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  Topics - Parsistani
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1  General / Geopolitical Studies and News / Taliban on: August 05, 2009, 05:58:57 PM
http://www.ravy.ir/content2898035.html
http://www.javannewspaper.com/1388/880515/jahan.htm#s507204
2  General / The Study of the Concept of Afghanistan / Latif Pedram on Amanullah Khan, former king of Afghanistan on: August 04, 2009, 04:52:31 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXlUCi3uktY

I´ve also a very interesting text to the video from the owner. It´s more a summerized text about the events past in Afghanistan´s history since it´s creation in 1919 to the date of the Taliban and modern-days. So, it´s not a special take over on Amanullah Khan but his Pashtun chauvinism policy is mentioned.

Quote
Pashtun chauvinism and fascism in Afghanistan

Who was Pashtunist/Nationalist Amanullah Khan?

He was a facist Pashtun who wanted to Pashtunize the country by giving Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara, Pashai and Nuristani lands and provinces to Pashtuns from the Sulaiman Mountains. In Shughnan, the brave? Tajiks not only destroyed him and his homosexual Pashtun army...but also freed the region from their influence. But that didn´t kept the dog from promoting Pashtun chauvinism and Pashtunism and Sargin-Talkhan-Sholombakhori in Afghanistan. The same way all his followers and Pashtun ministres and Pashtun ultra-nationalists, particularely some who were mostly pointing themself out among the Pashtu ultra-nationalists because of their actions, such were: Mahmud Tarzi, Muhammad Gul Khan Mohmand (a filthy Kashmiri-Punjabi Pashtun)  Nader Khan Ghadar (a filthy Indian Pashtun), Daus Khan and his cousin Zaher Khan Kal Afshari Khan (son of Indian Pathan Nader Khan Ghadar Afsharzada) went through and all of them were backed by their mio. of? tribal people, not as some uneducated and idiotic believe or try to fool Non-Pashtuns that these dogs were just single persons. Every movement need people that backs it, as criminal Pashtun Hekmatyar, criminal Pashtun Sayaf, criminal ultra-nationalists and radical-islamists Taliban etc., all of them from the same cluster under different names and banners, were backed by their own ethnical people, otherwise they couldn´t became Pashtun heroes (another sick mentality and questionable identity of Pashtuns calling criminals as ''Heroes'' as a result of seeking for an identity comparable to the great Tajiks and Iranians) and powerful. It´s first peak of Pashtun chauvinism it? was reached with the attack of Mangal, Jaji and Zadran Pashtun tribes led by Nader Khan on Tajiks whom they take a large part of their countries and fuitable lands for themself, replaced the Persian-Tajik names of the provinces to Pashtun tribes´names in eastern-Afghanistan and the destruction of Buddha statues by the canons of Nader Khan Ghadar,an Indianized Pashtun. Nangahar,Laghman,Paghman and Uruzgan were such sites..was taken by violence and gaven to Pashtun nomads and the original land-owner were driven out of there to north and neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan and Kashmir and Tajikistan. It´s second peack it took when Nader Khan and Muhammad Ghul Khan Mohmand, and before him Amanullah in? some cases, were banning Persian language and tried to impose Pashtu language and Pashtun identity on all Non-Pashtuns to make out of all Pashtuns, but they failed because of the superiority of Persian language, culture and civilization, compared to that of Pashtuns´ tent civilization and mountainiour language. After three years banning, they were forced to unban it but this unban gave to Persian an unexpected arise that the language and culture had never faced before in the 15 years of Afghanistan´s history, since it´s creation and independance from British super-power in 1919. The Pashtun chauvinist and royal ruling house self became ironically Persian-speakers and couldn´t speak after a spanse of 5 years a word Pashtu, nevertheless and also here ironically, the house kept it´s facism and chauvinistic sense against everything Non-Pashtunic. Persian language dominated all and everything and was spoken everywhere. Specially in regions where Pashtuns grow to a dominant group, Tajiks and Hazara boosted their influence and language. It´s third peack, it? reached with Dahoos Khan periode and the creating of Nazi Germany-inspired Pashtun party AfghanMellat (in the sense of ''Pashtun Country'') which still is a close and integral part of criminal and puppet Karzai e Dooz e Taryaaki, whos family were working with ISI (Pakistan) and Taliban and are/(were) known well for beeing part of drug trades from Afghanistan to Europe and America. His brother is the most famous one under the Karzai drug-dealer family. However, under Daous Khan Russghulam, large provinces became changed again to Pashtun tribes names, f.ex. ''Maidan'', also called Maidan e Kalan became changed to ''Wardak'', a tribe that once served their british masters and in turn the British Empire send 50 of them as ministers to Afghanistan. Cities in Tajik regiosn like Sabzavar (GreenPond) became Shindand (Pashtu version of Sabzevar) etc. etc. Most Pashtunized region kept eastern and southern Afghanistan and many Tajiks became under Daous Khan and the large Pashtun colonization again Pashtu speaker. For example in Farah, where 30% of Tajiks are Pashtu-speaker and count as such...tough they have nothing to do with Pashtuns but just to boost Pashtun number in Afghanistan. Their culture and identity is kept as Persian in culture and identity. Such a Pashtu-speaking and singing Tajik is Latif Nangahari. It´s fourth peack, it reached during the Taliban where Pashtun chauvinism was at it´s highest grade. Non-Pashtuns were forced to speak in the public in Pashtu, giving lands to Pashtun nomads, were forced to dropp off their culture and identity. To be succes, they burned all Persian-written? books, banned all Persian songs, burned all records. tapes, Persian books about science, philosophy, religion etc. and disgraced all graves of Persian artists, famous people that have lived in Afghanistan for millenias. From the tomb of Sanai in Ghazna to the tomb of Ahmad Zahir. Another step was the ethnic cleansing of Non-Pashtuns by the Pashtuns (killing and replacing Non-Pashtuns by Pashtuns in key-regions, like Kabul, Herat so these regions could also become Pashtunic), see also the following document. The document that was found in 2002 in a Kabul Pashtun shop (possibly it´s owner was a Taliban or just another Pashtunist/Facist) written in Pashtu for the Pashtun Taliban by a Pashtun AfghanMellati with the pseudonym ''Samsoor Afghan''? and who is identified as one of criminal Karzais loyal men, Haroon Yahya, a pro-Taliban Pashtunist was publishing it first in Germany. Interestingly, this guy is protected by the minister of ''culture'', the uncultural Pashtun Wazir e Kharhang Abdul Karim Khuram. In the book, the great Ahmad Shah Massud is called as ''Bach e Dawum e Saqqaw e'', an analogy on noble Habibullah Khan Kalakani, a Tajik king and adventurer of Afghanistan who ruled for a short periode after Amanullah Khan. The Pashtun Nader Ghadar and his Pashtun tribes killed him and many Tajiks from Kabul and the north because of their ethnical background as they became ruler from first hand of Afghanistan as the first Non-Pashtuns since 1747. Since then, traditionally, from 1747 all kings of Xurasan and later Afghanistan were Pashtuns. Read about the book on the following link:
http://www.genocidewatch.org/images/Afghanistan_19_May_01_Afghan_Call_for_Ethnic_Cleansing.pdf I am going to find and buy the book and publish it here so you can see I am not liyng. In 2005, Pakman? Organization, a sister party of AfghanMellat and a PAKISTANI Pashtun party was hardly integrated to Afghanistan´s education ministery by criminal sell-out Pashtun/ist Karzai. They made public their first agendas of Pashtunization of Afghanistan´s education system. Even today, AfghanMellat who still works in Pakistan with the Taliban, are still holding their policy while their own and weak people in the south suffer by hunger, thirst and? bombs of the NATO. One of their own capitals are based in Kandahar city...where they can see clearly the misery of innocent Pashtun children and women but these stubborn Pashtuns just have an eye for their own Pashtunist wishes and Anti-Tajik-Uzbek-Hazara-Nuristani-Pashai etc. agendas, that will never come true, if all Non-Pashtuns stand against them. The Germ.-Homepage of AfghanMellat is Afghan-German Online http://www.afghan-german.de/index.asp (Afghan facism and chauvinism page). This site even try to indoctrinate children of Non-Pashtuns doing their dirty job for them and they try to bring hatred between Hazaras, Uzbeks and Tajiks by writing fake documents and lies, sponsered mostly by Khuram Agency in Afghanistan. The last act of AfghanMellat Nazis in Afghanistan was the banning of Persian words like Daneshgah (University) and the death of three Tajik students in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif. Further, they quite the journalist´s job who used the word Daneshgah, which is a pure Dari/Persian word and called the word as ''unislamic'', as the Pashtu equivalence (Poohantun, self rooted in the ''unislamic'' Persian language)? would be an''islamic'' or arabic word. For 2011 they prophecized building Pashtu-speaking schools in Kabul and all other regions and to urbanize Kichi Pashtuns, of course on the expenses of Non-Pashtuns and their lands. This video just shall be a small picture, just like a drop of the ocean about what was and still is going in Afghanistan and why a ''United'' Afghanistan will never exist and why Non-Pashtuns have to fight for their rights and survival as the original population of Xurasanzameen and not these Pashtuns. It´s very important to create an own independant state, away from Pashtuns in the south and east, where Xurasanians can live in peace and harmony as they did in pre-Pashtun periodes for millenias, otherwise we will always have war with these backward nomadic Turanin people. We dream of a time and of a country when a Jew was living side by side with a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Buddhist without having dangerous or hatefull thoughts toward them.

Ignore the word ''dog'' on the text. What´s important, is the message.
3  General / Tajik History, Culture and Civilization / Latif Pedram on Amanullah Khan, former king of Afghanistan on: August 04, 2009, 04:50:16 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXlUCi3uktY

I´ve also a very interesting text to the video from the owner. It´s more a summerized text about the events past in Afghanistan´s history since it´s creation in 1919 to the date of the Taliban and modern-days. So, it´s not a special take over on Amanullah Khan but his Pashtun chauvinism policy is mentioned.

Quote
Pashtun chauvinism and fascism in Afghanistan

Who was Pashtunist/Nationalist Amanullah Khan?

