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 Only about one-quarter of the Avestan sentences or verses referred to by the 9th/10th century commentators can be found in the surviving texts.  Even today, the Vendidad is the only liturgical text that is not recited entirely from memory. (2020, January 08). Define Avestan. A still earlier Syriac manuscript commentary on the New Testament by 'Ishō'dād, bishop of Ḥadatha, near Mosul (852), similarly speaks of the Avesta as having been written by Zoroaster in … The Visperad collection has no unity of its own, and is never recited separately from the Yasna. There was a priesthood, which attended to the gods, and services conducted, but what form these rituals took is unknown. Most people chose this as the best definition of avestan: The eastern dialect of Ol... See the dictionary meaning, pronunciation, and sentence examples. The Avesta (Modern Persian: اوستا; /əˈvɛstə/), is the primary collection of religious texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in Avestan language.. It consists of 72 sections called the Ha-iti or Ha. This version was allegedly based on the texts supposedly lost at the end of the Achaemenid Empire, but, again, there is no evidence for this, and most modern-day scholars reject the claim or, at least, see nothing in the extant work which would make a Parthian version relevant to its development. The Achaemenid Empire was succeeded by the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire (312-63 BCE) during which time Zoroastrianism continued to be practiced by the people but not the Greek upper class. Fargards 4 and 15 discuss the dignity of wealth and charity, of marriage and of physical effort, and the indignity of unacceptable social behaviour such as assault and breach of contract, and specify the penances required to atone for violations thereof. The Yashts are 21 hymns addressed to divine entities and sacred elements such as water and fire. With outspread hands in petition for that help, O Mazda, I will pray for the works of the holy spirit, O thou the Right, whereby I may please the will of Good Thought and the Ox-Soul. This god only required acknowledgment and that human beings express this through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, which would lead to virtuous lives. It is thought that Zoroaster must have taught his disciples how to conduct themselves in plain, direct speech, and some of this tradition could be preserved in commentary such as the Zend. In the theory of Friedrich Carl Andreas (1902), the archaic nature of the Avestan texts was assumed to be due to preservation via written transmission, and unusual or unexpected spellings in the surviving texts were assumed to be reflections of errors introduced by Sasanian-era transcription from the Aramaic alphabet-derived Pahlavi scripts. Web. According to the Denkard, the 21 nasks (books) mirror the structure of the 21-word-long Ahuna Vairya prayer: each of the three lines of the prayer consists of seven words. The British Library: Discovering Sacred Texts - Zoroastrianism, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Avesta&oldid=990835197, Articles containing Persian-language text, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. A statement may also be quoted to the effect that the original Avesta was written on 1,200 parchments, with gold illuminated letters, and deposited in the library at Persepolis. The Avesta texts fall into several different categories, arranged either by dialect, or by usage. The second fargard recounts the legend of Yima. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 08 Jan 2020. Yasna 28 from the Ahunavaiti Gatha is a good example of the overall theme and focus of these works: 1. The widely repeated derivation from *upa-stavaka is from Christian Bartholomae (Altiranisches Wörterbuch, 1904), who interpreted abestāg as a descendant of a hypothetical reconstructed Old Iranian word for "praise-song" (Bartholomae: Lobgesang); that word is not actually attested in any text. Of or relating to Avestan.  Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron travelled to India in 1755, and discovered the texts among Indian Zoroastrian (Parsi) communities. The entity identified itself as Vohu Manah (“good purpose”) and revealed to him that there was actually only one god – Ahura Mazda – and Zoroaster’s responsibility was to preach this truth. Other texts such as Zartushtnamah ("Book of Zoroaster") are only notable for their preservation of legend and folklore. Related Content I would thereby preserve Right and Good Thought for evermore, that I may instruct, do thou teach me, O Mazda Ahura, from thy spirit by thy mouth how it will be with the First Life. The Rigveda and the Avesta: The final evidence. These are personal praise songs comprised of prayer-petition and worship-adoration and, on their own, provide little by way of instruction in how one is to walk the Zoroastrian path in one’s daily life. Through this word (of promise) on our tongue will we turn the robber horde unto the Greatest. I who have set my heart on watching over the soul, in union with Good Thought, and as knowing the rewards of Mazda Ahura for our works, will, while I have power and strength, teach men to seek after Right. Some Zoroastrians in the present day reject the Vendidad as superfluous while others accept its validity. The term Avesta is from the 9th/10th-century works of Zoroastrian tradition in which the word appears as Zoroastrian Middle Persian abestāg, Book Pahlavi ʾp(y)stʾkʼ. This original work was then memorized, recited at services (yasna), and passed down through the generations until committed to writing by the Sassanians, at which time it was accompanied by commentaries and other works such as the Zend (also given as Zand) and, later, the Denkard, and the Bundahisn. (Shall I see) the throne of the mightiest Ahura and the following of Mazda? According to a legend preserved in the Book of Arda Viraf, a 3rd or 4th century work, a written version of The Zend Avesta had existed in the palace library of the Achaemenid kings (559–330 BC), but which was then supposedly lost in a fire caused by the troops of Alexander the Great. It is usually divided into the following sections: Zoroastrian tradition holds that the original work of 21 books (known as Nasts) was revealed by Ahura Mazda, the One True God, to Zoroaster who recited them to his benefactor King Vishtaspa who had them inscribed on sheets of gold. The Avesta is a completely original vision of its age, conceiving of a single, all-powerful, creative deity with a personal interest in the lives – and morality – of human beings.
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