Jippirasti [dʒip pi ˈra sti] is one of two major human monotheistic faiths in Ereláe, along with Eleďát. It is dominant on the Lenani plateau, in Skouras (Šura), and among the Carhinnoi of Dhekhnam, and due to its presence in Fananak is the only human religion that exists on more than one continent. Its sacred language is Tžuro, and it has a sacred book, the Baburkunim.
Jippirasti arose circa 1500, with dramatic suddenness, among the nomadic Tžuro of the Lenani steppe. The monotheistic doctrine quickly spread among the Tžuro, and with the defeat of Munkhâsh under the Jippirasti leader Attafei it became the universal religion of the Lenani and Tžuro peoples, and of the empire they founded, the Kurundasti Tej.
It is divided into four branches (pitau), largely along ethnic lines;
- Sačutu (‘orthodox’)— the western Tžuro, practiced in Šura (Skouras)
- Fanpita— the eastern Tžuro, Fei, Sainor (and converts in Fananak)
- Staji— the Lenani
- Kahon— the Carhinnoi
Philological notes. Jippirasti literally means “I have heard Jippir”, with the implication “heard and obeyed”. An individual believer is a Jippirasutu, plural -m. The final -u changes the listener from 1st to third person, and the infixed -u- is also third person, but now referring to Jippir; in short the term is a sentence, roughly “Jippir spoke and he listened.”
Theological terms are given in standard literary Tžuro. This is based on the language of the prophet Babur, as redacted under the Kurundasti Tej in the 1800s. Modern Šureni, like Imperial Chinese, write in a language 1500 years out of date. See the Tžuro grammar for a discussion of the major changes in the spoken language.
- The Historical Atlas of Almea, for the history of Jippirasti
- Fsava - Lineages among the Tžuro
- Baburkunim - The Jippirasti scriptures
- Istuja - Uncleanliness
- Jippirasti clerics
- The idea of the Tej
- Jippirasti controversies
Who is Jippir?
- A brief introduction to Jippirasti by the Šureni teacher Ajažril, written in response to a Belšayin invitation to various clerics to explain their faiths. The text is written in not entirely fluent Telandi; but the scriptural passages are translated directly from Tžuro.
Jippir-asti, Babur-asti, atej-asti. Why do I begin thus? Have I forgotten that I am speaking in Teland? No, my friends, it is because a Jippirasutu begins every discourse thus. In the Tžuro language it means, “I have heard Jippir, I have heard Babur, I have heard the emperor.” This tells you who are my authorities. I pray you to observe those I do not mention. I do not mention other gods. I do not mention my fsava (lineage). I do not mention other kings or leaders.
Who is this Jippir? Perhaps this is a being that you know? Yes, my friends, it is. Jippir is God. You see that I use the Telandi word. All nations, all people have the notion of God, this is not something that we have invented up on the steppe!
Some gentlemen, intending to be courteous, say that Jippir is the god of the Tžuro. This is not truth. Jippir is the god of the world. He is present in every location. He has spoken in many places and in many ways. But there has been much confusion (igalna); God’s words have become mixed up with men’s, and no nation knew God correctly. That is why Jippir spoke to Babur. He wished to explain himself clearly and thoroughly, and this he has done.
You may recognize the teachings of man, because men love paradox. This is a way of hiding God. Men say, “God is everywhere and nowhere”, or “Believe only the one who says he knows nothing.” I do not understand such sayings, do you? Why would God want us to be confused? Jippir answers all questions clearly. God is everywhere; he is not nowhere. Much knowledge is much knowledge; foolishnes is foolishness. It is a relief to put aside the confusion of men!
Here is what Jippir says about himself:
- I am God. Though you found Me in the desert, I do not live in the desert, but everywhere in the world.
- I am more mother than your mother, because she made your body which dies, but I made your spirit which endures. I am more lord than your uncle, because he is head of your fsava, but I am the head of all fsavau. I am more king than your king, because he rules your realm, but I rule the world. I am more warrior than your warriors, because My power is greater than any enemy, and My strength never flags. I am wiser than your wise women, because My wisdom does not err, and My knowledge is whole.
