atha ratush ashat chit hacha
shyaothananam angheush Mazdai
Yim drigubyo dadat vastarem
The Ahuna Vairya (Ahunavar, or
yatha Ahu vairiyo) prayer has been hailed as the most
fundamental of all prayers of Zoroastrians. It is claimed to
declare the credo of Zoroastrianism, and show us the way one
Whether this is the case or not, it is
debatable, however, it is the second most highly repeated prayer
in the Zoroastrian scripture, after the "Ashem Vohu"
Most translations of the Ahuna Vairya
prayer focus on its communal and collective aspect, considering
it to be a prayer about leadership and community building; about
who should be chosen by the people and how that person can
receive divine authority and blessing to teach and lead the
Below are some translations illustrating this
Just as the
So the Spiritual-Teacher by
reason of store of Asha
The gifts of Vohu Mano
For works, for the Lord of
And the Xshathra of Ahura, indeed
Upon who becomes a Shepherd to
As lords-Temporal work
their will on Earth,
So by their gathered Asha
The gifts of Vohu-Man' come as reward
For deeds done out of Love for
Lord of Life;
Ahura's Xshathra surely cometh down
On him who serves with zeal his
Both the lord and the
leader are to be chosen because of their righteousness. These
two appointments are made with good mind, so that the acts of
life are done for the Wise One, and the dominion of God is
well established, in which the chosen person becomes the Rehabilitator of the rightful who are oppressed.
Ali A. Jafarey
Just as God is to be
admired, so the prophet on account of his righteousness.
Benefit of Good Mind is for those who work in the name of
God. i.e. selflessly. That man develops moral courage who
helps his fellow beings.
T. R. Sethna
O living God, even as you work your
will (beyond the limits of
Time and Space) so may the
prophet (ratu) act by following Asha, your Truth, your Divine
Law, for the love of Asha.
The riches of Vohu Mana, the Good Mind,
come to him who dedicates every act of his earthly life to
Mazda, and who strives to establish the Sovereignty of Ahura
in the world by loving and serving the "Drighu",
the homeless, the dispossessed, the afflicted of the earth.
As the ruler-aspect of God (Ahu) is
powerful through His will, so is also the teacher-aspect
(Ratu) co-equal through righteousness. Those who dedicate
their good deeds in this world to God deserve the benefit of
Benevolent Mind. Those who offer shelter to the poor in this
world would achieve authority in the Kingdom of God.
As the Ruler of the Universe is
absolute in His Will, so is the spiritual teacher supreme
through His purity (Asha).
The gift of Vohuman (i.e. good intellect, clear understanding and
sharp memory) is for the
person who fulfils the wishes of God.
Whoever helps the needy, shall receive
authority from Ahura Mazda.
The next translation which is by Mobed Fariborz
Shahzadi puts less emphasis on the authority issues, but
maintains the emphasis on the communal aspect of this prayer:
Just as God is powerful, so is Asho
because of His power of Asha (righteousness/truth).
The gift of Vohuman (the good mind)
is for the person who serves Ahura Mazda (God).
Any person who helps the needy
shall receive help from Ahura Mazda (God).
While this communal and leadership aspect of
the Ahuna Vairya prayer is quite valid and important, on
its own, it would not be sufficient to serve as a fundamental
credo and a way of living.
What if we look upon this prayer as a very
personal credo, one that applies not only to our relationships
with others, but also to our relationship with ourselves and our
Creator. how would it look then, and what would it mean?
The following may act as a free translation
which personalizes this prayer, as well as in a very general way turns it into a life credo:
Just as the righteous Creator of the
world is powerful, in the same way any person will be
powerful according to his/her righteousness.
The gift of the Good Mind is both the
effect and the cause of serving God's Will.
One who dedicates ones life to serving
the needs of the world, will have the help of God's powers
In other words, this prayer is in three parts:
- The Law:
- The Purpose: Serve God's
- The Way:
In more detail we may explain the Ahuna
Vairya prayer as:
1. The Law of Life:
We should model our ways after our Creator.
God who is the Righteous Creator of the world is all
powerful. Any pious person will also be powerful according to
his/her level of righteousness.
2. The Purpose of Life:
Those who choose to serve God's Will, will
have the gift of the "Good Mind", and those who tap
into their "Good Mind" will choose to serve God's
3. The Way of Living:
Those who choose to serve God's Will, will
do so by doing what needs to be done in this world, by
serving the needy, both human and other creations. And by
doing so, they wont need to just rely on their own resources
because they will benefit and receive the help of God's
powers and glory.
© Shahriar Shahriari
Also see the following for another interpretation of this
prayer and others:
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