The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
ANCIENT IRANIAN LITERATURE
Bundahishn, meaning "Primal Creation", also
called Zand-agahih (Knowledge from the Zand) is
a post-Sasanian account of Zoroastrian cosmogony and cosmology, which reflects
ancient Zoroastrian and even pre-Zoroastrian beliefs.
the Bundahishn draws on the Avesta and develops ideas alluded to in those texts,
it is not itself scripture. Unlike the texts of the Avesta, the Bundahishn is in
the Middle Persian language.
in two versions, the Great (or Iranian) Bundahishn and a shortened version, the
of the chapters of the compendium written after the fall of Sasanian dynasty and
date to the 8th and 9th centuries. These portions of the collection are roughly
contemporary with texts of the Denkard, another significant text of the Pahlavi
literature. A final redaction was not completed until 1178.
Bundahishn is the concise view of the world, and the battle of the forces of
Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu for the hegemony of the world, and consist of three
main themes: creation, the nature of earthly creatures, and the Kayanians.
The compiler does not name individual sources; but claims an encyclopedic
knowledge of the Zand, and exemplifies excellently the process whereby treatises
on chosen themes were created out of the scriptures.
to Bundahishn the first 3,000 years of the cosmic year, Ahura Mazda created the
Farahvashis and conceived the idea of his would-be creation. He used the
insensible and motionless Void as a weapon against Angra Mainyu, and at the end
of that period, Angra Mainyu was forced to submission and fell into a stupor for
the next 3,000 years. Taking advantage of Angra Mainyu's absence, Ahura Mazda
created the Amesha Spentas (Holy Immortals), along with the material world,
consisting of the sky, waters, earth, plants, the sacred white bull called
Parvin, and Q-Mars, the cosmic man. What's more, he permeated his kingdom with
truth in order to prevent Angra Mainyu from reaching and destroying it.
See also: Bundahishn Text (Translation)
 Many Zoroastrians, especially Iranian Zoroastrians do not consider Bundahishn as a religious text.
 Deriving from a different MS. Tradition.
 Their lineage and abodes, and the vicissitudes befalling their realm of Eranshahr.
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