The Zoroastrian Philosophy
and Way of Life
B. P. WADIA
© 2002 Online Teosofiska Kompaniet Malmö
The four articles on Zoroastrianism contained in this little book had first appeared anonymously in the magazine Theosophy (Los Angeles), from January to April 1926. They had formed part of a series of articles published under the general heading “Ancient Landmarks”– a series in which ancient religions and philosophies had been shown to be re-presentations of the one and identical Wisdom-Doctrine, professed and practised by the Initiates of every country.
The Second Object of the present Theosophical Movement is: “The serious study of the ancient world-religions for purposes of comparison and the selection there from of universal ethics.” The writer of the articles reprinted here, the late B. P. Wadia, with his deep insight into the one body of Universal Truths which underlies every religion, sheds light not only on the philosophical teachings of Zoroastrianism but also on the Way of the Higher Life as indicated in ancient Zoroastrian texts.
It is hoped that this small volume will prove useful not only for the study and understanding of Zoroastrian metaphysics but also for the application of its universal tenets in daily life.
The modern world has elevated the cult of the personal to an art; so much is this the prevailing ideal that in dealing with old-world documents up-to-date savants forget that spiritual teachers of yore laboured for the impersonal; they not only advocated for their pupils, and themselves practised, the destruction of the sense of separateness, which is the soul of that cult, but also applied the principle in and to their own public and exoteric work.
In every case we find the personality of the teacher almost lost in the mass of teachings and traditions which have gathered round his name. The name itself becomes the mask that hides more than one personality. It was a universal custom in the ancient world for the Teacher to assume a name-title occultly indicative of his mission, and those who continued his work adopted it; thus the Teacher’s name invariably became a generic appellation of the School he founded, e.g., the name-title of the Iranian Reformer Zarathushtra – the STAR who contemplates and sacrifices to the Living SUN. Of course, in the progress of time with the rise of ambitious and unscrupulous persons within the fold, came the faithlessness to the cause for which the School itself was founded. For example, the name-title of one of the greatest of Adepts, Shankar-Acharya, has been used in India these many centuries, by the Schools (Mathams) which came into being under his influence. The official manager expounder in each of such Schools called himself Shankar-Acharya, in conformity with the practice of the old occult traditions; their duty was to preserve intact and prevent any violation of the teachings of the Adept in their respective Schools. To this day, in India, several Shankar-Acharyas have spiritual sway over large masses of Hindus, but they are more rivals than co-operators, and hardly any impart the pure and genuine doctrines of the original Reformer. The form has survived, but the soul is absent.
Like all other tradition-institutions this is rooted in truth. The teaching about the Guruparampara Chain which has deteriorated into the grotesque and immoral doctrine of Apostolic Succession has an occult aspect, viz., that the office of the Teacher is never vacant and that orphan humanity is never without its Guides and Gurus. The highest title of the Buddha – and there are as many Buddhas as there are Shankaras – is Tathagata. he who is like his predecessors and successors. And what is true of Buddha, the Enlightened One, is equally true of Christ, the Anointed One.
In studying ancient Theosophies this is a factor the student has to keep well in mind. Thus in the consideration of Zoroastrian Theosophy we have, to remember that the School represented by Zoroaster is very ancient. Writes H.P.B.:
If we had to describe broadly the origin of this religion from the standpoint, and upon the authority of the Occult teachings, we would call ft by its original, primitive name, that of Magianism. Locating its first development in those vast regions which would have to be described as the whole area between the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Okhotsk in its length, and that which stretches through the unexplored deserts between the Altai and the Himalayan mountains in its breadth, we would place it back at an epoch, undreamt of by modern science and, therefore, rejected by all but the most speculative and daring anthropologists. We have no right to give out in this journal the correct number of years or rather of ages upon ages. since—ac cording to the doctrines of the Secret Science – the first seeds of Magianism were sown by the hand of the BEING to whose duty it falls to rear, nurse and guide the tottering steps of the renascent human races, that awake anew to life on every planet in its turn. after its periodical “obscuration.” It goes as far back as the days of our local Manvantara, so that the seeds sown among the first “root-race” began sprouting in its infant brain, grew up, and commencing to bear fruit towards the latter part of the second race, developed fully during the third, into what is known among Occultists as the “Tree of Knowledge,” and the “Tree of Life” – the real meaning of both having been, later on, so sadly disfigured and misinterpreted by both Zoroastrians and Christians.
Now, Occult Records claim to have the correct dates of each of the 13 Zoroasters. According to the said Records, Zoroastrianism as a distinct religio-philosophic school is of early Atlantean origin, i.e., before spiritual sinfulness overtook that race. The founding of this School coincides with the beginning of the cycle of the Iranian branch of the Aryan stock; this event is marked by the physical incarnation of the first Zoroaster from whose psycho-spiritual seed sprang the builders of Iranian Mysteries and culture. In the narratives of his life-labours, mythical and astronomical events were incorporated. Parts of this narrative are to be found in the Vendidad.
Originally the Vendidad was pre-eminently an Occult treatise; it has passed through innumerable vicissitudes and distortions during these thousands of years, as through scores of editions in the course of the evolution of languages; in its present form it is but a fragment, and a patched-up one at that – put together mostly from memory and surviving documents, some of doubtful authenticity from the occult point of view, after the exploits of the vandal Iskander, whom the West knows as Alexander and calls “Great”!
Since the days of the first Zoroaster this School (like the Sister Schools in other lands) has bent to the blows of cyclic law; it became greatly corrupted in its exoteric ranks at times and became only a surviving esoteric centre; f through its beneficent and influential works at others. During this ebb and flow, Adept-Teachers of different ranks restored the teachings and resuscitated the work; all of them were reformers and protestants against anti-Theosophic doctrines and practices; one of them protested and led a revolt against the Vaidic corruptions when cultured intercourse between India and Persia was close and intimate; another reformed the magic practices of the Egyptians and the Chaldeans in their sub-cycles of degradation. In doing all this, they always employed the name-title of the Original Founder and with good reason; for they were, one and all, but Incarnations, however limited, of the Original Influence.’1) The last one to do this was the builder of the Temple of Azareksh, many ages before the historical era; he was the Mage who taught the doctrines of Divine Magic which spread from Bactria to Medes and thence under the name of Magism were used by the Adept-astronomers in Chaldea which influenced considerably the Mosaic doctrines; he was the author of the Zend Avesta which, as Darmesteter explains, is “a commentary or explanation of the Law”; i.e., he was the transcriber and annotator of the works on the primeval sacred Magian religion. The original Zend is a secret code of certain words and expressions agreed upon by the original compilers, and the key to which is but with the Initiates. Neither was the Avesta of Ardeshir identical with that which was brought out and given to Gushtasp, by Zara-Ishter, the 13th prophet of the Desatir; nor that of the latter quite the same as the original Zend, although even this one was the exoteric version of the Zen-Zara.
