Ancient Iranian Agriculturists, Hittite DNA remains, and the earliest Indo European languages


An extensive research by David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard University, strongly suggests that there was a migration of AGRICULTURALISTS into northwestern India from what is now Western Iran/Zagros Mountains, around 4000BCE.

This migration was followed two millennia later around 2000BCE, just before the Vedic Age—by a large influx from the area between the Black and Caspian Seas, North of Caucasus Mountains. These newcomers appear to have shared the same ancestry with the populations of the European peninsula/continent.

But who were these earlier, ancient Iranian Agriculturists??? For one, the Neolithic, Iranian Agriculturists shared same ancestry with Old Hittite DNA remains, (the earliest speakers of Indo European Languages,) and with some Assyrian/North Mesopotamian Lineages (See Genetic studies of Damgaard et al. 2018.)

They lived in the Zagros Mountains, where some of the earliest evidence of wine making/production has been discovered. Zagros mountain range begins in northwestern Iran, South of Caucasus, and creates a geographic barrier between the Mesopotamian flat deserts, and the towering Iranian Plateau/Mountains. It has a total length of 1,600 km (990 miles.) The highest point is Mount Dena at an elevation of 4,409 meters (14,465 feet.)

Remnants of the originally widespread oak-dominated woodland can still be found in Zagros Mountains. The ancestors of many familiar foods, including wheat, barley, lentil, almond, walnut, pistachio, apricot, plum, pomegranate and grape can be found growing wild throughout Zagros.

Ancient DNA tests have revealed that the majority of Early Neolithic farmers who colonized Europe belonged to Y-haplogroup G2a. However, the Iranian Agriculturists had a higher frequency of T1a Y-DNA lineages than G haplogroup. Interestingly, during the Copper and Bronze Ages, haplogroup T appears to have been an important paternal lineage among the ruling elites of ancient peoples such as Sumerians, and the Assyrians.

Within Europe the frequency of Y-DNA T lineages is most common in the mountainous parts of the southern Balkans, the central and southern Apennine Mountains in Italy, Auvergne Mountains in France, and mountain pasturelands of southwestern Iberia.

All the aforementioned mountainous regions share many features with Iranian Zagros Mountain Range in Northwestern Iran, South of Caucasus.

The Paternal T lineage is also believed to have been closely associated with maternal HV haplogroup.

HV is the most successful maternal lineage in Europe today. Over half of the female European population descends from a single female, HV lineage progenitor who lived at least 25,000 years ago. Most Europeans belonging to the HV lineage descend from a branch that was renamed haplogroup H.

The modern distribution of mtDNA HV is particularly reminiscent of hotspots for Y-DNA haplogroup T. This strongly suggests that maternal HV and paternal T lineages spread together from a spot in modern day Northwestern Iran, South Caucasus, and Iraqi Kurdistan, to the Fertile Crescent, notably Northern Mesopotamia, as well as to Central and Eastern Europe.

The distribution of HV maternal haplogroup today is as follows:

HV2: found among Zoroastrians, Kurds, and in Slovakia
HV5: found around Lithuania, Belarus and Poland
HV6 : found in Iran, Russia, Slovakia and Britain
HV7 : found in Russia, Ukraine and Sicily
HV8 : found in southern Russia and Slovakia
HV9 : found in Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Scandinavia and Britain
HV10 : found around the Alps
HV11 : found in Italy
HV12 : found in Iran
HV13 : found in Iran

Today, about 20% of Iranian Zoroastrian priests belong to Y-DNA haplgroup T1a, a lineage that goes back to Neolithic Iranian Agriculturists. Also after mtDNA U4, mtDNA HV2 is the most common Zoroastrian maternal lineage.

However, 80% of Iranian Zoroastrian priests belong to Y-DNA lineages I* and I2*. Both I* (I M170) and I2* (I P215) are associated with Cro Magnon/Early European Robust humans, and are exceedingly rare among modern populations.

I* (M170) is the Paleolithic lineage from which all subclades of Y-DNA I derive. I* (I M170) is My Personal Y-DNA marker.

