Religion in Vajhoros, I

[For clarity: this is not compatible with the previous attempt I made on the same subject, although some features have been retained or expanded upon]

The Eastern Worldview

The eastern sphere, even in periods of political and religious disunion, has nonetheless had a shared metaphysical worldview common to the religions it has produced. This worldview may be summed up with five principles:

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1. Dualism

The principle of dualism is the belief in a duality of body and spirit. It is a characteristic of Vajhoran religions over the last two thousand years that ‘spirit’ is identified with will or desire.

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2. Verticalism

The world is composed of multiple layers, all habitable, stacked on top of one another, and in theory if not in practice physically accessible from one another. This is all there is to the world – there are no other planes, other dimensions, no inaccessible worlds.

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3. Reincarnation and Vrtaikă

The spirit can survive death and be incarnated in a new (human) body. However, as there are more spirits than bodies there will be a lengthy period between each incarnation, which is a period of immense existential suffering. This period of waiting is called vrtaikă.

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4. Sorcerers

Certain spirits can have a material effect on the world without needing their own bodies. These spirits, called shojkam, or ‘sorcerers’, are usually, perhaps always, malign, and can wreak havoc on the world. They can be blamed for most bad luck.

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5. Saints

Certain spirits can have a power over other spirits. These spirits, called tulmnam, or ‘saints’/’demigods’ are particularly associated with dead heroes, and deserve veneration.

From these principles emerge four directions in which an individual may strive: to attain sainthood; to become a sorcerer; to minimise the duration of vrtaikă; and to minimise the pain of vrtaikă. These four general directions are referred to as proagmam, ‘Kingdoms’. Certain schools address a single proagmă; others address multiple proagmam in varying degrees of depth. “Meta-schools” place differing theoretical constructions on the Four Kingdoms, each compatible with multiple practical schools.

The religious meta-school that is orthodoxy in the Vajhoran Empire is known as Vamagmrjioka, “Imperial School”, both because it is imperially sanctioned and because it addresses all four Kingdoms.

“Practitioners” of Vamagmrjioka may follow schools or cults relating to any of the Four Kingdoms. The orthodox school, accounting for the vast majority of Vamagmrjiokatham, is known as Tajhuônănjioka, “Six Caravans School”, and is devoted to minimising the pain of vrtaikă. Six Caravans followers may also follow other schools devoted to other kingdoms, but may not follow any alternative school devoted to the same kingdom – the religion is pluralist, but not relativist.

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[Plan of action: further posts will follow, probably one per day, which will deal with Vamagmrjioka’s view of each of the three minor proagmam in turn – saints, sorcerors, and incarnation. Next, there will be three posts on the three main schools of Vamagmrjioka, followed by three or four posts on the main schools of Uaijioka, which is closely related, and later some posts on more distantly-connected vrtaika-based beliefs.]

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