Ramvokism

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 This article is a B-class article. It is written to a good standard. This article is part of Project Exodus.

Ramvokism is an ancient, universalizing Korati henotheistic religion that originated in The Korat region of Assai around the end of 34th century Ʋ. Although the faith reflects a broad system of traditions, texts, and philosophies, it has shared similar concepts, rituals, cosmology, theology, and eschatology. It is the world's second largest religion (after Ainism), accounting for nearly 16% of the world's population, with over 2.6 billion adherents, and makes up the majority or plurality in Southern Kai-Meridia, including the Riden Peninsula and parts of Western Assai. The religion is named after the prophet, Ram, who is considered the Patriarch of the Masterful Sages, a group of accepted Ramvokite saints and other holy figures. Practitioners are known as Ramvokites. Believers acknowledge the existence of a creator god (the Supreme and Unknowable God, "Ai", or "Jäh"), though practitioners generally direct their devotion to one of the four rushin (literally goddesses or spirits): Estas (the Azure Goddess), Sonder (the Violet Goddess), Rinakesh (the Rose Goddess), and Ando (the Emerald Goddess). Other major features of the faith is the belief in reincarnation, messianism, and heaven and hell. It views the natural and human world as contradictory, which results in imbalance and disharmony, and ultimately suffering. Ramvokists believe that humanity is in need of order and harmony in order to avoid existential dread and chaos, which can be remediated through embracement of the Four Goddesses. The primary scriptural canon accepted universally across the Ramvokist faith are the Benyi, a collection of sayings, letters, and treatises attributed to the Masterful Sages. Ramvokism developed out of centuries-long tradition of preexisting religious beliefs in The Korat, retroactively referred to by modern scholars as Benyism (after the Benyi), with the Revelations of Ram (a major foundational text of the modern Benyi canon) considered instrumental in formulating the basis of what became the distinct Ramvokist religion.

Ramvokism is traditionally divided into four cults, each dedicating their focus on one of the four goddesses. Each cult maintains their own system of internal scriptures, legal systems and laws, pantheon of minor deities and spirits, clergy, moral code, curated accordingly to the attributes of their patron goddess. In addition, within each cult are a number of different schools of jurisprudence, which operate and maintain their own form of hermeneutics, patron saints, feasts, and customs. A central theological understanding and theme in Ramvokism is balance, with the division of the faith into four cults viewed as necessary and essential. Although practitioners are encouraged to follow one cult, peaceful coexistence and harmonious fellowship with members of the other three cults are viewed as exemplary actions to draw closer to God.

The religion lacks an internationally centralized authority or system of beliefs. Modern Ramvokism has been divided into denominations, which unlike the cults, arose not due to theological differences or divine focus, but primarily out of political reasons. Traditionally, Ramvokist denominations have tended to organize around a secular, state government, which fused the secular with the religious. The largest denomination of this kind is Káism, the state religion of Kaishuri and several other Kai nations, which syncretized Ramvokism with Jähimajism, the traditional faith of the Kaijin, and recognizes the Kai Emperor as its intercessor and high priest (pope). Ramvokism's texts and traditions have had a profound effect on secular Kai-Meridian ethics and civil law, and is considered the mother religion of Ainism (an offshoot religion centered around the teachings of the Messianic figure Ematan), which has had an equally profound and important impact on Kai-Meridian morality and culture. Ramvokism has a played a prominent role in the development of Kaijin civilization and has seen moderate success as a proselytizing faith worldwide. Its transition from an ethnic religion to a universal religion is the result of the Ramvokist Reformation, a 42nd century response to the rise and development of Ainism, which was condemned as heresy.

Beliefs[edit | edit source]

Concepts of God[edit | edit source]

The Eyes of Ai

Ramvokists believe that the universe was created by God, who has no beginning and has no end. God embodies the Absolute and represents all that exists within and outside the universe, and domiciles in the spiritual plane of existence. They assert that God is beyond comprehension and thus, believers should not attempt to visualize, conceptualize, or anthropomorphize him. God is referred to as the "Supreme and Unknowable God" and asserts that the division between the physical and spiritual world prevents humans from fully knowing and accessing God in their present state. Nonetheless, God is omnipresent, omniscient, immortal, and almighty, whose infinite glory manifests himself in all forms of life and energies throughout the universe. Since God exists at an infinitely higher plane of comprehension, true understanding of him can only be achieved by proxy through attuning one's self closer to his creation through cultivating faith, exercising balance, and worshipping the Four Goddesses. By focusing on his creation and appreciating the universe God has created, faith and contemplation of life brings one closer to the knowledge and embracement of God. The personal names of God is Ai and Jäh. Ramvokists believe that all other gods in every other religion are either the same god (Ai) or lesser gods sent by Ai to minister to the people according to their cultural context. They assert that any claims that other such gods are superior to in rank than Ai are fabrications and distortion of the original truth.

