عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
Invocation as the easiest way of striking a dialogue between man and God, has been one of the stabilizing foundations and components of all religions throughout history. Studying the prayers and worships of different religions reveals to us the intellectual and religious systems, as well as the social and individual conditions and requirements of believers in the course of history. This paper adopts a descriptive-statistical approach in examining the prayers in Gathas, the oldest surviving written work of the Persians. Gathas is a verse collection, which is, according to most of contemporary scholars the only part that registers Zarathustra's speech, while other parts of the Avistā are believed to have been added in later periods. The most frequently repeated demands in Gathas are: promoting the truth and uprooting falsehood, liberation of the land and its animals from oppression, anger and cruelty, having peaceful and cheerful lives and a prosperous society, thereby to achieve the eternal and divine territory of Ahūrā Mazdā (paradise), as well as eternal rewards and forgiveness on the Day of Resurrection. A review of the prayers' themes in Gathas reveals Zarathustra's addressees to be Mazdā, Ahūrā, shāvahīshtā(Urdībihisht), Bahman, Sipandārmaẕ, Ahūrā Mazdā and Khshatra-vayrīya(Shahrīvar) respectively, and he uses the plural pronoun in many cases. Zarathustra's mode of expression indicates that although the names he addresses are single beings, "Amshāspandān" is plural and refers to all manifestations and qualities of the Unitary God. This statistical research indicates that spiritual demands are two-thirds more likely to occur in Gathas than material demands, and that Zarathustra prays for others as much as he prays for himself.
Keywords: Zarathustra, Gathas, AhūrāMazdā, Invocation, Ancient Persia