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Zarathustra, the pure :” (Yaçna “We begin praise and adoration LXVII. 63.)
of the bull, of Gayomeretan, of “Praise be to Ahura-Mazda Manthra-çpenta [the holy word Praise to the Ameshaçpentas, personified], the pure, efficacious :" praize to Mithra who possesses wide (Vispered XXIV. 3.) pastures, praise to the Sun with These very catholic prayers and swift steeds, praise to the eyes of praises, which are no doubt of very Ahura-Mazda, praise to the bull, different dates, show the primeval praise to Gayâmarathan, praise to man, regarded as a mythological the Fravashi of Zarathustra, the being, and having, indeed, come to holy, pure. Praise to the whole be treated with adoration. world of the pure, which was, and It is to later works than the is, and is to be:” (Qarset Nyayis, Avesta that we have to turn to 1.)
find any elucidation of the myth ; “May all the Fravashis of the the earlier writings concur in pure together, from Gayomart to shewing the existence of the legend Çosios, here be mentioned:” (Prayer which the later ones explain. after the Afergâns.)
In the “ Desatir"-a collection “Blessed be the souls of the of writings of the ancient Persian lords, Desturs, Mobeds, Herbeds, poets—we find Kaiômart addressed believers, propagators of the faith, as “the prince of the higher the disciples who have died on this sphere.” The Persian commencorporeal earth. Blessed be the tator names him “Ferzinsar, the soul of Gayomars, and Hoshang, son of Yasanajanan" (which we take and Tahmur and Jamshed, &c." to mean head or beginning of the Âferîn of the seven Amshas Farsi, or Persians, son of the Spirit pands.)
of Life), “whom they call Gil-shah “May the heavenly yazatas [lord of clay] and Giomert”; and [angels), the earthly yazatas, the describes him as “sent by the beneheavenly Time, the Frohars (the volent and merciful Ruler of the same as Fravashis, pre-existent world on the work of prophecy.” spiritual counterparts, or the power He also describes him as having rewhich holds body and soul to claimed man, and as held to be the gether] of the pure, from Gayo. Father of Mankind. The address mart to Cosios, the victorious, the to Kaiômart to which the commenvery majestic, the being, having tator is referring is most pasbeen, about to be, the born-un- sionate and poetic. It runs as born, belonging to the region, follows: belonging to other regions, the “He who created thee, and is the pious men and women, not of age Creator of all, is mighty ! and of age, who have deceased “And gave thee refulgence, and upon this earth in the faith-all enlightened All! Frohars and souls of the same be “And sent forth upon thee a here mentioned:" (Âferîn Gahan- portion of his awful light! bâr, 4.)
“And next, according to his will, “ The Heavenly Understanding, assigned thee a course which is created by Mazda, praise we:” everlasting! (Sîrozah 29.)
“And placed thee high in the “ The first after the Under- lofty eminence of the seventh standing among the pure creatures Heaven! praise we:” (Vispered XXII. 5.) “I pray of thee, O Father, Lord !
This description, according to that thou ask, by the splendour of enndition, denotes Kaiômart. thy soul, from thy father and Lord,
thy Prime Cause and Lover, the On the supposed historical Intelligence that glorified thee with ground Kaiômart has a rival. light, and all the free and blazing Malcolm, in his History of lights that possess intelligence, Persia, says : “ In almost all that they would ask of their modern accounts of Persia which Father and Lord, the Intelligence have been translated from Mahoof all Intelligences, the first medan authors, Kaiomurs is concreated Intelligence, the most ap. sidered the first king of the proved wish that can be asked of country; but the Dabistan, a book the Being, most worthy of all professedly compiled from works Beings to be adored, the one of the ancient Guebers or worshipworthy of the worship of mankind, pers of fire, presents us with a the Stablisher of All, to make me chapter on a succession of monarchs one of those who approach the and prophets who preceded Kaioband of his Lights and the secrets murs. According to the author, of his essence; and to pour light the Persians, previous to the reign on the band of Light and Splendour; of Kaiomurs, and consequently and to magnify them, and to long before the mission of purify them and us; while the Zoroaster, venerated a prophet world endureth, and to all eternity, called Mah-abad (or the great so let it be!
Abad), whom they considered as “In the name of the Lofty, the the father of men. We are told Giver, the Just, the Lord ! O, in the Dabistan that the ancient Ferzinsár! thou art the prophet Persians deemed it impossible to whom three sons obey.
ascertain who were the first parents [Persian note.— The mineral, of the human race. The knowvegetable, and animal king- ledge of man, they alleged, was doms.]
quite incompetent to such a dis"And the four mothers are under covery; but they believed, on the thy sway.” [Persian note.—The authority of their books, that four elements.]
