The CHARIOT of TIME in the poetic gathas of Zarathustra, and Yasna 44.17

The idea that within infinite time, an finite number of events, will recur again and again infinitely, is predominant in all Indo-European religions.

There is a notion that time is composed of cycles, and that there is an eternal return or recurrence of all existence, energies and events. It follows therefore that nothing is really new, all learning is in fact memory, and that there is a heavy weight of destiny.

The ancient Aryan seer/prophet Zarathustra does NOT contradict the idea that time moves in cycles. Zarathustra is however ADAMANT that we are NOT ENCHAINED to the heavy weight of destiny.

One of the fundamental pillars of Zarathustra’s philosophy is the unshakeable belief in the unique ability of life/existence to modify itself and evolve, to transform, surpass via action/active dynamism. Zoroastrian doctrine can be summarized in realization of the will power for the purpose of “moving forward and greater becoming.”

The CREATIVE ORDER of cosmos ašá/arthá is revealed through transcending the limits, and the perpetual striving for excellence/the immortal brilliance. “Mindfulness, choice and self-overcoming evolution” define the Zoroastrian belief system. The Mazdean faith is summarized in the projection of the spirit/will power onto the existential world, time and space.

Prophet Zarathustra talks about the CHARIOT of TIME in Yasna 44.17 of his poetic gathas. The term for “the circular movement of time” is zarem čaránî. The ancient commentaries translate the term as zamán kardárî.

The gathic word for TIME, zarem comes from the root zar “grow old, ripen, mature.” Zarem has a secondary meaning of “purpose, plan, design, and goal.”

Old Avestan zar/zarem “ripen, mature, grow old,” is cognate with Young Avestan zurván “time,” Old Church Slavonic zūretĭ “ripen, mature,” Ossetian zærand “venerable, old,” Greek gérōn “old,” (Gerontology “study of aging,”) Vedic jîryati “grow old,” Tocharian śärā “mature.”

Avestan čaránî comes from čaraiti, to “circulate, travel/journey in a chariot.” The secondary meaning of “goal, purpose, plan, design” in zar, implies that the “chariot of time’s movement” zarem čaránî has a goal, purpose of “moving forward for the purpose of ever greater becoming!”

Hence, Time is the mediator of ahriman’s defeat, and the genial vehicle of the supreme god of Mind/Inspiring Creativity Mazdá, to OVERCOME flaws, limitations and imperfections of existence.

The poetic imagery in Yasna 44.17 continues with the “chariot axle” áskeitîm of all the immortal powers (šmá “You in Plural.”)

Avestan áskeitîm is cognate with Greek áksōn, Vedic ākśá, meaning “axle, axis” which evokes the ideas of “sequence, movement, and progression.” The ancient commentaries translate the term as kardárî “activity/venture.

The imagery continues in the same gathic verse with the phrase mãnθrá ýé ráθemö, the “vehicle of mantra,” and/or the “formulas that unleash the power of mind/spirit.”

Avestan raθa is cognate with Vedic rátha, Lithuanian rãtas, Old Irish roth, and Latin rota to rotate, wheel, wagon, vehicle.”

In the poetic gathas and Zoroastrianism “Cyclical Time” is not just the repetition of ages, it is rather the journey of godhood, and the adventure to “surpass, overcome, and excel.”

The Chariot of Time is an aspect of illimitable-ness of Ahûrá Mazdá, manifested in “discovery, progress, new horizons, and infinite vision/light.”

Time moves in circles, and in its travels manifests the limitless vision/wisdom of the Immortal Gods, and thereby becomes a vehicle of godhood.

In the same verse, the Aryan Prophet sings of “being büž.diiá united saröi with haûrvátá (Greek hólos,) well-being, wholeness, power to heal/regenerate, and ameretátá immortality/deathless-ness.”

saröi büž.diiái haûrvátá ameretátá.

Avestan saröi/sar “unite, mix, mingle with,” is cognate with Vedic śrīnáti, Greek kirnēmi/ krater (κρατήρ, a large wine-mixing vessel) Latin crater or cratus, and the word grail.

In Mazdean cosmogony, Time has two essential aspects: the Time without shore/the Eternal Time, and the limited time.

Eternal Time is of Öhrmazdean essence, united with the dimension of ideals/wholeness and the Immortals. Eternal Time gives to each fraction of limited time, its dimension of boundless light, and its direction and meaning.

