The creativity, superb virtues of Ohrmazd and his godhood

Öhrmazd is the middle Iranian for the Avestan “Ahûrá Mazdá,” or the Old Avestan “Mazdá Ahûrá.” The very name Öhrmazd incorporates godhood and that he is an ahûrá or god being/power.

Ahûrá is related to the Old Norse term for the principal race of Gods or the Æsir.

We read in the Greater Bün-Dahišn (the Basis of Creation,) Chapter 1.34

Öhrmazd pîš az dám-dahišnî nî büd ḵvadáy, ud pas az dám-dahišnî ḵvadáy ud süd-ḵvastár ud farzánag, ud jud-bîš áškárag ud hamæ-ráyénîdár ud afzönig har-visp nigerîdár büd.

Öhrmazd before creativity and manifesting the creation was not a god-force, but after the creation of the creatures, He became a god-power; willing all advantage/boons; sagacious and immune from any harm; manifest and reigning over all, flourishing/ever-increasing and all visionary.

The negative particle nî in the text could be a revision or correction of what looks like ráy. But the point made is profound; Öhrmazd is ḵvadá or God because of his “creativity, excellence, virtues and brilliant imagination.”

In other words, the godhood of ahûras come from their “creativity, will to triumph and their foresight.”

In the poetic gathas, Yasna 46.17, 5th rhymed verse line; the term used is dañgrá mantü “super skillful or incredible mind power,” also the “extraordinary powers of the spirit/will to triumph.”

The term Mazdá itself denotes the Indo European (*mens-dheh-) or when the “spirit/mind, will power, fiery passion, imagination” (*mens) is “set to establish, do, create” (dheh) [Courtesy of Didier Calin.]

The pagan Germanic tribes likewise believed that divinity or godhood was most present in “creativity and vision.”

The ancient commentary of the most sacred ahü vairyö mantra (will to become an ahûrá or god-power,) links the godhood/dominion of ahûrá to empowering the restricted/limited with wondrous powers and making them gods.

ḵvadáyî ö Öhrmazd dád bavîd [u-š Öhrmazd abar tan-î ḵvîš ḵvadáyî ud pádiḵšá kard bavîd] kî ö driyöšán dahîd vehigán [ud parvarišn kü-šán ayárömandî ud jádag-gövî kunînd]

The idea is that Öhrmazd is God because of his creativity/virtues. Furthermore, Öhrmazd is God because he wants to make gods/immortals out of the limited, restricted mortals.

Mortals enthrone Öhrmazd as their Creative God and Ruler King, to overcome their limitations and boundaries, to be free and unlimited; and to redeem themselves to superhuman sacred values.

This stands in great contrast to Mesopotamian Gods whose very essence is terror, tyranny and slavish relation of mortal men to them.

It shall be noted that many Avestan hymns like the hymn to Mithra/Miθra start with the statement of Ahûrá Mazdá that he created Mithra/Miθra and other adorable beings and made them as worthy of worship/adoration and prayers as Ahûrá Mazdá himself (10.1).

I shall conclude by the following most beautiful words that best describe the idea of godhood for us;

“There they stood . . . the immortals who are the source of all our blessings.”   Homer: Odyssey


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2 Responses to The creativity, superb virtues of Ohrmazd and his godhood

  1. Ahura Mazda. Second term Mazda is still puzzling to me? My Vedic reader has: mah “great” goes on to correlate this with the Avestan: Maz “great”. University of Texas Old Iranian online Glossary says the same, Maz means “great”. Forms some sort of compound with the root daa “to give” I can’t say? the sense seems to be more of a radical omnipresence than intelligence, wisdom.
    It is held by some and I tend to agree that Ahura Mazda and the Vedic Deity Varuna (vr: to cover, to encompass) although not the same in name share many characteristics in common so much so it is hard to ignore.
    In The Rig-Veda the Dual divinities Mitra-Varuna are invoked much more than they are as separate deities, at times their individual traits are virtually indistinguishable, At one time Ahura Mazda (Varuna?) apparently was invoked as a triad with Mitra and Apam Napat. According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, Apam Napat has the character of a title not a proper name. The same article suggests that Apam Napat is an indo-Iranian title for Varuna (aka Ahura Mazda ?). Article goes on to say of Varuna: “whose apparent absence from Iranian pantheon has always been a source of perplexity (emphasis on “apparent absence”). The Vedic deity Apam Napat is often associated with Agni (fire) as a supreme creator.
    None of this is going to be resolved here by me, nonetheless it’s stunning to think about or so it seems to me.

  2. Pingback: Mazda, Odin and the Sacred Fire of Zoroaster – rainwindandwolf

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