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Ahunavaiti GATHA

Song 2

THE CHOICE OF ZARATHUSHTRA
as
THE LORD AND LEADER
of
THE LIVING WORLD

(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 Spitma.

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 Spitma. 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):

1- 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.

2- 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.

3- 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.

4- 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.

5- Righteousness wants 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.

6- 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.

7- 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.

8- 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.

9- 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.

10- 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.

11- 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.

15th Day

Transliterated Text:

xshmaiby gush urv gerezhd
kahmi m thwarzhdm k m tashat
m ashem hazasc rem
hishy dereshc tevishc
nit mi vst xshmat any
ath mi sst voh vstry.

Translated Text:

The Soul of the Living World lamented to You:
Why did You create me? Who fashioned me this way?
I am oppressed by fury, rapine, outrage, and aggression.
I have no one to rehabilitate me other than You. 
Lead me to true civilization.

(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.


16th Day

Transliterated Text:

 

ad tash gush peresat ashem
kath ti gavi ratush
hyat hm dt xshayat
had vstr gaody thwaxsh
km hi usht ahurem
dregvdebsh ashemem vdyit.

 Translated Text:

 

Then the Creator of the Living World asked Righteousness:
Who is Your leader of the World,
who can offer her civilization,
nourishment, and strength?
Whom do you wish to be her lord;
one who shall repel the fury of the wrongful?

(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.


17th Day

Transliterated Text:

ahmi ash nit sarej
advash gavi pait-mravat
avashm nit vduy
shavait drg ereshvngh
htm hv aojisht
ahmi zavg jim keredush.

Translated Text:

Righteousness replied:
There is no authority in the world
who is free from malice.
Of those yonder, I know none
who would activate the noble to help the meek.
Had there been one person strong enough among them,
I would have hurried to his call.

(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.

18th Day

Transliterated Text:

mazd saxvr mairisht
z vverezi pair-citht
davishc mashyishc
c vareshait aip-citht
hv vcir ahur
ath n anghat ath hv vasat.

Translated Text:

The Wise God knows best
what the divines and their people
have been doing in the past and shall do in the future.
God alone is the judge.
Let it be so as He wishes us to be.

(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.

19th Day

Transliterated Text:

at v ustnish ahv
zastish frnemn ahuri aa
m urv gushc azy
hyat mazdm dvaid ferasby
nit erezhejyi frajyitish
nit fshuyet dregvas pair.

Translated Text:

It is better for us two, the Soul of the fruitful World and me,
to raise our hands for the divine grace
and ask the Wise One:
Will there be no livelihood for the honest?
Will there be no reformer among the wrongful?

(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.


20th Day

Transliterated Text:

at vaocat ahur mazd
vdv vafsh vynay
nit av ah vist
nad ratush ashtct hac
at z thw fshuyatac
vstryic thwresht tatash.

Translated Text:

The Wise God, the Knowing,
spoke in a loving form:
So you do not know any lord or leader
who acts in righteousness.
But, were you not fashioned by the Creator
to look after the promoter as well as the settler?

(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.


21st Day

Transliterated Text:

tm ztish ahur mthrem
tashat ash hazaosh
mazd gavi xshvdemc
hv urushaiby spet ssnay,
kast voh manangh
dyt ev maretaiby.

Translated Text:

The Wise God, of one accord with Righteousness,
prepared His thought-provoking message
in response to the sweet plea made by the World,
because with His doctrine, He is the promoter
for those who wish to be protected.
He asked: Good Mind, do you know any person
who can help the mortals?

(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.

22rd Day

Transliterated Text:

am mi id vist
n av ssn gshat
zarathushtr spitm
hv n mazd vasht ashic
carekerethr srvayengh
hyat hi hudemm dyi vaxedhrahy.

Translated Text:

Yes I do. There is only one person
who has listened to our teachings.
He is Zarathushtra Spitama.
Wise One, he is prepared to proclaim the message
through his Songs for the sake of Righteousness.
Grant him sweetness of speech.

(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.


23th Day

Transliterated Text:

atc gush urv raost
anashem xshnmn rdem
vcem neresh asrahy
m vasem sh xshathrm
kad av hv anghat
hi dadat zastavat av.

Translated Text:

The Soul of the World cried again:
Am I to accept a powerless man
with a feeble voice as my caretaker?
I want a powerful ruler.
Will such a time come
when he will give me his helping hand?

(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.


24th Day

Transliterated Text:

zhm aiby ahur
aog dt ash xshathremc
avat voh manangh
husheitsh rmmc dt
azmct ahy mazd

thwm mngh paourvm vadem.
 

Translated Text:

God, Grant him and his people,
strength and power
through righteousness and good mind,
so that he leads me to peace and tranquillity.
I also, Wise One, recognize him
as Your foremost discovery.

(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.


25th Day

Transliterated Text:

kud ashem vohuc man
xshathremc at m mash
zhm mazd frxshnen
mazi magi pait-znat
ahur n n avar
hm rtish shmvatm.

Translated Text:

When shall Righteousness, Good Mind,
and the Divine Dominion hasten to me?
Wise One, do acknowledge, with Your discernment,
the order of the Great Fellowship.
God, help us now.
We look to Your kindness.

(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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