måndag 14 december 2009

The concept of the illuminating bridge in Zoroastrian Faith, Norse Mythology and the al Sirat in Islam

Dear Ardeshir

I agree 100%!!!
I also believe that when looking at the ENTIRE Gathic message it becomes evident that what Zarathushtra meant with "good" was the capacity and willingless to take the LONG-TERM VIEW when making "wise" decisions.
What frustrates Zarathushtra is the SHORT-SIGHTED IMPULSIVENESS of what he regards as "evil". For example the plundering of the fruits of OTHER people's hard work.
This has indeed nothing at all to do with Christian or Islamic good vs evil. Better words in contemporary English would be the opposites "wisdom" versus "stupidity". And we should speak here of ETHICS rather than regular morality since Zarathsuhtra goes all the way deep down to our very PATHOS to get at why we do what is right and why we do what is wrong in life.
If we don't get our pathos right, we can basically forget about everything else. That's truly hardcore ethics!



2009/12/14 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Alexander,

in my last article on good and evil in the enchanting gathas, i cited the gathic verses and clearly demonstrated that good is the action and words of Vohumanoe, in other words good and evil depends on foresight and level of understanding and consciousness. evil is inconscience and lack of vision. also what "we call good" has an infinite potential of growth and getting ever better; while evil is afflicted, limited and frozen in our worldview.

i have demonstrated that in my last article. furthermore, i strongly believe in discussing the original words, their root and a comparative study of their meaning and history. this enables every reader to draw their own conclusion based on the solid facts of the original melodies and not wild speculations. i think it is only fair to say that my trans, comment, has been consistently true to this approach which by the way is the approach of the ancient exegesis.

now, regarding chinvat and the bridge of the aesir, there is no mention of "good and evil" in biblical sense. it all about illumination, awareness and higher knowledge.

it is very important to remember that when we talk about renovation of the universe, good/evil, angels, the bridge, afterlife, and...... to figure out their TRUE GATHIC MEANING and SPIRIT. because they could be very different than what they are known for in biblical terminology.


On Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 3:52 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Dear Ardseshir

In norse mythology, there is no such thing as good or evil people. Humans, just like gods, are a bit of both, most of all they are all "human" in the sense that they are complex and personal more than anything else.
The concepts of good and evil PEOPLE as such did not develop in European thinking until the Christians introduced the idea. It was alien to all the polytheisms (Greek, Roman, Germanic, Norse, all related with the same origin in the original Indo-European polytheism). This is why there is a Satan in Christianity but not in for example Norse mythology. Without good or evil gods, why would there be purely good or evil people?
But there is a concept of ENLIGHTENMENT at play here. The crossing of the "Bridge of the Asars" is a metaphor for reaching enlightenment, of being one with the gods and their world. Also any possible after-life world.
I guess this would also have an effect on exactly how we translate the text in question in The Gathas. Nope?

All the very best

2009/12/14 ardeshir farhmand

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ardeshir farhmand
Date: Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 1:44 PM
Subject: The concept of the illuminating bridge in Zoroastrian Faith, Norse Mythology and the al Sirat in Islam
To: mehrdad farahmand
Cc: Bahmann Taheri

One of the rather fascinating ideas in the enchanting songs of
Zarathushtra is the idea of “chinvat peretu” or the chivat bridge, a
“passage or channel from lower worlds to higher realms of divine
genius and inspiration.”

We read in fargard/chapter 15.9 of the "Baghan Nask," wriiten as a on
Yasna 46.10. 5th Line: "That through Chinvat passage (Chish-vidarg) it
is taught that the men and women disciples of Zarathushtra shall step
forth (frovamand) and go on through anything (chish) openly/with
complete illumination, on the straight path to the house of songs,"

Direct reference or allusion to this bridge between countless worlds
and levels of consciousness, occurs in the following passages in the
gathas or the enchanting compositions of Zarathushtra; Yasna 33.5,
Yasna 46.10, Yasna 46.11, Yasna 50.4, Yasna 50.7 and Yasna 51.13.
There are numerous additional references in the avestan literature to
the same concept including vispered 7.1.

“chinvat” comes from the root “chi,” “ki” namely to discern, sort out,
clarify, elucidate. “Peretu” on the other hand denotes bridge,
passage, crossing over.

Zarathushtra teaches about a brilliant bridge or link between our
finite material realm of rigidities and limitations to the domains of
infinite possibilities and ever greater lights. Through this bridge
man's soul widens to cosmic dimensions and establishes a beaming
pathway to the celestial house of music (garoe-demane.)

This bridge links up the most rudimentary and fragmented levels of our
material knowledge with the highest levels of superb wisdom,
understanding and consciousness. Through it we can have access to a
realm where all consciousness meets, an undiminishing great light of
super-knowledge and innovation.

We read in fargard/chapter 15.3 of sud-kar nask which was written as a
commentary to Yasna 46.10: “That the inner seer and spirit alone see
the reward and the elucidating bridge to the spiritual realm, and
embodied it does not see such things,"

The “chivat bridge” rises beyond time and space and reveals all the
future possibilities. It is an all-seeing measureless link, it is all
vision, a channel for the superb clarity. The entire universe and all
the worlds are seen through it. All becomes clear, revealed and sorted

We read in fargard/chapter 10.4 of varsht-mansr book of gathic
commentaries: “About the bridge on which there is access to
All-Knowledge/Omniscience, and he who aspires the most wondrous
existence is visibly or invisibly crossing.........

