The Zoroastrian Occult Knowledge
by Phiroz Nasarvanji Tavaria | 1971 | 160,667 words
An introduction to the mysteries of Khshnoom, an ancient occult movement. Khshnoom stands for 'Divine' or 'Spiritual' knowledge and originated from Zarathushtra. This book contains knowledge not to be found in Zoroastrian religious works. The second part contains documentaion of the life of Prophet Zarathushtra....
Several paragraphs in Farvardin Yasht refer to the Great Chaos in the pre-cosmo-genesis world, and to the Cosmos established thereafter by Ashaunam Fravashis by their blessings.
These paragraphs are 12-14 and 53-58. In (ibid.) 57-58 it is stated:
(57) "We worship the good, strong, beneficent Fravashis of the faithful, who showed their paths to the stars, the moon, the sun and the endless lights, that had stood before for a long time in the same place, without moving forwards, through the oppression of the Daevas, and the assaults of the Daevas."
(58) "And now they move around in their far-revolving circle for ever, till they come to the time of the good restoration of the world."
(S.B.E. Vol. XXIII).
Here the Ahunavar Plan for the creation of the Universe is depicted as having been rendered standstill in the Gatva, the place or region away from the centre of light, where Urvans, lights with deficiency of divine knowledge had fled, owing to the predominance of the Drvao (Evil) clung to them, which (Drvao) has the propensity of running away from the centre of light. Since these Urvans at that stage knew only opposition, there was no attraction or peace among them, but ceaseless and terrific feuds raged in the Gatva. Hence those Urvans are referred to as 'Daevanam', demons. Owing to such ceaseless dissensions the progress of the Ahunavar Plan could not proceed further in its operation.
In the above paragraph (57) 'Daevanam-tbaeshanghat' oppression of the Daevas, and 'Daevanam-draomohu', assaults of the Daevas point to the Chaos. Due to this Chaos, the stars, the moon, the sun and the endless lights were rendered motionless resulting in their being in darkness. But when Ashaunam
Fravashis showered their Manthra-Spenta benedictions on the Drvans, and simultaneously awakened the Baodanghs, lights with perfect divine knowledge as stated already, the tendency of opposition turned into one of attraction, the standstill condition changed into that of motion, and those luminaries started their endless revolutions till Frasho-kereti, Renovation of the souls will finally be achieved as stated in para 58; in other words, till Drvao, wickedness of the souls will be completely transmuted into Gao, blissfulness (as of the kine). Thus the blessings of Ashaunam Fravashis resulted in the Cosmos.
We have seen in the main body of the description of the precosmo- genesis world that the intense depravity of the demons caused the stars and other heavenly bodies to remain in darkness, owing to which Anhuma raised his plaint to his 'mother' Paourva Fravashi, whose Manthra Spenta benedictions turned the Chaos into Cosmos, as we find today.
In the hostile Armenian and Syriac writings in the past ages, Eznik, the chief of those hostile writers, presents the above fact in the following basest language with a view to create derision against the Zoroastrian Faith and offend the Persians:
"When (Ahriman) saw. . . . that Ohrmazd had created beautiful creatures, yet knew not how to create light, he took counsel with the demons; and said -
'What benefit hath Ohrmazd for he has created such beautiful creatures, yet they remain in darkness, and he knew not how to create the light? But if he were wise, he would go in unto his mother, and the Sun would be born as his son, and he would have intercourse with his sister, and the Moon would be born.'
And he charged (them) that not one (of them) should betray his thought. A Demon, Mahmi, having heard this, came before Ohrmazd with all speed and betrayed that thought to him."
In connection with the above quotation from Eznik, Prof. Zaehner observes ("Zurvan" p. 147):
"The fullest account of the creation of the luminaries according to the Mazdeans is to be found in the second chapter of Bundahishn. It is simple and straightforward, and knows nothing of the dubious complexities retailed by' Eznik."
The learned Professor in his innocence does not know that Eznik's reference to luminaries being "in darkness" relates to the period of Chaos caused by the demons (Yt. 13,57) discussed above, while the "second chapter of the Bundahishn" relates to that of Cosmos. Moreover, in Eznik's quotation 'Anhuma' is misread as 'Ohrmazd' since both terms have the common spelling in Pahlavi. We have shown in the description of the pre-cosmogenesis world that Anhuma wanted to carry his plaint to his mother Paourva Fravashi, but not finding her near by, he 'doubted' as stated in the penultimate paragraph of Dr. Chiniwalla's quotation under the head "Anhuma entertains doubts in himself" (Chapter IX) in that description.
So Eznik says
"if he were wise, he would go…. unto his mother"
which though depicts his perversity, yet correctly refers to the period of Chaos that preceded the Cosmos, which Prof. Zaehner could not understand in the absence in him of the knowledge of Khshnoom. Similarly he (Zaehner) does not understand who "doubted", and why (p. 60; ibid.).
