Canang sari is one of the daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to thank the Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in praise and prayer. Canang sari will be seen in the Balinese temples or Pura, on small shrines in houses, and on the ground or as a part of larger offering.
The phrase Canang sari is delivered from the Balinese words sari (essence) and canang ( a small palm-leaf basket as a tray). Canang itself consists of two syllables Kawi language of ca (beautiful) and nang (purpose). Canang sari has some parts, there are peporosan, ceper, raka-raka, and sampian urasari. Peporosan or the core material is made from betel leaf, lime, gambir, prestige, tobacco and betel nuts. Material of peporosan is symbolized the Trimurti, three major God in Hinduism. Shiva symbolized by lime. Vishnu symbolized by betel nut, and Brahma symbolized by gambir. Canang sari are covered by ceper ( a tray made from palm leaf) as a symbol of Ardha Candra. Raka-raka is topped with sampian urasari, which are in turn overlaid by flowers placed in a specific direction. Earth direction symbolized a Hindu God (dewa):
- White-colored flowers that point to the east as a symbol of Iswara
- Red-colored flowers that point to the south as a symbol of Brahma
- Yellow-colored flowers that point to the west as a symbol of Mahadewa
- Blue or green colored flowers that point to the north as a symbol of Vishnu
A canang sari is completed by placing on top of the canang an amount of kepeng (the coin money) or paper money, which is said to make up the essence (the ‘sari’) of the offering.
Canang sari is offered everyday to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa as a form of thanking for the peace had given to the world. It is the simplest daily household offering. The philosophy behind the offering is self-sacrifice in that they take time and effort to prepare. Canang sari is not offered when there is a death in the community or family. Canang sari is also used on certain days, such as: Kliwon, Purnama and Tilem.
Adopted from: Bali Plus magazine.