An Introduction to Ancient Iranian Religion Readings from the Avesta and Achaemenid Inscriptions

To Kees W. Bolle

Minnesota Publications in the Humanities, Volume Two A series of books published with the financial assistance of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts of the University of Minnesota.

AN INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT IRANIAN RELIGION
Readings from the Avesta and Achaemenid Inscriptions
Translated and Edited by WILLIAM W. MALANDRA

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PRESS Minneapolis

Copyright © 1983 by the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Published by the University of Minnesota Press, 2037 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414 Printed in the United States of America. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Avesta. Selections. English An introduction to ancient Iranian religion. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Iran—Religion—Addresses, essays, lectures. 2. Zoroastrianism—Addresses, essays, lectures. I. Malandra, William W. II. Title. BL1515.2.E53 1983 295'.82 82-21784 ISBN 0-8166-1114-9 ISBN 0-8166-1115-7 (pbk.) The preparation of this volume was made possible in part by a grant from the Translations Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency. The University of Minnesota is an equal-opportunity educator and employer.

Preface
English as well as others in French and German, there is little in the way of primary textual material easily available to the nonspecialist. The present work is designed especially to provide a selection of texts from the most ancient period of Iran's recorded religious history, presented in a modern English translation. While it can hardly be the role of this anthology to provide an account of the Zoroastrian religion in great depth and detail, an outline of the religion in its historical, cultural, and spiritual setting is given by way of introduction, and the various selections are accompanied by sufficient commentary of a general nature as to provide students with a basic orientation as they make their way through the often difficult material. Thus, the book is intended not simply as a reader, a bare collection of texts, but also as an introduction to the more ancient forms of Zoroastrianism. The study of Zoroastrianism is an unusually complicated undertaking, however, owing to a variety of factors, which are discussed in the Introduction. Students who encounter Zoroastrianism for the first time will inevitably find the going rough unless they have some previous acquaintance with the methods of the history of religions and also some knowledge of ancient Indian religion of the Vedic period. In keeping with the purpose of the present work, I have tried to operate with a minimum of presuppositions, yet inevitably I have been forced to assume a certain level of sophistication on the part of the reader; otherwise the work would have far exceeded reasonable bounds. I have included some Gathic material as well as excerpts from the Achaemenid inscriptions, yet most of the reading selections are taken from the Younger Avesta, mainly from the Yashts. My choice of texts was governed by two considerations. First, I wanted to present a wide enough variety to give an idea of the range of texts contained in the Avesta. Second, I wanted to present texts that I consider to be important and at the same time the most interesting. If a disproportionately large
V

A

lthough there are several good handbooks on Zoroastrianism in

vi I Preface amount of space is given to the Yashts, it is because they are, generally speaking, the most interesting texts and because they contain within themselves much of the variety found in the Avesta as a whole. Conversely, if a disproportionately small amount of space has been allotted to Zarathushtra's own compositions, the Gathas, it is because of two factors. One is that they are already available in two modern English translations by Duchesne-Guillemin and Insler (see Bibliography); the other is that the Gathas are perhaps the most obscure and ambiguous compositions of all oriental religious literature. Almost every Gathic passage is capable of multiple interpretations, and in many cases the words defy comprehension. To appreciate the magnitude of the problem, one need only compare the numerous translations that already exist. So widely do they often differ from one another on many passages that one could be skeptical that they all translate the same original text! Not wishing to present the reader with many uncertain translations, I have chosen a few Gathas and Gathic stanzas whose interpretation is as clear as could be hoped for under the circumstances and which contain important ideas expressed in Zarathushtra's own individual style. Because the anthology is deliberately limited to texts in Old Iranian languages, two important sources for the study of Zoroastrianism have been excluded. These are the notices by classical (Latin and Greek) authors on "Persian" religion and the wealth of material contained in the Pahlavi books. While it is true that many Pahlavi works are or purport to be translations of lost Avestan originals, the recensions in which they are known to us date from the ninth century A.D. For this reason, they must be used with extreme care as evidence for the earlier forms of the religion. Their inclusion here would have necessitated long and highly technical discussions inappropriate to the aims of the present work. In regard to the classical sources, since they are accounts of Iranian religion rather than translations of texts, they, too, are inappropriate to a source book based on original texts. Nevertheless, as the reader will discover, limited use of both Pahlavi and classical sources is made in the course of the Introduction and the various commentaries to the reading selections. A final note is in order concerning my transliteration of Iranian and Old Indian words. In the case of Old Indian, I follow the generally adopted system of transliteration. The transliteration of Old Iranian words is another matter. In the scientific literature one finds various systems in use for Old Persian and Avestan. For Old Persian, I have generally followed the system established by W. Hinz in his Neue Wege im Altpersischen, with the exception that v is replaced by my w. For Avestan, I have generally followed the system of Chr. Bartholomae in his Altiranisches Worterbuch, with the following important exceptions: v = w, w = v.

Preface I vii
These changes are in the spirit of K. Hoffman's system (Festgabe deutscher Iranisten zur 2500 Jahrfeier Irans [Stuttgart, 1971], pp. 64-73), though I avoid his cumbersome representation of w by uu and y by // (like Bartholomae, I do not distinguish initial and medial w and y). By representing the bilabial semivowel with w, I wish to emphasize that it is not a fricative. The drawback to this is, of course, that many familiar names like Vdta, Var&hraghna, etc., become Wata, Wardthraghna, etc. Established words in English like Pahlavi are retained as such rather than Pahlawi. A key to transliteration and pronunciation is provided on p. ix. Several notes to the reader are necessary to facilitate the use of the anthology. Since it is intended for the nonspecialist who cannot read the texts in the original Avestan and Old Persian, no philological apparatus is included. Furthermore, the Introduction and the individual commentaries have been written primarily for those not intimately acquainted with the field of the history of Iranian religion. As a consequence, numerous controversial issues have been glossed over, and reference to various personalities has been kept to a minimum. I have attempted throughout to present a sober picture of the religion and to avoid extravagant theories that have not gained acceptance. Nevertheless, opinions divergent from my own are noted wherever necessary. The reader who wishes to pursue any topic in greater depth will find references in the bibliographies to the most pertinent literature. Many terms, minor deities, historical figures and dynasties, texts, technical terms, and the like are listed in the Glossary for easy reference. In addition, the index should be consulted for cross references and location of topics. I would like to thank my colleague, Prof. Bruce Lincoln, for his comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript, and also to express my gratitude to Prof. Richard N. Frye and Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal, who offered many constructive suggestions on the improvement of the text. Partial assistance in writing was given in the form of a Summer Research Grant by the Regents of the University of Minnesota and by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Finally and above all, I must thank my wife, Geri Hockfield, for help in the preparation of the manuscript and for her many valuable comments during the course of its writing.

Abbreviations and Symbols
Abbreviations
Ace Aog Av Celt DB DNa DPd DSf Elam Fr Ger Goth IE Ilr Ir Lat Lith MPers

Accadian Aogsmadaeca (a late Av text) Avestan Celtic Darius, Behistan Darius, Naqsh-i Rustam a Darius, Persepolis d Darius, Susaf Elamite French German Gothic Indo-European Indo-Iranian Iranian Latin Lithuanian Middle Persian

NHG NPers Ny OChSl OInd Olrish OPers Phi RV Skt Ved Vend XPc XPh Y YAv Yt

New High German New Persian Nyayishn (part of the Avesta) Old Church Slavonic Old Indian Old Irish Old Persian Pahlavi Rgveda Sanskrit Vedic Vendidad Xerxes, Persepolis c Xerxes, Persepolis h Yasna Young Avestan Yasht

Symbols
[ ] ( ) * in the translations indicate a gloss or interpolation. in the translations indicate additions by the translator to clarify the meaning. indicates a reconstructed word.

Vlll

Key to Transliteration and Pronunciation
The simple vowels a, e, i, o, u are pronounced approximately as in German; the macron (") indicates that the vowel is metrically long. The two combinations ae and ao are diphthongs, pronounced approximately as in Engl b/te and out respectively. With the exception of the letters listed below, all other letters are pronounced as in English. Note: In order to make Avestan names and words less formidable, the following deviations from the standard transliterations are employed: 7 = gh, 0 = th, 8 = dh, s = sh, z = zh; g, rj = ng; £ = v; xw = xw; t = t Old Persian is pronounced approximately like Avestan with the exception of 9 = Engl s. macron (indicates a long vowel: a, e, etc.) Engl bwt (capitalized as 3) Engl saw Fr enfant Ger ac/i x with w immediately following voiced x ngh c th dh w sh zh ng-h Engl church Engl thing Engl that Dutch water (a bilabial semivowel, similar to Engl v but not a fricative) Engl show Frje

d a a x xw gh

The following letters are found in Sanskrit and reconstructed IndoEuropean words: u IE: labial semivowel r IE and Skt: a vowel, in Skt usually pronounced as ri g IE: a voiced unaspirated palatal stop h Skt: an aspirate, approximately Engl h m Skt: indicates nasalization n, n Skt: palatal and cerebral nasals, approximately Engl n s, s Skt: palatal and cerebral sibilants, approximately Engl sh t Skt: an unvoiced, unaspirated cerebral stop, approximately Engl t

IX

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Contents
Preface v Abbreviations and Symbols... viii Key to Transliteration and Pronunciation Introduction 3 Reading Selections 1. Zarathushtra 35 The Cow's Lament (Y. 29) 35 Yasna 29 38 The Two Spirits (Y. 30.3-6; Y. 45.2) 39 Yasna 30.3-6 40 Yasna 45.2 40 Zarathushtra Questions Ahura Mazda (Y. 44) Yasna 44 42 2. Ahura Mazda 44 Inscriptions of Darius I 48 Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd) Yasht (Yt. 1) 3. Mithra 55 Mithra (Mihr) Yasht (Yt. 10) 59 4. Rashnu 76 Rashnu (Rashn) Yasht (Yt. 12) 79 82 89 ix

41

51

5. Wsrgthraghna 80 Warothraghna (Wahram) Yasht (Yt. 14) 6. Xwaranah 88 Xwarsnah (Zamyad) Yasht (Yt. 19)
xi

xii I Contents
7. Wayu 97 Wayu (Ram) Yasht (Yt. 15) 98 105 120

8. The Frawashis 102 Frawashi (Frawardm) Yasht (Yt. 13) 9. Aradwl Sura Anahita 117 Arsdwl Sura Anahita (Aban) Yasht (Yt. 5) 10. Ashi 130 Ashi (Ard) Yasht (Yt. 17) 131 11. Sraosha 135 Sraosha (Srosh) Yasht (Y. 57) 12. Tishtrya 140 Tishtrya (Tishtar) Yasht (Yt. 8) 13. Haoma 150 Haoma (Horn) Yasht (Y. 9, 10, 11) 14. Atar 159 Yasna 62 160 137 143

151

15. Purity and Pollution 162 Vendidad 5.1-44 164 Vendidad 7.1-4, 9-15, 23-27 168 Vendidad 7.53-58 169 Vendidad 9 170 Vendidad 16 173 16. Yima 175 Vendidad 2 178 17. Miscellanea: Sacred Prayers 182 (Yenghe hatam; Yatha ahu wairyo; Asham wohu; Ny. 1.16) Notes Glossary Bibliography Index 192 184 186 189

An Introduction to Ancient Iranian Religion Readings from the Avesta and Achaemenid Inscriptions

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Introduction

B

efore the Buddha, before Christ and Muhammad, in a remote area of Iran a unique individual emerged from the anonymity of his traditional tribal culture to preach a new gospel, one that was destined to become the foundation of Iranian spirituality for more than a millennium. Like the Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad, he had the vision of transforming his inherited religion into a new faith. His name was Zarathushtra (Zoroaster in the West), and the religious vision to which he gave expression is known as Zoroastrianism, a religion whose roots go back to the beginning of the second millennium B.C. It is still practiced today by perhaps a hundred thousand people, living mostly in India and in smaller numbers in Iran. In antiquity it was one of the dominant religions of the world. Its influence can be seen in Judaism (and Christianity), in Manichaeism and other forms of gnosticism, in Northern (Mahdyana) Buddhism, and in Islam. Although its influence in the world came to an end during the seventh century A.D. with the Arab conquest of Iran and the subsequent centuries of repression and persecution under Islam, a small core of the faithful steadfastly has maintained its traditions and preserved a small corpus of its sacred texts down to the present. Despite its venerable age and its important place within the history of world religions, Zoroastrianism remains little known to all but a small number of philologists and historians of religions. A student of classics might recall encountering a reference to a Persian Magus named Zoroaster, who lived six thousand years before Plato; or a student in a world religions course might remember something about the fire worshippers of ancient Iran. In the nineteenth century, the name of Iran's great prophet became widely known thanks to Friedrich Nietzsche's famous philosophic tract Also Sprach Zarathustra. But in any case almost nothing of substance concerning Zarathushtra or the complex religious situation of ancient Iran has made its way into our intellectual culture. In fact, what few ideas people do entertain about these matters are either superficial generalizations, as
3

4 I Introduction
in the case of the beliefs about fire worship, or wanton distortions, as in the case of Nietzsche's figure. Any religion built upon a foundation so solid as to endure for three millennia through periods of prosperity and deprivation alike is certainly initially worthy of more than passing notice. For those who heed the call, the rewards are great, for in Zoroastrianism one encounters, often in confusing complexity, the historical records of a religion that not only dominated the spiritual life of the Iranian people for centuries, but also affected other religions in crucial ways. Zoroastrianism is the name most usually applied to the religious complex of ancient Iran. The term should be used in a more restricted sense, however, since not all ancient Iranian religion was Zoroastrian. To be precise, it is necessary to distinguish between a number of religious phases, one of which will be characterized as Zoroastrian. The most ancient phase to be discussed encompasses a religion that goes back well into the third millennium B.C., to a time when the related Indo-Aryans and Iranians still composed a single group. This Indo-Iranian religion is a hypothetical reconstruction, based primarily on the texts of the Iranian Avesta and the Indian Rgveda. In the course of time the Indo-Iranians divided; one group, the Indo-Aryans, migrated to India and parts of the Near East, the other, the Iranians, settled throughout the Iranian plateau. The religion of these Iranians is known as Old Iranian. It too must be reconstructed, again primarily on the basis of the Avesta and to a lesser degree on that of the Achaemenid inscriptions, notices in classical authors, and diverse other scraps of evidence. The reformed religion of the prophet is termed Zarathushtrianism. After the prophet's death, his religion underwent a period of change, the final outcome of which was a national religion made up of Zarathushtrianism and many elements of the Old Iranian religion that were reintroduced, contrary to the original reform. This final, rather eclectic religion, which is the source of almost the entire Avesta, is Zoroastrianism} The religion incidently referred to in the Achaemenid inscriptions is the subject of controversy, since it cannot be proved whether or not the "Great Kings," Darius and Xerxes, were influenced by Zarathushtra. It may be easiest simply to leave the question open by calling their religion Old Persian.

Indo-Iranian Religion
A religion never has an absolute beginning. When one speaks of the 'beginnings" of Hinduism or Christianity or Zoroastrianism, one may

Introduction I 5
have in mind the date of a founder such as Jesus or Zarathushtra; or one may be referring to the oldest texts of the religion, such as the Rgveda in the case of Hinduism. Yet these "beginnings" are really no more than points in history that owe their existence to events still farther in the past. Unfortunately, the historical documents go back only so far. The limitations imposed on one's knowledge of a particular tradition by the very limitations of the evidence force one to accept arbitrary dates for the beginnings of these ancient traditions. That one's sources may be five hundred or a thousand years earlier than another's is of no consequence, since—no matter where the cutoff date may lie—the sources themselves presuppose an already long and complex tradition. As the readings in this anthology suggest, the most ancient documents of Old Iranian religion are already as complex and confusing as one could wish. Sometimes the oldest sources do present an absolute limit beyond which one cannot penetrate. Often, however, one can push back the limits of texts through the process of comparative historical reconstruction. Ancient cultures did not exist in isolation, but were either related generically to or influenced by contact with other cultures. Study of the documents of such related traditions can often greatly augment one's knowledge of the culture that one is studying. Let me offer two examples to illustrate the point. (1) Old Iranian possesses a word, Av* daewa, OPers *daiwa meaning 'demon' or 'false or hostile god'. Other terms used by related peoples include OInd deva 'heavenly; god'; Lat deus 'god'; Olr dia 'god'; and ONorse tivar 'gods'. The differences in meaning between the Iranian terms and their counterparts in other languages suggest that, in the course of Iranian religious history, certain changes have taken place in ideology that have led to a demonization of the gods. I shall return to this problem shortly; for now one need only note that one can safely reconstruct a history of daewa/daiwa, at least to the extent that one knows that the word originally meant 'god', not 'demon'. (2) The myth of Yima and his wara (see sect. 15) contains, among other themes, a "Noah's ark" motif. Since this myth seems to be of Semitic origin, one can postulate an Iranian borrowing from Near Eastern cultures. Throughout the present work, I shall make extensive use of the comparative method. While the method is immensely useful, in fact indispensable, it must be kept in mind that its limitation is that it presents hypothetical reconstructions. Sometimes these reconstructions rest on very solid ground, as in the case of daewa/daiwa; more often than not they are less secure. The geographical name Iran (older Eran) derives from an ancient ex*Avestan. Abbreviations for linguistic sources are given on p. viii.

6 I Introduction pression found in the Avesta by which the Iranians designated their own territory, airyana waejah, meaning 'expanse, territory of the Aryas'. Who were these Aryas or Aryans? Culturally and linguistically they were the close relatives of another group of people who also called themselves Aryas, now called Indo-Aryans in contradistinction to the Iranians. The two groups of Aryans, Indo-Iranians, were related again linguistically and culturally to the extensive family of Indo-Europeans, which includes most of the language groups of Europe as well as such ancient Asian groups as Hittites and Tocharians. Although much controversy surrounds the location of the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans, it is fairly certain that the Indo-Iranians lived in the steppes of what is now Soviet Central Asia, north of the Caspian and Aral seas. At some point in the third millennium B.C., there occurred a split in the group that resulted in the division between Indo-Aryans and Iranians. Around 1500 B.C., both groups began to move down out of the steppes into various areas of ancient civilizations, as part of a broader movement of Indo-European peoples. Although the precise migratory routes have not yet been conclusively demonstrated, it is known that the Indo-Aryans finally settled both in the northwestern part of India (the Punjab) and in Anatolia; the Iranians settled in Iran, that is, in a geographical area that included modern Iran, Afghanistan, and parts of Soviet Central Asia, especially the area bounded by the Oxus and Yaxartes rivers. The study of the linguistic remains of the Iranians and Indo-Aryans reveals that while there are easily identified general characteristics that define the two groups, within each group there were numerous dialect differences, as noted above. For example, the language of the Old Persian inscriptions (a southwestern dialect) is quite different from that of the Avesta (a northeastern dialect), and, in turn, Avestan itself is represented by two dialects. These linguistic facts are important to the historian of religions in that they show clearly that Indo-Iranian religion developed in a situation of cultural diversity. That is, although major cultural, linguistic, and religious traits were held in common by the various tribes, there were many points of difference. Thus, as one approaches Indo-Iranian religion, one may be dealing with phenomena as diverse as, say, Dutch Calvinism and Italian Catholicism, both of which fall under the general rubric of Christianity. If one does not push the generalization too far, it is safe to say that religion reflects society, both its social institutions and its economic way of life. Since this is certainly true of Indo-Iranian religion, some appreciation of the material and social foundations of the culture is essential to an understanding of the religion. The Indo-Iranians were nomadic or seminomadic pastoralists who herded a variety of animals, including goats and

Introduction I 7
sheep, but whose economic foundation was cattle. Like modern Nilotic tribes in East Africa, the ancient Aryans depended in manifold ways upon the cow.2 It provided milk and milk by-products, meat, leather; its urine was used as a purifying agent; its dung fueled the fire; it could pull carts or plows. A man's wealth was measured not in money, but in cows. It is not surprising, then, that the Cow occupies a central position in the religion. Dependence on cattle and other grazing stock means a life of wandering in search of fresh pasture land. Usually the pastoralist life is divided into two yearly phases. In winter when forage is scarce, when snow and cold impede movement, communities, often a single extended family or a small group of such families remain in fixed winter quarters. Once the snows have melted and grass begins to grow, a cycle of migrations begins. Peoples living in mountainous areas follow a regular route of migration from valleys and lowlands into progressively higher altitudes until late summer when they begin the descent to the winter stations. No less than agriculturalists, pastoral peoples depend on unfailing sources of water for their animals as well as an adequate spring melt and occasional summer rains to ensure an abundance of grass. The importance of water is a common motif in Indo-Iranian mythology. Another important aspect of pastoral nomadism is warfare—that is, warfare not in terms of large, wellorganized armies, but specifically in the form of cattle rustling. Many of the gods and heroes of myth and legend represent the ideal Aryan warrior who is able to smash the defenses of his opponents and liberate their cattle. As people of the steppes, the Aryans made special use of horse and chariot in combat, a skill that made them superior to the sedentary agriculturalists, whom they were destined to conquer in their invasions of India and Iran. There is some controversy over the structure of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian society.3 It is certainly the case that the society was patriarchal. In matters of religion, women, with a few exceptions, played a minor role. The basic unit was the extended family, and a group of families formed a unit known as a *wik (Av wis, OInd vis). A larger grouping of families formed a tribe, known in Avestan as a zantu and called by various names in Old Indian. The Iranians recognized an even broader category called a dahyu 'people, country', which seems to have originally included all related tribes, but later simply meant 'a province and/or its people'. Some scholars especially Dumezil, believe that Indo-European society generally was tripartite in structure, composed of commoners, warriors, and priests. Although it is true that a tripartite structure can be demonstrated conclusively for Celtic, Iranian, and Indo-Aryan societies for historical periods, it is not at all certain that a primitive tripartition can be safely reconstructed for Indo-European or even Indo-Iranian society,

8 I Introduction
mainly because there is no consistent terminology in the various languages for the supposed classes. In Avestan a word for 'priest', athrawan, became the generalized term for any priest, although in western Iran there was what Herodotus calls a tribe of Median priests, the Magi (OPers magu). In India, brdhmana 'brahmin' is a new formation on an older term, brahman 'one who has to do with brahman (sacred power inherent in prayers, spells)', again a once specific term generalized to include the entire class of specialists in the sacred. Members of the warrior class in Iran were called rathaeshta 'who stands in the chariot', while in India they are either rajanya 'kingly, noble' or ksatriya 'one who exercises rulership; noble man'. The third estate is designated as wastryo.fshuyant 'husbandman, farmer' in Avestan; in Indie the term is vaisya 'commoner'. This situation, which is actually far more complex than I have indicated here, is better explained in terms of independent evolution than of common origin. The roots of such independent evolution can be found in certain functions that must necessarily have existed, that is, economic pursuits, governance, fighting, and specialization in the sacred. But there is no reason to assume that each function was the sole domain of three discrete hereditary social classes. The pater familias, for example, could easily have exercised all three functions. If specialization occurred, it could have been based on skill and/or vocation. The sociological problem has a direct bearing on one's understanding of the religion of the Indo-Iranians, since those who believe in the tripartition of society also believe in a tripartition of the pantheon and of many religious motifs as a projection of human society. Although I must reject this particular application of sociological analysis to religion, I shall often rely, in what follows, on the basic premise that religious structures often do represent a projection of societal realities and ideals. At a time when "structuralism" in a variety of forms is enjoying wide currency in religious studies, however, it is important not to lose sight of historical change as a determining factor in the formation of a religion. Religions tend to be conservative. Especially during periods of rapid historical change, religion will lag behind the rest of society, often to present an anachronistic view of things. Because of this inertia, which can carry archaic ideas into an altered present, one must proceed with caution in the matter of sociological reconstructions. There is a fallacious assumption implicit in many attempted reconstructions of Indo-Iranian religion and society that the reconstructed period was somehow pristine, that is, not subject to the same problems of historical flux that influence all documented history. The science of religion has undergone many changes since its serious beginnings in the nineteenth century. These hermeneutical changes have

Introduction I 9 also affected the interpretation of Indo-Iranian religions. In the last century and the early part of this century, scholars were preoccupied with nature mythology, sharing an orientation to religion founded on the notion that gods and many other aspects of religion represented the naive worship of divinized natural phenomena. I bring this up not as a matter of historical curiosity but to alert the reader to the fact that much of the older literature dealing with Indo-Iranian religion assumes the primacy of nature mythology. Of course, it is true that many divine beings have unmistakable natural bases. As Avestan examples, one might cite Wata and Wayu (two wind gods) or Hwarsxshaeta (the god Sun) or Tishtrya (the star Sirius). Sometimes the deity is as uncomplicated in its manifestations as is the natural phenomenon itself (e.g., Hwarsxshaeta); sometimes the deity displays a complexity that far surpasses that of the phenomenon (e.g., Tishtrya). The real problem arises in respect to those deities who have naturalistic associations, but whose natures are rooted in far different concerns. The god *Mitra (Av Mithra) provides a good example. Many early discussions concerned themselves almost exclusively with the problem of the god's solar nature. In Middle Iranian languages, various reflexes of his name do mean 'sun', (e.g., MPers mihr), and indeed there are some references in the Avesta to his connection with the sun. In the Vedic texts known as Brahmanas one also finds the equation Mitra = Sun. But the word mitra or mithra itself means 'covenant, contract'. Thus, the basic nature of this god is not to be recovered by constructing an intricate theory concerning his identity with the sun, but rather by realizing that he is essentially an ethical deity. A proper understanding of Mitra must begin with the ethical concept. Once this is done, many of the god's aspects can be seen as proceeding from the central concept. In addition to the deities who represent either natural phenomena or the ideals of society, there are always a number of so-called Sondergotter (special gods) who preside over very specific matters (e.g., the deities who rule over the five daily watches). The point to be made here is that there is no one, simple way of understanding either the origin or the basic nature of the various deities. Each case has to be examined on its own merits. The Indo-Iranians, like other peoples, consistently divided the cosmos into three levels: earth, heaven, and the middle space or atmosphere. This tripartition of the cosmos, especially emphasized by the Indo-Aryans, provides the basic orientation of the religion. Since the levels are ordered in ascending grades, they present to the human perspective an order of transcendence. The earth, though extremely holy herself, is the realm of human activity and therefore of immanence. The atmosphere touches the earth, surrounds man, yet extends beyond to the vault of heaven. It is a

10 I Introduction realm of ever-changing aspect, a seeming void traversed by the unpredictable wind, now gentle, now violent, now dry, now bringing clouds and storms. In short, the atmosphere is an arena for the constant activity of awesome and often violent forces. Above the atmosphere is the vault of heaven, and beyond it is heaven itself. Whereas the atmosphere touches man, heaven is wholly beyond the sphere of ordinary human experience. Its very height provides a natural symbol of transcendence. As a result of the tripartition of the cosmos, deities characteristically inhabit one or the other of the cosmic levels. And, characteristically, those who inhabit heaven, the so-called "sky gods," are creators of the cosmos and representatives of the highest ethical principles. They are also masculine. They often remain aloof from the everyday functioning of the cosmos, although in some cases perpetual activity is required of them, as in the case of Mitra, who must be ever on the lookout for breakers of covenants. The deities of the atmosphere, normally masculine, tend to be violent or at least martial in nature. They either perpetually inhabit the atmosphere, like the wind gods (Wata, Wayu), or else they dwell on the mountain (usually the cosmic mountain) and issue forth through the air in their chariots or in one or another of their theriomorphic forms. Storm and war are their chief occupations. The deities of the earth, usually feminine, tend to be connected with fertility, prosperity, and more everyday concerns. Finally, there are deities who by nature occupy all cosmic levels. The god Fire, for example, is the primary means of communication between the human and divine realms. He either conducts the gods to the sacrifice or carries the offerings to the gods. The Heavenly River (known under a variety of names), flowing down from the heights of heaven to the earth, is, especially in Iran, a multivalent goddess who—perhaps because of her itinerary—shows personality traits characteristic of all cosmic levels. In considering the cosmic associations of deities, I should like to emphasize, however, that the categories may be only approximations that can aid one's orientation, for one often finds that the situation presented in the actual texts is too complicated to be amenable to all-too-simplistic schemes. On the subject of cosmology, a few additional remarks are in order, although details will be covered in the introductions to the reading selections. Myths about how the cosmos came to have the form it now has are numerous, especially on the Indo-Aryan side. The multiplicity of explanations shows, if nothing else, that the Indo-Iranians probably possessed no one myth of creation, but were content with a variety of alternatives, without feeling a need for logical consistency. Common creation myths probably included at least the following themes: (1) creation through the dismemberment of a primordial giant, the cosmic man; (2) the incubation

Introduction 111
and hatching of the embryonic world from the cosmic egg; (3) the fashioning of the cosmos by an artisan or carpenter god; (4) creation by a hero who drives or holds apart heaven and earth; (5) creation by a powerful being (d(h)dtar) who literally 'places' (d(h)a-) the cosmos in the void. In Iranian religion (3) and (5) are the prevalent themes, and both feats are attributed to Ahura Mazda or one of his aspects. Although the Indo-Iranians entertained a variety of theories about the origin of the cosmos, they maintained fairly uniform ideas concerning cosmography, i.e., the structure of the cosmos once it had come into being. In addition to its inner tripartition, there is seen to exist a broader duality of ordered being (cosmos) and nonordered being (chaos); cosmos arises, through whatever agency, out of chaos. Further, cosmos is like a fortress surrounded by chaos, normally symbolized as the waters, sometimes as darkness. There also occurs a vertical differentiation in chaos; that is, the waters surrounding the heavens are the source of Truth, whereas those in the nether regions below and around the earth are shrouded in darkness and are the source of the anticosmic principle of Falsehood. This is not as peculiar as it may appear at first glance, since the human attitude toward the primordial, precosmic state naturally manifests itself in ambivalence. The reason is that chaos, pure undifferentiated being, contains the germs of all possibilities, for good as well as for evil. To the mystic who can transcend the finitude of the human condition, pure being is the ultimate beatific goal of oneness beyond all opposites. To the nonmystic, pure being is chaos, a state perceived with all its contradiction as both terrifying and attractive. In mythico-cosmographic terms, such ambivalence finds expression in the vertical differentiation of chaos. I have mentioned that the cosmos was conceived of as a kind of fortress. In the myths, the sky itself, the vault of heaven, is made of stone. The common Iranian word for the sky was as man (NPers asman, Ved asman) a word with the basic meaning of 'stone'. I have also mentioned the lofty height of heaven. The gap separating "this earth" from "yon heaven," as the texts express it, is not unbridgeable. In addition to the intermediary of Fire, there also exists the cosmic mountain arising from earth to heaven, the Mem of the Indians, called the Alburz (Av HaraB3r3zaiti) by the Iranians. This mountain—actually a mountain range in the case of the Alburz—partially mythological, partially homologized with real mountains, provides an important path of communication between cosmic levels, an avenue both of transcendence for man and of immanence for the divine. As such, the cosmic mountain plays an essential role in the system of cosmic hydrology. Although rain does figure in the myths, the primary source of water for the Indo-Iranians was river

12 I Introduction water. Its source was the cosmic ocean or sea, located in heaven. From it flowed a mighty river or rivers down the cosmic mountain to the earth to become various rivers. These flowed into the sea, from which they flowed back, in a manner that is unclear, into the heavenly ocean, so completing the cycle. (See sects. 9, 12. 15, 16.) It is a characteristic of Indo-Iranian cosmography that there is a good deal of confusion between it and actual geography. When reading texts, one is frequently not at all sure whether the text is referring to an actual mountain, river, or sea, or to a mythological one, or to both simultaneously. For example, there are many references in the Avesta to the Wouru.kasha sea. In some places it will appear obvious that it is the cosmic sea; in others, an actual sea (Aral? Caspian?) seems indicated. Sometimes one cannot discern which is meant. Part of this vagueness has to do with the notion of sacred geography itself. Archaic peoples such as the Indo-Iranians made their world a sacred world, one filled with religious meaning, by investing geographic features with mythological content. Thus the highest mountain would not be simply Mount So-and-So, but would be the cosmic mountain itself; rivers and seas were regarded in the same way. In the case of nomadic peoples, geographic nomenclature was not absolute. That is, when a group moved to a new region, the new geographical features were assigned the same associations as the old. One can easily observe this process as the Vedic Aryans progressed from the Punjab into the Doab, where, for example, the Ganges replaced the older Indus (Sindhu) and Sarasvati as the cosmic river. The duality of cosmos and chaos also had a far-reaching influence on the ethical orientation of the Aryans. On the one hand, the dark, terrifying aspect of chaos was viewed as an ever-present source of demonic forces that threatened cosmic order. Night was the special domain of demons who issued forth from the nether regions of darkness beneath the earth. In the Avesta, demonic creatures commonly hide beneath the earth; in a famous Vedic myth, the god Indra casts the anticosmic demon Vrtra down into "long darkness" after having separated the cosmos (sat) from chaos (asat). On the other hand, the concept of cosmos implied the ideal of the real or true. In Vedic, the word used for 'cosmos' is sat, a neuter noun formed on the present participle of the verb 'to be' (as-). Its etymological meaning is 'being', hence 'the real; the cosmos'. Its opposite, asat, is not absolute nonbeing, but rather nonbeing in the sense of 'nonordered being; the unreal; chaos'. Although the duality sat-asat is not attested to directly in Old Iranian religion, it is presupposed by one of the words for 'true; truth', Av haithya, OPers hashya. Both of these correspond to OInd satya 'true; truth', literally, 'that which is related, that which corresponds to the real (sat)'.

Introduction I 13 In addition to this word for 'truth', there existed another, partially synonymous word *rta (OInd rta, Av as ha, OPers (a)rta). The etymology of this word has been the subject of much dispute, but it probably derives from a verb ar- 'to join'. Rta- is a neuter noun basically meaning 'connection'.4 Like satya, rta- implies a "connection" with the real, with the proper or characteristic order of things. As such it has two basic meanings in Indo-Iranian: (1) 'truth'; (2) 'cosmic order'. Rta is perhaps the most important concept in Aryan religion, since it embodies the basic principle by which the entire cosmos, physical as well as ethical, behaves. This highest principle was under the special care of the supreme heavenly deity; in India this was Varuna, in Iran, Ahura Mazda. It was also closely associated with fire and had its seat in the heavenly waters. Because of their link with rta, both fire and water were employed in the solemnizing of oaths and the administration of ordeals. In the course of history, Vedic rta was soon replaced by the concept of dharma, while in Iran its active usage persisted longer; but certainly by the late Achaemenid period, if not much earlier, it too fell into disuse in all but a formulaic way. The concept of rta naturally implies its opposite. Vedic religion, which is not exceptionally dualistic in outlook, made limited explicit use of this opposite principle; Iranian religion, however, which developed an exceptionally dualistic outlook, greatly exploited it. The principle opposing asha was not its simple negation (like Vedic anrta), but druj 'lie, falsehood, deceit'. It is essential to understand from the outset that Iranian religion, especially Zoroastrianism, was founded on the idea of an allinclusive ethical dualism. I shall return to the question of asha-druj shortly in reference to the religion of Zarathushtra. Many religions of the ancient world possessed in their mythologies the idea of generations of gods. The difficult question of the origin of the idea lies beyond the scope of the present work. Let it suffice to observe that Indo-Iranian religion seems also to have embraced this notion, although the details are certainly obscure. Two groups of deities are encountered in the Vedas and in the Avesta. They are the *asuras (OInd asura, Olr ahurd) and the *daiwas or devas. The earliest parts of the Rgveda indicate that the asuras are the older generation, while the devas are upstarts. Although they may show some signs of antagonism, the two groups coexist in a state of alliance against the common enemy, the anticosmic demons, variously called the danavas, dasas, and dasyus. In the latter parts of the Rgveda and especially in the Brahmanas, however, there is a curious development: the asuras as a group (which includes among others Mitra and Varuna!) become the demons, whereas the devas emerge as the true gods. The antagonism between devas and asuras is one of the most common themes of the later Vedic ritual literature, where the two groups

14 I Introduction
frequently fight with one another over the sacrifice. The preoccupation of the Vedic ritualists, who composed this literature, with this antagonism indicates that an essential aspect of the distinction between the two groups of deities was the nature of their worship. That is, different forms of worship may have been performed for them. On the Iranian side, the situation is generally reversed. All the texts, much later than the Rgveda, show an absolute dualism between ahura-daewa, so that the ahuric world is aligned with Truth (Asha), while the daewic world is that of the Lie (Druj). Thus, for example, the great Vedic god Indra appears in the Avesta in the demonology of the Vendidad. About the only evidence for the proto-Indo-Iranian state of affairs is the fossilized Avestan phrase 'of gods and men' (daewanam mashyanamca). In parts of Iran, notably Mazandaran and Sogdiana, daewa worship persisted into the Islamic period. As shall become clear in the discussion of Zarathushtra's religion, the reasons for the accommodation of the ahura-daewa opposition to the general dualism are probably ritualistic. There is an often-quoted statement of the Greek historian Herodotus to the effect that the Persians do not erect statues, temples, and altars, and that they consider those who do to be fools, for the reason that their religion is not anthropomorphic like the Greeks'.5 Like so much of Herodotus' information, this observation contains some truth with an admixture of inaccuracy. But the statement is generally valid for all of Aryan religion including the Vedas. The Aryans certainly constructed fire altars, but there was no place in their religion for temples or icons. Major acts of worship of the gods were accomplished through the performance of a sacrifice, which in most cases required an animal victim. The word for such a ceremony, in Avestan yasna, in Old Indian yajna, derives from the common verbal root yaz-lyaj- 'to worship; to sacrifice'. The same verb, incidentally, is at the base of the normal Avestan word for 'god' yazata (lit. 'one worthy of worship or of sacrifice'). Since yaz- usually carries the broader connotation of 'worship', especially with prayer, it is usually translated as such even when sacrifice is involved. To achieve a proper perspective on the nature and meaning of the sacrifice, one must first make the point that in Aryan society hospitality, its proper rites and observances, was a socio-ethical institution of primary importance. Now, the fundamental concept of Aryan worship is that one invites the desired deities as highly honored guests to a meal in their honor.6 A meal for an honored guest required more than the simple provision of food. It was necessary to welcome the guest, to offer him refreshment after his long journey, to provide him a soft seat, to entertain him with poetry and music, and, of course, to provide him with a fitting meal. Finally, hospitality itself was viewed as a kind of gift and, in addition, an

Introduction I 15
exchange of gifts would normally have taken place between host and guest. If properly treated, a guest was under a particular obligation to return the host's favor through a gift. It is clear, then, that the goal of the sacrifice was the reception of the deity's gift, the entire ceremony implying a quid pro quo arrangement often summarized by the Latin phrase do ut des 'I give in order that you may give'. Although it is true that, outwardly, the sacrifice took the form of the rites of hospitality, which involved the exchange of gifts, one should not get the impression that the ceremony was viewed simply in terms of an everyday business transaction. It was also a time when the gods came down to earth and stayed among men, an occasion for men to sit in the presence of the gods. To lose sight of this important spiritual dimension is to reduce the very focal point of the religion to a crass material exchange. If one looks at the Avestan and Rgvedic literature from this perspective, one quickly notices that much of it is in the form either of invocations or invitations to the various deities or of laudatory poetry sung for and about the divine guest. One also observes that the host-worshipper's request for the obligatory gift of the god's boon is seldom omitted. It is important to keep in mind that Indo-Iranian hymns were composed not with a human audience in mind, but a divine one. The hymns that praise the gods by rehearsing their attributes and their mythological exploits are often extremely confusing to modern readers. Almost never do they relate a myth in narrative style. Rather they present, in kaleidoscopic fashion, only isolated details or highlights of the mythology. Frustrating as it is to the reader who would wish a clear narrative, the poets of the Avesta and the Rgveda saw no reason to tell the story; after all, the gods knew their own mythologies! The poets' goal was to allude to matters already known to all, but to phrase them in new and artistically creative ways that would please the divine guest. The central deity of the sacrifice was the Fire (see sect. 14). He functioned as messenger between human and divine spheres. He carried the invitations to the gods and either returned with them to the sacrifice or, on occasion, conveyed the sacrifice to them. He was, in all cases, the intermediary step in the offering of the victim in that the victim could not be offered raw. Before the altar the sacrificer had to prepare a seat of soft grass for the god(s). This is the barssman of the Avesta, the barhis of the Vedas (cf. Av barszish 'cushion'). In addition to the flesh or fat offering, the god was also given an invigorating drink to quench his thirst and revive his spirits. This was the famous mixed drink of milk and *sauma (Av haoma, OInd soma), discussed in detail in sect. 13. Although, as I believe, the yajna/yasna was originally a fairly simple ceremony, which any duly instructed household head could perform, in

16 I Introduction time its performance became increasingly elaborate, especially in respect to the preparation of the sauma, until the ceremony became the exclusive domain of religious specialists, an evolution that largely contributed to the establishment of priesthoods in the respective societies.

Zarathushtrianism
It is partially against the religious background summarized in the preceding section that the figure of Zarathushtra must be seen. No prophet has ever emerged from a cultural or ideological vacuum. A prophet's creativity, his ability to communicate a new revelation, rests on his familiarity with his tradition and on his skill in interpreting that tradition. When one studies the religious teachings of Zarathushtra, one's ability to understand his often obscure pronouncements will depend on one's appreciation of his background. Unfortunately, many of the facts concerning Zarathushtra's historical circumstances and his teachings are shrouded in obscurity. The full Sasanid Avesta apparently contained legends about his life and some of these are recounted in the Pahlavi Denkard. Little credence can be given these accounts, however, since they belong to the genre of wonder-literature. Only a few hard facts can be retrieved from the Avesta, especially from Zarathushtra's own Gathas ('Songs'). A tentative biography may be given as follows. Zarathushtra spoke an archaic language, which, on the basis of comparative Iranian linguistics, can be assigned to the northeastern language groups exclusive of those farthest east on the Indo-Iranian frontier and those north of the Oxus. Although this narrows down his geographic sphere of activity somewhat, it still leaves rather a vast area of his life open to speculation. As I have already had occasion to mention, his dates are a matter for widely divergent opinion. One eminent scholar believes that Zarathushtra was a Stone Age man living among nomadic Iranian tribes in northern Central Asia some time between 1700 and 1500 B.C., at a time before they had migrated south to Iran proper7; another equally eminent scholar held, with equal conviction, that Zarathushtra was active in the quite civilized state of Chorasmia at the beginning of the sixth century B.C., at a time just preceding the formation of the Persian empire under Cyrus the Great (559-529 B.C.).8 Obviously, one's assessment of Zarathushtra and the nature of his religious ideas will differ significantly, depending on where and when one places his life. And, if there is room for such widely incongruous opinions on the subject, one may well wonder

Introduction I 17
whether despair is the only alternative! The principal reason for posing the early date for the prophet is the very archaic appearance of the Gathas in terms of both language and cultural reference. In linguistics, archaism does not necessarily imply greater antiquity, however, since for a variety of reasons languages and dialects do not undergo change at a uniform pace. Glottochronology is thus a very insecure science. For example, since religions are conservative, changing only very slowly, religious or priestly language tends to be archaic. An obvious example of this general tendency is the continuing influence of "King James" English in Protestant Christianity throughout the English-speaking world. Zarathushtra, who was certainly trained as a priest, probably chose an archaic, hieratic form of his language in preference to the vernacular. A corollary to the use of archaic language is often the retention of an anachronistic cultural frame of reference. Taking Christianity again as an example, it continues to use the pastoral imagery of the Bible even in an age of urban industrial civilization. To cite another example, the imagery of the Indian Upanisads is pastoral, yet it is known that these texts were composed in the days of the early city-states of the Doab. If, then, Zarathushtra's Gathas are archaic, it may simply be the case that he was wont to employ archaic forms of speech and imagery. In favor of the late date for Zarathushtra is the Zoroastrian (Sasanid) tradition that places him 258 years before Alexander, that is, probably at the time of the defeat of Darius III in 331 B.C. Although the traditional date should not be accepted without question, especially when most other traditions of the prophet are so historically worthless, this date, unlike the extravagant Greek notion that Zoroaster lived six thousand years before Plato, is clearly not the product of a fanciful mythologization; furthermore, it makes a good deal of sense in terms of the course of Iranian history in the sixth century. Therefore, I uphold the later date, in consequence of which I shall interpret Zarathushtra's teachings and the evolution of Zoroastrianism with reference to that date. Zarathushtra was probably trained to be a priest. He refers to himself as a zaotar (cf. Ved hotar), the principal priest to officiate in the sacrifice (yasna), while the later tradition of the Young Avesta calls him an athrawan 'priest'. He also refers to himself as a mathran 'one who composes or recites sacred utterances' (mathra [Ved mantra}}. Some of the mathras that he produced, the Gathas or Songs, display a traditional IndoEuropean style of sacred composition the mastery of which required much training. His priestly profession was probably not thrust upon him by heredity; he evidently chose it, since his name and those of his father and a sole recorded ancestor would hardly qualify as priestly names. His father's name was Pourushaspa, his ancestor Haecat.aspa, each contain-

18 I Introduction
ing the word aspa 'horse'. His own name contains the word for 'camel', ushtra. In addition, the word aspa is also contained in the names of Zarathushtra's royal patron Wishtaspa and of his son-in-law Jamaspa, while the word ushtra appears in his father-in-law's name Frashaoshtra. Zarathushtra's family name was Spitama (lit. 'who has brilliant (aggressive) strength'). Despite the obscurity of their content, the Gathas bear unmistakable witness to the passionately personal relationship felt by Zarathushtra with his god Ahura Mazda. The Gathas usually find Zarathushtra in intense dialogue with him. It was, no doubt, partially his religious zeal, partially his visionary intellect, partially his drive to proselytize, which raised Zarathushtra from the anonymity of all his predecessors to a place in history as the prophet of what was destined to become the state religion of Iran and one of the most influential religions of the ancient world. It appears that his initial efforts at spreading the word and winning support for his views in his homeland were met with stiff opposition and ultimately failure. In one obscure stanza (Y. 46.1), Zarathushtra seems to be questioning where he might go as a result of his being rejected or even made an outcast by the community. In any case, he often complains of his weakness and his lack of cattle and men (Y. 46.2). When the Soul of the Cow (gSush urwari) is told by Ahura Mazda that her protector is to be Zarathushtra, she complains bitterly about the latter's weakness (Y. 29.8-9). His principal enemies were men whom he identifies as kawis and karapans. The latter, whose name means 'mumbler', were priests of some sort. The case of the kawis is not so clear. Since a common word for a Vedic poet-seer is kavi, it would appear that the Iranian kawi was also a poet-seer. Matters are complicated, however, by the fact that kawi was also a princely title in eastern Iran, or at least in the house of Zarathushtra's eventual patron, Wishtaspa. Zarathushtra attaches no pejorative connotation to the title kawi when it is applied to him. Kawi is, moreover, the name of a partially legendary dynasty (whose members will be encountered in the reading selections) the last member of which was Wishtaspa. The reason for his being the last of the line is, incidentally, that Cyrus the Great probably brought it to an end in the course of his eastern campaigns. It remains a matter of conjecture whether the kawis to whom Zarathushtra refers are religious opponents or hostile princes or both at once. Be that as it may, Zarathushtra eventually found a patron, the kawi Wishtaspa, who not only espoused the new faith but protected it and helped propagate it by force of arms. Beyond these few facts little more can be said about the prophet's life. Obviously, his religion prospered greatly once royal patronage had been secured, so much so that we may assume that much of northeastern Iran soon confessed, on a superficial

Introduction I 19
level, the prophet's religion. How profound the reform he instituted was will be discussed in the following section. Any discussion of Zarathushtrianism must also begin with the concept of the supreme deity, Ahura Mazda (see also sect. 2). As we shall see, there is a substantial body of evidence to show that a deity very much like Ahura Mazda was part of the Indo-Iranian religious tradition. He was a supreme creator who was especially concerned with 'Truth' (rta, asha), that is, the moral and physical order, and who could become an object of intense personal relationship on the part of his worshipper. This inherited deity, the Wise Lord (the literal meaning of Ahura Mazda), far from being a god of monotheistic devotion, stood at the head of a numerous pantheon. Furthermore, he belonged to the class of gods known as asura (Ir ahura) 'lord'. While it is altogether unlikely that Zarathushtra invented the name Ahura Mazda, it would seem that he articulated a theology that elevated Ahura Mazda to a status even more exclusive than the one he traditionally enjoyed. It is a status that falls short of absolute monotheism, yet may be rightly called "qualified" monotheism, in that Zarathushtra recognizes a plurality of "Wise Lords" (Y. 30.9, 31.4) as well as the so-called Entities or aspects of Ahura Mazda's personality. In the previous section I had occasion to mention the Indo-Iranian pantheon and the distinction between 'truth' (rta) and 'falsehood' (Ilr drugh, draughd). In the religion of Zarathushtra, these latent dualisms have become articulated into a dualism that sees the world as a battleground where the two ethical forces and their representatives contend. It is probable that strong dualist tendencies were present in Old Iranian religion before Zarathushtra, yet it was his genius to give a solid theological foundation to them. The dualism of Zarathushtra, in contradistinction to that of the Younger Avesta and of orthodox Zoroastrianism of the Sasanid period, is not absolute: that is, the opposing forces of Truth and Falsehood are not primordial. They came into being, it would seem, as emanations or creations of Ahura Mazda. As we shall soon learn, Ahura Mazda is surrounded by a group of beings, or 'Entities' (hatdm) as they are called, who appear to be emanations of aspects of his own personality. Drawing upon an ancient Indo-European myth of the Twins in whom life and death originate, Zarathushtra elaborated his own variant whereby Ahura Mazda had created two Spirits as twin brothers (ySma), Spanta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu, who were distinguished in mind, word, and deed, the former as very good and the latter as bad (Y. 30.3). Together they established life and death. Although their very natures differed in every respect (Y. 45.2), the crucial distinction between the two lay in their exercise of choice, that is, free will. As Zarathushtra puts it, "Of the two Spirits, the

20 I Introduction
follower of the Lie chose the worst actions, the most beneficent (Spirit chose) Truth" (Y. 30.5). This original exercise of free will, even before the creation of the material world, remains paradigmatic for man. This is the very essence of Zarathushtrianism. Man is endowed with free will and must choose between Truth and Falsehood; his salvation or perdition rests solely on his choice. Furthermore, it is important to understand that the proper choice necessarily implies commitment to the Zoroastrian trilogy of "good thought, good speech, and good action." One who has chosen the life of Truth (Asha) is an ashawan 'righteous (man)' (lit. 'Truth-possessor'); while one who has chosen the Lie (Druj) is a drugwant (lit. 'Lie-possessor'). Spanta Mainyu, the Beneficent Spirit, belongs also to the group of Entities, which, in the post-Gathic literature, are called the Amasha Spdntas or Beneficent Immortals. Before discussing them individually, a clarification of the word spsnta is in order. Spanta is a technical religious term. Although its etymology has been much debated, it seems most probable that it is cognate with words in other Indo-European languages that mean 'holy'. Nevertheless, the Zoroastrian tradition shows that, irrespective of its etymology, spanta (as well as its other Avestan cognates) implies the notions of 'increase, increment, bounty, beneficence'. True to the Aryan heritage, Zoroastrianism has always been a lifeaffirming religion; it is worldly in outlook, seeing in a prospering world the triumph of good over evil. Scholars have tended to see as a model for Zarathushtra's creation of the Amasha Spsntas surrounding Ahura Mazda a group of Vedic deities, the Adityas, who surround, but also include, Varuna. Some even see in them thinly disguised sublimations of the traditional deities supposedly •outlawed by Zarathushtra. The comparison with the Adityas is at best vague and imprecise, however, while the sublimation theory is simply wrong. Rather than juggle deities around and assign them new, abstract names, Zarathushtra seems to have developed a complicated theology of Ahura Mazda's aspects on the basis of key concepts of Old Iranian intellectual culture. This becomes clear when we look at the names of these aspects. In addition to Spanta Mainyu, they are: Asha = Truth, Wohu Manah = Good Mind, Xshathra = Dominion, Armaiti = Devotion, Haurwatat = Wholeness, and Amsrdtat = Life. Another dualism that is prominent in Zarathushtra's thought and maintains its importance throughout the history of Zoroastrianism, is that between matter and spirit. We must emphasize the point here that, unlike most gnostic systems, which equate matter with evil and spirit with good, Zoroastrianism has never known such a dualism. The material world is the creation of Ahura Mazda or of his creative aspect Spsnta Mainyu. As

Introduction I 21
such it was originally good. Unfortunately, however, it also contains demons (daewas) and noxious creatures (xrafstras), which are the creation of the Evil Spirit, Angra Mainyu. In human terms, evil is always a product of will, never of nature. Not only was Zarathushtra a religious thinker and poet, but also a ritualist through and through. It will be remembered that he was a priest (zaotar) by profession. As in matters of theology, so in ritual, Zarathushtra instituted a reform of older practices. Precisely what these reforms were is again the subject of much disagreement among scholars, owing, as always, to the obscurity of the Gathas. There is general agreement on two points. One is that Zarathushtra emphasized in the extreme the differences in ritual accorded the daewas and the ahuras. As already noted, in the later Vedic literature of the Brahmanas, the devas (gods) and the asuras (demons) are in a state of perpetual strife over the sacrifice (yajna). From Zarathushtra's point of view the daewas were the demons. To worship them, to perform sacrifices appropriate to them, was to promote the Lie and all it represented. The Gathas never state specifically who the daewas are. The Younger Avesta is quite vague on the subject, since its demonology embraces mostly abstract entities (Pollution, Stupor, and the like), some monsters, and three figures who correspond to Vedic devas, namely, Indra, Ndnghaithya (corresponding to the twin Nasatyas), and Saurwa (= Ved Sarva, a form oiRudra-Siva). One can only guess that the daewas included certain members of the traditional pantheon plus demonic beings in general. If Old Iranian worship included the inherited class of daiwas we can easily understand the resistance that Zarathushtra's reforms encountered. The second point on which there is agreement is that what he objected to in particular was the violent manner in which the daewa worshippers sacrificed animals, especially cattle. It must be understood that he did not oppose animal sacrifice; Zoroastrianism, except under pressure from Hinduism and Hinduized Parsis, has always countenanced animal sacrifice. In Zarathushtra's eyes, the cow was a sacred animal, and in his religion the Soul of the Cow (Gdush Urwan; see Yasna 29) was the prototype of all ahuric animal creation. The extreme sense of sacredness attaching to the cow made it necessarily the object of solicitous care, but did not exempt it from sacrifice. Much controversy surrounds Zarathushtra's attitude toward the drink haoma (see sect. 13). In a somewhat unclear passage, he condemns "the piss of this drunkenness" in connection with the karapans and misrule. Many have assumed that this cannot possibly refer to anything other than haoma. In favor of the argument is the fact that haoma, or rather soma, was particularly important to Vedic Indra, a deva duly demonized in the Vendidad. Against it is the entire history of Zoroastrianism, in which the

22 / Introduction
central ritual, the yasna, is essentially a haoma sacrifice. How could it be possible for followers of Zarathushtra's teachings unashamedly to espouse a practice that their prophet so roundly condemned? Clearly, they did not. The proper conclusion to make is that "the piss of this drunkenness" must refer to something else. The conflict between the two principles, Truth and the Lie, was manifest on a number of levels. It had its origin in the myth of the Twins. As a result of the choices made by these two Spirits, their respective creations came into conflict. On one level, the conflict is the struggle between daewas and ahuras over the ritual. On another level, the mundane level, the conflict manifests itself in human choice; in concrete reality, the choice is made empirically. That is to say, one can observe from people's behavior which side they are on. Nothing is more natural than to number one's enemies among the demonic creatures, those who have chosen the Lie or were created by the Evil Spirit. Zarathushtra judged his personal enemies in this manner, but, more importantly, he also saw the cosmic conflict in sociopolitical terms. On the one hand, Zarathushtra championed the cause of peaceful, ordered pastoralist life. On the other hand, such life was constantly threatened by barbarous nomadic peoples led by the demon Wrath (Aeshmd) who raided and plundered the settled folk. This conflict, which has plagued Iran throughout its history, was to become more fully articulated as that between Iran and Turan, that is, between civilized man and the northern barbarians. A final element of Zarathushtra's religion was eschatology. It is difficult to judge on the basis of the Gathas just how far he had developed his ideas on the subject, yet it appears that he had already formulated at least the germinal concept of "last things." Later Zoroastrianism was to formulate an eschatological system in which Judaic messianism probably found its original inspiration. Zarathushtra was a realist in the sense that he focused on the here-and-now. He often refers to the rewards of the righteous and of the iniquitous in terms of immediate signs. His belief in the power of Ahura Mazda was such that he did not envisage a perpetual situation in which the wicked prospered while the righteous suffered. He did have a concept, though, of savior figures, whom he called Saoshyants and among whom he numbers himself. The Saoshyants were clearly seen as promoters of the good religion of Ahura Mazda, who were to lead the community of the faithful to immanent victory over the forces of the Lie. He also believed in a second or future life in which the rewards not realized in life would be obtained after the day of judgment. The final judgment of the departed souls took place at the Bridge of Judgment (Cinwato parstu). Those who cross safely, because of their good deeds, proceed to their reward in heaven. The others, however, fall into darkness where men wail

Introduction I 23 and gnash their teeth, or, in Zarathushtra's words, into "a long life of darkness, bad food, (and)) lamentation" (Y. 31.20). The Zarathushtrian community must well have expected the "marvelous" (fsrashd) transformation of existence to be accomplished soon. When this did not happen and the world continued in its sinful ways, a theological reassessment must have taken place. Instead of an immanent establishment of Ahura Mazda's dominion on earth, Zoroastrians came to expect the fulfillment of their religion at the end of time: a novel concept in itself. A theory of world ages was developed accompanied by a doctrine of successive Saoshyants (born of Zarathushtra's miraculously preserved semen), culminating in the final Saoshyant, who would appear at the end of history in the final triumph of Ahura Mazda over the Evil Spirit.

