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  • Earthling 3:45 am on August 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: admirable body, , , Ali Jafarey, Ameretat, Amesha Spentas, Ameshaspenta, Ancient religion, angels, Archangel, Arda Viraf, Armaiti, Arthur Bleeck, Asha, Avesta, Bartholomae, beautiful body, Beings of Lights, bright body, , conscience, D.J. Irani, fat cow, Fire in Zoroastrianism, Fire temples, Fire worship, Fire worshippers, firouz Azargoshasb, , Freddy Mercury, garden of paradise, , Gathas of Zarathustra, God, good and evil, guardian angel, Haurvetat, Helmut Humbach, History of the Avesta, Hymns of Zarathustra, illustrious noble race, J.M. Chatterji, Kenneth Guthrie, Kshathra, Kurdistan, M.L. West, maiden of paradise, majestic maiden, Morgan Freeman, Nietzsche, noble maiden, paradise in zoroastrianism, Parsis, Piloo Nanavutty, , rosy arms, self, Stanley Insler, strong maiden, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Thus spoke Zarathustra, true nature of self, upright maiden, Vohu Mana, Yazata, Zarathustra,   

    Amazing Facts about Zoroastrianism 

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    Zoroastrianism is an ancient religion that is associated with Iran and Afghanistan, its places of origin. It has some elements in common with Islam and Hinduism, among other religions. Zoroastrianism once had a substantial presence in the Caucasus and Armenia, and its influence can still be found in Dagestan. There remains an unused Zoroastrian fire temple in Georgia. Nowadays the most Zoroastrians are in India and Iran, although there are diaspora to be found around the world, from Kurdistan to Canada and Hong Kong. Zoroastrians today are remarkably diverse. For example, there are differences of opinion about whether or not God is omnipotent, whether or not people should worship fire, whether or not we reincarnate after we die, and whether or not there is a revealed Zoroastrian sacred law (comparable to the Islamic sharia).

    Contents:

    All about fire

    Sacred text: the Avesta

    Beings of light: the Amesha Spentas

    Your beautiful self: Daena

    All about fire

    Fire occupies a very important place in Zoroastrianism. Historically, Zoroastrians have been known for worshiping fire. However, a significant number of modern Zoroastrians do not worship fire. In the Zoroastrian scriptures, fire is referred to as the “son of Ahura Mazda.” Fires are expected to be treated with reverence and protected from abuse or pollution. This is especially the case for the sacred fires contained in fire temples or altars, but it also applies to all fires in general.

    Fire is considered to be an essentially sacred entity and a direct symbol or manifestation of divinity. Fire is particularly associated with the angelic quality or entity (depending on the interpretation) called Asha. Asha has been translated as “truth,” “righteousness,” and “order,” among other things; and Asha is also known as an archangelic entity (ameshaspenta) with a personality. Asha is revered in one of the principal Zoroastrian prayers as “the greatest good,” and similarly, fire is regarded as the most sacred element. Fire is also considered a symbol of spiritual light and the inner spiritual flame (mainyu athra) that illuminates the path of truth and righteousness.

    Fire is associated with creation as well. In the historical saga Shahnameh, Zarathustra is quoted as saying “Look at the heavens and the earth. God did not make them with dust and water. Look upon the fire and witness therein how they were created.” [3]

    Fire Temples

    According to traditional Zoroastrianism, the most appropriate place for a fire is the altar in the fire temple, and when fires are used for worldly purposes, this is intended only to be a temporary concession. Fires used for worldly purposes are supposed to be brought back to the fire altar eventually. [1]

    The fire altar in the fire temple is tended to by ordained priests. It is required to be kept burning at all times, as a symbol of the eternal flame of Asha (Truth/Righteousness). It is fed with pure fuels and protected from contaminants, as a symbol of how Zoroastrians should inwardly remain pure. Some possible historical fuels for the sacred fires are twigs and wood from Camel thorn, Juniper, and Plane trees. [2]

    Although Zoroastrians may sometimes worship in fire temples, it is usual on a day-to-day basis for them to worship at home, or in an open space while facing a source of light. Some evidence, such as accounts from Greek historians Strabo and Herodotus, indicates that the Zoroastrians in their time worshiped on platforms in high places and did not have temples or altars. [2]

    Types of Fire

    In organized Zoroastrianism, there have historically been many types of fire. The three principal types are Atash Bahram (victorious fire), Atash Adaran (fire of fires), and Atash Dadgah (court fire). Each of these types of fire is lit, consecrated, and maintained differently. The Atash Barham needs to be maintained by a Dastur (High Priest), the Atash Adaran requires only a Mobed (Advanced Priest), and the Atash Dadgah does not require any priest. The consecration of the Atash Barham requires 32 priests and can take up to a year; the consecration of the Atash Adaran requires eight priests and may take several weeks; the consecration of the Atash Dadgah requires one or two priests and can be done in a few hours. [3]

    Sacred text: the Avesta

    The Avesta is the main body of Zoroastrian religious texts. Many parts of the Avesta, and sometimes the whole Avesta, are attributed directly to the prophet Zarathustra. The Avesta is divided into two parts, the Old Avesta and the Younger Avesta, which are linguistically and stylistically different, and usually held to come from different periods. The Old Avesta includes the Gathas, which are widely considered the holiest part of the Avesta by Zoroastrians, and sometimes considered the only part truly written by him. The Gathas are contained in the Yasna, which are other prayers in the Old Avestan language. The Younger Avesta is in a different, newer-seeming language, and includes diverse content such as the daily prayers recited by Zoroastrians, the Vendidad, and accounts of the afterlife.

    There are different opinions among Zoroastrians as to whether the Avesta was non-participatively revealed by Ahura Mazda, or authored by Zarathustra himself, or some combination of the two. Conservative Zoroastrians more often hold the first opinion, while more liberal Zoroastrians are more likely to accept only the Gathas and believe that they were authored by Zarathustra rather than revealed to him.

