(Days 243rd to 283rd)
NOTE: Yasna Haptanghâiti, the Yasna of Seven Chapters, Yasna 35-41. Also in the Gathic dialect, it was perhaps composed by one or more of Zarathushtra's close companions. They are short subtle songs of prayers.
I give below the Preface to my "Yasna Haptanhâiti, an attempt at restoration of meter and translation of re-versified text [in English and Persian]," Tehran, 1975:
The Haptańhâiti (Haptanghaiti) constitutes one seventh of the Gathas, the Gathas one third of the Yasna and the Yasna one third of the Avesta. Therefore, in quantity, it is but 1/63 of the text. But in quality, the Zoroastrian Lore has given it the second highest position in the Avesta. It is next to the Five Songs of Zarathushtra, inside which it has been allotted a placid place.
However, in our modern scholastic age, it appears that so far it has been its quantity which has mattered more. It has been too thin to receive any serious attention - just a part of the monotonously animistic liturgy. And if at all, someone has paid some attention, it has not been for expounding its high position, but to describe its present characteristics, or on the contrary, to pin point it as the point of deviation from the course set by Zarathushtra.
My interest in it, casual first, curious later and consecrated at present, has been rewarding - a sweet song translated into English and Persian. And my 'Introduction' fully justifies the position it enjoys. So slim, yet so serene!
Ali A. Jafarey
30th September 1974
Song 1 = Yasna Section 35.
ahurem mazdăm ashavanem ashahe ratűm
We venerate the Lord Wise,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 1)
Summary Substance: The congregation prays: We venerate the Wise Lord Who is Righteous and Master of Righteousness. We venerate the persons who have become immortal because of promoting the Good Religion. They are good in leading and caring. We venerate the entire righteous creation, both mental and material, spiritual and physical. We glorify the good Universal Law of righteousness. We glorify the Good Mazdayasna Religion, the Good Religion which only teaches the worship of Mazda, the Super-Intellect Being.
Pondering Points: Pray together to venerate God and the entire Divine Creation. Glorify the Good Religion by promoting it.
humatanăm hűxtanăm hvarshtanăm
We belong to Good Thoughts, Good Words,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 2 = Yasna 35-2)
Summary Substance: The praying congregation declares that they belong to the triple Zarathushtrian Principles of Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds and that they are responsible for what they have done in the past and what they are going to do in the future. They are, therefore, the people who esteem all that is good in the Divine Creation.
Pondering Points: The Motto: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. Responsibility for every act. one does. Uphold all good.
tat at vairîmaidî ahura
That we have chosen, Lord
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 3 = Yasna 35. 3)
Summary Substance: The congregation continues to pray. The prayerful wish that of all their thoughts, words and deeds chosen and done by them in accordance with the sublime laws of righteousness, the best be the merits for them in their mental and material, their spiritual and physical lives.
Pondering Points: Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds are treasures for life here and beyond.
gavôi adâish tâish shyaothanâish
For the living world, with the reward
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 4 = Yasna 35. 4)
Summary Substance: The congregation prays for a world in which the best of deeds bring peace and settled living of sufficiency for all, whether learning (in modern usage literate) or still illiterate, enjoying power and wealth or the ruled and needy. They pray for a good life for all without discrimination.
Pondering Points: Good living and life should be for all. A human habitation should enjoy peace and prosperity.
huxshathrôtemâi bât xshathrem
Power be to the good most-powerful.
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 5 = Yasna 35. 5)
Summary Substance: The praying Congregation wishes power to the most powerful being, a good being -- Mazda Ahura. They also wish power for the Universal Law of precision.
Pondering Points: A selfless prayer: wishing power to God and the Divine Law instead of self.
ýathâ ât utâ nâ-vâ nâirî-vâ
The more a man or a woman
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 6 = Yasna 35. 6)
Summary Substance: It is good for every person, man or woman, to know the truth. The more the better. Once he/she knows it, he/she should fully get into practicing it. It is after personal experience that he/she should teach it to others so that they too do the same. This is how the practice of truth spreads.
