E-mail Edition


Volume IV No.2 

April-May 2003: Mah Ardibehest Fasal Sal 1372    

Jamyan ithra ashaunam vanghuhish surao spentao fravashyo,

ashoish baeshaza hachimnao zem-frath-angha,

danu-dhrazangha, haver-barezangha,

ishte e vangahangham paitishtate e ataranam,

frasha-vakhshyai rayamcha kharenang-hamcha.. 

Here may come the righteous, good, brave holy Farohars (bringing) righteous remedies to reach wide as the earth, long as the river and high as the sun, for fulfilling the wishes of the morally good offering resistance to evil and for increasing the luster and glory (of the place).

[Para 4 ‘Doa Tandorosti’ (Avesta)] 

“Let us play our parts well, wherever we be, as father or mother, as brother or sister, as teacher or guardian, as trusted friend and noble lover, --and we shall be able to guide any youth to the path of Godliness. As for the end, they will seek out the Truth themselves.  The power and love behind will reveal to each one of them the Truth.” [Jamshed Nusserwanjee] 





Dastur Dr. Framroze A. Bode 


he spiritual status of Zarathushtra among the prophets of the world is unique.  He was a world teacher whose mission was to give spiritual illumination to all the living souls. In his Gathas –The Divine Songs, he yearns to inspire a living faith in a living God in the hearts of all mankind.  Zarathushtra brought the message of freedom and liberation from ignorance, superstition, ritualism, and blood sacrifice.  He does not demand blind following, on the contrary he teaches man to expand the awareness of his spiritual potentialities for his self-unfoldment and says: “Give ear, listen, ponder with light of your shining mind; decide, discriminate, each man must choose his own faith, his own path of self-unfoldment.” [Yasna 30.2]  

      With the advent of Zarathushtra thousands of years ago in Ancient Iran began a new cycle of spiritual and ethical evolution of mankind.  Zarathushtrta was famous in antiquity as the founder of the Magi and the mystical Magian Brotherhood.  He was a Master Adept in the science of spiritual self-unfoldment, who mystically apprehended all the divine laws governing the universe.  In ancient classical literature we see him represented as an illustrious Master of Wisdom and Spiritual Teacher.  Zarathushtra was a Ratu-Rishi, meaning spiritually full-grown, a living essence of reality to divine decrees and brought the message for humanity, which the ear of man had not heard before.  

      Zarathushtra gave to the world a new and unique definition of religion.  He coined a new word, Daena, meaning the Inner Self.  To him religion was not mere worship of a deity

but the instrument of introspection, seeing within, knowing one’s own self.  Religion to him was a mystical experience in meditation to man’s relationship with the Divine Spirit within and without. Zarathushtra proclaimed to the world pure Monotheism, a profound concept of the Supreme Godhead Ahura Mazda. He contemplated with his pure mind the nature of the Being and the laws governing the universe.  Ahura Mazda is the infinite eternal Being ever-present, Lord of Wisdom, the Creator, eternally the same, all-pervading loving Father, the transcendent and the immanent.  In order to proceed on the path of spiritual Self-unfoldment one must have an abiding faith in the presence and power of Ahura Mazda.  Ahura Mazda is infinite, eternal, invisible pure spirit, but his shining Holy Spirit is ever present in man.  He can only be conceived and experienced in his divine attributes and manifestations. These divine attributes are inherent and latent in man, which he has to develop for self-unfoldment.  Ahura Mazda has planned the Kingdom of Heaven within, which man has to reach by his own Self-unfoldment. Zarathushtra announces that the universe is the emanation of the Divine Intelligence. Life is light; to live means to live with spiritual consciousness of the illumination within.  The cosmic fire of the spirit burns in every heart. It is the light of intelligence in every mind and the glow of pure emotion of love in every heart. 

      Spiritual unfoldment is as natural as life itself.  There cannot be enlightened living without a realization of the reason, purpose, and goal of living.  Neither reason nor senses can supply this.  The true purpose of our existence and all our activities can be found only through communion with the inner-self  (Daena).  For

spiritual unfoldment we have to develop thoughtfulness and awareness.  Spiritual disciplines are not to be forced, they must unfold as inherent natural qualities of one’s own personality.

