GLOSSARY and Standardized spelling of Zoroastrian terms

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This glossary was created to explain Zoroastrian technical terms, and encourage consistent spelling. It includes many variants, to allow search engines to find the favored spelling (listed first), when searching for an alternate spelling.

Since Zoroastrianism has a history of over 2500 years, many terms appear in different forms in the writings of each era. Preferred spelling depends on the era, text, or context. For example, "Ahura Mazda" would be preferred when quoting from the Avesta ("Av."), whereas for a Middle-Persian ("MP") text, "Ohrmazd" would be preferred.

Wherever possible I have used the spellings of F.M. Kotwal and J. Boyd, A Guide to the Zoroastrian Religion, Scholars Press, 1982.

I have normalized the spelling in many of the texts on this website in order to provide consistent results.

See also glossary at FEZANA.org.


Abbreviations:

 Ar.Arabic
 Av. Avestan
 Guj. Gujarati
 MPMiddle Persian (aka "Book Pahlavi")
 OAv. Old Avestan (aka "Gathic")
 OP. Old Persian
 Paz. Pazand
 Pers.Persian
 PGuj. Parsi Gujarati
 pr n proper noun
 RCC J. J. Modi, Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees (Bombay, 1937)
 Skt. Sanskrit
 a 
Aban (MP, Pers.) Lit. Water; 1) name of the Yazad presiding over water; 2) name of the tenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; 3) name of the eighth month. (Var: Avan)
Abangan (MP, Pers.) Holy day honoring Aban and water, observed on the tenth day of the eighth month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar
ab-zohr (MP) Lit. "libation to the waters"; a section of the Yasna. (Y62.11-Y70).
Achaemenian The dynasty which ruled Iran from the time of Cyrus the Great (559 B.C.) to the invasion of Alexander the Great (330 B.C.) (Var. 'Achaemenid')
Adar (MP) Lit. Fire; 1) yazad presiding over fire; 2) name of the ninth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. (MP Var: 'ader', 'atash', 'atesh', 'ataxsh', 'ātaxš', 'adur'). Av. equivalent is 'Atar' Atar ratA, 'Atarsh' AtarS SratA.
Adar Burzin (MP) One of the three greatest sacred fires of Zoroastrianism (the other two being 'Adar Farnbag' and 'Adar Gushasp'). It was placed in a temple by Kay Vishtasp himself, after it had 'revealed many things visibly, in order to propagate the faith' (GBd 18.14). (Var: 'Adar Burzin Mihr', 'Adur Burzen-Mihr', 'Adar Burzin Meher')
Adar Farnbag A Sacred fire.
Adar Gushnasp (MP) A Sacred Fire of Sasanian Eran. (var. 'Adar Gushasp', 'Adur Gušasp', 'Ader Goushasp', 'Azargoshnasp')
Adarbad Mahraspandan (MP) (pr n) Name of a famous Zoroastrian High priest, prime minister of Shapur II (309-379 A.C.)
Aeshma (Av) Name of a demon. Appears in Jewish and Christian demonology as Asmodeus, Asmoday (from Av. 'aešmo-daewa', MP 'Xešm-Dew'). OAv. equivalent is 'aešema' amvCea. MP equivalent is 'Kheshm' or 'Eshm'; Pers. 'kašm, kešm'.
Afrasiyab (Pers.) (pr n) Name of a Turanian king who repeatedly attempted to overthrow the Iranians. (Av. equivalent is 'Franrasyan'; MP equivalent is 'Frasiyav'; Pers. variants include Afrasiab, Farasiab)
afrin (MP) Lit. 'blessing, benediction', specific prayers of blessing (in Pazand). (Contrast with nafrin, a curse.)
afrinagan (MP) (1) A multi-part ceremony of blessing; (2) specific prayers in the Avesta which are recited during afrinagan ceremonies; (3) a ceremonial vessel in which the sacred fire is tended. (Var: 'afringan, afargan')
Agerept A particular grade of sin.
agiary (Guj.) lit. 'place of fire', a fire temple. The more traditional term is 'Dar-e Mihr' (Var: 'agiari')
Ahriman (MP) the Devil, lit. 'Hostile/Destructive Spirit'. (Var: MP 'Ahreman', OAv. 'Angra Mainyu' ,Uyniam,argNa, StdAv. 'Anra Mainyu' ,uyniam,arMa).
Ahu (Av.) ("Lord") spiritual lord or master, often found in conjunction with 'ratu'.
Ahunawad Name of the first Gatha; name of the first Gatha day. (Var: 'Ahunavad', 'Ahunavaiti Gatha')
Ahunwar (MP) The holiest prayer of the Zoroastrians. It begins with the Av. phrase 'yatha ahu vairyo'. (Var: 'Ahunvar, Ahunawar'.) Av. equivalent is 'Ahuna vairya'.
Ahura Mazda (Av.) God, lit. 'Wise Lord', the Supreme Being of the Zoroastrians. MP equivalent is 'Ohrmazd'. (Var: Lat. 'Oromasim', 'Oromasis'; OP: 'Ahuramazda', 'Auramazdā')
Airik (pr n) Son of Faridoon (Var. 'Iraj')
Airyaman (Av.) Yazad of friendship and healing. MP equivalent is 'ērmān'; Vedic Skt.: 'aryaman'.
Airyanem Vaejah (Av.) Lit. 'Iranian expanse', home of the Aryans. (Av. airyanvm Waeja, ajeaW,mvnayria, Var. 'Airyana Waejah'.) MP equivalent is Eranvej.
aiwyaonghana (Av.) Date palm leaf, used for binding the barsom twigs together.
alat (Ar.) Ritual implements.
Alatgah Ritual table. See Khwan.
Alburz A cosmic mountain, aka 'Haraiti' or 'Hara Berezaiti'; an actual mountain range in northern Iran.
Amahraspand (MP) Lit. 'Beneficent Immortals', the highest spiritual beings created by Ahura Mazda. Sometimes referred to as 'archangels'. Their names are (MP): Vohuman, Ardwahisht, Shahrewar, Spandarmad, Hordad, Amurdad. (Var. 'Amashaspand, Amahraspand'.) Av. equivalent is 'Amesha Spenta'.
Ameretat (Av.) Lit. 'Immortality', the Amahraspand presiding over plants. (Av. 'amvrvtAT', TAtvrvMa) MP equivalent is 'Amurdad.'
Amesha Spenta (Av.) Lit. 'Beneficent Immortals', the highest spiritual beings created by Ahura Mazda. Sometimes referred to as 'archangels'. Their names are (Av.): Vohu Mano, Asha Vahishta, Kshatha Vairya, Spenta Armaiti, Haurvatat, Ameretat. (MP): Vohuman, Ardwahist, Shahrewar, Spandarmad, Hordad, Amurdad. MP equivalent is 'Amahraspand'.
Amurdad (MP) Lit. 'Immortality', the Amahraspand presiding over plants; name of the seventh day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; name of the fifth month. Av. equivalent is 'Ameretat'. (MP var: 'Amardad'; Pers.: 'Amordad')
Anaghra Raocha(Av.), Anagran (MP) Lit. 'endless light', name of a yazad; name of the thirtieth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. (Var. 'Aneran'; Av. 'anaGra raocl', ,lcoar ,arGana)
andarz (MP) Lit. 'gnomic, precept'. A collection of aphorisms, especially of pragmatic advice or moral instruction
Aneran See Anagran. Also MP for the world beyond Eran
Angra Mainyu (Av.) (devil). Lit, 'the Evil (or destructive) Spirit. (StdAv: ,uyniam,arMa) MP equivalent is Ahriman.
anjoman (Pers.) Association (Var: 'anjuman')
anosharawan (MP) Soul of deceased person, as opposed to Zinda-rawan, a living soul. (Var: 'anosheh-ravan')
Aoshnar (MP), Aoshnara (Av.) (pr n) Name of an illustrious personage.
