(16 stanzas — Days 59th to 74th)
Introduction: This song is, in fact, an exposure of the fraud and aberration practiced by the priests and princes of the old cult. The daevas, false gods and their worship were the creation of evil mentality and deceit by the priestly profession. It is superstitions that deviate a person from thinking right. However, they become a good source of income for the cunning, who continue to hoard what they can extract from the simple people. These cunning persons are the ritualistic priests, called “karapan” by Zarathushtra. The word actually means “arrangers of rituals,” but it also means “chatterers” and “mumblers” which they were indeed. They were the only priests Zarathushtra knew. In fact, in his Songs, he does not see and mention any good priest. The karapans were not alone. There were the rulers, turned into luxury lovers through the spoils they had accumulated. The two, having a common vested interest of exploiting the people, had joined hands. They kept the people in darkness and ignorance. Their increasing lust for wealth had turned them into tyrants, an action that earned them people’s hatred. However, they forgot that God was watching them and a day would dawn when a thought-provoker genius would rise and lead the people out of their clutches. How true is this situation alive today in many parts of the world, the reader is free to consider and judge.
ax’yâcâ xvaêtush ýâsat
ahyâ verezênem mat airyamnâ
ahyâ daêvâ mahmî manôi
ahurahyâ urvâzemâ mazdå,
thwôi dûtånghô ånghâmâ
têñg dârayô ýôi vå daibisheñtî.
O false gods beware,
the family, the community, and the fellowship,
all pray to the Wise God
for bliss in the manner I do,
and they say: May we be Your messengers
to control those who are Your antagonists.
(Gathas: Song 5- stanza 1)
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra warns the priests of old cult that their days are over. All, from the family to the world fellowship, have become enlightened enough to join him in becoming missionaries of the Divine Message that will curb the exploiting activities of the professionalist and create a new world.
Pondering Points: Recognize priestly pranks, understand the Message, radiate it to others and cleanse the community.
aêibyô mazdå ahurô
sâremnô vohû mananghâ
xshathrât hacâ paitî-mraot
ashâ hush-haxâ xvênvâtâ,
speñtãm vê âramaitîm vanguhîm
varemaidî hâ-nê anghat.
The Wise God, an ally through good mind
and a good friend through the glorious righteousness,
has responded to them:
“We have chosen the good and progressive serenity for you.”
(And they say:) “May it be ours!”
(Gathas: Song 5-stanza 2)
Summary Substance: God loves and supports those who use their good mind and act according to the universal law of righteousness, and work as messengers of the divine doctrine. God grants them a serene and calm life to progress. Happy, they pray to have it for ever.
Pondering Points: Think good, act right, befriend God, spread the message, and enjoy progress in peace.
at ýûsh daêvâ vîspånghô
akât mananghô stâ cithrem
ýascâ vå mash ýazaitê
shyaomãm aipî daibitânâ
ýâish asrûdûm bûmyå haptaithê.
But you deceptive gods,
and those who vehemently venerate you,
are the creations of evil mind, wrong, and disdain.
You are notorious for your deceitful deeds
in the inhabited part of the Earth.
(Gathas: Song 5 – stanza 3)
Summary Substance: False gods are creation of evil mind, wrongful thoughts, words and deeds, and contempt for free people by zealots of religiosity. It is they who are known to be engaged in deceiving and exploiting simple people.
Pondering Points: Evil mind, vested interest, and exploitation create false gods.
ýât ýûshtâ framîmathâ
ýâ mashyâ acishtâ dañtô
vanghêush sîzhdyamnâ mananghô
mazdå ahurahyâ xratêush
Because you have, with your actions,
made the mortals do the worst,
only to be called as daeva-devotees,
who give up good mind,
and run away from the Wise God’s intelligence
and from righteousness.
(Gathas: Song 5 – stanza 4)
Summary Substance: Deceptive priests make people do for them even the worst acts only to make them feel that they are devotees of the so-called gods. These people are thus kept away from using their God-given intelligence and do not act righteously.
Pondering Points: Deprivation of good thinking deviates one from righteous acts.
tâ debenaotâ mashîm
hyat vå akâ mananghâ
ýêñg daêvêñg akascâ mainyush
akâ shyaothanem vacanghâ
ýâ fracinas dregvañtem xshayô.
Thus you have deprived mankind
of good life and immortality.
But in fact, you, who are but deceptive gods,
have deceived yourselves
with your evil mentality, deed, and speech
by providing the wrongful with power.
(Gathas: Song 5 – stanza 5)
Summary Substance: Belief in false gods has misguided human beings not to lead a good life and therefore not to attain immortality. But this very action is self-defeating because when these beliefs are translated into evil thoughts, words and deeds, the result is chaos caused by the wrong persons in power.
