Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds
The threefold motto of “good thoughts, good words and good deeds”- hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta has been a fundamental tenet in Zoroastrianism since the time immemorial.
Hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta literally means “the purest essence in thoughts, words and deeds.”
In the Yasht or “holy hymns” 13.84 and 19.17, “the auspicious immortals or the sacred, eternal god beings” amešá/amertá speñtá themselves look into each other’s consciousness/souls ûrvá, contemplating, deliberating on “the purest essence in thoughts, words and deeds” hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta, reflecting on the melodious music in the “abode or home of songs” garö-nmânem, and go down the invocations zaôthráv along paths pañtánö that are luminous/radiant raôxšn.
In Háðôḵt Nask 2.24-25, the daæná (from the root dee) “power to see/insight” of the virtuous is identified with hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta by which the soul has been made “beautiful, shining and brilliant;” and (2.33-34) the virtuous through the three stages of “the purest essence in thoughts, words and deeds” hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta ascend into the boundless lights, and then the celestial abode of music/songs. Thus the faith of the individuals in this world and the worlds to come is shaped according to the “purity, soundness and goodness” of their thoughts, words and deeds.
Avestan hû “pure essence of being, sound, healthy” is a cognate of Greek hy– healthy, Vedic su and Hittite assu. Celtic divine name Esus and Greek Goddess of “good health” Hygieia come from the same root (See Didier Calin.)
Avestan hû is synonymous with vôhü “good, superb, brilliant” and reconstructed Proto Indo European wósu, wésus.
Hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta “purest essence, wellness” in thoughts words and deeds appears first in the gathic poetry in Yasna 35.2.
And later in Yasna 36.5 “With all that is the purest essence in thoughts, with all that is the purest essence in words, with all that is the purest essence in deeds we move toward/come to thee thwá.”
vîspáiš thwá hû-matáiš vîspáiš hüḵtáiš vîspáiš hvarštáiš pairi-jasá.maidaæ
In hû.mata, the second part mata “to meditate, reflect, think” refers to “good/healthy reflection, thinking, meditation.”
In hüḵta the second part üḵta “utterance” comes from the root vac “voice, word, speech” and refers to “vigor/life in the power of words and/or expression of ideas.”
In hvaršta the second part varšta comes from the root varš/varez “to wind, turn, come to pass, become” and refers to “excellence/vital energy in turning of events, happening, becoming.”
Avestan varš/varez can be compared with German werden and the ancient Norse rune WYRD “winding, turning, becoming.”
In Yasna 49.4 3rd rhymed verse line, there is reference to those ýaæšãm of evil genius duž.ḵrathwá whose good deeds/worth in turning of events/fate hvarštáiš does not nöit win/prevail over vãns their evil deeds/worth duž.varštá.
ýaæšãm nöit hvarštáiš vãns duž.varštá
An elucidation of the threefold formula is provided in Yasna 19.19:
kat hû.matem, ašavanem mana-paôiryö,
What is the purest essence in thoughts? It is the pristine passion paôiryö in the mind/spirit mana of the virtuous/excellent ašavan.
kat hüḵtem, mánthrö speñtö,
What is the purest essence in utterance/words? It is the auspicious mantra mánthrö speñtö, the sacred formula for musing, thinking, imagination!
kat hvarštem, staôtáiš aša-paôiryáiš-ča dámébîš.
What is the purest essence in that which is happening/becoming? It is the exaltation of the pristine creation of the superb artistry/ excellence aša/artha.
In other gathic verses hû is switched with vôhü “good, superb, brilliant.”
In Yasna 30.3 2nd rhymed verse line, we read of what is: “better” vahyö and “worst/most beaten” akem in mind/spirit man.ahi, in voice/words vač.ahi, and in activity/movement šyaôthanöi.
man.ahi.čá vač.ahi.čá//šyaôthanöi hî vahyö akem.čá
(Avestan šyaô and/or šyaö “set in motion, movement, action” is a cognate of Greek seúō, Latin cieō and Vedic cyávate from reconstructed Proto Indo European kei “set in motion, stir up, shake.”)
But why is it that vahyö “better” is contrasted with akem “worst/most beaten”??? It is so because while there is no end to goodness and how much better future ages can become, there is always an end to limitation, flaw and what is bad, evil!
In Yasna 34.10, 1st rhymed verse line, a being ahyá of “good spirit/mind,” vaηhéuš man.aηhö through “enterprise, action,” šyaöthaná, and spoken word/voice vaôcat is to grab gerebãm onto “good genius, healthy creativity” hû-ḵratûš.
ahyá vaηhéuš man.aηhö//šyaöthaná vaôcat gerebãm hû-ḵratûš
In Yasna 45.8, 3rd rhymed verse line, the good disposition, brilliance of spirit/mind energy vaηhéuš man.yéuš is reflected in “endeavor, action” šyaöthana and “utterance, spoken words” uḵða.
vaηhéuš man.yéuš šyaöthan.ahyá uḵða-xvyá.čá
In Yasna 53.2, 1st rhymed verse line, there is talk of “harmony, accord sequence” sčañtü between passion/mind power man.aηhá spoken word, utterance uḵðáiš and activity, enterprise, šyaöthan.áiš.
at.čá höi sčañtü man.aηhá uḵðáiš šyaöthan.áiš.čá
The meaning of hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta is to acknowledge the problems and the bad while focusing on the GOOD and have unshakeable faith in a BETTER turn of events. The worst hell we ever face is the hell we create with and in our own minds. Truth is that time is on the side of Immortal Gods. Limitations and evil are only a moment in time, and will pass.
World is an amazing state of flux and change. We need to deal with limitations and negativities but can not allow what is bad to demoralize and/or to distract us from pursuing our higher, better aspirations and goals.
Hû.mata, hüḵta, hvaršta means to keep our focus, thoughts, words and deeds on GOODNESS and a BETTER fate, which will certainly come to pass.
References: Didier Calin, Dictionary of Indo-European Poetic Themes