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Mazdâyanâ Daenism
Endlessknot
Major Prophets Bahram Bidar, Bahman, Li Feizi, Kui Yang, Han Shang, Li Ci
Scripture Sutra of Daena, Esoteric Sutra, Treatise on Suffering, Book of the Lotus
Region Indrala, Mikuni-Hulstria, Sekowo, Dankuk, Xsampa
Founded fourth century CE
Branched from Daenism
Liturgical language Ancient Aldegarian


Mazdâyanâ Daenism is one of the three main branches of Daenism, focused primarily on various celestial Bidars and practiced in West Dovani and in Xsampa. Mazdâyanâ was born in the 4th century in Aldegar, largely as a reaction to the older and more conservative Upayanâ school. Mazdayanists teach that enlightenment is possible within a single lifetime, and that it is accessible even to laypeople. Mazdayana also believes in the existence of a timeless, all-powerful, and imperishable Bidar-nature that is present in all beings and that is fully awakened in enlightened beings, and its ethical practices emphasize the assumption of the Bidarhasti (OOC: Bodhisattva) path, the path of universal compassion seeking Bidarhood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

NameEdit

The Aldegarian name of the school means "Vehicle of Wisdom", referring to the path of the Bidarhasti that aims to provide enlightenment to all sentient beings. In Gao-Indralan Languages the tradition is known as 明乘 (Míngchéng, Myōshō), with the character "明" meaning knowledgeable and/or bright, leading to the translation as the "Radiant Vehicle".

HistoryEdit

The early history of Mazdayana is not fully known, other than that it emerged as a distinct movement within Daenism around the fourth century in Aldegar, largely as a reaction to the formalization of Daenic doctrine by the Upayana school. The earliest Mazdayana communities did nonetheless seem to have shared the same monastic code and practices as their Upayana counterparts, and there was at the time no distinct Mazdayana lineage or separate Sangha. Indeed one could find Mazdayana and Upayana monks in the same monasteries, jointly participating in communal meals and rituals, and distinguished only by the texts they would read.

Bahman

Bahman, a 5th century Mazdâyanâ Aldegarian monk credited with introducing Daenism to Indrala

The earliest evidence of the veneration of celestial Bidars, the most distinguishing aspect of Mazdayana, comes from the time of the early Rostamid Dynasty, during which devotional inscriptions bearing the names of the Frâdat-vîspãm-hujyâiti Bîdâr and the Ameshamithra Bîdâr were created. There is evidence that under the Rostamids both Mazdayana and Zamanism enjoyed royal patronage before the dynasty's conversion to Hosianism, leading to the hypothesis that Mazdayana beliefs concerning Bidar-nature may have developed out of the Zamani concept of the universal luminous soul, part of God, that is trapped into the material world.

While there was a variety of different beliefs within early Mazdayana, including a proto-Zensho focus on Emptiness, the Consciousness-only school prevailed and came to become synonymous with Mazdayana. This is the school that later spread to Dovani, although Mazdayanists also transmitted some Emptiness texts. The interaction between traditional Gao-Showa philosophy and the Emptiness texts led to a reaction against the Consciousness-only school and the emergence of Zenshō as a distinct sect of Daenism.

BeliefsEdit

The fundamental belief of Mazdayana is the possibility of universal enlightenment and liberation from suffering for all beings, and the existence of Bidars and Bidarhastis embodying the Bidar-nature. The Bidar-nature is seen as an omnipotent and almighty deity endowed with numerous supernatural attributes.

Mazdayana also has a rich cosmology, with various Bidars and Bidarhastis presiding over and residing in numerous Celestial Realms (Ancient Aldegarian: Mainyavadah'yu, Gao-Indralan: 天國). Each Bidar's boundless compassion generates a Celestial Realm, or Bidar Land, where, under various conditions, their devotees could be reborn after death so that they could strive towards enlightenment under the best possible conditions. Depending on sect, rebirth into the Bidar Land could be achieved by devotion, faith, charity, or even just reciting the Bidar's name. The most popular of the Celestial Realms is that of the Ameshamithra Bidar, the most widely venerated Bidar in Mazdayana.

Ameshamithra Bidar

Statue of Ameshamithra Bidar and two Bidarhastis

Mazdayanists also believe that the Bidar-nature is to be found in every human, god, or ghost, and that perceiving this hidden Bidar-nature ultimately results in enlightenment and liberation from the cycle of rebirth and redeath. The Bidar-nature is uncreated, uncaused, unconditioned, incapable of being destroyed, and beyond rational understanding, and yet it is more real than the fleeting nature of life in hamjarian, the endless cycle of rebirths. Because the Bidar-nature in unenlightened beings has been temporarily concealed by various defilements, once the defilements of the unenlightened mind are removed, the being's inherent Bidar-nature shines forth, free from corruption, and the being becomes a Bidar.

PracticesEdit

Pilgrims Xsampa

Lay pilgrims at a monastery in Xsampa

Contrary to the popular belief that Mazdayana has a greater focus on lay practice than other branches of Daenism, the sect does in fact have a firmly established monastic tradition, with virtually identical vows and requirements, and with a fundamental role within Mazdayana practice. However, the belief that enlightentment is available to all beings and not just monks has led to the development of several practices aimed primarily at the laity.

The core practice of Mazdayana is the nurturing of each believer's potential Bidar nature and nurturing it to produce the fruit of Bidarhood. Since all beings have an innate enlightened mind, attempting to see the world in terms of ultimate truth and removing the defilements that conceal the Bidar nature are central practices within the sect. A common form of mindfulness is meditative contemplation and visualization of the Ameshamithra Bidar, his attendant Bidarhastis, and his Celestial Realm. Repeating his name, vocally or mentally and with or without the use of prayer beads is also believed to grant the practitioner rebirth into his Celestial Realm.

Mazdayana also has a complex system of initiation lineages, placing much focus on master-disciple relationship, whereby the disciple is seen to share in the master's mindstream and specific spiritual achievements. Mazdayana teachings are esoteric, in the sense that they can only be transmitted within the master-disciple relationship and cannot be learned from a book. The teachings are secret not because they are meant to be hidden from uninitiated outsiders, but because they are not valid outside the teacher-student lineage, and because they demand a certain degree of maturity from the disciple, without which they can be dangerous to one's health and mental well-being.


Gao Gao-Showans
Peoples Central: KunihitoSekowansKyo | Northern: UtariWelang | Southern: IndralansĐinhPhra | Western: TukareseMu-TzeBianjie
Languages Gao-Indralan: KunikataSekowanKyoIndralanĐinhPhraUtari | Jelbo-Tukaric: PanmuanBianjie
Regions DovaniSeleyaGao-SotoSekowoDankukIndralaTukaraliJinlianDaliborGreat North Dovani PlainKalistanBianjie
History Empire of Gao-SotoKingdom of SekowoHistory of SekowoHistory of IndralaHistory of DranlandHistory of TukaraliGreat Sekowian WarSouthern Hemisphere War
Religion Gao-Showan ReligionsDaenismMazdâyanâZenshōKamismGuidaoJienismKanzo