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MAGI - ZOROASTRIANISM: THE AVESTA

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Author Topic: MAGI - ZOROASTRIANISM: THE AVESTA  (Read 3950 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #135 on: September 10, 2007, 10:46:56 am »







YASNA 61.
1.
Let us peal forth the Ahuna-vairya in our liturgy between the heaven and earth, and let us send forth the Asha Vahishta in our prayer the same, and the Yenhe hatam. And let us send forth in our liturgies between the heaven and earth the pious and good prayer of the pious man for blessings, (2) for the encounter with, and for the displacement of Angra Mainyu with his creatures which are likewise evil as he is, for he is filled with death (for those whom he has made). Aye, let us send that petition forth for the encounter with, and for the dislodgment of the Kahvaredhas and of the individual Kahvaredha the male, and the female (to the last individual of each), (3) and for the encounter with, and the dislodgment of the Kayadhas, and of the individual Kayadhians, male and female, and of the thieves and robbers, of the Zandas, and the sorcerers, of the covenant breakers, and of those who tamper with the covenants. 4. Yea, we send it forth for the encounter with, and for the overthrow of the murderers of the saints, and of those who hate and torment us for our Faith, and of those who persecute the ritual, and the tyrant full of death. Yea, let us peal them forth for the encounter with and the overthrow of the wicked, O Zarathushtra Spitama! whoever they may be, whose thoughts, and words, and works are not congenial to the holy ritual laws.
5.
And how shall we drive the Demon of the Lie from hence from us? Aye, how shall we, the prophets who are yet to serve and save (thy people), drive the Druj from hence, so that we, having power over her as being utterly without power, may drive her hence with blow from the seven Karshvars, for the encounter with, and for the dislodgment of the entire evil world?


http://www.avesta.org/yasna/y54to72s.htm
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« Reply #136 on: September 10, 2007, 10:48:28 am »







YASNA 62.
TO THE FIRE.
1.
I offer my sacrifice and homage to thee, the Fire, as a good offering, and an offering with our hail of salvation, even as an offering of praise with benedictions, to thee, the Fire, O Ahura Mazda's son! Meet for sacrifice art thou, and worthy of (our) homage. And as meet for sacrifice, and thus worthy of our homage, may'st thou be in the houses of men (who worship Mazda). Salvation be to this man who worships thee in verity and truth, with wood in hand, and Baresman ready, with flesh in hand, and holding too the mortar. 2. And may'st thou be (ever) fed with wood as the prescription orders. Yea, may'st thou have thy perfume justly, and thy sacred butter without fail, and thine andirons regularly placed. Be of full-age as to thy nourishment, of the canon's age as to the measure of thy food, O Fire, Ahura-Mazda's son! 3. Be now aflame within this house; be ever without fail in flame; be all ashine within this house; be on thy growth within this house; for long time be thou thus to the furtherance of the heroic (renovation), to the completion of (all) progress, yea, even till the good heroic (millennial) time when that renovation shall have become complete. 4. Give me, O Fire, Ahura Mazda's son! a speedy glory, speedy nourishment, and speedy booty, and abundant glory, abundant nourishment, abundant booty, an expanded mind, and nimbleness of tongue for soul and understanding, even an understanding continually growing in its largeness, and that never wanders, and long enduring virile power, (5) an offspring sure of foot, that never sleeps on watch [not for a third part of the day, or night], and that rises quick from bed, and likewise a wakeful offspring, helpful to nurture, or reclaim, legitimate, keeping order in men's meetings, (yea,) drawing men to assemblies through their influence and word, grown to power, skillful, redeeming others from oppression, served by many followers, which may advance my line (in prosperity and fame), and (my) Vis, and my Zantu, and (my) province, (yea, an offspring) which may deliver orders to the Province as (firm and righteous rulers). 6. And may'st thou grant me, O Fire, Ahura Mazda's Son! that whereby instructors may be (given) me, now and for evermore, (giving light to me of Heaven) the best life of the saints, brilliant, all glorious. And may I have experience of the good reward, and the good renown, and of the long forecasting preparation of the soul. 7. The Fire of Ahura Mazda addresses this admonition to all for whom he cooks the night and morning (meal). From all these, O Spitama! he wishes to secure good care, and healthful care (as guarding for salvation), the care of a true praiser. 8. At both the hands of all who come by me, I, the Fire, keenly look: What brings the mate to his mate (thus I say to him), the one who walks at large, to him who sits at home? [We worship the bounteous Fire, the swift-driving charioteer.]
9.
And if this man who passes brings him wood brought (with good measure that is) with sacred care, or if he brings the Baresman spread with sanctity, or the Hadhanaepata plant, then afterwards Ahura Mazda's Fire will bless him, contented, not offended, and in (its) satisfaction (saying thus). 10. May a herd of kine be with thee, and a multitude of men, may an active mind go with thee, and an active soul as well. As a blest soul may'st thou live through thy life, the nights which thou shall live. This is the blessing of the Fire for him who brings it wood (well) dried, sought out for flaming, purified with the earnest blessing of the sacred ritual truth. 11. We strive after the flowing on of the good waters, and their ebb as well, and the sounding of their waves, desiring their propitiation; I desire to approach them with my praise.


