Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baba Yadegar Shrine

The Ahl’e Hagh or Yarsan, are members of a religion founded by Sultan Sahak in the late 14th century in western Iran. The total number of members is estimated at around 1,000,000, primarily found in western Iran and Iraq, mostly ethnic Kurds and Laks, though there are also smaller groups of Luri, Azeri, Persian and Arab adherents.  

From the Ahl’e Hagh point of view, the universe is comprised of two distinct yet interrelated worlds: the internal and the external, each having its own order and rules. Although humans are only aware of the outer world, their lives are governed according to the rules of the inner world. The Ahl’e Hagh do not observe Muslim rites and rituals and believe that human beings go through a cycle of 1001 incarnations. During this process, they may become more purified based on their actions.  

The Haft Tan "Seven Archangels" are key figures in the Yaresan belief system and their history. The only female among them is Khatun’e Rezbar, the mother of Sultan. The other six are Benjamin, considered the incarnation of the archangel Gabriel, Dawud (David), the incarnation of the archangel Michael, Mustafa', the incarnation of archangel Azrael, Pir Musi, the incarnation of the recording angel, Shah Husain and Baba Yadegar.  

Baba Yadegar (بابا یادگار) was born to Dadeh Sara in the 15th century and spent many years of his youth in India and Pakistan. Although he had no children of his own and in fact never married, however two of his disciples, names Vesal and Khial, overtook his religious leadership after his death. Baba Yadegar was also known as Yar’e Zardeh Bam and he leaves behind a book of poetry called zolal zolal.  

Baba Yadegar’s Shrine is located 40 kilometers away from Sarepolezahab on the Rijab road. It is located at the very end of the road, which is not entirely paved, and in the fact the very last stretch of the way is only attainable on foot. The structure, located on the Dalahoo mountain range, is surrounded by a few tall, age old trees and a natural spring nearby. Also in the vicinity is the Yazgerd Fort. Frequently worshipers congregate at Baba Yadegar’s Shrine and perform their religious obligations. The many natural springs in the area emerging from the Zagros mountain range not only provides clean drinking water for the locals, but also, as a result of Baba Yadegar’s Shrine, the water and springs themselves are held in high regards due to their assumed divine surroundings.