Good and Evil
(11 stanzas — Days 26th to 36th)
at tâ vaxshyâ isheñtô
ýâ mazdâthâ hyatcît vîdushê
ýesnyâcâ vanghêush mananghô
humãzdrâ ashâ ýecâ
ýâ raocêbîsh daresatâ urvâzâ.
Now I shall speak to those who wish
to hear of the two principles,
which are of importance even to the wise.
I shall also, with reverence for good mind
and the good consideration of righteousness,
have praises for the Lord,
so that you may see brilliant happiness.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 1)
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra opens a new chapter in his Divine Doctrine — Good and Evil, two important principles that have even perplexed the wise. To understand the problem, he keeps in view good mind and the approach to the problem through the Universal Law of Righteousness, of precision — two important points to solve the problem. And as usual, he has his praises for God, the guide who leads us by means of our good mind and righteousness to radiant happiness.
Pondering Points: Good and Evil, two ever-posing problems, can be solved through clear thinking and understanding of the Universal Law of precise regulation.
sraotâ gêushâish vahishtâ
avaênatâ sûcâ mananghâ
narêm narem xvaxyâi tanuyê
parâ mazê ýånghô
ahmâi nê sazdyâi baodañtô paitî.
Hear the best with your ears
and ponder with a bright mind.
Then each man and woman, for his or her self,
select either of the [following] two.
Awaken to this Doctrine of ours
before the Great Event of Choice ushers in.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 2)
Summary Substance: Freedom of choice is for all, men and women. Zarathushtra is about to expound his doctrine of good and evil. He wants every person to hear the best, not superfluous and superstitious sayings. Although the best, it must be studied with a clear mind and then the choice be made between the two. He recommends that before the great choice for the way of life is made, one should take into consideration the Divine Doctrine presented by him and his companions. The choice of good as presented by him would eventually mean choosing the Good Religion.
Pondering Points: Even the best sayings must be studied and that too clearly. Freedom of considerate choice is for all. Man and woman are equal. Zarathushtra does not force his Doctrine. He only proposes
at tâ mainyû pouruyê
ýâ ýêmâ khvafenâ asrvâtem
shyaothanôi hî vahyô akemcâ
åscâ hudånghô eresh vîshyâtâ
Now, the two foremost mentalities,
known to be imaginary twins,
are the better and the bad
in thoughts, words, and deeds.
Of these the beneficent choose correctly,
but not so the maleficent.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 3)
Summary Substance: Good and Evil are mentalities, not entities. The talk about their being twins is pure imagination. One is good, getting better day by day. It is the progressive good. The other is bad. Both are thought in mind and then translated into words and deeds. Beneficence leads one to choose good, and maleficence takes one towards evil.
Pondering Points: It is human mind which creates good thoughts, words and deeds or otherwise. Not mythical entities. Think good, get better. Think evil, see evil.
atcâ hyat tâ hêm mainyû
jasaêtem paourvîm dazdê
ýathâcâ anghat apêmem anghush
at ashâunê vahishtem manô.
Now, when the two mentalities
first got together,
they created “life” and “not-living.”
Until the end of existence,
the worst mind shall be for the wrongful,
and the best mind shall be for the righteous.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 4)
Summary Substance: When the two mentalities begin functioning, the good creates true life but the other disrupts it into a wretched living. It makes one live without enjoying life. An evil mind turns one to think, talk and do wrong, and grow worse. A brilliant mind builds one into a righteous person. This is the Universal Law. Only a return to the better mentality can save one.
Pondering Points: Life is for living and not wasting. Wrong deludes to ever-worse misery. Right leads to good, better, best.
ayå manivå varatâ
ýê dregvå acishtâ verezyô
ashem mainyush spênishtô
ýê xraozhdishtêñg asênô vastê
ýaêcâ xshnaoshen ahurem
haithyâish shyaothanâish fraoret mazdãm.
Of these two mentalities,
the wrongful mentality chose worst actions,
and the most progressive mentality,
as steadfast as rock, chose righteousness.
Therefore, those who would please the Wise God,
may do so by choosing true actions.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 5)
Summary Substance: A wrongful mentality chooses worst deeds. It wavers. But the most progressive mentality stands firm in its choice of righteousness. It does not waver at all. Choice is free but God is pleased when one chooses good to end in good deeds.
