Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mystery Tramp

Raphael, School of Athens (Detail showing Zoroaster holding starry globe), 1509-10, Fresco, Apostolic Palace, Vatican, Rome.

       Not many facts are known about his early life.  He was born in his father, Pourushaspa’s house.  He was descended from the family of Spitama and, according to Pahlavi and Persian writers, his ancestry is traceable to Minocheher and Faridoon, kings of the legendary Phshdadyan dynasty of Iran.

   He was brought up in the practices and traditions of the Mazdayasni faith, the followers of which were the worshippers of Mazda, the lord of creation, and then the religion of the Iranians.  From his childhood he had thirsted after the divine and when fifteen years old he went away in quest of the infinite and lived in jungles and mountains for fifteen years.  During this period he also served the people and comforted the sick and the suffering.

   After this he often went into a trance to commune with the creator.  Sraosha, God’s messenger, brought him the message from God (Ahura Mazda) that he had attained the stage in spiritual development where he could receive divine revelation and it was through Vohu Mano or Good Mind, the noblest archangel, that he had a vision of the Almighty.

Zoroastrian dakhmeh or “tower of silence” near to Yazd in Central Iran. The frontispiece image to S.A. Kapadiak MD. LRCP., The Teachings of Zoroaster and the Philosophy of the Parsi Religion, London, John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1905.

    He received all the answers to his questions from the Supreme Creator and came to know what the source and purpose of the universe was and what man’s part in the divine creation and how he could play it so as to have bliss and peace in this life and in the life to follow.

    In his closest moments of communion with Ahura Mazda, he realized that the supreme attributes of Ahura Mazda are Vohu Mano or (the good mind), Asha Vahista (the eternal principle of righteousness), Kshatra Vairya (the divine sovereignty), Spenta Armaiti (bountifulness), Haurvatat (eternal bliss) and Ameratat (immortality), which man must strive to cultivate in himself.

    He pondered deeply over the problem of evil – that when Ahura Mazda was the source of all good and all bliss, where could evil and suffering come from?  The answer came to him from on high that there are two bitterly warring principles:  Spenta Mairyo, the good and creative, and Angre Mairyo, the evil and destructive, and that man must ally himself with one and fight against the other, for good to triumph over evil ultimately.

 Kh’aba of Zoroaster, Naqsh-e Rostam, Fars Province, Iran

     After the revelation of this holy Deena or religion, he became an enlightened and realized soul.  But when he started preaching the new gospel, no one heeded him and he was subjected to persecution.

    After ten years, his cousin Maidhyomah became his first disciple and several other persons embraced the new religion, including his wife and daughters who became his disciples.

    He says in the Gathas that whosoever acquires fully the knowledge of the Deena and, showing affection towards all the people, performs righteous deeds and announces to the people the laws of Ahura Mazda, is a person who helps the cause.

Bachtiar Lake, Fars Province, Iran

Fars Province Landscape, Iran


Baby name chart; popularity of Zoroaster as U.S. male baby name.

Text excerpted from:  P.N. Chopra (ed.), Religions and Communities of India, New Dehli, Vision Books, 1998.


  1. Nice article. You may want to edit though. Iran is the modern name for Persia.

  2. Hi Gary. I kind of decided to let the old and the new nomenclature mix uneasily, which I guess your kind note proves they did. Where on earth do we go from here? Apart from that, lovely weather we've been having in PA. Thanks for writing (a lot). We should try to connect on the phone. Curtis