Tengrism, the cult of sky

This article is also available in: Italiano

Some time ago we told you about the Göktürk, the first Turks, since Netflix loaded the movie “Mongol”, we decided to tell you about Tengrism, the ancient religion of the Turks and Mongols.

The religion of the blue sky

Tengrism is an animistic religion that has its origins in Central Asia, it was the first religion of all those nomadic peoples who saw the light in these territories. Precisely by virtue of these places, the cult is characterized by a deep symbiosis with nature and open spaces. The same name Tengri in Mongolian also means “sky”, an indication of how it is closely linked to the great outdoors.

In the flag of Kazakhstan there are several references to Tengrism

Also for this reason this cult has real natural places around the globe, which they consider as “sacred”. In the past it was the religion of the Mongols, Huns, Turkish people and Bulgarians, but today only some reminiscence of this religion remains in some Russian provinces with a Turkish majority.

A “proto-monotheism”?

Tengrism can be said to be a religion halfway between a purely nomadic and primitive culture and a way of reasoning that, in some ways, has much in common with philosophies such as Taoism and Sufism. According to this cult, in fact, there is only one god, Tengri, but nevertheless there is not a single religion, as humanity has not yet reached “enlightenment”. For this reason, man has the power to choose his own path as he sees fit, but then his actions and his intentions will determine whether he will be rewarded or not. Concepts that sound very far from the kind of ideas to which animist religions are usually linked.

The inscriptions in the Orkhon valley in Mongolia, the first trace of written Turkish

Another particular characteristic and very similar to Islam is the presence of invisible spirits. These have no power over Tengri but can influence the life of human beings to whom, on the contrary, they are invisible. In fact, a concept very similar to the one to which the djinn, the spirits of fire present in the Quran, rotate.

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