Apaosha (Av.), Aposh (MP) (pr n) Demon associated with drought. (Var: 'Apaoša', 'Apoš')
Ard (MP) Lit. 'good blessings, rewards', name of the yazad presiding over blessings; name of the twenty-fifth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. Av. equivalent is 'Ashi Vanghuhi'. (Var: 'Ashishwangh, Arshishwang')
ardafrawash (MP) Lit. 'Asha-possessing farohar', i.e. the farohar (guardian angel) of a holy person.
Ardashir (Pers.) (pr n) A king of ancient Iran, founder of the Sasanian dynasty. (Var. Ardeshir)
Ardavan (pr n) Artabanus IV/V
Arda Viraf (Pers.) (pr n) A priest of the early Sasanian period, author of a Pahlavi book which describes his visions of heaven and hell (Var: MP 'Ardag Wiraz')
Ardibehesht (Pers.) See Ardwahisht.
Arduisur (MP) Lit. 'strong, immaculate Anahita', name of a female yazad; name of a mythical river. Av. equivalent is 'Aredvi Sura Anahita.'
Ardwahisht (MP) The Amahraspand presiding over Asha and fire; name of the third day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; name of the second month Av. equivalent is 'Asha Vahishta'. (MP var: 'Ashwah', 'Urdwah', 'Urdibehesht')
Aredvi Sura Anahita (Av.) Lit. 'strong, immaculate Anahita', name of a female yazad; name of a mythical river. MP equivalent is 'Arduisur'.
Arezahi (Av.) One of the 7 regions (karshwars) of the earth known to the ancient Zoroastrians.
Arjasp (Pers.) (pr n) King of Turkestan. Av. equivalent is Arejat-aspa ('arvjaT-aspa', apsa-Tajvra)
Arnavaz (pr n) Sister of King Jamshed, honored in Yt5.35, Yt17.34. Av. equivalent is 'Erenavak', 'Erenavach', 'Arenavachi' ('arvnawAci', icAwanvra)
Arsacid A royal dynasty founded by Ashk. It is also known as the Parthian dynasty (247 BCE-226 CE)
Arshtat (Av.) Lit. 'rectitude, justice', name of a yazad presiding over justice; name of the twenty-sixth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. MP equivalent is 'Ashtad'. (Var: Av. 'Arshtāt', 'Arštāt' TA!ra)
Asha (Av.) A fundamental concept of Zoroastrianism; there is no adequate translation, although the following are often used: World-order, Truth, Right, righteousness, holiness; Ardwahisht (Av. 'aša' aCa; OP 'arta'; Skt. 'rta')
Asha Vahishta (Av.) Lit. "Highest Asha." The Amesha Spenta presiding over Asha and fire. MP equivalent is 'Ardwahisht'.
ashavan (Av.) Lit. 'possessing Asha', a righteous or just person or being. (Av. 'aCawan', nawaCa)
ashem vohu (Av.) One of the most sacred prayers of Zoroastrianism, which praises Asha.
Ashirwad (Skt.) Benediction, a prayer of admonitions addressed to a marrying couple. (RCC 37) (Var: 'Ashirvad', 'asirvad')
Ashi Vanghuhi (Av.), Ashishwangh (MP) Lit. 'good blessings, rewards', name of the yazad presiding over blessings, honored on the twenty-fifth day of each month. For the day of the month, use 'Ard'.
Ashk (MP) (pr n) Founder of the Arsacid dynasty. (Var: 'Arshak', Greek 'Arsaces')
Ashmogh (MP) An apostate, a heretic. Av. equivalent is 'Ashemaogha'.
Ashtad (MP) Lit. 'rectitude, justice', name of a yazad presiding over justice; name of the twenty-sixth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. Av. equivalent is 'Arshtat'.
Asman (Av., MP) Lit. 'sky', name of the yazad presiding over the sky; name of the twenty-seventh day of the month according to the Zoroastrianism religious calendar. (Av. namsa)
Astovidhotu (Av.), Astwihad (MP) A demon of death. (Var: Av. 'Asto-widhatu'; MP 'Astvihad', 'Astovidad'.)
Aspandyar (Parsi Pers.) An early hero of the Zoroastrian religion, son of Kay Vishtasp. (Var. Pers. 'Ispandiyar, Isfandiyar'.) Av. equivalent is 'Spento-data', mentioned in Yt13.103.
Astvat-ereta (Av.) (pr n) Name of the last savior (Saoshyant) in Zoroastrian eschatology. (Var: 'Astwaderta', 'Astwat-ereta', 'Astvatereta'; MP texts use 'Soshans')
Astyages (pr n) Name of the last king of the Medes. Overthrown by Cyrus.
atash, ataxsh (MP, Pers.) See Adar.
Atash Adaran (Pers.) The middle grade of consecrated fire.
Atash Bahram (Pers.) Lit. 'victorious fire', the highest grade of consecrated fire.
Atash Dadgah (Pers.) The lowest grade of consecrated fire.
athornan (Paz.) A man of priestly class (Var: 'athrawan', 'athravan').
Aushedar Use Ushedar. (pr n) (Var: 'Ushedar', 'Hoshedar')
Aushedar-mah Use Ushedar-mah. (pr n) (Var: Ushedarmah, Hoshedar-mah, Hoshedarmah
Auzobo (pr n)
Avesta (Pers.) The holy scriptures of Zoroastrianism (Var: MP 'abestag', 'abistag'). Sometimes used for the language of the Avesta, but 'Avestan' is preferred.
Avestan (Pers.) The language of the Avesta — the holy scriptures of Zoroastrianism (Var. 'Avesta')
ayathrem (MP), Ayathrima (Av.) Feast (gahambar) of bringing home the herds. (Av. 'ayAqrima', amirqAya)
Az (MP, Pers.) The demon of greed.
Azi Dahaka (Av.) A mythical tyrant. MP equivalent is 'Dahak' (Var: 'Dahag', 'Azdahag'; Pers. equivalent is 'Zohak', 'Zahhak'; Av. var: 'Aži Dahaka' akAhad,iZa)
 b 
baga (Pers.)God.
Bahman (1) (Pers.)see Vohuman.
Bahman (2) (Pers.) Name of an Achaemenian king.
Bahram (1) (Pers.) See Warharan.
Bahram (2) (Pers.) Name of several kings in Iranian history.
Baj (Pers.) Ritual silence, lit. 'framing', a ritual utterance or prayer which frames an action with the power of the manthra; a high liturgical service (Dron service); the monthly or anniversary day of the deceased.
bandagi (Pers.) Prayer.
barashnom (MP) A major ritual of purification lasting nine days. (Var. 'bareshnum', 'barashnum', 'barashnum-i no shab').
baresman (Av.), barsom (MP) A bundle of twigs, tied together with a date-palm cord, traditionally held by laity and priests during prayer, especially at meals. Used by the priest during high liturgies. Traditionally made of pomegranate or tamarisk, but current Parsi practice is to substitute metal wires; grass laid out for the yazads to sit on. (Av. 'barvsman', namsvrab)
behdin (Pers.) Lit. 'of the Good Religion', a Zoroastrian, especially a lay person.
behesht (Pers.) Paradise.
