HIS101 History of Western Civilization I

His 101 western cyclization

Northern Virginia Community College

Question Description

Read the document under Modules-Homework # 2:

* Zoroastrianism Holy text (the Avesta)

After reading the document respond to the following questions in 2-3 paragraphs (200 words)

1) What can we learn about this religion from its holy text? What was important to Zoroastrians? What did they believe?

2) Choose 2 quotes you find interesting or important and explain why. If you are familiar with Judaism, Christianity or Islam, try to find quotes that you think are similar to those religions. If you are not familiar with any other religions, just choose quotes to analyze that interest you.

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1 The Avesta (circa 1000-300 BCE) Translated by Prof. Ervad MANECK FURDOONJI KANGA M.A 2 • “Righteousness is the best good (and it) is happiness. Happiness (is) to him who (is) righteous for the sake of the best righteous...” • “He who constitutes himself to the protector (or the nourisher) of the poor (accepts) the sovereign rule (of the entire world) of [Ahura-Mazda] (God).” • “(May) the Satan (be) defeated and destroyed! (May) the works and workers of Ahriman [The Devil] the accursed (be) destroyed! May not works and workers of (that) accursed (Ahriman) reach (me)! Thirtythree Holy Immortals and the Creator [Ahura-Mazda] are victorious and holy.” • “When any wicked man glares at me for taking revenge (or for injuring me), what man, O [God], shall grant protection unto me and unto my followers? (Who other than Thee shall grant protection) to the Fire and the Mind (i.e. household happiness and the peace of mind)? Through the action of which two, O [God]! righteousness increases. Do Thou declare that knowledge of the religion to me (O Ahura Mazda!). Who (shall be) the smiter of the foe by the help of Thy (Avestan) words which (by reciting at the time of calamity) are protecting? Do Thou reveal clearly unto me a wise leader for both the worlds (O AhuraMazda).” 3 • “O [Ahura-Mazda]…protect us from the envious ones…Perish thou, O devil’s spawn…Perish thou, O follower of devil’s law…Disappear utterly, vanish and entirely perish…Homage (be) unto right thought and prosperity!” • “Ahura-Mazda (is) the Lord (of the entire Universe) (and)….keeper at a distance of the wicked and powerless Ahriman [Satan], May (that Ahriman) be smitten and defeated! May (all these)…sorcerers, wicked ones, tyrants, sinners, impious ones, enemies, [and] witches be [struck down] and defeated! May the wicked rulers cease to exist! May the enemies be confounded! May the enemies be non-existent and perish.” • “O Lord! I am in renunciation of, and desist from, all sins: wicked thoughts which in (this) world I have thought, wicked words which I have spoken, wicked deeds which I have committed, (and) which have occurred through me and which have originated by me - (all these sins mentioned above) relating to thought, relating to word, and relating to deed, pertaining to (my own) body, pertaining to (my own) soul, pertaining to this world, pertaining to the world beyond from all these sins, O [Lord]! I am in renunciation and keep myself away, (and) with the three words (Good thoughts-words-and deeds) I repent. (May there be) [atonement] of Ahura Mazda (God)! (May there be) contempt of [Ahriman] the Evil Spirit! Whatever is the wish of the doers of righteous deeds, is superior (to all other wishes). I praise righteousness.” 4 • “O Creator! Do Thou come to my help. I am a Mazdā-worshipper; I profess myself (to be) a Mazdā-worshipping follower of [Zoroaster] a devotee and an ardent-believer (in this Mazdāworshipping Faith). I praise the true-conceived thought, I praise the true-spoken word, I praise the well-done deed. I praise the excellent religion of Mazdaworship, (which is) quarrel-removing, weapon-lowering, selfdedicating (and) holy, which of those that are and of those shall be (hereafter) (is) the greatest, and the best and the most excellent, which is the religion of Ahura revealed-by [Zoroaster]. I acknowledge all good (things) (which are) from [God]. Such is the praise of the religion of Mazda-worship” • “In the Name of God and with His help (I begin to recite this prayer) (who is) the Lord, the bestower of all good things, the forgiver of sins and loving. Thus here we revere Ahura Mazda who created the animals and the grain, who created water and good vegetation who created lights (of the sky) and the earth and all (other) good things (over and above these).” • “Just as we are (the praisers and meditators) of good men, (in the same way) we are the praisers and meditators of the doers of good thoughts, good words and good deeds for this world and for the world beyond, and of those who have performed (good deeds) in the past.” 5 • “(May there) verily (be) sovereignty for the best ruler (Ahura-Mazda)! We devote our mind to (God) who (Himself) is the Best. We acknowledge (Him) (and) regard (Him) as our own.” • “I renunciate, and desist from all sins; all wicked thoughts which in this world I have thought, wicked words which I have spoken, wicked deeds which I have committed (and) which have been caused through me (and ) which have been originated by me (all these sins mentioned above) relating to thought, relating to word and relating to deed, pertaining to (my own) body, pertaining to (my own) soul, pertaining to this world, pertaining to the world beyond, all these sins, O [AhuraMazda]! I discard and keep myself away (and) with the three words (good thought, good word and good deed) I repent.” • “I profess myself to be a worshipper of [Ahura-Mazda], follower in accordance with the religion revealed by (the prophet Zoroaster), abstainer from (the path of demons) and act according to the Law of Ahura-Mazda.” • “May there be health a thousand times.” • “For the expiation of sins I obtain the reward of meritorious deeds, and for the sake of the love of the soul, may complete righteousness reach all the doers of good deeds and all the faithful…May there be long life of 6 the righteous (man).” • “I praise good men and women who are, who were, and will be, of the entire creation of Holy [Ahura-Mazda]. I praise [those] who come for help (and is) the protector for a long time, the friend (of good man) and herself the willing follower (well-)instructing companion, and keeper of all healing virtues, for waters, cattle and plants and the destroyer of all evils of the daevas [demons], wicked men1 (who are) the tormentors of this house…” • “(I praise) good charitable works, and righteous deeds (which are) of a very exalted dignity (and) superior (and which) subsequently (are) attaining to (our help) (and) affording shelter for a long time, so that the greatest, best and excellent righteousness may reach us.” • “At Thy will and with happiness Thou, O Ahura Mazda! Rulest over Thine-own creations; (Thou rulest) at (Thy) will over waters, over trees and over all good things, the seeds of righteousness. Thou appoint the holy (man) a ruler (but) not the infidel (i.e. the sinful man). May the righteous (man) be ruling-at-will (but) may the infidel, fallen into calamity, cast out of the creations of the Holy Spirit, having failed (in his schemes) be not-ruling-at-will.” • “I who am [Zoroaster] will guide the leaders of the house, of the clans, towns and lands, to think, to speak and to act in conformity with this 7 Religion which [was revealed by] Ahura... so that our minds (be) full of joy (and) (our) souls (attain) the best, (our) bodies be full of heavenly glory (may be fit) for the best world (i.e. Heaven) O Ahura Mazda may (all these good wishes) reach (us) openly Through the best righteousness, excellent righteousness, (O Ahura Mazda) may we catch sight of Thee and may we come near Thee (and) attain t Thy eternal friendship!” • “In the name of the Creator, I praise and invoke [Ahura-Mazda] (who) is the Keeper of treasures, Glorious, Omniscient, the Perfector of all deeds, the Lord of Lords, King over all Kings, the Protector, the Creator of (all), things created, the Giver of the daily bread, the Natural and the Powerful, without beginning or end, the Bestower of good things, the Forgiver of sins, the Loving, Omnipotent, Wise and the Nourisher (of all creations). May the Majesty (and) Glory of (God) (who is) the Lord and the Producer (Creator of the whole world) be on the increase! May the immortal, brilliant and the swift footed horse Sun come (to my help)!” • “I praise (all) good thoughts, good words and good deeds through (my) thoughts, words and deeds. I uphold all good thoughts, good words and good deeds. I renounce all evil thoughts, evil words and evil deeds. I dedicate unto you, ye Holy Immortals, worship and praise (and) with the very life of my own body through thoughts, words and deeds (and) with (my) conscience. I praise righteousness.” 8 • “All good thoughts, good words (and) good deeds, (are) produced with (good) intelligence. All evil thoughts, evil words (and) evil deeds (are) not produced with good intelligence. All good thoughts, good words (and) good deeds lead (the doer) to heaven. All evil thoughts, evil words (and) evil deeds lead (him) to hell. (The result) of all good thoughts goods words (and) good deeds (is) heaven. Thus (it is) manifest to the righteous (person).” • “This highest light amongst the high (lights) (which is called the Sun; we regard it as Thy most beautiful body, O [Ahura Mazda].” • We praise the Boundless (eternal) Time, the Time appointed-for thelong-period, the Wind, bountiful (and) of good creation. We praise Wisdom, the most upright, righteous, created by Mazda, the good…Religion, the chosen (path) amongst other paths, the terrible weapon, and the Mount created by Mazda.” • “We praise the immortal, radiant (and) swift-footed horse, the Sun. When the light of the Sun is warmer, when it shines, there stand hundreds and thousands spiritual yazatas [“Those worthy of worship or veneration”]. (These yazats) gather together that glory, (and) send it down. (And) distribute that glory upon the earth created by Mazda.” 