Zoroaster was a prophet, a religious reformer of ancient Persia, now known as Iran. He is believed to have been the founder of the religion of Zoroastrianism. He was often in conflict with the rulers of his land for his radical beliefs, for he preached a monotheistic religion. He emphasized that good, in the form of Ormzud, (the God of truth) and evil, in the form of Ahriman (the God of Evil) are separate forms always at war with each other, but created from the same entity the Wise Lord Ahura Mazda. The scriptures or the Divine book of the Zoroaster is the Avesta, which includes the hymns of Zoroaster, The Gathas, holy texts and prayers. The Gathas are the writings and teachings of Zoroaster himself.
Died: 583 BC, Balkh, Afghanistan
Children: Pourucista, Freni, Hvare Ciϑra, Isat Vastar, Triti, Uruvat-Nara
Parents: Dughdova, Pourusaspa Spitama
The religion of Zoroaster is now solely practiced by the Parsi community of India and Pakistan.
Zoroaster is believed to have been born in 628BC in Persia, 258 years before Alexander the Great, invaded Persia. Zoroaster (also known as Zarathushtra) son of Pourshaspa and from the house of Spitama belonged to the Magians, the priestly class of ancient Persia, who were the repository of religious lore and learning. He was distressed at the orgiastic rituals that accompanied religion, the drinking of homa and other mindless traditions. His preaching were met with indifference and mostly hostility, and when he received a vision he travelled throughout Persia teaching that Ahura Mazda was the one true God.
In his travels he convinces the Kianid King Vishtapa to his religion. The Gathas detail many facets of Zoroaster’s life and the innumerable struggles he faced. Zoroaster performed many miracles, but he was foremost a physician, scholar and prophet. He healed the sick, restored sight, and suppressed the worship of idols, demons and the practice of witchcraft. He established numerous fire temples and his stay on earth was marked by abundance and lack of sickness.
It is believed that Zoroaster was killed at the altar by Turanians, the bitter foes of king Vishtapa.
The main aspect of this religion is dualism, the concept of good and evil. The destiny of Man is decided by Man’s choice of either good or evil. Either man follows the Good Lord, Ahura Mazda and leads a life of truth and moral uprightness’ or he joins his fate with evil to lead a life of falsehood. Man’s just rewards will be given on the Day of reckoning, when the good will be rewarded and the evil punished.
Zoroaster’s religion exalts man into the highest spiritual being, a noble and highest position among God’s creations. The raising of children, planting trees and leading an honest worldly life are a few of the teachings of Zoroaster. ‘Love the righteous, have compassion for the distresses’ comprise the main teachings of Zoroaster.
“Truth is best (of all that is) good. As desired, what is being desired is truth for him who (represents) the best truth. (Gathas 27.14)”