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When nothing existed at all, neither heaven nor earth, the great god Zurvan alone existed, whose name means ‘fate’ or ‘fortune’. He offered sacrifice for a thousand years that perchance he might have a son who should be called Ohrmazd and who would create heaven and earth. At the end of this period of a thousand years he began to ponder and said to himself: ‘What use is this sacrifice that I am offering, and will I really have a son called Ohrmazd, or am I taking all this trouble in vain?’ And no sooner had this thought occurred to him then both Ohrmazd and Ahriman were conceived -Ohrmazd because of the sacrifice he had offered, and Ahriman because of his doubt. When he realized that there were two sons in the womb, he made a vow saying: ‘Whichever of the two shall come to me first, him will I make king.’ Ohrmazd was apprised of his father’s thought and revealed it to Ahriman. When Ahriman heard this, he ripped the womb open, emerged, and advanced towards his father. Zurvan, seeing him, asked him: ‘Who art thou?’ And he replied: ‘I am thy son, Ohrmazd.’ And Zurvan said: ‘My son is light and fragrant, but thou art dark and stinking.’ And he wept most bitterly. And as they were talking together, Ohrmazd was born in his turn, light and fragrant; and Zurvan, seeing him, knew that it was his son Ohrmazd for whom he had offered sacrifice. Talking the barsom twigs he held in his hands with which he had been sacrificing, he gave them to Ohrmazd and said: ‘Up till now it is I who have offered thee sacrifice; from now on shalt thou sacrifice to me.’ But even as Zurvan handed the sacrificial twigs to Ohrmazd, Ahriman drew near and said to him :’Didst thou not vow that whichever of the sons should come to thee first, to him wouldst thou give the kingdom?’ And Zurvan said to him: ‘O false and wicked one, the kingdom shall be granted thee for nine thousand years, but Ohrmazd have I made a king above thee, and after nine thousand years he will reign and will do everything according to his good pleasure.’ And Ohrmazd created the heavens and the earth and all things that are beautiful and good; but Ahriman created the demons and all that is evil and perverse. Ohrmazd created riches, Ahriman poverty.

This is the Zurvanite myth in its crudest form, and it is strange that this myth, which was regarded by both Christian and Manichees as being typical of the Zoroastrian religion, is mentioned only once in the whole of the Pahlavi books. This one mention occurs in a passage in the Denkart which purports to be a commentary on Yasna 30.3, the very passage in which the Prophet speaks of the Holy and Destructive Spirits as twins. Even the Sassanian theologians, ignorant though they were of the sacred tongue in which the Avesta was written, must have known that this was the only possible interpretation of the Stanza in question, for it is quite one of the clearest in the Gathas. Their resolution of the dilemma was ingenious, if disingenuous. It so happens that the Avestan word eresh occurs in this stanza; and though they knew that this word meant ‘rightly’ and usually so translate it, they preferred on this occasion to feign ignorance and translated it with the Pahlavi word arish, which is one of the names of the demon of envy; and so it was possible for the author of the Denkart to represent the offensive doctrine as being the invention of the demons! The whole thing is passed off as being ‘a proclamation of the Demon of Envy to mankind that Ohrmazd and Ahriman were to brothers in one womb’. So was the Zurvanite heresy dismissed as being the invention of devilry. (R.C. Zaehner: Dawn and the Twilight of Zoroastrianism)

