Agaya and ubuntu incorporate our duty as conscious humans to participate in the community of all life with reverence, joy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness.
In Novasutras, we use the words “agaya” and “ubuntu” to summarize important yet complex ideas.
Agaya is a new term, intended as an expression of the deep, sacred beauty of the universe and its capacity to create life, reflecting inspiration, awe, reverence and delight in the natural world. Agaya is our term for the ineffable universal forces and properties that allow life to emerge in all its wonder and complexity.
Ubuntu is one feature of agaya, perhaps its driving force. The word originated in southern Africa to mean humanity, and most ubuntu philosophy focuses on the bonds between humans. In the Novasutras movement, we have expanded this definition to include the broader connections between all things, binding together the more-than-human world. Ubuntu is the essential truth of interbeing and interdependent co-arising that manifests everywhere.
Using the words ubuntu and agaya
“Ubuntu” and “agaya” can be used together or separately in blessings, or in reverential greetings or farewells, much in the same way as “aloha” and “namaste” are used in their respective cultures and contexts. A Novasutras convention is to use “agaya and ubuntu” in greeting or opening. We use “ubuntu and agaya” in response, or in closings and farewells.
We often use the phrase “may all beings abide in agaya and ubuntu” in Novasutras guided meditations. Gentle repetition of variations of this phrase is the essence of our Connecting the Corners practice, and plays a central role in our octal celebrations. You might also say (silently in your mind, or out loud) “may you abide in agaya and ubuntu” to beings you encounter during shinrin-yoku.
Learn more about these ideas from videos on our YouTube ubuntu and agaya playlist.