“Joy in the Heart”
The Light of Persia–
Mystical Experiences with Zarathustra
In the name of my Mighty I AM Presence
I bow to the Light of the Ascended Master Zarathustra.
The teachings of one man have influenced Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, Christian and Jewish Gnosticism, Pythagoras, Plato, the Essenes and all of us who are gathered here. Yet very little is known about him.
His name was Zarathustra, he was the founder of Zoroastrianism, and he started a revolution of Light against Darkness that is ongoing today. And we are a part of that revolution!
Mary Boyce, Emeritus Professor of Iranian Studies at the University of London, points out: “Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.” <1>
Who was Zarathustra?
According to R. C. Zaehner, former Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University, Zarathustra was “one of the greatest religious geniuses of all time....[He] was a prophet, or at least conceived himself to be such; he spoke to his God face to face....[Yet] about the Prophet himself we know almost nothing that is authentic.” <2>
Zarathustra lived in a nonliterate society, whose people did not keep records. His teachings were passed down by oral tradition, and much of what was later written down about his life and teachings has been lost or destroyed.
What scholars have been able to piece together about him comes from three sources–the study of the historical milieu prior to and during the time Zarathustra is believed to have lived, tradition, and seventeen sacred hymns called Gathas. Scholars concur that Zarathustra composed these hymns. The Gathas are recorded in the Avesta, the sacred scriptures of Zoroastrianism.
It is not clear where or when Zarathustra was born. It is believed he was born in what is now east central Iran, but that is not certain. Zarathustra’s date of birth is even more difficult to establish. Scholars place it sometime between 1700 b.c. and 600 b.c. The consensus is that he lived around 1000 b.c. or earlier.
The Gathas are the key to determining Zarathustra’s approximate year of birth. They are linguistically similar to the Rigveda, one of the sacred texts of the Hindus. According to Boyce:
The language of the Gathas is archaic, and close to that of the Rigveda (whose composition has been assigned to about 1700 b.c. onwards); and the picture of the world to be gained from [the Gathas] is correspondingly ancient, that of a Stone Age society....It is only possible therefore to hazard a reasoned conjecture that [Zarathustra] lived some time between 1700 and 1500 b.c. <3>
Other scholars working with the same evidence place his birth between 1400 and 1200 b.c.
The Gathas say that Zarathustra was of the Spitama family, a family of knights. One school of thought says the name Zarathustra means “owner of old camels.” Well, if that is the real meaning, Zarathustra, we are your camels!
Dr. H. Michael Simmons of the Center for Zoroastrian Research says this meaning comes from Zarath, meaning “old,” and Ushtra, meaning “camel.” But the Greek name for Zarathustra is Zoroaster, which Simmons says means “Golden Star,” or “Golden Light.” <4> So, happily we are saved!
Zarathustra, will you have us as your golden stars?
Let’s look at Zarathustra’s life before he received his calling. In the Gathas, Zarathustra referred to himself as a priest. There were different categories of priests. The specific group Zarathustra belonged to wrote elaborate religious poetry. <5>
Zarathustra also referred to himself as a manthran. Can anybody guess what that is? A manthran is one who is able to formulate mantras. You just about got that, didn’t you?
Zarathustra was also an initiate. According to Boyce, “He... describes himself [in the Gathas] as a ‘vaedemna’ or ‘one who knows,’ an initiate possessed of divinely inspired wisdom.” <6> But first and foremost, Zarathustra was a prophet, and he is a prophet and he lives today among us as an Ascended Master.
The Gathas depict him as talking to God. They say, “He is ‘the Prophet who raises his voice in veneration, the friend of Truth,’ God’s friend, a ‘true enemy to the followers of the Lie and a powerful support to the followers of the Truth.’” <7>
Zarathustra was an outspoken enemy of the followers of the Lie. I like that kind of a guy, don’t you? [7-second applause] All of us count ourselves, I think, as true enemies of liars, but how many of us often go up to them and tell them about it? That’s what’s special about Zarathustra.
Tradition holds that at the age of twenty Zarathustra left his father, mother and wife to wander in search of Truth. Ten years later he had the first of many visions. See how long God tries your soul. So keep on allowing him to try you.
Boyce writes: “According to tradition Zoroaster was thirty, the time of ripe wisdom, when revelation finally came to him. This great happening is alluded to in one of the Gathas and is tersely described in a Pahlavi [Middle Persian] work. Here it is said that Zoroaster, being at a gathering [called] to celebrate a spring festival, went at dawn to a river to fetch water.” <8>
Now, at dawn tomorrow be sure you’re at the Mol Heron Creek! Wait till you hear what happened to Zarathustra:
He waded in to draw [the water] from midstream; and when he returned to the bank...he had a vision. He saw on the bank a shining Being, who revealed himself as Vohu Manah ‘Good [Mind]’; and this Being led Zoroaster into the presence of Ahura Mazda and five other radiant figures, before whom ‘he did not see his own shadow upon the earth, owing to their great light’. And it was then, from this great heptad [or group of seven beings], that he received his revelation. <9>
We can conjecture that the seven beings of this great heptad were none other than the Seven Holy Kumaras.
