SPENTA MAINYU – By : Anamitra Dasgupta



By Anamitra Dasgupta



  1. What is “Spenta-Mainyu”? Let’s meander first into an introduction.
    Let’s take it for granted that Ahuramazda is unknowable; and we as formed, human beings, are without that hinge upon which to relate to Ahuramazda.


  1. So then let us say that Ahuramazda is beyond Form; beyond Definition. Let us say that Mazda-Ahura is beyond emotion, rationale, nature, ability; beyond any form even in the realm of imagination.


  1. One may superficially relate with Ahuramazda as “Supreme Consciousness”. Yet, let us say that to attempt and define Ahuramazda as “Supreme Consciousness” is but an expression of our own limits of what we think Ahuramazda to be; just our “ideas” of what “Supreme Consciousness” implies. So it would seem that Ahuramazda cannot be described even; how can It? How do you describe that which reposes beyond every definition? God does not conform to human terms of intellectual measuring tapes.


  1. So it follows that it wouldn’t be wrong to say, that Ahuramazda is “All, Everything and Nothing” through time and timelessness. Ahuramazda is One and All; the All within One and the One within All. Ahuramazda is beyond classification; even the terms largest or vast are infinitesimally tiny points within Ahuramazda; so tiny as to be non-existent. Ahuramazda is “Everything”; and that possibility includes “Nothing at All”.


  1. Ahuramazda indeed is beyond measure. Large, larger and largest; defined; indefinite; non-existent – are all “nothing” in the face of Ahuramazda.



  1. I believe that this was the very first manifested truth that Zarathushtra encountered in His first path of Realisation. He found “nothing” to relate to. How does one relate to nothing?


  1. Zarathushtra used his “Mind”, therefore. What “Mind”?


  1. The original, primordial mind that reposes in all life forms; the everlasting mind that exists on its own, and which we perceive through our experiences. Ancient Indians called it “Manas”; in Avesta, it is “Manah”. The Manas as a rational concept is “Medha” in Sanskrit. In Avesta, it is known as “Mazda”. It is the first eternal concept seen as tangibly present and thus existent within every Seeker; as it is amongst all, even the most ignorant. We cannot limit and measure the Manas. But we all encounter it. The Hindu name “Sumedha” would be the Avestan “Humazda” without losing either outer meaning, or inner implication.


  1. So, Manas; or Mazda. This is the “Eternal Mind” that reposes beyond every physical, intellectual, emotional, and etheric definitions of Mind. We experience the same mind from our lower, limited perspective; which is the brain-centric- mind that yet is rooted at the basic, lower, logical strata of consciousness, always in ceaseless search for rationale and the rational; incessantly seeking logic and form and evidence for the existence; in short, always in the quest of relatable reason – while being unaware of the Manas or Mazda, which is Eternal Consciousness; and which is the fount of all life.


  1. Ahuramazda is the “Eternal Consciousness”. To experience Ahuramazda is to be realised of the Consciousness and to be in that “Eternal State of Being” – which is the Vohumana within. And yet, What have we done here? Through all our meanderings, we have again defined the indefinite; and thus we have yet again reduced Ahuramazda within an attribute of Itself!


  1. From the human standpoint, what we describe as our “Mind” and the “Centre of Our Reason” are in fact just evidences of our brains working and perceiving – as brains normally are fashioned to do. Incarnate physically, for us to be able to relate to anything at all, we need to perceive. Without that ability of perception, we would be akin to vegetables. Yes, Reason needs to be perceived; and thus experienced. Living with our brain, we start by perceiving though our “senses”.


  1. Consequently, what is sensually perceived and experienced becomes our “truth”. Such truth, rooted in the brain, is merely a reflection of physical phenomenon. Truth, then, is transitory; it is limited. My brain will burn one day; vaporise. All that I stand for today, will be nothing one day. So what is true? What is consciousness? And what am I, then?


  • The truth then is that Creation is as it is and not how we perceive it to be, from our base, mental, emotional and tactile To be precise, Eternity is greater in ways that we cannot ever perceive. Speaking from the perspective of physical size, Creation is so large, that we can never measure it; never intellectually know its scope. But to realise the nature of Creation, we may first be “realised” of ourselves – that we are not finite creatures, but incarnations of the infinite; the incredible. That we are eternal in every way that is beyond measure. We are Creation. Within us – from the lowest to the highest, exists the same Universe which is our Source and Destination! We are Life. We are the Glory!




