TAPE NO. 147---Report By Ella Rose Mast
ZOROASTER - THE PROPHET OF IRAN
You have heard me speak of this ancient sage of the past, this one called a Persian prophet of old, the forerunner of those wise men of the east who came and bowed before the majesty of the new born 'Light of the World'. Have always been curious as to who this man was and why he came at his time, on the scene as things were developing there in the middle east some time before the birth of the Christ child. Here today we are finding more information all the time which fills in the gaps in our knowledge as to these things which effected the lives of these Covenant people of old.
Today we have a book written by A.V. Williams Jackson , professor of Indo-Iranian languages in Columbia University. the book published in 1965. This work deals with the life and legend of Zoroaster this so called prophet of Iran, the representative and type of the laws of the Medes and the Persians who played a part in the Biblical story. It has been only in the last few years that we are getting translations of these ancient records, or any knowledge of any books having been written on the subject. We would remind you that the Medes and the Persians came into the scriptural picture as a portion of Judah and Benjamin and their portion of Levi went into captivity in Babylon, after the ten tribes of Israel and many of Judah had gone into captivity some time before this.
Therefore who was this Zoroaster, that we gained a glimpse of in the story of Alexander the Great of Greece as he came into the land in about 320 B.. ? As Alexander the Great came along the foothills of the Himalayan mountains he found some of the ancient Priests of the Zoroastrian faith and their sacred fires. They had an ancient faith that Alexander seemed to understand and to respect. He gave orders that they were to be protected and left alone. Thus what was this Zoroastrian faith which seemed to be a National faith, a National religion? We are finding that this was an Aryan faith, thus would be called a National faith, where as the Buddha religion is a universal religion, one more shaped for a One World Age.
Today the veil of myth is being cast aside and it is now readily admitted that Zoroaster was a historical character, that he brought the ancient Faith to its fullness with the Persians, who remember brought down the ancient Babylonian Empire after the Medes had tried to do this. And were the ones in place as the Judahites were allowed to go back to Palestine and try to rebuild their temple.
Now; the Magi were also reputed masters of learning in ancient times, and they were an organization started by Enoch and taught the meaning of the ancient Star Bible. And we find that Zoroaster also stood for this learning of antiquity. We find also that Pythagoras studied under the masters there in ancient Babylon before its taking over by the forces of evil. That Plato was also said to be anxious to visit the east and to study with the Magi, but the Persian Holy Wars with Greece prevented this. Aristotle was also familiar with the secret writings of Zoroaster and perhaps this is where Alexander the Great learned of him and his ancient religious beliefs, for remember that Alexander the Great was going east to try to find the beginning of the Aryan race.
Thus we find that now Zoroaster is being considered as one of the great religious leaders, and teachers of the ancient east, and the information about him is now gathered from the Zoroastrian scriptures, the Aveesta and the Pahlaui writings found in ancient India. There is also much tradition but this is only more proof of his great personality.
It is also regrettable that we do not know more about Iran in ancient antiquity for this prophet's teachings found fruitful soil in the land of ancient Iran---why?---because THE SEED WAS ALREADY IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE.
Zoroaster must have appeared in the seventh century before the Christian era, somewhere in the land between the Indus and the Tigris rivers. His death was less than a generation after the Israelites returned to Judea to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem.
In the writings of the Avesta, then Ancient Babylon became a place for the rule of one known as the Dragon , that was destroying the religion of the masters. There is many different spellings of the name of Zoroaster but we will use this one so that you may keep the story straight. but the title---'Spitama' --is a family name, and it comes from an ancestor of the prophet, and the root word --Spit -- means to be white, and the significance of the word is probably meaning that he was a descendent of the white race. The years of Zoroaster, by tradition is placed as 660-583 B.C. It is believed that he was born in what is now western Iran. His lineage is sort of like that of a royal family such as the royal Davidic line and extending back to Adam. Several times in these ancient writings his father is mentioned--his name --'Pourieshaspa'--as his great grandfather --'Haecat-aspa', and they come down with this same meaning of Spitama or white.
Zoroaster we learned was one of five brothers, he is believed to have been thrice married and had one son and three daughters from his first wife, and two sons of his second wife .The two sons of his second wife were regarded as heads of the Agriculture class, and the Warrior cast.
