The Global Mission of the Zoroastrian People

  December 13, 2023   Read time 3 min
The Global Mission of the Zoroastrian People
Zoroastrians believe that the battle between Ahura Mazda, the perfect good, and Angra Mainyu, the evil spirit, will continue to rage unabated for several thousands of years hence. At the end of this period a savior, or sashoyant, will lead people successfully and definitively against the forces of evil and ignorance.

There will be a mighty battle between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu. The world will be overcome and destroyed by fi re. Molten metal will cover the earth like water. The righteous will wade through but the unrighteous will be consumed by it. Evil, sin, and death will be defeated. The world will be purifi ed and perfected. In the renewal of the world all the dead will rise. The gates of hell will open and those souls too will rise, purifi ed and redeemed. People will live together in harmony in the perfect world of Ahura Mazda for all eternity. This time it is called frashogard, or frashokereti, which means “renewal.” All Zoroastrians have a duty to fight constantly against the weaknesses within the human heart and the worldly temptations that form The Lie. The forces of good, which Ahura Mazda leads, are engaged in a continual struggle with the forces of evil. In choosing good Zoroastrians join with Ahura Mazda to help bring about a perfect world.

Zarathustra urged his followers to care for and defend the poor. Since the very beginning of the religion service to others has been a principle of Zoroastrianism. Every Zoroastrian is expected to share happiness, which means sharing wealth, time, and talents freely and generously. For Zoroastrians it is not enough just to think good thoughts and speak good words—one must actively work to combat evil and ignorance.
In everything they do they are asked to consider not only their own welfare, but the welfare of the community. This is the spirit of Armaity, which encourages people to reach out to others in goodness and charity. Zoroastrians are known for supporting each other in spiritual and practical ways. However they also contribute to worthy causes outside the Zoroastrian community. In India, where Zoroastrians have had a long presence, many schools, hospitals, and other worthwhile projects for use by people of whatever religion or background were founded with Zoroastrian time, energy, and fi nancial assistance. In actively serving their communities Zoroastrians are following their Prophet and living their religion.
Zoroastrianism is not a congregational religion. It has rich and meaningful rituals, which priests perform on a regular daily basis in their largest and most sacred places of worship, but laypeople are not expected to attend. Zoroastrians gather mainly for the New Year, or Navruz, festival and the six major festivals, or gahambars, which occur throughout the year. On these occasions they get together for prayers followed by a shared meal and cultural activities such as singing and dancing.
For Zoroastrians fi re is the sacred symbol of Ahura Mazda. It captures the brilliance of the sun and the heavenly bodies, and it speaks of the power, might, and energy of the Spirit of Truth. In its purest form it represents the highest truth. Priests conduct all religious rituals and ceremonies in the presence of fire, which signifies the presence of Ahura Mazda. The most sacred fires of Zoroastrianism are consecrated fires, which contain fire from 16 different sources ritually combined in a long series of purification rites. One part of a consecrated fire is fire caused by lightning, since it comes directly from Ahura Mazda. It is important to remember, however, that Zoroastrians do not worship fire. The sacred fire is not an object of worship in itself but a symbol and reminder of Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord and great God.

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