Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, worldviews, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, commemoration or veneration, festivals, trances, funerary services, matrimonial services, prayer, art, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, symbols and holy places, that aim to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, other things.
Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs. There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion; the religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs; the study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief. Religion is derived from the ultimate origins of which are obscure. One possible interpretation traced to Cicero, connects lego read, i.e. re with lego in the sense of choose, go over again or consider carefully.
The definition of religio by Cicero is cultum deorum, "the proper performance of rites in veneration of the gods." Julius Caesar used religio to mean "obligation of an oath" when discussing captured soldiers making an oath to their captors. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder used the term religio on elephants in that they venerate the sun and the moon. Modern scholars such as Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell favor the derivation from ligare bind, connect from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re + ligare or to reconnect, made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation given by Lactantius in Divinae institutiones, IV, 28; the medieval usage alternates with order in designating bonded communities like those of monastic orders: "we hear of the'religion' of the Golden Fleece, of a knight'of the religion of Avys'". In the ancient and medieval world, the etymological Latin root religio was understood as an individual virtue of worship in mundane contexts. In general, religio referred to broad social obligations towards anything including family, neighbors and towards God.
Religio was most used by the ancient Romans not in the context of a relation towards gods, but as a range of general emotions such as hesitation, anxiety, fear. The term was closely related to other terms like scrupulus which meant "very precisely" and some Roman authors related the term superstitio, which meant too much fear or anxiety or shame, to religio at times; when religio came into English around the 1200s as religion, it took the meaning of "life bound by monastic vows" or monastic orders. The compartmentalized concept of religion, where religious things were separated from worldly things, was not used before the 1500s; the concept of religion was first used in the 1500s to distinguish the domain of the church and the domain of civil authorities. In the ancient Greece, the Greek term threskeia was loosely translated into Latin as religio in late antiquity; the term was sparsely used in classical Greece but became more used in the writings of Josephus in the first century CE. It was used in mundane contexts and could mean multiple things from respectful fear to excessive or harmfully distracting practices of others.
It was contrasted with the Greek word deisidaimonia which meant too much fear. The modern concept of religion, as an abstraction that entails distinct sets of beliefs or doctrines, is a recent invention in the English language; such usage began with texts from the 17th century due to events such the splitting of Christendom during the Protestant Reformation and globalization in the age of exploration, which involved contact with numerous foreign cultures with non-European languages. Some argue that regardless of its definition, it is not appropriate to apply the term religion to non-Western cultures. Others argue that using religion on non-western cultures distorts what people believe; the concept of religion was formed in the 16th and 17th centuries, despite the fact that ancient sacred texts like the Bible, the Quran, others did not have a word or a concept of religion in the original languages and neither did the peopl
Rastafari, sometimes termed Rastafarianism, is an Abrahamic religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. Scholars of religion and related fields have classified it as both a new religious movement and a social movement. There is no central authority in control of the movement and much diversity exists among practitioners, who are known as Rastafari, Rastafarians, or Rastas. Rastas refer to their beliefs, which are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible, as "Rastalogy". Central is a monotheistic belief in a single God—referred to as Jah—who resides within each individual. Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia between 1930 and 1974, is given central importance. Many Rastas regard him as an incarnation of Jah on Earth and as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, another figure whom practitioners revere. Other Rastas regard Haile Selassie not as Jah incarnate but as a human prophet who recognized the inner divinity in every individual. Rastafari is Afrocentric and focuses its attention on the African diaspora, which it believes is oppressed within Western society, or "Babylon".
