Zarathushtra as Erešiš “Seer/Prophet”

Óðinn, the supreme Æsir of the Norse religion is called a “seer/prophet, one who has sacred visions, a god who has true knowledge, shamanic, spiritual wisdom.”

A similar linkage of ideas, with different vocabulary, can be found in the ancient Zoroastrian sacred poetry and the poetic gathas of seer/prophet Zarathûštrá.

In the poetic gathas, Zarathûštrá calls himself erešiš, “seer/prophet,”

(See Yasna 31.5, 2nd rhymed verse line méñ.čá daidyái ýehyá-má erešiš and Yasna 40.4, 3rd rhymed verse line ašavanö erešyá ištém ráitî.)

The corresponding term for Avestan erešiš is Lithuanian aršùs, German rasen “to rage, be inflamed, have inspiration, see sacred visions, become a seer/prophet.”

Similarly the attested forms of Odin are derived from *Wōđanaz Wōđan comes from *wātus “mantic poetry,” wōtis “god inspired” wet “sacred vision,”wōto “true knowledge, shamanic wisdom.”

(Compare wōtis and wōto with Latin vātes “prophet, seer” Old Church Slavonic aviti, Avestan vaiti, vátö and váté  “ to inspire with true knowledge, to understand/have insight of, to excite/awaken with spiritual wisdom, sacred vision.”)

The Greek word for a seer/prophet, mántis, literally means to “be inspired, one who divines” and is derived from the verbal root ménos/man-“passion, spirit, mind-energy.”

Interestingly, Avestan méñdaidyái coming in connection with erešiš “seer/prophet” in Yasna 31.5 is the same as Greek mántis and refers to “being inspired with passion, mind-energy, spirit.”

I like to conclude by the beautiful Yasna 31.5 of the poetic gathas:

tat möi vîči.dyái vaôčá//hyat möi ašá dátá vahyö

vîduyæ vôhü man.aηhá//méñ.čá daidyái ýehyá-má erešiš

tá.čît mazdá ahûrá// ýá nöit vá aηhat aηhaitî vá.

(aη is pronounced as ang)


That I may be given discerning power, voice in words to me//of what has been established as better through superb artistry, cosmic order.

So that I may have wisdom/knowledge through good instinct-intuitive mind//and be inspired by passion, spirit as a seer/prophet.

Of those things Mazda, god of “inspiring creativity, imagination”//that will not become manifest in existence, or will be.



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