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Greek Philosophy and Zoroastrianism

Read the two primary sources:

Greek Philosophy


After reading these sources, respond to the following questions. Response must be a MINIMUM of




1) What did Greek philosophers believe? What did they teach?

2) Do you agree with any of these philosophers? Are their ideas still relevant today?

3) What is your favorite quote?

4) What can we learn about Zoroastrianism from the Avesta? What did they believe

5) Choose one quote to analyze

6) Do the Zoroastrians and Greek philosophers have any ideas in common?





(570 BCE-270 CE)

Source: Norman Melchert.

The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.


The following features quotes from 10 Greek philosophers spanning
nearly nine hundred years, from 570 BCE to 270 CE. The Greeks were the
first to produce Rationalist philosophers who questioned and outright
denied the existence of the gods. But there were also plenty of Greek
philosophers who believed in God and the soul, and even would go on to
inspire the development of Christianity. A common theme among all ten is
a love for wisdom and a strong desire to help humans lead the best

Xenophanes (571-475 BCE)

Heraclitus (535-475 BCE)

Parmenides (515 BCE)

Democritus (460-370 BCE)

Protagoras (490-420 BCE)

Socrates (469-399 BCE)

Plato (428-348 BCE)

Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

Epicurus (341-270 BCE)

Plotinus (204-270 CE)

Xenophanes (571-475 BCE)

”The Ethiopians make their gods snub-nosed and black; the Thracians
make theirs gray-eyed and red-haired. And if oxen and horses and lions
had hands, and could draw with their hands and do what man can do,
horses would draw the gods in the shape of horses, and oxen in the shape
or oxen, each giving the gods bodies similar to their own.”

”There is One god, the greatest among gods and men, in no way
similar to mortals either in body in mind…He sees all over, thinks all
over, hears all over…He remains always in the same place, without
moving…but without toil, he sets all things in motion by the thought of
his mind.”

“[Men believe rainbows are the goddess Iris but it] is in reality a cloud.”

“The gods have not revealed all things from the beginning to mortals; but, by seeking, men find out, in time, what is better.”

“No man knows the truth, nor will there be a man who has knowledge
about the gods and what I say about everything. For even if he were to
hit by chance upon the whole truth, he himself would not be aware of
having done so, but each forms his own opinion…Let these things, then,
be taken as like the truth.”

Heraclitus (535-475 BCE)

“All things come into being through opposition, all are in flux, like a river.”

“The path traced by the pen is straight and crooked.”

“Sea water is very pure and very impure; drinkable and healthy for fishes, but undrinkable and destructive to men.”

“The way up and the way down are the same.”

“This world-order, the same for all, no god made or any man, but it
always was and is and will be an ever-lasting fire, kindling by measure
and going out by measure.”

“War is the father and king of all.”

“It is necessary to understand that war is universal and justice is
strife, and that all things take place in accordance with strife and

“To god all things are beautiful and good and just; but men suppose some things to be just and others unjust.”

“It is not characteristic of men to be intelligent; but it is characteristic of god.”

“Though they are in daily contact with the


(can be
translated as The Word, The First Principle, or God) they are at
variance with it, and what they meet appears alien to them.”

“To those who are awake the world-order is one, common to all; but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own.”

“We ought to follow what is common to all; but though the


is common to all, the many live as though their thought were private to themselves.”

“Nature loves to hide.”

“The lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks out nor conceals, but gives a sign.”

“Those things of which there is sight, hearing, understanding, I esteem most.”

“Eyes and ears are bad witnesses to men if they have souls that do not understand their language.”

“It is not good for men to get all they wish.”

“If happiness consisted in bodily pleasures we ought to call oxen happy who find [plants] to eat.”

“It is hard to fight against impulse; for what it wants it buys at the expense of the soul.”

“Moderation is the greatest virtue, and wisdom is to speak the truth and to act according to nature, giving heed to all.”

“One man is worth ten thousand to me, if only he be best…For the
best men choose one thing above all the rest: everlasting fame among
mortal men.”

“All human laws are nourished by the one divine law. For it governs
as far as it will, and is sufficient for all things, and outlasts them.”

