The Saga of the Ancient Persians
Closely based on The Saga of the Aryan Race by Porus Homi Havewala - copyright claimed
Volume Two - The Advent of Asho Zarathushtra
Long ago in the mists of time, the great Persian peoples resided
in their ancient sacred homeland Aryanam Vaejo, at the top
of the world in the then warm Arctic. Aryanam Vaejo (Seedland of
the Persians) was the birthplace of the first mighty civilisation on
the otherwise barbarous earth. It was a divine place where just and
righteous kings ruled and man lived in harmony with nature and
close communion with God.
The Persians were worshippers of Ahura Mazda, the One
True God and called themselves, the Mazdayasnis. Every man and
woman proudly wore the ancient sacred Persian girdle, the
Aiwiyaongahana or the Kusti as it was to be known later on, as a
proof that he or she belonged to the divine Persian people and was a
follower of the ancient religion of Ahura Mazda. In that ancient
home of the Persian people, poverty and sickness did not exist. And
when the great Persian king Jamshed ruled (Yima Vivangaho in
the Persian Scriptures), even death was banished from the kingdom.
But it was then that the evil one struck a terrible blow.
The ice age occurred at that time twenty thousand years ago,
covering the warm Arctic with tons of ice and turning it into a
frozen wasteland. The pure Persians were forced to migrate from
their beloved homeland when their houses collapsed under tons of
snow and their world disappeared before their very eyes. The great
Persian migrations began twenty thousand years ago, from the
North to the South-East and the South-West. Passing through
immense tribulations to preserve their ancient Persian religion of
Ahura Mazda and their people from extinction; the Persians
reached the blessed land of Iran. It was from them that Iran
received its sacred name.
Like the breath of life blowing across the world, their
great wheeled chariots, the Raths rumbled like an avalanche onto
the countries of Europe which they inhabited. At that time, in that
age; the religion of Ahura Mazda stretched across the whole world
and every man, every woman wore the sacred Persian girdle; the
Aiwiyaongahana (Kusti) proudly.
Centuries rolled away one by one. Men and women of the
old world passed away and men and women descended from them
rose up, generations after generations flowing past like the waters
of a mighty divine stream.
And then, like a terrible storm, the forces of darkness
broke upon the ancient forces of Good. Evil overwhelmed all that
was good and pure. The Persians were deluded by the wicked one.
Memory of their ancient God Ahura Mazda passed them by. They
forget they were Mazdayasnis; they forgot their precious sacred
girdle, the great sign of the Persian people of which they had been
so righteously proud. The Persian inhabitants of Europe slowly but
surely lost their ancient culture and civilisation and reverted to the
barbarism they saw around them. Tribe fought against tribe, and
all of these ancestors of the present day Europeans forgot that they
once wore the sacred Aiwiyaongahana together. A few ancient
memories stayed on as myths, such as the memory of an ancient
homeland and a great migration. A few rituals too stayed on, such
as the Greeks worshipping fire as a divinity (they called the fire
God Atros) and the Romans centuries later installing a sacred fire
in the centre (Atrium) of every household. But the divine faith of
the Persian ancestors was lost in its roots from the minds of the
And what of their brothers, the Persians who had settled in
the blessed land of Iran? Since they had settled down sooner and
not spent thousands of years in wandering, the Persian culture was
not lost to them. But alas, there came a time when they too started
to forget. They forgot the brave feats of their ancestors, those
Persian forefathers of theirs who had painstakingly made the great
migration from the ancient homeland. They forgot how Noshirwan
had courageously defended his daughter single-handedly against
scores of barbarians to protect her honour, how Peshotan and his
mighty steed Tehmton had leapt over the deadly ice chasm to save
a maiden of the Persian people from a fate worse than death, and
how Yasmin had fought against savage brutes with sword in her
hand and the Persian Mathravani (verses of prayer) on her lips to
protect her Persian maidenhood. They forgot all the tears of their
ancestors; all the pain, the sorrow and the suffering.
A life of pleasure now enthralled them. Moving further
and further away from the simple hardy divine life of their Persian
ancestors, they were now more concerned with accumulation of
fleeting fortune, wealth and power and all the attendant luxuries
rather than with following the path of Righteousness, the path of
Ereta (Ashoi). Evil men now sprang up, posing as priests and
leaders of the people but in reality practising the barbarous arts of
witchcraft and black magic. Gone was the pure Persian concept of
praying to Ahura in the majestic open outdoors, on the summit of
hills or in beautiful forests before the mighty Fire. Now the Persian
bowed to ugly idols; and terror filled his soul instead of love and
When the clouds of darkness surrounded the world and it
seemed that the pure Persian faith would die out; when tears arose
in the eyes of every righteous man on the earth when he suffered
and the evil rejoiced; then the Soul of the earth could bear it no
Amidst the swirling mists, the Soul of the earth; Geush
Urvan stood before the Lord of mankind; Ahura Mazda. Tears in
her beautiful eyes, the earth was in the shape of a disconsolate
white cow; mooing with pain. Is there a heart so hard that would
not be moved to tears by that sight; the sight of our own mother
earth so terribly distressed? Her voice filled with plaintive
complaint; the Soul of the earth cried out:
"O Master of the Universe! See Thou my tears.
Kahmai Ma Thwarozdum - For what purpose has Thou
brought me into existence, Ke Ma Tashat - Why did You design
"Alas, evil has triumphed on me. Around me rage the
clouds of wrath and violence, the darkness of immorality and
arrogant lust. Men have turned from the true path of Ereta
(Asha), they no longer worship You; O Lord. Indeed, belief in You
has vanished from the world. Your children, the ones You created
rely on the Lie; they rely on the worship of evil. They worship
pleasure and sex, not the ancient wisdom of love and marriage that
You gave to them. They bow before idols, and pay homage to evil
magicians who are black-hearted and lecherous.
"The Persian religion is dying, O Ahura! The righteous
man, he who walks on the noble path of Asha; suffers. He is
condemned for his folly; he is made to pay with his life for being
steadfast to You; indeed there are tears in his eyes at every
moment of his life!
"I cannot bear the suffering of my children; I cannot bear
the evil that thrives in me. You have created me, O Fashioner of
the Universe. Noit Moi Vasta Khshmat Anyo - There is no
defender for me other than You.
"O Ahura! Atha Moi Sasta Vohu Vastrya! So unto
me do announce a pure and strong Protector!
"Send me a brave Warrior to do battle against evil. Send
me someone who would by the strength of his divine arms
eradicate the evil from my bosom!"
The Lord of the world, Ahura Mazda now spoke in a
thunderous voice. Rays of light shot out from His dazzling form of
eternal splendorous light, as He thundered:
"O Geush Urvan! Mother Soul of the Earth,
indeed I have fashioned you. I am the Divine
Creator of the Universe, kind and merciful. Your
lament has moved Me, and unto you I say:
"Go! Do not cry any longer, for your days of
agony are at an end. Your surface will shine with
the True Religion once again.
"I shall soon send the soul of Zarathustra
down to you; My Blessed One who I promised to
the Persian ancestors. I grant him the divine status
of My Messenger, and bestow on him the charm of
speech so that he will proclaim in songs the
instructions I reveal to him and the divine
immutable Law of Ereta (Asha). These divine songs
will be known as the Gathas of Holy Zarathustra,
and will resound in the world for all time to come!"
But thereupon the Soul of the earth was not satisfied.
Mooing mournfully, she lamented:
"O Ahura! Do you not understand my pitiable condition?
How can a mere man of words help me? How can a timid mortal
"I long for a powerful warrior, resplendent in divine
armour! I ask You for a heroic leader, who would overthrow evil
and alleviate my unhappiness. I pray You, Ahura! Send Thou to
me such a powerful hero!"
The Lord of Light looked down with kindness and mercy.
"O Geush Urvan! Do not underestimate the
divine Zarathustra. Appreciate My divine
choice, full of Wisdom.
"Zarathustra'7s words (Mathravani) are more
powerful than a thousand daggers in the heart of
evil. When men shall hear his words, they shall
change over to the divine Path of Ereta by
themselves. The wisdom in his words shall be more
effective than a thousand blows on the wicked;
indeed he is more powerful than thousands of
"It is due to divine Zarathustra that the
ancient Persian religion will live on and not die out.
He is the Saviour of the religion.
"The whole world will forget the Persian
religion, save for Iran where his blessed steps will
fall and rejuvenate the ancient faith of mankind, the
faith I imparted to the first man on the earth, Gayo
Maretan (Gayomard). And so the Persian religion will
be kept alive, its words of wisdom, knowledge of
the right path of Ereta and its inspiring message
will resound till the time of the glorious Frasho-
Kereti (Renovation) when I shall eradicate evil once
and for all from the universe.
"At this glorious end time I shall make fresh
everything in existence. There will be no death, no
decay, no hunger and no suffering for any living
creature on the world. For I have boundless
compassion for even the smallest life that walks on
your surface, and can hear its footsteps.
"I will restore the righteous dead to life,
collecting their dust from the four directions in
which it has been scattered and will reform their
bodies by My immense powers. For this reason am
I known as the Frashogar, the resurrector.
"Men will speak one language and have one
commonwealth; men will live without food and will
not cast shadows. Hunger, thirst, anger, envy will
be no more; and My Divine Kingdom will be
established on the Earth.
"My Kingdom will be the Kingdom of Ereta
(Asha), and I shall be the Ruler. I shall Myself come
down to the Earth and perform the greatest of all
Persian Fire ceremonies, the Holy Yasna. I shall act
as the Zaota, the head priest and I shall hold the
sacred Aiwiyaongahana (Kusti) in My hand, the
beloved Kusti girdle I gave to the first man. I shall
then chant the sacred Mathras Myself, and this
shall destroy the evil one and all the forces of
darkness for ever and ever. For Such is My Power.
"S o rejoice, O Soul of the Earth! Your suffering
is due to end. Zarathustra will be born to
eclipse evil. The great Saviour will come to you
soon, O unhappy Earth."
Hearing the divine words of the Ultimate; the Soul of the
earth lost her doubts. Tears of joy in her eyes, she bent low to the
mighty Lord of Lords who had answered her prayer and granted
At that time on the earth, there lived a beautiful young
Persian girl in the city of Ragha or Rae in Iran.
Dughdowa, as she was called; was a pure and righteous
girl. Proud to be a member of the Persian race, she wore the ancient
Persian Aiwiyaongahana around her waist and was devoted to Lord
Ahura Mazda with all her heart and soul. Deeply religious at a
tender age, she would pray the sacred Persian verses of prayer or
Mathras regularly; so much so that a powerful illuminating
radiance seemed to emanate from her face and body when she was
fifteen years of age. When she walked on the streets of Ragha,
intoning the powerful names of Ahura Mazda, it seemed that she
overshadowed the moon at night and the sun itself at day.
Now the city was filled with more evil than good, and this
meant that the people were afraid and jealous of pure Dughdowa.
The corrupt priests, who themselves had no such radiance, were
even more envious. Clearly, the girl was extraordinary among the
women of her age. And as time progressed there could be a distinct
possibility of her goodness and purity threatening the evil in the
city. Because evil has always felt threatened by truth, because
darkness has always felt overwhelmed by the light; evil and
darkness have always attacked truth and light throughout the
centuries. And so it was in that ancient time, eight thousand years
It was late in the night one day when a body of these evil
people mustered enough courage and burst into the house of
Dughdowa and her father, Frahimurva.
Frahimurva ran forward, surprised at the sudden intrusion
in the dead of night. Pulling out his mighty sword with the name
of his Persian forefathers inscribed on it; he shouted:
"Hold! What be your intentions?"
The ruffian leading the crowd, a big burly evil-looking
middle-aged man who practised black magic to earn the favour of
others as evil as him; put his hand on his sheathed sword.
"Frahimurva! We have nothing against you. However,
your only crime is that you have given birth to Dughdowa! So
stand aside and let us deal with her."
The words rumbled against the ears of the old father, who
stood aghast. His sword hand shaking, Frahimurva spoke.
"Why! What has my innocent daughter done? I ask you,
what is her sin that you should take her name thus?"
The ruffian gritted his teeth.
"Dughdowa is a witch! She will doom the entire city. She
will doom all of us. We have seen the radiance that her evil magic
has created. Her hated presence fills us with fear and anger, when
she passes by we shiver and shake.
"Frahimurva, we respect you. You are an Persian like us,
although you do not bow before our new idol Gods and do not
desire to learn our new magical rites. You insist on following the
religion of your ancestors, and we respect you for that. Hence we
give you this concession: we ask you to kill your daughter with
your own hands. Put an end to her life as soon as possible!
"Remember this: If you do not do so; we shall come
again. And then she shall die not a pretty death, by these swords
that you see and hear! You shall be a witness to that; so know that
she cannot escape from our wrath!"
And in the recesses of the house, as the trembling
Dughdowa heard the menacing words spoken to her father; she
sprang to her mother's breast and hid her milk-white face in the
soft bosom; her mother comforting her shaking tender body as
tears of fright broke out from her innocent face.
O Ahura! Will Evil never end?
The righteous suffer,
The innocent are condemned
The tears in a pure face
move not the hearts of stone...
Send down Thy Messenger, O God
Let not evil triumph in this world!
Let Your pure Faith thrive everywhere,
Let Goodness fill the hearts of men once again!
Hearken to the cry of the millions that suffer
Remember Your promise, You who never forget
Send the Saviour, pure and strong
Send Zarathustra the Promised One
So that evil does not remain in this world!
The clouds hung gloomily over the darkened sky. It was a cold
and windy night, the blasts of wind howling across the dark
plains and trees.
A long line of horses was galloping through the darkness
of the night, the thud of their hooves shaking the earth. The
horsemen were making their way from the city of Ragha in the
great Persian land of Iran; secretly at an hour when everyone slept
They had in their charge the beautiful Persian daughter of
Frahimurva. Dughdowa, the pure fifteen year old; had parted from
her father with tears in her eyes when her father had embraced her
before sending her away with his trusted friends.
The wise Frahimurva knew that the evil people of the city
would never rest until their promise to kill Dughdowa was
fulfilled. Rather than put an end to his daughter's life himself as
he had been threatened to do, he had thought it best to secretly
smuggle his dearest daughter away. And when she was safe, he did
not care what happened to him.
He had a great friend far away: the mighty Persian noble
Paitarasp; and he was sending her there. Paitarasp dwelled in the
region of Arak; where he was the lord of beautiful expanses of
land. The homestead of Paitarasp was situated on the bank of a
mighty river, the Dargahidhainush near the mountain of
Paitizbara in Iran.
Paitarasp, a true friend of Frahimurva bid the latter's
daughter welcome at his house. Touched with pain at her story, he
declared that she could stay with him as his own daughter as long
as she liked.