About 86% of the Parsi Zoroastrian Priests belong to R1a1a1 Y-DNA marker, a proto Indo European marker that goes back to ancient Yamnaya culture, and hails from the regions surrounding Dnieper river in modern day Ukraine, and what is now Southern Russia.

Another 14% of Parsi Zoroastrian Priests belong to haplgroup L. According to Dr. Spencer Wells, Haplogroup L-M20 originated in the rugged and mountainous Pamir Knot region in Tajikistan of Central Asia. This haplogroup was found in remains attributed to an elite member of the Hun tribes in Hungary.

In conclusion, I shall add that Pre-historic people in northern Caucasus, Southern Caucasus and Zagros Mountains would have adopted farming and exchanged goods and languages for thousands of years. These Neolithic Iranian Agriculturists of Zagros Mountains soon merged with proto Indo Europeans, and became one people with them.

There is also the great likelihood that the first speakers of an Indo-European language could have hailed from south of the Caucasus Mountains, perhaps in present-day Iran or Armenia.

ardeshir

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Vərəthra.ghna, The “Victorious Lord” of Zoroastrianism, and the 4th incarnation of the god of victory in the form of an aurochs/camel, celebrating “untamable strength and virility.”


In the living, folk traditions of the Zoroastrians, the worship of the great Yazatá of “Victory” Vərəθra.ghna/Vərəθra.γna plays a most prominent role. The Avestan name of the “Victorious Lord” has evolved into Vahrám in middle Iranian, Bahrám in modern Persian, and Behrám among Parsi Zoroastrians.

There is a tradition of praying to the god-force of “Victory,” by reciting his Avestan hymn continuously for 40 days to overcome all sort difficulties, and achieve great success/victory in every material as well as spiritual sphere.

Among Iranian Zoroastrians, sacred shrines are dedicated to the Yazatá of “Victory.” One such very popular shrine known as Shaw Varhrám Izad is located in southern Tehran, the capital of Iran.

More Importantly, the most sacred grade of fire in Zoroastrianism, átash vahrám/bahrám “Victorious fire,” is dedicated to the yazatá of victory, the one who shatters all obstacles.

Vərəθra.ghna/Vərəθraγna is the personification of a “victorious god being” that shatters and overcomes any difficulty or obstacle, and is an unstoppable force established, and set in motion by the ahûrás, Titans (ahûra.δátö.)

Among the Brilliant, Auspicious Immortals, the “Victorious Lord” is a co-worker” ham-kár “of Ašá/Arthá, “power to excel, create a new order/reality.

Vərəθra.ghna also joins forces with Vanaintî Uparatát “Winning, Upper Force” (Yt. 14.0, 64,) and Ama “Mighty Attacking Power.”

The “Victorious Lord” is venerated as yazata.nąm zayö.tə̄mö “the most armed of the gods” (Yt. 14.1,) ama.vas.təmö “the most mighty,” (Yt. 14.3), and xarən.aŋu.has.təmö “the most endowed with xarəna, fiery glory or magical charm” (Yt. 14.3.)

In the Avestan hymn, Yašt 14.28-33, the god, is closely linked to magical elements, and the “magic of the feather,” i.e., oracles based on the falling or flying of a falcon’s feather (vv. 34-46.)

According to the Avestan hymn, Yašt, the “Victorious Lord” transmits his “untamable strength and virile powers” to the Airya “the noble ones,” and confounds all their enemies.

The gift of Vərəθraγna “Victorious Lord” on the seer/prophet Zaraθuštrá was “Victory in thought, Victory in word, and Victory in deed,” as well as “impassioned speech,” in conformity with the Indo-Iranian practice of verbal contest/retort (See Kuiper, “The Ancient Aryan Verbal Contest,” pp. 243, 246.)

In the poetic gathas/sacred songs of Zaraθuštrá, the god-being/force of victory that shatters and overcomes any difficulty or obstacle is invoked in the most venerated Ké Vərəθrəm-já sacred formula.

