GARŌDMĀN, the Pahlavi name for heaven and paradise, derived from GAv garō.dəmāma- (lit. “house of song”; cf. YAv garō.nmāna-, Man. Mid. Pers. grʾsmʾn, Prth.grdmʾn, Sogd. °γrδmn). It frequently appears as a synonym for wahišt, paradise, e.g., in hendiadys wahišt ud garōdmān (Pahlavi Texts, p. 151) or in the phrase wahištīᶃpad garōdmān ī Ohrmazd “resident of Paradise in Ohrmazd’s garōdmān” (Wištāsp Yt. 42). But in the other contexts garōdmān is used to designate specifically the highest station of heaven, while wahišt is the general term covering all the “stations” of heaven. Accordingly, Ardā Wīrāz (q.v.) is shown dušox (hell), hammistagān (limbo), and wahišt through which he ascends in four steps successively from the star (=humat) to the moon (=hūxt) to the sun (=huwaršt) stations and finally gardōmān (Chap. 7 ff.). Another synonym for gardōmān is anagr rošnīh or simply anagrān (the infinite lights; e.g., Mēnōg ī xrad 94). In the Pahlavi literature gardōmān is described as the radiant pleasant, peaceful, sweet-smelling abode of Ohrmazd, the Amahrspands (see AMƎŠA SPƎNTA) and the deities, to which the souls of the pious go after death and to which all souls will go after the completion of the Frašgird (q.v.). For the most part the language used to describe gardōmān is concrete and evokes images of a sublime earthly existence where one has all the best food and drink, where one can sit upon one’s golden throne or recline upon a soft couch with cushions, where one is reunited with loved ones and can enjoy music and other forms of entertainment.
P. Gignoux, “L’enfer et le paradis d’après les source pehlevi,” JA, 256, 1968, pp. 219-45, with references to primary and secondary sources.
(William W. Malandra)
Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 2, 2012
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Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 317-318