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Portal:Religion

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Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief.

In the larger sense, religion is a communal system for the coherence of belief—typically focused on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life.

The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultures. "Organized religion" generally refers to an organization of people supporting the exercise of some religion with a prescribed set of beliefs, often taking the form of a legal entity (see religion-supporting organization). Other religions believe in personal revelation and responsibility. "Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system," but is more socially defined than that of personal convictions.

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The Unicursal Hexagram, designed by Aleister Crowley, is one of the common symbols of Thelema
Thelema is the English transliteration of the Ancient Greek noun θέλημα: "will", from the verb θέλω: to will, wish, purpose. Early Christian writings use the word to refer to the will of God, the human will, and even the will of the Devil.

Thelema is also an initially fictional philosophy of life first described by François Rabelais (16th century) in his famous books, Gargantua and Pantagruel. The essence of this philosophy was summarized in the phrase "fay çe que vouldras" ("Fait çe que voudras," or, "Do what thou wilt"), and this philosophy was later put into practice in the mid 18th century by Sir Francis Dashwood at Medmenham.

This Thelemic Law of Rabelais was revived by Aleister Crowley in 1904 when Crowley wrote The Book of the Law, which contains both the word Thelema in Greek as well as the phrase "Do what thou wilt." From this, Crowley took Thelema as the name of the philosophical, mystical and religious system which he subsequently developed, which includes ideas from occultism, Yoga, and both Eastern and Western mysticism (especially the Qabalah). Thus Shri Gurudev Mahendranath, in speaking of svecchachara, a Sanskrit term which he considered the Eastern equivalent of the term Thelema, wrote that "Rabelais, Dashwood, and Crowley must share the honor of perpetuating what has been such a high ideal in most of Asia."

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Porträt des Thomas Morus
Credit: Hans Holbein the Younger

Sir Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers and statesmen, coined the word "utopia", a name he gave to an ideal, imaginary island nation.

Selected religious figure or deity

"Muhammad" in Arabic calligraphy.
Muhammad (Arabic محمد muḥammad; also Mohammed, Mohamet, and other variants), (570-632 CE), was an Arab religious, political, and military leader who established Islam and the Muslim community (Ummah, Arabic: أمة). He united the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula into a federation of allied tribes with its capital at Medina.

For the last 23 years of his life, beginning at the age of forty (around 610), Muhammad claimed that he was receiving revelations from God delivered through the angel Gabriel. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an, was memorized and recorded by his followers and compiled into a single volume shortly after his death. The Qur'an, along with the details of Muhammad’s life as recounted by his biographers and his contemporaries, forms the basis of Islamic theology. Within Islam, he is considered the last and most important prophet of God (Arabic Allah). Muslims do not regard him as the founder of a new religion but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and other prophets whose messages had become misinterpreted or corrupted over time.

Did you know...

  • ...that more than ten of the prophesies in Arul Nool had been fulfilled in the world?
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On this day...

July 23:

Selected quote

Gnostic Cross
The Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.
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Selected scripture

Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century
The Rigveda (Sanskrit: ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, a tatpurusha compound of ṛc "praise, verse" and veda "knowledge") is an ancient Indian religious book, that is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns dedicated to Rigvedic deities. It is counted among the four Hindu sacred texts (shruti) known as the Vedas. Geographical and ethnological passages in the Rigveda provide evidence that the Rigveda was composed between 1700–1100 BCE (the early Vedic period) in the Punjab (Sapta Sindhu) region of the Indian subcontinent. The Rig Veda is the oldest of all known religious books, and the oldest book in Vedic Sanskrit or any Indo-European language. The composition of the Rigveda is conventionally dated to before 1500 BCE. Some writers have traced astronomical references in the Rigveda dating it to as early as 4000 BC, a date well within the late Mehrgarh culture.

There are astounding similarities between the locations and characters in RigVeda, Avestan (Old Iranian language texts) and the Mittani civilization. For example, Rigvedic characters like Indra, Varuna, Mitra, Vrtra, and the Ashwins also occur in the Avestan texts and the Mittani civilization. Moreover, the Andronovo civilization which has been found to be the site of the earliest chariot culture (around 2500BC) is thought to have been the home of the RigVedic Aryans.

Today, this text is revered by Hindus around the world, primarily in India and Nepal. Its verses are recited at prayers, religious functions and other auspicious occasions.

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