The dawn broke with the glory and beauty typical of the
land of Iran; and the shy fifteen year old after having rested was
introduced by Paitarasp to his son. A handsome and tall youth;
Pourushaspa was his name and Dughdowa noticed at once the
pride on his face as he mentioned that he was also fifteen and had
thus entered the Persian race by virtue of the Navjot ceremony when
he was invested with the ancient Persian sacred girdle; the
Aiwiyaongahana or Kusti. What pride the ancestors of the human
race had in their Persian religion and the precious Kusti, a sacred
pride that was good and uplifting.
Dughdowa felt herself drawn to this dazzling youth, and
her heart beat quickened when he took her hand in his strong one
and asked her to accompany him on a tour of the estates.
As they rode on two strong white horses and Pourushaspa
showed her the beauty and scenic sites of their land; he watched
her face as she smiled at him. He had never felt this way before, he
wondered. Who was this girl, pure and beautiful, with a radiance
seeming to emanate from her exquisite features and why did she
fill his heart with love and devotion.
They were crossing a stream of running water, one of the
many small rivulets that branched out from the mighty
Dargahidhainush. Their horses stepped slowly over the immersed
stones when suddenly the stone on which Dughdowa's mount
stood slid crumblingly away; the horse neighing loudly as it
struggled to keep balance and the beautiful girl rider screamed as
she felt herself falling.
Suddenly, she was enveloped in the strong arms of the
alert Pourushaspa who shot forward like a thunderbolt and lifted
her bodily from her saddle as her horse bolted away from the
stream in a flurry of alarm; its hooves thudding off into the
Her heart beating, the Persian girl closed her eyes as
Pourushaspa tenderly caressed her; placing his arms around her to
still her shaking body. She was so like a frightened deer, he
thought. So vulnerable and timid. His eyes were suddenly moist as
he realised the unhappiness and shock she must have suffered
when she was forced to leave her birthplace and her beloved father
and mother, due to the capricious whims and jealousies of her
Love and its tender fire broke out in the breasts of
Pourushaspa and Dughdowa for each other, as they gazed into
each other's eyes. The Persians believed that when man and woman
met in this way, it was Ahura Mazda who brought them together.
The mighty Lord of the Persian race and of the whole world, who
had fashioned man and woman; had also commissioned their
Ahura it is who created Love divine,
When the two came back from the estates and the forests
that day, they were as lovers and they knew that they would never
part from one another.
Between man and woman, in bird and beast
Ahura created the Love that begets Life
So that death ever defeated would be!
When the aged Paitarasp gazed upon the two young
Persians, he could immediately fathom the divine union and he was
pleased beyond measure. Ahura had given him a beautiful
daughter-in-law, and he could also keep his word to his friend
Frahimurva and protect his daughter. For an ancient Persian,
friendship and a promise were sacred.
Pourushaspa and the beautiful Dughdowa were soon
united in the bonds of holy Persian matrimony before the holy fire.
As they watched the flames of the mighty fire soar upwards; they
promised to be ever true to one another and to love each other for
the rest of their lives. And as true Persians, they promised the fire
that they would give birth to mighty Persian children who would
support the Persian king, the Persian land and the Persian religion;
wear the sacred Persian Kusti, chant the ancient sacred Mathras or
prayers and live the prescribed ways of the noble Persian religion of
Mazda as their ancestors had done since the world was created.
And, as every Persian knew, these actions would strike a deadly
blow against the evil one.
Work for Righteousness,
And fight against wickedness
This is the guiding principle of life!
Be not a passive onlooker, but
Hunt out the Hydra of evil -
And strike at its manifold hoods
So that the Earth may not suffer!
Progresses then the Mother Earth
Towards that sacred time, when
The Divine Kingdom of Ahura Mazda
is established on Her surface!
KHSTREMCHAI AHURAI AYIM,
Kingdom of Ahura come!
The days of blessed married life passed like moments in a
dream. Dughdowa realised that Pourushaspa truly loved her as
he showered care and affection on her and let no troubles come her
way. Not a day would pass when he would not demonstrate his
unstinting devotion to her in some way or the other. If words did
not come one day, flowers did; and her days passed in his caresses
so full of love.
Soon she was with child; and she was very happy. As she
fondly passed her hands over her radiant white stomach, she spent
her days in prayer to Lord Ahura Mazda and His divine creations
Fire, Water, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Wind, the Mother
Earth, and the Plants, the Trees and the Animals. She also prayed
fervently to the ancient Persian divinity Ardvisur Anahita or Ava,
the pure and unsullied force of the Waters of reproduction which
made the world bear children and thus progress.
The Persian men and women prayed to Ava before they
embraced in the fire of love, so that Ava would grant them many
mighty children. The Persian women also prayed to Ava when they
were pregnant so that Ava would grant them easy delivery of their
child. It was also this pure divine force of the waters which made
the divine milk sprout forth in a mother's breast, so she could fulfil
the thirst of her child.
That night, as Dughdowa slept peacefully by her Persian
husband and it seemed the whole earth was a heaven for her; the
smile on her sleeping face disappeared as she was lost in a terrible
In the dream, she was walking slowly towards a forest;
heavy with baby. Suddenly, the clouds overhead darkened and the
heavens burst forth with rain and lightning. Her eyes searched for
cover but she found none; and soon she was drenched to the skin
in the heavy downpour and stood there shivering under the
And then, to her sudden shock and amazement as she
looked up into the sky; she realised that a large black cloud seemed
to be rushing towards where she stood. Shivering with fright, she
stood transfixed; her eyes large with panic as the evil cloud
advanced closer and closer.
What she saw now was unbelievable: a terrible sight
enough to curdle anyone's blood. The dark cloud seemed to
change into a horde of ugly wild animals; wolves and cats and
rodents who snarled and jumped from the skies towards her.
Screaming with fright, the beautiful Persian maiden turned
and fled; stumbling over the muddy ground. But she knew she
could not outrun them, and she had hardly covered a few paces
when a huge hairy wolf jumped violently onto her back; its claws
pulling her down while a desperate scream emanated from her
And then she was down on the ground, the wolves and
the other creatures of the evil brood sinking their claws into her
hands and feet as she cried in pain. Her eyes rolling in panic, she
now saw a terrible wolflike creature; dark as the night and its red
eyes gleaming; walk up to her upright on its two legs like a man
and stand over her.
She screamed violently as the evil man-wolf sunk its
claws into her stomach and ripped it open. Red saliva dribbling
from its mouth and its jaws seeming to shake with evil laughter,
the monster placed its mouth into the bloody mass and drew out
the baby from her stomach.
Feeling her life ebbing away from her, Dughdowa
watched feebly as the wolf howled in victory. But just when it
seemed that the forces of evil had won and her baby would be
killed, a miraculous event occurred.
Suddenly, the heavens above sent down a flash of
lightning which stunned the eyes of the beasts. As they lifted their
ugly heads in shock, there now appeared before them a shining
young man; dressed in the golden armour of a Ratheshtar, a
Warrior of God.
The divine Ratheshtar carried a powerful Persian bull-
headed mace or Vadhare in one hand. In the other he carried a
dazzling Golden book, on which was inscribed in letters of gold:
"Agusto Vachao Ahurae Mazdao" - the Divine Revelations
of God, which were Agusta - never heard before by man.
Looking at their divine opponent; the great mass of beasts
was seized with terror. Trembling violently at his approach; they
watched as he slowly lifted the Golden book he held. As the book
came up, their bellies sank lower and lower until they touched the
ground and they started whining with fright.
And then the Ratheshtar of God threw the divine book at
them, and their evil jaws broke with panic as they turned tail and
rushed away into the dark night, howling painfully as if the life
itself was ebbing out of them.
The young dazzling Ratheshtar now turned to Dughdowa.
"See thou the Power of Ahura Mazda, before
whom no evil can stand. The accursed forces of evil
have fled; and you are safe."
The warrior now picked up the small shining baby and
placed him back into the stomach of his mother.
Instantaneously the wound on her stomach healed up,
along with every single wound on her body and she felt as fresh as
life itself. As she stood up, the divine Ratheshtar bowed to her.
"O Mother! Truly blessed you are
For in your womb you carry the Saviour divine
He whom the suffering Earth thirsts for
Will be born to you soon!"
Suddenly, the dark night passed away and it was morning
once again. The rays of the glorious Sun burst forth through the
windows and Dughdowa woke up, filled with joy. She turned to
her husband Pourushaspa and shook him awake, and when he had
rubbed the sleep from his eyes, she explained her dream to him.
When Pourushaspa had heard her out, he was
overwhelmed with joy. He caught her in his arms, his face radiant
with delight and kissed her.
"My beloved! No man could be happier than I am. My
son will be the Promised One of Ahura, who will save the Persian
religion! How blessed are we to have such a son.
"Your dream means that our son will have to fight the
forces of evil. These forces would seem to succeed at first, but in
the end they would be vanquished. Our son has Ahura's divine
power behind him, and the great Ahura would protect him at every
step of his life. We have no cause to worry, dear wife. So let us
sing and rejoice."
Look! What a Joyous Occasion!
The forces of evil stand disarrayed
They shiver, they tremble, they panic; for -
Ahura's Prophet shall be Born to the World!
Our Lord's Promise shall come True soon
Zarathustra, The Divine One
Shall Deliver The Persian Religion
So Rejoice, World - and Sing with Joy!
The radiant Sun showered warmth onto the earth, its powerful
rays penetrating into the mansion of Pourushaspa where
frantic activity was on. The entire household was agog with
excitement, for they knew that the time would come soon when the
pure Dughdowa would deliver forth to the world, the fruit she had
conceived and nourished in her womb.
Pourushaspa left no stones unturned in his effort to
minimise the troubles of Dughdowa in childbirth. The love he had
for her was so great that he prayed to the Almighty at every step to
protect her and care for her, while also procuring for her the best
In the ancient sacred Persian country of Iran, there were
two kinds of doctors: the Durustpat or Master of health who
aimed at removing the causes which gave rise to disease, and the
other was the Tan Beshazak or the healer of the body who treated
diseases after they appeared. The Master of health or Durustpat of
Pourushaspa's household was kept occupied in pointing out the
hygienic precautions to be taken before and during the childbirth,
and also the food to be eaten by the Persian wife during her
The sacred Persian Mathras were recited as a special
instrument of removing illness and ensuring the pure health of
Dughdowa, since the ancient Mathras have always possessed the
power to eradicate evil disease from time immemorial. Indeed, the
Persians knew that the Mathras were the best means of ensuring
health and curing illness and disease. The divine Ahura Mazda
Himself had proclaimed:
"Asho Baeshazo, Dato Baeshazo
One cures by Righteousness, One cures by Justice
Kareto Baeshazo, Urvaro-Baeshazo
One cures by Surgery, One cures with Herbs
And one cures by Mathravani, the holy word.
Baeshazanam baeshazyotemo -
That healer is the best healer -
Yat Mathrem Spentem baeshazyo!
Who cures by praying the divine Mathras!"
And then, it was spring time; a time so dear to the Persian
race. Winter had given way to the radiant glory of the Sun and
new leaves and flowers and shoots blossomed and sprang forth;
reminding the Persians of the ultimate glorious Renovation of the
world by Ahura when evil would be vanquished and the Law of
Ereta (Asha) would reign supreme; every soul on earth obeying
and following that Law created by Ahura to the minutest detail.
When the Sun shone, it was obeying the Law; when the
Stars and the Moon revolved in the Universe, they followed the
great Law: every single natural action in the world was as per the
Law of Ereta. And when man lived the pure and simple life,
farmed the land, worshiped the divine Fire and the elements
created by God: the wind, the earth, the plants, the animals, the
rivers and the oceans; worshiping and protecting them from injury
or pollution; when man protected and nourished the mother earth
instead of polluting and tearing it up for coal and oil, when man
wore the sacred Persian Kusti girdle and prayed the divine
Mathras to Ahura, then he too was following the Divine Law of
For; as the ancient Persians sang; there was only one path:
the Path of Righteousness. All other paths were no paths.
Aevo Pantao Ashaono
Only one Path there is -Righteousness,
Anyo Pantao Apantao.
All other paths are no paths.
It was spring and the sixth (Khordad) day of the first
month (Fravardin) in the ancient Iranian calendar. On that
blessed day, Dughdowa's fruit ripened and fell forth from her
womb. Strangely, Dughdowa seemed to feel no pain as the divine
baby came forth. And then Dughdowa's child was born, and a
hush fell upon all those present.
Astonishment flooded onto Pourushaspa's face as he
looked at the brilliant face of his son; all at once seeming to be
brighter than the rays of the Sun.
And there was such a beautiful smile playing on the
The eyes of the two loving parents filled with tears of joy
as they gazed with wonder and astonishment onto their new born,
realising that there was no crying to be heard from the baby's
mouth. Only that wonderful smile.
The child seemed to know and understand his divine
mission on earth, and while all humans cried on birth because on
the onrush of the evil one; the baby was too divine to be affected;
indeed he laughed at the marauder.
The divine Saviour had seen the ultimate end of evil in
Pourushaspa raised his eyes heavenward. In a voice
shaking with emotion, he spoke:
"O Ahura Mazda! Great God, you have given me the
most precious gift of all. You have given me a divine son.
"My son shines like a Light of the heavens even at birth,
and thus I name him Zarathustra - He who shines like a Golden
Star. May he bring succour to the suffering Persian race."
At that divine moment of the birth of the Promised
Saviour, all of Nature sighed in delight and satisfaction. The trees
seemed to sway in happiness and the mountains trembled: the
birds chirped joyously and the animals gambolled about, mad with
ecstasy. In some supernatural way, all the creations of Ahura
seemed to know of the birth of His Messenger; and they went mad
The Soul of the earth, Geush Urvan shed tears of
happiness and cried out her thanks to Ahura Mazda that the
Saviour had been born. Taking the form of a milk-white cow, she
jumped with joy and mooed loudly, joining in the song of the
"Ushta No Zato
Athrava Yo Spitamo Zarathushtro!
O, What a Blessing!
For us is born the Divine Helper -
Zarathustra the Spitama!
Thanks to You great Ahura,
Thank You again and again
Vanish shall all our sorrows and tears, since
Zarathustra is the Priest
and Deliverer of mankind
from the hidden vault of sorrows and sufferings!
Doomed is evil now for certain,
We hail the promised Saviour -
Zarathustra the Divine!"
Servants came running to Pourushaspa. Bowing to the proud
and happy father, they informed him that the villagers had
witnessed an extraordinary event: a bright light had been shining
for three days and nights; turning darkness into midday. All the
villagers were astonished, and the wisest among them told them
that this was the sign of the soon-to-be destruction of evil; the
herald of the coming of Ahura's mightiest Soldier.
