Gathas

From The SpiritWiki

The Gathas are a collection of seventeen poems/hymns, created by Zarathustra and handed down by word-of-mouth for generation. They (along with oral teachings derived from his community teaching) were finally committed to writing under the Sasanians, rulers of the 3rd Iranian empire.[1]

Terms

Asha, Doctrine of the Three Times, Drug, Druh, Frashokereti, Gathas, Mithra, Vohu Manah, Zoroaster

Non-LP Related Terms

Gathas >

Related LP Terms

Gathas > Connection Framework

Notes

The Gathas were poems in an ancient form of poetry traced ("through Norse parallels) to Indo-European times." [2]

The poems were Mantic Poems in a "mantic tradition...cultivated by priestly seers who sought to express in lofty words their personal apprehension of the divine; and it is marked by subtleties of allusion, and great richness and complexity of style."[3]

The Gathas, which were all about social justice, and very anti-elite, where eventually co-opted by priests of the Sassanian empire, under Ardashir, about 224 A.C. According to Boyce, "Ardashir was not only a military genius, but a man of great shrewdness and administrative talents, who was prepared to use bloodless means as well as warlike ones to establish his rule and create a new Persian empire; and one of the tools which he chose for this was religious propoganda. There can be little doubt that the priests of Persia, whose forefather had led to Zoroastrian community under the Achaemenians, felt themselvs well fitted to do so again; and they plainly undertook with zeal the task of persuading their fellow Iranians that they, together with the new dynasty to which they lent their support, were more devout and orthodix, and would be truer upholders of the faith, than their Parthian predecessors had been." [4]

How did it happen? Ardashir consolidated the teaching under an orthodox that he determined because he was "more richly endowed with virtues than the ancients..." and that the faith had "decayed" and thus needed to be restored by a man of "true and upright judgment..." "Full license was thus claimed for Ardashir to make what changes he pleased..." [5] The license to interpret was "courageously opposed" but was met with "excessive bloodshed...among those acting against his judgment and decree."

"...in place of the former fraternity of regional communities, a single Zoroastrian church was created under the direct and authoritarian control of Persia; and together with this went the establishment of a single canon of Avestan text, approved and authorized by Tanser...Tanser set about his business and selected one (?) tradition and left the rest out of the canon. And he issued this decree: The interpretation of all the teachings of the Mazda-worshipping religion is our responsibility." [6]

Footnotes

  1. Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge, 2001. p. 17
  2. Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge, 2001. p. 17
  3. Boyce,l Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge, 2001. p. 17
  4. Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge, 2001. p. 101-102
  5. Boyce,Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge, 2001. p. 102-103.
  6. Boyce,Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge, 2001. p. 103.