He was a facist Pashtun who wanted to Pashtunize the country by giving Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara, Pashai and Nuristani lands and provinces to Pashtuns from the Sulaiman Mountains. In Shughnan, the brave? Tajiks not only destroyed him and his homosexual Pashtun army...but also freed the region from their influence. But that didn´t kept the dog from promoting Pashtun chauvinism and Pashtunism and Sargin-Talkhan-Sholombakhori in Afghanistan. The same way all his followers and Pashtun ministres and Pashtun ultra-nationalists, particularely some who were mostly pointing themself out among the Pashtu ultra-nationalists because of their actions, such were: Mahmud Tarzi, Muhammad Gul Khan Mohmand (a filthy Kashmiri-Punjabi Pashtun)  Nader Khan Ghadar (a filthy Indian Pashtun), Daus Khan and his cousin Zaher Khan Kal Afshari Khan (son of Indian Pathan Nader Khan Ghadar Afsharzada) went through and all of them were backed by their mio. of? tribal people, not as some uneducated and idiotic believe or try to fool Non-Pashtuns that these dogs were just single persons. Every movement need people that backs it, as criminal Pashtun Hekmatyar, criminal Pashtun Sayaf, criminal ultra-nationalists and radical-islamists Taliban etc., all of them from the same cluster under different names and banners, were backed by their own ethnical people, otherwise they couldn´t became Pashtun heroes (another sick mentality and questionable identity of Pashtuns calling criminals as ''Heroes'' as a result of seeking for an identity comparable to the great Tajiks and Iranians) and powerful. It´s first peak of Pashtun chauvinism it? was reached with the attack of Mangal, Jaji and Zadran Pashtun tribes led by Nader Khan on Tajiks whom they take a large part of their countries and fuitable lands for themself, replaced the Persian-Tajik names of the provinces to Pashtun tribes´names in eastern-Afghanistan and the destruction of Buddha statues by the canons of Nader Khan Ghadar,an Indianized Pashtun. Nangahar,Laghman,Paghman and Uruzgan were such sites..was taken by violence and gaven to Pashtun nomads and the original land-owner were driven out of there to north and neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan and Kashmir and Tajikistan. It´s second peack it took when Nader Khan and Muhammad Ghul Khan Mohmand, and before him Amanullah in? some cases, were banning Persian language and tried to impose Pashtu language and Pashtun identity on all Non-Pashtuns to make out of all Pashtuns, but they failed because of the superiority of Persian language, culture and civilization, compared to that of Pashtuns´ tent civilization and mountainiour language. After three years banning, they were forced to unban it but this unban gave to Persian an unexpected arise that the language and culture had never faced before in the 15 years of Afghanistan´s history, since it´s creation and independance from British super-power in 1919. The Pashtun chauvinist and royal ruling house self became ironically Persian-speakers and couldn´t speak after a spanse of 5 years a word Pashtu, nevertheless and also here ironically, the house kept it´s facism and chauvinistic sense against everything Non-Pashtunic. Persian language dominated all and everything and was spoken everywhere. Specially in regions where Pashtuns grow to a dominant group, Tajiks and Hazara boosted their influence and language. It´s third peack, it? reached with Dahoos Khan periode and the creating of Nazi Germany-inspired Pashtun party AfghanMellat (in the sense of ''Pashtun Country'') which still is a close and integral part of criminal and puppet Karzai e Dooz e Taryaaki, whos family were working with ISI (Pakistan) and Taliban and are/(were) known well for beeing part of drug trades from Afghanistan to Europe and America. His brother is the most famous one under the Karzai drug-dealer family. However, under Daous Khan Russghulam, large provinces became changed again to Pashtun tribes names, f.ex. ''Maidan'', also called Maidan e Kalan became changed to ''Wardak'', a tribe that once served their british masters and in turn the British Empire send 50 of them as ministers to Afghanistan. Cities in Tajik regiosn like Sabzavar (GreenPond) became Shindand (Pashtu version of Sabzevar) etc. etc. Most Pashtunized region kept eastern and southern Afghanistan and many Tajiks became under Daous Khan and the large Pashtun colonization again Pashtu speaker. For example in Farah, where 30% of Tajiks are Pashtu-speaker and count as such...tough they have nothing to do with Pashtuns but just to boost Pashtun number in Afghanistan. Their culture and identity is kept as Persian in culture and identity. Such a Pashtu-speaking and singing Tajik is Latif Nangahari. It´s fourth peack, it reached during the Taliban where Pashtun chauvinism was at it´s highest grade. Non-Pashtuns were forced to speak in the public in Pashtu, giving lands to Pashtun nomads, were forced to dropp off their culture and identity. To be succes, they burned all Persian-written? books, banned all Persian songs, burned all records. tapes, Persian books about science, philosophy, religion etc. and disgraced all graves of Persian artists, famous people that have lived in Afghanistan for millenias. From the tomb of Sanai in Ghazna to the tomb of Ahmad Zahir. Another step was the ethnic cleansing of Non-Pashtuns by the Pashtuns (killing and replacing Non-Pashtuns by Pashtuns in key-regions, like Kabul, Herat so these regions could also become Pashtunic), see also the following document. The document that was found in 2002 in a Kabul Pashtun shop (possibly it´s owner was a Taliban or just another Pashtunist/Facist) written in Pashtu for the Pashtun Taliban by a Pashtun AfghanMellati with the pseudonym ''Samsoor Afghan''? and who is identified as one of criminal Karzais loyal men, Haroon Yahya, a pro-Taliban Pashtunist was publishing it first in Germany. Interestingly, this guy is protected by the minister of ''culture'', the uncultural Pashtun Wazir e Kharhang Abdul Karim Khuram. In the book, the great Ahmad Shah Massud is called as ''Bach e Dawum e Saqqaw e'', an analogy on noble Habibullah Khan Kalakani, a Tajik king and adventurer of Afghanistan who ruled for a short periode after Amanullah Khan. The Pashtun Nader Ghadar and his Pashtun tribes killed him and many Tajiks from Kabul and the north because of their ethnical background as they became ruler from first hand of Afghanistan as the first Non-Pashtuns since 1747. Since then, traditionally, from 1747 all kings of Xurasan and later Afghanistan were Pashtuns. Read about the book on the following link:
http://www.genocidewatch.org/images/Afghanistan_19_May_01_Afghan_Call_for_Ethnic_Cleansing.pdf I am going to find and buy the book and publish it here so you can see I am not liyng. In 2005, Pakman? Organization, a sister party of AfghanMellat and a PAKISTANI Pashtun party was hardly integrated to Afghanistan´s education ministery by criminal sell-out Pashtun/ist Karzai. They made public their first agendas of Pashtunization of Afghanistan´s education system. Even today, AfghanMellat who still works in Pakistan with the Taliban, are still holding their policy while their own and weak people in the south suffer by hunger, thirst and? bombs of the NATO. One of their own capitals are based in Kandahar city...where they can see clearly the misery of innocent Pashtun children and women but these stubborn Pashtuns just have an eye for their own Pashtunist wishes and Anti-Tajik-Uzbek-Hazara-Nuristani-Pashai etc. agendas, that will never come true, if all Non-Pashtuns stand against them. The Germ.-Homepage of AfghanMellat is Afghan-German Online http://www.afghan-german.de/index.asp (Afghan facism and chauvinism page). This site even try to indoctrinate children of Non-Pashtuns doing their dirty job for them and they try to bring hatred between Hazaras, Uzbeks and Tajiks by writing fake documents and lies, sponsered mostly by Khuram Agency in Afghanistan. The last act of AfghanMellat Nazis in Afghanistan was the banning of Persian words like Daneshgah (University) and the death of three Tajik students in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif. Further, they quite the journalist´s job who used the word Daneshgah, which is a pure Dari/Persian word and called the word as ''unislamic'', as the Pashtu equivalence (Poohantun, self rooted in the ''unislamic'' Persian language)? would be an''islamic'' or arabic word. For 2011 they prophecized building Pashtu-speaking schools in Kabul and all other regions and to urbanize Kichi Pashtuns, of course on the expenses of Non-Pashtuns and their lands. This video just shall be a small picture, just like a drop of the ocean about what was and still is going in Afghanistan and why a ''United'' Afghanistan will never exist and why Non-Pashtuns have to fight for their rights and survival as the original population of Xurasanzameen and not these Pashtuns. It´s very important to create an own independant state, away from Pashtuns in the south and east, where Xurasanians can live in peace and harmony as they did in pre-Pashtun periodes for millenias, otherwise we will always have war with these backward nomadic Turanin people. We dream of a time and of a country when a Jew was living side by side with a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Buddhist without having dangerous or hatefull thoughts toward them.

Ignore the word ''dog'' on the text. What´s important, is the message.
4  Entertainment / Music / Qawwali songs (in Persian) on: August 03, 2009, 05:51:57 PM
Pakistani-Hazara Ustad Ali Fateh Khan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4OOnppa9Xo

A masterpiece of Amir Khosrow Delavi Balkhi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxOkuPirWRk&feature=related
5  Creative Zone / Literature and Art / Simurg – A Persian Fairy Tale on: July 30, 2009, 09:24:12 PM
Simurg – A Persian Fairy Tale
By Payam Narbaraz

Published at Imbolc 2002

"You didn't need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying. This is just the same. Now try again..." Then one day Jonathan, standing on the shore, closing his eyes, concentrating, all in a flash knew what Chiang had been telling him. "Why, thats true! I AM a perfect, unlimited gull!" He felt a great shock of joy. - Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

"Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced - even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it." - Keats

There are several different versions of this tale in Persian and as they have been orally transmitted from one generation to another, the originality of any of them cannot be proven. A few years ago a writer collected them from people of different provinces in Iran. The following is my adaptation of a compilation from six versions by Homa A. Ghahremani based at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. My interpretations are in brackets and are included as footnotes.

There was being and non being, there was none but God, who had three sons: Prince Kiumars [1], Prince Jamshid [2], and the youngest, Prince Khorshid -Mithra [3] who had no mother; he was the king's favorite because he was the bravest of all.

In the garden of the palace there grew a pomegranate tree [4] with only three pomegranates; their seeds were fabulous gems that shone like lamps by night. When ripe, the pomegranates would turn into three beautiful girls who were to become the wives of the three princes. Every night, by the king's order one of his sons guarded the tree lest anyone should steal the pomegranates. One night when Prince Jamshid was guarding the tree he fell asleep and, in the morning, one pomegranate was missing. The next night Prince Kiumars was on guard, but he also fell asleep and the next morning another pomegranate was missing. When it came to prince Khorshid 's turn, he cut one of his fingers and rubbed salt on it so the burning would keep him awake. Shortly after midnight a cloud appeared above the tree and a hand, coming out of it, picked the last pomegranate. Prince Khorshid drew his sword and cut off one of the fingers. The hand and the cloud hurriedly disappeared.

In the morning when the king saw drops of blood on the ground he ordered his sons to track them, find the thief, and bring back the stolen pomegranates. The three princes followed the blood drops over mountains and deserts until they reached a deep well [5] where the trail ended. Prince Jamshid offered to be lowered down the well with a rope to investigate. Less than halfway down he screamed: "Pull me up, pull me up, I am burning. "His brothers pulled him up. Next, Prince Kiumars went down and soon he also cried out that he was burning. When Prince Khorshid decided to go down, he told his brothers that no matter how loudly he shouted, they should not pull him up but let the rope down farther; and they were then to wait for him only until dark. If there was no sign of him, they could go home. Prince Khorshid entered the well and, in spite of unbearable heat, went all the way down to the bottom where he found a young girl, beautiful as a full moon . On her lap lay the head of a sleeping deav/div, whose thunderous snores filled the air with heat and smoke. "Prince Khorshid," she whispered, "what are you doing here? If this deav wakes up, he will surely kill you as he has killed many others. Go back while there is still time." Prince Khorshid, who loved her at first glance, refused. He asked her who she was and what she was doing there. "My two sisters and I are captives of this deav and his two brothers. My sisters are imprisoned in two separate wells where the deavs have hidden the stolen wealth of almost all the world."

