a visionary giant, must be credited as the father of modern philosophical
thought and opinions. Through his poetic hymns he transmits the
prophetic notions of his Divine Revelation, leaving behind words of profound
psycho-social significance, which have triggered off an endless chain of
philosophical discussions on the matters of the mind and human conscious
senses over more than three and a half millennia.
The modern meaning of the word “Consciousness” is construed differently in
different disciplines. For the philosophical purpose of this paper let us
make the meaning simple. The most fundamental aspect of “Consciousness” is
the capacity to sense existence and value. It is a notion
that is recognised with the world around us and in our personal experience. It,
naturally, follows on the appraisal that accompanies the experience of
existence. The core sense of being “Conscious” involves a
subjective condition of Access Consciousness, which occurs
when we are able to access/to perceive through our senses the world
around us in a generalised state of alertness or arousal. We are, then,
able to respond /to imagine i.e. when we are not in deep sleep, in coma or
under anaesthesia. Another form, a Phenomenal Consciousness occurs
when we are aware that we have a subjective experience or feeling of
phenomena/happenings/events around us. A third sense of (Objective)
Consciousness is the awareness of our being in a conscious state.
Zarathushtra’s words impart a clear insight into the reality of being. He
preaches that AHURA MAZDA - the COSMIC ever present / ever
knowing / ever effective source of the most perfect goodness is the
architect of CREATION. The created physical world ‘gaethya’
comprised of Organic LIFE along with the lifeless inorganic matter.
REALITY, to Zarathushtra, is a physical world (‘out there’),
which truly exists as our personal presence on earth. It is a clear notion
of a lively, pulsatile, thriving entity – our being/our body/our person/our
Self (TANU), possessing the most superior (among all other
pulsatile and moving creatures) thinking processes. Zarathushtra calls this
conscious fullness of our sensual being - Jyati (our first life, which is
on Earth/Mortal life - Yasna 32.5 and 46.8). Any other state of
non-awareness (like that of a stone), non-event, non-experience,
non-involvement, lifelessness, the very antithesis of life which is death,
Zarathushtra calls Ajyati, (Yasna 30.4).
His amazing thoughts reveal, too, the existence of an Immaterial Inner
Consciousness/the Spiritual Self/ the Soul (URVAN) which is
complementary to the Material Physical Self (TANU). He has a
firm conviction that the working of this Spirit of Consciousness of the
Mental World helps to promote and enrich human existence of the Physical
World (in a sense, an awakening to bridge the gap between mind and
matter). The two, Tanu and Urvan, together constitute the composite
INDIVIDUALITY, the most valuable uniqueness a person can have.
Such is the emotional fervour Zarathushtra goes through, while beseeching
Ahura Mazda, that he is willing to give, among other dedications, the most
supreme sacrifice of the life of his OWN SELF (TANVAS) - Yasna 33.14
Zarathushtra sees Individuality as the most fundamental aspect of reality.
He bases this notion on the premise that Ahura Mazda has created humans
capable of perfect goodness by conferring on us, each and every attribute of
His perfect goodness with the power of decision making and choice.
Our earthly eventful and dynamic conscious being as a unit of Individuality,
abounding in the fullness and the thrills of existence through all our
senses, is a human birthright, which is to be enjoyed thoroughly with all
our senses as joyous Ushtavants. He is mindful, too, that
birthrights need to be experienced in a responsible manner.
Zarathustra, in his dialogue with Ahura Mazda, asks (in metaphoric terms)
how best would he be able to EARN THE REWARD of the 10 senses (DASA ASPA)
led by the mighty one - the illumined Mind (ARSHNAVAITI USHTREM) - to be
able to EARN THE REWARD OF Best Existence - Yasna 44.18.
[Modern science says there are only 5 senses. Our Gathic concept of 10
senses appears more accurate. In addition to the 5 senses of sight, sound,
smell, taste and touch there are also other 5 senses: - 1. A 6th
sense (when we become suddenly aware of an impending occurrence); 2. A
temperature sense (when we experience hot and cold feelings without
touching); 3. A time sense (when we are aware of both the duration and the
lack of time); 4. A sense of controlled movement (when we experience
discomfort, if this is hampered and disease, if it is lost) and finally 5.
An intuitive sense (when we experience an unexplained surge to do the right
thing without reasoning) through an Inner Voice, which is the sum of Chisti
(the Human Spirit) and Daena (the Human Conscience)]
Human Earthly existence experiences its spirit of Consciousness at three
fulfilling levels: -
1. Individual /Self-Consciousness, 2. Collective/Communal Consciousness and
INDIVIDUAL / SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS:
This level of Consciousness (in a sense, it is a journey within / a sort
of awakening of the inner conscious Self) progresses during the
development of each person. Of all forms of animal life and living beings
this form of Consciousness or Awareness progressively develops, grows,
adjusts and matures more acutely and thoroughly in humans.