Parmenides (born 515 BCE)

“Welcome, youth, who come attended by immortal charioteers and
[horses] which bear you on your journey to our dwelling. For it is no
evil fate that has set you to travel on this road, far from the beaten
paths of men, but right and justice. It is [right] that you learn all
things—both the unshakeable heart of well-rounded truth and the opinions
of mortals in which there is no true belief.”

“Thought and being are the same.”

“Helplessness guides the wandering thoughts in their breasts; they
are carried along deaf and blind alike, dazed, beasts without judgement,
convinced that to be and not to be are the same and not the same, and
that the road of all things is a backward-turning one.”

“Judge by reasoning…the argument that I have spoken.”

Democritus (460-370 BCE)

“Nothing occurs at random, but everything occurs for a reason and by necessity.”

“There are two forms of knowledge: one legitimate, one bastard. To
the bastard sort belong all the following: sight, hearing, smell, taste,
touch. The legitimate is quite distinct from this. When the bastard
form cannot see more minutely, nor hear nor smell nor taste nor perceive
through the touch, then another, firmer form must be employed.”

“Disease occurs in a household, or in a life, just as it does in a body.”

“Medicine cures the diseases of the body; wisdom, on the other hand, relieves the soul of its sufferings.”

“The needy animal knows how much it needs; the needy man does not.”

“It is hard to fight with desire; but to overcome it is the mark of a rational man.”

“Moderation increases enjoyment, and makes pleasure even greater.”

“The good things of life are produced by learning with hard work; the bad are reaped of their own accord, without hard work.”

“The brave man is he who overcomes not only his enemies but his
pleasures. There are some men who are masters of cities but slaves to

“In cattle excellence is displayed in strength of body; but in men it lies in strength of character.”

“I would rather discover a single cause [of why something in Nature happens] than become king of the Persians.”

Protagoras (490-420 BCE)

“Man is the measure of all things; of existing things, that they exist; of non-existing things, that they do not exist.”

“Concerning the gods I am not in a position to know either that they
are or that they are not, or what they are like in appearance; for
there are many things that are preventing knowledge, the obscurity of
the matter and the brevity of human life.”

Socrates (469-399 BCE)

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

“I do not even have any knowledge of what virtue itself is.”

“There’s one proposition that I’d defend to the death, If I could,
by argument and by action: that as long as we think we should search for
what we don’t know we’ll be better people—less faint-hearted and less
lazy—than if we were to think that we had no chance of discovering what
we don’t know and that there’s no point in even searching for it.”

“The wise man admits that he knows nothing.”

“Those who [have] the highest reputation [are] nearly the most
[ignorant], while those who [are] thought to be the inferior [are] more

“Even now I continue this investigation as the god [gave] me—and I
go around seeking out anyone, citizen or strange, whom I think wise.
Then if I do not think he is, I come to the assistance of the god and
show him that he is not wise.”

“I myself believe that there are gods and am not altogether an atheist.”

“Wherever a man has taken a position that he believes to be
best…there he must I think remain and face danger, without a thought for
death or anything else, rather than disgrace.”

“To fear death…is no other than to think oneself wise when one is
not, to think one knows that one does not know. No one knows whether
death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear
it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.”

“If I were to claim that I am wiser than anyone in anything, it
would be in this, that, as I have no adequate knowledge of things in the
underworld, so I do not think I have. I do know, however, that it is
wicked and shameful to do wrong, to disobey one’s superior, be he god or

“I have never been anyone’s teacher.”

”My art of midwifery is in general like that of midwives. The only
difference is that my patients are men, not women. My concern is not
with the body but with the soul that is in labor. The highest point of
my art is the power to prove by every test whether the offspring of a
young man’s thoughts is a false phantom or is something alive and real. I
am so much like the midwife that I cannot myself give birth to wisdom.
The common reproach is true, although I question others, I can bring
nothing to light because there is no wisdom in me. This is because God
constrains me to serve as a midwife, but has debarred me from giving

“It is not easy to dispel great slanders in a short time.”

