Vishtasp Yasht

Translated by James Darmesteter (From Sacred Books of the East, American Edition, 1898.)


'I am a pious man, who speaks words of blessing,' thus said Zarathushtra to the young king Vishtaspa. - 'She appears to me full of Glory, O Zarathushtra!' - 'O young king Vishtaspa! [I bless thee] with the living of a good life, of an exalted life, of a long life. May thy men live long! May thy women live long! May sons be born unto thee of thy own body!
'Mayest thou thyself be holy, like Zarathushtra.
'Mayest thou be rich in cattle, like an Athwyanide!
'Mayest thou be rich in horses, like Pourushaspa!
'Mayest thou have a good share of bliss, like king Husravah!
'Mayest thou have strength to reach the Rangha, whose way lies afar, as Vafra Navaza did.
'May ten sons be born of thy own body! three as Athravans, three as warriors, three as tillers of the ground! May one of them be like Jamaspa, that he may bless thee with great and ever greater happiness!
'Mayest thou be freed from sickness and death, like Pesho-tanu.
'Mayest thou have piercing rays, like Mithra!
'Mayest thou be warm, like the moon!
'Mayest thou be resplendent, like fire!
'Mayest thou be long-lived, as long-lived as an old man can be!
'And when thou hast fulfilled a duration of a thousand years, [mayest thou obtain] the bright, all-happy, blissful abode of the holy Ones!
Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good ....


'Give him strength and victory! Give him welfare in cattle and bread!' thus said Zarathushtra to the young king Vishtaspa! 'Give him a great number of male children, praisers [of God] and chiefs in assemblies, who smite and are not smitten, who smite at one stroke their enemies, who smite at one stroke their foes, ever in joy and ready to help.
'Ye gods of full Glory, ye gods of full healing, let your greatness become manifest!'
Zarathushtra addressed him, saying: 'O young king Vishtaspa! May their greatness become manifest as it is called for!
'Ye Waters, impart and give your Glory to the man who offers you a sacrifice!
'This is the boon we beg (for thee) of Ashi Vanguhi, of Rata, with eyes of love.'
Parendi, of the light chariot, follows: 'Mayest thou become manifest unto him, the young king Vishtaspa!
'May plenty dwell in this house, standing upon high columns and rich in food! Thou wilt never offer and give bad food to a priest: for a priest must be to thee like the brightest offspring of thy own blood.'
Zarathushtra spake unto him: 'O young king Vishtaspa!
'He who supports the Law of the worshippers of Mazda, as a brother or as a friend, he who treats her friendly in any way, looks to keep off want of food from her.'
The holy Zarathushtra preached that law to Frashaostra and Jamaspa: 'May ye practise holiness and thrive, O young Frashaostra (and Jamaspa)!'
Thus said Ahura Mazda unto the holy Zarathushtra, and thus again did Zarathushtra say unto the young king Vishtaspa: 'Have no bad priests or unfriendly priests; for bad priests or unfriendly priests will bring about much harm, and, though thou wish to sacrifice, it will be to the Amesha-Spentas as if no sacrifice had been offered.
'Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good ....


