By D. J. Irani

The Gathas
The Hymns of Zarathushtra

By D. J. Irani

 


 

Forward
To
The Divine Songs of Zarathushtra

Rabindranath Tagore

 

The most important of all outstanding facts of Iranian history is the religious reform brought about by Zarathushtra. He was the first man we know who gave a definitely moral character and direction to religion, and at the same time preached the doctrine of monotheism, which offered an eternal foundation of reality to goodness as an ideal of perfection. All religions of the primitive type try to keep men bound with regulations of external observances. These, no doubt, have the hypnotic effect of vaguely suggesting a realm of right and wrong; but the dimness of their light produces phantasms leaving men to aberrations. Zarathushtra was the greatest of all the pioneer prophets who showed the path of freedom to men, the freedom of moral choice, the freedom from blind obedience to unmeaning injunctions, freedom from the multiplicity of shrines which draw our worship away from the single-minded chastity of devotion. To most of us it sounds like a truism to-day when we are told that the moral goodness of a deed comes from the goodness of intention. But it is a truth which once came to a man like a revelation of light in the darkness and has not yet reached all the obscure corners of humanity. There are men we still see around us who fearfully follow, hoping thereby to gain merit, the path of blind formalisms, which have no living moral source in the mind. This will make us understand the greatness of Zarathushtra. Though surrounded by believers in magical rites, he proclaimed in those dark days of unreason, that religion has its truth in its moral significance, not in external practices of imaginary value; that it is to uphold man in his life of good thoughts, good words and good deeds.

The outer expression of truth reaches its white light of simplicity through its inner realization. True simplicity is the physiognomy of perfection. In the primitive stage of spiritual growth, when man is dimly aware of the mystery of the infinite in his life and the world, when he does not fully know the inward character of his relationship with this truth, his first feeling is either that of dread or of a greed of gain. This drives him into wild exaggeration in worship, into frenzied convulsion of ceremonialism. But in Zarathushtra’s teachings, which are best reflected in his Gathas, we have hardly any mention of the ritualism of worship. Conduct and its moral motives, such as Vohumano. Asha and Aramaiti, have received almost the sole attention in them.

The orthodox Persian form of worship in ancient Iran included animal sacrifices and offering of haoma to the daevas. That all this should be discountenanced by Zarathushtra not only shows his courage, but the strength of his realization of the Supreme Being as Spirit. We are told that it has been mentioned by Plutarch: “Zarathushtra taught the Persians to sacrifice to Ahura Mazda ‘vows and thanksgivings.'” The distance between faith in the efficacy of bloodstained magical rites and cultivation of moral and spiritual ideals as the true form of worship is immense. It is amazing to see how Zarathushtra was the first among men who crossed this distance with a certainty of realization which imparted such a fervour of faith in his life and his words. The truth which tilled his mind was not a thing borrowed from books or received from teachers. He did not come to it by following a prescribed path of tradition. It flashed upon him as an illumination of his entire life, almost like a communication to his personal self, and he proclaimed the utmost immediacy of his knowledge in these words:

“When I conceived of Thee, O Mazda, as the very First and the Last, as the most Adorable One. as the Father of Good Thought, as the Creator of Truth and Right, as the Lord Judge of our actions in life, then I made a place for Thee in my very eyes”-Yasna, 31-4. (Translation by D. J. Irani.)

It was the direct stirring of his soul which made him say:-

“Thus do I announce the Greatest of all. I weave my songs of praise for Him through Truth, helpful and beneficent to all that live. Let Ahura Mazda listen to them with His Holy Spirit, for the Good Mind instructed me to adore Him; by His Wisdom let Him teach me about what is best.”– Yasna, 45-6.

The truth which is not reached through the analytical process of reasoning, and does not depend for proof on some corroboration of outward facts, or the prevalent faith and practice of the people–the truth, which comes like an inspiration out of context with its surroundings, brings with it an assurance that it has been sent from a divine source of wisdom; that the individual who has received it is specially chosen and therefore has his responsibility as the messenger of God. Zarathushtra felt this sacredness of his mission and believed himself to be the direct medium of communication of Divine Truth.

So long as man deals with his God as the dispenser of benefits to the worshipper, who knows the secret of propitiating him, he tries to keep him for his own self or for the tribe to which he belongs. But directly the moral or spiritual nature of God is apprehended, this knowledge is thrown open to all humanity; and then the idea of God, which once gave unity only to a special people, transcends limitations of race and gathers together all human beings within one spiritual circle of union. Zarathushtra was the first prophet who emancipated religion from the exclusive narrowness of the tribal God, the God of a chosen people, and offered it to the universal man. This is a great fact in the history of religion. The Master said, when the enlightenment came to him:

“Verily I believe Thee, O Ahura Mazda, to be the Supreme Benevolent Providence, when Sraosha came to me with the Good Mind, when first I received and became wise with Thy words! And though the task be difficult, though woe may come to me, I shall proclaim to all mankind Thy message, which Thou declarest to be the best.”-Yasna, 43-11.

He prays to Mazda:

“This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura, the religion that is best for all mankind–the religion, based on truth, which should prosper all that is mine, the religion which establishes our actions in order and justice by the Divine Songs of Perfect Piety, which has, for its intelligent desire of desires, the desire for Thee, O Mazda!”-Yasna, 44-10.

With the undoubted assurance and hope of one who has got a direct vision of Truth he speaks to the world:

“Hearken unto me, Ye, who come from far and near! Listen, for I shall speak forth now; ponder well over all things, weigh my words with care and clear thought. Never shall the false teacher destroy this world for a second time; for his tongue stands mute, his creed exposed.”-Yasna, 45-1.

I think it can be said without doubt that such a high conception of religion, uttered in such a clear note of affirmation, with a sure conviction that it is a truth of the ultimate ideal of perfection which must be revealed to all humanity, even at the cost of martyrdom, is unique in the history of religion belonging to such a remote dawn of civilisation.

There was a time when along with other Aryan peoples the Persians also worshipped the elemental gods of nature, on whose favour they depended for the good things of life. But such favour was not to be won by any moral duty performed or by any service of love. In fact, it was the crude beginning of the scientific spirit trying to unlock the hidden sources of power in nature. But through it all there must have been some current of deeper desire which constantly contradicted the cult of power and indicated a world of inner good infinitely more precious than material gain. Its voice was not strong at first, nor was it heeded by the majority of the people; but its influence, like the life within the seed, was silently working. Then comes the great teacher; and in his life and mind the hidden fire of truth suddenly bursts out in a flame. The best in the people works for long obscure ages in hints and whispers till it finds its voice, which can never again be silenced. For that voice becomes the voice of mankind, no longer confined to a particular time or people. It works across intervals of silence and oblivion, depression and defeat, and comes out again and again with its conquering call. It is a call to the fighter–the fighter against untruth–against all that lures away man’s spirit from its high mission of freedom into the meshes of materialism. And Zarathushtra’s voice is still a living voice, not a mere matter of academic interest for historical scholars who deal with the dead facts of the past. It is not a voice which is only to guide a small community of men in the daily details of their life. For have we not seen that Zarathushtra was the first of all teachers who, in his religious teachings, sent his words to all human races across the distance of space and time? He was not like a man who by some chance of friction had lighted a lamp, and knowing that it could not be shared by all, secured it with a miser’s care for his own domestic use. But he was the watcher in the night, who stood on the lonely peak facing the East and broke out singing the poems of light to the sleeping world when the sun came out on the brim of the horizon. He declared that the sun of truth is for all, that its light is to unite the far and the near. Such a message always arouses the antagonism of those whose habits have become nocturnal, whose vested interest is in the darkness. And there was a bitter fight in the lifetime of the prophet between his followers and others who were addicted to the ceremonies that had tradition on their side and not truth.

We are told that “Zarathushtra was descended from a kingly family,” and also that the first converts to his doctrines were of the ruling caste. But the priesthood, “the Kavis and the Karapans, often succeeded in bringing the rulers over to their side.” So we find that, in this fight, the princes of the land divided themselves into two opposite parties, as we find in India in the Kurukshetra war. “With the princes have the Kavis and the Karapans united, in order to corrupt man by their evil deeds.” Among the princes that stood against Zarathushtra, as his enemies, the mighty Bendva might be included, who is mentioned in Yasna, 49, 1-2. From the context we may surmise that he stood on the side of the infidels. A family or a race of princely blood were probably the Grehma (Yasna, 32, 12-14). Regarding them it is said that they “having allied with the Kavis and the Karapans, have established their power in order to overpower the prophet and his partisans. In fact, the opposition between the pious and the impious, the believers and the unbelievers, seem very often to have led to open combat. The prophet prays to Ahura that he may grant victory to his own, when both the armies rush together in combat, whereby they can cause defeat among the wicked, and procure for them strife and trouble.”

There is evidence in our Indian legends that in ancient India also there have been fights between the representatives of the orthodox faith and the Kshatriyas, who, owing to their own special vocation, had a comparative freedom of mind about the religion of external observances. The proofs are strong enough to lead us to believe that the monotheistic religious movement had its origin and principal support in the kingly caste of those days, though a great number of them fought to oppose it.

I have discussed in another place the growth in ancient India of the moral and spiritual element in her religion which had accompanied the Indian Aryan people from the time of the Indo-Iranian age, showing how the struggle with its antagonistic force has continued all through the history of India. I have shown how the revolution which accompanied the teachings of Zarathushtra, breaking out into severe fights, had its close analogy in the religious revolution in India whose ideals are still preserved in the Bhagavadgita.

It is interesting to note that the growth of the same ideal in the same race in different geographical situations has produced results that, in spite of their unity, have some aspect of difference. The Iranian monotheism is more ethical, while the Indian is more metaphysical in its character. Such a difference in their respective spiritual developments was owing, no doubt, to the more active vigour of life in the old Persians and the contemplative quietude of mind in the Indians. This distinction in the latter arises in a great measure out of the climatic conditions of the country, the easy fertility of the soil and the great stretch of plains in Northern India affording no constant obstacles in physical nature to be daily overcome by man, while the climate of Persia is more bracing and the surface of the soil more rugged. The Zoroastrian ideal has accepted the challenge of the principle of evil and has enlisted itself in the fight on the side of Ahura Mazda, the great, the good, the wise. In India, although the ethical side is not absent, the emphasis has been more strongly laid on subjective realisation through a stoical suppression of desire, and the attainment of a perfect equanimity of mind by cultivating indifference to all causes of joy and sorrow. Here the idea, over which the minds of men brooded for ages, in an introspective intensity of silence, was that man as a spiritual being had to realise the truth by breaking through his sheath of self. All the desires and feelings that limit his being are keeping him shut in from the region of spiritual freedom.

In man the spirit of creation is waiting to find its ultimate release in an ineffable illumination of Truth. The aspiration of India is for attaining the infinite in the spirit of man. On the other hand, as I have said before, the ideal of Zoroastrian Persia is distinctly ethical. It sends its call to men to work together with the Eternal Spirit of Good in spreading and maintaining Kshatra, the Kingdom of Righteousness, against all attacks of evil. This ideal gives us our place as collaborators with God in distributing His blessings over the world.

“Clear is this all to the man of wisdom as to the man who carefully thinks; he who upholds Truth with all the might of his power, he who upholds Truth the utmost in his word and deed, he, indeed, is thy most valued helper, O Mazda Ahura!-Yasna, 31-22.

It is, in fact, of supreme moment to us that the human world is in an incessant state of war between that which will save us and that which will drag us into the abyss of disaster. Our one hope lies in the fact that Ahura Mazda is on our side if we choose the right course. The law of warfare is severe in its character; it allows no compromise. ” None of you:” says Zarathushtra, “shall find the doctrine and precepts of the wicked; because thereby he will bring grief and death in his house and village, in his land and people! No, grip your sword and cut them down!”-Yasna, 31, 18.

Such a relentless attitude of fight reminds us of the Old Testament spirit. The active heroic aspect of this religion reflects the character of the people themselves, who later on spread their conquests far and wide and built up great empires by the might of their sword. They accepted this world in all seriousness. They had zest in life and confidence in their own strength. They belonged to the western half of Asia, and their great influence travelled through the neighbouring civilisation of India and towards the Western Continent. Their ideal was the ideal of the fighter. By the force of their will and deed of sacrifice they were to conquer haurvatat, welfare in this world, and ameratat, immortality in the other. This is the best ideal of the West, the great truth of fight. For Paradise has to be gained through conquest. That sacred task is for the heroes, who are to take the right side in the battle and the right weapons.


Introduction
The Gathas of Zarathushtra

K.D. Irani

 

 

WHAT ARE THE GATHAS?

The Gathas are the hymns composed by Zarathushtra, the Prophet or the founder of the religion of ancient Iran, who lived around 1300 BCE. The verses are composed in the metrical forms of ancient Indo-Iranian religious poetry. It is in a very condensed style of versification, in which standard grammatical construction is more absent than present. In extent the Gathas constitute a small book containing about 6000 words, in about 1300 lines set in 238 verses which are collected in 17 chapters, each called a Haiti, or in the more usual later term, HA. The 17 Ha’s of the Gathas were, some time later, incorporated into a long prayer, or liturgy, recited at a ceremony. The Yasna recitation has 72 chapters. The Ha’s are identified by their numberings as chapters of the Yasna. There are five major sections of the 17 Ha’s of the Gathas listed here:

  1.  Ahunavaiti, consisting of Ha’s 28-34 of the Yasna, containing 100 verses.

  2. Ushtavaiti, consisting of Ha’s 43-46 of the Yasna, containing 66 verses.

  3. Spenta Mainyu, consisting of Ha’s 47-50 of the Yasna, containing 41 verses.

  4. Vohu Khshathra, consisting of Ha 5 1 of the Yasna, containing 22 verses.

  5. Vahishto Ishti, consisting of Ha 53 of the Yasna, containing 9 verses.

The language of the Gathas is one belonging to the old Indo-Iranian group which was part of the Eastern families of the Indo-European languages. This language is called Gathic, and because it is incorporated into the Yasna scripture which is part of the Avesta, it is also called Old Avestan. Much of our grasp of the Gathic language, both in vocabulary and grammar comes from its close affinity with the early form of Vedic Sanskrit.

 

THE CONTENT OF THE GATHAS.

The verses of the Gathas are addressed to the Divinity, Ahura Mazda, and also to the public that has come to hear the Prophet. Specific aspects of his theology appear in every Ha, but we do not have a systematic presentation of the doctrine in any one location. Zarathushtra expounds aspects of his teachings in many different places in the Gathas. In others, he exhorts his audience to live a life as Ahura Mazda has directed. From these frequent passages we can reconstruct the theology with reasonable accuracy. Then there are some verses, devotional in character, addressed to Ahura Mazda, to the divine essences of Truth, the Good-Mind, and the Spirit of Piety and Benevolence. There are also verses which refer to episodes and crises in the mission of the Prophet. But the theology is interwoven in every Ha.

 

THE THEOLOGY OF THE GATHAS.

It is important, as a preliminary consideration, to note that the type of religion preached by Zarathushtra is what may be called reflective religion. It is a fusion of a View of the World and a Way of Life offered to the prospective believer to be adopted upon due reflection as worthy of acceptance. A believer is one who chooses to encounter the world as the religious view declares it to he, and importantly, commits himself or herself In the Way of Life presented therein.

What then is the religious view of Zarathushtra in the Gathas? Zarathushtra conceives of the world we live in as a theater of conflict between two diametrically opposed moral spirits (mainyus), they stand for mental attitudes in the psychological domain, and also opposing moral vectors in all of creation. They are the Spirit of Goodness (Spenta Mainyu), and the Spirit of Evil (Angre Mainyu, not so named in the Gathas, but in the later literature). Their characters are defined in relation to the pivotal concept of Zarathushtra’s theology, Asha, usually translated as Truth. Truth, in this context means the Ultimate Truth, that is, the Ideal form of existence of the world as envisioned by Ahura Mazda. The form the world would have had but for the Spirit of Evil, and hence the form the world ought to have. Acting in accordance with Truth is the right thing to do, hence Asha is also translated as Righteousness. Indeed, since Zarathushtra’s theology is always projected with a moral dimension, Asha always carries the joint meaning of Truth and Righteousness.

Thus we comprehend the world as an intrinsically good, divine creation, contaminated by evil, but capable of being perfected by the actions of humans by reason of their capacity of moral choice. Human action can promote good and reject evil leading to its ultimate banishment from the world, though it may continue to exist as a conceptual possibility.

From this follows the Way of Life in Zarathushtra’s theology. According to it, each human being possesses, perhaps cultivated to different degrees, the quality of the Good-Mind, Vohu-Mana, in itself a divine creation. The Good-Mind enables us to grasp Asha, the Ideal Truth; it also enables us to see any aspect of the world and recognize it for what it is, i.e. the way and the extent to which it is flawed. This is grasped by seeing reality and realizing how it deviates from its ideal state, i.e. Asha. This form of moral awareness is what is termed good-thought. From this good-thought one is inspired to do the right thing, to right the wrong, to perfect the state of imperfection. When the appropriate course of action is formulated and articulated it is called good word.

The inspiration that leads to action is Spenta Armaity, translated in the religious context as Piety or Devotion, and in the moral context as Benevolence or Right-Mindedness. This spirit is another aspect of Divinity, it inclines us to move from right conceptions to right actions. We thereby, with courage and confidence put our well-thought-out and well-formulated intentions into actions. This is called good-deed. Here we can crystallize the oft-repeated trilogy of Zoroastrianism: Good-thoughts, Good-words, and Good-deeds.

The consequence of actions according to this way of life is that, being in accord with Asha, it brings the world toward perfection in any way and to whatever extent it may be. In the social world we bring about a change toward a worthy social order. And as the social order is transformed to an ideal form we achieve the ideal dominion in which the right-minded person is happy and contented. This ideal social state is referred to by the Gathic term Khshathra Vairya, another divine aspect.

The individual who lives in accordance with this way of life reaches a state of well-being, a state of psychic and spiritual integrity which one might plausibly characterize as perfection in this earthly state. This state is referred to by the Gathic term Haurvatat. A person who has lived such a life comes, upon death, to a state of immortal bliss, known by the Gathic term, Ameretat.

Life after death in the Gathas is viewed as a state, the character of which is a consequence of the moral quality of one’s life. The notion of the final judgment upon the person is expressed dramatically in the crossing of the Bridge of the Separator (chinvad peretu), where the virtuous cross to the Abode of Songs, the heavenly abode, and exist in a state of “Best Consciousness.” The wicked fall away into the House of Falsehood, existing in a state of “Worst Consciousness,” detached from Truth.

The focus of Gathic teaching is one of a world afflicted with suffering, inequity, and imperfection, the goal being to transform it and bring it to perfection, that is, in consonance with Truth, by the comprehending power of the Good-Mind. Such a perfecting world would progressively bring satisfaction to all the good creation. And it would inaugurate the desired kingdom, Khshathra Vairya, where the ideal society would manifest peaceful social existence in which all interests would be harmonized and balanced in a just order, for that is an implication of Asha. This achievement depends on enlightened human thinking and right-minded human resolve. These are the religious goals according to the Gathas, and bringing them about, the commandment of Ahura Mazda.

 

THE NON-THEOLOGICAL CONTENT OF THE GATHAS.

The Gathas are religious hymns. Among them are some addressed to Ahura Mazda expressing the Prophet’s veneration for the Holiness of the Divinity, who is Father of the Good-Mind, the Truth, and the Spirit of Benevolence. There are other Verses where the Prophet requests for himself and his disciples these very gifts which would enable them to lead holy lives.

There are other verses which are quasi-biographical. They are all related. in one way or another, with Zarathushtra’s mission to announce to humanity the teachings of Ahura Mazda to direct us to act in the Great Cause, viz., to promote the Truth (Asha), perfecting the World and thereby perfecting ourselves. When he announces the message of Ahura-Mazda, he is repudiated in his homeland, abandoned by his kinsmen.

There are verses which express this repudiation and the resulting doubts regarding the success of his mission. He asks for assurance from Ahura Mazda, and significantly, sees the self-validating power of Truth through the translucence of the Good Mind. There are times when the Prophet is rejected by the powerful, and times when his teachings are attacked. He asks not only for his effort’s confirmation from Ahura Mazda, but also the repudiation of his opponents and oppressors as purveyors of evil.

Since the various Ha’s of the Gathas were composed at different periods in the life of the Prophet we obtain from them reflections of his aspirations and anxieties about the effectiveness of his mission. He never doubted its validity or its ultimate vindication. We find that in the later part of his life he feels assured of success and a tone of contentment and assurance pervades the later compositions. But even there, as in the last Ha, where he officiates at the wedding of his youngest daughter, he enunciates parts of the doctrine; he could not be any other than the untiring preacher of the religion of Mazda.

 

NOTES ON GATHIC TERMS AND THEOLOGICAL CONCEPTS

Since many of the theological concepts appear from time to time in their Gathic terms in the translations of the verses, they are listed here together with other Gathic concepts with their meanings, in their proper groupings:

Ahura Mazda meaning the Wise Lord, is the Divinity of Gathic theology. He is the Creator and the Source of Goodness. The two opposed Spirits, Principles, or Mentalities:

  1. Spenta Mainyu, meaning the bountiful or progressive spirit in the ethical dualism, it is the Good-Spirit.

  2. Angre Mainyu is the spirit of destruction or opposition. In the doctrine of ethical dualism it is the Evil Spirit. Although the concept is used, this term itself does not appear in the Gathas. It was employed a little later in the Avestan literature.

The Amesha Spentas, (again, the term not used in the Gathas, but very early in the history of the religion) means the bountiful immortals. They are six abstract concepts, essences as some would say, in terms of which the theology is constructed. They are aspects of Ahura Mazda, through which He is known. Ahura Mazda establishes their independent existence in the ideal realm of Being. Sometimes they are personalized and venerated as such in the Gathas. Sometimes Ahura Mazda is characterized as their father. Some of these essences we can incorporate in our own lives, e.g. the Good-Mind, and Piety or Benevolence. Others are to be viewed as ideals which may be actualized in concrete existence by the actions of right-thinking humans. Here we should note that the distinction between an ideal realm of existence, and a physical realm of existence is made in the Gathas.

The six Amesha Spentas are the following:

  1. Asha Vahishta: The Highest (Best) Truth, also the Highest form of Righteousness. This Truth describes how the World ought to be in its ideal form. Consequently, the intention to actualize it is Righteous Intention, and action according to it the highest form of Righteousness.

  2. Vohu-Mana: The Good-Mind. The mental capacity to comprehend Asha, to understand the nature of our actual world, and recognize the resulting disparity between the ideal and the real. It is thus the instrument of moral cognition.

  3. Spenta Armaity: The Holy Attitude. Theologically, it is the attitude of Piety toward the Source of Being and the Ultimate Truth; Ethically, it is the attitude of Benevolence, a concern for the Good. It may be characterized as Right-Mindedness.

  4. Khshathra-Vairya: The Ideal Dominion. It is the ideal social (and political) structure of the human world. In human terms, we may call it the ideal society. In theological terms, it is the Kingdom of Heaven.

  5. Haurvatat: The state of complete Well-being, physical and spiritual integrity. In its full form it is a state of perfection on earth.

  6. Ameretat: The state of Immortal Bliss.

Sraosha: The concept of Hearing, i.e. receiving a divine message; however, since what is heard is a communication from the Divinity, the concept also implies acceptance or obedience.

There are three non-theological terms-which appear in several of the Gathic verses, they are Kavi, Karpan, and Usig. They are all used in a pejorative sense. In Gathic vocabulary, Kavi meant a chief of a tribe, or a prince, a ruler and military chief of the socio-political organization among the Indo-Iranians. Karpan meant a mumbling priest, a priest whose function was to utter sacred words, usually not comprehensible to the laity, which were supposed to have magical effects in promoting the interest of the rulers. Usig was probably the ritual performing priest who prepared and executed the sacrifice and offerings. These were activities of the cults prevalent in Zarathushtra’s time, cults which he repudiated and displaced with the religion of Ahura Mazda.

 


Synopsis of the Gathas

 

Though the general theology pervades all the verses of the Gathas, certain specific topics dominate some of the Has. To familiarize the reader with these topics a brief synopsis of each Ha is provided.

