King Hoshang was the grandson of king After Kayomars/Gayomard. His title is Paradhata “the first law giver” from which the royal dynasty Peshdad got its name. After ascending the throne king Hoshang pledged to rule with justice and compassion for the betterment of mankind.
In king Hoshang’s time started the profession of blacksmith. For the first time iron axes, saws and spades were made. Happy by this success, the king introduced the practice of agriculture with improved iron implements. He taught his people the art of sowing crops and reaping harvests. He had canals dug from rivers to fields for easy availability of water. People now stopped leading a nomadic life and started living in small groups, near their own fields, tilling their own personal lands.
With the development of agriculture started the practice of domesticating animals like goat, sheep, cows, bulls and donkeys. Certain animals were used for fieldwork and others for domestic purposes like guarding and riding. Gradually, people started using wool and fur as clothing.
The Majesty of Fire
Once, when King Hoshang along with his retinue had gone hunting, a long, black slithering creature with red shiny eyes suddenly came before them. This was an Azdah, a large dragon like animal. King Hoshang and a few of his soldiers followed this creature, hurling stone weapons at it. The weapons missed their mark and hit another stone causing sparks to fly and igniting the dry branches of a tree, resulting in a huge fire.
On seeing the gigantic blaze, the soldiers were terrified and started running away. However, King Hoshang instantly recognised the majesty of Ahura Mazda in this blaze and bowed down before it offering praises to its Creator. He stopped the terrified soldiers from fleeing and exhorted, “Don’t fear this majestic Fire. It is the radiance of Ahura Mazda. He who is wise shall revere it.”
Relieved by their king’s assurance, the soldiers returned, bowed down before the fire and fed it with wood. At night the King and his subjects celebrated a Jashan around this fire with great zest and festivity. This Jashan, called Jashan-e-Sadeh, is celebrated even today on Avan roz of mah Bahman. This meaning of the word Sadeh is “hundred”. Since this Jashan is performed exactly 50 days and 50 nights before the holy days of the Gathas, it got its name. The word Sadeh is also the name of the tree, the dry branches of which were ignited by friction, resulting in the majestic blaze.
Firdausi cautions people against calling the Parsees Fire-worshippers. He says:
Ma gui ke ātash parastā budand, Parastande-e pāk yazdān budand.
“Do not call them fire worshippers, Through fire they are worshippers of God.”
King Hoshang passed away after ruling for forty years. He is regarded as a Saoshyant, that is, a benefactor of mankind.