THE CHOICE OF ZARATHUSHTRA
(11 stanzas -- Days 15th to 25th)
Introduction: The second song of the Gathas is an interesting play. It provides the reason why Zarathushtra was chosen by the living world as the Lord and Leader exclusively on the basis of his righteousness and competence. The play is not only the oldest Indo-Iranian play on record (approximately 3700 years old), but one can even go further to state that it is the oldest dramatic poem in the world which survives in the very words of the author, the Hero of the play -- Zarathushtra Spitâma.
Commentary: Might is right in the living world. The strong are oppressing the weak and depriving them of their legitimate rights. It is a world of the survival of the fittest, rather the strongest. This law is perhaps good for the jungle. But man has outgrown being a mere animal. He is a creator now. He has discovered how to make fire. He has discovered metals and learned how to mold them into instruments. He has invented many articles. These discoveries have made him very powerful. He can make wonderful things and, equally, he can destroy these wonderful things. His destructive aspect poses a great threat, not only to his own existence, but to all of life on the good earth.
Therefore, the law of the survival of the strongest cannot hold true any longer. With wonder weapons in hand, now weaklings can wipe out the fittest, the strongest and the finest. However, man the creator has a very clear and strong thinking faculty. He can be guided by his good mind to be always constructive. His good mind must, therefore, be trained and strengthened to be his only guide. He must do things right. He must be taught that "Might is not right" but that "Right is might." The living world will survive only if man is guided by his good mind. There must be a radical change, a turning point. Wisdom should take over and the lead force and power. Only the wise and benevolent should be the lords and leaders of the world.
This requires two things: Power to repel aggression and control oppression, and wisdom to eliminate them and promote permanent peace and prosperity. The living world, therefore, is in dire need of a person who can comply with these two requirements.
That person, in the play, is Zarathushtra Spitâma. He is the person who seeks to bring in the new change, and introduce a complete departure from the past policy of senseless force and aggression. He is naturally chosen by the free living, rather the thinking world both as the Lord and the Leader.
It is after understanding the play that one realizes the true significance of Ahuna Vairya or Yatha Ahu, the opening, yet the outstanding, stanza of the first Gatha, Ahunavaiti, meaning the song which contains Ahuna-vairya, the stanza of the "Choice of the Lord." Let us now turn to the summary of Song Two (11 stanzas):
xshmaibyâ gêush urvâ gerezhdâ
The Soul of the Living World lamented to You:
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 1)
Summary Substance: When driven to desperation by rage and rape, the Living World of ours thinks of why she was created. Knowing that the Creator alone can free her of the distress, she turns to God for rehabilitation.
Pondering Points: When desperate, don't loose hope. Turn to God for guidance.
adâ tashâ gêush peresat ashem
Then the Creator of the Living World asked Righteousness:
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 2)
Summary Substance: The Universal Law of Righteousness regulates the creation. God asks it to attend to the complaint and see a leader who could rehabilitate her and find a lord who would repel the outrage oppressing her.
Pondering Points: Person in distress needs one to redeem and another to rebuild. If possible, both in one.
ahmâi ashâ nôit sarejâ
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 3)
Summary Substance: The Universal Law of Righteousness sees might is right and no might is without malice. Persons with might would never help the weak. The Universal Law alone cannot help.
Pondering Points: When might is right, the weak suffer.
mazdå saxvârê mairishtô
The Wise God knows best
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 4)
Summary Substance: The Universal Law of Righteousness knows that God alone knows best the past, present and future. God can decide best how to solve the problem for good.
Pondering Points: Trust in God and good lies ahead.
at vâ ustânâish ahvâ
It is better for us two, the Soul of the fruitful World and
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 5)
Summary Substance: Righteousness wants the Soul of the Living World, ready for a fruitful future, to join to pray to God for a good living for the rightful and for the rehabilitation of the wrongful.
Pondering Points: World future will be bright if wrong is corrected. Let us work at it.
at ê vaocat ahurô mazdå
The Wise God, the Knowing,
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 6)
Summary Substance: Knowing facts, God lovingly told Righteousness that it should know that it was created to know and take care of a righteous promoter and settler of the Living World.
Pondering Points: God is knowing and loving, and takes care of the creation. The Law of Righteousness alone cannot do the job.
têm âzûtôish ahurô mãthrem
The Wise God, of one accord with Righteousness,
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 7)
Summary Substance: Acting on the Law of Righteousness, God prepares the formula of redeeming the distress. Since this means a thorough thinking, God turns to Good Mind, another divine Principle of Life, and asks if it knows a person who could help.
Pondering Points: Law of Righteous alone is not enough. Good Mind to know how to act is essential also.
aêm môi idâ vistô
Yes I do. There is only one person
(Gathas: Song 2-stanza 8)
Summary Substance: Good Mind knows. It is Zarathushtra who alone has, through righteous intuition, comprehended the Divine Doctrine and is prepared to spread the message through the Gathas. He needs the divine blessing to preach sweetly.
Pondering Points: Right Intuition gives a good comprehension of the Divine Doctrine. Sweet tongue helps preaching and teaching it.
atcâ gêush urvâ raostâ
The Soul of the World cried again:
(Gathas: Song 2 - stanza 9)
Summary Substance: The World, so used to "Might is Right," cannot understand how a man of mind, weak in physical force, can take care of her. She wants a powerful overlord.
Pondering Points: Those used to physical force may not easily understand the power of mind.
ýûzhêm aêibyô ahurâ
God, Grant him and his people,
(Gathas: Song 2 - stanza 10)
Summary Substance: A little pondering makes the World realize the truth. She prays to God grant Zarathushtra and his companions strength through precision and mind to usher in peace and stability. Zarathushtra is truly the foremost discovery who understands the Divine Will. She chooses Zarathushtra as her Lord and Leader.
Pondering Points: Pondering over a point makes one realize the truth and act upon it.
kudâ ashem vohucâ manô
When shall Righteousness, Good Mind,
(Gathas: Song 2 - stanza 11)
Summary Substance: Satisfied, the World wishes for Righteousness, Good Mind, and the Divine Dominion -- all Principles of Life-to prevail. A new era has dawned, and she wants God to bless the new order and recognize the Great Fellowship being established by Zarathushtra.
Pondering Points:The Zarathushtrian Fellowship, based on the Principles of Life, needs consideration, recognition, and promotion towards true happiness in mind and body, spirit and matter.
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