Bhagaria (Guj.) A group of priests noted for upholding ancient traditions. They are headquartered in Navsari.
bhandar The central well of the dakhma
Bharucha (Guj.) A group of priests headquartered in Bharuch
bhasam (Guj.) Consecrated ash from a Fire-temple, used ritually. (Var: bhasma) RCC 114, 259
bi-namaz Lit. 'without prayer', a term for women in menses.
boi (MP) Lit. 'offering incense', a ceremony of offering sandalwood and frankincense to the consecrated fire during each of the five watches of the day. (Variants: 'boy', 'bui', 'nirang-i bui dadan', 'boy dadan')
Bradrok-resh (pr n)
Bundahishn (MP) A ninth-century religious text in Middle Persian. (Var. Bundahisn, Bundahišn, Bundahesh)
Bushasp (MP), Bushyasta (Av.) The demon of sloth (Av. 'bUKy&sta', ats&yKUb)
 c 
Chechast (MP) Mythical lake. Av. equivalent is 'Chaechasta' ('caEcasta', atsacEac) (Var: 'Cecast', 'Čečast')
Chinavat (Av.), Chinwad (MP) A bridge which souls of the dead cross, and where they are judged (Var: Chinvat, Chinvar, Av. 'Chinavat peretu', 'cinwaT-pvrvtu' utvrvp-Tawnic)
 d 
daena (Av.) 1. 'religion', 2. 'inner self/conscience', name of the yazad presiding over the religion; name of the twenty-fourth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. MP equivalent is 'den'.
daeva (Av.) Devil, a demon. MP equivalent is 'dew'. (OP 'daiva')
dagli (Guj.) A white formal jacket-like garment traditionally worn by Parsi/Irani laymen and priests on formal occasions. Compare jama. (Var. daglo)
Dahak (MP) (pr n) A mythical tyrant. Av. equivalent is 'Azi Dahaka'. (Var: 'Dahag', 'Dahāg', 'Azdaha', 'Aždahā', 'Azdahag', 'Azdahāg', 'Zahhak', Pers. equivalent is Zohak
Dahaka (Av.) Use 'Azi Dahaka'. A mythical tyrant. akAhad,iZa (MP equivalent is Dahak)
Dahm (MP) (pl. 'dahman') A yazad honored on the fourth day after death; the plural, 'dahman' is synonymous with hamkar.
Dahman Afrin Embodiment of Prayer
Daitya (Av.) A sacred river in Eranvej.
dakhma (Av.) A tower-like structure on which dead bodies are exposed, also known as 'tower of silence'.
Damawand (MP, Pers.) A famous mountain in Iran tied with Zoroastrianism. (Var: 'Demavand')
Dar-e Mihr (Pers.) a lesser fire temple; the area of a fire temple where high liturgies are performed. Lit. 'Place of Mihr (Var. Dar-i Mihr, Dar-i-Meher)
dashtan (MP, Pers.) Menstruation.
dastur (Pers.) A high priest (Var: MP 'dastwar')
dawar (Pers.) A judge. (Var: MP 'dadwar')
Day-pa-Adar Name of the eighth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar.
Day-pa-Den Name of the twenty-third day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar.
Day-pa-Mihr Name of the fifteenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar.
den/din (MP, Pers.) 1) 'religion', 2) 'inner self/conscience', 3) name of the yazad presiding over the religion; 4) name of the twenty-fourth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. (Var: Av. Daena).
Din Dabireh Avestan alphabet. Name of the traditional script used for writing the Avesta. (Var: Din Dabiri, Den Dabiri, Den Dabireh)
Denkard (MP) A ninth-century text in MP, comprising a major survey of the religion. (Var. Dinkard, Dinkart, Denkart)
dew (MP) A demon. Av. equivalent is 'daeva'. (Var: 'dev', OP. 'daiva')
dharma-shala (Guj.) Charitable institution.
dibache (Pers.) Lit. 'preface', an preliminary prayer (in Pazand) which names the spiritual being that a ceremony is dedicated to. It also names the benefactor and person in whose honor the ceremony is performed, and the town where it is being performed. Also known as (MP) Nirang Ashoan ('rite for the righteous souls'), (MP) Nirang i Boy Dadan , or (Guj.) Dhup Nirang ('rite for offering incense'). Also known as Nirang Peroz Bad from the opening words.
divo (Guj.) Oil lamp (var. Div˘, divô)
dozakh (Pers.) Hell. Av. equivalent is 'daozhangh' (daoZaMh, hMaZoad); MP equivalent is 'dushokh', 'dušox'.
dron (MP) Consecrated flat unleavened bread; a service in which bread is consecrated. (Var: 'darun'). Av. equivalent is 'draona, draonangha' (draona, anoard).
druj (Av.) Embodiment of evil and pollution, demon of the lie, falsehood. (OAv. druxS, Sxurd; Av. druj, jurd or draoGa, aGoard; MP 'druz'; Var: 'drug', OP. 'drauga')
druj i nasush (MP) The corpse demon.
Dughdova (Av.), Dogdo (MP) (pr n) Name of Zarathushtra's mother. (Av. duGDOwL, LwODGud; MP var: 'Dukdaub', 'Dugdāw', 'Dugdaw', 'Dugdov', 'Dughdov', 'Doghduyah', 'Dugdova')
Durasrobo (MP) (pr n) Name of a karb or sorcerer, enemy of Zarathushtra (Var: Durasrob)
duwazdah homast (MP) A high liturgy consisting of 12 sections, where Vendidad and Yasna is recited. (Var. 'dwazdah-homast, dvazdeh-homast, davazdah hamast')
 e 
Eranvej Lit. 'Iranian expanse', home of the Aryans. (Var. 'Eran-wez') Av. equivalent is 'Airyanem Vaejah', 'Airyana Waejah' ajeaW,mvnayria.
Erenavak(pr n): Use Arnavaz
ervad (Parsi Guj.) A priest, originally a title used for higher ecclesiastics, currently used to refer to a priest who has undergone the first stage of initiation into priesthood (nawar). (Var: MP 'erbad', 'herbad') Av. equivalent is 'aethrapati'.
Eshm Demon of Fury/Wrath. Av. equivalent is 'Aeshma', 'aeCma', amCea; (MP var: 'xeshm', 'xešm', 'Xeshm', 'Kheshm')
 f 
Faranghis (Pers.) (pr n) Daughter of Afrasiyab
fargard (MP) Lit. 'chapter, section', a term designating sections of the Vendidad and other books of the Avesta. Compare with kardah. (Var. 'fragard')
Farhad (pr n)
Faridoon (Pers.) (pr n) Name of a heroic king of ancient Iran who flourished centuries before Zarathushtra. Av. equivalent is 'Thraetaona'; MP equivalent is Fredon. (Pers. var: 'Feredun', 'Faridun', 'Fereydun', 'Fariydun', 'Thritun')
farohar (Pers.) Guardian angel, guardian spirits of the living and dead. (MP equivalent is 'frawahr, frohar, fravard, fravahr'; Av. equivalent is 'fravashi')
farokhshi (Guj.) Parsi name for a ceremony dedicated to the farohars.
Farvardin Use Frawardin.
farziyat (Ar.) Obligatory prayers said in each of the five watches ('gahs') of the day.
Farr, Farrah (MP) See khwarenah.
Fasli (Pers., Ar.) Seasonally adjusted calendar; Zoroastrians who follow a religious calendar which intercalates one day every four years, patterned after the Gregorian calendar. (Compare with Qadimi and Shahanshahi.)
Firdausi, Abu'l-Qasem (Pers.) Author of the Persian epic Shah-nama ("Book of Kings") in which many Zoroastrian myths are recorded. (Var: Ferdowsi)
fireshte (Pers.) A spiritual being/angel, used interchangeably with yazad. (Var. 'fireshta, fereshte')
Fradadhafshu Name of one of the seven regions of the world known to the ancient Zoroastrians. See karshwar.
Franrasyan (Av.) (pr n) Name of a Turanian king who repeatedly attempted to overthrow the Iranians. (Pers. equivalent is 'Afrasiyab'; MP equivalent is 'Frasiyav'; Av. Var: Frangrasyan/Fraŋrasyan nAysarMarf)
Frashaostra (Av.) (pr n) Father-in-law of Zarathushtra. MP equivalent is 'Frashostar'.
Frashegird (MP), Frasho-kereti (Av.) Lit. 'making wonderful', renovation of the universe, the last judgment.
Frashostar (MP) (pr n) Father-in-law of Zarathushtra. Av. equivalent is 'Frashaostra'.
