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Khwājā Khadir and the Fountain of Life, in the Tradition of Persian and Mughal Art


A. K. Coomaraswamy

Source: Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Autumn, 1970). © World Wisdom, Inc.

IN India, the Prophet, Saint, or Deity known as Khwājā Khizr (Khadir), Pīr Badar, or Rājā Kidār, is the object of a still surviving popular cult, common to Muslims and Hindus. His principal shrine is on the Indus near Bakhar, where he is worshipped by devotees of both persuasions; the cult is however hardly less widely diffused in Bihar and Bengal. In the Hindu cult, the Khwājā is worshipped with lights and by feeding Brahmans at a well, and alike in Hindu and Muslim practice, by setting afloat in a pond or river a little boat which bears a lighted lamp. Iconographically Khwājā Khizr is represented as an aged man, having the aspect of a fakir, clothed entirely in green,[1] and moving in the waters with a "fish" as his vehicle.

The nature of Khwājā Khizr can be inferred from his iconography as outlined above, and also from the Indian legends. In the ballad of Niwal Daī, which is localized at Safīdam[2] in the Pañjāb, Niwal Daī is the daughter of Vāsuki, the chief of the Serpents. The Aryan Pāndava Rājā Pariksit has encountered Vāsuki, and forced him to promise his daughter to him in marriage, though from Vāsuki's point of view this is a disgraceful misalliance. Vāsuki is then stricken with leprosy, owing to a curse pronounced by the Priest Sījī[3] whose cows have been bitten by the Serpents. Niwal Daī undertakes to obtain for his healing the Water of Life (amta), from the closed well which she alone can open, but which is in the domains of Rājā Pariksit.[4] When she reaches the well, which is covered over by heavy stones, she moves these by her magic power, but the waters sink down out of reach; this is because Khwājā Khizr, their master, will not release them until Niwal Daī, whom none but her own parents Vāsuki and his queen Padmā have ever yet seen, permits herself to be seen; when Niwal Daī showed herself, then Khwājā Khizr "sent the waters up bubbling". Rājā Pariksit, aroused by the sound, gallops to the well, and though Niwal Daī hides in her serpent form, forces her to put on her human aspect, and after a long argument at the well, convinces her that she is bound by the previous betrothal, and in due course marries her.[5]

The scene at the well may also have been the original theme of the composition represented in a number of seventeenth and eighteenth century Mughal paintings, where a prince on horseback is shown at a well, from which a lady has drawn up water.[6] The motif of a dynasty originating in the marriage of a human King with a Nāgini is widely diffused in India, and in the last analysis can always be referred back to the rape of Vāc, the Apsaras or Virgin of the Waters whose origin is with the powers of darkness and whom the Father-Creator has not "seen" before the transformation of darkness into light, in principio; in this connection it is noteworthy that in the ballad, Niwal Daī has never seen the Sun or Moon, and has been kept hidden in a whirlpool (bhau) until she comes forth to uncover the Well at the World's End, in which are the Waters of Life.[7] That she assumes a human form is her "manifestation". It will be realized, of course, that just as in the European parallels, where a mermaid, or the daughter of a magician, marries a human hero, so in the later Indian folk tales and romances the redactor may not have always fully "understood his material".

Khwājā Khizr appears again in another Indian folk tale of a very archaic type, the Story of Prince Mahbūb[8] The king of Persia has a son by a concubine, who, in the absence of any other child, becomes the heir apparent. Subsequently the true queen becomes pregnant. The first prince fears that he will be displaced, invades the kingdom, slays his father, and usurps the throne. In the meantime the true queen escapes, and is cared for by a farmer; a son is born, who is called Mahbūb, and the "Darling of the World". Later he goes alone to court, and becomes the victor in athletic contests, particularly as an archer. The people recognize his likeness to the late king. On his return home his mother tells him of his birth, and both set out on their travels in order to avoid the usurper's suspicion. Mother and son reach a desert land, and there in a mosque beside a mountain they meet a fakīr who gives them bread and water that are inexhaustible, and two pieces of wood, one of which can serve as a torch, the other possessing this virtue, that within a radius of fourteen cubits from the place where it is held, the deepest sea will become fordable, and no more than a cubit in depth. As mother and son are then wading through the sea knee-deep, they meet with a ruby-bearing current. They cross the sea and reach India, where they sell one of the rubies at a great price. It comes into the hands of the king of that country. He finds out its source, and seeks the hero, who has in the meantime built a new and great palace by the seaside. Mahbūb undertakes to procure more of the same kind. He sets out alone, lights the torch (this shows that he is about to enter a world of darkness), and aided by the rod traverses the sea till he reaches the ruby current. He follows it up until he finds its source in a whirlpool. He jumps in and falls down the black watery chimney until he touches solid ground and finds the waters flowing out from an iron gateway of a conduit. Passing through this he finds himself in a wonderful garden, in which is a palace. In this palace he finds a room in which is a freshly severed head, from which drops of blood are falling into a basin, and are carried out as rubies with the current into the conduit and so to the whirlpool and up into the sea. Twelve perīs[9]then appear, take down the head, bring forth the trunk, lay the parts together, and taking up burning candles execute a dance round the couch, so swift that Mahbūb can see only a circle of light. Then stooping over the bed, they wail "How long, O Lord, how long?... When will the sun of hope arise on the darkness of our despair? Arise, O King, arise, how long will you remain in this deathlike trance?"[10]