Zoroastrianism
Apart from the translations of Achaemenid inscriptions and the Gathas, the present anthology draws almost exclusively upon the texts of Zoroastrianism, that is, the eclectic religion that evolved in Iran after Zarathushtra's reform of Old Iranian religion. Since much of this material is analyzed in the introductions to the individual selections, my remarks here can be brief. Nevertheless, a certain overview will be necessary for an understanding of subsequent discussions and of the texts themselves. There are a number of problems concerning the nature of postZarathushtrian religion. By far the most complex problem is the process by which a reform movement in northeastern Iran became the basis for a pan-Iranian religion under the later Achaemenids. Chronologically, our point of departure is not so much the death of the prophet as the supposed fall of eastern Iran, including Wishtaspa's realm, to Cyrus the Great (559-529 B.C.) around the middle of the sixth century B.C. Once all of Iran had been united under a powerful central authority, conditions for easy communication throughout the empire were established in order to facilitate the administration of so vast a territory. The new channels of communication also made travel easier. This in turn led to the possibility of increased cultural exchange. The Persian army itself was composed of contingents from throughout the empire. Merchants and craftsmen were drawn to the capital from as far away as Ionia and India. There can be little doubt that zealous followers of Zarathushtra seized the opportunity to spread the "good religion" throughout the empire, and, it would not be overly rash to surmise that, just as Zarathushtra had seen his religion prosper under royal patronage, so his followers must have sought the

24 I Introduction favor of the new royal house. Unfortunately, this is all speculation, for there is not one shred of evidence to indicate what really happened. The hypothesis that Zarathushtrian missionaries were at work in the empire and that they particularly sought Achaemenid patronage appears to gain some substance when we examine the religious ideas of the Achaemenid kings, beginning with Darius I (522-486 B.C.). Although there is disagreement among scholars as to whether or not Darius was a convert to Zarathushtrianism, we can at least affirm that the ideas he propounds in the course of his inscriptions are remarkably close to those of Zarathushtra. Although he grudgingly mentions "the other gods (baga) who are," he is otherwise devoted solely to the worship of Ahuramazda, often in intensely personal terms. He repeatedly singles out the Lie (draugd) as the cause of evil, especially of social and political chaos. However, he nowhere mentions Truth (arta), nor the daiwas nor the Amasha Spantas nor Zarathushtra. If he were a convert, would he not be likely to include these matters among his religious concerns? Although an oblique reference to daiwa worship may be implied in Darius' statement that "the Scythians were unruly and did not worship Ahuramazda," it is only his heir Xerxes (486-465 B.C.) who condemns their worship in his famous Daiwadana inscription (see sect. 2). The main question here, to which there is no definitive answer, is whether Ahura Mazda was the creation of Zarathushtra or already a pan-Iranian deity. By the time of Artaxerxes II (404-359 B.C.), it seems that the eclectic Zoroastrian religion (not Zarathushtrianism) has been accepted as the official religion of the empire. Again, there is no conclusive evidence for this; Artaxerxes mentions Mithra and Anahita in his inscriptions, however, and is said to have encouraged the worship of the latter through her images, which he sent throughout the empire. It is also possible that a calendar reform was instituted during his reign, which substituted the names of Zoroastrian deities for the older month names. Furthermore, during his reign the Greeks first became aware of Zoroaster. Closely linked to the question of missionary activities in western Iran is that of the position of the Magi. According to a notice in Herodotus,9 they were a tribe of Median priests whose presence seems to have been required at all religious ceremonies, where they recited what the Greek historian calls "theogonies," no doubt Yasht-like hymns. Because of a magian plot to wrest the kingship from Darius, these powerful priests fell into extreme disfavor at the beginning of the latter's reign. The weakened status of the Magi may well have given Zoroastrians an easy foothold in the western part of the Persian empire. Nevertheless, the Magi never ceased to exert their influence, and their fame spread far and wide in the ancient world. Even Zoroaster himself was considered a Magus by the

Introduction I 25 Greeks. Another of the many unresolved questions is the role the Magi played in the formation of Zoroastrianism as manifested in the Younger Avesta. Positive evidence of their influence is almost nil, however. In the first place, they are mentioned only once (Y. 65.7) in what appears to be a later interpolation in an already tardive text. Secondly, with few exceptions (see the commentaries to Aradwi Sura Anahita and to Tishtrya, sects. 9 and 12), the Younger Avesta is exclusively eastern Iranian in language and content. Even a casuistic text like the Vendidad, which is often ascribed to Magian composers, contains not a single reference to the Magi or to western Iran, though the Hellenistic Greek system of measurement is used. On the other hand, the composition of the Younger Avesta is such that one cannot escape the conclusion, I believe, that it is mostly the redaction of older materials by people who poorly understood the language of the original. If, as is commonly thought, the oldest redaction took place some time during the fifth century B.C., what better candidates are there for this work than the Magi, whose language was quite different from Avestan? Despite their obscurity, the Gathas bear the unmistakable mark of a well-conceived system of thought. Just the opposite is true of the Younger Avesta. Whatever it has gained in lucidity, it has lost in coherence. It is openly eclectic. The Old Iranian religion that Zarathushtra sought to reform appears thinly disguised as the religion of the prophet. Everywhere one encounters the clumsy device of introducing non-Zarathushtrian materials as revelations made to Zarathushtra by Ahura Mazda. A typical example is the opening stanza of the Yasht to Mithra where "Ahura Mazda said to Zarathushtra . . . " What he said, namely that he created Mithra equal to himself, would have been an outrage to Zarathushtra. The entire remainder of the hymn is a collection of material about Mithra which largely ignores Zarathushtra and Ahura Mazda. How is one to explain this perplexing about-face? I offer the following explanation, which, it must be understood, is necessarily conjecture. In order to reckon with the fact that eastern Iranian religion throughly dominated Zoroastrianism, we must assume that before its full impact had been felt in the West, Zarathushtrianism had already made a grand accommodation with the old religion to the extent that most of the deities, together with their hymns, were accepted into the religion, all nominally subordinate to Ahura Mazda. The reason for the large-scale compromise of Zarathushtra's teaching was probably one of political and religious necessity. The policy of the Achaemenids on religious diversity was one of tolerance, as, for example, in their treatment of Jews. Under these conditions the Zarathushtrian movement must have soon come to terms with the reality that the way to growth and power was

26 I Introduction not uncompromising antagonism, but accommodation. Once the gods of the old religion were sanctioned, people would have been far more receptive to Zarathushtrian doctrines, which did not outrage traditional piety. After having consolidated their position in the East, especially in Seistan, and bringing with them a sizable mass of texts in the sacred Avestan language, the Zoroastrians moved to the West, i.e., Media and Persis. As they gained royal favor, the Magi, out of an instinct for survival, converted, and in time they became a dominant force. Since Zoroastrianism already possessed a sacred language, Median and Old Persian had to be abandoned and the Avestan scriptures learned. Evidently, Avestan was never well understood and fell into disuse in its new geographical setting. This accounts for the patchwork nature of many of the Yashts and other texts, as well as the terribly inept handling of the language in texts such as the Vendidad, which must have been substantially composed in Arsacid times. Before passing on to the texts themselves, I shall outline briefly the nature of the literary sources for old Iranian religion and then consider in some detail the problems of textual criticism.

Old Iranian Religious Literature
There are two indigenous sources for Old Iranian religion. The most important is the Zoroastrian canon known as the Avesta. Its content is entirely religious. The other source is the corpus of Achaemenid inscriptions in the Old Persian language. As royal inscriptions, their purpose is largely political and propagandistic, yet most of these inscriptions make at least some reference to religious matters, while some treat of religion in considerable detail. The present work includes materials from both. In addition, there are many Zoroastrian works in a Middle Persian dialect called Book-Pahlavi that purport to be translations of lost Avestan texts. Translations of these translations are not included here for the reason that most of them appear to be quite late works reflecting a period of religious history belonging to the Arsacid and the Sasanid periods; of those that seem to preserve ancient materials, the absence of the original texts has served as a deterrent for inclusion. According to Zoroastrian texts written in the ninth century A.D., well after the advent of Islam, but at a time when the religious community still enjoyed some strength, the canon, called Avesta 'traditional, authoritative text', consisted of an immense corpus containing twenty-one divisions (Nasks). The summary of the Nasks given in the ninth-century Denkard shows that the Sasanid Avesta contained a wide variety of texts

Introduction I 27
covering such categories as the original Songs (Gathas) of Zarathushtra, liturgies, and a host of priestly instructions and materials, extensive treatises on scholastic learning and law, and miscellaneous material including the Yashts. Because of the vicissitudes suffered by Zoroastrians in Iran, as well as by those who found refuge in India during the succeeding centuries, the once glorious Sasanid Avesta was lost. All that remains of it today is a fragment containing texts primarily of importance to ritual. Despite the fact that the Avesta became only a ritual prayer book, it contains a surprising wealth of ancient literary material, as well as much that has little to recommend it to either students of religion or of literature. Since the present anthology contains only those selections from the Avesta known as the Yasna, the Yashts, and the Vendidad, we shall limit our discussion to these. As its name implies, the Yasna (Worship) contains the texts recited during the performances of the yasna. It is made up of some seventy-two sections of diverse style, origin, and content. Many of them are little more than long invocation lists; others, like those to Horn and Srosh, are really Yashts, which found their place in the Yasna due to ritual considerations, and still others contain spells. By far the most important are a group of the seventeen Gathas, which, except for one (Yasna 53), were composed by Zarathushtra himself. These have been discussed already in reference to the religion of Zarathushtra. The Yashts are a collection of twenty-one hymns to various deities. Some preserve very ancient specimens of Old Iranian religious literature while others are recent compilations of little religious value and certainly no literary merit. They have been discussed in greater detail in respect to Zoroastrianism. The Vendidad, a work composed in faulty Avestan and of almost no literary merit is nonetheless an invaluable source of information about numerous matters of religious law, rituals, geography, and myth. Beyond the heterogeneity of its content lies the problem of the variety of language used in the composition of the Avesta. Two dialects, Gathic and Young Avestan, can be distinguished. Of these, Gathic is in a number of ways the more archaic. Young Avestan itself shows varying historical levels. The so-called great Yashts, for instance, provide frequent examples of what one might call good Avestan, while the minor Yashts (e.g., Yasht 1) and texts like the Vendidad exemplify a degenerate state of the language, a dead, poorly understood ecclesiastical language. In certain cases like that of the Nirangistan (a ritual text), the language (aided by corrupt manuscript tradition) has often degenerated to the point of being unintelligible. Young Avestan texts, no matter how archaic much of their content may be, have not escaped the clumsy hand of latter-day redactors.

Textual Criticism
The primary source material for all the great world religions is textual. To be sure, texts can often be supplemented with relevant archaeological remains, works of art, and the like, but in every instance the real data of the religion resides in its texts. Texts vary a great deal, not only from religious tradition to religious tradition, but also within one and the same tradition. A large number of factors may contribute to the variety and heterogeneity of a religion's textual tradition. Obvious examples are: (1) a text may contain many historical layers representing centuries of compilation; (2) different parts of a text may have been composed by different people with different opinions, interests, and stylistic modes of expression; (3) the subject matter itself usually dictates changes in style: e.g., a prophetic section of text will be radically different from a legalistic one, an apocalyptic work will differ from a theological tract, etc.; (4) the intended audience will also call for different subjects and styles; that is, a god will hardly be interested in hearing the same things that a prospective convert or a backslider will want to hear. Before one can begin to read a text intelligently, one must be able to place the text in a proper context, to discern its historical position, its authorship, its intention, and so on. The most frequent errors made in the field of comparative religion are those born of an imperfect appreciation of the problems of textual criticism. Texts cannot simply be read and compared indiscriminately. One's knowledge of ancient languages is different from that of modern ones, in that one has, in most cases, no live informants, native speakers, whom one can question regarding the meaning of words or syntactic structures. If the corpus of extant literature is vast enough, the texts themselves can become their own informants. When a literature is rather narrowly circumscribed, however, one can be confronted with all sorts of words and peculiarities of syntax that have no convenient source of elucidation. Another vexing problem is that most texts, with the exception of rock-cut inscriptions, cuneiform tablets, and the like, have endured a long history of transmission from generation to generation, usually in the form of manuscript copies, sometimes even in an oral tradition. As the history of transmission lengthens, the opportunity for error naturally increases. Often a philologist will be confronted with many manuscripts of a single text, all of which may differ significantly from one another. The point to be understood here is that a religious text is a fragile document whose literal interpretation itself may be difficult.

Introduction I 29
As one turns to consider the Avesta in particular, one can say at the outset that it presents one of the most opaque texts of all the world's religious literature. This fact is due to its language, mode of composition, and abysmal state of preservation. Like Western Europe or the Indian subcontinent or Southeast Asia today, ancient Iran, encompassing the modern states of Iran proper, Afghanistan, parts of Iraq, Pakistan, and Soviet Central Asia, was an area of cultural unity amid wide diversity. Although the Achaemenid empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, did much to unify the many peoples who, like their Indian relatives, called themselves Aryas, its monarchs were always 'king of kings' (OPers xshayathya xshayathyanam, NPers shahan shah). To the present day, cultural and linguistic regionalism has continued to play a decisive role in Iranian history. For the ancient period with which I am concerned, only three different languages are attested to even though Iranian linguistics indicates a far more complex situation. These languages are: (1) Old Persian, known primarily through the Achaemenid inscriptions, and spoken in the southwestern region of Parsa (Persis); (2) Median, a language spoken in the northwestern region of Mada (Media); and (3) Avestan, the religious language of the Avesta preserved in the two dialects, Gathic and Young Avestan. It is not known for certain just where these dialects were spoken, but it is plain from both their linguistic form and the cultural-geographic references that they were native to eastern Iran, though probably not so far east as the Pamirs and the Hindu Kush. It is impossible to date the Avesta with any degree of accuracy. As mentioned above, the dates for Zarathushtra's life are the subject of heated debate. Some hold that he was a contemporary of the Vedic rsis, which would place him in the second half of the second millennium B.C. Others argue that he was active at the beginning of the sixth century B.C. (see p. 16). Wherever the truth lies, everyone now agrees that he cannot have lived much beyond the first decades of the sixth century, that is, before the rise of the Achaemenid empire. The situation with the Younger Avesta is exceedingly confused in that it contains much material that is very ancient, but in its present form has to be the work of redactors, priests who compiled an often eclectic mixture of inherited traditions, Zoroastrian "theology," and Magian casuistry. Scholars believe that the redactions of the oldest portions of the Younger Avesta took place some time during the last half of the fifth century B.C. In any case, the composition (not redaction) of the older sections, especially the great Yashts, belongs to a time prior to the rise of the Achaemenids. Crucial in all of this is that the Indo-Iranians did not know any script. They were illiterate in the sense that all their rich literature was oral. The first uses of writing in

30 I Introduction both India and Iran were in the areas of commerce and government. The priesthood and literati especially had nothing but scorn for the written word. In the Achaemenid empire, written business was carried out, not in Old Persian, whose cuneiform script was invented only for formal inscriptions, but rather in the Semitic Aramaic language or in Elamite. The first script used for an eastern Iranian language was the Greek alphabet adapted to the Bactrian language of the first or second century A.D. Therefore, one can be absolutely sure that Avestan originally had no script, its literature being passed on orally from generation to generation. The next question is, "When was the Avesta first put into writing?" There is a tradition current in the Pahlavi books of the ninth century A.D. that prior to the "evil rule of Alaksandar the Roman" (i.e., Alexander the Great) the entire Avesta existed, written in gold upon ox hides and kept in the archives at Istaxr. These Alexander burned. Although the Pahlavi books are ambiguous, it seems that a second redaction of the Avesta consisting of a written text only took place as late as the middle of the sixth century A.D. under the patronage of the great Sasanid king Xusrou I. For this a new script was invented, based on the contemporary Pahlavi script. Two points are to be made here. First, the story of the ox hides can be given little historical credence, in that it is an obvious piece of apologetics calculated to show the Muslims that Zoroastrianism was genuinely a Religion of the Book. Secondly, although there is internal evidence to support the idea that some form of the Avesta written in a Semitic script existed prior to the Sasanid text, not a single remnant of this hypothetical text exists. It would be idle to speculate about its antiquity or even its precise form or content. The compilation of the Sasanid Avesta was probably based on both oral traditions and upon whatever written materials there were. After the ninth century, the history of Zoroastrianism is rather sad. An oppressed, albeit tolerated, minority, the Zoroastrian community fell on hard times. During the early part of the tenth century, a group emigrated from Xorasan to the western Indian state of Gujarat, where they became the so-called Parsis. Under conditions of poverty and backwardness, the textual tradition suffered terribly. Manuscripts were lost, and copies were bungled. It was only Western orientalism and the vastly improved social and economic position of the Indian Parsis under the British Raj that saved the Zoroastrian textual tradition from inevitable destruction. The situation today is that, although there are numerous Avestan manuscripts, the earliest goes back only to the fourteenth century. Because of these developments, the Avesta, such as it comes to us today, is a battered fragment of what one can imagine to have existed in, say, the fifth century B.C. In many ways it is a wonder that this great relic

Introduction 131 of Iran's ancient religious heritage has been preserved. One is also in a position to appreciate how difficult it is to interpret such a text. To begin with, one's most basic understanding of the language of the text is often imperfect, owing primarily to the poor manuscript tradition, but also to other problems inherent in the interpretation of ancient texts. Then one is confronted with a host of problems concerning dating, relative chronology, authorship, and authenticity. Somehow weathering this storm of difficulties, however, one may hope to proceed onward to a deeper understanding of its religious and symbolic content.

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Reading Selections

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1. Zarathushtra
The Cow's Lament (Yasna 29)
Probably the best known and in many ways the most interesting of the Gathas is the so-called "Cow's Lament," (Yasna 29). In the form of dramatic dialogue it expresses the suffering of the Cow at the hands of the forces of the Lie. She cries out to Ahura Mazda and the other Ahuras (i.e., the Amssha Spontas) for an explanation of her wretched condition. In particular, she despairs over her abandonment, her lack of an adequate herdsman for her protection. After some discussion born of indecision, since the Ahuras seem unable to find her a proper protector, Zarathushtra is recognized as the only one fit for the job. The choice of Zarathushtra is less than pleasing to the Cow, who regards him as a weakling. She must make do with Zarathushtra, however, and the Gatha ends with an inconclusive prayer for the granting of power to Zarathushtra. The Gatha is difficult to understand in detail for a variety of reasons. One of the most obvious problems is that the dialogue is so complex that one cannot be sure in many cases who is speaking or, for that matter, who is being spoken to. One must assume that the narrator, who introduces the discourse in sts. 1, 2, 6, and 9, is Zarathushtra himself. It is also clear that in these stanzas the Cow, the Fashioner of the Cow, and Ahura Mazda speak. In regard to the remaining stanzas, matters are not as straightforward. St. 3 is so obscure that almost nothing certain can be said about it, though one might assume that the speaker is Truth (Asha), who is questioned in st. 2. St. 4 could well be a continuation of st. 3, but it makes more sense to see it and st. 5 as issuing from Zarathushtra, who takes up the narration again in st. 7. To the latter is appended a question probably directed to Ahura Mazda. St. 8 is persumably spoken by Good Mind (Wohu Manah). The final two stanzas are again spoken by Zarathushtra. With the help of this outline, one can see that the Gatha takes place in the context of the two supplicants, the Cow and Zarathushtra, on the one hand, and the divine Ahuras, on the other; and, further,
35

36 I Zarathushtra that there is dialogue not only between these two levels of being but also among the Ahuras themselves. The identity of the Fashioner of the Cow (Gsush tashan) is not completely certain. Historically he probably derives from the Indo-Iranian figure of the Artisan, known in the earlier parts of the Rgveda as Tvastr and in the Avesta as Thvorsshtar (see st. 6), while within Zarathushtra's theological system he has been transformed into Spsnta Mainyu, the creative aspect of Ahura Mazda, without ever completely losing his independence. The fact that Zarathushtra almost always (except in Y. 51.7) preserves the traditional nomenclature for this figure, instead of subsuming him completely under the Amasha Spsnta, gives the immediate impression that the "Cow's Lament" is based somehow on inherited tradition, that it is not simply Zarathushtra's creation. That this is the case has been shown by several scholars, most comprehensively, however, by B. Lincoln.10 According to Lincoln, the Indo-Iranians were the unique possessors of a myth of the "Bovine's Lament," which, existing as an elaboration of the more widespread Indo-European myth of the cattle raid, dramatized the conflict between warriors and priests over rightful possession of cattle. In the myth (obviously a priestly creation) the Cow complains to the deities about her mistreatment at the hands of warrior raiding parties. The deities take counsel and subsequently decide to entrust the Cow to a priest, who becomes the legitimate owner of cows and so of their products, essential in the ritual service of the gods. I find myself in agreement with Lincoln as to the origin of the "Bovine's Lament" in the context of the Aryan pastime, cattle raiding; yet I cannot accept the remainder of the reconstruction as involving a class struggle. In the case of the Indian evidence dealing with Vasistha (the priest) and Visvamitra (the warrior), the theme of caste conflict is obvious; yet, appearing as it does in the Rdmdyana epic, could the myth not equally well be an IndoAryan reinterpretation along caste lines? When one turns to the Iranian evidence (including Yt. 10.38, sts. 84-86; see sect. 3), one finds that cattle raiders are indeed active, yet the element of class conflict is inconspicuous. The reason for this is that cattle raiding, though carried on by fighting men, was something that an entire community ultimately participated in and benefitted from. Since there is no evidence that priests formed their own communities independent of warriors, the idea that the Indo-Iranian myth portrayed a situation of warrior groups stealing from unarmed priests who had no other recourse than the gods and their own magic is hard to accept. In fact, if I read Y. 29.9 correctly, the Cow not only despairs at having a priest to look after her, but also anticipates a powerful ruler who will back Zarathushtra, a figure realized in the person of his eventual patron, Wishtaspa.

Zarathushtra I 37 Until recent years there has been general agreement that, along broad lines, the "Lament of the Soul of the Cow" is an allegorical portrayal of the conflict of two ways of life and religion in eastern Iran, and of Zarathushtra's struggle to establish his religious way of life. Zarathushtra, the Soul of the Cow, and the Ahuras represent a peace-loving, sedentary form of agriculture in which animal husbandry played an important role. Pitted against them are the wild, lawless nomads and persistent followers of the old ways, all worshippers of the Daewas. On this level, the conflict is one that recurs at different historical moments throughout Iranian history. The conflict is essentially sociological. On another level, the conflict is seen as not so much sociological as religious, and specifically ritualistic. That is, the daewas who have chosen Falsehood perform violent, orgiastic, and bloody sacrifices, whereas Zarathushtra and the followers of Truth respect the Cow, treating her in a ritually proper manner. Against this more commonplace interpretation, another theory has been gaining currency in recent discussions by S. Insler11 and H.-P. Schmidt,12 namely, that the Cow in the Gathas has little to do with "the cow in the meadow" who is threatened by cattle raiders and cruelly sacrificed by evil priests; rather she is an allegorical figure representing religious vision, the daena. The theory gains some support from the Rgveda, where on occasion the cow (dhenu or gav) is undoubtedly used as a metaphor for poetry or poetic vision (dhi). It also allows one to make sense of some rather recondite Gathic verses. Unlike the Rgveda, however, the Gathas never make the equation gaw = daena (also from the root d(h)i) explicit. Considering the over-all obscurity of these texts, this fact leaves one hesitant to journey further into the unknown. It may well be that, as Schmidt hopes, further research will establish the theory on firmer ground, but for now it should be maintained only as an hypothesis, which should not divert one from trying to understand Zarathushtra's message in more concrete terms. For example, is anything to be gained by searching out a hidden meaning in Ahura Mazda's clear statement in st. 6 that "the Artificer fashioned thee for the husbandman and herdsman"? To sum up, then, one may say that the "Cow's Lament" is based on an ancient mythic theme of the Cow's suffering at the hands of raiders. Zarathushtra has reworked the myth to reflect his perception of the world, a world where the peace-loving followers of Ahura Mazda are pitted against foes who practice cattle raiding. Although the conclusion can be drawn from other Gathic contexts that the daewas required ritual treatment of the Cow, abhorrent to Zarathushtra, this element is not apparent in the "Lament." Further, one must entertain the possibility that for Zarathushtra the theme of the "Cow's Lament" was to be understood on a spiritual as well as this more mundane level. Here the myth has become

38 I Zarathushtra
an allegory for the vicissitudes suffered by the righteous man's soul in its quest for the "good vision."

Yasna 29
1. The Soul of the Cow lamented to you: For whom have you determined me? Who fashioned me? Wrath and Violence, Harm, Daring, and Brutality (each) have bound me! I have no other pastor than you— so appear to me with good husbandry! 2. Then the Fashioner of the Cow asked Asha (Truth): Hast thou a ratu* for the Cow such that you are able to give him, together with a herdsman, zeal for fostering the Cow? Whom do you want as a lord for her, who, hostile toward Liars, may repel Wrath? 3. [Obscure.] 4. Mazda is most mindful of the declarations which have been made previously (?) by gods (daewas) and men and those which shall be made afterward (?), (for) he is the decisive Lord. Thus may it be for us as he may will! 5. Thus we both are calling out to the Lord with outstretched hands, my (soul) and the Soul of the pregnant Cow, in order that we may address (?) Mazda with questions. (For, as matters now stand,) there is no possibility of) continuing life for the righteously living husbandman (residing) among Liars. 6. Then Ahura Mazda, knowing, spoke (these) words through his lifebreath (?): Not one (of us) has found an ahu, nor even a ratu in accordance with Truth. So, indeed, the Artificer fashioned thee for the husbandman and the herdsman. 7. Ahura Mazda, in agreement with Asha, fashioned the mathra of (?) (from?) butter and (also) milk for the Cow, he (who) through (his) commandment is beneficial for those who are undernourished (?). Whom dost thou have (for us) through Good Mind, who will give us two to men? 8. Here I have found this one who alone listens to our commandments, Zarathushtra the Spitamid. He wants, O Mazda, to recite hymns of praise for us and Asha, if I should bestow on him sweetness of speech. 9. The Soul of the Cow lamented: Must I suffer a powerless caretaker— the speech of a man without strength—whom I wish to be a powerful ruler? When ever shall he come to exist who can give him a helping hand?
*Meanings of untranslated terms are given in the Glossary.

Zarathushtra I 39
10. O Lord, may you (Ahuras) give power and dominion to them, that (dominion?) through Good Mind by which he might grant good living and peace. I, in any case, consider thee, O Mazda, to be the original possessor of this. 11. Where are Asha and Wohu Manah and Xshathra? Now you should accept me, through Asha, O Mazda, for (giving) instruction to the great community (?). O Lord, (come) now to us (here) below on account of our liberality to such as you.

The Two Spirits (Yasna 30.3-6; 45.2)
The stanzas in Yasna 30, together with 45.2, allude to the encounter between the two Spirits, the primordial Twins. The mythology of the Twins, as already indicated (Introduction, p. 19), extends back into protoIndo-European religion and is to be found in other variants elsewhere in Iranian myth, especially in the figure of Yama (the Twin). With Zarathushtra the myth has undergone a reinterpretation, which accords well with his general propensity to rework inherited ideas in order to express his own vision of the dualistic cosmological and ethical situation facing mankind. In keeping with the general practice of Indo-Iranian hieratic poetry, Zarathushtra assumes that the myth is already well known to his audience and therefore does not stand in need of any straightforward exposition; rather he is seeking to interpret the myth. The two preceding stanzas are obscure enough to make it impossible to know to whom the poem is addressed, but one can recognize from the verb forms that a group is called upon to listen, whether they be the Ahuras, his own followers, or mankind in general. If I am correct in interpreting the term xwafna (st. 3), the basic meaning of which is 'sleep, dream', as 'vision', then one may conclude that Zarathushtra's inspiration for his reinterpretation of the ancient myth derives from a direct religious experience. One of the initially bewildering features of Zarathushtra's exposition is his use of verbal tenses. This difficulty is rooted in the fact that the Indo-Iranian languages possessed a special verb form, the injunctive, which is reserved for the expression of myth and timeless truths. Whereas one tends to regard all events, whether mythological or not, as taking place in a nonrecurring historical order, archaic man understood mythical events, which took place in mythological time, as being everpresent. To say that the two primordial Spirits chose good and evil "in the beginning" implies that they do so in the present as well. This is not to imply that archaic man had no real notion of past, present, and future; rather, it is a recognition of his awareness of an atemporal dimension that cuts across

40 I Zarathushtra
temporality. The problem is that we lack words to express adequately this subtlety of thought. If one translates the injunctive with the past tense, one relegates the action to history; if one uses the present, one excludes that aspect of the action that took place in illo tempore, i.e., in mythological time. In reading the text, therefore, one must understand that the myth of the two Spirits is also a present reality. Furthermore, it is present reality in the sense that the two Spirits now contend with each other not only on an individual level but also in the cosmos. Bearing in mind that Zarathushtra uses abstractions (for example, 'Good Mind' or 'Devotion') to refer to states of mind as well as to divine entities, one comprehends that for him the macrocosmic struggle is simultaneously occurring in the human microcosm. Each one of us recapitulates the cosmic drama, and, as in the case of the two Spirits, man holds the keys to his own destiny in his free exercise of choice between good and evil, between Truth and the Lie.

Yasna 30.3-6
3. Now, these are the two original Spirits who, as Twins, have been perceived (by me?) through a vision. In both thought and speech, (and) in deed, these two are what is good and evil. Between these two, the pious, not the impious, will choose rightly. 4. Furthermore, the two Spirits confronted each other; in the beginning (each) create(d) for himself life and nonlife, so that (?) in the end there will be the worst existence for the Drugwants, but the best Mind for the Righteous. 5. Of these two Spirits, the deceitful (drugwant) chose the worst course of action, (while) the most beneficent Spirit who is clothed in the hardest stones (chose) Truth, (as) also (do) those who believingly propitiate Ahura Mazda. 6. Between these two (Spirits) the daewas did not choose rightly at all since, while they were taking council among themselves, delusion came upon them, so that they chose the worst Mind. Then, all together, they ran to Wrath with which they infect the life of man.

Yasna 45.2
Now I shall proclaim the original two Spirits of existence. About the two, the very beneficent would have spoken thus to the evil one: Neither our minds nor (our) pronouncements nor (our) intellects nor yet (our) choices nor (our) words nor yet (our) deeds, nor (our) visions (daena), nor (our) souls (urwan) are in agreement.

Zarathushtra I 41

Zarathushtra Questions Ahura Mazda (Yasna 44)
This Gatha treats a broad range of subjects central to Zarathushtra's religious vision. Although the statements in each stanza are posed in the form of questions addressed to Ahura Mazda, it is clear that to a large measure they are rhetorical, for what Zarathushtra seeks is divine confirmation of his various doctrines. The form of the Gatha is of particular interest in that it illustrates the intimacy and directness of Zarathushtra's relationship with Ahura Mazda, a feature that is present throughout the Gathic corpus. The opening stanza establishes the basis of his questioning. In it Zarathushtra reminds Ahura Mazda of their friendship and thus of the propriety of his persistent demand that he be answered correctly. One may remark parenthetically that reminding a god of friendship is a device found also in the Rgveda on the part of the seer Vasistha in his conversations with Varuna.13 The second stanza is too obscure to be translated with any confidence, though it seems to be concerned with "the basis of the Best Existence" and apparently with the one who will bring it about. Fortunately, sts. 3-5 are as clear as one could wish. Their rhetorical nature is transparent; but any doubts that might linger are dispelled in st. 7, in which Ahura Mazda is recognized "as the Creator of everything," through his creative aspect, Spsnta Mainyu, the Beneficent Spirit. In contrast to sts. 3-7, which deal mostly with questions relating to the creation and ordering of the cosmos, the remainder of the Gatha (sts. 8-20) treats a variety of what can be broadly defined as doctrinal questions. In sts. 9-11, Zarathushtra asks about the daena, the inspired vision that is to form the basis of his community of followers. St. 12 reflects the situation in which Zarathushtra found himself as the prophet of the new faith in confrontation with spokesmen for the old religion. Having already acknowledged himself (in st. 11) as the true prophet, he asks for help in distinguishing followers of the Truth from those who follow the Lie. Some interpreters have seen in this stanza that Zarathushtra is referring to himself as an ashawan (righteous man) vis-a-vis his opponents in debate. This is certainly a plausible explanation, yet one can also imagine a situation in which opponents who can be won over are to be distinguished from those who are fundamentally evil and incorrigeable. Sts. 13-21 continue the theme of Zarathushtra's mission against the Lie and the strategy for dealing with its followers. It is uncertain what is meant in st. 14 by "a great schism," since this is a purely etymological translation of a word which should mean something like 'split'. Perhaps Zarathushtra followed a policy of "divide and conquer." Although st. 15 is not entirely clear, it seems that antagonisms have reached the point of open conflict by re-

42 I Zarathushtra course to arms; in typical fashion (e.g., Yt. 5.20) Zarathushtra asks the deity for victory. In st. 16 Zarathushtra asks for signs that will show who is or are to lead the community. Since the expression W9rdthra(m)-jan 'smasher of resistance' (see sect. 5) is characteristically a warrior epithet, it is likely that this term refers to a warrior patron, as indeed Wishtaspa was. It is probable that the judge (ratu) refers to Zarathushtra himself (cf. Yt. 13.152). St. 17 is quite obscure, though it can be made out that, as in Y. 29.9, Zarathushtra is concerned with the authority of his voice. St. 18 is quite a puzzle, not only because of the obscurity of its final lines but also because of the strange reward it mentions. Some have seen in the horses (aspa) and camel (ushtra) the payment made to a priest for services rendered. Since—if the Veda is any guide in such matters—one would expect cows to be given to a priest, Insler has suggested that this is a veiled allusion to Wishtaspa and Jamaspa (as stallions of their families) and to Frashaoshtra (Frasha-ushtra).14 The last stanza to begin with "this I ask thee . . . ," like the preceding one, is capable of various interpretations; if st. 18 refers to the priest's payment, however, as I believe it does, then st. 19 must also have to do with God's punishment for those who behave deceitfully toward the priest, presumably Zarathushtra himself. Unfortunately, there is no further information to clarify the context of st. 18 and 19. The final stanza (20), while still in the form of a question, is structured differently from the others. Whether it originally formed part of the Gatha or was added later from some other source is impossible to say. Although its interpretation is very insecure, one finds again the theme of the Cow's mistreatment, here at the hands of priests hostile to Zarathushtra. Yasna 44 \. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! Concerning reverence (nomah)—how reverence for ones such as you (is to take place); (and) O Mazda, (how) one such as thee might instruct a dear (friend) such as me, and moreover (how one such as thee might instruct) us through Truth in order to establish dear relationships (?) so that (one such as thee?) might come to us through Good Mind. 2. [Obscure.] 3. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! Who, through the generative act (?), is the original father of Asha? Who established the path(s) of the sun and stars? Who is it through whom the moon (now) waxes, now wanes? Even these, O Mazda, and others, I wish to know. 4. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord!

Zarathushtra I 43
Who supports the earth below and (keeps) the heavens (above) from falling down? Who (supports) the waters and plants? Who yokes the two steeds to the wind and clouds? Who, O Mazda, is the Creator of Good Mind? 5. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! What artificer created days and nights? What artificer created sleep and wakefulness? Who is it through whom dawn, midday, and evening (come to pass), reminding the religious (man) of his duty? 6. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! (Tell me) whether the things I shall proclaim are true: Devotion (Armaiti) establishes Truth firmly through (good) actions . . . [obscure]. For whom didst thou fashion the pregnant Cow who produces felicity? 7. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! Who fashioned honored Devotion together with Dominion? Who made by means of his soul (?) a son respectful of his father? Through these (questions?) I am serving thee, O Mazda, recognizing (thee) as the Creator of everything by means of Spanta Mainyu. 8. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! —In order that I may keep in mind thy instructions, O Mazda, and the words which I have exchanged with Good Mind and (the words?) which are to be correctly acquired through Truth concerning (?) life, to what goods shall my soul proceed in the future (?)? 9. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! How am I to perfect my Vision (daena) which the master of a rich (?) estate would proclaim by his lofty authority—one such as thee, possessing much wealth, O Mazda, sitting in (thy) seat with Truth and Good Mind? 10. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! (Tell me about) that Vision which is the best of those which exist, which in the company of Truth promotes my people, (which) through the words and action of Devotion—my insight—desiring (thy) possessions, correctly shall see thee, O Mazda. 11. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! How is Devotion to disperse among those to whom thy Vision shall be told, O Mazda? I have been overwhelmingly acknowledged by them as thy original (follower): (therefore) lookest thou upon all others with enmity of spirit!

44 I Zarathushtra 12. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! (Among those) with whom I shall debate: who is righteous (ashawan) or who is deceitful (drugwant)? Which of the two: is (this one) evil or is that one evil? The deceitful one who keeps (?) me from (?) thy bounty— is not that one (evil)? This one is not considered to be evil. 13. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! How are we to drive the Lie away from us (and) onto those who, filled with disobedience, do not strive for association with Truth nor take pleasure in the counsel of Good Mind? 14. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! How may I deliver the Lie into the hands of Truth in order to destroy it through the mathras of thy teaching, to create a great schism (?) among the liars and to bring torments and evils upon them, O Mazda? 15. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! If thou, together with Truth, art capable of protecting this (?)—when the two hostile (?) armies come together—by means of those commands which thou desirest to keep secure, to which of these two, to whom wilt thou give victory? 16. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! Who is (one who can) smash resistance in order to protect, by means of thy teaching, those who exist? Let signs be given me. O Healer of Life, promise us a Judge (ratu)! So may Obedience go to him through Good Mind, to him, whomever it may be whom thou wishest! 17. [Obscure.] 18. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! How may I win this reward: ten mares with a stallion and a camel so that . . . [obscure]. 19. This I ask thee, speak to me truly, O Lord! What shall be the immediate punishment in this (case) for him who will not give the reward to him who has won it, who . . . (?) I know what will be his final (reward)! 20. Have the daewas, O Mazda, ever been good rulers?—so I ask it—. [Text very uncertain.]

2. Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda is the supreme being of Zoroastrianism. In the Gathas and in the Achaemenid inscriptions, especially those of Darius the Great, he is

Ahum Mazda I 45
described to us in terms that show that he was experienced both as the supreme creator of the universe, the mighty lord who ultimately controls the destiny of all, and as a personal deity of those who worship him. This latter experience of intimacy, of a close and intensely personal relationship with God, is unique in Old Iranian religion and is nowhere encountered in Vedic religion save in the Vasistha hymns to Varuna. In surprising contrast to the Ahura Mazda of Zarathushtra and Darius, the Ahura Mazda of the Younger Avesta is only a pathetic shadow of the noble Wise Lord. It is not that he has been demoted, relegated to an inferior position in the pantheon in the manner suffered by Varuna in the Indian tradition. He still retains his honored status; yet he has been sapped of all personality. The possible reasons for this situation are complex and require some background. The problem of the origin of Ahura Mazda has long been a point of controversy among scholars. As I have already noted in the Introduction, many Iranian gods have their counterparts in the Vedic pantheon. Such correspondences exist under two forms: either two deities share a common name or they share common and unmistakable characteristics. Discussions about the origins and identities of Indo-Iranian deities have usually been confused, because the participants have been unable to agree on what might constitute identity. Also, in discussions, the historicist fallacy has frequently been applied, namely, that by tracing the history of a deity back to some irreducible point one has necessarily arrived at an essential understanding of the deity. While one should never undervalue the historical explanation, neither should one view it as exclusive or sufficient in itself. Since the name 'Ahura Mazda' does not occur outside Iran, one can safely say, on one level, that he is a creation of the Iranian spirit. When one discovers the meaning of the name and examines the constellation of religious ideas surrounding Ahura Mazda, however, one is immediately forced to draw comparisons with the great Vedic deity Varuna. Ahura Mazda means 'Wise Lord'. In Avestan the name consists of two separately declined words, which, especially in the Gathas, need not appear contiguously. Old Persian, representing a linguistically younger development, has the two words coalesced into one ('urmzd'/ahuramazdd/). The one exception is found in an inscription of Xerxes (XPc 10) in which the independently declined ahurahya mazddha Curhy mzd'h) is an archaism perhaps under the influence of Avestan usage. This manner of addressing the supreme being as 'the wise lord' is encountered also in the Veda where king Varuna is invoked as the 'wise lord' (asura praceta(h), RV 1.24.14) and elsewhere is referred to as 'the all-knowing lord' (asuro visvdveda(h), RV 8.42.1). Although these epithets are by no means unique

46 I Ahura Mazda
to Varuna, as mazda is in Ahura Mazda, the concept of a "wise, allknowing lord" must have been common to Indo-Aryans and Iranians. Just as Ahura Mazda has no exact Vedic counterpart whose name would be *Asura Medhd, so Varuna has no exact Iranian counterpart *Wouruna. Since Varuna is a god of such manifest importance in the Veda, however, it is difficult to imagine that he does not have a long history extending back well into the proto-Indo-Iranian period. The search for the "lost" wise lord Varuna in Iranian religion leads one promptly to Ahura Mazda, for a number of reasons perhaps more compelling than the epithets just discussed. In the first place, both supreme deities are intimately connected with one of the most basic Indo-Iranian religious concepts, Truth (Ved rta, Av asha, OPers (a)rta). (See Introduction, p. 13.) Secondly, both are surrounded by a group of deities, who, though not identical, bear certain resemblances to one another. They are the Avestan Amasha Spsntas and the Vedic Adityas. Thirdly—a point that is frequently overlooked—it is only Ahura Mazda and Varuna who are the object of intense personal religious experience. To be sure, other deities may be approached in Vedic or Avestan hymns with terms of endearment by the supplicants; yet the language is the formal language of hieratic poetry, lacking the unmistakable stamp of direct experience. Fourthly, both are creators. Against the case for the identification of Ahura Mazda with Varuna, it has been argued that the points of similarity between them are deceptive, that both deities may be innovations of their respective traditions, and that the only true Indo-Iranian deity of this type is a shadowy figure called simply Ahura or Asura in the Avesta and Rgveda respectively.15 Although the problem may never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, a partial solution may lie in the recognition of a semantic obstacle. For those who insist upon an identity of names alone, clearly there is no ground for comparison. Also, for those for whom shared essential characteristics, in the absence of a shared name, are sufficient grounds to claim identity, the identification of Ahura Mazda and Varuna will fail owing to some essential differences (see sects. 3 and 4). What one must come to realize as important from the comparative point of view is that certain culturally shared concepts have become associated with the supreme deity in both societies. To understand these together with the differences is the necessary task of the comparativist. Returning to purely Avestan developments, one has observed that the nobility of Zarathushtra's and Darius' experience has suffered a debasement in the Younger Avesta. Generally, when Ahura Mazda appears it is in a dialogue with Zarathushtra in which his role is no more than to give

Ahura Mazda I 47 authority to either a religious practice or to a piece of non-Zarathushtrian literature. The Avestan Yasht to Ahura Mazda, given on pp. 51-55, is a recent work that can claim no antiquity. Its faulty language and its motley content, with its overriding concern for the magic of spells, show clearly there was no Old Iranian, that is, pre-Zarathushtrian, Yasht tradition that included Ahura Mazda. In fact, the author of this Yasht is quite at a loss to know what to say about him. The explanation for this is to be found in the nature of Ahura Mazda and in the degeneration of the Zarathushtrian religious vision. The "Wise Lord" is basically an abstract form of deity. In the absence of any vigorous flesh-and-blood mythology, such a god can be realized only in the fullness of religious experience. Where the occasion for such experience is wanting, a god like Ahura Mazda cannot help but lose meaning, until, as in this Yasht, he is understood only in terms of formulae like "most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world, righteous." Ahura Mazda was, then, what the phenomenology of religion calls a deus otiosus, a god who, because of his transcendence, is irrelevant to everyday religious concerns. Such gods are supplanted by more immanent deities active in the affairs of men. This process is manifest in the religion of the Younger Avesta with the reinstatement of the traditional gods. It is also seen in the course of the Achaemenid inscriptions, in which at first Darius and his son Xerxes only occasionally refer to 'the gods' or the 'gods of the royal house', but later, with Artaxerxes II and III, the goddess Anahita (see sect. 10) and the great god Mithra (see sect. 3) are invoked together with Ahuramazda. The Achaemenid inscriptions are a unique source of information about Old Iranian religion in that they can be dated and assigned to historical personalities. They must be taken with a certain amount of caution when used in reference to the Avesta, however. They belong to the language and culture of southwestern Iran; the Avesta belongs to the eastern parts of Iran (see Introduction). The propagandistic intent of the royal inscriptions differs from that of the priestly authors of the Avesta. In spite of these precautions, however, the two sources are wonderfully complimentary. Beyond the amount of space devoted to the role of Ahuramazda, one finds in particular prominence the concern with the Lie (drauga, Av druj), the very essence of moral, social, and political chaos. The king, Ahuramazda's chosen representative on earth, is a speaker of truth who maintains the just moral order within society while protecting society from rebellion brought about by followers of the Lie. Finally, in Xerxes' Daiwadana inscription, we encounter the fundamental antagonism between the gods (OPers baga, Av ahura, yazata, bagha) and the antigods or demons (OPers daiwa, Av daewa).

