Mercy in the poetic gathas
Merež is the word for Mercy in the poetic gathas. It appears in the forms of merež-dátá “giving, outpouring of mercy,” and merež-diká “a pouring forth of forgiveness, mercy, grace.”
Merež comes from the root mer “to gleam, glimmer, sparkle, be bright, shining and pure” (Compare with Sanskrit maricih “ray, beam,” Greek marmarein “to gleam, glimmer” Old English amerian “to purify,” Old Irish e-mer “not clear.”)
Mercy is to get out of the cycle of karma; it is to leave the mechanical round of nature and ascend into a higher plane where we become a participant of a higher providence.
It is an incursion of the higher worlds beyond into our world, an interference with the material mechanism of our plane, as though a lightning flash tears through our ordinary consciousness and pours into it other forces, formulas and sequences. Life movements suddenly become superb, bright, ahüric and brilliantly transformed.
We read in Yasna 33.11, 3rd rhymed verse line; “of every kind of power and kingship in this world and the next when our nature/essence is taught mercy, grace, elegance and virtue.” The ancient commentary uses a word play between middle Iranian word for ámürzishn “mercy, becoming pure, bright” and ámüzishn “learning.” For our nature has never been perfect, it is simply learning, progressing. And through this journey of learning it ascends to evermore higher degrees of elegance, grace and virtuous nature.
In Yasna 51.4, 1st rhymed verse line; talk is of the fortunate leadership and elegance, mercy of the spirits/mind-energies (mainüg) in the supreme heaven of music; for guarding the good creation (See the varsht-mánthar gathic commentary.)
The mercy/grace of higher providence is for all the creation. We receive it according to our “sincere aspiration” and openness (See Yasna 33.11, 3rd rhymed verse line, sraótá möi merež-dátá möi.)
In a speech at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Potomac, Maryland, Mr. Farhang Mehr stated: it is our duty to advance this world by actively seeking Asha. But the consequences of our actions are fixed, and when we die there is no mercy for any misdeed we have committed.
The latter part of mr. farhang mehr’s statement stands in SHARP CONTRAST to the original text of the poetic gathas of the prophet Zarathushtra. Such views stem only from pseudo intellectual inclining and the cult of mechanical science propagated by mr. ali akbar jafarey under the pretext of the gathas.
Mr mehr is erroneously equating asha or artha with the mechanical laws of nature, while in fact in the gathic original, asha or artha is “excellence, virtue and luminous skill/art to transform and renew.”
In conclusion, I like to state that the poetic gathas unambiguously teach that mistakes can be effaced. The importance of mistakes and misdeeds lie in the extent to which they have served us to make progress. And once the learning/progress has been made, the consequences of past errors disappear through the bright light of mercy and providence’s grace.
very nice reasoning here, ardeshir, and a very nicely written gem of wisdom. Hope and mercy are truly brilliant and beautiful
Such is not the case, dear Ardeshir, for the marg-gunah, the deadly sins, which cannot be effaced but “covers up the good deeds of the person” according to the Holy Denkard (III:26:1).
Am I right?
All sins can be wiped out. And I suggest that you focus on the original passage of the text and not so much the translations.