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Zarathushtrianism: An Ancient Faith for Modern Man

Effective Living
Wisdom of Ages


Dasturji Framroze A. Bode



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Man is essentially a spiritual and moral being. Modern man is not satisfied with the present dogmatic conditions of religions, he is in search of some spiritual and ethical philosophy of life which will satisfy his inner self needs in search of Truth and Reality and realization of his spiritual potentialities. Man cannot live by bread and material things alone, he is a thinking; feeling and willing being who needs spiritual nourishment. In the name of religion man is kept in separation.  Religion was intended to be a binding adhesive force, but unfortunately it has become disruptive.  The basic urge of man is to know himself by spiritual science of the soul to bring forth the Divine impulse operating in a new higher consciousness. Modern man needs a new perspective, a restatement a regeneration of an enlightened Faith in which he can experience the Divine Truth -and attain happiness, success and joy in life.

Now, some of the fundamental, pristine, pure, spiritual, philosophical, ethical and practical teachings of Zarathushtra could satisfy modern man in his need of an Enlightened Faith in which he can experience the Divine Truth and Reality.

The Advent of Zarathushtra was Cosmic Manifestation of the Divine Plan for the new cycle of evolution of mankind.  Zarathushtra was the Prophet of Ancient Iran, a world teacher whose mission was to give spiritual illumination to all mankind, he yearned to inspire abiding faith in Ahura Mazda, in the hearts of all living beings.

Zarathushtra was the first Prophet who gave freedom and liberation to then enslaved mankind from ignorance, superstition, ritualism and blood sacrifice.  He does not demand blind following, On the contrary he says: "Give ear, listen, ponder with the light of your shining mind, decide, discriminate, each man must choose his faith for himself. Thus, he gave freedom of thought and freedom of choice in the matter of religion."

Zarathushtra gave to the world pure Monotheism, a profound concept of the Supreme Godhead – Ahura Mazda. He contemplated with his Pure Mind, Vohu Manah over the Nature of Being and the laws governing the Universe.  Ahura Mazda is the Infinite Being.  Ever present, Lord of All- Wisdom, the Creator, eternally the same, all pervading Loving Father, the Transcendent and the Immanent

Zarathushtra was the first world teacher who gave ethical conception to religion. Before him primitive cultism was formalism, propitiation, sacrifice, exteriorization.  Without moral conduct in life, no spiritual progress is ever possible.  He applied religion to life and to him life was light and illumination.  Ethical Philosophy of Zarathushtrianism is summarized in three Jewels, “Good Thought”, Good Word”, “Good Deed”.

Man being the thinker and the mind being his unique.potentiality, Zarathushtra emphatically propounded the philosophy of controlling and disciplining the i mind and making it Vohu Manah - Good Mind, Pure Reason, reaching the deepest level of the source of Superior Mind.

Zarathushtrianism teaches something which is useful to modern man. Things happen in Nature and in Man not by the whim of some hidden invisible dictator, but by the operation of the Immutable Divine Law of Asha .the law of harmony , order, truth, concision and purity.  Zarathushtra gave a scientific teaching regarding the law of cause and effect - the law of Karma.  At several places in his Gathas he reiterates: "As you sow, so must you reap", With this law of Asha is tied up the conception of happiness and misery, heaven and hell, Those who follow the law walk on the path of truth, righteousness and goodness out of which happiness comes, Those who break the law furnish themselves and suffer misery . Heaven and Hell are no places and locations, they are the subjective states of man's spiritual consciousness, God is a loving Father, He never , punishes man and hurls him into Hell for eternal condemnation. The greatest good in life is Goodness itself which brings happiness, Zarathushtra says:  “Happiness to him who gives happiness to others."

The Illustrious Master of Wisdom Zarathushtra, solves the problem of evil and declares that evil is not an entity or a being, It is only the twin mentality and relativity in the human mind, Vohu Manah the positive, constructive Good Mind and Ako-Mano the negative, distractive Evil Mind, There is no Cosmic dualism in the original fundamental Pure Monotheistic teachings of Zarathushtra.  He gave to humanity the spiritual philosophy of One supreme Godhead eternally the same,

It will be interesting for modern man to know that intellect is finite and it cannot reach the Infinities, Man must transcend the limitation of intellect and enter into what Zarathushtra calls the region of Sraosha -Intuition which dispels darkness, conflict, and confusion in the human mind, The relativity light of Good and Evil, right and wrong is transcended and the subject and object are merged together in one flash of intuitive light, then Truth draws upon the consciousness of man.

The concept of Fire in Zarathushtrianism is a deep scientific philosophy.  It does not mean the worship of physical fire.  Zarathushtra in his spiritual vision captured the experience of flaming cosmic mystic fire of Ahura Mazda. “Athro Ahuraha Mazdao Puthra”.  Athro means etheric energy, the purifying energy of Ahura Mazda.  Fire is the cosmic mystic symbol of Ahura Mazda.  Through this Fire of Spirit man can realize God and experience bliss.  Breath is fire and fire is life.  Thus, fire worship is reverence for all life everywhere.  Athra never means the physical fire of wood or sandalwood.  The association of Athra with Vohu Manah – pure Mind and Asha – the Divine Law indicates that fire is a divine Spark emanating from the Supreme Being, Illuminating the total mind with Radiance of Wisdom. This fire will ignite the Flame of Love in the heart and illumination of the soul. As Athra is the purifier its prime function is to bum all impurities and cremate the dead body according to ancient Zarathushtrian Custom. Fire can never be made impure by any means.

Zarathushtrian spiritual philosophy of Self-Unfoldment, self-realization or God-realization is practical. Realization means to be real in our life within and without. By cultivating four Divine Attributes - Wisdom, Law, Will and Love man is able to contact the Spenta.Mainyu, the Holy Spirit within and be aware of his own Perfection and Immortality.

Zarathushtra' s message is full of hope, optimism and cheer. The ultimate triumph of good and transmutation of evil into good by living dynamic good life are assured.

In the light of all the above, we may say humanity today needs the true spirit of religion for revitalizing itself. There has been restlessness and violence due to loss of spiritual and ethical values.  It might be said that the spiritual, philosophical ethical, rational psychological, universal and practical teachings of Zarathushtra might satisfy the spiritual yearnings of modern man and inspire him towards establishing a better world of brotherhood, humanity and love.  We can sum up the message of Zarathushtra in the Triple Yoga thus: Think creatively, constructively, rationally, originally and independently with your head; love fully, universally and joyously with your heart; and live dynamically in total goodness by using your hand to serve mankind in the cause of unity and peace.