A Manual of Khshnoom

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....

Chapter XI

Elucidation of "Zervanite Writings" in the Light Of Khshnoom Preliminary Remarks

By publishing his book "Zurvan" (though with the erroneous appendage - "A Zoroastrian Dilemma" - to that title) Prof. Zaehner has rendered very useful service from the standpoint of ratifying Khshnoom teaching of AHU as Supreme Deity over Ohrmazd and Ahriman, and in proving as erroneous the philological belief in Dualism as the theological teaching of the Zoroastrian Faith. The book contains reproductions and translations by the learned Professor of what are styled the 'Zervanite Writings', which the author could neither elucidate nor follow. Yet they could be very easily elucidated and explained in the esoteric light of "Khshnoom", the heart-rejoicing occult knowledge of the Zoroastrian Faith (Khshnu, to rejoice, Ysn. 48,12). We have treated this Chapter here because these Zervanite writings relate to the genesis of Ohrmazd and Ahriman, their allegorical 'mother' and 'father', and other antecedents to the creation of the Universe that occurred in the pre-cosmo-genesis world in the past of all dead past, about which philological scholars have been totally in the dark.

It appears that during the long passage of time of some 7000 years between the Revelation of the holy Prophet Zarathushtra and the devastation by Alexander arid others of the literature pertaining to the Zoroastrian religion and ancient history of Iran, the genuine knowledge of the concatenated description of the pre-cosmogenesis world, including the genesis of Ohrmazd and Ahriman and other noumena were forgotten; and what fragmentary teaching went down to the posterity in later ages in the past, was in the form of 'folklore' only. In this folklore the genuine term AHU mentioned above seems to have been forgotten, and its place incorrectly assigned to "Zurvan", Time, though the literal meaning "it IS" of the term. AHU survived (p. 270) in 'Ethical Zervanism'.

Moreover, it appears that at some stage in those dark ages there arose controversy among two Zoroastrian religious parties, one styled Zervanites who believed in the folklore that Ohrmazd and Ahriman were the "twin" sons of 'Zurvan' their 'father', and who were born of the same 'mother', whose name they knew not. On the other hand, the oppositionists, styled Mazdeans, disbelieved the story of Zurvan being the father of Ohrmazd and Ahriman, and believed the latter two as the "Independent and eternal principles" (ibid.).

The above mentioned folklore has been presented by Eznik and others in phraseology of street roughs_all vulgarly mixed and multiplied with gross falsehoods and fabrications with a view to disrepute the Zoroastrian religion and insult the Persians. Prof. Zaehner being stranger to the anteriority of the creation of the Universe, could make no head or tail of those writings as admitted by him (p. 265) nor could he distinguish or link up the few references to the genuine facts relating to the pre-cosmo-genesis world that do exist in them. It may be noted that in dealing with these hostile writings, I have ignored abominable language and falsehoods and fabrications, which are like refuse, save where some truth is hidden in them.

Thus with regard to the manifestation of Ahriman prior to Ohrmazd we have shown in the description of the pre-cosmogenesis world that the lights with deficiency of divine knowledge (Drvans) being in minority compared to those with perfection of divine knowledge (Baodanghs), they i.e. Urvans (from which Ahriman arose) were awakened first by Paourva Fravashi so that they _ Urvans - may have full scope to display their evil propensity unhindered by the Baodanghs. In this way Ahriman was caused to be manifested prior to Ahura Mazda, who manifested himself later from Baodanghs. How this genuine fact of the genesis of Ahriman - first - and Ohrmazd - next - according to the Ahunavar Plan shown above has been wholly misrepresented in a concocted story will be understood from the following extract ("Zurvan" p. 66) :

"Now Zurvan after doubting perceived that there were two sons in the mother's womb, and he made a vow that whichever should come into his presence first should receive the kingdom from him. Ohrmazd who as we have seen was conceived from the wisdom of his father divined his thought, and somewhat guilelessly divulged it to Ahriman. The latter was not slow to take advantage of his newly acquired knowledge, but unfortunately for him Ohrmazd the elder twin lay nearer to the egress of his mother's womb. Ahriman rising superior to the obstacle, ripped the womb open at the navel, sprang out, and presented his detestable person to his father Zurvan".

In the whole of the above fabricated story, the only fact is that Ahriman was caused to be manifested prior to Ohrmazd, which was all according to the Ahunavar Plan. Moreover as shown in the description of the pre-cosmo-genesis world, it was "Anhuma" who 'doubted' (vide sub-head: "Anhuma entertains doubts in himself.")


