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The Persians, from the beginning of their existence as a nation, always believed in only one and the same true and omnipotent God. They believed in all the attributes of the Deity believed by us; and God is called in their own writings, the Doer, the Creator, the Governor, and the Preserver of the world.


The religion of Zarathustra is purely monotheistic, that it is non-dualistic and has nothing whatever to do with nature-worship.*


They (the Persians) abominating all images, worshipped God only by fire. Light was the truest symbol of the good God, and therefore they always worshipped him before fire as being the cause of light, and especially before the Sun, as being in their opinion the perfectest fire, and causing the perfectest light. And for this reason, in all their temples, they had fire continually burning on altars erected in them for that purpose, and before these sacred fires they offered up all their public devotions, as likewise they did all their private devotions before their private fires in their own houses.


• From his speech at the International Congress at Bale, reported

in the Bombay Gazette of the 29th September 1904.

Fire was considered by Zoroaster as the purest symbol of the Divinity, and the original element from which Ormuzd produced all beings; he, therefore, enjoined his disciples to keep up a perpetual fire, and to perform other devotional exercises in the presence of fire; and every supposed corruption of fire is forbidden, under the severest penalties. To every act of devotion purity of heart is necessary; and to purity of heart Zoroaster supposes purity of body greatly contributes.*

The whole foundation of the sacred or religious works of the Parsees is, as it were, built upon three important injunctions which pervade the Parsee Scriptures, and are pithily expressed by three significant terms used in the Avastâ which mean purity of speech, purity of action, and purity of thought. This is the moral of the Parsee religion, and on it the whole structure of the Zend Avestâ is raised.


A perusal of these works will show that they inculcate those sublime doctrines and sound precepts of morality which command the respect of every civilized nation on earth. Evil actions are placed in their proper light and condemned, whereas the practice of every virtue is enjoined, highly extolled and sanctioned by reward in this as well as in the next world. The Avastâ seeks strongly to impress that virtue alone is happiness in this world; and that its path is the path of peace. It is a garment of honour, while wickedness is represented as a robe of shame. The most acceptable sacrifices to God are good actions, while intentions, as well as actions, must be good to be acceptable to Him. The best court of equity is a good conscience. Truth is laid down as the basis of all excellence; untruth is punishable as one

*From Hora Biblica by Butler.

of the worst of sins. Industry, in as much as it is never unfruitful, and is a guard to innocence and a bar to temptation, is highly recommended, while idleness is represented as the parent of want and shame. Principles of hospitality, general philanthropy and benevolence, are strongly inculcated.*


To every student of the Zoroastrian religion and its Scriptures, it will be obvious that the highest importance is given therein to purity of life in Thoughts, Words, and Deeds, which ideas are expressed by the words Humata or Manashni, Hukhata or Gavashni, and Huvarashta or Kunashni. Passages in praise of these three Sublime Concepts will be found scattered in profusion throughout the Avesta. In fact the entire magnificent fabric of the religion of the High and Holy Zarthustra rests on these triune ethical concepts of observing absolute purity of life on the physical, mental, moral and spiritual planes. Almost every prayer in the Avesta begins and ends with the praise of "Ashoi" or purity.





Thought is the motive as well as the creative power which brings into objectivity all the phenomena of nature that we see around us; in other words all the objects that we see on earth or in heaven. Thought lies at the bottom of every human joy and suffering, down to every sentient being crawling on this earth. In fact the whole Universe is a thought of God. It was apparently on these considerations that the Holy Sage Zarthustra inculcated the paramount necessity of the strict practice of purity of thought, words, and deeds, the latter two being merely the audible and visible outcomes of the invisible intangible

* From The Parsees; their history, manners, customs and religion.

thought. Words and deeds therefore being the manifestations of thought, unless the latter is kept pure, the other two cannot be so. Purity of thought is consequently the main object to be attained.*

1. Thou art exalted, O our Lord!

2. From Thee is praise, and to Thee is praise !
3. Thou art necessarily-existent, and there is
nought self-existent but Thee.

4. Thou art worthy of the adoration of adorers,
and none is worthy of the worship of worlds

but Thee!

5. Thou art One excelling in glory;

6. And of mighty praise:

7. And Thy light exceeding powerful and brilliant ;

8. And Thy grandeur passing great;

9. Thy perfection is perfect;

10. And Thy bounty complete ;

11. And Thy goodness most expansive,
12. And Thy splendour very glorious,
13. And Thy dignity extreme,
14. And Thy effulgence most bright,
15. And Thy mightiness very powerful,
16. And Thy generosity most cheering,
17. Thy goodness most shining,

18. Thou art Mighty!

19. The Creator of All !


Here praise I now Ahura-Mazda, who has created the cattle, who has created purity, the water, and the

From A Scientific Exposition of Purity of Thoughts, Words, and Deeds, as taught in Zoroastrianism.

† Translated by Mulla Firuz Bin Kaus, edited by D. J. Medhora.

good trees. Who created the splendour of light, the earth, and all good. To Him belongs the kingdom, the might, the power. We praise him first among the adorable beings, which dwell together with the cattle. Him praise we with Ahurian name, Mazda, with our own bodies and life, praise we Him. The Fravashis of the pure men and women, we praise. The best purity (Asha-Vahista) we praise. What is fairest, what pure, what immortal, what brilliant, all that is good: The good spirit we honour, the good kingdom we honour, and the good law, and the good rule, and the good wisdom. -YASNA XXXVII.

1. Purity is the best good.

2. Happiness, happiness is to him:

3. Namely, to the best pure in purity.



As is the will of the Lord, so (is He) the Ruler out of purity.

2. From Vohu-manô (will one receive) gifts for the works (which one does) in the world for Mazda.

3. And the kingdom (we give) to Ahura when we afford succour to the poor.


From Ancient Iranian and Zoroastrian Morals, by D. J. Medhora, who adds that "The English translation of this Yasna has been taken from the Bleeck's translation, rendered from the German of Professor Spiegel" "The word' cattle' is not to be understood always in literal sense. It sometimes means the souls of mankind."

+ From Khordah-Avesta, from Bleeck's translation, rendered from the German of Prof. Spiegel.

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