Mah-abad was the person left at One class of writers has attempted the end of the last great cycle, to make Kaiômart a historical and consequently father of the personage, as the first sovereign present world. of the earliest dynasty of “They believe time to be divided Persia, the Peshdadian. The into a succession of cycles or annals of that dynasty Sir periods, to each of which they W. Jones describes as dark and allot its own people, believing that fabulous, that of the Kaiani kings a male and female are left at the who succeeded them heroic and end of every cycle to be the poetical, that of the Sasanian parents of the population of the sovereigns historical. The Pesh- next. dadian may well be dark and “The only particulars they relate mythical, seeing that the word of Mah-abad are, that he and his signifies “ before created.” Accord wife, having survived the former ing to the legend, however, the cycle, were blessed with a numerous son of Kaiômart was a king who progeny, who inhabited caves and discovered fire from fint, while clefts of rocks, and were uninbis grandson's nephew was Jems- formed of both the comforts and heed, the founder of Persepolis, luxuries of life : that they were who is said to have lived for cen. at first strangers to order and turies, and to have divided his government, but that Mah-abad, subjects into castes.
inspired and aided by Divine power, resolved to alter their con- the first model of existence in. dition; and to effect that object, carnated upon earth is the Homoplanted gardens and invented taurus, who, however, eventually ornaments, and forged weapons, succumbs to the attacks of the &c., &c.”
Principle of Evil. As he dies, The Avesta, however, makes no Kaiômart proceeds from him. reference to Mah-abad, who must Kaiômart is androgynous, as also be considered a strictly Persian is Adam in one of the two versions creation, the Dabistan making we have of the creation myth, and Kaiômart only the first king of in the traditions handed down by the fifth dynasty of the monarchs the Kabbalistic Rabbins. R. Samuel of Persia, and the sovereign to Bar Nahman, who presided over whom is transmitted a celestial 1200 students at Pumbadita in the volume in perfect accord with the early part of the fourth century Mahabadian code.
of our era, describes Adam and Later Persian writers follow the Eve as created conjoined, and chronology of the Jews, and trace is as absurdly definite as Plato's the descent of Kaiômart from friends in the Symposium, in Noah. He reclaimed, says Ferdosi, describing the manner of such his subjects from a state of savage conjunction. barbarity, but his civilising efforts As opposed to the bull, who is brought him many wars with the typified by emblems of death and deevs or magicians. The just deprivation of speech, Kaiômart king's army, however, was joined is a living and speaking being. by all the lions, tigers, and He was formed radiant, white, with panthers in his dominions, who eyes looking up to heaven. He left their native forests to aid him, is essentially an immortal being, and routed the deevs. There is and a particular genius watches another and slightly discrepant over his safety to enable him to account of supernatural aid which withstand the power of the Prinwe need not advert to more ciple of Evil. particularly. After the victory The accounts we have of the Kaiômart is represented as retiring myth, being of late compilation, to his capital of Balkh.
differ among themselves, and This is but imaginary history. wander into trivialities; but there We will return to the myth, which seems evidence that Kaiômart rehas at least a philosophic con- presented man in a higher state ception for its basis. We gather than ordinary mortality. The same it mainly from the Bundehesch belief was held by the Rabbins and the Majmil al Tawârikh. concerning the primeval Adam,
According to one account, the “Garments of light, these were present cycle, taken out of the End. the garments of the first Adam,” less Time, is to be 12,000 years; was the commentary made by Rabbi for one half of these the primeval Meir on the coats of skins or fleshly man and the bull (the animal bodies; while Adam's deep sleep creation, we may presume) lived was said to represent the lapse “ without evil in the superior from the state of essential life. regions of the world.” During Notwithstanding his immortality this time six signs of the Zodiac Kaiômart did not survive the comwere traversed. As the world bined attack of the Principle of Evil, came under the sign of the Balance the Father of Death, and of thoudissensions manifested themselves. sands of deevs who fell upon him.
According to another account, But the elementary principles of his being were purified by sunlight, lose the wish to be re-united. and confided to the genii of fire Finally comes the serpent, not in and of earth. After a number of the well-known guise of the Hebrew years there grew from this seed a story, but in that of which Dr. tree of life, spreading into two Donaldson thought he saw traces branches.
in the same story, that of the A poet in the Veda seems to be phallic symbol. Excess begins, with considering some such evolution as arrogance and selfishness on the this when he asks, “Who has seen part of each and injury to both. the first born, when he who had no In the Avesta itself there is no bones (i.e., no form) bore him that trace of Meschia and Meschiana, had bones ?”
