The CHARIOT of TIME in the poetic gathas of Zarathustra, and Yasna 44.17

The idea that within infinite time, an finite number of events, will recur again and again infinitely, is predominant in all Indo-European religions.

There is a notion that time is composed of cycles, and that there is an eternal return or recurrence of all existence, energies and events. It follows therefore that nothing is really new, all learning is in fact memory, and that there is a heavy weight of destiny.

The ancient Aryan seer/prophet Zarathustra does NOT contradict the idea that time moves in cycles. Zarathustra is however ADAMANT that we are NOT ENCHAINED to the heavy weight of destiny.

One of the fundamental pillars of Zarathustra’s philosophy is the unshakeable belief in the unique ability of life/existence to modify itself and evolve, to transform, surpass via action/active dynamism. Zoroastrian doctrine can be summarized in realization of the will power for the purpose of “moving forward and greater becoming.”

The CREATIVE ORDER of cosmos ašá/arthá is revealed through transcending the limits, and the perpetual striving for excellence/the immortal brilliance. “Mindfulness, choice and self-overcoming evolution” define the Zoroastrian belief system. The Mazdean faith is summarized in the projection of the spirit/will power onto the existential world, time and space.

Prophet Zarathustra talks about the CHARIOT of TIME in Yasna 44.17 of his poetic gathas. The term for “the circular movement of time” is zarem čaránî. The ancient commentaries translate the term as zamán kardárî.

The gathic word for TIME, zarem comes from the root zar “grow old, ripen, mature.” Zarem has a secondary meaning of “purpose, plan, design, and goal.”

Old Avestan zar/zarem “ripen, mature, grow old,” is cognate with Young Avestan zurván “time,” Old Church Slavonic zūretĭ “ripen, mature,” Ossetian zærand “venerable, old,” Greek gérōn “old,” (Gerontology “study of aging,”) Vedic jîryati “grow old,” Tocharian śärā “mature.”

Avestan čaránî comes from čaraiti, to “circulate, travel/journey in a chariot.” The secondary meaning of “goal, purpose, plan, design” in zar, implies that the “chariot of time’s movement” zarem čaránî has a goal, purpose of “moving forward for the purpose of ever greater becoming!”

Hence, Time is the mediator of ahriman’s defeat, and the genial vehicle of the supreme god of Mind/Inspiring Creativity Mazdá, to OVERCOME flaws, limitations and imperfections of existence.

The poetic imagery in Yasna 44.17 continues with the “chariot axle” áskeitîm of all the immortal powers (šmá “You in Plural.”)

Avestan áskeitîm is cognate with Greek áksōn, Vedic ākśá, meaning “axle, axis” which evokes the ideas of “sequence, movement, and progression.” The ancient commentaries translate the term as kardárî “activity/venture.

The imagery continues in the same gathic verse with the phrase mãnθrá ýé ráθemö, the “vehicle of mantra,” and/or the “formulas that unleash the power of mind/spirit.”

Avestan raθa is cognate with Vedic rátha, Lithuanian rãtas, Old Irish roth, and Latin rota to rotate, wheel, wagon, vehicle.”

In the poetic gathas and Zoroastrianism “Cyclical Time” is not just the repetition of ages, it is rather the journey of godhood, and the adventure to “surpass, overcome, and excel.”

The Chariot of Time is an aspect of illimitable-ness of Ahûrá Mazdá, manifested in “discovery, progress, new horizons, and infinite vision/light.”

Time moves in circles, and in its travels manifests the limitless vision/wisdom of the Immortal Gods, and thereby becomes a vehicle of godhood.

In the same verse, the Aryan Prophet sings of “being büž.diiá united saröi with haûrvátá (Greek hólos,) well-being, wholeness, power to heal/regenerate, and ameretátá immortality/deathless-ness.”

saröi büž.diiái haûrvátá ameretátá.

Avestan saröi/sar “unite, mix, mingle with,” is cognate with Vedic śrīnáti, Greek kirnēmi/ krater (κρατήρ, a large wine-mixing vessel) Latin crater or cratus, and the word grail.

In Mazdean cosmogony, Time has two essential aspects: the Time without shore/the Eternal Time, and the limited time.

Eternal Time is of Öhrmazdean essence, united with the dimension of ideals/wholeness and the Immortals. Eternal Time gives to each fraction of limited time, its dimension of boundless light, and its direction and meaning.

I like to conclude with the beautiful Yasna 44.17 of the poetic gathas:

 kaθá mazdá zarem čaránî hačá šmat

 áskeitîm šmá.kãm hiiat.čá möi xva.iiát váš aæšö

saröi büž.diiái haûrvátá ameretátá

 avá mãnθrá ýé ráθemö ašát hačá

How does the chariot of time move in unison/harmony with you (in plural,) god of inspiring creativity/mind power?

Through Your (You in Plural, referring to all the Immortals,) Ventures/Journeys, my voice, revelation shall become ever more powerful,

Being allied/united with wholeness, immortality,

In the vehicle of thought-provoking formulas, advancing in accord with excellence, ašá/arthá



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