Frasiyav (MP) (pr n) Av. equivalent is 'Franyasyan'; Pers. equivalent is 'Afrasiyab'; (MP var: Frasiyak, Frangrasyak)
fravashi (Av.) Guardian angel, guardian spirits of the living and dead. MP equivalent is 'frawahr' (Var: 'frohar, fravard, fravahr'). Pers. equivalent is 'farohar' (Av. var: frawashi, frawaši iCawarf)
Frawardigan (MP) The last ten days of the religious calendar, during which the farohars of the departed are remembered, aka All-Souls days, Mukhtad. (Originally 'rozan Frawardigan'.)
Frawardin Name of the nineteenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; name of the first month. Pers. equiv: 'Fravardin'. (Var: 'Farvardin')
Fredon (MP) (pr n) Name of a heroic king of ancient Iran who flourished centuries before Zarathushtra. Av. equivalent is 'Thraetaona'; Pers. equivalent is 'Faridoon'.
 g 
gah (MP, Pers.) 1) One of the five watches or periods of the day (named 'ushahin', 'hawan', 'rapithwin', 'uzerin', and 'aiwisruthrem'); 2) 'place' or 'area'; 3) another word for gahambar. (Var: 'geh')
gahambar (MP, Pers.) Six major seasonal festivals, named 'maidyozarem' (mid-spring), 'maidyoshahem' (mid-summer), 'paitishahem' (bringing in the corn), 'ayathrem' (homecoming of cattle), 'maidyarem' (mid-winter), and 'hamaspathmaidyem' (coming of the whole group [of farohars]). (Var. 'gahanbar' rAbNahag, gasanbar)
Gaokerena (Av.) Mythical cosmic tree. (Av. anvrvkoag). MP equivalent is 'Gokaren'.
garothman (Parsi Guj.) The 'House of Song', i.e. heaven. Av. equivalent: 'Garo-nmana'; MP 'garodman', 'garotman'.
Garsivaz (Pers.) (pr n) Brother of Afrasiyab (Av. Keresavazda)
Gatha (Av.) 1) The five sacred hymns of Zarathushtra (Yasna chapters 28-34, 43-51, 53), part of the Avesta; 2) the five supplementary days at the end of the Zoroastrian religious calendar and the fireshtes presiding over them.
gaw (MP, Pers.), gao (Av.) Name of a yazad personifying cattle; an ox, bull or cow.
Gayomard (MP), Gayo-maretan (Av.) Lit. 'mortal life', mythical first man according to some MP texts.
geh-sarnu (Parsi Guj.) Recitation of the Gathas during a funeral service. (Var: MP 'geh-sarna, gahan-srayishn')
gehan, gehân (MP) An iron bier on which a dead body is removed (Var: 'gekan', 'gekân')
getig (MP) Material existence; the world. (Compare with 'menog'.)
getig-kharid (Pers.) A ceremony of redemption, consisting of the recital of nine Yasna services.
Geush Urwan (Av.) lit. 'the soul of the cow (or settlement)'; name of the fourteenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. MP equivalent is 'Goshorun'. (Av. 'gVuS urwan', ,nawru,SuVg)
Gewra Ceremony which qualifies priests to initiate as candidate into the priesthood. It consists of performing the Yasna ritual for six consecutive days. (RCC, p. 202) (Var: Gewrâ)
giriban (Pers.) A small pocket on the throat of the sudre (sacred shirt), also known as "kissa-e kerfa" ("the bag of good deeds").
God See Ahura Mazda.
Godavara (Guj.) One of the Gujarat ecclesiastical groups of priests, serving a large rural area, headquartered in Anklesar.
Gokaren (MP) Mythical cosmic tree. Av. equivalent is Gaokerena. (Var: 'Gokārēn', 'Gogirn', 'Gokarn', 'Gokerano'.)
gomez/gōmēz (MP) (unconsecrated) bull's urine. Av. equivalent is 'gao-maeza', (Av. Var: 'gaomaeza', 'geush maesman')
gorz (Pers.) An ox-headed club or mace. One or two of these, as well as one or two swords, are often found on the inner walls of the room with the sacred fire. See Modi, RCC, p. 226. Av. equivalent is 'vazra', arzaW; MP equivalent is 'warz'. (Var: 'gorza', 'gorz-e gavsar'. Compare Skt. 'vajra', Tibetan 'dorje')
Goshorun Lit. 'the soul of the cow (or settlement)'; name of the fourteenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. Av. equivalent is 'Geush Urwan'.
Gushtasp (Pers.) (pr n) Pers. equivalent of Av. 'Vishtaspa' and MP 'Vishtasp', patron of Zarathushtra (Var: Goshtasp, Goštasp)
Gowad Lit. 'wind, atmosphere', name of the yazad presiding over the wind; 2) name of the twenty-second day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. (Var. 'Govad'; MP: 'Wad', 'Vat'.) Av. and Skt. equivalent is 'Vata' atAW.
Gushnasp (MP) See Adar Gushnasp
 h 
Hadish A sacred being mentioned in Dk7.12.
hamaspathmaidyem (Av.) Lit. 'coming of the whole group [of farohars]', feast of All Souls. (Var: 'Hamaspathmaedaya'.)
hamazor (MP) A ritual greeting. (Var: 'hamāzōr')
hamistagan (MP) Purgatory, a neutral place between heaven and hell where souls go when their good deeds equal their evil deeds. (Var: 'Hameshta-gehan')
hamkar (MP) Lit. 'co-workers', associates of the yazad which presides over the day. The term 'dahman' is also used.
haoma (Av.) name of a plant with medicinal and spiritual properties; name of the yazad presiding over the haoma plant. MP equivalent is 'hom'.
Haptoring (MP) The constellation Ursa Major, and the Yazad presiding over it. Av. equivalent is 'haptoiringa', 'haptOiriNga', agNiriOtpah.
Hara (Av.) Mythical mountain. (Var: 'Hukairya', 'Hara berezaiti') MP equivalent is 'Harborz'.
Hasar (MP) A measure of distance, as well as of time. Av. equivalent is 'hathra'.
Hathêvâro/hathaevaroHand fastening; part of the marriage ceremony (RCC 33).
Hathra (Av.) A measure equal to one-half of a charetu, or about 3.5 furlongs. MP equivalent is 'hasar'. (Av. 'haqra', arqah)
Haurvatat (Av.) Lit. 'Perfection or Health', name of an Amahraspand. MP equivalent is 'Hordad'; Pers. 'Kordad'. (Av. 'haurwatAT', TAtawruah)
Hawan (MP) Name of the second watch (gah) of each day (sunrise to midday, i.e., 12 noon); a yazad presiding over the second watch. (Var. 'havan', Av. 'havani', 'hawani')
hawanim (Av.) Mortar in which the haoma plant is pounded. (Var. Havanim, hâvanîm)
herbadSee ervad.
hom (MP) Sacred plant. Av. equivalent is haoma.
Hooshang (Pers.) A mythological ruker of ancient Iran, founder of the Peshdadian dynasty, He is credited with the discovery of fire. (Var: 'Hushang', 'Hušang', 'Hoshang'). Av. equivalent is 'Haoshanha' 'haoKyaMha', ahMayKoah.
Hordad (MP) Lit. 'Perfection or Health', 1) name of an Amahraspand; 2) name of the sixth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; 3) name of the third month. Av. equivalent is 'Haurvatat'.
Hormazd (Pers.) Name of various kings of the Parthian and Sasanian dynasties.
Hoshedar (pr n) One of the future Soshyants. Use Ushedar.
Hoshedarmah (pr n) One of the future Soshyants. Use Ushedarmah.
Hukairya See Hara.
Hutaosa (Av.), Hutos (MP) (pr n) Wife of King Vishtasp, and mother of Espandiar. (Av. asoatuh. MP equivalent is 'Hutos'. (Var: Hutosh, Hutoš, Khodus.)
Hvov (MP), Hvovi (Av.) (pr n) Wife of Zarathushtra (Var: Hwowi)
Hvova (Av.) Family name of Frashostar, Jamasp, and several other ancient persons (Var: Hwowa)
 i 
Ilm-i Khshnoom A Parsi occult movement, heavily influenced by Theosophy and the pseudo-Zoroastrian Azar Kayvani sect. (Var: Ilme-Khshnoom, Ilm-e-Khshnoom)
Indar (MP), Indra (Av.) Name of a demon (daeva). (Var: Skt. 'Indra')
Iraj (MP) Son of Faridoon. Use 'Airik'
Iranshah (Pers.) The oldest sacred fire (Atash Bahram) in India, now in Udvada.
