A Zoroastrian Educational Institute



HomeArticlesAuthorsBook ReviewCommunityLibraryProminentsRegisterStoreArticle SubmissionAbout Us




Uniqueness of Zarathushtra's Vision and its Impact [1]



Sidhwa,Ervad Godrej



Related Articles:

Related Links:


















“Mazda! at moi vahista, Sravaos- cha Shyaothna-che vaooha
Ta-tu Vohu Mananghah, Asha-cha ishudem stuto
Khshmaka khshathra, Ahura! ferashem vasna haithyem dao ahum“

Whatever words and deeds are noblest, best,
Teach me, O Mazda make my life express,
Through love of Fellow-man, through search for Truth,
The yearnings and the prayers of my heart
Renew, Ahura, through the strength to Serve,
My Life, and make it as Thou wishest --True

(Y 34.15)

Airyana-vaejo, Iran is the cradle of Zarathushtrianism.  Here the coming of the Divine Revelation kindled the torch of civilization for the guidance of mankind.  It will take long and hard work to grasp the vision and fully understand the fundamental spiritual, philosophical and ethical teachings of the Gathas- the Holy Hymns of Asho Zarathushtra.  We will have to cultivate higher Spiritual consciousness to understand and experience the profound spiritual wisdom in the Gathas.  Among the  prophets of the world, the spiritual status of Holy Zarathushtra is unique.  He was a universal teacher whose mission was to give spiritual illumination to all mankind.  The very word Zarathushtra means “illumination”.[3] Close to four thousand years ago Holy Zarathushtra  revolutionized the religious life of the Iranians and brought forth a profound vision, which hitherto represented the evolutionary  phase of religion.  With the transformation and evolution of our own spiritual consciousness, the true spirit of the Gathas will become clearer.  Holy Zarathushtra received Ahura-Mazda’s[4] Revelation through his inner self: “O Mazda Ahura! I encircle Thee- realize Thee in full wisdom through Vohu Mano- Pure Cosmic Mind and through Thy Divine Law- Asha Thou dost lead all those in Bliss who seek Thee into Thy Light.” (Y.28.2)


The religion of Zarathushtra is not merely an ethical code as many of us think. It is the Science of all Sciences (Frahngan fragha), the essence of that divine and spiritual knowledge. The Advent of Holy Zarathushtra was the Cosmic Manifestation of the Divine Plan for a new cycle of the spiritual and ethical evolution of mankind. In Yasna Ha 29 there is the description of a great vision in which Zarathushtra beholds Geush Urva, the soul of Creation appealing to a Ratu, Spiritual leader. At the end of this vision he himself is entrusted with the great mission of giving Enlightenment to humanity.

Zarathushtrianism brought a great revolution in all aspects of man’s life in a large part of the entire world of his time which marked the end of old nomadic order in ancient society and the beginning of a new civilization based on Reason and Enlightenment. Our Prophet Holy Zarathushtra gave to the world a new and unique concept of religion by coining a new word Daena -- Inner Self, to define its conceptual base. To him religion was not the mere worship of a deity but a process of introspection, looking within, knowing one’s own self, a mystical experience of a relationship with the Divine Spirit within and surrounding us.  Zarathushtra asked us to use our Enlightened Mind (sucha Mananghah) our God given potentiality, to search within to find our own spiritual path based on truth.

During these remote dark ages of Persia, Zarathushtra stood upon the lofty mountain heights communing with Ahura Mazda and then proclaiming his belief in the Cosmic struggle between Spenta Mainyu and Anghra Mainyu, as the basis of the new faith he preached. This struggle between life’s two attitudes of Good and Evil, positive and negative, is inborn in man’s thinking and will perhaps remain so until the end of the world.  The Gathic view of Creation, with its emphasis on free will is closely linked with Zarathushtra’s explanation of the Origin of Evil, a subject  he deals with fully in his very first sermon in Yasna Ha 30. The greatest gift Ahura Mazda has bestowed upon mankind is the Free Will – Wisdom of Choice/ Selection.  The Gathic Freedom of Choice is man’s MORAL choice between the two paths of Good and Evil, Right and wrong.  “MAN”, said Roussoau, Father of the French Revolution, “was born free. But every where he is in chains.’’ The Holy prophet Zarathushtra came as an Emancipator to free human beings from their various bondages.  Of these bondages or chains, perhaps the strongest is superstition.  Our Holy Prophet reminds us that freedom and responsibility go together and the right path can only be followed by right thinking.

One of the powers given to us is being able to “comprehend” the essence of Ahura-Mazda (Sraosha) guiding us through that “inner intellect” connected to our basic consciousness.  Attune this “ear” through meditation and prayers and you can draw so near to God that his Guidance will come through clearly.  Sraosha, the Inner Institution, the Inspired Illuminator of Holy Zarathushtra himself resides within the precincts of our own inner-selves. Zarathushtra created the spiritual concept of Sraosha- Intuitive Divine Consciousness. He yearns for the vision of Ahura Mazda, which he longs to attain by Sraosha- the Path of Intuition, and urges all believers to do the same.

Zarathushtra the greatest spiritual reformer and founder of a new Religion proclaimed a Divine message, which had never been heard before (agushta vachao senghamahi).  Through attaining this inner spiritual vision, he was able to know the workings of the Immutable Divine Law of the Truth, and experience the eternal divine presence of the one Ever-loving and All Knowing, Supreme Ahura Mazda.  He was the first prophet to promulgate and teach pure Monotheism in the world through a belief in the concept of the Supreme Godhead – Ahura Mazda.

The Gathas, his Divine Songs, the oldest of the existing Avestan literature, are the precious spiritual heritage of Zoroastrians which the Athravans[5] have kept alive through oral recitals and written discourses.  The main purpose of the Holy Gathas is to awaken in man’s higher Consciousness the need to relate Ahura-Mazda with Man and the Universe for the purpose of perfect harmony. In his Holy Hymns, Zarathushtra yearns to inspire a living faith in a living God in the hearts of all mankind.  Zarathushtra in his Divine songs teaches about the evolution and the possible regeneration of the world and the human race through the collective enlightened consciousness of individuals.  Allama Iqbal, the Poet of the East in his Madras lectures “ The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam rightly says “ Humanity needs three things today, - a spiritual interpretation of the Universe, spiritual emancipation of the individual, and basic principles of a universal import directing the evolution of human society on a spiritual basis. ‘’ The Modern world has strayed far from these high ideals which has made ethical advancement impossible.  In the light of what Iqbal has said, I urge the Zarathushtis of today to evaluate their position and reconstruct their social life in the light of ultimate principles revealed in the Gathas, in order to create spiritual brotherhood which is the ultimate aim of Zarathushtrianism.  For the ethical advancement of man, I think the remedy lies in following one’s own religion.  It is the duty of every Parsi and Iranian Zoroastrian, man, woman or child to read the Gathas and our holy scriptures and understand the original principles correctly.  These have to be read, not only with the eyes, but with the best light that our intellect can supply, and even more, with the truest and purest light that our heart and conscience can provide.

Today it is our duty to pay a sincere tribute to the ever living voice of Zarathushtra, the Iranian Prophet by following the precepts as proclaimed in the Ahuna vaiti Gatha:

“Yavat isai tava cha
avat khshai aeshe ashahya

“As long as I have will and wield the power,
I will teach mankind to love and strive for truth.”

[1] Based on a paper presented by the author at the 7th World Zarathushtrian Congress, held in Houston, Texas, December 2000

[2] Irach Taraporewala’s English language rendering of the Gathas

[3] The exact time of Zarathushtra is still being debated.  One school of thought puts him at about 3800 years ago

[4] Ahura-Mazda, literally translated as the Lord wisdom and light constitutes the Zarathushtra’s conception of God

[5] Zarathushtrian priests