Then from the floor of the palace there rises up the form of the fakir previously mentioned, but now clad in garments of light. The peris bow down to him, and ask "Khwājā Khizr, has the hour come?" The fakir, who is indeed none but the immortal Khwājā. Khizr, explains to Mahbūb that the corpse is his father's, who had been murdered by the usurper Kassab; Mahbūb’s ancestors have all been magi[11]; all have been buried in the underwater palace, but Mahbūb father has remained unburied, for none had performed his funeral rites; Mahbūb, as son, should now do this. Mahbūb accordingly makes prayer to Allah on behalf of his father's soul. Immediately the head is joined to the body, and the dead king rises up alive.[12] Khizr vanishes, and Mahbūb returns to India with his father, who is thus reunited with the widowed queen. When the king of India comes for the rubies, Mahbūb pricks his own finger, and the drops of blood falling into a cup of water become the required gems, for as Mahbūb now knows, every drop of blood that flows in the veins of the kings of Persia is more precious than rubies. Mahbūb marries the princess of India. An expedition to Persia dethrones the usurper Kassāb, and his head is taken and hung in the underground palace, but every drop of blood becomes a toad.

The true nature of Khwājā Khizr is already clearly indicated in the two stories summarized above, as well as in the iconography. Khizr is at home in both worlds, the dark and the light, but above all master of the flowing River of Life in the Land of Darkness: he is at once the guardian and genius of vegetation and of the Water of Life, and corresponds to Soma and Gandharva in Vedic mythology, and in many respects to Varuna himself, though it is evident that he cannot, either from the Islamic or from the later Hindu point of view be openly identified with the supreme deity. We shall find these general conclusions amply confirmed by further examinations of the sources of the Islamic legends of al-Khadir.

In the Kur'ān (Sūra XVIII, 59-81) occurs the legend of Mūsā's search for the Ma'jma al-Bahrain,[13] which is probably to be understood as a "place" in the far west at the meeting of two oceans; Musa is guided by a "servant of God", whom the commentators identify with al- Khadir, whose abode is said to be upon an island or on a green carpet in the midst of the sea. This story can be traced back to three older sources, the Gilgamesh epic, the Alexander Romances, and the Jewish legend of Elijah and Rabbi Joshua ben Levi.[14] In the Gilgamesh epic the hero sets out in search of his immortal "ancestor" Utnapishtim who dwells at the mouth of the rivers (ina pi narati), like Varuna whose abode is "at the rivers' source", sindhunâm upodaye, Rg Veda VIII, 41, 2; his object being to be informed with respect to the "life-plant", prototype of the Avestan haoma, Vedic soma,[15]whereby man can be saved from death. In the Alexander Romances Alexander sets out in search of the Fountain of Life, which is accidentally found, and significantly "in the land of darkness", but cannot be found again. A recension of this legend occurs in the Shāh Nāme, where Alexander sets out in search of the Fountain of Life, which lies in the Land of Darkness beyond the place of the setting of the Sun in the western waters; Alexander is guided by Khizr, but when they come to a parting of the ways, each follows a different path, and Khizr alone accomplishes the quest. Those of Alexander's followers who bring back with them stones from the Land of Darkness find on their return that these are precious stones.[16] The story is retold at greater length in Nizāmī's Iskender Name, LXVIII-LXIX; here Alexander learns from an ancient man (probably Khizr himself in human form) that "of every land, the Dark Land is best, in which is a Water, a life-giver" and that the source of this River of Life is in the North, beneath the Pole Star.[17] On the way to the Dark Land, in every arid land the rain falls and grass springs up, “Thou wouldst have said: ‘The trace of Khizr was on that road; that verily, Khizr himself was with the king’.”[18] They reach the northern limit of the world, the sun ceases to rise, and the Land of Darkness lies before them. Alexander makes the prophet Khizr his guide, and Khizr "moving with greenness"[19] leads the way, and presently discovers the fountain, from which he drinks, becoming immortal. He keeps his eye on the spring, while waiting for Alexander to catch up with him; but it disappears from sight, and Khizr himself vanishes, realizing that Alexander will not succeed in his quest. Nizāmī: goes on to relate another version according to the "account of the elders of Rūm"; here the quest is undertaken by Ilyās[20] and Khizr, who sit down by a fountain to eat their repast, consisting of dried fish; the fish falling into the waters, comes to life, and thus the seekers are made aware that they have found the Fountain of Life, from which both drink. Nizāmī then proceeds to the Kur'ānic version, and interprets the Fountain as one of Grace, the true Water of Life being the Knowledge of God. A similar interpretation of the ancient material occurs in the New Testament, (John, Ch. 4). Nizāmī attributes Iskender's failure to his eagerness, whereas in the case of Khizr "the Water of Life arrived unsought", with reference to the fact that it is revealed indirectly by its effect on the fish, when Khizr has no suspicion that he has already reached it.

