||Faith Freedom International
Joined: 24 Apr 2002
|Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 3:52 am Post subject: Zarathushtrianism
The Gathas are the divine songs of Zarathushtra which have remained intact as part of the Yasna, the oldest Zoroastrian scripture which has been passed down through history, and has come into our hands today. The Gathas is the only part of the Zoroastrian scripture which is directly attributed to Zarathushtra.
Selections from the Gathas:
Freedom of choose
"...Reflect with a clear mind --
man by man for himself -- upon
the two choices of decision..."
"...let a person listen...
with good thinking, Wise Lord,
Let him listen with truth..."
"I...shall serve all of you, Wise Lord,
with good thinking..."
"...I shall always worship all of you,
with truth and the very best thinking
and with their rule
through which one shall stand
on the path of (good) power..."
"...One chooses that rule of
good thinking allied with truth
in order to serve..."
"...be present to me
with support and with truth,
so that one shall become convinced even where his understanding shall be false."
"...speak, Wise One, ...
in order for us to know (all) that,
by means of which
I might convert all the living."
"Wise Lord, together with this virtuous spirit
Thou shalt give the distribution in the good to both factions through Thy fire, ...
For it shall convert the many who are seeking."
"...who shall enlighten his guest in the good –
shall bring success to His desire
and be in the approval of the Wise Lord."
Human Behavior and Good Thinking
"...let wisdom come in the company of truth across the earth!"
where are those sincere ones who,
through their possession of good thinking,
make even immoral decrees and painful legacies disappear?..."
"......Through good thinking
the Creator of Existence
shall promote the true realization
of what is most healing
according to our wish."
[This is the last line of the
Ahura Mazda Khodae prayer].
"Therefore may we be those
who shall heal this world! ....."
"The Wise Lord ...shall give the permanence of good thinking's alliance
the one who is His ally
in spirit and actions."
"...the loving man...for such a person,
virtuous through truth,
watching over the heritage for all,
is a world-healer and Thy ally in spirit, Wise One."
Good and Evil
"...If...one shall defeat deceit by truth...
then one shall increase Thy glory, Lord, during those times of salvation."
"The one of evil doctrine...
He has ruined the intention of life
He has robbed the esteemed power
which really belongs to good thinking.
I lament these words of my spirit
(to Thee), Wise One, and to truth --
to all of you!"
"...those who, being full of disobedience do not pursue truth's care and company,
nor delight in the counsel of good thinking..."
"Shameful are the many sins by which one attains fame,…..
(But) Thou knowest, Lord, (only) when there is uplifting of beings
with the very best thinking,
fame is to serve Thee and the truth, Wise One, under Thy rule."
"Because of such (evil) rule,
the destroyers of this world viewed
their riches in the
House of Worst Thinking...."
"Virtuous is the man of [aramaiti].
He is so by reason of his understanding, his words, his action, his [vision]..."
"All those (beings) whose way of life is good for Thee –
those who have been, and those who are, and those who shall be –
give them a share in Thy approval, Wise One.
(And) grow Thyself, in breath and body, through the rule of good thinking and of truth."
Joined: 24 Apr 2002
|Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:15 am Post subject:
|Zarathushtra’s Philosophy - Basic Overview
Literally translated, Ahura means The Lord Creator, and Mazda means Supremely Wise. This was the name by which Zarathushtra addressed his God. He proclaimed that there is only one God, who is the singular creative and sustaining force of the Universe. Zarathushtra was the first Prophet who brought a monotheistic religion.
As human beings we are given the right to choose. However, because of the law of cause and effect, we are also responsible for our choices, and must face their consequences.
Even though there is only one God, our universe works on the basis of moral dualism. There is Spenta Mainyu (progressive mentality) and Angra Mainyu (evil or regressive mentality). Zarathushtra pleaded with us to think clearly before we choose, and asked us to choose the progressive choices to bring about beneficial consequences. He said that Ahura Mazda would not order us to choose either this or that.
