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Notes on the Amesha Spentas and New Science [i]


















It is very easy for most of us, in the pursuits of our daily ambitions, to forget about the religious principles of our fore fathers, or to imagine the teachings of religion to be nothing more than the ancient superstitions of admirable but naÔve ancestors.  In fact, for decades, we were all taught in our modern science classes that the world of the Spirit does not exist, and that everything that occurs in our Universe can be explained by chemical or electro-magnetic phenomena.  We were taught that the Universe was static, that it had always been just as it is, that there was no beginning or that the beginning of the Universe was some kind of cosmic accident.  However, in the last few years, this has begun to change in a dramatic way.  As the implications of Quantum Physics are more thoroughly understood, science is realizing that there is a Design to the Universe, a Divine Order that creates and animates all things.  Can it be that science will one day tell us that many of the religious principles of our fathers are indeed based on fact and can be understood to exist in physical reality?  Certainly, the Static Universe of Newton has now given way to a Dynamic, Expanding and Evolving Universe, one that so closely parallels the Universe that Zarathushtra conceptualized 4000 years ago.  Science is already hinting to us that what we call ďSpiritualĒ could really be just another physical reality that exists beyond our level of perception.  It is telling us that there truly exists a Creative, Intelligent Force and Consciousness that permeates all things, one that influences and interacts with the Consciousness of Man.  We should no longer view this Force as Supernatural, for what could be more natural than the Ultimate Primal Source of all Nature.

This dramatic shift in the mindset of cold science toward a warmer, holistic understanding of the Spirit, was demonstrated just last week (December 9, 2004) when Dr. Anthony Flew, the worlds leading champion of Atheism, stated publicly that, ďScience has now proved that the existence of a Super-Intelligent Being is the only explanation for the beginning of life and the complexity of Nature on our planet.Ē  He goes on to admit that, ďScience has finally discovered God.Ē

The last several years have seen a large number of books written by scientists using the vocabulary of Religion to describe the new principles of Science.  These are books with titles like God and The New Physics, The Cosmic Blueprint, The Mind of God, The Science of God and The Hidden Face of God, and these are only the most recent examples of how Science is slowly embracing the Light and Wisdom of God. 

Let us now consider the Amesha Spentas as they have been understood traditionally, as well as under the light of New Science. The Beneficent Immortals or Progressive Immortals, as they are known, have undergone several evolutions since Zarathushtra first spoke of them thousands of years ago.  However, a reading of his Holy Gathas makes it clear that Zarathushtra understood them, not as Gods or Angels, but as the Divine Attributes of Ahura Mazda; not as separate entities, but as the power of Godís Light used in different ways as they overlap and influence each other in guiding Manís Destiny. 

Asha Vahista has been variously described by Scholars and holy men as Godís Highest Truth, Perfect Truth and the Best Righteousness.  Others have described it as a principle of Godís Law, His Divine Law and the Ahuric Law of Righteousness.  Still others define Asha as Cosmic and precise in nature: the Cosmic Law of Asha, the Law of Cosmic Order and the Universal Law of Precision.  In the Gathas, however, Zarathushtra gives Asha two more important attributes.  He sees Asha as both Progressive and Creative, and in this sense it has been described as Revolving Creation or the Law of Progressive Truth.  But can Truth, by definition, be Progressive?  Not the stagnate truth of religious or scientific dogma, but Godís Truth is most certainly Progressive.  Surely as our Universe evolves and as our World and our Species evolves, so does Truth evolve. In fact, Progress may be the very thing that separates Godís Truth from the truth of Man.  I am reminded of the Book of Leviticus in the Hebrew Bible, which sets out elaborate laws on the ownership of slaves, the oppression of women, blood sacrifice and even the trimming of beards.  Thanks be to God that His Truth evolves.  That is not to say that Godís Ultimate Truth changes, but that Progress is inherent in the Nature of the Universe and therefore inevitable.  Zarathushtra certainly understood that Man would have to endure a long cycle of evolution in his pursuit of Godís Truth.

Now, if Asha can be understood to be the Aggressive, Progressive and Creative Power of Truth that permeates all things, is this not the very Force of Evolutionary Creation that Science is now postulating?

Vohu Mana
Behaviorism as well other sciences have long tried to convince us that Consciousness does not exist.  However, science is now encountering phenomena that cannot be explained in any other way.  There are simply too many occurrences in the daily lives of human beings that speak to the existence of a Consciousness that unites all men to the Creative Force of the Universe.  Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the undeniable Power of Prayer, the unseen connection between twins and the seemingly magical results of Remote Viewing.  The eminent Psychoanalyst, Carl Jung (1875-1961) fervently defended the existence of a Universal Consciousness that connected and surrounded all human beings.  This comes from a man who began many of his most important lectures with the disclaimer that he was a Scientist and not a Philosopher or Mystic.  Yet, all we have to do is ask the mother of those same twins if there is not some hidden connection between them.  For that matter, ask the parent of any child if there is not an unseen level of understanding that unites Father to Son, Mother to Daughter.

Zarathushtra tells us that Vohuman is the means by which we can understand the Power of Asha, for Vohuman is the Voice of Asha, the Voice of God that speaks to us in our prayers and tells us what is righteous action and what is not.  We all hear this voice, if only we listen.  Vohuman speaks to us at every moment of our day, guiding us to righteous action, but if we actively seek it out and make the effort of prayer, Godís voice imparts to us the deepest truths of His Wisdom.  Zarathushtra says in Yasna 43:15 that it is through prayer and silent meditation that we are able to unite with the Light of Ahura Mazda and truly understand His Wise Nature.

