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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 aṯ tā vaxšyā išəntō       yā mazdāθā hyaṯ-cīṯ vīdušē
staotā-cā ahurāi       yesnyā-cā vaŋhə̄uš manaŋhō
humązdrā ašā ye-cā       yā raocə̄bīs darəsatā urvāzā

2 sraotā gə̄uš-aiš vahištā       a-vaēnatā sūcā manaŋhā
āvarənå vīciθahyā       narə̄m narəm xvah́yāi tanuyē
parā mazə̄ yåŋhō       ahmāi nə̄ sazdyāi baodantō paiti

3 aṯ tā mainyū paouruyē       yā yə̄mā xvafnā asrvātəm
manahi-cā vacahi-cā       šyaoθanōi hī vahyō akəm-cā
ås-cā hudåŋhō       ərəš vīšyātā nōiṯ duždåŋhō

4 aṯ-cā hyaṯ tā hə̄m mainyū       jasaētəm paourvīm dazdē
gaēm-cā ajyāitīm-cā       yaθā-cā aŋhaṯ apə̄məm aŋhuš
acištō drəgvatąm       aṯ ašāunē vahištəm manō

5 ayå mainivå varatā       yə̄ drəgvå acištā vərəzyō
ašəm mainyuš spə̄ništō       yə̄ xraoždištə̄ng asə̄nō vastē
yaē-cā xšnaošən ahurəm       haiθyāiš šyaoθanāiš fraorəṯ mazdąm

6 ayå nōiṯ ərəš vīšyātā       daēvā-cinā hyaṯ īš ā-dəbaomā
pərəsmanəng upā-jasaṯ       hyaṯ vərənātā acištəm manō
aṯ aēšəməm hə̄ndvārəntā       yā bąnayən ahūm marətānō

7 ahmāi-cā xšaθrā jasaṯ       manaŋhā vohū ašā-cā
aṯ kəhrpə̄m utayūitiš       dadāṯ ārmaitiš ąnmā
aēšąm tōi ā aŋhaṯ       yaθā ayaŋhā ādānāiš paouruyō

8 aṯ-cā yadā aēšąm       kaēnā jamaitī aēnaŋhąm
aṯ mazdā taibyō xšaθrəm       vohū manaŋhā vōi-vīdaitī
aēibyō sastē ahurā       yōi ašāi dadən zastayō drujim

9 aṯ-cā tōi vaēm h́yāmā       yōi īm fərašə̄m kərənaon ahūm
mazdås-cā ahuråŋhō       ā-mōyastrā-baranā ašā-cā
hyaṯ haθrā manå bavaṯ       yaθrā cistiš aŋhaṯ maēθā

10 adā zī avā drūjō       avō-bavaitī skəndō spayaθrahyā
aṯ asištā yaojantē       ā hušitōiš vaŋhə̄uš manaŋhō
mazdå ašah́yā-cā       yōi zazəntī vaŋhāu sravahī

11 hyaṯ tā urvātā sašaθā       yā mazdå dadāṯ mašyåŋhō
xvīti-cā ə̄nəitī       hyaṯ-cā darəgə̄m drəgvō-dəbyō rašō
sava-cā ašavabyō       aṯ aipī tāiš aŋhaitī uštā

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.