    History of the Avesta

    The date of the authoring and/or revelation of the Avesta is disputed. Estimates for the age of the oldest part, the Gathas, have ranged from 7000 B.C. to 200 B.C. One Zoroastrian scholar, J.M. Chatterji, claimed that the Gathas were originally part of the Vedas.

    The original Avesta was said by Pliny to have had two million verses. Others say that approximately a fourth of the Avesta has survived. According to Zoroastrian tradition, the original Avesta contained 21 volumes. Each volume is said to correspond to a word of the Ahuna Vairya, the most sacred Zoroastrian prayer, which has 21 words. Three of the lost volumes are said to have been commentaries on the Gathas. The content of the lost volumes has been summarized in medieval Pahlavi texts, notably the Dinkard and the Bundahishn.

    Most of the original Avesta is believed to have been lost during the invasions of Alexander the Great, the medieval Arabs, and possibly the later Turks and Mongols. Only the 19th volume, the Vendidad, is considered fully preserved by some Zoroastrians, while others consider it a fabrication.

    In the fourth century BC, Alexander the Great conquered Persia. Zoroastrian tradition says that there were two full manuscripts of the Avesta at that time; one was destroyed by Alexander, and he took the other to disseminate among the Greeks. After the Zoroastrians regained Persia, they began compiling the Avesta again from fragments that had been written down or memorized.

    During the Arab conquest of Iran, one story says that the Caliph Umar ordered all the books from the Library of Ctesiphon to be destroyed. However, some scholars think that the Avesta was not destroyed at that time because detailed summaries of the Avesta were written centuries after the Arab conquest.

    Whatever remained of the Avesta following the Arab conquests may have been destroyed during the extremely destructive Mongol conquests, in which the Library of Baghdad was destroyed and Iran as a whole experienced unprecedented devastation.

    Translations of the Gathas

    The Gathas have been translated much more often than the rest of the Avesta. Translations have been very diverse depending on the approach used. Some methodologies include the Western philological approach, the mystical approach of the Ilk-e-Khshnoom school, and the traditional approach based largely on Pahlavi texts. Some translators rely more on similarities between Avestan and Sanskrit, which are sister languages, while other rely more on medieval Pahlavi texts or original reasoning. Many words that are interpreted as simple pastoral terms by Western translators are given a wider meaning by Zoroastrian translators. For example, the same phrase may translated as either “soul of the bull” or “soul of the world”; other such pairs include “milk” and “prosperity”, “butter” and “knowledge”, and so on.

    Notable Western translations include those of Arthur Bleeck, Stanley Insler, Helmut Humbach, M.L. West, Christian Bartholomae, and Kenneth Guthrie. Notable Zoroastrian translations have been made by J.M. Chatterji, Ali Jafarey, Firouz Azargoshasb, Piloo Nanavutty, and D. J. Irani.

    Beings of Light: Amesha Spentas

    In Zoroastrian doctrine, the Amesha Spentas are the seven first creations and the holiest beings after (or sometimes including) Ahura Mazda. The word ‘ameshaspenta’ has been translated as ‘bounteous immortal’, ‘Essence of God’, ‘Divine Spark’, ‘Divine Attribute’, and ‘Archangel’. The name of each Amesha Spenta can be interpreted as designating an attribute of Ahura Mazda, an archangel corresponding to that attribute, and a quality of ordinary beings like humans which is to be cultivated. The Amesha Spentas are named Vohu Mana, Asha, Kshathra, Armaiti, Haurvetat, Ameretat, and Ahura Mazda. The term ‘ameshaçpenta’ is sometimes used to refer to only the six Amesha Spentas other than Ahura Mazda, sometimes to refer to all seven, and sometimes it is used as a broad term for all of the Yazatas (“Archangels”).

    The Amesha Spentas are divided into male and female. This is done according to their linguistic gender. Vohu Mana, Asha, and Kshathra are linguistically neuter and therefore male, while Armaiti, Haurvetat, and Ameretat are linguistically feminine and therefore female. The name Ahura Mazda is both masculine and feminine, since Ahura is masculine and Mazda is feminine.

    Some of the Amesha Spentas are described as Ahura Mazda’s offspring. For example, Vohu Mana is said to be his son and Armaiti is said to be his daughter.

    Vohu Mana

    Vohu Mana may designate a human faculty of intelligence, a higher state of being which is to be reached by means of this faculty, the metaphysical space within which the faculty exists, and a specific archangelical entity with a personality. Vohu means good, and Mana has been translated variously as thought, mind, mindedness, thinking, intention, and disposition. One translator has Vohu Mana as ’’conscience’’, and others have rendered it as ‘’reason’’.

    Asha

    Asha is usually translated as truth, right, righteousness, or justice. Other translations include law, reality, order, beauty, purity, holiness, freedom, superb brilliance and excellence, and artistic ingenuity. According to the Ashem Vohu (the second most important Zoroastrian prayer) Asha is the greatest good in existence, and a supreme source of happiness for all who possess it. Asha is symbolized by fire, which is the most important and revered physical element for Zoroastrians.

    Kshathra

    Kshathra has been translated as dominion, power, control, and sovereignty. Sometimes the word is used to refer to the ‘’Kingdom of Heaven’’, sometimes to speak of benevolent political rulership, and sometimes to speak of a person’s benevolent sovereignty over their own self.

    Armaiti

    Armaiti is translated very diversely. These translations include faith, piety, devotion, love, service, peace, serenity, tranquility, divine wisdom, and contemplation.

    Haurvetat and Ameretat

    Haurvetat means perfection, integrity, completeness and wholeness. It’s almost always paired with Ameretat, which means immortality. These two are translated more consistently than the other Amesha Spentas.

