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ORIENTAL INJURIES TO WOMEN.
and infects the universe, but which Vishnu renders harmless by swallowing it. Ahriman, in serpent form, invades the realm of Ormuzd, tainting fire with smoke and light with darkness; the kingdom of pure light becomes thenceforth shared with night, or divided between good and evil; the destroyer strikes man with disease, and pollutes every part of nature. The bull, the emblem of life, is wounded and dies; and the ancestors of the human race, tempted by the fruits which Ahriman presents to them, are made subject to pain and death. It was therefore a religious obligation with every devout follower of Zoroaster to exterminate reptiles and other "impure" animals, especially serpents. A particular season of the year was appointed for the purpose (ý T☎v kakāv avaipɛois, the destruction of the evil things); this was the third age of the world, when, in the chronology of the Persian legend, the assault of Ahriman occurred. ... It became a maxim of the Zend-Avesta, that Ahriman, the principle of evil, made the great serpent who assaulted the creation of Ormuzd.*
Having identified the serpent and his brood with the Magian Ahriman, I shall add a word or two respecting the selection of woman by the tempter. Woman, throughout the East, especially in ancient times, was held in disesteem. A volume might be compiled out of the disparaging words uttered against her. To confine myself to the Aryans. Brahma, the first man of Hindoo cosmogony, is linked to a demon wife, a daughter of Patala; and in Persian legend the first woman, Meshiane, is the first victim to the seductions of Ahriman. She also was the first that sacrificed to the Dews or devils. These Dews or fallen angels having Ahriman at their head, oppose the Amshaspands, or good angels, and afflict those who lead righteous lives; next comes Ander; next Savel; next Tamad; next Tarik; next Zarelesh. Each Dew is the
*The Progress of the Intellect, by Robert William Mackay, Vol. I. 421. Compare Guigniaut's Religions de l'Antiquité, I. 181, 707, 742.
THE PARADISE OF FABLE.
antagonist of one of the seven angels. The reign of Ahriman and his Dews is the kingdom of darkness. Here confusion and trouble are at their height. These monsters, being male and female, beget offspring, and multiply themselves under various forms, in order to tempt and torment human beings. Among the forms are the serpent and the wolf. The female Dews, who bear the name of Paris, instruct men in various kinds of magic and means of death. Both sexes take possession of men and women in order to carry into effect their opposition to Ormuzd by injuring and tormenting his children. For their expulsion the Zend-Avesta prescribes various ceremonies, purifications, sacrifices and prayers to Ormuzd and the pure spirits. Here you have the original of the Papal exorcism. Their kingdom will eventually be supplanted by the kingdom of light. As the triumph of the kingdom of light over the kingdom of darkness is a point in which Parsism surpasses the popular form of Christianity, I subjoin a distinct statement made by Zoroaster himself:
"This unrighteous one (Ahriman), this impure one, who is nothing but a devil (Dew or Devas) in his affections, this stark-blind king of wickedness, he who does nothing but evil, will yet at the end speak the word, observe Ormuzd's laws, and introduce the wicked into the dwellings of the good."
The place where this "fall" was brought about was a garden or paradise (park). The ancient Persians were fond of gardens, or, as they termed them, paradises. They were indispensable appendages of regal abodes. The Persian Eden. (or Pleasure-garden) was richly provided with animals, trees, plants and flowers of all kinds. Those gardens or parks were also connected with the mysteries of their religion. Ormuzd tells Zoroaster, "I have created, O Zoroaster, a place of de
* Zend-Avesta, von J. F. Kleuker, p. 87. Riga, 1789. Compare Zoroastre: Essai sur la Philosophie Religieuse de la Perse, par M. J. Meuart (Paris, 1858); and Les Civilisations Primitives en Orient, par L. A. Martin. Paris, 1861.
ZOROASTER'S DESCENT INTO HELL.
lights and abundance; no one could make its equal. Thereupon came Ahriman, pregnant with death, and prepared in the river which watered it the great serpent of winter."
Here notice "the river," for water is essential to the existence of a garden in hot climates. Accordingly Eden, the model garden, has no less than four rivers.
Moreover, the "Garden of the Lord" is planted with every pleasant and useful tree. Among those trees is "the tree of life," that obvious symbol met with in almost all mythologies, and familiar in Scandinavia as in India. The tree of life grew also in the midst of the Hindoo paradise upon Meru. In the Zend-Avesta the tree of life is the divinely created source whence issues the first human pair. It bears the name of Hom, and grows by a fountain which springs from the throne of Ormuzd.
