Zoroastrianism (Good Conscience) was the first Equal, Universal and Monotheist Religion and the root of much of Jewish, Christian and Islamic doctrine and belief. Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith. Over the millennia, the words and compositions of its founder
Asho Zarathushtra were almost lost due to passage of time and accidents of history, as libraries and books were burned again and again by invaders (Greeks, Arabs, Mongols, Ottomans etc.) and its wise men were either killed, enslaved, deported or went into hiding and the Persians were brutally forced to change their religion and customs by the edge of the enemy sword. However, thanks to the remaining Zoroastrian communities in Iran & India and the long, arduous and painstaking work of literally thousands of international scholars in the last decades, the original message of Zoroastrianism has surfaced once again, revealing it as ever-relevant, unique and inspiring. While Zoroastrianism once was the most powerful religion in the world for over a millenia and the official religion of the Persian Empire, the number of adherents has today dwindled to not more than a few million Zoroastrians worldwide.
It is important to note that Zoroastrianism is not an oriental mystic sect or cult, but a Universal World Religion for all Mankind and the greatest outpouring of love the human race has ever seen.
The divine message
This section is dedicated to the divine message revealed by
Asho Zarathushtra who was known to the ancient World as
Zoroaster. On vernal equinox of the 1737 B.C.E. (3756 years ago) Zarathushtra preached that there is only One God whom he referred to as the
Lord of Wisdom and the guardian of the cosmic order. Zoroastrianism introduced the concepts of: monotheism, duality of Good and Evil, mankind’s free choice between the two alternatives, messianic redemption, resurrection, final judgement, heaven (the word
Paradise comes from Old Persian), hell and the notion of an almighty, kind, loving and forgiving God. He believed man’s salvation in life and in the afterlife could only be ensured through:
Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds. Many of these concepts had a profound influence on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Zarathushtra; the founder of this religion was just a simple poet way ahead of his time. He wanted to bring wisdom and justice to the barbaric world. He grew up with a love of wisdom and righteousness and as a young boy he was interested in nature and wanted to know as to how the world was created. His search for creation and the creator lead him to God with whom he communed after several years of meditation. According to the legend when he was thirty he immersed himself in water and when he emerged in a state of purity he had a vision of a shining being (Angel) who introduced herself asGood Purpose. Good Purpose took Zarathustra up a mountain to the light of the creatorLord of Wisdom(Ahura Mazda). And Zarathustra came down off the mountain with a message that he wished to preach to all humanity.
Zarathushtra established an observatory in Zabol (Sistan in southeastern Iran) and with his knowledge in astronomy he was able to establish a Zoroastrian solar calendar consisting of 365 days, 5 hours and 48 minutes and improved the ancient Indo-Iranian calendar. It was inaugurated on 21st March 1725 B.C.E, the day Prince Vishtasp and his court converted and joined the Zoroastrianism Fellowship. It also provides us with the clue that the Zoroastrianism was founded by
Asho Zarathushtra exactly twelve years earlier on vernal equinox of the 1737 B.C.E. Most scholars and historians today agree on a time-frame for Zarathushtra as early as 1700 B.C.E. judging from the Old Avestan language. Zoroaster’s birthday falls on March 26th 1767 B.C.E.. (6th of Farvardin in Persian Calendar) This date is more significant and special for the Zoroastrians. The Zoroastrian Calendar is based on his 40th Birthday, so right now (in 2017), the year is 3756 Zoroastrian Holy Year.
* These dates are based on linguistic evidence, language studies and archeology and not the usual Greek anachronism which often corrupts historical fact. (Many wrongly confuse King Vishtasp who reigned during Zarathustra’s life with the father of Darius the Great, with the same name). That mistake alone is the main reason why many ancient Greek historians wrongly believed that Zarathustra lived around (600 B.C.E) 258 years before the reign of the Macedonian king Alexander, when in fact Zarathustra lived over 14 centuries before him.
Persians adopted Zoroastrianism at a time when every race considered itself to be the chosen people of Gods/God, Zarathushtra did not discriminate between race, cast and creed. The Good Religion of Zoroastrianism is universal and for all the peoples of the world and it advocates preaching and propagation on sound basis of education. It was the first equal and universal missionary religion.
