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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In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion.
A mantra (Devanagari मन्त्र) is a religious or mystical syllable or poem, typically from the Sanskrit language. The Sanskrit word mantra- (m. मन्त्रः, also n. मन्त्रं) consists of the root man- "to think" (also in manas "mind") and the suffix -tra meaning, tool, hence a literal translation would be "instrument of thought". The Chinese translation is zhenyan 眞言, 真言, literally "true words", the Japanese on'yomi reading of the Chinese being shingon.

Their use varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra. They are primarily used as spiritual conduits, words or vibrations that instill one-pointed concentration in the devotee. Other purposes have included religious ceremonies to accumulate wealth, avoid danger, or eliminate enemies. Mantras originated in the Vedic religion of India, later becoming an essential part of the Hindu tradition and a customary practice within Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. The use of mantras is now widespread throughout various spiritual movements which are based on, or off-shoots of, the practices in the earlier Eastern religions.

Mantras are interpreted to be effective as sound (vibration), to the effect that great emphasis is put on correct pronunciation (resulting in an early development of a science of phonetics in India). They are intended to deliver the mind from illusion and material inclinations. Chanting is the process of repeating a mantra.

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The Introit Gaudeamus omnes, scripted in square notation in the 14th–15th century Graduale Aboense, honors Henry, patron saint of Finland.
Credit: Turku

Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the Roman Catholic Church.

Selected religious figure or deity

The sacrifice of Abraham (Genesis 22:10-12).
Abraham (Hebrew: אַבְרָהָם, Standard Avraham Ashkenazi Avrohom or Avruhom Tiberian ʾAḇrāhām ; Arabic: ابراهيم, Ibrāhīm ; Ge'ez: አብርሃም, ʾAbrəham) is regarded as the founding patriarch of the Israelites and of the Arabic people in Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition. In that tradition, Abraham is brought by God from his home in the ancient city of Ur into a new land, Canaan, where he enters into a covenant: in exchange for sole recognition of Yahweh as supreme universal authority, Abraham will be blessed through innumerable progeny. His life as narrated in the Book of Genesis (chapters 11–25) probably reflects traditions as told through a number of writers and redactors.

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  • ...that Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed religions, and was the state religion of three great Iranian empires?

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March 28:

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Bahai star
O SON OF SPIRIT!

My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.

O SON OF BEING!
Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.

O SON OF DUST!
Verily I say unto thee: Of all men the most negligent is he that disputeth idly and seeketh to advance himself over his brother. Say, O brethren! Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.

Bahá'u'lláh, the Kalimat-i-Maknunih
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Selected scripture

Ayyavazhi
Akilattirattu Ammanai அகிலத்திரட்டு அம்மானை (Tamil: akilam (world) + thirattu (collection) + ammanai (ballad)), also called Thiru Edu (venerable book), is the main religious book of the Southern Indian religion Ayyavazhi, officially considered as an offshoot of Hinduism. The title is often abbreviated to Akilam.

According to the book, Akilam, Hari Gopalan Citar wrote this book on the twenty-seventh day of the Tamil month of Karthikai (November/December) in the year 1841 CE. The author claims that God woke him up during his sleep and commissioned him to take dictation from what he said. Akilathirattu was recorded on palm leaves until 1939, when it was given printed form.

Akilam is in two parts; the first is an account of the ages preceding that of the present age, the Kali Yukam, and the second is an account of the activities of Ayya Vaikundar leading up to his attaining Vaikundam.

Akilathirattu is written as a poem in the Tamil language. The narration alternates between two subgenres called viruttam and natai. Both subgenres employ many poetic devices like alliteration and hyperbatons. It contains more than 15,000 lines making up seventeen section.

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