Likewise, the 14th Avestan hymn dedicated to the Yazatá of “Victory” belongs to the most ancient sections of the Younger Avesta, and is one of the better preserved Avestan Yašts “odes of praise.” The hymn contains a wealth of archaic elements, which point to a more ancient Indo-Iranian era (P. Thieme, “The “Aryan” Gods of the Mitanni Treaties,” pp. 312-14.)

The hymn starts by enumerating the ten physical incarnations of the “Victorious Lord,” and gives a very vivid and virile picture of the unstoppable, warrior god.

Vərəθra.ghna/Vərəθraγna takes the physical form of a relentless, powerful wind (Yt.14.2-5); a bull with horns of gold (v. 7); a white horse with ears and muzzle of gold (v. 9); an aurochs/camel in sexual excitement/heat (vv. 11-13); a boar (v. 15); a youth at the ideal age of fifteen (v. 17); a falcon várəγna– (vv. 19-21); a ram (v. 23); a wild goat (v. 25); and an armed warrior (v. 27.)

The material incarnations of the Yazatá of Victory show some very interesting resemblance to the Chinese Zodiac symbolism.

We read of his fourth physical form/manifestation as an aurochs/camel in verse 11 of the hymn: ahmái. tüiryö. ájasat̰ vazəmnö vərəϑraγnö ahûraδátö uštrahæ kəhrpa vaδaryaôš dadán.saôš aiwi.tačinahæ urvatö fras.paranahæ gaæϑáuš mašyö vaŋhahæ.

The word for any large cattle from “aurochs, to buffalo, and/or camel” in the original Avestan is uštrahæ. The Avestan term for “large, powerful cattle” appears also in the second part of the name of Zaraθuštrá. Rune uruz is a very likely cognate.

Avestan kəhrpa is the word for “bodily form,” (German körper.) The word vaδaryaôš denotes “sexual excitement, feverish energy, passionate life-force.”

The word dadán.saôš or dadąsaôš (also appearing as vakąsaôš) refers to “devouring, tearing into small pieces, biting.”

The first part of the compound word dadán/dadą means“denture/teeth.” The second part kánsaôš or kąsaôš “biting off” appears also in the beautiful Zám-yaad Yašt the “hymn to the good earth.” The word appears in the 3rd verse of the 19th Yašt, in relation to the “biting frost of the snowy peak where the legendary falcon Simôrgh (Avestan saæna,) nests, upáiri saæna kánsö tafəδra varafa.

The Avestan poetic imagery clearly shows that Zoroastrianism highly celebrates sexuality, untamable strength and great virility.

ardeshir

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An only textual perspective in studying the ancient Zoroastrian lore, and the Old Avestan terms ušuruyæ, ušǝurü  


Mary Boyce, a great scholar of Zoroastrian studies once asked, who were likely to have a deeper understanding of the ancient Zoroastrian religion and terms, western academics or the devout priests who have upheld the ancient beliefs and practices for thousands of years?

She developed her theory of the continuity of Zoroastrian belief and practice from the time of the seer/prophet of the ancient Aryans Zarathustra, right down to modern times. Boyce summed this up in a little-known article “The Continuity of the Zoroastrian Quest.”

Boyce rejected the biblical/evangelical approach and understanding of Zoroastrian concepts, and saw Zarathustra as a visionary, seer/prophet, and an inspired, Indo-Iranian poet-priest. For Mary Boyce, the background and training of Zarathustra as a poet-priest of the ancient Indo European tradition was fundamental in understanding his Gāthās or Sacred Songs/Poetry.

She took issue with translations of Humbach, Insler and Kellens for approaching the Gāthās /Sacred Songs of Zarathustra only from a textual perspective, and not taking account of the beliefs, and ancient commentaries of the Zoroastrian tradition.

I personally believe that the ancient commentaries, and traditions of Zoroastrianism shed great light on the correct meaning of the gathas/songs of the ancient seer/prophet. While the ancient commentaries might contain some elements of folk etymology, nevertheless, they always give right clues as to the correct meanings of the sacred passages. Furthermore, an accurate and objective study of Zoroastrianism and the Gāthās /Sacred Songs of Zarathustra is IMPOSSIBLE without comparative Indo European Poetics.