  1. To know the “Primordial Nature of Life” from the all-embracing standpoint of “Higher Rationality” is to know the “Spenta-Mainyu”. The word “Spenta” is the Vedic “Svintha”. While it may denote “holy”, it is holy in a way that is impossible for any contemporary language to ever communicate.


  1. So let us go back to Ahuramazda’s unknowable Nature. Unknowable, and yet, Ahuramazda has created life in such a manner that nothing is “closed” or “secret” to the life form that may desire to know Ahuramazda, reach, It, touch It; claim It; and merge into this Absolute Beloved – this only source, fountain, Alpha and Omega of Love and Light.


  1. Let us say that the only Divine Attributes to Ahuramazda is the “Reality of its Existence” – and we shall call it the First Principle, or the “Word of God”. Let us term this, for our edification alone, as the “Primordial Vibration”. To us, it means nothing; this is a concept that we cannot relate with. Going on further, if there is a primordial vibration, then it follows that it should be perceivable. Which means, that it should be accompanied always, by “Primordial Illumination” – “The Light of God”. So, in very superficial terms, Ahuramazda’s unknowable attributes are hinged upon the Holy Vibration” – the “Word of God” which is nothing but the Seed of Creation; and the Light with which it Illuminates Everything – the “Light of God”. These two primordial concepts are inseparable in relation to each other; and the conceptual entity formed out of this inseparable Union is known as Spenta-Mainyu. Spenta-Mainyu is a perfect Balance between the Holy Word, which is Ahuramazda’s Holy Name; and the Holy Light; which is Primordial Illumination; manifested out of Ahuramazda. Personified through later usage, we also know this illumination to be “Mithra”. So, the very primordial Manifestation of Ahuramazda “through a relatable idea” is the Spenta-Mainyu.


  1. So, to be precise, the two absolute concepts of primordial vibration and primordial illumination mingle in absolute perfection. And out of this Holy Union, is formed the first Primordial “Relatable” Being; this is the Spenta-Mainyu.


  1. The Spenta-Mainyu superficially termed “Holy Spirit” by a limited scholarship that has tended to relate with and decipher the Daena Vangehui using Abrahamic yardsticks of measure evolved by Judeo-Christian methodology.


  1. Spenta-Mainyu is not “Holy” as we understand it. Rather, it is “God’s Manifestation in Spirit”, if such terminologies are appropriate; and Spenta-Mainyu works only as Ahuramazda’s Unknowable and Eternal Life-Force; and it must work out here, in created time-bound physical universes, as knowable events. The only way to be “aware” of that “idea” is to be Conscious of it; such a Consciousness is “Realised”; and thereby, we know it as the “Vohumana” – “Brahman”, as we call it amongst us Hindus; it implies “Total Rationale”. Vohumana is beyond tangible experience lower forms of the rational, such as logic, logical positions; Vohumana is beyond knowledge itself – for it is “Realisation”.


  1. If Spenta-Mainyu is the first Manifestation of Ahuramazda in Its totality, then Vohumana is Ahuramazda’s Rationale. Vohumana and Spenta-Mainyu are inseparable in Principle; so are all the Amesha-Spenta, though we have termed Them and know of Them in Separation. But that may form a different discussion.




  1. Where exists Spenta-Mainyu, as “An Idea“, an “Opposing Idea” must also exist. A coin must have two sides. If we can’t decipher any one side in relation to the other, then we’re either seriously unwell, or dead.


  1. Anyway, this apparent insurmountable reality is known as “Dualism”. The formed Universe can never be free from duality. Unity can only be found in the unformed Consciousness; it reposes beyond the limits of the formed Universe; Duality then, is an Illusion – Maya as we Hindus call it. Angre-Mainyu is the Principle that animates Maya.