9 • “(What does it increase or make prosperous?) It increases the world of righteousness, the creation of righteousness.” • “When the Sun rises it becomes the means of purifying the earth created by Ahura-Mazda, (it becomes) the means of purifying flowing waters, springwaters, waters of the seas, stagnant waters (and), it becomes the means of purifying the righteous creation, which is of the Holy Spirit.” • “If the Sun were not to rise the demons here would kill all (things and lives) that are in the seven regions.” • “Whosoever worships (or praises) the Sun that is immortal, radiant, swift-footed horse, in order to withstand darkness, the demons, the brood of darkness, the thieves and robbers, the wizards and witches (and) the deadly destruction, he (as it were) worships Ahura Mazda, he worships the Holy Immortals, he worships his own soul. He who worships the Sun, [pleases] all heavenly and earthly yazatas [spiritual beings].” • “I praise…the lord of wide pastures, of a thousand ears (and) of ten thousand eyes, I praise the mace of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, sufficiently made ponderous, weighty (for smiting) against the skull of the Demons. I praise the best friendship of friendships which is between the Moon and the Sun.” 10 • “Among the living beings whoever (is) better in acts of worship, of which Ahura Mazda (Himself) is aware, on account of His holiness, all such men and women we revere.” • “O Lord (of the entire world), (the Creator)! And the Increaser of man and mankind (and of the creation) of all (other) species! O! Bountiful (Lord) of all the faithful of the good Religion! May the faithful amongst the Mazda-worshippers (gain) the knowledge (of the Religion) and may I become steadfast on the Religion and may goodness reach (me)! May it be so!” • “Whoever worships thee, the immortal, radiant… Ahura Mazda and pertaining to Ahura Mazda with best oblations, with excellent oblations, (and) with oblations filtered by the pious people, radiance and glory unto that man; do thou grant him soundness of the body (i.e. health), happiness, victory of the body, wealth, full of happiness, progeny, naturally intelligent, do thou grant him, long life; (and do thou grant) him the bright (and) happy heaven of the righteous. May it be so as I pray.” • “(I offer) thanks to that Exalted (Lord) (amongst the existing ones) who is the Creator (of the entire creation) (and) is the designer of its end; (and) who with his own self-hood, strength and wisdom created most sublime Heaven…the revolution of the sky, the shining Sun, the brilliant Moon, Stars of many kinds, the winds, atmosphere, water, fire, 11 the earth, trees, beneficent cattle, the metals, and mankind.” • “I worship and pay homage to that virtuous Lord who made mankind the greatest among all worldly creatures through the faculty of thinking and (by bestowing) intellect for combating the demons (or wicked lust), for opposing them (and even) abstaining away (from them).” • “(With a bow I pay) homage unto that Omniscient and Compassionate Lord, who through [Zoroaster] sent the trustworthy knowledge of the Religion for the people of the world with a view to attracting friendship (towards Himself), (which can be acquired) by means of innate wisdom, and wisdom acquired through the ears. For the knowledge and guidance of all persons who are, were, and will be, (He) sent the Science of…[and] the ennobler of the soul helping to cross the...Bridge with ease, the deliverer from hell (and) the indicator of the way towards the Best abode (i.e. Heaven) of the righteous, the bright, sweet-smelling and all-good.” • “O! Merciful and Compassionate Lord! O! Lord, Forgiver of sins! I accept, think, speak, and practice the pure religion (of Zoroaster sent by you) in accordance with Your Command, Order and bidding. I am steadfast upon performing every meritorious deed and I return having repented from all sinful acts. I keep pure my personal conduct, having abstained (from wicked lusts) the six powers of (my) soul (which are) the power of thought, the power of speech, the power of action, the power of logic (discriminating good and evil), intelligence and 12 wisdom.” • “O Virtuous One! According to Thy will can perform Thy worship with good thoughts, good words and good deeds. (And for the sake of my own soul) I keep open the brilliant (righteous) path (i.e. the path of gaining Heaven) so that (after my death) the grievous punishment of hell may not befall upon my (soul). I shall pass over the [Bridge to the Afterlife] and attain the Paradise full of fragrance all-adorned and all comfortable.” • “(I sing the hymn of) praise of that Lord, the Forgiver of Sins, who bestows rewards for meritorious deeds, on those who obey (His) Commands with the will to perform meritorious deeds; and at last (i.e. after the period of Resurrection) will liberate the sinners from hell, and will embellish the entire (world) with purity.” • (Zoroaster speaks to the Creator Ahura Mazda): Who (else) (is there) other than Thee through whom the Moon waxes (or) wanes? (Reply: there is none).” • “When the light of the Moon shines, the green-coloured plants grow on the earth through the mist. We praise the days after the new moon and the days after the full moon, the destroyer (of the darkness) of the night. We praise the new moon. We praise the full moon, the righteous (and) the lord of righteousness. We praise (the full moon), the destroyer (of 13 the darkness) of the night, righteous and lord of righteousness.” • “(Let) no (these efficacious) waters