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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Day Good Won Against Evil

It's calling me again. The summon is strong. The time has come. For days tensions and excitement has build up. The noisy chittering little spirits, the subtle restlessness of those with ties to the world, it has grown and grown. Why not? This is the time where the Bhutakalas will be appeased with blood and offerings, and for us the ancestral spirits to return home and see our descendants. This is Galungan, the day where the Dharma or goodness wins against Adharma or evil. Shouldn't we all be joyous on this blissful day?

But what is good and what is evil? I can't help asking myself this question as the spirit of animals and plants soaring through our world, invisible to naked eyes but not to us. The day before Galungan is aptly named Penampahan or butchering day, because this is the day where the animals are killed for the offerings, and the day when the offerings are made. To some human these people are evil, as they have cruelly slaughtered the innocent animals. (But what about plants' spirit?). To some people, the fact that blood and offering are needed to appease the Bhutakala made these spirits evil. And then there's the calling of the space objects and how it is arranged, combined with the already growing tension between the spirits' excitement and personal pressure to ensure the holiday went smoothly, which invariably set people off. Then those people will be called evil, or at the very least, unpleasant.

So what is evil? Good is somewhat easier to describe. Anything that made other people happy is usually describe as good, and anything that does the opposite is described as evil. However, not all unpleasant things are evil. A dog that bites an intruder us considered evil by the intruder, but good by its master. It's almost like good is definite, but evil is relative; althought it might look the other way around. The spirits or Bhutakalas often times considered as evil, and some indeed are dangerous; but don't humans have criminals as well? If tempting and teasing humans are considered evil, what can human say about other human that feeds on its own people?

The many times I have come back to earth for the holy day, and it still stays the same. Yes, the day itself gives out an undescribable feeling of happiness; but what have they, my descendants, have truly achieved? For Evil is not the monster that lurks in the dark, waiting to pounced and hurt them. Nor does Good the shiny hero that got adored and worshipped by people. Good is Dharma, a set of selfless acts for the good of all. It is honoring the world, both seen and unseen. It's choosing compassion over fear or personal grudge. It is combating one's own weaknesses or Sad Ripu in order to be a better person. It is putting oneself as a true believer of God. As for Adharma, it's the opposite of it all.

There is no Evil that we need to combat other than the Sad Ripu, the six temptation within us. For that is where the true evil lies, the one that prevent them and us to become one with God. There is no Good that we need to praised except those who walked in the path of Dharma, fulfilling their obligation to this world because they love this world, because they know that is what they have to do. And it is easy to understand all of this when you have an eternity (or what it feels like it) drifting in serenity, free of emotions. But when I get reborn, these knowledge might not be accesible to me. What's next then? How can I be free from this reincarnation cycle if I can't remember what I have to do to break free?

But maybe somebody will remember, even if it's only bits and pieces of it. Maybe the person I am reincarnated to will remember, and that person will write it down. Others will mock and sneer at the idea. Others will think that person is not right in the head. Others who pursued glory will deemed this person an impostor. But there will be others who will read and will remember what's it like in the other place, to be free from emotions and other worldly chains, to be (almost) one with God. There will be others who will understand and walked in the path of Dharma; and little by little the number will grow until maybe, just maybe, no one will need to walk the path because all of us already one with God. Maybe.

But now the prayers has called for me. The festivities has started. This is Galungan day. Let us celebrate. Let this day filled with Joy and good things. Let Dharma reign, let every being be content. Let there be peace on earth.  Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om...

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