Ahura Mazda means “Wise Lord.” Zarathustra recognized Ahura Mazda as the one true God, the creator of the universe. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Zarathustra may have been the first monotheist in recorded history. Zaehner points out, “The great achievement of the Iranian Prophet [was] that he eliminated all the ancient gods of the Iranian pantheon, leaving only Ahura Mazdah, the ‘Wise Lord’, as the One True God.” <10>
Some scholars assert that Zarathustra was not a strict monotheist but a henotheist, that is, one who worships one God but does not deny the existence of others. This is a technical distinction. As David Bradley, author of A Guide to the World’s Religions, notes, “[Zarathustra] was a practicing monotheist in the same way that Moses was.” <11> Bradley thinks that Moses knew of the existence of lesser gods but insisted on the necessity of siding with the true God against all other gods. <12>
Shortly after his first vision, Zarathustra became a spokesman for Ahura Mazda and began to proclaim his message. According to Simmons, Zarathustra instituted a religious reform that was more far-reaching and more radical than Martin Luther’s challenge of the Roman Catholic Church. <13>
Zarathustra’s reform had a number of facets. His main objective was to stamp out Evil. He began to condemn the religious doctrines of his countrymen.
The old religion, as best we can tell, had two classes of deities–the ahuras, or “lords,” and the daevas, or “demons.” According to Zaehner:
It is...the daevas specifically whom Zoroaster attacks, not the ahuras whom he prefers to ignore....In all probability he considered them to be God’s creatures and as fighters on his side. In any case he concentrated the full weight of his attack on the daevas and their worshippers who practised a gory sacrificial ritual and were the enemies of the settled pastoral community to which the Prophet himself belonged. <14>
At first Zarathustra had little success in spreading his message. Zaehner observes, “It is obvious from the Gathas that Zoroaster met with very stiff opposition from the civil and ecclesiastical authorities when once he had proclaimed his mission.” <15> He was persecuted by the priests and followers of the daevas. According to tradition, they tried to kill him a number of times.
It took ten years for Zarathustra to make his first convert, his cousin. (That’s what you get for attacking everybody else’s gods!) He was then divinely led to the court of King Vishtaspa and Queen Hutaosa.
Vishtaspa was an honest, simple monarch but was surrounded by the Karpans, a group of self-seeking, manipulative priests. They convened a council to challenge the revelations of the new prophet and successfully conspired to have him thrown in jail. As the story goes, Zarathustra won his freedom by miraculously curing the king’s favorite black horse.
Vishtaspa granted him permission to teach the new faith to his consort, Queen Hutaosa. The beautiful Hutaosa became one of Zarathustra’s greatest supporters and assisted him in converting Vishtaspa.
After two long years, the monarch was finally converted. But Vishtaspa required one final sign before he would totally embrace the faith. He asked to be shown what role he would play in the heaven-world.
In response, Ahura Mazda sent three Archangels to the court of Vishtaspa and Hutaosa. They appeared as effulgent knights in full armour, riding on horseback. According to one text, they arrived in such glory that “their radiance in that lofty residence seemed...a heaven of complete light, owing to their great power and triumph;...when he thus looked upon [them], the exalted king Vishtaspa trembled, all his courtiers trembled, all his chieftains were confused.” <16>
Radiating a blinding light and the sound of thunder, they announced that they had come on behalf of Ahura Mazda in order that the king might receive the fullness of the message of Zarathustra. They promised Vishtaspa a life span of 150 years and that he and Hutaosa would have an immortal son. The Archangels warned, however, that if Vishtaspa should decide not to take up the religion, his end would not be far away. The king embraced the faith and the entire court followed suit. The scriptures record that the Archangels then took up their abode with Vishtaspa.
In a dictation given January 1, 1981, the Ascended Master Zarathustra spoke of King Vishtaspa and Queen Hutaosa, and this is what he said:
I AM come to deliver the sacred fire of the Sun behind the sun to raise you up and to establish in you the original teaching of Ahura Mazda, Sanat Kumara, delivered long ago in the land of ancient Persia unto me and unto the king and queen who received the conversion of Archangels and of the sacred fire and of holy angels by the descent of Light. Thus, by their lifestreams’ acceptance of my prophecy, there came to pass the multiplication of the bread of Life from the heart of Sanat Kumara, whose messenger I was, whose messenger I remain....