1) Cf. The Secret.Doctrine, II. 359.
While certain Persian books repeating the Occult teaching speak of 13 Zoroasters, we must not forget that there were other individuals connected with the exoteric side of the School who also claimed from time to time the name-title of Zoroaster for themselves. Such claimants distorted and disfigured the pure teachings and have left their mark and impress on the outer story of the School. Naturally, these spurious claimants do not form part of the Occult Records about the true Zoroasters.
The original treatises – codes of law like Vendidad, or hymns like the five Gathas, or litanies like the Yasna – are almost all extinct. The sparse fragments we now possess are worse than fragmentary, for interpolations have taken place. All the same they are full of high philosophy, noble ethics, and not altogether devoid of Occult lore and esoteric teachings, though they are rightly called “the ruins of a religion.”
The extant Zoroastrian texts and documents will not be appreciated till all this is kept in mind. What we now possess is the residue of centuries of trials and tribulations through which Iranian Culture came to birth, culminated, declined and from all appearances is becoming extinct – this last is one phase of the communal Karma which the mod Parsis, only some 95,000 strong, are facing today.
Highly mixed as this residue is, there is enough of Theosophy not only to interest but also to instruct our readers. We will here examine some of its metaphysical propositions, then turn to its cosmo- and anthropo-genesis, and finally to its psychology, and gain inspiration from its noble ethics.
As in all true Theosophical expositions the conception of a personal God is absent. Writes H.P.B.
Magianism, in the days of its full maturity and practice, and long ages before the first of the 12 great religions, its direct offshoots – mentioned and feebly described by Mohsan Fani in the Dabistan – ever saw light; and even much anterior to the appearance of the first devotees of the religion of Hush-ang. which, according to Sir W. Jones, “was long anterior to that of Zerathusht, the prophet of the modern Parsis,” that religion, as we can undeniably prove, was “ATHEISM.” At any rate, it would be so regarded now, by those who call Kapila and Spinoza, BUDDHA and our MAHATMAS, Brihaspati of the Charvack and the modern Adwaitees, all alike, nastikas or atheists. Assuredly no doctrine about a personal God, a gigantic man and no more – was ever taught by the true Magi. Hence Zoroaster – the seventh prophet (according to the Desatir, whose compilers mixed up and confused the 14 “Zaro-Ishtars,” the high priests and initiates of the Chaldean worship or Magian Hierophants – the 13th ) – would be regarded as an atheist in the modern sense of the word.
Omnipresent Deity, a Living Nature, are the central truths of Zoroastrianism. The physical and visible Nature is energized by the psychical and both are ensouled and enveloped by the spiritual. Ahura Mazda, the Sovereign Spirit, is the Universal Power, one with his manifestation. Of course he is personified and the latter has become an object of prayer and worship with the ignorant. The Ahura Mazda Yasht is highly reminiscent of the 9th, 10th, and 11th discourses of the Bhagavad-Gita. Like Shri Krishna, Ahura Mazda in answer to his favourite disciple, Zoroaster, describes his own nature. He gives his own many names characteristic of that nature and starts with “Ahmi – I am.” The original construction (no doubt purposely employed, just as Krishna plays on the word Atma in the 6th Gita) also leads to the translation: “I am That about which every one enquires and questions.” The second name which has puzzled Orientalists and even Parsi philologists is rendered “Herd-giver” by Darmesteter among the former, and as “protector and nourisher of the Herd” by Ervad Kanga among the latter. It really refers to the character of Ahura Mazda as constituting the hierarchy of beings which is immanent in the manifested universe; in his transcendent nature he is the energizing, ensouling Power who, like Krishna, having established this whole Universe with a fragment of himself, remains separate.2) The very third name, “I am the one strength in everybody,” and those which follow, are clearly indicative of the all-pervasive nature of Ahura Mazda – Wisdom Incarnate.
2) Cf. Bhagavad-Gita, X, 42.
Zoroastrianism is not a monotheistic religion, however much some of its Anglicized adherents of today make that claim, imitating the unphilosophical churches of Christendom ; nor is it polytheistic, though among the superstitious of the community there prevails ceremonial and other worship of the elemental, psychic and spiritual forces, personified in the Zend Avesta ; nor is it even pantheistic as pantheism is conceived by the modern West. It is a philosophic hylozoism in which matter and life are inseparate and inseparable, the Unit made up of numberless units, each a manifestation of Wisdom Divine – Mazda Ahura—which is the container and common link of its two aspects.
On the subjective side Zoroastrianism teaches the doctrine of emanations, on the objective that of evolution. These Emanations (like the Syzygies of Simon Magus) are always in pairs; one of the pair itself an emanation of the other. Thus Ahura-Existence-Beness, and Mazda – Absolute Wisdom – are a pair; Mazda the coeval and coeternal emanation or inherent radiation of Ahura. Then Ahura Mazda emanates Vohu Mano, the Good Mind, and these two labour for the spiritual unfoldment of the manifested universe. For this purpose is begotten Asha Vahishta, Divine Harmony, the third of the Amesha Spentas; thus the 1st and the 2nd, the 2nd and the 3rd, the 3rd and the 4th, the 4th and the 5th, the 5th and the 6th, the 6th and the 7th, and the last Ameretat-Immortality, and the first Ahura Mazda, work for the preservation and regeneration of all. The last pair represents the end of toil—Immortal Repose, Equipoise, Nirvana. Thus the seven Primal Builders emanate one from the other and form the Great Circle – the Circle of Everlasting Divinity knowing Its own immortal nature. The Great Dragon of Wisdom, Ahura Mazda, biting his own tail, Immortality-Ameretat, remains for ever and ever in limitless Duration, Zrvane Akarne, and periodically casts its shadow, Zrvane Daregho-Khodate – he Circle of Time, the Chakra-Wheel of Periodicity. 3) Zrvane Daregho-Khodate is the eternity of the universe in toto as a boundless plane, periodically the playground of numberless universes ; Zrvane Akarne is the Vibrant Sphere of Duration, boundless and limitless, of which sphere the Zrvane Daregho-Khodate is the plane-circle. The Cycle in motion is the emanation of the Sphere which is Motionlessness – such is the Zoroastrian mode of expression about the Absolute and the Great Breath.
3) Zad-Sparam, I. 24. The reference is not to Zrvane Akarne but to Zrvane Daregho-Khodate.
Thus we have the root of cycles of differing periods in the concept of Zrvane Daregho-Khodate – Circles of Manifested Time, each of which has a beginning and therefore an end; this latter is the second of the pair, the first being Zrvane Akarne, “Limitless Time,” which is Duration, beginningless and endless. Every orthodox Parsi in reciting his matin prayers repeats: Zrvane Akarne Yazmaidae, Zrvane Daregho-Khodate Yazmaidae – ”Sacrifice of praise unto the boundless Duration, sacrifice of praise unto the sovereign Time of the Great Period.”
