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Triumph of Self-Empowerment over Darkened Despotic Tyranny


By Davood N. Rahni New York (March 2019)

Legend has it that once upon a distant past juncture, ZaHawk a mythological, tyrannical, unjust, and cruel despot, ruled over Persia. Confiscating an ambivalent hiatus with his absolute power, he crowned himself on the Persian peacock throne as if he was immortal and anointed by an imaginary vengeful supreme. He reigned with iron fist, suffocating people with hegemony and heavy taxations over the vast Persian Empire to the fatal detriment of most inhabitants he mistreated as his serfs and slaves.

ZaHawk's ever expansive territory stretched from the Indus and the Oxus Rivers of the Orient, to the Nile, Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers of the Occident. Nonetheless, ZaHawk was horrified of resenting wraths by the masses he had oppressed; consequently, he had chronic insomnia as he feared the disgruntled populace would at anyImage result for mount damavand kaveh blacksmith moment turn up against him to effectuate his utter obliteration. In the meantime while bipolar comatose and self-sequestered, he was barely alive in a pitch black, damped and pungently musty cavern on Mt. Damavand a volcanically semi extinct roaring peak, so long as his lackeys fed the fresh flesh kill of a bright and beautiful young newly married couple each day to two the ugly serpent beasts rising out of ZaHawk's shoulders. ZaHawk knew darn well though that the two serpents could devour him in a lightning annihilation moment before a midnight if they were not in time fed with the two newly wed before one of these sunsets.

Image result for heart iranIn fact, it was a whispered knowledge amongst the masses, serfs and slaves, that while they took refuge with the righteous Spenta Mainyu the good spirit Faravahar emanating from Ahura Mazda who was the Lord of light and wisdom, and his sol invictus Mithra, that ZaHawk was directed by the impure fire and filth spitting dragon Ezhdeha drawn from Angra Mainyu aka Ahriman, who lived deep down the volcanic shaft in earth mantle. It was Ezhdeha that had grafted the two cannibalistic serpents into ZaHawk's calves so he could outpour misery, famine, disease, pain and suffering to people and mother earth.

Image result for mount damavand kaveh blacksmithAs injustice is not to remain in place forever however, Kaveh the Ironsmith, gravely irate for the well-beings of his compatriots, hung his toughened leather apron the Derafsh Kaviani, over a javelin and marshalled forward the disgruntled populace after the silhouette dawn of Yalda, on the rebirth of the sun. His bravest diehards followed him shoulders to shoulders as a Si-Morgh (metaphorically speaking 30 birds forming one unified body at a time) up the treacherous Mountain. There, Kaveh beheaded the three culprits on one body in the cave with his one mighty sword strike, thus eradicating injustice and reinstated equality and happiness in Persia on mother earth. Deja vu all over again, Kaveh had in reality reincarnated what his ancestors Cyrus and Mandana, Xerxes and Arianna, and Darius and Anahita of the Achaemenes, delivered when they had also eradicated injustice and inequality, and reinstated love, equality, inclusivity, harmony, tranquility, and peace on earth.  And so, with Phoenix (Si-Morgh) once again rising out of historical ashes of oblivion, the much anticipated and ever brightened and warmer SUN reemerged out of the dark chilling clouds and proudly shone as the most enlightened beacon of hope and happiness on the hillside of Mt. Damavand. And for the four fundamental elements of life, and as the eternal fire became strong again, along with it the soil was purified with pristine water from the glaciers poured down into the valley and the prairie, and the fresh air thinned out all around.

mantegh o teyr.jpgEcstatically exhilarated by brief periods of joy, most had not realized that Ezhdeha, the multi-headed dragon and father of all miseries and the creator of now the obliterated ZaHawk, was still alive deep down the vertical volcanic shaft of Mt. Damavand. The nocturnal dragon would unexpectedly appear in his targeted communities to instigate catastrophe by kissing the two shoulders of a replacement for the past beast ZaHawk so two new serpents were mounted again. Houshang, to be newly crowned king of the Pishdadian dynasty had to follow the Ezhdeha back into the cave, whereby he threw the biggest Flintstone at, and killed the dragon. The Flintstone bounced from dead corpse and struck another rock. The resulting spark, which kindred spirited a sacred soothing fire seen and felt cheerfully by all down the valley, still burns eternally alive in Yazd today. Hooshang was slayed in the crossfire though, and replaced a bit later by King Jamshid Kiani and crowned at Nowruz the spring vernal equinox and the birth of Zarathustra. And so, the people from all walks of live lived happily thereafter when they enjoyed as if a loving Valentine every day., However, If an when the people became complacent again to see or help their liberty denied, the Ezhdeha reincarnated with added an head, reappeared again and again in the same or other vast regions of Persia and beyond through the end of time so to bring about chaos through his ever growing strong servants: his linchpins and lackeys, charlatans and shysters, and hoodlums and hooligans.

Image result for multi headed dragonAnd so, they all lived happily thereafter when they enjoyed and shared infinite love every day. In a while though, and after the people ever became complacent again to allow their liberty denied, the Ezhdeha reincarnated with added an head reappeared again and again in the same or other regions, from within or more painfully form without Persia, so to bring about chaos through his ever growing despots-to enable his charlatans and shysters, and by the evil actions of hoodlums and hooligans, linchpins and lackeys. Nowruz celebration was the most effective juncture year after year for the people to ward off all evil spirits including the ZaHawks and Ezhdehas, when communities sprinkled esfand va kondor, rue and frankincense over glazed holy fire yielding a strongly aromatic scent from which the beasts escaped from.

