Thursday, March 12, 2009
نوروزنامه: جُنگ ِ شادباش ِ نوروزي + درآمد ِ٤ : ٣٩. هفتاد و هفتمين هفتهنامه: فراگير ِ ١٢ زيرْبخش ِ تازهي ِ خواندني، ديدني و شنيدني
آمد نو بهار
يك) ريشه ها و بُنيادهاي ِ "نوروز" در اسطوره ها و حماسه ي ِ ايران: گفت و شنود ِ حسين مُهري با جليل دوستخواه در راديو صداي ِ ايران- لوس آنجلس
دو) نوروز زماني براي همْدلي و همْ راهيي ِ تمام ِ ايرانيان
سه) نوروز و آيينهاي ِ آن در كيش ِ زرتشتي: پژوهش ِ دكتر علي اكبر جعفري
THE ZARATHUSHTRIAN NEW YEAR
Almost all of us know that the year is approximately 365.25 days long. All of us know that the seasons are regular and March means the coming of spring, June the beginning of summer, September the beginning of fall, and December means the coming of winter.
Many know that spring begins with the vernal equinox on about 21 March, summer with the summer solstice or about 22 June, fall with the autumnal equinox on about 23 September, and winter with the winter solstice on about 23 December.
Some know that the "tropical," solar, or seasonal year is of exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45.5 seconds, or 365.2422454 days, that one day is added every four years to compensate for the loss of four 5 hr 48 min 45.5 sec, that each of the equinoxes and solstices have their precise time of beginning pre-calculated and published by many world observatories and other astronomical establishments, and that the astronomical and astrological worlds follow the tropical year.
Very few know that the official Iranian and Afghani calendars, both of Zarathushtrian origin, are tropical. Only a small number of us know that if the beginning of the year is considered from the precise start of vernal equinox, there shall never be any need to have a leap year at all—the reason why the ancient Zarathushtrians did not have it!
The Iranians of old had a tropical calendar for many centuries. The downfall of the Sassanian Empire in 7th century disrupted the astronomical structure of the religion and the state. The 365-day year, followed by the majority of Zoroastrians in India and Pakistan with little astronomical knowledge, for the last eleven hundred years has advanced the calendar to where Nowruz now occurs in the late summer. However, almost all Zartoshtis in Iran and a minority of Parsis of India and Pakistan follow the "Fasli" or seasonal calendar. It is an almost tropical calendar. It is corrected by observing the leap year.
Meanwhile, although Iranians, converted to Islam, observed and are observing the Muslim lunar calendar for religious purposes, the Iranian calendar was soon restored within a century for administrative and economical reasons.
LEGEND AND HISTORY
Nowruz [pronounced NO-ROOZ] in Persian means "New[-year]- day". It is the beginning of the year for the people of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Tajikistan. Other Asian republics of the former Soviet Union are joining the group, and the latest report says that Turkey too has decided to declare Nowruz a holiday. It is also celebrated as the new year by the people of the Iranian stock, particularly the Kurds, in the neighboring countries of Georgia, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. It begins precisely with the beginning of spring on vernal equinox, on about March 21.
Tradition takes Nowruz as far back as 15,000 years—before the last ice age. King Jamshid (Yima or Yama of the Indo-Iranian lore) symbolizes the transition of the Indo-Iranians from animal hunting to animal husbandry and a more settled life in human history. Seasons played a vital part then. Everything depended on the four seasons. After a sever winter, the beginning of spring was a great occasion with mother nature rising up in a green robe of colorful flowers and the cattle delivering their young. It was the dawn of abundance. Jamshid symbolizes the person/people who introduced Nowruz celebrations.
Avestan and later scriptures show that Zarathushtra improved, as early as 1725 BCE, the old Indo-Iranian calendar. The prevailing calendar was luni-solar. The lunar year is of 354 days. An intercalation of one month after every thirty months kept the calendar almost in line with the seasons. Zarathushtra, the Founder of the Good Religion, himself an astronomer, founded an observatory and he reformed the calendar by introducing an eleven-day intercalary period to make it into a luni-solar year of 365 days, 5 hours and a fraction.
