Farvardin Yasht – 7

Gatha Ahunavad – Yasna 31.7

7. Yastā mantā pouruyō, raochebish rōithwen khvāthrā;

hvō khrathwā dãmish ashem, yā dārayat vahishtem manō;

tā mazdā mainyū ukhshyō, ye ā nūremchit ahurā hāmō.

“Whose (the Creative power’s) first thought was thus: Let the heavenly realms be filled with lights. He Himself by wisdom is the Creator of Asha, through which He upholds Vohu Manah. Do you thou exalt these (creations in the Universe) through (Thy) Spirit, O Mazda Ahura, (You) who are ever the same.”

Note: 1. A beautiful way of describing the first thought and the beginning of creations – Let there be light. 2. For the rest of the creations, first Vohu Manah (the Divine Plan) was created and then Asha (divine order) to uphold the Plan so that other creations can be created with the help of His Spirit, that is Spenta Mainyu. 3. An important aspect of Ahura Mazda is described – “ever the same, unchanging.” Compare this with ham-chun “always the same”, 57th of the 101 names of God.

Farvardin Yasht – Karda XVII – XXI  (para 59 to 63)

XVII. 59. We venerate….the Fravashis…99, 9, 99 of whom look after (aiwyākhshayeinti) the Radiant sea Vourukasha.

Note: 1. This paragraph gives us an insight as to how numerals were written in Avestan times, starting from the units to the highest (nine and ninety and nine hundred and nine thousand and ninety thousand). The numbers are found only in word forms and no letters have been found to indicate numbers. The number in this case is the biggest number found in the Avestan texts and is symbolic of infinite.

2. Vourukasha Sea: The sea Vourukasha is known as Frākhvakard in Pahlavi. The word Vourukasha means having wide shores. In the beginning of creations, when Tir Yazad made the clouds rain all over the earth, Vourukasha was formed from it. It is considered the principal reservoir of rain. It is so huge that it is supposed to cover one-third of the earth. It is said to be devoid of movements of tide and hence it is sometimes identified with the Caspian Sea.

The battle between Tir, the Yazad of rain, and Apaosha the demon of drought, for bringing rains, takes place in this sea. The hero Kersasp had killed Gandareva, a huge, deadly monster, which had hidden in sea Vourukasha.

It is mentioned in several Avestan texts like the Avan Yasht, Farvardin Yasht and Zamyad Yasht, and in Pahlavi texts like Bundahishn, Denkard, Zādsparam, Menog Khrad and Dādetān I Denig.

The river Aredvi is said to originate from Mount Alborz, then flows through Mount Hukairya to sea Vourukasha. When it flows into the sea, all its shores become energised and active.

When the divine Khvarena (energy) of king Jamshed fled, it hid into this sea. Later the tyrants Azhi Dahaka (Zahak) and Afrasiyab attempted to seize the Khvarena, but were not successful. The Khvarena the went to other noble Iranian kings, and then once again fled king Kae Kaus and hid into the sea.

Gaokerena, the white Hom, and Harvesp-Tokhmi, the “tree of many seeds” grow in the deepest part of this sea. The white Hom is protected by a fish called kara, which fights off the frog created by Ahriman to destroy the white Hom. These trees are also protected by a special animal in the water which is mysteriously referred to as a “three footed ass.”  Innumerable Fravashis too look after this sea.

XVIII. 60. We venerate….the Fravashis…99, 9, 99 of whom look after these stars which belong to the Haptoiring.

Note: Haptoiring: It is the name of a star which is identified with the Ursa Major or Great Bear constellation, which has seven main bright stars. The word Haptoiring means “having seven points”. It appears in the Northern sky.

In Avesta it is mentioned in Rashne Yasht, Tishtrya Yasht and Siroza Yasht. It is always worshipped along with Tishtrya, Satavaesa and Vanant, the stars of the other three sides. It is described as health giving and having khoreh. Along with the other stars it helps keep away black magicians and sorcerors. It helps to oppose Kewan (Saturn) and negate its ill effects.

XIX. 61. We venerate….the Fravashis…99, 9, 99 of whom look after the from (kehrpa) of Keresaspa of (the family of Sam) having long hair (gaesāush) and carrying a Gurz (gadhavarahe).

Note: 1. Kersasp: Kersasp was an Iranian paladin and a king of Zabulistan, Kersasp himself descended from the illustrious Peshdadian king Jamshed (He was the son of Asrat, seventh descendant of king Jamshed from his marriage with Samnnaz, the princess of Zabulistan, after his exile). The great Rustom Pahelwan was a descendant of Kersasp (He was the great grandfather of Rustom’s father Zal).

At the time when Kersasp was the king of Zabulistan, Zohak was still ruling over Iran. This was the latter part of Zohak’s long reign, when there was a lot of turmoil and he constantly feared for his throne. He came to know of Kersasp’s might and entrusted him impossible missions in order to eliminate him, but Kersasp returned victorious every time. Later Faridun defeated Zohak and made Kersasp his trusted knight and advisor.

Kersasp is known as a master in the art of wielding the Gorz (mace). He always used to fight and overpower his enemies with it. He is remembered in the Avesta as the hero who defeated deadly Azdah (dragons) Sravar and monster Gandareva.

Kersasp was a commander of the armies of kings Faridun, Minocheher and Navdar. In the war against Selam and Tur, the Turanian warrior Shiroy penetrated the Iranian army and challenged the Iranians to fight him.  Kersasp took up the challenge and fought a duel, in which he smashed Shiroy with his Gurz and left the Turanian army dumbstruck.

When Kersasp had advanced in age, he advised his son to make a Dakhma for him. He left for his heavenly abode at the ripe age of seven hundred and thirty years.  However, according to tradition, he is not dead, but in a deep sleep, as he has yet to accomplish the task of killing Zohak at the end of time. Kersasp’s form (kehrpa) is protected by 99,9,99 Fravashis. At the end of time, when Zohak would break his chains and wreak havoc in the world, Kersasp will be awakened by the Fravshis and bring an end to Zohak. 

Kersasp is remembered as naremanāo keresāspo “the manly Kersasp.” But for his deeds of bravery, Ristākhez  “Resurrection” would not have been possible, that is, it would not have been possible to exterminate evil in the limited time frame of this world.

XX. 62. We venerate….the Fravashis…99, 9, 99 of whom look after the seed (khshudra) of righteous Spitama Zarathushtra.

Note: 1. Seed of Zarathushtra: The Pahlavi Bundahishn (chaps. 33, 34), has a mystic and cryptic tradition about three future saviours. It states that they will be born as three future sons of Zarathushtra from his seed preserved in the Kãsaoya lake. The first of the sons, Ushedar (= Av. Ukhshayat ereta) will be born in the 10th millennium after Zarathushtra. He will be followed by Ushedarmāh (= Av. Ukhshyat nemah) in the 11th millennium and the last one Soshyāns (Av. Saoshyant) in the 12th millennium. The final Saoshyant will begin the accomplishment of the Frashogard with the resurrection of the dead and the performance of the final Yasna with the White Hōm, whereby all will become immortal.

XXI.63. We venerate….the Fravashis…who fight on the right flank of the ruling lord, if the (ruler) is one who pleases righteous people, and if the powerful righteous Fravashis are pleased, happy, unharmed and not tormented by him.