In the Yasna, the first Ha of the Gathas is numbered 28. However, conceptually, Ha 29 should be the first, because it is an introduction to the revelation incorporated in the Gathas. It is a dramatic mythologic account of a conference in the abode of Ahura Mazda, where Zarathushtra is chosen as the one to bring the wisdom of Ahura Mazda for the guidance of human life upon this earth, the teachings which came to be called the religion of good conscience. This Ha is therefore appropriately listed as Ahunavaiti 1, and the earlier, i.e., Y 28, is to be listed as Ahunavaiti 2. The rest of the Gathas are listed consecutively as they are in the Yasna.

 

Ahunavaiti 1 [Y 29] reflects a time of strife. of political and military conflict, where tribes of pastoralists raided one another’s herds of cattle. These activities were accompanied by sacrifice requiring slaughter of cattle. In this atmosphere of violence and insecurity, the soul of the cow, representing all good living creation, complains to the Divinity and asks for protection. After some discussion in the Celestial Council, Zarathushtra is chosen as the one to bring to humanity the wisdom of Ahura Mazda. The upshot of these considerations is that the way of life offered in these teachings incorporating the wisdom of the Creator is the only protection for the welfare of creation.

Ahunavaiti 2 [Y 28] opens with a prayer presaging the Gathic message. Zarathushtra seeks through Ahura Mazda’s Holy Spirit, the gift of Truth in thought and action; so that he may bring joy to the soul of creation. The first verse, the opening, of this Ha is the most celebrated verse in the Gathas. In the rest of the Ha, the two dominant concepts of Gathic theology, Truth and the Good Mind, are repeatedly invoked. They will enable the wise and the good to heal an afflicted world and improve it by the elimination of deception and violence of the evil-doers.

Ahunavaiti 3 [Y 30]. This Ha presents some of the central themes of the theology. Zarathushtra, in the first verse, declares that he is about to announce the divine teachings. The next verse informs his audience that they should listen to his words with an enlightened mind, and then decide upon a way of life. This is the theme of choice, fundamental to the faith. We humans have free will, we must choose, and bear the responsibility for that choice. What are the fateful alternatives of that choice? These are presented in subsequent verses. That is the doctrine of Good and Evil. For Zarathushtra, Good and Evil existed as such, and each one of us had to choose the good or the evil alternative in every situation in life. Good is chosen by the clarity of our recognition of the Truth and our innate Rightmindedness. Evil, since it is action contrary to the Ideal Truth, is chosen because one is in a state of deception; and evil is destructive of the Righteous Order in this world, a world which ought to evolve to perfection. Evil ultimately will perish. The righteous will achieve the state of Best Consciousness through their right choices, and the opposite will be the state of the evil-doers.

Ahunavaiti 4 [Y 31] is a reinforcement of the theology of the last Ha. Zarathushtra affirms his belief that the teachings he offers are for the benefit of all humanity. Following his personal commitment to the teachings, he asks for insight into his own mission, inquiring how he and his disciples can be more acceptable to Ahura Mazda, and what the devout may rightfully expect.

Ahunavaiti 5 [Y 32]. This Ha is concerned with the evil-doer. The evil-doers Zarathushtra focuses on were the practitioners of the earlier cult of tribal aggrandizement. They had rituals of military preparation which not only excused but justified human and animal slaughter. These worshippers are being condemned. The first verse indicates that they have copied some modes of worship of the Mazda Yasnie community. This has Zarathushtra making an appeal to Ahura Mazda that he and his supporters be accepted as the authentically religious. Upon receiving an affirmative response in the second verse, Zarathushtra provides detailed account of their evil actions, their destructive social practices, and their resulting evil fate in after-life.

Ahunavaiti 6 [Y 33]. This is a particularly personal Ha. The verses, in a very devotional poetic form, are addresses to Ahura Mazda. This Ha was composed probably early in the Prophet’s career. He is asking for an inspiration from Ahura Mazda, assuring him of the Wisdom he has already received. But he desires aid and insight into how he might propagate the Faith. There are several verses of venerative prayer in this Ha, but the last verse is a particularly striking one. For there he offers the breath of his life, his good thoughts and good work as if they were sacrificial offerings to Ahura Mazda. What a contrast from traditional practice!

Ahunavaiti 7 [Y 34]. This is another Ha addressed to the Divinity. Zarathushtra expresses his dedication to Ahura Mazda who has established the moral order in creation, and has offered the righteous believers perfection here and immortal bliss in the life to come. He asks for the blessing of protection for his followers, and inquires about the proper form of worship. The essential form of worship is, of course, the life of good thought, word, and deed. However, for a religious community a common mode of worship is also valuable, perhaps even necessary. Zarathushtra ends this Ha with a commitment to the teachings, with expressions of veneration, and a plea that the Divinity may regenerate this existence towards its intended perfection.

Ushtavaiti 1 [Y 43]. This Ha, poetically addressed to Ahura Mazda, is essentially meant for the ears of his audience. The early verses express confidence in the gift of happiness to those who deserve it, with an attached request for a long and worthy life of the Good Mind. It is followed by a description of one who, through Truth, attains an end better than good. And then we have glimpses into Zarathushtra’s reception of the revelation through Mazda’s Bountiful Spirit and inspiration through the Good Mind, and finally into his vivid realization of Ahura Mazda as the supreme creator, and founder of the Righteous Order.

Ushtavaiti 2 [Y 44]. This Ha is different in tone and content, but not in theology, from the rest of the Gathas. The Ha is known as “the Questions to the Lord,” as each of the verses, except the last, begins with a question to the Lord. The opening verse is a request to Ahura Mazda to let us know how He should be venerated, the implication being that earlier forms of worship were unacceptable, or at least, inappropriate. The next verse asks for the source of the Best Existence. It is declared that one who strives to bring this about through righteousness is a healer of existence. He seems to be suggesting that social amelioration through righteousness is the highest form of veneration. The Ha in a series of verses goes on to inquire about who created aspects of the natural order, the principles of the moral and social order, and the values and ideals of existence. These are, of course, rhetorical questions; the obvious answer being, Ahura Mazda. It is relevant to note that in the pre-Zoroastrian religious culture there were a host of divinities performing these functions. These questions raised by Zarathushtra are an indirect repudiation of that pantheon. The last fourth of the Ha deals with the still active group of unbelievers and opponents. Zarathushtra asks how shall their evil be overcome. He seeks assurance that evil shall be handed over to the good. Clearly these reflections are set in a time of social change and cultural turmoil.

Ushtavaiti 3 [Y 45]. This Ha is addressed to the public gathered to listen to Zarathushtra. In the first verse he asks them to ponder over his teachings with care and clear thought. He is anxious to have the new revelation established, and the prevailing magical practice repudiated. The false teaching is not described, but we know that it was the practice of tribal warfare and the elevation of aggrandizement. This Ha contains no new idea. Zarathushtra praises the Divinity for providing this illuminating message. He assures humanity of the blessings of Perfection and Immortality for living a good life. The Ha ends on a note of confidence that to a person living such a life in reverence to the Mazda, the Lord shall be a friend, or brother, or even father!

Ushtavaiti 4 [Y 46]. This Ha is a poetic reflection on Zarathushtra’s mission. In the early days of his ministry the reaction of those who first heard his message was negative. That, of course, is understandable because Zarathushtra was repudiating the tribal religion of conquest. We read his poignant expression at being abandoned, and yet his firm conviction in the ultimate vindication of his teachings. The verses manifest his resolve in efforts to promulgate the divine message and repudiate the violent cult of the evil-doers. He says “he who looks upon evil with tolerance is no other than evil.” He is looking for followers who will do right for the sake of Right, and thus work for the establishment of the Righteous Order. He is encouraged by the leader of a neighboring tribe accepting his teachings He recalls how an Iranian prince and his court accepted the Faith. He even preaches to his own clan which had earlier repudiated him. The Ha ends on a happy note of the progressive acceptance of the religious teachings, and the hope of a Great Renovation when all of creation will be purged of evil.

Spenta Mainyu 1 [Y 47]. In this short Ha we are presented with a disquisition on Spenta Mainyu. It is mainyu. i.e., the spiritual attitude, or mentality, or vector in creation, often translated as spirit, which however should not be interpreted as an entity with a personality. Since it is Spenta it is Holy, or Bountiful, or Virtuous; no matter how translated, it represents the good pole in the underlying duality of the theology. The verses here make the theological point that this spirit comes from Ahura Mazda and is the one that inspires and activates the Right-thinking who receive the gifts of Perfecting Integrity and ultimately, Immortality. From it the evil are.remote and thus suffer the consequences of alienation and loss of salvation.

Spenta Mainyu 2 [Y 48]. The Ha probably was composed in a period of social and political uncertainty. Zarathushtra asks Ahura Mazda for assurance that the righteous will be vindicated. Although the question is rhetorical, the affirmative response is elaborated by a reinforcement of the teachings already propounded. The good existence shall come by human effort dedicated to righteousness. There is the wish that the righteous with wisdom and right-mindedness rule us thereby bringing peace and prosperity. The contrast between the good and the evil is reformulated. It is through wisdom and understanding that the practice of evil shall be averted. And one who can bring about this form of action to human practice is declared to be a benefactor, a savior of humanity.

Spenta Mainyu 3 [Y 49]. This Ha, as some others before, deals with the conflict between the righteous and the unrighteous. Zarathushtra is being opposed by a powerful figure of the establishment, Bandva, entrenched in the politics of aggrandizement. Zarathushtra asks for Ahura Mazda’s help through the good mind, and reiterates the teachings regarding opposition to evil and furthering the good. These reflections refer to some important historical event, for at some crucial time Zarathushtra sought the illumination of Truth for Frashaoshtra, one of the politically influential among the faithful, and instructed another member of the court, Jamaspa, to be right-following and keep away From the evil liar.

Spenta Mainyu 4 [Y .50]. This is a powerful poetic expression of the Prophet’s reverence for Ahura Mazda, with a feeling of conviction regarding the support he expects from Him. The Ha evinces the Prophet’s sense of vindication, as well as his acceptance by Ahura Mazda. The Ha ends with a reaffirmation of the commitment to restore this existence to its ideal state envisioned in the Truth and realized by the Good Mind.

Vohu Khshathra [Y 51]. This Ha, as its name indicates, is concerned with the “desired dominion” or, to put it in contemporary idiom, the “ideal state” or “ideal society.” Achieving such a social order is the responsibility of rulers. The early verses indicate the fundamental virtues they must possess, viz. the dedication to Truth. Next are listed the necessary attributes of the Good Mind and Rightmindedness. A leadership so equipped will bring security, harmony and happiness to society. It is the establishment of the Righteous Order of Asha that Zarathushtra is invariably proposing as our religio-social, collective obligation. Such a goal is thwarted by the evil-doers whose self-interest and greed violate the establishment of the objective social right. They shall receive their appropriate recompense as the consequence of their evil.

Vahishto Ishti [ Y 53]. This last Ha of the Gathas deals with religious implications surrounding a specific event in the life of the Prophet — the marriage of his youngest daughter. The theological message, presented in the Gathas over and over, is again presented in the sermon Zarathushtra addresses to the marrying couple and others who are also about to marry or are contemplating marriage. Before the marriage ceremony, however, Zarathushtra calls upon his daughter to make her choice with the counsel of enlightened understanding and piety. Subsequent to the choice, Zarathushtra admonishes the bride and groom to live righteous lives and cherish each other; for then they would receive the blessed consequences of the Good Work.


 

Ahunuvaiti Gatha

Yasna 29

 

 

  1. Unto Thee, O Lord, the Soul of Creation cried:
    “For whom didst Thou create me, and who so fashioned me?
    Feuds and fury, violence and the insolence of might have oppressed me;
    None have I to protect me save Thee;
    Command for me then the blessings of a settled, peaceful life.”

  2. Thereupon, the Creator asked Asha:
    “Whom wilt Thou have as saviour for the world,
    to be its protector and upholder of order?
    Who with his sagacity and zeal may bring prosperity;
    Whom wilt Thou have as its lord, who will repel violence,
    and dispel the forces of Evil?”

  3. Thus to the Lord doth Asha, the Truth, reply:
    “No guide is known who can shelter the world from woe,
    None who knows what moves and works Thy lofty plans.
    The most powerful Of beings is he to whose help
    I shall go on an invocation.”

