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Early Indo-European Texts


Scott L. Harvey and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Avestan with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old Iranian Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Avestan language and its speakers' culture.

Old Avestan: Yasna 53 -- a gatha (wedding song)

1 vahisht shtish srv       Zarathushtrah
Spitmahy yez hi       dt yapt
asht hac ahur       mazd yavi vspi-       hvanghevm
ya-c hi daben sashken-c       danay vanghuy       uxdh shyaothan-c
2 at-c hi scant manangh       uxdhish shyaothanish-c
xshnm mazd vahmi-       fraoret yasns-c
kava-c Vshtsp       zarathushtrish Spitm       Ferashaoshtras-c
dngh erezsh path       ym danm ahur       saoshyant dadt

3 tm-c t Pourucist       Hacat-aspn
Spitm yeziv dugedrm       Zarathushtrah
vanghush paitystm manangh       ashahy mazds-c       taiby dt sarem
ath hm ferashv thw xrathw       spnisht rmatish       hudnvareshv

4 tm z v spered nivarn       y fedhri vdt
paithya-c vstryaiby       at-c xvataov
ashun ashavaby       manangh vanghush xvnvat hanghush       mm-bedush
mazd dadt ahur       danayi vanghuyi       yavi vspi-

5 sxvn vazyamnby       kainiby mraom
xshmaiby-c vademn       mn-c mz dazdm
vaddm danbsh       abyas-c ahm       y vanghush manangh
ash v any ainm       vvnghat tat z hi       hushnem anghat

6 ith haithy nar       ath jnay
drj hac rthem yme       spashuth fridm
drj yes hish pith tanv par       vay-bereduby dush-xvarethm       nsat xvthrem
dregvdeby djt-aretaiby       anish manahm       ahm merengeduy

7 at-c v mzhdem anghat       ahy magahy
yavat zhush zrazdisht      bni haxtay
para-c mraocs aor-c       yathr mainyush dregvat       ansat par
ivzayath magm tm       at v vayi anghait       apmem vac

8 anish duzhvareshnangh       dafshny hnt
zahy-c vspngh       xraosentm up
huxshathrish jnerm xrnerm-c       rmm-c ish dadt       shyeitiby vzhiby
rat sh dvafsh hv       derez mereithyaosh mazisht       moshu-c ast

9 duzhvarenish vash rst       ti narepsh rajsh
ashas djt-aret       pesh-tanv
k ashav ahur       y sh jytush hmithyt       vas-itish-c
tat mazd tav xshathrem       y erezhejyi dh       dregaov vahy


1   The sacrifice of Zarathustra Spitama is feted as the best
    If the Wise Lord would, in accordance with Truth,
          give [these] rewards to him throughout all [his] life:
    A good existence for him and for those who determine and understand
    The words and deeds of [his] good vision.
2   And so let Kavi Vishtaspa -- a Spitama, a son of Zarathustra
          -- and Frahaostra readily pursue,
    With good thought, with words and deeds,
    The succor of the Wise One, and paeans for His adulation,
    And [also] the straight path of the gift whose inspiration
          the Lord gives out of [his] power to give.
3   And now, Pouruchista Spitami, descendent of Haecataspa,
    Youngest of the daughters of Zarathustra,
    Gives to all of you the alliance of Truth and Wisdom,
          the firm foundation of Good Mind.
    Therefore, consult your inner strength and blessedly engage yourself
          with the most sacred [deeds] of Armaiti.
4   For on behalf of all of you, I shall eagerly wed to him [the woman]
          who tends to [her] father
    [Her] husband, the herdsman [of his clan], and [his] family possessions.
    Truthful to the truthful ones, Ahura Mazda gives [to her] the sun-like
          fruition of Good Mind, illuminating [her] thought
    For the sake of good vision, throughout [her] entire life.
5   I pronounce to [you] young women being married,
          and [likewise] to you [men],
    The commandments of one possessed of [good?] speech:
          Bear them in mind.
    Through good vision, find for yourselves -- and for them, [your wives] --
          a life which [is] of Good Mind.
    [And] through Truth, let each of you desire to win the other over.
    For that would be fruitful for each one.
6   In this way these [things are] true, O men; in that way [they are true], O wives.
    [There is an] adherent of deceit whom all of you see
         [clinging] to the prosperity [arising] out of deceit:
    [But] I take away these defenses of [his] person. For Advocates of the Lie,
          sighing, poor nourishment results,
          [and a life of] 'easy breathing' is lost1
    For Violators of Truth. [Allied] with them, you will destroy for yourselves
          the spiritual life.
7   And so, for all of you, [good] fruit will come from this ritual exchange
    As long as the 'impeller,' full of zeal, [keeps] driving, down and deep,
    At the base of [her] two thighs, from whence the spirit
          of the Possessor of the Lie has already disappeared.
    Abandon this ritual exchange and your last word is 'woe'!
8   Let the wrong-doers be [made] impotent by these [things],
    And, weakened, let them all cry out.
    And by means of good rule among man-killing and
          man-defiling [Possessors of the Lie?]
    Let one grant peace with them to the settled clans.
    Let that greatest pain arise upon them, [that which comes]
          through the shackle of death. And let it be soon!
9   On account of those who choose badly,
          poison adheres to him, [the righteous man],
    [As do] darkness and lack, those violators of Truth
          whose bodies are to be brought to an end.
    Where is the truthful Lord who would rob them of life and liberty?
    The power is yours, O Wise One, by which you would grant a better (life)
          to the poor man living rightly.