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Lunukism is a Naguan religion based on a series of teachings attributed to Savasu Srivota in the early 6th century BCE. It originated in Cananganam and was based on traditions of the Asuranesian peoples of southern Nagu in the 7th century BCE, before spreading throughout the entire Naguan continent, and reaching as far as Jute and Soltenna by the 11th century CE. Lunukism encompasses many teachings by Arndzuksra on matters of tradition, belief, and spiritual practices; as well as their resulting interpreted philosophies.
As expressed in the Three Canons, the goal of Lunukism is to overcome spiritual suffering, caused by Nakit (taboo) and the Turesa (spiritual cycle). This suffering is believed to come through lack of self-acceptance, emotional negative, abandonment of one's community, and the act of ill-will towards others regardless of community. The Lunukist schools vary on their paths to spiritual enlightenment, though most schools of thoughts pursue the path of individual perfectionism.
Lunukism has a widespread following in Nagu and regions affected by the historical Cananganamese Empire, with historically the religion being closely associated with the empire's expansion, later being propagated through its many successor states. Many of these states would in turn develop their own schools of thought and practice, with no singular head of the religion being universally recognized.
Lunukism's early days are not well recorded due to the poor literacy in the region of South Nagu where the first organization of the beliefs took hold. Empirically, there are no written records until the 6th century before the common era to cross analyze. Despite this, a significant oral history was involved with the early days of the religion. The universally accepted view in Lunukism is that the first "true Human" was an individual named Angicha, who impregnated the fire spirit, Hosa, giving humans the ability to bear children. Some variations of the story cite a sister being named Kritee, who plays a midwie role and bears child with the water spirit giving their descendants wisdom.
The story goes on to say that Sinkutuntumy, given a vision in his sleep by the Sun God Dustra, must take charge of his tribe and save his people. The elders of the village laughed at the young man, where he fled the village. He would later meet the crab spirit, Jhasa, who would corroborate his story and teach him that accomplishments bring rewards, even if not initially seen. Using this knowledge, he embarked on a quest to prove himself to his tribe and the people of Cananganam. Many years later, he would bring wisdom and strength to his tribe, and found the Cananganamese Empire.
Upon his deathbed, he was said to be speaking in visions which the sabasa had determined to confirm he would reincarnate and that his new vessel would be acquired to lead the empire again. Following this reincarnation ceremony, a series of religious reforms were made and the method of refinding the imperial spirit, creating the modern Lunukist system. The majority of these tenets find their basis under the Council of Nirtsarna and his faction of priests. These reforms are the main matter of contention between the various sects of Lunukists who debate on the physicality of the human spirit and its role within the world.
While Lunukists share beliefs worldwide, there are also differences and interpretations of the texts and sacred traditions on which Lunukism derives.
The Four Truths are a foundational block of Lunukism. All sects of the religion adhere to it in some form, though some expand on these. The four truths are as follows:
- Faith - That through continuous learning of scripture and the words of priests and monks that one can attain a higher spiritual standing
- Community - Through engagement with one’s community they improve not just their own health but the health of those around them
- Death and Resurrection - Recognizing that the cycle makes no mistakes and that death is but another new experience until their rebirth
- Eternal Judgement - Recognizing that for all actions there is a counter-action that judgement will eventually be passed
These Four Truths are the foundational block of Lunukism. It holds that communities are but a small fraction of the spiritual energy of the world and that all things interact with one another, and that through frequent interaction and balance that a healthy community is founded. In addition, tradition is deemed a fundamental aspect as without tradition, the things that made societies healthy such as spirits who are specific to a village become untended and ignored, resulting in destruction in various ways. These beliefs date to the 4th Century BCE, with the teachings of Arndzuksra and his followers. From these creeds, the Samah legal system was formulated. These created the foundation for later nation building in Nagu. Many sects within Lunukism, however, do not recognize the legality of the Samah.
Most Lunukists accept the existence of the creeds, and subscribe to one of the four truths above in some form. Some, however, do not recognize the truths in their stated form but rather some derivation. These are rare in Nagu itself, and are more commonly found in syncretic sects outside of the Naguan or Borosan continents.
Sinkutuntumy is considered the first founder of the Lunukist doctrines, as he helped establish the very institutions of Lunukism. Despite this, he holds a very controversial role within the religion as many adherents of Lunukism either support the concept that he reincarnated consistently, and those who believe him to never have done so and that the religion was co-opted but evil forces. While in Cananganam, Lunukists believe Sinkutuntumy to still be reincarnating as the emperor of the nation, whereas outside of Cananganamese communities this is less commonly a held belief.
Sinkutuntumy's held as being a direct line of Dustra's progeny in Cananganam, which while to other sects is entirely rejected as symbolism rather than literal interpretation. Despite this, for the majority of Lunukism's history the Turesist sect was dominant, holding the belief that Sinkutuntumy was in fact Dustra's great grandson many generations removed. Frequent accomodation to this belief is the idea that the emperor has demi-god like powers such as the ability to cast storms upon his enemies and that should the emperor be killed, the world would bring about armageddon as a result of the cycle ending prematurely.
Lunukism holds that all crimes do not go unpunished. Primarily, the world responds to acts of generosity and evil with a counter-action of equal value. Some sects believe that good actions prolong the inevitable armageddon, and so that charity and works of good are cornerstone tenets of all sects of Lunukism. Eternal judgement is a primary view, in that death doesn't allow one to escape their crimes but that it carries into their next life with one punishment or the other. This view is sometimes omitted or expanded upon, however. There is no heaven or afterlife, but that once ascended to the form of spirits, that they are drifted to a place given to them. This may be back to their home village to be born anew, or to become an animal or plant of some shape or form, either as punishment or as a reward.
Most Lunukists believe that armageddon is possible, and that it is brought about only when the sufficient care for the world's inhabitants is lacking. How this evolves depends on the sect. Turesists believe it to be when the emperor himself is killed, which will bring about Kuprisa to collapse upon the world, for example.