  4. Mazda knows best what works have been wrought
    by the perpetrators of Evil and their followers;
    And He knows what shall be wrought by them ever hereafter.
    The Lord, Ahura is, the sole discerner;
    For us, let it be as He ordains.

  5. And thus we two, my soul and the soul of creation,
    prayed with hands outstretched to the Lord;
    And thus we two urged Mazda with these entreaties:
    “Let not destruction overtake the right-living,
    Let not the diligent good suffer at the hands of evil.”

  6. Then, thus spake Ahura Mazda, the Lord of understanding and wisdom:
    “As there is no righteous spiritual lord or secular chief,
    So have I, as Creator, made thee (Zarathushtra) the protector and guide,
    For the welfare of the world and its diligent people:”

  7. The Wise Lord, with the spirit of Truth and Righteousness,
    made these holy hymns,
    The Benevolent Providence gave these teachings
    for the well-being of the world and its righteous people.
    Whom hast Thou, O Mazda, ordained, verily to give forth,
    through the Good Mind, these bounties to mortals?

  8. (Thus spake Ahura Mazda):
    “The one who alone has hearkened to my precepts
    is known as Zarathushtra Spitama;
    For his Creator and for Truth he wishes to announce
    the Holy Message,
    Wherefore shall I bestow on him the gift of eloquent speech.”

  9. Thereupon the Soul of Creation cried:
    “In my woes I have obtained for help the feeble voice
    of an humble man,
    When I wished for a mighty over-lord!
    Whenever shall I get one to give me help with power
    and with force?”

  10. O Ahura Mazda, and O Spirit of Truth and Right!
    Do Ye grant me and my followers such authority
    and power through Truth,
    That with the Good Mind, we may bring the world
    peace and happiness,
    Of which, Thou, O Lord, art indeed the first possessor.

  11. When shall Truth, the Good Mind, and the Holy Power,
    hasten to me in full, my Lord?
    Do Thou assign them to me for the great dispensation.
    And verily, grant now to us, Thy devoted servants,
    Thy gracious help for this Great Cause!


 

Ahunuvaiti Gatha

Yasna 28

 

 

  1. In humble adoration, with hands outstretched
    I pray to Thee, O Mazda!
    First of all, through Thy Holy spirit vouchsafe to me
    All righteousness of action, all wisdom of the Good Mind,
    That I may thereby bring joy to the Soul of Creation.

  2. O Wise Lord, by virtue of the Good Mind,
    may I reach Thy Presence.
    Grant me the blessings in both worlds,
    the corporeal and the spiritual,
    attainable through Righteousness;
    Thy rewards which bring beatific happiness
    to the faithful blessed with them.

  3. As never before, I shall weave my songs for Thee,
    O Mazda Ahura,
    And for Thee, O Spirits of Truth and the Good Mind,
    Then, shall Armaity, the Spirit of Benevolence,
    make the imperishable Dominion of Heaven flourish.
    For that perfection, come ye all to my invocations.

  4. I shall take the awakened soul to the exalted abode
    with the help of the Good Mind;
    Knowing the blissful rewards of the Wise Lord
    for righteous deeds;
    As long as i have power and am able,
    I shall teach all to seek for Truth and Right.

  5. O Asha, equipped with the knowledge of Truth and Righteousness,
    When shall I see Thee, and Vohu-Mana too!
    And through that Inspiration (Sraosha), when shall I
    be in the presence of the Most Beneficent Mazda!
    With the proclamation of these sacred words shall we
    make the evil ones turn toward Thee O Holy Mazda!

  6. Come, O Eternal Wise Spirit, through the Good Mind,
    With the long lasting gift of Righteousness
    vouchsafed in Thy sublime words.
    Grant unto Zarathushtra, and to us all
    Thy gracious help, O Ahura,
    Whereby we may overcome the evil of wrong-doers.

  7. Grant me, O Truth, the blessing which is the fruit
    of the Good Mind.
    Grant me, O Piety, to me and to Vishtaspa,
    our desire for effectiveness,
    And grant, O Mazda, sovereign Lord,
    That reciting Thy holy words of revelation
    I may make Thy felicitous message heard.

  8. O Thou, Best One, in accord with the Highest Truth,
    The best blessing, I beseech of Thee for
    noble Frashaoshtra and for me.
    And mayest Thou grant to us, for all time,
    the gift of the Good Mind.

  9. And blessed with these bounties, we who have
    always offered our songs of praise to Thee,
    We shall not displease Thee, O Mazda,
    Or Ye, O Truth, and the Best Mind;
    Ye, who are the most helpful to promote
    the Dominion of Blessedness.

  10. Those whom Thou knowest as full worthy, by reason
    of their Righteousness and Good Mind,
    For those, do Thou fulfill their desire for attainment,
    O Mazda Ahura.
    For I well know that the words of these song offerings
    to Thee directed to righteous ends
    Will have their blissful effect.

  11. And through these divine songs, for evermore shall I preserve
    Righteousness and Good Mind for the people.
    To enable me to apprise all, teach me O Mazda Ahura,
    Through Thine own Spirit and Thine own Words,
    the principle of creation of the first existence.


 

Ahunuvaiti Gatha

Yasna 30

 

 

  1. O ye, coming to seek wisdom, now shall I proclaim
    to you the message of the Wise Creator,
    The hymns unto Ahura, and the offerings of the Good Mind,
    The enduring sacred Truth,
    And the glorious vision of the Heavenly Lights
    attainable through Truth sublime.

  2. Hearken with your ears to these best counsels,
    Reflect upon them with illumined judgment.
    Let each one choose his creed with that
    freedom of choice each must have at great events.
    O ye, be awake to these, my announcements.

  3. In the beginning there were two primal spirits,
    Twins spontaneously active,
    These are the Good and the Evil, in thought,
    and in word, and in deed.
    Between these two, let the wise choose aright.
    Be good, not base!

  4. And when these Twin Spirits came together at first,
    They established Life and the Denial of Life;
    And so shall it be till the world will last.
    The worst existence shall be the lot of the followers of evil,
    And the state of Best-Consciousness be the reward of the righteous.

  5. Of these Twin Spirits, the Evil one chooses doing
    the worst,
    While the most bountiful Holy Spirit of Goodness,
    clothing itself in the imperishable heavens,
    chooses Truth and Righteousness.
    And so will those who would please Ahura Mazda
    with righteous deeds, performed with faith in Truth.

  6. Between these two Spirits the Demon-worshipers
    could not discern aright.
    To them Deception came at the time of decision,
    And they chose the Worst Mind.
    With violence then they rushed together,
    Life, in the world, to destroy.

  7. And to support this life comes Armaity, the spirit of
    Benevolence and Right-mindedness.
    Together with the Spirit of Holy Power, the Good Mind, and Truth,
    That the soul, passing through the test of truth,
    shall be with Thee, O Lord.

  8. And when there cometh the ultimate retribution
    for the evil ones,
    Then, at Thy Ordinance, shall the Good Mind
    establish the Kingdom of Heaven, O Ahura!
    For those who will deliver Untruth into the hands of Truth.

  9. So may we be like those making the world progress
    toward perfection;
    May Mazda and the Divine Spirits help us and
    guide our efforts through Truth;
    For a thinking man is where Wisdom is at home.

  10. Then truly cometh the blow of destruction upon Untruth;
    While those of good renown shall be received in
    the promised abode,
    The blessed abode of the Good Mind, of Truth, and
    of the Wise Lord.

  11. O ye mortals, mark these commandments,
    The commandments the Wise Lord has given for
    happiness and for pain:
    Long suffering for the doer of Evil, and bliss
    for the follower of Truth,
    The illumination of salvation for the Righteous ever after.


 

Ahunuvaiti Gatha

Yasna 31

 

 

  1. O ye, mindful to learn, I proclaim to you this message,
    Unheard as yet by those who are destroying the
    civilization of the Righteous,
    with evil ways of the Spirit of Untruth,
    The message, most welcome to Thy followers
    dedicated to Thee, O Mazda!

  2. As you realize not the eternal truths,
    and recognize not the better life,
    I come to you all to guide you in the right selection
    between the two sides
    That we may thence live in accordance with Truth and Right.

  3. Tell me, O Mazda –
    That which Thou shalt bestow by Thy Spirit and Fire,
    The blessing Thou shalt assign through Truth for
    those acting with discernment,
    The Holy Law for their enlightenment.
    Give it in Thy own inspired word
    That I may thereby bring its realization to all.

  4. As you hear our prayer, O Lord,
    Give us the Truth,
    Give us the help of the Divine Spirits,
    Give us the blessing of Armaity,
    the Spirit of Benevolence,
    And through the work of the Best Mind,
    give us the mighty Dominion,
    That we may overcome, thereby,
    the Evil Spirit of Untruth.

  5. Declare to me, what Thou hast, through Right,
    appointed for me as the better portion;
    Teach me, with the help of the Good Mind,
    to know and realize my state,
    And apprise me, O Mazda Ahura, of all things that
    are to be and not to be.

  6. His is indeed the Best State who declares truly
    the message of holy wisdom:
    The message of the perfection of being and rightful immortality,
    Of Mazda’s Kingdom which ever flourishes through the Good Mind.

  7. He who in the First Beginning thus thought:
    Let the glorious heavens be clothed in light;
    He by His supreme understanding created the
    principles of Truth and Light;
    Enabling mortals thereby to maintain the Good Mind.
    O Wise Lord, O ever-the-same Ahura, by Thy Holy Spirit
    make these realms flourish.

  8. Not only did I conceive of Thee, O Mazda
    As the very First and the Last,
    As the Father of the Good Mind,
    As the veritable Creator of Truth and Right.
    As the Lord Judge of our actions in life,
    I beheld these with my very eyes!

  9. Thine was Armaity, the Spirit of Benevolence,
    Thine was the Wisdom which created Life,
    Thine was the Divine Spirit which established choice
    Between the diligent protector of creation, and
    the not diligent.

  10. Of these two, did Creation choose the diligent
    cattle-tending protector.
    As a righteous master and one possessing the Good Mind.
    The deceiving idler, the non-protector, has no share
    in the Holy Message.

  11. By Thy perfect Intelligence, O Mazda
    Thou didst first create us having bodies and
    spiritual consciences,
    And by Thy Thought gave our selves the power of
    thought, word, and deed.
    Thus leaving us free to choose our faith at our own will.

  12. He lifts up his voice, be he the speaker of truth or
    the speaker of falsehood,
    He who knows and he who knows not,
    Each according to his heart and mind,
    May Armaity appeal to the spirits wavering in doubt.

  13. Doctrines and deeds, clearly manifest or dimly recognized,
    Those which impose great penance for a trifling offense;
    These all, through Thy Truth, do not escape Thy perceptive vision.

  14. This I ask Thee, Ahura!
    Of the events happening, and the events to happen,
    What requitals, in accord with their deeds, are
    appointed for the truthful righteous, and
    what for the lying sinners?

  15. This I ask Thee, Ahura!
    What is the penance ordained for one who seeks to
    achieve sovereignty for the Liar;
    For one of evil deeds who seeks not his living
    without harm to the flock of the shepherd;
    And of the good who listen not to the voice of Untruth?

  16. And this I ask Thee, O Mazda Ahura!
    The truthful righteous striving to establish the dominion
    That will further the well-being of his house,
    his province, and his country,
    How shall his spirit be like unto Thee?
    When shall he be worthy of Thee?
    What actions of his shall be most acceptable to Thee?

  17.  Let him that knows, tell him that would know,
    which of the creeds is better,
    The belief of the righteous or of the liar?
    Let not the unenlightened deceive any more!
    Be Thou to us, O Mazda Ahura, the bestower of Good Thought.

  18.  Then let none give ear to the words of the evil liar,
    The liar bringing woe and destruction to house and
    clan, to the province and the land.
    Resist him, then, with force.

  19. Listen unto the teller of Truth, a healer of existence,
    Listen unto him who thinks of Righteousness,
    Listen unto him the enlightened and the knowing,
    Who, standing before Thy holy Fire,
    with his powerful words and flowing tongue,
    Reveals the truth to the contending sides.

