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that point. Isfcndiar, the son of King Gushtasp* con-
formed also to this practice ; nay Socrates the Sage, in
like manner, forbad the people to worship any other forms
except those of the planets, and commanded the statues of
the kings to be removed. Moreover, the holy temple of
Jerusalem, or Kund\zh-hiihkt was erected by Zohak, and
Faridun kindled in it the holy fire. But long before Zo-
hak' s time, there were several idol and fire-temples in that-
place. In the same manner, they say, that when Faridoon
turned his attention to the overthrow of Zohak, during his
journey his brethren having hurled a rock at him, this re-
vered prince, who was skilled and mighty in all the extra-
ordinary sciences, manifested a wonderous deed : he prayed
to the Almighty that it might remain suspended in the
air, so that the stone even to this day is known as Kilds
Khal'tl. They also say that in Medifia, the burial place of

*Accordinp to Ferdusi in his Shah-namah, Gushtasp (Darius, son
of Hystaspes, 519 B. C.) was induced by Zerdusht to adopt a reformed
doctrine which prescribed the adoration of fire, and was probably a
purer sort of Sabaeism, as practiced by the most enlightened magi of
very ancient times. Isfendiar, Gushtasp's son, a zealous promoter of
this religion, erected fire-temples in all parts of his empire.



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 31

the prophet, there was formerly an image of the moon:
the temple in which it wiis, they called Mahd'ma/i, or the
"Moon of Religion,'* as religion is the moon of truth, from
which the Arabs formed Medijiah. They in like manner
relate, that in the most noble Najf^ where now is the
shrine of Ali, the prince of the faithful, there was formerly
a fire-temple called Farogh pirdl (the decoration of splen-
dor), and also Nakaf, or iVo/" akaft (no injury), which
is at present denominated Najf. Also at Karbald, the
place where the Imam Husain reposes, there was formerly
a fire-temple called jMahydfstir Um and Kar bala (sublime
agency), at present called Karbela.

Also in Baghdad, where the Imam Musa reposes, was a
fire-temple called Shet Pirdyi (decoration) : and in the
place where rest the remains of the great Imam Abu Hani-
fah, of Kufah, was a temple called Uuryar (sun's friend) :
also in Kufah, on the site of the mosque, was a fire-temple
called Roz-Azar (the day of Fire) : and in the region of
Tus, on the site of Imam Resa's shrine, was a fire-temple
called Azar Khirad (the fire of intellect) — it was also
known by many other appellations, and owes its erection
to Faridtjn. Also when Tiis^ the son of JVdzar, came to
visit Azar-i-Khirad, he laid near it the foundation of a
city which was called after his name. In Balkh, where is
now the sanctuary of the Imam, formerly stood a temple
called Mahin Azar (great fire), now known under the
name of Ndbahdr. In Ardebil, the ancient Dizh-i-Bah-
man (Rahman's fort), Kai Khosrll, on reducing the citadel,
constructed there a fire-temple called Azari-Kdus, which
now serves as the burial place of the shaikh Sufi Ud-Din,
the ancestor of the Safavean princes : they also assert that
there were fire-temples in several parts of India: as in
Dwaraka, was the temple of Saturn, called Dizh-i-Kaiva7i
(Saturn's fort), which the Hindoos turned into Divaraka :
and in Gya also was an idol-temple, called Gah-i-Kaivan,
or " Saturn's residence,** which was turned into Gya. In
Mahtra also was an idol-temple of Saturn, the name of
which was Mahetar^ that is the chiefs or mahetar resorted
thither ; which word by degrees became Mahtra. In like
manner several places among the Christians and other



32 THE DABISTAN

nations bore names which show them to have been idol-
temples. When the Abadian come to such places, they
visit them with the accustomed reverence, as, according to
them, holy places are never liable to abomination or pollu-
tion, as they still remain places of worship and adoration :
both friends and foes regarding them as a Kiblah, and
sinners, notwithstanding all their perverseness, pray in those
sacred edifices. Rai G6pi Nath thus expresses himself : —

« O Shaikh ! behold the dignity of my idol-house ;

Even when destroyed, it remains the house of God ! »