Prince Khorshid said: "I am going to kill the deav and free you and your sisters. But I will wake him first; I do not wish to kill him in his sleep." The prince scratched the soles of the deav's feet until he opened his eyes and stood up. Roaring, the deav picked up a millstone and threw it at the prince, who quickly stepped aside, drew his sword, and in the name of God cut the deav in half [6]. Thereafter he went to the other two wells, finished off the deavs and rescued the sisters of his beloved. He also collected the treasure.

As it was not yet dark, his brothers were still waiting for him and when he called them they started to pull up the rope. The girl whom Prince Khorshid loved wanted him to go up before her, because she knew that when his brothers saw the jewels they would be jealous and would not pull him up.  But the prince insisted she go up first. When she saw that she could not change his mind she said: "If your brothers do not pull you up and leave you here, there are two things you should know: first, there are in this land a golden cock and a golden lantern that can lead you to me.  The cock is in a chest and when you open it, he will sing for you.  And when he sings, all kinds of gems will pour from his beak. The golden lantern is self-illuminated, and it burns forever.  The second thing you should know is this: later in the night there will come two oxen that will fight with each other. One is black, the other white. If you jump on the white ox it will take you out of the well, but if, by mistake, you jump on the black one, it will take you seven floors further down."

As she had predicted, when the princes, Jamshid and Kiumars , saw the girls and the boxes of gold and silver, they became jealous of their brother's achievements. Knowing that their father would surely give him the kingdom, they cut the rope and let him fall to the bottom of the well [7]. Then they went home and told their father that they were the ones, who had rescued the girls, killed the deavs, and brought all the treasure, and that Prince Khorshid had not come back. Prince Khorshid was heartbroken. He saw two oxen approaching and stood up as they started to fight. In his excitement he jumped on the back of the black ox and dropped with it seven floors down [8]. When he opened his eyes, he found himself in a green pasture with a view of a city in the distance.  He started walking toward it when he saw a peasant ploughing. Being hungry and thirsty he asked him for bread and water. The man told him to be very careful and not to talk out loud because there were two lions nearby; if they heard him, they would come out and eat the oxen. Then he said: "You take over the ploughing and I will get you something to eat."

Prince Khorshid started to plough, commanding the oxen in a loud voice. Two roaring lions came charging toward him, but the prince captured the lions, turned the oxen loose and hitched the lions to the plough. When the peasant returned, he was very much taken aback. Prince Khorshid said: "Don't be afraid. The lions are harmless now and will not hurt you or your oxen. But if you are not comfortable with them, I will let them go." When he saw that the farmer was still reluctant to approach the lions, he unfastened them and they went back where they had come from [9]. The man had brought food but no water. He explained: "There is no water in the city because a dragon is sleeping in front of the spring. Every Saturday a girl is taken to the spring so that, when the dragon moves to devour her, some water runs through the city streams and people can collect enough for the following week. This Saturday the king's daughter is to be offered to the dragon."

Prince Khorshid had the peasant take him to the king: "What will be my reward if I kill the dragon and save your daughter's life?" The king replied: "Whatever you wish within my power." [10].

Saturday came and the prince went with the girl to the spring. The moment the dragon moved aside to devour her, Prince Khorshid called the name of God and slew the monster. There was joyous celebration in the city. When Prince Khorshid, asked to name his reward, announced that his one wish was to return to his homeland, the king said: "The only one who could take you up seven floors is Simurgh ." She lives in a nearby jungle. Every year she lays three eggs and each year her chicks are eaten by a serpent. If you could kill the serpent, she surely would take you home.” [11].

Prince Khorshid went to the jungle and found the tree in which Simurgh had her nest.  While he was watching, he saw a serpent climbing up the tree to eat the frightened chicks.  In the name of God he cut the serpent into small pieces and fed some to the hungry chicks who were waiting for their mother to bring them food. He saved the rest for later and went to sleep under the tree. When Simurgh flew over the nest and saw Prince Khorshid, she thought he was the one whom each year ate up all her chicks. She was ready to kill him, when her chicks shouted that he was the one who had saved them from the enemy. Realising that he had killed the serpent, she stretched her wings over Prince Khorshid's head to make shade for him while he slept. When he awoke, the prince told Simurgh his story and asked whether she could help him. Simurgh urged him to go back to the king and ask him for the meat of seven bulls .  "Make seven leather bags out of their hides and fill them with water. These will be my provision for the journey; I need them to be able to take you home. Whenever I say “ I am hungry you must give me a bag of water, and when I say “ I am thirsty you must give me the carcass of a bull ."  On their way up to the ground Prince Khorshid did exactly as Simurgh had instructed him until only one bag of water was left. When, instead of sayings he was hungry Simurgh said she was thirsty, Prince Khorshid cut off some flesh from his thigh and put it in Simurgh's beak. Simurgh immediately realised it was human flesh. She held it gently until they reached their destination. As soon as he dismounted, the prince urged Simurgh to fly back at once but, knowing he could not walk without limping, she refused and with her saliva restored the piece of his flesh to his thigh. Having learned how brave and unselfish the prince was, she gave him three of her feathers, saying that if he were ever in need of her, he should burn one of them, and she would instantly come to his aid, with that she flew away.

Entering the town, Prince Khorshid learned that three royal weddings were about to take place: for Prince Jamshid , and Prince Kiumars , and the third for the Vizier's son, because the youngest son of the king, Prince Khorshid, had never returned. One day some men came to the shop where Prince Khorshid was apprenticed, saying they had been to all the jewellery stores in town but no one would undertake to make what the king had ordered. Prince Khorshid asked them what it was and was told: "The girl who is to marry the Viziers son has put forward one condition to the marriage! She will only marry one who can bring her a golden cock from whose bill gems will pour when it sings; she also wants a golden lantern, which is self-illuminated and burns forever. But so far no jeweller can build such things." Prince Khorshid, recognising the signs, spoke up: "With my master's permission I can build you a chest with such a golden cock and also the golden lantern by tomorrow."  The men gave him the jewels needed to build those items and left.  Prince Khorshid gave them all to his master for, he said, he did not need them. That night Prince Khorshid left the town and burned one of the feathers. When Simurgh came, he asked her to bring him what the girl had demanded, and she did so. In the morning, the astounded men took the precious items to the king, who at once summoned the young man to the court and was overjoyed to discover it was none other than his favourite son.  Prince Khorshid told his story but he begged the king not to punish his brothers for the wrong they had done him. The whole town celebrated his return and there were three weddings indeed. The king made Prince Khorshid his successor to the throne and all lived happily ever after.

An interpretation: The word Naqsh-bandi, name of the famed Sufi order, can be translated as painters or weavers of the pattern, plan, diagram, and matrix; symbolising the role of the Sufi like a Shaman as one who sees and is aware of the plan or the Web of Wyrd. As Rumi puts it: 'I am a form-making engraver (Naqash) each instant I shape an idol.'  The Story of Simurgh is a story that has many patterns woven into it, and what follows here is an attempt to bestow some light on this matrix.

1: Prince Kiumars the first human in Ferdusi's Shahnameh, Book of kings (book of God), and the Avesta (Zoroastrian holy text) Kiumars, like Adam, is described as the first human, as wide as he was tall and as bright as the sun and he wore the skins of leopards. He and his people dwelt in the mountains and lived on fruits and roots and wore garments of leaves and were happy. This period probably reflects the Stone Age. The paradise is lost not by temptation in this story but by Ahriman sending a black demon (Deav /Div) and Killing his son Siamak.  Siamak's son Hushang's and his army of animals eventually defeated the black demon: lions and tigers, all the birds of air, grass-eating beasts, the Ox and the noble horse. It was a time emphasising the closeness of humans to the rest of the animal kingdom.   Hushang during another battle with a monster discovers fire, the monster flees and with fire he cooks and keeps warm.

2: Prince Jamshid , the grand son Hushang, forged not only tools but weapons of war, sword, spear, arrow heads and coats of mail, and used these iron weapons to defeat many armies of darkness.  His people learned how to spin and weave and wore garments of wool, silk and linen. Here the society divides into a social class system with specific tasks. The warrior class, priest class, and farmer class.  Jamshid's reign ends due to his pride, seeing himself above God, his army abandons him and era of darkness follows.

3: The youngest, Prince Khorshid , had no mother. He was the king's favourite because he was the bravest of all. Khorshid or Mithra /Mehr means the Sun , light, love, friend. According to one story Mithra had no mother because he was born of a rock or the cosmic egg, dagger in a one hand and burning torch in another. The Simurgh story follows the Indo-European tripartite ideology pattern. Here we have three princes and three princesses we perceive the Indo-European tripartite of the gods, heroes, and society. In India the original classes were Brahmanas (priests) ksatriya (warriors ) and Vaisya (producers), these correspond with gods Varuna , Mithra and Indra. The pattern could be seen from India, Iran and right across Europe, the Celts segregated society into Druids (Priests), Flaith (warriors), and Boairig (herders). The story of Simurgh is indeed a very old fable, the hero of the story like other Indo-European folk heroes will be expected to face three adversaries, or a monster with three heads, or perhaps like the Irish hero Cuchulainn , fight three brothers.

4: The Pomegranate is the tree of knowledge in some myths, it is also linked with the underworld as seen in the Greek story of Persephone, which lies at the centre of Eleusinian mysteries.  Persephone is taken to the underworld by Hades to be his Queen.  She willingly eats a seed of pomegranate and is forced to spend every winter with her husband in the land of the dead, symbolising the decay and revival of vegetation. This myth is identical with the Syrian tale of Astarte (Aphrodite) and Adonis, the Phrygian version features Cybele and Attis, and in Egypt Isis and Osiris ; this is the Persian version of the same story. In Sufism the pomegranate also is an important symbol.  Saint Ali said: 'the light of Allah is in the heart of whoever eats pomegranates' and the Prophet Mohammed said: the 'pomegranate cleanses you of Satan and from evil aspirations of forty days'. This is also the fruit still eaten traditionally by Iranians at Shab Yalda (Yule, the winter solstice) which is the longest night of year, meaning that the sun/light at its weakest point. By eating the pomegranate one symbolically aligns oneself with the sun, and keeps a night vigil waiting for dawn. The three pomegranates of our tale are becoming ripe and will turn into three princesses, thus the fruit in essence acts as mediatrix between the two divine worlds of heavens and underworld.

5: The well is an entrance to the underworld, and its fires burn the princes during their descent and they bail out. Prince Khorshid on other hand makes the leap of faith into the vat and like the grape starts his transformation into wine. He continues his journey despite being burned and cooked. On the bottom of the well Prince Khorshid (sun) finds a young girl beautiful as the moon . The Sun and the Moon meet and immediately fall in love. In Sufism the sun represents the Spirit which lights the heavens while the moon symbolises the light of this world. Light is seen as the Divine knowledge, hence the soul of the mystic is symbolised by the moon, which reflects the light of the sun. When moon and the sun meet love flows between them, the moon warns the sun of the perils of this meeting and his quest. Many have come here and the demon has killed them, go back while there is time.  It is too late for Khorshid , as he has seen his beloved, or perhaps his own soul, or his queen to be, or may be he has caught a glimpse of the Ocean of unity.

