Samstag, 12. Mai 2007

Free choice

One of the most outstanding features of zartusht’s massage is freedom and choice.

In the gathas man has been born free and chooses his fate himself. Even the followers of evil are free to make their own choices.

The importance of freedom and choice in zartusht’s creed are so blatantly clear that there is no need to interpret them.

Zartusht advocates freedom in society and religious practice and worship. In Yasna 30/5 zartusht stresses that one must choose mazda. Man must voluntarily choose to obey him. In Yasna 53/2, zartusht’s daughter and son in law are called on to freely choose the worship of ahura.

Zartusht clearly addresses the responsibility of the individual to fight in order to attain truth and true forgiveness. On this path each man can only fight for himself (Bribes to the church and the clergy are not avail). To make this important decision man can only relay on himself. No relative, tribe, relationship or intermediary can influence this choice. None of these factors are taken into account for no one can help man in making this decision. Zartufht’s greatest discovery was the responsibility of the individual toward god.

The brilliance of the creed of zartusht is that each individual who studies the Gathas learns that this religion relies on a sense of human freedom. The suggestion of good thoughts, good words and good deeds is the most important weapon that burns the imprint of the individual church, institution, and clergy within the mind of the disciple. According to zartusht as stated in the Gathas, fate dose not influence man’s behavior in the future…

Religion depends on one’s understanding and judgment. In one hand one bears truth and goodness while in the other hand lie diversion and lies.

Zartusht’s creed gives life a splendor which is higher than that of any other way of thought. This way of thought distances man from his vermin-like existence of the middle ages and from the mechanical being of today.

Zartusht dose not see humans as figures on a celestial chessboard. Mankind has individuality, will and freedom, for Ahura Mazda wanted man to have this authenticity.

Zartusht’s creed is a religion of free will in its highest form.

In Yasana 30/5 the two essences of thought choose good and evil through free choice. In 30/2 zartusht clearly states that each man must make his own choice between the creeds of truth and falsity. Each man must choose his own religion.

It is interesting that even divine rule must be chosen. This fact is stressed in 53/2 where zartusht states that Ahura Mazda must be chosen. This means that the belief in god’s existence can not be forced to anyone. Man must worship him through a clear conscience.

In conclusion we learn that one of the most important features of zartusht’s religion is choice and human responsibility. No other religion has so clearly stated the documentation of good deeds and bad deeds.

In order to explain zartusht’s creed we need but look at three verses of the Gathas in which free choice has been clearly pronounced:

It has been clearly stressed in this verse that man must choose their leaders freely. They must choose to follow the path he shows. Man is free to choose the path of the false leader but it is man himself who endures the result of his right or wrong choice.

31/11:”In the beginning did thou, Oh Mazda, create bodies and souls for us. Thou did grant us the wisdom of thy thought. Thou did grant life to bodies, Thou gave bodies the power to work. So too did Thou teach each man to choose his creed.”

48/4:”He whose thoughts are good, or he who is evil in words and deeds will find his conscience filled with either good or evil. The path that thoughts choose through freedom and choice will and faith will follow. Finally they (the good and the bad) will be separated from one another.

The importance of free will and choice in the creed of zartusht has been unanimously acclaimed by all oriental scholars who have studied the Gathas. Even those who have put forth the most outlandish interpretations of the Gathas have agreed on the fact that in this creed man is being of free will and choice. As far as this prophet is concern each man must choose his path in life freely.

The Personality of Zartusht and his Mission

Interestingly, the nominal followers of zartushti creed resorted secretive practices up to the previous century. They strove to keep their religion covert as opposed to advancing it. Iran, homeland of this Aryan reformer, rarely remembered this prophet. His name had become a myth drenched in fire worship. Iranian-Muslim scholars introduced him as the student of the Jewish prophets who had created the duality of Ourmazd and Ahriman, the battle between Good and Evil, Who was the leader of fire worshiping magis.

About two centuries ago, western scholars came to learn more of zartusht. Thus, they were drawn to his thoughts. About a century ago, the true massage of zartusht, the Gathas, came to be known. Since that time his thoughts have enchanted researchers. The fame of zartusht quickly spread among scholars, thinkers, and all those who strove to know the philosophical thoughts of the ancient world. In a short period of time many thinkers were drawn to this thought.

Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Latin, the languages of world monotheistic religions, are easily understood, for many still speak them today.

The language of the Gathas however is still difficult to understand, even for the so-called followers of the creed. This has brought innumerable problems to scholars, for the beauty of its composition still remains undiscovered and its complexity and antiquity add to these problems. The language of the Gathas is one of poetry and symbolism which differs from the ordinary tongue of the people. Even the language of the people of the day has long since been forgotten.

In the Gathas zartusht introduces himself as a messenger and a teacher of the masses.

In Yasna 44/11 he says”Lord, I know that you have sent me to carry out this important task as your first teacher.”

In 31/1 he reminds us, “I reveal to you, oh seeker of knowledge, these unheard words. I bring them too for those who lead the world truth to destruction through their lies. Yet they are best for those who love Ahura Mazda.

In 31/2 we read, “Thus do I come to you all as teacher whom mazda has chosen for both groups that we might live through the creed of truth.

His Task is to lead all people of the world-both the good and the wicked. He is not the prophet of a special clan or group. He is to lead even those who lead the world to destruction through wrong and misleading instructions.

Zartusht always addresses those who sought knowledge for he knew knowledge as the key to spiritual understanding, truth, and the creed of justice. He always chose knowledge as the measure of good and evil therefore he had to address the seeker of knowledge as he clearly states. Thus, one can conclude that in the light of the Gathas he was the first teacher of the world. In other words up to a certain period of time man was not ready to seek the truth through the knowledge and understanding. Therefore, according to the Gathas, it could be deduced that zartusht appeared at the time that man began to be the seeker of knowledge.

Through time man has always known divinity with maricals and the prophets and saints were miracle workers and creators of that which was out of the ordinary. The diviners of Egypt, Chaldea, and Assyria… falsified events and brought forth fantastic deeds of their gods in order to maintain their status. Even today mullahs and the advocates of all monotheistic religions turn to fabricated miracles.

The appearance of mosses and Christ is historically ascertained. That which has been said of their personality bears a touch of myth and fantasy and not reality. It is commonplace to accept miracles from mythical being particularly as written in so-called divine scripture which allows the indoctrination of the masses through their intermediaries as the word of god. All this has been built on the foundation of miracles and fantasy to please the masses and they were also reported in church documents.

What is interesting is that even if the founders of a religion themselves rise to refute these miracles their followers will not be able to accept the messengers of god as ordinary mortals and miracles as the works of magicians.

Zartusht and other Religions

Zartusht and Other Religions

According to most institutionalized religions, one can only attain salvation, eternal forgiveness and heaven through the enactment of ceremony, tradition, and particular ritual. The difference in various sects is mostly in the manner of this enactment and not in the principle of religion. The ruthless bloodshed of Catholics and Protestants, Shiites and Sunnis… has been brought about because of the practices of these religions. Even the adversity among the followers of various monotheistic is principally due to practices, customs and trivialities than to basic difference. It is these very practices and traditions that create the institutional church and clergy. The real war is between the churches and not between the basic beliefs. This truth will be clarified by analyzing and comparing monotheistic religions. In the massage of zartusht, it is his description of religion, righteousness, piety, reward and punishment that stands out. As we have already seen, to zartusht the devout are those who believe in truth and honesty and those who enact these principles. Even the zartushti elite like Azargoshasb, Dahala, and Pourdavood …accept that in the Gathas zartusht explains the path of salvation without the presence of the zartushi church.

Zartusht sees assistance to the lower classes and those under pressure as vital, but he dose not see this assistance only in terms of being an ashvan. In 46/5 he clearly states the powerful must help the needy through love and humanitarianism, even if they do not belong to the followers of truth. He must lead the needy to the true path through love and kindness. He must aid through his wisdom. Free man and the followers of truth will choose truth through their will and consciousness. They will do this neither to appease the church nor God but to attain eternal happiness, because this path brings perfection. It is man’s essence and mind that is important here and not how he carries out his tradition or religious practice.

