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Peace and Justice [i]: A Zarathushtrian Perspective



Mehta, Cyrus P.


















“That God who ever lives and loves.
 One God, one love, one element.
And one far-off divine event
To which the whole creation moves.”

[A verse from “In Memoriam” by Alfred Tennyson]

PROPHETS have taken birth at different times in different lands to give mankind a spiritual push. Prophet Zarathushtra appeared at the dawn of civilization in the ancient land of Iran. At the outset of his mission he prayed to God whom he called Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Life and Wisdom:

Ashâ vispéñg shyaothnâ
Grant that I may perform all actions with Righteousness,

Vańghėus khratûm manańgho
Thy Divine Law and acquire the Wisdom of Good

Yâ khshnevishâ Géush-châ urvânem
Mind. Thus may I bring solace to the Soul of the Universe.

[Ahunvaiti 1.1 Ys. 28.1]

Since Zarathushtra, other Prophets and Great Spiritual Masters have followed in order to awaken mankind from its deep slumber. In spite of their valuable teachings, the Soul of the Mother Earth is in great torment and mankind is still far from its goal of One God, One Humanity, One Brotherhood, living a blissful existence where Peace and Justice prevail.

But we cannot have peace and justice without knowing what are the factors that cause discord in the world. Briefly stated they are:

  1. The struggle between those who have material wealth and technological skills and others who have not. Peace under those circumstances is kept by physical might or other repressive methods but that kind of peace does not offer justice to the poor and oppressed people of the world.

  2. Differences of political ideologies.

  3. Differences in religions, which all preach the message of love and brotherhood yet become the main cause of strife and bitterness in several countries of the world.

  4. Lack of universal language, which prevents us from readily understanding those who speak a different language.

  5. The barriers of cast, color and nationalities, which are so deeply engrained into human beings.

  6. The advent of science, which has at times exposed the erroneous age-old beliefs. Hence it has come into conflict with the custodians of established religions. Both religions and science can help mankind and they have to learn to work together instead of against each other.

But if we reflect a little we will see that all these outward manifestations arise out of man’s internal mental unrest caused by greed, attachment to materialism and other vices as pride, anger, jealousy, etc. These vices generate restlessness in an individual as well as societies. Hence the importance of Prophet Zarathushtra’s call, “Purify Thyself”. This then is the first minimum condition for World Peace and Justice and in this purification process Zarathushtra has emphasized Asha or Righteousness and Vohu Mano, the Good and Loving Mind repeatedly in his teachings.

The world has not evolved a political or economic system that will ensure automatic fair distribution of wealth for all the people of the world. Much of the world’s poverty, hunger and malnutrition arise out of man’s greed to possess more than he needs. So if mankind wants peace and justice, it will have to curtail its greed.

There are those who believe that possession of absolute power would remove all the ills of the world. But history has shown this to be an illusion. Political, social and economic measures contrived by democratic means or forced upon people by themselves will not bring happiness to man or achieve world peace and justice.

The task of organized religions is to create a New Humanity that can practice “Unity among Diversity”. We must appreciate that diversity is merely of outward forms. A drop in an ocean is not separate from the ocean. It is a bubble over the drop that gives it an appearance of separateness but when the bubble bursts, the drop is not, and the indivisible ocean is. But man in his ignorance does not realize this.

The New Humanity will come into existence through a release of Divine Love; and when that happens Humanity will attain a new mode of living. Hence religion is sometimes defined as ‘That which binds man to man and man to God’.

Mankind will then learn the art of co-operative and harmonious life and enjoy peace, justice and happiness in full measure. May that day (mentioned as ‘one far-off divine event’ by Tennyson) come about by the supreme efforts of all the world organizations and individuals concerned about human welfare. Amen!

[i] Article was featured on November 2, 2004. The article was taken from USHAO (email edition), Vol. V, No. 8, Oct.-Nov. 2004 issue. Mr. Virasp Mehta of Wichita, Kansas is the editor of USHAO.