of both the Religions :
Both Zoroastrianism and Vedic Aryans
have similar origins, pay homage to the same spiritual seers, venerate
the same gods and even have the same verses throughout the early scriptures.
Mazdaen scholars Zubin Mehta and Gulshan Majeed had noted a similarity
of Kashmiri customs with Zoroastrian ones. In the modern era, some Mazdaen
clerics had visited Kashmir, who include Azar Kaiwan and his dozen disciples,
and Mobad Zulfiqar Ardastani Sasani who compiled the Dabistan-e Mazahib.
Zarathustra was definitely a Kashmiri
Brahman from India as he was an Atharvan, who called himself a zaotar,
manthran and datta. He was referred to as an erishi and ratu. He also
wore the sacred thread and dressed like a traditional Kashmiri Pandit,
compiled Gathas containing Vedic verses, worshiped Varun (Ahura Mazda)
and venerated other holy Vedic Asurs. He lived as an ascetic in a cave
for some time and also had other traits similar to that of an Indian
Brahman, not to mention other customs similar to those of Kashmiri Aryans.
Linguistically, not only were some verses he wrote direct excerpts from
the Veds but the closest languages to his own, Avestan, are Sanskrit
and Kashmiri. Both, the Vedic geography of Yam's domain and the Mazdaen
geography of Yim's domain correspond to an area in central Kashmir.
The geographical description of Zarathustra's birthplace in the Mazdaen
scriptures match Kashmir's Diti (Daitya) and Indus (Veh) rivers and
Urni Jabbar (Jabr) Mountain within Baramulla district. In addition,
the descriptions of neighboring regions adjacent to Airyanem Vaeja,
such as Ataro-Patakan, Kohistan, Kangdez and Panjistan match those of
places surrounding Kashmir. Apart from these places in Mazdaen scriptures
being in conformity with places in and around Kashmir, the birthplace
of Tonpa Shenrab is also adjacent to Zarathustra's. (That makes sense
because the religions of the 2 saints are similar in their concepts
dualism, cimeration, and customs such as wearing of white turbans for
sages.) Ancient scholars, such as Clement of Alexandria and Ammianus
Marcellinus, connecting Zarathustra to Brahmans can definitely be seen,
and even in modern times Godfrey Higgins had called him "Zerdusht
It is definitely not hard to imagine
Brahmans in an Afghan king's court as there have been throughout history,
and even during Zarathustra's time he converted at least 2 other Brahmans
of the court, Changragach and Byas. Zarathustra also mentions having
dealt with the Angiras, and Nodha.
Zoroastrianism originated in India :
some western depictions falsely show him as European-looking with brown
hair and eyes, and white skin, the Bahram Yasht declares Athravans are
Zarathustra's name :
"Avesta Y.XIX. named a hierarchy of five leaders, the supreme being
called Zarathustrotema." - Duncan K. Malloch.
Just as the pseudonyms Gautam Buddh,
Vardhman Mahavir, and Guru Nanak are reflective of the sages' names
and titles, so too is the case of Zarathustra Spitama. 'Zarathustra'
is a name that relates his devotion to Ahura Mazda.
"There are the master of the house,
the lord of the borough, the lord of the town, the lord of the province,
and the Zarathustra (the high-priest) as the fifth".
- Avesta Yasna 19.18.50
Zarathustra' as a class of 'ustras'
is alluded to in the Atharv Ved.
"Three are the names the ustra
bears, Golden is one of them, he said. Glory and power, these are two.
He with black tufts of hair shall strike".
- Atharv Ved 132.13-16
The ustras referred to in this passage
are definitely humans because elsewhere too Atharvans with black hair
(i.e., implying theur youth) are praised. In Mazdaen scriptures too,
Athravans with black hair are praised.
"O Zarathushtra! let not that
spell be shown to any one, except by the father to his son, or by the
brother to his brother from the same womb, or by the Athravan to his
pupil in black hair, devoted to the good law, who, devoted to the good
law, holy and brave, stills all the Drujes".
- Khorda Avesta 2.4.10
There was "the Armenian Zoroaster,
grandson of Zostrianus" ("Zostriani nepos"), who was
the Pamphylian friend of Cyrus the Great. There was also a "Zoroaster"
of Babylon whom Pythagoras had written of meeting. Further, the Changragach-Nameh
and the Zarathusht-Nameh were written by Zarathusht Behrairi Pazdu,
while Zaratusht Bahram was an important Mobed. Thus, this explains that
the 'Zoroaster' written about after 6th century BCE wasn't always necessarily
Zarathustra Spitama, and we can also cancel obscure regions as his supposed
Zarathustra's surname 'Spitama' comes
from his ancestor Spiti. This name traces its roots to the Spiti Valley
of Himachal Pradesh, just south to Kashmir. This is also supported by
the fact that Zarathustra had taken solitude at age 15 to Mt. Ushidaran
which the Greater Bundahishn identifies as Mt. Kaf. Today is a village
in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh named Kaf.
'Spitama' itself has the Vedic Sanskrit
attribute of containing 'tama', like the gotra patronyms of Gautama,
Asvattama, Padmottama, Ratnottama, and Dirghtama(s), as well as the
titles of hiranya-vasi-mat-tama, rathi-tama, ratna-dha-tama, and sasvat-tama.
of Rishis :
According to the Rig Ved, Vashishth Rishi was the son of Mitra-Varun
by Urvashi. Aitareya Brahman mentions this of Brhaspati, and Gopath
Brahman to that of Atharvan.
of India :
"These were probably at first identical with the Vedic Atharvans
(fire-priests), as indeed Zoroastrianism is merely an advanced stage
of Brahmanism." - Chambers' Encyclopedia
Bahram Yasht declares Athravans are
Zarathustra was of the Athravan (Atharvan)
priestly caste. The Avesta declares that Zarathustra was an Athravan.
Hail to us! for he is born, the Athravan
Spitama Zarathustra. Zarathustra will offer us sacrifices with libations
and bundles of baresma with libations and bundles of baresma and there
will be the good Law of the worshipers of Mazda come and spread through
all the seven Karshvares of the earth.
- Avesta 24.94
The Atharvans are associated with fire
symbolizing it to be as sacred to them as it was to the later Athravans.
Bharadvaj says to Agni that Atharvan has churned Agni out from the lotus,
from the head of everything. Vitahavya also says that the Atharvans
have brought Agni from the "dark-ones" (i.e., nights.)
are Angirasas :
Further, Zarathustra in his Gathas alludes to "old revelations",
and praises the Saoshyants (fire-priests), and even exhorts his party
of attendees to praise the Angras. Aryan scriptures know the Angirasas
(descendants of Rishi Angiras) as the composers of the Atharv Ved, or
as the "Atharvangiras" and the Ved is also known as the Angiras
Ved. (Angras are in no way connected to Angra Mainyu, the opposer of
Ahura Mazda whose name means Dark Spirit.) Hence, those Angras mentioned
by Zarathustra are also Vedic rishis. He is referred to by some rishis
in the Rig Ved as their "father". Angira is a son of Varun,
as are Bhargav and Vashishth. Angirasas are sacerdotal families with
ceremonial practices in the Atharva Ved. Their connection to the sacred
fire is such that the Rig Ved also names Agni as Angiras, and that the
sons of Angiras were born of Agni. In the RV, Angirasas were called
"Sons of Heaven, Heroes of the Asur."
The fact that Bhargavs are, like their
subgroup Angirasas and the Athravans, also descendants of Vashishth
is established in Purans. Hence, Kava Usan (Shukra Acharya the Bhargav)
is venerated and included as one of the holiest sages in Mazdayasna
because he was also from Vahista (Vashishth).
Sraosha of the Avesta is Brhasa (Brhaspati)
of the Veds who was the son of Angiras, so Sraosha is also of the category
of Angras mentioned in the Avesta.
was of Vashishth Gotra :
The Denkard scripture specifically mentions that Zarathustra was a descendant
of the law-giving immortals (Amesha Spentas, to which the Vahistas belong),
as well as of "King Jam" Mazdaen scriptures mention Vahista
(Vashishth) within the Avesta, wherein he is an Amesha Spenta mentioned
as Asha Vahista. In Mazdayasna, Asha Vahista is a divine lawgiver and
guardian of the Asha. Vashishth is a law-giver sage in many instances
within the scriptures and is even quoted by other rishis, such as Bhrigu
and Manu, when they prescribe societal laws. Asha Vahista is also closely
associated with the sacred fire in several Avestan passages, just as
Vashishth is. Vashishth would have been a popular gotra in Kashmir especially
because a major ashram of his was here, Vangath.
The Atharvans are descended from Vashishth
Rishi. Vashishth's dedication to Atharvan is demonstrated in the Rig
Ved wherein after being filled with anger, he calms himself by reading
the Atharv Mantra. Vedic scholar Mallinatha writes in his commentary
of the Kiratarjunya that the Sastras declare that the mantras of Atharv
Rishi are preserved by Vashishth. Just as there are several Vashishths
within the community, the Avesta acknowledges that there are several
Vahistas, and refers to them as the "Lords of Asha." Even
in the Vahistoistri Gatha, Francois De Blois notices that it consists
of verses with a variable number of unstressed syllables.
as a dialect of Sanskrit :
"Slowly and gradually, it dawned upon them that the language of
the Gatha and Zendavesta has very great kinship with the Sanskrit language;
when the grammar of Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali was applied then
the Gathas and Zendavesta came to be understood by the westerners. The
lesson from this amazing fact is clear that once the Iranians of the
Gatha and Zendavesta and the Indo-Aryans of the Veds formed one single
race, speaking language akin to Samskrta." - Yaqub Masih
It is known that both Vedic Sanskrit
and the Zhand Avestan languages were very close. In fact, some scholars
have even stated that "the Parsi was derived from the language
of the Brahmans" like various Indian dialects. This view point
was supported by "Zend language was at least a dialect of the Sanskrit."
Max Muller, William Jones and Nathaniel Brassey Halhed put forward this
Erskine Perry also was in the view that
Avestan was a dialect of Sanskrit and was exported to ancient Persia
from India but was never spoken there and his reasoning for this is
that of the seven languages of ancient Persia mentioned in the Farhang-i-Jehangiri,
none of them is referring Avestan language. Another scholar perpetuating
the viewpoint of Avestan being a Sanskritic/Prakritic dialect was John
"Zend is a Brahmin language."
- J.G. Cochrane
of some Sanskrit and Avestan words :
of religious community
of some Sanskrit and Avestan names for gods :
of water, a god
of the gods
Mazda (one of his 101 names)
Wise Lord, creator of all
and lawgiver to humanity
pious king of Airyanem Vaeja
portrayed on a pillar of the Shakt-Vaishnav Birla Mandir, Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Aryanism's pluralistic tradition recognizes the pious sage as a saint
in the list of the world's spiritual gurus
portrayed on a mural of the Shree Saibaba Satsang Mandal, Surat, Gujarat.
