Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Novasutras movement all about?

The name Novasutras comes from the Latin nova — meaning “new” — and the Sanskrit word sutras — meaning “religious teachings.”

The Novasutras movement is an invitation to co-create the religion the world needs today and for the future. Together, we can conceive a religion that remains adaptable, deeply democratic and egalitarian, open to both science and mysticism, and so beautifully compelling that it can powerfully transform the way humans live together in our biosphere.

By Benjamin Gimmel, BenHur, CC-BY-SA-3.0, from Wikimedia CommonsNovasutras has its roots in deep ecology, watered by mindfulness traditions, and growing up into the world to nurture everyone, stretching forth branches blossoming with enticing ritual and bearing the fruit of care and kindness for all.

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What are agaya and ubuntu?

Agaya is a new term, intended as an expression of the deep, sacred beauty of the universe. Ubuntu is a term that represents the connections between all things, binding us all together in the more-than-human world with reverence, joy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness. …read more…

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What are the core principles and values of the Novasutras movement?

Nature is sacred. Change is essential, inevitable and important. Complexity and maturity emerge from cooperative relationships. The beauty of the living world is to be savored, honored, celebrated and protected. …read more…

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Why is Novasutras a religion?

Unlike most activist organizations, Novasutras starts from the intention of inspiring a movement large enough to change the whole paradigm of civilization. We believe that we must change the underlying system: the ideas of our culture that are so fundamental, they go largely unspoken and unchallenged. A religion can provide people with the kind of new cultural template that will allow for radical changes throughout the system. …read more…

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Which religion is this?

Unitarian? Buddhist? Tantrist? Wiccan? Amah Mutsun? Atheist?
None of the above – or, more accurately, a little bit of all of the above. The intention of the Novasutras movement is to create a new religion. We are syncretic: that is, we are eager to take the best of what is available and appropriate, and incorporate it into a new set of practices and beliefs. Novasutras is rooted in deep ecology, so the practices and beliefs we choose must be compatible with agaya, ubuntu, and our core values.
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What do Novasutras adherents worship?THDWv2-logo-tn

We are proud to be tree-hugging dirt worshipers. One could more seriously say that we worship agaya – the deep, sacred beauty and complexity of the universe. We are therefore (arguably) pantheistic or animistic.
Most indigenous societies that pursue animism are relatively sustainable ecologically, a point that should be obvious if one considers their existence for centuries, or even millennia, in the same region without causing resource depletion and environmental degradation to an irreversible degree. In these kinds of societies, nature is not merely a biophysical reality or economic resource, but more important, it is intrinsically spiritual…  Probably the respect and reverence afforded nature because of its sacredness contributes significantly to the sustainability of these societies. (from anthropology.iresearchnet.com/animism/)
We do not focus on any specific goddesses or gods. Nonetheless, we respect some people’s need or wish to see agaya refracted through a more personified image (that is, some sort of deity).
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What do Novasutras adherents believe?

We essentially believe in ubuntu – the connections between all things, binding us all together in the more-than-human world with reverence, joy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness. We believe that it is our duty as intelligent, aware beings to promote agaya and ubuntu in the universe.
We believe that change is part of the essential nature of the universe and one of the most profound expressions of agaya, so we understand that there are few (if any) immutable truths. We recognize that it is only through thoughtful exchange of ideas and the recognition of carefully-considered knowledge (e.g. science) that wisdom can evolve, grow and thrive. We fully support the evolution of ideas through means such as the scientific method with peer-review, recognizing that (while imperfect) these are still the most reliable way to improve our understanding of reality.
However, religion and science are different ways to generate knowledge. While we recognize that we must always be able to accept and incorporate scientific findings, we also remain open to any insights or intuitions derived by other means that are not contradictory to available scientific evidence. We are willing to entertain possibilities beyond what science can currently investigate or accept, things that fall into the realms of the supernatural or paranormal. We do not cling to these insights, but we embrace their possibilities provided they help us to grow agaya and ubuntu.
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What are Novasutras practices?

novasutras-logo-straights-e1512161089467Novasutras practices currently include meditating, celebrating Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross-quarters (and other astronomical or worldwide events), calling the corners, drawing the logo, and befriending trees. Part of co-creating Novasutras includes developing additional specific rituals, rites and celebrations that promote the vitality of ubuntu and agaya.  In other words, we are making it up as we go alongplease join us in this vibrant co-creative endeavor.

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What is the moral foundation of the Novasutras movement?

The essence of the Novasutras movement is to promote agaya and ubuntu. All of our moral guidance follows from that. An individual’s actions should increase joy and wellness (and minimize suffering and fear) for all life. We recognize that evolution has shaped humans (and all other known life) to first focus on the wellness of ourselves and our descendants and other close kin, then those organisms around us that seem to participate in our wellness and joy, and only then to consider the wellness and joy of others. This is not evil or wrong, but it means that, as intelligent and aware beings, we must ever strive to extend our circle of compassion and concern to encompass as much of our universe as we can.
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Who is in charge of Novasutras?

Are there priestesses or hierophants?
While we respect wisdom and the knowledge of specialists, as a movement we reject hierarchical structures and the notion of individual leadership. Egalitarian, cooperative relationships are among our core values. There is always a preference for conversation and consensus. We are, in fact, co-creating this religion. We welcome the input of any who are sincerely and deeply committed to agaya and ubuntu.
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What are the goals of the Novasutras movement?

What Can I Do to Help?

share widely – create – start or join a work team – celebrate – share space – donate stuff – contribute funds or buy merch

Novasutras welcomes all dedicated people to apply their head, hands and heart to co-creating a world abiding in agaya and ubuntu.  …read more…

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Have more questions?  Please leave them in the comments below, or contact us.