Pondering Points: To be a good missionary, learn, practice, and teach the truth and watch it grow.
ahurahyâ-zî at vę mazdĺ
For the Lord Wise, indeed,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 7 = Yasna 35. 7)
Summary Substance: The congregation asserts that its members and the people of the whole inhabited world bear the best adoration and love for the Lord Wise. They add that they, as much as they can, adore and love Ahura Mazda and also teach others to do as much as they can.
Pondering Points: Adore and love God and preach others to do the same.
ashahyâ âat sairî
In the resort of Righteousness,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 8 = Yasna 35. 8)
Summary Substance: If one, any person whosoever, remains steadfast in righteousness, he/she will find it the best way to live a full life in both the existences -- mental and material, spiritual and physical lives.
Pondering Points: Want to enjoy a full life here and beyond, adhere fast to righteousness.
imâ ât uxdhâ vacĺ ahurâ mazdâ
We have rightly proclaimed with a better mind,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 9 = Yasna 35. 9)
Summary Substance: The praying people confirm what they have thoughtfully said about remaining steadfast in righteousness with good thoughts, words and deeds, and that they consider God to be the maintainer and director of what they say.
Pondering Points: God guides those who do what they say.
This we do
(Haptanghaiti: Song 1. 10 = Yasna 35. 10)
Summary Substance: The congregation concludes the prayer by praising and venerating God and by vowing to act according to righteousness, with good mind and within a good dominion.
Pondering Points: Praise God, be righteous, use good mind, enjoy good dominion.
Song 2 = Yasna Section 36.
ahyâ thwâ âthrô verezęnâ
Around You, within this fire enclosure,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 2. 1 = Yasna 36. 1)
Summary Substance: The congregation is standing around a fire altar within an enclosure. Walking around it for several times, the prayerful have the Wise Lord only in their mind. Fire represents the Divine Faculty of Creation and Promotion -- the Progressive Mentality, a faculty worthy of reverence while standing in front of its symbol.
Pondering Points: Fire, symbol of light, warmth and energy, reminds of the divine creativity.
urvâzishtô hvô nĺ ýâtâyâ
The most perfect bliss, through progress,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 2. 2 = Yasna 36. 2)
Summary Substance: The occasion is the greatest event of life, the Ceremony of the Choice of Religion -- the Initiation. Standing before the altar, the praying initiates see Fire as the symbol of perfect happiness, the divine blessing. They venerate it and pray for the bliss on that occasion.
Pondering Points: Choice of Religion is the greatest turn in one's life. Be fully enlightened to make it.
âtarsh vôi mazdĺ ahurahyâ ahî
Fire, you belong to the Wise Lord.
(Haptanghaiti: Song 2. 3 = Yasna 36. 3)
Summary Substance: Fire in the Gathic Doctrine symbolizes the Divine Mentality of Creation. This is the best description of a symbol that represents light, warmth and energy. With the concept that Fire is a divine symbol, the prayerful encircle the altar.
Pondering Points: Fire as light represents enlightenment, as warmth love, and as energy animation - factors that create life.
vohű thwâ mananghâ vohű thwâ ashâ
We encircle You,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 2. 4 = Yasna 36. 4)
Summary Substance: The prayerful encircling the fire-altar pray that they are approaching God through good mind, righteousness and their good deeds and words translated from their good perception.
Pondering Points: The way to approach God is through good and precise thoughts, words and deeds.
We bow, we implore,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 2. 5 = Yasna 36. 5)
Summary Substance: The prayerful end their prayers with a humble statement. They are encircling Mazda Ahura with all their good thoughts, good words and deeds -- all they can offer.
Pondering Points: Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deed - what else one has to offer?
sraęshtăm at tôi kehrpęm kehrpăm
Wise Lord, of these lights,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 2. 6 = Yasna 36. 6)
Summary Substance: The congregation is facing the sun and praying, only to say that the highest light is the best of lights in their eyes.
Pondering Points: Praising God for the wonders of creation we observe.
