(Confucion)

Confucion is a branch of TAO. The Analects is the main collection of "Books" written by K'ung Fu-tsu (Confucius).  that form the basis of this branch of the religion. 

K'ung Fu Tzu (commonly pronounced Confucius in English) was born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu (modern day Shantung Province). He lived during the Chou dynasty, an era known for its moral laxity. Later in life, he wandered about China, advising  rulers. His last yearswere spent writing and teaching.

His writings deal primarily with individual morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of power by  rulers.

These were assembled by Chu Hsi (1130-1200 CE) during the Sung dynasty. They include: The Lun Yu the main work of the Analects having Twenty Books.  The Si Shu or Four Books; The Chung Yung
or the Doctrine of the Mean; The
Ta Hsueh, or the Great Learning.

Other masters writings included: The Meng Tzu, the writings of Meng Tzu (371-289 BCE) a philosopher who, like Confucius, traveled from state to state conversing with the government rulers.

The Wu Jing or Five Classics; Shu Ching or Classic of History, containing writings and speeches from ancient Chinese rulers ad
The Shih Ching or Classic of Odes: 300 poems and songs; and Ch'un Ch'iu or Spring and Autumn Annals; and  a history of the state of Lu from 722 to 484 BCE; along with The Li Ching or Classic of Rites: a group of three books on the LI the rites of propriety.

The I Ching or Classic of Changes is also one of the Sacred Books of Confucianism. It includes  the description of a divinitory system involving 64 hexagrams. The hexagrams are symbols composed of broken and continuous lines; one is selected to foretell the future based on the casting of 49 sticks.
                                                                                                     ancient Egyptian

The Book of the Dead was a collection of spells, hymns, and prayers intended to secure for the deceased safe passage to and sojourn in the other world. The sections of papyrus on display to the left and right are from one of these long scrolls, which was cut into fifteen sections in modern times.

The title of the Book of the Dead and its method of use are stated in the horizontal line at the top of the section exhibited to the right: "Beginning of the spells for going forth by day which raise the glorious ones (i.e., the dead) in the cemetery. To be said on the day of burial of entering in after going forth, by Osiris and naming the Deceased.

The main text referred to as "the Bookof the Dead" is from Tombs.  In practice it is not one book; but many exemplified by "stele"  or prayer offering for the deceased left at every burial.
*Note: see (Stele of Revealing)
Rokkokushi
Kojiki
Shoku Nihongi
Nihon Shoki
Jinno Shotoki
Lun Yu
I Ching
Tibetan Book of the Dead
Great Stages of Enlightenment
White Lotus Sutra
Tipitaka
Dhammapada
Tipitaka
Tipitaka
various Buddhist writings
Chuang-tzu
Stele of Revealing
ancient Egyptian
Kami
Jainism
Summoning Spirit
The Quaballa (also spelled Kaballa, Caballa,  Cabala,
kabala,  Kaballah, qaballah, etc.)

The word 'Qabala' finds its root in the Hebrew word 'Qibel'
meaning 'to receive by oral tradition'. It is considered to contain all the secrets of life; sometimes referred to as Hebrew Mysticism as it appeared in the 12th and following centuries.

This receiving refers to an oral tradition of esoteric or secret knowledge of the unwritten hidden teachings of the Hebrew Torah (divine revelation) that was communicated by God to Moses and Adam. concerning 'essentially' the mysteries of Nature.

Though observance of the Law of Moses remained the basic tenet of Judaism, Kabbala provided a means of approaching God directly and  that initiation into its doctrines and practices is conducted by a personal guide to avoid the dangers inherent in mystical experiences. 

The Kabala is an ancient Hebrew mystical system of thought. It is a symbolic representation of the path the Divine followed in the creation of the universe, including man. It is, by definition, humanity's process of returning to divinity along the same path. It thus gave Judaism a religious dimension whose mystical approaches to God were viewed by some as dangerously pantheistic and heretical.
The "Torah" (Tawrat, Tanach); which is also called "the Pentateuch" and the "books of the prophets" consists of the first five books of the Old Testament which have been incorporated into the Christian  Bible.  It is the oldest surviving of the Judaic liturgical texts. 

This page was last updated on: 1/13/09

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the
Sikh
(Gita) various Hindu scriptures
(Tao Te Ching  Tao-teh-king)
                               (Tao Te Ching  Tao-teh-king)

Tao-te-Ching ("The Way of Power," or "The Book of the Way") is believed to have been written by Lao-Tse. It describes the nature of life, the way to peace and how a ruler should lead his life.

Chuang-tzu (named after its author) contains additional teachings.

Tao (pronounced "Dow") can be roughly translated into English as path, or the way. It is basically indefinable. It has to be experienced. It "refers to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the Universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)"

Taoism is the Religion of the Tao; ( meaning Path or Way), but denoting in this peculiar case the way, course or movement of the Universe, her processes and methods. In other words, Taoism is the Religion of Heaven and Earth, of the Cosmos, of the World or Nature in the broadest sense of these words. Hence we may call it Naturism. This religion is derived from the philosophical doctrines of Lao-tze. "Lao-tze's Taoism",

Taoism being fundamentally a religion of the Cosmos and its subdivisions, old Chinese Cosmogony is its Theogony. It conceives the Universe as one large organism of powers and influences, a living machine, the core of which is the Great Ultimate Principle or T'ai-kih, comprising the two cosmic Breaths or Souls, known as the Yang and the Yin, of which, respectively, Heaven and Earth are the chief depositories. These two souls produce the four seasons, and the phenomena of Nature represented by the lineal figures called kwa". In fact the Yang and the Yin produce by the power of their co-operation all that exists, man included. Ancient Chinese philosophy attributes to
man two souls:
The shen, or immaterial soul, emanates from the ethereal, celestial part of the Cosmos, and consists of yang substance. When operating actively in the living human body, it is called k'i or 'breath', and kwun; when separated from it after death, it lives as a refulgent spirit, styled ming.

The kwei, the material, substantial soul, emanates from the terrestrial part of the Universe, and is formed of yin substance. In living man it operates under the name of p'oh and on his death it returns to the Earth"
Confucion
ancient Zoroastrian scripture
(Japan) Kami
THE QURAN (also spelled Koran, Quran, Alkoran, etc.)

THE QURAN is sacred to the Religion of Islam  and is the holy scripture revealed by Allah to Muhammad. The word Qur'an means readings or recitations.

In its natural language (Arabic), the Qur'an is the direct Word of Allah (God) to mankind through the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Because of this it is only pswsible to hear the "true" word of God in the Arabic language.

You must  keep in mind that all ANY translation of the Qur'an will most definitely contain errors, Any translation of the Qur'an no longer retains that 'official' and perfect status,  However I have included some that  can be  helpful to someone wanting to learn more about Islam; along with Links for further study.
                                                    ancient Zoroastrian scripture

The Zorastrian holy book is called the Avesta. This includes the original words of their founder Zarathushtra, preserved in a series of five hymns, called the Gathas. The latter represent the core text of the religion. The Gathas are abstract sacred poetry, directed towards the worship of the One God, understanding of righteousness and cosmic order, promotion of social justice and individual choice between good and evil. The Gathas have a general and even universal vision.

At some later date (most scholars say many centuries later), the remaining parts of the Avestas were written. These deal with laws of ritual and practice, with the traditions of the faith. The Zoroastrian community is sharply divided between those who would follow mostly (or exclusively) the teachings of the original Gathas, and those who believe that the later traditions are important and equally divinely inspired.

"The prophet Zarathushtra, son of Pourushaspa, of the Spitaman family, is known to us primarily from the Gathas, seventeen great hymns which he composed and which have been faithfully preserved by his community. Zoroaster believed that he had been entrusted by God with a message for all mankind, he must also have preached again and again in plain words to ordinary people.

His teachings were handed down orally in his community from generation to generation, and were at last committed to writing under the Sasanians, rulers of the third Iranian empire. The language then spoken was Middle Persian, also called Pahlavi; and the Pahlavi books provide invaluable keys for interpreting the magnificent obscurities of the Gathas themselves.

The religion was founded by Zarathushtra (Zoroaster in Greek; Zarthosht in India and Persia). Conservative Zoroastrians assign a date of 6000 BCE to the founding of the religion; other followers estimate 600 BCE. Historians and religious scholars generally date his life sometime between 1500 and 1000 BCE on the basis of his style of writing.  Zoroastrianism was the dominant world religion during the Persian empires (559 BC to 651 AC), and was thus the most powerful world religion at the time of Jesus. It had a major influence on other religions. It is still practiced world-wide, especially in Iran and India.

Zoroastrianism is important to the world because It is one of the oldest religions still in existence; and probably the first monotheistic religion.  The theology has had a great impact on Judaism, Christianity and other later religions, contributing to the beliefs surrounding God and Satan, the soul, heaven and hell, savior, resurrection, final judgment.
                                        the

Consists of the Torah; forming the first five books of the Old Testament.  The "new Testament represents the oral teachings that Jesus conveyed to the people the Bible that God had had originally revealed to him.

Although Jesus was literate but did not write or dictate the messages he received from God.  His disciples, too, propagated it among the people  by the spoken words in such a manner that they presented the Prophet's life story and the revealed verses of the Bible. None of this material was put into writing during the lifetime of Jesus  or even in the period following him.

It must be borne in mind that Christ's native tongue was Syriac or Aramaic and his disciples, too, spoke the same language. After he had left t his world many people wrote about his life and teachings, which are known as Gospels. Most Greek-speaking authors heard these traditions in the Aramaic vernacular and committed them to writing in Greek  When the oral traditions were eventually written they were so in Greek. It fell to the lot of the Christians whose vernacular was Greek to transform the oral traditions into writing.

After Jesus had departed, rivalry appeared among his followers. Some wanted to follow his teachings, without any deviation, Others wanted to sacrifice them for the sake of spreading Christianity, specially among Greeks and Romans. Rivalry between the various factions continued for centuries.

Once Apostle Paul established his foothold among the disciples, and established himself as Pope he declared abolition of those laws.  When the followers of Paul gained control at the council of Nicea they ordered great changes of  "old Laws".  They suppressed the place of women;  elevated the place of the organized church; and  established the cardinal doctrine of Christian Trinity.

The council also changed the birthday of  Jesus to 25 December to match the birthday of Sun-God Mithras, and shifted the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. They canonizing the Gospels written by the followers of Paul and destroyed many other including  'The Gospel of the Hebrews' which was the only Gospel written in Aramaic, the language that Prophet Jesus spoke.

None of these writings is dated prior to the year 70 AD; there is not a single instance in these works where the author has cited an authority for an event or  maxim attributed to Jesus in order that we might construct a chain of transmission. Furthermore, even their works have not survived. Thousands of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament were collected, but none of them is older than the 4th century AD. 
Tattvartha Sutra
                                                              various Buddhist writings

Buddhism was founded in Northern India by the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. He was born circa 563 BCE in Lumbini which is in modern-day Nepal. At the age of 29, he left his wife, children and political involvements in order to seek truth. It was an accepted practice at the time for some men to leave their family and lead the life of an ascetic. He studied Brahmanism, but ultimately rejected it. In 535 BCE, he attained enlightenment and assumed the title Buddha (one who has awakened).

He is also referred to as the Sakyamuni, (sage of the Sakya clan). He promoted The Middle Way, rejecting both extremes of the mortification of the flesh and of hedonism as paths toward the state of Nirvana. He had many disciples and accumulated a large public following by the time of his death in his early 80's in 483 BCE.

Two and a half centuries later, a council of Buddhist monks Collected his teachings of the oral traditions in written form, called the
Tipitaka 
most are "Sutras" (discourses).

The three main sects of Buddhism, each have their scriptures.

Theravada Buddhism occasionally spelled (Therevada), (sometimes called southern Buddhism)  has the Tipitaka as their main scriptures along with  Popular sayings of Buddha called the
Dhammapada
.  This has been the dominant school of Buddhism in most of Southeast Asia since the thirteenth century, with the establishment of the monarchies in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos."

Mahayana Buddhism (sometimes called Northern Buddhism) has the Tipitaka as the base but adds many  Sutras (2184 sacred writings); is largely found in China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Mongolia. Over time, numerous schools of the Mahayana Buddhist philosophy have evolved.  One school, the Nirchiren; developed in most recent times and is based on the White Lotus Sutra teaching of the Buddha.

Vajrayana Buddhism is also called Tibetan Buddhism, adds Tantric texts and commentaries dealing mainly with Ultimate Reality as singular Unity, and the sexual union of world (male) and cosmos (female).  Great Stages of Enlightenment as well as The Tibetan Book of the Dead is notable with this sect.

Zen Buddhism Is sometimes seen as a branch of Mahayana Buddhism: Cha'an, known by its Japanese name: Zen.  It originally developed in China; later be transmitted to Japan. But; as with many eastern disciplines is based upon the teachings of a particular master.

Bodhidharma is Credited with bringing Zen Buddhism to China from India in the 5th century C.E., Bodhidharma is a favorite theme of Buddhist art and Zen art in particular. He is renowned for having meditated for nine years in front of a blank wall at Shaolin Temple, world famous for its martial arts, before becoming enlightened. Stories about his life and efforts are a rich tradition that, born in Asia, is now spreading to the West.
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                                                     Sikh

Every Sikh, man, woman, boy or girl, should learn Gurmukhi(Punjabi in Gurmukhi script)  to be able to read the Gurbani (the holy Bani bequeathed by theGuru Granth Sahib 500 years ago.

