The Farvardin Yasht is dedicated to the Fravashis. The Fravashi is the essence of Ahura Mazda in every creation, and an essential spiritual component in every human. Each human being has a personal Fravashi, which acts like the Guardian spirit for the soul during life and even after death.
The Fravashi not only reminds man of his relationship with all creations, it is also a constant reminder of his divine origin and purpose. The Fravashi is an incorruptible component of human beings.
The word Fravashi is from the Avesta language, but it does not occur in the Gathas. In the Pahlavi Pazand texts Fravashi is known as ‘Fravahar’ from which we get the Parsi Gujarati term Farohar.
All souls have their own Fravashis. The souls of the living, those yet to be born and those of the departed ones, all have an individual Fravashi. Every material and spiritual creation, including Yazads, and even Ahura Mazda has a Fravashi.
The Fravashis guide a human being through the soul. However some souls are receptive to the voice of the Fravashi and some are not. Among living human beings, the voice of those Fravashis are hidden, whose souls do not receive their guidance.
The Fravashis of living persons are more powerful than the Fravashis of the departed ones because the Fravashis of the departed can only help and influence through their thoughts, while the Fravashis of living human beings can influence through thoughts, words as well as deeds.
The Fravarden Yasht is the 13th Yasht. It is very rich in information about Fravashis, and is the main source of information about Fravashis.
This Yasht has 31 Kardas (chapters). The first 3 Kardas are about how the Fravashis help Ahura Mazda in creating and upholding creations. They help waters flow in underground currents, plants to grow from seeds, clouds to go where they are needed, sun, moon and planets to go in their orbits. They also uphold the sky and the earth.
From 4th to 22nd Karda the different works and acts of the Fravashis are enumerated. The 23rd Kardeh is about the Ameshaspands and the 24th Kardeh is about their co-worker Yazads, Gayomard and prophet Zarathushtra and his first disciples.
Almost one-third of Farvardin Yasht, that is Kardas 25th to 30th (Para 96-132) constitute names of departed persons – men and women – who are generally invoked along with the names of their fathers. The words nām āgahiryāt appearing in Kardeh 13th seems to be the basis of the system of nām gharan, that is individually taking the names of departed ones, in prayers. We come across about 250 names of men and women all historical personages. However we have detailed information about only thirty of them. The Fravashis of these departed ones are remembered and invoked to help the people of the world. In the 31st (last) Karda the Fravashis of all regions are remembered.
In the Farokhshi ritual, the entire Farvardin Yasht is recited along with the Stum.
Fravashis & Creation:
The first 3 Kardas talk about the Fravashis who have helped Ahura Mazda in the process of creation. These Fravashis gave motion to heavenly bodies and put them in their orbits. They also helped plants and waters to start growing and flowing.
Ahura Mazda sustains and upholds the creations like the sky, earth and waters with their help. The Fravashis help waters to flow in underground currents, plants to grow from seeds and clouds to go where they are needed. The Fravashis also enable the sun, moon and planets to revolve in their orbits.
Helper Fravashis cme to the aid of people in times of need. They act as messengers of Ahura Mazda, Srōsh Yazad and Mãthra Spenta. They help children sustain and survive in the mother’s womb. They help people lost on the road and people on dangerous paths when they are afraid. They fight evil in men and gives strength to good men to fight against enemies.
Fravashis are protectors and helpers of all men, especially kings who go to war for a righteous purpose. They come to help in the form of winged bird with human face, whenever they are summoned by righteous kings and warriors. They uphold and repair nature. They protect the sea Vourukasha, the soul of hero Kersasp and future saviours. They also look after animals.
Gifts of Fravashis:
Those who invoke Fravashis with prayers, rituals and offerings, are bestowed with gifts. They prefer being invoked with offerings in rituals. They give gift of Khoreh to those who perform rituals. When invoked, they set off from the spiritual world with other Yazads like Meher, Rashne, Behram and Govad. They give boons of health, happiness, progeny, protection, longevity, prosperity, power and leadership to those who ask for it.
The symbolic depiction of Fravashi is a constant reminder of man’s divine origin and purpose and his ongoing connection with the divine world. It also reminds him of his relationship with other creations.
ARDAFRAVASH is the term to denote thecollective of all Fravashis who have fulfilled their tasks of guiding the souls. The souls which these Fravashis had guided have now reached Garothmān, that is, the highest Heaven.