The finding of the Fountain by Ilyās and Khizr occurs in Persian art as the subject of miniatures illustrating the Iskender Nāme.[21] One of these, from a late sixteenth century manuscript belonging to Mr. A. Sakisian, is reproduced in color as frontispiece to his La Miniature persane, 1929, and in monochrome by L. Binyon, Persian Painting, 1933, Pl. LXIa; here the two prophets are seated by the Well in a verdant landscape, two fish are seen lying on a platter and a third, evidently alive, is in Khizr's hand; it is clear that he is pointing out to Ilyās the significance of the miracle. Ilyās is robed in blue, Khizr wears a green robe with a brown cloak. In another, and unpublished version of the seventeenth century, belonging to the Freer Gallery the arrangement is similar, but only one fish is seen on the platter. A third example, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and of late fifteenth century date, is reproduced in Ars Asiatica, XIII, Pl. VII, No. 15; Ilyās and al-Khadir are seen in the foreground beside the stream, in darkness; Alexander and his followers above, as in the Freer Gallery example, where the arrangement of the darks and lights is reversed. The Freer Gallery example seems to be the more correct in this respect, inasmuch as the whole quest takes place within the Land of Darkness, but the immediate vicinity of the Fountain of Life is understood to be lighted up by the sheen of its flowing waters. The Finders of the Well are both nimbate.

In the Syrian Lay of Alexander, and in the Kur'ānic version, the fish swims away, and in the latter is said to reach the sea. A connection with the story of Manu and the "fish" may be predicated in the Manu myth Śatapatha Brāhmana, I, 8, 1); the "fish" (jhasa) is from the beginning alive, but very small, and precariously situated, for it comes into Manu's hands when he is washing, and asks him to rear it. Manu provides it with water, and after it has grown great, releases it in the sea; and when the Flood comes, it guides the Ark through the Waters by means of a rope attached to its horn. A noteworthy variant of the Manu legend, with a closer parallel to the Alexander and Kur'ānic versions with respect to the dessication of the "fish" occurs in Jaiminīya Brāhmana, III, 193, and Pañcavimśa Brāhmana, XIV, 5, 15; here Śarkara, the “śiśumāra,” refuses to praise Indra, Parjanya therefore strands him on dry land and dries him up with the north wind (the cause of the desiccation of the fish is thus indicated). Śarkara then finds a song of praise for Indra, Parjanya restores him to the ocean (as does Khizr, though unintentionally, in the Kur'ānic version), and by the same laud Śarkara attains heaven, becoming a constellation. There can be no doubt that the constellation Capricornus, Skr. makara, makaraśi, is intended. Makara, jhasa, and śiśumāra are thus synonymous[22]; and this Indian Leviathan clearly corresponds to the kar-fish, "greatest of the creatures of Ahuramazda", who swims in Vourukasha guarding the Haoma tree of life in the primordial sea (Bundahiś, XVIII; Yasna, XLII, 4, etc.); and to the Sumerian goat-fish, the symbol and sometimes the vehicle of Ea, god of the waters (Langdon, Semitic mythology, pp. 105-6). That in the late Indian iconography Khizr's vehicle is an unmistakable fish, and not the crocodilian makara, need not surprise us, for other instances of the alternative use of makara and "fish" could be cited from Indian iconographic sources; in some early representations, for example, the river-goddess Gangā is shown supported by a makara, but in the later paintings by a fish.