Many Rastas call for the resettlement of the African diaspora in either Ethiopia or Africa more referring to this continent as the Promised Land of "Zion". Rastas refer to their practices as "livity". Communal meetings are known as "groundations", are typified by music, chanting and the smoking of cannabis, the latter being regarded as a sacrament with beneficial properties. Rastas place emphasis on what they regard as living "naturally", adhering to ital dietary requirements, twisting their hair into dreadlocks, following patriarchal gender roles. Rastafari originated among impoverished and disenfranchised Afro-Jamaican communities in 1930s Jamaica, its Afrocentric ideology was a reaction against Jamaica's then-dominant British colonial culture. It was influenced by both Ethiopianism and the Back-to-Africa movement promoted by black nationalist figures like Marcus Garvey; the movement developed after several Christian clergymen, most notably Leonard Howell, proclaimed that Haile Selassie's crowning as emperor in 1930 fulfilled a Biblical prophecy.
By the 1950s, Rastafari's counter-cultural stance had brought the movement into conflict with wider Jamaican society, including violent clashes with law enforcement. In the 1960s and 1970s it gained increased respectability within Jamaica and greater visibility abroad through the popularity of Rasta-inspired reggae musicians like Bob Marley. Enthusiasm for Rastafari declined in the 1980s, following the deaths of Haile Selassie and Marley, but the movement survived and has a presence in many parts of the world; the Rasta movement is decentralised and organised on a cellular basis. There are several denominations, or "Mansions of Rastafari", the most prominent of which are the Nyahbinghi, Bobo Ashanti, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, each offering a different interpretation of Rasta belief. There are an estimated 700,000 to 1 million Rastas across the world; the majority of practitioners are of black African descent, although a minority come from other ethnic groups. Scholars of religion have categorised Rastafari as a new religious movement, a new social movement, or as a social movement.
The scholar of religion Leonard E. Barrett referred to it as a sect, the sociologist Ernest Cashmore as a cult, while scholar of religion Ennis B. Edmonds argued. Although Rastafari focuses on Africa as a source of identity, the scholar of religion Maboula Soumahoro noted that it was not an "authentic" African religion but an example of creolization, a product of the unique social environment that existed in the Americas. Edmonds suggested that Rastafari was "emerging" as a world religion, not because of the number of adherents that it had, but because of its global spread. Many Rastas themselves, however, do not regard it as a religion, instead referring to it as a "way of life". In 1989, a British Industrial Tribunal concluded that—for the purposes of the Race Relations Act 1976—Rastafarians could be considered an ethnic group because they have a long, shared heritage which distinguished themselves from other groups, their own cultural traditions, a common language, a common religion; the term "Rastafari" derives from the pre-regnal title of Haile Selassie.
It is unknown why the early Rastas adopted this form of Haile Selassie's name as the basis of their religion's name. Many commentators—including some academic sources—refer to the movement as "Rastafarianism"; this term has been used by some practitioners. However, "Rastafarianism" is considered offensive by most Rastafari, being critical of "isms" or "ians", dislike being labelled as an "ism" or "ian" themselves. Cashmore urged fellow academics not to use this term, which he described as "insensitive". Rastafari is a heterogeneous movement, it is thus difficult to make broad generalisations about the movement without obscuring the complexities within it. Rastas refer to the totality of their religion's ideas and beliefs as "Rastalogy"; the scholar of religion Ennis B. Edmonds described Rastafari as having "a cohesive worldview"; because it has no systematic theology or developed institutions, the sociologist of religion Peter B. Clarke stated that it was "extremely difficult to generalise" about Rastas and their beliefs.
Based on his research in Ghana, the scholar of religion Darren J. N. Middleton sugge
Durga Puja called Durgotsava, is an annual Hindu festival in the Indian subcontinent that reveres the goddess Durga. It is popular in West Bengal, Tripura, Odisha and the diaspora from this region, in Nepal where it is called Dashain; the festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin September or October of the Gregorian calendar, is a multi-day festival that features elaborate temple and stage decorations, scripture recitation, performance arts and processions. It is a major festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism across Shakta Hindu diaspora. Durga Puja festival marks the battle of goddess Durga with the shape-shifting and powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura, her emerging victorious. Thus, the festival epitomises the victory of good over evil, but it is in part a harvest festival that marks the goddess as the motherly power behind all of life and creation; the Durga Puja festival dates coincide with Vijayadashami observed by other traditions of Hinduism, where the Ram Lila is enacted — the victory of Rama is marked and effigies of demon Ravana are burnt instead.
