Thursday, September 20, 2012

Simurgh (mythical flying creature)

Combat between Isfandiyar and Simurgh Shah-nama (Firdawsi's 'Book of Kings').
Shiraz, 1330.

Simurgh

Simurgh (Persian: سیمرغ‎), also spelled simorgh, simurg, simoorg or simourv, also known as Angha (Persian: عنقا‎), is the modern Persian name for a benevolent, mythical flying creature. The figure can be found in all periods of Greater Iranian art and literature, and is evident also in the iconography of medieval Armenia, the Byzantine empire, and other regions that were within the sphere of Persian cultural influence. The mythical bird is also found in the mythology of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia and is called Kerkés, Semrug, Semurg, Samran and Samruk. The simurgh is depicted in Iranian art as a winged creature in the shape of a bird, gigantic enough to carry off an elephant or a whale. It appears as a kind of peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion; sometimes however also with a human face. The simurgh is inherently benevolent and unambiguously female.

Iranian legends consider the bird so old that it had seen the destruction of the World three times over. The simurgh learned so much by living so long that it is thought to possess the knowledge of all the Ages. In one legend, the simurgh was said to live 1,700 years before plunging itself into flames
(much like the phoenix).

The simurgh was considered to purify the land and waters and hence bestow fertility. The creature represented the union between the earth and the sky, serving as mediator and messenger between the two. The simurgh roosted in Gaokerena, the Hōm (Avestan: Haoma) Tree of Life, which stands in the middle of the world sea Vourukhasa. The plant is potent medicine, is called all-healing, and the seeds of all plants are deposited on it. When the simurgh took flight, the leaves of the tree of life shook making all the seeds of every plant to fall out. These seeds floated around the world on the winds of Vayu-Vata and the rains of Tishtrya, in cosmology taking root to become every type of plant that ever lived, and curing all the illnesses of mankind.

more : Wikipedia


(Persian folk music )