NEW ENLIGHTENMENT ON THE GATHAS OF ZARATHUSHTRA

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I. Zarathushtra and His Hostile Enemies

By Dr. Pallan Ichaporia, Ph.D.

It is interesting to observe how Zarathushtra in his Gathas place himself in contrast with his enemies, and what sorts of ideas and sentiments he sets forth against them.

The religion of Zarathusbtra is a religion of culture, of spiritual and moral progress and proficiency. It penetrates through all conditions of human life, and it considers every action of life, as for instance, the clearing of the soil, the careful tending of herds, and the cultivation of the fields, from the standpoint of religious duty, such a philosophy, cannot be
confined to a narrow circle. The propagation of it and the conversion of all men to it, are ideas which are at the basis of its very essence. We, accordingly, find complete hymns, as Yasna 30, of Ahunavaiti Gatha and Yasna 45, of Ushtavaiti Gatha , which were evidently intended to be delivered before a numerous audience, and in which Zarathustra, expounds the essential points of the new doctrine for the approval of the hearers. Such a position
follows clearly from the beginning strophe of the Yasna 45th Gathic hyrnn :- (see below) 

NOW I SHALL PROCLAIM, LISTEN NOW, HEAR NOW O YOU, WHO ARE APPROACHING FROM NEAR AND FAR АавтТаж MAY THE DECEITFUL BLASHEMER BY HIS EVIL CHOICE , NOT DESTROY THE WORLD.

Evidently Vishtaspa, or else another provincial ruler, has permitted his people to meet in a large assembly. In this assembly the Kavis and the Karapans may have delivered their songs in which they revered the daevas, the gods of storm and thunder, of the sun and stars. Probably they, too, brought offerings to their gods to gain their assistance in any enterprise, or to propitiate their wrath. But now Zarathushtra steps forward and addresses the assembly. To his triumphant eloquence, the priests of the nature-religion
had to give way, and his doctrine and religion, АавтТаТ╝ until then unheard,” ( agushta vachao ) which Zarathushtra declared Ahura Mazda as the sublime Creator of the world and expounded the sacred duty of all men to fight strongly against the infernal power of evil, was re-echoed and applauded by the attentive audience. Not bloody offerings or senseless customs constitute the true worship of God ; but the moral purity of the mind, an ardent fulfillment of the duties to which man is invited in this life, as well as piety and
industry.

Whenever the Prophet meets with an open opposition, and all preachings and expositions prove fruitless, then he denounces upon his opponents the full burden of divine wrath. The good shall hate the evil. There is no reconciliation, no forbearance, no connivance. Every act of forbearance in such a case would be a sin, because it encourages evil rather than destroys it.
This spirit of intense hatred against the wicked stands throughout the sacred Gathas

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