AOGƎMADAĒČĀ, a small prayer and meditation on death, made up of twenty-nine Avestan quotations (one of them Gathic) embedded in a sermon in Pārsī (Pahlavi in Arabic script). It is named after its first word, meaning “we are called” and itself extracted, with the following two, from a sentence in the Gatha of the Seven Chapters: θwōi staotarasčā maθranasčā ahurā mazdā aogəmadaēčā usmahičā vīsāmadaēčā, “We are called, o Wise One, thy praisers and prophets and are ready” (P.41.5). The words quoted are quite unduly interpreted by the author of the Pārsī version as meaning “I come (into the world), I accept (evil), I am rejected (to death).” According to Dastur Peshotan these words were uttered by Gayō Marətan (Gayōmard) before entering the world as a promise never to despair.
Of the twenty-nine Avestan quotations only five are found in Geldner’s Avesta; twenty-four are new, all of them in (mostly octosyllabic) verse. The most interesting part, 57-79, regards Astō.viδātu whom nobody can escape except the Renovator (frašō.čarətar) of the world, merciless Vayu, and a dragon, as big as a bull, attacking horses and men.
Avesta, tr. Darmsteter, III, pp. 154-66.
W. Geiger, Aogemadaêčâ, Erlangen, 1878, repr. Hildesheim, 1971.
H. S. Nyberg, “Questions de cosmogonie et de cosmologie mazdéennes,” JA, 1931, pp. 43, 205; repr. Acta Iranica 7, Tehran and Liège, pp. 235, 338.
J. Duchesne-Guillemin, “Les citations avestiques de l’Augmadaiča,” JA 228, 1936, p. 118.
B. Schlerath, Awesta-Wörterbuch, Vorarbeiten I, Wiesbaden, 1968, pp. 238-39.
K. M. JamaspAsa, Aogəmandaēčā: A Zoroastrian Liturgy, Vienna, 1982 (detailed edition of the Avestan text with translation, notes, glossary, and facsimile).
Originally Published: December 15, 1986
Last Updated: August 5, 2011
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Vol. II, Fasc. 2, p. 145