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Early Indo-European Texts

Avestan

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 vahištā īštiš srāvī       Zaraθuštrahē
Spitāmahyā yezī hōi       dāṯ āyaptā
ašāṯ hacā ahurō       mazdå yavōi vīspāi-ā       hvaŋhəvīm
yaē-cā hōi dabən saškən-cā       daēnayå vaŋhuyå       uxδā šyaoθanā-cā
2 aṯ-cā hōi scantū manaŋhā       uxδāiš šyaoθanāiš-cā
xšnə̄m mazdå vahmāi-ā       fraorəṯ yasnąs-cā
kava-cā Vīštāspō       zaraθuštriš Spitāmō       Fərašaoštras-cā
dåŋhō ərəzūš paθō       yąm daēnąm ahurō       saošyantō dadāṯ

3 tə̄m-cā tū Pourucistā       Haēcaṯ-aspānā
Spitāmī yezivī dugədrąm       Zaraθuštrahē
vaŋhə̄uš paityāstīm manaŋhō       ašahyā mazdås-cā       taibyō dāṯ sarəm
aθā hə̄m ferašvā θwā xraθwā       spə̄ništā Ārmatōiš       hudānvarəšvā

4 tə̄m zī və̄ spərədā nivarānī       yā feδrōi vīdāṯ
paiθyaē-cā vāstryaēibyō       aṯ-cā xvaētaovē
ašāunī ašavabyō       manaŋhō vaŋhə̄uš xvə̄nvaṯ haŋhuš       mə̄m-bə̄əduš
mazdå dadāṯ ahurō       daēnayāi vaŋhuyāi       yavōi vīspāi-ā

5 sāxvə̄nī vazyamnābyō       kainibyō mraomī
xšmaibyā-cā vadəmnō       mə̄n-cā ī mąz dazdūm
vaēdōdūm daēnābīš       abyas-cā ahūm       yə̄ vaŋhə̄uš manaŋhō
ašā və̄ anyō ainīm       vīvə̄nghatū taṯ zī hōi       hušə̄nem aŋhaṯ

6 iθā ī haiθyā narō       aθā jə̄nayō
drūjō hacā rāthəmō yə̄mə       spašuθā frāidīm
drūjō āyesē hōiš piθā tanvō parā       vayū-bərədubyō duš-xvarəthə̄m       nąsaṯ xvāθrəm
drəgvōdəbyō də̄jīṯ-arətaēibyō       anāiš ā manahīm       ahūm mərəngəduyē

7 aṯ-cā və̄ mīždəm aŋhaṯ       ahyā magahyā
yavaṯ āžuš zrazdištō      būnōi haxtayå
para-cā mraocąs aorā-cā       yaθrā mainyuš drəgvatō       anąsaṯ parā
ivīzayathā magə̄m tə̄m       aṯ və̄ vayōi aŋhaitī       apə̄mem vacō

8 anāiš ā dužvarəšnaŋhō       dafšnyā hə̄ntū
zah́yā-cā vīspåŋhō       xraosəntąm upā
huxšaθrāiš jə̄nerąm xrūnerąm-cā       rāmąm-cā āiš dadātū       šyeitibyō vīžibyō
īratū īš dvafšō hvō       dərəzā mərəiθyaoš mazištō       mošu-cā astū

9 dužvarənāiš vaēšō rāstī       tōi narəpīš rajīš
aēšasā də̄jīṯ-arətā       pəšō-tanvō
kū ašavā ahurō       yə̄ īš jyātə̄uš hə̄miθyāṯ       vasə̄-itōiš-cā
taṯ mazdā tavā xšaθrəm       yā ərəžəjyōi dāhī       drəgaovē vahyō

Translation

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.