HAFT AMAHRASPAND YAŠT, or simply Haf-tān yašt (Panaino, 1994, p. 168), the second hymn of the Avestan corpus. It is dedicated to the seven Zoroastrian entities (see AMƎŠA SPƎNTA) and recited on the first seven days of the month (see CALENDARS i, pp. 660-63; Narten, pp. 9-10, 24). The text is a later compilation with respect to the so-called Great Yašts, and in particular belongs to a special subgroup of hymns (2-4) that probably were not transmitted in the Baḡan yašt nask, from which derive many of the extant hymns; in fact a Persian Revāyat (West, p. XLV, n. 1; Darmesteter, 1892-93, II, p. XXVII; Geldner, 1899, pp. 19-20; idem, 1904, p. 30; Panaino, 1992, p. 179) does not list them in the catalogue of Baḡan yašt nask, while the oldest Yašt ms. (fol. 1) preserves a reminiscence of the original series of hymns, attested in the same Zoroastrian book, in the numeration of the original fargards which, from Yašt 14 to Yašt 19, differs by three from that generally assumed, but is in agreement with the statement of the Persian Revāyat. It is probable that these Yašts are derived from a different tradition and constitute a late attempt to expand hymns dedicated to the Aməša Spəṇtas (Yt. 2, plus Yt. 3 to Ardwahišt and Yt. 4 to Hordād immediately after the Ohrmazd yašt (i.e., Yt. 1).

The text, partly written in a degenerate and unclear Avestan (in particular par. 12-14), numbers fourteen unmetrical paragraphs (not divided in kardas); James Darmesteter (1882, p. 35; idem, 1892-93, II, p. 346) assumed that the first ten chapters of this yašt were nothing more than an extract from the two Sīrōza yašt (Yt. 1.1-5 = Sīrōza 1.1-7; Yt. 1.6-10 = Sīrōza 2.1-7; cf. Hartman, pp. 36-41; Schlerath, II, pp. 46-47), but so crude a relationship has to be carefully reconsidered in the light of a deeper analysis of these late texts (see Panaino, 1991, pp. 116-20) and in the light of the remarks made by Herman Lommel (pp. 8-12, 19), who noted that the introductory and conclusive formulae, because of the dedication of the hymn to seven entities and not to only one as is normal in the Yašts, were extraordinarily inflated. The other paragraphs, mainly derived from the Yasna, are heavily corrupted and do not offer original statements. Likewise, they pose serious problems for grammatical and philological interpretation (for later translations in Persian see Darmesteter, 1892-93, II p. 347).



Editions of the text: Karl Friedrich Geldner, Avesta, the Sacred Books of the Parsees II: Vispered and Khorde Avesta, Stuttgart, 1889, pp. 69-72.

Niels Ludwig Westergaard, Zendavesta or The Religious Books of the Zoroastrians, Copenhagen, 1852-54, pp. 149-51.

Maneck Ferdunji Kanga, Avestā, The Sacred Scripture of the Parsees II: Khordeh Avesta and Yaśts, ed. in Devanāgarī script, Poona, 1962, pp. 355-61.

For additional bibliography see Bernfried Schlerath, Awesta Wörterbuch, Wiesbaden, 1968, I, p. 124; II, pp. 46-47.

Major translations: Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil Duperron, Zend-Avesta, 3 vols., Paris, 1777, II, p. 152.

James Darmesteter, The Zend-Avesta, Part II: The Sīrōzahs, Yašts and Nyāyiš, SBE 23, Oxford, 1882; repr. Delhi, 1988, pp. 35-40.

Idem, Le Zend-Avesta, 3 vols., Paris, 1892-93, II, pp. 346-50; repr., Paris, 1960.

Charles de Harlez, Avesta, Livre sacré des sectateurs de Zoroastre II: Vispered, Yasna, Naska XXI – Yeshts, Paris and Liège, 1876, pp. 195-96; 2nd ed., Paris, 1881, pp. 406-8.

Herman Lommel, Die Yäšt’s des Awesta übersetzt und eingeleitet, Göttingen and Leip-zig, 1927, pp. 19-21.

Ebrāhim Pur(-e) Dāwud, Adabiyāt-e mazdayasnā: Yašthā, 2 vols., Bombay, n.d., I, intro., pp. 99-109, 113-35; tr. Dinshaw Jeejibhoy Irani as Introduction to the Yashts, Bombay, 1928, pp. 69-109.

Friedrich Spiegel, Avesta, die heiligen Schriften der Parsen III: Khorda Avesta, Leipzig, 1863, pp. 34-37.

Fritz Wolff, Avesta: Die heiligen Bücher der Parsen, Strassburg, 1910, pp. 158-60.

Additional literature: Karl Friedrich Geldner, “Awe-stalitteratur,” in Grundriss II, pp. 1-53; tr. D. Mackichan as “Avesta Literature,” in Avesta, Pahlavi, and Ancient Persian Studies in Honour of the Late Shams-Ul-Ulama Dastur Peshotanji Behramji Sanjana, Strassburg and Leipzig, 1904, pp. 25-82.

Sven S. Hartman, “La disposition de l’Avesta,” Orientalia Suecana 5 (1956) 1957, pp. 30-78.

Johanna Narten, Die Aməša Spəṇtas im Avesta, Wiesbaden, 1982.

Antonio Panaino, “Gli Yašt dell’Avesta: metodi e prospettive,” Atti del Sodalizio Glottologico Milanese 30 (1989), 1992, pp. 159-84.

Idem, “L’innologia avestica,” in L’inno tra rituale e letteratura nel mondo antico, Atti di un Colloquio, Napoli 21-24 ottobre 1991, AIUN, Sez. Filologico-Letteraria 13, pp. 107-23.

Idem, “Philo-logia Avestica IV: Av. yaštay-/yešti; yašta-; phl. yašt. Quelques réflexions sur les titres des hymnes de l’Avesta,” Studia Iranica 23, 1994, pp. 163-85.

Edward William West, Pahlavi Texts IV: Contents of the Nasks, SBE 37, Oxford, 1892; repr. Delhi, 1977.

(Antonio Panaino)

Originally Published: December 15, 2002

Last Updated: March 1, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 5, pp. 515-516