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17

 

“The Fire of Zoroaster”

 

By DR. FREDOON BIRDI

 

  "With bended knees, with hands outstretched,  
       I pray to Thee, my Lord,  
  Oh Invisible Benevolent Spirit!  
  Vouchsafe to me in this house of joy,  
  All righteousness of action, all wisdom of the Good Mind,  
  That I may therefore bring joy to the Soul of Creation."  
     
 
—The Divine Songs of Zoroaster.
 

 

 

About 3500 years ago there lived at Rae, in Media, Persia, a holy man by the name of Poroushaspa, with his wife Dogdho. He was blessed with a son whom he called Sapitama Zarathustra, who passed thirty years of his life in divine meditation in a secluded corner of Mount Ushidarana. Thus inspired by the power and light of this great divine silence, he began to preach the message of Ahura Mazda as soon as he came out of this retreat.

 

The primitive Aryan religion of those days was pure worship of Nature: the Creator was adored through the created. In course of time it degenerated, and the Creator was ignored for the created. It was against this that Zarathustra (Zoroaster) raised his voice, and his mission was to restore that ancient faith to its pristine purity of the worship of the One God. He preached far and wide, to the rich and to the poor, and all kinds of people; until one day, he stood before Gushtashp, the Persian king, with the Sacred Fire in one hand, and the sacred nine-jointed cypress-tree sceptre in the other, and delivered one of his grandest sermons:

 

"I will now tell you, who are assembled here, the wise sayings of Mazda, the praises of Ahura, and the hymns of the good Spirit, the sublime Truth which I see rising out of these flames. You shall therefore hearken to the Soul of Nature. Contemplate the Beams of Fire with a most pious mind. Everyone, both men and women, ought today to choose his creed. Ye offspring of renowned ancestors, awake to agree with us."

 

Under the renowned warriors, Cyrus and Darius of Persia, the national flag of state and Zoroastrianism proudly floated over untold millions, until the overthrow of the Persian monarchy under its last Sassanian king, Yazdagard, at the Battle of Nehavand, in A.D. 642. Many of those who adhered to the faith of their ancestors quitted their ancient fatherland for the

 

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