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of the three natural kingdoms of productive principles, and
the elements their mother, yet this much only has been
imparted to us, that man is born of man, and is not pro-
duced after any other fashion.

The followers of the ancient faith call one revolution of
the regent Saturn, a day; thirty such days, one month;
twelve such months, one year ; a million of such years, one
fard ; a million fard, one vard ; a million vard, one
mard ; a million mard^ one jdd ; three thousand jdd^
one vdd ; and two thousand vdd, one zdd. According to
this mode of computation, the happiness and splendor of the


MahdbAdian dynasty lasted one hundred ziid of years. They
believe it impossible to ascertain the commencement of
human existence ; and that it is not to be comprehended
by human science : because there is no epoch of identical
persons, so that it is absolutely impossible to form any
definite ideas on the subject, which resembles an arithmeti-
cal infinite series. Such a belief also agrees with the phi-
losophy and opinions of the Grecian sages.

From the authority of esteemed works, they account
Mdhdbdd the first of the present cycle ; as in reality he
and his wife were the survivors of the great period, and
the bounteous Lord had bestowed on them so immense a
progeny, that from their numbers, the very clefts of the
mountains were filled. The author of the Am'tghistan re-
lates, that they were acquainted only to a trifling degree
with the viands, drinks, and clothing which through the
bounty of God are now met with : besides, in that cycle
there existed no organization of cities, systems of policy,
conditions of supremacy, rules of authority and power,
principles of JVushdd or law, nor instruction in science and
philosophy, until through the aid of celestial grace, joined
to the manifold favors and bounties of God, the uncon-
trolled authority of Mdhdbdd pervaded alike the cultivated
region and the wild waste ; the wide expanse of land and
sea. Through divine illumination, in conjunction with his
spiritual nature, the assistance of his guiding angel and the
eyes of discernment ; and also what he had seen and heard
in the past cycle, he meditated on the creation of the
world : he then clearly perceived that the nine superior
divisions, and the four lower elements, the subjects of ex-
istence, are blended and associated with distinct essences
and accidents, so as to combine together opposing move-
ments with contrary dispositions and natures: and that the
aggregate of this whole indispensably requires a supreme
bestower of connection, a blender and creator: also that
whatever this bestower of relation wills, and this all per-
fect in wisdom does, cannot be destitute of utility and wis-
dom : Mdh^bfid therefore dispatched persons to all quarters
and regions of the world, to select from land and water
all productions and medicinal plants held in esteem for


their various properties ; these he planted in a proper site,
so that by the aid of the terrene and aqueous particles, the
influence of atmospheric temperature, in conjunction with
the sidereal energies, their powers of vegetation, nutritious
qualities, and properties might be ascertained. At the time
of promulgating this excellent purpose, the sovereign of the
starry host entered in glory the mansion of Aries ; and the
rapidly-sketching painter of destiny drew forth the faces of
the brides of the gardens (blossoms and flowers) : then, through
the efficacy of command, experiment, and examination,
MS-h4b4d extracted from the various flowers, fruits, leaves,
and fibres, the diflFerent alimentary substances, medicinal
compounds, viands, and beverages. He next commanded all
sorts of ores to be fetched from the mines and liquified in
the furnace, so that the diflFerent metals concealed in them
became visible. Out of iron, which combines hardness and
sharpness, he formed warlike weapons for the brave;
jewels, gold, silver, rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and chry-
solithes, in which he observed smoothness and capability
of polish, he assigned as decorations for kings, military
chieftains, and matrons. He also ordered persons to de-
scend into the deep waters and bring forth the shells,
pearls, corals, etc. People were commanded to shear the
fleece of sheep and other animals : by him also were in-
vented the arts of spinning, weaving, cutting up, sewing,
and clothing. He next organized cities, villages, and
streets; erected palaces and colonnades; introduced trade and
commerce; and divided mankind into four classes. The
first was composed of Hirbeds^ Mobeds, ascetics, and learned
men, selected for maintaining the faith and enforcing the
sentence of the laws: these are also called Birman and
Birmun; that is, they resemble the Bariniati or supreme
beings, the exalted angels ; they also style them Huristdr.
The second class consists of kings and intrepid warriors,
who devote themselves to the cares of government and
authority, to the promotion of equity, and the curbing of
oppression ; those they call Chatramdn^ Chatraman^ and
Chatr'i: this word Chatr'i means a standard or distinction ;
as people of high rank have a Chatra, or timbrella, to pro-
tect them with its shade, which they call Say ah dar and


