Copyright: @2013 John Easter.
Indo-European background of the Gathas
This is only a very brief and simple overview of the Indo-European background behind the Gathas. I made this to help show why the texts of various pagan/polytheist literature of the Indo-European religions, such as the Norse Poetic Edda and the Indian Rig-Veda, can help shed light on understanding what is essentially the earliest form of panentheism/monotheism on record. At least the earliest expression of it that is also strongly associated with love and goodness for its own sake.
Indo-European pagan/polytheist literature includes many different things. Including Norse texts, which includes the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, the Norse Sagas, and the Old English Beowulf poem, and Hindu texts, which includes the Rig-Veda, the Upanishads, the Ramayana epic by Valmiki, the Mahabharata epic by Vyasa, and the Puranas, and many others.
Also Celtic texts, which includes the Old Irish Tain Bo Cuailnge epic and the Middle Welsh Mabinogion, Greek texts, which includes the Bibliotheca by Apollodorus, the Theogony and the Works & Days poems by Hesiod, the Argonautica epic by Apollonius of Rhodes, the Iliad & Odyssey epics by Homer, and the Homeric Hymns, and Roman texts, which includes the Aeneid epic by Virgil and the Metamorphoses by Ovid, among others.
Some similar but non-Indo-European pagan/polytheist literature includes the Uralic(Finnish) Kalevala epic by Elias Lonnrot, the Northwest Caucasian(Circassian) Nart Sagas, the Chinese Fengshen Yanyi epic by Xu Zhonglin, and the Japanese Kojiki by O no Yasumaro & Hieda no Are and the Nihon Shoki by Prince Toneri & O no Yasumaro, which are the 2 oldest and most important texts within Shintoism.
The words of the Gathas are indeed the very embodiment of Mazda-Yasna, literally meaning God Worship, and they represent a very pure monotheism in that they always assert the primal power of Ahura Mazda or God above all other entities.
However Zoroastrian tradition has always acknowledged a numerous host of ultra powerful and wonderful celestial beings that are indeed most comparable to the gods and goddesses of the world’s other traditions.
Including the non-Indo-European traditions such as in the African, Native American, Australian and Polynesian cultures. However the great yazatas(beings worthy of veneration) are portrayed with an even more heroic, and of course more angelic like, stature. This all obviously having very strong universalist implications.
This is contrasted sharply with the Jewish tradition, which tends to severely downplay the abilities of the angels in order to over illustrate the omnipotence of Yahweh. A concept inherited from the neighboring ancient Canaanite and Mesopotamian traditions where the high reigning top gods, such as El, Baal Hadad, Marduk, and Ashur, had to be evaluated above all other beings and at all costs.
Indeed the strictly demanded obedience and veneration of Allah in Islam can be thought of as an extension of these ancient traditions as there are some noticeable parallels between descriptions of El “the kindly, the compassionate” and Allah “the merciful, the compassionate”.
Paganism, more specifically polytheist worship or the practice of acknowledging and revering multiple spiritual beings, has customarily been looked down upon by hardcore monotheist traditions. By revering the yazatas(gods & goddesses/angels) and the elements over which they preside we are in fact celebrating the good creation of God.
Mazda-Yasna offers an inspired synthesis of what is best in both monotheism and so called polytheism. The world would be a much better place if the gods, and the aspects of nature of which they represent, were seriously revered only a small fraction of how much they were by the Indic polytheist composers of the Rig-Veda.
The Biblical/Koranic based religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, have often been described as superior to other traditions just because of their absolute monotheism alone as if they were proud of the idea portrayed in the Old Testament statements of a “God” who would strangely stress to never ever share his glory with other entities and beings. This somehow displaying his true greatness.
This is clearly only a residue of the older Canaanite and Mesopotamian styles, borrowed by the ancient Jews who wanted to use such language as a way to illustrate God’s uniqueness, rather than being the literal and actual reflections of a truly universal God.
History has repeatedly shown that this mindset of clinging to an absolute monotheism alone as the highest virtue, regardless of anything else, including love and goodness, has tendencies to generate a blind, violent, and arrogant expression of faith.
