AVAILABLE ON FLOPPY DISKETTES :
MULTIPLE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF ALL AVESTAN SCRIPTURES
- GATHAS, YASNA, VENDIDAD, YASHTS
INCLUDING THE ESOTERIC TRADITIONAL
TRANSLATION OF OUR SACRED SCRIPTURES
BY DR. SAHEB CHINIVALA
(Ilm ne Khshnum, THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE OF OUR RELIGION)
Hello fellow Mazdayasni Zarathustrians,
The following is a letter by Dr. Purviz Dinyar Kolsawalla (D.Sc., Ph.D. in Zoroastrian Studies) who is the past President of the Australian Zoroastrian Association. Dr. Kolsawalla, a very learned man is a very religious Zarathushtri who has encouraged my writings constantly since the last 8 years, especially the "Saga of the Aryans". For many years now, Dr. Kolsawala has been working on a complete compilation of translations of our sacred scriptures, including the ESOTERIC translations by Dr. Chiniwala which truly explain the REAL beauty of our religion. As Dr. Kolsawala rightly says, "if the esoteric meaning is explained then the true and rich beauty of our scriptures shines through."
Dr. Kolsawala has requested that this letter of his be published on the internet. Here is his letter.
The majority of worldís religious scriptures have one or more translations of the scriptures into modern day languages. As regards our Zarathustrian religious scriptures, Ervad Kavasji Kanga and Dr. FS Chiniwala, translated our scriptures in Gujerati. Unfortunately many Zarathustrians of my generation and most certainly the younger generation residing in the West are unable to read Gujerati.
To further compound the issues, there are SEVERAL translations of our scriptures, specially the Gathas which are the very words spoken by our Prophet Asho Zarathustra. The translations differ considerably in their meaning and often the intent. This is explained by the fact that Avesta, the language in which our scriptures are written is not a spoken language and itís grammar is imperfectly known. Like all scriptures there are two schools of teaching the religious knowledge, One was for the masses and the other being esoteric was for the Adept who had been formally initiated in our religion. Thus common words like aspa, ushtra which directly translated as horse and camel, have an esoteric explanation of a speedy energy, and extreme knowledge. It would be nice if there was one commonly accepted authenticated translation of our scriptures, but that seems to be pretty nearly impossible to achieve due to LACK OF MUTUAL ACCEPTANCE between our scholars. May be the Grand Scriptures of Zarathustra need more than one facet of understanding the deep philosophical, ritual and scientific meaning hidden in them.
Let us begin with the Gathas. There is a school of thought in some Zarathustrians that this is the only true Zarathustrian scripture given by Prophet Zarathustra, and all other scriptures were written at a later date and were a distortion of the original message of Zarathustra. I DO NOT not subscribe to this theory. To me all our scriptural texts, in Gathic Avesta, younger Avesta and Pazand are equally important.
Thus I resolved to collect as many of the translations of our scriptures as possible both from English and Gujerati translations and present them in a combined encyclopedic format. I must mention that the compilation is by no means all inclusive, because I am unable to translate from languages like Farsi, French, Russian, Italian and German. It comprises of a) Avesta Prayer transliterated into English b) Various translations in alphabetical order c) Comments of scholars about certain words and phrases d) Occasional Personal opinions of mine e) Esoteric explanation based on several scholarly writings of Dr. FS Chiniwala giving the Ilm ne Khshnum interpretation of our scriptures.
This compilation of mine can be read at four different levels:
1) The Avesta Prayers transliterated into English
2) Read the various translations and decide which one or more of them appeals to your way of thinking
3) Read the comments made by various scholars and observe the different interpretations made by them. I have refrained as far as possible from making personal comments, but wherever they appear, I accept full responsibility for them.
4) The esoteric meaning of our scriptures are difficult to grasp. The Ilm ne Khshnum texts written in Persianised Gujerati by Dr. Chiniwala is often very hard to comprehend, yet it is essential to understand the deep, meaningful concepts in our scriptures which translated on philological basis appear often childish, meaningless or not relevant to our times. But if the esoteric meaning is explained then the true and rich beauty of our scriptures shines through.
The scriptures are currently available on IBM computer diskettes of 3.5 HD formatted, using Microsoft Word Vers. 6.0.
