Zoroaster_1

The birth of Zoroaster

Khordad Sal is a very crucial event in the calendar of Zoroastrians. Khordad Sal day marks the birth anniversary of Prophet Spitaman Zarathushtra (Zoroaster). Khordad Sal, celebrated at the March 28, is the equivalent of Christmas for Christians, and it is a day of great festivities and celebrations. During the special day, Jashans are recited, large parties are held, large banquets are served, and Parsis (community) come together to commemorate one of the most important, if not the most important date on the Zoroastrian calendar. The day brings together families from far and wide. They pray and eat together as they revel in the festivities. Families that are not in attendance and can not be together are remembered in prayer. Also, the families also take some time to look at ways in which they can improve their lives and that of those around them. Khordad Sal is an important element of the Parsi community because family and unity are some of the central themes of the religion.

Zoroastrianism, also commonly known as Mazdaism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the history of humanity. The religion is pillared on the belief in the existence of heaven and hell, the Golden Rule (do unto others what you want to be done unto you), messianism and free will. Zoroastrianism was for ages the world’s most powerful religion, termed by some as ‘The Supreme Religion.' The 7th century saw a rise in the suppression of the religion. The suppression was a result of the victory by the Muslims in conquering the state of Persia. Current estimates place the number of people who practice Zoroastrianism at 2.6 million, the majority living in India and Iran.

Very little is known about the religion. National Geographic, through its recent Morgan Freeman moderated series, The Story of God, tries to explore the origin of the three major religions in the world. The renown actor claims that each of the major religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, drew their principles and teachings from the ancient religion, Zoroastrianism. The 79-year-old actor goes on to add that Zoroastrianism has impacted him the most despite his vast knowledge and faith acquired during his journey. He also remarked the three tenets of the religion included good thoughts, good deeds, and good words.

Zoroastrianism believes there is only one supreme, universal and transcendent God, the Ahura Mazda, “Wise Lord.” According to the religion, Ahura Mazda discovered the world and then passed on all the teachings through the Prophet Zoroaster. As mentioned earlier, the religion was once popular among Iranians, but now it barely practiced in Iran. It is much stronger in India.

Zoroastrians are believed to be fire worshipers, but this is seemingly not the case. Fire is a symbol that is central to Zoroastrian faith. Fire represents God’s wisdom, and light from fire is completely pure. People have termed the religion as an ecological religion because a lot of emphasis is put in preserving nature. The religion views nature as the goodness and purity of God.

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