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Gatha....?

What are the Gathas?

The Gathas are the hymns composed by the Prophet Zarathushtra himself.

The Gathas consist of 17 songs and 241 stanzas.

The Gathas are very old. They may be as old as 4000 years!

The Gathas are the only sacred part of the Avesta (the Zoroastrian scripture) because they are Prophet Zarathushtra`s actual words.

What do the Gathas say?

There is only one God, Ahura Mazda (the Wise Lord), who has created the world.

Everyone has the freedom to choose between good and bad.

To make the world a better place, one should be righteous, gain knowledge and protect the environment.

Happiness comes to the person who gives happiness to others.

Zarathushtra`s Divine Message is for everyone.;

Who’s who in the Gathas?

Here are the names of Prophet Zarathushtra’s friends and family mentioned in the Gathas.

King Vishtaspa: The famous king who helped Zarathushtra spread his Message.

Jamaspa Hvogva: A minister in King Vishtaspa’s Court.

Ferashaushtra Hvogva: Jamaspa’s brother who was a sage and helped Zarathushtra in spreading his Message.

Maidhyoi-Maha: Zarathushtra’s cousin who was the first person to accept his Message.

Pouruchista Hachataspa: Zarathushtra’s youngest daughter who married Jamaspa.

Look at the above names again. Can you find the names that end with "aspa" or "ushtra"? "Aspa" means horse and "ushtra" means camel. For example,Vishtaspa means "having ready horses" or Zarathushtra means "having yellow camels." Horses, cows, and camels were very important for the ancient Iranians, so people use them in their names.

Let’s learn some Gathic words!

The language of the Gathas is very old. By the time the Persian Empire was established in 539 BC, people had forgotten the Gathic language. However, the Gathas survived through the oral tradition because people believed the Gathic words to have special power. Only recently, the scholars have begun to understand what the Gathas say.

These are some of the Gathic words you can learn.

Ushta= happiness

Ratu= leader

Mazda= wise

Kavi= prince

Asha= righteousness

Now can you find out the meaning of these Gathic words?

Ashavan

Spenta

Druj