12.
(= Y3.24-25).

 
YASNA 63.
(See Y15.2; Y66.2; Y38.3.)


YASNA 64.
(See Y46.3; Y50.6-11.)
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« Reply #137 on: September 10, 2007, 10:51:48 am »








YASNA 65.
TO ARDVI SURA ANAHITA, AND THE WATERS.
1.
I will praise the water Ardvi Sura Anahita, the wide-flowing (as it is) and healing in its influence, efficacious against the Daevas, devoted to Ahura's lore, and to be worshipped with sacrifice within the corporeal world, furthering all living things (?) and holy, helping on the increase and improvement of our herds and settlements, holy, and increasing our wealth, holy, and helping on the progress of the Province, holy (as she is)? 2. (Ardvi Sura Anahita) who purifies the seed of all male beings, who sanctifies the wombs of all women to the birth, who makes all women fortunate in labor, who brings all women a regular and timely flow of milk, (3) (Ardvi Sura Anahita) with a volume sounding from afar, which is alone equal in its bulk to all the waters which flow forth upon earth, which flows down with mighty volume from high Hukairya to the sea Vouru-kasha. 4. And all the gulfs in Vouru-kasha are stirred (when it falls down), all the middle doth well up when Ardvi Sura Anahita rushes in, when she plunges foaming into them, she, whose are a thousand tributaries, and a thousand outlets, and each as it flows in, or rushes out, is a forty days' ride in length to a rider mounted well.
5.
And the (chief) outlet to this one water (Ardvi Sura Anahita) goes apart, dividing to all the seven Karshvars. And this outlet to my river, Ardvi Sura Anahita, bears off its water always in summer and in winter. This my river purifies the seed of men, and wombs of women, and women's milk.
6.
Let the saints' Fravashis now draw near, those of the saints who live, or have lived, of those born, or yet to be born; yea, let them come near which have borne these waters up stream from the nearest ones (that lie below as the outlet pours away) 7. Let not our waters be for the man of ill intent, of evil speech, or deeds, or conscience; let them not be for the offender of a friend, not for an insulter of a Magian, nor for one who harms the workmen, nor for one who hates his kindred. And let not our good waters (which are not only good, but) best, and Mazda-made, help on the man who strives to mar our settlements which are not to be corrupted, nor him who would mar our bodies, (our) uncorrupted (selves), (Cool nor the thief, or bludgeon-bearing ruffian who would slaughter the disciples, nor a sorcerer, nor a burrier of dead bodies, nor the jealous, nor the niggard, nor the godless heretic who slays disciples, nor the evil tyrant among men. Against these may our waters come as torments. As destructive may these come (?), may they come to him who has done those first (foul evils), as to him who does the last.
9.
O waters! rest still within your places while the invoking priest shall offer.
Shall not the invoker make offering to these good waters, and with the inculcated words? (And how shall this be done?) Shall he not be tongue-fettered, if he offers else than with the ritual? Shall (not) the words be so delivered as the Aethrapaiti teaches? Where shall the blessings be (inserted)? Where the supplications with confessions? Where the gifts of those that offer? 10. (It shall be only thus) as Ahura Mazda showed before to Zarathushtra, and as Zarathushtra taught the corporeal worlds (the men on earth)! Thou shalt pray the first petition to the waters, O Zarathushtra, and after that thou shalt offer the Zaothras to the waters, sanctified, and sought out with pious care; and thou shalt pronounce these words (as follows, thus): (11) O ye waters, I beseech of you this favor; and grant ye me this great one in whose bestowal ye flow down to me for the bettering (of my state), with a never-failing truth. O ye waters, I beseech of you for wealth of many kinds (which gives) power (to its holder), and for an offspring self-dependent whom multitudes will bless, and for whose wasting, or defeat, or death, or vengeful punishment, or overtaking, no one prays.
12.
And this do I beseech of you, O waters, this, O ye lands, and this, ye plants! This wealth and offspring I beseech of You, O Ye Bountiful Immortals, who rule aright, who dispose (of all) aright, O Ye good beings, male and female, givers of good things; and this I beseech of you, O ye beneficent, mighty, and overwhelming Fravashis of the saints, and this (of thee), O Mithra of the wide pastures, and this of thee, O blest and stately Sraosha; and of thee, O Rashnu the most just, and of thee, O Fire, Ahura Mazda's son; and of thee, O lofty lord, the royal Apam-napat, of the fleet horses; aye, of You all, ye Yazads, bestowers of the better gifts and holy. 13. And this do ye therefore grant me, O ye holy waters, and ye lands!
14.
And grant me likewise what is still greater than this all, and still better than this all, and more beautiful, and more exceeding precious (and that is, Immortality and Welfare), O Ye Yazads, holy and ruling mightily, and powerful at once, and grant it speedily according to this Gathic (?) word: (Yea), by veritable grace let that be done (?) for us which is most promotive of our weal. 15. And according to this further word again: Grant me, Thou who art maker of the Kine, the plants, and the waters, Immortality and likewise Weal, O Ahura Mazda, Thou most bounteous Spirit. And grant me these two eternal gifts through Thy Good Mind in the doctrine.
16-18.
(See Y15.2; Y56.3-4.)
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« Reply #138 on: September 10, 2007, 10:53:40 am »







