Azhi Dahaka (Azhi Dahaki, Azi, Azdaha, Ahi, Zohak) is in Persian and Babylonian lore, a snake Demon. Azhi Dahaka is Zohak in the Avesta creation myth of Zoroastrianism, as the personification of the Evil One.
His name means “biting snake.” Azhi Dahaka was created by Angra Mainyu (later Ahriman) and serves him. He has three heads and three jaws, which represent pain, anguish, and death; six or 18 eyes; fangs; and wings. He is filled with spiders, snakes, scorpions, and other venomous creatures that, if set free, would infect the entire world.
Azhi Dahaka also is described in human form with two venomous Serpents twining out from his neck, and as a DRUJ, half-human and half-beast. The snakes grew because either Ahriman or Iblis kissed Azhi Dahaka there. The snakes had to be fed human brains or animal Blood. In Babylonian lore, he was the king of Babel and had a human shape with serpents in his neck.
Azhi Dahaka governs storms and storm clouds and causes drought and disease. He eats cattle. In lore, he turned to eating humans, even the first one created, King Yima. He usurps Yima and rules for 1,000 years until he is vanquished by the Persian king Fereydun. The Demon will destroy one-third of the world until he is stopped by Keresapa.
In Persian lore, the Persian king Fereydun (Thraetona) binds him in chains under Mount Davand by the Caspian Sea until the end of time. In another version, Azhi Dahaka is chained to a rock in the sun until he dies.
The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 2009 by Visionary Living, Inc.