Chapter One: The Ancient Homeland

The Story begins twenty thousand years ago, in an age shrouded in the mystery of time. An Age of Heroism, an age of strength and unbridled courage when men as strong as lions and women as pure as moonlight waged war against evil and fought for the welfare of their race and children.

At this time, the world was almost uninhabited. Except for a few savage tribes in Africa and India, the earth lay barren. It was the breeding place of dangerous animals and untamed jungle lands and deserts where no human could survive.

And yet, amazingly, there was one place on earth that was peopled. The very top of the world, the North Arctic region; was populated by a race of people who proudly called themselves, the Aryans. By this they meant simply, the Pure and the Noble On es. They formed the first civilised nation in the history of the world.

The Arctic region in those days, was not as icy and cold as it is now. It was warmer and the Aryans lived there very comfortably. The Aryans called their land Airyanam Vaejo, which meant the Homeland of the Aryans. Great Kings ruled over the Aryans in the North in that era of time. We speak of the time of King Jamshed, or Yima Vivangaho as he was called in those days.

There was no King greater than King Jamshed. A Man above men, he towered tall in his love for Ahura Mazda, the Eternal God. He led the Aryan race in the worship of Ahura Mazda, and the Aryans were thus called Mazdayasnis; Worshippers of Mazda.

King Jamshed was dearly loved by his subjects. And with very good reason. His was a Golden Rule. A rule in which there was no poverty to be seen in his Kingdom. Disease was brushed away from his subjects. It was said that when father and son used to walk on the street in the reign of King Jamshed, each appeared as young as a fifteen year old! Such was the purity of his subjects at the time.

Of all his happy subjects, we speak of one family under his reign. The family of Noshirwan the Warrior.

Noshirwan had been a Warrior since he was fifteen years of age. A Warrior of the Aryans always had a Chariot or Rath of his own, and so Noshirwan was called a Ratheshtar. Meaning, the Charioted Warrior. Very fair, tall and manly; with a leonine beard, he had married when he was fifteen to a girl he had seen one day on the streets of King Jamshed's capital.

The milky-white Aryan girl with long beaded plaits running down the back of her flowery dress, was very beautiful. Her young and innocent face was aflame with devotion as she mouthed the words "Ahura Mazda" while walking on the streets. Havovi was her name, and she had entranced Noshirwan when he saw her. He found from her parents that she had reached the age of fifteen just as he had, and so he had waited till it was time for the Yasna.

The Yasna was a huge open-air religious ceremony of the Aryan race. The Yasna was by far the holiest ceremony and was conducted by offering oblations to the Holy Fire in a huge altar erected on an open space of land. The ancient Aryan verses of praise and prayer were sung with zeal by the worshippers.

The Aryans worshipped Ahura Mazda and His holy elements Fire, water, earth and wind; the plants and the faithful animals on the earth; and the Sun, the Moon, and the constellations of Stars in the bright heavens above. For, as they sang with love and devotion; these precious things had been made by Ahura for helping man, and for being protected by man in turn. It was a cardinal sin to make impure the gifts of God. For this reason the Aryans never washed or bathed in a river, and followed the principles of hygiene and ecology thousands of years before modern science invented these words.

At the time the Yasna was held, the fifteen year olds of the race, whether men or women were accepted into the membership of the race by the Initiation ceremony, or what we now call the Navjot ceremony. The boy or girl was given the Kusti or Sacred Girdle to wear, which was called the Aiwiyaongahana in those days. On wearing the girdle, the boy or girl became a true member of the Mazdayasni Aryan community. He or she wore the Kusti proudly, as a symbol of righteousness and as a sign that he or she was a full-fledged member of the Aryan race. Such a person had a right to vote and speak in meetings of the race, and the boy could now be accepted for training as a warrior and Ratheshtar so that he could defend the Mazdayasni religion from enemies and his race from extinction.

It was at this Yasna ceremony, about twenty thousand years ago; that Noshirwan and Havovi were accepted into the Aryan Mazdayasni fold. As Havovi stood there proudly wearing the Kusti and being congratulated by her family and friends, Noshirwan walked up to her.

Havovi's attention centred at once on this tall dazzling young man, and her heart-beat quickened as those surrounding her made way for him. Noshirwan stood before her, and smiling from his deep brown eyes; spoke the words:

"I have chosen you as mine, O beautiful Havovi. Do you accept me, a member of the Aryan race, as yours?"

The happiness shone in Havovi's eyes. The young man before her was strong, manly and a courageous Ratheshtar. The light of his valour shone in his young eyes. And he was wearing his newly won Kusti so proudly, she thought.

"YES, I do.....!". And her eyes bowed down in maidenly shyness.

Immediately, a roar of enthusiastic happiness broke out from the circle of people gathered around. With happiness in their eyes, the parents and friends of Noshirwan and Havovi blessed them and wished them a long life and many Aryan children.

They were wed within the next hour, by a Zaota or High Priest of the religion. Standing in the open air before the sacred fire altar, the Zaota asked them to respect and faithfully obey the Aryan Institution of marriage, to learn to love each other for the rest of their days, to pay devotion to Ahura Mazda together as man and wife and to please Ahura, the King and the race by begetting many children.

For, as the Zaota explained, to bring forth new lives into the world was a Godly task. Each new life had to be trained by the parents to be a Ratheshtar, a warrior of God and to defend goodness and fight evil in the world. The more Ratheshtars the parents brought forth into the world and trained properly, the more pleased was Ahura Mazda and the King.

Havovi enjoyed her married life. Noshirwan treated her with great love and affection, and in every sense as his equal. The years passed by blissfully, Havovi inspiring her husband to new heights of courage and glory as he fought to protect the outlying areas of the Aryan homeland from marauding wild beasts and savage uncivilised tribes.

One day not long after, when Noshirwan had gone with his Rath to patrol the limits of the homeland, a small girl child was born to Havovi.

The child was dazzling in its beauty. When Havovi looked at it for the first time, she gasped in admiration; forgetting the labour pains through which she had just passed. Skin as white as the snowy clouds in the sky, eyes as blue as the deepest waters in the North; and hair as soft and blond as a Sun-beam come down to the earth. And a smile so innocent so as to melt a stone into water. Havovi's heart swelled with pride as she whispered...

"O Smallest, Newest Entrant into the Aryan Race! I, your mother; proudly name you Yasmin!"

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