What is the Vourukasha Sea? (TMY, JJ of 24-3-19)

1. The sea known as Vourukasha in the Avesta, is referred to as Frākhvakard in Pahlavi. The word Vourukasha means having wide shores. The sea Vourukasha is originally mythical and mythological. Later when Iranians settled in the Central Asian expanses, they gave mythological names to actual geographical locations. Since the Vourukasha is said to be devoid of significant tidal movements, it is identified with the Caspian Sea.

2. The Vourukasha is mentioned in several Avestan texts like the Avan Yasht, Farvardin Yasht and Zamyad Yasht, as the place where Iranian kings and heroes worshipped different Yazads. This sea is also mentioned in Pahlavi texts like Bundahishna, Denkard, Zādsparam, Menog Khrad and Dādetān-i-Denig.

3. Vourukasha was formed at the beginning of creations, when Tir Yazad made the clouds rain over the earth. It is considered the principal reservoir of rain. It is so huge that it is supposed to cover one-third of the earth. The river Aredvi is said to originate from Mount Alborz, then flows through Mount Hukairya, and into the sea Vourukasha.

4. The battle between Tir, the Yazad of rain, and Apaosha the demon of drought, for bringing rains, takes place in this sea. The hero Kersassp had killed Gandareva, a huge, deadly monster, which had hidden in sea Vourukasha.

5. When the Khvarena (divine energy) of king Jamshed fled, it hid into Vourukasha. Later the tyrants Zohak and Afrasiyab attempted to seize the Khvarena, but were not successful. The Khvarena then went to other noble Iranian kings, and then once again fled king Kae Kaus and hid into the sea.

6. Gaokerena “the white Hom”, and Harvesp-Tokhmi, “the tree of many seeds” grow in the deepest part of this sea. The white Hom is protected by a fish called kara, which fights off the noxious creatures created by Ahriman to destroy the white Hom. These trees are also protected by a special mysterious animal in the water. Innumerable Fravashis look after this sea.

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