Unfortunately, however, this primal metaphysical duality in the time concept is not given (by modern students of Zoroastrianism) the consideration it deserves. There is another pair which meets with a similar fate – Ahura Mazda – Absolute Wisdom which manifests itself as Ahuna Vairya – the Veracious Word. 4) The abstraction Mazda Ahura – the Wisdom which IS – becomes incarnate, expresses itself as the Word, as Brahman becomes Pranava.
4) Cf. Yasna viii, I
This Word, Ahuna Vairya or Ahunavar, is composed of three couplets and twenty-one words. From Pahlavi and Persian books we learn that these twenty-one words are the names of the twenty-one Sacred Books of the Holy Law, which are mostly destroyed; fragments of fragments only are available at present. This Veracious Word is like the sacred formula of the Buddhists – Om Mani Padme Hum – or like the Brahmanical Gayatri. It is at once a mantra with tone effects, a colourful ideograph, an occult cipher to be deciphered according to the true science of Numbers. Metaphysically speaking, it unveils the nature of Deity and Cosmos, and from the psychological viewpoint is the Soul-Power which all true men and good use to destroy the mighty magic of Ahriman, following the example of Zoroaster 5) himself. It is called the “axe of victory” by which man hews down the Tree of Evil.
5) Cf. Vendidad XIX.
This Word was the primary manifestation and came into being before the Universe, hence, as Darmesteter points out (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. IV, pp. 206-7), “in the boundless Time”; i.e., the Word and the Cycle or Period of Time are coeval and coeternal – two aspects of the one. This manifestation of the Word is described in some detail in Yasna XIX. The chanting of this Word has several meanings, cosmical and human; it contains the threest ages, like the Three Steps of Vishnu and Jehovah Elohim, by which Ahura Mazda completed his task of creation; 6) it is the note struck for his people by the first Zoroaster, a cyclic avatara; it is the knowledge about 3 x7=21 natures of man; 7 Spiritual-monadic, 7 Intellectual-individual, and 7 Formal-personal, so that everyone can employ the Word in pursuance of the injunction “Man, know thyself.” Of it the record stands
“Ahunem Vaiream Tanum Payatae
The Word sustains the Body.”
6) Cf. The Secret Doctrine, I. X 13.
If the Orientalists, through their peculiar method of reading Zend, Pahalvi and Pazand, have disfigured the import of Zoroastrian texts, they have at least done the service of drawing to them the attention of the Western world. There are two Occidental volumes which have misled Western readers these many years – Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zazrathustra, and Samuel Laing’s A Modern Zoroastrian. The former has deceived only the bourgeois mind into believing that Nietzsche’s Zoroaster was anything else but an imaginary figure of the German writer. The latter has done more serious damage; the author, a materialistic rationalist of repute, but a poor philosopher and a worse metaphysician, harnessed his badly digested reading on the religion of the Parsis (reading presumably done in his capacity as a globe-trotter) to adorn his thesis on the dualism of matter-polarity. His volume is excellent reading from the standpoint of science and his remarks on Zoroastrian dualism are very interesting, but the title is a misnomer. The book has misled even Parsis, especially those unfamiliar with the real metaphysics and philosophy of their own religion. Orientalists began speaking of the religion of Zoroaster as dualism, and Laing, the scientist, confirmed the theory – so, it became canonical.
In every civilization metaphysical ideas and cosmic ultimates have undergone strange metamorphoses through their misinterpretation by minds not pure and noble enough to comprehend them. A greater confusion than ignorant identification of Brahman with Brahmâ exists in reference to the Zoroastrian pair. Not centuries but eons of evolution are traceable since the two primeval spirits became transformed as Ormazd and Ahriman. If Zoroastrian cosmogenesis is to be understood, we should once again bear in mind the fact of lengthy eras of materializing thought, which has made Zoroastrianism what it is, fragmentary and anthropomorphic.
Let the following be first grasped: the functions of the good and evil forces in Zoroastrian cosmology represent definite philosophic concepts; the activities of the same powers in anthropology and mythos are also distinct ideas: their psychological and human aspects make up a story by themselves, different again from the other two. Not only the different eras in which the evolution of the duality-idea took place have to be noted, but also the fact that different teachers used the same words and names to designate distinct ideas – universal or personal, cosmic or psychological, mythical or allegorical.
In Zend tradition Ahura Mazda and Angramainyu are not two opposing beings. They become so in the later Pahalvi transformations. Those two primeval Spirits – Minos – are called Spento and Angro, and they are the powers (shaktis, as the Parsi Ervad Kanga points out, p. 23 of his Gathas) of Ahura Mazda. Dr. Mills says in his Zarathushtrian Gathas (p. 84), “The Spenta-mainyu here is not identical with Ahura, but it is, as so often, His Spirit, whatever precisely this expression may mean.” This word Spenta is the same as Amesha Spenta, the seven Immortals, and really means the Mainyu-Spirit which unfolds its sevenfold nature or emanates seven hierarchies of beings. Thus Spenta mainyu is the source from which emanates Ahura Mazda himself with his six satellites. The supplementing power is Angra-Mainyu, the source of evil which is the root of matter, and in its personified aspect is the father-brother of seven evil demons. Great discussion has taken place as to the real origin of this conception of Angra-Mainyu which later became Ahriman, Satan. The concept which ensouls the word is derived from the same source from which Ahimanyu of the Rig Veda comes. The Zoroastrian concept was not borrowed from the Vedas but like so many others is rooted in the original parent of both the Vedic and Avestic systems; the Ah-hi of the Esoteric Doctrine is the common parent of the Avesta Angra and the Vedic Ahi. Ahi, the serpent of evil, or the Cycle of Matter, is really the manifested Universe, the flesh made by the Word.
The two primeval spirits, Spento and Angro, are impersonal, universal and omnipotent forces – centripetal and centrifugal. Out of them emanate the seven hierarchies of spiritual intelligence and the seven material kingdoms of nature. Sperito and Angro are like the Purusha and Prakriti of Indian philosophy. Just as “Light and darkness are the world’s eternal ways” (Gita, VIII) so do Spento- and Angro- Mainyus commence, sustain, and renovate the cycle of necessity, Ahura Mazda himself being the primal expression thereof. The Gathas sing thus:
The spirits primeval are a pair and they together communed. These two differ in thought, in word, in deed, one the enhancer of betterment, the other the fashioner of evil. . . . The two spirits came together at the dawn – one the maker of life, the other to mar it, and thus they shall be unto the last. (Yasna XXX. 3, 4)
I announce to you life’s first two spirits of whom the Good accosted the Evil: Never our thoughts, nor creeds, nor under standings, nor beliefs, nor words, nor deeds, nor consciences, nor souls can be the same. (Yasna XLV. 2)
These two, the centripetal and centrifugal forces, are the basis of the universe. They cause manifestation and dissolution. The two are objects of worship by the Holy Sraosha, “the God Obedient to Ahura” (Yasna LVII. 2). Spirit-Matter, Ideation-Substance, the One Life with its dual aspect, manifests as the Universe, the Zrvane Daregho Khodate – sovereign time. This Zoroastrian expression stands for “the Great Day ‘Be With Us’ “ which the Egyptians called “Day of Come to Us.” It is the “Ring Pass Not” of the Manifested Cosmos in The Secret Doctrine.
