عنوان مقاله [English]
The presence of some woman beside epic and mythical persons has been a widely common feature in many epicsas, for instance, Ohrmazd with Spenta Armaiti or Ahriman accompanied byJahi; Jamshid, also, is blessed with his own sisters or daughters and Freydun and Kai Khosrow with the mother as well. In these cases, the hero is led to success and fortune with the help of a feminine element, which has a great contribution in furthering his aims. Females in these stories could be reflective of the archetype anima - the feminine part of the psyche – that, on their positive side, emerge in some roles such as mothers, faithful beloveds or sprites and with the duty of reproduction and fertility. As to that,the sprite is one such a role presented with her own characteristics such as inexpressible beauty, association with spring and water, love expression for heroes, knowledge on secrets and mysteries, prescience and prophesy, power of hiding and assistance to heroes towards achieving great goals and defeating enemies in the literature. In this research, after a brief discussion of the quiddity of sprites, the characteristics of the sprite in post-Shahnama epics have come under investigation.
Pari is seen as Parika and Parik in Avesta and Middle Farsi, respectively. This word has roots in Indo-Europianand literally means giving birth and in some senses,it iscalled fertile and fruitful. Pari is believed to be thefeminine element, a follower of Devil who is used to deceive Mazdayasnan. Despitehaving an evil face in Zoroastrian, Pari is symbolized as the sign of romance and beauty, an ancient woman benefiting from affection and beauty as well as Farrah. Therefore, due to this public affection she is considered the opposite character to Divand Devil. Surprisingly she is an evil in Mazdisna along with Div and Devil who are seeking corruption and death to Ahoora'screations. In fact, Parihas both a positive and negative face. The former is purity and elegance which does the best to assist public and heroes to accomplish their goals. And the latter, the same as Div and Devil,is a villain, who is ordered by the Devil to destroy the Ahoora'screation.
Pari plays significant roles in different epics. Each of these roles could be contributed to each of Pari’sfunction. Pari can be found in epics such as Garshasbnameh,Samnameh, Bahmannameh, Borzounameh, Faramarznameh, and Banoougoshasbnameh. Besides, her features can be classified as her unimaginable beauty and elegance which could be two- sided, sometimes this grace would deceive the heroes. In turn, it might cause the enemies' making a mistake in order to assist these heroes to achieve their goals. Thus, this grace and beauty is strongly related to their function to neutralize and seduce the heroes. Another feature of Parias the goddess of birth is to bring fruitfulness and fertility, this perse, is presupposedly related to water and spring and consequently rain and aprosperous year. So, springs, wells and rivers are sights to observe Paries. Living and residing in graceful lands and castles like heavens over the mountains is another feature of Pari in legends and myths. Parideserves such places like heavens and castles made by gold and jewelries, which glitter and blink at night but disappear in a moment and vanish quickly. This feature of Pari as a supernatural and graceful creature dweling in far-far away lands and castles, beside her seducing function, which is deceiving and graceful for heroes and epics, can be assumed as anima. For this, two sides are defined: the dark side and the bright one, i.e., rightfulness and darkness. In its bright side, anima is pictured angelically in a way that man, to some extent,seeks every grace and beauty in them and dreams about them- and dealing with it may cause insight into it and in the end improves the sense of personality and self- awareness. Paries as the goddess of fertility and fruitfulness were imagined as beautiful and charming women to seduce the heroes and kings in order to get fertilized. This use of sexual- appeal is one of their most significant features, breeding from their birth- giving ability and fertility which is reflected in its real name as Pari. This definition provides the real meaning of affection and abilities of transformation. Pari is usually considered as a charming pery in confrontation of heroes in Farsi contexts and drags them toward herself. One of the features of Pari has come from the female priest of old ages and that is the capabilities of forecasting the futures and decoding some secrets. In some literatures, they are aware of the other world and this enables them to be helpful for the heroes in order to achieve their aims. The beliefs of having the ability to fly as well as the power to reconnect to the witches abilities to disappear and reappear is based on this theory that they are blessed with feathers making them fly and common different spots. This ambiguous picture makes them fly between two worlds as bird and the definition of Pari easily conveys this meaning.
The other feature of Pari is helping the heroes and epics in which the clear example of this can be seen in Saamnameh, when they assist Saam and Paridokht to reach each other following that this helpsSaam to fight enemies.
The relationship between Pari and fire isanother profound feature of Pari. In local eyes, there is sometimes no difference between Paries and Genie. And they are assumed the same with the same origin of fire. Fire is a paradox of being a factor of both Devil and Farra in epic contexts. The relationship between fire and Pari is due to birth giving abilities of Pariwhich defies of her willingness and charm to be with heroes and epics.
To put in a nutshell, the most significant features of Pari in epical contexts after Shahnameh are: the relationship with water and spring based on their fertility and heavenly gardens, celebrations and ritual ceremonies to be held and physical thirst and charm to seduce the heroes. The relationship between fire and Pari is based on her ability as the goddess of fertility in ancient Iran. Another feature of Pari is the help and assistant she gives to the heroes and her important role in achieving their goals which is a symbol of positive anima in them that causes growth and maturity and self- awareness in heroes. The ability to transform their faces, to fly, to disappear and reappear, and to foresee the other world are the other features that reminds their magical power in Avesta. In Avesta,Pari is considered the same as witches. Thus, Pari owns both positive and negative features and their dual feature is based on morality we witness in Zoarastrians toward Pariesand this causes their fall of their initial place in heaven from the goddess of fertility, fruitfulness and even turning to a magical and evil creature. However, in these epics, Pari reclaims her initial places and as an ancient woman claims her grace and romance and as a true mentor to guide heroes in achieving their goals to reach their maturity and success.