    Amesha Spentas and Elements

    The order the Amesha Spentas are presented in above is the order they are said to have been created in. Each of the Amesha Spentas symbolically corresponds to an element or class of living beings. The correspondence normally given is:

    • Vohu Mana corresponds to Animal Life.
    • Asha corresponds to Ether and Fire.
    • Kshasthra corresponds to Minerals and Metal.
    • Armaiti corresponds to Earth,
    • Haurvetat corresponds to Water, and the Ambrosia of Paradise.
    • Ameretat corresponds to Plants, and the Nectar of Paradise.
    • Ahura Mazda corresponds to Man.

    It is worth noting that the order of the production of the elements is different from the order of the creation of the Amesha Spentas. The elements and associated Amesha Spentas are celebrated during the six Gahambar festivals throughout the year, which are timed according to the seasons and represent the development of matter and its final return to the Spirit. The same elements and Amesha Spentas are also celebrated on the six Jashan days every month, which are done in the order of the creation of the Amesha Spentas.

    Your beautiful self: Daena

    The word Daena designates several concepts within Zoroastrianism. It can designate a person’s words, actions, thoughts, and intentions, especially envisioned from a moral perspective. It can also mean religion or conscience in a general sense. Daena also designates the Fravashi, which is the innermost angelical soul and also a sort of guardian angel. According to some schools of thought, the Daena is not uniquely possessed by human beings; everything is said to have a Daena, including the supreme deity Ahura Mazda. Daena is also considered to be a specific archangel (yazata). The Daena is notably described as sometimes appearing in the form of a beautiful young maiden.

    Daena in the Gathas

    The Gathas are widely considered the most significant and sacred Zoroastrian text. The word Daena is used more than thirty times in the Gathas, with various meanings. It generally designates the doctrine and teachings of Zarathustra, but the word is also used to designate religions or ways of living in general, and thus there is mention of the Daena of the evil person. The Daena appears as something abstract or manifested in a person’s choices, which benefits, honors, and helps the righteous, yet leads the evil to destruction. In the Gathas the idea of the Daena as a distinct individual entity with a physical appearance is not elaborated, unlike in later texts.

    Daena as Soul or Guardian Angel

    In later Zoroastrian texts the word Fravashi is often used to designate the Daena in the sense of guardian angel or innermost soul. According to the Zoroastrian doctrines, a person’s original innermost essence is the Daena or Fravashi, a heavenly being of light that chose to descend into the darkness of this world and do battle with evil. The individual soul in this world is a battleground between the Daena and demonic forces; so a righteous person is protected by their Daena and becomes one with it again after death, whereas the evil person is distanced from their original Daena and is lost in darkness.

    Appearance of the Daena after Death

    In various Zoroastrian texts, excluding the Gathas, the Daena is portrayed taking on a physical form when she meets a man after his death. The most commonly mentioned form is that of a beautiful fifteen-year-old virgin. This description is found in Zoroastrian texts such as Hadokht Nask, the Bundahishn, and the Book of Arda Viraf. Hadokht Nask of the Avesta describes the Daena of the righteous man as “beautiful, bright, with rosy [or white] arms, strong, majestic, with an upright and slender form, an admirable body, noble, of illustrious race, fifteen years of age, with a body brighter than the brightest of creatures.”

    In the Bundahishn, other forms of the Daena are mentioned: the form of a fat cow, and the form of a garden. The Bundahishn also mentions the Daena as she appears to the evil man after his death: in the form of a weak and sickly cow, then a hideous and ugly young woman, then a dry and barren garden. Thus, the forms perceived depend on the moral qualities of the person.

    In the narrative of the Bundahishn, the man asks the forms of the Daena who they are, and they all respond, “I am your Deen” (‘Deen’ being a later form of the word ‘Daena’). In the Hadokht Nask, the man asks “What maiden are you, most beautiful of all maidens I have ever seen?”, and the Daena responds, “I am your good thoughts, your good words and your good actions, the very nature [Daena] of your own body.”

    References

    “Translating the Holy Gathas of Zarathustra Spitama”, from Expressing the Inexpressible (Thesis for Marlboro College, 2014), by Zebulon Goertzel

    Content taken from Lunyr articles written by me.

     
  • Jeffrey 3:25 am on September 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Avesta, , , , ,   

    Avesta: Ahunavaiti Gatha, Harlez-Goertzel Translation 

    Ahunavaiti Gatha, liberally translated by Zebulon Tariq Ulysses Goertzel from the 1877 French translation of Charles de Harlez.

    == Translator’s Notes ==

    *Note that all capitalizations were introduced by me or de Harlez; there are no capitalized words in the Avestan original.

    *Everything in parentheses was introduced by de Harlez, not me, and I omitted some of his parentheses.

    *There a number of cases where de Harlez translated the name of an Ameshaçpenta, for example Asha as ‘purity’, and I changed it back to the Avestan name.

    *I will further revise these translations in the future insha’Allah

    =====================

    XXVIII

    Inspired thoughts, words, and actions of Holy Zarathushtra. May the Ameshaçpentas propagate the Gathas. Honor to you, pure Gathas!

