I offer my sacrifice and homage to thee, the Fire, as a good offering, and an offering with our hail of salvation, even as an offering of praise with benedictions to thee, the Fire, O Ahura Mazda’s son! Meat for sacrifice art thou and worthy of [our] homage. And as meat for sacrifice, and thus worthy of our homage, may’st thou be in the house of men [who worship Mazda]. Salvation be to this man who worships thee in verity and truth, with wood in hand and baresma [sacred twigs] ready, with flesh in hand and holding too the mortars. And may’st thou be ever fed with wood as the prescription orders. Yea, may’st have thy perfume justly, and thy sacred butter without fail, and thine andirons regularly placed. Be of full age as to thy nourishment, of the canon’s age as to the measure of thy food. O Fire, Ahura Mazda’s son! Be now aflame within this house; be ever without fail in flame; be all ashine within this house…. — from The Avesta, translated by L.H. Mills.

The Avesta is the collected sacred texts of the Persian religion Zoroastrianism. Composed in the Avestan language, which originated in the Middle East in the present-day region of eastern Iran, the Avesta took several hundred years to compile. Some of the texts were supposedly composed by the prophet Zoroaster, who founded this once-popular religion sometime before the 6th Century. Many of the texts, such as the above selection, directly address the virtues of Ahura Mazda, whom Zoroaster praised as the supreme divinity in the Zoroastrian universe.

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