Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Etymology of Khoda / Khuda & khvet-vadta

1. On the etymology of Khoda / Khuda & khvet-vadta
- Ardeshir Farhmand wrote on December 20, 2009 that Khva-da is made up of the two parts:
The first part khva, equivalent to the Sanskrit "sva" is from the possible proto-Indo European "swe/sve;" self, own. The second part is "da:" to give, bestow, endow. Khva-da therefore means creating/giving through one's own self/essence or self + sufficiency: ability to amply meet one's own needs.

Khvet-vadta consists of two parts: the first part meaning: "own, self" as described above, the second part is "vad," pledge-giving, marriage vow, from PIE base wadh- "to pledge, to redeem a pledge "compare O.E. weddian "to pledge, to marry. Khvet-vadta refers to "ashavan" marrying among their own. In commentaries it is also referred to as khvat-das: giving pledge to one's own, the same composition as khva-da alluding to Yasna 45.4's commentary concerning the emanations of Ahurmazd from his own self, hence admonishing the ashavans to marry their very own.

2. On the translation of zravanahe daregho khvadhatahe / hvadhatahe
- Ardeshir Farhmand wrote on December 20 & 28, 2009:

It is a formula that comes at the end of daily prayers. it asks for victory and success in different levels of TIME and space. This formula highlights the importance of time in the progress of the universe.

Now translation of your requested words is as follows: long ages of TIME, self-sustaining.
Here "khv-data" refers to the ability of space and TIME to operate on its own, and endure for long ages and aeons to come!

Long ages of time can be translated also as immense time.

Eduljee's notes:
Khv(a) etymology: Khv(a) may have a dual meaning: self and lord; alternatively existence and will. The latter meaning may derive from the Avestan ahu (lord) > akhv > khv. [According to R. C. Zaehner (Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism, p. 272, existence and will are two characteristics of the soul.]

Khvadata / khvdata / khvadhatahe (Avestan) may therefore translate as:
1. Self-law giver / maker i.e. self-governed / self-regulated and thereby even 'sovereign', that is, self-governing, self-reliant and independent - one who was dominion and control over one's self (and perhaps others).
2. Lord of the law which also leads to 'sovereign' albeit via a different route.

[Note: 'Khvadata' is likely related to the word 'khshatra', lord or king.]

The word as it evolved to Khuda / Khoda in Middle & Modern Persian meant having supreme authority or power - the latter meaning also being included in the attribute 'dominion' - an attribute commonly ascribed to the word 'lord' (cf. ahu in Ahura, a distinction lost when Ahura Mazda became Ahurmazd, a name for God). The three primary words used in Zoroastrianism when referring to God: Khoda, Ahura and Mazda, could represent the three attributes of being sovereign, having dominion and being a (wise) creator - all, however, without the anthropomorphic traits ascribed by other religions who came to adopt the concept of a Lord God.

In Iran and regions under Iranian influence, the later form Khuda / Khoda came to mean Lord or God generically and is currently used by individuals of different religious backgrounds who make up these regions.

[As a side note, after the conversion of most of the Iranian, Central Asian and Indus valley populations to Islam, Khuda / Khoda continued to be used as a word for God by the Muslim population. Given its Zoroastrian origins, there is a current move to replace 'Khuda / Khoda' with 'Allah' in every-day communication and salutations (for instance 'Khoda neghador', 'God look after you') amongst Muslims in the region we have just described.]

Related terms for analysis and discussion:
(Mid. Per.) khvatayomand tan > (Mod. Per.) khodavand-e tan [tan=body/form]
(Mid. Per.) khvatay-i tanomand
(Avestan) ahu astavant > (Mid. Per.) akhv-i astomand/astovand [lord incarnate/corporeal; asto=bodily/of-the-body]

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1 comment:

  1. The word "Khoda" is attested also in the Scythian *Kola with the characteristic phonetic transition d>l peculiar to the North-Eastern Iranian languages to which Scytho-Sarmatian languages belonged. Thus according to Herodotus the forefather of the Scythian royal tribe Paralatae (= Av. Paradhata after the same phonetic law) was called Kolaxais which can be interpreted as Kola (= Khoda) - "lord" + xais (= Av. khshayas) - "king".

    The theonym "Mazda" was also known to the Scythians in its archaic form *Masada ("Great Wise" or "Great Creator") as the supreme deity of those same Royal Scythians - Thagimasada. The word "thagi" is found in Pazand texts and glossed by the Sanskrit śūra - "mighty" (according to Sir H. W. Bailey) and perhaps was the Scythian equivalent of the Avestan "Ahura". Thus Thagi-Masada = Ahura-Mazda.

    It is possible also that the Slavic name of Christmas - Kolada/Koleda - also came from the Scythian language (*Kola-da - "Lord-giving/bestowing"). The custom of "Koledovanie" as performed in the Balkans is very similar to the Zoroastrian custom on the feast of Mehregan.