Tengri

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Tengri (Auld Turkic: Old Turkic letter I.svgOld Turkic letter R2.svgOld Turkic letter NG.svgOld Turkic letter T2.svg; Modren Turkis: Tanrı; Proto-Turkic *teŋri / *taŋrɨ; Mongolie script: ᠲᠨᠭᠷᠢ, Tngri; Modren Mongolie: Тэнгэр, Tenger), is ane o the names for the primar chief deity in the releegion o the early Turkic (Xiongnu, Hunnic, Bulgar) an Mongolic (Xianbei) fowks.

Wirship o Tengri is sometimes referred tae as Tengrism. The core beins in Tengrism are Sky-Faither (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) an Mither Yird (Eje/Gazar Eej). It involvit shamanism, animism, totemism an ancestor wirship.

Name[eedit | eedit soorce]

Spellin o tengri in the Auld Turkic script (written frae richt tae left, as t²ṅr²i)

The auldest form o the name is recordit in Cheenese annals frae the 4t century BC, describin the beliefs o the Xiongnu. It takes the form 撑犁/Cheng-li, which is hypothesized tae be a Cheenese transcription o Tängri. (The Proto-Turkic form o the wird haes been reconstructit as *Teŋri or *Taŋrɨ.)[1] Stefan Georg (2001) haes suggestit an ultimately Yeniseian oreegin, frae a *tɨŋgVr-, "high." Alternatively, a reconstructit Altaic etymologie frae *T`aŋgiri ("oath" or "god") wad emphasize the god's divinity rather than his domain ower the sky.[2]

The Turkic form, Tengri, is attestit in the 11t century bi Mahmud al-Kashgari. In modren Turkis, the derivit wird "Tanrı" is uised as the generic wird for "god", or for the Aubrahamic God, an is aften uised the day bi Muslim Turks tae refer tae God in Turkis as an alternative tae the Arabic Allah. The supreme deity of the traditional religion of the Chuvash is Tură.[3]

Ither reflexes o the name in modren leids include Mongolian: Тэнгэр‎ ("sky"), Bulgarie: Тангра, an Azerbaijani: Tanrı. The Cheenese wird for "sky" 天 (Mandarin: tiān, Clessical Cheenese: thīn[4] and Japanese Han Dynasty loanword ten[4]) may also be related, possibly a loan from a prehistoric Central Asian language.[5]

Accordin tae Dimitrov (1987), Aspandiat is the name given tae Tengri bi the Persies.[6]

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Tengri wis the naitional god o the Göktürks, describit as the "god o the Turks" (Türük Tängrisi).[1] The Göktürk khans based their pouer on a mandate frae Tengri. These rulers wur generally acceptit as the sons o Tengri who representit him on Yird. They wore titles such as tengrikut, kutluġ or kutalmysh, based on the belief that they attained the kut, the michty spirit grantit tae these rulers bi Tengri.[7]

Tengri wis the chief deity wirshippit bi the rulin class o the Central Asie steppe fowks in 6t tae 9t centuries (Turkic fowks, Mongols an Hungarians).[8]

The wirship o Tengri wis brocht intae Eastren Europe bi the Huns an early Bulgars. It lost its importance whan the Uighuric kagans proclaimit Manichaeism the state religion in the 8th century.[9]

The Mongolie Great Khans o the 13t century ideologically based their pouer on a mandate frae Tengri hissel, an began their declarations wi the wirds "bi the will o Eternal [Blue] Heiven."

The Turko-Mongolic concept o a sky god haes an analogie in the Daoist coinage o (with 青 "blue" and 氣 "qi", i.e., "blue heiven") an Confucian concept o Tian Li.