6: [Prince Khorshid wakes the demon and faces his demon consciously, by saying God's name: ziker or mantra he defeats the three demons.

7: The Lady tells Khorshid to ascend first, knowing how his brothers might react. He ignores her advice, a sign his journey is not yet complete. She gives him instruction on how to find her. First there is a golden cock and a golden lantern. The golden cock represents Saroush (Sarousha in Pahlavi). Saroushais a godlike bird who is the most powerful of the gods, since he is the manifestation of righteousness, honesty, and striving. He fights the Deav of frailty and weakness. In some versions of this story, instead of the golden cock in a chest there is a golden nightingale in a golden cage. In Sufi poetry, the nightingale is in love with the rose, the nightingale represents the aspect of self caught in the exterior form of things hence is unable to leave the rose behind.   In some versions, Prince Khorshid must bring back a golden lantern, the light of wisdom; while in other versions, he must retrieve a golden hand-mill representing the wheel of destiny (or civilisation and culture).

8: The two Oxen represent life that could lead to light or darkness. According to the Zoroastrian tradition the first animal in the world was a 'uniquely created bull ' white in colour and as bright as the moon , the bull was killed and its carcass was carried to the moon and from it came the seed of many species of animals and plants.  The Ox is seen as a symbol of ego (nafs ), and by jumping on the back of the white ox , it would carry him up to seven heavens. But he sits on the black ox and falls seven floors.  In order for him to return he later has to slay seven bulls . The seven bulls or the stages of ego (nafs) are 1) Nafs-i-ammara (the depraved-commanding ego), 2) Nafs-i-lawwama (accusing nafs), 3) Nafs-imulhama (the inspired nafs), 4) Nafs-i-mutmainna (serene nafs) 5) Nafs-i-radiyya (fulfilled nafs), 6) Nafs-i-mardiyya (fulfilling nafs) 7) Nafs-i-safiyy wa kamila (the purified and complete nafs). The seven stages of development correspond to seven heavens which in Sufism are Ether (moon), Reflection (Mercury ), Divine fantasy (Venus ), Light of heart (Sun ), Divine judgement (Mars ), gods meditation (Jupiter ), divines decree (Saturn ). Similar arrangement of divine attributes could also be seen in the Jewish Kabbalah with its Sphere on its Tree of Life, to Christian Gnosticism, Seven Chakras of Hinduism and in the Mithraic Mysteries where Mithras ascends seven heavens by killing a bull . Each heaven represents a specific initiatory degree. The seven valley of Attar 's conference of birds also represent the same journey. Also Ursa Major/Big Dipper with its seven stars represents the direction of Northern Lights, a symbol of enlightenment.

9: The lion symbolised action rather than contemplation, gold and the sun. Another interpretation could be the astronomical one. The Lion attempting to kill the bull is also an old symbol representing constellation Leo at Summer Solstice (the sun and light at its peak) killing constellation Taurus (the bull), and moving out of the Age of Taurus.

10: "In Sufism the dragon relates two astronomical nodes, two diametrically opposed points of intersection between the moon and the sun. Its head is the ascending node, its tail the descending node. An eclipse can only occur when both sun and moon stand at the nodes. To the mystic, the dragon symbolises the place of encounter between the moon and the sun within.  The dragon can either devour the moon, seen symbolically as the mystic's spiritual heart, or it can serve as the place or container of conception. By entering the dragon when the sun is in the nodes, the moon or the heart conceives. Thus, in full consciousness of the perils, one must enter the dragon to await the eclipse in its cosmic womb .” --Sufi Expressions of the Mystic Quest by l. Bakhtiar. The dragon in this story sits at the source of the waters, and Khorshid slays him.  In Hindu mythology, Vitra is the dragon of the waters, which was slain by Indra to release the waters. The Babylonian dragon Tiamat which represented the primordial waters, chaos and darkness was slain the sun god Marduk and In Egyptian mythology Apophis dragon of darkness was overcome each morning by the sun god Ra.

11:[Simurgh is a fabulous creature having affinities with the Arabian Roc and the Indian Garuda (half-man half-eagle and nests in the Wish-fulfilling tree of life).  Simurgh is half-bird, half-mammal, symbolising the union of heaven and earth; she suckles her young.  It appears in Persian , Russian and Caucasian tradition and is the bird of the Persian Tree of Life (seeds) and lives in the land of the sacred Homa (Indian, Soma ) plant whose seed cure all evil. An Eagle also nests in Yggdrasil the Scandinavian World Tree, whose branches are said to bind together heaven and hell.  According to some fables Simurgh lives for 1700 years and then immolated itself like the Phoenix.  By beating her wings, the seeds on the tree of seeds are scattered and carried away by wind and rain over the earth. The bird offers shelter to the Spirit in the other world, or the emblem of developing soul. The Mount Davamad in Alborz Mountains also known as Mount Qaf or Mount Hara, the 'axis mundi ' is the mountain that seeker has to climb to find him/herself. At the summit sits the Emerald rock, acting as the pole or Qutub which seeker walks toward which sits symbolically at the North . " In Sufism the quest for the dawning of light in the cosmic North symbolises the mystic's search for realisation. In this spiritual journey, the light arising in man's inner darkness-the Northern Light or Midnight Sun - represents the impartial but brilliant light of Truth, that which sets us free from egotism and from slavery of material existence "- - The Man of light in Iranian Sufism by Henry Corbin.

Indeed the Simurgh even heals the self-inflected/sacrificial thigh wound that Khorshid gives himself.  Simurgh doesn't eat the flesh Khorshid cut from his own thigh, and restores the flesh to his thigh. The symbol of the thigh wound and limps of heroes are seen in many stories: the Fisher King, Greek Adonis, Phrygian Attis, Egyptian Osiris , Jesus , and Iron John. Robert Bly in Iron John suggests the symbolic wound allows the soul to enter the body, and quotes Rumi 's poem about a lame goat.

The enemy of the Simurgh like the Indian Garuda is the Serpent who will eat her young. The serpent (Indian Nagas) represents the underworld and at perpetual enmity with the solar Garuda bird.  The serpent is also seen as guardians of knowledge, so Khorshid after killing the serpent, feeds it to the hungry chicks, hence giving the knowledge to the Simurgh 's chicks and save the rest for later. The Eagle and the Serpent are an old alchemical formula. For Simurgh to carry Khorshid up seven levels, he has brought the meat of seven bulls . That is he to go through the seven stages of the ego (nafs ) to ascend seven heavens, or as Attar (12th century Sufi poet) puts it in to reach the king of birds the Simurgh, seven valleys has to be crossed. In Attar's 'Conference of birds' all the birds gather to begin a quest for the fabulous bird Simurgh, the King of Birds. The bird hoopoe symbolising inspiration tells all the birds of existence of Simurgh, who lives a far away, beyond seven valleys. Many of the birds make their excuses and decide not to make the journey, eventually a group of birds makes their way across the seven valleys which are: Search, Love , mystic apprehension, Detachment, unity, bewilderment, and fulfilment in Annihilation. After many trials and tribulation across the seven valleys only thirty birds finally reach the court, at first they are turned back, but finally admitted. The crucial moment depends on a pun: 'si' means thirty, 'murgh' means birds, and hence si-murgh literally means thirty birds. Once in the presence of Simurgh :

. . .

"A new life flow towards them from that bright

Celestial and ever living light.

Their souls rose free of all they had been before;

The past and all its actions were no more.

Their life came from that close, insistent sun.

And in its vivid rays they shone as one.

There in the Simurgh 's radiant face they saw themselves,

the Simurgh of the world with awe.  They gazed,

and dared at last to comprehend.

They were the Simurgh and at the journey's end.

They see the Simurgh at themselves they stare,

and see a second Simurgh standing there;

They look at both and see the two are one.

That this is that, that this, the goal won.

They ask (but inwardly; they make no sound).

The meaning of these mysteries that confound.

Their puzzled ignorance-how is it true

That 'we' is not distinguished here from 'you'?

And silently their shining lord replies:

I am a mirror set before your eyes,

And all who come before my splendour see,

Themselves, their own unique reality;

You came as thirty birds, not less nor more;

If you had come as forty, fifty- here,

An answering forty, fifty would appear,

Though you have struggled, wandered, travelled far,

It is yourselves you see and what you are

' Who see the divine?  It is himself each sees;

What ant's sight could discern the Pleiades?

What anvil could be lifted by an ant?

Or could a fly subdue an elephant?

How much you thought you knew and saw; but you

Now know that all you trusted was untrue.

Through you traversed the Valley's depths and fought

With all the dangers that the journey brought,

The Journey was in Me, the deeds were Mine-

You slept secure in Being's inmost shrine.

And since you came as thirty birds, you see

These thirty birds when you discover Me,

The Simurgh , Truth's last flawless jewel, the light

In which you will be lost to mortal sight,

Dispersed to nothingness until once more

You find in Me the selves you were before.'

Then, as they listened to the Simurgh 's words,

A trembling dissolution filled the birds-

the substance of their being was undone,

And they were lost like shades before the sun;

Neither the pilgrims nor their guide remained.

The Simurgh ceased to speak, and silence reigned". ]

    The same spirit is beautifully echoed in the concluding lines of the 'Charge of the Goddess' :

    “To thou who thinkest to seek Me, know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the Mystery. If that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire."
6  General / Tajik History, Culture and Civilization / Simurg – A Persian Fairy Tale on: July 30, 2009, 05:55:51 PM
Simurg – A Persian Fairy Tale
By Payam Narbaraz

Published at Imbolc 2002

"You didn't need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying. This is just the same. Now try again..." Then one day Jonathan, standing on the shore, closing his eyes, concentrating, all in a flash knew what Chiang had been telling him. "Why, thats true! I AM a perfect, unlimited gull!" He felt a great shock of joy. - Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

"Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced - even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it." - Keats

There are several different versions of this tale in Persian and as they have been orally transmitted from one generation to another, the originality of any of them cannot be proven. A few years ago a writer collected them from people of different provinces in Iran. The following is my adaptation of a compilation from six versions by Homa A. Ghahremani based at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. My interpretations are in brackets and are included as footnotes.

There was being and non being, there was none but God, who had three sons: Prince Kiumars [1], Prince Jamshid [2], and the youngest, Prince Khorshid -Mithra [3] who had no mother; he was the king's favorite because he was the bravest of all.