Always when reading the Biblical story people are looking for a prophet or a teacher. In the Avesta Gathas literature of ancient India it was predicted that a Sage would come who would be a great teacher. From the Golden Age of Enoch there remained warnings of the demons, and of there destined defeat after the work of the 'Great man child' and each great prophet or teacher would voice this same prophecy.
However it is very important in this story to keep the people straight, it is necessary because otherwise you cannot connect the people or the story in the necessary places. Zoroaster thus was not a prophet to that part of the Adamic people who --- down from Abraham would be the makers of the kingdom for the latter days. But Zoroaster we find was a prophet to Aryan or Adamic people who were also a part of the total picture, and according to tradition he also was a special child, born for a purpose, and he fulfilled that part he was to portray in the total picture, and one of the most important things in his teachings was this looking forward to the birth of 'The Great Man child' who would defeat the demons who were lose in the world.
This ancient writing --The Avesta carries that message, and whether all is true that tradition says about this birth of this prophet of ancient Iran does not really matter, what does matter is what he preached , what message he left for his people. If it goes along with the scripture then it was from YAHWEH ---TO ANOTHER BRANCH OF HIS PEOPLE. We are told that Cyrus the Persian who gave the orders for the Israelites to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple and hang on in that old land until the 'Man child' came was also of the lineage of the Mati, from who Zoroaster also came.
The first few years of the life of Zoroaster are represented by tradition as being magical. He became of age, then retired from the world to study. And at the age of 30 he also entered upon his ministry. The Avesta writings are the teachings of Zoroaster, and in those old writings and traditions we find that Zoroaster suffered the same kind of trouble as did the ancient prophets as he tried to tell his people what was to come. Finally at the age of 30 years he began to see results from the seeds that he had sown an the Zoroastrian teachings became the state religion of ancient Iran.
The first ten years of the work of the ancient prophet was finally finished. He had sown the good seed, and had withstood the temptation and assaults of the Power of evil, he had only won one disciple who was the king of the land, but had also set in motion the triumph of the Faith he had preached. The real success which Zoroaster had was due to the influence of the king and his court. His were new words and were listened to by those who came from near and far. The people were tired of intrigue and corruption in the land. With Royal support and power this ancient Faith which had almost been forgotten made rapid strides in this revival, this was the Faith called the 'Good religion'.
The eulogy of a Bard reads:
It was his righteous and bold warrior,
The hero of redoubtable weapons,
The very incarnation of the law,
And devoted to the LORD-----
It was he who, with advancing weapon
Sought out this broad path of righteousness,
And with advancing weapon,
Found this broad path of righteousness.
He it was , who became the arm
And the support of the religion
Of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) of Ahura;
He who dragged from her chains the religion
That was bound in fetters and unable to stir;
And made her take a place
in the midst of the nations.
Exalted with power, and advancing and hallowed.
He was writing of the king who was the first disciple of Zoroaster, and who helped get this ancient religion back into its place with these Aryan people.
We are told that the land of Asia Minor and the west as well as Hindustan saw the successful missionary work of this revival of this ancient Aryan faith, as well as the areas of current India. A certain aged Brahman sage is said to have come from Ancient India to dispute the teachings of Zoroaster and became converted and went back to his homeland to correct and bring forth again the ancient Faith.
Some of the Classical writers of today make Pythagoras a follower of Zoroaster, or at least of the Magi of ancient Babylon before her fall. Even Greece is said to have been touched with this ancient Faith. between the 45th., and 60th., years in the life of Zoroaster he is said to have been busy scattering this faith. There is also a tradition of miraculous healing power of this ancient Faith that he preached and wrote about. The book of Zoroaster is said to be like an encyclopedia, touching on the stars, on physics, and precious stones for some of the subjects.
Another thing which reached its climax in the time of Zoroaster was the custom of the Sacred fire. Even in our day they have what they call 'the Eternal flame'. It is burning on JFK's grave--what is the reason or it? Why was it installed---since we are paying for it--we should know. After all the Kennedy Administration was not the Camelot that the press would have you think. In ancient times this practice of the 'sacred fires' had been corrupted and Zoroaster moved to correct this situation. When Buddhism arose it took from the ancient faith some of its practices, altho not understanding the symbolized
The 'sacred fire' of the Priests in antiquity symbolized the power of the Holy Spirit to correct error. It symbolized the fire of Divine Glory , or the fire --Glory given, and is one of the most ancient and most sacred of the Holy fires of Iran and antiquity. We remember that after the flood of Noah's time, came the promise that never again would the world be destroyed by water, next time it will be the work of fire, which is Shekinah Glory. These Holy fires were said to have been established on the eastern shores of the Caspian sea , and you know who formed that civilization in the time of the migrations and even before. At one time this religion as practiced by , and taught by Zoroaster reached from the western side of the Caspian sea to ancient northern India. Thus there were three
kinds of fires mentioned here, and the second fire is the fire of the warriors --said to be the fire (Shekinah) which came with the Angels to help destroy evil. The third fire was that special fire of the laborers for the faith.
