjar in Bali), others are associated
with rice fields, and still others with key geographic sites. In rural highlands of
Bali, banua (or wanwa, forest domain) temples in each desa (village) are common.
[45] The island of Bali has over 20,000 temples, or about one temple for every 100
to 200 people.[46] Temples are dedicated to local spirits as well as to deities
found in India; for example, Saraswati, Ganesha, Wisnu, Siwa, Parvati, Arjuna, and
others. The temple design similarly amalgamate architectural principles in Hindu
temples of India and regional ideas.

Each individual has a family deity, called Kula dewa, who resides in the temple
called the family temple that the individual and his family patronize. Balinese
Hindu follow a 210-day calendar (based on rice crop and lunar cycles), and each
temple celebrates its anniversary once every 210 days.[42] Unique rituals and
festivals of Balinese Hindus, that are not found in India, include those related to
death of a loved one followed by cremations, cockfights, tooth filings, Nyepi and
Galungan. Each temple anniversary, as well as festivals and family events such as
wedding include flowers, offerings, towering bamboos with decoration at the end and
a procession. These are celebrated by the community with prayers and feast.[42]
Most festivals have a temple as venue, and they are often occasions for prayers,
celebration of arts and community. Some traditions, in contrast, involve animist
rituals such as caru (animal blood sacrifice) such as Tabuh Rah (lethal
cockfighting) or killing of an animal to appease buta kala (spirits of the earth) -
however, the animal sacrifices are conducted outside the premises of a temple.[45]

Balinese Hindu arts

Dance, music, colorful ceremonial dresses and other arts are a notable feature of
religious expression among Balinese Hindus. As in India, these expressions
celebrate various mudra to express ideas, grace, decorum and culture. Dance-drama
is common. Various stories are expressed. For example, one involves a battle
between the mythical characters Rangda the witch (representing adharma, something
like disorder) and Barong the protective spirit represented with a lion mask
(representing dharma), in which performers fall into a trance, the good attempts to
conquer evil, the dancers express the idea that good and evil exists within each
individual, and that conquering evil implies ejecting evil from oneself. The dance-
drama regularly ends undecided, neither side winning, because the primary purpose
is to restore balance and recognize that the battle between dharma and adharma
(good and evil) is within each person and a never ending one.[48] Barong, or
dharma, is a major symbolic and ritual paradigm found in various festivities,
dances, arts and temples.[49]

Rituals of the life cycle are also important occasions for religious expression and
artistic display. Ceremonies at puberty, marriage, and, most notably, cremation at
death provide opportunities for Balinese to communicate their ideas about
community, status, and the afterlife.

Balinese Hindu society

Scholars[43][50] dispute the degree and nature of social stratification in medieval
and contemporary Balinese Hindu society. The social structure consisted of catur
wangsa (four varnas) - brahmana (priests), satriya or "Deva" (warriors), waisya
(merchants), and sudra (farmers, artisans, commoners).[51] There is no historical
or contemporary cultural record of untouchables in Balinese Hindu society. The
wangsa - termed castes by some accounts, classes by other accounts - were
functional, not hierarchical nor segregated in Hindu society of Bali or Java.
Further, there was social mobility - people could change their occupation and caste
if they wished to.[52][53] Among the interior highlands of Bali, the desa
(villages) have had no wangsa, the social status and profession of a person has
been mutable, and marriages not endogamous.[45] Historical inscriptions suggest
Balinese Hindu kings and village chiefs have come from all sections of its society
- priests, warriors, merchants and artisans.

Javanese Hinduism[edit]
Main article: Hinduism in Java

The 9th century Prambanan Shiva temple, the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia.

Java's Hindu temple, Candi Sambisari.

Both Java and Sumatra were subject to considerable cultural influence from the
Indian subcontinent. The earliest evidences of Hindu influences in Java can be
found in 4th century Tarumanagara inscriptions scattered around modern Jakarta and
Bogor. In the sixth and seventh centuries many maritime kingdoms arose in Sumatra
and Java which controlled the waters in the Straits of Malacca and flourished with
the increasing sea trade between China and India and beyond. During this time,
scholars from India and China visited these kingdoms to translate literary and
religious texts.