The Human Rationality:
The special gift of rational Intellectual Thought (KHRATU) to humans,
amongst all other living creatures, is a human realization of Ahura
Mazda’s Cosmic Good Mind - the divine Vohu Mana). It needs
to be gradually cultivated through experience, discrimination,
discernment in and interaction with the environmental surroundings, which
influence our thought.
In Yasna 34.14 Zarathushtra talks of the precious reward of the rational
thought (KHRATEUSH) we possess, which will lead us to an Illumined Mind if
only we, as earthly mortals, were to follow the inspiration of Ahura Mazda’s
divine attribute VOHU MANA.
In order to
promote the advancement of intellect the Human Spirit induces a dynamic
involvement in life matters through our rational thinking (Khratu),
meaningful interaction (Shyaothna) and amicable speech (Hu-vacha).
We are thus, consciously, able to fashion our own destiny.
This stands out in Yasna 48.4. “He who is determined to promote his
thinking for better and for uplifting thoughts (or even for the worse and
whatever is base), O Mazda, will by his own choice and wilful dedication
fashion his interactions (SHYAOTHNA) meaningfully and his speech (VACHANGHA)
amicably, so as to influence his own Inner Self (DAENAM) and guide him to
his own destiny.”
Zarathushtra preaches that we humans, as part of the universe, must realise
that our actions (Shyaothna) in real life are meant to be much
more than just doing something. Our way of life, which is our relationships
with people, with things, with ideas and with our surroundings, he
advocates, need to be meaningful/ gainful/tangible experiences, since
they are inextricably tied to our acting in harmony with the
universe’s fundamental precepts of Asha. Each meaningful experience
is a blend of all our senses involving accuracy of judgement, promptness of
decision making, sharpness of self-control, agility, endurance and
fairness. In other words, persistent involvement in the constant flux
of life matters for the better (or even for the worse) is positive.
Obviously, out of the chaos something positive is bound to emerge.
In Yasna 44.6 Zarathsuhtra says “Right-mindedness, acquired through
meaningful experiences, is bound to advance the qualities of the Highest
Order (ASHA), full of promise, too, of strength and of Good Thinking.”
The Human Spirit:
To help us understand how our existence must be perceived positively,
apprehended with clear insight, experienced meaningfully and affirmed
manifestly, he goes further. He promulgates a view that our very personal
feeling of humane-ness (our humane nature) is an inborn Human
Spirit - CHISTI, one of the manifestations of which is human
consciousness (a human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Spirit -
the divine spirit Spenishta Mainyu). It is an uninitiated feeling
which, through its own spontaneity, translates into human intention,
the motivating, driving force of all human conduct.
In Yasna 43.2 Zarathushtra says that anyone seeking enlightenment “shall
attain it through thy wish and Divine Spirit, O Mazda.”
Through complex interactions (precepts, thoughts and feelings) in our
superior human brain a constant striving is set in motion to promote an
integration of our Human Spirit, Chisti and our human Rational
Again, in Yasna 34.14 he further explains the ideal of those who strive to
promote the integration of their human Spirit, Chisti with their earthly
Rationality, KHRATU - “they best serve humanity”.
According to Zarathushtra there is no place at all for negative thought,
inactivity or non-involvement in Human Consciousness. Conscious
existence is, therefore, full of active intentions, which we can exert
on the Universe, helping to convert the quantum possibility into actuality.
His amazing vision offers something better for the future. He will have it
no other way, since he sees nothing illusory in life.
In Yasna 28.1 Zarathsuhtra pleads: “Allow me to undergo meaningful
interactions (SHYAOTHNA) worthy of the Ashavan that I may cultivate Rational
Intellect (KHRATUM) with the Good Mind (Vangheush Manangho).”
The Clear Insight of Self-Knowledge:
As the level of Awareness gradually builds up more and more Clarity of
Thought, HUDAANUSH emerges in one’s Self-Knowledge until the most mature
level of Self-Knowledge, KHVAETU (Gathic Khva; Hva / Vedic Sva
meaning ‘powerful in himself) is reached.
We had previously noted how the Clear Insight of Self-Knowledge is acquired
by the conscious integration of the Intellect (KHRATU) and the Human Spirit
of Consciousness (CHISTI). In Yasna 31.16 Zarathushtra goes one step
further to inquire how best this Clear Insight (HUDAANUSH) could be used in
the daily life of the homestead, village, province and country for the
attainment of the HIGHEST TRUTH (‘ASHAVAN’-hood) so as to become one with
To become ‘one with the Infinite’ on earth is to reach an exalted
state of Conscious Ecstasy, which only the striving Ashavan, who has
attained the highest level of Self-Knowledge,
is justifiably entitled to
Yasna 43.8 reflects this sentiment. “Among the righteous I shall maintain
the EXALTED STATE (RAFENO) of the ECSTACY of my INNER STRENGTH (AOJONGHVAT).
