Mother Goddess Anahit addressed Father Ar: “Oh, the Great Creator, your son Arius has already come to his senses after the nightmare of unsuccessful love. Create a new girlfriend for him – one that is more beautiful than Lilith, more gentle, and more loving, and one that can inflame his heart and be faithful and submissive.”
And Ar made Arpi from the best in the world – he took hot love from the sun, sadness from the moon, smile from the stars, purity from Heaven, excitement from the Earth, grace from marshmallows, groan from the storm, murmur from the stream, tears from the rain, humbleness from the fields, pride from the mountains.
Arpi with her beauty and gentleness eclipsed all the wonders of Ararat. Flowers would bloom at the sight of her, birds would happily fly and chirp around her. The sun would send her kisses of love.
Only Lilith, envious of the beauty of Arpi, accumulated anger against her.
Everyone loved Arpi. And Arpi loved everyone and everything in Ararat. But most of all, she loved young Arius. But Arius would not notice her.
Arius would climb mounts, compete in strength with lions, build eagle nests on the tops of bare cliffs, and feast with the gods until morning. And he would not notice the beauty of Arpi, although she would follow him everywhere.
The beautiful Arpi suffered from love and prayed to the Goddess of Love so that Arius would notice her and so that love awakened in his heart.
The beautiful Astghik, the Goddess of Love who sparked a feeling in the heart of Arpi, liked her pure, sacrificial devotion. She appeared to Arpi and said:
“Arius feasts with the gods by Lake Van until dawn, after which he goes to Lake Kaputan to drink its cold, clear water and quench his thirst. I will throw a handful of salt into Lake Kaputan. Arius will drink the salt water, and his thirst will increase. Then, you will bring water from a cold mountain stream in a jug – he will drink this water, quench his thirst, and notice your beauty.”
So they did. But Lilith, watching all this, could not endure Arpi’s happiness and decided to stop her. She whispered to Arpi:
“Beautiful Arpi, Arius is powerful, he is a god, although earthly. What can a handful of salt in this big lake do to him? Throw another handful of salt into it.”
Arpi followed Lilith’s advice. Secretly from Astghik, she threw a handful of salt into the lake, making the water in the lake excessively salty. And when, after a night feast, Arius drank water from the lake, he felt a terrible heat inside him. He choked with thirst.
Arpi brought cold water in a jug, but it did not quench Arius’ thirst. Arpi brought water again – and it didn’t help as well. Again and again, Arpi fled from one end of Ararat to the other to bring water, but Arius’s thirst only increased.
Arpi, exhausted, fell to the ground and cried in despair. She cursed both Lilith and herself for following evil advice.
Astghik heard her cries and immediately flew to her. She rebuked Arpi, took Arius’ hand, and ordered Arpi to support him from the other side. And they led him to the mountains where twenty-eight cold streams began. But these rivers also did not quench the thirst of Aria.
Then, Astghik summoned the god-craftsman Tir. Tir built a dam in the mountains so that the waters of all rivers accumulated in one place and left one hole where water could flow out from. So originated a mountain lake with cold tasty water which would be called Sevan. And the water of Lake Kaputan would forever remain very salty.
Arius drank water from the newly created lake and finally quenched his thirst. He raised his head and looked at Arpi.
“You put out my inner heat with this cold water,” he said, “But you ignited a new fire in me with your beauty. Tell me, what source can extinguish this fire in my chest?”
Just at that moment, Lilith imperceptibly approached Arpi and whispered:
“Leave without a word and hide from him, let him seek you so that his love becomes stronger.”
Arpi instantly forgot Lilith’s previous intrigue – this new advice sunk into her head. She left Arius’ question unanswered, shrugged, and left.
Arius was surprised and did not know how to explain Arpi’s behavior. But in his soul, the image of Arpi in all its cruel beauty was already imprinted.
He would spend days looking for her, but she would run away and hide from him.
The saddened Arius turned to Mother Goddess Anahit:
“Why does she run away from me, why does she make me run after her?”
Mother Anahit said:
“This is the essence of Lilith. She haunts Arpi and confuses her with advice. And because of this, Arpi becomes frivolous and moody.
There will be no limit to her whims. The more you indulge her whims, the more they will be, and she, using your love, will drag you along.
Let her never know the power of your love! Then, she herself will follow you and will be submissive to you. Thus, she will make you happy and will be happy herself.”
After this, Arius, mentally searching for Arpi, yearning for her, burning with love, never followed her. In moments of acute longing, he would run around Ararat, not noticing animals and birds, compose songs about his love, and sing them secretly on the slopes of Masis so that only the gods could hear them.
Arpi grieved – Arius would no longer look for her. And Lilith would continue to whisper:
“Be patient, be patient a little more. His perseverance will be broken, and he will come to you.”
And Arpi would suffer, restraining her feelings, but Arius would not come. And the fear of losing Arius filled her soul. She cried, cursed Lilith and herself, and addressed the prayers to Mother Goddess Anahit.
Mother Anahit was touched by her pleas and appeared to her. Arpi on her knees asked her to put an end to her suffering. Mother Anahit instructed her:
“As long as you follow Lilith’s advice, you will suffer and cause suffering to Arius. Know that Father Ar created you from all perfections precisely for Arius. Your beauty does not belong to you.
Your beauty and your love belong to Arius, the children born to you will belong to him. Arius is your master. Such is the will of Father Ar. You must always follow Arius, your pride must obey your love that belongs to Arius.”
Arpi realized that Lilith wished her harm and decided to never again follow her advice. She went after Arius. And when Arius was about to drink water from Lake Sevan, Arpi appeared before him with a jug in her hand.
“Oh, Earthly God,” she said, “Father Ar created me for you, you are my master. Let me quench your thirst.”
Arius rejoiced in his soul and desired to hug her but held back his enthusiasm and smiled coldly:
“The water of this lake is cold and pleasant to the taste, but the water in your jug has already warmed up and is tasteless.”
Lilith quietly whispered in Arpi’s ear: “He is offending your love.” Arpi got offended. But then, she remembered Mother Anahit’s admonition and told herself: “Why would I be offended by my love that belongs to him?”
She humbly asked:
“Let me get some water from the lake and give it to you.”
“No,” refused Arius, “The jug does not retain the taste of water.”
Then, Arpi collected water from the lake into her hands and brought them towards Arius’ lips. Arius smiled and drank the water.
And after that, Arpi would follow Arius everywhere. She adored Arius and was happy in her humility. But still, one day, when they were walking in the grove, Arpi asked:
“Am I beautiful?”
And Arius realized that, loving Arpi, he would always have to defend his love from Lilith who would always pursue Arpi.
Read more: The Life-Giving Fruit