'Afratat Kushl', Unmanifest Logos (Yt. 13,53).
"We worship the good, strong, beneficent Fravashis of the faithful, who show beautiful paths to the waters made by Mazda, which had stood before for a long time in the same place without flowing."
(S.B.E. Vol. XXIII).
Here 'Afratat kushi' translated as 'had stood... in the same place without flowing' refers to the 'unmanifest logos'. Afratat kushi literally means 'did not move out of kushi'. Kushi means pit or spring. According to the former meaning Vacha or the Logos, the Word-divine and the Plan embodied in the same had, as it were, fallen in a pit, from which it could not proceed or progress till Fravashi showered her blessings. If Kushi means spring, it applies to Khao Afrazyamna, literally, the spring or the Fountain Source of Eternal Freshness expounded in the beginning of the description of pre-cosmo-genesis world. It can then mean that the Plan for bringing the Universe into being was arrested in that 'Khao' (spring) till 'Ashaunam Fravashi' came to its rescue.
With regard to 'Apam Mazdadatanam' literally rendered in philology as 'waters made by Mazda', it may be explained that 'waters' represent 'Urvans', lights with deficiency of divine knowledge destined to be exiled and trailed down to 'Nisti', i.e. the vast evanescent world (or the Space), in varying ethereal vestures or to the earth in physical garb for their emancipation. 'Mazdadata' is a technical term meaning the immutable fundamental deified law of Infoldment of Spirit (soul) into Matter, according to which human beings and other creatures take birth in this material world.
The inconceivable height of the 8th heaven of the zodiac, which is the sidereal Home of all the souls is allegorically regarded as the top of a high mountain (Mt. Alborz) wherefrom Urvans trail down like waters gliding down to the earth. (In 'Mazda-data' as in 'Ahura-data', 'data' does not mean 'made by', but 'law', Ahura-data being the deified law of Unfoldment of Spirit (soul) from Matter, when the soul becomes Evil-free).
'Beautiful paths' - 'Srirao patho' -- are the illumined paths of five main religions of the world for the emancipation of Urvans, souls, each religion and its respective Law-giver being under the influence of one of the five planets, viz. Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury and Saturn, the remaining two, Sun and Moon being the transitional stages after death from one religion to the other.
Thus the paragraph means that Ashaunam Fravashis (a compound technical term) removed the impediment of the Chaos by her blessings, and opened up the way for the progress of the law of Mazdadata, according to which Urvans, souls, are led to the evanescent world (the Space) or the material world for their emancipation through different paths of Faiths, and through repetitions of death and birth till Frasho-kereti, i.e., Renovation is attained, according to the wish of Ahura Mazda and Ameshaspends.
Prof. Zaehner's Misconception of 'ashaunam Fravash' etc.
We now come to (Yt. 13) paragraphs 12-13, which are translated by Prof. Zaehner as under in "Dawn. . . " (p. 147):
'Had the strong Fravashis of the followers of Truth not granted me their aid, then would I here possess neither cattle nor men which are the best of (all animal) species, but the power would belong to the Lie, the Kingdom to the Lie, Yea the (whole) material world would belong to the Lie. Between Heaven and earth would he who is the Liar of the two Spirits have installed himself; between the heaven and the earth would he who is the Liar of the two spirits have been victorious; nor would the victor, the Destructive Spirit, ever again have yielded to the vanquished, the Holy Spirit'.
0) In all the paragraphs of the Farvardin Yasht where the name of 'Ashaunam Fravashi' is extolled, and their great function of effecting Cosmos out of Chaos is shown, the technical significance of the prefix 'Ashaunam' is not understood by scholars. Consequently, the same is rendered merely etymologically with the result that the real lofty significance of the term is entirely lost. Prof.Zaehner mistakes 'Ashaunam Fravashi' to be Fravashi of human beings (Ysn. 55,1) and renders Fravashi as 'external human soul', which is quite incorrect.
'Ashaunam Fravashi' is a compound technical term really representing the Paourva Fravashi, which is located in the heart or centre of Ahura Mazda himself, and the joint Fravashis of the seven Ameshaspends, besides of Mino, Dae, Farrokh and Yazads who are all perfected, that is, Drvao-free souls and are attuned with Ahura Mazda. These combined Fravashis represent divine Wisdom, and are referred to as 'Ashaunam Fravashi, in Farvardin Yasht.
It is these supreme grade Fravashis, and not the 'external human souls', that are stated to have given help to Ahura Mazda. It is not known to the author of "Dawn..." that the 'aid' in question was given in the shape of Manthra Spenta benedictions that turned the Chaos into Cosmos in the pre-cosmo-genesis world; while human beings who are erratic and sinful were exiled and trailed down to the mortal worlds comparatively much later, and besides they receive spiritual nourishment from 'Ashaunam Fravashis' through their respective Farohars and hence they can never be expected to grant 'aid' to Ahura Mazda.
