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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
An Appeal to Ahura Mazdah, the Lord, for Knowledge
The Avesta (c. Sixth Century B.C.)
Yasna xliv., 1–7: James Hope Moulton

1. THIS I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: when praise is to be offered, how shall I complete the praise of the One like You, O Mazda? Let the One like Thee declare it earnestly to the friend who is such as I, thus through Thy Righteousness within us to offer friendly help to us, so that the One like Thee may draw near us through Thy Good Mind within the Soul.  1
  2. This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright how, in pleasing Him, may we serve the Supreme One of the better world; yea, how to serve that chief who may grant us those blessings of his grace and who will seek for grateful requitals at our hands; for He, bountiful as He is through the Righteous Order, will hold off ruin from us all, guardian as He is for both the worlds, O Spirit Mazda! and a friend.  2
  3. This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: Who by generation is the first father of the Righteous Order within the world? Who gave the recurring sun and stars their undeviating way? Who established that whereby the moon waxes, and whereby she wanes, save Thee? These things, O Great Creator! would I know, and others likewise still.  3
  4. This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: Who from beneath hath sustained the earth and the clouds above that they do not fall? Who made the waters and the plants? Who to the wind has yoked on the storm-clouds the swift and fleetest two? Who, O Great Creator! is the inspirer of the good thoughts within our souls?  4
  5. This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: Who, as a skillful artisan, hath made the lights and the darkness? Who, as thus skillful, hath made sleep and the zest of waking hours? Who spread the Auroras, the noontides and midnight, monitors to discerning man, duty’s true guides?  5
  6. This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright these things which I shall speak forth, if they are truly thus. Doth the Piety which we cherish in reality increase the sacred orderliness within our actions? To these Thy true saints hath she given the Realm through the Good Mind? For whom hast thou made the Mother-kine, the produce of joy?  6
  7. This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: Who fashioned Aramaiti (our piety) the beloved, together with Thy Sovereign Power? Who, through his guiding wisdom, hath made the son revering the father? Who made him beloved? With questions such as these, so abundant, O Mazda! I press Thee, O bountiful Spirit, Thou maker of all!  7

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