In Mazda-Yasna God is synonymous with the very element of goodness itself and any form of cruelty towards sentient beings would never be understood as being the will of God.
Zarathushtra Spitama is the prophet or teacher of Mazda-Yasna(God-Worship) and the composer of the Gathas. He lived somewhere within the eastern area of Greater Iran. It could possibly be in what is now either eastern Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, or even southern Russia.
He was the first monotheist in recorded history to clearly expound that there is only one truly supreme God behind the universe who is also the force of love and goodness. This is expressed in his Gathas or Songs. Gatha is both the Avestan word and the Sanskrit word for hymn or a song of praise.
Many scholars consider the Gathas or the Songs to be a record of Zarathushtra’s own words that were carefully preserved and passed down through oral tradition for about 2000 years before being committed to writing.
The Indo-Iranian languages, Gathic Avestan and Vedic Sanskrit, are so close that Zarathushtra must of composed the Gathas in Iran within only a few centuries, either before or after, of when the rishis(seers/sages) composed the Rig-Veda in India. This may have been as early as 1500 to 1700 B.C. or 3500 to 3700 years ago.
A later date between 1000 to 1200 B.C. or 3000 to 3200 years ago is also suggested for Zarathushtra’s time but it really depends on the real age of the Rig-Veda and also the Vedic Sanskrit language itself, both of which seem to be much more ancient than that.
“The prophet Zarathushtra, son of Pourushaspa, of the Spitaman family, is known to us primarily from the Gathas, seventeen great hymns which he composed and which have been faithfully preserved by his community.”
“Zoroaster’s date cannot be established with any precision, since he lived in what for his people were prehistoric times. The language of the Gathas is archaic, and close to that of the Rigveda (whose composition has been assigned to about 1700 B. C. onwards); and the picture of the world to be gained from them is correspondingly ancient, that of a Stone Age society.”
“It is only possible therefore to hazard a reasoned conjecture that Zoroaster lived some time between 1700 and 1500 B.C.”
-Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices p. 17 and p. 18 by Mary Boyce
Aside from what is in the Gathas there is very little known about Zarathushtra for sure. There are stories and elaborations in the later Avesta, Middle Persian texts, and the Shahnameh epic by Ferdowsi but all these came much later.
The basic story seems to be that Zarathushtra came from an Iranian priestly family with practices not too different from the Indian priestly families and the earliest expressions of Hinduism. This would explain how Zarathushtra was actually able to compose the Gathas and sing them.
Early in his life Zarathushtra wanted to understand the nature of things. He questioned many things and sought all the higher knowledge he could gain from various teachers and priests like the Buddha over a 1000 years later.
Early on he noticed the corruption of the Karapans(Iranian priests) who easily controlled all others with fear and power for the sake of maintaining their own wealth and position, while the Kavis(warrior chieftains) raided villages and slaughtered innocent people. No one, not even his parents, would listen to him.
It is then said that when he was around 20 he left his home and went to dwell in the wilderness of the mountains where he mediated on all aspects of life and existence while also observing nature for 10 years.
When he was 30 he communed with Vohu Manah(Loving Mind) who showed him that there was ultimately one Primal and Supreme Intelligence of pure goodness behind all the universes or dimensions of existence, both physical and spiritual.
Zarathushtra returned wanting to share and teach his discoveries with his family and friends. However his community was too used to the traditional Indo-Iranian religion of their ancestors and they would not accept his new ethical message.
Eventually the Iranian priests realized how damaging his message could be to their prestigious lifestyle and called on the aid of the warrior chieftains to forcibly expel him from their community.
Later on Zarathushtra reached the community of King Vishtaspa who, together with his ministers, accepted his message and from then on aided him in spreading it.
Zarathushtra’s message would eventually spread all throughout the Greater Iranian plateau and about 1200 years later would greatly influence Judaism through Emperor Cyrus of Persia freeing the Jews from Babylonian captivity.
This made for long term friendly relations between the 2 groups who may of additionally felt a kindred spirit with each other as fellow monotheists. This in turn would influence the formations of Christianity 500 years afterwards, about 1700 years later, and Islam another 600 years afterwards, about 2300 years later.
