Zurvanism is a religious faith of Babkhan origins which was first brought to Benacia by the servitors of Ardashir Khan when he became Baron of the Shirerithian land of Elwynn, and which on the continent of Eura survives in Raspur, Vey and amongst the discreet communities of Babkhi survivors living in the eastern coastal cities.
The faith is Deist in that it holds that Zurvan is not only the creator of time and space but that he is time and space. As such Zurvan is believed to be remote from his creation though that creator bends to his will though it knows it not as his will permeates all aspects of creation.
While Zurvan's Will is the glue that holds the universe together it does not act directly upon it. For the Will of Zurvan to be acted out on the mortal plane requires the intervention of secondary avatars which are emanations of the divine will that have taken form - the deities Ahura Mazda and Ahriman are manifestations of Zurvan's Will to good or evil respectively. Accordingly the unending war between light and dark, truth and the lie, does maintain the universe in a state of equilibrium that is ultimately what Babkhan philosophers believe to be the natural order and the ultimate manifestation of Zurvan's Will; that the filament remains in constant turmoil and motion yet each part is related to the other and united in a synchronicity that is conducive to calm and balance.
It is uncertain where Namvarism, the worship of the deified Vizier Abbas Namvari, fits within Zurvanism. Whether he is the manifestation of Zurvan's Will, the Mahdi, or else an incarnation of the world spirit that belongs entirely outside of Zurvanism, has traditionally been a subject of speculation amongst Babkhans. In spite of this, the cry of "We are All Namvari" was once one that enjoyed a long and close association with the adherents of Zurvan.
Abbas ayivam asayat, Abbas saruvam asayat, Asayam, Asayit, Abbas Namvarî asayim.
Abbas is one, Abbas is everything, I am, You are, We are Abbas Namvari.
The Babkhan Orthodox Church fragmented after the nuclear holocaust on Eura proved an insurmountable test of the unity of the congregation of the faithful outside of Babkhan borders. The Namvari path is a syncretic system that preaches that Babkha's downfall was a punishment for betraying the Behdin (best religion) and the liberal values of the Kapavs. In contrast the Gozar Path maintains that it was a failure to preserve proper orthodoxy in thought and ritual which led to the corruption of the aristocracy and the destruction of the Kingdom as a temporal power. The Simrani Path, heavily influenced by Hyperborean religion believes that the downfall of the Kingdom was merely another stage in the ongoing struggle between the co-eternal and uncreated Light of Truth and the Darkness of the Lie which is the equal and opposite of the former.
In the early 1670's the True Path Movement arose in Alduria and Constancia, stimulated by contact with and opposition to the imported Melusine and Bassarid faiths, terming all the preceding paths of Zurvanism to be divergent sects and obstacles to the rediscovery of submission to the Oneness of the Divine Will.
For centuries Zurvan has been used by Babkhi and Euran populations to designate the 'Highest Divinity', the 'Prime Mover', or the 'First From Which All Proceeds'. This primordial creator deity engendered the twin celestial archons, Ahriman and Ahura Mazda, from whose warring interactions the shapeless void of the cosmos was given form and substance. The name itself derives from the archaic proto-Babkhi word zruvan, “time”, an oblique reference to the timeless nature of the uncreated creator.
The identification of the universe with Zurvan, and Zurvan with the self, arose gradually over time. Unlike the emanated deities - Ahriman and Ahura Mazda - Zurvan is diffuse and ungraspable, it remains essentially the pervading power rather than an external power that issues commands and prohibitions. Only fragments of the ancient texts survived the destruction visited upon Eura in the year 1580, but these hint at the extent to which Zurvan had become associated with the totality of all things:
The whole universe is Zurvan. Through Zurvan all works, all desires, all tastes, are encompassed. Zurvan's form encompasses every aspect of the cosmos – he is smaller than the smallest kernel, the smallest mustard seed; he is greater than all the world, greater than the atmosphere, greater than the heavens, greater than all the creations that there ever have been or ever will be. Zurvan is all, Zurvan is indwelling, we are of Zurvan, we are Zurvan. To surrender to the Will of Zurvan and depart from hence is to be be reunited with the Oneness of the Creator, it is to return to the source, and to attain perfection, both in this life and for all lives to come.
