South Asia or Southern Asia, is a term used to represent the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia; the current territories of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka form South Asia. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organisation in the region, established in 1985 and includes all eight nations comprising South Asia. South Asia covers about 5.2 million km2, 11.71% of the Asian continent or 3.5% of the world's land surface area. The population of South Asia is about 1.891 billion or about one fourth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and the most densely populated geographical region in the world.
Overall, it accounts for about 39.49% of Asia's population, over 24% of the world's population, is home to a vast array of people. In 2010, South Asia had the world's largest population of Hindus and Sikhs, it has the largest population of Muslims in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as over 35 million Christians and 25 million Buddhists. The total area of South Asia and its geographical extent is not clear cut as systemic and foreign policy orientations of its constituents are quite asymmetrical. Aside from the central region of South Asia part of the British Empire, there is a high degree of variation as to which other countries are included in South Asia. Modern definitions of South Asia are consistent in including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives as the constituent countries. Myanmar is included in Southeast Asia by others; some do not include Afghanistan, others question whether Afghanistan should be considered a part of South Asia or the Middle East. The current territories of Bangladesh and Pakistan, which were the core of the British Empire from 1857 to 1947, form the central region of South Asia, in addition to Afghanistan, a British protectorate until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war.
The mountain countries of Nepal and Bhutan, the island countries of Sri Lanka and Maldives are included as well. Myanmar is added, by various deviating definitions based on substantially different reasons, the British Indian Ocean Territory and the Tibet Autonomous Region are included as well; the common concept of South Asia is inherited from the administrative boundaries of the British Raj, with several exceptions. The Aden Colony, British Somaliland and Singapore, though administered at various times under the Raj, have not been proposed as any part of South Asia. Additionally Burma was administered as part of the Raj until 1937, but is now considered a part of Southeast Asia and is a member state of ASEAN; the 562 princely states that were protected by but not directly ruled by the Raj became administrative parts of South Asia upon joining Union of India or Dominion of Pakistan. Geopolitically, it had formed the whole territory of Greater India,The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a contiguous block of countries, started in 1985 with seven countries – Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka – and added Afghanistan as an eighth member in 2007.
China and Myanmar have applied for the status of full members of SAARC. This bloc of countries include two independent countries that were not part of the British Raj – Nepal, Bhutan. Afghanistan was a British protectorate from 1878 until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war; the World Factbook, based on geo-politics and economy defines South Asia as comprising Afghanistan, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The South Asia Free Trade Agreement incorporated Afghanistan in 2011, the World Bank grouping of countries in the region includes all eight members comprising South Asia and SAARC as well, the same goes for the United Nations Children's Fund; the United Nations Statistics Division's scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC as part of Southern Asia, along with Iran only for statistical purposes. Population Information Network includes Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia.
Maldives, in view of its characteristics, was admitted as a member Pacific POPIN subregional network only in principle. The Hirschman–Herfindahl index of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for the region includes only the original seven signatories of SAARC; the British Indian Ocean Territory is connected to the region by a publication of Jane's for security considerations. The region may include the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, part of the British Indian princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, but is now administered as part of the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang; the inclusion of Myanmar in South Asia is without consensus, with many considering it a part of Southeast Asia and others including it within South Asia. Afghanistan was of importance to the British colonial empire after the Second Anglo-Afghan War over 1878–1880. Afghanistan remained a British protectorate until 1919, when a treaty with Vladimir Lenin included the granting of independe
Wu wei is a concept meaning "without exertion". Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period, Confucianism, to become an important concept in Chinese statecraft and Taoism, was most used to refer to an ideal form of government including the behavior of the emperor. Describing a state of unconflicting personal harmony, free-flowing spontaneity and savoir faire, it also more properly denotes a state of spirit or mind, in Confucianism accords with conventional morality. Sinologist Jean François Billeter describes it as a "state of perfect knowledge of the reality of the situation, perfect efficaciousness and the realization of a perfect economy of energy", which in practice Edward Slingerland qualifies as a "set of dispositions... conforming with the normative order." Sinologist Herrlee Creel considers wu wei, as found in the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi, to denote two different things. An "attitude of genuine non-action, motivated by a lack of desire to participate in human affairs" and A "technique by means which the one who practices it may gain enhanced control of human affairs."The first is quite in line with the contemplative Taoism of the Zhuangzi.
