Immortality of Soul is beyond human imagination. Drujih (evil) is more smarter and stronger than human intelligence. Material world has ever-increasing and everlasting man-made fancies to corrupt human mind. No matter how powerful human gets with his earthly wisdom to prove himself superior to nature, one day everyone has to surrender their Tanu (body) to let their soul proceed towards the judgement day. Though some of us are unknown or prefer to be ignorant about this fact, very few understand that life is a Divine Plan and their birth to Geti (earth) has a Purpose. The Zoroastrian has to do all the duties of this world, which naturally devolve upon him by the Law of Action and Reaction (Av. Paitioget,). But at the same time while carrying out all his worldly obligations he has to remember the final destination of his soul in the next world by the Pazend Words recited in every Nyaish and Yast "Man ano aavayad shudan" i.e, "I have to go there." Man has, at some point in time , a goal to achieve. This goal is known by different names as Farshogard, nirvana, Mukti, God-realization and so on. The journey of the Soul must go on, until it reaches Rishtachiz to be a part of Farshogard.
Zarathustris are famous for their ability to explore the world of opportunities but today, majority is unknown about their own "spiritual" identity. Calling oneself Zarathustri and wearing Sudreh Kusti does not make oneself belong to Zarathustri faith. One has to know the reason why he/ she is born as Zarathustri and not as the follower of some other religion? What is the purpose of life in this world and how one can contribute to ones soul, community and religion during this short span of life? Unfortunately, our community has no time to think about their ownself.
A purpose of Zarathustri life in this material world is to drive away Drujih with the power of spiritual tools - Avesta Manthras, Alaats and Tarikats closely knitted with the principles of Ashoi - prescribed by Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra Spitama to allow the soul to advance to the next level towards Farshogard (renovation). This implies that our birth is destined and designed by the supreme Ahura Mazda to win battle over evil surrounding us in "every form" and in "every particle" of our life. The physical body serves as an instrument for the development of the soul, and that life in this world is but a means to an end - the beatific existence in the unseen realms. This can be achieved ONLY if every moment of our life is lived by HIS divine wisdom. HE has given us a Golden-Path (Zarathustri religion) and His prescribed tools i.e. Prayers (Avesta Manthras), Tarikats and the laws of Ashoi for driving resourcefully divine journey into this world and beyond.
"Ada-zi ava drujo avo bavaiti skendo spayathrahya,
At asishta yaojente a-hushiteit vangeheush manangho,
Mazdao ashakhyaacha yoi zazenti vanghau sravahi,"
-- Yasna Ha 30;10
"The power of destructive Druja becomes shattered when those who are born in good glory attune themselves immediately with the good-abode of Vohu Manangha, Mazda and Asha."
The human life is generally revolve around the social and economic processes, where people are struggling to satisfy their material needs and desires by available means and intellectual resources. In His divine plan, the birth of a Zarathosti Soul is not meant for seeking pleasures in luxuries of life but, to work for its progression by following the tenets of HIS religion. One has to follow a religion by birth and not by choice as it is A path that has been pre-designed for the progression of Soul. Afterall, the human body is not just an outcome of some biological event or scientific experimentation. The Soul that is "destined" to take "cover" (Tanu) has been pre-designed by HIM for its spiritual development. HE formulated Vedaivo-daat (Laws against Evil) Manthras and Ashoi Tarikats to filter-out Drujih from the sixteen "Chakras" (sixteen countries allegorically described in the first chapter of Vendidad) or ultra- physical centres in the "Kehrpa" where HIS presence is designated per Vendidad. It is the cardinal teaching of Zarathustrianism that one has to work for Unfoldment of the Soul by over-powering the Drujih every moment by means of PRACTICING the principles of Ashoi.
"Yoi noit ashem mainyenta
Aoibyo duire vohu as mano."
-- Gatha XXXIV;8
"The wisdom of Vohu Mano recedes further from those who do not pay attention to Ashoi."