The World Today
We have forgotten Zarathushtra’s prime objectives, and we judge ourselves and others by the prestige of our jobs, the size of our bank accounts, the make of our cars, the size of our houses. In the light of all the above, we may say humanity today needs the true spirit of Zoroastrianism 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 us towards establishing a better world of brother/sisterhood, humanity and love. We can sum up the message of Zarathushtra: 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. Wordsworth put it well when he said:
The world is too much with us, Late and soon, getting and spending, We lay waste our powers. Little we see in nature that is ours, We have given our hearts away...
Freedom and Liberation
Zarathushtra was the first world teacher who gave freedom and liberation to the then enslaved mankind from ignorance, superstition and ritualism. Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence... He does not demand blind following, he never claimed to be the prophet of God and always insisted that he was only a simple poet. He gave freedom of thought and freedom of choice in the matter of religion. Without moral conduct in life, no spiritual progress is ever possible. He applied religion to life. Ethical Philosophy of Zarathushtrianism is summarized in three Jewels,
Good Deed. Individual Making The Difference from Within and from Outside. On the contrary he says:
Give ear, listen, ponder with the light of your shining mind and decide, each man and woman must choose their faith for themselves. As you sow, so must you reap, Happiness to them who gives happiness to others.
Equality and the Gender Balance of God
Zarathushtra seems to be the first to make one deity the only deity. By using the gender-neutral term God (Ahura+Mazda), a compound of a male and female name, Zarathushtra wished to convey both the equality of the males and females before the Creator and, also, the fact that the deity was beyond one particular sexual designation (God is, after all, beyond gender). Many scholars have translated
Ahura Mazda as Lord of Wisdom. Ahura has been associated with existence (meaning being and life). Mazda means super-intellect and supreme wisdom. Mazda can also mean Great or Maximum Knowledge, as well as Maximum Giver.
Later self-claimed prophets and Abrahamic religions after Zoroastrianism described God in rather gender based masculine (male/father) terms:The Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. The commonplace manner in which Christians address the Almighty as Father comes from Christ Himself. In fact, Jesus actually used a more intimate word,AbbaorDaddy, Lord Zoroaster never did. He realized a Supreme Being, who is independent of being worshipped and obeyed and thus...God is not about fear, guilt, torment and condemnation.Men and women enjoy freedom as equals. People can choose Zarathushtra as their spiritual and physical leader only after understanding his divine and pure message.
Most scholars today agree that women internationally step by step became second rate citizens and lost all their power, autonomy, independence, rights and consistently assigned a passive role in the society as soon as Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and especially Islam) became widespread. The gendering of those religions is oppressively male . The creator in Genesis is presented as an Old Male Sovereign Outsider who relate to the world by way of command. It is a male story of power, a story of hierarchical command and control. Religious discrimination against women is still alive and thriving! The texts of the Torah, Bible and Quran preach discrimination against women, degradation and subjugation of women, and even violence against women! They teach that women are not only inferior, but also must obey men, becauseGodtells us that men are their masters (justifying all manner of religion-justified nastiness directed against them). In other words, the texts of these so-calledholy bookssystematically ensure a second-class status for women . (Mothers of Creation, who make up a little over half of the world’s population).
Zarathushtra is constantly referred to as
the foremost because he is the first and foremost in giving an entirely fresh outlook to every walk of life: spiritual, mental, ethical, social, material and physical. He is foremost in every phase of life. He revolutionizes the social structure and bases it on thoughtful thoughts, words and deeds. Leaders, both spiritual and physical, are to be elected and their election is to be based on their competency and sincerity. Modern democracy has yet to catch up with what Zarathushtra advises, advocates, recommends and presents in his ever-fresh teachings. Zoroastrianism is all-embracing.
God the Creator: Tenets of Zoroastrianism
According to Zarathushtra, God conceived the idea of creating the universe and not only let it evolve into the inanimate objects such as the Sun, the Moon, the stars and the Earth but also the living species such as the plants, animals and human beings i.e. she infused life into her creations. God is not a static God who has finished her creations for she is a dynamic and progressive and a continuous creator. God is the creator of life in this universe, she is omniscient, she is super intelligent, she is the wisest and she knows everything. She has supreme wisdom and she is kind, friendly and loving. God is omnipresent for she is everywhere at the same time.
