Ashavan

Ashavan

Avestan ashavan (also "ašavan", "ašāvan" and "artāvan") is a Zoroastrian theological term. It literally means "possessing "aša", hence "possessing truth" or "possessing righteousness", but has further implications:

* It is an epithet of Ahura Mazdaharvnb|Grey|1926|p=101.] ("Yasht" 1.12). The term may then be applied to anything within the domain of Ahura Mazda and/or Aša (i.e. all of Creation), and excludes only that which is not "dr"ə"gvant" "possessing lie" (YAv: "drvant").harvnb|Gnoli|1987|p=705.]

* With respect to mortals and in an eschatological and sotereological context, "ašavan" is also a quality that can be acquired in life. Then, having acquired the qualities of an "ašavan", one becomes an "ašavan" (through "blessed union with aša" ) after death.harvnb|Gershevitch|1955|p=483.] (see also: ).

* "Ašavan" may be used to denote any follower of the "Good Religion." This is the most common use of "ašavan", applicable to any who walk the "path of truth" ("Yasna" 68.12 and 68.13). In this context, "Ašavan" is frequently translated as "righteous person" or "blessed person." This general meaning of "ašavan" is preserved in Middle Iranian languages as Pahlavi "ardav".

The sotereological meaning of "ašavan" is also evident in Xerxes' "daiva inscription", an Old Persian text (XPh). That the souls of the dead dwell in the radiant quarters of Truth ("Yasna" 16.7) also has Vedic parallels: According to the RigVeda, the seat of truth is located in the other world.harvnb|Gershevitch|1964|p=18.] This next-world implication of "ašavan" is preserved in Middle Iranian languages as Pahlavi "ahlav".

The linguistic cognate of Avestan "ašavan" is Vedic "ŗtáavan", which however has some functional differences vis-à-vis the Zoroastrian term:
* The dichotomy of the "ašavan" and the "dr"ə"gvant" is not attested in the Vedas.harvnb|Duchesne-Guillemin|1963|pp=46-47.]
* In the Vedas, "ŗtá-" is hidden from ordinary mortals and only initiated seers are allowed to possess "ŗtá-" (become "ŗtáavan"s). In contrast, in Zoroastrianism any mortal may strive to possess "aša".

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