The following example from the poetry of the gathas demonstrates the validity of Mary Boyce’s position. In the gathas, Yasna 32.16, first rhymed verse line, we encounter the word ušuruyæ. The word appears a second time in the gathas, in the form of ǝurü (See Yasna 34.7, 2nd rhymed verse line.)

The ancient Avestan commentaries translate the term as faráḵ hûshi “dawning, wide intelligence, understanding without limitation.”

Humbach derives the term from the root to “shine, radiate” but translates it as “pleasant, pleasant way.” The great scholar Martin L. West, following Humbach, translates the term as “safe haven” in Yasna 32.16 and as “innocuous, soft” in Yasna 34.7.

The Avestan original of the passages are as follows:

hamém tat vahištá.čît//ýé ušuruyæ syas.čît dahma.ahyá

Same as the very best// are the intelligent sayings of the wise.

hamém tat vahištá.čît “Same as the very best,” at the Old Avestan passage here is comparable to the Vedic term samó deváih “equal to the gods.”

In other words, if we follow the “tradition inspired” understanding of the above passage the meaning is “the intelligent or bright teachings of the wise are the best/divine.”

Martin L. West’s translates the passage as: “There is nothing finer than if one just draws back to the safe haven of the enlightened one.” Humbach translates the above passage: Equal to what is very best, is the pleasant way of the very promoter of the wise.

It is important to remember that both the aforementioned scholars derive the terms ušuruyæ, ǝurü from the root to “shine, dawn, to shed light, radiate.”

In the second Old Avestan passage where the term ǝurü appears we read:

séñg.hüš raæa.náv aspen.čît sádrá.čît//carayö ǝurü

Teachings and traditions will turn around misfortune and hardship// by their light and brightness

In other words, “teachings and traditions by their luminous quality/intelligence will turn around what is inauspicious and hard, hateful into advantage.”

The Avestan word séñg.hüš translated as “teaching” is in fact a cognate of Latin censeo, and means to “announce, declare, recommend, estimate or evaluate.”

The word for “tradition” raæḵna comes from the root *rik. Vedic reknas is a cognate. The reconstructed Proto Indo European root is *leik.

Avestan raæḵna recalls the Germanic noun lehan in the sense of “loan,” that is “sacred legacy,” customs and beliefs that go back to the beginning, and are LEFT to us by our ancestors.

The word a-spen translated as misfortune, literally means “inauspicious,” and the word for “hardship, what is hateful” sádrá is a cognate of the Old Norse hatr.

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Mithrá, the Avestan god of “treaty, mutual promise, agreement,” and one who is liar/deceiver to Miθrá


In Zoroastrianism, the relationship between Immortal Gods and men is viewed as “bonds of friendship, reciprocity and mutual promise.” The lofty ahûrá that represents our “soul’s contract with the gods, genuine promise, and treaty/agreement” is Miθrá.

Miθrá is the first god to approach the mountain range of the SUN hará ahead of the sunrise; from there he surveys the whole land of the Āryans (10.13).

Avestan Mithrá/Miθrá, comes from reconstructed Indo European root *meit– and is a cognate of Vedic Mitrá, Latin mūtō, Gothic maidjan, Latvian mietot.

Miθrá appears in the poetic gathas/somgs of the prophet Zarathustra, Yasna 46.5, 2nd rhymed verse line in the form of the noun miθrö.ibyö in the sense of “reciprocal friendship/mutual understanding, agreement, treaty.”

The Brilliant and Auspicious Immortals aməša spəntas called Miθrá the godly lord (ahü) and wise master of the riddles (ratü) of all the living worlds (10.92).

To break a contract/treaty in Avestan is called miθrəm druj “a liar/deceiver to Miθrá” (Yt. 10.45.) The Avestan term corresponds to a phrase in the Rig Veda 10.89.12 namely “drógha.mitra” “whose contract, promise is a lie, deception.”

