I’ve had this image on my mind for some days now. Both for what it represents – yet also for what it doesn’t. What’s been projected upon it, in other words.
Now, as for the former – it’s a representation of the Sogdian deific, Vesparkar (also anglicized as Weshparkar, Veshparkar, Wysprkr etc.), from a fine relief carving on the stonework sarcophagus of a Sogdian (and his wife, Wiyusi – ‘Dawn’, like our ‘Ushas’) known as Shi Jun (‘Master Shi’) or Wirkak (likely from the same root as ‘Vrka’ .. that is to say – ‘Wolf’). If that first name sounds a bit Chinese, then that’s because it is – the sarcophagus was found in Xi’an, and belongs to a Sogdian ‘Sabao’ (in Sogdian, it is ‘S′rtp′w’ – ‘Caravan Leader’ or ‘Administrator’) who’d been living in central China at the other end of the massive cross-continent trading network which once stood astride Eurasia.
There, he died – in about 579 or 580 AD – and there he was interred, in a structure carved by Chinese artisans which features quite the eclectic array of stylistic features drawn from across the Eurasian sphere. And that is why it is of interest to us – or, rather, more specifically it is of interest to us because there are three somewhat interrelated Indo-Iranian traditions that are represented in, especially, this single element of the carving which I have chosen to focus upon here in this piece.
The broader context of what’s going on in this panel … is that the Sogdian gentleman and his wife have died, and are now standing at the entryway to the hereafter – depicted here as a bridge across rushing waters. In Zoroastrian terms, this would be the Chinvat Bridge – although it is useful and necessary to note that the Zoroastrians most certainly did not possess a monopoly upon the concept of the afterworld being across a liminal barrier of a river that had to be transversed by the souls of the dead. We are all familiar with Charon and the Styx, etc.; and there are several other resonancies to be found elsewhere across the IE sphere, including in Hinduism. I have written elsewhere about some of the … intricacies of this, especially as applies the ‘River of Stars’, and the ‘Sea of Sky’ concepts – but we shall leave a more full examination of these for another time. I have also written about the Guard Dog(s) that are to be found there in various IE perspectives elsewhere, likewise (in this panel, depicted immediately above the two figures standing at the bridge’s entryway).
This all makes entirely logical sense for what is, in essence, a tomb. Somebody has died, and upon the exterior, we find an evocatively illustrated presentation of where they’re headed next.
Except that is not our focus here. Rather, it is this most august figure at the top of the panel. Who is He? And what does He represent?
And that is where things get interesting.
The figure of Weshparkar is conventionally identified as a development of the Iranic Vayu. Why? Well, the Sogdians are, themselves, an Iranic group – part of the general Eastern Iranic sphere which for these purposes we might also feasibly describe as ‘Scythian’ in general terms. The name itself is held to be a contraction of a term directly attested in Avestan usage in various liturgies – ‘Wayaos uparo kairyehe’ (also anglicized as ‘Vayus uparo kairyo’). What does this mean? Effectively, “Vayu the High-Working”, or Vayu the Powerful/On High (it can also be interpreted rather less evocatively as ‘Possessing Superior Skill’). This refers to the Wind (Vayu) in the upper atmosphere. It is a standard phrase, and the supposition is that it represents a direct calquing (or, rather, transposition) of the Persianate formula into Sogdian.
So why is this of interest to us? Because the deific that is being described in such a manner … is bearing a Trishula (Trident), and is seated upon Bull(s). Now, Whom do we know Who might so happen to fit THAT particular iconographic depiction …
And the answer is, of course, Lord Shiva. The Hindu Lord Shiva. Also known as Dyaus Pitar – the Indo-European Sky Father Himself !
And this is where I get up upon my pulpit and/or hobby-horse. Which may have antlers. We’ll see how things go!
The Smithsonian description of this panel echoes a standard academic viewpoint upon the matter – “Due to the lack of other available models, the Chang’an stone carver has based Weshparkar on the form of the Hindu deity Shiva Maheshvara”.
Or, phrased another way, they cannot work out why an ostensibly Zoroastrian-ish deity of the Sogdians is obviously represented in a manner strongly resemblant of our Shiva. And so have put it down to the rather curious presumption that Chinese artisans, not really knowing what the Sogdian (or, for that matter, Zoroastrian) deific ‘should’ look like, have instead seized upon a Hindu figure.