Later in the post-Gathic period, the year was made solely a solar year with each month of thirty days. An intercalation of five days was, and a further addition of one day every four years, was introduced to make the year 365 days, 5 hours, and a fraction. Still later, the calendar was further corrected to be a purely solar year of 365 days 5 hr 48 min 45.5 sec. The year began precisely with the vernal equinox every time and therefore, there was no particular need of adding one day every four years and there was no need of a leap year. This was [and still is] the best and most correct calendar produced that far.
Some 12 centuries later, in 487 BCE, Darius the Great of the Achaemenian dynasty (700 to 330 BCE) celebrated the Nowruz at his newly built Persepolis in Iran. A recent research shows that it was a very special occasion. On that day, the first rays of the rising sun fell on the observatory in the great hall of audience at 06-30 a.m., an event that repeats itself once every 1400-1 years. It also happened to coincide with the Babylonian and Jewish new years. It was, therefore, a highly auspicious occasion for the ancient peoples. The Persepolis was the place, the Achaemenian king received, on Nowruz, his peoples from all over the vast empire. The walls of the great royal palace depict the scenes of the celebrations.
We know the Parthians (250 BCE to 224 CE) celebrated the occasion but we do not know the details. It should have, more or less, followed the Achaemenian pattern. During the Sassanian time (224 to 652 CE), preparations began at least 25 days before Nowruz. Twelve pillars of mud bricks, each dedicated to one month of the year, were erected in the royal court. Various vegetable seeds—wheat, barley, lentils, beans, and others—were sown on top of the pillars. They grew into luxurious greens by the New Year Day.
The great king held his public audience and the High Priest of the empire was the first to greet him. Government officials followed next. Each person offered a gift and received a present. The audience lasted for five days, each day for the people of a certain profession. Then on the sixth day, called the Greater Nowruz, the king held his special audience. He received members of the Royal family and courtiers. Also a general amnesty was declared for convicts of minor crimes. The pillars were removed on the 16th day and the festival came to a close. The occasion was celebrated, on a lower level, by all peoples throughout the empire.
Since then, the peoples of the Iranian culture, whether Zartoshtis, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha'is, or others, have, under Arab, Turk, Mongol, and Iranian rulers, celebrated Nowruz precisely at the time of vernal equinox, the first day of the first month, on about March 21.
Zartoshtis have six seasonal thanksgiving festivals, called "Gahanbars," to celebrate in a year. Vernal Equinox, called Hamaspathmaidhaya in Avesta, meaning "Middle of Equal Paths," or in simpler rendering "vernal equinox" is the top celebration. It was called in later days as "Nava Saredha" and still later Now Sal, both meaning "New Year". Today it is known as Nowruz, New Day. It is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
The early Zarathushtrians counted their era, the Zarathushtrian Religious Era (ZRE), from Nowruz (vernal equinox) of 1737 BCE. It may be noted that the credit of precisely calculating ZRE goes to an Iranian scholar, the late Zabih Behruz. Right now, we are going through the beginning of 3741 ZRE. It was practically revived by the Zarathushtrian Assembly 13 years and has been happily adopted by the Iranian Zoroastrians in Iran and abroad.
The Zarathushtrian era was abandoned when the Achaemenian monarchy was influenced by the prevailing custom in the Mesopotamia. The year started with the accession to the throne of every monarch. That is the reason why Zoroastrians—followers of the Fasli (solar), the Shahenshahi (majority of Parsis), the Qadimi (a minority of Parsis and Iranians of India and Pakistan) calendar—have the Yazgerdi era, the year King Yazdgerd ascended the throne in 632 CE. Both Shahenshahi and Qadimi reckoning have a year of 365 days only. They have advanced almost seven/eight months by gaining one day every four years. It means that they gave up the leap year (avardâd sâlgâh) in about 1150 CE. All Iranian Zoroastrians follow the Fasli, the seasonal or the solar calendar.
When Iranian Muslims returned to the solar year, they reckoned with the Hejra year in solar terms. The current year is 1382 Khorshidi (solar). The months are Zoroastrians—Farvardin, Ordibehesht, Khordad, Tir etc.—in Iran and Zodiac months in Afghanistan.
