The Yazata of the benediction known as the Dahma Āfriti is a figure whose importance in the Zoroastrian pantheon has been obscured, it seems for two main reasons. One is that, although she was apparently originally accorded a place among the thirty ‘calendar’ divinities, she subsequently lost this, probably in an Achaemenian calendar reform. The other is that later still her identity became confused through her name acquiring several Middle Persian forms: Dahm Yazad, Dahmān Āfrīn, Dahmān, the last, since it is a formal plural, causing some misunderstandings in her veneration locally.
The Avestan adjective dahma is understood to have meant originally ‘instructed’, that is, in the Zoroastrian faith; but, to judge from its use in context, it developed the sense of ‘pious, devout’, occurring frequently with ašavan as a term for a good Zoroastrian. The name of the benediction is accordingly generally rendered as the ‘Pious Blessing’. Much power was attributed by Zoroastrians to solemnly pronounced words, and the compilers of the extended yasna liturgy set the ‘Pious Good Blessing’, Dahṃa VaohviĀfriti, after the Ahuna Vairya, Ašəm Vohū and Yenhē hātąm as the fourth of the mighty utterances which crush and destroy Anra Mainyu and his hordes (Y.61:l–2). (The other three form a group because together they precede the Gāthās, and together are the subject of the commentary which forms (Y. 19–21.)