Kadunghu Ka—The Writings of Illavallanism

The following are excerpts from the Kadunghu, the writings of the religion of Illavallanism.

From the BOOK OF THE CREATION

The opening line of the Kadunghu Ka written in the Elder Tongue script
The opening line of the Kadunghu Ka written in the Elder Tongue script

U ava-a he eth-a tha obo-avath kitik-va-uthu
mi 
kuduma ka obo-avak vohu,
Illa la bo-kodangal a-Takat-va-Maga ka…

1 When the sky was a blank canvas and the world a formless mass, the Mother began to create the Great Art. 2She stretched out the canvas of sky and brushed onto it the hues of deepest blue. 3She beheld the canvas of sky and declared it beautiful. 4When the canvas had dried, she placed it within the frame of heaven and placed a great light before it so that all might behold its beauty.

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5Then the Mother took the formless mass and began to shape it. 6She pressed and kneaded and sculpted the mass. 7When she looked at the mass she saw that it had become a perfect sphere and she declared it beautiful. 8She placed it before the canvas of sky and delighted to see the way the light of the lamp shone upon it.  9But the shadow of the world blocked out some of the canvas, so she hung tiny lights to illuminate the canvas wherever the shadow of the world should touch it. 10When she beheld the canvas of sky, the lamp, the world, and the lesser lights, she declared it beautiful.

11In her satisfaction, the Mother breathed out a sigh and her breath went into all the world. 12Where her breath went it brought with it life and the grasses, flowers, and trees sprang forth into being. 13The Mother beheld the grasses, flowers, and trees, and shouted for joy, “Beautiful!” 14As the words hit the world, they melted portions of the sphere and waters began to burst forth.  15The Mother peered closer to the world and saw the deep waters and as the breath of her nostrils hit the waters, they began to teem with life. 16She turned her gaze upon a barren plain, where earth and water had come together to make clay.  17As she looked closely at the earth, her breath reached into the clay and it yielded human beings. 18The human beings sat up and when they saw the goddess before them they cried out with one voice: “Mother!” 19The Mother said, “I shall answer to no other name, for my children have claimed me.”

20She began to laugh out of joy and with each laugh, a new creature came forth out of the earth: the elf, the halfling, the giant.  21Each saw her and shouted praise to her, calling her “Queen,” “Lady,” and “Goddess,” but only the human beings called her Mother. 22She brought forth the creatures of the field and forest: the dog, the cat, the bear, the lion, the horse, and all the creatures of the field.  23Her shouts of joy over the sea brought forth the porpoise and shark, the whale, the kraken, and the leviathan.  And with every new creature, she shouted all the louder and more joyfully. 24And when it was at long last over, she cried out, “It is very beautiful.”

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The Mother speaks the word “yarulu,” declaring the creation beautiful.

25The Mother saw that the world had become a crowded place and that the elves, giants, and halflings were jealous of the human beings and made to harm them.  26And so she took the human beings and placed them on a land apart. The Mother said to them, “Here you will be hidden until the time is right.” 17She brought many of the animals to share the hidden land with them and even caused the land to bring forth even more and more wondrous creatures for the use and amazement of humanity. 28And lest her children be frightened by the terrors of the dark, she hung another lamp in the shadow sky, that the night might not be a cause for fear.

29When all things were accomplished, the Mother beheld the entirety of what she had fashioned and pronounced it very, very beautiful.

The Book of THE SUITORS

1 And so it was: in the days when the Mother settled her children in the hidden lands, she saw that they struggled for want of food. 2 She said, “I shall fashion a tiller of the soil to teach my children how to bring forth fruit from the earth, so that they may be satisfied and worry no more.” 3 Taking some clay and mixing it with the finest soil, she fashioned a guide for the people.

4 She named him Duga, saying, “I give you a spade [dugu] to till the soil for my people. 5 Duga was dark of complexion and handsome, with a strong back and arms as thick as tree trunks. 6 He beheld the Mother and was enthralled by her beauty. 7 “I will do as you ask,” he said. “Only permit me your hand when I have returned from my labors.” 8 The Mother said, “I have no need of a consort or husband. But go: feed my people.”

