Vohu Khshathr) GATHA
The Good Dominion of Choice
(22 stanzas -- Days 211th to 232nd)
vohû xshathrem vairîm
The good dominion is to be chosen.
It is the best dividend.
(Gatha: Song 16.1)
Summary Substance:A good government must be an elected one. It is then the best gain one can have. To serve a chosen government means to serve it best with devotion based on righteous deeds. It is for such a dominion, a world order that Zarathushtra rose to work for us, mankind. He founded the foremost democracy - mental and physical, spiritual and material.
Pondering Points:Choose a good chosen order, serve with devotion, gain the best.
tâ vê mazdâ paourvîm
ahurâ ashâ ýecâ
I dedicate these deeds, Wise Lord, first of all to You,
(Gatha: Song 16.2)
Summary Substance:Zarathushtra dedicates his deeds to Mazda, righteousness and serenity so as to established the ideal government. He then prays for strength acquired through good mind to glorify God in such a desired dominion.
Pondering Points:Deeds done wisely, properly and in a serene atmosphere establish the ideal order.
â vê gêushâ hêmyañtû
Let those, who have joined You in action,
(Gatha: Song 16.3)
Summary Substance:The Divine Dominion belongs to God, says Zarathushtra in his opening stanza of "Yatha Ahu." Here he repeats his idea. He calls upon all those who have dedicated themselves since the operation started to come together to listen to the Divine Message, the message based on truth and good mind and promulgated by God and realized by Zarathushtra.
Pondering Points:Hear the Message, go in action, use wise words, promulgate truth.
kuthrâ ârôish â fseratush
Where does felicity flow?
(Gatha: Song 16.4)
Summary Substance:True happiness, divine favor, righteousness, progressive tranquility, and best thinking, all are enjoyed in the Divine Dominion.
Pondering Points:Good, chosen order gives happy, progressive life.
Vîspâ tâ peresãs ýathâ
I ask these to know
(Gatha: Song 16.5)
Summary Substance:As against a wandering parasite, a settled humble intellectual promotes the world through his righteous actions. In turn, such a person is recognized by the prosperous law-abiding as their true leader.
Pondering Points:Want to lead? Be wise, be humble, serve right, and promote society.
ýê vahyô vanghêush dazdê
The Wise God gives,
(Gatha: Song 16.6)
Summary Substance:He who is firm in his belief and acts accordingly, gains much good. But he who does not promote the Divine Dominion ends in a great loss.
Pondering Points:Believe, promote the world and gain or else badly lose.
dâidî-môi ýê gãm tashô
You, Wise One, Who have fashioned the world,
(Gatha: Song 16.7)
Summary Substance:To serve the living world, the waters and the plants better, Zarathushtra breaks into a short prayer addressing Mazda who has created these very objects through his creative faculty, the most progressive mentality. He prays that he, guided by his good mind, enjoy endurance, lasting energy, perfection, and eternity.
Pondering Points:Enjoying complete competence, makes one serve the environment better.
at zî tôi vaxshyâ mazdâ
Now, I shall speak, Wise One, for You.
(Gatha: Song 16.8)
Summary Substance:Zarathushtra's Divine Message is for the wise because they can better comprehend it. He wants the wise to know that evil has evil as its consequence and radiant happiness is for the righteous. Radiant happiness means that it also enlightens its surrounding. A happy wise person who spreads the message to others, radiates happiness by sharing his wisdom, and consequently people become wiser and wiser. The Zarathushtrian religion does not thrive on simple people's blind faith. It demands attention, comprehension, discretion, conviction, and action.
Pondering Points:Want to understand Truth, acquire wisdom.
ýãm xshnûtem rânôibyâ då
You grant happiness to both factions
(Gatha: Song 16.9)
Summary Substance:The Divine Fire - light, warmth and energy - leads both the righteous and the wrongful to happiness. However, since the righteous are on the right path, it is easier for them to reach the goal but the wrongful suffer the consequences of their actions, the purifying process, to reach the same place.
Pondering Points:The righteous easily pass the test. It is harder for the wrongful.
at ýê mâ-nâ marexshaitê
Now, Wise One, the person who wants to destroy us,
(Gatha: Song 16.10)
Summary Substance:Although assured of his mission's success, Zarathushtra and companions have their enemies. These persons are aliens to his Divine Message. They are the products of a wrong world. They are harmful. However, adhering fast and firm to the Universal Law of Righteousness, Zarathushtra knows that in spite of some difficulties, the final success is his.
Pondering Points:Adherence to right makes wrong fail.
kê urvathô spitamâi
Wise One, which person is a friend of mine,
(Gatha: Song 16.11)
Summary Substance:Questions point to the type of person whom Zarathushtra considers a companion. He is the person who consults righteousness, lives a life of progressive tranquility, uses his good mind, is a member of the Zarathushtrian Fellowship, and considers himself a rightful person.
Pondering Points:Want to befriend Zarathushtra? Be wise, righteous, progressive, self-possessed, decent, and social.
nôit tâ-îm xshnâush vaêpyô
The sagacious prince did not satisfy me,
(Gatha: Song 16.12)
Summary Substance:Against his companions, Zarathushtra has his antagonists, and one of them is an unnamed learned prince. He was working against him wherever he went. The reason: Zarathushtra was quite a quick success in his going around to meet and to talk to people.
