Vision Quest: A vision quest is a rite of passage in Native American cultures and more specifically the Oji-Cree. It was undertaken by a person when they reached puberty. The vision quest comprised of going to the wild for about ten days to fast. This took place either at the top of a hill or if need be a platform built in a tree. During the vision it is expected that at least one or more spirits would take pity on the individual and become his or her protector in the ordeal as well as a source of spiritual power for life.
The carrying out of the vision quest was normally for males only in some Native American cultures; however for the Oji-Cree both males and females participated in this quest. During the vision fast power could be obtained and subsequently enhanced by fasting. During the course of the vision quest an individual would also receive his or her secret name from their spirit protector.
The vision quest constituted for half of the spiritual rituals the Oji-Cree would undertake the other half being the shaking tent ceremony.
The historical significance of this ritual was it was undertaken by individuals to provide power for themselves. Power was important as the Oji-Cree believed that power was inherent in every living thing and object, thus making it a important part of their way of life. Torah: The torah or also known as the law are the first five books of the Bible. It contains the essence of Judaism as well as ethical teachings and basic guidance. The Torah also contains the Ten Commandments which were given to the Hebrews by the Prophet Moses.
The books that make up the Torah are Genesis (creation), Exodus (departure), Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Although sometimes it may contain The Prophets and usually the Psalms and other writings however some Hebrew scholars omit the Psalms and other writings. In the Christian faith the Torah is known as the Old Testament. The Torah provides modern day Jews with a explanation of what occurred in the time of the biblical Hebrews, events such as the conquest of Canaan and the exploration into the promised land are written in the Torah.
The Torah is an integral part of the Jewish faith and is a corner stone in the teaching and spreading of the Jewish faith. Complimentary religious texts include the Mishnah and Talmud. In addition to providing the Jewish faith with guidelines and commandments the Torah also allowed for the academic interpretation of Hebrew teachings. These studies and interpretations were carried out by men called Rabbis which means teacher or my master. The Torah had increased significance during the Greek occupation of Judah as it became the foundation for the law of Judah in an attempt to preserve Jewish religion.
The Torah also saw translation by the hands of the Greeks later on as the Greeks were fascinated by Judaism. This translation was named the Septuagint (in Greek it was Septuaginta) which meant seventy, seventy being the number of translators needed. Qur’an: The Qur’an is the central religious text of the Muslim faith. Islamic adherents believe that the Qur’an is the verbatim word of God. It`s origins start when the Prophet of the Muslim faith Mohammed was approached by the angel Gabriel during the month of Ramadan on Mount Hira. This was a repeat experience as it happened in later points in his life.
In light of the fact that he was illiterate, he recited the teachings he had heard from Gabriel and by extension God to his followers who wrote them down. Similar to the Torah and the Bible the Qur’an was a written copy of oral tradition. However while the Torah and the Bible had multiple authors, Mohammed was the sole individual who dictated the Qur’an. In Arabic the word Qur’an means reading or recitation and it is generally believed that the Qur’an was to be the final message of God to humanity, making Mohammed merely the vessel from which this was sent.
The Qur’an is tremendously significant to Muslims as in their eyes it is more than just a Holy Book, they see it as divine thought in written form consisting of the very mind and essence of God being communicated through Mohammed to humanity. It is a similar concept to the Christian concept of Logos, which is the Word of God being incarnate in Jesus Christ. The Muslim equivalent of Logos would be the Qur’an. Like the Christian`s Bible and the Hebrews Torah the Qur’an provides the framework of the Muslim faith as well is integral to the carrying out of the religions tenants.
The Qur’an has influenced many events across history and can be considered the finest piece of literature in the Arabic Language. Sunni: Sunni is one of the sects of Islam, the other being Shi’a . Sunni is also the majority sect in Islam. The origins of the Sunni sect are intertwined with the Shi’as’ in an event known as the Shi’sm. The origins of Shi’sm derive from the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed named Ali. Most historians believed that Ali was the first male to embrace the Prophet’s message of Islam.
His adherents also believed that he was he rightful successor of the Prophet and that he had been chosen by the prophet as the political and spiritual leader of Islam. The Sunnis were the faction who did not believe that the Prophet had selected Ali to succeed him. This clash of beliefs caused a schism with Islam and saw the creation of Sunnis and Shi’ites. While this schism was centuries ago it has significant implications in the modern day setting especially in the Middle east.
In Iraq a part of the current warfare which is occurring is between the two groups. While Sunnis are a majority in most of the Muslim world, Iraq is predominantly Shi’a. The President of Iraq Saddam Hussein belonged to the Sunni faction and represented the minority rule over the majority in the country. While the Sunni faction differs from the Shi’a on terms of succession and other doctrine both groups agree that Allah is one and Mohammed is his last prophet. Regarding Islam, Sunni is often referred as the orthodox version of the religion.
Bhagavad Gita: The Bhagavad Gita is a 700 hundred verse Hindu scripture. It is a veda or a old sacred book of Hinduism. The Bhagavad Gita is an epic poem describing classical Hinduism and was composed approximately near the end of the pre-classical age and beginning of the classical age of Hinduism. Its writing form is as a narrative of a great battle and is a section of a larger work known as Mahabharata, which was created much earlier in time. The premise of the Bhagavad Gita is :Prior to the battle a great warrior, Ajuna hesitates to fight.
His charioteer, Krishna teaches him that it is his purpose and destiny to fight. Ajuna’s charioteer turns out to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu or in Hindu culture an avatar. The Bhagavad Gita is a compilation of centuries of developing worship, mediation and thought. The text consists of developed concepts of classical Hinduism touching on several points such as the gods Vishnu and Shiva and the concepts of karma, dharma, reincarnation and cases. The dimensions of the Bhagavad Gita are 18 chapters and 700 verses found in the Mahabharata.
The Bhagavad Gita was spiritually important as it served as a source of spiritual knowledge as well as serves to reveal the purpose and goal of human existence. Master K’ung: Master K’ung or more commonly known as Confucius is one of the most important Chinese philosophers. He is traditionally hailed as the father of philosophical school of Confucianism. In addition to his capacity as a philosopher Master K’ung was also traditionally known as a was a thinker, political figure and educator.
Master k’ung was said to have lived from 551-479 B. C, his teachings were transferred orally by his students, emphasizing a way of life called ren. Ren was defined as right living and was achieved through li or ethical propriety, good manners and traditional ritualistic practices. According to his teachings family was seen as the central vehicle to cultivate these attributes. Master K’ung’s thoughts became available in a book known as the Analects. Master K’ung’s journey consisted of him leaving his life behind and wandering with a band of disciples until he found internal peace.
While claims are unlikely, Master K’ung is attributed with works known as the Five Classics. These classics consist of the Shu Ching or Classic of History (writings and speeches from ancient Chinese rulers), the Shih Ching or Classic of Poetry (300 poems and songs), the I Ching or Classic of Changes (the description of a divinatory system), the Ch’un Ch’iu or Spring and Autumn Annal (a history of the state of Lu from 722 to 484 BC) and the Li Ching or Classic of Rites (a group of three books on the Li the rites of propriety.
In addition there was also a now lost sixth book called the Yueh Ching or Classic of Music. Maste K’ung had a tremendous legacy which effected the world, as millions around the world would apply his wisdom and thoughts even in this day and age.
Cite this essay
Native American Vision Quest. (2017, Jan 26). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/native-american-vision-quest-essay