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Volume III  No.10 

December 2002 – January 2003 : Mash Dai , Fasal Sal 1371   

Let  Us  Be  Harbinger  of  Good-Will  To  All. 

      All men and all women are drops of water drawn from the one and the same sea of life.  Let us strengthen the bond of unity between people and people.  Let us love all, as we love ourselves.  All mankind is made of one blood.  All are of one human family, united by the indissoluble bond of common humanity.  When hearts are united with hearts, and souls are united with souls, whole mankind will be one heart and one soul in thee, the Father of all mankind, as thou dost love all thy children.  Let us live unto thee and let us live for thee and let us live for all Thine. 

      Let everyone give himself to everyone else.  Let the ideal of cooperative life grow day by day.  Let it not stop at community and nations.  Help it Ahura Mazda, to grow to the supreme ideal of one common humanity, one universal Brotherhood.

[Abridged from: ‘Homage Unto Ahura Mazda’ Dastur M.N. Dhalla] 

From  Life  of  Jamshed Nusserwanjee

      Jamshed was a peacemaker. It was through his mediation, that Karachi was mostly saved from the recrudescence of lathi charges and firing by the police, which was so common in other cities of India and which added to the toll of human life and suffering.  This extreme difficult role, Jamshed was able to play, because of the inward urge to avoid suffering at any cost by his intercession.  It is said, on the All-India Hartal Day, hartal was observed in Karachi, when shops and markets were closed.  A boy was arrested by the police on suspicion and was taken away by them.  The mob got excited.  The police were on the point of firing at the crowd when Jamshed threw himself between the mob and the firing squad of the police. He told the police, who were adamant in not giving up the boy, who was arrested by them, that they should first fire at him.  His courage and heroism saved the whole situation.  The police yielded.  The crowd dispersed as soon as the boy was released. [Source: ‘Jamshed Memorial Volume’]  


                [Excerpt from “Book of Instructions on Zoroastrian Religion” by Tehmurasp R. Sethna]

      12      MY TWELVE COMPANIONS {Poem] : Mehroo M. Patel  


Dastur  Khurshed  S.  Dabu 


his is the most controversial doctrine amongst Parsis.  Tradition has made it remote, and an average Parsi would rather remain illogical, than break with tradition.  We must remember that throughout the scriptures there is nothing explicit to denounce the doctrine of rebirth.  At the most there is  lack of emphasis on this point; either because during the earlier Avestan age it was too well known, and needed no reiteration; or perhaps it was thought preferable to shift the focus on the present precious life rather than speculate on the distant future.  The life after death, as narrated in Pahalvi times, took a sudden jump from the Judgment-scene to resurrection; and hence the intervening series of incarnations were not reviewed in detail.  Besides, in Sassanian times there were other nations in Iran whose philosophy took no notice of the doctrine, and so perhaps the Iranians fell in line with them and ignored it.  

      After having emphasized the law of retribution, one cannot patch several glaring doubts that arise.  If there is no favoritism in the divine justice, and if a strict reckoning of merit is to prevail, then a number of questions arise, which cannot be dismissed by saying: “It is all to God’s arbitrary will!”  Then the law of action and reaction would have to be repealed. 

      Why should the inequalities of health, culture, wealth and power be prevalent in our lives?  If God is just each must start with equal opportunities, uniform longevity and equal abilities.  If a child suffers terrible pain, where is the cause of this resultant retribution?  Why should one be an idiot, and another a genius, if they did not deserve this “result” through past conduct?  If perfection and immortality are the goal of life, is it possible to reach it, in only one life?  Who is responsible for interrupted lives?  

      How does one account for child prodigies? A seven year old conductor of an orchestra, a great mathematical genius at nine, a linguist at seven (as in the case of a boy who recited the whole of the Koran or the Bhagvad Gita from memory, though he had not yet learnt to decipher the alphabet) or students who display marvelous capacity at schools or colleges at a very early age?  If God’s arithmetic and book-keeping are correct, then surely there is some “balance brought forward” from previous account! 

