Asho Zarathushtra and the Prize of Ten Pregnant Mares and One Camel!
Asho Zarathushtra and the Prize of Ten Pregnant Mares and One Camel!
Gatha ha 44.18:
Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathushtra is revered as a Renowned Yazad! It is so stated in Yasna (Ijeshne) ha 3 and 7 and also in various Yashts and prayers revealed in the Pak Avesta! He was not an ordinary human like us. The Pahlavi Dinkard describes Asho Zarathushtra as “ham-keherpi-e amashaspand”, i.e. One with the Ameshaspands! As an Immortal Divine Being, Asho Zarathushtrais completely attuned with Ahura Mazda’s Thoughts, Words and Deeds!
It follows that as a Spiritual Being, Asho Zarathushtra was not “born” to learn the lessons of life which we mortals require to; instead, He was sent by Ahura Mazda to teach us the Path to Asha, to Frashogard. Asho Zarathsuhtra is Appointed by Ahura Mazda as the “Ahu” and the “Ratu” of this physical world, geti (ha 29.6) and is held to be on the same spiritual level as the Holy Immortals, the Ameshaspands (Khordad Yasht, karda 1). Ahura Mazda announces that Asho Zarathushtra is the Only One, “aevo” (ha 29.8), who has heard His complete Sacred Manthra (Manthra Spenta is the Soul of Ahura Mazda as so stated in the Fravardin Yasht)! Here too, Ahura Mazda indicates that His Soul and Asho Zarathushtra’s Soul are “hamem” or in correlation with each other!
Asho Zarathuhstra’s “birth” as well as “death” was also different from what we humans experience! The Dinkard mentions that Asho Zarathushtra’s body was an energy-body, “veer-tan-kard”, specially created by the Amashaspands, from Ahura Mazda’s Own Celestial Light, as also indicated by the ball of fire emanating from the palm of His hand. The “death” of Asho Zarathushtra is also not “death” as we humans experience. After completing his Divine Mission of containing the dark forces of Tur-Bar-Atur (Angre-Mainyu), he re-ascended to the Abode of the Endless Light where Ahura Mazda resides! His disappearance is known as vihektan orvikhiz, i.e. ascension to “akhvan pahloom”, the Abode of Ahura Mazda, according to the Pahlavi Text, Dinkard!
Consequently, is it conceivable that One Who is an Immortal Divine Being, a Renowned Yazad, who knew the entire events of the past, present and future, would ask simple questions of Ahura Mazda, as revealed in the Ushtavad Gatha, ha 44, as to who created the stars, who made day and night, the phases of the Moon, etc. and would ask for the physical “prize” or “gift” of “10 pregnant mares and 1 camel”! Asho Zarathushtra, a Yazad, has no need for horses or camels! These gifts suggest that these must be spiritual gifts or some qualities which Asho Zarathushtra asks for and certainly not for himself but for his disciples! In the Gathas, Asho Zarathushtra irrefutably states that these Sacred Verses, the Gathas, are mystic and occult; “guzra senghaongho”, mystic, (Ha 48.3) and “razeng”, secret or occult, (Ha 50.6).
It undoubtedly follows that the prize of 10 pregnant horses and 1 camel does not indicate a “pastoral society” of the pre-historic Avestan time as some philologists have indicated! These animals signify some spiritual qualities, such as “sight” (extra ordinary ability to see beyond the physical veil) and “spiritual wisdom”. A camel is able to “see” through, and protect its eyes from severe sand storms! Camel indicates spiritual wisdom, wisdom which makes one “see” clearly the spiritual side of Nature, which is the gift of yaan or foreknowledge or insight into all the past, present and future eons! Horses suggest “thought power” or the strength of thought as used today to indicate speed – as in ‘horse power’! Clarity of vision and the strength of thoughts to materialize whatever is thought of, or wished for, is the reference to “horses”! These are the spiritual gifts/prizes that are asked for by Asho Zarathushtra for his disciples.
