occurs for full 40 times in the Gathas and three times in the Haptanghaiti,
the subtle and sublime supplement next in importance to the Gathas. While
some modern scholars equate it with the Sanskrit "aramati --
readiness to serve, obedience, devotion," from "aram -- readily,"
there are some who accept the Pahlavi translation on linguistic basis, to
mean "ara -- right + maiti -- thinking and render it as
"perfect-mindedness, noble-mindedness." Incidentally, the Rig Veda has
another "aramati" meaning "without repose" ("a -- prefix of
negation + ramati -- repose," see below). No one has gone for this.
Whatever the case, the lengthened "â" makes one have a second
thought. Zarathushtra is quite 'normal' in pronouncing the word "arem
-- rightly, correctly" with a simple "a" when he speaks about "being
rightly accompanied by Âramaiti" (Song 8:10 = Yasna 43:10),
"correctly understanding the facts of life" (9:8 = 44:8), and "correctly
acknowledging (arem manyâtâ) Ahura Mazda and denying (tare-mâństâ)
false gods and their followers, who in their turn deny (tare-manyantâ)
Mazda" (10:11 = 45:11). Why should he lengthen the initial vowel to
have "âramaiti" then? Any reason for this so-to-say abnormality?!
One can understand that Zarathushtra is a Master Poet and his Sublime
Songs are an unmatched masterpiece of Indo-Iranian poetry. But
Zarathushtra is not here to show us his mastery of language. He has turned
to poetry only with one aim: Popularize and eternalize his Mâńthra-s,
thought-provoking Message in a non-adulterated form. And he has fully
succeeded in his aim. Therefore, poetry is secondary. His first and
foremost aim and objective is to deliver the Divine Message to "all the
living." And to deliver it, he has to be clear in his words. He
simply cannot play with them and leave us puzzled as to what he means to
convey. A person is only puzzled when he/she cannot fully grasp what
Zarathushtra conveys in a stanza, a song or the entire Gathas. The Gathas
are guiding. One only falls short because one has to rely on a translation
that puzzles him/her.
Philologically the lengthened "â" warrants that it should be derived from
a stem with an initial "â." There is a stem, "ram -- to be at rest,
to be stable, to be at peace." It yields several words, with and without
the prefix "â," in Avesta and Sanskrit, all showing tranquility,
stability, serenity, quietness, peace, and pleasure. If so, then "ÂRAMAITI"
is made of "â+ram+aiti (suffix of action)" instead of
the Vedic "aram (correctly, readily)+ati (suffix of action)"
with a secondary meaning "state of readiness to serve, obedience,
devotion," and the Pahlavi "bovandak menishnîh --
right-mindedness," based on the Avestan "ara (correctly, rightly)+mati
(thinking from "man" to think)." "Âramaiti" should mean
"tranquility, stability, peace, and serenity."
A scanning of the Gathas shows that in spite of the terms, like "râman
-- peace (2:10 = 29.lO); "hujiti -- good living (6:10 = 33:10),
hujyâiti -- good life (5:5; 13:8 = 32.5; 48:8)); and hushiti/husheiti
-- good dwelling (2:10; 3:10; 13:11 = 29:10; 30:10; 48:11); there is
a vacuum for a major abstract for peace and stability, the KEY to a
blissful living under the Gathic "Primal Principles of Life -- dâtâo
angheush pouruyehyâ ). They are progressive mentality (spenta
mainyu), good mind (vohu manah), best righteousness (asha
vahishta), divine communion (seraosha), the choice of good
dominion (vohu khshathra vairya), and more than a dozen other
The only missing link is STABILITY and SERENITY to give a
person/community -- wise and progressive, precise in actions in a choice
of good government and enjoying communion with God -- the ultimate goal:
wholeness (haurvatât) and immortality (ameretât). And
ÂRAMAITI stands high among the principles to give one the peace
and serenity one would like to enjoy on the road to progress.
It fills well the vacuum, which does not exist. However, one would feel
the want if the Primal Principles do not emphatically provide for
stability and serenity.
That is one of the reasons it is called "SPENTÂ -- progressive,
increasing" in the Gathas (5:2; 6:13; 7:9; 14:2; 16:4; 16:11 = 32:2;
33:13;34:10; 34:9; 49:2; 51:4; 51:11). It is not a static state of
comfort. It is moving, progressing, active, and productive. That is one of
the reasons it is closely linked with the khshathra, the settled order.
That is one of the reasons why the later Avestan composers made her
represent the good earth. And that is the main reason I derive it from "â-ram"
(compare modern Persian "ârâm -- peaceful, tranquil and ârâmesh
-- peace, tranquility) and render ÂRAMAITI as
SERENITY. It completes the Divine Doctrine of Zarathushtra, based Good
Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds for progressive peace -- SPENTÂ
ÂRAMAITI -- to wholeness and immortality.
Mazda Ahura, our "ally through 'vohu manah' and good friend through
the glorious 'asha' tells us by means of 'khshathra': We
have chosen the good and progressive SERENITY (spentâm âramaitîm
vanguhîm) for you." And we all readily respond: "Hâ nę anghat
-- May it be our ours!" (Song 5:2 = Yasna 32:2).
Hâ nę anghat!