By Mary Boyce
This e-book, now re-issued with a brand new advent through Mary Boyce, is the 1st try and hint the continual historical past of the religion from the time it used to be preached by way of Zoroaster all the way down to the current day-a span of approximately 3,500 years.
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Additional resources for Zoroastrians, Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (Library of religious beliefs and practices)
Meanwhile all the sorrows and strivings of the present time of Mixture are part of the battle against Angra Mainyu. Zoroaster thus not only saw a noble purpose for humanity, but also offered men a reasoned explanation for what they have to endure in this life, seeing this as affliction brought on them by the Hostile Spirit, and not Zoroaster and his teaching imputing to the will of an all-powerful Creator the sufferings of his creatures here below. Death and the hereafter The most general human affliction is death ; and death forces individual souls, throughout the time of Mixture, to leave the getig world and return for a while to the deficient menog state.
J\ecording to the tradition Zoroaster lived for many years after Vishtaspa's conversion, but little is known of his life either before or after this crucial event. Marriage was demanded of an Iranian priest, to fit him fully for his vocation, and the prophet was married three times. His first two wives, whose names are not recorded, bore him three sons and three d4ughters . The marriage of the youngest daughter, Pouruchista, is celebrated in one of the Gathas (Y 5 3 )' Her husband was J amaspa, 'Vishtaspa's chief counsellor, who is proverbial among Zoroastrians for wisdom.
This may well have been the general old usage, which Zoroaster adapted to give his followers a distinctive badge. All Zoroastrians, men and women alike, wear the cord as a girdle, passed three times round the waist and knotted at back and front. Initiation took place at the age of fifteen; and thereafter, every day for the rest of his life, the believer must himself untie and retie the cord repeatedly when praying. The symbolism of the girdle (called in Persian the 'kusti') was elaborated down the centuries ; but it is likely that from the beginning the three coils were intended to symbolize the threefold ethic of Zoroastri anism, and so to concentrate the wearer's thoughts on the practice of his faith.