Mandaean Sacred Art: A Brief Study of Folio 6 of the Secret Mandaean Scroll Diwan Qadaha Rba d-Dmuth Kušţa (The Scroll of Great Creation of the Image of Truth)

By Brikha H.S. Nasoraia.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Mandaeans are the last pre-Christian Gnostics. They practice the frequent baptism in the fresh running water. Mandaeans lived as a persecuted minority group in the Middle East. They follow the teachings of Adam, Seth, Shem, son of Noah, and John the Baptist. They have a unique religious tradition, culture and sacred literature. In addition, they preserve ancient rich esoteric and mystical traditions from antiquity.
The center of attention of this paper is a secret Mandaean illustrated scroll called Diwan Qadaha Rba d-Dmuth Kušţa (The Scroll of Great Creation [lit. Big Bang] of the Image of Truth) (DQRDK). This paper discusses some important multilayered meanings in Mandaean symbolism and esoteric teachings expressed in DQRDK, Folio 6. The focus is on the creation story since it is the central focal point of DQRDK. This paper uses esoteric and mystical illustrations found in this scroll, in particular, Folio 6, to demonstrate how all adherents of the Mandaean religion seek a mystical center, Hiia (the Living One, i.e., God).

Keywords: Sacred Texts, Religious Philosophies, Cosmologies, Mysticism, Symbolism, Art

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.33-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 775.308KB).

Prof. Dr. Brikha H.S. Nasoraia

Honorary Associate and President, India - Subcontinental Studies, International Mandaean Nasoraean Supreme Council , The Mandaean Spiritual Council of Australia, Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Professor Dr. Nasoraia is a Ganzibra (Mandaean High Priest) and leader of Mandaean-Nasoraeans. He is the president of the International Mandaean Nasoraean Supreme Council and the Mandaean Spiritual Council of Australia. At present he is working at the Departments of Arabic Language and Literature (Mardin-Artuklu University); Indian Sub-continental Studies and Buddhist Studies Program (Sydney University); the Centre for Peace, Conflict and Middle Eastern Studies; and the Centre for Millennial Studies. Also he is completing his fourth Ph.D. at Macquarie University, which examines the esoteric, mystical and artistic aspects of ancient Gnostic secret scrolls from the Middle East. His studies cover many areas of the liberal arts. Now he is working on two large projects, “The Complete Comparative Dictionary of Arabic Words” and “The Gulf Migrants, Sacred Literature and Diaspora in the Indian Ocean and Africa: A Cross-Cultural Study of the Ancient Gulf Migrations.” Among his important forthcoming publication A Critical Edition, with Translation and Analytical Study of the Scroll of Great Creation of the Image/Likeness of Truth, Erica Hunter (Senior Editor), Corpus Codicum Mandaeorum series, Brepols Publishers (2013) and The Esoteric and Mystical Concepts of the Illustrated Mandaean Nasoraean Scroll: Diwan Qadaha Rba d-Dmuth Kušţa (in the same series).