No wonder Homa Chehrazad, the just Queen of the Kiani dynasty, emulated the utopia paradise on earth for 30 tranquil years in Persia/Iran millennia ago.  And her descendent Shahdokht the imagedaughter of Yazdgerd III of the Sassanid Dynasty and the legimtite queen to be ran away toward a curvaceous mountains in Yazd to take refuge. As she approached, the mountain opened up and then after she entered it closed. There since exists the drops of pure tears dripping down the deep water-well today called Chek-Chek and revered as sacred ground by Iranians. In fact Yazdgerd was slayed and his dynasty abolished by yet a foreign Zahawk from the southwestern deserts to occupy Persia. What is excruciatingly ironic is that irrespective of perceived ideological and strategic differences among the culprits of all times and places, their thirst for absolute power and greed to plunder natural and human resources to their own ends, only continues to grow. They exploit and pillage, all the while accumulating wealth and power. Surprisingly and tragically, their tactical methodology has essentially remained the same Ezhdeha since antiquity.

And thence, the perpetual doctrine of "divide to conquer," though strengthened in the more recent postcolonial era, has, nonetheless, remained forever as Modus Operandi of the self-righteous and megalomaniac economic powerhouses and despotic political rulers, i.e., the two sides of the same coin, and ever since the first coin was invented as currency millennia ago. In so doing, and by creating a diversionary smoke screen per se, they inflict catastrophic devastation of biblical proportions through instigating wars and violence, usury and monetary manipulations, destructions, trans-migrations, and mass killings of the innocents, just to return later to act as the foster mother more compassionate than the real blood mother! Notwithstanding the excreting fact they had slayed masses in the first place, they offer reconciliations, "protections" and "reconstructions" at costs many folds far more exorbitant than the prior vicious cycles. Through their inhumane and vicious cycle of dismal slavery and serfs, the few self-anointed despotic rulers have only undergone metamorphosis to become far more devastating than ever while inflicting more misery against the populace, governed without their meager consent.

If humans possess the capability of effectuating justice, why then resort to a fatalistic posthumous promise of a never ever seen utopia called paradise?! The only way the masses could propel forward is to sustain the glimpse of hope alive through acquiring education, knowledge, enlightenment, and self-empowerment. Image result for ghoghnoosThey must hang their aprons on their spears; unite as a Si-Morgh, thirty high flying birds as one. Only then, they could eventually beat the oppressors at the culprits' own games, thereby leveling the playing fields toward their earned happy life and sweet freedom and true peace! This is the pinnacle of Epluribus unum . Eternally yearning for sustaining the universal justice anchored on love, civility, compassion and mercy, and leading to tranquility, harmony, happiness, and peace on earth, we perpetually rise as a Si-Morgh (aka Ghoghnoos)!

Persia (Iran) has for millennia, and continues to undergo, turbulent periods of trials and tribulations, and afflicted by evils from both within and without. Iran has been gripping with such terms of endearments and navigating through troughs of despair and summits of elations in her very long lifespan. After the Machiavellian chivalries by the reincarnated Kavehs, each time light has eventually shone on "Persia" and triumphed over darkness, truth over fallacy, justice over cruelty, equality over cronyism, and all in all ecstatic happiness over depressing melancholy.

Image result for ferdowsiAs narrated by Ferdowsi, the "Homer of Iran," this tale from his Shahanameh wends its wisdom and relevance through tens of thousands of years of Iran's history, bringing a hope of salvation from evils in altruistic acts of courage. Shahnameh the Book of Persian Kings - an epic poem composing 30,000 verses and written over the course of 30 years more than a thousand years ago, still remains alive in every Iranian's psyche heartily. The patron King Mahmoud who had promised the poet a golden coin for each verse broke his promise. The improvised Ferdowsi, having instead resided tranquilly in the luscious rich paraissi style (paradise the meaning of his name) of his own imagination, never saw the coins which arrived by the repented King after had died.

Image result for good thoughts good words good deedsAnchored on trilogy of good thoughts, good words and good deeds, everyone reaffirms their commitment to one or more of the following virtues, namely, volunteerism, altruism, philanthropy, benevolence and above all, to advancing dignified humanism as the pinnacles of life. The belief in the golden rule of "treating others as you would expect to be treated" anchored on the tripartite pedestal of good thoughts, good words and good deeds, conjures up in mind a poem by the acclaimed Persian 13th century Poet Sa'adi:

All humans are members of one frame,
Since all at first, from the same essence, came.
When by hard fortune one limb is oppressed,
The other members lose their desired rest.
If thou feel'st not for others' misery,
A human is no name for thee!

Thomas Jefferson"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the [sweat, tears, and blood] of patriots but especially the blood of tyrants."
Thomas Jefferson,
The Cofounder of the ever greatest Nation on earth the US of America


Disclaimer: Whereas this prose has been inspired by the stories of Shahnameh, nonetheless, the author does not claim to have literally translated it from the original source.

About the author:

Davood N. Rahni, was raised in Shemiran (Evin) north of Tehran IRAN, and graduated in chemistry from the National University of IRAN. Following his Ph.D./post-doctoral stint in New Mexico & New Orleans, he has since served as professor of (bio-electro-analytical) chemistry at Pace University in New York. In prior years, he has also served ad adj. professor environmental law and dermatology as well. Davood a history buff, has written prolifically on history and archaeology, arts and sciences, poetry and prose, and culture of Iran and southwest Asia. As a Fulbright senior research scholar in Denmark and with visiting professorships at the Universities of Oxford, Florence and Rome, Rahni's extensie published scholarships on advances in biosensors, nano-engineering, environment and forensics, asymmetric synthesis, and neuro-psycho-pharmacology and biological psychiatry as typified by his book Bioimaging in Neuordegeneration, that are well cited by peers.

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