Legends of Life and times of Zarathustra
by Ervad Yazdi Maneck Pir
A few years back I had written this essay for children which I would like to share with you.
Life of Lord Zarathustra
This is the life-story of our holy Prophet Zarthustra, the first divine soul of our Mazdayasni Religion, who showed us the correct path of life.
The meaning of the word Zarthustra is Zar = driver or mover arth = of usthra = camel.
The Greeks had very high regards for the writing of Zarathustra they named him father of all philosophers and called him Zoroaster which means shinning star.
The times when he lived is being put from around 7000 BC to even A.D. An attempt is being made to put the date from geographical as well as linguistic evidence. Before coming to Iran people belonged to Indo Iranian stock and spoke the language known as Indo-Iraninan. Later that stock split one going towards Iran and the other going towards India. The language also split one becoming Avestan and the other Sanskrit. As our prayers are in Avestan language i.e. older Avestan so that was what the spoken language of those times. The oldest veda is Rigveda the date on which is put at around 1800 BC. The Avestan language being also of the same time is put at 1500 BC and the Prophet is also believed to have been around at that time. Gathas also talk about metals, chariots, weapons etc. so Zarathustra was not a stone age man which he would be if the date is pushed back. In 6000 BC the Indo Iranian stock had not yet split.
Different people claim the place of birth of the Prophet in their own home town. But considering the language of the times, it cannot be western Iran. It would be around North East Iran. The place of birth is put around modern day Kazakhastan. It was an integral part of Iran in olden times.
The information on our Prophet is available through the following sources:
1. Younger Avestan and Pahelvi texts.
2. Chirdar and Spend Nasks
3. Zadsparam Chapter 21
Before the birth of Zarathustra, the magicians and wicked people knew that a person who would teach the people the true worship of Ahura Mazda was to be born to Dughdova. They wanted to kill her so that the people would not turn to Zarathustra for help from their wickedness. They told Frahimurva the father of Dughdova to let them kill her. Fearing for his daughter he sent her to live at the house of friend Paitarasp. Paitarasp had a son whose name was Pourushaspa. Dughdova married Pourushaspa and they were the parents of Zarathustra.
They had a dream that they would have a child which would change the world. Pourushaspa took the twigs of homa tree, milked the cow mixed the milk with homa twigs in front of hearth fire, drank the milk, for the Khorena, Fravashi and Tanu, to come together. Dry wood, Frankenstein and fat were offered to fire.
Before Zarathustra was born, a very bright light shone all around the house. His birth was a very special event. Most babies cry at birth but baby Zarathustra laughed at birth. This was an indication of the birth of a divine person.
Zarathustra was born in a priestly Spitaman family. The Spitamans had 5 sons in all. Rathushtar, Rangushtar, ZARATHUSTRA, Nodariga and Nivedis.
Soon after his birth an evil man named Durasarun planned to kill Zarathustra. He had heard that Zarathustra was sent by Ahura Mazda to get rid of evil.
The evil men put baby Zarathustra into burning fire, but the angel Asha-Vahishta which look after the fire i.e. Adibest Amesaspand caused the fire to get cold.
Next they placed him in a lane frequented by cattle, with the intention that he would be trampled to death. But Bahman Amesaspand the angel that protect the cattle, came to the rescue by inspiring a cow to stand over him and protect him from the stampede. A similar attempt made by placing him in a passage of horses also failed.
Durasarun continued his efforts to kill Zarathustra. He took him to a wolf cave to be eaten by wolves. Angels Meher Yazad and Sarosh Yazad came to the baby's rescue in the form of goats who suckled the baby, until he was rescued by his parents.
In the end Durasarun tried to carry out the murder himself. He entered Zarathustra's house when all were asleep and was going to strike him with his deadly dagger, when angel Behram Yazad permanently paralysed and twisted his hands so that he could never ever use them again.
Zarathustra grew up to be a good and happy boy. He was kind and always tried to make other happy. Once he saw a starving dog. He lifted it, fed some bread and water and nursed it to good health.
When there was famine in Iran, Zarathustra and his family shared food with hungry people making them happy.
Zarathustra spent many years studying the faith of Ahura Mazda. When he became 20 years old he felt the need to get closer to God. He left home and spent ten years in prayer and meditation on the mountains. Satan offered Zarathustra the entire world if he would forsake his worship of Ahura Mazda the Lord of Wisdom. When he refused, Satan threatened to destroy him.
One day when Zarathustra was 30 years old, something very special happened to him as he was wading through the river Daitya. He had vision of God, in the form of glowing light. The glowing entity was Bahman Ameshsaspand. Bahman Ameshaspand led him to the Court of Ahura Mazda where he beheld the Lord Supreme and the luminous Amesha Spentas. They revealed to Zarathustra what each of them protected i.e.
1. Spenta Mainyu or Dadar Ohrmazd which means the good spirit which looks after the man.
2. Vohu Manah the Good Mind or Bahman Amesaspand which looks after the cattle, and helps man to think and understand correctly.
3. Asha Vahishta or Adibehest Amesaspand which look after fire and stands for The Best Truth and Order and helps man to be truthful and to live in order.
4. Kshathra Vairya or Shahrevar Amesaspand which looks after the sky meaning desirable power and helps man to be powerful and strong so that he can do more good.
5. Spenta Armaiti or Spendarmad Amesaspand which looks after the earth meaning Devotion and helps man to be dutiful and hardworking.
6. Hauravatat or Khordad Amesaspand which looks after the water meaning perfection and helps man to be very good in his work.
7. Ameretat or Amardad Amesaspand which looks after plants. It stands for immortality and helps to preserve God's good creations.
Zarathustra saw Ahura Mazda as a "Manthran" or One who created and spelt out the Holy Word. He realized that it was with the vibrationary power of the 'Pak Avesta Kalaams" that creations which were formerly inanimate were brought to life.
Zarathustra was then commanded by the Ahura Mazda to instill into the minds of the people the Divine Thought, that in the world of men where life is brief, those that act unrighteously find in the spiritual realm not happiness but grief, discontentness, and pain of mind, for such is the abode of their soul.
Zarathustra revealed all the messages he received from Ahura Mazda, in a series of 5 Hymns called the Gathas. The names of the 5 Gathas are Ahunavaiti, Ushtavaiti, Spentomad, Vohukhshathra and Vahishtoisti.
The essence of the religion is Humata, Hukhta and Huvarashtra, Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds given to us by Zarathustra which every child knows. and other important prayers which relieve us from the influences of evil people and planets and help us to achieve peace and prosperity.
Zarathustra left the mountains and went forth to preach the Mazdayasni religion. Maidyomah, his cousin was his first disciple.
Zarathustra went to the court of King Vistasp of Bactria. The King was interested in his teachings, but the courtiers were evil and framed Zarathustra. He was imprisoned. While in prison, he heard that the king's favourite horse Aspa-Siha was paralysed and very ill. In despair, the king turned to Zarathustra for help.
Zarathustra agreed to help, but only on the following four conditions. That
1. The king should follow his teachings.
2. The queen would follow the religion.
3. The prince would protect the faith, and
4. The king should punish those who framed him.
As each condition was fulfilled, each leg of the horse was freed from paralysis.
Mazdayasni Zarathustri religion spread across the world from China to Europe.
Zarathustra had three wives but they may have been one after another. Their names were Orwiz, Arniz and Havovi.
The children of Aurvij were Isatavastra, Thrity, Freny and Pouruchisti Arniz had Urvatanara, Hvarechithra. Havovi was childless and will bear three posthumous sons: Hoshedar, Hukshatnama, Asvatereta
Zarathustra lived a long and good life. One day at age of 77 years and 40 days, when he was praying, an evil man named Bradres, crept up behind him and stabbed him in the back. Zarathustra threw his prayer beads at him and forgave him, but the assassin dropped dead as soon as Zarathustra died. Sarosh Yazad took Zarathustra to heaven.
Thus, the Prophet made the Holy Word his own weapon to fight evil with, and through the power of this Holy Word, light would spread throughout this world. He requested Ahura Mazda to bestow him with the knowledge of the twenty-one Nasks. The seeker was now the Enlightened One. Ahura Mazda also gave Zarathustra a Haoma tree (representing wisdom and peace born of the good Mazdayasni religion). Most importantly Ahura Mazda gave Zarathustra the spiritual fire, Adar Burzin Meher, or the "Exalted Fire" which burned without fuel and emitted no smoke whatsoever. This was like the spiritual scepter of the spiritual monarch.