    1. By this prayer with hands lifted unto the heavens, to please herewith Mazda, the Life-giving Spirit, I wish to honor first those who work righteous works that rejoice the spirit of Vohu Mana and the Soul of the Bull.
    2. I who am for you, O Ahura Mazda! I come with right intention to implore you to give me the goods belonging to both worlds, the corporeal and the spiritual; goods which come from Asha and through which Asha gives greatness unto those who are content (with them).
    3. I who am for you, O Asha, I also wish to praise you, as well as Vohu Mana and Mazda Ahura and Kshathra the Immutable; that through this Armaiti, who gives power and increase, might run to my invocations, to satisfy my desires.
    4. And I who, with the help of Vohu Mana, have applied my soul to heavenly thoughts and know the holiness of works that are in conformity with the law of Ahura Mazda; that I might persevere in desiring holiness, as long as I have the power and strength.
    5. Asha! How shall I come to see you and Vohu Mana and Sraosha who knows the way that leads unto Ahura Mazda, the Life-giving Spirit? It is through this teaching from our mouths, more effectively than through any other means, we can dispel the wicked.
    6. Come with Vohu Mana, you the Eternal Giver of the gifts of holiness. Through words of truth, Mazda, give a happiness full of power to Zarathushtra and to us; that through him we might dispel the hatred of the enemy.
    7. Give, o Asha, purity, the gifts of Vohu Mana. Give, o Armaiti, to Vistaspa that which he desires; give me a similar gift. Give us your gifts, O Mazda, Supreme Master, give us these Manthras, that we might proclaim them.
    8. I implore you, o thou the Best Master, you who takes delight in perfect purity, asking you for the best gifts for Frashaostra, for me, and for those whom you will make partake eternally in the gifts of Vohu Mana.
    9. Thanks to these favors, let us never offend you, o Ahura, nor Asha, nor Vohu Mana; we who seek to please you in offering our hymns of praise, to you who favors the desire for and possession of true goods.
    10. Of those whom you know as creatures of Vohu Mana on account of their holiness, good spirits, fulfill their desires with a great abundance of good. I know that (those who hear) your teachings possess the food and gifts that you never lack.
    11. O thou, Ahura Mazda! Teach me from the heavens, from your own mouth, so that I might proclaim; teach me to forever preserve Asha and Vohu Mana in the state of the creation’s primordial purity.

    XXIX

    [The Priest]

    1. To You the soul of the herds raised his voice in complaint: “For whom have you fashioned me? Upon me are the murderous desire and violence of the impure man, bold and cruel. I have no herdsman but Ye; show me the good and safe pastures.”
    2. Consequently, the fashioner of the bull asked Asha: “What will you do for the herds in order to procure for them, o powerful spirits, along with pastures, diligent care that will make them prosper? What leader do you want to give them who will requite the wicked with their own violence?”
    3. Asha answered him: “There is not, for the herds, a lord who would not harm them at all. Even those of these leaders who are just do not know how to walk in pure and holy ways. It is towards the strongest that the worker cries out.”

    [Asha]

    1. Mazda knows perfectly all that has been done and all that will be done in any manner by daevas and men. Ahura discerns and judges; may it be as he wishes.

    [Geush Urva]

    1. With hands lifted unto you, heavenly masters, we bow before Ahura Mazda. My soul and that of the mother cow request of Mazda that the man whose life is righteous and the pastor live not among the wicked.
    2. Then Ahura Mazda, who knows all science in His wisdom, said: “A leader and supreme master in purity has not yet been given. –– Your lot is that the Creator has made you for the pastor and the farmer.”
    3. Ahura created this Manthra of prosperity in accordance with Asha. Mazda, the Life-giver, created it for the herds as well as for enjoyment, desirable for those who perceive the beneficial.

    [Ahura Mazda]

    1. I possess this man, who alone has heard our commandments, Zarathustra the holy. This man does our will, we Mazda and Asha. He will be the propagator of our teachings, which is why we shall give him the art of speech.
    2. Then the soul of the herds began to cry: “An unfortunate one who has only acquired a worthless gift, the voice of a feeble man, while I want one powerful and strong! When will he exist who will give him the aid of a strong hand?”
    3. For Your sake, o Ahura, o Asha, give them through Vohu Mana strength and power (Khshathra); that this spirit might procure them a happy and sure life, happiness. I, o Mazda, I recognize You as the First Possessor of this spirit.
    4. Where are perfect purity and power? As for me, Asha, and You Mazda, give me your gifts of retribution for the development of the great work. O Ahura, we depend for our salvation on You, on the gifts that come to us from You.

    XXX

    1. Now I wish to announce these truths which are proclaimed by those who seek You, o Mazda! Glorifying songs for Omniscient Ahura, hymns of praise for Vohu Mana; beneficial lessons from Asha; and these teachings revealed through the luminous wonders.
    2. Listen with your ears to what is perfect, see with your mind what is pure. That each man may discern the choice he must make for his own body; before the great work. For here are the masters who are to teach for this end.
    3. There were two primordial spirits who have been called, after their respective manners of thought, speech and action, the good and the bad. The just has been able to discern them clearly, while the wicked has not.
    4. I also proclaim this: that these two spirits met at the beginning to create life and death and the final fate of existence: the evil spirit of the wicked, the Excellent Spirit of the just.
    5. Of these two spirits, he who was evil chose culpable acts; the Holy Spirit chose purity (Asha), who inhabits the immutable heavens; as do those who seek the pleasure of Ahura through essentially good acts, inclining towards Mazda.
    6. They did not know how to distinguish them according to the truth, the partisans of the Daevas; to these who plot falsehood and deceit comes the evil spirit, whom they have chosen; and to mortals hasten towards Aeshma to afflict the two worlds with evil.
    7. Towards this one (the just) comes Khshathra with Vohu Mana and Asha. And Armaiti, through her strength gave him flourishing strength of the body. May you be made such that you abound with gifts from these Yazatas!
    8. But when the punishment of those ones (the wicked) comes to melt them for their crimes; then Your reign will be established by Vohu Mana, o Mazda! Ahura reigns over those who have subjected the lying Druj to the power of Asha.
    9. May we be among those who carry out the reconstitution of the world! O Mazda, o Asha, who produces the reunion. That for this our minds might be where wisdom is found.
    10. So upon those of Druj fall destroying blows, and those who follow the rules of the holy religion participate forever in the joys of Vohu Mana, Mazda and Asha.
    11. O mortals! Learn the teachings that Mazda has given to men, of these rules of conduct and good life; for a long affliction shall be for the wicked and long-lasting blessings for the just. From these teachings come peace.

