Our additional pages concerning the other Religions are a contribution to better understanding and to the inter-religious dialogue. For the part of Christianity the basis is independent research, including the old spiritual depth. The old Persian religion of Zarathustra is not described comprehensively, but some viewpoints are given, which are important for this purpose.
Today the Parsees with their Holy Scriptures, the Zend Avesta, maintain the original Zoroastrian teachings. Investigators within this religion in India found out that the old Greek historiographer Herodot was right in writing, (the first) Zarathustra lived thousands of years before the Trojan war - older than the western researchers assumed. Later "Zarathustra" and "Zarathustrotemo" became a title; so mistaken identities may occur. Zarathustra also directed the people's line of vision to the outer world, in order to find the divine laws of life in nature too. The combination of spiritual purification and a positive attitude concerning physical life shows Zarathustra as an original source, which had not yet laid down a one-sided tendency to withdraw from the world, or to overestimate the physical aspects of life. Furthermore, it was also found that their religion dealt not only with cosmic conflicts between light and darkness, which were later taken up in Gnostic teachings. But the one personal God, here named Ahura Mazda, stood as the more-than-good one above that cosmic forces. Ahura Mazda is also the beginning of the invocations. He is asked to help through the various angelic beings - so the existence of those beings does not mean it is a polytheistic belief. The term for the impersonal side of God was "Ahu".
An address for most spiritual explorations concerning that religion: Mazdayasnie Monasterie, Mustafa Bldg., Sir Pherozeshah Mehta Rd., Bombay 400001, India. ( www.indiayellowpages.com/zoroastrian ; firstname.lastname@example.org ). They also point out that books of western Zarathustra researchers often voice their thoughts about that culture. So for instance the name "Zarathustra" was sometimes translated as "Owner of old camels"; but the meaning is "Most shining being", "prince", "prince of peace". In order to interpret the spiritual meaning of the old scriptures there were old keys, including the sounds; (by the way, the holy scriptures of other religions included some knowledge like this too, according to modern analyses). Of course, the majority of this religion has also lost much of its original spiritual "depth", which needs to be rediscovered today - just like other religions. But in spite of this, the above mentioned institution is generally appreciated among Indian Parsees.
In the old Iranian tradition one can find hints concerning Noah/Nuakh too, similar to the bible text (O. Z. Hanish). Our impression is that the Zend Avesta has at least some things in common with something like an original Inspiration before the flood - that means with the earliest belief in the one God, which Noah kept during that degenerated culture. Abraham was not the first one who worshipped the one God. There are indications that this original belief of a civilization before the Asian flood (which may have happened around 3030 BC or earlier) was written down too and it is possible that such scriptures will be found some day. The Austrian mystic Jakob Lorber names these Scriptures "Seant Hiast Elli" ("Holy history of God") and "Sanah Scritt - Seant ha vesta" ("The Holy Scriptures - and your salvation"). Lorber wrote, God appeared to people before the flood as "Abedam"; as he later worked through the biblical Melchisedek.
Rudolf Steiner saw in Ahura Mazda the "Cosmic Christ", as some great sages of different cultures guessed or saw him, before he came down to earth.
Furthermore, there are several viewpoints, suggesting that the "3 wise men from the East" or "3 magi", who found and adored Jesus as a child, were Zoroastrian sage-kings, named "Maghav". (There is a book about this in English called "The Magi", by Adrian Gilbert.)
Some Islamic theologians in Iran also accept the Parsees as "people of
the Scriptures" like the Jews and Christians; which means not as
"non-believers", but as people believing in the same God, who were
often reminded of this God by their prophets.
Saleman-e-Farshi, who was originally connected with Mohammed and so played a role in the beginning of Islam and who later founded the community of the "Druses" in Lebanon, had a Zoroastrian origin. His original name was Dastur Dinyar, a High Priest of Iran in the reign of Noshirwan e Adil.
The Holy scriptures of the Parsees.
The original writings of Zarathustra, the Zend Avesta, are either largely lost or kept at secret places. In the 3rd and 4th century AD its known parts were again composed into 21 books. Some parts have again been lost. The most important parts are, for instance, the old prayers of the "5 gathas" (T. R. Sethna, India, "Khordeh Avesta" with English translation), which are recited in the old Iranian language.
Ethics on the spiritual path.
The prayer mentioned above is known in the western Mazdaznan movement too, with a different, European melody. That movement is a part of the movement for life reform with teachings about nourishment, rhythmical breath and other practices, established by Dr. Hanish. Many Parsee ceremonies are not included in this. Meher Master-Moos, Mazdayasnie Monasterie (see above): "I think, these people are right,not to take up our Zoroastrian baptism ceremony and so on, but general rules for life according to the laws of nature". - Except in times of decay, there were no Zoroastrian attempts to convert people from other religions and no enforced conversions. All World Religions are looked upon by them as equally necessary because human souls, according to their qualities, were born into one of these religions, which also have corresponding planetary qualities etc.
Mani (216-276 AD.) tried to connect Christian teachings to the old Persian religion of Zarathustra and to compare it with Buddhist viewpoints. Mani stemmed from the "Baptist's Christians" (Mandeans) and – after receiving his own inspirations - he founded the Manicheans. These inspirations were ascribed to the "Comforter", the Spirit as proclaimed by Jesus. Their teachings dealt with the divine light particles of the soul, which one can release from the covering dark matter - by a more or less ascetic and vegetarian way of life. The light particles of eaten plants are supposed to be released this way too and led back to their divine origin. For Mani, Christ came from the light and incarnated in the darkness (the earth), in order to resolve evil through love. The Old Testament (with old wordings like "eye for eye, tooth for tooth...") was more or less refused. The cult included prayers, hymns,... . The Manicheans spread throughout Asia, sometimes accepted by the Persian emperor. Later, they were persecuted by the Church, by Islam, partially by Zoroastrians and also by the Chinese emperor - and so they are eradicated. The Gnostic movements of the first centuries, which were also partially one-sidedly withdrawing from the world (but believed in something approaching an insight-oriented Christianity) are related, as are the millions of Catharians and Albigenses, who were killed. Those particular schools of thought may have been one-sided in their outlook, but that made no difference to all the other churches because they were all one-sided in their own ways. The Christianity of today also shows another kind of one-sidedness, partially caused by the eradication of these parts of Christianityand are, for instance, much more materially oriented than before the persecutions. So, today it should be impossible to generally characterize those historical groups as "heretic", "non-Christian" and so on. Concerning Gnostic elements in the beliefs of some groups one should also distinguish between "Gnosticism" and "Apostolic Gnosis" (like John the evangelist and Paul.), as even the persecutor of sects, F.W.Haack did. By the way, it is interesting to note that some authors of today who explicitly want to belong to this tradition, stress the preservation and transformation of physical life more than the historical texts of the Manicheans. So it is not possible to attribute them with wanting to withdraw from the world.
topics and main text.