måndag 30 november 2009

Suffering (against) and polyvalence (for)!

The problem with suffering is that is held sacred not only within Hinduism and Buddhism but even more so within the Abrahamic religions. Definitely within Islam and Judaism, but also in Christianity: Every church in the world has Christ hanging on a cross. Always this glorification of suffering! Here Zoroastrianism rather has something - but something very good - in common with Paganism. The Pagans did not hold suffering as sacred. All for the better! Because sufering was introduced as "the suffering of the master" as to ENTITLE the master to hold his power. When Buddha said that all life is suffering (he was a prince!) he was rather pathetic according to me. Masters do not suffer, it is the slaves who do. But it is not sacred and should be dealt with and removed, definitely not held as an ideal.
Another Zoroastrian ethical ideal is modesty. Zarathushtra is opposed to zealotry. Another very interesting and unique ethical principle! Zarathushtra is polyvalent, difference of opinion is good in itself. This is why it was the Zoroastrians who invented human rights (a principle based on the notion that difference of opinion is good for all mankind and should be nurtured and not opposed).

2009/11/30 Zaneta Garratt

Hi Ardeshir, I definately agree with you here, the problem is that some super-religious people glorify suffering, i have never held this view as i have found it to be rather weird and counter-productive-and I enjoy the way you refer to Avestan words which makes this all come alive-think how good it would be if suffering was to be eliminated from the world-the Utaliterian idea anyway was to act so that your give happiness to the most amount of people you can, a very Zoroastrain idea-"happy is he who gives happiness to others", Best wishes from zaneta

To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
From: ardeshir72@gmail.com
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 21:57:05 -0800
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Too many translations of Ahura Mazda

The Zoroastrian View on Suffering and Sorrow

We in the Zoroastrian faith do NOT cherish suffering, NEITHER do we believe that suffering is indispensable to progress and growth. In fact, one of the worst enemies of progress in our view is suffering and sorrow. It is our duty to fight sorrow, and never cause any additional suffering in the world. It is the Zoroastrian view that progress is made through cheerfulness, serenity, clear and calm intelligence. In our view, calamities in the material world, are the work of the hostile forces.

We read in the last line of Yasna 34.11; "mazdâ vîdvaêshãm thwôi ahî."
Like almost all the gathic verses, this verse has a number of meanings due to the intentional sound-word play. If we read "vî-dvaêshãm," it means "Mazda, you are without hostility and exempt from infliction," or that "You do not deceive."

If we read "vîdvaêshãm," it means "You are victorious (have wit/win with vision) over hostility and afliction." "vîdvaêshãm" could come from the avestan root "vid," O.N. vit, Dan.vid, Swed. vett, O.Fris. wit, O.H.G. wizzi; vision, to know, ABILITY TO MAKE SMART MOVES IN AN AMAZING FASHION."

Based on the same gathic verse, we read in the Ohrmazd Yasht or the hymn to Ahura Maza; "cathru-dasô imat vîdvaêshtvô," my fourteenth (name) is the remover of all sorrow and harm.

We further read in the 14th verse of the same hymn: "a-devish nãma ahmi," my name is he who does not deceive; "vî-davish nãma ahmi," my name is he who is not deceived; "paiti-pâyush nãma ahmi," my name is the protector of all; "tbaêshô-taur-våw nãma ahmi" my name is he who destroys/tears down malice; "hathra-vana nãma ahmi," my name is he who is victorious/wins at once; "vîspa-vana nãma ahmi," my name is he who wins all; "vîspa-tash nãma ahmi," my name is he who has shaped everything.(Avestan "tash" is the same as Gk. tekhno-, tekhne "art, skill, craft, method, system," Skt. taksan," Latin. textere "to weave;" the word technology comes from the same root.) "vîspa-khvâthra nãma ahmi," my name is All weal; "pouru-khvâthra nãma ahmi," my name is the fullness of weal; "khvâthra-våw nãma ahmi, " my name is the Master of weal.

But if Ahura Mazda is "vîspa-tash" the shaper of all, and creator of all things through his auspicious spirit, (Yasna 44.7;) where does enmity, evil, hostility, suffering and calamity come from???? The whole universe is the manifestation of Ahura Mazda' s SUPERB CREATIVITY, but a manifestation which is PARTIALLY WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE and AWARENESS of its GENIAL ORIGIN.

In other words, evil and calamities are a direct result of dullness and slow-wit in the material universe. Evil is not creative, but ultimately DULL and of poor understanding. It drifts aimlessly and without much forethought and causes calamity. This is a view quiet opposite to the traditional christian doctrine that blames the original sin on eating from the tree of knowledge. In Zoroastrianism, it is dullness and poor judgment on part of the material manifestation that gave birth to evil and suffering. It could be very well said that when inhabitants of the material universe ate the fruit of of slow-wit and poor understanding they found evil.

The superb creativity and genius of Ahura Mazda is the wonderful truth that must be fully realized in our material plane and then all evil and suffering will disappear. And that is our mission.


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