1) Gathas - Over 1,000 pages of transliteration of the Avesta prayer, 19 translations, comprehensive notes and esoteric explanation of the scriptures (Ilme-Khxnum). These are the basic lynch pins of our religions philosophy, ethics and way to salvation. The scripture is deep and meaningful and each time I have read and reread it I obtained further enlightenment out of it. Four diskettes in Word 6.0 format - Price US $15.00
2) Yasna - Over 1,000 pages of transliteration of the Avesta prayer, translations, comprehensive notes and esoteric explanation of the scriptures (Ilme-Khxnum). Yasna is the detailed prayers dealing with very deep and meaningful ceremony which lasts for several hours. Some of our modern Zarathustrians have ridiculed it saying it is meaningless. Far from it, it is a small microcosm of the great Yasna ceremony which occurs continuously in the Divine World. Without it no soul can reach itís destination and our Creation could not be sustained. Six diskettes in Word 6.0 format - Price US $25.00
3) Vendidad - Over 1,000 pages of transliteration of the Avesta prayer, translations, comprehensive notes and esoteric explanation of the scriptures (Ilme-Khxnum). The most maligned of our scriptures which our modern Zarathustrians think that it is obsolete and ancient thinking. They detest the use of Nirang and the efficacy of the Nirang Din prayers. I suggest that people should read Vendidad in full in light of the modern knowledge of ecology and see how this ancient scripture explains what the modern scientist are now proving. Do not think in terms of demons and evil spirits but think in terms of germs, microbes, bacteria, harmful radiation and see how much sense it makes. Five Diskettes in Word 6.0 format - Price US $20.00
4) Yashts - Over 1,500 pages of transliteration of Avesta prayers, translations, comprehensive notes and esoteric explanation. The Yashts are truly historical in the sense that it gives us an understanding of what Iranian history was before the advent of Asho Zarathustra. Although they deal with various Yazatas, it gives us a good idea of historical personages, later mentioned in the Shah Nama and geographical places. Five Diskettes in Word 6.0 format - Price US $20.00
4) Authorís Ph.D. Thesis on Haoma Yazata with extensive comparison with Vedic Soma and the Greco- Egyptian god Thoth. Attached as an extra is a detailed set of Notes of Avestan terms of over 157 pages as explained by Dr. FS Chiniwala with Ilme-Xnum explanation. 2 diskettes in Word 6.0 format - Price US$10.
5) Avesta Dictionary includes 2 diskettes of Avesta-English and 1 diskette of English- Avesta diskette. This is produced in Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel. - Price US$15.
The whole set is available for US$ 100 .
The prices include packing and air-mail postage. Please send the money in US or Sterling currency (bank notes) only and send it by Registered Post. This is very safe. Private cheques are not acceptable as the banks in Australia do not accept them. Similarly International Money Orders are not accepted here. A bank draft costs me US$15 - $20 due to bank charges and takes upto 8 weeks to clear. Please send the amount in Bank Notes only if possible. If you send a draft add extra US $15 and be prepared for the delay. Delivery will be after the receipt of money and will take upto 4 weeks as I can only process this outside my teaching schedule in University and TAFE.
It is my wish that as it is cumbersome to distribute 23 diskettes, that they should be placed
1) On a CD-ROM which would be handy to transport and could be placed in all the major Universities as well as be of use to Zarathustrians. The cost of preparing would be US $5,000 to $ 7,000 and if a philanthropic Zarathustri(s) could be found, then these would come to fruition. A CD-ROM would also allow me to place a lot of graphics and sound wave forms. The technology is available in Australia to produce this CD-ROM but I need the finance to achieve this goal.
2) Alternatively the diskettes could be placed on Internet and be available for easy access. As I am not familiar with Internet language like JAVA or HTML, it would need a young energetic Zarathustrian to do some hard work in transcribing it for Internet.
The computer diskettes remain the intellectual property of the author, but the work may be freely copied and used for study purpose by any student of Zarathustraís great religion, as long as you kindly acknowledge the authorís name.
My address is:
Dr. Purviz Kolsawalla,
16 Tenison Avenue
NSW 2747, Australia
Tel. No. 047 -30 1113 (Home & Fax)
02 - 9842 4158 (Phone Work)
02 - 9842 4122 (Work Fax)
61 -47 -30 1113 ( International Phone
& Fax number)
Purviz Dinyar Kolsawalla (D.Sc., Ph.D. in Zoroastrian Studies)
Kudos to Dr. Purviz Kolsawalla for this tremendous effort in compiling our scriptures and making them available on diskette, includng the ESOTERIC TRADITIONAL TRANSLATION of our religious scriptures BY DR. SAHEB CHINIVALA. This is Ilm ne Khshnum, THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE OF OUR RELIGION. So far as I know, this is the first time someone has released this translation in diskette form.
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