We have seen that the araiyan practices and customs were controlled by diviners and the clergy and with chanting the necessary chant which only these men were suitable to do. I have already said that other institutionalized religions clung to their own rites and ceremonies. There is no such sign of specialized rites and ceremonies in the massage of zartusht. There is no set measure for the worship of God in the Gathas. Zartusht’s interpretation of religion was one of the revolutions of its days. Today three thousand years later this revolution still stands out. Let us imagine what would happen if the pious of various religions were to believe in this truth today. What would come about if they could see God as the shelter of good deeds? What would happen if churches, temples… lost their authority? Would the world be rid of prejudice, vengeance and hatred? Would it turn to love and kindness in order to strengthen itself?

Man should make basic moral principles, which are at the root of all creeds and which have been advocated by all enlighted man, as the basis of his deeds words and thoughts. He should know all man as the creatures of God and he should see them as one. Indoctrinated veils and obstacles which have been handed down to him through ages should be destroyed. Each man should answer the call within according to his understanding. His beloved creed should be implanted within his heart without upsetting his fellow man. It is only at such a time that the world will take on a different face. Then will the pious that merely copy others, the majority of man, stop being puppets and become truly freed man. In such a society the leaders and politicians who advocate diverted thought in the world and who have brought man kind nothing but wretches and spiritual oppression by creating wars would be supplanted. Then will the church and the corrupt clergy who thrive on stagnation never be allowed to flourish.

In all societies it is very few who lead men to corruption and to destruction. They abuse men’s ignorance and thus suppress them in various ways. Most leading institutions of suppression are able to exist by enforcing their will through servants, who are suppressed themselves. Thus is the authority of corrupt elite founded. These servants attain no benefits but only fall to bestial ruin. In many cases man’s destruction in history has been brought about through changes that even today, after the passage of many years and experiences, man is still the puppet of the ruling elite. These elites control the churches and all doctrinaires and the media… Over the years man kind has been so suppressed that today the farmer, the worker even the educated or the scientist have no free will. They all carry out the whims of these elite. Men still rise to partake in holy wars. If men are allowed to bloom through wisdom and good thoughts, love and kindness they will choose to live together and they will refrain from blind submission. All people will become brothers and sisters and they will know that it is only their deeds that prove them and give them value. No single creed, religion or doctrine is higher than another. The world will gradually become the heaven of the true. This has always been the aim of all true reformers. It might be a logical desire, yet it has always remained unattainable. However, the more man works for this aim the greater peace he will know. Society will be led by mankind and it will become humanitarian.

The words of Zartusht

Zartusht Part 5

Zartusht appears as the follower of truth and good mind or thoughts. The interesting fact is that in the gathas there is no mentioning of following zartusht or his creed. The basic principle is the advancement of truth and good deeds and refraining from lies and wiles.

The other interesting principle that we see appear in the Gathas is that zartusht words are his own and not those of God. God has granted him eloquence, pure wisdom and good thoughts. He has simply profited from these blessings and instructions in order to send forth words for mankind that had never been heard. Zartusht never claims that the Gathas are the words of God or that his hymns are divine inspiration. There are hymns that one can indirectly assume that has profited from inspiration and enlightenment, but what is actually stated in his own and not that of God.

The followers of other religions claim that their script is the direct word of God. This has made them carry out that which has been written word for word.

This belief has caused the exact enactment and empowerment of religious institutions and yet it has also cause innumerable controversy that has often ended in destruction and massacre. The churches try to put supernatural principles in their creed in order to turn their creed into the words of God which must be obeyed with blind submission. Undoubtedly that which was said three thousand years ago bears the ambience and condition of its own time. This particularly true of that which concerns the daily lives of men, their traditions and customs. All this could have been well enacted in its own days. Today, after the passage of several millennia and basic changes in the lives and possibilities of man, these ancient interpretations regardless of how superior they might have been, can no longer adhere to the lives of present day man. If we look into these practices we will see how illogical many of these instructions are. Thus, in order for the church to survive it has to claim that it is the direct word of God and therefore eternal. It needs to claim that it dose and will continue to be the command of God as long as man lives on this terrestrial plane.