In other words, having given us the ability to choose, Ahura Mazda leaves us alone and allows us to make our choices. And if we choose good, we will bring about good, and if we choose evil, we will cause evil. This is how the moral universe operates.
Devil / Ahriman
Based on the previous principle, we are the causes of all the good and all the evil that happens in our moral universe. Or simply stated, according to Zarathushtra, there is no Devil. However, some of the Post-Zarathushtra scripture introduced the concept of the Devil, or Ahriman, which was effectively a personification of Angra Mainyu.
Purpose in Life
To be among those who renew the world… to make the world progress towards perfection.
Happiness is a byproduct of a way of living. And happiness is for those who work for the happiness of others.
Amesha Spentas (Holy Immortals)
Zarathushtra tells us that Ahura Mazda created everything based on the 6 Amesha Spentas, which are in fact divine emanations or aspects of the creator. These are:
1. Vohu Mano – The spirit of the Good Mind
2. Asha – The spirit of Truth and Right
3. Khshatra – The spirit of Holy sovereignty
4. Spenta Armaiti – The spirit of Benevolent Devotion and Love
5. Haurvatat – The spirit of Perfection and Well-Being
6. Ameretat – The spirit of Immortality.
According to Zarathushtra not only the universe was created on the basis of these six, but also they permeate every aspect of creation including ourselves.
Later on, Post-Zarathushtra Zoroastrianism mythologized the Amesha Spentas into angelic hierarchies, and brought back some of the Pre-Zarathushtra Gods into the scripture as angels.
Ahura Mazda first created Vohu Mano or the Spirit of the Good Mind, through which God created a plan or blueprint for the universe. Part of this blueprint was to incorporate an operating mode and operating laws. This was Asha or the spirit of Truth and Right (the software of the universe).
Then comes the actual act physical creation, which involved certain actions and manifestations. This is Khshatra or the spirit of Holy Sovereignty. These manifestations are actualized through Spenta Armaiti, with much devotion, faith and love.
And finally that the universe is created in the spirit of Perfection (Haurvatat) and is timeless and immortal (Ameretat).
Each one of us carries the divine essence within ourselves. It is our duty to recognize this and act accordingly. How?
Based on Zarathushtra’s teachings, we can and should act like Ahura Mazda. We should think about every choice that we wish to make and in the spirit of our good mind choose wisely. We should respect the natural and moral laws and operating mode of the universe. We should act diligently, with love and faith. And we will then make perfect and timeless choices, and fulfill our purpose of renewing the world.
We are co-workers and co-creators of God. We are here to fulfill the divine plan, not to become obedient slaves of God, nor to be helpless children of God. And this is why we are given the choice. Even the choice not to cooperate with God’s plan and go against it, and that is why we find evil in the world. Because there are some who choose not to work according to God’s plan.
Heaven and Hell
According to Zarathushtra after we leave this life, our essence leaves the body, and depending on the choices that it has made, either it will go to the House of Songs or Realm of light (if he has made good choices) or to the Realm of Darkness and Separation (if evil choices).
Heaven and Hell are not physical places, but are described as timeless states of consciousness: either state of oneness with or separation from Ahura Mazda.
Post-Zarathushtra Zoroastrianism mythologized these timeless states of consciousness into everlasting physical locations and descriptive places. This later concept permeated into Judeo-Christian religions.
Since we are all endowed with the divine essence, we are all good and divine. Therefore it is not the human beings who are evil, but their choices, actions and deeds that could be good or evil.
There is only one way to fight evil, and that is by spreading goodness, just as there is only one way to fight the darkness, and that is by spreading light. Similarly, only by spreading love can we eliminate hatred and enmity, and not by fighting and opposing each other.
Some Basic Maxims of Zoroastrianism
Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.
There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.
Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.
© Shahriar Shahriari
April 1, 1998
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