Winternitz, 'Jataka gathas
and Jataka commentary', Indian Historical Quarterly (Calcutta) 4, 1 (1928): 12.
Though there is much controversy regarding these dates, linguistic evidence from the Gathas
- 17 Hymns, the only text attributed directly to Zarathushtra, confirms close parallels with the early Rig Veda, now believed to be composed from about 1,800BC.
It is a custom to lay down a table and place a copy of the Gathas
, a lit lamp or candle, a shallow ceramic plate with sprouted wheat or beans, small bowl with a silver coin, flowers, painted eggs, sweets and rosewater, and a bowl of water containing goldfish in it.
In the Avesta, too, the corresponding word ahura occasionally refers to human lords (Gathas
Y 29,219 and Y 31,10;20 Ardvl Sur Yast 85, Tistar Yast 36, Fravardin Yast 63, Bahiram Yast 37, Zamyad Yast 77)--and not always complimentary: the ahura in Bahiram Yast 37 is largely unsuccessful--he cannot kill the owner of the magic feather.
This notion has long been a concern of his work, as Anne Tardos recognizes in her foreword to Thing of Beauty, when she quotes the now unavailable "Instructions" for his "Music for Gathas
": "[The composer] values freedom--everybody's freedom with this composer-performer community.
The symbolism is explained nor in the Gathas
or songs of Zarathustra, but in later Pahlavi and Persian books.
Following its origins in Sanskrit, the language ofsutras and gathas
, an association with Buddhism developed forregulated verse.
Born at least six centuries before Christ, Zoroaster (ZaraSustra) was a Parsi/Persian credited with the Gathas
, some seventeen hymns or religious poetry that are the sacred texts of the faith and views the human condition as the mental struggle between asa (truth) and druj (lie).
At the same time, religious studies scholars discredited many of the Zoroastrian texts, claiming that only the Gathas
(hymns) dated from the time of the prophet Zoroaster.