|Visit the greatest cyber temple on the web
Disillusioned and distressed by the ritual-laden and sacrifice-ridden practices of his day, Zarathustra turned to his inner self and to nature to find answers to questions, which baffled his mind.
Through contemplation, meditation and reflection, he pondered
on the nature of reality, pondering with a mind devoid of preconceptions. This
quest led him to discover a precise order and organization in the universe.
concluded that such precision within creation was not possible without the existence
of a Super Intellect Being, who functioned and supported His Creation with His
It is with this Being, this God, this Divinity, that Zarathushtra
communed. He called this Being, this God, "Mazda Ahura " (Wise Lord)
The Name of God: Zarathustra has a unique name for
his God - MAZDA AHURA, meaning Wise Lord or Lord of Wisdom. There
is an unusual significance of this. 'Mazda' , meaning Wisdom, or Wise, is a feminine
noun (like the Greek 'Sophia') but 'Ahura' , meaning literally "High Being",
is masculine. Thus Zarathushtra begins to emphasize a theme that runs throughout
his Gathas, that God is genderless and abstract in nature, but at the same time
is very personal and shares both feminine and masculine characteristics! In the
Gathas, the two names are sometimes used separately, sometimes together, but
most often as Mazda Ahura (Wise Lord).
Manifestation of God: Another unique characteristic
of the Wise One, is that He communicates and manifests himself to mortals through
His own ethical attributes, which are a part of His being, yet can be shared
by mortals, if they so choose. This means that men and women can choose to be
Asha-like (Righteous) or Vohu Manah-like (with a benevolent Good Mind), or any
of the other of God's own essences. What a loving God! He gives mankind His own
attributes to progress and evolve towards perfection!
A God realized through Good Mind: But this communion, this interchange between Divinity and the man who reached out in search of Him, was unique. God did not appear to Zarathushtra in bodily form, nor as an angel, nor through a bush or a mountain. Zarathushtra saw Him in his "Mind's Eye." Let Zarathushtra in his own words of his Gathas describe this revelation:
"Wise One, I realize you to be powerful and progressive
because You help with Your own hand. You give rewards to both the wrongful and
the righteous, by means of the warmth of your Fire, which is mighty through Righteousness
and through which the strength of Good Mind comes to me." (Gathas:
Without going too deep in analysis, it is evident that "Fire" in
this verse (and throughout the Gathas) is an allusion to illumination and enlightenment.
It is what is called "The Fire of Thought." It was through this Fire of Thought
(thinking, reflecting, meditating) that Zarathushtra gained enlightenment and
it is this same Fire of Thought, that he wishes to awaken within Mankind. When
one reflects more on this beautiful verse, what becomes even more evident, is
that such a reward is given to both the righteous and the wrongful. But the strength
of such a reward increases (becomes 'mighty' in Zarathushtra's words) only through
Righteousness, that is through thoughts, words and actions in accordance with
what is Right; in accord with God's Ultimate Truth (Asha). In Song 8:7 of the
Gathas we further gather how this enlightenment came to Zarathushtra:
"I realized You, God Wise, when I was encircled by enlightenment through good mind, and it asked: Who are you? To whom do you belong? How would you, in these days of questioning, explain the directives to the living and to yourself?" (Gathas: Song 8:7)
God-realization came to Zarathushtra, encircling him with enlightenment through his own Good Mind, one that he had acquired by choosing to seek reality through reflective thought and meditation with a mind clear of preconceptions. This was MAZDA (a super intellect), the God that Zarathushtra realized. A Divinity, who with His superior intellect creates, orders and sustains creation and who communicates with Man through his Good Mind; through the "Fire of Thought" - indeed a unique revelation!
Mazda Ahura is all goodness: How did God achieve
to goodness? Through His choices, just as He would like Man to do! At the risk
of sounding trite, He made Good choices. But 'good' in Mazdayasna, is what uplifts
or makes creation progress, which is Spenta. It is also Righteousness,
for Righteousness is what ought to be, the ideal state of Right and Truth. Thus
Mazda Ahura is totally
good. He has chosen good and achieved completeness and immortality;
a state of radiant happiness (Ushta) through illumination and enlightenment.
A benelovent, beneficent God: Zarathushtra's God is not someone to be feared, for he neither judges, nor does he punish. It is important to note that in Zoroastrianism it is man's own conscience that judges his soul (urvan), at the time of its separation from the body, that is at death. The separation is only of the Righteous from the Wrongful. Since Asha-like, Spenta-like and Good are synonyms, one can understand that at death one attempts to move to a better existence. In other words, one tries to achieve communion with God in the fullest sense. But our consciences, knowing our state of being, are in truth the arbiters of our progress.
Through Asha, God has established rewards for both good and bad choices. But these rewards are done in love and not as punishment or revenge. God's Asha is called loving because it works for the good of all eventually. If we humans ignorantly oppose it, we hurt ourselves. We are meant to learn from these wrong choices and experiences and evolve towards making right choices in future.
A God who gives humans complete freedom: It
is pertinent to note that despite some translations to the contrary, the Wise
Lord is neither Omnipotent nor is H/She Omniscient in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic
sense. H/She e is the Mightiest, but even H/She cannot go against His/Hers own
nature, plan or design. In that sense H/She is not Omnipotent.
On the other hand, H/She is not Omniscient because although
H/She is aware of everything as it happens, H/She does not know all that is,
because H/She does not know how we are going to choose, nor whether an accident,
illness or some other chance event, is going to occur. Such is the freedom of
choice given to Mankind! Our choices are truly ours and the only thing that God
has determined is the final refreshing of all Creation. This is determined not
through predestination, but through Mazda Ahura's Super Wisdom, which designed
a perfect plan to bring about the completeness of His/Hers Creation.
Click here to join the Zoroastrian Acceptance Group. Zoroastrians by choice, new Initiates, seekers and those who are interested in learning about the original teachings of Zoroaster in the Gathas, are welcome.
The links below are to supplementary pages - click
here to learn about the doctrine itself.
Questions and/or opinions? You're welcome on the discussion pages!