The primary goddess revered during Durga Puja is Durga, but her stage and celebrations feature other major deities of Hinduism such as goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kartikeya. In the Bengali traditions, the other deities next to her side are considered to be the children of Durga; the Hindu god Shiva, as Durga's husband, is revered during this festival. The festival begins on the first day with Mahalaya, marking Durga's advent in her battle against evil. Starting with the sixth day, the goddess is welcomed, festive Durga worship and celebrations begin in elaborately decorated temples and pandals hosting the statues. Lakshmi and Saraswati are revered on the following days; the festival ends of the tenth day of Vijaya Dashami, when with drum beats of music and chants, Shakta Hindu communities start a procession carrying the colorful clay statues to a river or ocean and immerse them, as a form of goodbye and her return to divine cosmos and Mount Kailash. The festival is an old tradition of Hinduism, though it is unclear how and in which century the festival began.
Surviving manuscripts from the 14th century provide guidelines for Durga puja, while historical records suggest royalty and wealthy families were sponsoring major Durga Puja public festivities since at least the 16th century. The prominence of Durga Puja increased during the British Raj in its provinces of Assam. Durga Puja is a ten-day festival, of which the last five are special and an annual holiday in regions such as West Bengal, Bihar and Tripura where it is popular. In the contemporary era, the importance of Durga Puja is as much as a social festival as a religious one wherever it is observed. In West Bengal, Bihar and Tripura, Durga Puja is called Akalbodhan, Sharadiya Pujo, Maha Pujo, Maayer Pujo, Durga Pujo, or Puja or Pujo. In Bangladesh, Durga Puja used to be celebrated as Bhagabati Puja. Durga puja is called Navaratri Puja elsewhere in India, such as in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra, Kullu Dussehra in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, Mysore Dussehra in Mysore, Bommai Golu in Tamil Nadu and Bommala koluvu in Andhra Pradesh and Bathukamma in Telangana.
Durga is an ancient deity of Hinduism, according to textual evidence available. However, the origins of Durga Puja are undocumented. Surviving manuscripts from the 14th century provide guidelines for Durga Puja, while historical records suggest royalty and wealthy families were sponsoring major Durga Puja public festivities since at least the 16th century; the 11th or 12th century Jainism text Yasatilaka by Somadeva mentions a festival and annual dates dedicated to a warrior goddess, celebrated by the king and his armed forces, the description mirrors attributes of a Durga Puja. The word Durga, related terms appear in the Vedic literature, such as in the Rigveda hymns 4.28, 5.34, 8.27, 8.47, 8.93 and 10.127, in sections 10.1 and 12.4 of the Atharvaveda. A deity named Durgi appears in section 10.1.7 of the Taittiriya Aranyaka. While the Vedic literature uses the word Durga, the description therein lacks the legendary details about her or about Durga puja, found in Hindu literature. A key text associated with Durga Puja observations is Devi Mahatmya, recited during the festival.
