Dhakranism is literally the practice of following the dhakra or “Way of enlightenment”.
The dhakra, or simply “The Way”, has its roots in many of the religious and philosophical practices of the ancient pre-Imperial tribes that wandered throughout the world during The Scattering. These practices are primarily of Southron origin. As these beliefs began to coalesce and breakaway from the dogmas of Mazranism and other religious systems, its adherents began to identify themselves as Dhakranites, or “followers of the Way”. They moved to the southern regions of Achera where they erected their temples and shrines along the Hanan Mountains.
The Way does not hold with the casting down of other practices or paths to enlightenment. It only claims to be one of many. Therefore, its adherents maintain good relations with most other religious/philosophic practices.
Sorcery is a power that is not part of the Eight-Fold Path (the central tenets of the Way) and there neither abhorred nor venerated. It is a part of this world and therefore probably natural and as prone to good as to bad.
A more martial form of the Way was pioneered by the monk Shandor Azumed. This form of Dhakranism, known as Shandorian Dhakranism. Many adherents of the Way do not believe that Shandorianism is a true path to enlightenment as it flaunts the central precepts regarding harmlessness and non-violence.
The Eight-Fold Path
The Eight-Fold Path is comprised of the central tenets of the dhakra, or Way of Enlightenment:
- Wisdom of Vision: Viewing reality as it is, not as it appears to be
- Wisdom of Intention: Intend humility, freedom, and harmlessness
- Wisdom of Speech: Speak in a truthful, non-harmful way
- Wisdom of Action: Act in a non-harmful way
- Wisdom of Livelihood: Live in a non-harmful way
- Wisdom of Effort: Always make an effort to improve
- Wisdom of Mindfulness: Be aware of true reality with a clear conscience, without craving or aversion
- Wisdom of Behavior: Techniques detailed as the Five Precepts
- Refrain from taking life (often interpreted as non-violence)
- Refrain from taking that which is not given
- Refrain from sensual misconduct
- Refrain from lying, speaking truth always
- Refrain from intoxicants that steer your mind from the Wisdom of mindfulness
Worshipers and Clergy
Some privately follow the Way in their lives, seeking enlightenment in that way. Others seek to attain enlightenment through following a Master, one who traveled further along the Way than themselves, becoming their Disciples. Such masters and disciples are known as monks (though they are not considered to be of the Monk class—these would be a form of Cleric).
Temples and Shrines
Temples to Dhakranism are centers of learning. Designed to house many disciples and masters, there are great open spaces for lectures and many spaces for contemplation.
The monks live simple, austere lives, focused more on enlightenment than shallow comforts.
The Scrolls of the Dhakra are the most ancient texts of Dhakranism in existence. They are held by the monks of the Phadis Monastery in southern Achera. They are said to be the earliest recording of the Way by the monks, who pass their traditions on orally and by practice.
Particularly devout followers of “The Way” perform a daily ritual that results a special blessing being bestowed upon them. Sit in the lotus position and contemplate the Eight-Fold Path. Move one’s hands in a complex series of gestures meant to represent the Way as you contemplate. Gain a +4 sacred bonus to all Intelligence- and Wisdom-based skill checks.