Isadvastar (MP), Isat-Vastra (Av) (pr n) son of Zarathushtra. (Var: Av. artsAW-Tasi; MP: Isat-vastar, Isadwastar)
 j 
jama (Guj.) A long white formal garment traditionally worn by Parsi/Irani priests, especially on formal occasions. Compare dagli. Its use has to some extent been replaced by the dagli.
Jamasp (MP), Jamaspa (Av.) An early hero of the Zoroastrian religion. He was King Vishtasp's Prime Minister, and the son-in-law of Zarathushtra. (Var: OAv. 'Dejamaspa' ApsAmAjVd; Gk. Zamaspes)
Jamshed (MP) a famous king of ancient Iran. (Var: 'Jamshid', 'Jamšid', 'Jam'). Av. equivalent is 'Yima Khshaeta' i.e. 'Yima the majestic'; Skt.: 'Yama'.
jashan (MP) A frequently-performed religious service, in which an afrinagan ceremony is performed. (Var: 'jashn', 'jašan', 'jašn'; Parsi 'jasan').
jizya (Ar.) Poll tax levied from non-Muslims.
juddin (Pers.) Non-Zoroastrian. Also called 'darvand'. (Var: 'jooddin', 'jud-din'). Av. equivalent is 'anyo-varena' or 'anyo-tkaesha' i.e. 'person of a foreign faith'.
 k 
kabiseh (Ar.) Intercalation done to keep calendar consistent with seasons. (Var: 'kabisa')
Kangdez (MP) A mythical fortress, or place name. (Var: 'Kangdež', 'Kangdiz', 'Gangdez', 'Gangdež'.) Av. equivalent is 'Kangha' ahMak.
kaplo, kâplô (Guj.) A knife with metallic handle, used for cutting purposes, and for drawing ritual furrows. RCC 288. Av. equivalent is 'kareta' atvrak.
karapan (Av.), karb (MP) Priest of the old religion.
kardah (MP) A section or division of most Yashts and other books of the Avesta. Compare with fargard. (Var: 'karda'; Av. equivalent is 'kareta')
karsasp (MP) Use ''Kersasp'.
karsha (Av.) A furrow drawn on the ground to isolate impurities. (Av. 'karša') MP equivalent is 'kash' or 'kish'; Guj. equivalent is 'kash'. RCC 109
karshwan (Av.), karshwar (MP) Division or region of the earth, as known to the ancient Zoroastrians. They recognized seven karshwars, named 'Arezahi' (West), 'Sawahi' (East), 'Fradadhafshu' (Southeast), 'Widadhafshu' (Southwest), 'Wouru-bareshti' (northwest), 'Wourujareshti' (Northeast), and 'Xwaniratha' (central). Eranvej is located in the latter. Av. equivalent is 'karshware' or 'karshwan' nawCrak, vrawCrak. (MP Var: keshwar, kishwar, kišwar.)
kash (MP, Guj.) A furrow drawn on the ground to isolate impurities. Av. equivalent is 'karsha', 'karša'. (MP var: 'kish'.)
Kavi Haosravah (Av.) (king) (= Pers. Kay Khosraw)
Kavi Usan (Av.) (king) (= Pers. Kay Kavus)
Kavi Vishtaspa (Av.) (king) (= Pers. Kay Gushtasp)
kaySee Kayanian.
Kay Arsh (MP) Legendary king
Kay Kaus (MP) A Kayanian king. Av. equivalent is 'Kavi Usan'.
Kay Khosraw (Pers.) A Kayanian king, grandson of Kay Kaus. Av. equivalent is 'Kavi Haosravah'.
Kay Kobad (Pers.) Founder of the Kayanian dynasty. Av. equivalent is 'Kavi Kavata.'
Kay Loharasp (Pers.) Legendary king. See Lohrasp. Av. equivalent is Aurvat-aspa.
Kay Vishtasp (MP) King of ancient Iran, patron of Zarathushtra. Av. equivalent is 'Vishtaspa', 'Vištaspa' apsA!IW. (MP var: 'Kay Vishtasp'; Pers. 'Gushtasp')
Kayanian A prehistoric dynasty of ancient Iran. (Var: 'kay, kayag, kavi'). Av. equivalent is 'kavaya'.
kem na mazda (Av.) An exorcism prayer from the Avesta.
Keresavazda (Av.) (pr n) (= Pers. Garsivaz)
Keresaspa (Av.), Kersasp (MP) (pr n) A king of ancient Iran, mythological and eschatological hero and dragon-slayer. (Av. apsAsvrvk; Var: 'Karsasp', 'Garshasp', 'Garšasp', 'Garšasb')
Keshmak (MP) (pr n) Name of a 'karb' who attempts to destroy Zartosht.
Khambata (Guj.) A group of priests, headquartered in Khambat.
Kheshm (MP) The demon of wrath. Av. equivalent is 'Aeshma'. (MP var: 'Eshm', 'xeshm, xešm')
Khorda Avesta (Pers.) The 'Small Avesta', a prayer book with excerpts from the Avesta. (Var: 'Khordeh Avesta'; MP: 'xwardag aβistāg')
Khordad-sal (Pers.) The sixth day of the year, dedicated to Hordad, Av. 'Haurvatat'. (Var: 'Khordad sal', 'Khordadsal')
Khorshed (Parsi Pers.) See Khwarshed.
Khshathra Vairya (Av.) Lit. 'Desirable Dominion', the Amahraspand personifying it, or presiding over it. MP equivalent is Shahrewar.
khshnuman (MP) Lit. 'dedication', a dedicatory section (in Avesta) naming the yazad in whose honor a ceremony is performed. There are two types of khshnumans: 'nani' ("shorter"), and 'wadi' ("longer"). (Var. 'xshnuman', 'shnuman', 'šnuman')
khwan (MP, Pers.) Stone table or slab used for rituals. Stands on four feet, cut from ordinary stone or marble. (Var. Khwân, Khôân) (Modi, RCC 270-4)
Khwaniras (MP.) Name of the central region (karshwan) of the earth, as known to the ancient Zoroastrians. It is the region where Eranvej is located. Av. equivalent is 'Xwaniratha' ('Xaniraqa' aqarinaX)
khwarenah (Av.), khwarrah (MP) Divine grace or glory. (Av. 'Xarvna' anvraX; Var: 'khvarenah', 'hvareno', 'xwarenah', 'xvarenah'; OP: 'farnah'; MP Var: 'khurra'; Pers. 'Farr', 'Farrah', 'korra').
Khwarshed (MP) 'The shining sun'; name of the yazad presiding over the Sun; name of the eleventh day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; (Var: Pers: Khurshid)
khwetodas (MP) Next-of-kin marriage. Av. 'khvaetvadatha'.
kriya (Skt.) Ritual action.
kusti (Pers., Guj.) Sacred cord worn around the waist by Zoroastrians; the short ritual of untying and retying the kusti. Av. equivalent is aiwyanghana anah$lyBia. (Var: 'kushti'; MP: 'kustig'; Pers. 'koshti', 'košti')
 l 
Lohrasp (MP) A king of ancient Iran, father of Kay Vishtasp. Av. equivalent is 'Aurvat-aspa'. (MP var: 'Lohrasb')
 m 
maga (Av.) A pit or hole, dug during the barashnom ritual. (Av. aGam) Vd8.37, RCC 109
magus (Lat.) A priest (pl. magi). Compare with "mobed". (Var: Gr. 'magos' μάγος; OP: 'magu'; MP: 'mog-mard', 'moγ-mard', 'mowbed')
mah (MP, Pers.) 1) Moon; 2) month; 3) name of the twelfth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; 4) name of the yazad presiding over the Moon.
