Compassion

God as Compassion

Written by Gede Prama

A few years ago, precisely October 12, 2002 *), for the first time a terrorist bomb exploded in Bali (Indonesia) with the lost of hundreds of lives. Sad, pain, suffering of course. Especially since many years Bali has becomes the icon of world peace. In an instant, a terrorist bomb changed peace into fear mingled with sadness. It is like being commanded by a force that can not be seen, the various people in the country and abroad provided hands to help. Money, power, medicine, news, entertainment, music all flowing at once.

A few years ago, precisely October 12, 2002 *), for the first time a terrorist bomb exploded in Bali (Indonesia) with the lost of hundreds of lives. Sad, pain, suffering of course. Especially since many years Bali has becomes the icon of world peace. In an instant, a terrorist bomb changed peace into fear mingled with sadness. It is like being commanded by a force that can not be seen, the various people in the country and abroad provided hands to help. Money, power, medicine, news, entertainment, music all flowing at once.

But above all, there was a cosmic message worth noting. The people of Bali whose place of birth and life was destroyed by a bomb blast responded in a very touching way. About the story of anger returned by anger, blood paid by blood, hatred paid by hatred, destruction have no friend other than destruction, all too often we hear, read and watch. However, destruction followed by friendship, human blood disasters responded with calm, suspicion of others replaced by empathy-sharing, is not this an event worthy of cosmic contemplation? **)

God in the Heart

Even rarer, Balinese roll up sleeves. From transporting victims of human bodies torn apart, holding a bloody, salvage what they could, to jointly reduce the negative emotion of mass. The result, after years of the incident is over, even through the courts have determined who the offender complete with the sentence, Bali faces have not changed: hatred should not be followed by hatred, the destruction is not necessarily accompanied by resentment, human blood does not have to be paid by human blood. In the simple logic of mother nature, darkness (by which read: anger, revenge, hatred) is not the enemy of light (loving-kindness and compassion). Darkness makes light shines even brighter. As seen by many spiritual eyes in the depth of the deep, as long as light of love is still there, evil provides opportunity to beautify the inner garden of heart.

Several years after the terrorist bombings, suffering experienced by many people of Bali. Tourists who came to Bali plummeted drastically, many layoffs, the future was uncertain. Sad, of course. But again, sadness is not fuels of anger. Grief is opening the gate from which the light will enter the soul.

For anyone who has spiritual sensitivity, noted this incident in the heart, may open the doors of understanding. Most people respect and love God who is found in the mosque, church, temple. Companions of Islam do five daily prayers at the mosque. Christian Friends save countless number of songs of praise for God, friends of Buddhists even prostrate to the Buddha statue. The Hindus have hundreds of rituals to worship the Lord in the temple.

The question then is, if respect for God in places of worship such solemn, is there a friend who also did a solemn reverence for God which is immanent in the heart of husband, wife, parent, son, daughter, neighbor, boss, subordinate, governments, other human beings, animals, plants and other faces of immanent God? Many agree, God is transcendent (above) as well as immanent (dwelling in the hearts of all beings). In the language of Buddhism, all have the essence of the Buddha nature. This means, cherish all beings means loving God as well.

Transformation at the Root

HH Dalai Lama was once asked about the meaning of God, with a gentle smile nobel peace prize winner in 1989 was muttering: “God is infinite compassion”. In this sense, the terrorist bombings in Bali two times has made us to see the Lord (by which read: infinite compassion). As well as provided inspiration that the hatred, anger, revenge, blood spills and the human cost of war fighting, could be halted until its deepest roots by infinite compassion.

As comparative materials of contemplation, terrorist explosion in the World Trade Center New York 11 September 2001, has been followed by the attack on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan. How many bullets were fired, how many bombs have been launched, how many aircraft are deployed, how many warships and tanks are behind this vendetta and revenge. And as already recorded clearly in history, there has been no sign that terrorists have learned any lessons, yet there are no signs that the U.S. with its allies satisfied with vengeance and attack. The U.S. even declined in many sectors. In the year 2013, Boston (USA) was even again attacked by terrorist bombing. And most importantly, the fear of people in the world against new terrorist attacks has not decreased.

Bali is only a small island. However, the incidence October 12, 2002, plus also the second Bali bombing, has become a monument to the life, that Bali has given a comparison of how humanitarian issues should be resolved. More than a finished, a few years later many times Bali has been named as the best island in the world as a tourist destination by the international medias. In deep spirituality, this is called “transformation at the root”. Suffering because of terrorist bombing was not only solved, but also transformed into the flower of growth.

Sometimes there were foreign friends ask, what makes Bali so touching? One thing that is unique in Bali is a religious ceremony. And the unique ritual in this place, people do not just worship and thank you to the higher realms, but also give treats to the lower realms (similar to Tibet). With due respect to the different traditions, the companions in under realms – which elsewhere is often called the devil – was also given a treat. Not because the Balinese worship the devil. But treat the companions below are the expression of infinite compassion. It is also unique, almost in every house there is “penunggun karang” (home place of lower realms). Put it simply , before the place became the home of man, Balinese believe the local place was occupied by the lower realms. Because their home was taken, then they are given a treat and home. This is God as compassion. Compassion is not just radiate upward and into the middle, also down. To the creatures who are elsewhere expelled, humiliated, reviled. When we can love lower creatures, it is easy to respect the above.

With this whole stack of insights, terrorist bombings in Bali two times indeed been costing a very expensive cost. Hopefully it will never happen again. But as a cosmic message, the expensive cost also followed by expensive blessing. And the deepest blessings that Bali could provide to the world, we could see the face of God as infinite compassion. The kind of God that everyone miss. Any heart who see this light of God will find even in the darkest darkness life shines with lights.

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*) Exactly a year after the World Trade Center twin towers in New York was toppled by terrorist plane, as it happened in 2001 and in Bali occurred in 2002. Exactly a month after the same event because there happened in September, while in Bali occurred in October. Exactly one day after the date of the event in New York because there the 11th, in Bali occurred in the 12th. Details, in New York occurred on the date 11-9-2001, in Bali happened on date 12-10-2002. A series of cosmic signs should be observed.

**) In the year 2012 the Balinese who live Lampung Sumatra were attacked, in the year 2013 the Balinese who live in Sumbawa were also attacked. Some Balinese at that places ran away to the forest, few even die, but there was no sign that the Balinese try to revenge. That is why some of spiritual teacher in Indonesia concluded that the Balinese have a better peaceful gene.

About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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