The Zoroastrian Religion pictures humanity as the growing and evolving creation of a God that respects it, and wants it to collaborate in the task of preserving, nourishing, fostering and refreshing this Living World of ours. A Zoroastrian is supposed to progress towards God by his own choices. Choosing to do good, and to avoid choosing to do wrong or evil. Zoroastrianism is thus the first truly ethical religion of mankind and teaches that mortals achieve their goal of god-likeness and spiritual completeness by fighting evil through good thoughts, words and deeds.
Zarathushtra taught that God has given every human being a Good Mind in order to help us follow this path of righteousness. The Human Mind is the best gift that God (Ahura Mazda) has bestowed upon us. With our Good Mind we can not only think but we can reason and articulate and this is what makes us so unique from all other living species on this planet. We have a mind that can help us differentiate and distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil. Good Deeds produce good rewards and Evil Deeds have bad consequences. Human beings are co-workers of God, but we are not Gods slaves. We are not forced into doing something or being someone that we don’t want to be. Zoroastrians do not believe that good things in life are detrimental to the spiritual life or that we should denigrate the material world.
Zarathushtra also taught that God regulates the universe throughAsha, the law of precision. At the physical level Asha represents the laws in the universe. Scientists try to understand these laws, such as the laws of gravity and electric and magnetic fields. On the psychological levelAshais the powerful force of truth while at the spiritual level Asha is the fusion of order and truth leading us to the path of righteousness. Truth or righteousness is doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place with the right means to achieve the right purpose. Righteousness is the universal law that stands for order, evolution, progress and projection.
God of Zarathustra
Zarathushtra’s is a message about a spirituality that progresses towards self-realization, fulfillment and completeness, as a good creation of a totally good God. It is a message of freedom - freedom to choose, freedom from fear, freedom from guilt, freedom from sin, freedom from stultifying rituals, superstitious practices, fake spirituality and ceremonials.
The Universal God of Zarathustra, is not a God ofThou shaltandThou shall not. Zoroastrianism believes those who fear God, do not know God. God only cares how righteous, progressive and good you are.
God is not about fear, guilt and condemnation:
God is wisdom, love and logic.
God does not have favorites, nor discriminates:
God treats humans with dignity and respect.
God is not a slave master or despot among serfs:
God is mans soul mate and partner.
God is not jealous, wrathful or vengeful:
Man is not sinful, fallen or depraved.
God has no opponent and heaven and hell are states of mind and being:
Man was created to progress to likeness and eliminate wrong from the Cosmos in partnership with God.
There will be no Last Day of Judgment:
In Gods eyes there are no sins or sinners, so in Gods heart there is no condemnation or damnation, the Zoroastrians believe.
God has no Form
We, Zoroastrians, usually start our prayers with the words
Glory be to God. We praise God for creating this world, for creating the Sun that gives us light and heat, for creating the air that we need to breathe, for creating the water that we need to survive and for creating the animals, birds, plants, fruits and flowers that bring us joy and happiness. We believe that God has no form, shape of color attributed to her. This is why Zoroastrians never worship idols. We do not build some shape from clay or wood or metal and call it God
Ahura Mazda because, to us, God is ever glowing eternal light from which emanates bounty and goodness.
The energy of the creator is represented in Zoroastrianism by fire and the Sun, which are both enduring, radiant, pure and life sustaining. Zoroastrians usually pray in front of some form of fire (or any source of light). *It is important to note that fire is not worshiped by Zoroastrians, but is used simply as a point of focus (much like theCrucifixin Catholicism) and as a symbol of knowledge, health, light and warmth.
A single God who is supreme. Zoroastrianism is
monotheistic, but with a
dualistic System: God and Satan. Only one loving God, the creator. Satan/Evil (Ahriman) is represented by the destructive principle of greed, anger, and darkness... there is a constant fight between Good and Evil. Zoroastrians did not see evil as inherent in nature or inherent in the human body. Zoroastrians were optimistic, believing that Gods triumph was assured. They believed that the birth of Zarathustra had been the beginning of a final epoch and that Gods message would be carried throughout the world, that those who followed the Devil’s lies would dwell in darkness and misery, that the final epoch would end with the pronouncement of a
Last Judgment and the utter destruction of the Devil and all the forces of Evil.
They believed that with this ending would come a great resurrection of all good souls and that all good people (the followers of Truth) would cross the bridge into another world, free of decay, old age and death. The resulting cosmic conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity who is required to choose which to follow. Evil, and the Spirit of Evil, will be completely destroyed at the end of time. Dualism will come to an end and Goodness will be all in all. Eventually, everything will be purified. Even the occupants of hell will be released.
