BAGĀN YAŠT (1) one of the dādīg (legal) nasks of the Avesta; (2) name of Y. 19-21 (see bag nask). The Bagān yašt (the Dēnkard has yast for yašt or yasn; the Persian Rivayats have Baḡān yašt and Bayān yašt), according to the brief account of it in the Dēnkard (8.15), contained descriptions of Ahura Mazdā, highest of all the gods (*wisp [ms. ystʾ] bayān abardom), and the remaining invisible and visible gods in the world (abārīg apaydāg ud paydāg gētīgān-iz yazdān) (Dēnkard, Dresden, p. 105 ; Madan, p. 692; tr. West, pp. 34f.; the Persian Rivayats in West, pp. 418, 426, 431, 436). It is generally assumed that at least some of the known yašts plus the Hōm yašt (Y. 9-11) and the Srōš yašt (Y. 57) belonged to this nask. According to the Persian Rivayats (p. 4) it had seventeen sections and one rivayat enumerates sixteen yašts belonging to the Bagān yašt: the nineteen known yašts less Yt. 2, 3, 6 (West, p. xlv n. 1; Darmesteter, II, pp. xxvi-xxviii). The old yašt manuscript F numbers the six last yašts (Yt. 14-19) as 11-16, which may be based upon an old tradition (Darmesteter, ibid.).
The reason for the lack of any substantial information about this nask in the Dēnkard is no doubt due to the fact that the Pahlavi version of the yašts had been lost by the time the Dēnkard was compiled. A few quotations from the Bagān yašt not found in the yašt collection may have survived (see West, pp. 470-71).
Darmesteter, Zend-Avesta II, pp. xxvi-xxviii; III, pp. x-xi, xvi.
B. N. Dhabhar, ed., The Persian Rivayats of Hormazyar Framarz and Others, Bombay, 1932.
M. R. Unvala, Dârâb Hormazyâr’s Rivâyat I, Bombay, 1922.
W. E. West, Pahlavi Texts IV: Contents of the Nasks, SBE 37, Oxford, 1892, repr. Delhi, etc., 1965. (H. W. Bailey’s emendation to *Bagān of an unreadable word in a Pahlavi text dealing with the history of the Avesta is quite hypothetical; Zoroastrian Problems in the Ninth-Century Books, Oxford, 1943, 2nd ed., 1971, pp. 160f.)
(P. O. Skjærvø)
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: August 22, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 4, p. 406