“Neither I nor any other man should, on trial or in war, contrive to avoid death at any costs.”

“It is not difficult to avoid death…it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death.”

“Either the dead are nothing and have no perception of anything, or
it is, as we are told, a change and a relocating for the soul from here
to another place. If it is complete lack of perception, like a dreamless
sleep, then death would be a great advantage…If death is like this I
say it is an advantage, for all eternity would then seem to be no more
than a single night. If, on the other hand, death is a change from here
to another place, and what we are told is true and all who have died are
there, what greater blessing could there be?”

“A good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death, and…his affairs are not neglected by the gods.”

“The most important thing is not life, but the good life.”

Plato (428-348 BCE)

“So the philosopher, who consorts with what is divine and ordered, himself becomes godlike and ordered as far as a man can see…”

“No one must have any private property whatsoever, except what is
absolutely necessary. Secondly, no one must have any lodging or
storehouse at all which is not open to all comers…They must live in
common…They alone of all in the city dare not have any dealings with
gold or silver or even touch them or come under the same roof with
them.” (Plato’s requirements for the ruling class in his ideal Republic)

“Unless communities have philosophers as kings, or the people who
are currently called kings and rulers practice philosophy with enough
integrity…there can be no end to political troubles…or even to human
troubles in general, I’d say.”

“All soul is immortal.”

“Those who practice philosophy aright are cultivating dying, and for them, least of all men, does being dead hole any terror.”

“Can there be any profit in the immoral acquisition of money, if
this entails the enslavement of the best part of oneself to the worst

“All men are teachers of virtue, each one according to his ability.”

“Knowledge is the food of the soul.”

“There is far greater peril in buying knowledge than in buying food
or drink…You cannot buy the wares of knowledge and carry them away in an
independent container; when you have paid for them, you must receive
them into your soul and go your way, either harmed or benefitted; and
therefore we should deliberate and get the advice of our elders, for we
are still young—too young to decide such a matter.”

Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

“It is those who act rightly who get the rewards and the good things in life.”

“All men by nature desire to have knowledge. An indication of this
is the delight that we take in the senses…we take delight in them for
their own sake, and more than of any other this is true of the sense of
sight…the reason for this is that, more than any other sense, it enables
us to get to know things, and it reveals a number of differences
between things.”

“To say that what is is not, or that what is not is, is false and to say that what is is, or that what is not is not, is true.”

“The world does not wish to be governed badly. As Homer says: ‘To have many kings is not good, let there be one.’”

“The soul is not separable from the body.”

“We are not studying in order to know what virtue is, but to become good, for otherwise there would be no profit in it.”

“Good is the object of all endeavor.”

“What is the highest good in all matters of action? As to the name,
there is almost complete agreement; for the uneducated and the educated
alike call it happiness…”

“The function of man is activity of soul in accordance with reason, or at least not without reason.”

“It is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man
is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and not by mere
accident is without a state, is either above humanity, or below it; he
is the ‘Tribeless, lawless, [homeless] one,’…the outcast who is a lover
of war; he may be compared to a bird which flies alone”

“As far as possible, we should become immortal and do everything toward living by the best that is in us.”

“At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.”

Epicurus (341-270 BCE)

“Pleasure is the beginning and end of the blessed life. We recognize
pleasure as the first and natural good; starting from pleasure we
accept or reject; and we return to this as we judge every good thing,
trusting this feeling of pleasure as our guide.”

“Let no young man delay the study of philosophy, and let no old man
become weary of it; for it is never too early nor too late to care for
the well being of the soul. The man who says that the season for this
study has not yet come or is already past is like the man who says it is
too early or too late for happiness.

“Do not think that knowledge about the things above the earth,
whether treated as part of a philosophical system or by itself, has any
other purpose than peace of mind and confidence. This is also true of
other studies.”

“To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the
rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have
shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.”

“That which is blessed and immortal is not troubled itself, nor does
it cause trouble to another. As a result, it is not affected by anger
or favor, for these belong to weakness.”

