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
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
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
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.
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”
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
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.