Thus, may I share with you for all time the realisation of thy infinite
The purpose of
this integration is to attain the ultimate state of Self-Knowledge attained
by the Illumined Mind, which is a joyous feeling of integrative insight and
understanding freedom of thought.
In Yasna 34.12 Zarathushtra implores Ahura Mazda to lead humans to
Self-Knowledge (KHVAETUSH) through the rational thinking of Vohu Mano along
the path of Asha.
Intellect, if not the quantity, and the inclination to practice it in daily
life are also factors in the general make-up of Individuality.
Zarathushtra, in his own diocese, ascribes three distinct levels of
attainment of Self-Knowledge among his disciples. They are Khvaetu, the
achievers of the highest grade, then come the Verezena, his lesser coworkers
and finally, the Aryaman, his friends (which include the lowly Shepherds).
Yet, he holds the achievers of all three levels in equal high esteem.
Yasna 53.4 points towards the high esteem Zarathushtra holds human intellect
and human spirit in, irrespective of the level it is attained in. He
declares “he has chosen the Faith of all who are seekers of Asha, from the
HIGHEST ATTAINERS of Self-Knowledge (KHVAETAOVE) to the HUMBLE SHEPHERDS (VASTREBYO).”
The state of Best Consciousness:
The ultimate aim of trying to attain a Clear Insight of Self-Knowledge is to
advance to better and higher levels of Consciousness until the most perfect
state of BEST CONSCIOUSNESS – VAHISHTEM MANO of an
Ashavan is reached. (a human realization of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Highest
Order – Asha Vahishta).
In Yasna 31.7 Zarathsuhtra, with hands uplifted, entreats Ahura Mazda, “Who,
but thou, through thy holy manthra, thy heavenly light and thy wisdom doth
decree the creation of the Eternal Law of the Highest Order (ASHA) to
maintain the exalted state of BEST CONSCIOUSNESS.”
COLLECTIVE /COMMUNAL CONSCIOUSNESS:
There is a certain fundamental rhythm, like our heartbeat, in the
Consciousness of our lives, in which we alternately focus inward on
ourselves and outward on the world. During our ‘concentric inward turning
phase’ we seem to gain a lot of Self-Knowledge. We become what we behold.
During our ‘outward eccentric phase’ our Consciousness focuses attention on
the world around us, things as they appear to us. By understanding that our
external environment, like us, is in an unremitting flux, endless change,
transformation we can know that we share the same nature or essence of that
flux. Little bits of our Self-Knowledge do permeate (as it were, seep
through) into the Communal / Social Environment (Gaethaha) to
influence others (a human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Ideal Dominion
– the divine Khshathra
It is itself influenced by other units of Individual Self-Consciousness and
by units of Communal Consciousness.
InYasna 43.7 Zarathsuhtra recognises Ahura Mazda as a divine being when he
realises that the Creator’s attribute of Vohu Mana has been imparted unto
him (and, indeed, unto all humans). “What path doth thou delineate when
doubt arises from gain for self (SELF-INTEREST) as opposed to an overall
gain to thy (THWAHU) Social Environment (GAETHAHU)?” he asks.
Social/Communal Consciousness stems from our acting together in co-operation
and synergy over a period of time, resulting in the Evolution of a common
structure of society or a common goal. As time passes, a large common field
of interest evolves among the individuals in the group.
An altruistic impulse of mutual trust, harmony and general confidence
created by this interaction in the minds, literally, emanates and
radiates with very strong emotional feelings and effects. During the
earliest primitive Indo-Aryan nomadic times such Communal pockets was
certainly of mutual benefit to the whole wandering tribe for the very
survival. Before the primitive humans learnt to create fire by friction it
was, naturally, an obligation to protect the embers of fire for the general
benefit of the group. The presence of Fire gave comfort, heat, light and
help in cooking. Thus, those who possessed the ability to create and
maintain fire, as it were, acquired power.
Self-Consciousness of individuals and Communal Consciousness of groups,
through generations of interaction, will continue to contribute to the
build-up of a reservoir of Universal Consciousness. Such thinking, through
evolutionary (not revolutionary or imposed) activities and experiences, is
able to guide humans (individually and collectively) into a worthwhile and
dynamic existence. If we observe closely, it is really the outward
manifestation of the total spirit of all humanity - Universal Consciousness,
the World Spirit that touches us.
3. UNIVERSAL / GLOBAL
It appears that each human Individuality shares a common “World View”, which
is an individual perspective of collective social, political, technological
and spiritual ‘happenings’. With genuine concerns for the benefit of all
humanity (a Global Awareness for the common good), the more recent
push towards globalisation is understandable. This new human endeavour has
put the ancient Gathic concept of Universal Consciousness (shared
humanity – so to speak) in the forefront. This form of Consciousness
acts as a subtle counsellor and does not have the quality of a
dictatorship. It is clearly the most extensive and stable form of all
Consciousness. Why? - because it involves the silent unseen storage of the
aura (as a reservoir) of the Self-appraisals and progressive
Re-appraisals of generation after generation of the strata of existences.