Every house gets a thorough cleaning almost a month before. Wheat, barley, lentils, and other vegetable seeds are soaked to grow on china plates and round earthenware vessels some ten days in advance, so that the sprouts are three to four inches in height by Nowruz.
Today, the ceremony has been simplified. A table is laid. It has a copy of the sacred book (the Gathas for Zarathushtrians) , picture of Zarathushtra (or a Saint's picture by other creeds), a mirror, candles, incense burner, bowl of water with live gold fish, the plates and vessels with green sprouts, flowers, fruits, coins, bread, sugar cone, various grains, fresh, colorfully painted boiled eggs like "Easter eggs," and above all, seven articles with their names beginning in Persian with the letter "S" (seen) or "SH" (sheen). The usual things with "S" are vinegar (serkeh), sumac, garlic (sîr), samanu (consistency of germinating wheat), apple (sîb), senjed (sorb), and herbs. Those with an initial letter "SH" include wine (sharâb), sugar (shakar), syrup (shîreh), honey (shahd), candy (shîrîni), milk (shîr), and rice pudding (shîberenj). The seven articles are prominently exhibited in small bowls or plates on the table.
The table is laid with a white cloth. White represents spotless purity.
The copy of the Gathas symbolizes guidance for a good life. The picture of Asho Zarathushtra reminds us of the author of the Gathas, the founder of the Good Religion and the Conveyer of the Divine Message. The mirror reflects our past and shows us our present so that we thoughtfully plan our future. The candles are light, warmth, and energy to lead a righteous life that would, in turn, radiate light, give warmth, and provide energy for others. The incense burner gives the fragrance we need to meditate, pray to God, and ask for help and guidance. The gold fish symbolizes a happy life, full of activity and movement. The plates of green sprouts represent creativity and productivity, and so do the colorfully painted eggs.
As you see, the whole table is beautifully laid. It symbolizes the Message and the Messenger, light, reflection, warmth, life, love, joy, production, prosperity, and nature. It is, in fact, a very elaborate thanksgiving table for all the good and beautiful things bestowed by God.
Zarathushtra' s Birthday and Nowruz festival are celebrated by Zoroastrians at social centers on about 6 Farvardin (26 March).
Singing and dancing is, more or less for the first two weeks, a daily routine. The festivity continues for 12 days, and on the 13th morning, the mass picnic to countryside begins. It is called SIZDEH-BE-DAR, meaning "thirteen-in- the-outdoors. " Cities and villages turn into ghost towns with almost all the inhabitants gone to enjoy the day in woods and mountains along stream and riversides. People sing, dance, and make merry. Girls of marriageable age tie wild grass tops into knots and make a wish that the following Nowruz may find them married and carrying their bonny babies!
* * *
Ni-vae-dha-ye- ma-hi hankâ-ra-ye-ma- hi rath-wo bere-zato yo a-sha-he. Rath-wâm a-yara-nâm-cha as-nya-nâm-cha
mâ-hâm-cha yâi-rya-nâm-cha sare-dha-nâm- cha yoi henti a-sha-he rata-vo.
Ni-vae-dha-ye- ma-hi hankâ-ra-ye-ma- hi
yâi-ri-yaeb-yo a-sha-he ratub-yo.
Ni-vae-dha-ye- ma-hi hankâ-ra-ye-ma- hi
hamas-path-mae- da-yâi a-reto
karath-na-he a-sha-he rath-wo.
Ni-vae-dha-ye- ma-hi hankâ-ra-ye-ma- hi
sa-re-dhaeb- yo a-sha-he ratub-yo.
ashem vohû va-hish-tem asti ushta asti.
ushta ah-mâi hyat a-shâi va-hish-tâi ashem.
We announce and perform
the precise rites of the year.
We announce and perform
the precise rites of the vernal equinox,
the festival of rightful deeds.
(Vispered 1.2 with singular pronoun "I" changed into plural "We")
A NOWRUZ PRAYER
We are happy the earth has completed one more circle around the sun. Spring has come with all its splendor. We see it in the raining sky, the running waters, the blowing breeze, the blooming earth, the playing animals, and the singing birds. We see the new year dawning and spring approaching.
