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The Âratist Scriptures

The Darxasa

In the tongue of the gods, Darxasa means Book of Waiting. According to Âratist lore, it was dictated by the god Ârata to his First Messenger, Marduspida, during the seven days and nights Marduspida spent in the Burning Land, the vast desert where Ârata lay down to sleep after his victory over his Enemy, Ârdaxcasa.

The Darxasa is divided into four parts, each presided over by Ârata in one of his four guises: World Creator, Primal Warrior, Eon Sleeper, and Risen Judge.
The Testament of Creation: The tale of Ârata World Creator: his birth, his fashioning of the world and all in and on it, and his reign over it during the long perfection of the primal age. This portion of the Darxasa is reminscent of the Bhagavad-Gita, with dozens of myths and tales about the god's adventures and exploits upon the earth.

The Testament of Fire: The coming of Ârata’s dark brother Ârdaxcasa, who, jealous of Ârata's beautiful world, challenged the bright god for mastery of it. To oppose his Enemy, Ârata became the Primal Warrior, winning victory in a blaze of fire that turned Ârdaxcasa's flesh to ash.

The Testament of Exile: Gravely wounded, Ârata lay down to rest and heal, becoming Ârata Eon Sleeper. Sundered from the waking presence of the god, the perfection of the primal age was broken, and time and death came into being. This time is known as the Age of Exile.

The Testament of Exile lays down the principles of a code of ethics and a path of faith meant to carry humankind through the centuries of Ârata’s slumber. Called the Way of Ârata, it rests on Five Foundations: Faith, Affirmation, Increase, Consciousness, and Compassion (interpreted in practice as weekly church attendance, morning prayer, the expression and promulgation of the Âratist faith, the effort to engage in right deeds, and charity and the giving of alms).

By following the Way of Ârata, men and women may avoid adding darkness to the burden of ash born into the souls of all living creatures as a result of Ârdaxcasa's fiery destruction. On a personal level, this serves to purify the individual; on a collective level, it purifies society by placing charity above greed, honor above opportunism, and so on. Thus the world will not fall utterly into chaos during the time of the god's absence.

The Testament of Awakening: In the fullness of time, healed and powerful, Ârata will wake into the world again, and the primal age will be restored. First, though, every man and woman who ever walked upon the earth must be brought to judgment.

As Risen Judge, Ârata will weigh the darkness in every human soul, and with his holy fires cleanse both the birth-burden of ash, and the darkness men and women have gathered in the living of their lives. Some few, darkened too greatly, will not survive. The rest will rise perfected into the light of the new primal age, and dwell in bliss at the god's side forever.

The final Testament concludes with the words known as Ârata’s Promise: a description of the coming of the Next Messenger, who will herald the god's awakening and open the way for his return.
Because the Darxasa is the received word of Ârata, it has never been changed or expanded, but has been passed down exactly as originally written (though copyists' errors have resulted in regional differences). Composed in Arsacian, the First Messenger’s native language, the Darxasa has never been translated. As a result, Arsacian is the official language of the church.

The Book of the Messenger

Marduspida, the First Messenger, lived and taught and proselytized for more than three decades after his return from the Burning Land. With the assistance of his thirty sons and five daughters--his first disciples, later to become the perpetually reincarnated Brethren--he carried news of the Way of Ârata throughout the kingdoms of Galea. This great work of conversion, completed over the next two centuries by his followers, brought all but two of the kingdoms to Ârata.

Marduspida's sons and daughters, as well as some of his other followers, were literate, and wrote down many of his sermons, as well as tales of his deeds and accounts of his early life. This recording of utterances and stories continued well after Marduspida’s death. The number of these stories, the many different languages in which they originated, and the lack of discrimination with which they were collected (or fabricated) resulted in many repetitions and contradictions--and also a certain amount of conflict with doctrine as expressed in the Darxasa.

In the third century Post Emergence, the Âratist church embarked upon an effort to standardize the accounts. A conclave of scholars was convened in the holy city of Baushpar, and directed to establish an authoritative version of the First Messenger's life, deeds, dictums, and miracles, to be titled the Book of the Messenger.

For three years the scholars examined the writings and gospels then extant, making concordances to track similarities and differences, researching provenances to establish authenticity, verifying acts and wonders, deciding what to accept and what to reject. From the materials remaining, they spent another year compiling the Book. Once approved by the Brethren, an army of scribes created hundreds of copies, each checked against the master version for accuracy; the copies were then distributed to monasteries and nunneries throughout Galea. All other accounts of the First Messenger were ordered destroyed.

The intent of the conclave, of course, was not just to create a uniform version of Marduspida's life and message, but to excise elements the church regarded as dangerous or heretical. In this second aim it was not entirely successful. Not all monasteries were diligent in destroying the materials the Book of the Messenger was intended to replace, and many apocryphal accounts and gospels survived. Over the course of church history, these served as the foundation for a number of heresies.