48 I Ahura Mazda

Inscriptions of Darius I (521-486 B.C.)
Rule by divine authority (DB I. 11-16) Darius the king says: By the will of Ahuramazda I am king. Ahuramazda delivered the kingship to me. Darius the king says: These are the countries which came to me. By the will of Ahuramazda I have become king over them: Persis, . . . (There follows a list of satrapies.) Darius the king says: These are the countries which came to me. By the will of Ahuramazda they became my subjects, they bore me tribute. Day and night they did what I told them. Darius the king says: Among these countries, whatever man was loyal I treated well, (but) whomever was unruly I punished well By the will of Ahuramazda these countries behaved according to my law. They did as I told them. Darius the king says: Ahuramazda delivered this kingship to me. Ahuramazda bore me aid until I had secured this empire. By the will of Ahuramazda I hold this empire. Summary of his campaigns; religious and moral admonitions (DB IV. 2-67) Darius the king says: This is what I did by the will of Ahuramazda in the same year after I became king. I fought XIX battles. By the will of Ahuramazda I won them. And I captured IX kings. One named Gaumata was a Magus. He lied. Thus he said, "I am Bardiya, the son of Cyrus." He made Persis rebellious. (There follows the list of the kings who lied and made their countries rebellious. They were Agina the Elamite; Nidintu-Bel the Babylonian, the false Nebuchadrezzar son of Nabonitas; Martya the Persian, the false Immanish; Fraw(a)rti the Mede, the false Xshathrita descendant of Cyaxares; Cigataxma the Sagartian, a false descendant of Cyaxares; Frada the Margian; Wahyazdata the Persian, another false Bardiya; Arxa the Armenian, another false Nebuchadrezzar.) Darius the king says: I captured these IX kings in these battles. Darius the king says: These are the countries which became rebellious. The Lie made them rebellious, because these (kings) lied to the people. Afterward Ahuramazda placed them in my hands. I dealt with them at my pleasure. Darius the king says: You, whoever you are who shall be king afterward, guard yourself diligently from the Lie. Punish well that man who shall be a liar, if you should think, "My country shall be secure." Darius the king says: This is what I did. By the will of Ahuramazda I did it

Ahura Mazda I 49
in one and the same year. You, whoever you are who shall afterward read this inscription which I made, may it convince you. Do not think that this is a lie. Darius the king says: O Ahuramazda, I swear this oath, that this is true; it is not a lie; I did this in one and the same year. Darius the king says: By the will of Ahuramazda there is also much else that I have done, (but) that is not written down in this inscription. It is not written down lest what I have done seem too much to him who should read this inscription afterward (and) it not convince him and he think it a lie. Darius the king says: The former kings, as long as they were (kings), did not do what I did by the will of Ahuramazda in one and the same year. Darius the king says: Now let this convince you. Thus tell the people what I have done; do not conceal it! If you do not conceal this proclamation (and) tell it to the people, may Ahuramazda be a friend to you and may your family be numerous and may you live long! Darius the king says: If you should conceal this proclamation (and) not tell it to the people, may Ahuramazda smite you and may you have no family! Darius the king says: This is what I did; in one and the same year I did it by the will of Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid, (as did) also the other gods who exist. Darius the king says: Ahuramazda bore me aid, (as did) also the other gods who exist, for the reason that I was not unruly, I was not a liar, I was not an evildoer, neither I nor my family transgressed. I did not deal crookedly with either the weak or the strong. I treated him well who cooperated with my house; I punished him well who (sought) to destroy (it). Victory for Darius through the worship of Ahuramazda (DB V.20-36) Darius the king says: Afterward I went off to Scythia with the army, after the Scythians who wear pointed hat(s). These Scythians fled from me. When I came up to the (Oxus) river, I then crossed over it with the whole army. Afterward I smote the Scythians greatly. I captured one of them. He was brought bound to me. Then I made another (their) chief according to my pleasure. Afterward the country became mine. Darius the king says: Those Scythians were unruly and did not worship Ahuramazda. I worshipped Ahuramazda. By the will of Ahuramazda I dealt with them as I pleased. Darius the king says: He who worships Ahuramazda will be blessed both (while) living and (when) dead.

50 I Ahum Mazda
Prayer to Ahuramazda (DPd 1-24) Ahuramazda, the great, who is the greatest of the gods, He created Darius the king; He delivered the kingship to him. By the will of Ahuramazda Darius is king. Darius the king says: This country, Persis, which Ahuramazda delivered to me, which is beautiful, with good horses and men, by the will of Ahuramazda and of me Darius the king, does not fear another (country). Darius the king says: May Ahuramazda bear me aid together with the gods of (the royal) house! And may Ahuramazda protect this country from a hostile army, from famine, from the Lie. Let not a hostile army, nor famine, nor the Lie come to this country. I pray (to) Ahuramazda together with the gods of (the royal) house for this blessing. May Ahuramazda together with the gods of (the royal) house bestow this blessing on me. Ahuramazda chose Darius (DSfS-22) Darius the king says: Ahuramazda who is the greatest of the gods created me. He made me king. He delivered the empire to me which is great with good horses and men. By the will of Ahuramazda Wishtaspa my father and Arshama my grandfather both were living when Ahuramazda made me king over this earth. Such was Ahuramazda's pleasure that of the entire earth he chose me, a man. He made me king over the entire earth. I worshipped Ahuramazda, (and) Ahuramazda bore me aid. He made successful for me what I commanded to be done. All that I did was by the will of Ahuramazda. (DNa 1-12, 30-35, 47-60) A great god is Ahuramazda who created this earth, who created yonder heaven, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Darius king, one king over many, one commander over many. I am Darius the great king, king of kings, king of countries containing all peoples, king of this great earth, extensive as it is. Darius the king says: After Ahuramazda saw this earth in turmoil he delivered it to me; he made me king; I am king by the will of Ahuramazda. Darius the king says: All this that was done, I did by the will of Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid until I did what was to be done. May Ahuramazda protect me from evil and my house and my country! I pray (to) Ahuramazda for this. May Ahuramazda grant it to me! O man, let not that which is Ahuramazda's command seem evil to you! Do not stray from the straight path! do not be antagonistic!

Ahura Mazda I 51
Xerxes' Daiwadana inscription (XPh 13-16, 28-56) Xerxes the king says: By the will of Ahuramazda these are the countries over which I was king. (There follows a satrapy list.) Xerxes the king says: When I became king there was (one country), among these which are written above, (which) revolted. Then Ahuramazda bore me aid. By the will of Ahuramazda I smote that country and set it in its (proper) place. And among these countries was (one) where formerly the daiwas were worshipped. Then by the will of Ahuramazda I destroyed that daiwa-temple. And I decreed, "Let the daiwas not be worshipped!" There where formerly the daiwas were worshipped, I worshipped Ahuramazda at the barssman (?) in accordance with Truth (?). And there was another (matter) which had been done badly. I made it good. All that I did 1 did by the will of Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid until I had done what was to be done. You, whoever you are who (shall live) afterward, if you think, "May I be happy while living and may I be blessed when dead," behave according to that law which Ahuramazda established, worship Ahuramazda at the barasman in accordance with Truth (?). The man who behaves according to that law which Ahuramazda established and worships Ahuramazda at the barasman in accordance with Truth (?), he becomes happy while living and (is) blessed when dead.

Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd) Yasht (Yasht 1)
1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world, righteous! What (aspect) of the Holy Word is most powerful? What is most defensive (?) (victorious)? What is most glorious? What is bravest? 2. what is (the best slayer in victory)? What is most curative? What best overcomes the hostility of daewas and (evil) men? Of all of material existence, what most affects (?) the mind? Of all of material existence, what best cleanses the spirit? 3. Then Ahura Mazda said: Our name [i.e., Amasha Spantas], O Spitamid Zarathushtra, is what is most powerful of the Holy Word, that (name is) most victorious, that (name is) most glorious, most brave, 4. most victorious, most curative, that (name) best overcomes the hostility of daewas and (evil) men, that (name) out of all of material existence most affects the mind, that (name) out of all of material existence best cleanses the spirit. 5. Then Zarathushtra said: Declare to me, O righteous Ahura Mazda, that name of yours which is the greatest and the most beautiful and the

52 / Ahum Mazda
bravest and the most victorious and the most curative and the best at overcoming the hostility of daewas and (evil) men), 6. so that I may overcome all daewas and (evil) men, so that I may overcome all sorcerers and witches, so that no one may overcome me, neither a daewa nor yet an (evil) man, neither a sorcerer nor yet a witch. 7. Then Ahura Mazda said: (First) I am called "He Who Is to Be Implored," O righteous Zarathushtra; second, "Shepherd" (?); third, . . . (?); fourth, "Asha Washishta"; fifth, "All the Good Created by Mazda, the Seed of Asha"; sixth, I am "Intelligence"; seventh, "Intelligent"; eighth, I am "Insight"; ninth, "Insightful"; 8. tenth, I am "Beneficence"; eleventh, "Possessing Beneficence"; twelfth, "Lord" (Ahura); thirteenth, "Most Powerful"; fourteenth, this "Unassailable" (?); fifteenth, "Invincible"; sixteenth, "He Who Remembers (People's) Merit"; seventeenth, "All Perceiving"; eighteenth, "Curative"; nineteenth, I am "Creator"; twentieth, I am called "Mazda." 9. You should worship me, O Zarathushtra, by day (and) by night with libations which bear (me) glory (yasah), (and then) I, Ahura Mazda, shall come to aid and support you; good Sraosha the companion of Ashi will come to aid and support you; the waters and the plants and the Frawashis of the Righteous will come to aid and support you. 10. If, O Zarathushtra, you want to overcome those hostilities (of) daewas and men, (of) sorcerers and witches, (of) tyrants, kawis, and karapans, (of) biped scoundrels and biped distorters of Truth and quadruped wolves, 11. and the hostile army with a broad front, with a broad banner, then recite these names during all the days and nights. 12. I am "Protector" and "Creator," I am "Protector" and "Knower," and I am "Spirit" and "Most Beneficent" (or "Most Beneficent Spirit"). I am called "Curative," I am called "Most Curative," I am called "Priest," I am called "Supreme Priest," I am called "Lord," I am called "Wise," I am called "Righteous," I am called "Most Righteous," I am called "Glorious," I am called "Most Glorious," I am called "Seer of Much," I am called "Best Seer of Much," I am called "Far-Seer," I am called "Best Far-Seer," 13. I am called "Watcher," I am called "Pursuer," I am called "Creator," I am called "Guardian," I am called "Protector," I am called "Knower," I am called "Best Knower (?)," I am called "Seeking Dominion," I am called "Seeking Dominion Most," I am called . . . (?), I am called . . . (?).

Ahura Mazda I 53 14. I am called "Without Deceit," I am called "Free From Deceit," I am called "Warder," I am called "Overcoming Hostility," I am called "Immediate Conquest," I am called "All Conquering," I am called "All-Fashioner," I am called "(bestowing) All Felicity," I am called "(bestowing) Much Felicity," I am called "Felicitous." 15. I am called "(Bestowing) Efficacious Profit," I am called "(Bestowing) Efficacious Advantage," I am called "Possessing Profit," I am called "Strong," I am called "Strongest," I am called "Truth," I am called "High," I am called "Ruler," I am called "Highest Ruler," I am called "Intelligent," I am called "Most Intelligent," I am called "FarSeeing"—and those are the names. 16. He who, in this material existence, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, recites these names of mine (?) either by day or at night, 17. (who recites) either standing up or lying down, either lying down or standing up, either girding on his girdle or loosening his girdle, either setting forth from his residence or setting forth from his tribe, or setting forth from his country, [going away to (another) country], 18. O man, not on this day, not on this night will (?) the (weapon?) of one deceived by Wrath, whose mind is of the Lie, hit him, neither will the a/cw, 16 nor the battle-axes (?), nor the knives, nor the maces, nor the (sling) stones hit (him). 19. And these twenty names stand ready as (his) support and fortification against the invisible Lie, the concupiscent, deceiving (Lie) and against the destructive conjuror, against the all-destructive Deceiver (Angra Mainyu), as if a thousand men would watch over one man. 20. [Repeat Y. 44.16 (p. 44).] 21. Homage to the Kawyan Xwaronah, homage to the Aryan homeland. Homage to the Mazda-created Profit, homage to the river Daily a. Homage to the immaculate river Anahita, homage to the entire righteous world. Yathd ahu wairyo . . . [Repeat prayer ten times (p. 183).] Ashsm wohu . . . [Repeat prayer ten times (p. 183).] 22. We worship the Ahuna wairya prayer. We worship the Amosha Spsnta, most beautiful Best Truth. We worship Strength and Prosperity and Power and Victory and Glory and Might. We worship opulent, glorious Ahura Mazda. Yenghe hatam . . . [Repeat prayer (p. 182).] 23. Yathd ahu wairyo . . . [Repeat prayer twice.] I dedicate worship and praise, power and might to opulent, glorious Ahura Mazda.

54 I Ahura Mazda
Asham wohu . . . [Repeat prayer.] 24. O Zarathushtra, you should forever protect the amicable man against the inimical enemy. Do not let the friend go for a beating! Do not abandon that law-abiding man to ill treatment, to disenfranchisement (at the hands of his) oppressors, (that) man who will offer the greatest sacrifice (but who) will demand (?) least of us, the Amasha Spantas, for (his) sacrifice. 25. Wohu Manah is here in my house, O Zarathushtra, Asha Wahishta is here in my house, O Zarathushtra. Xshathra is here in my house, O Zarathushtra. Sponta Armaiti is here in my house, O Zarathushtra. Haurwatat and Amaratat, [both of whom are the reward of the righteous (people) who are going to the life beyond.] (are) here in my house. 26. This I know and understand, O righteous Zarathushtra, through my intelligence and understanding, how the first existence was and how the last existence will be. 27. A thousand cures! Ten thousand cures! [Come to my aid, O Mazda, (and that of ?) well-built, handsome Strength, Ahura-created Warathraghna, and conquering Superiority and Spsnta Armaiti,] And through Spsnta Armaiti destroy their hostility, cover their ears, bind their hands together, smash their jaws, bind the binder (?). 28. Will the righteous man, O Mazda, conquer a liar? (Will) the righteous man conquer the Lie? (Will) the righteous man conquer a liar? We worship Ahura Mazda's understanding for the maintenance of the Holy Word. We worship Ahura Mazda's intelligence for the retention of the Holy Word. We worship Ahura Mazda's speech for the proclamation of the Holy Word. We worship that mountain Ushi.dam, Ushi.darana, 17 by day (and) by night with libations which bring (it) glory. 29. Then Zarathushtra said, "May she (Armaiti) put you, a scoundrel, in the ground!" By the eyes of Spanta Armaiti the scoundrel was cast down. 30. A thousand cures! Ten thousand cures! We worship the frawashi of the righteous man who is called Asmo.x wan want. Then as a believer (?) I shall worship imploringly (the frawashis) of the other righteous (men). By the (propitiation) of the strong Mazda-created Gaoksranal We worship the strong Mazda-created Gaokarsna.

Mithra I 55 31. [Repeat st. 28 from "We worship Ahura Mazda's understanding . . ."to the end.] Asham wohu. [Repeat six times: st. 30 from "We worship the frawashi. . ."to the end; st. 28 from "We worship Ahura Mazda's understanding . . ."to the end.] Asham wohu. 32. We worship the creatrix Spanta Armaiti . . . ( ? ) . Therefore, we should make him, the greatest of all, Ahura Mazda, the ahu and ratu for the killing of lying Angra Mainyu, for the killing of Wrath with the bloody club, for the killing of the daewas from Mazandaran, and (for the killing) of all the lying daewas from Warana, for the promotion of opulent, glorious Ahura Mazda, for the promotion of the Amssha Spantas, for the promotion of the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya, for the promotion of the righteous man, for the promotion of all the righteous creations of Spanta Mainyu.

3. Mithra
Next to Ahura Mazda, Mithra is the greatest god of the old Iranian pantheon. The opening stanza of his Yasht states that Ahura Mazda created Mithra equal to himself in respect to his worship. It is a Zoroastrian device to legitimize the worship of a god who, to judge by the richness of his Yasht, must have been the equal of Ahura Mazda in nonZarathushtrian circles. The absence of Mithra from the Gathas, contrasted with his prominence in the Younger Avesta, led some scholars, H. S. Nyberg18 and his students, to espouse the belief that Eastern Iran had been the scene of lively sectarian struggles between "communities" of people who were devoted to either Mithra or Ahura Mazda or perhaps to other deities as well. In the previous selection I noted the exclusivity of Mazda worship on the part of Darius and Xerxes and the later inclusion of Mithra under Artaxerxes II and III. Despite the fact that Mazdaism seems to have demanded a near monotheistic allegiance to Ahura Mazda, it is hard to imagine that sectarianism was rampant among the generality of "pagan" Iranians. Pan-Iranian sectarianism existed, rather, in the schism between daewa and ahura worshippers (see Introduction, p. 13). If one lets oneself be guided, in part, by the testimony of the Rgveda, one shall not be surprised to find Mithra on equal footing with Ahura Mazda, for, in the Rgveda, Mitra is the almost constant companion of Varuna, whose affinity to Ahura Mazda has already been discussed. In fact, the

56 I Mithra two are so intimately related that they are rendered indistinguishable when, as so frequently happens, they are invoked together as an indissoluble pair (dvandvd), mitrdvarund. In the Younger Avesta, Mithra also enters into this dual (dvandva) relationship with other deities, such as Ahura, Rashnu, and Thvorashtar. Mithra's connections with Vedic deities and his relationships with Iranian deities will be discussed; for now, one should simply observe that, for the Indo-Iranians and probably the Indo-Europeans in general, divine supremacy was a shared honor. The most basic point of departure for understanding the Indo-Iranian god *Mitra- is the meaning of the name. In Indo-Iranian, the word *mitrahad two meanings: (1) 'covenant, contract, treaty'; (2) 'friendship'. Although meaning (2), I believe, can easily be derived from meaning (1), H.-P. Schmidt has recently made a strong case for a basic meaning 'alliance', which, he feels, better explains the two.19 In Old Indian, meaning (2) rapidly underwent a semantic shift to 'friend'; as a result, it was once widely held—and is still held today among a small minority—that Vedic Mitra was the 'Friend'. Because Vedic Mitra is constantly eclipsed by Varuna, there is no internal evidence that might persuade one that Mitra meant anything but the god Friend. When one takes cognizance of the Iranian evidence, however, one cannot doubt that the Indo-Iranian deity was indeed the god Covenant. It is probable that, by the end of the Rgvedic period (c. 900 B.C.), meaning (1) had fallen into disuse, to be replaced by meaing (2); yet the existence in the oldest strata of the Mahabhdrata of the compounds mitradruh (Av mithra.drug) 'covenantbreaking, treacherous', and mitradroha 'the breaking of a covenant' show that the Indo-Aryans knew meaning (1). It is clear, then, that Mithra's nature is rooted in an ethical concept, the sanctity of agreements among people. Accordingly, his complex personality should be explained with reference to this fundamental aspect. I have already mentioned that, divorced from Varuna, Mitra is a somewhat pale figure in the Rgveda, having just one hymn solely his. His only distinguishing trait is that "he puts people in their proper places"; that is to say, by guaranteeing the inviolability of covenants, contracts, agreements, treaties, and the like, he maintains lawful stability among people. With Varuna he presides over Truth (rta), yet, unlike Varuna whose concern is Truth in all its many facets, Mitra's function is singular. Both he and Varuna are called rdjan. This word has unfortunately been translated when applied to Mitra and Varuna according to its secondary meaning 'king' (cf. Lat rex, Olrish ri, Goth reiks), whereas emphasis should be placed on the primary meaning 'judge'. In a manner analogous to the ancient Israelite 'judge' who developed into a king, IE reg was primarily a judge and only secondarily a king; or, to put it differently, the primary

Mithra I 57 function of a king was to judge (see sect. 4). Although in the Avesta Mithra's function as judge is implicit, this function being explicitly carried out by Rashnu, in the Pahlavi literature his only function is chief judge of the dead along with Rashnu and Sraosha. Thus it would seem that in the Indo-Iranian conception of the divine order, which, one may suppose, was at least paradigmatic for the human order, the god Covenant must act in concert with another god whose role is that of judge in the broadest sense. In India it was Varuna; in Iran, Rashnu. The colorless picture drawn of Vedic Mitra stands in marked contrast to that of Avestan Mithra. The latter is portrayed as a mighty warrior, who, sallying forth to battle in his chariot laden with weapons, wields his mace to smash the heads of covenant violators. In the Vedas, not only Mitra, but Varuna, too, is amazingly deficient in martial qualities. Indeed, the royal aspect of force resides in the great warrior god Indra (whose name appears as a daewa in the Avesta). The contrast between him and Varuna is nowhere better seen than in RV 4.42. What is striking is that Vedic Indra and Avestan Mithra so closely resemble each other in martial demeanor. Two general explanations of this have been given. One appeals to changes in the pantheon as a result of the Zarathushtrian reform. According to this view, when Indra was banished by Zarathushtra, a serious ideological vacuum was created. To fill the vacuum, his martial characteristics were simply transferred to an acceptable deity, Mithra. To such reasoning it has been objected that, although Indra and Mithra do resemble each other closely, there is no license to make Mithra heir to Indra's confiscated property. Mithra's acquisition of martial traits can just as well have arisen out of his need to be able to enforce his judgments. It may be noted that both approaches assume that Mithra's warlike aspect is secondary. In any case, I think it is wrong to see in Mithra a thinly disguised Indra. It is safer to say that both gods exhibit ideals of the Aryan warrior, which, in the Vedas, never attached themselves to Mitra, while in the Avesta they appear as part of Mithra's makeup. A possible explanation of the similarity between Mithra and Indra may reside in the god of aggressive combat Warathraghna (see sect. 5). Another aspect that Mithra shares with Indra, though far less prominently, is his role in replenishing the earth's water supply. Although the subject of hydrology is taken up in detail below (see sects. 9 and 12), one must observe that neither Mithra nor Rgvedic Indra should be seen specifically as rain gods. They are both primarily concerned with the release of river water, that is, with the seasonal melt of mountain snows and the runoff of vernal mountain rains. Mithra's ability to fill the rivers and lakes involves him in agriculture (st. 61) and by extension may explain his ability to grant sons and noble offspring.

58 I Mithra
Mithra's standing epithet is wouru.gaoyaoiti (lit. 'possessing wide pasture land'). In the translation I have perpetuated the usual rendering, 'Mithra of wide pastures'. If the meaning of 'wide pastures' is not understood, however, much idle speculation about Mithra's involvement in cattle raising can result. As Benveniste showed, Av gaoyaoiti and Ved gdvyuti designate not simply pasture land, but a secure domain under the protection of a deity, "«« lieu d'asyl."20 In the Yasna Haptanghaiti (Y. 42.2) and in the Sraosha Yasht (Yt. 57.2), dual deities are worshipped under the names of the Protector and the Artisan (payu thvorshtara). Gershevitch21 has brilliantly proved that the Protector is Mithra, and that the Artisan is Ahura Mazda's creative aspect, Spanta Mainyu. In Yt. 10.54 he is protector and guardian of all creatures. The designation 'protector' fits well his standing epithet, and together they offer sufficient explanation for his concern for the well-being of house and home (sts. 4, 30, 38) and the prosperity of the material world (st. 103). A final problem that must be addressed is Mithra as a solar deity. If the Avesta contained the only information about Mithra that existed, the problem would be insignificant. In Middle Persian, Parthian, and Sogdian, however, and on Kushan coins, various reflexes of the Old Iranian name mean 'sun'. In the Zoroastrian tradition, Av Hwaraxshaeta, Phi xwarshed is the normal word for the sun. Why, then, if the Iranians had a perfectly good word and deity for the sun, did they make the transfer to Mithra? Gershevitch has argued that Avestan Mithra is associated especially with the first light in the morning, an association which, in conjunction with his need to patrol the earth incessantly in search of covenant breakers, paved the way for his being associated completely with the diurnal course of the sun and with the sun itself. Moreover, there are other factors that may have contributed to his eventual identification with the sun. As overseer of covenants Mithra was concerned with good government, and in such a capacity he is often responsible for a peculiar fiery power, called xwarsnah 'glory, fortune' (see sect. 6), which accompanies legitimate authority. Further, the sacred element over which covenential oaths were sworn was, in Iran, fire. In Sasanid Iran, one of the sacred fires was the burzen-mihr. The homology of fire and sun is ancient and universal, so that Mithra's early connection with the former inevitably led to his association with the latter. Although it lies beyond the scope of this anthology, I should point out that not only did Mithra, like other Iranian gods, play several roles in Manichaeism, but a derivative form of his cult also spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, even as far as Great Britain, where it became the religion of Mithras, which enjoyed its greatest prominence among the Roman legions.

Mithra I 59 Mithra (Mihr) Yasht (Yasht 10)
I 1. Ahura Mazda said to Zarathushtra the Spitamid: When I created Mithra of wide pastures, I made him, O Spitamid, as worthy of worship and praise as myself, Ahura Mazda. 2. The knave who is false to a treaty, O Spitamid, destroys the whole country to the (same) extent as even one hundred kayadhas smiting the righteous (man). Do not break a covenant, O Spitamid, neither (the one) which you might conclude with a drugwant nor (one) with an ashawan belonging to the Good Religion, for the contract applies to both of you, to drugwant and to ashawan. 3. Mithra of wide pastures gives possession of swift horses to those who are not false to a covenant. Fire (Atar), (the son) of Ahura Mazda, gives the straightest path to those who are not false to a covenant. The good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous give noble progeny to those who are not false to a covenant. 4. Because of his rayi and glory, I shall audibly worship Mithra of wide pastures with libations. We worship Mithra of wide pastures, who bestows peaceful and comfortable dwellings on the Iranian countries. 5. May he come hither to us in order to help (us). May he come hither to us for spaciousness. May he come hither to us to support (us). May he come hither to us to (grant us) mercy. May he come hither to us to cure (us of disease). May he come hither to us so that we are able to defeat our enemies. May he come hither to us to (grant us) a good life. May he come hither to us to grant us possession of Truth. (May) strong, unshakable, undeceivable Mithra of wide pastures, who is worthy of worship and praise, (come hither) for the sake of the whole material world. 6. With libations I shall worship the powerful god, strong Mithra, strongest in the (world of) creatures; I shall pay homage to him with praise and reverence; with libations I shall audibly worship him, Mithra of wide pastures. We worship Mithra of wide pastures with haoma (mixed) with milk . . . [Continue with Ny. 1.16 (p. 183)]. II 7. We worship Mithra of wide pastures, whose speech is correct, who is eloquent (in verbal contests), who has a thousand ears, is well built, has ten thousand eyes, is tall, has a wide outlook, is strong, sleepless, (ever) waking, 8. whom the rulers descending upon the battlefield worship (as they advance) against the bloodthirsty enemy armies, against those drawn up in battle lines between the two warring countries.

60 I Mithra
9. Whichever of the two (countries? rulers?) can worship him first, believingly, with understanding thought from a trusting mind—to that one, Mithra of wide pastures turns; at the same time, the victorious Winds (also turn to that one), at the same time Damoish Upamana (turns). [Repeat sts. 4-6.] Ill 10. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7]; 11. whom the Warriors worship at (i.e., bending down close to) the manes of (their) horses, requesting strength for their teams, health for themselves, much watchfulness against enemies, the ability to retaliate against foes, the ability to overcome unfriendly, hostile opponents at a blow. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] IV 12. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7]; 13. who is the first supernatural god to rise across the Kara (mountain range), in front of the immortal swift-horsed sun, who is the first to seize the beautiful mountain peaks adorned with gold; from there he, the most mighty, surveys the whole land inhabited by Iranians, 14. where gallant rulers preside over many (offerings of) refreshments (to the gods), where high mountains rich in pasture lands and water provide fodder for cattle, where there exist deep lakes with wide expanses of water, where wide irrigation waters rush with eddies toward Parutian Ishkata, 2 2 Haraiwan Margu, 23 Sogdian Gawa, 24 and Chorasmia.25 15. Strong Mithra surveys (the continents) Arazahi, Sawahl, Fradadhafshu, Widadhafshu, Wouru.bargshtl, Wouru.jaroshtl, and that splendid continent Xwaniratha, (the land of) village settlement and (of) healthy village habitation; 16. (Mithra) the supernatural god who drives over (throughout?) all the continents bestowing xwaranah, the supernatural god who drives over (throughout?) all the continents bestowing power. He secures victoriousness for those who, instructed (in religious matters), knowing Truth, worship him with libations. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] V 17. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who is deceived by no one, neither by the head of the house (ruling over) the house, nor by the village head (ruling over) the village, nor by the tribal head (ruling over) the tribe, nor by the head of the country (ruling over) the country.

Mithra I 61 18. If, indeed, the head of the house (ruling over) the house, or the village head (ruling over) the village, or the tribal head (ruling over) the tribe, or the head of the country (ruling over) the country is deceitful toward him, Mithra, angered (at) having been treated with enmity, (comes) forth (and) smashes the house and the village and the tribe and the country, and the heads of the houses (ruling over) the houses, and the village heads (ruling over) the villages, and the tribal heads (ruling over) the tribes, and the heads of the countries (ruling over) the countries and the councils of premiers of the countries. 19. Mithra, angry (at) having been treated with enmity, will sally forth from (?) that direction in which, of the (possible) directions, the breaker of a covenant is least on guard in his mind. 20. Even the horses of the breakers of a covenant become loath to be mounted; running they do not get away, being ridden they do not take (their rider) forward, drawing (the chariot) they do not persevere (make progress). Back flies the spear which the covenant-breaker throws, in spite of (?) the evil spells which the covenant-breaker performs. 21. Even when his throw is a good one, even when he hits the body, even then they (?) do not hurt him (the opponent) in spite of (?) the evil spells which the covenant-breaker performs. The wind carries (away) the spear which the covenant-breaker throws, in spite of (?) the evil spells which the covenant-breaker performs. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] VI 22. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who (when) undeceived removes a man from anxiety, removes (him) from danger. 23. May you, O Mithra, undeceived (by us), remove us from anxiety, from anxieties. You induce fear for their own person(s) in men who are false to a covenant in this manner: (when) angered you are able to remove the power in their arms, the strength in their legs, the light of their eyes, the hearing of their ears. 24. (An enemy) does not hit with blades (?) of well-sharpened spear(s) or of far-flying arrow(s) him to whom Mithra comes with foreknowing thought to help, (Mithra) who, strong, having ten thousand spies, undeceivable, knows all. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] VII 25. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], the profound, powerful Lord (Ahura), granting profit, eloquent (in verbal contests), pleased with (hymns of) praise, lofty, very skillful, tanu.mathra, the strongarmed warrior,

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26. the smasher of the daewas' heads, the especially evil punisher of guilty men who are false to a covenant, the suppressor of witches, who when not deceived leads the country to superior strength, who when not deceived leads the country to superior valor, 27. who carries away the straightest (paths) of the defiant country, obscures (its) xwarsnah, removes (its) victoriousness; he harries them defenseless; he, strong, all-knowing, undeceivable, having ten thousand spies, deals out ten thousand blows. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] VIII 28. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who makes firm the pillars of the high-built house, (who) makes strong the gateposts. Then he gives herds of cattle and teams of men to the house in which he is propitiated; he destroys the others in which he is treated with enmity. 29. You, O Mithra, are evil and best toward the countries. You, O Mithra, are evil and best toward men. You, O Mithra, rule over the peace and strife of the countries. 30. You provide the great houses with bustling women (and) fast chariots, with spread-out rugs (and) laid-down piles of cushions. You provide with spread-out rugs (and) laid-down piles of cushions the highbuilt house of the righteous (man) who, bearing libations, worships you at the proper time with words, with worship in which (your) name is mentioned. 31. O strong Mithra, I shall worship you at the proper time with words, with worship in which (your) name is mentioned, with libations. O strongest Mithra, I shall worship you at the proper time with words, with worship in which (your) name is mentioned, with libations. O undeceivable Mithra, I shall worship you at the proper time with words, with worship in which (your) name is mentioned, with libations. 32. O Mithra, may you listen to our worship; O Mithra, may you be satisfied with our worship, may you sit at our worship. Come to our libations, come to them (which) have been offered, collect them for consumption, deposit them in Paradise. 33. O strong (Mithra), by an agreement of given promises give us this boon which we ask of you: wealth, strength and victoriousness, wellbeing and possession of Truth, good reputation and peace of soul, intelligence, increment and knowledge, and Ahura-created Victoriousness, and Best Truth's conquering superiority, and the ability to interpret the Spsnta Mathra,

Mithra I 63 34. so that we, being in good spirits, cheerful, joyful, optimistic, may conquer all opponents; so that we, being in good spirits, cheerful, joyful, optimistic, may conquer all enemies; so that we, being in good spirits, cheerful, joyful, optimistic, may conquer. . . . May we overcome all the hostilities of daewas and men, of sorcerers and witches, of tyrants, kawis and karapans [Repeat sts. 4-6.] IX 35. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], the avenger of (unpaid) debts, the levier of armies, whose perception is thousandfold (and who) rules as an all-knowing ruler; 36. who sets the battle in motion, who takes his stand in battle, who, taking his stand in battle, smashes the battle lines. All the flanks of the battle-tossed lines are in confusion, the center of the bloodthirsty army is quaking. 37. He will be able to bring upon them terror and fear. He hurls away the heads of the men false to the covenant; off fly the heads of the men false to the covenant. 38. He destroys the crumbling dwellings, the uninhabitable abodes, in which dwell the drugwants false to the covenant who smite the truly righteous (men). The Cow, accustomed to pastures, [who is in the clutches of men false to the covenant], pulls (their wagon) along the dusty road of captivity, dragged forward as their draft animal. Tears are flowing in a stream along (her) face. 39. Even their eagle-feathered arrows, propelled by the bowstring, flying from a well-drawn bow, strike no wounds, since Mithra of wide pastures, angered (at) having been treated with enmity, is hostile (at) not having been acknowledged. Even their pointed, well-sharpened spears with long shafts, flying from (their) arms, strike no wounds, since Mithra of wide pastures, angered (at) having been treated with enmity, is hostile (at) not having been acknowledged. Even their sling stones, flying from (their) arms, strike no wounds, since Mithra of wide pastures, angered (at) having been treated with enmity, is hostile (at) not having been acknowledged. 40. Even their well-drawn daggers, which have been brought down upon the heads of men, strike no wounds, since Mithra of wide pastures, angered (at) having been treated with enmity, is hostile (at) not having been acknowledged.

64 I Mithra Even their well-wielded maces, which have been brought down on the heads of men, strike no wounds, since Mithra of wide pastures, angered (at) having been treated with enmity, is hostile (at) not having been acknowledged. 41. Mithra frightens (them) hither, Rashnu frightens (them) back, Sraosha the companion of Ashi chases (them) together from all directions toward their protective gods. (But) these desert the battle lines, since Mithra of wide pastures, angered (at) having been treated with enmity, is hostile (at) not having been acknowledged. 42. Thus they say to Mithra of wide pastures: Alack! Mithra of wide pastures! These swift horses are taking us before (you,) Mithra; these strong-armed ones, O Mithra, are destroying us with (their) dagger(s). 43. Thereupon Mithra of wide pastures knocks them down with one hundred blows for (every) fifty blows, and with one thousand blows for (evrey) hundred blows, and with ten thousand blows for (every) thousand blows, and with countless blows for (every) ten thousand blows, since Mithra of wide pastures is angered (at) having been treated with enmity. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] X 44. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], whose abode broad as the earth is set in the material world, unrestricted in size, shining, reaching widely abroad, 45. who has eight servants. On every height, in every watch post sit Mithra's spies, espying (him who is) false to a covenant; they are watching those, they are remembering those who are the first to be false to a covenant, and they are guarding the paths of those whom the drugwants, who are false to the covenant and smite the truly righteous (men), seek. 46. Helping, protecting, protecting behind, protecting in front, Mithra of wide pastures, as an undeceivable spy watching all around, comes forth for him for whom Mithra comes with understanding thought to help, (Mithra) who has ten thousand spies, (who) is strong, all-knowing, undeceivable. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XI 47. We worship Mithra of wide pastures . . . [continue with st. 7], notorious in his anger. (His) broad-hooved (horses) drive against the bloodthirsty enemy armies, against those drawn up in battle lines between the two warring countries.

Mithra I 65 48. Then, when Mithra drives forth against the bloodthirsty enemy armies, against those drawn up in battle lines between the two warring countries, then he ties the hands of the men false to the covenant behind (their backs), he clouds their vision, he deafens their ears. He (the man false to the covenant) cannot stand firm, he has no endurance [these countries, these opponents] since Mithra of wide pastures has been treated badly.
XII 49. We worship Mithra . . . [repeat st. 7], 50. for whom he who is the creator, Ahura Mazda, fashioned a dwelling on top of shining lofty Kara which has many spurs, where there is no night nor darkness, no cold nor hot wind, no illness causing much death, no defilement caused by the daewas; nor do mists issue forth from lofty HaraitI; 51. which (dwelling) all the Beneficent Immortals built in harmony with the sun, believingly, with understanding thought from a trusting mind, (for him) who surveys the entire material world from lofty HaraitI. 52. Then when the evil-doing treacherous person sallies forth with a fast step, Mithra of wide pastures harnesses (his) fast chariot, (as does) both strong Sraosha the companion of Ashi and charming Nairyo.sangha. (Mithra) slays him (so that he is) slain either in the battle line or on the attack. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XIII 53. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who regularly complains to Ahura Mazda with outstretched hands, saying: 54. I am the beneficent protector of all creatures, I am the beneficent guardian of all creatures, yet men do not worship me with worship in which (my) name is mentioned, as other gods are worshipped with worship in which (their) names are mentioned. 55. If, indeed, men would worship me with worship in which (my) name is mentioned, as other gods are worshipped with worship in which (their) names are mentioned, I would go forth to the truthful men for the duration of a definite period, (for the duration) of a definite (period) of my own radiant immortal life I would go unto (truthful men). 56. The righteous (man) bearing libations worships you at the proper time with words, with worship in which (your) name is mentioned. O strong Mithra, I shall worship you . . . [Continue with st. 31.] 57-59. [Repeat sts. 32-34.]

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XIV 60. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], whose reputation is good, whose (physical) appearance is good, whose renown is good, who grants boons according to his pleasure, who grants asylum according to his pleasure . . . (?), who, strong, having ten thousand spies, undeceivable, knows all. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XV 61. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], (who, as) a spy, stands erect, watchful, brave, eloquent, who fills the waters, who listens to the call (of men), who lets the water fall, who allows the plants to grow, who has jurisdiction over boundaries, is eloquent, clever, undeceivable, who has manifold perception, who was created by the Creator, 62. who gives neither power nor strength to any man false to a covenant, who gives neither fortune (xwarsnah) nor reward to any man false to a covenant. 63. (When) enraged you are able to remove the power in their arms . . . [continue with sts. 23-24.] [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XVI 64. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], in whose soul . . . [obscure], 65. who is swift among the swift, loyal among the loyal, brave among the brave, eloquent among the eloquent; who grants . . . ( ? ) . . . , fat, herds, dominion, sons, life, well-being, (and) possession of Truth, 66. who is accompanied by good Ashi, and Parandi (driving) a swift chariot and strong manly Valor and the strong Kawyan Xwaranah and the strong autonymous Firmament and the strong Damoish Upamana and the strong Frawashis of the Righteous and him who is the Unifier (?) of the many righteous (men) who worship Mazda.

XVII 67. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who drives forth in (his) high-wheeled chariot, built by (Spsnta) Mainyu, from the continent of Arazahi to the shining continent Xwaniratha, accompanied by timely Energy (?), and by the Mazda-created Xwaranah, and by the Ahura-created Victoriousness, 68. whose chariot good, tall Ashi guides; for whose (chariot) the Mazdean Religion prepared the paths for easy travel, which (chariot) is

Mithra I 67 pulled by supernatural, white, radiant, shining (?), wise, shadowless steeds which issue forth from the supernatural realm whenever Damoish Upamana gets it off to a good start, (and) which all the supernatural daewas as well as the concupiscent drugwants fear, (crying out): 69. May we not here encounter the bludgeoning of the enraged Lord (Ahura) whose thousand blows encounter (his) enemy, he who, strong, having ten thousand spies, undeceivable, knows all. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XVIII 70. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], in front of whom Ahura-created Warathraghna drives in the form of a ferocious wild boar with sharp teeth, with sharp tusks, a boar that kills at one blow, unapproachable (when) angered, whose face (bristles) are speckled, swift, having metal hind feet, metal forefeet, metal tendons, a metal tail (and) metal jaws; 71. who, overtaking (his) opponent(s), overcome by passion together with manly valor, strikes down (his) opponents with a toss (of his head). He does not think that he has struck anyone; it does not seem (to him) that he is striking anyone, until he smashes the vertebrae, which are the pillars of life, the spring of vitality. 72. who cuts everything up; all at once he mixes together on the ground the bones, hair, brains, and blood of the men who are false to a covenant. XIX 73. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who regularly, with outstretched hand, joyfully raises (his) voice, saying: Righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! 74. [Repeat st. 55.] 75. May we be guardians of your dwelling places; (but) may we not be deserters of the dwelling places, neither of the house, nor of the settlement, nor of the tribe, nor of the country; nor (may we be deserters of that) of ours which strong-armed (Mithra) shall guard from the enemies. 76. You destroy the enmities of the enemies, (you destroy the enmities) of the inimical. Destroy the slayers of the righteous! You have good horses and a good charioteer; you are the strong helper when invoked. 77. I shall invoke you for help (May he come to us for help) with an abundant sacrifice and a good sacrifice of libations, with an abundant offering and a good offering of libations, so that through you we may

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inhabit with a long (period of) habitation a welcome habitat fit to inhabit. 78. You protect those countries which strive to treat Mithra of wide pastures well. You destroy those (countries) which are defiant. I shall invoke you for help. May he come to us for help, powerful, unshakable Mithra, the insightful Lord of the countries who is worthy of worship and praise. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XX 79. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who, as ajudge, gives a dwelling place (to him) for whom Rashnu has furnished a . . . (?) for long succession (of descendants). 80. You are the protector of the dwelling place, the defender of those who reject the Lie; you are the protector of the community, the guardian of those who reject the Lie. Through you (that community), indeed, obtains the best succession (of descendants) and Ahura-created Victoriousness, in which men false to the covenant lie (defeated), having been smitten previously at the divinatory trial. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXI 81. [Repeat st. 79.] 82. who has one thousand perceptions. Ahura Mazda gave (him) ten thousand eyes so that he might look out. Thus, with these eyes and these perceptions, he espies the covenant-breaker and the one false to the covenant. Thus, with these eyes and these perceptions, Mithra is undeceivable, (he) who, strong, having ten thousand spies, undeceivable, knows all. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXII 83. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], whom the leader of the community regularly invokes with outstretched hands for help, 84. whom the village head regularly invokes with outstretched hands for help, whom the head of the house regularly invokes with outstretched hands for help, whom she—who, afflicted by the (pain) of her swelling (udder), longs for her milkmaid—regularly invokes with outstretched hands for help, whom the pauper, who follows the doctrine of Truth (but) is deprived of his rights, regularly also invokes with outstretched hands for help; 85. whose lamenting voice reaches up to the Lights (of heaven), (who)

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goes all around this earth (and) extends out into the seven continents, (as) also when he raises his voice reverently, (and) also when the Cow, 86. (she) who, being led away captive, with outstretched hands, yearning for the herd, regularly invokes (Mithra) for help, (thus), "When will Mithra of wide pastures, the hero, driving from behind, make us reach the herd, when will he turn us who are being driven to the abode of the Lie, to the path of Truth?" 87. Then Mithra of wide pastures comes to help him by whom he has been propitiated; but Mithra of wide pastures destroys the house, village, clan, country and empire of him by whom he has been treated with enmity. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXIII 88. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], whom Haoma, rich in rays, curative, beautiful, majestic, yellow-eyed, worshipped on the highest peak of lofty HaraitI [which (peak) is called Hukairya by name]; the untainted (Haoma worshipped) the untainted (Mithra) with untainted barasman, with an untainted libation, with untainted words; 89. (Haoma) whom righteous Ahura Mazda installed as the promptly sacrificing, loud-chanting zaotar. The promptly sacrificing, loudchanting zaotar performs the worship with a loud voice, as Ahura Mazda's zaotar, as the Amasha Spantas' zaotar. (His) voice reaches up to the (heavenly) Lights, goes all around this earth (and) will extend out into all the seven continents, 90. (Haoma) who, as the first hdwanan, placed the star-spangled, supernaturally fashioned haoma (plants) on lofty HaraitI; whose (?) well-built body Ahura Mazda glorified, the Amssha Spantas glorified; whom, from afar, the swift-horsed Sun causes to perceive reverence. 91. Reverence to Mithra of wide pastures, who has a thousand ears, ten thousand eyes! You are worthy of worship (and) praise! May you (always) be worthy of worship (and) praise! Hail to the man who regularly will worship you, (he who has) kindling wood in his hand, barasman in his hand, milk in his hand, pestle and mortar in his hand, with washed hands, with washed pestle and mortar, with the barasman spread out, with haoma (plants) elevated, with the Ahuna wairya being recited! 92. Righteous Ahura Mazda confessed this religion (daena), as did Wohu Manah, as did Asha Wahishta, as did Xshathra Wairya, as did Spsnta Armaiti, as did Haurwatat and Amarstat; out of desire for it the Amssha Spsntas professed it, beneficent Mazda gave it jurisdiction

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over living beings—(the Amssha Spantas and Ahura Mazda) who consider you the ahu and ratu in the (world of) creatures, (who) purify the Best (Religion) for the creatures. 93. Now then, in both lives, in both our lives, O Mithra of wide pastures, the material existence and that which is spiritual protect us from the drugwant Death, from the drugwant Wrath, from the drugwant armies who raise the bloody banner, from the deceptions of Wrath, which treacherous Wrath perpetrates with daewa-created (Asto.)Widhatu. 94. Now then, you, O Mithra of wide pastures, give strength to our teams, health to ourselves, much watchfulness against enemies, the ability to retaliate against foes, the ability to overcome unfriendly, hostile opponents at a blow. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXIV 95. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who, broad as the earth, goes along after sunset, (who) sweeps both edges of this broad, round earth whose limits are far apart; (who) surveys all that which is between earth and heaven, 96. (who) grasps in both hands the mace with a hundred knobs, with a hundred blades, a feller of men as it swings forward, cast in strong golden bronze, the strongest of weapons, the most victorious of weapons, 97. of which the very deadly Angra Mainyu is terrified, of which treacherous Wrath, whose body is forfeited, is terrified, of which longhanded Bushyasta is terrified, of which all the supernatural daewas and also the concupiscent drugwants are terrified. 98. (They all say:) May we not encounter the bludgeoning of the enraged Mithra of wide pastures; may you, enraged, not slay us, O Mithra of wide pastures! (We worship Mithra), the mightiest of gods, the bravest of gods, the fastest of gods, the swiftest of gods, the most victorious of gods. Mithra of wide pastures comes forth on this earth. [Repeat sts. 4-6.]
XXV 99. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], of whom all the supernatural daewas and also the concupiscent drugwants are terrified. Mithra of wide pastures, lord of the countries, drives along the southern edge of this broad, round earth whose limits are far apart. 100. On his right side drives good Sraosha the companion of Ashi; on his

Mithra I 71 left side drives tall Rashnu, the powerful; on all sides of him drive the waters and the plants and the Frawashis of the Righteous. 101. He is able to keep them supplied with eagle-feathered arrows. Then, when driving, he arrives there where the countries are hostile to Mithra; it is he who first strikes his club down on horse and man; at once he completely frightens both of them, horse and man. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXVI 102. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], who has white horses (and) spears with sharp points and long shafts, the far-shooting archer, the warrior manifesting his youthful strength, 103. whom Ahura Mazda appointed as guardian and supervisor over the prosperity of the whole world; who, as guardian and supervisor over the prosperity of the whole world, who, without falling asleep, watchfully, protects Mazda's creatures, who, without falling asleep, watchfully, guards Mazda's creatures. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXVII 104. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], whose very long arms reach out to catch those who speak falsely. Even if (he who speaks falsely) is at the eastern river, he is caught. Even if he is at the western (river), he is struck down. Whether at the source of the Rangha or in the middle of this earth, 105. Mithra lays hold even of him, reaching around (him) with both arms. The ill-fated (person), having strayed from the straightest (path), is unhappy in spirit. "So," thinks the ill-fated (person), "guileless (?) Mithra does not see all this evil-doing, not all (of it which is) for the sake of deception." 106. But I think in (my) mind: No man in existence on earth (can) think evil thoughts to as great an extent as supernatural Mithra thinks good thoughts; no man in existence on earth (can) speak evil words to as great an extent as supernatural Mithra speaks good words; no man in existence on earth (can) commit evil deeds to as great an extent as Mithra performs good deeds. 107. No man in existence on earth is endowed with greater natural intelligence than the natural intelligence with which supernatural Mithra is endowed; no man in existence on earth (can) hear with his ears as much as supernatural Mithra, who has listening ears (and) a thousand perceptions. He sees all those who lie. Powerful Mithra

72 / Mithra
comes forth, strong in dominion he drives, with a beautiful far-shining glance he looks (around) with his eyes, (saying): 108. Who will worship me? Who will deceive (me)? Who thinks that I am to be worshipped with good worship, who with bad worship? To whom shall I be able to allot insight and xwaranah, to whom bodily health? To whom shall I be able to allot property that affords much comfort? For whom shall I raise noble progeny hereafter? 109. To what (man whose) mind is not thinking (about it), shall I give a powerful realm, beautifully strong with a numerous army . . . [obscure]. 110. To whom shall I be able to allot sickness and death, to whom poverty that brings misery? Whose noble progeny shall I slay with one blow? 111. From what (man whose) mind is not thinking (about it) shall I carry away (his) powerful realm beautifully strong with a numerous army . . . [obscure]. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXVIII 112. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], whose spear (?) is of silver, whose armor (?) is of gold, driving with whip, the powerful, swift, broad-shouldered warrior. Brilliant are Mithra's courses as he comes to that country where he is treated well. Wide are (their) valleys for (protected) pasturage (so that) now their own cattle and men go about freely. 113. Then may he come to help us. O exalted Mithra and Ahura, when the whip cracks and the horses neigh, the whips lash, the bowstrings twang (?) (and) the sharp arrows dart (?), then the evil sons of those who have offered viscid libations, having been struck, will go down writhing. 114. [Repeat st. 74.] XXIX 115. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], 0 Mithra of wide pastures, (you) the religious chief, the Nmany a, the Wisya, the Zantuma, the Dahyuma, the Zarathushtrdtsma\ 116. Twentyfold is the contract between two friends shouldering (mutual) obligations, thirtyfold between two fellow citizens, fortyfold between two partners, fiftyfold between husband and wife, sixtyfold between two fellow students, seventyfold between disciple and teacher, eightyfold between son-in-law and father-in-law, ninetyfold between two brothers,

Mithra I 73 117. one hundredfold between father and son, one thousandfold between two countries; ten thousandfold is the contract of the Mazdean Religion: thereby follow days of strength, thus these will be (days) of victory. 118. I shall come by the worship of the lowly (and) the exalted. Just as yonder sun comes forth and drives on across high Kara, so, even I, O Spitama, shall come by the worship of the lowly (and) the exalted to spoil the mischief of lying Angra Mainyu. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXX 119. We worship Mithra of wide pastures . . . [continue with st. 7], Worship Mithra, O Spitama; proclaim (him) to (your) disciples. May the Mazdeans worship you with small and large cattle, with flying birds [those which fly as winged (birds)]. 120. [Obscure.] 121. Zarathushtra asked him: O Ahura Mazda, how should a righteous man drink a purified libation, in order that Mithra of wide pastures, whom he worships, may be propitiated, not treated with hostility? 122. Then Ahura Mazda said: Let them wash their bodies for three days and three nights; let them undergo as expiation thirty lashes (of the whip) for the worship and praise of Mithra of wide pastures. Let them wash their bodies for two days and two nights; let them undergo as expiation twenty lashes (of the whip) for the worship and praise of Mithra of wide pastures. Let no one drink these libations who is not versed in the Staota Yesnya (and) the Wispe Ratawo. XXXI 123. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], whom Ahura Mazda worshipped in the shining Paradise. 124. With outstretched arms for nondestruction, from shining Paradise, Mithra of wide pastures drives forth his beautiful, all-adorned, fastdriving smoothly running chariot. 125. Four immortal, all white horses, who live on spiritual food, pull this chariot; the forehooves are shod with gold, the hind hooves with silver; all are harnessed to the yoke, as well as to the yoke pin(s) and yoke strap(s). (The yoke) is connected to a solid, well-made shaft by means of a metal hook. 126. On his right side drives Rashnu, the most just, the most beneficent, the tallest; and on his left drives righteous Razishta Cista, bearing libations; [she wears white garments,] the likeness of the Mazdean Religion.

