mithrá, mehregán, autumnal festival of harvest, wine and love

Mehregán is the main Zoroastrian Festival of Autumn, it falls on 2nd of October. This festival is celebrated in honor of Mithrá or Mehr, the adorable power of “mutual understanding, feelings and love.” Amore “love” and Old French Amee/Amy “beloved” come from the same root.

Mehregán was/is a harvest, wine and love festival. It was celebrated in an extravagant style at Persepolis and was the time for harvest, wine, love and great joy. Mehregán and Naúvrooz, respectively marked autumnal and spring equinoxes, and each lasted for about 2 weeks. In fact, the celebrations of  autumn, harvest and wine were so great in ancient days of the Great Persian Empire, that the very word Mehregán entered arabic as Mehreján in the sense of “extravagant celebration.”  To this day Mehreján in arabic means “great festivity.” During the first centuries of the Islamic rule, Mehregán was still celebrated with the same magnificence and pageantry as Naúvrooz. After the Mongol invasion, the harvest/wine/love  festival of Mehregán lost its popularity. Yet, Zoroastrians of Yazd and Kerman still continue to celebrate this ancient festival. The other significant autumnal festival is the Seasonal thankgiving days lasting for 5 days, starting from October 12 and culminating on October 16.

Some psuedo scholars try to undermine the role of Mithrá in Zoroastrianism, yet, the fact remains that in the Vedic tradition, Mithrá has a very limited and non-individualized role. It is only in Zoroastrianism that Mithrá takes a prominent and very distinguished role; a unique and distinctive role that never existed in the aryan lores before.

Mithrá is “the power to connect,” “to meet/intuit into the hearts and minds,” Mithrá is the connection/understanding that comes from a sense of identity/knowledge within the awakened heart and emotions. In the songs of the seer-prophet, Yasna 46.5, second line; Mithrá is closely associated with hú-zeñtüsh, “good gnosis,” intuit/knowledge on the true nature of things. Mithrá  sees all and knows all beings as parts of itself and is knowledge/feeling by identity.As one reaches closer to enlightenment, One knows/feels/understands by completely identifying one’s consciousness with the thing one wishes to know/connect with/understand.  There is no differentiation from the thing one wishes to know.

‘Who, with his foremost wisdom/yö paöirish vaäiðish, masterfully furthers the creation of Speñtá Mainyü/ the auspicious, bright, happy spiri;, who is well-destined/hú ðátö and most magnificent adorable power/mazishtö  yazatö, self-radiant like the moon, when he makes his tangible form/tanü radiate;

‘Whose face is brilliant/braazaiti like the the star sirius; who is full of light to shine, whose chariot is inlaid with stars and made of a spiritual substance/unseen substance of mind/mainyü ; (the chariot) of Mithrá, who has ten thousand scouts/spasánö, the powerful, all-wise/víspö-víðváw undeceivable/aðaöyamnö.

Hymn to Mithrá, 142-143


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