Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zarathustra.... Zaraϑa, "golden" ... Uštra, "light" (550 BC)


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"On a linguistic rampage through the etymology of "magic" (Old Persion maguš) I stumbled across something fascinating. Acc. to Wiki, maguš denoted followers of Zoroaster (Persian Zaratuštra), whom the Greeks believed had the ability to "read the stars, and manipulate the fate that the stars foretold." …..The "zar" in Zaratuštra is from old Eastern-Iranian zar, meaning "gold." That was an eyebrow-raiser - gold in Tibet is gser (pronounced "ser"). …..Turns out a folk etymology of Zaratuštra is zaraϑa, "golden", plus *uštra, "light" (from the root uš, "to shine"). …..gser 'od (pronounced "ser ö") is a well-used phrase in Tibetan meaning "golden light," and 'od 'phro (pronounced "ö tro") means "to shine; radiating light rays." …..Sorry this is all sort of meander-y, but suffice it to say, the Persian "zar* + *uštra" and Tibetan "ser + ö tro" both having to do with golden light, would be considered a worthy topic of exploration in the linguistic field. …..Aside from linguistic curiosities, a big question to me would be whether there was a central aspect of Zoroastrian teachings having to do with "golden light," and whether that golden light feature was considered magical, supernatural, healing, etc. It could be coincidental, too--a famous teacher/physician who just happened to have a personal name meaning "golden light." ……During the third turning of the wheel, the Buddha is said to have taught the gser 'od dam pa'i mdo (Supreme Golden Rays Sutra), which contains a chapter entitled nad thams cad zhi bar byed pa'i rgyud (The Ways of Completely Curing Diseases). "….http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/8487/buddhism-in-regards-to-magic-o/p3

"....In Persia, the Religion of Light was presented by the Divine Messengers: Zoroaster and Mani, but a very important manifestation that few people outside of Tibet know of was Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche……Tonpa Shenrab was actually from Central Asia, part of the Persian Empire in a time after the life of Zoroaster….. The Buddha Mani would later also present the Religion of Light in the 2nd century A.D….. Tonpa Shenrab came awakened to his true nature as a manifestation of the Divine Messenger, known by many names: In Tibet He was known as Shenlha Okar (Priest King of the Shen Clan, the clan of Tonpa Shenrab), in India this would be Vishnu or the Adi Purusha and in many countries in the Far East He would be known as Amitabha….. He was called to the Tibetan plateau and taught the Pure Teaching for 3 years this would become the basis of Yundrung Bon, the Eternal Light Teachings….Tonpa Shenrab is considered to be a Buddha who existed prior to the time of Shakyamuni."…..http://liberationoflight.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/tonpa-shenrab-miwoche-a-divine-messenger-of-the-religion-of-light/

"gser 'od dam pa…..Sutra of the sacred golden light ……the eighth of the rdzogs chen ston pa bcu gnyis Sacred Golden Light Sutra; Sutra of the Sacred Golden Light; Sublime Golden Light …..sutra of the sacred golden light"…..http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/gser_'od_dam_pa

"स्वर्ण svarNa….gold…….A Tibetan-English Dictionary with Sanskrit Synonyms…..By Sarat Chandra Das

Meaning of Swarna…….Means "good colour" or "golden", a contraction of the Sanskrit prefix सु (su) "good" and वर्ण (varna) "colour".

"Zoroaster (from Greek Ζωροάστρης Zōroastrēs), also known as Zarathustra (Avestan: Zaraϑuštra; Persian: زرتشت‎ Zartosht, زردشت Zardosht), was the founder of Zoroastrianism. Though he was a native speaker of Old Avestan and lived in the eastern part of the Iranian Plateau......He is credited with the authorship of the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, hymns which are at the liturgical core of Zoroastrian thinking. Most of his life is known through the Zoroastrian texts....Avestan, the language spoken by Zoroaster and used for composing the Yasna Haptanghaiti and the Gathas, on archaeological and linguistic grounds, is dated to have been spoken probably in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC.... The Gathas in contrast to the mythological Avesta place the chronology of Zoroaster much later in history, with the most conservative being dated to around the mid-sixth century BC and the most liberal estimate being c. 1,000 BC. Arthur Emanuel Christensen dates Zoroaster to c. 625 BC, but Ebrahim Pourdavoud Herzfeld and Johannes Hertel date Zoroaster as existing between 550–523 BC."

