Zend Avesta - The Nyayis - Begging Prayers

Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism

Translated by James Darmesteter

Contents

A Nyâyis is properly a begging prayer, as opposed to Sitâyis, a prayer of praise. It is a term particularly applied to five prayers addressed to the Sun, to Mithra, to the Moon, to Waters, and to Fire. Every layman over eight years old is bound to recite the Nyâyis: he recites it standing and girded with his Kôstî.

The Sun Nyâyis is recited three times a day, at the rising of the sun (Gâh Hâvan), at noon (Gâh Rapitvin), and at three o'clock in the afternoon (Gâh Uzîren). The Mithra Nyâyis is recited with the Sun Nyâyis, as Mithra follows the sun in its course (see Yt. X, 13).

The Moon Nyâyis is recited three times a month: first, at the time when it begins to be seen; second, when it is at the full; third, when it is on the wane.

The Waters Nyâyis and the Fire Nyâyis are recited every day, when one finds oneself in the proximity of those elements. The Fire Nyâyis is recited with the Penôm on (see Vend. p. 168, 7).

The first four Nyâyis must be recited especially on the days over which the Izads invoked preside; that is to say, on the Khôrshêd, Mihir, Mâh, and Âbân days (the eleventh, sixteenth, twelfth, and tenth days of the month) 1.

I. KHÔRSHÊD NYÂYIS. Scroll Up

1. [Hail unto the Sun, the swift-horsed! May Ahura Mazda be rejoiced 2!]

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Hail unto thee, O Ahura Mazda, in the threefold way 1! [Hail unto thee] before all other creatures!

Hail unto you, O Amesha-Spentas, who are all of you of one accord with the Sun!

May this prayer come unto Ahura Mazda! May it come unto the Amesha-Spentas! May it come unto the Fravashis of the holy Ones! May it come unto the Sovereign Vayu of the long Period 2!

2. [Hail unto the Sun, the swift-horsed!]

May Ahura Mazda be rejoiced! May Angra Mainyu be destroyed! by those who do truly what is the foremost wish (of God).

I recite the 'Praise of Holiness 3:'

3. I praise well-thought, well-spoken, and well-done thoughts, words, and deeds. I embrace all good thoughts, good words, and good deeds; I reject all evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds 4.

4. I give sacrifice and prayer unto you, O Amesha-Spentas! even with the fulness of my thoughts, of my words, of my deeds, and of my heart: I give unto you even my own life.

I recite the 'Praise of Holiness 3:'

'Ashem Vohû: Holiness is the best of all good. Well is it for it, well is it for that holiness which is perfection of holiness 4!'

5 5. Hail to Ahura Mazda!

Hail to the Amesha-Spentas!

Hail to Mithra, the lord of wide pastures!

Hail to the Sun, the swift-horsed!

Hail to the two eyes of Ahura Mazda!

Hail to the Bull!

Hail to Gaya 6!

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Hail to the Fravashi of the holy Spitama Zarathustra!

Hail to the whole of the holy creation that was, is, or will be!

May I grow in health of body through Vohu-Manô, Khshathra, and Asha, and come to that luminous space, to that highest of all high things 1, when the world, O Spenta Mainyu! has come to an end!

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

6. We sacrifice unto the bright, undying, shining, swift-horsed Sun.

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, strong, sleepless, and ever awake 2.

7. We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of all countries, whom Ahura Mazda made the most glorious of all the gods in the world unseen 3.

So may Mithra and Ahura, the two great gods, come to us for help!

We sacrifice unto the bright, undying, shining, swift-horsed Sun.

8. We sacrifice unto Tistrya, whose sight is sound 4.

We sacrifice unto Tistrya; we sacrifice unto the rains of Tistrya 5.

We sacrifice unto Tistrya, bright and glorious.

We sacrifice unto the star Vanant 6, made by Mazda.

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We sacrifice unto Tistrya, the bright and glorious star.

We sacrifice unto the sovereign sky.

We sacrifice unto the boundless Time.

We sacrifice unto the sovereign Time of the long Period.

We sacrifice unto the beneficent, well-doing Wind.

We sacrifice unto the most upright Kista 1, made by Mazda and holy.

We sacrifice unto the good Law of the worshippers of Mazda.

We sacrifice unto the way of content 2.

We sacrifice unto the golden instrument 3.

We sacrifice unto Mount Saokanta, made by Mazda 3.

9. We sacrifice unto all the holy gods of the world unseen.

We sacrifice unto all the holy gods of the material world.

We sacrifice unto our own soul.

We sacrifice unto our own Fravashi.

We sacrifice unto the good, strong, beneficent Fravashis of the holy Ones.