Always thru history when you try to establish and maintain the true faith you have storm clouds gathering from those who would prevent this faith from being learned. And always this was a problem for Zoroaster as well. But then look at what happened to the prophets of Israel and later to the disciples and Apostles as they went out to lost Sheep of Israel. The sword rather than the olive branch was a necessity many times. demands came from outside the country saying that they must abandon this 'new creed' (actually the old faith) or your nation will be invaded. Well the challenge was taken and the Turanians came to war, but after much fighting the Turanians were defeated. The record states that so successful was this battle that the nations of Rum and Hindustan dispatched messengers to King Vishtasp of Iran requesting copies of the Avesta of Zoroaster be sent to them, and the king eagerly sent copies of this bible to each country.
There came a second Holy war, and it also ended in victory for the triumphant standards of Zoroaster's faith. In about 583 B.C. Zoroaster died but the Faith of Iran had a firm foundation. The Greek and Latin accounts of Zoroaster's death both state that the great Sage departed from earth in no less a spectacular departure than did Elijah. The Iranian tradition of his death states that he was killed in the Sanctuary by a Turanian.
With the great prophet dead, with the Holy Flame of the second shrine now quenched in blood of the martyred Priest, still the Holy flame did not die in the hearts of the people, and in 320 B.C. then Alexander the Great found some of these monasteries on the lower level of the Himalayan mountains. Finally the Koran superseded the Avesta, and the ancient word Ormazd (God) gave way to Allah.
In conclusion thus Zoroaster appeared as a prophet in the latter half of the seventh century, before the Christian era, and the closing period of his activity falls between the closing year of the rule of the Medes, and the rising power of the Persians. His teaching had already taken deep roots in the soil of Iran when the Israelites were carried into Babylonian captivity, but Zoroaster was the father--the holy prototype of these wise men of the East who came to bow the knee before the Manger-Cradle at Bethlehem which held as it is written---"The Light of the world".
Yes, Zoroaster was as Herodotus tells us of the organization of the Magi, and he thought they were the Medes of those ancient times and that they practiced the religion as outlined by Zoroaster and then it passed also to the Persians who were in their purity lines of the Adamites. this religion was known long before Zoroaster but he brought it back to the ancient true Faith. We prove this by the fact that Zoroaster had rung out a trumpet call and clarion of reform, and declared the Messianic promise which had come before the days of the Babylonian exile of the rest of the tribe of Judah, of Benjamin and Levi from Judea.
Finally came Alexander the Great who vanquished the Persians in battle, yet the stories of this great wisdom of the Magi prevails. Yes, Plato, Pythagoras and other great thinkers are said to have had the teachings of the Magi, and later Moslem and Zoroastrian traditions assert that the sacred writings of ancient Iran are the quintessence of all knowledge , and was also translated into Greek.
The Persian war then also brought Rome into contact with Zoroastrianism, as it had the Greeks, and a phase of Zoroastrianism known as Mithraism penetrated into Rome, and on into Western Europe. Those of you who have a copy of the old book or remember my report will recall this faith as preached as --Mithraism.
The rise of the Neo-Platonic school was certainly not without influence from Zoroasterism. The tenets of Zoroastrian also disturbed Christian thought for a time. Even the pages of the Koran and the doctrines of Mohammed are not free from the influence of the Faith which they vanquished by the sword. The spark of the 'Sacred fire' has never been quenched. The Holy Flame continues to blaze, and the religion of Zoroaster still lives on.
Why?--- because it was the ancient faith brought into earth by the race of Adamites, it spoke of the race, and the coming of the Messiah, it spoke of the reason for their being in earth, and told of the promise that eventually the world order of evil would be destroyed by fire, meaning Shekinah light. Thus their 'sacred fire' was as the Israelites
animal sacrifice, a step on the road to the Messiah and the recognition of this Holy spirit enclosed in this people.
END OF MESSAGE