Zoroaster

From The SpiritWiki

Zoroaster (a.k.a. Zarathustra) was priest, profit, and founder of the Zoroasterian faith.

Terms

Zoroastrianism > Asha, Doctrine of the Three Times, Drug, Druh, Frashokereti, Gathas, Mithra, Vohu Manah, Zoroaster

Notes

Not much is known about Zoroaster. "The only sure thing is that the prophet hated cruel aristocrats." [1]

He was compassionate and concerned with human suffering, malice, disease, oppression, and poverty.

"He considers that life is not woven of the tissues of joy and happiness alone, but of considerable sorrow and misery also. Injustice and inequity, strife and oppression, poverty and destitution, greed [14] and avarice, wrath and rapine, falsehood and deceit, envy and malice, hatred and jealousy, crime and vice, sorrow and suffering, filth and disease confront him everywhere. He is keenly responsive to human sufferings and the groans and sighs of the agonized hearts. The misery of the multitude touches his heart. His flesh creeps, his heart is heavily oppressed, and his spirit is depressed at the sight of this dark side of human life. He suffers at the sight of suffering and, with eyes suffused with tears, he lives from day unto day thinking and brooding over the woes of the world. Zarathushtra doubts the goodness of gods....He finds that barren formalism, sanctimonious scrupulosity, meticulous ablutions, superstitious fear, and display of external holiness pass for religion. Zarathushtra doubts the religion of his birth."[2]


"According to the tradition Zoroaster was thirty, the time of ripe wisdom, when revelation finally came to him....It is said that Zoroaster being at a gathering met to celebrate a spring festival, went at dawn to a river to fetch water for the haoma-ceremony. He waded in to draw fro midstream; and when he returned to the bank - himself in a state of ritual purity, emerging from the pure element, water, in the freshness of spring dawn - he had a vision."[3]

Zoroaster had several more Connection Experiences, in which he received truths from a Heptad of beings (Vohu Manah, Ahura Mazda and "five other radiant figures."). His revelations, recorded orally in 17 Gathas, became the foundation for the development of the globally influential Zoroasterian faith.[4]

Zoroaster was a revolutionary. "He was to wean the hearts of men and women from wickedness, to lead them on the path of righteousness, to assuage the sufferings of humanity, to establish a new social order, and to found a new moral world. "[5]

Recovering authenticity "God had sent him as his chosen prophet to preach a nobler religion than the one they followed. Their priests had laid great emphasis on outward observances and carried rules for rituals to meticulous casuistry. Their gods were fond of sacrificial offerings of animals and birds. Religion, preached Zatathushtra, did not consist in a scrupulous observance of outward forms, but was based mainly upon the heart." [6]

Zoraster came up against the interests of priests. "The priests of the ancient faith were now alarmed. They attempted to dissuade the prophet from disturbing the peace of the people. They met often to argue with him on the questions he was raising, but were foiled in the controversies.38 They felt themselves humiliated before the people and gave up meeting the prophet. They began to work against him and tried in all possible manners to frustrate the effect he was daily producing upon his hearers. They were accustomer to fatten upon the profits of the elaborate ceremonials [20] and rich sacrifices that people offered under their guidance. They were renowned as exorcists who cast out demons, who read dreams, prognosticated the future, warded off the effect of the evil eye and, with ingenious charlatanism, had prospered among the credulous and superstitious. Zarathushtra reproved their greed and avarice. He exhorted the people to give up these superstitious practices and warned them that they were causing great harm by following such false teachers.39 His denunciation of their practices made them furious and now they sought his ruin. They accused him of preaching doctrines that were subversive of the religion of their forefathers and the established form of worship, and of blaspheming their gods. They incited the people to oppose him and made frantic appeals to the rulers of the land to drive him out from their midst."[7]

"These evil teachers, complains Zarathushtra, misinterpret the doctrines that he preaches and deceive people.51 They are devoid of goodness of mind and heart and are the beloved of the Daevas.52 They defraud mankind of the happiness of both the worlds.53 Like the Daevas whom they follow, they are known throughout the seven regions of the earth as the offspring of Evil Thought, Lie, and Arrogance.54 They persecute the righteous and desolate their pastures."[8]


Footnotes

  1. Messadie, Gerald. A History of the Devil. New York: Kodansha, 1996. p. 81.
  2. Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. History of Zoroastranism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. p. 31.
  3. Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge, 2001. p. 19.
  4. For an overview of the belief system and just how influential it was, see Sosteric, Mike. “From Zoroaster to Star Wars, Jesus to Marx.” 2018. https://www.academia.edu/34504691.
  5. Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. History of Zoroastrianism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. p. 35-6.
  6. Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. History of Zoroastrianism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. p. 35-6.
  7. Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. History of Zoroastrianism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. p. 38.
  8. Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. History of Zoroastrianism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. p. 41.