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50

 

CHAPTER I

The Birth

 

One may read the Gathas and the Avesta and may speak eloquently or write scholarly theses, yet the true significance of the great teachings cannot be truly grasped, unless one is truly devoted to the Great Teacher and sips from the cup of His inspired life, and like the Master Himself, leads an inspired life. Let us then have some thoughtful and devoted moments for remembering what little we know of Spitama Zarathustra, and open our devoted hearts to receive Him with love and devotion.

 

In the Gita (4:7), Krishna says, "O Arjuna, whenever there is decline of righteousness and whenever unrighteousness is in the ascendant, then I body myself forth. For protection of virtues, for the destruction of evil-doers and for establishing Dharma (righteousness) on a firm footing, I am born from Age to Age."

 

Turning back to the past Age eight thousand years ago, we find darkness prevailing over Iran, unrighteousness in the ascendant, corruption rampant. The evil power in the *[sic-hands] of people, known as Kavi and Karpan, treading on the path of unrighteousness and practicing some form of idolatry in the name of religion, suppressed a small, voiceless, suffering minority of righteous people whose religion was Mazdyasni (the religion of Mazda). This small community was known as Maghoos or Maghavas. In this turmoil and days of darkness was born Spitama Zarathustra. Zarathustra was called by the Greeks, by the name of Zoroaster which means "Living Star", while the name Zarathustra means "Golden Light" or "Golden-Lustred Star".

 

In the Ahunavad Gatha (39:1) Geush Urwan (Soul of the world) moans in complaint before Ahura Mazda (a name of God) — "Why hast Thou created me? Who shall regulate me? On me (befall) wrath, rapine, strifes, ruin, turmoil and oppression. Save Thee, none can protect me, therefore impart unto me the Good Action." To its help came kind and all-merciful Ahura Mazda in the form of Divine light which entered into the immaculate soul of a devoted girl, Dughdhova in later books, known as Dogdo.**) So tells the 'Dinkard' that this Divine Light, which had entered into her before her birth, made her face and body shine with such lustre that even a dark room would be illumined by her presence. A few evil-minded ones of her place, on becoming nervous from her supernatural appearance, were out to kill her, so her father, Frahimvranam-Joish, sent her away from the city of Ragha (later known as Rae) for safety to Ajerbaijan, where in the district of Alak, a man named, Patira Gatraspo (known in later books as Paitirasp) received her with love and kindness. This happy transfer to Ajerbaijan ended in her marriage to Porushaspo, son of Patira Gatraspo. This marriage brought forth five sons of whom the third one was Zarathustra. The family carried the family name, Spitama, to mark them as the descendants of Spitama. There is no definite record as to where or when Zarathustra was born but the scholars have found three mentions: (1) Ragha or Rae city, (2) in the region of lake Urumia, (3) a city by the name of Amui. According to the Greek writers of the fourth century B.C., Zarathustra lived between 4,000 to 6,000 years before them. (Plato and Aristotle say 6,000 years). Pliny (senior), Plutarch and Diogenes have said that Zarathustra lived 5,000 years before the war of Troy of 1184 B.C.

 

From "Dinkard", "Zad-Sparam" and "Zarathosht Nama" we find that Vohu Manah and Ashvahishta to (the first two of the six Amesha Spentas — the Divine aspects of Ahura Mazda) entered into a branch of the Homa tree, whilst Ahuravatat and Ameretat (the last two of the six Amesha Spentas) entered into the milk which was drunk after the juice from the aforesaid branch of the Homa tree was mixed with it. On drinking it, she became pregnant. There had been many legendary stories in connection with the birth of Spitama Zarathustra, but the following appear more reliable to take note of:

 

*Missing text corrections found online in the author Jal Wadia's original book: http://www.archive.org/stream/spitamazarathush00wadi#page/n5/mode/2up;

**The original book written by Jal Wadia has Dagdo spelling, not Dogdo.-JK webmaster-2010

 

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