THE SONGS LEADING TO RADIANT HAPPINESS
From Suffering To Success
(19 stanzas — Days 151st to 169th)
NOTE: This song is a master-piece in telling us of the two phases of Zarathushtra’s life: (1) The early frustrating opposition by the priests and princes of the old cult in eleven stanzas, and (2) the later turn to success with the help of the Turanians, the conversion of the king Kavi Vishtaspa, and the joining of others – both relatives and friends – in seven stanza. Only nineteen stanzas to give us a glimpse in his life, from suffering to success, to stimulate us to ponder how a what seems to be an utter failure can well be surmounted to become a moving, motivating success through good thinking and precise planning — VOHU MANAH and ASHA. This is what every Zarathushtrian should bear in mind in learning, practicing, teaching and preaching the Divine Message. Zarathushtra is the best example to follow.
kâm nemôi zãm kuthrâ nemôi ayenî
pairî xvaêtêush airyamanascâ dadaitî
nôit mâ xshnâush ýâ verezênâ hêcâ
naêdâ daxyêush ýôi sâstârô dregvañtô
kathâ thwâ mazdâ xshnaoshâi ahurâ.
To what land should I turn? Where should I turn to go?
They hold me back from my folks and friends.
Neither the community I follow pleases me,
nor do the wrongful rulers of the land.
How can I please You, Wise God?
Summary Substance: The opposition to Zarathushtra’s mission mounts. He is isolated from folks and friends. The community is hostile and so are the rulers of the land. The person who had prayed and asked “for support through progressive mentality [so that] I may perform all my actions, based as they are on the wisdom of good mind, precisely according to the laws of righteousness so that I please You and the soul of the Living World” (Song 1.1), now does not know what to do next. A frustrated Zarathushtra seeks guidance from God as where to go and how to go.
Pondering Points: Frustrated, seek divine guidance. And see how it helps!
vaêdâ tat ýâ ahmî mazdâ anaêshô
mâ kamnafshvâ hyatcâ kamnânâ ahmî
gerezôi tôi â-ît avaênâ ahurâ
rafedhrêm cagvå hyat fryô fryâi daidît
âxsô vanghêush ashâ îshtîm mananghô.
I know, Wise One, that I am powerless.
I have a few cattle and also a few men.
I appeal to You. Please, Lord, see to it.
Lend me the help a friend gives a friend.
Grant, through righteousness, the riches of good mind.
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra realizes that he does not wield any physical power, that he is not rich, and that he does not have many companions. He appeals to God to help him, a help only a friend gives a friend [note the word “frya” rendered “friend” means both “lover” and “beloved”.] But the help Zarathushtra wants is a rich good mind that works with precision — deeper good thoughts through righteousness – two gifts that would give him what he wants to accomplish for his “beloved’ – spread the divine message to have a lively life of love for all the living.
Pondering Points: Love gives true help – a bright mind with a precise plan.
kadâ mazdâ ýôi uxshânô asnãm
anghêush darethrâi frô ashahyâ frâreñtê
verezdâish sêñghâish saoshyañtãm xratavô
kaêibyô ûthâi vohû jimat mananghâ
maibyô thwâ sãstrâi verenê ahurâ.
When, Wise One, shall those days dawn which will,
for the maintenance of the righteous world,
motivate the wisdom of the benefactors with advanced teachings.
To whom shall this wisdom come with good mind to help?
For myself, Lord, I choose Your teachings.
Summary Substance: Prayer works. Frustration turns into hope. Zarathushtra is looking forward to the days when blessed with wisdom through good mind, beneficent persons will teach people how to promote and maintain the world. It is that Divine Teaching which Zarathushtra chooses in order to carry out his mission.
Pondering Points: Good mind gives advanced teaching to maintain the world.
at têñg dregvå ýêñg ashahyâ vazhdrêñg pât
gå frôretôish shôithrahyâ vâ daxyêush vâ
duzhazôbå hãs hvâish shyaothanâish ahêmustô
ýas têm xshathrât mazdâ môithat jyâtêush vâ
hvô têñg frô-gå pathmêñg hucistôish carât.
Now, the wrongful prevents those, who support righteousness,
from promoting the living world, whether of a district or land.
It is hard to challenge him because he is hostile in his actions.
