Rashnu


Rashnu

Rashnu is the Avestan language name of the Zoroastrian "yazata" of justice. Together with Mithra and Sraosha, Rashnu is one of the three judges who pass judgment on the souls of people after death. Rashnu's standard appellation is "the very straight."

In the "Bundahishn", a Zoroastrian account of creation finished in the 11th or 12th century, Rashnu (Middle Persian: "Rashn") is identified as an assistant of the Amesha Spenta "Ameretat" (Amurdad), "immortality". ("GBd" xxvi.115). In a subsequent passage, Rashnu is described as the essence of truth ("arta/asha") that prevents the "daeva"s from destroying material Creation. "Rashnu adjudges even the souls of men as to sins and good deeds. As one says, 'Rashnu shall not see thither the rank of the judge who delivers false judgment.'" ("GBd" xxvi.116-117).

In the Avestan Dahman Afrin, Rashnu is invoked in an address to Ameretat. According to the "Denkard", the "Duwasrud Nask" - a legal manual now lost - contained passages extolling the supremacy of Rashnu. ("Dk" 8.16) In the "Siroza" ("thirty days") "the very straight Rashnu ... augments the world and is the true-spoken speech that furthers the world." ("Siroza" 18). The 18th day of every month in the Zoroastrian calendar is dedicated to Rashnu. The "Counsels of Adarbad Mahraspandan", a Sassanid-era text, notes that on the 18th day "life is merry".


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