While in the East, about 1000 years later, the message would more indirectly influence the formation of later Post-Vedic Upanishadic Hinduism in India. About 1700 years later it would also influence the formation of later Mahayana Buddhism in Central Asia before its spread into China and Japan.
“Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.”
“and some of its leading doctrines were adopted by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as by a host of Gnostic faiths, while in the East it had some influence on the development of northern Buddhism.”
“These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence,”
-Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices p. 1 and p. 29 by Mary Boyce
“The Bible, which does not mention his name, was nonetheless so strongly influenced by his teaching that without him Judaism would have been a very different faith from what it is, and Christianity as we know it might not, arguably, even have come into existence, and certainly not spread in the direction it did.”
“a great deal of research carried out by numerous scholars indicates that both Judaism and Islam, and through Judaism Christianity as well, were directly influenced by Mazdayasni ideas.”
“Not even Buddhism has escaped Zoroastrian influence, for the region around Afghanistan and Bactria, where Zarathushtra lived many years,” “was at a crucial time in history one of the main centres of the development of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy.”
“and as much a Reformer of the Vedic society as Gautama Buddha. …As a matter of fact Zarathushtra stands nearer to the Vedic religion than Gautama Buddha does. For while Buddhism has sometimes been suspected of atheism, Parsi-ism (Zoroastrianism) (equally with Hinduism) is nothing if not theistic. …Yet no scholar thought of presenting the matter in this light.”
“These classes(caste system) paralleled the Hindu ones of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra”. It was Zarathushtra’s innovative teaching that first challenged this typical Aryan trend; and although today the concept of equality between man and his fellow-man is so common as to be taken for granted,
it ought to be appreciated that it was not the framers of the Declaration of Independence, but the Persian Prophet, who first enunciated it in unambigouous terms.”
“No other individual in the entire history of the world from the time Time began has ever had greater importance, influence, or impact on humanity; and yet he has been so neglected, even by the majority of historians (who surely ought to know better) that many-perhaps most-people in the world have not so much as heard of him.”
-Zarathushtra by Ardeshir Mehta
Check out the book.
(Yasna 28.4 of the Ahuna-Vaiti Gatha)
“I who have set my heart on watching over the soul, in union with Good Thought[Vohu Manah], and as knowing the rewards of Mazda Ahura for our works, will, while I have power and strength, teach men to seek after Right[Asha].”
Translation from The Divine Songs of Zarathushtra by Dr. Irach J. S. Taraporewala and C. Bartholomae
Zarathushtra’s pure revelation was totally all his own and was truly and most uniquely inspired by God. He calls himself a vaedemna(one who knows) which means he has divinely inspired wisdom.
However he must have been trained in the same oral traditions as the Iranian and Indo-Iranian poetic priests that came before him who in turn inherited their oral traditions from the even older Indo-European poetic priests.
In fact in the Gathas he refers to himself as a zaotar(a fully qualified priest of the older Indo-Iranian religion he opposed) and also a manthran which means one who is able to compose manthras(in Avestan) or mantras(in Sanskrit).
As strange as it may seem the Gathas are composed similarly to the heroic bardic poetry of the Norse & Celtic traditions, which are also of Indo-European origin.
The Gathas are actually passionate and poetic songs in loving praise of God that also contain visions, riddles, and prayers that are simultaneously intellectual and emotional.
“These are not works of instruction, but inspired, passionate utterances, many of them addressed directly to God; and their poetic form is a very ancient one, which has been traced back (through Norse parallels) to Indo-European times.”
-Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices p. 17 by Mary Boyce
Gathic Avestan, like its close relative Vedic Sanskrit, is a very fluid language. The words contain multi-layered meanings that reflect many different concepts at the same time.
The situation is somewhat similar to the multiple meanings of the ancient Chinese characters within the Tao Te Ching text by Lao Tzu which has resulted in many different English translations as well.
Many of the words convey implications referring to the mind/spirit, mental awareness, and consciousness not unlike that which would later be expressed in Hindu & Buddhist philosophies over 1000 years later.
