Ketut went on to explain that the Balinese believe that we are each accompanied at birth by four invisible brothers, who come into the world with us and protect us throughout our lives. When the child is in the womb, her four siblings are even there with her – they are represented by the placenta, the umbilical cord and the yellow waxy substance that protects an unborn baby's skin. When the baby is born, the parents collect as much of these extraneous birthing materials as possible, placing them in a coconut shell, and burying it by the front door of the family's house. According to the Balinese, this buried coconut is the holy resting place of the four unborn brothers, and that spot is tended to forever, like a shrine.
The child is taught from earliest consciousness that she has these four brothers with her in the world wherever she goes, and that they will always look after her. The brothers inhabit the four virtues a person needs in order to be safe and happy in life : intelligence, friendship, strength and (I love this one) poetry. The brothers can be called upon in any critical situation for rescue and assistance. When you die, your four spirit brothers collect your soul and bring you to heaven.
J'avais déjà fait cette remarque que les Occidentaux avec leur 'une seule âme dans un corps' se trouvaient bien amoindris si l'on compare avec les trois âmes des musulmans (comme les anciens Grecs) : celle du corps et de ses émotions, passions, besoins, celle de l'intellect et celle du divin, des intuitions, des prophéties et des songes (nafs, 'aql, ruh).
Les Balinais l'emportent, eux, sur nous et nos Anges-Gardiens si esseulés dans leur lourde tâche (surtout en charge d'une âme unique, ça doit manquer de variété), puisqu'ils en ont quatre.