عنوان مقاله [English]
Fairly clear visions of the complimentary approaches to Nahid, the goddess, can be obtained in various texts such as Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrians. The fifth Yasht of Avesta, known as ‘Aban Yasht’ provides readers with the most knowledge on praising the goddess. Using a descriptive-analytical method, the present paper tries to illuminate, for the reader, new aspects of this religious chant by depicting compliments to Nahid based on Aban Yasht studied by Changiz Molayi (2013) which is the latest and the most authentic research on AbanYasht since Nahid’s different realizations affected Iranian mythology, culture, religions and literature from the past to the present. The results reveal that Nahid’s admirers, from Ahoura Mazda and Zoroaster to many other mythical Iranian and non-Iranian characters yearn to earn Nahid’s support of themselves by giving presents, offering appraisals and making sacrifices. Nahid, however, disappoints the ones with evil thoughts while offering her support to those who has Ahouraian thought, since she is a representative of the world of goodness.
Keywords: Avesta, Aban Yasht, Nahid, description, praise.
In order to study, classify and make the remaining texts from ancient Iranian literature applicable, in which the texts of Avesta are the most important forms of literature, this question appears that how can these dead texts be explored? These texts which in some sense are the foundations of old and new Iranian literature have to be studied and described in a specific way which is applied to the study of dead texts so that users can make better use of them. For example, studies about lines like “God of keivan and the turning sepehr/ lightener of moon, nahid and mehr” (Ferdowsi’s Shahnama, 2003: 1), and lines “then the famous girl Qeisara/Nahid was the name of that girl // the great king called her Katayun/ two children came like the shining moon” (ibid: 890), where Nahidhas been mentioned. It is inevitable for researchers who like the background of this name, to refer to the text Aban Yasht. In approval of this, Rajabi states: “attention to Anahita and the connection of Iranian mythical heroes with Nahid has made Aban Yasht one of the richest mythical-legendary sources of Iran for researchers and writers. Undoubtedly, Ferdowsi needed this source” (Rajabi, 2007: 175). This article, by stating three questions, is after finding answers for them by relying on the text of Aban Yasht. These three questions are 1. What are the qualities Nahid is praised for? 2. B. How is Nahidpraised? 2. C. What functions are imaginable from Nahidby doing these appraisals?
In conducting this study on the basis of library data, the analytic-descriptive method was used and the article, in the main discussion, is divided into three distinct parts; it is organized on the basis of the replies to these three stated questions. After the statement of three questions and replying them, some general points, too, have been added about the appraisal of goddess Nahid.
This part which includes the main part of the article, according to research questions, analyzes the following three main subjects about goddess Nahid on the basis of the text of Aban Yasht: 2. A. qualities for which Nahidis appraised, 2. B. How Nahidis appraised, 2. C. the functions that are imaginable by doing these appraisals.
2. A. in reply to the first question, the qualities for which Nahid is praised and these qualities are observable in the glory and splendor of Nahid, according to the text of Aban Yasht, are briefly as follows: growth and increase, fertility and strength, virtuousness, beauty and tidiness, race and freedom, generosity and productivity, love and maternity, medication and organization. Now, by relying on the text of Aban Yasht, some explanations are provided for each one of these mentioned explanations. 2.A.1. growth and increase, 2.A.2. fertility and strength, 2.A. 3. virtuousness, 2.A.4. beauty and tidiness, 2.A.5. race and freedom, 2.A.6. generosity and productivity, 2.A.7. love and maternity, 2.A.8. medication and organization.
The research findings show that in order to reach some of the happiness in the hereafter, the ancient Iranians resorted to Izadan (God) through worship, nursing and presenting sacrifices. One of the most famous Izadans was goddess Nahid. They believed that she had a lot of powers which seems to be because of matriarchal thinking which was dominant in the ancient times in many lands especially in Iran. Although there are a lot of materials available about the ancient world in the religious and non-religious sources, fifth Yasht of Avesta known as “Aban Yasht” presents most awareness to the readers about the worship of this goddess. Studying the divine aspects of Aban Yasht can lead the researchers of present-day Iran to some parts of ancient Iranian lyrical literature. In this Yasht, Nahid is openly praised with qualities such as growth and affluence, strength and power, virtuousness, beauty and tidiness, race and freedom, generosity and fertility, love and maternity, curing and organizing; this, in a sense, shows perfect qualities of Iranian women in the ancient eras.
Symbols of Nahid, although few, are observable in many aspects of Iranian myths, culture, religions, and literature in cases such as naming girls in her name, the existence of lots of Dokhtar castles, Pol dokhtar, Kotal dokhtar, her name in Ferdowsi’s Shahnama, etc.
By giving Anahita these qualities, the ancient Iranian literature crystalizes virtue in her. Legendary heroes and figures like Houshang, Jamshid, Kekavoos and KeiKhosrow seek for Anahita’s support to gain victory. She disappoints oppressors such as Zahhak and Afrasiab, etc. and grants success to the good and the believers of Ahura. Because the basics of Zoroastrian religion is on order, asheh, righteousness, life and eternality, and not on death and destruction, etc. The text of Aban Yasht, on the basis of Zoroastrian perspective, openly pictures hereafter. Since Nahidis a member of the good world, in this role, she gives aifat (=share, benefit, reward) to the Iranian characters and those who have Ahura’s ideology; and she deprives those like Ajhi Dahak (=Zahak), Afrasiab Turani and Arjasb Khionan Khodaira who are non-Iranian and, along with the evils, plan to destroy mankind including Iranians, from her aifat. In addition, the text data shows that Nahidowns lots of characteristics that Iranian gods such as Apam Napat, Din, Ashi, and Chista, Indian Saraswathi, Babylonian Ishtar and the Greek Artemisia have. She has been identified as one of the Iranian goddessesby creating some combination in the form of a Yasht in Avesta. Eventually, in a country like Iran, with a mainly dry climate, by creating legends, describing, praising, and presenting sacrifices to be thankful for water and to emphasize its importance, Iranians have enriched goddess Nahid and have recorded a Yasht in the holy book of Zoroastrianism in her name.