The Golden Chain is the foundation of Sikh Dharma was laid down by Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak infused his own consciousness into a disciple, who then became Guru, subsequently passing the light on to the next, and so on. The word "Guru" is derived from the root words "Gu", which means darkness or ignorance, and "Ru", which means light or knowledge The Guru is the experience of Truth (God). Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

The tenth Guru, Gobind Singh compiled the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. It consists of hymns and writings by the first 10 Gurus, along with religious text from different Muslim and Hindu saints like: Kabir Ji, Baba Sheik Farid Ji, Bhagat Namdev, Bhagat Rav Dass Ji, etc. The Shri Guru Granth is considered the 11th and final Guru and the Sikh's holiest religious text.

Each one of the ten Gurus represents a divine attribute:

Guru Nanak - Humility
Guru Angad - Obedience
Guru Amar Das  Equality
Guru Ram Das - Service
Guru Arjan - Self-Sacrifice
Guru Hargobind - Justice
Guru Har Rai - Mercy
Guru Harkrishan - Purity
Guru Tegh Bahadur - Tranquility
Guru Gobind Singh - Royal Courage
                                         (Gita) various Hindu scriptures

The Lord, always possessed as He is of (infinite) knowledge, supremacy, power, strength, might and vigour, controls Maya- belonging to Him as Vishnu- the Mula prakriti, the First Cause, composed of three Gunas or energies (qualities known as Sattva,Rajas and Tamas), 

He appears to the world as though He is born and embodied and helping the world at large; whereas really He is unborn and indestructible, is the Lord of creatures, and is by nature Eternal, Pure, Intelligent and Free.

Without any interest of His own, but with the sole intention of helping His creatures, He taught to Arjuna, who was deeply plunged in the ocean of grief and delusion, the twofold Vedic Religion, evidently thinking that the Religion would widely spread when accepted and practised by men of high character. It is this religion, which was taught by the Lord,

The Hindus have received their religion through revelation, the Vedas; They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. It may sound ludicrous. how a book can be without beginning or end. But by the Vedas no books are meant.  The omniscient and adorable Veda-Vyasa (the arranger of the Vedas) embodied in the seven hundred verses called Gita. This famous Gita-Sastra is an epitome of the essentials of the whole Vedic  teaching. Like most Hindu "scriptures is in the format of a discourse or dialogue; wherin enlightenment can be achieved by thoughtful contemplation.
                                                                                  Jainism

Tattvartha Sutra

Jainism is one of the world's oldest religions whose roots go back to times before recorded history. 

Those who follow Jainism are known as Ajainaor the followers of Jinas, from whom the teachings of this religion have been derived. Jainism's teachers of old whose wisdom and spiritual evolution are most revered are known as tirthankaras or "builders of the ford." The teachings of the these builders ultimately lead humans across the the endless cycle of rebirth to spiritual release.  Metaphorically, this endless cycle is compared to a river that only those enlightened by the teachings of the tirthankaras may hope to cross.

In Jain philosophy, time consists of infinite millenia that come and go in cycles of several million years. In our current cycle, twenty-four tirthankarashave appeared and Mahavira the 24th, tirthankara has been the last to appear.  Like all preceding tirthankara sMahavira whose name means "the most courageous one," was an actual historical figure who lived some time between 599-527BCE.

Mahavira was a contemporary of another great spiritual teacher--Gautama Sakyamuni--who would come to be known in history as Buddha. According to most accounts, Mahavira was also a high-born member of a warrior caste who renounced the world when he was thirty to pursue a life as an ascetic. His moment of enlightenment came after twelve years of spiritual pursuit. He then gathered twelve disciples around him, and it is through these disciples that his teachings were eventually documentedand disseminated.

Jain has a very complex cosmology and a detailed code of behavior as well. The basis of the constitution of the cosmos lay in the basic substance called Dravya or Reals in the Jain Holy Scriptures.

Every Real has three characteristics, Creation (emergence), Destruction (annihilation) and Permanence (persistence) "Utpada, Vyaya and Dhrouvya" with infinite qualities and subqualities. It means that every substance possesses the quality of permanence (Dhrouvya) generation (Utpada) and decay (Vyaya) as modification of itself.

When soul indulges in perverse tendencies like attachment, aversion, anger, deception, greed, lust etc. due to ignorance, subtle atoms of
Karma
(energy) which cannot be experienced by any of the five senses flow in (Ashrava) of their own and stick (Bandha) into soul's countless space points (Pradesh) forming a "Karmic" body around and imprisoning the soul.
                                                                                                     ancient Egyptian

The Book of the Dead was a collection of spells, hymns, and prayers intended to secure for the deceased safe passage to and sojourn in the other world. The sections of papyrus on display to the left and right are from one of these long scrolls, which was cut into fifteen sections in modern times.

