THE AGAM VANIS
In this light we will now analyze the Agam vanis associated with the Nizar Panth, the Bisnoi and Jasnathi movements. At present, as has been said earlier, these are perceived as separate Hindu sectarian traditions. Despite a number of variations in length, style or contents, all these songs share the same basic features and display the same central themes and motifs.
The main character is once more the tenth avatar of Vishnu who is not referred to as Kalki but as Nikalank Avatar. He will come from the West, namely from Alamul (Almot) in Daylamdesh. Allusion is thus made to the famous fortress of the so-called "Assassins", situated in the Daylami region of Iran, which has been the first center of the Nizari authority: age will come from the city of Almot, the name of the country is Delam" (Gohil, 1994: 57). These verses are found, among others, in a composition entitled Daylami aradh (Prayer of Daylam) of which a great number of versions exist, mainly ascribed to a saint called Devayat Pandit or Devayat Pir. It is also said that at the end of Kali Yuga, the Lord (Alam, one of the Muslim names of God) will assume the name of Nikalank and will also be known as Kayam (or Kayam Raja) and Mahdi (Mehdi, Mehndi): "the Kayam will kill Kalinga and take the name of Nikalank". He is described as riding a white horse and bearing a sword. As far as the Nizarpanthi tradition is concerned, in one of the twenty-four songs ascribed to Ramdev and referred to as Chaubis praman, one reads: "Shyam (a name of God as Krishna) will ride a white horse. He will be incarnated as the Nikalank king ..." (Bishnoi, 1989: 237). In one of the Agam vanis belonging to the Bisnoi sect, the Lord's mount is called Duldul which is the name of the famous horse of the Prophet and of Ali. Various other prophetic songs are ascribed to different saints of the Nizarpanth, but Sahadev, identified with Pir Sadruddin in the Gujarati tradition, is believed to be the main author, along with Devayat, owing to his reputation as an astrologer, a reason why he is often referred to as "Sahadev Joshi" (Sahadev the astrologer) (Gohil, 1994: 52).
Common to all these eschatological texts is the killing of the demon personifying the Kali Yuga. Referred to as Kalinga, he is also portrayed as a demon-king whose wife is the virtuous queen Surja Rani (Gohil, Ibid.: 54), the latter detail being found in a text entitled Nikalank Puran, belonging to the Jasnathi tradition. The army led by Nikalank will comprise Puranic heroes and gods (the Pandavas, Draupadi, Hariscandra, Prahlad, Brahma, Sesnag, Hanuman, etc.), as well as figures known by Muslim names: Isuf, Alladin, Dal Khoja and Makkardin, Fatima (Gohil, Ibid.: 64). One of these names, at least, can be understood as referring to a Khoja, that is to say a member of the Nizari community converted by Pir Sadruddin, while Fatima is of course Muhammad's daughter-in-law and Ali's wife, one of the five Panj tan or "sacred bodies" of Shia Islam, who gave her name to the Ismaili Fatimid dynasty. Interestingly enough, Gohil (Ibid.: 53) writes that such names as Isuf, Alladdin, Makkano mumano (litt. The believer from Mecca), Naklankl ghoro (Nikalank's horse), Delamdes (The country of Daylam) and such other words are closely connected with the secret tradition of the Nizarpanthis and cannot be understood by the non-initiate nor revealed to them.
The marriage of Nikalank Avatar constitutes one of the main motifs of all the Agam Vanis I have studied. In the texts which belong to the Nizarpanthi community in which, let us recall, untouchables play a prominent role, the name of the bride is invariably given as Megri (or Megri Rani). The comments made by some informants, who were priests and worshippers of Ramdev, as well as the explanations given by Gohil (Ibid.: 69-73) suggest the following interpretation: Megri symbolises the Megh or Meghval community -one of the major groups of untouchables - and, as such, all the oppressed people who will triumph and be redeemed at the end of the Kali Yuga. They are also referred to as the faithful "Rishis" -a name by which the Ismaili Nizari believers of the Subcontinent were also designated. Instead, in the Bisnoi Agam Vanil mentioned earlier the bride is referred to as Vasudha Kunvari (the Virgin Earth), a mere variant of the Visva Kunvari who plays the same role in Sadruddin's ginans. Another important detail is the date of the cosmic wedding: it will take place on Thursday night, on the second day of the bright half of the month of Asvin (September-October) which follows the New Moon, and referred to as Asoj Bij. Incidentally this is exactly the same date which is mentioned for the marriage in one of Sadruddin's ginans: "on the second day (of the bright half), on Thursday night, the Lord has come to marry" (Nanjiani, Ibid.: 164). This date happens to be the most auspicious one in the Khoja as well as in the Nizarpanthi traditions, while it may be of interest to mention the importance of the New Moon for the Bisnoi (D.S. Khan, 1997).
The Agam vanis entitled Daylami aradh, generally ascribed to Devayat and later imitated by recent followers of the Nizar Panth such as Jivannath (Gohil, Ibid.: 103) describe at length the various catastrophes and anomalies which characterize the end of Kali Yuga. For example the sun will be burning with excessive heat (a motif already noted in the Ismaili prophetic songs), the Pipal tree (ficus religiosa) and the nagar bel (a variety of creeper) will bear flowers, the koil (the Indian cuckoo) which is black will become white, while the bagula (the white heron) will turn black, cobras will no longer be poisonous, nine-year old girls will give birth to children (this detail being found also in the Bhagavata Purana), cows will have two calves at a time, only elephant and camel milk will be available, etc. God will write the accounts of all human deeds and punish the sinful. A wide variety of punishments is described in some Agam vanis, as they are in a few prophetic ginans (personal communication by Z. Moir). Afterwards justice will be restored and Hindu-Muslim unity will be established. The verse "Hindu and Turks will drink from the same cup", recalling a passage of a ginan ascribed to Shams "Hindus and Muslims will even eat together", has here undoubtedly a positive meaning, whereas it seems to be written in a critical tone in the Khoja tradition, being listed among other "abnormalities". The Agam vani motif is actually an allusion to the fact that both communities will take initiation into the same panth.  It is also clear that the eschatological vision presented in these texts is intended as a warning to the faithful of the Nizar Panth referred to as sugras, against the non-initiated or nugras, if one bears in mind such injunctions as: "Come, 0 faithful men and women, partake of the holy nectar (the consecrated water referred to as paval) .;." (Gohil: 102). Finally, it is said that the end of Kali Yuga and the advent of Nikalank Avatar will coincide with the revelation of the fifth secret Veda.