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Mitraism cult in Khorasan Rate Topic: -----

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:09 AM


There is no known iconography of Mithra in the Achaemenid period. On coins of the Arsacids the seated archer dressed as a Parthian horseman, which is often depicted on the reverse, has been interpreted as Mithra holding Apollo's favorite attribute, a bow, but the figure is also taken, perhaps more plausibly, as a reminder of Arsaces I, the dynastic ancestor. A coin issue from Susa dating probably from Artabanus II's reign (ca. 128-124 BCE) presents a more convincing example of Mithra in the guise of Apollo, as the Parthian king is shown kneeling in front of a statue of the Greek god (here naked and holding his quiver), a scene which can be compared with Tiridates of Armenia's address to Nero: "I am the descendant of Arsaces ... and have come to thee, my god, to kneel before you as I do before Mithra" (Dio Cassius, 62.5.2). On the reliefs at Tang-e Sarvak (q.v. at iranica.com) in Elymais (2nd century CE), the rayed deity previously misinterpreted as Helios-Mithra is now held to be Artemis-Nanaia.

The youthful, beardless Apollonian type is prominent in images from other countries of Iranian culture contemporary with the Parthian empire. In the kingdom of Commagene on the upper Euphrates, royal steles carved under Antiochus I between 62 and 37 BCE show the king clasping hands with "Mithra-Helios-Apollo-Hermes," who is named in the accompanying Greek inscriptions; the god is dressed in Iranian costume, with rays radiating from a high curved Iranian tiara (which was later on to be adapted as a Phrygian cap in the iconography of the Greco-Roman Mithras). In the Kushan empire Mithra is among the deities most frequently depicted on the coinage, always as a young solar god. This type appears first on the obverse of coins of Soter Megas (ca. 80-100 CE), where his head in profile replaces that of the king, a choice which perhaps echoes the king's (Mithraic?) title Soter Megas "the Savior, the Great" always used instead of his personal name. Here the bare, diademed head with rays is obviously copied from a Hellenistic statue of Apollo holding an arrow (fig.1.). After an eclipse under Vima Kadphises, who promoted a Shivaite cult, Mithra reappears prominently under Kanishka I (127- ca. 153), when he is labeled first in Greek as Helios, then in Bactrian as Mihr (written Miuro, Miiro, Mirro, etc.); he keeps a similar position on the coinage of Huviška (ca. 153-91). On these coins he is never shown in a chariot, but standing, always with a rayed nimbus, an Iranian dress (tunic, cloak, boots) and warrior's attributes (a sword, often a spear). He is most often brandishing a torque (fig.2.) or a ribboned wreath, both of which can be interpreted as symbolizing the royal investiture or perhaps more specifically the royal xvarәnah. In some variants he instead executes an auspicious gesture with two fingers raised (in one case, to the moon-god Mâh, written Mao).

Another Greek source for the iconography of Mithra in eastern Iran is Zeus. In fact the very first attempts to embody the concept of Mithra are an adaptation of the type of Zeus which is displayed on coins of late Greek rulers of Bactria and Kapisa (the Kabul region). This series starts with coins of Heliocles I (ca. 145-130 BCE), where Zeus has his head fitted with rays, an attribute which is not customary for him, and which in the rare cases when it is accorded him indicates assimilation to a local solar god. Under later kings the god more and more takes on an Iranian look: the tiara appears on the head of the enthroned god, and eventually, on bronze coins of Amyntas and Hermaeus (kings in Kapisa, ca. 95-70 BCE), it displays such characteristic details as tip bent forward, back edge covering the nape, and side-flaps (fig.3.). It has been argued that the assimilation of Zeus with Mithra (instead of Ahurâ Mazdâ, as in Commagene) hinted at Mithra occupying the supreme position in the eastern variant of the Iranian religion, but one might perhaps explain it rather by a reluctance to provide Ahurâ Mazdâ with human features (cf. Dâdestân î dênîg 18.1-5, where he is said to be visible only through the powers of wisdom). Moreover, some specific attributes of Zeus were liable to find parallels in the Mihr Yašt: the mace-thunderbolt, the "Victorious superiority" (vanaintî uparatât) hailed as a boon of Mithra (Yt. 10.33) and which could be recognized in the figure of Nike raised in Zeus's hand on some of the coin types discussed above. The auspicious gesture executed by the god on some of the coins provides a link with the Apollonian type in favor under the Kushans.

