Prav-Yav-Nav

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Prav (Правь), Yav (Явь) and Nav (Навь) are the three dimensions or qualities of the cosmos as described in the Book of Veles of Slavic Native Faith (Rodnovery).[1] The literal meanings of the words, are, respectively, "Right", "actuality" and "probability". They are also symbolised as a unity by the god Triglav (the "Three-Headed One"). Already Ebbo (c. 775 – 20 March 851, who was archbishop of Reims) documented that the Triglav was seen as embodying the connection and mediation between Heaven, Earth and the underworld / humanity; these three dimensions were also respectively associated to the colours white, green and black as documented by Karel Jaromír Erben.[2]

General meaning[edit]

Prav ("Right"; cf. Greek Orthotes, Sanskrit Ṛta), is the universal order otherwise described as the "Law of Heaven", which is enacted by the supreme God (Род Rod, "Generation" itself in Slavic theology) and permeates and regulates the other two hypostases.[3][4]

Prav is at the same time the plane of gods, who generate entities in accordance with the supreme order; gods and the entities that they beget "make up" the great God. Yav ("actuality") is the plane of matter and appearance, the here and now in which things appear in light, coalesce, but also dissolve in contingency; Nav ("probability") is the thin world of human ancestors, of spirit, consisting in the memory of the past and the projection of the future, that is to say the continuity of time.[5]

Descriptions[edit]

Triglav: soul, flesh and power[edit]

Represented as Triglav the three worlds are traditionally associated, respectively, to the three gods Svarog ("Heaven"), Perun ("Thunder") and Svetovid ("Worldseer"). These three gods are also seen, respectively, as representing the qualities of soul, flesh and power.[6] Perun and Svetovid are regarded as manifestations of the same Svarog, and other names for them are Dazhbog ("Giving God", "Day God") and Svarozhich (the god of fire, literally meaning "Son of Heaven").[7] The netherworld (Nav), especially in its dark aspect, is also traditionally embodied by Veles, who in this function is the god of waters but also the one who guides athwart them (cf. Sanskrit Varuna).[8]

In his study of Slavic cosmology, Jiří Dynda (2014), identifies Triglav as a conception of the axis mundi, and compares it to similar concepts from other Indo-European cultures. He gives weight to the Triglav as a representation of what Georges Dumézil studied as the "Indo-European trifunctional hypothesis" (holy, martial and economic functions reflected by three human types and social classes).[9]

The Triglav may also represents the interweaving of the three dimensions of time, metaphorically represented as a three-threaded rope.[10] By Ebbo's words, the Triglav is definable as summus deus, the god representing the "sum" of the three dimensions of reality as a mountain or tree (themselves symbols of the axis mundi).[11] According to Dynda, this threefold vision originating in Proto-Indo-European religion was also elaborated in early and medieval Christianity giving rise to the theology of God who is at the same time creator (father), creature (son) and creating activity (spirit).[12]

Heaven, Earth and humanity in Lozko's "genotheism"[edit]

In her theological commentaries to the Book of Veles, Ukrainian Rodnover leader Halyna Lozko betones the cosmological unity of the three planes of Heaven, Earth and humanity between them. She gives a definition of Rodnover theology and cosmology as "genotheism". God, hierarchically manifesting as different hypostases, a multiplicity of gods emerging from the all-pervading force Svarog, is genetically (rodovid) linked to humanity. On the human plane God is incarnated by the kin or lineage, in the Earth. Ethics and morality ultimately stem from this cosmology, as harmony with nature is possible only in the relationship between an ethnic group and its land.[13]

This cosmological vision provides the meaning of the worship of human ancestors, whether the Slavs' general forefather Or or Oryi,[14] or local forefathers such as Dingling worshipped by Vladivostok Rodnovers.[15] Divine ancestors are the spirits who generate and hold together kins, they are the kins themselves. The Russian volkhv Dobroslav emphasises the importance of blood heritage, since, according to him, the violation of kinship purity brings about the loss of the relationship with the kin's divine ancestor.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Shnirelman 2017, p. 101.
  2. ^ Dynda 2014, p. 60, 63.
  3. ^ Ivakhiv 2005b, p. 202; Ivakhiv 2005c, p. 230.
  4. ^ Laruelle 2008, p. 290; Aitamurto 2016, pp. 66–67.
  5. ^ Rabotkina 2013, p. 240.
  6. ^ Shnirelman 1998, p. 8, note 35.
  7. ^ Mathieu-Colas 2017.
  8. ^ Dynda 2014, p. 72.
  9. ^ Dynda 2014, p. 63.
  10. ^ Dynda 2014, p. 74.
  11. ^ Dynda 2014, p. 64.
  12. ^ Dynda 2014, p. 76.
  13. ^ Ivakhiv 2005a, p. 23.
  14. ^ Ivakhiv 2005a, p. 14, cites Or.
  15. ^ Shnirelman 2007, p. 54, cites Oryi and Dingling.
  16. ^ Shnirelman 2007, p. 54–55.

Sources[edit]

  • Aitamurto, Kaarina (2016). Paganism, Traditionalism, Nationalism: Narratives of Russian Rodnoverie. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781472460271.
  • Dynda, Jiří (2014). "The Three-Headed One at the Crossroad: A Comparative Study of the Slavic God Triglav" (PDF). Studia mythologica Slavica. 17. Institute of Slovenian Ethnology. pp. 57–82. ISSN 1408-6271. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2017.
  • Ivakhiv, Adrian (2005a). "In Search of Deeper Identities: Neopaganism and "Native Faith" in Contemporary Ukraine". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 8 (3). pp. 7–38. JSTOR 10.1525/nr.2005.8.3.7.
  •  ———  (2005b). "Nature and Ethnicity in East European Paganism: An Environmental Ethic of the Religious Right?". The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 7 (2). pp. 194–225.
  •  ———  (2005c). "The Revival of Ukrainian Native Faith". In Michael F. Strmiska (ed.). Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio. pp. 209–239. ISBN 9781851096084.
  • Laruelle, M. (2008). "Alternative Identity, Alternative Religion? Neo-Paganism and the Aryan Myth in Contemporary Russia". Nations and Nationalism. 14 (2). pp. 283–301.
  • Mathieu-Colas, Michel (2017). "Dieux slaves et baltes" (PDF). Dictionnaire des noms des divinités. France: Archive ouverte des Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société, Centre national de la recherche scientifique. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  • Shnirelman, Victor A. (1998). Russian Neo-pagan Myths and Antisemitism. Analysis of Current Trends in Antisemitism, Acta no. 13. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.
  •  ———  (2007). "Ancestral Wisdom and Ethnic Nationalism: A View from Eastern Europe". The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 9 (1). pp. 41–61. doi:10.1558/pome.v9i1.41.
  •  ———  (2017). "Obsessed with Culture: The Cultural Impetus of Russian Neo-Pagans". In Kathryn Rountree (ed.). Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism, and Modern Paganism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 87–108. ISBN 9781137570406.