      God has certain attributes in the Avesta scriptures: such as “accountant of all living beings”, “supervisor of all deeds”, “never liable to be deceived”, “an upright judge”, etc.  Surely then there can be no anarchy, no favoritism and no arbitrary punishment!   What ought to be the lot of those who seem to escape retribution here? They are apparently not punished for their atrocities! 

      What of hereditary diseases and disabilities? Why should the child pay for the father’s transgressions?  Similarly, why should the child inherit gifts (artistic skill or healthy body etc.) from parents?  These doubts have to be resolved if we are to rely on Divine Justice, Zoroastrianism does not depict God as an absolute monarch, taking pleasure in human suffering and, like a dictator, dispensing largesse without considering the receiver’s merit or deserts? 

      What of those children (not capable of deceit or intrigue) who are born with an exceptional memory of a past life?  They have identified places where they lived and played, as well as described the cause of their death!  They have recognized their past relations, and narrated incidents of a previous life, which were investigated and found true.  Such cases have been related in Bharatpur, Rangoon and Delhi, and a Chief Justice, who examined and interrogated such a child, found that it was not fabricating untruth.  It pointed out toys that it had buried in a field; and gave the name by which a dog (long since dead) was known, an old lady (its aunt in the previous life) substantiated as true.  

      But the truth is patent that Zarathushtra even in his sacred hymns does mention the law of re-incarnation. 

      Gatha Spenta Mainyu 3.11 (Ys.49.11) is explicit, although for a long time, European scholars followed the Pahlavi version without examining the original Avestan text.  Dr. Tarporewala, Dastur Bode, Principals Sorab Bulsara and B.T. Anklesharia have translated the stanza differently --- “Those souls who ruled badly, who perpetrated bad deeds, who spoke evil words, whose minds and conscience werew evil, do return [paiti-yeinti] on account of their evil record.  Verily they used to dwell in this abode of untruth.”  This is how it should be translated. 

      Gatha Ahunavaiti 3.10 (Ys 30.10) according to Sorab Bulsara and others runs thus: “then the support (influence) of Satan gets smashed; and those that used to be born in order to revel in good praise, will ultimately unite with the Omniscient God, Vohumano and Asha,in their fine heavenly abode.”  Here in the same stanza we have reference to frequent re-incarnations [Zazente] as well as the final reunion [Yozente].  Again in Gatha Ahunavaiti  7.6 (Ys.34.6) a similar reference is found to the returning of the soul, [Urwadyao satvas ayeni paiti] meaning “May I return as a soul devoted to thee”.    

      Gatha Ushtavaiti 4.11 (Ys.46.11) bears indirect testimony: “Evil people think of ruining the lives of men with their evil authority.  Thereby their souls found their conscience hardened.  When they approach the Chinwad Bridge (the judgment bridge), they would be the denizens of the abode of delusion.”  The fall from the bridge into abode of falsehood is a figurative style for descent into incarnation (especially when hell is supposed to be on earth also) and such indirect references are many in Zarathushtra’s divine songs.  Drujo-Deman (the abode of untruth) is the opposite of Garo-Deman (the highest paradise, the abode of god and his angles), Dr.Traporewala thinks that the abode of untruth is our mundane life, owing to its illusory and transitory values and therefore returning to such abode must therefore mean re-incarnation. 

      Gatha Ushtavaiti 4.19 (Ys.46.19) refers to “next existence” when it says: “Those who truly work for Zarathushtra, in accordance with the Supreme (Divine) Will, shall reap their reward in next life – Para-ahum. Reference has already been made to tan-e-pasin the last existence, there by hinting at several previous lives. 