Although Ai is often referred to in masculine terms and qualities, this is only figurative as Ramvokists hold that God has no actual gender or sex, but expresses both masculine and feminine qualities that complete him. This contrasts with the Four Goddesses who are explicitly gendered female in the conventional sense. Ai is also complete and whole, who is not part of the universe nor of the universe, but transcends it. At the same time, Ai is also divinely simple, with no different parts or composite. Ai's attributes are what he is, not what he has, thus, the statement "Ai is love" is the Ramvokist claim that all love ultimately derives from and is manifested as Ai himself.

The Four Goddesses[edit | edit source]

Creation of Rushin by Kai painter Jahgra Kanai depicts Ai creating the rushin

Ramvokists believe that God created four distinct deities (known as rushin; Kai R.svgKai U.svgKai S.svgKai H.svgKai I.svgKai N.svg) to represent and embody the attributes and values of himself in the physical world, specifically Sabel. They are ordered as Estas, Sonder, Rinakesh, and Ando. The Four Goddesses are a quadriad of deities entrusted by the Creator to watch over his creation on the world. The Four Goddesses are thus responsible for maintaining and preserving divine order over the world and carry out the will of God for the benefit of God's creation. Although each goddess possesses her own distinct and unique personality and attributes, the four goddess are equal in status, importance, and power, and cannot exist without one another, and are thus unified in purpose and duty. The Four Goddesses are often the principal target deities of worship, with practitioners normally expected to dedicate their devotion to one particular goddess, often corresponding to the prescribed patron goddess of their birth of origin. Worship to each of the goddesses are formally organized into cults which each maintain their own system of laws, clergy, liturgical feasts, texts, moral codes, and expectations which are deemed compatible with the said goddess. Each are accepted by one another as valid modalities on the expression of Ramvokist faith, and the diversity in venerating the goddesses is expected and widely accepted. While laymen are encouraged to devote their spiritual energy towards their patron goddess, they are by no means bounded to one and are encouraged to embrace all of the goddesses. Clergy and members of monastic orders however, have traditionally expected to revere their patron goddess, as only Ramvokist high priests (usually a secular leader such as the Kai Emperor) are expected to serve all four goddesses and the Supreme God simultaneously.

Unlike God, the Four Goddesses possess physical bodies, are finite, not immortal, not omniscient, and not omnipotent. In addition, they are metaphysically separate and independent from God, which contrasts with the Quadritarian view of God advocated in Ainism, which claims the Four Goddesses are actually four consubstantial persons of the Supreme Godhead, which itself is merely the entire Universe. Although Ramvokists believe the Four Goddesses are, to some extent, a projection of God, they do not believe that they themselves constitute a direct part of God's personhood. As inferior gods, the four goddesses thus rank below God and some scriptural text, including those found in the core Benyi books, implies the existence of an intermediary tier of beings between God and the goddesses, suggesting that there are other worlds which are subject to the divine jurisdiction of gods greater than the Four Goddesses. They are also not eternal as they were created. In the Benyi, the Asura creation myth states that the Four Goddesses were created by Ai in order to bring order and peace for His creation in Sabel.

Each goddess has attributes and roles in which reflects her affinity and imitation of God's own attributes. The following table provides a general overview of the major unique attributes and interactions between each of the four goddesses, as well as their general dispositions. All four goddesses are dominant in their general attributes but may have overlaps with others and are not exclusively bound to them, a key principle of Ramvokism known as yatkurs (literally, "free-flowing"), which plays a role in universal balance and harmony. Furthermore, Ramvokist cosmology asserts that the universe is naturally filled with contradictions, and this is reflected in the goddesses, who possess both transformative and limiting traits that support and restrict one another.

In addition, Ramvokism teaches that each of the four goddesses have multiple, physical incarnations that have appeared and existed in the physical world, and interacted with humans. These incarnations are known as "vujut bushin" (literally flesh spirit) and are venerated by practitioners in a similar manner to canonized human saints.

