The Kurd people live in some remote territorities of Eastern Turkey and Iraq. They are not actually at home in the Muslim environment, although at present there is hardly any possibility of establishing Kurdistan proper.
Some Kurds are nominally Muslims, but they have their own cult the centre of which is the Sanctuary of Sheikh Adi, north of Al Mawsil (Mosul). This is the site of a very old civilization, with the ruins of erstwhile Niniveh. The Kurds may be direct descendants of the Old Persians who used to call themselves Yezidis. Now, the word Yezidi comes from the Avestan Yazata and Persian Ized, meaning “worshippable”, and having its origin in the Sankskrit word jayatah, also meaning worshippable, i.e. deva. There are traces in the Yezidi cult of not the Avesta of Zarathustra, but of later Persian religious speculations called Zurvanism. The Zurvanite speculation is basically dualism, with constant struggle between Light and Darkness, forces of good and evil. Since these powers are equally strong, as they believe, there is no hope for peace in the near future.
These good and evil powers are of course the devas and the asuras of the Rgvedic time in India. They have even the same names, except that the devas of India have become devils and vice versa.
The predecessors of the present Kurd people must, in some point of history, have had close contacts with Gnosticism. So they have some idea about the serpent in the Paradise, but they call him the friend of mankind; the one who has brought enlightenment to the first human pair.
Islam had non lasting influence on these curious people, but some time in the 11th century Sheikh Adi, a famous Sufi mystic, organized them into an order, in a manner similar to that of the Sufi dervishes. The common people are called Murids (disciples), because everybody is considered to be a potential initiate. They have various leaders, kahanas and sheikhs, just like the Sufis. Some rituals are kept secret but it is clear that they depict the Supreme Being as a mystical peacock; so that sometimes they are termed as the followers of the Peacock Angel (Melek Taus). They believe in reincarnation and they dread having to come back as animals, since this is an indication of evil life. Their rites consist of dancing and chanting before the Peacock, while chanting is hardly anything but the repetition of the holy name, Melek Taus.
Rituals, teachings, customs must have been modelled on their counterparts in India. There are initiation ceremonies, even a holy thread of intertwined black and red wool is worn by the initiates, next to the bare skin. Scholars are notwithstanding convinced that the cult has its root only in old Persian religion, Gnosticism and Sufism.
There is, however, a very queer thing showing that the Yezidi cult has its origin, like every other religious system worthy of this name, in India. As Kali-yuga progresses and it gets harder and harder to preserve secrets, some more representations of the Supreme Being of the Yezidis left the antiquated gloom of the caves and appeared freely in the West. Now it is clearly seen that this Supreme Being is not a peacock, but a very beautiful four-armed person of blue colour with curly black hair, shown sitting in a cross-legged position, with the image of a red serpent on his body, which is obviously nothing else but the Kundalini of the more esoteric yoga schools. The peacock is standing right behind him, showing all his “sun-eyes” on its extended tail.
This beautiful blue person is surely Visnu-Narayana of India, since the other blue deity, Murugan (Karttikeya or Skanda) of South India, has rarely if ever been depicted with four arms.
Exiled Kurds have been performing their rituals in Europe since the beginning of the last century showing that the old Vedic teachings can never be quite forgotten and that they creep back into the human consciousness sometimes in rather devious ways.
Rohini Priya d.d. – Vrinda Budapest