Mah-rui (MP) Lit. "moon-faced" — metallic stands for the barsom (qv) (Var. 'mahrui', 'mâhrui', 'mahruy', 'māhrūy', 'mah-ruy', 'mâh-rûî')
Mahraspand (MP) lit. 'Holy Word', name of a yazad who embodies the Holy Word; name of the twenty-ninth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. Av. equivalent is 'Manthra Spenta' 'm&qra spvNta', ,atNvps ,arq&m.
Mahrkus (MP) Legendary Sorceror. (Var: Mahrkusa, Malkus)
maidyarem (MP) Mid-winter feast (gahambar). Av. equivalent is 'maidhyairya' ayriAyDiam. (Var: 'maidhyarem')
maidyoshahem (MP) Mid-summer feast (gahambar). Av. equivalent is maidhyoi-shem mvC-iOyDiam. (Var: 'Maidyoi-shema', 'Maidyoshem', 'Maidhyoshema')
maidyozarem Mid-spring feast (gahambar). Av. equivalent is maidhyoi-zaremaya ayamvraz-iOyDiam. (Var: 'mediozarem', 'maidhyozarema'; MP equivalent is 'medyozarm')
Mani (MP, Pers.) Founder of Manichaeism, a Gnostic religion with Zoroastrian elements, considered an arch-heretic (lived from 216 A.C.-275 A.C.)
manthra (Av.) Holy Word; specific passages of the Avesta with specific poetic and spiritual properties. Compare with Mahraspand. (Av. 'mãthra', 'mathra' i.e. arq&m; Skt: 'mantra')
Manuschihar (MP), Manuschithra (Av.) (pr n) Legendary king. (MP var: 'Minochehr', 'Manuchihr') Pers. equivalent is 'Minochehr'.
maratab (Ar.) A ceremony which qualifies a priest to perform higher rituals. Compare with nawar. (Var. 'martab', 'maratib'; Pers: 'marāteb')
margarzan (MP)Mortal sin.
Mashye-Mashyane (MP) The first human couple, sprung from the seed of Gayomard, the first man.
Mathabanu (or mathubanu) A scarf, typically white, folded to make a double layer. It is now worn by women mostly during prayer.
Mazda (Av.)see Ahura Mazda.
Mazdayasnian (Av.), Mazdesn (MP) Lit. "worship of Mazda". Another term for Zoroastrian. (Var: 'Mazdean', 'Mazda-ism'; Av. var: 'Mazdayasna', 'Mazdayasni'; MP var: 'den mazdesn').
Mazendaran (Av.) A land north of Iran. (Var. 'Mazana'; modern 'Mazandaran')
menog (MP) Spiritual existence; spiritual world. (Compare with getig.) (Av. equivalent is 'mainyu')
Mihr (MP, Pers.) 1) Yazad presiding over the contract; 2) name of the sixteenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; 3) name of the seventh month. Av. equivalent is Mithra; Skt: Mitra. (Var: 'Meher', 'Mehr')
Mihragan (MP) A festival honoring the yazad Mihr, celebrated on the 16th day of the seventh month. (Var: Mehragan, Mehregan).
Minocheher (Pers.) A king of ancient Iran. Av. equivalent is 'Manuschithra' arqic-Sunam; MP: 'Minochehr'. (MP var: 'Manuchihr')
Mithra (Av.) Yazata presiding over the contract. (Av. 'miθra;', arqim.) MP/Pers. equivalent is 'Mihr'; Skt: Mitra.
mobed (Pers.) A Zoroastrian priest, orig. head priest (Av. equivalent is 'Magu-paiti', i.e. master of Magi). (Var: 'mowbed', 'mowbad')
Mukhtad (PGuj.) All Souls festival. See Frawardigan.
myazd (MP) A ceremonial food offering.
 n 
nahn Ablution, a ritual washing of the entire body, a higher form of purification than padyab.
Nairyosangha (Av.) Name of a yazata. MP equivalent is 'Neryosang'.
nama karana Ceremony for naming a newborn, usually 10-12 days after birth
namaskar (Guj.) A short prayer of homage. (Var: 'nemaskar')
Nam Stayishn (MP) Name of a Pazand prayer praising Ohrmazd, part of the Khorda Avesta.
naogar (naôgar) A stick with nine knots, used in purifying ceremonies. RCC 109. (Var. MP: 'no-grih')
nasa (Pers.) Dead matter, pollution; demon of putrefaction. (Av. equivalent is 'nasu'; MP 'nasush')
nask (MP) Lit. 'book, volume,' one of the 21 volumes into which the Avesta was divided in ancient times; a religious service (Sudgar, Warsht-mansr, bag, damdad, nadar, pazag, ratushtaiti, barish, kishkisrub, Wishtasp-sast, Washtag, Chihrdad, Spand, Bagan-yasn, Nigadum, Duwasrud, Husparum, Sagadum, Jud-dew-dad, Hadokht, Stud-yasn)
navjote (Parsi Guj.) Ceremony of initiation into the Zoroastrian religion, a ceremony of investiture of the sudre and kusti. Also called 'sedra pushun', 'sedra-pushi'. (Var: 'Navzud', 'Naojote', 'Nu-zud')
Navsari (Pers., Guj.) A town in Gujarat India, a stronghold of Zoroastrianism.
nawar (MP) A four-day ceremony which qualifies a candidate for the priesthood. Compare with maratab.
Nawruz (Pers.) New Years Day. (Var: 'Nowruz', 'Noruz', 'No Roz', 'Norooz')
Neryosang (MP, Pers.) Name of a yazad. Av. equivalent is 'nairyosangha'.
nirang (MP) 1) Lit. 'formula, spell', a short ritual accompanied by Avestan or Pazand prayers; 2) consecrated gomez.
nirang-i kusti bastan (Pers.) Formula for retying the kusti, this short ritual is a necessary prelude to longer prayer.
nirangdin (MP) Name of the most exalted and elaborate of Zoroastrian high liturgies.
niyayesh (Pers.) One of five Zoroastrian litanies from the Avesta, part of the daily prayers. (Var: 'nyayesh, nyayishn')
Nowruz Use Nawruz.
nyayesh See niyayesh.
 o 
Ohrmazd (MP) God, the supreme being; name of the first day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. Av. equivalent is 'Ahura Mazda'. (Var: 'Ormazd', 'Ormuzd', 'Hormuzd', 'Auharmazd'; Lat. 'Oromasim', 'Oromasis')
Old Persian Language of the Achaemenian empire, recorded in cuneiform inscriptions.
Osta Lit. 'disciple', a candidate for priesthood. Av. equivalent is 'havishta'.
Osti A woman of priestly family.
 p 
padan (Pers.), padam, padām (MP) A white cloth mask used by a priest during ceremonies to keep his breath from directly touching the fire. Av. equivalent is 'paitidana'. PGuj. 'penom'. (Var: Paz. 'panãm', 'penûm')
padyab (Pers.) A ritual washing of the exposed parts of the body. Compare with nahn.
padyab-kusti (Pers.) A ritual ablution followed by the ritual untying and retying of the kusti.
pagdi Traditional headgear (compare pheta).
Pahlavi Literature written in the Middle Persian language, using the 'Book Pahlavi' script. Used between 300 B.C. and 950 A.C, in which many Zoroastrian writings are preserved. Generally 'Middle Persian' is preferred where is could be confused with the modern Pahlavi dynasty. (Var: Pehlvi)
pairika (Av.) A class of malevolent supernatural creature, fairy. Sometimes misleadingly translated as witch or sorceress. Shooting star, meteor. MP equivalent is 'parig'; Pers. equivalent is 'Pari, Peri.' OP: 'parika'.
paitidana (Av.) A white cloth mask used by a priest during ceremonies to keep his breath from directly touching the fire. Pers. equiv is 'padan'; MP 'padam', 'padām'; PGuj. 'penom'. (Var: paiti-dana)
paitishahem (Av.), Paitishem (MP) Feast (gahambar) of bringing in the harvest. (Var: 'paitishahema', 'paitishehm', 'Paitish-hahya')
panchayat (Hindi) Communal government. (Var: punchayat)
Palash (Parsi Pers.) A Parthian king (51-80 A.C.). (Var. Greek 'Vologeses I', MP 'Walakhsh')
panj tay (Pers.) A ceremony performed with a 'five-wire' barsom, which is prerequisite for performing any high liturgy for the day. (Var: 'baj of panch tai')
panthak (Guj.) Priestly jurisdiction.