YASNA 66.
TO THE AHURIAN ONE.
1.
I am now offering this Zaothra here with sanctity, together with the Haoma and the flesh, and the Hadhanaepata lifted up with sacred regularity as to thee, O Ahurian One, for the propitiation of Ahura Mazda, of the Bountiful Immortals, of Sraosha (Obedience) the blessed, and of the Fire of Ahura Mazda, the ritual's lofty lord.
2.
(=Y7,5-19.)
3.
(=Y22, Y28.24-27.)




YASNA 67.
1-4.
(See Y23.1-4, replacing 'I desire to approach with sanctity' by 'I offer with sanctity;' see also Y7.24.)
5-7.
(See Y38.3-5.)


http://www.avesta.org/yasna/y54to72s.htm
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« Reply #139 on: September 10, 2007, 10:55:51 am »








YASNA 68.
TO THE AHURIAN ONE, AND THE WATERS.
1.
We offer this to thee, O Ahurian (daughter) of Ahura! as a help (?) for life. If we have offended thee, let this Zaothra then attain to thee (for satisfaction), for it is thine with its Haoma, and its milk, and its Hadhanaepata. 2. And may'st thou approach to me for milk and for libation, a Zaothra! as health, for healing, and for progress, for growth and in preparation for ceremonial merit, for good renown, for equanimity and for that victory which makes the settlements advance.
3.
Yea, we worship thee with sacrifice, O thou Ahurian (daughter) of Ahura with the Zaothras of the good thought; and we worship, O Ahura, one with the Zaothras of the good word and deed (4) for the enlightenment of the thoughts, and words, and actions, for preparation for the soul, for the settlement's advance, and to prepare the saints endowed with ritual merit.
5.
And grant me, O thou Ahurian One! Heaven, and to have an offspring manly and legitimate, who may promote my house, my village, my tribe and province, and the authority thereof.
6.
We sacrifice to thee, O thou Ahurian one! And we sacrifice to the sea Vouru-kasha, and to all waters upon earth, whether standing, or running, or waters of the well, or spring-waters which perennially flow, or the drippings of the rains, or the irrigations of canals. 7. With this hymn from the (spirit of) the Yasna do we worship thee, and with the homage which it offers as it is the most legitimate Yasna, and homage of them (all) because of Righteousness the Best. We sacrifice to the good waters, and to the best, which Mazda created. 8. And we sacrifice to the two, to the milk and to the libation, which make the waters flow, and the plants sprout forth, opposing therein the Dragon Daeva-made, for the arrest of that cheat the Pairika, and to contradict the insulting malice of the Ashemaogha (the disturber and destroyer of our Faith), and of the unholy tyrant full of death, and of the human Daeva (worshipper) of hateful malice (and intent).
9.
And may'st thou hear our sacrificial chants O thou Ahurian (daughter) of Ahura! Yea, be propitiated by our Yasna, O Ahurian one! and so may'st thou be present at our Yasna; may'st thou come to us to help, as we chant our full-offered Yasht with the full offering of Zaothras.
10.
If any man shall sacrifice to you, O ye good waters, the Ahurian ones of Ahura! with the best and most fitting Zaothras offered piously, (11) to that man ye give both splendor and glory, with health and vigor of the body and prominence of form; yea, to him ye give possessions which entail abundant glory, and a legitimate scion, and a long enduring life, and (Heaven at the last), the best life of the saints, shining, all glorious. 12. And to me also do ye now give it, to me who am offering this Yasna as a priest.
(Response.) And to us Mazdayasnians who are likewise offering sacrifice, do ye grant (both the desire and knowledge of the path that is correct), to us colleagues, and disciples, Aethrapaitis and Aethryas, men and women as well as children, and maidens of the field, (13) who think good only, for the overwhelming of oppression and of malice in the raids of the invader, and in face of foes who hate. Grant to us both the desire of, and the knowledge of that straightest path, the straightest because of Righteousness, and of (Heaven) the best life of the Saints, shining, all glorious. As the Ahu is excellent, so is the Ratu (one who rules) from the Righteous Order, a creator of mental goodness and of life's actions done for Mazda. And the kingdom (is) for Ahura, which to the poor may offer nurture.
14.
(The Zaotar speaks): I beseech with my benediction for a safe abode, for a joyful and a long abode for the dwellers in this village from whence these Zaothras (which I offer come). And I pray in my benediction for a safe abode, and a quiet and a joyful one, and a long abiding to every Mazdayasnian village, and for a succor even with my wants, for a succor with salutations of salvation, and for one with praises, O Fire! and for thee, O Ahurian one of Ahura! do I ask the fullest Yasht.
15.
And I pray for (?) Raman Hvastra for this Province, and for healthfulness and healing. And I pray for it with my blessing for you pious men, for all. And I pray for him who is saintly with (true) goodness, whosoever he may be, between heaven and the earth, for a thousand healing remedies, and for ten thousand of the same.
16-19.
(See Y8.5-8.)
20.
Thus may it happen as I pray. 21. And by this may I gain (that) blessing, the good Blessedness (our sanctity rewarded). And we address, and we invoke religious zeal and capability, and the waters with our Yasna thus: O ye good waters! since (they are) yours, do ye, as you are asked, grant splendor and grant glory, ye who are well able so to give; and do ye, O ye waters! grant (once more) that helpful blessing which was gained from you of old!
22.
Praise (be) to Ahura Mazda, and to the Bountiful Immortals. Praise (be) to Mithra of the wide pastures. Praise to the fleet-horsed sun. Praise to (the star which so we name, and with this sun) Ahura Mazda's eyes. Praise to the Kine (the herds of blessed gift). Praise to Gaya (Maretan) [Gayomard] and to the Fravashi of Zarathushtra (first of) saints; yea, praise to the entire creation of the holy (and the clean), to those now living, and to those just passing into life, and to those of days to come 23. And do Thou then Ahura, as in answer to these our prayers and songs of praise, cause us to prosper to salvation through Thy Good Mind, the Sovereign Power, and Thy Righteous Order (in Thy ritual and law)!




