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Wisdom & Justice: Two oldest Persian keywords|
28 Dec 2010 15:11
Dr Shervin Vakili, writer and researcher: The term 'Kherad' (wisdom) is one of the oldest words in Persian language. Iranians have used this term for more than 3 thousand years. In Zoroaster's 'Gahan', the concepts of wisdom and ration are expressed by the term Kherad and this is exactly what the Greek called Philosophia or 'philosophy' 600 years after Zoroaster.
IBNA – Dr Shervin Vakili, writer and researcher: The word 'Kherad' (wisdom) is one of the oldest words in Persian language. Iranians have used this term for more than 3 thousand years. In Zoroaster's 'Gahan', the concept of wisdom and ration is expressed by the term 'Kherad' and this is exactly what the Greek called Philosophia or 'philosophy' 600 years after Zoroaster.
Now the question is how a charismatic ruler (one in possession of 'Farah' – which according to Old Persian texts equals the English term 'Charisma') can keep power? It seems that it lies in the very concepts of 'wisdom' and 'justice' that would grant the ruler an unimaginable power. Without the two, Farah is ruptured from the king. Despite common beliefs in Rome and China, in Iran Farah (Charisma) is not transferred by genetics.
Farah or Charisma is not a stable feature: Jamshid loses Farah when he shows ingratitude. Afrasiab and Zahak try hard to obtain Farah. So it is something to obtain and it is losable as well. On the other hand, a man in possession of charisma is not necessarily immune against damages. Ferdowsi shows this in the story of Iraj who, despite having charisma and innocence, is harmed by others and is finally killed. Apparently there is a political theory latent in these stories.
Likewise, Farah is not transferred to the king's successor. Zahak came into power after Jamshid. Yet despite previous charismatic kings who could purge off all sorrows, Zahak is able to harm others. That is why he grows serpents on his shoulders and serves Satan. Zahak lacks Jamshid's 'wisdom' and 'justice' and therefore he cannot possess 'charisma'. What he creates is evil.
Another example in Iranian kingdom is Keykhosrow who has both characteristics of wisdom and justice. Keykhosrow is an exceptional character with mystical abilities. He leaves the earth when he is on the height of power and then ascents to heavens.
'Kherad' equals the terms philosophy and wisdom. There are many expressions of this concept in Shahnameh, and Ferdowsi praises 'Kherad' throughout his lines. He regards 'Kherad' as the first thing created by God. Kherad or wisdom is somewhere between ration and intuition. Ferdowsi believes that not only Kherad is important, but the creator of wisdom is also significant. That is why he encourages us to read Shahnameh in a way to obtain wisdom.
'Justice' is an important concept as well. In Zoroaster's Gahan, there is a concept called 'Asha' which means truthfulness, this is the governing rule all over the nature. Being just is the law of nature. Therefore when Ferdowsi mentions Wisdom or Justice, he is looking at a 2-thousand-year-old tradition before him.
Shervin Vakili is the writer of "Mythology of Iranian Heroes" published by Parineh Publications. It is the first of the 3-volume series on the formation of Iranian myths. The second and third volumes titled "Mythology of Iranian Gods" and "Zand-e-Gahan: An interpretation of Osho Zoroaster's verses" are now under compilation and will be released in the coming year.