In the garden of the palace there grew a pomegranate tree [4] with only three pomegranates; their seeds were fabulous gems that shone like lamps by night. When ripe, the pomegranates would turn into three beautiful girls who were to become the wives of the three princes. Every night, by the king's order one of his sons guarded the tree lest anyone should steal the pomegranates. One night when Prince Jamshid was guarding the tree he fell asleep and, in the morning, one pomegranate was missing. The next night Prince Kiumars was on guard, but he also fell asleep and the next morning another pomegranate was missing. When it came to prince Khorshid 's turn, he cut one of his fingers and rubbed salt on it so the burning would keep him awake. Shortly after midnight a cloud appeared above the tree and a hand, coming out of it, picked the last pomegranate. Prince Khorshid drew his sword and cut off one of the fingers. The hand and the cloud hurriedly disappeared.

In the morning when the king saw drops of blood on the ground he ordered his sons to track them, find the thief, and bring back the stolen pomegranates. The three princes followed the blood drops over mountains and deserts until they reached a deep well [5] where the trail ended. Prince Jamshid offered to be lowered down the well with a rope to investigate. Less than halfway down he screamed: "Pull me up, pull me up, I am burning. "His brothers pulled him up. Next, Prince Kiumars went down and soon he also cried out that he was burning. When Prince Khorshid decided to go down, he told his brothers that no matter how loudly he shouted, they should not pull him up but let the rope down farther; and they were then to wait for him only until dark. If there was no sign of him, they could go home. Prince Khorshid entered the well and, in spite of unbearable heat, went all the way down to the bottom where he found a young girl, beautiful as a full moon . On her lap lay the head of a sleeping deav/div, whose thunderous snores filled the air with heat and smoke. "Prince Khorshid," she whispered, "what are you doing here? If this deav wakes up, he will surely kill you as he has killed many others. Go back while there is still time." Prince Khorshid, who loved her at first glance, refused. He asked her who she was and what she was doing there. "My two sisters and I are captives of this deav and his two brothers. My sisters are imprisoned in two separate wells where the deavs have hidden the stolen wealth of almost all the world."

Prince Khorshid said: "I am going to kill the deav and free you and your sisters. But I will wake him first; I do not wish to kill him in his sleep." The prince scratched the soles of the deav's feet until he opened his eyes and stood up. Roaring, the deav picked up a millstone and threw it at the prince, who quickly stepped aside, drew his sword, and in the name of God cut the deav in half [6]. Thereafter he went to the other two wells, finished off the deavs and rescued the sisters of his beloved. He also collected the treasure.

As it was not yet dark, his brothers were still waiting for him and when he called them they started to pull up the rope. The girl whom Prince Khorshid loved wanted him to go up before her, because she knew that when his brothers saw the jewels they would be jealous and would not pull him up.  But the prince insisted she go up first. When she saw that she could not change his mind she said: "If your brothers do not pull you up and leave you here, there are two things you should know: first, there are in this land a golden cock and a golden lantern that can lead you to me.  The cock is in a chest and when you open it, he will sing for you.  And when he sings, all kinds of gems will pour from his beak. The golden lantern is self-illuminated, and it burns forever.  The second thing you should know is this: later in the night there will come two oxen that will fight with each other. One is black, the other white. If you jump on the white ox it will take you out of the well, but if, by mistake, you jump on the black one, it will take you seven floors further down."

As she had predicted, when the princes, Jamshid and Kiumars , saw the girls and the boxes of gold and silver, they became jealous of their brother's achievements. Knowing that their father would surely give him the kingdom, they cut the rope and let him fall to the bottom of the well [7]. Then they went home and told their father that they were the ones, who had rescued the girls, killed the deavs, and brought all the treasure, and that Prince Khorshid had not come back. Prince Khorshid was heartbroken. He saw two oxen approaching and stood up as they started to fight. In his excitement he jumped on the back of the black ox and dropped with it seven floors down [8]. When he opened his eyes, he found himself in a green pasture with a view of a city in the distance.  He started walking toward it when he saw a peasant ploughing. Being hungry and thirsty he asked him for bread and water. The man told him to be very careful and not to talk out loud because there were two lions nearby; if they heard him, they would come out and eat the oxen. Then he said: "You take over the ploughing and I will get you something to eat."

Prince Khorshid started to plough, commanding the oxen in a loud voice. Two roaring lions came charging toward him, but the prince captured the lions, turned the oxen loose and hitched the lions to the plough. When the peasant returned, he was very much taken aback. Prince Khorshid said: "Don't be afraid. The lions are harmless now and will not hurt you or your oxen. But if you are not comfortable with them, I will let them go." When he saw that the farmer was still reluctant to approach the lions, he unfastened them and they went back where they had come from [9]. The man had brought food but no water. He explained: "There is no water in the city because a dragon is sleeping in front of the spring. Every Saturday a girl is taken to the spring so that, when the dragon moves to devour her, some water runs through the city streams and people can collect enough for the following week. This Saturday the king's daughter is to be offered to the dragon."

Prince Khorshid had the peasant take him to the king: "What will be my reward if I kill the dragon and save your daughter's life?" The king replied: "Whatever you wish within my power." [10].

Saturday came and the prince went with the girl to the spring. The moment the dragon moved aside to devour her, Prince Khorshid called the name of God and slew the monster. There was joyous celebration in the city. When Prince Khorshid, asked to name his reward, announced that his one wish was to return to his homeland, the king said: "The only one who could take you up seven floors is Simurgh ." She lives in a nearby jungle. Every year she lays three eggs and each year her chicks are eaten by a serpent. If you could kill the serpent, she surely would take you home.” [11].

Prince Khorshid went to the jungle and found the tree in which Simurgh had her nest.  While he was watching, he saw a serpent climbing up the tree to eat the frightened chicks.  In the name of God he cut the serpent into small pieces and fed some to the hungry chicks who were waiting for their mother to bring them food. He saved the rest for later and went to sleep under the tree. When Simurgh flew over the nest and saw Prince Khorshid, she thought he was the one whom each year ate up all her chicks. She was ready to kill him, when her chicks shouted that he was the one who had saved them from the enemy. Realising that he had killed the serpent, she stretched her wings over Prince Khorshid's head to make shade for him while he slept. When he awoke, the prince told Simurgh his story and asked whether she could help him. Simurgh urged him to go back to the king and ask him for the meat of seven bulls .  "Make seven leather bags out of their hides and fill them with water. These will be my provision for the journey; I need them to be able to take you home. Whenever I say “ I am hungry you must give me a bag of water, and when I say “ I am thirsty you must give me the carcass of a bull ."  On their way up to the ground Prince Khorshid did exactly as Simurgh had instructed him until only one bag of water was left. When, instead of sayings he was hungry Simurgh said she was thirsty, Prince Khorshid cut off some flesh from his thigh and put it in Simurgh's beak. Simurgh immediately realised it was human flesh. She held it gently until they reached their destination. As soon as he dismounted, the prince urged Simurgh to fly back at once but, knowing he could not walk without limping, she refused and with her saliva restored the piece of his flesh to his thigh. Having learned how brave and unselfish the prince was, she gave him three of her feathers, saying that if he were ever in need of her, he should burn one of them, and she would instantly come to his aid, with that she flew away.

Entering the town, Prince Khorshid learned that three royal weddings were about to take place: for Prince Jamshid , and Prince Kiumars , and the third for the Vizier's son, because the youngest son of the king, Prince Khorshid, had never returned. One day some men came to the shop where Prince Khorshid was apprenticed, saying they had been to all the jewellery stores in town but no one would undertake to make what the king had ordered. Prince Khorshid asked them what it was and was told: "The girl who is to marry the Viziers son has put forward one condition to the marriage! She will only marry one who can bring her a golden cock from whose bill gems will pour when it sings; she also wants a golden lantern, which is self-illuminated and burns forever. But so far no jeweller can build such things." Prince Khorshid, recognising the signs, spoke up: "With my master's permission I can build you a chest with such a golden cock and also the golden lantern by tomorrow."  The men gave him the jewels needed to build those items and left.  Prince Khorshid gave them all to his master for, he said, he did not need them. That night Prince Khorshid left the town and burned one of the feathers. When Simurgh came, he asked her to bring him what the girl had demanded, and she did so. In the morning, the astounded men took the precious items to the king, who at once summoned the young man to the court and was overjoyed to discover it was none other than his favourite son.  Prince Khorshid told his story but he begged the king not to punish his brothers for the wrong they had done him. The whole town celebrated his return and there were three weddings indeed. The king made Prince Khorshid his successor to the throne and all lived happily ever after.

An interpretation: The word Naqsh-bandi, name of the famed Sufi order, can be translated as painters or weavers of the pattern, plan, diagram, and matrix; symbolising the role of the Sufi like a Shaman as one who sees and is aware of the plan or the Web of Wyrd. As Rumi puts it: 'I am a form-making engraver (Naqash) each instant I shape an idol.'  The Story of Simurgh is a story that has many patterns woven into it, and what follows here is an attempt to bestow some light on this matrix.

1: Prince Kiumars the first human in Ferdusi's Shahnameh, Book of kings (book of God), and the Avesta (Zoroastrian holy text) Kiumars, like Adam, is described as the first human, as wide as he was tall and as bright as the sun and he wore the skins of leopards. He and his people dwelt in the mountains and lived on fruits and roots and wore garments of leaves and were happy. This period probably reflects the Stone Age. The paradise is lost not by temptation in this story but by Ahriman sending a black demon (Deav /Div) and Killing his son Siamak.  Siamak's son Hushang's and his army of animals eventually defeated the black demon: lions and tigers, all the birds of air, grass-eating beasts, the Ox and the noble horse. It was a time emphasising the closeness of humans to the rest of the animal kingdom.   Hushang during another battle with a monster discovers fire, the monster flees and with fire he cooks and keeps warm.

2: Prince Jamshid , the grand son Hushang, forged not only tools but weapons of war, sword, spear, arrow heads and coats of mail, and used these iron weapons to defeat many armies of darkness.  His people learned how to spin and weave and wore garments of wool, silk and linen. Here the society divides into a social class system with specific tasks. The warrior class, priest class, and farmer class.  Jamshid's reign ends due to his pride, seeing himself above God, his army abandons him and era of darkness follows. 

3: The youngest, Prince Khorshid , had no mother. He was the king's favourite because he was the bravest of all. Khorshid or Mithra /Mehr means the Sun , light, love, friend. According to one story Mithra had no mother because he was born of a rock or the cosmic egg, dagger in a one hand and burning torch in another. The Simurgh story follows the Indo-European tripartite ideology pattern. Here we have three princes and three princesses we perceive the Indo-European tripartite of the gods, heroes, and society. In India the original classes were Brahmanas (priests) ksatriya (warriors ) and Vaisya (producers), these correspond with gods Varuna , Mithra and Indra. The pattern could be seen from India, Iran and right across Europe, the Celts segregated society into Druids (Priests), Flaith (warriors), and Boairig (herders). The story of Simurgh is indeed a very old fable, the hero of the story like other Indo-European folk heroes will be expected to face three adversaries, or a monster with three heads, or perhaps like the Irish hero Cuchulainn , fight three brothers.

