Updates from September, 2016 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • user 3:25 am on 27th September 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Avesta: Ahunavaiti Gatha, Harlez-Goertzel Translation 

    Ahunavaiti Gatha, liberally translated by Zebulon Tariq Ulysses Goertzel from the 1877 French translation of Charles de Harlez.
    == Translator’s Notes ==
    *Note that all capitalizations were introduced by me or de Harlez; there are no capitalized words in the Avestan original.
    *Everything in parentheses was introduced by de Harlez, not me, and I omitted some of his parentheses.
    *There a number of cases where de Harlez translated the name of an Ameshaçpenta, for example Asha as ‘purity’, and I changed it back to the Avestan name.
    *I will further revise these translations in the future insha’Allah
    =====================
    XXVIII
    Inspired thoughts, words, and actions of Holy Zarathushtra. May the Ameshaçpentas propagate the Gathas. Honor to you, pure Gathas!

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

    XXIX
    [The Priest]

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

    [Asha]

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

    [Geush Urva]

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

    [Ahura Mazda]

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

    XXX

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

    XXXI

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

    XXXII

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

    XXXIII

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

    XXXIV

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

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

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

      Wow, keep up the work man.

  • user 10:35 pm on 16th September 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Hadokht Nask,   

    Avesta: Hadokht Nask on What Happens After You Die 

    This is a translation of Charles de Harlez’s 1877 French translation. If you want to see how wildly divergent translations of this text can be, take a look at Darmesteter’s translation.
    HADOKHT NASK FRAGMENT ON WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU DIE
    1-2. Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda: Ahura Mazda, very holy spirit, creator of visible good things, pure being! When a righteous one dies, where does his soul stay that night?
    4. So Ahura Mazda told him: it stays near the head, reciting the Ustavaiti Gatha, repeating wishes for joy: Happiness[1] to him, happiness to all whom Ahura Mazda wishes to give it to, He who rules as He pleases. During this night, it tastes as much joy as all the joy in the whole world.
    3-4. During the second night, where does the soul stay? Ahura Mazda responded: it stays near the head, reciting the Ustavaiti Gatha, repeating wishes for joy: Happiness to him, happiness to all whom Ahura Mazda wishes to give it to, He who rules as He pleases. During this night, it tastes as much joy as all the joy in the whole world.
    5-6. During the third night, where does the soul stay? Ahura Mazda responded: it stays near the head, reciting the Ustavaiti Gatha, repeating wishes for joy: Happiness to him, happiness to all whom Ahura Mazda wishes to give it to, He who rules as He pleases. During this night, it tastes as much joy as all the joy in the whole world.
    7-9. Upon the passing of the third night to the beginning of the glow of dawn, the soul of the righteous man finds itself in the midst of plants. A fragrance comes to it (contained in the plants). A wind bringing it to him comes from the middle of the southern regions, a fragrant wind, more fragrant than all other winds. The soul of the righteous man inhales this wind into his nose. From whence blows this wind more fragrant than any I have ever inhaled into my nostrils? From this fragrance, his own nature comes to him in the form of a young maiden, beautiful, bright, with rosy arms, strong, majestic, with an upright and slender physique, with an admirable body, noble, of illustrious race, fifteen years of age, with a body brighter than the brightest of creatures.
    10. And the soul of the righteous one asks her: What maiden are you, most beautiful of all maidens I have ever seen?
    11. And his own nature responds: I am your good thoughts, your good words and your good actions, the very nature [Daêna] of your own body. Who has adorned you with[2] this grandeur, this excellence, this beauty, emitting a fragrant scent, triumphant, dominating your enemies, such as you appear before me?
    12. It is you, oh young man, your good thoughts, your good words, your good actions, your very nature [Daêna], that has adorned me with this grandeur, this excellence, this beauty, emitting a fragrant scent, triumphant, dominating my enemies, such as I appear before you.[3]
    13. When you saw up there [in the world] someone practicing magic, engaging in seduction or oppression, you bowed and recited the Gathas loudly, honoring[4] the pure waters and the fire, son of Ahura Mazda and seeking to please the faithful man, whether he came from near or far. Thus you rendered me, I who was already lovely, even lovelier; though seated on a high seat, you have made me sit on an even higher seat, through these good thoughts, through these holy words, through these good works.
    14. Thus men after this will honor[5] me, I Ahura Mazda, long-honored, consulted (by those who seek the truth).
