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Rastafari Information

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teknoponic View Drop Down
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Joined: 07 May 2005
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  Quote teknoponic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Rastafari Information
    Posted: 06 September 2005 at 01:10

All sensi man, I&I would like share some fact about JAH RASTAFARI

Introduction

Rastafari is a young, Africa-centred religion which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, following the coronation of Haile Selassie I, as King of Ethiopia in 1930. Rastafarians believe Haile Selassie is God, and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile as the result of colonisation and the slave trade.  Rastafari theology developed from a prophecy allegedly made by Marcus Garvey, a political activist who wanted to improve the status of fellow blacks.

Marcus Garvey

"Look to Africa for the crowning of a king to know your redemption is near."  

Marcus Garvey, 1927

Rastafari became internationally visible when Reggae music took off in the 1960s. The faith spread beyond Jamaica and can now be found in Europe, the USA, Africa, Australasia and Canada.  There are now approximately one million world wide adherents of Rastafari as a faith, but probably many more people class themselves as Rastafarians in a social sense rather than in a religious one. The 2001 census found 5,000 Rastafarians living in England and Wales. 

Followers of Rastafari are known by a variety of names: "Rastafarians, Rastas, Sufferers, Locksmen, Dreads or Dreadlocks".  Rastas follow strict dietary laws and abstain from alcohol. They do not cut their hair, and are easily identified by the dreadlock style that they prefer. Rastafarians have attracted some ill-informed criticism for their belief in the spiritual uses of marijuana.

Rastafarian Beliefs

There is no formal Rastafari creed and there are slight differences in the views of different groups.  The most definitive list is found in the 1977 book 'The Rastafarians, The Dreadlocks of Jamaica' by scholar Leonard Barrett who lists what he regards as the six basic principles of Rastafari. He developed the list by attending public meetings and through anthropological research into the movement:

Reprinted from Tony Martin, Marcus Garvey, Hero Dover, Mass.: The Majority Press, 1983. Copyright Tony Martin. Reprinted by permission of Tony Martin.

  1. Haile Selassie I is the Living God.
  2. The Black person is the reincarnation of ancient Israel, who, at the hand of the White person, has been in exile in Jamaica.
  3. The White person is inferior to the Black person.
  4. Jamaica is hell; Ethiopia is heaven.
  5. The Invincible Emperor of Ethiopia is now arranging for expatriated persons of African origin to return to Ethiopia.
  6. In the near future Blacks shall rule the world.

But Leonard Barrett's list is itself nearly thirty years old and so many of the beliefs above may no longer have the same significance to modern rastafarians. This is especially true since the spread of the movement to the West which has led to the emergence of White Rastafarians.

Modern Rastafarian Beliefs

From the 1930s until the mid 1970s most Rastafarians accepted the traditional Rastafari beliefs.  But in 1973 Joseph Owens published a more modern approach to Rastafari beliefs. In 1991 Michael N. Jagessar revised Owens's ideas, devising his own systematic approach to Rastafari theology and providing an insight into the changes in the group's beliefs.  The key ideas in Contemporary Rastafari are:

The humanity of God and the divinity of man.                                                                     This refers to the importance of Haile Selassie who is perceived by Rastafarians as a living God. Likewise it emphasises the concept of God revealing himself to his followers through his humanity.

God is found within every man.
Rastafarians believe that God makes himself known through humanity. According to Jagessar "there must be one man in whom he exists most eminently and completely, and that is the supreme man, Rastafari, Selassie I."

God in history.
It is very important to see all historical facts in the context of God's judgement and workings.

Salvation on earth.
Salvation for Rastafarians is an earthly idea, rather than heavenly.

The supremacy of life.
Human nature is very important to Rastafarians and they should preserve and protect it.

Respect for nature.
This idea refers to the importance and respect Rastafarians have for animals and the environment, as mirrored in their food laws.

The power of speech.
Speech is very important to Rastafarians, as it enables the presence and power of God to be felt.