In the Pseudo-Callisthenes (C) version of the Alexander legend, Alexander is accompanied by his cook, Andreas. After a long journey in the Land of Darkness, they come to a place gushing with waters, and sit down to eat; Andreas wets the dried fish, and seeing that it comes to life, drinks of the water, but does not inform Alexander. Subsequently Andreas seduces Alexander's daughter Kale, and gives her a drink of the Water of Life (of which he had brought away a portion); she having thus become an immortal goddess is called Nereis, and the cook is flung into the sea, becoming a god; both are thus denizens of the other world. There can be no doubt that Andreas here is the Idrīs of Kur'ān, Sūra XIX, 57ff. and Sūra XXI, 85, whom Muhammadan tradition identifies with Enoch, Ilyās, and al- Khadir. From the account of Idris in Ibn al-Kiftī's Tārikh al-Hukāmā (ca. 1200) it appears that he plays the part of a solar hero, and is immortal.

Al-Khadir also presents some point of resemblance with Saint George, and it is in this connection and as patron of travelers that we meet with a figure which is probably that of al-Khadir in carved relief over the gateway of a caravanserai on the road between Sinjār and Mosul, of the XIIIth century; the figure is nimbate, and is thrusting a lance into the mouth of a scaly dragon.[23]

The figure of a man seated on a fish occurs apparently as a Hindu work built into the bastion of the fort at Raichur, in the Deccan; it is stated to have a "crown of river-serpent hoods", and has therefore been called a "nāga king", but these hoods are not clearly recognizable in the published reproduction.[24] Mediaeval Indian art affords numerous examples of Varuna seated on a makara.[25]

A brief reference may be made to European parallels similarly derivative in the last analysis from Sumerian sources. Khadir corresponds to the Greek sea-god Glaukos (Friedländer, loc. cit. pp. 108 ff., 242, 253, etc., Barnett, loc. cit. p. 715). Khadir belongs to the Wandering Jew type. Parallels between Glaukos and Vedic Gandharva are noteworthy; the Avestan designation of Gandarva as zairipāsna "green-heeled" tends to a connection of Gandharva with Khadir. Gandharva, as suggested by Dr. Barnett may correspond to Kandarpa, i.e. Kāmadeva, and in this connection it may be observed that the erotic motif common to Glaukos and Gandharva-Kāmadeva appears in connection with Khizr in the Niwal Daī ballad, where Khizr will not release the waters unless he has sight of Niwal Daī; as might be looked for if we think of him as the Gandharva, and of her as the apsaras or Maiden (yosā) of the Waters, or equally if we correlate Khizr with Varuna, cf. Rg Veda VII, 33, 10-11 where Mitra-Varuna are seduced by the sight of Urvaśi, as is emphasized in the Sarvânukramanī, I, 166 urvaśim apsarasam drstvā... reto apatat, and Sāyana, retaś caskanda evidently following Nirukta, V, 13. The same situation is implied in Rg Veda VII, 87, 6 with respect to Varuna alone who descends as a white drop (drapsa) and is called a "traverser of space" (rajasah vimānah) and "ruler of the deep" (gambhīra-śansah), epithets that might well be applied to Khizr. It remains to be observed that in Christian iconography the figure of the river-god Jordan,[26] commonly found in representations of the Baptism of Jesus, bears a certain likeness to the conception of Glaukos and Khizr. In some cases the Baptism was thought of as taking place at the junction of two rivers, Jor and Danus. Sometimes there is found a masculine river-god, and a feminine figure representing the sea; both riding on dolphins, like the numerous types of Indian dwarf Yaksas riding on makaras. All these types in the last analysis may be referred back to prototypes of which our earliest knowledge is Sumerian, in the concept of Ea, son and image of Enki, whose essential name Enki means "Lord of the Watery Deep". Ea was the ruler of the streams that rose in the Underworld, and flowed thence to fertilize the land; precious stones are likewise his. In iconography, Ea has the goat-fish, and holds in his hands the flowing-vase, the source of the "bread and water of immortal life". Ea has seven sons, of whom Marduk inherits his wisdom and slew the dragon Tiamat. Another son was Dumuziabzu, the "Faithful Son of the Fresh Waters", the Shepherd, the Semitic form of whose name is Tammuz, well known as the "Dying God" of vegetation; comparable in many respects with Soma, and as "Lord of the Realm of the Dead" with Yama. The further Sumerian parallels are too many and too close to admit of adequate discussion here.[27] It suffices to have demonstrated the wide diffusion and ancient origin of the figure of Khwājā Khizr as it occurs in Persian and Indian iconography. In connection with Mughal art may be cited the remark of H. Goetz, who in discussing the sources of Mughal art speaks of a "teils absolute Identität teils engste Verwandschaft mit solchen der grossen altorientalischen Kulturen, und zwar zu gut Teilen schon der klassischen sumerischen Zeit".[28] That the figure of Khizr comes into independent prominence precisely in Mughal art of the eighteenth century—all the Indian examples that I have seen are in the "Lucknow style"—when considered in connection with the adoption of the fish as royal emblem by the rulers of Oudh, seems to show that some revival of the cult took place at this time and in this area.


