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BORN: 1800-1500 BC

The Background

Iran, at the time of Zarathushtra's birth, was a land where many pagan gods and goddesses were being propitiated through ignorance and fear. The prophet Zarathushtra, in his sublime hymns, the Gathas, revealed to mankind that there was the One, Supreme, All-Knowing, Eternal God of the good creations---Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Wisdom, who was wholly Wise, Good and Just. Ahura Mazda, he taught, was a friend to all and never to be feared by man, who in turn should worship Him. Locked in open conflict he proclaimed, were the two primordial spirits---Spenta Mainyu, the Holy Spirit of Ahura Mazda and His diabolical adversary, Anghra Mainyu, the Hostile Spirit.


For over a thousand years, from circa 549 B.C.E. to 652 C.E. the religion taught by Zarathushtra flourished as the state religion of three mighty Iranian empires, that of the Achaemenians (549 - 330 B.C.E.), the Parthians (248 B.C.E. - 224 C.E.) and Sasanians (224 - 652 C.E.), Amongst the many subjects of the Achaemenian empire were the Jews, who adopted some of the prophet's main teachings and transmitted them in due course to Christianity and later, to Islam.


The Prophet :

Spitama Zarathushtra

The Religion :

Zoroastrianism ---- the first revealed religion which is believed to have influenced the teachings and basic concepts of some of the other major religion such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Time :

3,500 years ago.

The Place :

The ancient Iranian homelands included vast of the Central Asian Steppes where it is now believed that prophet Zarathushtra was born. his birthplace, it is suggested may be somewhere around the modern Soviet city of Semipalatinsk, north-east of lake Valaksh.

The Society :

Pastoral ---- the people were nomadic partoralists; i.e. they herded cattle and sheep which formed the basis of their wealth.

The Religion Zarathushtra's Revelation :

The name of the religion is unknown, but it is believed to have been an amalgamation of beliefs and practices in which a number of nature and cult divinities were worshipped. Their worship was instinctive and based upon fear, which resulted in the excessive use of animal and plant sacrifices. 

Father :

 Pourushaspa meaning "possessor of gray horses".

Mother :

  Dughdova meaning "milkmaid".

Zarathushtra :

Meaning "he who manages/drives camels". He trained as a priest in an earlier unknown  religion and later became the only "priest--prophet" in the world. Tradition has it that he was married and had children.   

His Quest :

According to tradition, Zarathushtra left home and wandered in search of truth ten years.


The Language :

Avestan is the language of Zarathushtra's revelation and belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. It is a sister language to Sanskrit. Pahlavi developed much later around the third century B.C., from Old Persian, a linguistic cousin of Avestan. The Avestan language, though older that Pahlavi had no written script till, it is believed, the fifth century A.C.

In His Thirtieth Year :

During the spring festival. Zarathushtra went to fetch water from the river Daitya for the strength-giving haoma ceremony.

The Vision :

 As Zarathushtra waded deep into the waters, the Holy Immortal Vohu Manah ( Good Mind ) appeared before Zarathushtra as a bright shining being.

The Enlightenment :

Zarathushtra was taken by Vohu Manah to the celestial court of Ahura Mazda, the Lord of wisdom, and the other Bounteous Immortals ( Amesha Spentas ). here, hr received his first revelation, in presence of Ahura Mazda.

First Disciple in Ten Years :

His cousin, Maidhyoimangha.

In Zarathushtra's Forty-second Year :

King Vishtaspa accepted Zarathushtra's teachings, and his people followed him thereafter.

Zarathushtra Died :

At the age of 77 years; was killed by a Turanian named Bradres.

History and Its Influence :

For over a thousand years, from 559 B.C. to 652 B.C., the religion flourished as the imperial of three mighty Iranian empires, those of the Achaemenians, Parthians and Sasanians. Zoroastrianism is believed to have influenced post-exilic Judaism and then transmitted to Christianity and later to Islam. It is also known that this ancient faith influenced the Greek philosophers, like Plato, and Aristotle, in the west, as well as it influenced Mahayan Buddhism in the east.


The Source And Revelation:

Zarathushtra's own poetical hymns called the Gathas ( five in numbers ), were revealed to him the ancient Avestan language.

The Breakthrough:

Zarathushtra introduced for the fist time in human history, the importance of the Good Mind. He taught man to think and reflect with a clear, rational mind, in order to dispel ignorance and blind faith.    

Zarathushtra's God

Ahura Mazda, the lord of wisdom the one supreme, all knowing, ever present, father of truth and good mind, but not an all powerful god. This all wise, uncreated, eternally good, perfect god is a friend to all, in Zoroastrianism, he is never to be feared by man.

Is Mazda All Powerful ?

Mazda is deemed to be very, very powerful, thought, in the world of conflict, not all powerful / omnipotent. If Mazda's power to prevent the forces of evil from attacking and afflicting his creations. This we know, is not the case. It is because of Mazda's relative non omnipotence that chaos, misery, suffering, disease, death and all the negative states exist in our world, today. Mazda's power lies in his omniscience, all  knowingness and there lies Mazda's greatest strength. The role or humankind is to make Mazda truly omnipotent through the cumulative power of good thoughts, words and deeds, when at the end of time, evil will be made totally ineffective and redundant.