The struggle between right and wrong
According to Zarathustra, humans are responsible for their thoughts, and, in choosing between right and wrong, humans will become their own saviors. Zarathustra called people to a rigid discipline to support Gods goodness. And he claimed that in this struggle between right and wrong, every man, woman, child and living beings has a Guardian Angel that is under Gods leadership: an angel that helps them achieve virtue. (God created Life and the Devil created its opposite: Death).
Zoroastrian Sacred Text: The Avesta
The Zorastrian Holy Book is called the Avesta and it is a compilation of all Zoroastrian prayers, which were composed over several centuries, some dating back to more than 3500 years. Avesta is a repository of oral texts, transmitted orally in fixed linguistic form until it was written down. The older part (Old Avesta) was composed between 1500-1000 B.C.E. and the later parts (Young Avesta) between 1000-500 B.C.E.
The Avesta includes the original words of their founder Zarathushtra, preserved in a series of five hymns, called the Gathas(Gatha means
Song). The latter represent the core text of the religion. The Gathas are abstract sacred poetry, directed towards the worship of the One God, understanding of righteousness and cosmic order, promotion of social justice and individual choice between good and evil.
The Gathas have a general and even universal vision. In its most sacred prayer the Ahunavar (Choice of the Lord), Zoroastrians are taught that their Lord and leader are to be chosen, through a Good Mind - a mind that is a well-informed and benevolent - and only on account of their individual righteousness. This sets the basis for a spiritual and political democracy as far back as nearly four millennia ago. Only an informed and unbiased mind is capable of making a truly righteous choice and this is precisely, the invitation of Zarathustra, the great Aryan teacher of righteousness, when he tells us:
Listen to the best things with your ears, reflect upon them with an unbiased mind. Then let each man and woman for him or her self choose between the two ways thinking. Awaken to my doctrine, before this great event of choice comes upon you
As human beings we are given the right to choose. However, because of the law of cause and effect, we are also responsible for our choices, and must face their consequences.
Purpose in Life:
To be among those who renew the world… to make the world progress towards perfection.
Happiness is a byproduct of a way of living. And happiness is for those who work for the happiness of others.
having given us the ability to choose, God leaves us alone and allows us to make our choices. And if we choose good, we will bring about good, and if we choose evil, we will cause evil. This is how the moral universe operates.
Heaven and Hell:
According to Zarathushtra after we leave this life, our essence leaves the body, and depending on the choices that it has made, either it will go to the House of Songs or Realm of light (if she has made good choices) or to the Realm of Darkness and Separation (if evil choices). Heaven and Hell are not physical places, but are described as timeless states of consciousness: either state of oneness with or separation from God. Post-Zarathushtra Zoroastrianism mythologized these timeless states of consciousness into everlasting physical locations and descriptive places. This later concept permeated into Judeo-Christian religions.
Since we are all endowed with the divine essence, we are all good and divine. Therefore it is not the human beings who are evil, but their choices, actions and deeds that could be good or evil. There is only one way to fight evil, and that is by spreading goodness, just as there is only one way to fight the darkness, and that is by spreading light. Similarly, only by spreading love can we eliminate hatred and enmity, and not by fighting and opposing each other.
Some Basic Maxims of Zoroastrianism:
Good Thoughts (Pendare Nik), Good Words (Goftare Nik), Good Deeds (Kerdare Nik). Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.
Death and burial:
Religious rituals related to death are all concerned with the person’s soul and not the body. Zoroastrians believe that on the fourth day after death the human soul leaves the body and the body remains as an empty shell. On the morning of the fourth day after death, the Soul (urvan) returns to its Fravashi (The Guardian Spirit of an individual) who sends out the departed soul to the next world and appears before the deities who are to pass judgment over it.
Sky burial and the Circle of Life: Zoroastrians disposed of their dead (Empty Shells without a Soul) by leaving them atop open-topped enclosures, calledTowers of Silenceaway from populated centers and usually on the top of the hills. Vultures and weather would clean the flesh off the bones, which were then placed into an ossuary at the center of the Tower. Towers of Silence still stand in many parts of Iran & India. Some of these towers date back to more than 3000 years.
