Good and Evil
(11 stanzas -- Days 26th to 36th)
at tâ vaxshyâ isheñtô
Now I shall speak to those who wish
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 1)
Summary Substance: Zarathushtra opens a new chapter in his Divine Doctrine -- Good and Evil, two important principles that have even perplexed the wise. To understand the problem, he keeps in view good mind and the approach to the problem through the Universal Law of Righteousness, of precision -- two important points to solve the problem. And as usual, he has his praises for God, the guide who leads us by means of our good mind and righteousness to radiant happiness.
Pondering Points: Good and Evil, two ever-posing problems, can be solved through clear thinking and understanding of the Universal Law of precise regulation.
sraotâ gêushâish vahishtâ
Hear the best with your ears
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 2)
Summary Substance: Freedom of choice is for all, men and women. Zarathushtra is about to expound his doctrine of good and evil. He wants every person to hear the best, not superfluous and superstitious sayings. Although the best, it must be studied with a clear mind and then the choice be made between the two. He recommends that before the great choice for the way of life is made, one should take into consideration the Divine Doctrine presented by him and his companions. The choice of good as presented by him would eventually mean choosing the Good Religion.
Pondering Points: Even the best sayings must be studied and that too clearly. Freedom of considerate choice is for all. Man and woman are equal. Zarathushtra does not force his Doctrine. He only proposes
at tâ mainyû pouruyê
Now, the two foremost mentalities,
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 3)
Summary Substance: Good and Evil are mentalities, not entities. The talk about their being twins is pure imagination. One is good, getting better day by day. It is the progressive good. The other is bad. Both are thought in mind and then translated into words and deeds. Beneficence leads one to choose good, and maleficence takes one towards evil.
Pondering Points: It is human mind which creates good thoughts, words and deeds or otherwise. Not mythical entities. Think good, get better. Think evil, see evil.
atcâ hyat tâ hêm mainyû
Now, when the two mentalities
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 4)
Summary Substance: When the two mentalities begin functioning, the good creates true life but the other disrupts it into a wretched living. It makes one live without enjoying life. An evil mind turns one to think, talk and do wrong, and grow worse. A brilliant mind builds one into a righteous person. This is the Universal Law. Only a return to the better mentality can save one.
Pondering Points: Life is for living and not wasting. Wrong deludes to ever-worse misery. Right leads to good, better, best.
ayå manivå varatâ
Of these two mentalities,
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 5)
Summary Substance: A wrongful mentality chooses worst deeds. It wavers. But the most progressive mentality stands firm in its choice of righteousness. It does not waver at all. Choice is free but God is pleased when one chooses good to end in good deeds.
Pondering Points: Wrong wavers. Right is firm. Choose right and please God.
ayå nôit eresh vîshyâtâ daêvâcinâ
Between these two,
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 6)
Summary Substance: Friends of falsehood do not decide correctly. They are deluded when discussing because of their blind faith and lack of consideration. Choosing wrong means instigating an evil thinking mind to resort to wrath and consequently harm and hurt human life.
Pondering Points: Falsehood misguides. Misguidance results in frustration, fury, force, and destruction.
ahmâicâ xshathrâ jasat
But to the person who chooses correctly,
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 7)
Summary Substance: The person who makes the right choice, gets endurance and lasting stability through strength, good mind and righteousness. It is a difficult task, a hard ordeal to pass through. But it means to belong to God. It is a hard-won blessing.
Pondering Points: Right choice, hard to make, has a great reward -- God.
atcâ ýadâ aêshãm kaênâ
And when the sinners undergo their punishment,
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 8)
Summary Substance: Wrong choice has its evil consequences, but as soon as one becomes wise enough to realize the folly, it is over. One is thereafter safe to learn how to replace wrong with right.
Pondering Points: Evil consequence is temporary. Be wise, give it up, and right is yours.
atcâ tôi vaêm xyâmâ
And may we be among those
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 9)
Summary Substance: A solemn prayer, an earnest desire to be among those who renovate life here in this world on rightful basis. It means continuous progress, ever-fresh happiness. Happiness comes when one is not only a master wise but also agrees in full with other masters of wisdom.
Pondering Points: Continuous renovation comes through cooperation of good master minds. It is ideal.
adâ zî avâ drûjô
Then, indeed, the power of wrong
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 10)
Summary Substance: Continuous renovation of life means removal of wrongful in power. It means instant unity and close cooperation in a divine state where good mind and righteousness work.
Pondering Points: Refresh to remove wrong and live wisely and rightly with God.
hyat tâ urvâtâ sashathâ
If you understand the two principles
(Gathas: Song 3 - stanza 11)
Summary Substance: The Divine principle is that Good and Evil mean prosperity and adversity. The wrongful suffer long and the rightful enjoy eternal good. If one understands this simple point, he or she will be happy and radiate happiness to others.
Pondering Points: Evil sets suffering. Good gives joy. Joy brings joy to self and others.
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