This circle of Zrvane Daregho-Khodate is guarded by four star Chieftains – Tistrya in the East, Satavaesa in the West, Vanant in the South and Haptoiringa in the North. Students of H. P. Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine will recognize in them the four Maharajahs connected with the Lipikas and Karma.
The Zodiac with its twelve constellations as also the seven planets are mentioned in the Bundahis. Says H.P.B.:
The Sun, the moon and the stars in the Avesta are all emblematical representations – the Sun, especially – the latter being the concrete and most appropriate emblem of the one universal life-giving principle, while the stars are part and parcel of the Occult sciences. Yima never “prayed” but went to “meet the sun” in the vast space of heavens, and bringing down with him “the science of the stars, pressed the earth with his golden ring and forced (thereby) the ‘Spenta Armaiti’. –(the genius of the earth) to stretch asunder and to bear flocks and herds and men.” (Farg. II, 10)
The Sun is regarded as a focal point for the universal light. The relation between Khorshed, “the undying, shining, swift-horsed Sun,” and Mihir or Mithra, “the Lord of wide pastures, who has a thousand ears well shapen and ten thousand eyes, high, with full knowledge, strong, sleepless, and ever awake,” has been a puzzle to the students of the Avesta. Says Darmesteter: “Mithra is closely con nected with the Sun, but not yet identical with it.” But esoteric cosrnogony and the occult teaching on the nature of the physical sun once accepted, the puzzle remains no more a puzzle. Just as in the famous verse of the Isavasyopanishad (15), the Spiritual Sun behind the physical sun is invoked, so is there behind the Avesta Khorshed-Sun its Spiritual Soul, Mihir or Mithra. Mihir in its cosmic aspect is the universal invisible light, and by the power inherent in it, produces physical stars which are its eyes, and in the intervening spaces super-physical ones which cannot be seen but whose music can be heard. The dwelling place of Mihir extends over the manifested universe and he has eight friends who from watch-towers guard the faithful, and also listen to those who lie unto that Soul of Light and Lustre. This also is imagery of a teaching dealt with in the Esoteric Cornmentary – ”Eight houses were built by Mother” (cf. S.D., I. 100). Mihir’s Chariot is inlaid with stars and made of spirit-substance (Mainyu-tashtem) drawn by four immortal horses, who, like Poseidon’s steeds, live on ambrosia. In that chariot Mihir drives throughout Space, and the thousand well-made maces of iron on one side of that chariot fall upon the skulls of demons. Here is to be found poetic and allegorical description of the formation of the heavenly bodies – from suns to star dust.
In the prayer of praise recited every day by the orthodox Parsi, Mihir is described as present in seven directions (Mihir Nyayis, II), in reference to every globe, the third of which is called “this country.” The order is peculiar but the Key to it lies in the Chaldean Kabala diagram given in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 200. In one of his aspects, like the bright Nyima-Sun, Mihir falls under Karmic law and becomes the fiery aura of the “Hand” of Lhagpa Mercury; in that particular aspect he became the central figure of the Mithraic Mysteries. Surrounding and within, above and below, in front and behind the land of Mihir, Mercury (Globe “F” of the Eastern Gupta Vidya and Tephreth of the Chaldean Kabala) is the Life-Power of the Central Sun – Mihir in his solar aspect.
Several hints about the Moon being the preceding planetary chain are to be found : how the Moon was produced from Vohumano, the Good Mind, as in the Vedas it is produced from the Manas of Purusha; how the Moon is the Keeper of the Seed of Bull (Taurus) (cf. Isis Unveiled, II, 465), how the Ameshaspentas pour the Moon’s glory (Khoreno – Theosophic Aura-Augoides) on the earth, and other cognate ideas, are to be found in the Maha Yast and other fragments.
That brings us to the doctrine of the seven Karshvares – globes – of our earth planetary chain, about which H.PB. writes:
On page 6 of his Introduction IV to Part I of the Zend Avesta – the Vendidad, Mr. J. Darmesteter has the following remark ‘The Ancestors of the Indo-Iranians had been led to speak of seven worlds, the Supreme God was often made seven fold, as well as the worlds over which he ruled. . . . The seven worlds became in Persia the seven KARSHVARE of the earth: the earth is divided into seven KARSHVARE, only one of which is known and accessible to man, the one on which we live, namely, hvaniratha: which amounts to saying that there are seven earths.” The latter belief is attributed, of course, to ignorance and superstition. Nor do we feel quite certain that this opinion will not be shared by those of our readers who neither are Chelas nor have read the “Fragments of Occult Truth.” But we leave it with the ‘lay Chelas” and others to judge whether this sevenfold division (see Farg. XIX) is not the ABC of the Occult Doctrines.
The Secret Doctrine (Vol. II, pp. 757-59) treats fully of this subject and explains the mystery. Space forbids our quoting in full the important passage, with the explanatory diagram, but the subject will remain incomplete if the reader omits to peruse it at this point.
That brings us to earth and anthropogenesis.
“Bundahis is an old eastern work in which among other things anthropology is treated in an allegorical form,” says H.P.B., and we will make use of that valuable treatise, thus:
The field of evolution, the earth planetary chain, has an age limit – 9,ooo years divided into three periods. During the first 3,000 years everything proceeds by the will of Ahura Mazda, followed by the second 3,000 years when an intermingling of the wills of Ahura Mazda and Ahriman prevails, and then the last when the evil spirit is disabled and completely defeated. These three periods are worked by the magic of the Veracious Word of 21 words – Ahunavar— recited by Ahura Mazda (see Bundahis I, 20-22). This is the poetic rendition of the stately progression of the seven classes of Monads in the seven Kingdoms through the seven Rounds: the 9,000 years being a symbol – 9 (made up of 4+3+2) worked with the aid of three ciphers, one each for the three periods of forthgoing, balance, and return.
We will take next the description – puzzling to the ordinary reader but graphic to the student of The Secret Doctrine – of that important event in evolution, the descent of the Manasa-putras, or the phenomenon of the lighting up of Manas. It is said (Bundahis II, 9) that Ahura Mazda performed the Yazeshnae – Sacrifice Ceremony – with the help of the Ameshaspentas in the Rapithavan Gah and through that rite supplied every means necessary for overcoming adversity caused by the adversary – Ahriman. Now, Rapithavan is one of the five periods of the day—the exact middle of the day being its starting moment—which is observed during the seven summer months but not during the remaining five winter months. Chapter XXV of this Pahalvi volume deals with cycles days, months, and seasons are utilized to serve the purpose of defining and describing a variety of cycles. Thus Ahura Mazda performing this ceremony in the middle of the day is a very pointed reference to the event in the middle of the fourth round on this earth. What does he do ? He deliberates with previously made Fravashis who had “remained 3,000 years in a spiritual state, so that they were unthinking, unmoving with intangible bodies” (Bundahis I, 8). Fravashis are the spirit-prototypes, the inner guardian angels of all souls – sub-human, human, as well as super-human – Ahura Mazda himself having a Fravashi. H.P.B. speaks of it as “the spiritual counterpart of the still more spiritual original.” Each Fravashi has attached to it Bod (Theosophic Buddhi) and Ahura Mazda confers with these Fravashi-Bod.
Which seems to you the more advantageous, when I shall present you to the world? that you shall contend in a bodily form with the fiend (druj), and the fiend shall perish, and in the end I shall have you prepared again perfect and immortal, and in the end give you back to the world, and you will be wholly immortal, undecaying, and undisturbed; or that it be always necessary to provide you protection from the destroyer (Ibid. II. 10)
Then these spirit-entities “became of the same opinion” as Ahura Mazda and descended to the world to fight the fiend of the lower nature and gain the knowledge of their immortality and become perfect.
In the Vendidad (Fargard II) we see the Theosophical teachings about the early races of humanity on earth. Just as Krishna (Gita IV) speaks of his having previously communicated the wisdom to Vivasvat, etc., so here Ahura Mazda speaks to Zoroaster about the first mortal to whom the Deity taught the sacred lore. This was “the fair Yima, son of Vivanghat,” whose story is narrated. H.P.B. informs us that Yima – Persian Jamshed—is “representative of the first unborn human race of our fourth round.” Vima is “the good shepherd” who on being asked to be the bearer of the Good Law replies, “I was not born to be the preacher, nor was taught to be the bearer of the Law.” This answer is indicative of the pure spiritual nature of that first race which was not “yet in need of the Truths of the Sacred Science – hence Ahriman is powerless over the innocence of infancy,” writes H.P.B. Vima keeps disease and death away from his people. This race grows seventy times seven, and thrice Yima enlarges the earth by the aid of the two implements – gifts of Ahura Mazda – a golden ring and a poniard inlaid with gold. All this takes 1,000 winters which, says Isis Unveiled (II. 221), is a cycle known to the initiates and has an allegorical sense. “By the power of his innate untaught light and knowledge, due to the absence of Angra Mainyu, he forces the earth to grow larger at his will and wish,” says H.P.B. Thus Yima becomes the symbol of the three races.
Then Ahura Mazda and his Ameshaspentas meet Yima with his flock in Airyana Vaego and the Deity informs Yima that fatal winters are going to befall, and that “all the three sorts of beasts shall perish”; “therefore make thee a vara, an enclosure,” and thither bring the seeds of all species – ”two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men stay there.” The Secret Doctrine (II. 291 et seq.) throws great light on subsequent events of the narrative, to which the reader’s attention is called. Our attempt has been to indicate that a rich field of research awaits those who desire to know. In the words of H.P.B.:
Every thinking Parsee has to help himself if he would learn more. His religion is not dead yet; and under the lifeless mask of modern Zoroastrianism the pulse of the Magi of old still beats. We have endeavoured as briefly as possible to give a correct, though a very superficial, view of the purport and spirit of true Magianism. There is not a sentence in this for which authority cannot be shown.
Western scholars may say, “The Key to the Avesta is not in the Pahalvi but in the Vedas”; the Occultist’s answer is, “Aye, but the Key to the Vedas is the Secret Doctrine.” The former assert correctly enough that “the Vedas come from the same source as the Avesta”; the students of Occultism ask, “Do you know the A B C of that source?” – wrote H.P.B.
Praiseworthy efforts have been made by some Orientalists to study comparatively Sanskrit-Pali and Zend-Pahalvi lore. Serious and important as that philological study is, the student of the esoteric philosophy looks on it as but the forerunner to the more important study of the real import and the true meaning of the fables, legends, myths and symbols of the teachings of Buddhas and Zoroasters alike. Students of Theosophy have to endeavour to arouse genuine and sincere interest in the message of the Ancients, so that the world will demand more than mere word translations of hoary texts and MSS. Presently the cyclic return will show its effects and the Western world will have to be satisfied with the tenets of the Soul-unfolding philosophy-ethics of the Aryans. Many hundreds of words and expressions, Sanskrit, Zend, Pahalvi, Pali, Pazand, are not understood because philology is divorced from philosophy, words from ideas. The true Theosophist must be ready with the correct comprehension of universal ideas, which are the basis of all particular creeds and popular philosophies. If there are dangers lurking in this cycle along the line of the third object of the Theosophical Movement, there also exist certain dangers in connection with the second object.
Lack of philosophical knowledge on the part of Western philologists and of even their Eastern pupils and companions has led most of them to confound and confuse teachings which with even a little knowledge of Theosophy and the esoteric doctrines become clear and explicit. While in matters of metaphysics and cosmology one may not see the danger and the pity of this neglect, in matters of psychology and practical ethics the case is otherwise. What a difference it would make, for instance, to the modern educated Parsi, if he could understand and apply the tenets about man’s constitution to be found in his Yasna 26 and 55 (54 of Spiegel, which translation is a better rendering than that of Dr. L. H. Mills in the Sacred Books of the East in Farvardin Yasht and in other texts!
We will outline here two schemes of human constitution to be found in the Avesta:
I. An eightfold being composed of (1) Fravarshi – .the triple Atma, the Individual Ray of the Impersonal Deity; (2) Urvan – the Soul, the Buddhi and Manas, the Discriminator and Thinker, the dual Power-Shakti of Atma-Ishvara or Fravarshi; (3) Bodhas, the faculty of the Urvan whereby he chooses, selects and devises ways and means of his own growth; (4) Tevishes, the Desire-Kaina which inclines towards Bodhas or gravitates towards (5) Keherpas, which is Persian Kaleb Aerial form or mould, Linga Sharira; (6) Ushtanas is the Vital-heat or prana; (7) and (8) are the Bony structure and the Body, symbolic representatives of the immortal and mortal constituents of the body whose true import the esotericist is familiar with.
II. A fivefold being composed of (1) Ahu – the Self, the Personality in incarnation, the lower self with its quaternary principles; (2) Daena, its ever-present and watchful holy insight, its pure and wise spouse who stores away all that is worthy in the myriad experiences of the first, and who alone can enable it to understand the tenets of the True Faith (Din); she forms the link between the first and the higher triad and after the death of the personality appears to it – objectivised form of its own experiences as we see below; (3) Bodhas; (4) Urvan; (5) Fravarshi are the same as in the first classification.
In another place two different names are used: instead of the third Bodhas, in the above, the word Manah, which is the same as in Sanskrit, is given, and for the first Ahu – the Personal Self – the word Asna is inserted. Asna is the aspiring-desiring nature, the primal constituent and the very basis of the Personal Self; by that power it moves upward or downward.
A beautiful as well as instructive picture of after-death states is to be found in the following condensed rendition of a Yast fragment:
Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: Thou Pure Spirit, the unfolder of all that is beneficent, when one of the pure dies where does his soul abide?
Ahura Mazda answered: Zarathushtra, that soul, engaged in his ideation sings the Ustavaiti Gatha: “Prosperity to him through whom prosperity comes to all” on the first night, and on the second, and on the third; he enjoys the peace which comes to all mortals through his chanting.
At the end of the third night as the dawn rises that Soul wends its way southward, inhaling the fragrance of orchards and the scent of the flowering shrubs and he contemplates – ”Whence that fragrance, the sweetest ever breathed?”
And he sees, approaching him, a Virgin pure, of fifteen summers, as fair as the fairest thing of earth, handsome, radiant, heroic, stately, of appearance that attracts, of divine lineage, of the ancient seed of the Spirit; and the good soul questions her: “Who art thou, the fairest maid I have ever seen?”
“I am thine own Daena (thine Inner Spirit-Self),” answers the Maid, “thou youth of good thoughts, good words, good deeds, good faith, I am thyself. Clad in those virtues bright thou appeared to others on earth, as now and here I appear to thee. When some derided the teachings about the Inner Self and prayed to idols, and some shut their door against the poverty- stricken, and some were engaged in destroying growing plants and trees, thou sat singing the Gathas praising the waters of life and the Fire which is the Soul, the Son of Ahura Mazda, and made happy the righteous from near and far. Oh, radiant youth, I was lovely and thou madest me lovelier; I was fair and now I am fairer; I was desirable and thou madest me still more desirable; I used to sit in a forward place and now thou madest me sit in the foremost place; henceforth mortals will worship me for thee having sacrificed long in converse with Ahura Mazda.”
Then first through the paradise of good Thought, and then of good Word, and then of good Deed, the Soul found himself, in the Heaven of Light.
And one of the faithful who had arrived there previously asked him, “How didst thou depart the life, 0 holy man, from the material world into the spiritual, from the decaying into this the undecaying one?”
Ahura Mazda interposed, “Ask him not, who has just finished the dreary way, the life of the body.” Then the Good Soul and his spirit spouse (Daena) feasted of the food of experience like unto the butter skimmed from the fresh milk of spring.
Then Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: Thou Pure Spirit, the unfolder of all that is beneficent, when one of the impure dies where does his soul abide? Ahura Mazda answered: Zarathushtra, that soul desiring his desires, wailing dirge of despondency cries—’ ‘To what land shall I turn? To whom shall I go?” and this on the first night, and the second and the third and through it all, suffering in his, the suffering he caused to all.
At the end of the third night as the dawn rises that Soul wends its way northward, inhaling the stench of impure corpses and contemplates – ‘Whence that stench, the worst I ever inhaled?” And he sees a hag approaching, foul, loathsome, gaping, of demoniacal lineage, of the seed of passion; and the unfortunate soul questions her, “Who art thou, 0 ugly witch?”
“I am thou, thy lower Self,” answered the hag, “thou man of evil thoughts, evil words, evil deeds, and evil faith, I am thyself. Clad in hideous vice thou showed thyself to mortals down on earth as I now show myself to thee. Thou derided the teaching about the Inner Self and prayed to idols of greed and passion and pelf, strewing poverty all around, destroyer of beings on their upward way, causing consternation to the good and despair to the righteous. I was not beautiful and thou madest me ugly; I was not fair and thou madest me hideous; I had not a forward seat and now I am fallen backwards. Henceforth mortals will remember me with fear and dishonour.”
Then first through the hell of bad thought, and then of bad word, and then of bad deed, the soul plunged himself in the gloom of darkness.
And one of the wicked who had arrived there previously asked him, “How didst thou depart the life, 0 wicked man, from the material world into the spiritual, from the decaying unto this undecaying one?”
Angra Mainyu interposed, “Ask him not, who has just finished the dreary way, the life of the body.” Then the bad soul and his passion spouse feasted on experience like unto the poison and of poisonous stench.
Zoroastrianism is widely known as the religion of fire-worship. Fire, however, is a symbol, certain phases of which are commonly accepted. It is not grasped that in Zoroastrianism Fire as a symbol-emblem is intended to show the identity of nature between the macrocosm and the microcosm. The variety of fires mentioned; the mode of building up fire (1) in home, (2) in small temples, and (3) in big temples; the custom of never allowing these fires to be extinguished or polluted; and other matters have to be understood as parable-tenets of the science of esoteric psychology.
In numerous places Fire is named the “Son of Ahura Mazda,” whose Sanskrit equivalent is Manasa-putra – the mind-born son of Brahma. The Fire is the reincarnating ego and has two aspects, one stationary, immovable, the other changing and growing. The non-moving is the Divine Ego whose ray is the other. The former sits, the watching spectator, saving, “What does he who comes and goes bring to him who is motionless?” But this motionless Fire is “the purifier,” “the maker of prosperity,” is “strong and immortal” and is named “the warrior.” He is also designated “the cook who cooks the day and night meals of mortals,” i.e., he is the supplier of experiences in waking and sleeping conditions, as also in life and death. It is further narrated that when a passer-by brings him the essence of purity in the shape of Asem, Barsem and Hadhanaepita tree (these are symbolic representations) then the Warrior son of Ahura Mazda becomes well pleased with that person, and fed as required, that Fire blesses him thus: “May there be increase of cows for thee (i.e., the organisms which yield the milk of sweet and health-giving experiences); may there be increase of heroes for thee (same as above, but note that the former is of the animal kingdom, the latter of the human); may thy mind be master of its vow; may thy soul be master of its vow; may thou live on in the joy of the Soul all the nights of thy life (i.e., in sleep and after-death states)!” Such is the blessing given by the Fire-Soul to anyone who brings to him “dry wood” (i.e., deeds free from the moisture of passion), well cleansed with godly intent, well examined by the light of day (i.e., performed from pure motive during day and life, sleep and death being subjective conditions). It is further said that this Fire assists him who feeds him as above described, but fails not to handle those who are inimical to him—which is the doctrine of Karma working from within without.
Though Reincarnation as a doctrine is not clearly and explicitly taught in the fragments now extant, there are numerous passages, such as the above, which clearly indicate that it was well known.
