Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": ZARATHUSTRA IS BEING REPULSED BY EVERYBODY


('Yasna' 46)

At the beginning of the Yasna 46, Zarathustra is being repulsed by everybody. He knows the reason for his lack of success: his poverty 'in men and in cattle.' Therefore he turns to the wise Lord-Ahura Mazda-as a friend to a friend (stanza 2). In his prayers he calls for the reform of existence which is to be accomplished one day through the action of the saviour. He, Zarathustra, was chosen by the Lord to announce this good news (stanza 3). The following stanzas-4, and 7 to 11-depict the hostility which those who promote the Righteousness have to face from the wicked. In stanzas 12 to 17 the scene is changed; here Zarathustra enumerates his protectors. Whoever works at the renewal of the world on his, Zarathustra's, behalf, will obtain prosperity in the future life (stanzas 18-19).

1 To what land shall I flee? Where bend my steps?

I am thrust out from family and tribe;

I have no favour from the village to which I would belong, Nor from the wicked rulers of the country:

How then, 0 Lord, shall I obtain thy favour?


2. I know, 0 Wise One, why I am powerless:

My cattle are few, and I have few men.

To thee I address my lament: attend Onto it, 0 Lord,

And grant me the support which friend would give to friend. As Righteousness teach the possession of the Good Mind.


3. When, 0 Wise One, shall the wills of the future saviours come

forth,

The dawns of the days when, through powerful judgment,

The word shall uphold Righteousness?

To whom will I help come through the Good Mind?

To me, for I am chosen for the revelation by thee, 0 Lord.


4. The wicked one, ill-famed and of repellent deeds,

Prevents the furtherers of Righteousness from fostering the cattle

In the district and in the country.

Whoever robs him of Dominion or of life, 0 Wise One,

Shall walk foremost in the ways of the doctrine. . . .


7. Who, 0 Wise One, shall be sent as a protector to such as I am,

If the evil one seeks to do mc harm?

Who but thy are and thy mind, 0 Lord,

Whose acts shall bring Righteousness to maturity?

Do thou proclaim this mystery to my conscience!


8. Whoever seeks to injure my living possessions,

May danger not come to me through his deeds!

May all his actions turn against him with hostility,

0 Wise One, And take him from the good life, not the bad life!

(A listener):

9. Who is he, the zealous man who first

Taught me to honour thee as the most powerful,

As the righteous Lord, holy in his action?

(Zarathustra:)

What he said to thee, to thee as Righteousness,

What he said to Righteousness, the creator of the cattle,

They ask it of me through thy Good Mind.


10. Whoever, man or woman, 0 wise Lord,

Shall give me what thou knowest is the best of this existence,

-To wit: reward for Righteousness and the Dominion (?) with

(?) the Good Mind-

And all those whom I shall induce to worship such as you,

With all those will I cross the Bridge of the Separator!


11. The sacrificers and the sorcerer princes

Have subdued mankind to the yoke of their Dominion,

To destroy existence through evil deeds,

They shall be tortured by their own soul and their own conscience,

When they come to the Bridge of the Separator,

For ever to be inmates of the house of Evil. . . .


13- Whoever among mortals pleases Spitama Zarathustra (? by his

readiness?),

He is worthy to be heard.

To him shall the Wise One give existence,

And as Good Mind he shall further his living possessions,

(?) For his Righteousness (?) we shall consider him your faithful friend,

(To you and to Righteousness?) . . . .


18. Whoever is true to me, to him I promise, through the Good Mind,

That which I myself do most desire,

But oppression to him who seeks to oppress us.

0 Wise One, I strive to satisfy your wish through Righteousness.

Thus the decision of any will and of thy mind.


19. He who for me, who for Zarathustra,

According to Righteousness will bring to pass

That which is most renewing by the will (of the Lord),

To him as a reward, when he attains the future life,

Shall come two pregnant cows with the ox and all that he desires through the Mind.

This thou hast revealed to me, 0 Wise One, thou who knowest best!


Translation and introductory commentary by Jacques Ducheme-Guillemin, in his The Hymns of Zarathustra (London, 1952), PP 75-83

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