    XXXI

    1. Remembering your teachings, we proclaim these words unheard to those who, with the teachings of the lie, destroy the worlds of truth; but excellent words are for those whose hearts are attached to Mazda.
    2. If faith in this revelation is not yet demonstrated best by this, I will approach you all. For Ahura Mazda has been the chief of this assembly of gifts, by means of which we life in conformity with the truth.
    3. This science that You give through the heavenly fire and Asha, give in abundance to the defenders. This teaching for the doctors tell us, o Mazda, so that we may know; tell us from the tongue of Your own mouth, that through it you might favor all living beings!
    4. When Mazda Ahura and holy Armaiti are invoked according to the law of truth, give me great strength through the perfect Vohu Mana; that through its power we may demolish the Druj.
    5. Show me, that I might distinguish clearly, this excellent good that you will give me, o Asha! That I might know, through Vohu Mana, in order to understand what will preserve me from all evil. Tell me, o Mazda, all that will not be or what will be.
    6. Perfect happiness to the sage who will tell me, in accordance with truth, this Manthra of Haurvetat, Asha, and Ameretat: Thus is the Kingdom of Ahura, may it develop through the purity of the Spirit!
    7. He who formed these radiant splendors, that they might spread across the stars; He created through His intelligence, the purity that supports Vohu Mana. You make them grow, o Heavenly Mazda, You who are eternally the Universal Master.
    8. So, I recognize You, O Mazda, as the Principle of the created world created by intelligence, Father of Vohu Mana; for I glimpsed you. I recognize You as the true Creator of Asha, the Master of the world, directing its actions.
    9. Yours was the earth, yours the spirit that formed the cow. Heavenly Spirit, Ahura Mazda! On this earth you have given passage to he who leads the pastoral life, and to he who is not a pastoralist.
    10. Of these two, Armaiti preferred the pastor who cultivates her with care. Fill with Vohu Mana the just master. But, o Mazda, may the nomad, worshiper of the Daevas, not be involved in the holy doctrines.
    11. O Mazda, who through Your Spirit are the Creator of the world, the law, and intelligence. It is the most important thing to us that You have given a soul provided with a body and the ability to act. While man becomes master of his will,
    12. He raises his voice lying or speaking the truth, wise or mad, by virtue of his mind. Wisdom, who observes them everywhere, invisibly scrutinizes their dispositions.
    13. May she scrutinize them conspicuously or secretly, o Mazda! May a man submit to the greatest expiation for a small sin; You see all this, with brightness in Your eyes, o Master.
    14. I will ask You o Ahura, what happens and what will happen. What final terms are accorded by the recompenser to the righteous man; what ends, o Mazda, are given to the wicked? How will they come to pass?
    15. I will ask You, what vengeance shall be for the one who gives power to the wicked, against this criminal, o Ahura, who does not arrive at life, because of the ill he does to the pastor, the herd, and the innocent man?
    16. I will ask You, o Ahura, where is he who, good and wise, is committed to developing, in accordance with his holiness, the power of the nmâma, the village, or the country? How shall he be Yours and what will his deeds be?
    17. Is the just or the wicked who chooses the good greater? May the wise speak to the wise; may the ignorant not be an officer. Be for us, o Mazda Ahura, the Manifester of Vohu Mana.
    18. May no one among you hear the maxims or teachings of the wicked, for he would deliver the nmana, the village, the tribe, the country to misfortune, to destruction. But destroy the wicked with the sword.
    19. Listen to the wise one who teaches Asha to the world, o Ahura; who knows how to speak the word of truth; who speaks with mastery through his bright fire kindled from pure wood, o Ahura!
    20. For him who treats the just deceitfully, may he be given from now on for a long life: an abode of darkness, with poisonous food and despairing voices. May the law, through your own acts, lead you to this place which is yours, o wicked ones!
    21. Ahura Mazda created Haurvetat and Ameretat, plenitude and Asha, sovereign Khshathra and the snack of Vohu Mana, for he who is dear to him through his thoughts and deeds.
    22. These things are evident for the good man, and for him whose mind can understand; he who knows holy Asha through his faculties, words, and actions. This one, o Mazda Ahura, will be closest to You.

    XXXII

    1. His friends, his servants with their clients, and the Daevas seek to win the favor of His Spirit, He Ahura: O Mazda may we be your ministers, stop those who hate You.
    2. Ahura Mazda who rules through Vohu Mana, by virtue of the power that is essential to Him, responded to them according to Asha, His happy and shining companion: We choose your holy Armaiti, perfect; may she be Ours!
    3. But you Daevas, you are all of the race of the evil spirit, as is all that you honor, as well as the practices of lies and deceit and all the tricks by which you are known in the seven parts of the earth.
    4. For it is you who have produced and spread these doctrines, following which men commit the greatest crimes and say what is pleasing to the Daevas; deprived of Vohu Mana, these men are distanced from the Spirit of Ahura Mazda and from Asha.
    5. Thereby you deprive man of the happiness of life and immortality; for the evil spirit, through criminal thoughts, actions and deeds, gives you Daevas power as he gives it to the wicked.
    6. You have been the cause of many punishments, and in these punishments that are announced, the retribution will reach beings. You know, o Mazda, through your perfect intelligence; it is in You, in Your power and Your Asha, that I will find the true doctrine.
    7. He knows nothing of the punishments that reach murderers, he who preaches these murders with sharp iron, who has made them known. But You, o Mazda, You know perfectly the terrible execution.
    8. It is through these punishments that Yima, son of Vivanhao, is known; who desired to teach mortals to eat killed meat. I leave it to You, o Ahura, to distribute them.
    9. The man with evil doctrines destroys the holy sentences; through his teachings, he causes the spirit of life to die. He has distanced the supreme good, true, of Vohu Mana which belongs to me. These words of my intelligence I profess to You, o Mazda, and to Asha.
    10. He destroys my teachings, he who says that the earth and the sun are the worst things to see with the eyes; he who provides gifts to the wicked, who destroys fields and openly harms the just.
    11. From the master and mistress of the house, he seizes the possession of happiness. They have destroyed my life, those who hold the wicked in high esteem and distance themselves from the supreme good of the holy Spirit.
    12. On account of this teaching with which they have turned mortals away from holy deeds, Mazda has damned those who kill livestock with their teaching, those through whom the corrupting Karapans have been distanced from Asha and Kshathra, those who love falsehood.
    13. The corrupter has made these powers pass into the hands of the wicked spirit, destroyer of this world; he has given it to he loves to torment the minister of the law who shows them the way of Asha, o Mazda!
    14. The corrupted, the follower of the Kavis, has turned his intelligence towards the way of this wicked spirit, as the result of the fatal error that makes him demand support from the wicked, and because he preaches the immolation of livestock and promises a help that prevents death.
    15. For this, perdition from You is heavy on the disciples of the Karapas and Kavis, and also on these despotic masters who do not give life. They will be carried by the two Yazatas to the home of Vohu Mana with all goods,
    16. Those who have taught illumined and pious intellection. You are the Master, o Mazda Ahura, of those whose incredulity persecutes me; so send the wicked to their punishment.