"This form appears subsequently in the Latin Zōroastrēs and, in later Greek orthographies, as Zōroastris. The Greek form of the name appears to be based on a phonetic transliteration or semantic substitution of the Avestan zaraϑ- with the Greek zōros (literally "undiluted") and the Avestan -uštra with astron ("star")."

"*Zaratuštra- ....[owner of the] golden camel": this is derived from old Eastern Iranian word *zar- for gold and ushtra for camel, further corresponding to an Eastern Iranian origin (the Old Persian word dar as a Western-Iranian dialect would be the equal term of Eastern Iranian zar; Modern Persian uses the Eastern Iranian word for gold)."

"ZARATHUSHTRA: The name of the founding Prophet of Zoroastrianism is not Zoroaster, which is a Greek transliteration of the name, but Zarathushtra, which means, in ancient Iranian, "yellow camel." (zara = yellow, ushtra = camel).....later Zoroastrians.....said that the name meant "Golden Light," deriving their meaning from the word zara and the word ushas, light or dawn. There is no doubt about Zarathushtra's clan name, which is Spitama - perhaps meaning "white." Zarathushtra's father was named Pouruchaspa (many horses) and his mother was named Dughdova (milkmaid). His birthday is celebrated on March 26, as part of the Iranian New Year Festival.....No one knows where or when the Prophet was born. Some legends place his birth in western Iran, perhaps near Tehran; others, which are somewhat more likely due to the eastern Iranian language of his poetry, place his birthplace in the east. The traditional Zoroastrian date for Zarathushtra's birth and ministry is around 600 B.C. This is derived from a Greek source that places him "300 years before Alexander" which would give that date; other rationales for the 600 BC date identify the King Vishtaspa of Zarathushtra's Gathas with the father of the Persian King Darius, who lived around that time."

"Ahura Mazda is so greatly associated with light that he has actually been identified as light itself even though Yasna 44.5 implies that he created light instead. Ahura Mazda’s dimension, or Heaven, is even called Endless Light in later texts."....http://tengudev.com/epiclore/2013/12/06/connections-between-zoroastrianism-and-mahayana-buddhism/

“Amida(Amitabha) is barely mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, and his worship probably originated in central Asia, perhaps based on an Iranian original. He may well have emerged from Zoroastrian scriptures, which worship him in a similar way to the Amidists."...Handbook of Japanese Mythology p. 49 by Michael Ashkenazi

"According to the Tibetan historian of Buddhism, Taranath, Amitabha’s worship could be traced back to Saraha or Rahulbhadra, a great magician, and reputed to be the teacher of Nagarjuna, who saw Amitabha in the land of Dhingkota and died with his face turned towards Sukhavati. The name Saraha does not sound Indian, probably a Sudra represented in Tibetan scrolls with a beard and top knot and holding an arrow in his hand.....While it cannot be proved that he came from the lands of the Oxus or Turkestan, there seems little difficulty, according to Eliot, in accepting Zoroastrian influence on this cult or worship. The main principles of Amidist doctrine are that there is a paradise of light belonging to a benevolent deity and those good men invoking his name would be led to that region."......From Buddhism in Central Asia pp. 143-144 by B.N. Puri

"....the Shambhala of Tibetan lore might be related to Airyanem Vaejah, which is the original homeland of all Iranian peoples mentioned in the later Avesta. Airyanem Vaejah and Shambhala are also both described as a Garden of Eden like area.".....Connections between Zoroastrianism and Mahayana Buddhism.....2013...by John Easter.

""Mazda", or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *Mazdāh (female). It is generally taken to be the proper name of the spirit, and like its Sanskrit cognate medhā, means "intelligence" or "wisdom".... While Zoroaster was fetching water from dawn for a sacred ritual, he saw the shining figure of the yazata, Vohu Manah, who led Zoroaster to the presence of Ahura Mazda..."

"Anahita..... is the Old Persian form of the name of an Iranian goddess and appears in complete and earlier form as Aredvi Sura Anahita (Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā); the Avestan language name of an Indo-Iranian cosmological figure venerated as the divinity of 'the Waters' (Aban)."

"....the sacred ancient Persian prayer in honor of Anahita, the ―Hymn to the Waters‖ or ―Aban Yasht, as it is called in modern Persian or Farsi, Bleeker further remarks:...the fifth Yasht tells that Ahura Mazda rendered homage to Anāhitā and asked for her assistance in order to win Zarathustra as champion of the new faith."..... Was the Persian Goddess Anahita the Pre- Christian Virgin Mother of Mithra? By D.M. Murdock.....http://www.kavehfarrokh.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/anahita1.pdf



February 2015

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico


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