  20. The follower of the righteous shall attain the Abode of Light;
    But he who deceived the good and the righteous,
    For him shall the future be long life of misery and
    darkness, woe and despair,
    O ye of evil lives! Your own deeds will lead you to
    this dark existence.

  21. To him, who is Thy true friend in spirit and in
    action, O Mazda Ahura!
    To him shalt Thou give the perfection of integrity
    and immortality;
    To him shalt Thou give perpetual communion with
    Truth and the Holy Dominion,
    And to him shalt Thou give the sustaining power of
    the Good Mind.

  22. Clear is this all, to the man of wisdom,
    as to one who thinks with care:
    He who upholds Truth with all the might of his power,
    He who upholds Truth the utmost in his word and deed,
    He, indeed, is Thy most valued helper, O Mazda Ahura!


 

Ahunuvaiti Gatha

Yasna 32

 

 

  1. The followers of the counsel of Untruth in the
    community and the clan
    Prayed for supreme bliss, even as we do.
    May we be thy messengers
    May we repel the evil of Thy lying opponents!

  2. The Lord Mazda inspiring with the Good Mind,
    The Lord Ahura ruling in his Divine Sovereignty,
    The Lord Most High, protector of Truth and Right,
    Thus did reply:
    “For your flourishing, We have chosen to
    accept your good devotion”

  3. O ye, evil ones,
    You are products of the Evil Mind
    And of arrogance and perversity;
    And so are those who honor you!
    Your evil deeds have long been known in the
    seven regions of the earth.

  4. For, ye liars confound the human mind,
    and make men act their worst,
    Make men speak as lovers of Evil,
    Separated from the Good Mind,
    Far removed from the will of Ahura Mazda,
    Departing from the path of Truth and Right.

  5. And thus the liars defrauded humanity of a life of
    happiness and immortal bliss;
    For the Evil One preaches with Evil Mind and Evil Word
    Evil actions to the lying soul promising supremacy,
    But bringing it to ruin.

  6. These evil-doers, attaining notoriety by their aggression
    Shall surely receive their due, before Thee, O Ahura,
    Lord of the Best Understanding, ever mindful of man’s deserts.
    For the reign of Right shall be honored when Truth
    prevails in Thy realms, O Mazda!

  7. These sinners, none of them, know the end in store for them.
    None of them know of the destruction of evil with
    the flood of glowing metal.
    The final end is indeed known to Thee, O Most Wise Lord!

  8. And one of such sinners was Yima, the son of Vivahvant,
    Who to gratify men sanctioned the flesh of the Cow.
    From among these, let me stand apart
    In Thy discriminating judgment, O Mazda.

  9. The teacher of evil destroys the Understanding,
    He destroys the design of life,
    Snatches away the blessed realization of the Good Mind.
    With these deeply felt words proceeding from my spirit,
    I cry to Thee, O Mazda, and the Spirit of Truth!

  10. He who abhors and shuns the light of the Sun,
    He who refuses to behold with respect the
    living creation of God,
    He who leads the good to wickedness,
    He who makes the meadows waterless and the pastures desolate,
    He who lets fly his weapon against the innocent,
    An enemy of my faith, a destroyer of Thy
    principles is he, O Lord!

  11. The fabric of my life work they destroy,
    The evil doers, extolled as masters and mistresses,
    Who dispossess persons of their rightful heritage
    And those who will retard the good and truthful
    from the realm of the Good Mind, O Mazda.

  12. To those who deter men from the best action,
    To those who destroy with a callous heart,
    To those who place the evil and the wicked above
    Truth and Right,
    To those who yearn for the rule of the Lie,
    Doth Mazda declare: “Evil are you all.”

  13. These evil-doers,
    Who shall dwell in the abode of the Worst Mind,
    Who yearn for ill-gotten gain, and seethe from discontent,
    Who wantonly destroy life;
    Away from Thy Prophet’s message,
    They shall not behold the Vision of Truth.

  14. The evil Grehma and the tribal chiefs
    For long have designed to promote the Lie,
    To sacrifice the Cow and desolate the good living creation,
    Kindling the fire of drink in their aid.

  15. Thy message shall undo the work of the evil-doers,
    No more shall the wicked Kavis, and the Karpans,
    rule over the lives of the righteous.
    But the good shall be escorted through Perfection
    and Immortality
    To the Realm of the Best Mental Existence!

  16. Following the enlightening doctrine is for us indeed
    the state of excellence,
    Even when the vengeful harm of the wicked threaten us.
    The power of Thy teaching, O Mazda Ahura, shall
    avert that harm from befalling on Thy devotees.


 

Ahunuvaiti Gatha

Yasna 33

 

 

  1. In accordance with the Primeval Laws of this existence,
    The Ratu (Judge) shall deal perfect justice to all;
    To the good who chose the Truth,
    To the evil who chose Falsehood,
    And to those in whom good and evil are mixed.

  2. He who opposes Evil by his thought or word,
    Or by the work of his own two hands,
    He who instructs people to their good,
    Makes a worthy offering of faith to Thy Purpose,
    O Ahura Mazda!

  3. He who is most good to the righteous,
    Be he a noble, or a peasant, or a dependent,
    He who zealously makes the good living creation flourish,
    He shall come to dwell with Truth in the realm of
    the Good Mind.

  4. I am he who by devotion and prayer shall
    Keep disobedience and the Evil Mind far from Thee, O Mazda,
    Keep insolent heresy away from the nobles,
    The distrust spread by slanderers, from the community,
    And the evil of destruction from the pastures of cattle.

  5. I invoke Thy Sraosha (Inspiration) as the greatest of
    all aids at the Consummation,
    To attain Life Eternal in Thy Kingdom of the Good Mind,
    To attain the straight path of Truth wherein Thou
    dwelleth, O Mazda Ahura!

  6. I, who as Thy steadfast priest, have learned the
    straight path of Asha (Truth and Righteousness),
    And would learn from the Best Mind how best to
    do what should be done,
    Therefore I ask of Thee, My Lord,
    Bless me with Thy Vision and grant me a
    consultation with Thee!

  7. Come hither to me, in Thine own self, O Mazda!
    Come unmistakably, O Thou Best One, with
    The Spirit of Truth and The Good Mind!
    Let my message be heard beyond the limits of
    the community of adherents.
    Let the brilliant offerings of reverential prayers
    be manifest to all.

  8. Do Thou make known to me, the Ultimate Good,
    the final end,
    That I may bring it about with the help of the Good Mind.
    Accept, O Mazda, the homage of Thy faithful worshipper,
    Accept, O Truth, my hymn of praise for Thee,
    Grant to us, O Spirits of Deathless Weal and Immortality,
    your own two blessings.

  9. And with the blessings of these comrade Spirits of
    Perfection and Immortality,
    Let all advance to Thee, O Mazda!
    Let all promote the cause of Truth!
    Let all advance to the most exalted Abode of
    Wisdom with a mind best fitted for it!
    Sure is the support of these Twain, whose spirits work together.

  10. All the felicities of life, which have been,
    which are, and which shall be,
    Come to us through Thy Divine Grace, O Mazda;
    Through Thy Holy Power, let our persons advance to the
    wished-for beatitude,
    With the help of the Good Mind, with the help of Truth !

  11. Hearken unto me, O Most Benevolent Ahura Mazda!
    O ye Spirits of Piety and Truth that bless our existence!
    O ye Good Mind, and the Dominion of Heaven!
    Be gracious unto us as we receive our recompense!

  12. Arise for me, O Ahura!
    Through my devotion give me steadfastness of purpose,
    Through Thy Most Bounteous Spirit make me pure in goodness,
    Through the Spirit of Righteousness grant me the
    courage of spiritual might,
    And through the Good Mind give me the trust of the people.

  13. With Thy divine grace, O Lord.
    Make wide the vision of my mind;
    Make manifest Thy everlasting attributes;
    Make known the blessings of Thy Kingdom of
    Heaven, and the joyous recompense of
    the Good Mind,
    O Holy Armaity, inspire our consciousness with
    the Ultimate Truth.

  14. To the Lord Mazda, as an offering,
    Zarathushtra dedicates the works of his life,
    even his very self.
    The noblest essence of his Good Thought.
    To Truth, he consecrates obedience to its principles
    In word and deed, and all the might of his
    spiritual authority.


 

Ahunuvaiti Gatha

Yasna 34

 

 

  1. The deeds, the words, the worship,
    For which Thou hast established
    Immortality, Righteous existence and the Kingdom of Perfection;
    All these deeds and words and worship
    I dedicate first of all to Thee, O Lord Mazda!

  2. Inspired by the Good Mind, these deeds come from
    the good spirit of the virtuous person,
    Whose soul follows the path of Truth,
    Approaching Thy Presence, O Mazda, singing
    hymns of Thy praise.

  3. To Thee, and to Truth we tender our offerings of
    reverential adoration.
    In Thy Kingdom may all the living achieve their
    destiny of perfection through the Good Mind.
    For, indeed, the advancement to Thy exalted presence is
    forever secure among the right thinking, O Mazda!

  4. Thy sacred fire, O Ahura, mighty through Truth,
    most swift and powerful,
    May its helpful radiance be a bringer of joy to the good;
    But for the malicious wicked, may its power their evil disclose!

  5. What is Thy power? What is thy domain, O Mazda,
    How can one’s actions justify Thy protection, O Mazda?
    Indeed, thus:
    Through Righteousness, and through the Benevolent Mind,
    and by protecting Thy poor.
    We will declare Thy exaltation to all — even to the powers
    of evil and the wicked destroyers among men.

  6. As Thou art truly thus, O Mazda,
    The very Being of Truth and the Good Mind,
    Then give me a sign during this existence of mine,
    That I may approach with confident joy, in veneration,
    singing of Thy glory.

  7. Where are those, O Mazda, with authentic
    enlightenment of the Good Mind,
    Who even in times of woe
    Would by Thy treasured doctrines spread the light?
    None do I know other than Thee;
    Protect us, then, through Truth.

  8. For the evil foes by their hostile actions
    have spread fear;
    Misery and ruin have they brought on many.
    Unmindful of Thy commands, the powerful
    oppress the weak, O Mazda!
    They think not, alas, of Truth and Right,
    From the Good Mind they always remain afar.

  9. Those who spurn the bountiful Spirit of Piety
    Knowing how precious it is to thine initiate,
    Wicked are they by their ignorance and neglect of
    the Good Mind;
    From them Truth turns away, as from us flee the
    beasts of prey.

  10. The man of understanding will call for the
    deeds of the Good Mind,
    A fruitful result of a faithful life;
    He who knows the zeal of Armaity is a creative
    follower of Truth and Right,
    Which are indeed the mighty-influences of Thy
    Kingdom of Heaven, O Mazda.

  11. Thy twin Spirits of Perfection and immortality
    sustain our aspiration.
    The zealous Armaity with Truth, shall assure the
    permanence of Thy Kingdom of the Good Mind.
    By these divine forces, O Mazda, dost Thou bless
    the foes of Thy foes.

  12. What are Thy commandments, and what dost Thou
    desire, O Mazda?
    What of invocation, what of worship?
    Speak forth, my Lord, that I may hear Thee!
    That I may know what will bestow on us Thy blessed rewards.
    Teach me through the Good Mind, the noble path of
    Truth and Right.

  13. It is the Path of the Good Mind which Thou hast
    manifested to me, O Ahura!
    Whereby the well-doers, in accordance with the teaching
    of the Spiritual Guides, acting in harmony
    with Truth alone,
    Shall pass onward to the assigned reward of which
    Thou art the bestower, O Mazda!

  14. This precious reward of Thine, O Mazda,
    Thou givest by way of the Good Mind,
    Thou givest to vigorous bodily life of him who
    works for and tends to Thy Creation,
    Who furthers Thy beneficent plan by the power of
    his understanding,
    Guided by Thy Spirit of Truth.

  15. Make known to me, O Mazda, the best teachings and actions,
    Actuated by the Good Mind, and inspired by Truth,
    As I express my aspiration in my songs of veneration for Thee.
    By Thy Sovereign Authority do Thou regenerate this
    existence, through Thy gracious Will, O Ahura!