74 I Mithra
127. Brave Damoish Upamana drives along in the form of a ferocious wild boar with sharp teeth, with sharp tusks; a boar that kills at one blow; unapproachable (when) angered; whose face (bristles) are speckled; swift, dexterous, nimble; in front of him drives blazing Fire who is the strong Kawyan Xwaronah. 128. There in the chariot of Mithra of wide pastures are a thousand well-made bowstrings [that is, bowstrings made of deer sinew]. They fly from the supernatural realm, they fall from the supernatural realm onto the heads of the daewas. 129-131. (A repetitious list of the weapons in Mithra's chariot, namely, one thousand arrows, spears, battle axes, daggers, and clubs.) 132. There in the chariot of Mithra of wide pastures is (his) beautiful, easily wielded mace with a hundred knobs, with a hundred blades, a feller of men as it swings forward, cast in strong golden bronze, the strongest of weapons, the most victorious of weapons. It flies from the supernatural realm, it falls from the supernatural realm onto the heads of the daewas. 133. Thereupon, it (the mace) smashes (the heads) of the daewas; thereupon, they (clubs, knives, etc.) smash down (on the heads) of the men false to the covenant. Mithra of wide pastures drives forth across Arazahl (and) Sawahl, across Fradadhafshu (and) WIdadhafshu, across Wouru.barashtl (and) Wouru-jarashti, across this splendid continent Xwaniratha. 134. The very deadly Angra Mainyu becomes truly terrified; treacherous Wrath whose body is forfeited becomes truly terrified; long-handed Bushyasta becomes truly terrified; all the supernatural daewas and also the concupiscent drugwants become truly terrified. 135. [Repeat st. 98.] XXXII 136. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], for whom white coursers, yoked to his one-wheeled golden chariot, will pull . . . ( ? ) when he brings his libations to his abode. 137. Hail to the authoritative man—thus said Ahura Mazda—O righteous Zarathushtra, for whom a righteous zaotar . . . ( ? ) . . . learned, who is tanu.mathra, shall worship with the litany of Mithra at the spread-out barasman. Straightway, Mithra visits the authoritative man's dwelling, if as a result of his (the man's) favor (shown to the priest), it (the litany) is in accordance with the prescription for thinking. 138. Woe to the authoritative man—thus said Ahura Mazda—O righteous Zarathushtra, for whom a zaotar who is not a righteous man, not

Mithra I 75 learned, not tanu.mathra, (shall) worship standing behind the barasman and spreading the barssman fully, and offering a long hymn of worship. 139. He who is contemptuous of Mazda, contemptuous of the other Amssha Spsntas, contemptuous of Mithra of wide pastures, contemptuous of the Law and the Judge (Rashnu) and world-promoting, worldincreasing Justice, does not propitiate Ahura Mazda, nor the other Amasha Spantas, nor Mithra of wide pastures. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXXIII 140. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7]. I shall worship Mithra, O Spitama, the good, brave, supernatural, foremost, very merciful, unchangeable, whose home is on high, the powerful, brave warrior. 141. Valiant, armed with a finely made weapon, wakeful in the darkness, undeceivable—he is the most powerful of the most powerful, he is the bravest of the bravest, he is the very smartest of the gods. Valiant, attended by xwarsnah, he has a thousand ears, ten thousand eyes, he who, strong, having ten thousand spies, undeceivable, knows all. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] XXXIV 142. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], the well-created, greatest god, who in the morning (re)creates the many forms, the creatures of Spanta Mainyu, as he illumines himself, like the Moon, with his own light. 143. whose face blazes like (that) of the star Tishtrya; whose chariot, O Spitama, the undeceiving (Ashi?) first guides as ... (?). (Mithra) who, strong, having ten thousand spies, undeceivable, knows all. [Repeat sts. 4-6.] 144. We worship Mithra . . . [continue with st. 7], we worship Mithra who is in front of (?) the country, we worship Mithra who is inside the country, we worship Mithra who is at the country, we worship Mithra who is above the country, we worship Mithra who is around the country, we worship Mithra who is behind (?) the country. 145. We worship the exalted Righteous who (ensure) freedom from danger, Ahura and Mithra, as well as the Stars, the Moon, and the Sun. At the barasman we worship Mithra, the Lord of all countries. [Repeats sts. 4-6.]

4. Rashnu
As with Mithra, so with Rashnu, the starting point for an understanding of his nature is understanding the meaning of his name. It means 'judge' and in its appellative sense is also applied once to Mithra (Yt. 10.79). The name is derived from a verbal base raz- 'to direct, make straight, judge', which also provides Rashnu's standing epithet razishta 'straightest, most just'. The same verb in Indo-European, *reg, was highly productive, yielding, for example, NHG Recht 'law' and Richter 'judge', and in Latin, Celtic, and Old Indian the common word for 'king' (see below). As divine Judge, he seems to have been particularly active in oaths and ordeals. The Avestan word warah covers both meanings (cf. OInd sapatha). At a trial, oaths affirming the veracity of testimony were essential, and, when human criteria failed to establish the truth, divine criteria were employed in the form of ordeals. The one hymn dedicated to Rashnu must be counted among the more recent of the Yashts. The language of the text is often corrupt and confused. St. 8, for example, contains nine or ten words that are sheer gibberish; the silly answer that is given in the initial stanzas to Zarathushtra's question, as well as the formulaic repetition of sts. 9 to the end, point to redactors who understood very little of the Avestan language and who were able to accomplish little more than to pass along, often in garbled form, bits of inherited lore pertaining to Rashnu. Although the Rashnu Yasht is, as it stands, recent, it is only so in terms of redaction. There is much in it that must go back to very old material. A curious aspect of the first two stanzas of the Yasht is that they have nothing to do with Rashnu. Now, one prominent feature of Zoroastrian eclecticism is the legitimizing of non-Zarathushtrian texts by means of some artificial device, usually a statement put in the mouth of Ahura Mazda (e.g., Yt. 10.1). In sts. 1 and 2 it would seem that Ahura Mazda has been substituted for Rashnu, as is certainly the case in sts. 3 and 4, which are reworkings of sts. 5 and 6, where Rashnu occurs in what must be the traditional invocation of the god Judge to preside at an ordeal. St. 3 informs us that the ordeal or the swearing of an oath (warah) was to take place at noon. In keeping with Indo-Iranian ritual practice, a seat of grass or twigs was provided for the divine guest called to the ceremony. The fire, present at most Zoroastrian rituals, represents in this context one of the elements (the other being water) over which oaths were solemnized. Among other expedients, hot oil was a favorite substance for

Rashnu I 77 effecting the ordeal. In addition to the epithets discussed above, Rashnu's other epithets befit the divine Judge who must needs be wise, decisive, supportive of the law-abiding man's case, hard on criminals, and able to observe, even from afar, the activities of men. This latter ability is tediously exploited in sts. 9-37, in which all the important places, both within this world and in the beyond, that Rashnu visits on his rounds, are enumerated with the identical formula. Fortunately, our knowledge of Rashnu is not confined to Yasht 12. There are scattered, though important, references to him elsewhere in the Avesta. He also appears in the Pahlavi books in a somewhat different capacity. Finally, there exist references to him outside the Zoroastrian tradition altogether. To begin with the latter, these references consist of names. The Iranians, like many peoples, often chose personal names that contained the name of a god. Among the Persepolis Fortification Tablets, dated to the end of the reign of Darius I (c. 500 B.C.), at least two such theophoric names appear bearing Rashnu's name: *Rashnuka, *Rashnudata, and a dubious *Rashnubar. Since it is not likely that Zoroastrianism had any effect on the nomenclature in Persis at this time, the inclusion of Rashnu among the hundreds of names contained in the tablets is conclusive proof in itself that Rashnu was a "pagan" preZoroastrian deity, a conclusion already drawn on the basis of the internal evidence of his Yasht. In later Zoroastrianism, Rashnu retains his role of judge, but he is almost exclusively limited to judging the souls of the deceased. He shares responsibility with Mihr (Mithra) and Srosh (Sraosha), assuming a rather subordinate position as simply the weigher of the souls' good and evil deeds. There are indications in the Denkard that, in lost Avestan texts dealing with jurisprudence, Rashnu still retained his older and broader role as judge. The evolution of Rashnu's role from that of judge in general to judge of the dead belongs to a span of history more recent than the Avesta and can be seen as a natural outgrowth of orthodox Zoroastrian theology. Since there is no trace of the later role in the Avesta, it need not concern us here. As noted, the scope of the Rashnu Yasht is extremely narrow. When stripped of the lines that do not pertain to Rashnu, the Yasht tells us little more about the divine Judge than that he was invoked with various epithets, with a given formula and ritual acts at the institution of an ordeal, that at a trial (aratha) he was particularly severe with criminals, and that his sphere of activity was universal. Surprisingly enough, nothing is said about his close connection with Sraosha and, more importantly, with Mithra. The Mithra Yasht (Yasht 10) dramatically portrays Mithra driving in his

78 I Rashnu chariot with Rashnu now at his right (st. 126), now at his left (st. 100). Quite apart from the naturalistic association of Mithra with the movement of the sun, the purpose of Mithra's daily travels is to oversee the covenants between men and the inflicting of punishment wherever covenant infringements have taken place. Since treaties between peoples are among the most important of covenants, Mithra's most convenient method for punishing the treaty breakers is turning the tide of battle against them. This is described in the ninth Kardah of the Yasht, in which (in st. 41) Rashnu plays an active role. Here, and throughout the Zoroastrian tradition, Rashnu has always followed more or less in the shadow of the greater god Mithra. In the Rashnu Yasht, however, the figure of Rashnu gains a measure of independence, as he visits all the parts of the universe, presumably alone. Whether he is alone or in the company of Mithra, Rashnu's function is clearly the overseeing of justice. He both perceives the doings of men and presides as supreme authority at their adjudicatory processes. In matters having to do with relations among men, it would seem that, on the one hand, Mithra's proper jurisdiction was over the whole area of formal covenantal or contractual relations, but not beyond; while, on the other hand, Rashnu had jurisdiction over the more diverse area of criminal law. The distinction is best illustrated by contrasting statements insisting that Mithra will destroy the person false to a covenant and that Rashnu will destroy the thief and bandit^ Although each function is distinct, both contribute to the formation of a total legal structure. That Rashnu is almost always in the company of Mithra is, then, explicable in terms of a fundamental conception of the divine system of justice. Religio-historical developments in Iran dictated that Mithra should eclipse his partner in greatness. As one turns to the Indo-Aryans, one shall see the positions of Mithra and Rashnu reversed. Rashnu is one of the gods of the Iranian pantheon who has no obvious counterpart in the Vedas. The only serious attempt to identify him with an Indian deity was made by Dumezil, who attempted to prove his identity with Visnu.26 The argument, founded on a false etymology for 'Visnu,' has little to recommend it. My own opinion is that a strong case can be made for a qualified identification with another Vedic deity, Varuna, whose name has appeared already in the discussions of Ahura Mazda and Mithra (sects. 2 and 3). The reader will have observed that, on the one hand, Vedic Mitra is nearly always found in a dual (dvandvd) relationship with Varuna and that, on the other hand, Avestan Mithra appears in the dual compounds mithra-ahura and payu-thvorsshtara. He also appears in such a relationship with Rashnu (Yt. 13.3; cf. Yt. 13.47 and the Parthian proper name Rashnumitr). The Vedic counterparts of Ahura and

Rashnu I 79 Thvorashtar are Asura and Tvastar respectively, and it will be clear that the functional counterpart of Rashnu is Varuna, the divine judge (among other aspects) of the Vedic pantheon, who is particularly conspicuous as overseer of oaths and ordeals, as is Rashnu. Varuna is, of course, a vastly more complex figure, and it would be foolish to attempt to see any further resemblance between him and Rashnu than the one aspect put forth here. One sees in the coupling of Mithra-Varuna and Mithra-Rashnu the reflection of the Indo-Iranian ideal of the divine legal structure as encompassing two distinct yet interrelated functions. The contrast between the two functions is inversely represented in Iran and India: in Iran, the aspect of Covenant greatly overshadows that of Judge, whereas in India the aspect of Judge assumes the dominant position. Rashnu Yasht (Yasht 12) 1. Righteous (Zarathushtra) questioned him: O righteous Ahura Mazda! I turn to you, O Ahura Mazda; I ask you about the rule of speech. Speak to me (about this matter), O Wise One! You are undeceivable, having undeceivable intelligence, undeceivable, all-knowing! What (aspect) of the Mathra Spanta is the correct law? What, the law of judicial procedure? What the decision? What solicitous? What wondrous? What perceptive? . . . (?). 2. Then Ahura Mazda said: I shall, indeed, proclaim this to you, O upright, righteous Spitamid. The Mathra Spsnta which has much xwarsnah, that is (what is) of the Mathra Spsnta the correct law, the law of judicial procedure, the decision, the solicitous, the wondrous, the perceptive . . . (?). 3. Then Ahura Mazda said: You should strew a third of the barssman about at midday (with the words), "We invoke, we propitiate" me, who am Ahura Mazda. I call also the . . . ( ? ) to this instituted ordeal, to the fire and the barssman, to the full, overflowing (bowl of water), to the (boiling) ordeal-ghee and the vegetable oil. 4. Then I shall come to you, I who am Ahura Mazda, to this instituted ordeal, to the fire and the barasman, to the full, overflowing (bowl of water), to the (boiling) ordeal-ghee and the vegetable oil, at the same time as the victorious Wind, at the same time as Damoish Upamana, at the same time as the kawyan Xwaranah, at the same time as the Mazdacreated Profit. 5. We invoke, we propitiate Rashnu who is powerful. I call also the . . . (?) to this instituted ordeal, to the fire and the barssman, to the full, overflowing (bowl of water), to the (boiling) ordeal-ghee and the vegetable oil.

80 I Rashnu 6. Then lofty Rashnu who is powerful will come to help you, to this instituted ordeal . . . [continue with st. 5]. 7. O righteous Rashnu! O must just Rashnu! O most beneficent Rashnu! O wisest Rashnu! O most decisive Rashnu! O Rashnu, you who know best from afar! O Rashnu, you who see farthest in(to) die distance! O Rashnu, you who best support the (accuser's) plaint! O Rashnu, you who best smite down the thief! 8. (O Rashnu,) you who when not treated with enmity are the most successful (?), who best smite, best destroy the thief and the bandit at this trial . . . (?). 9. Also when you, righteous Rashnu, are at the continent Arazahi, we invoke, we propitiate Rashnu who is powerful. . . . [Continue with sts. 5-8.]

5. Warathraghna
It is immediately clear from the most cursory reading of Yasht 14 that Warathraghna is a god of combat, of physical force. The name itself, which means 'victory', stands in need of further elucidation in order that one may achieve an understanding of the god's basic nature. 'Victory', which is the translation given in the traditional Zoroastrian commentaries, is an accurate yet colorless approximation. The name is a compound consisting of a prior member wardthra and a final member ghna. The element warathra means 'defense, resistance, obstruction'; ghna means 'the smashing, breaking, smiting'. Together they form a neuter noun meaning 'the smashing of resistance', and in its appellative sense warsthraghna is a common word in the Avesta. As a masculine proper name, it designates the deity who represents the power to overcome all obstructions. It must be remembered that the Indo-Iranians were aggressive, life-affirming peoples, who abhorred anything that stood in the way of expansion and productivity. On the cosmic level, this world view was consciously articulated by the Vedic Aryans in the mythic complex of Indra and the serpent of cosmic obstruction Vrtra (Av warathra). The Aryan world view never received such extensive theological treatment in Iran on the level of cosmogony. On the mundane level, however, it was admirably expressed in the person of Wsrsthraghna, who epitomizes the ideal of the Aryan warrior, fiercely aggressive in his ability to smash the defenses of all who stand in his way. At a time when the seminomadic Aryans were pressing into centers of established civilization from the steppes, the god who smashes defenses must have been especially significant. Ancient Iranian monarchies down through the Sasanids never lost

Wsrsthraghna I 81
the ideal of global expansion (though this was limited in fact by practical considerations), and, as a consequence, Wsrsthraghna retained a significant place in the pantheon up to the advent of Islam. To summarize, Wsrsthraghna stands for 'victory' through offensive warfare. Before Benveniste's definitive work on Warathraghna, much of an erroneous nature was written about this deity and its relation to Vedic Indra. Guided by the mistaken assumption that Vedic myth represents a stage earlier than the Iranian, scholars thought that Indra's epithet vrtrahan meant originally 'slayer of (the serpent) Vrtra', and that the absence of the dragon-slayer motif from Warathraghna's mythology proved the degenerate state of the Iranian myth. Since Indra does occur in the Avesta, banished as a daewa, one could assume that what remained of the once glorious Indra had been divided among Mithra, who gained his mace and martial traits, Warsthraghna, who perpetuated his epithet and perhaps his ability to change form, and the hero Thraetaona, slayer of Dahaka the snake (azhi-dahaka; cf. Ved ahi-vrtrd). Now matters are seen to be quite the opposite. The mythological context of the Avesta preserved what must approximate the original Indo-Iranian cast of characters; the Veda contains the innovations. Thus, Wsrothraghna (who actually has no counterpart *Vrtraghna in the Vedas, as the epithet vrtrahan, Av warathrajan is an adjective applied to gods and men alike) must be acknowledged as the original Indo-Iranian deity of war and victory through offensive breaking down of all enemy defenses. The most conspicuous characteristic of Warsthraghna is his ability to manifest himself in a variety of forms both anthropomorphic and theriomorphic. The ten manifestations described in his Yasht call to mind Puranic Visnu's ten avataras and Indra's general ability to change form. In light of the fact that post-Vedic Visnu has borrowed heavily in certain aspects from Vedic Indra, it may well be that the avatara concept ultimately derives from Ilr *Wrtraghna. Be that as it may, the most prominent avatara of Wsrathraghna was the boar, under which form the reader has already seen him ferociously clearing the way in front of Mithra (Yt. 10.70). All the avataras have in common that they portray aggressive force and virility. Of note also is the first avatara, the Wind (Wayu or Wata). Though a god in his own right (see sect. 7), he is frequently mentioned in the Avesta as the Victorious Wind (Wata Warathrajan). In this aspect he is usually accompanied by Conquering Superiority (Wanainti Uparatai) and a curious figure, Damoish Upamana, whom Gershevitch has explained as Warsthraghna's alter ego.27 It is interesting to note that Wanainti, a goddess, appears later on the coins of Huvishka as OANINAO in the form of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike.

82 I Wdrathraghna
In accordance with his ability to bestow victory and consequently his importance to those wielding power, Warsthraghna is closely connected with xwarsnah (see sect. 6). He has the unique epithet baro-xwaranah'bearing xwaranah', which means, if one follows the Pahlavi gloss (Vend. 19.37), that he bore it as his battle standard, though the implication is that he bestows the xwaranah upon the victor. In the myth of the flight of xwarsnah after Yima's "fall" (Yt. 19.35, 36, 38), the xwarsnah flees in the form of one of Warathraghna's avataras, the falcon (waraghna), first to Mithra, then to the two heroes Thraetaona and Ksrssaspa. The association of the falcon with Warsthraghna was deeply rooted in popular belief, especially, one may surmise, among warriors, as is shown by the importance attached to falcon amulets. Finally, it will be seen (sect. 12) that the water-bringing god Tishtrya, the star Sirius, assumes three forms shared with Wsrothraghna: the bull, the horse, and the young man.

Wdrsthraghna (Wahram) Yasht (Yasht 14)
I 1. We worship Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, righteous Creator of the material world, who among the spiritual yazatas is best equipped? Then Ahura Mazda said: "Wsrgthraghna, O Spitamid Zarathushtra." 2. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna came driving to him first in the form of the bold, beautiful Mazda-created Wind. The good Mazda-created xwaranah he bore, the Mazda-created xwarsnah, curativeness and strength. 3. Then strongest (Warsthraghna said) to him: In strength I am the strongest, in valor I am the most valorous, in xwaranah I am most in possession of xwarsnah, in favor I am most bestowing of favor, in weal I am most bestowing of weal, in curativeness I am most curative. 4. Then I shall overcome hostilities, the hostilities of all enemies, the hostilities of daewas and men, sorcerers and witches, tyrants, kawis, and karapans. 5. On account of his rayi and glory, I shall worship him with audible worship, Ahura-created Warathraghna, with libations. We worship Ahura-created Warsthraghna (with the words): yaish dataish paoiryaish ahurahe (Y. 46.15), with haoma (mixed) with milk. . . . [Continue with Ny. 1.16 (p. 183).]

Wsrsthraghna I 83

II 6. [Repeat st. 1.] 7. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna came driving to him a second time in the form of a beautiful golden-horned bull on whose horns was mounted well-built, handsome Strength; thus Ahura-created Warathraghna came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. Ill 8. [Repeat st. 1.] 9. Ahura-created Warathraghna came driving to him a third time in the form of a beautiful white horse with yellow ears (and) a golden bridle, on whose forehead was mounted well-built, handsome Strength; thus Ahura-created Worathraghna came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. IV 10. [Repeat st. 1.] 11. Ahura-created Warsthraghna came driving to him a fourth time in the form of a rutting camel, . . . (?), attacking (?), bellowing, trampling, having woolly hair which clothes men, 12. who among ejaculating males has the greatest power and the greatest passion, who goes (to mate) among the females [indeed, those females are best protected which a rutting camel protects], (who) has strong, forelegs, fat humps, nictitating (?) eyes, a clever head, is intelligent, tall, (and) powerful, 13. whose (?) far-seeing (glance) shines forth . . . ( ? ) afar through the dark night; who expectorates spittle back upon (his) whitish head; who stays on his good knee(s), on his good leg(s), looking out like an allruling ruler; thus he came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. V 14. [Repeat st. 1.] 15. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna came driving to him a fifth time in the form of a ferocious wild boar with sharp teeth, with sharp tusks, a boar that kills at one blow, unapproachable (when) angered, prepared for battle, outflanking (the enemy): thus he came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. VI 16. [Repeat st. 1.] 17. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna came driving to him a sixth time in the

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form of a regal fifteen-year-old man with clear eyes, with small heels, handsome: thus he came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. VII 18. [Repeat st. 1.] 19. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna came driving to him a seventh time in the form of a falcon, seizing from below (with his talons), crushing (?) from above (with his beak), who is the fastest of birds, the swiftest of those that fly forth. 20. He alone among living beings (can) overtake the flight of an arrow, [either he only, or not at all,] even when it flies well shot; who at the first gleam of dawn, pluming himself, flies; at evening seeking (his) evening meal, in the predawn seeking (his) breakfast. 21. He grazes (with his wings) the . . . ( ? ) of the mountain tops, he grazes the peaks of the mountains, he grazes the river valleys, he grazes the treetops (?), listening for the call of the birds: thus he came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. VIII 22. [Repeat st. 1.] 23. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna came driving to him an eighth time in the form of a beautiful wild ram with downward-curved horns: thus he came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. IX 24. [Repeat st. 1.] 25. Ahura-created Warothraghna came driving to him a ninth time in the form of a beautiful sharp-horned . . . ( ? ) goat: thus he came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. X 26. [Repeat st. 1.] 27. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna came driving to him a tenth time in the form of a handsome, intelligent, Mazda-created hero. He carried a gold-inlayed, adorned, fully decorated dagger: thus he came. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5].
XI 28. We worship Ahura-created Wsrathraghna who makes (men) virile (?), who makes (men) strong, who is concerned with a good peace, who provides good ways.

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Righteous Zarathushtra worshipped him, Warsthraghna, for victory in thought, for victory in speech, for victory in act, for victory in declaratory speech, for victory in retort. 29. Ahura-created Wsrothraghna gave him the scrotum's well, the arm's strength, health of the entire body, fatness of the entire body, and that (power of) sight which the aquatic kara2S has who (can) distinguish a hair-thin eddy of the far-shored, thousand-man-deep Rangha (river). On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. XII 30. [Repeat st. 28.] 31. Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna gave him . . . [continue with st. 29], and that (power of) sight which a stallion has who, even on a dark night, starless (?) and cloudy, (can) see a horsehair lying on the ground (and tell) whether it is from the head or the tail. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. XIII 32. [Repeat st. 28.] 33. Ahura-created Warsthraghna gave him . . . [continue with st. 29], and that (power of) sight which the zaranumani vulture29 has who, even from a distance of eight villages, (can) perceive a piece of flesh the size of a fist—even as large as the shimmer of a shimmering needle, even as large as the point of a needle. On account of his rayi . . . XIV 34. We worship Ahura-created Warathraghna. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, righteous Creator of the material world! When I am much cursed verbally (or) mentally by hostile men, what is the remedy? 35. Then Ahura Mazda said: Find yourself the feather of a falcon with spread-out feathers, O Spitamid Zarathushtra. With the feather stroke yourself, with the feather countercurse (your) opponent. 36. Whoever carries either a bone of the swift bird or a feather of the swift bird—not even a clever man harms (him) nor drives (him) forth. The feather of the bird of birds brings him much (?) respect, (the feather) possessing much (?) xwaranah maintains support (for him). 37-40. [Obscure.] XV 41. We worship Ahura-created Wsrathraghna. May Warsthraghna surround this house which possesses xwaranah

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(?) with cattle pens (?), as the great eagle (broods on the nest), as the water-laden clouds envelop (?) the great mountains. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. XVI 42. We worship Ahura-created Wsrsthraghna. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, righteous Creator of the material world, where is it that one should invoke Ahura-created Warathraghna by name? where praise (him)? where call (him) down? 43. Then Ahura Mazda said: When two armies should come together, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, . . . (?), 44. you should arrange four feathers on the way. Whichever of the two (armies) shall be first to worship (with the words), "O well-made, wellbuilt Strength, O Ahura-created Warsthraghna!", that one shall be accompanied by victory. 45. I propitiate Strength and Warathraghna, the two protectors, the two defenders, the two guardians. . . . [The remainder is obscure.] 46. O Zarathushtra, do not teach this spell to anyone other than a father or a son or a blood brother or an athrawan student. And these (are) words for you which are strong (and) firm, strong (and) eloquent, strong (and) victorious, strong (and) curative; and these (are) words for you which (can) save even a forfeited head, (can) repel even the arm already unpraised (to strike) a blow. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. XVII 47. We worship Ahura-created Warsthraghna who ranges between the two arrayed battle lines. Together with Mithra and Rashnu, he asks up and down (the battle lines): Who is false to Mithra, who abandons Rashnu? To whom shall I be able to apportion disease and death? 48. Then Ahura Mazda said: If men would worship (with the words), "O Ahura-created Warathraghna!", . . . ( ? ) according to the Truth which is best, there would be no enemy army directed here toward the Aryan countries, nor famine, nor mange (?) nor . . . (?), nor a war chariot, nor an upraised banner. 49. Zarathushtra responded to him: What, in fact, O Ahura Mazda, is the most correct worship and praise of Ahura-created Warathraghna according to the Truth which is best? 50. Then Ahura Mazda said: The Aryan peoples should offer up libations for him; the Aryan peoples should strew barasman for him; the

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Aryan peoples should cook an animal, either a white one or a dark one or whichever color (as long as it is) all of the same color. 51. Let not a knave partake of it, nor a whore, nor an Ashawan who does not recite the Gathas, a destroyer of life opposed to this ahuric Zoroastrian Religion. 52. If a rogue partakes of it, or a whore, or an Ashawan who does not recite the Gathas, a destroyer of life opposed to this ahuric Zoroastrian Religion, (then) Ahura-created Warathraghna goes away with his curative power. 53. Similarly, famines will come to the Aryan countries; similarly, enemy armies will descend upon the Aryan countries; similarly, the Aryan countries will be smitten with one hundred blows for (every) fifty blows, . . . [Continue with Yt. 10.43 (p. 64).] 54. Then Ahura-created Warsthraghna spoke forth thus: O men, the Soul of the cow created by the Creator is not to be worshipped or praised if now the Wyambura daewas30 [daewa-worshipping men] are either letting blood flow or sprinkling (it) forth; 55. if now the Wyambura daewas [daewa-worshipping men] bring to the fire (some) of the plant which is called "juniper" by name (and) the fuel which is called "felt" by name; 56. if now the Wyambura daewas [daewa-worshipping men] break (?) (the ox's) back, . . . ( ? ) (its) midsection, stretch all the limbs out straight; (—they seem to be slay ing (but) do not slay, [they seem to . . . (?) (but) do not . . . (?)] if now the Wyambura daewas [daewaworshipping men] rip off (its) ears and gouge out (its) eyes. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. XXI 57-61. [Omitted.] 62. We worship Ahura-created Wsrathraghna, who destroys the battle lines, who cuts the battle lines, who tramples the battle lines, who throws the battle lines into confusion; Ahura-created Warathraghna completely destroys the battle lines, he completely cuts the battle lines, he completely tramples the battle lines, he completely throws into confusion the battle lines of daewas and men, of sorcerers and witches, of tyrants, kawis, and karapans. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5]. XXII 63. We worship Ahura-created Warathraghna. Then, when Ahura-created Worsthraghna binds behind (their backs)

88 I Wdrdthraghna the hands of the oppressed battle lines, of the allied districts, of the men false to the treaty, (when he) clouds (their) vision (and) deafens (their) ears, he (the man false to the covenant) cannot stand firm, he has no endurance. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5],

6. Xwaranah
I have discussed facets of the exercise of temporal power in several contexts, for example, the political role of Ahuramazda in respect to the Achaemenid kings and the importance of Warsthraghna as an Aryan ideal. But no one religious concept is more central to Iranian notions of the legitimate wielding of political authority than the concept of xwaranah 'glory'. The word is better known in its Median form *farnah. Although the Achaemenid kings did not use it in their inscriptions, it gained currency throughout the Iranian world under their empires, as can be seen by the popularity of the word in numerous proper names and in its occurrence as a loan word in such remote languages as Khotanese (pharrd), Sogdian (prn), and Kushan-Bactrian (<£APPO). Whoever wished to rule legitimately had to be graced by possession of xwaranah. This is amply illustrated in Yasht 19, in which the xwarsnah either eludes evil rulers, especially non-Iranians (e.g., Azhi Dahaka or Frangrasyan), or deserts the Iranian ruler who has fallen into evil ways (Yima). When evil gained the upper hand and sovereignty passed to non-Iranians, the xwaranah would take refuge in the cosmic sea Wouru.kasha until such time as it could again grace a legitimate ruler. In this sense, then, xwarenah was a symbol of Iranian national unity. Often in the Avesta the xwarsnah is called 'kawyan', i.e., 'belonging to the Kawis'. The Kawis were a partially legendary, partially historical dynasty of eastern Iranian rulers (see Introduction, p. 18). Since the Avesta is an eastern Iranian document, it is hardly surprising that it should glorify the regional dynasty. In Middle Persian literature, the Kawyan Xwarsnah has become generalized and, for example, it is used in reference to the first Sasanid Ardaxsher. In its various meanings, xwaranah is not confined to the political context alone, but has a much wider range of application. It can be a creative power used by the gods or it can be a religious power employed by holy men to gain victory over the forces of the Lie. But in its most general application xwaranah embodies the concept of good fortune. Given such a range of meaning, one might well ask what the original, etymological meaning might be. Because the xwaranah was visualized as a kind of

Xwardnah I 89 fiery radiance, many scholars would relate it to the word for 'sun' hwarl xwar (OInd suvar), even though there are morphological problems connected with such an etymology. Another possibility begins with 'good fortune' as the basic meaning and posits a verb *xwar- 'to grasp, take'; thus the meaning will have been something like 'what one gets'. One can also posit an Iranian verb hwar- 'to shine', corresponding to the poorly attested OInd svar- 'to shine'. None of this is at all certain. In most instances I have translated the word as 'glory', and otherwise, where the context requires it, as 'fortune'. An interesting and apparently ancient mythological motif is that of Apam Napat's guardianship of xwarsnah (Yt. 19.51-52). Since Apam Napat (Child of the Waters), the "lofty Ahura," is elsewhere said to subjugate countries in revolt, his connection with xwarsnah can hardly be fortuitous. In the Vedas there is an intimate connection, often bordering on identity, between Apam Napat and Agni (Fire). This association of the aquatic god with fire, or with a fiery substance guarded in a body of water, is, as Dumezil has, I think, shown, Indo-European in origin, even if one does not follow his trifunctional analysis of the rest of the xwarsnah myth.31

1-8. (A list of mountains.) 9. We worship the strong Mazda-created kawyan Xwarsnah created by Mazda, much praised, having superior skill, solicitous, having supernatural power, perceptive . . . ( ? ) 10. which belongs to Ahura Mazda, since it is Ahura Mazda who is wont to create the creatures numerous and good, numerous and beautiful, numerous and wonderful, numerous and marvelous, numerous and radiant, 11. since (?) they shall make life marvelous (so that it may be) unaging, undying, not decaying, not putrefying, ever living, ever prospering, autonomous. When the departed shall rise up again (from the dead), nondestruction shall come for the living. By the will (of Ahura Mazda) (the Saoshyant) makes life marvelous. 12. The beings shall become undying who are under the command (?) of Truth. The Lie shall retreat to wherever it was whence it came in order to destroy the righteous man, him and (his) family and (his) being; and the hussy will be terrified (?), and the scoundrel will be destroyed. . . . (?) 13. On account of its rayi and glory, I shall worship it with audible

Xwardnah (Zamydd) Yasht (Yasht 19) I

90 I Xwarsnah
worship, the strong kawyan Xwaranah created by Mazda, with libations. We worship the strong kawyan Xwarenah with haoma (mixed) with milk. . . . [Continue with Ny. 1.16 (p. 183).]
II 14. [Repeat st. 9.] 15-17. which belongs to the Amssha Spantas . . . [continue with Yt. 13.82-84 (p. 113)]. 18. who are the Creators and the Fashioners and the Makers and the Overseers and the Protectors and the Guardians of these creatures which belong to Ahura Mazda. 19-20. It is even they who, by the will (of Ahura Mazda), make life marvelous (so that it is) unaging. . . . [Continue with st. 11 from "undying" to end of st. 12.] Ill 21. [Repeat st. 9.] 22. which belongs to the supernatural and mundane gods, and to both the born and the unborn, wonder-working Saoshyants. 23-24. [Repeat sts. 19-20.] IV 25. [Repeat st. 9.] 26. which accompanied Haoshangha Paradhata for a very long time, so that on the sevenfold earth he ruled over daewas and men, sorcerers and witches, tyrants, kawis, and karapans, (he) who slew two-thirds of the daewas from Mazandaran and the liars from Warsna. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13]. V 27. [Repeat st. 9.] 28. which accompanied Taxma Urupi dressed in skins (?) so that on the sevenfold earth he ruled over daewas and men, sorcerers and witches, tyrants, kawis, and karapans; 29. so that he became victorious over all daewas and men, all sorcerers and witches; so that for thirty years he rode around the limits of the earth on Angra Mainyu transformed into the form of a horse. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13]. VI 30. [Repeat st. 9.] 31. which accompanied regal Yima rich in herds, for a very long time, so that on the sevenfold earth he ruled over daewas and men, sorcerers and witches, tyrants, kawis, and karapans;

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32. who (Yima) took from the daewas both goods and profit, both flocks and herds, both contentment and renown, under whose rule . . . ( ? ) cattle and men did not die, water and vegetation did not dry up; 33. under whose rule there was neither cold nor heat, nor was there either old age or death, nor daewa-created jealousy, before (when there was?) nonfalsehood, (that is,) before he (?) introduced falsehood [untrue speech] to his mind. 34. Then, when he (?) introduced falsehood [untrue speech] to his mind, the Xwarsnah, visibly, in the form of a bird, went forth from him. Seeing the Xwaranah rushing away, regal Yima rich in herds sadly began to wander, and, given over to depression, he kept himself hidden (?) on the earth. 35. First, the Xwaranah turned away from regal Yima, the Xwaranah went from Yima the son of Wlwahwant in the form of a falcon. Mithra of wide pastures, who has listening ears and a thousand perceptions, took possession of the Xwaranah. We worship Mithra, the ruler of all countries, whom Ahura Mazda created possessing the most xwaranah of the supernatural gods. 36. When, a second time, the Xwaranah turned away from regal Yima, (when) the Xwaranah went from Yima the son of Wlwahwant in the form of a falcon, the prince Thraetaona of the mighty house of Athvyanids, took possession of the Xwarsnah, since he was the most victorious among victorious men other than Zarathushtra, 37. who (Thraetaona) slew Azhi Dahaka. . . . [Continue with Y. 9.8 (p. 152).] 38. When, a third time, the Xwarsnah turned away from regal Yima, (when) the Xwaranah went from Yima the son of Wlwahwant in the form of a falcon, manly-minded Karasaspa took possession of the Xwaranah, since he was the most powerful among strong men, except for Zarathushtra, because of (his) manly valor; 39. —Since it was strong Manly Valor who accompanied him, we worship Manly Valor standing erect, unsleeping, resting in its place awake, who accompanied Ksrasaspa— 40. who slew the horse-devouring, man-devouring, poisonous, yellowish-horned Serpent, over whom (the Serpent) poison spurted up on its tail, on its nose, on its back, to the height of a spear shaft, on whom Ksrssaspa cooked food in a metal (pot) at noon time. The scoundrel became hot. . . . [Continue with Y. 9.11 from " . . . and began to sweat" (p. 153).] 41. Who slew yellow-heeled Gandarava who attacked open-mouthed,

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destroying the material world of Truth; who slew the nine sons of Pathana and the sons of Niwika and the sons of Dashtayani; who slew Hitaspa (wearing) a golden diadem and Warashawa Danayana and Pitaona much given to witches; 42. who slew Arazoshamana endowed with manly valor, brave, rough (?), clever, hobbling (?), watchful, who could not be overtaken (?), raising a clamor ( ? ) . . . ; 43. who slew Snawidhka of the horned race, whose hands were of stone. He boasted thus: I am a minor, not an adult. If I should become an adult, I shall make earth my wheel, I shall make heaven my chariot. 44. I shall bring Spsnta Mainyu down from (his) shining heaven (Garo.nmana), I shall have Angra Mainyu fly up from (his) awful (?) Hell. They shall pull my chariot, both Spanta Mainyu and Angra (Mainyu), if manly-minded Karssaspa does not slay me. Manly-minded Karssaspa slew him. (He took) away the breath of life, the ... (?) of (his) life-force. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13]. VII 45. We worship the Mazda-created, unobtainable (?) Xwaranah. . . . [Continue with st. 9.] 46. Spanta Mainyu and Angra (Mainyu) thereupon each sent forth (their) fastest messengers after this unobtainable (?) (Xwarsnah) which they both wanted (?). Spanta Mainyu sent forth as messenger(s) Wohu Manah, Asha Wahishta, and Fire, the son of Ahura Mazda. Angra Mainyu sent forth as messenger(s) Aka Manah and Aeshma with the bloody cudgel and Azhi Dahaka and Spityura who cut Yima (in two). 47. Thereupon Fire, (the son) of Ahura Mazda, raced straight away, thinking thus to himself, "I shall get possession of this unobtainable (?) Xwarsnah!" Then the three-headed Snake of evil religion ran forth behind him uttering (this) taunt(?): 48. Ho! Mark this well, Fire, (son) of Ahura Mazda! If you get hold of this unobtainable (?) (Xwarsnah), I shall completely drive you away. Thereafter you will not flame up on the Ahura-created earth for the protection of Truth's creatures. Then Fire drew back his hands out of anticipated concern for his life, since the Snake . . . (?) 49. Thereupon, the three-headed Snake of evil religion raced forth thinking thus to himself, "I shall seize this unobtainable (?) Xwarsnah." Then Fire, (the son) of Ahura Mazda raced straight away behind him, speaking with these words:

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50. Hold! Mark this well, Azhi Dahaka with (your) three heads! If you get hold of this unobtainable (?) (Xwaronah), I shall shoot up (flames) at (your) ass (and) light up your mouth. Thereafter, you will not venture forth on the Ahura-created earth for the destruction of Truth's creatures. Then the Snake drew back his paws out of anticipated concern for his life, since Fire . . . (?) 51. This Xwaranah reached (?) the Wouru.kasha sea. Immediately, Apam Napat, whose horses are swift, took possession of it. And Apam Napat, whose horses are swift, desires it, (saying): I shall keep this Xwaranah at the bottom of the deep sea, at the bottom of the deep bays. 52. We worship the lofty Ahura, imperial, regal Apam Napat, whose horses are swift, the hero who brings help when invoked; who created man; who fashioned man, the aquatic god who is the best listener when worshipped. 53. Now, some one of you men—said Ahura Mazda—O righteous Zarathushtra, should seek the Xwaranah. . . . [The remainder of stanza is obscure.] 54. Ashi, bestowing much well-being, heaped up with good things, strong in terms of cow(s) and pasture(s), will accompany him. Victory, who every day (grants the ability to) strike down (the enemy) in the attack, who (grants) a full life, will accompany him. Then, accompanied by this Victory, he will defeat the bloodthirsty (hostile) army; then, accompanied by this Victory, he will defeat all enemies. On account of its rayi. . . [continue with st. 13, with the substitution of "unobtainable (?)" for "kawyan"]. VIII 55. [Repeat st. 45.] 56. which the Turian scoundrel Frangrasyan sought, (which was floating in the middle) of the Wouru.kasha sea. Naked, he threw off his clothes. Seeking that Xwaranah which belongs to the Aryan countries—to the born and the unborn—and which belongs to righteous Zarathushtra, he swam out toward the Xwarsnah. The Xwaranah raced away, the Xwarsnah departed. From this there arose this outlet of the Wouru.kasha sea, the bay which is called "Haosrawah." 57. Then Frangrasyan the Tura, possessing much miraculous power, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, rose up from the Wouru.kasha sea, uttering this evil utterance: ithe itha yathna ahmdi. I did not embrace this Xwarsnah which belongs to the Aryan countries—to the born and the unborn— and which belongs to righteous Zarathushtra.

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58. I shall mix together both: all that is dried up and fluid . . . (?) Ahura Mazda will get into difficulties creating the adverse (?) creatures. Then Frangrasyan the Tura, possessing much miraculous power, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, descended upon the Wouru.kasha sea. 59. A second time, naked, he threw off his clothes. . . . [Continue with st. 56 through " . . . departed."] From this there arose this outlet of the Wouru.kasha sea, the bay which is called "Wanghazda." 60. Then Frangrasyan the Tura, possessing much miraculous power, rose up from the Wouru.kasha sea, uttering this evil utterance: ithe itha yathna ahmai, awaetha itha yathne kahmai. I did not embrace that Xwaranah which belongs to the Aryan countries—to the born and the unborn—and which belongs to the righteous Zarathushtra. 61. [Repeat st. 58.] 62. A third time he threw off his clothes. . . . [Continue with st. 56 through " . . . departed."] From this there arose this outlet of the Wouru.kasha sea, the water which is called "Avzhdanwan." 63. Then Frangrasyan the Tura, possessing much miraculous power, rose up from the Wouru.kasha sea, uttering this evil utterance: ithe itha yathna ahmai, awathe itha yathna ahmai, awoya itha yathna ahmai. I did not embrace that Xwarsnah which belongs to the Aryan countries— to the born and the unborn—and which belongs to the righteous Zarathushtra. 64. He did not embrace that Xwaranah which belongs to the Aryan countries—to the born and the unborn—and which belongs to the righteous Zarathushtra. On account of its rayi. . . [continue with st. 13, with the substitution of "unobtainable (?)" for "kawyan"].
X 70. [Repeat st. 9.] 71. which accompanied Kawi Kawata and Kawi Aipi.wohu and Kawi Usadhan and Kawi Arshan and Kawi Pisina and Kawi Byarshan and Kawi Syawarshan, 72. so that they all became brave, all courageous, all solicitous, all filled with wondrous power, all perceptive, all Kawis bold in action. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13]. XI 73. [Repeat st. 9.] 74. which accompanied Haosrawah for well-shaped strength and for

Xwarsnah I 95
Ahura-given victory and for conquering superiority and for wellformulated commands and for unalterable commands and for irreversible commands and for immediate victory over opponents, 75. and for healthy strength and for Mazda-created xwarsnah and for bodily health and for noble, good, able, eloquent, fair, clear-eyed progeny who save (others) from trouble (and) have good intelligence, (and) for future uncontested good knowledge of the Best Life, 76. and for radiant dominion and for longevity and for all boons and for all cures, for the resistance of sorcerers and witches, tyrants, kawis, and karapans, for the resistance of hostility done by evil rulers, 77. when (?) Kawi Haosrawah (competed with?) this Kgrasa (wazda) [on the racecourse which is long, and we do not cut the turning post when the scoundrel cunningly competes against him with his horses]. He became victorious over all. Kawi Haosrawah, the lord, bound the Turian scoundrel Frangrasyan (and) Karasawazda, (Haosrawah) the son and avenger of Syawarshan the treacherously slain man, and of Aghraeratha the Narawid. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13].
XII 78. [Repeat st. 9.] 79. which accompanied righteous Zarathushtra, (urging him) to think according to the (true) Religion, to speak according to the (true) Religion, to act according to the (true) Religion, so that, of the entire material world of being, he was the most righteous in terms of Truth, most authoritative in terms of dominion, most insightful in terms of insight, most glorious in terms of glory, most victorious in terms of victory. 80. Before his time the daewas would move about visibly, visibly (their) orgies would take place, visibly they would drag women away from (their) men. Then the daewas would violate them crying and lamenting. 81. Then, alone, the Ahuna wairya, which righteous Zarathushtra recited four times with (the proper) pauses and then in a loud recitation, drove down all the daewas (so that they became) concealed in the earth, unworthy of worship, unworthy of praise. 82. from (?) whom the Turian scoundrel Frangrasyan sought the Xwarsnah over the seven continents. Around the seven continents the scoundrel Frangrasyan stormed, seeking Zarathushtra's Xwarsnah. The Xwaranah swam out toward the birds' . . . (?). Lo, they two (who?) came back to me; they two came to the desire of (my)

96 I Xwarznah
desire (?), as in any case it was according to the pleasant disposition of me (?) Ahura Mazda and of the Mazdean Religion. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13]. XIII 83. [Repeat st. 9.] 84. which accompanied Kawi Wishtaspa, (urging him) to think according to the (true) Religion, to speak according to the (true) Religion, to act according to the (true) Religion, so that he praised this Religion, driving (?) the daewas away from the Righteous (?). 85-86. Who with bow and arrow sought . . . [continue with Yt. 13.99100 (p. 115)]. 87. Brave Kawi Wishtaspa became victorious over Tathryawant, whose religion is evil, and Psshana the daewa worshipper and the drugwant Arajat.aspa as well as any other evil, blasphemous Huns. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13]. XIV 88. [Repeat st. 9.] 89. which (will) accompany the victorious Saoshyant and the other companions, so that he will make life marvelous . . . [continue with st. 11]. 90. [Repeat sts. 12-13.] XV 91. [Repeat st. 9.] 92. When Astwat.srata, the son of Wispa.taurwa, rises out of the water Kasaoya as Ahura Mazda's messenger, wielding the victorious waedha weapon32 which heroic Thraetaona carried when Azhi Dahaka was slain, 93. which the Tura Frangrasyan carried when the drugwant Zainigu was slain, which Kawi Haosrawah carried when the Tura Frangrasyan was slain, which Kawi Wishtaspa carried while teaching the armies of Truth—then (Astwat.orata) will banish the Lie from the world of Truth. 94. Seeing with the eyes of intelligence, he will view all creatures . . . (?) of the hideous (Lie?). He will see the entire material world of existence with the eyes of zeal, and his gaze will render undying the entire material world. 95. The companions of the victorious Astwat.srata will come forth having good minds, good speech, good deeds, (and) good daenas, who also do not speak falsehoods with their own tongues. Wrath with the bloody cudgel, whose Xwaranah is evil, will flee before them. Through Truth, (Astwat.9r9ta) will be victorious over the evil Lie who is hideous, who is composed of darkness.