Zurvan’s Doubt
In purely mythological passages the archaic word Zurvan is usually used to represent the god, rather than the ordinary Persian word for ‘time’, zaman. The term Zurvan, however, is also used to mean the ‘Infinite’ or ‘unqualifiable Absolute’ as such. The mythological god, then, must be seen as the centre of the ‘mystery’ through which the unqualifiable One originates multiplicity. In the Zurvanite myth, Zurvan, like Rumi’s God, desires ‘that that treasure of loving-kindness and bounty should be revealed’. The latent and potential wishes to become manifest and actual: he wishes to have ‘a son whose name should be Ohrmazd and who would create heaven and earth and all that in them is’. Zurvan, however, does not create out of any super-fluity of being, for at the core of his being there is a latent defect of which he knows nothing. In the myth this is symbolized by his doubt: he sacrifices for a thousand years, and then doubts whether his sacrifice will have any effect. The sacrifice, as in Indian mythology, is also creative and results in the birth of Ohrmazd who is also the ‘Bounteous Spirit’ or, more literally, the ‘Spirit who brings increase’, while the doubt, the Absolute’s failure of nerve at the very moment when the creator is about to issue forth from him, produces the principle of evil. The ‘Fall’ in Zurvanism does not originate with man, it results from an imperfection, an unsureness of self, in the very heart of God. The ‘One’ has given birth to the ‘Two’, and ‘in duality is evil’. The whole purpose of the cosmic drama which is about to unfold is to restore the shattered unity, but this cannot be done by trying to re-integrate the Devil into the Absolute: it can only be done by eliminating him imperfection, his failure of nerve; and if God is ever to become perfect, he must become fully identified with Ohrmazd who personifies his essential wisdom, goodness, and light. God qua the Infinite is the source of good and evil; but God qua creator of heaven and earth proceeds from the Infinite and is absolutely good. The Godhead is divided and can only be restored by the total destruction of evil, when, with the abolition of finite Time, the Infinite and the Good will for the first time be wholly one. (Same source)

Aberrant Versions of the Zurvanite Myth
Before we pass on to this philosophical synthesis, however, we must say something of some variant forms of Zurvanism which have left traces in the Pahlavi books and are also attested in non-Zoroastrian writers. The starting point of the Zurvanite cosmology is closely akin to that of the cosmologies we find in the Upanishads in India. In the beginning is the undifferentiable One from which all duality and all pairs of opposites proceed. From it proceed not only light and darkness, good and evil, hot and cold, moist and dry, but also that most basic of all polarities -the polarity of male and female. Zurvan himself was originally bisexual; and his full name may well have been Zurvan i Khwashkhwarrik, ‘Zurvan whose Khwarenah or fortune is fair’; for a person of the name of Khwashkhwarrik is once said to be the mother of Ohrmazd and Ahriman. This, however, denotes no absolute differentiation of sex, for even those sources which speak of a mother’s womb in which the twins are contained later speak of Zurvan as father and mother: as Zurvan he is father, as Khwashkhwarrik he is mother. (Same Source)

Now let us look to the similarities in Vedic Hinduism:

In some lineages of Hinduism, Purusha (Sanskrit puruṣa, पुरुष “man, cosmic man”, in Sutra literature also called puṃs “man”) is the “Self” which pervades the universe. The Vedic divinities are interpretations of the many facets of Purusha. According to the Rigvedic Purusha sukta, Purusha was dismembered by the devas—his mind is the Moon, his eyes are the Sun, and his breath is the wind.
In the Rigveda, Purusha is described as a primeval giant that is sacrificed by the gods (see Purushamedha) and from whose body the world and the varnas (classes) are built. He is described as having a thousand heads and a thousand feet. He emanated Viraj, the female creative principle, from which he is reborn in turn after the world was made out of his parts.
Bhagavata Purana describes that Purusha is the first form of Supreme Lord Narayan and this Purusha is the source of everything in the universe. The Purusha in the title of Purusha Sukta refers to the Parama Purusha, Purushottama, Vedic Supreme God Narayana, in his form as the Viraat Purusha (Enormously Huge Being). It describes this form of his as having countless heads, eyes and legs manifested everywhere, and beyond the scope of any limited method of comprehension. All creation is but a fourth part of him. The rest is unmanifested. He is the source of all creation. Purusha along with Prakrti creates the necessary tattvas for the creation of universe.