General Attributes and Relationships of the Four Goddesses

Responsive
(Antagonistic)
Resists
Emotional (Compatible)

Sensitive, Dramatic, Temperamental, Expressive

Reactive
(Antagonistic)
Resists
Extroverted
(Complimentary)

Social, Outgoing, Spontaneous, Energetic
(Less Extroverted)
← Obeys
(More Emotional)
Supports →
(Less Emotional)
← Accepts
(More Introverted)
Obeys →

Introverted
(Complimentary)

Solitary, Internalized, Meditative, Reserved
Eye of Estas.svg
Estas
Kai E.svgKai S.svgKai T.svgKai A.svgKai S.svg
Azure Goddess
Eye of Sonder.svg
Sonder
Kai S.svgKai O.svgKai N.svgKai D.svgKai E.svgKai R.svg
Violet Goddess
Universalism, Self-Denial, Love,
Selflessness, Passiveness, Pacifism
Humanism, Interpersonal, Empathy
Element: Water (水)
Season: Autumn
Direction: North
Controls: Life
Exceptions: Contained and Reserved
Dogmatism, Self-Criticism, Zeal,
Self-Awareness, Impulsiveness, Conservatism
Idealism, Intellectualism, Sympathy
Element: Earth (土‎)
Season: Winter
Direction: South
Controls: Time
Exceptions: Mundane and Energetic
(More Extroverted)
Controls →
Eye of Rinakesh.svg
Rinakesh
Kai R.svgKai I.svgKai N.svgKai A.svgKai K.svgKai E.svgKai S.svgKai H.svg
Rose Goddess
Eye of Ando.svg
Ando
Kai A.svgKai N.svgKai D.svgKai O.svg
Emerald Goddess
(Less Introverted)
← Controls
Pragmatism, Self-Reliance, Pride,
Self-Centeredness, Conditionalism, Neutrality
Utilitarianism, Economical, Antipathy
Element: Fire (火)
Season: Summer
Direction: West
Controls: Material
Exceptions: Sensitive and Solitary
Dynamism, Self-Changing, Wisdom,
Self-Respect, Transcendentalism, Activism
Nihilism, Reductionism, Apathy
Element: Air (气‎)/Void (空)
Season: Spring
Direction: East
Controls: Space
Exceptions: Outgoing and Expressive
(Less Rationall)
Accepts →
(More Rational)
← Supports

Reactive
(Antagonistic)
Harasses
Contained, Mundane, Dependable, Topical

Rational (Compatible)

Responsive
(Antagonistic)
Harasses

The General Attributes and Relationships places the Four Goddesses on a multi-axis model with two axes: one for disposition (emotional vs rational) and the other for energy (extroverted vs introverted), as a means to categorize and group the goddesses' orientation and attributes. Goddesses that share the same disposition are compatible while the same energy results in being complimentary towards each other. In addition, there is one additional measurement (responsive vs reactive). Goddesses that share the same quality in this measurement are antagonistic towards each other. However, this does not imply that the goddesses are in enmity towards one another, rather, they serve as one another's true counterpart. The relationship between antagonists formulate a large part of Ramvokist theology and discussed in a large corpus of Ramvokist texts. The absence of one goddesses would lead to the dominance of their antagonist counterpart, which brings chaos and disruption to the natural flow of life and energy.

Estas[edit | edit source]

Estas
Co-creator deity, Mother of Humanity, Goddess of life, love, family, animals, music, friendship, children, happiness, joy, peace, hope, fertility, sex, health, and medicine
Member of the Northern Pantheon
Eye of Estas.svg
Eye of Estas
Other names Azure Goddess, Queen of the North, Heart of Ai
Written name Estas (Name 1).svg (Ancient Korati)
Estas (Name 2).svg (Stylized Kai)
Kai E.svgKai S.svgKai T.svgKai A.svgKai S.svg (Standard Kai)
Affiliation The Four Goddesses
Symbols Bowtie, knot, tassel
Adherents Cult of Estas (Estasians)
Mount Cattle
Gender Female
Attributes Emotional, extroverted, responsive, universalist, compassionate, pacifist, more...
Idol Sayori.svg
Estas (Kai E.svgKai S.svgKai T.svgKai A.svgKai S.svg) is traditionally ordered as the first of the four goddesses. She is the Mother of Humanity and is thus responsible for providing life and nourishment for God's creation on planet Sabel. She embodies mostly positive and feminine attributes, including love, family, music, and happiness. Due to her attributes and status as the Mother of Humanity, she is one of the most worshipped deities in Ramvokism. As the goddess of beginnings, her name and incantations are used to bless the start of ceremonies, rites, and other religious events in Estasian houses of worship, and to a lesser extent, the houses of worship in other Ramvokist cults. Followers are encouraged to emulate her attributes and qualities, following a code of selflessness, altruism, benevolence, humility, and tolerance.

