Tsaotak, sometimes called Sherechian Folk Religion abroad is a belief system, arguably a religion that originated and is still most popular in Sherechia with small minorities outside of Sherechia. While Tsaotak can be broadly described as an eastern religion akin to Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, it has it's own set of uniqe values and aesthetics. In general, they believe in karma and reincarnation. Tsaotak also doesn't recognize any God but the existance of spirits with some but not infinite powers and cosmic energy.
Proto-Tsaotak began to emerge sometime between 15,000 BC and 10,000 BC and slowly developed. These base values like the pursuit of wellbeing for the self and for the group by helping each other, respect and hard work helped the Sherechians survive in the harsh environment. By 5000 BC, shrines had emerged as a place where humans can communicate with the spirits of the dead.
Tsaotak in modern times
Tsaotak still holds strong in modern times with 81% of the population claiming as Tsaotak. Due to Tsaotak's flexible teaching, the faith is compatible with other religions like Buddhism and Christianity. Tsaotak is often seen as an "extender" to the 2 religions, extending the teachings of Buddha and Christ without modifying the original thought.
Tsaotak Doctrine and Aesthetics
After arriving home to Sherechia, he immediately began work of his thoughts called "Tsaotak" which is also where the name of the faith comes from. "Tsaotak" means balance or moderation. The book itself has about 150 pages and covers Khosonkhande's journey and the values learned from his journey. However, to distinguish the faith from the book, the book is often called "Ko'tsaotak" which literally translates as "book of balance."
Tsaotak Temples - Katanrando
Shrines are places of worship for the followers of Tsaotak. They can be as small as a shed or as big as a mansion. Inside is usually an altar that has a portrait of Khosonkhande, if that's not available then some Sherechian characters that say "Khosonkhande." On the altar is also the Ko'tsaotak and some lanterns/candles. The building itself looks like a typical Sherechian wooden house but with a "torii" like gate at the front entrance. Larger shrines often house priests that provide guidance to visitors. While some shrines are for general prayer, others are believed to have specialized powers for giving visitors wisdom, courage, happiness, strength and other values.
Prayer - Sochomdo
There is no official way to pray, usually a sitting or kneeling position is made on the floor. Hands can either be joined together like the Christian prayer or spread apart like the Muslim prayer. This is the most common practice though other positions are permitted and practiced.
Birth of Khosonkhande-January 17
Celebrates the birth of Khosonkhande. Activities include prayer, meditation, remembering the life of Khosonkhande and family dinners.
Day of purification-December 31
Celebrates the process of self-renewal. Activities include jumping into cold mountain streams and lakes, prayer, and meditation. (note: Sherechia is located in the southern hemisphere so December is the peak of summer)
Khosonkhande leaves-March 11
Celebrates the day Khosonkhande leaves his hometown to begin a spiritual and literal journey of enlightenment. Activities include prayer, meditation, going on trail rides/walks.
Khosonkhande returns-September 7
Celebrates the day Khosonkhande returns with enlightened knowledge. Activities include prayer, meditation, studying the works of Khosonkhande, and family dinners.
Hainamdo Hill, Northeast of Khandaray
The hill where Khosonkhande passed away, legend says that the descendants of the Shudak he rode to the top of the hill still roam the surrounding area. Currently, a protected site, banned of any construction and hunting though visiting and even camping there are permitted.
Afterlife - Khayanam
Tsaotak believes that when a person dies, they either become a spirit permanently or reincarnate either as a human or an animal. A person may wait for hours or days in transit as a spirit before reincarnating so the spirits that the living are trying to communicate can either be a permanent spirit that has wisdom and power or a temporary spirit that has no powers. The path that a person takes after death is determined by his Karma. A person with good karma will reincarnate as a human, a person with bad karma will reincarnate as an animal and a person with exceptionally good karma will become a powerful spirit.
Karma - Paran
Karma in Sherechian folk religion is a sort of spiritual credit score. While there is no exact way for the living to measure their score, doing good acts will increase your karma, doing bad acts will decrease your karma. Good and bad is determined by the energy released by the person to others and the environment. Positive energy means good acts while negative energy means bad acts.