Straightaway, we can start to see the problems with this notion. There was a Sogdian community in Xi’an at the time – nobody thought to check with the living Sogdians? Instead, iconography from all the way on the other side of the Himalayas is felt to be more ‘familiar’ and ‘accessible’ to Chinese sculptors than the more immediate inhabitants closely engaged in trading with their own realm? Seems a bit of a stretch. And that’s before we consider the fine Weshparkar depiction found at Penjikent in modern-day Tajikistan – another Sogdian site, from roughly the same period (various of them are a few decades later), and on the other side of the Taklamakan Desert from the Chinese end of the trading route. What do we find there? Well, the murals are sadly seriously degraded, however to any Hindu it is immediately obvious just Whom the Trishula-wielding figure depicted there is – for us, anyway.
So, in other words and to phrase things more succinctly: we can demonstrate that to the Sogdians … Weshparkar looking a lot like Shiva was NOT some aberration caused by unfamiliar Chinese sculptors just seizing upon any old thing due to their lack of care nor knowledge about ‘foreign’ deifics. Instead – it is a quite correct depiction, if in a Chinese-ish aesthetic (something of a necessity, apparently, as the Sogdians are reportedly not supposed to have been too big upon this kind of stone-carving).
Yet if it’s so immediately apparent that this is the case … why do we find the resistance to this from some academics? Well, the answer to that is a bit ‘conspiratorial’ sounding – there is a significant pressure of orthodoxy to ‘minimize’ Hindu saliency out there upon the Steppes. Instead, anything and everything is supposed to be Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Greek, or even Mesopotamian … but not Hindu. This may sound an extreme claim, but one just has to consider the title of a leading work upon the subject – “Iranian Gods in Hindu Garb: the Zoroastrian Pantheon of the Bactrians and Sogdians”; or, for that matter, the most curious manner in which multiple-armed, lion-riding Mother / War Goddess figures are held to be the result of Mesopotamian influence … rather than, you know, our Devi Durga – and endogenously Indo-European considering the iconographic associations encountered as far afield as Freyja of the Norse, etc.
Figures such as an obviously Shiva Weshparkar present an obvious challenge to these claims – because it is simply not possible to ‘explain away’ the depiction in question as being one of ‘Iranic’ and more pointedly ‘Zoroastrian’ Vayu. There is simply no major Zoroastrian iconographic tradition which depicts Vayu mounted upon a Bull, wielding a three-pointed Spear.
More worrisomely for those effectively pushing the line of the Scythian sphere as being Zoroastrian but on horseback – the underlying network of associations for Lord Shiva are decidedly non-positive within that particular religion’s perceptions. Sarva [‘The Archer’ – a prominent theonym of Rudra in the Vedas and subsequent Hindu texts] is literally demonized, along with even the word “Deva” [ostensibly cognate with ‘Deus’, ‘-Tyr’, etc., i.e. ‘God’ (more literally ‘Shining One’) – the ‘Devs’/’Divs’/’Daeva’ of the Zoroastrians are taken to be ‘Demons’ bitterly opposed to the divine]. The associations with freedom, the broad-rangingness of the wind, the Sons Who turn up upon antlered steeds (as mythically attested for the Maruts etc. … and also archaeologically attested for the Scythians – as seen at Pazyryk), the provision of the Divine Inspiration [‘Furor’ we would say in the West – Ugra, Vipra, and other such terms in the Vedic sphere; with, again, this becoming not just demonized but referred to as ‘homosexual’ in Zoroastrian texts] … these do not fit comfortably at all with the Zoroastrian orthodoxy. Even as they do fit most comfortably with the Scythian and other associated para-#GangSteppe Indo-European peoples and deific understandings. Hence, in no small part, why we find those archaic Zoroastrian attestations of fear and loathing of the ‘Turanian’ religious opposition that their heresy had faced, and who had driven them so far to the west to the land of Medea in the first instance. And hence, no doubt, why we find archaic Hindu texts speaking of Shaivite worshippers living out on the Steppes in Saka [i.e. ‘Scythian’] country.