It, thus, plays an important “controlling” role in new developments and in
Evolution, in the course of time, since it continues to survive after the
physical life of each contributor ceases and when the communal group breaks
This notion clearly bears out in Yasna 53.3 “…..and therefore listen to your
own Rational Thoughts (KHRATHWA) and reflect through your own Right-minded
feelings (ARMAITI) to be able to gain the most CLEAR INSIGHT (HUDAANU).
Since Consciousness is a property of the Cosmos (the Universe) it penetrates
everything. Each living entity is able to draw from the reservoir of
Universal Consciousness for its own welfare and, subconsciously, itself
leaves a contribution for the general build up and progressive growth of the
silent reservoir. The recipient (an individual or a group) of such feelings
of the aura of Universal Consciousness becomes aware of its own existence
and of the existences around it. The recipient then, leaves behind results (traces
of human gratefulness) for mutual benefit to all in society.
There is here also the conviction of a purposeful Evolution that will
cause a cumulative growth towards a better world, the beneficiaries being
the future generations of humanity.
It augurs well for the future of humanity and the preservation of human
consciousness on the good earth (a sort of survival of the species). There
is, here, a clear pointer towards the Spirit of all Humankind, which
will continue after material/physical life ceases to exist - a strong basis
of the acceptance that after death an Immaterial Self (Urvan) can, in a
manner of speaking, outlive the Physical Self (Tanu).
ABERRATIONS of CONSCIOUSNESS:
Modern Philosophy has discounted the possibility of the presence of an Evil
Consciousness, arguing it has no consistent goals or ideals and that if
evolution has to be accepted with its emphasis on the survival of the
fittest genes, Moral instinct has limited survival value. Yet,
Zarathushtra, through his prophetic observation of human endeavour is
convinced that within the very workings of Evolution a capacity to reason
and appraise does exist in our minds. This Ahura Mazda-conferred gift of
appraisal and reappraisal, through a more humane ethical scheme of judgement
and refinement of moral ideals in society, does, stage-wise helps humans to
progress against all odds, the violations of which may appear as devised by
an Evil Consciousness.
The purpose of Evolution:
For change to be more than mere random reshuffling, leading to the survival
of the fittest (biologically speaking) it must be evolutionary in the sense
of having a direction, a goal. To Zarathushtra this goal is the expansion,
a betterment of Human Consciousness, even the lifting of our hidden
(subconscious or suppressed) Self to surface to join in the dynamic
involvement of life matters through the influence of our thoughts,
experiences and speech. We are, in a sense, involving ourselves actively in
a progressive adjustment while, essentially removing the divergences between
our self-interests and the needs of the righteous social order till they
finally converge. Such is the ethical side to the evolution of
Consciousness. Broadly speaking, we are, then, progressively one with the
to the individual moral side by which we guard our identities? According
to Zarathushtra there are two moral imperatives, one a pre-supposition of
the other; first - an openness to change and the second - the promotion of
Asha, the Ideal State of harmonious existence. As we have seen before in
Yasna 48.4, Zarathushtra considers even “a change for the worse” far better
than no change at all. Absence of change would only bring about
stagnation. That alone brings us into harmony with the essential nature of
the Universe and ourselves. Mary Boyce puts it vividly, “Zarathushtra was
the first to conceive of such a thing….. the ‘end of time’….and, with it an
end of birth and death, destruction and renewal - a cessation of all
It is quite
obvious that, little by little in an agonisingly slow pace, progressive
adjustment does occur, in the face of blatant opposition, through
modifications in thinking. Ahura Mazda’s grand project of Evolution entails
the inconceivable passing of eons and eons of time - a time span longer than
we, as mere mortals with only a minute lifespan, can ever imagine. We are,
therefore, not able to reach the end-point of Perfection on Earth during our
proverbial average lifespan. Some humans, even begin to lose the clarity of
memory and intellect in the late phase. Still, the slow earthly process of
acquiring intellect and the practice of goodness must continue throughout
our life as if it were to reach perfection before death. But, alas, this
does not occur. The somewhat lesser state of near perfection is worth
striving for. Why? – because as each generation looks at the advances gained
through the previous generations they realise the impact of the grounds
gained by the triumph of goodness over all evil obstacles in conscience,
knowledge, comfort and spirit.
The Evil Consciousness:
Thus Zarathushtra’s philosophy that Evil Consciousness is not a reality, but
a spiritual disease, explains clearly the aberrations that so often occur,
in Consciousness. We have noted previously that, right from the beginning
of Creation, Spenishta Mainyu, Ahura Mazda’s attribute of the perfect
goodness (in humans the Spirit of Consciousness, Chisti), had declared that
any aberration of the good Consciousness will be opposed at all levels of
Consciousness by alert discrimination without compromise. This implies
that earthly good and evil are qualities deeply rooted in the human mind,
which, indeed, remains the real battleground during our physical Jyati.
