Monday, October 17, 2011

What is Zoroastrianism?

For a more detailed introduction to Zoroastrianism, please visit our main web-page page at:,
and our Zoroastrian Heritage blog at:

(Words in blue-gray are links)

What is Zoroastrianism?
  • Zoroastrianism is an ancient Iranian (Persian)* & Central Asian religion founded by Zoroaster.
  • Zoroastrianism is possibly the oldest religion based on a belief in one God (commonly called monotheism) practiced today.
  • [* See Iran and Persia, Are They The Same? The page also introduces Zoroastrianism's Central Asian connections.]
Who was Zoroaster?
  • Zoroaster is the western version of the name Zarathushtra (also spelt Zarathustra). Zarathushtra lived in Airyana Vaeja, the Aryan Homeland, a kingdom in Central Asia. We do not know precisely when Zoroaster lived. Ancient Greek texts say that he lived some 8,500 years ago. One modern estimate is that he proclaimed the religion in 1737 BCE.
What are the Zoroastrian Scriptures Called?
  • Zoroastrian scriptures are called the Avesta. A part of the scriptures include the original hymns of Zarathushtra called the Gathas. The Avesta was originally memorized by priests and followers and transmitted orally.

What is the Zoroastrian Creed?
"On three noble ideals be ever intent:
The good thought well thought,
The good word well spoken,
The good deed well done."

Zoroastrian Way, Purpose and Goal of Life
Way of Life
Eternal Enlightenment - Ageless Wisdom
  • The way of life suggested by Zoroastrianism is based on achieving six ideals:
  • a good mind: a positive attitude and gaining wisdom
  • principled living: honesty, honest work, helpfulness, moderation and balance
  • independence: self-reliance and leadership
  • serenity and happiness
  • wholeness: healthy and holistic living
  • an undying spirit.
  • Included in the ideal of independence is autonomy: not being beholden to anyone, not being a slave to any dogma, and having the sovereignty to make free and independent decisions - all within the self-elected bounds of ethical values, goodness, and not causing harm to others. The ideal of self-reliance is balanced with helping the less fortunate maintain their independence and dignity.
  • This way of life gives effect and meaning to the creed: to commit to a life based on good thoughts, good words and good deeds.
  • The effectiveness of a person's beliefs is demonstrated in one's deeds. While praying helps to reaffirm beliefs, a life based on good deeds is prayer in action. Our lives are the temples of our souls.
In short:
  • Zoroastrianism lights the path towards an active, meaningful life grounded in wisdom, goodness and wellness.
Purpose of Life
Goodness in Action
The purpose of life is to work towards achieving the best existence we can envision. Working to achieve the best existence includes striving to achieve individual excellence and excellence for all; working tirelessly and diligently to help build a world free from want, fear, and evil; preserving and protecting the environment.

Goal in Life
Abiding Happiness, Spiritual Resplendence, Peace & Serenity
The goal of our lives is to achieve abiding happiness, spiritual resplendence and peace: humanity at peace with itself and an individual at peace with oneself. An expression of abiding peace is serenity.

Goal of Life
Vahishtem Anghuim & Frasho-Kereti
The Best Existence & An Ideal Future
The goal of life on earth is the best existence.

Quotes from Zoroastrian Texts

  • "Happiness comes to them who bring happiness to others."
  • "Abiding happiness and peace is theirs who choose goodness for its own sake - without expectation of any reward."
  • "A thousand people cannot convince one by words to the extent that one person can convince a thousand by action."
  • Zarathushtra: "With an open mind, seek and listen to all the highest ideals. Consider the most enlightened thoughts. Then choose your path, person by person, each for oneself."
Related Pages:
» Is Zoroastrianism a Religion, Philosophy, Way-of-Life...? The Spirit
» The Name Zoroaster, Zarathushtra, Zarathustra
» Etymology of the Name Zoroaster, Zarathushtra, Zarathustra
» When Does the Zoroastrian Day Start?
» When Does the Zoroastrian Day Start? Detailed
» Zoroastrian Ethos