Now I have previously made the case, when discussing the ‘Oesho’ figure that is prominent upon quite an array of coinage etc. from the Kushan and Kushano-Sassanians eras in Bactria and its surrounds – that this is, again, Shiva [see, for instance, “Shaivite Coin Of Kushanshah Peroz II – A Hindu God In Hindu Garb – Arte-Facts #9”]. Upon this, we are on firmer ground ‘midst academia, if for no other reason than the Hinduism of at least some of these rulers is quite prominently attested and so there is a begrudging acceptance that maybe, just maybe, Hindu kings might have Hindu Gods upon their coinage. Except even here, we often tend to see various explanations advanced for the iconographic resonancy that effectively amount to “oh, well it just looks like Shiva”. And, to my especial lack of surprise, the linkage is once more auto-presumed to be an Iranic – and more specifically, Zoroastrian ‘Vayu’ which has informed both the representation (and its significance), and the nomenclature. ‘Oesho’ being supposed to hail from this same ‘Wayaos uparo kairyehe’ – rather than the rather more logical ‘Ishvara’ [Sanskrit for ‘God-Emperor’, a theonymic epithet for Lord Shiva as supreme lord of the Cosmos].
[There is also, I have just discovered, an attempt to explicate the iconography upon a more Hellenic basis – ascribing various traits to Poseidon (which is logical-ish), or Herakles (which is … not). As applies Poseidon – while it would be somewhat surprising to find a God of the Seas in the relatively more telluric Central Asian Steppe, this would not be entirely surprising in essence … due to Poseidon being one refraction of the Indo-European Sky Father, and yes, most certainly having a bull and trident linkage. Hence why, in essence, it is not necessarily an incorrect linkage – even if the actual likelihood of the Kushan figure of Oesho drawing more exclusively from Hellenic depictions of Poseidon brought east all those centuries ago rather than the immediately nearby and very much more prominent at that time Hindu visualizations of Shiva … is limited. With some Sasanian representations of Oesho (I suspect the author meant ‘Kushano-Sasanian’), there is reportedly a stronger Hellenic influence – Zeus-style figures … but with a Crescent Moon upon His Brow. Again, exactly in line with Shiva (Chandrasekhara), and not really something found in the ‘Classical’ Hellenic iconographic corpus for Him. As for Herakles – a moment’s consideration ought reveal why this seems very peculiar indeed. Herakles is the Striker/Thunderer, the Son of the Sky Father. There are few grounds for iconographic, let alone mythographic coterminity … and having spent a significant quotient of my morning pouring over the evidence raised for such a concept (including “both have animal skins” and “a ruler issues some coinage featuring one deific and other coinage featuring another”, to paraphrase), it appears very probable that much of it hangs on an ancient numismatic typo. One which was corrected, meaning the ‘evidence’ is the faint impression of the uncorrected version as if that were the ‘true’ one. You see what I mean about seemingly looking for any excuse, no matter how … peculiar or forced, to try and de-legitimate clear Hindu saliency? (To be fair and sure, there’s slightly more to the Herakles coin issue, and I may return at some later point to examine some of the ‘moving parts’ to this in more detail)]
In any case, the figure of Oesho is quite integral for showing what is truly going on here.
For whereas it is often crudely presumed by those who have little knowledge nor interest in the Hindu theology, that Oesho represents some kind of ‘syncretic’ ‘smooshing together’ of two ostensibly separate deifics – Vayu and (Hindu) Shiva – in actuality, Vayu is a form of Shiva. Something that has been long known in the Hindusphere – for example, its quite direct statement in Shatapatha Brahmana VI 1 3 13; and which has obvious archaic Indo-European origins, as can be easily observed via the comparison of the mythic situation of Nordic Odin to both Vedic Vayu and Rudra.
Or, to perhaps phrase it another way – yet also more directly … both Vayu and Rudra (and Agni) are forms of the Indo-European Sky Father Deific; and yes, yes we most certainly do have the direct Vedic statements on Rudra as Dyaus Pitar [see my earlier ‘On The Still Active Dyaus Pitar Of The Indo-Europeans – The Sky Father Still Roars Supreme’].
An intriguing feature attested for each of Rudra and Vayu and Agni in the Vedic corpus is a sort of ‘dual-faced’ nature – alternately, ‘Shiva’ [that is to say, ‘Auspicious’, ‘Positive’, ‘Nurturing’ [as in ‘causing to grow’, per one reconstructive etymology], perhaps ‘Lordly’], and yet also at other times … rather more Destructive, Death, and Baelful. This is seen quite directly with the two heads of Agni in iconography, or the Rudra – Shiva distinction prevalent particularly in modern Hinduism’s regarding of the situation (wherein the latter epithet has become a theonym quite directly linked to the more ‘kindly’ and ‘auspicious/fortunate’ correlated facing of the same God).
It is also beheld in slightly different terms when we consider the Zoroastrian textual corpus. There, we find it stated in Yasht 15 – the ‘Ram Yasht’ :
“My name is Vayu, O holy Zarathushtra! My name is Vayu, because I go through (vyemi) the two worlds, the one which the Good Spirit has made and the one which the Evil Spirit has made.
My name is the Overtaker (apaeta), O holy Zarathushtra! My name is the Overtaker, because I can overtake the creatures of both worlds, the one that the Good Spirit has made and the one that the Evil Spirit has made.”
(Variant translation, rather more succinct in its synopsis:
“The reason that I am called Vayu is that I pursue (attain, conquer) both creations, both that which Spənta Mainyu created and that which Aŋra Mainyu created.”)
Now, as for what is being communicated there … it is a sort of ‘dual nature’ for the Zoroastrian perception of Vayu. On the one hand, ‘Good’, and on the other – more foreboding, indeed downright terrific (for He begets Terror). It has been turned from the relatively more nuanced Vedic/Hindu and therefore likely archaic Indo-Iranian (and, indeed, Proper Post-Andronovo) understanding where these are two facets or facings of the God, through to a simultaneously more abstracted and yet reified ‘move on two spheres/worlds’. A ‘foot in both camps’, we might perhaps idiomatically render it.
However, in-context, there is also something quite remarkable to this Yasht. Namely –
“To him did the Maker, Ahura Mazda, offer up a sacrifice in the Airyana Vaejah, on a golden throne, under golden beams and a golden canopy, with bundles of baresma and offerings of full-boiling [milk].
He begged of him a boon, saying: ‘Grant me this, O Vayu! who dost work highly, that I may smite the creation of Angra Mainyu, and that nobody may smite this creation of the Good Spirit!’ [variant translation: “that I may strike down the creatures of Aŋra Mainyu, by no means what belongs to Spənta Mainyu”]
Vayu, who works highly, granted him that boon, as the Maker, Ahura Mazda, did pursue it.”
Now as for why that is interesting – apart from that third line I have quoted (actually line 4 in the original Yasht) containing, quite directly, our old friend ‘Vayush yo uparo-kairyo’ – it is because it depicts Ahura Mazda having to pray to Vayu for empowerment. And it is also a rather pointed request that the smiting in question be only of the malefic – not of what ‘belongs’ to the realm of Spenta Mainyu (i.e. ‘Good Spirit’).
The Yashts are, of course, a later layer of Zoroastrian scripture as compared to what was composed in Zoroaster’s own day and by Zoroaster’s own reputed hand – hence why we begin once more to see an array of deifics invoked therein. Zoroaster himself almost pointedly does not do this in his own work, instead focusing upon a substantively ‘godless’ paradigm – simply himself and ‘Wisdom’ [‘Mazda’]. It appears that as time wore on, the later clades of Zoroastrians felt the need to ‘re-introduce’ the Indo-Iranic deifics of their pre-Zoroastrian ancestors … but usually in ‘sanitized’ and ‘controllable’ format (c.f the situation we see with the various points of distinction between Vedic Indra (demonized under the same name by the Zoroastrians), and later Zoroastrian Verethragna, as I have covered in greater detail elsewhere). It is quite likely that, even despite this particular Yasht presenting in its lines Zoroaster acting in imitation of Ahura Mazda in calling upon Vayu (and a moment’s consideration of the hubris enjoined in such a ritual formula … ), that Zoroaster himself would have been outward appalled at how his ‘perfect’, ‘pure’, and Godsless [well, Deva-less, at the absolute very least] nuevo-religion had now wound up paying some form of homage to versions of the same beings he’d sought to have cast down all those years ago and all those miles to the east in Bactria. Especially, as in this case, where it is quite directly and overtly stated that there is a power even mightier than the pseudo-deific that Zoroaster had invented – and one that was also partially of the ‘malefic’ (from Zoroastrian perspective, at least) world.
There are an array of potential explanations for why this evident transition had eventually occurred – and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive from one another. As applies Verethragna, it has been suggested that a revolt of the warrior caste may have been in the offing if their efforts to propitiate the Striker/Thunderer of their forefathers persisted, hence necessitating the congealment of an ‘acceptable’ substitute that was still recognizably running from the similar template as the original. As applies Anahita, it would seem that the true and proper archaic Indo-Iranic worship of the Goddess could not be suppressed – and so we find archaic Zoroastrian texts referencing ‘Daevic’ worship of Her, including quite pointedly by the Turanians. As we have previously discussed (and done so much more expansively elsewhere – see my ‘On Indo-European Divine Inspiration – And The Zoroastrian Persecutory Suppression Of Same’, inter many alia), the Turanians are Indo-Iranic inhabitants of the Steppe and its surrounds that were (largely) significantly unimpressed with Zoroaster’s attempted religious “reforms”, and proceeded to make war against him and his followers to the point that they had to evacuate all the way across the expanse of Central Asia to the land of Medea, which became its new heartland reasonably early on in the religion’s history. They are, in short, religiously conservative and a definite part of the ‘Scythian’ sphere. As with the Vedic religion, they would represent a direct continuance of the archaic Andronovo (and therefore early Indo-Iranic) religious orthodoxy; with the strong contiguity of what we can divine about the Turanian religion with the Vedic – thanks almost entirely to the Zoroastrians’ identifications by name of what it was they found so repulsive and fearful – further speaking to this archaic and essence-tial underlying unity for the Indo-Iranian sphere in terms quite overtly recognizable to the Vedic.
And all of that brings us – approximately – back full circle, or near enough thereabouts, to the Sogdians and their Weshparkar depictions.
Now I absolutely do not disagree that the Zoroastrians had an influence on the general Scythian sphere – the only point at issue there is just how much of an influence, how substantive, and in what forms that influency might be viably demonstrated to have taken.
The presumption so frequently encountered in some circles that the Scythians were, in effect, Zoroastrians – I do not think is in any way, shape, or form credible. It should require us abandoning quite an extensive array of textual and archaeological evidence in order to believe such a thing possible; and would represent a sort of ‘final triumph’ from the grave of the early Zoroastrians, converting via the bluster of their inheritors what they could not hope to seek nor to hold in life. Post-mortem appropriations, in other words – so perish the thought!
However, that does not mean that particular parts of the Scythian sphere were not to varying extents Zoroastrian-influenced – especially as applies iconography. After all, the Persians were a notable and opulent civilization in their heyday. If one is looting and plundering therefrom, one is of course going to wind up with a fair quotient of their aesthetics sitting about the place, and perhaps acting in somewhat imitation of – in a not entirely dissimilar manner to how we had also seen Hellenic elements (for instance, the diadem) turn up in these spheres likewise as holdovers from when the Greek cultural saliency was greater in those parts. As applies the well-connected Sogdians, with their mercantile behavior and enmeshment with the Persian sphere specifically at the western end of their networks, it would not be at all surprising that the influence would, tthere, be greater for the prominent faith of the Persians thereupon.
Except so often in these matters, we semi-consciously confuse the ‘expression’ (the outer, visual manifestations especially) for the ‘essence’; and in these particular cases, postulate that the outward adoption of some Zoroastrian frippery means that the more archaic and authentic Scythian elements have been subsumed, displaced, overwritten in fairly direct consequence.
Careful consideration of the evidence demonstrates the inherent falsehood of this seemingly default proposition. For example, if we were to consider the Indo-Scythian tapestry unearthed in a Xiongnu barrow in Mongolia which depicts a Soma ceremony – it is quite clear that yes, yes indeed there are Zoroastrian visual elements to the depiction. Yet if we look closer, we find that there are also other features – and most pointed of these, for our purposes, is that the ‘active ingredient’ in this Soma ceremony (and I pointedly phrase that it is a Soma ceremony, not a Haoma one), appears to be a psilocybin mushroom species held aloft by one of its officiants. Given the entirely well-founded observations about the likely identity of Soma (and other such ‘Empowering Elixirs’ across the Indo-European sphere) having such source-material in the mycological world, with the utilization of ephedra as ‘active ingredient’ in Zoroastrian ‘haoma’ appearing to be a bait-and-switch following Zoroaster’s efforts at stamping out the previous religious orthodoxy … it is quite telling that it is precisely that orthodoxy we appear to see on show there, rather than the Zoroastrian subversion.
As I say – ‘expression’ is one thing … but ‘essence’, it may be quite another. These things are old – these things are true.
So what does all of this mean for the depiction of Weshparkar, and for that matter, for the funerary monument and its occupants at issue here?
