Cosmogony and creation of the universe in the poetic gathas

The verses in the poetic gathas that deal with the creation of the worlds are Yasna 31.7, Yasna 31.11, Yasna 45.4 and the 2nd rhymed verse line of Yasna 51.15. I will address Yasna 45.4 in this article.

We read in the Vársht-mánßar commentary of Yasna 45.4 concerning cosmogony or the creation of the universe:

On the subject of the superb/wondrous manner of “self-giving” (khvetü-dás;) a giving/dedication of (Gd’s) own self (khüdásh-dahishnih.)

The words khvetü-dás and khüdásh-dahishnih (self-giving and dedication of one’s own self) refer to the last five words of the 2nd rhymed verse line of the gathic original namely; mazdáv vaædá yé ím dát.

For the self (khva, Old Indo Europen sva) of Ahúrmazd is wisdom, foresight; and Gd’s self dedication is a giving, gift of his own awe-inspiring wisdom vaædá yé ím dát.

The word for superb, wondrous is vahishtem in the gathic original, corresponding to the last word of the 1st rhymed verse line of Yasna 45.4. It comes from the root vah literally “wow, awe inspiring.”

Awe-inspiring discovery, adventure and wisdom is the very essence of Ahúrmazd. The ancient Vársht-mánßar commentary continues as follows:

The judicious precedent (dádistán) for khvetü-dás (giving of own self); and its goodness, beauty and visible appearance in the creation of the creatures and the universe (came from Ahúrmazd.)

The perpetuity, great strength/energy, effective work (karígíh,) and advantage, (südígíh, literally “surge,” Sanskrit svayati, Lithuanian šaunas) of the creation is due to giving of one’s own self and self-dedication, (khüdash-dahishnih khvetü-dás.)

(Middle Iranian patvan.dishnih, farsi peyvasstegih is “perpetuity, continuity of the creatures.”)

First, it (khvetü-dás ) came into practice by the giver of talent, gifts (dádár;) Ahúrmazd, the lord of wisdom and foresight,

As the patron (ptarém) of awe-inspiring spirit/mind, (vohü-man,) since vohü-man is the first, foremost (fratüm) genesis (of Ahúrmazd,)

Mazdá, the Gd of Genius and Vision is the ptarém patron/exemplar of awe-inspiring spirit and mind. And the ideal pattern of the universe is in the luminous mind/vision of the Gd of Genius. (See the first word of 3rd rhymed verse line of the gathic original.)

And from that awe-inspiring spirit/mind came into being/becoming (verezayañtö from verez, Norse wyrd,) the spiritual and material creation, (mainügíg ud stihíg dám) their progress and varied perpetuity.

The becoming, destiny of the worlds is caused, derived from the wondrous power of spirit/mind; Avestan verezayañtö from the root verez, Lithuanian verciu “turning,” German werden “becoming,” Norse rune wyrd; see the the 3rd rhymed verse line of the gathic original, ptarém vang.hé. úsh verezayañtö man.ang.hö.

The ancient commentary continues by comparing the “self-giving” in creation of the worlds and creatures to:

Brightness from light, splendor from brightness, and a new dawn (bám) that comes from splendor;

(Pahlavi barísh, Avestan berez, berej brightness, Pahlavi röshníh, Farsi roshanih, Avestan raöch, light, Pahlavi fíröɣ, Farsi forough, splendor)

The imagery of lights refers to the first word in the 2nd rhymed verse line of the gathic original or ashát. For excellence, virtue is ashá, embodied by brilliance, light, splendor and a new dawn.

For we read in the Vársht-mánßar commentary of Yasna 37.1; all the lights of the earth, all the lights of the auspicious animals, all the lights in the plants and growing things, all the lights in all the prosperity of the worlds is visible/apparent through the excellence of virtue ashá.

Through this transfiguration of light/self-giving comes the progressive expansion (Pahlavi vistardan vistarishn Farsi gostrarishn) and continuity of mortals till the fresh renewal of the universe (Farshö-kart);

Also, through voyage/journey in the spiritual and physical existences, the acceptance of motherly glory by speñtá ár.maiti as the mother of the worlds was the most noble act.

speñtá ár.maiti is the “auspicious flow of thoughts or serene meditation,” the superb workmanship that comes through “calm focus” it refers to the 4th rhymed verse line of the gathic original.

In Conclusion, Ahúrmazd’s self is wisdom, foresight; and he gifted the worlds through “self dedication” of his awe-inspiring, adventurous nature. Ahúrmazd is the patron, exemplar of awe-inspiring spirit; and the becoming/destiny of the worlds is derived from the wondrous powers of the spirit/mind. The auspicious flow of thoughts or serene meditation/focus is the good mother of manifestation.


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1 Response to Cosmogony and creation of the universe in the poetic gathas

  1. zaneta garratt says:

    to read this inspries very positive thinking and reasoning,, inspiring one to seek and to understand the higher wisdom of existence

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