Described as a source of serenity in Taoist thought, only do Taoist texts suggest that ordinary people could gain political power through wu wei. The Zhuangzi does not seem to indicate a definitive philosophical idea that the sage "does not occupy himself with the affairs of the world." The second sense appears to have been imported from the earlier governmental thought of "Legalist" Shen Buhai as Taoists became more interested in the exercise of power by the ruler. Called "rule by non-activity" and advocated by Han Fei, during the Han dynasty, up until the reign of Han Wudi rulers confined their activity "chiefly to the appointment and dismissal of his high officials", a plainly "Legalist" practice inherited from the Qin dynasty; this "conception of the ruler's role as a supreme arbiter, who keeps the essential power in his grasp" while leaving details to ministers, has a "deep influence on the theory and practice of Chinese monarchy", played a "crucial role in the promotion of the autocratic tradition of the Chinese polity", ensuring the ruler's power and the stability of the polity.
Only appearing three times in the first half of the Zhuangzi, early Taoists may have avoided the term for its association with "Legalism" before co-opting its governmental sense as well, as attempted in the Zhuangzi's latter half. Thought by modern scholarship to have been written after the Zhuangzi, wu wei becomes a major "guiding principle for social and political pursuit" in the more "purposive" Taoism of the Tao Te Ching, in which the Taoist "seeks to use his power to control and govern the world." Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel believed that an important clue to the development of wu wei existed in the Analects, in a saying attributed to Confucius, which reads: "The Master said,'Was it not Shun who did nothing and yet ruled well? What did he do? He corrected his person and took his proper position as ruler'"; the concept of a divine king whose "magic power" "regulates everything in the land" pervades early Chinese philosophy "in the early branches of Quietism that developed in the fourth century B.
C."Edward Slingerland argues wu wei in this sense has to be attained. But in the Confucian conception of virtue, virtue can only be attained by not consciously trying to attain it; the manifestation of Virtue is regarded as a reward by Heaven for following its will - as a power that enables them to establish this will on earth. In this more original sense, wu wei may be regarded as the "skill" of "becoming a realized human being", a sense which it shares with Taoism; this "skill" avoids relativity through being linked to a "normative" metaphysical order, making its spontaneity "objective". By achieving a state of wu wei Shun "unifies and orders" the entire world, finds his place in the "cosmos". Taken as a historical fact demonstrating the viable superiority of Confucianism, wu wei may be understood as a "realist" spiritual-religious ideal, differing from Kantian or Cartesian realism in its Chinese emphasis on practice; the "object" of wu wei "skill-knowledge" is the Way, – to an extent regardless of school – "embodying" the mind to a "normative order existing independently of the minds of the practitioners".
The primary example of Confucianism – Confucius at age 70 – displays "mastery of morality" spontaneously, his inclinations being in harmony with his virtue. Confucius considers training unnecessary if one is born loving the Way, as with the disciple Yan Hui. Mencius considered that men are good, need only realize it not by trying, but by allowing virtue to realize itself, coming to love the Way. Training is to come to spontaneously love the Way. Virtue is compared with the flow of water. Xun Kuang considered it possible to attain wu wei only through a long and intensive traditional training. Following the development of wu wei in a political sense by Shen Buhai, Mencius, the Zhuangzhi and Laozi turn towards an unadorned "no effort". Laozi, as opposed to carved Confucian jade, advocates a return to the primordial Mother and to become like uncarved wood, he condemns doing and grasping, urging the reader to cognitively grasp oneness, reduce desires and the size of the state, leaving human nature untouched.
In practice, wu wei is aimed at through behaviour modification.
Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years, it was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China: Confucianism and Taoism, along with philosophies that fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Chinese Naturalism, the Logicians. Early Shang dynasty thought was based upon cycles; this notion stems from what the people of the Shang Dynasty could observe around them: day and night cycled, the seasons progressed again and again, the moon waxed and waned until it waxed again. Thus, this notion, which remained relevant throughout Chinese history, reflects the order of nature. In juxtaposition, it marks a fundamental distinction from western philosophy, in which the dominant view of time is a linear progression.
During the Shang, fate could be manipulated by great deities translated as gods. Ancestor worship was universally recognized. There was human and animal sacrifice; when the Shang were overthrown by the Zhou, a new political and philosophical concept was introduced called the "Mandate of Heaven". This mandate was said to be taken when rulers became unworthy of their position and provided a shrewd justification for Zhou rule. During this period, archaeological evidence points to an increase in literacy and a partial shift away from the faith placed in Shangdi, with ancestor worship becoming commonplace and a more worldly orientation coming to the fore. Confucianism developed during the Spring and Autumn period from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who considered himself a retransmitter of Zhou values, his philosophy concerns the fields of ethics and politics, emphasizing personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. The Analects stress the importance of ritual, but the importance of'ren', which loosely translates as'human-heartedness, along with Legalism, is responsible for creating the world’s first meritocracy, which holds that one's status should be determined by education and character rather than ancestry, wealth, or friendship.
