Old Avestan riddle poems and the essence of the Immortals

The Váršt-mánsar commentary of Yasna 28.7 states that through the melodious songs of mąθrá “poetic thought, sacred word,”  Zarathustra, ( and those who follow his luminous vision,) connect to the “very own/self” of Mazda, the “Lord of Mind, Inspiring Creativity, and Wisdom. The ancient commentary above reminds Me of this quote: “I saw the power of the word (poetic thought) solid and indescribable. As its feet lapped the waves of ages past.”

Hence, Godhood is inextricably linked — even incorporated within mąθrá “mind formulas of the realm of bright thoughts/ideas.” Lordship of Mazdá, and the Goodwill of the Gods, may best be experienced through the “poetic thought” mąθrá, and the “power of vision, discovery and learning,” daæná, that are bound together for all eternity.

The “effective wisdom” of ḵratü expressed through “sacred verse” mąθrá becomes the “power” of the spirit, of ardor, inspiration, which animates the prophet- poet, and the noble believer/warrior of light. 

The riddle poems of the Old Avestan Songs/Gathas are the very objects and subjects which express Mazda’s “creative will” ḵratü.  Gathas/Songs are meticulously concise, powerfully expressive, and have a sacred rhythm or profound beat to them. They are one of the best known examples of using enigma in ancient Indo-European sacred poetry. 

Gathic or Old Avestan is a sonorous, imposing, melodious language well suited to poetry and effective oration. Spoken rhythm is all-important to its poetic form.

Old Avestan mąθrás are enigmatic “meditations/reflections” on the wondrous nature of Mazda, the Supreme Titan/God of Mind Energies, inherent brilliance of the Auspicious Immortals (Mazda’s Titans or Ahûras,) their magic and superb skills, the splendid creating anew, and brilliant end destiny of the worlds, battle against diabolic deities who are the forces of chaos, limitation and obstruction in present creation, and mortal mens’s role in the colossal battle to bring about the Eternal Spring of the Titans/Primeval God Powers.    

The belief underlying all of Old Avestan poetic verse/mąθrá, is that the slightest details of these sacred poem riddles have a meaning that is both profound and significant. Every detail is noteworthy, and is capable of being discovered by further insight. The ancient Zoroastrian methods of exegesis espouse the fundamental belief that every letter, word, or other detail in the Gathas/Poetic Songs has a decipherable meaning, and vast depth. The enigmatic style of the Old Avestan sacred verse has served as an additional proof to their omni-significant interpretation.

The Gathas/Old Avestan sacred verse is considered to be complete and self-sufficient, and therefore contain the answer to every inquiry that can possibly be raised. Their Zand (literally Gnosis, “Insightful Knowledge”)  exercises the method of inclusiveness, whereby the original meaning of the poetic thought is expanded by word and sound play to include matters that are not explicitly expressed.

In Yasna 57.8 Zarathustra is said to have recited the Gathas/Sacred Songs  “together with their insightful knowledge/gnosis, together with answers to questions” (maṯ.āzaiṇtīš maṯ.paiti.fraså.) 

The popular term Kashf-ul-Asrar among early and later Moslem theologians, (literally “Revelation of The Divine Secrets,”) seem to be a verbatim translation of “Avesta and Zand,” the sacred lore of the ancient Zoroastrians. The literal meaning of Avesta (Pahlavi abesta􏰎g) seem to have to do with the “wisdom and praise” of the GodPowers, with Zand referring to the “gnosis/insightful wisdom” of the sacred poetry. 

The Zoroastrian sacred tradition divides Avesta into 3 parts: The poetic thought or enchanting “Gathic Songs” (gáhánīg), “legal” (dádīg), and “Young Avestan quotations of Old Avestan mąθrás” for utmost efficiency in prayers/ritual” (hádá-mántrīg.) 

In conclusion, I shall add that according to Holy Denkart, Zoroastrian jurisprudence could be reinvented according to the exigencies of the age. Also, according to Yasna 28.7 ḵšajā.”kingship” is reserved for masters of mąθrá or the Philosopher Kings.



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1 Response to Old Avestan riddle poems and the essence of the Immortals

  1. Dariush says:

    Dorud, Could you please point out where in the Dinkard does it say Zoroastrian jurisprudence could be reinvented according to the exigencies of the age?

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