Durga was well established before the time this Hindu text was composed, which scholars variously estimate to between 400 and 600 CE. The Devi Mahatmya mythology describes the nature of demonic forces symbolized by Mahishasura as shape-shifting and adapting in nature, in form and in strategy to create difficulties and achieve their evil ends. Durga calmly counters the evil in order to achieve her solemn goals. Durga, in her various forms, appears as an independent deity in the Epics period of ancient India, the centuries around the start of the common era. Both Yudhisthira and Arjuna characters of the Mahabharata invoke hymns to Durga, she appears in Harivamsa in the form of Vishnu's eulogy, in Pradyumna prayer. The prominent mention of Durga in this popular epics may have led to her worship; the Indian texts that mention the Durga Puja festival are inconsistent. The King Suratha legend found in some version of the Puranas mention it to be a spring festival, while the Devi-Bhagavata Purana and two othe
The Christian holy day of Pentecost, celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, this event represents the birth of the early Church. In Eastern Christianity, Pentecost can refer to the entire fifty days of Easter through Pentecost inclusive. Since its date depends on the date of Easter, Pentecost is a moveable feast; the holy day is called "White Sunday" or "Whitsunday" in the United Kingdom, where traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was a public holiday. In Germany Pentecost is called "Pfingsten" and coincides with scholastic holidays and the beginning of many outdoor and springtime activities, such as festivals and organized outdoor activities by youth organizations; the Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European nations. The term Pentecost comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή meaning "fiftieth".
It refers to the festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover known as the "Feast of Weeks" and the "Feast of 50 days" in rabbinic tradition. The Septuagint uses the term Pentēkostē to refer to the "Feast of Pentecost" only twice, in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit and 2 Maccabees; the Septuagint writers used the word in two other senses: to signify the year of Jubilee, an event which occurs every 50th year, in several passages of chronology as an ordinal number. The term has been used in the literature of Hellenistic Judaism by Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. In Judaism the Festival of Weeks was a harvest festival, celebrated seven weeks and one day after the first Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Deuteronomy 16:9 or seven weeks and one day after the Sabbath in Leviticus 23:16; the Festival of Weeks was called the feast of Harvest in Exodus 23:16 and the day of first fruits in Numbers 28:26. In Exodus 34:22 it is called the "firstfruits of the wheat harvest." The date for the "Feast of Weeks" came the day after seven full weeks following the first harvest of grain.
In Jewish tradition the fiftieth day was known as the Festival of Weeks. The actual mention of fifty days comes from Leviticus 23:16. During the Hellenistic period, the ancient harvest festival became a day of renewing the Noahic covenant, described in Genesis 9:8-17, established between God and "all flesh, upon the earth". By this time, some Jews were living in Diaspora. According to Acts 2:5-11 there were Jews from "every nation under heaven" in Jerusalem visiting the city as pilgrims during Pentecost. In particular the hoi epidemountes are identified as "visitors" to Jerusalem from Rome; this group of visitors includes both Jews and "proselytes". The list of nations represented in the biblical text includes Parthians, Elamites, Judaea, Pontus, Phrygia, Egypt and those who were visiting from Rome. Scholars have speculated about a possible earlier literary source for the list of nations including an astrological list by Paul of Alexandria and various references to the Jewish diaspora by writers of the Second Temple era.
After the destruction of the temple in 70 AD offerings could no longer be brought to the Temple and the focus of the festival shifted from agriculture to the giving of the law on Sinai. It became customary to gather at synagogue and read the Book of Ruth and Exodus Chapters 19 and 20; the term Pentecost appears in the Septuagint as one of names for the Festival of Weeks. The biblical narrative of the Pentecost includes numerous references to earlier biblical narratives like the Tower of Babel, the flood and creation narratives from the Book of Genesis, it includes references to certain theophanies, with certain emphasis on God's incarnate appearance on Sinai when the Ten Commandments were presented to Moses. Theologian Stephen Wilson has described the narrative as "exceptionally obscure" and various points of disagreement persist among bible scholars; some biblical commentators have sought to establish that the οἶκος given as the location of the events of in Acts 2:2 was one of the thirty halls of the Temple, but the text itself is lacking in specific details.