This means that the eternal, unchanging principle through which the whole universe coheres and which makes it what is, is identical with the soul of man himself: both are changeless and essentially One: both are immortal and cannot die because both are exempt from the passage of time – and here we see the theological underpinning of the famous Babkhan indifference to the sanctity of human life.
In this context to live and die is only meaningful in the sense that the self has emanated from at birth, and will return to at death the Timeless Oneness that is Zurvan. Zurvan, from which all things proceed, and to which all things return, may therefore be said to be constant and changeless in that he is the root of all change.
The mantra of the True Path Movement is that “whomsoever comprehends Zurvan, shall attain the nature of Zurvan”. This definition of the relationship of the human soul to Zurvan can be further elaborated by observing that this belief, taken to its ultimate conclusion, postulates that the variety and complexity of individual lives, and the world they inhabit, must itself be illusory. This means that because every human self is identical with Zurvan, they must consequently be identical with each other, and the very concept or perception of self becomes an illusion, or worse a manifested delusion.
If reality is absolutely single and unchanging, it becomes necessary to acknowledge that it is change and multiplicity which is unreal and therefore without meaning once the nature of reality is comprehended by the believer. Zurvan cannot care, cannot take the part of any of his emanations, or else he would cease to be the source of all things. Accordingly neither Zurvan nor those liberated by the realisation of Zurvan can be touched or affected by the pleasures and agonies of the world.
Evil does not touch him: all evil he shrugs off. Evil does not torment him; he merely burns it out.
Yet in such a conception of the divine, at once remote yet suffused in all things, diffuse and disinterested, the force of the moral law, the categorical imperative of establishing and upholding hierarchical systems of obedience – the foundational logic of Babkhan political society – becomes meaningless.
Whilst Zurvan remains “that of which no-one can conceive of anything higher” and “the unseen one with whom there is no commerce, impalpable, devoid of distinguishing mark, unthinkable, indescribable, its essence the firm conviction of the oneness of itself, bringing all development to an end, tranquil and mild, devoid of duality”, it was perhaps inevitable the obligations of duty, veneration, and worship, on behalf of the priesthood and the lay congregation both, should shift to the two co-equal servitors of Zurvan:– Ahriman and Ahura Mazda, the warring gods who give form to the cosmos.
Zurvanite fire temples contain a hidden alcove wherein the Mobads light incense and venerate icons depicting the Sayoshant (Messiah) in various dramatic poses slaying the depicted manifestations and avatars of rival deities. Zurvanite theology holds that all divine entities are but manifestations of Zurvan, yet the failure to recognise this is a form of rejection of Zurvan's boundless love and grace. The act of killing the deity of a rival religion, and by inference their followers, is therefore an act of love, as it releases souls from the captivity of delusions bound up in the mortal realm, freeing them to return to Zurvan whence their essence first emanated, restoring them to perfect union with the cosmos and by extension the peace of lasting oblivion.
The Benacian tradition, emerging in the tumultuous period between the Treachery of Kildare and the Kalirion Fracture, has it that from Zurvan, the Highest Divinity, proceeded the emanations of his Holy Wisdom around which coalesced the Celestial Temple producing eight manifestations of his glory personified. These being:
- Ahriman: Incarnation of Creation
- Ahura Mazda: Incarnation of Wisdom
- Viviantia: Incarnation of Life
- Mors: Incarnation of Death
- Tempus / Tempestas: Incarnation of Destructive Fury
- Agni: Incarnation of Fire
- Ushas-Eluin: Incarnation of the Waters, of the Dawn, and of Implacable Vengeance
- Lest: Incarnation of Desolation, Despair, and the Drought. Brother to Ushas-Eluin.
It is not, notably, an optimistic or salvation orientated faith.