Unfortunately this isn’t quite as easily apparent in English translations of the Gathas because even the most literal and technically correct translations are stilted to focus on a more direct meaning of the words for the sake of easier comprehension.
The Gathas, unlike the Old Testament and the Koran, are not a set of unchanging instructions or arbitrary tribal rules but instead serve as divine encouragement to always pursue and attune to what is good through Daena(Vision/Conscience), Tushna-Matay(Meditation), and personal mental/spiritual insight.
Part of the Kushti(holy belt) prayer.
“I keep pure my conduct by keeping pure the six powers of life, act, speech, thought, intellect, reasoning and mind.”
The Gathas also encourage the use of one’s God given mind to ever increase in creative consciousness and to improve the good physical creation of God for the benefit of all sentient beings which is indeed extended to include the welfare of animals.
“More accurately though ashá/artá is “divine artistry” or “supreme art.” ashá/artá comes often with the epithet vahishtá “beauty, wow, wonder.” The concept of Ashá vahishtá /Artá vahishtá is about the VISION/ART which creates and discovers WONDER.”
“In fact, Zarathúshtrá teaches that we are the co-workers (ham-kár) of the Gd of Genius and Vision through ashá/artá,”
Why shall we choose Goodness and Virtue??? by Ardeshir Farahmand
“For the Gd that Zarathushtra teaches about does not want servants and slaves but superior ahúrás and master creators, shapers of a fresh, new world and destiny,”
-Ameretát “Immortality,” “Indestructibility,” in the Poetic Gathas by Ardeshir Farahmand
“Fundamental to Zarathushtra’s philosophy is the tender loving care, friendship and stewardship of gentle/graceful animals, pets and livestock;” “Zarathushtra teaches that animals have a SOUL and consciousness,” “The seer/sage takes a very strong stand against the unrestrained slaughter and ill treatment of animals,”
-Zoroastrian dietary laws, animal friendship and stewardship by Ardeshir Farahmand
The Proto-Indo-Europeans, or the earliest Indo-European tribes, are generally thought to of originated over 5000 years ago from somewhere within the area of what is today in southern Russia. To the north of the Caucasus. At different points, different Indo-European tribes migrated to Europe, Iran, and India, spreading their influence and language.
The Indo-European tribes did in fact mix with the local indigenous groups of the areas that they settled in. This greatly influenced the development of the different expressions of the Indo-European cultures and mythologies after thousands of years of settlement.
The major Indo-European language groups in Europe include the Greek, Italic(Italian/Spanish/French), Germanic(German/Norse/English), Celtic(Irish/Scottish/Welsh), Slavic(Russian/Polish/Bulgarian), and Baltic(Lithuanian/Latvian) families. Lithuanian, of the Baltic family, is the European language that is closest to the Vedic Sanskrit in the Rig-Veda and the Gathic Avestan in the Gathas.
Indo-Iranian is a major and ancient offshoot of Indo-European. It mainly refers to the linguistic ancestors of the speakers of Iranic(Iranian) and Indic(Indian) languages before they divided into separate groups. It also includes the distinct Nuristani & Dardic language speakers.
The Proto-Indo-Iranians, or the earliest Indo-Iranian tribes, and apparently even the earliest Iranians themselves, most likely hailed from an area much further north than either Iran or India because of the ancient ruins of the Sintashta and Arkaim settlements. Particularly an area that is now within Russia or Kazakhstan.
“The cemetery excavation at Sintashta, in the south Ural steppe, has yielded compelling evidence for the importance of warriors in that area around 1500 B.C. Of special interest to us are finds that suggest correlations with the warrior activities condemned by Zarathustra.”
-Heaven, Heroes, and Happiness: The Indo-European Roots of Western Ideology p. 192 by Shan M. M. Winn
Iranic peoples include the ancient Iranians who spoke Avestan during Zarathushtra’s time, the ancient Persians who founded the Achaemenid and Sassanian empires, and the modern Persians, Tajiks, Kurds, and other groups in the Middle East and Central Asia today.
The largest surviving communities of Iranian Zoroastrians within modern Iran are in the provinces of Yazd and Kerman, and in the city of Tehran within the province of Tehran which is the capital of the country.
