BEHISTUN INSCRIPTION OF KING DARIUS
Here is a look at the name ‘Darayavaus’. In Avestan this name is said to mean ‘one who holds firm the good’. In Sanskrit ‘dharay (धारय) means ‘holding’ and ‘bahu’ (बहु) means ‘abundance’ . ‘Vahu’ in Avestan is said to mean ‘good’. Given the closeness of Avestan and Sanskrit, his name probably was a distortion of the Sanskrit ‘Dharmaraya’ – dharma meaning ‘righteousness’ or ‘goodness’ and ‘ahraya’ (अह्रय) meaning ‘abundant’.
The Sanskrit Dharaya-Ahraya (धारय – अह्रय) definitely makes sense as ‘holding-abundance’ but is an unlikely name.
The original name of Behistun was Bagistana, a distortion of the Sanskrit ‘Baghvan-sthana’ (भगवन् स्थान) meaning the ‘Place of God’. Though Bagistan is known as the place where God dwells, the Behistun inscription (located in Kermenshah Province) is nothing but a list of 23 principalities that King Darius (his actual name was Darayavaus) of Persia ruled. What is interesting are the names of these 23 principalities and those of their rulers who had fought and lost in battle to King Darius..
In Antiquity, Bagastâna/Behistun, which means ‘place where the gods dwell’, was the name of a village and a remarkable, isolated rock outcrop along the road that connected the capitals of Babylonia and Media, and Ecbatana (modern Hamadan). Many travelers passed along this place, so it was the logical place for the Persian king Darius I (Darius the Great – 522-486) to proclaim his military victories.
The famous Behistun inscription was engraved on a cliff about 100 meters off the ground. Darius tells us how the supreme god Ahuramazda choose him to dethrone an usurper named Gaumâta, how he set out to quell several revolts, and how he defeated his foreign enemies.
Darius the Great’s, Behistun Inscription , Trilingual inscription on the face of a gorge beneath the panel of sculptures in 5 Columns.
Scholars generally agree that before the advent of Zarathushtra, the religion of the devas was current in Iran, the white man called it Persian paganism , but to do so is to obscure its connections with the Vedic religion. The similarities between the pre-Zoroastrian Persian religion and the Vedic religion are too many to give it any other name.
Just as the Avestan language is derived from Sanskrit, so are the names of the kings and princes and place names. The 23 principalities of the kingdom of Darius included Persia, Elam, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Sardis, Ionia, Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana, Gandara, Scythia, Sattagydia, Arachosia, Maka and ‘those located by the sea’: in all, 23.