Chapter Six: The Warrior Feroz dies

The blood-curdling roar of the monster mammoth thundered in the air as the two Ratheshtars gathered their wits about them.

They knew what they had to do. Under no circumstance could this monster be allowed to pass into the midst of the Aryan families, the women and children not very distant from them. It would be a massacre if they could not stop it.

The two Raths (chariots) broke away and fanned out like twin thunderbolts in the opposite directions, stopping when they had gone far enough from one another. Without wasting another moment, Peshotan and Feroz picked up their heavy brass spears and urged their great white horses towards the monster elephant.

Their young throats shook the air with the Ancient Aryan battle cry, "Victory to Ahura Mazda!" as they rushed headlong against the terrible beast.

Feroz was the first to throw his spear.

The heavy brass spear hissed through the air and struck the mammoth in the shoulder.

Roaring with pain, the prehistoric elephant swung towards its tormenter and, picking him up in its long trunk, threw him into the sky.

His mouth screaming "NO!", Peshotan reached the maddened elephant and with a tremendously powerful throw, slammed his deadly spear straight into its skull.

Lost in its death throes, the monster elephant sank to its knees as Peshotan rushed his chariot to where the body of Feroz had fallen. Tears in his eyes, he jumped from his Rath and lovingly placed the dying warrior's head in his lap.

Feroz, his eyes half closed and already dimmed; looked up as a tear fell on his cheek.

As the snow fell in torrents around them, and as the howling wind passed like a demon over their heads; the dying warrior whispered in halting gasps to his weeping friend:

"Do not cry, my noble friend

Since I die to save my people -

I leave you now for ever,

To Ahura's arms I go

And when - I am gone -

You too must do as I have done

And protect our ancient religion from harm!

I die, but the Faith of Ahura Mazda

Must never die out!"

The last words were barely out when the brave youth's eyes lost their flicker of life.

Peshotan stood up. The snow was already beginning to cover the body. He forced his eyes away and ran towards his Rath.

Some distance away, the ten thousand strong band of Aryans was continuing the tremendous journey southwards. The snow storm that had lasted for so many days had now abated. The air was filled with a sharp chill, and the Aryan men and women rubbed their weary eyes as they looked at the sky.

The sky on that day twenty thousand years ago was beginning to fill with an azure blue sheet of colour as the grandeous sun arose.

The sun, the beloved of the Aryan race. The giver of warmth and life to the world, and the special creation of Ahura Mazda for the benefit of mankind.

Many of those on that great journey paused for a moment to bow to the shimmering golden sun, and the air reverberated with the chanting of thousands of powerful holy verses or Mathras of praise for the shimmering orb of light.

If the Sun were not to rise at all, the Aryans sang; the evil spirit would destroy the entire creation. The Sun, known to them as Hvare Khshaeta (Golden King) from which the word Khorshed was later derived; was eternally brilliant, and the emitter of strong light. When the Sun's rays shone, thousands of spiritual beings created by Ahura sent down the lustre to the earth; to render prosperous the righteous creation of Ahura.

When the Sun rises, they sang with devotion and fervour; the land created by Ahura becomes purified. The flowing waters of the rivers are purified, the waters of the spring, the sea and the stagnant waters are purified. The Sun's holy rays even purified the wisdom of the human mind and increased the righteousness in the person who kept his mind open to the sun's purifying influence.

This was their fervent wish and desire, that the Sun would influence them to be more righteous, more pure and ever truer in their devotion to the great Ahura Mazda, the ancient God of the Aryans and the God of the whole world.

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