However, Wise One, he who opposes him with power and life,
leads the people as a leader along the paths of good plan.
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra weighs his opponents. They prevent the righteous from promoting our living world, whether it is on the smaller scale of a district or a larger one covering the entire country. It is hard to confront them through peaceful means. They are violent in action. One has, therefore, to show powerful resistance, even stake one’s life to promote the Cause. Such a person becomes the pioneer in implementing the good plan of spreading the Message.
Pondering Points: Aggression retreats when opposed with power and determination.
ýê vâ xshayãs adãs drîtâ ayañtem
urvâtôish vâ huzêñtush mithrôibyô vâ
rashnâ jvãs ýê ashavâ dregvañtem
vîcirô hãs tat frô hvaêtavê mruyât
uzûithyôi îm mazdâ xrûnyât ahurâ.
A powerful person, a noble man, as a rule of a contract, welcomes a new comer.
He, as a righteous person, is a man of principle.
The other (new comer) is a wrongful man.
He should, therefore, decide and share the matter with his family.
This will, Wise Lord, save him from any violation.
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra relates an experience. A person of principle, who enjoys enough power, is approached by some one. He is received as a guest, and hospitality is extended to him. It turns out that the guest is a wrongful person. That creates an awkward situation with a possibility of violence. The best way to solve the awkward situation is to share the matter with family members and to arrive at a peaceful solution.
Pondering Points: When at crossroads, consult companions.
at ýastêm nôit nâ isemnô âyât
drûjô hvô dâmãn haêthahyâ gât
hvô zî dregvå ýê dregvâitê vahishtô
hvô ashavâ ýahmâi ashavâ fryô
hyat daênå paouruyå då ahurâ.
But, if an able person does not come to help,
he shall himself fall into the binding trap of wrong.
He indeed is wrongful who is very good to the wrongful,
and he is righteous to whom the righteous is dear.
These are the foremost rules of conscience established by You.
Summary Substance: If one is in trouble because of a wrongful person, he who is able to help, should hasten to do so. If not, he too will eventually fall into the trap laid by the wrongful. One cannot turn a blind eye when another righteous is wronged by someone. In fact, it means helping the wrongful. He who sides the wrongful, is wrongful himself and he who is a friend and companion of the righteous is righteous too. One cannot have double standards. Simple rules one can realize by one’s own conscience – so simple and so divine.
Pondering Points: If good, be on the good side. If not, one is not good.
kêm-nâ mazdâ mavaitê pâyûm dadât
hyat mâ dregvå dîdareshatâ aênanghê
anyêm thwahmât âthrascâ mananghascâ
ýayå shyaothanâish ashem thraoshtâ ahurâ
tãm môi dãstvãm daênayâi frâvaocâ.
Who will, O Wise One, give me protection
when the wrongful threatens to harm me,
other than Your Fire and Mind?
It is through the working of these two that,
O God, righteousness thrives.
Do enlighten my inner-self with this doctrine.
NOTE: When a person is faced with a any adversity, he or she, often in desperation, turns to God or a favorite divinity for help. This is quite natural. But a desperate move makes one lose one’s balance of mind and allow the adversity to have its own way.
Zarathushtra gives a mânthra, a thought-provoking advice: Turn to God but remember that God has already granted us two acquisitions — Divine Fire which gives light, warmth, and strength to our spirit, and Good Mind which makes us think clearly. One lights the way and the other leads us to safety.
The two make us feel cool, calm, conscious, considerate, and confident. The Mânthran gives a further lasting touch to his advice: One should not turn to Fire and Faculty only at difficult times but at all times. Let us understand this point — rather a doctrine — that it is these two favors, two enlightenments, that help us in performing good acts that serve God and the creation.
*Kem-na Mazda* is the name of this Gathic stanza. It is one of the very few stanzas of the Gathas placed in the Khordeh Avesta, the popular daily prayer book which has practically supplanted the Gathas. It teaches us to believe in God, have faith, keep cool, stay warm, think bright, feel light, and steer clear.
Pondering Points: “God helps those who help themselves.”