We sacrifice unto the bright, undying, shining, swift-horsed Sun.

10. I confess myself a worshipper of Mazda, a follower of Zarathustra . . . .

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Unto the bright, undying, shining, swift-horsed Sun;

Be propitiation, with sacrifice, prayer, propitiation, and glorification . . . . 1

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

[We sacrifice] unto the Ahurian waters 2, the waters of Ahura, with excellent libations, with finest libations, with libations piously strained 3.

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.

Footnotes

349:1 Anquetil, Zend-Avesta II, pp. 6, 22, 565-566.

349:2 This clause is wanting in most manuscripts.

350:1 In thought, speech, and deed (Pers. and Sansk. transl.).

350:2 Vayu, as being the same with Fate (Vend. Introd. IV, 17), became identified with Time.

350:3 The Ashem Vohû.

350:4 See p. 22.

350:5 § 5 = Yasna LXVIII (22-23 [LXVII, 58-67]).

350:6 Gaya Maretan, the first man.

351:1 The sun: 'May my soul arrive at the sun-region!' (Pahl. transl.)

351:2 Yt. X, 7.

351:3 In heaven.

351:4 See Yt. VIII, 12, note 7.

351:5 See Yt. VIII, 12, note 2.

351:6 See Yt. XX.

352:1 See Yt. XVI.

352:2 Or, of pleasure.

352:3 'On Mount Saokanta there is a golden tube coming from the root of the earth; the water that is on the surface of the earth goes up through the hole of that tube to the heavens, and being driven by the wind, spreads everywhere, and thus the dew is produced' (Sansk. transl.).

353:1 The whole of the Khôrshêd Yast is inserted here.

353:2 Rivers considered as Ahura's wives (cf. Ormazd et Ahriman, § 32).

353:3 From Yasna LXVIII, 10 (LXVII, 30); cf. p. 34.

II. MIHIR NYÂYIS. Scroll Up

1 4. Hail unto thee, O Ahura Mazda, in the threefold way! [Hail unto thee] before all other creatures!

Hail unto you, O Amesha-Spentas, who are all of you of one accord with the Sun!

May this prayer come unto Ahura Mazda! May it come unto the Amesha-Spentas! May it come unto the Fravashis of the holy Ones! May it come unto the sovereign Vayu of the long Period!

2. May Ahura Mazda be rejoiced! . . . .

3. I praise well-thought, well-spoken, and well-done thoughts, words, and deeds . . . .

4. I give sacrifice and prayer unto you, O Amesha-Spentas! . . . .

5. Hail to Ahura Mazda! . . . .

May I grow in health of body through Vohu-Manô, Khshathra, and Asha, and come to that luminous space, to that highest of all high things, when the world, O Spenta Mainyu, has come to an end!

6 5. 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

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eyes, high, with full knowledge, strong, sleepless, and ever awake.

7. We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of all countries, whom Ahura Mazda made the most glorious of all the heavenly gods.

So may Mithra and Ahura, the two great gods, come to us for help!

We sacrifice unto the undying, shining, swift-horsed Sun.

8 1. We sacrifice unto Tistrya, whose sight is sound . . . .

9. We sacrifice unto all the holy gods of the world unseen . . . .

10 2. I confess myself a worshipper of Mazda, a follower of Zarathustra . . . .

11 3. 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.

12. 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 baresma. We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of all countries.

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

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We offer up libations unto Mithra . . . .

14. May he come to us for help! May he come to us for ease! . . . .

15. I will offer up libations unto him, the strong Yazata, the powerful Mithra . . . .

Yênhê hâtãm: All those beings of whom Ahura Mazda . . . .

16 1. Yathâ aha vairyô: The will of the Lord is the law of holiness . . . .

I bless the sacrifice and prayer, and the strength and vigour of Mithra . . . .

Ashem Vohû: 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.

Footnotes

353:4 §§ 1-5 = Khôrshêd Nyâyis, §§ 1-5.

353:5 §§ 6-7 = Khôrshêd Nyâyis, §§ 6-7.

354:1 § 8-9 = Khôrshêd Nyâyis, §§ 8-9.

354:2 Yt. X, 0.

354:3 §§ 11-12 = Yt. X, 144-145.

354:4 §§ 13-15 = Yt. X, 4-6.

355:1 Yt. X, 146.

III. MÂH NYÂYIS. Scroll Up

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

2 3. Unto the Moon that keeps in it the seed of the Bull; unto the only-created Bull and unto the Bull of many species;

Be propitiation . . . .

3. Hail to Ahura Mazda! . . . .

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

5. We sacrifice unto the Moon that keeps in it the seed of the Bull . . . .

6. And when the light of the moon waxes warmer . . . .

7. I will sacrifice unto the Moon . . . .

8. For its brightness and glory . . . .

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

10 4. Give us strength and victory! Give us welfare in cattle and in bread! Give us a great number of male children, praisers [of God] and chiefs in assemblies, who smite and are not smitten, who smite at one stroke their enemies, who smite at one stroke their foes, ever in joy and ready to help.

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11. Ye gods of full Glory, ye gods of full healing, let your greatness become manifest! let your assistance become manifest as soon as you are called for! and ye, Waters, manifest your Glory, and impart it to the man who offers you a sacrifice.

Ashem Vohû: 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.

Footnotes

355:2 § 1 = Mâh Yast, § 1.

355:3 §§ 2-9 = Mâh Yast.

355:4 §§ 10-11; cf. Yt. XXIV, 6-8.

IV. ÂBÂN NYÂYIS. Scroll Up

1. May Ahura Mazda be rejoiced! . . . .

Unto the good Waters, made by Mazda; unto the holy water-spring ARDVI ANÂHITA; unto all waters, made by Mazda; unto all plants, made by Mazda,

Be propitiation 1 . . . .

2 2. Ahura Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathustra, saying: 'Offer up a sacrifice, O Spitama Zarathustra! unto this spring of mine, Ardvi Sûra Anâhita . . . .

3. 'Who makes the seed of all males pure, who makes the womb of all females pure for bringing forth . . . .

4. 'The large river, known afar, that is as large as the whole of the waters that run along the earth . . . .

5. 'All the shores of the sea Vouru-Kasha are boiling over, all the middle of it is boiling over, when she runs down there . . . .

6. 'From this river of mine alone flow all the waters that spread all over the seven Karshvares;

7. 'I, Ahura Mazda, brought it down with mighty vigour, for the increase of the house, of the borough, of the town, of the country 3.

8. 'He from whom she will hear the staota yêsnya 4; he from whom she will hear the Ahuna

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vairya 1; he from whom she will hear the Asha-vahista 2; he by whom the good waters will be made pure; with the words of the holy hymns 3, he will enter first the Garô-nmâna of Ahura Mazda: she will give him the boons asked for 4.

9 5. 'For her brightness and glory, I will offer her a sacrifice worth being heard; I will offer her a sacrifice well-performed. Thus mayest thou advise us when thou art appealed to! Mayest thou be most fully worshipped.

'We sacrifice unto the holy Ardvi Sûra Anâhita with libations. We sacrifice unto Ardvi Sûra Anâhita, the holy and master of holiness, with the Haoma and meat, with the baresma, with the wisdom of the tongue, with the holy spells, with the words, with the deeds, with the libations, and with the rightly-spoken words.

'Yênhê hâtãm: All those beings of whom Ahura Mazda . . . .

10. 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 holy water-spring Anâhita.

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

Footnotes

356:1 As Âbân Yast, 0.

356:2 §§ 2-6 = Âbân Yast, §§ 1-5.

356:3 Cf. Âbân Yast, § 6.

356:4 See above, p. 152, note 1.

357:1 The Yathâ ahû vairyô prayer.

357:2 The Ashem Vohû prayer.

357:3 Cf. Yt. XXII, 2, and Yt. XXIV, 39.

357:4 Cf. Âbân Yast, §§ 19, 23, 27, 35, 39, 47, &c.

357:5 Cf. Âbân Yast, § 9.

V. ÂTAS NYÂYIS Scroll Up

1 6. Take me out 7, O Ahura! give me perfect piety and strength . . . .

4 8. May Ahura Mazda be rejoiced! . . . .

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Hail unto thee, O Fire, son of Ahura Mazda, thou beneficent and most great Yazata!

1Ashem Vohû: Holiness is the best of all good . . . .

I confess myself a worshipper of Mazda . . . .

For sacrifice, prayer, propitiation, and glorification . . . .

Unto Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda; unto thee Âtar, son of Ahura Mazda!

5 2. Unto Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda; unto the Glory and the Weal, made by Mazda; unto the Glory of the Aryas, made by Mazda; unto the Glory of the Kavis, made by Mazda.

Unto Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda; unto king Husravah; unto the lake of Husravah; unto Mount Âsnavant, made by Mazda; unto Lake Kaêkasta, made by Mazda; unto the Glory of the Kavis, made by Mazda.

6. Unto Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda; unto Mount Raêvant, made by Mazda; unto the Glory of the Kavis, made by Mazda.

Unto Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda.

Unto Âtar, the beneficent, the warrior; the God who is a full source of Glory, the God who is a full source of healing.

