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The Zend Avesta, Part II (SBE23), James Darmesteter, tr. [1882], at

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This Yast to the Moon is recited on the day of the Moon, and on those of Bahman, Gôs, and Râm 1 (Anquetil, II, 185). Bah-man and Gôs are so far connected with the Moon that all three are gaokithra: 'Bahman 2, the Moon, and Gôs 3, all three, are having in them the seed of the bull; Bahman can neither be seen nor seized with the hand; the Moon proceeded from Bahman 4 and can be seen, but cannot be seized with the hand; Gôs proceeded from the Moon 5 and can both be seen and seized with the hand 6.' Râm is referred to here as being hvâstra, 'lord of good pastures 7.'

Of this Yast we have translations in Pahlavi, Persian, and Sanskrit (edited in Études Iraniennes, II).


0. May Ahura Mazda be rejoiced! . . . .

Ashem Vohû: Holiness is the best of all good . . . .

I confess myself a worshipper of Mazda, a follower of Zarathustra, one who hates the Daêvas and obeys the laws of Ahura; For sacrifice, prayer, propitiation, and glorification unto [Hâvani], the holy and master of holiness . . . .

Unto the Moon that keeps in it the seed of the

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[paragraph continues] Bull; unto the only-created Bull and unto the Bull 1 of many species;

Be propitiation, with sacrifice, prayer, propitiation, and glorification.

Yathâ ahû vairyô: The will of the Lord is the law of holiness . . . .

1. Hail to Ahura Mazda! Hail to the Amesha-Spentas! Hail to the Moon that keeps in it the seed of the Bull 2! Hail to thee when we look at thee! Hail to thee when thou lookest at us 3!

2. How does the moon wax? How does the moon wane?

For fifteen days does the moon wax 4; for fifteen days does the moon wane. As long as her waxing, so long is the waning 5; as long as her waning, so long is the waxing.

'Who is there but thee 6 who makes the moon wax and wane 7?'

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3. We sacrifice unto the Moon that keeps in it the seed of the Bull, the holy and master of holiness.

Here I look at the moon, here I perceive the moon; here I look at the light of the moon, here I perceive the light of the moon. The Amesha-Spentas stand up 1, holding its glory; the Amesha-Spentas stand up, pouring its glory upon the earth, made by Mazda 2.

4. And when the light of the moon waxes warmer, golden-hued plants grow on 3 from the earth during the spring 4.

We sacrifice unto the new moons, the full moons, and the Vîshaptathas 5.

We sacrifice unto the new moon, the holy and master of holiness;

We sacrifice unto the full moon, the holy and master of holiness;

We sacrifice unto the Vîshaptatha, the holy and master of holiness.

; it has the same meaning in Vend. XVIII, 9 [23]; cf. Yt. XXII, 18.}

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5. I will sacrifice unto the Moon, that keeps in it the seed of the Bull, the liberal, bright, glorious, water-giving 1, warmth-giving, wisdom-giving 2, wealth-giving 3, riches-giving, thoughtfulness-giving 4, weal-giving, freshness-giving 5, prosperity-giving 6, the liberal, the healing.

6. For its brightness and glory, I will offer unto it a sacrifice worth being heard, namely, unto the Moon that keeps in it the seed of the Bull.

Unto the Moon that keeps in it the seed of the Bull, we offer up the libations, the Haoma and meat, the baresma, the wisdom of the tongue, the holy spells, the speech, the deeds, the libations, and the rightly-spoken words.

nhê Ham: All those beings of whom Ahura Mazda . . . .

7. Yathâ ahû vairyô: The will of the Lord is the law of holiness . . . .

I bless the sacrifice and prayer, and the strength and vigour of the Moon, that keeps in it the seed of the Bull, and of the only-created Bull, and of the Bull of many species.

Ashem Vohû: Holiness is the best of all good.

Give unto that man brightness and glory, give him health of body, . . . . give him the bright, all-happy, blissful abode of the holy Ones.


88:1 The 12th, 2nd, 14th, and 21st days of the month.

88:2 The Amshaspand Bahman is entrusted with the care of cattle (Vend. XIX, 20, note 8).

88:3 The Genius of Cattle; see Yt. IX.

88:4 Bahman is 'good thought, good mind,' Vohu-Manô; in the Vedas the moon is said to have been made out of the mind (manas) of Purusa. For an explanation of that old mystical myth, see Ormazd et Ahriman, p. 74, note 3.

88:5 See Vend. XXI, 9 [51], note 4.

88:6 Pahlavi commentary to this Yast, I.

88:7 Vend. Introd. IV, 16, and Études Iraniennes, II, 187 seq.

89:1 Sîrôzah I, 12.

89:2 See Vend. XXI, 1, text and note.

89:3 When the moon allows itself to be perceived.

89:4 The Pahlavi translation has the following interesting details: 'For fifteen days they take good deeds from the earthly creatures and the rewards for virtue from the heavens; for fifteen days they make the rewards pass to the earth and the good deeds pass to the heavens.' The moon is thus a sort of moral clearing-house between earth and heaven.

89:5 According to the Parsis this waning does not refer to the moon, but to the constellations that help it in the struggle against the planets, which are supposed to belong to the Ahrimanian world (see Ormazd et Ahriman, §§ 223-226): 'while it waxes—namely, the moon—they wane,—namely, those that are opposed to the planets, to the bad stars; for instance, Haftôiring, Vanand, Tistar, Satvês; . . . . while it wanes—namely, the moon—they wax, that is to say, they are strong for doing good.' Thus the moon and the stars relieve each other in the battle against Ahriman.

89:6 Ahura.

89:7 Quoted from Yasna XLIV [XLIII], 3.

90:1 As soon as the moon appears.

90:2 Cf. Yt. VI, 2.

90:3 Misti, meaning sadâ, cf. mi-sâki.

90:4 Zaremaêm, meaning vasantamâse, 09001

90:5 New moon and full moon are not used here in the English meaning: the month was divided into six parts, of five days each (the Norse fimt or five days’ week; see Vigfusson, Icelandic Dictionary, s. v.): the first five days (pankak fartûm) formed the new moon or antare-maungha, literally 'the moon within;' the next five days (pankak datîgar) formed the perenô-maungha, literally 'the moon full,' which in fact partly answered to our first quarter; the next five days (pankak sitîgar), belonging to the full moon, were called the Vîshaptatha; no mention is made of the last three pankak, forming the second half of the month. It may be they were not mentioned, as belonging to the waning period, when the powers of the moon are suffering an eclipse. Cf. Neriosengh to Yasna I, (23.)

91:1 Or possessing: giving may be replaced by possessing in this word as in the following.

91:2 Varekanghantem: dânâk (Phl.); gñânitaram (Sansk.).

91:3 Khstâvantem: lakshmîvantam (Sansk.).

91:4 Yaokhstivantem, 'pondering on what good is to be done' (vikâryavantam kâryanyâyânâm; ).

91:5 Zairimyâvantem: haritavarnavantam, kila prithivî(m) sârdratarâm karoti (Sansk.).

91:6 Vohvâvantern: uttamasam.iddhimantam (Sansk.).

Next: VIII. Tîr Yast