Journey to heaven and hell

An 18th century illustrated manuscript of the Ardai Viraf Nameh is on display at a museum at Baroda’s Maharaja Sayajirao University
Shruti Gautam

The themes of good and evil, virtue and sin, rewards and punishments, heaven and hell have caught the fancy of humankind since the dawn of time and are present in the literature of the world’s major religions. They have also found place in fictional writing and the visual arts in the form of illustrated manuscripts or on canvas. Ardai Viraf Nameh or Arda Viraf Nameh, a Zoroastrian text, was written in Sassanian Persia in probably the fifth to seventh century as part of state propaganda to ensure Zoroastrianism as the state religion. The text is in Pahlavi, which is considered......

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