    XXXIII

    1. All is performed down here in accordance with the laws that were given to the primordial world according to a very just rule of action, which is effective for the wicked as for the just, because of the deceit to which the former give themselves and the natural Rectitude of the latter.
    2. To him who opposes the wicked, through thoughts, words or deeds, who promotes good in the world, is given a reward according to his wishes, according to the good pleasure of Ahura Mazda.
    3. But you Daevas, you are all of the race of the evil spirit, and all that you honor, as are the practices of falsehood and deceit and all the tricks by which you are known in the seven parts of the earth.
    4. And it is you who have produced and spread these doctrines following which men commit the greatest crimes and say what is pleasing to the Daevas; torn from Vohu Mana, these men are distanced from the Spirit of Ahura Mazda and the Truth.
    5. For I who invoke your help, o Sraosha, great above all, make us obtain long life, the possession of Vohu Mana and righteous ways of Asha in which Ahura Mazda has established His home.
    6. I who invoke you, in accordance with Asha and with a right mind, I aspire to supreme heavenly happiness. Through this spirit, under the inspiration of which I apply myself to the care of pastures, I hope for the two goods, o Mazda, of Your vision and Your meeting.
    7. Come to me: show me, o Mazda, these perfect goods, these goods belonging to You; through Asha and Vohu Mana, the possession of which has made me know the Exceedingly Great who in the midst of us manifests the brilliant goods that accompany devotion.
    8. Make me to know the laws observing which I will walk in accordance with Vohu Mana and Your religion, o Mazda, hymns of holy praise, and your gifts which are the goods of Ameretat and the offerings that Haurvetat procures.
    9. May wisdom, o Mazda shining fully with a power that makes Asha grow, bring this spirit that comes from You and completes this perfection that souls seek to attain.
    10. All the pleasures that have been, which are and will be, o Mazda, distribute to the creation, according to Your good pleasure. Through Vohu Mana, through Kshathra, through Asha, develop the happiness of the body.
    11. Ahura Mazda, Life-giving Spirit above all, Armaiti, Asha who develops the worlds, Vohumana and Kshathra: listen to me, attend to me for every gift.
    12. Arise to favor me, o Ahura, give me through wisdom vigor and growth; give me this gift, Mazda, Spenta Mainyu, by virtue of this offering of invocations with Asha. Through Asha, give me powerful force; through Vohu Mana, abundance.
    13. For my joy, make me see a vast horizon of this Asha that You possess abundantly, which is that of Kshathra, as well as Vohu Mana, o Ahura! – Spenta Mainyu, make me to know the laws of Asha.
    14. Zarathustra presents as an offering the vital principle of his own body, the plenitude of Vohu Mana, deeds and words of Asha, his obedience and all his faculties.

    XXXIV

    1. Of these acts, of these words, of this sacrifice by which you give to your (faithful), o Mazda, Ameretat, Asha, and Kshathra with prosperity; we are here to offer you the first fruits.
    2. We honor You through thought, and these things and the gifts of Vohu Mana and all the actions of the righteous man, to which the pure heart is attached.
    3. We offer You, o Ahura, these gifts with our prayers, to You and Asha; so that You might reign over all the homes that You have established in Vohu Mana, and so that You might procure for the good, in all things, o Mazda, the prosperity that You possess.
    4. We honor according to the law of Asha, o Mazda, Your fire, powerful, fast, and strong, which rejoices the world and helps with its shining light, but punishes manifestly offenders with its powerful emissions.
    5. What power, what joy is there with You through good works? that I might proclaim it, o Mazda, that through Asha, through Vohu Mana, I might contribute to the protection of the poor who serve You. Let us proclaim it before you all, before the Daevas and perverse men.
    6. If You are really, o Asha, o Mazda, in union with Vohu Mana, give me a sign in every place in the world, so that, in honoring You with a religion, I might make known Your praises and satisfy You.
    7. Who are, o Mazda, the distributors of Vohu Mana made by You, who teach justice and render joyous the afflicted wise? I know none other than You, Asha! So protect us.
    8. They terrify us by their acts which are the loss of a great many. These persecutors of Your law who dominate what touches them. From all men whose thoughts are unholy, Vohu Mana is distanced.
    9. From those who know of Your holy and sublime wisdom, o Mazda, yet repel it through their evil deeds, forgetful of Vohu Mana, Asha flees far away, as the wild beasts flee.
    10. May the wise call the deeds which are the germ of Vohu Mana and holy wisdom, he who knows the essential nature of Asha. All this, o Mazda, leads to Your kingdom.
    11. Both Haurvetat and Ameretat, and Armaiti, and Kshathra of Vohu Mana are exalted for Your glory. Through them, o Mazda, are happiness and power. You are Your own happiness.
    12. What are Your decrees? What do You want, o Mazda, of hymns of praise or sacrifices? Say, o Mazda, so that I might hear, what are the merits of Your decrees? Teach us, o Asha, the paths of Vohu Mana that you follow.
    13. And the way of Vohu Mana that You have taught me, Ahura! of the law of the prophets, the perfect way that rises with Asha. You prepare for the righteous a reward that You have established, o Mazda.
    14. So give, o Mazda, this gift so desirable to the incarnated heart, on account of the actions of Vohu Mana; give to he who cares for the mother cow perfect wisdom of Your Intelligence, o Mazda, and works that foster Asha.
    15. Tell me, o Mazda, what the best actions and maxims are; those actions which by virtue of Vohu Mana are the object of our songs of praise. Through Your power, o Ahura, and Your will, give to the world perpetuity and the essential reconstitution.

