ČAMRŪŠ (or Činamrūs; Mēnōg ī xrad, chap. 61.11), a mythical bird that in the Pahlavi books, of all birds of land and sky, is second only to the Sēn bird (Av. saēna-mərəγa-, Mid. Pers. sēn murw, Pers. sīmorḡ) in worth, for “whoever performs a great deed, his worth is great” (Bundahišn, TD2, p. 122.4-5; tr. Anklesaria, chap. XVII A, pp. 156f.). Čamrūš’s deed is to have completed the work of the Sēn bird, which sits on the “tree opposed to harm,” also known as “tree of all seeds.” When the Sēn bird rises aloft from the tree a thousand seeds grow, and when he alights upon it again a thousand seeds are cast down. Čamrūš, who sits nearby, gathers the seeds and conveys them to where Tištar collects and disperses the waters, so that seeds are rained upon the earth (Menōg ī xrad, ed. Anklesaria, pp. 62.37ff., cf. Bundahišn, TD2, pp. 115.11-116.1; Anklesaria, chap. XVI.4, pp. 146ff.). Elsewhere it is said that every three years, when non-Iranians pillage Iranian lands, Burz, the Zoroastrian yazad of agriculture, rouses Čamrūš at the summit of Harburz. Čamrūš avenges the Iranians by gathering crops from non-Iranian lands “as a bird pecks grains.” (Bundahišn, TD2, pp. 153.14-154.5; tr. Anklesaria, chap. XXIV.24, pp. 196-99). Thus Čamrūš plays a part in the original and continuing fertilization of Iranian lands. This miraculous bird is not to be identified with the Young Avestan personal name Čamrav- of Yt. 13.1109 (Iranisches Personennamenbuch I/1, p. 1/33).
Given in the text. See also K. A. Fitter, “Reference to Eagle and Other Mysterious Birds in Ancient Literature,” All India Oriental Conference 9, pp. 249-55.
(Alan V. Williams)
Originally Published: December 15, 1990
Last Updated: December 15, 1990
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 7, pp. 747-748