Penjor is a tall, curved bamboo pole decorated with coconut leaves on top and an offering at the base. This is one of the media used by Hindus in Bali as part of almost every important ceremony. During the Galungan celebration each family erects a penjor outside their gate,which makes the whole neighborhood look splendid. The Sri Jaya Kasunu manuscript stated that the penjor symbolizes the mountain and the mountain itself is the symbol of the universe. Therefore,for the Balinese the penjor is synonymous with Mount Agung, the holy mountain. The aim of erecting penjors at Galungan is to show the Hindus` devotion to God in His manifestation as hyang giri pati (the good of the mountain). Mountains with deep forests hold a lot of water which flows into the river. This then fulfils water needs for irrigation and for drinking water. Material for a Penjor The basic material of a penjor is a curved bamboo pole. The pole is then decorated with yellow coconut leaves, pal bungkah (roots - sweet potato or cas sava), pala gantung (fruits - cucumbers, oranges, bananas), pala wija (cereal - rice, corn), plawa (leaves), traditional cakes, 11 Chinese coins and a small shrine with some offerings. We can get most of those materials on the slopes of a mountain. All materials for a penjor constitute people's basic needs. This means that we should take care of the existence of those things. The holy book Manawa Darmasatra talks about the reincarnation of the plants and livestock used in every ceremony. It is believed that they become better creatures in their next life. Therefore, everyone should include all kinds of creatures as sacrifices to the gods. Plants belong to Eka Premana, animals belong to Dwi Premana and they both should act as sacrifices for human beings. People are Tri Premana and should makes sacrifices on behalf of all creatures. It is stated in the Bhagawadgita that one who never makes a sacrifice will have a useless life. Erecting penjors at Galungan and Kuningan is an act of worship of good as the creator of Mount Agung.
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