Night had come and gone. The lone Rath (chariot) was rumbling alongside the great ice chasm, its weary occupants searching for an end to its vastness. Then they would cross and at long last join the hundreds of Aryan families that had gone across before them.
Yasmin closed her eyes. Crying her heart out, she clung to the breast of Noshirwan.
"Father, will we EVER meet mother again?"
Noshirwan, his face bleak without any sleep; soothed his daughter's golden hair and pressed her to him.
"Yasmin, Yasmin. My dearest daughter. Have faith. Have hope. Take the Name of Ahura Mazda. Believe in His majesty and mercy."
Indeed, the gift of Ahura to man is hope. Man can but hope, when through trials and sufferings he finds himself defenceless.
"To be despondent is against our Aryan religion. To be dejected is not worthy of us. Let us fill our minds with cheerfulness and give thanks to Ahura that we are still alive."
Dawn was breaking, a glorious dawn and the sun was rising; bathing the whole land in its rays of light. The ice shimmered and shone pure white as father and daughter stopped the chariot to sing hymns of praise to the rising sun.
This the Aryans had always done since time immemorial; and this father and daughter did now; and then put on their sacred Aryan girdles or Kustis.
Yasmin then bowed down to her father; who blessed her with eyes moist with paternal love. Every Aryan child was noble enough to pay respect to his or her parents each morning. The very word Aryan meant, the Noble.
Noshirwan drove the Rath more slowly now. His daughter's rosy face was aglow with devotion and love as she looked at her father and listened to him explaining Ahura's Divine plan to her. The Aryan parents taught their children to be warriors of God and fight for God on the cause of Good against evil. Every Ratheshtar (warrior) of God was expected to fight evil in whatever form he encountered it.
If he noted evil tendencies in his fellow humans, he should speak out fearlessly against them and try to convert them to the good Path of Asha (Righteousness). If he noticed impurity and uncleanliness in the creations of God such as the rivers and trees, he should try to make them clean and pure once again. For, cleanliness and purity both in body and spirit were very important if one wanted to follow the path of Asha.
It was the path of Asha that Noshirwan was explaining to Yasmin. Asha or Ereta (Rta in Sanskrit) was the great law of the universe. Everything worked as per this law, which had been created by Ahura. When the planets revolved, they were following the law of Asha. When the rivers flowed and fell into the ocean, they were following the law of Asha. When man was being righteous, he was following the law of Asha.
Thus, Noshirwan explained to his daughter; Asha meant following the Natural law. Being truthful, pure and devoted to Ahura was but natural, since He had created us. And being clean and not making impure any creation of Ahura was also the natural law, and so following the path of Asha to the ancient Aryans included following the laws of ecology and hygiene thousands of years before modern science invented these words.
The sun had reached its zenith and the Rath; its wheels slowly turning rumbled ahead, the brave father explaining the faith of the Aryans to his devoted daughter. Suddenly, a hoarse cry pierced the air. Noshirwan and Yasmin, shocked out of their dialogue spun around in surprise.
Barely a mile away from them; shouting and shrieking; a group of riders was advancing on them. Even from that distance, Noshirwan could recognise them. He looked at Yasmin and said tersely:
Barbarians! The sworn enemies of the Aryans. They were the tribes living on the fringes of the Aryan homeland and who did not believe in Ahura Mazda, yet had no religion of their own. They practised barbaric rites including human sacrifice, and worshipped demons and evil spirits.
The barbarians had always been jealous of the civilised towns and cities of the Aryans in Airyanam Vaejo, the ancient homeland. Under the great Aryan Kings who were known as Kavis, the greatest of them being Yima Vivangaho or Jamshed, the Aryans had reached the zenith of civilisation. The sciences of medicine, surgery, agriculture, ecology, astronomy and astrology were perfected by them.
This was the cause of fanatic envy for the barbarians, who had no civilisation to call their own.
And they had always eyed the beautiful and fair-skinned Aryan women with lustful desire.
And now on that day twenty thousand years ago, a band of these same barbarians was advancing with fierce whooping cries on Noshirwan and his lovely daughter; Yasmin ...the Fairest of the Aryan race.
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