|Type||Indigenous Malivian religion|
|Theistic philosophy||Polytheistic, henotheistic, monotheistic, atheistic|
|Major Pantheon||Seven Gods|
|Minor Pantheon||Numerous demi-gods, demons and spirits|
Geraja is a religion that originated in the mountains of the Walkunia region of The Most Serene Commonwealth of Malivia. The number of followers of the religion is around 40 million with most living in Malivia. Geraja is a polythesistic religion with 7 major gods and countless demigods reflecting the different aspects of life and nature. It's followers are divided into branches based on which of the gods they hold supreme, however the church is held together through the Swami Council. This body consists of the leader of each faction of Geraja and is lead by the Raja, currently Raja Sameer O.D. Reinbeau. The council is located at Serenity Temple in Walkunia, Malivia.
The beliefs of Geraja center on personal development through education, meditation, and service. By following the Path, one improves oneself through successive lives until one achieves unity with the cosmos and is elevated to demigod status.
Depending on the current political landscape, the religion serves as the state religion of Malivia, and the Raja also served as the Head of State for Malivia. Originally by constitutional mandate, but currently by election.
- 1 History
- 2 Beliefs
- 3 Modern Gerajan Church
- 4 Gods and Mythology
- 4.1 The Gerajan Pantheon
Geraja has no single founder and has existed in Walkunia for thousands of years. It is widely believed to be the oldest religion still practiced in Terra. The earliest written records of the Binnu tribes, descendents of the ethnic Malivs that came to occupy Walkunia, show an already well developed pantheon of gods and demi-gods, rituals and temple hierarchy, lending weight to the argument that Geraja indeed predates written history.
Prior to the mid 700's CE, Geraja was primarily limited to the inhabitants of the Tanahair mountains. With the invasion by the Svrin Protectorate in the 750's, many Gerajan followers joined the Svrin military and began to spread their ideas to the inhabitants of the lowlands.
The dedication to service, and focus on self improvement, appealed to the Protectorate ideal and the Svrins were soon adapting to the Gerajan way of life. However, its focus on meditation did not resonate with the traders or sailors of the coastal regions and thus was not widely carried outside of present day Malivia. This was further hampered with the Gerajan prohibition of proselytism to those who have not expressed an interest in the church. Gerajan pockets however, can be found in countries bordering the Carak Ocean, and Gejeran myths have influenced the cultural stories of many ethnic groups in those areas.
Later the religion split into two Confessions because of a conflict whether which god is the most important god or whether all gods are same important.. The devision was so deply, that the two confessions adopted two different languanges. This languanges are called German and English.
In the modern Malivia , the atheism grows and so the influence of the Geraja shrink.
Modern Gerajan Church
The church has achieved strong economic stability through the opening of a chain of hotels and casinos throughout the nation. The first of which was based on the Serenity Temple. It features a 4 star hotel and casino with daily shows and fireworks. The casinos main draw are the prayer wheel slot machines.
Former Political Support
The Protectorate party serves as the political arm of the Gerajan church.
Modern Political Support: ISACON
The International Society of Aculaguna Consciousness is a term for several different, intimately connected religious and political movements that were founded in 2379 as the Order of the Heavenly Kingdom/Terrestrial Aculaguna. They believe that Aculaguna manifests Himself in a human form every generation, called the Acula Lama, that serves to better guide his adherents and Malivia as a whole. The original Acula Lama, Jermaine Patel, grew from abject poverty to become the most powerful figure in Malivia. After his death, ISACON withdrew from politics to focus on personal self-reflection and other religious endeavors. Several centuries went by before ISACON decided to re-enter the political realm with the current incarnation of the Acula Lama, Bindusar Singh, in charge. ISACON named its political arm the Disciples of the Acula Lama and by 2655, His Holiness Bindusar Singh became Ourapath (Prime Minister) as well as the elected Maharaja (head of state). He has held both posts since then.