    (This translation is Copyright 2016 Zebulon Ulysses Goertzel and free to share with the Creative Commons 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Please credit both me and de Harlez.)

     

     
    • Zarathustra Smith 6:02 am on October 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, keep up the work man.

  • Jeffrey 2:09 am on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Avesta, , , , , , yasna 28   

    Avesta: Gathas Yasna 28, Harlez-Goertzel Translation 

    YASNA XXVIII

    Inspired thoughts, words, and actions of Holy Zarathushtra. May the Ameshaçpentas propagate the Gathas. Honor to you, pure Gathas!

    1. By this prayer with hands lifted unto the heavens, to please herewith Mazda, the Life-giving Spirit, I wish to honor first those who work righteous works that rejoice the spirit of Vohu Mana and the Soul of the Bull.
    2. I who am for you, O Ahura Mazda! I come with right intention to implore you to give me the goods belonging to both worlds, the corporeal and the spiritual; goods which come from Asha and through which Asha gives greatness unto those who are content (with them).
    3. I who am for you, O Asha, I also wish to praise you, as well as Vohu Mana and Mazda Ahura and Kshathra the Immutable; that through this Armaiti, who gives power and increase, might run to my invocations, to satisfy my desires.
    4. And I who, with the help of Vohu Mana, have applied my soul to heavenly thoughts and know the holiness of works that are in conformity with the law of Ahura Mazda; that I might persevere in desiring holiness, as long as I have the power and strength.
    5. Asha! How shall I come to see you and Vohu Mana and Sraosha who knows the way that leads unto Ahura Mazda, the Life-giving Spirit? It is through this teaching from our mouths, more effectively than through any other means, we can dispel the wicked.
    6. Come with Vohu Mana, you the Eternal Giver of the gifts of holiness. Through words of truth, Mazda, give a happiness full of power to Zarathushtra and to us; that through him we might dispel the hatred of the enemy.
    7. Give, o Asha, purity, the gifts of Vohu Mana. Give, o Armaiti, to Vistaspa that which he desires; give me a similar gift. Give us your gifts, O Mazda, Supreme Master, give us these Manthras, that we might proclaim them.
    8. I implore you, o thou the Best Master, you who takes delight in perfect purity, asking you for the best gifts for Frashaostra, for me, and for those whom you will make partake eternally in the gifts of Vohu Mana.
    9. Thanks to these favors, let us never offend you, o Ahura, nor Asha, nor Vohu Mana; we who seek to please you in offering our hymns of praise, to you who favors the desire for and possession of true goods.
    10. Of those whom you know as creatures of Vohu Mana on account of their holiness, good spirits, fulfill their desires with a great abundance of good. I know that (those who hear) your teachings possess the food and gifts that you never lack.
    11. O thou, Ahura Mazda! Teach me from the heavens, from your own mouth, so that I might proclaim; teach me to forever preserve Asha and Vohu Mana in the state of the creation’s primordial purity.

    (Liberally translated by Zebulon Tariq Ulysses Goertzel from the 1877 French translation of Charles de Harlez)

    (This translation is Copyright 2016 Zebulon Ulysses Goertzel and free to share with the Creative Commons 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Please credit both me and de Harlez.)

     
  • Jeffrey 12:49 am on March 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Avesta, Doggies, Fargard 8, , Persian Mastiff, Sarabi Mastiff,   

    Avesta: Translation of Excerpt from Vendidad on The Eight Kinds of Dogs 

    sarabi_hight

    Excerpt of verses 124-162 of Fargard 8 of the Vendidad, translated by me from the French translation of Charles-Joseph de Harlez de Deulin, a Catholic scholar.

    ==

    (124-123) Dogs have eight kinds of natural dispositions. There are the Priest, the Warrior, the Farmer, the Slave, the Thief, the Predator, the Courtesan, and the Child.

    Priest (124-125) He receives for food a part of a meal, like a priest. He seeks contentment like a priest; he is armed like a priest; he is content with little food like a priest. Thus are the qualities that are common between him and the priest.

    Warrior (131-134) He leaps upon what is before him like a warrior; he chases the cow of excellent endowments; he goes before and behind the residence, like a warrior. Thus are the qualities that are common between him and the warrior.

    Farmer (135-138) He has a vigilance that never gives way to sleep, like the farmer; he walks before the herd that exits the cowshed; he follows the herd that returns to the cowshed, like a farmer. Thus are the qualities that are common between him and the farmer.

    Slave (139-142) He does what is pleasing (to others) like a slave; he is mistreated by those around him, like a slave; everything is meagrely portioned out to him as to a slave; in all things he is ruled and subjugated like a slave. Thus is his similarity to the slave.