She is often portrayed as a young maiden with apricot-colored, short hair with blue eyes. Worship and veneration towards Estas is deemed essential to maintain balance in the world, as the absence of Estas would mean the absence of life, and consequently, death. Within the multi-axis model (which rates the four goddesses according to their disposition and energy along two axes), Estas is emotional and extroverted. She is compatible with Sonder, complimentary to Rinakesh, and is resistant towards Ando due to the nature of her attributes in comparison to theirs.

Among her attributes, Estas embodies a universalist approach towards life, accepting and embracing all, whilst denying her own self and self-interests. Although she is nominally passive and pacifist, her humanistic and interpersonal outlook generates empathy and indirect action out of compassion and concern. Her element is water, reflective of its cooling, soothing effect and its importance to life and vitality, as well as its physical properties (fluid and free-flowing). Although her disposition is emotional and her energy is extroverted, her self-denial and selflessness can manifest into the rational quality of contained and the introverted quality of being reserved if antagonized or neglected by believers. She is also prayed to in times of distress, and is said to comfort the souls suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. A prominent vujut bushin of Estas is Eyasi, who appeared as a young woman who fell in love with a mortal man, before hanging herself due to her fear that she was too burdensome to him. The icon of the hanging Eyasi is commonly prayed and meditated upon as a form of remorse and reflection by believers for the intrinsic suffering nature of Estas.

Her role in the creation of the world is dealt with heavily in the Benyi's creation myth, Divine Order, which places her as the preeminent force behind forming and creating the world as God willed it. Among her contributions to the world, the oceans are the result of her tears of joy upon seeing the first signs of life, the birds, who flew across the empty world, which allowed for the division between sea and land. All vegetation and other animals sprung forth from her works, and she provided them nourishment in order to propagate the different species existing on the planet.

As the goddess of life, health, and medicine, the principal field of magic within Estas' domain is regeneration and healing-related abilities. Other fields of magic attributed to Estas include communication with animals, gardening, love charms, and emotion-alteration. The principal corpus of Estasian magic is codified in the Motherly Codex, which forms part of the Cult of Estas' scriptural canon.

She is the patron goddess of the Kuzenewa Region in Kaishuri, where the de facto seat and center of the Cult of Estas is based in the Kuzenawan city of Mujedushika. In addition, she is often the secondary goddess of choice for practitioners devoted to the other goddesses, particularly followers of Sonder have generally chosen Estas as their second goddess in order of devotion. Estas was the paramount goddess during the Chen dynasty and the Southern Lushu dynasty of the Kaishuri and the Estasi Union in Assai.

The principal dzhar (corruption) of Estas is Karæstas (literally "Dark Estas") who is the manifestation of death, sorrow, suffering, hopelessness, and self-destruction. She is identified as one of the primary sources of evil in the universe, and can only be warded off by maintaining devotion to Estas.

Sonder[edit | edit source]

Sonder
Goddess of civilization, knowledge, wisdom, thoughts, philosophy, literature, writing, history, science, meditation, laws, martial arts, weaponry, and time
Member of the Southern Pantheon
Eye of Sonder.svg
Eye of Sonder
Other names Violet Goddess, Queen of the South, Eyes of Ai
Written name Kai S.svgKai O.svgKai N.svgKai D.svgKai E.svgKai R.svg (Standard Kai)
Affiliation The Four Goddesses
Symbols Scroll, knife, dagger
Adherents Cult of Sonder (Sonderians)
Mount Raccoon
Gender Female
Attributes Emotional, introverted, reactive, dogmatic, idealist, zealous, more...
Idol Yuri.svg
Sonder (Kai S.svgKai O.svgKai N.svgKai D.svgKai E.svgKai R.svg) is the goddess of civilization, knowledge, and wisdom. According to Ramvokist religious historiography, Sonder presided over the rise and development of humankind after they advanced from the "primordial, natural state" under the direction of Estas, the Mother of Humanity. Sonder embodies introspective and philosophical attributes. Although she is the goddess of science and laws, she is categorized as emotional, rather than logical, as her sense and pursuit for justice and knowledge is out of motivational desire, rather than pure objectivity. She is highly regarded in all cults, especially in her personal cult, the Cult of Sonder, which focuses on abiding by her pursuit of knowledge.