The teaching of the hosts of the Lord and the coming of the great avatar of Light, the teaching of betrayal and the consequent warfare of his hosts against the evil ones, was understood and propagated. The law of karma, the law of reincarnation, and even the vision of the last days when Evil and the Evil One would be vanquished–all of this went forth by the conversion of the king and the queen and the reaching out of the faith to all of the subjects of the land.
Thus, the tests were given by the Archangels through my office unto these two chosen ones. Thereby passing the tests, they became blessed as secondary emissaries of Sanat Kumara. And therefore, I the prophet and they holding the balance in the earth manifested a trinity of Light and the figure-eight flow.
Realize the necessary ingredients for the propagation of the faith throughout the earth.
The Archangels send their Messenger with a gift of prophecy that is the Word of Sanat Kumara to every culture and in every age. Thus, the prophet comes forth with the vision, with the anointing and with the sacred fire. But unless the prophet find the fertile field of hearts aflame and receptive, the authority of the Word does not pass unto the people. <17>
Thus, we hear that Ahura Mazda is none other than Sanat Kumara.
Let’s take a closer look at Zarathustra’s teaching. Zarathustra recognized Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, as the creator of all, but he did not see him as a solitary figure. In Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda is the father of Spenta Mainyu, the Holy Spirit. Spenta means “holy” or “bountiful.” Mainyu means “spirit” or “mentality.” The Holy Spirit is one with, yet distinct from, Ahura Mazda. Ahura Mazda expresses his will through Spenta Mainyu.
Boyce explains: “For Zarathushtra God was Ahura Mazda, who...had created the world and all that is good in it through his Holy Spirit, Spenta Mainyu, who is both his active agent and yet one with him, indivisible and yet distinct.” <18> Simply put, the Spirit is always the Spirit of the Lord. When we speak of the Holy Spirit, it is the Spirit of God.
Ahura Mazda is also the father of the Amesha Spentas, or six “Holy” or “Bountiful Immortals.” Boyce says that the term spenta is one of the most important in Zarathustra’s theology. To him, it meant “possessing power.” When used in connection with the beneficent deities, it meant “possessing power to aid” and hence “furthering, supporting, benefiting.” <19>
Zarathustra taught that Ahura Mazda created the world in seven stages. He did so with the help of the six great Holy Immortals and his Holy Spirit. The term Amesha Spenta can refer to any one of the divinities created by Ahura Mazda but refers especially to the six who helped create the world. <20> According to Boyce:
These divinities formed a heptad with Ahura Mazda himself....Ahura Mazda is said either to be their ‘father’, or to have ‘mingled’ himself with them, and in one...text his creation of them is compared with the lighting of torches from a torch.
The six great Beings then in their turn, Zoroaster taught, evoked other beneficent divinities, who are in fact the beneficent gods of the pagan Iranian pantheon....All these divine beings, who are...either directly or indirectly the emanations of Ahura Mazda, strive under him, according to their various appointed tasks, to further good and to defeat evil. <21>
The six Holy or Bountiful Immortals also represent attributes of Ahura Mazda. The Holy Immortals are as follows:
Vohu Manah, whose name means “Good Mind,” “Good Thought” or “Good Purpose.” According to Boyce, “For every individual, as for the prophet himself,” Vohu Manah is “the Immortal who leads the way to all the rest.” Asha Vahishta, whose name means “Best Righteousness,” “Truth” or “Order,” is the closest confederate of Vohu Manah. <22>
Spenta Armaiti, “Right-mindedness” or “Holy Devotion,” Boyce says, embodies the dedication to what is good and just. Khshathra Vairya, “Desirable Dominion,” represents the power that each person should exert for righteousness as well as the power and the kingdom of God. <23>
The final two are a pair. They are Haurvatat, whose name means “Wholeness” or “Health,” and Ameretat, whose name means “Long Life” or “Immortality.” Boyce says these two enhance earthly existence and confer eternal well-being and life, which may be obtained by the righteous in the presence of Ahura Mazda. <24>
“The doctrine of the Heptad,” she says, “is at the heart of Zoroastrian theology. Together with [the concept of Good and Evil] it provides the basis for Zoroastrian spirituality and ethics, and shapes the characteristic Zoroastrian attitude of responsible stewardship for this world.” <25> In later tradition, the six Holy Immortals were considered to be Archangels.
