عنوان مقاله [English]
In a series of written texts surviving from the pre-Islamic religion, apocalyptic literature has the vital role that deals with the matter of intuition and dreams that some qualified people experienced and also retold them. This revelation is universal and popular with most religions and ethnic groups. Since the awareness of metaphysical issues and predicting future events and distractions to the afterlife is always tempting for human beings, he always wants to be called for that world before his death, visit there and discover its secrets. It is not possible for everyone to experience this travel, only certain privileged people, in special mood and right time, step into this supernatural world to experience and understand the dramatic events, achieve special position in this amazing journey and then will have an important role in their community. The idea of nocturnal ascension in each culture is offered for various reasons and in different ways, in both primitive religions, advanced cultures and societies like Shamanism, Hinduism, Mithraism beliefs, or among Iranian theologians. In Mazdean tradition, -this belief has repeatedly considered as a real issue-. like Ascension of Zoroaster Prophet, Goshtasb Kiani king, Kartir Sassanid era’s clergyman and Ardaviraf Sassanid’s priest.
Keywords: Ascension Texts, Zoroaster, Goshtasb, Kartir, Ardaviraf.
This article seeks to examine the Mazdean texts and articles that have remained and have been written from these experiences and to analyze the content of the texts to outline some possible answers to their questions by comparing them. Were the Ascension or Apocalypticism unique concepts in the Sassanid era or happened before in our religious culture? Was nocturnal ascent common in Sassanid era? What necessities were inevitable for Sassanid religious community to do such a wonderful experience? Can we put all the Sassanid Ascension Texts in the same intellectual and spiritual direction?
In Iranian religious tradition, Apocalypticism and spiritual travel has an important place. Zoroaster prophet who is always willing to meet Ohrmazd and eager to make dialogue with him is among those who are being honored and moved to Ascension.
By analyzing texts written as description of the spiritual journey and being accurate on all elements that were provided in the field of Prophet Revelation, it seems that critical element of the "wisdom of all consciousness"- (khrad hame agah)-was all which helped Zoroaster during the trip. This element was explained to be very ambiguous in texts. Water is the most obvious material of the element which flows on Zoroaster hand or Zoroaster passes by and results into the state of trance means sleep-wake or a long time sleeping. Perhaps touching and passing through the water provided him a sort of ritual washing and gave him the ability to reach the sense of power and high level perception to be able to enter Ohrmazd court and to discover the universe’s secrets.
Goshtasp Ascension is another example of the Mazdean Apocalypse. Based on Zoroastrian religious texts, he went to his spiritual journey to adapt this religion and he gladly accepted the new religion due to its dignity. In this context, Goshtasp Ascension is clear enough and to drink wine and Meng is the laying groundwork for his revelation.
Kartir spiritual journey is studied in the same direction. He desperately wants the gods to have the privilege of trying the reversible death in his lifetime and to be more faithful to the religion through facing other world’s truth. He narrates his ascension in his inscriptions. Kartir travel is so complex since not explaining the way of this trip, he admits that the journey never experienced with his physical body, but his spirit or his mate made that and by expressing its spectacular world can finally meet great Ohrmazd and to pray him.
Pahlavi “Arda Viraf Name”book is considered as one of the most complete Mazdean Ascension texts. In Sassanid government that religion was political, the theologiansdecided to send the most pious and abstemious Dastur to Ascension travel to prove Zoroastrianism religion and encourage believers to this doctrine. This trip is a perfect example of the Ascension in which the entire process from drinking intoxicates, seeing the invisible world and the results applied by righteous and evils are expressed in details.
The review of this apocalyptic text showed the evolution of these trips. That means that the more Ascension becomes in the center of attention, the more specific issues and more concrete signs are expressed. For example, if the Zoroaster revelation resulted in visiting Ohrmazd and Amshaspandan to see abstractions such as religion and its expansion and events to see the end of the world, Apocalypticism was obvious on Goshtasp journey in a manner he described that he is drinking wine or and goes to revelation. In Kartir Ascension a scene that he sees from the spiritual world is more detailed than the earlier issues so he can see the hell and heaven with all the blessingsthat exist there such as bread, meat and wine. But a more evolved, detailed and objective sample can be seen in pious Vyraf Ascension in that the revelation style is expressed as clear as possible and Heaven is described accurately . This implies that the religious Mazdean community needs texts that are fully explained in greater detail and accuracy to describe the Ascension and Apocalypticism as one of the pillars of the religion.
The literature review related to Ascension or anecdotes of the apocalypse and spiritual journeys remained in literary heritage treasures of human society,. It can be said Revelation and Ascension are common in all religions and culture categories. Meanwhile, Mazdean ascension texts as a survivor of Iranian pre-Islamic literature that is often inherited from Sassanid era is of utmost importance. During this period that the government structure and Iranian society have a religious tinge and the attitude of the masses is mixed with metaphysical concepts, the necessity to produce such religious products becomes apparent. In other words, if the Iranian bios society encountered the religious crises and uncertainties, the religious beliefs were undermined by indifference or neglection and the results emerged in religious concepts, Ascension was necessary to prove the truth of religious principles for Clergymen and theologians. The souvenir of this revelation is to clarify issues such as the fate of the world and the creation of the secular and the human soul after death manifested in concepts of “collective Resurrection " and " personal resurrection " which was charm and interesting for the hesitated society. Content analysis of Mazdean ascents shows that if the number of ascension experiences and revelations increases, the narration and evolution of the experiences would be more clearly described in detail based on more objective evidence.