Song 3 = Yasna Section 37
Venerating the Creator and the Creation
ithâ ât ýazamaidę
Truly, we venerate
(Haptanghaiti: Song 3. 1 = Yasna 37. 1)
Summary Substance: The congregation venerates Ahura Mazda, Lord Wise, as the Creator of Universal Law of Righteousness, the living world of animals, waters, plants, luminaries, the earth and all the good creation. The prayerful look upon the universe as a good creation of God.
Pondering Points: The Good Creator with a Good Creation. See nothing wrong with the universe. See no evil at all.
ahyâ xshathrâcâ mazęnâcâ
Through His power, greatness,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 3. 2 = Yasna 37. 2)
Summary Substance: They venerate God with the best of their praises for the Divine power and skill. They thank God for the peaceful life they enjoy in the living world.
Pondering Points: Look at Divine power and skill for your peaceful life.
tęm at âhűiryâ nâmęnî
Him with lordly names,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 3. 3 = Yasna 37. 3)
Summary Substance: They, with body and life, praise God. They mention the divine names which reflect super intelligence and progress. And they praise faith and conviction held by righteous men and women.
Pondering Points: Praise God that remind divine intelligence and progress.
ashem at vahishtem
The Best righteousness
(Haptanghaiti: Song 3. 4 = Yasna 37. 4)
Summary Substance: Next they praise best righteousness, the Universal Law of Precision. It is the sublimest, progressive, eternal, bright, in fact all goodness.
Pondering Points: Precision is the best good.
vohucâ manô ýazamaidę
We venerate good mind,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 3. 5 = Yasna 37. 5)
Summary Substance: The congregation venerates, among the Primal Principles of Life, good mind, good sovereignty, good conscience, good joy and happiness, and good stability and tranquility.
Pondering Points: Venerating principles of life is living with them.
Song 4 = Yasna Section 38.
imăm âat zăm genâbîsh
Together with the womenfolk,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 4. 1 = Yasna 38. 1)
Summary Substance: Men and women gather to venerate the earth which supports us. Special respects are paid to those women who have dedicated themselves to serve God through righteousness - an appreciation of the women who served in spreading the Good Religion and are remembered by name in the Farvardin Yasht.
Pondering Points: Earth as our mother symbolizes dedicated womanhood.
îzhĺ ýaoshtayô ferashtayô
Devotion, integrity, renovation,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 4. 2 = Yasna 38. 2)
Summary Substance: Continuing with their veneration, the congregation mentions devotion, integrity, renovation, and tranquility which reward one with good aspiration, invocation, guidance, and plenitude.
Pondering Points: Pursuing good brings good.
apô at ýazamaidę
Waters we venerate,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 4. 3 = Yasna 38. 3)
Summary Substance: The prayerful venerate various types of water -- water in the pond, lake, stream, river, the waterfall and the sea. Water in all these shapes is dear to them.
Pondering Points: Venerate water to vow not to pollute or waste it.
űitî ýâ vę vanguhîsh ahurô mazdĺ
Thus, O good ones, are your names, which
(Haptanghaiti: Song 4. 4 = Yasna 38. 4)
NOTE: While the first three stanzas of Song 4 are in eight-syllable line meter, this stanza is in eleven-syllable meter. The difference in the meter and the change in the context show that this stanza and the following one are later addition. They are not in tune with the Gathic care for Nature. The names of different shapes of water are taken by the composer as if they were named by God.
Summary Substance: The names of various shapes of water are divine names. The composer highly venerates them and wishes to have their favor.
Pondering Points: Veneration of Nature is to understand its true value, and not to worship it.
apascâ vĺ azîshcâ vĺ mâterăshcâ vĺ agenyĺ
Waters, you clouds,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 4. 5 = Yasna 38. 5)
Commentary: The veneration of water as a later addition continues. Here in this stanza, it is addressed to clouds laden with water. Clouds are called mothers and cows because like the two who give milk, the clouds give water.Rains bring relief to poor farmers and are therefore called generous ladies. Clouds are powerful enough to help people in drought and distress. They dispel drought by pelting it with rain drops and envelop it with pouring water. They are lively mothers, indeed. A nice piece of praise of clouds by a poet/poetess who awaits the rains hovering in clouds to come down and water his/her thirsty land.
