The Spiritual Life is an interfaith web-based community that celebrates and honors the many paths to God. We are dedicated to teaching and expressing a positive and practical approach to life. Our beliefs are in harmony with the basic tenets of the world’s most popular religions and spiritual traditions. As a loving and supportive spiritual community we encourage each person to pray regularly, think clearly, feel openly, and love expansively.

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Meditation Reflection Universe Person Sunset Waves

Mimamsa

Mimamsa or Mīmāṃsā Mimamsa or Mīmāṁsā (मीमांसा) is a Sanskrit word that means “reflection“ or “critical investigation” and thus refers to a tradition of contemplation which reflected on the meanings of certain Vedic texts. This tradition is also known as Pūrva-Mīmāṁsā because of its focus on the earlier (pūrva) Vedic texts dealing with ritual actions, and...

Hinduism and Judaism

Hinduism And Judaism

Hinduism And Judaism Hinduism and Judaism are among the oldest existing religions in the world, although Judaism came much later. The two share some similarities and interactions throughout both the ancient and modern worlds. Theological similarities Scholarly efforts to compare Hinduism and Judaism were popular during the Enlightenment era, in the process of arguing the deistic worldview. Hananya Goodman states that Hinduism...

Indian Marriage Ceremony Bride TraditionalIndian Marriage Ceremony Bride Traditional

Samskara

Samskara (rite of passage) Samskara (saṃskāra or samskara) are rites of passage in a human being’s life described in ancient Sanskrit texts, as well as a concept in the karma theory of Indian philosophies. The word literally means “putting together, making perfect, getting ready, to prepare”, or “a sacred or sanctifying ceremony” in ancient...

Hindu Temple Temple Religion Building Tourism

What Is Hinduism?

What Is Hinduism? Hinduism, known as Sanātana Dharma, (सनातन धर्म) and Vaidika-Dharma by most Hindus, is a worldwide religious tradition rooted in Indian culture and based on the teachings of the Vedas. Hinduism is the third largest religion, with a following of over one billion people, encompassing many diverse beliefs and schools. The scholarly estimates...

Gold Monastery tibetan india dharma symbol

Sanatana Dharma

Sanatana Dharma Sanatana Dharma or Sanātana Dharma (सनातन धर्म, meaning “eternal dharma“, “eternal order“) is an endonym used by scholars to refer to Hinduism. It refers to the “eternal” truth and teachings of Hinduism. It can also be translated as “the natural and eternal way to live”. The term is used in Indian...

Praying at the feet of a statue of Bahubali

What Is Jainism?

What Is Jainism? Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is a dharmic religion with its origins in the prehistory of India, still practiced today by several million people. Jainism has as its religious ideal the perfection of man’s nature. The universe is seen as being eternal—having no beginning and no end—precluding God from being...

Guru Gobind Singh's birthplace in Patna, Bihar.

Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh Guru Gobind Singh (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708), born Gobind Das or Gobind Rai was the tenth Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet, and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was executed by Aurangzeb, Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at the age of nine, becoming the tenth and...

Folios from a Janamsakhi published in the 19th century, now at Asian Art Museum San Francisco.

Janamsakhis

Janamsakhis The Janamsakhis (ਜਨਮਸਾਖੀ, Janam-sākhī, lit. birth stories), are legendary biographies of Guru Nanak – the founder of Sikhism. Popular in Sikh history, these texts are considered by scholars as imaginary hagiographies of his life story, full of miracles and travels, built on a Sikh oral tradition and some historical facts. The first Janamsakhis were composed between 50...

Udasis protected many Sikh Gurdwaras in the 18th century, managed them in the 19th century. They built simple shrines far from Punjab. Above: an Udasi shrine in Nepal.

Sects Of Sikhism

Sects Of Sikhism Sects of Sikhism or Sub-traditions, also known as Samparda in Punjabi language are sub-traditions within Sikhism that believe in different approaches to practicing the religion. While all sampradas believe in Waheguru and one creator, do not believe in idol worship or caste system, different interpretation have emerged over time, some of...

Pedigree of Sikh Gurus

Sikh Gurus

Sikh Gurus The Sikh Gurus (ਸਿੱਖ ਗੁਰੂ) are the spiritual masters of Sikhism, who established this religion over the course of about two and a half centuries, beginning in 1469. The year 1469 marks the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. He was succeeded by nine other gurus until, in...

A page from a Janamsakhi manuscript with the story about Guru Nanak at a school.

Singh Sabha Movement

Singh Sabha Movement The Singh Sabha Movement was a Sikh movement that began in Punjab in the 1870s in reaction to the proselytising activities of Christians, Hindu reform movements (Brahmo Samajis, Arya Samaj) and Muslims (Aligarh movement and Ahmadiyah). The movement was founded in an era when the Sikh Empire had been dissolved and annexed by the British, the Khalsa had lost its prestige,...