Richard C. H. Lenski and other scholars contend that the author of Acts could have chosen the word ἱερόν if this meaning were intended, rather than "house"; some semantic details suggest that the "house" could be the "upper room" mentioned in Acts 1:12-26 but there is no literary evidence to confirm the location with certainty and it remains a subject of dispute amongst scholars. The events of Acts Chapter 2 are set against the backdrop of the celebration of Pentecost in Jerusalem. There are several major features to the Pentecost narrative presented in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles; the author begins the narrative by noting that the disciples of Jesus "were all together in one place" on the "day of Pentecost". The verb used in Acts 2:1 to indicate the arrival of the day of Pentecost carries a connotation of fulfillment. There is a "mighty rushing wind" and "tongues as of fire" appear; the gathered disciples were "filled with the Holy Spirit, a
Shinto or kami-no-michi is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified religion, but rather to a collection of native beliefs and mythology. Shinto today is the religion of public shrines devoted to the worship of a multitude of "spirits", "essences" or "gods", suited to various purposes such as war memorials and harvest festivals, applies as well to various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian periods; the word Shinto was adopted as Jindō or Shindō, from the written Chinese Shendao, combining two kanji: shin, meaning "spirit" or kami.
The oldest recorded usage of the word Shindo is from the second half of the 6th century. Kami is rendered in English as "spirits", "essences", or "gods", refers to the energy generating the phenomena. Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the singular divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, rivers, objects and people can be said to possess the nature of kami. Kami and people are not separate; as much as nearly 80% of the population in Japan participates in Shinto practices or rituals, but only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys. This is. Most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to an institutional Shinto religion. There are no formal rituals to become a practitioner of "folk Shinto". Thus, "Shinto membership" is estimated counting only those who do join organised Shinto sects. Shinto has about 85,000 priests in the country. According to surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008, less than 40% of the population of Japan identifies with an organised religion: around 35% are Buddhists, 3% to 4% are members of Shinto sects and derived religions.
In 2008, 26% of the participants reported visiting Shinto shrines, while only 16.2% expressed belief in the existence of a god or gods in general. According to Inoue: "In modern scholarship, the term is used with reference to kami worship and related theologies and practices. In these contexts,'Shinto' takes on the meaning of'Japan's traditional religion', as opposed to foreign religions such as Christianity, Islam and so forth." Shinto religious expressions have been distinguished by scholars into a series of categories: Shrine Shinto, the main tradition of Shinto, has always been a part of Japan's history. It consists of taking part in worship events at local shrines. Before the Meiji Restoration, shrines were disorganized institutions attached to Buddhist temples; the current successor to the imperial organization system, the Association of Shinto Shrines, oversees about 80,000 shrines nationwide. Imperial Household Shinto are the religious rites performed by the imperial family at the three shrines on the imperial grounds, including the Ancestral Spirits Sanctuary and the Sanctuary of the Kami.
Folk Shinto includes the numerous folk beliefs in spirits. Practices include divination, spirit possession, shamanic healing; some of their practices come from Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism, but most come from ancient local traditions. Sect Shinto is a legal designation created in the 1890s to separate government-owned shrines from local organised religious communities; these communities originated in the Edo period. The basic difference between Shrine Shinto and Sect Shinto is that sects are a development and grew self-consciously, they can identify a founder, a formal set of teachings and sacred scriptures. Sect Shinto groups are thirteen, classified under five headings: pure Shinto sects, Confucian sects,mountain worship sects, purification sects, faith-healing sects (Kurozumikyo／黒住教, Konkokyo/金光教 and its branching Omotokyo/大本教 and Tenrikyo／天理教. Koshintō, literally'Old Shinto', is a reconstructed "Shinto from before the time of Buddhism", today based on Ainu religion and Ryukyuan practices.