There is not on record a single word repugnant to reason
from the time of Mahabad to that of Yasan Ajam ; and
if they have recourse to allegory, they then express its fig-
urative nature. From these princes to the Gilshaiyan there
are many figurative expressions, all of which they interpret.
For example, they say that the tradition of Siamak being
slain by the hand of a demon implies, that in successive
battles, through ignorance of himself and God, he unwit-
tingly destroyed this elementary body ; thus, wherever, in
the language of this sect, mention is made of a demon,
they always understand a man of that description, as has
been explained in the Paifna?i-i-ferhang, or "Excellent
Code." They also maintain that, in some passages, the
rendering the demons obedient, and slaying them, is a fig-
urative mode of expressing a victory gained over the
pleasures of sense, and the extirpation of evil propensities :
in like manner, whatever is related about the appearance of
angels to virtuous and holy persons, is the revelation and
vision of good spirits, while in a state of sleep, transport,
recovery from excess, or abstraction from the body ; which
states are truly explained in this work. They say that
Zohak's two serpents, do-mar, and ten fires (vices) or deh
ak, imply irascibility and sensuality: the devil, his carnal
soul, and in some places his disposition — the two pieces of
flesh which Vjroke out on Zohak's shoulders in consequence
of his evil deeds, appeared to the human race like serpents,
the pain caused by which could only be alleviated by the
application of human brains. They also say that the cele-
brated Sim'irgh (Griffin) was a sage, who had retired from



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 33

the world and taken up his peaceful abode in the moun-
tains : he was therefore called by this name, and was the
instructor of Dastan, the son of Sdm ; so that Ziil, through
his instruction, attained the knowledge of the occult sciences.
As to the current tradition about Kai-KA.us attempting to
ascend to Heaven, and his downfall, this occurred, accord-
ing to them, during his sleep, and not when he was awake.
Kai Nishin, his brother, who had retired from all inter-
course with mankind, thus interprets the adventure of K4us :
"The four eagles are the four elements; the throne, the
predominating passions ; the lance, their energy and impet-
uosity in the desire of sensual gratifications ; the thighs of
flesh, their various pursuits of anger, passion, lust, and
envy ; their ascent implies that they may be subdued by
religious austerities, and by the aid of their energy be
made the means of ascending to the world on high and
the supreme Heaven ; their fall, instead of reaching Heaven's
eternal mansions, intimates that if, even for a short period,
we become careless about repressing evil propensities, and
desist from the practice of mortification, the passions will
return back to their nature, or w^ander from the eternal
paradise, the natural abode of souls : *^ the hemistich, " during
one moment I ivas heedless, and he was removed from me a
journey of a hundred years,''* is applicable to such a state.
Rustam's bringing back Kai Kaus to his throne from the
forest into which he had fallen, means, his bringing back
intelligence into the king's soul, and turning him back from
the desert (lit. meadow), of natural infirmity : Kai Kaus
therefore, by direction of Kai Nishin, his younger brother,
but his elder in purity of faith and good works, remained
forty days in retirement, until in the state of sleep, through
the awakening of his heart, he beheld this heavenly vision.
They also assert, whatever modern writers have declared,
relative to Khizr and Iskander, having penetrated into
the regions of darkness, where the former discovered the
fountain of life immortal, means, that the Iskander, or
the intellectual soul, through the energy of the Khizr, or
reason, discovered, while in the state of human darkness,
the water of life, or the knowledge of the rational sciences,
or the science which forms the proper object of intellect —
3



34 THE DABISTAN

as to what they say about Iskanders returning back empty
handed, by that is meant, that to expect eternal duration
in this evanescent abode being altogether absurd, he conse-
quently could not attain that object, and therefore departed
to the next world. What they record about Khizr's drink-
ing of that water, means, that the perfection of intellect
exists not through the medium of body, and that reason
has no need of body, or anything corporeal, either as
essence or attribute.