The principles of breath and vital fluid are very elaborately explained in the Zoroastrian rules of Ashoi (Holiness), for there is an inseparable constant mutual relation of Mithra or thought, "Manthra" or word (Avesta) vibration, Khoreh or aura, Ushtana or breath-energy, and Urvaan or Soul etc. Paigambar Saheb has not omitted a single item of all the various intricate forces and principles working in man, when He propunded the law of unfoldment of the soul. The physical body must be well cared for, the mental condition must be well attended to, the magnetic and vital principles must be fitly preserved in their purity and subtlety, for all these are help-mates in the grand goal of "Uru" or spiritual Unfoldment. Now, someone will ask, how can I attain all these requirements for my Soul? First of all, one must never forget that, spiritual enlightenment at any age is a good sign of your Soul trying to convey its needs to your physical life. If your Khoreh is strong enough to receive that message, which may be in any form conveyed to you, and if you are destined to hear His message at certain time in life, then that phenomena can be expressed as nothing more than "you are truly blessed." Someone will question how can I truly work for my soul? Remember, there is no magical answer to all His secrets in the world however, a human life has been elaborately explained in our scripture. One has to follow Tarikats, recite Prayers in original Avesta pronunciations and practice the laws of Ashoi in daily life. This will help oneself to keep his Khoreh pure for resisting Drujis (harmful forces) and enable soul to fight against the harmful forces residing within and outside the body. One has to develop his Khoreh by following Ashoi Tarikats to keep ones "Mithra" or thoughts on the lines of "Asar-I-Roshnih" or beneficent forces and avoid encountering "Asar-I-Tarikih" or maleficent forces and effects.
There are nine constituents of man - viz., Tanu, Gaetha, Azda, Kehrpa, Tevishi, Ushtana, Urvaan, Baodangh and Fravashi. These constituents are all harmoniously attuned with one another, and the higher the rate of vibration and Staota of the Urvaan, the greater is the subtlety of all physical and ultra-physical constituents. A Zoroastrian soul can never progress in the "path of unfoldment", unless he/she pays practical attention to all the Tarikats and principles of Ashoi for the preservation of the purity of Khoreh. The Khoreh acts between "Tanu" or physical tenement on the one hand, and "Kehrpa" or subtle magnetic counter-tenement on the other. The "Urvaan" or soul depends for its unfoldment on the fitness and subtlety of "Kehrpa" which in its turn is acted upon by the subtle or gross nature of Khoreh. It is the "Khoreh" or personal magnetism that helps a person to keep his "Mithra" or thoughts on the lines of Asar-I-Roshnih or beneficent forces. And the soul is derailed from the line of unfoldment if it ceases to observe the purity of Khoreh by means of all the Ashoi Tarikats. Very few souls who are fortunate enough to have sincere immaculated faith and devotion - souls who are not derailed from the lines of Spiritual Progress - can be naturally led to believe in mysticism and occult laws of nature. The Prodigal Son could only return to his Father after gaining full emancipation. If it is not fully emancipated, it has to come back to earth and the cycle begins anew.
Our physical body is constantly exposed to evil and its influences in every form and every dimension with uncompromising drujih-leading challenges that are immensely destructive for the soul's progression. Such challenges comes in different forms and purity of soul consists in keeping it away from its six enemies viz. Anger, avarice, false attraction, lust, pride and jealousy. They present constant hurdles to one who treads the path of Asha. Such an influence will eventually corrupt Mithra (thoughts), and thus unable the soul to complete its mission - free itself from evil - ignoring the path of Asha, which leads him towards Farshogard. "Aevo panto yo ashahe vispe anyaesham apantham" - "there is only one path of Asha, all the other paths are no paths."
Zoroastrian religion presages a time when spiritual progress reaches its pinnacle, the world will be "never decaying and never rotting, ever-living and ever increasing" (Zamyat Yast -23). Also complete renovation will be ushered in by the future saviours possessing extraordinary power viz. Hoshedar Mah, Hoshedar and Saosyosh (Pahalvi Denkart Book VII Chs. Viii,IX and X). Evil will be completely eradicated. Saosyosh, the last of the future saviors,will look for evil in all directions with six-eyed power (Pahalvi Denkart ed. D.M. Madon p. 675). In the Gathas, Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra has propounded spiritual philosophy as against the false teachings of the Daevas which retarded spiritual and moral progress of mankind. The Vendidad inculcates laws of daily observance in order to save oneself from the evil magnetic influences arising naturally in the course of living the physical life on earth.
