This is another difficult word to trace down. Apparently it comes from Zoroasterianism, and it is part of the concepts of their holy Scriptures, which they attributed to Abraham, and whom they also thought was Zoroaster. This is one of their three divisions.
ABESTA. The name of one of the sacred books of the Persian Magi, which they ascribe to their great founder Zoroaster. The Abesta is a commentary on two others of their religious books, called Zend and Pazend; the three together including the whole system of the Ignicold, or worshippers of fire.
ABESTA, or AVESTA, the name of one of the sacred books of the Persian magi, which they ascribe to their great founder Zoroaster. The “Abesta” is a commentary on two others of their religious books, called “Zend” and “Pazend”; the three together including the whole system of the Ignicolæ, or worshippers of fire.
A well known Persian dictionary, the Burhan-i-gate, says on our subject: “The Avesta, Abesta or Asta is the exegesis oi the book Zend. This is a book of the Magi which Zertusht has composed on the fire-worship;” and further: “Zend is the name of a book which Ibrahim Zertusht has claimed to have come down to him from heaven. Pazeiid is the expounding of the Zend. Again, others believe Zend and Pazend are two works composed by Ibra-
him Zertusht on fire-worship. Mohammedan writers contradict the opinion that the Zend is the original text of the revelation and Avesta is its expounding. They claim the very contrary, viz : that the Zend is the expounding and Avesta the text.”(*) Professor Haug concludes essentially as follows : Avesta, Zend and Pazend are the names of sacred books which legend refers to Zoroaster ; viz : Avesta is the most hoary one originated by Ormazd. Zend is its exegesis and Pazend is a further expounding of that doctrine. According to the Pahaleve translation, Avesta is the denomination principally of older sacred songs, verses, prayers, laws, and statutes now mostly lost. They contained among others also dietary laws.