Nagaism
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Nagaism is a dualistic panentheistic religion that teaches that humans and nonhumans are prisoners in a flawed world created by a malevolent god. Nagaism is the predominant religion practised by the Kaliyatrans and nagari. An adherent of Nagaism is known as a Nagaist, meaning "one who follows the hand of God". Nagaism is the second-largest religion in Suwarnabumi, after Thalathanism.

Nagaists reject the idea that the creator of the cosmos was benevolent being. In reality, he keeps all his subjects enslaved in the material world. The superior God is a transcendent, divine being beyond the comprehension of both humans and nonhumans and had no part in the creation of the world. Only through the messengers of this true God can one break free from the agonizing, repeated cycles of rebirth and reincarnation. They believe that this superior God lives in harmony with the universe, and does not concern Himself with the fate of humans and nonhumans.

God in Nagaism

The Sundamanese term for the transcendent God is Ananta, meaning "without end, eternal, infinite". This superior God is not the creator, but the maintainer and the pervading force behind the universe. Nagaism believe in a panentheistic view, holding that the superior God is separate from the cosmos. However, they also believed that there is a transcedent world greater than the one they live in, ruled by the true benevolent God.

Nagas

See also: nagas (aquatic animal)

The nagas, called Mahasarpa, are believed to be the divine rulers of the four seas. It is believed that the nagas are emissaries of the transcendent God to bestow liberating knowledge on those able to receive it. They regard the actions of the nagas as guided by the hand of God. Nagaists tend not worship the nagas, but there are sects who do.

Lesser God

In the oldest text of Nagaism, the lesser God is the creator of the world. Typically, followers of the Nagaist system believe this God is not entirely good or that he might even be evil. The relationship of the lesser God and world corresponds to the relationship between the soul and the body. The lesser God depends on the world as much as the world depends on the lesser God. One cannot ever exist without the other, according to Nagaist doctrine.

Rebirth and reincarnation

After death, nagaists believe that the souls of the righteous go to the transcendent world and merge with the true God, or are reincarnated until they become righteous enough on earth. Awakening comes only to those with greater insight or knowledge obtained through devotion to Ananta. Those that receive this knowledge must free themselves from the material world.

Chanted prayers, also known as mantras, are central to Nagaist worship. Nagaists convene at puras or temples as places of worship.

Nagaism in Kaliyatra

Kaliyatran Nagaism is not as strongly rooted in the tradition of following the old scriptures and laws. Their religion is more of a fusion of Nagaism and Animism, but is considered Nagaist by the imperial government. Kaliyatrans also places a greater emphasis on the teachings inspired by the nagari Oracles and that every Kaliyatran belongs to a specific temple determined by place of birth. Individual priests are generally not affiliated with any temple but acts as spiritual guides and advisers to families in various villages in Suwarnabumi. They perform rituals and animal sacrifices to appease the local spirits, ceremonies at puberty, marriage, and death.

See also

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