Finding Our Purpose: From Good To Righteous Action

We have been told from an early age to “do Good” and practice Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds. But, what really is ‘Good’? And, why do we have to do this so-called ‘Good’? In our Zoroastrian religion, we are told to practice ‘Humata, Hukhta and Hvrasta’; even our Ashem Vohu prayer says, “Doing good for the sake of good brings happiness.”

While these principles are crucial, our journey transcends mere ‘goodness’. We are called upon to fulfil a deeper purpose, woven into the fabric of creation. As Zoroastrians, we believe Ahura Mazda, the divine creator, envisioned a perfect world, challenged by the force of Ahriman. We, as His ‘army of soldiers’, are here to contribute to the ultimate victory of good over evil, leading to the glorious Frashokereti.

From the time we are born into this religion, to the beginning of times when Dadar Ahura Mazda created this beautiful universe, in His infinite wisdom, He knew that He had to transform/subdue/neutralize Ahriman, or the ignorance, the negative force, in order to ultimately make this world all-perfect, all-wonderful leading to the resurrection – the Frashokereti!

Hence, He created an army of soldiers (you and me), before creating our physical selves. He created our spiritual replica, our Fravashis, and gave them a choice to stay safe in the Spirit world or to go into the physical world and fight Ahriman, and under the guidance of Dadar Ahura Mazda, we chose this physical world and faced the onslaught of Ahriman, treading along with the best path for us to achieve this goal to bring about the Golden era – the wonderful time – the Frashokereti.

Mazda Ahura gave us different tools to attain this goal, He gave His son the holy fire, and in the heart of every flame lies a story as old as time itself, a tale of transformation, birth to death, and the eternal quest for enlightenment. It has the unique ability to destroy negativity and create, to cast shadows and illuminate paths, its transformative power offers beyond physical warmth and light, the physical manifestation of Dadar Hormazd. ‘Athro Ahurahe Mazdao Puthra Tav Atrash Puthrahe Ahurahe Mazdao’, the golden shield/weapons Sudreh and Kusti ‘Zarenumatem surem yazamaide’, along with the Farhangan Farhang Mathravani, the holy incantations, are formed by the ultimate science which is beyond the worldly intellect.

So, what happens when we adorn these golden garments of Sudreh and Kusti, (the kusti encircles our waist three times which is linked with the three bands of light around our earth) and recite the Mathravani? We nullify, neutralize and transform the negative energies into positive, besides creating a positive, productive, progressive path for us, and we help the whole universe progress towards its goal. It also strengthens the spiritual beings including Dadar Ahura Mazda and His angels. Did you know that the Commander-in-Chief of Ahura Mazda – Sarosh Yazad’s body is made of Mathravani?

It is extremely important to put our prayers into practice, to live our prayers, to create that miraculous effect and to practice ‘Moderation’ (the key principle of Zoroastrianism) in life. And to remember, that our hand was designed to uplift people, not to point a finger at them.

Thus, in my opinion, ‘Good’ is subjective, relative to the person, place and circumstances. It is the other side of the same coin. So then, what is constant? It is ‘Asha’ – or righteousness. Is righteousness the same as truth and good? No, neither is it the same as truth and good, and nor is it different, as it depends on situations and circumstances. Defining ‘Good’ can be subjective, but righteousness (Asha) offers a constant guide. It transcends absolutes like truth and good, adapting to situations – just like the saying, ‘One man’s food is another’s poison’.

Consider this: A flight with 375 passengers is hijacked by a terrorist. Amongst the passengers, there is also one Parsi Zarthosty who happens to be a Karate Black belt trained under the world-renowned Karate Master Hanshi Vispy Kapadia, but he is also Vegan, so presumably he will not hurt another human being – in this case, a terrorist. But, guess what! He kills the terrorist with his bare hands and saves 375 lives on board. Normally, we see violence and killing as not a good thing, but in this case, it was the RIGHTEOUS thing to do – to save 375 lives! Similarly, imagine a religious conference is in progress, there are over 250 religious leaders along with the public and media personnel. A hitman enters, brandishing a gun, looking for the editor, whose newspaper was gaining popularity worldwide. He asks the gathering for the editor and all these religious people say she is not present and the hitman goes away. These religious people knowingly lied to save a precious life. We have been taught to never lie, but in this situation, where a precious life is at stake, a lie was better than the truth as it saved a life. Hence, my dear friends, it is RIGHTEOUSNESS, that we need to practice in our lives to bring about progress, unity and harmony in our community. It is important to pray and pray thus, “Oh Ahura Mazda, express yourself through me! I am open to the flow of your spirit. Express abundance through me, I am open to the flow of your abundance!”

As we celebrate Navroze, let’s renew our commitment to fulfilling our purpose and creating a world where ‘GOOD’ is a consequence of our ‘RIGHTEOUSNESS’ – our righteous actions. Jamshedi Navroze Mubarak!

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