Savah ban; the people repose under the shade of the in-
dividuals of this class, who are also called Niwistdr. The
third class is composed of husbandmen, cultivators, artisans,
skillful men, and mechanics ; these are called Eds, which is
synonymous with Bisydr or numerous ; as this class should
far exceed in number all the others. Bds also means cultiva-
tion and improvement, results which altogether depend on
this order — they are also styled Suristdr. The fourth class
are destined for every kind of employment and service ;
they are called Sud'in, Sudi, and Slid: from them profit,
indulgence, and ease accrue to society : they are also called
Ruzistar. He instituted these four classes, the four elements
of society, and the sources of organization were completed:
independence and want appeared; there were produced the
gradations of ruler and subject ; of lord and servant ; disci-
pline and authority; justice and knowledge; kindness and
severity ; protection of the Zindbar or kind treatment of
innoxious creatures ; destruction of the Tundba}- or noxious
animals; the knowledge of God and the ceremonies of His

The Worship Rendered to the Seven Planets

It is stated in the Akhtarisidn, that the image of the
regent Saturn was cut out of black stone, in a human shape,
with an ape-like head ; his body like a man's, with a hog's
tail, and a crown on his head ; in the right hand a sieve ;
in the left a serpent. His temple was also of black stone,
and his officiating ministers were negroes, Abyssinians, and
persons of black complexions : they wore blue garments,
and on their fingers rings of iron : they offered up storax
and such like perfumes, and generally dressed and offered
up pungent viands; they administered myrobalam, also
similar gums and drugs. Villagers and husbandmen who
had left their abodes, nobles, doctors, anchorites, mathe-
maticians, enchanters, soothsayers and persons of that de-
scription lived in the vicinity of this temple, where these
sciences were taught, and their maintenance allowed them :
they first paid adoration in the temple and afterward waited


on the king. All persons ranked among the servants of the
regent Saturn were presented to the king through the
medium of the chiefs and officers of this temple, who were
always selected from the greatest families in Iran. The
words Shat and Tbnsar are appellations of honor, signify-
ing dignity, just as Sri in Hindi, and Hazrat in Arabic.

The image of the regent Hormuzd (Jupiter) was of an
earthy color, in the shape of a man, with a vulture's face :
on his head a crown, on which were tlie faces of a cock
and a dragon; in the right hand a turban; in the left a
crystal ewer. The ministers of this temple were of a ter-
rene hue, dressed in yellow and white ; they wore rings of
silver and signets of cornelian ; the incense consisted of
laurel-berries and such like ; the viands prepared by them
were sweet. Learned men, judges, imans, eminent vizirs,
distinguished men, nobles, magistrates, and scribes dwelt in
the street attached to this temple, where they devoted them-
selves to their peculiar pursuits, but principally giving them-
selves up to the science of theology.

The temple of the regent Bahram (Mars) and his image
were of red stone : he was represented in a human form,
wearing on his head a red crown : his right hand was of the
same color and hanging down ; his left, yellow and raised
up : in the right was a blood-stained sword, and an iron
verge in the left. The ministers of this temple w^ere dressed
in red garments ; his attendants were Turks with rings of
copper on their hands ; the fumigations made before him
consisted of sandaracha and such like ; the viands used here
were bitter. Princes, champions, soldiers, military men, and
Turks dwelt in his street. Persons of this description,
through the agency of the directors of the temple, were
admitted to the king's presence. The bestowers of charity
dwelt in the vicinity of this temple; capital punishments
were here inflicted, and the prison for criminals was also in
that street.