The God of psalms and poetry is the creation of the poet’s imagination. He is not the great life giving dadar of the world. The psalms of God can be heard in the order of creation and in all universal phenomena, his countenance can be seen in the heart of the universe—an endless world. His realm can be attained through human wisdom. Those Gods who only listen to Gathic, Vedic, and Hebrew… are the creations of zartushtis, Indians, Jews… The language of God is the language of nature and of creation. All the creatures of the world speak this language for God is the creator of life, body, words and speech. The zartusht who is presented in the Gathas has placed love, kindness, wisdom, good thoughts, tolerance and understanding at the base of his teachings. These teachings cannot be the foundation of prejudice and rigidity that has found root in rendering the Gathas as divine nor in making the Bondahishn and Ardavirnameh sacred, which are all negation of God. Notably, Zartushti thinkers and scholars, through tradition and heredity, not only see zartusht’s saying and lamentations as the words of God, and continue to use them as prayers and incantations, but also consider many superstitions of the new Avesta sacred and accept it as their scripture. Unfortunately, zartushtis are not the only ones caught in the grips of indoctrinated hereditary belief for most followers of religions are caught in the same clutch and have thereby trapped humanity.

Zartusht (Haven and hell)

Zartusht (Haven and Hell)

Zartusht’s creed has no metaphysics in it. It bears nothing outside the limits of nature and he never spoke of the abnormal or of the supernormal. The elements he speaks of existed in reality although they were tied to a higher world. The atmosphere that can be felt is higher than the environment we exist in and yet somehow it is tied to this environment. This ambience comes from condition of herd life three thousand years ago. Interestingly, the more this environment expands its atmosphere also expands like marks on a balloon. They never leave this atmosphere and they are always tied to the realm of thoughts as they expand. Wisdom, knowledge, choice, good thoughts, truth, world order, natural law, power of the will, realm of power of God, creator… realm of song, home of lies… all are comprehensible terms. But the wisdom that was used along the Amu Daria three thousand years ago was different from the one that is being used today. Primitive religions have been basically created on myths. These myths also have great importance in monotheistic religions. But zartusht’s creed knows no myth. Mysterious realms and ambience prevail in mythology. Amazing events that are beyond human capability are wrought through the power of Gods in these myths. In monotheism, we see miracles. Moses separates the sees, Jesus breaths life into the dead and walks on water or rises to the heavens. Jonas lives within a whale… there are no such elements in the Gathas.

This very deficiency of fantasy is the most important element of zartusht’s creed which proves its pertinence to reality. The religion of early man was one of mythology and the religion of modern man has been founded on these very myths. It has taken several millennia to indoctrinate these convictions thereby making religion a metaphysical creation.

Man cannot understand religion without rites, ceremonies, fantasy and imagination. This is why zartusht’s creed became enshrouded in these elements through the ages to such an extend that little has been left of the original creed. The magis and the diviners had to draw man to themselves. They had to prescribe a religion for man that bore fantasy, metaphysics, myths, dreams and images to such an extent that they could no longer be recognized.

Whenever a society is able to add to its good thinkers and to its humanitarians it will know less evil. One can not live among evil thinkers in happiness where there is corruption. The very leaders of such society know no happiness either. No revolution can bring man kind true moral and spiritual change without the enhancement of the real life of the masses. Zartusht advocates activity, struggle with oppressors and liars deceivers and the support of the needy and of the weak with internal and moral change that can bring man wisdom. This is the most realistic and pragmatic plan whose continuation can bring man betterment of life. Likewise, zartusht speaks indirectly of the other life in order not to destroy hope for man. He creates no market for the trade of religious intermediaries. There is no need for intermediaries to attain haven and escape hell. He leaves no room for such merchants. Each man is to set on his path through free will and hard work. The creed of zartusht knows no trade with God. Yet man has not yet reached that level of maturity to rid himself of centuries of indoctrination. Most people are still caught in the embrace of fantasy. Almost all people are still caught in the throes of emotional and inherited motivations. Objective religions cannot thrive in such an environment. It will take a long time for this to be brought about and for the intermediaries of religion to be destroyed. At this point dealing and bargaining with paradise and hell will be stopped.