When it came to Good and Evil, Zarathustra tended to see things in terms of black and white. According to Zaehner, “The Prophet knew no spirit of compromise.” <26>
There is no prophet who ever knows any spirit of compromise. I will tell you why. The prophet of God embodies the Mighty I AM Presence. He is not the mediator. He is the one who embodies God as Law and Lawgiver. And so he walks the earth with a great intensity of fire, seeking to separate people from their relativities that suck them into the maya and glamour of the illusionary existence.
So this was true of the prophets of Israel. They had such an intensity of oneness with the Mighty I AM Presence and they delivered that intensity. That “stuff” of the Mighty I AM Presence is the stuff that prophets are made of.
Zaehner says: “On the one hand stood Asha–Truth and Righteousness–[and] on the other the Druj–the Lie, Wickedness, and Disorder. This was not a matter on which compromise was possible [as far as Zarathustra was concerned]....The Prophet [forbade] his followers to have any contact with the ‘followers of the Lie’.” <27>
The origin of the conflict between Truth and the Lie is described in the Gathas. It is presented as a myth about two Spirits, called twins, who must make a choice between Good and Evil at the beginning of time. One of the two is the Holy Spirit, the son of Ahura Mazda. The other is the Evil Mind or the Evil Spirit, Angra Mainyu.
Zarathustra introduced the myth with the following words, which underscore the all-important concept of free will and that every man must choose the Truth or the Lie: “Hear with your ears, behold with mind all clear the two choices between which you must decide, each man [deciding] for his own self, [each man] knowing how it will appear to us at the [time of] great crisis.” <28> Then he proceeded to recount the myth:
In the beginning those two Spirits who are the well-endowed twins were known as the one good and the other evil, in thought, word, and deed. Between them the wise chose rightly, not so the fools. And when these Spirits met they established in the beginning life and death that in the end the followers of the Lie should meet with the worst existence, but the followers of Truth with the Best Mind.
Of these two Spirits he who was of the Lie chose to do the worst things; but the Most Holy Spirit, clothed in rugged heaven, [chose] Truth as did [all] who sought with zeal to do the pleasure of the Wise Lord by [doing] good works.
Clothed in rugged heaven, he came! Isn’t that an apt description of the character of the Holy Spirit as he appears to us?
Between the two the daevas [the demons] did not choose rightly; for, as they deliberated, delusion overcame them so that they chose the most Evil Mind. Then did they, with one accord, rush headlong unto Fury that they might thereby extinguish the existence of mortal men. <29>
The Holy Spirit and the Evil Spirit are, as Zaehner puts it, “irreconcilably opposed to each other.” <30> Zarathustra said, “I will speak out concerning the two Spirits of whom, at the beginning of existence, the Holier thus spoke to him who is Evil: ‘Neither our thoughts, nor our teachings, nor our wills, nor our choices, nor our words, nor our deeds, nor our consciences, nor yet our souls agree.’” <31>
Zaehner notes that this state of conflict affected every sphere of activity human or divine. In the social sphere, the conflict took place between the pastoral communities of peaceful cattle breeders, who were “followers of Truth or Righteousness,” and the bands of predatory nomads, who raided the cattle breeders. Zarathustra called these predatory nomads the “followers of the Lie.” <32>
On the religious plane, the conflict took place between Zarathustra and his followers and those who were followers of the traditional Iranian religion and worshiped the daevas. The adherents of this ancient religion said it was founded by Yima, the child of the Sun. Zarathustra attacked Yima and the ritual of animal sacrifice he had introduced. <33>
He also condemned the rite associated with drinking haoma, the fermented juice of a plant that caused “filthy drunkenness.” <34> Scholars are not sure what haoma was, but they conclude from the description of the effects it had on those who drank it that it probably contained a hallucinogen. Zaehner writes: “For Zoroaster the whole cult with its bloody sacrifice and ritual drunkenness is anathema–a rite offered to false gods and therefore a ‘lie’.” <35>
Zarathustra said “the followers of the Lie” destroyed life and strove to “sever the followers of Truth from the Good Mind.” <36> The followers of the Lie knew who Zarathustra was, recognized the danger he represented and did everything they could to destroy him. To this end, they continued to sacrifice bulls and participate in the haoma rite.
