Who was Zarathustra?
"As I have seen Ahura Mazda with my inner sight."
(Gathas: Yasna 45-8)
Zarathustra : Zaratha means gold (Zar in Persian) and Ushtra means Light or star, shining (Astra, ستاره in Persian).He was known before as Spitama (Pure). Zarathustra means
“The one who possesses the Golden Light”
It is difficult to establish an exact date for Zarathustra’s life since very little is known about it. It appears that the best method to arrive at a date for his life comes from a study of the language spoken in the hymns he composed himself in The Gathas (songs). However, most scholars believe that he lived approximately 5000 to 7000 years ago. Zoroastrianism was the state religion of three Persian empires (550 BCE- 651 CE).
Zarathustra perceived Mazda through the inner eyes of mind and conscience. Ahura Mazda did not appear to him in the clouds, in a "burning bush", nor did he ascend to the sky to see God. He experienced Ultimate Wisdom through a mystical experience and contemplation in his inner being.
Zarathustra did not want to start a new religion for everyone to follow. He encouraged us to be intelligent and to choose to follow the path of Wisdom, wherever it may be found. He does not offer us drugs or tranquilizers to make us feel better. He does not encourage individuals to be like robots either, to live according to pre-programming from any scriptures or morality that society imposes upon us. Religion for him means freedom to choose according to the light of our consciousness and intelligence, not out of blind obedience or fear.