Jippir mul am asti.
Are there other spirits (amefe)? Certainly, my friends. Each one of you is a spirit. When your body dies, your spirit does not die. It goes to join Jippir when it is ready, or it goes to Kulig. If it is not ready, it waits here.
There are also lama, the great spirits, which are not men, but are above men. The lama, like men, may listen to Jippir or they may not. The lama may be a great help, or they may be a terrible snare. One must be cautious in speaking to a lam.
Are there other gods? Please listen carefully here. We believe in jeŋu, in God. Do we disbelieve in jeŋum, gods? The word itself tells you the answer. It is the same word with one letter added! To believe in jeŋum, as the Sevisre or the Uṭandal or the Verdurians do, is to believe in jeŋu with something added. They are right to believe in jeŋu, but they are wrong to add to him.
Men have added to God; they have divided him. But these things are not in man’s power! There is one god, Jippir. He wishes that we do not add to him nor divide him. To believe in no god, like the Xurnese or the [Čeiyu] terrorists, that is pure error; the distance between jeŋu and nothing is infinite.
What of other people who believe in one God only, such as the [Qarau] forest-men or the ancient Fana or Cuzeians? These gentlemen already know that God is one; they already know Jippir. They have some confusion, but much less than other peoples. However, this confusion should be removed, and this is why Jippir spoke to Babur.
What does Jippir want of us? This also he has told us simply:
- When your mother speaks, do you not listen and obey? How much more if your uncle speaks? How much more if a lam speaks? How much more if God speaks? Hear and obey Me.
- The atej is My nephew and I have placed him to rule My people; obey him, unless his words go against Mine.
- Your uncles and your elder brothers are the spirit of your fsava; obey them, unless their words go against Mine or the atejj’s.
- Cowardice, falseness, and arrogance dishonor your fsava and cast down your elders’ eyes as they contemplate you.
- Your mothers, your sisters, and your aunt’s daughters are the body of your fsava; hear and obey them, unless their words go against Mine, or the atej’s, or your elders’.
- Idleness, theft, and viciousness dishonor your mother who in pain bore you.
- To leave your sisters to poverty, violence, or theft dishonors your blood.
- Your wife gave your food, and took you into her hut; to be rude, unclean (stuja), or sexually indecent dishonors her, and makes you and your fsava a noise of disdain in her ears.
- My name is Demanding. If you say you will follow, and you do not, it were better that you remain a pagan.
Jippir mul am asti.
You have heard rumors, perhaps, that Jippir is a violent god who tells us to convert other nations by the sword. This is not truth. My friends, did I bring a sword to speak with you today? The truth is that we do not allow forced conversion.
Some gentlemen say that we are men of war. It is true that my people the Tžuro are great conquerors. All people know that we destroyed the swamp creatures’ empire. But my friends, I am here to speak of Jippir, not of my people. I invite you to read the words of Jippir which Babur recorded. You will not find a single passage in which the Jippirasutum are commanded to go to war against the pagans.
What you will find are rules for the conduct of war. Jippir himself speaks thusly:
- In the matter of war, obey the atej and your uncles, unless their words go against Mine.
- Do not run away, or drop your weapon; these things make you stink like a sick man’s dung.
- Do not fight a brother. Who will forgive a man who has broken the unity of My people?
- Do not be cruel. When you have the victory, rule justly, for the people you have conquered are Mine no less than you.
- Do not despoil a woman, for this will make you unclean.
- Do not take wives from among the conquered people, unless they submit to Me.
Jippir mul am asti.
Those who hear Jippir form a new nation, above any existing nation, and a new family, above any existing family. This nation is called the Tej.
When men listened to Babur with open ears, they followed this practice. All Jippirasutum formed one Tej, which was the greatest nation on Almea. Within the Tej there was no war. Men behaved with honor and Jippir gave us prosperity.
Alas, with time comes weakness. We are weaker men today than in the days of Babur, Kurund, and Attafei. Weak men have divided the Tej, or even created kingdoms and called them teje. How can there be more than one tej, any more than there can be more than one jeŋu or one Ënomai?