'When I teach thee, that thou mayest do the same to thy son, O Vishtaspa! receive thou well that teaching; that will make thee rich in children and rich in milk; rich in seed, in fat, in milk'.
'Thus do we announce unto thee, Ahura Mazda, and Sraosha, and Ashi, and the Law of the worshippers of Mazda, with the whole of all her hymns, with the whole of all her deeds, with the whole of her performances; the Law of Mazda, who obtains her wishes, who makes the world grow, who listens to the songs and rejoices the faithful man at his wish; who protects the faithful man, who maintains the faithful man;
From whom come the knowledge of holiness and the increase in holiness of the world of the holy Principle, and without whom no faithful man can know holiness.
'To thee come every Havanan, every Atarevakhsha, every Frabaretar, every Aberet, every Asnatar, every Rathwishkar, every Sraosha-varez (priestly offices);
'Every priest, every warrior, every husbandman; every master of a house, every lord of a borough, every lord of a town, every lord of a province;
'Every youth of good thoughts, good words, good deeds, and good religion; every youth who speaks the right words; every one who performs the next-of-kin marriage; every itinerant priest; every mistress of a house; every wandering priest, obedient to the Law.
'To thee come all the performers (of holiness), all the masters of holiness, who, to the number of three and thirty, stand next to Havani, being masters of holiness.
'May they be fully protected in thee, O young king Vishtaspa! While thou smitest thy adversaries, thy foes, those who hate thee, a hundred times a hundred for a hundred, a thousand-times a thousand for a thousand, ten thousand times ten thousand for ten thousand, myriads of myriads for a myriad.
'Proclaim thou that word, as we did proclaim it unto thee!
'O Maker of the good world! Ahura Mazda, I worship thee with a sacrifice, I worship and forward thee with a sacrifice, I worship this creation of Ahura Mazda.'
The young king Vishtaspa asked Zarathushtra: 'With what manner of sacrifice shall I worship, with what manner of sacrifice shall I worship and forward this creation of Ahura Mazda?'
Zarathushtra answered: 'We will make it known unto thee, O young king Vishtaspa!
'Go towards that tree that is beautiful, high-growing, and mighty amongst the high-growing trees, and say thou these words: "Hail to thee! O good, holy tree, made by Mazda! Ashem Vohu!"
'Let the faithful man cut off twigs of baresma, either one, or two, or three: let him bind them and tie them up according to the rites, being bound and unbound according to the rites.
'The smallest twig of Haoma, pounded according to the rules, the smallest twig prepared for sacrifice, gives royalty to the man (who does it).'
Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good ....


Zarathushtra said: 'O young king Vishtaspa! Invoke Ahura Mazda, who is full of Glory, Ahura Mazda, and the sovereign Heaven, the boundless Time, and Vayu who works highly.
'Invoke the powerful Wind, made by Mazda, and Fate.
'Repeat thou those words, that the god invoked may give thee the boon wished for; that thou, strong, and belonging to the creation of the good Spirit, mayest smite and take away the Druj and watch with full success those who hate thee; smite down thy foes, and destroy at one stroke thy adversaries, thy enemies, and those who hate thee.
'Proclaim thou those prayers: they will cleanse thy body from deeds of lust, O young king Vishtaspa!
'I will worship thee, O Fire, son of Ahura Mazda, who art a valiant warrior. He falls upon the fiend Kunda, who is drunken without drinking, upon the men of the Druj, the slothful ones, the wicked Daeva-worshippers, who live in sin.
'He trembles at the way made by Time and open both to the wicked and to the righteous.
'They tremble at the perfume of his soul, as a sheep does on which a wolf is falling.
'Reciting the whole collection of the Staota Yesnya prayers brings one up all the way to the blessed Garo-nmana, the palace beautifully made. That indeed is the way.
'That man does not follow the way of the Law, O Zarathushtra! who commits the Baodho-(varshta) crime with a damsel and an old woman,' said Zarathushtra to the young king Vishtaspa.
'Let him praise the Law, O Spitama Zarathushtra! and long for it and embrace the whole of the Law, as an excellent horse turns back from the wrong way and goes along the right one, smiting the many Drujes.
'Go forward with praises, go forward the way of the good Mazdean law and of all those who walk in her ways, men and women.
He who wishes to seize the heavenly reward, will seize it by giving gifts to him who holds up (the Law) to us in this world here below ....
'Let him give (the Law) to him who is unfriendly to her, that he may become friendly.
'Wash thy hands with water, not with gomez, and let thy son, who will be born of thy wife, do the same.
'Thus thy thought will be powerful to smite him, who is not so; thy speech will be powerful to smite him, who is not so; thy deed will be powerful to smite him.
'"Hear me! Forgive me!" - We, the Amesha-Spentas, will come and show thee, O Zarathushtra! the way to that world to long glory in the spiritual world, to long happiness of the soul in Paradise;
'To bliss and Paradise, to the Garo-nmana of Ahura Mazda, beautifully made and fully adorned, when his soul goes out of his body through the will of fate, when I, Ahura Mazda, when I, Ahura Mazda, gently show him his way as he asks for it
'Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good ....


