Tuesday, February 22, 2022


Iranian Hero From SAHNAMEH of hakim Ferdowsi

Rostam (Persian: رستم) is a mythical hero of Iran and son of Zal and Rudabeh. In some ways, the position of Rostam in the historical tradition is curiously parallel to that of Surena, the hero of the Carrhae. His figure was endowed with many features of the historical personality of Rostam. The latter was always represented as the mightiest of Iranian paladins, and the atmosphere of the episodes in which he features is strongly reminiscent of the Arsacid period. He was immortalized by the 10th century poet Ferdowsi of Tus in the Shahnameh or Epic of Kings, which contain pre-Islamic folklore and history.

In SAHNAMEH of hakim Ferdowsi, Rostam is the champion of champions and is involved in numerous stories, constituting some of the most popular (and arguably some of most masterfully created) parts of the Shahnameh. As a young child, he slays the maddened WHITE ELEPHANT of the king Manuchehr with just one blow of the MACE owned by his grand father Sam, son of Nariman. He then tames his legendary stallion, Rakhsh.

In Persian mythology, Rudabeh's labor of Rostam was prolonged due to the extraordinary size of her baby. Zal, her lover and husband, was certain that his wife would die in labor. Rudaba was near death when Zal decided to summon the Simurgh (PHOENIX). The Simurgh appeared and instructed him upon how to perform a "Rostamzad" (Persian equivalent for caesarean section), thus saving Rudaba and the child.

The most famous and popular story of Rostam in the Shahnameh is the one in which he kills his own son Sohrab, while the two are unaware of the identity of their opponent until after Rostam wounds his son and during their final conversation the two realize they were father and son.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


(30,000 years BCE)
The Greatness of Kiumarth and the Envy of Ahriman

What saith the rustic bard? Who first designed to gain the crown of power among mankind? Who placed the diadem upon his brow? The record of those days hath perished now unless one, having borne in memory Tales told by sire to son, declares to thee who was the first to use the royal style and stood the head of all the mighty file.
He who compiled the ancient legendary, and tales of paladins, saith Kiumarth Invented crown and throne, and was a Shah.
This order, Grace, and luster came to earth When Sol was dominant in Aries and shone so brightly that the world grew young.
Its lord was Kiumarth, who dwelt at first upon a mountain; thence his throne and fortune Rose. He and all his troop wore leopard skins, and under him the arts of life began, for food and dress were in their infancy.

He reigned o'er all the earth for thirty years, in goodness like a sun upon the throne, And as a full moon o'er a lofty cypress so shone he from the seat of king of kings.
The cattle and the divers' beasts of prey grew tame before him; men stood not erect before his throne but bent, as though in prayer, Awed by the splendor of his high estate, and thence received their Faith.
He had a son Named Siyamak, ambitious like his sire, A youth well favored, skilled, and fortunate, His father's Life, whose joy was gazing on him, That fruitful offshoot of the ancient stem.
That Life the father cherished tenderly, and wept for love, consumed by dread of parting.
Thus time passed onward and the kingdom prospered, for Kiumarth had not an enemy except, in secret, wicked Ahriman, Who led by envy sought the upper hand.
He had a son too, like a savage wolf grown fearless, and a host of warriors.

The son assembled these and sought his sire, resolved to win the great Shah's throne and crown, whose fortune joined with that of Siyamak Made the world black to him. He told his purpose to every one and filled the world with clamor; but who told Kiumarth about the foe? The blest Sorush appeared in fairy form, Bedight with leopard skin, and told the king the projects that his foes were harboring.
*** How Siyamak was slain by the Hand of the Deev

News of that foul deev's acts reached Siyamak, Who listened eagerly; his heart seethed up with rage. He gathered troops, arrayed himself In leopard skin, for mail was yet unworn, And went to fight. When host met host he came In front unarmed to grapple with the son Of Ahriman. That horrible Black Deev clutched at, bent down that prince of lofty stature and rent him open. Thus died Siyamak By that foul hand and left the army chiefless.