In Yasna 45.2 Zarathushtra makes a firm statement about the attitude
exhibited, right from the beginning, Spenishta Mainyu towards Anghrem -
“there will be no compromise, no yielding to evil in thinking, teaching,
will, belief, speaking, experiencing, nor in the matter of the Inner Self or
of the Inner Consciousness.”
We, humans, pride ourselves as being the only species of the animal kingdom,
capable of assessing rationally, to weed out the good from the bad sides
through the non-material portion of our psyche and being. Yet
Consciousness, per se, does not ever provide us, mere mortals, with detailed
knowledge about matters not known before or of events to come. That is the
sole domain of Ahura Mazda. Rather, it clarifies a different choice and
advises for or against possible solutions, the source of advice being the
reservoir of some Collective Consciousness and Universal Consciousness. It
is quite obvious the mind of the possessors and practitioners of Evil
Consciousness wants to shy away, intentionally, from Self-Appraisals while
inculcating an aura of Evil Consciousness in a blind promotion of
Self-Interest. This unthinking promotion of Self-Interest, a blind
manifestation of our primitive animal drive of Self-preservation, is, by
being non-social, the very antithesis of genuine Self-Knowledge.
Humans are gifted with an attribute, which involves us in undergoing
Self-Appraisal/Self- Monitoring within ourselves and in our mutual and
subtle relationship with other fellow human beings.
This is, really, an intrinsic obligatory response functioning as
recompense (morally and ethically) practised through the workings of
Khratu and Chisti. The underlying purpose of the Self-Appraisal through
right-mindedness (a human realization of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Spirit of
Right-mindedness- Spenta Armaiti) is to thwart, repeatedly, the
influence of the impulses through the power of Self-control and
Self-monitoring Will with the assistance of:
a) Individual units of Self-Consciousness of other humans
b) Collective units of Communal Consciousness of collective
c) The Aura of Good Influence (Humanity reaching-out) - VAEDEMNO
[Vaedemno appears to be a composite of Vaeda (Sanskrit: Veda)
[an epithet of Reality (that which is so, which is there, whether
anyone wants to knows it or not/ likes it or not) and Mano] of the
Reservoir and source of Universal Consciousness – HUDAA.
In Yasna 31.22 Zarathushtra indicates (in metaphors) the eager intentions of
persons loyal to the ever-present source (HUDAA) of UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS
to be influenced by it, while searching within their minds, as it were,
reaching out for the AURA of GOOD INFLUENCE (VAEDEMNAI MANANGHA) and for the
COMMUNAL CONSCIOUSNESS of Society (VOHU hvo KHSHTHRA) in undergoing SELF
We have noted before that the mind of persons manifesting Evil Consciousness
wants to shy away, intentionally, from Self-Appraisals.
Zarathushtra’s emphasis is on the power of the Self-Control / Self-Appraisal
/ Self-Monitoring Will - ISHTOISH through the rational
thinking of the Good Mind. It is the unrelenting will of the
Khratu‘vant’ and the Chisti‘vant’ that will help to overrun the
imperfections of life through a constant, ongoing process of creative
In Yasna 51.2 Zarathushtra, as a faithful worshipper, dedicates his deeds to
Ahura Mazda and Asha and asks a boon of Spenta Armaiti. “Thou, O Spirit of
Right-mindedness (ARMAITI), grant me the power of the WILL (ISHTOISH).”
Ahura Mazda’s gift to humans of the ability to undergo Self-Appraisal by
discriminating against the bad without compromise, also, clarifies
doubts about the presence of Morals and Ethics. Appraisals are necessary to
maintain the Aura of Good Influence (Vaedemno) for the improvement in
the levels of Self-Consciousness and Communal Consciousness and build up the
reservoir of Universal Consciousness.
Still, setbacks do continue to occur needing repeated obligatory
Re-appraisals, which lead to a CREATIVE EVOLUTION,
an improvement in the levels of Self-Consciousness, Collective Consciousness
and the reservoir of Universal Consciousness.
The vagaries of Moral failure:
Individuals, the followers of untruth, who have committed some wrong are
fully aware (conscious of the fact) that they have placed their
self-interest, self-promotion and personal gain first, while over-ruling
the norms of society they live in. This is a clear manifestation of Evil
Intention subverting the interest of a harmonious society.
In Yasna 43.7 we noted how Zarathushtra’s heart becomes overwhelmed by his
love for Ahura Mazda, when the divinity of Vohu Mana asks him which path he
would choose when there was doubt in the daily acquisition of gain between
others in his settlement and his own Self-interest. His answer lies in the
next verse, Yasna 43.8 - “I, Zarathushtra, am the dedicated adversary when I
am among the followers of Untruth. But, when I am among the Righteous I
shall continue to maintain the ECSTACY of my Inner Strength. Thus may I
share with you for all time the realisation of thy infinite strength.”