Wdyu I 97 96. He will also be victorious over the Evil Spirit. The Good Spirit will be victorious over it. He will be victorious over the falsely spoken (word). The rightly spoken word will be victorious over it. He will conquer health and immortality, both hunger and thirst. Health and Immortality will conquer evil hunger and thirst. Angra Mainyu, the doer of evil deeds, impotent, will flee. On account of its rayi . . . [continue with st. 13].

7. Wayu
Indo-Iranian religion recognized two wind gods, Vata (Av Wata) and Vayu (Av Wayu), who, because they are based on the same natural phenomenon, are difficult to distinguish, even though significant differences do exist between them. The figure of the bold Wata is often seen in the Avesta in the company of a number of other deities, notably Mithra, Wsraraghna, Tishtrya, and Satawaesa. Outside Yasht 15, Wayu is scarcely ever found. In Avestan and in Iranian generally, wata (and its cognates) is the common word for 'wind'. In the Avesta it is found both as an appellative and as a proper name. Often it is difficult to decide whether a given text is talking about the wind or the Wind, i.e., the divine being manifest in the wind. In the case of wayu, the word is always the name of the god, never an appellative. The linguistic situation seems to indicate that Wayu was to a much greater degree detached from his elemental nature, while Wata remained barely distinguishable from it. Comparisons with the corresponding wind gods in the Vedas confirm the antiquity of the separateness of the two gods. On the one hand, Vedic Vata is quite similar to Iranian Wata; on the other hand, Vedic Vayu has very little in common with Wayu, except that they are both powerful deities possessing many characteristics suggested by the nature of wind itself. The sphere of the wind's activity is, of course, the atmosphere (cf. MPers andarwdy). According to the Iranian view of the cosmos, the earth and the stone vault of heaven (asman 'stone') were separated by a void. Since 'air' does not appear as one of the basic elements associated with the Amasha Spsntas, this conclusion is warranted. Within this void moves a mysterious something, invisible yet sensible, the wind. The mysteriousness of the wind is augmented by the fact that it is so unstable, so ambivalent. It can be the gentle breeze that cools or the wind that bears aloft the long-awaited rain clouds; yet it can be the terrible, violent wind of storms and whirlwinds or the dread hot wind that parches all creation.

98 I Wayu The ambivalence of the wind detectable in the Avesta is elaborately articulated in the Pahlavi literature as the two Winds: the Good Wind (way I weh} and the Evil Wind (way ibadtar). In the Vendidad (5.8 [see p. 166]), he follows after the demon of death Asto.Widhatu to take away the soul of the dead, and elsewhere (Aogamadaeca 77) he is called "merciless'. His Yasht portrays him in his beneficent albeit violent nature, as the swiftest of gods, a wonderfully equipped, skillful warrior whom heroes worship for success in battle. Yasht 15 is actually dedicated to an insignificant deity Raman, whose name means 'peace, repose'. The reason for such an association is obscure. The Yasht itself is a late and rather chaotic work. Like the Ahura Mazda Yasht (Yt. 1.7-8, 12-15 [pp. 52, 53]), it contains a section listing epithets which, while they would be important for a detailed study of Wayu, are better omitted here.
Wayu (Ram) Yasht (Yasht 15)
I 1. I shall worship the god of the waters (?). I shall worship either one, both victorious Peace and Profit (?). We worship Wayu also; we invoke Wayu also, for this house and for this head of the house and for this pious person bearing libations . . . (?), we worship the best god. 2. Ahura Mazda, the Creator, worshipped him in the Aryan territory of the good Daitya (river), on a golden throne, on a golden carpet, on a golden rug, on the spread barosman, with hands overflowing (with libations). 3. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I might slay the creatures of Angra Mainyu, but not that which belongs to Spanta (Mainyu). 4. Wayu who has superior skill gave him that boon so that it (?) accompanied the Creator, Ahura Mazda. 5. We worship righteous Wayu. We worship Wayu who has superior skill. We worship this (aspect) of yours, O Wayu, that derives from Spsnta Mainyu. On account of his rayi and glory, I shall audibly worship strong Wayu who has superior skill with libations. We worship strong Wayu who has superior skill with haoma (mixed) with milk . . . [continue with Ny. 1.16 (p. 183)]. II 6. [Repeat st. 1.] 7. Haosyangha Paradhata worshipped him at the peak of Hara, joined

Wayu I 99 with metals (?), on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 from ". . . on a golden carpet."] 8. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I might slay two-thirds of the daewas from the Mazandaran and the drugwants from Warana. 9. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "Haosyangha Paradhata" for "Ahura Mazda."]
Ill 10. [Repeat st. 1.] 11. Taxma Urupi dressed in skins worshipped him on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 12. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I become victorious over all daewas and men, all sorcerers and witches; so that for thirty years (?) I may ride around the limits of the earth on Angra Mainyu transformed into the form of a horse. 13. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "Taxma Urupi" for "Ahura Mazda."] IV 14. [Repeat st. 1.] 15. Regal Yima rich in herds worshipped him from golden, all-shining Mount Hukairya, on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 16. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I may come to possess the most xwarsnah among people, like the sun among men, so that, under my rule, I may make cattle and men not to die, water and vegetation not to dry up, (that I may make) inexhaustible victuals [food]. In the reign of brave Yima there was neither cold nor heat, there was neither old age nor death, nor daewa-created jealousy. 17. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "Yima" for "Ahura Mazda."] V 18. [Repeat st. 1.] 19. Three-headed Azhi Dahaka worshipped him at (the city) Kwirinta, the access to which is difficult, on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 20. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I may make unpopulated all the seven continents. 21. Wayu who has superior skill did not give this boon to him, (since he

100 I Wayu
was) not worshipping, not petitioning, not invoking, not pious, not bearing libations. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5].
VI 22. [Repeat st. 1.] 23. The prince Thraetaona of the mighty house of the Athvyanids worshipped him in quadrangular Warsna on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 24. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I may become victorious over Azhi Dahaka who has three mouths, three heads. . . . [Continue with Yt. 5.34 from ". . . six eyes" (p. 122).] 25. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "Thraetaona" for "Ahura Mazda."] VII 26. [Repeat st. 1.] 27. Heroic-minded Karssaspa worshipped him at the Gudha, an outlet of the Mazda-created Rangha (river) on a golden throng. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 28. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I may go down (?) as avenger of (my) brother Urwaxshaya, that I may slay Hitaspa in order to carry (his body) back in (my) chariot; likewise lordly Gafya, likewise lord Aewo.gafya, likewise the aquatic (monster) Gandarava. 29. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "Karssaspa" for "Ahura Mazda."] VIII 30. [Repeat st. 1.] 31. Aurwasara, lord of the country, worshipped him in the whitish forests, at the Whitish Forest, in the midst of the forest, on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 32. He petitioned him: Give me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that the hero of the Aryan peoples, who consolidated the realm, Haosrawah, not slay us two (?), that I may escape from Kawi Haosrawah. Kawi Haosrawah will kill him in the Pan-Iranian forest! 33. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "Aurwasara" for "Ahura Mazda."]

Wayu I 101
IX 34. [Repeat st. 1.] 35. Hutaosa of the clan of the Naotarids, who had many brothers, worshipped him on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 36. She petitioned him: Grant me this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that I may be dear, beloved, (and) respected in the house of Kawi Wlshtaspa. 37. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "Hutaosa" for "Ahura Mazda."] X 38. [Repeat st. 1.] 39. Girls (as yet) unapproached by men worship him on a golden throne. . . . [Continue with st. 2 as above.] 40. Then they petition him: Grant us this boon, Wayu, (you) who have superior skill, that we may find a young householder whose bodily form is most handsome, who will treat us well as long as we both shall live. And may he, (being) clever, wise (?), and eloquent, beget offspring. 41. [Repeat sts. 4-5, with the substitution of "the girls" for "Ahura Mazda."] XI 42. [Repeat st. 1.] We worship that which, rich and glorious, belongs to Sponta Mainyu. 43-48. (Epithet list.) 49. You should invoke (me) by these my names. I am (he), O righteous Zarathushtra, who (stands?) between the bloodthirsty enemy armies, between drawn-up battle lines, between the two warring countries. 50. You should invoke (me) by these my names, O righteous Zarathushtra, whom (?) the all-ruling ruler of the country (worships whether he is?) walking or running, riding or driving in a chariot, seeking protection or seeking healing. 51. You should invoke (me) by these my names, O righteous Zarathushtra, whom the unrighteous perverter of Truth (worships whether he is) walking . . . [continue with st. 50]. 52. You should invoke (me) by these my names, O righteous Zarathushtra, (whom a man worships?) when he may remain bound (or when) bound he may be delivered (?), (or when) bound he may be led (away) --.(?) 53. O Wayu, (who) among horses and men, among all (things), creates uncertainty (?), (who) among all (things) works against the daewas!—

102 I Wayu
and in the lowest and obscurest places he reaches the one who will seek him. 54. With what (form of) worship should I worship you? With what (form of) worship should I give worship? . . . ( ? ) Wayu, swift, high-girdled, possessing firm yoke-thongs (?), high-stepping, broad-chested, broadhipped (?)—(his) two eyes, which do not become bloodshot (?),. . . (?) 55. [Obscure.] 56. If you (?) make me worshipped, I shall proclaim to you curative, glorious, Mazda-created spells so that the much-devastating Angra Mainyu will not overcome you, nor the sorcerer, nor one practicing sorcery, nor a daewa, nor a man. 57. We worship swift Wayu. We worship fleet Wayu. We worship Wayu the swiftest of the swift. We worship Wayu the fleetest of the fleet. We worship Wayu whose helmet is golden. We worship Wayu whose cape (?) is golden. We worship Wayu whose chariot is golden. We worship Wayu whose (chariot) wheels are golden. We worship Wayu whose weapons are golden. We worship Wayu whose clothes are golden. We worship Wayu whose shoes are golden. We worship Wayu whose girdle is golden.We worship righteous Wayu. We worship Wayu who has superior skill. We worship this (aspect) of yours, O Wayu, that derives from Spanta Mainyu. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 5].

8. The Frawashis
One of the most complex and unusual phenomena of Zoroastrianism is that of the Frawashis. The Frawashis, for reasons to be given, are guardian spirits, which play three quite distinct roles. In one aspect, they are a band of ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine powerful deities whose functions and modes of operation are various. In their second aspect, which in actual practice, as opposed to literary reference, may have been as or more important than the first, they are ancestor spirits. Finally, the frawashi is one of the spiritual elements of the human personality. The meaning of the word frawashi is not completely certain. The problem is that there are numerous war- verbs from which frawashi (*fraw(a)r-ti) could derive. The two best candidates seem to be war- 'to cover, protect, ward off and *war- (IE uel-), which is equivalent to Latin valeo. If the latter is the correct one, then frawashi will mean something like

The Frawashis I 103 'pre-eminent valor' and so, applied to one who possesses it, 'hero'. One should note that although the word frawashi is feminine in gender, there is no indication that the Frawashis were thought to be women. In one instance (st. 46), where, unfortunately, the translation is very tentative, they may be referred to as 'heroes, men' (naro). The Frawashis figure most prominently in the Avesta as a band or army of armed warriors which flies from heaven to the protection of all the material world menaced by the daewas' onslaught. Beyond the usual Zoroastrian world view, which divides the world between drugwants and ashawans, between daewas and ahuras, the Frawashis preserve an ancient amoral trait also found in Mithra, in that they aid the party who is first to worship them, and one may assume that in Iranian warfare careful attention to their worship was an important prelude to battle. Even though military prowess is their trademark, the Frawashis have other far-reaching powers that derive from other sources, namely, their possession of insight and glory. The opening stanzas of Yasht 13 tell how they came to the assistance of Ahura Mazda in the creation and maintenance of the cosmos through "their insight a/nd glory" (angham raya xwarananghaca). It is interesting that, just as Darius says repeatedly that "Ahuramazda bore me aid" (Ahuramazda-mai upastam abara1), so Ahura Mazda says that "they bore me aid" (\frawashay 6\ me baran upastam}. The notion of creative power residing in insight is an archaic feature of Aryan religion. On the efficacy of xwaranah, see sect. 6. Elsewhere in the Avesta, the phrase ahe raya xwarananghaca "on account of his rayi and xwarsnah" has become a formulaic refrain used in the praise of all deities, where rayi- has become associated with a homonym meaning 'wealth, opulence'. In contrast to Sasanid Zoroastrian theology, in which the Frawashis are the creation of Ahura Mazda, here they appear to be coeternal with him. That the Yasht's authors did not have recourse to the common device of attributing a god's creation to Ahura Mazda (as in, e.g., Yt. 10.1 [p. 59]) is probably due to the fact that Ahura Mazda himself has a frawashi. In their role as warriors and as maintainers of the proper cosmic order, the Frawashis, along with Arodwi Sura Anahita, Tishtrya, and Satawaesa, are involved with the unending struggle for water. In addition to aiding the above-mentioned deities, they themselves must fight for the water that overflows from the Wouru.kasha sea. Each Frawashi must secure the water necessary for the families and clans under its personal guardianship. Sts. 49-52 of the Frawashi Yasht give clear testimony to the fact that in some way the Frawashis were regarded as ancestor spirits. There they are described as coming to their respective settlements at the Hamaspath-

104 I The Frawashis maedaya festival. This festival, whose name is of uncertain meaning, functioned as an "all-souls' day," the last day (or days) of the year, at which time the spirits of the deceased return to their houses on earth to be received with all due hospitality by the living. The latter part of the Yasht (omitted here) contains long lists of names of deceased people whose frawashis are to be worshipped. In later Zoroastrianism, the worship of the deceased's frawashi is an important part of the complex funeral ceremonies and the ensuing commemorative rites. The association of the frawashi with the dead is seen outside Zoroastrianism in the use in Christian Sogdian of the word frwrt-qty 'house of the frawart', i.e., 'tomb'. The third aspect of the frawashi is that of guardian spirit, as a spiritual element of the human personality. Like many peoples, the ancient Iranians counted a number of what we might call souls. Apart from the 'life principle' (ahu) and consciousness (baodhah), there were three elements that enjoyed special independent existence. That which comes closest to the modern notion of soul, and which is so translated, is the urwan. It is an individual's guiding moral faculty. When a person dies, it is the urwan that passes over into the next existence. It is judged according to its good and bad deeds, and it alone must suffer punishment or enjoy rewards according to the judgment. Zoroastrians believe that after death the urwan tarries in the vicinity of the body for three days, after which, conveyed by Wayu, it journeys to the Cinwat bridge (Bridge of Judgment) where it is judged. The souls that are deemed good cross over and proceed to heaven; those deemed evil fall into the abyss. In all of this the deceased's frawashi plays a role as guardian of the soul, as, no doubt, it guarded the soul during life. The eschatological picture is not complete, however, without the introduction of the third spiritual entity, the daena (a homonym of the word for [the Zoroastrian] religion). The daena seems to be a kind of spiritual double of the individual, which is involved in the moral and religious decisions one must make through life. At the Cinwat bridge, the urwan meets its daena, which will either be in the form of a beautiful maiden, if good, or in the form of an ugly woman, if evil. The evidence for this complex of beliefs in the Avesta is sparse, but does not contradict it. As in the Pahlavi books, there is a certain amount of confusion between the urwan and the frawashi. In one place (Y. 16.7), the departed souls in heaven are specifically called the Frawashis of the righteous. The frawashi itself, one may suppose, preexists the individual for whom it is destined as a guardian spirit. It enjoys an independent existence as a deity, and is apparently unaffected by the moral quality of the individual, although, it is true, only the frawashis of the righteous are mentioned. Also unlike the urwan, it is equally unaffected by the indi-

The Frawashis I 105 vidual's death. One can conclude on the basis of later practice that once the urwan had been sent off on its journey, the frawashi of the deceased became the object of veneration. The urwan, residing, as it would, in either heaven or hell, would be incapable of attending to worldly affairs, whereas the frawashi would be perfectly able to do so. The origins of the Frawashis, if they can be traced at all, are to be found in several places, since there is no real Vedic counterpart. Whereas the Frawashis are the only collective deities in Iranian religion, there are a number of such groups in the Vedas. With one group, the Maruts, the Frawashis share their warrior nature and in a somewhat vague manner their concern for water. As ancestor spirits of each deceased person, they are like the Pitaras or manes (manusyah pitarah). In respect to their divine powers they appear to have an affinity with the Angirases, the "heavenly fathers" (devah pitarah). I know of no precedent for their role as guardian spirits. Whether the Frawashis represent a later combination of originally separate entities or an ancient complex is a matter without an easy solution. In either case, they are one of the truly unique concepts of Zoroastrianism. Frawashi (Frawardm) Yasht (Yasht 13) 1. Ahura Mazda said to Zarathushtra the Spitamid: Let me then tell you about the strength and power, the glory and help and support of the mighty, victorious Frawashis of the Righteous, O upright Spitamid, how the mighty Frawashis of the Righteous came to help me, how they brought me support. 2. Through their rayi and glory, I support, O Zarathushtra, yonder heaven, above, shining and clear, which is all around this earth, as it were like a bird (all around) an egg, which abides, established by (Spanta) Mainyu, firmly fixed, with distant limits, with the appearance of a bright crystal glimmering over the three(fold world), 3. which Mazda wears as a mantle decorated with stars, fashioned by (Spanta) Mainyu, in company with Mithra and Rashnu, and Spsnta Armaiti, of which the two borders of the sides are not visible to anyone. 4. Through their rayi and glory, I support, O Zarathushtra, Arsdwl Sura Anahita, who spreads abroad . . . [continue with Yt. 5.1 (p. 120)]. 5-8. [Yt. 5.2-5.1 9. Through their rayi and glory, I support, O Zarathushtra, the broad, Ahura-created earth which is great and wide, which is the carrier of much prosperity, which carries all material existence both living and dead, and the high mountains rich in water, rich in pasture land,

106 I The Frawashis
10. upon whom channel waters flow flowing in streams, upon whom many sorts of plants grow up from the earth, for the protection of animals and man, for the protection of the Aryan peoples, for the protection of the five kinds of animals, for the help of righteous men. 11. Through their rayi and glory, I, O Zarathushtra, maintain the sons conceived in the mothers (so that) they do not die; until the appointed time, at birth, I put together the bones and hair and muscles and intestines and sinews and nails. 12. For if the mighty Frawashis of the Righteous had not given me support, in that case the animals and men which are the best of the (various) species would not have been mine. Power would have been the Lie's, dominion the Lie's, material existence the Lie's. 13. Of the two Spirits, the Liar would have installed himself on earth and in heaven. Of the two Spirits, the Liar would have been victorious on earth and in heaven. Nor afterward would the conqueror give in to the conquered, (that is,) Angra Mainyu to Spanta Mainyu. 14. Through their rayi and glory, the waters flow with a forward course near undiminishing springs. Through their rayi and glory, plants grow up from the earth near undiminishing springs. Through their rayi and glory, the winds, flying in the clouds, blow near undiminishing springs. 15. Through their rayi and glory, women conceive sons, through their rayi and glory, they give birth with easy delivery, through their rayi and glory, (it is) that they are with sons. 16. Through their rayi and glory, a man is born, eloquent, who makes his words heard in verbal contests, whose judgment is sought after, who comes away from the discussion victorious over the defeated Gaotama. Through their rayi and glory, the sun goes on that path; through their rayi and glory, the moon goes on that path; through their rayi and glory, the stars go on that path. 17. They are the best givers of help in the mighty battles, the Frawashis of the Righteous. These Frawashis of the Righteous are the most powerful, O Spitamid, who (are) of the previous teachers, who (are) indeed of the unborn men, (that is,) the Saoshyants who (will) accomplish the Renovation. Furthermore, the Frawashis of others, of the living righteous men, are stronger, O Zarathushtra, than (those) of the dead (righteous), O Spitamid. 18. And which man, an all-ruling ruler of the country, while living will

The Frawashis I 107
treat them well, the Frawashis of the Righteous, he will become a most successful ruler of men, whoever he may be—who indeed (also) treats well Mithra of wide pastures and property furthering property—increasing Justice. 19. Thus I tell you about the strength and power, the glory and help and support of the mighty, victorious Frawashis of the Righteous, O upright Spitamid, how they brought me support. 20. Ahura Mazda said to Zarathushtra, the Spitamid: Now, in case, in this material existence, O Zarathushtra Spitamid, a cattle thief crosses your path and if there is fear for yourself of frightening terrors and perils, then you should learn these words by heart, then you should utter these victorious words, O Zarathushtra. 21. The good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous I praise, I invoke, I celebrate. We worship the N many as, the VIsyas, the Zantumas, the Dahyumas, the Zarathushtrotsmas, (those who) are among the existing Righteous, (those who) are among (the Righteous) who have existed, (those who) are among (the Righteous) who will exist, all of every land, the most powerful of the most powerful lands; 22. who support heaven, who support the water(s), who support the earth, who maintain the animals, who maintain the sons conceived in the mothers (so that) they do not die; until the appointed time, at birth, they put together the bones and hair and muscles and intestines and sinews and nails; 23. who bring much, who come powerfully (?), who come themselves (?), who come swiftly (?), who come strongly (?), who come at the call (?), who are to be invoked at bloody fights, who are to be invoked at battles, who are to be invoked at fights; 24. who give victory to him who invokes (them), grant a boon to him who seeks (it), give health to the sick, give good fortune to him, a libation-offering righteous man, who, worshipping (and) propitiating, invokes them; 25. who are wont to turn most to that place where righteous men believe most strongly in Truth, and where the offerings are greatest, and where the righteous man is satisfied, and where the righteous man is not treated with hostility. 26. We worship the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous, the strongest of drivers (of chariots), the swiftest of those riding forth, the least oppressed of those who are hard pressed, the most serviceable of supports, the least vanquishable of weapons and armor, who make the attack in which they come impossible to divert. 27. These good, these best we worship, the good, strong, beneficent

108 I The Frawashis Frawashis of the Righteous; they, indeed, should be invoked at the strewn barssman, they at the battles, they at the fights, they where brave men fight in the battles. 28. Mazda called upon them for help, for the support (?) of yon heaven and of the water(s) and of the earth and of the plants, so that Spanta Mainyu might support the heaven, the water(s), the earth, the animals, the plants, so that he might maintain the sons conceived in the mothers (so that) they do not die; until the appointed time, at birth he puts together the bones and hair and muscles and intestines and sinews and nails. 29. Spanta Mainyu maintains (the Frawashis) who are powerful, abide in silence, have good eyes, are keen-eyed, have (good) hearing, are very patient, who are tall, high girdled, who have a good gait, a broad gait, whose breathing is fast, . . . ( ? ) famed, (who) support heaven. 30. We worship the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous, who offer good fellowship, who offer good community, with whom it is best to dwell for the purpose of long successions (of descendants, for those people) who do not anger you beforehand, O (you) good ones, profound, far-seeing, curative, famed, winning in battle. 31. We worship . . . Righteous, who have a terrible disposition toward enemies, have superior ability, are most strong, who, (coming) from above to the battle, smash the powerful arms of the hostile armies. 32. We worship . . . Righteous, (who are) faithful, brave, powerful, incomparable, fortunate, beneficent, curative, accompanied by the curative power of Ashi, which is as broad as the earth, long as a river, high as the sun. 33. We worship . . . Righteous, who are brave, valiant, battling, bloodthirsty, (who) crush (and) destroy the hostilities of all enemies—gods and men—(who) strike down (their) opponents in the onslaught according to their own will and inclination. 34. You good ones, (being) most powerful, consign the Ahuragranted Victory and conquering Superiority to those countries where you good ones, not angered, satisfied, unharmed, not treated with hostility, (being) worthy of worship, worthy of praise, go about on your chosen course. 35. We worship . . . Righteous, (who are) famed, winning in battle, attacking, (who) carry shields, cannot be moved from (?) the straightest (paths), to whom both the pursuer and the pursued call for help: the pursuer calls (for assistance) in order to catch, the pursued, in order to escape;

The Frawashis I 109
36. who are wont to turn most to that place where righteous men believe most strongly in Truth, and where the offerings (are) greatest, and where the righteous man (has been) satisfied. 37. We worship . . . Righteous, (who) form a numerous army, girded with weapons, with upraised banners, shining, who, then, in the terrible battles, came down for the sake of the Xshtawis, when (?) the brave Xshtawians waged war against the Danus. 38. You, then, overcame the resistance of the Turanian Danus. You, then, overcame the hostilities of the Turanian Danus. Thanks to you, the Karshnazids, having good men, became the strongest, (as well as) the brave Xshtawians, the brave Saoshyants, the brave victorious (men). You destroyed the crumbling (dwellings) together with (their) sites of the Danus who are lords of tens of thousands. 39. We worship . . . Righteous, who smash the two sides of the battle line standing (close) together, drive apart the center, swiftly drive forth from behind for the help of righteous men, for the affliction of those who work evil. 40. We worship . . . Righteous, who are strong, unshakable, victorious winners in battle, pacifying, pursuing, decisive, whose thrusts are quick, whose bodies nimble, whose souls are noble, righteous, who are givers of victory to him who calls, givers of a boon to him who has been desirous, givers of health to the sick, 41. givers of good fortune to him who will so worship them as that man worshipped them, righteous Zarathushtra, ratu of the material world, the apex of the two-legged (world), coming for the sake of whatever crises, concerned for whatever distress, 42. who, being called up, spiritually impelled, come forth from the summit of heaven to help, (who) possess well-built Strength and Ahuracreated Victoriousness and conquering Superiority and Profit which brings riches, which brings boons, which is righteous, abundant, worthy of worship, worthy of praise according to the Best Truth. 43. They (i.e., the Frawashis) release Satawaesa between heaven and earth, who lets the water fall, listens to the call, who lets the waters fall, lets the plants grow, for the protection of both cattle and men, for the protection of the Aryan people, for the protection of the five kinds of animals, for the help of righteous men. 44. In between earth and heaven will come Satawaesa who lets the water fall, listens to the call, who lets the water fall, the plants grow, beautiful, shining, full of light, for the protection of cattle and men, for

110 I The Fraw as his the protection of the Aryan lands, for the protection of the five kinds of animals, for the help of righteous men. 45. We worship . . . Righteous, (who) have metal helmets, metal weapons, metal shields, who fight in battles surrounded by light, having strung arrows which they are carrying in order to kill the daewas by the thousands. 46. When the wind blows forth among them (i.e., the Frawashis) bearing the scent of men, these heroes recognize (these men) in whom is the scent of victory. They (i.e., the men) extend offerings to them, to the good, heroic, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous, before the bow has been strung, before it has been raised with both hands. 47. Whichever of the two (parties), indeed, worships them first, belie vingly with foreknowing thought from a trusting mind, in that direction do the strong Frawashis of the Righteous turn, together with Mithra and Rashnu and the strong Damoish Upamana, together with the victorious Wind. 48. They strike down the peoples at a blow with a hundred blows for (every) fifty blows. . . . [Continue with Yt. 10.43 from " . . . and with one thousand blows" (p. 64).] Where the strong Frawashis of the Righteous turn, together with Mithra and Rashnu and the strong Damoish Upamana, together with the victorious Wind. 49. We worship . . . Righteous, who fly hither up to the settlement at Hamaspathmaedaya time. Here, then, they move about for ten nights, desiring to learn this: 50. Who will praise, who will worship, who will laud, who will propitiate, who will welcome us with hand(s) holding meat (and) clothing, with Truth-attaining reverence? By whom will our name(s) be sung, by whom will your soul(s) be worshipped, to which one of us will this gift be given that he may have inexhaustible food for ever and ever? 51. Then the man who will worship them with hand(s) holding meat (and) clothing, with Truth-attaining reverence, the strong Frawashis of the Righteous bless (when they) are satisfied, not injured, not treated with hostility. 52. May there be in this house herds of cattle and (troops) of men, and may there be a swift horse and a sturdy chariot, may the man be steadfast (and) eloquent who, indeed, will worship us with hand(s) holding meat (and) clothing, with Truth-attaining reverence. 53. We worship . . . Righteous, who show beautiful paths to the Mazda-created waters which earlier stood still in the same place, for a very long time, (after) having been created, (but) not having flowed forth.

The Frawashis I 111 54. Thus, these now flow forth along the Mazda-created path(s), the god-provided course(s) at the appointed time, to the liking of Ahura Mazda, to the liking of the Amasha Spantas. 55. We worship . . . Righteous, who show beautiful growth to the wellpruned plants which earlier stood still in the same place, for a very long time, (after) having been created, (but) not growing forth. 56. Thus, these now grow forth along the Mazda-created path(s), the god-provided course(s) at the appointed time, to the liking of Ahura Mazda, to the liking of the Amasha Spantas. 57. We worship . . . Righteous, who, (being) righteous, showed the paths to the stars, the moon, the sun, (and) Infinite Lights, which earlier stood still in the same place, for a very long time, without moving forward, because of the hostility of the daewas, because of the deceptions of the daewas. 58. Thus, these now move forth (along the path) whose turning point is distant, (eventually) reaching the road's turning point which is the good Frashokaroti. 59. We worship . . . Righteous, who, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine (strong), watch over that sea, the shining Wouru. kasha. 60. We worship . . . Righteous, who, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine (strong), watch over those stars, Hapto.iringa. 61. We worship . . . Righteous, who, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine (strong), watch over the body of the Samid Ksrasaspa with the (long) locks of hair, bearing a cudgel. 62. We worship . . . Righteous, who, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine (strong), watch over that semen of the righteous Spitamid Zarathushtra. 63. We worship . . . Righteous, who fight at the right (hand) of the ruling lord if he satisfies the Righteous, if by him the strong Frawashis of the Righteous are not angered, are satisfied, are not done violence, are not treated with hostility. 64. We worship . . . Righteous, who are greater, who are more powerful, who are braver, who are stronger, who are more victorious, who are more curative, who are braver than words can express, who by tens of thousands ride in among those offering oblations. 65. And when the waters, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, flow forth from the Wouru.kasha sea, and when the Mazda-created Xwaranah (emerges), then the strong Frawashis of the Righteous issue forth, numerously by

112 I The Frawashis
the many hundreds, numerously by the many thousands, numerously by the many tens of thousands, 66. searching for water, each for his own family, for his own settlement, for his own clan, for his own land, saying thus, "Will our own land decline and dry up?" 67. They fight in battles for their own place and dwelling [as (a man) has a place and a house to live in], just as a man, a brave warrior, (always) defends (his) well-collected wealth, girded with weapons. 68. And then whichever of them are victorious bring away the water, each for his own family, for his own settlement, for his own clan, for his own land, saying thus, "May our own land prosper and flourish!" 69. When the all-ruling ruler of the land is beset by hostile enemies, then he, whoever he is, calls upon the strong Frawashis of the Righteous. 70. They will come to him for help, if by him they are not angered, are satisfied, not done violence to, not treated with hostility, the strong Frawashis of the Righteous; they swoop down to him just like an eagle. 71. They stand ready as his weapon and armor, support and fortification against the invisible Lie, the concupiscent, deceiving (Lie), and (against) the destructive conjurer, against the Deceiver, who causes many deaths, Angra Mainyu, as if one hundred, and one thousand, and ten thousand sheaves were threshed, 72. so that, because of this, neither a well-thrown knife, nor a wellwielded mace, nor a well-drawn arrow, nor a well-hurled spear, nor stones thrown by the arm may hit (him). 73. They are prepared for that and they are prepared for even more, sitting quietly, the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous, desiring to know this: Who will praise,. . . [continue, repeating st. 50]. 74. We worship the noble minds, we worship the daenas of the Saviors, we worship the souls of the domesticated animals, we worship (the souls) of the wild animals, we worship (the souls) of the aquatic animals, we worship (the souls) of the animals living in the ground, we worship (the souls) of the birds, we worship (the souls) of the plains animals, we worship (the souls) of the pasture animals, we worship the Frawashis. 75. We worship the Frawashis, we worship the faithful, we worship the brave, we worship the bravest, we worship the beneficent, we worship the most beneficent, we worship the strong, we worship the strongest, we worship the firm, we worship the unshakable, we worship the mighty, we worship the most powerful, we worship the fleet, we worship the fleetest, we worship the brave, we worship the bravest,

The Frawashis / 113 76. for they are the bravest of the creation of both Spirits, the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous, who rose up (to help) then when the two Spirits, both the Beneficent Spirit and the Evil, created (their) creations. 77. When the Evil Spirit stormed the creation of Good Truth, Good Mind and Fire rushed in between. 78. These two overcame the hostilities of him, the lying Evil Spirit, so that he could not stay the waters in (their) courses, nor the plants in (their growing); all at once the strongest waters of the strong, ruling creator Ahura Mazda flowed forth and the plants grew up. 79. We worship all the waters, we worship all the plants, we worship all the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous; by (their) name(s) we worship the waters, by (their) name(s) we worship the plants, by (their) name(s) we worship the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous. 80. Of all these original Frawashis we now worship that Frawashi which is Ahura Mazda's, the greatest, the best, the most beautiful, the most solid, the wisest, the best built, the highest in terms of Truth, 81. whose (i.e., Ahura Mazda's) soul is the Holy Word, white, shining, spotless, and the forms which he (i.e., the Frawashi of Ahura Mazda) assumes (are) the beautiful forms of the Amasha Spsntas, the blossoming (forms) of the Amasha Spantas. We worship the Sun whose horses are swift. 82. We worship the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis of the Righteous, who are of the radiant, perspicacious, lofty, aggressive, swift, ahuric Amasha Spantas, who are righteous, free from danger, 83. (all) seven of the same mind, (all) seven of the same speech, (all) seven of the same deed and the same father and ruler, who is the Creator, Ahura Mazda, 84. of whom the one looks upon the soul of the other (which is) thinking upon "good thoughts," thinking upon "good speech," thinking upon "good acts," thinking upon Garo.nmana; whose paths are shining as they fly hither to the libations. 85. We worship . . . Righteous, and that (Frawashi) of the beneficent, eloquent Urwazisht fire, and that of brave Sraosha the companion of Ashi, who is tanu.mathra, the ahuric wielder of a heavy cudgel, and that of Nairya Sangha, 86. and that of most just Rashnu, and that of Mithra of wide pastures, and that of the Mathra Spsnta, and that of the heaven, and that of the waters, and that of the earth, and that of the plants, and that of the Cow, and that of Gaya (Marotan), and that of the blessed Righteous.

114 I The F'rawashis 87. We worship the Frawashi of righteous Gaya Marstan, who first listened to the thought and teachings of Ahura Mazda, from whom (Mazda) fashioned forth the families of the Aryan peoples, the seed of the Aryan peoples. We now worship Ashi and the Frawashi of righteous Zarathushtra the Spitamid, 88. the first who has thought the "good," the first who has spoken the "good," the first who has done the "good," the first priest, the first warrior, the first agriculturalist, the first who finds (for others), the first who causes himself to find, the first who has gained (for himself), the first who has gained (for others) the Cow and the Word and Obedience to the Word and Dominion and all the Mazda-created Good that originates in Truth; 89. who was the first priest, who was the first warrior, who was the first agriculturalist, who first turned (his) face away from the daewic and human brood; who first of the material world praised Truth, vilified the daewas, chose (the religion as) a Mazda worshipper, a Zoroastrian, an enemy of the daewas, a follower of ahuric doctrine; 90. who first of the material world spoke daewa-repudiating words which follow ahuric doctrine; who first of the material world proclaimed daewa-repudiating words which follow ahuric doctrine, who first of the material world has said that everything having to do with the daewas is unworthy of worship, unworthy of praise; who is strong, accompanied by all good life, the first teacher of the countries; 91. by whom the Ashsm (wohu) which contains all mathras was made known, (who is) ahu and ratu of the world, the praiser of Truth which is the greatest and the best and the most beautiful (?), and (who is) the interpreter of the Religion which is the best of the existing (religions); 92. whom all the Amssha Spantas, in harmony with the sun, believingly with foreknowing thought from a trusting mind, sought as the ahu and the ratu of the world, the praiser of Truth which is the greatest and the best and the most beautiful, the interpreter of the Religion which is the best of the existing (religions); 93. at whose birth and growth the plants and waters recovered, at whose birth and growth the plants and waters grew, at whose birth and growth all the beneficently created creatures called down upon themselves well-being. 94. According to our wish a priest has been born, the Spitamid Zarathushtra. Zarathushtra will worship us with libations, with strewn barasman. From now on, the good Mazdean Religion will spread out over all the seven regions.

The Frawashis I 115
95. From now on, Mithra of wide pastures will promote all supreme authorities of the countries and will pacify those in revolt. From now on, strong Apam Napat will promote all the supreme authorities of the countries and will subjugate those in revolt. 96-98. [Omitted.] 99. We worship the Frawashi of righteous Kawi Wlshtaspa, brave, personifying the Word, the ahuric wielder of a heavy cudgel, who with bow and arrow sought open space for Truth, who with bow and arrow found open space for Truth, who stood prepared for this ahuric Zarathushtrian Religion as arm and support, 100. who freed her (the Religion) who was stationary, being bound, from (her) fetters, (who) set her down (so that she was) sitting in the middle, ruling on high, unshakable, righteous, abundant in cattle and pastures, happy about (her) cattle and pastures. 101-144. [Omitted.] 145. We worship the Frawashis of the righteous men of all countries, we worship the Frawashis of the righteous women of all countries, we worship all the good, strong, beneficent Frawashis from Gaya Maratan up to the Victorious Saoshyant. 146. May the Frawashis of the Righteous come here to us immediately, may they come to us for help. They protect us even (while) we are in difficulties with visible (acts of) help, with helpful Ahura Mazda and strong Sraosha, the companion of Ashi, and the wise Mathra Spanta, which is the daewa-repudiating messenger of daewa-repudiating Ahura Mazda, which Zarathushtra appointed as helper for the material existence. 147. May you good ones settle down, you waters and you plants and you Frawashis of the Righteous; here you will be beloved (and) welcomed in this house; here the priests of the lands think upon good Truth, they raise up (their) hands for our help, O strong ones, for your worship, O strongest ones! 148. We worship now the Frawashi(s) of all those righteous men and women whose souls are to be worshipped and whose Frawashis are to be invoked. We worship now the Frawashi(s) of all those righteous men and women in whose worship righteous Ahura Mazda knows (what is) better for us. Among all these we have heard (that) Zarathushtra (was) the first, best ahuric teacher. 149. We worship now the ahu and the daena and the baodhah and the urwan and the frawashi of the first teachers (and) of the first to have

116 I The Frawashis listened to the teachings, of the righteous men and women who have won a victory for Truth. We worship now the ahu and the daena and the baodhah and the urwan and the frawashi of the righteous men and women who are next of kin, who have won a victory for Truth. 150. We worship the first teachers of the families and of the villages and of the clans and of the countries, who have been. We worship the first teachers of the families and of the villages and of the clans and of the countries, who will be. We worship the first teachers of the families and of the villages and of the clans and of the countries, who are. 151. We worship the first teachers of the families and of the villages and of the clans and of the countries, who (have) acquired a family, who (have) acquired a village, who (have) acquired a clan, who (have) acquired a country, who (have) acquired the Word, who (have) acquired the soul, who (have) acquired the good, all good things. 152. We worship Zarathushtra, the ahu and ratu, and the first teacher of all material existence, of beings the most beneficent, of beings having the best dominion, of beings the most intelligent, of beings having the most glory, of beings the most worthy of worship, of beings the most worthy of praise, of beings the one most to be pleased, of beings the most lauded, a man who is called "worshipped," "worthy of worship," "worthy of praise," just as (he is called) by each of the beings according to Truth which is best. 153. We worship this earth and we worship yonder heaven and we worship the good things which are in between, worthy of worship and worthy of praise, (which) are to be worshipped by a righteous man. 154. And we worship the souls of the harmless wild animals. Then we worship the souls of righteous men and women wherever born, whose better daenas win a victory or will win a victory or have won a victory. 155. We worship now the ahu and the daena and the baodhah and the urwan and the frawashi of the righteous men and women who, learned in the Religion, win a victory, will win a victory, have won a victory, who have won a victorv for Truth. Yenghe hatam . . . [Repeat prayer (p. 182).] Yatha ahu wairyo . . . [Repeat prayer (p. 183).] 156. May (those) Frawashis among (?) the strong, completely victorious, strong, victorious Frawashis of the Righteous, among the Frawashis of the first teachers, among the Frawashis of the next of kin come into this house, satisfied may they move about in this house.

Arddwf Sura Anahita I 117 157. Satisfied, may they wish upon this house good beneficient Ashi. May they depart from this house satisfied; may they carry (with them) hymns of praise and prescribed (ritual) acts to the Creator, Ahura Mazda, and to the Amasha Spsntas, may they not by any means go away lamenting from this house and (from that) of us Mazda worshippers.

9. Aradwi Sura Anahita
Deeply rooted in Indo-Iranian religion was the belief in the extreme sanctity of water in general and specifically of bodies of water, especially rivers. Like other divinized elements of the material world, the waters must be understood from the religious perspective to be at once a physical entity and a divine reality. For the ancient Iranians water was never a neutral, objective substance, but rather substance and divinity in one. Herodotus tells the—from the Greek perspective—ridiculous story of how Xerxes, furious at the Hellespont for having wrecked the Persian bridge across it, had it flogged with three hundred lashes and severely chastised. Such madness, we must understand, was predicated on Xerxes' perception of the Hellespont as a living divinity. One of the longest Yashts belongs to Aradwl Sura Anahita, a complex goddess, whose nature is rooted in the conception of her as the Heavenly River who feeds, so to speak, all the other rivers and streams of the world (see sect. 12.) In Pahlavi her Yasht is usually referred to as the Abdn Yasht, "Yasht belonging to the Waters." Throughout the Yasht her overt fluvial nature alternates with her anthropomorphic manifestations, sometimes to such an extent that the two are indistinguishable (sts. 7, 15). Much of what is said of her in the Yasht points to her supremacy over water. There are other aspects of her personality, however, which, when compared with non-Avestan sources, point to non-Aryan origins. The name arddwl sura andhita 'the Moist Strong Untainted' poses a number of problems. In the post-Avestan Zoroastrian tradition, the goddess is almost always referred to as simply Ardwisur. The name Anahld does occur sporadically, but in isolation from Ardwisur, and usually it is seen in astrological contexts as the name for the planet Venus. As already noted (sect. 1), Artaxerxes II invoked Anahita, along with Mithra and Ahuramazda, but never Aradwi Sura Anahita. In Greek she goes only by the name 'Avai/ris. The declension of the name in both Old Persian and Avestan shows a peculiarity. By all rights, the nominative singular feminine should be * andhita, yet it is andhita (so in Av; OPers has 'nhf). The

118 I Arddwi Sura Anahita
Greek reflects an Iranian *Anahiti, that is a feminine ending in short /. Now, the defective language of Artaxerxes' inscriptions shows that the actual language of the time was well along its way in a transition from the inflected older form to the greatly simplified Middle Persian, one in which nominal stems ending in short vowels lose their final vowels. It has been argued that both the Avestan and Old Persian reflect this change and that, further, the original name was *Andhiti. When the name was reintroduced, the identity of the original vowel having been forgotten, one was no longer sure how to give the nominative. What might this mean? The linguistic evidence seems to suggest two things: (1) the non-Avestan usage indicates that one may have to reckon with two distinct goddesses who have been united in the Avesta; (2) the incorporation of the goddess(es) into the Zoroastrian canon may be recent. It has already been pointed out that, in Old Persian and Greek, anahit(a) and 'Avail-is, respectively, occur. If this should arouse a suspicion that the name belonged to western Iran, confirmation comes from the fact that during the period of Hellenistic syncretism the cult of Anahid/'AvaiTi<; was joined to those of Artemis, Aphrodite, Cybele, Athena-Minerva, Hera, and even Magna Mater, and enjoyed great popularity throughout the Near East. A wholly unusual feature of Anahita's cult was the employment of images of the goddess. Not only does Artaxerxes mention her, but the Babylonian historian Berossus informs us that the king had many images of her made and distributed. Ancient Indo-Iranian religion did not employ images, and Herodotus explicitly states (see Introduction, p. 14) that the Persians thought it to be folly. One can only conclude that the source of Anahita images is to be located outside Iranian culture. Keeping this in mind, one must consider the extensive description of Aradwi Sura Anahita, given at the end of the Yasht (sts. 126-129), to be based on an observation of a cult image. Since nowhere else in Vedic or Avestan literature does such a detailed description of a deity's garment occur, this conclusion seems inescapable. Now, if the description of her is based on an image, and if the whole idea of sculptural representation of deities is alien to the Aryan religious mind, what might the source of her image be? The best candidate is the Babylonian goddess Ishtar (Sumerian Inanna), whose image was elaborately dressed for worship.33 The differences in dress between Ishtar and Arsdwi Sura Anahita, especially the beaver coat, show that the borrowing was not direct, rather that the idea of dressing the image was suggested by the dressing of Ishtar. The connection with Ishtar would remain weak if it were not for other correspondences. Ishtar was worshipped as a fertility goddess, a role actively played by Arsdwl Sura Anahita. More important for the comparison, Ishtar was a goddess of war and patroness of the palace. It can hardly be an accident

Arsdwi Sura Anahita I 119
that a greater part of the Ardwlsur Yasht is taken up with the goddess's martial traits and her patronage of heroes of Iranian legend. As goddess of war, Ishtar rides upon a lion. This feature, though not found in the Avesta, occurs on the widespread Kushan coins of NANA (Nanaia), a goddess who in terms of Iranian syncretism is to be identified with Anahita. The foregoing discussion may be summarized as follows. The Avestan Aradwl Sura Anahita is a syncretistic goddess composed of two major and independent elements. On the one hand, she manifests the ancient IndoIranian idea of the Heavenly River who brings the waters to the rivers and streams of the earth. On the other hand, she is a goddess of uncertain origin, who, though maintaining many of her original traits, came to be associated with the cult of Inanna-Ishtar. The merging of the two in the Avesta must be a late syncretistic effort on the part of Zoroastrians anxious to bring Anahita into the fold. The origin of Anahita is, as I have said, uncertain. One clue may be present in her Yasht, however: the description of her beaver coat. It is obvious from the nature of that description that beavers were not known to the audience for whom the Yasht was redacted. The Old World beaver (Castor fiber] did not range south of the Caspian nor along the rivers and lakes of the Aral-Caspian steppe, but was plentiful in the Caucasus. In fact, Herodotus (IV.I09) mentions beaver among the Scythians, and in Roman imperial times, beaver from the Black Sea area (called 'Pontic dog', canis ponticus) was an item of active trade. Perhaps Anahita was a local goddess of the extreme northwest whose cult, for whatever reasons, diffused throughout western Iran, eventually to join with that of Inanna-Ishtar. Returning to Arodwl Sura Anahita's Aryan heritage, one finds that, although she represents the commonly shared concept of the Heavenly River, she has no counterpart in the Vedas bearing the same name or a name remotely resembling hers. Lommel, however, in an important article,34 set forth a body of evidence to show that she actually is the river goddess Sarasvati. Quite apart from the obvious fact that Arsdwl Sura Anahita and Sarasvati are both identified as the Heavenly River, correspondences such as their association with rain, fertility, and sacred study also point to the very real possibility of common origins. Unconvincing is Lommel's claim that aradwi sura, and anahita are nothing more than epithets of a *HarahwatI, as are his attempts to connect Aradwl Sura Anahita *HarahwatI to Sarasvati through the geographic province name HarahwatI (Arachosia). The Ardwlsur Yasht should be read with an eye to a diversity of origins, which is reflected in chronological levels of the text. The redaction of the text, at the least, must be late Achaemenid. If the reason for the importance of this goddess for Iran's legendary history is her association with

120 I Aradwi Sura Anahita
Ishtar, then one shall have to rule that all the Kardahs describing her aid to heroes are late adaptations (see sect. 10), albeit of ancient materials. Concern for fertility and procreation, though not a necessary attribute of female deities, is too general for one to be able to decide whether Aradwl Sura Anahita owes this to Ishtar, * Anahita, or *HarahwatI. The truth may be that it was common to all and hence facilitated the syncretism of the Ardwisur Yasht.

