Rowshanism
Rowshani logo.png
Theistic philosophyDualism
Supreme divinityYazdān
Major ProphetsMihryazd, Shapur, Shahriar, Bahram Bidar, Shuya Nakagawa
Holy CityKārvān, Somasi
ScriptureBayān, Tablets of Mihryazd
Sign of the MihrReza Jamshidi
RegionAldegar
HeadquartersAldegaria
FounderMihryazd
Founded3736
Liturgical languageAldegarian language
Memberscca. 400,000


Rowshanism (Aldegarian: Dīn-e Rowshani.png Dīn-e Rowshani), also known as Mihryazdism or Mihrism, is a religion founded in 3736, based on the belief that Mihryazd is the Mihr, the messiah of Yazdism and Daenism, as well as the reincarnation of Shuya Nakagawa, the founder of Kanzo.

History[edit | edit source]

Rowshani uprising in Aldegaria

The major Aldegarian religions all expect the arrival of a messianic figure known as the Mihr, expected to arrive at the end of the world and bring about its renovation. While there have been numerous Mihr claimants both in Aldegar and in the Gao-Showan world, few of them managed to retain any significant following after their deaths; however, Mihrist movements often arise in times of trouble, characterized by their apocalyptic fervor and calls for social revolution.

One such movement was born in the context of the Phoenix regime in Aldegar. The regime was founded in 3714 when Homa Polrani, a self made millionaire and leader of a small Yazdean sect known as Qaqnus (Phoenix), ascended to power in Aldegar. The Phoenix regime was characterized by corrupt and nepotistic practices (among other things, all government posts were held by members of Polrani's family) and the heavy-handed liberalization of the economy. These measures led to increasing opposition towards the government, both from the orthodox Yazdean clergy and the lower classes. A series of revolts against Polrani rule started in July 3736, calling for the overthrow of the regime. Although the uprisings lacked organizational or ideological cohesion, one trend slowly became the dominant feature of the revolts, namely the belief in the imminent arrival of the Mihr and the subsequent renovation of the world. Dubbed the Mihrist movement, these beliefs gained further impetus when they received the approval of Mobed Ardeshir Rousta, one of the leading religious figures in Aldegar.

The Shrine of the Mihr in Kārvān, Mihryazd's resting place

Following Mobed Rousta's declaration of the imminent arrival of the Mihr, Mobed Parviz Kashrani, one of his disciples, traveled to Kārvān in Somasi, where he met Sohrab Karvani. After what is claimed as a miraculous revelation to Karvani, Mobed Kashrani came to recognize him as the Mihr. Sohrab Karvani publicly announced his identity as the Mihr, taking the name Mihryazd ("the divine Mihr"), and claiming to be the Promised figure of Ahadism, Zamanism, and Daenism, arriving on Terra to bring about the Frashagird or End Times. Shortly afterwards, the Polrani regime placed Mihryazd under arrest. As a Mihr claimant, he was considered a threat to the regime, especially as a result of his growing popular following. Although the Polrani regime took great care not to draw attention to Mihryazd and not to turn him into a martyr, his imprisonment led to the intensification of the anti-Polrani protests and uprisings. Mihryazd's followers, colloquially known as Surkhjāmagān ("the Crimson-Wearing Ones"), soon became the driving force of the anti-Polrani opposition, and in 3746 the Mihrists gained control over the entire country. Mihryazd, released from his prison, was installed as Aldegar's new head of state as the "King of Light", reforming Aldegar as the Kingdom of Light, a Rowshani theocracy.

The Kingdom of Light was the first Rowshani state in history, characterized by its ambitious program of often violently implementing the religion's precepts, by redistributing wealth, dismantling the armed forces, persecuting the clergy of all religions in Aldegar, and banning marriage. These policies, while very popular with the poorer classes of Aldegar, led to numerous clashes with the aristocracy and clergy, which were to plague the Rowshani regime throughout its existence. After the death of Mihryazd of tuberculosis in 3755, the Rowshani government eventually collapsed in 3763, putting an end to 17 years of Rowshani rule.