Evil is corporate.
Sin is both personal and corporate. This means organisations such as the International Monetary Fund are responsible for Jamaica's fiscal situation, and that oppression is in part influenced by them.

Judgement is near.
This corresponds to the nearness of judgement for Rastafarians when they will be given greater recognition.

The priesthood of Rastafarians.
Rastafarians are the chosen people of God and are on earth to promote his power and peacefulness.

Joseph Owens 'The Rastafarians of Jamaica', 1973 pp. 167-70 and Jagessar 'JPIC and Rastafarians' 1991 pp. 15-17

Human brain

To modern Rastafari the most important doctrine is belief in the divinity of Haile Selassie I. Although some Rastafarians still regard Haile Selassie as the black messiah, many modern adherents do not see this as central to their faith.  Haile Selassie's death in 1975 was described by his followers as his 'disappearance', since they refused to believe he has passed away. Following his death and the increased acceptance of Jamaican culture in society many Rastafarian beliefs have been modified. The previous belief that white people are evil has diminished and is no longer central to Rastafarian belief systems.

Justifications for the Divinity of Haile Selassie

Rastafarians use Biblical names such as "Lord of Lords", "King of Kings" and "Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah" for Haile Selassie. These terms had been used throughout history to describe Ethiopian Emperors, but with the crowning of Haile Selassie I they were seen as evidence that supported his divine status.  Many Rastafarians trace Haile Selassie's lineage back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. They believe that the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon found in the Book of Kings (1 Kings 10: 1-13) provides further proof of the divinity of Haile Selassie I.

Haile Selassie © Clipart

His Imperial Majesty Emporer Haile selassie I, JAH Rastafari


The Rastafarian colours are red, green and gold. Sometimes black is added. These colours are chosen because:

The flag of Ethiopia, in green, gold and red

Ethiopian Flag

Red signifies the blood of those killed for the cause of the black community, throughout Jamaican history

Green represents Jamaica's vegetation and hope for the eradication of suppression

Gold symbolises the wealth of Ethiopia

Black signifies the colour of the Africans who initiated Rastafari

The Rastafarian Symbol

The Conquering Lion of Judah is the symbol of Rastafari.

Rastafarian flag

This lion represents Haile Selassie I, who is referred to as the 'Conquering Lion of Judah'. Rastafarians' dreadlocks represent the lion's mane.  The Lion of Judah - Taken from the heraldic symbol of the biblical Tribe of Judah, Genesis 49: 8-10. The Star of David, or also called the Star of Solomon, is used many times to symbolize the Rastafarian religion. Haile Selassie was descendant from King Solomon and King David, hence the use of the symbol.  The cross - symbolises the cross of Jesus Christ saviour of the world.

Rastafari Customs

Rastafari doesn't have a specific religious building that is set aside for worship. Rastafarians usually meet weekly, either in a believer's home or in a community centre.  The meetings are referred to as Reasoning sessions. They provide a time for chants, prayers and singing, and for communal issues to be discussed. Marijuana may be smoked to produce heightened spiritual states.  The music used at these meetings is known as Nyabingi, and so when meetings are mostly musical they are often referred to as Nyabingi meetings.  Meetings may also include large feasts.

Rastafarians

"Ital" Diet and Dreadlocks

A set of dietary and hygienic laws were formulated to accompany the religion's doctrine. They urged their flocks to shun the ingestion of alcohol, tobacco, all meat (especially pork), as well as shellfish, scaleless fish, snails, predatory and scavenger species of marine life, and many common seasonings like salt. In short, anything that was not "ital," a Rasta term meaning pure, natural or clean, was forbidden.

They also outlawed was the combing or cutting of hair, citing the holy directive in

Leviticus 21:5: "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh."

Their nappy tresses were allowed to mat and twine themselves into ropy dreadlocks, so called to mock non-believers' aversion to their appearance. (The noun "dread" has also since evolved into a word of praise.)