We read also in fargard/chapter 16.18 of varsht-mansr book of gathic
commentaries, how the chivat bridge reveals “the signs of the last
times, which are the millenniums of the future saviors/sons of
Zartosht.” It should be added that throughout zoroastrian literature
the knowledge of the future possibilities is exclusively that of Ahura
Mazda and demonic forces are incapable of seeing with clarity the
conclusion of things.

The idea of the chinvat bridge has an almost identical counterpart in
the norse mythology. The Aesir (Same as Avestan “Ahura” or Sanskrit
“Asura”) made a bridge with great skill and knowledge and ride this
bridge which is called As-Bru (Aesir-bridge.)

It crosses over to the "urda-brunn" (well of urd or original
knowledge,) where the Aesir go to make judgments. Apparently an
intense, illuminating fire burns over the bridge to keep the evil
forces away. We read in the eddas; “Because the “As-Bru” burns all
with fire, the holy waters move.”

In Norse mythology the bridge/or link to the Aesir's realm is
inaccessible to the wicked and is only open to the noble souls. Also,
in the Zoroastrian holy writings the vile because of their own actions
(destoying the world of men/mortals) and lack of vision are unable to
cross over the bridge and are cast back into the domain of lies that
have consumed them through all ages. (Yasna 46.11 and Yasna 51.13)

We read in the allegorical language of Sud-kar nask
fargard/chapter19.3: “the Chinvad bridge which is the route (vidar) of
every one, righteous or wicked; the width across the route of the
righteous is a breadth of nine spears, each one the length of three
reeds,but the route for the wicked becomes like the edge of a razor.”

The purpose of Sud-kar (beneficial work) was, as its name imparts to
extract “useful” instructions from the gathic chants and to illustrate

The striking similarity between the norse beliefs and the zoroastrian
faith was not lost to the arabs. In fact, in al-Andalus, or Islamic
Spain, the arabs called Vikings, Al-Majus or Magis, Zoroastrian

According to the zoroastrian lore three angelic beings/concepts
preside over this "illuminating bridge." It should be added that the
line between angels and divine names/concepts is blurry in the
zoroastrian religion and they easily merge into each other. The three
angels that guard the bridge are: "Mithra" or "alliance" with the
divine, a "loving bond" between the world of mortals and the higher
immortal reality. "Rashnu" or justice, fairness to all and "Seraosha"
or spiritual inspiration.

If a person can not forge a bond with the angelic realm and does not
fulfill his contract here on earth or becomes a breaker of mithra
(mithr-druej,) that person can not pass the bridge to the wonders and
amazing new horizons beyond. Neither can a person pass if he is not
equally fair/just/straight (rashnnu) to both good and vile, nor if a
person does not LISTEN to higher inspirations and has no aspiration
for betterment and progress (seraosha.)

There are many parallels between the Zoroastrian and Norse concept of
an interconnecting/brilliant world bridge and the idea of AL-Sirat in
Islam. In islamic tradition there are many details given about this
bridge, which is said to be finer than a hair and sharper than a
sword. It stretches right over the abyss of hell, and is the only way
of passing from earth to heaven on the Judgment Day. All will be
commanded to cross it. The pious will do so without difficulty, guided
by the angels ; but the wicked, unable to cross, will fall headlong
into hell fire.
The above descritiptions seem to be ALMOST identical to the chapter 19
of the gathic Sud-kar Nask that explains the gathic chants in a
metaphorical language.

The word "Sirat" is used in the Koran in the sense of a straight way,
as in the phrase of "Sirat ul Mustaqim" or " the straight way," as it
occurs in Surah I or Al-Fatiha. A comparable concept can be seen in
Yasna 33.5, where there is mention of "erezauesh pathoe" or "straight
path" to the All Knowledge and Omniscience where Mazda Ahura dwells in

Koranic phrase "sirat" it is NOT an Arabic word and does not come from
any semitic root. It comes from the latin "strata," or "straight," and
its derivation shows the parallel idea with the the zoroasrtian
concept of chinvat bridge.

The reference to this "straight path" to the abode of celestial music
where Ahura Mazda dwells and creates the countless worlds with his
beautiful melody; can be seen throughout zoroastrian prayers. Among
which is the important "Kushti" or holy belt prayer that every
zoroastrain must wear as a symbol of determination to renew the
creation and must be recited few times everyday. "I keep pure my
conduct by keeping pure the six powers of life, act,
speech, thought, intellect, reasoning and mind. In justice do I
perform it, that worship of thine, in good thought and speech and
deed, in order that I may remain in the bright
way, that I may not arrive at the house of lies, but may cross over
Chinvat and may
attain to that blessed abode which is full of perfume, wholly
pleasant, always brilliant."

I find the idea of a bridge connecting our world with the celestial
house of songs (Garoe Demane,) or Asgarth (Enclosure of the Aesirs)
fascinating. The concept behind it seems to be that the upper levels
of consciousness constantly inspire our plane with new ideas,
creativity and progress. There is an invisible gate, it is our choice
to be inspired by it and evolve or reject it and devolve.


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