fredag 8 januari 2010

What does Zarathushtra have to say to us today?

Dear Parviz

When you write:
"What is Mazdayasna saying to humanity as a school of thought that is worth while for humanity to hear? Can we please talk about this rather than "Zarathushtra says this in his Gahan, Zarathushtra says that in his Gahan". Hiding behind Zarathushtra is like any Jesus Freak hiding behind Jesus and repeating "Jesus says this, Jesus says that" for ever. It kills the free spirit in the listener, it kills free thinking."

Do you know what? Zarathushtra would totally agree with you!!! He was interested in Mazdayasni being free and critical thinkers, he even considered free and critical thought as sacred. That is the key message of The Gathas. He was not interested in creating an army of "quote queens".

Having said this, the sooner we can get Dina to return to Ushta, the better.


2010/1/8 Parviz Varjavand
- Dölj citerad text -

Dearest Dina,

I wish you would join us again on the Ushta site. I know that I cause you pain with my writings, but we have a new person, Mr. Ardeshir Farahmand, amongst us who writes very well and whose research around Gahan texts is most impressive. You would enjoy reading him, so please come back for that.

I am a devil's advocate. When some persons glorify Jesus as the Prince of Peace, I have to pint to all the holes in their arguments. We at least know how many persons had to be burned alive for the cult of our Prince of Peace to get a foothold as a religion. Same may be true about Zarathushtra. The records of how his cult established itself and that of the priesthood before him destroyed has been erased by the sands of time. What remains is what favors him. This vision can not be trusted. What comes out of the praises coming from persons like you or Mr. Farahmand about Zarathushtra can be dismissed by the same token that the words of those who have nothing to say about Jesus or Moses or Baha but praise can be dismissed. We should drop (I think we should drop) praise of any fictitious character and concentrate on what any school of thought does or should teach us.

What is Mazdayasna saying to humanity as a school of thought that is worth while for humanity to hear? Can we please talk about this rather than "Zarathushtra says this in his Gahan, Zarathushtra says that in his Gahan". Hiding behind Zarathushtra is like any Jesus Freak hiding behind Jesus and repeating "Jesus says this, Jesus says that" for ever. It kills the free spirit in the listener, it kills free thinking.

Still in love with You, Jafarey, Khojeste, Shwartz, Alex, Dino, Ardeshir, Bagli, and all other good thinkers we have in our small but rich community.
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Thu, 1/7/10, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

From: Parviz Varjavand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Who is Zarathushtra? (from Dina)
Date: Thursday, January 7, 2010, 4:21 AM

--- On Wed, 1/6/10, dinamci@aol. com wrote:

> From: dinamci@aol. com
> Subject: Re: [Ushta] Who is Zarathushtra?
> To: solvolant@yahoo. com
> Cc: zgarratt@hotmail. com
> Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 9:55 PM
> Dear Parviz,
> I think, (with due respect) that you are attributing to
> Zarathushtra, certain ideas and practices of later
> Zoroastrians, as reflected in texts which did not exist in
> Zarathushtra' s day, and were composed several centuries
> after him.
> 1. On monotheism: I do not see in the Gathas,
> the monotheism of a "God" who is a separate being from the
> rest of the living. Rather, I see a being who is part
> of all the living, -- the difference between the divine and
> the rest, being that the former has attained a state of pure
> truth, pure goodness, asha personified, whereas the latter
> has not -- yet. The notion of "God" as a separate
> being, appears more strongly in the Pahlavi texts, all of
> which (that have survived) were written after Zoroastrians
> had lived under Islam for over 300 years, and reflect the
> conditioning of their environment.
> 2. The imagery which equates darkness with evil was
> definitely a later invention. The Gathas are expressly to
> the contrary. In Y44.5 Z
> asks "... Which craftsman created the
> luminous bodies and the dark spaces?..." the 'luminous
> bodies being the stars, and moon, which are mentioned on a
> footing of equality with the dark spaces of the night
> sky. And in 44.7 he answers "...By these (questions),
> Wise One, I am helping to discern Thee to be the creator of
> everything by reason of Thy [spenta mainyu]..." If
> Zarathushtra believed that Mazda created the 'dark spaces'
> by reason of his spenta mainyu, then it follows (as the
> night the day) that spenta mainyu (which by definition is
> the all good way of being) could not create a darkness which
> is evil. Bear in mind, in the Gathas, the
> word Zarathushtra sometimes uses for creation (at least two
> or three times) is zatha- which means birthing, i.e. a
> creation by emanation.
> 3. There is no mention of menstural blood in the
> Gathas. This particular custom of regarding
> menstruation as a source of spiritual pollution is in the
> Vendidad, the (unknown) authors of which regarded
> menstruation as a sickness, and attributed all sickness to
> Ahriman. They did not think things through however,
> because if indeed they believed that menstruation was
> generated by Ahriman, it surely should have occurred to them
> that women regularly beat Ahriman once a month, every month,
> (which would of necessity could only be done by a
> spiritually powerful being). Whereas the
> (presumably male) authors of the Vendidad could hardly make
> the claim that they regularly overcame Ahriman every
> month. Today, of course, we know that sickness has
> nothing to do with Ahriman. And menstruation is far
> from being a sickness in any event. It is the lining
> of the uterus which is enriched to nourish a fertilized egg,
> and when conception does not occur, this lining sloughs off
> as menstrual blood. So if it is a spiritual pollution,
> then the whole human race is spiritually polluted, because
> that is what nourishes the fetus of every human being,
> if conception occurs.
> I will not comment on your characterization of Zarathushtra
> as a politician et cetera. I simply disagree
> profoundly with it. A man to whom truth and goodness
> are the highest priorities could not possibly fit the
> description you ascribe to him.
> You are welcome to forward this to any one or any list that
> you think appropriate.
> Wishing you the best,
> Dina G. McIntyre.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Parviz Varjavand
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com;
> Parviz Varjavand ;
> Ali Jafarey
> Cc: Dina G. Mc.Intyre
> Sent: Mon, Jan 4, 2010 11:40 pm
> Subject: Re: [Ushta] Who is Zarathushtra?
> Dear Ardeshir,
> I was in love with Zarathushtra most of my life, but I am
> daring to become a realist and fall out of love with
> Zarathushtra. He was most off all a POLITITIAN, a social
> climber who wanted and did take the position of the old
> shamans of the courts of the local tribal kings away from
> them. With him begins the religious mess that we are in
> today called Monotheism. If he invented the idea of one
> good God, then he also invented the black hole also in which
> we need to park all the bad that we face. Remember "the two
> shall not agree in any way, not in thoughts, not in words,
> and not in deeds".
> The Aryans vs. Semites division many like to talk about is
> a false one. If you equate Light with Good, you also equate
> Dark with Bad and the whole Patriarchal Mess of our dominant
> religions of today begins. Father and Light above becomes
> Good and Mother and Earth and the Darkness in the ground
> becomes Bad. I know you want to argue with this point, but
> please remember the preocupation of Zoroastrian with
> menstrual blood. That is hate for the feminin and how the
> feminin functions. That is the seed that grew with Mani and
> his heaven and earth division, but Zarathushtra planted the
> seed with his twin spirit idea.
> Please know that these words taste very bad in the mouth of