[1] In accordance with the meaning of al-Khaḍir, the "Green Man".

[2] Safīdam, probably a corruption of sarpa-damana, "Quelling of the Serpent". For the legend of Niwal Daī see Temple, Legends of the Panjab, I, 414-418, and 419.

[3] Usually Sanjā (perhaps for Skr. Samjña). This priest (Brahman) who serves Vāsuki, but acts against him, suggests Viśvarūpa who in Taittirīya Samhitā, II, 5, 1 is called the Purohita of the Angels, and Uśanas Kāvya who in Pañcavimśa Brāhmana, VII, 5, 20 is the Purohita of the Titans, but is won over to the side of the Angels.

[4] A location of the Well in the domains of the human Pariksit is hardly "correct", (it is really on the borders of both worlds, in a forest equally accessible to Vāsuki and Pariksit), but it will be observed that the waters are not merely protected by the heavy stone covering, but also subject to Khizr's will, they are not "flowing". Vedic equivalents for the "heavy stone" which hinders access to the waters are abundant, e.g. IV, 28, 5 apihitāni aśna, VI, 17, 5 adrim acyutam, IV, 16, 8 apa adrim, IV, 1, 15 ddhram ubdham adrim, IV, 18, 6 paridhim adrim, and when the stony obstacle is broken, then "the waters flow from the pregnant rock", srnvantnv apah... babrhanasya adreh, V, 41, 12; cf. Satapatha Brahmana IX, 1, 2, 4 in connection with the baptism of the fire-altar, which begins "from the rock", because it is from the rock that the waters come forth, asmano hy apah prabhavanti. Vâsuki in the ballad corresponds to Ahi, smitten by Indra, but "still waxing in sunless gloom", Rig Veda, V, 32, 6.

[5] In the theme condensed above it is easy to recognize the Vedic creation-myth of the conflict between Angels and Titans (Devas and Asuras), Indra and Ahi-Vrtra; the abduction of Niwal Dal is the rape of Vāc, (Rg Veda, 1, 130, where Indra vacam mugayati); Khwājā Khizr, the master of the waters, the Vedic rivers of life, is Varuna.

[6] E. G. Blochet, Peintures hindoues de la Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1926, Pls. V and XXIII.

[7] The world under water, the home of the serpent race (ahi, nāga), Varuna's "watery origin" (yonim apyam, g Veda, II, 38, 8), "in the western gloom" (apācine tamasi, ib. VI, 6, 4), is not lighted by the Sun, it is "beyond the Falcon" (Jaiminīya Brāhmana, III, 268), but the shining of the Waters is everlasting (ahar-ahar yāti aktur apām, g Veda, II, 30, 1).

[8] Shaikh Chilli, Folk tales of Hindustan, Allahābād, 1913, pp. 130ff., with a modern picture of Khwājā Khizr as an old man blessing Mahbūb, Pl. XXXIII. The story of Prince Mahbūb is essentially the relation of an achievement of the Grail Quest by a solar hero, the son of a widowed mother, and brought up in seclusion and innocence of his true character, as in the Perceval cycle. Mahbūb corresponds to Vedic Agni and Sūrya; Kassāb to Indra.

[9] Apsarases; Grail maidens.

[10] The "wailing women" and "deathlike trance" of the Fisher King are essential features of the Grail myth.

[11] Equivalent to Skr. māyin, "magician", a designation especially applicable to the Titans and, secondarily to the premier Angels, particularly Agni, The "ancestors" represent the solar heroes of former cycles.

[12] The Grail Quest is achieved.