Generally depicted as a beautiful woman cloistered between scrolls and books, she has control over time as she records every action and deed that has occurred in the universe. As the goddess of law, she also presides over administering cosmic justice and will of Ai, rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked. For this reason, Sonder is described as dogmatic and zealous, who seeks to maintain order and stability throughout the universe based on divine law and code. Followers of Sonder are devoted to following a deontological framework built on a sense of duty, justice, devotion, and perfectionism. Self-awareness, self-criticism, idealism, sympathy, and obligation are central concepts championed by followers of Sonder.

Known as the "Eye of Ai", Sonder holds a prominent position in Ramvokism as the goddess with the most knowledge and access to Ai. According to Ramvokist eschatology, Sonder will play a role in activating the third eye of Ai, which some believe may be her. Upon activation of the third eye, all of creation will be regenerated and returned to a state of in utero. Many interpret this to mean the world restarting while others claim creation will return to Ai through Sonder. Various religious beliefs involving the fate of the universe and the theory of cyclic progression has been linked with Sonder, as well as Ando.

Worship and veneration of Sonder is viewed as necessary, as the goddess' absence would signify the end of civilization and a severed connection between the past and present, a link which is viewed as essential for humanity's onward, ongoing advancement. Within the multi-axis model, Sonder is emotional and introverted. She is compatible with Estas and is complimentary to Ando, and is resistant towards Rinakesh. Her element is earth, which reflects her firmness in belief and relative stability. Although her disposition is nominally emotional and her energy is introverted, Sonder's conservatism and zeal can manifest as the rational attribute of mundanity (banality) and the extroverted attribute of being energetic respectively. Such manifestations can be considered negative, as the former can lead to restrictive hyper-dogmatism and the latter to dangerous self-righteousness and extremism.

The magical fields of clairvoyance, premonitions, vexes, curses, physical enchantment, and certain forms associated with incanted phrases are attributed to Sonder and overseen by her devoted clergy. Sonderian discipline of magic is the most extensive and complex system of magic within the Ramvokist religion, and has served as a foundation for magic linked with the other three cults. The Eye of Ai is the primary form of text used by Sonder magicians, and is counted as one of the Six Classics of Sonder scriptural canon.

Sonder is the patron goddess of the Jurapumin Region in Kaishuri, where the de facto seat and center of the Cult of Sonder is based in the city of Balumgo. Sonder was the paramount goddess during the Western Alawazi dynasty, the Northern Lushu dynasty, and the Kadir dynasty.

Rinakesh[edit | edit source]

Rinakesh
Goddess of agriculture, artifacts, wealth, prosperity, luck, wrath, honor, masonry, carpentry, inventions, production, labor, warfare, cuisine, and materials
Member of the Western Pantheon
Eye of Rinakesh.svg
Eye of Rinakesh
Other names Rose Goddess, Queen of the West, Hand of Ai
Written name Kai R.svgKai I.svgKai N.svgKai A.svgKai K.svgKai E.svgKai S.svgKai H.svg (Standard Kai)
Affiliation The Four Goddesses
Symbols Coins, cats, confectionaries
Adherents Cult of Rinakesh (Rinakeshi)
Mount Eagle
Gender Female
Attributes Rational, extraverted, pragmatic, prideful, economical, utilitarian, reactive, sensitive, more...
Idol Natsuki.svg
Rinakesh (Kai R.svgKai I.svgKai N.svgKai A.svgKai K.svgKai E.svgKai S.svgKai H.svg) is the goddess of agriculture, wealth, inventions, warfare, prosperity, luck, and labor. She is traditionally ordered as the third of the Four Goddesses and presided over the development and rise of advanced agriculture and empire-building. She embodies practical and resourceful attributes, and is the patron goddess of various crafts and skills associated with technical jobs, trades, and other lines of work. She is one of the most worshipped deities in the Ramvokist pantheon due to her connection with money and wealth, and is often prayed to for good fortune and luck. She is categorized as rational and extroverted, with assertive, self-reliant, and proud attributes. Although her philosophy has been interpreted to be materialistic, this does not necessarily mean she is hedonistic, a lifestyle and worldview which is officially condemned as sinful and destructive by all Ramvokists. The goddess is proud for own achievements and works, but uses them for her own self-cultivation internally to improve the lives of others. Thus, Rinakesh is viewed as a symbol of motivation for all believers seeking self-worth and self-acceptance, two virtues which are necessary in uplifting the soul from negative thoughts and doubt.