      In the litany known as Dhup-nirang there is a prayer that departed souls of Mazdayasnis (worshipping the Omniscient God) may return to this good religion, drawn by their past activities; but if they are not to return then may they pass through the tribunal of angel Meher, speedily reaching their goal (re-union?)  Afrin-e-Rapithwan has similar references (paras 29 and 30) but with a change of phraseology.  In the Dhup Nirang the term “akaish-kharethaish” of (Ys. 49.11) has been taken as “evil food”.  Evidently the food refers to our record of activities in one life, which must be digested and transformed into fresh faculties for the next life. (vide: Atash Niyash – food cooked at night)  

      During the grand ritual of Yasna there is a dish with nine holes.  It filters the sacramental Homa extract, and the contents pass through the dish from one vessel to another repeatedly.  In taking hold of the dish, the priest sends his good wishes to “the souls of the departed who are now in company of their holy Fravashis”. This is a symbolic way of suggesting the soul’s passing through a physical body (which has nine apertures) during its many incarnations. 

      Gatha Ahunavaiti 2.8 (Ys. 29.8) quotes God’s own testimony regarding the high status of the soul of Zarathushtra, even prior to the latter’s birth in order to undertake the great mission—“There is only one soul known to me, namely Zarathushtra, who has understood my message; and he now is willing to propound the duties for righteous causes”.  The question naturally arises, when (if not during previous births) has the soul of Zarathushtra understood divine teachings.  If an adept is the culmination of vast efforts in the past (and not raised by fluke), surely Zarathushtra had lived on earth often, before he was to be selected to be a Divine Messenger. 

      It is easy to accuse a Parsi believing in the Law of Rebirth, or of being a Theosophist or a Buddhist.  But I discovered this doctrine (Ys. 49.11), in 1908 many years before I joined the Theosophical Society; and the Theosophical Society does not enforce this doctrine on members as an article of faith; so its members are free to doubt its validity.   

      Buddhism is a comparatively modern religious message, with an entirely different theology, but granting that other religious people uphold this doctrine there is no reason why a Parsi should reject it, simply on the score of its championship by Hindus and Buddhists.  Comparative religion reveals such points of mutual similarities, where all teachers and prophets are in agreement. If there is a law applicable to the whole of humanity, surely a Parsi cannot claim any special exemption from it jurisdiction!  Should we presume to be exceptionally perfect and ripe for re-union at a stage when we know that we are deficient in requisite qualifications?  Why should Parsis be treated differently?  And if such a law does not apply to the Parsis and Christians, then it should not be in force for Hindus or Buddhists either.  In the absence of such a universal principle, the law of retribution would also be put out of action.  Even Christianity has lost large part of Jesus’ original teachings—gnosis in logia.  It is said that the miracle of “Transfiguration” is a pointer to the great teacher’s own previous births.  So one has to be cautious in making unreasonable assertions 

      Having said that “all good thoughts propounded anywhere and at any time, would deserve our allegiance’, how can we exclude any true and good idea from the field of Zoroastrianism?  It is not a dogma or mere speculation.  These exceptional cases, where memory of past lives has been brought through, suggest that rebirth is a fact worthy of serious consideration where human problems are concerned.  If eternal verities constitute all religions, the fact of reincarnation must pertain to all faiths, especially as Fate decides our ancestral religion, when a soul is sent down under special influences of a particular divine message. Universal laws cannot exempt any race from its purview and application. 

      There are sound reasons why Zoroastrianism did not harp constantly on this doctrine.  Perhaps it was explained at length in some of the books that are lost or perhaps too well-known a belief universally held in the time of Zarathushtra to need emphasis, or perhaps because belief in this law sometimes induces lethargy, with a tendency to postpone real efforts to a future incarnation.  Actually two lives are not so close upon each other, as some people would imagine, centuries intervene.  Hence it was thought unnecessary to shift attention from the precious opportunities of the present life to a very remote future.  

      But taking for granted that Zarathushrta did not propound this tenet (though we have quoted verses from his own divine songs) then a Parsi must submit another sensible hypothesis, which may justify and vindicate divine justice, without abrogating the fundamental law of retribution, and adjustment in which Parsis believe firmly.  Until this is not done to the satisfaction of reason, this doctrine would occupy a prominent place as a sound hypothesis, answering all the questions raised by people, who find anomalies and inequalities most repulsive to their senses of justice and equitable government based on law.  What is the rational alternative?  