He is shown next to Jalaram (left) and Vivekanand
from the gods that are common to both Zoroastrianism and Aryanism, names
of some other Aryan gods are carried by even modern day Persian speakers.
For example, the names 'Shiv' (Charming) and variations of 'Ram' (Black)
are used by Iranic speakers, such as Persians and Pashtuns. King Ram
is also added in names such as 'Shahram' (King Ram) and 'Vahram'/Bahram'
(Virtuous Ram), which was the other name of Verethragna mentioned in
the Bahram Yasht of the Avesta. The Sassanian kings took the Vahram
title, such "Vahram I" (ab. AD 273-276.) Toponyms as well
include 'Ram'/'Raman' in their syntax, such as Ramsar in Iran.
does not mean Dev :
"The term daeva as synonym with rakshash and distinct from dev
survives in Kashmir." - Ashvini Agrawal
Whereas the root of the Avestan word
'daeva' is "dae" meaning god, of 'dev' it is "div",
which means light. Zarathustra wrote in his Gathas, "daenae paouruyae
dae ahura!". Hence, the word for religion in Avestan is daena.
That dev carries positive connotations
is seen in Gatha 17.4 Yasna 53.4 wherein Ahura Mazda is said to be a
As Airyanem Vaeja is in Kashmiri, the
Avestan and Kashmiri vocabulary are similar. 'Dai' is still used by
Kashmiris to refer as god.
Avestan verses are from Veds :
The Rig Ved is believed to have been the oldest scripture in the world.
In it are verses that are identical to ones within the Zhand Avesta,
except the dialect of the Avesta is in Avestan. Ahura Mazda, whom the
Mazdaens worship as the Supreme Lord is the Avestan equivalent to Vedic
Sanskrit's Asur Medhira or Asur Mada. These terms mean "Wise Lord"
and in the Rig Ved this phrase appears in a few places, in one verse
Zoroastrianism and Aryanism With bending
down, oblations, sacrifices, O Varun, we deprecate thine anger:
Wise Asur, thou King of wide dominion, loosen the bonds of sins by us
- Rig Ved 24.14
There are several passages in the Veds
(especially the Atharv Ved) and Avesta that are identical, with the
only difference that they are in the different dialects, Avestan and
There are two sets of Mazdaen scriptures;
the Zhand Avesta and the Khorda-Avesta. The Zhand contains 3 further
sets of writings, known as the Gathas compiled by Zarathustra, and the
Vendidad, and Vispered. (Not surprisingly, Vedic Aryan scriptures also
have collections known as Gathas, such as the Vasant Gatha and Theragatha.)
The Khorda contains short prayers known as Yashts. They are written
in a metre much like the Veds. Normally they contain 15 syllables known
in Sanskrit as Gayatri asuri) like hymns of the Rig Ved, or Ushnih asuri
such as in the Gatha Vohu Khshathrem or of 11 syllables in the Pankti
asuri form, such as in the Ustavaiti Gatha.
Some scholars also note that there is
a connection between Bhargav Rishi and Zoroastrianism, as the Atharv
Ved portion composed by him is known as Bhargav Upasth and the latter
word is the Sanskrit version of the term 'Avesta'.
"The Avesta is nearer the Ved than
the Ved to its own epic Sanskrit." - Dr. L. H. Mills
identical verses from Veds and the Avesta :
Ved (10.87.21) /
Zhand Avesta (Gatha 17.4 Yasna 53.4)
mitraa varunaa samraajaa devaav asuraaha sakhe
ajaro jarimne agne martyaan amartyas tvam nah
mitraa varunaa devaav ahuraaha sakhe ya fedroi vidaat
vaastrevyo at caa khatratave ashaauno ashavavyo
Ahura Mazda, you appear as the father, the ruler, the friend, the
worker and as knowledge.
It is your
immense mercy that has given a mortal the fortune to stay at your
Ved 7.66 /
Zhand Avesta (Prishni, Chapter 8, Gatha 12)
antareekshe yadi vaate aasa yadi vriksheshu yadi bolapashu
pashava ud-yamaanam tad braahmanam punar asmaan upaitu
antareekshe yadi vaate aasa yadi vriksheshu yadi bolapashu
pashava ud-yamaanam tad braahmanam punar asmaan upaitu
Lord! Whether you be in the sky or in the wind, in the forest or
in the waves.
where you are, come to us once. All living beings restlessly await
the sound of your footsteps.
Zhand Avesta (Gatha 17.4, Yasna 29)
that supreme being is worthy of worship.
Veda / Zhand Avesta (Yasna 31.8)
(every) evil spirit is slain.
Veda / Zhand Avesta
(every) evil spirit goes away.
Veda / Zhand Avesta
shrinoti etaam vaacaam
hanoti aisham vaacam
he hears these words.
Zarathustra's teachings are called Zhand Avesta :
The Avesta is also known as the Zhand Avesta. Zhand is the Avestan equivalent
Zoroastrianism and Vedic Aryans O Kshatriya,
the verses that were recited by Atharvan to a conclave of great sages,
in days of old, are known by the name of Chhandas. They are not be regarded
as acquainted with the Chhands who have only read through the Veds,
without having attained to the knowledge of him who is known through
the Veds. The Chhands, O best of men, become the means of obtaining
Brahm (Moksh) independently and without the necessity of anything foreign.
- Mahabharat Udyog Parv Chapter 43:4
The word 'Avesta' comes from Sanskrit
'Abhyast', which means Repeated. Hence, the Avesta (Abhyast) is basically
a repetition of Zarathustra's teachings.
was born in Kashmir :
close-up of Airyanem Vaeja and the neighbors in the time of Zarathustra
Vaeja and its adjacent areas the neighbors in the time of Zarathustra
continents of Arezahi and Khvaniratha. These are the ethnic realms that
writers of the Bundahishn describe. They saw Airyanem Vaeja as essentially
the cradle-land of their culture (i.e., Iranian languages) so included
it within Pars
are the continents that the Indians and Iranians saw dividing the eastern
continents with Sanskrit names
is usually shown wearing a dhoti, (Indian-fashioned garment), unlike
the Balkhans to whom he preaches
The birthplace of Zarathustra has been a subject of dispute ever since
the Greek, Latin and later the Muslim writers came to know of him and
his teachings. Cephalion, Eusebius, and Justin believed it was either
in Balkh (Greek: Bactria) or the eastern Iranian Plateau, while Pliny
and Origen thought Media or the western Iranian Plateau, and Muslim
authors like Shahrastani and al-Tuabari believed it was western Iran.
While Zarathustra's place of birth has been postulated in various places
even in modern times, including within areas not historically included
by authors, such as in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, a few scholars have
believed that he was born in Kashmir. Shrikant G. Talageri and T. Lloyd
Stanley were proponents of this Kashmiri Airyanem Vaeja viewpoint. Mazdaen
scriptures mention repeatedly that Zarathustra was born in Airyanem
Vaeja, also known as Airyanam Dakhyunam. However, Zarathustra moved
from there to Balkh, where he was given sanctuary by its king and he
had become a royal sage. The Mazdaen scriptures further say that many
other people of Airyanem Vaeja had moved out with the dramatic climate
change whereby snow and cold weather became much more frequent. Zarathustra
was regarded as a pious Godman for the Balkhan administrators of his
time and India was recognized as a center of spiritual and scientific
wisdom. This is why Mazdaean scriptures show that King Vishtasp's court
was already familiar with the Indian Brahman adviser Changragach who
was teacher to minister Jamasp, even before Zarathustra's arrival to
Balkh. The Brahman Byas was also welcome in King Vishtasp's court and
met and had become a disciple of Zarathustra. King Vishtasp (Greek:
Hystaspes) was the father of King Darius I of the Balkh Kingdom and
he had studied astronomy amongst the Brahmans of India.
There are similarities noticed by scholars
such as Subhash Kak and Zubin Mehta which are described by them between
Mazdaen practices of Kashmiri Aryans. These include the sacred thread
for women (called aetapan in Kashmiri) and the sacred shirt (sadr.)
The festival of Nuvruz in commemoration of King Yim is known as Navreh
in Kashmir which is celebrated by Kashmiri Aryans. Furthermore, the
folklore of Kashmir too has many tales where devs are antagonists to
both devs and Asurs. As the title Zarathustra has many variations, such
as 'Zartust' and 'Zardost', the Sanskrit equivalent of his title is
'Haritustra Svitma'. The 'p' in 'Spitama' corresponds to a 'v' in Sanskrit
just as Avestan 'Pourusarpa' is 'Purusharva' is Sanskrit. Whereas the
consonant 's' of many Sanskrit words becomes 'h' in Avestan, 'Svitama'
maintains its letter because it is followed by a 'v', just as how the
's' in Sanskrit 'ashva' (horse) becomes 'aspa' (i.e., 'Dhruwaspa' means
She who possesses strong horses, and animals within names were more
common, such as Yuvanashva and Vindhyashva.) As 'Spitama' means white,
the Sanskrit word for the color-based name is 'Svitama'. Svita is a
metaphorical characteristic associated with purity and normally associated
with Brahmans in the Veds. For example, the Rig Ved describes the Vashishth
Rishis as 'svityam' (white), 'svityanco' (dressed in white) and white-robed.
Zarathustra dresses in white as well Mazdaen priests also dress up in
white. The connection between Vashishth Rishis with Atharvan Rishi is
a very close one.
of Avestan sacred places in Kashmir.
Kashmir itself has taken on various endonyms and exonymns, which can
make pinpointing whether an author is talking about the region. In this
case, the Mazdaen scriptures refer to it as Airyanem Vaeja and Anu-Varshte.
In addition to these, the region has been called Kashmar, Kashir, Kashrat,
Kasherumana, Khache-yul, Kasperia, and Kipin, Vitastik, and it together
with Balawaristan is known as Hari-varsh, Naishadha-varsh, Uttara-Path,
and Dev-Kuru. It has symbolic and historic association with rishis,
and has been known as Rishivaer/Rishi-wara (Land of Rishis.) Even Persian
literature has mentioned the words Reshi, Reshout, and Rea-Shivat when
speaking about Kashmir. Firdaus (Paradise) is another Persian word that
has been used to describe Kashmir. The word Airyanem within the phrase
Airyanem Vaeja means Of the Aryans. Jain mantras use the term in the
salutations, such as "Namo Airiyanam" in the Namokar Mantra,
and "Om Hreem Namo Airiyanam" as an astrological mantra for
Airyanem Vaeja is also called Anu-Varshte :
The Avesta mentions 'Anu-varshte daenayai', meaning "religion of
Anu-land." This prayer requests the help of Ardvisura to help Zarathustra
able to convince King Vishtasp to accept the 'religion of Anu-Varshte.'
