Vendidad - Zarathustra and the hollow mountain
Type of spiritual experience
Zoroastrian belief use a ‘hole’ rather than a meadow as the ‘homelands’. In Zoroastrian myth, the homeland is a place of refuge. Each time a new configuration of the earth is implemented and a flood or ice age or other similar environmental catastrophe is used to wipe out one lot of human beings in order to replace them, myth has it that the generation to be saved are safely housed in a ‘cavern’. In effect, in some legends, a vast cavern takes the place of an ‘ark’.
A description of the experience
The "Saga of the Aryan race" based on the Vendidad translation by TR Sethna
And now Zarathushtra was shown an amazing sight. His eyes saw in a vision the ancient VAR - the enclosure and Aryan stronghold of Yima Kshaeta (Jamshed), king of the Aryans twenty thousand years ago. This Var, located in the ancient homeland Airyane Vaejahi (seedland of the Aryans) in the North pole was legendary and the Aryans had almost lost all memory of it, so distant in time seemed the age of it's construction by Yima on the command of Ahura. …..Zarathushtra's gaze fell upon a thriving community of splendrous Aryan men, women and children in the Var. ………. Zarathushtra was astonished at the wonders he saw in the stronghold, which was self-sufficient in every way.
The great mystery of the Var was now explained to Zarathushtra by Ahura Mazda. When the Var was constructed, it was the time of the ancient homeland of the Aryans - Airyane Vaejahi (the seedland). ………………………
"That glorious age of the Aryans did not last for ever, O Zarathushtra! It was time for the evil one's attack. I Who am Ahura Mazda spoke then to Yima Kshaeta:
"O splendid Yima, towards the sacred Aryan land will rush evil as a severe fatal winter; evil will rush as thick snow flakes falling in increased depth. From the three directions will wild and ferocious animals attack, arriving from the most dreadful sites.
"Before this winter, any snow that fell would melt and convey the water away. Now the snow will not melt. In this place, O Yima the corporeal world will be damaged. Before in this seedland the grass was so soft the footprint of even a small animal could be observed. Now, there will be no footprints discernible at all.
"So, Yima; make a mighty VARA, an enclosure as long as a riding ground, with equal four sides……………………..Make three levels in the mighty Vara. In the uppermost level, make nine such wide enclosures, in the middle level, make six. In the lowermost level, make three enclosures. In the uppermost wide enclosure let 1000 couples, men and women live. In the middle let 600 couples live, in the lowest enclosure let 300 couples pass their lives.
"High above each of these enclosures, use a golden instrument and make doors and windows. By self-light should the inner parts be illumined.
"Yima now wondered how he might make this glorious Vara. So I Who am Ahura Mazda, said to him:
"O beautiful Yima, turn this land upside down with the heel and the hand, as men do to grow seeds; and thus build the Vara. "Yima did so as was demanded. He built the Aryan Vara with it's multiple levels that you see before you now."
Zarathushtra looked at the Vara and it's inhabitants, and he was astonished yet again. He had never seen anything like this before. It was as if there was an entire city, an entire world in existance in the Vara beneath the snows and ice of the North Pole - a totally self-contained and self-sustaining Aryan stronghold. What he really found amazing was, although the ancient homeland Airyane Vaejahi under which the Vara was situated was shrouded in inky blackness and blasted by continuing blizzards of ice, the Vara itself was brilliantly illumined, as if the sun was shining directly down on it.
………..There were flowery gardens and fields of cultivated soil. There were water canals, and trees with birds chirping in them. There were dogs and cattle in cattle pens, and rooms and halls with pillars where the Aryan families met in their clan meetings (the Saba). Each Aryan couple had a holy fire flaming in their own residence, and the fire amazingly seemed sootless and smokeless.
In the centre of the Vara, the middle level had a triangular hall which housed the guardian Fire of the entire Vara, the Royal Fire lighted by King Jamshed himself twenty thousand years ago - the fire which was the main source of power for the Vara. There the Aryans met each day and worshipped Ahura Mazda when they bowed to the enormous benign flames of the royal fire.
"Mighty Aryans! This is indeed a stronghold ... I pray that your community within remains blessed by Ahura Mazda until the end time of the world, when the Saoshyant Himself, the final Messenger to follow me opens and enters your doors!"
Ashavazdah, the bearded Aryan walked forward and bowed to the prophet.
"Holy Zarathushtra, that shall indeed be so; and we await the day when Saoshyant shall lead the Aryan race out of these walls at the time of the final conflict between good and evil, when the world shall be renovated; as taught to us by you."