Parsis, crowing cocks and sleepless nights – part 2

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Roj Tir Mah Bahman, 1382 Yz.

To properly understand the story of Zohak and the rooster, we need to recognize and comprehend the nature of evil. What is evil? How does it arise? What is its source? Our Master, Ustad Saheb gave a very detailed and esoteric explanation of evil and its origin. Without going into those complex issues, we can state simply that evil arises out of ignorance. Ignorance of what? Ignorance about the Will of God, the Plan of Ahu, what we call the Ahunavar, from which is derived our most sacred Manthra, the Yatha Ahu Vairyo. The Plan of Ahu starts the process of Creation and the ultimate aim of Creation – Frashogard marks the end of the Ahunavar. In between these two, lies the entire duration of time.

Facets of evil

Facets of evil

In the middle of this vast expanse of time, lies the individual life-cycles of innumerable humans and other creations. All these different entities are working towards their own salvation. The question arises, which is the path to take? Asho Zarathushtra defined the path for us Zoroastrians as Asha – the Path of Righteousness and Truth. But within the short time span of 70-80-90 years which marks our lives, sometimes it feels that the Path of Asha seems inordinately long. Through the process of constant ‘bench-marking’ and comparing with others, humans feel the desire to hasten their progress. They see another person, who maybe well behind them in terms of spiritual progress, but who, in material terms, is far ahead. This unjust and incorrect comparison tempts the man who has been so far walking on the Path of Asha to take a short cut. He believes, that perhaps by aping the lifestyle or the habits or the behaviour of the person ‘ahead’, he too may jump the queue and power onward.

At this point, the ‘GPS’ of the person – which is his inner conscience, sends out a warning, that the short cut is a road that leads to nowhere. Depending on the choice the individual makes, he either listens to his conscience or goes ahead and makes the wrong choice. Because this choice is made without the knowledge of the ultimate goal, without listening to his inner conscience, it is a choice made out of ignorance. By making that choice, man commits evil. This is, in very short and very simplistically explained, the origin of evil.

Our Master explained that the sum total of all evil in the entire universe is limited. This evil has been divided into ten categories. The supreme personification of this entire evil of the Cosmos is called in the Avesta as ‘Azi Dahaka’. Azi means serpent. Dah means ten and Aka means evil. Thus Azi Dahaka – the ten ‘headed’ evil serpent is the personification of all the combined evil in the universe. This entity is a very potent force, it is not a person, rather it is a Cosmic Cloud. When man, in his quest for salvation, mixed with material temptations, makes the wrong choice and commits evil, he sets up a connection between himself and the Azi Dahaka force which exists in nature. Due to this connection (which is much like the connection between a powerful server and a small computer), Azi ‘transfers’ within the person the seeds to commit further evil. These seeds arise in the man as various passions and temptations. If man fails to contain them or to channelize them properly, he gets sucked more and more into the vortex of Azi Dahaka.

Now in the entire life cycle of the earth of 81,000 years, called the Zravane Darego Khadata, there arises only one individual, who comes into such deep and passionate contact with the Azi Dahaka force that he himself slowly evolves into a living personification of the cosmic evil force. This person does not do evil to gain something, he becomes so enamoured of evil that he commits it because he likes it. He does it simply for the sake of doing it. Such a person (who may be named anything) slowly becomes so powerful and so evil, that people stop calling him by his real name and rather begin to call him Azi Dahaka himself.

Ustad Saheb revealed that the King Zohak, whose mind was first corrupted by the Evil One, slowly but surely got so enamoured of him that he became the living personification of Evil and hence he was called Azi Dahaka, or Zohak. So it is important to distinguish between the physical and mortal king Zohak, and the Evil Force which he had personified – Azi Dahaka.

In the Shah Nameh, when Faridun attacks and defeats Zohak and lifts his mace to kill him, the Yazata Sarosh stops him and asks him to tie him up in chains in Mount Demavand. Ustad Saheb explained that the story was told in this manner to show the difference between Zohak and Azi Dahaka. Faridun, who was a Poiryo-Tkaesha of the highest order was able to take on and physically defeat the person Zohak. This physical King was killed by Faridun. But even Faridun, with the power of his Manthras, did not have the power to completely destroy Azi Dahaka. That job would be done only by Prophet Zarathushtra, who would appear on the earth a few thousand years after Faridun. Once Zarathushtra descended on the earth, he contained Azi Dahaka and stopped his free access, such that he did not have freedom to roam all over the earth and trap anyone he pleased. This fact is mentioned in the story as Faridun binding up Zohak in the cave of Mount Demavand.

The name of Mount Demavand is very important in this story. Ustad Saheb explained that throughout the day, men and women of the earth commit all kinds of sins, making wrong choices and playing into the hands of Azi Dahaka. This collective evil of the earth is such that it aids Azi Dahaka and makes him more and more powerful. This is depicted in the story as Azi Dahaka licking the chains that bind him and wearing them down. As night falls, the great residents of Demavand – the Abed Saheb-e-Delan, begin their Divinely Appointed functions. Through the Amal of various Manthras, through the power of their great spiritual progress, and working under the overall guidance and direction of their Supreme Leader – the Sraoshavarez– One Who Works for Sarosh Yazata – the Abed Sahebs begin the process of reducing the load of the evil on the earth. Their nights are not spent in sleep at all – the whole night they perform this magnificent function – cleansing the earth of its accumulated evil, dissipating the effects the accumulation of evil has brought on to the earth, and setting right the wrongs which may have been committed.

How is this done? The 19th Chapter of the Vandidad provides a fascinating account of the activities, which we will examine in the next post.

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

photo credit: Merrick Brown via photopin cc

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Comments

  1. ftrrs  June 27, 2013

    Dear Ervadji Marzbanj kindly correct me if I am wrong ..I have read in one of zorastrian book chitra Gatha for all thirty days .For Teshtr-E-Tir Roz it is written if on this day message comes “khotti parey” what does it mean?Good news ,Or Bad news khottiy parey…?kindly reply..thanks

  2. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  June 27, 2013

    @Ftrrs
    I am sorry I have no idea what you are talking about.

  3. Percy  June 27, 2013

    Thanks Marzban, it is so enlightening. If I were to read the above in the real scriptures, it would take years to translate it in so short explanation.

    is this the philosophy? :-

    It is therefore to understand, that on earth, all evil deeds are to be harnessed by a chain and controlled, untill the time of judgement. Untill a good soul comes and releases us from such burdens. But earth is a test zone, I have heard. Evil and Good co-exist. They both have to cross this journey of life together and end together.

    You still have to complete the article of the ruvan reaching chinvad bridge.

  4. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  June 27, 2013

    @Percy
    Yes I am aware that the series on Wondrous Circle of Life is to be completed. I am working on it.

  5. Delnavaz  June 27, 2013

    I always loved hearing about Zohak the evil king and his ultimate defeat. Unfortunately today most Parsis think that such stories are merely fairy tales.

  6. Ftrrs  July 27, 2013

    Dear Ervadji I have one of book name Chitra Gatha very old version in that book it has given All days names From Hormuzd to Aneran And details of the perticular day..for Tir Roz it says if we get news on Tir Roz it falls wrong but there is not any mention of (good or Bad)hence I wanted to know.i want to be out of this myth.kindly help God bless.
    With kind regards.
    Farida

  7. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  July 27, 2013

    @Ftrrs
    Unless I read the book I cannot comment on the same. If possible can you photocopy and send to me or scan and email. Thanks.

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