'They will impart to thee full brightness and Glory.
'They will give him quick and swift horses, and good sons.
'He wishes to go to the Law, the young king Vishtaspa,'
Zarathushtra said, 'Let him who is unfriendly to her become a follower of the Law of Mazda, such as we proclaim it.
'Proclaim thou ever (unto the poor).' Ever mayest thou wait here for the refuse that is brought unto thee, brought by those who have profusion of wealth!" Thus the Druj will not fall upon thee and throw thee away; thou wilt wield kingly power there.
'The Law of Mazda will not deliver thee unto pain. Thou art entreated (for charity) by the whole of the living world, and she is ever standing at thy door in the person of thy brethren in the faith beggars are ever standing at the door of the stranger, amongst those who beg for bread.
'Ever will that bread be burning coal upon thy head.
'The good, holy Rata, made by Mazda, goes and nurses thy bright offspring.'
Zarathushtra addressed Vishtaspa, saying: 'O young king Vishtaspa! The Law of Mazda, O my son! will give thy offspring the victorious strength that destroys the fiends.
'Let no thought of Angra Mainyu ever infect thee, so that thou shouldst indulge in evil lusts, make derision and idolatry, and shut (to the poor) the door of thy house.
'Atar thus blesses the man who brings incense to him, being pleased with him and not angry, and fed as he required: "May herds of oxen grow for thee, and increase of sons! May fate and its decrees bring thee the boons thou wishest for! Therefore do thou invoke and praise (me) excellently in this glorious world! That I may have unceasing food, full of the glory of Mazda and with which I am well pleased."
'O Mazda! take for thyself the words of our praise: of these words I speak and speak again, the strength and victorious vigour, the power of health and healing, the fulness, increase, and growth.
'Bring it together with the words of hymns up to the Garo-nmana of Ahura Mazda. He will first enter there. Therefore do thou pronounce these prayers.
'Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good ....


'Converse ye with the Amesha-Spentas,' said Zarathushtra unto the young king Vishtaspa, 'and with the devout Sraosha, and Nairyo-sangha, the tall-formed, and Atar, the son of Ahura Mazda, and the well-desired kingly Glory.
'Men with lustful deeds address the body; but thou, all the night long, address the heavenly Wisdom; but thou, all night long, call for the Wisdom that will keep thee awake.
'Three times a day raise thyself up and go to take care of the beneficent cattle.
'Of these men may the lordship belong to the wisest of all beings, O Zarathushtra! May their lord belong to the wisest, O Zarathushtra! Let him show them the way of holiness, let him show them at once the way thereto, which the Law of the worshippers of Mazda enters victoriously. Thus the soul of man, in the joy of perfect holiness, walks over the bridge, known afar, the powerful Chinvat-bridge, the well-kept, and kept by virtue.
'How the worlds were arranged was said to thee first, O Zarathushtra! Zarathushtra said it again to the young king Vishtaspa; therefore do thou praise him who keeps and maintains the moon and the sun.
He who has little friendship for the Law, I have placed him down below to suffer.'
Thus said Angra Mainyu, he who has no Glory in him, who is full of death: 'This is an unbeliever, let us throw him down below; this is a liar, or a traitor to his relatives, and like a mad dog who wounds cattle and men; but the dog who inflicts wounds pays for it as for wilful murder.
The first time he shall smite a faithful man, the first time he shall wound a faithful man, he shall pay for it as for wilful murder.
Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good ....


