(LORD ZOROASTER & AVATAR MEHER BABA)
Meher Baba said that He appeared as Zoroaster in one of His advent as Avatar. Life and messages of Lord Zoroaster and Meher Baba’s explanation on His teachings as Zoroaster are elaborated as under:
|Zarathushtra is believed to have lived in the Bronze Age in Central Asia, the ancient land known as Airyana Vaeja. Legend tells us that in a town called Chorasmia, there was a beautiful maiden called Dughdhova. At the age of 15 her body began to shine with a glowing light. Her concerned parents sent her away to Rae or Ragha, near the river Vehdaiti, to the house of their friend Paeteraspa Spitama. The Spitama family belonged to a priestly clan. Pourushaspa, the son of the family soon fell in love with Dughdhova and they were married.
They had five sons. Zarathushtra, the third son, was born on the day Khordad of the month Fravardin, now celebrated as Khordad Saal, (Zaratha means gold and Ushtra means light – “He of Golden Light”, also read philologically as “keeper of golden camels”). Known to the Greeks as Zoroaster, there are various legends connected to his birth. It is stated that all nature celebrated his birth and he is the only child who is said to have laughed instead of crying at birth.
Zarathustra, also known as Zarthusht and Zoroaster, was the third of five sons. His mother was Dughdhova (also known as Dogdo). His father was Pourushaspa of the clan of Spitama. As a child, Zarathustra was taken care of by the spiritual teacher Burjin-Kurus.
When he was 30 years old, one spring morning, at the break of day, as he waded out of the water of the river Daitya (Oxus), he suddenly had a vision of God. On the bank Zarathushtra saw a shining being, who revealed himself as Vohu Manah (the Good Mind) and led him into the presence of Ahura Mazda and five other radiant beings. He received his first revelation, which he speaks of in his own words in the Gathas or Hymns of Zarathushtra.
“As the holy one I recognized thee, O Wise Lord,
When first I was instructed in your Words ….
To carry out that which you tell me is the greatest good” (Yasna 43:11)
The new prophet was not well received in his homeland and for a long time his only disciple was Maidhyoi Maongha, his cousin. But though persecuted, his faith did not falter. After 10 long years, discouraged by the failure of his mission with his own people he resolved to travel to other lands. He reached the court of King Vistaspa of Bactria. Evil courtiers tried to prove that Zoroaster was a follower of the lie and trapped him so that he was imprisoned. While in prison he heard that the King’s favourite horse Aspa – Siha was paralyzed and dying. He offered to cure the animal and asked for the King to follow four conditions.
1.The Queen should follow the religion of Truth.
2.The Prince would protect the faith of Truth.
3.The evildoers’ lies in the court should be exposed.
With the help of King Vistaspa and others who followed, Zoroastrianism spread across the world from China to Europe and Zoroaster lived in honour at the court. The essence of the teaching of Zarathustra is found in these words. “Humata, Hukata and Huvarastha”, which mean “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds”.
Zarathustra married Hvovi and had children. Zoroaster died at the age of 77. He was praying at the Fire Temple of Balkh when a man jealous of him stabbed him in the back. He threw his prayer beads at the assassin and forgave him but as soon as Zarathushtra died, the assassin too dropped dead. Sarosha and the Amesha Spenta took his soul to the paradise of light and song.
Zoroaster is important because he is the first man to proclaim that there is only One True God worthy of worship. God has a divine plan and this world is ruled by the doctrine of Asha; cosmic harmony and righteousness. Truth is the only Path to God. Wisdom for the individual lies in choosing the path of righteousness or Asha and Truth, rejecting the easier, more tempting path of Ahriman or the lie, which negates Ahura Mazda’s wisdom and goodness. While Asha works to perfect the world of Truth, the counter law of Druj or the Lie is equally at work. Complete freedom is given to the individual in the Gathas to choose the path he wants to follow:
Zarathustra had fourteen disciples to whom he gave God-realisation. Among his disciples were Maidhynimonha (Medhyomah), Hutaos, Zain, Isfendir (Aspandiar). Lohrasap, Zarir, Jamasp, Changranganch, and Vishtaspa (Gustasp) who was a king. Thereafter there was only one God-realized disciple, and from him the knowledge and experience of God enlightened the community for 700 years. This knowledge came down from father to son.