4: The Pomegranate is the tree of knowledge in some myths, it is also linked with the underworld as seen in the Greek story of Persephone, which lies at the centre of Eleusinian mysteries.  Persephone is taken to the underworld by Hades to be his Queen.  She willingly eats a seed of pomegranate and is forced to spend every winter with her husband in the land of the dead, symbolising the decay and revival of vegetation. This myth is identical with the Syrian tale of Astarte (Aphrodite) and Adonis, the Phrygian version features Cybele and Attis, and in Egypt Isis and Osiris ; this is the Persian version of the same story. In Sufism the pomegranate also is an important symbol.  Saint Ali said: 'the light of Allah is in the heart of whoever eats pomegranates' and the Prophet Mohammed said: the 'pomegranate cleanses you of Satan and from evil aspirations of forty days'. This is also the fruit still eaten traditionally by Iranians at Shab Yalda (Yule, the winter solstice) which is the longest night of year, meaning that the sun/light at its weakest point. By eating the pomegranate one symbolically aligns oneself with the sun, and keeps a night vigil waiting for dawn. The three pomegranates of our tale are becoming ripe and will turn into three princesses, thus the fruit in essence acts as mediatrix between the two divine worlds of heavens and underworld.

5: The well is an entrance to the underworld, and its fires burn the princes during their descent and they bail out. Prince Khorshid on other hand makes the leap of faith into the vat and like the grape starts his transformation into wine. He continues his journey despite being burned and cooked. On the bottom of the well Prince Khorshid (sun) finds a young girl beautiful as the moon . The Sun and the Moon meet and immediately fall in love. In Sufism the sun represents the Spirit which lights the heavens while the moon symbolises the light of this world. Light is seen as the Divine knowledge, hence the soul of the mystic is symbolised by the moon, which reflects the light of the sun. When moon and the sun meet love flows between them, the moon warns the sun of the perils of this meeting and his quest. Many have come here and the demon has killed them, go back while there is time.  It is too late for Khorshid , as he has seen his beloved, or perhaps his own soul, or his queen to be, or may be he has caught a glimpse of the Ocean of unity.

6: [Prince Khorshid wakes the demon and faces his demon consciously, by saying God's name: ziker or mantra he defeats the three demons.

7: The Lady tells Khorshid to ascend first, knowing how his brothers might react. He ignores her advice, a sign his journey is not yet complete. She gives him instruction on how to find her. First there is a golden cock and a golden lantern. The golden cock represents Saroush (Sarousha in Pahlavi). Saroushais a godlike bird who is the most powerful of the gods, since he is the manifestation of righteousness, honesty, and striving. He fights the Deav of frailty and weakness. In some versions of this story, instead of the golden cock in a chest there is a golden nightingale in a golden cage. In Sufi poetry, the nightingale is in love with the rose, the nightingale represents the aspect of self caught in the exterior form of things hence is unable to leave the rose behind.   In some versions, Prince Khorshid must bring back a golden lantern, the light of wisdom; while in other versions, he must retrieve a golden hand-mill representing the wheel of destiny (or civilisation and culture).

8: The two Oxen represent life that could lead to light or darkness. According to the Zoroastrian tradition the first animal in the world was a 'uniquely created bull ' white in colour and as bright as the moon , the bull was killed and its carcass was carried to the moon and from it came the seed of many species of animals and plants.  The Ox is seen as a symbol of ego (nafs ), and by jumping on the back of the white ox , it would carry him up to seven heavens. But he sits on the black ox and falls seven floors.  In order for him to return he later has to slay seven bulls . The seven bulls or the stages of ego (nafs) are 1) Nafs-i-ammara (the depraved-commanding ego), 2) Nafs-i-lawwama (accusing nafs), 3) Nafs-imulhama (the inspired nafs), 4) Nafs-i-mutmainna (serene nafs) 5) Nafs-i-radiyya (fulfilled nafs), 6) Nafs-i-mardiyya (fulfilling nafs) 7) Nafs-i-safiyy wa kamila (the purified and complete nafs). The seven stages of development correspond to seven heavens which in Sufism are Ether (moon), Reflection (Mercury ), Divine fantasy (Venus ), Light of heart (Sun ), Divine judgement (Mars ), gods meditation (Jupiter ), divines decree (Saturn ). Similar arrangement of divine attributes could also be seen in the Jewish Kabbalah with its Sphere on its Tree of Life, to Christian Gnosticism, Seven Chakras of Hinduism and in the Mithraic Mysteries where Mithras ascends seven heavens by killing a bull . Each heaven represents a specific initiatory degree. The seven valley of Attar 's conference of birds also represent the same journey. Also Ursa Major/Big Dipper with its seven stars represents the direction of Northern Lights, a symbol of enlightenment.

9: The lion symbolised action rather than contemplation, gold and the sun. Another interpretation could be the astronomical one. The Lion attempting to kill the bull is also an old symbol representing constellation Leo at Summer Solstice (the sun and light at its peak) killing constellation Taurus (the bull), and moving out of the Age of Taurus.

10: "In Sufism the dragon relates two astronomical nodes, two diametrically opposed points of intersection between the moon and the sun. Its head is the ascending node, its tail the descending node. An eclipse can only occur when both sun and moon stand at the nodes. To the mystic, the dragon symbolises the place of encounter between the moon and the sun within.  The dragon can either devour the moon, seen symbolically as the mystic's spiritual heart, or it can serve as the place or container of conception. By entering the dragon when the sun is in the nodes, the moon or the heart conceives. Thus, in full consciousness of the perils, one must enter the dragon to await the eclipse in its cosmic womb .” --Sufi Expressions of the Mystic Quest by l. Bakhtiar. The dragon in this story sits at the source of the waters, and Khorshid slays him.  In Hindu mythology, Vitra is the dragon of the waters, which was slain by Indra to release the waters. The Babylonian dragon Tiamat which represented the primordial waters, chaos and darkness was slain the sun god Marduk and In Egyptian mythology Apophis dragon of darkness was overcome each morning by the sun god Ra.

11:[Simurgh is a fabulous creature having affinities with the Arabian Roc and the Indian Garuda (half-man half-eagle and nests in the Wish-fulfilling tree of life).  Simurgh is half-bird, half-mammal, symbolising the union of heaven and earth; she suckles her young.  It appears in Persian , Russian and Caucasian tradition and is the bird of the Persian Tree of Life (seeds) and lives in the land of the sacred Homa (Indian, Soma ) plant whose seed cure all evil. An Eagle also nests in Yggdrasil the Scandinavian World Tree, whose branches are said to bind together heaven and hell.  According to some fables Simurgh lives for 1700 years and then immolated itself like the Phoenix.  By beating her wings, the seeds on the tree of seeds are scattered and carried away by wind and rain over the earth. The bird offers shelter to the Spirit in the other world, or the emblem of developing soul. The Mount Davamad in Alborz Mountains also known as Mount Qaf or Mount Hara, the 'axis mundi ' is the mountain that seeker has to climb to find him/herself. At the summit sits the Emerald rock, acting as the pole or Qutub which seeker walks toward which sits symbolically at the North . " In Sufism the quest for the dawning of light in the cosmic North symbolises the mystic's search for realisation. In this spiritual journey, the light arising in man's inner darkness-the Northern Light or Midnight Sun - represents the impartial but brilliant light of Truth, that which sets us free from egotism and from slavery of material existence "- - The Man of light in Iranian Sufism by Henry Corbin.

Indeed the Simurgh even heals the self-inflected/sacrificial thigh wound that Khorshid gives himself.  Simurgh doesn't eat the flesh Khorshid cut from his own thigh, and restores the flesh to his thigh. The symbol of the thigh wound and limps of heroes are seen in many stories: the Fisher King, Greek Adonis, Phrygian Attis, Egyptian Osiris , Jesus , and Iron John. Robert Bly in Iron John suggests the symbolic wound allows the soul to enter the body, and quotes Rumi 's poem about a lame goat.

The enemy of the Simurgh like the Indian Garuda is the Serpent who will eat her young. The serpent (Indian Nagas) represents the underworld and at perpetual enmity with the solar Garuda bird.  The serpent is also seen as guardians of knowledge, so Khorshid after killing the serpent, feeds it to the hungry chicks, hence giving the knowledge to the Simurgh 's chicks and save the rest for later. The Eagle and the Serpent are an old alchemical formula. For Simurgh to carry Khorshid up seven levels, he has brought the meat of seven bulls . That is he to go through the seven stages of the ego (nafs ) to ascend seven heavens, or as Attar (12th century Sufi poet) puts it in to reach the king of birds the Simurgh, seven valleys has to be crossed. In Attar's 'Conference of birds' all the birds gather to begin a quest for the fabulous bird Simurgh, the King of Birds. The bird hoopoe symbolising inspiration tells all the birds of existence of Simurgh, who lives a far away, beyond seven valleys. Many of the birds make their excuses and decide not to make the journey, eventually a group of birds makes their way across the seven valleys which are: Search, Love , mystic apprehension, Detachment, unity, bewilderment, and fulfilment in Annihilation. After many trials and tribulation across the seven valleys only thirty birds finally reach the court, at first they are turned back, but finally admitted. The crucial moment depends on a pun: 'si' means thirty, 'murgh' means birds, and hence si-murgh literally means thirty birds. Once in the presence of Simurgh :

. . .

"A new life flow towards them from that bright

Celestial and ever living light. 

Their souls rose free of all they had been before;

The past and all its actions were no more.

Their life came from that close, insistent sun.

And in its vivid rays they shone as one.

There in the Simurgh 's radiant face they saw themselves,

the Simurgh of the world with awe.  They gazed,

and dared at last to comprehend. 

They were the Simurgh and at the journey's end. 

They see the Simurgh at themselves they stare,

and see a second Simurgh standing there;

They look at both and see the two are one.

That this is that, that this, the goal won.

They ask (but inwardly; they make no sound).

The meaning of these mysteries that confound. 

Their puzzled ignorance-how is it true

That 'we' is not distinguished here from 'you'? 

And silently their shining lord replies:

I am a mirror set before your eyes,

And all who come before my splendour see,

Themselves, their own unique reality;

You came as thirty birds, not less nor more;

If you had come as forty, fifty- here,

An answering forty, fifty would appear,

Though you have struggled, wandered, travelled far,

It is yourselves you see and what you are

' Who see the divine?  It is himself each sees;

What ant's sight could discern the Pleiades?

What anvil could be lifted by an ant? 

Or could a fly subdue an elephant? 

How much you thought you knew and saw; but you

Now know that all you trusted was untrue.

Through you traversed the Valley's depths and fought

With all the dangers that the journey brought,

The Journey was in Me, the deeds were Mine-

You slept secure in Being's inmost shrine.

And since you came as thirty birds, you see

These thirty birds when you discover Me,

The Simurgh , Truth's last flawless jewel, the light

In which you will be lost to mortal sight,

Dispersed to nothingness until once more

You find in Me the selves you were before.'

Then, as they listened to the Simurgh 's words,

A trembling dissolution filled the birds-

the substance of their being was undone,

And they were lost like shades before the sun;

Neither the pilgrims nor their guide remained.