Pondering Points: Hovering help heightens hope.
Song 5 = Yasna Section 39
Venerating Righteous Men and Women
ithâ ât ýazamaidę
Thus we venerate
(Haptanghaiti: Song 5. 1 = Yasna 39. 1)
Summary Substance: The prayerful venerate the Creator and the soul of living world of ours. They express their regards for their own souls and those of their domestic animals, the animals which provide them with livelihood. They also venerate all that belongs to the Creator and the creation.
Pondering Points: Appreciating the creation helps to understand God and have confidence in self.
Also we venerate the souls of
(Haptanghaiti: Song 5. 2 = Yasna 39. 2)
Summary Substance: The veneration continues. The souls of those who abide by law and are helpful to others are venerated. Also venerated are all righteous people, men and women, born in whatever land, and whose good conscience and vision are progressing.
Pondering Points: Men and women with progressing conscience and helping hands abound in every land.
ât ithâ ýazamaidę
Thus we venerate
(Haptanghaiti: Song 5. 3 = Yasna 39. 3)
Summary Substance: The congregation holds in high regard men and women who are progressive in every walk of their life based on wisdom and good mind. Such people are eternal and always gaining and growing in mind and body.
Pondering Points: Wisdom makes one ever-progressing in good life.
ýathâ tű î ahurâ
Just as You, Lord
(Haptanghaiti: Song 5. 4 = Yasna 39. 4)
Summary Substance: The prayerful humbly worship God because they know well that what God thinks, speaks, acts and practices is all good.It is a loving veneration and not a fearing feeling or an appeasing appeal.
Pondering Points: Praising God for goodness.
Transliterated Text :
vanghęush xvaętęush xvaętâtâ
Through the relationship of the good family,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 5. 5 = Yasna 39. 5)
Summary Substance: Feeling bound together and adhering to righteousness, members of a good family approach Mazda with great happiness and in good tranquility.
Pondering Points: Righteousness begins with good family ties.
Song 6 = Yasna Section 40
Intellect To Serve
âhű at paitî adâhű
Among these rewards,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 6. 1 = Yasna 40. 1)
Summary Substance: Of all the good things granted by God, "higher intellect" (note the word used is "mazdâ") is outstanding. The congregation prays that this reward be strengthened so that it becomes a part of human promotion. It is a gift that polishes one's conscience.
Pondering Points: Intellect is the best prize.
ahyâ hvô nę dâidî ahmâicâ
Grant us of this ("higher intellect") for this
(Haptanghaiti: Song 6. 2 = Yasna 40. 2)
Summary Substance: The congregation prays for higher intellect for both their mental and material, spiritual and physical lives so that people draw closer to the Divine Fellowship of Humanity and the Universal Law of Righteousness, and enjoy it for ever. It is a prayer for serving the living world through sound wisdom.
Pondering Points: Intellect leads to righteous service and guides closer to God.
dâidî at nerăsh mazdâ ahurâ
Grant it to persons, Lord,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 6. 3 = Yasna 40. 3)
Summary Substance: The prayer continues asking God to grant higher intellect to those who are righteous people, those who continue to seek more righteousness, and those who are well settled and help others to be rehabilitated -- all this to promote the Universal Fellowship of Zarathushtrians and their supporters.
Pondering Points: Intellect helps rehabilitate people to live righteous life.
athâ xvaętűsh athâ verezęnâ
Thus we serve the families, thus the communities,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 6. 4 = Yasna 40. 4)
Summary Substance: It is with higher intellect and wisdom, the very desired favor the praying people are asking for that they will serve families, communities and fellowships, in fact the entire humanity. The favor will turn them all into truly righteous people.
Pondering Points: Supreme wisdom helps to serve humanity.