 

Ushtavaiti Gatha

Yasna 43

 

 

  1. Happiness be the lot of him who works for the
    happiness of others.
    May the Lord grant him health and endurance.
    For the effort to uphold Truth, I beseech these very
    gifts from Thee!
    Mayest Thou, through Armaity, the Spirit of Rightmindedness,
    Bless me with the perfection of a life guided by the Good Mind!

  2. And may we have the Best the Lord bestows;
    As we strive for enlightened purpose, may we attain it!
    Through Thy Most Holy Spirit, O Mazda,
    Inspire us with Truth, revealed through the Good Mind,
    And bless us with things good, for all the days of a long life!

  3. He who teaches others the righteous path of truth and happiness,
    Both in the material world and also the spiritual,
    The path leading to Thy abode, O Ahura;
    He attains an end better than good.
    A generous and enlightened helper, a faithful worthy
    of Thee, is he, O Mazda

  4. Verily I regard Thee as the Holy and Powerful
    Benefactor, O Mazda.
    For Thou bestoweth upon the righteous as well as
    the wicked their recompense,
    From the flaming splendour of Thy Fire, mighty
    through Asha (Truth),
    The power of the Good Mind comes to me, O Mazda.

  5. Verily I believed Thee, O Mazda Ahura, to be the
    Supreme Benevolent Providence.
    For I beheld Thee as the primeval source of creation.
    For by Thy perfect wisdom Thou shalt render just
    recompense for all actions,
    Good to the good, evil to the evil,
    At the last turning of creation.

  6. Then at the last, shalt Thou come, with Thy
    Bountiful Spirit, O Mazda!
    With Thy Sovereign Power, and with Thy Good Mind,
    The Good Mind which brings prosperity to the world.
    Right dedication shall teach the Eternal Laws of Thy Wisdom,
    The Wisdom which none can deceive.

  7. Verily I believed Thee, O Mazda, as the
    Supreme Benevolent Providence.
    When the Spirit of the Good Mind came and asked me:
    Who art Thou?
    Whose art Thou?
    How dost Thou propose to enlighten the people
    and answer their questionings?

  8. I replied:–“Firstly, 1 am Zarathushtra”
    “A veritable opponent of the evil-doer, but a
    powerful friend of the good, am I”
    So long as I can sing my songs of praise for Thee, O Mazda!
    So long shall I strive to enlighten and awaken all to
    the realization of Thy Eternal Dominion.”

  9. Verily I believed Thee, O Mazda Ahura, to be the
    Supreme Benevolent Providence.
    When the Good Mind came to me and asked:
    “What wouldst thou choose?”
    Before Thy Fire in veneration, I replied:
    “So far as it is in my power, I shall cherish the gift of Righteousness.”

  10. And grant me Righteousness, for verily I invoke it of Thee!
    Earnestly I yearn to proceed in life with Armaity
    the Spirit of Rightmindedness.
    Teach us how to question Thee, for Thy answers console us,
    The answers which lend strength to the Leaders in
    their prayerful wishes.

  11. Verily I believed Thee O Mazda Ahura, to be the
    Supreme Benevolent Providence,
    When the Good Mind came to me with enlightenment,
    When first I received and became wise with Thy words,
    And though the task be difficult, and hardship may
    come my way,
    I shall proclaim Thy message, which Thou declarest
    to be the best.

  12. And when Thou didst instruct me in Righteousness,
    Thy command to go forth and proclaim Thy
    revelation was not unheeded;
    Even before the sublime enlightenment coming with
    Thy messenger Sraosha,
    Bringing us the destiny of our appropriate rewards.

  13. Verily I believed Thee, O Mazda Ahura, to be the
    Supreme Benevolent Providence,
    When the Good Mind came to me ascertaining the
    aim of my aspiration,
    Grant me, what none has yet obtained from Thee,
    The way to a long life of blessed existence for the
    Good Creation subject to Thy Dominion.

  14. As the wise and powerful Lord would give to
    a friend, so give me Thy bliss-producing
    wisdom, O Mazda!
    Endowed with Thy Authority, with Thy Spirit of Righteousness,
    I stand with all the followers of Thy teachings
    To proclaim the message of Thy holy creed.

  15. Verily I believed Thee, O Mazda Ahura, to be the
    Supreme Benevolent Providence,
    When the Good Mind came to me and told me assuringly,
    That a reflective, contented mind is the best possession.
    Let not a leader compromise with, or propitiate evil-doers,
    For they treat the righteous as enemies.

  16. Thus prays, O Ahura Mazda, Zarathushtra and
    those who choose to follow Thy Most
    Benevolent Spirit;
    May Righteousness become incarnate in the faithful
    with enduring vigor!
    In the resplendence of Thy sun-lit realms may
    Armaity, the Spirit of Rightmindedness reside!
    May it grant recompense to the righteous in
    accordance with their deeds, through the Good Mind.


 

Ushtavaiti Gatha

Yasna 44

 

 

  1. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    In praise of one like Thee, O Mazda, how shall I
    venerate Thee?
    May not one like Thee, teach it to a friend like me?
    And may the friendly help of Asha, the Truth, come
    to us through the Good Mind!

  2. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    What is the source of the Best Existence?
    How shall one who seeks it, receive the blessed
    recompense?
    Surely such a holy one through Righteousness,
    Is a healer of existence, beneficent unto all,
    a genuine friend, O Mazda?

  3. This I ask Thee, tell me truly O Ahura;
    In the beginning, who was the father and creator of
    Asha, the Truth?
    Who determined the paths of the sun and the stars?
    Who, but Thee, so arranged the moon to wax and wane?
    This, O Mazda, and much more, I fain would know.

  4. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    Who so balanced the earth and heavens to keep them apart?
    Who created the waters and the plants?
    Who yoked swiftness to the winds and motion to the clouds?
    Who is the Creator of the Good-Mind, O Mazda?

  5. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    What great artificer created light and darkness?
    What artificer produced the phenomena of sleep and
    wakeful activity?
    Who made the dawn, noon, and night
    Which call the enlightened to their duties?

  6. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    Whether what I now announce is verily the truth,
    Doth Armaity, through the benevolence of our
    actions, further the cause of Truth?
    Doth the Kingdom of Heaven rest on the foundation
    of the Good Mind?
    For whom hast Thou created this richly endowed world?

  7. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    Who established blessed Armaity, the spirit of
    Benevolence, in the exalted dominion?
    Who, with foresight, made the son reverential to the father?
    Thus I seek to comprehend Thee, O Mazda,
    Through the Benevolent Spirit, the Giver of all!

  8. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    What is Thy message for my enlightenment, O Mazda,
    In the principles which I seek from the Good Mind,
    That I may understand the purpose of existence through Truth?
    How shall my soul rise to the ever greater
    attainment of the Good?

  9. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    How shall I bring to perfection the insight into the Faith,
    Which Thou, Lord of Supreme Wisdom hast
    instructed me with Thy Authority?
    May it be, that we, Thy followers, dwell with
    Truth and the Good Mind in Thy abode!

  10. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    The Faith that is the best for all that are,
    That which, based on Truth, should prosper all existence,
    That which establishes Righteous and Just actions
    inspired by Piety,
    And which has for its intelligent aspiration
    Realization of Thee, O Mazda!

  11. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    To those to whom Thy Faith shall be announced,
    How shall Armaity, the Spirit of Rightmindedness
    come to them?
    I, Thy prophet, from the first was ordained by
    Thee, for this task.
    All others, I see, are of alienated spirit.

  12. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    Who among those with whom I discourse, is
    righteous and who a liar?
    With which of the two is the malevolent Spirit of Untruth?
    Or is he himself the Unrighteous who opposes Thy blessings?
    How is it that he is not thought to be the harmful Evil-One?

  13. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    How shall we dispel the Spirit of Untruth from among us?
    Let it be with the unfaithful and the disobedient,
    Who strive not to be the companions of Truth,
    Who care not to listen to the counsels of the Good Mind.

  14. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    How shall I deliver Evil into the hands of
    Righteousness?
    How shall I render it ineffective through the holy
    words of Thy Teaching?
    How shall I frustrate the followers of Evil, O Mazda,
    That they come to their blind extinction ?

  15. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    If Thou rulest through Truth and mean to protect me,
    When the two hosts, in hostility, shall clashing meet,
    Then, for the Principles which Thou desirest to maintain
    Which of the two will be granted victory?

  16. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    Who shall be victorious, and
    Shall, through Thy Principles, protect the living?
    Assure me by a vision, whom doest Thou wish to
    be the judge that heals the world,
    Then let Sraosha, the Spirit of Obedience, come to
    him with the Good Mind, O Mazda,
    And to all those whom Thou wishest, whosoever they be!

  17. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    How shall I attain my aspiration to reach Thee?
    How can I attain Thy Perfection, O Mazda, and
    make my voice effectual?
    Through these divine songs, receiving their guiding
    light from Truth,
    May all be led up to the two gifts of Well-being and
    Immortality!

  18. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    How, indeed, shall I earn the final reward through
    Truth and Right?
    Shall I obtain ten mares with a stallion and a camel?
    How shall I bring to all mankind the gifts of
    Perfection and Immortality as announced by Thee?

  19. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, O Ahura;
    He who will not give due recompense to the one
    who will earn it,
    Even unto the Truthful man who fulfils his word
    and work,
    What penalty should he pay first here?
    For I know well what he is to receive at the last, hereafter.

  20. Have the Daevas ever been good rulers, O Mazda?
    Verily, I ask of those who befriend them.
    By their aid, the Karpan and Usig, give the world
    up to violence,
    Through them the Kavis grow strong with raid and rapine,
    Caring not that the pastures of the world would
    thrive through Truth’s law of order and progress.


 

Ushtavaiti Gatha

Yasna 45

 

 

  1. Hearken unto me, O ye who come from near and from far!
    Listen to me, as I speak forth now, P
    onder over these teachings with care and clear thought.
    Never shall the False Teacher destroy existence a second time,
    For his tongue stands mute, his creed stands exposed.

  2. I shall tell you now of the Two Spirits at the
    beginning of Creation.
    The Holier of the two thus speaks to the Evil One:
    “Neither our thoughts nor our teachings,
    Neither intentions nor choices,
    Neither our words nor our deeds,
    Neither our consciences nor our souls ever agree:’

  3. I shall tell you now of the First Principle of Life
    which Ahura Mazda, the All-Knowing,
    declared to me.
    Verily, those of you who will not fulfil the
    requirements of the sacred message,
    The holy words as I comprehend and declare them,
    For them shall the end of existence be misery.

  4. I shall tell you now of what is best in this life;
    That is to act in consonance with the Spirit of
    Truth, the holy Asha,
    Thereby realizing Mazda who created him,
    Mazda, the father of Vohu-Mana, the ever active Good Mind,
    Mazda, the father of Armaity, of benevolence and zeal;
    The all seeing Lord whom none can deceive.

  5. I shall tell you now what the Most Holy declared to me,
    As the word that is best for mortals to hear:
    “To them who shall give heed to Me with dedication,
    I shall come with the blessings of
    Perfection and Immortality for actions of
    their Good Spirit.”
    So said Ahura Mazda.

  6. Thus do I announce the Greatest of AIl,
    I sing his praise through his Truth, beneficent to all.
    Let Mazda Ahura hearken unto them with his Holy Spirit,
    For the Good Mind has instructed me to realize Him.
    By His Wisdom let Him guide me to the ultimate End.

  7. Those who are living, those who have been, and
    those who are yet to be,
    Shall attain one of the awards He ordains.
    In immortality shall the soul of the righteous be ever
    in splendor.
    But in misery the soul of the wicked shall surely be.
    These laws hath Mazda Ahura ordained through His
    Sovereign Authority.

  8. With my songs of praise and veneration
    I seek the acceptance of my Lord!
    For now indeed I see Him in my eyes, as the Lord
    of the Good Spirit, the Lord of Good Word
    and Deed.
    I have realized Him through Truth, He who is
    Mazda Ahura!
    Verity I shall render Him homage in the House of Songs.

  9. Him with our good mind we seek to propitiate,
    Who gave us discernment through which we receive
    weal and woe.
    May Ahura Mazda through his Sovereign Authority
    prosper our peasantry, our workmen, and
    our herds.
    And the Good Mind establish the rule of the holy
    law of Truth.

