Roz Dae-pa-Meher Mah Dae, 1382 Yz.
“Badu goft kay bacche narrah-sheer, bar-aavardah changaal-o gashteh delir;
Badin kudki nist hamtaa-e tu, ba-farro ba-mardi-o baalaa-e tu”
Zaal said: “Oh son of a male lion, your hands have grown big and you have become brave; even in your childhood, there is none to match your glory, your manhood and your presence!”
These words of exclamation are not merely a father praising his son, but the realization of a great warrior, than one even more superior to him is emerging.
The exceptional character of Rostam was proved very shortly at the age of eight. One night as Rostam slept in his father’s palace, he was awakened by shouts of fear and pandemonium outside. On inquiry from the guards posted outside, he came to know that a prized white war elephant of Zaal had gone berserk and was running around the streets causing damage to property and life. The innate fighting spirit present in his genes was activated by this happening.
He immediately picked up the very heavy mace of his grandfather Saam and proceeded to the gate, where he was stopped by the guards who feared to let a young boy of eight years out of the protective walls. An angry Rostam first beat up the guards and shoed them away and with a slight push, broke open the chain on the palace gates, and ran out in the direction of the noise and commotion. Shortly he saw the elephant and let out a great shout to attract its attention towards him. The enraged elephant trumpeted and raising its trunk rushed to crush and kill this new opponent.
Before it could do anything, Rostam raised the heavy mace of his grandfather and dealt such a heavy blow on the elephant’s head that it trembled violently and immediately fell lifeless to the ground. Rostam turned around and went back to his palace and slept till the morning as though nothing had happened. The next morning, Zaal was informed of the previous night’s events and he beckoned Rostam and showered him with many blessings. The war elephant which Rostam had killed with one blow of his grandfather’s mace was a prized possession of Zaal, who had used it many battles to trample thousands of enemy soldiers. The fact that this massive war machine had been destroyed by one blow of an eight year old boy amazed Zaal, who immediately recognised the immense potential of Rostam and remembered the prophecy of his Mazdayasni Master, the Simorgh.
Readers of Frashogard, how can an eight year old boy reach up to the height of an elephant’s head and deal a blow with a mace which was so heavy that few men could lift it, leave alone wield it? Our revered Master, Ustad Saheb explained that the height and weight of Rostam was exceptional. The average height of men in those times was much more than the six feet of today. As per our Master, Pahelwan Rostam, in his prime measured over 22 feet. Many of my readers may have great trouble in believing this. But wondrous are the ways of Nature and it behoves us to always remember the memorable words of poet Firdausi:
“To inra dorugho fasanah madan, ba yaksan ravesh dar zamana madan”
“Do not consider these verses as untrue or imagined because time reveals itself in different colours in every age”
In the same manner, many of the explanations which Ustad Saheb provided us to better understand the Shah Nameh may seem incredulous. But they are the absolute truth. The reality of Rostam is even more wondrous than the myth of Rostam. A life of valour, bravery and complete loyalty to the Mazdayasni cause and the Peshdadian monarchs, which was to stretch for over 800 years was now set to begin. The greatest forerunner of Prophet Zarathushtra was ready to take charge.
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Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram