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Atash Bahram

Rakefet Dictionary

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Atash-Bahram, Atash Behram (Persian) Verethraghna (Avestan), Varhran, Varhram (Pahlavi) The sacred fire of the Parsis, kept perpetually burning on the altars; the third fire in the septenary system represents the first created fire, the fire of consciousness. Philosophically it alludes to the idea of becoming. It corresponds to the Hindu akasa (SD 1:338). Bahram (victorious) is one of the seven planets which rules over the first month of the Iranian year, Farvardin (Aries). In Vedic literature he is known as the slayer of the demon Vritra. In Islamic mystical writings Bahram is referred to as the fifth sphere or intellect. "As the earthly representative of the heavenly fire, it is the sacred center to which every earthly fire longs to return, in order to be united again, as much as possible, with its native abode. The more it has been defiled by worldly uses, the greater is the merit acquired by freeing it from defilement" (Vendidad 113). The Vestals in ancient Rome also kept a fire burning perpetually on their altars, as did the Greeks in the temple on the Acropolis, thus keeping the remembrance of the "living fire" by means of a visible manifestation.
The fundamental idea in these various manners of adoring fire was that, because of the warming and life-giving functions of this universal element, it symbolized the vital and all-penetrating activity of cosmic life. Furthermore, because the sun was the focus or heart through which pours the life of any solar system, therefore the ideas connected with ancient fire worship are likewise intimately connected with the teachings concerning the solar orb and its indwelling divinity. See also FIRE WORSHIP