Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zarathrustra tells me about the choices we have

Living in ancient Persia, now Iran, Zarathustra put forth for the first time the idea of monotheism, that is one God, rather than many gods (polytheism) of his tribal religion and other religions of those days. He addressed this one God as Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord.

With great vision and creative genius, Zarathustra explained the principles of good and evil, of light and darkness as the basis for the human struggle with life.
The principles he espoused are wonderfully simple and clear. Still, there are issues which Parsis or Zorastrians seem to be struggling with.. Hence, I felt I should speak to him about them.

Salulations, Prophet. There are a few questions I would like to ask you. May I?

Of course.

What are the basic principles of Zorastrianism?

God, or Ahura Mazda, is the beginning and the end, the creator of everything which can and cannot be seen, the Eternal, the Pure and the only Truth. In practice, every one is free to choose between good and bad. However, only those who choose the good will achieve happiness and peace.

Do you think one should not get converted? Couldn’t these principles be adopted by all?

The principles could be applied by all but they need not convert to Zorastrianism. If they understand and apply the true tenets of their own faith, and also read and imbibe from other traditions, that would be fine. It is, after all, the practice that is often flawed.

Today, in order to be a Zoroastrian, one must be born of two Zoroastrian parents. One is not enough. No children of mixed marriages are officially Zoroastrian. How then would these children fit it in any faith?

The children are entirely free to choose one faith or the other. The practice is what is more important and I do hope they adopt the right ones.

As I thank and take leave of the Prophet, I realize how simple and yet profound his principles were and still are and do hope more and more people realize this completely in the true sense.


  1. The Parsi population is dwindling- due to this refusal to proselytise and also the refusal to accept Parsis who marry outside.This has unfortunately,for an otherwise very good and philanthropic community,led to in-breeding with the resulting psych-social aberrations. Some years ago,an eminent Parsi(cant remember who)admitted to the effect that they are the only community in the world that has planned their own extinction !What does Zarathustra have to say, I wonder !

  2. i think that comment was a part of the historic resolution passed by the high priest of the community prohibiting inter marriage!

  3. A person of the stature of Zarathustra would have only stressed on the principles and advised people to marry whom they loved. This is what I believe.

  4. but then jammu, today religion has taken the number one slot and GOD has been relegated to a poor second!

  5. Very sad, but true..

    We need to ask ourselves if we can change this mindset

    Maybe we can..

  6. The 'refusal'to proselytise(convert)was explained by an eminent Parsi some years ago in an interesting manner.Zoroastrianism does not claim to be superior to other religions and does not that the others are inferior and need to improve.In it's humility, it wonders how it convert someone else!But, by the same token, should they not gracefully accept those who SIMPLY walk out of the fold-not,due to oppression/suffocation but as a result of marriage OR the desire to,in all openness, to experience the fragrance and aroma of other religions ?
    Can they not,thus,avoid 'extinction' of their wonderful tribe ?