    Thief (143-147) He searches the darkness like a thief; he is pleased with the darkness of the night like a thief; he eats what he has not prepared, like a thief; he is unfaithful to (the laws of) propriety, like a thief. Thus are the qualities that are common between him and the thief.

    Predator (148-154) He loves the darkness like a beast of prey, he remains in the darkness of the night; he eats what he has not prepared, like a thief; he is unfaithful to the (the laws of) propriety, like a thief. Thus are the qualities that are common between him and the predator.

    Courtesan (155-157) He seeks to please like a courtesan; he injures what he approaches like a courtesan; (he is found) far off on the roads like a courtesan. Thus are the qualities that are common between him and the courtesan.

    Child (158-162) He loves to sleep like a child; he runs around everywhere like a child; he has a long tongue like a child; he runs ahead, here and there like a child. Thus are the qualities that are common between him and the child.

    ==

    (image is a Persian (Sarabi) Mastiff, courtesy of ghomi from facebook)

     
  • Jeffrey 5:48 am on February 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Avesta, ,   

    Avesta: My Amateur Translation of Yasna 30 of the Holy Gathas 

    YASNA XXX

    1. I announce this for those who desire after what Mazda created for the prudent:
    The praises of Ahura and hymns of Vohu-Mana,
    Things to be well-thought with Asha, the beautiful through their brightness, the friendly.

    2. Hear the best with thine ears, ponder with lucid mind,
    To determine the desirable, man by man, each for himself;
    Awaken ye to this counsel ere the Great Deed occurs.

    3. So, there are two spirits who in the beginning made themselves known as a duality,
    These two are, in thoughts, words, and works, the better and the bad;
    Rightly do the wise distinguish between them, not so the wicked.

    4. Once these two spirits come together in battle,
    Life and death are established, and the final state of affairs:
    The evil for the corrupt, the Best Spirit for the pure.

    5. Of these two spirits, the evil one chose the worst deeds,
    And the Holiest Spirit, who is clothed in the adamantine heaven, chose Asha,
    As do all who please Ahura Mazda with sincere deeds, the faithful.

    6. Of these two, the Daevas chose not the right, nor those deceived by them.
    For delusion came to them as they deliberated, that they chose the Worst Mind:
    And they rushed together into Wrath, that they might defile the lives of mortals.

    7. And to the mortal came Kshathra and Vohu-Mana and Asha,
    And Armaiti gave strength and endurance to the body,
    That by Thy trial through metal he may be Thy foremost.

    8. Then when the Requital overwhelms those evildoers,
    Then, O Mazda, for Thy sake shall Kshathra be realized through Vohu-Mana
    For they by whom Ahura drives the Druj into the hands of Asha.

    9. May we be among those who rejuvenate this life,
    O Ahura Mazda! bring us guidance through Asha,
    That from our dithering thoughts we may unite unto wisdom.

    10. Then verily the destruction of delight shall come upon the Druj;
    Then swiftly gathered unto the blessed abode of Vohu-Mana, of Mazda, and of Asha,
    Shall be those purest who strive for good recompense.

    11. These two Selves which Mazda ordained for mortals inculcate Right and Wrong.
    So there shall be a lasting torment for the wicked, and salvation for the truthful.
    And through this there shall be joy!

    ===

    Recitation of the Avestan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kosVhV8DeuE

     
  • Jeffrey 11:06 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Avesta, ,   

    Avesta: My Amateur Translation of Yasna 29 of the Holy Gathas  

    YASNA XXIX

    1. Unto Ye complained the Soul of the Bull, For whom have Ye created me; who has fashioned me thus?
    I am defiled by Wrath, Robbery, Savagery, and Affliction of Tyranny.
    I have no herdsman but Ye; show me then the good things which know herbage.

    2. Then the Fashioner of the Cow asked of Asha, Where hast thou a lord for the Cow?
    That he may offer protection with zeal and make mighty with fodder?
    Whom hast thou made for a lord, that he may smite back the wickedness of the wicked?

    3. Him answered Asha: There is not a lord for the Cow who might be without tormenting.
    It is not known to them, what manifestly rejoices the righteous.
    He is the mightiest of beings at whose call I come to serve.

    4. Mazda is it, who knows best the works of men and of Daevas,
    Which have been wrought hitherto and which shall be done hereafter:
    Ahura alone has the judgment: may it happen with us as He will.

    5. Thus we two pray with uplifted hands continually to Ahura Mazda:
    For my soul and that of the fertile cow: for wisdom in doubtful questions.
    For the righteous shall not perish, nor the diligent cowboy, amongst the wicked.

    6. Then Ahura Mazda spake, knowing all science by His wisdom,
    “Is there not a lord, nor a guide who proceeds from Asha?
    Yet I the Creator created thee for the herdsman and the farmer.”

    7. This Manthra of increase Ahura Mazda created with Asha,
    For the cattle, milk for the indigent by holy commands.
    Who is it, who with Vohu-Mana can announce this to mortals?

    8. “This one is known to me here, who alone heard our precepts:
    Zarathushtra Spitama! He desires me, Mazda, and Asha,
    And assistance in prophesying,– thus I grant him sweetness of speech.”

    9. Then cried the Soul of the Bull: In this disaster I am not rejoiced over the impuissant lord,
    Over the voice of the feeble man, as I desire a mighty ruler!
    When shall he arrive, who brings to me a strong-handed succour?

    10. Give to us for help, O Ahura Mazda, Asha and Kshathra,
    That we may create good dwellings and peace through Vohu-Mana,
    For I account Thee, O Mazda, as the first Possessor of these things.

    11. When shall Asha, and Vohu-mana, and Kshathra hasten to me?
    Do Thou, O Mazda, bestow these upon us for the great dispensation.
    O Ahura, come nigh unto us with Thy graces.

    ===

    Recitation of the Avestan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtiUZ913jCs
     
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