little is known of the ancient Iranian prophet Zarathustra, known as
Zoroaster in the West and its many scholars. equally, their faith,
revealed nearly 3500 years ago, Zoroastrianism , is not widely known
outside of Iran and India, home to the largest group of its adherents.
was born around the time of the Iranian Bronze Age, 1400 BCE, possibly
in the region of ancient Areana Vaeja, north of Caspian and Aral Sea
where Kazakhstan is today. However other places such as Ragha or Ray
south of Tehran in Iran, Balkh the capital of ancient nation of Bactria
in present Afghanistan, as well as Sogdia, Chorasmia and Margiana,
places south of present day Turkmenistan and Tajikistan also lay claim
to be his birthplace. The exact location is unknown as is the exact
date of his birth.
Scholars are still divided on the exact date of Z's birth, Aristotle places him some 6000 years before the death of Plato.
A loose concsensus among scholars today places his birth between 1500 and 1200 BC.
is said that Zarathushtra laughed and not cried at his birth. Many of
the priests of the then animistic and other ritualistic beliefs
attempted to impede his growth, as they knew that he would bring forth
a new faith and religious belief. Attempts to kill the infant
Zarathushtra as well as to hinder him proved futile.
has it that Zarathushtra trained as a priest of the ‘religion’ of his
time. He then left home in search of truth, meaning and purpose of life
and the inequalities that perturbed him. A series of revelations were
received in his thirtieth year and Vohu Manah, the good mind appeared
as a bright being and led him to Ahura Mazda and Amehsa Spenta, His
Bounteous Immortal Souls.
Zarathushtra’s, fervent and deep
discourses with Ahura Mazda, recorded in the Gathas, a divinely
inspired work is filled with spiritual and esoteric truths. Believing
he had the one God’s message for the then known world, he embarked on a
long journey of preaching to the people of his region. He struggled for
twelve years to convince the various tribal societies to accept his
findings and divine message.
It was after he performed a
miraculous cure of king Vishtapa’s horse, that his teachings began to
get audience and finally became the faith of the realm. Thereafter his
teachings spread among the peoples of the Iranian plateau and gained
followers far and wide in the Central Asian region.
Ultimately it became the religion of the great Persian Empire the largest empire of its time.
the modern day followers are the Parsis, who formally lived in Iran but
about 1300 years ago, when they were exiled, they moved to and settled
The Parsi Zoroastrians are a small ethnic group, about 300,000 world wide and 2000 live in Australia.