    15-16. The soul of the righteous takes a first step and stops in Humata [good thoughts]; it takes a second step and stops in Hukta [good words]; it takes a third step and stops in Huarsta [good deeds]; it takes a fourth step and stops at the place of beginningless lights. A righteous one who died before him questions him, asking: How, oh dead righteous one, did you come from the home of the herds, from the land of abundant unions, from the corporeal world, to the spiritual world; from the perishable world to the eternal world? How has happiness come to you for eternity [footnote: How has good being been yours enduringly?]?
    17-18. And Ahura Mazda speaks: Ask nothing of this man whom you question, this man who has come from a formidable, horrible road, who distances (himself from the world), upon the separation of the body and the intelligence. What suits him best after death is having food brought to him, golden oil, for the young man whose thoughts, words, inclinations, and actions were holy. It is the food (that is suitable) after death for the maiden who has persevered in holy thoughts, words and actions, always well guided, surrendered to her master, continually pure.
    19-24. Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda: Ahura Mazda, very holy spirit… pure being. When a wicked one dies, where does his soul stay that night? Ahura Mazda replied: It goes around the head, o holy Zarathustra, saying loudly this verse of the Gathas:  To what land shall I take myself, where shall I flee? [Yasna 46:1] On the same night, this soul suffers as much suffering as all the suffering in the world.
    During the second night, where does the soul stay? Ahura Mazda replied: It goes around the head, o holy Zarathustra, saying loudly this verse of the Gathas:  To what land shall I take myself, where shall I flee? [Yasna 46:1] On the same night, this soul suffers as much suffering as all the suffering in the world.
    During the third night, where does the soul stay? Ahura Mazda replied: It goes around the head, o holy Zarathustra, saying loudly this verse of the Gathas:  To what land shall I take myself, where shall I flee? [Yasna 46:1] On the same night, this soul suffers as much suffering as all the suffering in the world.
    25-26. Upon the passing of the third night to the beginning of the glow of dawn, the soul of the evil man finds itself in (a place of) horror, and a disgusting odor comes to him. The wind that brings it blows from the north, from the northern countries, spreading a fetid stench, more fetid than any other wind. And the soul of the wicked man inhales this wind into his nose: From whence blows this fetidly reeking wind, more fetid than any I have ever smelled?
    ——-
    A large part of the Avestan text has been lost here, but here is a plausible-sounding reconstruction of the gist of this section, drawing on the Bundahishn and obvious patterns in the chapter:
    From this fetid wind, his own nature comes to him in the form of a maiden, hideous, ugly, maladroit, reeking.
    And the soul of the wicked one, speaking to her, asks: what maiden are you, most hideous of all maidens I have ever seen?
    And his own nature responds; I am your evil thoughts, your evil words and your evil actions, the very nature [Daêna] of your own body. Who has given you this sickliness, this ugliness, this stench, this feebleness, such as you appear before me?
    It is you, o evil man, your evil thoughts, your evil words, your evil actions, your very nature [Daêna], that has given me this sickliness, this ugliness, this stench, this feebleness, such as I appear before you.
    You did evil on the earth. Thus you rendered me very hideous; seated on a high seat, you have made me sit on a very low seat, through these evil thoughts, through these evil words, through these evil works.
    The soul of the wicked one takes a first step and stops in Evil Thoughts; it takes a second step and stops in Evil Words; it takes a third step and stops in Evil Deeds.
    ——-
    To return to the extant Avesta:
    33-34. The soul of the wicked takes a fourth step and stops in beginningless darkness. An evil one who died before him questions him, asking: How did you die, o wicked one, how did you come from the home of the herds, from the land of abundant desires, from the corporeal world, to the spiritual world; from the perishable world to the world that never ends? How has this misfortune come to you for eternity?
    35-36. Angra Mainyu cries: Ask nothing of this man whom you question, this man who has come from a formidable, horrible road, who distances (himself from the world), upon the separation of the body and the intelligence. What suits him after death is having food brought to him, that which is poison or mixed with poison, for the young man whose thoughts, words, inclinations, and actions were wicked. It is the food (that is suitable) after death for the maiden who lived wickedly, whose thoughts, words and actions, were continually evil, who followed a bad direction, independent of any master.
    [1] The word here translated as ‘happiness’ and ‘joy’ is ushta, designating supreme spiritual happiness. De Harlez translates it as salut, meaning salvation.
    [2] Other translations include ‘endowed you with’, ‘willed for you’, and ‘loved for you’.
    [3] Due to major omissions on the part of de Harlez, I consulted the Avestan and Darmesteter’s translation to translate this verse.
    [4] Other translations could be ‘worship’, ‘praise’, ‘celebrate’, ‘revere’; the word is ýazemnô.
    [5] Ibid.
    (This translation is Copyright 2017 Zebulon Ulysses Goertzel and free to share with the Creative Commons 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Please credit both me and de Harlez.)

     
  • user 5:01 am on 7th September 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Armenian paganism, helleno-iranian syncretism, polytheism, syncretism   

    Armenian Paganism 

    Summarized from René Grousset’s Histoire de l’Armenie.

    (Scholarly Preamble: One can observe in Armenian paganism the promiscuous and disorganized nature of polytheism, with gods being adopted in a haphazard and disorganized manner, and their names being changed willy-nilly. This can be contrasted with the linguistically centralized perfection of Islam, in which there is a clear, authorized list of Divine Names with fixed pronunciations and meanings, and in which there is a consistent doctrine of tawhid attached to these names. Considering the Zoroastrian and Hellenic influences on Armenian religion, there must have been some Armenian pagans who were monotheists in the same manner as the Zoroastrians or Platonists.)

    Armenian paganism featured a diverse pantheon of deities, some Phrygian, some Iranian, possibly some Urartian, some Assyro-Babylonian, some Syrian, and some Greco-Roman.

    I reckon the earliest forms of Armenian paganism must have been predominantly Phrygian, since the Armenian people were originally Thraco-Phrygian. Little is known of the religion of the Phrygians.

    One of the Phrygian deities worshipped in ancient Armenia was Ma, the Great Mother, a telluric deity who has been identified with the Cybele of the Greeks. « The Phrygian myth of Cybele-Attis seems to have its equivalent in Armenia with the rock-born deity of mount Diorphus, near the Araxes. »

    Armenian pagans practiced sacred slavery or hierodulism, including « sacred prostitution », as was common among the Phrygians.

    Armenian religion was heavily influenced by Iranian religion. Hence the use in Armenia of Iranian words like baga (« god ») and yasht (« sacrifice »). The Armenians worshipped Ahura Mazda as Aramazd, the « father of all the gods ». They worshipped Mithra as Mihr. They worshipped the sun as Arev or Areg-akn (« the sun of the eye» aka the visible sun), and the moon as Lusin. They worshipped Tir, the scribe of Aramazd. They worshipped the Iranian god of war Verethragna as Vahagn. Vahagn was known as a Hercules-like figure and a slayer of dragons.

    They also worshipped Anahita, an Iranian deity of water and fertility, « the mother of all wisdom », with the name Anaitis. Anahita was celebrated in the month of Navasart with song, dance and flowers. She was revered as Armenia’s special protector.

    The Armenian Astlik seems, in Grousset’s estimation, to correspond to the Assyrian Ishtar. She was the goddess of voluptuousness and maternity, and the lover of Vahagn. The Armenian Nane corresponds to various gods of other nations. The Armenian Barcham appears to be derived from the Syrian Baal Shamin.

    The Romans (who dominated Armenia and won it over to the West) introduced their gods alongside the existing Armenian gods: « The Olympian Zeus was placed in the temple of Aramazd in Ani, while Athena fraternised with Nane in the temple of Til, and Artemis shared the sanctuary of Erez with Anahita, and Hephaestus was not annoyed to meet the god Mihr in the sanctuary they kept for him at Bagaridj. »

    Tir was identified with Apollo and sometimes Hermes. Tir and Mihr and probably some other gods gave their names to several Armenian rulers, notably Tiridate and Mihridate (« gift of Tir », « gift of Mihr »).

    Thanks to the Romans, Armenia became Christian.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel