Bushyansta, the slothful



Thou didst ordain, Ahura, the night for all to rest and commissioned thy Sraosha to guard the sleeping world. Peacefully we sleep and peaceful dreams attend us for thy ever-wakeful angel guards us.

At the break of the dawn, Atar, the genius of the fire of the hearth, sounds his warning voice against the stratagem of Bushyansta, the slothful. The enemy of the wakeful world casts her spell over the sleeping world that men and women may sleep inordinately long and lie long in laziness.

Parodarsh, vigilant cock of Sraosha, lifts up his voice and the cocks, all around, crow to each other from house to house exhorting all to wake up.

Sweeter is sleep in the third part of the night than at any other time. Stealthily does Bushyansta come and kiss the eyelids of those that are deep in sleep. Sweetly she sings her tempting song, that time it is not yet to wake and work, and lulls them again to sleep and sleep unduly long. So great is the charm of the sluggish music, that in vain do the bedfellows struggle and strive and yawn, but they cannot fully open their eyes to the break of the dawn. They stretch their hands and they lengthen their legs, they rub their drowsy eyes and they pull the bed sheet again over the face. They grumble and they grieve, they woefully lament the impending death of the night, and lazily mumble and mutter their faltering prayer, that the birth of the day may, a little bit longer, be delayed.

Help me, my God, in my struggle with Bushyansta to shake off my sloth that the precious hours of the morn may not be stolen from me. I shall cleanse my body and with fire, fed with sandalwood, burning before me, I shall open my day by worshipping thee with purity of body and purity of mind and purity of soul. I shall kindle the fire within my heart, that lay flaring and flickering during the night. Bright may it blaze to brighten my mind and quicken my heart and steel my will that, alert and active, I may strenuously take up my rising day's duties, Ahura Mazda.


Obviously the author has chosen to poetically mythologize the daily human struggles that we all face.

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This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.