From the 4th to the 15th century, Java had many Hindu kingdoms, such as
Tarumanagara, Kalingga, Medang, Kediri, Sunda, Singhasari and Majapahit. This era
is popularly known as the Javanese Classical Era, during which Hindu-Buddhist
literature, art and architecture flourished and were incorporated into local
culture under royal patronage. During this time, many Hindu temples were built,
including 9th century Prambanan near Yogyakarta, which has been designated a World
Heritage Site. Among these Hindu kingdoms, Majapahit kingdom was the largest and
the last significant Hindu kingdom in Indonesian history. Majapahit was based in
East Java, from where it ruled a large part of what is now Indonesia. The remnants
of the Majapahit kingdom shifted to Bali during the sixteenth century after a
prolonged war by and territorial losses to Islamic sultanates.[22]

The heritage of Hinduism left a significant impact and imprint in Javanese art and
culture. The wayang puppet performance as well as wayang wong dance and other
Javanese classical dances are derived from episodes of Hindu epics Ramayana and
Mahabharata. Although the majority of Javanese now identify as Muslim, these art
forms still survive. Hinduism has survived in varying degrees and forms on Java; in
recent years, conversions to Hinduism have been on the rise, particularly in
regions surrounding a major Hindu religious site, such as the Klaten region near
the Prambanan temple. Certain ethnic groups, such as the Tenggerese and Osing, are
also associated with Hindu religious traditions.[52]

Hinduism elsewhere in the archipelago[edit]

The Tamil Hindus walking around the Sri Mariamman Temple, in Medan
Among the non-Balinese communities considered to be Hindu by the government are,
for example, the Dayak adherents of the Kaharingan religion in Kalimantan Tengah,
where government statistics counted Hindus as 15.8% of the population as of 1995.
Many Manusela and Nuaulu people of Seram follow Naurus, a syncretism of Hinduism
with animist and Protestant elements.[citation needed] Similarly, the Tana Toraja
of Sulawesi have identified their animistic religion as Hindu. The Batak of Sumatra
have identified their animist traditions with Hinduism. Among the minority Indian
ethnic group, Tamils and Punjabis of Medan, Sumatra and the Sindhis in Jakarta
practice their own form of Hinduism which is similar to the Indian Hinduism, the
Indians celebrating Hindu holidays more commonly found in India, such as Deepavali
and Thaipusam[54] The Bodha sect of Sasak people on the island of Lombok are non-
Muslim; their religion is a fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism with animism; it is
considered Buddhist by the government.[citation needed]

The Hindu organisation Ditjen Bimas Hindu (DBH) carries out periodic surveys
through its close connections with Hindu communities throughout Indonesia. In 2012
its studies stated that there are 10,267,724 Hindus in Indonesia.[55] The PHDI
(Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia) along with other some other religious minority
groups claim that the government undercounts non-Muslims in census recording.[56]
The 2010 census recorded the number of Hindus at 4,012,116, some 80% of them
residing in the Hindu heartland of Bali.[1]

Official Census (2010)[edit]

According to the 2010 Census, there were a total of 4,012,116 Hindus in Indonesia,
[1] compared to 3,527,758 Hindus in 2000 Census. While the absolute number of
Hindus increased, the relative percentage of Hindus in Indonesia decreased from
2000 to 2010 because of lower birth rates among the Hindu population compared to
the Muslim population. The average number of births per Hindu woman varied between
1.8 and 2.0 among various islands, while for the Muslim population it varied
between 2.1 and 3.2 per woman.

A child dressed up for a festive Hindu dance in Ubud, Bali

Balinese pura (Hindu temple) dance

Province Total Hindu 2010[1] % Hindu 2010 % Hindu 2000 Change
Indonesia 237,641,326 4,012,116 1.69% 1.79%
Aceh 4,494,410 136 0.00% 0.01% -0.01%
Sumatera Utara 12,982,204 122,644 0.11% 0.17% -0.06%
Sumatera Barat 4,846,909 234 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Riau 5,538,367 1,076 0.02% 0.09% -0.07%
Jambi 3,092,265 582 0.02% 0.02% 0.00%
Sumatera Selatan 7,450,394 39,206 0.53% 0.26% 0.27%
Bengkulu 1,715,518 3,727 0.22% 0.15% 0.07%
Lampung 7,608,405 113,512 1.49% 1.44% 0.05%
Kep. Bangka Belitung 1,223,296 1,040 0.09% 0.01% 0.08%
Kepulauan Riau 1,679,163 1,541 0.09% 0.37% -0.28%
DKI Jakarta 9,607,787 20,364 0.21% 0.23% -0.02%
Jawa Barat 43,053,732 19,481 0.05% 0.02% 0.03%
Jawa Tengah 32,382,657 17,448 0.05% 0.09% -0.04%
DI Yogyakarta 3,457,491 5,257 0.15% 0.09% 0.06%
Jawa Timur 37,476,757 112,177 0.30% 0.27% 0.03%
Banten 10,632,166 8,189 0.08% 0.07% 0.01%
Bali 3,890,757 3,247,283 83.46% 88.05% -4.59%
Nusa Tenggara Barat 4,500,212 118,083 2.62% 3.03% -0.41%
Nusa Tenggara Timur 4,683,827 5,210 0.11% 0.15% -0.04%
Kalimantan Barat 4,395,983 2,708 0.06% 0.08% -0.02%
Kalimantan Tengah 2,212,089 11,149 0.50% 5.89% -5.39%
Kalimantan Selatan 3,626,616 16,064 0.44% 0.21% 0.23%
Kalimantan Timur 3,553,143 7,657 0.22% 0.13% 0.09%
Sulawesi Utara 2,270,596 13,133 0.58% 0.56% 0.02%
Sulawesi Tengah 2,635,009 99,579 3.78% 4.84% -1.06%
Sulawesi Selatan 8,034,776 58,393 0.73% 1.13% -0.40%
Sulawesi Tenggara 2,232,586 45,441 2.04% 2.97% -0.93%
Gorontalo 1,040,164 3,612 0.35% 0.00% 0.35%
Sulawesi Barat 1,158,651 16,042 1.38% 1.88% -0.50%
Maluku 1,533,506 5,669 0.37% NA 0.00%
Maluku Utara 1,038,087 200 0.02% 0.02% 0.00%
Papua Barat 760,422 859 0.11% 0.68% -0.57%
Papua 2,833,381 2,420 0.09% 0.16% -0.07%
Official Census (2000)[edit]
According to the 2000 census, Hindus made up 1.79% of the total Indonesian
population. Bali had the highest concentration of Hindus with 88.05% of its
population professing Hinduism agama. The percentage of Hindus in the total
population declined from the 1990 census, and this is largely attributed to lower
birth rates and immigration of Muslims from Java into provinces with high Hindu
populations. In Central Kalimantan there has been progressive settlement of
Madurese from Madura.[57][58][59][60] The details are given below:

[show]Province (2000 Cen) Hindus Total % Hindu

Hindu holidays in Indonesia[edit]

Street decoration in Bali for the Hindu festival Galungan. It celebrates the
victory of dharma over adharma (right over wrong).[61]
Hari Raya Galungan occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10 days. It celebrates the
coming of the gods and the ancestral spirits to earth to dwell again in the homes
of their descendants. The festivities are characterized by offerings, dances and
new clothes. The ancestors must be suitably entertained and welcomed, and prayers
and offerings must be made for them. Families whose ancestors have not been
cremated yet, but remain buried in the village cemetery, must make offerings at the
graves. Kuningan is the last day of the holiday, when the gods and ancestors depart
until the next Galungan.
Hari Raya Saraswati is dedicated the goddess of learning, science, and literature.
She rules the intellectual and creative realm, and is the patron goddess of
libraries and schools. Balinese Hindus believe that knowledge is an essential
medium to achieve the goal of life as a human being, and so honor her. She is also
celebrated because she succeeded in taming the wandering and lustful mind of her
consort, Brahma, who was preoccupied with the goddess of material existence,
Shatarupa. On this day, offerings are made to the lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts),
books, and shrines. Saraswati Day is celebrated every 210-days on Saniscara Umanis
Wuku Watugunung and marks the start of the new year according to the Balinese
Pawukon calendar. Ceremonies and prayers are held at the temples in family
compounds, educational institutions and temples, villages, and businesses from
morning to noon. Teachers and students replace their uniforms for the day with
bright and colourful ceremonial clothing, filling the island with color. Children
bring fruit and traditional cakes to school for offerings at the temple.[62]
Hari Raya Nyepi is a Hindu Day of Silence or the Hindu New Year in the Balinese
Saka calendar. The largest celebrations are held in Bali as well as in Balinese
Hindu communities around Indonesia. On New Year's Eve the villages are cleaned,
food is cooked for two days and in the evening as much noise is made as possible to
scare away the devils. On the following day, Hindus do not leave their homes, cook
or engage in any activity. Streets are deserted, and tourists are not allowed to
leave hotel complexes. The day following Nyepi night, everything stops for a day
except emergency services such as ambulances.[63] Nyepi is determined using the
Balinese calendar, the eve of Nyepi falling on the night of the new moon whenever
it occurs around March/April each year. Therefore, the date for Nyepi changes every
year. Nyepi night is a night of community gathering and burning of effigies island-
wide (similar to Holika in India), while the next day is the day of total peace and
quiet (unlike Holi which is full of dancing, coloring, merry making and noise).
Social life[edit]

Balinese Hindus built a shrine dedicated to Sundanese Hindu King Sri Baduga
Maharaja Sang Ratu Jaya Dewata in Pura Parahyangan Agung Jagatkarta, Bogor, West

Tengger Hindu temple at Tengger caldera in East Java

A common feature among new Hindu communities in Java is that they tend to rally
around recently built temples (pura) or around archaeological temple sites (candi)
which are being reclaimed as places of Hindu worship.