The Avestan hymn to Miθrá starts with the statement of the supreme god Ahûrá Mazdá that he created Miθrá and made him as worthy of worship and prayer as he himself (10.1).

Then it states that a dishonest man who deceives a treaty destroys the whole country, killing the truthful as much as a hundred sorcerers would. This is immediately followed by the injunction not to break a contract/treaty, whether concluded with a deceitful person or a truthful follower of the Beautiful Religion (Zoroastrianism,) for the contract/treaty is valid for both (10.2.)

Miθrá, when deceived by the lord of the house, or the clan, or the tribe, or the country, smashes their respective domains (10.18; cf. 83-87).

The treaty between countries is dominant in the hymn. Miθrá aids those who are true to the treaty and punishes those who break it. He robs the treaty-breakers of the vigor of their arms, the strength of their feet, the light of their eyes, the hearing of their ears (10.23; cf. 49). The arrows, spears, sling-stones, knives, and maces of those who enrage Miθrá become ineffectual (10.39-40)..

To those who are faithful to the treaty Miθrá brings rain and makes plants grow (10.61); this refers to the ruler, since the welfare of a country depends on his moral behavior (cf. Thieme, 1975, p. 32).

Miθrá is the beneficent protector and guardian of all creatures (10.54; cf. 103). He is the lord of the country (10.78, 99) and the lord of the country of all countries (10.145,)

Miθrá strike down the evil sons of those who offer bloody sacrifices like the diabolic viiāmburas (Yt. 14.57). Miθra’s most frequent epithet having “ wide cattle-pastures” (vourú.gaô.yô.iti) reflects his concern with peaceful cattle and their ability to graze, and roam freely across vast, happy living spaces.

The Ṛgveda has only one hymn to Mitrá,. The Vedic hymn to Mitrá is considered pale and insignificant in compare to the splendid Avestan one to the god. However, P. Thieme (1957, pp. 38 ff.) has shown that the Vedic hymn clearly reflects the main characteristics of the god. Mitrá makes peoples take a firm position in their relationship to each other, and stick to their agreements/treaties (5.65.6.)

The main difference between the Vedic Mitrá and the Avestan Miθrá is that the Vedic Mitrá lacks the superb heroic and martial qualities of the Avestan Miθrá almost completely.

In the Avesta, Miθrá is accompanied in battle against falsehood, by the god of Victory Verəθraγna, by Inspiration Sraôšá “hearing the Immortals” and by Rašnü “righteousness, integrity, honesty.” They participate in Miθra’s battles against the evildoers and treaty breakers along with Nairiiö.saŋha, the valiant messenger of the gods (10.52.)

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The ancient Zoroastrian Mid-Spring festival, Celtic Beltane and the German Witches’ Night Hexennacht,


April 30th marks the beginning of the maiδyö.zarem  “mid-spring” festival in the Avestan calendar. The mid-spring festival lasts for 5 days till May4th, and is in essence a spring rite, thought to fire up/stir “virility, youthfulness, growth, and nectars of the spring.” Maiδyö.zarem is an “in between festival” maiδyö, “mid/in between” the spring and summer solstices.

Mid-Spring is a sacred time to honor the plants, their sap/milk, and a time to bless the herds, their young, and their milk by walking them between sacred bonfires. Sacred rituals are performed to protect the cattle, crops and encourage their sap/milk, and their growth.

 In the Avestan book of vispa ratü “all the rites/right formulas,” maiδyö.zarem is described as the festival of payan “milk, syrup, nectar of flowers and sap of trees, life-force.”

Avestan payan “milk” is a cognate of with Lithuanian pienas, Latvian piêns, Vedic páyas “milk,” Vedic pipyúši “rich in milk” and is derived from reconstructed Proto Indo European *pieh “be fat, prosperous, swollen,” and *pipih usih “rich, overflowing in milk.”

Offerings of milk mixed with holy water, are made to holy wells. Cattle are decorated with flowers. Milk is also poured at the doorsteps. Mid-Spring is an especially auspicious time to bless the dairy products, and the sap of trees.