She is often depicted as slender but short woman in fiery pink hair who wields a number of tools, often always including a scythe, hammer, or sword, to illustrate her industriousness and dedication to utility. As the goddess of agriculture, Rinakesh is prayed to for good harvests and bountiful yields, and has control over the agricultural production of nations. In addition, she is regarded as the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and luck, whose intervening hand can bless or curse humans depending on their faith and deeds. Followers are encouraged to exercise practicality, pragmatism, utilitarianism, rationality, and resourcefulness in life. Being productive, hard-working, and determined are viewed as essential values for a disciple of Rinakesh, as she is often depicted stooping down in the rice fields ploughing or harvesting. In the Divine Order, Rinakesh prepares a meal and builds a shelter to house herself, Estas, and Sonder. This event, according to Ramvokist historiography, in turn coincides with increased agricultural production and prosperity in Sabel, which initiates the Age of Rinakesh.

Rinakesh is often referred to as the "Hand of Ai". She is also depicted as the active force who administers justice and the wrath of Ai, by punishing the wicked and rewarding the righteous by those who have been judged. In Ramvokist tradition, the goddess is seen as the intervening, searching will of God, who seeks out the needs of mankind by giving them the tools and means to bring about change to their situation. Worship and devotion to Rinakesh is essential to sustaining civilization through labor and economy. Her absence would result in famine and sloth, which would lead to civilization itself collapsing. Under the multi-axis model, Rinakesh is extraverted and rational. She is compatible with Ando, complementary to Estas, and is antagonistic to Sonder. Her element is fire, which reflects her strength and pride, as well as transformative properties through destruction and creation. While she is considered extraverted and rational, her pride and self-centeredness can lead to the emotional trait of sensitivity and the introverted sense of solitude.

The magical fields of fire manipulation, metallurgy, enchantment of weapons and tools, transmutation, and craftsmanship fall under the order of Rinakesh. Rinakeshi magic has been developed and refined over the centuries by the magically gifted of Rinakeshi clergy, and includes adaptation of interdisciplinary magical arts associated with the other goddesses. The Sushra is the principal text for Rinakeshi magicians, and is also the only major book of magic that includes extensive information on non-magical arts and knowledge. It teaches practitioners to exercise self-reliance and to utilize their innate spirit force to enact change in the physical world.

Rinakesh is the patron goddess of the Ashayawi Region in Kaishuri, although the seat of the Cult of Rinakesh is based in the neighboring region of Hashai, which is the historical center of Rinakeshi devotees. She is commonly prayed to by other practitioners in times of need, especially due to her ability to bestow good fortune and wealth to the faithful and the needy. She has been the predominant goddess in a number of countries including Ninshuri and Erlvan.

Ando[edit | edit source]

Ando
Goddess of contradictions, illusion, mysticism, emptiness, perception, voices, shadows, weather, space, stars, spirits, and the unknown
Member of the Eastern Pantheon
Eye of Ando.svg
Eye of Ando
Other names Emerald Goddess, Queen of the East, Mouth of Ai
Written name Kai A.svgKai N.svgKai D.svgKai O.svg (Standard Kai)
Affiliation The Four Goddesses
Symbols Emerald, jade, blank slate
Adherents Cult of Ando (Andoans)
Mount None
Gender Female
Attributes Rational, introverted, dynamic, self-changing, versatile, transcendental, apathetic, more...
Idol Monika.svg
Ando (Kai A.svgKai N.svgKai D.svgKai O.svg) is the goddess of contradictions, illusion, mysticism, weather, space, and the unknown. She is traditionally ordered the fourth and last of the Four Goddesses, and is acknowledged as the heiress goddess of the cosmological era by virtually all Ramvokists (the goddess to succeed the currently reigning goddess, Sonder). Ando embodies transcendental and mystical attributes. She possesses rational and introverted attributes, but her dynamism makes her particularly unique and ubiquitous among the Four in her versatility and adaptability. She is known as the goddess of contradictions as she embodies virtues, attributes, and a philosophy that appears to counteract each other, which is essential to the "Great Mystery" attributed to her. Ando is said to be capable of possessing all three other goddesses' attributes simultaneously in a state similar to Ai himself. For this reason, Ando is at times regarded as the most powerful of the Four Goddesses, despite nominally ranking last in precedence. Her special position has given her the title of the "Mouth of Ai". She is highly revered in every cult but the Cult of Ando dedicates itself to search and explore the mystique of the Emerald Goddess, whose nature has been a source of much controversy and debate within the faith due to the cryptic nature of her scriptural canon and general attributes.