When Kiumarth heard this the world turned black to him, he left his throne, he wailed aloud and tore his face and body with his nails; His cheeks were smirched with blood, his heart was broken, and life grew somber. All the soldiers wept, Consumed upon the flames of woe, and wailed as clad in turquoise colored garb they stood before the portal of the Shah. All cheeks were wine red, for all eyes shed tears of blood.

Birds, timid beasts and fierce, flocked to the mountain with doleful cries in anguish, and dust rose before the court gate of the mighty Shah.
When one year had passed thus the blest Sorush Was sent by God; he greeted Kiumarth And said:" Lament no more, control thyself, Do as I bid, collect thy troops and turn Thy foemen into dust, relieve earth's surface of that vile deev and thine own heart of vengeance."
The famous Shah looked up and cursed his foes, then, calling by the highest of all names upon his God, he wiped his tears away and prosecuted vengeance night and day.
*** How Hushang and Kiumarth went to fight the Black Deev
The blessed Siyamak had left a son, His grandsire's minister, a prince by name Hushang a name implying sense and wisdom.

It was the lost restored and fondly cherished, and therefore being set on war the Shah Sent for the prince and frankly told him all:" I mean to gather troops and raise the war cry, but thou being young shalt lead for I am spent." He raised a host of fairies, lions, pards, and raveners, as wolves and fearless tigers, But took the rear, his grandson led the host.

The Black Deev though in terror raised the dust to heaven, but his claws were hanging slack Frayed by the roaring beasts. Hushang saw this and putting forth his hands like lion's paws Made earth too narrow for the lusty deev, then flayed him, lopping off his monstrous head, and trampled him in scorn thus flayed and sent.
The days of Kiumarth had reached their close when he achieved this vengeance on his foes; He passed away, the world was for his heir, but see who hath had glory to compare with his! He owned this tricky world and made the path of gain his path, and yet he stayed not to enjoy, for like a story done is this world: good and ill abide with none.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Iranian Prince

Esfandiar or Esfandyar (in Persian: اسفنديار) is a legendary Iranian hero. He was the son and the crown prince of the Kayanian King Goshtasp (from Middle Persian Wishtasp from Avestan language Vishtaspa) and brother of the saintly Pashotan (Middle Persian Peshotan, Avestan Peshotanu).Perso-Arabic 'Esfandyar' derives from Middle Persian 'Spandadat' or 'Spandyat' (the variance is due to ambiguities inherent to Pahlavi script), which in turn derives from Avestan Spentodata "Given by/through bounty" or "Given by (the) holy" (see Amesha Spenta for other meanings of spenta-). The Median language *Spendata - as it is reconstructed - probably motivated a similar Old Persian form, which may be inferred from Greek Sphendadates, a 5th century BCE political figure unrelated to the Esfandiar of legend. Equally unrelated is the Sassanid-era feudal house of Spandyat, that - like numerous other feudal houses also - adopted a Kayanian name in order to legitimize and emphasize the antiquity of their genealogy.

In the Shahnameh

The Esfandyar of legend is best known from the tragic story of a battle with Rostam, as described in Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh, or Book of Kings. It is one of the longest episodes in the epic, and one of its literary highlights:Esfandyar is promised the throne by his father Goshtasp if he manages to repel an invasion in far-off provinces. Esfandyar is successful at this, but his father stalls and instead sends him off on another mission to suppress a rebellion in Turan. Esfandyar is again successful, and upon his return Goshtasp hedges once again and - although he is aware of a prediction that foretells the death of Esfandyar at the hand of Rostam - compels the young hero to go and bring the aging Rostam in chains for his arrogance and not paying due respect to the king. Although Esfandyar initially protests, reminding his father of Rostam's fame, great age and services to the dynasty, he eventually complies with his father's wishes and sets out towards Rostam.Upon reaching the home of Rostam, Esfandyar delivers the message, but Rostam refuses to comply with being put in chains, accepting only to accompany the young prince to his father's.

