Few years back, I was asking Armaity to share with us, sahaja yogis, about her Parsi and Zoroastrian heritage, of course through her eyes now, when she is practising sahaja yoga meditation and has access to what we call pure knowledge (a fundamental attribute of the 2nd centre: Swadhisthana chakra). Luckily I had found that message from her and it is shared (in excerpts) with everyone:
ZARATHUSTRA & ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION
Zarathustra is one of the earliest prophets in the recorded history of mankind and his teachings and revelations are being practiced today in the form of a religion known as “Zorashtrianism” or “Zoroastrianism”.
He was a seeker since birth. He retreated to the mountains early in life to find answers to several spiritual issues and it is said that the Lord “Ahura Mazda” Himself revealed to him the truths which he later taught among the people who accepted his teachings. “The Gathas”, five in number are the celestial songs intact in the words of Zarathustra himself, and they form the core of the religion. They are composed in “Avesta” language which is extinct today and is a sister language of Sanskrit.
Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds
The basic tenets of the religion in a nutshell are “Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds” and the pursuit of righteousness (the path of Asha) for the sake of righteousness itself in every walk of life is the main aim and purpose of life. It is mandatory to regulate one’s life by the highest standard of uprightness, truth and purity.
Zarathustra taught that spiritual life and material or worldly life are two aspects of the same basic truth, corresponding to man’s higher and lower natures. Life is not a struggle but an opportunity to overcome the base within us and slowly reach out and establish one’s higher nature. His viewpoint differs thus from religious teachings of many other religions , in being optimistic , rather than taking a pessimistic view as to why human beings have to suffer.
The Lamp, The Shadow and The Evil
For his explanation regarding the presence of evil, Zarathustra showed it with the help of a lantern at the court of King Vistasp, by pointing to the shadow cast by the lamp. According to him, evil (or negativity or demon or devil whatever one wants to call it) does not have a separate identity , but wherever there is no light, the absence of it , is what it is. Hence, one should wage ceaseless war against the Satan and all evil temptations and after surmounting all handicaps get empowered and strengthened when victory is attained over our weakness. At all times, one must have unquestioning faith in the Divine Justice, so that in weal and woe, one has absolute trust in the Divine Plan which knows what is good for us. There is to be neither doubt nor grievance against God’s governance , but humbly submit to His will and honour His orders. This is a very remarkable teaching in the fact that it explains in a new way, the presence of contradictions that we encounter within ourselves and in the universe around us. Till today, they continue to baffle human beings and Zarathustra’s teachings so early in the history of man’s consciousness, are truly remarkable.
Sahaja Yoga contains the Zoroastrism – in its Essence
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi explains the same thing in Her talks when She talks about the negativity which we experience, as we get cut off from reality — the truth, when we get caught between the folds of a cloth or sari and experience the contradictions.
Zarathustra’s religion is very forward thinking and does not ask its followers to get caught in a guilt trap or to give up living in life or torture the body for attaining the truth and higher life. If a man does wrong and realizes it, he can simply repent from his heart and get on his life. Zarathushtrian religion, not being an organized religion like Hinduism, gives ample freedom to an individual to understand and live his life according to its principles. Man is not a helpless being, tossed around by circumstances beyond his control, but he gets a chance to realize and learn from his past mistakes, grow in understanding and slowly become worthy of lending a helping hand in the plan of God. We see actualization of this in Sahaja Yoga today.
Like most other religions, the Zoroastrian religion also points to a day of judgment known as “Fresho –Kareti” (Farsho- Karaiti), when absolute truth will be revealed and everyone will get their due according to their past and present deeds. We Sahaja Yogis know that this time is already upon us now and we as human-beings are all one belonging to the same collective and that the vibrations give us an access to the absolute truth .
Origins of Parsi & Zoroastrism Today – Shortcomings
However, today we find that just like any other religion, in the practice of Zarathushtrian religion also, much needs to be desired. The “Parsis” are a set of people from “Pars” district in Persia (now Iran), who came to India sometime about 1400 years ago, seeking shelter in Gujarat on the west coat of India, in the kingdom of King Jadav Rana. In order to preserve their religion from Arab invaders, they decided to sail out from their homeland. It is this single most majority group who made India their home and now reside mainly in Mumbai, which they helped to build up. More recently, a lot of them have emigrated to the West, mainly in U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand and it is jokingly said that there is hardly a place on earth, where you won’t find a stray Parsi. This is a tribute to their adaptability, hard working and honest nature and a gift of assimilation which makes them equally at ease with all and be acceptable by them in return.
It is to be understood that “Zoroastrianism” is a religion and “Parsi” is a race and today, most of the Parsis are Zorashtrians. However, you also find Zorashtrians in present day Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Kurdistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Achaemenia.
Except “The Gathas” in Avesta language , which are direct expressions from the Prophet himself, most of our scriptures are mainly in Pahlavi and Pazand languages, which are also not spoken today. These are later-day additions. Besides, many of our scriptures are lost to posterity, when Emperor Alexander burnt down libraries housing them, during one of his conquests.
The deeper core of teachings of any religion are couched in metaphors and allegories and this is the reason , why most of it is open to wrong interpretations and controversies. Since none of the languages in which the Zoroastrian Scriptures are written are languages in use today, the problem is further compounded. The priests, who are supposed to interpret teachings to people are thus themselves at a loss, going more by the letter of the words rather than by its spirit, and hence try to make up for it by their adamance and strong-arm tactics. In all this, the main purpose of any religion is lost and that is to keep the human-being on the right path , ultimately leading to self-realization or enlightenment. Religion becomes something very small and rituals, customs and traditions take the place of something much loftier, which is neither understood nor realized.
Many people have a false notion that “Parsis “ are fire-worshippers, as their temples are called fire-temples. It is true that the fire is kept burning day and night in a receptacle in the innermost sanctum, but this is simply symbolic to remind them constantly of a spiritual fire burning within.
My single-most argument is that no religion is made by God, but that it is a man-made thing , created to encompass the truths and teachings, made at a certain point of time in history ,suitable to the time and circumstances, which are revealed directly by an incarnation or through a prophet.
When I say, I am a Zoroastrian, or a Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh, it simply means that I am born in a family which professes to follow that particular religion. However, experience often shows that those practicing a certain religion, hardly know much about it, or at best only superficially. The only point on which all adherents seem to agree is that “My religion is the best, although I respect all religions”! Hence, the jig-saw puzzle remains very much incomplete, due to a limited lop-sided view.
Today, Collective Consciousness is the true religion —or spiritualism, as some prefer to call it. This is true religion from within, not something which is forced from outside. Sahaja Yoga is the culmination, actualizing the promise made by all the religions, interpreting the spirit behind each of them and integrating them into a unified whole.