|Spiritual beliefs in the World of Avatar|
Air Nomads Edit
The spiritual beliefs of the Air Nomads seem to be modeled after Tibetan Buddhism. To the Air Nomad monks all life was sacred; therefore, they consciously refrained from harming the Earth or any living being. As a vegetarian, Aang made the conscious choice to exclude animals from his diet, since he believed it was wrong to kill for consumption. He showed visible concern when Sokka began tearing the dense vegetation of the Foggy Swamp with his machete, believing his actions to be disrespectful to nature. Before eating dinner with his family, Tenzin offered grace for their food. The Air Nomads had a philosophy of peace and, as a result, did not have a formal military. This lack of a formal military in conjunction with the power lent to Sozin's armies by the comet were contributing factors in the near extinction of the Air Nomads. Although not proven, the Air Nomads might have revered the Avatar, considering that the Southern Air Temple contained statues of all the Avatars. This contrasts the other nations, who typically have only one or two primary figures of worship.
Water Tribe Edit
Due to separation between the tribes, the spiritual beliefs of the Water Tribes are difficult to assess, although certain spiritual aspects are known. There is clear reverence of the Moon and Ocean Spirits, since the origins of waterbending, according to legend, come from the moon: noticing how the moon pushed and pulled the tides of the ocean, the people of the Water Tribes learned to do it themselves and became the first human waterbenders. In the Northern Water Tribe lies the Spirit Oasis, a secluded cove located behind the Chief's palace. There is a pond in the middle of the oasis, in which two koi fish, Tui and La, swim around each other in a circular course. The oasis is the most spiritual place in the entire North Pole; although it is surrounded by frozen lands, the oasis has unusually warm surroundings with trees and a waterfall.
Earth Kingdom Edit
Small shrines, temples and monasteries dot the landscape, some being dedicated to previous Avatars like Kyoshi, who has a shrine on Kyoshi Island. Because of his divine connection, the Earth King has several ceremonial temples on his palace grounds, one of which, the Royal Shrine, is forbidden to anyone else.
In the past, farmers in the region of the Great Divide used to offer sacrifices to resident earth spirits. It is, in fact, a legend that the Divide was carved by these same spirits who became angered at not receiving proper tribute. In the Si Wong Desert, sandbenders have slightly different views of the world, shaped by their forbidding home. Much of their mythology concerns the desert and its formation. Sandbender lore, for example, states that the Si Wong Rock was dropped from heaven by the gods as a display of strength when the people stopped obeying their priests.
Fire Nation Edit
Despite being the only nation with an established clergy, little is known about the spiritual beliefs of the Fire Nation. Today, most upper-class citizens and government and military officials show little concern for the Spirit World, as evidenced through Zhao's murder of the Moon Spirit or General Mung's willingness to drive away the Painted Lady by building a metalworking factory. However, many Fire Nation peasants still carry strong faith in local patron spirits, like the Painted Lady, and often look to them for guidance and intervention in problems. Many people also willingly attribute problems to evil spirits or witches. Reverence for the Avatar is a difficult issue in the Fire Nation; although Roku is still revered, the near-universal belief in Fire Nation cultural and physical superiority and the animosity toward his successor have left it for the most part minimal.
While not directly addressed, there is an implication that historical Fire Nation spiritual beliefs held the Sun in high regard, or even focused on it primarily. Evidence for this is best seen in Fire Lord paintings and other depictions, in which traditional Asian solar motiffs like sun-disc halos are present. Sun Warrior spirituality still seems to put an emphasis on the Sun, stressing the life giving properties of fire.
Spirit World Edit
- Main article: Spirit World
The Spirit World is a lush, vast world that runs parallel to the World of Avatar. Here reside the spirits, immortal supernatural entities which often embody different aspects of life and nature. It is also the final resting place of all the past lives of the Avatar. Spirits may enter the physical world, but they become mortal and can be killed if they do so.
Known spirits Edit
- Hei Bai
- Ocean Spirit
- Odd monkey spirit
- Painted Lady
- Past Avatars
- Moon Spirit (former)
- Wan Shi Tong
- Moon Spirit (current)
- Wolf spirit