YASNA 69.
(This chapter is composed of fragments: see Y15.2 and Y51.1 and 22.)
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« Reply #140 on: September 10, 2007, 10:57:19 am »








YASNA 70.
TO THE BOUNTIFUL IMMORTALS, AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF RELIGION.
1.
I would worship these (the Bountiful Immortals) with my sacrifice, those who rule aright, and who dispose (of all) aright, and this one (especially) I would approach with my praise, (Ahura Mazda). He is thus hymned (in our praise-songs). Yea, we worship in our sacrifice that deity and lord, who is Ahura Mazda, the Creator, the gracious helper, the maker of all good things; and we worship in our sacrifice Zarathushtra Spitama, that chieftain (of the rite).
2.
And we would declare those institutions established for us, exact (and undeviating as they are). And I would declare forth those of Ahura Mazda, those of the Good Mind, and of Asha Vahishta (who is Righteousness the Best), and those of Khshatra-vairya (the Realm to be desired), and those of the Bountiful Aramaiti (the Piety within us), and those of Weal and Immortality, and those which appertain to the body of the Kine, and to the Kine's soul, and those which appertain to Ahura Mazda's Fire, (3) and those of Sraosha (Obedience) the blessed, and of Rashnu the most just, and those of Mithra of the wide pastures, and of (the good and) holy Wind, and of the good Mazdayasnian Religion, and of the good and pious Prayer for blessings, and those of the good and pious Prayer which frees one from belying, and the good and pious Prayer for blessing against unbelieving words. 4. (And these we would declare) in order that we may attain unto that speech which is uttered with (true) religious zeal, or that we may be as prophets of the provinces, that we may succor him who lifts his voice (for Mazda), that we may be as prophets who smite with victory, the befriended of Ahura Mazda, and persons the most useful to Him, holy men (indeed) who think good thoughts, and speak good words, and do good deeds. 5. That he may approach us with the Good Mind, and that (our souls) may advance in good, let it thus come; yea, 'how may my soul advance in good? let it thus advance.'
--------------------
6.
We praise the flood and ebb of the good waters, and their roar, and that high Ahura, the royal Apam-napat, the glittering one, of the fleet horses; and this for the sacrifice, and homage, and propitiation, and praise of the entire holy creation; and may Sraosha (Obedience) be here (to aid us).
7.
(Yea), we sacrifice to Sraosha, Obedience the blessed.
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« Reply #141 on: September 10, 2007, 11:00:01 am »