Esfandyar insists, but Rostam - although making numerous concessions - stands his ground, and the two eventually meet in single combat. Unknown to Rostam is the fact that Esfandyar had bathed in a pool of invincibility, and in the subsequent battle, Esfandyar is unaffected by Rostam's blows while the champion is seriously wounded.Pleading respite to dress his wounds, Rostam withdraws, where he learns of Esfandyar's secret and of his weakness: when Esfandyar swam in the pool of invincibility, he kept his eyes closed, and it is through these that the young prince can be vanquished. Upon hearing this, Rostam fashions a forkhead arrow with a feather of Simurgh and a twig of a tamarisk tree, and when the battle resumes the next morning, Esfandyar is slain by a shot through the eyes.

Rostam's Seven Labours

(Persian: Haft Khan-e Rostam):

He passes through a hero's journey to save his sovereign (king), Kei Kavus who is captured by the demons (Divs) of Mazandaran. This journey is called "Rostam's Seven Labours".
***KHAN = stage, course , labour.***
***SHAH = name of iranian kings.***

FIRST STAGE: How Rakhsh fought with a lion
He rapidly pursued his way, performing two days' journey in one, and Soon came to a forest full of wild asses, Oppressed with hunger, he succeeded in Securing one of them, which he roasted over a fire, lighted by sparks produced by striking the point of his Spear, and kept in a blaze with dried grass and branches of trees.
After regaling himself, and satisfying his hunger, he loosened the bridle of Rakhsh, and allowed him to graze; and choosing a safe place for repose during the night, and taking care to have his Sword under his head, he went to Sleep among the reeds of that wilderness.In a short space a fierce lion appeared, and attacked Rakhsh with great violence; but Rakhsh very speedily with his teeth and heels put an end to his furious assailant.
Rostam, awakened by the confusion, and seeing the dead lion before him, said to his favourite companion:" Ah! Rakhsh, why so thouohtless grown, To fight a lion thus alone:For had it been the fate to bleed, And not your foe, my gallant steed! How could your master have conveyed His helm, and battle axe, and blade, Kamand, and bow, and buberyan, Unaided, to Mazanderan? Why didn't you give the alarm, And save yourself from chance of harm, By neighing loudly in my ear; But though your bold heart knows no fear, From such unwise exploits refrain, Nor try a lions strength again"[ Saying this, Rostam laid down to sleep, and did not awake till the morning dawned.As the sun rose, he remounted Rakhsh, and proceeded on his journey towards Mazanderan.

2. SECOND STAGE: How Rostam found a Spring
He had to face all dizzy as he was A desert waterless, a heat intense That dried the birds to powder; plain and waste Were as they had been scorched thou wouldn't have said.
Rakhsh was exhausted, while his rider's tongue Failed through the heat and drought, and Rostam, clutching A double headed dart, went staggering Like one bemused, and saw no means of safety.
He looked up saying:" O all righteous Judge! Thou bring'st all toil and hardship on my head, And if Thou findest pleasure in my pains My hoard is great indeed! I fare in hope That God will grant deliverance to the Shah, And that the Ruler of the world will free The Iranians from the clutches of the Div, Unscathed. They sinned, and Thou hast cast them out, But still they are your slaves and worshippers." This said, that elephantine form became Weak and distraught with thirst, and fell, with tongue All cracked and blistered, on the burning dust.Anon a well fed ram passed by. The hero On seeing thought:" Where is its watering place? In sooth God's mercy is extended to me!" Then in the Worldlord's strength rose to his feet And followed up the ram, with scimitar In one hand while the other grasped the reins, Until lie saw the spring, for thither went That stately yarn. Then Rostam looked toward heaven, And said:" O Judge, that ever speakest sooth! The ram hath left no tracks about the spring! It is no desert sheep of flesh and blood!" When hardships press on thee, in your concern Flee unto God, the Just One; they who turn Away from Him have wisdom still to learn.
He blessed that ram and said:" Ne'er may mishap From circling heaven be thine; green be your pastures, May cheetah never mark thee for its prey; Snapped be the bow and dark the soul of him That shooteth at thee who hath rescued Rostam, Else were he thinking of his shroud; but now He is not in the mighty dragon's maw As yet, or in the clutches of the wolf, So that the fragments of his clothes and limbs Should serve as tokens to his enemies." His praises offered he unsaddled Rakhsh, Washed him, and made him shining as the sun.Then Rostam much refreshed filled up his quiver And as he hunted dropped an onager Huge as an elephant, removed the entrails, The hide, and feet, lit up a blazing fire, And having washed the carcase roasted it.
This done he feasted, breaking up the bones, And having quenched his thirst prepared for sleep.
He said to Rakhsh:" Fight not and make no friends. If any foe approacheth run to me, But venture not to counter divs and lions." He lay and slept, his lips in silence bound, While Rakhsh till midnight grazed and strayed around.

