Gatha 17 – Yasna 044
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Gathas (Hymns of Zoroaster)
Translation by C. Bartholomae, from I.J.S. Taraporewala, The Divine Songs of Zarathushtra.
1. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - as to prayer, how it should be to one of you. O Mazda Ahura, might one like thee teach to a friend such as I am, and through friendly Right give us support, that Good Thought may come to us.
2. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether at the beginning of the Best Existence the recompenses shall bring blessedness to him that meets with them. Surely he, O Right, the holy one, who watches in his spirit the transgression of all, if himself the benefactor of all that lives, O Mazda.
3. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who is by generation the Father of Right, at the first? Who determined the path of sun and stars? Who is it by whom the moon waxes and wanes again? This, O Mazda, and yet more, I am fain to know.
4. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who upholds the earth beneath and the firmament from falling? Who the waters and the plants? Who yoked swiftness to winds and clouds? Who is, O Mazda, creator of Good Thought?
5. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. What artist made light and darkness? What artist made sleep and waking? Who made morning, noon, and night, that call the understanding man to his duty?
6. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether what I proclaim is verily the truth. Will Right with its actions give aid (at the last)? will Piety? Will Good Thought announce from the Dominion? For whom hast thou made the pregnant cow that brings good luck?
7. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who created together with Dominion the precious Piety? Who made by wisdom the son obedient to his father? I strive to recognize by these things thee, O Mazda, creator of all things through the holy spirit.
8. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. I could keep in mind thy design, O Mazda, and understand aright the maxims of life which I ask of Good Thought and Right. How will my soul partake of the good that gives increase?
9. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether for the Self that I would bring to perfection, that of the man of insight, the Lord of Dominion would make promises of the sure Dominion, one of thy likenesses, O Mazda, who dwells in one abode with (Right) and Good Thought.
10. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. The Religion which is best for (all) that are, which in union with Right should prosper all that is mine, will they duly observe it, the religion of my creed, with words and action of Piety, in desire for thy (future) good things, O Mazda?
11. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether Piety will extend to those to whom thy Religion shall be proclaimed? I was ordained at the first for this by thee; all others I look upon with hatred of spirit.
12. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who among those with whom I would speak is a righteous man, and who a liar? On which side is the enemy? (On this), or is he the enemy, the Liar who opposes thy blessings? How shall it be with him? Is he not to be thought of as an enemy?
13. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether we shall drive the Lie away from us to those who being full of disobedience will not strive after fellowship with Right, nor trouble themselves with counsel of Good Thought.
14. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether I would put the Lie into the hands of Right, to cast her down by the words of thy lore, to work a mighty destruction among the Liars, to bring torments upon them and enmities, O Mazda.
15. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - if thou hast power over this to ward off from me through Right, when the two opposing hosts meet in battle according to those decrees which thou wilt firmly establish. Whether is it of the twain that thou wilt give victory.
16. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who is victorious to protect by thy doctrine (all) that are? By vision assure me how to set up the judge that heals the world. Then let him have Obedience coming with Good Thought unto every man whom thou desirest, O Mazda.
17. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether through you I shall attain my goal, O Mazda, even attachment unto you, and that my voice may be effectual, that Welfare and Immortality may be ready to unite according to that promise with him who joins himself with Right.
18. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura - whether I shall indeed, O Right, earn the reward, even ten mares with a stallion and a camel, which was promised to me, O Mazda, as well as through thee, the future gift of Welfare and Immortality.
19. This I ask Thee, tell me truly, Ahura. He that will not give the reward to him that earns it, even to the man who fulfilling his word gives him (what he undertook) - what penalty shall come to him for the same at the present? I know that which shall come to him at the last.
20. Have the Daevas ever exercised good dominion? And I ask of those who see how for the Daevas' sake the Karapan and the Usij give cattle to violence, and how the Kavi made them continually to mourn, instead of taking care that they make the pastures prosper through Right.