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Sassanid Sun reborn as the Divine Khan

(Manichaean Musaddas poem about Shapur I being reborn as Bögü Qaghan to convert to Manichaeism)

Shapur I, Wise King of the Simurgh Kingdom, and friend of Mani

The King of Kings of Iran and non-Iran, the sun of many

Walking through the valley of the shadow of death, the road of any

Recalling his life of war campaigns, stone monuments and plenty

Recalling his support and talks with Mani, though his heart was in doubt

Now he knew that the blazing flame, that guided him, was going out


Wondering why he believed Oromazd and Ahriman were brothers

Why he worshipped fire, for soon his fate will end in painful fires

Remembering how he dismissed the teachings of the lotus flowers

Mani’s gift of Persian honey, that he did not taste, like others

Ready for the chariot of burning flames, his friends started to weep

He sunk down into his soft bed, and fell into the clutches of sleep


“A voice calling from the Eastern Steppe, “Prepare the way for the Light

Make straight, open paths to the Light, dwelling in the heights above the height

Valleys will be made low, heavens will open, all in a king’s sight

The world will shake, and the world will be bathed in moonlight and in sunlight””

These are the words the angels prophesied about Shapur the King

Shapur before his sleep faintly chuckled at this, praying and wishing `


Shapur I came again, forgetting his former self and wish

But had dreams of the Just Judge, sitting just above a pond of pearlfish

“You allowed every flower in your vast land to grow and flourish

You were the sun shining indiscriminately on all plants and fish

And cared for that seven petal lotus in your garden and court

Though in the past, you politely declined to give your heart’s full support”


He awoke as Bögü Qaghan, Khan of the Uyghurs, Great East Wise Prince

He heard the words “Visit the seven petal lotus of times since

And breathe in that lotus flower’s scent, by the holy wind, to convince 

Your heart to be born again in spirit, without needing to rinse”

Bögü Qaghan put on his armour for another day of battle

And worshipped Tengri, god of the heavens, despite earthly prattle


He successfully fought Yan, to aid the Tang, as if it was fate 

Travelled to the city of Luoyang to pray, wish and contemplate

Exhausted after the fight, four angels came, each carrying a plate

Carrying a petal from a white lotus flower that grew great

Nostalgia grew in Bögü Qaghan’s heart, recollecting an old bond

An old friend called from beyond, a lotus grew out of his soul’s pond


"The bright crowned Hearer, the Keeper of Faithfulness

Whose virtue upholds the state of holiness

May the eons guard the defenders of greatness

And the commanders of the divine highness

May they all be crowned with the gold of the sages

May it be so for ages upon ages"


He bowed his head and smelled the small petals of splendorous moonlight

And the heavens opened, the world shook, and all the world was bathed in light

The indiscriminate sun rose in the Orkhon Valley of might

Almost five hundred years after the sun set into a pond in plight

The King of Kings was born as the Divine Khan of countless many

The Son of a King was born again as the Emanation of Mani

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