and it is therefore probable that The next stage accordingly brings they do not belong to the original us to the creation of strictly terres. Zoroastrian conception of creation, trial man. In the Avesta itself but have been evolved by an ampli. Kaiômart is at once supernal and fication of the myth. But if the the physical protoplast ; but in the legend of them is borrowed from later writings are frequent refers that of Adam and Eve, it is sin. ences to first parents of a kind not gular that an element which some very different from the fabled scholars have regarded as almost Adam and Eve; while to Kaiômart, eliminated from the Hebrew on the other hand, the Kabbalistic account should appear distinctly conception of the first and spiritual in the Parsi version. If the latter, Adam manifests a similar resem which is frequent in the books of blance..
later date than the Avesta, be The tree of two branches develops borrowed from the Hebrew story, into two human beings, a male and it must surely be from an earlier a female, Meschia and Meschiâna edition of it than that which we (mashya is Old Bactrian for man), now possess. who are pure, and obedient to The myth of Kaiômart has the Ahura Mazda. Heaven is destined best evidence of being a veritable for them, provided they be humble original; and, moreover, is in harof heart, perform the work of the mony with the cyclic beliefs of the law, be pure in thought, word, and Zoroastrians. The attempt to set deed, and do not invoke the deevs. down Kaiômart as the earliest of By so continuing they will be a the Kings of Persia, must be due reciprocal blessing to each other. to an endeavour after history
But, alas ! first they spoke thus: making. The further account of It is Ahura Mazda who has given the historians, that it was owing to the water, the earth, trees, animals, the increasing depravity of the race, the stars, the moon, and sun, and by which it was rendered nearly all the benefits that spring there. extinct, that the all-merciful from. Then the spirit of opposi. Creator called Kaiômart to the tion enters their thoughts, and all throne in order to save mankind, becomes inverted. They turn to may also be regarded as an ampli. the evil principle, and confess him fication of the legend. This readauthor of their benefits. They eat ing, however, may not be wholly and clothe themselves. Their food inconsistent with the cyclic idea, is of more substantial kind, step by for the wearing out of one cycle step, until they reach flesh. Then by reason of depravity and declenthey make a fire, obtain metals, sion, must surely be the beginning and practice handicrafts, all without of the regenerative era, unless we thanking God. They quarrel and are to believe, with the author of the second book of Esdras, who is evi. founded on the ancient conception dently under Babylonian influences of Parô-asti, or pre-existence. “The that the world reverts to an archaic parô-asti is not the life in the other state of silence and lifelessness world, as we understand it, but it between period and period of life. signifies the primary state of the
To each of these Eonic periods soul, to which it returns after its a divine messenger is ascribed, and separation from the body; this state each messenger seems in a sense to is then identified with that of everbe regarded as identical with the lasting life.* In the Dabistan the others, just as John the Baptist same belief is found, without which, was regarded as a re-appearance of it may be named, it is impossible to Elijah. The key to this is that understand the Kabbalah, Buddeach supernal man is regarded as hism, the doctrines of Pythagoras, but the missionary manifestation and certain sayings even of the of the One Supreme Being ; and Pharisees of the time when our era the idea, if pantheistic in excess, begins. The noblest modern exis not altogether an unworthy one. pression of the doctrine may be
We have alluded to the Principle found in Wordsworth's “ Intimaof Evil in the Zoroastrian creed. tions of Immortality from the There he appears personified as Recollections of Early Childhood." Âharman (Anrô-mainyus), but his The Persian faith is that souls are existence is only permitted for a eternal and limitless, that they limited period by Ahura Masda proceed from above, and are spirits (Hôrmezd), the Creator of all Good. of the upper sphere. Those who The sway of the Evil One extends are imperfectly developed migrate only over the mortal life. In one from one body to another, until by of the oldest Gathas, or original the efficacy of good thoughts, good hymns of the Avesta, some of which words, and good actions, they are are considered to date from the fully and finally emancipated from veritable time of the Prophet, the corporeal condition, and gain we find “Let not the mischief. their higher rank. They are also, maker destroy the second life;" according to the quality of their meaning, according to the Parsi good works, more or less in affinity commentators, that in the second with a particular star, and belong period his power to destroy ceases. to the sphere assigned to that star. This faith is more fully developed The regaining of this primitive in expression in the Desatir, where state with all the added gains of we find : “Amongst the most re- mortal experience, may well be splendent, powerful, and glorious deemed as difficult a process as of the servants who are free from that of birth as we know it. The inferior bodies and matter, there is resurrection is regarded as the none God's enemy or rival, or dis great deed; in a very old part of obedient, or cast down, or annihi. the Avesta it is designated “the lated.”
greatest business.” As the crowing It is necessary to understand of the cock awakes us and consomething of this before turning to vinces us that what we saw in sleep the completion of the myth of was but a dream, so in like manner Kaiômart. And it may be well to after death we shall realise that convey more distinctly the basis of the corporeal world itself was but the Parsi doctrines. They are a dream that is passed away. The
* Haug. Hadokht Nask. Notes.