> one like me that was born and raised to worship Zarathushtra
> and his Gahan. But Zarathushtra also thought me to seek the
> truth, choose the truth, and speak the truth. In that
> tradition, I am a true follower of him, even if what I say
> about him may shock many when I paint a picture of him which
> is not so flatering. I hope that good scholars like yourself
> will prove me wrong, I truly whish this. It is very painful
> for me to finally say about the prophet of my religion what
> I think about him.
> Mehr Afzoon,
> Parviz Varjavand
> --- On Mon, 1/4/10, ardeshir farhmand <ardeshir72@gmail. com>
> wrote:
> From: ardeshir farhmand <ardeshir72@gmail. com>
> Subject: Re: [Ushta] Who is Zarathushtra?
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> Date: Monday, January 4, 2010, 7:37 PM
> On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 1:52 AM, Justin
> <haubrichjustin@> wrote:
> Ushta,
> The Following is a article which I just finished writing,
> which I plan to publish to my website Zarathushtra. org
> after I get some suggestions and feedback from the group.
> Most of it I wrote myself (I would say about 3/4), the other
> 1/4 was copied and edited into my own wordings. Most of it
> is based on some books I've been reading as well as research
> I have been doing on the web.
> If anyone can spot anything which might be wrong, or that
> you would like the contribute or fix, I am more than willing
> to make changes to the article before publishing it to my
> site.
> Thanks
> :)
> ---
> Who is Zarathushtra?
> Zarathushtra, also known as Zoroaster in Greek, and
> Zartosht in Farsi, lived about 3700-3800 years ago, in the
> beautiful and fertile land of the Aryana Vaeja (Or the
> VejAryana as it was known by its Sanskrit contemporaries to
> the South). This man was a Teacher, Philosopher/ Poetical
> Prophet, Astronomer, and Mathematician, but most of all he
> was the Mâñthran - "the giver of the Manthra". This is how
> he refers to himself in the Gathas, which are the only
> remaining 100% unchanged and untampered product of his life
> which have survived the turmoil, and sometimes darker side
> of history to this very day.
> The Gathas are composed in Gathic Avestan, which is the
> oldest reconstructed language of Indo-European origin (e.g.
> Latin, Hellenic, Sanskrit, Italic, Germanic, Persian, etc.),
> a remarkebly close cousin to the contemporary Sanskrit of
> 3700 years ago. The Gathas are universally acknowledged and
> accepted to be the actual words and thoughts of Zarathushtra
> himself. No other Western religion has preserved the words
> of the founder himself. The Jewish Torah, though called the
> Books of Moses, is edited from ancient traditions and
> contains no actual writing of Moses. Jesus' words are
> preserved in the Gospels, but he never wrote anything
> himself, and many of the gospels were recorded years after
> his life, by many different authors. And most recently,
> according to Mohammed in the Quran, its verses were dictated
> to him from a heavenly being (or as others legends recount,
> a heretical-Zoroastri an companion of his), which he
> remembered and recounted to his scribes later on.
> Even when the language of the Gathas became virtually
> extinct around 1000-800 BC, the Gathas were recited by
> priests in an oral tradition, and then written down and
> preserved textually in the latter Avestan script. The
> rhythmatic meter, the rhetoric, and the ritual language kept
> the poems amazingly well-preserved, and they were sung and
> celebrated yearly throughout their 3700 year-long lifespan,
> even though the priests and the laity no longer understood
> the language of the Gathas, until the modern era when Gathic
> Avestan was finally reconstructed and the Gathas were
> translated and resurrected back into multiple languages,
> thanks to the zealous work of dedicated scholars and
> professors within the past 100 years. The very words,
> thoughts, and teachings of Zarathushtra have found new life
> in this world, and are here to guide and progress the whole
> of this living planet towards a better future, so that the
> creation can continue to evolve (Physically and Spiritually)
> towards completeness.
> Besides what is in the Gathas, very little else is known
> about Zarathushtra for sure. There are many legends and
> myths which were created by priests, as well as latter
> Iranian Poets of the Safavid era such as Firdousi. Let us
> disregard these myths and preserve them merely for cultural
> sake.
> What we do know about Zarathushtra is that he grew up in a
> priestly family (we know this because of he was an Athravan,
> which refers to the priestly-class he grew up in) of
> practicing Proto-Hindu polytheists, refered to by
> Zarathushtra as Daevayasni's, worshippers of false gods.
> Zarathushtra taught for the first time that there is only
> one God, Ahura Mazda (this was a new term which Zarathushtra
> himself coined, it has been translated as Lord of Wisdom,
> hence he named his new-founded religion Mazdayasna, the
> worship of the Great Wisdom).
> From early on in his life, Zarathushtra began to question
> things. He had a deep desire to understand the true nature