Energy - Ri
Energy/Cosmic Energy is this force that can be given and received by a person. A person gives positive energy by doing good acts, helping each other, respecting others, living a healthy life, respecting animals, taking care of the environment, learning, etc. For example, if person A helps person B, person A gives positive energy to person B. Receiving positive energy does not directly make your Karma better but it inspires you to give out positive energy which will help your Karma indirectly. This domino effect of doing good things to make others do good things is called Cosmic Harmony.
1. Respect all / Haiyen. Respect all means to respect life, humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Respecting life means to not kill. The only justified killing of a human is for urgent self-defense and the only justified killing of an animal is for food and resources. Respecting humans means to cooperate, help each other, not kill each other. For animals, this means to not abuse/overwork a pet/working animal or harm wildlife unnecessarily. For plants, it means to take care of the crops, to replant what has been harvested and for the environment, its by keeping it clean and sustaining it by not overhunting and doing deforestation.
2. Moderation is a virtue / Tsaotak. Tsaotak emphasizes the importance of balance in daily life. For example, being honest is good, however, if you're too honest, unnecessarily honest, this will cause some awkward social situations or worse offend others unnecessarily. If you're not honest, you misguide others and deny them the right to the truth. Another example is helping or charity. If you don't donate, others will suffer, if you donate too much they won't learn.
3. Freedom is a right / Harago. Witnessing the tyranny of absolute monarchy during his travels. Khosonkhande emphasizes that "no one is sent by God or any spiritual being to rule over them in an absolute manner, everyone is born equal. There will be no idols in Sherechia." Even the founder of Tsaotak, Khosonkhande himself says that he is a normal person, not a God, not someone to be revered excessively. "I am your friend, and that's about it. If tyranny comes into Sherechia's doorstep you must fight it, because there is often no going back once it takes hold."
Religious Tollerance in Tsaotak - Hanjanchi
Khosonkhande never mentions other religions or Gods being false and Khosonkhande himself said that other religions are merely a different perspective based on local culture. Violence under the name of Tsaotak has pretty much been nonexistent throughout history.
Sherechian Zodiacs - Komu
Called "Komu." There are 10 zodiacs that correspond to the year someone's born in. Zodiacs generally dictate the traits of a person though that person's actions and environment can modify their traits. A person born in 1990 for example has the pufferfish komu.
Quiet and shy though strong, either physically or mentally.
Kind hearted and warm. Mildly extroverted, likes social interactions
Serious and strict person. A hard worker that gets the job done however
A hard worker, loyal to relationships and seeks adventure. Generally
Strong independent person, loyal to relationships but will not
Calm and gentle, mildly introverted. Seeks peace and avoids unecessary conflict
Playful, cheerful, loud extrovert. Generally a party animal. Might
Introverted, independent, and individualist though flees from trouble.
Intelligent, has a thing for problem solving, strongly introverted
Calm and gentle, mildly introverted. Strong either physically or mentally
Sherechian Chakras - Hiyudo
Hiyudo are spheres of spiritual energy that exist in humans and animals. The stronger the energy, the better the person is at Hiyudos specialty. Hiyudo's can be described as yarn balls of different energies, each responsible for a specific type of trait. For example, the Hansen Hiyudo might have strong energies for intelligence, but weak energies for creativity resulting in a smart but unwise person.
Intelligence, Critical Thinking, Creativity
Life force, Health, Emotions, Spirituality
Different activities can improve the well-being of each Hiyudo. Meditation for example slightly improves the Chiyan. There is also a specific technique of meditation that can direct energy to certain Hiyudos that need improvement. Learning a new language strongly improves the Hansen. Taichi gives a slight boost to the Chiyan while a massive boost to the Khalgo, Taksan, and Kiyak. Shudak riding gives a moderate boost to the Chiyan, Taksan, and Kiyak with a massive boost to the Khalgo.
Sherechian Martial Arts - Khundak
Khundak or Sherechian Martial Arts is a combat method that uses the flow of energy and the strength of Hiyudo to amplify one's strength, endurance, and power in combat. There' aren't any specific moves though it's pretty similar to Kung Fu.