But while the righteous rejoiced at the news and laid
thanks to Ahura in their souls, the evil-minded could barely hide
their discomfiture. These, the servants of the evil one were the
magicians and the false priests, those who had strayed from the
righteous path of Ereta (Ashoi). And they trembled at the birth of
the Golden Warrior, Zarathustra. They knew his divine mission
was to destroy evil and lead the Persians back to the original faith;
and they were thus greatly agitated.
One dark night not long after Zarathustra's birth, the evil
priests and magicians met in a secret meeting.
The moon hung high in the sky, drifting through dark
black clouds as owls hooted eerily. Through the inky darkness
hanging like a shroud over the earth, the group of robed men
walked with sinister steps into a dark vault.
Wolves were howling in the forests as they bowed to a
huge stone statue of the evil one. The ten-feet tall idol looked
repulsively loathsome and ugly; horns growing out from its
forehead and a terrifying snarl etched on its fanged mouth.
And then the leader of these servants of the evil one
turned and began to speak. A powerfully built man, his face was
dark with loathsome traits of envy and avarice. He was the
accursed Durasarob, the chief of the evil cult which enjoyed
immense popularity among the common people. He was the arch
hypocrite, the man who talked of God but acted like the devil;
dabbling in black rites and evil ceremonies behind closed doors.
With his evil mercenaries, he led a reign of terror; forcing
the common people to go astray from the true path of Asha and
pay homage to him and the evil one; instead of worshiping the true
Master of the Universe: Ahura Mazda.
It was Durasarob's voice that shook with unholy rage as
he began to speak.
"Fellow servants of the evil one! All of us know what has
transpired. Near this village, in the house of Pourushaspa has been
born our greatest enemy; Zarathustra! And that too under our very
noses, while we hold sway with our black rites over the hearts and
minds of the Persian peoples.
"We know Who has sent him, we know what he is here
for. His mission is to destroy our ways and teachings. He is born to
break our sway over the people of the world.
"As Good and evil are always sworn enemies and the
whole universe is a battleground for this fight; so must we too;
being the followers of evil; fight the Good with all our might.
"We must fight Zarathustra and kill him. We cannot
allow him to carry out his divine mission on earth. If he does; our
evil work will be to no avail; and evil will never reign supreme in
A hoarse cry went up from the dark-robed gathering.
"No, no! That cannot be! Zarathustra must die; he must
not exist any longer!"
Durasarob raised a hand and the tumult subsided.
"Very well. Let us consider in what manner the child is to
While the murderers plotted in their dark temple of hell
on that day eight thousand years ago; the babe Zarathustra slept in
his cradle; a picture of innocence and purity. Perhaps unaware of
what was going on, or perhaps divinely aware of the conspiracies
of evil; the Golden baby slept the sleep of the blessed.
O Zarathustra! Helpless babe,
The arms of evil are raised in threat
To you as you dream in your innocence!
Fie! Cruel world so degraded,
Men would stoop to kill a sleeping babe!
But Ahura IS THERE, by your side
Ahura shields the one who is Righteous
So what good a Thousand daggers to evil?
The Glorious Sun, the beloved Hvare Khshaeta of the Persian
race illuminated the golden sky of the Persian country of Iran.
The hills and dales, mountains and valleys were resplendent
and the sun shone over the gorgeous colours of the far-flung flower
Birds chirped merrily as the three Persian couples,
handsome pairs of men and women walked in their colourful
costumes and skirts. They walked with a light and joyful step over
the blessed ground of Iran, through the beautiful countryside and
valleys and mountains and fields.
The women were fair and beautiful, their flowery dresses
blending with the natural beauty around them. The men were tall
and manly; they held a stringed musical instrument in their hands
which they strummed and sang in a deep baritone voice; the
women liltingly echoing them:
"We Sing the Song of Zarathustra,
The Great, the Beloved Saviour
Of all the Persian peoples -
Sent by Ahura to allay our suffering
And remove our tears -
Come! One and all, and listen to his story,
Hear what happened after He was born!"
As these beautiful words were being sung by the men, the
women sweetly followed each line with a tremulous "Holy...
Zara... thush... tra...!", the sound of their voices like the
rippling of a pristine stream.
The men and women were wandering bards, and as they
sang and walked from village to village, from settlement to
settlement of the Persians, they were welcomed eagerly by the noble
Persian people wherever they went.
When the bards came, it was a cause for great celebration
and gaiety for they were well versed in the music and epic Sagas of
For this was how the Persians remembered their history, in
glorious verses of romantic poetry that were sung and thrilled at
around the fires every night. Every Persian was a bard at heart,
every one of our ancestors had music and song run as blood in his
For life, the gift of Ahura; had to be enjoyed to the fullest:
it was wrong to be sad, it was wrong to lose hope, it was wrong to
deny life. But then merry-making and enjoyment without the
presence of God were also empty and wrong, this the Persians
The ancient Persians remembered Ahura with every breath
and were happy. Every one of their divine songs invoked the
Ultimate's name, whenever they sang it was with their eyes raised
And now these handsome singers were telling the story of
Zarathustra to those assembled on that day eight thousand years
And the Persians listened with rapt attention, their hearts
beating with excitement as they heard the song of Zarathustra - the
great Persian Prophet who had been born in their midst.
With bated breath, they heard of the evil machinations of
Durasarob. As the singers sang, they wondered at the evil that
could possess man and make him do cruel things. And then the
story went on.
It was very quiet in the house of Pourushaspa.
Evening shadows were falling as the lone man stealthily
slipped into the house.
Dressed entirely in black robes, the man was an agent of
Durasarob - and black evil was in his heart.
He slowly made his way into the center of the house,
hugging the walls or falling to the floor when he heard someone
passing by the hallway.
And then he saw the cradle: placed in the middle of the
largest room, it contained the divine baby in its warmth. The
scoundrel stole a quick glance at the room beyond from where he
heard the voice of Dughdowa, the baby's mother and he knew he
would have to act fast.
He was just moving towards the cradle when it happened.
Suddenly, he felt an arm snake around his neck with
overpowering force. The arm was bone-crushing, and he felt his
breath rush out of him as the guard who had caught him prepared
to call out to the others.
But Durasarob's agent knew the methods of silent
fighting. Swiftly sifting his weight, he stepped aside and tripped
his opponent. Forced to let the agent slip out from his grasp, the
guard stumbled and was just regaining his balance when the
agent's fist exploded against the side of his head with an
overpowering force and sent him crashing into unconsciousness.
The body of the guard slumped and fell against the agent,
who caught it and silently lowered it onto the ground, taking care
not to make the slightest sound. His eyes darting around, the agent
straightened up; knowing that he would have to do what he had
come to do before the guard was missed.
Rushing like a snake towards the cradle, he reached it and
stood looking into it for a moment, his eyes full of evil design.
The baby Zarathustra was beautiful.
Pure and innocent, he lay there in the cradle; smiling
sweetly at the man who meant so much harm.
For a moment; the man who stood before the baby felt he
could not do this thing, for a split second he perhaps understood
the glory and greatness of the one before him. And then the feeling
passed: he was once again the agent of the evil Durasarob.
And the wish of his cruel master was his command.
Extending both arms like a bird of prey, he picked up the
baby who strangely enough did not utter a cry of fright. The
kidnapper clutched the baby violently against his chest, and
turning his back on the empty cradle slithered out from the house
as fast as he could, running to a waiting horse.
Ere minutes had passed, the agent had accomplished his
evil mission. No one in the house was as yet even aware of what
had happened, while the precious baby of Dughdowa had been
carried to the den of the evil Durasarob.
The gathering gloom hung over the dense dark forest. It was
twilight. In the gloomy vault that lay somewhere on a
forgotten path deep inside the seemingly impassable undergrowth,
the lighted torch flared up. It cast dark shadows behind the bodies
of the robed men that had gathered before the looming figure of
A shrill laugh cackled through the gloomy air in the den.
Durasarob was very pleased. He feasted his eyes on the baby;
running his fingers with glee through his black beard.
"At last... At last! The cursed one is within my grasp;
and now we shall see!"
A beady eyed hawk faced man shuffled forward. He was
one of Durasarob's chief henchmen, who did all the dirty work for
"How are we to do this deed, O mighty magician? How
shall we kill this baby? Shall we tear him to pieces with our
swords and throw the scraps to the wolves?"
A murmur of vicious approval passed through the ranks
of the cruel men gathered there that black night. But Durasarob
scowled and all were silent.
"Artfully, my dear Barotakesh. Let us do so artfully. A
sword is not always the best way to depart a hated opponent.
"No one should know that we have done this deed; none
should even remotely connect us with the baby's death. And I have
a plan which should help us to do just that.
"A simple but effective solution. Barotakesh! You will
carry Zarathustra to the lane of Samannaz."
The beady eyed man was puzzled.
"Yes, my Lord. I know that lane. It is on the outskirts of
the village. But what then?"
Durasarob cackled again, his eyes brimming with
"Don't you remember, fool! The Samannaz lane is used
by the herdsmen when they bring the herd back home from the
fields, after the day's grazing. The lane is specially built for that
purpose; so that the herd is not disturbed by any other animals.
And that lane suits our purpose admirably.
"All that you have to do is place our accursed enemy on
the ground in the middle of the lane. Then you can stand back and
watch the devastation: when the bulls come back home, they will
send Zarathustra to meet his ancestors!"
The entire den flooded with the sound of fiendish
laughter, as the murderers applauded the dastardly scheme of their
master. And the wily Barotakesh was the loudest of the lot.
"What an idea! What a fantastic idea! I couldn't have
thought of it myself; but perhaps I could have got a more cowardly
one if I tried!"
Durasarob's raised voice cut like a knife through the
"Silence, all. And you, Barotakesh; I shall cut your
tongue out the next time you speak in this manner. But now, take
the baby and begone! It approaches the time when the herd comes
home from the far fields. Go fast, lest you miss it."
Barotakesh bowed to Durasarob. Fright had shown large
on his face when he had heard the threat spoken by his master.
Knowing those were no idle words, he snatched up the baby
Zarathustra and enveloping him in the folds of his long dark robe;
spoke in a simpering tone.
"I go to do your bidding, O mighty magician. Be assured
that before the night is exhausted, destruction will overtake your
enemy. And so will die all who oppose our master!"
Durasarob dismissed his henchman with a wave of his
hand, smiling. A great satisfaction was already welling up inside
Satisfaction at the thought that Zarathustra was doomed,
satisfaction at his conclusion that there was no way a small
helpless baby could escape his persecutors.
As the cowardly Barotakesh and three of his servants
carried the baby away, Durasarob ordered a night of revelry and
feasting; wine and dance in anticipation of the death of
As evil threatened to engulf good; as night overpowered
the glow of the day and darkness replaced light; the good in the
hearts of men gave way to hatred and fear which overwhelmed
their souls and deadened them to all sense of what was right and
wrong, deadened them to the one pure path of righteousness, the
path of Ereta or Ashoi created by Ahura Mazda.
At such a time the mother of the missing baby cried her
heart out but there was no one in the world who could comfort her,
no one who could return her baby to her.
Howsoevermuch Pourushaspa searched and searched;
sending out his servants and going out himself on horseback to
scour through the surrounding miles; there was no one who could
even tell her where her baby was. At such a time the distraught
mother cried out in the depths of her heart:
"O AHURA! Mercy to me!
Creator of the entire Universe
Maker, Fashioner, Righteous Judge
Thou truly art the Protector -
of all the world's inhabitants!
Thou art the Lord and Master
Of the Glorious Persian race,
The beckoning Light and Guide
Of we, the Persian peoples.
O Ahura! Heed a mother's tears,
Protect my Zarathustra from harm
My son, the hope of the Persians!
My son, the Light of the World!
Vouchsafe that he is safe from injury -
And return him back to my arms,
O my baby, my Zarathustra!"
The horses thudded through the falling darkness, as clouds
hung gloomily in the sky. Even the birds in the trees seemed
to weep with fear and sorrow as the cowardly henchman of
Durasarob, the Barotakesh whose name would be ever infamous;
urged his horse on.
In a basket behind him; lay the infant holy Zarathustra
who had woken up from his sleep and lay wailing; tossed about by
the violent upheavals of the ride.
Barotakesh was smiling evilly. How easy it all would be.
In the matter of a few minutes, they had reached the lane of
Samanaaz. There, the accursed enemy would meet his ultimate
Or so he thought.
The lane was deserted: only a few birds flitted here and
there, feeding on the grains that lay scattered on the ground and
trying to do so before the gathering darkness in the sky made it
And then; from the far away horizon out in the beautiful
fields beyond the village; Barotakesh's sharp eyes focused on a
large cloud of dust: the herd was coming back home.
The evil man leaped from his mount with a ferocity that
would have surprised even a wild beast. Extending his arms into
the basket; he picked up the crying baby and ran forward; and then
he bent and placed the baby on the ground in the middle of the
Immediately, he mounted his horse; turning it back and
goading it on.
"Quickly, men! Let's go!" The three others obeyed with
alacrity; for the herd was now very close.
The horses neighed vigorously as their riders pulled them
up a short distance away, turning to watch the results of their deed
with an unholy glee in their hearts.
The earth was trembling now: the herd had reached the
spot. Large, frightful bulls stomped towards the prostate babe,
kicking dust and stones about. The child that lay on the ground
was crying; and the birds that flew overhead seemed to divinely
understand what was going on and they fluttered about in grief and
If only they could protect the helpless Zarathustra!
Mother earth trembled; this cowardly and cold blooded
murder was more than she could bear. Was her Saviour then lost?
Was there no hope for the earth to be saved from the evil that
thrived at the expense of Good? Would the promised one die under
the merciless hoofs?
No! Ahura Mazda, Lord and Master of the Persian race
and God of the whole world would never allow this to happen.
While there was breath, there was hope; and the same mighty
Ahura Who could move mountains and whole worlds by a single
gesture, would not let evil triumph.
Today is the test, O Lord
The fight between Good and Evil -
Evil stands arrayed so strong
Good helpless and meek, yet -
Ahura, Thou art on the side of Good
So impossible evil it is, it is
For ye to ever win!
The mighty Lord Ahura Mazda who could melt the heart
of a stone into water; the God for Whom nothing is impossible: not
even the tremendous and seemingly impossible feat of
Resurrection of the body from its scattered individual components
at the time of the Glorious Resurrection (Ristakhiz); Ahura who
had done so much to protect the ancient Persian race from time
immemorial; created a miraculous spark of love in the heart of the
bull leading the herd.
Savage and ferocious otherwise, the heart of the bull was
mellowed and softened when it saw the prostate baby in the middle
of the lane. Divine Love and affection broke out in its heart, what
Slowing down its pace, the huge bull walked straight
towards Zarathustra and stopped when the baby lay between its
fore and hind legs. Then, the bull looked about with its large kind
eyes, anxious that none of the herd would trample the baby. The
rest of the herd had to brush past the motionless bull, and no harm
came to he who lay underneath.
