M A I N    P A G E                

H O L I N E S S                    

P I L G R I M A G E              

    As it was mentioned before, we meet the water beliefs at ziyaratgah (worship place-Transl.) in three places of around it. One is used for cleaning and treatment; the second is spring water pool at the entrance of “Ashabi-Kahf”.

      Considering the curing and holy feature of water the people drink it and consume it in the food. If the spring water comes out from the lower side of “Yeddi kimsana” (Seven ones-Transl.) it is considered more to be holy. In the third water place –in “Damjikhana” (water drop –Transl.) people stand and make dreams in front of the water dropping from the ceiling. 

      The mineral spring situated on the downside of “Ashabi-Kahf” near the former living settlement appears on the surface with its foams during every 15 minutes and after which it regularly lowers; it is considered to be holy by its mythical features. Here visit the people who have different diseases. There is a belief among the folk that the spring’s healing is increased- when its foams start to boost. Not only the ill people, and as well as some pilgrimages wash and clean them with this water which is running throughout all seasons of the year with some lowering intervals.

      To wash yourself here (to bathe) means that you have washed yourself at the place of worship. The people become ready for worship (to carry out gusul for before worship). We should note that the likely gusul is usually done during Hadj and after which the people wear ihram.

        That means the pilgrims get themselves ready for worship as moral-psychologically, as well as physically.    The analyses proved that the water cults existed from the ancient periods and was also broadly spread among the Turkish folks. Today, Azerbaijani Turks’ have such a tradition - they throw water after a person who is leaving for travel. According to this belief water is brightness and in the place of travel everything will go smooth. We meet the same belief in ancient Shumers. When Bilgamis and Enkidi went to unfriendly travel – to kill Hambabani,  Bilgamis’s king mother Nisu (the second syllable su/“su” means water-Transl./ rises some interest) threw water after them and pleaded the God to accept her praying; for it she climbed the roof of the building and by raising her hand upwards to God she promised to sacrifice a wheat flower.

         The beliefs in relation to wheat flower sacrifice (nazir) still remain in Nakhchivan territory. If a man is saved from a trouble that he is fallen in, they say: bake bread (cook) and distribute it. Also, if a mother hears her child to be in trouble, she pleads the God and says that if the God saves her child she will bake “so” much amount of wheat flowers’ bread and distribute it. Another saying bound with this belief is about those who is escaped from the trouble: they usually say like “a piece of our bread was considered” if a man could escape the trouble. The holiness of water is connected with its role in human life, in life of all living entities. The springs and water resources at worship places are also considered holy. The spring on the southern part of “Ashabi-Kahf” together with its mythical feature is also used for treatment purposes.

The mutual comparisons show that, there is also a big respect to the mineral springs between the Siberian and Altai Turks. According to their way of thinking, water has a specific spirit. Within that spirit the God may harm people. There is especially a high belief in the mineral waters from “arjan” category.

       The Tuvinians believe that arjan protects people from various diseases and together with that it also makes the people to escape different unpleasant cases.    The materials collected in Nakhchivan prove that, the best period for washing in the mineral water is springtime and middle of summer. There is such a belief among the people that “after the Tail gives a birth”, i.e. when half of summer is gone (august 5), mineral waters become ineffective. After the trees’ leaves become yellow in autumn the mineral water regains its efficiency. It is interesting that the same belief exists among Altai Turks, as well. The best time to go to “arjan” is when the leaves from the trees become green in spring and yellow in autumn.    In Azerbaijan the water spirits are called “su yiyasi” (“yiya” means “owner”-Transl.) The mythological materials collected in Nakhchivan show that, everything - mountains, gardens, roads have their owners. “Among these owners the highest one is the owner of water. While you go early in the morning you should greet the water owner. You should never spit over it and throw the dirt into it. Otherwise the water owner might get resented from you and it can bring harm to you”. Together with owners, there are also bad spirits in water. They bring harm to people. At nights it becomes especially horrible.    The holiness of water and the belief even to communicating water is broadly spread. There are various legend related to the beliefs, like asking something or getting present from water. There a lot of beliefs in the tales when a man speaks to water, water sleeps, and on Tuesday evening it assumes more mythical character, etc.