I like to conclude with the beautiful Yasna 44.17 of the poetic gathas:

 kaθá mazdá zarem čaránî hačá šmat

 áskeitîm šmá.kãm hiiat.čá möi xva.iiát váš aæšö

saröi büž.diiái haûrvátá ameretátá

 avá mãnθrá ýé ráθemö ašát hačá

How does the chariot of time move in unison/harmony with you (in plural,) god of inspiring creativity/mind power?

Through Your (You in Plural, referring to all the Immortals,) Ventures/Journeys, my voice, revelation shall become ever more powerful,

Being allied/united with wholeness, immortality,

In the vehicle of thought-provoking formulas, advancing in accord with excellence, ašá/arthá



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Avestan Druj “distortion, devastation, lie,” Old Persian Drauga, and Old Norse Draugr


In Zoroastrianism, the ahûrás are regarded as “eternal quest for excellence,” embodied in the superb artistry of the cosmic order. The connecting link between Immortal Gods and men is ašá/arthá “excellence, discovery, creative order, truth.”

Ašá/Arthá is the very nature of the “ahûrás or the God-Powers of mazdá,” and the source of all wonders/good ašem vôhü.

Mortal men join with Immortals in the struggle against drûj “lie, deceit, delusion, distortion and devastation.”

Just as ašá/arthá is the reference point for ratü “solver of riddles” and mánθrá “thought provoking formulas” of ahûrá mazdá the “supreme god of inspiring creativity, imagination, mind-power;” drûj is the reference point for the “devious scheming” of the daævás the “trickster deities.”

Drûj represents “distortion, devastation and torment.” It is the adversary of the cosmic order, and the foundation of Mazdean dualism, in the dual confrontation between “cosmic order/truth” ašá/arthá and “distortion, lie” drûj.

Drûj is attested 18 times in the poetic gathas. It comes once in the form of drûḵš and 18 times as drûj. The adjective term dreg.váv and/or dreg.vant in the gathas, is a derivation and means “follower/partisan of drûj, a deceiver, distorter, trickster!”

Avestan drûj is a cognate of Vedic druh “devastation, afflicting demon,” Proto Germanic draugaz “distortion, lie,” Icelandic drɑuɣr̩ “ghost, vampire,” Old Norse draugr “shadow, phantom,” German Trug “fraud, deception,” and Persian dorūġ “lie.”

In Norse mythology, draugr are undead figures that wreak havoc on living beings. Draugr carry the unmistakable stench of decay, have the appearance of a dead body, are swollen, blackened and hideous to look at. The Old Norse account of draugr is very much reminiscent of the Avestan nasü drûj “decay/lie within a necro/nasü or dead matter, corpse,” mentioned so often in the Avestan purity texts!

Drûj “distortion, lie,” motivates the choice and action of the daævás the “trickster deities.” In the poetic gathas, daævás because of their “scheming,” love of “bloody sacrifices,” and their “hostility to greater becoming/betterment” of mortal men, considered NOT to be divine, but are diabolic.”

In Zoroastrianism, slavish relation/submission to an “arrogant, cruel, tyrannical and tormenting deity” denotes demon worship, and NOT god-worship. True God-Worship is rooted in the will power to ENHANCE Life and MAGNIFY GODHOOD ahûrö masatá mazdáv.

In Mazd-yasna, mortal man’s destiny is to embody the brilliant virtues of the Immortals, greatness of the spirit, and to become Godlike. Man stands with his great soul beside Immortal Gods, as their ally and friend, and not their sacrificing slave.

An ally and friend of the Immortals, is described as a-drujiiantö “free from torment, devastation, distortion and lie,” in the poetic gathas.

While the slaves of the trickster deities are called tanû.drûj- “lie-incarnate or tangible falsehood,” and miθrö.druj- “insincere, untruthful in friendship with the Immortal Gods.”

I like to conclude first by this beautiful passage from the gathas and then by an Old Persian Inscription of Darius the Great:

kat ašavá mazdá véñg.hat dreg.vañ.tem

When shall the follower of excellence/cosmic order win over the treacherous liar, O Mazda (God of Inspiring Creativity/Mind Power?)

The battle between the “follower of excellence/truth” and the “follower of devastation and lie” refers to the preceding verse in the gathas namely: the “triumph of Immortals over diabolic deities and mortals,” for the age of Immortals and god-men will come at last.

ameretá.itî daævá.iš.čá mašiiá.iš.čá

A great god is ahûrá mazdá, the greatest of the gods of good fortune 

auramazdå vazraka hya mathišta bag 

May ahûrá mazdá protect this country from invaders, from bad year/famine, and from draugarotten lie.”

biš utâ imâm dahyâum auramazda pâtuv hacâ hainâyâ hacâ dušiyârâ hacâ draugâ


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Immortality and the eternal quest for excellence

In the ancient Indo-European thought and speech there are 2 races, the race of the Immortal Gods, the heavenly celestials, and the race of mortals or the earthlings. The gods are heavenly and the mortal men are from the earth. The Lithuanian word for “man” žmōgus literally means “earth-goer or earth-wanderer.” In ancient Iranian, the word for “mortal” Avestan mašiiá/martiiá, Modern Persian mard, is synonymous with “mankind.”

Decay and death are associated with the earthlings, while the gods are exempt from them both, for the gods are immortal, as well as un-ageing and eternally youthful ûta.yüiti.

In the poetic gathas, ameretát is a term that refers both to “Immortality” and the “Immortals,” but is not understood in terms of heavenly beings or earthlings, but rather in the context of “eternal quest for greater becoming.”

In fact, in the Zoroastrian sacred lore, the ham.kárs “co-workers or co-creators” of ameretát “Immortality,” are rašnü (Compare with Latin rectus) “being upright/high-minded,” arštát “to arise, excel,” and zãm “the earth” which nourishes all growing things and plants.

Ameretát “deathlessness,” in the gathic songs, is a “boundless dimension of creativity.” The first time that ameretát “Immortality,” appears in the poetic gathas, it comes in connection with ašá/arthá “the cosmic order, superb artistry, excellence/truth,” ašahiiá ameretáčá.

A famous Avestan passage states: that “the one or only path, is that of ašá/arthá excellence/truth” aævö pañtáv ýö ašahæ, hence the only thing everlasting is “the undying quest for excellence.”

In the Zoroastrian sacred poetry, Immortality is about triumph of the spirit over limitations, and cosmic development into godhood.

Mortal men are not doomed to a dismal death in the realm of shadows, instead earthlings are destined to live with the Immortal Gods as god-men, and their faith is to arise, go beyond, overcome themselves and excel.

The last time that ameretát appears in the gathas is about the immanence of “Immortality” in trees, and comes in connection with the “undying powers of growth.”á ûrvar.ávs.čá//ameretá.tá haûrvátá, (Compare Avestan ûrvar with Latin arbor “tree.”)

I shall add that Avestan ameretát, Vedic amṛta and Greek ambrosia are all etymologically related, and come from the reconstructed proto Indo European ṇmṛtós, bearing all the same meaning.

The connection between “nectar and immortality” can also be clearly seen in the first rhymed verse line of Yasna 34.11 of the poetic gathas.

However, the Zoroastrian view of Immortality or the Immortals can be grasped only within the notion of “innovation, discovery, artistry, cosmic order and eternal progress.” Partaking of the nectar of immortality means to overcome, and evolve ever higher and better.

As a tree is like a link/ladder between the worlds, stretching ever higher into the sky. So is mortal man, a bridge over the abyss, into becoming a god-man, and Immortality is an eternal quest for ever greater becoming!

The Auspicious Immortals amešá/amertá speñtás or the ahûrás of mazdá, are Immortals because of their brilliance. Avestan speñtá, Old Slavonic svętŭ and Lithuanian šventas, refer to inextinguishable/indestructible “brightness, radiance, luminosity, vividness and vigor of life.”

In the Avestan prayers, ameretát is invoked with the White Höm or gaô.karəna, the “chief of all healing plants”. The white haômá/höm is the delightful nectar that holds the formula/remedy for eternal youth, and will be prepared at the yasna invocation (literally zealous yearning/desire,) right before the splendid remaking, fresh creation of the worlds frašö.kart.

When the wondrous kingdom/dominion of ahûrá mazdá, “the supreme god of inspiring creativity” is established, there will exist inexhaustible energy/unfailing health haûrva.tát, and deathlessness ameretát, for the future tangible body that will come to pass (tan ī pasîn.)

According to the Avestan Zãm Yašt or the “hymn to the earth,” the creation will become “un-ageing, undying, un-decaying, un-rotting” (Yt. 19. 11).

A new age of “innovation, discovery and eternal progress” will usher in. Immortals will replace the demon gods and mortal men ameretá.iti daæváiš čá mašiiá.iš-čá/martiiá.iš.čá, and there will be the dawn of the age of the god-men.

In the Zoroastrian calendar, the seventh day of each month, and the second month of summer (or the fifth month in the religious calendar,) are dedicated to ameretát “IMMORTALITY,” called amôrdád in Persian. The special feast of ameretát is around July 24-25.

Since haûrva.tát is the lord over waters and delightful liquids, and ameretát is the master of trees, healing plants, nourishment and food, to eat/drink while chattering and/or arguing is a major offense against haûrva.tát “healing powers” and ameretát “deathlessness, immortality” in the Zoroastrian religiosity.

Food and drink are to be savored and enjoyed in peace. The rule is to recite an Avestan formula before each meal, and quietly take pleasure in eating food and/or drinking, without having any conversations or arguments.





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Avestan Airyaman, Irmin-got as a name of Odin and the Irish Éremón

The poetic gathas start with the most sacred ahü vair.iiö formula the “will to become godlike” and conclude with airyémá iš.iiö, the “noble, lofty ideal ” literally the “Aryan wish, desire, aspiration.”

Airyá “honorable” was a term that the ancient Indo Europeans, specifically the people of Andronovo culture (Indo Iranians/Aryans) used to call themselves. The letter a in the Avestan airyá is pronounced as a in advance and the i is pronounced as i in inspire!

The term is reflected in Sanskrit aryá-, ārya– and Irish aire “noble lord and master;” it has given its name to Iran (land of the Aryans) and perhaps to Eire (Irish word for Ireland.)

The designation airyá or āryá among ancient Indo-Europeans can be compared to the name Inka “ARISTOCRATIC,” among Quechua people of the Central Andes of South America, who referred to themselves as “farming nobility.”

Airyaman is one of the most powerful verses/formulas of Zoroastrianism and according to the ancient Zoroastrian doctrine, plays a major role in the “fresh renewal of the divine powers and remaking of the worlds” faršö kart.

The god-being Airyaman embodies “the birth of godhood in mankind, elevation of character and spirit, honor and nobility.”

Airyaman is invoked at the conclusion of the gathas, and called on to come for the “great happiness and joy” of the “valiant men and women of Zarathustra ” nere.biias.čá náiri.biias.čá zarath.ûštra.hæ or “Zarathushtra’s people” (Compare with Russian národ for “people, folk, nation.”)

In the poetic gathas, airyá comes in connection with godhood ahûrás (the equivalent of Norse æsir and the Vedic asura,) and wisdom, knowledge of flourishing/thriving thwaš the living world or gaia.

airyam.ná vá ahûrá//vîdãns vá thwaš.aηhá gavöi

(See Yasna 33.3, 2nd rhymed verse line.)

The triumphant Saošyánts, saôš.iian.tãm literally “those who bring good fortune/success,” and sû.iiam.nãm, the “champions of prosperity, advantage and benefit,” will themselves recite the airyémá išiiö, in their task of greater becoming of the worlds; and it is airyaman who with átar (heat, fire,) will melt the metals for a fiery ordeal that will purify the creation. (See Benveniste, Les mages dans Vancient Iran, io-ii.)

There is also an old link between Airyaman the “noble ascent of godhood/ahûrá in mankind,” and Mithra “friendship with the Immortals,” for both symbolize “hospitality and reciprocity” between Gods and the “noble god-men.”

It has been hypothesized that airyaman’s name is to be recognized in the Germanic irmin, *ermina- or *ermana. Old High German Irmin-got, is a god called to witness in the Hildebrandslied and appears as a name of ODIN.

A number of compounds in various languages such as in Gothic Ermanaric, Old English eormencyn ‘mighty race’, eormenþeod ‘mighty people seem also to be related to airyaman.

Aryaman/Airyaman has long been equated with the Irish Éremón. No doubt the Irish Éremón originally must have had divine status but, like the rest of the pagan pantheon, was euhemerized in Christian times.

Éremón is recognized as the legendary first king of the sons of Míl, the Goidelic Celts, that is the first Indo-Europeans in Ireland. He was the God-king who drove the Tuatha Dé Danann, the people who stand for the old gods in Irish mythology, underground.

Most interestingly, in the gathic váršt.mánßar commentary of airyaman it is sated: that the afflicted/evil spirit who is of “sick vision” duš.daænö, with all his diabolical creatures and abominable demons, will be buried in the earth and their bodily form (kehrpö) will be completely shattered, through the power of Airyaman formula.

There are also a number of references in the Avesta announcing that after the radiant revelation of Zarathustra, the demons and diabolic forces were driven underground, shattered and buried beneath the earth.

In the legend of Éremón there is a trace of an old connection with marriage, survived in the story that Éremón provided wives to the Cruithnig (Picts).

In the poetic gathas and ancient Zoroastrianism, airyaman formula is the blessing for the Zoroastrian wedding ceremony, when guests are entertained in “honor, kinship and hospitality.” Airyaman has been used in the Zoroastrian marriage ritual as a most powerful charm from the start as evidenced by the ancient gatha songs.

In the poetic gathas, airyá refers to the “potential for greatness, godhood and all that is lofty in the wider circle of kinsmen and kinswomen, the noble people.” It comes in Yasna 32.1, 33.3, 33.4, 46.1 and 49.7 as well as in the most powerful airyman formula, at the conclusion of the divine songs. It stands above xvaætû- (own family, kin) and vərəzəná- (fellowship, craft/work.)

The term also appears many times in the heroic Yashts and in the entire Avesta, referring to “wider familial and marital ties, nobility, and honor.”

With Vedic áryaman is invoked another of the Adityas “Sun-Gods,” bhaga, the personification, of “good fortune, the good things of life, good portion or luck.” Vedic bhaga is the same as Avestan/gathic baga and the Russian word for god bog.

Bhaga (Avestan baga), like Aryaman (Avestan Airyaman,) is associated with marriage, and this has been explained on the grounds that in ancient communities marriages were made so that good fortune/prosperity should come through noble generations.

The baga gatha is the song of “good fortune, wondrous dominion,” that comes before the final gatha/song and is concluded by airyaman.

Airyaman formula is also regarded as a the most powerful charm against illness, sorcery and all evil (Y. 54. 2; Yt. 3. 5; Gāh 1. 6; Vd. 20. 12, cf. 22. 6–20) It is exalted in the gathic varšt.mántar verses and Yašt 3 as the greatest of mantras against sickness, decrepitude and decline.

The popularity of Airyaman never waned in ancient Iran, and when in the 3rd century A.C. Manichaean missionaries translated their own scriptures into middle Iranian, the god being whom they identified as the physician of souls, was airyaman, “the healer, the elevating, noble god power!”



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Sirius, the Orion belt and the Avestan Tri-star, Tištar


During maiðiiö-šam “mid-summer” celebrations, circa two weeks after summer solstice, the festival of ti.štr.iiá or tristar is observed in the Avestan calendar.

Ti.štr.iiá is the brightest and most glorious of the stars in the Zoroastrian sacred lore, and is venerated as a “god being-life-force” ahü and “knower of riddles, most learned master” ratü.

The 8th Yasht (hymn, adoration) in the Avesta is devoted to tristar as a God-star and yazatá. The term yazatá denotes “pure energy, animating force, vital principle and holiness.” It is etymologically the same as Greek hagios.

Bernhard Forssman derives ti.štr.iiá from the Indo European *tri-str-iḭo or *tri-str-iyo literally TRISTAR. By ti.štr.iiá, Sirius as the most brilliant triangle star in the Orion belt is meant.

The epithet of ti.štr.iiá is afš.ciθra “having the brilliance of the waters/rains” (Panaino, 1990, pp. 92-93; cf. Cantera, 1997). The Persian proverb that “waters are luminosity” goes back to the Avestan Yasht devoted to ti.štr.iiá, where the falling of the rains, and flowing of waters is linked to the brilliance/radiance of the stars and constellations specifically Sirius.

Also a clear link to the astral theme of the heavenly “arrow” tigra/tigri is present in the Avestan hymn, in respect to tristar or ti.štr.iiá.

According to Yasht 8th 6-7 and 37-38, ti.štr.iiá flies in the sky as the “arrow” tigra/tigri shot by the most valiant archer of the Aryans, the hero Ereša (Kellens 1977).

The name of the most valiant Archer of the Aryans ereša literally means “bear,” and is a cognate of Greek árktos, Latin ursa /ursus, all coming from reconstructed Indo-European *hŕ̥ḱtós or*hréḱtes.

The Avestan hymn to ti.štr.iiá contains two narratives, one concerning ti.štr.iiá’s fight with apaôša (drought, literally demise/loss of waters) and the latter battke with the pairikās (mischievous fairies), corresponding to shooting comets (literally worm stars) stárö kərəm.áv.

The first narrative poem (stanzas 13-34) describes the combat of the tristar yazatá (pure energy, god-force) against apaôša (drought) for the liberation of the waters, contained in the cosmic ocean vôúrû.kaša “vast expanse of waters or wide shored sea.”

Ti.štr.iiá assumes three diferent incarnations in the hymn, taking ten days for each; the star successively changes the form of his form into a fifteen-year-old man at the prime of his youth, a bull with golden horns, and finally a splendid white stallion/horse.

These three transformations astronomically cover the period beginning with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius in July and lasting till the first appearance of the meteor showers between August and September (Panaino, 1995, pp. 15-24).

In the shape of a beautiful, white stallion ti.štr.iiá attacks drought, incarnated as a black, dismal and gloomy horse, but after three days and nights, ti.štr.iiá is defeated at first, because the tristar yazatá was not sufficiently worshipped by the Aryans (see Yašt. 8.24).

Yazatás and Immortals are in essence mainiiü “sheer will and the creative power of thoughts/consciousness.” Their powers are unleashed proportional to the amount of concentration/belief in their “mind energy.” Collective belief in and focus on their archetypal ideals releases their vital force and affect the world accordingly.

After a fervent yasná “yearning, fervent desire” (Compare with Greek zelos,) offered by the supreme god Ahûrá Mazdá himself in favor of his star champion, ti.štr.iiá defeats the dismal drought at midday; thus the waters of the cosmic ocean are freed and can be distributed among the seven climes hapta karšvars (Yt. 8.32).

According to the Avestan hymn, other constellations and stars also collaborate with ti.štr.iiá specially the constellation of Canis Minor.

The second narrative poem concerns the struggle of ti.štr.iiá against pairikās (mischievous fairies,) led by duž-yáiriia “the bad/terrible year.” The “bad/horrible year” duž-yáiriia is supported by the stárö kərəm.áv “shooting comets” (literally worm stars) with the purpose of bringing chaos into the energetic radiance of the constellations and stars.

I shall conclude by adding that in the Avesta, Yašt 6 pays homage to the sun, Yašt 7 to the moon, Yašt 8 to ti.štriiá or Sirius, and Yašt 10 to miθra “Lord of the celestial lights and friendship with the Spiritual Immortals.” Also, the 13th day of each Avestan month falls under the patronage of ti.štr.iiá and therefore is considered as an auspicious, lucky day for Zoroastrians, since ti.štr.iiá or tistar is the protagonist of radiance, luminosity, waters/rain and blessings!

Finally, Indo Iranian tigra/tigri “arrow” associated with tri-star in the Avesta, has become the name for the first month of the summer in Persian tīr. The Armenian proper name Tigran/Tigranes comes from the same root. The term has also been borrowed into ‎ancient Greek tígris and Latin tigris “tiger, pointed, sharp.”


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The principle of action and the impulse of health/vitality in Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is a faith based on the principle of vigorous activity called šiiaöθaná in the Avetsan.

Šiiaöθaná is the dynamism of action/motion, the transfiguration of thought into form, the projection of the spirit/soul onto the existential world. In other words, šiiaöθaná is the capacity to act upon the world-stage with the willpower to direct the course of destiny.

Avestan šiiaö.θa.ná comes from the root šiiaö and is etymologically related to Greek seúō, “to set in motion, stir, incite, shake,” Latin cieō, all coming from the reconstructed Indo-European root *kei “energy of action/motion.”

Zoroastrianism teaches that godliness is about mastering destiny with the ACTIONS we take in the world. For life is constantly in movement and seeks to overcome its limitations, as well as the forces inimical to life’s great becoming.

The concept of Godhood in Zoroastrianism can only be undesrstood within the context of Die Klugen Unsterblichen, “undying and never ending brilliance/intelligence” that unwearyingly sets new horizons!”

The 7th song of the poetic gathas is called ýá šiiaö.θa.ná. The song is about the impulse of healthy vitality/wholeness haûrva.tát and the penchant for action šiiaöθaná.

It is a hymn of fifteen stanzas and is placed in Yasna 34 in the present arrangement of the Avesta! According to the ancient tradition, the 15 stanzas are about “every healing formula, medical remedy and the powers of restoration” that will set in motion “the great, new becoming/fresh transformation” of the universe frašö kart.

Avestan šiiaö.θa.ná “enterprise, purpose-driven action” is the actualization of zeal/passion yasná (Compare with Greek zelos) towards the attainment of the intangible, the immortal yasná ameretá.tem.

This “fervent yearning for the immortal” yasná ameretá.tem via the medium of industry/action šiiaö.θa.ná, based upon the pursuit of ašá/arthá “excellence, truth, cosmic order,” forms the basis of Zoroastrianism.

We read in the poetic gathas, Yasna 34.1:

Action, formulation // aspiration for the eternal, the immortal

Cosmic order, superb artistry, truth that thou hast established//Mindful lord, together with the kingdom of every healing, restoration

All these are your god-beings, powers//whom in their fullness we are devoted to

ýá šiiaö.θa.ná ýá vač.há//ýá ýasná ameretá.tem

 ašem.čá taæ.ib.iiö dáv.aηhá//mazdá šaθrem.čá haûrva.tá.tö

 aæšãm töi ahûrá//éhmá paôúrû.tem.áiš dastæ

In Zoroastrianism, devotion is becoming part of the fullness of the Gods éhmá paôúrû.tem.áiš dastæ.

The dynamism of action/movement towards haûrva.tát “wholeness” is tireless, without end or limits.

Only those Gods are God and worthy of worship whom embody the impulse of vigorous vitality/wholeness and are held to further well being, mastery and the will power to overcome.

Haûrva.tát “wholeness, healthy vital energy” is etymologically the same as the ancient Greek holótēs, hólos, “whole,” Vedic sarvá.tāti, Latin salvus “safe, sound, well, whole, healthy.”

Zoroastrianism is a religion of “healthy energy, vitality and wholeness,” and NOT a religion of the sick soul, anguished wailing, suffering and gloom.

Quite remote from Zoroastrianism stands the idea that the body is a dirty prison for a soul. For this reason, every idea of killing the senses, of asceticism, lies diametrically opposed to Zoroastrianism, and is reviled as an attempt to paralyze the wholesome, energetic, godly nature.

Fasting, self-flagellation, ritual mourning and any form of asceticism that weakens the healthy vital force are all shunned upon.

The Zoroastrian doctrine links spiritual and material in a unique, ingenious manner. Characteristic of Zoroastrianism is the reverence of the physical world and the elements, as a visible expression of the Spiritual Immortals.

Each of the Immortals is linked with one of the physical creations. As Hermann Lommel observes, the Zoroastrian doctrine represents an ancient, mystical way of looking at reality, . . . viewing the abstract as the inner reality of the concrete, the spiritual and material as the aspects of the same thing” (B. Schlerath, ed., Zarathustra, pp. 31-32).

The belief that all nature is a manifestation of the Immortals as well as the idea that Immortals and mortals are bound in kinship through inspiring creativity, industry and zealous striving for excellence lies at the heart of the doctrine.

In conclusion, I shall add that while in many belief systems gods act with willful destruction and out of despotism, the Immortals in Mazdyasna embody brilliant mind energy, healthy will power, mastery, vitality in action/motion to overcome limitations and flaws.

The concept of Godhood in Zoroastrianism is that of insight, discovery and the eternal quest for greater becoming whereas the diabolic forces stand for stagnation, blemish, affliction, destruction, anguished wailing and a sick, morbid soul!



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Zoroastrianism, sacred fire and fire-worship

The terms “Fire Worship” and “Fire-Worshippers” were always associated with Zoroastrianism and Zoroastrians throughout history. The notion of fire worship goes back to reverence for “hearth fire” among ancient Indo-Europeans.

Fire is the visible embodiment of the Gods and the “brilliant element” that binds the world of mortal men to the “luminous and limitless” realm of the Immortals.

In Zoroastrianism, fire symbolizes the Struggle between being and becoming, the pure transformative energy, the WILL POWER that drives mortal man forward towards godhood and becoming infinitely better.

A flame always burns upwards, so are the paths toward the horizons of a yet unrealized future. Zoroastrian creed can be summarized as an everlasting striving for what lays beyond the horizon and the attainment of the ethereal ûštá. Zoroastrian struggle is to bring “the spiritual and the infinite” into the world and to discover the eternal flame within.

Avesta talks of 5 kinds of fires (See Yasna 17.11). First is the “lofty, auspicious fire” bərəzi.sava, “the Exalted, Victorious fire of the eternal flames.” (Compare Avestan bərəzi “high, lofty” with proto Germanic bergaz, berg,“mountain.”)

The good/beautiful fire of “love, fertility” vôhü fryán is the “life force of men and beasts.” The fire of ûrvázištá animates the “plants and trees” ûrvar. (Compare Avestan ûrvar with Latin arbor.)

The “most vigorous” or lively fire of vazištá is identified with lightening. And lastly there is spéñištá “the most auspicious” fire, burning in the presence of Öhrmazd. The spéñištá fire can be compared with ugnis szwenta of Lithuanian heathenry. Szwenta “auspicious, holy, increasing” is the same as the Avestan speñtá.

Fire in our faith embodies the triumph, the unsurpassed power of the spirit ḵratü (Homeric krátos,) the breaking free from the confines of space, love of excellence/virtue ašá/arthá and the projection of the unbounded will power into the ends of time and space.

The wondrous workings of the cosmic order ašá/arthá are akin to the transformative nature of fire. For cosmos is actively in the state of becoming infinitely better. By mimicking the cosmic order ašá/arthá, mortal man becomes a “divine artist” aša.van/artha.van and finds the everlasting fire within.

In Zoroastrianism, the great gift of the Gods is manö the “mind energy/courage/spirit” to face destiny with unbounded “fiery vitality,” become the artist of the gods aša.van/artha.van and to win the timeless glory sravá by “hearing the song/music of the Immortals.”

In the poetic gathas, the protection páiiüm of Mazdá the “supreme god of inspiring creativity,” is sought in none “other than thy fire and mind power” aniiém θwahmát áθras.čá man.aηhas.čá, (See Yasna 46.7, 3rd rhymed verse line.)

Avestan manö is a cognate with Greek menos μένος, understood as ‘fighting spirit’ in Homeric contexts, and indicates creative forces animated by supernal “disposition/mindset/spirit.”

Through the gift of “fire” and “courage, spirit, creative imagination” manö, mortal man is no longer enchained to doom and oblivion. Instead, mortal man joins with the Immortal ahûrás in the struggle against all limitation, stagnation and chaos; projects himself into the immensity of eternity, and becomes a bridge into the supernal realm.

The unity of “will-power, spiritual wisdom, and action” ḵratü makes manifest a greater becoming. Through heroic struggle, mortal man becomes a vessel of sublime change and gives rise to consciously willed evolution.

The temporal world therefore is the battle-field in which the warrior fulfills his divine destiny, cherishing life as a cultivator and farmer, where plants, animals and men are each called to grow and ripen into powerful forces asserting themselves within the creative order of ašá/arthá.

This overcoming of limitations times and again, the rising above the mundane and the attainment of the infinite through the act of becoming ever better, is called “eternal progress” in the Zoroastrian sacred literature. “Eternal Progress” is the definition of faršö-kart “the splendid re-making, fresh new creation of the worlds.”

In Zoroastrian sacred lore, like in the Norse mythology, the end of the mundane world comes first with 3 harsh, most severe winters and then with fire.

We read in the poetic gathas, Yasna 51.9 2nd rhymed verse line: aii.aηšûstá aibî ahv.áhü daštem dávöi.

The verse is about the realization of “an eternal age of progress and a spring with no end” through a “molten, flowing” šûstá “metal/iron” aii.aη which “gives or establishes” dávöi the “sign, indication” daštem of “a god-like existence” ahv.áhü.

Thus, in the universe as well as in man, the state of becoming ahüric or god-like is realized through purging by a fiery trial.

The word for “fire” in the Avesta is áθar/áthar, also áθarš/átharš, referring to the “fires of altar and hearth.” It comes from reconstructed Proto Indo European *háhtr “hearth or altar fire,” from the root *hahs-“to burn”, and is a cognate of Hittite hâssâ “hearth fire,” (Courtesy of Didier Calin.)

The Avestan áthar is related to Czech vatra, Romanian vatrā “fire,” Latin āter “blackened by fire,” atrium “chimney, space over hearth” come from the same root, (Courtesy of Didier Calin.)

In Zoroastrianism the “family hearth” is sacred and never suppose to go out or be extinguished. The reverence for “hearth fire,” underlies the significance of continuing the family line and the clan. In fact, the Persian word doud-man “lineage, dynasty, house” goes back to the SMOKE arising from the “family hearth.” Thus an eternal flame burning in “home, hearth and kin group” is both a consequence and a requirement of ašá/arθá “excellence, truth, world order.”

In the Zoroastrian sacred poetry fire/luminous energy is the visible son or prodigy pûthræ of Ahûrá Mazdá.

I shall conclude by Yasna 34.4 from the poetic gathas:

at töi áθrém ahûrá//aôjö.aηh.vañtem ašá ûsé.mahî

asîštém éma.vañtem//stöi rapañtæ ciθrá-av.aηhem

at mazdá daibiš.iiañtæ//zastá.ištá.áiš dereštá-aæn.aηhem


Thy fire, god-force//energetic through cosmic order, truth; is our object of wish/desire

Swift and mighty//stands to radiate happiness, manifesting good fortune

But to Thy enemy, Mazda//with hands wielding discernible power, inflicts agony.






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