Gods and Mythology
Geraja is a polytheistic religion based around a pantheon of 7 gods, one godhead, and a host of demi-gods, demons and spirits that differ from community to community.
The Gerajan Pantheon
Geraja has eight major gods, and thousands of minor demigods and spirits that differ from place to place. The stories and specific beliefs about the eight major gods also differ by region, but include the same general details and role for the god in the Gerajan religion.
Aculaguna – ‘The Thread of Eternity’
The godhead of the pantheon, Aculaguna is both the creator of the universe and the universe. ‘Aculaguna’ can be translated as both ‘seven strand,’ referring to the other seven gods in the pantheon, and ‘the thread of eternity,’ referring to the god’s status as all things that ever were and are to be. In this sense, Aculaguna is not a god in a direct sense, but is an embodiment of the Gerajan belief that all things are part of the same universal whole, and though generally male, tends not to be visually portrayed in art and is rarely revered on his own. Aculaguna is also the only god never to have taken physical form on Terra.
Ajana Alla – ‘Womb of the Mother’
The goddess Ajana Alla is sometimes credited as the creator of the world, sometimes as the creator of the universe. Her relationship to Aculaguna is uncertain under the latter belief; sometimes they are spouses, sometimes she is being her own mother, thus the translation ‘womb of the mother.’ Ajana Alla is also believed to be embodied in Terra itself, lending religious conviction to the concern many Malivians have for the environment, as well as her association with farming.
The patron god of all things concerning life, birth, families and growth, she is especially revered in rural communities, where they are especially dependent on her grace. Ajana Alla is portrayed as a middle aged woman, usually in working clothes and sometimes pregnant depending on what she is being called upon for. Avatars of Ajana Alla include the Zoka River, Queen Citti and the wanderer Gaura.
Maha – ‘The Luminous Elephant’
The recognized head of the gods, Maha is associated with the sun and laws, especially the ancient Gerajan caste system. Though the latter has been deemphasized in modernity, Maha was long associated with a rigid adherence to the letter of the law. In the last 300 years Maha’s teachings have shifted to emphasize cooperative action, obedience to elders and duty to family and community. Many priests of Maha still preach a modified caste system, admonishing those who do not take up the professions of their parents, but this is unofficially frowned upon by Gerajan leaders.
The patron god of political leaders, legislators and kings, Maha is revered by anyone with ambition towards authority, both to achieve it and to use it wisely and for the good of all. Maha is portrayed alternately as an elephant with the sun carried between its tusks and a man carrying the sun in one hand and a staff in the other. Avatars of Maha include the One King Hudut, the elephant mount of Kubbra, and the philosopher Barivarda.
Duka – ‘The Storm’
The god of change, death and renewal, Duka is the god that takes the soul of the deceased to Waktu for judgment and reincarnation. His place in the pantheon, as both destroyer, renewer, and source of sexual desire, is a reflection of the unique Gerajan view of life. In Geraja, dying at your appointed time is the key to reaching enlightenment, and is the ultimate form of release. Duka embodies that release, be it from a form to another, sexual release, or release from one life into the next. Duka is the most widely worshipped God in Geraja, and his temples are filled with those seeking a proper death for their relatives, those seeking sexual energy and power, or those seeking change.
Duka is associated with rain and storms, which in Malivia includes the nourishing daily rains of the forests and the devastating typhoons that come annually. He is portrayed as an incredibly handsome man with long hair, a snake coiled around his neck and some form of spear in his hands. Avatars of Duka include Prince Prabhajana, the monk Resman, and the storm that wiped out a fleet of pale skinned invaders in the epic of Resman.
Putera – ‘The Enlightened Protector’
Putera is unique among the Gerajan pantheon, as it is believed he was a human that achieved godhood with the aid of Zirafah. Though the gods tolerate Putera, he is looked on as a mischievous child, and often plays that part in Gerajan epics. Putera was a generous merchant who traveled from city to city selling his wares, but would only leave with as much as he came with, giving his profits to the poor and dispossessed. After he was run out of a town by its mayor, Zirafah approached Putera and taught him the path to divinity.