According to Zaehner, “There would seem to be little doubt that an actual state of war existed between the two parties, Zoroaster and his patron Vishtaspa standing on the one side and the so-called followers of the Lie, many of whom he mentions by name, on the other.” <37>
Finally, the battle went on right within man. John Noss, author of Man’s Religions, observes that “it was perhaps Zoroaster’s cardinal moral principle, that each man’s soul is the seat of a war between good and evil.” <38>
One of the principal weapons used to attack demons and evil men was the prayer written by Zarathustra, the Ahuna Vairya. This short prayer is the most sacred of Zoroastrian prayers. I will read it to you:
As the Master, so is the Judge to be chosen in accord with Truth. Establish the power of acts arising from a life lived with good purpose, for Mazda and for the lord whom they made pastor for the poor. <39>
The lord in the last line of this prayer is thought to be Zarathustra himself. The prayer is ancient. It is written in the style of the Rigveda. According to Simmons, this prayer is a mantra. Simmons says that Zoroastrians believe that “pronouncing words in Zoroastrian ritual has an effect on the external world.” They believe that if a particular mantra is pronounced correctly, it will affect outer circumstances. <40>
A mantra is always effective when properly recited, whether it is given in the form of our decrees or as Hindu mantras or other legitimate mantras handed down to us from the heirs of Sanat Kumara. All true living Gurus on this planet have descended from Sanat Kumara. He is the Great Guru and the one who sponsors the earth and the Great White Brotherhood in the earth. He is the one who has released the mantras through them. Descending from his lineage are the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, Jesus Christ, and so forth–all of the great Lights that have come down.
When we give their mantras and give them correctly, the entire four lower bodies of the earth and her people are affected. And that means that we ourselves must be a chalice for the mantra and hold the balance for the mantra as it penetrates the sheaths of the earth.
Zaehner sums up:
For Zoroaster there is only one God, Creator of heaven and earth and of all things. In his relations with the world God acts through his main “faculties” which are sometimes spoken of as being engendered by him–his Holy Spirit, [his] Righteousness, [his] Good Mind, and Right-mindedness. Further he is master of the Kingdom, Wholeness, and Immortality, which also form aspects of himself.
Righteousness or Truth is the objective standard of right behaviour which God chooses....Wickedness or disorder...is the objective standard of all that strives against God, the standard which the Evil Spirit chooses at the beginning of existence. Evil imitates the good creation: and so we find the Evil Spirit operating against the Holy Spirit, the Evil Mind against the Good Mind, the Lie or wickedness against Truth or Righteousness, and Pride against Right-mindedness.
Evil derives from the wrong choice of a free being who must in some sense derive from God, but for whose wickedness God cannot be held responsible. Angra Mainyu or Ahriman, [names for] the Devil, is not yet co-eternal with God as he was to become in the later system: he is the Adversary of the Holy Spirit only, not of God himself. <41>
But in the end, according to Zoroastrian doctrine, Good will triumph over Evil.
These concepts about the birth of Evil very closely parallel the concept of the birth of Evil that we studied in the Kabbalah. It would be well for you to compare the two when you are able to study both of these lectures or do your own research on the subject.
Another important point we have here is that Evil imitates the Good. In order to win good souls to its cause, it must appear to be good.
This is where we find that disciples on the Path under the Ascended Masters are most often fooled. They look at people and, without the discernment of the Holy Spirit, they think that because people are parroting good they must be good. They go through the footsteps and the motions of good, they are outwardly personable, they appear to be good human beings. But when you study the parrots, you will see that at subtle levels they often do have evil motives and so they put a patine of good over an evil core. That is why the scriptures say that we must “try the spirits” to see whether they be of God. <42> And, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” <43>
Remember, Evil has nothing original of its own. It’s a copycat. Everything it does and everything it has it has to first copy from God and then slightly distort–introducing an inharmonious chord, a sour note, a kind of a downward spiral that is interesting, enticing, enjoyable, pleasurable, et cetera, but very subtly it takes you down by degrees.
The force works on souls not for a day or a decade but for centuries. Century upon century upon century the Lightbearer, the potential Lightbearer, the potential Christ, will be worked on by evil forces presenting themselves as good.
How many evil people have you ever met who said to you, “Hi! I’m evil and I want you to know it”? Even a black magician will not reveal himself to you until he has, as Mark Prophet always used to say, “chewed you up and spat you out.”
So beware. Beware and test the spirits and don’t make hasty judgments or hasty alliances–or hasty decisions to part with your money. This is one of the biggest problems we see. People part with their money because within themselves they have a desire to multiply that money, to invest it, to gain by it. And so they will trust almost anyone who comes along and will, without even examining or thinking or scrutinizing, enter into some business deal that is ludicrous on the surface.
So please understand that people are not willfully evil unless they are tied to Absolute Evil. But they may have taken on themselves, through many lifetimes, the ways of the Evil One. They may have compromised Truth, compromised their speech, compromised their actions, all the while actually believing that they are very good people. And deep down inside, they probably are very good people, but at the moment they are in a position to influence you on the downward spiral.
So, this is about the old story of the rabbi who sits his son on the wall and tells his son to jump off the wall. And he says, “I’ll catch you.” So his son jumps off the high wall, but the rabbi doesn’t catch him and he falls and hurts himself. So he says, “Dad, why didn’t you catch me?” And his dad says, “Because I don’t want you to ever trust anybody.”
