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Avesta

Avesta. The holy book of Zoroastrianism (the word probably means ‘The Injunction [of Zoroaster]’). Only approximately one-quarter of the original is extant. That which has survived is basically the liturgical material which continued in use in regular worship. The content of the ‘canon’ includes material from many ages. There are some pre-Zoroastrian ‘hymns’ (some of the Yásts, such as Yt. 10 to Mithra) and ‘Litanies’ (Nyayes). The anti-demonic law, the Vendidad, contains much ancient material, although its present structure was probably Parthian. The liturgy of the Yasna is especially ancient, probably much of the substance deriving from Indo-Iranian times. Embedded in the Yasna are the seventeen hymns of Zoroaster, the Gāthās. They are in two blocks (Ys. 28–34 and 43–53) either side of the Yasna Haptanhait liturgy, which, if not by Zoroaster, is certainly early. The Gāthās are embedded in the Yasna the ‘act of [daily] worship’, because that is the liturgical context within which the prophetic hymns have been preserved. Their fragmentary nature, combined with the allusive poetic imagery and metrical form, make them extremely difficult to translate. They are intensely personal in style, passionate outpourings of an individual spirit, following visions of God. For Zoroastrians, they are the most powerful holy manthras.

In modern religious practice, Zoroastrians use a Khorda Avesta, a collection of essential prayers for daily use by lay people.

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Avesta

Avesta (Zend-Avesta) Sacred book of Zoroastrianism. Most of the original was apparently lost when Alexander the Great burned Persepolis, the capital of ancient Persia, in 331 bc. The Gathas, forming the oldest part, originated with Zoroaster. The other remaining parts are the Yashts, Yasna, and Vendidad and prayers. Together they contain the world-view, law, and liturgy of Zoroastrianism. The writings were systematized under the Sassanid kings of Persia between the 3rd and 7th centuries ad.

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Avesta (city, Sweden)

Avesta (ä´vəstä´), city (1990 est. pop. 16,860), Kopparberg co., S central Sweden, on the Dalälven River. Aluminum and high quality steel are manufactured there. Formerly a copper mining and refining center, Avesta was the seat of copper minting in Sweden from 1644 to 1831.

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Avesta

Avesta the sacred writings of Zoroastrianism, compiled in the 4th century, and written in an ancient Iranian language closely related to Vedic Sanskrit.

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Avesta (Zoroastrian scriptures)

Avesta: see Zoroastrianism.

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Avesta

Avestaabetter, begetter, better, bettor, biretta, bruschetta, carburettor (US carburetor), debtor, feta, fetter, forgetter, getter, go-getter, Greta, Henrietta, letter, Loretta, mantelletta, operetta, petter, Quetta, setter, sinfonietta, sweater, upsetter, Valletta, vendetta, whetter •bisector, collector, connector, convector, corrector, defector, deflector, detector, director, ejector, elector, erector, hector, injector, inspector, nectar, objector, perfecter, projector, prospector, protector, rector, reflector, rejector, respecter, sector, selector, Spector, spectre (US specter), vector •belter, delta, helter-skelter, melter, pelta, Shelta, shelter, swelter, welter •pre-emptor, tempter •assenter, cementer, centre (US center), concentre (US concenter), dissenter, enter, eventer, fermenter (US fermentor), fomenter, frequenter, inventor, lamenter, magenta, placenta, polenta, precentor, presenter, preventer, renter, repenter, tenter, tormentor •inceptor, preceptor, receptor, sceptre (US scepter) •arrester, Avesta, Chester, contester, ester, Esther, fester, fiesta, Hester, investor, jester, Leicester, Lester, molester, Nestor, pester, polyester, protester, quester, semester, sequester, siesta, sou'wester, suggester, tester, trimester, vesta, zester •Webster • dexter • Leinster •Dorchester • Poindexter • newsletter •genuflector • implementer •experimenter • trendsetter •epicentre (US epicenter) •typesetter • jobcentre • photosetter •Cirencester • interceptor • Sylvester

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