The watching birds were wonder-struck; the earth shed
tears of joy. Who could have believed that death would be averted
when only a step away, in this wondrous fashion? It was all the
Glory of Ahura Mazda.
The bull's love for the child was but a reflection of the
mighty Divine Love Ahura Mazda had for the entire creation. And
Ahura could inspire this love in anyone He chose, even in the most
ferocious wild beast.
Even animals have hearts - when YOU awaken them
A pity it is, O Ahura...that Men are more cruel -
And do not listen to Your Voice in their hearts!
The dust and noise made by the huge herd as they passed
the spot where the holy infant lay; inspired glee in the hearts of
evil Barotakesh and the others when they saw that the herd was
passing in full force through the lane.
In their unholy minds, they could picture the body of the
child and they felt sure that it would have been crushed to a pulp
by now. The evil ones shouted and whooped with pleasure;
laughing at the fate of Zarathustra, laughing at the misfortune of
another. It was more than certain that all they had to do now was
to return to Durasarob to give him the glad tidings.
And then; the herd passed: save for one sole mighty bull;
who stood still in the middle of the lane. As the evil ones watched,
their jaws dropped wide open in surprise and their joy changed to
bewilderment as they realised that the bull was standing right
above where the baby was lying on the ground.
"Impossible!" Barotakesh screamed, goading his mount
towards where the bull stood. The bull turned its head calmly and
stared at the oncoming riders. For a moment, scorn was written
large on the bull's face. Scorn and disgust for the cruel-hearted.
And then, the large beast slowly moved off nonchalantly, leaving
the beautiful baby untouched on the ground.
The horsemen came up fast to the baby. One of them
scooped it up in its arms, as the others reined in their horses and
looked at one another. They still couldn't believe what had
"Bah! The bulls were useless. But I won't give up, men.
This time, Zarathustra will die. I, Barotakesh; promise you that.
The riders turned their horses. In the matter of seconds,
they were lost in the darkness; carrying with them their helpless
The riders reined in their horses and sprang to the ground.
Barotakesh laughed as he threw open the gates of the stable.
"A splendid idea, if I may say so myself! These, the great
stallions of Pourushaspa; the father of our enemy Zarathustra
himself; will do our job for us! So what if the bull acted strangely.
Surely, these spirited great horses wont!"
Carrying their flaring torches, the blackhearts rushed into
the domain of the stallions. The sleeping majestic horses, the pride
of Pourushaspa and of every ancient Persian family sprang to their
feet; neighing loudly as the men swung their torches at them.
Working them up into a frenzy which grew with every
second, Barotakesh waited until he could see total panic gripping
the horses. Then he screamed: "Enough, men! Let's go!"
The villains bolted from the stable. Then, the one that
carried the baby flung it to Barotakesh; who looked at it for a
moment with glee.
"So long, Zarathustra!" Barotakesh threw the baby into
the stable where the horses were rushing about in a mad stampede,
their noses snorting and neighing vigorously.
Then, he signalled to his men; who pushed close the
"Heh! Heh! It is the end for him this time." One of the
villains laughed hoarsely.
And inside the stable on that dark night, the helpless baby
rolled on the straw; the sharp hoofs slamming down around him
on every side.
But when the grip of evil seems all powerful, when it
seems that pride and arrogance reign supreme over humility and
innocence and that nothing can resist the darkness of the night; it
is then that the hopes of the evil are cut asunder and their deceitful
ambitions come crashing down.
Just one of the rays of the morning Sun is enough to burn
the darkness and make it flee, just one glance from the Almighty
protects the meek from all harm.
And so was it on that night.
The mightiest horse in the stable looked at the baby and
stopped thunderstruck in its tracks. In its heart of hearts, the
stallion knew instantly that it must never harm this lovely human
child. Seeming to know that the child was none other than the son
of its long time master Pourushaspa; it neighed loudly, warning
the other horses to stay clear. Then; the stallion leaped and stood
like a rock over the baby.
A rock against which wave after wave of maddened
horseflesh struck, but a rock which stood as immovable as a
mountain from its roots; as unshakeable as the ocean from its
gigantic basins. As the minutes passed, the fright that ran through
the veins of the horses died down and the great stallions stopped
dashing about in their mad frenzy.
Breathing heavily, they slowly gathered around where the
stallion stood rock-still and looked down at the divine child; who
seemed to be smiling at them.
Barotakesh was listening. When he heard the horses calm
down; he snapped his fingers at his men. Instantly, they opened
the barricaded door and rushed inside.
What a sight it was that met their eyes! The divine
Zarathustra was slowly crawling towards the door, lifting his little
baby hand and smiling innocently at them.
And behind him, all the mighty horses were gathered in a
silent group; eyes fixed on the baby in reverence and delight. If a
horse could smile, all those horses were doing the smiling now.
"Grrrrrrrrr!" Barotakesh was going crazy. "Scoop the
child up, men. I hear voices. Let's go before Pourushaspa finds us
and his son here!"
In a flurry, the riders disappeared with their small burden.
They took the long lonely path, the path that meandered
besides the stormy river and headed to the dense forest a short
Barotakesh was trying hard not to look disappointed.
What was going wrong? Murder was nothing new to
them. And yet, why was it so difficult to dispatch a small baby?
The forest loomed before them. Dark and forbidding, the tall
trees whispered eerily and swayed in the breeze. Owls hooted
and jackals howled as they rode slowly into the dense
The riders were beginning to shiver in the cold winds that
howled and buffeted against their ears. In the distance, a mountain
grew darkly against the dark sky.
Barotakesh pointed his finger at it.
"That is where we shall leave the child. At the base of
yonder mountain, men. There is a small cave there. Zarathustra's
death shall emerge from that cave!
"Wolves live in the cave. Fierce, savage wolves. The
hounds of the devil and the scourge of mankind. When they find
the baby, it will be torn to pieces! No bull, no horse can save the
child this time!"
Savage glee darkening their faces yet again; the riders
shuffled as close as possible to the cave as their cowardice dared.
They hurriedly placed the baby on the damp grass before
the dark gaping mouth of the cave, and backed off. Springing to
their horses, the cowards turned them in the opposite direction and
"No need to stay around! We'll be back later to pick up
the leftovers. Out of the forest for now, men; and we'll let
Durasarob know what's happening."
Barotakesh's voice was filled with satisfaction. Soon, he
and the other riders disappeared into the darkness.
The small baby was left behind. Left on the grass in the
dense forest, all alone by itself.
And a few yards away stood the dark and sinister cave,
the abode of ferocious wolves. Wolves that would come out at any
Wolves that could tear a live buffalo to pieces in a bloody
death - in the matter of a few screaming minutes.
What chance would a small human being, one that could
not even defend itself as yet; have? It would seem to any rational
mind that might would be victorious; and that power - however
evil - always succeeds.
But rationality and logic fail before the Divine working of
the Almighty Ahura Mazda. The lowly - the helpless are helped by
the Power supernatural, and though the might of evil may appear
awesome in the beginning; it is always crushed by the forces of
Good in the end.
In the divine battle between Good and evil that has raged
since the creation of the world, Good is destined to be the final
victor; helped to this end by the Will of Ahura Himself.
For nothing can happen without the Will of the Lord. The
Master and Fashioner of the world, Geush Tasha controls every
leaf that flutters, every drop of rain that falls from the skies;
indeed- every single particle that exists in the entire Universe.
So how could evil ever succeed.
Who can harm you if -
Ahura is your protector?
Have Faith, O Faithless, in His Power!
That which He envelops
And watches over day and night
With his eyes, the billion stars in the sky
That which He Loves
No one can ever destroy!
So what fear could you have, O Man -
Have Faith in Ahura, the Mighty!
The shadow of evil hung like a mantle over the dark forest. Bats
flapped across the trees and an owl hooted eerily, as dark
clouds spread across the coal black sky.
A cold wind blew against the dense undergrowth, and a
sinister whispering sound that could chill the staunchest heart
grew with the wind, the sound of the trembling leaves and
branches. The dark mountainside loomed tall in the sky, and the
gaping hole of the cave on its lower side yawned black and
Suddenly, in the ink black darkness of the cave; two large
red eyes with small inhuman pupils glittered with life.
The eyes were sinister and curved, and they seemed to be
brimming with the look of the evil one himself.
They were the eyes of a wolf.
The dark furry body sauntered slowly out of the cave.
Standing hunched like a demon, the wolf looked at the night sky.
And then its ugly mouth curved upwards and a chilling
howl burst forth into the night air:
It was the time of the night. The time when evil held its
full sway over the world, when the glorious sun was hidden from
view and the powers of darkness were at their might.
It was the time of the wolf and his prowl of the night,
searching for the luckless animal that he might tear apart from its
sleep and its life. It was the time.
The earth trembled as the footsteps of the furry demon fell
on it. Its coal-red eyes piercing the darkness, the dark shape of
death moved forward. Nostrils sniffed the thin air, searching for
the prey. And then suddenly, dilated with excitement.
A smell. The smell of human flesh. Warm and alive. And
very close by.
The wolf's hair bristled with passion as its eyes scoured
the surroundings. All of a sudden, it found what it was looking for.
A low growl emanating from its mouth, the beast moved
rapidly towards the baby that lay on the damp grass near the cave.
Small Zarathustra was asleep. Which was just as well.
The hideous face of the wolf loomed out of the darkness
and looked down at the sleeping baby, saliva dribbling from its
open jaws and the red satanic eyes gleaming with glee.
And then, the breathing of the wolf grew more excited as
it prepared to clamp its cruel jaws down and crush the soft bones
that lay before it.
The heavens stood still at that moment. Evil seemed to
have won, and the mother earth cried with pain. The heart of the
wolf would not change, it had no place for the weak and helpless.
But then those who do not pity find no pity themselves.
It is Ahura Mazda who acts as the mighty Davar (Judge)
of the world and metes out punishment equal to the deed. As one
sows, one indeed reaps. None is exempt.
The cruel heart of the wolf found no pity from the
Merciful Lord. The wolf who thrilled in the awesome power of its
jaws, the jaws that could crush the bones of a buffalo suddenly
found those same jaws paralysed by the Almighty. Paralysed and
unable to be moved even a fraction of an inch.
O Might! If you were to be used for evil
To oppress the meek,
and to terrify the unfortunate
Then this would be your fate, this!
If you underestimate the Radiant's Power
And His desire to keep His children from harm
If you be drunk in the wine of your might
Then this would be your fate, this!
Moaning with great fright, the wolf backed off: eyes
brimming with pain. Its large jaws locked open in paralysed
spasm, the furry beast had been shocked into learning its lesson
and now scampered off into the dark forest.
The power of evil had been broken and the divine child
was safe. And its eyes were even now locked in innocent sleep. A
sleep that lasted the rest of the night.
Divine morning now broke. The glorious Sun, Golden
King (Hvare Khshaeta) of the sky erupted in a blaze of colour,
banishing gloom and evil with its Godly rays.
It was not for nothing that the ancient Persians worshiped
Every Persian in those days payed homage to the Sun in
the morning, tying on his sacred Persian Aiwiyaongahana (Kusti)
and praying the sacred Mathras of praise to the Sun.
The Sun, the Persians sang, was the special creation of
Mazda for the benefit of the entire world. The Sun was life itself,
its golden rays purifying and uplifting the entire world and
defeating disease and sickness everywhere.
If the Sun was not to rise at all, the evil one would easily
blacken and destroy the entire creation.
And it was this divine Sun, beloved of the Persians that
was shining down right now on a beautiful scene in the forest.
The baby, the One who was to be Saviour of the Persian
religion was being suckled by two milk-white goats who had come
out of the forest, drawn irresistibly to the baby with motherly love
in their hearts.
With that divine love, they had offered their udders to the
baby and the thirsty and hungry baby had accepted.
Milk, the gift of Ahura to the world poured like the
fountain of rejuvenating life into the baby's mouth. And after the
cruel and heartless manner in which man had tried to murder a
child, the affection and love afforded by these simple animals
seemed so much welcome to the baby.
The day passed like a dream.
The milk-white goats were very tender in their treatment
of the baby. They lovingly nudged him with their mouths and
licked him all over, sitting down on the grass besides him so that
he could extend his tiny hands and touch their warm skin; and
besides keeping an eye out for any other dangers that could
threaten the baby.
But what more danger to man than from man himself? A
pity it is that the evil in men has always made them go astray from
the right path of Ashoi (righteousness), and, blinded to what they
are doing; they then turn themselves over to the storm of hate and
Why do you suppress the Good in you, O Man
Why do you disbelieve
Why do you pamper your ego, O Man
And not pay heed to your elders -
When you turn from what they taught you,
When you turn from your ancient religion -
When you no longer walk
On the Great ancient Path
Then this is the path of ruin, know!
The evening shadows were falling when Durasarob rode into
the forest with a score of his followers.
Barotakesh had told Durasarob everything. How his first
two attempts at murder had failed.
"But now!" he laughed shrilly. "Nothing could have gone
wrong, master! The wolves are wild beasts, not domesticated
livestock. They must have ripped him apart by now!"
Durasarob had nodded grimly.
"I certainly hope so, Barotakesh. For your own sake. Still,
I would like to check for myself."
The trees were shivering in the cold evening wind as the
band of horsemen galloped past. Barotakesh pointed the way to the
cave, and as they neared the spot the hearts of these evil men filled
with cruel anticipation of the sight that would meet their eyes.
Their hated enemy, Zarathustra - dead! That would be
their fondest desire for all time.
And then they reached the cave. Barotakesh's eyes spun
to where he had dropped the child, and there they riveted and fixed
The baby was there. Lying on the ground just as it had
been left. And in a sound sleep!
A happy smile shone on its innocent face, and its mouth
was white with traces of milk. Goat's milk.
The horsemen were struck dumb. For a moment, they
looked at one another; awe and traces of fear written on their
The baby had been left near a terrible wild animal. A
A beast that was the bane of the forest, feared by men and
animal alike. A creature so cruel and evil that legends were woven
around it. In the domain of this terror of the night, the baby had
And yet, it was unharmed. And yet, it had milk on its
face, as if it had just been breast-fed by its mother. How could this
be? Wasn't this a miracle? Wasn't this a display of His greatness?
Even hard hearts tremble
When you display Your Might -
The evil faint and gasp for breath
When you glance once in disfavour,
When you decide to withhold
The Favour of Life!
You, O Ahura, art the Universe's Pilot
Guiding the Stars along their Shining Paths!
Hold Puny man by his trembling hand
He falls, he stumbles, without Your Help!
Durasarob's guttural voice broke the stunned silence. The
black magician clambered down from his horse and rushed
towards the baby.