Trust God and wait and see. Pray about things and sleep on them and be careful where you commit your life and your energy.
Now here are a few final concepts from Zarathustra’s teaching. His concept of morality can be summed up with the words “good thoughts, good words, good deeds.” <44> This is the threefold ethic of Zorastrianism. Boyce writes:
All Zoroastrians, men and women alike, wear [a] cord as a girdle, passed three times round the waist and knotted at back and front. Initiation took place at the age of fifteen; and thereafter, every day for the rest of his life, the believer must himself untie and retie the cord repeatedly when praying. The symbolism of the girdle (called in Persian the ‘kusti’) was elaborated down the centuries; but it is likely that from the beginning the three coils were intended to symbolize the threefold ethic of Zoroastrianism, and so to concentrate the wearer’s thoughts on the practice of his faith.
Further, the kusti is tied over an inner shirt of pure white, the ‘sudra,’ which has a little purse sewn into the throat; and this is to remind the believer that he should be continually filling its emptiness with the merit of good thoughts, words and deeds, and so be laying up treasure for himself in heaven. <45>
Fire, of course, also plays a central role in Zarathustra’s religion. Fire was a symbol of Ahura Mazda. It was also a symbol of Truth because of its power to destroy darkness. <46> Bernard Springett writes in his book Zoroaster, the Great Teacher:
Fire, the great object of reverence of Zoroaster’s disciples,...has ever been looked upon as a symbol of Spirit, and of Deity, representing the ever-living and ever-active light–essence of the Supreme Being. The perpetual preservation of fire is the first of the five things consecrated by Zoroaster....The perpetual preservation of fire typifies the essential truth that every man should in like manner make it his constant object to preserve the divine principle in himself which it symbolises. <47>
According to tradition, when Zarathustra was seventy-seven he was assassinated by a priest of the old Iranian religion. Springett writes that “fabulous accounts of Zoroaster’s death are given by the Greek and Latin patristic writers, who assert that he perished by lightning, or a flame from heaven.” <48>
Much of what happened after Zarathustra’s death is shrouded in mystery. Scholars say that his successors reintroduced the old gods that he had dethroned back into his system. They also condoned the haoma ritual. (Today Zoroastrians use a nonhallucinogenic substance in this ritual.)
By the time the Medes came to power in the seventh century b.c., Zoroastrianism was a major force in Persia. But when Alexander the Great conquered Persia in 331 b.c., he killed the priests and burned down the royal palace, destroying whatever may have been recorded of Zoroastrian tradition.
As Boyce describes it, “The Zoroastrians sustained irreparable loss through the death of so many of their priests. In those days, when all religious works were handed down orally, the priests were the living books of the faith, and with mass slaughters many ancient works (the tradition holds) were lost, or only haltingly preserved.” <49>
About a.d. 225, Zoroastrianism reemerged in Persia and was the state religion until around 651, when the Moslems conquered Persia. Although Zoroastrianism was officially tolerated, the Arab conquerors encouraged conversion to Islam through societal pressures, economic incentives or force. Many Zoroastrians converted or went into exile. Loyal Zoroastrians who remained in Persia were taxed for the privilege of practicing their faith. In later centuries, persecution of Zoroastrians escalated. As of 1976, there were only 129,000 Zoroastrians in the world. <50>
According to Zaehner:
Zoroastrianism has practically vanished from the world today, but much of what the Iranian Prophet taught lives on in no less than three great religions–Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It seems fairly certain that the main teachings of Zoroaster were known to the Jews in the Babylonian captivity, and so it was that in those vital but obscure centuries that preceded the coming of Jesus Christ Judaism had absorbed into its bloodstream more of the Iranian Prophet’s teaching than it could well admit.
It seems probable that it was from him and from his immediate followers that the Jews derived the idea of the immortality of the soul, of the resurrection of the body, of a Devil who works not as a servant of God but as his Adversary, and perhaps too of an eschatological Saviour who was to appear at the end of time. All these ideas, in one form or another, have passed into both Christianity and Islam. <51>
Some modern-day Zoroastrians say that Zarathustra taught a path of mystical union with God. Dr. Farhang Mehr, a founder of the World Zoroastrian Organization, says that the Zoroastrian mystic seeks union with God but retains his identity. In his book The Zoroastrian Tradition, he writes: “In uniting with God, man does not vanish as a drop in the ocean.” <52>
Mehr says that Zarathustra was “the greatest mystic” and that the path of mysticism is rooted in the Gathas. According to Mehr, the path of mysticism in Zoroastrianism is called the path of Asha, or the path of Truth or Righteousness. <53>
Mehr delineates six stages in this path, which he correlates to the attributes of the six Holy Immortals. In the first stage the mystic strengthens the good mind and discards the evil mind. In the second stage he embodies righteousness. In the third he acquires divine courage and power. This enables him to selflessly serve his fellowman.
