Mihr Yasht

Avesta: Khorda Avesta

10. MIHR YASHT ("Hymn to Mithra")

This digital edition copyright © 1995 by Joseph H. Peterson. All rights reserved.

Translated by James Darmesteter (From Sacred Books of the East, American Edition, 1898.) Spelling has been normalized to conform with other texts in this series. 


This Yasht, one of the longest of the Avesta and one of the most interesting in a literary point of view, is not very instructive for mythology. It consists of long descriptive pieces, sometimes rather spirited, and of fervent prayers and invocations for mercy or protection. Originally Mithra was the god of the heavenly light (§§ 12, 50, 67, 104, 124 seq., 136 seq., etc.); and in that character he knows the truth, as he sees everything; he is therefore taken as a witness of truth, he is the preserver of oaths and good faith (§§ 2, 44 seq., 79 seq., 81 seq., etc.); he chastises those who break their promises and lie to Mithra, destroys their houses, and smites them in battle (§§ 17 seq., 28 seq., 35 seq., 47 seq., 99 seq., 105 seq., 112 seq., 128 seq., etc.).

Particularly interesting are §§ 115-118, as giving a sketch of moral hierarchy in Iran, and §§ 121-122, as being perhaps the source of the trials in the later Roman Mithraism. Cf. Vend. Intro. IV, 8 and Ormazd et Ahriman, §§ 59-61. 




0. May Ahura Mazda be rejoiced!....
Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good....
I confess myself a worshipper of Mazda, a follower of Zarathushtra, one who hates the Daevas, and obeys the laws of Ahura;
For sacrifice, prayer, propitiation, and glorification unto [Havani], the holy and master of holiness....
Notes:
Unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, who has a thousand ears, ten thousand eyes, a Yazata invoked by his own name, and unto Rama Hvastra,1
Be propitiation, with sacrifice, prayer, propitiation, and glorification. 
Yatha ahu vairyo: The will of the Lord is the law of holiness....
1. Sirozah 1.16.

I.

1. Ahura Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathushtra, saying: 'Verily, when I created Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, O Spitama! I created him as worthy of sacrifice, as worthy of prayer as myself, Ahura Mazda.2 2. Cf. Yt8.50.
2. 'The ruffian who lies unto Mithra3 brings death unto the whole country, injuring as much the faithful world as a hundred evil-doers4 could do. Break not the contract, O Spitama! neither the one that thou hadst entered into with one of the unfaithful, nor the one that thou hadst entered into with one of the faithful who is one of thy own faith.5 For Mithra stands for both the faithful and the unfaithful. 3. The Mithra-druj: one might also translate 'who breaks the contract,' as mithra, as a common noun, means 'a contract.'

4. Kayadhas; cf Yt1.19.

5. Cf. Arda Viraf, chap. 52.
3. 'Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, gives swiftness to the horses of those who lie not unto Mithra. 
'Fire, the son of Ahura Mazda, gives the straightest way to those who lie not unto Mithra.
'The good, strong, beneficent Fravashis of the faithful give a virtuous offspring to those who lie not unto Mithra.
4. 'For his brightness and glory, I will offer unto him a sacrifice worth being heard, namely, unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures. 
'We offer up libations unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, who gives a happy dwelling and a good dwelling to the Aryan nations.
5. 'May he come to us for help! May he come to us for ease! May he come to us for joy! May he come to us for mercy! May he come to us for health! May he come to us for victory! May he come to us for good conscience!6 May he come to us for bliss!7 he, the awful and overpowering, worthy of sacrifice and prayer, not to be deceived anywhere in the whole of the material world, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures. 6. Cheerfulness at the head of the Chinwad bridge (Yasna 62.6 [61.17]; cf. Vend. 18.6).

7. The condition of the blessed in the next world.
6. 'I will offer up libations unto him, the strong Yazata, the powerful Mithra, most beneficent to the creatures: I will apply unto him with charity8 and prayers: I will offer up a sacrifice worth being heard unto him, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, with the Haoma and meat, with the baresma, with the wisdom of the tongue, with the holy spells, with the speech, with the deeds, with the libations, and with the rightly-spoken words. 8. Vanta, 'assistance, that is, making jâdangôi' (Yasna 62.1); jâdangôi is making a collection for the poor (Études Iraniennes, II, 155.)
'Yenhe hatam: All those beings of whom Ahura Mazda....9 9. As Yt1.22. [Yenghe Hatam prayer is imitated fromY51.22.]

II.

7. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, who is truth-speaking, a chief in assemblies, with a thousand ears, well-shapen, with ten thousand eyes, high, with full knowledge,10 strong, sleepless, and ever awake;11 10. Perethu-vaêdhayanasampûrnavittâram kâryanyâyânam Ny1.6

11. jaghhâurvaunghem: this word, strangely enough, is generally translated 'who has most strong arms' (balishthabhujam); jagâuru is translated in the same way.
8. 'To whom the chiefs of nations offer up sacrifices, as they go to the field, against havocking hosts, against enemies coming in battle array, in the strife of conflicting nations.
9. 'On whichever side he has been worshipped first in the fulness of faith of a devoted heart, to that side turns Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, with the fiend-smiting wind, with the cursing thought of the wise.12
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....
12. Sr1.30. 'The blessing (âfriti) is twofold: one by thought, one by words; the blessing by words is more powerful; the curse (upamana) in thought is the more powerful' (Neriosengh ad Yasna I.15). Upamana is the same as the Vedic manyu.

III.

10. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake.
11. 'Whom the horsemen worship on the back of their horses, begging swiftness for their teams, health for their own bodies, and that they may watch with full success those who hate them, smite down their foes, and destroy at one stroke their adversaries, their enemies, and those who hate them.13
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....
13. Cf. Yt5.53Yt10.94.

IV.

12. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
13. 'Who first of the heavenly gods reaches over the Hara14, before the undying, swift-horsed sun15who, foremost in a golden array, takes hold of the beautiful summits, and from thence looks over the abode of the Aryans with a beneficent eye. 14. Mount Alburz, whence the sun rises; see § 50.

15. Mithra is closely connected with the sun, but not yet identical with it, as he became in later times (Pers. mhr, the sun; Deo invicto Soli Mithrae).
14. 'Where the valiant chiefs draw up their many troops in array;16 where the high mountains, rich in pastures and waters, yield plenty to the cattle;17 where the deep lakes, with salt waters, stand;18 where wide-flowing rivers swell and hurry towards Ishkata and Pouruta, Mouru and Haroyu, the Gava-Sughdha and Hvairizem;19 16. In the flat countries.

17. In the mountainous parts of Iran.

18. In the lake regions (Seistan, Farsistan, Adarbaijan [Azarbaijan]). 19. In the country of the large rivers in the East. Mouru is Marv (Margiana), with the Murghab river (the Margus); Haroyu is the Herat country, with the Hararud; Gava-Sugdha and Hvarizm are Sogdiana and Khwarizm, with the Oxus. The situation of Ishkata and Pouruta is not clear: one might think of Alexander eschata on the Iaxartes and the Paretacene country between the Oxus and the Iaxartes.
15. 'On Arezahi and Sawahi, on Fradadhafshu and Widadhafshu, on Wouru-bareshti and Wourujareshti, on this bright karshwar of Xwaniratha20, the abode of cattle, the dwelling of cattle, the powerful Mithra looks with a health-bringing eye; 20. The earth is divided into seven karshwars, separated from one another by seas and mountains impassable to men. Arezahi and Sawahi are the western and the eastern karshwars; Fradadhafshu and Widadhafshu are in the south; Wouru-bareshti and Wourujareshti are in the north; Xwaniratha is the central karshwar. Zwaniratha is the only karshwar inhabited by man (Bundahishn 11.3).
16. 'He who moves along all the karshwars, a Yazata unseen, and brings glory; he who moves along all the karshwars, a Yazata unseen, and brings sovereignty; and increases21 strength for victory to those who, with a pious intent, holily offer him libations.

'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

21. Doubtful.

V.

17. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Unto whom nobody must lie, neither the master of a house, nor the lord of a borough, nor the lord of a town, nor the lord of a province.
18. 'If the master of a house lies unto him, or the lord of a borough, or the lord of a town, or the lord of a province, then comes Mithra, angry and offended, and he breaks asunder the house, the borough, the town, the province; and the masters of the houses, the lords of the boroughs, the lords of the towns, the lords of the provinces, and the foremost men of the provinces.
19. 'On whatever side there is one who has lied unto Mithra, on that side Mithra stands forth, angry and offended, and his wrath22 is slow to relent.23 22. Mainyu, in the meaning of the Sanskrit manyu (?).

23. Doubtful; aspachat: cf. [Pers.] spuxtn, to be late.
20. 'Those who lie unto Mithra, however swift they may be running, cannot overtake;24 riding, cannot ....; driving, cannot ..... The spear that the foe of Mithra flings, darts backwards, for the number of the evil spells that the foe of Mithra works out.25 24. Apayêinti, frastanvainti, framayêintê: these are three technical words for the movements of the three classes of soldiers, footmen, horsemen, and chariot-men; the last two words are probably synonymous with the first, but the exact shades of meaning are not known. Mr. West suggests, cannot outrun, outride, outdrive him.

25. The sacramental words of the contract, by their not being kept, turn to evil spells against the contract-breaker.
21. 'And even though the spear be flung well, even though it reach the body, it makes no wound, for the number of the evil spells that the foe of Mithra works out.26 The wind drives away the spear that the foe of Mithra flings, for the number of the evil spells that the foe of Mithra works out.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

26. The sacramental words of the contract, by their not being kept, turn to evil spells against the contract-breaker.

VI.

22. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who takes out of distress the man who has not lied unto him, who takes him out of death.

23. 'Take us out of distress, take us out of distresses, O Mithra! as we have not lied unto thee. Thou bringest down terror upon the bodies of the men who lie unto Mithra; thou takest away the strength from their arms, being angry and all-powerful; thou takest the swiftness from their feet, the eye-sight from their eyes, the hearing from their ears.

24. 'Not the wound27 of the well-sharpened spear or of the flying arrow reaches that man to whom Mithra comes for help with all the strength of his soul, he, of the ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-seeing, undeceivable Mithra. 27. Doubtful: shanamayô, or shanamaoyô; read shanmaoyô (?), from shan, Sansk. kshan.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

VII.

25. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;

'Who is lordly, deep, strong, and weal-giving; a chief in assemblies, pleased with prayers,28 high, holily clever, the incarnate Word, a warrior with strong arms; 28. Vahmô-sendah; cf. Visperad 8 (IX, 1), Phl. tr.
26. 'Who breaks the skulls of the Daevas, and is most cruel in exacting pains; the punisher of the men who lie unto Mithra, the withstander of the Pairikas; who, when not deceived, establisheth nations in supreme strength; who, when not deceived, establisheth nations in supreme victory;
27. 'Who confounds the ways of the nation that delights in havoc, who turns away their Glory,29 takes away their strength for victory, blows them away helpless,30 and delivers them unto ten thousand strokes; he, of the ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-seeing, undeceivable Mithra. 29. Their khwarenah [khwarrah].

30. Doubtful.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

VIII.

28. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;

'Who upholds the columns of the lofty house and makes its pillars31 solid; who gives herds of oxen and male children to that house in which he has been satisfied; he breaks to pieces those in which he has been offended. 31. Ãithya; cf. Lat. antae (Brugmann).
29. 'Thou, O Mithra! art both bad and good to nations; thou, O Mithra! art both bad and good to men; thou, O Mithra! keepest in thy hands both peace and trouble for nations.
30. 'Thou makest houses large, beautiful with women, beautiful with chariots, with well-laid foundations,32and high above their groundwork;33 thou makest that house lofty, beautiful with women, beautiful with chariots, with well-laid foundations, and high above its groundwork, of which the master, pious and holding libations in his hand, offers thee a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name and with the proper words. 32. Doubtful.

33. Doubtful.
31. 'With a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name, with the proper words will I offer thee libations, O powerful Mithra!
'With a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name, with the proper words will I offer thee libations, O most beneficent Mithra!
'With a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name, with the proper words will I offer thee libations, O thou undeceivable Mithra!
32. 'Listen unto our sacrifice,34 O Mithra! Be thou pleased with our sacrifice, O Mithra! Come and sit at our sacrifice! Accept our libations! Accept them as they have been consecrated!35 Gather them together with love and lay them in the Garo-nmana!36. 34. Cf. Yt3.18.

35. By the proper prayers (yashtau).

36. [garothman, i.e. Heaven. -JHP]
33. 'Grant us these boons which we beg of thee, O powerful god! in accordance37 with the words of revelation, namely, riches, strength, and victory, good conscience and bliss,38 good fame and a good soul; wisdom and the knowledge that gives happiness,39 the victorious strength given by Ahura, the crushing Ascendant of Asha Vahishta, and conversation (with God) on the Holy Word.40 37. Doubtful.

38. Cf. § 5.

39. Spiritual happiness, bliss.

40. Vd18.51 [III].
34. 'Grant that we, in a good spirit and high spirit, exalted in joy and a good spirit, may smite all our foes; that we, in a good spirit and high spirit, exalted in joy and a good spirit, may smite all our enemies; that we, in a good spirit and high spirit, exalted in joy and a good spirit, may smite all the malice of Daevas and Men, of the Yatus and Pairikas, of the oppressors, the blind, and the deaf.41 
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

41. See above, Yt1.10, note 3. §§ 30-34 = §§56-59.

IX.

35. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;

'Victory-making42, army-governing, endowed with a thousand senses43; power-wielding, power-possessing, and all-knowing; 42. Doubtful (reading arenat-jaêsha?).

43. See § 82, note.
36. 'Who sets the battle a going, who stands against (armies) in battle, who, standing against (armies) in battle, breaks asunder the lines arrayed. The wings of the columns gone to battle shake, and he throws terror upon the centre of the havocking host.
37. 'He can bring and does bring down upon them distress and fear; he throws down the heads of those who lie to Mithra, he takes off the heads of those who lie unto Mithra.
38. 'Sad is the abode, unpeopled with children, where abide men who lie unto Mithra, and, verily, the fiendish killer of faithful men. The grazing cow goes a sad straying way, driven along the vales44 of the Mithradrujes: they45 stand on the road, letting tears run over their chins46. 44. Doubtful.

45. The cattle.

46. The meaning is, that the cattle of the Mithradrujes do not thrive, and that their pasture fields are waste.
39. 'Their falcon-feathered arrows, shot from the string of the well-bent bow, fly towards the mark, and hit it not, as Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, angry, offended, and unsatisfied, comes and meets them.
'Their spears, well whetted and sharp, their long spears fly from their hands towards the mark, and hit it not, as Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, angry, offended, and unsatisfied, comes and meets them.
40. 'Their swords, well thrust and striking at the heads of men, hit not the mark, as Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, angry, offended, and unsatisfied, comes and meets them.
'Their clubs, well falling and striking at the heads of men, hit not the mark, as Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, angry, offended, and unsatisfied, comes and meets them.
41. 'Mithra strikes fear into them; Rashnu47 strikes a counter-fear into them48; the holy Sraosha blows them away from every side towards the two Yazatas, the maintainers of the world.49 They make the ranks of the army melt away, as Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, angry, offended, and unsatisfied, comes and meets them.50 47. See Yt12.

48. As they flee from Mithra, they fall into the hands of Rashnu.

49. Thrâtâra; one might feel inclined to read thrâstâra, 'the fear-striking;' cf. § 36.

50. Cf. § 99-101
42. 'They cry unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, saying: "O Mithra, thou lord of wide pastures! here are our fiery horses taking us away, as they flee from Mithra; here are our sturdy arms cut to pieces by the sword, O Mithra!"

43. 'And then Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, throws them to the ground, killing their fifties and their hundreds, their hundreds and their thousands, their thousands and their tens of thousands, their tens of thousands and their myriads of myriads; as Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, is angry and offended.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

X.

44. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;

'Whose dwelling, wide as the earth, extends over the material world, large51, unconfined51, and bright, a far-and-wide-extending abode. 51. Doubtful. The text is corrupt.

45. 'Whose eight friends52 sit as spies for Mithra, on all the heights, at all the watching-places, observing the man who lies unto Mithra, looking at those, remembering those who have lied unto Mithra, but guarding the ways of those whose life is sought by men who lie unto Mithra, and, verily, by the fiendish killers of faithful men. 52. Doubtful. The number eight has probably an astronomical signification, each of the eight râtis of Mithra occupying one of the eight points of the compass.
46. 'Helping and guarding, guarding behind and guarding in front, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, proves an undeceivable spy and watcher for the man to whom he comes to help with all the strength of his soul, he of the ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-knowing, undeceivable god.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

XI.

47. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'A god of high renown and old age53, whom wide-hoofed horses carry against havocking hosts, against enemies coming in battle array, in the strife of conflicting nations54.
53. Doubtful.

54. Cf. § 8.
48. 'And when Mithra drives along towards the havocking hosts, towards the enemies coming in battle array, in the strife of the conflicting nations, then he binds the hands of those who have lied unto Mithra, he confounds their eye-sight, he takes the hearing from their ears; they can no longer move their feet; they can no longer withstand those people, those foes, when Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, bears them ill-will.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

XII.

49. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
50. 'For whom the Maker, Ahura Mazda, has built up a dwelling on the Hara Berezaiti, the bright mountain around which the many (stars) revolve55, where come neither night nor darkness, no cold wind and no hot wind, no deathful sickness, no uncleanness made by the Daevas, and the clouds cannot reach up unto the Haraiti Bareza56; 55. Bundahishn 5.3 seq.; cf. Yt12.13#section5 and Yt10.13.

56. The Haraiti Bareza is the same as Hara Berezaiti.
51. 'A dwelling that all the Amesha-Spentas, in one accord with the sun, made for him in the fulness of faith of a devoted heart, and he survevs the whole of the material world from the Haraiti Bareza.
52. 'And when there rushes a wicked worker of evil, swiftly, with a swift step, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, goes and yokes his horses to his chariot, along with the holy, powerful Sraosha and Nairyo-sangha,57 who strikes a blow that smites the army, that smites the strength of the malicious.58
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

57. Sirozah 1.9, notes 4 and 5.

58. Doubtful (mâyaosh).

XIII.

53. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
54. 'Who, with hands lifted up, ever cries unto Ahura Mazda, saying: "I am the kind keeper of all creatures, I am the kind maintainer of all creatures; yet men worship me not with a sacrifice in which I am invoked by my own name, as they worship the other gods with sacrifices in which they are invoked by their own names.
5559. '"If men would worship me with a sacrifice in which I were invoked by my own name, as they worship the other Yazatas with sacrifices in which they are invoked by their own names, then I would come to the faithful at the appointed time; I would come in the appointed time of my beautiful, immortal life." 59. Cf. Yt8.11, 24, and Yt10.74.
5660. 'But the pious man, holding libations in his hands, does worship thee with a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name, and with the proper words.
'With a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name, with the proper words will I offer thee libations, O powerful Mithra!
'With a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name, with the proper words will I offer thee libations, O most beneficent Mithra!
'With a sacrifice, in which thou art invoked by thy own name, with the proper words will I offer thee libations, O thou undeceivable Mithra!
60. §§ 56-59 = §§ 30-34.
57. 'Listen unto our sacrifice, 'O Mithra! Be thou pleased with our sacrifice, O Mithra! Come and sit at our sacrifice! Accept our libations! Accept them as they have been consecrated! Gather them together with love and lay them in the Garo-nmana [Garothman i.e. Heaven]!
58. 'Grant us these boons which we beg of thee, O powerful god! in accordance with the words of revelation, namely, riches, strength, and victory, good conscience and bliss, good fame and a good soul; wisdom and the knowledge that gives happiness, the victorious strength given by Ahura, the crushing Ascendant of Asha-Vahishta, and conversation (with God) on the Holy Word.
59. 'Grant that we, in a good spirit and high spirit, exalted in joy and a good spirit, may smite all our foes; that we, in a good spirit and high spirit, exalted in joy and a good spirit, may smite all our enemies; that we, in a good spirit and high spirit, exalted in joy and a good spirit, may smite all the malice of Daevas and Men, of the Yatus and Pairikas, of the oppressors, the blind, and the deaf. 
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

XIV.

60. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Whose renown is good, whose shape is good, whose glory is good; who has boons to give at his will, who has pasture-fields to give at his will; harmless to the tiller of the ground, ....61, beneficent; he, of the ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-knowing, undeceivable god.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

61. The text is corrupt (vasô-yaonânâi inatãm).

XV.

61. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Firm-legged62, a watcher fully awake; valiant, a chief in assemblies; making the waters flow forward; listening to appeals; making the waters run and the plants grow up; ruling over the karshwars63;delivering64; happy65; undeceivable; endowed with many senses66; a creature of wisdom;
Y62.5).

63. Karshôo-râzanghem: kêshvar vîrâi (Pahl. tr. ibid).

64. From Ahriman; cf. Y29.6 (vyâna = vichârishn, vishuddhatâ.)

65. Yaokhshtivant: kâmakômand (possessing whatever he wishes for, Vd20.1).

66. See Yt10.82, note.
62. 'Who gives neither strength nor vigour to him who has lied unto Mithra; who gives neither glory nor any boon to him who has lied unto Mithra.
63. 'Thou takest away the strength from their arms, being angry and all-powerful; thou takest the swiftness from their feet, the eye-sight from their eyes, the hearing from their ears.
'Not the wound of the well-sharpened spear or of the flying arrow reaches that man to whom Mithra comes for help with all the strength of his soul, he, of the ten-thousand spies, the powerful all-knowing, undeceivable god67
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

67. From Yt10.23-24.

XVI.

64. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who takes possession68 of the beautiful, wide-expanding law, greatly and powerfully, and whose face looks over all the seven karshwars of the earth;
68. Cf. Y43.7: vyânayâ: amat vandînît, yat grihnâti.
65. 'Who is swift amongst the swift, liberal amongst the liberal, strong amongst the strong, a chief of assembly amongst the chiefs of assemblies; increase-giving, fatness-giving, cattle-giving, sovereignty-giving, son-giving, cheerfulness69-giving, and bliss69-giving. 69. Cf. Yt10.5, notes 6 and 7.
66. 'With whom proceed Ashi Vanguhi, and Parendi on her light chariot70, the awful Manly Courage, the awful kingly Glory, the awful sovereign Sky, the awful cursing thought71 of the wise, the awful Fravashis of the faithful, and he who keeps united together the many faithful worshippers of Mazda72.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

70. Cf. Yt8.38.

71. See above, S1.30, note 1.

72. Mithra himself (?).

XVII.

67. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who drives along on his high-wheeled chariot, made of a heavenly73 substance, from the Karshvare [keshwar] of Arezahi74 to the Karshvare of Xwaniratha, the bright one; accompanied by75 the wheel of sovereignty76, the Glory made by Mazda, and the Victory made by Ahura;
73. Or 'invisible.'

74. The western keshwar (see above, § 15, note 20); this seems to refer to the career of Mithra during the night; cf. § 95.

75. And rolling upon it.

76. Cf. Yt13.89, note.
68. 'Whose chariot is embraced77 by the great Ashi Vanguhi; to whom the Law of Mazda opens a way, that he may go easily; whom four heavenly steeds, white, shining, seen afar, beneficent, endowed with knowledge, swiftly78 carry along the heavenly space79, while the cursing thought of the wise pushes it forward; 77. And uplifted.

78. Doubtful.

79. See Yt8.6, note 1.
69. 'From whom all the Daevas unseen and the Varenya fiends80 flee away in fear. Oh! may we never fall across the rush of the angry lord81, who goes and rushes from a thousand sides against his foe, he, of the ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-knowing, undeceivable god.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

80. See Vend. Introd. IV, 23.

81. Cf. § 98.

XVIII.

70. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Before whom Verethraghna, made by Ahura, runs opposing the foes in the shape of a boar82, a sharp-toothed he-boar, a sharp-jawed boar, that kills at one stroke, pursuing83, wrathful, with a dripping face; strong, with iron feet, iron fore-paws84, iron weapons, an iron tail, and iron jaws;
82. See Yt14.15; cf. Yt10.127.

83. Anupôithwa; cf. pôithwa (Vd14) = rânînishn.

84. Literally, hands.
71. 'Who, eagerly clinging to the fleeing foe, along with Manly Courage, smites the foe in battle, and does not think he has smitten him, nor does he consider it a blow till he has smitten away the marrow85 and the column of life86, the marrow85 and the spring of existence. 85. Doubtful.

86. The spine.

72. 'He cuts all the limbs to pieces, and mingles, together with the earth, the bones, hair, brains, and blood of the men who have lied unto Mithra87.
'For his brightness and glory, we offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

87. Cf. § 80.

XIX.

73. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who, with hands lifted up, rejoicing, cries out, speaking thus:
74. '"O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent spirit! Maker of the material world, thou Holy One!
'"If men would worship me88 with a sacrifice in which I were invoked by my own name, as they worship the other gods with sacrifices in which they are invoked by their own names, then I should come to the faithful at the appointed time; I should come in the appointed time of my beautiful, immortal life89."
88. They have worshipped him and he has subsequently overcome the Mithradrujes; this accounts for the word rejoicing.

89. Cf. Yt10.55.
75. 'May we keep our field; may we never be exiles from our field, exiles from our house, exiles from our borough, exiles from our town, exiles from our country.
76. 'Thou dashest in pieces the malice of the malicious, the malice of the men of malice: dash thou in pieces the killers of faithful men!
'Thou hast good horses, thou hast a good chariot: thou art bringing help at every appeal, and art powerful.
77. 'I will pray unto thee for help, with many consecrations, with good consecrations of libations; with many offerings, with good offerings of libations, that we, abiding in thee, may long inhabit a good abode, full of all the riches that can be wished for.
78. 'Thou keepest those nations that tender a good worship to Mithra, the lord of wide pastures; thou dashest in pieces those that delight in havoc. Unto thee will I pray for help: may he come to us for help, the awful, most powerful Mithra, the worshipful and praiseworthy, the glorious lord of nations.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

XX.

79. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who made a dwelling for Rashnu90, and to whom Rashnu gave all his soul for long friendship;
90. The Genius of Truth (Yt12); Mithra gives a dwelling to the truthful man in the same way as he destroys the dwelling of the liar (§ 80).
80. 'Thou art a keeper and protector of the dwelling of those who lie not: thou art the maintainer of those who lie not. With thee hath Verethraghna, made by Ahura, contracted the best of all friendships91, and thus it is how so many men who have lied unto Mithra, even privily92, lie smitten down on the ground.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

91. Cf. § 70.

92. Aipi vithishi; Vedic api vyathis (VIII, 45, 19).

XXI.

81. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who made a dwelling for Rashnu, and to whom Rashnu gave all his soul for long friendship;
82. 'To whom Ahura Mazda gave a thousand senses93 and ten thousand eyes to see. With those eyes and those senses, he watches the man who injures Mithra, the man who lies unto Mithra. Through those eyes and those senses, he is undeceivable, he, of the ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-knowing, undeceivable god.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

93. Yaokhshti, the root of Persian nyôshîdan, Pahlavi niyôkhshîtan, to hear; one might be inclined to translate 'a thousand ears,' or 'a thousand hearings;' but the meaning of the word must have been rather more general, as Neriosangh translates it (pranidhi, IX, 8 [25]).

XXII.

83. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Whom the lord of the country invokes for help, with hands uplifted; 
'Whom the lord of the town invokes for help, with hands uplifted;
84. 'Whom the lord of the borough invokes for help, with hands uplifted;
'Whom the master of the house invokes for help, with hands uplifted; 
'Whom the ....94 in danger of death95 invokes for help, with hands uplifted;
'Whom the poor man, who follows the good law, when wronged and deprived of his rights, invokes for help, with hands uplifted.
Yasna 53.6).
85. 'The voice of his wailing reaches up to the sky, it goes over the earth all around, it goes over the seven karshwars, whether he utters his prayer in a low tone of voice96 or aloud. 96. Vâchem, the so-called vâj. [Cf. baj. -JHP.]
86. 'The cow driven astray invokes him for help97, longing for the stables:
'"When will that bull, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, bring us back, and make us reach the stables? when will he turn us back to the right way from the den of the Druj where we were driven98?"
97. Most manuscripts have added here, from the preceding clauses, 'with hands uplifted!'

98. An allusion to a myth in which Mithra was described as an Indra delivering the cows carried away by a Vritra: Firmicus Maternus called him abactorem boum (De Errore Profan. Relig. V); Commodianus compares him with Cacus:
'Vrtebatque boves alienos semper in antris
Sicut et Cacus Vulcani filius ille.'

(Apud Windischmann, Mithra, p. 64.)

87. 'And to him with whom Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, has been satisfied, he comes with help; and of him with whom Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, has been offended, he crushes down the house, the borough, the town, the province, the country.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

XXIII.

88. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'To whom the enlivening, healing, fair, lordly, golden-eyed Haoma offered up a sacrifice on the highest of the heights, on the Haraiti Bareza99, he the undefiled to one undefiled, with undefiled baresma, undefiled libations, and undefiled words;
99. See above, § 50, note 56.
89. 'Whom100 the holy Ahura Mazda has established as a priest, quick in performing the sacrifice and loud in song. He performed the sacrifice with a loud voice, as a priest quick in sacrifice and loud in song, a priest to Ahura Mazda, a priest to the Amesha-Spentas. His voice reached up to the sky, went over the earth all around, went over the seven keshwars. 100. Haoma; cf. Yasna 9.26.
90. 'Who first lifted up Haomas, in a mortar inlaid with stars and made of a heavenly substance. Ahura Mazda longed for him, the Amesha-Spentas longed for him, for the well-slapen body of him whom the swift-horsed sun awakes for prayer from afar101. 101. For the morning service in the Gah Ushahin.
91. 'Hail to Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, who has a thousand ears and ten thousand eyes! Thou art worthy of sacrifice and prayer: mayest thou have sacrifice and prayer in the houses of men! Hail to the man who shall offer thee a sacrifice, with the holy wood in his hand, the baresma in his hand, the holy meat in his hand, the holy mortar in his hand102, with his hands well-washed, with the mortar well-washed, with the bundles of baresma tied up, the Haoma uplifted, and the Ahuna Vairya sung through. 102. Cf. Vd3.1.
92. 'The holy Ahura Mazda confessed that religion and so did Vohu-Mano, so did Asha-Vahishta, so did Khshathra-Vairya, so did Spenta-Armaiti, so did Haurvatat and Ameretat; and all the Amesha-Spentas longed for and confessed his religion. The kind Mazda conferred upon him the mastership of the world; and [so did they103] who saw thee amongst all creatures the right lord and master of the world, the best cleanser of these creatures. 103. The Amesha-Spentas.
93. 'So mayest thou in both worlds, mayest thou keep us in both worlds, O Mithra, lord of wide pastures! both in this material world and in the world of the spirit, from the fiend of Death, from the fiend Aeshma104, from the fiendish hordes, that lift up the spear of havoc, and from the onsets of Aeshma, wherein the evil-doing Aeshma rushes along with Vidotu105, made by the Daevas. 104. See Vend. Introd. IV, 22.

105. See ibid.
94. 'So mayest thou, O Mithra, lord of wide pastures! give swiftness to our teams, strength to our own bodies, and that we may watch with full success those who hate us, smite down our foes, and destroy at one stroke our adversaries, our enemies and those who hate us106.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

106. See Yt5.53Yt10.114.

XXIV.

95. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who goes over the earth, all her breadth over, after the setting of the sun107, touches both ends of this wide, round earth, whose ends lie afar, and surveys everything that is between the earth and the heavens,
107. It should seem as if Mithra was supposed to retrace his steps during the night. The Hindus supposed that the sun had a bright face and a dark one, and that during the night it returned from the west to the east with its dark face turned towards the earth.
96. 'Swinging in his hands a club with a hundred knots, a hundred edges, that rushes forwards and fells men down; a club cast out of red brass, of strong, golden brass; the strongest of all weapons, the most victorious of all weapons108; 108. Cf. § 132.
97. 'From whom Angra Mainyu, who is all death, flees away in fear; from whom Aeshma, the evil-doing Peshotanu109, flees away in fear; from whom the long-handed Bushyasta110 flees away in fear; from whom all the Daevas unseen and the Varenya fiends flee away in fear111. 109. See Vend. Introd. V, 19.
110. See ibid. IV, 24.

111. Cf. § 69.
98. 'Oh! may we never fall across the rush of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, when in anger112! May Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, never smite us in his anger; he who stands up upon this earth as the strongest of all gods, the most valiant of all gods, the most energetic of all gods, the swiftest of all gods, the most fiend-smiting of all gods, he, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures113
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

112. Cf. Yt10.69.

113. §§ 97-98 = §§ 134-135.

XXV.

99. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'From whom all the Daevas unseen and the Varenya fiends flee away in fear114.
'The lord of nations, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, drives forward at the right-hand side of this wide, round earth, whose ends lie afar.
114. Cf. § 97.
100. 'At his right hand drives the good, holy Sraosha; at his left hand drives the tall and strong Rashnu; on all sides around him drive the waters, the plants, and the Fravashis of the faithful.
101. 'In his might, he ever brings to them falcon-feathered arrows, and, when diiving, he himself comes there, where are nations, enemy to Mithra, he, first and foremost, strikes blows with his club on the horse and his rider; he throws fear and fright upon the horse and his rider.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

XXVI.

102. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'The warrior of the white horse, of the sharp spear, the long spear, the quick arrows; foreseeing and clever;
103. 'Whom Ahura Mazda has established to maintain and look over all this moving115 world, and who maintains and looks over all this moving world; who, never sleeping, wakefully guards the creation of Mazda; who, never sleeping, wakefully maintains the creation of Mazda;
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

115. Fravoish; Parsi tradition translates large: frâz (tr. Phl.), buland (Asp., Yasna 57.15).

XXVII.

104. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Whose long arms, strong with Mithra-strength, encompass what he seizes in the easternmost river and what he beats with the westernmost river, what is by the Sanaka of the Rangha and what is by the boundary of the earth.
105. 'And thou, O Mithra! encompassing all this around, do thou reach it, all over, with thy arms.
'The man without glory, led astray from the right way, grieves in his heart; the man without glory thinks thus in himself: "That careless Mithra does not see all the evil that is done, nor all the lies that are told."
106. 'But I think thus in my heart:
'"Should the evil thoughts of the earthly man be a hundred times worse, they would not rise so high as the good thoughts of the heavenly Mithra;
'"Should the evil words of the earthly man be a hundred times worse, they would not rise so high as the good words of the heavenly Mithra;
'"Should the evil deeds of the earthly man be a hundred times worse, they would not rise so high as the good deeds of the heavenly Mithra;
107. '"Should the heavenly wisdom in the earthly man be a hundred times greater, it would not rise so high as the heavenly w'isdom in the heavenly Mithra;
''And thus, should the ears of the earthly man hear a hundred time better, he would not hear so well as the heavenly Mithra, whose ear hears well who has a thousand senses, and sees every man that tells a lie."
'Mithra stands up in his strength, he drives in the awfulness of royalty, and sends from his eyes beautiful looks that shine from afar, (saying):
108. ''Who will offer me a sacrifice? Who will lie unto me? Who thinks me a god worthy of a good sacrifice? Who thinks me worthy only of a bad sacrifice? To whom shall I, in my might, impart brightness and glory? To whom bodily health? To whom shall I, in my might, impart riches and full weal? Whom shall I bless by raising him a virtuous offspring?
109. "'To whom shall I give in return, without his thinking of it, the awful sovereignty, beautifully. arrayed, with many armies, and most perfect; the sovereignty of an all-powerful tyrant, who fells down heads, valiant, smiting, and unsmitten; who orders chastisement to be done and his order is done at once, which he has ordered in his anger?"
'O Mithra! when thou art offended and not satisfied, he soothes thy mind, and makes Mithra satisfied.
110. '"To whom shall I, in my might, impart sickness and death? To whom shall I impart poverty and sterility? Of whom shall I at one stroke cut off the offspring!
111. '"From whom shall I take away, without his thinking of it, the awful sovereignty, beautifully arrayed, with many armies, and most perfect; the sovereignty of an all-powerful tyrant, who fells down heads, valiant, smiting, and unsmitten; who orders chastisement to be done and his order is done at once, which he has ordered in his anger."
'O Mithra! while thou art satisfied and not angry, he moves thy heart to anger, and makes Mithra unsatisfied.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....

XXVIII.

112. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'A warrior with a silver helm, a golden cuirass, who kills with the poniard, strong, valiant, lord of the borough. Bright are the ways of Mithra, by which he goes towards the country, when, wishing well, he turns its plains and vales to pasture grounds,
113. 'And then cattle and males come to graze, as many as he wants. 
'May Mithra and Ahura, the high gods, come to us for help, when the poniard lifts up its voice aloud, when the nostrils of the horses quiver, when the poniards ...., when the, strings of the bows whistle and shoot sharp arrows; then the brood of those whose libations are hated fall smitten to the ground, with their hair torn off.
114. 'So mayest thou, O Mithra, lord of wide pastures! give swiftness to our teams, strength to our own bodies, and that we may watch with full success those who hate us, smite down our foes, and destroy at one stroke our adversaries, our enemies, and those who hate us.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard.... 

XXIX.

115. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake.
'O Mithra, lord of wide pastures! thou master of the house, of the borough, of the town, of the country, thou Zarathushtrotema!
116. 'Mithra is twentyfold between two friends or two relations; 
'Mithra is thirtyfold between two men of the same group;
'Mithra is fortyfold between two partners;
'Mithra is fiftyfold between wife and husband;
'Mithra is sixtyfold between two pupils (of the same master); 
'Mithra is seventyfold between the pupil and his master;
'Mithra is eightyfold between the son-in-law and his father-in-law; 
'Mithra is ninetyfold between two brothers;
117. 'Mithra is a hundredfold between the father and the son;
'Mithra is a thousandfold between two nations;
'Mithra is ten thousandfold when connected with the Law of Mazda, and then he will be every day of victorious strength.
118. 'May I come unto thee with a prayer that goes lowly or goes highly! As this sun rises up above the Hara Berezaiti and then fulfils its career, so may I, O Spitama! with a prayer that goes lowly or goes highly, rise up above the will of the fiend Angra Mainyu!
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....

XXX.

119. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastwes, .... sleepless, and ever awake,
'Offer up a sacrifice unto Mithra, O Spitama! and order thy pupils to do the same.
'Let the worshipper of Mazda sacrifice unto thee with small cattle, with black cattle, with flying birds, gliding forward on wings.
120. 'To Mithra all the faithful worshiypers of Mazda must give strength and energy with offered and proffered Haomas, which the Zaotar proffers unto him and gives in sacrifice. Let the faithful man drink of the libations cleanly prepared, which if he does, if he offers them unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, Mithra will be pleased with him and without anger.'
121. Zarathushtra asked him: 'O Ahura Mazda! how shall the faithful man drink the libations cleanly prepared, which if he does and he offers them unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, Mithra will be pleased vvith him and without anger?'
122. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Let them wash their bodies three days and three nights; let them undergo thirty strokes for the sacrifice and prayer unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures. Let them wash their bodies two days and two nights; let them undergo twenty strokes for the sacrifice and prayer unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures. Let no man drink of these libations who does not know the staota yesnya: Vispe ratavo.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacriace worth being heard....

XXXI.

123. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'To whom Ahura Mazda offered up a sacrifice in the shining Garo-nmana.
124. 'With his arms lifted up towards Immortality, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, drives forward from the shining Garo-nmana, in a beautiful chariot that drives on, ever-swift, adorned with all sorts of ornaments, and made of gold.
125. 'Four stallions draw that chariot, all of the same white colour, living on heavenly food and undying. The hoofs of their fore-feet are shod with gold, the hoofs of their hind-feet are shod with silver; all are yoked to the same pole, and wear the yoke and the cross-beams of the yoke, fastened with hooks of Khshathra vairya to a beautiful....
126. 'At his right hand drives Rashnu-Razishta, the most beneficent and most well-shapen.
'At his left hand drives the most upright Chista, the holy one, bearing libations in her hands, clothed with white clothes, and white herself; and the cursing thought of the Law of Mazda.
127. 'Close by him drives the strong cursing thought of the wise man, opposing foes in the shape of a boar, a sharp-toothed he-boar, a sharp- jawed boar, that kills at one stroke, pursuing, wrathful, with a dripping face, strong and swift to run, and rushing all around.
'Behind him drives Atar, all in a blaze, and the awful kingly Glory.
128. 'On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stand a thousand bows well-made, with a string of cowgut; they go through the heavenly space, they fall through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas.
129. 'On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stand a thousand vulture-feathered arrows, with a golden mouth, with a horn shaft, with a brass tail, and well-made. They go through the heavenly space, they fall through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas.
130. 'On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stand a thousand spears well-made and sharp-piercing. They go through the heavenly space, they fall through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas.
'On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stand a thousand steel-hammers, two-edged, well-made. They go through the heavenly space, they fall through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas.
131. 'On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stand a thousand swords, two-edged and well-made. They go through the heavenly space, they fall through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas.
'On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stand a thousand maces of iron, well-made. They go through the heavenly space, they fall through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas.
132. 'On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stands a beautiful well-falling club, with a hundred knots, a hundred edges, that rushes forward and fells men down; a club cast out of red brass, of strong, golden brass; the strongest of all weapons, the most victorious of all weapons. It goes through the heavenly space, it falls through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas.
133. After he has smitten the Daevas, after he has smitten down the men who lied unto Mithra, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, drives forward through Arezahe and Savahe, through Fradadhafshu and Vidadhafshu, through Vourubareshti and Vouru-jareshti, through this our Karshvare, the bright Hvaniratha.
134. 'Angra Mainyu, who is all death, flees away in fear; Aeshma, the evil-doing Peshotanu, flees away in fear; the long-handed Bushyasta flees away in fear; all the Daevas unseen and the Varenya fiends flee away in fear.
135. 'Oh! may we never fall across the rush of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, when in anger! May Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, never smite us in his anger; he who stands up upon this earth as the strongest of all gods, the most valiant of all gods, the most energetic of all gods, the swiftest of all gods, the most fiend-smiting of all gods, he, Mithra, the lord of wide pastures. 
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....

XXXII.

136. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'For whom white stallions, yoked to his chariot, draw it, on one golden wheel, with a full shining axle.
137. 'If Mithra takes his libations to his own dwelling, "Happy that man, I think," -- said Ahura Mazda, "O holy Zarathra! for whom a holy priest, as pious as any in the world, who is the Word incarnate, offers up a sacrifice unto Mithra with bundles of baresma and with the [proper] words.
'"Straight to that man, I think, will Mithra come, to visit his dwelling,
138. '"When Mithra's boons will come to him, as he follows God's teaching, and thinks according to God's teaching.
'"Woe to that man, I think," - said Ahura Mazda, - "O holy Zarathushtra! for whom an unholy priest, not pious, who is not the Word incarnate, stands behind the baresma, however full may be the bundles of baresma he ties, however long may be the sacrifice he performs."
139. 'He does not delight Ahura Mazda, nor the other Amesha-Spentas, nor Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, he who thus scorns Mazda, and the other Amesha-Spentas, and Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, and the Law, and Rashnu, and Arstat, who makes the world grow, who makes the world increase.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....

XXXIII.

140. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake.
'I will offer up a sacrifice unto the good Mithra, O Spitama! unto the strong, heavenly god, who is foremost, highly merciful, and peerless; whose house is above, a stout and strong warrior;
141. 'Victorious and armed with a well-fashioned weapon, watchful in darkness and undeceivable. He is the stoutest of the stoutest, he is the strongest of the strongest, he is the most intelligent of the gods, he is victorious and endowed with Glory: he, of the ten thousand eyes, of the ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-knowing, undeceivable god.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....

XXXIV.

142. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake;
'Who, with his manifold knowledge, powerfully increases the creation of Spenta Mainyu, and is a well-created and most great Yazata, self-shining like the moon, when he makes his own body shine;
143. 'Whose face is flashing with light like the face of the star Tistrya; whose chariot is embraced by that goddess who is foremost amongst those who have no deceit in them, O Spitama! who is fairer than any creature in the world, and full of light to shine. I will worship that chariot, wrought by the Maker, Ahura Mazda, inlaid with stars and made of a heavenly substance; (the chariot) of Mithra, who has ten thousand spies, the powerful, all-knowing, undeceivable god.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer him a sacrifice worth being heard....

XXXV.

144. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, who is truth-speaking, a chief in assemblies, with a thousand ears, well-shapen, with a thousand eyes, high, with full knowledge, strong, sleepless, and ever awake.
'We sacrifice unto the Mithra around countries;
'We sacrifice unto the Mithra within countries;
'We sacrifice unto the Mithra in this country;
'We sacrifice unto the Mithra above countries;
'We sacrifice unto the Mithra under countries;
'We sacrifice unto the Mithra before countries;
'We sacrifice unto the Mithra behind countries.
145. 'We sacrifice unto Mithra and Ahura, the two great, imperishable, holy gods; and unto the stars, and the moon, and the sun, with the trees that yield up baresma. We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of all countries.
'For his brightness and glory, I will offer unto him a sacrifice worth being heard, namely, unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures. 
'Yatha ahu vairyo: The will of the Lord is the law of holiness.... 
'I bless the sacrifice and p yer, and the strength and vigour of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, who has a thousand ears, ten thousand eyes, a Yazata invoked by his own name; and that of Rama Hvastra.
'Ashem Vohu: Holiness is the best of all good....
'[Give] unto that man brightness and glory, .... give him the bright, all-happy, blissful abode of the holy Ones!'

The Gathas ("Hymns") of Zarathushtra

The Gathas, consist of seventeen hymns composed by the great poet-prophet Zarathushtra around 1200 BC. They are arranged into five groups based on their meter:

The importance of the Gathas to Zoroastrianism cannot be emphasized enough. They are the centerpiece of scripture and inspiration, like the Tao Te Ching is to Taoism. The Gathas are also quite enigmatic and obscure, and other scriptures contain lengthy commentaries. As Helmut Humbach notes, "Zarathushtra did not compose the Gathas to teach people, but to invoke and glorify Ahura Mazda in a predominantly psalmodic way, very far from any dogmatic systematizing" (Gathas I, 1991, pg. 81.). Thus we must look to the rest of scripture for help in understanding both the Gathas and Zarathushtras teachings in general.

The Gathas are also filled with word plays and deliberate ambiguities, and they were likely intended to be used by initiates as meditative instruments to enlightenment (ibid pg. 86-7). As an example of the incredible sophistication of the Gathas, see Prof. Martin Schwartz' analysis of the parallel clusters of lexic, semantic, and phonic data which occur in concentric rings ('Sound, sense, and "seeing" in Zoroaster: The outer reaches of orality', in K.R. Cama Oriental Institute International Congress Proceedings, 1989, pp. 127 ff.).

According to Mary Boyce, "their poetic form is a very ancient one, which has been traced back (through Norse parallels) to Indo-European times. It seems to have been linked with a mantic tradition, that is, to have been 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. Such poetry can only have been fully understood by the learned; and since Zoroaster believed that he had been entrusted by God with a message for all mankind, he must also have preached again and again in plain words to ordinary people." - Zoroastrians, Their religious beliefs and practices, London, 1979, pg 17.

In spite of the obscurities, the main messages of the Gathas seem fairly clear: The struggle between good and evil, people of truth (ashavans) who worship Ahura Mazda, struggling against the people of the lie (drugvants), who worship the daevas. The benevolence /friendship of Ahura Mazda, the importance of Asha, Vohu Mano, etc. Need for support by those who manage/raise livestock, against those who disrupt their labors by looting what they want. Importance for future reward. The reciprocal relationship/partnership with Ahura, importance of offerings (draonah), fire, ritual, and manthra. We also get very sketchy glimpses of their society (household, district, etc.) and judicial system including ordeal, etc.