Conflict, cruelty and affliction plague our world. We turn on the news and most we hear is war, conflict, misery and suffering.
But how can we apply the ancient, pristine wisdom of Aryans, the Zoroastrian faith to our troubled times???
According to the poetic gathas, we are in this material plane to learn and evolve. Yes the bad choices of mortal men bring with them horrendous consequences and much suffering (See Yasna 30.8, 1st rhymed verse line.) Yet we are not here to suffer doom and gloom, but to learn, evolve and grow.
We are all spirits/minds. Our essence/soul is this learning, evolving mind-energy/spirit on an amazing odyssey of consciousness. (See Yasna 30.3 and Yasna 30.5.)
Our choices and decisions shape our destiny. Our future is not set in stone. Our future is an open script of possibilities and probabilities.
It is our choices that realize the different scenarios of our future and destiny (See Yasna 30.3, 3rd rhymed verse line and Yasna 30.4. 2nd rhymed verse line.)
All our arduous paths can turn into an opportunity for evolution into a much brighter state of consciousness (See Yasna 30.11, 2nd and 3rd rhymed verse lines.)
Throughout our lifetimes, we have been men and women, rich, poor, weak and strong, of different faiths and races. But our essence has been none of these experiences but brilliant mind-energy. Enmity and warfare arise when we identify not with our core essence as spirits/minds but with our appearances.
But as Zoroastrians and heirs to the ancient Aryan wisdom, how do we know on which side of the conflict is the light and truth???
There are distinct cases of diabolic evil in this world, forces that are the embodiment of the evil/afflicted spirit (See Yasna 51.10, 2nd rhymed verse line.)
But more often in this world fanciful lies and falsehood are mixed with sublime truths (See Yasna 33.1, 3rd rhymed verse line.)
The poetic gathas ask vástryát vá áitæ yé vá nöit añg-hat vástryö? Who is the steward of the creation and who is not a caretaker of the creation (See Yasna 31.9, 3rd rhymed verse line???)
Vástryö comes from a root that means “to clothe, cover, to empower.” The Avestan phrase means to restore powers to the good creation, helping to heal and empower the living world and its inhabitants. Vástryö is about becoming the Gardener of the worlds.
As Zoroastrians we shall identify with the side with more ashá/arthá “excellence, virtue, brilliance.” For ashá/arthá is not the existing state of affairs and how things are, but the art/brilliance of how they could become ever better. For example ashá/arthá is the art/brilliance of making desert bloom.
The stewardship of creation and enterprise shall be our measure of godliness. Many talk of God, goodness and justice but who is a better steward of creation??? Who has more brilliance/virtue in blooming the barren earth and showing enterprise??? Who is kinder to animals and God’s Creation???
We read in the holy Vendidad (ví-daæv-dátö) on the chapter on earth (Avestan zám, Old Prussian zemyá, Russian zemi) and the places whereon earth feels most happy:
2,3. ‘It is the place whereon one of the faithful erects a house with a priest within, with cattle, with a wife, with children, and good herds within; and wherein afterwards the cattle continue to thrive, virtue to thrive, fodder to thrive, the dog to thrive, the wife to thrive, the child to thrive, the fire to thrive, and every blessing of life to thrive.’
4. It is the place where one of the faithful sows most corn, grass, and fruit…….For He who sows corn, sows virtue, excellence and goodness.
The place where the earth feels the sorest grief according to Vendidad is where demons and diabolic forces are worshipped as divine and the place wherein most corpses of dogs and of men lie buried (where death and destruction rules.)
Many claim righteousness, godliness, but Ideologies that thrive on death, destruction, mistreatment of animals, lie deceit, falsification of truth/history, desertification of this good earth and only know sword wielding and violence are demonic, NOT godly and shall never enjoy our sympathy and support.
Let me conclude by these gathic inspired words: Fate is what the spirit/mind chooses. The fate of mortal man is to battle the host of so much darkness, overcome its limitations, march Godward and arrive on the splendid peaks of God, thereby becoming godlike, the genius gardener and guardian of so many wondrous worlds.