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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 t vaxshy ishent       y mazdth hyat-ct vdush
staot-c ahuri       yesny-c vanghush manangh
humzdr ash ye-c       y raocbs daresat urvz

2 sraot gush-aish vahisht       a-vanat sc manangh
varen vcithahy       narm narem xvahyi tanuy
par maz yngh       ahmi n sazdyi baodant paiti

3 at t mainy paouruy       y ym xvafn asrvtem
manahi-c vacahi-c       shyaothani h vahy akem-c
s-c hudngh       eresh vshyt nit duzhdngh

4 at-c hyat t hm mainy       jasatem paourvm dazd
gam-c ajyitm-c       yath-c anghat apmem anghush
acisht dregvatm       at ashun vahishtem man

5 ay mainiv varat       y dregv acisht verezy
ashem mainyush spnisht       y xraozhdishtng asn vast
ya-c xshnaoshen ahurem       haithyish shyaothanish fraoret mazdm

6 ay nit eresh vshyt       dav-cin hyat sh -debaom
peresmaneng up-jasat       hyat verent acishtem man
at ashemem hndvrent       y bnayen ahm maretn

7 ahmi-c xshathr jasat       manangh voh ash-c
at kehrpm utayitish       dadt rmaitish nm
ashm ti anghat       yath ayangh dnish paouruy

8 at-c yad ashm       kan jamait ananghm
at mazd taiby xshathrem       voh manangh vi-vdait
aiby sast ahur       yi ashi daden zastay drujim

9 at-c ti vam hym       yi m ferashm kerenaon ahm
mazds-c ahurngh       -myastr-baran ash-c
hyat hathr man bavat       yathr cistish anghat math

10 ad z av drj       av-bavait skend spayathrahy
at asisht yaojant       hushitish vanghush manangh
mazd ashahy-c       yi zazent vanghu sravah

11 hyat t urvt sashath       y mazd dadt mashyngh
xvti-c neit       hyat-c daregm dregv-deby rash
sava-c ashavaby       at aip tish anghait usht

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.