[Source “Message of Zarathushtra” by the author] 


The Marchioness of Winchester

Story of Gurdya 


e come to an interesting heroine, strong alike in love for her own country, and for a brother whose ambitious aims she sought in vain to direct in the path of loyalty to the Shah.  She is Gurdya, the sister of Bahram Chubina, chief captain in the city of Rai, who revolted against Hurmuzd (Hormisdas IV, A.D. 578-590), the son of Nushirwan and King of Iran, and strove to take possession of the throne. Bahram was exceedingly fond of Gurdya, of whom he had had charge ever since she had been left an orphan in her childhood.  He had the highest opinion of her character and intellect, and in consequences, made much of her.  

      One day, when he and a few of his chiefs were engaged in plotting against the King, Gurdya suddenly appeared from behind the curtain and addressed Bahram sternly: 

                        “Design not evil, brother” she admonished him

                        “Make not greed the lord over wisdom.”    

The chiefs could not but be impressed by her words and her earnestness; but Bahram strongly resented her advice, and sat brooding darkly until, with a show of indifference he resumed the conversation with his confederates, and Gurdya left the scene in tears, bitterly disappointed in her brother. 

      Bahram began secretly to prepare for war. He first addressed a letter to King Hurmuzd, stating that he refused to accept him as King, and that Khusrau Parwiz should be the ruler.  He privately gave orders for new coins to be issued, bearing the superscription of Khusrau Parwiz.  In this way, he poisoned the mind of Hurmuzd against his own son, so that the monarch planned to put Parwiz to death.  The young Prince, however, managed to escape from Iran.  Soon after this, the King’s own brothers, who had been imprisoned for some time, sought him out and as an act of revenge blinded him.  Khusrau Parwiz then returned to Iran, as the people wished to make him King.  On beholding his father’s terrible affliction, his heart was touched, and he instantly forgave him all.  The throne duly passed to him. 

       The rebellious Bahram now rose against Khusrau, and the shrewd Gurdya, becoming aware of his designs, once more warned him against stirring up strife.  The King, she pointed out, was young and hotheaded, and, on that account, was it not better to let well alone?  This time her brother paid heed to her counsels, acknowledging that she spoke truly.  But he told her regretfully that it was now too late to draw back; hostilities were already in progress.   

      Khusrau Parwiz1 fled to Rum, where he enlisted the sympathy of the Emperor, who placed an army at his disposal that he might succeed in overthrowing Bahram Chubina. With these forces, Khusrau once more entered Iran.  Braham defeated him twice, but the third time he was victorious, and Braham lay mortally wounded.  

      When the news was brought to Gurdya, she hastened to her brother’s side..  In an agony of grief, she knelt down and lifting her head on to her lap smoothed back the hair from his damp brow, and endeavored to sooth him.  And Bahram drew her face down to his and kissed her again and again, and spoke many loving words of appreciation of her loyalty and wisdom. A few moments later he died. And Gurdya turned away, plunged in the deepest sorrow and despair.  She had a silver coffin made for him, and, wrapping his warrior form in brocade, laid her beloved brother to rest. 

      Immediately afterwards a messenger appeared, bearing a letter to Gurdya from the Khan of Chin (China, or Chinese Turkistan), asking her hand in marriage.  Gurdya sent back a reply, saying that such a proposal was ill timed; in four months’ time, however, she would consider it.  She then sought her counselors, to whom she reported the circumstance, laying indignant emphasis on the Khan’s having waited until her brother’s death before making the offer.  She began to unfold a plan by which to escape from Marv into Iran.  Her counselors listened wonderingly, and declared themselves her slaves.  The valiant maiden then went forth to inspect the troops, selecting from among their number eleven hundred and three score, each one of whom would readily face ten cavaliers.  She next donned her brother’s suit of armour and, reappearing before her forces delivered an address, concluding with the words: “All that disapprove, abide ye here!”  One and all shouted: “We are lieges and obey”. Then, like some illustrious cavalier, Gurdya sprang upon her brother’s charger, and, swift as the wind, led the host upon its way. 