[13] Bahrain, an island in the Persian Gulf, has been identified by many scholars with the Sumerian Dilmun, where dwelt the gardener Tagtug after the flood: see Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies, p. 178, and Langdon, Sumerian Epic, pp. 8ff.

[14] For Islamic legend, other parallels, and further references see Encyclopedia of Islam, s. v. Idrīs, al- Khidr and Khwādjā Khidr; Warner, Shah Nama of Firdausi, VI, 74-78 and 159-162; Hopkins, "The Fountain of Youth", JAOS. XXVI; Barnett, "Yama, Gandharva, and Glaucus", Bull. Sch. Or. Studies, IV; Grierson, Bihar Peasant Life, pp. 40-43; Garcin de Tassy, Mémoire sur des Particularités de la Religion Musalmane dans l'Inde, pp. 85-89; Wünsche, Die Sagen vom Lebensbaum und Lebenswasser, Leipzig, 1905; Friedländer, Die Chadhirlegende und der Alexander-Roman, Leipzig, 1913.

[15] Cf. Barnett, loc. cit., pp. 708-710.

[16] Cf. g Veda, VII, 6, 4 and 7, where Agni is said to bring forth the Maidens (rivers of life) eastward from the "western darkness" (apācine tamasi) and to bring back "treasures of earth" (budhnyā vasūnī) "when the Sun rises (uditā sūryasya).

[17] Al-Khadir's realm, known as Yūḥ (also a name of the Sun), where he rules over saints and angels, is situated in the far North; it is an Earthly Paradise, a part of the human world which remained unaffected by the Fall of Adam and the curse (see Nicholson, Studies in Islamic Mysticism, pp. 82, 124).

[18] According to Umārah, Khizr is "Green" because the earth becomes green at the touch of his feet.

[19] Khazra, either "verdure" or "sky".

[20] The prophet Elias, with whom Khizr is often identified.

[21] Cf. Iskender Nāme, LXIX, 57, "verdure grows more luxuriantly by the fountain". lb. 22, the spring is described as a "fountain of light", and this corresponds to Vendidad, Fargad XXI, where light and water proceed from a common source; cf. also Vedic Soma as both light and life, a plant and a fluid (amrta, the Water of Life, cf. Barnett, loc. cit., p. 705, note 1).

[22] In Bhagavad Gitā, X, 31, Kṛṣna is jhasānām makara, the makara is therefore regarded as the foremost amongst the jhaas, or monsters of the deep. The word makara occurs first in Vājasaneyi Sahita, XXIV, 35; śimśumāra in g Veda, I, 116, 18. For a full discussion of the makara in Indian iconography (especially as vehicle of Varuna and banner of Kāmadeva) see my Yaksas, II, 47 ff. and further references there cited. The "fish" vehicle, of course, implies the rider's independence of local motion in the unbounded ocean of universal possibility; just as wings denote angelic independence of local motion in the actual worlds.

[23] Sarre und Herzfeld, Archäologische Reise im Euphrat- und Tigris- Gebiet, Vol. I, pp. 13, and 37-38, Berlin, 1911.

[24] Annual Report, Archaeological Department, Nizam's Dominions, 1929-30 (1933), p. 17 and Pl. 11, b.

[25] See my Yaksas, II.

[26] For example, in the Baptistry at Ravenna (Berchem and Clouzot, figs. lii and 220); Jordan here holds a vase from which the waters are flowing.

[27] For the Sumerian deities see S. H. Langdon, Semitic mythology, Ch. II; for the flowing vase etc., Van Buren, The Flowing Vase and the God with Streams, Berlin, 1933, and as regards India, my Yakas, II. For the iconographic link between the Asiatic full vase and Christian Grail vessel see Gosse, Recherches sur quelques représentations du Vase Eucharistique, Geneva, 1894.

[28] Bilderatlas zur Kulturgeschichte Indiens in der Grossmoghul-Zeit, 1930, p. 71. "An in part absolute identity and an in part very close Kinship with the sources of the great cultures of the ancient East and even to a considerable extent with the sources of the classical Sumerian period."

Original editorial inclusion that followed the essay in Studies:
There is a death which precedes physical death and a resurrection of souls which precedes the resurrection of bodies—by means of deeds, experience, power and truth. For when mortal wisdom is destroyed by immortal mind and death is banished by life, then the soul, as it were risen from the dead, sees itself clearly, as one awakened from sleep, and knows the true God Who has resurrected it. Thinking of Him and giving thanks to Him it rises above the limits of the senses and of the whole world, filled with unspeakable delight, and thus stills every mortal movement.
St. Simeon.