Song 7 = Yasna Section 41
Praises of Love
stűtô garô vahmęńg ahurâi mazdâi
Praises, songs and loves to the Lord Wise
(Haptanghaiti: Song 7. 1 = Yasna 41. 1)
Summary Substance: The praying people sing their praises of love to God and the Divine Law of Righteousness.
Pondering Points: Praying with love to live with righteousness.
vohű xshathrem tôi mazdâ
Your Good Dominion, O Wise Lord finally for ever!
(Haptanghaiti: Song 7. 2 = Yasna 41. 2)
Summary Substance: The prayerful express their joy over the establishment of the good chosen dominion. They pray to God, the Most Beneficent that the person to govern them, man or woman, be a good person, one who too would be beneficent and would guide them in mind and body, spiritually and physically.
Pondering Points: Only the best in service should be elected to govern.
humâîm thwâ îzhîm ýazatem
You we consider super-wise, lovable, adorable,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 7. 3 = Yasna 41. 3)
Summary Substance: The congregation considers God, the Most Beneficent to be super-wise, worthy of devotion, worthy of veneration and an associate of humans in righteousness. It considers God to be the very life and body of humankind in this life and beyond, the mental existence.
Pondering Points: To love God is to live good.
hanaęmâcâ zaęmâcâ mazdâ ahurâ
May we earn, may we gain, Wise Lord,
(Haptanghaiti: Song 7. 4 = Yasna 41. 4)
Summary Substance: The boons asked and the rewards requested are only to have a long, active life of service. The prayerful want to feel stronger and more confident of the divine beneficent support to continue their mission.
Pondering Points: Longevity and activity for better service.
thwôi staotarascâ măthranascâ ahurâ
Your praisers and thought-provokers, Lord
(Haptanghaiti: Song 7. 5 = Yasna 41. 5)
Summary Substance: Enjoying the divine support and strengthened by their conscience, members of the Zarathushtrian Fellowship consider themselves as the praisers of God and thought-provokers of mankind. They are well on their way to spread the Message.
Pondering Points: Praise God and provoke thoughts -- the Mission to spread the Message.
YASNA - Chapter 42.
NOTE: Chapter 42 is in verse also, mostly four lines of eleven syllables in a stanza. It has, in my opinion, hardly any interpolations. But it is not a single hymn. It is a collection, rather a haphazard one, of lines and stanzas, most probably added in an effort to complement what was thought wanting in the Haptanghaiti.
In style, it falls far behind the Gathas and the Haptanghaiti. It lacks the richness of language. It is monotonous with its repeated "yazamaides". Although in the Gathic dialect, it matches well with the non-Gathic Part of the Yasna and should, therefore, be classified with it. I am of the opinion that its Gathic phonetics are artificial
It does not have any teachings to impart, no message to give. It is just a simple veneration of Nature.
Nevertheless, it is interesting -- interesting because it has a few points of interest. We shall divide it into nine parts to assemble the lines subject wise so as to understand it better:
1. The first two lines, which, looking to the customary salutations of the Five Gathas, should belong to 41-8.These two also prove beyond doubt the end of the Haptanghaiti. Contrary to the Gathic salutations, this one is in two poetic lines of ten syllables each. Perhaps this very poetry let the ball rolling for other verses of Chapter 42.
2. The waters have been venerated in the Haptanghaiti, but not their sources, courses and destinations. Here we have the glacier, the mountain lake, the spring, the banks and the ocean. We have also the monsoon clouds arising from the sea and thundering down floods to complete the cycle.
3. The roads that converge on and diverge out of settlements -- sign of communication and trade with the outside world.
4. Sky, earth, mountains, lands and winds complete the physical geography.
5· 'Barley fields' for 'aspen yevin' is of doubtful meaning. The phrase occurs twice in Yasht 11-3 and 8 and the same forms are repeated in Siroza 1-7 and II-7. There, it is preceded by 'flourishing flocks' and therefore one may accept that the context warrants such a meaning. But the derivation -- a + span = â + span by Bartholomae is doubtful too.I cannot but take "a" as negative and translate it as unincreasing and therefore limited fields as against unlimited grasslands -- a far-fetched meaning. The variant reading of "aspin yavan" makes one see 'The two dawn-breaking young Aspins' of the Vedas, particularly because the lines precede that of 'The two Protector Fashioner'. The mention in the Yasht and the repetition in the Sirozas are of the later period and cannot vouchsafe the assumed meaning.