Service Rendered by Hostile Writers and Prof. Zaehner

The useful service rendered by the hostile writers of the past is that they furnish evidence that Ohrmazd and Ahriman are not the two 'independent and eternal principles' as imagined in philology since over a century past, but that there is the existence of a higher Potentiality, from which the 'twins' have been caused to be manifested. Side by side with this, the service rendered by the author of "Zurvan" lies in the fact that in his attempts "to uncover the Zervanite idea from beneath the Mazdean overlay" (ibid.), he has unwittingly uncovered the clue to the term AHU from his translation of  "Ethical Zervanism" (p. 270), where he says as under:

"Ethical Zervanism starts squarely from the unity of the godhead of which nothing positive can be stated except that 'it IS'. God, the One, is a pure potentiality."

This Revelation explodes the pet heretical belief in 'Dualism' as the foundation of the theological teaching of the Zoroastrian religion harboured by the philological school since over a century past, as well as its closely associated offspring - the imaginary "Dilemma", with which Zarathushtra has all along been ignorantly and erroneously believed to have been faced, which "Dilemma" is also philological. In this way both the Zervanite writings of the past, and the book of "Zurvan" of the present have proved a blessing in disguise, because through the esoteric teachings of Khshnoom, we are now in a position to rectify such errors, and establish that AHU (lit, 'it IS') is the Supreme Deity over the twins Ohrmazd and Ahriman, and moreover, acquaint the philological school with the two most fundamental branches of knowledge of the Zoroastrian religious philosophy and teaching, absolutely necessary for the genuine interpretation of Avesta and Pahlavi writings. It will thus be understood that the true line of studying the Zaroastrian religion is through the conjoint study of philology and Khshnoom. We shall now take a brief review of the book of "Zurvan", and give elucidation of the Zervanite Writings, not understood by Prof. Zaehner.


"Zurvan", a Zaehnerian Dilemma, not 'zoroastrian'

The full title of the above book is "Zurvan A Zoroastrian Dilemma" which is a misnomer, since the author himself admits in the beginning of the last "Retrospect" chapter (p. 265) that:

"It would be premature to speak of a Zervanite 'system'; for our evidence was so fragmentary that we could not even say whether such a system ever existed?"

Thus it is Prof. Zaehner's own dilemma, and not of Zoroaster, for the holy Prophet was never in a 'dilemma since he was a Saviour who drew his divine knowledge direct from Mazda, the Omniscient-'Mazdo frasasta-(Ysn. 1,10).


Certain Points of Genuine Knowledge in Zerv Anite Writings

At the outset it may be stated that certain Armenian, Syriac and other hostile writers have attacked the Zoroastrian religion in the past in most offensive language. Yet when viewed in the light of "Khshnoom", it can be found that in spite of their loathe-some falsehoods and basest fabrications, there exist some points of true ancient Zoroastrian philosophical knowledge relating to the antecedents of the creation of the Universe, that is, of the precosmo- genesis world, about which the modern scholars are entirely in the dark. Thus there are references in those hostile writings relating to that pre-cosmo-genesis world, where the genesis of Ohrmazd and Ahriman took place, and to which world also belonged their allegorical 'mother' technically called Paourva Fravashi, referred to as Ashaunam Fravashi (Yt. 13) for reason explained in the last Chapter, besides other particulars. The precosmo- genesis or the 'first world' is called in Avesta "Anghu Paourva" - (Angheush paouruyehya; Ysn. 48,6 etc.).

The Armenian and other writers having turned hostile have filled up gaps in true knowledge, wantonly or ignorantly, with utter nonsense, with a view to throw the Zoroastrian religion into disrepute and derision, and thereby offend the Zoroastrians. It must also be stated that what real knowledge exists in those writings has been drawn from folklore. Hence in their case it is understandable that they being mimical wrote in foul language. But it is much to be regretted that Prof. Zaehner should have made capital of their perverse writings.

However, if we 'discard the brambles' in Zervanite writings, we can find through them traces of genuine ancient commentary knowledge taught in Khshnoom, which explode the speculative belief of the Western scholars since over a century past in the socalled "Dualism" as the basis in the theology of the Zoroastrian religion


Zervanite 'it is' same as Khshnoomic Ahu (Also Meaning 'it is'), Impersonal Deity

According to Avesta, as taught in Khshnoom, AHU (literally meaning 'it IS', only in the Yatha AHU Vairyo prayer) is unnameable, Anamanthvao. un-thinkable Absolute One in oneness, who is the shoreless and motionless ocean of Noor, pristine Lustre, and referred to as the Light of lights, the designer divine of the Universe, and the Supreme Deity over Ohrmazd and Ahriman. Thus AHU in the Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayer represents the One without a second. In this prayer the prophet does not say 'As (is) the Will of Zurvan'; or of 'Ahura Mazda', but 'As (is) the Will of AHU'. Consequently Ohrmazd and Ahriman are not the 'twin' sons (?) of Zurvan, but of AHU. On p. 270 the author states:

"Ethical Zervanism starts squarely from the unity of the godhead of which nothing positive can be stated except that 'it IS'. God, the One, is a pure potentiality."