After a long eclipse, the bearded Jovian type of Mithra reappears on coins issued by the first rulers of the new Kushano-Sasanian dynasty in the late 3rd and early 4th century. On a gold coin of Ardašir, first of this line, the god identified by the Bactrian legend Bago Miuro is seated on a throne of the Greek type and displays a ribboned wreath. But on later issues the same god, sometimes enthroned with the added attribute of a spear, sometimes emerging in this guise from a fire altar, is always labelled burzâwand yazad "the god who possesses the heights" (in Middle Persian or in Bactrian transcription; fig.4.). This can be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to bridge the gap with the Irano-Indian god who figures prominently on the coinage of the 3rd-century Kushans: Wêš (Oêšo), whose name and concept come from the Avesta (Vayuš [uparô.kairyô-] "Vayu who acts in the heights") but whose appearance and attributes had hitherto been borrowed from Shiva. Instead, the new syncretic god retained some ancient characteristics of Mithra, like the rays or flames around the head and even a residual tiara topped with a crescent (a detail discernible on some excellent specimens issued in Marv and Herat). At the same time the naked chest, the position of the legs, and the shape of the throne betray the lingering influence of a Greek statue, and it seems possible to suggest that such statues, provided with added attributes, were still visible in Bactrian temples at that time; cf., on another Kushano-Sasanian coin from the same period, the image of the "Anâhid the Lady" which is clearly an enthroned statue of Artemis (Cribb, 1990, pp. 183-84, coin 5).

The only image of Mithra known in Sasanian monumental art, that on Šâpûr II's relief at Tâq-e Bostân commemorating the victory over Julian the Apostate in 363 (fig.5), is consistent with the Jovian type. Here the god is standing on a lotus flower, which recently has been convincingly interpreted as a symbol of the xvarәnah abiding in the waters (Soudavar, 2003, pp. 53-54). He is placed behind the king, who receives the ribboned ring from Ohrmazd and holds the barsom in hand (which explains what the Parsis mistook this image for Zoroaster and still use it as the model for his conventional portrait). Apart from this, the only official depiction of Mithra under the Sasanians is on coins of Hormizd I (272-73): the god, recognizable from his rays, holds the ring of investiture out to the king across the fire altar.

A third iconographic type, inherited from the Greeks like the two other ones, is that of the charioteer, derived from Apollo-Helios in his quadriga. In the Iranian world it is not documented before the Sasanian period and is never found on coins, although its "frontal" compositional scheme with the horses separating symmetrically appears first with the image of the Greek god on coins of the Greco-Bactrian king Plato (ca. 145 BCE). This type, with various degrees of simplification, underlies the five private seals which constitute the bulk of the Sasanian iconography of Mithra (list with references in Grenet, 2003). The head is always radiated and the face beardless, except in one case. On two seals the horses are reduced to two (in one case the inscription reads hu-mihrîh î pahlom "perfect friendship," an indirect reference to Mithra's name; fig.6.); on another one only the chariot remains (with the mask of a horned lion, on which see below), and in one case only the radiated bust (with the explicit inscription Mihr yazad). The fifth specimen will be discussed below.