       According to existing belief among the folk, on Tuesday evening water stops: “On Thursday long before the daybreak a women takes her jug and goes to the river for water. Many times she tries to put the jug into the water, but it doesn’t sink into water. It comes out that water has slept. The women returns back home. She goes there again. She finds out that water speedily runs. She takes her jug and returns”. In “Dada Gorgud” dastan we meet a lot of beliefs in archaic form related to water beliefs. We also can see of how water symbolizes the belief connected with pride in some examples of “Koroglu” dastan. 

       “One day Ali kishi called Rovshan to himself and told:    “My son, there is a pair of spring on one of these mountains. It is called Goshabulag. After each seven years on Thursday night there appears one star from the north and another one from the south. They move and in the middle of the sky they come across with each other. When they come into collision, there pours a bright light on Goshabulag and out of this affect its water foamingly overflows.

       If anybody goes into that Goshabulag’s foam at that time, he will become so strong that there can’t be found anybody in the world similar to him. And it has got such a horrifying roaring that out of its noise affect the lions in the forest get frightened, the birds get feathers left, the horses and hinnies get their nails dropped…It is now about the end of the seventh year. It is up time, to go for searching and finding Goshabulag. But bring a plate of its foam to me, as well”.      Here is one interesting moment. When Rovshan returned back very upset as he hadn’t been able to bring water, his father Ali kishi told him: healing for my eyes were there. And that chance was escaped. It seems it was not in my fate to see you again. My time has finished here.    Out of these expressions we gather that, Goshabulag’s foam together with all its other peculiarities also had a feature of healing the disease, as well as of giving life to people. Because when Ali kishi saw that his son didn’t bring foam of water he told:”My time has finished here“.

       Out of the above mentioned extract we find out that there are combined several myths: myth of trees (springs under trees), cosmogony (stars), time (after seven years); collision of stars and the pour of bright light; combination of spatial spirits with tree and water spirits and foaming. From other side: belief to the number, whose time is up, he should die, future hero’s wholeness, the new talent given (after the event related to water Rovshan was given talents of poet and ashug).

       That means Rovshan, who had before the Misri dagger made out from the stone fallen out of the mountain and part of thunder, and who had before Girat, a bred of sea horse now acquired the new preferences, qualities. His features get combined and he becomes Koroglu. So, for the processes of Koroglu’s grow into the hero Koroglu the cults of thunder, mountain, stone, tree, water and horse had been playing a decisive role. In this Dastan the features of spring’s overflowing and foaming constitutes a similarity, looks alike the same event happening with the spring in “Ashabi-Kahf”- it also within an exact time was comes upward by foaming (spring out), and at the same time goes down (lowering). Simply, this event by happening after each seven years assumes more strong character.

       But in this story it was after each fifteen minutes.     In Nakhchivan the beliefs related to water are performed on the last Wednesday of the year (year end Wednesday), and in Novruz.  It would be worth to note that out of all these Wednesdays all over Azerbaijan, one is related to water (Water Wednesday). According to belief on that day the qualities of waters change, it awakens and the underwater springs out. The last Wednesday of the year starts before the Sun rises and everybody able to walk and at the same time animals –cows and sheep come to the river or to the mouth of spring (this is sometimes called Nobashi in the village). Everybody jumps over water and says: “Let all my pains, disease pour over this water”.

      The people wash in the spring and women take small stones from there. They fill in their jars with Yearend water. Then they bring this water home and make dough with it; when the children get a sore throught they rub their throat with it. The remaining part of the water they either pour the tree, which has a harvest or take back into the same spring.    Some times before, during Novbashi (on the spring) the children were splashing water to each other. Together being a slight joke, this is also a cleaning. Because in splashing only the spring water is used.

      This belief among Anadolu Turks is performed in Novruz holiday in the early morning, like in Azerbaijan. According to conviction, this water wipes out all evils, pains, pitfalls and diseases from the old year.

      In Novruz, water dreams, cleaning a dirty woman by pouring her head 40 spoons of water, pouring water into the girkhachar pannikin and beseeching, not drinking water with open head, not pouring the hot water on earth, to pulling 7 caftan water and giving it to the frightened child, and some other likely beliefs are connected with ancient turks’ water cult.    Summarizing all above mentioned information we can draw a conclusion that all traditions and beliefs related to “Ashabi-Kahf” had belonged to Turkic pantion and they had been observed from the ancient periods.


S T O N E  C U L T               

W A T E R C U L T               

T R E E  C U L T                   

S O U R C E                          

P H O T O   G A L L E R Y