Arddwl Sura Anahita (Aban) Yasht (Yasht 5)
I 1. Ahura Mazda said to Zarathushtra Spitama: On my account, worship her, O Zarathushtra Spitama, Aradwl Sura Anahita who spreads abroad, is healing, opposed to the daewas, a follower of ahuric doctrine, who is worthy to be worshipped by the material world (and) worthy to be praised by the material world, who is a crop-increasing ashawan, a herd-increasing ashawan, an ashawan who makes the country prosper, 2. who purifies the semen of all males, who purifies for conception the wombs of all females, who gives easy delivery to all females, who gives milk to all females regularly and at the proper time; 3. (worship her,) the vast, famed afar, who is as great as all these waters which flow forth upon the earth, who forcefully flows forth from Mount Hukairya to the Wouru.kasha sea. 4. All the shores of the Wouru.kasha sea surge, the whole middle surges as Aradwl Sura Anahita flows along into it, as she streams along into it, which has a thousand bays and a thousand outlets; and each of these bays and each of these outlets is a forty days' ride for a man riding a good horse. 5. And the outlet of this one water will spread out to all the seven continents and (the outlet) of this one water flows down in summer and winter alike. She (Anahita) purifies the waters, the semen of males, the wombs of females, (and) the milk of females, 6. whom I, Ahura Mazda, brought forth . . . ( ? ) for the prosperity of house, settlement, clan and land, and for the protection, care, oversight, guarding, and surveillance (of these). 7. Then Aradwl Sura Anahita went away, O Zarathushtra, from the Creator, Mazda. Very beautiful were (her) white arms stronger than a horse's. Wearing beautiful sleeves, very strong in her arms, flowing, she showed herself off, thinking this in her mind:

Arddwi Sura Anahita I 121
8. Who will praise me? Who will worship (me) with purified, filtered libations containing haoma and milk? Whom shall I, friendly (and) agreeable, accompany for the sake of (his) . . . ( ? ) and cheerfulness? 9. On account of her rayi and glory, I shall worship her with audible prayer, I shall worship her with well-recited prayer, Aradwl Sura Anahita, with libations. Thus may you be directed by (this) invocation, thus may you be better worshipped, O Aradwl Sura Anahita, with haoma (mixed) with milk. . . . [Continue with Ny. 1.16 (p. 183).] II 10. [Repeat st. 1.] 11. who, in front, drives (her) chariot, (who) holds the reins of the chariot; riding in this chariot (and) yearning for a man, (she is) thinking this in her mind: Who will worship (me). . . . [Continue with sts. 8-9.] Ill 12. [Repeat st. 1.] 13. whose four draft animals, white, all of the same color (and) breed, tall, overcome the hostilities of all enemies, of daewas and men, of sorcerers and witches, of tyrants, kawis, and karapans. On account of her rayi . . . [continue with st. 9]. IV 14. [Repeat st. 1.] 15. strong, regal, tall, beautiful, in whom flow down by day and by night as many falling waters as all the waters which flow forth on the earth. She who is strong flows forth! On account of her rayi . . . [continue with st. 9]. V 16. [Repeat st. 1.] 17. He who is the Creator, Ahura Mazda, worshipped her in the Aryana Waejah of the good Daitya with haoma (mixed) with milk, barosman, skill of tongue and thought, with speech, action, libations, and correctly uttered words. 18. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arsdwl Sura Anahita, that I may instigate the son of Pourushaspa, righteous Zarathushtra, to think according to the (true) Religion, to speak according to the (true) Religion, to act according to the (true) Religion. 19. Aradwl Sura Anahita then granted him this boon, (she) who always grants a boon to him who offers (her) libations, (who,) pious, worships (and) entreats (her). On account of her rayi . . . [continue with st. 9],

722 / Arddwi Surd Anahita
VI 20. [Repeat st. 1.] 21. At the foot of Mount Kara, Paradhata Haoshyangha offered her one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 22. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Aradwl Sura Anahita, that I may become the highest power over all the countries, over daewas and men, over sorcerers and witches, over tyrants, kawis, and karapans; that I may strike down two-thirds of the daewas from Mazandaran and of the drugwants from Warana. 23. [Repeat st. 19.] VII 24. [Repeat st. 1.] 25. Regal Yima, whose herds are good, offered her, before the peak of Hukairya, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 26. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arsdwl Sura Anahita, that I may become the highest power over all the countries, over daewas and men, over sorcerers and witches, over tyrants, kawis, and karapans; that I may take from the daewas both goods and profit, both flocks and herds, both contentment and renown. 27. [Repeat st. 19.] VIII 28. [Repeat st. 1.] 29. Three-headed Azhi Dahaka offered her, in the country of Bavri, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 30. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Aradwl Sura Anahita, that I may make unpopulated all the seven continents. 31. Aradwl Sura Anahita did not grant him this boon. On account of her rayi . . . [continue with st. 9]. IX 32. [Repeat st. 1.] 33. Thraetaona, the prince of the mighty house of Athvya, offered her, in quadrangular(?) Warsna, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, and ten thousand sheep. 34. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arodwl Sura Anahita, that I may be victorious over Azhi Dahaka who has three mouths, three heads, six eyes, a thousand perceptions, the very powerful daewic liar, the evil deceiver of (?) the world, the most

Aradwi Sura Andhita I 123
powerful liar which Angra Mainyu brought forth against the material world to destroy the world of Truth; and may I drive away his two wives Sanghawak and Aranawak who rise up with most beautiful bodies for the household, those two who are most excellent. 35. [Repeat st. 19.] X 36. [Repeat st. 1.] 37. Strong-willed Ksrasaspa offered her, within sight of lake Pishinah, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 38. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Aradwl Sura Anahita, that I may be victorious over Gandarava whose heels are yellow; by the surging shores of the Wouru.kasha sea may I storm the liar's strong house which (stands) on (this) broad, round (earth) whose ends are distant. 39. [Repeat st. 19.] XI 40. [Repeat st. 1.] 41. The Turanian scoundrel Frangrasyan offered her, in (his) cave in the earth, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 42. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Aradwl Sura Anahita, that I may obtain that Xwaranah which is floating in the middle of the Wouru.kasha sea, (and) which belongs to the Aryan peoples born and unborn and to righteous Zarathushtra. 43. [Repeat st. 31.] XII 44. [Repeat st. 1.] 45. Brave, mighty Kawi Usan offered her, on Mount 3razifya, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 46. [Repeat st. 22, through " . . . karapans."] 47. [Repeat st. 19.] XIII 48. [Repeat st. 1.] 49. The hero who consolidated (?) the power of the Aryan countries, Haosrawah, offered her, within sight of the deep lake Caecasta35 with a wide expanse of water, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 50. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arodwi Sura Anahita, that I may become the highest power . . . [con-

124 I Arddwi Surd Andhitd
tinue with st. 22 through ". . . karapans"]; that, of all the teams of horses, I may be foremost to drive along the racecourse which is long. Indeed, I shall not cut (?) the turning post (? with my chariot) when (?) the scoundrel, Nsrsmanah, competes against me with (his) horses. 51. [Repeat st. 19.] XIV 52. [Repeat st. 1.] 53. The brave warrior Tusa worshipped her at the manes of (his) horses, requesting strength for (his) teams, health for himself, much watchfulness against enemies, the ability to overcome hostile, unfriendly opponents at a blow. 54. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arsdwl Sura Anahita, that I may be victorious over the brave sons of Waesaka at the pass Xshathro.suka, the highest in the lofty, holy Kangha range36; that I may strike down the Turanian peoples with one hundred blows for (every fifty blows. . . . [Continue with Yt. 10.43 from " . . . and with one thousand blows" (p. 64).] 55. [Repeat st. 19.] XV 56. [Repeat st. 1.] 57. The brave sons of Waesaka offered her, at the pass Xshathro.suka, the highest in the lofty, holy Kangha range, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 58. Then they entreated her: Grant us this boon, O good, most strong Aradwl Sura Anahita, that we may be victorious over the brave warrior Tusa; that we may strike down the Aryan peoples with one hundred blows. . . . [Continue with Yt. 10.43 from ". . . for every (fifty) blows" (p. 64).] 59. Aradwl Sura Anahita did not grant them this boon. [Repeat st. 9.] XVI 60. [Repeat st. 1.] 61. The clever boatman Paurwa worshipped her as brave victorious Thraetaona caused him to fly up in the form of a vulture. 62. Thus he flew for three days (and) three nights in the direction of his own house. He could not descend. At the end of the third night he came to the dawn, to the lighting up of the early (dawn). At the dawn he invoked Arsdwl Sura Anahita: 63. O Aradwi Sura Anahita, come immediately to help me! Bring me assistance now! I shall bring you, at the Rangha river, one thousand

Aradwi Sura Anahita I 125
purified, filtered libations containing haoma and milk if, living, I reach the Ahum-created earth, the house which is my own. 64. Aradwi Sura Anahita flowed up to (him) in the form of a beautiful, very strong maiden, well built, high girdled, erect, noble in respect to (her) illustrious lineage, in shoes worn to the ankle with bright golden laces. 65. She took hold of his arms. Soon it was, not long, that she hastily restored (him) [to the Ahura-created earth, to his own house] just as healthy and safe as before. 66. [Repeat st. 19.] XVII 67. [Repeat st. 1.] 68. Jamaspa offered her, as he perceived far off the army of the daewaworshipping drugwants approaching in battle array, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows (and) ten thousand sheep. 69. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arsdwl Sura Anahita, that I shall be attended by as great a victory as all the other Aryans. 70. [Repeat st. 19.] XVIII 71. [Repeat st. 1.] 72. Ashawazdah, the son of Pourudhaxshti, and Ashawazda and Thrita, the sons of Sayuzhdri, offered her in the presence of (?) the lofty Ahura, lordly, regal Apam Napat whose horses are swift, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 73. Then they entreated her: Grant us this boon, O good, most strong Arsdwl Sura Anahita, that we may be victorious over the challenging Turanian Danu and over Kara Asabana and Wara Asabana and bravest Duraekaeta, in the battles in this world. 74. Aradwl Sura Anahita then granted them, too, this boon. . . . [Continue with st. 19.]
XIX 75. [Repeat st. 1.] 76. Wistauru the Naotarid worshipped her at the WitahwaitI37 river, with correctly uttered speech, with words speaking thus: 77. By this truth, by this correctly spoken (statement), O Arsdwl Sura Anahita, (it is the case) that as many daewa worshippers have been slain by me as I bear hairs on my head. So, you leave, O Arsdwl Sura Anahita, a dry passage across good WitawhaitI for me!

726 / Arddwi Sura Anahita
78. Aradwl Sura Anahita flowed up to (him) in the form of a beautiful, very strong maiden, well built, high girdled, erect, noble in respect to (her) illustrious lineage, dressed in golden shoes, who was completely adorned, splendid. Some waters she made stand still, the others she (made) flow onward. She left a dry passage across good Wltahwaiti. 79. [Repeat st. 19.] XX 80. [Repeat st. 1.] 81. Yoishta, of the Fryanids, offered her, on the island Paitipa of the Rangha, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 082. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Aradwl Sura Anahita, that I may be victorious over the evil-thinking, tenebrous Axtya, and may I answer his ninety-nine difficult, maliciously asked questions when the evil-thinking, tenebrous Axtya will question me. 83. [Repeat st. 19.] XXI 84. [Repeat st. 1.] 85. to whom beneficent Ahura Mazda spoke: Return, descend, O Arsdwi Sura Anahita, from those stars to the Ahura-created earth! The brave lords, the rulers of the countries, (and) the sons of the rulers of the countries will worship you. 86. Also, brave men will entreat you for possession of swift horses and for the superiority of (their) xwaranah. The athrawans who memorize (and) the athrawan students will entreat you for wisdom as well as for beneficent and ahura-given victoriousness and conquering superiority. 87. Maidens in marriageable position will ask you for generous estates and for a strong householder. Young wives in labor will ask you for easy childbirth. You, O Aradwl Sura Anahita, shall be able to grant these (things) to them! 88. Then, O Zarathushtra, Aradwi Sura Anahita went away from those stars to the ahura-created earth. Then Arsdwl Sura Anahita said: 89. O upright, righteous Spitamid, Ahura Mazda created you as ratu of the material world; Ahura Mazda created me protectress of all ashawan existence. Through my insight and xwarsnah, cattle and draft animals graze about over the earth. And men with two feet . . .(?)!, indeed, protect. . . (?) these, all the Mazda-created good stemming from Truth as a stockyard (?) protects the livestock.

Arddwi Surd Andhitd I 127 90. Zarathushtra asked her, Arodwl Sura Anahita: O Aradwl Sura Anahita, with what prayer shall I worship you, with what prayer shall I sacrifice in order that Mazda may make for you a course, not on this side, (but) above the sun, so that the serpent(s) and the spiders and the scorpions and the spiders and those poisonous spiders (?) may not deceive you? 91. Then Arodwl Sura Anahita said: O upright, righteous Spitamid, you should worship me with this prayer, sacrifice (to me) with this prayer from sunrise to sunset. You may drink this libation of mine (as well as?) the wise, skillful athrawans who have investigated the dictates and interpreted the teachings, who (are) tanu.mathra. 92. Let not someone afflicted with . . . (?), nor a feverish person, nor a eunuch (?), nor a . . .(?), nor an impotent person (?), nor a woman, nor someone (who is) instructed (but) does not recite the Gathas, nor a leper who has been isolated, consume this libation of mine! 93. I shall not be present at those libations which, (though dedicated) to me, the blind and the deaf and the dumb and the foolish and the insane and the epileptic consume: (that is,) those marked with the mark with which, according to the thinking of everyone, those of much intelligence are not marked. Let not a chicken-breasted person, nor a hunchback, nor a toothless drugwant drink any of this libation of mine! 94. Zarathushtra asked her, Arodwi Sura Anahita: O Aradwl Sura Anahita, now what becomes of the libations to you when the daewaworshipping drugwants bring (them) to you after sunset? 95. Then Aradwl Sura Anahita said: O upright righteous Spitamid Zarathushtra, the frightful (?), the . . . (?), the slanderous (daewa worshippers) install themselves by these (libations) which (they bring) to me after (sunset). They drive six hundred and a thousand (strong). . . . (?) 96. I shall worship the golden Mount Hukairya, honored by all from which Arsdwl Sura Anahita flows forth at the height of one thousand men. She reigns over much xwaranah, as do all these rivers which flow forth on the earth, she who, powerful, flows forth. On account of her rayi . . . [continue with st. 9]. XXII 97. [Repeat st. 1.] 98. round whom stood the Mazda worshippers with barasman in their hands. The Hwowids worshipped her; the Naotarids worshipped her. The Hwowids asked for wealth; the Naotarids, for possession of swift horses. Soon thereafter the Hwowids became the strongest in terms of

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wealth; soon thereafter the Naotarid, Wlshtaspa, came to possess the swiftest horses of these countries. 99. [Repeat st. 74.] XXIII 100. [Repeat st. 1.] 101. . . . which has one thousand bays and one thousand outlets; and each of these bays and each of these outlets is a forty days' ride for a man riding a good horse. At each outlet stands a well-built house, splendid with one hundred windows, well-made with one thousand columns, strong with ten thousand beams. 102. Moreover, in (each) house every couch for lying (on) is beautifully spread out, perfumed, (and) provided with cushions. Aradwl Sura Anahita, O Zarathushtra, flows at the height of one thousand men. She reigns over as much xwaronah as all these rivers which flow forth on the earth, she, (Arsdwl Sura Anahita,) who, being powerful, flows forth. XXIV 103. [Repeat st. 1.] 104. Righteous Zarathushtra worshipped her in the Aryan land of the good Daitya with haoma (mixed) with milk. . . . [Continue with Ny. 1.16 (p. 183).] 105. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arsdwl Sura Anahita, that I may instigate the son of Aurwat.aspa, brave Kawi Wlshtaspa, to think according to the (true) Religion, to speak according to the (true) Religion, to act according to the (true) Religion. 106. [Repeat st. 19.] XXV 107. [Repeat st. 1.] 108. The highly intelligent Kawi Wlshtaspa offered her, within sight of the river Frazdanu, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 109. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Arsdwi Sura Anahita, that I may be victorious over Tathryawant whose religion is evil, and Pashana the daewa worshipper, and drugwant Arajat.aspa in the battles in this world. 110. [Repeat st. 19.] XXVI 111. [Repeat st. 1.] 112. Zairl.wari, the fighter on horseback, offered her, within sight of the

Arddwi Sura Anahita I 129
waters of the Daitya, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, (and) ten thousand sheep. 113. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Aradwl Sura Anahita, that I may be victorious over the daewa worshipper Humayaka with the extended claws (?), who possesses eight strongholds (?), and over the drugwant Arsjat.aspa in the battles in this world. 114. [Repeat st. 9.] XXVII 115. [Repeat st. 1.] 116. Wandaramanish Arsjat.aspa offered her, at the Wouru.kasha sea, one hundred stallions, one thousand cows, and ten thousand sheep. 117. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, O good, most strong Argdwi Sura Anahita, that I may be victorious over brave Kawi Wishtaspa (and) Zairi.wari the fighter on horseback, that I may smite down the Aryan peoples with one hundred blows for (every) fifty blows. . . . [Continue with Yt. 10.43 from " . . . and with one thousand blows" (p. 64).] 118. [Repeat st. 31.] XXVIII 119. [Repeat st. 1.] 120. whose four stallions Ahura Mazda created: Wind, Rain, Clouds, and Hail. By urinating (?), O Spitamid Zarathushtra, they let it rain, snow, drizzle, and hail on her (?); who has so many missiles—nine hundred and a thousand. 121. [Repeat st. 96.] XXIX 122. [Repeat st. 1.] 123. Good Aradwl Sura Anahita stands, wearing a golden plastron, yearning for the prayer at the libation, thinking this in her mind: 124. [Repeat sts. 8-9.]
XXX 125. [Repeat st. 1.] 126. who, Aradwl Sura Anahita, is wont to be seen in the form of a beautiful, very strong maiden, well built, high girdled, erect, noble in respect to (her?) illustrious lineage, dressed in a long-sleeved, muchembroidered, golden coat. 127. Holding barssman in her hand in the correct way, showing off her four-lobed golden earrings, Aradwl Sura Anahita of good birth is wont to wear a necklace about her beautiful throat. She laces herself around

130 I Aradwi Surd Anahita the waist both so that (her) breasts (may be) well formed and so that they swell out. 128. Above (on her head), Aradwl Sura Anahita binds a beautiful, wellmade, golden diadem (studded) with one hundred stars, (holding) eight buns of hair (?), made like a chariot body, adorned with pennants, having a prominent rim. 129. Aradwl Sura Anahita wears beaver clothes of thirty (male) beaver which have (each) begotten four (young). [That is, the female beaver is most beautiful because she is most dense-haired. The female beaver is an aquatic animal.] Normally, at the appropriate time, replete with silver and gold, the furs shine on the beholders. 130. Now then, O good, most powerful Arsdwl Sura Anahita, I ask for this boon, that I, very beloved (to you?), may win great estates characterized by abundant ripening (of the crops and) large shares, where there are neighing horses, rattling wheels, (and) snaking whips, where there is much to eat, where meats are stored up, where there are fragrant aromas. In the storage rooms I (?) have deposited, as far as one could wish, copiously, all (things requisite) for a good life . . . (?). 131. Now, then, O good Aradwl Sura Anahita, I ask for two coursers, for both a two-legged courser and a four-legged one; that two-legged courser (is he) who should be swift when mounted, skilled at turning the chariots forward in battles; that four-legged one (is he) who will rout both flanks of the (hostile) army which has a broad front, both the left and the right, and the right and the left. 132. On account of this worship, on account of this praise, return, descend, O Aradwi Sura Anahita, from those stars to the Ahuracreated earth, to the worshipping zaotar, to the hand overflowing (with libations), for help to the pious libation-offering worshipper, (you, who are) the giver of a boon to one who asks, so that these heroes may return victorious, like (those) of Kawi Wlshtaspa.

10. Ashi
Ashi is a goddess who personifies the concept of 'reward, recompense', which is the meaning of her name. As an appellative, ashi is employed in both Gathic and Young Avestan to indicate both favorable and unfavorable recompense for one's actions, depending, of course, on the moral quality of such actions. As a goddess Ashi is, for the most part, considered to be only 'Good Reward' (ashi wanghwi), and, as her Yasht makes

As hi I 131
clear, her area of concern is the good things of life, especially domestic felicities. Because of this her Yasht contains a treasure of information on the ancient Iranian conception of the ideal household. Ashi's genealogy is carefully spelled out. She is Ahura Mazda's and Spanta Armaiti's daughter; the sister of the Amgsha Spantas and the Mazdean religion; her brother is Sraosha. These family connections, together with the sensuous description of her infatuation with Zarathushtra (sts. 21-22), show how deeply her worship must have been rooted in Zarathushtrianism. Although some scholars have seen in her a mere colorless, abstract deity (like the Amssha Spantas) whose being acquired flesh and blood through wholesale borrowings from others, particularly Aradwl Sura Anahita, it is hard to reconcile this view with the vividly individual picture of her as she is portrayed in the Avesta. While some borrowing must have occurred, her individuality is unimpaired. One might even go so far as to question whether Aradwi Sura Anahita has not also borrowed from her. Like Anahita, Ashi is mounted on a chariot and, like Anahita, she is concerned with human fertility. There are significant differences between them, however. It should especially be emphasized that Ashi is preoccupied with human sexuality. Whereas Arsdwl Sura Anahita forbids people with a variety of deformities and diseases to participate in her worship, Ashi excludes only those who are sexually dysfunctional. Ashi's promotion of sexual potency is, furthermore, restricted to situations in which sexuality may be legitimately exercised. A most curious myth is that found in sts. 55-56. The Naotarids were the clan of Zarathushtra's patron WIshtaspa; the Turanians were the barbarians. One might perhaps think of ritual contest involving a search for Ashi by children; but, in any case, the meaning is totally obscure.

Ashi (Ard) Yasht (Yasht 17)
I 1. We worship good Ashi (who is) regal, tall, beautiful, good to be worshipped, whose (chariot) wheels hum, powerful, who bestows profit, who is curative, who has broad insight, (is) strong, 2. the daughter of Ahura Mazda, the sister of the Amssha Spantas, who by reason of (her) insight drives forth before all the Saoshyants, And she bestows, at her pleasure, innate insight upon him, and she comes to help him who invokes (her) both close by and at a distance. He who shall worship Ashi with libations shall worship Mithra with libations. 3. On account of her rayi and glory, I shall worship her with audible

132 I Ashi prayer; I shall worship her with properly performed worship, good Ashi, with libations. We worship good Ashi with haoma (mixed) with milk. . . . [Continue withNy. 1.16 (p. 183).] II 4. [Repeat st. 1.] 5. Homage to Haoma and to the Mathra and to righteous Zarathushtra! [Even so, homage to Haoma, since all other intoxicants are accompanied by Wrath with the bloody cudgel; but the intoxication which is Haoma's is accompanied by Truth itself.] 6. O good Ashi, O beautiful Ashi, O radiant Ashi, shining joyfully with (your) rays! O Ashi, (you who) give good fortune to these men whom you accompany! The house becomes sweet-smelling in which good, strong Ashi sets (her) feet, agreeably minded for a long succession (of descendants). 7. Those men whom you accompany, good Ashi, govern estates where there is much to eat, where meats are stored up, where there are fragrant aromas, in which there are a spread-out couch and other valued possessions. Hail (to him) whom you accompany! And (she,) powerful (and) manifold (?), accompanies me. 8. The houses of those whom you accompany, good Ashi, stay well constructed (?), rich in cattle foremost for long support. Hail (to him). . . . [Continue with st. 7.] 9. The couches of those whom you accompany, good Ashi, stay nicely spread, sweetly perfumed, well prepared, provided with cushions, with legs laced with gold. Hail (to him). . . . [Continue with st. 7.] 10. The respected wives of those whom you accompany, good Ashi, are wont to sit on beautiful couches provided with cushions, grooming themselves, decorating (their clothing) with clasps, displaying fourlobed (golden) earrings and gold-adorned necklaces, (thinking to themselves), "When will the master of the house come to us? When shall we joyfully enjoy (his) dear body?" Hail (to him). . . . [Continue with st. 7.] 11. The maidens of those whom you accompany, good Ashi, sit with . . . ( ? ) feet, binding their waists, with active bodies (and) long fingers. [The bodies (?) of such (girls?) are of (such) beauty that (they are) a pleasure for those who watch (them)]. Hail (to him). . . . [Continue with st. 7.]

Ashi I 133 12. The horses of those whom you accompany, good Ashi, inspire fear; swift, snorting impetuously, they pull the fast chariot, strain at the leather; they convey the brave praiser (?) whose horses are swift, whose chariot is sturdy, whose spears are sharp and have long shafts, the far-shooting archer, pursuing the enemy from behind, slaying the foe in front. Hail (to him). . . . [Continue with st. 7.] 13. The firm-humped, very spirited camels of those whom you accompany, good Ashi, inspire fear when in rut, fighting with each other they rise up (?) from the ground. Hail (to him). . . . [Continue with st. 7.] 14. A merchant brings silver and gold in a cask (?) from foreign lands and splendid tailored (?) clothes to those whom you accompany, good Ashi. Hail (to him). . . . [Continue with st. 7.] 15. Look away from me, (but) turn your grace toward me, tall Ashi! You are well created (?) (and) of good lineage. You are able to give xwaranah to (my) body, according to (your) desire. 16. Your father is Ahura Mazda, the greatest of gods, the best of gods. (Your) mother, Spanta Armaiti. Your brother is good Sraosha the companion of Ashi [and powerful lofty Rashnu and Mithra of wide pastures who has ten thousand spies (and) a thousand ears]. Your sister is the Mazdean Religion. 17. Good Ashi who is tall takes her stand as a charioteer, worthy to be praised by the gods, immovable from the straightest (paths), speaking with words: Who are you who invoke me whose voice is the very best I have heard among those who invoke me? 18. Thereupon he spoke out: (I am) Zarathushtra the Spitamid, who was the first man to praise Asha Wahishta, to worship Ahura Mazda, to worship the Amssha Spantas, at whose birth and growth the plants and waters recovered, at whose birth and growth the plants and waters grew, 19. at whose birth and growth Angra Mainyu fled the broad round earth whose ends are distant. Thus, evil Angra Mainyu, full of destruction, muttered: All the gods could not drag (?) me forth against my will, but Zarathushtra alone drove me away against my will. 20. He smites me with the Ahuna wairya, so great a weapon as a stone the size of a house. He scorches me with the Asha wahishta, as it were with molten metal. The Spitamid Zarathushtra who alone banished me made it better for me to abandon this earth.

134 I Ashi 21. Then tall, good Ashi spoke thus: Draw nearer to me, O upright, righteous Spitamid. Lean against my chariot. The Spitamid Zarathushtra drew nearer to her. He leaned against her chariot. 22. Then she caresses him with her left arm and her right, with her right arm and her left, speaking thus with words: You are beautiful, O Zarathushtra; you are handsome, O Spitamid—with beautiful calves and long arms. You have been granted glory for your body and long(lasting) well-being for your soul, in so much as I have (now) proclaimed this to you. On account of her rayi . . . [Continue with st. 3.]
Ill 23. [Repeat st. 1.] 24. At the foot of beautiful, Mazda-created Mount Hara, Haoshyangha Paradhata worshipped her. 25. Then he entreated her: Grant me this boon, good tall Ashi, that I may be victorious over all the daewas from Mazandaran, so that, frightened, I may not out of terror flee before the daewas, (rather) may all the daewas, unwilling, frightened, flee before me; frightened may they run into darkness. 26. Good tall Ashi circled (him), she went around (him). Haoshyangha Paradhata obtained the boon. On account of her rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. 27-52. (A suppliant list which includes Yima, Thraetaona, Haoma, Haosrawah, Zarathushtra, and Wishtaspa.) X 53. [Repeat st. 1.] 54. Then good tall Ashi said: Let not any (of the following) have a share of these libations of mine which (men) bring to me: neither a man whose semen is obstructed, nor a woman past (the age of) menstruation, nor a prepubescent boy, nor a girl who has not been approached (sexually) by men. 55. When the Turanians and the swift-horsed Naotarids frightened me, then I concealed myself under the foot of a . . . (?) bull. Then they drove me out of hiding—the prepubescent boys, the girls who have not been approached (sexually) by men. 56. When also the Turanians and the swift-horsed Naotarids frightened me, then too I concealed myself under the neck of a sheep, of a ram with a hundred . . . (?). Then too they drove me out of hiding—the

Sraosha I 135 prepubescent boys, the girls who have not been approached (sexually) by men. 57. Tall, good Ashi lamented (with her) first lament in respect to the woman who has not given birth to a son: Do not frequent her house, do not lie down on her couch! What am I to do with her? Should I go forth to the vault of heaven? Should I turn back to the earth? 58. Tall, good Ashi lamented (with her) second lament in respect to that woman who bears that son sired by (her) husband (but) bears (him) for another man: What am I to do with her? Should I go forth to the vault of heaven? Should I turn back to the earth?" 59. Tall, good Ashi lamented (with her) third lament: This is, for me, the most awful deed (which) terrible men carry out, that they abduct unmarried girls. [They rape (them).] What am I to do with them? Should I go forth to the vault of heaven? Should I turn back to the earth? 60. Then Ahura Mazda said: O beautiful Ashi created by the Creator, do not go forth to the vault of heaven, do not turn back to the earth! Here, walk around the interior part of my beautiful, royal house. 61. I shall worship you with this rite, I shall pay you worship with this rite as Wishtaspa worshipped you in sight of the river Daitya. The zaotar should raise (his) voice high, standing behind the barssman. I shall worship you with this rite, I shall pay you worship with this rite, o beautiful Ashi created by the Creator. On account of her rayi . . . [continue with st. 3].

11. Sraosha
Sraosha is a deity who, at least from the time of Zarathushtra, has played an important role in Iranian religion. His worship was so deep-rooted in Iranian religious custom that he survived Islam to continue in an altered state as the angel Surosh. He is also the only deity to have two Yashts dedicated to him, namely Yasna 57 and Yasht 11 (Srosh Yasht Hadhoxt). He name itself, derived from the verb 'to hear' (sru-), means something like 'obedience, discipline'. Unlike many abstract deities who, like the Amssha Spsntas, have quite empty personalities, god Obedience is a flesh-and-blood figure of some complexity. Sraosha does not appear in the Gathas as an Amssha Spsnta, but is closely allied with them. In Yasna 33, for example, Zarathushtra contrasts Disobedience (asrushti) and Evil Mind (st. 4) with "Obedience which is

136 I Sraosha
greatest of all" (wispa.mazishtam sdraosham) and Good Mind (st. 5); or, again, in Y. 33.14, he mentions Sraosha in connection with Dominion and Truth. But whereas he remains definitely an abstraction for Zarathushtra* in the Younger Avesta he takes on a very different aspect. We have already remarked how empty Ahura Mazda and especially the Amgsha Spsntas are in the post-Gathic literature. The fact that Sraosha dramatically gains substance has led to the suspicion that he was already an important deity of the popular religion outside Zarathushtrian circles. Were this the case, Zarathushtra evidently assumed him into his own system by stripping him of his various attributes, which did not harmonize with Zarathushtra's generally abstract mode of thought. Recently, Boyce has made the attractive suggestion that Sraosha may somehow be connected with the Vedic deity Brhaspati (also known as Brahamanaspati).38 While not going so far as to claim a generic relationship, she has brought to light a striking number of structural parallels between the two. One of Sraosha's primary functions is his mastery of prayer and sacrifice. Indeed, his role as an intermediary between man and the divine via prayer is what perpetuated his veneration into Iranian Islam. Now, it is mastery over prayer that is the defining characteristic of Brhaspati, whose name means 'Lord of Prayer or Sacred Rite' (brh-, brahman-). Like Sraosha, Brhaspati opposes the particularly demonic forces. Whereas most Vedic gods combat demons by force of arms, Brhaspati, often in concert with the Angirases (see p. 105), employs the magic power of song to destroy his enemies. In Iranian religion, even though Sraosha does wield his terrible, bladed club, his distinctive weapon is sacred speech (mathra). He is also the first divine ritualist. A further interesting similarity is that both Brhaspati and Sraosha are closely allied with the war gods Indra and Mithra. One might well suppose that Sraosha's martial traits derive from his association with Mithra. There are, however, important points of difference between Sraosha and Brhaspati. Brhaspati is, in the opinion of many scholars, a creation of the priestly caste and as such appears to manifest the concerns of only this elite class. Sraosha, on the contrary, was deeply rooted in popular piety. He is singled out as the youthful protector of the poor, women, and defenseless people in general. As well as being a demon slayer, protector of the defenseless, and intermediary, he is a constant companion of the goddess Ashi (Reward). His standing epithet is ashya, which means 'connected with Ashi, i.e., companion, friend of Ashi'. Since rewards can be realized in both this world and the next, Sraosha became, in later Zoroastrianism, the guide of the soul of the deceased on its journey across the Cinwat bridge. Together with Mithra and Rashnu, he also came to serve as judge of the dead.

Sraosha I 137

Sraosha (Srosh) Yasht
Yasna 57
1. [Omitted.] 2. We worship Sraosha, the companion of Ashi, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, who as the first in the creation (?) of Mazda, at the spread barasman worshipped Ahura Mazda, worshipped the Amasha Spantas, worshipped the Protector and Creator (Thvorsshtar) who both created all the creatures. 3. On account of his rayi and glory, on account of his power and victoriousness, on account of his worship of the gods, I shall worship him, Sraosha, the companion of Ashi, with libations, and (also I shall worship) good tall Ashi and handsome Nairya Sangha. May victorious Sraosha the companion of Ashi come to help us! 4. [Omitted.] II 5. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, 6. who first strewed barasman—three sticks and five sticks and seven sticks and nine sticks—up to the knees, [up to the middle of the legs,] for the worship, praise, propitiation, and proclaiming of the Amssha Spantas. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4].
Ill 7. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, 8. who first recited the five Gathas of righteous Zarathushtra the Spitamid, line by line, stanza by stanza, together with commentary, together with the interpretation, for the worship, praise, propitiation, proclaiming of the Amasha Spsntas. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4]. IV 9. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, 10. who constructs a strong house for the poor man and woman after sunset, who smites Wrath with (his) devastating weapon, (inflicting) a gory wound, and then beats (him) to death (by) smashing his head, just as the strong (beats) the weaker. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4].

I

138 I Sraosha
V 11. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, brave, swift, powerful, bold, strong, of high intelligence, 12. who returns from all battles triumphant to the assembly of the Amasha Spsntas. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-^]. VI 13. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, the strongest of youths, the bravest of youths, the most vigorous of youths, the swiftest of youths, the most feared, (even) at a distance, of youths. O Mazdeans, zealously pursue the worship of Sraosha the companion of Ashi! 14. Far from this house, far from this settlement, far from this clan, far from this country go evil calamities, famines—in whose house victorious Sraosha the companion of Ashi is satiated (with food) (and) received hospitably and the righteous man who is predominantly characterized by good thoughts, good speech, (and) good deeds. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3-4]. VII 15. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, who is the victor over the kayadha, who is the victor over the kaidhya, who is the slayer of the very powerful, lifedestroying daewic Lie, who is the guardian and overseer of the prosperity (?) of the entire world 16. who, not falling asleep, wakeful, protects Mazda's creatures; who, not falling asleep, wakeful, watches over Mazda's creatures; who protects the entire material world with upraised weapon after sunset; 17. who has not gone to sleep since the two Spirits, both the Beneficent Spirit and the Evil, created (their) creations, watching over the world of Truth; who battles every day and night with the daewas from Mazandaran. 18. He does not flee, frightened, out of terror, from the daewas. Unwilling, all the daewas, afraid, flee from him; afraid, they race into the darkness. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4].

VIII 19. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the

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righteous ratu of Truth, whom radiant, curative, beautiful, imperial, yellow-eyed Haoma worshipped on the highest peak, on the high HaraitI, 20. whose speech is good, whose speech is protecting, whose speech is musical (?), who has mastery over knowledge of all sorts which has much understanding (?) and over pre-eminence in the (sacred) Word. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4].
IX 21. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, whose victorious thousand-pillared house is built on the highest peak, on the high HaraitI, self-illumined on the inside, star-studded on the outside, 22. whom the Ahuna wairya serves as (his) victorious weapon, and the Yasna HaptahvaitI (Y. 35-41) and the victorious Fshusho Mathra (Y. 58) and all the sacrificial acts. On account of his rayi . , . [continue with sts. 3-4]. X 23. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, through whose strength and victoriousness and knowledgeableness and wisdom the Amasha Spantas came down to the earth containing the seven continents; who (Sraosha) is the religion teacher of the Religion. 24-26. [Omitted.] XI 27. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, whom four white, light, shining (?), beneficent, wise, shadowless, supernatural racehorses drive—their horny hooves are adorned with gold. 28. (The racehorses are) faster than (two other) horses, faster than two winds, faster than two rains, faster than two clouds, faster than two winged birds, faster than two well-shot (arrows) being shot. 29. who (i.e., the four horses) catch up with all those whom they chase—they are not caught from behind—who, with both weapons, arrive at their destination drawing good Sraosha the companion of Ashi (in his chariot). Even if he is at the eastern river he is seized, even if he is at the western (river) he is struck down.39 On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4].

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XII 30. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth, who, tall, high-girdled, installs(?) himself in Mazda's creation; 31. who, thrice on the same day or on the same night, descends to this continent, shining Xwaniratha, holding in his hand his weapon sharp at the blade, easily wielded at the head(s) of daewas, 32. in order to smite Angra Mainyu the liar, in order to smite Wrath with the horrible club, in order to smite the daewas from Mazandaran, in order to smite all the daewas. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4].

XIII 33. We worship Sraosha, handsome, victorious, world-promoting, the righteous ratu of Truth. Both here and elsewhere, both here and over the entire earth, (we worship) all (the conquests?) of Sraosha, companion of Ashi, brave, tanu.mathra, brave, valorous, strong in his arms, the warrior, smiter of daewas' heads, winning conquests, [who has won (many) conquests], righteous; and we worship Conquering Superiority, which belongs to Sraosha companion of Ashi and which belongs to god Justice. 34. We worship all the houses protected by Sraosha where dear, beloved Sraosha, companion of Ashi, is received hospitably and where the righteous man is prodominantly characterized by good thought, good speech, (and) good deeds. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with sts. 3-4].

12. Tishtrya
Despite the relative wealth of information furnished by Yasht 8, the deity to whom it pertains remains, in many respects, something of a mystery. He has no immediately apparent counterpart in the Rgveda, nor is any trace of him to be found in Old Iranian religion outside of the Avesta. In the Pahlavi books he is frequently confused with another astral deity, TIr, but sometimes, in astrological texts, he is pitted against TIr as his archenemy. He is normally identified as the star Sirius, yet the myth of his conflict with Apaosha, involving his ability to provide the earth with water, contradicts such an identification. Even the etymology of his name

Tishtrya I 141 is problematic. Before attempting to delineate the problems, it might be well to begin with what is clear from the Avesta. Tishtrya is a bright star (st. 2). One would suppose that he is among the brightest of stars, since he was appointed "ratu and overseer of all the stars" (st. 44) by Ahura Mazda. What especially distinguishes Tishtrya is that he is one of the stars "of watery nature" (afsh.cithrd), that is, one of the stars responsible for bringing water, mainly in the form of rain, to the earth. Moreover, he is the strongest of these stars (st. 45). His mythology concerns itself primarily with various aspects of hydrology. It is clear from the Yasht that Tishtrya is not what the phenomenology of religion would classify as an atmospheric storm god. His yearly arrival or rising occasions the storm-producing forces, but it is not Tishtrya himself, it would seem, who is the actual rain bringer. His battles with the evil powers who would prevent rain merely establish the proper conditions for the production of rain. In order to better understand Tishtrya's mode of operation, one must first examine some of the cosmological notions involved. In sect. 9 under Aradwl Sura Anahita, I discussed the significance of the cosmic sea or lake Wouru.kasha. In the Tishtrya Yasht, the heavenly river is nowhere mentioned as the replenisher of water to the sea, yet Woru.kasha continues to function as the source of earthly river water, now releasing water at the instigation of Tishtrya and his deputy Satawaesa (st. 9). Recall that Aradwi Sura Anahita descends from the peak of the cosmic mountain towering into the sphere of the stars, down to Wouru.kasha. Tishtrya both descends into and rises from Wouru.kasha; and when he rises again, together with Satawaesa, it is with the "mist," that is, the water evaporating from the raging sea. The mist rises from a Mount Us.handawa (apparently part of the Alburz) where presumably it is transformed into the clouds, which, conveyed thence by the bold Wind, bring rain and hail to the places inhabited by mankind. Before the process of cloud production can begin, Tishtrya must do battle with various demons: Apaosha (Nonprosperity), as well as a host of shooting stars identified as witches (pairika), among whom is Duzhyairya (Bad Crop) (sts. 51-55). The battle with Apaosha along the shores of Wouru.kasha is a unique sort of myth. The astral deity Tishtrya, assuming his third transmutation, the white horse, fights a hideous horse (also an astral deity). First the tide of battle runs in Apaosha's favor, but then, after worship has been offered by Ahura Mazda, it turns in Tishtrya's favor. One cannot help but be struck by the ritual nature of the myth. The outcome of the myth, enacted yearly, is explicitly linked to Tishtrya's worship. The specification that in the successive combats the one horse drives the other the length of a racecourse, that is, half the circuit, arouses

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the suspicion that one is dealing with a ritual race or contest of some sort involving one complete circuit of a racecourse. Having established that Tishtrya is a star responsible for the initiation of the process of rainmaking and in general for replenishing water, and who, accordingly, is considered essential for good crops and thriving livestock, one must now consider some problems. In reality, the problems have their source in the question of his identity. While it is generally agreed that Tishtrya is to be identified as Sirius, it is equally agreed that Sirius is highly ill suited as a bringer of rain, since his heliacal rising would have occurred at the time of greatest seasonal drought. It may be possible to find a solution to this dilemma in the fact that in the Pahlavi books he is often either confused with or placed in direct opposition to Tlr, who is sometimes Sirius, sometimes the planet Mercury. Although Tlr is not mentioned in the Avesta (unless in the uncertain name Tiro.nakathva), his Old Iranian credentials are insured by the preservation of his name in a common proper name *TIridata (Gr Tipi8aTT)<;, Elam Ti-ri-da-da, Ace Ti-ri-da-a-ta). On a unique coin of the Kushan king Huvishka there occurs a defective legend, which some, since Stein, have read TEIPO, but which is better read as MEIPO. Thus, in the absence of any eastern Iranian reflexes of the name, one is tempted to surmise that Tiri was a popular western Iranian astral deity (like Anahita). If this is so, one may postulate that Tishtrya was a prominent eastern Iranian astral deity. Now, a striking, though not entirely unique, feature of the Tishtrya Yasht is its relentless propaganda in support of Tishtrya's worship (sts. 15, 17, 19; 23-25; 57-61). The redactors of the text were obviously anxious to promote the cult of Tishtrya either because Tishtrya was a "pagan" deity who required admittance into the orthodox religion, or—and I suspect this to be more likely—because Tishtrya's cult stood in need of promotion. I have already shown that Arsdwl Sura Anahita is a syncretistic deity in the Avesta. If one supposes that, in a similar way, Avestan Tishtrya is a syncretistic deity composed of two originally distinct astral deities, one can explain not only why his cult needed propagandizing, but also why there exists the dilemma of his identification. The question requiring resolution is, which deity, Tishtrya or Tiri, was Sirius and which was a star appropriate to his principal function? In recent years, Forssman has put forth a cogent argument in favor of the old identification of Tishtrya with the Vedic astral deity Tisya.40 According to his etymology, Tisya (<*Tistriya) and Tishtrya mean '(the star) related to the three stars' (*tri-strom). Because of both Tisya's and Tishtrya's association with archery (Yt. 8.6), and on the authority of the Indie evidence, Forssman makes a strong case for the "Three Stars"

Tishtrya I 143
being those of Orion's belt. If the argument is valid, then TIri will have to have been a star other than Sirius. Scholars have noted that Tishtrya's three forms (young man, steer, and horse) are also avataras of Warsthraghna (see sect. 5), a fact that may betray a borrowing on the part of Tishtrya. While one could imagine this for the first two, it is difficult to accept the horse manifestation as anything but original to his character. Now that the etymology of Tishtrya's opponent Apaosha has been established, it is clear that the older connection of the latter (as *Apavrta) with Vedic Vrtra is in error. Thus, Tishtrya's myth is unparalleled in Indo-Iranian religion in presenting a unique approach to problems of hydrology.

Tishtrya (Tishtar) Yasht (Yasht 8)
I 1. Ahura Mazda said to Zarathushtra the Spitamid: Attend to the office of ahu and the office of ratu. We worship the Moon and the abode and the sacrificial food offering. I shall worship with libations the star Tishtrya the allotter of (one's) land, so that the glorious, opulent stars and foremost the Moon will assist me; [they allot xwaranah to men.] 2. We worship the glorious, opulent star Tishtrya who provides peaceful dwelling places, good dwelling places, who is white, bright, clear, shining, curative, fast-snorting, exalted, shining from afar with bright immaculate rays of light; and (we worship) the water Psrothuzrayah41 and the far-famed Wanghwl42 and the Mazda-created name of the Cow and the mighty Kawyan Xwarsnah and the frawashi of righteous Zarathushtra the Spitamid. 3. On account of his rayi and glory, I shall worship him with audible worship, the star Tishtrya, with libations. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya with haoma (mixed) with milk. . . . [Continue with Ny. 1.16 (p. 183).] II 4. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya containing the seed of water, the strong, exalted, powerful, far-seeing, whose ability is superior, the exalted one from whom (comes) renown—from Apam Napat (comes his?) lineage. Ill 5. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya for whom cattle and draft animals yearn, and (also) men who formerly committed acts of

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violence, and astrologers (?) who formerly lied, saying: When will opulent, glorious Tishtrya rise for us? When will the springs of water stouter than a horse flow anew? On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3].
IV 6. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya who flies as swiftly to the Wouru.kasha sea as the supernatural arrow which the archer irsxsha, the best archer of the Iranians, shot from Mount Airyo.xshutha to Mount Xwanwant.43 7. Then Ahura Mazda, the Creator, who lets the waters fall (?), blew upon (?) it [and plants]. Mithra of wide pastures prepared for him a path around. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. V 8. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya who overcomes the witches, who defeats the witches which, as shooting stars, fly between earth and heaven. Regularly he comes to the righteous bay, (called) "Horse-Shaped," in the mighty, beautiful, deep sea Wouru.kasha with wide expanses of water, and makes those waters surge; and the turbulent winds blow upon (it). 9. Then Satawaesa sets the waters of the seven continents in motion. When he conies at the loosing (?) (of the waters) he stands, beautiful, bringing peace (and) a good crop to the countries. When will the Aryan countries have a good crop? On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. VI 10. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya who said to Ahura Mazda, saying thus: O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world, righteous, 11. if, indeed, men would worship me with worship wherein (my) name is spoken, as the other gods are worshipped with worship wherein (their) names are spoken, I would go forth to the righteous men for the duration of a definite period; (for the duration) of a definite (period) of my own radiant immortal life I would go unto (righteous men), for one night, or two, or fifty. 12. We worship Tishtrya; and we worship the Tishtryaeinis; and we worship (the star) Upa.paoiri; and we worship the Paoiryaenls; those stars which (compose) Hspto.iringa (we worship) for the resisting of sorcerers and witches. We worship the Mazda-created star Wanant for

Tishtrya I 145 well-built Strength, for Ahura-created Victoriousness, for conquering Superiority, for the ability to overcome trouble, and to overcome enmity. We worship Tishtrya whose eyes are healthy. 13. During the first ten nights, O Zarathushtra Spitamid, opulent, glorious Tishtrya, driving among the (celestial) lights, blends (his) form with the form of a regal, clear-eyed, tall, aggressive, powerful fifteenyear-old man, manifesting his youthful strength, 14. —then at the (time) of life when a man first receives the girdle; then at the (time) of life when first a man goes about endowed with great physical strength; then at the (time) of life when a man first attains sexual potency. 15. He speaks here in the assembly; here he asks: Who will worship me now with libations containing milk (and) haoma? To whom shall I give wealth in men [a troop of men] and purification of his own soul? Now I am to be worshipped and praised by the material world according to the Best Truth. 16. During the second ten nights, O Zarathushtra Spitamid, opulent, glorious Tishtrya, driving among the (celestial) lights, blends (his) form with the form of a golden-horned steer. 17. He speaks here in the assembly; here he asks: Who will worship me now with libations containing milk (and) haoma? To whom shall I give wealth in cattle [a herd of cattle] and purification of his own soul? Now I am to be worshipped and praised by the material world according to the Best Truth. 18. During the third ten nights, O Zarathushtra Spitamid, opulent, glorious Tishtrya, driving among the (celestial) lights, blends (his) form with the form of a beautiful white horse with yellow ears (and) a golden bridle. 19. He speaks here in the assembly; here he asks: Who will worship me now with libations containing milk (and) haoma? To whom shall I give wealth in horses [a herd of horses] and purification of his own soul? Now I am to be worshipped and praised by the material world according to the Best Truth. 20. Then opulent glorious Tishtrya, O Zarathushtra Spitamid, comes up to the Wouru.kasha sea in the form of a beautiful white horse with yellow ears (and) a golden bridle. 21. Then out against him rushes the daewa Apaosha, in the form of a black horse, cropped, with cropped ears, cropped, with cropped mane, cropped, with cropped tail, completely denuded, inspiring horror. 22. They both, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, opulent, glorious Tishtrya and

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the daewa Apaosha, grapple with each other; for three days (and) three nights, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, they fight. Then the daewa Apaosha overpowers him, then defeats him, opulent, glorious Tishtrya. 23. Thereupon, he (Apaosha) drives him (Tishtrya) away from the Wouru.kasha sea along a path the length of a racecourse. Opulent, glorious Tishtrya calls down woe and adversity upon himself: Woe to me, O Ahura Mazda! Adversity, O Waters and Plants! Misfortune, 0 Mazdean Religion! Men do not now worship me with worship wherein (my) name is spoken, as they worship other gods with worship wherein (their) names are spoken. 24. If, indeed, men were to worship me with worship wherein (my) name is spoken, as they worship other gods with worship wherein (their) names are spoken, I would procure for myself the strength often horses, the strength often camels, the strength often oxen, the strength often mountains, the strength often channel waters. 25. I, Ahura Mazda, worship opulent, glorious Tishtrya with worship wherein (his) name is spoken. I procure for him the strength of ten horses, the strength often camels, the strength often oxen, the strength often mountains, the strength often channel waters. 26. [Repeat st. 20.] 27. [Repeat st. 21.] 28. They both, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, opulent, glorious Tishtrya and the daewa Apaosha, grapple with each other; they fight, O Zarathushtra, at noon time. Then opulent, glorious Tishtrya overpowers, then he defeats the daewa Apaosha. 29. Thereupon he (Tishtrya) drives him (Apaosha) away from the Wouru.kasha sea along a path the length of a racecourse. Opulent, glorious Tishtrya calls down well-being upon himself: Hail to myself, O Ahura Mazda! Hail, O Waters and Plants! Hail, O Mazdean Religion! There shall be weal, O Countries! Henceforth the crops of big-seeded grains and of small-seeded grasses and (the crops) of the material world will come up unhindered for you. 30. [Repeat st. 20.] 31. He makes the sea surge on; he makes the sea surge away; he makes the sea rage on; he makes the sea rage away. He makes the sea flow on; he makes the sea flow away. All the shores of the Wouru.kasha sea surge; the entire middle surges. 32. At that time, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, opulent, glorious Tishtrya rises from the Wouru.kasha sea. Thereupon opulent, glorious Sa-

Tishtrya I 147 tawaesa shall rise from the Wouru.kasha sea. Then the mists rise together from mount Us.handawa which stands in the middle of the Wouru.kasha sea. 33. Then (Satawaesa?) drives forth the cloud-producing righteous mists. The east wind drives along the path on which radiant, life-promoting Haoma comes. Then the bold Mazda-created Wind brings rain and clouds and hail to the dwellings and settlements (and) to the seven continents. 34. Apam Napat allots to the material (world) the waters allotted to the settlements, O Spitamid Zarathushtra. And the bold Wind and the Xwaranah placed in the waters and the Frawashis of the Righteous . . . VII 35. We worship the glorious, opulent star Tishtrya who thence will fly forth from shining Dawn on the path whose turning point is distant, on the god-ordained course, at the appointed time at the pleasure of Ahura Mazda, at the pleasure of the Amssha Spsntas. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. VIII 36. We worship the glorious, opulent star Tishtrya whom, when mankind has passed through a year (?), the lords acquiring insight and the wild (beasts) who haunt the mountains and the timid (animals) who roam the plains watch for, whether rising with a good crop for the country or coming up with a bad crop, (saying): When will the Aryan countries have a good crop? On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. IX 37. We worship the glorious, opulent star Tishtrya, whose flight is fast, swift-flying, who flies as swiftly to the Wouru.kasha sea as the supernatural arrow which the archer Brsxsha, the best archer of the Aryans, shot from Mount Airyo.xshutha to Mount Xwanwant. 38. Ahura Mazda blew upon (?) it; [the Amasha Spgntas] (Ahura Mazda (?) and) Mithra of wide pastures fully prepared for it a path. Good tall Ashi and Parandi with the swift chariot swept along behind it, all along, until, flying, it reached Mount Xwanwant. It came down onto Mount Xwanwant. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. X 39. We worship the glorious, opulent star Tishtrya who overcomes the Pairikas, who defeats the Pairikas which Angra Mainyu threw out, thinking to keep back all the stars containing the seed of water.