Confucianism was and continues to be a major influence in Chinese culture, the state of China and the surrounding areas of East Asia. Before the Han dynasty the largest rivals to Confucianism were Chinese Legalism, Mohism. Confucianism became the dominant philosophical school of China during the early Han dynasty following the replacement of its contemporary, the more Taoistic Huang-Lao. Legalism as a coherent philosophy disappeared due to its relationship with the unpopular authoritarian rule of Qin Shi Huang, many of its ideas and institutions would continue to influence Chinese philosophy until the end of Imperial rule during the Xinhai Revolution. Mohism, though popular due to its emphasis on brotherly love versus harsh Qin Legalism, fell out of favour during the Han Dynasty due to the efforts of Confucians in establishing their views as political orthodoxy; the Six Dynasties era saw the rise of the Xuanxue philosophical school and the maturation of Chinese Buddhism, which had entered China from India during the Late Han Dynasties.
By the time of the Tang dynasty five-hundred years after Buddhism's arrival into China, it had transformed into a Chinese religious philosophy dominated by the school of Zen Buddhism. Neo-Confucianism became popular during the Song dynasty and Ming Dynasty due in large part to the eventual combination of Confucian and Zen Philosophy. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Chinese philosophy integrated concepts from Western philosophy. Anti-Qing dynasty revolutionaries, involved in the Xinhai Revolution, saw Western philosophy as an alternative to traditional philosophical schools. During this era, Chinese scholars attempted to incorporate Western philosophical ideologies such as democracy, socialism, republicanism and nationalism into Chinese philosophy; the most notable examples are Sun Yat-Sen's Three Principles of the People ideology and Mao Zedong's Maoism, a variant of Marxism–Leninism. In the modern People's Republic of China, the official ideology is Deng Xiaoping's "market economy socialism".
Although the People's Republic of China has been hostile to the philosophy of ancient China, the influences of past are still ingrained in the Chinese culture. In the post-Chinese economic reform era, modern Chinese philosophy has reappeared in forms such as the New Confucianism; as in Japan, philosophy in China has become a melting pot of ideas. It accepts new concepts, while attempting to accord old beliefs their due. Chinese philosophy still carries profound influence amongst the people of East Asia, Southeast Asia. Around 500 BCE, after the Zhou state weakened and China moved into the Spring and Autumn period, the classic period of Chinese philosophy began; this is known as the Hundred Schools of Thought. This period is considered the golden age of Chinese philosophy. Of the many schools founded at this time and during the subsequent Warring States period, the four most
Henan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Henan is referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou which means "central plain land" or "midland", although the name is applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 3,000 years of recorded history, remained China's cultural and political center until 1,000 years ago. Henan province is a home to a large number of heritage sites which have been left behind including the ruins of Shang dynasty capital city Yin and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Anyang and Zhengzhou are located in Henan; the practice of Tai Chi began in Chen Jia Gou Village, as did the Yang and Wu styles. Although the name of the province means "south of the river" a quarter of the province lies north of the Yellow River known as the Huang He. With an area of 167,000 km2, Henan covers a large part of the fertile and densely populated North China Plain.
Its neighbouring provinces are Shaanxi, Hebei, Shandong and Hubei. Henan is China's third most populous province with a population of over 94 million. If it were a country by itself, Henan would be the 14th most populous country in the world, ahead of Egypt and Vietnam. Henan is the largest among inland provinces. However, per capita GDP is low compared to other central provinces. Henan is considered to be one of the less developed areas in China; the economy continues to grow based on aluminum and coal prices, as well as agriculture, heavy industry and retail. High-tech industries and service sector is underdeveloped and is concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang. Regarded as the Cradle of Chinese civilization along with Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, Henan is known for its historical prosperity and periodic downturns; the economic prosperity resulted from its extensive fertile plains and its location at the heart of the country. However, its strategic location means that it has suffered from nearly all of the major wars in China.