"NO, cursed one, NO! Thou shall not defeat me! I shall
destroy thee, I will BURN thee!"
"Get to work, men! Build a huge fire - the tallest ever
seen! Collect dry branches and leaves from the forest, and ignite it!
"When the fire roars, when its flickering fingers reach out
and gesture; I will reduce Zarathustra to ashes in the flames of its
Durasarob's men fell to work frantically. Possessed by an
uncanny fright that lent devilish speed to their efforts, they ignited
a roaring fire in a clearing in the forest in the matter of a few
The fire stood tall and awesome. Durasarob waved a
hand, and his men stood aside.
Clutching the baby in his claws, he stomped up to the fire
and lifted the baby aloft in the air.
"Fire! I charge thee, reduce my enemy to ashes!"
And then the cruel-hearted magician threw the small
child deep into the crackling heart of the inferno.
In a moment, there was no trace of the baby. The fire seemed to
have engulfed the small body, and transmuted it to ashes in a
few burning seconds.
The birds that were watching from the branches of the
trees all around, seemed to stop their gambolling and look at the
scene in sorrow. A sad chirping song, heard only by those who had
the ears to hear; broke out in a thrilling note to the heavens above:
"Is this the fate of the Chosen One?
Ahura, we ask You this
Could Good be used for evil -
and anarchy's purpose serve?
How could Divine ATHRA, the Fire;
Your Glorious Radiant Son
Consume He who shall one day be -
Saviour of the world?"
No! Good could never be used for evil. Fire would never
burn the pure of heart. And if that went against all the rules of
common-sense and science, then so be it.
Suddenly, the fire erupted. Huge balls of fire burst from
the inferno, floating in the air and dashing against the criminals;
scalding their skin and causing them to scream in terror and pain.
Suddenly, the hunter was the hunted; the conqueror was
the conquered. Durasarob and his men ran helter-skelter into the
forest, frightened out of their wits. Their horses, tethered to the
trees caught the panic fast.
Neighing loudly, they broke free and bolted, galloping off
into the darkness before the criminals could even try to mount
Durasarob and his men were now alone in the dense
forest. Alone, separated from one another in their blind panic, and
without any horses at all.
The inferno that had burst upon the criminals suddenly
quietened down. The fire seemed to subside, and slowly spluttered
and hissed to a standstill. The flames sank into hot ashes, and then
even the red ambers disappeared altogether.
Where the fire had been, there was now a carpet of red
roses, blooming with the perfume of life. And in the midst of the
bed of roses lay the divine child Zarathustra.
I shall Astound the evil with Your Greatness
I shall Show the world Your Miracles,
The dreams of the wicked come crashing down
While You laugh and smile at their folly -
A Raging Inferno, all consuming
a fairy bed became of aroma and delight
Roses that lull a baby to rest!
The Storm of evil that rages is dispersed
When over it Thine Hand Radiant whispers!
How can the Pure of Heart ever suffer, O Lord
If they ever worship you, have faith in You
As Their Champion Divine!
Many of Durasarob's followers that night had realised the
truth about baby Zarathustra, that nothing they could do would
ever harm him since he was protected by the Ultimate God
One by one they straggled out of the forest, gasping with
exhaustion and fright.
And, one of them, having found his horse rode straight to
the house of Pourushaspa, Zarathustra's father.
Stopping a short distance away, the man hurriedly wrote a
few words describing where Zarathustra was. Then he tied the note
around the shaft of a long thin arrow.
Drawing his bow, the man shot the arrow with great
The arrow whizzed through the air and slammed into the
wooden wall of the house near the face of an astonished servant.
Within a breathless half-hour or so, the parents of
Zarathustra had rushed to the forest. Almost mad with fear for
their missing baby since the past few days, mother and father were
now mad with delight.
It seemed that their torture was now over and they would
find their beloved child again.
When they reached the dense forest, they followed the
directions supplied on the note attached to the arrow.
And in a few minutes, the parents of Zarathustra found
him. Dughdowa was the first to dismount from her horse.
Followed closely by Pourushaspa, she ran sobbing with delight to
where her son lay in the bed of roses. Kneeling down, she caught
him up and embraced him again and again while Pourushaspa
kissed his son's forehead with tears in his eyes.
Their eyes flew heavenward towards the Maker. Their
hearts knew it was He who had protected their child, He who had
allowed them to find him again.
And, filled with gratitude, they raised their palms
heavenward in devotion and sang.
We praise the King of the Skies so blue,
We praise the Fashioner of the Universe
For Ye has ears to hear the voice of suffering
Of even the smallest, the weakest, the least!
Thou were merciful, thou has returned
Our precious son born out of us
Flesh of our flesh, soul of our souls
Our darling, our Zarathustra to us!
Protect him, O Ahura Mazda, throughout
His life long and precious
Though we may not be there to see,
Let him live, and prosper!
May evil ever stand away from our son
May he fulfil the Promise - Sacred of your lips
And perform on suffering earth
His great Mission divine!
Hail be to you, O Great Master of us all
Thy Divine Will, unshakeable rules the world
O Ahura Mazda - Radiant Creator and Sustainer
We shall sing Thy Glories for ever and ever!
The great white shapes of the clouds floated in the azure blue
sky. Building on one atop another like craggy mountains, their
gorgeous beauty was awe-inspiring as they seemed to gently caress
the pregnant green earth and the mountains of the sacred land of
Iran: a land of milk and honey, a land blessed by Ahura Mazda -
the land in which the Mazda-worshiping Persians had made their
home. And when the Persians rejoiced in the beauty of their Iran,
they offered thanks to Ahura for His great gifts to them.
Who is the Painter of these Sights
More Beautiful than could be drawn
Ever by any human artist born...
What Great Craftsman fashioned
These clouds, these hills, these radiant flowers
These things that fill us with sheer delight!
Who, other than You
Traced Thine divine brush over the Universe
And watched it bloom and flourish -
Like a flower from the bud,
Like a child from the womb
The Creation sprang from a Source eternal
Thou, Geush Tasha, Fashioner of the Universe!
The Persians, beloved children of Ahura Mazda had
always obeyed the divine immutable law of Ereta (Asha) - the law
revealed by Ahura to Gayo Maretan, the first man on earth.
The great Law of Asha governed the working of the entire
universe as per the sacred Will of Ahura. When the Sun arose in
the heavens, cutting a scythe through the darkness of the night; it
was following the Law.
When day broke and night fell, when the seasons of
spring and summer and autumn and winter followed one another;
when the rain fell from the dark clouds rolling in the blue heavens
and mesmerised the thirsty earth; when flowers and trees
blossomed and grew; when indeed the shimmering stars revolved
in their steady perfect paths around the mighty universe; it was
that ancient iron Law of Ahura that controlled these and every
single leaf that fluttered, every single act of nature.
And when Man lived in harmony with nature, when he
worshiped Ahura and His divine elements and creations Fire,
Water, Earth; the Wind, the Sun, Moon and Stars, and when he
loved and protected the Plants and the Good Animals around him;
when he was truthful, humble and obedient to the will of his
elders, and when he wore the sacred Persian girdle Aiwiyaongahana
(Kusti) with love and cherish; then he too was following the divine
Law of Ereta or Asha.
The very name "Persian" meant the one who followed the
Path of Ereta, the right path and no other path. Indeed, even the
English word "Right" would derive centuries later from the word
"Ereta" of the Persian Avestan language.
For it was the pure and noble Persian race who centuries
before recorded time began, taught the world what was right and
what was wrong.
We, the Persians, your children beloved
ever shall obey the Divine law of Asha
And keep Thy Name, O Ahura Mazda
Uppermost on our lips.
We shall wear our sacred girdle,
Thy precious Gift
Mark of our Persian race, and proof
we worship Thee
Proud Kusti, armour of the Warrior divine
Affording protection against evil terrible
Which seems belittled against its Godly power.
Pourushaspa led his beloved wife Dughdowa to his
mighty bronze Chariot or Rath, drawn by eight powerful white
horses. The father of Zarathustra was also a charioted warrior, a
Ratheshtar and he loved to feel the rein in his hands and the pull
of Persian horses obeying his every command faithfully.
For there was a unique bond between Persian man and the
animals who served him in those days eight thousand years ago.
Dughdowa was carrying her precious child Zarathustra
very close to her bosom. The Rath gained momentum and the
flowing wind thrilled past her long silken hair and the scarf tied
around her head; as she looked with tender love and devotion at
her Persian husband driving the great chariot.
Pourushaspa, seeming to know her innermost thoughts;
passed the reins to his left hand and drew her close to him with his
strong right arm; a smile shining on his face.
A beautiful Persian wife and a handsome Persian son. A
strong Rath beneath him, and mighty horses before him. The great
Persian bull-headed mace or Vadhare behind his shoulders, and the
strong bow and arrow at his side. What more could an Persian man
The happy family of Pourushaspa were headed for the
clan gathering of the Persian tribes, the Saba of the Persians when
the Persians came together and celebrated the holy Fire ceremony or
As the Rath drew near the appointed place, many of those
present recognised the young couple and raised their bull-headed
maces in greeting.
Pourushaspa smiled in return, proudly gesturing at his
new son. And then he stopped the Rath, the horses neighing
vigorously as the women friends of Dughdowa helped the young
mother and child down.
In those days, the Persians worshiped Ahura Mazda and His
divine son Fire not inside a temple but in a wide open space,
amidst nature. The Persians sat in their appointed seats and
watched as the bearded white-robed Athravans (Fire priests)
intoned the sacred Persian Mathras of praise and devotion to the
Lord of the Persians, offering sandalwood to the sacred Fire which
flared brighter and more awesome with every offering placed into
it, with every word of the Mathravani spoken near it.
The words of the Athravans were heard and understood
by every Persian in that august meeting, for the language of use
then was the ancient Persian language of the Mathras themselves:
Athro Ahurae Mazdao Puthra
O Fire Son of Ahura,
Airyanam Khareno Mazda Dhatanam!
In you shines the Glory of the Persians,
created by Mazda!
Atarsh Spenta Ratheshtar
You are the divine against evil
Athro Ahurae Puthra Yazatahe!
We revere the Fire, Son of the Lord!
We give a divine offering, to You
who are worthy of praise and homage -
That man certainly becomes of good fortune,
who praises you with uplifted hands!
Bestow upon us Light, intellect and nourishment
Protect our lives, if we are pious.
May you, Fire of Ahura,
grow blazing in our bodies
and spark within us a high and mighty
renewal of inner light!
O Fire, standing exalted, not sleeping at all
You possess great strength,
deliverer of persons from sin -
It is You who renders prosperous
our homes, families and race
You advance the religion of the Persians
in the world!
Glorious Fire, You are a Sun
against the time of Darkness
You lead the souls of men against evil.
Athrem Spentem Yazamaide,
The holy Fire we worship,
Takhemem Hantem Rathaeshtarem.
Strong brilliant Warrior of God.
As the holy fire ceremony of the Yasna drew to a close,
many of the Persians present had tears in their eyes. The devotion of
the Persian race to Fire had always been present from time
immemorial, right from the distant age of the first man on earth,
Gayo Maretan (Gayomard).
He had been the first worshipper of Fire, the first man to
wear the sacred girdle, the first Persian and the first Mazdayasni or
Mazda worshipper on the earth.
And then the Athravans performed the sacred initiation
ceremony of the ancient Persians for the fifteen year old members of
the race, what we call the Navjot ceremony today.
When an Persian reached the glorious age of fifteen
(Panchadasavo) so often mentioned in the Mathras themselves, he
or she became a full-fledged member of the Persian race by
undergoing this ancient ceremony whereby the ancient girdle
Aiwiyaongahana (Kusti), the very substance of the religion and
the race was put on for the first time.
The glorious fifteen year old now was a true Persian and
was asked never to take off the Kusti as long as he lived. The true
mystic meaning of the Persian Kusti was explained to the young
man or woman, about how the girdle formed a storehouse of
spiritual forces, absorbing the dynamic vibrations of the sacred
Mathras and using them as a force field against the ever-attacking
forces of evil.
The ancient Persian race was highly attuned to the cosmic
forces of the universe, the Aiwiyaongahana forming a link to the
spiritual Minoi world.
Alas that this wonderful ancient knowledge would one
day be lost to most of the world, to most of Iran and even to most
of the Mazdayasnis themselves. The world would indeed be a loser
and a lot poorer if it forgot the ancient ways and mystic knowledge
of the Persians.
The marriages of young Persian couples were then
performed, watched by the entire race.
Marriage was a holy Persian institution and was
considered to be essential for every member of the Persians.
The priests blessed the couples and asked them to bring
forth many children into the world, as was desired of them by
Ahura. The children were to be trained to follow the righteous
path of Ereta and be faithful to the pure Mazdayasni faith, to be
courageous warriors (Ratheshtars) of Ahura and fight evil
whenever and wherever they encountered it in their lives. So,
raising children as righteous and glorious as these was one of the
great duties of an Persian.
After the holy ceremonies were over, the Persians erected
huge bonfires and celebrated.
Dughdowa and Pourushaspa joined a circle, the proud
father now carrying Zarathustra in the comfort of his arms. They
watched, smiling with joy as a handsome Persian youth raced out
into the center of the gathering, holding a red kerchief which he
twirled in the air.
The youth danced vigorously, enticing a young woman
out to join him. The girl was dark-haired and beautiful, a smile
dancing on her rosy cheeks. The watchers clapped their hands as
the dancers swung into the air, the young woman's skirt billowing
out and the young man catching her as she fell.
As they lay in one another's arms, the couple kissed
instinctively. Exhausted, they now made way for another couple
and so the dancing continued into the night. The Persians had
always been a joyous and vigorous race, fond of dancing and
The greatest songs were the Mathras, which were sung
like the great poems they were. For the ancient race loved to
remember Ahura every moment of the day.
Finally, all the couples joined in for a vigorous finale to
the dance. By the glow of torchlight, the broad smiles on the faces
of each and everyone present seemed to echo the lilting beat of the
drums and the stringed instruments being played.
For the righteous people gathered there that night had a
hope in their breasts.
A hope that the Promised One would come soon. The
Messenger, promised by Ahura to their ancestors to deliver the
Persian religion in the time of its tribulation.
Little did they realise that the Great Ahura had placed
him right in their midst. The divine child, held in the tender
embrace of his parents who alone knew and rejoiced in their
child's great destiny: Zarathustra, the Saviour.
The footsteps of the three men sounded eerily in the
The cold and mouldy stone steps lead interminably into
the bowels of the earth, in a maze of sinuous convolutions that
would lead astray even the most assiduous pursuer. Such a dark
hidden place served its purpose well as a secret hide-out of the evil
Bats, disturbed from their dark repose by the light of the
flaring torches, fluttered off wildly as the trio penetrated deeper
and deeper into the dark abysses of the cavern.
