"The best life is for the one,
who turns towards light,
and sheds light to others." Zarathustra
Bidad (oppression): Shajarian
#1. Morgan Freeman about Zarathustra
#2 Who was Zarathustra and what was his message?
Sun and moon are only symbolic and metaphoric in Zarathustra's concept of Ahura Mazda. God is one and is beyond our comprehension. It does not mean that Zarathustra was a sun or moon worshiper. It is like the cross is the symbol of Christianity. However, it does not mean that they are cross worshipers. Each religion or spiritual masters have used different metaphors or parables to describe God. Zarathustra used nature, sun, light, or moon as metaphors to describe Undescibable, and to explain Unexplainable to the human minds. He wanted to connect humans and nature together. Zoroastrians face toward the sun outside, or face toward their sacred fire inside to pray to God. Also, it was important for Zarathustra that humans respect nature. It would be considered a sinful act for them to pollute water, air, earth, and fire.
"Unto you, O Creator, the Soul of Mother Earth complained thus:
Wherefore did you create me? Who gave life to me? Anger, rapine,
outrage, blunder, aggression and violence are everywhere. There is no
protector for me, except Thee. Therefore, reveal to me a savior who
could show me a way out of this difficulty."
The Gathas of Zarathustra, Yasna 29-1
Even smoking would be considered a sin because one pollutes the body. However, ignorance is the root of all the "sins," and wisdom is the root of all the "virtues," according to Zarathustra. Ahriman (Satan) wants to keep humanity in ignorance. God (Ahura Mazda) wants to bring humanity toward light and wisdom. We humans are caught in between. God has given us free choices to choose between the two in our daily thoughts, words, and actions. Do you choose ignorance or wisdom? You are free to choose and also responsible for your choices.
Don't blame God, supernatural forces, Ahriman (Satan), Karma, or anyone else. Look within, not outside of yourself, especially your thoughts. This struggle occurs only in human minds. The aim of religion according to Zarathustra is to guide people first toward inner light and wisdom. Then, we can bring that inner light to radiate outside of us in like the way the sun burns within, then radiates its light outside. Start with yourself first, Zarathustra said. Although, charity, going to the temples, or being a decent person are important, the real work is internal (the inner fire). The path of religion needs to guide people to walk away from darkness, ignorance, and stagnation, and to help them to make wiser choices based on light, and wisdom.
Sun is the symbol of Ahura, masculinity, light, and consciousness; the masculine side of God. Moon is the symbol of Mazda, femininity, and wisdom. The feminine side of God. Ahura Mazda is like a coin having two sides: head and tail. Ahura and Mazda, Masculine and Feminine, they are inseparable parts of God. Similar to Ahura Mazda, we humans also have both masculine and feminine sides. It depends on what side of the coin a person is on. When you look at the moon, bring awareness to the feminine energy, wisdom, and Mazda. When you look at the sun, bring awareness to the masculine energy, light, consciousness, and Ahura.
Zarathustra and Women's Rights
In Zarathustra's view, men and women are equal. They are both expected to lead a good life in search of the best wisdom. Although the feminist movement and women's rights are very recent even in most of Western's countries, Zarathustra advocated for women's right almost 5000 years ago in a very patriarchal and men dominated societies. In Ancient Persia, women were partners with men and active in all walks of life. As per rules of Zoroastrianism women could reach the highest religious position such as Zoot that required extensive religious education. Girls cannot be forced into a marriage without their consent. According to Zoroastrian's rules:
1 - Women were able to handle their wealth by themselves.
2 - Women could be the guardians of their children.
3 - Women could legally represent their husbands and make decisions on their own during their husbands illness / unavailability.
4 - Men were not allowed to marry their daughters without the wife's knowledge or consent.
5 - Women were able to be a judge or a lawyer.
"O, Pouro-Chista (Zarathustra's daughter)) of Spitama's House and of Haichatspa's Family; O,
the youngest offspring of Zoroaster; Mazda Ahura has bestowed upon you
as husband and Lord, the person who has deep attachment to Vohuman
and Truth. Therefore, consult with your inner self and wisdom, and act
through Armaiti, i.e. pure love and intuition" The Gathas of Zarathustra, Yasna 53-3
#3. Women in Zoroastrian time