A schematized rendering of Mithra seating on the solar chariot is also to be recognized on several images from the Sogdian sites of Panjikent fig.7., and Šahrestân (Ustrušana), as late as the 8th century. On some of these depictions the chariot, which at that time had fallen into disuse in Central Asia as well as in Iran, is replaced by a throne resting on the foreparts of two horses. This is not the case, however, with the most elaborate document of Iranian Mithraic iconography which have come down to us. This is the painted composition which once decorated the soffit of the niche of the 38-meter Buddha at Bâmiân (it was destroyed by the Taliban in 1999, before the Buddhas themselves, but it survives through excellent photographic and graphic records; fig. 8.). Probably executed in the second half of the 6th century, it includes no recognizable Buddhist element but, taken as a whole, appears to illustrate the daily epiphany of Mithra as described in the Mihr Yašt. The "gold-painted mountain tops" of Mount Harâ, in reddish color, frame the composition. The juvenile god is standing on his chariot drawn by four white steers and driven by a winged figure that is most probably Aši. On both sides of the chariot stand two winged female figures: the one to the left is clearly inspired by Athena holding the gorgoneion (the head of Medusa), the one to the right is an archer. They can probably be interpreted as the moon and sunlight respectively (although Athena is also known to have provided her image to Arštât, herself a companion of Mithra). Vâta, the Wind, also mentioned in the Mihr Yašt, is symbolized by two figures in the upper part. The two half-bird, half-human figures with priestly attributes (padâm, i.e., a covering for the mouth and nose, torch, libation spoon at the belt), flying at Mithra's level, are more difficult to interpret; their belonging to Sogdian Zoroastrian iconography has been proved by recent discoveries (ossuaries from Samarqand, funerary monuments of expatriate Sogdians in northern China), and they have been recently explained (Grenet, 2003) as Srôš's cock manifesting this god's presence in the Yasna liturgy (P. O. Skjœrvø apud Grenet, Riboud, and Yang Junkai, 2004, pp. 278-79). The presence of this purely Mithraic iconography in such a setting reflects the local importance of this cult, no doubt related to the fact that the Bâmiân region was the focal point of the Mihr Yašt (a concept still present in Pahlavi literature; see G.Bd. 21A.11.17).

Although executed at a relatively late period, the Bâmiân composition preserves some archaic features which betray an older iconographic tradition, an assumption confirmed by the existence of its abbreviated version on an eastern Sasanian seal from the late 4th or 5th centuries in the British Museum (first published in Callieri, 1990; fig.9.): the figure of the god entirely surrounded by an indented halo is almost similar, but here he is shown emerging directly from Mount Harâ, rendered as a triangle of globular rocks (an image which, in its turn, calls to mind some figures of Mithra petrogenus in western Mithraism; cf. the mithrea at Dura Europus and at San Clemente in Rome). Echoes of the Bâmiân composition are perceptible in Buddhist cave paintings at Kiriš-Simsin near Kucha (the chariot, the winds, the frame of mountains) and at Cave 285 (Pelliot 120) in Dunhuang (the chariot, the moonlight going back to the type of Athena.

The above-mentioned paintings at Šahrestân in Ustrušana offer the only surviving example of the Iranian Mithra taking part in a battle against demons. There are no recognizable analogies in detail with the eschatological battle against Âešma, demon of Wrath, in which Mithra leads several divine or heroic companions according to Zand î Wahman Yasn (7.34); on the contrary, at Šahrestân Mithra appears subordinated to Nana, the high goddess of the Sogdian pantheon.

There is no certain depiction of Mithra on Sogdian ossuaries, despite his role as a judge of the dead, and the deity next to Nana in the lamentation scene at the Panjikent Temple II is not him (pace Azarpay, 1981, p. 141), but probably Ûimat, i.e., Demeter (Grenet and Marshak, 1998, pp. 8-9). On the reliefs of the stone sarcophagus of Yu Hong, an Iranian or Central Asian from an unidentified country who died in China in 593, Mithra is, however, likely to be the riding god who meets a sacrificial horse (Marshak, 2001, pp. 254-56; fig.10.).

The Central Asian type of Mithra as charioteer deeply influenced the iconography of the Indian Sûrya, including the costume. On the other hand, syncretic developments with Hindu or local cults, already attested at the official level with the Kushano-Sasanian burzâwand yazad, continued in Bactria and in the neighboring regions. The main witness is the cave painting at Dokòtar-e Nošervân, to the north of Bâmiân, probably dating from the 7th century (fig.11.): the god seated on a throne resting on the foreparts of two horses, with his sword between his legs, conforms to the type of Mithra. This filiation is confirmed by the mask of a horned lion above the wings of his crown, a cluster of animal symbols also found on some Sasanian seals and which appears to allude to the coming of the Sun into Aries, when a festival to the Sun was celebrated (Biruni, Â, tr. M. A. Sal'e, Abure¥khan Biruni. Izbrannye proizvedeniya I, Tashkent, 1957, pp. 236-38; this passage is mutilated in Sachau's edition). The eight animal heads protruding from his halo can be viewed as symbols of the directions of space (rather than planets, as in Grenet, 1995). The Bactrian archives from this valley, however, indicate that the local high god was Ûun (< Zurwân?), whose regional importance all along the Indo-Iranian border is also attested by the Chinese traveler Xuanzang, so it appears plausible that at Dokòtar-e Nošervân attributes once proper to Mithra have been reused for an even more encompassing religious figure.


G. Azarpay, Sogdian Painting. The Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London, 1981.

A. D. H. Bivar, "Mithraic Images of Bactria: Are They Related to Roman Mithraism?" in U. Bianchi, ed., Mysteria Mithrae, Études Pre‚liminaires aux Religions Orientales dans l'Empire Romain (EPRO) 80, Leiden, 1979, pp. 741-50.

Idem, The Personalities of Mithra in Archaeology and Literature, New York, 1998.

M. Boyce and F. Grenet, A History of Zoroastrianism, vol. III: Zoroastrianism under Macedonian and Roman rule, Leiden, 1991, esp. pp. 38-39, 162-63, 331, 337-38, 346.

P. Callieri, "On the Diffusion of the Mithra Images in Sasanian Iran. New evidence from a Seal in the British Museum," East and West 40, 1990, pp. 79-98.

M. Carter, "A Numismatic Reconstruction of Kushano-Sasanian History," American Numismatic Society Monographs and Notes 30, 1985, pp. 215-81, pl. 47-52, esp. pp. 227-29, 242-44.

J. Cribb, "Numismatic Evidence for Kushano-Sasanian Chronology," Studia Iranica 19, 1990, pp. 151-193, pl. I-VIII.

R. Göbl, System und Chronologie der Münzprägung des Kušânreiches, Wien, 1984 (esp. pp. 42, 166-67, 172).

F. Grenet, "Mithra au temple principal d'Aï Khanoum?" in P. Bernard and F. Grenet, ed., Histoire et cultes de l'Asie centrale pre‚islamique, Paris, 1991, pp. 147-51, pl. LVIII-LX.

Idem, "Bâmiyân and the Mihr Yašt," Bulletin of the Asia Institute 7, 1993 [1994], pp. 87-94.

Idem, "Mithra et les planeàtes dans l'Hindukush central: essai d'interpre‚tation de la peinture de Dokhtar-i Nôshirvân," in R. Gyselen, ed., Au carrefour des religions. Me‚langes offerts aà Philippe Gignoux (Res Orientales, 7), Bures-sur-Yvette, 1995, pp. 105-19.

Idem, "Mithra, dieu iranien: nouvelles donne‚es," Topoi 11, 2003, pp. 35-58.

F. Grenet and B. Marshak, "Le mythe de Nana dans l'art de la Sogdiane," Arts Asiatiques 53, 1998, pp. 5-18.

F. Grenet, P. Riboud, and Yang Junkai, "Zoroastrian Scenes on a Newly Discovered Sogdian Tomb in Xi'an, Northern China," Studia Iranica 33, 2004, pp. 273-84.

A. von Le Coq, Bilderatlas zur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Mittel-Asiens, Berlin, 1925 (repr., Graz, 1977), figs. 220-25.

B. Marshak, "La the‚matique sogdienne dans l'art de la Chine de la seconde moitie‚ du VIe sieàcle," Comptes Rendus de l'Acade‚mie des Inscriptions & Belles-lettres, 2001, pp. 227-64.

R. Merkelbach, Mithras, Königstein, 1984.

N. N. Negmatov, "Bozhestvenny¥ i demonicheski¥ panteony Ustrushany i ikh indo-iranskie parallely" (The divine and demoniac pantheons of Ustrushana and their Indo-Iranian parallels), in V. M. Masson, ed., Drevnie kul'tury Sredne¥ Azii i Indii, Leningrad, 1984, pp. 146-64.

V. Shkoda, "K voprosu o kul'tovykh stsenakh v sogdi¥sko¥ zhivopisi" (On the question of cult scenes in Sogdian painting), Soobshcheniya Gosudarstvennogo Ermitazha 45, 1980, pp. 60-63.

A. Soudavar, The Aura of Kings, Costa Mesa, 2003.

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:32 AM


Creation Myths - The power to hold a group of people together

Creation myths are stories and nothing more, but these stories have the power to fascinate the psyche and hold a group of people together. What ever ties a group of people together is called a Religion. The art of the Magi was to make Magic and the greatest of their magic was creating Religion.

Let me explain what I mean. The Magi have a ritual that involves the placing of a number of sticks together and then tying them with a sacred cord. The cord symbolizes love and the sticks symbolize individuals are tied together by a mutual love. The ritual bundle of sticks is called a Barsam in Zoroastrianism. The symbolism of the Barsam is that each individual stick, like an individual person, can be easily broken under pressure, but when these sticks are tied together; they can endure much greater force and not break.

But that is not all. We have Barsams of Light and Barsams of Darkness. When I first heard that from an old Magi (Dastoor Syavakhsh of Yazd), I was very surprised and asked him what a Barsam of Darkness was. His explanation was verysimple. He said that every time there is darkness in the cord that binds the Barasam, that Barsam becomes a Barsam of darkness and not of light. Every time several persons conspire together and kill another person, a very strong Barsam of darkness gets tied between them. They become strongly bound together by the dark cord of their dark deed. The great challenge is for persons to form Barsams of light that are so strongly bound together for good that they defeat even the strongest of Barsams of Darkness.

When the Magi went to Rome from Persia, they tookwith them the seeds of a religion called Mithraism. One of the sacred rituals of the religion of Mithras was to tie a Barsam called a Fascia in Latin. The Fascia was tied together in the Roman senate and the act of tying of the individual sticks together was called Relegare. It is from this Magic concept of tying together or Relegare that we get the word Religion. It meant the tying of persons together by the cord of a sacred and mutual love.

Later when Mithraism fell and Christianity took over, the Religion of Mithras became labelled as a cult and a perverted account of its rituals was presented to the world by biased Christian historians. It was St. Augustine that changed the concept of Religion as what tied men together in a bond of love to something that tied men to God in acts of blind faith. That changed the basic meaning of Religion into something that many free thinkers reject and consider an enemy of mental freedom. Later, when Fascists came to power in Italy, their Fascia went dark from the onset because they got their strength by being tied together with dark cords of hate for the Jews, Blacks, Homosexuals, etc.

The Barasam ritual I hear is still alive amongst the high Dastoors of the Magi lineage in India. In Iran, the liberals have killed this ritual and I do not know of any Magi or Moobed who still knows how to perform it.

All I wanted to say in this essay is that we do get tied together by our love for certain myths regarding creation, but these creation myths are nothing but stories. We make them, and we can remake them. We do not have to be stuck between the pages of some old storybook and following myths that no longer make sense to us. Our age is thirsty for fresh myths and we may be those persons that can refresh ancient myths in new ways that humanity needs to be united in its Barsam.
Stages of Creation, From AHURA to MAZDA

What I have written bellow is a “Story of Creation” that I like. I was thought it, I liked it, and I am sharing it with you. No pretence of it being sacred or infallible or something one must believe in; just a creation story that you might enjoy.

Ah means “existence” and Ahura is “that which Exists”. The Ahuraic stage begins with a very complex question that asks: Can anything have “existence” without having a “body”?

The ancient Magi thought that if they could find something with existence yet without a body, then surly that must be the first creation and worthy of special reverence [1].

