In ancient Norse religion, a burning rainbow bridge called the Bifrost or more precisely Ásbrú (the Æsir’s bridge) connects Midgard, “middle realm/earth” with Asgard, “home of the gods/æsir.” The rainbow bridge of the Æsir can be crossed only by a select few, the gods and the heroic dead.
In Zoroastrianism, činvatö pərətü is a “pass/bridge of elucidation and selection” that like the Æsir’s bridge, can be crossed only by a “select luminous few” and connects our world with the superb realm of Ahûrá Mazdá and his Splendid Immortals/Ahûrás, (See Váršt.mánsar commentary of Yasna 33.5.)
Pərətü literally means “portal, passage, bridge.” Latin “Portus” is a cognate. Other cognates include “ferry, ford and fjörd.”
Činvatö comes from the root čai and reconstructed Indo-European root *kwei. The underlying meaning of the root verb is “to make clear/lucid, perceive, clarify, reveal.” It also means “to pick out, select, discern, choose the best, most excellent.”
The Persian verb čîdan “pick out, select, neatly arrange” and the Persian word Golchin/Golčin a “selection of the best flowers” both come from the same root. Old Church Slavonic činiti “to arrange, neatly order” is a cognate as well.
The Südgar commentary of Yasna 46.10 concerning činvatö pərətü states: that “the soul alone sees/perceives all before the bridge and when in flesh, it cannot see and have insight into the true nature and outcome of things.”
Also, the ancient Baghan commentary of Yasna 46.10 concerning the bridge states: Only those that have walked on the path of “excellence, goodness, light” can step forth, then VISIBLY and MANIFESTLY (áškárîk) pass the činvatö bridge.
The soul of all the departed, at the dawn after the third day, go to the bridge. The soul of the good/excellent see their “vibe/energy” manifested as a most Luminous, beautiful, fair maiden and the soul of the wicked see their vibe/energy manifested as a gloomy, hateful, deformed hag.
This “manifested vibe/energy” of each person at the bridge is called daæná in Zoroastrianism. The word daæná comes from the root di/dee “to see.”
Daæná is not Only synonymous with the “maiden of the bridge” but with the yazatá/adorable god-force of the Zoroastrian religion. As maiden of the bridge daæná is “the manifestation of one’s own energy, thoughts, words and deeds” or that which is “manifested/seen.” As Zoroastrian religion, Daæná is the gift of “vision, intuitive wisdom, power to see the truth/inner fabric of reality”.
A full account of the fair, luminous maiden of the bridge in the Zoroastrian sacred lore is given in Háδöxt nask (2.11.)
The Südgar commentary of Yasna 50.7 states: that when the shining souls, the excellent, step forth to cross, the bridge becomes nine lances wide.
But for the wicked the bridge becomes narrow like a razor blade. The luminous souls in the form of a luminous, fair maiden cross over while the demonic fall below into the abyss.
According to Zoroastrian anti demonic law book Vi.dæv.dád, two dogs guard the bridge, (See Vi.dæv.dád 13.9, 19.30.)
The bridge has the following epithets in the Zoroastrian sacred lore or the Avesta: “Established, created by the Mindful lord, Mazda” (mazda-δāta) “famed/heard from afar” (düraæ.srüta) “strong/mighty” (amavant,) “well protected” (hu-páta), and “protected by excellence, truth, light” (aša páta.)
We read in the ancient Varšt-mánsar commentary of the sacred songs/gathas that those who are cruel to animals will specifically Not pass the bridge.
The AS SIRAT bridge of the Islamic religion appears to have many common elements with Činvatö Pərətü of ancient Zoroastrianism and shows strong Zoroastrian influence. The etymology of AS SIRAT goes back to Latin strata.
In conclusion, the idea of the original rainbow bridge is a luminous portal to the realm of the god beings and brilliant Immortals that is reserved for the select few. The idea of picking out the best, most excellent and manifestation of one’s thoughts, words and deeds (vibe/energy) in the form of a fair, beautiful maiden or a deformed hag are closely associated with the bridge of elucidation/selection Činvatö Pərətü in ancient Zoroastrianism.
Very informative, thanks
Great to have this online, thank you. Siamak