6.The two Protector-Fashioner, in which some scholars see the old Indo-Iranian pair of Mitra-Varuna.
7. Mazda (not Ahura) and Zarathushtra follow the above mentioned pair.
8.The 'haoma' verse has been borrowed from Yasna I0-21 and misplaced here. It does not have the usual 'ca' and looks more prosaic.
9. The fire-priests who have come from far to stay for good. Their homelands are called 'strong in Righteousness'. It shows that they hailed from places where 'mazdayasnism' prevailed and since this is the first instance of the word Atharvan, I believe that here we have the Gathic 'mânthrans - thought-provoker preachers and teachers" being superseded by the learned new converts, who as we know, played the main part in introducing a changed tone in the pristine pure teachings of Zarathushtra. Their name at the end of the 'complimentary chapter' to the Haptanghaiti shows the end of the Gathic period.
The atharvans are the heralders of a new era -- the era of the 'later' Avesta, of monotonous Yasna prayers, of simple Vispered ceremonies, of sophisticated Yasht sacrifices and of complicating Vendidad ritualism. Like Hilmand waters in Khurasan, my home of the Avestan people, the Message of Zarathushtra would travel long -- from the singing springs of the Gathic sublimity down to the zero Zireh of the Vendidad salinity.
Chapter 42, unknowingly of course, depicted the near past, passing present and far future of the religious trends when it was composed.
1- yazamaidę vę ameshâ speńtâ ýasnahę haptanghâtôish hańdâtâ, apămcâ xĺ ýazamaidę apămcâ peretűsh ýazamaidę, pathămcâ vîcaranĺ ýazamaidę pathămcâ hańjamanĺ ýazamaidę.
2 - gairîshcâ afshtacinô yazamaidę vairîshcâ awezhdânĺnghô yazamaidę, aspenâcâ yevînô yazamaidę pâyűshcâ thwôreshtârâ yazamaidę, mazdămcâ zarathushtremcâ yazamaidę.
3 - zămcâ asmanemcâ yazamaidę, vâtemcâ darshîm mazdadâtem yazamaidę taęremcâ haraithyĺ berezô yazamaidę, dŕ bűmîmcâ vîspâcâ vohű yazamaidę.
4 - manô vohű urunascâ ashâunăm yazamaidę, vâsîmcâ yăm pańcâ-sadvarăm yazamaidę, xaremcâ yim ashavanem yazamaidę yô hishtaitę maidim zrayanghô vourukashahę, zarayô vourukashem yazamaidę.
5 - haomemcâ zâirîm berezańtem yazamaidę, haomem frâshmîm frâdat-gaęthem yazamaidę, haomem dűraoshem yazamaidę.
6 - apămcâ feraxshaostrem yazamaidę vayămcâ ferafraothrem yazamaidę, athaurunămcâ paitî-ajăthrem yazamaidę yôi yeyă dűrât ashô-îshô dah'yunăm, vîspăscâ ameshă speńtă yazamaidę.
We venerate, 0 incremental immortals,
(Haptanghaiti: Supplementary Song. 1 = Yasna 42. 1)
We venerate water-shedding mountains;
(Haptanghaiti: Supplementary Song. 2 = Yasna 42. 2)
We venerate the earth and the sky.
(Haptanghaiti: Supplementary Song. 3 = Yasna 42. 3)
We venerate the good souls of the righteous
(Haptanghaiti: Supplementary Song. 4 = Yasna 42. 4)
We venerate the refreshing body-building
(Haptanghaiti: Supplementary Song. 5 = Yasna 42. 5)
We venerate agitating waters;
(Haptanghaiti: Supplementary Song. 6 = Yasna 42. 6)
Pondering Point Venerating Nature encourages preserving and promoting our natural environment -- the Good Earth.
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