Exhaustion and fright was written large on the face of one
of the three. It was clear he was not accustomed to accompanying
the others and that he had never come here before.
"How much further?"
There was no answer forthcoming from the other two who
seemed immersed in their own dark thoughts, full of foreboding.
The journey seemed to take forever. But at last the low
roofed stone passageway gave way to a large cavern.
The two men placed their fiery torches in wall brackets,
the light throwing gigantic shadows and half illuminating the
huge cobwebs that seemed to stretch from stony ceiling to ceiling.
And then they turned to the third man, who stood
hesitatingly in the middle of the cavern, his trembling face
betraying his fears and apprehension.
"Physician! We have brought you here for a reason."
The man standing in the cold dark cavern, a great
distance below the earth's surface; felt an uncontrollable wave of
terror envelop him.
Before him were Durasarob and Barotakesh, two of the
most powerful men in all Iran.
He had always avoided any association with them,
knowing fully well that their power and might came from the evil
one, and not from Ahura Mazda.
But he did not feel confident enough of opposing them
either, when they had forced him to accompany them down here.
Durasarob walked with slow measured steps to the
shivering figure. Looking straight with his dark penetrating eyes at
the man's face, he placed one hand on his shoulder.
"We know that you are a wise and learned Persian
physician, well versed in our sciences of medicine: of cure by
herbs, of cure by the knife; and of cure by the Mathras. And you
are loved and respected by the people."
"That is so, Durasarob!" The physician had found his
tongue at last. "Do you wish me to cure someone for you?"
A smile broke out on Durasarob's face. But the smile was
not calculated as one to put the physician at ease. Rather, it was
full of menace.
"Not so, physician." Durasarob signalled to Barotakesh to
The evil Barotakesh, aide of Durasarob in all of his foul
deeds slithered forward and thrust his bearded face before the
"Is the household of Pourushaspa under your care?"
The physician was surprised at the unexpected question.
"Yes, that is so. As a matter of fact, I was on my way to
Pourushaspa and his family when you intercepted me and brought
"Excellent, physician. And do you know the cause for
your visit to the place?"
"Of course... Pourushaspa's small son is ill. I am to cure
him of a fever or some minor ailment - I think Zarathustra is his
name. But hold! Why am I telling you this? What business is it of
Barotakesh smiled evilly. His hand slithered to his waist,
and slowly unsheathed a large dagger.
The eyes of the physician riveted to the cold steel
glittering cruelly in the hand before him and he was lost to panic
again, forgetting his courage of a moment ago.
These two could kill him silently in this underground hell
cavern and no one would ever know. The magicians had ways of
disposing of people they did not want around.
"We are making it our business, physician. Now listen
carefully. As you know, Pourushaspa is a great friend of ours.
"Of course, we wouldn't want his son Zarathustra to
unduly suffer from whatever you may treat him with, so we would
like you to use our medicine."
Barotakesh, still holding the dagger; slid his other hand
inside his dark robe. He slowly drew out a small earthenware jar
which had been sealed with hide at the top.
"This jar contains our medicine. Physician, all you have
to do is to treat Zarathustra with this. And then he will be very
The evil laugh of the two men resounded in the dark
cavern, echoing and re-echoing off the walls and seeming to build
up into a crescendo.
It was night. In the depths of the earth, the laugh was still
resounding in the dark cavern.
It was the laugh of the magicians.
They had a jar of medicine in their grubby hands.
Looking at the trembling frame of the physician, they laughed yet
again, this time more shrilly.
Evil glee was written large in their eyes. The glee of
warped puppeteers who made their dolls dance to an unholy tune.
The man to whom the jar was being extended stood there,
rooted to the spot. All at once he realised what the magicians
"Is Death in this jar?"
The laugh froze on Durasarob and Barotakesh. For long
seconds there was a deadly silence.
Durasarob now strode forward menacingly. He snatched
the dagger from Barotakesh's hand, grabbed the physician by his
robe and thrust the sharp side of the dagger against the man's
"You are smart, Physician. Take care that you do not get
The man he held in his grasp had long been a healer, a
person who dealt out life. And now, though death was pressed
against his throat; he found the courage to cry out defiantly.
"NO! I wont do this evil thing, magician! I will not
kill a child!"
"Then you will not leave this place alive. And the same
applies to your beloved family as well!"
Barotakesh clapped his hands thrice. Suddenly, a low
rumbling seemed to fill the air as a huge stone block slowly moved
from the wall.
The physician watched, his eyes astonished and then
blind panic and concern filled his heart as he saw a beautiful
Persian woman and child in the opened recess.
As Barotakesh carried a torch close, he saw that the
woman and child were slumped against the wall, their eyes closed.
And as the approaching light made more and more features
recognisable, he realised with a surging shock who the
unconscious woman and child were.
"NAVAZ! ADEL! My beloved wife and son!"
"So you know who they are, physician. I had them
brought here before you. Do you know why they are unconscious
and unable to greet you?"
"Scoundrel! Scion of the evil one! Release them!"
Durasarob smiled with vile satisfaction.
"The chamber they are in, physician. Look carefully. It is
sealed from the outside. Completely. The lack of air has made
them unconsciousness. Another hour or so, and they will be dead."
Barotakesh clapped twice. The huge stone door, the seal
of death started to move slowly back into place with a grating
sound, scraping against the rough rock of the floor and slowly
removing the light from the lovely woman and child within.
The sole remaining member of the Persian family watched
aghast as the wall slammed shut with a loud ringing sound,
blocking the view of his unconscious wife and son from him.
And his heart raced as he thought of the precious few
minutes left before the life-giving air in the cave would exhaust
itself and they would die of suffocation in the murky bowels of the
earth; their bodies rotting where they lay and not even obtaining
the ancient sacred Persian rite of disposal by vultures.
Such a fate he would not wish on his worst enemy. What
then of his wife and child?
There comes a moment in the life of every follower of the
Mazdayasni religion when he is forced to decide between right
and wrong, to choose to stay on the path of Righteousness (Ashoi)
or to turn to the path of evil and falsehood.
The physician knew that it was a heinous crime to take
the life of a small child, but his heart would not permit any harm
to his precious wife and child. Forgetting his righteousness - and
forgetting the sacred duty assigned to him as an ancient Persian
physician to protect all life, the man spoke frantically; lost in the
bottomless mire of fear and desire:
"Yes! I will do all that you say. I shall administer your
poison to the baby. But save my wife and son, save them!"
Temptation and fear assail me on all sides
O Ahura! Let me not fall prey to the beast
Though death and defeat stare at me everywhere;
May I never swerve from Asha! Thy noble path.
The ancient Mathravani filled the air, seeming to resound in
every room of the noble Pourushaspa's house. The deep voice
of the mighty Persian father of Zarathustra intoned the sacred
ancient words of the Haoma Yasna, the worship of Haoma where
the mighty Haoma juice was prepared.
Centuries before even Zarathustra's birth, the Hom Yasht
was sung. The green Haoma plant, full of fragrance was pounded
in a mortar during the ceremony and the juice collected. The
divine Haoma juice was further purified by the Mathras chanted by
the priests and thus had incredible powers: the ability to impart
health and strength and, in its purest form; to defeat death and
Haoma, the foremost of the plants was revered by the
Persian race. So did Pourushaspa explain to Dughdowa, who
listened breathlessly to these timeless truths.
"Sweet wife, according to the legendary history of the
Persian race, the first man to prepare the mighty Haoma juice in the
Haoma Yasna was Vivangham. That beloved ancestor of the
Persians prayed to Haoma for a son, and on partaking of the juice
his prayer was granted and the great Persian king Yima Khshaeta
(Jamshed) was born to him. Jamshed thus had a divine birth, and
during his glorious reign there was no severe cold or heat, no
disease, no old age and no death; neither was there any evil in the
minds of men during that golden Persian age on earth. Unaging and
undying, father and son would walk; and both looked as if they
were fifteen years young - the perfect age according to us.
"The second man to prepare this sacred juice was
Athawya, our Persian ancestor. He too partook of the death-
dispelling Haoma and to him was born Thraetona (Faridun), the
great Hero. Well do we all know how Faridun fought and defeated
the evil Azi Dahak (Zohak), the merciless evil tyrant and monster
who had been sent by the evil one for destroying the righteous
Creation of Ahura Mazda. All to no avail! Because Faridun
triumphed over the demon by the grace of God, and we shall ever
keep him in our memories and in our prayers for that.
"Third was Thrita, of the clan of Sam. He was blessed
with two mighty sons, Urvax and Keresasp. Urvax became a very
wise man and a teacher of the Mazdayasni religion and Keresasp a
mighty warrior, wielding the great Persian bull-headed mace or
Vadhare. With that mighty mace that has so often protected our
race and religion in the past, Keresasp destroyed the evil Sravar, a
gigantic mammoth (ancient elephant) that was a menace to the
lives of all men, women and animals.
"Dearest Dughdowa, it was I who was the fourth to
prepare the Haoma juice. Yes, I who am Pourushaspa, the Persian! I
prayed to Haoma to grant me a Godly son, righteous and opposed
to evil. In answer, Zarathustra was born. Yes, it was predicted by
the mighty Haoma Himself during the ceremony."
Pausing to look deep into the thrilled tear-filled eyes of
the mother, Pourushaspa realised Dughdowa's great joy when her
son was mentioned. All at once he too shared in the happiness of
an Persian parent in the great future foretold for their son.
"Yes. I was told by the glorious Haoma that Zarathustra
would be born as a son to me. Renowned of Persian lineage,
Zarathustra would chant the sacred Mathra known as the
Ahunavar or the Yatha Ahu Vairyo first of all on this earth. That
sacred and extremely powerful prayer of the Persians would be
given to him by Ahura Mazda Himself. This is what the divine
Haoma, curer of all death and disease told me as a prophecy for
"O Zarathustra! You shall cause all the evil to
hide beneath the earth, who before this
were roaming in human form on the earth. You who
have been created the Most Powerful (Aojishto),
the Most Vigorous (Tanjishto), and of Righteous
Victorious Strength (Ash-Verethrajanstemo)
amongst the Creation of Spiritual Ones."
The parents of Zarathushtra lovingly uplifted their baby,
and placed him tenderly before the fire, bowing their heads and
intoning the sacred words. One wish swam in their minds: that the
divine Haoma would remove the illness of Zarathustra.
"O Golden (Zaire) Wisdom (Madhem)! Guide our
baby to health, guide him to growth, guide him to
greatness, guide him to victory so that he may go forth as a
ruler at will in the world, destroying the malice of the evil
ones (tbaesho-taurvao drujemvano)!
"This we beg of you as the first blessing, O True
Worshipper who drives the death afar. The Heaven (Vahistem
Ahum) which is filled with righteous people, bright and happy.
May Universal Happiness come to be, for all righteous men and
women, of every country in the world. This we ask of you as a
second blessing, O True Worshipper. This health (Dravatatem) of
the body (Anghaose Tanvo). This we ask from you as a third
blessing, O True Worshipper. The long vitality (Daregojitim) of
"Great Warrior Haoma! Lift up your Mace (Vadhare)
and smite the evil in the world. Smite the evil and the unrighteous,
the fiendish women, the magicians and the tyrants. You destroy
the unlawful lust in the minds of men, so that it flees from the
body of the righteous. You are indeed the Fountain of
"To increase your power in the world, Almighty God
Ahura Mazda made the sacred girdle (Aiwiyaongahana) that is
star-studded (Stehrpaesanghem) and put it around the earth. Yes,
the stars that surround the earth are indeed the original Kusti that
we Persians wear, placed there by Ahura to guide the world first in
the good Mazdayasni religion. We Persians, children of Ahura
follow the Order of the Universe when we place our own sacred
Kusti around the waist, and the most ancient commandment of
"We praise the Earth, who indeed is your mother and the
mother of us all, O Haoma. The Earth is wide, spacious,
productive and enables us to be self-supporting; allowing us to eat
without unnecessarily taking animal life. We praise Mother Earth,
sweet-scented (Hubaoidhish) and exalted (Aurvo) in the fields
(Charanem). When we cultivate the Earth, the good Creation of
Ahura flourishes and you, Haoma become more powerful and
prosperous. When we Persians grow crops, fruits and flowers; it is
as if we are singing (Gara) in the praise of God!"
Gave Nemo! We salute the Earth.
Gave Ukhdhem! Praiseworthy is the Earth.
Gave Verethrem! Victory to the Earth.
Gave Kharethem! Glorious is the Earth.
This Earth is the Glory increaser of the Persians,
The Persians prosper when they till the Earth.
The divine Mathras, full of pregnant meaning to the ancient
Persians infused their highly potent spiritual power into the
Haoma juice that was being prepared. The Yasna (worship) ended
and at that point the radiant parents, certain of the power of the
juice put it to the lips of the baby.
The golden child Zarathustra smiled with delight as the
milky-white Haoma passed down its small throat. It seemed to
know and thrill in the spiritually potent drink. Pourushaspa and
Dughdowa watched and held the baby as the miraculous Haoma,
giver of life worked its way in the small baby; and as if a shadow
on the ground were passing away under the advancing rays of the
sun, the sickness in Zarathustra shrunk and retreated in mere
seconds before the spiritual power of Haoma!
Staunch in their ancient faith, the parents watched with
satisfaction and looked at one another with quiet joy.
"He is well again." Pourushaspa said to Dughdowa, who
"We are thankful to the great Haoma. As you know,
Dughdowa, in the final days of the world when all will be judged
and all the dead will be resurrected in their bodies once again, at
that time the Mighty Haoma will play a direct part. The final
Saviour (Saoshyant) of the world at that time, Astavat-Ereta (He
who establishes Righteousness) will himself perform the Haoma
"The white Haoma juice prepared by him at that divine
time, will be an elixir of immortality - it shall banish death forever
from the world. Death, the instrument of the evil one shall no
longer prey upon the good Creation of Ahura Mazda. So, the
power of Haoma is no ordinary one. Little wonder then that our
child has been cured."
At that very moment one of the kinsmen of Pourushaspa
approached the happy couple.
"The Physician has arrived! He stands outside the house."
Suddenly remembering that he had called the physician,
Pourushaspa realised that the medicines he had asked for to cure
his sick child were no longer needed. Looking at his wife, he
nodded and hurried to the door.
Standing there in the sunlight, the thin man trembled
almost perceptibly under Pourushaspa's gaze. But the master of
the house did not notice, as he walked forward and welcomed the
man of medicine.
"Greetings, Persian. I am happy that you have come. But
fortunately, your services are no longer required at this house."
The physician's face betrayed his nervousness.
"The Mighty Haoma juice, the giver of life has worked its
wonder once again. I see your bewilderment. Yes - we have just
performed the Haoma Yasna and prepared the juice."