Yalda Celebrations: The day of Equality
The Christmas celebrations actually derive from the Persian celebration of Yalda during the longest night of the year on the eve of the Winter Solstice. On the Yalda night, Persians used to stay awake all night till the dawn and normally the following days were a holiday (December 22-25). It was also the day of Equality because on this day the Monarchs and Nobles were to dress just like ordinary people so as not to be recognized in the crowd and nobody was supposed to give order.
On December 25th Persians celebrated
Mithrakana: The Birth of Mithra (Angelic divinity of covenant and oath) and hanged a wreathe of green cypress on their doors, gave gifts to their loved ones and feasted the night together.
Many Christian, Jewish and Muslim customs have root in Mithraism and Zoroastrianism: the first Equal, Universal and Monotheist Religion.
The birtyday of Mithra (Mehr) was celebrated in Persia, Rome and other parts of Europe as Mithraism rapidly spread throughout the ancient world, Coincidence with Jewish Hanukkah (Festival of Lights) is not just an accident. An old tradition that would serve as a green movement today was that everyone pledged to plant a cedar tree during the festival of Yalda. (Christmas tree, holy bread and more other things entered, in this way)
The oldest record of the Yalda night celebrated throughout the Indo-European world dates back to 1600 B.C.E.Merry Mithrakanaeventually becameMerry Christmaswith the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The priests, since could not stop the practice of celebrating Mithra’s birthday on December the 25th. declared this day as the birthday of Jesus, which is still so (Because the date of Jesus’ birth is unknown).
It must be added that the only birthday celebrated by Zoroastrians is the Birthday ofAsho Zarathushtra, a unique human personality of Good Guidance for all times and climes. But the Persians have, like many other nations, finding reasons and excuses to celebrate as many joyful occasions as they can make it! Yalda is one of them.
The festival of Norouz
Norouz or new day, is wonderful and ancient Persian national celebration that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the nation. Norouz is the most cherished of all the Persian festivals and has been celebrated for more than 3500 years according to the latest archeological and historical discoveries. The Persian New Year always begins on the first day of spring (March 20th each year, at the exact time the sun enters Aries) Its exact time is calculated according to ancient astronomical methods established by a solar calendar in Persia. Norouz ceremonies are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts: the End and the Rebirth. It is a celebration of spring equinox and represents ancient Persians’ impressive understanding of science and astronomy. A few weeks before the New Year, Persians clean and rearrange their homes. They make new clothes, bake pastries and germinate seeds as sign of renewal and decorate their family Norouz table. The ceremonial cloth is set up in each household. Troubadours, referred to as Haji Firuz, disguise themselves with makeup and wear brightly colored outfits of satin. These Haji Firuz, singing and dancing, parade as a carnival through the streets with tambourines, kettle drums, and trumpets to spread good cheer and the news of the coming new year.
Some of the activities during Norooz are Spring cleaning, painting eggs, family reunions, Persian dancing, exchanging presents, visiting neighbors and friends etc. just to name a few. The Norouz holiday and celebrations ends by having a massive family picnic on the 13th day of Spring.
The Optimism of the Zoroastrianism
Unto you, O Creator, the Soul of Mother Earth complained thus: Wherefore did you create me? Who gave life to me? Anger, rapine, outrage, plunder, aggression and violence are present everywhere. There is no protector for me, except Thee. Therefore, reveal to me a saviour who could show me a way out of this difficulty. Today while we have come to various crossroads in our history the Soul of Mother Earth still utter the same cry. It seems that now is the time for us to re-assess and capture the essence of Zoroastrianism once again!
Zoroastrianism is also regarded as the world’s first eco-religion since it strictly forbids polluting the earth. Non-harm is essential to Zarathushtra’s teaching, so vegetarianism is preferred as a free choice.
Man is essentially a spiritual and moral being. Modern man is not satisfied with the present dogmatic conditions of religions, she is in search of some spiritual and ethical philosophy of life which will satisfy her inner self needs in search of Truth and Reality and realization of her spiritual potentialities. Man cannot live by bread and material things alone, she 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 herself 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 she can experience the Divine Truth and attain happiness, success and joy in life. The Advent of Zarathushtra was Cosmic Manifestation of the Divine Plan for the new cycle of evolution of mankind and to give spiritual illumination to all mankind. The spiritual and ethical philosophy of
Asho Zarathushtra yearned to inspire abiding faith in God, in the hearts of all living beings.
