The god-force of waters ahúrání and the Norse sea-god ægir

The god-force of waters ahúrání and the Norse sea-god ægir

October 26th is the most joyous feast of waters in the seasonal Avestan calendar. Ábán, is the middle Iranian term for “the waters.” The Avestan term for water is apö, compare apö with Lithuanian term for river uppe, Vedic ap and Latin aqua.

In the Zoroastrian calendar the eighth month is dedicated to Waters.The tenth day of every Zoroastrian month is also dedicated to the Waters, and so the tenth day of the eighth month, Ábán Rooz (day of waters) of Ábán Máh (month or moon of waters), is the great feast day of waters called Ābānagān.

On this day Zoroastrians go to streams, rivers, lakes, seas or the ocean. They pray Avestan prayers of hymn to the waters known as Ábán Niyáyesh, Yasna 38, Yasna 68, and/or the 5th Yasht known as Ábán Yasht dedicated to the “fair, mighty, unblemished lady of waters” known as ardevi sürá anáhitá or simply anáhitá “pure, unblemished.

According to the tradition, the prayers to waters are never recited before a fire, but only within the sight of water.

The prayers offered have the regular dedication/delight (khšnüman) of the tenth day, the day of “the good, Mazdá created Waters; of all Mazdá created waters and of all Mazdá created plants and life-giving powers.” Khšnüman from khšnüm is a religious Zoroastrian term meaning “delightful knowledge, German kenntnis, Latin Gnosis.”

In Indo-Iranian the word for water is grammatically feminine. Water itself is associated in the Avesta with “wisdom, spirit and intuitive knowing.”

In Yasna Haptaŋ-háiti or the Seven Chapters (Yasna 38.3) the Waters are venerated as ahúrání. The name Ahúrání is derived from Ahúrá (god-force, Old Norse æsir) with a feminine suffix –ání. (Compare with, tištryaæiní- “stars near the star Tištrya”)

So the waters as “Ahúrá (Old Norse æsir) or god force’s female, nurturing aspect (ahúrání) are parallel to Old Norse sea god Ægir and the varuṇānī of Varuṇa in the Rig Veda. (Also compare the Gothic word for waters, rivers “ahua”)

In conclusion, It is of great importance to recognize that the connection between waters, wells and rivers to the god-force, spirit, feeling and intuitive knowing has been always celebrated in Zoroastrianism along the holy element of fire.



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