Isakov Bektur:“Pilgrimage to sacred sites is the highest expression of worship of one’s native land.”

A unique national feature of the Kyrgyz people is their worldview. There are two elements to it: to know oneself as a people, as a nation and the second is, to know one’s land, which leads further – to know the Universe, by taking a pilgrimage to the sacred places.

These are the two elements that are conducive to the worldview of the Kyrgyz people.

Getting to know the father as the source of the clan, getting to know his spirit is a phenomenon present in philosophies around the world.  But Kyrgyz have it different then other religions. As the result this philosophy brings knowledge of one’s own people.  When we study and learn about our father, about our grandfather and great grandfather and so on, we learn who we are, whose blood runs through us and we learn that we should treasure and care for all the good that keeps us as the Kyrgyz people. When we talk about the spirits we are not talking about the sphere of mythology and mysticism. We talk about our ancestors who lovingly raised this nation, and to get more specific – it is you. Here we talk about patriotism. When a person honors spirits, brings sacrifice to honor them, invites people to the memorial sacrificial dinner to remember his ancestor using the sanjira – it is also one of the elements of patriotism. The meaning is to remember one’s own roots and who one is. Sanjira is a way to preserve the people, the nation on the pages of the most ancient book of humanity – history; it is a culture of knowledge of one’s own ancestry.The second element is the pilgrimage to the sacred places. It is the highest expression of honor to one’s native land. This tradition comes from ancient times. It is Arashan that you are researching, staying over night there, and the locality of Zulpukor. Sometimes they look at it  as the weapon of Manas. There are hundreds of magnificent and wonderful caves in Kyrgyzstan besides Zulpukor. There are special springs that have healing natures. These tradition are not archaisms, it is revering the people and the land. Here springs the love for the Motherland. In Kyrgyzstan it is an ordinary practice to revere the land where one’s own people live, and not only to revere the sacred places. Besides that, people also venerated graves, mausoleums, often times people took a pinch of their native soil and sewed it in an amulet and wore it on the neck. They gave it to the newborn and the powers of the fathers and the power of the native soil poured into the child, and this child would become faithful to his people and Motherland. By bringing the sacrifices and worship, by tying a piece of cloth to the trees in sacred places with the best of thoughts and requests and by looking after the sacred places a person purified himself, threw off the load of problems of livelihood and all of it together opened up in him something that was previously sacred and mysterious. This revelation gave an opportunity to look at the people around you, to look at a nation on a different scale and to see one’s Motherland from a different perspective, which is love. All this knowledge was passed unto a child from his babyhood; from his small age he was assured that the ancestral spirits oversee him and his native land. In this assuredness hid the secrets of courage of the Kyrgyz people.

Out of these two elements of the worldview builds up the knowledge of Tenir. At least 2000-3000 years if not more than 4000-5000 years the Kyrgyz people worshiped Tenir; Sky- the Father, Earth – the Mother. While they associate number 2200 with the age of Kyrgyz statehood , it is much older. This philosophy in its own time influenced the North of China that developed this idea into two aspects of the worldview. It is also observed in the religious movements of Japan, in Shinto religion and others. The secret of the solid Chinese positions today are in the strict observances of the principles of these two aspects. There are many reasons that take us off the right direction. Whether it is Western or Eastern influence or some religious matters, all of it turns us off the right path.

The phenomenon “My inheritance is your possession” we looked at  as feudal remnants and patriarchy. It was not wrong; rather it was a better achievement than the achievement of the West, Islam and Christianity.

With what aim do I go to the sacred places? I feel at ease afterwards. Now we came to the spring. Here is the water for the tea you are going to drink, from the spring of Kanykei. This is the gurgling spring that dastan Manas talks about. Its waters don’t freeze throughout the winter.