The Dogmatic Mind:
The prophet points out, too, that the existence of the simple principles of
Evolution, in the absence of Moral Intuition, results in Egocentricity.
All dogma (‘Am God’, spelt backwards) is devised by the Self-absorbed Ego.
It is subtle enough to pose in a way as to mask its real identity and, since
the intention of masking is surreptitious, Ego is itself Evil personified.
One’s Ego is a knowing falsification of one’s own conscience (duz-daeneng).
Groups, too, sometimes, commit offences because a misconceived purpose in
not promoting Asha carries the leaders away.
We must here look into Zarathushtra’s notion of the possessors of a
spiritual void in Yasna 49.11. He talks of those who possess a FALSIFIED
CONSCIENCE (DUZ DAENENG) and who manage to cultivate an EVIL INSIGHT (AKAISH
KHWARETHAISH). These intermediaries have been really living in their own
self-induced hell on earth and they will, no doubt, go back to their
familiar abode in the After Life. “the possessors of EVIL INSIGHT, be they
among rulers, workers, speakers, thinkers and those who follow untruth by
FALSIFYING their CONSCIENCES, are truly the real dwellers of the Abode of
Untruth. It is, ultimately, in the Abode of Untruth that their soles will
be relegated to.”
The volatility of the strong feeling of Communal Consciousness, sometimes,
becomes so intense that the common bond leads to a false personal craving
for Group gratification, mainly arising from (the evil intent of)
Self-gratification and a wild sense of superiority. The volatile groups
Zarathushtra has to contend with are the daeva-yasnic Karapans, Kavis, Usigs,
even some priests, who have incorporated the exhilarating Haoma ritual in
the Yasna ceremony and the incorrigible group of cattle rustling thieves –
all with their Collective Consciousness, obviously, misplaced. Their
Consciousness has not become integrated into the Universal Consciousness
since their mutual co-operation and some positive appraisal is only sporadic
and temporary. Their present day equivalent would be the socially deviant
groups of political radicals and religious extremists, who are prepared to
incite antiracial and ethnic sentiments and others, who misuse alcohol and
drugs for self-gratification.
Zarathushtra is strictly against the imposition of such mind-bending
practices (evil intent) and the use of the pounded Haoma drink, since it
leads to exhilarating unrealities in rationally thinking minds and
creates disturbances in the clarity of thought.
Although the evil drink of the pounded Hoama is not mentioned, there is an
indirect reference to it in Yasna 48.10. “When, O Mazda, when will my
co-workers smite this FILTHY INDULGENCE (Muthrem) and the evil intent, by
which the priests and also the wicked rulers falsely entice others.”
Each advancement adds to and refines the reservoir of Universal
Consciousness to build up a total GLOBAL SPIRIT OF CONSCIOUSNESS
(a human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Completeness of Integrity –
The final State of
(the aura of influence which permeates the entire universe)
is reached in harmony with the Infinite (in a sense also) assuring the
preservation of life on earth as an AFTER LIFE – a divine State of
Ameretat (concept of the TIMELESS MIND).
It is directly connected to a purpose, which is the advance to a judgmental
reward “a glorious and eternal existence in the Abode of Truth” (Garo-Demana),
a second essentially static life of the highest spiritual Consciousness.
In Yasnas 45.8 and 51.15 Zarathushtra talks of the blessed reward of a life
in the “Abode of the Highest Existence (in harmony) with Ahura Mazda, who is
The other alternative is a relegation to the “Abode of Untruth” (Drujo-Demana).
In Yasna 46.11 Zarathushtra warns of the earthly wickedness of the Karapans
and the Kavis, whose Spiritual Self will remember their evil actions, before
they are judged to be relegated to remain in DRUJO-DEMANA (the Abode of
This Imperfect World:
humans are part of a process that has not finished. We are currently
creatures (among all other living creatures) on Earth with the highest level
of Consciousness but we are still imperfect creatures, evolved with strong
instincts for survival, operating even at a moral and ethical level. We are
fully aware too that there is a direction characterised by a process of
increasing Consciousness, which is continuing through our efforts to reach
higher and higher levels of Consciousness. We have a responsibility on
Also, smooth transitions towards the goal of Perfection do not occur in the
Reality of our imperfect LIFE on earth. Frustration, stagnation,
regression and suffering due to the persistent influence of an EVIL
CONSCIOUSNESS continue to cause Aberrations of Consciousness. The
end point of complete perfection, alas, is therefore not reached in our
mortal lifespan on earth. Still, the grounds gained by the triumph of
goodness over evil are obvious, as viewed over aeons of time in the grand
scheme of Evolution.
appraisal of Universal Consciousness can be thwarted, too, by Evil
Consciousness through mis-representations and provision of acceptable terms
to criminal actions. Even among his three grades of achievers of
Self-Knowledge Zarathushtra points out the environmental deficiencies likely
to cause a negative influence and thus, adversely, alter their mind.