In addition, the numerous floods of the Yellow River have caused significant damage from time to time. Kaifeng, in particular, has been buried by the Yellow River's silt seven times due to flooding. Archaeological sites reveal that prehistoric cultures such as the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture were active in what is now northern Henan since the Neolithic Era; the more recent Erlitou culture has been controversially identified with the Xia dynasty, the first and legendary Chinese dynasty, established in the 21st century BC. The entire kingdom existed within what is now north and central Henan; the Xia dynasty collapsed around the 16th century BC following the invasion of Shang, a neighboring vassal state centered around today's Shangqiu in eastern Henan. The Shang dynasty was the first literate dynasty of China, its many capitals are located at the modern cities of Shangqiu and Zhengzhou. Their last and most important capital, located in modern Anyang, is where the first Chinese writing was created.
In the 11th century BC, the Zhou dynasty of Shaanxi arrived from the west and overthrew the Shang dynasty. The capital was moved to Chang'an, the political and economical center was moved away from Henan for the first time. In 722 BC, when Chang'an was devastated by Xionites invasions, the capital was moved back east to Luoyang; this Autumn period, a period of warfare and rivalry. What is now Henan and all of China was divided into a variety of small, independent states at war for control of the central plain. Although regarded formally as the ruler of China, the control that Zhou king in Luoyang exerted over the feudal kingdoms had disappeared. Despite the prolonged period of instability, prominent philosophers such as Confucius emerged in this era and offered their ideas on how a state should be run. Laozi, the founder of Taoism, was born in part of modern-day Henan. On, these states were replaced by seven large and powerful states during the Warring States period, Henan was divided into three states, the Wei to the north, the Chu to the south, the Han in the middle.
In 221 BC, state of Qin forces from Shaanxi conquered all of the other six states, ending 800 years of warfare. Ying Zheng, the leader of Qin, crowned himself as the First Emperor, he abolished the feudal system and centralized all powers, establishing the Qin dynasty and unifying the core of the Han Chinese homeland for the first time. The empire collapsed after the death of Ying Zheng and was replaced by the Han dynasty in 206 BC, with its capital at Chang'an. Thus, a golden age of Chinese culture and military power began; the capital moved east to Luoyang in 25 AD, in response to a coup in Chang'an that created the short-lived Xin dynasty. Luoyang regained control of China, the Eastern Han dynasty began, extending the golden age for another two centuries; the late Eastern Han dynasty saw rivalry between regional warlords. Xuchang in central Henan was the power base of Cao Cao, who succeeded in unifying all of northern China under the Kingdom of Wei. Wei moved its capital to Luoyang, which remained the capital after the unification of China by the Western Jin dynasty.
During this period Luoyang became one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the world, despite being damaged by warfare. With the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in the 4th and 5th centuries, nomadic peoples f
Zhouzhuang is a town famous for its canals in Jiangsu province, China. It is located within the administrative area of Kunshan, 30 km southeast of the city centre of Suzhou. Zhouzhuang is a popular tourist destination, classified as a C- scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration, it is one of the most famous water townships in China, noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses and the elegant watery views. It has been called the "Venice of the East". In the Spring and Autumn period, Zhouzhuang Suzhou was a part of the fief Yaocheng and called Zhenfengli. After being donated to Full Fortune Temple by Zhou Digong, a devout Buddhist, in 1086 during the Northern Song Dynasty, Zhouzhuang got its present name. Zhouzhuang is divided by lakes and rivers. Many stone bridges cross the rivers; the Double Bridges, which are Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge, are the most famous and are considered the symbol of Zhouzhuang. Built in the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty, the Double Bridges are located in the northeast of the town.
Shide Bridge is east-west and has a round arch, while Yongan Bridge is north-south and has a square arch. Crossing the two crisscross rivers and connecting at the middle, the Twin Bridges look like an old-style Chinese key. In 1984, 38 canvases of the notable painter, Chen Yifei, were exhibited in a New York gallery of Armand Hammer, chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. "Memory of Hometown", which depicted the Double Bridges, was one of the items on display and has gained the world's attention for Zhouzhuang. The painting was chosen to be the first-day cover of the United Nations' postage stamp in 1985. Located at the eastern end of Zhongshi Jie, Fuan Bridge was built in 1355 during the Yuan Dynasty; the unique trait of the Fuan is the consummate combination of the single-arch bridge and the bridge towers. Built in 1742 and located at the southeast side of Fuan Bridge, Shenting House was the private property of the descendant of Shen Wansan, the first millionaire of Jiangnan in the early Ming Dynasty.
