Around 3700 years ago, in the plains of Central Asia, a man arose by the name of Zarathushtra Spitaman. His father was Pourushaspa, which means "full of horses", indicating that he was a horse breeder or rancher, while his mother's name was Dughdhova, which means "milk maid", so likely Zarathushtra was from a cattle and horse breeding family, which places him in the upper middle class of his time. Not much is known about his youth, except that he was very curious and wanted to find out about things. He spend long times outdoors, contemplating about nature and the questions of life, by which he got visions that made him aware of the existence of a Supreme Being, an all Wise and Good (genderless) God, who urges Mankind to preserve His/Hers Creation and to bring it into perfection. Zarathushtra encountered many difficulties and challenges imposed on him through the opposition of the established priests and local ruling princes. Eventually he and his followers had to leave their homeland for other lands. Finally, at the age of 42, Zarathushtra reached the court of King Vishtaspa and managed to get an audience with the king. During this encounter, many of the leading priests and wise men were present, to quiz Zarathushtra and test his new philosophy. Zarathushtra could answer all questions to the satisfaction of the King, who after a few days of pondering the situation, embraced this new religion and urged his subjects to do the same. This was the major breakthrough in Zarathushtra’s propagation of his message to mankind, which is so simple, that it is contained in a small book of 17 songs called "The Gathas of Zarathushtra". In the Gathas, Zarathushtra did not claim to have received inspiration from God, but to have both 'realized' and 'seen' God and His/Her Qualities in observing Nature and the world around, rather than having it 'revealed' to him like to a prophet - he was a seer, a thought-provoking messenger. Zarathushtra lived a healthy life to old age. According to later tradition, Zarathushtra passed away of natural causes, at the age of 77.

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A biography of Zarathustra

Zarathushtra the Manthran (teacher)
Around 3700 years ago, in the plains of Central Asia, God called upon a man to proclaim His "Manthra" (thought-provoking message) to humanity. This man was Zarathushtra Spitaman. He was The "Manthran" - the harbinger of God's thought-provoking message.

The world will forever be indebted to this unique thinker, for his message to Mankind and the spiritual faith that he founded (rather than a religion), has influenced all later religions. This man and the teachings he gave Humanity, is a FIRST in many ways.


The life of Zarathushtra has been shrouded under a cloud in History. To this date there are controversies regarding his name, his date of birth, his birthplace and his life. Tradition tells us that Zarathushtra was born into the Spitama clan. His father was Pourushaspa.

The literal translation of that name means "full of horses" which leads us to believe that he was a horse breeder or rancher. His mother's name was Dughdhova, which translates as a "milk maid". This is another important clue that adds to the evidence Zarathushtra was from a cattle and horse breeding family, which in that economy would have made them upper middle class. Many myths and legends have been handed down about his birth and life, but cannot be vouched for with any degree of authenticity or certainty. However, the fact that Aryan priesthood was hereditary, and also the fact that in the culture described in the Gathas, such things as nobility and Kings, were unknown (Kavi, although cognate to king, was in meaning the nature of chief). Read more about Zarathushstra's life and livings in the e-book.

Zarathushtra is believed to have lived at a time when the world was emerging from the prehistoric Stone Age. However, varied views have been presented regarding the birth date of Zarathushtra. Starting with 100 AD, they date all the way back to 6800 BC! The priests of the Sassanian dynasty placed him to have been born a mere 100 or so years before Cyrus, the king of the Achaemenian dynasty. However Greek historians have placed him in a much older era. Early western scholars of the Avesta (the scripture of the Zoroastrians) placed him much closer to the present.

James Darmesteter even theorized that Zarathushtra lived after Christ and that he has plagiarized the Bible, because much of the Iranian doctrine was like the Christian one! Scholars like Anquetil du Perron, Herzfeld, Henning and West placed Zarathushtra in 600 BC, or 700 BC. Others like Bartholomaw and Widengren went back to 900 BC, while Rudolph and Jackson placed him at 1000 BC. Mills at first dated him to 900 BC and later to 1500 BC. Pour Davoud, Hummel and Haug have given a date around 1100 BC. The Bundahishn, a Pahlavi book, dates Zarathushtra as 258 years before Alexander's conquest of Persia, or 588 BC.

This date has been identified as the "traditional" date. Persian historians Birouni and But and many other authors, have rejected this date and we have Azarghoshasb placing Zarathushtra at 3500 BC, Kavasji and Bharucha at 4000-6000 BC and Katrak at 6600 BC. More scholars have presented Zarathushtra as follows from archeological evidences, but for a more complete number of references the reader is invited to acquire "Zoroastrian Doctrine and Biblical Connections" by Daryoush Jahanian.

1. In 1984, Asgarov in the Ozbakistan's (In the old USSR) excavations, uncovered ruins of a Zoroastrian temple estimated to belong to around 2000 BC.

2. Lommel and Meyer note that in one of the inscriptions of Sargon, the Assyrian King, dated 714 BC, allusion has been made to Mazdaku, a Median ruler. This name could be translated as "belonging to Mazda", which according to them could only mean that the Mede upper classes were Zarathushtrian, probably centuries before that. But these are only some of the historical and archeological indications of a very ancient date for Zarathushtra.