Teachings[edit | edit source]

The fundamental Rowshani belief is that Mihryazd is the Mihr, and thus the fulfillment of eschatological expectations in the prevalent religions of Aldegar. These expectations are viewed symbolically rather than literally. For instance, whereas the Mihr is expected to cause the "raising of the dead" in Ahadism, in Rowshanism this is understood as the spiritual awakening of those who have stepped away from the path of Light; the Zamani belief that the Mihr is to fully separate Light from Darkness is interpreted as the belief that Mihryazd has offered the path for the spiritual awakening of mankind, allowing the elements of Light present within each person to be cleansed of corruption. Thus Rowshanism not only considers the arrival of Mihryazd as the symbolic fulfillment of Aldegarian end-times prophecies, but also the beginning of a new religious dispensation.

Like most other Aldegarian religions, Rowshanism has a dualistic cosmology and worldview, characterized by a belief in two primordial principles of the universe, Light and Darkness; more specifically, the principle of the world is Light, parts of which has been corrupted and turned into Darkness. These two principles then became mixed, tainting everything except God. Mankind's duty is to release the parts of itself that belongs to the Light via good conduct. In Rowshani belief, metempsychosis (reincarnation) is the only kind of afterlife and retribution. Rowshani rituals are characterized by their simplicity and by the heavy emphasis on Daenic meditation and the sacramental use of wine and other intoxicants.

The central part of Rowshani beliefs is the call for social revolution. According to Mihryazd, God had originally granted Terra the means of subsistence for all mankind, so that people should divide them amongst themselves equally. However, the strong have coerced the weak, leading to suffering and inequality, and thus to the empowerment of Demons. The arrival of the Mihr as Mihryazd, initially conceived in primarily apocalyptic terms, was then reinterpreted as the beginning of a new age, whereby justice will be restored, the coercion of the strong will be ended, and possessions will be shared equally amongst all people. Rowshanism also strongly prohibits the shedding of blood, whether human or animal, except for when raising the banner of revolt; thus Rowhsanis are strict vegetarians. Roshanis believe in free love and free sex, as long as all participants offer their consent, and the faith proclaims the freedom of enjoying all pleasures and satisfying one's inclinations, granted that this causes no harm to others. Rowshani ethic is often described as altruistic hedonism.


Scripture[edit | edit source]

Front cover of the Bayān

The Rowshani holy book is the Bayān, meaning "Exposition", a collection of texts written by Mihryazd with a claim of divine inspiration. The Bayān contains Mihryazd's commentary on the Vohu Khshathra Gatha, his first revealed text, as well as a number of hymns, laws, and texts elaborating on the Rowshani view of God, the afterlife, and the nature of the Mihr. Other texts considered sacred in Rowshanism are the Tablets of Mihryazd; tablets are letters written by Mihryazd in response to specific questions by Rowshanis. Sometimes Mihryazd revealed works very rapidly by chanting them in the presence of a secretary and eyewitnesses.


Leadership[edit | edit source]

As Mihryazd failed to establish a clear successor to himself, a succession dispute emerged immediately after his death, between Mobed Parviz Kashrani, the Sign of the Mihr and Mihyazd's lieutenant, and Mihryazd's son Babak. Both of them could point to seemingly conflicting passages in Mihyazd's writings that could be interpreted as granting legitimacy to their respective claims. Eventually Mobed Kashrani's party emerged victorious, after all living members of Mihryazd's family died under suspicious circumstances. Babak's followers, lacking a leading figure and heavily persecuted by Mobed Kashrani, eventually died out, leaving only Kashrani's branch as the surviving sect of Rowshanism. Now the faith is led by the Sign of the Mihr, who serves for life and has the right to appoint his successor.

Aldegar articles
History Kemokian EmpireVarigosian KingdomPhraatid DynastyMu-Tze KhanateRostamid DynastyShahnazid DynastyWar of Luthori Succession
Geography Aldegar CanalSeleya
Satrapies SomasiHikirenaAmuroKemokuPolran
Demographics Ethnicities: AldegariansMu-TzeBihezisKharajisDudmanisMajatransCanrillaise
Religions: YazdismHosianismAldegarian Apostolic ChurchDaenismRowshanismHamekhodaism
Government & Politics Monarch of Aldegar
Notable People & Families ShapurKurosh ShahShahriarBahram BidarSt. AladdinHouse of SavārāniArdeshīr SavārāniMihryazdAbu Bakr Omar Ibrahim Morsi
Armed Forces Armed Forces of Aldegar
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