The divisions you see among us are shameful, but they are the shame of men, not of Jippir. Jippir told us very clearly to be one.
The three worlds
Wise gentlemen of other nations always wish to know how many worlds there are, and what will happen when we die. These are not important questions. A gentleman may never learn the answers and yet hear Jippir. But Babur asked anyway, and Jippir answered, so that I can tell you.
This world, the world of body (mejkome), is weak and transitory. Bodies spoil almost immediately, and even the longest-lasting things of this world change and die. Do not even large trees fall, while great empires are conquered, and the very stars fall from the sky?
But intermingled with the world of body are two other worlds. One is the world of spirit (mefkome); the other is the world of Jippir (jeŋukome).
The world of body fails because it is made by men and women. But spirits are made by Jippir, and so they do not fail. Human spirits and lama will last forever. Once the body falls away, they are freed, and they see the things of the spirit, which are presently hidden to us by bodies.
As the body is to the spirit, so the spirit is to God. Spirits can be weak or evil, and this is true even of lama. But there is no weakness or evil in Jippir.
How do we worship Jippir? For worship, Jippir asks of us four things.
- We must cleanse ourselves (isota). At the level of the body, this means that we must be clean of blood, of excreta, and of phlegm. We must be at peace with the atej, with our uncles and elder brothers (aseve), with our mothers and sisters, and with our wives. Our speech must be pure. If these be not true, we must be purified according to the ways Babur has recorded.
- We must know the words of Jippir as Babur has recorded them (ihasta). These may be recited, read, or sung. A wise man will refresh himself from this spring every day.
- We must show gratitude (iraža) to Jippir. This may take many forms; the simplest is to offer praise and thanks in words. We may also fast from food or lovemaking for a time, we may share our wealth with others, we may sacrifice blood or animals. Sacrifice is a form of thansgiving, because it recognizes that wealth is the gift of Jippir.
- We must alleviate suffering in the Tej (igobaña). We will care for the sick, give food to the poor, support the old person’s hand, and punish the thief.
These are duties individually on each Jippirasutu. It is good and proper, however, to meet together once every six days with one’s fsava, or if away, with other Jippirasutum, to accomplish these four observances together; this is called jenčim. This involves, in order, cleansing the body, readying the spirit, reciting the words of Jippir, expressing gratitude and sacrifice, and giving gifts.
There are three special actions which are not required of every Jippirasutu, but which he may perform.
- He may undertake a vigil (ikeba). This is best done as Babur himself did, walking alone and naked into the desert, and remaining there until Jippir spoke to him.
- He may undertake expiation (igosota) for evil or uncleanness against a brother. He does this by placing himself in bondage to his brother, for a period both agree to. His abasement is the proof of his repentance, undoes his evil action, and restores fellowship with his brother.
- He may undertake a teaching mission (ineba). Jippirasutum do not have priests or monks to stand between us and God, as the pagans do. But we may choose to serve our fellows for a time, counseling, elucidating the words of Jippir, answering the pagans, or training the young. My speaking to you today is an example of this mission.
In every respect Jippirasti is clear, without confusion, and agreeable to reason. This transparency is the surest sign that it is God himself who spoke to Babur. The invariable sign of doctrines invented by men is confusion, contradiction, absurdity, and obscenity. We do not talk about “belief” as other gentlemen do, because once confusion is removed, truth remains. If it is not night, do you “believe” that it is day? Belief is something that occurs when there is still confusion.
My friends, Jippir is called the Demanding, but his demands are onerous only to the self-willed and the perverse. Our way is not to be undertaken lightly, for though one can fool a priest or even a spirit calling itself a god, one cannot fool God. Let me conclude by quoting the appeal of Jippir himself to Babur and to all people.
- Listen and submit to Me, for in Me is truth and an end to confusion; in Me is purity and an end to uncleanness; in Me is peace and an end to contentiousness.
- Without Me you may prosper for a time, but that time will end.
- Hear Me and you will prosper, you and your fsava and your entire people, nor will your spirit wander after your body fails.
- Give this message to everyone you meet, whether in your camp or on the road. I am steadfast; I will keep My promises even after ten thousand years.
Jippir mul am asti.