Meher Baba as Zoroaster
Zarathustra was actually God in human form, an Avatar. In order to work in creation, he had to come down as man among illiterate, fanatical and hot-tempered humanity. Had Zarathustra told them to worship him, they would have denounced, harassed and murdered him. They would have thought him an enormous egotist and absolutely crazy.
So he taught them to pray to formless God. But in reality, by worshiping formless God, they were worshiping him. And consequently they gained the impression that Ahuramazd was greater than Zarathustra, which was wrong." (Meher Baba, 27 May 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p802 Another version: SW p281)
Zarathustra taught that you must burn your heart in love of God, and the dasturs thereafter changed the meaning of it and altered it to mean burning externally with sandalwood. The religious dogmas and doctrines of the Kusti and other prayers in the Avesta all have been changed from time to time.
The last true dastur was Azar Kaivan. Ever since, there have been false priests among the Zoroastrians who have given their own versions of the Avesta. From that period until today there has been no Realised saint among the Zoroastrians. Whatever religious books the Zoroastrians have today are the works of those dasturs, and not of Zarathustra. However, to his special fourteen disciples he gave real knowledge and experience, and to the world he gave a way of life.
As changes were made by the dasturs in the teachings of Zarathustra, so were similar changes made by the priests in Christ's Bible and Muhammad's Koran. Sometimes these changes came about inadvertently. Members of the Avatar's Circle would go out to different parts of the world and address masses of people. These lectures would be taken down by scribes, and later attributed to the Avesta, Bible, Koran and the Vedas. As time passed, the changes became so complete that the original teachings were lost
The alphabet is taught to the beginner with a view to making him master of the language. But if the student merely learns the alphabet, and does not make an effort to form words, he has learned nothing. Similarly, if an aspirant sticks to religious doctrines and dogmas, he will never achieve his ultimate aim, realisation of the Truth. God and Truth are far above religions." (7 February 1928, Meherabad, to Abbas Ali and two dasturs (Parsi Priest), BG p-1-3)
Zarathustra gave the masses shariat, as in those days they could well understand good thoughts, good words and good deeds. He did not say in clear words, 'Act, and don't care about the result,' since they would not have been able to accept it." (Meher Baba 17 May 1943, Meherabad, A more complete version of this quote is in the chapter (The Avatar)
The Shah Nameh (a Zoroastrian holy book) is almost total fiction. Zoroastrianism is very old, almost 6000 years. The reigns of the famous kings Jal, Rustom and Jamshed, were before Zarathustra, almost 100,000 years ago. Who could authentically document such ancient history?
At the time of Zarathustra, humanity was hesitant and lacked equilibrium. They were neither complete materialists nor really attracted towards the spiritual light. He taught them to be good householders, to marry, and abstain from desiring the wife of another, and to worship God. His own life was based on this principle: good thoughts, good words and good actions. Zarathustra was married."
Zarathustra gave the masses Shariat, as in those days they could well understand good thoughts, good words and good deeds. He did not say in clear words: "Act and don't care about the result" – since they would not have been able to accept it. So Zarathustra said the same thing, but in a different way.
The same is the case with Zarathustra and Christ. I want you to know that all your clapping, bhajan singing, tying the Parsi kusti and praying namaz are merely drills. Only take one name of God; give up anger, lust and greed. This is all that is necessary. But the orthodox section of any religion would blow out My brains if they heard Me uttering such words! And I pity them all. Why? Because they are so narrow-minded so shallow in their vision.
"I therefore once again repeat that instead of wasting your time on religious discussions, reading and listening to doctrines and dogmas of different religions, love God and think of God. Meditation, concentration, and the creation of a feeling of love in the heart are the essence and substance of all religions. All else is illusion.
"Take one name sincerely, lovingly, devotedly for a few minutes, without the thought of anything else, and that is worth more than hours of mechanical prayers.
N.B. Meher Baba explained that Zoroaster was Avatar, the God-incarnate. Lord Zoroaster advised masses to pray formless God Ahurmazd for the reason explained by Meher Baba in above lines.