Meethologie[eedit | eedit soorce]

Tengri wis the main god ofthe Turkic pantheon, controllin the celestial sphere.[10] The Turkic sky god Tengri is strikingly similar tae the Indo-European sky god, Dyeus, an the structur o the reconstructit Proto-Indo-European releegion is closer tae that o the early Turks than tae the releegion o ony fowk o Near Eastren or Mediterranean antiquity.[11]

The maist important contemporar testimony o Tengri worship is foond in the Auld Turkic Orkhon inscriptions, datit tae the early 8t century. Written in the so-called Orkhon script, these inscriptions record an accoont o the meethological oreegins o the Turks. The inscription dedicatit tae Kul Tigin includes the passages (in the translation providit bi the Leid Committee o Meenistry o Cultur an Information o the Republic o Kazakhstan): "Whan the blue sky [Tengri] abuin an the broun yird belaw wur creatit, atween thaim a human bein wis creatit. Ower the human beins, ma ancestors Bumin Kagan an Istemi Kagan ruled. They ruled fowk bi Turkis laws, they led thaim an succeedit" (face 1, line 1); "Tengri creates daith. Human beins hae aw been creatit in order tae dee" (face 2, line 9); "You passed awa (lit.: 'went fleein') till Tengri gives you life again" (face 2, line 14).

Tengri is considered tae be the chief god who creatit aw things. In addeetion tae this celestial god, they haed minor divinities that servit the purposes o Tengri.[12] As Gök Tanrı, he wis the faither o the sun (Koyash) an muin (Ay Tanrı) an Umay an aw, Erlik, an sometimes Ülgen.

In Turkic meethologie, Tengri is a pur, white goose that flies constantly ower an endless expanse o watter, which represents time. Beneath this watter, Ak Ana ("White Mother") cries oot tae him sayin "Create". Tae owercome his laneliness, Tengri creates Er Kishi, who is no as pur or as white as Tengri an thegither they set up the warld. Er Kishi becomes a demonic character an strives tae mislead fowk an draw thaim intae its darkness. Tengri assumes the name Tengri Ülgen an athdraws intae Heiven frae which he trees tae provide fowk wi guidance throu sacred animals that he sends amang thaim. The Ak Tengris occupee the fift level o Heiven. Shaman priests who want tae reach Tengri Ülgen niver get further than this level, whaur they convey their wishes tae the divine guides. Returns tae yird or to the human level tak place in a goose-shapit vessel.[13]

Accordin tae Mahmud Kashgari, Tengri wis kent tae mak plants grow an the lichtnin flash. Turks uised the adjective tengri which means "heivenly, divine", tae label iverything that seemit grandiose, such as a tree or a muntain, an they stoopit tae such entities.[14]

Placenames[eedit | eedit soorce]

the Khan Tengri pyramidal peak

Modren revival[eedit | eedit soorce]

They are preservit in Mongol an Kazakh fowk.[15] "Tengrism" is the term for a revival o Central Asie shamanism efter the dissolution o the Soviet Union. In Kyrgyzstan, Tengrism wis suggestit as a Pan-Turkic naitional ideologie follaein the 2005 presidential elections bi an ideological committee chaired bi state secretar Dastan Sarygulov.[16]

