The warrior’s goal “to transcend and overcome limitations” in the poetic gathas and Zoroastrianism


In a previous article we talked about the common term for “battle/combat” in the poetic gathas, and how the word for “battle” ýáh (iáh,) and “warrior” ýáhî (iáhî) actually refers to “heroic struggle/wrestling” and “hero and/or one imbued with the force, vigorous activity.”

The other term for warfare is ýudh appearing as ýöiθ in the gathas. The term is a cognate of Old Welsh jud “fight” Polish judzić “encourage, motivate” Lithuanian judù “fire up, stir” Vedic yùdhyati “fights” Tocharian A yutk “fervent, be eager” Latin iubeō “order, command in battle,” all rooted in the reconstructed Indo European *įudh *yeudh “warfare, struggle, fight, to strive eagerly.”

The word ýöiθ appears in Yasna 28.9, 2nd rhymed verse line of the poetic gathas: manas.čá hiiat vahištem//ýöi vé ýöiθe.má dase.mæ stütãm

The gathic verse considers “battle/combat” as striving eagerly to manifest the signs of the superb/best mind of the God-force, thereby offering praise to the brilliant disposition of the Immortals.

The ancient commentaries add that this verse refers to giving council/advise by the saôšiiants “heralds of good luck/success” in ushering in a new age of the gods.

The warrior’s goal is manifestation of superb spirit/mind and wondrous signs of the god-force through eager striving. Heroic experience and struggle will bring about the splendid, fresh re-creation of the worlds.

The world will evolve and become a new world with new, higher species, far above the human species, just as human species have evolved after the animal species, (See the reference to the future body in the ancient gathic commentaries.)

All existence according to the poetic gathas is a manifestation of the superb mind, brilliant disposition of the God-force. The purpose of the spiritual battle is to TRANSCEND to the level of the “superb mind and boundless evolution of mind-power” manas vahištem.

Manas in the gathic sacred verse, is the same as ménos “courage, power of the spirit, consciousness/mind, imagination, creative energy.”

Mallory/Adams in the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, p. 438 states that “the spiritual property of the hero is embedded in the concept of *menes– “spirit, mind energy, consciousness-force” that motivates and enables the hero to accomplish great deeds.

Vahištem “Superb, the Best” is superlative of vôhü, the active principle of “goodness, betterment and brilliance.” For in the poetic gathas and Zoroastrianism, “goodness is brilliance and the triumph of the spirit.”

Vásu, vôhü, vesu, wisi/visieús “superb, good, brilliant,” appears frequently in divine names among the Indo European people. The Germanic tribal name Visigoths “the good or superb goths” comes from the same root.

The evolution of consciousness has the purpose/goal of ascending to the boundless level of the superb mind, and to an age of ever-new, wondrous horizons, a new age of the gods. The battle is about revelation of the signs of the superb mind or ever higher-consciousness. And this realization of the superb wisdom, innovative imagination, and inspiring creativity is the true praise of the Immortals.

The word for “praise” in the Avesta stü (in this verse stütãm) is a cognate of Greek steûtai “make a show or gesture of something,” that goes back to reconstructed Indo European *steu “praise.” In the Avesta and the poetic gathas in particular, “praise” is “manifesting the signs of, and awakening the brilliant forces of Godhood.”

Battle ýudh allows mortals to transcend the limitations of our degraded age of impurity, and to step over the threshold into a world of heroism and higher, ever-better consciousness, the brilliant, wondrous world of the Immortals.

To manifest the wondrous signs of the god-force is the noblest expression of the spirit, and the true praise of the gods. In Zoroastrianism, worship is in striving, fighting and overcoming, not in fatalism, defeatism, and escapist emotions.

I like to conclude by the following beautiful gathic verse from Yasna 30.1, 2nd rhymed verse line:

staôtá.čá ahûrái//ýæsn.iiá.čá vaηhéûš man.aη

Manifesting the signs/praise of the ahuras//(is) the zeal/zelos, fervent yearning for the good/brilliant mind

ardeshir

With sincere gratitude to My Scholar Friend, Didier Calin for his precious inputs and corrections in Indo European etymologies and studies.

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One Response to The warrior’s goal “to transcend and overcome limitations” in the poetic gathas and Zoroastrianism

  1. Zaneta Garratt says:

    this is very inspiring to read, –
    “Battle ýudh allows mortals to transcend the limitations of our degraded age of impurity, and to step over the threshold into a world of heroism and higher, ever-better consciousness, the brilliant, wondrous world of the Immortals.”

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