Pondering Points: False beliefs bring chaos.
ýâish srâvahyeitî ýezî tâish athâ
vahishtâ vôistâ mananghâ
thwahmî vê mazdâ xshathrôi
ashâicâ sêñghô vîdãm.
However, even if this power makes
a great offender attain fame,
You, Wise Lord, remember well
the fact by the best mind
that in Your dominion and under righteousness,
Your doctrine will prevail.
(Gathas: Song 5-stanza 6)
Summary Substance: Even if a criminal becomes famous for the wrong power used by him, it will not last long. Eventually, the divine doctrine, through best thinking, will be established in the divine dominion, chosen by the righteous in accordance with the Universal Law.
Pondering Points: Wrong power and fame do not last. Divine Doctrine does.
naêcît vîdvå aojôi hâdrôyâ
ýâ jôyâ sêñghaitê
ýâish srâvî xvaênâ ayanghâ
ýaêshãm tû ahurâ
irixtem mazdâ vaêdishtô ahî.
Regarding these offenses,
no wise person has ever attained power
which could be called life,
a life, said to be achieved
by the force of flowing metal.
Of such, You, Wise Lord,
know best the consequences.
(Gathas: Song 5-stanza 7)
Summary Substance: Power attained through brute force cannot be called life. It is living. A wise person will never do it. God knows best the end of that living.
Pondering Points: Living achieved by ruthless force is no life.
vîvanghushô srâvî ýimascît
ýê mashyêñg cixshnushô ahmâkêñg
gâush bagâ xvâremnô
aêshãmcît â ahmî
thwahmî mazdâ vîcithôi aipî.
Regarding these crimes,
it is said that Yima son of Vivanhan
also sounded himself the god of our world.
For such a crime too,
as far as I am concerned,
the final judgment lies with You.
(Gathas: Song 5-stanza 8)
Summary Substance: Among those who have committed crimes, Yima (King Jamshid) is reported to have declared himself the “god of the world.” But as far as Zarathushtra is concerned, he leaves it to God to be the final judge. He has nothing to state.
Pondering Points: Do not pass judgment on an act you are not a witness.
Note: King Jamshid’s reign and feats symbolize the period during which the Indo-Iranians migrated from northern steppes to the Iranian Plateau and then survived a severe spell of the ice age. His period also symbolizes many advances made in social comforts. When Jamshid felt that it was he who had provided his people with prosperity, he became proud and arrogant and declared himself, in words of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (the epic of Book of the Kings), “the Creator of the World.” The boast brought his downfall at the hands of Azhi Dahaka (Zahhak or Zohak of the Shahnameh). Incidentaly Jamshid is the only legendary subject mentioned in the Gathas and that too casually. The Gathas are free of myth and legend.
dush-sastish sravå môreñdat
hvô jyâtêush sêñghanâish xratûm
apô mâ îshtîm apayañtâ
berexdhãm hâitîm vanghêush mananghô
tâ uxdhâ manyêush mahyâ mazdâ
ashâicâ ýûshmaibyâ gerezê.
The evil teacher destroys with his teachings
the doctrine of the wisdom of life.
He prevents people
from the precious acquisition of good mind.
I appeal to You, Wise Lord, and to Righteousness,
expressing my mind in words.
(Gathas: Song 5-stanza 9)
Summary Substance: An evil teacher will not teach how to live a thoughtful life. He has to keep people in ignorance and away from knowledge attained through good mind. Zarathushtra wants God to help him, through righteousness, to express the truth in understandable words so that people are awakened.
Pondering Points: Evil teaching retains ignorance. Good teaching enlightens to good life.
hvô mâ-nâ sravå môreñdat
ýê acishtem vaênanghê aogedâ
gãm ashibyâ hvarecâ
ýascâ dâthêñg dregvatô dadât
ýascâ vâstrâ vîvâpat
ýascâ vadarê vôizhdat ashâunê.
Indeed, he devastates the doctrine
who considers it the worst to look
at the world and the sun with plain eyes,
who sets the just against the wrongful,
who destroys settlements,
and who hurls a deadly weapon at the righteous.
(Gathas: Song 5-stanza 10)
Summary Substance: Four types of people destroy the Doctrine of Zarathushtra. (1) The superstitious who do not see the world and the sun as plain creations but imagine them to be deities with mythical tales; (2) who connive to have a just person confront a wrongful person; (3) the aggressors who destroy human habitation; and (4) who hurt the righteous.
Pondering Points: Only superstition and aggression go against the divine doctrine.
taêcît mâ môreñden jyôtûm
ýôi dregvatô mazibîsh cikôiteresh
apayeitî raêxenanghô vaêdem
ýôi vahishtât ashâunô
mazdâ râreshyãn mananghô.