O Ahura Mazda, Lord Wise, witnessing all the beauties of nature You have created, on this day--Nowruz, the Newday of the New Year, we feel happy, and feel the urge to turn especially to You. We bow our heads, and raise our hands up. We ask for Your guidance through Your gifted progressive mind.
Lord Wise, we thank You for all You have granted us. We thank You for all You shall grant us. We shall remain praising You and preserving Your creation. We want to serve, as long as we can, our own selves, our families, our neighbors, our countrymen, and our fellow human beings on this good earth. We shall serve them all through righteousness and with wisdom. We shall join hands with every good man and woman to unite in mind and body, and to cooperate in thoughts, words, and deeds in order to create an ever-new, ever-progressive, ever-better world. We know, this is what You wish. Therefore, this is what we wish and what we work for. Ahura Mazda, our Wise Lord, our Dear Friend, we love You.
Lord Wise, today we have happily gathered here to thank You and celebrate four occasions, all in one. First, Hamaspathmaidhaya Gahanbar, the festival of thanksgiving on Nowruz. Secondly, it has yet another significance for us, Zarathushtrians. It heralds the day Zarathushtra declared his divine mission of promoting the living world to wholeness, perfection, immortality and eternity through free will and sincere efforts. His message, now 3741 years old, is as fresh and inspiring as ever. It embodies the Primal Principles of Life that belong to the past, the present and the future. His thought-provoking message is Your message.
Thidly, we have also gathered here to celebrate the Birth Anniversary of Zarathushtra, Your Mânthran, Your thought-provoker. The Zarathushtrian Assembly, now 13 years old, has, with Your inspiration and guidance achieved much. Today, we members of the Assembly stand before You, Lord Wise, committed to learn, practice and spread the eternal message. We stand committed to carry on the Mission. Wise Lord guide us in our mission! May it be so as You wish, a truly refreshing life for all the living on this good earth! (Inspired by the Gathas, Haptang-haiti, and the Farvardin Yasht)
الف) تاجيكستان: همايش و نمايش ِ ميداني و آواز و رقص ِ نوروزي
پ) هفت سين
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامْهايي از اسد هفشجاني - سيدني ، مسعود لقمان- تهران، دكتر علي اكبر جعفري- كاليفرنيا و انجمن ِ ايرانْ شناسيي ِ كهنْدژ- همدان
جمعه بيست و سوم تا جمعه سيام اسفند ماه ١٣٨٧ خورشيدي
(سيزدهم تا بيستم مارس ٢٠٠٩)
گفتاوَرد از دادههاي اين تارنما بي هيچگونه ديگرگونگردانيي متن و با يادكرد از خاستگاه، آزادست.
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١. گزارش ِ بازْنشر ِ يك پژوهش ِ تاريخي در باره ي ِ شهرياريي ِ هخامنشيان
بر پايهي ِ گزارش ِ رسيده از دفتر ِ پايگاه ِ مطالعات ِ زبانهاي ايراني در تهران
به نام ِ دادار اُهْرْمَزْد (/ اَهورَه مَزدا
ويرايش ِ دوم ِ كتاب ِ حكومتي كه براي ِ جهان، دستور مينوشت، پژوهش ِ دكتر نصرتالله بختورتاش، نشريافتهاست.
براي آ گاهي از درونْمايهي ِ اين كتاب ↓
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از ايمان خدافرد، دفتر ِ پايگاه ِ مطالعات ِ زبانهاي ايراني - تهران
٢. بررسيي ِ يك داستان و گفت و شنود با يك جامعهشناس: دو كوشش تازهي ِ يك پژوهنده: نوشين شاهرخي
يك) نامههایی از این سوی میلهها: بررسيي ِ داستان ِ بلند ِ شنبههای راه راه و ثانیههای سُربی، نوشتهی لیلی فرهادپور
در اين جا بخوانيد ↓
دو) گفت و شنودي با دکتر مهرداد درویش پور در باره ي ِ موقعیّت زنان ایرانی در سوئد
در اين جا بخوانيد ↓
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از نوشين شاهرخي - هانوور، آلمان
٣. داشتن يا بودن يا فعلي ديگر: گفتاري شيوا، خواندني و آموزنده در تارنماي ِ روزآمد شدهي ِ شهرْبَراز
در اين جا بخوانيد ↓
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از شهرْبَراز
٤. اصفهان، اصفهان ِ من: ستايشْسرودي از "كمال خُجندي" براي ِ اصفهان، بيانْگر ِ آرزو و حسرت ِ ديدار
كمال (/كمال الدّين) خُجندي، مشهور به شيخ كمال، شاعر و عارف ِ سدهي ِ هشتم هجريي ِ قمري و همْروزگار با حافظ ، زاده و پروردهي ِ شهر ِ خُجند در پايانهي ِ خاوريي ِ تاجيكستان ِ كنوني بود كه پس از بلندْآوازگي در ادب و عرفان، به اصفهان كوچيد و دلْباخته و شيفتهي ِ زيباييهاي ِ اين شهر ِ كهن شد و ديرْزماني در آن جا – كه پيش از او خاندانهايي از همْدياران ِ او بدان كوچيده و با عنوان ِ آل ِ خُجند شناختهميشدند – اقامتْگزيد و سرانجام به تبريز رفت و در همان شهر، درگذشت (٨٠٢ يا ٨٠٣ و يا ٨٠٨ هجري قمري) و گورگاهش تا به امروز در آن شهر برجاست.
كمال ِ اصفهانْدوست و اصفهانْستاي، در بيتي زيبا و شيوا، گفتهاست:
اصفهان نيمي از جهان گفتند / نيمي از وَصف ِ اصفهان گفتند
او در سرودهي ِ شش بيتيي ِ زير، رنج و شكنج ِ دوري از شهر ِ برگزيدهي ِ محبوبش را (شايد در هنگام ِ اقامت در تبريز) بهخوبي بيانداشته و زيباييهاي ِ حسرتْانگيز ِ آن را با استاديي ِ يك نگارگر ِ چيره دست، به نمايش درآوردهاست.
بازْنشر ِ اين ستايشْسرود در اين جا، بهويژه در اين هنگام كه حُرمت ِ ميراث ِ گرانْمايهي ِ اين "نيمي از جهان" – به تعبير ِ م. اميد – "عرصهي ِ انكار و وَهن و غَدر و بيدادست!"، مناسبت ِ تمام دارد.
اصفهانا در آرزوی ِ توام
گشته انده فزای و شادی کم
عکس ِ شکلت به خواب میبینم
زنده رودت در آب میجویم
ماربین ات که نسخهی ِ ارم است
آفتاب اندرو درم درم است
هر یک از باغهاش صد بیشه
گم شده در میانش اندیشه
سبزه زار ِ فلک ز غایت ِ رَشک
چهره کردهست از ستاره پُر اشک
بُرد گلزار ِ تو ز ِ چرخ ْ کلاه
رفت آب ِ ارم ز آتشگاه
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از ياغش كاظمي- رامسر
٥. فرياد برآورْد كه: "يغما! يغما!": گزارش ِ قصد ِ قاچاق ِ قطعهاي ربوده از "تخت ِ جمشيد" به بيرون از ايران
بیانیّهی مشترک « اتحادیهی انجمنهای علمی دانشجویان باستانشناسی دانشگاههای کشور»، «ائتلاف ملّی حامیان میراث اصفهان» و«دیدهبان یادگارهای فرهنگی و طبیعی ایران» دربارهی ماجرای دیپلمات کُرهای
متن ِ كامل ِ گزارش و بيانيّه را در اين جا بخوانيد ↓
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از محسن قاسمي شاد- تهران
٦. حماسهي ِ ملّّی و فلسفهي ِ تاریخ: گفتاري آگاهاننده و روشنگر در شناخت ِ بهتر ِ ساختار ِ ادب ِ پهلواني
پایگاه اینترنتی استاد مرتضی ثاقبفر با یک نوشته ي تازه روزآمد شد:
حماسه ي ملي هنري است استثنايي، و چنان نيست که همانند ساير هنرها چون شعر، موسيقي، قصّه، نمايش، نقاشي، معماري، مجسّمهسازي و.... همواره در درازاي تاريخ وجود داشته يا اکنون و چه بسا در آينده نيز به آساني پديدار شود. حماسه ي ملي محتوايي عميقاً سياسي- فرهنگي دارد که بويژه هنگام کوشش قومي براي تشکيل يک ملت و يا هنگام آسيب ديدن و تجزيه ي شديد روح و مظاهر ملي پديدار ميشود تا به شکلگيري مجدد ارگانيزم واحدي به نام جامعه ي ملي ياري رساند
من در اين مقاله ميخواهم نشان دهم که هر حماسه ي ملي والاترين جلوه ي خودآگاهي تاريخي و بنا براين، گونهاي فلسفه ي تاريخ يک ملت است. پيداست که براي اثبات اين مدعا، نخست بايد مفهومهاي خودآگاهي تاريخي، فلسفه ي تاريخ و حماسه بازشکافته شوند و سپس پيوند ميان آنها از نظر منطقي استوار گردد، يعني نشان داده شود که حماسه ي ملي جلوهاي از خودآگاهي تاريخي، خودآگاهي تاريخي گونهاي فلسفه ي تاريخ، و بنابراين حماسه ي ملي برابر با گونهاي فلسفه ي تاريخ است.... [ادامه نوشتار]
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از ايمان خدافرد، دفتر ِ پايگاه ِ مطالعات ِ زبانهاي ايراني - تهران
٧. سالْگرد ِ روزنامك: رسانهاي پويا و جويا و پاسخْگوي ِ نيازهاي ِ زمانه
٨. گفت و شنود ِ همشهري با استاد "محمّدرضا شجريان"
در اين جا بخوانيد ↓
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از امين فيضيور- شيراز
افزوده ي ويراستار:
مُرغ ِ سحر (متن ِ ترانه و آواز)↓
٩. جهانگردان و دروغ های سفر: گزارشي انتقادي در بارهي ِ كارنامهي ِ سفرنامهنويسان و برخي از ايرانشناسان
گفتار ِ محمود دهقانی، پژوهندهي ِ بوشهريي ِ شهرْبند ِ غُربت در سيدني - استراليا در اين زمينه را در اين جا، بخوانيد ↓
١٠. باز هم "اصفهان، اصفهان ِ من!": دومین همايش و نمايش ِ اعتراضیي ِ مردم اصفهان به گذر مترو از بافت ِ تاریخیي ِ شهر
متن ِ اين گزارش و تصويرهايي از آن را در اين جا، بخوانيد و ببينيد ↓
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از دكتر شاهين سپنتا- اصفهان
١١. رهْنمود به ١٤ پژوهش ِ تاريخي، جامعهشناختي و فرهنگي
در اين پيوندْنشاني ها بخوانيد ↓
Main article: Mitra (Vedic)
Vedic Mitra is a prominent deity of the Rigveda distinguished by a relationship to Varuna, the protector of rta. Together with Varuna, he counted among the Adityas, a group of solar deities, also in later Vedic texts. Vedic Mitra is the patron divinity of honesty, friendship, contracts and meetings.
The first extant record of Indo-Aryan Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. There Mitra appears together with four other Indo-Aryan divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact.
The Indo-Iranian word *mitra- could mean either "covenant, contract, oath, or treaty", or "friend". A general meaning of "alliance" might adequately explain both alternatives. The second sense tends to be emphasized in Indic sources, the first sense in Iranian. The word is from a root mi- "to bind", with the "tool suffix" -tra- (compare man-tra-), a contract is thus described as a "means of binding".
The Sanskrit word mantra- (m. मन्त्रः, also n. मन्त्रं) consists of the root man- "to think" (also in manas "mind") and the suffix -tra meaning, tool, hence a literal translation would be "instrument of thought".e Sanskrit word mantra- (m. मन्त्रः, also n. मन्त्रं) consists of the root man- "to think" (also in manas "mind") and the suffix -tra meaning, tool, hence a literal translation would be "instrument of thought".
