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19

 

tessence pure—Light. And what is God? God is Light. The Infinite, that is Light, is made to blend itself with the Finite, that is Fire, to stand visible, and as it were attainable, there.

 

What is the end and aim of religion? It is to help us to realize God. And the part played by Light in religion is to help us to visibly realize God. This is why Hegel makes that remarkable statement in his "Philosophy of His­tory": "Light is the body of Ormuzd, thence the worship of Fire, because Ormuzd is present in all Light."

 

A learned Roman Catholic Bishop of Bombay says this very clearly: "Zoroaster restored not only the Unity of God, but also the most ancient and characteristic Aryan form of Divine service, the worship of Fire, as the most suitable representation of God, corresponding to their high idea of God as Eternal Light. A pure and undefiled flame is certainly the most sublime natural representation of Him who is in Himself Eternal Light. On this landing let us rest for a while. We have before us the sanctuary of the Christian Church. In both we see a perpetual flame indicating the presence of God; there the Omnipresence of God the Creator, here the Omnipresence of God the Redeemer. I am unable to express in words the deep and vehement feelings which move my heart when I kneel in the sanctuary of my chapel and think of the Parsi Fire Temple a few yards off in which a fire is burning like the flame in our sanctuary lamp. "

 

It may be that in your home and in mine there is no altar dedicated to the keeping of the Sacred Fire, but surely on the spiritual altars of our hearts we may keep the Sacred Fire of Purity aflame, so that our lives too may be aglow with good thoughts, good words and good deeds.

 

May  AHURA  MAZDA  send  you  gifts,  Bahaman,  thinking  with  the  Soul;   Ardibehesht,  

 

good   speech;   Shahrevar,   good  working;  Spendarmat,  wisdom;  Khordad,   sweetness  

 

and  prosperity;  Amerdad, fruitfulness; May that come  to you which is better  than the good. 

 

Reprinted by special permission of the author.

 

*   *   *

 

“Those who have seen The Avatar have seen God.”—Sri Ramakrishna.

 

 

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