Also they devastate life
who highly regard the wrongful
as lords and ladies,
rob people of their property,
and try hard to distract the righteous
from their best mind.
(Gathas: Song 5-stanza 11)
Summary Substance: People who regard the wrongful rich as lords and ladies, who exploit people to deprive them of their belongings, and who, through various means, try to distract the righteous people to give up thinking as good as they can, are also among those who disturb and destroy life.
Pondering Points: Appeasing, exploiting and distracting are among destructive acts.
ýâ rånghayen sravanghâ
vahishtât shyaothanât maretânô
aêibyô mazdå akâ mraot
ýôi gêush môreñden urvâxsh-uxtî jyôtûm
ýâish gerêhmâ ashât varatâ karapâ
xshathremcâ îshanãm drujem.
It is through such teachings
that they try to distract mortals
from excellent deeds.
For them, the Wise One has decreed ill consequences,
because they devastate worldly life in luxury.
It is for this reason that grabbing priests have chosen
the wrong dominion of the wealthy instead of righteousness.
(Gathas: Song 5- stanza 12)
Summary Substance: It is through exploitation of the poor by the rich that good life on earth is disturbed and destroyed. The priests also side the rich instead of the righteous persons because it pays them well in return. The consequences for these wrong teachings and doings are bad. That is the divine justice.
Pondering Points: Exploitation does not pay. Righteous life does.
ýâ xshathrâ gerêhmô hîshasat
acishtahyâ demânê mananghô
anghêush maraxtârô ahyâ
ýaêcâ mazdâ jîgerezat kâmê
thwahyâ mãthrânô dûtîm
ýê îsh pât daresât ashahyâ.
It is because of such power
that the grabbers of this life
wish to gain their spoils in the house of worst mind.
And they, Wise Lord, who, in their lust,
growl about the message of Your thought-provoker,
lust, in turn, prevents them from seeing righteousness.
(Gathas: Song 5- stanza 13)
Summary Substance: Spoils grabbed by the priests has given them power. It provides them with a gainful living. It is a life of lust lived with the worst mind. And their lust does not allow them to see righteousness, the Truth. It makes them create an uproar against the thought-provoking message of Zarathushtra.
Pondering Points: Spoils spoil mind to lie low, leave logic, live in lust, and lash the Divine Message.
ahyâ gerêhmô â-hôithôi
nî kâvayascît xratûsh nî dadat
varecå hîcâ fraidivâ
hyat vîsêñtâ dregvañtem
avô hyatcâ gâush jaidyâi mraoî
ýê dûraoshem saocayat avô.
Seizing such spoils,
even the sagacious princes
have long been devoting their minds and efforts.
They have, thus, resorted to help the wrongful.
Fired by the wisdom-wasting drink,
they have declared that the world must be destroyed.
(Gathas: Song 5 – stanza 14)
Summary Substance: The Kavi princes, although men of knowledge, were cooperating with the practicing priests in exploiting people. The two had a common interest-exploitation. Thus the rulers were helping the wrongful. Addicted to “haoma,” the instant intoxicating drink prepared ceremoniously to give “pep”, their aggressive mood was destroying the world.
Pondering Points: Rule by the robbing rich is ruinous.
anâish â vî-nênâsâ
ýâ karapôtåscâ kevîtåscâ
avâish aibî ýêñg daiñtî
nôit jyâtêush xshayamnêñg vasô
tôi âbyâ bairyåñtê
vanghêush â-demânê mananghô.
It is with such actions
that the ritualistic priests and princes are annihilated
through the very people,
whom they have deprived of the power to live as they wish.
Of these two parties,
the latter will be taken to the house of good mind.
(Gathas: Song 5- stanza 15)
Summary Substance: Once the truth exposed by Zarathushtra is understood, the priests and princes are overthrown by the very people who are deprived of their rightful freedom to live. It is the free people who ultimately enjoy the blessings of good mind.
Pondering Points: Realize truth, gain freedom, live wise and happy.
hamêm tat vahishtâcît
ýê ushuruyê syascît dahmahyâ
xshayãs mazdâ ahurâ
ýehyâ mâ aithîshcît dvaêthâ
hyat aênanghê dregvatô
êeânû ishyêñg anghayâ.
Every teaching of the talented
is the best to listen to.
Wise Lord, I am powerful enough
to meet the two-fold threats,
and restrain the crime of the wrongful
directed against friends.
(Gathas: Song 5- stanza 16)
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra the genius declares all his teachings the best to listen to. He is confident that he will be able to meet the threat posed by the priests and the princes. He is sure to stop the cruelty done to his companions.
Pondering Points: Talent and truth triumph, crime and cruelty crash.