Haúr-vatát, “heil, health, happiness” and the number 9

May the 25th was the festival of Haúr-vatát in the Avetsan Calendar. Haúr-vatát derived from haúr, is equivalent to the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning “whole, healthy, entire, complete, sound.”

The Scottish hale (“health, happiness and wholeness”) is the most complete modern form of this ancient Indo European root.

Haúr-vatát is one of the “auspicious immortals, or splendid attributes of God in the poetic gathas and Zoroastrianism. In the poetic gathas, haúr-vatát (“health, happiness, every healing formula, curative power and wellness”) comes in association with Ameretát (“immortality, deathlessness, indestructibility.”)

Haúr-vatát presides over the third month of the Zoroastrian calendar, and over the sixth day of each month.

The name Haúr-vatát has changed to khordád in Persian. It has been translated as Avirdādaudaka “waters of wisdom” and sarvapravttihá “source of everything” in the Sanskrit commentaries of Nairyösang on the poetic gathas.

The association of “waters, healing waters and waters of wisdom” with haúr-vatát goes back to the poetic gathas Yasna 51.7, 1st and 2nd rhymed verse lines.

Also the day of Hórdád corresponds to that of Manyú “spirit/mind,” “wisdom,” and Anna “fuel/food” in the Maga Brāhmaṇas’ calendrical lists (see Panaino, 1996, pp. 45, 48-49).

In the Avestan lore (HÓRDÁD YAŠT) haúr-vatát is closely associated with the number NINE, a symbol of wondrous knowledge and power.

Nine is a supremely powerful and key number in the Zoroastrian tradition. Nine is the basis of much ceremonial and ritual in Zoroastrianism. Nine symbolizes a synthesis of spirit/mind and the material, a whole wisdom/knowledge of heaven and earth, wonders of the seen and unseen realms. It impressed early mathematicians that multiplications by nine always produced digits that added up to nine.

The Avestan pair haúr-vatát (“health, happiness, every healing formula, curative power and wellness”) and Ameretát (“immortality, deathlessness, indestructibility”) appears as Arioch and Marioch in the Book of Enoch and as Hārut and Mārut in the (Koran (2.96.)

The angels Hārut and Mārut are mentioned once in the Koran (2:96 [2:102]) in a passage admonishing (Jewish) disbelievers who follow the teaching of the Satans (Šayāṭin) at the time of Solomon. “Solomon did not disbelieve, but the satans disbelieved, teaching the people magic [sir] and what had been sent down to the two angels in Babel, Hārut and Mārut; they do not teach anyone without first saying: ‘We are only a temptation, so do not disbelieve,’ so they learn from them means by which they separate man and wife; but they do not injure any one thereby, except by the permission of Allah” (tr. Bell, I, p. 14).

The 14th-century Armenian John VI Cantacouzenus cited in an anti-Muslim treatise the legend of Arōt and Marōt, whom God sent to earth “in order to rule well and justly” (Russell, p. 381).

Also, in Armenia hawrot-mawrot is the name of the tuberose, a flower used on the Ascension day in popular rites (Lagarde, 1847, p. 9; idem, 1850, p. 368; Gray, 1929 p. 52; Henning, 1965, p. 251, n. 53; idem, 1977, p. 626; Russell, pp. 375-98).

Hārut and Mā-rut also make an appearance in English literature from the end of the 18th century onwards as part of a romantic celebration of defiance and rebellion and the interest in the very notion of fallen angels. The pair appears in the poetry of George Croly (1780-1860; see Chew, pp. 201-3) and Thomas Moore (1779-1852).

In conclusion, I shall add that haúr-vatát is the whole wisdom and/or the holy knowledge of “healing, happiness and every wellness” in Zoroastrianism. Holiness for the ancient Aryans was a special knowledge of the whole, the wondrous power to heal, regenerate and bring forth much good fortune and happiness.



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3 Responses to Haúr-vatát, “heil, health, happiness” and the number 9

  1. Lourenço says:

    From all its mathematical peculiarity, I’m impressed 9 isn’t more relevant in spiritual studies. Not only all operations involving 9 will eventually return to 9, but the highest decimal number also seems peculiarly “fond” of order:
    12.345.679 * 09 = 111.111.111
    12.345.679 * 18 = 222.222.222
    12.345.679 * 27 = 333.333.333
    And so on…
    In my opinion, it really is the closest allegory to God in mathematics.

  2. Danny says:

    How does one invoke the healing powers of Haúr-vatát ?

  3. Pingback: 9 Altar Fires of Victory | Mark's Text Terminal

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