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Nothing But the Truth

Accusations of Corruption at Bali’s Hindu University Revive Ancient Tradition of ‘Sumpah Cor’ – Sacred Oaths Sworn at Balinese Temples

(1/27/2013) A profoundly Balinese religious and cultural tradition - “Sumpah Cor” was abruptly cancelled for Saturday, January 26, 2013, after being scheduled at the request of an official of Hindu University (IHDN).

A “Sumpah Cor” is a sacred oath sworn by a Hindu before priest at a sacred place of worship. Never taken lightly by a devout Balinese Hindu, the oath dictates that anyone making such a pledge and consciously lying will bring generations of natural calamity upon his family. Included in the sanctions awaiting anyone who abuses a “Sumpah Cor” are seven generations of ill omen, including the inability to produce a male heir in the form of a threat that any male child will die before reaching his majority.

According to the religious doctrine, daughters, born to those who lie while making their oath, are destined to become insane, wandering the streets of Bali while tearing their clothing to pieces.

The “Sumpah Cor” is used to affirm an individual’s righteousness before God and his fellow man when confronted with false accusations.

Conversely, a “Sumpah Cor” is believed to also boomerang on he making the false accusations, bringing the same misfortunes on the accuser and his or her family as would befal anyone making a false oath.

Planning to swear such a sacred oath at Bali’s sacred temple of Pura Besakih was Dr. Praptini, the head of the Hindu University (IHDN) administrative department, who claims to have been slandered by an assistant rector, I Made Redana, in being accused of misusing Rp. 2.5 billion (US$250,000) of the university’s funds.

At the eleventh hour, the rector of IHDN, Professor Dr. I Made Titib, has intervened and insisted that a “Sumpah Cor” is not needed and that the matter should be settled according to law and via internal discussion within the campus community.

Explained the rector: “As the rector I take responsibility to settle this problem. The problem that has emerged in the media (the corruption of Rp. 2.5 billion) is only gossip without clear proof. Let’s not have it develop; let’s not allow a ‘Sumpah Cor’ to be sworn at Pura Besakih; let’s just discuss this on the campus. As religious people, we believe in the philosophy of final retribution (karmapala). “

The rector insists that matters of slander are best settled before the courts, not in religious temples. For this reason, he asked that plans for the oath at Pura Besakih be abandoned.

Made Titib has also called a meeting of all concerned at the campus of IHDN for Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

Meanwhile the head of the University’s administrative section, Dr. Praptini, has accepted the rectors call, insisting that the oath remains an option if the matter cannot be satisfactorily clarified.

Meanwhile, Praptini pledges to seek legal satisfaction against Made Redana for the false accusation made in the case.