Agaya is a new term, intended as an expression of the deep, sacred beauty of the universe and its capacity to create life. Agaya is what inspires awe and 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.
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
Ubuntu is a term that originated in South Africa to mean the sense of community with others. Most ubuntu theology 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. It incorporates our duty as conscious humans to participate in this community with reverence, joy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness. Ubuntu is a feature of agaya, perhaps its driving force. It is the essential truth of interbeing and interdependent co-arising that manifests everywhere.
“It speaks of the very essence of being human. When we want to give high praise to someone we say, Yu, u nobuntu; hey, so-and-so has Ubuntu. Then you are generous, you are hospitable, and you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours. We belong in a bundle of life. We say a person is a person through other persons. It is not I think therefore I am. It says rather: I am human because I belong, I participate, and I share. A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
–Archbishop Desmond Tutu – No Future Without Forgiveness
Learn more from videos on our YouTube ubuntu and agaya playlist.