Zoroastrian - Means of achieving spiritual experience - 04 Suppression of learning
Type of Spiritual Experience
Ritual and ceremony play and played an exceptionally important part in Zoroastrian life. The Fire ceremony itself was a wonderful act of ritual and ceremonial, but the texts also add to the sense of occasion and their main purpose was to stop the mind chattering away. If one listens to someone else chanting a comforting, not meaningless but largely unchallenging text, the mind quietens down, the intellect temporarily stops learning and one is open to spiritual experience.
One of the best examples of texts with great potential to achieve this are the Hymns of Zoroaster – the Gathas and the Yasnas. Remembering that these were recited, or chanted, one can get a feel for the poetry in them and the use of repetition to achieve a rhythm. Listening to beating sounds is itself very conducive to spiritual experience so the two combined would have been very effective. It would probably have sounded like a beating metronome when recited properly. The words are comforting but this is essentially a chant, a poetic prayer, a sort of mantra, to be used either on mountain tops in the presence of fire, or in the fire temple in darkness lit only by sacred flames. Imagine it being intoned in a relatively monotonous voice…
Asha-sanctified master of Asha = Asha is the system of the universe, thus an adept who understands the nature of spirit
Water = all reference to water is symbolic and refers to Water
Ascendency = Ascension
For the Moon which contains the seed of the Kine = symbolically the Sun is the Creator and the Moon the created. The moon as it waxes and wanes then symbolically looks like it is pregnant and then gives birth. Thus the Moon was looked on as the source of souls, and the place where the soul went after death
Fire = the Element Fire
A description of the experience
Yasna 1 [extract]
5. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for Uzerin the Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and for Fradat-vira and Dakhyuma, the Asha-sanctified master(s) of Asha,
and for that lofty Ahura Napat-apam (the son of waters),
and for the waters which Ahura Mazda made.
6. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for Aiwisruthrem (and) Aibigaya, the Asha-sanctified master(s) of Asha,
and for the Zarathushtrotema,
and for him who possesses and who gives that prosperity in life which furthers all.
And I celebrate and carry out (this Yasna)
for the fravashis of the saints,
and for those of the women who have many sons,
and for a prosperous home life which continues without reverse throughout the year,
and for that Might which is well-shaped and stately,
which strikes victoriously, Ahura-made,
and for that Victorious Ascendency (which it secures).
7. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for Ushahin, the Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and for Berejya (and) Nmanya, the Asha-sanctified master(s) of Asha,
and for Sraosha, companion of Ashi, possessing rewards, victorious, who furthers the world,
and the very straight Rashnu and Arshtad,
who further the world,
who augment the world.
8. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for the Mahya, the monthly festivals,
masters of Asha,
for the new and the later moon,
the Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and for the full moon which scatters night.
9. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for the Yairya, yearly feasts,
the Asha-sanctified masters of Asha.
I celebrate and carry out (this Yasna)
for Maidyozarem, the Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and for Maidyoshahem, the Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and for Paitishahem, and for Ayathrem
the advancer, and the spender of the strength of males,
the Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and for Maidyarem, the Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and for Hamaspathmaidyem, the Asha-sanctified master of Asha;
yea, I celebrate and carry out this Yasna
for the seasons, masters of Asha.
10. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for all those who are the thirty three masters of Asha,
which, coming the nearest, are around about Hawan,
and which (as in their festivals) were instituted by Ahura Mazda,
and were promulgated by Zarathushtra,
as the masters of Asha Vahishta.
11. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for the two, for Ahura and Mithra,
the lofty, and the everlasting,
and the Asha-sanctified,
and for all the stars which are Spenta Mainyu's creatures,
and for the star Tishtrya, the resplendent and glorious,
and for the Moon which contains the seed of the Kine,
and for the resplendent Sun, the swift-horsed, the eye of Ahura Mazda,
and for Mithra the province ruler.
And I celebrate and carry out this Yasna for Ahura Mazda
(once again, and as to him who rules the month),
the radiant, the glorious, and for the Fravashis of the saints.
12. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for you, o Fire, son of Ahura Mazda,
together with all the fires,
and for the good waters,
even for all the waters made by Mazda,
and for all the plants which Mazda made.
13. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for the Bounteous Manthra,
the Asha-sanctified and effective,
the revelation given against the Daevas;
the Zoroastrian revelation,
and for the long descent of the good Mazdayasnian Faith.
14. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for the mountain Ushi-darena, the Mazda-made,
with its sacred brilliance,
and for all the mountains glorious with sanctity,
with their abundant Glory Mazda-made,
and for that majestic Glory Mazda-made,
the unconsumed Glory which Mazda made.
And I announce and carry out (this Yasna)
for Ashi the good, the blessedness (of the reward),
and for Chisti, the good religious Knowledge,
for the good Erethe (Rectitude3?),
and for the good Rasastat (persisting zeal?),
and to the Glory and the Benefit which are Mazda-made.
15. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for the pious and good Blessing of the religious man,
and for the curse of wisdom,
the swift and redoubted Yazad of potency.
16. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for these places and these lands,
and for these pastures, and these abodes with their springs of water(?),
and for the waters, land, and plants,
and for this earth and for yon heaven,
and for the Asha-sanctified wind,
and for the stars, moon, and sun,
and for the eternal stars without beginning,
and for all the Asha-sanctified creatures of Spenta Mainyu,
male and female,
the regulators of Asha.
17. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for that lofty lord who is the Asha (itself),
and for the masters of the days in their duration,
and of the days during daylight,
for the moons, the years, and the seasons
which are masters of Asha at the time of Hawan.
18. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for the fravashis of the saints, the redoubted,
which overwhelm (the evil),
for those of the saints of the ancient lore,
for those of the next of kin,
and for the fravashi of (my) own soul!
19. I announce (and) carry out (this Yasna)
for all the masters of Asha,
and for all the yazads, the beneficent, who dispose (of all) aright,
for those both heavenly and earthly,
who are (meet) for our sacrifice and homage
because of Asha Vahishta.
20. O Hawan, Asha-sanctified master of Asha,
and Savanghi, Rapithwin, and Uzerin,
and Aiwisruthrem, (and) Aibigaya, (you who aids life!)
if I have offended you, and you, o Ushahin,
Asha-sanctified master of Asha!
21. If I have offended you,
whether by thought, or word, or deed,
whether by act of will, or without intent or wish,
I earnestly make up the deficiency of this in praise to you.
If I have caused decrease in that which is your Yasna,
and your homage,
I announce (and carry out) to you (the more for this)!
22. Yea, all ye masters, the greatest ones,
Asha-sanctified masters of Asha,
if I have offended you by thought, or word, or deed,
whether with my will, or without intending error,
I praise you (now the more) for this.
I announce to you (the more)
if I have caused decrease in this
which is your Yasna, and your praise.