It continues the restoration movement begun by Hirata Atsutane. Many other sects and schools can be distinguished. Faction Shinto is a grouping of Japanese new religions developed since the second half of the 20th century that have departed from traditional Shinto and are not always regarded as part of it. Kami, shin, or, jin is defined in English as "god", "spirit", or "spiritual essence", all these terms meaning "the energy generating a thing". Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms. Rocks, rivers, objects, places
The Bahá'í Faith is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, the unity and equality of all people. Established by Bahá'u'lláh in 1863, it grew in Persia and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution since its inception, it is estimated to have between 5 and 8 million adherents, known as Bahá'ís, spread out into most of the world's countries and territories. It grew from the mid-19th-century Bábí religion, whose founder taught that God would soon send a prophet in the same way of Jesus or Muhammad. In 1863, after being banished from his native Iran, Bahá ` u ` lláh announced, he was further exiled. Following Bahá'u'lláh's death in 1892, leadership of the religion fell to his son `Abdu'l-Bahá, his great-grandson Shoghi Effendi. Bahá'ís around the world annually elect local and national Spiritual Assemblies that govern the affairs of the religion, every five years the members of all National Spiritual Assemblies elect the Universal House of Justice, the nine-member supreme governing institution of the worldwide Bahá'í community, which sits in Haifa, near the Shrine of the Báb.
Bahá'í teachings are in some ways similar to other monotheistic faiths: God is considered single and all-powerful. However, Bahá'u'lláh taught that religion is orderly and progressively revealed by one God through Manifestations of God who are the founders of major world religions throughout history. Bahá'ís regard the major religions as fundamentally unified in purpose, though varied in social practices and interpretations. There is a similar emphasis on the unity of all people rejecting notions of racism and nationalism. At the heart of Bahá'í teachings is the goal of a unified world order that ensures the prosperity of all nations, races and classes. Letters written by Bahá'u'lláh to various individuals, including some heads of state, have been collected and assembled into a canon of Bahá'í scripture that includes works by his son `Abdu'l-Bahá, the Báb, regarded as Bahá'u'lláh's forerunner. Prominent among Bahá'í literature are the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Kitáb-i-Íqán, Some Answered Questions, The Dawn-Breakers.
In English-language use, the word Bahá'í is used either as an adjective to refer to the Bahá'í Faith or as a term for a follower of Bahá'u'lláh. The word is not a noun meaning the religion as a whole, it is derived from the Arabic Bahá‘, meaning "glory" or "splendor". The term "Bahaism" is still used in a pejorative sense, though the U. S. Library of Congress uses "Bahaism" as a variant term for Baha'i Faith; the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, form the foundation for Bahá'í belief. Three principles are central to these teachings: the unity of God, the unity of religion, the unity of humanity. Baha'is believe that God periodically reveals his will through divine messengers, whose purpose is to transform the character of humankind and to develop, within those who respond and spiritual qualities. Religion is thus seen as orderly and progressive from age to age; the Bahá'í writings describe a single, inaccessible, omnipresent and almighty God, the creator of all things in the universe.
The existence of God and the universe is thought to be eternal, without a end. Though inaccessible directly, God is seen as conscious of creation, with a will and purpose, expressed through messengers termed Manifestations of God. Bahá'í teachings state that God is too great for humans to comprehend, or to create a complete and accurate image of by themselves. Therefore, human understanding of God is achieved through his revelations via his Manifestations. In the Bahá'í religion, God is referred to by titles and attributes, there is a substantial emphasis on monotheism; the Bahá'í teachings state that the attributes which are applied to God are used to translate Godliness into human terms and to help individuals concentrate on their own attributes in worshipping God to develop their potentialities on their spiritual path. According to the Bahá'í teachings the human purpose is to learn to know and love God through such methods as prayer and being of service to others. Bahá'í notions of progressive religious revelation result in their accepting the validity of the well known religions of the world, whose founders and central figures are seen as Manifestations of God.