Ritual use of Marijuana

Marijuana is regarded as a herb of religious significance. It is used in Rastafari reasoning sessions, which are communal meetings involving meditation.  According to Leonard Barrett, Rastafarians first began using Marijuana in reaction to the treatment of blacks in society. It became a "reactionary device" to enable "freedom from the establishment." (Leonard Barrett, 'The Rastafarians, The Dreadlocks of Jamaica' p. 129)

Rasta man smokes ganja

Marijuana is used by Rastafarians to heighten feelings of community and to produce visions of a religious and calming nature.  Rastafarians are unlikely to refer to the substance as marijuana; they usually describe it as "the wisdom weed" or "the holy herb."  Ganja is considered the "wisdom weed" by Rastafarians, as its use helps one to gain wisdom.  Rastafarians use Ganja as a religious rite and as a means of getting closer to their inner spiritual self, Jah (God) and Creation.  This "wisdom weed" Ganja is seen by Rastafarians as the herb of life that is mentioned in the Bible.  Rastafarians use of ganja is justified by the following: 

the demon weed

'He causeth the grass for the cattle, and herb for the services of man.'
Psalm 104:14
 
'...thou shalt eat the herb of the field'.                                           
Genesis 3.18
 
'...eat every herb of the land.'                                                      
 Exodus 10:12
 
'Better is a dinner of herb where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.'
Proverbs 15:17
 

Marijuana: The Mystical Weed of Wisdom

In fact, the herb "ganja" (marijuana) was regarded as "wisdomweed," and Rasta leaders urged that it be smoked as a religious rite, alleging that it was found growing on the grave of King Solomon.

Religions always reflect the social and geographical environment out of which they emerge, and Jamaican Rastafari is no exception: for example, the use of marijuana as a sacrament and aid to meditation is logical in a country where a particularly potent strain of 'herb' grows freely.

The use of marijuana is a highly ritualised act, and before it is used a prayer is uttered by all:

" Glory be to the father and to the maker of creation.

As it was in the beginning

is now and ever shall be

World without end:

Jah Rastafari:

Eternal God Selassie I."

The marijuana is rolled into a cigarette  or placed into a chillum pipe. When smoked it is inhaled deeply, then held, as the devotee enters into a trance-like state ...


 

 

 

Galaxy NineJah Rastafari Selassie I the Conqueror...

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sativastuff View Drop Down
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  Quote sativastuff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2007 at 19:49
Thanks for that clear expose for I and I brethren man!!!!
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  Quote bigjohnson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2008 at 21:40
Technoponic,

Isn't a religion that proclaims "chosen", just a CULT?

If there were a God, wouldn't we all be chosen?


Bj.
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  Quote marcuz29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2008 at 06:01
Wow. At least i already know what jah rastafari means. My friends keep on saying that and i really don't have an idea what does it mean.Now i know.
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  Quote assinomen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2012 at 00:44
hailie sellasie was born 23rd july..23rd july is when sirius rises on the nile and the plains flood,they are called the dog days and last for 23 days,african kings(etthiopeans)were some of the kings of egypt i think ,so the dog star is a special time and a good omen for the birth of an ethiopean king,also the dogon tribe worship or at least have max respect for sirius,they were reputed to know about sirius b which cannot be seen with the naked eye,before it was discovered by astronomers.there is a book "the sirius mystery"by robert temple,some contravacy  surronds the whole thing ,but dosent it always?anyway the sellassie birth on 23 july is for sure..   
T is for truth,for truth is strange,stranger than fiction..lord byron
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  Quote assinomen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2012 at 00:48
Originally posted by bigjohnson

Technoponic,

Isn't a religion that proclaims "chosen", just a CULT?

If there were a God, wouldn't we all be chosen?


Bj.
not really it may be we choose god not vice versa,and in some respects all religion,s are cult,s the word cult is from french meaning "worship"
i see your point though..beware of the groups that say "we are the ones"rasta is an offshoot of judaeo christian ,but they take their  stuff from the veda and other sources.
and i think any true compasionate god would not forsake any of us.no disrespect to the ras
i had some good mystic chats with a few.
T is for truth,for truth is strange,stranger than fiction..lord byron
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