ýê vâ môi ýå gaêthå dazdê aênanghê
nôit ahyâ mâ âthrish shyaothanâish frôsyât
paityaoget tâ ahmâi jasôit dvaêshanghâ
tanvêm â ýâ îm hujyâtôish pâyât
nôit duzhjyâtôish kâcît mazdâ dvaêshanghâ.
The person who undertakes to harm my people
shall not have his fiery actions reach me.
In fact, they shall recoil with his hatred to him,
and shall keep him far from a good way of life.
Wise One, hatred does not save one from a bad way of life.
Summary Substance: With the Divine Fire which gives light, warmth, and strength to our spirit, and Good Mind which makes us think clearly, one can be sure that those who come to harm the righteous, fail in their attempts. Their hatred recoils and they suffer from it. Those filled with hatred simply cannot enjoy a good life.
Pondering Points: Hatred does not save. It drowns.
kê hvô ýê mâ aredrô côithat pouruyô
ýathâ thwâ zevîshtîm uzemôhî
shyaothanôi speñtem ahurem ashavanem
ýâ tôi ashâ ýâ ashâi gêush tashâ mraot
isheñtî mâ tâ tôi vohû mananghâ.
Who is that devotee who shall first teach me
to regard You as the most worthy of invocation,
as the progressive, righteous Lord of actions?
People want to know the things that are Yours through righteousness,
things You, the Creator of the world has told righteousness,
things which are Yours through good mind.
Summary Substance: With antagonists at bay, now Zarathushtra wants to know the result of his teaching. He wants a devotee who would come forward to retell what he/she has learned. To come and say how to regard God the most worthy of invocation, and how Ahura is progressive, righteous and master of actions. All this to spread the word, because people are now paying attention. They want to know how every thing is regulated by the Universal Law of Asha, righteousness, and how God, the Creator, has created this very law and good mind which help one to belong to God.
Pondering Points: Teach a devotee and see the message spread.
ýê vâ môi nâ genâ vâ mazdâ ahurâ
dâyât anghêush ýâ-tû vôistâ vahishtâ
ashîm ashâi vohû xshathrem mananghâ
ýãscâ haxshâi xshmâvatãm vahmâi â
frô-tâish vîspâish cinvatô frafrâ peretûm.
Wise God, whoever, man or woman,
shall give me what You know to be the best in life,
rewards for righteousness, power through good mind,
I shall accompany him and her in glorifying such as You are,
and shall, with all of them, cross over the sorting bridge.
Summary Substance: Praying to Mazda with increasing confidence, Zarathushtra watches as men and women come over to him and offer the very best of their life, a help which strengthens the mission in its righteous plans and good consultation. It is with such companions that Zarathushtra wants to truly glorify God and cross over the “sorting bridge” that separates the righteous from the wrongful.
Pondering Points: Men and women joining the righteous mission create their own identity and entity.
xshathrâish ýûjên karapanô kâvayascâ
akâish shyaothanâish ahûm mereñgeidyâi mashîm
ýêñg xvê urvâ hvaêcâ xraodat daênâ
hyat aibî-gemen ýathrâ cinvatô peretush
ýavôi vîspâi drûjô demânâi astayô.
Priests and princes yoke people under duress
to destroy life with their evil actions.
But their souls and their consciences shall upbraid them
when they approach the sorting bridge,
because they have been all the time dwelling in the house of wrong.
Summary Substance: Priests and princes, in their greed for exploitation put pressure on people, an evil act that destroys their life. When these exploiters come at the “sorting bridge” of the righteous and the wrongful, they stand rebuked by their own conscience. It recounts their evil deeds, deeds they have been committing all through their life, a life lived in wrong and with wrong.
Pondering Points: One can pose righteous to all but never to one’s own conscience.
hyat us ashâ naptyaêshû nafshucâ
tûrahyâ uzjên fryânahyâ aojyaêshû
âramatôish gaêthå frâdô thwaxshanghâ
at îsh vohû hêm aibî-môist mananghâ
aêibyô rafedhrâi mazdå sastê ahurô.
Since through righteousness,
the powerful children and grandchildren of the Turanian Fryana
have risen to promote their world through serenity with zeal,
Wise God has united them with good mind,
in order to teach them what concerns their help.
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra has his first major breakthrough. The Turanian – non-Aryan — tribe of Frayana join the Zarathushtrian Fellowship. They, a warrior people, become ardent followers of promoting the world through peace and stability. Using their good mind, they learn how to help the mission.