      The secrets of spiritual Self-unfoldment are found in the teachings of Zarathushtra.  For spiritual Self-unfoldment one has not to reach outside or into heaven.  It is an internal process, which Zarathushtra simplified and made practical.  The ego-the shadow is the dark destructive tendency of the human mind.  Ako-Mano, is the hindrance on the path of Self-unfloldment.  When the veil of Maya-bewildered limited consciousness is removed, we are no more in the illusion of the changing phenomena.  We have to develop universal values and bring the best and the highest ideals to bear upon each situation that arises in life.  For self-unfoldment one has to realize the universal divine motion flowing harmoniously in life.  By self-orientation and spiritual knowledge one can make a rapid progress in Self-unfoldment.  Everything in the universe is governed by, the supreme immutable divine Law of Asha. Therefore there is no chance, accident or miracle, because the same law is implied in the process of spiritual Self-unfoldment. 

      For Self-unfoldment, the inconceivable Reality, beyond our sense-intellect oriented knowledge, should be the subject of contemplation and meditation.  By self-effort and self-endeavor one opens the doors of his spiritual Self-unfoldment and finds that Ahura Mazda dwells in the holy temple of his heart and remains a silent witness.  In our mortal perceptions there are confusions, conflicts, hates, greed, egoism, crimes and wars; but when Self-unfoldment takes place, Self-realization takes deeper into the source of things, and we find rhythmic songs of illumination and conscious awareness of the unity of life in the abode of Ahura Mazda.  Man today is inspired by new horizons of evolving consciousness, new perspective of integral cosmic evolution, and a thirst for a new spiritual awakening and unfoldment.  Dogmas are stagnant and they do not satisfy his spiritual hunger.  He needs something deeper, more lasting and profound in his own personal spiritual experience and Self-unfoldment.  Ahura Mazda is the central principle that makes our search for spiritual unfoldment possible.  He is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all spiritual endeavor.  When one goes inward, strives, seeks, there emerges a new light of heightened consciousness. in, which he finds himself.  By touching Reality within he touches Reality everywhere.  Ahura Mazda is not a logical construction, but an experienced Reality.  In his ecstatic moment Zarathushtra says: “For now in truth I have beheld Ahura Mazda clearly in my spiritual eye and now I have the vision and experience of his presence.” [Yasna 45.8]  

      Let us briefly examine what we mean by spiritual. The word with its various connotations is generally misapplied to mean a number of concepts, which are not in its basic components.  It must be made clear that spiritual life is not somewhere outside of our present day-to-day living.  The source of matter and spirit is one.  Spiritual essentially means that principle in man, which emanates from the Divine Source, it is the higher Self, the hidden consciousness operating under the impulse of Divine or Cosmic Consciousness.  Spiritual has nothing in common with phenomenal.  From the one Divine Being we have descended through the various stages of evolution and have unfolded to our present state of self-conscious human beings. We have been endowed with tremendous spiritual potentialities, which by our own self-effort and endeavor we must unfold and manifest in our life.  Our mission here upon this earth is by Self-unfoldment to know our selves, to know our relationship with the world and to establish once again our union with our undivided eternal and infinite source, Ahura Mazda, who has created the universe and man and is actively working in them and through them for their spiritual Self-unfoldment. 

      The first secret of spiritual Self-unfoldment is to begin from where we are now.  We must know with certainty that our day-to-day life has a key to our Self-unfoldment; if we but know how to live fully, dynamically, and consciously, that in itself is Self-unfoldment.  In the craze for the supernatural, phenomenal and miraculous, people try to escape life and living.  Zarathushtra says that life is the instrument of cultivating spiritual consciousness.  The more we live, the more we grow and the more is our Self-unfoldment.  The process of Self-unfoldment is a wonderful experience of transformation from lower nature into a higher nature.  This process of integration is a whole and it happens simultaneously.  It may be noted that the longing for Self-unfoldment is a mental and emotional stress in its early stages. But back of it there is a deep-seated urge, which is the basic urge in man, an irresistible dynamic urge to know oneself.  

      After having indicted above some basic ideas about the path of Self-unfoldment, let us consider the direct and unique spiritual Path of Self-unfoldment as given to the world in the teachings of Zarathushtra and how it can be of help to confused humanity in the world today.  To the seeker of spiritual path of truth it will be revelation to find how practical is the path of Self-unfoldment as taught by Zarathushtra. 