  10. Him, with these our songs of devotion, we shall exalt,
    Him, famed for ever as Mazda Ahura, the Wise Creator!
    For verily, through his Spirit of Righteousness and
    the Good Mind, He has ordained,
    That Perfection and Immortality shall be in His Dominion
    And vitality in perpetuity in His House!

  11. Whoso shuns the evil liar and the mortals who deny the Lord,
    Whoso reveres Him, the Most High, through the
    Holy Faith of His appointed savior,
    To him, O Mazda, shalt Thou be a friend, brother,
    or even father!


 

Ushtavaiti Gatha

Yasna 46

 

 

  1. To what land shall I turn, and whither turning shall I go?
    For my kinsmen and my peers have deserted me.
    Not the people, nor their wicked rulers, favor me.
    How shall I satisfy Thee, O Ahura Mazda?

  2. I know, Mazda, why I am a man foiled in his wish.
    I have but only a few with me, and scantier still are
    my means for their support.
    Behold, my Lord, I address my appeal to Thee,
    Grant me Thy gracious help, as a friend might give
    to a friend.
    Grant me, through Truth, the acquisition of the riches
    of the Good Mind.

  3. When, O Mazda, shall the day dawn for establishing
    the cause of Truth?
    When shall the wise Spiritual Guides spread
    effectively Thy sublime teachings?
    To whose help will come the wisdom of the Good Mind?
    For me, indeed, who has chosen Thee as my
    instructor, O Ahura Mazda!

  4. The evil-doer holds back the prosperity of the
    followers of Truth,
    Infamous is he, dangerous in his deeds!
    Whoso drives him from the kingdom, removes him
    from peoples’ lives,
    Shall go forth preparing the way for the ideal life.

  5. One in a position of power through divine ordinance
    or human covenant, follower of Truth,
    Upon encountering a stranger, recognized as a
    follower of Falsehood,
    Should reveal to him the noble life of rectitude.
    Protect him from destruction, O Mazda Ahura!

  6. But he who will not help to transform Evil,
    Shall be with those in the abode of the Lie,
    For he who looks upon evil with tolerance is
    no other than evil.
    And indeed righteous is he who supports the righteous.
    These are Thy Laws since the dawn of creation, O Ahura.

  7. When evil marks me as the object of its assault,
    Who shall be the protector of one like me,
    Who, but Thy Sacred Fire and Thy Thought.
    Verily through their powerful force shall Truth and
    Righteousness come into their own.
    O Ahura, bring this to full realization!

  8. Should one be intent upon bringing harm to that which is ours,
    May not the form of such devastation reach us!
    But back upon him, let the harm recoil.
    The evil of his actions shall keep him far from the Good Life,
    But not from ill, O Mazda.

  9. Where is the faithful man who heeds me as the first to teach
    That, verily, Thou art the Highest to invoke,
    In very deed, the Bountiful Providence, The Holy Lord!
    Who will hear, through the Good Mind
    What Truth made known to me,
    The Truth revealed by the Creator Supreme!

  10. Whoever, man or woman, does what Thou, O
    Mazda Ahura, knowest to be the best in Life.
    Whoever does right for the sake of Right,
    Whoever in authority, governs with the aid of the Good Mind;
    I shall bring all these to join in songs of Thy Praise,
    Forth, shall I with them cross the Bridge of Judgment.

  11. The Karpans and the Kavis have tyrannized over humanity,
    Their evil actions are destructive of Life.
    Verily, the conscience of such a one shall torment his soul.
    And thus, when they shall come to the Bridge of Judgment,
    Their abode, for endless ages, shall be in the House of the Lie.

  12. When among the kinsmen and descendants of the
    renowned Turanian, Fryana, Right arises,
    When through the spiritual zeal of Armaity, they
    further the welfare of the country,
    Then shall Ahura Mazda bring them the illumination
    of the Good Mind,
    And show them the path of Regeneration.

  13. He who shall please Spitama Zarathushtra, by his
    noble actions,
    He indeed is worthy himself to proclaim the
    doctrines of Thy Faith, O Ahura!
    Him shall Ahura Mazda bless with Good Life,
    He shall flourish through the Good Mind,
    Verily, he is a faithful friend of Thine, O Truth !

  14. “O Zarathushtra, what man is thy faithful friend for
    the consummation of the Great Cause?
    Who wishes to have thy mission announced?”
    Verily, he is King Vishtaspa!
    Those whom Thou shalt gather in Thy Abode, O Mazda Ahura,
    Those shall I address with words of the Good Mind.

  15. O ye Spitamas, descendants of Haechataspa,
    I declare to you:
    With wisdom distinguish well between Right and Wrong.
    Let your deeds advance the Right,
    In conformity with the primeval laws of Ahura Mazda.

  16. O Frashaoshtra, of the clan of Hvogva,
    Go thou with those faithful whom we both have
    chosen for the world’s illumination,
    Where Devotion and Zeal shall be united with Truth,
    Where the Good Mind holds the power of Sovereignty,
    There, where the splendor of Lord Mazda abides.

  17. I shall announce in verse, rather than prose, O
    Jamaspa Hvogva,
    He who renders prayers and deeds in perfect obedience
    Shall, from Mazda Ahura and the Spirit of Truth,
    receive protection,
    When the just are separated from the unjust.

  18. He who is with me in our highest aspiration,
    On him shall I bestow, through the Good Mind, the
    best in my power;
    But torment shall be upon him who to us is a
    tormenting oppressor.
    O Lord Mazda and O Spirit of Truth, striving thus
    to accomplish Your wish,
    Is the decision of my understanding.
    And thus do I will.

  19. He, who following Truth, shall work for me,
    Zarathushtra,
    To bring us toward the Great Renovation, in
    accordance with Thy purpose,
    For him shall be all honor and content in this world,
    And a fitting state in the life beyond.
    As, verily, Thou hast revealed to me, O
    All-knowing Mazda!


 

Spenta Mainyu Gatha

Yasna 47

 

 

  1. For the Best Mind, and for the Best word and deed
    actuated by Truth,
    From the Bountiful spirit of the Lord Mazda,
    May He in Sovereign Authority and through the
    spirit of Right-mindedness
    Bestow upon us His two great blessings,
    Perfecting integrity here and Immortality hereafter.

  2. The best work of this Bountiful spirit, he fulfils
    Endowed with the Good Mind, speaks word of wisdom,
    Works with his hands as prompted by active Benevolence,
    Inspired by the insight that Thou, O Mazda, art
    the Father of Truth.

  3. Thou art the Holy Lord of this Blessed spirit, O Mazda!
    For in consultation with the Good Mind,
    Thou hast created this world for our satisfaction,
    And provided the protection of Armaity’s
    benevolence to bring us peace.

  4. By this Bountiful spirit, O Mazda,
    The evil-liars feel afflicted, but not so the righteous.
    Whether a man’s possession be great or small
    Let him ever aspire to righteousness and abjure the wicked.

  5. By this Bountiful spirit of Thine, O Mazda,
    Thou hast assigned all that is best to the good;
    But far from Thy Grace shall the evil have his portion,
    The Liar, abiding, by his own deeds, in the home of
    the Evil Mind.

  6. By this Bountiful spirit of Thine, O Mazda
    And through Thy Holy Fire,
    Thou shalt apportion good and evil to the two
    contending parties,
    With Truth and Right-minded justice standing by
    Thy side,
    Verily, this shall cause many to hear Thy Message.


 

Spenta Mainyu Gatha

Yasna 48

 

 

  1. When at the time of awarding, men, with the help of
    Truth shall vanquish the Lie;
    When deceptions and untruths, for long decried, of
    false gods and baser men stand exposed,
    Then, at the time of salvation, there shall be full
    adoration of Thy Glory !

  2. Tell me, O Ahura, for Thou art the all-knowing,
    Shall the righteous overcome the evil foe,
    Even before the great crisis overtakes us?
    For that were indeed a blessed event for the world’s
    regeneration.

  3. O Benevolent, Omniscient Mazda!
    To the man understanding Thy Message
    Thou dost bestow the profound treasure of Thy
    Teachings;
    That which Thou hast established through Truth!
    With an intelligence inspired by the Good Mind,
    Verily, one becomes worthy of Thee, O Mazda!

  4. Those whose minds move to uplifting thoughts
    And those others whose minds turn to what is base,
    Their words and deeds will reflect their thoughts;
    For their choices will follow their sentiments.
    Their ends will be different, as Thy Wisdom declares.

  5. Let those who know how to rule well, and not the
    evil rulers, rule us!
    Let them rule us with wisdom – rule us with skill O Piety!
    O Thou, bring humanity to perfection, and give
    hallowed blessing for its future life!
    Let man be active, zealously caring for his land
    and creatures so that they may flourish.

  6. For Armaity, the holy spirit of Rightmindedness,
    with the power of determined thought,
    Shall bless us with peace, prosperity and vigor of spirit.
    For her, did Ahura Mazda make the plants grow,
    through Truth’s law of Nature,
    At the time of the origination of Life.

  7. O ye, who would be bound by the Good Mind, and
    strive to spread the Truth,
    O ye, who desire to sustain the Holy Cause,
    Suppress all anger and violence,
    Abandon all ill-will and strife!
    Such benevolent men shall be in Thy Abode, O Ahura.

  8. Will the joy of Thy good kingdom of Heaven,
    Be the blessed state appointed for me, O Ahura!
    What manifestation of Thy Truth shall be welcomed
    by the pious
    And inspire them to strive for the great deeds of the
    Good Spirit?

  9. When shall I know, O Mazda, how dost Thou
    rule with truth and justice,
    Over those who oppress and cast me in fear and doubt?
    Let the scheme of Good Thought be made known to me,
    Should not the savior-to-be know what the blessed
    outcome shall be?

  10. When shall good men come to understand and
    spread Thy Wisdom, O Mazda?
    When shall they remove the filthy evil of intoxication?
    The evil by which the wicked sacrificers and the evil
    lords of the lands
    Make desolate the world!

  11. When, O Mazda, shall Piety come with Truth in our lands,
    When shall happy life in peaceful pastures come to
    us through good rule?
    Who shall bring peace to us from cruel and wicked men?
    To whom shall the wisdom of the Good Mind come?

  12. Such are the saviors of the earth,
    Who, inspired by the Good Mind, cause betterment,
    By actions in tune with the laws of Truth and justice.
    They are indeed appointed by Thee to dispel
    violence, O Mazda!


 

Spenta Mainyu Gatha

Yasna 49

 

 

  1. To me who has endeavored to win over the
    disaffected to the cause of Truth,
    To me, the opposing Bandva has been a stubborn foe!
    Come to me with Thy gift of helpful grace, O Mazda!
    Through Thy Good-Mind inspire us to overcome this evil!

  2. The teachings of this evil Bandva has long hindered
    me in my work.
    This harmful man has fallen away from Truth and Right!
    He cares not that Armaity’s right-mindedness brings prosperity,
    Impervious is he to the influence of the Good Mind!

  3. According to Thy Faith, O Mazda, the choice of
    Righteousness is its own vindication,
    The choice of evil, its own undoing;
    Hence do I seek and strive for the fellowship of
    Good Thought,
    And renounce all association with the follower of Evil.

  4. Those who by their evil tongue increase discord,
    And those with ill purpose who spread violence and dissolution,
    Those who seek to work with evil-doers and not with the good,
    Verily, they would establish the heresy of Untruth,
    the perverted system of the evil!

  5. But he who cherishes Thy Way with the Good Mind
    Is himself a promoter of abundance and prosperity,
    A follower of the wisdom of Truth, an intimate of
    Piety is he, O Mazda!
    Verily, he shall be in Thy Kingdom of Heaven, with
    all that is within, O Ahura!

  6. I beseech Thee, O Mazda, reveal Thy Holy Plan,
    Let Truth declare Thy Divine Wisdom,
    So that we may ever choose and act aright
    And make the truths of Thy Faith widely known.

  7. Do thou listen to this. O Ahura!
    Let him also listen who is endowed with the Good Mind,
    Let him hear too who is inspired by the Spirit of Truth.
    Who among my kinsman, who among my friends,
    shall live by Thy Laws
    And bring recognition of Thy Faith among the people?