Unto Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda, with all Âtars; unto the God Nairyô-sangha, who dwells in the navel of kings;

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

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

7 3. I bless the sacrifice and invocation, and the

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good offering, the beneficent offering, the offering of assistance offered unto thee, O Âtar, son of Ahura Mazda!

Thou art worthy of sacrifice and invocation; mayest thou receive the sacrifice and the invocation in the houses of men.

Well may it be unto the man who ever worships thee with a sacrifice, holding the sacred wood in his hand, the baresma in his hand, the meat in his hand, the mortar 1 in his hand.

8. Mayest thou have the right 2 wood! Mayest thou have the right incense! Mayest thou have the right food! Mayest thou have the right fuel 3!

Mayest thou be full-grown for protecting (this house)! Mayest thou grow excellent for protecting!

9. Mayest thou burn in this house! Mayest thou ever burn in this house! Mayest thou blaze in this house! Mayest thou increase in this house! Even for a long time, till the powerful restoration of the world, till the time of the good, powerful restoration of the world!

10. Give me, O Âtar, son of Ahura Mazda! lively welfare, lively maintenance, lively living; fulness of welfare, fulness of maintenance, fulness of life;

Knowledge, sagacity; quickness of tongue; (holiness of) soul; a good memory; and then the understanding that goes on growing and the one that is not acquired through learning 4;

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And then the manly courage,

11. Firm-footed, unsleeping, (sleeping only) for a third part of the day and of the night, quick to rise up from bed, ever awake;

And a protecting, virtuous offspring, able to rule countries and assemblies of men, well growing up, good, freeing us from the pangs (of hell), endowed with a good intellect, that may increase my house, my borough, my town, my country, my empire.

12. Give me, O Âtar, son of Ahura Mazda! however unworthy I am 1, now and for ever, a seat in the bright, all-happy, blissful abode of the holy Ones.

May I obtain the good reward, a good renown 2, and long cheerfulness for my soul 3!

13. Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda, lifts up his voice to all those for whom he cooks their evening meal and their morning meal 4. From all those he wishes a good offering, a beneficent offering, an offering of assistance, O Spitama!

14. Âtar looks at the hands of all those who pass by: 'What does the friend bring to his friend? What does he who comes and goes bring to him 5 who stays motionless?'

We sacrifice unto Âtar, the valiant warrior 6.

15. And if the passer-by brings him wood holily brought, or bundles of baresma holily tied up, or

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twigs of Hadhânaêpata 1 then Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda, well pleased with him and not angry, and fed as required, will thus bless him:

16. 'May herds of oxen grow for thee, and increase of sons; may thy mind be master of its vow, may thy soul be master of its vow, and mayest thou live on in the joy of the soul all the nights of thy life.'

This is the blessing which Âtar speaks unto him who brings him dry wood, well-examined by the light of the day, well-cleansed with godly intent 2.

17. 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 Âtar, the son of Ahura Mazda 3 . . . .

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

18 3. We gladden by our virtue thy mighty Fire, O Ahura! thy most quick and powerful Fire, who shows his assistance 4 to him who has ever comforted him, but delights in taking vengeance with his hands on the man who has harmed him.

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Footnotes

357:6 §§ 1-3 = Yasna XXXIII, 12-14.

357:7 'Deliver me from Ahriman' (Pahl. Comm.).

357:8 As in Ormazd Yast, 0.

358:1 As in Ormazd Yast, 0.

358:2 Cf. Sîrôzah, § 9.

358:3 §§ 7-16 = Yasna LXII, 1-10 (LXI). See the Sanskrit translation in Études Iraniennes, II.

359:1 The mortar for pounding the Haoma.

359:2 In quality and quantity.

359:3 Upasayêni: what is added to keep up the fire when lighted (Pers. transl.).

359:4 The gaoshô-srûta khratu and the âsna khratu (see p. 7. note 1).

360:1 Yâ mê afrasaunghau anghat: yâ me abhût ayogyatâ (Sansk. trans.).

360:2 Here.

360:3 Above.

360:4 Khshafnîm, sûirîm (Études Iraniennes, II, 161).

360:5 Âtar.

360:6 'Bodily he is infirm (armêst, motionless); spiritually he is a warrior' (Pahl. Comm.).

361:1 See Vend. p. 94, note 1.

361:2 Cf. Vend. XVIII, 26-27.

361:3 From Yasna XXXIV, 4.

361:4 'In the var nîrang' (Pahl. Comm.), that is to say, in the fire ordeal; see above, p. 170, note 3.

Source: Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 4: the Vendîdâd (The Zend-Avesta, Part I.) Translated by James Darmesteter. Oxford University Press, 1882.