What is the concept of Time in Zoroastrian religion? (TMY – Jame Jamshed of 5-11 and 12-11-17)

  1. The word for Time in the Avesta language is Zarvan. Zarvan is also the name of the divine being who presides over time and who was originally instrumental in the formation of creations.
  1. The word for “time” in Pahlavi and Pazand language is Gah / Geh, which is also used for the 5 divisions of the day.
  2. The period of time of about two hours just around sunrise is called Hoshbam. It is not a separate geh, and it occupies about an hour each of the Havan and Ushahin geh. It s regarded as the best time to offer prayers.
  3. The concept of time is one of the most basic and important Zoroastrian teaching. The world was created as a fixed period of time (zravānahe daregho khadhāt) from Endless Time (zravānahe akaranahe).
  4. During prayers, in order to be connected to Ahura Mazda, it is necessary to connect through ‘time’. Hence Zoroastrian religion divides time as follows: Endless Time, Created (specific) Time, year (ayara), month (māh), gahambars (seasons), days (asnya/roj) and periods of day (Geh).
  5. The idea of dividing the day into parts is a very ancient one. Originally, in Zoroastrian religion, the day was divided into just three parts– Morning (Usha), mid-day (Arem-pithwa) and night (Khshapa). The five-fold divisions were done later keeping in mind fixed points in the 24 hours day: sunrise, mid-day, sunset and mid-night.
  6. Each geh has an average time span of 4 to 5 hours. The first (Havan) and last (Ushahin) gehs are longer to facilitate performance of higher rituals – Yasna and Vendidad respectively. Havan geh is the best time to perform most rituals.
  7. The beginning of each geh is marked by the performance of Boi ritual in the fire temple. This is done to periodically strengthen the sacred fire and the good forces in their on-gong battle against evil.
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