Copyright: @2013 Ardeshir Farahmand. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Zarathushtra’s ultimate belief is that any known or unknown world/universe is akin to a mind-energy formation or a formulation of consciousness. Various configurations of spirit/mind energy reveal different levels of reality. There are infinite worlds, but the beginning, becoming and hidden meaning of all the worlds is in the world of spirit/mind, in the realm of the conscious force/energy.
Mazdá or more properly Ma(n)zdá is the ONE Gd of Zarathushtra. Mazdá is the Gd of “mind-power and foresight,” the Gd of discovery and spiritual journey, the the Gd of growing insights, the Gd of unfolding new knowledge, the Gd of mind voyage and imagination.
From the Mind of Mazda flowed most brilliant thoughts. These thoughts were not just his wondrous spiritual creation, but Mazdá desired supreme powers like unto himself that were master-creators and god powers (ahúrás.)
In order for the spirits to be more than servant creatures, they were endowed with individual conscious force, will-power and desire, so that they could choose freely. Otherwise, they would only have been servants of the “Pristine, Splendid Mind Power of Mazdá,” (man.yéush mazdá paöúrvím spéñt.ahyá, Yasna 28.1, 2nd rhymed verse line)
Nothing was evil from the beginning. Even the Evil Spirit was not so. Evil came about when some spirits “wish/desire was not to ascend/overcome” anymore, (nöit eresh víshyátá; Compare Avestan eresh with Proto Indo European ereð, “to mount, ascend, high, lofty” Old Irish ard, See Yasna 30.3, 3rd rhymed verse line and Yasna 30.5, 1st rhymed verse line.)
But with choices came the gift of consequences. And without the gift of consequences there would have been no learning, no overcoming of mistakes and no ultimate triumph of the spirit. Thus, the poetic gathas teach that evil is NOT eternal. Evil will be undone; when new insights are learned, limitations are surpassed and new powers of spirit/mind are unleashed.
The poetic gathas reject the idea that evil/gloom or diabolic forces are an illusion, as well as the idea that evil is equally as ultimate as good.
They teach that the underlying wonder in the entire phenomenal world is a spiritual evolution in mind-powers toward a situation in which all forms will ultimately reveal the infinite powers of their spirit.
The following verses in the poetic gathas refer to the choices of, and conflict among the spirits/mind-energies in the pre-mortal existence. I have provide a word by word analysis for the benefit of those who might be interested.
We read in the poetic gathas in Yasna 45.2, 1st and 2nd and 5th rhymed verse lines concerning the primeval world of the spirits/mind-energies;
At fra-vakhshyá ang.héush mainyü paöúruyæ
Yayáv spanyáv üití mravat yém añgrem
Nöit daænáv nöit urvánö hachaiñtæ
I shall speak forth of the primeval world of the spirits/mind-energies
When the splendid/auspicious recounted to the afflicted, gloomy one;
Not our visions, not even our souls/passions are akin”
fra-vakhshyá from fra-vac; “voice forth, speak forth”
ang.héush from ah; “existence, world” Compare “ah” with Vedic “as,” Hittite “esmi,” Old Norse “emi,” English am “to be”
spanyáv from spi; “splendid, gorgeous,” Compare Lithuanian splendziu “I shine/radiate”
añgrem from añgr; “affliction, sorrow, anguish,” also “constricted, tight, narrow” Compare with Old Norse angr/ongr, Old English enge, German eng
mravat from mrú; “narrate, recount, tell” Compare Old High German mari “news, tale,” Middle High German merechyn “short verse narrative,” German Märchen, “a narrative or tale,”
Nöit means “not”
daænáv from di/dee; “power to see, vision”
urvánö from urvá; “soul, passion” also “effective energy, will-power to choose/act”
hachaiñtæ from ha-cha; “same kin, kinship”
In Yasna 30.5, 1st and 2nd rhymed verse lines, we read of what kind of becoming/destiny the spirits commanded;
Ayáv mainiáv varatá//yé dregváv achishtá verezyö
Ashem mainyüsh spénishtö//…
“These spirits/mind energies willed//the deceitful (chose) the most afflicted becoming/destiny
Excellence; the most splendid, auspicious mind-energy”
Varatá from var; “to will, wish, desire” Compare Old Norse vilja
Achishtá from aka; “affliction, hardship, quarrel, contention, strife” Compare Old Norse aka “to beat, strike” Old Irish ag “battle”
Verezyö from verez; “turn into, become” Compare German werden, Also, the rune of “destiny, becoming” Wyrd comes from the same proto-Aryan root
Dregváv; “deceitful, devious, treacherous, false, fake, mistaken”
Ashem from ashá/arthá; Compare to Greek aristos, arête “excellence, virtue, the best one can be”
In Yasna 30.4, 1st and 2nd rhymed verse lines, the choice of the spirits establishes vibrant life and miserable existence;
At chá hyat tá hém mainyü// jasaætem paöúruvím dazdæ
Gaæm- chá a-jyaitím- chá//…
“These spirits/mind-energies together//came in the primeval beginning and established
Life and miserable existence”
Hém; Greek hama, Gothic sama, German samt “together”
Jasaætem from jam; Sanskrit gamaiti, Gothic giman “come”
Gaæm; Lithuanian gyvata “(eternal) life” gyvas “living, life”
a-jyaitím; a- in the beginning is a negation, jyaitím from jya, Sanskrit jivah, Russian jizni “Life.” The compound a-jyaitím means “non-life, living dead, miserable existence”
The above verse is similar to Yasna 44.15, 3rd rhymed verse line;
hyat hém spádá an.aöchang-há jamaitæ
“The opposing armies came together clashing”
In Yasna 30.3; 1st, 2nd and 3rd rhymed verse lines; the spirits were revealed as two opposite visions, one as ever better and always more wondrous; the other most beaten and afflicted. The benevolent foresight’s wish/will was to excel, surpass; not so was the wish of the envious despair.
At tá mainyü paöúruyæ//yá yémá khvafená asrvátem
Man.ahi- chá vach.ahi- chá//shyaöthanöi hí vahyö akem- chá
Ávs- chá hú-dáv.ang.hö eresh víshyátá// nöit duž-dáv.ang.hö
“These spirits/mind-energies from the primeval beginnings//echoed as two opposite visions, dreams
In mind/understanding, in voice/expression, // in manifestation, as this: ever better, always more wondrous; or most beaten
Of these the benevolent foresight wish/desire was to surpass, exceed//not so the malevolent unintelligent”
Yémá; Compare with Latin Gemini “twins”
Khvafená; “sleep, dream vision” Compare with German schlafen
Asrvátem from srú; “to sound, echo, reverberate”
Man.ahi from man; Old Norse minni “mind, understanding,” also “memory, record”
Vach.ahi from vac; “voice, expression”
Shyaöthanöi from shyaö; “happening, manifestation” Old English scēon, Old Frisian schia, German geschehen, schehen: “happen, to come to pass, occur,” Farsi shodan comes from the same root.
Hí; Proto Germanic hi, Old Church Slavonic si “this, as this”
Vahyö from vah; “ever better, always more wondrous”
akem from aka; “most beaten, most afflicted” “Compare Old Norse aka “to beat, strike” Old Irish ag “battle”
hú-dáv.ang.hö from hú-dá; “good vision, insight, providence” also by word play “benevolence.”
eresh; “surpass, exceed, excel” Compare Avestan eresh with Proto Indo European ereð, “to mount, ascend, high, lofty” Old Irish ard
víshyátá from vísh; “desire, wish,”
duž -dáv.ang.hö from duž –dá; “lack of foresight, unintelligent,” also by word play “malevolence.”