In some passages they interpret the tradition after this
manner; by Khizr is meant the intellectual soul, or rational
faculty, and by Iskander the animal soul, or natural instinct;
the Khizr of the intellectual soul, associated with the Iskan-
der of the animal soul, and the host (of perceptions) arrived
at the fountain-head of understanding, and obtained immor-
tality, while the Iskander of the animal soul returned back
empty handed. It must be remarked, that this sect explain
after this manner, whatever transgresses the rules of prob-
ability, or cannot be weighed in the balance of comprehen-
sion ; in short, all that is contrary to reason. They also say
purification is of two kinds ; the amighi or true, and the
ashkari or apparent : the first consists in not defiling the
heart with anything ; in not attaching it to the concerns
of this treacherous world, emancipating it from all ties and
prejudice, maintaining no connection w^ith any object what-
ever, and w^ashing away all bias from the soul. The Ash-
kari, or apparent, consists in removing to a distance
whatever appears unclean ; consequently this purification is
effected with water which has undergone no change of
color, smell, or taste : that is, which is free from bad color,
smell, or taste ; if otherwise, rose-water and such like are
more to be commended. Ablution requires a kur^ or a
measure of lustral water; that is, according to them, the
measure for a man, is that quantity into which he can
immerge his head ; for an elephant, a quantity proportioned
to his bulk ; and for a gnat, a single drop of water. They
reckon it meritorious to recite the prayers and texts of the
Shat Dasdt'ir, relative to the unity of the self-existent
Creator, the great dignity of intelligence and souls, with the
pains of the superior and inferior bodies ; after which they



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 35

repeat the benedictions of the seven planets, particularly on
their days, and offer up the appropriate incense. The wor-
shiper after this recites the praises of the guardian of the
month, and those of the days of the month; for example,
if it be the month of Parvardin^ the believer repeats ben-
edictions on that angel, and then on each of the regents of
the days of that month: particularly the regent of that day
called by the same name as the month: which day is also
regarded as a festival. For instance, in the month of
Farvardin^ he utters benedictions on the angel Farvardin,
who is one of the cherubim on whom that month is depend-
ent ; if it be the first day of the month, called the day of
Hormuz (the angel who superintends the first day of the
month), the believers address their benedictions to Hormuz;
and act in a similar manner on the other months and their
respective days. According to them, the names of the
months are called after the names of their lords; and the
appellations of the days are according to the names of their
respective regents: consequently, as we have said, the believer
adores the lord of the month, and on festivals pays adoration
to the angel who is the lord of the month and the day.*

*The most ancient year of the Persians (Hyde, pp. 188, 189) appears
to have been vague or erratic, its commencement varying through all
the different seasons, or at least soon gave room to the vague Persian-
Median civil year, to which was joined afterward the fixed ecclesiastic
year of Jemshed. Both these years lasted to the time of Yezdejerd,
who made some considerable changes in the Persian calendar. This
king being killed, after an interval of time, the fixed solar year, be-
ginning in the middle of «pisces,» was introduced into Persia. The
names of the ancient months and days appear to have come from the
Medes, with their denomination, to the Persians; and even those
invented by Yezdejerd were of Median origin. Here follows the
order of months called Jelali.

I. Farvardin March. VH. Miher September.

II. Ardibehist April. VIII. Aban October.

III. Khurdad May. IX. Azar November.

IV. Tir June. X. Dai December.

V. Murdad {Amardad. XI. Bahman January.

Anquetil du Perron) ]n\y. XII. Isfandarmend. February.

VI. Shahrfvar August.

The old Persian month was not divided into weeks, but every day
had its particular name from the angel who presided over that day.



36



THE DABISTAN



According to the Abadian, although in a month, the name
of the month and of the day be the same, this coincidence
makes not that day dependent on the month, but on the
regent who bears the same name with him, consequently it
is necessary to celebrate a festival. In the same manner,
on the other days of every month, salutations are paid every
morning to the regent of the day: also during the Sudbar ^
or the intercalary days, they offer up praises to their
angels. They also regard the angels of the days as the
ministers to the angels of the months, all of whom are
subject to the majesty of the Great Light- — in like manner
the other stars (planets) have also angels dependent on
them: they also believe that the angels dependent on each
star (planet) are beyond all number; and finally, that the
angelic host belonging to the solar majesty are reckoned
the highest order. Besides, on the period at which any
of the seven planets passes from one zodiacal mansion to
another, they make an entertainment on the first day, which
they regard as a festival, and call it Shadbar, or ^^ replete
with joy.'* Every month also, on the completion of the
lunar revolution, on ascertaining its reappearance from astro-
nomical calculation, they make great rejoicings on the first
day : there is in like manner a great festival when any star
has completed its revolution, which day they call Dddram^
or "banquet decking.*' Thus, although there is a festival
every day of the week in some idol-temple or other, as has
been before stated, relative to the day of Nahid^ or Friday,
in the temple of this idol : yet on the day of the Sun, or