Panic flashed for a moment on the doctor's face, but it
vanished as the intelligence of the man, now turned to evil thought
of a way out.
"Aaah...but I must still examine the baby, to discover the
cause of his illness. It is very well that he has been cured, but we
must see that it doesn't happen again."
"Well, most certainly, physician. Please enter my house."
The unsuspecting Pourushaspa stepped aside, letting the
foul would-be murderer enter his house.
Exists there anything so cruel
As a hand that healed turned,
To a hand that holds poison?
O Evil! You cause men
to shamelessly pretend
that they are friends,
though they hide death and destruction
and knives in their bosom.
Soon, the physician was gazing upon the child. His eyes
glanced from the child to parent to parent, whose twin pairs of
eyes were riveted on the child.
All at once, the man's conscience twitched as he felt the
love that shone in their gaze.
But he shrugged, overpowering his conscience in his evil
and in his cowardice.
"I wish to be alone, to examine the child."
Pourushaspa nodded, and he and Dughdowa stepped out
from the room; closing the curtains behind them.
Silence reigned in the room. As the cool breeze streamed
through the open window, the soft hissing sound it made
seemed to build up in the mind of the man who stood in the room.
Build up in his tense nerves and blood until it reached a crescendo
of devastating quiet. Build up his guilt and his fear till even silence
seemed a terrifying scream.
The man who stood in the room was a physician. And
before him was a small child, lying helpless and innocent in its
A human being in the dawn of its life, which had not yet
fully begun with all the joys, all the sorrows attendant to this life.
A flickering flame of being.
Even the wind dies down and allows the sheltered fire to
live, even the cruel winter changes to summer and lets the flowers
and leaves sprout out once again; even the worst would give life a
chance. But the man had but one heartless desire: to snuff the
flame of life in the child out.
The man looked about him furtively. Pourushaspa and
Dughdowa had passed into the other sections of the house, but he
knew they would be back soon. Now was the time. He slid his
hand like a snake into the folds of his physician's robe and
withdrew the jar.
The jar of death. The jar made of clay, that had been
given to him by the two evil magicians. With the poison that could
kill two horses with one drop.
The physician opened the jar. The seething, writhing
liquid inside gurgled like a demon. Grimacing momentarily, he
forced a smile on his face and slithered forward to the baby.
"Zara, child. Wake up now. Here's some medicine."
His hand stretched forward, lifting the baby and its head
from the cradle. The baby, half asleep gurgled as it tossed its head,
its mouth opening involuntarily.
The jar of death came yet closer.
And then it happened. The baby's eyes opened. In that
split second, they shone upon the man who held the poison with a
brilliance that would startle anyone who gazed upon them.
For, these were not the eyes of an ordinary child. They
were eyes filled with wisdom and greatness beyond the age of the
They were eyes that understood all in the world, eyes that
could know the difference between Good and evil and choose
between the two; to reject the evil and to choose the Good. Eyes
that would teach others in the future to do the same.
They were the eyes of the Messenger of God.
The man holding the child stopped, thunderstruck. The
evil in him melted away before that gaze, full of power and
spirituality. He could advance the jar of poison no further.
Apply it to the baby's lips no longer.
At that instant, the baby's hand hit the jar.
The clay smashed into a thousand pieces as the deadly
fluid burst forth and spilled impotently on the floor, wasted and
defeated in its evil mission.
The hand of Ahura Mazda Himself had struck forth -
and death, instrument of the unholy one was thwarted. The same
death that had preyed on countless beings of the good Creation
since its introduction into the world by the accursed angrahe
mainyush, the death that had struck down the first man Gayo
Maretan and the descendants that followed him, that death was as
nothing before the Messenger of God, before he who was
protected by Ahura Mazda Himself.
The physician slowly crumpled to the floor, his eyes
overflowing with remorse as he realised the enormity of what he
had tried to do.
"Forgive me! O Lord Ahura Mazda, forgive me! I am an
evil sinner - trained to cure and heal, I have instead tried to kill. I
have broken the divine trust that You have placed in every healer.
I therefore deserve the most dreadful punishment!"
Sobbing with anguish, he buried his head in his arms and
"It is enough, brother Persian, that you seek forgiveness of
The soft words of Pourushaspa fell on the unhappy man's
ears as if rain was softly falling on the parched earth of summer.
The man swung his head up - and when he saw the father
of the child beside him, he cast his head to the ground in shame.
Pourushaspa knelt besides the cringing man and softly
helped him to his feet.
"I forgive you... since you are truly repentant. I know that
my son is divine, and no evil in this world can harm him. But,
physician - I know you to be a good and kind man. Why then this
sudden change, this murderous intention? Is it I who have
offended you, that you should seek to place your wrath on my
young and innocent son?"
It was then that the sad tale unfolded in the ears of
Pourushaspa, ensuing from the lips of the grieving man; and filled
him with angry surprise.
Surprise at the realisation that there were such men in
positions of power in the world in his time who would stoop to
such evil, and anger that these men should go about unpunished
and be respected and afforded high status in society.
Although the physician was too terrified to mention the
names of Durasarob and Barotakesh, Pourushaspa had understood
that the men who held his wife and son captive under threat of
death were the practitioners of evil magic.
"Men! Mount your noble horses. We ride this
Pourushaspa shouted to his guards, gearing them into a
frenzy of action as he strode like a majestic lion to the mighty
bronze shield and sword hanging on the wall.
Bowing to them for an instant, he reached out and armed
himself with them. His eyes travelled to the mighty Persian bull-
headed mace, the Vadhare (Gurz) that had served him well so
often in battle before and he clasped it behind his shield.
At that moment, Dughdowa appeared; having been
informed by the guards of the impending task before her husband.
Her face filled with the pride of an Persian wife when she saw
Pourushaspa armed with the ancient Persian instruments of war.
"Beloved husband! May you be victorious
In the battle you wage against evil -
Driving in your Rath, Chariot Golden
O Ratheshtar! Fighter of Ahura
Protect the innocent, save the meek
And Victorious return to me!"
Such was the prayer every Persian wife sang for her
husband who went to the battlefield and waged righteous war for
the sake of the Persian country, the Persian king and the good Persian
religion, and such was the prayer Dughdowa, the mother of
Zarathustra sang for her husband Pourushaspa as he rode forth to
save the innocent Navaz and Adel, wife and child of the physician.
The earth trembled. The great bronze wheels of the Rath fell
like an avalanche on the moist grass, as the eight majestic
white horses effortlessly pulled the glittering golden chariot along
at a speed that even the accompanying horsemen found hard to
keep up with.
Pourushaspa stood like a lion in the chariot, armed with
his sword and shield and his mighty bull-headed mace or Vadhare
across his broad shoulder.
With a single hand controlling the flow and rhythm of the
spirited great horses, his manly chest swelled with pride and
courage as he thought of the impending battle ahead.
The physician had given him a rough idea of the hidden
lair of the master magicians in the forest, and it was there that they
And find the secret labyrinth they would.
"Fan out Men! Steps into the earth, probably concealed
are what you would be looking for!"
In a flash, the trustworthy soldiers plunged their horses
into the undergrowth of the forest, their faces searching for a sign
of the elusive hide-out.
Pourushaspa calmed his horses into a slow trot, and as the
Rath rustled through the shrubs and leaves he looked intently for
Hardly a few minutes had gone by when a sudden scream
of exultation rent the air. It was one of the soldiers.
"Pourushaspa! I have found the steps - they go into the
bowels of the earth! This could be the hidden lair of evil."
Pourushaspa's Rath had rushed over instantly, the face of
the Ratheshtar taut with excitement.
"Indeed, this could be it. Men, dismount! Lift up your
arms and keep them ready, and let's go in."
The Ratheshtar, first in courage and bravery was the first
to enter the lair.
Pourushaspa led the soldiers with lighted torches as they
followed the dark and broken steps into the sinuous convolutions
of the cavern, leading deeper and deeper into the insides of the
Ahura Mazda, Lead me On -
Your Soldier brave am I
Evil, Wherever I see it -
My Enemy to fight and destroy.
Award me Courage!
The Strength of ten warriors grant me
Guide Thou my arms, my soul -
In the Battle Divine!
Suddenly, hundreds of screeching black bats materialised
out of no where, flying helter-skelter and dashing into the faces of
The hideous fangs of the bats threw sudden fear by shock
and surprise into the men, who now raised their shields and
smashed them into the flying demons.
The bats screeched angrily and started to stream out from
the cavern into the cold night air outside. Relieved, the men
continued on their path into the depths of the earth.
The stone steps ended abruptly into a large dark cavern.
The floor rang with the heavy thud of Pourushaspa's armoured feet
as he jumped squarely into the middle of the cavern, the light of
the torches in the hands of the men behind him casting eerie
shadows on the walls of the dark chamber of death.
It was in that light that he saw them.
Two men. Wearing black suits of armour. Dark and evil,
their faces were expressionless as they lifted their swords and
changed their stance to one of attack.
They were warriors employed by the magicians. Evil men
who would fight for money. Men to whom right or wrong mattered
nothing. And they were masters of the art of death.
"Victory to Ahura Mazda!"
The ancient battle cry of the Persians rang out from
Pourushaspa's throat like the bellow of a mighty bull. In the next
second, he had his great bull-headed Vadhare (mace) in his hand
as he leapt forward.
The mighty Persian mace, destroyer of evil swooshed
through the air and rammed into the black helmeted skull of one of
The heavy iron helmet cracked like glass by the force of
the blow, bone cracking as the black warrior's eyes curdled in the
freeze of death.
Rage loomed large in the face of the surviving warrior as
he saw his friend die before him. Realising that Pourushaspa was
no ordinary warrior, he side-stepped and avoided the full swinging
force of the mace.
Suddenly, from one of the dark recesses tens of evil
magicians poured into the cave. Holding small daggers, they threw
them adroitly at the warriors behind Pourushaspa.
"Men! Take care." shouted Pourushaspa, but it was too
Three of the daggers slithered through the air with pin-
point precision, striking and piercing the hearts of those warriors
who went down, their lungs choking with blood and a hideous
scream on their lips.
As the others watched them die, they saw a blood-
curdling sight: the dagger in each screaming man turned into a
green slimy serpent and slithered back out of the body.
Seeming to hiss and splutter like demons straight out
from hell, the slimy beasts crawled back towards the magicians.
The awesome power of evil magic had to be broken
Pourushaspa immediately thought of Teshtar Tir
Yazata, the ancient destroyer of evil the Persians prayed to when
they wanted to fight black magic. The Tir Yasht, the hymn of
praise to Tir Yazata sung the glory of the most luminous Star in
the heavens - the Star that Ahura had created to watch over the
According to the Persians, the Stars were the wonderful creation
of Ahura Mazda, there to protect and help man in his earthly
life. But to counter the Stars, the evil one angrahe mainyu had
placed the planets into orbit around the Sun - to take away the
happiness due to man.
The Persians were the first to perfect the ancient science of
Astrology, and they knew how the Stars as Warriors of Ahura
fought the baneful influence of the planets on the life of man. Each
constellation of Stars fought a particular planet. If the Stars were
successful, the planet grew weak and was good in its influence
over man, such as Venus. If the planet defeated the Star in the
esoteric combat, then it could influence man for the worse at every
point it touched his life, as Saturn did.
This was a wonderful explanation of the laws of
This was why the Persians had always worshiped the
luminous Stars, Creations of Mazda but never the planets.
But there was more to it than that. What of the man, born
at a time that the evil planets were so arranged that they were
certain to destroy his future happiness.
He would be lonely, he would never marry, he would be a
pauper and suffer horribly. Astrology would have most certainly
arrived at that conclusion, judging from the various aspects or
angles the planets formed in the sky at his birth time.
Was then there no hope for him - no recourse? Was Fate
then fixed and immovable in its influence over man - and man a
tool, a plaything in its hands?
No! For the ancient Persians, this could never be so. The
Persian who prayed to the mighty Tir Yazata, the great Chief of
the Stars Ahura had placed in the Heavens, could be victorious
over all malefic influences; over all the evil powers of fate. Even if
his horoscopes showed unhappiness and despair, bliss would fill
his heart; if it showed poverty then he would become a rich and
lordly king; if it showed death - he would live so long that death
would have seemed to pass him by.
All misfortunes, all evil influences could be averted by
the power of Tir Yazata, the glorious Ahura-created Star of the
God had given this marvellous power to man, and this
ancient secret knowledge to the Persian race.
Know that you are not a slave
to Fate's blind power
But you yourself hold the reins
of the chariot of your life.
So man! Do not curse your fate
nor the Maker with your breath
This power is yours, this secret wisdom
O Persian, let it change your life.
As all this raced through his thoughts, Pourushaspa
immediately called out: "Men! Pray the hymn to Tir Yazata. The
magicians will be destroyed."
The fighting warriors closed their eyes for a second as
they intoned the ancient hymn, bowing their heads to the awesome
power of Tir Yazata.
Ahe Raya Kharenanghacha -
For His Brilliance and Glory
Tem Yazai Surunvata Yasna -
I revere with songs of Prayer
Tishtarim Starem, Zaothrabyo
Leader Priest of all Stars, Tishtarim Star
Tishtarim Starem, Raevantem
We worship the ancient Power
Teshtar Tir Yazata, Mighty Star
Glorious, Radiant and Death-Destroying!
You have the Power to destroy sorcerers,
Destroy the evil power of these magicians.
One's Own Self should be Pure,
of High Mentality
To ask Your Assistance
And Speak These Words.
As the Avestan words rumbled through the cavern, the
magicians' faces contorted into bewilderment as they felt their evil
power slipping away from them. As the ancient Star Tishtarim
heard the prayer of the men, it increased its power and seemed to
send its starry light right into the depths of the dark cavern itself.
The power of the Chieftain of all the Stars, Tishtarim was
indeed more powerful than any evil, any black magic on earth or
from the planets. In the Tir Yasht, Tishtarim Yazata himself had
proclaimed to the Persians:
"If Men were to worship me daily
with such righteous prayer
I would increase in glory and power
So much so that evil would be
defeated and removed from this world.
When the Persian Nations worship me
Then the Persian Nations are ever glorious
Victorious in war, happy in prosperity."
In a sudden flash, the slimy serpents seemed to wither
away and die on the ground on their flat bellies, hissing and
spitting in pain. Stark terror grew in the eyes of the magicians as
they realised that their magic was useless now and they would
have to fight the warriors arrayed against them on the strength of
their arms alone.
With a yell of raw courage, the warriors leapt forward like
lions. Filled with the pure light of Tir Yazad, they engaged battle
with the men of evil with a vengeance.
Steel crashed with steel with a terrible clang as the
righteous soldiers grappled with the magicians who had
unsheathed their swords, and soon the cries of dying men rent the
air as the good slowly overcame the forces of evil.