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jean-Paul Roux, Die alttürkische Mythologie, p. 255
  2. Sergei Starostin, Altaic etymology
  3. Tokarev, A. et al. 1987–1988. Mify narodov mira.
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/response.cgi?root=config&morpho=0&basename=%5Cdata%5Cchina%5Cbigchina&first=1&off=&text_character=%E5%A4%A9&method_character=substring&ic_character=on&text_reading=&method_reading=substring&ic_reading=on&text_ochn=&method_ochn=substring&ic_ochn=on&text_cchn=&method_cchn=substring&ic_cchn=on&text_wchn=&method_wchn=substring&ic_wchn=on&text_echn=&method_echn=substring&ic_echn=on&text_epchn=&method_epchn=substring&ic_epchn=on&text_mpchn=&method_mpchn=substring&ic_mpchn=on&text_lpchn=&method_lpchn=substring&ic_lpchn=on&text_mchn=&method_mchn=substring&ic_mchn=on&text_fanqie=&method_fanqie=substring&ic_fanqie=on&text_rhyme=&method_rhyme=substring&ic_rhyme=on&text_meaning=&method_meaning=substring&ic_meaning=on&text_oshanin=&method_oshanin=substring&ic_oshanin=on&text_shuowen=&method_shuowen=substring&ic_shuowen=on&text_comment=&method_comment=substring&ic_comment=on&text_karlgren=&method_karlgren=substring&ic_karlgren=on&text_go=&method_go=substring&ic_go=on&text_kanon=&method_kanon=substring&ic_kanon=on&text_jap=&method_jap=substring&ic_jap=on&text_viet=&method_viet=substring&ic_viet=on&text_jianchuan=&method_jianchuan=substring&ic_jianchuan=on&text_dali=&method_dali=substring&ic_dali=on&text_bijiang=&method_bijiang=substring&ic_bijiang=on&text_shijing=&method_shijing=substring&ic_shijing=on&text_any=&method_any=substring&sort=character&ic_any=on
  5. The connection was noted by Max Müller in Lectures on the Science of Religion (1870).[1] Axel Schüssler (2007:495): "Because the deity Tiān came into prominence with the Zhou dynasty (a western state), a Central Asian origin has been suggested, note Mongolian tengri 'sky, heaven, heavenly deity'" (Shaughnessy Sino-Platonic Papers, July 1989, and others, like Shirakawa Shizuka before him)."
  6. D.Dimitrov. Prabylgarite po severnoto i zapadnoto Chernomorie, Varna, 1987) English summary of the monograph of Bulgarian historian Dimityr Dimitrov on the Early Medieval history of the Proto-Bulgarians in the lands north of the Black Sea
  7. Käthe Uray-Kőhalmi, Jean-Paul Roux, Pertev N. Boratav, Edith Vertes. "Götter und Mythen in Zentralasien und Nordeurasien"; section: Jean-Paul Roux: "Die alttürkische Mythologie" ("Old Turkic Mythology") ISBN 3-12-909870-4
  8. "There is no doubt that between the 6th and 9th centuries Tengrism was the religion among the nomads of the steppes" Yazar András Róna-Tas , Hungarians and Europe in the early Middle Ages: an introduction to early Hungarian history, Yayıncı Central European University Press, 1999, ISBN 978-963-9116-48-1, p. 151.
  9. Buddhist studies review, Volumes 6-8, 1989, p. 164.
  10. Abazov, Rafis. "Culture and Customs of the Central Asian Republics". Greenwood Press, 2006. page 62
  11. Mircea Eliade, John C. Holt, Patterns in comparative religion, 1958, p. 94.
  12. Kaya, Polat. "Search For the Origin of the Crescent and Star Motif in the Turkish Flag", 1997. [2]
  13. Göknil, Can. "Creation myths from Central Asia to Anatolia". Yapı Kredi Art Galleries, 1997. [3][unreliable soorce?]
  14. Baldick, Julian. Animal and Shaman: Ancient Religions of Central Asia. I.B.Tauris, 2000. [4]
  15. 藏传佛教对蒙古族民间宗教的影响
  16. Erica Marat, Kyrgyz Government Unable to Produce New National Ideology , 22 February 2006, CACI Analyst, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.
  17. Mircea Eliade, John C. Holt, Patterns in comparative religion, 1958, p. 94. The connection of dingir and Old Turkic tengere was made by F. Hommel in Grundriss der Geographie und Geschichte des alten Orients (1928). P. A. Barton in Semitic and Hamitic Origins (1934) suggested that the Mesopotamian sky god Anu may have been imported from Central Asia to Mesopotamia. The similarity of dingir and tengri was noted as early as 1862 (i.e. during the early phase of the decipherment of the Sumerian language, before even the term "Sumerian" had been coined to refer to it), by George Rawlinson in his The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World (p. 78).