ABSTRACT

Zarathustra discovered a precise order and organization in the universe. He concluded that such precision within creation was not possible without the existence of a Most Wise Creator, who made and created everything through His/Hers Essence, while being without gender, what humans call feminine and masculine traits. Another unique characteristic of the Wise One is that H/She communicates and manifests Him/Herself to mortals through His/Hers own ethical attributes, which are a part of His/Hers Being, that yet can be shared by mortals, if they so choose. A Divinity, who with His/Hers superior Knowledge creates, orders and sustains Creation and who communicates with Man. A benelovent, beneficent God, who is not to be feared, because H/She neither judges, nor punishes. It is one's own conscience that judges one's soul, at the time of death. A Wise Lord, who gives humans complete freedom and is neither Omnipotent nor Omniscient in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic sense. Though H/She is the Mightiest, yet cannot go against His/Hers own nature, plan or design and in that sense, H/She is not Omnipotent. H/She is not Omniscient either, because H/She does not know how we are going to choose, nor whether an accident, illness or some other chance event is going to occur. Such is the freedom of choice given to Mankind! This is the fundamental difference between Mazda Ahura and all other god-ideas.

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Fire is the symbol of God
A God who doesn't command, hate and punish. Fire is an allusion to illumination and enlightenment. It is what is called 'The Fire of Thought'. It was through this Fire of Thought (thinking, reflecting, meditating) that Zarathushtra gained enlightenment.
The Name of God: Zarathushtra has a unique name for his God - AHURA MAZDA , meaning Wise Lord or Lord of Wisdom. Zarathushtra begins to emphasize a theme that runs throughout his Gathas. In the Gathas, the two names are sometimes used separately, sometimes together, but most often as Mazda Ahura (Wise Lord).
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Disillusioned and distressed by the ritual-laden and sacrifice-ridden practices of his day, Zarathustra turned to his inner self and to nature to find answers to questions, which baffled his mind.

Through contemplation, meditation and reflection, he pondered on the nature of reality, pondering with a mind devoid of preconceptions. This quest led him to discover a precise order and organization in the universe.

He concluded that such precision within creation was not possible without the existence of a Most Wise Creator, who in His/Hers Absolute Wisdom made and created everything through His/Hers Essence, that is through the Thoughts of His/Her Mind and the feelings of His/Her heart, thus manifesting His/Her Nature as energy and Goodness. Since His/Her Method of Creation was by emanation of His/Her own substance, while being without gender, includes what humans call feminine and masculine traits. Since H/She Him/Herrself emanated this substance, H/She became the ground of Being, since H/She is All Good, this ground is Good, and since H/She had authority over His/Hers creation, H/She was Ra,or Ruler Thus H/She is also Ahura the Good Lord of Existence.

It was with this Divine Being, the One and Only God, that Zarathushtra communed, but this communion is not reserved for holy men, saviors, prophets etc. It is available to every single human on this planet indeed it is our birth right, as being the off-spring of the Creator.

The Name of God: Zarathustra has a unique name for his God - MAZDA AHURA, meaning the Most Wise Creator, Good Lord of Existence. There is an unusual significance of this. 'Mazda' , meaning the Most Wise Creator, is a feminine noun (like the Greek 'Sophia') but 'Ahura' , meaning literally "High Being", is masculine. Thus Zarathushtra begins to emphasize a theme that runs throughout his Gathas, that God is genderless and abstract in nature, but at the same time is very personal and shares both feminine and masculine characteristics! In the Gathas, the two names are sometimes used separately, sometimes together, but most often as Mazda Ahura, the Good Lord of Existence, or of Being.

Manifestation of God: Another unique characteristic of the Wise One, is that H/She communicates and manifests himself to mortals through His own ethical attributes, which are a part of His being, yet can be shared by mortals, if they so choose. This means that men and women can choose to be Asha-like (Righteous) or Vohu Manah-like (with a benevolent Good Mind), or any of the other of God's own essences. What a loving God! H/She gives mankind His own attributes to progress and evolve towards perfection! But Mazda does not just manifest His/hers Essence through His Qualities, or Aspects. H/Shee indwells everything through them.

Indeed, as Ahura God is the very ground of all being and thus His name Good Lord of Existence. What this means for the believer is of momentuous importance the Qualities of God acting as Her/His Graces or if you want to quote Paul, that Most Zarathushtrian of Christians, in some ways only, Charismas or Gifts of Grace. Thus God is not a distant Father out there in a cloud in heaven, God dwells in all creation and S/He dwells in all of us. This means that all ethically endowed critical thinking creatures have a responsibility to all creation because we are all interconnected not only among humans but cross species and even with inanimate objects.

