The Salarashara is the sacred text of Tharan, and is widely known throughout the Ashuran Empire and lands beyond. Presently, the Salarashara is composed of six books, each written by one of the Veshyaar. Each of those books is subdivided further into thematic, chapter-like sections (murakam, sing. murah), and then into numbered verses (asham sing. ashaiyy). The murakam contain the collected wisdom of the Veshyaar, and the complete Salarashara is central to Tharani culture.
The collected Salarashara is found in many different forms. Often it is found in book form--illuminated or not. Scrolls of great length also exist, as do collections of clay tablets.
Yet the first of the Veshyaar, the Great Prophet, Hathan bel-Kor, promised that seven more prophets would come, sent into the world by Ulaan. Five of them have come, each recognized by signs and prophecies in preceding murakam. Two more are yet to come.
Structure and LayoutEdit
As mentioned above, the Salarashara is divided into six smaller books, called the murakam. They are arranged in the order in which the Veshyaar came, beginning with the First Prophet. The writing style varies from murah to murah; the third is deeply poetic and a literary work of art, while the fifth is composed largely of short bits of straightforward prose. However there is a logical, internal consistency in the Salarashara that the faithful point to as a sign of its divine inspiration.
The first section, Ardan Kurathi, (Shab. 'The Book of Brilliance'), was written by the First Prophet, Hathan bel-Kor, the most beloved figure of the faith. The book is alternately mystical, presenting allegories and parables illustrating truths and the nature of Ulaan; and practical, presenting rules by which the faithful should conduct themselves and their communal affairs. The book is at times poetic, especially in the more mystical verses, and at others written in elegant prose.
The second section, Ishseri Amra (Shab. 'The Half Moon'), written by the second Veyshaa, Tymar, takes the form of a travelogue in which the narrator tells fantastic, allegorical tales. As he journeys around the world he encounters both real lands and fanciful ones, sometimes slipping into the Otherworld and describing its inhabitants. The Half Moon is largely a book concerned not with history but in the lessons of history. It is structured much like a journal.
The third part, Kisyri Azarithi (Shab. 'Birds of Sapphire'), was written by the third of the Veshyaar, Lurana Kayni. Of all the murakam, Birds of Sapphire is the most mystical, and most concerned with a deeply sacred life. It is poetry, and written in a variety of poetic forms. Birds of Sapphire is considered one of the greatest literary works of the Shabaati language, and its verses are frequently embroidered into home furnishings and clothing. It's imagery is of lost love and happiness, and a deep longing for reunion. Kayni portrays Ulaan as the great and lost love, and that which fills the spiritual emptiness within.
The fourth, Baryrsi te-Ulaanara (Shab. 'Cloak of the Indivisible One,') was written by the fourth Veyshaa, Karam Belkinda. This murah builds on the thinner eschatological teachings of the earlier books. The Cloak teaches that the world is not eternal, and that a day will come when it could be unmade. Yet Ulaan, aided by the faithful will prevail. It presents signs and portents, prophecies and omens to guide the faithful in the future. The verses of the book are used by Tharani priests in a form of bibliomancy.
Part five, Isha-Thundi Sa'at (Shab. 'The Seven Signs'), was written by Olessa of Ashyrin. During the time it was written Tharan became the state religion of Ashura, and thus spread far beyond its previous borders. The book is historical, and chronicles the rise of Tharan to such a lofty station through the eyes of a fictional narrator. The book emphasizes the majesty of Ulaan, and the power of his blessing.
The sixth and so far final part, Ish-Larsai bi-Dunarah ('The Tears of the World"), was written bu Urdun Hindaban and is most concerned with time, sorrow, and loss. Not the loss that is a longing for union, such as Kayni wrote of, but rather a deep, existential despair about life itself. This murah was written at a time when disease and famine ravaged Ashura and the lands beyond it; it is therefore fatalistic, sorrowful, and sad. The book emphasizes the glories of the afterlife, and of living and dying for Ulaan. This murah is responsible to a large degree for the modern fatalistic streak within Tharan.
Tharani Doctrine Concerning the Salarashara Edit
Beginning with the first murah, written by the First Prophet, Tharani believe that Ulaan revealed his will through the Veshyaar that his words might be written to guide the faithful. Thus, Tharani believe the book itself is sacred and holy. However, they do not believe that it is the literal word of Ulaan. The Book of Brilliance explains that Ulaan cannot be truly described in the words of mortal tongues, which are limited, and cannot capture even a glimpse of the infinite. The Truths of Ulaan can be approximated in mortal language, and have been perfected as far as possible within the Salarashara. While the Veshyaar had to interpret the meaning of signs and visions, it is believed that Ulaan guides them towards accuracy and truth.
The Salarashara as it is is considered 'imperfectly perfect' (Shab. 'akurtai kurtu'). The faithful know that two more Veshyaar are due to come, and therefore understand that the revelations of Ulaan are, therefore, so far incomplete.
The fourth murah, The Cloak of the Indivisible One, is written uniformly in short, pointed chapters. Tharani priests use its texts in a form of divination called syrithi-am. Using one of a variety of methods, the priest/ess generates a series of random numbers. The corresponding asham are then consulted. Different methods of generating these numbers are considered appropriate for different forms of question.