The Simurgh ceased to speak, and silence reigned". ]

    The same spirit is beautifully echoed in the concluding lines of the 'Charge of the Goddess' :

    “To thou who thinkest to seek Me, know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the Mystery. If that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire."
7  General / Geopolitical Studies and News / Family kills it´s own members on: July 30, 2009, 03:26:46 PM
Canal victims killed by family


Tooba Mohammad Yehya, left, her son Hamid Mohammad Shafia, centre, and his father Mohammad Shafia, right, are seen outside a Kingston, Ont., courthouse on Thursday.  (CBC)

The father, mother and brother of three teenage girls from Montreal whose bodies were found in a submerged car in a Kingston, Ont., canal were charged Thursday with killing them and a woman believed to be the father's first wife.

Zainab Shafia, 19, Sahar Shafia, 17, and Geeti Shafia, 13, were found dead last month along with Rona Amir Mohammed, 50, in a submerged car at a Rideau Canal lock near Kingston.

Parents Mohammad Shafia and Tooba Mohammad Yehya and their son Hamid Mohammad Shafia, 18, have each been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of conspiracy to murder, Insp. Brian Begbie announced at a news conference at Kingston Police headquarters on Thursday.

The three, who live in the Montreal neighbourhood of St. Léonard, are being held in custody in Kingston while waiting for bail hearings.

The submerged black Nissan Sentra was discovered around 12:30 p.m. on June 30, the same day Mohammad Shafia went to the Kingston Police station to report that his daughters and a woman he said at the time was his cousin were missing, along with his vehicle. He was accompanied by his wife and son, said police.

Begbie said investigators have "cause to believe" the older woman found in the car was, in fact, Mohammad Shafia's first wife.

Police said that by the time the bodies were discovered, they had been in the water for as long as 12 hours.

The car's front end was up against the lock wall as if the vehicle had plunged in backward.

The father told police he discovered his car was missing after the family had stopped at a Kingston motel following a trip to Niagara Falls, Ont., the day before. The family had been travelling in two vehicles.

When they were told about the discovery of the submerged car, police said all three suspects spoke about their trip to Niagara Falls and Zainab's habit of taking the car without consent and without a driver's licence, a claim police say is untrue.

"Our investigation to date reveals that this allegation is false and that on the night in question, the Nissan was operated by a combination of the three accused persons," said Begbie.

Girls lived as 'Canadian teenagers'


The three Shafia sisters are seen in an undated family photo.  (CBC)

Police also said the son drove the family's second vehicle to Montreal in the early-morning hours of June 30 and returned to Kingston to accompany his parents to the police station. The couple have three more children — two daughters and a son — now in care of youth protection services in Montreal.

Both vehicles — the submerged Nissan and a Lexus SUV — are being examined by police, said Begbie.

Police said they are looking into whether the deaths were an "honour killing" — a tribal custom practiced in some parts of the world in which the majority of victims are women who are perceived to have brought shame to their family.

Kingston police Chief Stephen Tanner said he received an email from someone who is likely a relative of the family who claimed it was such a killing.

"That will form a part of the ongoing investigation," said Tanner. "There are family members in a variety of parts of the world and investigators will be following up with them.

"Whether that was a part of the motive within the family, based on one ... or more of the girls' behaviour is open to a little bit of speculation."

Tanner said the girls were living as "Canadian teenagers who have all the freedom and rights of expression of all Canadians."

Tarek Fatah, radio talk show host and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said Tanner made a "very clear reference" to honour killings during the news conference when he discussed freedom of expression and the choices that young women in Canada, as Canadian citizens, have.

Mother 'distraught,' says lawyer

Yehya's lawyer, Lucie Joncas, told reporters outside court that the mother is grieving for her children.

"It's obvious my client is very emotionally distraught by the whole tragedy," Joncas said.

Waice Ferdoussi, who represents Shafia, said that his client was "very surprised" he was arrested and that they were a "close family."

"These are very severe charges, not a joke," he added.

The family, originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, spent 15 years in Dubai before moving to Montreal two years ago.

Tanner said other police agencies, including the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP, as well as Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto police forces, were involved in the investigation.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/07/23/canal-arrests023.html

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqfJsGS0Kh0&NR=1

Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyi_AvBrlEY&feature=related
8  General / General Discussion / Shabnam Suraya and Ali Ehtmadi on Tour on: July 30, 2009, 01:26:35 PM
Shabnam Soraya Live alongside Ali Etemadi in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. 

Sherzaad Entertainment in association with DAF Entertainment proudly presents…
 
The Hottest Star of our current generation, Shabnam Suraya, will be accompanied by extremely talented and versatile Ali Etemadi on their upcoming Canada Tour 2009!!
 
We will have three performances in the following cities:
 
*~*MONTREAL*~*
Friday, July 31st 2009
LE CHATEAU ROYAL CONVENTION CENTRE (http://www.lechateauroyal.com)
3500 Boulevard Du Souvenir
Laval, QC H7V 1X2
 
*~*VANCOUVER*~*
Saturday, August 8th 2009
RED ROBINSON SHOW THEATRE (http://www.blvdcasino.com/entertainment/theatre)
2080 United Boulevard
Coquitlam, BC V3K 6W3
 
*~*TORONTO*~*
International Centre (http://www.internationalcentre.com)
Hall #5 (Arrow Hall)
6900 Airport Road
Mississauga, ON
 
Tickets will be made available at all Afghan and Persian SuperStores!!
 
Despite the tremendous investment put forth for this tour (with some of the classiest venues utilized with outstanding sound, lighting, stage, security, etc) we have kept the ticket prices very reasonable to ensure the highest possible turnout.
 
Tickets:
Regular - $35 ($40 at the door)
VIP - $50 ($50 at the door)
VVIP* - Please contact us for details (limited number of tickets available)
*with VVIP, you get a VIP ticket and special access to an AfterParty with DJ Sakhi & The Stars
 
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416-274-7777
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9  Entertainment / Music / Maadar, Maadar, ei Maadar on: July 30, 2009, 12:26:03 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS5sqk53E80&feature=channel_page
10  General / Tajik History, Culture and Civilization / A question: Gandharians, also ancestors of modern Tajiks on: July 29, 2009, 01:34:54 PM
Just a question to those of you who tuck their noses often in Persian written books. A friend of mine said that eastern-Tajiks and Kabulians (including Logaris ect.) have west-Gandharian ancestors. Do someone know more about it? Of course there were a strong relationship between Central Asia and South-East Asia (Bactria, Soghdia, Kabul...) but how realistic is such a claim?
11  General / Tajik History, Culture and Civilization / Scythian genealogical legend in «Rustamiada» on: July 29, 2009, 05:07:10 AM
The Scythian genealogical legend of classical (Greek and Latin) authors was shown in Sistan epic cycle, what was proved by literary texts («Shahname») and by the fine arts (the Penjikent murals).

Translated into English by T.I.Pyankova.

Scythian genealogical legend is told in different versions in classic texts completely and also by separate extracts (the most detailed analysis of all these texts could be found in the works of A.Christensen2, G.Dumézil3, A.M.Khazanov4, and D.S.Raevsky5).

Talking about different plots of ancient Iranian and ancient Indian epic traditions parallel to this legend, specialists don't concentrate too much on the legend about Rustam, who is the main subject of the Sistan cycle legends. And Rustam is Saka by birth ("Sagzî" of epos), he is Central Asiatic Scythian. In the legend about Rustam there must be more close connection to Scythian epos. According to Curtius Rufus (VII, 8,17,18) Scythian genealogical legend was also known by Central Asiatic Scythians. Legends about Rustam together with Sistan cycle were told in detail in «Shahname» by Firdausi. So, further, talking about the legends of Rustam we will mainly apply to the work «Shahname» to find parallels to Scythian genealogical legend.6 And intermediate stage between Scythian genealogical legend and legends about Rustam of the latest Iranian epos is Sogdian version of legends about Rustam and of what we will talk further on. And these legends were very popular with the Sogdians, as we know this from Sogdian literature and from the fine arts, where is the most expressive thing - the Penjikent murals.

Herodotus told one of the most complete versions of Scythian genealogical legend in his story about "Scythian Heracles" (IV, 8-10). And Herodotus' story is expanded by information of other ancient authors. So, Herodotus tells: Once Heracles, driving his bulls in front of him, came to the deserted country at the Pontus' shore (the Black Sea), country which later was inhabited by the Scythians. The snow-storm was raging, it became cold, Heracles wrapped himself in lion-skin and went to sleep leaving his horses in the pasture. Getting up, he found out that by some miracle his horses disappeared and he left the place for searching them. In the cave, which was in the forest, he met a wonderful creature-maiden: the lower part of her body had the form of snake. This maiden-echidna introduced herself as the master of the deserted country and promised to give him his horses back on condition that Heracles should have intimate relations with her. Heracles agreed to do a deal with her and the maiden did her best to keep him by herself as long as possible. Only later when she understood that she would have three sons from Heracles, she let him go, gave him back horses and got from the future father gifts which were meant for the most worthy son. And this worthy son was turned out to be Scythes, descendants of whom inhabited that country which had been deserted before.

Herodotus called this legend Hellenic, but actually it is the local Scythian legend which has only Hellenic editing . Scientists have been interested in this legend for a long time, and they are sure that it is one of the versions of the Scythian genealogical legend, legend which explains the origin of the Scythians. In this legend we see the Scythian hero, known by the Greeks as Heracles, and the ancestors of the Scythians, according to this legend, were the Scythian hero and the mythical creature. That mythical creature was the outcome of the Earth and the Water, who was known as the daughter of the main river of that people, whose origin we know from the legend.

Can we find in the most ancient layers of «Rustamiada» similar plots? Yes, we can. And we'll try to show it. Also we should take into account that the initial genealogical meaning of this myth was forgotten not only in Firdausi times, but during the times of its origin too. Certainly, Rustam could not appear in the epos as the ancestor of the Sakas, and also the Sakas themselves were forgotten too, and in that time the myth was just taken as a fairy-tale. The myth was adapted according to the new world outlook and adjusted for the common plot of the poem. But in spite of all, it is really surprising that in Firdausi's poem some parts of the ancient myth were carefully preserved, and this fact gives us opportunity vividly see the myth in «Rustamiada». In «Rustamiada» we can find two plots which preserved the echos of the Scythian (or Sakian) genealogical legend.