      Man being the thinker and his mind being his unique endowment, Zarathushtra, as the first step for Self-unfoldment, propounded the philosophy of disciplining the mind and making it Vohu Manah –pure mind reaching the total mind by constructive, positive, creative thought force, thus experiencing the deepest level of the superior mind –the cosmic intelligence.  Man must transcend the limitations of the finite intellect and relativity of the destructive mind and enter into the supra-mental region.   In spite of all his limitations man is the only creature who has been endowed with the power of transcendence.  As a further step, towards Self-unfoldment Zarathushtra propounded his philosophy of Sraosha, consciousness.  Sraosha --cosmic consciousness is spoken of as “Thine own the greatest of all” who is invoked for realizing the final goal of life eternal.  When Sraosha comes with blessings of great splendor of divine light, the conflict and confusion in the mind, caused by its relativity and limitations disappear.  When Sraosha comes with great illumination, the opposite of good and evil, right and wrong, are transcended and the subject and object lose their separateness and emerge together in one flash of heightened consciousness.  For Sraosha –intuitive consciousness, pure mind or good thought is absolutely necessary.  Here we may add that Zarathushtra solves the problem of evil and declares that evil is not an entity or a being.   It is only the twin-mentality and relativity of the human mind.  There is no cosmic dualism in the teachings of Zarathhushtra  

      Zarathushtra shows the second step on the path of Self-unfoldment, that of the cosmic law of Asha, Vedic Rita, which is operating and governing the whole universe.  Things happen in nature and in man, not by the whim of some hidden invisible dictator, but by the operation of the immutable divine law of Asha –the law of harmony, order, truth, purity and causation.  Zarathuishtra at several places in the Gathas reiterates the law of cause and effect, the law of Karma and says: “As you sow, so must you reap.”  With this law of Asha is tied the concept of happiness and misery, heaven and hell.  On the free choice of causes depends man’s happiness and misery.  Heaven and hell are no places and locations; they are states of man’s subjective consciousness.  Man is made in the image of God the Loving Father. He is not hurled into hell for eternal condemnation.  Zarathushtra says: “So understand, O mortal man, the law which Mazda has ordained regarding happiness and misery, there will be long periods of suffering for the wicked and rewards for the pious; but thereafter eternal bliss shall reign everywhere.” [Yasna30.11]  Zarathushtra says: “Happiness unto him who gives happiness to others”.  With the acquisition of wisdom and intuition, understanding, experiencing, and putting into practice this immutable divine law in life is of utmost importance for Self-unfoldment on the physical level in cleanliness and health of the body; on the mental level in truth, ethical decisions, good conduct and character; on the spiritual level in recognizing and knowing the Self and obeying the law of the Spirit. 

      The third step on the Path of Self-unfoldment according to Zarathushtra is the development of the divine attribute of Kshathra –sovereign will power.  With Self-unfoldment one now understands the Divine will operating in him and around him.  He sheds his puny selfish ego-will and surrenders his will to Divine Will.  “Not my will but Thy will, O Lord.”  Ego-oriented self-will is a bondage, which obstructs the Path of Self-unfoldment.  He now follows the path of obeying the sovereign Divine will, the free will, which liberates from the bondage of his narrow selfish motivations.  The result of this will be fulfillment of the goal of human life, which is universalized.  Man brings the Divine Kingdom here upon this earth by dedicating his will to Divine Will and by service to mankind.  In the short basic Zoroastrian prayer of Ahuna Vairya, it is stated that the spiritually unfolded full-grown man is like unto Ahura Mazda in his free will.  Such a man by following the path of good mind and divine law dedicates every act of his earthly life to Ahura Mazda and by cherishing and serving the meek and the lowly of heart establishes sovereignty of Ahura Mazda upon the earth.  Man must become a channel through which divine blessings may flow continually and reach out to mankind everywhere. 

      The fourth step on the Path of Self-unfoldment is the cultivation of the divine attribute of Spenta Aramaiti, the radiant divine love and devotion.  The fourth foundation pillar of Self-unfoldment is a female divine attribute of love, which is the greatest divine energy.  Man has now to operate on his heart consciousness. The love of God flows through human hearts, and those who have purified their hearts can use this great blessing for universal purposes to bring unity, peace and happiness in the world.  Devotion and dedication to Ahura Mazda will inspire him to unfold his divine potentiality of love, which grows and glows and sheds its luster all around.  Aramaiti is the symbolic daughter of Ahura Mazda chosen by Him for peace and rest of mankind.  By Self-unfoldment of this great quality of love man shall attain eternal life.  This divine attribute is specially chosen by Ahura Mazda to help each human being in his spiritual Path.  

      After having cultivated the four cardinal virtues, which are the operational and functional qualities of man, and having laid the sure foundation of Self-unfoldment, such a qualified person is now in a position to have a direct communion with the shining Holy Spirit of Ahura Mazda within him.  Now the Self-luminous Spenta Mainyu becomes the Mediator between him and the Creator.  Man has now ascended by his Self-unfoldment and reached the dimension of Cosmic Consciousness. 

      At this stage it will be interesting to say a few words some mystical experiences gained on the path of Self-unfoldment as explained above.  It is said that man, while living and unfolding spiritual potentialities generates Tevishi and Utayuiti, two precious powers.  Tevishi means the subtle ethereal essences distilled from the processes of life, by the constant habitual practice of good thoughts, feelings, emotions, and intuitions, which are impressed on the soul as a formed individual spiritual nature.  Tevishi is the spiritual urge of the soul for realizing perfection, while Utayuiti is the awareness of acquired immortality or the continuous spiritual stream.  Through the fourfold path of Self-unfoldment and coming in direct communion with the holy spirit within.  Ahura Mazda endows the two ultimate gifts of the life of man-perfection and immortality for the spiritually enlightened.  In Yasna 43.1, it is stated: “May Ahura Mazda ruling at will, grant Ushta –bliss unto him through whom bliss comes to others. I do not crave for my progress through awareness of immortality and spiritual strength for perfection.”  

      The message of Zarathushtra regarding the final gifts of perfection and immortality as the final consummation of Self-unfoldment is clearly stated in the Gathas.  He declares that the promise of Haurvata –perfectioin or salvation and Ameretata, immortality was given by Ahura Mazda to all those who followed the sublime Path of Self-unfoldment, which was revealed to him by the Supreme Deity.  He declares that man through his spiritual Self-unfoldment shall become one like Ahura Mazda. The message of Zarathushtra is full of hope for the present and the future of man.  It pulsates with the pious desire for perfection in this very life and realization of immortality in all fullness now and forever.  The Gathas speak of the world process of cosmic evolution reaching its final consummation as ordained by Ahura Mazda.  In his wisdom Ahura Mazda has established this law of progression of Self-unfoldment till the final consummation of creation is attained, when He will come with His Holy Spirit and His divine powers through whose working living beings shall unfold according to His law.   We come across another concept of Frasho-kereti, which means perpetual regeneration of the Spirit of man.  Renovation or resurrection is not going to take place in some point of future time. It is continuous spiritual Self-unfoldment taking place now and forever.  For Spiritual Self-unfoldment, an abiding faith in the presence and power of Ahura Mazda is absolutely necessary.  Faith is the result of the unitive intuitive knowledge, and it is the inner spring of the emergence of the new spiritual consciousness.  Zarathushtra uses the word Chisti meaning the Ray of Perceptive Wisdom, which illumines the total mind.  By this perceptive wisdom man is able to know his Deana, his Inner Self.  All the processes of Self-unfoldment are verging toward the end of knowing the Self.  This spiritual philosophy of Self-unfoldment is found in the Gathic Hymn of Zarathushtra, which says: “Through the Holy Spirit –Spenta Mainyu and the Cosmic Mind –Vahishta Manah, Mazda Ahura will grant perfection and immortality to him whose thoughts, words and deeds are in harmony with divine wisdom, divine law, divine will and divine love.” [Yasna 47.1]    

      According to Zoroastrian writings man is the crown of creation, an associate of Mazda Ahura holding a very important and unique position in the plan, design and destiny of the world.  Man is a vital part of nature and plays a very important role in the cosmic process.  According to the Avesta the human personality is said to be constituted of nine parts: three material, physical, corporeal; three ethereal, astral; three purely spiritual.  According to the Gathas, from the very beginning Ahura Mazda fashioned our physical bodies, our discerning souls, and directive intelligence through His cosmic mind; infused life breadth into mortal frame, granted capacities for action and true doctrines to guide, and finally gave each man freedom to choose to his own will. [Yasna 31.11] 

      What is the goal of all these efforts of spiritual Self-unfoldment?  The teaching of Zarathushtra is emphatic that the whole universe has come into being from the fountainhead and source of Ahura Mazda and in the final end everything will return to its source in fulfillment and be one like Him.  Zarathushtra says: “May Ahura Mazda hearken to our call through his Holy Spirit in like manner the presence of the Holy Spirit is awaited at the final consummation. At that final consummation O Mazda thou will come with thy Holy Spirit”.  Ahura Mazda as the Creator works in the universe through His Holy Spirit, which manifests itself in creations and acts as transcendental guide to the souls in human bodies; and as imminent power He works through His FravashiFravashis are ideally perfect universal essences impregnating everything. Fravashi is the subliminal self, which forms the basal reality of the individuality, which one experiences in this bodily existence.  The unique feature of the Zoroastrian religion lies in its metaphysics of the two spiritual principles in man; the Urvan –soul, which is the realized evolving experiencing part of the individualized self, and the Fravashi, which is eternally pure, the universal total Self.  It may be said that Plato was inspired and influenced by the Zoroastrian philosophy of the Fravashis.  Plato’s “ideas” equivalent to Fravashis formed an important part of his philosophy.  Dr. Carl Jung uses the concept of “Idea Principles” for his psychology of the “Archetypes.”


      Thus Ahura Mazda, Spenta Mainyu and Fravashi form a spiritual Trinity.  The whole plan unfolds like this: man by his self-endeavor cultivates the divine attributes inherent and latent in him.  In this process the Fravashi in him guides him and gives him inspiration for spiritual Self-unfoldment; at the same time Spenta Mainyu, the holy transcendent Spirit, continually draws the souls upward toward Ahura Mazda; the loving Father is ever active in the spiritual unfoldment of human beings, if they but listen to Him and follow Him.  Everything in creation has a plan, purpose and destiny. Everything is under the law of growth, unfoldment and evolution. There is nothing static everything is in perpetual motion.  This dynamic motion is operating the plan and fulfilling its final goal.  The Zoroastrian philosophy of Atar –Fire, ether, energy, is of great importance for Self-unfoldment.  This cosmic fire of Ahura Mazda is dynamic energy to quicken the process of Self-unfoldment.  When this cosmic fire of wisdom, love and spirit burns brightly in the temple of this human body, it purifies the whole being and gives him the ecstasy of illumination of the radiant divine presence of Ahura Nazda.  The goal of Self-unfoldment is said to be Garo-deman, the abode of heavenly light and song, where Ahura Mazda is.  By Self-unfoldment man has to raise his consciousness to experience, subjectively, heaven within his heart.  Heaven and hell are no places and locations.  Man does not go to heaven, hereafter, but he lives and works for his spiritual Self-unfoldment now and prepares his own heaven with his own good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.  Zarathushtra says that whatever devotion, love and good deeds we have done in this world shall be ours in the Heavenly Abode of Bliss.  Through Self –unfoldment the goal of man is to enter into the condition of the highest good this can be attained by cultivating the quintessence of virtue, which in itself is bliss, because virtue is its own reward.  Zarathushtra has assured the triumph and the final victory of good.  Not by violence, but by raising the light and power of good, evil can be transmuted into good.  For Self-unfoldment it is not enough to be good, but to do good; dynamic good action is necessary for good life. 

      To conclude, we may say that Zarathushtra propounded the unique and profound spiritual philosophy of Self-uinfoldment, Self-realization, God-realization by the process and path of cultivation of the divine attributes of Ahura Mazda, which are also within man, which at once is a direct and practical experience of Reality.  Zarathushtra gave the message of uniqueness and divinity of man and gave him the freedom and choice to be the architect of his own fortune and future.  By self-endeavor and self-discipline man has to cultivate his internal resources.  When man will cultivate wisdom transcending the limitations of worldly knowledge; understand the immutable cosmic law of harmony and order, the law of causation, the law of Karma; surrender himself from his selfish ego self, the attribute of love, which is the supreme divine energy must flow from his heart universally.  When these four rays –the Amesah Spentas of divine attributes are unfolded within, expansion of consciousness takes place and man is now in direct communion with the radiant Holy Spirit –Spenta Mainyu, within.  Through his Holy Spirit and Cosmic Consciousness, Ahura Mazda will grant the ultimate twin-gifts of life, awareness of perfection and immortality to those who have fulfilled their mission of spiritual Self-unfoldment. 

      Humanity today needs the true spirit of religion for revitalizing itself. There has been restlessness and violence due to loss of spiritual and ethical values.  It might be said that the spiritual, ethical, rational, practical and universal teachings of Zarathushtra might satisfy the spiritual earnings of modern man and inspire him toward establishing a better world of brotherhood, humanity and love.  We can sum up the message of Zarathushtra in the Triple Yoga thus: Think creatively, constructively, rationally, originally and independently with your head love fully, universally and joyously with your heart; and live dynamically by using your hands to serve mankind in the cause of unity and peace.   

[Source: “Sharing The Joys of Learning” by Dastur Dr. Framroze A. Bode].     



Ali A Jafarey 


arathushtra, contrary to many founders of religions, discovered and then communed with God through his contemplative study of nature ---the environment around him, the animals, trees, water, air, seasons, earth, sun, moon, stars, and above all the precise order within, which the entire universe worked and progressed.  He found every bit of universe a masterpiece of an “artist”.  He admired every masterpiece and praised the Master Artist he had so happily discovered at a time when rituals of superstitions, mythologies of polytheism, and cults of shamanism were the order of the day.  He recognized God as the Super-Intellect, Creator, Maintainer and Promoter of the cosmos and then held mankind high, to work through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds to creatively become godlike in caring, and promoting the creation on this “joy-generating” earth of ours.  A reading of the Gathas, the sublime songs of Zarathushtra, shows that Zarathushtra is historically not only the foremost monotheist but also the foremost environmentalist.  His very first song begins by humbly praying to serve wisely and to please the Creator and the creation. 

   Zarathushtra says that one must look at nature and its phenomena with clear eyes and esteem them as they factually are.  One must not imagine them as awesome gods and goddesses and indulge in worshipping them, or disregard their values and think of them as good only for wanton abuse and destruction.  He wants us to value and use them for promoting the living world of humans, animals and plants. 

      God the creator, who is sustainer and promoter of the universe, is worthy of worship.  As long as one does not value God’s creation, he or she cannot comprehend the Creator and understand creation’s purpose. A Haptanhaiti song, composed by a companion of Zarathushtra, says that we venerate God by having a proper regard for His creation. 

      If we have a real regard for trees, we shall never fell them down to deforest the earth.  We should make proper use of them by growing and cutting them in a wise way that will keep the earth green and at the same time meet our true timber requirements.  Should we multiply the process, the earth shall have no polluted air, no defiled water, no wasted land, no extinct animal species, and no exploited human being.  Endowed with the divine creative faculty, we will replenish, promote, improve and reproduce better animals, plants, and other elements that make our wonderful world.  We shall maintain and promote the natural cycle of elements in which every organic cell and inorganic particle has a specific part to play.  Thus we shall truly be at peace with ourselves, in harmony with nature, and in communion with God. 

      It may seem odd today that the early Greek writers like Herodotus, Strabo, Plutarch and others reported as early as 2,500 years ago that Zarathushtrians venerated “the sun, moon, earth, fire, water and winds, [and that] they did not urinate, spit, wash and bathe in a river.”  It must have looked strange to others who did not care for such a veneration and cleanliness.  The Avesta, inspired by Zarathushtra’s message that “giving health and happiness in life is best for a man who works for the living world in order to increase its splendor.” has much more to offer. 

      It was this divine message that made an ancient sage praise the environment in following words of wisdom: 

“You, Wise One, who have fashioned the living world, the waters, and the plants by Your most progressive mentality, grant me, in accordance with good mind’s doctrine, immortality, wholeness, steadfast strength and endurance.” [Gahthas; Song 16.7]   

“I announce and perform in veneration of these places, settlements, pastures, habitations, watering places, waters, lands, plants, this earth, that sky, the good wind, stars, the moon, the sun, the self-sustaining infinite lights, and all the good creation of the divine progressive mentality that constitute the precise parts of the universal law of righteousness.” [Yasna (veneration) 1.16] 

      The Avesta repeatedly praises, venerates and advocates the preservation and promotion of environment.  It is in fact, the only bible, which lays much emphasis on praising nature and preserving the environment. It is amazing for us to see enthusiastic environmentalists active more than 3,500 years ago, but saddening to discover that such a move has not succeeded because of conscious and unconscious anti-environmentalist groups. Today our world is polluted, contaminated and poisoned by indiscriminative industries, wars, poverty and hunger. And there is a realization that serious actions must be taken by each and every nation, nay every man and woman, to reverse the precarious position. 

      It is therefore very befitting to listen to Zarathushtra whose divine songs convey a dual spiritual and material message:  Promote a pure, peaceful, prosperous and progressive world good for plants and all animals living in air, on land and in water.  Let us all turn to Zarathushtra, listen to his message, and work to make the earth an ever-better place for all the living beings. Let us announce our praise for every phenomenon of nature, perform our prime duty in promoting a better world, and sing as sweetly as Zarathshtra sang the glories of Ahura Mazda God Wise.  


(Author Unknown)

[Contributed by Farishta Murzban Dinshaw] 


he daughter of an old man who was sick, and bedridden asked the new priest to visit her father.  When the priest arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows and an empty chair beside his bed.  The priest assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. 

      “I guess you were expecting me,” he said. 

      “No, who are you?” 

      “I’m the new priest,” the man replied. “Your daughter asked me to come and visit you.  When I saw the empty chair, I assumed you were expecting me.” 

      “Oh yeah, the chair,” said the bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?”  Puzzled, the priest shut the door. 

      “I’ve never told anyone this, not even my daughter,“ said the man.  “But all my life I have never known how to pray.  As a child I would recite the words without understanding them.  When I grew up, I used to hear scholars talk about the power of prayer, but it always went right over my head..”  “So, I stopped praying,” the old man continued, “till one day, about four years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘You know, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with God. Here’s what I suggest.  Sit down on a chair. Place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see God on the chair.  Then just speak to him and listen in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’  So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day.  I’m careful, though.  If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she would either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the loony bin.”  

      The priest was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue talking to God.   

      Two days, later the daughter called to tell the priest that her father had died. After agreeing to make the arrangements for the funeral, the priest asked, “Did he die peacefully?” 

      The daughter replied, “Yes, when I left the house around two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me one of his corny jokes, and kissed me on the cheek.  When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange…apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on a chair beside the bed.”  

“All desire to rejoice with Him; few are willing to endure everything for Him or with Him.”

[Thomas Kempis]  

[Asha Vahishta : Best Righteousness]

Dastur Dr. Maneckji Nusserwanji Dhalla 


n the Gathas the word for Ardibehest is Asha Vahishta.  Asha Vahishta is one of the six Amesha-Spentas (cardinal virtues of Ahura Mazda).  The second month and the third day of every month of the Zoroastrian calendar, receives its name Ardibehest from Asha Vahista. Ardibehsest Yasht (Yt.3) is dedicated to it. 

      Life upon earth reveals to man that a smooth and graceful and ordered movement goes on all around him in nature. Spring and summer, autumn and winter, with ceaseless seasonal succession of changes, take their unvarying course.  The tides rise and fall punctually. The heavens and their glittering hosts, the sun and the moon, the stars and the planets march at a regulated space.  Despite the casual freaks and caprices the law governing the movements of nature seem to be immutable.  This unfailing regularity of nature led the Indo-Iranians to discern the fact that a stable order prevailed in the universe, which ensured its existence.  They called it “RTA”.  Zarathushtra called it “ASHA”.  Asha is the embodiment of the order ruling the world.  It’s Iranian variant is arta, aretaZarathushtra gave it the attribute Vahishta –Best.  In the Pahlavi period the name changed to Artavahishta.  Ardibehest is a later form.  In the Gathas, Asha stands for Ahura Mazda’s righteousness. 

      Ahura Mazda gives riches of Vohumana through Asha.  Those who put down violence and strife gain Vohua Mana’s reward through Asha.  Through Asha’s righteousness does the world prosper by deeds prompted by Vohu Mana.  Righteousness is the pivot around which the ethics of Zarathushtra revolves. Ashavan is   

the epithet of the man who is most saintly and possesses the noblest character.  The law of righteousness is the norm to which the faithful has to confirm his life in this word. 

      Like all Amesha Spentas, soon after the passing away of Zarathushtra; Asha is also personified and called an archangel.  It is through him that the devotee aspires to behold and reach Ahura Mazda.  Emphasizing Zarathushtra’s dictum in the Gathas, the Younger Avesta affirms that there is one path that leads to eternal life, and that is the path of righteousness.  The Achaemenian Kings refer to the right path in their rock inscriptions.  

      Fire is the visible symbol of righteousness.  Physical impurity is removed by fire and Zarathushtra employs the emblem of purification in the eschatological sense to burn and destroy spiritual un-cleanliness or sin. Thus the fire is the great purifier of souls steeped in wickedness.  Through Asha and free will Ahura Mazda gives his final award unto good and the evil. 

      As many kinds of healers restore bodily health by herbs and drugs, and remove the tumors and cancers by knife and implements, so there are healers that heal through righteousness or by the holy spell.  The Yasht (Ardibehest), which receives its name after Asha Vahishta is in fact mostly consecrated to Asha Vahishta’s associate Airyaman, the guardian genius of human health.  Of all the healers, the Avestan text announce, the spiritual healer is the best and it is he that heals the faithful through his own righteousness by means of the utterance of the holy spell. 

      Vohu Mana will establish the divine kingdom of Ahura Mazda for those who vanquish wickedness and deliver it into the hands of Asha.  In the Gathas, Zarathushtra fervently hopes for the period when individual in his or her capacity will embrace and act  

righteously and will thus make the entire world of humanity gravitate towards Asha. All therefore, have to contribute to this mighty work. [Source: “History of Zoroastrianism” – Dastur Dr. M. N. Dhalla]  



n 1903 he played a prominent part in a controversy, which centered round the fundamental question whether the religion of Zarathushtra permits the conversion to Zoroastrianism of persons born in, and belong to, other faiths.  The matter, which arose through the conversion of a Christian lady on the occasion of her marriage according to Zoroastrian rites to a Parsi merchant of position and influence, to whom she had already married under French law, was hotly debated by the Parsi Community, the conservatives and orthodox members of which stoutly opposed the admissibility of such conversion to their faith


      Cama entered the lists, regardless of praise or blame, and pinned his faith to the Avesta of which he was admittedly the ablest exponent. Relying on the teaching of the ancient scriptures, he boldly proclaimed that if any person from a sincere conviction of the truth of the Zoroastrian religion desired to be converted to that faith, there was no ground for refusing to admit such a one, whether man or woman, to the fold.  In delivering this message from the Parsi sacred lore, Cama was actually doing violence to his own personal views; for in his opinion it was far better for a man to cling to the religion in which he was born and imbibe its highest teachings, than to enroll himself perhaps for material or worldly reasons, under the banner of another faith.  Moreover he was opposed on general grounds to marriages between Zarthostis and those of another creed, believing that such marriages are productive of religious and social incompatibilities, and might, if widely practiced, exercise a detrimental effect upon the matrimonial prospects of Parsi girls. 

      Despite these views, however K.R. Cama took his stand upon the Avesta; and when in due course a sub-committee, appointed to investigate the question, proposed to put almost insuperable restrictions upon conversion, he wrote a separate minute to the effect that when the sacred and ancient lore permits receiving aliens into the Zoroastrian fold, it is a sin to place unnecessary obstacles in their way, and that so far from making the conditions of conversion restrictive, they should on the contrary be made as little onerous as possible.

[Extract from a book – “Kharshedji Rustamji Cama, 1831-1909 – A Memoir by S. M. Edwards I.C.S.  1923] 


AT U.N.O. H.Q. 

“This is a room devoted to peace

and those who are giving their lives for peace.

This is a room of quiet where only

thoughts should speak.”

[Dag Hammarskjold]  

Published for Informal Religious Meetings Trust Fund, Karachi.

By Virasp Mehta

4235 Saint James Place, Wichita KS 67226, U.S.A.