Dr. Jose Luis
The Ancient Wisdom about Right and Wrong: "The Righteous Origins of
is the philosophical science that studies “what is right and wrong.”
Socrates, (470-399 BC), Plato (428-348 BC) and Aristotle (384-322 BC) are
considered by the vast majority of philosophical researchers as the first
to study and promote the concepts of ethics. However, approximately 1305
years before any one of them even existed, a prophet and philosopher named
Zarathushtra established that the human world on this earth is divided
into two areas -the righteous and the wrongful (Gathas songs 3,4,10 and
a human being and as a philosophical scientist, Zarathushtra, in his
search for truth, found and realized the Supreme and Divine Entity of
Creation called "Ahura Mazda.” From that point, He recorded the
divine teachings in seventeen songs as the eternal guidelines for
humanity. These songs were referred as "Gathas" , which means
"sacred songs". The divine philosopher wanted to maintain an
ever-fresh message, so, using a poetic approach was
the easiest way of transmitting the knowledge.
Standard Encyclopedic Dictionary defines the basic terms this way:
Science that deals with the inquiry into the most comprehensive principles
of reality in general, or of some sector of it, as human knowledge or
human values. The love of wisdom,
and the search for it (Greek).
A student or specialist in philosophy. Lover
of wisdom (Greek).
It can be affirmed without the slightest shadow of a doubt that besides
being a religious person, Zarathushtra was the first historically known
philosopher. It can be found in Gathas songs 3.1, 4.6, 17, 19, 7.10, that
Zarathushtra promotes the love for wisdom, which fulfills the
aforementioned definitions. In addition, the name of Zarathushtra's God
"Ahura Mazda" is a compound one. “Ahura” means Existing
or Self-Existing One, and “Mazda” means Wisdom;
God is therefore known as
Lord Wisdom, which perfectly fits the definition of a philosophical
idea is not to diminish the valuable contribution of some of the greatest
philosophers to the ethical field of Science, but to clarify for the sake
of mankind’s memory and history the divine truth involved in ancient
teachings of what is right and what is wrong. These teachings, under the
influence of time and human forgetting, have deviated from their primal
sources, as the result of human intellectual limitations. Some of the
later teachings attributed to Zarathushtra seem far away from the
limitless universal vision offered by Ahura Mazda and Zarathushtra in the
original text, the Gathas.
sacred ethics of Zoroastrianism provide a perfect guide to every person on
this planet to reach immortality and enlightenment without renouncing
mental and physical freedom and choice. The Zarathushtrian
philosophy respects the issues of human rights which are currently studied
under the criteria of applied ethics. For instance, in Zarathushtrian
ethical philosophy, men and women are considered equal and should enjoy
the same rights according to this way of thought ( Gatha songs 3.2, 17, 5
). There should be no discrimination against sex, color, race or
respect to Environmental Ethics, an aspect widely studied by academic
researchers interested in ecological issues and human responsibility, it
is interesting to find out that the Good Religion of Zarathushtra
proclaims that everything in nature is a divine creation and as such,
should be respected and loved profoundly. This doctrine promotes a
progressive ecological order in a highly scientific manner. It means that
the sacred teachings are eco-compatible.
virtue theory of Aristotle in ethics established that the basis for
morality depends upon the development of good elements of character, or
virtues. The Gathic approach, however, goes beyond this theoretical
appreciation with a more universal vision and reveals that there are
divine emanations or aspects of the creator that are immanent in all of
the elements of creation, including ourselves.
Ethical Principles and Values in the Gathas
of Values or Axiology ( from
axios=values, logos=treatise ), is the philosophical discipline that is in
charge of the studies about values. It
is believed by many researchers that this discipline was born and
initiated its first steps during the second half of the 19th century.
Before the existence of Axiology, values were understood in an isolated
and asystematic manner.
( 1976 ), is one of the world authorities in the studies of values and his
classic definition of value is: "It is a conviction or belief stable
in time that a determined way
of behavior or an existential performance is personally or socially
preferred to its opposite way of behavior or opposite existential
are strategic learning processes ...stating that one way of acting is
better than its opposite, in order to accomplish our goal, in other words,
to make sure that things are done right (Garcia and Dolan, 1997)
scholars classify values in two groups:
are the kind of values the person wants for him- or herself. They answer
the question: What is (for you) the most important thing in life?
They range from "being happy" to "having prestige".
Some examples are: to have a good life, happiness, health, salvation,
family, success, self realization, good status, material wellbeing,
wisdom, friendship, work, respect, courage, love, etc.
are aspirations or purposes that benefit our society, such as: respect for
the environment or respect for human rights. They answer the questions
about: What do you want for the world? Examples: Peace, ecological respect
t for our planet, social justice, etc.
the Gathas are studied it can be concluded that the Theory of Values had
its first roots, long before the 19th century, in the philosophical and
sacred teachings of Zarathushtra. Every song promotes the cultivation of
values. Without any doubts the formulation of
this important theory was first made by the Leader of the Living
World: Asho Zarathushtra.
order to support our explanation, a list of ethical values and principles
compiled from the Gathas (Jafarey´s version) is presented:
reliance of good mind
the reader finds some other values that are not on this list, please let
me know, because this information will be used for academic purposes.
Ethics in Management
of Ethics and Asha
There is a movement of thought in the management field that postulates
the need of an ethical approach to management. This theme proposes that
many ancient values, which are almost forgotten in the modern
seem to be necessary to build a more morally healthy society. In this
order of ideas a notable number of scholars perceive commercial companies
and business as agents of social renovation. If we go deeper into this
aspect of the field, the concept of organization can be characterized from
the point of view of the philosophy of ethics as well as that of business
the diverse ideas about ethics in management, the teachings of
Zarathushtra are finding a place. It is due to the fact that the Gathas
may well be the first ethical treatise in human history.
field of Ethics, sometimes called Moral Philosophy, by definition
“comprises the concepts of defending, recommending, and systematizing
good and bad behavior”. This is easy to relate to the Gathas (Jafarey,
song 3,1) “Now I shall speak to those who wish to hear of the two
principles, which are of importance even to the wise.” Also it can be
acknowledged in “Now, the two foremost mentalities, known to be
imaginary twins, are the better and the bad in thoughts, words and deeds.
Of these the beneficent choose correctly, but not so the maleficent. And
in “Of these two mentalities, the wrongful mentality chose worst
actions, and the most progressive mentality, as steadfast as a rock, chose
righteousness...” (Jafarey, song 3, 3 and 5)
A profitable organization is composed of groups of human beings capable of
generating wealth, who can respond to social needs and who can evaluate
their productivity. Considered in this way, a business company constitutes
an area of human relations that can contribute directly to the creation of
a just society. In this approach, one of the main Zarathushtrian “Primal
Principles of Life”, can be seen as a model of how a company should be
managed. This is ASHA ( truth, order, righteousness ). It is, in
Zarathushtra’s philosophy, the Universal law of righteous precision,
which means “to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right
place, and with the right means in order to obtain the right result” .
This concept of Asha establishes the direction for successful management,
in which the right decisions and right results can have a vital impact on
the survival of any organization. Asha is something that is of
constructive and loving benefit not only for oneself but also for one’s
fellow creatures and for God. It is a constructive, beneficial and
unselfish precision, aimed at excellence. Thus, Asha is the best guidance
level management, because it brings success to the organization, to its
members and to society.