> of reality. Zarathushtra became aware of the corruption
> which existed in the ritualistic activities of the
> Daevayasni priests, who through the ignorance and fear
> present in the population of the uneducated laity, these
> corrupt priests were able to scare and manipulate the masses
> for their own worldly benefits. Zarathushtra was very upset
> and distressed by this, so he began to speak against it. Not
> even his parents would listen to him, and soon they grew
> tired of their son, who would not comply with the
> ritualistic orthodoxy of Daevayasna. It is said that around
> age 20, Zarathushtra left his home, his land, and his
> family, and he ventured towards the mountains, where he
> sought out the truth through meditation and observation of
> nature. This is where Zarathushtra' s life took a profound
> leap towards an unprecedented understanding of nature,
> reality, and the creator.
> Years later, Zarathushtra returned to the land of his home
> and his family with his newly formed philosophy, ready to
> share with his community the many revelations that he had
> while in the mountains. He had hoped that the community
> would except his teachings, but his hopes were not met. The
> people were unwilling to give up their Daevayasni way of
> life. As true as Zarathushtra' s teachings are, it is hard
> for someone who has been deluded all their life to
> understand and except a new doctrine. So Zarathushtra needed
> to simplify his teachings for everyone, while at the same
> time still reserving the truth of reality and helping people
> to comprehend the nature of this existance and to make the
> best of it.
> This time, however, Zarathushtra was met with resistance
> from the leaders, priests and laity of his homeland, and he
> and a few of his only followers were expelled from the
> community. Zarathushtra recorded this event in Song 11 of
> the Gathas, as follows:
> "To what land should I turn? Where should I turn to go?
> They hold me back from my folks and friends. Neither the
> community I follow pleases me, nor do the wrongful rulers of
> the land. How can I please You, Wise God?"
> Zarathushtra does not know what to do, so he prays to God
> for help through good mind:
> "I know, Wise One, that I am powerless. I have a few cattle
> and also a few men. I appeal to You. Please, Lord, see to
> it. Lend me the help a friend gives a friend. Grant, through
> righteousness, the riches of good mind."
> According to Zarathushtra, Good Mind is the only gift which
> God can grant through prayer:
> "Whoever is united with me, I promise him the best through
> good mind, my only riches. But I oppose him who places
> himself in opposition to us. Wise One, I want to please You,
> because this is the discernment of my intellect and mind."
> It is believed that around age 40, Zarathushtra and his
> followers found their way to the court of King Vishtasp in
> Bactria, believed to be modern-day Afghanistan. There,
> Zarathushtra is given the chance to explain the truth of his
> philosophy to the king. King Vishtasp is so impressed with
> Zarathushtra' s explanation of the Creation, in which Ahura
> Mazda zealously and lovingly manifests himself through the
> progressive and beneficent process of Evolution, namely the
> 7 chronological creations: (1) Sky and Luminaries (including
> Fire); (2) Water (3) Earth coming out of the waters; (4) the
> Mineral Kingdom; (5) the Vegetable Kingdom; (6) the Animal
> Creation; and finally; (7) Mankind.
> According to Zarathushtra, the orderliness which regulates
> all natural phenomena in the universe would lead man to the
> only rational conclusion that there is a most-wise
> Intelligence (Ahura Mazda), which through its mind fashioned
> for us this physical reality, and put forth the fundamental
> laws of nature into place at the beginning so that the
> cosmos could continue down a miraculous path of progressive
> growth and development. Zarathushtra refers to this
> fundamental law of nature as a part of Asha. According to
> Ali A. Jafary's translation of the Gathas, Asha stands for
> "truth, order, righteousness. " It is the universal law of
> righteous precision. It may best be explained by stating
> that it means "to do the right thing, at the right time, in
> the right place, and with the right means in order to obtain
> the right result." It would be something which is of
> constructive and loving benefit not only for oneself but
> also for one's fellow creatures and for God. It is
> constructive, beneficial and unselfish precision par
> excellence. It has been translated as righteousness and
> precision. Asha is one of main "Primal Principles of Life".
> With the public conversion of King Vishtasp to
> Zarathushtra' s philosophy, followed by the Queen and then
> the courtiers, a turning-point for Mazdayasna took place in
> which it would result in the rapid expansion of Mazdayasna
> throughout the Iranian plateau. From here on out, it was
> smooth sailing for the great teacher Zarathushtra, who lived
> a long and happy life with his family and followers until
> the age of 77.

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