Putera is the god of compassion, mercy and humor, and is the patron god of the poor and those in need. Along with Zirafah, Putera often interferes with Maha’s plans when individual people are being hurt or neglected by those in authority. Putera’s temples are usually small, and most priests of Putera run community or social services as their ministries. Putera is portrayed as a slightly portly, ever cheerful man surrounded by children, often handing out candies and money from his bags. Putera has no avatars, being a human to being with, but is recorded as returning to Terra in physical form in several epics.
Zirafah – ‘The Outsider’
Often confused with the Judeo-Christian devil, Zirafah is the god of technology, invention and personal liberty. According to some beliefs, Zirafah was the first child of Aculaguna and Ajana Alla, and held a grudge against Maha for seizing control of the pantheon. Others record Zirafah as infatuated with a human woman but was forbidden to marry her by Maha. Either belief leads Zirafah to rebel against Maha’s set order for the universe and be banished to Terra. Zirafah is believed to have founded Geraja in and attempt to teach humans the way to enlightenment, and through enlightenment the path to divinity.
Zirafah is the patron god of craftsmen, inventors, explorers and, in recent years, entrepreneurs. In some communities Zirafah is also the god of the wrongly accused, and is called on to protect them from unjust prosecution. He is portrayed as a hooded figure whose face must always remain hidden under order of Maha, who ordained that Zirafah would have to live as a human and never show his divinity until he repented his ways. Zirafah is confined to his one form, but is identified as a number of key figures acting as advisors and assistants in Gejeran epics, including One Eyed Visama, Tejobhiru, and the Forge of Bhuja.
Waktu – ‘The Eyeless Arbiter’
The goddess of judgment and wisdom, Waktu is responsible for appraising the souls of the dead, and then assigning them for reincarnation. The daughter of Maha and Samatar, she sits at the mouth of the estuary to the Sea of the Tadeha, a sea of rotting flesh made of those who have fallen so far from the Path to Enlightenment that Waktu cannot find a single living creature they are worthy to become. She sought after Zirafah before his banishment, and agreed to reincarnate the souls of humans out of her love for him. In his anger, Maha took her eyes, preventing her from ever finding her way out of the estuary, and commanded she remain blind until every living thing had achieved Enlightenment.
Waktu is the patron goddess of teachers and judges, and remains neutral in celestial politics due to being confined to the underworld. Her temples offer instruction and assistance on how to achieve Enlightenment, as her priests attempt to aid their goddess in serving her sentence. Waktu is portrayed as a young woman with empty eye sockets, either holding a carpet that represents the souls she judges, or the scroll into which she records each death and reincarnation. Watku has only one avatar, that of Anuraki, as whom she would have Zirafah’s human child Goni.
Samatar – ‘The Preserver’
The goddess of medicine and reconciliation, Samatar is the former consort of Maha and mediates disputes between gods and demi-gods. It was Samatar that convinced the gods to accept Putera as a god in order to prevent outright war between Zirafah and Mahu, and she also convinced Maha to spare Watku’s life after she assisted Zirafah in teaching humans the Path to Enlightenment. Though she is still loyal to Maha, she disapproves of his refusal to compromise, and continues to attempt to convince Zirafah to give up his fight against Maha.
Samatar is the patron goddess of doctors, nurses, counselors and diplomats. She is portrayed as an elderly woman with a cane, often riding an ox drawn wagon. Samatar’s temples are known for being places of healing and solace, and are often filled with those seeking physical or spiritual relief. She has few full time priests, most of whom have day jobs as doctors of counselors. Samatar’s avatars include Trai the Crone, Andavana, and the Healer of Pranaprepsu.
|Demographics||Ethnic groups: Malivians |
|Culture||Sport - Armed Forces|