The doctrine of Fravarshi is of special interest to the student of Theosophy. Every creature, whatever the body may happen to be, has its spiritual counterpart which is Fravarshi. To begin with, Ahura Mazda himself has his Fravarshi and he recommends Zoroaster to invoke his Fravarshi and not himself, i.e., the impersonal and true essence of Deity, one with Zoroaster’s own atman (or Christos), not the false and personal appearance. The seven Ameshaspentas, all the religious teachers like Zoroaster, all warrior-souls, all evil-doers, animals, plants, minerals, everything has a Fravarshi. The coming into manifestation of these Fravarshis, their evolution and ultimate destiny are all described in Zend, Pahalvi and Persian hooks. As H.P.B. points out, this doctrine influenced Church-Christianity, and Ferouer is but a corrupted concept-word of the Zend Fravarshi.
The Chinvat Bridge over which the soul passes after death to the state of light or darkness, is significant as the teaching about Antaskarana; the noose around the neck of the man when he dies, which falls away be he righteous, and drags him into hell if wicked, is the teaching about the Kamarupic shell of the after-death condition. Numerous powers and faculties of the human consciousness, and the nature of super-physical and spiritual hierarchies, of which man is a compound, are described in metaphorical language. As a clue to the chief symbol of Zoroastrianism H.P.B. gave the following in Isis Unveiled:
Fire, in the ancient philosophy of all times and countries, including our own, has been regarded as a triple principle. As water comprises a visible fluid with invisible gases lurking within, and behind all the spiritual principle of nature, which gives them their dynamic energy, so, in fire, they recognized: 1st. Visible flame; 2nd. Invisible or astral fire – invisible when inert, but when active producing heat, light, chemical force, and electricity, the molecular powers; 3rd. Spirit. They applied the same rule to each of the elements; and everything evolved from their combinations and correlations, man included, was held by them to be triune.
If the spirit of Vedanta singing through the Gita endeavours to bring the world to Dharma-Duty, the theme which Zoroastrianism recites for humanity is of Ashoi-Purity. The very words with which Ahura Mazda rejoiced Zoroaster as given in the Vendidad (V. 21) are: “For man purity is the greatest good even from his birth.” This code of purity contains an exhortation profound in its simplicity (IX. 19).
Make thyself pure, 0 righteous man! Anyone in the world here below can win purity for himself, namely when he cleanses himself with good thoughts, words and deeds.
The first, the shortest, but regarded as the most efficacious of prayers is Ashem-Vohu, which translated is:
Purity is the noblest blessing. Happiness it is – happiness to him who is pure for the sake of noblest purity itself.
The metaphysical and cosmical aspects of the twin- spirits, good and evil, Ormazd and Ahriman, have already been considered. Just as the great war of Kurukshetra was used by occult teachers in India to instruct humanity in the metaphysical source of all wars (the dual principle of spirit-matter) and its precipitation in man of the greatest of all wars, so also “the whole struggle of Ahura Mazda and Ahriman is but the allegory of the great religious and political war between Brahmanism and Zoroastrianism” (Isis Unveiled, II. 237). Elsewhere H. P. Blavatsky writes:
Ahriman is matter, the begetter of all Evil, and the Destroyer, since matter – eternal per se and indestructible – having to ever change form destroys its units, while Ormazd or Spirit remains immutable in its abstract Unity and as a whole.
It was neither the metaphysical nor the historical aspect which perpetuated the teaching about Ormazd-Ahriman in old Iran; it was the personal – the strife of mind and heart in man, the struggle between his own members. They were a practical people, the Iranians, and what appealed to them was the truth that Mazda’s Law of Purity was the weapon to destroy the impure being of their own passion-nature. Their veneration for the great elements, in fact the whole of Nature, sprang from the idea that it was the religious duty of man not only to refrain from polluting but to raise and elevate all the kingdoms of the manifested universe. The aspect of the dual powers which persists with such tenacity in Zoroastrianism is the psychologic-human one, and while Ahriman has been personified and has become, like Satan, a living entity for the superstitious, for the cultured he is but a force within man, his own lower nature.
Zoroastrian ethics is based on Ashoi-Purity. It has two aspects—(1) Purity of the Inner Man and (2) Purity for the great without. The former is triple – of thoughts, of words, of deeds; the latter is fourfold – of Fire, of Air, of Water, of Earth. The Law of Purity is the Law of Wisdom. Dadistani Dinik says:
As through Wisdom is created the world of righteousness, through Wisdom is subjugated every evil, and through Wisdom is perfected every good.
The Law of Mazda, the Wise, is the Law of Purity—(1) of matter – force – consciousness, (2) of elements – energies – beings, (3) of body – mind – soul, (4) of deed – word – thought.
Every Zoroastrjan wears next to his skin the Sudarah, the shirt of white material, symbol of purity, of a prescribed cut with symbolic mark thereon, and ties the sacred thread, Kusti, made up of seventy-two interwoven filaments, round his waist over that shirt. Each of the seventy-two filaments represents one of the seventy-two parts of Izashne – the Yagna-Sacrifice ritual. The thread goes round the waist three times; in tying it a particular knot is made in the front and another with loose ends at the back. It is thus done: the middle of the thread is applied to the waist in front, and the loose ends go round behind where they change hands, what was in the left hand being taken up by the right., and the end in the right hand is picked up by the left; then these are brought back to the front so that the thread has gone round twice; then are made two knots – a right hand and a left hand, and the loose ends for the last time passed behind and tied there with a similar knot. This way in which it is tied, the chanting which accompanies it, in fact its whole symbology centres round the fundamental idea – Humata, Hukhata, Huaresta, good thought, good word, good deed. Several times a day the pious or orthodox Parsi in untying or retying the thread repeats short prayers to affirm the joyous victory of Ahura Mazda, and the contempt he feels for Ahriman, and to repent the error of his ways, thus:
I repent for all the evil thoughts, the evil words, the evil deeds, deliberate or unintentional, which I started on their nefarious journey, related to my body or soul, connected with the material or the spiritual world I repent with the power of the Triple Word.
He reminds himself of the fact that the law of Ahura Mazda is the only true protector and its benediction comes from the Soul-Fire, the Son of Ahura whose intelligence is divine and good.
This Law of Ahura Mazda is clear to the wise and the discriminating who by its aid acquire the power of righteous thought and deed and obtain control over the tongue (Yasna XXXI. 19 and 22). Manasni – Gavasni – Kunasni—Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds, according to the righteous law of Ahura is reiterated in numerous places in the Avesta. It is insisted that man should consult the righteous Law of Wisdom. His own good inclinations or noble aspirations are not sufficient; his mental and verbal expressions and especially his deeds should be in conformity with the Code of Wisdom. The Renunciation of Sin (a definite magic-rite now forgotten) has to be performed for the preservation of the Soul, in a deliberate manner. Says Dina-i-Maninog-i-Khirad (LII):
Every disaster which springs up he is to trace to the violence of Ahriman and his host, and he is not to seek his own welfare and advantages through the injury of anyone else; thus he becomes compassionate as regards all the creatures of Ahura Mazda. In duty and good works he is diligent and persistent. ... For the performance of Renunciation of Sin the special thing is this, that one commits no sin voluntarily; and if through folly, or weakness and ignorance, a sin occurs, he should then renounce that sin by approaching the high-priest who is his good soul; and after that when he refrains from that sin, having learnt its lesson, that sin is swept away from him, just as the wind, fast and strong sweeping over the plain carries away every single blade of grass and anything that is not rooted in the soil.
