Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds

Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds

The threefold motto of “good thoughts, good words and good deeds”- hû.mata, hüta, hvaršta has been a fundamental tenet in Zoroastrianism since the time immemorial.

Hû.mata, hüta, 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, hüta, 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 ðôt Nask 2.24-25, the daæná (from the root dee) “power to see/insight” of the virtuous is identified with hû.mata, hüta, 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, hüta, 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 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 is synonymous with vôhü “good, superb, brilliant” and reconstructed Proto Indo European wósu, wésus.

Hû.mata, hüta, 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 hütáiš vîspáiš hvarštáiš pairi-jasá.maidaæ

In hû.mata, the second part mata “to meditate, reflect, think” refers to “good/healthy reflection, thinking, meditation.”

In ta the second part üta “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 hütem, 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 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” -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” uða.

vaηhéuš man.yéuš šyaöthan.ahyá uða-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 uðáiš and activity, enterprise, šyaöthan.áiš.

at.čá höi sčañtü man.aηhá uðáiš šyaöthan.áiš.čá

The meaning of hû.mata, hüta, 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, hüta, 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


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4 Responses to Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds

  1. zaneta garratt says:

    Imagine what a paradise it woud be on earth if all other religions had based their ideal goal on good thoughts, good words, good deeds like Zoroastrainism has-
    “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.”

    Such a pity Zoroastrainism is not counted as one of the 5 greatest religions in the world, it should be.It has the power within it to heal the world, if only people would listen!

  2. Kaifi J. says:

    I loved this post and deeper explanation of the three-fold path in Zoroastrianism Ardeshir! I have not yet come across much commentary on what “good” truly meant in this motto, but your writings give a deeper insight into what Zarathushtra meant. I would love to read more about the inner dimension, the mystical side, of the Prophet’s wisdom. Do you have any books about that which you would recommend? Please let me know. My email is: and I am also on Facebook.

  3. name says:

    I have attached a link for my blog, for whomever would like to read.

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