Bookmark and Share

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Religions / Iranian / Zoroastrianism / Avesta /

In Zoroastrianism, part of the Avesta, which is believed to be the work of Zarathustra himself. The gathas contain meditations, sermons, and exhortations. The gathas are recognized for language more archaic than that is found in the Avesta itself.
Zarathustra mentions only one of the many gods in the Iranian area of those days, Ahura Mazda. But the gathas throughout deal with divine beings and their relationship to Ahura Mazda. Moreover, they contain hymns to the highest lord as well as to the other divine beings. The content is made up of questions and requirements, and Zarathustra tries to enter into a dialogue to receive enlightenment and instructions, as well as benefits, to help him in his battle with his enemies.
The four most common gathas are Ahunavar, Airyema ishyou, Ashem vohu, and Yenhe hatam. These are difficult to translate, and even the believers have only vague ideas about their exact content. It is said that Ahura Mazda himself spoke the Ahunavar, which resulted in 3,000 years of dominance over the evil spirits. It is this gatha that Zarathustra also used to protect himself from the evil forces.

By Tore Kjeilen