Yazatas, “Sacred gods full of ardor and vitality”

Yazatá is the word for “awe inspiring god beings” in the Zoroastrian sacred lore. The Avestan yaz– (Vedic yaj-) comes from the reconstructed Indo European root yag “to revere the gods, to hold as sacred, holy, powerful/lively/energetic.” The idea is that of sacred “vigor” and “vivacity” that “inspires awe” and is “worthy of worship.”

In Zoroastrianism, god beings are “life, pulsating with vigor and energy” and anti-gods are “non-living and/or living dead” (See the poetic gathas, Yasna 30.4, 2nd rhymed verse line.)

Avestan yazatá, Vedic yajata is a “Sacred Power full of ardor and Vitality that Inspires Awe/Worship.” Yajata in the Vedas is an epithet of the gods and in the Avesta Yazatá is the name for “god” itself. The idea is that of an adorable force that protects the object or being from all diminution and makes it invulnerable and of awe-inspiring quality and divine origin.

This may explain why yaz– is constructed with the name of the god in the accusative and the name of the offering in the instrumental. If the verb implied “sacrifice” we would rather expect the construction with the dative of the name of the god being.

The Avestan verb yazamaidæ therefore refers to “to honoring as holy/divine” whereby an offering or element is transferred from the belongings of mortals to the safe and sacred custody of the gods.

The traditional etymology connects Greek házomai and hágios with Avestan yaz, Vedic yaj. We discern the same idea of “reverential awe, integrity and protection from fading/decline.”

In the poetic gathas, Yasna 31.8, 1st rhymed verse line, yazüm means “most youthful, vigorous, energetic.”

Yazemn.áñghö in Yasna 51.20, 3rd rhymed verse line refers to the sacred awe/adoration for Immortals who are of the same desire/aspiration/will power.

In Yasna 50.4, 1st rhymed verse line, yazái alludes to reverence for Mazdá Ahûrá the “Inspiring source of Genius, the supreme god of Mind-Will Power.”

In Yasna 27.15, 3rd rhymed verse line, yazamaidæ is about honoring all the god beings as holy/sacred.

Yazemnas in Yasna 34.6, 3rd rhymed verse line is about being charged with the sacred power/vitality of god beings through their worship.

Yazaitæ in Yasna 32.3, 2nd rhymed verse line speaks about how demons are NOT worthy of any adoration/worship.

Yazái apá in Yasna 33.4, 1st rhymed verse line is about invulnerability/immunity from limited thinking through the worship of the sacred/vigorous.

Old Persian yad-; to worship, hold as sacred/powerful” appears in Old Persian month name of Bāga-yādiš, the month to hold baga (god, source of good fortune) as holy. Baga is the same as Slavic bog, the designation of “god, good fortune.”

Also the ancient Persian month Āči-yāidya was the month dedicated to the reverence of heat/fire.

In Zoroastrianism, reverence of the gods means to become godlike and acquire all the godly virtues. To revere the gods is to worship “life, pulsating with all its beauty, vigor and energy.”

Demons however, are living dead, spiritual vampires that demand absolute surrender and slavery and therefore are unworthy of godhood or any worship.



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1 Response to Yazatas, “Sacred gods full of ardor and vitality”

  1. zaneta garratt says:

    very nice, Ardeshir, your writing and words are full of life’s energy

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