Pondering Points: The Good Religion turns warriors into peaceful missionaries.
NOTE: Yoisht Frayana, a member of the tribe, is noted for his profound knowledge of the Religion and his victory in debate with an Old Cult High Priest has grown into a legend.
ýê spitâmem zarathushtrem râdanghâ
maretaêshû xshnâush hvô nâ ferasrûidyâi eredhwô
at hôi mazdå ahûm dadât ahurô
ahmâi gaêthå vohû frâdat mananghâ
têm vê ashâ mêhmaidî hushhaxâim.
Whoever among men pleases me, Zarathushtra Spitama with care,
becomes worthy of fame as an earnest person.
Wise God shall grant him life,
and promote his world through good mind.
We shall regard him as a good associate of Your righteousness.
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra blesses the people pleasing him by joining the Fellowship. He/she becomes noted for his/her earnest. Mazda Ahura grants him/her a new life that promotes his/her world and that too through his/her good mind – good thoughts that translate into good words and deeds. He/she becomes a good associate of righteousness, a good ally of what is proper and right. That is the recognition Zarathushtra and Zarathushtrians accord to such a worthy person.
Pondering Points: The Good Religion gives new sight, new life, new recognition – – a new identity.
zarathushtrâ kastê ashavâ urvathô
mazôi magâi kê vâ ferasrûidyâi vashtî
at hvô kavâ vîshtâspô ýâhî
ýêñgstû mazdâ hademôi minash ahurâ
têñg zbayâ vanghêush uxdhâish mananghô.
Who is my, Zarathushtra’s righteous companion?
Who wishes fame for the Great Fellowship?
He, on this great event of initiation, is Kavi Vishtaspa.
I shall invoke, with words of good mind, those whom You, Wise God,
have established in Your abode.
Summary Substance: It is a great event, the turning point since the Good Religion was founded 12 years ago. After two years of deliberation, King Vishtaspa decides to convert to the Good Religion. Zarathushtra is officiating at the Initiation. In his opening words, he calls Vishtaspa as his righteous companion, a person who wishes the Religion to be known and spread far and wide. Zarathushtra blesses all those who join the Fellowship, the Divine Abode, where good mind guides.
The following is the eulogy in honor of King Vishtaspa, the only one in honor of a celebrity other than Zarathushtra who has two:
“We venerate the Choice of Religion by Kavi Vishtaspa, the righteous,
The hero, thought-provocation personified,
The sharp-sighted, divine,
Who sought, for the first time, glory for Righteousness,
Who gave, for the first time, glory to Righteousness,
Who was the arm and protection
Of the Divine and Zarathushtrian Religion,
Which had stood stagnant until then.
He freed it and helped it progress,
Made it central and ruling high;
The resolute, righteous Religion,
Which rejoices with life and prosperity,
Which delights in life and prosperity.
Pondering Points: Good mind, good merits, good means win over frantic fanaticism, and pave the path to progress and prosperity.
haêcat-aspâ vaxshyâ vê spitamånghô
hyat dâthêñg vîcayathâ adâthãscâ
tâish ýûsh shyaothanâish ashem xshmaibyâ daduyê
ýâish dâtâish paouruyâish ahurahyâ.
I shall tell you, descendants of Haechataspa Spitama,
how to distinguish between the just and the unjust.
By such actions, you shall earn righteousness for yourselves,
actions which correspond with the Primal Laws of Lord.
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra is now addressing his own family members, the Haechataspa Spitamas. He teaches them how to distinguish between those who are just and those who are not. He says, once one knows how to draw a line between the two, one knows how to act according to the Divine Primal Principles to lead a righteous life.
Pondering Points: Distinguish between good and evil and turn good.
ferashaoshtrâ athrâ-tû aredrâish idî
hvô-gvâ tâish ýêñg usvahî ushtâ-stôi
ýathrâ ashâ hacaitê ârmaitish
ýathrâ vanghêush mananghô îshtâ xshathrem
ýathrâ mazdå varedemãm shaêitî ahurô.
Ferashaoshtra Hvagva, go with your companions there
where, as we both wish, radiant happiness pervades,
where serenity accompanies righteousness,
where the rule of good mind prevails,
where the Wise God dwells in progress.