In one of the plots we can notice a primitive naturalness and archaism of the myth in its original appearance. This is a story about Rustam's battle against dragon. In Firdausi's poem this story was included into the legend about "seven camps" of Rustam, or about his seven feats which he performed on the way to Mazandaran (Vol.I. Lines 11597-12356). Poet tells us: Rustam is riding his faithful horse Rahsh and sees in front of him the herd of onagers, he is hunting the herd, catches one of the onagers, makes a feast and then goes to sleep in the thicket (Vol.I. Lines 11599-11620). In this story we see onagers instead of bulls, but actually the beginning of the story is quite suitable to continue this narration about the main adventure of the hero in the spirit of Herodotus. But Firdausi interrupted his narration to include into it two additional episodes. First episode: the victory over the ferocious lion (Vol.I. Lines 11621-11650) (and it becomes clear why the Scythian hero has lion-skin). Second episode: the discovery of the spring; near Rustam, who was feeling thirsty in the burning desert, appeared a miraculous roe-deer who leads him to the invigorating moisture of brook (Vol.I. Lines 11651-11728). Here it is used an alternative version of myth about the ancestor: the magic fallow-deer with golden antlers leads the ancestor to the river, to the place of his people future living. The fact, that this plot was included into the series of stories about Scythian Heracles, means that the Scythians knew this plot. According to one of the versions, told not by Herodotus but by other authors (Pindar, Ol. III, 30-33), Heracles, hunting Kerinean fallow-deer, visited Scythia as well. And in general, according to the sources by the classical authors, the legend about magic golden antlers fallow-deer was widely spread in the genealogical legends of different Scythian peoples. Taking into account the late transformation of the myth, it becomes clear also why the country, in which Rustam appeared, wasn't only the lonely place, but the real sandy desert, where the main character suffered not because of the frost, but because of intense heat and lack of water.

Having described these two episodes, Firdausi as if comes back to the former plot. Rustam, after he had had enough onager's meat, covered himself with the animal's skins and fell into sleep at the brook. But at night a terrible dragon appeared three times in front of his horse Rahsh, dragon who lived in the nearest growth. Two times the dragon disappeared, worrying the horse, but for the third time dragon had to fight with Rustam. During the battle the dragon declared himself as the master of the whole desert (Vol.I. Lines 11729-11832). So, we see that the main moments of the stealing Heracles' horses by maiden-echidna were preserved in this story: the dragon tried to attack only Rahsh but then disappeared. Also such detail as lion-skin, in which Heracles wrapped, falling into sleep, was also preserved. Though in the poem it is told about "skin-shell (of big feline beast of prey)" (babr-e beyan), the previous episode with lion vividly shows us, that the raiment, the main character had, was made from the lion-skin. We can notice the original nature of dragon in connection him with growth and brook, even if there are no direct indications that it was half snake half woman. Also there is no any love-theme in this legend. But right after the description about Rustam's battle against dragon, Firdausi tells us about some sorceress who tried to seduce Rustam. The place of adventure was again near the brook in the shade of the trees where there was a dastarhan full of different viands (Vol.I. Lines 11833-11892). And again if we remember maiden-echidna, she tried to keep by herself Heracles as long as she could showing him her hospitality.

Fortunately, we can compare Firdausi's story about the meeting between Rustam and the dragon with more early version of the same story which was shown with the help of murals in the ancient Penjikent. On that frescoes we can see Rustam's battle against the dragon. A lot of details, which have direct correspondence to the text of «Shahname», can be found in the frescoes: dragon with its serpentine body entangles horse's legs, the rider takes his sword, strikes dragon by it, the dragon is defeated and his blood floods everything around.7 And here it is shown just the battle of the main character against dragon, but the genealogical meaning of myth was forgotten, the same as in Firdousi's poem. However, there is an important detail in the frescoes: the upper part of dragon's body has woman look, the same as in Herodotus' story, where it is a maiden-echidna, and attacking the horse dragon tries to embrace the rider. So, we can notice that according to the murals' version the love theme existed together with the battle against dragon, unlike Firdousi's version.

In the second of those two plots, had been mentioned before, the initial myth was completely rationalized and given as a nice love-story, answering the most exquisite literary tastes in the days of Firdausi. But the main plot line of this story, actually, remains the same as it was in the first case. It is a story about Rustam and Tahm?nah, which is the component part of the famous legend about Suhr?b. And here we again see Rustam hunting onagers on the plain but this time on the way to Turan. Again Rustam caught an onager, made a feast and fell asleep in the growth near the water, meanwhile his horse Rahsh was pasturing on the grassland. And here Rustam's skin-shell was again mentioned. But this time the horse was stolen by the Turans, according to the common rationalization of the plot. So, Rustam set off for searching his horse Rahsh. Horse's traces led Rustam to Semengan. That was a real city, well-known in the Middle Ages, situated in the valley of the river Hulm to the south from Amu Darya. The king of Semengan with his suite met Rustam. Rustam, threatening king, demanded to return his disappearing horse, but king treated him respectfully, called him the sovereign and gave a feast in his honour. During the night king's daughter Tahm?nah came to Rustam, she was consumed with passion to him, promised him to return his horse and declared her wish to have son from him. Rustam married Tahm?nah and gave her an amulet for the future offspring after what he went away with his horse Rahsh. (Vol.II. Lines 37-266).

As we see the plot here, in main, is the same as in the Scythian legend.8 But there are no supernatural elements and fairy-tale in this story. In the image of beautiful Tahm?nah there is nothing what could remind us about the primitive dragon, and in general, situation itself and all details are rather realistic. Though in the plot there appeared a new character - Tahm?na's father, the king of Semengan, and for this character we can find the correspondence in the series of legend about Scythian Heracles. According to one of the versions of the Scythian legend, not used by Herodotus, Heracles, after he had come to Skythia and defeated Araxes, had intimate relations with his daughter Echidna (Inscriptiones Graecae, XIV, N°1293A, 94-97).9 Here Araxes is the divinity and personification of the river, which in some versions of the Scythian legend was shown as the river of the homeland of the Scythians. We should note that the story about Rustam and Tahm?nah, unlike the story about Rustam's battle with dragon, preserved the original genealogical meaning of the myth: Suhrab was born by Tahm?nah, and he was the son of Rustam. And it is interesting fact, that in Firdausi's story some details, limited by that genealogical meaning, were preserved, though the content of myth was changed. In the Scythian genealogical legend the progenitress had three sons and for each of them there was a gift given by their progenitor. The gifts themselves were described in different versions in different way, but the common factor is that all of them were made from gold. And in Firdausi's story Tahm?nah had only one son - Suhr?b, but Rustam sent him as a gift three sacks full of gold (Vol.II. Lines 297-304).

Scythian genealogical legend shows us a number of other correspondences in the stories of Sistan epic cycle. So, according to the legend, the progenitor of the Scythians gave birth to three sons, who in some versions of the legend are considered to be founders of three peoples, and in other versions of the legend those sons are considered to be the ancestors of three estates, or three "castes". Each caste had its own colour: priest - white colour, military - red colour. It is known other version of the legend, also not shown in Herodotus' story but just makes an addition to this story, so the version where the founder of the priest caste is characterized as an elderly man with white hair from birth; and to the founder of military caste the emblem, having the form of three lights and resembling the shafts of lightning, was attributed (Valerius Flaccus, VI, 48-68).10 As we can notice, the story about Rustam and Tahm?nah has a hint that initially there was a talk about three Rustam's sons. Though this theme about three sons and successors of the progenitor became obsolete in Sistan cycle, it remained very significant traces. One of these traces - strange, at first sight, name of Rustam's father Z?l-i Zar ( «White-Haired Old Man») and the legend about him, being white from birth. Another trace - the name of Rustam's son Suhr?b (or Surkh?b, «Having the Red Glitter»).11

Though the image of Rustam in «Shahname» by Firdausi drew in itself features of some historical personalities - representatives of Sakastanian ruling family of the Surenas, - but the basis of the image goes from the remote Scythian (Sakian) history and mythology. Rustam's image appeared there as the progenitor of the Scythians (of the Sakas). He had took up with the river-divinity after what he had his descendants and also the river-divinity let his horses pasture on grasslands of this river. And it is important to note that the remote Scythians' ancestors, cattle-breeders and horse-breeders, who settled in vast territories of Eurasian steppes and created such a myth, were close to the reality, because the waters of the steppe rivers and thick grasslands really gave them, their descendants and their herds the possibility to live.

So, the Scythian genealogical myth is just a version of the same generally Iranian and even generally Indo-Iranian myth. Its various samples we can find in « Shahname» (legend about Faridun and his sons), in «Avesta», and in «Rigveda». Traces of the Scythian genealogical legend are still preserved in folklore of that area, where in former times the Scythian peoples lived. In the territory of the Southern Tadjikistan in 1965 I heard the stories from local inhabitants about some dangerous maiden-echidna who lived in the river. Those stories vividly reminded me of Herodotus' story about the Scythian Heracles.
Bibliography

Belenitsky A.M. (1967). Drevniy Penjikent - rannefeodalny gorod Sredney Azii. Leningrad, 1967.

Belenitsky A.M., Stavisky B.Ya. (1959). Novoe o drevnem Penjikente. // Arkheologi rasskazyvayut. Stalinabad, 1959. S. 38-66.

Christensen A. (1918). Le premier homme et le premier roi dans l'histoire légendaire des Iraniens. 1. Uppsala, 1918.

Dumézil G. (1941). Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus. Paris, 1941.

Grantovsky E.A. (1960). Indo-iranskie kasty u skifov. Moscow, 1960.

Justi F. (1895). Iranisches Namensbuch. Marburg, 1895.

Khazanov A.M. (1975). Sotsialnaya istoriya skifov. Moscow, 1975.

Pyankov I.V. (1985). Skifskaya genealogicheskaya legenda v "Rostemiade". // Tvorcheskoye naslediye narodov Sredney Azii v pamiatnikach iskusstva, arkhitektury i arkheologii. Tashkent, 1985. S. 103-105.

Pyankov I.V. (1992). Rustam - geroy "Knigi tsarey": skazka ili byl? // Pamir. 7-8. Dushanbe, 1992.

Raevsky D.S. (1977). Ocherki ideologii skifo-sakskich plemion. Moscow, 1977.

Tolstov S.P. (1948). Drevniy Khorezm. Moscow, 1948.

Tolstoy I.I. (1966). Statyi o folklore. Moscow - Leningrad, 1966.
Notes

*Doctor of History. Universal History Professor. Yaroslav the Wise State University of Novgorod the Great, Department of History

1 I've already applied to this theme in my works in Russian language: Pyankov (1985), S.103-105; Pyankov (1992), S.145.

2 Christensen (1918), P.136-139.

3 Dumézil (1941), P.49-57, 220-225.

4 Khazanov (1975), S.36-54.

5 Raevsky (1977), S.19-86.

6 The quotations from this work are taken from the publication: Firdousi. Shahname. Vol. I,II. Moscow, 1957, 1960.

7 Interpretation these murals as is there are scenes from the legend about Rustam was proposed by A.M.Belenitsky: Belenitsky, Stavisky (1959), S. 62-66; Belenitsky (1967), S. 23.

8 This similarity had been already marked: Tolstov (1948), S. 294, 295; Raevsky (1977), S. 33.

9 The interpretation of this text is in: Tolstoy (1966), S. 234,235.

10 All these moments of the Scythian genealogical legend are convincingly analysed by E.A.Grantovsky: Grantovsky (1960), S. 5,6.

11 The etymology of these names is in: Justi (1895), S. 313, 378.
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