The Concept of Time in Mazdyasna and the Yasna ceremony


The Avestan Passages of Yasna tell us that Time has two essential aspects: the Time without shore, (Zarvaan-akarnä), eternal Time; and long lasting or limited Time (Zarvaan-darenjö). The unlimited Time is an ASPECT of ahúrmazd illimitable consciousness, superb genius; which is also expressed by the infinite light in which ahúrmazd resides.

Accordingly, Eternal Time is a dimension of light which determines the form and meaning  of the limited time.  This dimension of light/Eternal Time may be called the  archetypal dimension, a dimension of consciousness, mind/spirit.
This means that at a given moment, in a certain circumstance, there are impossibilities. But from the eternal point, the point beyond limited time and space, in the infinity of time, NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE, and the existence is an amazing field of awesome possibilities. There is nothing impossible in the existence. All that could be IMAGINED by “Manö” or mind/spirit/consciousness/bewusstsein is POSSIBLE. What is a dream or “science fiction today,” will and can become reality in time. 

This concept also changes our perceptions about time/space and teaches that time is NOT uniform; and past, present and future are NOT absolute. 
We are talking about a two fold state of being, designated by the two terms menök and gätik.  Menök, is an invisible, spiritual, but perfectly creative state. Gätik,  a visible, material manifestation; but the contrast they express can NOT be reduced to a Platonic one. For a transition to the state of gätik means a fulfillment and manifestation of menök.

The state of frustration and dullness represented by the present condition of the gaia/gätik, results not from its material condition as such but from the fact that gaia/gätik is the the arena of battle, evolution and also progress.

In the “ancient gathic/avestan commentaries,” we read as follows:

It has been revealed that in the Unlimited Time, ahúrmazd is in the heights, adorned with “superb genius and goodness” and surrounded by spiritual light (Yasna 31.7, first line). This spiritual light is the abode of ahúrmazd. Some call it the boundless/infinite Light. “This superb genius and this goodness” is the radiant garment of ahúrmazd (Yasna 30.6, second line.) Some call it the Spiritual Insight/Religion (Daäná). . . . The Time of this “brilliant vesture” is infinite/without shores; for the goodness and spiritual insight/religion of ahúrmazd have existed as long as ahúrmazd himself; it exists and will always exist.”

The commentaries cited above teach us that Spiritual Insight/Religion (Daäná), as superb genius and wisdom in Infinite Time; is the “garment/luminous vesture” of ahúrmazd.
Other commentaries (Yasna 45.1-6 the first two words) teach us that “what has always been is “the voice/logos of ahúrmazd in the infinite Light and the infinite time;” and that from this boundless Light/time, the spiritual insight/religion of ahúrmazd shines through.
Daäná as the archetype of Ahünvar (Yasna 27.13;) is the insight/wisdom/sophia of the highest knowledge in which are grounded the melodic themes which fashion the modality/rhythm of each world/being.
“Daäná/Sophia” is also the feminine Angel who appears after death to the soul. The figure of Daäná is the visionary soul, the vision of spirit, that attribute of the earthly being (gätik) which enables a person to be coupled with his/her spiritual (menök) reality. When Daäná/spiritual insight through eternal Time, says to the soul: “I am thy Daäná,” it is tantamount to saying: I am thine “Eternity,” thine “vision of eternal progress.”

Thus, limited Time is the mediator of Ahriman’s defeat, it is the genial weapon for the ruin of ignorance, resistance to progress and darkness. From Eternal Time and in the image of Eternal Time, ahúrmazd created the Limited Time required to frustrate the challenge of “Ahriman” or “the inert, afflicted and antagonist mind/spirit.” 

And in Time, frustration, ignorance, inertia, dullness and darkness will disappear and progress will usher in the form of “tanö passinö;” tanö” is the highly evolved TANGIBLE PHYSICAL FORM that WILL COME TO PASS passinö.
Limited Time is not just the abstract measure of the succession of days, but an “aspect/being of endless light” in which a creature projects his/her own totality, anticipates his/her own eternity, experiences himself/herself in his/her own archetypal menök dimension. For although Time reveals itself in two aspects, one of which is an image of the other, it also reveals the disparity, the gap between the ETERNALLY PROGRESSIVE GD BEING and the still resistant EVOLVING BEING which strives, or rather fails, to be its image.
This explains the subject matter of the “Avestan Yasna Preludes” placed prior to the “Poetic Gathas” in the Avestan Book of Yasna/Adorations. 

In these Yasna Litanies; each of the “fractions of time” has its “

 menök archetype” and the liturgical succession of these moments illustrate the relations between these menök archetypes and their time/space manifestation in the realm of gätik or gaia. 
Each of the twelve months of the year and each of the thirty days of the month is named after a virtuoso quality of ahúrmazd; “an auspicious immortal power/amrtá speñtá” and/or a “yazataa” or “higher yearning, intense aspiration.”
Likewise, each of the canonical hours is also entrusted to a menök
archetype who is its dimension of infinite time/eternity and infinite light. Each of these fractions of time is apprehended as an Unlimited, Menök

Person. It is this Unlimited, Awesome, Menök Being who gives the moments of earthly/limited time their dimension as magical moments.  

One may say that the event of this day is this Menök, the essence of this day is to be the day of this or that ahúric virtuoso/angel after whom it is named (e.g., the day of ahúrmazd of the month of farvartin). This relation to the 
 ahúric virtue is the archetypal dimension which gives to each fraction of limited time its dimension of boundless Light, its dimension of eternity in Time and endless possibilities. 

That is why the order of thanksgiving festivals or the gahan-baars/gatha banquets; in which the entire liturgic Yasna ceremonial is recited and performed; is an image, a replica of the cosmogony or material manifestation of the worlds. The six great festivals (Gahan-baars) correspond to the six great periods or creations.  

From end to end, the work of Material Manifestation and the work of Brilliant Renewal constitute an adorable, cosmic melody/Yasna. It is in celebrating the spiritual Yasna (menök yazishn;) that ahúrmazd and his auspicious immortal spiritual powers/virtues establish all the worlds, all levels of space and time and the ETERNAL PROGRESS.
ardeshir
Sources:
 Cyclical Time in Mazdaism and Ismailism by Henry Corbin
 and Gernot Windfuhr research/papers on Zoroastrian Yasna ritual ceremony
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