In the fourth stage the mystic acquires universal love. This allows him to replace self-love with a universal love–God’s love for all. In the fifth stage he achieves perfection, which is synonymous with self-realization. And in the sixth and final stage, he achieves immortality, communion (or union) with God. <54>
Now let us take another look at Ahura Mazda. We have seen that Ahura Mazda is none other than Sanat Kumara, the Ancient of Days spoken of in the Book of Daniel. Sanat Kumara is the hierarch of Venus and Great Guru of the seed of Christ. The name Sanat Kumara comes from the Sanskrit, meaning “always a youth.”
Aeons ago all Light had gone out in the evolutions of earth. So great was their departure from cosmic law that the Cosmic Council decreed the dissolution of the planet. Sanat Kumara volunteered to come to earth to keep the threefold flame of Life on behalf of her people. The Solar Lords granted him a dispensation to do so. One hundred and forty-four thousand souls from Venus volunteered to come with him to support his mission. They vowed to keep the Flame with him until the children of God would once again serve their Mighty I AM Presence.
Many of you were among that 144,000, also spoken of in the Book of Revelation. <55> You volunteered to come here with Sanat Kumara, and you knew that you would remain until the people you were responsible for had the teaching of the Mighty I AM Presence and once again had found the way back to God.
That day is dawning in this age, and thereby we know that finally we do have an opportunity to take our leave of planet earth, if we so choose, in the ritual of the ascension. And so the twentieth century has been a wondrous century, and it is a wondrous century of opportunity that is coming upon us as the fulfillment of the ancient teachings is made known publicly in the marts of the world.
So, Sanat Kumara established his retreat called Shamballa on an island in the Gobi Sea, now the Gobi Desert. Four hun-dred, who formed the avant-garde, preceded Sanat Kumara to earth and built this most beautiful palace of Light and retreat on that spot.
The first to respond to his flame was Gautama Buddha, followed by Lord Maitreya and Jesus Christ. Sanat Kumara held the position of Lord of the World until his disciple Gautama Buddha reached sufficient attainment to hold that office. On January 1, 1956, Gautama Buddha was crowned Lord of the World. Sanat Kumara retained the title Regent Lord of the World and returned to Venus and to his twin flame, the Lady Master Venus.
What we learn from the records and the history of Zarathustra is nothing compared to what we learn when we stand in his aura. Being in the presence of Zarathustra is like being in the presence of the physical sun itself. The mastery that he has of spiritual fire and physical fire is, if not the highest, among the highest of any adept ascended from this planet.
If you want to keep the flame of Zarathustra, you must visualize him keeping the flame, the divine spark, in your own heart. He is the greatest “fire-tender” of them all, if you will.
And when you call to him, remember that when you are engaged in the battle of Light and Darkness and you give our call for the binding of the forces of Antichrist, there is no greater devourer of the dark forces than Zarathustra himself. And he does it with his ten thousand flames. And to think of him having had this zeal for thousands upon thousands of years (and, who knows, perhaps as far back as Atlantis and Lemuria) as he came again in the dawn of history to Persia to bring the knowledge of the religion of fire–it is truly awesome.
This is why Zoroastrianism and Mighty Zarathustra are placed on the Eighth Ray chakra, the secret chamber of the heart. It is the Eighth Ray chakra and the eight-petaled chakra. In order to enter there, you must first be able to stand in the twelve-petaled heart chakra. The threefold flame burns on the altar of the secret chamber of the heart. Your high priest, who is your Holy Christ Self, retires to that secret chamber to keep that flame. Zarathustra and other Ascended Masters can and do visit you there and they tutor your soul.
Since we are Keepers of the Flame, we are fire-tenders. We are surely initiates of Zarathustra if we desire to be and, more than that, initiates of the priesthood of Melchizedek.
It is very important that we are acquainted with this religious tradition of Persia and that we have and feel in our hearts this tremendous zeal of this Zarathustra, who is alive and more alive than ever today! Just remember, Ascended Masters are never static. They increase and add rings upon rings to their Tree of Life. And in Zarathustra’s case, he is most certainly adding rings upon rings of fire to his aura and Causal Body.