Well, to start with the later and work our way both backward and upward – it is evident that whatever Zoroastrian influence was exerted upon the Sogdian (and, for that matter, broader Scythian) sphere at the time that Wolf and his wife Dawn were living … it was at best rather heterodox in various particulars (likely, at least partially because of their position on the ‘periphery’ of the Persianate sphere even before the distance to China is taken into consideration; and at least partially also due to the array of other influences ‘crowding it out’). We can tell that via the very fact of the tomb’s existence in question. Zoroastrians do not, as a rule, tend to bury their dead underground. They expose them in a communal location, and let nature and the elements erode the remains away to bone. Here, by contrast, we have the opposite – the man and his wife, together toward eternity within the earth and within a finely wrought sarcophagus tomb of stone.
Now, there are some potential explanations for this otherwise noteworthy departure – including a lack of Chinese permission for the more traditionally Zoroastrian observances in this regard to actually be carried out. However, that absolutely does not explain the core figure at issue here – a quite clearly and prominently Hindu-recognizable (if Central Asian garbed) Shiva, situated looking down on the comings-and-goings across the Bridge to the Afterworld.
What can, however, is our easy knowledge of the proper and appropriate Indo-European comparanda – that (all-)pervading confluency of the Vedic/Hindu, Hellenic/Greek and Roman, Nordic/Germanic, Celtic, Scythian, etc. etc. perspectives which help us to arise at the actual archaic truth.
Shiva is, as we have earlier noted, Dyaus Pitar – the Sky Father. The Sky Father deific has a rather prominent role in the Afterworld – as attested via, for instance, Odin, Hades / Pluto , Dis Pater, and Varuna (and, for that matter, potentially Brihaspati) in YamaLoka in the RigVeda, etc. This may also include a rather important role facilitating the conveyance of souls to that realm – as seen with Agni as the Wolf in RV X 16. In terms of Vayu, this is particularly relevant – after all, the investiture of Breath is what brings us to life (an understanding also shared with the Nordic anthropogenesis as detailed in the Voluspa and Gylfaginning (although it is the Voluspa where Odin’s investiture of Önd is made explicit – and it is interesting to note that the term, so clearly cognate and coterminous with ‘Wind’, is often translated as ‘Soul’ here. All-Father, indeed !) ; and therefore, the exhaling of that final breath which correlates with the soul leaving off upon its next phase of its metempsychotic journey (an instance interestingly linked to the Rudras in Vedic textual spheres, as applies the last breath’s leaving one’s lungs).
That aforementioned Afterworld, I do not call an Underworld, precisely because in the more archaic Indo-European understanding it is not one. Rather, it is in the Sky – indeed, heading for the High Heaven, hence the ‘Solar Afterlife’ concept we have discussed in (A)Arti-cles elsewhere; and also the Vyomakesha understanding for the ‘Heaven-Haired’, ‘Wind-as-Soul’ hair of Lord Shiva which has intriguing iconographic and mytho-linguistic resonations in both the Classical and Nordic canons [as discussed, inter alia, in ‘On Valaskjalf, Hlidskjalf, Paramevyoman: The Golden Throne And The Indo-European Solar Realm Of The Glorious/Ancestral Dead – The Indo-European Cosmology – A Brief Guided Tour: Part Dieux’] … pretty much where we should expect to find a ‘High-Working’ Deity to be. Welcoming us Home.
And so therefore, to phrase things (reasonably) succinctly – what we are seeing here is yet more evidence not for some curious syncreticism of unrelated deifics via the magic of trade-routes and cultural melting-pots with limited regard for any form of theological integrity, as is so commonly alleged. But rather, that thanks to an array of Indo-European (and more specifically – Indo-Iranic) influences conmingling in this manner, in this sphere and specia Steppe / Scythian-ish space … proper elements to the archaic Iranic understanding of Vayu being restored, even amidst what was otherwise an erstwhile (if, perhaps, peripheral) Zoroastrian-ish populace. Indeed, the infusion of Hindu ‘dna’ as guide, empowerment, and template evidently facilitated a resurrection of what is, effectively, a pre-Zoroastrian (Indo-)Iranic perception of the deific. If not necessarily various of the surrounding context.
There is more that can, should, and must be said upon various of these aforementioned matters – but for now, I think, it is enough. It is Wednesday – a day that has, within its very name, a point of salient linkage for this subject.
And therefore – Hail to the Sky Father Who Is The High-Working Wind !
Jai Ishvara !