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The Simurgh, Truth's last flawless jewel, the light in which you will be lost to mortal sight, dispersed to nothingness until once more you find in me the selves you were before.
-Mantiq al-Tayr (The Parliament of Birds)

Simurgh, also called Angha, is a raptor-like bird in the Persian myths. It is said to be large enough to carry off an elephant or a whale. It appears as a kind of peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion; sometimes however also with a human face. It is benevolent and always female.

Simurgh is so old that it has seen the destruction of the world 3 times, and possesses the knowledge of the ages. It is sometimes said to end its life in flames, much like the phoenix. As the representative of the union of heaven and earth, its task is to purify the land and bestow fertility. It nests in Hōm the Tree of Life, sharing the tree's essence of purity and divinity.

In the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), the Simurgh raised Prince Zal, and delivered Rostam, the Persian hero. It healed Rostam and advised him on the way to defeat the near-invulnerable Isfandiyar. In perhaps an alternative version, Isfandiyar killed the Simurgh (or perhaps a different Simurgh) as part of a series of heroic labors.

Isfandiyar struggles with the Simurgh

Sources: WikipediaAbout Alternative ReligionsIsfandiyar Struggles With The Simurgh