Pondering Points:Success wins loyal friends and creates jealous enemies.
tâ dregvatô maredaitî
Thus the conscience of the wrongful tramples
(Gatha: Song 16.13)
Summary Substance:The conscience of the wrongful destroys the truth as he tramples forward. When he reaches the bridge where the righteous are distinguished from the wrongful, his perplexed soul becomes angry because it is his words and deeds which made him go astray and now face the consequences.
Pondering Points:Clear conscience leads in the right direction, evil conception makes one regretfully miss the path.
nôit urvâtâ dâtôibyascâ
The mumbling priests are not friends.
(Gatha: Song 16.14)
Summary Substance:The priests who mumble away and perform rituals are not friends and well-wishers. They do not honor laws and are not productive members of the human society. They harm the world by their actions and by their religiosity. Their wrong doctrine keeps them in a state of wrong.
Pondering Points:Religiosity prolongs wrong, harms human world.
hyat mîzhdem zarathushtrô
The prize, I, Zarathushtra
(Gatha: Song 16.15)
Summary Substance:Should one adhere to the guidance given by good mind and proceed according to the Universal Law of Righteousness, one will surely reach the goal of perfection and immortality, a divine state foremostly attained by Mazda. It is this serene state that Zarathushtra promises his companions.
Pondering Points:Good mind and righteousness lead to godliness, the Zarathushtrian prize goal.
tãm kavâ vîshtâspô
Kavi Vishtaspa has attained this
(Gatha: Song 16.16)
Summary Substance:Successful in his divine mission, Zarathushtra speaks of his best companions. First is Kavi Vishtaspa, the king who was, once, proud of his physical power that had won him a large territory. Now he has converted to the Good Religion by listening to the Gathas, the songs composed by Zarathushtra through his meditation with good mind. He has also realized that true power lies in a Fellowship established on the Primal Principles of Life, and not brute force ruling people. These principles are based on the divine wisdom and therefore when translated into life, they teach us how to radiate happiness to others by serving the Fellowship.
Pondering Points:Want true happiness, join the Divine Universal Fellowship.
berexdhãm môi ferashaoshtrô
Ferashaoshtra Hvogva has shown me
(Gatha: Song 16.17)
Summary Substance:Ferashaoshtra, another active companion, presents a valuable plan for the promotion of the Good Religion. Zarathushtra prays for power for him to progress in his righteous mission.
Pondering Points:Present a precious plan to promote the Good Religion and see the progress it provides.
tãm cistîm dêjâmâspô
Sage Jamaspa Hvogva has,
(Gatha: Song 16.18)
Summary Substance:Possession of good mind through righteousness makes one sovereign, self-reliant. This is how Jamaspa Hvogova, Zarathushtra's another companion, wants to enlighten himself. He prays for Ahura Mazda's support.
Pondering Points:Want self-reliance, acquire good mind through righteousness.
hvô tat nâ maidyôi-månghâ
(Gatha: Song 16.19)
Summary Substance:Maidhyoi-mâha, Zarathushtra's senior cousin, was the first person to have chosen the Good Religion. Appreciating his services, Zarathushtra says that Maidhyoi-mâha understands the Divine Doctrine and desires to implement it in his practical life because he says that the Divine Principles of Life are better only if one does not stop at thinking and speaking about them but also puts them in practice.
Pondering Points:For better results, belief in thoughts and words must be translated into deeds.
tat vê nê hazaoshånghô
Here, all of you,
(Gatha: Song 16.20)
Summary Substance:Mentioning four of his closest companions, Zarathushtra turns to all those who have chosen his Divine Doctrine. He states that the proper conduct of precision and righteousness can only be achieved through good mind and in a serene and tranquil state. He advises us to humbly pray to our Mazda and ask for help and guidance.
Pondering Points:Good mind and serenity, accompanied by earnest prayers, lead to righteousness.
âramatôish nâ speñtô hvô
The person who belongs to progressive serenity,
(Gatha: Song 16.21)
Summary Substance:In order to emphasize the subject of the preceding stanza, Zarathushtra paraphrases his statement. A person who enjoys progressive serenity and increasing tranquility promotes precision and righteousness with his thoughts, words, deeds, and above all, with his conscience. He acquires sovereignty and self-reliance through his good mind. It is for such a noble cause that Zarathushtra offers his prayers.
Pondering Points:Enjoy peace and possession of mind and body, and promote the living world with thoughts, words and deeds.
ýehyâ môi ashât hacâ
The Wise God knows best
(Gatha: Song 16.22)
Summary Substance:Finally, Zarathushtra is paying tribute to the people promoting righteousness. He says that Mazda Ahura knows best the good acts of veneration and service done according to precision and righteousness. Zarathushtra, on his part, venerates all such persons, dead or alive, by mentioning their names and by lovingly embracing them. What a touching scene to see a Master mentioning each of his followers, those who have passed away and those who are with him, by name, and then loving and encircling them! Teacher venerating pupils! Only one like Zarathushtra could do it.
This stanza is paraphrased in "Yenghê Hâtâm (Yenghe Haataam)" prayer, so often repeated in daily prayers. It is a unique tribute paid to every man and woman for the "Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds" done by him/her. It says: "Indeed Mazda Ahura, the Wise God, knows better any person among men and women for his or her veneration. We, on our part, venerate all such men and women."
Pondering Points:Appreciation of good services is good but with love from the Master Mentor is the best.
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