The hymns of Zarathustra- PDF Book

The hymns of Zarathustra; being a translation of the Gāthā 

The Gathas or hymns of the prophet Zarathustra are exceedingly difficult to translate, and many attempts have been made to interpret them with varying degrees of success. After much study Professor Duchesne-Guillemm gave us a sober and usable rendition of the original in French, and Mrs Henning, the wife of a distinguished Iranist, prepared an eminently readable English version. 

It is not particularly hazardous to predict that the present work will remain the standard translation into English for years to come, and students of history and religion will be grateful that they have here a reliable guide to the ideas of Zarathustra. 

This does not mean that there are no problems left in under¬ standing the Gathas; indeed difficulties will always remain. What is the nature of the Gathas which makes them so difficult to understand? The Gathas were composed in a dialect close to that of the rest of the Avesta, and also to the language of the Vedas of India. But the contents of the various yasnas or chapters of the Gathas are different from the yachts of the so-called ‘Younger Avesta.” The yashts, like the paeans of the Rig Veda, are ancient prayers of adoration, directed to a certain diety (such as Mithra). Like the Vedic hymns, the yashts were probably recited when certain sarrifir.e s were made or certain rites were performed. The recitation of the hymns, however, was a solemn obligation for the worshipper since a correct de¬ livery was necessary for the proper functioning of the universe. 

The Gathas, on the other hand, seem to represent an innovation of the prophet Zarathustra — and innovation in the traditional religion of the Aryans or Indo-Iranian peoples. He appears_ as a mediator between the supreme deity, Ahura Mazda, and his followers. Zarathustra engages in a discourse with Ahura Maz ¬ dah, and both eschatological and ethical questions come to the fore. Unfortunately, we do not have an ancient tradition of translations or commentaries by the Zarathustrian priesthood on the Gathas. Some scholars have suggested that there were prose ac¬ accompaniments, now lost, to the Gathas elucidating the often terse poetry. If we knew anything about the early followers of the prophet, we might be able better to reconstruct the milieu, and thus the meaning of the Gathas for the worshippers. Since the Zarathustrian priesthood, for at least a millennium and a half, has known little more about the Gathas than present-day scholars, the road to understanding the Agatha lies in comparison with the oldest Sanskrit and in comparative Indoeuropean philology: this is the basis for all work on the Avesta.
It has been a long time since We first began Our endeavours to convince the consciousness of mankind that We have Been. 

The unconscious egotism of the personal self is such that it cannot conceive of an Intelligence superior to its own! A vague and vapory concept of God is comfortable to live with, but an active, forthright Brotherhood Who are concerned with action, not words, is not always so acceptable. Religion, alas, has become merely a means of assuaging the feeble soul thirst which rises from the promptings of conscience. Too often it is but an escape from reality in the happy reverie over a more pleasant tomorrow when the clouds will lighten and the cares pass away. Alas! that cannot be unless We have some who are willing to consume the causes of distress today. 

I Am grateful for those of you who have coupled professed love with active service! There are always a limited few able to grasp the vision of God’s Will in every age who roll up their sleeves and tie the energies of their worlds to the task at hand. To these few, I send my blessings. You are the Hope of the World!

Contents of the book:

Dedication . 4 Foreword. 5 Greetings from Darjeeling. 7 The First Ray and Its Chohan, El Morya ... 8 Master Morya’s Service to Life. 11 El Morya as Cosmic Correspondent. 14 The Great Abyss. 17 The Bridge Builders—1. 18 The Bridge Builders—2. 20 Human Reluctance to Change. 24 Victory to the Bold. 26 Chela's Evolution Accelerated by Association with Master. 28 Purpose of New Endeavor. 31 Universal Service of the Masters.

34 Divine Plan 1. 36 Divine Plan 2. 38 Lowering the Divine Pattern. 40 Externalizing Divine Pattern. 43 Mutual Benefits of Cooperative Service .... 46 Each Man’s Savior is within Himself. 49 Truth Colored by Human Concepts. 52 Light on Path 1. 60

Light on Path 2. 63 Light on Path 3. 65 Light on Path 4 . 73 God's Mission through You. 82 Momentums of Good and Evil. 84 Benefits from Contemplation of the Masters 86 Guardian Spirits. 88 Changing of Spiritual Poles of the Earth ... 91 Channeled Energy. 93 Chelas—Probationary. 94 —Accepted. 99 —Kuthumi’s Instruction. 103 Guru and Chela. 105 Grants and Investment of Masters' Energy .. 107 Spelling of Masters' Names. 110 Epilogue: The Spiritual Caravan. 112

Translated by Duchesne-Guillemin Jacques. 
 Publication Date: 1963


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