      Through the treachery of a few deserters, however, news of her flight came to the ears of the Khan.  He became very angry, and promptly dispatched an army of six thousand in pursuit of her, under the leadership of his chief, Tuwurg, He gave particular instructions that no hostility should be shown unless resistance were offered. Tuwurg, with his troops, departed and overtook Gurdya and her doughty band within four days. In her armor, he failed to recognize the fair lady whom he sought, and thereupon began to make inquiries for Gurdya.  She came boldly forward and said she was Gurdya. Tuwurg was greatly taken aback, but, recovering himself, gave her the Khan’s message, which ran to the effect that, if she did not consent to become his wife, she was to be taken prisoner. These imperious words but roused wondrous spirit in Gurdya.  She instantly flung forth a challenge to Tuwurg and spurring forward her steed slew the chief and a great number of her army.  She then dispatched a messenger to King Khusrau with the information that she had defeated the army of the Khan of Chin. 

      Meanwhile, Gustaham (Bistam, Vistakhma), maternal uncle of Khusrau Parwiz, who had effected the murder of King Hurmuzd and still staunchly supported the lost cause of Bahram Chubina, began to fear that Khusrau might put him to death as a traitor.  Hearing about Gurdya, he fled to her for refuge.  Then, seeking the general of her army, he entreated him to plead with her on his behalf, as he desired to wed her.  The general went to Gurdya and said much in praise of Gustaham, dwelling on his devotion to her brother, which the sagacious warrior knew to be a sure way to her heart.  In due course she was persuaded into marrying him. She could not know that Gustaham’s chief purpose was to join her forces in the overthrow of  King Khusrau. Shortly afterwards, Gustahm’s fears were realized; he was sized and assassinated one night, at the King’s  instigation.  Khusrau then sent a message to Gurdya, asking her to be his queen.    She forthwith presented herself to him in all her beauty and valor, and the King remembering the great loyalty with which she had ever served him, fell in love with her instantly, and married her. 

       One day, at Khusrau’s request, she gave an exhibition of her prowess.  All were astounded at her bravery. She was at once appointed overseer of the royal bower. 

      It happened that about this time the people Rai were much oppressed, owing to the harshness of their ruler.  Gurdya went to the King and asked him to grant the city to her command as a fief, because of her special interest in that province.  The King immediately fulfilled her desire, when she not only relieved the people from distress, but saved the  capital City of Rai.

1.Khusrau Parwiz  (Chosroes II, A.D. 590-628), was contemporary with three Eastern Roman Emperors:  Maurice (A.D. 582-602), Phocas (A.D.602-610), and Heraclius (A.D. 610-642). 



od does not want to be flattered by our prayers telling Him how powerful and great He is. As stated in the opening paragraph of Sarosh Yasht Hadokht, “Prayer is best for the people of the world because a prayer done whole-heartedly creates in the mind of men a sort of strength which protects them from all bad thoughts and enables them to overcome all difficulties”. In Gatha Ahunavaiti 1.10 (Ys 28.10) Zarathushtra says: “I know that devout prayers for righteous ends never remains unanswered by you”.  All our prayers are advices and admonitions for our self-improvement and a little prayer done earnestly with understanding is more effective in bringing peace to the mind than saying long prayers with incorrectly pronounced words and without understanding the meaning. 

      The writer of The Dayspring of Youth suggests:  “When you pray, shut out all lower thoughts.  Approach God as you would at the entrance to a holy place.  Ask to be given wisdom according to law. Be strong in purpose and firm in demand.  A fervent prayers crystallizes the mind so that other forms of thought cannot enter.”  