"Rashayenghe dregvantem savayo ashavanem"
-- Yasna Ha 51: 9
"The wicked is for destruction, the holy one is for the benefit"
This implies that "Dregvant" or practioner of "Drujih" brings destruction unto himself and others, whereas "Ashavan" or professor of Ashoi does good to his own soul as well as to the souls of others.
Our scripture designates three classes of souls - Ashaonam, Poiryo-Takaeshanam and Naba-Nazdishtanam. The first or highest is known by the term Nabanazdishtanam Fravashinam i.e. those souls who have progressed furthest on to the spiritual existence, who have gone "nearest to the centre" or Ahura Mazda. The second is termed as "Poiryo-Takaeshanam Fravashinam" which includes all the souls that have advanced in holiness and are "premier law-abiding", who are co-workers (Adar, Sarosh,Behram) with Asha Vahishta in the Law of Divine Moral Order of the Universe. The third or the lowest in degree is known by the name "Ashaonam Fravashinam," and this class includes all souls who during life on the earth follow strictly the mandates of Asha. The "Poiryo- Takaeshanam" Souls have severed connection with this earth for good and are progressing in the Six Keshwars, while the "Ashaonam" Souls are saintly souls helping the "Asr-i-Roshnih" by a stringent adherence to Ashoi-priciples and prepare themselves for salvation from physical life. All souls that are not pertaining to "Ashaonam" are termed "Dravatam" or deviated ones i.e. those who have gone astray from the Path of Ashoi-rules taught in the Zoroastrian religion.
Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra's soul was one of those to attain the advanced stage of the highest Naba-Nazdishtanam Fravashinam class. (We are not even remotely close to the first stage however, our soul will advance in the next plane only if the canons of Ashoi are religiously followed with no exceptions.) As one of the "Nabanazdishtanam" Souls and of the Seventh Order in that group Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra was divinedly blessed by Ahura Mazda to possess the power of understanding called "Asn-i-Vir" or "Heroic Consciousness", on account of which He was commissioned by Ahura Mazda for the Spiritual work of preaching the Law of Ahura Mazda for the Spiritual Progress and Unfoldment of Souls on the earth and of the entire creation. In the Gatha Ahunavaiti (29;6), Ahura Mazda clearly declares that no other "Ahu" (Spiritual Master) or "Ratu" (preceptor and preacher of the Universal Laws of Unfoldment in the physical world) perfectly attuned with Ashoi is in His cognizance except Zarathustra.
"Aem moi ida visto ye ne aevo sasnao gushata Zarathustro Spitamo
hvo ne mazda vashti ashaicha Charekerethra sravayanghe hyat hoi hudemem duai vakhedrahya"
--"He who has alone has listened to the canons and is known to me as such is Spitama Zarathustra. He is willing to promulgate the duties and functions through Mazda for the sake of Asha, and hence I deliver unto Him the good power of utterance."
It is for this inner underlying deep import that Ahura Mazda further declares that Zarathustra has been moulded as progress-renderer (Fshuyantaecha), for it is Zarathustra alone who can teach the Laws of Unfoldment of the soul in order to enable the soul to go along its majestic march across the "Chinvato-peretu" or the bridge-like link between the visible and the invisible worlds, through the portal gate of "Dadar-i-gehan" - the opening entrance unto the six Keshvars - Vourubareshti, Vourujaresti, Arejahi, Savahi, Fradadafshu and Vidaddafshu, through the realms of the Adar-i-Mino-Karko or the Unseen Active Energy Fire - the prime origin of the physical and ultra-physical states of existence, on towards the Garo-nmana the abode of Song Celestial where Ahura Mazda resides.