Prof. Zaehner's Ignorant Criticism
After the above confusion in his interpretation, the author (of "Dawn...") ignorantly criticizes the above scriptural passage as under:
'God, then, in order to vanquish the power of his eternal enemy, must rely on the help of that dynamo of unseen power which is the totality of the external human souls, both of the living and the dead and of those yet to be born. This much, indeed, is consonant with the Prophet's teaching, namely, that man has a vital part to play in the annihilation of the Lie; but never did it seriously occur to the Prophet Zoroaster, that, but for man's contribution, the whole of the material Universe between heaven and earth might collapse in ruin before the onrush of the powers of Evi1.'
(2) 'Eternal enemy' i.e. Druj or Ahriman is not eternal as can be seen from BD. 1;2, where it is stated:
"the creation of Ahriman will terminate when (totality of souls) will attain Tane-pasin, final body, That also is of Boundles's time."
According to Khshnoom, Yavaecha-yavaetat, eternity, consists of seven Zarvana Akarana, Boundless Time. In the first three, the Creation was effected by Ohrmazd. We are at present living in the fourth Zarvana Akarana, in which there is mixed sway of both Ohrmazd and Ahriman (ibid. 7). In the next, that is, 5th Zarvana Akarana :
- the erstwhile incessant internal conflict '-yaokhedra, (Ysn. 12,9) within the body between the Good and Evil sides, which are the Ranoibya (Ysn. 51,9), the two Contestants, will gradually cease in the totality of souls for ever;
- they will become saintly, i.e., evil-free;
- they will gain mastery over the five senses to which worldly souls in the present 4th Zarvana Akarana (Boundless Time) are more or less slaves;
- they will be delivered after death of their physical bodies - 'snath' (Ysn. 12,9) (the instrument or tool of the soul);
- defective souls will get exalted, and get Tane-Pasin (Bd. 1,2) meaning final body, which is of a fiery type;
- they will get elevated to the level of their respective - Baodanghs (Ysn. 55,1), which are their (Urvans') higher grade immortal counterparts perfect in divine knowledge andWisdom.
The above-exalted states refer to the masculine and feminine saintly souls singly on the earth. Ages and ages after death on reaching the top of the Space the masculine counterpart saintly soul will give itself up (-datha; ibid.) to its 'own relative' feminine counterpart saintly soul (Khaetu; ibid.) and vice versa, which postsalvation noumenon is called 'Khaetva-datha'. Hence the Zoroastrian Faith is styled Fraspa-yaokhedram, i.e., the terminator of internal conflict, Nida-snaithishem, meaning deliverer from the physical body which is the instrument ('snath') of the soul, and Khaetva-datham, blending of counterpart souls, which are each other's own (spiritual) relatives, horribly misconstrued and misinterpreted in philology by most of the scholars.
(3) It will be understood that deliverance from Snath, the physical body, is not effected by 'annihilation of the Lie', i.e. of Druj or Ahriman as imagined by Prof. Zaehner, but by the complete gradual transmutation of Druj, Evil, into Good (Gao), which when effected, sanctifies the soul and frees it from rebirth. Now that soul is exalted. If it takes birth, it is as an Ashavan, holy person, to help other human beings in spiritual advancement.
(4) Regarding the misinterpretation of Fravashi as 'external human souls', it may be stated that in Avesta (Ysn. 55,.1), nine constituents of a human being are mentioned, of which the last three, Urvan, Baodangh and Fravashi are immortal. Urvan, soul, is originally a light with deficiency of divine knowledge; Baodangh is the soul's counterpart with perfect divine knowledge, and Fravashi, (in the sense of Farohar) furnishes the share of light of spiritual nourishment from Paourva Fravashi accompanying every Urvan, proportionate to the degree of Goodness of the Urvan. Paourva Fravashi may be likened to the Sun and Farohars to its countless rays;
Thus the Farohars of human beings are infinitesimal in power compared to Ashaunam Fravashi, and they cannot aid Ahura Mazda. Urvan is imprisoned within the person's physical body, while the Baodangh and Farohar which are pure and which are subtle like the soul, remain outside, yet within the Aipi of the body, i.e., within the arm's length of the person's physical body. Perhaps; this may be what Prof. Zaehner means in defining Fravashis as 'external human souls' in the above criticism (p. 147). But it must be remembered that soul, Urvan, whether masculine or feminine, is only one residing in each human body called Tanu (Ysn. 55,1) (from Tan, to draw) drawn from the soul itself.
The 'onrush of the powers of evil' stated by the author is bound down by the respective Zarvana Akarana (Boundless Time) and all noumena and phenomena manifest themselves according to (Ahunavar) Plan. Thus the idea of Prof. Zaehner that:
"never did it seriously occur to the Prophet Zoroaster that, but for man's contribution the material universe……might collapse. . . ."
is simply imaginary and meaningless arising out of gross ignorance of genuine knowledge of the Zoroastrian religion.