A great God in many manifestations
The Pantheon of the Gods of Bali is powerful. What the Greeks call Olympus is Gunung Agung in Bali. Gods and ancestors live here, and there are plenty of them.
The most important gods are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, who as a holy three-dimensional figure (trimurti) are a manifestation of the highest god Sanghyang Widhi Wasa and are venerated by the Balinese. In almost every temple – except for the Pura Dalem – there is a shrine for each of the three deities. Sanghyang Widhi Wasa, the Almighty God, creator of all things and elements, ruler over heaven, earth and universe, is superior to them and all other gods. Often he is enthroned on the highest shrine of the temple as a golden shining dancing god. It is not directly sacrificed to him, but through the other gods – all of which are manifestations of different characteristics of Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. All gifts are ultimately destined for him, even the souls of those who have left the circle of rebirth unite with the supreme deity in the end. Brahma is his manifestation as creator of the earth and the universe, Shiva as creator of death and the destroyer, and Vishnu as protector of life and the living.
Only through Sanghyang Widhi Wasa could the Balinese Hindu Dharma religion gain recognition in the Indonesian state. Although officially religious freedom prevails, the government recognises only religions which are monotheistic like Islam or Christianity, i. e. worship a God – in Bali actually a thing of impossibility, which is only made possible by the great Sanghyang Widhi Wasa, who stands on an equal footing with Allah.