In the time before time, the mountains were bare
and fruitless with no running waters, no channels to irrigate
the lands, no fresh vibrant springs to feed the Earth. One day,
while the god of thunder and the deluge, Ninurta, sat by his
father Enlil in his great court, a great cry went up, as
something went hurtling across the horizons, as fast as
lightning. It was the Sharuh: the almighty mace of Ninurta, with
wings and the head of a lion. The Sharuh had come to tell him of
terrible news; that the sky and the Earth had borne a child, a
monster—the Asag, whose name meant ‘demon that causes sickness’.
The Asag had enthroned himself as King, made the flowers his
worshippers, the stones his army, and had captured neighbouring
cities. The Sharuh told Ninurta that the Asag was planning to
overthrow and destroy Ninurta, in his quest for power.
When Ninurta heard this, he roared a roar that
was like the sound of thunder. He took his mace in one hand, and
mounted his chariot that took off through the sky like a
thunderbolt. Despite the Sharuh’s fearful warnings about the
Asag’s power and force, Ninurta challenged the Asag, setting his
mace, the wind, the thunder and the lightning against the Asag’s
terrible army of stones and mighty strength. The battle raged on
for days, splitting the sky, and covering the land in fire.
Ninurta followed Enlil’s advice, to strike the Asag’s liver with
his mace. The Asag was defeated, and with his body, Ninurta
created the mountains, moulded and shaped the rock to create
channels, to irrigate the land. To this day, the mountain water
flows and mingles with the strong currents of the Tigris and
Roskar Nasan performed his oud composition
entitled The Mountain Breeze.