Vendidad (XVIII,17) advocates that one should never be slack in good thoughts, words, and deeds, but let a man ever be slack in the three opposing abominations. When a man thinks, speaks, and acts righteously according to the Good Law he obtains from Spenta-Mainyu, the good spirit of Mazda, blissful immortality which is universal harmony of Wisdom (Yasna XLVII. 1-2). There is no trace of any vicarious method of gaining happiness and spiritual insight – the man himself has to fight the evil and refrain from it, to befriend the good and practise it. The struggle which rages within man is long and protracted but through the Soul-Fire the faithful purified of his sins comes to immortality.
The Avesta enjoins the faithful to maintain and increase the purity of the four great elements. It is indicated that these elements are contacted by the man through his own constitution and that an intimate kinship between man and the elemental worlds exists. Thus the tilling of the earth is not only a physical but a psychological process; the water is not only a material element but a psycho-spiritual force; the radiant fire is a substantial manifestation of divine intelligence; air is not only gaseous matter but a magnetic healer and purifier of druj-sin, whose nature is psychic.
Thus in the Vendidad the earth rejoices when the faithful digs out the corpses of man and beast (i.e., throws out of his being the dead things of lust and passion); the earth feels happy and rejoices when the faithful steps on it on his way to the performance of religious rites (i.e., resolves to begin the spiritual life); when the faithful clears the ground to erect his house (i.e., creates by the power of thought and deed the temple as the soul’s habitat); when the faithful cultivates corn, grass and fruit (i.e., reaps his good Karma); and when the faithful brings increase of flocks and herds (i.e., increases his spiritual faculties for the feeding of his fellow-men). Therefore it is said in the Vendidad (III. 24):
Unhappy is the land that has long lain unsown with the seed of the sower and wants a good husbandman. He who would till the earth, 0 Spitama Zarathushtra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, the earth will bring forth plenty of fruit. Unto the tiller says the Earth: “0 thou man! who dost till me with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, hither shall people ever come and beg for bread, here shall I ever go on bearing, bringing forth all manner of food, bringing forth profusion of corn.’ But to the non-tiller says the Earth: “0 thou man! who dost not till me with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, ever shalt thou stand at the door of the stranger, among those who beg for bread; ever shalt thou wait there for the refuse that is brought unto thee, brought by those who have profusion of wealth.”
This is not only a reference to the farming process, but the metaphor is used as in the 13 Gita for the immortal Farmer-Soul who sows and reaps thoughts and words and deeds. Therefore it is said:
0 Maker of the material world, thou Holy One What is the food that fills the law of Mazda, what is the stomach of the Law? Ahura Mazda answered: “It is sowing corn again and again, O Spitama Zarathushtra! He who sows corn, sows holiness: he makes the law of Mazda grow higher; he makes the law of Mazda as fat as he can with a hundred acts of adoration, a thousand oblations, ten thousand sacrifices.
“And so it is sung:
When barley occurs, then the demons hiss;
When thrashing occurs, then the demons whine;
When grinding occurs, then the demons roar;
When flour occurs, then the demons flee.
“Then let the people learn this holy saying: ‘No one who does not eat, has strength to do works of holiness, strength to do works of husbandry, strength to beget children. By eating every material creature lives; by not eating it dies away.’”
All this has reference to the doing of good action and the living of the life of holiness. The growth of courageous resolve to live is sowing and its first fruit is barley; the working with that fruit with discrimination is thrashing; when the knowledge is applied the corn is being ground and the evil in man roars, and when the spiritual insight as the result of good living comes to fruition (flour) the evil dies
. Next let us see the element of water. The following is from Aban-Yast (10-13):
Offer up a sacrifice, 0 Spitama Zarathushtra unto this spring of mine, Ardvi Sura Anahita, the wide-expanding and health - giving, who hates the Demons and obeys the laws of Ahura, who is worthy of sacrifice in the material world; worthy of prayer in the material world; the life-increasing and holy, the herd-increasing and holy, the fold-increasing and holy; the wealth-increasing and holy, the country-increasing and holy;
Who drives forwards on her chariot, holding the reins of the chariot. She goes, driving, on this chariot, longing for the worship of men and thinking thus in her heart: “Who will praise me? Who will offer me a sacrifice, with libations cleanly prepared and well-strained, together with the Haoma and meat? To whom shall I cleave, who cleaves unto me, and thinks with me, and bestows gifts on me, and is of good will unto me?”
Whom four horses carry, all white, of one and the same colour, of the same blood, tall, crushing down the hates of all haters, the hates of Demons and men, of evil spirits and goblins, of the oppressors, of the blind and of the deaf.
This goodness of water is, as H.P.B. points out, the Zoroastrian.Minerva: “Begging the pardon of our European Sanskritists and Zend scholars, we would ask them to tell, if they know, who was the Mazdean goddess Ardvi-Sura Anahita? We maintain and can prove what we say, that the said personage implored by Ahura, and Saraswati (the Brahminical goddess of Secret or Occult Wisdom) are identical.” In the previous article we have already dealt with the fire intelligence, the Soul in man, the Son of Ahura Mazda. In the above passage from Dina-i-Maninog-i-Khirad and in other places the righteous and purifying power of air, its might to destroy and sweep away evil, etc., are mentioned.
Rich in metaphor, profusely symbolic, but to the student of Theosophy and esotericism very clear, are all the Avesta fragments. There is enough of the ancient Wisdom extant in them to make them more than interesting; they provide important proofs of the existence of the Universal Wisdom Religion from which all religions and philosophies sprang. Says H.P.B.:
The origin of the Brahmans and Magi in the night of time is one, the Secret Doctrine teaches us. First, there were a hierarchy of adepts, of men profoundly versed in physical and spiritual sciences and occult knowledge, of various nationalities, all celibates, and enlarging their numbers by the transmission of their knowledge to voluntary neophytes. Then when their numbers became too large to be contained in the “Airyanam Vaejo,” the adepts scattered far and wide, and we can trace them establishing other hierarchies on the model of the first in every part of the globe.
Such Adept-Messengers to the four corners of the Globe were the incarnated Ameshaspentas – ”who were all of One Thought, who were all of One Speech, who were all of One Deed, whose thought is the same, whose word is the same, whose deed is the same, who see from afar one another’s soul thinking of good thoughts, thinking of good words, thinking of good deeds, thinking of the World of Light. Radiant are their Paths, shining their ways as they go down to the Libations.”
Theosophy, January-April 1926
B. P. WADIA
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