Fellow Mazdayasni Zarathushtris,
Presently, there is a movement afoot among the liberals and outsiders in the West to paint our fire temples as of later origin, durng the later part of the Achamenian dynasty, and not of ancient origin, as one outsider has repeatedly proclaimed. The insidious motive? To weaken our faith in our majestic and sacred Agiaris and Atash Behrams in India, into which we do not allow these outsiders.
Dr. Pallan Ichaporia in a few masterstrokes disproves this liberal theory once and for all, and proves that fire-temples pre-date the Achamenian dynasty, and that our faith and belief in their sacredness and power is very ancient. His article follows.
Dear Readers: Following is for your reading pleasure.
The fire-temple of highest grade i.e. ataxsh - Wehram is alluded in the Pahlavi Denkart (Madon) 522.21 and Pahlavi Rivayet (Dhabar) 57.10 and it has the power to attract all the spiritual forces of Yazatas. The Wehran (Behram) fire which is maintained in the first grade fire temple is treated like a king (cf IranShah at Udwada) and it is always enthroned when established, Cf. such fire-temples with altars on the back of coins of the later Parthian Kings and almost all the coins of the Sasanian Monarchs. Furthermore one can see the similarity on the reliefs of Persipolis where such highest grade of fire-temples were depicted with the fire enthroned, It is always considered a sin to let such high grade fire to be extinguished and so it is a mere wishful thinking that such fire were open and not enclosed in "the proper place' and then mistakenly conclude that fire- temples did not exist during the early Achemenian times.
The three towers in Fars are the ruins of fire-temples, they are Zindan-i-Suleiman, at Pasargard, Ka'ba -e- Zardusht at Naqsh -i Rustom and tower of Nurabad. The first two look the same. the Zindan was built by Cyrus, the Great (see: Hinz, Geistige Arbeit, p9, 1942 in Iranische Feuerheilogtumer). This Zindan -i- Suleiman the enclosed Fire-Temple was destroyed by Gaumata and rebuilt by Darius. They were also the place of worship =ayadana). Masudi has alluded that Ka'ba -e- Zardusht was a fire temple and was at the distance of one "parasang" from that of the town. This proves it to be an enclosed fire-temple because the distance between Ka'ba and Naqsh-i-Rustom is exactly the same, one "parasang".
The irrevocable evidence of enclosed fire temples comes from the third tower at Nurabad and which dates from THIRD CENTURY BCE and it was a Fire Temple for it had staircase leading up to a room where Ghrishman saw traces of two fire- altars (see: Stronach, The KUH-I-SHARAK FIRE ALTARS, JNES, 1966 220 sq). Stronach has excavated ruins of fire- temples just before the Islamic Revolution in Iran, these fire- temples predate Achamenian dynasty, so whoever writes that fire-temple did not exist till later period of Achaemenian dynasty, either has limited knowledge or does not know what he is talking about.
With kind regards,
Dr. Pallan R. Ichaporia.
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