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40. Tishtrya overcomes them; from the Wouru.kasha sea he drives them away. Then clouds will float up bearing the waters which ensure a good crop, in which the streaming showers spread out widely, streaming down on the seven continents. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3].
XI 41. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya for whom the stagnant and running waters, the spring (waters) and the (waters) standing in riverbeds, channel and bay(?) (waters) yearn, (saying): 42. When will opulent, glorious Tishtrya rise for us? When will the springs of water stouter than a horse flow with an onward flow toward the beautiful dwellings and settlements and pasture lands, running to the roots of the plants? [They grow with a strong growth.] On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. XII 43. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya who washes away completely all horrors, (who) sprinkles the . . . ( ? ) with water, who, being most powerful, cures all the creatures if he is worshipped, propitiated, satisfied, (and) acknowledged. On account of his ravi . . . [continue with st. 3].

XIII 44. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya whom Ahura Mazda created as ratu and overseer of all the stars, as (he created) Zarathushtra (ratu and overseer) of men, whom Angra Mainyu does not harm, nor the witches and sorcerers, nor the sorcerers among men, nor do all the daewas together dare (?) to harm (him). On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3].
XIV 45. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya, for whom Ahura Mazda created a thousand perceptions, strongest among the (stars) bearing the seeds of the waters, who comes flying among the lights with the (stars) bearing the seeds of the waters. 46. To all the bays of the strong, beautiful, deep Wouru.kasha sea that has wide expanses of water, and to all the beautiful inlets and to all the beautiful outlets he comes in the form of a beautiful white horse with yellow ears (and) golden bridle. 47. Then the waters, falling, cleansing (?), healing, descend, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, from the Wouru.kasha sea. There the most powerful

Tishtrya I 149 (Tishtrya) allots them to these countries when he is worshipped, propitiated, satisfied, (and) acknowledged. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3].
XV 48. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya, for whom all the creatures of Spgnta Mainyu yearn, those which live under the ground and those which live above the ground, and those which are aquatic and terrestrial and those which fly and those which move on the plains, and those which are above them—[it is said to be the boundless, infinite existence of the Righteous]. On account of his rayi . . . [continue with st. 3]. 49. We worship the opulent, glorious star Tishtrya, solicitous, vigorous, perceptive, able, having power over thousands of boons, who gives boons especially to him who propitiates him, to the man who asks being unasked. 50. I created, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, yonder star Tishtrya as worthy of worship, as worthy of praise, as worthy of propitiation, as worthy of glorification also as myself, Ahura Mazda, 51. for the resistance and for the obstruction and for the overcoming and for the requital of the enmity of the Pairika who (is called) "Bad Crop," whom evil-speaking men call "Good Crop" by name. 52. If I had not created, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, yonder star Tishtrya . . . [continue with st. 50]. 53. [Repeat st. 51.] 54. (then) indeed, as far as I am concerned, here each day or each night the Pairika (called) "Bad Crop," running to and fro, would have completely (?) rent the life-force of the entire material world. 55. Tishtrya, indeed, opulent (and) glorious, fetters that Pairika with insuperable double, triple, and multiple bonds, as if a thousand men who were the strongest in bodily strength were to fetter a single man. 56. If, indeed, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, the Aryan peoples were mindful of opulent, glorious Tishtrya's due worship and praise, since it is to him that worship and praise are most due according to the Truth which is best, (then) there would be no enemy army directed here toward the Aryan countries, nor famine, nor mange (?), nor . . . (?), nor a war chariot, nor an upraised banner. 57-61. [Yt. 14.49-53, with the substitution of "Tishtrya" for Wsrothraghna" (pp 86-87).]

13. Haoma
Two elements stand at the very center of Indo-Iranian ritual. They are haoma/soma and fire. From the times of the Avesta and the Vedas down to the present day, the major Zoroastrian and Vedic rituals have been inseparable from these elements. Avestan haoma (OPers hauma, MPers horn, OInd soma, Ilr *sauma) is a word whose meaning is as clear as anyone could wish. It is a noun derived with a suffix -ma- from a verb hu-lhau- (*su-/sau-), which means 'to press or extract (juice from something)'. Therefore, haoma is simply 'the thing which has been pressed, pressing, i.e., juice'. In both Avestan and Vedic, the expression huta haomalsuta soma, lit. 'the pressed pressing', is common. Further, in Avestan the word for the press (consisting of mortar and pestle) is hawana- 'the presser'. It is important to realize that this specialized word originally meant 'juice'; it was not the name of a plant. Only at a later time could the sacred juice have become a name for the plant from which it was extracted. This fact has been one of the greatest impediments to an identification of the plant, for, at an early period, it seems that both Indians and Iranians began to use a variety of substitutes, plants whose juices could scarcely induce the mental states ascribed to the genuine article. In other words, in the history of Vedic and Zoroastrian rituals, a parallel process of symbolic valorization occurred whereby the symbolism of the ritual took precedence over the actual properties of the juice. The cause of this transformation is surely the new environments in which the two peoples found themselves after leaving the "homeland." The haoma/ soma-producing plant was just not available in India or Iran, and so one had to make do with whatever was at hand. Neither the Vedas nor the Avesta, as will be seen, offer much in the way of botanical description of the plant. Whatever the identity of the soma/haoma plant may have been, it is certain that only its stems or stalks were used. These are called in Avestan asu, in Vedic amsu. When pressed, the stalks yielded a juice whose color was harilzairi. Although this color word refers to colors ranging from brown to yellow, one can be fairly confident, on the basis of Soma's frequent comparison with the sun and Haoma's epithet 'radiant', that the color was yellow. In both traditions the juice was thought to have medicinal properties. Finally, there are indications that the plant grew in mountainous regions. Many proposals have been made in respect to haoma/soma's identity. Currently, the

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most popular proposal is that of R. G. Wasson,44 that soma was the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muse aria, which, in recent centuries at least, has been used by shamans in central Asia and Siberia. Although the mushroom argument appears quite compelling at first sight, it is not really supported by textual evidence at all. As intriguing as the problem of haoma/soma's identification is, it does not contribute one way or the other to a religious understanding of the sacred juice. Because of the relative paucity of information supplied in the Avesta, our picture of haoma must be embellished through the rich Vedic materials. To begin with, one should understand that haoma/soma is at once the juice produced and consumed in the ritual and a great god. All actual pressings are the visible presence of the god himself. In the mind of the worshipper, the haoma was always a manifestation of Haoma, and, as such, the drink was always charged with sacred power and infused with divine personality. Haoma/soma is characteristically found as the subject of the verb mad- or with one of its nominal derivatives. This verb can have a range of meaning from 'to be drunk, intoxicated' to 'rejoice, be exhilarated'. When applied to haoma/soma, it falls somewhere between the two in that what is implied is an altered state of mind through imbibing, yet the state is far from drunkenness. As Y. 10.8 so succinctly puts it, "all other intoxicants (maidhyangho) are accompanied by Wrath with the horrible club; but that intoxication (madho) which is Haoma's is accompanied by gladdening Truth." This idea of haoma's ability to bring one into relationship with Truth is an oft-repeated theme in the Rgveda. There the poets attribute their religious insight and intellectual creativity to the powers of soma. Far from inducing a mindless stupor, soma stimulated the mind, enhancing one's mental powers in the sense that it enabled one to grasp Truth (rta, asha). A second major property of haoma/soma, one which may seem unrelated to the first, was that of a stimulant taken by warriors before going into battle. No doubt this explains why Haoma is invoked for victoriousness and why various heroes of Iranian legend and myth are specified as primary practitioners of his cult. The major ceremony of Zoroastrian ritual is and has been the yasna (see Introduction, p. 14). Since the primary concern of the yasna is haoma, the Haoma Yasht is included in the Yasna section of the Avesta instead of among the Yashts.

Haoma (Horn) Yasht Yasna 9
1. At the time of the pressing, Haoma approached Zarathushtra, who was putting the fire in proper order and reciting gathas. Zarathushtra

752 / Haoma
asked him: Who, O man, are you, the most beautiful of the entire material world that I have seen . . . ? 2. Then he, righteous Haoma who keeps death far away (?),45 answered: I, O Zarathushtra, am righteous Haoma who keep death far away. Seek me, O Spitamid; press me out for drinking; praise me for strength as the future Saoshyants will praise me. 3. Then Zarathushtra said: Reverence to Haoma! Who was the first man, O haoma, to press you for the sake of the material world? What award was accorded him? What boon came to him? 4. Then he, righteous Haoma who keeps death far away, answered: WTwahwant was the first man to press me for the sake of the material world. This award was accorded him; this boon came to him, that a son was born to him, regal Yima rich in herds, possessing the most xwaranah among people, like the sun among men, who made it that under his rule cattle and men did not die, water and vegetation did not dry up, (who made) inexhaustible victuals [food]. 5. In the reign of brave Yima, there was neither cold nor heat, there was neither old age nor death, nor daewa-created jealousy. Father and son alike went about fifteen (years old) in appearance so long as Yima, rich in herds, the son of Wlwahwant, ruled. 6. Who was the second man, O Haoma, to press you for the sake of the material world? What award was accorded him? What boon came to him? 7. Then he, righteous Haoma who keeps death far away, answered: Athvya was the second man to press me for the sake of the material world. This award was accorded him; this boon came to him, that a son was born to him, Thraetaona of the mighty house, 8. who slew three-mouthed, three-headed Azhi Dahaka, with six eyes (and) a thousand perceptions, the very powerful daewic Lie, the drugwant evil for creatures, whom Angra Mainyu created as the most powerful Lie, against the material world for the destruction of the world of Truth. 9. Who was the third man, O Haoma, to press you for the sake of the material world? What award was accorded him? What boon came to him? 10. Then he, righteous Haoma who keeps death far away, answered: Thrita, mightiest of the Samids, was the third man to press me for the sake of the material world. This award was accorded him; this boon came to him, that two sons were born to him, Urwaxshaya and Ksrssaspa: the one a law-giving teacher, the other a very skilled, curlyhaired, club-bearing youth,

Haoma I 153 11. who slew the horse-devouring, man-devouring, poisonous, yellowish-horned Serpent, over whom (the Serpent) yellowish poison spurted up to the height of a spear shaft, on whom Ksrasaspa cooked food in a metal (pot) at noon time. The scoundrel became hot and began to sweat. He dashed forth from (under) the metal (pot); he cast the boiling water about. Frightened, he ran off to the side [heroic-minded Karasaspa]. 12. Who was the fourth man, O Haoma, to press you for the sake of the material world? What award was accorded him? What boon came to him? 13. Then he, righteous Haoma who keeps death far away, answered: Pourushaspa was the fourth man to press me for the sake of the material world. This award was accorded him; this boon came to him, that you were born to him, O upright Zarathushtra, of the house of Pourushaspa, a daewa-repudiating follower of ahuric doctrine. 14. You are famed in Aryana Waeja as the first, O Zarathushtra, to have recited the Ahuna wairya four times with (the proper) pauses, and then with a loud recitation. 15. You, O Zarathushtra, made all the daewas go into underground concealment who formerly roamed about this earth in human form— (you) who have become the strongest, the bravest, the most energetic, the fastest, the most victorious of the Creation of the two Spirits. 16. Then Zarathushtra said: Reverence to Haoma! Good Haoma, wellcreated Haoma, properly created, good, created (?), curative, wellbuilt, beneficent, victorious, yellow-colored, having tasty (?) stalks—so that (Haoma) is best for the drinker and the best provision for the soul. 17. I call down, O yellow (Haoma), your intoxicating power, strength, victoriousness, (ability to grant) health, curativeness, prosperity, growth, force for the entire body, complete knowledge, (and) I call down this that I may go about among beings autonomous(ly), overcoming hostility, defeating the Lie, 18. (and I call down) this, that I may overcome the hostilities of all those who are hostile, of daewas and men, of sorcerers and witches, of tyrants, kawis, and karapans, and of biped scoundrels and of biped confusers of the Truth and of quadruped wolves and of the enemy army with a broad front, burning (?) (and) rushing. 19. This first favor I ask of you, O Haoma, (you who) keep death far away: the Paradise of the Righteous (which is) light (and) constrains all good things. This second favor I ask of you, O Haoma, (you who) keep death far away: health for this body.

154 I Haoma This third favor I ask of you, O Haoma, (you who) keep death far away: longevity of life. 20. This fourth favor I ask of you, O Hamoa, (you who) keep death far away: that I, (being) capable, strong, (and) contented, may make my stand on this earth overcoming hostility, defeating the Lie. This fifth favor I ask of you, O Haoma, (you who) keep death far away: that I, victorious, winning battles, may make my stand on this earth overcoming hostility, defeating the Lie. 21. This sixth favor I ask of you, O Haoma, (you who) keep death far away: may we first become aware of the thief, first the bandit, first the wolf; let no one become aware of us first; of all may we be the first to become aware! 22. Haoma allots power and strength to the heroes who are driving (their) teams to battle. Haoma gives those (women) giving birth regal sons and righteous progeny. Haoma allots increment and knowledge even to those who (as) householders (?) devote themselves to the study of the Nasks. 23. Haoma allots a husband (?) and master (?) even to those maidens who have remained long unmarried, as soon as he, having good intelligence, is entreated. 24. Haoma deposed from power even him, Karasani, who in his lust for power lamented, who (had) said, "May an athrawan from now on not go about increasing (religious) studies in my country." He will conquer all the increases; He will smite down all the increases. 25. Hail to you, who are through your own power autonomous, O Haoma! Hail to you! You greatly inspire the correctly spoken words. Hail to you! You do not question the correctly spoken speech by means of circuitous questioning(?). 26. Mazda brought you Paurwanya as a girdle, star-adorned, supernaturally fashioned, [the good Religion of the worshippers of Mazda], And you are girdled with this on the peaks of the mountains, for long (?) the ... (?) and ... (?) of the Holy Word. 27. O Haoma, head of the family, head of the settlement, head of the tribe, head of the country! through (your) beneficence lord of wisdom! I call upon you for strength and victoriousness for myself and for growth that causes much felicity. 28. Carry away from us the enmities of (our) enemies, away the intent of

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those who rage (against us)! Whatever evil-doing man there is in this household, in this village, in this tribe, in this country, seize the strength from his legs, cloud his intelligence, thwart his purpose! 29. May you not have power in (your) legs! May you not have any power in (your) hands! May he not see the earth with (his) eyes! May he not see the Cow with his eyes, he who does violence to our minds, he who does violence to our bodies. 30. O yellow Haoma! strike with the mace the body of the jaundiced, dreadful, poison-spitting snake, for the sake of the righteous person threatened with destruction. O yellow Haoma! strike with the mace the body of the bloodthirsty bandit become great (and) enraged, for the sake of the righteous person threatened with destruction. 31. O yellow Haoma! strike with the mace the body of the drugwant man, of the haughty tyrant, for the sake of the righteous person threatened with destruction. O yellow Haoma! strike with the mace the body of the unrighteous perverter of Truth, the destroyer of life (who) has in mind the words of this Religion, (but) does not carry (them) out in (his) actions, for the sake of the righteous person threatened with destruction. 32. O yellow Haoma! strike with the mace the body of the whore enchantress, who provides pleasure, who approaches (the man) whose mind tosses like a cloud buffeted by the wind, for the sake of the righteous person threatened with destruction. O yellow Haoma! strike her body with the mace for the sake of the righteous person threatened with destruction.

Yasna 10
1. Here, now, let the daewas and the daewls disperse! May good Sraosha stay here (as a guest). May good Ashi stay here (as a guest); may good Ashi rest here at this house which is ahuric, which belongs to Truth-promoting Haoma. 2. I praise with speech, O insightful (Haoma), your lower pressing stone which accepts the stalks; also I praise with speech, O insightful (Haoma), your upper pressing stone with (?) which I pound with the force of a man. 3. I praise the cloud(s) and the rain which cause your body to grow on the peaks of the mountains. I praise the high mountains where, O Haoma, you are wont to grow.

156 I Haoma 4. I praise the wide, broad, fertile (?), beneficent earth who bears you, O righteous Haoma. I praise the earth's pasture (land?) where you grow, pleasantsmelling, brave. May you grow, O Haoma, on the mountain as Mazda's good growth and also prosper in every way! And you are actually the spring of Truth. 5. Increase through my speech in all (your) stems, in all (your) sprouts, in all (your) branches. 6. When praised, Haoma increases; so the man who praises him becomes more victorious. Even the slightest pressing of Haoma, even the slightest praise of Haoma, even the slightest drink of Haoma serves to slay a thousand daewas. 7. When created, impurity disappears immediately from this house where regularly one brings in (?), where regularly one praises the manifest curative medicine of medicinal Haoma [for his village and dwelling]. 8. Indeed, all the other intoxicating drinks are accompanied by Wrath with the horrible club; but that intoxication which is Haoma's is accompanied by gladdening Truth. Haoma's intoxication makes nimble the person who may laud Haoma as a young son. Haoma will serve them for curative purposes. 9. O Haoma, give me the medicines by which you are the grantor of health. O Haoma, give me the powers to smash resistance with which you overcome resistance. I will serve you as a praising (?) friend. [The Creator, Ahura Mazda said that a praising friend (is) very good, as (is) the Best Truth.] 10. The beneficent god fashioned you as a hero created by the Creator. The beneficent god deposited you, the hero created by the Creator, on the high Haraitl. 11. Then bounteous, wise birds carried you (away) in various directions: to Mount Ishkata which is in the Hindu Kush, to the mountain peak Staro.sara, to ... (?), to ... (?), to Mount Spita.gama.46 12. Now you, O Haoma, having many species, milky (?), yellowcolored, grow (all) about in these mountains. Your medicines are compounded with the wondrous powers of Wohu Manah. Now, throw back the purpose of him who vilifies me, (throw) down every single purpose of him who stands against me as a vilifier. 13. Reverence to Haoma, as (it is he who) makes the mind of the pauper as exalted as even (the mind) of the richest!

Haoma I 157
Reverence to Haoma, as (it is he who) makes the mind of the pauper as exalted as ... (?) when he attains (?) (his) desires. You make rich in men, very prosperous, (and) very intelligent (him) who regularly partakes of you, O yellow Haoma, mixed with milk. 14. [Obscure.] 15. I reject the . . . (?) of the villainous, slow-witted . . . (?) who thinks she is deceiving the athrawan and Haoma [It is she who, being deceived, perishes], who sets about to consume that which is Haoma's portion. (Haoma) grants her neither sons who (will become) athrawans nor good sons. 16. I belong to five things; I do not belong to five things. I belong to good thought; I do not belong to bad thought. I belong to good speech; I do not belong to bad speech. I belong to good action; I do not belong to bad action. I belong to obedience; I do not belong to disobedience. I belong to the Righteous; I do not belong to the Drugwant, and even from this (time) until in the end the victory of the two Spirits will take place. 17. Then Zarathushtra said: Reverence to Mazda-created Haoma! Good Mazda-created Haoma! Reverence to Haoma! I praise all the Haomas, whether on the mountaintops, whether in the river valleys, whether held in straits in the fetters of women. I pour (Haoma) from the silver cup into the golden. May I not let (any) of you, so wealthy and valuable, fall to the earth. 18. These, O Haoma, (are) your gathas, these are (your) hymns of praise, these are (your) teachings (?), these are (your) correctly uttered words (which) bring health (?), (are) victorious, counter enmity, (and are) curative. 19. . . . (?) May your intoxicating drinks go forth. May your luminous, intoxicating drinks go forth. The intoxicating drinks fly speedily. The victorious one praises the . . . ( ? ) with this gathic speech. 20. Reverence to the Cow! Reverence to the Cow! Benediction (?) for the Cow! Protection (?) for the Cow! Food for the Cow! Fodder for the Cow! 21. We worship lofty, yellow Haoma, we worship radiant, lifepromoting Haoma. We worship Haoma who keeps death far away. We worship the reward and the frawashi here of Zarathushtra Spitamid, the righteous. Yenghe hatam . . . [Repeat prayer (p. 182).]

158 I Haoma Yasna 11
1. Verily, three ashawans—the cow, the horse, and Haoma—shout curses. The cow curses the zaotar: May you be both childless and accompanied by ill repute, you who do not distribute me (when I am) cooked, but fatten me for your wife or your son or your own belly. 2. The horse curses the rider: May you not be a yoker of horses, nor a mounter of hourses, nor a harnesser of horses, you who do not entreat me for (my) strength at the manifold assembly of the district (?) having many men. 3. Haoma curses the herdsman: May you be both childless and accompanied by ill repute, you who keep me (when) pressed like a thief whose head is forfeit. Indeed, I am not one whose head is forfeit, I who am righteous Haoma who keeps death far away! 4. The father, righteous Ahura Mazda, vouchsafed for me, Haoma, as sacrificial portion the jaw together with the tongue and the left eye. 5. Ye who would destroy me for this sacrificial portion, or would steal (it), or would take away (that sacrificial portion) which righteous Ahura Mazda gave me, (namely) the jaws together with the tongue and the left eye, 6. in this (his) house, shall be born neither a priest nor a warrior nor a farmer; rather in this (his) house shall be born Dahakas, Murakas, and Warshnas of many sorts. 7. Quickly cut out the sacrificial portion of the cow for swiftest Haoma, lest Haoma bind you as he bound the scoundrel, Frangrasyan the Turanian, surrounded by (his) metal (fortress), in the middle third of this earth. 8. Then Zarathushtra said: Reverence to Mazda-created Haoma! good Mazda-created Haoma! Reverence to Haoma! 9. [Obscure.] 10. O righteous Haoma, I dedicate to you this body (of mine) which seems to me well developed—to swift Haoma for intoxication, for beatitude, for possession of Truth. O righteous Haoma, (you) who keep death far away, may you also bestow upon me Paradise of the Righteous (which), shining, possesses all good things.

14. Atar
In the popular conception of Zoroastrianism, fire worship is one of the most prominent features of the religion. The characterization of Zoroastrians as fire worshippers is quite old, as fire played an important role in Zoroastrianism, especially as it evolved in Sasanid times. As important as fire is to the religion, its importance can be overstated. To judge by the evidence provided by our Old Iranian sources, fire was not an especially important component of the religion in terms, at least, of its intellectual expression. Although there is a hazard in making an all too sharp division between a religion's intellectual expressions, its mythology and theology, and its ritual practices, the distinction can be useful in so far as often ritual activities, which consume a great portion of a person's time and which are regarded as fundamental, may receive only slight mention in verbal expression. Similarly, ritual, observed without reference to ideology, may give a very one-sided picture of the religion as a whole. To begin with, Atar, whose name means 'fire', is at once an element and a divine being. Just as in the case of Haoma, so in that of Atar, the religious person would have been unable to distinguish the fire itself from the god. The mystery of it is that, in all of its forms on earth, a fire is always Fire. Although every fire is a manifestation of Fire, its true sanctity resided in the fire in the household hearth. Fire temples, abundantly documented during the Sasanid period, were unknown in ancient Iran. The domestic hearth had two functions: (1) the hearth fire cooked the meals (Y. 62.7); (2) it was a center of worship. It is the second function that is of concern here. In Indo-Iranian religion, the god of fire was the intermediary between earth and heaven, between men and the gods. Irrespective of other considerations, this role itself made Fire a sine qua non of almost every sacrificial act. In the Rgveda, Agni (Fire) is frequently invoked either to conduct the gods to the sacrifice or to convey the offerings to the gods. Similarly, the role of intermediary is expressed in the Avesta in terms of the worshipper's access to God. For example, Y. 36.1 reads: "Through the efficacy of this (i.e., the sacrificers') fire we approach you first, O Ahura Mazda." Like Vedic Agni who bears the epithet 'the insatiable' (anala), Iranian Atar required perpetual care, and it was considered a terrible offense to let the sacred fire die out in one's house. Yasna 62 emphasizes not only the need for proper fuel, but also the necessity of

160 I Atar proper care by a qualified member of the religious community whose duty it is to tend the hearth, to please the god with incense, and to nourish him with food offerings. (For the role of the fire in the broader context of the ritual see the Introduction, pp. 14-15.) As already indicated, the great fires of Sasanid Iran (Adur-Farnbag, Gushnasp, and Burzen Mihr) are not mentioned in the Avesta. There is a classification of five fires, however (e.g., Y. 17.11), which, according to the later notice of the Bundahishn (18.1-7), relates to the manifestations of Fire in various aspects of nature. These are: (1) the Barazisawah, "which blazes in the presence of Ohrmazd," that is, the transcendent fire; (2) the Wohu.frydna, "which is in the bodies of men and animals"; (3) the Urwazishta, "which is in plants"; (4) the Wazishta, "which is in the cloud"; and (5) the Spdnishta, "which is kept for work in the material world." (1) and (5) are opposites, the transcendent and mundane fires; (2) and (3) are the life forces in the animal and vegetable world; (4) is the agent of rain. Another important function of fire was its use in judicial processes in regard to oaths and ordeals (see Yt. 12.3 [p. 79].) Oaths and covenants were solemnized over the sacred element (see sect. 3). Ordeals involving molten metal and boiling oil seem to have enjoyed great favor as well. From the Indo-Iranian perspective, Atar is scarcely to be separated from Agni. The only problem is the difference of names. OInd agni 'fire' is an Indo-European word (cf. Lat ignis; Lith ugnis; OChSl ogn). Except perhaps for an ambiguous proper name Dashtaghni, this word for fire does not occur in Iranian; rather, atar, a uniquely Iranian word, is used. It is a facile move to attribute the Iranian avoidance of *aghni to Zarathushtra's reform, as is so often done in Zoroastrian studies when something defies explanation. In this case it explains nothing, for, if Zarathushtra disliked *Aghni, why should he have only changed his name without altering his personality? Finally, we should draw attention to two myths involving Atar. The first occurs in the myth of Xwarsnah's flight (Yt. 19.46-50 [pp. 92-93]). The other does not occur in the Avesta, but is alluded to in a late Pahlavi text where the hero Ksrasaspa is damned for having killed Fire, Ohrmazd's son.47 Yasna 62 1. Yatha ahu wairyo. [Repeat prayer twice (p. 183).] I wish you, O Atar, son of Ahura Mazda, worship and praise and a good offering and a desired offering and a praised offering. You are worthy of worship (and) praise. You ought to be worthy of worship (and) praise in the houses of men.

Atar I 161 Weal to this man who regularly worships you with fuel in hand, with barasman in hand, with (a dish of) milk in hand, with a mortar in hand. 2. May you have the proper fuel, may you have the proper incense, may you have the proper food, may you have the proper hearth, may you be under the care of an adult, may you be under the care of a member of the community, O Atar, son of Ahura Mazda, 3. in order to blaze in this house, in order to continuously blaze in this house, in order to shine in this house, in order to grow in this house for a very long time, until the mighty Frasho.kargti, along with the mighty, good Frasho.karsti. 4. May you give me, O Atar, son of Ahura Mazda, quickly felicity, quickly protection, quickly life, fully felicity, fully protection, fully life, (and) wisdom, increment, a quick tongue, understanding for (my) soul, moreover, intelligence (which is) great, massive, (and) stable, 5. moreover, (give me) Manly Valor, standing upright, unsleeping, seated in his place wakeful, and (give me) nobly raised progeny having jurisdiction over boundary lines, eloquent, growing up beneficent, saving (the parents) from anxiety, intelligent, who (the progeny) shall make the house and the settlement and the clan and the country and the fame of the country prosper for me. 6. May you give to me, O Atar, son of Ahura Mazda, (progeny) who will be . . . (?) for me, now and forever. (Give me) the Paradise of the Righteous, shining, containing all good things—in order that (I may) win a good reward and good repute and long beatitude for the soul. 7. Atar, (the son) of Ahura Mazda, brings fame to all for whom he cooks the evening and morning (meals). From everyone he requires good offerings(s), desired offerings, praised offerings, O Spitamid. 8. Atar sees the hands of all passersby, (saying): What does the friend bring the friend, the moving one the reposing? 9. For if he brings him fuel brought in the proper way or barssman spread in the proper way or a pomegranate plant, Atar, (the son) of Ahura Mazda, satisfied, not treated with enmity, blesses him according to his request. 10. May herds of cattle (and) a plurality of men attend you. May an effective mind and an effective spirit attend you. May you live a happy life during all the nights which you will live. This is Atar's blessing (for him) who brings him dry, bright-burning fuel (which) has been properly prepared according to the rites of Truth.

15. Purity and Pollution
For religious man generally, and for the Zoroastrian in particular, the paired concepts of purity and pollution play an exceptionally important role in daily life. Most activities are carefully circumscribed by rules whose purpose is to protect the individual, the religious community, and even nature at large from pollution. It should be kept in mind from the outset, however, that when one speaks of purity and pollution one is not necessarily speaking with reference to hygiene as we understand it today. Although it is true that many rules concerning purity and pollution do in fact correspond to modern scientific notions of hygiene, in most cases this should be regarded as an accident. This is because the concepts of purity and pollution take their place within the context of the religious world view. The particular prescriptions are, therefore, often comprehensible only in so far as they form an integral part of a more general system of thought. For example, one might reasonably suppose that the extreme caution exercised in the disposal of the dead was motivated by a fear of contagion from the decomposing body. Upon further investigation, however, one finds that only the corpse of an ashawan is contagious because of its possession by the Corpse Demon (Nasu Druj), whereas the corpse of a drugwant is not possessed by a demon and hence is harmless. Thus, demonology, not hygiene, is the determining factor. There is little reason to doubt that Zoroastrianism received a complex system of rules of purity and pollution from its Indo-Iranian heritage, yet, like Rabbinical Judaism, it shows an ever-increasing concern for such matters, to the point of obsession in late Sasanid times. One has already had the opportunity incidentally to witness a tendency in the Yashts toward a preoccupation with spells and demonology. This is part of a larger shift of emphasis from the more elevated religion of Zarathushtra and of the Old Iranian religion preserved primarily in the Yashts to the priestly casuistry so dominant in the Pahlavi books. Nowhere is the latter better attested in the Avesta than in the Vendidad (see Introduction, p. 27). In an anthology one is constrained in respect to the breadth of details one can include. As a result, I have limited the selections to the two most important areas of pollution in the Zoroastrian world view. They are: (1) pollution from contact with corpses, and (2) pollution from women, especially from menstruation. The primary key to understanding the notions of pollution exhibited

Purity and Pollution I 163
here is the fundamental Zoroastrian dualism of the Lie (Druj) and the Truth (Asha). In the older expressions of the religion this was an ethical, albeit cosmic, dualism. But as time passed the ethical dualism came increasingly to be understood more as a simple dualism of good versus evil. In the present context, this was translated to mean that the world of Asha was synonymous with purity, the world of the Druj, with pollution. And in this situation the world of Asha is constantly threatened with contagion from the world of the Druj. The sacred elements of fire, water, and the earth, no less than the community of the Righteous, must be protected or protect themselves from pollution. Much pollution can be avoided through diligent attention to religious law. Many cases of pollution are unavoidable, however, as they are the result of the inevitable processes of life. Two such processes are death and female menstruation. Since their occurrence is inevitable, elaborate countermeasures were required to isolate the source of pollution and to restore purity. The first selection (Vendidad 5) deals mostly with the pollution of fire and water through accident or design, as well as with the handling of corpses in various situations. It is worth noting here that water is particularly susceptible to uncontrollable pollution and that, according to IndoIranian ideas of hydrology, the water supply was a finite, self-replenishing system. I have already discussed the beginnings of the hydrologic cycle (see sects. 9 and 12). At the end of the cycle is a sea called Puitika (the Filter). Into it pass all the rivers, which become increasingly polluted as they reach their estuaries. After they are filtered, the waters return in an immaculate state to the Wouru.kasha sea. The isolation of the corpse discussed in Vendidad 5 and its eventual placement in the daxma (Vend. 7.53-58) belong to the uniquely Zoroastrian funeral practices. One aspect of the funeral ceremonies is the care for the soul (urwan) and propitiation of the frawashi of the deceased. The other aspect is the disposal of the dangerous Druj-infested corpse. Zoroastrians were in a particular quandary over the means of disposal, since they could neither burn the dead nor bury them in water or earth lest they pollute either the fire, the water, or the earth. As a solution, they exposed the cadavers to be devoured by carrion birds and animals in open-air enclosures (daxma) specially designed to isolate the earth from defilement. This practice is still observed today. In the event of contact with carrion, especially in the case of the deceased, an elaborate purification ceremony was prescribed, which is known as the barsshnum. This ceremony could also be employed in other cases in which purification was required. Today it is chiefly used by priests as a general purification rite. Chap. 9 of the Vendidad gives an outline of the ceremony whose details must be supplied by later sources.

164 I Purity and Pollution The ceremony lasts nine days, during which the polluted person becomes gradually rid of contagion from the Nasu Druj, as he or she moves in successive three-day periods through the enclosure. The enclosure (maghd) is divided into three rectangular sections along a north-south axis. Each section (also magha) contains three holes (again maghas), all on the central axis, and the entire enclosure as well as the individual sections are bounded by furrows, the purpose of which is to isolate the inner space of danger from the outside world. The magical furrows impose a barrier, which the polluting demon cannot penetrate. The holes serve as receptacles for the ablutions, first of cow's urine (the six northernmost holes), then of water (the three southernmost holes). Although washing in cow's urine may be repugnant to our Western sensitivities, we should bear in mind that, for many peoples the world over, especially pastoralists, urine is commonly used as a disinfectant. In India and Iran where cattle are (or were) sacred, their urine is considered particularly efficacious, more so than water, which, as shown here, is employed only after the prior ablution with urine. To facilitate an understanding of the barashnum, the accompanying diagram is offered for reference. The last selection deals with the isolation of menstruating women and with the punishments for men who have sexual relations with a woman during menstruation. As in the case of carrion, menstruation is an occasion of daewa-infested pollution. The woman must be isolated in order to protect the rest of the community. Any contact with the woman results in pollution. Obviously, all sexual relations must be diligently avoided, and, while some forms of sexual play can be expiated, coitus itself results in everlasting pollution and eternal damnation for the man.

Vendiddd5.1-44
1. Now, a man dies in the river valleys. Then a bird flies up from the mountain peaks (down) to the river valleys. It devours the corpse of the dead man. Then the bird flies up from the river valleys to the mountain peaks. It flies to the tree with hard and (?) (or?) soft (wood). It vomits on it, it defecates on it, it pisses (?) on it. 2. Now, a man goes forth from the river valleys to the mountain peaks. He comes upon the tree which the bird (polluted). He is seeking fuel for the fire. He fells it. He cuts it. He splits (?) it. He lights the fire, the son of Ahura Mazda. What is his punishment? 3. Then Ahura Mazda said: Carrion brought to a man either by a dog or a bird or a wolf or wind or flies does not render (him) sinful. 4. If these (sorts of) carrion, namely, carrion brought by a dog or a bird

North

Plan of the Magha (Barsshnum Gah)

South

166 I Purity and Pollution or a wolf or wind or flies, were to render a man sinful, (then) immediately the entire material world of mine (would be) ... (?) in fear for its soul, its body forfeit on account of the plenitude of these corpses which lie upon this earth. 5. O righteous Creator of the material world! Now a man irrigates (his) grain field with water running along a ditch—a second (and) a third (time). Then the fourth (time the waters) drag under a dog or a fox or a wolf. What is his punishment? 6-7. [Repeats st. 3-4.] 8. O righteous Creator of the material world! Does water kill a man? Then Ahura Mazda said: Water does not kill a man. Asto.widhatu binds him; Wayu conducts him bound. The water rises, the water falls, the water leaves (him exposed in the shallows). Afterwards birds devour him. Here now (a man) goes forth. Now he meets his end, (all) by fate. 9. O righteous Creator of the material world! Does fire kill a man? Then Ahura Mazda said: Fire does not kill a man. Asto.widhatu binds him; Wayu conducts him bound. Fire burns (him) body and soul (asta ushtansmcd). Here now (a man) goes forth. Now he meets his end, (all) by fate. 10. O righteous Creator of the material world! Summertime has passed, now in winter what are these Mazdeans to do? Then Ahura Mazda said: In each house, in each village they should prepare three rooms for the deceased. 11. O righteous Creator of the material world! How large should these rooms be for the deceased? Then Ahura Mazda said: (Large enough so) that (the sides) do not hit the head when its face is turned upward, nor forward against the feet, nor laterally against the hands. This, indeed, is the prescribed room for the deceased. 12. Then they should deposit his senseless body either for two nights or three nights or the duration of a month or until the birds fly forth, the plants sprout, the floods (?) flow away, (and) the wind dries up the earth. 13. Then when the birds fly forth, the plants sprout, the flood (?) flows away, (and) the wind dries up the earth, then the Mazdeans should expose the body to the sun.

Purity and Pollution I 167
14. If the Mazdeans should not expose the body to the sun within a year's time, you should prescribe a punishment equally (severe) as (that) for the murder of an ashawan—until the corpses have been rained upon, and the daxmas have been rained upon, and the excretions have been rained upon. 15. O righteous Creator of the material world! Do you, Ahura Mazda, release water from Wouru.kasha at the same time as wind and clouds? 16. Will you, Ahura Mazda, convey (water) to the corpse? Will you, Ahura Mazda, convey (water) to the daxma? Will you, Ahura Mazda, convey (water) to the excretion(s)? Will you, Ahura Mazda, send forth (water) to the skeleton? Will you, Ahura Mazda, have what is polluted float forth? Will you have these float together to the Puitika sea? 17. Then Ahura Mazda said: It is verily as you have now said, O upright Zarathushtra. I, Ahura Mazda, release water from the Wouru.kasha sea at the same time as wind and clouds. 18. I, Ahura Mazda, convey (water) to the corpse. I, Ahura Mazda, convey (water) to the daxma. I, Ahura Mazda, convey (water) to the excretion(s). I, Ahura Mazda, send forth (water) to the skeleton. I, Ahura Mazda, have what is polluted float forth. I, Ahura Mazda, have these float together to the Puitika sea. 19. They stay in the middle part of the sea, flowing about violently. (Once) purified, the waters flow from the Puitika sea to the Wouru.kasha sea, to the tree Hwapi (Having Good Water). Here all my plants grow in all species—by the hundreds, by the thousands; by the ten thousand ten thousands. 20. I, Ahura Mazda, make them (al)together rain down (as) food for the righteous man, (as) fodder for the beneficent Cow. [Man should eat my grain; the fodder (is) for the beneficent Cow.] 21-38. [Omitted.] 39. O righteous Creator of the material world! When we assemble in (our) homes in this material world, O righteous Ahura Mazda, fire and barasman and bowls and haoma (plants) and mortars, but then a dog or a man of the house should die, what are these Mazdeans to do? 40. Then Ahura Mazda said: They should remove, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, the fire and barasman and bowls and haoma (plants) and mortars from these houses. They should remove the deceased as a law-abiding man (who) is carried to a lawfully prescribed (place) and is devoured (by vultures). 41. O righteous Creator of the material world! How should the Mazdeans bring the fire back into the house where this man passed away?

168 I Purity and Pollution 42. Then Ahura Mazda said: The Mazdeans should wait nine nights in winter, but in summer for a month. Afterward the Mazdeans may bring the fire back into the house where this man passed away. 43. O righteous Creator of the material world! And if the Mazdeans should bring the fire back into the house where this man passed away before the nine nights (or) before the month (are) up, what is their (lit. his) punishment? 44. Then Ahura Mazda said: (Since) he is apasho.tanu, one should lash (him) with two hundred lashes of the horsewhip (and?) two hundred of the sraosho.carana. Vendidad 7.1-4, 9-15, 23-27 1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: O righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! When does the Nasu Druj fly upon the dead man? 2. Then Ahura Mazda said: Right after the death, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, (when) consciousness (baodhah) has departed, the Nasu Druj flies up from the north in the form of a . . . (?) fly crouching (on its front legs), its anus in the air, (covered) with unlimited filth like the most ghastly xrafstras. 3. 0 righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! Now how much time does it take the Nasu Druj to fly to (the body) after they (i.e., men) have been killed by dogs and by wolves and by sorcerers and by enemies and by (falling over) a cliff and by men and by treachery and by strangulation? 4. Then Ahura Mazda said: The Nasu Druj flies to (the body) afterward in the next watch. 5-8. [Omitted.] 9. O righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! To what extent does the Nasu Druj infect these two, the bedding and the pillow, with (its) pestilence and putrefaction and pollution? 10. Then Ahura Mazda said: The Nasu Druj infects, outermost, the bedding and pillow, innermost, the shroud (?), with (its) pestilence and putrefaction and pollution. 11. O righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! Can the garments which have come in contact with the nasu of a dog or a deceased man be purified, O righteous Ahura Mazda? 12. Then Ahura Mazda said: They can be purified, O righteous Zarathushtra.

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Just when (can this be done)? If they are soiled with semen or blood or feces or vomit, then the Mazdeans should cut the clothes off and bury (them). 13. But if they are not soiled with semen or blood or feces or vomit, then the Mazdeans should wash the clothes in cow's urine. 14. If (the clothing) is of leather, they should wash (it) three times with cow's urine, they should throw some earth (on it) three times, they should wash (it) three times with water, (and) they should air (it) for three months at a window of the house. 15. But if it is of cloth, they should wash (it) six times with cow's urine, they should throw some earth (on it) six times, they should wash (it)) with water six times, (and) they should air (it) for six months at a window of the house. 16-22. [Omitted.] 23. O righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! Can men who eat the flesh of a dead dog or man be purified, O righteous Ahura Mazda? 24. Then Ahura Mazda said: They cannot be purified, O righteous Zarathushtra—and (in addition) those men who cut out the gall and who cut out the heart (from a cadaver), and men who pluck the eyeballs out of the sockets (of a cadaver). The Nasu Druj flies unto their necks. Afterward they become unpurifiable for ever and ever. 25. O righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! Can men who bring carrion (covered) with excrement to either water or fire, making them polluted, be purified, O righteous Ahura Mazda? 26. Then Ahura Mazda said: They cannot be purified, O righteous Zarathushtra. They give the greatest strength to spiders and locusts, those lying mutilators of corpses; they give the greatest strength to the pastureless drought, those lying mutilators of corpses. 27. They are the best givers of strength to the daewa-created, cattlekilling, very snowy, encroaching (?), terrible, evil, (and) maleficent winter, those lying mutilators of corposes. The Nasu Druj flies unto their necks. Afterward they become unpurifiable for ever and ever.

Vendidad 7.53-58
53. O righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! Where is the daewa? Where the daewa worshippers? Where is the place where the daewas assemble? Where is the place where the daewas congregate? Where do the daewas assemble? With

170 I Purity and Pollution
one hundred blows for (every) fifty blows . . . [continue with Yt. 10.43 from " . . . with one thousand blows" (p. 64)]. 54. Then Ahura Mazda said: In the daxmas, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, which are erected on this earth as walled enclosures where dead men are deposited: that is where the daewa is, that is where the daewa worshippers are, that is the place where the daewas assemble, that is the place where the daewas congregate, there the daewas assemble. With one hundred blows . . . [continue with Yt. 10.43 as above]. 55. O Spitamid Zarathushtra, these daewas gobble (carrion) in the daxmas and vomit it up, as in this material life you men eat cooked food . . . ( ? ) a n d cooked meat. . . . ( ? ) 56. The (daxma), indeed, is the refuge of the daewas so long as the stench attends (it). 57. In the daxmas congregate sickness and mange (?) and fever and sickness (?) and chill (?) and ill health (?). [The hair is gray.] 58. After sunset the most destructive men congregate in the daxmas.

Vendidad 9
1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: O righteous Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Creator of the material world! Whither then in the material existence might men turn, they who would purify their body (possessed) by the nasu of a dead (man)?" 2. Then Ahura Mazda said: (They should turn to) a righteous man, O Spitamid Zarathushtra, who(se) speech is honest, (who) studies scripture, (who) is an ashawan, who most of all is conversant with the office of purifier of the Mazdean Religion. He cuts away the plants on the surface of the earth to the length of nine fathoms on each of four sides. 3-5. [Omitted.] 6. You should cut out a first hole: after the onset of summer, two finger (breadths) deep, after the onset of winter [frost], four finger (breadths). 7. You should cut out a second hole. . . . [Continue with st. 6.] (The sequence is repeated for a third hole through a sixth hole.) 8. How far from one another? One pace. How (is) one pace (determined)? As three feet. 9. You should cut out three other holes. . . . [Continue with st. 6.] How far from the preceding ones? Three paces.

Purity and Pollution I 171
How (are) three paces (determined)? As one adds paces together. How does one add paces together? As nine feet. 10. You should also draw furrows with a sharp metal (knife). How far from the holes? Three paces. How (are) three paces (determined)? As one adds paces together. How does one add paces together? As nine feet. 11. Now, then, you should draw twelve furrows. You should draw three which isolate three holes inside. You should draw three which isolate six holes inside. You should draw three which isolate nine holes inside. You should draw three (which isolate) inside (the three holes which are isolated from) the other (six) enclosed (?) holes. You should bring to the three (intervals) of nine feet stones or (else) a hoof or a wooden block (?) or clod of earth or some other kind of hard earth. 12. Next, the polluted (person) should approach the holes. Then you, O Zarathushtra, should station yourself beyond the furrowed area and recite these words: namascd ya armaitish Izhaca. The polluted (person) should respond to you (lit. him) (with the words): namasca ya armaitish izhaca. 13. Then the Druj is cast down with each of the words (which are suitable) for smiting lying Angra Mainyu, for smiting Wrath with the terrible club, for smiting the daewas from Mazandaran, for smiting all the daewas. 14. Next, the cow's urine—(you should use) a pitcher (?) either of iron or of lead. If a lead (pitcher is used) for besprinkling (the polluted person), you should get a staff, O Zarathushtra, with nine knots on it: you should fasten that lead (pitcher) to the tip of the staff. 15. First, his (i.e., those of the priest performing the purification; i.e., Zarathushtra's) hands should be washed, for if his hands (were) not washed, he would make his entire body impure. Now, when his (i.e., your) hands are washed, then you should besprinkle the top of his head, in front, with (your) washed hands three times. Then the Nasu Druj flies onto the space between his [the man (being purified)] brows. 16-26. You should besprinkle the space between his brows. Then the Nasu Druj flies onto the back of his head. You should besprinkle the back of his head.

172 I Purity and Pollution
[This sequence is repeated for the following body parts in succession: the jaw (?), the right ear, the left ear, the right shoulder, the left shoulder, the right armpit, the left armpit, the neck (?), the back, the right nipple, the left nipple, the right (side of the) rib cage, the left side of the rib cage, the right buttock, the left buttock, the groin, the right thigh, the left thigh, the right knee, the left knee, the right calf, the left calf, the right ankle, the left ankle, the right forefoot, the left forefoot, the arch under the foot—right and left, the right big toe.] . . . Then the Nasu Druj flies to the left big toe. You should besprinkle the left big toe. Then the Nasu Druj turns away to the north in the form of a . . . (?) fly crouching (on its front legs), its anus in the air, (covered) with unlimited filth like the most ghastly xrafstras. 27. And you should recite these words which are the most victorious and the most curative: yatha ahu wairyo . . . [repeat prayer (p. 183)]; ksmna mazda . . . (Y. 46.7); ks wsrathramja . . . [continue with Y. 44.16 (p. 44)]. 28. At the first hole, the man becomes free of the Nasu. And you should recite . . . [continue with st. 27], [This sequence is repeated for the second hole through the sixth hole.] 29. Thereupon the polluted (person) should sit down inside the magha (i.e., the third of the places of purification) (which is) outside the other (two) maghas, at a distance of four finger (breadths); and let him cleanse himself with . . . ( ? ) of earth of these (holes). 30. One should throw earth fifteen times (on one's head). One should wait until the hair on his head becomes dry to the roots. 31. When his body has become dry [dry (?) with dust], then the polluted (person) should go to the other magha. At the first hole, he should cleanse his own body once with water. At the second hole, he should cleanse his own body twice with water. At the third hole, he should cleanse his own body thrice with water. 32. Then he (the purifier) should fumigate him with sandal or benzoin or aloe or pomegranate or any other of the most fragrant plants. Then he should put on his clothes. Then the polluted (person) should go into the living quarters. 33. He should quietly take his seat inside the house, (but) isolated from the other Mazdeans. He should not be allowed to approach the fire nor the water nor the earth nor an animal nor a plant nor a righteous man nor a righteous woman until three nights have passed. And after the period of three

Purity and Pollution I 173
nights he should wash himself (and his) clothing with cow's urine and water. One should be purified (again) in the manner (prescribed above). 34. He should quietly take his seat. . . [continue with st. 33 to ". . . a righteous woman"] until six nights have passed. And after the period of six nights he should wash himself (and his) clothing with cow's urine and water. 35. He should quietly take his seat. . . [continue with st. 33 to ". . . a righteous woman"] until nine nights have passed. And after the period of nine nights he should wash himself (and his) clothing with cow's urine and water. 36. Afterward he may be allowed to approach the fire, the water, the earth, an animal, a plant, a righteous man, (and) a righteous woman.