Religious history is interpreted as a series of dispensations, where each manifestation brings a somewhat broader and more advanced revelation, rendered as a text of scripture and passed on through history with greater or lesser reliability but at least true in substance, suited for the time and place in which it was expressed. Specific religious social teachings may be revoked by a subsequent manifestation so that a more appropriate requirement for the time and place may be established. Conversely, certain general principles are seen to be consistent. In Bahá'í belief, this process of progressive revelation will not end. Bahá'ís do not expect a new manifestation of God to appear within 1000 years of Bahá'u'lláh's revelation. Bahá'í beliefs are sometimes described as syncretic combinations of earlier religious beliefs. Bahá'ís, assert that their religion is a distinct tradition with its own
Sikhism, or Sikhi Sikkhī, from Sikh, meaning a "disciple", "seeker," or "learner") is a religion that originated in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent around the end of the 15th century, has variously been defined as monotheistic and panentheistic. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions, the world's fifth largest organized religion, as well as being the world's ninth-largest overall religion; the fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, divine unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. In the early 21st century there were nearly 25 million Sikhs worldwide, the great majority of them living in Punjab, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, the nine Sikh gurus that succeeded him.
The Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, named the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib as his successor, terminating the line of human Gurus and making the scripture the eternal, religious spiritual guide for Sikhs. The Guru Granth Sahib is notable for being written by the founders of the religion, for including works by members of other religions. Sikhism rejects claims; the Sikh scripture opens with Ik Onkar, its Mul Mantar and fundamental prayer about One Supreme Being. Sikhism emphasizes simran, that can be expressed musically through kirtan or internally through Nam Japo as a means to feel God's presence, it teaches followers to transform the "Five Thieves". Hand in hand, secular life is considered to be intertwined with the spiritual life. Guru Nanak taught that living an "active and practical life" of "truthfulness, self-control and purity" is above the metaphysical truth, that the ideal man is one who "establishes union with God, knows His Will, carries out that Will". Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, established the political/temporal and spiritual realms to be mutually coexistent.
Sikhism evolved in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh gurus – Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur – were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers after they refused to convert to Islam; the persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa as an order to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, with qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī" – a saint-soldier. The Khalsa was founded by Guru Gobind Singh; the majority of Sikh scriptures were written in the Gurmukhī alphabet, a script standardised by Guru Angad out of Laṇḍā scripts used in North India. Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs, which means disciples of the Guru; the anglicised word'Sikhism' is derived from the Punjabi verb Sikhi, with roots in Sikhana, Sikhi connotes the "temporal path of learning". The basis of Sikhism lies in the teachings of his successors. Many sources call Sikhism a monotheistic religion, while others call it a monistic and panentheistic religion. According to Eleanor Nesbitt, English renderings of Sikhism as a monotheistic religion "tend misleadingly to reinforce a Semitic understanding of monotheism, rather than Guru Nanak's mystical awareness of the one, expressed through the many.
However, what is not in doubt is the emphasis on'one'". In Sikhism, the concept of "God" is Waheguru considered Nirankar and Alakh Niranjan; the Sikh scripture begins with Ik Onkar, which refers to the "formless one", understood in the Sikh tradition as monotheistic unity of God. Sikhism is classified as an Indian religion along with Buddhism and Jainism, given its geographical origin and its sharing some concepts with them. Sikh ethics emphasize the congruence between everyday moral conduct, its founder Guru Nanak summarized this perspective with "Truth is the highest virtue, but higher still is truthful living". God in Sikhism is known as the One Supreme Reality or the all-pervading spirit; this spirit has no gender in Sikhism. It is Akaal Purkh and Nirankar. In addition, Nanak wrote; the traditional Mul Mantar goes from Ik Oankar until Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach. The opening line of the Guru Granth Sahib and each subsequent raga, mentions Ik Oankar: ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat-nām karatā purakh nirabha'u niravair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhan gur prasād.
"There is one supreme being, the eternal reality, the creator, without fear and devoid of enmity, never incarnated, self-existent, known by grace through the true Guru." Māyā, defined as a temporary illusion or "unreality", is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: where worldly attractions which give only illusory temporary satisfaction and pain which distract the process of the devotion of God. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference of its values. In Sikhism, the influences of ego, greed and lust, known as the Five Thieves, are believed to be distracting and hurtful. Sikhs believe the world is curren