Maiδyö.zarem celebrates the triumph of spring/sun energy over winter and frost. The saps of spring are honored in connection with the waxing power of the sun wheel. Household fires are re-lit from the sacred bonfires, and village fire temples. Cattle and everywhere is decorated with flowers.

 Zarem, the second part of maiδyö.zarem comes from Avestan zairi “fresh green, lush or golden” and can be compared with Old Church Slavonic zelenū, Lithuanian geltasželvas “yellow/golden,” Latvian zęlts “golden,” Russian zelënyj “green.” In post Indo European times, the word for golden/yellow were often the sources for new words for green. This root is recorded from Celtic to Vedic, and is assured in Proto- Indo European. This also argues that the Proto Indo Europeans saw yellow/golden as a primary color.

The primary color yellow evokes fire, and golden is the color of the sun, symbolizing, “passion, pure energy, charming magnetism, powers of fertility, virility and the life-force.

The ancient Avestan maiδyö.zarem “mid-spring” festival shares many common rites with, and the same roots as the Celtic Beltane, and the German Hexennacht “Witches’ Night.” Hexennacht is the night from 30 April to 1 May, when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Brocken (the highest of the Harz Mountains of north central Germany,) to mark the triumph of spring/the sun over winter. The holiday was later replaced by the feast day for a Catholic Saint as Walpurgisnacht.

In Zoroastrianism, the spiritual life and sacred worship are entwined with hearth-fire, kinship and Clan, home, happiness, pets and farm, fertility of the land, and magical rites/seasons of the year (Avestan yaar ratö.); all related in a sacred world order wherein mortal man lives as a member of his genos, and is governed by the laws of renewal, waxing power of the sun wheel, youthfulness, virility, beauty, nobility, much happiness, and reverence for nature.

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The ancient “Wizards or SEER Wise Ones” of the Avesta


The Kávis are the seers of yore, the ancient “Wizards or Wise Ones” of the Avesta, the sacred Lore of Zoroastrianism. Avesta talks of kavaæm xarənö the “fiery magic force/charisma” of the kávis, the “SEER Wise Ones” of the ancient Indo Iranians/Aryans.

The term Kávi is very ancient, and goes back to the early Indo European times. Avestan Kávi or Kavá “seer wise,” is a cognate of Lydian kawe- “seer poet/priest,” Latin caveo “take heed, observe,” Old Church Slavonic čujo “note, be mindful, remember” čudo “wonder,” Russian čúkhatî “perceive.” The reconstructed Proto Indo European form is *keu to “perceive.”

A variant cognate of Kávi is English show, German schauen, Old English scēawian and scîene to “see, know.” Modern Persian škōh “splendor, beauty, glory” is derived from the same root.

The ancient “SEER Wise Ones” of the Avesta possessed much persuasive and mental power over the heart and will of men, and knew of the hopes and dreams of mortals. Their role was to use their wondrous wisdom to help mortals achieve their own destiny, and to keep the forces of evil/darkness at bay.

Their persuasive power was made of thoughts (mati), and their spiritual “visions, powers to see” (dhī) into the other realms. They were the guardians of ṛtá “the “superb cosmic order” per the Rig Vedic poetry, (Rigveda 2.24.7.)

Kávis of the Avesta have many characteristics in common with the Istari in Lord of the Rings. Like Kávis, the Istari in struggle against the Dark Lord, helped Men to achieve their own destiny, rather than trying to dominate them.

But many Kávis, just like Saruman in lord of the Rings, failed when they tried to set themselves up as a tyrants and cruel despots in the world of men. In the Older Avesta, many kávis are said to have joined with the forces of darkness and evil, and are listed together with sorcerers, evil beings, and false teachers.

Among the Avestan Wizards of the yore, very few remained faithful to their noble charge.

In the poetic gathas, Vištáspá is the most illustrious kavá “seer wise one.” His name is mentioned 3 times in the gathas/songs of the prophet Zarathustra, in connection with the spiritual powers/divine rewards, which agrees with his mention at the end of the hymn to Anáhitá “lady of the unblemished, pure waters,” as a prototype of those who won the race (Yašt 5.132).