She is generally depicted as a brunette maiden donning a white bowtie on her head as a crest and has emerald-colored eyes. Her relationship with Ai has been described as a "Great Mystery" and the extent of her ubiquity transcends human comprehension. Ando plays a prominent role in Ramvokist cosmology by representing Chaos itself and the Void as well. According to Ramvokist eschatology, Ando will be responsible for recreating the universe once it has reached the end of its eternal cycle between existence and non-existence. Her role in the recreation of the world makes her intimately connected to Sonder, especially in regards to the activation of the Third Eye, a central cosmological event described throughout Ramvokist, as well as Ainist apocalyptic literature. It is widely believed that the world is currently nearing the end of the Age of Sonder according to the Ramvokist theory of cyclic progression, which would mean the next age would be the Age of Ando.

Followers of Ando are drawn to the Emerald Goddess' mysticism. They are encouraged to pursue esoteric knowledge and use their fruits of discovery to gain greater understanding of the Universe and Ai. In Ramvokist tradition, Ando represents the dynamism and pervasive, searching nature of Ai, who seeks to continually expand knowledge and enlightenment for all His creation. Worship and veneration of Ando is important as it allows believers to be attuned to the "creative energy" of God and use it to improve spiritual well-being. Her absence would lead to stagnation and meaningless. In the multi-axis model, Ando is introverted and rational. She is compatible with Rinakesh, complimentary to Sonder, and antagonistic to Estas. She is the only goddess to possess two elements: air and void, both of which reflect her transient and hidden personality, as well as her contradictory nature. While she is introverted and rational, her dynamism and activism allows her to be outgoing (some translations have called it domineering or overpowering) and her transcendentalism can lead to her to be expressive. As the goddess of contradictions, she embodies both action and inaction, meaning and meaningless, and other paradoxes simultaneously.

Ando is the patron goddess of the Karando Region where the seat of the Cult of Ando is based in the Karandoan city of Krando. In Kaishuri, Ando was the paramount goddess of the Juyin and Rin dynasties. She is also the Ramvokist patron goddess of Aurionea and the nation-states of Southern Riden.

Scriptures[edit | edit source]

Ram, the Patriarch of the Masterful Sages and namesake of the religion, compiled and wrote major portions of the Benyi.

The main Ramvokist canonical texts which are accepted universally by Ramvokist adherents are collectively referred to as the Benyi. The Benyi includes a collection of writings, recorded sayings, and letters composed by the Masterful Sages, a group of pre-Ramvokist individuals who are revered as prophets and enlightened men who lived prior to the life of the Prophet Ram. Additional writings composed by Ram himself were originally regarded as canonically separate from the Benyi, although they were later accepted by the Four Cults as Benyi canon following the Council of Kashra in 4498 Ʋ. Central to the belief of Ramvokists are the holiness and importance of the words written by the Masterful Sages and Ram. The holy writings are regarded as the works of men and women who were inspired by the grace of the God Ai and His Four Goddesses, whose wisdom was imputed onto the Masterful Sages and the Prophet. As universal texts within Ramvokist, the texts are revered and shared among the Four Cults freely. The Hontap refers to the commentaries and letters of Ramvokist clerics written after the Benyi in order to interpret and explain the writings. Such writings are also revered as divinely inspired writing, although the recognition of such writings varies between cults, schools, and denominations.

Balance and order[edit | edit source]

The Ramvokist worldview portrays the Universe as timeless and endless, which undergoes an eternal, cyclical pattern of constant balancing between order and chaos. All of existence, including time and space, is coeternal with God. The Ramvokist universe is defined by entropy and all souls are bound to the ceaseless fluctuations with the Universe. Ramvokists seek to embrace the cyclic nature of the Universe, rather than resist it or defy it.