Thenceforwards you will know whence these legendary elements, kneaded into a certain systematic form in the schools, have come down to the present hour. One detail connected with "the Fall," the "descent of Christ into hell," is but a renewal of an act ascribed to Zoroaster. "This holy prophet visited heaven, and there received from Ormuzd the sacred fire, together with the word of life (the Zend-Avesta). THEN HE DESCENDED INTO HELL; and finally, having completed his mission, he ascended the mountain Albordj, where he consecrated himself to meditation and piety.'
The descent into the regions of darkness and death is only a relic of the ancient Sabaism or star-worship, which, widely spread over Asia, had special manifestations on the sea-board of Syria. It represented the god of day as, when winter came, sinking below the verge of the horizon, shorn of his beams, and stripped of his power, amid the weeping and wailing of the Phenician maidens. It would be easy to adduce other parallels from classic mythology.
Doubtless the same physical phenomenon produced the
*Guigniaut's "Religions de l'Antiquité, Vol. I. p. 317.
fable of Zoroaster's descent into hell, and this is the more probable, because in his case the descent is historically followed by a resurrection, that is in spring. I will give the outlines of the authoritative statements.
While Zoroaster's body was a prey to the vultures, he himself was not dead. Sustained and cherished by Ormuzd, he revived, and his revival entails a general revival. The dead will rise. Among them, first Kajomorts, Meshia and Mishiane. “Every man will come to life again. Souls will seek the bodies they formerly animated, and, recognizing one another, will say, this one, 'There is my father;' that one, 'There is my mother.' With the wicked, earthly bonds will be broken; brothers will be separated from sisters, friends from friends. Then the heat of fire will enkindle the universe, which will be one vast conflagration. In this torrent of liquid metals the pure will pass unhurt through the flames. In their turn the Darvands (an inferior order of Dews) will in their turn make their way through that burning furnace. They will be purified by the flames, and repent in their hearts. Then all men will join in a sublime sacrifice to the Amshaspands. Sosioch, at the head of the risen ones, seated on a throne of dazzling splendour, will preside over the grand offering of homage by the righteous. He will address his prayer to the Eternal One. A loud voice will echo through space, and these words will be heard: 'IT IS THE WILL OF ORMUZD.' Ahriman alone will remain on earth. Then he will rush into the universal conflagration and come out purified. Hastening upwards, he will fall prostrate before Ormuzd, acknowledging him as the Sovereign and the just Judge.
The last feature of Magism which I shall report, would of itself suffice to shew the extent to which ecclesiastical Christianity is indebted to it.
"Man in coming into life receives a kind of baptism which
* Menant's Zoroastre ; Essai sur la Philosophie Religieuse de la Perse, p. 89, seq.
PERSIAN DEMONOLOGY THE SOURCE OF DEMONOLOGIES.
purifies him, or rather withdraws him from the action of Ahriman. The moral taint, thus washed away, passes from generation to generation. The malignant spirit is always near to whisper evil into the ear of every new-comer. As soon as
a human being comes into the world, the Dews rush on him and take him into their power. It is in consequence necessary to prevent their sinister designs, and to neutralize their pernicious influences. The application of these counteractions and remedies is in the hands of the priests, an hierarchical order of several ranks. The high-priest represents Ormuzd and is superior to the king. The archimage is thus the veritable head of the nation. He is the king of kings. In vain do the princes deduce their prerogatives from heaven. They must bend their knee before the head of the Church." (Menant, pp. 140—145.)*
You cannot mistake the striking resemblance that exists between the Magi of ancient days and the priests of modern times. The likeness has existed from at least the fourth century of the Christian era.
I have represented the Persian demonology as the principal source of all later demonologies. This involves a question of date. The Persian doctrine is deeply sunk in the archæology of the Aryan races. So deeply sunk is it as to precede by many centuries similar modes of thought found in Western lands. It may, however, be asked, whether it is not posterior in time to the second account of creation found in Genesis. That of these two, one is a copy, or that both have a common origin, there can be no doubt. But the complete and systematic character of the Persian account speaks for its originality. Then the name for the Deity, "Jehovah God," used in the Biblical narrative, brings its date down to a late day in Hebrew history-a day indeed so late as to be long posterior to the origin of the Persian mythology. Finally, I must here caution you against a common mistake. The Biblical
* Guigniaut, Vol. I. p. 317; Zoroastre, Essai sur la Philosophie de.