The Parisada Hindu Dharma changed its name to Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia in
1984, in recognition of its national influence spearheaded by Gedong Bagus Oka. One
of several new Hindu temples in eastern Java is Pura Mandaragiri Sumeru Agung,
located on the slope of Mt. Semeru, Java's highest mountain. When the temple was
completed in July 1992, with the generous aid of wealthy donors from Bali, only a
few local families formally confessed to Hinduism. A pilot study in December 1999
revealed that the local Hindu community now has grown to more than 5000 households.

Similar mass conversions have occurred in the region around Pura Agung Blambangan,
another new temple, built on a site with minor archaeological remnants attributed
to the kingdom of Blambangan, the last Hindu polity on Java. A further important
site is Pura Loka Moksa Jayabaya (in the village of Menang near Kediri), where the
Hindu king and prophet Jayabaya is said to have achieved spiritual liberation

A further Hindu movement in the earliest stages of development was observed in the
vicinity of the newly completed Pura Pucak Raung (in the Eastern Javanese district
of Glenmore), which is mentioned in Balinese literature as the place where the
Hindu saint Maharishi Markandeya gathered followers for an expedition to Bali,
whereby he is said to have brought Hinduism to the island in the fifth century AD.

An example of resurgence around major archaeological remains of ancient Hindu

temple sites was observed in Trowulan near Mojokerto. The site may be the location
of the capital of the Hindu empire Majapahit. A local Hindu movement is struggling
to gain control of a newly excavated temple building which they wish to see
restored as a site of active Hindu worship. The temple is to be dedicated to Gajah
Mada, the man attributed with transforming the small Hindu kingdom of Majapahit
into an empire.

In Karanganyar region in Central Java, the renovated 14th century Cetho temple on
the slope of Mount Lawu has become the center of Javanese Hinduism and gain
patronage of Balinese temples and royal houses. A new temple is being built East of
Solo (Surakarta) It is a Hindu temple that has miniatures of 50 sacred sites around
the world. It is also an active kundalini yoga meditation center teaching the
sacred Javanese tradition of sun and water meditation. There are many westerners as
well as Javanese joining in.

Although there has been a more pronounced history of resistance to Islamization in

East Java, Hindu communities are also expanding in Central Java (Lyon 1980), for
example in Klaten, near the ancient Hindu monuments of Prambanan. Today the
Prambanan temple stages various annual Hindu ceremonies and festivals such as
Galungan and Nyepi.

In West Java, a Hindu temple Pura Parahyangan Agung Jagatkarta was built on the
slope of Mount Salak near the historic site of ancient Sunda Kingdom capital,
Pakuan Pajajaran in modern Bogor. The temple, dubbed as the largest Balinese Hindu
temple ever built outside Bali, was meant as the main temple for the Balinese Hindu
population in the Greater Jakarta region. However, because the temple stands in a
Sundanese sacred place, and also hosts a shrine dedicated to the famous Sundanese
king, Prabu Siliwangi, the site has gain popularity among locals who wish to
reconnect their ties with the ancestors.

The predominantly Hindu island of Bali is the largest tourist draw in Indonesia.
[64] Next to natural beauty, temple architecture, the elaborate Hindu festivals,
rich culture, colorful art and vivid dances are the main attractions of Balinese
tourism. As a result, tourism and hospitality services are flourishing as one of
the most important sources of income and generation of Balinese economy. The high
tourist activity in Bali is in contrast with other provinces in Indonesia where the
Hindu population is not significant or is absent.

The National emblem of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila.[65] Garuda, the
discipled carrier or vehicle (vahana) of Lord Vishnu, appears in many ancient Hindu
temples of ancient Indonesia. Garuda Pancasila was designed by Sultan Hamid II from
Pontianak, supervised by Sukarno, and was adopted as the national emblem on 11
February 1950.

See also[edit]
Hinduism portal
flag Indonesia portal
Balinese Hinduism
Hinduism in Southeast Asia
Hindu Agamas
Hindu temple
List of Hindu temples in Indonesia
Religion in Indonesia
Indians in Indonesia
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Hindu minorities also reside in Central and East Kalimantan, the city of Medan
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Further reading[edit]
Jan Gonda, The Indian Religions in Pre-Islamic Indonesia and their survival in
Bali, p. 1, at Google Books
Martin Ramstedt (2003), Hinduism in Modern Indonesia, Routledge, ISBN 978-
Ann Kinney (2003), Worshiping Siva and Buddha: The Temple Art of East Java,
University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0824827793
External links[edit]
Hinduism in Indonesia
Hindu Council UK: "Great Expectations: Hindu Revival Movements in Java and other
parts of Indonesia" by Thomas Reuter Hindu Resources and Community in Indonesia
The Hinduization of Indonesia Reconsidered The Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 11,
No. 1. (Nov., 1951), pp. 1730.
[1] International Religious Freedom Report 2006
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