Life and reincarnation[edit | edit source]

Cosmology[edit | edit source]

Epistemology[edit | edit source]

Salvation and soteriology[edit | edit source]

Sin and hamartiology[edit | edit source]

Worship[edit | edit source]

Rites[edit | edit source]

Calendar and feasts[edit | edit source]

Meditation[edit | edit source]

Prayer[edit | edit source]

Music[edit | edit source]

Cults and schools[edit | edit source]

Cult of Estas[edit | edit source]

1 1 During the days of the Master Ram, blessings from the LORD unto him (BH), a young student, Sheeshra, son of Medjaq the Potter, sought the wisdom of Ram (BH) beneath the blessed palms in the valley of Dashim. 2 The Master received the student into the shade and recited blessings of the ancestors, which was the custom of the land, and offered him a pitcher of milk. When the student refused, the Master had taken great offense and beseeched him to accept it. 3 "Sheeshra, my child, thou hath caused me sorrow. Take upon thy milk which ESTAS hath provided." The student replied, "How can I accept this when I hath not my mother and my father?" (It was in the days of the Master Ram (BH) in the land of the Master where he accepted offerings of peace only through the vindication of his own parents.) 4 The Master said again, "Sheeshra, my child, thou hath caused me sorrow. Take upon thy milk which ESTAS hath provided." The student was presented by the Master yet another pitcher of milk, which created grief upon the student. "O Master, forgive me but I may not take the blessing for as long as is the law of the land in honor of my parents who hath perished." 5 The words of the student made the Master weep most bitterly.

2 1 He wailed, "ESTAS, Mother of Humanity. Merciful, fair lady. Praise ye saints, O my soul! The LORD whose name is AI shall intercede upon thy supplications and bless thee mightily through ESTAS who begot the earth and the seas from the stars yonder betwixt Her loins from Her womb. 2 Then came visions that hath descended down from the heavens upon the saints who received the glory of the LORD. And that the blessings did come down as rain of knowledge upon the saints. In the midst of the LORD the saints did see the Heart of God elope them as a furious tempest blow upon a wary traveler. 3 Blessings thou shalt not deny for the LORD, which art in heaven, who hath provided verily the RUSHIN to nourish us and to protect us. 4 Nations of Sabel, forget not the blessings that hath come from the LORD. If thou hast no mother, thou would be without form, but through the glory of the LORD, thou hath been given a mother, whose name is ESTAS".

—Benyi-dizi 1.1–2.5

Cult of Sonder[edit | edit source]

Cult of Rinakesh[edit | edit source]

Cult of Ando[edit | edit source]

Other cults[edit | edit source]

Denominations[edit | edit source]

Káism[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Society[edit | edit source]

Relationship with other religions[edit | edit source]

Ramvokism is a henotheistic religion which recognizes the existence and importance of deities and other supernatural beings belonging outside the Ramvokist faith. Views towards individual deities vary from reverence similar to those of the Four Goddesses to disdain and rejection due to conflicting worldviews. Each cult and school differ on the canonical list of deities acknowledged to exist and set different standards to determine their worth for worship or shunning. Throughout Ramvokism's history, followers of the faith have interacted with believers of other religions through mutual exchange of ideas, violent conflict, and cooperation. It shares its closest relationship with Ainism, a faith which originally started off as a sect of Ramvokism before it diverged on a number of key theological and cosmological doctrines.

Ainism[edit | edit source]

Four goddesses, persons, or aspects?[edit | edit source]

View on Ematan of the Valley[edit | edit source]

Caodao[edit | edit source]

Jähimajiism[edit | edit source]

Zheaniism[edit | edit source]

Ramvokist orthodoxy holds that the Supreme God Zhautan of Zheaniism is a fundamentally corrupt and dangerous understanding and form of Ai. Whether Zhautan exists as an individual deity separate from Ai or is a manifestation of Ai has been a subject of debate and interest among Ramvokist scholars and clerics. There are two main factions within Ramvokist that adopt either view, with the Shunners holding that Zhautan is a demonic entity possessing qualities and attributes similar to that of a god, and the Viewers holding that Zhautan is merely a form made manifest to the Vespians (the primary believers of Zheaniism) that was chosen by the will of Ai. In all major cults and sects of Ramvokism, worship or reverence to Zhautan is strictly forbidden as it amounts to heresy and blasphemy. Traditionally, believers found to worship Zhautan were put to death, and the practice continues in Ramvokist-majority countries where blasphemy laws remained in place. Zheaniism is one of the few faiths expressly condemned as evil by Ramvokism. One of the consequences of this belief is evident in Ramvokist law, which allows believers to kill any Zheaniist believer without consequence or punishment. Other minority positions include the belief that Zhautan is not real and was invented through the presence of evil cosmic energy; that Zhautan embodies the negative attributes of Ai; and that followers of Zhautan should be spared and given mercy, despite the likely non-reciprocity given by the Zheaniists (who will indiscriminately kill or enslave any nonbeliever) on the principle of unconditional love and mercy.

Criticism and apologetics[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]