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Avestan ashavan (ašavan) is a Zoroastrian theological term. It literally means "possessing aša", hence "possessing truth" or "possessing righteousness", but has further implications:
- It is an epithet of Ahura Mazda (Yasht 1.12). The term may then be applied to anything within the domain of Ahura Mazda and/or Aša (i.e. all of Creation), and excludes only that which is not drəgvant "possessing lie" (YAv: drvant).
- With respect to mortals and in an eschatological and sotereological context, ašavan is also a quality that can be acquired in life. Then, having acquired the qualities of an ašavan, one becomes an ašavan (through "blessed union with aša") after death. (See also: aša: in eschatology and sotereology). This sotereological meaning of ašavan is also evident in Xerxes' daiva inscription, an Old Persian text (XPh, early 5th century BCE). This next-world meaning of ašavan is preserved in Middle Iranian languages as Pahlavi ahlav.
- Ašavan may be used to denote any follower of the "Good Religion." This is the most common use of ašavan, applicable to any who walk the "path of truth" (Yasna 68.12 and 68.13). In this context, Ašavan is frequently translated as "righteous person" or "blessed person." This general meaning of ašavan is preserved in Middle Iranian languages as Pahlavi ardav.
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