In Search of the Zoroastrians

Zarathushtra and His life














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Zarathushtra’s Character

While there is much lacking in reconstructing the events of Zarathushtra’s life, there is ample evidence of Zarathushtra’s character, all be it from his very short Divine Songs, the Gathas. Dr. Farhang Mehr states:

"From the content of the Gathas it is abundantly clear that Zarathushtra was a natural man. He was an exceptionally wise and righteous person. He was an Ashu – one who has reached the apex of self-realization, perfection, and thenceforth immortality."

He was loving and kind, yet resolute and intent on adhering to truth and justice. He was wise and discerning. Possessed a very observant and incisive mind. He had a clear vision and understanding of the physical laws and moral principles of the world, and with a super-human power adhered to righteousness. In short, he was the epitome of spiritual strength.
















 

Life & Times of Zarathushtra

 

Birth

Place:

North Eastern ancient Iran

Date:

2nd millennium BCE, probably around 17th Century BCE

Father:

Pourushaspa

Mother:

Dughdova

Grandfather:

Haechadaspa of the Spitama family.

 

Personal details

Wife: Hvovi
Children: 3 sons and 3 daughters in the following order:
Son:
Daughter:
Daughter:
Son:
Son:
Daughter:
Isat Vastar,
Freni
Thriti
Urvatat-Nara
Hvare chithra
Pouruchista

 

Teens and youth:

Not much is known about his youth except that he was very curious and wanted to find out about things. He spend a long time outdoors, contemplating nature and the questions of life.

 

Illumination:

Age:

30

First converts (in order of acceptance of his philosophy):

 

His cousin, Maidhyoimangha
His wife, Hvovi
His 6 children
And 14 others over the next few years.

Challenges:

Zarathushtra encountered many difficulties and challenges imposed on him through the opposition of the established priests and local ruling princes. He tries to promulgate his teachings, but every time, the established traditions, what people were used to, manage to stop him. Eventually he and his followers leave their homeland for other lands. Still anywhere they go, they meet similar opposition from both rulers and priests.

 

Breakthrough:

Finally, in the land of King (Kavi) Vishtaspa, he manages to get an audience with the king. During this encounter, many of the leading priests and wise men were present, to quiz Zarathushtra and test his new philosophy.

Zarathushtra manages to answer all questions to the satisfaction of the King, who after a few days of pondering the situation, embraces this new religion and urges his subjects to do the same. This was the major breakthrough in Zarathushtra’s propagation of his message.

Two of the noted disciples of Zarathushtra, as mentioned in the Gathas, are Frashaoshtra and Jamaspa of the Hvogva family.

Later on, Zarathushtra’s daughter, Pouruchista gets married. In the Gathas, Zarathushtra advises his daughter as well as all brides and grooms-to-be, but does not name the bridegroom. However, later tradition says that she marries Jamaspa.

 

Death:

Zarathushtra lived a healthy life to old age. According to later tradition, Zarathushtra passes away at the age of 77, of natural causes.
















 
The meaning of Zoroaster

he name zaraθ-uštra is a Bahuvrihi compound in the Avestan language, of zarəta- "feeble, old" and uštra "camel", translating to "having old camels, the one who owns old camels". The first part of the name was formerly commonly translated as "yellow" or "golden", from the Avestan "zaray", giving the meaning "[having] yellow camels". A more romantic, but inaccurate, translation of the name in the past has been "[bringer of the] golden dawn", based on the mistaken assumption that the second part of the name is a variant of the Vedic word "Ushas" meaning "dawn". This last translation seems to have derived from a desire to give a more fitting meaning to the prophet's name than "owner of feeble camels."
 

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