Who is Airyaman Yazad? (TMY – Jame Jamshed of 16-4-17)

  1. Airyaman Yazad is a very strong and powerful Zoroastrian Yazad. However, he is not so well known among Zoroastrians as no Roj is dedicated to him nor is there any Yasht dedicated to his honour. However Yasna chapter 54 and Vendidad chapter 22 are entirely dedicated to him. Yasna chapter 54 can be separately recited as a stand-alone prayer for invoking Airyaman Yazad.
  2. The meaning of the word Airyaman is “one having a noble mind.” He is always referred to as ishya, that is desirable and loved. In the Havan Geh prayer, Airyaman Yazad is remembered as desirable, strong, victorious, free from malice, who keep away all harm. Praying to him is regarded only next to praying to the 5 Gathas.
  3. The two main functions of Airyaman Yazad are maintaining harmony in relationships, especially marriage, and giving health and immunity and fighting against diseases. Along with Ardibahesht Ameshapsand he is regarded as the chief among healing Yazads. He is said to have a cure for all diseases. He is always invoked in the Marriage benedictions (lagan naa ashirwad) as he is regarded as the Yazad presiding over marriages. He will help the future savior in bringing about Frashokereti, the final renovation.
  4. He is an associate of Ardibahesht Ameshaspand, and is always remembered along with him. In the Ardibahesht Yasht, he is mentioned as a powerful Yazad who needs to be invoked, and who is helpful in overcoming black magic and sorcery.
  5.  The Vedas have a divine being by the name Aryaman whose qualities are similar to Airyaman Yazad. Aryaman belongs to the group of good divine beings called Adityas. He is an associate of Mitra and Varuna. Aryaman too presides over marriage.

What is the importance of the Alburz /Alborz mountain in Zoroastrian history and religion? (TMY – Jame Jamshed of 9-4-16)

  1. The Alburz mountain range is situated in the North-east of modern day Iran, stretching from Azerbaijan to Afghanistan. It is the most prominent range of mountains in West Asia. Its highest peak is Mount Demavand which is located in Amol city in the province of Mazandaran. The word Alborz means “the tall guard.”
  2. Alburz is known as Hara-berez in the Avesta and Harburz in Pahlavi. It is referred in cosmological as well as historical writings. In Zamyad Yasht it is mentioned as the first mountain to appear on the earth. Ahura Mazda created it for Meher Yazad, so that the heavenly bodies could go around it. It is considered so high that poetically it is said that the Ameshaspands oversee the entire material world from there and its peak reaches the stars, moon and the sun. The Alborz was considered the source of the Aredvi Sura Anahita, from the peak of which it, poured down into the sea Vourukasha. The place from where the river Aredvi emerges is referred to as Hukairya.
  3. The Shahnameh describes it as an enormous mountain. It mentions that Faranak left her infant son Faridun on Mt. Alburz in the care of a holy man, where he was trained. At the age of sixteen he came down from there along with Kaveh to defeat the evil Zohak. Saam, the king of Zabulistan, cast away his son Zaal on the Alburz mountain, where Simurgh the saintly man looked after him and brought him up till he was found later and brought back to the city. Later, Zaal sent his son Rustam to Alburz mountains to look for Kae Kobad and bring him to take over the reigns of Iran, thus starting the Kayanian dynasty. King Kae Kaus, the second king, ordered the foot of Mt. Alburz to be excavated and two cellars dug under it to serve as stables for horses and mules.
  4. Kings Hoshang and Jamshed went to the Alburz mountain to worship Yazads like Avan, Gosh and Ram.
  5. Mt. Alburz is also considered to be the dwelling place of Peshotan, brother of king Kae Vishtasp, who was blessed with an immortal body by prophet Zarathushtra.

What are the Persian Revayats/Rivayats? (TMY – Jame Jamshed of 26-3 & 2-4-17)

  1. The Persian Revayats are an important part of Zoroastrian religious texts. In terms of authenticity, they are not considered as authoritative as Avesta and Pahlavi writings, but still they have an importance of their own. The word Revayat literally means “customs, traditions and practices.” They also contain Persian translations of some texts like Bahman Yasht and Jamaspi.
  2. After the Zoroastrians came from Iran to India about 1200 years back, there was a long period of time, when they were not in touch with their brethren in Iran. It was in the early 15th century that they became properly aware of Zoroastrian presence in Iran.
  3. Thereafter, priests in India, when they needed guidance in religious and related matters, they accumulated their questions and sought guidance from the Iranian priests. From the 15th to the 17th centuries, priests from India sent their representatives to Iran, with hundreds of queries on religion, ceremony, scriptures, customs, and practices to the priests of Iran.
  4. Lengthy and detailed replies in Persian language were received from time to time. These replies were collected and the literature thus formed constitute the ‘Persian Revayats.’ They were named after the emissary, that is, the person who was sent with the questions.
  5. During the course of three centuries about twenty-two Revayats came to India. The first Revayat was brought in 1478 A.C. by one Nariman Hoshang, a resident of Broach, and hence is known as ‘The Revayat of Nariman Hoshang.’ Similarly, other Rivayats are known after the persons who brought them. For instance, Revayats of Kama Bohra, Faredun Marazban, Kaus Kama, Kamdin Shapur and Bahman Punjya. Some Revayats are anonymous, as the identity of the person who brought them is not known.
  6. In the 17th century, most of these Revayats were collected, and classified subject-wise by Hormazdyar Framarz, Darab Hormazdyar, and Barzo Kamdin.
  7. Recently the K.R.Cama Oriental Institute has re-published the English translation of Hormazdyar Framarz’s Revayats, which is a collection of several Revayats. It was done by the great scholar Er. Bamanji N. Dhabhar, and first published almost a hundred years ago.