The first existence in this Ahuraic stage they concluded must be Zarvan. Zarvan means “Time” and in Zarvanism which is another religion of the Magian lineage, Zarvan is believed to have “existence” but no “body”. Thus Zarvan was very sacred to them and they considered it the no beginning and no end bases on which all creation occurred.

Zarvan is supposed to have two manners of behaviour. First is Zarvan-a-Akarna — “Time that has No Shores”. Zarvan-a-Akarna begins at a-sar — “that which has no head” (“No Beginning”) — and flows to a-pad – “that which has no feet” (“No End”).

Next a kind of “Vortex” was imagined in this river of endless Time. They called that Zarvan-A Darghoo Khodata or “Time that has Consequences”. Here we do not have an endless river of time flowing with no consequence but a vortex in the river with enormous consequences. This is the kind of time you have on your hands when your girlfriend has got pregnant and the endless inconsequential romance you had will be in a fast moving consequential process now. The vortex is not permanent and in Time it melts in the river only to reappear somewhere else in Time.

Stage 2 — BODY, TAN
That which started as only having Ah and being only Ahura, in Zarvan or “Time” begins to have tan or “body”. We have here all the lifeless objects in the Cosmos from the largest galaxies to the smallest rocks. These are objects that “exist” and have a “body”, but no “life”. In this stage, two forces start to perform a necessary dance and “push” and “pull” on one another. One is called Mithra or the “Male energies that push” and the other is called Anahitha or the “Female energies that pull”.

Remember that the Female and the Male love one another, dance together, and compliment each other. Their balance of male and female energies was a key in ancient medicine because they considered good health to be the result of these two forces operating in perfect balance and harmony. The male/female energies are not to be mixed with the good/bad mentalities Vohoo-Man and Ahri-Man. They belong to the “mental” realm (-man) while the mind has not even been formed yet at this stage.

I have not found any modern Mazdayasni thinker, except for my teacher Behrooz, who has clearly differentiated between the male and female energies who compliment one another and the good and bad mentalities that battle one another. Fire, Water, Earth, and Air belong to this stage of creation. Four of the Amesha Spenta are identified with these four elements, Asha [2] with Fire, Haurvatat with Water, Spenta Armaiti with Earth, and Khshathra Vairyu with Air.

Stage 3 — LIFE, JAN
In this next stage we have things that in addition to having “existence” and “body” have “life” also. The entire Plant kingdom is placed here as plants have 1) Existence, 2) Body and also 3) Life. Ameretat is the Amesha Sepenta identified with the plant kingdom. Ameretat means “Defying Death” and plants do try to defy death by reproducing themselves.

Please remember that like in alchemy where on one level lead is supposed to be turned into gold while in a deeper level it is the lead of our basic urges that has to be turned into the gold of superior characters, we have the same realities with the seven Amesha Sepentas also. While on one level they are identified with the seven sacred elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Plants, Animals, and Man, (or with the seven colours of the rainbow and many other sevens) on another level, they are identified with the stages of perfection that a person must climb in order to reach perfection and even immortality.

At this stage we have things that in addition to having 1) Existence, 2) Body and 3) Life, have 4) Ravan or “Motion” also. Here we have the entire Animal kingdom. While a plant (for all practical purposes) can not move itself from location to location, most animals can. When it rains, a cat moves indoors while a rosebush can not. Ravan has usually been translated as “Soul” while here it is taken from the root Raftar or movement and does not mean exactly the soul. Karma for the Hindus and Buddhists and Rooh in Islam have connotations of movement also. The Ameshasepand Vohooman or the Good Mind is the guardian of the animal kingdom. This shows that the animals may be considered as having a “Mind” also.

Stage 5 — MIND, MAZDA
In stage five, that which began as only being Ahura, develops to a stage of having a “mind” and becoming Mazda. Humans are an example of this stage. Humans 1) Exist, 2) have a Body, 3) have Life, 4) have ability to Move, and 5) can “Think”.