  1. So “Angremainyu” is the “idea”: the antitheses of “Spenta-Mainyu”. Where the Spenta Mainyu is representative of Total Balance, Angremainyu is then, the Essence of Chaos. If Spenta-Mainyu expresses the deeper, impersonal Good, then Angremainyu illustrates, personal negation of that Good; if Spenta-Mainyu is “Light” then Angremainyu is the negation of Light; it is then, absolute darkness. But then, once expressed, these ideas, though in negation, must “live” together”, for they too, in this Universe, must bow to the Laws of Creation, and be expressed in duality – as Good and Evil, and as Light and Darkness; wherein, in truth, they are One; and simultaneously, the Antitheses of that One; depending purely upon perception alone. However, the truth is that there are not Two Principles, but only One, and that is the Father and Mother of them all – Ahuramazda. This is why good and bad are subjective only; and repose in the senses; and this is why it is said that good and bad are the two sides of the same coin.


  1. Ahriman in my humble opinion, is the “devolution” of Angremainyu into an “entity” closer to the Judeo-Christian Satan. In short, and superficially Ahriman may be called the “Devil”. Interestingly, though, the “Devil” here is not the Devil of Possessions; but rather, it is the entity that acts to manifest and accentuate hurt, pain, fear, horror; in effect, acts to perpetuate the darkness of ignorance. To understand this, I had to take for granted that the idea of Angremainyu is impersonal; and unknowable. But Ahriman is an entity, which is an “expression” of what Angremainyu is supposedly representative of.


  1. So in short, “Angremainyu” is the same Spenta-Mainyu seen as its Own Antitheses while Ahriman is just a poor Devil. People relate to poor devils; no one can relate to Angremainyu. Ahriman is a “formed” entity to keep people in thrall; Angremainyu does not inspire fear; this is because it cannot be related to. Does Spenta-Mainyu instigate feelings of love? No. It cannot be related to. All we can relate to is the Consciousness – Vohumana; surrender to it; and then –


“Humatem Mano; Huktem Vacho; Hvarashtem Sayothanem”.



  1. My Zoroastrian brothers and sisters who read this may conclude that I have utilised Hinduism to explain the Daena Vangehui. There may be creeping suspicion even that I peddling Hindu ideas disguised in Zoroastrian terminology. I may assure them that this is not at all the case. To these brothers and sisters I do say that Zoroastrianism, as we tend to relate to it today and understand it, is a formed religion structured very carefully and evolved jealously in Sassanian times – a very Abrahamic religion – we shall not go into political reasons here. The Sassanians shaped their religion to serve the Sassanian Empire; its geo-political mandate; and its diverse body-polity.


  1. To us seekers, then, it becomes doubly pertinent to realise, that to know the Path of Zarathushtra, we must go back to the Teachings at Source – and these repose in hoary, ancient, fantastic antiquity – beyond the reach of both religion or scholarship as they are at present established. These teachings are non-binding and unitary; and known as the Daena Vangehui. They serve not an Empire, but forever serve the intensely personal, individual self, which seeks to realise itself and merge into Ahuramazda’s illumination. The Path of Zarathushtra is Universal!


  1. The Daena Vangehui is Vedic; and shall not be deciphered in any form by the empirical, evidentiary intellectual-scholarship that is evident today; nor shall it be rediscovered in literal dissertations of Zoroastrian liturgy created as recently as 2000 years ago. However, a reflection of the Daena Vangehui shall be found in the holiest of all insights, which are reverently preserved in the Holy Gathas; in the Ahunavar; the Ashem Vohu – and in the simplest of all timeless precepts as enshrined within the simple words – Humata, Hukhta, Hvarashta.


  1. Unto my noble mother do I pledge the above knowledge; she, who has taught me much of what I know. Unto her, Barakat Ba’shad.


About the Author: Anamitra Dasgupta

Anamitra Dasgupta lives in Bombay. He’s a writer, film maker, research scholar and musician. He’s a family man who in his free time likes nothing better than to fly model airplanes with his daughter and eat dhun-daar-patiyo with the rest of his family. His wife is Parsi of illustrious lineage. Anamitra Dasgupta draws his inspiration from the Noble Zarathushtra, whom he considers as his own Guru.

Anamitra with his soulmate Rashna Sethna Dasgupta


25 October 2018

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4 thoughts on “SPENTA MAINYU – By : Anamitra Dasgupta

  1. Very beautifully written. The depth of ancient Zoroastrian wisdom in English language surprises me. Ushta-te.

  2. anamitra is a genius in his ability to take ancient philosophy and make it live again!

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