YASNA 71.
THE YASNA CONCLUDING.
1.
Frashaoshtra, the holy, asked the saintly Zarathushtra: Answer me, O thou most eminent Zarathushtra, what is (in very truth) the memorized recital of the rites?
What is the completed delivery of the Gathas?
2.
Upon this Zarathushtra said: (It is as follows.) We worship Ahura Mazda with our sacrifice (as) the holy lord of the ritual order; and we sacrifice to Zarathushtra likewise as to a holy lord of the ritual order; and we sacrifice also to the Fravashi of Zarathushtra, the saint. And we sacrifice to the Bountiful Immortals, (the guardians) of the saints. 3. And we sacrifice to (all) the good heroic and bounteous Fravashis of the saints, of the bodily (world on earth), and of the mental (those in Heaven). And we worship that one of ritual lords who attains the most his ends; and we sacrifice to that one of the Yazads, lords of the ritual order, who is the most strenuous, who gains the most, who reaches most to what he seeks, even that well-timed Prayer which is the prayer of that holy ritual lord, and which has approached the nearest (to us for our help).
4.
We sacrifice to Ahura Mazda, the holy lord of the ritual order, and we worship His entire body, and we worship the Bountiful Immortals all; and we worship all the ritual lords. And we sacrifice to the entire Mazdayasnian Faith. And we worship all the sacred metres.
5.
And we worship the entire bounteous Mathra, even the entire system of the Faith set up against the Daevas; and we worship its complete and long descent. And we sacrifice to all the holy Yazads, heavenly and earthly; and we worship all the good, heroic, and bountiful Fravashis of the saints.
6.
And we worship all the holy creatures which Mazda created, and which possess the holy institutions, which were established holy in their nature, which possess the holy lore, and the holy sacrifice, which are holy, and for the holy, and to be worshipped by the holy. And we worship all the five Gathas, the holy ones, and the entire Yasna [its flow and its ebb, and the sounding (of its chants)]. 7. And we sacrifice to all the Praises of the Yasna, and to all the words which Mazda spake, which are the most fatal to evil thoughts, and words, and deeds; (Cool and which designate the evil thought, and word, and deed, and which then cut down and fell every evil thought, and word, and deed. [(Pazand.) One would think of it as when the fire cuts, sucks out, and consumes the dry wood which has been sanctified and carefully selected (for its flame).] And we sacrifice to the strength, the victory, the glory, and the speed of all these words (as they go forth for their work). 9. And we sacrifice to all the springs of water, and to the water-streams as well, and to growing plants, and forest-trees, and to the entire land and heaven, and to all the stars, and to the moon and sun, even to all the lights without beginning (to their course). And we sacrifice to all cattle, and to the aquatic beasts, and to the beasts that live on land, and to all that strike the wing, and to the beasts that roam the plains, and to those of cloven hoof. 1O. And to all Thy good and holy female (creatures) in the creation do we sacrifice, (O Thou who art) Ahura Mazda the skillful maker! on account of which Thou hast made many things and good things (in Thy world). And we sacrifice to those male creatures in the creation which are Thine and which are meet for sacrifice because of Asha Vahishta (of Righteousness the Best). And we sacrifice to all the mountains brilliant with holiness, and to all the lakes which Mazda created, and to all fires]. And we sacrifice to all the truthful and correctly spoken words, (11) even those which have both rewards and Piety within them. Yea, we worship (you) for protection and shielding, for guarding and watching; and may ye be to me for preparation.
I call upon the Gathas here, the bountiful holy ones, ruling in the ritual order; yea, we sacrifice to you, (O ye Gathas!) for protection and shielding, for guarding and watching. Mine may ye be as a preparation. For me, for (mine) own soul I call on (you), and we would worship (you) for protection and for shielding, for guarding and for watching. 12. And we sacrifice to Weal, the complete welfare, holy and ruling in its course in the ritual order; and we sacrifice to Deathlessness (the immortal being of the good), holy, and ruling in the ritual order. And we sacrifice to the question of the Lord; and to His lore, the holy chiefs, and to the heroic Haptanghaiti, the holy lord of the ritual order. 13. (Frasha.) Let the holy Zarathushtra himself seek out a friend and a protector. And I say to thee (O Zarathushtra!) to make to thee a friend holy beyond the holy, and truer than the true, for that is the better thing; for he is evil who is the best to the evil, and he is holy to whom the holy is a friend, (14) for these are the best of words, those which Ahura Mazda spoke to Zarathushtra.
And do thou, O Zarathushtra! pronounce these words at the last ending of (thy) life. 15. For if, O Zarathushtra! thou shalt pronounce these words at the last ending of (thy) life I, Ahura Mazda, will keep your soul away from Hell. Yea, so far away shall I hold it as is the breadth and extension of the earth [(Pazand) and the earth is as wide as it is long].
16.
As thou dost desire, O holy (one)! so shalt thou be, holy shalt thou-cause (thy) soul to pass over the Chinvat Bridge; holy shalt thou come into Heaven. Thou shalt intone the Gatha Ushtavaiti, reciting the salvation hail.
17.
We sacrifice to the active man, and to the man of good intent, for the hindrance of darkness, of wasting of the strength and life, and of distraction. And we sacrifice to health and healing, to progress and to growth, for the hindrance of impurity, and of the diseases of the skin.
18.
And we sacrifice to the (Yasna's) ending words, to those which end the Gathas. And we sacrifice to the bounteous Hymns themselves which rule in the ritual course, the holy ones.
And we sacrifice to the Praise-songs of the Yasna which were the products of the world of yore; yea, we sacrifice to all the Staota-Yesnya hymns. And we sacrifice to (our) own soul and to (our) Fravashi.
19-21.
(See Y6.14-16.)
22.
I praise, invoke, and I weave my song to the good, heroic, bountiful Fravashis of the saints, to those of the house, and of the village, the district and the province, and to those of the Zarathushtrotemas. 23. And we sacrifice to the Fire, Ahura Mazda's son, the holy ritual chief.
And we sacrifice to this Baresman haying the Zaothra with it, and its girdle with it, and spread with sanctity, the holy ritual chief. And we sacrifice to Apam-napat, and to Nairya-sangha, and to that Yazad, the wise man's swift Curse.
And we sacrifice to the souls of the dead, [which are the Fravashis of the saints] 24. And we sacrifice to that lofty Lord who is Ahura Mazda Himself.
25.
And we pray (again) for the Kine (once more) with these gifts and (ceremonial) actions which are the best.
26-28.
(See Y8.5-7.)
29-31.
(See Y60.11-13.)




YASNA 72.
(See Y61.)


http://www.avesta.org/yasna/y54to72s.htm
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« Reply #142 on: September 10, 2007, 11:03:33 am »

                                                              




                                       A V E S T A   Z O R O A S T R I A N   A R C H I V E S





"Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on

mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith." - Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious

Beliefs and Practices (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979, p. 1)





"Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the

future resurrection of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul

and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through

borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their

fullest logical coherence....” - Mary Boyce, Op. Cit. p. 29.
 


We provide the complete text of the extant Avesta, the most ancient scriptures of Zoroastrianism, as well as many Pahlavi scriptures. It also includes information about the Avestan language, and other useful information for students of Zoroastrian religion. Most of the texts in these archives are extremely rare.


NOTE: Spelling of Zoroastrian technical terms has been normalized in these archives to facilitate searches.


http://www.avesta.org/avesta.html
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 11:10:15 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #143 on: September 13, 2007, 03:37:07 pm »








                                         Oldest Prophetic Religion Struggles For Survival





John Zubrzycki,
Special to The Christian Science Monitor

BOMBAY—Deep in the heart of downtown Bombay, a century-old blue-granite building stands like a silent sentinel to an ancient community in rapid decline.

The dilapidated building houses the Parsi Lying-in Hospital, established in 1893 as a maternity unit for the city's once-thriving Parsi community. Built to accommodate 40 beds, its wards are almost empty today. "We get only four or five patients a month," says Zarin Langdana, the doctor-in-charge. "And most of them are not Parsis."

As India's population expands steadily, the country's Parsi community faces extinction. Emigration, falling birthrates, the growing tendency to marry outside the community, and an injunction against accepting converts is threatening to erase Zoroastrianism, the world's oldest prophetic religion, and its followers from the map of India. "We are an endangered species, just like the tiger and the lion," says Jamshed Guzdar, chairman of the Parsi Panchayat, or council.

A recent demographic study predicts that by 2021, when the population of India will be 1.2 billion, the number of Parsis will drop from their current level of 60,000 to just 21,000.

Bombay legacy

Parsis once dominated Bombay's commercial life. Almost every major municipal building built in the 19th century had the bust or statue of a Parsi benefactor perched on a pedestal outside. Parsis started the city's first hospital, university, and municipal corporation. The city's best-known landmark is probably the Taj hotel, built by Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata in 1903 after he was refused entry into the exclusive Green's Hotel because he was a native.

Mr. Jamshetji's great-grandson Ratan controls India's largest industrial conglomerate, the Tata group. "Now the Parsi population's outlook has changed," laments Mr. Guzdar. "There is no urge to step forward and create for themselves high positions in business and industry. Now they find they cannot meet the competition."

For most communities, the prospect of extinction would unite members, but it has divided the Parsis. In Bombay, the world's Parsi "capital," the gulf between those who refuse to question orthodox Zoroastrianism and those clamoring for reform is breaking apart a once close-knit community.

Perhaps the most divisive issue is whether the children of a Parsi woman who marries outside the community can be considered Zoroastrian. "It's a very emotional issue," says Jehangir Patel, editor of the monthly magazine Parsiana. "As the community gets smaller, your chances of finding a Parsi spouse to your liking are dwindling. More and more families are being touched by this problem."

Questioning Zoroastrianism

With almost 1 in 4 women marrying outside the community and almost as many not marrying at all, the mixed-marriage bias is being challenged. "People are questioning the faith much more," says Smiti Crishna, vice chairperson of the Association of Inter-married Zoroastrians. "The religion has to undergo a change in order to protect and propagate the community."

A member of the wealthy Godrej family of Parsi industrialists, Ms. Crishna broke the taboo on intermarriages when she wed a Christian businessman. According to the orthodox keepers of the faith, her two daughters cannot undergo a navjote, or baptism ceremony, or enter a Zoroastrian fire temple. "Women like us are ostracized," Crishna says. "Why should people look down on us when there is no injunction against intermarriage in our holy books?"

That's wrong, retorts Dastur Firoze Kotwal, one of the religion's eight high priests, who leafs through a religious text in his south Bombay flat. According to Dastur Kotwal, the Zoroastrian scriptures outlaw all intermarriages. He also dismisses demands that the ban on conversions be lifted to swell the community's numbers, a stand that has put him at loggerheads with the normally conservative Parsi Panchayat. "Zarathustra never said you can't convert. If you don't allow conversions, how does the community grow?" asks Guzdar of the Parsi Panchayat.