Pondering Points: Wrong wavers. Right is firm. Choose right and please God.
ayå nôit eresh vîshyâtâ daêvâcinâ
hyat îsh â-debaomâ
hyat verenâtâ acishtem manô,
at aêshemem hêñdvâreñtâ
ýâ bãnayen ahûm maretânô.
Between these two,
the seekers of false gods did not decide correctly,
because delusion came to them in their deliberations.
Therefore, they chose the worst mind,
rushed in wrath,
and afflicted the human existence.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 6)
Summary Substance: Friends of falsehood do not decide correctly. They are deluded when discussing because of their blind faith and lack of consideration. Choosing wrong means instigating an evil thinking mind to resort to wrath and consequently harm and hurt human life.
Pondering Points: Falsehood misguides. Misguidance results in frustration, fury, force, and destruction.
ahmâicâ xshathrâ jasat
mananghâ vohû ashâcâ
at kehrpêm utayûitîsh
dadât ârmaitish ãnmâ
aêshãm tôi â anghat
ýathâ ayanghâ âdânâish pouruyô.
But to the person who chooses correctly,
comes endurance of body
and steadfast serenity
through strength, good mind, and righteousness.
Of all these, such a person shall be Yours,
because he has come fully out of the fiery test.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 7)
Summary Substance: The person who makes the right choice, gets endurance and lasting stability through strength, good mind and righteousness. It is a difficult task, a hard ordeal to pass through. But it means to belong to God. It is a hard-won blessing.
Pondering Points: Right choice, hard to make, has a great reward — God.
atcâ ýadâ aêshãm kaênâ
at mazdâ taibyô xshathrem
vohû mananghâ vôivîdâitî
aêibyô sastê ahurâ
ýôi ashâi daden zastayô drujem.
And when the sinners undergo their punishment,
then, O Wise One, the dominion will be realized
for them through good mind.
God, then they shall be taught
how to deliver the wrong into the hands of righteousness.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 8)
Summary Substance: Wrong choice has its evil consequences, but as soon as one becomes wise enough to realize the folly, it is over. One is thereafter safe to learn how to replace wrong with right.
Pondering Points: Evil consequence is temporary. Be wise, give it up, and right is yours.
atcâ tôi vaêm xyâmâ
ýôi îm ferashêm kerenâun ahûm,
â môyastrâ baranâ ashâcâ
hyat hathrâ manå bavat
ýathrâ cistish anghat maêthâ.
And may we be among those
who make this life fresh!
You, lords of wisdom,
who bring happiness through righteousness,
come, let us be single-minded
in the realm of inner intellect.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 9)
Summary Substance: A solemn prayer, an earnest desire to be among those who renovate life here in this world on rightful basis. It means continuous progress, ever-fresh happiness. Happiness comes when one is not only a master wise but also agrees in full with other masters of wisdom.
Pondering Points: Continuous renovation comes through cooperation of good master minds. It is ideal.
adâ zî avâ drûjô
avô bavaitî skeñdô spayathrahyâ
at asishtâ ýaojañtê
â hushitôish vanghêush mananghô
ýôi zazeñtî vanghâu sravahî.
Then, indeed, the power of wrong
shall be shattered.
Then those who strive with good name
shall immediately be united
in the good abode of good mind
and righteousness of the Wise One.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 10)
Summary Substance: Continuous renovation of life means removal of wrongful in power. It means instant unity and close cooperation in a divine state where good mind and righteousness work.
Pondering Points: Refresh to remove wrong and live wisely and rightly with God.
hyat tâ urvâtâ sashathâ
ýâ mazdå dadât mashyånghô
hyatcâ daregêm dregvôdebyô rashô
at aipî tâish anghaitî ushtâ.
If you understand the two principles
of prosperity and adversity
established by the Wise One,
which are a long suffering for the wrongful
and a lasting good for the righteous;
you shall, then, enjoy radiant happiness.
(Gathas: Song 3 – stanza 11)
Summary Substance: The Divine principle is that Good and Evil mean prosperity and adversity. The wrongful suffer long and the rightful enjoy eternal good. If one understands this simple point, he or she will be happy and radiate happiness to others.
Pondering Points: Evil sets suffering. Good gives joy. Joy brings joy to self and others.