The name Vištáspá means “he who gives the horses free rein” (Rigveda 6.6.4 víṣitāso áśvāḥ “horses let loose or given free rein”), which agrees with the description of Vištáspá as the prototypical winner of the chariot race in the Avestan hymn to the Lady of the unblemished, pure waters.

In the Zoroastrian eschatology, kavá Vištáspá and Kávi Haô.sravah play central roles. The Avesta contains more details about Kávi Haô.sravah than any of the other Kávis, except Vištáspá.

The name Haô.sravah or more accurately *hû-sravah means “he who has good fame/glory.” Haô.sravah’s standing epithet is arša airya.nąm daxyu.nąm “stallion of the Aryan lands.”

According to holy Denkart 7.1.38; Kávi Siá.waxš (waxing black) built the Shangri La of the ancient Indo Iranians/Aryans, the Kang-dæž, by means of the xarənö, the “fiery magic force/charisma” of the kávis, and the might of Ahûrá Mazdá and the Brilliant, Auspicious Immortals. Kang-dæž or the Shangri La of the ancient Indo Iranians/Aryans is said to contain numerous wonders and secrets of daæná “vision/religion of the ahuras,” to be used to redress the age and the rule of the Noble Ones. This Kávi is also said to have connected power and victory with daæná “vision/religion of the ahuras.” The location of Kang-dæž/ Kang-dež is said to be somewhere in the Tian Shan and Pamir mountains of Central Asia. It is the son of *hû-sravah “he who has good fame/glory” who is the chief in Kang-dež and will march out of there to establish the rule of “the noble, wise and the good” at the end of times.

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The falcon, and the fiery good fortune of the wise-seer rulers in the Avesta


In Avesta, the sacred lore of the Zoroastrians, the “Victorious Lord” Verethraγna/Verethraghna, the great yazatá or “hallowed god of victory” takes the bodily shape of a “fiery bird” called várǝγna/váreghna in his seventh incarnation. The Old Avestan dictionaries translate várǝγna/váreghna into the German word for bird or “Vogel,” or the name of a bird. The name simply means “the bird,” and refers to mythical “falcon or hawk.”

We read in the verse 19 of the hymn to Victory: ahmái haptathö ájasat vazemnö//verethraghnö ahûra-dhátö//mereghahæ kehrpa váreghnahæ

To him for the seventh time he came flying//the Victorious Lord, set into motion by the ahuras//in the bodily form of a fiery falcon//

The name of the “fiery bird” váreghna is closely associated with the “mythical falcon/hawk” Simorgh. The mythical falcon/hawk represents the union between heaven and earth in ancient Iranian mythology, serving as mediator bird and messenger of the Immortals. The name Simorgh appears in the Avesta as mərəγö saænö ‘the falcon/hawk bird.”

The “swift flying hawk or falcon” in the ancient Greek poetry of Hesiod corresponds to the fiery falcon/bird of the Avesta váreghna. In Hervarar saga (10 ad fin.) of the Norse mythology, Odin under the identity of a stranger takes the form of a falcon. Also Loki, in order to go flying, has to borrow a special “falcon form” valhamr from Freyja or Frigg.

In the Norse myth, the Giant Thiazi, taking the form of an eagle/falcon, carries off Idunn “The Rejuvenating One.” Idunn is the owner and dispenser of apples that impart immortality. After the capture of Idunn, the Immortals are begin to grow old and grey, until the Lady Of Youth Idunn is recaptured by Loki, flying in the form of a falcon.

In the beautiful Zaam-yád Yašt “Hymn to the good earth,” the fiery glory” leaves Yimá, the great ruler of the golden age, (a cognate of Norse Ymir) in the form of váreghna “hawk or falcon.”

In the Avestan hymn to the sacred mountains and the earth Zaam-yád, the imagery of “luminous glory or godly charm” xarənah is intertwined with váreghna “hawk or falcon.” Xarənah comes from Scytho-Sarmatian and Alan farnah, and is a “magic force or power of luminous and fiery nature”.

