As the son of a Balinese priest, I Made Suryasa developed a keen interest in Bali’s sacred and religious fields from a young age. He learned to read the old Javanese language, Kawi, as well as Sanskrit, both used in ancient texts. Thus, he became a senior research assistant for several scholarly books, has been a contributor to Hinduism Today, and studied with one of Bali’s most renowned healers for 15 years.
“Balinese healing is complex,” he says. “Visiting the wrong type of balian can lead to some serious disappointment.” Pak Surya, as he is better known, has led traditional healing journeys to Bali since 1986, helping visitors find the right path based on their ailments. His fluent command of Balinese, English and Indonesian has helped to facilitate these more clandestine circles. Importantly, he is selective in the balians he takes his guests to.