The title of the Book of the Dead and its method of use are stated in the horizontal line at the top of the section exhibited to the right: "Beginning of the spells for going forth by day which raise the glorious ones (i.e., the dead) in the cemetery. To be said on the day of burial of entering in after going forth, by Osiris and naming the Deceased.

The main text referred to as "the Bookof the Dead" is from Tombs.  In practice it is not one book; but many exemplified by "stele"  or prayer offering for the deceased left at every burial.
*Note: see (Stele of Revealing)
                                                  (Japan) Kami

Many texts are valued in the Shinto religion. Most date from the 8th century CE; while others show the decided influence of politics.

The Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters)  The Rokkokushi (Six National Histories)  The Shoku Nihongi and its Nihon Shoki (Continuing Chronicles of Japan)  The Jinno Shotoki (a study of Shinto and Japanese politics and history)  written in the 14th century


Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. Starting about 500 BCE (or earlier) it was originally "an amorphous mix of nature worship, fertility cults, divination techniques, hero worship, and shamanism." 4 Its name was derived from the Chinese words "shin tao" ("The Way of the Gods") in the 8th Century CE. At that time.

Shinto is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people, and it is as old as the Japanese people. Shinto ia written with two Chinese characters; the first, 'shin', is used to write the native Japanese word 'kami', meaning "divinity" or "numinous entity", and the second 'to' is used to write the native word 'michi', meaning "way". Shinto does not have as fully developed a theology as do most other religions. It does not have its own moral code and  follows the code of Confucianism.

Shinto religious texts discuss the "High Plain of Heaven" and the "Dark Land" which is an unclean land of the dead, but give few details of the afterlife.

Shinto creation stories tell of the history and lives of the "Kami" (deities). Among them was a divine couple, Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto, who gave birth to the Japanese islands. Their children became the deities of the various Japanese clans. Amaterasu Omikami (Sun Goddess) was one of their daughters. She is the ancestress of the Imperial Family and is regarded as the chief deity. Her shrine is at Ise. Her descendants unified the country. Her brother, Susano came down from heaven and roamed throughout the earth. 

Kami are the objects of worship in Shinto.  There are no absolutes in Shinto. Also sacred spirits and can take various forms such as natural elements like the sun, mountains, trees, rocks, and the wind, or abstract things like fertility, but also ancestors, national heroes and protectors of family clans. Shinto does not have a founder nor does it have sacred scriptures like the sutras or the bible. However ther has been recent discoveries of other early documents,( the KOJIKI,  and NIHONGI)  which revived Shinto (Fukko Shinto) and exalted the emperor as the descendant of the Amaterasu Ohkami, the Sun Goddess, or the Great Glorious Goddess.
                                                            (Confucion)

Confucion is a branch of TAO. The Analects is the main collection of "Books" written by K'ung Fu-tsu (Confucius).  that form the basis of this branch of the religion. 

K'ung Fu Tzu (commonly pronounced Confucius in English) was born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu (modern day Shantung Province). He lived during the Chou dynasty, an era known for its moral laxity. Later in life, he wandered about China, advising  rulers. His last yearswere spent writing and teaching.

His writings deal primarily with individual morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of power by  rulers.

These were assembled by Chu Hsi (1130-1200 CE) during the Sung dynasty. They include: The Lun Yu the main work of the Analects having Twenty Books.  The Si Shu or Four Books; The Chung Yung
or the Doctrine of the Mean; The
Ta Hsueh, or the Great Learning.

Other masters writings included: The Meng Tzu, the writings of Meng Tzu (371-289 BCE) a philosopher who, like Confucius, traveled from state to state conversing with the government rulers.

The Wu Jing or Five Classics; Shu Ching or Classic of History, containing writings and speeches from ancient Chinese rulers ad
The Shih Ching or Classic of Odes: 300 poems and songs; and Ch'un Ch'iu or Spring and Autumn Annals; and  a history of the state of Lu from 722 to 484 BCE; along with The Li Ching or Classic of Rites: a group of three books on the LI the rites of propriety.

The I Ching or Classic of Changes is also one of the Sacred Books of Confucianism. It includes  the description of a divinitory system involving 64 hexagrams. The hexagrams are symbols composed of broken and continuous lines; one is selected to foretell the future based on the casting of 49 sticks.