At a time, the distinction between the ability of a human to “think” and an animal that also can do so to a great extent was not clear for me. Then a friend explained how the ability of an animal to think and that of humans did have actually very basic differences. Humans supposedly can think in a cybernetic and abstract manner that is very different from an animal-s ways of avoiding harm and moving towards rewards. As I am not versed in Cybernetics, I will take the word of my friend for this. Spenta Mainyu is the Amesha Spenta identified with this realm.

Up to this stage, nothing is good or bad in creation because there is no human mind to perceive anything as good or bad. I know it may be part of our human arrogance that we think thus, but as long as no Mouse has written articles about the evil whose name is Cat, we will assume that mice do not conceive of cats as evil. But with the mind of man come all manners of labelling of things and we label two manners of thinking, one as “good”, and the other as “bad”. Bad and evil thoughts become labelled as Ahri-Man and good and constructive thoughts as Vohoo-Man. It is worth while to observe that Vohooman or “Good-Thoughts” is associated with the Animal kingdom while Spenta Mainyu or “Sacred Thoughts” belong to the Human level. One can speculate much about why this has been categorized as such, but I will not get sidetracked into another complex issue here.

Asha means “laws of nature” up to this stage because there is no element of choice in Asha alone. We do not choose to make water run down the hill; it is its Asha to do so. But with the formation of human mind we have Asha Vahishta or “that Asha which is the best”. To choose the “best” requires a “mind”. What is the “best Asha” of raising a child or combating crime in our society? There are many Ashas here and they all give us results of one kind or another; but it is up to us to choose the “best” of these Ashas and argue about its merits amongst us.


1. Ahura is the Zero of the beginning of existence an example of something in this Ahuraic stage is Zarvan or Time.
2. In Time, that which has an Ahuraic existence gets to have Tan or “body”. Mithra and Anahitha begin their dance at this stage. Fire of Asha, Water of Horvatat, Earth of Sepanta Armaiti and, Air of Khashatra Vaerya belong to this stage of creation.
3. At this stage we have things that have “existence” plus “body” plus Jan or “life”. Plants are in this stage and Amaratat is the Ameshasepanta of this kingdom.
4. Here we have things that have “existence” plus “body” plus “life” plus Ravan or “movement”. Animals are an example of things in this level and Vohooman is the Ameshasepand of this stage of existence.
5. In this last stage we have things that have “existence” plus “body” plus “life” plus “motion” plus Mazda or the ability to “think”. Humans are an example of a thing in this stage. Ahura Mazda is a reference to the beginning and the end of this spectrum by which the ancient Magi had divided all of creation.

A kind teacher of Magi lineage from the city of Saveh, Iran thought it to me and I am sharing it with you in all humility. Put it on a shelf in your mind, it may come in handy someday as it has REAL MAGIC!?

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand
February 14th. 2006, Tehran, Iran

[1] Remember that they were Mazdayasni meaning that the answer they were looking for must have been logical and worthy of a healthy mind to grasp. Answers such as ghosts or angels would not have been acceptable to them.

[2] Not Asha Vahishta that belongs to the human mental realm.



#3 User is offline   arshak Icon

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:43 AM

Thank you for this wonderful post. Mithra or Mehr is depicted everywhere in our culture. For instance flags, both the imperial flag of Iran and Kurdish ethnic flag have symbol of Mithra/Mehr on them.

Even in art, prophets or Shiite Imams have a solar light around their head which is also a symbol of Mithra/Mehr.
хоросон бозорг човидон

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22-May 07

Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:39 PM

View Postarshak, on 22 February 2011 - 11:43 AM, said:

Thank you for this wonderful post. Mithra or Mehr is depicted everywhere in our culture. For instance flags, both the imperial flag of Iran and Kurdish ethnic flag have symbol of Mithra/Mehr on them.

Even in art, prophets or Shiite Imams have a solar light around their head which is also a symbol of Mithra/Mehr.

Your welcome.

Yes, one reason could be that Shiism in Iran and Central Asia was a product of the symbiose between Iranic culture and civilisation with Islam. Rumi f.ex. is known to be the father of Alavits. Alavism is an Iranian based islamic direction.

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