The Persian name farrox/farrokh “fortunate, blessed, lucky” comes from the same ancient Avestan root.

In traditional Zoroastrian interpretations “glory,” “splendor,” “luminosity” and “shining fortune,” connected with sun and fire, are considered the primary meanings of the term farr(ah)xarənahxarənah.

Avestan xarənah– “shinning fortune, godly charisma, glory” is traditionally reconstructed from the verb hvar “to shine.” Kellens however, derives it from the root xar “to eat,” and argues that xarəna refers to “the magical power obtained after eating sacred fruits.”

In Yašt 10.127, the kávi-“wise ruler/ seer priest” is identified with a “blazing fire” (átarš yöupa.sûxtö,) that precedes Mithrá in his chariot. Mithrá is associated with the “sun, heavenly lights,” and represents friendship/favor with the Immortal Gods.

In the Avesta, the “fiery glory and shining fortune” of xarəna belongs to the “Supreme God of Mind Powers” Ahûrá Mazdá (Yt. 19.10); the “Brilliant, Auspicious Immortals” aməša spəṇtás (Yt. 19.15); and the “hallowed gods” yazatás (Yt. 19.22), including Mithrá who is the “the most endowed with glory” xarən.aŋu.hastəma, (Yt.19.35; Vd. 19.15.)

As a “fiery, living, creative force” xarəna/farna is also associated with the waters of the wide shored ocean Vouru.kaša (Yt. 19.51, 19.56-57) holy waters, and the sacred lakes.

The sacred lore of the Zoroastrians, Avesta, talks of the “luminous, fiery glory of the ancient wise rulers/seer priests” (kavaæm xarənö,) the “luminous, fiery glory of the Aryans, (airya.nąm xarənö,) and of the “magical, fiery glory” of the Mazdá worshipping religion/vision, and the future “victorious giants of the ages,” the saôšiiánts.

The Avestan hymn to the “sacred mountains and earth” provides a summary of sacred history, the heart of which is about the “luminous, godly glory” xarənah– of the “ancient philosopher kings/ seer priests” kávi– in the land of Scythians (Sîstán,) and how this “fiery, noble glory” will pass from ancient Kávis such as Haô-srava (73-77,) Vīšt.áspá (83-87,) and Prophet Zarathustra (78-82,) to the Giant of the future age, the victorious saôšiiáṇt who embodies “excellence incarnate (in bone, flesh) astvat-areta.

In passages 53-54 of the same hymn, the supreme God Ahûrá Mazdá informs prophet/seer Zarathustra that “every mortal” kas.čiṱ mašiia.nąm must seek the fiery and luminous xarənah-, in order to obtain good fortune and success.

The concept/idea of the “godly, fiery glory” of the Kávî, the ancient “wise, seers and rulers” of the ancient Indo Europeans was later mingled with that of “divine fortune and charismatic kingship,” in the Achaemenid inscriptions in phrases such as “by the wish/favor of Ahûrá Mazdá” (vašná Aûramazdáha.)

The solar, fiery aspects of xarənafarna in the form of a “flying sun-disc” became the sign of the dynastic charisma of the Achaemenid sovereigns later.

This motif of the “divine good luck,” of the “wise rulers and airyás” in the form of a “fiery bird or solar falcon” was also depicted in the banner of the kávis or derafš kávián of the ancient Iranian royal dynasties.

Several scholars have argued that it is depicted in a damaged portion of the Alexander mosaic from Pompeii, at the battle of Issus. Xenophon (Anabasis 1.10.12) mentions that the standard of the Achaemenid king was a golden eagle/falcon on a shield carried on a spear. Arthur Christensen states that same motif of “divine falcon representing godly glory” was the royal standard of the Sassanid dynasty in the imagery of the Derafše Kávî-án.

The concept was carried over, and became widespread in the Hellenistic and Roman period, in the idea tychē basileōsfortuna regia; the fortune of the rulers/sovereigns.

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