The great scholar James H. Moulton presented a theory, based on archeological data that pointed to the split of the Aryans into two migratory groups around 2000 BC. One of these went into modern day Iran and the other into India and Afghanistan. Since there was a reversal in the role of divinities between Iran and India, where daevas became gods and asuras (Iranian ahuras) became demons, while in Iran the opposite happened, Moulton theorized that the division came about as a result of Zarathushtra´s teaching against the daevas. But the main testimony, for a very ancient date for the Iranian Manthran is linguistical.

The RigVedas and the Gathas are contemporary and their language is extremely close. There are certain persons (which were seen as being alive at the time of both the Rig and the Gathas) that appear in both. Since the earliest RigVedas have been dated to before 1500 BC, we are now certain that Zarathushtra lived at least at that time and probably centuries before, because the RigVedas were sung many years before they were put into writing. The importance of Zarathushtra's date will become evident when we study the influences this ancient Persian religion had on both Eastern and Western religions.

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Historically, Zarathushtra was the founder of the first religion on record, although it now seems that a Semi-Monotheism might have existed in China, as long ago as, 4 to 5000 BC.E. He was the first to preach Monotheism. He was the first to proclaim a message for ALL mortals - a universal message. He was the first to preach equality of all regardless of race, gender, class or nationality. At a time when mankind was barely out of the Stone Age, when might was right, he proclaimed that a leader must be "chosen" thereby for the very first time in History, sowing the seeds of democracy!

Zarathushtra was also the first of the historical Universal Saviors/Benefactors, the First who 'saw' or predicted 'coming Saviors' from 'the lands', i.e not Iranians. In fact he is the historical era founder (although we can assume there were prior pre-historical Saviors/Benefactors) of the Divine Teaching, Daena, which he called, Daenam Saoshyantem, or the Teaching of the Saviors/Benefactors, also him referring to as the Path of Loving Good Thinking (Vohumana) and the Loving Good Teaching. (Daena Vanguhi)

Zarathushtra does not, in the Gathas, claim to have received inspiration from God. Rather in Song 2, which is an allegorical play that was probably performed around the supposed date of Zarathushtra's birthday (much like the Christian 'pasion plays'), he is pictured as having 'understood' the Divine Message. In other Songs, he himself claims to have both 'realized' and 'seen' God and His/Her Qualities or Graces, from which, and from other comments, we can conclude that Zarathushtra 'discovered' God and Her/His message, rather than having it 'revealed' to him. He did this by studying nature and then receiving an "insight' on the nature of the Creator and His/Her plan or message, a God he called Mazda Ahura, the Wise God.

Zarathushtra's sublime message to mankind is so simple that it is contained in a small book of 17 songs called "The Gathas of Zarathushtra". The word "Gatha" means songs or hymns. In them he is called Thought Provoker, Seer, Guide, True Invoker and even Savior, but never is he deified in any way. Yet this small book contains many profound and unique truths and to comprehend which it, is important to understand certain Gathic concepts.

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Gathic Concepts

  1. Spenta Mainyu: Zarathushtra sees the world as creation of a Divinity, whom he calls Mazda Ahura (dealt with in detail later), that He created with his Spenishta Mainyu = Most Creative and Prospering Mind.To understand this concept of "Spenta", one needs to understand Creative and Prospering. 'Progressive', in the sense of incremental, augmenting, evolving, growing, uplifting and edifying. The word "Mainyu" has been translated by Western scholars as "Spirit". However, linguistically it has no association with the spirit in the western sense. The opposite of this Creative and Prospering Mind, is Aka Mainyu, the Deluded Mind.
  2. Asha: In Zarathushtra's theology, Asha is the Ordering Principle of Creation. In the physical world Asha is what can be defined as an amalgam of laws that uphold the Cosmos. In other words, it is The True and Right Order (of things).
  3. Vohu Manah: According to Zarathushtra, human beings are endowed with Vohu Manah (Loving Good Mind.), which enables them to comprehend Asha, and make the right choices that make the living world progress towards Asha.
  4. Spenta Aramaiti: This concept has been translated differently by various scholars. Some translate it as 'Creative Serenity', some as 'Right-mindedness', some as 'Piet', some as 'Devotion' and some as'Benevolence'. Perhaps there is no one English word that can describe it. But it is generally agreed, that it is that inherent quality in human beings, that spurs them to translate good thinking into actions that are in accord with Asha.
  5. Vohu Kshahthra Vairyo: This is The Kingdom of Loving Good Choice. In our world it may be translated as the ideal social order, which Man must strive for, by making Asha like choices. In terms of human spirituality, it is allowing the Reign of God's Qualities over our minds, spirits and will. It's a free choice, done in realization of God's Absolute Total Goodness and Her/His Omniscience. In Other words. S/He is not only All Good, but S/He KNOWS, while we have to learn things and lack knowledge.
  6. Haurvatat: It is that state of perfection, on this Corporeal Plane, and in the Spiritual one, that God wishes Mankind to achieve.
  7. Ameretat: A state of immortality; non-deathness is referred to in the Gathas as Ameretat. (These concepts, as well as some others, will be dealt with in detail later).

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