"Zoroastrianism? Mum, have you heard about this name before?" my son asked perplexly.
So, I have decided to write a framework about Zoroastrianism to help him gain more knowledge of the basics beliefs of this religion.
What does it mean to be human?
The main belief of Zoroastrianism is in a single God called Ahura Mazda or Ohrmazd. God created human beings in his own spiritual image. God is good, holy, supreme, and the creator of all things. God is the initiator of Justice, Kindness and Truthfulness. Ahura Mazda is the greater and the only one who receives worship. Ahura means “Lord” and Mazda means “wise”, the “Wise Lord”. According to Zoroaster the prophet, God is transcendent but he is always close to human beings. God has seven archangels and through them God reaches the world. Humans should have good reflection, good word, and good deeds.
What is the Basic Human Problem?
Humans are born in a pure, sinless state. The world is based on cause and effects. Humans are involved in a struggle between the good God, Ahura Mazda and the Evil of Angra Mainyu. Humans are free to choose between the right and the wrong. Everybody has the freedom to choose the right way using her/his wisdom and reflection. The human being has the free choice to make moral judgments. The Avesta is the holy canon of scriptures and the Gathas are the core text of the faith.
What is the cause of the problem
Humanity is out of communion with God if it does not follow the Threefold path. The Threefold path is the center of the faith. Thinking good thoughts, make someone say good words and that ends up to good deeds. Failing to meet the virtues that include justice, self-reliance, compassion, charity, service and civic virtue ( Masani, 77:88), the Human become impure. After the death , humans souls are judged. The observance of the Vendidad’s Laws is an essential pillar of the Zarathustri religion. If you break the Law, you are immoral.
What is the End or Goal of transformation?
Human beings have free will to follow the good path or the evil path. It is their responsibility to fight for the good and avoid the evil. Humans who try to self-purify themselves are the righteous. Man is responsible of his own salvation. True actions will help a person to be in communion with God forever.
What are the Means of this Transformation?
Humans who die with true and pure actions at their credits are sinless and can enter paradise. Ahura Mazda has provided Human with a good mind in order to follow His right path. Humans have to speak the truth and be honest. A person must pray five times every twenty four hours in the presence of the sacred fire.
What is the nature of Reality?
God has created the world ex nihilo but from His own existence. God created human beings in his own spiritual image. God is the Supreme Being who is free being worshipped and obeyed. The concept of the time is linear as opposed to the cyclical concept of ancient times.
What is the Sacred and How May the sacred be Known?
Ahura Mazda is the only True God and he chose a prophet, Zarathustra to spread his words. Paying respect to water and to fire is a way to give praise and glory to Ahura mazda. Fire, water, earth and air are sacred and humans who pollute will be subject to terrible punishments.