Summary Substance: In a master piece of poetry, Zarathushtra speaks to Ferashaoshtra, a prominent companion and a great teacher, to usher the companions in the world that the Good Religion presents. A place where Ushta, radiant happiness makes all happy and healthy, where serenity and tranquility provide a righteous life, where it is only and only good mind that guides, and where one feels the presence of Mazda Ahura, who is the most progressive. It is the ideal world created by the thought-provoking Message of Zarathushtra through well-thought, well-said, and well-done thoughts, words and actions.
Ferashaoshtra is reported by Pahlavi writers to have become, along with his brother Jamaspa, ministers of King Vishtaspa. The two truly deserved that counseling assignments.
Pondering Points: God is progressive and so should we. That will create our ideal world.
ýathrâ vê afshmânî sêñghânî
nôit anafshmãm dêjâmâspâ hvôgvâ
hadâ vêstâ vahmêñg seraoshâ râdanghô
ýê vîcinaot dâthemcâ adâthemcâ
dañgrâ mañtû ashâ mazdâ ahurâ.
Here, Sage Jamaspa Hvogva, I teach you my message
in a poetic and not in a non-poetic language,
so that it shall always stay with you
as prayers of glorification with the divine inspiration.
Whoever distinguishes between the just and the unjust,
Wise Lord, is, through righteousness, a wonderful counselor.
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra now instructs his prime pupil – – Jamaspa Hvogva, a sage of youth, younger brother of Ferashaoshtra. He is being taught the Gathas – – the Divine Message in poetry so that it stays unadulterated. Song lasts unaltered. It is prose pieces that are paraphrased every time they are repeated. The Gathas have, because of the insight and foresight of the Master Poet, the Divine Thought-provoker, has remained untouched – – fresh to sing, glorify God, and be inspired to think, understand, practice, and preach. The Gathas guide people to distinguish between the just and the unjust. And whoever succeeds, he/she becomes a wonderful counselor, a genius adviser, a leading guide.
Pondering Points: Sing the Songs, save the Message, praise Mazda, and gain wisdom to promote the world.
ýê maibyâ ýaosh ahmâi ascît vahishtâ
mah’yå ishtôish vohû côishem mananghâ
ãstêñg ahmâi ýê nå ãstâi daidîtâ
mazdâ ashâ xshmâkem vârem xshnaoshemnô
tat môi xratêush mananghascâ vîcithem.
Whoever is united with me,
I promise him the best through good mind, my only riches.
But I oppose him who places himself in opposition to us.
Wise One, I want to please You,
because this is the discernment of my intellect and mind.
Summary Substance: Joining Zarathushtra in the Fellowship brings one the best in life by being guided by one’s enlightened good mind. This is the only reward he can promise mankind. But those who oppose the Fellowship, are opposed by Zarathushtra. No compromise. It only encourages the wrongful.
Zarathushtra wants to please Mazda, that is what his wisdom leads him to. And pleasing God, as stated in the first stanza of the Gathas – Song 1.1 – is to please and promote the living world.
Pondering Points: Join the Fellowship, reap the riches of good mind. Oppose it, expect opposition.
ýê môi ashât haithîm hacâ vareshaitî
zarathushtrâi hyat vasnâ ferashôtemem
ahmâi mîzhdem haneñtê parâhûm
manê vistâish mat vîspâish gâvâ azî
tâcît môi sãs tvêm mazdâ vaêdishtô.
Whoever truly accomplishes through righteousness
the complete renovation of life for me, Zarathushtra,
as is the will of God, deserves the desired future-life
in a fruitful living world as a reward.
This is what You, the most-knowing Wise One, have taught me.
Summary Substance: The mission, earlier endangered by priests and princes, is satisfactorily successful. The number of Zarathushtra’s companions is swelling. He wants them to undergo a complete change. Leave superstitions. Leave prescriptive bonds that check progress. Renovate life. Keep righteously modern. That is what Mazda, the most-knowing Being, wishes them to accomplish. It means the ideal life one desires. It is a reward in a world which is laden with fruit of good deeds. It is this God-willing renovation that Zarathushtra has learned through his divine inspiration.
Pondering Points: Renovate life, and ensure a fine future.