Tri datu philosophy means balance in life
“Balance is the key to everything. What we do, think, say, eat, feel, they all require awareness which we can grow through it…”
A quote from Koi Fresco, and also teacher within Buddhism, Hinduism & other eastern philosophies and soul practices. Aside from making a YouTube channel, only 24 years of age, Koi is already the published author of his first book, A (Not So) Enlightened Youth which has sold thousands of copies worldwide. But anyway, we’re not here talking about who he is, but how this good philosophy creates the balance in life.
Apart from the beauty of the nature, and frenetic amazing clubs, Bali has been existed as a popular destination for travelers because of their conservative culture and people. Majority of Balinese people is following the Bali-Hinduism, a kind of way to worship the God, which they called it Sang Hyang Widhi, the creators of everything.
Technically, there are perhaps a lot kinds of Hindu religion in the world, in which they have some similarity but also has some differences. For example, the Hindus in India and Bali, they are the same in substances, but they have differences in some of ways in worshiping.
The one thing that you will notice, the Balinese Hindu find their way to worship the God by many rituals. There are maybe hundreds of kinds of ceremony in Bali, depending on the region, so each place in Bali have their own ‘style’, but in essence, it is the same. The Balinese people believe that they must conserve the culture which bequeathed from the ancestry.
No wonder, sometimes you could see a ceremony going on in some local house, temples, or even in the middle of the streets. Balinese people believe that in order to keep Bali stay the same, they need to always balancing their life and their spirituality.
These teaching of balance in life has attached to the life of Balinese people seen in their daily basis; doing a prayer and put some daily-offerings or they called it “canang”, which made from coconut leaf, consist of some plants and flowers.
The flowers have three variants which represents, Tri Murti, the big three manifestations of God. The Hindu believes the Tri Murti as the main aspects in life. It also represents the life circle; birth, life, and death. These symbols also found in their unique yarn bracelet, which Balinese people always wear, the Tri Datu.
Etymologically, Tri means three and Datu means the power, and it also symbolize the Tri Murti, the great triad of Hindu gods comprising Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world, symbolized by each colour in the yarn.
Brahma, the God of creation represented by red color, has a line of duty in the creation of the world and all creatures. The word Brahma in Sanskrit word has meaning; the one which grows, develops, evolves, and overflows.
In some sources, the name Lord Brahma is associated with fire or Agni (in Sanskrit word). Balinese people said that Brahma is believed to be the God of fire or kitchen… What’s this got to do with kitchen anyway? They believed that the fire which we always use to cook in the kitchen represents Lord Brahma’s power. With fire we could create food, from what is not exist yet into an existence. These creation process then called Lord Brahma’s power as a creator. That is why all the Balinese houses always put “canang” as a symbol of gratitude in the kitchen.
Lord Brahma is described as white bearded old man who has four hands with four faces. Each Brahma’s faces are facing towards the four points of compass. As the four hands of Brahma holding the tools, which consist of a prayer beads, symbolizing the life circle with no end, the spoon, which symbolize the religion ceremony, the jug as a symbol of eternity, and a book which symbolizes the science.
He also associated with Sarasvati, the Goddess of knowledge, which symbolizes our growth as a human being who learn everything in the world, and by this knowledge we could create something useful for our life.
Vishnu, represented by the black colour, is the preserver and protector of the universe. Vishnu’s worshippers, usually called Vaishnava or Wisnawa, consider him as the greatest God which has the role to descend to the earth in the most troubled times to restore the balance of good and evil.
He is also called as the God of water. Water is the most important thing in lives, which without it we cannot survive. Water act as a preserver to survive. Like the example of when we plant trees, the tree will not die, if we always maintain it by giving the water every day. Lord Vishnu describe as a man with a bluish-black skin, has the power of Sri, the Goddess of prosperity, armed with Chakras, and ride a big bird which is called Garuda Vishnu. Yes… the one of the biggest statue in the world which you see in Bali is the statue of Vishnu or Garuda Vishnu.
Lord Shiva represented by white colour, has the role to destroy or “reset” the universe to re-create it again. It might be confusing for some people, because for those who doesn’t understand the meaning would be scared of this destroying concept. Lord Shiva has the power to bring everything back to its origin. All living things who are born, grow, and develop eventually will die and return to nothing.
Lord Shiva is described as a three-eyed man, using a tiger leather belt, a neck ornament in the form of a cobra, and ride a cow called Nandini, which is why some Hindu’s people don’t eat cow’s meat. Lord Shiva has the power of Durga the unbeatable and greatest Goddess, armed with a trident. Lord Shiva also has 4 hands, each of which holds “tri wahyudi”, a pitcher, pine, and prayer beads.
Lord Shiva’s power of destruction and re-creation are used even now as a kind of way to destroy the illusions, a bad or negative aura and imperfections in the human mind and body, which could be manifested in many things, paving the way for beneficial change. Another unique philosophical view point where the destruction is not arbitrary, but constructive. Shiva is therefore seen as the source of both good and evil.
All concept of Tri Murti is represented on Tri Datu’s yarn bracelet. Essentially, the Tri Datu is a self-actualization of human beings which is to create, preserve, and restoring the origin of nature through its contents. Nevertheless, there are also another philosophy inside it, like the circle of life (born, grow, and death) and also the concept of important parts of human (mind, body, and soul). Altogether, it creates an identity to Hinduism as reminder to always keep the balance in life, all at once. However, this yarn bracelet must be woven in the form of binding to one another. In addition, the shape of the bond on this bracelet is not like the ribbon which we used to tie the hair.
Although used as a form of worship tools by Hindus, the tri datu yarn bracelet is not exclusively for Hindus. Other people from other religions and believes are also permitted to wear this bracelet. Remembering that throughout the century, the teachings of Hinduism are considered universal.
But it must be used properly and wisely. Do not wear it on your feet otherwise it would be a form of humiliation on a religious symbol for the Hindus. So, it is no problem for a non-Hindu to wear it, since it is used on the right place, like as a necklace or a bracelet. If it is used without a clear purpose, for instance on the foot, it can be considered as a humiliation.
This yarn bracelet is considered as a something which can bring a positive vibe to the people, especially the one who wear it, instead of a charm which has a magic or spell in it. Regardless of the reason, perhaps the purpose is the same, it is to remind us that we live in this world is to live the process of life which will surely die, and we should always think and do good in life.
Tri Datu concept could be used as a to self-introspection. So that it can improve the quality of yourself for the better. Even though it’s not easy, it is better to stand than sit, it is better to walk than stand, it is better to run than walk.
Healthy mind, good words, and good deeds are perhaps a something that we all need as a human being. Balance, might be something that you will not find, but a something that you create and believe. Therefore, by using the Tri Datu yarn, we will be more wise, careful, and introspective to ourselves about this life-journey in the world we’re livin’.