In this dream, as in a flash of lightning, Ram saw his mission and the great destiny of his race. From that moment he no longer hesitated. Instead of igniting the spark of war among the peoples of Europe, he decided to take the best of his race into Asia. He announced to his people that he would institute the cult of the sacred fire, which would bring about mankind's happiness; that human sacrifices would be abolished forever; that ancestors would be invoked no longer by bloodthirsty priestesses beside savage rocks dripping with human blood, but in each home, by husband and wife joined in a single prayer, in a hymn of adoration, near the fire which purifies. Yes, the visible fire of the altar, symbol and conductor of the invisible celestial fire, would unite family, clan, tribe and all peoples -- a center of the living God on earth. But in order to reap this harvest, it was necessary to separate the good grain from the tares; it was necessary for the bravest to prepare themselves to leave Europe in order to conquer a new land, a virgin country. There he would issue his law; there he would establish the cult of the regenerating fire.
This proposal was received enthusiastically by a young people, yearning for adventure. Lighted fires, kept burning for several months on the mountains, were the signal for the mass migration of all who wished to follow the Ram. The tremendous migration, directed by that great shepherd of peoples, slowly started to move, departing in the direction of Central Asia. Among the Caucasus Mountains were several Cyclopean strongholds of the black men which had to be captured. In memory of these victories, the white people later carved huge rams' heads in the rocks of the Caucasus.
Ram proved himself worthy of his great mission. He smoothed out difficulties, read thoughts, predicted the future, healed the sick, calmed the rebels, set courage aflame. Thus the heavenly powers which we call Providence willed the rule of the northern race on earth, and by means of Ram's wisdom, cast shining light upon its path. Lesser inspired leaders had already rescued this race from its savage state. But Ram, who first conceived of social law as an expression of divine law, was truly a straightforward, inspired man of the highest order.
He made friends with the Turanians, old Scythian tribes who inhabited upper Asia, and led them in the conquest of Iran, where he completely repelled the black men, for he intended that a people of unmixed white race would inhabit Central Asia and become a center of light for all others. He founded the city of Ver, which Zoroaster called an admirable city. He taught men how to till and sow seed in the soil; he was the father of cultivated wheat and of the vine. He created classes according to occupations and divided the people into priests, warriors, laborers and artisans. In the beginning, the classes were not at all rivals. The hereditary privilege, source of hatred and jealousy, was introduced only later. He forbade slavery as well as murder, stating that slavery was the cause of all evils. As for the tribe, that primitive grouping of the white race, he preserved it as it was, allowing it to elect its leaders and judges.
Ram's crowning work, the pre-eminently civilizing instrument created by him, was the new role he gave to woman. Until that time, man had considered woman either as a wretched slave whom he overburdened and brutally mistreated, or as the turbulent priestess of the oak tree and rock, from whom he sought protection and who ruled him in spite of himself -- a fascinating, dreadful sorceress whose oracles he feared and before whom his superstitious heart trembled. Human sacrifice was woman's revenge against man, when she sank the knife into the fierce male tyrant's heart. Outlawing this horrible cult and reestablishing woman in man's estimation in her divine function as wife and mother, Ram made her the priestess of the hearth, the guardian of the sacred fire, the equal of her husband, the one who joined with him in calling upon the souls of the ancestors.
Like all great legislators, Ram did nothing more than develop and organize the great instincts of his race. In order to enhance and beautify life, Ram ordained four great yearly festivals. The first was that of the spring or of generations. It was dedicated to the love of husband and wife. The festival of summer or of harvest belonged to the sons and daughters, who offered the fruit of their labor to the parents. The festival of autumn feted fathers and mothers; they then gave fruit to their children as a sign of rejoicing. The holiest and most mysterious of festivals was Noel, or the great sowing-time. Ram dedicated it both to new-born children, the fruits of love conceived in spring, and to the souls of the dead, to the ancestors. A point of connection between the visible and the invisible, this religious observance was both a farewell to souls in flight, and a mystical greeting to those who returned to be reincarnated in the mothers, to be reborn in children. On this holy night, the ancient Aryans assembled in the sanctuaries of Airyana-Vaeia as they had formerly in their forests. With fires and chants they celebrated the renewal of the earthly and solar year, the germination of nature in the heart of winter, the trembling of life before the abyss of death. They sang of the universal kiss of heaven given to earth, and the triumphant birth of the new sun from the great Night-Mother.
