EDITOR’S NOTE TO “ZOROASTRIANISM”
[The Theosophist, Vol. VI, No. 6(69), June, 1885, pp. 220-21]
[The following closing note is appended to a long letter from Dhunjibhoy Jamsetjee who writes on the subject of various astral entities, as mentioned in certain portions of the Zend-Avesta.]
Note.—From the quotations made in the foregoing letter it is evident that by Devas, Drugs and Drug-nasus the ancient Zoroastrian writers meant, black-magicians, elementaries and elementals respectively. The other names cited by our correspondent indicate some of the various Sub-divisions of elementaries and elemental spirits. These words do not merely mean the magnetic aura of a living or dead body. The question of auric emanations is of course important in considering the case of these agencies.
The injunction regarding the burial of hair and nails is intended to be a safeguard against the sorcery of black magicians who generally try to get possession of these things for purposes of black magic and for establishing a link between the intended victim and the mischievous agencies they evoke.
Mantras are supposed to implore the assistance of good spirits, friendly to man, to counteract the effects of black magic or demoniacal possession and drive away the evil elemental spirits; the recitation of these words must also be accompanied by appropriate ceremonies rendered effective by concentrated will; they are supposed, when the ritual is duly performed, to attract higher powers and induce them to grant the prayers of the person who uses them.
It is generally supposed that a strong terrestrial magnetic current flows from the north-pole towards the Equator bringing with it swarms of elementals (Nasus) who live and have their being in it.
The seclusion of women during the period of menstruation is a time-honoured custom amongst several nations. Elementals, it is said, are easily attracted towards the female during this period; and so are the infernal incubi.
If a woman is moving about freely, the contagion of bad magnetic aura is supposed to infect every person and thing in the house and render them amenable to the same influence; and hence seclusion and purification are strictly enjoined in this case by the codes of several nations. Our correspondent himself indicates the reason for the supposed pollution.
Magnetic emanations are constantly radiating from every human being. Their influence is present in the person’s shadow, in his photo or picture as well as everything else with which his aura comes into contact. It is interesting in this connection to refer to the “Chhaya grahini” (Shadow-Catcher), mentioned in Ramayana which was able to arrest the aerial progress of Hanuman by seizing on his shadow on the surface of the Sea. It is a well-known fact that the figure of a person or his picture is a great help to a black magician who intends to affect him by his infernal art.
The remaining questions contained in the letter of our correspondent can be easily answered by the light of the interpretation put upon Devas, Drugs and Nasus in these explanatory notes.—Ed.