Stanza 44 of the Ushtavad Gatha is indeed very occult! The verses of ha 44 are in question/answer form. In ha 44.16 Sarosh Yazad, together with Vohu Mano, smites the foes by using the weapon of Manthra! “Ahunim vairim tanum paiti”, means the sacred Manthra give protection to the body against evil! In the Sacred Avesta, Sarosh Yazad is called “takhme tanu manthre”, Manthra (WORD) Incarnate! It is Sarosh Yazad who first recites the Gathas (mystic Manthra) to Asho Zarathsuhtra! Sarosh Yazad is “daeno diso”, the Teacher, the Revealer of the Religion through Manthra! Here, the disciple asks for a Teacher for guidance on the Path of Righteousness who will reveal the sacred Mathras and give protection against evil!
Ha 44.17, reveals that a righteous man, i.e. an Ashavan, will reach Khordad (Spiritual Perfection, “khaetwadath”) and Amardad (Immortality) only after acquiring the knowledge of the mystic Manthra. The disciple wishes to lead his life in accordance with the commandments of the Religion, written in “Thy Language of the Manthras”! Manthras emanate from Ahura Mazda Himself! As stated in ha 19, the Universe became manifest as soon as Ahura Mazda chanted the Ahunavar Manthra! Here, it is revealed that through the sacred Manthra, the Ashavan will maintain the authorized “paivand”, connection with Ahura Mazda which draws him closer to Him and to His Abode! Mystically this also indicates that the Ashavan who has already attained to a degree of piety, wishes to reach higher to become a “pasu-ratu”, a leader, a ruler over his own “kingdom”. The reference to the “kingdom” or “pasu”, i.e. animals, indicates the atoms, the “animals” which constitute the 9 parts into which the Soul is divided.
First, the Asho-Nar must get the full knowledge of, and unite with Manthra Spenta through Sarosh, Piety (Asha) and Vohu Mano! Only after becoming proficient in Manthra Spenta it is possible to attain to Khordad’s Perfection (acquire “tan pasin”, a spiritually perfected body of light to be able to attune with the Spiritual Beings and familiarize with the workings of the spiritual dimensions) and Amardad’s Immortality. Without Manthra there can be no “khaetwadath”, no immortality or the attainment of the Divine Union. This is why the Ashavan wishes to become a “pasu-ratu”, a leader, a ruler over his own “kingdom” by drawing into himself the 9 constituents into which his Soul is divided.
Ha 44.18, is the main verse in which the spiritual prize or gifts of the ten pregnant mares and one camel are asked for! One asking for the gifts is already an Ashavan, an “asho” + “nar” or a holy individual who wishes to progress still higher! The word “pregnant” means that the worship of Khordad and Amardad will bring forth a “spiritual result” so that the spiritual, semi-spiritual and physical components of the soul may get purified with the speed of a horse, drawing together the 9 separated constituents of his Soul into One whole “akhkhand” Ruvan (Soul)! Camel is divine wisdom. Therefore, these gifts from Khordad and Amardad will grant spiritual perfection and immortality through “khaetwadath”! The disciple, i.e. the Ashavan, will dedicate these two gifts to other pious men to help Asho Zarathushtra in His Divine Mission to defeat Evil so that Frashogard is attained. Mystically, the dedication of the gifts to others also indicates sharing these gifts with his own soul’s counterpart! Only when both counterparts of the Soul, the male as well as the female, reach spiritual perfection, the Spiritual Union of Khaethwadath takes place. In the next verse 44.19 it is revealed that the one who receives the two prizes does not share the same with other deserving ones gets punished! Therefore, the prize is mystic; it refers to spiritual attainment and has nothing to do with horses or camels!
A portion of the Ahunavad Gatha, Yasna 33.14 (included in the recitation of Atash Niyayesh), also reveals that Asho Zarathushtra unconditionally dedicates the best fruits of his ‘self’, his entire being, to Ahura Mazda who is the greatest SELF. Only by surrendering ‘self’ to the “SELF”, to His Divine Will, can we finally unite with Ahura Mazda in life everlasting! This is the message of ha 44.18 wherein the prize of 10 pregnant horses and 1 camel is received through piety and chanting of Manthra. These prizes are from Khordad and Amardad and are dedicated, “given” to others by Asho Zarathushtra and by His disciples who receive these gifts!
