Sunday, 24 July 2011

Mehr

به نام يزدان
 
In the Persian language there is the word 'mehr'. Etymologically this Persian word is connected to the pre-Zarathushtrian solar deity Mithras. 'Mehr' in Persian has several meanings and is encountered quite often in poetry. 'Mehr' is the more high literary word for the 'Sun' (which is generally *Khorshid*) but also means love and affection. Interestingly enough (and even though Persian has no gender) 'mehr' is considered to be female much like the word shams (Sun) in Arabic which is grammatically feminine in that language. 'Mehr' is also a quality the possession of which is said to distinguish a human from common beasts although literary fables sometimes embody the quality of 'mehr' within certain animals (eg. birds, horses, etc). As such 'mehr' is the pivot of nobility, virtue and simultaneously the cosmic balance. Interestingly enough, whereas mehr as we said is held to be feminine, all of the qualities attached to it are said to be masculine. To have 'mehr' is to be noble whereas to lack 'mehr' is to be ignoble whereby the possession or lack of possessing 'mehr' then becomes the difference between possessing class/caste and culture and its opposite. All of these are qualities said to be bestowed by Heaven, thus mehr is a divine sanction, and so therefore the implication is the more in possession of mehr one may be, the closer to Heaven and the Celestial Powers one is as well. To know Mehr, moreover, is to know Truth.