Zoroastrianism (Part I)


by Dimo Dimov

This shall be the first Part of a short introduction into the basics of the Indoiranian spiritual essence, known as Zoroastrianism. One might probably say, this animistic cult, attributed with a strong ritual sense, is to be the first ever monotheistic religion. Its transcendent shape has overtaken several developments throughout its period, about 3000 B.C.
The roots of Zoroastrianism has to be recognized in the neolithic and pre-aryan period in the realms of nowadaýs Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Many of its features were transformed from the local cults and were given a new, more developed meaning.

The reasoning by which man, conscious himself of being alive, attributes conscious life to all other things, whether static or like him capable motion – regarding each natural phenomenon as “thou”, living entity. The supposed cognitive force in this entity was called by proto-indo-aryans its “manyu” (think) – the developed vedic sense is then “force”, and the Avestan sense is translated as spirit. So a clod of earth was felt to be filled with the Mainyu of earth.
Mainyus of water, life, joy, prosperity, strife.

Important terms of Zoroastrianism are:

Ahura (lord) – aryan divine title, personified attributed of deity, envoked by Zoroaster
Ahura Mazdah – god of the Aryans, holy spirit – greates of the Ahuras, perceived as God
Avesta – composite body of holy texts
Gathas – dominated by a coherent theology; systematic works, taught by Zoroaster

In this first chapter SVARGA presents you the first of the Gathas:

Gatha Ahunavaiti

1. With outspread hands in petition for that help, O Mazdah, first of all things I will pray for the works of the holy spirit, O thou the Right, whereby I may please the will of Good Thought and the Ox-soul.
2. I who would serve you, O Mazdah Ahura and Good Thought – do ye give through the Right the blessings of both worlds, the bodily and that of Thought, which set the faithful
in felicity.
3. I who would praise you, as never before, Right and Good Thought, and Mazdah Ahura, and those for whom Piety makes and imperishable Dominion grow: come ye to my help at my call.
4. I who have set my heart on watching over the soul, in union with Good Thought, and as knowing the rewards of Mazdah Ahura for our works, will, while I have power and strength, teach men to seek after Right.
5. O, thou the Right, shall I see thee and Good Thought, as one that knows – the throne
of the mightiest Ahura and the Obedience of Mazdah? Through this word of promise in our tongue will we turn the robber horde unto the Greatest.
6. Come thou with Good Thought, give through Right, O Mazdah, as thy gift to Zarathustra by thy sure words, long-enduring mighty help and to us, O Ahura, whereby we may overcome foes.
7. Grant, O thou the Right, the reward, the blessings of Good Thought; O Piety, give our desire to Vishtaspa and o me; O thou, Mazdah (wise one) and Sovran, grant that your Prophet may perform the word of hearing.
8. The best I ask of thee, O Best, Ahura, of one will with the Best Right, desiring them for the hero Frashaoshtra and myself and for them to whom thou wilt give them, gifts of Good Thought for aye.
9. With these bounties, O Ahura, may we never provoke your wrath, O Mazdah and Right and Best Thought, we who have been eager in bringing you songs of praise. Ye are they that are mightiest to advance desires and the Dominion of Blessings.
10. The Wise whom thou knowest as wothy for their right and their good thought, for them do thou fulfill their longing by attainment. For I know words of prayer are effectual with you which tend to a good matter.
11. I whou would thereby preserve Right and Good Thought for everymore, do thou teach me, O Mazdah Ahura, from thy spirit by thy mouth it will be with the First Life.

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