In the living, folk traditions of the Zoroastrians, the worship of the great Yazatá of “Victory” Vərəθra.ghna/Vərəθra.γna plays a most prominent role. The Avestan name of the “Victorious Lord” has evolved into Vahrám in middle Iranian, Bahrám in modern Persian, and Behrám among Parsi Zoroastrians.
There is a tradition of praying to the god-force of “Victory,” by reciting his Avestan hymn continuously for 40 days to overcome all sort difficulties, and achieve great success/victory in every material as well as spiritual sphere.
Among Iranian Zoroastrians, sacred shrines are dedicated to the Yazatá of “Victory.” One such very popular shrine known as Shaw Varhrám Izad is located in southern Tehran, the capital of Iran.
More Importantly, the most sacred grade of fire in Zoroastrianism, átash vahrám/bahrám “Victorious fire,” is dedicated to the yazatá of victory, the one who shatters all obstacles.
Vərəθra.ghna/Vərəθraγna is the personification of a “victorious god being” that shatters and overcomes any difficulty or obstacle, and is an unstoppable force established, and set in motion by the ahûrás, Titans (ahûra.δátö.)
Among the Brilliant, Auspicious Immortals, the “Victorious Lord” is a co-worker” ham-kár “of Ašá/Arthá, “power to excel, create a new order/reality.”
Vərəθra.ghna also joins forces with Vanaintî Uparatát “Winning, Upper Force” (Yt. 14.0, 64,) and Ama “Mighty Attacking Power.”
The “Victorious Lord” is venerated as yazata.nąm zayö.tə̄mö “the most armed of the gods” (Yt. 14.1,) ama.vas.təmö “the most mighty,” (Yt. 14.3), and xᵛarən.aŋu.has.təmö “the most endowed with xᵛarəna, fiery glory or magical charm” (Yt. 14.3.)
In the Avestan hymn, Yašt 14.28-33, the god, is closely linked to magical elements, and the “magic of the feather,” i.e., oracles based on the falling or flying of a falcon’s feather (vv. 34-46.)
According to the Avestan hymn, Yašt, the “Victorious Lord” transmits his “untamable strength and virile powers” to the Airya “the noble ones,” and confounds all their enemies.
The gift of Vərəθraγna “Victorious Lord” on the seer/prophet Zaraθuštrá was “Victory in thought, Victory in word, and Victory in deed,” as well as “impassioned speech,” in conformity with the Indo-Iranian practice of verbal contest/retort (See Kuiper, “The Ancient Aryan Verbal Contest,” pp. 243, 246.)
In the poetic gathas/sacred songs of Zaraθuštrá, the god-being/force of victory that shatters and overcomes any difficulty or obstacle is invoked in the most venerated Ké Vərəθrəm-já sacred formula.
Likewise, the 14th Avestan hymn dedicated to the Yazatá of “Victory” belongs to the most ancient sections of the Younger Avesta, and is one of the better preserved Avestan Yašts “odes of praise.” The hymn contains a wealth of archaic elements, which point to a more ancient Indo-Iranian era (P. Thieme, “The “Aryan” Gods of the Mitanni Treaties,” pp. 312-14.)
The hymn starts by enumerating the ten physical incarnations of the “Victorious Lord,” and gives a very vivid and virile picture of the unstoppable, warrior god.
Vərəθra.ghna/Vərəθraγna takes the physical form of a relentless, powerful wind (Yt.14.2-5); a bull with horns of gold (v. 7); a white horse with ears and muzzle of gold (v. 9); an aurochs/camel in sexual excitement/heat (vv. 11-13); a boar (v. 15); a youth at the ideal age of fifteen (v. 17); a falcon várəγna– (vv. 19-21); a ram (v. 23); a wild goat (v. 25); and an armed warrior (v. 27.)
The material incarnations of the Yazatá of Victory show some very interesting resemblance to the Chinese Zodiac symbolism.
We read of his fourth physical form/manifestation as an aurochs/camel in verse 11 of the hymn: ahmái. tüiryö. ájasat̰ vazəmnö vərəϑraγnö ahûraδátö uštrahæ kəhrpa vaδaryaôš dadán.saôš aiwi.tačinahæ urvatö fras.paranahæ gaæϑáuš mašyö vaŋhahæ.
The word for any large cattle from “aurochs, to buffalo, and/or camel” in the original Avestan is uštrahæ. The Avestan term for “large, powerful cattle” appears also in the second part of the name of Zaraθuštrá. Rune uruz is a very likely cognate.
Avestan kəhrpa is the word for “bodily form,” (German körper.) The word vaδaryaôš denotes “sexual excitement, feverish energy, passionate life-force.”
The word dadán.saôš or dadąsaôš (also appearing as vakąsaôš) refers to “devouring, tearing into small pieces, biting.”
The first part of the compound word dadán/dadą means“denture/teeth.” The second part kánsaôš or kąsaôš “biting off” appears also in the beautiful Zám-yaad Yašt the “hymn to the good earth.” The word appears in the 3rd verse of the 19th Yašt, in relation to the “biting frost of the snowy peak where the legendary falcon Simôrgh (Avestan saæna,) nests, upáiri saæna kánsö tafəδra varafa.
The Avestan poetic imagery clearly shows that Zoroastrianism highly celebrates sexuality, untamable strength and great virility.