The Anu tribe, also known as Anavas in many Aryan scriptures, were based
in Kashmir. There's even a village called Ainu Brai after them within
Pahalgam tehsil of Anantanag in Kashmir. That they later annexed nearby
lands, including Balkh in Afghanistan, is evident from scriptures such
as that of Panani's that tells us of Anava settlements.
In the Anava lineage, 7th in descent
from Anu were brothers Usinar and Titikshu. The territories gained by
the Anavas was split by these brothers wherein Usinar had grasped Kashmir
and the Punjab while Titikshu gained rulership over eastern territories
of Ang (Bihar), Vang (Bengal), Suhma, Pundra, and Kaling (Orissa.)
Because Kashmir has prehistorically
been the Anava stronghold, even during the Dasarajna War as the Rig
Ved mentions, it is acknowledged as such both in Aryan scriptures (i.e.,
Atharv Ved) and in the Mazdaen Avesta.
One of the reasons why historically
Balkh and some other regions of modern Afghanistan were Indianized (and
hence, referred to as Ariana) is because the Anavas also held areas
of Afghanistan under their suzerainty. In Vrtlikar, Sage Panini (from
Afghanistan himself) mentions that there are 2 Anava settlements of
the Usinar called Ahvajal and Saudarshan. Even scholarly Chinese visitors
to ancient India, Fa Hien and Yuan Chwang describe the story of a certain
King Usinar told at Udyan (modern Swat Valley where people are mostly
ethnically Afghans) that sacrificed his life to save that of a dove's.
To little surprise the Kurma Puran mentions
Anava being 1 of the 7 sons (Saptrishis) of Vashishth, meaning that
Vashishth had married within the royal family. Within the same Manavatar
era another son of Vashishth was Shukra or Kavi Usan (Kava Usan of Mazdaen
scriptures), meaning that Vashishth had likely married multiple women.
Mountain is Urni Jabbar Mountain :
birthplace Urni Jabbar (Avesta's Jabr Mountain) and his city of residence
Raihan Bag (Avesta's Rai)
Zarathustra was said to have been born in the village of Raji by the
Darej River near the Jabr Mountain. In Vendidad 1.16 where the city
of Ragha is referred to the Pahlevi commentators add that it is in Ataro-Patakan.
In Kashmir, there is a village of similar name, Renji in Sopore district.
There are other villages and towns bearing 'Rai' in their names. These
are Raipura, Raika Gura, Raika Labanah, Raika Mahuva, Rainawari, and
Rai'than. Kashmir bears the villages Raj Pora Thandakasi Dareja is also
mentioned to be where Zarathustra's father lived hence, Zarathustra
lived there too. Today in Kashmir there are the 2 rivers Darga Burzil
and Darga Rattu that merge to form the larger Astore River.
(Amar) is Amartnath in Kashmir :
The sorcerer (Zandak), who is full of death, founded a city of Amui
(Amar), and Zardusht, descendant of Spitama, was of that place.
- Satroiha-i Airan 59
This verse is saying that Zarathustra
was of this place, meaning he likely spent a significant portion of
his life there. This is also the opinion Carl Bezold and Louis Herbert
Amarnath pilgrimage is Anantanag district,
bordering Baramulla district, where Zarathustra was born.
is Raihan Bag in Kashmir :
Zarathustra was of that place (Rai.)
This village is very close to the Urni
Jabbar mountain, it is in Khag tehsil in the Badgam district.
River is the Jhelum :
(Diti) rises in Hairbal Ki Galli and flows southward until it merges
with Bring, which in turn merges with Lower Jhelum near Danter village
Scriptures mention the original homeland of the religion and of Zarathustra,
but due to placename changes, the exact location has been hard to pinpoint.
Daityas are also mentioned (as are Danavs) in ancient Mazdaen texts
as good beings. It is believed that the homeland of the Aryans is located
by the Daitya River as said in this Avesta quote, "Airyanem Vaejo
vanghuydo daityayo", which Darmesteter translates as "the
Airyana Vaejo, by the good (vanghuhi) river Daitya." In later scriptures,
the river is known as 'Veh Daiti' wherein the Veh refers to the Daiti
being its tributary. Veh in the Bundahishn is mentioned as the Indus
River. Bundahishn mentions that Veh is also called Mehra by Indians,
and surely enough Mehra is a town along the Indus. Veyhind (Udabhandapur,
modern Hund) is also a town reflecting Indus' Veh-name. Further, Vahik
was the name of a kingdom around the Indus and its meaning is Land of
the River. (Here was Arattdesh or Panchanad.) Kashmir has a river named
Diti which is said to have been an incarnation of Diti, mother of the
Daityas. The connection between the Diti River of Mazdaen scriptures
and the patriarch Diti of Aryan scriptures has been observed by James
Hewitt. Daityas have been mentioned in Aryan Epics as staunch Asurs.
This river is also popularly called as Chandravati, Arapath or Harshapath.
The Arapath Valley begins where the Arapath (Diti) stream stems out
of Jhelum. Because the Diti becomes the Jhelum at their stem, the Mazdaen
scriptures just call the entire Jhelum as Daitya River. They also refer
to it as the Veh Daiti because the Jhelum itself merges into the Indus,
which the Bundahishn calls 'Veh'. (The entire Jhelum is certainly known
by many names in India.) Just as the Bundahishn calls the Daitya "the
chief of all streams", scholars note the Jhelum has more streams
than any other Indus tributary.
Zarathustra used to bathe in the Dareja
affluent of the Daitya. In the same way, Aryans are encouraged to bathe
in it among rivers of Kashmir.
After that on the 14th of the dark-half
of the month, one should take bath, before sun-rise, in the cool water
of the Vitasta or the Visoka or the Candravati or the Harsapatha or
the Trikoti or the Sindhu or the holy Kanakavahini or any other holy
river or the water-reservoirs and the lakes.
- Nilamat Puran, verses 501-503
King Vishtasp used to perform sacrifices
along the Dareja. In the same way, Aryans are encouraged to perform
execute the Rajasuya ceremony along the Diti.
By bathing in Harshapath, one is honoured
in the world of Sakra and by bathing in Candravati one gets the merit
of (giving) ten cows.
Holy is the river Harshapath and so also is Candravati. The wise say
that there accrues (the merit of the performance of) Rajasuya at the
confluence of these two.
- Nilamat Puran, verse 1349-1350
is an affluent of Daitya River :
(Dareja) Lower Jhelum River coming out of Wulur Lake
The Dareja is the lower Jhelum from which stretches from Hairbal Ki
Galli to Muzaffarabad to join the other part of the Jhelum that stretches
Mangla Reservoir to Muzaffarabad. Today this stream is known as the
For the occurrence of the seventh questioning,
which is Amurdad's, the spirits of plants have come out with Zaratust
to a conference on the river Dareja's high ground on the bank of the
waters of the Daiti.
- Zadsparam 22.5.12
Of those eighteen principal rivers,
distinct from the Arag river (Amu Darya) and Vêh river (Indus),
and the other rivers which flow out from them, I will mention the more
famous: the Arag river, the Vêh river, the Diglat river (Yarkhun)
they call also again the Vêh river, the Frât river, the
Dâîtîk river (Jhelum), the Dargâm river, the
Zôndak river, the Harôî river (Harirud), the Marv
river, the Hêtûmand river (Helmand), the Akhôshir
river, the Nâvadâ river, the Zîsmand river, the Khvegand
river, the Balkh river (Balkhab), the Mehrvâ river they call the
Hendvâ river (Indus), the Spêd river, the Rad river which
they call also the Koir, the Khvaraê river which they call also
the Mesrgân, the Harhaz river, the Teremet river, the Khvanaîdis
river, the Dâraga (Jhelum's stream Lower Jhelum) river, the Kâsîk
river, the Sêd ('shining') river Pêdâ-meyan or Katru-meyan
river of Mokarstân.
- Bundahishn, Chapter 20.7
Kohistan is Kohistan of Karakoram Range :
is 1 of the ethnic regions of Kashmir, and is mentioned in Mazdaen scriptures
as possessing the Daitya River. Here, Gurji is the predominant language
The Daitik river (Datya) rises in Airan-vej and flows through Kohistan.
- Bundahishn 20.13
Kohistan is also referred in the Pazhand
transcription of the Bundahishn as Gurjistan. The Gurjistan that is
referred to is the Gurez Valley in Kashmir. Gurez is acknowledged by
V. R. Raghavan as to have come from 'Gurj' and 'Gurjur'.
Gopat, also known as Gopistan is another
name for Kohistan.
The land of Gopat has a common border
with Eran Vez on the banks of the river Datya.
- Bundahishn 11.A.7
Subdastan is also a toponym of Kohistan.
The river Datya comes from Eran Vez
and goes to Subdastan.
Panjistan is Panjistan of Punjab :
River has 2 streams. Zend is its northern branch
Panjistan is mentioned as possessing the Zend River. The name in present-day
is used to refer to a region of northeastern Punjab region. Even the
language spoken there is called Panjistani.
The Pahlavi word 'Zend' (referring to
a city, not the Zhand Avesta) is the translation of local 'Jand' within
the Punjab. There are cities and towns throughout the region named Jand.
Hence, the river is called Jand (Zend.)
Zoroastrianism and Aryanism The Zend
River passes through the mountains of Panjistan, and flows away to the
- Bundahishn 20.15
Mountains are Himalayas and the river Aravand is Sarasvati :
Mountains across the northwestern Himalayas contain 'Hara' within their
names, such as Haramukh Mountain and Haramosh Mountain nearby in Gilgitstan.
Hara is the shortened form of the mountain range's name Hara-Berezaiti.
Hara's most sacred peaks are known as
Us-Hindava (Pahlevi: Usindam) and the Hukairya (Pahlevi: Hugar.) In
the Avesta, Us-Hindava Mountain (which means Upper Indian Mountain)
is also spoken of as Usindam and Usinda Mountain and it receives water
from a "golden channel" from Mt. Hukairya (Of good deeds.)
Hari is the name for a series of mountains
as well as villages that have "Hara" as their names. Today
Hara Parvat is revered by Aryans as a sacred mountain.
Further, the Ardvi Sura River that the
Avesta writes about, is the Sarasvati River of the Rig Ved is said to
flow from Hara into the Vourukasha Sea (Indian Ocean.) Sarasvati flowed
from Hardikun Glacier (West Harhwal Bandarpanch Masif) and took its
coarse into the Indian Ocean. To further, that Avestan Ar was in Kashmir
is that it mentions god Sraoesa (Avestan name of Brhaspati) living in
the Hukairya mountains. There is a prasasti dedicated to Sarasvati inscribed
in Madhya Pradesh, which states that Sarasvati lived in heaven together
Also, the Avesta speaks of the Aravand
River, which is another name for Ardvi Sura, and it is the Avestan translated
name of Amaravati River, Sarasvati's other name.
Kaf is Mount Meru :
Mt. Kaf is the same mountain that Zarathustra is believed in legends
to have gone into recluse. In Mazdaen sources it is usually called Ushidarena.
In Aryan sources a Kashmiri mountain called Ushirak (also referred to
as 'Darva' and 'Abhisar') is mentioned as a place where people are sent
for solitude. It is also mentioned in Buddhist texts as Ushiraddhaj
and Ushira-giri, and as Ushinar-giri in the Kathasaritsagar.
Al-Biruni mentioned that this is the
same mountain that Indians call Lokalok.
The modern K2 mountain is Mt. Meru.
It is in the boundary between the Karakoram and the Himalayas. The Karakoram
(Black Mountains) are also known as Krishnagiri (Black Mountains) in
Sanskrit. As a lot of places around Kashmir and Balawaristan contain
'giri' or 'gir' within their names.
Scholars like Charles Hamilton Smith
and Samuel Kneeland had identified that the Kaf mountain or mountains
are just north of the Indus River. The K2 is just north of Indus River.
Cinvat is Mount Crngvat :
A mountain mentioned in Mazdaen scriptures is Cinvat. In Aryan texts
there is a mountain associated with Meru because the latter's waters
flow through the Crngvat (also known as Tri-Crnga.)
The meaning of the Sanskrit word 'Crngvat'
is summit peak, and 'Crngi' is used in general for the placenames of
peaks of the Himalayas and of Sringaverpur (modern Allahabad), Srisring,
Chirtasring, and Hiranyasring.
versus Inner Kashmir :
The Bundahishn divides Kashmir into 3; inner, central, and outer. Inner
it calls "Kashmir-e andaron." Other scholars, such as Al-Idrisi,
Dimashqi, Ibn Khaldun, and Shariyar b. Burzurg, have noted this distinction
as well when writing of the region. Geographer Al-Mas'udi wrote that
Inner Kashmir was founded by Kai Kaus. Historically in India, Kashmir
has been written of as 3; Kamraz (Kramarajya or Kamraj), Yamraz (Yamrajya
or Yamraj), and Maraz (Madvarajya or Maraj.)
Included in the latter are other regions,
such as Kangdez, the country of Saokavastan, the desert of the Arabs,
the desert of Peshanse, the river of Navtagh, Eran-vej, the var made
by Yim and Inner Kashmir.
This passage distinguishes Airyanem
Vaeja (Eran-vej) from Yima's var and Inner Kashmir. That then leaves
the question: If this Bundahishn verse covers all lands from the Arabian
Peninsula to Inner Kashmir, then where is 'Outer Kashmir'? Historically
the Kashmir Valley had been divided into 3 regions; Kamraj (ruled by
Kamran), Yamraj (ruled by Yama or Yima), and Maraj (ruled by Maran.)
Because the passage mentions Eran-vej, the Yama's var, and Inner Kashmir
in that consecutive order it aligns with the sequence of Outer Kashmir
or Kamraj, Central Kashmir or Yima's vat, and Maraj or Inner Kashmir.
Further, Kamraj includes Baramulla district which contains the Veh,
Daitya, and Dareja rivers as well as Mt. Jabr. Hence, the Bundahishn's
author of the excerpt purposely mentioned these regions in that order.
Kashmir lies on a plateau surrounded
by high inaccessible mountains. The south and east of the country belong
to the Aryans (Indians), the west to various kings, the Bolar-Shah and
the Shugnan-Shah, and the more remote parts up to the frontiers of Badakhshan
to the Wakhan-Shah. The north and a part of the east belong to the Turks
of the Khota and Tibet. - Al-Biruni.
identifiers of Kashmir :
"If India were the original home of Indo-Europeans, it must also
be the birth place of Zarathushtra. If the Zoroastrians had migrated
out of India, they would have carried memories of the geography they
left behind. Avestan literature is not familiar with the Indus. In fact,
it believes Indus and Oxus to be the same. In contrast, Avesta itself
refers to the features in Afghanistan." - Rajesh Kochhar
Rajesh Kochhar's statement that Zarathustra
would have had to have been born in India for it to have been the Indo-European
homeland holds true, because the Avesta indeed mentions toponyms of
features in northern India, mainly from Kashmir. The reason why most
places in the Avesta are of Afghanistan is because Zarathustra, who
was not from the Balkh Kingdom and had migrated there as most scholars
agree, had only composed the Gathas of the Avesta, whereas the rest
of it was composed by his converts in Balkh. It is believed that the
time gap between the Gathas and the rest of the Avesta are centuries.
Scholars believe that this can be seen from "the poor grammatical
condition of the language" of the Vendidad portion of the Avesta.
Kochhar also says Mazdaens who migrated would have to carry the memories
of India with them, because the first Mazdaens were Zarathustra's family
including his cousin Maidhyomaongha, also known as Maidhyoimah or Medhyomah,
brother-in-laws Frashaoshtra and Jamaspa, wife Hvovi, his daughters
named Freni, Thriti and Pourushista, and his three sons which migrated
with him, Zarathustra was the only compiler of the Avesta out of them.
Apart from Zarathustra and his family, the first community of adherents
was founded by King Vishtasp. Interestingly enough, the king converts
after recognizing Zarathustra's holyness, when the prophet healed his
paralyzed horse just like the Sant Kabir and Sant Namdev brought back
a cow to life to earn the faith of kings. So because Kochhar asserts
that India must be the Indo-European homeland by meeting his criteria,
then India is Airyanem Vaeja.
India in general is overlooked by modern
scholars who study the Mazdaen scriptures. Of importance is Mithra,
who is associated with the Indian Subcontinent. His dominion is geographically
described in the Mihir-Yasht as extending from eastern India and the
Hapta Hindava to western India and from the Steppes of the north to
the Indian Ocean. The Avesta mentions Four Waters, which are four rivers
of paradise. Kashmiri poets have written of "four rivers of paradise"
in their works. The Four Waters of paradise according to the Avesta
1. The Azi
2. The Agenayo
3. The Dregudaya
4. The Mataras
The water of these has a trait that
they contain honey or honey-sweet water: "Two crossing canals that
joined in a pond and which symbolized the four rivers of Paradise where
milk, honey, wine and water flow." This same bed of four rivers
is the one referred to in the Rig Ved. The Ved mentions waters filled
with honey-sweet water as the greatest work of nature: "The noblest,
the most wonderful work of this magnificent one (Indra) is that of having
filled the bed of the four rivers with water as sweet as honey."
The river of Kashmir which has four streams is the Jhelum and its four
branches are Arapath (the Diti River), Vishau, Rimiyara and Lidar. As
Airyanem Vaeja is said to have been the birthplace of the first set
of humans, the Kashmiris too state the human origin story about Kashmir.
"Aryana Vaeja has been placed in
Media by inhabitants of Persia and Media. But this is only a transfer...which
has nothing primitive and has only originated in consequence of the
real site being forgotten."
Zoroastrianism's scholars have written
about the origins of the Mazdaens from India. Max Muller had said that,
"The Zoroastrians were a colony from northern India." M. Michel
Break wrote, "The Zoroastrians were a colony from Northern India."
Also identified in the Mazdaen scriptures
are people such as Yim (Yam) and Manushchihr (Manu), who have traditionally
been strongly associated with Kashmir. Manushchihr in the Avestan Yasht
is mentioned as "the holy Manushchihr, the son of Airyu."
Zardasht is said to have planted, under
auspicious circumstances, two cypress-tress, one in Kashmir and the
other in Farumad-tus, and the Majusi (Magi) believe that he brought
the cypress from paradise when he planted it in those places.
Both the Farhang-i-Jehangiri and the
Shahnameh mention that Zarathustra had planted a cypress tree at a place
named Kashmar. This place in the prior text is named also as Kashmir.
The composers of the Rehbar-i-Din-i-Zarthoshti (Dastur Erachjee Sorabjee
Meherji Rana) and Dabistan (Mohsan Fani), believed this to be the Kashmir
in India. Though the Kashmar/Kashmir in the story is actually a town
in Khorasan, one can see that the etymological derivation of 'Kashmar'
is from the more ancient region of Indian Kashmir. It's quite possible
that the seeds to grow the tree came from Kashmir. Certainly, cypress
tress exist in Kashmir, and the local species is known as Cupressus
learning from and preaching to other Vedic scholars :
Ancient Greek scholars, such as Clement of Alexandria and Ammianus Marcellinus,
had written that Zoroaster had studied with the Brahmans of India. We
know from Mazdaen literature that in his youth, Zarathustra's preceptor's
name is Burzin Kuru(s), and the Kurus were a dynasty that had then dominated
in parts of North India and in Afghanistan. Kashmir of course, is historically
known as a part of Dev-Kuru. Further, even today there is the Burzahom
Neolithic site next to Baramulla district in Kashmir, and the Draga
Burzil stream in Kashmir, only further showing that the name Burzin
has a connection to Kashmir. Ammianus had written that the Magi derived
some of their most secret doctrines from the "Indian Brachmans"
(i.e., Brahmans.) Arabian writers have given a lot of information concerning
the learning which Zoroaster acquired from the Indian Brahmans. Ammianus
also states in his 23rd Book of History that Prince Gushtasp (King Vishtast's
brother) went deep into the secluded areas of northern India and having
reached a forest for retreat of the most exalted Brahmans, he learned
spiritual knowledge from the Brahmans there and then returned back to
his domain to preach this newly acquired wisdom to the Magi. Par Thomas
Maurice believed and wrote that Zarathustra had studied with Brahmans
in India. Kashmiri Brahmans are known synonymously as Kashmiri Pandits
or simply as 'Pandits' (Scholars) and Anquetil du Perron believes that
the Mazdaen scripture the Dhup Nihang mentions Mazdaen Pandits. The
8th century CE scripture refers to three Dasturs called 'Pandits' whose
names were Bio Pandit, Djsul Pandit and Schobul Pandit. Their names
appear in the prayers of that scripture. Interestingly enough, the word
'Dastur' is used in Kashmiri to mean custom. Furthermore, Ibn al-Athir
too and written that Zarathustra had been in India at one point.
According to the Canda's Persian text,
the Changragach Nameh, an Indian Brahman was called to King Gushtasp's
palace to discuss with Zarathustra the Mazdaen religion. The Brahman
after his discussion had became a preacher of the religion and went
back to India where he established followers and temples. Changragacha's
name bares similarity to a placename, 'Chandrabhaga'. Another known
Brahman that was a disciple of Zarathustra was a sage from India named
Byas (in the lineage of Vyas), and likely Naidyaongh Gautam (a sage
in the lineage of Nodhas Gautam.) According to the Bhavisya Puran, the
Magi had first settled on the Chandrabhaga. This account also coincides
with Timur's finding "fire-worshipers" in Punjab. Further,
Aristoboulos, when visiting Taxila, had stated that the dead were "thrown
out to be devoured by vultures." This practice is still observed
in parts of western Tibet. Even Buddhist scriptures mention the great
charnal fields near Simhapura in Kashmir wherein corpses were fed to
wild animals for disposal. Further, within Taxila had existed a great
Jandial fire temple mentioned by Philostratus. In the 1079 CE century,
Sultan Ibrahim the Ghaznavid had attacked a community of Mazdaens at
Dehra (probably Dehra Dun.) Then from Timur's invasion of India, among
his captives of both Mazdaens and Aryans from Tughlikpur, some were
Mazdaens who offered fierce resistance. In 1504 CE, Bedauni mentioned
that Sultan Sikander destroyed fire-altars.
between the Magi and Indian Aryan Priests :
The Magi being Athravans were accepted as Brahmans and they settled
in Punjab first when they were brought by Samba (son of Krishna) and
they spread from there to other parts of the Indian Subcontinent including
Karnatak and Nepal which are also known as the Magacharya or Maga Brahman
nations speak Avestan-like languages today :
As Zarathustra had spoken Avestan, the language likely would have been
spoken in a place where it was popular. Today, Kashmiri (Koshuri) is
closest language to Sanskrit and hence to Avestan that is spoken by
a linguistic group very similar to Rig Vedic Sanskrit. In addition,
languages very close to Sanskrit which are also spoken in regions adjacent
to Kashmir, showing only that the Sanskritic-Avestan homeland would
at least include Kashmir. The neighboring nations which speak Sanskrit-like
languages are the Kalashi, Shina, Gawar Bati, Dameli, Pashayi, Kohistani,
Palula and Nuristani. Just as in Avestan, 'zarat' means golden and 'ustra'
refers not only to camel but also to wild animals such as cows and sheep
in general, as well as buffalos. 'Ustra' is used a few times in the
Atharv Ved), displaying the point that camels and buffalos were very
familiar and common amongst where the Ved's compilers and where Zarathustra
Zarathustra left for Balkh :
from Aelianus' De natura animalium
"That this Magian language was Zend is surely no forced hypothesis,
since from those Brahmins seated in Bactria, we long after find Zoroaster
bringing the same religious system and employing their Zend terms for
it: a fact which no one can deny." - John George Cochrane
Map of the ancient Silk Route, which connected major cities
and peoples of the ancient world
In ancient time, Indian Brahmans had a great amount of influence over
the kingdoms adjacent to India or ones that extended from India to other
places like Gandhar, Kakeya, and Kamboj. The fact that Athravans are
the chief priests of Mazdaean in Afghanistan implies that Brahmans were
already established in the region before Zarathustra's arrival there.
In the Vedic Era, King Atyarati Janamtapi conquered Uttara-Kuru, thus
bringing more Indian influence to Central Asia and it shows the level
of influence that India had. In the 3rd century BCE it was Asoka who
had it under his dominion, and in the 8th century CE, it was Kashmiri
king Lalitaditya Muktapida that had suzerainty over it. Balkh was known
to have a Brahmans within the court of its king as well. Historically
in India, Brahmans and other spiritual teachers have sought royal patronage
to institutionally aid their religions such as in preaching beliefs
to society and building temples. They would become rajyagurus (royal
teachers) or rajpurohits (royal sacerdotal priests.) Zarathustra had
become the chief spiritual adviser of the Balkhan court and his family
members who were the first Mazdaens and also had similar positions within
the court. Ancient Greek historian Aelianus in De natura animalium,
also mention that there were "Indian Arianians" and there
is some suggestion that control of Ariana fluctuated between Indian
and Arian Arianians. This infers that Indians in Ariana had political
"A Rishi went to another country,
to try and get his name famous there as a Rishi, but he got less celebrated
than before (in his own country.) O Rishi, you left your home without
a cause." - A Kashmiri Proverb
Kashmir being Land of Rishis was abundant
in rishis and it was normal for a monarch of ancient Balkh and other
regions of Afghanistan to have Brahman teachers or ministers from India.
For example, Nagsen (another Kashmiri) had become the preceptor of the
Balkhan King Menander, while Ashvaghosh and Nagarjun (another Kashmiri)
of Balkhan King Kanishk who after his conversion held the Fourth Buddhist
Council in Kashmir. Buddhayasas was a Kashmiri and had become the preceptor
of Dharmagupt the king of Kashgar in 5th century CE. Gunvarman was a
prince of Kashmir but was missionary for much of his life and became
the royal adviser to the kings of East China, Java, and Sri Lanka in
the 4th century CE. Shakyashri Badhra, Ratnaver, and Sham Bhatt were
Buddhist missionaries to Tibet and East China. Bilhan was a royal sage
of Panchal's King Madanbhiram in the 9th century CE. Even the Aryan
Shahi Dynasty was established in the 9th century CE by the Turki Shahi
Dynasty's Brahman minister Kallar. King Minar Dhitika was converted
to Buddhism by Sangbhadra. King Seve Salbar of Afghanistan was converted
to Bonpo by Namse Chyitol.g. Kashmir was influential to both Indian
and adjacent regions. In ancient history, Kashmir has been part of various
kingdoms that had included regions of Afghanistan. Even in the Buddha's
time, Gandhara was a Mahajanpad and in many periods of history, Kashmir
was a part of the Gandharan Kingdom.
The presence of Indian Brahmans in various
places, including neighboring ones, such as Gandhar and Balkh, was recorded
in ancient times; Edict 13 of the 14 'Rock Edicts of King Ashok' reads,
"There is no country, except among the Greeks, where these two
groups, Brahmans and ascetics are not found and there is no country
where people are not devoted to one or another religion..." Along
the ancient Silk Route the Kashmiri gateway is at Kunjerab Pass and
the Balkhan gateways on the pathway are Balkh and Shahrisabz.
Areas of Afghanistan being under the
influence of Indian dynasties made Balkh a friendly place for Zarathustra
to be a Brahman priest in.
of other places in India :
Ataro-Patakan of the Avesta is not the Azerbaijan of Caucasus
Ataro-Patakan means Keeper of the Fire, which Sanskrit scriptures have
used as 'Pathak Pitt'. Pathakam is Sanskrit has meant to be a canton
wherein spefically priests live.
Ataro-Patakan is in Dardistan and Swat.
It is known for having the Asnavand Mountain and the city of Rak from
where Zarathustra's mother was from. In modern Gilgitstan exists the
Rakaposh Range where bears the title Rak. The Avestan Vendidad, it is
Rak, whereas in Pahlevi scriptures it's Rag or Arak.
Arrian, Strabo, Pliny and Justin had
stated that Atropatene in Media was named after its Satrap Atropatos
declared independence after Alexander's death. He ruled the region under
Alexander of Macedon from 328-327 BCE.
Because the Avesta predates Satrap Atropatos,
the region of Atropatene is not the Avestan Ataro-Patakan (Protector
of the Fire.) The Avestan Ataro-Patakan is in Persian known by 'Adar-bigan'.
Hence, when the kingdom of lower Media took on the name Atropatene,
it's Persian-equivalent name also began being used, and in the predominant
Turkic language there it became known as Azerbaijan.
That Ataro-Patakan borders Airyanem
Vaeja is seen in multiple sources, including the Bundahishn.
Zarathustra's father was of the region
Adarbaijan; his mother whose name was Dughdo came from the city of Rai.
(Sataves) River is Sutlej :
And Sataves itself is a gulf (var) and side arm of the wide-formed ocean,
for it drives back the impurity and turbidness which come from the salt
sea, when they are continually going into the wide-formed ocean, with
a might high wind, while that which is clear through purity goes into
the Aredvisur sources of the wide-formed ocean.
- Zadsparam 6.16
Sataves' fluvial properties are also
elaborated when Bundahishn and Vendidad Fargard state that Sataves controls
the tides of Vouru-Kasha.
Just as how the Daiti being a tributary
of the Indus is called Veh-Daiti, so too is the Aredvisur called the
Veh-Aredvisur as the Sutlej is also an Indus tributary.
is Gokarn :
Mazdaean scriptures mention the Gaokern tree of immortality, which is
the same as the Aryan Gokarn.
There are said to be 2 Gokarn places;
A northern and a southern.
Varah Puran refers to Gokarn, as a region where the shrine of Lord Gokarn
was installed at the confluence of the Sarasvati and the Yamuna.
is Gangdise (beside Kashmir) :
map of Tibet showing the mountainous Gangdise region and Mt. Lionbo
Kangri A.K.A. Kangdez
From the geography of Mazdaen scriptures it is easy to determine the
location of Airyanem Vaeja in Kashmir because the regions around Airyanem
Vaeja are mentioned too. The part of Tibetan Plateau west of the Indus
River and Brahmaputra is even today called Gangdise. Mazdaen scriptures
and the Shahnameh mention Kangdez.
In the Dadestan-i-Menog-i-Khrad, the
location of Kangdez is described as "Kangdez is entrusted with
the eastern quarter, near to Satavayes on the frontier of Airan-vego."
Since Kangdez is the Gangdise region, this excerpt also supports Kashmir
being Airyanem Vaeja.
Turkish historian Al-Biruni writes that
he cannot locate Kangdez and that both Yamakoti and Tara are cities
there. Yamakoti is also mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam.
It is said that Bhadrasva-varsa extends
from the city of Yamakoti up to the Malyavat Mountain.
- Srimad Bhagavatam
The prominent mountain associated with
this continent is Malyavat Mountain. It is the modern-day Muztag (7,282m)
because the Mahabharat identifies Meru as being between the Malyavat
Apart from the Mt. Meru (Mazdaen Hara),
Mt. Kailash is also revered in Mazdayasna as "Kangri". It
is the abode of Peshotan (Chitro-maino), son of King Vishtasp, and Khwarsheed-chihr
(Khursheed-chehr), son of Zarathushtra, who will gather their righteous
army there before the final battle against Ahriman and his creatures,
according to the Bundahishn, Denkard, Zand-i-Wahman Yasn.
Kangdez means "Fortress of Kang."
In Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh, Kangdez is named as Gangdez.
Kangdez's name is related to Kangha
mentioned in the Avestan Yasht 5.54, the Aban (Ardvisur) Yasht. Antar
Kanga is part of a list of mountains in Yasht 19.4. Antar Kang is the
chief mountain on which Kangdez bases its name, and is the largest mountain
in the Gangdise, Mt. Kailash.
is Rasatal :
Just as Vasuki is mentioned as the ruler of Rasatal, the children of
Vaesak are mentioned in the Shahnameh as rulers of Kangdez. Just as
Vasuki is of a serpent tribe, Vaesaks are written of as worshiping serpents.
To her did Yoista, one of the Fryanas,
offer up a sacrifice with a hundred horses, a thousand oxen, ten thousand
lambs on the Pedvaepa of the Rangha.
- Aban Yasht 20.81
Pedvaepa river, an affluent of the Ranha
is the Pedak-miyan of the Bundahishn.
The Pedak-miyan, which is the river
Katru-miyan, is that which is in Kangdez.
- Bundahishn 20.31
is Rasa :
The Avesta mentions Ranha (Sanskrit: ' Rasa', another name for Rasatal),
which is the "sixteenth of the best lands created by Ahura Mazda."
This land is based around the sources of the Ranha River which is the
Rig Vedic Rasa River. This river is identified with the modern-day Brahmaputra
River because the scriptural traits of the Rasa mentioned align with
those of the Brahmaputra. Rasatala, being populated by many Daityas
(i.e., Ahuras) would be of significance to Mazdaens and it always appears
on the lists of 7 main abodes of the Asurs. Here a major battle between
Asur and Dev took place, the battle of Hiranyaksa and Varah. The Markendaya
Puran even mentions the Rasalaya as a peoples in Bharat-varsh as it
does the Sarasvats.
Two Avestan Fragards mention that Ranha
is the largest river that they know. This is true because Ranha (Brahmaputa)
is 3,848km while Veh (Indus) is 3,610km.
Three affluents of the Ranha are named
in the Yashts; Aodhas, Sanak, and Gaudh. The Brahmaputra passes through
Gaud (Bengal) region and hence, a Ranha tributary would be named Gaudha.
This is likely the Jamuna River.
We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord
of wide pastures, ....sleepless, and ever awake;
Whose long arms, strong with Mithra-strength, encompass what he seizes
in the easternmost river and what he beats with the westernmost river
("Aryan"), what is by the Sanaka of the Rangha and what Is
by the boundary of the earth.
- Khorda Avesta 27.104
is Lake Rakshash Tal :
The Frazdanav contains the word Danav, implying its connection with
the "Danavo" whom are mentioned as villainous. It is also
where King Vishtasp performs spiritual ceremonies. Danavs in many cases
of Indian history were Rakshashs.
This area was sacred for ceremonies
not just for King Vishtasp, but also Indians since it is in the Indian
Subcontinent and because rishis lived here.
Vaisampayana said,--"Then Maya
Danav addressed Arjun, that foremost of successful warriors, saying,--'I
now go with thy leave, but shall come back soon. On the north of the
Kailash peak near the mountains of Mainak, while the Danavs were engaged
in a sacrifice on the banks of Vindu lake, I gathered a huge quantity
of delightful and variegated vand (a kind of rough materials) composed
of jewels and gems.
- Mahabharat Section 3
Mainakha is Vedic Mainak :
As the names are almost identical they are the same mountain. The Mahabharata
claims it was north of Mt. Kailash. It is known as Mt. Kangrinboqe Feng
(6,656m) in Tibet, north of Mt. Kailash (7,694m.)
is Indian Ocean :
Its other names in Mazdaen scriptures are the Frakhvkard and Varkash.
Both the names Vourukash and Varkash are reflective of the other name
for Indian Ocean city Bharuch, Varukaksh.
Just as the Indian Ocean in Aryan scriptures
is referred to as the "Sea of Salt" so to the Khorda Avesta
calls the Vourukash, the "deep sea of salt waters."
of similar customs :
Sai Baba with a Mazdaen priest during a child's Navjot ceremony (left),
and a Mazdaen priest with a child performing the Navjot ceremony (right)
There are customs that are typically unique to the Mazdaens, but were
practiced in India. Some of the customs within the Mazdaen community
are similar to those of the Aryan Brahmans. For example, the Navjot
"The investure with the Kosti, as described in the Yesht Sade,
and alluded to in several places of the Vendidad, appears to be nothing
more than the Kaksha, or girdle of the Aryans, blended with some notion
of the cord, or Upavita." - The Quarterly Oriental magazine, review
Navjot which means new birth is the
initiation of a Mazdaen and they are given a sacred thread to wear similar
to that of the Yajnopavit ceremony for many Aryans.
Just as the Mazdaen ceremony marks a
'new birth', the Aryan one also does the same. Hence, anyone who receive
the Aryan ceremony is called a 'dwija' (twice-born.)
medieval painting of Gayomard and living beings, displaying that humans
and animals lived in harmony
I allow the good spirits who reside on this earth in the good animals
to go and roam about free according to their pleasure. I praise, besides,
all that is offered with prayer to promote the growth of life.
- Yasna 12.3, Gathas, Zhand Avesta
A large section of Parsis are vegetarian
and during weddings/navjyots, there is always a "Parsi vegetarian"
menu. There are four days in a month where all Mazdaens, even the non-vegetarians
are expected not to eat meat in a practice called parhezi which means
abstinence. They are Bahman, Mohar, Ghosh, and Ram roj. Meat is also
not eaten for three days after a relative passes away.
Be plant-eaters ('urwar khwarishn',
i.e., vegetarian), O you people, so that you may live long. And stay
away from the body of useful animals. As well, deeply reckon that Ohrmazd
the Lord, has for the sake of benefiting useful animals created many
- High Priest Atrupat-e Emetan (Adarbad, son of Emedan) who officiated
after the Arab invasion states in the 11th century CE, Book 6, Denkard
Third century CE Greek biographer, noted
in the prologue to his Biography that the Magi priests of Persia "dress
in white, make their bed on the ground and have vegetables, cheese and
The modern Ilm-i Khshnum movement in
India advocated vegetarianism too.
Dr. Kenneth S. Guthrie believed that
Zarathustra promoted vegetarianism.
of plants in worship :
Both Mazdaens and Aryans use plants in their worship. During group and
individual praying, Mazdaens hold a plant. Also, in the Haoma ceremony
of Mazdaens, they use the ephedra in the ritual.
the same persons :
In Mazdayasna, Ahura Mazda is the Supreme Lord and the other supernatural
beings are yazatas. As there are several with a similar name in both
Mazdayasna and Aryans, there are also others whose names are different
but are the same persons, such as Sraoesa, who is Brhasa of Aryans.
"Ahura Mazda has created asha, purity, or rather the cosmic order;
he has crested the moral and the material world constitution; he has
made the universe; he has made the law; he is, in a word, creator (datar),
sovereign (ahura), omniscient (mazdao), the god of order (ashavan).
He corresponds exactly to Varun, the highest god of Vedism." -
In the Rig Ved, though Varun remains
a god, his influence lessened as many gods took the side of Indra as
their king and many humans took him as their chief god.
Many a year I have lived with them;
I shall now accept Indra and abjure the Father Varun, along with his
fire and his soma (haoma) has retreated. The old regime has changed.
I shall accept the new order.
- Rig Ved 10.12.4
Vendidad is called in Pahlevi the Zhand-I Jvit Dev Dat. Here the 'Dev
Dat' portion of the title refers to the conch of Ahura Mazda. The Dev
Dat is mentioned in Aryan scriptures as the conch of Varun.
There is a strong connection in Aryan
scriptures between Varun and Asurs. For example, the Mahabharat mentions
that he receives homage in his palace by Asurs. He is also said to live
in the sea (any body of water other than a river) with Nagas, and his
residence there is known as Asurnam Bandhanam. Then according to the
Valmiki Ramayan, Ravan had invaded Rasatal where lived Varun, his sons,
Nags, and Daityas. According to the Srimad Bhagavatam, Hiranyaksh visted
Varun to seek his advice on whether to fight Vishnu or not (in which
Varun advised the Daitya king to do so to earn Vishnu's grace by being
slain by him.) Hiranyaksh there had called Varun "Adhiraj"
(Supreme Lord!) The Mahabharat claims that Varun governs Rasatal, 1
of the major strongholds of the Asurs. Hiranyapur, another stronghold
(where Prahlad Maharaj governed from) was also affiliated with him.
Further, Varun is the one of the few gods that have Asurs as administrators.
Varun's are Meghavasas in his assembly, and another named Sunabha.
O Yudhishthir, without anxiety of any
kind, wait upon and worship the illustrious Varun. And, O king, Vali
the son of Virochan, and Narak the subjugator of the whole Earth; Sanghrah
and Viprachitti, and those Danavs called Kalakanj; and Suhanu and Durmukh
and Sankh and Sumans and also Sumati; and Ghatodar, and Mahaparswa,
and Karthan and also Pithara and Viswarup, Swarup and Virup, Mahasiras;
and Dasagriva, Vali, and Meghavasas and Dasavar; Tittiva, and Vitabhut,
and Sanghrad, and Indratpan--these Daityas and Danavs, all bedecked
with ear-rings and floral wreaths and crowns, and attired in the celestial
robes, all blessed with boons and possessed of great bravery, and enjoying
immortality, and all well of conduct and of excellent vows, wait upon
and worship in that mansion the illustrious Varun, the deity bearing
the noose as his weapon.
- Section 9, Mahabharat
While the Rig Ved directly calls gods
out as Asurs, it also indirectly refers to Varun as an "Asur of
heaven" and latter verse heaven itself is called 'Asur'. Also in
a verse in which Asur is mentioned, it reads, "our father pours
down the waters." Further, the RV says that Agni is born from his
(the Asur's) womb. This is important in showing that Agni is a child
of Varun just as the Holy Fire (Atar) is mentioned as the son of Ahura
Mazda in the Avesta.
Ahura Mazda's connection to Vahista
goes back to Varun's relation to Vashishth from Aryan scriptures. For
example, The Ramayan mentions that Vashishth was a son of Varun through
Urvashi born at Varunlaya (modern Barnala, Punjab.) He was also said
to have turned his son Vahista into a scholar by simply accompanying
him on a boat trip. Varun had taught what is called "Bhrgu-Varuni
Vidya" to his son Bhrgu of which the essence was "Brahm (God)
is nothing but joy."
The name 'Zarathustra' means Golden
buffalo, which is because the animals involved in sacrifices to Varun
were usually buffaloes. This is akin to Aryans being named after a vehicle
of god, such as Basava or Nandi, the bull of Shiv. These names reflect
devotion and subordination as servants of gods.
An Ahura of Mazdayasna is known as an Asur in Aryanism. It is then no
surprise that we also find Sukra Acharya or Kavi Usana, the Guru of
the Asurs, being venerated as one of the most holy beings. His connection
to Varun in Vedic scriptures is that he is Varun's devotee in many instances
as seen in Sahatpath Brahman. In the Avesta he is known as Us and later
in the Bahram Yasht as Kavi Usa.
This one is known to me here, who alone
heard our precepts: Zarathustra, the Holy, he asks from Us, Mazda, and
Asha, assistance for announcing, I will make him skilful of speech.
- Yasna 29, Zhand Avesta
Kavi Usa is also called Kava Usan and
Ashvarechao, which means full of radiance just like how his Aryan name
Sukra means radiant and how scriptures like the Yog Vashishth describes
him as "radiant young Sukra", or Ramayan describes "Sukra,
radiant as the sun, departed."
The Avesta doesn't refer to him as Sukra
because that name is reserved as an epithet for Ahura Mazda, who is
invoked as, "athra sukhra Mazda" (Kavi Usana has many titles.)
Usana is also given importance because
he descends from Angiras. Mahabharat reads that Kavyas descendants from
Kavi. Manu Smriti establishes a Kavi as a descendant of Angiras. Like
how Usana is a regent constellation in Aryan astrology, he is a star
included among the Great Bear constellation, in the Hapto-iringas of
Mazdaen scriptures mention a righteous monarch named Ram, whom it addressed
Ram Khshatra. Though it doesn't dive into details about the yazata,
it usually mentions him together with Mithra. In Aryans, he is known
a Raja Ram, a noble king, "Arya that cared for the equality of
all", descendant of Mitra.
Ram, descendant of the sun ("Mitra"),
became friends ("mitra") with Sugriva, son of the sun ("Mitra.")
- Ramayan, 15.26
There is even one passage in the Avesta
that mentions Ram together with Vahista, which is symbolic of the relationship
in the Ramayana that Ram has with his guru Vashishth. It also shows
the relationship between Mithra and yazata Ram.
We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord
of wide pastures; we sacrifice unto Ram Hvastra.
We sacrifice unto Asha-Vahista and unto Atar, the son of Ahura Mazda.
- Khorda Avesta 2.7
Sacredness of the sun :
The sun is like fire, a holy symbol of Ahura Mazda. The Avesta declares
This Mithra, the lord of the wide pastures,
I have created as worthy of sacrifice, as I, Ahura Mazda, am myself.
Mitra is a god often paired with Varun
in Vedic hymns. There are many Aryans today who worship God Almighty
in the form of the sun and they are known as Sauras. The Maga Brahmans
are very closely associated with the sun-worship in Aryans.
Just as the Rig Ved declares that the
sun is the "Eye of Varun", the Avesta it also declares that
Mitra is the eye of Ahura Mazda.
Just as Aryans include the word namo in their mantras, such as 'Namo
Varunya' or 'Namo Jinanam', Mazdaens too apply the term in the phrases
'Namo Ahurai Mazdai', 'Namo Zarathushtrahe Spitaamahe', 'Namo Amesha
Spenta' and 'Namo Heomae'.
'Nemase-te' is another term used by
Mazdaens which is the equivalent of Sanskritic Namaste.
'Neueediem' has the Sanskritic equivalent
'niVedyami', which has been used in Aryan verses like "Om Owing
ceremony for departed ancestors :
Both Mazdaens and Aryans offer prayers for their ancestors, and the
procession meant solely for their well-being is known as the 'Dhup Nirang'
(Gujarati for ritual of offering of frankincense) or 'Nirang-e Rawan-e
Guzashtagan' (Persian for Ceremony for the souls of departed ones) amongst
Mazdaens and as 'Sraddha' amongst Aryans.
festivals of Mazdaens and Kashmiri Aryans :
Just as Mazdaens celebrate Ahura Mazda (Varun) and King Jamshed, so
too do Kashmiri Aryans. The Mazdaen calender new year, celebration Nuvruz,
is the same festival as that of the Kashmiri Aryans, Navreh.
During the festivity of Tararatrih,
on the 14th of the dark half of Magha, King Yam is worshiped. On Varun
Panchami, Varun is worshiped. Varun is worshiped again on the 5th day
of the festivity of Yatrotsava, whereby Aryans are encouraged to visit
his 'abodes' or temples.
Celebrating god Mitra has historically
also been a part of Kashmiri culture. Till the 11th century CE, the
Kashmiri Pandits celebrated Mitra (Mithra) Punim, on the fourteenth
or full moon night of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksh) of the Aryan
autumn month of Ashvin or Ashwayuja. Similarly, the Mazdaens celebrate
Yalda as the birth of Mithra.
of fire in ceremonies :
of Baku fire temple in Baku, Azerbaijan which was utilized by Aryan
priests from India
fire temple in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Fire is used in processions of both Mazdaens and Aryans. Their temples
use fire altars for performing the rituals. Fire altars have been discovered
in the Indus Valley city of Kalibangan in northern Rajasthan state,
showing that even the ancient society then revered fire as sacred.
Fire Aryan temples also exist in the
Himalayas wherein flames are constantly burning.
significant fire-temples :
1. Jawalaji Bhagvati (Khrew, Kashmir)
2. Jwalamukhi (Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh)
3. Jwala Mai (or Salamebar Dolomebar Gomba or Mebar Lhakang Gomba in
"Although sacrifices are reduced to a few rites in the Parsi religion
now-a-days, we may discover, on comparing them with the sacrificial
customs of the Brahmans, a great similarity in the rites of the two
religions." - Martin Haug.
addition to the ceremonies of Navjot and praying for ancestors, there
are other similar ones for the Mazdaens and Aryans.
ceremony is meant to invite persons; during Afrigan a deceased
person or an angel, and during the Apri a god.
the Darun, sacred bread is offered, whereas on the Darsha Purnama
the sacrificial cakes are offered.
involves offering sacrifices 6 times a year, whereas the Chaturmasya
entails sacrifices given 4 times.
both, the twigs of sacrificial plant ('Hom'/'Soma') itself are
brought to the sacred spot where the procession occurs and the
juice is extracted during the recital of prayers. The Yajishn
(Ijashne) implements a plant that grows in Iran whereas the
Jyotishthoma implements the Putika.
covering of priests :
Mazdaen priests wear the padam over their mouth just as many Jain monks
wear the mohapatti. The purpose of the Mazdaen clad is to prevent pollution
through the products of the mouth when handling the sacred fire.
before worship :
Because yazatas (venerable spirits) are pure, to pray to them it is
encouraged that the worshiper be clean, and so devotees wash their hands
Aryans, although they pray in several
occasions and environments, normally they perform puja in the morning
after having bathed.
removal before entering temples :
Mazdaens are in most temples required to remove their footwear because
the temple is very sacred and because of its sanctity it is not to be
contaminated with either spiritual or material filth.
Aryan temples too require the visitor
to remove footwear for the same reason.
Zarathustra has been written in Mazdaen scriptures of having practiced
the science and the Kitab al-mawalid (also known as the Kitab Zardusht),
an astrological scripture, is attributed to a 'Zardusht' in the scripture
itself, and certain modern scholars believe that this Zardusht may in
fact be the original Zarathustra.
Just as several Brahman (Aryan) priests
of India have historically practiced astrology, and to this day many
still do, the priests in Zarathustra's time applied the science too.
When Zarathustra was in the womb, his mother had a frightful dream,
so she consulted an astrologer that assured her she had no reason to
fear for his birth and he predicted the baby's glorious future.
Aryan astrological similarities to that
of Mazdaen texts translated by Theophilus have been noticed by Pengree
who believe this was likely because Aryan Brhadyatra and other works
by Varahamihira were translated into Persian, which were the ones Theophilus
In one period of history, even feeding corpses to vultures as opposed
to either cremating them or burying them was the norm in parts of the
Punjab region. Aristoboulos, when visited Taxila, had stated that the
dead were "thrown out to be devoured by vultures." This practice
is still observed in parts of western Tibet which is modern-day Avestan
Ranha or Vedic Rasatal.
Raghunath Rai discusses that leaving
corpses for birds and beasts was historically one way that Indians since
ancient times had disposed of the dead. He also leads to the conclusion
that this was practiced by Indus Valley Civilization residents of Mohenjo
Daro because skeletons have been found in public places and within a
In the Mahabharata King Astaka mentions
three different kinds of corpse-disposal; cremation (dahyate), burial
(nikhanyate), and decay (nighrsyate). Vidur then mentions 2 modes; cremation
on a funeral pyre or the body is left for birds to consume. King Virat
of the Matsya Dynasty of Punjab, after he was slaughtered by the Kauravs
had his corpse offered to vultures by Dronacharya.
Even in South India, decomposition by
vultures wasn't unheard of in certain places. The author of the Manimekalai
writes of exposure of the corpse to be devoured by vultures and jackals
as 1 of 5 decomposition methods.
as a cave mendicant :
Ancient Greek writers Eubulus, Porphry and Dio Chrysostom had written
of Zarathustra's time living in a mountainous cave wherein he is said
to have lived for ten years. The way in which he lived is of a similar
description to that of Brahmans of that time. This was "Mount Kaf
[which is the] mountain Usihdatar,..."
The Vessantar Jatak gives this description
of Brahman ascetics: "looking like a Brahman with his matted hair
and garment of animal skin with his hook and sacrificial ladle, sleeping
on the ground and reverencing the sacred fire".
Zarathustra wore knotted-hair and a turban :
Pandits in traditional white phiran (tops), shall, and turban wear sporting
a beard. This strikingly resembles Zarathustra's fashion
The turban is mentioned in the Atharv Ved as an ushnish.
Vashishth is associated with the turban
more than other Vedic sages. In the village of Vashisht in Himachal
Pradesh during the birthday of Vashishth his statue in the main temple
of the village is adorned with a white dhoti and turban.
In the Rig Ved and Kathaka Grhya Sutra,
Vasis?ha wears a kapardin or knotted-hair.
ash to forehead :
Mazdaean many times in their ceremonies apply Rakhya ash from a ceremonial
fire on their foreheads just as Aryans many times in rituals mark foreheads
with tilaks of either ash or paint.
statues in front of temples :
Some Mazdaean temples have Bahman Ameshaspand winged-bulls at temple
entrances just as many Aryan temples have Nandi (or Vasava) bulls at
figures as animal-headed :
Zurvan from Mithraic Mazdaen temple, similar to a depiction of Narasimha
Like many Aryan icons, in Mazdaen ones too, gods are depicted as animal-headed
Whether castes in any Mazdaen society, apart from the Brahman one (Athravan),
existed or not is certain. However, we know that the laborforce of society
in Mazdaean scriptures is categorized like the one that exists in India;
Athravan/Sodalen (Priest), Rathaestar/Ritter (Warrior), and Vastrya-fsuyant/Varazana/Dragu/Driyu
(Agriculturalist.) In fact, Zarathustra's 3 sons were said to be the
heads of these classes ('pistra') — Isatvastra of the priests,
Urvatatnara of the warriors, and Khvarechithra of the agriculturalists.
Eventually, a Huiti (Artisan) class came to be recognized. Further,
Zarathustra is praised as the prototype of the non-artisan castes.
The Mahabharat mentions that in Shakdwip
(Iranian Plateau and Central Asia but more specifically, Balkh) there
are four castes; "They are the Mrigs (Brahmans), the Masaks (Kshatriyas),
the Manas's (Vaishyas), and the Mandagas (Shudras.)"
Mazdayasna views the universe as a place of mingling between Asha (good)
and Druj (evil.) Known in Sanskrit as Dvaita, it relates to how the
universe is divided into matter and spirit. Matter is ignorance and
an illusion (Maya) and corrupts souls, while spirit is holy and true.
Some modern scholars have compared this
dualism in Mazdayasna to the ideas of Purush and Prakriti wherein the
former is spirit and the latter is matter. S. Taraporewala for example,
in the early 20th century had used the terms Purusha and Prakriti to
explain the dualism of good and evil.
and Spanda :
While Mazdayasna writes of holy spirits as Spenta Maniyus, the word
'spenta' itself means energy, and the Sanskrit equivalent is 'spanda',
meaning energy or motion.
In Kashmiri literature the term Spanda
has been used more frequently than everywhere else, even producing 2
scriptures called the Spanda Sutras and Spanda-nirnaya.
ages of humanity :
There are 4 ages according to Zoroastrianism, much like Aryanism's 4
yugas, with the first being the most righteous of times in both religions
and then as the ages succeed, they become worse than the preceding age.
Finally in the last age, a godly figure arises and vanquishes the most
evil people of the world. In Zoroastrianism, the messianic figure is
Shaosyant, while in Aryanism it is Kalki.
as Buddh :
Ahura Mazda has many names. In the Khordeh Avesta he is given 101 names,
Ahum cha daenam cha Baodhas cha.
- Khordeh Avesta
The translation is that Ahura Mazda
declares that he is religion (Mazdayasna) and Buddh. Buddh is used here
because it means that Ahura Mazda and his religion are perfect, as Buddhhood
is the state of perfection.
This ties into the concept of Moksh,
which is the state of perfection and is what any Buddh (Awaken person)
attains upon death.
Interestingly, Ahura Mazda has also
been called Buddh Mazda, specifically in Afghanistan where Buddhism
was a major religion.
Reincarnation is mentioned in Zarathustra's Gathas.
"But evil-rulers, evil-doers,
evil-speakers, those of evil-egos, evil-thinkers, and followers of falsehood,
the souls of all such, because of the fouling of their original lustre,
will return (or go forth — "paiti yeinti") to the Abode
of Falsehood (Drujo Dgmane) where, in truth, their existence shall be."
- Yasna 49.11
In the passage above, "will return"
refers to impure souls having to take rebirth because inability to attain
heaven due to their sins. This means, like any Brahman spiritualist,
Zarathustra was propounding Moksha.
Sangelaji in his Eslam va Mousiqi writes
that the Ghollat class of religious scholars from Iran believed in reincarnation.
This means that the knowledge of reincarnation was passed down to the
Ghollats by the early Mazdaens.
Some Mazdaen scriptures refer to rebirth
as tanasokh. 'Farhangsar' is from a transmigration from a human body
to another human body, 'nangsar' is from human to animal, and 'tangsar'
is from human to plant. Sometimes 'sangsar' is referred to where a soul
goes from a human body to that of a mineral.
The Magi were reported by Porphyry in
3rd century to be vegetarian because they believed in reincarnation
(i.e., harming an animal leads to rebirth as a animal.)
Interestingly enough, an indirect usage
of 'rebirth' is applied for the Navjot (new birth) ceremony.
representation by figures :
Apart from the persons, such as gods and sages, what they represent
in Zoroastrianism is similar in Aryanism. Just as in Aryan scriptures
there are 33 gods (Traytrimsha Devs) that uphold the universe, so too
are there is a group of 33 gods in Zoroastrianism.
And I announce and complete (my Yasna) to all those who are the thirty
and three lords of the ritual order, which, coming the nearest, are
around about Hâvani, and which (as in their festivals) were inculcated
by Ahura Mazda, and were promulgated by Zarathustra, as the lords of
Asha Vahista, who is Righteousness the Best.
- Yasna 1.10, Zhand Avesta
Anahita sitting on lion while holding the sun in the form of a chakra
in her right hand. (A 4th century Sassanian Dynasty silver bowl)
The wheel is a sacred symbol in Zoroastrianism as in Aryanism. The Avesta
speaks of "turning of the wheel", which Max Muller himself
thinks "smacks of Buddhism" as he writes.
Religion referred to 'Law' :
Both Mazdaens and Aryans refer to religion as 'Law'; 'Daena' for Mazdaens
and 'Dharma' for Aryans.
The Mazdaens also call Mazdayasna 'Daena
Vanghui' (Good Religion) while Aryans call their's Arya Dharma (Noble
Taking the "test of fire" is an allegory in both Mazdayasna
and Aryanism for proving one's innocence through penances. According
to the Valmiki Ramayan, Sita had taken an Agni Pariksha to prove her
fidelity to Ram. In the Shahnameh Siyavash had passed through fire to
prove he was truthful.
"It is added, that he passed twenty
years in the desert and the love of wisdom and justice obliged him to
retire from the world to a mountain where he lived in solitude; but
when he came down from thence there fell a celestial fire upon it, which
perpetually burned; the king of Persia accompanied with the greatest
lords of his court, approached it for the purpose of putting up prayers
to God; that Zoroaster came out from these flames unhurt;..."
of fire :
Fire is used in both Mazdaen and Aryan ceremonies as it is believed
to be holy by both the communities. It is invoked and prayers exist
wherein fire itself it adorated even when fit is not physically not
being venerated. Ceremonies that involve fire are of initiation and
of cows :
Yea we worship the Creator Ahura Mazda and the Fire, Ahura Mazda's son,
and the good waters which are Mazda-made and holy, and the resplendent
sun of the swift horses, and the moon with the seed of cattle...and
we worship the soul of the cow of blessed endowment.
- Gatha Yasna 16.4, Avesta
The cow is very sacred in Zoroastrianism
- the most sacred of all animals. 'Geush urvan' is a metaphorical term
to describe souls of animals wherein 'geush' by itself just means cow.
"Here am I, one who has touched
the corpse of a man, and who is powerless in mind, powerless in tongue,
powerless in hand. Do make me clean." If they will not cleanse
him, he shall cleanse his body with gomez and water; thus he shall be
- Fargard VIII.104, Avesta
The Avesta declares that Gomez (Vedic
'Gomedh') is an important sacrifice, which involves cow urine. In the
9th chapter of the of the Vendidad of the Avesta, the purification power
of cow urine is dilated upon. It is declared to be a panacea for all
bodily and moral evils. It is drunk as well as applied externally just
like the Aryans also. Urine of the bull, called "nirang" is
brought to the house of an orthodox Parsi every morning and is applied
to the face, hands and feet like the cow's milk.
of the environment :
Both Mazdaens and Aryans regard the environment as an important resource
like animals which cannot be abused. Yasna Haptanghaiti declares, "apo
at yazamaide" or "We worship the waters." Mazdaens often
offer libations to the rivers just as they do to the sacred fire, similar
to how Aryans do by placing oil lamps or flowers into a river sometimes
during their worship.
Apart from the Mt. Meru (Mazdaen Hara),
Mt. Kailash is also revered in Mazdayasna as "Kangri". There
are also many other mountains that are considered sacred, and they are
mentioned in the Avesta.
born from sacrifice of a super being :
According to Mazdaen stories, Gayomard was a great being, upon whose
self-sacrifice were born the first pair of humans and vegetation. This
story is similar to the Rig Vedic lore of self-sacrifice of the cosmic
Puru?a from whose sacrificed body came all the parcels of the universe.
of souls and souls of animals :
Mazdayasna believes that animals have souls and the phrases used for
describing an animal's soul are 'pasu urvan' and 'geush urvan' (cow
soul.) Geush urvan is another phrase for the souls of animals, because
the cow here is used as a metaphor for animals in general just as in
Aryan societies a 'goshala' refers to animal shelters.
of the week relating to gods and planets :
The gods and planets which represent the days of the week are the same
for the Mazdaens and Aryans.
verses and styles :
As Zarathustra was a Brahman, he was familiar with the Veds and wrote
Vedic verses to be revered. This portion of the Avesta is known as the
Gathas meaning Songs, just as Aryans scriptures are often either Gathas
The Brahman scriptures refer to 'gathas' and 'abhiyajnagathas' as the
verses of the Veds.
An incarnation is known as an avatar. The Avesta reads that there were
ten forms of Verethraghna, whose equivalent Sanskrit name is 'Vritrahana',
which appeared to Zarathustra, similar to the ten major forms :
(the ascetic whose name means Bull)
(whose name means Horse-headed)
(whose name means Boar)
(the child avatar)
Krshna, Parshuram, etc.
modern times Mazdaen scholars have inquired more into the idea of incarnations,
and some have written of Zarathustra himself to have been one of an
angel. The Ilm-i Khshnum occult movement belief was that Zarathustra
was an avatar of an Amesha Spenta.
of Earth into seven continents :
These are the continents that the Indians and Iranians saw dividing
the eastern world island.
Same continents with Sanskrit names.
According to the Avesta the world consists of seven continents wherein
the one in which Zarathustra lived is Khvaniratha with Mt. Hara at the
center just as Aryan scriptures mention Jambudvipa as the Indian Plateau
and some adjacent regions with Mt. Meru at its center.
The reason Khvaniratha or Rattling Chariot
is another name of Jambudwipa is because Jambudwipa is said to have
been shaped like a chariot.
Zoroastrianism and Aryanism On its (Mt. Sumeru's) outside is the Iron
Wall, which measures 3,602,625 miles. On its south side is Zambuling
[Jambudvip, the continent we live on, essentially our world]; it has
the shape of a chariot. Magadh is the Middle Country of this Zambuling;
it is the place Buddhas of the Three Times appear.
: Few changes have been done this page from the original source.