The Zend Avesta, Part II
Translated by James Darmesteter
This is part II of the Sacred Books of the East Zend Avesta translation. This portion of the Avesta is of great interest to the study of comparative mythology. Many of these are of also of outstanding literary value. Many of the texts in this part were originally hymns to very ancient gods and goddesses, such as Mithra, Anahita, as well as celestial bodies such as the sun, moon and the star Sirius, Tishtrya. These deities were retained in Zoroastrian mythology as demigods, somewhat like the Aeons of the Gnostics. There are also a number of texts which enumerate a huge body of legendary personages, some of whom also appear in the Shah Nama, the Persian national epic. Yast XII is a moving poetic description of the Zoroastrian after-death experience.