Preserved as MS Panj D4 at the British Library, this is one folio from a Gutka published in 1830 CE and acquired by Jind Kaur, also known as Maharani Jindan (1817–1863) – wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire. The Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib is a thick text of some 1430 pages. It is placed in the sanctum of a Sikh temple. For private collections, the Sikh tradition has been to acquire a Gutka (plural: Gutke). A Gutka is a short anthology of a few principal hymns.A popular version is a Panj-granthi gutka, or one that has five major hymns. The early Gutke were elaborately illustrated. The manuscript Panj D4 contains three hymns from the Gurū Granth Sāhib: Sidh Gosti of Guru Nanak, Bavan Akhari and Sukhmani of Guru Arjan. Each hymn starts with the left side depicting a colored illustration, while the text is on the right in Gurmukhi script with white letters and embellishments on a black background. This illustration depicts Guru Nanak as a young man in dialogue with the Siddhas (Hindu ascetics). This is a photograph of the manuscript created and published in 1830 CE. The 2D-Art licensing guidelines of wikimedia commons therefore apply. Any rights I have as a photographer, I herewith donate to wikimedia under its CC4.0 terms. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or fewer. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1925. This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

Waheguru

Waheguru Waheguru or Vahiguru also spelt and pronounced Vahguru, is the distinctive name of the Supreme Being in the Sikh dispensation, like YHWH in Judaism and Allah in Islam. In Sikh Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, the term does not figure in the compositions of the Gurus, though it occurs therein, both as Vahiguru and...

This Image from the third oldest Guru Nanak Janam Sakhi manuscript known (Bhai Sangu Mal MS, published in August 1733 CE, preserved at the British Library)

Five Virtues

Five Virtues In Sikhism, the Five Virtues are fundamental qualities which one should develop in order to reach Mukti, or to reunite or merge with God. The Sikh Gurus taught that these positive human qualities were Sat (truth), Daya (compassion), Santokh (contentment), Nimrata (humility), and Pyaar (love). Sat Sat is the virtue of truthful living, which means practising “righteousness,...

Diwali celebrations in United Kingdom.

List Of Sikh Festivals

List Of Sikh Festivals This is the list of festivals observed by the followers of the Sikh religion. Festival Date Observed Description Maghi January 14 This festival commemorates the Battle of Muktsar and was initially chosen by Sri Guru Amar Das Ji for Sikhs to attend the Gurdwara. Parkash Utsav...

Gautama Buddha at Long Sơn Temple, Nha Trang.

Religion In Vietnam

Religion In Vietnam The majority of Vietnamese do not follow any organized religion, instead participating in one or more practices of folk religions, such as venerating ancestors, or praying to deities, especially during Tết and other festivals. Folk religions were founded on endemic cultural beliefs that were historically affected by Confucianism and Taoism from China, as...

A Confucian church in Surabaya, Indonesia

Confucian Church

Confucian Church The Confucian church (孔教会; Kǒng jiàohuì or Rú jiàohuì) is a Confucian religious and social institution of the congregational type. It was first proposed by Kang Youwei (1858–1927) near the end of the 19th century, as a state religion of Qing China following a European model. The “Confucian church” model was later replicated by overseas Chinese communities, who established independent Confucian churches...

Priest paying homage to Confucius's tablet, c. 1900

What Is Confucianism?

What Is Confucianism? Confucianism (儒家, rújiā, literally “The School of the Scholars“; or, less accurately, 孔教 kŏng jiào, “The Religion of Kong”) is an East Asian school of ethical, philosophical, and (more contentiously) religious thought originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese sage Confucius (551 – 479 B.C.E.). As a school of thought, it...

The gates of the Temple of Confucius in Datong, Shanxi.

Confucianism Explained

Confucianism Explained By Confucianism is meant the complex system of moral, social, political, and religious teaching built up by Confucius on the ancient Chinese traditions, and perpetuated as the State religion down to the present day. Confucianism aims at making not simply the man of virtue, but the man of...

Chinese Style Architecture Confucian Temple

Progressive Confucianism

Progressive Confucianism Progressive Confucianism (进步儒学; jìn bù rú xué) is a term of philosophy coined by Stephen C. Angle in his book Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Toward Progressive Confucianism (2012). Progressive Confucianism refers to a contemporary approach of Confucianism that aims to promote individual and collective moral progress. It explores themes such as political authority and morality, the rule of...

Tibetan chart for bloodletting based on the Luoshu square. The Luoshu, the Hetu, liubo boards, sundials, Han diviner's boards (shì 式) and luopan for fengshui, and the derived compass, as well as TLV mirrors, are all representations of Di as the north celestial pole.

Religious Confucianism

Religious Confucianism Religious Confucianism is an interpretation of Confucianism as a religion. It originated in the time of Confucius with his defense of traditional religious institutions of his time such as the Jongmyo rites, and the Ritual Music System. The Chinese name for Religious Confucianism is Rujiao (儒教; rujiao), in contrast with Secular Confucianism which...