Alarmed by the steady demographic decline of the Parsi population, Guzdar persuaded the Panchayat to sponsor the third child of every Parsi couple to encourage larger families. The Panchayat now looks after the material and educational needs of 45 children. "I thought to myself, I cannot let my community perish," Guzdar says. "I hope that by doing something like this, the population will increase."

A successful businessman who established India's first air freight business in the 1940s, Guzdar plans to set up a venture-capital fund to encourage young Parsi entrepreneurs to start businesses in India rather than moving abroad.

The disappearance of the Parsis would not just be a loss for Bombay. This small but talented community has produced composers like Zubin Mehta, novelists like Rohiton Mistry, and the late rock star Freddie Mercury, the former front man of the band Queen. "Last year when I was asked to become the chairman of the National Foundation for Social Affairs and Family Planning, I was told, 'Do all you can to control India's population but make sure the Parsis increase in number,' " chuckles Guzdar.


www.csmonitor.com
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« Reply #144 on: September 13, 2007, 06:16:07 pm »

                               







                                                       Z O R O A S T E R

 



The Magi were, according to tradition, an Iranian caste, or priestly tribe, and they kept alive in their homeland the ancient paganism of their ancestors. This was very similar to the animism of the early Hindu Scriptures known as the Vedas, which date from the second millennium BC.

However, the most popular form of Magian religion before the rise of Mithraism under the Roman Empire, was Zoroastrianism. This was well known to the Greeks of the East, and later to the Romans, and many intellectual Greeks in the homeland adopted elements of Zoroastrianism into their philosophies and mystic systems, including even such well-known figures as Plato. Zoroastrianism revered the memory and the writings (or alleged writings) of the prophet Zarathustra.

The Greeks changed the form of the prophet's name to Zoroaster. Zoroastrianism was a dualistic cult, believing in the cosmic battle of two principles, that of Good, embodied in the God Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd), and that of Evil, embodied in the Satanic figure of Angra Mainyu (Ahriman).

It believed in a system of cosmic cycles of 7 periods of 1000 years each, and in the repeated embodiment or reincarnation of the Good spirit in the form of successive Saviour figures through the ages, Zarathustra being himself the supreme embodiment, followed by Ukhshyat-ereta (whose name means "Let Truth be embodied!", the second Saviour-figure (Saoshyant) etc.

In many ways, Zoroastrianism was a revolt against, or a reformation of, traditional Iranian religion, and was at first strongly opposed by the Magian hierarchy. Later it was incorporated into the Magian mainstream. The Mithraic cult absorbed elements of Zoroastrianism from its own Magian priesthood.

Zoroastrianism is even today a thriving, if numerically rather insignificant, religion. It is the faith of the Parsis (vulgarly, and incorrectly, known as the "fire-worshippers") of India. They have preserved it in their land of exile in a more strongly monotheistic form, after having been ousted from their homeland in Iran by the Muslims.

As regards Classical religion, the influence of Zoroastrianism is well attested. It seems that the learning and religion of Ancient Greece and Rome owed much more to oriental religion, particularly Iranian religion, than the Greeks or Romans were, in general, willing to admit.

This is no more than could be expected, as the Greeks (from whom the Romans borrowed heavily in matters of religion), inherited an empire in the East from the Iranian Persians, through the campaigns of Alexander the Great at the end of the fourth century before Christ, and they swiftly adopted oriental manners and modes of thought.

Even before Alexander, the Persians had been the dominant power in the Mediterranean world for two hundred years, and the Persians were themselves heirs to the learning, science, culture and religion of ancient Babylon and Egypt. Compared to the Greeks, these were the true "ancients". The East looked down on the simplistic philosophy and childish mythology of the Greeks and their Italian colonies. The higher ranks of the spiritual and philosophical circles in Greece concurred with the orientals on this point and readily plagiarized their eastern masters.

In its tendency towards monotheism, in its exaltation of the prophet and Saviour figure, in its scheme of world-history manifesting in the material sphere the cosmic battle between God and Satan, in its angelology and extensive demonology, and in many other ways, Zoroastrianism has a curious similarity to the Biblical Scriptures, to Christianity and later Judaism. It is much disputed amongst secular scholars as to who borrowed from whom between the Hebrews and the Zoroastrians.


http://www.christianhospitality.org/pages_20items/Ap4.htm
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« Reply #145 on: September 13, 2007, 07:04:36 pm »






                                                M A G U S   -   P L U R A L : M A G I






Magus is the singular for magi. Among the earliest writings concerning the magi are those of Herodotus (Greek historian, 485-425 BC). He cites them as one of the five social classes of the Medes. Probably they were similar to medicine men or shamans who were among the earliest of peoples, and somewhat paralleled to the India Brahmans in their early period.