Thus Ram linked human life with the cycle of the seasons and with the movements of the stars. At the same time he emphasized its divine significance. Because he founded such productive institutions, Zoroaster called him "the leader of peoples, the most blessed monarch." This is why the Hindu poet Valmiki, who places the ancient hero in a much more recent period, surrounded by the luxury of a more advanced civilization, nevertheless preserves in him the characteristics of such a high ideal. "Rama with lotus blue eyes," said Valmiki, "was lord of the world, master of his soul, and the object of men's love. He was the father and mother of his subjects. He knew how to bestow upon all beings the bond of love
Once settled in Iran, at the gates of the Himalaya Mountains, the white race was not yet ruler of the world. It was necessary that its vanguard push onward into India, the main center of the black men, ancient conquerors of the red and yellow races. The Zend-Avesta
speaks of this march of Rama7
on India. The Hindu epic makes it one of its favorite themes. Rama was the conqueror of the land which the Himavat encircles, the land of elephants, tigers and gazelles. He ordered the first attack, and led the first thrust of this colossal battle in which two races unconsciously contended for the scepter of the world. Poetic tradition of India, elaborating upon the secret traditions of the temples, transformed their struggle into a fight between black and white magic. In his war against the peoples and kings of the land of the Jambus, as it was then called, Ram or Rama, as the Orientals named him, employed means which appear miraculous simply because they are beyond the ordinary capacities of mankind. Other great initiates attain similar results, due to their knowledge and manipulation of the hidden forces of nature. Here tradition shows Rama causing streams to burst forth in the desert, finding in these unexpected resources a kind of balm whose use he taught; elsewhere he puts an end to an epidemic with a plant called homa
, Egyptian persea
) from which he extracted a healing essence. This plant became sacred among his followers, replacing the mistletoe of the oak tree, preserved by the Celts of Europe.
Rama made use of all kinds of magic spells against his enemies. The priests of the black men ruled only by means of a decadent cult. In their temples they were in the habit of keeping enormous snakes and pterodactyls, rare survivors of antediluvian animals, which were worshiped like gods, and which terrified the masses. They made these snakes eat the flesh of captives. Sometimes Rama appeared unexpectedly in these temples with torches, driving out, frightening and subduing both serpents and priests. Sometimes he appeared in the midst of his enemies, exposed and defenseless among those who sought his death, departing again without anyone having dared touch him. When those who had allowed him to escape were questioned, they answered that upon meeting his gaze they were petrified, or that, while he was speaking, a mountain of brass was placed between them and him and they could not see him. Finally, as a consummation of his work, the epic tradition of India attributed to Rama the conquest of Ceylon, last refuge of the black magician Ravana, on whom the white magician showered down fire, first having formed a bridge over the sea by means of an army of monkeys closely resembling some primitive tribe of bimanous savages, led and inspired by this great charmer of nations.
Notes for this chapter:
7. It is noteworthy that the Zend Avesta
, the sacred book of the Parsis, while considering Zoroaster as the one inspired by Ormuzd and the prophet of God's law, makes him the successor of a much more ancient prophet. Behind the symbolism of the ancient temples one grasps here the chain of the great revelation of mankind, uniting all true initiates. Here is the important passage:
1. Zarathustra (Zoroaster) asked Ahura-Mazda (Ormuzd, God of Light): Ahura-Mazda, holy and most sacred creator of all corporeal beings:
2. Who is the first man with whom you spoke, Ahura-Mazda?
4. Then Ahura-Mazda answered: With the noble Yima, he who was at the head of an assembly worthy of praises, O pure Zarathastra.
13. And I said to him: Watch over the worlds which belong to me, make them fertile in your role of protector.
17. And I brought him the arms of victory
, I who am Ahura-Mazda:
18. A golden lance and a golden spear ...
31. Then Yima raised himself up to the stars in the south, on the path which the sun takes.
37. He walked over this land which he had made fertile. It was one-third larger than before.
43. And the radiant Yima called together the assembly of the most virtuous men in the famous Airyana Vaeja, created pure.
(Vendidad Sade, 2nd Fargard Trans. by Anquetil Duperron)