It is to be recited immediately after the Kasti prayers. It is just a short prayer to invoke Sarosh Yazad who is the guardian Yazad of prayers. Children are expected to learn this prayer at the time of Navjote after they learn their Kasti prayers. Oem goft, oem kard, oem jast, oem bun bud ested.
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Historiography[ edit ] The surviving texts of the Avesta, as they exist today, derive from a single master copy produced by collation and recension in the Sasanian Empire — CE. The oldest surviving manuscript K1 [n 1] of an Avestan language text is dated CE. This suggests that three-quarters of Avestan material, including an indeterminable number of juridical, historical and legendary texts, have been lost since then.
On the other hand, it appears that the most valuable portions of the canon, including all of the oldest texts, have survived. The likely reason for this is that the surviving materials represent those portions of the Avesta that were in regular liturgical use, and therefore known by heart by the priests and not dependent for their preservation on the survival of particular manuscripts.
A pre-Sasanian history of the Avesta, if it had one, is in the realm of legend and myth. The oldest surviving versions of these tales are found in the ninth to 11th century texts of Zoroastrian tradition i. In that story, credit for collation and recension is given to the early Sasanian-era priest Tansar high priest under Ardashir I , r. In the theory of Friedrich Carl Andreas , 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.
Central Asia via Arachosia and Sistan through to Persia; [n 4] and in part due to the influence of phonetic developments in the Avestan language itself. The texts became available to European scholarship comparatively late, thus the study of Zoroastrianism in Western countries dates back to only the 18th century. He published a set of French translations in , based on translations provided by a Parsi priest. Structure and content[ edit ] In its present form, the Avesta is a compilation from various sources, and its different parts date from different periods and vary widely in character.
Only texts in the Avestan language are considered part of the Avesta. According to the Denkard , the 21 nasks books mirror the structure of the word-long Ahuna Vairya prayer: each of the three lines of the prayer consists of seven words.
Correspondingly, the nasks are divided into three groups, of seven volumes per group. Only about a quarter of the text from the nasks has survived until today. The contents of the Avesta are divided topically even though the organization of the nasks is not , but these are not fixed or canonical. Some scholars prefer to place the categories in two groups, one liturgical, and the other general.
The following categorization is as described by Jean Kellens see bibliography , below. Main article: Yasna Yasna It consists of 72 sections called the Ha-iti or Ha.
The central portion of the Yasna is the Gathas , the oldest and most sacred portion of the Avesta, believed to have been composed by Zarathushtra Zoroaster himself. The Gathas are structurally interrupted by the Yasna Haptanghaiti "seven-chapter Yasna" , which makes up chapters 35—42 of the Yasna and is almost as old as the Gathas, consists of prayers and hymns in honor of Ahura Mazda, the Yazatas , the Fravashi , Fire, Water, and Earth.
The younger Yasna, though handed down in prose, may once have been metrical, as the Gathas still are. The Visparad is subdivided into 23 or 24 kardo sections that are interleaved into the Yasna during a Visperad service which is an extended Yasna service.
The Visperad collection has no unity of its own, and is never recited separately from the Yasna. The Vendidad includes all of the 19th nask, which is the only nask that has survived in its entirety.
The text consists of 22 Fargards, fragments arranged as discussions between Ahura Mazda and Zoroaster. The first fargard is a dualistic creation myth , followed by the description of a destructive winter on the lines of the Flood myth. The second fargard recounts the legend of Yima. The remaining fargards deal primarily with hygiene care of the dead in particular [fargard 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 19] as well as disease and spells to fight it [7, 10, 11, 13, 20, 21, 22].
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 Vendidad is an ecclesiastical code, not a liturgical manual, and there is a degree of moral relativism apparent in the codes of conduct.
Some parts may be comparatively recent in origin although the greater part is very old. The Vendidad, unlike the Yasna and the Visparad, is a book of moral laws rather than the record of a liturgical ceremony.
However, there is a ceremony called the Vendidad, in which the Yasna is recited with all the chapters of both the Visparad and the Vendidad inserted at appropriate points. This ceremony is only performed at night. Three hymns of the Yasna liturgy that "worship by praise" are—in tradition—also nominally called yashts, but are not counted among the Yasht collection since the three are a part of the primary liturgy.
The Yashts vary greatly in style, quality and extent. In their present form, they are all in prose but analysis suggests that they may at one time have been in verse.
The Siroza[ edit ] The Siroza "thirty days" is an enumeration and invocation of the 30 divinities presiding over the days of the month. Zoroastrian calendar. The Siroza exists in two forms, the shorter "little Siroza" is a brief enumeration of the divinities with their epithets in the genitive.
The longer "great Siroza" has complete sentences and sections, with the yazatas being addressed in the accusative. The Siroza is never recited as a whole, but is a source for individual sentences devoted to particular divinities, to be inserted at appropriate points in the liturgy depending on the day and the month.
The Nyayeshes[ edit ] The five Nyayeshes, abbreviated Ny. The Afrinagans[ edit ] The Afrinagans are four "blessing" texts recited on a particular occasion: the first in honor of the dead, the second on the five epagomenal days that end the year, the third is recited at the six seasonal feasts, and the fourth at the beginning and end of summer.
Fragments[ edit ] All material in the Avesta that is not already present in one of the other categories falls into a "fragments" category, which — as the name suggests — includes incomplete texts. The more important of the fragment collections are the Nirangistan fragments 18 of which constitute the Ehrbadistan ; the Pursishniha "questions," also known as "Fragments Tahmuras "; and the Hadokht Nask "volume of the scriptures" with two fragments of eschatological significance.
Other Zoroastrian religious texts[ edit ] Only texts preserved in the Avestan language count as scripture and are part of the Avesta. Several other secondary works are nonetheless crucial to Zoroastrian theology and scholarship. Of the postth century works all in New Persian , only the Sad-dar "Hundred Doors, or Chapters" , and rivayat s traditional treatises are of doctrinal importance. Other texts such as Zartushtnamah "Book of Zoroaster" are only notable for their preservation of legend and folklore.
The Aogemadaeca "we accept," a treatise on death is based on quotations from the Avesta. The date of K1 is occasionally mistakenly given as That text from has not survived.
KHORDEH AVESTA for Shahenshahis
One of the two collections includes the other and takes its name from it. In a narrow sense, the term applies to a particular manuscript tradition that includes only the five Nyayesh texts, the five Gah texts, the four Afrinagan s, and five introductory chapters that consist of quotations from various passages of the Yasna. The term then also extends to the twenty-one yashts and the thirty Siroza texts, but does not usually encompass the various Avestan language fragments found in other works. In the 19th century, when the first Khordeh Avesta editions were printed, the selection of Avesta texts described above together with some non-Avestan language prayers became a book of common prayer for lay people. The selection of texts is not fixed, and so publishers are free to include any text they choose. Several Khordeh Avesta editions are quite comprehensive, and include Pazend prayers, modern devotional compositions such as the poetical or semi-poetical Gujarati monagats, or glossaries and other reference lists such as dates of religious events.