3. THIRD STAGE: How Rostam fought with a Dragon
A dragon, such an one as, thou hadn't said, No elephant could ' scape, came from the waste. Its haunt was there; no div dared pass thereby.
It came, beheld the atheling asleep, A charger near him, and was wroth. It thought:" What do I see? Who dareth to sleep here?" Because no lions, divs, or elephants Dared pass that way or, if they did, escaped not The clutches of that dragon fierce and fell.It turned on glossy Rakhsh, who ran to Rostam, Stamped with his brazen hoofs upon the ground, Whisked with his tail, and gave a thundering neigh.
The hero woke up furious, looked about Upon the waste, perceived not that fell dragon, And wreaked his wrath on Rakhsh for waking him.He slept again, again the worm approached Out of the gloom; Rakhsh ran to Rostam's couch, And kicked the earth about and trampled it.The sleeper woke, his cheeks rose red with passion, Looked round and, seeing nothing but the gloom, Said to affectionate and watchful Rakhsh:" Thou canst not blink the darkness of the night Yet wakest me again impatiently! If thou disturb me more I will behead thee With my sharp scimitar, and carry it, My helmet, and my massive mace, on foot.I said: ' Should any lion come at thee I will encounter it. ' I never said: Rush on me in the night! ' Leave me to slumber." Then for the third time with his tiger skin Upon his breast he set himself to sleep.
The fearsome dragon roared and, thou hadn't said, Breathed fire. Rakhsh left the pasturage forthwith, But dared not to approach the paladin.Yet was his heart distracted by his fears For Rostam with that dragon, till at length, O'ermastered by affection for his lord, He rushed swift as a blast to Rostam's side And neighed and fretted, pawed upon the ground, And stamped the earth to pieces with his hoofs.Then Rostam, wakened from his sweet repose, Raged at his docile steed; but now the Maker Willed that the dragon should be seen, and Rostam, Perceiving it amid the gloom, unsheathed The keen sword at his girdle, thundered out Like spring clouds, and filled earth with battle fire.
Then said he to the dragon:" Tell your name; Earth is no longer thine, yet must not I Rob your dark form of life, your name untold." The laidly dragon said:" None scapeth me.
For centuries this waste hath been my home, And mine its firmament; no eagle dareth To fly across or star to dream thereof." It further said:" What is your name, for she Will have to weep that bare thee?"" I am Rostam," He answered," sprung from Zal the son of Sam And Nariman withal. I am myself A host, and trample earth ' neath dauntless Rakhsh.
Thou shalt behold my prowess; I will lay your head in dust." The dragon closed with him, And in the end escaped not though it strove So fiercely with the elephantine hero That thou hadst said:" He will be worsted." Rakhsh, On seeing the dragon's might, and how it battled With Rostam, laid his ears back, joined the fray, Bit at the dragon's shoulders, tore its hide As though he were a lion, and amazed The valiant paladin, who with keen glaive Smote off the dragon's head; blood jetted out In rivers, and its carcase hid the earth.The matchless one, astonied at the sight, Invoked God's name and bathed him in the spring.
Desiring conquest through God's strength alone He said:" O righteous Judge! me Thou hast given Grace, might, and wisdom; what care I for lion, Div, elephant, parched desert, and blue sea? When I am wroth all foes are one to me.

To Be Continued ...
SHAHNAMEH, tras: A.E.Warner, Vol2

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Demons (Divs)

Demons (Divs) in Shahnameh

white div ---------------------

Rostam vs. whit div ----------- Tahmureth vs. great div

divzad ------------------------ Siamak vs. divzad