As such, Vohuman has been variously described as the Good Mind, the Progressive Mind, the Comprehension of Asha, Moral Cognition, the Wisdom behind every righteous action and finally the very Consciousness of God.  This is what the Christians would later call the Holy Spirit, the Divine Energy that guides men to righteousness.

Spenta Armaity
As Vohuman can be understood as the gift of Godís Consciousness to Man, Spenta Armaity can be understood as the conscious Love that Man gives back to God.  Zarathushtra tells us that Man does this through Righteous Action toward his fellow man and to all of Godís creations in Nature.  As repayment to God for our many blessings, it is our duty to live our lives with a Holy Attitude toward God and toward our fellow men with Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good deeds.  This influences other men to goodness and sets into motion a cycle of Good Deeds and Blessings that goes on forever.  This alone is a holy prayer to Ahura Mazda and it is the only form of worship he requires of us.  To act in accordance with the Law of Asha is to act in harmony with Godís Nature and it perpetuates Manís evolution toward the Perfection that Zarathushtra promised us.

Armaity is Spiritual Reverence and Piety toward the Source of Being and Ultimate Truth.  It is our Devotion to God based on Right Mindedness as opposed to thoughtlessness.  Armaity is the Love, Serenity and Tranquility we feel when basking in the Light of Godís Blessings.

Kshathra Vairya
Khshathra Vairya, the Chosen Rule, Self Government, the Ideal Social State, is generally agreed to be an advanced form of Democracy aimed at the Physical, Material and Spiritual Progress of its people.  Most of us feel very blessed to be living in a land of safety and freedom.  We see it as one of the best forms of government in the world, but we also understand that it is not perfect.  It is still ruled by Men, and Man is not perfect, not yet.  However Zarathushtra promises that a time will come when Man will become perfect, when he finally accepts the Light of Godís Wisdom.  That is when Khshathra Vairya will become a reality, even on the face of this Earth.  Many of us do not believe that this is possible due to the selfish and violent nature of Man, but just take a look back and see how far we have come from the time of the Kavis and the Karapans.  Zarathushtra could very well take a look at the form our modern governments and see perfection in it, especially when compared to the barbaric dominions of his age.

Khshathra Vairya means something more, however, than a perfect form of government.  It represents Ahura Mazdaís Divine Power over all of Creation, not as an oppressive and vengeful God of War, but as the powerful Light that guides all activity toward Asha. Khshathra is the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven and Godís Royal Domain ruled by His Wisdom.

Haurvatat is that blissful feeling of complete well-being that comes to us when we truly experience the Light and Wisdom of God. It is an Epiphany we receive once we accept the fact that, like Ahura Mazda, we also are Beings of Light; when we accept that we too are immortal, that God exists in all of us and we exist in Him; that all of Life spirals on in accordance with the Laws of Asha; that Progress and Evolution are inevitable and that Good will always triumph over Evil; that we are free to choose and that it is we who create our own realities and our own futures.  The understanding and acceptance of all these things is Ahura Mazdaís greatest gift to us while we are still in this earthly, physical state.  We call it Perfection and Earthly Bliss, Wholeness, Spiritual Well-Being and even Heaven on Earth.  Haurvatat is Godís reward to us when we seek to understand the True Nature of God through earnest Prayer and Meditation.


The Avestan Language has given us one of the most beautiful words in any language: Paradise, from Pairidaeza, meaning an enclosed garden or park.  This word has been embraced by all of the worldís revealed religions as the very definition of Heaven and Immortal Bliss.  It can be seen as synonymous with Zarathushtraís Ameritat.

Ameritat is Ahura Mazdaís first and ultimate gift to us, Immortality.  Before the time of Zarathushtra, immortality was seen as something that could be gained by kings and warriors if only they could build monuments to themselves and cause their fame to live on in the memories of the people.  But Zarathushtra spoke of Immortality as a blessing to all Men.  He taught us that after death we still have the freedom to choose as we guide ourselves over the Bridge and into the Abode of Songs.  Most of us today believe this image of Heaven to be allegorical and that our ultimate destiny will be a union with the Spirit and Light of Ahura Mazda.  However, this was such a powerful image, this Immortal Bliss of Godís Heavenly Domain, that it became the model of Paradise for all worshipers of the One God.

How do we receive this blessing of Immortality?  By seeking the Wholeness of Haurvatat through prayer, and by living our lives according to Asha, through Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds.

Many will wonder how Science will ever prove that we truly are immortal.  However, Science is even now telling us that we human beings, as well as all other creations in the natural world, are not composed of mere physical matter or even atoms, but on an even more fundamental level, we are manifested as our own dynamic emanation of Pure Energy.  Is this not another way of describing the Divine Light of Ahura Mazda, that light which flows through All?  Certainly more and more scientists are seeing Divinity in this new understanding of the Universe.

Another of the most important implications of the New Physics is that we can no longer expect Science to fully explain Reality on the most foundational levels.  We must seek our answers in a more holistic way, one that will include a blending of the principles of Science with those of Philosophy and Religion.  Indeed it may be, that in order to attain a true understanding of the Creative Force of the Universe, we must turn once again to the wise council of Zarathushtra and seek the Light of Godís Wisdom through prayer.

[i] This article was featured in the February 2005 issue of the USHAO journal, and was posted on vohuman.org on February 19, 2005 courtesy of its author.