Looking into science:

The Big Bang
Universe Big Bang-1 CMB Time
Watch a video or read the story of the history of the Universe.
The night sky presents the viewer with a picture of a calm and unchanging Universe. So the 1929 discovery by Edwin Hubble that the Universe is in fact expanding at enormous speed was revolutionary. Hubble noted that galaxies outside our own Milky Way were all moving away from us, each at a speed proportional to its distance from us. He quickly realized what this meant that there must have been an instant in time (now known to be about 14 billion years ago) when the entire Universe was contained in a single point in space. The Universe must have been born in this single violent event which came to be known as the “Big Bang.”
Astronomers combine mathematical models with observations to develop workable theories of how the Universe came to be. The mathematical underpinnings of the Big Bang theory include Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity along with standard theories of fundamental particles. Today NASA spacecraft such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope continue Edwin Hubble’s work of measuring the expansion of the Universe. One of the goals has long been to decide whether the Universe will expand forever, or whether it will someday stop, turn around, and collapse in a “Big Crunch?” Big Bang Theory

When you put the pieces together, you get:
Purusha is a being of 1,000 heads,1,000 eyes, and 1,000 feet. It is the essence of the Universe. The other name of this essence is Khwaskhwarrik, the “mother” of the twin sons, Hormazd and Ahriman. From this a light of consciousness sparked into the universe known as Zurvan, the beginning of Time. The Infinite became Finite because of Zurvan’s existence. Zurvan had an overwhelming need to have a son named Hormazd. Through this need, Zurvan began to sacrifice the essence,Purusha. Through a 1,000 sacrifices, the Daevas were created, and Zurvan was unaware. During these thousands sacrifices Zurvan began to build doubt. This was the self-conscious doubt that all his effort was in vain because there was no sign of change.

Within the womb of Khwaskhwarrik developed the son known as Hormazd and through Zurvan’s insecurity of doubt, Ahriman became fruit within the womb as well. Over time both twin Gods developed within the essence of the Universe. Outside Zurvan became excited as Daeva Nanshait(Shiva) made Zurvan aware of the twins. Nanshait convinced Zurvan to decree that the 1st son by his side would receive the kingdom. So it was so decreed. Daeva Nanshait was able to communicate with Ahriman through the womb. Nanshait informed Ahriman of Zurvan’s decree. This vexed Ahriman into action. At this point in Time Ahriman was unaware of Hormazd. Now with this new
understanding of both the decree and the race to Zurvan, Ahriman had to act fast

When I became self-aware, all was darkness. Complete stillness within a black chasm filled in a watery base. Throughout my time within I would bump into another who was like me, but not yet self-aware. I did not know that was my brother, let alone
my sworn enemy at that time. If only I’d
known then, I would have destroyed him. As things developed, I began to hear exterior noises, and over time I began tomunderstand these noises. My brother did become self-aware, and also understood the noises. While he rested, I heard the noise
say, “I will grant my favor to whom is born first.” In my mind I saw my father, Zurvan

That motherfucker promised favor over everything to the first born.There was also another voice who spoke to me, and he called himself Nanshait. He explained to me what that meant. He also explained that if I didn’t find my own
way out, my chances were slim. The lesson of creating my own was learned before birth.I hold Arch-Daeva Nanshait above all others. This is why. Then I moved about, bouncing off everything to find a way out, of my own mother. There was no way! I became desperate, I wanted to appease and attain favor! The walls felt pliable, so I grabbed and clawed at them. Shuttering began, other noises followed and I attained a greater focus and determination than I ever did; a joy of triumph.

At the time I was unaware of what was happening to my mother or even what she was. I kept tearing and clawing into the pliable solid, and felt a surge of energy and desperation. I took in this energy and it elated and drove me to continue to my goal.My intended focus became sharp and precise. My surroundings were shuddering,and noises of pain pushed my energy levels to a cataclysmic push!I remember as I tore through the threshold of her flesh, a huge burst of my energy and her essence slung into the void. As I pulled myself out, my father Zurvan grabbed me by the throat. He looked me
over and said, “Thou art dark and stinky! You are not my son!”

“Zurvan, did he not just abort himself to
fulfill your decree? Does he not get your
favor and kingdom?” asked Nanshait.

I stared at Zurvan, my gaze pierced his mind. The fear took over him; this again spiked my energy level. This was an uncontrollable rush. I started shaking and became jittery. This drove Zurvan’s fear even more. Then he threw me into the void and said, “For you have destroyed the essence, you shall rule alone.”
So I ended up in some dark recesses of the universe. It seemed to me, as I tore my way out, the husk that I was in exploded. All the pieces turned into what is known as stars, planets, and galaxies. Enraged, I moved toward a planet. I held it between my hands. Then I crushed it.

5 thoughts on “Zurvanism

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