Veneration of Immortals, and the Concept of Intercession in Zoroastrianism


The concept of making an appeal to the “Auspicious, Brilliant, Immortals,” “hallowed god powers,” “pristine archetypes,” and “luminous blessed spirits,” to INTERCEDE on behalf of mortals is among the prominent beliefs of the Zoroastrian faith. 

In Zoroastrian worldview, there is a boundless, bright realm of “creative ideas, powerful mind energies, pristine archetypes, blessed, luminous spirits, known as the world of ménög. The ancient Avestan commentaries define ménög as an “enchanting world of “Celestial Melodies, God Songs/Gathas, (gāhānīg,) and most brilliant ideas,” (See ancient commentaries of Yasna,28.1.)  

The brilliant realm of spirit/mind, ménög, and“pristine archetypes” is where the fate of the material manifestations, gétîg, is decided. Ménög, precedes the universe of manifestations, gétîg, and serves as the original model for the latter’s creation. Ménög is the root and source of gétîg, and gétîg is its fruit. 

However, as ménög reflects the changes brought about in gétîg, the “realm of thoughts, mind powers, ideas,” ménög, becomes dependent on the “realm of manifestations,” gétîg. This makes the material world of gétîg, the perfect place to trap, and overcome the flaws and imperfections of the broken spirit, ahriman, and his diabolic deities.  Since, gétig is a place of mixture, fiery trial, and removal of imperfections.   

The diabolic deities and the broken spirit are trapped within the world of mortal men, and are manifest in malformations in the physical. It is said regarding the battle against ahriman, the “broken, evil spirit,” and his demon-gods, there will never be a time in which mortal men will not exist in the material universe. Since, both the continued existence of evil, and the final overcoming of it depends on mortal men. When mortal men evolve into higher, spiritual, supermen; the “broken, evil spirit,” ahriman, and his demon-gods will cease to exist.

Everything that exists in the manifested universe has a ménög “ideal, spiritual,” as well as a gétîg “physical aspect.” Hence, the Yazatás, god powers that ought to be “hallowed/worshipped,” exist both in ménög and in gétîg, and INTERCEDE to ménögán ménög, “the highest, most sublime mind/spirit of all,” (a term that designates the Supreme God, Ahûrá Mazdá,) on behalf of mortal warriors of light. 

The word for INTERCESSION in the Middle Iranian Zoroastrian literature is jádag-göwîh. It appears in the ancient commentaries of Yasna 27.13c, 28.1 a, 34.2c, 45.6d, 49.6a, 51.2c of the Poetic Gathas. 

The Avestan terms associated with the concept of INTERCESSION are vahmæ “to venerate, revere as the source of all good,” and nəmaŋhá “praise/bow to unleash the spiritual/god powers hidden in the world appearances.” 

Prods Oktor Skjaervo derives vahmæ from the root vaf “to weave sacred poetry/praise.” While Almut Hintze derives vahmæ from vohü “superb, good.” 

The idea is to see the “boundless, infinite, superb” in the mundane, and venerate it as sacred, and source of all good. When we revere the “ideal, spiritual, divine archetype” in the world of transient forms, we awake the Titans within, and unleash their hidden powers, and powerful pleas on our behalf. The concept is very similar to Old Norse Vé and making natural shrines to the original gods. 

ardeshir 

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1 Response to Veneration of Immortals, and the Concept of Intercession in Zoroastrianism

  1. Paul Phelps says:

    Authentic Gatha Zoroastrianism is most enlightening. Many people have not even
    imagined such beings as “Auspicious, Brilliant, Immortals,” “hallowed god powers,”
    “pristine archetypes,” and “luminous blessed spirits” –or such realities as “creative
    ideas,” “powerful mind energies,” “pristine archetypes, or blessed luminous spirits.”

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