The image of the world-enlightening solar regent was the
largest of the idols ; his dome was built of gold-plated bricks:
the interior inlaid with rubies, diamonds, cornelian, and such
like. The image of the Great Light was formed of burn-
ished gold, in the likeness of a man with two heads, on


each of which was a precious crown set with rubies ; and
in each diadem were seven sdrun or peaks. He was seated
on a powerful steed ; his face resembling that of a man, but
he had a dragon's tail; in the right hand a rod of gold, a
collar of diamonds around his neck. The ministers of this
temple were dressed in yellow robes of gold tissue, and a
girdle set with rubies, diamonds, and other solar stones : the
fumigations consisted of sandalwood and such like : they
generally served up acid viands. In his quarter were the
families of kings and emperors, chiefs, men of might, nobles,
chieftains, governors, rulers of countries, and men of science:
visitors of this description were introduced to the king by
the chiefs of the temple.

The exterior of Nahid' s (Venus) temple was of white
marble and the interior of crystal : the form of the idol was
that of a red man, wearing a seven-peaked crown on the
head : in the right hand a flask of oil, and in the left a
comb: before him was burnt saffron and such like; his
ministers were clad in white, fine robes, and wore pearl-
studded crowns, and diamond rings on their fingers. Men
were not permitted to enter this temple at night. Matrons
and their daughters performed the necessary offices and
service, except on the night of the king's going there, as
then no females approached, but men only had access to it.
Here the ministering attendants served up rich viands.
Ladies of the highest rank, practicing austerities, worship-
ers of God, belonging to the place or who came from a
distance, goldsmiths, painters and musicians dwelt around
this temple, through the chiefs and directors of which they
were presented to the king: but the women and ladies of
rank were introduced to the queen by the female directres-
ses of the temple.

The dome and image of the regent Tir (Mercury) was
of blue stone; his body that of a fish, with a boar's face:
one arm black, the other white; on his head a crown: he
had a tail like that of a fish; in his right hand a pen, and
in the left an inkhorn. The substances burnt in this tem-
ple were gum mastic and the like. His ministers were
clad in blue, wearing on their fingers rings of gold. At
their feasts they served up acidulous viands. Vizirs, phi-


losophers, astrologers, physicians, farriers, accountants, rev-
enue-collectors, ministers, secretaries, merchants, architects,
tailors, fine writers and such like, were stationed there, and,
through the agency of the directors of the temple, had ac-
cess to the king: the knowledge requisite for such sciences
and pursuits was also communicated there.

The temple of the regent Mah (the moon) was of a
green stone; his image that of a man seated on a white
ox: on his head a diadem, in the front of which were three
peaks : on the hands were bracelets, and a collar around
the neck. In his right hand an amulet of rubies, and in
the left a branch of sweet basil: his ministers were clad in
green and white, and wore rings of silver. The substances
burnt before this image were gum arable and such like
drugs. His attendants served up salted viands. Spies, am-
bassadors, couriers, news-reporters, voyagers, and the gen-
erality of travelers, and such like persons, resided in his
street, and were presented to the king through the directors
of the temple. Besides the peculiar ministers and attend-
ants, there were attached to each temple several royal com-
missioners and officers: engaged in the execution of the
king's orders; and in such matters as were connected with
the image in that temple. In the Khiiristar or ^^ refectory
of each temple,'^ the board was spread the whole day w^ith
various kinds of viands and beverages always ready. No
one was repulsed, so that v^^hoever chose partook of them.
In like manner, in the quarter adjacent to each temple, was
an hospital, where the sick under the idol's protection
were attended by the physician of that hospital. Thus
there were also places provided for travelers, who on their
arrival in the city repaired to the quarter appropriated to
the temple to which they belonged.*

It is to be observed, that although the planets are simple
bodies of a spherical form, yet the reason why the above-
mentioned images have been thus formed is that the
planetary spirits have appeared in the world of imagination

*It was from time immemorial to our days the practice of the
Asiatics to refer the common affairs of life to the stars, to which they
attribute a constant and powerful influence over the nether world.
Thus Hwmaiun, the son of Baber, emperor of India, ^'caused seven


to certain prophets, saints, and holy sages under such forms;
and under which they are also connected with certain in-
fluences ; and as they have appeared under forms different
from these to other persons, their images have also been
made after that fashion.

When the great king, his nobles, retinue, and the other
Yezdanian went to the temple of Saturn, they were arrayed
in robes of blue and black hues ; expressed themselves with
humility, moving with a slow pace, their hands folded on
the breast. In the temple of Hormuzd (Jupiter), they were
dressed in his colors, as learned men and judges. In that
of Bahram (Mars) they were clad in the robes peculiar to
him, and expressed themselves in an arrogant manner — but
in the temple of the Sun, in language suitable to kings and
holy persons ; in that of Venus, they appeared cheerful and
smiling; in the temple of JMercury they spoke after the
manner of sages and orators; and in the Moon's like young
children and inferior officers.

In every private house there were, besides, images of the
stars, a minute description of which is given in the
Akhtaristan. They had also, in every temple, the spherical
or true forms of the several planets.

There was a city called the royal abode or sardt, facing
which were seven temples. On each day of the week, in
the dress appropriated to each planet, the king exhibited
himself from an elevated tdbsdr or window, fronting the
temple of the planet, while the people, in due order and
arrangement, offered up their prayers. For example, on
Sunday or Takshambah^ he showed himself clad in a yellow
kabd or tunic of gold tissue, wearing a crown of the same
metal, set with rubies and diamonds, covered with many

halls of audience lo be built, in which he received persons according
to their rank. The first, called the palace of the Moon, was set apart
for ambassadors, messengers, and travelers. In the second, called the
palace of Utarid (Venus), civil officers, and persons of that descrip-
tion, were received ; and there were five other palaces for the remain-
jng five planets. In each of these buildings he gave public audience,
according to the planet of the day. The furniture and paintings of
each, as also the dresses of the household attendants, bore some symbol
emblematical of the planet. In each of these palaces he transacted
.business one day in the week.*'


ornaments of gold from the tdbsdr^ the circumference of
which was embossed with similar stones : under this win-
dow, the several ranks of the military were drawn out in
due gradation, until the last line took post in the kashudzdr
or ample area, in which were posted soldiers of the lowest
order. When the king issued forth, like the sun, from the
orient of the tdbsdr, all the people prostrated themselves in
adoration, and the monarch devoted himself to the concerns
of mankind. The Tdbsdr is a place of observation in a
lofty pavilion, which the princes of Hindustan call a.Jahrokah
or lattice window : on the other days, the king appeared
with similar brilliancy from the other tdbsdrs. In like
manner the king on their great festivals went in choice
garments to the temples of the several images : and on his
return seated himself in the tdbsdr, facing the image of the
planet, or, having gone to the Rozistdn or Dddistdn, de-
voted himself to the affairs of state. This R6zistdn was a
place which had no tdbsdr, where the king seated himself
on the throne, his ministers standing around in due grada-
tion. The Dddistdn was the hall of justice, where, when
the king was seated, no one was prevented from having
access to him : so that the king first came to the tdbsdr ,
then to the rozistdn, and lastly to the Dadistan, Also on
whatever day a planet moved out of one celestial house to
another, and on all great festival days, the king went to the
temple appropriate to the occasion. Each of the planetary
forms had also its peculiar tdbsdr, in the same manner as
we have before stated concerning the royal Tdbsdr; and on
a happy day, or festival, they brought the image to its
Tdbsdr. The king went first and offered up prayer, stand-
ing in the tdbsdr of the image, the nobles placed around
according to their gradations, whilst the people were as-
sembled in great multitudes in the Kashiidzdr , offering up
prayers to the planet.

According to what is stated in the Timsdr Dasdtir, that
is, in the ^* Venerable Desfitir,'^ the Almighty Creator has
so formed the celestial bodies, that from their motions there
result certain effects in this lower world, and, without doubt,
all events here depend on the movements of these elevated
bodies ; so that every star has relation to some event, and


