Vohu Manah


Vohu Manah

Vohu Manah is the Avestan language term for a Zoroastrian concept, frequently translated as "Good Purpose" or "Good Mind", but more literally, the good moral state of mind that enables an individual to accomplish his duties. Its Middle Persian equivalent - as attested in the Pahlavi texts - is "Wahman", which is a borrowing of the Avestan language expression and has the same meaning. In Modern Persian the name appears as "Bahman".

In the Gathas, the oldest texts of the Avesta and considered to be composed by Zoroaster himself, the term 'Vohu Manah' is not unambiguously used as a proper name and frequently occurs without the "Good" ("Vohu-") prefix. In the post-Gathic texts that expound the principles of Zoroastrian cosmogony, Vohu Manah is an Amesha Spenta, one of six "divine sparks" of Ahura Mazda that each represent one facet of creation. In the case of Vohu Manah, all animal creation with a particular stress on cattle. Vohu Manah is of neuter gender in Avestan grammar but in Zoroastrian tradition is considered masculine.

In the Zoroastrian religious calendar, the 2nd day of the month and the 11th month of the year are dedicated to Bahman/Vohu Manah, and hence named after the concept/entity. In the Iranian civil calendar, which inherits its month names from the Zoroastrian calendar, the 11th month is likewise named Bahman.

The Achaemenid emperor Artaxerxes II (as it is rendered in Greek) had 'Vohu Manah' as the second part of his throne name, which when "translated" into Greek appeared as 'Mnemon'. New Persian "Bahman" remains a theophoric in present-day Iranian and Zoroastrian tradition.

ee also

* "Amesha Spenta"s, the archangels of Zoroastrianism.

References

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