The first month of the Zoroastrian calendar is named after the “fravashis,” and April 8th is the feast of the “fravashis in the Zoroastrian calendar. The beautiful concept of “Fravashi” is truly unique to Zoroastrianism, and has its roots first and foremost in the poetic gathas of Zarathushtra himself. Our other important sources to understand this profound concept are Yasna 23 and 26, and the hymn to fravashis, in the Yasht or individual adoration collections. The modern Persian “fereshte” or “Angel” is a derivative of fravashi.
The word Fravashi consists of 2 parts; fra+ vashi. “Fra” simply means first, earliest, foremost. The second part “vashi,” is derived from “vac,” word, voice, speech, expression; and by a beautiful word play, it is also connected to “vakhsh,” to increase, grow, augment. O.E. weaxan, ” P.Gmc.*wakhsan, O.H.G. wahsan, O.N. vaxa, O.Fris. waxa, Ger. wachsen, Goth. wahsjan “to grow, increase”, Skt. vaksayati “cause to grow,” Gk. auxein “to increase.”
The concept of words/powerful utterances/divine speech causing growth is also demonstrated in Yasna 10.5, or the blessing of the wine/the divine nectar hymn, where we say twice: “varedha-y-anguha mana vaca …..fra-vâkhshê.” Grow/varedha through my words… varedha means grow, grow green. Verdure comes from the same root and it is also cognate with Lith. “veisti” propagate, expand O.N. visir “bud, sprout, stalk.”
Also “vashi” through poetic word play is connected to “vash/var,” wish/will power/aspiration. The origin of the the idea can be found in the poetic gathas of the prophet, where in the second line of Yasna 44.6 and the first lines of Yasna 45, 1-6; we encounter “fra-vakhshyá,” first speech, expressing desire/wish/will power, causing growth and increase.
In short, fravashi is a mode of divine expression that has taken individual shape in creation and/or manifestation, it is a spark of boundless will-power/energy where everything moves in it from light to light, and from progress and growth to progress and growth. The hostile/negative forces cannot have even the remotest action upon it.
Fravashi is that which is divine/limitless in us, the novel ideas/aspirations within us, the luminous part in us, that which persists after death, because it is our eternal self; it is the dynamic, infinite possibilities at play. Now, if there is a receptivity and openness to its wish/will /expression, it will change not only the inner life but the physical expressions in man and nature also.
Fravashi is about a world of novel ideas, and if we can in silence of our spirit/mind rise into this realm from which ideas descend to take form, at once the real understanding comes.