Vohü Manö, “passion, spirit,mind” and the Old Norse Vili and Vé
The 11th month of the Zoroastrian calendar is named after Vohü Manö (farsi Bahman.) It starts on or about January 15th and ends on February 14. It lasts exactly 30 days like all other Zoroastrian months. It is a month to honor the “intuitive wisdom” of the animals and abstain from eating meat or poultry.
January 16th is the Vohü Manö festival, when the name of the day and the month coincide. January 30 is the festival of cardä/sade (the freezing cold of the winter,) celebrated with huge bonfires and drinking of red wine. The cardä/sade festival has much in common with the Viking fire festival of Up Helly Aa. It marks the end of the winter-solstice season with bonfires, passion and warmth.
Vohü Manö is the foremost godly aspect of ahúrá mazdá; the god-force of “creativity, imagination and vision.” (ahúrá has the same exact meaning and etymology as the Norse term æsir, and mazdá is identical to Greek Metis, Vedic meðá, and the rune mannaz in its original sense of “mind-power, creativity, imagination and vision.”)
Manö or manas is “passion, spirit, mind.” The distinction between “passion,” “mind” and “spirit” is non-existent in ancient Aryan poetry.
Manö, Manas is “sensing, feeling, intuitive knowing and passionate understanding.” Manas, Manö implies “intuitiveness and poetic measure.”
In short, we are talking about the “passionate, creative, imaginative, intuitive, higher sense” that is permanent and everlasting. (Compare Gk. Menein, Pers. mandan “to remain.”)
Manö, manas also appears in the forms of “man-ang-hö or man-ang-há” in the poetic gathas. The word element ang-hö or ang-há, denotes state of being or existence. (Compare with Old Germanic in-assu or Gothic inassus.) It implies “aware-ness, conscious-ness and a state of being/existence through spirit/mind and passionate purpose.”
Also, man-ÿéush is the “vigor, youthful energy of the spirit/mind.”
We read in the 5th verse of the Baghan gathic commentary of Yasna 27.13 (the most sacred formula of Zoroastrianism;) that the mind/thought (mit) is with the word vairyö.
Vairyö is the WILL, (Compare with Old Norse Vili.) Here, like in the Old Norse, “spirit/mind, passion” is identified with the “will power” and the triumph of the spirit over limitations.
Vohü is literally “wow” “awe-inspiring.” Vohü means “wonderful, awe-inspiring and superb.” Vohü is the same as the Old Norse Vé “wonder, awe, reverence, marvel.”
It also appears in the forms vang-héush, vang-hö, vang-háu in the poetic gathas. The word element of ang-héush, ang-hö, ang-háu denotes an innate, original, inborn state of “goodness, wonderfulness and loveliness.”
We read in 1st rhymed verse line of Yasna 28.3:
manas-chá vohü apaöúr.vím
vohümanöich fratüm (kü pah khvíshí shümá éstém)
Vohüman without a beginning, without a first cause (I am from your own self)
The epithet apaöúr.vím in the poetic gathas is identical to apaúruṣeya in the Vedas; (Compare with Old English fruma) “without a beginning, or without a first cause.” It implies that the awe-inspiring, superb mind/wisdom of ahúrá mazdá has no beginning and is co-eternal within Ahúrmazd. The Auspicious Immortals are facets of the brilliant, wondrous mind of the God-force and are therefore eternal, with no beginning. In the Vedic religion, the term is used to describe the Vedic manthras, implying that the Vedas are not authored by any agency and are co-eternal with the wisdom of the divine.
We read in the 3rd rhymed verse line of Yasna 28.1 of the poetic gathas:
vang.héush khratüm man.ang.hö
pah án í vohüman khiradö (pah asnö khiradö)
To create, manifest through the power of an awe-inspiring, wondrous spirit/mind.
Khratü, Vedic kratú is the power of spirit/mind to manifest itself, the power to create and to do work. It is the “Geisteskraft.” khratü comes from the Proto Indo European base kar-/ker “to have power, bring forth, create.” Greek kratia “have power over, Old English cræft , Dutch kracht, German Kraft, Icelandic kraftur, Old Norse kraptr all come from the same root and mean originally “having power to create, bring forth, manifest. It appears in the form of khrapat in Yasna 40.1.
The above verse is identical to Yasna 48.3, 3rd rhymed verse line in the poetic gathas;
thwá-váns mazdá vang.héush khrathwá man.ang.hö
Be like You Mazda (God of mind-power, imagination, creativity and vision,) in manifesting/creating through the awe-inspiring power of spirit/mind.
We read in Yasna 27.13, 2nd rhymed verse line;
vang.héush daz-dá man.ang.hö
Destines (does everything) through the awe-inspiring, wondrous spirit/mind
Daz-dá comes from the Indo European root *dhe- “to do, put in place, establish, make a gift,” Hittite dai- “to place” Lithuanian deti “to put” Russian delat’ “to do” Old Norse dalidun “they did.”)
We also read in the 1st rhymed verse line of Yasna 34.2:
at-chá í töi man-ang-há//man-ÿéush-chá vang.héush víspá data
Through your spirit, passion// and your awe-inspiring, youthful mind-energy you gave/created it all.
We read in the 5th rhymed verse line of Yasna 44.7:
Speñtá main-ÿü víspanánm dátárem
Through this auspicious, bright mind energy, you are the giver/ creator of all.
Speñtá; “auspicious, splendid, bright” Compare with Lithuanian šventas, Proto-Baltic-Slavic swęntŭs, Old Prussian swentas, in their pre Christian original sense of “auspicious, splendid, bright.” The Ancient Avestan commentaries translate Speñtá as fzünik. Middle Persian fzünik comes from Avestan fshü. Compare with the rune FEHU, the rune of prosperity. It has the exact same meaning in Middle Persian “prosperous, of good fortune, flourishing.”
It shall be noted that based on the above verses vohü-manö is identified as ONE with the original, auspicious mind energy of speñtá main-ÿü.
In conclusion, I shall add that in the poetic gathas the source of everything including good and evil; goes back to the realm of spirit/mind. The ORIGINAL and INNATE nature of spirit/mind is bright, auspicious, limitless, all pervading and awe-inspiring.
When spirit/mind falls in to the delusion of limitations “anguish, sorrow, and affliction (añgrá) is born.
But the destiny of the spirit/mind is to overcome all its boundaries and manifest/unleash all its unknown powers and triumph at the end.