In a previous article I mentioned the importance of Mount Agung to the Balinese. Added to the importance of Mount Agung is the importance of water when it is blessed by a priest. In mythology, every ancient country has mythology as part of its history, be it an old wives’ tale or a herbal remedy to remove unwanted blemishes or a cure for a major disease. Bali is no exception, as a powerful myth has endured in its history, fueling and protecting the Balinese for more than 1,000 years.
This Myth is the ancient ritual of the Barong dance, probably the most powerful dance in the history of Bali, it is known as I said Barong dance. Barong is a provider of good, as it is a story of good and evil, heaven and hell, black and white magic.
During the s. X there was a king of Bali or a sultan, as perhaps he should be called, King Erlangga. He now had a mother, Rangda, and a father, the father who entrusted his wife to damnation as he was an enthusiastic follower and portrayer of the black arts, sinister magic, over time Rangda became synonymous with everything that it’s evil. Soon Rangda became a widow, after which she summoned all the evil spirits from the jungles of Bali, her only plan was to harm King Erlangga, her own son, as she believed that he was behind much of the reduction of his evil magic.
And thus the story was born: For King Erlannga, the power of his unbridled evil spells and his army of demons was so intense that he became powerless against it and was soon overwhelmed. If it hadn’t been for Barong, who quickly took a breath and prayed for Barong’s help, the spirit of all good. Barong marched swiftly to King Erlangga’s side bringing with him King Erlangga’s army of loyal troops, troops who now found courage in Barong’s shadow.
The intense battle began and a fight between good and evil, Rangda, an emissary of evil in Bali, faced Barong. Two immortal beings charged into battle, demons against King Erlangga’s deadly troops. Soon an evil and treacherous spell was cast, as each of the troops had a Keris in which to attack the demons and bring order in the kingdom of King Erlangga by preserving the lives of the Balinese, freeing them through the ways of evil. However, Rangda had little intention of going without a fight and soon cast her sinful spell on King Erlangga’s troops, causing them to take her poison-tipped Keris and plunge it deep into their stomachs; with the full intention of killing each and every one of them. If it hadn’t been for Barong’s swift action, then the mythology might have taken a different turn. Barong moved to cast an additional spell to knock troops out of harm by enhancing his immune system in such a way that he became resistant to the poison and actually improved his strength and skill.
Barong the King and host of all good spirits empowers his fourth brother Banas Pati Rajah, a boy tasked with protecting children and to this day Banas pati Rajah is said to exist in all regions of Bali and takes it in a different way, it can be portrayed as a lion or a wild boar depending on where you are within the paradise island. The high priest is said to enhance the abilities of these prodigies by sprinkling the holy waters of Mount Agung over their mortal appearance.
And so, to this day, the dance continues, protecting the Balinese from the evils of the devil, the evils or Rangda!