C. Why does king Faridun have a special place in the Mazdayasni Zarthoshti religion? (TMY, JJ of 8, 15 & 22-9-19)

1. Faridun was born when the reign of the evil king Zohak was at its height. He was the son of a noble lady by the name Faranak. His father Abtin was a young and able bodied man who was always in fear of being caught by Zohak’s men to be killed, so that his brain may be fed to the snakes. One day Zohak’s guards carried Abtin away and killed him. When Faranak came to know of this, she was terrified. She took infant Faridun and went in hiding. In the jungle, she came across a farmer, to whom she entrusted the child. The farmer had a cow by the name Purmae, who nursed infant Faridun for three years.

2. Zohak found out about the cow nursing a child. He suspected the child to be Faridun and ordered his men to search.  Faranak, on a divine intuition, reached there, before Zohak’s men could reach the farmer’s house. She took the child and proceeded towards the Alburz mountains, where she entrusted the child to a saintly man.  When  Zohak’s men came to the farmer’s house, they were unable to find Faridun. Frustrated, they killed the farmer and the cow Purmae.

3. When Faridun was sixteen years old, his mother narrated to him the story of his childhood. Faridun was determined to put an end to the evil reign of Zohak. He decided to go and fight Zohak. His mother constrained him saying that time was not yet ready for him to go to fight Zohak. When the time was ripe, friends and allies would help him in his destined work.

4. A blacksmith, frustrated by the evil rule of Zohak, revolted against him. As he was about to attack Zohak, he was guided by Sarosh Yazad to seek Faridun from Mount Alburz and together fight against Zohak and bring an end to his reign. Faridun ordered a mace to be prepared for him, adorned with the head of a cow, in memory of Purmae. This mace is now known as the Guraz. Even today, priests use the Guraz at the time of Navar and it adorns the Kebla of many a fire temples.

5. Faridun then brought an end to Zohak’s evil rule. He bound him up with chains under Mount Demavand, as instructed by Sarosh Yazad. Even today people go to Mount Demavand, remember kig Faridun, offer their prayers to Sarosh Yazad and pray to strengthen the bonds of Zohak.

6. Faridun was divinely taught many powerful Nirangs to be used for his missions. He used it for many purposes, including to break the evil magical cordon set up by Zohak around his palace. Even today people pray Nirangs which are attributed to king Faridun, known as ‘Afshun-i-Shah-i-Faridun’ (afshun means short prayers) to seek his help and destroy evil and noxious creatures. In the Avesta, king Faridun is referred to as Thraetaona.

7. King Faridun also had the ability to metamorphose himself into another form or change somebody else into another form. Once he metamorphosed a boatman into a bird to teach him a lesson. At another time he metamorphosed himself into an Azdāh (a dragon like monster with the head of a snake breathing out fire) to test the valour of his three sons.

8. Faridun ascended the throne and celebrated a thanksgiving Jashan on roj Meher of mah Meher. This Jashan, known as the Jashan-e-Mehrangān, is celebrated even today as a festival to commemorate the end of Zohak’s rule and king Faridun’s ascension to throne. This festival epitomizes the ultimate victory of good over evil. Faridun became the fifth king of the Peshdadian dynasty.

9. King Faridun had three sons, Selam, Tur and Irach. He divided the kingdom among them, which gave rise to the countries of Iran, Turan and Rome. He retired after instituting his great grandson Minocheher on the throne of Iran. He passed away peacefully after that.

10. King Faridun is also known as Paridun in Iran. Many Parsi names today, like Parizad, Paricheher and Parinaz refer to King Faridun and show the importance in which he is held by people even today.

11. Thus king Faridun is immortalised among Zoroastrians in India and Iran and is remembered a lot as he is associated with the Guraz, Mount Demavand, fighting against noxious creatures, Nirangs (Afshun-i-Shah-i-Faridun), the Mehrangān festival, Mehrangān Jashan and several names connected with him.