Over a thousand years ago many Iranian Zoroastrians migrated east towards India in order to escape Islamic persecution and became the Parsi people. Beginning over 200 years ago more Iranian Zoroastrians went east to escape Islamic persecution as well and became the Irani people.
Some of the other Iranic groups include the ancient Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, and their descendants who settled in the Caucasus that later became the modern Ossetians. The Ossetian people composed their own versions of the Nart Sagas along with the versions composed by the native Caucasian peoples.
The origins behind the Iranic Ossetian versions of the Nart Sagas of the Caucasus would also strongly influence the stories about King Arthur, and his Knights of the Round Table, through Roman and Sarmatian migration to Britain.
The Indic peoples include the speakers of Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and many other related languages which all ultimately derive from Vedic Sanskrit. Both early Vedic & later Upanishadic Hinduism was developed in India through what was probably a combination of influence from both Indo-Iranian religion and the ancient Dravidian religion of the indigenous Dravidian peoples of non-Indo-European origin. Even Vedic Sanskrit shows traces of Dravidian influence.
The Romani(Gypsy) people are also included among them. The Nuristani & Dardic peoples include the Kalash people who seem to be the very last followers of unbroken traditions from Indo-European paganism and polytheism. The Kalash pantheon includes Indra from the Rig-Veda.
Other Middle Eastern areas where the Indo-Europeans settled include Armenia and Anatolia or ancient Turkey. Anatolia is where the Anatolian peoples settled which includes the Hittites.
Armenia was influenced by both Iran and Greece and the deities of Armenian Mythology are somewhat like a fusion between the Zoroastrian yazatas and the Greek Olympians because their names are similar to the names of the Zoroastrian angels but their attributes are more akin to the Greek gods.
The Indo-Europeans even migrated as far as western China in the Tarim Basin and the Taklamakan Desert where the Tocharian languages were spoken. It is also where the well preserved Tarim mummies were found.
I will now end this by showing some amazing similarities between a few Gathic Avestan terms and a few Old Norse terms. First I will describe the background of the Norse texts. The Norse tribes originated from older Germanic tribes who in turn originated from Indo-European tribes that settled within northern Germania and southern Scandinavia.
The Germanic languages are divided into 3 major groups. East Germanic, West Germanic and North Germanic. East Germanic tribes included the ancient Goths and Vandals. Only West and North Germanic languages are spoken today.
West Germanic languages includes German of Germany, Dutch of the Netherlands(contains Holland), Frisian of Frisia, and English of England. West Germanic languages are also spoken in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Belgium. The Jewish influenced Yiddish language is also a West Germanic language.
North Germanic has 2 subgroups. West Scandinavian which contains Norwegian of Norway, Icelandic of Iceland, and also Faroese of the Faroe Islands, which are in between Norway and Iceland. The other group is East Scandinavian which contains Swedish of Sweden and Danish of Denmark.
Other West Scandinavian languages not around today include Greenlandic Norse of Greenland and Norn of the Orkney islands and the Shetland islands which are both north of Scotland. Norn was also spoken in Caithness, a county in north-east Scotland.
Proto-Norse is the earliest form of North Germanic languages before it developed into the Old Norse of the Viking Age and then split up into the modern Scandinavian languages. Ancient runic inscriptions in the Elder Futhark alphabet, the oldest form of the Norse runes, show Proto-Norse to be almost exactly the same as Proto-Germanic.
Germanic Mythology in general is mostly preserved from Icelandic writings based on Norwegian versions of the myths which are both North Germanic groups making it Norse Mythology. There are not as many West Germanic writings on the myths but the Merseburg Incantations, which are written in Old High German, mentions Odin, Baldur, and Freya or Frigg. This shows that German Mythology is closely related to Norse Mythology. Anglo-Saxon(Old English), also West Germanic, references are also shown to be closely related.
God is variously called Ahura Mazda, Mazda Ahura, Mazda, and Ahura within the Gathas. Ahura(masculine base) means lord or god while Mazda(feminine base) means wise or wisdom. Together it perhaps should be understood as meaning the Primal and Supreme Intelligence or Mind Force behind the universe.