Both Vedic Mitra and Avestan Mithra derive from an Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra-, generally reconstructed to have meant "covenant, treaty, agreement, promise." This meaning is preserved in Avestan miθra "covenant." In Sanskrit and modern Indo-Aryan languages, mitra means "friend," one of the aspects of binding and alliance.
The Indo-Iranian reconstruction is attributed to Christian Bartholomae, and was subsequently refined by A. Meillet (1907), who suggested derivation from the Proto-Indo-European root *mei "to exchange."
A suggested alternative derivation was *meh "to measure" (Gray 1929). Pokorny (IEW 1959) refined Meillet's *mei as "to bind." Combining the root *mei with the "tool suffix" -tra- "that which [causes] ..." (also found in man-tra-, "that which causes to think"), then literally means "that which binds," and thus "covenant, treaty, agreement, promise, oath" etc. Pokorny's interpretation also supports "to fasten, strengthen", which may be found in Latin moenia "city wall, fortification" , and in an antonymic form, Old English (ge)maere "border, boundary-post" .
Meillet and Pokorny's "contract" did however have its detractors. Lentz (1964, 1970) refused to accept abstract "contract" for so exalted a divinity and preferred the more religious "peity." Because present-day Sanskrit mitra means "friend," and New Persian mihr means "love" or "friendship, " Gonda (1972, 1973) insisted on a Vedic meaning of "friend, friendship," not "contract".
Meillet's analysis also "rectified earlier interpretations" that suggested that the Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra- had anything to do with the light or the sun. When H. Lommel suggested that such an association was implied in the Younger Avesta (>6th c. BCE), that too was conclusively dismissed. Today, it is certain that "(al)though Miθra is closely associated with the sun in the Avesta, he is not the sun" and "Vedic Mitra is not either."
Old Persian Mitra or Miθra - both only attested in a handful of 4th century BCE inscriptions of Artaxerxes II and III - "is generally admitted [to be] a borrowing from the Avesta," the genuine Old Persian form being reconstructed as *Miça. (Kent initially suggested Sanskrit but later changed his mind). Middle Iranian myhr (Parthian, also in living Armenian usage) and mihr (Middle Persian), derive from Avestan Mithra.
Greek/Latin "Mithras," the focal deity of the Greco-Roman cult of Mithraism is the nominative form of vocative Mithra. In contrast to the original Avestan meaning of "contract" or "covenant" (and still evident in post-Sassanid Middle Persian texts), the Greco-Roman Mithraists probably thought the name meant "mediator."
In Plutarch's first century discussion of dualistic theologies, Isis and Osiris (46.7) the Greek historiographer provides the following explanation of the name in his summary of the Zoroastrian religion: Mithra is a meson ("in the middle") between "the good Horomazdes and the evil Aremanius [...] and this is why the Pérsai call the Mediator Mithra".
Zaehner attributes this false etymology to a role that Mithra (and the sun!) played in the now extinct branch of Zoroastrianism known as Zurvanism.
"It is plausible that in the Greater Iran, throughout the history there has never been any cults which exalted Miθra as supreme god."
"C.Bartholomae' s Aryan Syndrome"
The name of the Indo-Iranian god Mitra (Vedic Mitra, Avestan Miθra, Old Persian Mitra, Miθra instead of the genuine OP form *Miça) is based on the common noun mitrá “contract” with the connotations of “covenant, agreement, treaty, alliance, promise.” This meaning of the common noun was recognized in the 19th century and codified by C. Bartholomae (AirWb., col. 1183), who, however, took the god Miθra as an Aryan sun deity without clarifying the relation between the common noun and the name. A. Meillet (1907) rectified earlier interpretations, such as the idea that Mitra represents light or the sun considered as a moral beine, which would make the common noun derive from a function of the god (for a discussion of these views, see Schmidt, 1978, pp. 344 ff.).
Meillet showed that the abstract meaning of the common noun largely agrees with the character and functions of the god. Mitra is thus the personification and deification of the concept “contract.”
خاستگاه: رايانْ پيامي از آرمان وزيري- ونكوور (كانادا)