After reading the above paragraph one can not identify our Prophet as human with social needs however, we have many who believe that Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra was family person having wife, three sons and three daughters. My dear Zarathustris, Asho Zarathustra who had already attained the goal of "Khaetvadatha" could not have his "Half" or "Spiritual Counterpart" outside him, and therefore he stood past the institution of of marriage. (The principle of "Khaethvadatha" which implies the spiritual conjunction "Sharif" or the Superior self with "Khasis" or the Inferior self - the ideal union of Spiritual Masculinity with Spiritual Femininity - which can be attained only by exceptionally unfolded souls like the Magavans or Great Masters of Souls.) The "Khaethvadatha" principle, which necessitates married life for all the followers of Zoroastrianism, emphatically lays down that Magavans are far above the rule of marriage, and hence our Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra Spitama the greatest Magavan could have no wife nor children. All these seven entities are His exceptional high spiritual powers of the Prophet by virtue of which he rose to the most exalted stage of "Uru-raost" or "Highly Evolved One."
According to Zoroastrianism, the Universe comprises in the main four worlds, which are concentric spheres, each sphere encompassing the other. These are:-
a) MINOI or Spiritual World
b) JIRMANI or Planetary World. Broadly speaking, MINOI &JIRMANI make up HASTI or Permanent Luminary Worlds.
c) NISTI or Evanescent Ultra-Physical World containing many dimensions; and
d) GETI or earth, where Matter rules the roost.
It has come to pass that billions of years and hundreds of birth-death cycles later , your soul and mine have reached that stage in the evolutionary cycle, where we are still in the process of removing the dross of ignorance and the blemish of grossness that have clung to our souls. The result is that most of us have to travel by the "Nisti Shuttle" for thousands of years. A devout Zarathustri in his daily prayers therefore constantly invokes this "Nisti Shuttle", called THWAASHE KHADAAT in Avesta. For instance, towards the end of every prayer, there is short prayer of Jas-me-avangahe-mazda, amahe hutashtae. where THWAASHE KHADAAT is remembered with ZARVAANA AKARANA (Boundless Time) AND ZARVAANA DREGHO KHADHAT (ZDK) (self-created long cycles of time of 81,000 years each). ZDK contains many cycles of Thwaashe Khadhat or self-created rounds of life on earth, again and again till Evil is transmuted into selflessness and philanthropy. The late Ervad Kavasji Kanga describes three stages of Thwaashe Khadhat as follows:-
a) The soul descends to the earth and the entity lives and bargains with other entities belonging to different groups of souls in the worldly bazaar;
b) The soul then passes on to the regions and planes in the evanescent ultra- physical world, which are called DAKHYUS in Avesta, under the jurisdiction of Meher Yazad, after the earthly death, until "real" death takes place on the celebrated CHINVAT bridge.
c) The fate of the soul is decided: whether it has to continue its rounds between Earth and the Ultra-Physical world or whether it can proceed further up in the higher realms, from where it will not come back.
Our Life is guided by HIS divine plan. No one can alter or challenge HIS PLAN or tenets of HIS religion. This implies that, not even the High Priest or any magical powers or Gods / Goddesses can make an exception. People make exceptions to our traditional practices by justifying its relevance in the modern time. By authorizing acceptance by initiation of a wealthy person because of his status and contribution to the community is invalid and "harmful" for both, the candidate and one who has authorized it. Donation of daily necessities to the community is not an exception to the requirements of admission into our religion. IF our community is educated in their spiritual path and identity, we would not be facing socio-religious problems currently faced by our community in India and abroad.
With all current communal abnormalities, a question arise: Are we worthy of calling ourselves Rathestars (Warriors against Evil) and worthy of our forefather's sacrifices to preserve this religion in its entirety? It is shame and disgrace that our own people prefer to be blindfolded, and make themselves available to be the targets of Drujis in the surrounding materialistic environment. Majority of our rich and famous business personalities and intellectual reformists are taking over the voice of religious traditionalists, propagating anti-religious taboos to replace traditional practices, thereby corrupting the richness of our culture and "spiritual transformation" to the next generation. What else we need to see our next generation calling themselves Atheists in the year 2000 and beyond? . Wake up Zarathustris Wake up !! Now is the time to be awaken and educate yourself and your younger generation, and PRACTICE the true meaning and purpose of your life according to Zarathustri Din.
Atha Zamyat Yatha Afrinami
Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha
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