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Questions and Answers
Question and Answers
Our Scholars are ready to Answer your questions on Zoroastrian Religion.
Prepared By Dr. Mahmoud Khalighi
1. 3736 years ago is a long time ago, how can
you prove a man of Zarathushtra existed?
2. Can Gathas be a collective ideas and thoughts
of Ancient Persians which it is
The content of Gathas shows that one person, named Zarathushtra,
recited this collection of songs.
3. What does Airyana-Vaejah mean?
-It means the “stem-land of the Aryans” and Aryans are the parent of Indo-European people of history.
4. Where was exactly this land located ?
There exist many controversies about the original location
of Aryans. Scholars have proposed different
5. How and when did the Aryans migrate from their original location?
-Historical evidences prove that Aryans migrated from
their original place in south of Russia to the West,
6. What were the racial characteristics of Aryans?
-They were of a white race and spoke in a language similar to Sanskrit.
7. What was the religion of Aryans?
-Many authors believe that the original religion of these
people was Mithraism. Mithra was undoubtedly a
8. What were the characteristics of the Iranian society before Zarathushtra?
The Iranian society consisted of three classes: priests,
warriors, and agriculturists. Here and there, the
9. What was the correct name of the Iranian
prophet and what does the name
-There is a lot of controversies about the meaning of
the word Zarathushtra. This name, as is precisely
10. Where was Zarathushtra born?
-Bartholemea Geldner, Hertzfeld, and some other orientalists
saggest Northwwestern Iran i.e.
11. Did Zarathushtra belong to Magi community?
-Lommel believes that Magi, as a religious class, didn’t
exist at the time of Zarathushtra, but the prophet
12. When was the period of Zarathushtra?
-There is a huge mass of controversy about the time of
Zarathushtra. The main sources to which
According to the first and the third category, the time
of Zarathushtra varies from a few centuries to 6000
13. Was Zarathushtrianism the official religion of Achaemenids?
-the answer is yes. The message of the great Achaemenian
kings of Iran, like Cyrus and Dariush, in their
14. How the teachings of Zarathushtra deviated
from their original form after
-The ancient gods and archangels that were worshipped
in the pre-Zarathushtrian period, like Mithra,
15. Regardless of the revival of the ancient
gods and angels, what changes took place in the
-Abstract concepts that constituted the core of the teachings
of Zarathushtra changed often into concrete
16. Which period is called the Gathic period?
-From about 1000 B.C. to about 800 B.C. During this period,
the teachings of Zarathushtra were
17. What was the original method of Zarathushtra to discover truth?
-Seeking silent and solitary seclusion, imitation, doubting
about the old divinities of his society, thinking,
18. Who were the relatives of Zarathushtra?
-Pouruchisti, his daughter, Maidyoimaongha, his cousin,
and Jamaspa, his son in law, were some of the
19. Which period is called Avestan period?
-from about 800 B.,C. to about 200 A.D. During this period, the Younger Avesta appeared.,
20. Which famous old Iranian or Indo-Iranian
Yazatas did enter into the official religion of
-The more important of them were Mithra, Bahram, Anahita, Varuna.
21. Who were the Magi?
-They were a religious class originally in Western Iran
that could dominate the official religion in the later
22. How voluminous was the Avesta at the end of Achaemenian dynasty?
-It was very larger than the present Avesta. It is said that it was written on the 2000 bull’s skins.
23. How antithesis between good and evil became
more and more prominent in the
-Hormazd (Ahura Mazda) and Ahriman (Angra Manyu) opposed each other.
24. Where were maintained the Zarathushtrian
scriptures when Alexander was going
-They were in two archetype copies and preserved in Dizh
I Niisht and Ganj I
25. What did Alexander do with the Zarathushtrian scriptures?
-The first scripture, which was deposited in the archive
of Persepolis, perished in the conflagration of
26. When did the invasion of Alexander occur?
-It occurred in 330 B.C.
27. Who was the last king of Acheaemenian dynasty?
-Darush III who was killed by Alexander’s soldiers.
28. What was the religion of Parthians?
-The Parthians were strongly influenced by Zarathushtrianism
in their religious beliefs. The old archangels,
29. What is Zand?
-It is an interpretation of Avesta in Pahlavi language.
30. What is Pazand?
-It is an interpretation and explanation of Zand.
31. What are the main ethical principles of Mithraism?
-Mithra is the divinity of truth and justice and guards
them, fights against falsehood and injustice. The
32. How did Zarathushtrianism revive under Sassanids?
-Ardashir, the founder of Sassanid dynasty, commissioned
his high priest, Tansar, to collect the scattered
33. Of which point of view does the Pahlavi literature have a special importance?
-The Pahlavi works explain, elaborate, and describe in
detail much of what is stated in the original
34. What was the trend of the religious thoughts of the Pahlavi period?
-The process of materializing of original abstract concepts
– mainly described in Gathas- reaches its
35. What is Zarvanism?
-It is considered as a sect of Zarathushtrianism Zarvan
is the Boundless Time, created by Ormazd and
36. In which period did Mani propagate his religion?
-It was under Ardeshir, but worked with greater vigor under Shapur I.
37. What were the main principles of Manichaeism?
-Manichaeism was an eclectic religion, which was based
on materials drawn from Zarathushtrianism,
38. Which period called period of Decadence of Zarathushtrianism?
-From the seventh to the eighteenth century.
39. What are the main reasons for decadence of Zarathushtrianism?
-First of all, one can mention, as a reason for this
decadence, the strong deviation of the later
40. Who were the famous Muslim writers who wrote
about Zarathushtrianism in the
-The more famous ones were Mas’udi (A.D.950), Biruni (A.D.1000), and Shahrestani (A.D.1169)
41 How did Parsi-Sanskrit literature expand in India?
-Some of Parsi scholars began to translate the Pahlavi
texts of Avesta into Sanskrit. The most illustrious
42. What were Rivayats in the Zarathushtrian literature of the decadence period?
-They are collections of tradition, customs, and rites,
arranged in the form of questions and answers. In
43. Which period of Zarathushtrian history is called the revival one?
-Nineteen century and after.
-Among other factors, one can mention illiteracy of the
priesthood that failed to satisfy the intellectual
45. How is used the science of comparative philology among the Parsi scholars of India?
-Since 1771, when Anquetil du Perron published his translation
of some parts of Avesta in Europe, the
46. How did the new school back to the Gathas at the revival period?
-The use of the philological methods in the Avestan investigations
led the scholars to discover a lacking of
47. What is the Parsi theosophy in India?
Parsi theosophy is the rejection of philological methods
in investigations of Avesta. The theosophists try
48. Who was Azar Kaivan?
-He was the last Parsi adept who alleged to have the
key to discover the esoteric meaning of the sacred
49. What are some controversies discussed between
Reformers and Conservatives of the
-One subject of controversy was based on the fact that
Avesta language was an unintelligible one that
Another subject of disagreement was the alien customs
that were going to enter into Zarathushtrianism
50. Did this conflict between conservative and
free thought among Parsis lead to a formal
-The answer is no. The rival parties, however, did not
make any formal division. Due to flexibility that