The whole architectural complex is of the Qing's style and occupies an area of more than 2,000 square meters. Over 100 rooms are divided into three sections and each one is connected by arcades and aisles; the first is the wharf, where Shen's family moored boats and washed clothes. The middle part includes the tearoom and the main hall. Bricky gate tower carved with lively and ingenious figures which tell the historic stories or show the good wishes, make it a rare artwork. Tea room and main hall are places for serving guests, the furnishings here are all elegant; the last section is the two-storied dwelling which consists of several buildings which are quite different from the main hall, more comfortable and refined in pattern and atmosphere. The painted sculpture of legendary Shen Wansan is in Datang Tower, it was built by Xu's family in the Zhengtong era of the Ming Dynasty and bought by Zhang's family in the early Qing Dynasty. Located to the south of the Double Bridges, Zhangting House has more than 70 rooms and takes up about 1,800 square meters.
With Ruojing River flowing through, Zhangting House is a graceful residential house. Deep halls all represent the life of the quondam owner. Once called the De's Tavern, Milou Tower perches next to Zhenfeng Bridge, at the southwest corner of Zhouzhuang, it is famous for being a rallying place of the literators in old times. Standing on Zhongshi Street, opposite to Puqing Bridge, Chengxu Taoist Temple was built during 1086-1093 of the Song Dynasty and known as Sanctity Hall. After several periods of expansion, it is one of the most famous Taoist temples in Wuzhong Region. In an area of 1,500 square meters and Doumu halls, Yuhuang and Shengdi pavilions are pieces of Taoist architectures; the most famous and delicious local food of Zhouzhuang is Wansan pork hock, named after Shen Wansan, the richest man in the late Yuan and early Ming Dynasty in Jiangnan. Sanwei Glutinous rice balls are called soup gluten. In the area of Jiangnan, rice balls are a delicious dish. Entry fee is 100 yuan per person for a day.
This ticket gives you entry to the ancient city area and all the sights noted above. Without purchasing the ticket, you cannot enter the area. There is an organized boat ride down the narrow canal, it costs 100 yuan for a boat, which can be used by 1-6 people. The boat ride lasts 20 minutes. Note that the boat ride service lasts until 8pm, so you may consider a ride in the evening after the other attractions have closed; the day trip and night trips have different routes. List of twin towns and sister cities in China Wuzhen Official Zhouzhuang web site
Tenrikyo is a Japanese new religion, neither monotheistic nor pantheistic, originating from the teachings of a 19th-century woman named Nakayama Miki, known to her followers as Oyasama. Followers of Tenrikyo believe that God of Origin, God in Truth, known by several names including "Tsukihi," "Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto" and "Oyagamisama" revealed divine intent through Miki Nakayama as the Shrine of God and to a lesser extent the roles of the Honseki Izo Iburi and other leaders. Tenrikyo's worldly aim is to teach and promote the Joyous Life, cultivated through acts of charity and mindfulness called hinokishin; the primary operations of Tenrikyo today are located at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters, which supports 16,833 locally managed churches in Japan, the construction and maintenance of the oyasato-yakata and various community-focused organisations. It is estimated to have over 2 million worldwide; the ultimate spiritual aim of Tenrikyo is the construction of the Kanrodai, a divinely ordained pillar in an axis mundi called the Jiba, the correct performance of the Kagura ritual around the Kanrodai, which will bring about the salvation of all human beings.
The idea of the Jiba as the origin of earthly creation is called moto-no-ri, or the principle of origin. A pilgrimage to the Jiba is interpreted as a return to one's origin, so the greeting okaeri nasai is seen on many inns in Tenri City. Other key teachings include: Tanno – a constructive attitude towards troubles and difficulties Juzen-no-Shugo – ten principles involved in the creation, which exist in Futatsu Hitotsu and are considered to be applied continuously throughout the universe The Joyous Life in Tenrikyo is defined as charity and abstention from greed, hatred and arrogance. Negative tendencies are not known as sins in Tenrikyo, but rather as "dust" that can be swept away from the mind through hinokishin and ritual. Hinokishin, voluntary effort, is performed not out of a desire to appear selfless, but out of gratitude for kashimono-karimono and shugo; the most basic teaching of Tenrikyo is kashimono-karimono, meaning "a thing lent, a thing borrowed". The thing, lent and borrowed is the human body.
