The Kávis are the seers of yore, the ancient “Wizards or Wise Ones” of the Avesta, the sacred Lore of Zoroastrianism. Avesta talks of kavaæm xᵛarənö the “fiery magic force/charisma” of the kávis, the “SEER Wise Ones” of the ancient Indo Iranians/Aryans.
The term Kávi is very ancient, and goes back to the early Indo European times. Avestan Kávi or Kavá “seer wise,” is a cognate of Lydian kawe- “seer poet/priest,” Latin caveo “take heed, observe,” Old Church Slavonic čujo “note, be mindful, remember” čudo “wonder,” Russian čúkhatî “perceive.” The reconstructed Proto Indo European form is *keu to “perceive.”
A variant cognate of Kávi is English show, German schauen, Old English scēawian and scîene to “see, know.” Modern Persian škōh “splendor, beauty, glory” is derived from the same root.
The ancient “SEER Wise Ones” of the Avesta possessed much persuasive and mental power over the heart and will of men, and knew of the hopes and dreams of mortals. Their role was to use their wondrous wisdom to help mortals achieve their own destiny, and to keep the forces of evil/darkness at bay.
Their persuasive power was made of thoughts (mati), and their spiritual “visions, powers to see” (dhī) into the other realms. They were the guardians of ṛtá “the “superb cosmic order” per the Rig Vedic poetry, (Rigveda 2.24.7.)
Kávis of the Avesta have many characteristics in common with the Istari in Lord of the Rings. Like Kávis, the Istari in struggle against the Dark Lord, helped Men to achieve their own destiny, rather than trying to dominate them.
But many Kávis, just like Saruman in lord of the Rings, failed when they tried to set themselves up as a tyrants and cruel despots in the world of men. In the Older Avesta, many kávis are said to have joined with the forces of darkness and evil, and are listed together with sorcerers, evil beings, and false teachers.
Among the Avestan Wizards of the yore, very few remained faithful to their noble charge.
In the poetic gathas, Vištáspá is the most illustrious kavá “seer wise one.” His name is mentioned 3 times in the gathas/songs of the prophet Zarathustra, in connection with the spiritual powers/divine rewards, which agrees with his mention at the end of the hymn to Anáhitá “lady of the unblemished, pure waters,” as a prototype of those who won the race (Yašt 5.132).
The name Vištáspá means “he who gives the horses free rein” (Rigveda 6.6.4 víṣitāso áśvāḥ “horses let loose or given free rein”), which agrees with the description of Vištáspá as the prototypical winner of the chariot race in the Avestan hymn to the Lady of the unblemished, pure waters.
In the Zoroastrian eschatology, kavá Vištáspá and Kávi Haô.sravah play central roles. The Avesta contains more details about Kávi Haô.sravah than any of the other Kávis, except Vištáspá.
The name Haô.sravah or more accurately *hû-sravah means “he who has good fame/glory.” Haô.sravah’s standing epithet is arša airya.nąm daxyu.nąm “stallion of the Aryan lands.”
According to holy Denkart 7.1.38; Kávi Siá.waxš (waxing black) built the Shangri La of the ancient Indo Iranians/Aryans, the Kang-dæž, by means of the xᵛarənö, the “fiery magic force/charisma” of the kávis, and the might of Ahûrá Mazdá and the Brilliant, Auspicious Immortals. Kang-dæž or the Shangri La of the ancient Indo Iranians/Aryans is said to contain numerous wonders and secrets of daæná “vision/religion of the ahuras,” to be used to redress the age and the rule of the Noble Ones. This Kávi is also said to have connected power and victory with daæná “vision/religion of the ahuras.” The location of Kang-dæž/ Kang-dež is said to be somewhere in the Tian Shan and Pamir mountains of Central Asia. It is the son of *hû-sravah “he who has good fame/glory” who is the chief in Kang-dež and will march out of there to establish the rule of “the noble, wise and the good” at the end of times.