The holy denkart in book 3, question 9 deals with a profound question that is relevant today. The question posed is if the poetic gathas are the only basis/source of the Zoroastrian religion??? The holy denkart considers the very question as erroneous arising from utter ignorance over the nature of the poetic gathas.
The Avestan word gatha/gáthá “sacred verse/poetry is one of several words built on a root that is common to the Indo European world in the east and west.
Gáthá is used of prophetic utterances/songs from god-beings, of divine riddles in sacred verse or melodious singing, accompanied by musical instruments.
Compare Avestan gáthá “sacred song/poetry with Lithuanian giedóti “sing,” giesmé ‘song of praise’; Slavonic gudú ‘sing with a stringed instrument’; Old English gieddian ‘sing’, giedd, gidd “song, poem, divine riddle.”
Gathas are like muses, creative inspirations and/or guides leading one to become god-like and to Immortals.
The holy denkart declares “the will to become god-like” or the most sacred yathá ahü vairyö formula to be the very spirit of the gathas. The entire sacred gathic poetry is accordingly a musing/meditation on the will to become god-like.
Avestan ahü, Vedic ásu, Old English ós, Old Norse aes/äs/áss as in Aesir (the gods, plural) ansu in runic, all mean “god, the force/power to animate, manifest, bring to existence.”
Denkart masterfully argues that gathas by their own admission are first and foremost mánθrás. Mánθrá comes from the root *men “ to think, imagine, spark, inspire, impassion with creativity, imagination, mind-power.” Hence Mánθrá is a sacred formula or more precisely “the ability of mind to be imaginative, forming new ideas and to be creative.”
In answering question number 9, the holy denkart argues that by limiting the religion to the poetic gathas only, the inspiring nature of the poetic gathas is grossly ignored.
Gathas are melodious mind formulas, filled with endless meaning and spirit, capable of infinite exploration. AVESTA is their interpretation or literally “exposition of their unknown wisdom.” Their interpretation results in a labyrinth of ideas and expansion of their unbounded wisdom, which is also godly-inspired and divine according to holy denkart.
To abruptly discard the precedence of their old age interpretations or AVESTA is an evasion of the gathic principal of endless learning.
Yasná 19 refers to mánθrá as hû-mata “good thought, good spirit, good disposition.” In the Vedas, mantra is referred to as a sumatí- or sumnám with the same exact meaning.
The poetic gathas by their very essence demand infinite exploration of consciousness and expansion of wisdom/knowledge to become Immortals.
To deny the precedence of the ancient art of unlocking their riddles is not in line with their inspiring meaning, creative spirit or good thinking.