Rostam Nameh 13c: Rostam and Tahmina

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Roj Rashne Mah Bahman, 1383 Yz.

As the soldiers hunted for Raksh, Rostam was plied with wine and the best of dishes by a bevy of beauties from the King’s court. Having had the fine wine and food and tired by the day’s exertions, Rostam soon drifted off to sleep in his guest quarters.

Now it so happened that the King of Samangan had a most beautiful daughter by the name of Tahmina. Tahmina’s beauty was not just physical but she was born of the highest and most noble lineage. Tahmina had heard of Rostam’s valour and was most eager to meet him. As the night passed, she commanded a slave girl to take a scented candle and proceed to the room where Rostam slept. As they entered the room, Rostam was greeted with a wondrous sight. The description of Tahmina in Firdausi’s Shah Nameh is a pointer to her exemplary spiritual advancement. Firdausi describes her as:

Pase bandah andar yaki Maahrooy

Chu Khurshide taabaan puraz rango booy!

Do abru kamaano do gisoo kamand

Ba baalaa ba kerdaare sarve baland!

Do barge gulash susane mayseresht

Do shamshaad ambar forush az behesht!

Behind the slave walked a moon faced beauty

She was lustrous as the sun, her face all made up.

Her eyebrows were like two bows, her ringlets were like lassos.

In stature she was like a cypress tree.

Her cheeks were the colour of  flushed roses, and soft like lilies soaked in wine.

Her flowing locks were like the carriers of amber from heaven!

Firdausi continues:

Benagush taabandeh khurshid vaar

Feruheshteh zu halkae gushvaar

Labaan az tabarzad zabaan az shakar

Dahaanash mukallal badurro gohar!

Setaare nehaan kardah zire akeek

To gofti varaa zoharrah aamad rafeeq


Her earlobes were lustrous as the sun

From which hung earrings

Her lips were made of sugar candy, while her tongue was made of sugar

Her mouth was shining like pearls and filled with gems,

Her red lips hid the stars in her mouth.

It was as if Venus itself was sitting next to her!


After this incredible description, Firdausi writes a couplet which sums up the real stature of Tahmina:

Ravaanash kherad budo tan jaane paak

To gofti ke baharah nadaarad ze khaak!

Her soul was filled with Divine Wisdom, her body full of spiritual purity!

It was as if there was not a speck of physical dust on her! 

This couplet is replete with spiritual intensity. What Firdausi is trying to convey is that Tahmina was no ordinary mortal! How could she be, when she was destined to be the wife of Rostam and the mother of Sohrab! Her Ruvan was fully awakened, every atom of her body was pulsating with cosmic energy! Such was her presence that one who saw her could immediately realize that this was no ordinary mortal, but a lustrous, wondrous fairy clothed in physical form.

Ustad Saheb Behramshah has givena much deeper insight into this couplet and the mystery of Tahmina. Normal humans like us, take birth on this earth to alchemize and convert the 1/4th part of Dravao or Spiritual Ignorance which leads to Evil, which is intertwined in every atom of our body. Due to this inherent defect in us, we become prone to passions and temptations. When the mind loses control to the physical senses and indulges in the passions, a sin is created. The recompense for the sin – which may happen in this life or the next, on this earth or another plane, is the process by which the 1/4th Dravao is slowly but surely converted into good. As the Anasers (spiritual DNA) of a person get more and more rarefied by the process of the Dravao being removed from them, the person advances spiritually. This is also reflected in his bodily looks and the power coming out of his eyes. There are several people whose very presence or their one look in our eyes can convert a siner into a saint. This is the true test of spirituality.

But our Master explained, Tahmina was no normal human. Her soul had already passed the stage of Khaetwodath – the cosmic union of the male and female parts of the Ruvan. Her coming down to the earth was merely for the benefit of others – and to act as the mother for the son of Rostam who was destined to be born and lead a very short life o n this earth. This is the real reason for the most fanciful description of Tahmina given in the Shah Nameh by Firdausi.

Even Rostam, who could command the most beautiful of maidens to his side was dumb struck by her spiritual presence. As they began to converse, Tahmina admitted her admiration for the exploits of Rostam, while Rostam could not but agree to have been besotted with her regal splendour. As the night progressed, their thoughts became of one unison and by the time of dawn, they had decided to become man and wife. It must be remembered that even Rostam’s Ruvan was of the highest Poiryotkaesha class, brimming with the characteristics of Ratheshtari – the spiritual warrior against evil! While Tahmina’s Ruvan throbbed with the beneficent characteristics of Athravani – one who converts evil to good through persuasion.

In these circumstances, their meeting and eventual union was also predetermined. As the sun arose, Rostam asked for a learned Mobed to converse with and carry his meseage to the King of Samangan, asking for the hand of Tahmina in marriage. The King gladly agreed, and very shortly, Rostam and Tahmina were united by the holy bond of matrimony. Such was the spiritual calibre of these two titans, that they spent only one night together, and became of one body only once. In this exchange, the womb of Tahmina was impregnated with the seed of Rostam, from which unions was destined to arise Sohrab.

Our Master, Ustad Saheb explained that the unions of such advanced Ruvans have almost no trace of any passion or lust. Rather, the process is timed properly as per the movement of the stars, to determine the best possible time for conception. Even the sexual act itself does not give rise to any disorder or spiritual pollution. It is from such divine unions that a child is born which not only has the positivie characteristics of both father and mother, but even excels both of them. In today’s times, the hidden defects of past generations become manifest in the children as a result of which we see very weak or mentally deficient children being born of exceptionally brilliant parents, or heretics being born of priests.

The days of togetherness of Rostam and Tahmina were very few. Shortly after the marriage, Raksh was returned to Rostam. Soon, it was time for the world champion to leave Samangan and continue his mission in Iran and Turan. The two already knew that Tahmina had conceived. Before leaving, Rostam gave a most precious jewel to Tahmina and instructed her to give it to their to-be-born child. If it were a girl, then Rostam asked the jewel to be tied up in her hair. If it were a boy, then Rostam asked that it be tied on his arm, as a memory of his father and his illustrious family. With a few moments of bitter-sweet words,  Rostam mounted Raksh and took leave of his new wife. He requested her and the King of Samangan to keep all news of their marriage as secret.

[to be continued…]

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram