By Mary Boyce

This booklet, now re-issued with a brand new advent through Mary Boyce, is the 1st try to hint the continual background of the religion from the time it used to be preached via Zoroaster right down to the current day-a span of approximately 3,500 years.

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Sample text

This is called the 'Airyema ishyo', and it invokes Airyaman, who, with Fire, will cleanse the world at Frasho-kereti. It runs : 'May longed-for Airyarnan come to the help of the men and women of Zoroaster, to the help of their good intention. The conscience which deserves the desirable recompense, for it I ask the longed-for reward for righteousness, which Ahura Mazda will measure out . ' This prayer is still uttered daily in Zoroastrian acts of worship, and at every funeral ceremony. The creed Zoroaster created a community which was united by clearly defined doctrines, shared moral endeavour, and common observances.

The symbolism of the girdle (called in Persian the 'kusti') was elaborated down the centuries ; but it is likely that from the beginning the three coils were intended to symbolize the threefold ethic of ZoroastriĀ­ anism, and so to concentrate the wearer's thoughts on the practice of his faith. Further, the kusti is tied over an inner shirt of pure white" 31 The establishing of Mazda worship the 'sudra', which has a little purse sewn into the throat; and this is to remind the believer that he should be continually filling its emptiness with the merit of good thoughts, words and deeds, and so be laying up treasure for himself in heaven.

The particular ethical code which Zoroaster gave his followers to live by demanded of them good thoughts, good words and good deeds - an admirable moral law which seems a generalization of the threefold demand made of the Iranian priest, who to perform an act of worship effectively needed good intention, right words and correct rituals. The doctrine of the seven Amesha Spentas and the seven creations thus inspired a comprehensive morality, and inculcated in man a deep sense of responsibility for the world around him.

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