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Zahhak, the Dragon King

Zahhak, one of the villainous men in the Persian Myth, who promoted evil for their personal ambitions and gains.



In the Avesta, Aži Dahāka (Zahak) had three mouths, three heads , and six eyes.

The Avesta does not say explicitly whether Dahāg was a king or not, but from the way he was mentioned among the early rulers of the Iranians, it was quite natural that he should be considered as such. Zahak, destroyer of the world is said to have been of Arabic.

He/it was said to have possessed five defects (greediness, want of energy, indolence, defilement, and illicit intercourse), the opposites of the best qualities wisdom, instructed eloquence, diligence, and energetic effort.


In the Shahnama, the ambitious power-greedy young Zahhak cherished the desire to become the king by removing - even by killing his father.


Ahriman, the evil incarnate, after he came to know of the ambition that Zahhak cherished in his mind, in an attempt to exploit him met him and with the promise that he would kill his father and make him the king in his father’s place tempted him to indulge into evil. In due course, Ahriman killed the father of Zahhak and made him the king.




As stipulated between them, there grew from the shoulders of Zahhak a pair of


snakes. Massive as it was, the appetite of the vipers could be appeased only by a regular supply of human brains.

Apart that Zahhak was bound to the evil by the words that he had given to Ahriman, of which he could not discharge himself even after he became the king, he was cruel and vicious also by nature. In addition, the two hungry snakes were a threat to him. For appeasing the snakes’ appetite Zahhak was required to arrange for each at least a human brain a day. With no other option left, he began sacrificing two young men everyday for serving their brains to the snakes.





Unhappy as they were, people’s ire against Zahhak, a monster by his deeds, was mounting everyday and it finally exploded into a revolt which a young man Ferydun, who killed him with an Ox-head Mace.





Dethroned and with all his powers stripped Zahhak was carried to Mountain Damavand where he was chained on one of its high peaks so that he died of hunger and thirst, and weather’s blow, but not without undergoing the agony which many of them had suffered under his tyrannous hands.


In another version, Zahhak remains enchained to the mountain till the end of time...




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