Taq Bostan 02
Type of Spiritual Experience
The carvings of Taq Bostan are some of the finest and best-preserved examples of Persian sculpture under the Sassanids. The Taq-e Bostan complex comprise a rock relief standing on its own and several more reliefs associated with two rock cut arches. But there is a problem:
“The authenticity of the Sasanian site of Tagh’e Bostan has been spoilt by unwarranted additions. Throughout history Tagh’e Bostan has had a strange attraction for graffitists, would-be artists, royal inscribers and vandals and these additions have spoilt the beauty and authenticity of the original monument. …. Furthermore, Tectonic movements of the earth has caused some cracks to appear in Tagh’e Bostan, particularly on its ceiling. These cracks are getting wider due to water leaking through the stones”.
So the question becomes how to distinguish the genuine from the later additions, which may show just as much artistry, but not be Zoroastrian. And the answer is the symbolism. We have provided two examples:
A description of the experience
‘Researchers long debated the identities of the figures in this relief ‘. Rather than continue this speculation, we will point out the symbolism.
All the figures have aprons. The figure with the halo has a sword. All of them have trousers with a great deal of wool. All have belts and necklaces. There is a ring being passed on from which a triangle hangs. All three have buds on their shoulders from which spring wings, implying they are god-like saintly figures.
Note that passing a ring can symbolise the passing of responsibility between sages and prophets. Handing the responsibility to the next one in line.
Of all the Taq Bostan reliefs, this is apparently the oldest.
The three figures on the back wall of the large iwan are usually considered to represent Khosrow Parviz flanked by Ahura Mazda and Anahita. But below them is placed a fine mounted Persian knight. Above the arch are two angels and the cosmic egg, the crescent moon at the side, twin horns and the tree of life, and above the triangle.
The source of the experienceZoroastrian
Concepts, symbols and science items
Tree of life