every' mansion possesses its peculiar nature: nay, every de-
gree of each sign is endued with a distinct influence : there-
fore the prophets of the Lord, in conformity to his orders
and by great experience, have ascertained the properties in-
herent in the degrees of each celestial mansion, and the
influences of the stars. It is certain that whenever the
agent does not agree with the passive, the result of the af-
fair will not be fortunate ; consequently, when the prophets
and sages desired that the agency of the planet should be
manifested advantageously in the world, they carefully
noted the moment of the star's entering the degree most
suitable to the desired event: and also to have at a distance
from that point, whatever stars were unfavorable to the
issue. When all had been thus arranged, ^vhatever was
connected with the productive cause was then completed:
they then bring together whatever is connected with caus-
ation in the lower world : thus all the viands, perfumes,
colors, forms, and all things relating to the star, being as-
sociated, they enter on the undertaking with firm faith and
sure reliance: and whereas the spirits possess complete in-
fluence over the events which occur in the lower world,
when therefore the celestial, terrestrial, corporeal, and spirit-
ual causes are all united, the business is then accomplished.
But whosoever desires to be master of these powers must
be well skilled in metaphysics; in the secrets of nature;
and having his mind well stored with the knowledge of
the planetary influences, and rendered intelligent by much
experience. As the union of such qualifications is rarely
or never found, the truth of this science is consequently
hidden from men. The Abadidn moreover say, that the
prophets of the early faith, or the kings of Farsistdn and
the Tezddnidn^ held the stars to be the Kiblah of prayer,
and always paid them adoration, especially when a star was
in its own house or in its ascendant, free from evil as-
pects; they then collected whatever bore relation to that
planet, and engaged in worship, seating themselves in
a suitable place, and suffering no one to come near
tliem: they practiced austerities; and on the completion
of their undertaking, exhibited kindness to the animal


In the year 1061 of the Hegira (A. D. 1651) the author,
then in Sikakul of Kalang, was attacked by a disease which
no application could alleviate. An astrologer pronounced
that *^ the cause of this malady arises from the overpower-
ing force of the regent Mars '* ; on which, several distin-
guished Brahmins assembled on the fourth of Zikddah (the
9th of October) the same year, and having set out the
image of Bahrain and collected the suitable perfumes, with
all other things fit for the operation, employed themselves
in reading prayers and reciting names ; at last, their chief,
taking up with great reverence the image of Mars, thus
entreated: ^^ O illustrious angel and celestial leader! moderate
thy heat, and be not wrathful : but be merciful to such a
one ^* (pointing to me). He then plunged the image into
perfumed water ; immediately on the immersion of the
image, the pain was removed.

In front of each temple was a large fire-temple, so that
there were seven in all : namely, the Kaiwan-dzar, Hor-
muz-dzar, JBahrdm-dzar, Hdr-dzar, Nah'id-dzar ^ Tir-dzar,
and Aldh-dzar, so that each fire-temple was dedicated
to one of the seven planets, and in these they burnt
the proper perfumes. They assert that, during the flourish-
ing empire of the early monarchs, several sacred structures,
such as those of the Kabah and the holy temple of Mecca ;
Jerusalem ; the burial place of Muhammed ; the asylum of
prophecy, in Medina; the place of repose of Ali, the prince
of the faithful in Najf; the sepulchre of Imam Husain in
Kerbela ; the tomb of Imam Musa in Baghdad ; the mauso-
leum of Imam Reza in SanS,bad of Tus ; and the sanctuary
of Ali in Balkh, were all in former times idol and fire-
temples. They say that Mahabad after having built a fire-
temple, called Hafts^r or seven ramparts, in Istakhar of
Persia, erected a house to which he gave the name of Abdd,
and which is at present called the Kdbah : and which the
inhabitants of that country were commanded to hold in
reverence : among the images of the Kdbah was one of the
moon, exceedingly beautiful, wherefore the temple was
called Mdhgdh (Moon's place) which the Arabs generally
changed into Mekka. They also say that among the
images and statues left in the Kabah by Mahabad and his


renowned successors, one is the black stone, the emblem of
Saturn. They also say that the prophet of Arabia wor-
shiped the seven planets, and he therefore left undisturbed
the black stone or Saturn's emblem, v/hich had remained
since the time of the Abadian dynasty; but that he broke
or carried away the other figures introduced by the Koreish,
and which were not formed according to the images of the
stars. In most of the ancient temples of Persia they had
formed the symbol of Venus in the figure of a Mihrab, or
arch, like the altar of the mosques ; consequently the pres-
ent Mihrab, or altar, is that identical symbol : which as-
sertion is also proved by the respect paid to Friday or the
day of Venus.

Ibrahim (Abraham), the friend of God, pursued the same
conduct ; that is, he rejected the idols which were not of
the planetary forms : and the reverence paid by him to the
black stone, according to ancient tradition, seems to prove

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