The magicians fell, one by one and their blood stained the
dark earth of the cavern.
Pourushaspa and the black warrior faced one another. A
battle terrible now began.
A fight to the death.
Oblivious to the din around them, the pair exchanged
blow for blow: the sword-thrusts of the enemy bouncing off the
giant shield that Pourushaspa thrust in between, and the warrior's
face contorted in frustration at each wasted blow that would have
felled a lesser man.
But then the mighty bull-headed Vadhare (mace) in the
capable hands of Pourushaspa connected with a bone-shattering
blow on the left shoulder of the black warrior.
Grimacing with excruciating pain, the man glared
ferociously at Pourushaspa as he felt his shoulder bones crack. His
left hand was useless now.
He knew he would not last longer if he did not act
Suddenly, he threw his shield at Pourushaspa. The
surprise move caught Pourushaspa off-guard for an instant as the
heavy shield hit him squarely on his face.
Stunned by the sudden impact and momentarily dazed,
his eyes hazily saw the black warrior crouch on his knees and
wickedly thrust his sword straight at Pourushaspa's throat.
Bare fractions of a second were all that separated life
from death, before the treacherous thrust would rip open the
Ratheshtar's gullet and snuff out his life: mere pulses of time in
which Pourushaspa rolled his body away from the thrust.
But it was too late to avoid the deadly curve of the sword.
The sword grazed Pourushaspa's neck, rolling away the
skin in a wide scythe. Blood boiled forth as the wound erupted.
But the next instant Pourushaspa's mighty bull-headed
mace swung and struck the skull of the black warrior with an
The impact was so strong that the armoured helmet of the
adversary cracked open like a rotten egg, breaking the skull
underneath and killing the man instantaneously.
Eyes popping out in surprise, the man's face glazed over
in the pallor of death as he slowly crumpled and fell to the ground.
Pourushaspa stood over him. A few of his warriors rushed
over to where he stood, worry written large on their faces at the
sight of blood on their master but the brave Ratheshtar gestured
"It is nothing... just a skin wound. Have the magicians
"Yes, Pourushaspa. They have surrendered to us. What's
left of them that is."
"Good. Let me talk to their leader."
Immediately, a dark and swarthy fellow was led forward.
Dressed in robes of dark purple, the man scowled evilly.
Directing his strong gaze directly onto the shifting eyes of
the magician, Pourushaspa bellowed out in a lion's voice:
"Scoundrel! Your evil work here is finished, as from
"So this is how you mislead the people, professing to be
men of God outside but conducting your terrible deeds inside this
dark cavern. This is proof indeed.
"We know you hold an innocent woman and child
captive. If you value your worthless life, tell us immediately where
they are. Now!"
Pourushaspa unsheathed his sword in one sharp motion
and pointed it directly at the throat of the magician, pressing it
against the rough; warped skin. He slowly increased the pressure.
A thin line of blood streaked out and trickled down.
The eyes of the man were bulging out as Pourushaspa
brought the weight of his arm to bear.
"No, no!" The magician's nerve had broken completely.
"Spare me, righteous Ratheshtar. I will show you where the
woman and child are hidden!"
Pourushaspa beckoned to the warriors to let the man
loose. Clutching his bleeding throat, the man stumbled towards a
dark corner of the cavern; closely followed by the Ratheshtar and
The magician laid his hand on a portion of the wall and
slowly pushed. Instantly, the block of stone slid inside and a low
rumbling filled the air, seeming to echo and re-echo in the dark
A huge block of stone was moving away from the wall,
the stone grinding and rumbling as it slowly uncovered a recess in
The warriors brought forth their torches, their faces taut
with concern when they saw what was inside the recess.
A mother and child. In a tender embrace. Their eyes
closed, their bodies slumped against the wall.
"Get them out fast, men!"
The warriors sprang to obey the command of
Pourushaspa. They carried the unconscious woman and child
"This I tell you, magician. If they die, then you shall meet
me in the ancient Persian combat of righteousness. To the death, by
fire or water or air!"
The ancient Persians had a tradition of deciding between
who was right and wrong by the ancient ordeals of fire, water and
air. It was understood that the Lord of the Persians, Ahura Mazda
was on the side of the righteous man and so he was certain to come
This was also shown in the idea of the Renovation of the
world, called Frasho-Kereti by the ancient Persians which meant
the Making fresh of the world by Ahura Mazda. At the time of the
final Saviour Astavat-Ereta (He who establishes Righteousness),
the whole world would be scourged by molten metal which would
come from the melted-down mountains. At that end time the evil
doers would be scorched and burnt, but the righteous would wade
through God's molten metal just as they were bathing in a shower
of warm milk.
For such was the power of righteousness, and such was
the protection of Ahura Mazda over the righteous.
Fiery showers, molten lakes
Hold no threat for you, man
Although evil thunders and bellows
Like a demon out to destroy the world
Before you it is nothing,
before you how can it stand
Know! Your own Righteousness
protects and guides you.
The village square was agog with excitement. A crowd had
gathered in the center, the men holding aloft burning torches
and their women enveloped in their arms; faces taut with shock
and surprise and eyes fixed on the two bodies lying on the soft
carpet someone had laid out on the ground.
Pourushaspa and his warriors had speedily carried the
woman and child on horseback to the Persian village.
Ringing the large brass bell the Persians always used to
warn of any calamity, he had awakened all the sleeping Persians
and gathered them in the square.
"Men and Women of the Persian race! I am
Pourushaspa, son of Paitaraspa of the clan of Spitama. My
ancestor was Thraetona (Faridun).
"I am an Persian, Son of an Persian (Arya Ahmi, Arya
Puthro Ahmi) and a proud member of our Persian race. I am a
follower of Ahura Mazda (Mazdayasni Ahmi), the Lord of the
Persians and a Ratheshtar of the Persian king on earth. You all know
me to be a righteous man.
"O fellow Persians! I bring before you evidence of the evil
in the men you trust for guidance and religion. Bring before me
Out from the press of the crowd, the purple-robed swarthy
man was led forward. Enmeshed in chains, the man scowled
evilly, beads of perspiration tumbling down his forehead and chin.
The eyes of those around widened in surprise when they realised
who it was.
"It is Berezavant! He gives us religious instruction and
trains our youngsters. Is he responsible?"
"The magicians, led by this man have done very wrong. A
most sinister act of evil. They forced our Persian physician to use
poison, and that poison was laid in my own son Zarathustra's
medicine. My son, who is still a little child."
"Poison!" shrieked the crowd. "Alas, an age of evil has
come upon us. How could this be? How could the physician, he
who has healed so many from among us, do this deed?"
"Because, my fellow Persians; attachment for one's family
is so powerful it may force a man to do anything. It is indeed very
difficult to stay on the path of Asha as our Persian ancestors have
shown us, and very easy to stray from it for the sake of personal
feelings and selfish motives.
"The magicians had imprisoned this innocent Persian lady
and child in their dark cavern. They threatened to snuff out their
very life-breath if the physician did not do what they demanded: to
poison my son."
The faces of the Persians gathered there that night were
How could this be? How could purity suffer in the hands
of the unholy? How could those who said they taught the law of
God, themselves be agents of the evil one?
Almost unbelievable, the facts presented themselves to all
on that unforgettable night eight thousand years ago.
Evil! Stand exposed in the market place
Be shamed - be covered in your own guilt
Your disguise of false religion torn asunder
By the righteous, O unrighteous priest!
The unhappy cry out for justice bitterly
And accuse you twice and thrice and evermore.
How long could you last, foolish men
Against the Sledge-hammer of Truth
and those you oppressed with all your might?
I warn thee Evil, thou art not powerful
When you exceed His Divine patience
Tremble! God Himself shall strike you down!
"Navaz! Adel! My wife and child, what have they done
A crying, sobbing man had burst from the midst of the
crowd, pushing his way frantically through.
It was the physician, and when he saw his wife and child
lying in that unhappy state on the carpet; he was totally distraught.
A few of the women gathered there rushed to comfort him, placing
their hands consolingly on his shaking shoulders.
Pourushaspa stepped closer, addressing the sobbing man.
There was great compassion in his voice.
"My warriors have rescued your family from the clutches
of the magician, O physician. You are a trained master in the
Persian arts of healing, hence I say: it does not befit you to bow and
cry before the power of death.
"Use your ancient skill, the skill of your Persian father who
created you and who too was a great healer. Use your divine power
of healing and rescue your wife and child from the jaws of death!"
For the Persians, healing had always been a divine art. The
science of medicine had reached a perfect state in that ancient
civilisation, when the Persians were in their homeland Aryanam
Vaejo (The Seedland of the Persians) twenty thousand years ago -
long before the ice age forced them to abandon their glorious
homeland and migrate like the freshening waves of the ocean to
the four corners of the earth.
Ancient legend, sung out by the bards of Iran stated that
in the long lost fatherland, the great Persian hero Thrita first learnt
the art of medicine from Ahura Mazda and then imparted it to
mortal men. Thrita had prayed to the Creator for a medicine that
would withstand the disease and death the evil spirit was
spreading among men.
In answer to his prayer, Ahura sent down to the earth
varieties of miraculous healing plants from the heavens. These
wondrous medicines had been growing around the Gaokerena tree
in the cosmic ocean. Thrita was therefore, sang the Persians, the
one who had driven away sickness, fever and death from men.
And in the time of the glorious reign of the beloved Persian
King Yima Vivangaho (Jamshed), medicine was at its highest
zenith: mighty Jamshed had banished ill-health, sickness and all
disease from the Persian kingdom over which he ruled righteously.
He had made man and animals perfect, ever young and immortal.
Food was imperishable, and death was no more during his reign.
But these were no longer the glorious times of the ancient
Persian homeland. Evil had spread in the world. All the Persians
who had settled or still wandered in other parts of the world such
as Greece, Norway, Germany, France, England and other countries
of Europe and the world had forgotten their ancient heritage.
They had reverted to the barbarism they found around
them, due to their ceaseless migrations and the ensuing trials and
tribulations. The race of man had degenerated from its former
Only the Persians that had settled in Iran and upper India
retained their Persian culture, but that too was in danger of being
A danger that was very real.
With the onset of evil in the minds of man, when man
was led by wild and brute instincts and selfish motives instead of
his Godly soul, when he prided himself on science rather than on
faith, when he thought he could mistreat, pollute and ride
roughshod over the Creations of Ahura: the earth, the oceans, the
plants and the animals instead of protecting and nourishing them
as his ancestors had done, at that time the ancient pure religion
was slowly but surely being forgotten by him.
At that time the world was surely close to becoming the
conquest of the evil one angrahe mainyush.
That was why Zarathustra had been born. The Lord of the
Universe Ahura Mazda had heard the plea of the suffering
millions and the cry of the World Soul (Geush Urvan) and had
sent His Greatest Warrior to the earth to fight against evil - and to
teach men to tread on the Right Path once again.
Zarathustra would be the Saviour of the Persian
Due to him, the true faith would never die out in Iran and
would last till the end time of the world - unconquered and
unshakeable by any force of evil ever conjured up since time
And now, the physician worked frantically to save his
wife and child.
Watched by Pourushaspa, his warriors and the assembled
men, women and children; he examined them for traces of life and
then applied the ancient techniques of medicine to restore breath to
their semi-dead bodies.
Suddenly, red traces of blood crept into the cheeks of the
beautiful lady Navaz and her eyes flickered with life. The watching
people heaved a collective sigh of relief when they saw Navaz open
her eyes and look at her husband.
Almost at the same instant, the small Adel opened his
"Ahura Mazda be praised!" intoned Pourushaspa, lifting
his eyes heavenward to the shining stars. He and his warriors
watched happily as the mother cuddled her now awakened child,
and they were both drawn into the embrace of her husband who
was shaking uncontrollably with joy and excitement.
The tenderness of that moment brought tears into the eyes
of many an Persian gathered there that night. And the Persian always
thanked Ahura Mazda for any happiness that came to him or
Thanked Him with song and dance.
Pourushaspa's wife had rushed to join him in the village
square. Informed by a warrior of her husband's victory, she was
proud as any Persian wife would be. Embracing him with a glowing
love, she declared to him:
"You have increased my glory, you have raised the
banner of my virtue aloft. When you fought to
save the innocent's honour, you have acted like a true
Arya: a true member of the race noble. I am thus proud
of you, my Pourushaspa!"
The Persians now spontaneously formed into a circle
around the village square, drawing back and leaving room for the
pairs of young people who jumped out from the crowd, their faces
gay with sudden joy.
The people cheered as the fair Persian girls twirled around
in their billowing skirts, the handsome young men escorting them
clapping their hands and smiling into the eyes of the girls.
A merry old man with a large moustache jumped out with
a stringed instrument, strumming it generously and the dance
gained sudden momentum. The young men now put their fists on
their waists, their arms arching out as they bent their legs and,
crouching; walked with slow dance steps around the girls.
And then they sprang up with a sudden hurrah, their arms
enveloping the girls and drawing their lips close to their own.
Now unleashing the bull-headed mace or Vadhare that
each carried, the glorious Persian youth started the manly mace
dance in the light of the flaring torches and the moon and stars
shining overhead in that fresh night sky.
Each man yielded his mace expertly, twirling the heavy
iron rod slowly around while the muscles on his arm swelled with
For the Persians, a powerful dance with weapons had
always been very pleasing; and this was the special ancient
weapon of the Persian race: the symbol of Righteousness itself in
the fight against evil.
The Vadhare (or Gurz as it was later called) was a solid
gold or iron mace with a bull's head on the end, large and
powerful and bone-shattering.
This was the mace that was sung about in Persian legend,
the mace of gold that the great Mithra (Meher Yazad) - the
Warrior of God Himself carried and shook over hell three times a
day to restrain the demons inside so that they may not harm God's
creations. Every righteous Ratheshtar of the Persians loved,
respected and carried the Vadhare which was to be used only for
the sake of Ashoi (Righteousness) and defending the Persian
religion and the Persian race.
The maces clashed as the young warriors danced, the
faces of their women taut with glowing excitement when they
watched the raw vigour and leonine power in the mace dance. The
women in those days were attracted not by riches, nor by
appearance or sweet talk; but by bravery and true adherence to
the Persian religion. The Persian woman, fair and beautiful would
sing out her heart's desire under the torchlight's glow.
"Fair face and handsome demeanour
These are not all I seek for;
But manly bravery, the pride of a warrior
A True Believer in Ahura Mazda,
Such a youth will I wed
And keep as my own for ever!"
And so the Persians celebrated the just victory of
Pourushaspa and his warriors on that night eight thousand years
End of Volume II.
The Saga of the Ancient Persians continues
heroically onto Volume III,
"Asho Zarathushtra - The Saviour walks forth".