'Mayest thou receive, O holy young king Vishtaspa! (a house) with a hundred ...., ten thousand large windows, ten thousand small windows, all the year long, O holy Vishtaspa! never growing old, never dying, never decaying, never rotting, giving plenty of meat, plenty of food, plenty of clothes to the other worshippers of Mazda.
'May all boons be bestowed upon thee, as I proclaim it unto thee! May the Amesha-Spentas impart to thee their brightness and glory and plenty! May they give him quick and swift horses and good sons, strong, great in all things, powerful to sing the hymns.
'He wields his power according to the wish of Ahura Mazda, the Good Spirit, and for the destruction of the Evil Spirit, whichever of two men goes quicker to perform a sacrifice (to Ahura); but if he chooses to perform the sacrifice and prayer to us not in the right way, he does not wield the right power, he will not reign.
'He will receive bad treatment in the next world, though he has been the sovereign of a country, with good horses to ride and good chariots to drive. Give royalty to that man, O Zarathushtra! who gives royalty unto thee with good will.
'Thou shalt keep away the evil by this holy spell: "Of thee [O child!] I will cleanse the birth and growth; of thee [O woman!] I will make the body and the strength pure; I make thee a woman rich in children and rich in milk; a woman rich in seed, in milk, and in offspring. For thee I shall make springs run and flow towards the pastures that will give food to the child."
'Do not deliver me into the hands of the fiend; if the fiend take hold of me, then fever with loss of all joy will dry up the milk of the good Spenta-Armaiti. The fiend is powerful to distress, and to dry up the milk of the woman who indulges in lust and of all females.
'The perfume of fire, pleasant to the Maker, Ahura Mazda, takes them away from afar; ...; and all those that harm the creation of the Good Spirit are destroyed;
'Whom Mithra, and Rashnu Razishta, and the Law of the worshippers of Mazda wish to be taken far away, longing for a man who is eager to perform and does perform the ceremonies he has been taught; ...
'Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good .... (8)
'The words of the Vahishtoishti Gatha are to be sung: "Happy is he, O holy Vishtaspa, happy the man, whoever he be, to whom Ahura Mazda gives the full accomplishment of his wishes."
'Where does his soul abide on that night?'
Ahura Mazda answered: ' O my son, Frashaostra! It takes its seat near the head, singing the Ushtavaiti Gatha and proclaiming happiness: "Happy is he, happy the man whoever he be!"
'On the first night, his soul sits in Good Words; on the second night, it sits in Good Deeds; on the third night, it goes along the ways (to Garo-nmana).
'At the end of the third night, O my son, Frashaostra! when the dawn appears, it seems to the soul of the faithful one as if it were brought amidst plants [and scents: it seems as if a wind were blowing from the region of the south, from the regions of the south], a sweet-scented wind, sweeter-scented than any other wind in the world, and it seems to his soul as if he were inhaling that wind with the nose, and it asks, saying: "Whence does that wind blow, the sweetest-scented wind I ever inhaled with my nose?"
'And it seems to him as if his own conscience were advancing to him in that wind, in the shape of a maiden fair, bright, white-armed, strong, tall-formed, high-standing, thick-breasted, beautiful of body, noble, of a glorious seed, of the size of a maid in her fifteenth year, as fair as the fairest things in the world.
'And the soul of the faithful one addressed her, asking: "What maid art thou, who art the fairest maid I have ever seen?"
'And she, being his own conscience, answers him: "O thou youth, of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, of good religion! I am thy own conscience.
"Everybody did love thee for that greatness, goodness, fairness, sweet-scentedness, victorious strength, and freedom from sorrow, in which thou dost appear to me; [and so thou, O youth of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, of good religion! didst love me for that greatness, goodness, fairness, sweet-scentedness, victorious strength, and freedom from sorrow, in which I appear to thee.
'"When thou wouldst see a man] making derision and deeds of idolatry, or rejecting (the poor) and shutting (his door), then, thou wouldst sit, singing the Gathas, and worshipping the good waters, and Atar, the son of Ahura Mazda, and rejoicing the faithful that would come from near or from afar.
'"I was lovely, and thou madest me still lovelier; I was fair, and thou madest me still fairer; I was desirable, and thou madest me still more desirable; I was sitting in a forward place, and thou madest me sit in the foremost place, through this good thought, through this good speech, through this good deed of thine; and so henceforth men worship me for my having long sacrificed unto and conversed with Ahura Mazda."
'The first step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Good-Thought Paradise; the second step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Good-Word Paradise; the third step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Good-Deed Paradise; the fourth step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Endless Light.
'Then one of the faithful, who had departed before him, asked, saying: "How didst thou depart this life, thou holy man? How didst thou come, thou holy man! from the abodes full of cattle and full of the wishes and enjoyments of love? from the material world into the world of the spirit? from the decaying world into the undecaying one? How long did thy felicity last?"'
And Ahura Mazda answered: 'Ask him not what thou askest him, who has just gone the dreary way, full of fear and distress, when the body and the soul part from one another.
'[Let him eat] of the food brought to him, of the oil of Zaremaya: this is the food for the youth of good thoughts, of good words, of good deeds, of good religion, after he has departed this life; this is the food for the holy woman, rich in good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, well-principled, and obedient to her husband, after she has departed this life.'
Spitama Zarathushtra said to the young king Vishtaspa: "To what land shall I turn, O Ahura Mazda? To whom shall I go with praying?'
Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good ....

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