Asura is the Vedic Sanskrit cognate of Ahura and refers to a type of deity in the Rig-Veda. Aesir is the Old Norse cognate of both Ahura and Asura and refers to the highest ranking deities, such as Odin and Thor, in the Norse Poetic & Prose Eddas.
In the Gathas the Chinvat Bridge is the separator or the divider between the physical dimension and the spiritual dimension or the House of Song(Heaven). Apparently the Chinvat Bridge, through Indo-European roots, is related to the Norse Bifrost, or Asbru(Aesir’s bridge), which is the illuminating rainbow bridge that separates Midgard(Earth) and Asgard(the realm of the Aesir gods).
“Our universe is riddled with passages and according to the Poetic Gathas Chinvatö Perethü, or the Chinvat Bridge is the name of the main passageway from this world to the next and the wondrous realms beyond.”
“Perethü comes from Proto-Indo-European root pertu “to pass over” “bridge;” German brücke, Old English faran “to go, journey” Old Norse fjörðr “ford, entrance, passage” Old Church Slavonic pariti “fly” Latin portus”port, entrance, passage,” Greek poros “journey, passage,” peirein”to pierce, pass through.”
Chinvatö comes from the root chit, Sanskrit chid, Welsh chwydu, Old Irish scian, Gothic skaidan; “to separate one thing from another, to shed knowledge/light on” Latin scientia”knowledge” from scire “to know,” originally “to separate one thing from another.”
Chinvat Bridge is the bridge that “manifests knowledge, reveals, make it all clear.” Chinvat is the port/passage where higher insight is revealed and a selection of the souls for journey to more wondrous dimensions is made.”
-Chinvat Perethü; the Bridge of understanding and Ásbrú, the Aesir’s Bridge by Ardeshir Farahmand
“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.”
“The “Chinvat 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 out!”
“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 (destroying 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)”
-The concept of the illuminating bridge in Zoroastrian Faith, Norse Mythology and the al Sirat in Islam by Ardeshir Farahmand
Now the similarities between the Zoroastrian texts and the Norse texts are even more extensive than that. They are so particularly strong compared to other Indo-European texts that this may actually reflect a second layer of connections that goes beyond just both groups having the same linguistic background. Zoroastrian traditions coming out from Greater Iran may have possibly influenced the early Germanic tribes and other European groups.
Indo-European tribes have already migrated to Europe long before Zarathushtra’s time in 1700 B.C. or 3700 years ago. However the earliest Proto-Germanic tribes, who developed out of the older Indo-European tribes that settled in northern Germania & southern Scandinavia, may of formed during the Nordic Bronze Age between 1700-500 B.C. or during the Iron Age Jastorf culture which began in about 500 B.C.
The Nordic Bronze Age was exposed to foreign influences through trade with Central Europe and the Mediterranean and includes groups such as the Greeks, Egyptians, and others. Iranian influence may of also been transmitted towards the Proto-Germanic culture while it was still developing out of the older Indo-European culture that settled in Germania.
This would possibly explain why some of the oldest myths within the Norse Poetic Edda, such as the Voluspa, contain several similarities with Zoroastrian texts. Most striking are the similarities between the Zoroastrian Apocalypse and the Norse Ragnarok.
See In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth pp. 84-87 by J.P. Mallory
Another important and amazing similarity between a Gathic Avestan term and an Old Norse term.
“into the eternal lights, and then into the celestial House of Music & Songs of Ahúrá Manzdá. The House of Music & Songs is called Garö Demanæ in Avestan; Compare Avestan gar with Old Norse galdr (plural galdrar) deriving from a root for “singing” music/songs composed in a special metric measure.”
-The Zoroastrian threefold motto: The purest essence in thoughts, words and deeds by Ardeshir Farahmand
Garo[Song] Demane[House] is usually translated as “The House of Song”. It is the dimension of Ahura Mazda from where numerous worlds and melodies are emanated. It is also the oldest name for Heaven.
There is an ever-constant and omni-present invisible gate or portal between the physical dimension and Garo Demane from where all inspirations, creativity, new ideas, progress, and upper levels of consciousness within our minds are generated from.