9 And Duga went to the country of humanity, and there instructed them in tilling the soil, harvesting crops, nourishing the soil, and giving the land rest one year in seven. 10 And the people had food and were exceedingly grateful to Duga and the Mother. 11 They offered gifts to Duga and, moved by his love for the Mother, petitioned her that she might grant him favor.

[MORE EXCERPTS TO COME]

Illavallanism

Illavallanism is one of the five great religions of the Sunrise Lands and may be one of the oldest, perhaps even dating back to the civilizations of the Hidden Lands.

Beliefs

Illavallanism maintains belief in one central goddess known as Illa he Kuduma “Mother of the World” or Illa va Alla “Good Mother”, among other names. In many lands, she is known by the name Illavalla, a contraction of Illa va Alla. Illa is the creator of the universe and mother of all living things.

The icon of the religion of Illavallanism: four circles orbit a star, representing the four suitors orbit the sun of Illa he Kuduma
The four suitors orbit the sun of Illa he Kuduma

In the beginning, Illa engaged in the Takat va Maga, the Great Art in which she painted the canvas of the sky and molded as sculpture the world itself.  Beholding the magnificence of what she had wrought, she exhaled a sigh of satisfaction and her breath entered the world, bringing life to the creation.

Delighted with what she saw, Illa peered closer to the creation and as she did so, the breath from her nostrils continued to give life to the objects she beheld.  At one point, she looked over an empty place of nothing but earth (kadam) and her life giving breath brought forth human beings (kadmawehu).  The first humans gazed upon the Goddess and cried out “Mother!”  It is said that Illa forsook her name and claimed only the title of mother as that was the name given to her by her beloved children.  The Lost Name of Illa is said to possess the highest sacredness and were anyone to learn it and utter it, they would be able to wield tremendous power.

Illa is pursued at all times by Four Suitors, who vie for her attention and seek her hand in marriage. Illa is said not to be interested in marrying any of them, but from time to time shows one or the other of them favor, an act which has consequences for the world.

  • Duga. This suitor is a farmer and tiller of the soil.  When Illa shows favor to Duga, crops flourish, flocks increase, and business is plentiful.
  • Thura. This suitor is a sailor on the cosmic sea. When Illa shows favor to Thura, winds and weather are favorable, as well as winds of fortune and chance.
  • Suzha. This suitor is a knight. When Illa shows favor to Suzha, justice is performed and nations are strong against their rivals.
  • Rala. This suitor is a healer. When Illa shows favor to Rala, people are healed of their afflictions and conflicts are settled.

Illavallans believe that if they are faithful during this life, when Illavalla remakes the world into a new masterpiece, she will recreate them to live forever with her and the suitor she has chosen.

The primary source for Illavallan beliefs is Kadunghu Ka “The Writings,” the sacred scripture of Illavallanism.

Practice

Illavallans observe a five-day calendar, in which four days are assigned to the suitors to make their case and one day for Illa to make her judgments. Every fifth day is a holy day upon which the faithful will make petitions to Illa in favor of one of the suitors, depending on particular need.  The fifth day is not necessarily a day of rest as this often depends on whether the surrounding culture embraces the five day week.

Throughout the week, Illavallans may make offerings to each suitor to try to strengthen his cause with Illa so that individual concerns may be addressed.  For example, an Illavallan may make offerings to Duga during the week in order to make Duga more appealing to Illa and then on the fifth day make prayers to Illa to hear Duga’s case and incline her heart toward him so that the Illavallan’s crops might flourish.

Values

Illavallans see the world as a work of art and as human beings as works of art brought to life. Therefore they tend to value human dignity and stewardship of natural resources.

The sole deity of Illavallanism, Illavalla, orbited by the four suitors. This is a traditional depiction of the goddess as an artist, with the paint of creation on her fingers and the Earth she formed in her hands.
Illavalla, orbited by the four suitors. This is a traditional depiction of the goddess as an artist, with the paint of creation on her fingers and the world she formed in her hands.