About the numbers 1 and 10, the numeral 1 stands for the Lord Almighty, Ahura Mazda, who is the Supreme Ruler and Creator of the Universe. 0 (zero) indicates infinity, without a beginning or end, and suggests going back to the source. The numbers from 0 to 10 have specific meanings and the number 10 indicates the highest attainable perfection. While the righteous Ashavans and Kings had perfected their spiritual powers for righteousness, Zohak and other evil doers had attained to the strength of thought or perfection for the wrong path, the path of evil. In the Pak Avesta (e.g. Behram Yasht), Zohak is called “Azidahak”. “Azi” means snake; “dahak” means the numeral 10; consequently, Azidahak or Zohak had attained perfection in every evil thought, word and deed. Therefore, the two prizes of 10 pregnant horses and 1 camel is mystic as mentioned in ha 44.18!
As noted, number 10 indicates Perfection! The 10 pregnant mares or horses also indicate the physical as well as the spiritual senses which are required for one to progress on the Path to Perfection and Immortality! There are 5 physical senses which humans possess but there are additional 5 spiritual senses, totalling 10 senses in all! The 5 physical senses are: smell, touch, seeing, hearing and taste. These physical senses, if not controlled, tend to lead a person astray. These are controlled by the “mind” which is dualistic. Therefore, these have to be controlled through Obedience (Spenta Armaity) in the teachings of the Religion, also through Asha and Vohu Mano!
The 5 additional spiritual senses are: 1) clairvoyance and 2) clairaudience, which together lead to the knowledge of the past, present and future; 3) moving any objects to long distances through the mastery of concentrated thought; 4) to manifest shapes/forms at will through the spiritual power of thought, (i.e. animate “thought forms”) and 5) the ability to appear and disappear at will and also to take any shape or form at will. The highest spiritual sense or gift is to split one’s physical atoms and disappear from the physical world as Kai Khusrov Padshah is known to have done and is called ‘Nazar Gayeb’, “disappeared from sight”. It is also the same with Asho Zarathushtra who split the atoms of His Yazatic Body, “vihektan” and went straight to “akhvan pahloom” or the Abode of Light where Ahura Mazda resides. Nothing has been stated, directly or indirectly, in the Holy Avesta about the ‘death’ or the passing away of Asho Zarathushtra. The special term used in Pahlavi for the passing away of Paigambar Saheb is: “vihiz-i-zartusht”, i.e. “rising up of Zartusht, or ascension of Zartusht”.
Please teach our children who Asho Zarathushtra is so they may learn to revere our Paigambar Saheb as well as our Mazdayasni Zarathushti Din, the Din (Religion) which is “Din-e Ahura Mazda”, Ahura Mazda’s Own which He Himself revealed to Asho Zarathushtra! After all, our Din is not just an ordinary Book based on the rules of philology; it is not just a moral code of conduct; it is not a philosophy to be studied, discussed and dissected. It is Din, in charge of Din Yazad, a Divine Being! “Din” is also called Daena, our conscience. Our Great Mazdayasni Zarathushti Din is forever stamped in our conscience by Din Yazad! Our Din is aliving Yazatic Entity! Let us revere it with faith, devotion and submission!
Unfortunately, while all our children know when Lord Jesus Christ was born (on Christmas day), not all know that our own Paigambar Saheb, a Divine Being, a Yazad, was born on Khordadsal which is the most auspicious day for all Parsi/Irani Zarathushtis!
I have taken the explanation of ha 44.18 from Dr. Saheb Faramroze S. Chiniwalla’s Ushtavad Gatha, Book No. 2, Yajeshne ha 44, Bombay 2010 Published by Jarthoshti Ilm-e Kshnoom Felavnari Committee, Dini Avaz Committee and Parsi Pukar Committee. Also from Ervad Kavasji Edalji Kanga, Gatha-Ba-Maani, Bombay 1997.
Pervin J. Mistry