Tenrikyo followers think of their minds as things that are under their own control, but their bodies are not under their control. The sacred name of the single God and creator of the entire universe in Tenrikyo is "Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto". Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto created to partake in that joy; the body is a thing borrowed, but the mind alone is one's own, thus it is accepted that Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto is not omnipotent. Other gods are considered instruments, such as the Divine Providences, were created by Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto. Tenrikyo's doctrine names four properties of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto: as the God who became revealed in the world, as the creator who created the world and humankind, as the sustainer and protector who gives existence and life to all creation, as the savior whose intention in becoming revealed is to save all humankind. Through her scriptures, Nakayama conveyed the concept of the divine to her followers in steps. Firstly as Kami. Kami was a familiar term for her followers since they referred to the spirits of the ethnic religion of Shinto, which were worshipped and venerated in Japan.
To differentiate this divinity from the Shinto spirits, Oyasama clarified its characteristics with phrases such as "God of Origin" and "God in Truth". Secondly as Tsukihi; the moon and sun could be understood as visual manifestations of the divine. Just as those bodies impartially give the world light and warmth at all times of the day, the workings of the divine are impartial and constant; as Oya. The relationship between the divine and human beings is the mutual feeling of love between a parent and his or her children; the divine does not want to command and punish human beings, but rather to guide and nurture them so that they may live joyfully and cheerfully together. Oya is both paternal and maternal, not one or the other; these steps have been described as an "unfolding in the revelation of God's nature in keeping with the developing capacity of human understanding, from an all-powerful God, to a nourishing God, to an intimate God."Followers use the phrase "God the Parent" to refer to God, the divine name "Tenri-O-no-Mikoto" when praising or worshipping God through prayer or ritual.
The concept of "causality" in Tenrikyo is a unique understanding of karmic belief. Although causality resembles karmic beliefs found in religious traditions originating in ancient India, such as Hinduism and Jainism, Tenrikyo's doctrine does not claim to inherit the concept from these traditions and differs from their explanations of karma in a few significant ways. Broadly speaking, karma refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual. In other words, a person's good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Causality and karma are interchangeable in this sense. In Tenrikyo, the concept is encapsulated in the farming metaphor, "every seed sown will sprout." Karma is associated with the idea of rebirth, such that one's past deeds in the current life and in
A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess". C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. Religions can be categorized by. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity, polytheistic religions accept multiple deities. Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as aspects of the same divine principle. Although most monotheistic religions traditionally envision their God as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, none of these qualities are essential to the definition of a "deity" and various cultures conceptualized their deities differently.
Monotheistic religions refer to God in masculine terms, while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine and without gender. Many ancient cultures – including the ancient Mesopotamians, Greeks and Norsemen– personified natural phenomena, variously as either deliberate causes or effects; some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts. In Indian religions, deities were envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind. Deities were envisioned as a form of existence after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are subject to death when their merit is lost; the English language word "deity" derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or "divine nature", coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus. Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European origin to *deiwos; this root yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning "to gleam, a shining one", from *div- "to shine", as well as Greek dios "divine" and Zeus.
Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means "demon, evil god", while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the linked term "god" refers to "supreme being, deity", according to Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means "that, invoked". Guth in the Irish language means "voice"; the term *ghut- is the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo, Sanskrit huta-, from the root *gheu-,An alternate etymology for the term "god" comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to-, derived from the root *gheu-. The term *gheu- is the source of the Greek khein "to pour"; the German root was a neuter noun. The gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.
There is no universally accepted consensus on what a deity is, concepts of deities vary across cultures. Huw Owen states that the term "deity or god or its equivalent in other languages" has a bewildering range of meanings and significance, it has ranged from "infinite transcendent being who created and lords over the universe", to a "finite entity or experience, with special significance or which evokes a special feeling", to "a concept in religious or philosophical context that relates to nature or magnified beings or a supra-mundane realm", to "numerous other usages". A deity is conceptualized as a supernatural or divine concept, manifesting in ideas and knowledge, in a form that combines excellence in some or all aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. In other cases, the deity is a principle or reality such as the idea of "soul"; the Upanishads of Hinduism, for example, characterize Atman as deva, thereby asserting that the deva and eternal supreme principle is part of every living creature, that this soul is spiritual and divine, that to realize self-knowledge is to know the supreme.
Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more deities. Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, which are assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with accompanying rituals. In most polytheistic religions, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Henotheism accepts the existence of more than one deity, but considers all deities as equivalent representations or aspects of the same divine principle, the highest. Monolatry is the belief that many deities exist, but that only one of these deities may be validly worshipped. Monotheism is the belief. A monotheistic deity, known as "God", is u