  8. Do thou bestow on Frashaoshtra a beneficent
    alliance with Truth,
    Verily, this I too ask of Thee, O Mazda Ahura,
    And to us, bestow Thou the Good in Thy Holy Kingdom,
    May we be, for all time, Thy inspired messengers!

  9. Let the preceptor born to bring deliverance hear this
    ordinance.
    The man of Truth shall not work or rule in fellowship
    with the evil-liar.
    Souls partaking of Right, shall receive the excellent reward
    At the judgment, O Jamaspa!

  10. And this, O Mazda, rest in Thy care –
    The good-minded and the souls of the righteous
    with the spirit of Piety and veneration,
    Protected in Thy great Dominion with undying power.

  11. To the wicked rulers,
    To the men of evil deeds, of evil words, of evil thoughts;
    Their depraved souls shall go to meet them with that
    which is foul.
    In the House of the Lie, they shall verily find their abode.

  12. How wilt Thou come to my help O Truth,
    To Zarathushtra who am invoking Thee?
    What hast Thou for me, O Good Mind?
    And on me, who with songs of praise has been in
    Thy grace O Mazda Ahura,
    Bestow that which is the Best.


 

Spenta Mainyu Gatha

Yasna 50

 

 

  1. On whom can I count for help?
    On whom can I depend to protect my possessions?
    On whom but on Thy Truth,
    And on Thyself, O Mazda Ahura, when invoked
    with the Enlightened Mind!

  2. Tell me, O Mazda, how should they act and work
    Who care for this joy-giving world with its pastures?
    Living upright lives under the recurring splendor of
    the sun, apart from the repudiators,
    Living ordered lives in harmony with the law of Truth,
    These shall reap the Blessed Reward!

  3. The resolute one who moved by the principles of Thy Faith
    Extends the prosperity of order to his neighbors
    And works the land the evil now hold desolate,
    Earns through Righteousness, the Blessed Recompense
    Thy Good Mind has promised in Thy Kingdom of Heaven.

  4. With Truth moving my heart,
    With Best Thought inspiring my mind,
    With all the might of spiritual force within me,
    I venerate Thee, O Mazda, with songs of Thy praise!
    And at the Last, when I shall stand at Thy gate
    I shall hear the echo of my prayers from Thy Abode of Songs.

  5. To Thy Prophet inspired by Thy Truth, O Mazda,
    To Thy Prophet revealing Thy Message in hymns,
    Do Thou come with Thy Grace, O Lord!
    Do Thou give him Thy hand of manifest help,
    That he may bring enlightenment and bliss.

  6. As I lift my voice in songs of Thy veneration,
    Actuated by Truth to direct my speech to the right
    path of wisdom;
    Give to Zarathushtra, O Mazda, the inspiration of
    the Good Mind to enunciate Thy ordinance.

  7. Yoked are the ardent steeds of Thy veneration,
    As we approach Thy realm, O Mazda,
    Come, Great Power, unto me with Thy spirit of
    Truth and Thy Good Mind,
    Hasten thus unto my help!

  8. Singing hymns of Thy praise, O Lord,
    And with hands outstretched shall I approach Thee.
    In adoration, with enlightenment from Truth and the
    Good Mind
    I shall verily reach Thy Presence, O Mazda!

  9. With these hymns shall I come to Thee, O Lord!
    To Thy Truth, aided by the deeds of the Good Mind,
    Seeking earnestly the reward of the beneficent, and
    receiving it,
    I shall be master of my own destiny.

  10. The good deeds that we shall perform as those we
    have performed,
    The things that are precious to the eye illumined by
    the Good-Mind,
    The radiance of the sun shimmering down which
    heralds the day,
    They all, in accord with Truth, testify to Thy glory,
    O Mazda Ahura!

  11. The poet of Thy praise, I call myself, O Mazda !
    And so shall I remain, O Truth, as long as my
    power lasts,
    Let the World-Creator help me through the Good Mind,
    Through His Grace let that be done which shall
    most promote the Great Cause!


 

Vohu-Khshathra  Gatha

Yasna 51

 

 

  1. A righteous government is of all the most to be wished for,
    Bearing of blessing and good fortune in the highest.
    Guided by the law of Truth, supported by
    dedication and zeal,
    It blossoms into the Best of Order, a Kingdom of Heaven!
    To effect this I shall work now and ever more.

  2. Grant Thou to me, O Mazda, Thy Rule of Righteousness
    Which from the beginning has been Thine.
    And Thou, O spirit of Rightmindedness, grant me
    the power of will,
    And vouchsafe Thy blessings on him who realizes
    Thee in ever serving with the Good Mind.

  3. All these, indeed, gather unto Thee, O Mazda,
    They who have done Thy work,
    Whose actions accord with the Truth,
    Whose words proceed from the Good Mind,
    Whose Inspirer art Thou from the very beginning!

  4. Where shall we find security from threat of harm?
    Where, compassion for our precarious state?
    When shall Truth come into its own?
    Where is the power of Holy Benevolence?
    Where is the illumination of the Good Mind?
    And whither, O Mazda, is Thy Dominion?

  5. All these questions do we ask,
    That receiving guidance from Truth, we may work
    for the welfare of creation,
    Ever wise in dedication,
    Ever upright in action,
    Acknowledging the Teacher of Truth appointed for
    the just well-being of the people.

  6. At the last turning of life,
    To the faithful making the right choice according to
    His norm,
    Doth Ahura Mazda, the Lord judge, in His sovereign Power,
    Bestow an end better than good.
    But to him who shall not serve the cause of good
    He giveth an end worse than bad.
    At the last turning of life.

  7. O Fashioner of the World! O Creator of the waters and plants!
    Grant Thou to me Thy blessings of Perfection and Immortality!
    O Most Bountiful Spirit, grant me the strength
    enduring to bring to realization Thy
    announced purpose,
    With the help of the Good Mind.

  8. On Thy behalf then shall I speak forth, O Mazda,
    As one that knows to those who would know:
    “Evil is the portion of the wicked,
    But bliss for the one who stands by Righteousness,”
    Let this message be announced with joy to the wise!

  9. With what understanding shalt Thou, O Mazda,
    give judgment to the two contending sides,
    Through Thy fire, a token of the final molten test?
    Let there be a sign of the separation:
    The destruction of the evil, from the blessedness of
    the righteous,

  10. He who strives to destroy me, O Mazda,
    Without cause and without justice,
    An offspring of evil is he, maleficent to all that live.
    Here I invoke the spirit of Truth
    To come to me with Thy noble reward, O Mazda!

  11. Where is the man, O Mazda
    Who shall come as friend of Spitama Zarathushtra,
    Who shall take counsel with Truth,
    Who endowed with the zeal of Bounteous Armaity,
    Who inspired by the Good Mind,
    Shall be fit for the spread of the Great Cause?

  12. On this bridge of transient earthly life
    No followers of the wicked lords have pleased
    Zarathushtra Spitama;
    Thy servant aspiring for lofty attainment
    Will seek with sincerity to repel their efforts.

  13. The Wrong of the wicked shall perish before the
    Right of the truthful.
    Standing at the Bridge of Judgment,
    The evil soul beholds the path of the righteous,
    But the evil of his actions, the words of his evil
    tongue, prove to be his fetters,
    In fear, he finds that he fails.

  14. The evil Karpans do not preach the laws of settled
    and peaceful life.
    They cause suffering to the earth and its creatures,
    Their deeds and their doctrines shall consign them at
    last to the House of the Lie.

  15. The Abode of Songs where Ahura Mazda was the
    first presence,
    Is the Blessed Reward, designated by me,
    Zarathushtra,
    For the supporters of the Great Cause!
    It shall be bestowed upon you
    If you accept the enlightenment of the Good Mind,
    If you tread the path of Truth.

  16. The King Vishtaspa, through righteous power,
    has attained the grasp of the Great Cause.
    The inspired Wisdom of the doctrine has reached him,
    The Wisdom of the Good Faith which Holy Ahura
    Mazda devised through the Universal Law
    of Truth.
    Let thus, the hail of salvation be proclaimed.

  17. To me, has Frashaoshtra Hvogva manifested the
    dedication of himself to the Cause.
    May Mazda Ahura bestow on him the profoundest
    truths of the good Faith,
    May Mazda grant him the Will to promulgate the
    Cause of Truths.

  18. Jamaspa Hvogva aspiring to enlightened power
    through Truth,
    Has chosen for himself the Wisdom of Thy Faith;
    And so choosing, does he attain the Kingdom of
    the Good Mind.
    Grant O Lord, that we may so teach people
    As ever to seek their protection in Thee.

  19. O Maidyomaha of the Spitama family, even as you,
    The man who with wisdom, achieving insight into the Faith,
    Shall dedicate his life through fruitful deeds to a better
    existence for all,
    And instruct them in the Laws of Truth and Right,
    rdained by Mazda;
    That man has indeed served the Great Cause!

  20. O ye all, working with one will,
    Let Truth, Good Thought and Rightmindedness,
    Through which you progress to perfection,
    Bring to you the wished-for happiness!
    O Mazda, awaiting this Bliss from Thee,
    Our reverent homage we offer unto Thee!

  21. The man of devotion is beneficent to all.
    He is beneficent because of his wisdom,
    Because of his realization of truth,
    Because of the goodness in his thoughts, in his
    words, in his acts.
    Unto him Ahura Mazda shall grant the Kingdom of
    the Good Mind,
    And verily, this blessing I too long for!

  22. The good persons of righteous worship,
    Those who have been before and those who exist now,
    Whom Ahura Mazda knowest well,
    I invoke them in my prayers by their names,
    And shall approach them with deep reverence.


 

Vahishto-Ishti  Gatha

Yasna 53

 

 

  1. The highest aspirations of Zarathushtra Spitama
    attain fruition, O Mazda,
    When thou dost grant him for his righteousness
    Blissful existence enduring for all times;
    When all, at last, turn to him
    To accept and practice the principles of the Good Religion!

  2. Let them advance in thought, word, and deed
    Toward the satisfaction of Mazda with reverential worship,
    King Vishtaspa, Frashaoshtra, and the successors of
    Zarathushtra Spitama.
    May they teach all to keep to the established straight path,
    Announced by the spiritual preceptors, and ordained by Ahura,

  3. To Pouruchista, scion of the clans of Haechataspa and Spitama,
    Youngest of the daughters of Zarathushtra,
    Grant the constant aid of the Good Mind,
    The strong support of Thy Truth,
    That she may take counsel with enlightened understanding,
    And with devotion act well as wisdom may direct!

  4. (Pouruchista:)
    Verily have I, as a righteous one, chosen him,
    And shall honor father and husband,
    And be righteous to nobles and peasants.
    For righteousness let our heritage be the radiance of
    the Good Mind,
    May Mazda Ahura grant the blessing of the Good
    Faith for all time!

  5. (Zarathushtra:)
    These words do I address to you maidens who are
    being married,
    These counsels do I give to you, bridegrooms,
    Heed them in your minds and lay them to heart.
    Let each cherish the other with Righteousness.
    Then surely the reward of a happy life shall be yours.

  6. This, indeed is the case, O ye men and women!
    No happiness can be yours if the spirit of
    Falsehood directs your lives.
    Cast off from your selves the bonds that chain you
    to Untruth.
    Satisfaction linked with dishonor or with harm to
    others is a prison for the seeker;
    The faithless-evil bring sorrow to others and
    destroy their own spiritual lives hereafter.

  7. O ye, men and women!
    When faithful zeal inspires your life,
    When tainted thoughts and intentions are rooted out,
    When the evil within you is destroyed for ever,
    Then shall the Blessed Reward be yours for the
    Good Work.
    And if you fail, “Alas, Alas” shall be your final words!

  8. Let the evil-doers stand foiled in their wish,
    Let them be abandoned to confusion and ruin!
    Let those of virtuous principles frustrate them,
    prevent their harm,
    And make way for the advent of happiness and
    peace on our humble dwellings!
    Let the Great Upholder of virtue bring the evil
    to naught.
    And let it be quick!

  9. The men of evil creed torment Thy followers, O Lord!
    They set themselves to condemn the worthy, to
    despise the good.
    Where is the righteous lordship that will smite them
    and deprive them of their freedom?
    O Mazda, Thine is the sovereign Power
    Whereby Thou shalt give the right-living and needy
    their ultimate better portion!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: