July fact sheet zoroastrianism

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"Offer all bitterness in the sacred fire and emerge grand, great and godly."

Just as the Will of the ruler of the Universe is Supreme,

so is the Spiritual Teacher Supreme through his ASHA.

The gifts of Good Mind are for those,

who do good deeds in the name of Mazda;

The strength and power of Ahura are given to him,

who renders help and shelters the poor and needy.

Background and beliefs

Zoroastrianism is a small religion with about 140,000 members. Yet its importance to humanity is much greater than its current numbers might suggest, because:

Their theology has had a great impact on Judaism, Christianity and other later religions, in the beliefs surrounding God and Satan, the soul, heaven or hell, saviour, resurrection, final judgment, etc.

It is one of the oldest religions still in existence.

It may have been the first monotheistic religion.

The religion was founded by Zarathushtra (Zoroaster in Greek; Zarthosht in India and Persia). Conservative Zoroastrians assign a date of 6000 BC to the founding of the religion; other followers estimate 600 BC. Historians and religious scholars generally date his life sometime between 1500 and 1000 BC on the basis of his style of writing.


We keep the holy FIRE in our temple as the symbol of Ahura Mazda, and our priests feed the fire with sandalwood and cedar and intone the ancient sacred Mathras (verses of praise) in the ancient Aryan Avestan language. The Mathric incantations have incredible divine potent power, a power used to fight evil. We also revere the elements of God such as water, earth, wind, and the creations of God such as the Sun, moon and stars. We wear the sacred Aryan girdle or the "Aiwiyaonghanem" around our waists, a sign of our ancient Aryan lineage and religion, and the white "Sudreh" as a garment.

Ideas about God

Literally translated, Ahura means The Lord Creator, and Mazda means Supremely Wise. This was the name by which Zarathushtra addressed his God. He proclaimed that there is only one God, who is the singular creative and sustaining force of the Universe. Zarathushtra was the first Prophet who brought a monotheistic religion.

Doctrines and Rituals

Zoroastrian doctrines and rituals should be studied within the historical context. The elaboration and propagation of ritual practices over time must be elucidated in order to comprehend fully the values attached to beliefs and practices, as Zoroastrians and their culture cannot be separated from their heritage. it would be foolish to set aside the Zoroastrian rituals and deny the importance of past experience, both individual and communal, on perception and faith.

In Zoroastrian rituals a symbolic relationship is established among the actions, words, objects and substances used in the rites and the religious universe itself. This relationship transmits the beliefs that underlie ritual practices to the Zoroastrian participants in terms of the fundamental tenets of Zoroastrianism. The revelatory encounter with symbols, although present in everyday life, occurs most forcefully within the religious and social parameters of ritual practices.

According to Zoroastrian doctrine, every religious ritual serves more than a limited corporeal function; it aids in the final renovation of the entire universe. The Pahlavi commentary to the Videvdat (Vendidad) emphasizes: "Purity of man [and] purity of the soul is best from birth (5:21)" thus the Zoroastrian purification rituals not only cleanse the physical body but also purify the soul through prayers uttered during such rituals.

the purity of the soul and body is being embodied by the religion itself such as one finds in the purification rituals of Padyab, Barashnum, Nahn and other minor rituals. The other major rituals like performing Yasna ceremony and even outer rituals first require the Zoroastrian priests to undergo such purification rituals before performing any major or minor rituals.

Purpose in Life

To be among those who renew the world… to make the world progress towards perfection. Happiness is a by-product of a way of living. And happiness is for those who work for the happiness of others.

Amesha Spentas (Holy Immortals)

Zarathushtra tells us that Ahura Mazda created everything based on the 6 Amesha Spentas, which are in fact divine emanations or aspects of the creator. These are:

  1. Vohu Mano – The spirit of the Good Mind

  2. Asha – The spirit of Truth and Right

  3. Khshatra – The spirit of Holy sovereignty

  4. Spenta Armaiti – The spirit of Benevolent Devotion and Love

  5. Haurvatat – The spirit of Perfection and Well-Being

  6. Ameretat – The spirit of Immortality.

According to Zarathushtra not only the universe was created on the basis of these six, but also they permeate every aspect of creation including ourselves.

Some Basic Maxims of Zoroastrianism

  • Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.

  • There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.

  • Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.

How Zoroastrianism incorporates the 5 human values





“The inner fire Ahura, to see we yearn – He blazes mightily Truth” – Yasna 34:4


(Right – Conduct)


“The righteous man is the one who is truthful, just, charitable. He looks after my creations, respects them and protects them. He is the man I shall bless forever.”



“All the paths lead to Peace”




“Keep hatred from you, let nothing tempt your minds to violence, hold on to Love”


(Thought, Word, Deed)


“Good thoughts. Good words, good deeds”











Unity of Faiths by J Jagadeesan


Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation, UK Fact Sheet 5

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