In Yasna 33.4
Zarathushtra reassures Ahura Mazda that he will, “by devotion and prayer,
keep afar: (1) EVIL CONSCIOUSNESS and any doubt in the faith from his
worshippers; (2) all perverse thought from his disciples who have achieved
the highest level of Self-Knowledge (Khvaetu); (3) any likely intimidation
by the next of kin from his co-workers (Verezana); (4) the distrust promoted
by slanderers from his friends (Aryaman) and (5) the cattle rustling
indulged in by the wicked herdsmen in the pasture fields.”
Besides its subtle controlling action, the ever-present influence of
Communal Consciousness and of Universal Consciousness has, in modern times,
been accepted as a valuable addition better suited to the understanding of
morals and ethics. Zarathushtra promulgates this concept of moral
and ethical conduct at an early date of the history of evolutionary thought,
whereas scientists have long insisted Morals and Ethics are irrelevant to
the proper understanding of the three forms of Consciousness.
Zarathushtra, in recognising the power of Evolution and the purpose of an
Ethical controlling principle, clarifies to us its noticeable positive
influence. An Evolution explained only by the influence of Ego i. e. the
promotion of Self-Interests, would not fit in with his teachings. In
explaining the aura of influence (vaedemno) of Universal
Consciousness, he provides for us the positive impetus via its subtle and
ever present (Gathic: Hudaa /Pahlavi: Harvespa Khudaa) appraisal - a
notion of Universal Consciousness.
The principle of Evil Consciousness
has for long remained alien to western tradition, which makes it difficult
for western thought to explain why some actions were considered as being
bad. Yasna 31.22 sums up the Gathic explanation effectively. It has been
obvious that, in modern society, the synergistic energies of the materialism
of science and the idealism of spiritual tradition have remained
insufficient in quenching the insatiable human search for meaning.
Zarathushtra, as we have seen, does provide the answers. His ancient
concept of a slow but progressive evolution, through the interaction of
Self-Consciousness and of Communal Consciousness under the supervisory
influence of a reservoir of Universal Consciousness has, in modern times,
been accepted by humanists as a new way of thinking emerging. Societies,
that fail to take advantage of this concept of Globalisation and
Universality as a new paradigm, are likely to spend their ‘Jyati’ in a
state of moral, ethical and intellectual inadequacy.
It is well to remember what Zarathushtra in Yasna 46.5 has to say about the
merit of one who strives to attain the highest level of Self-Knowledge –
“to save himself, O Mazda Ahura, from destruction.”
Jyati: Earthly Mortal life
Tanu: Material physical Self
Urvan: Spiritual Consciousness of the mental
Khratu: Human rationality (human realisation of the Cosmic Vohu
Chisti: Human Spirit/Humane nature (human realisation of the Cosmic
Shyaothna/ Hushyaothna: Levels of meaningful human interaction/
Ushtavant: Possessor of a state of joy involving all the 10
Khvaetu/ Verezana / Aryaman: The 3 grades of acquired
Hudaanu: The Clear Insight of Self-Knowledge
Rafeno Aojonghvat: An Exalted Conscious State of Ecstasy
Vahishtem Mano: The most perfect state of Best Consciousness (human
realisation of the Cosmic Asha)
Armaiti: Self-Appraisal through Right-Mindedness (human realisation
of the Cosmic Spenta Armaiti)
Gaethaha: Communal Society/ Environment/ Consciousness (human
realisation of the Cosmic Khshathra Vairya)
Ishtoish: Self-control/Self-monitoring Will
Vaedemno: The pervading aura of Good Influence
Hudaa: Ever-present Reservoir of Universal Consciousness (human
realisation of the Cosmic Haurvatat)
Ameretat: The highest state of Cosmic Spiritual Consciousness in
harmony with the Infinite
Akem Mano: Evil
Duz-Daeneng: Self-absorbed Ego
References and recommended
Aicken, Henry D: The Age Of Ideology - The 19th Century
Philosophers, New York, Mentor Books, 1963.
Allen E. L: From Plato to Nietzsche, Greenwich, Connecticut, Fawcett
Ayer, A. J: Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, New York, Vintage Books,
Bergson, Henri: Creative Evolution, Trans. by Arthur Mitchell, New York,
Henry Holt and Co., 1911.
Chalmers, D. J: The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory,
Oxford University Press, 1996.
Hegel, Georg W. F: Phenomenology of Spirit, Trans. By A. V. Miller and J. N.
Findlay, Oxford University Press, 1979.
Insler, S: The Gathas of Zarathushtra, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1975.
Irani, Dinshaw J: The Gathas – The Hymns of Zarathushtra, Edited with an
Introduction by K. D. Irani, The Center for Iranian Studies, 1998.
Kant, Immanuel: Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Trans. by Max Muller, Garden
City, New York, Doubleday and Co., Anchor Books, 1966.