of ours (be) for a man of wicked thoughts, wicked words and wicked deeds! (Let) not (these efficacious) waters of ours (be) for the man of wicked religion. For the tormentors of a friend, a priest and workmen! (Let) not (the waters be) for one who torments his own kindred! (Let) not our efficacious effective, best pure waters created by Ahura Mazda (be) profitable to that (person), who desires to empty out (destroy) our abundant settlements. (Let) not our efficacious, best, pure waters created by Ahura Mazda (be) beneficial to that (person) who desires to empty out (harm) our healthy bodies! (And all those) who (are) thieve, robbers, murderers. Killers of righteous persons, addicted to sorcery, buriers of dead bodies, the wicked, (the greedy), heretic (and)the evil tyrannical persons (may not get the benefit of the efficacious waters…) May injuries come upon the (persons) mentioned above) May their evil desires lead them to destruction.” • “O Fire, the purifier (of all things) pertaining to Ahura Mazda! I praise Thy worship, invocation, good health-giving and friendly gift. (O Fire), thou art worthy of worship and invocation...May there be greatness (or happiness) unto that man who shall always worship thee… O Fire, the purifier (of all things) pertaining to Ahura Mazda! Mayest thou be15 provided with food for a long time.” • “O Fire, the purifier (of all things) pertaining to Ahura Mazda! Do thou grant me (that thing) which may be the instructor for me, may guide me 14 now and forever, about the best world, of the righteous (people), bright (and) all-comfortable. (And) may I obtain that paradise in good rewards, in (return for the good homage and in (exchange of) holiness of (my) soul for a long duration.” • “That Fire of Ahura Mazda carries [counsel] unto all for whom that (fire) cooks the evening and noon meals…” • We revere all the sacred verses of (the Prophet), and all well-performed deeds (religious ceremonies), which have been performed and shall be performed hereafter.” • “We praise the righteous woman, richest in good thoughts, good words and good deeds, well and properly instructed, obedient to her husband (and) truthful.” • “I keep the internal (and) the external treasure which I have, owing to (due to my) kinship with God. Keeping with the kinship of God, if anything happens I shall give, dedicate, if necessary, this (my) body for the sake of (my) soul.” • “I praise the best righteousness (and) I smite the demons for the sake of or in the hope of the Resurrection, I am grateful and contented with the goodness of the Creator…” 15 • “For that way (if I have deviated from the above mentioned commandments) I repent (those) sins and I am penitent of (these) sins.” • “The sins of worse degrees are:- Namely, to harm someone by (doing) injustice and to interfere in his good work, to admonish someone falsely, to tell utter lies and to point out a wrong path; - not to act or to act contrary to the will made by any person at the time of his death or while going on a journey to a foreign country, in favor of his children or some other persons, - to steal human beings or cattle and to sell them, to spoil a set of good clothes and to spoil purposely pure and tasty edible, not to nourish the poor and the needy in spite of being rich and prosperous, instead cause affliction and harm them and to keep the beneficent animals under his control hungry and to strike them,– to hold a weapon in hands in order to smite or wound someone – or to [hit] it on the head of a person opposite him, the sin of inflicting a wound on a person which heals after three to four days, the sin of inflicting a wound on hand, – or foot – the sin of inflicting a wound in such a way as to render the foot lame and to prevent it from doing work19 – the sin deserving the punishment of death- the sin of practicing derision or mockery of anyone beyond limit - the sin of having physical relations with a prostitute or with a woman in [in menstruation], the sin of committing unnatural intercourse with a man, or woman - the sin of formation with a woman unlawfully - the sin of destroying sperm by one’s own hands - the sin of sexual intercourse with a woman of another faith, the sin of criminal intimacy with another person’s wife and of stealing property of another person - and 16 such other sins as not performing the compulsory meritorious deeds enjoined in the Zoroastrian Religion, which cause difficulty in crossing the Chinvat Bridge after death.” • “I repent and renounce for not thinking about the wish of the Creator Ahura Mazda, as I ought to have thou ...
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Running Head: THE AVESTA


The Avesta
Institutional Affiliation



1. What can we learn about this religion from its holy text? What was important to
Zoroastrians? What did they believe?
The religion teaches about the understanding of good and evil and how people can ensure they
live a righteous life. Through Zoroastrianism, people can learn the importance of appreciating
nature and how such interaction can improve their lives. Also, it gets people to understand that
nature is God’s creation, and by destroying it, the...

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