Vendidad 16
1. O righteous Creator of the material world! How should the Mazdeans act when, in the house of a Mazdean, there sits a woman who has her menstrual period, her menstruation, her blood? 2. Then Ahura Mazda said: In this case the Mazdean should pick out an area without plants and shrubs (which can be used as) fuel. He should deposit dry dust as a place (for her to stay). One should remove (it) from the front (part of) the house by a half or a third or a fourth or a fifth, lest the woman look at the fire, lest the woman see the fire's flames. 3. O righteous Creator of the material world! How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the strewn barssman? How far from the righteous men? 4. Then Ahura Mazda said: Fifteen paces from the fire, fifteen paces from the water, fifteen paces from the strewn barssman, three paces from the righteous men. 5. O righteous Creator of the material world! How far away should one stand who brings food to the woman who has her menstrual period, her menstruation, her blood? 6. Then Ahura Mazda said: He who brings food to the woman who has her menstrual period, her menstruation, her blood should stand three paces away. In what should he bring the food? In what should he bring the beer? In either an iron or a lead (bowl) [the basest metals]. 7. How much food should he bring? How much beer should he bring?

174 I Purity and Pollution
Two portions of bread, two portions of alcoholic drink, lest the woman waste away. If a baby should come in contact (with her), one should first wash its [the baby's] hands, (then the other parts) of its own body (polluted by contact with the mother). 8. If the woman detects traces of blood when three nights have passed, she should sit quietly in her place until four nights have passed. If the woman detects traces of blood when four nights have passed, she should sit quietly in her place until five nights have passed. 9-10. [Repetition of the same formula up to the ninth night.] 11. If the woman detects traces of blood when nine nights have passed, then (it is the case that) the daewas are bringing her (their) antagonism for the worship and praise of the daewas. In this case, the Mazdean should pick out an area without plants and shrubs (which can be used as) fuel. 12. There the Mazdeans should dig out three holes in the earth. They should wash her with cow's urine at two holes, with water at one. [A grammatically unclear sentence follows, enjoining the killing of xrafstras in summer and winter.] 13. (If) a Mazdean should violate the period of a woman who has her menstrual period, her menstruation, her blood, what is his punishment? Then Ahura Mazda said: On account of him being pasho.tanu one should flog (him) with two hundred lashes of the horsewhip, two hundred of the sraosho.carana. 14. O righteous Creator of the material world! What is the punishment for (a man) who, by a premeditated act, has contact with the body of a woman who has her menstrual period, her menstruation, her blood, so that . . . ( ? ) 15. Then Ahura Mazda said: For the first time that he has sexual relations, for the first time that he lies down (with her), one should flog (him) with thirty lashes of the horsewhip, with thirty of the sraosho.carana. For the second time . . . fifty lashes. . . . For the third time . . . seventy lashes. . . . 16. What is the punishment for (a man) who for a fourth time has sexual relations, for a fourth time lies down (with her), who penetrates (her) clothes, who penetrates (her) defiled loins without ejaculating semen? 17. He who ejaculates semen into a woman who has her menstrual period, her menstruation, her blood, is no better than one who commits an act whereby he would cook the corpse of his own son on a spit (?) (and) offer (his) fat to the fire.

Yima I 175 18. All (these are) followers of the Lie, the Lie incarnate, who have disrespect for the teacher. All those who disrespect the teacher are disobedient. All those who are disobedient are not ashawans. All who are not ashawans are tanu.pardthu. Asham wohu . . . [Repeat prayer (p. 183).]

16. Yima
Yima has already appeared in numerous places (e.g., Y. 9.5 [p. 152] and Yt. 19.31-38 [pp. 90-91]). It is now time to examine closely this complex and important figure. At the outset, one must be reminded that, as in so many cases, the Avesta does not provide one with a simple, primitive myth, but develops a complicated mythic complex whose component parts betray a multiplicity of origins and also of interrelated though variant themes. It is a firmly established fact that the myth of Yama (Av Yima) is proto-Indo-European in origin. Not only does he appear in the Indian sources from the Rgveda onward, as Yama the first mortal and then king of the dead, but also in Scandinavian mythology as the giant Ymir and in Roman legend as Remus. For the reconstruction of the Indo-European myth, I am indebted to B. Lincoln's excellent study.48 Yama means 'twin' (IE *yemo) and as such he had a brother whose name we may reconstruct as *Manu. The world begins with these two, Twin and Man, the first king and the first priest. In the course of events Man sacrifices Twin, with the result that from Twin's dismembered body Man creates the cosmos. There is also a primordial Bovine who, in the Indo-European version, suckles the twins, whereas in the Indo-Iranian version she or he is also sacrificed in order to produce animals and plants. The ramifications of the basic myth in Iran alone are manifold, as it was the subject of considerable reinterpretation. In the Avesta and, indeed, throughout Iranian literary history, Yima is primarily celebrated as the first king, king of the golden age. Under his rule men and animals did not die, plants did not wither, and there was an abundance of food. Water was plentiful. Although people reproduced, no one seems to have advanced beyond the ideal age of fifteen years. Unfortunately, Yima's paradisiacal kingdom, where there were extremes neither of heat nor of cold, did not endure forever. There occurred a "fail." According to Vendidad 2, this took place after nine hundred years; and, according to Yt. 19.31, after "a very long time." The reasons for the fall are at odds. Vend. 2.22 suggests that "the evil material existence" was at

776 / Yima fault, while Yt. 19.37 puts the blame on Yima himself in that he "introduced falsehood [untrue speech] to his mind." The latter version (Yt. 19.33-38), substantiated not only by later popular tradition, but also reflected in Zarathushtra's (poorly understood) condemnation of Yima (Y. 32.8), has the kingly Glory (Xwarsnah) flee from Yima to become the object of contest between Aryan and non-Aryan forces. The other version recounted in Vendidad 2 requires particular attention. The text, though it obviously contains much archaic material, is betrayed as the work of late, probably Arsacid, redactors by its degenerate use of the language and its excessive Zoroastrianization. Be that as it may, the first part of the chapter (through st. 19) preserves a cosmogonic motif of the successive overpopulation of the earth and subsequent expansion until it has reached the size it now is. It is interesting to note, in the light of the Indo-European myth, that Yima refuses to become a propagator of the faith. Instead he chooses to be king and to prosper in the world. He accepts two tokens of what might appear to be royalty, but which in fact are pieces of cattle-herding equipment, a goad and a whip. These, coupled with his standing epithet 'rich in herds', show that what one has here and in what follows is a remnant of an archaic pastoralist myth. The second part of the myth, which involves the construction of something called a wara, has been subject to the most diverse interpretations. One should first try to understand as best we can what the text says. Sts. 20-21 are fairly clear. At the time of the final overpopulation and expansion of the earth, Ahura Mazda and Yima call a joint assembly for gods and men. Ahura Mazda then goes on to tell the assembled gods and men that, because of the evil in the world, terrible winters will come to disrupt the temperate weather of Yima's realm (st. 22). As a result, a third of the livestock will die (st. 32). St. 24, I believe, has been generally misinterpreted. It is generally understood to mean that such floods will result from the spring runoff that one will be fortunate to be able to see a footprint anywhere. I read it as simple pastoralist poetry describing the abundance of grass watered by the spring runoff and the pleasure experienced at seeing the footprints of sheep in the thawed ground. Next, Yima is instructed to build a wara (sts. 25-26). The purpose of the wara is clear enough; it is to be a place of habitation for men and a barn for animals to protect them from the cold and snow. Hay is also to be stored up there for the winter. In what resembles the Noah's ark myth, couples of the best of the representative species of animals and plants, as well as couples of the best people, are to populate the wara. A stream is to flow through it. The building instructions are, unfortunately, not clear at all, except that the wara is to be three-storied and four-sided, and to have the dimensions of a cardtu (a measure borrowed from horse racing, meaning a full round of a

Yima I 177 course, approximately seven furlongs) per side. When Yima asks how he is to make the wara, Ahura Mazda tells him to kick away "some of this earth" with his heels (sts. 31-32). The next instruction is unclear. The verb, which occurs only here, has been etymologized as being related either to a verb 'to dig' (OInd khan-) or to a verb 'to chew, eat' (OInd khdd-). If one likes the idea that the wara was a cave of some sort, then 'dig' gains favor. If one is not a priori dedicated to the cave theory, then 'knead' becomes worthy of consideration, since kneading clay with the hands is a perfectly normal practice,49 whereas making a large excavation with one's hands is not. The nature, number, and arrangement of the entrances is also a problem. The word used (psrstu-) means in a general sense "crossing', but can indicate a bridge just as well as a ford. The number of entrances for each story, being in multiples of three, is at odds with the quadrangular shape. If there were an attempt at symmetry, how were the entrances arranged? St. 30 also mentions a door (dwarom) which was self-luminous, but the text seems to be mutilated here. A redactor saw fit to gloss dwaram with raocanam 'window', yet failed to supply a subject or a verb. Most modern interpreters have assumed on the basis of context that the verb apt- mar9z- must mean something like 'put, install, furnish' and so translate as: 'install a door in the wara'. Of course, this is impossible, as marsz- always has the basic meaning 'wipe, rub, clean' in Iranian. Thus the phrase about the door either has no verb, or api- marazcarries over to this phrase, which would then mean 'polish the door . . .'. Just as mysterious as the self-luminous door are the "lights" (i.e., stars) and the sun and moon (sts. 39-40). One assumes that somehow these were inside the wara during the long hibernations. Finally, sts. 41-43 imply, though somewhat ambiguously, that the duration of the hibernation was long indeed and is probably not over yet. This accords well with the later-attested Sasanid eschatology concerning the wara. The richly suggestive nature of this myth leads to a number of analyses. There is an obvious Sintflut (universal inundation) motif present. As soon as one substitutes 'flood' for 'snow', the myth of a high god telling a man of impending disaster and the steps he must take to avoid it, becomes all too clear. Another motif is that of a paradise or Elyseum for the elect. Inside the wara everyone lives "a most beautiful life." There is also an eschatological motif at least paralleled in, if not the source of, i\\o,fimbulvetr, the terrible winter attendant upon the Ragnarok of Scandinavian mythology. When one stops to consider that the myth of Yima's wara as it exists is late enough to have been shaped by any number of outside influences as well as internal theological developments, I see no reason to reject the validity of these influences. Nevertheless, behind these there lies a simpler kernel rooted in the realities of the pastoralist yearly cycle.

178 I Yima As I have noted, Yima is specifically a pastoralist in addition to being first man and king. Typologically he fits well the common mythological role of the "culture hero," usually a semidivine being or man whose actions provide the paradigms by which men live. He is the one to have taught mankind how to live and survive in the world. In geographical areas that experience extremities of seasonal changes in weather, pastoralist life is regulated by a pattern of spring-summer-fall nomadism and winter sedentarism. The unending movement to new pastures in summer contrasts with the sedentary struggle against snow, cold, and lack of fodder in winter. For this sort of seminomadic pastoralisrn, the welfare of animals and men depends on the ability to endure the hardships of winter. Now, it seems that at the root of Vend. 2.22-41 is a myth about the building of the first winter shelter at the end of the wonderful age of perpetual pleasant weather and prosperity. This original myth dealing with a yearly cycle, later misunderstood out of context, underwent a number of reinterpretations, the most significant of which was the transposition from a yearly to a cosmic cycle as part of Zoroastrian eschatolo-

gy-

In closing this long commentary, we should point out that the Rgveda confirms the interpretation of the wara as a shelter for animals and men. There is a Vedic myth, part of a cycle of cattle-raiding myths, about the vala (< *vara 'enclosure') where certain people (the Panis), hostile to the gods Brhaspati, Indra, and the Angirases, have their cows penned up. This vala is called in the most specific terms 'a cattle stall' (e.g., RV 3.30.10). It is usually portrayed as a rock cave and has walls around it (cf. RV 1.52.5). With their magic powers the gods destroy the enclosure and drive away the cows which they have thus stolen (see RV 10.67.6, "Indra . . . stole the cows"). In addition to the cows, the vala also contains the sun and the stars (rocana). It is hard to believe that this has nothing to do with the presence of the sun, (moon), and stars (raoca) in Yima's wara (sts. 39-40), though the connection is obscure.

Vendiddd 2
1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, creator of the material world, righteous! To whom among men did you, Ahura Mazda, first talk, other than to me, Zarathushtra? To whom did you teach the ahuric Zoroastrian Religion? 2. Then Ahura Mazda said: O righteous Zarathushtra, I, Ahura Mazda, first talked to him among men, handsome Yima rich in herds, other than you, Zarathushtra. I first taught him the ahuric Zoroastrian Religion. 3. Then I, Ahura Mazda, said to him, O Zarathushtra: Prepare yourself,

Yima I 179 O handsome Yima, son of Wlwahwant, (to be) the rememberer and bearer of the Religion. Then he, handsome Yima, answered me, O Zarathushtra: I have been neither created as nor taught to be a rememberer and bearer of the Religion. 4. Then I, Ahura Mazda, said to him, O Zarathushtra: If, O Yima, you are not prepared to be the rememberer and bearer of the Religion, then prosper my world, then augment my world. Then stand ready as protector and guardian and overseer of my world. 5. Then he, handsome Yima, answered me, O Zarathushtra: I shall prosper your world, I shall augment your world. I shall prepare myself to be the protector and guardian and overseer of your world. In my kingdom there will be neither cold wind nor hot, neither sickness nor death. 6. Then I, Ahura Mazda, gave him two pieces of equipment: a golden goad and a whip adorned with gold. 7. [Obscure.] 8. Then Yima's rule lasted three hundred years (lit. three hundred winters came to Yima's rule). Then the earth became for him (too) full of livestock and draft animals and men and dogs and birds and blazing red fires. They did not find space (enough)—livestock and draft animals and men. 9. Then I informed Yima: Handsome Yima, son of Wlwahwant, the earth is (too) full through the crowding of livestock and draft animals and men and dogs and birds and blazing red fires. They do not find space (enough)—livestock and draft animals and men. 10. Then about midday Yima went into the lights along the sun's path. He drove this earth with the golden goad. He lashed her with the whip saying, "Dear Spsnta Armaiti, go forth and spread out, O Bearer of livestock and draft animals and men!" 11. Then Yima made this earth expand to one-third larger than before. They made their home here—livestock and draft animals and men— according to their own will and pleasure [in whatever way was his pleasure]. 12-14. Then Yima's rule lasted six hundred years. Then the earth became for him (too) full. . . [continue with sts. 8-10 from". . . of livestock"]. 15. Then Yima made the earth expand to two-thirds larger than before. They made their home here . . . [continue with st. 11 from "—livestock"].

180 I Yima 16-18. Then Yima's rule lasted nine hundred years. Then the earth became for him (too) full . . . [continue, repeating sts. 8-10 as above]. 19. Then Yima made the earth expand to three-thirds larger than before. They made their home here . . . [continue wtih st. 11 as above]. 20. The Creator, Ahura Mazda, together with the spiritual deities, set up an assembly—[Ahura Mazda who is] renewed in Aryana Waejah of the good Daitya. Regal Yima of rich herds, together with the best men, set up an assembly—[Yima who is] renowned in Aryana Waejah of the good Daitya. 21. To that assembly came the Creator Ahura Mazda, together with the spiritual deities—[Ahura Mazda who is] renowned in Aryana Waejah of the good Daitya. To that assembly came regal Yima of rich herds, together with the best men—[Yima who is] renowned in Aryana Waejah of the good Daitya. 22. Then Ahura Mazda said to Yima: O handsome Yima, son of Wlwahwant, winters will come upon the evil material world, on account of which (will come) the hard, crushing (?) frost. Winters will come upon the evil world on account of which, from the first, it will snow snows from the highest mountains to the valleys (?) of Aradwi. 23. And a third of the livestock will survive here, (namely) what will be in the most terrible of places and what will be on the mountain tops and what (will be) in the river valleys, in roofed stalls. 24. Before this winter (sets in,) the land will bear grass. Much water will flow (?) to it (i.e., the grass) after the (spring) runoff of snow. And, O Yima, it seems to be wonderful here for material life when one can see the foot(prints) of the sheep. 25. Then make the wara the length of a carstu on each of its four sides. Thereupon, bring in the seed of (each kind of) livestock and draft animals and men and dogs and birds and blazing red fires. Then make the wara the length of a carstu on each of its four sides for the habitation of men; (and make it) the length of a caratu on each of its sides as a barn for cattle. 26. Thereupon have water flow forth (into the wara) along a course the size of a hathra. Thereupon store up hay. [Always (this food) yellow in color, always (this food), undiminishing, is eaten.]

Yima I 181 Thereupon set up houses [and a storeroom (?) and a portico (?) and a veranda (?) and a garden (?)]. 27. Thereupon assemble the seed of all men and women who are the largest and the best and the most beautiful of this earth. Thereupon assemble the seed of all species of livestock who are the largest and the best and the most beautiful of this earth. 28. Thereupon assemble the seed of all plants which are the tallest and most fragrant of this earth. Thereupon assemble the seed of all foods which are the best tasting and most fragrant of this earth. Make those (become) couples so that their seed will be inexhaustible as long as these men are in the structures (?). 29. (Let) not (enter) here (the following): neither a chicken-breasted (person) nor a hunchback nor . . . ( ? ) nor a fool nor a . . . (?) nor a deceiver (?) nor a (woman) with an itch (?) nor a spasmodic nor one without teeth nor a leper who has been outcaste nor yet any other of (those so) marked who belong to Angra Mainyu. 30. In the first area make nine entrances, in the middle six, in the lowest three. Assemble the seed of a thousand men and women in the first (area in the nine) entrances, in the middle six hundred, in the lowest three hundred. Drive those (couples) into the wara with the golden goad and clean the wara. . . . a door [window] shining by itself from within. 31. Then Yima thought: How shall I ever make the wara which Ahura Mazda told me about? Then Ahura Mazda said to Yima: Handsome Yima, son of Wlwahwant, with (your) heels kick away some of this earth. Knead (?) it with your hands just as now men mix (?) soft clay. 32. Then Yima did just as Ahura Mazda had required him (to do). He kicked away some of this earth with his heels. He kneaded (?) it with his hands just as now men mix (?) soft clay. 33. Then Yima made the wara the length of a carotu on each of its four sides. Thereupon he brought in ... [continue with st. 25, making necessary changes]. 34. Thereupon he made water flow . . . [continue with st. 26 as above]. 35. Thereupon he assembled the seed of all men and women . . . [continue with st. 27 as above]. 36. Thereupon he assembled the seed of all plants . . . [continue with st. 28 as above]. 37. (There entered) not here (the following): neither a chicken-breasted (person) . . . [continue with st. 29 as above]

182 I Yima 38. In the first area he made nine entrances . . . [continue with st. 30 as above]. 39. O righteous Creator of the material world, what then were these lights, O righteous Ahura Mazda, which shine in such a way in these structures (?) which Yima made. 40. Then Ahura Mazda said: (They were the) autonomous lights and the material (lights). Only once (a year) does one see the stars [and the moon and the sun] in their setting and rising. 41. And they consider a.day to be a year. After forty years, from two people were born two people, a couple (consisting of) a woman and a man, as (also) among those which belonged to the species of animals. And those people lived a most beautiful life in the structures (?) which Yima made. 42. Righteous Creator of the material world! Who then propagated the Mazdean religion in the structures (?) which Yima made? Then Ahura Mazda said: (It was) the Karshiptar bird,50 O Spitamid Zarathushtra. 43. Righteous Creator of the material world! Who is their ahu and ratu? Then Ahura Mazda said: Urwatat.nara, O Zarathushtra, and you, Zarathushtra."

17. Miscellanea: Sacred Prayers
In the reading selections, three sacred prayers, occurring frequently, have been identified with their opening words, namely: the Yenghe hatam, the Yatha ahu wairyo (Ahuna wairya), and the Asham wohu. In addition to these, another formula of worship has been identified as Ny. 1.16. The sacred prayers are in the Gathic dialect, but there is doubt that they are Zarathushtra's compositions. Although they are extremely obscure in meaning and seem to have functioned basically as "mantras," I have thought it necessary to give an approximate rendering in English. The formula identified as Ny. 1.16, ending with the Yenghe hatam, is in Young Avestan. It occurs at the end of the Kardahs (sections) of the Yashts. Yenghe hatam We worship the (male) and the (female) (Entities) in the worship of which Entities Ahura Mazda knows what is good according to Truth.

Miscellanea: Sacred Prayers I 183
Yathd ahu wairyo (Ahuna wairya) As an ahu is to be chosen, so a ratu (is to be chosen) in accordance even with Truth, (as) the implementer of the deeds of Good Mind; and Ahura Mazda's Dominion over life (is to be chosen) which is given as shepherd to the poor. Ash^m wohu Truth (is) good, it is Best Truth. According to (our) wish it is, according to our wish it shall be. Truth belongs to Best Truth.
Ny. 1.16 On account of X's* rayi and xwaranah, I shall worship him/her/them with audible worship, X with libations. We worship X with haoma containing milk, with barasman, with skill of tongue and with thought (mathra), and with speech and action and libations and with correctly uttered words. Yenghe hatam.
*With the substitution of X for Hwaraxshaeta.

Notes
1. Here I follow the classification of I. Gershevitch, The Avestan Hymn to Mithra (Cambridge, 1959). 2. I shall use the word 'cow' throughout in a generic sense to cover cows, bulls, oxen, and heifers. This is in keeping, with the ancient texts, which use the cognate word gaw-, which is feminine in gender, to refer to bovines in general. 3. The controversy is focused mainly on the question of the so-called tripartite structure of society. The literature is extensive and I refer the reader only to G. Dumezil, L'ideologie tripartie des indo-europeens (Bruxelles, 1958). The theory was ably discussed and criticized recently by J. Gonda, Triads in the Veda (Amsterdam, 1976), pp. 125-205. 4. Here I support the thesis of L. DeVries, Vedic rta- and asa, doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1979, against the one-sided interpretation of H. Liiders, Varunna (Gottingen, 1951-1959), though I translate asa contextually as 'Truth', rather than etymologically. 5. Histories 1.131. 6. See especially P. Thieme, Zeitschrift der deutschen Morgenldndischen Gesellschaft 107 (1957): 67-90. 7. M. Boyce, Zoroastrians (London, 1979), p. 18. 8. W. B. Henning, Zoroaster (Oxford, 1951), pp. 35^3. 9. Histories 1.132. 10. Journal of Indo-European Studies 3 (1975): 337-362. 11. The Gathas of Zarathustra (Tehran-Liege, 1975), pp. 141ff. 12. Indo-Iranian Journal 21 (1979): 104-113. 13. Cf. Rgveda 7.88.5-6. 14. The Gathas of Zarathustra pp. 251-252. 15. P. Thieme, Journal of the American Oriental Society 80 (1969): 308-309. 16. Perhaps some sort of curved or hooked weapon. 17. Identity unknown. 18. Die Religionen des alien Iran, 2nd ed. (Osnabriick, 1966). 19. Etudes mithriaques (Tehran/Liege, 1978), pp. 345-393. 20. Journal Asiatique 248 (1960): 421-430. 21. The Avestan Hymn to Mithra pp. 54-58. 22. Probably the plain of the upper Helmand river, dominated by the K6h-i Baba in modern Afghanistan. 23. The region south of modern Merv. 24. The region around modern Samarkand and Bukhara. 25. The Oxus region south of the Aral Sea.

184

Notes I 185
26. Journal Asiatique 271 (1953): 8-18. 27. The Avestan Hymn to Mithra, pp. 166ff. 28. In the Pahlavi texts it is the ratu offish, but its identity is unknown (sturgeon?). 29. A species of vulture, apparently with a ringneck. 30. The name seems to mean 'he who has wyambura as god'; that is, 'one who worships wyambura' or perhaps 'he whose gods are wyambura.' Unfortunately, we cannot safely even etymologize the word. The Wyambura daewas are mentioned only here. 31. Mythe et epopee, vol. Ill (Paris, 1973), pp. 21-89. 32. Perhaps a javelin. 33. W. F. Leemans, Ishtar of Lagaba and her Dress (Leiden, 1952). 34. Asiatica, Festschrift Friedrich Weller (Leipzig, 1954), pp. 404-413. 35. Although it is identified with Lake Urmia (northwestern Iran) in Pahlavi texts, it may have been the Avestan name for the Aral sea. 36. Probably the mountains in the vicinity of Tashkent. 37. Identity unknown. 38. A History of Zoroastrianism I (Leiden, 1975), pp. 61-62. 39. See Yt. 10.104. 40. Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Sprachforschung 82 (1968): 37-61. 41. Identity unknown. 42. Perhaps the Oxus river. 43. Identity of both mountains unknown. 44. Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality (New York, 1968). 45. Duraosha, a standing epithet of Haoma, has never been satisfactorily explained, although many ingenious suggestions have been made. My translation simply follows the interpretation of the Pahlavi commentators. 46. Identity unknown. 47. See N. S. Nyberg, "La legende de Keresaspa," in Oriental Studies in Honour of Cursetji Erachji Parvy (London, 1933), pp. 337-352. 48. History of Religions 15 (1975): 121-145. 49. Note that English 'make', German 'machen', etc., originally meant 'to knead'. The general meaning 'make' derives from the importance of wattle-and-daub construction. 50. Probably some kind of hawk or other bird of prey.

Glossary
Achaemenid. The Persian dynasty founded by Cyrus the Great (559 B.C.) and overthrown by Alexander the Great (330 B.C.). ahu. (1) A term used especially with reference to the religious community, meaning 'lord, master', often found in conjunction with ratu; (2) one of the human "souls" (see p. 104). Airyana Waejah. The Aryan land, Iran. Alburz. (1) The cosmic mountain, called either Haraiti or Hara Barazaiti; (2) an actual mountain range in northern Iran.
Arazahi. See karshwar.

Arsacid. The Parthian dynasty, which dominated Iran from 247 B.C. to c. 226 A.D. ashawan. A technical religious term meaning 'possessing, associated with Truth', used to designate anyone or anything connected with Truth; often rendered in English as 'righteous'; opposite of drugwant. Asto.widhatu. A demon of death. athrawan. A general term for 'priest, clergy'. avatara. Properly one of the ten incarnations of the Hindu god Visnu, used to designate any established incarnation or manifestation of a god, e.g., Tishtrya, Warathraghna. Bavri. Perhaps Babylon. baga, bagha. A characteristically Persian word for 'god'. baodhah. The faculty of consciousness, one of the human "souls" (see p. 104). barasman. Originally, sacred grass or twigs strewn on the ground as a seat for the gods at the sacrifice; later, a bundle of sticks or rods held by the priest during the ritual. Brahmana. A member of the Hindu priestly caste; (2) a kind of later Vedic text dealing with the symbolism and esoteric meaning of the sacrifice. Bundahishn. A ninth-century Pahlavi text. Bushyasta. Demoness of sloth, stupor, and sleepiness. caratu. A term of measure borrowed from chariot racing; a complete circuit of the racecourse or about seven furlongs (see hathra). Cista. A goddess of paths, both physical and spiritual; her name probably means 'Instruction'. daena. (1) In the Gathas, the good Vision; in later Zoroastrianism, simply the word for the Religion; (2) one of the human "souls" (see p. 104). Dahaka. (1) A member of a Scythian tribe, the Daha; (2) an epithet of the daewa Azhi Dahaka. dahyuma. (1) The genius of the country; (2) the human ratu of the country. Damoish Upamana. A curious deity who appears to be Warathraghna's alter ego. Danu. A tribe of Scythians living along the Yaxartes river.

186

Glossary I 187
Daitya. A sacred river in Airyana Waejah. Denkard. A ninth-century Pahlavi text. drugwant. Normalized spelling of Avestan dragwant, 'possessing, associated with the Lie'; opposite of ashawan. Druj, Drug. (1) The Lie as archdemon whose opposite is Truth; (2) a word for 'demon' (= daewa). Fradadhafshu. See karshwar. Frasho.karati. The name for the state at the end of time, when the forces of evil under Angra Mainyu will be overcome and the kingdom of god established eternally; the literal meaning is The Making Wonderful, Excellent', often translated as The Renovation'. Gaya Maratan. The name of the first mortal. Gaokarana. The name of a mythical cosmic tree. Garo.nmana. The 'House of Song', i.e., heaven. god. See baga and yazata. Hapto.iringa. Ursa Major. Hara. See Alburz. Haraiti. See Alburz. hathra. A measure equal to one-half a caratu, i.e., about three and one-half furlongs. hawanan. The name of the particular priest in charge of the haoma-press (hawana). kaidhya. A kind of evil person, perhaps the same as kayadha. kardah. A section (given in the text in Roman numerals) or division of most Yashts. karshwar. In Iranian cosmography the earth consists of seven continents (karshwar) as follows: (1) Arazahl (west), (2) Sawahl (east), (3) Fradadhafshu (southeast), (4) WIdadhafshu (southwest), (5) Wouru.barashti (northwest), (6) Wouru.jarashti (northeast), (7) Xwaniratha (the central continent where Airyana Waejah is situated). Kasaoya. The HamQn sea in Seistan. kayadha. A type of evil person, perhaps 'astrologer'. Khotanese. The Middle Iranian, Scythian (Saka) language of Khotan in Central Asia. Kushan. The ruling dynasty of much of eastern Iran, Iranian Central Asia, and northwestern India during the first to third centuries A.D. Mahabharata. One of the great Indian epics. mathra. Originally this word meant 'thought' or its verbal expression, that is, 'sacred utterance'. In many contexts, however, it is best translated as '(magical) spell'. See also Spanta Mathra and tanu.mathra. Mazandaran. A region of northern Iran famous for its irreligion. Muraka. Some sort of demonic being or person. Median. (1) The first great Iranian dynasty, overthrown by Cyrus; (2) the language of Media, preserved only in words and names attested to in other ancient languages. Nairyo.saghha. A minor deity of prayer. nmanya. (1) The genius of the house; (2) the human ratu of the house. Nyayishn. A section of the Avesta, here abbreviated Ny. Old Persian. The language of the Achaemenid inscriptions. Pahlavi. The Middle Persian language of the later Zoroastrian texts. pairika. Witch, sorceress. Paoiryaenis. The Pleiades. Parsndi. The goddess 'Plenitude'. Parsis. The Zoroastrians who settled in India. Paurwanya. A constellation of uncertain identity. pasho.tanu. A legal term for certain grievous sins or the sinner; meaning 'whose body is forfeit' (see tanu.psratha).

188 I Glossary
Ramayana. One of the great Indian epics. Rangha. A mythical river. ratu. A term for 'judge' used especially in reference to the religious community; found often in conjunction with ahu. rayi. Avestan possessed two homonyms rayi meaning 'wealth, opulence' and 'insight'. The word appears frequently in the phrase "on accout of/through X's rayi and xwarsnah (glory)" where it is usually difficult to tell which meaning was intended. I have left the word untranslated both to indicate the ambiguity and to emphasize that, as far as the redactors of the Avesta were concerned, the phrase was little more than a meaningless (though sacred) mantra. Razishta Cista. See Cista. Rgveda. The most ancient Indian text, containing one thousand seventeen hymns and dated ' c. 1300-900 B.C. Sasanid. The dynasty that ruled Iran c. 226-651 A.D. Satawaesa. Perhaps Fomalhaut. Sawahl. See karshwar. Sogdian. The Middle Iranian language spoken in the ancient province of Sogdiana. Spanta Mathra. The Beneficent or Holy Word, the hypostatization of the divine revelation. sraosha.carana. An instrument for inflicting punishment. Staota Yesnya. A portion of the Yasna. tanu.mathra. A technical term of uncertain meaning, perhaps 'whose body consists of mathras,' used to describe certain holy persons and deities. tanu.pdrstha. A technical legal term for a grievous sin punishable by two hundred lashes and excommunication (see pasho.tanu). Tishtryaeinis. Canis Minor. Tura, Turanian. Originally probably a Scythian tribe, later applied to all Central Asian nomads. Upa.paoiri. 41 Arietis. Urwatat.nara. Zarathustra's youngest son. Ush.dam, Ushi.darana. Two names for a sacred mountain. Vasistha. A Vedic poet-seer (rsi). Wanant. Vega. Warsna. Perhaps modern Buner, a district northeast of Peshawar, Pakistan. The name often appears in an adjectival derivative wardnya 'coming from Warana'; in Pahlavi, however, it is consistently glossed with waranig 'greedy, concupiscent'. It is difficult to know which is meant in the Avesta. It may be that warsnya represents two homonyms. warshna. Name of a kind of demonic being or person. WIdadhafshu. See karshwar. Wispe Ratawo. A section of the Avesta (= Visperad). wisya. (1) The genius of the settlement; (2) the human ratu of the settlement. Wouru.barashti. See karshwar. Wouru.jarsshti. See karshwar. Xwaniratha. See karshwar. xrafstra. A term for noxious creatures—frogs, ants, spiders, etc., and especially snakes. yazata. The common Zoroastrian term for 'god, deity' (see baga). zantuma. (1) The genius of the tribe; (2) the human ratu of the tribe. zarathushtrotama. The title of the highest ecclesiastic (?) authority.

Bibliography
The following is a select bibliography. Extensive documentation can be found in M. Boyce's History (Cited below) and B. Schlerath, Awesta-Worterbuch, Vorarbeiten I, Wiesbaden, 1968.

General Works
Boyce, M. A History ofZoroastrianism, vol. I, Leiden, 1975. Duchesne-Guillemin, J. La religion de I'Iran ancien, Paris, 1962. Frye, R. N. The Heritage of Persia, Cleveland, 1963. Widengren, G. Die Religionen Irans, Stuttgart, 1965. Zaehner, R. C. The Dawn and Twilight ofZoroastianism, London, 1961.

Old Iranian Religious Literature and Textual Criticism
Boyce, M. "Middle Persian Literature," Handbuch der Orientalistik, 1. Abt., 4. Bd., 2. Abschn., Lf. 1, Leiden, 1968. Geldner, K. F. Avesta, the Sacred Books of the Parsis, 3 vols., Stuttgart, 1889-96 (esp. the Prolegomena). Gershevitch, I. "Old Iranian Literature," Handbuch der Orientalistik.

Indo-Iranian Religion (in addition to the general works cited above)
Benveniste, E. Le vocabulaire des institutions indo-europeennes, 2 vols., Paris, 1969. Dumezil, G. L'ideologie tripartie des Indo-Europeens, Bruxelles, 1958. Gonda, J. Triads in the Veda, Amsterdam, 1976 (chpts. III-IV). Thieme, P. "The 'Aryan' Gods of the Mitanni Treaties," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 80, 1960. Thieme, P. "Vorzarathustrisches bei den Zarathustriern und bei Zarathustra," Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, 107, 1957. De Vries, L. J. Vedic rtd- and Avestan asa- Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1979.

Zarathushtrianism
Duchesne-Guillemin, J. The Western Response to Zoroaster, Oxford, 1958. Dumezil, G. Naissance d'archanges, Paris, 1945. Geiger, B. Die Amasa Spantas, Wien, 1916. Henning, W. B. Zoroaster, Politician or Witch-doctor, London, 1951. Lommel, H. Die Religion Zarathustras, Tubingen, 1930. Nyberg, H. S. Die Religionen des alien Iran (reprint), Osnabriick, 1966.

189

190 I Bibliography The Reading Selections. (In addition to the handbooks, H. Lommel, Die Vast's des Awesta, Gottingen, 1927, contains excellent summaries of all the Yast's and Vendidad II. Where no bibliography is given, consult these works.)
Ahura Mazda
Kent, R. G. Old Persian, New Haven, 1953. Lommel, H. Die Religion Zarathustras, (1930). Liiders, H. Varuna, 2 vols., Gottingen, 1951-59. Thieme, P. "The 'Aryan' Gods" (1960).

Zarathushtra
Duchesne-Guillemin, J. The Hymns of Zarathustra, Boston, 1963. Insler, S. The Gathas of Zarathustra, Tehran-Liege, 1975.

Mithra
Benveniste, E. "Mithra aux vastes paturages," Journal Asiatique, 248, 1960. Gershevitch, I. The Avestan Hymn to Mithra, Cambridge, 1959. Schmidt, H.-P. "Indo-Iranian Mitra Studies: the State of the Central Problem," Etudes Mithriaques, Tehran/Liege, 1978. Thieme, P. Mitra and Aryaman, New Haven, 1959.

Wsrsthraghna
Benveniste, E. & L. Renou, Vrtra et Vrthragna, Paris, 1934.

Xwarsnah
Bailey, H. W. Zoroastrian Problems in the Ninth-Century Books, Oxford, 1971. Duchesne-Guillemin, J. "Le x v aranah," Annali dell'Istituto Orientate di Napoli, 5, 1963 Dumezil, G. Mythe et epopee, III, Paris, 1973.

Wayu
Wikander, S. Vayu I, Uppsala, 1941.

Frawashi's
Malandra, W. W. The Fravasi Yast, Dissertation University of Pennsylvania, 1971. Modi, J. J. The Funeral Ceremonies of the Parsees, 2nd ed., Bombay, 1905.

Ardwl Sura Anahita
Weller, H. Anahita, Tubingen, 1938.

Tistrya
Forssman, B. "Apaosa, der Gegner des Tistria," Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Sprachforschung, 82, 1968. Henning, W. B. "An Astrological Chapter of the Bundahisn," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1942. MacKenzie, D. "Zoroastrian Astrology in the Bundahisn," BSOAS, 27, 1964.

Bibliography I 191 Haoma
Brough, J. "Soma and Amanita Muscaria," BSOAS, 34, 1971. Gershevitch, I. "An Iranianist's View of the Soma Controversy," Memorial Jean de Menasce, Louvain, 1974. Wasson, R. G. Soma, divine mushroom of immortality, New York, 1968.

Vendidad
Darmesteter, J. Le Zend-Avesta, vol. 2, Paris, 1892 (pp. v-xxiv).

Yima
Christensen, A. Les types du premier homme et du premier roi, II, Leiden, 1934. Hertel, J. Die Himmelstore im Veda und im Awesta, Leipzig, 1924. Lincoln, B. "The Indo-European Myth of Creation," History of Religions, 15, 1975. Mole, M. "La guerre des geants," Indo-Iranian Journal, 3, 1959.

Index
Achaemenid: inscriptions, 4, 44-51, 88; kings, see Artaxerxes, Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes Adityas, 20, 46 Aeshma, see Wrath Agriculture, 57, 141-42, 146, 147 Ahu: authority, 38, 55, 70; life soul, 104, 115 Ahuna wairya, 95, 139 Ahura(s), 13-14, 35, 46, 72, 103 Ahura Mazda (Ahuramazda), 18-23, 24, 35-55, 76, 103, 113, 131, 137, 160ff. Alexander the Great, 17, 30 Amarstat, 20, 54, 69 Amssha Spantas, 19-20, 35, 46, 65, 69, 75, 90, 113, 131, 135-36 Amulets, 82, 85 Anahita (Arsdwl Sura), 24, 47, 117-30, 131, 142 Ancestors, 103-5, 110 Angirases, 105, 136, 178 Angra Mainyu (Evil Spirit), 19, 22, 23, 53, 55, 70, 73, 92, 97, 98, 106, 112, 133, 140, 147, 152. See also Two Spirits Apam Napat, 89, 93, 115, 143, 147 Apaosha, 140-43, 145-46 Arsdwl Sura, see Anahita Armaiti, 20, 43, 54, 55, 69, 105 Artaxerxes II, 24, 47, 55, 117; III, 55 Arya(n), 6, 14, 29, 86, 87, 94, 106 Asha, see Truth Ashawan (righteous), 44 et passim Ashi, 64, 65, 66, 117, 130-35, 136, 137, 147, 155 Asmo.xwanwant, 54 Asto.widhatu, 70, 98, 166 Astwat.grata, 96 Asura, 13-14, 45,46 Atar, 59, 159-61. See also Fire Athrawan, 8, 126 Avatara, 81 Avesta(n), 4, 6, 16,25,27-31 Baodhah,104, 115 Bardiya, 48 Barasman, 15, 79, 108, 129, 135, i37, 161 Barssnum, 163, 170-73 Beaver, 119, 130 Benveniste, E., 58, 81 Boar, 67, 74 Boyce, M., 136 Brahman, 8 Brahmana, 8, 9, 21 Brhaspati, 136, 178 Buddha, 3 Buddhism, 3 Bushyasta, 70, 74 Camel(s), 42, 44, 83 Chaos, 11-12 Christ, 3 Christianity, 3, 4, 6, 17 Cinwat-bridge, 104, 136 Cista, 73 Corpses, 162, 163, 164, 166, 167, 168 Cosmic mountain, 11. See also Kara Cosmic sea, 12. See also Wouru.kasha Cosmogony, 10-11 Cosmography, 11-12 Cosmology, 9-12 Cosmos, 11-12 Covenant, 56ff., 160. See also Mithra

192

Index I 193
Cow(s), 7, 60, 63, 69, 83, 143, 155, 157, 158, 176; Fashioner of, 18, 21; Lament of, 35-39; Soul of, 18, 21; urine of, 164, 168 Creation, see Cosmogony Cyrus the Great, 16, 18, 23, 48 Daena: religion, 66, 69, 115, 121, 131, 139; soul, 37, 38, 112, 115; vision, 37, 38, 41, 43 Daewa, 5, 13-14, 21, 24, 37, 38, 44, 47, 51, 65, 101, 103, 170 Dahaka(s), 158; Azhi, 81, 88, 92-93, 96, 99, 122, 152 Daitya, 98 Damoish Upamana, 66, 67, 74, 79 Danus, 109 Darius I, 4, 24, 44-51, 55; III, 17 Daxma(s), 163, 167, 170 Death, 104-5 Denkard, 16, 26, 77 Dominion (Xshathra), 20, 39, 54, 69, 136 Drugwant(s), 40, 44 et passim Dualism, 11-14, 19-20, 22, 163-64 Dumezil, G.,78, 89 Earth, 43,70, 105, 107, 163, 179 Entities, 19. See also Amasha Spantas Eschatology, 22-23, 177 Falcon, 82, 84, 85, 91 Falsehood, 13, 19ff., 24, 37. See also Lie Fire, 10, 15, 74, 89, 92-93, 159-61, 163, 164. See also Atar Fire-worship, 3 Frangrasyan, 88, 93-95, 123, 158 Frashaoshtra, 18, 42 Frawashi, 59, 66, 102-17, 147 Free-will, 20, 40 Funerary rites, 163, 166-68 Gaokarana, 54 Gandarava, 91, 100 Gathas, 16, 17, 27, 35-44, 135, 137, 157 Gathic, 27 Gaumata, 48 Gaya Maratan, 113-14 Gershevitch, 81 Gnosticism, 3 Good Mind (Wohu Manah), 20, 35, 38, 42, 43, 44, 54, 69, 92, 97, 156 Haecat.aspa, 17 Haoma(Soma), 15, 21-22, 69, 132, 151-58 Haoshyangha Paradhata, 90, 98, 122 Haosrawah, 95, 100, 123 Hapto.iringa, 111, 144 Hara, HaraitI, 11, 65, 69, 122, 139 Haurwatat, 20, 54, 69 Hawanan, 69 Heaven, 9-11, 43, 97, 105, 107, 135 Herodotus, 14,24, 117, 118 Hinduism, 4, 5, 21 Holy Word (Mathra Spanta), 51, 54, 62, 79, 113, 115, 132, 139 Horse(s), 42, 44, 60, 61, 64, 67, 73, 74, 83, 85, 93, 95, 99, 120, 122, 124, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 139, 141-42, 143, 145^6, 148, 158 Hospitality, 14-15 Hotar, 17 Hutaosa, 101 Hwaraxshaeta, 9. See also Sun Hydrology (rivers, rain, snow melt, etc.), 7, 10, 11,57, 109, 110, 111, 117, 120, 141^2, 144ff., 163 Hymns, 15 India, 7, 23 Indo-Aryan(s), 4, 6, 9, 10 Indo-European(s), 6, 7, 36, 39, 84 Indo-Iranian(s), 4, 6, 8, 9, 15 Indra, 12,21, 57,81, 136, 178 Insight, 103 Insler, S.,37,42 Iran, 3, 5-6, 29 Iranian: language, 5, 6, 25; people, 4, 6; religion, 4, 5, 6, 26, 45 Ishtar, 118 Islam, 3, 30, 135, 136 Jamaspa, 18, 42, 125 Jesus,5 Judaism, 3, 22, 25 Judge, 56, 76. See also Rashnu, Ratu Karapan, 18 Karshwar(s), 60, 66, 74, 95 Kawi (Kavi), 18, 88, 94 Kayadha,61,138 Karssaspa, 82, 91, 100, 123, 152, 160 Kingship, 8, 29, 48-51, 56, 88, 107, 175 Kushan, 58

194 I Index
Lie, 40, 41, 44, 47, 48, 50, 68, 106, 112, 163. See also Falsehood Lincoln, B., 36, 175 Lommel, H., 119
Magus (Magi), 3, 8, 24, 25, 26, 29 Mahabharata, 56 Manichaeism, 3, 58 Maruts, 105 Media(n), 26, 29 Menstruation, 162, 163, 169, 173-74 Missionaries, 24ff. Mithra (Mitra, Mihr), 9, 10, 24, 47, 55-75, 86,91,97, 103, 105, 115, 136 Monotheism, 19 Moon, 42, 75, 106, 143 Muhammad, 3 Nairya Sangha, 65, 137 Nanghaithya, 21 Naotarids, 101, 131, 134 Nasatya, 21 Nasks, 26, 154 Nasu Druj, 162-64, 169, 171, 172 Nature-mythology, 8-9 Nebuchadrezzar, 48 Nietzsche, F., 3 Nirangistan, 27 Noah's Ark, 5, 176 Nomads, 6-7, 16 Nyberg, H. S., 55 Old Persian, 26, 45 Ordeals, 76, 79, 160 Oxus, 49 Pahlavi, 26 Pairikas, see Witches Parandi, 66, 147 Parsis, 3, 50 Pasturalism, 6, 7, 176-78 Persia (Persis, Parsa), 26, 29, 50 Plato, 3,17 Pollution, 162-75 Pourushaspa, 17, 121, 153 Priest(hood), 8, 17-18, 69 Purity, 162-75 Rajanya, 8 Ramayana, 36 Rangha, 71 Rashnu, 56, 64, 68, 71, 73, 75, 76-80, 86, 105, 133, 136 Rathaeshta, 8. See also Warrior Ratu, 38, 44, 55, 70, 137, 141, 148 Renovation (Frasho.karaiti), 104, 111 Rsi(s), 29 Rudra-Shiva, 21 Sacrifice (yajna, yasna), 14-16, 21, 27, 37, 87, 122, 150-51, 158, 159-61 Saoshyant(s), 22-23, 89, 90, 96, 106, 131 SaraswatT, 119 Sasanid, 26, 30 Satawaesa, 97, 109, 141, 144 Saurwa (Sharva), 21 Schmidt, H-P., 37, 56 Scythians, 24, 49 Sexuality, 131, 134-35, 164 Social organization, 7-8 Sondergotter, 9 Soul, 43, 104-5, 112. See also Ahu, Baodhah, Urwan Spells, 47, 53,54, 61,86, 101, 102 Spanta Mainyu, 19, 20, 36, 41, 43, 54, 58, 66, 92, 98, 105, 106, 108, 149 Spies, 64 Sraosha, 57, 65, 70, 77, 115, 131, 133, 135-40, 155 Stars, 106, 111, 141-43, 147, 148. See also Satawaesa, Tishtrya Sun, 9, 42, 58, 60, 75, 89, 106, 113 Taxma Urupi, 90, 99 Thraetaona, 81, 91, 96, 100, 122, 124 Thvorashtar, 36, 56. 58, 137 TIr, 140, 142 Tishtrya, 9, 75, 82, 97, 140-49 Truth, 11-13, 19ff., 25, 35, 38, 42, 43, 44, 46, 69, 92, 136, 156, 163 Turan, 22, 109, 124. See also Frangrasyan Tvastr, 36 Twins, 19, 22, 39-40 Two Spirits, 39-40, 106, 113, 138, 153, 157 Urwan, 104-5 Varuna, 20, 41, 45-46, 55, 57,78-79 Vasistha, 36, 41,45 Vedas, 4, 29, 37, 45, 55, 105, 136, 150

Index I 195
Vendidad, 25, 26, 27, 162-75 Visnu, 78, 81 Visvamitra, 36 Vrtra, 12,80-81, 143 Wara, 5, 176-78, 180-82 Warfare, 7, 23, 36, 59, 60, 63, 64, 65, 71, 86, 103, 108, 110 Warrior(s), 8, 42, 57, 103, 107 Wata, 9, 10,81,97, 147 Wayu, 9, 10, 81,.97-102, 104, 166 Weapons, 53, 61, 63, 64, 70, 71, 72, 74, 110, 112, 139 Warsthraghna, 66, 67, 80-88, 97 Wlshtaspa, 18, 23, 36, 42, 50 (Darius' father), 96, 101, 115, 128, 129, 131, 135 Witches, 62, 141, 144, 147, 149 Wohu Manah, see Good Mind Women, 7, 62, 95, 101, 120, 126, 132, 135, 157 Worship, see Sacrifice Wouru.kasha, 88, 93, 94, 103, 111, 120, 123, 141. 144ff., 163 Wrath, 22. 38, 55, 74, 92, 137, 140, 156 Xerxes, 4, 24, 47,55, 117 Xusrou I, 30 Xwaranah, 58, 60, 66, 74, 82, 88-97, 103, 111, 147 Yashts, 27 Yasna, 27. See also Sacrifice Yima (Yama), 5, 82. 88, 90-91, 99, 122, 152, 175-82 Zaotar, 17,21,69, 135 Zarathushtra (Zoroaster), 3, 17ff., 23, 24, 25,35-44, 109,111, 114, 121, 134, 136-37, 151 Zarathushtrianism, 4, 16ff., 25 Zoroastrianism, 3, 4, 17, 23-26

William W. Malandra earned a B.A. in philosophy at Haverford College, an M.A. in religious studies at Brown University, and his doctorate in Indo-Iranian studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an associate professor of South Asian languages at the University of Minnesota, where he also serves as chairman of the program in religious studies.

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