Paoiryo-tkaesha (Av.) lit. 'doctrine of the predecessors', forerunner of Zoroastrianism. Alternately, one of the first teachers of Zoroastrianism. MP equivalent is 'poryotkesh'.
paragna A ceremony which precedes the Yasna. (Var: 'Paragnâ', 'paragnā')
Parsi, (plural) Parsis Zoroastrians who settled in India. (Var: 'Parsee/Parsees')
Parthian A royal dynasty ruling Iran from 250 B.C.-226 A.C.
patet (MP) Prayer of penance (in Pazand). (Var: 'patit')
pavi (pâvi, pav) Lit. "sacred" or consecrated. A permanently constructed ritual furrow (karsha, qv). RCC 115. The platform of the dakhma is divided into separate sections names pavis. RCC 68.
paywand (MP) Lit. 'connection,' ritual contact between persons serving as a shield against pollution. A ritual connection. "To hold a "paywand" means to be in close contact or touch. This is done by holding a piece of cloth or cotton tape by two persons to show that they are associated or joined in doing a thing." (Modi, funeral) (Var: 'paewand', 'paiwand')
Pazand (MP) Middle Persian (Pahlavi) texts in which Aramaic elements are replaced with their Iranian equivalents, transcribed in the Avestan script.
penom (PGuj.) A white cloth mask used by a priest during ceremonies to keep his breath from directly touching the fire. Av. equivalent is 'paitidana'. Pers equivalent is 'padan'.
Peshdadian The first dynasty of ancient Iran.
Peshotan (Pers.) An early hero of Zoroastrianism, he was the son of Kay Vishtasp.
Pesho-tanu (Av.) A 'mortal-sin'; an individual who has committed a mortal sin.
pheta Traditional headgear. (Var. feta.) (Compare pagdi.)
Porseh CeremonyMemorial Service
poryotkesh (MP) Lit. 'doctrine of the predecessors', i.e. forerunners of Zoroastrianism. Alternately, one of the first teachers of Zoroastrianism. (Av. equivalent is 'Paoiryo-tkaesha')
Pourushasp (MP) name of Zarathushtra's father. (Var: Av. 'Paourushaspa')
 q 
Qadimi (Pers., Ar.) one of the three movements within Zoroastrianism which observe different religious calendars (the other two are called Fasli and Shahanshahi). The Qadimi calendar is one month ahead of the Shahanshahi. PGuj. equivalent is 'Kadmi'.
 r 
Ram (MP) Lit. 'joy', name of a yazad; name of the twenty-first day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. Av. equivalent is 'Rama Khwastra' ,artsAX ,amAr.
Rapithwin (Av.) The period of the day (gah) from noon to mid-afternoon; a yazad presiding over the Rapithwin gah. During five months of the year it is replaced by a second Hawan. (Var: 'rapihwin')
Rashn (MP), Rashnu (Av.) Lit. 'truth, justice', name of a yazad; name of the eighteenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar.
raspi (Pers.) Assistant priest. Av. equivalent is 'rathwishkara', 'raqBiSkara' arakSiBqar.
ratu (Av.) Judge, often found in conjunction with 'Ahu'. (Var. MP 'rad')
rawan (MP) Soul. Av. equivalent is 'urvan' nawru. (Var: 'urwan')
riman (MP, Pers.) Something that has become polluted by contact with dead matter; a ceremony of purification, used by Parsees in place of barashnom to purify lay persons.
Rivayat (Ar.) Letter. A collection of Rivayats/letters in Persian from Iranian priests in response to questions by their Indian counterparts on a variety of religious topics, were written between 1478 and 1773 C.E.
Rustam (Pers.) A hero of ancient Iran. (Var: Rostam)
 s 
sada (Pers.) Lit. 'pure, simple,' Avestan texts without Pahlavi commentaries.
Sadwes (MP) Yazad associated with the star Canopus. Av. equivalent is 'Satavaesa' asEawatas. (MP Var: 'Sadves')
sagdid (MP) Lit. 'a dog's gaze', this term refers to the practice of exposing a corpse to the gaze of a dog, which is believed to drive away some of the power of the druj.
sagri (Guj.) A small building near a dakhma where a fire is kept burning.
Sanjana (Guj.) A group of priests headquartered in Udvada.
Saoshyant (Av.) The (World) Savior, who will bring about Frasho-kereti — the Renovation of the World according to Zoroastrian eschatology. MP equivalent is Soshyant. (Var: 'Saošyant' tNayKoas, 'Soshyos')
Sasanian The Zoroastrian dynasty which ruled Iran from circa 226 A.C.-651 A.C. (Var: 'Sasanid', 'Sassanian')
satum (PGuj) Meal offering ritual prayer for dead. (Var: stum)
Second Hawan The third watch (gah) of each day (noonday to 3 p.m.) during part of the year. Compare with Rapithwin.
sedra-pushun (Pers.) See navjote.
Shahanshahi (Pers.) One of the three movements within Zoroastrianism which observe different religious calendars (the other two are called Fasli and Qadimi.) (Var: 'Shenshai', 'Šenšai', 'Šāhānšāhī')
Shahrewar (MP) Lit. 'Desirable Dominion', 1) the Amahraspand presiding over it, as well as metals; 2) name of the fourth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; 3) name of the sixth month. Av. equivalent is 'Khshathra Vairya'.
Shayest Ne-Shayest (MP) Middle-Persian religious text (Var. Shayast-la-Shayast)
Shkand-gumanig Vizar (MP) Middle-Persian religious text (Var. Šak-ud-gumanih vizar — The Doubt-removing book of Mardanfarrox)
sijda A bow of last respects. RCC 66. (Var: 'sezdo')
siroza, siruza (Pers.) Lit. '30 days', a prayer from the Avesta which honors 30 yazads.
Soshyant (MP) The (World) Savior. Av. equivalent is 'Saoshyant'.
Spandarmad (MP) Lit. 'Holy Devotion', 1) the Amahraspand presiding over the earth and fertility; 2) name of the fifth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; 3) name of the twelfth month. Av. equivalent is 'Spenta Armaiti'.
Spandarmad jashan (MP) Festival (jashan) honoring Spandarmad (Av. Spenta Armaiti), who presides over the earth and fertility. Celebrated on the day and month of Spandarmad (Feb 19 on the Fasli calendar). Also known as the 'Festival of the Farmers' (jashan i Burzigaran) (Var: 'Sepandarmazgan', 'Asfandard')
spenta (Av.) Holy, beneficent.
Spenta Armaiti (Av.) Lit. 'Holy Devotion', the Amesha Spenta presiding over the earth and fertility. (MP equivalent is Spandarmad.)
Spenta Mainyu (Av.) Holy Spirit. (Var: MP 'Spenamino')
Spentomad Name of the third Gatha; name of the third Gatha day.
Spozgar (Paz.) Demon of thunderstorms. (Var: 'Spazga'.) Av. equivalent is 'Spenjaghriya', 'Spenjaγrya' ayIrGajNvps, 'Spenjaghri'; Pers. 'Sipanjaros'.
Sraosha (Av.), Srosh (MP) Lit. 'Hearkening'; name of a yazad; name of the seventeenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; a spirit being who guards the soul for three days after death (Av. aCoars)
stareta (Av.) Carpet on which officiating priest sits.
stum (Parsi Guj.) A prayer recited on meals in honor of the dead. (Var: 'satum')
sudre (Pers.) Sacred shirt. (Var: 'sudra', 'sudreh', 'shabi'; Pers. 'sedra'. 'sedreh'; Guj. 'sudra'; MP 'šabīg')
sudre-kusti (Pers.) Sacred shirt and girdle.
