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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 30 -- a gatha about reward and punishment

1 at tâ vaxshyâ ishentô       yâ mazdâthâ hyat-cît vîdushę
staotâ-câ ahurâi       yesnyâ-câ vanghęush mananghô
humăzdrâ ashâ ye-câ       yâ raocębîs daresatâ urvâzâ

2 sraotâ gęush-aish vahishtâ       a-vaęnatâ sűcâ mananghâ
âvarenĺ vîcithahyâ       naręm narem xvahyâi tanuyę
parâ mazę yĺnghô       ahmâi nę sazdyâi baodantô paiti

3 at tâ mainyű paouruyę       yâ yęmâ xvafnâ asrvâtem
manahi-câ vacahi-câ       shyaothanôi hî vahyô akem-câ
ĺs-câ hudĺnghô       eresh vîshyâtâ nôit duzhdĺnghô

4 at-câ hyat tâ hęm mainyű       jasaętem paourvîm dazdę
gaęm-câ ajyâitîm-câ       yathâ-câ anghat apęmem anghush
acishtô dregvatăm       at ashâunę vahishtem manô

5 ayĺ mainivĺ varatâ       yę dregvĺ acishtâ verezyô
ashem mainyush spęnishtô       yę xraozhdishtęng asęnô vastę
yaę-câ xshnaoshen ahurem       haithyâish shyaothanâish fraoret mazdăm

6 ayĺ nôit eresh vîshyâtâ       daęvâ-cinâ hyat îsh â-debaomâ
peresmaneng upâ-jasat       hyat verenâtâ acishtem manô
at aęshemem hęndvârentâ       yâ bănayen ahűm maretânô

7 ahmâi-câ xshathrâ jasat       mananghâ vohű ashâ-câ
at kehrpęm utayűitish       dadât ârmaitish ănmâ
aęshăm tôi â anghat       yathâ ayanghâ âdânâish paouruyô

8 at-câ yadâ aęshăm       kaęnâ jamaitî aęnanghăm
at mazdâ taibyô xshathrem       vohű mananghâ vôi-vîdaitî
aęibyô sastę ahurâ       yôi ashâi daden zastayô drujim

9 at-câ tôi vaęm hyâmâ       yôi îm ferashęm kerenaon ahűm
mazdĺs-câ ahurĺnghô       â-môyastrâ-baranâ ashâ-câ
hyat hathrâ manĺ bavat       yathrâ cistish anghat maęthâ

10 adâ zî avâ drűjô       avô-bavaitî skendô spayathrahyâ
at asishtâ yaojantę       â hushitôish vanghęush mananghô
mazdĺ ashahyâ-câ       yôi zazentî vanghâu sravahî

11 hyat tâ urvâtâ sashathâ       yâ mazdĺ dadât mashyĺnghô
xvîti-câ ęneitî       hyat-câ daregęm dregvô-debyô rashô
sava-câ ashavabyô       at aipî tâish anghaitî ushtâ

Translation

1   And I shall proclaim, O seekers [of Truth], those things
               which [are] to be borne in mind, even for one knowing [them already]:
    [Those] praises and hymns of Good Mind [to be sung] for the Lord and,
               attentive ones, for Truth,
    Which by [their] lights [will bring] joys beautiful to see.
     
2   Listen with [your] ears to the best things [said]
               [And] observe with [your] mind, radiant,
    The two alternatives of [your] choosing, each man for himself
    Being careful to announce us to Him1 before the great retribution.
     
3   There are two primeval spirits, twins who are revealed
               [to us] through dream.
    In mind, in speech, and even in deed they are better and bad:
    The good choose between them correctly, not the evil.
     
4   And what's more, when these two spirits came together
               at the beginning of the world,
    They bestowed [to it] both life and death. And likewise
    At the end, a life most wicked will arise for followers of the Lie,
               and the best thought [will arise] for the followers of Truth.
     
5   Of these two spirits, the one possessed of the Lie chose to execute
               the most wicked things, [but] the beneficent spirit,
    Who is clothed in the hardest stones, [chose] Truth,
    [Just as those men do now] who readily satisfy the Lord, the Wise One,
               with true actions.
     
6   The Daevas did not choose correctly whatsoever between these two,
               since Deception approached them [as they were] deliberating [between
               them].
    [And] since they chose the worst thought,
    They thereby rushed headlong unto [that very] wrath by which they [now] poison
               the life of mortal men.
     
7   Yet He1 goes unto him2 with power, Good Mind, and Truth,
    And youthful Armaiti gives [him] body [and] breath.
    [And each] of these things will arise for you, [too], just as through retribution
               by molten iron the former [followers of the Lie (?)
               will be punished].
     
8   And so, when the punishment of these sins will arrive
    Then dominion will finally obtain for You, O Wise One,
               through Good Thinking.
    [In order] to proclaim, O Lord, to those who will
               give Deceit over to the Truth in both hands.
     
9   Therefore, may we be the ones who would make existence vibrant,
    O Wise [Lord] and Lords, by means of the unbroken support [you have given?]
          to me2 and by means of Truth,
    So that our minds will remain unified whenever our judgment may be in doubt.
     
10   For then the destruction of the prosperity of Deceit will descend
    And the swiftest [steeds] will be yoked to the dwelling place of Good Mind,
    Which will race ahead unto the good fame of the Wise One and of Truth.
     
11   When you, O mortals, learn those rules which the Wise One has given,
    [When you learn that there is] freedom and constraint, and [likewise]
          long-lasting destruction for the Possessors of the Lie,
    But blessings for the Truthful, then through these things [you have learned]
          the things that you desire will arise.