I will say, if you dare, call him to stand where you are tonight and feel what it feels like to have that substance melted that is hard as rock, as rock can be–substance that has been in your subconscious and your unconscious for aeons. That is the experience we anticipate as we prepare now for the dictation of the Mighty Zarathustra. Thank you. [21-second standing ovation]
Messenger’s Invocation before the Lecture:
Light descending from Ahura Mazda, penetrate all elements of being. Let Light be reflected in Light.
O Thou Fiery One, Mighty Zarathustra, we welcome you to the chamber of our heart! O Thou Great Master of the Eighth Ray chakra, burn brightly tonight! Burn brightly thy flame on the altar of our hearts.
O Holy One of God, thou who hast shown us the way of the sacred fire consuming all Evil, evil ones and the energy veil, mighty pioneer in the separating of Light from Darkness, enter this company of souls who love you, who adore the sacred fire that you are. Take us, then, tier upon tier, to the planes of heaven. Part the way by sacred fire!
We gladly submit to thy flame, O Blessed One, whilst thou dost hold for us the mighty balance for all substance not of the Light, all sticky substance of the human consciousness.
Blaze, O fire! Blaze, O fire! Blaze, O fire of Zarathustra!
In the name Ahura Mazda, in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the Divine Mother, Amen.
“The Light of Persia–Mystical Experiences with Zarathustra” was delivered by the Messenger Elizabeth Clare Prophet prior to the dictation of beloved Zarathustra on Wednesday, July 1, 1992, during the ten-day conference FREEDOM 1992: “Joy in the Heart” held at the Royal Teton Ranch, Park County, Montana. It has been edited for publication.
1. Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians, Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), p. 1.
2. R. C. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” in The Concise Encyclopaedia of Living Faiths, ed. R. C. Zaehner (1959; reprint, Boston: Beacon Press, 1967), pp. 222, 209.
3. Boyce, Zoroastrians, p. 18.
4. Telephone interviews with H. Michael Simmons, Center for Zoroastrian Research, 28 June 1992, 17 August 1992.
5. Mircea Eliade, ed., The Encyclopedia of Religion (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987), 15:557.
6. Boyce, Zoroastrians, p. 19.
7. Gathas: Yasnas 50.6, 46.2, 43.8, quoted in Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 210.
8. Boyce, Zoroastrians, p. 19.
10.. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 210.
11. David G. Bradley, A Guide to the World’s Religions (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963), p. 40.
13. Simmons, telephone interview, 28 June 1992.
14. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 210.
15. R. C. Zaehner, The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1961), p. 35.
16. Dinkart 7.4.75-76, quoted in Bernard H. Springett, Zoroaster, the Great Teacher (London: William Rider and Son, 1923), p. 25.
17. Zarathustra, January 1, 1981, in Where the Eagles Gather, Book I (1981 Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 24) (Livingston, Mont.: Summit University Press, 1982), pp. 143-44.
18. Mary Boyce, ed. and trans., Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism (1984; reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), p. 12.
19. Boyce, Zoroastrians, p. 22.
21. Ibid., p. 21.
22. Ibid., p. 22; Boyce, Textual Sources, p. 13.
23. Boyce, Zoroastrians, p. 22.
25. Boyce, Textual Sources, p. 14.
26. Zaehner, Dawn, p. 36.
28. Gatha: Yasna 30, quoted in Zaehner, Dawn, p. 42.
30. Zaehner, Dawn, pp. 42-43.
31. Gatha: Yasna 45.2, quoted in Zaehner, Dawn, p. 43.
32. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” pp. 211, 210.
33. Ibid., p. 211.
34. Gatha: Yasna 48.10, quoted in Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 211.
35. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 211.
36. Gatha: Yasna 32.11, quoted in Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 211.
37. Zaehner, Dawn, p. 36.
38. John B. Noss, Man’s Religions, 5th ed. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1974), p. 443.
39. Ahuna Vairya, in Boyce, Textual Sources, p. 56.
40. Simmons, telephone interview, 28 June 1992.
41. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 213.
42. I John 4:1.
43. Matt. 7:15-20; 12:33; Luke 6:43, 44.
44. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 221.
45. Boyce, Zoroastrians, pp. 31-32.
46. Zaehner, Dawn, pp. 47-48.
47. Springett, Zoroaster, p. 60.
48. Ibid., p. 32.
49. Boyce, Zoroastrians, p. 79.
50. Ibid., p. 226.
51. Zaehner, “Zoroastrianism,” p. 222.
52. Farhang Mehr, The Zoroastrian Tradition: An Introduction to the Ancient Wisdom of Zarathustra (Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1991), p. 93.
53. Ibid., pp. 94, 93, 70; telephone interview with Farhang Mehr, 1 July 1992.
54. Mehr, Zoroastrian Tradition, pp. 94-96.
55. Rev. 7:4; 14:1-5.
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