Siyamak (MP) A hero of ancient Iran, son of Gayomard, the first king of Iran. (Var: 'Siamak', 'Syamak')
syaw (Parsi Guj.) A suit of white clothes consecrated during the Dron service. (Var: 'siav, shiav')
Syawakhsh (MP) Name of an ancient Iranian hero, son of Kay Kaus. (Var: 'Syavakhsh'). Av. equivalent is 'Syavarshana' anACrawAys.
 t 
Tahmurasp (Pers.) Name of an ancient Iranian hero, son of Hooshang.
tana The ceremony of laying the foundation for a new Dakhma.
tanapuhr (MP) A mortal sin, or a good deed which can balance a mortal sin. (Var: 'tanapuhar')
tan-dorosti (Paz., Pers.) A prayer of benediction (in Pazand). (Var: 'tandarosti', 'doa-tandarosti')
Taromaiti (Av.), Taromat (MP) Name of a demon, opposed to Armaiti.
Tashta (Av.) Metallic plates used in haoma ritual.
Tâvize (MP) Amulet.
tay, tāy (Pers.) Metal wire or twig/branch used in bundles for barsoms. (Var: 'tai'; MP equivalent: 'tag', 'tāg'.) Av. equivalent is 'yaxshti', 'yaxšti', itSxaY.
Tir (MP) See Tishtar.
Tiragan Religious celebration in honor of Tishtar.
Tishn (MP) Demon of thirst.
Tishtar (MP), Tishtrya (Av.) The star Sirius; name of the yazad presiding over Sirius; name of the thirteenth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; name of the fourth month. (Var: MP 'Tir')
topi Traditional skull cap generally worn during prayers.
Tur (Pers.) Name of an ancient Iranian hero, one of the three sons of Faridoon.
Tura, Turanian A foreign tribe mentioned in the Avesta, probably originally Scythian, later applied to all Central Asian nomads.
 u 
urvan (Av.) Soul. MP equivalent is 'rawan'. (Av. nawru, Var: 'urwan')
urvaram (Av.) Pomegranate tree.
urvis Lit. "turning point" (as in a racecourse). Cosmic racecourse, also, the ritual "circle or the limits within which the celebrants have to remain." Also, the ritual table (altar, khwan) at which the ritual implements (alat) are arranged (Khwan of alat). Urvis-gah (Urviçgâ) is a synonym of Yazashna-gah. (Var: 'rwaisa' (Gathic Avestan), Urviç, Aurves, Aûrvés, Aurvis, urwes, urwis, urwês, urwîs.) (Cf. Modi RCC 263, 271, 277; DD48.13; Windfuhr 2004, pp. 176-7.)
Ushahin Name of the first watch (gah) of each day, from midnight to daybreak. (Var: 'ušahin')
Ushedar (MP) (pr n) One of three future world saviours (Var. Aushedar, Hoshedar.) Av. equivalent is 'Uxshyat-ereta' atvrv-TayCxu.
Ushedarmah (MP) (pr n) One of three future world saviours (Var. Aushedar-mah, Hoshedar-mah, Hoshedarmah)
Ushtawad Name of the second Gatha; name of the second Gatha day.
uthamnu (Guj.) A communal service performed on the third night after death. (Var. 'Uthamna')
Uzerin The fourth watch (gah) of each day, from mid-afternoon to sunset. (Var: 'uzirin')
 v 
Vanand (MP), Vanant (Av.) Yazad associated with the Star Vega. (Var: 'Wanand').
Vendidad (Pers.) One of the books of the Avesta; a high liturgical service in which the Vendidad is recited. Although this is the common name, a more proper rendering is 'Videvdat', Av. 'Widaewa-data' or 'Vidaeva-data', MP 'jud-dew-dad'.
Vishtasp (MP), Vishtaspa (Av.) King of ancient Iran, patron of Zarathushtra. Pers. equivalent is 'Gushtasp'. Also MP: Kay Vishtasp.
Vispa Humata (Av.) A short prayer from the Khorda Avesta focussing on good thoughts, words, and deeds.
Visperad (MP, Pers.) One of the books of the Avesta; a high liturgical service dedicated to Ahura Mazda.
Vohu Manah (Av.), Vohuman (MP) Lit. 'Good Mind'. 1) one of the Amahraspands; 2) name of the second day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar; 3) name of the 11th month. (Var: MP 'Bahman')
Vourukasha (Av.) Lit. 'of many bays', mythical ocean.
 w 
Wad See 'Gowad'.
wahisht (MP) Paradise.
Wahishtoisht (MP) Name of the fifth Gatha; name of the fifth Gatha day.
warasyo (Parsi Guj.) A consecrated white bull. Its hair is used for ritual purposes. (Var: 'varasyo', Av. 'varesa')
Warharan Lit. 'victory', name of a yazad; name of the twentieth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. (Var: Pers. Bahram, Behram.)
Wohukhshathra Name of the fourth Gatha; name of the fourth Gatha day.
 x 
Xwaniratha (Av.) Name of the central region (karshwan) of the earth, as known to the ancient Zoroastrians. It is the region where Eranvej is located. (Av. 'Xaniraqa' aqarinaX) MP equivalent is 'Khwaniras'.
 y 
Yasht (MP) One of the hymns of the Avesta honoring various spiritual beings.
Yasna (Av.) One of the books of the Avesta; the name of a high liturgical service in which the text of the Yasna is recited. (var. Yaçna, yazashna, Ijashne, Ijasne)
yatha ahu vairyo (Av.) The first phrase of the Ahunwar prayer.
yazad (MP), yazata (Av.) A created spiritual being, worthy of being honored or praised. Used interchangeably with fireshte. (Var: Ijad)
Yazdegird (MP) The last Sasanian king. The Zoroastrian calendars numbers the year based on his reign, and uses the label 'A.Y.' for 'after Yazdegird'.
yenghe hatam (Av.) One of the most sacred prayers of Zoroastrianism.
Yima, Yima Khshaeta (Av.) A famous king of ancient Iran. MP equivalent is Jamshed. Skt. equivalent is 'Yama'.
yozdathregar (Av.) Lit. 'purifier', the priest who administers the barashnom ceremony of purification. (Var: Av. 'yaozdathragar')
 z 
Zam Lit. 'earth', yazad presiding over the earth; name of the twenty-eighth day of the month according to the Zoroastrian religious calendar. (Var. 'Zamyad') Av. equivalent is 'zem' 'zvm' mvz.
Zand Translation and exegesis. The term 'Zand-Avesta' or 'Zend-Avesta' refers to an edition of the Avesta which has Zand interspersed with the Avesta text. (Var. Zend.)
zaothra (Av.) Libation, offering, consecrated water. MP equivalent is 'zohr'. (Av. var: 'zaoθra', arqoaz)
Zarathushtra (Av.) Name of the founder of Zoroastrianism. (Var: Av. 'Zarathustra'); Parsi Guj. 'Zarthosht'). MP equivalent is 'Zartosht, Zardusht', Pers. 'Zartusht'; Greek 'Zoroaster' Ζωροάστης.
Zarthosht (Parsi Guj.) See Zarathushtra.
Zend, Zend-Avesta See Zand.
Zinda-rawan (Pers.) Lit. 'living soul' (as distinguished from anosharawan, the soul of a deceased person); a ceremony honoring the yazad Srosh on behalf of a living person. (Var: 'Zenda-ravan')
Zohak (Pers.) A mythical tyrant. (Var. 'Zahhak'). Av. equivalent is 'Azi Dahaka' akAhad,iZa.
zohr (MP) Libation, offering, consecrated water. Av. equivalent is 'zaothra'.
Zoroaster (Greek) See Zarathushtra.
Zoroastrianism The religion founded by Zarathushtra (12th century B.C.?), the oldest of the great prophetic religions.
zot (MP) officiating priest. (Var: 'zoti')