Thus it will be understood that the so-called Zervanist 'it IS' is only the rendering of Avesta AHU. Consequently, the argument of Zoroastrianism being "uncompromisingly dualist" (intro. pp. iii-iv) and "postulating two principles" (ibid.) holds no water. In his innocence of the presence of the term AHU in Avesta for the Supreme Deity, the author regards the above quoted Zervanite idea as a 'major heresy' (Intra. p. v), because it does away with 'that essential dualism which is the hub of the Zoroastrian position" (ibid)? Thus Prof. Zaehner calls orthos-doxa, right-opinion, 'a heresy'.

It may be noted that in the Zervanite writings "Zurvan" takes the place of AHU in Avesta. So we read (p. 231):

"In the Zoroastrian books Zurvan.................... appears either as infinite or finite.............. As the Infinite the essence of Zurvan is pure Being: he is that which has no origin, yet is the origin of all things……..He is 'abun bun bunomand', without origin, yet himself the origin of all, and the source of all secondary causes ... He is the Absolute"

Zurvan, it may be stated, originally means 'motion' of vibrations - the motion of AHU's consciousness caused in issuing his WILL-Primum mobile, eternal first motion, and the idea of Time arising from it. Zurvan is the boundless fiery motion, Zrvana Akarana, with which his Will divine was promulgated. Thus Zurvan though closest to AHU, yet is not the 'father of Ohrmazd and Ahriman'. This AHU issues his Will or edict called Ahuna-var (Ysn. 19).

After issuing and promulgating His Will Ahunavar, AHU alienates himself by the creation of 'Niru' (Nerok) literally power (Pazand Afrin), which is a screen of light impregnable from Ahunavar side. It is of such a nature that while AHU does not incorporate himself in the Universe, He is not incognizant of the activities in the Universe. In this way AHU alienates himself and takes no part in the affairs of the Universe. Hence the words 'this evasive deity is at once the god of light and of darkness’ evidently refers to AHU (p. 56). In the first of his 'Ratanbai Katrak Lectures'' (p. 10) Prof. Henning quotes Nyberg where Ahura Mazda (AHU) is mentioned as 'Deus otiosus' (God serving no practical purpose)... "the shadowy gods of the Gnostic system, who are known as "the nameless god" or the "stranger". Thus we see that though in their folklore they haven't the Avestan terms, yet the interpretation is correct.

The whole colossal Plan of AHU for the creation of the Universe and the perfect and imperfect lights which were all in dormancy were in Ahunavar. So he is referred to as 'the seed of seeds' ('Zurvan' _ pp. 107 & 215). Hence it will be understood that Ahunavar and Yatha Ahu Vairyo are not the same. The former is AHU's Will, the latter a prayer formulated by the Prophet based on the same vibrations of Ahunavar, which is said to be 81 times more powerful than Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayer, as stated in the description above.

Prof. Zaehner being unaware of the description of the precosmo- genesis world says

"The name of the mother is of obvious importance, if we could find a satisfactory explanation"

(p. 64).

We have seen above that this allegorical mother is Paourva Fravashi. On p. 60 the author states "Eznik and Yohannan……..speak of 'pondering' or 'reflecting', while Theodore. . . says more explicitly that he 'doubted'. We have seen in the description that Paourva Fravashi meditated (that is, pondered or reflected) on the dormant lights in Ahunavar. With regard to 'doubting' it has been shown there that it was Anhuma that doubted. As also stated there Anhuma and Ohrmazd have a common spelling in Pahlavi. So instead of Anhuma they seem to have read Ohrmazd.

Thus it will be seen that Prof. Zaehner with all his wide knowledge of philological scholarship and his great learning of 'Eastern Religions and Ethics' could not understand who is the mother of Ohrmazd and Ahriman, who pondered or reflected and who doubted and why, and why "Ahriman's birth precedes that of Ohrmazd" (p. 270), yet all these points, as well as the one of "Deus otiosus" referred to by Nyberg quoted by Prof. Henning mentioned before, could all be made out clearly from the Zoroastrian heartrejoicing commentary knowledge of Khshnoom, and though (on p. 65) the author says "the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit into a pattern", yet the picture of that Pattern never saw the light.

The author with his usual predilection for disparaging the Zoroastrian religion closes his 'Retrospect" chapter in a "gloom" (p. 270) for he possesses no genuine knowledge of the Zoroastrian religion as well as of "Zurvan" which represents the seven boundless cycles of Time Zrvana Akarana - that constitute Yavaecha-yavaetat, in which the 3-stage colossal Ahunavar Plan functions throughout the Universe and in the pre-cosmo-genesis world from the eternity of dead past to the Infinity of Ghaiban, futurity lost in dim future, and knows not the true significance of "Rosh an Rooz", the Glorious Day, which is not 'gloom' that exists only in his knowledge, and not in the Zoroastrian religion.

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