God's adversary :

The hostile spirit --- Angra Mainyu.

Is Mazda Responsible For Evil in This world ?

No! why not? Because the origin of evil is other than from Mazda. Had Mazda created evil, Mazda would be deemed to be imperfect, as is the nature of evil. Why? Because a perfect, all wise being cannot create that which is imperfect; and if Mazda did, then Mazda cannot be worshipped as a god or as a perfectly good being. In fact, by ceasing to be perfectly comes into existence as the state of excess or deficiency in Mazda's otherwise good creations. Thus, evil cannot come from Mazda, but is the state of moving away from Mazda; just as darkness does not come from light, but is the result of moving away from light.

Can The Existence Of Evil Be Explained ?

Yes1 Evil is that which opposes good. It is that principle which is irreconcilably opposed to god, and therefore does not derive its source from him. It is parasitical to the principle of good and therefore id not part of goodness. Its source stems from an excess or deficiency within the world in which one lives.

Why Did God Create This World ?

Ahura Mazda, thorough omniscience, fashioned the world in order to tempt evil from its spiritual existence into the physical world. The wise lord knew, that  he could then trap evil in the physical creations, in which man, god's finest creation, would be able to destroy the forces of evil though the conscious ethical weapon of good thoughts, words and deeds.

God's World Of The Seven Good Creations :

The Skies, Waters, Earth, Plants, Cattle, Man & Fire.

Guardians Of The seven Creations :

God was aided in fashioning the world, by the guardians of the seven creations, who collective came to know as the Amesha Spentas bounteous immortals. They also from the ethical frame work which is based upon man recognising the attributes of the seven bounteous immortals.  

Spenta Mainyu    


The Bounteous Spirit


Vohu Manah       - The Good Mind - Cattle
Asha Vahishta  - The Best Order, Truth And Righteousness - Fire
Khshathra Vairy  - The Sovereign Kingdom - Sky
Spenta Armiti - Bounteous devotion Earth
Haurvatat - Perfection - Water
Ameretat - Immortality - Plants

Man's Role In The cosmic struggle:

Man is god's most conscious creation, and therefore his greatest agent to combat against the forces of evil. God has given man the freedom to choose between the forces of good and evil. Man, therefore, is the maker of his own destiny according to the choice he makes.

Some Of The Choices In The Cosmic Battle

Forces Of Good

Forces Of Evil

Good Thoughts, Words & Deeds. Bad Thoughts, Words&Deeds.
Happiness. Despair.
Optimism. Pessimism.
Joy. Misery. 
Golden Mean/Moderation. Deficiency, Excess.
Truth. Falsehood, Lies.
Prosperity. Poverty.
Order. Disorder, Chaos.
Light. Darkness.
Charity. Greed.
Life. Death.

What Is The Soul ?

It is the immaterial essence or directing principle that enables man to make the choice between the forces of truth and falsehood. The soul receives its inputs from wisdom, innate reason, intellect and will, which are all filtered through man's conscience.


When You Die :

Death is the negation life, and therefore in Zoroastrianism it is deemed to be the work of evil whose inherent nature is to wrought havoc and destruction upon god's good creations. On the morning of the fourth day after death, the soul is judged at the bridge of the separator. Depending upon its thoughts, words and deeds, the soul ascends to the house of song (Heaven) if found good; or it falls down into the abyss of the house of deceit (Hell) if it if judges to be wicked.

The Zoroastrian " Hot Line " To The World Above :

At our religion festivals (Gahambars, Jashans, and particularly during the muktad days), the souls and spirits of the departed come to visit us from the spiritual world with which a link is maintained through the prayers and rituals of the Zoroastrian tradition.

Is the theory of Reincarnation compatible with Zoroastrian doctrine?

No1 It is utterly alien to our doctrine. time, in Zoroastrianism, moves along a linear path, and hence the soul incarnates only once into the physical body. Upon death, the should and the spirit continue to exist in heaven or hell, till the end of time. If the soul was to reincarnate, then it would make a mockery of our prayers for the dead. Why? Because on being reincarnated, the soul can no longer remain in the spiritual world. Hence, towards whom would our muktad and other prayers be directed? Furthermore, is it fair and just for the soul to be penalized in this  life for a crime it is alleged to have committed in a previous existence?

Muktad / Fravardigan : 

The Fravardigan is a ten day religious celebration in which the souls of the departed are remembered. During this festival, food and flowers are consecrated and offered in memory of the dead, as it is believed, that the souls / spirits of those who have died, visit the earth during this period.

At The " End Of Time " :

The imperfect soul will be cleansed and will join the blessed. Evil will be destroyed and the last judgement of all the souls will take place. This will be followed by the resurrection of the body, which will once again meet its spiritual counterpart, the soul. Time will cease to be, and the world will return to its original perfect state of  total goodness and harmony, known in Zoroastrianism as the "Making wonderful". It is at this point that Ahura Mazda will truly become all powerful, as evil will have been utterly vanquished and made ineffective from this world.

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