A God realized through Good Mind: But this communion, this interchange between Divinity and the man who reached out in search of Him, was unique. God did not appear to Zarathushtra in bodily form, nor as an angel, nor through a bush or a mountain. Zarathushtra saw Him in his "Mind's Eye." Let Zarathushtra in his own words of his Gathas describe this discovery:

"Wise One, I realize you to be powerful and progressive because You help with Your own hand. You give rewards to both the lovers of illusion and deceit, and the Lovers of the True and Right Order of things, by means of the warmth of your Fire, which is mighty through The True and Right Order of Things and through which the strength of Loving Good Thinking comes to me." (Gathas: Song 8:4)

Without going too deep in analysis, it is evident that "Fire" in this verse (and throughout the Gathas) is an allusion to illumination and enlightenment. It is what is called "The Fire of Thought." It was through this Fire of Thought (thinking, reflecting, meditating) that Zarathushtra gained enlightenment and it is this same Fire of Thought, that lives in all creatures including us. Then the reward is given to both the Lovers of the True and Right Order of things and to the Lovers of Illusion and Deceit

Through The True and Right Order of Things He/She wishes to awaken within Mankind. When one reflects more on this beautiful verse, what becomes even more evident, is that such a reward is given to both the Lovers of Good loving Thinking and the lovers of illusion and deceit . But the strength of such a reward increases (becomes 'mighty' in Zarathushtra's words) only through The True and Right Order of Things, that is through thoughts, words and actions in accordance with what is Right; in accord with God's Ultimate Truth (Asha). In Song 8:7 of the Gathas we further gather how this enlightenment came to Zarathushtra:

"I realized You, God Wise, when I was embraced by enlightenment through Loving Good Thinking, and it asked: Who are you? To whom do you belong? How would you, in these days of questioning, explain the directives to the living?" (Gathas: Song 8:7)

God-realization came to Zarathushtra, embracing him with enlightenment through his own Loving Good Thinking, one that he had acquired by choosing to seek reality through reflective thought and meditation with a mind clear of preconceptions. This was MAZDA, the God that Zarathushtra realized. A Divinity, who with His/Hers superior Knowledge creates, orders and sustains creation and who communicates with Man through His/Hers Loving Good Thinking, through the "Fire of Thought" - indeed a unique discovery!

Mazda Ahura is all goodness: How did God achieve to goodness? Through His/Hers choices, just as H/She would like Man to do! At the risk of sounding trite, H/She made Good choices. But 'good', in the Teaching of the Saviors, is what uplifts or makes creation progress, which is Spenta. It is also The True and Right Order of Things, for it is what ought to be, the ideal state of Right and Truth. Thus Mazda Ahura is totally good. H/She has chosen good and achieved completeness and immortality; a state of radiant happiness (Ushta) through illumination and enlightenment.

A benelovent, beneficent God: Zarathushtra's God is not someone to be feared, for he neither judges, nor does he punish. It is important to note that in Zoroastrianism it is man's own conscience that judges his soul (urvan), at the time of its separation from the body, that is at death. The separation is only of the Lovers of the True and Right Order of things, from the Lovers of illusion and deceit. Since Asha-like, Spenta-like and Good are synonyms, one can understand that at death one attempts to move to a better existence. In other words, one tries to achieve communion with God in the fullest sense. But our consciences, knowing our state of being, are in truth the arbiters of our progress.

Through Asha, God has established rewards for both good and bad choices. But these rewards are done in love and not as punishment or revenge. God's Asha is called loving because it works for the good of all eventually. If we humans ignorantly oppose it, we hurt ourselves. We are meant to learn from these wrong choices and experiences and evolve towards making right choices in future.

A Wise Lord, who gives humans complete freedom: It is pertinent to note that despite some translations to the contrary, the Wise Lord is neither Omnipotent nor is H/She Omniscient in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic sense. H/She e is the Mightiest, but even H/She cannot go against His/Hers own nature, plan or design. In that sense H/She is not Omnipotent.

On the other hand, H/She is not Omniscient because although H/She is aware of everything as it happens, H/She does not know all that is, because H/She does not know how we are going to choose, nor whether an accident, illness or some other chance event, is going to occur. Such is the freedom of choice given to Mankind! Our choices are truly ours and the only thing that God has determined is the final refreshing of all Creation. This is determined not through predestination, but through Mazda Ahura's Superior Wisdom, which designed a perfect plan to bring about the completeness of His/Hers Creation.

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