      Another simple method is to pray in low tone at the same time feel that you are hearing it in your mind. Pray like this for five minutes or so. Then read the translations trying to fix it in mind and then think over what you have prayed.  A few minutes practice everyday will enable one to have peace of mind and oneness with God.  Some people have an idea of asking God to give them health and plenty of money.  If people pray to God for health and disregard the common rules of health how can God help them?  Similarly if people sit idle and ask God for money how can God pour money over their heads? In the Gathas Zarathushtra teaches us to be active, and denounce inactivity. Our prayer should be to request God to show us the right path when we try to work and to help us in our efforts.  If we are sincere God will guide us through our conscience (Saraosha) to do the work correctly.  

[Source: “Book of Instructions on Zoroastrian Religion” by Tehmurasp R. Sethna] 


Ali A. Jafarey

Part One 



ost of the religions speak of a person who would come and right the wrong, that he would clear the world of all its irregularities and turn into an ideal perfect place to live.  Believing this, many people are awaiting the coming of such a person, and some of them are simply doing nothing constructive because they hold that nothing can be accomplished without him.  Further that, things would grow from bad to worse and from worse to worst until he comes and provides the panacea. This person, divine, semi-divine or human being and definitely male, is now generally called “savior”  

      Alphabetically: Baha’is have their long awaited saviors already manifested in Bab (declaration in 1844 C.E.), and Baha’ullah (1867 C.E.).  Budddhists expect periodical comings of Bodhisatatva-s, particularly the “friendly” Maitreya/Metteya.  Christians are waiting for the return of the Christ for the last 2,000 years.  Jews began anticipating the “Messiah” still earlier.  Muslims, particularly the Twelver Shias, are desperately looking for “Mahadi the rightly guided”, to appear for over 1,000 years.  Finally “Traditionalist” Zoroastrians, who have been waiting for almost 3,000 years, are well prepared to receive Shah Bahram Varjavand and the three consecutive Saoshyants to return  the Traditionalists to their previously enjoyed top position.  Some believe that Varjavand has already been born and all he has to do is to come out in public and set the world right. 

      The waiting has been so intense for many such people of every creed that, all along over centuries and millenniums, they have been believing that the time of arrival is on hand and the appearance imminent.  Time has passed and either no one has appeared or even if someone has claimed to be the awaited savior, he has been rejected by the majority and sometime cruelly killed. Some Buddhists believe the Dalai Lama to be just an embodiment of Buddhisatva while others are looking into the future.  The Jews reject Jusus as Messaiah. Muslims repudiate Bab and Baha’ullah as the Mahdi. The Zoroastrians have seen three millennium fixed for the three Saoshyants pass well beyond their established dates without any miraculous appearance of any of the saviors.  The waiting continues as ever by all of the awaiting believers.  

      What is the real reason behind the waiting for a savior? It is the great expectation of the immediate followers of a founder of a religion.  To them, the coming of the founder meant that the world would be made perfect within the founder’s lifetime or at least immediately after his departure.  But the events have proven otherwise and disappointments followed.  The only way out was to say that there would be a redeemer who would improve the situation.  This hope has helped them to continue to wait and wait, and not give up “faith” in desperation. And as the wait has rolled on from age to age, it has gathered moss.  The moss has created conditions that make it harder for any person to claim the position. The coming is to be preceded by miracles that foretell the coming.  Signs, such as famine, floods, earthquakes, and other “God-sent” or “Devil-delivered” disasters would strike hard.  Since all these disasters and designated signs and miracles have not yet had the exact date laid down, the waiting for the “savoir” continues unabated. 

      Zoroastrianism is the earliest of the awaiting religions expecting a redeemer.  The word is “Saoshyant”, freely translated as the “savior”.  A survey of the Avesta shows that the term was coined by no other person than Zarathushtra Spitama, the very founder of the Doctrine.  He mentions it six times in his sublime songs, the Gathas, enough to define the term.  The latter Avesta has mentioned it twenty-eight times and that affords a glimpse of its early evolution.  The Pahlavi writings promise the long awaited and belated three Saoshyants and describing the signs that would precede the appearance of each of them.  The relevant Persian books add a fourth person, Shah Bahram Varjavand, King Bahram the Miraculous, to herald the three.  That makes the Traditionalists look for four redeemers, especially Varjavand 


      Saoshyant, derived in Avesta from “su – to benefit”, means literally “benefactor”. Although Pahlavi has its “Soshyans” for the eagerly awaited savior, it translates the Gathic and later Avestan “saoshyant” simply as “sud (o) mand – benefactor in singular and plural as the case stands. It is the same

sudmand in the Persian translation of the Pahlavi text. 


      God, this is the same road of good mind You have shown me.

      It is the religion of the benefactors 

      by which good deeds lead only through righteousness to happiness,

      the promised reward, Wise one, solely given by You.

      [ Gatha Ahunavaiti:7.13 Ys. 34.13] 

      He who denies the false gods and their men,

      just as they deny him, and unlike others,

      acknowledges Him in good spirit, is,

      through his progressive conscience, the benefactor and master of house,

      rather a friend, brother and father, O Wise God.

      [Gatha Ushtavaiti: 3.11 Ys.45.11] 

      When, Wise One, shall those days dawn which will,

      for the maintenance of the righteous world,

      motivate the wisdom of the benefactors with advanced teachings.

      For myself Lord, I choose Your teachings.

      [Gatha Ushtavaiti: 4.3 Ys.46.3]. 

      When shall I know, Wise One, that You have power

      through righteousness over anyone whose threats are harmful to me?

      Let the plan of good mind be truly told to me

      so that the benefactor knows how his reward shall be.

      [Gatha Spenta-Mainyu: 2..9 Ys. 48.9]    

      Now, they shall be the benefactors of the lands

      who follow the satisfaction of good mind,

      and base their actions through righteousness on Your teachings, Wise One.

      They indeed have been made to fight fury.

      [Gatha Spenta Mainyu: 2.12 Ys. 48,12] 

      And now, let Kavi Vishtaspa, the Zarathushtrian Spitama and Ferashaoshtra pursue,

      with mind, words and deeds, the knowledge for the praise

      and for the choice of veneration of the Wise One,

      in order to establish in straight paths

      the religion which God has granted to the benefactors.

      [Gatha Vahista Ishti: 2 Ys.53.2] 

      The above six stanzas stand apart.  Each is a part of a song.  To understand them best as we do, is to read each of them, then look at the context within the relevant song, and finally within the Gathic doctrine. 

      Instance One is the 13th of 15 stanzas in Song 7, the “Song of Renovation”.  Zarathushtra asks for Divine Enlightenment for the new community to thwart his antagonists who are up against him in order to safeguard their vested interests.  He stands firm on his principles to continue the mission of defeating the inimical designs, spreading the Message, rehabilitating the people who lost their rights, and renovating the world to maintain it as fresh as God wishes.  This is the path a benefactor treads. 

      Instance Two is the 11th and the last stanza of Song 10 of  “Proclamation”.  Zarathushtra makes the proclamation to an assembly of people from far and near.  He cautions them of the persons attempting to dissuade them back into the old cult.  He makes it clear that the two mentalities, the progressive and the retarding have nothing in common. The choice of one means abandoning of the other. One helps progression and the other causes regression.  He prays to God for strength and endurance to spread the Message.  And he finishes his proclamation by stating that those who deny false gods and their followers by actively serving the progressive movement are truly the benefactors and supporters of society.  

      Instance Three is the 3rd of 19 stanzas of Song 11, the Song which presents two parts of Zarathushtra’s life:

      (b) The days when he had won over the persons ---the Turanian tribe of Fryanas and later King Vishtaspa and Sages Frashaoshtra and Jamaspa who spread his message far and wide.  People had now gathered around the benefactor to work zealously and start a completely fresh life in a fruitful world with a brilliant future. 

      Instance Four is the 9th of 12 stanzas of Song 13, the Song of “Victory over Wrong”.  Wrong results in wrong ways and good produces yet more goodness. Wrong must be conquered.  This is achieved by means of righteousness, good mind, and profound wisdom, a wisdom that promotes one to become godlike.  Fury and violence practiced by fanatical religious and wicked social rulers who indulge in intoxicating rituals must be abandoned.  Spreading health and happiness is a foremost principle of life.  Government must be run only by the truly elected good, wise and righteous persons.  Life on the earth must be led in peace, prosperity and progress.  It is only then that true reward of good life is obtained.  It is only then that the divine domain is established.  It is only then that the admission of the benefactor is rewarded. 

      Instance Five is the last stanza of the same Song 13. The benefactors of  their lands are those who follow good mind in thinking and righteousness in action.  Based on the Divine Doctrine, they stand firmly opposed to violence.  

      Instance Six is the 2nd of 9 stanzas of the last song, the Song of “the Best Wish”, Song 17.  A successful Zarathushtra feels that his wish of spreading the divine message to the entire humanity has come true.  He finds that his early enemies have learned about the beauties of Good Conscience and have accepted its principles.  He appreciates the services being rendered by his companions and he prepares to retire.  He urges them to continue their good work.  The Doctrine of the benefactor is in full progress     

      From the above six instances we know that a benefactor is a person who uses his good mind and precise actions to renovate the world of human beings by standing firm in one’s conviction, meeting opposition, repairing wrong, restoring right, promoting society, and updating life in a free world of radiant happiness.  It is a selfless resolute task of adoration of God, love for humanity, devotion to duty, and one who leads in service. 

      Zarathushtra is the foremost benefactor, others are those who follow the Primal Principles of Life, as defined in the Sublime Songs.   [To be continued] 



in, a female Yazta, represents the guardian angel the Daena Mazdayashnis, the Zoroastrian religion or faith. In the prayer Din-no-Kalmo, it is  referred to as the most exalted religion of Ahura Mazda and revealed by Him to the world through Prophet Zarathushtra. Faith works wonders and achieves seemingly impossible. It generates spiritual strength and goads man to greater and greater effort. Faith has no limits for Ahura Mazda is omnipotent and our trust in Him and His love can carry us through all circumstances.     

“From this day I will make Your (Mazdayasnian) religion, Ahura Mazda, not an accident in my life, not a mere pass-time. It will be every thing to me. It will be my life. I will live in it and I will work for it.  Give me faith Ahura Mazda, to endure whatever You have willed for me. Let nothing shake my faith in righteousness and its ultimate triumph over evil. Let me tread the path blazed by our Prophet Zarathushtra. Let faith in You be a matter of course with me and let it gather strength with each passing day. I have no other desire than to accomplish Your will.  Command and I will follow.  Take my mind and think through it, take my tongue and speak through it, take my hands and work them as You have willed.  I will live for You and with You till the last breath of my earthly life”. [Source: “Teach Me To

Pray—A Second Book of Prayers for Zoroastrians” – Noshir F. Vajifdar] 


Mehroo M. Patel 

My Twelve Companions

Drifting slowly in the dark scary night

Along the quiet road

Alone. No one walks with me, no one talks to me. 

The stars and moon high above

Look down upon me –the lonely soul.

No more lonely, no more sacred,

My twelve companions are with me-

My two hands and my two feet

They make four.

And my eyes and my two ears

They make eight.

With my nose and my mouth

Now I have ten.

The eleventh and the  twelfth companion of mine

Are my courage and faith in me 

They are my AMA and my DAENA-

They walk with me. They guide me.

Without them my other ten buddies are

Mere body parts thrashing aimlessly. 

In my sojourn through life,

My courage and my faith in me

Give me strength to walk to my destiny-

Evasive Perfection – Immortality.




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Published for Informal Religious Meetings Trust Fund, Karachi