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. Man being the thinker and the mind being her unique. Potentiality, Zarathushtra emphatically propounded the philosophy of controlling and disciplining the mind and making it: Good Mind, Pure Reason, reaching the deepest level of the source of Superior Mind.
Free individual thinking
The New Worldview: taking shape within science will have a dramatic effect on the status of religion and philosophy. We are about to experience some dramatic changes that will shake the established faiths and ideological systems at their very foundations. And we are in for some surprising consequences. Among religions, only Zoroastrianism and Buddhism allow for individuals to find out and understand for themselves how things work. Naturally, Western Humanism and New Age are also tolerant enough towards free individual thinking to be able to survive the test of the network revolution. But the Abrahamic religions will not be able to keep their foundations and survive the open society revolution simultaneously. Better than anybody else before or after him, Zarathushtra understood the timeless mechanisms that define the human condition. But he also understood the mechanisms by which the whole universe operates and considered the two systems, both the spiritual and the physical, to be one and the same force. Zarathushtra called this system of laws Asha.
The Zoroastrian spiritual philosophy of Self-Unfoldment and self-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 Holy Spirit within and be aware of her own Perfection and Immortality. 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 winged symbol in the background is the Fravashi (The Guardian Spirit of an individual) who during a mans birth sends out the Soul (urvan) into the material world to fight the battle of Good versus Evil. On the morning of the fourth day after death, the Soul returns to its Fravashi, who sends out the departed soul to the next world and appears before the deities who are to pass judgment over it. All the experiences in the material world are collected. Heaven and Hell are states of mind and being.
Conversion to Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism, The Religion of Good Conscience is open to all good and noble people that accept Ashoo Zarathustra’s revelation. Lord Zarathustra taught us that every human has a mind and a conscience for making the best choice and for taking responsibility for one’s actions. A Zoroastrian chooses the way of worshiping Wisdom.
The liberal Zoroastrian communities in Iran and around the world warmly welcome conversion from other religions into Zoroastrianism. (*it happens quietly when it comes to conversion from Islam to Zoroastrianism since conversions is considered a crime in many Islamic countries). The 1991 decision of
Anjoman Moghan Iran, states:
We must propagate our faith instead of refusing people that want to adhere to it. The number of secretly rejoined Zoroastrians in modern day Iran is beyond imagination.
The liberal Zoroastrians are inspired by the text of the
Gathas (the only surviving words of Lord Zarathustra, and the primary text of the faith). In the Gathas there is no mention of elaborate mythology, sacred time-schedules, coming Messiahs, Indo-Iranian exclusivity, priestly laws, or strict religious and ritual practices. Therefore, there should be no objection to converting to Zoroastrianism, because the exclusive religious privileges of the Aryan Indo-Iranian people were never intended by its founder
Asho Zarathushtra. Zoroastrianism is and has always been an open World Religion for all Mankind and it must be added that most of the anti-conversion sentiment in the Zoroastrian world comes from the Parsis, the small Zoroastrian communities in India that are on the path to extinction due to their strict anti-conversion policies and low birth rate.
The tone of the Gathas in the Holy BookAvestais philosophical, abstract, and ethical. The rituals, myths, and practices that the traditionalists are so intent on keeping, were discontinued by Zarathushtra, who never wanted them! It was only later that these religious and social elements were re-introduced into the religion during the Sassanid era.
Since the late 1980s, many new Liberal Zoroastrian congregations have been founded throughout the world, these congregations are in line with Zoroaster’s original teachings and warmly accept converts but do not seek them, (as opposed to other missionary religions). * People can choose Zarathushtra as their spiritual and physical leader only after understanding his divine and pure message.
Zoroastrianism has survived for nearly four millenniums and while we have come to various crossroads in our history, it seems that now is the time for us to re-assess and capture its essence once again! The principles of Zoroastrianism are based on truth and justice, connected with wisdom and tied together with the concept of free choice. And when they ask what the purpose of our existence is here on earth? We have the answer; it is to renew the world, through righteousness! ...Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds. Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest of the revealed world religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith. Will this influence continue? Or, is Zoroastrianism another dying monotheistic religion in the face of modernism?
May God (Ahura Mazda) always light your path and bless you with lessons to grow by!