Kerr, Sam: The Universality of his Thoughts - a philosophical overview, 2nd
World Zoroastrian Youth Congress (July 1997) FEZANA Journal, Vol XI, No 1,
McIntyre, Dina G: Three Prayers and the Name of God, The Gathas Study Trust,
Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, 1999.
Taraporewala, Irach J. S: The Divine Songs of Zarathushtra, Hukhta
Foundation, Bombay, 1993.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre: Christianity and Evolution, Trans. by Rene
Hague, San Diego, New York, London. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre: The Divine Milieu, New York, Harper and Row,
Whitehead, Alfred N: Process and Reality (1928), Edited by David R. Griffin
and Donald W. Sherburne, The Free Press, 1979.
Sam Kerr (Sydney, Australia)
Qaddimi Ruz Hormazd / Mah Fravardin, Yazdegardi Era 1369 (23rd
THE PHILOSOPHICAL CONCEPT OF “CONSCIOUSNESS”
IN ZARATHUSHTRA’S TEACHINGS
A COSMIC ever
present/ever knowing/ever effective FORCE of the most perfect
A REALITY of Organic LIFE - JYATI
lifeless Inorganic MATTER - AJYATI
A true existence
of a physical world ‘gaethya’ of lively, thriving, pulsatile entities
processes and perceptual awareness
(material physical SELF) + URVAN (immaterial spiritual SELF)
The material and immaterial SELF together constitute the
Possessing all the conferred human realisations of the
perfect goodness of the creative force
The sum total is SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS
It progressively grows, develops, adjusts, matures with age with the help of
all our 10 senses
The conferred RATIONAL FRAME OF MIND - KHRATU
(A human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Good Mind - the divine
by inducing a dynamic involvement in life matters: -
rational thinking (Khratu), meaningful experience (Shyaothna) & amicable
HUMAN SPIRIT OF CONSCIOUSNESS - CHISTI
(A human realisation
of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Spirit - the divine Spenishta Mainyu)
Through complex interactions (precepts, thoughts and feelings) in our
superior human brain
it spontaneously translates into human INTENTION constantly attempting
the integration of the two – Khratu and Chisti
purpose is to obtain a mental state of CLEAR INSIGHT -
SELF-KNOWLEDGE - KHVAETU
a joyous feeling of understanding, freedom of thought and expression
Bits of Self-Knowledge seep through into the COMMUNAL
ENVIRONMENT to influence other humans
(a human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Ideal Dominion - the divine
and is itself influenced by other units of Individual Self-Consciousness
and by units of Communal Consciousness
The ultimate aim is to advance to better and higher levels of
Consciousness until the
the most perfect state of BEST CONSCIOUSNESS - VAHISHTEM MANO
of an Ashavan is reached
(A human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Highest Order - the divine
However ABERRATIONS of CONSCIOUSNESS
the ideal of a smooth progression in the REALITY OF imperfect LIFE on
actively promoting frustration, regression, suffering due to the bad
an EVIL CONSCIOUSNESS
Under the guidance of
an obligatory (moral & ethical) recompense/ an uncompromising stance is
(an intrinsic response functioning as a recompense)
(a human realisation of the Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Right-mindedness –
through the power of Self-control and Self-monitoring Will - Ishtoish
with the assistance of
INDIVIDUAL units of Self Consciousness of other humans
COMMUNAL units of Consciousness of communal groups and
The RESERVOIR of INFLUENCE -
of UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS -
Still, setbacks do continue to occur needing
further obligatory REAPPRAISALS
Which progress to a CREATIVE EVOLUTION
a positive improvement in the levels of Self-Consciousness, Collective
Each such advancement adds to the reservoir of Universal
to build up a total GLOBAL SPIRIT OF CONSCIOUSNESS
(A human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Completeness of
Integrity - the divine Haurvatat)
The final State of COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS is reached
(A human realisation of Ahura Mazda’s Cosmic Eternal Bliss – the divine
in harmony with the Infinite
[in a sense, also, assuring the preservation of life on earth as
an AFTER LIFE of the Spiritual consciousness (a survival of the
The author, here, tries to transmit, step by step, the prophet’s
philosophical notion’s in the matters of the human mind and its conscious
senses. Zarathushtra’s amazing vision of a slow but progressive evolution
through an endless change in the thought processes, inducing a better and
better way of life (focusing inward within each Self and outward on society)
is actuated under the constant supervision of a Perfectly Good Influence.
This most ancient thought has, in modern times, been accepted by humanists
and philosophers alike, as a new paradigm - a concept of Universal
Consciousness, a form of shared humanity, if you will, in the push
towards Globalisation and Universality.
It is well to bear in mind what Zarathushtra, in Yasna 46.5, has to say
about the merits of one who tries to attain the highest level (Khvaetu)
of Self-Knowledge, “……..to save himself, O Mazda, from destruction”.
Qaddimi Ruz Hormazd / Mah Fravardin, Yazdegardi Era 1369 (23rd