Here follows the order of their names, according to Olugh Beigh
(Hyde, p. 190): —



I. Horniuzd.

II. Bahman.

III. Ardfbehist.

IV. Shahrfvar.

V. Isfanddrmend.

VI. Khurddd.

VII. Murdad.

VIII. Ddfbider.

IX. Azur.

X. Abin.



XI. Khur.

XII. Mah.

XIII. Tfr.

XIV. Jush or Giish.

XV. Dafbamiher.

XVI. Miher.

XVII. Surush.

XVIII. Resh.

XIX. Farvardin.

XX. Bahrim.



XXI. Ram.

XXII. Bad.

XXIII. Dafbadfn.

XXIV. Din.

XXV. Ird, or Ard.

XXVI. Ashtad.

XXVII. Asaman.

XXVIII. Zamfdd.

XXIX. Marasfand.

XXX. Anfran.



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 37

Takshambah (the first day of the week), there was a sol-
emn festival at which all the people assembled. In like
manner they made a feast whenever a star returned to its
mansion or was in its zenith.



Against Animal Slaughter

They believe it wrong to hold any faith or religious sys-
tem in abhorrence, as according to them, we may draw near
to God in every faith ; also that no faith has been abol-
ished by divine authority — they hold that, on this account,
there have been so many prophets, in order to show the
various ways which lead to God. Those who carefully in-
vestigate w^ell know, that the ways w^hich lead to heaven
are many ; nay, more than come w^ithin the compass of num-
bers. It is well understood, that access to a great sover-
eign is more easily attained through the aid of his numerous
ministers ; although one of the prince's commanders be on bad
terms with his confidential advisers, or even should all the
chiefs not co-operate with each other ; yet they can promote
the interest of their inferiors: therefore it is not proper to
say that we can get to the God of all existence by one road
only. But the insurmountable barrier in the road of ap-
proaching God is the slaughter of the Zindibar, that is,
those animals which inflict no injury on any person, and
slay not other living creatures, such as the cow, the sheep,
the camel, and the horse : there is assuredly no salvation to
the author of cruelty toward such, nor can he obtain final
deliverance by austerities or devotions of any description.
Should we even behold many miraculous works performed
by the slayer of harmless animals, we are not even then
to regard him as one redeemed ; the works witnessed in
him are only the reward of his devotions, and the result of
his perseverance in the practice of religious austerities in
this world : and as he commits evil, he cannot be perfect in
his devout exercises, so that nothing but suffering can await
him in another generation (when born again) : such an in-
stance of an ascetic endued with miraculous powers is
likened in the Shut Disdtir to a vase externally covered



38 THE DABISTAN

with choice perfumes, but filled internally with impurities.
They also maintain that in no system of faith is cruelty to
innoxious animals sanctioned : and all human sanction for
such acts proceeds from their attending to the apparent im-
port of words, without having recourse to profound or
earnest consideration — for example, by putting a horse or
cow to death is meant, the removal or banishing from one's
self animal propensities, and not the slaughtering and de-
vouring of innoxious creatures. They state the later his-
torians to have recorded without due discrimination that
Rustam, the son of Dastan (who was one of the perfect
saints), used to slay such animals: whereas tradition in-
forms us, that the mighty champion pursued in the chase
noxious animals only : what they write about his hunting
the wild ass, implies that the elephant-bodied hero called
the lion a wild ass ; or, ^' that a lion is no more than a wild
ass when compared to my force. ^* In the several passages
where he is recorded to have slaughtered harmless wild
asses and oppressed innoxious creatures, and w^here similar
actions are ascribed to some of the Gilshaiy^n princes, there
is only implied the banishment of animal propensities and
passions: thus the illustrious Shaikh Farideddin atar de-
clares,




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