In his times, Herodotus notes, the magi had became Zoroastrian priests. He mentioned a band of aboriginal shamans who were captured by Ayrians. The shamans not only learned their captors' religion but became priests in it. By the fourth century C.E. these priests had gained such power that they were able to vigorously persecute Jews and Christians in Persia.

The Hebrew term for magus was "Chartumin," while in Greek it was "Magos." The term "Magus" or "Magi" seems to have several meanings including wise men, magicians, and magians. Their antiquity is distinguished in both Egypt and Chaldaea. In Egypt they were said to possess secret learning and wisdom. Also in Egypt and Chaldaea they were the sole seers and interrupters of sacred things in the past and future, but in Palestine they were never ranked with the prophets, unless among the idolatrous people. This would not mean that all were idolaters themselves, but some failed to express the orthodox views of the time. Some enhanced their eminent positions by displaying occult knowledge. They were considered sort of sacred scribes among the Jews, skilled in divination and the interpretation of certain scripture passages for hidden meanings.

Their domination or authority seemed to have extended beyond Persia throughout the entire Mediterranean area. The three Magi which visited the Christ Child were said to be Jews. So, this would seem to indicate the term Magi was not strictly a cultural or racial one, but more of a professional one. The three Magi were said to be astrologers who were seeking the meaning of a meteor that appeared in the sky at that time.

These Magi are thought to have come from the kingdom of Parthia since magianism was that country's chief religion; or, they may have came from Eastern Chaldaea. When arriving in Jerusalem their appearance, clothes, and the gifts they bore indicated that they were above their country's ordinary citizen class.

Except for the Magi who visited Jesus, they were not always spoken highly of in the Old Testament. Examples of this are Simon Magus and Elymas Magus. Many Magi were present in or about Roman courts as they accompanied high ranking officals and governors. Therefore, they were socially accepted in Roman society.

However, their creditability was questioned by some throughout history. Philo (Jewish philosopher, 20 BC - 50 AD), for example, said the Magi perverted the magical arts.

The main objection to their activities seemed to be centered around dream interpretation, which entailed seeing into the future as well as the past. The Hebrews raised strict objections to such activity too, although it must be noted that in the Bible both Joseph and Daniel interpreted dreams, and King Solomon in desperation secretly visited a magus at night who practiced necromancy. Dream interpretation was also practiced in Egypt, Persia, and Babylonia.

Another troubling subject was the driving out of demons in a person who was said to be possessed. The scribes called Jesus a demon, particularly Beelzebub, when he exorcized possessed persons. The scribed actually accused Christ of being a magus. The same charge could have been brought against the early Christians who cast out demons. The Roman Catholic Church still practices exorcism.

The early Christian writer Saint Ignatius (bishop of Antioch, d. c. 107) commenting on the Book of Ephesians said with the birth of Jesus Christ all magic had been overthrown.

Philo realized that magic still existed even though Ignatius wanted to deny it. Philo recognized that Jews and Christians were still using similar magical techniques but giving them different names. In the third century Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage, in his "Confessio Sancti Cypriani 7" refers to himself as Magos philosophus, and in his "Homologia" as Cyprian the Magas, while busy with magic and possessing magical scriptures.

In the thirteenth century a German named Albertus Magnus might be considered another magus. He displayed a strange combination of characteristics, being a Roman Catholic bishop, a student and teacher of alchemy and an alleged magician.

In the sixteen century another German appeared on the scene who might also be considered a magus. This man, who is commonly called Agrippa, influenced occultists for generations. His unusual ideas always had him in trouble with his contemporaries and church authorities.

In the same century lived the famous physician, chemist, and occultist Paracelsus. Although this man contributed much to modern medicine, like Agrippa, he too was always in trouble with his contemporaries for his advanced ideas. The first two men allegedly found the Philosopher's Stone but, Paracelsus was still seeking it for the good of humanity.

Men who might be considered magi seemed to be learned and in touch with nature. Their own nature seems to want to embrace everything around them. As occult writer Francis Barrett, wrote this nature or magical power came from the inward man and not from Satan.

It is not certain whether this quality is innate in all men, or whether it is given to a certain few. One thing seems pretty certain though, the belief in the magical power similar to that which Barrett spoke of still exists. The belief is still held by many magicians, witches, and diviners who participate in the magical and mystical arts.

The author of the "Persuasion's of the Witch's Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England" speaks of a similar power or characteristic. This power seems to come from the diviner's mastery of himself, or self-control, and the mastery of his magical or mystical arts. Once such control is attained then the person gains a new attitude towards himself and can establish a better relationship with his natural environment.

A final question remains: Is this power given? Is the power given in a religious sense? Since many magicians are athiests the term religious should not be taken in an orthodox sense. But, there seemed to be a general consensus among these people that their work involved a spirituality. A spiritual force within themselves which is derived from a higher power. So, in summary, it might be said, these people, whether they are called magi or not, still think they are in touch with themselves, their natural environment, and a higher power source.

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/m/magus.html
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