“Accustom yourself to the belief that death is of no concern to us
since all good and evil lie in sensation and sensation ends with
death…Death, the most dreaded of evils, is therefore of no concern to
us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present
we no longer exist. It is therefore nothing either to the living or to
the dead since it is not present to the living, and the dead no longer

“Of the desires some are natural, some are vain, and of those that
are natural, some are necessary, others only natural. Of the necessary
desires, some are necessary for happiness, some for the ease of the
body, some for life itself.”

“Natural wealth is limited and easily obtained; the wealth defined by vain fancies is always beyond reach.”

“Nothing satisfies him to whom what is enough is little.”

“The aim of all actions to avoid fear and pain.”

“If our possessions are few, we may be content with what we have,
sincerely believing that those enjoy luxury most who depend on it least,
and that natural wants are easily satisfied if we are willing to forego
[excess]. Plain fare yields as much pleasure as a luxurious table,
provided the pain of real want is removed; bread and water can give
exquisite delight to hungry and thirsty lips. To form the habit of a
simple and modest diet…is the way to health: it enables us to perform
the needful employments of life without shrinking, it puts us in better
condition to enjoy luxuries when they are offered, and it renders us
fearless of fortune.”

“On particular occasions we may have reason to treat the good as bad, and the bad as good.”

“Is there any better and wiser man than he who holds reverent belief
about the gods, is altogether free from the fear of death, and has
serenely contemplated the basic tendencies of natural law?”

“Our own actions are free, and it is to them that praise and blame are properly attached.”

“The wise man does not deify [Destiny] as most men do; for if it were divine it would not be without order.”

“Meditate [on these sayings] day and night, both privately and with
some companion who is of [the same spirit]. Thereby shall you never
suffer disturbance, waking or asleep, but shall live like a god among
them. For a man who lives constantly among immortal blessings is surely
more than mortal.”

“Gods do exist…but they are not such as the many believe them to be.”

“The wise man neither rejects life nor fears death…he savors not the longest time but the most pleasant.”

Plotinus (204-270 CE)

“Men should apply themselves to the study of soul, learning among
other things that it proceeds from The Intelligence and attains virtue
by participating in the reason that proceeds from The Intelligence.”

“The One, the source of all things, is simple. It is above even the
highest in the world of being because it is above The Intelligence,
which itself, not The One but like The One, would become The One. Not
sundered from The One, close to The One, but to itself present, it has
to a degree dared secession.”

“The strictly nameless, [The One] is difficult to know. The best approach is through its offspring: Being…”

“The One is infinite.”

“The One is already one. It does not even need itself.”

“The One, in its aloneness, can neither know nor be ignorant of anything. Being with itself, it does not need to know itself.”

“Whatever is not one, but multiple, needs something else.”

“[The One] is present to all those who can touch it and absent only to those who cannot.”

“This divinity, it is said, is not outside any being but, on the
contrary, is present to all beings though they may not know it. They are
fugitives from the divine, or rather from themselves. What they turn
from they cannot reach. Themselves lost, they can find no other. A son
distraught and beside himself is not likely to recognize his father. But
the man who has learned to know himself will at the same time discover
whence he comes.”

The Avesta:

(circa 1000-300 BCE)


The Avesta is the holy book of the Zoroastrians and is one of
the earliest sacred texts to claim to be the revealed word of God.
Zoroastrianism directly influenced Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

“Righteousness is the best good (and it) is
happiness. Happiness (is) to him who (is) righteous for the sake of the
best righteous…”

“He who constitutes himself to the protector
(or the nourisher) of the poor (accepts) the sovereign rule (of the
entire world) of [Ahura-Mazda] (God).”

“(May) the Satan (be) defeated and destroyed!
(May) the works and workers of Ahriman [The Devil] the accursed (be)
destroyed! May not works and workers of (that) accursed (Ahriman) reach
(me)! Thirty-three Holy Immortals and the Creator [Ahura-Mazda] are
victorious and holy.”

“When any wicked man glares at me for taking
revenge (or for injuring me), what man, O [God], shall grant protection
unto me and unto my followers? (Who other than Thee shall grant
protection) to the Fire and the Mind (i.e. household happiness and the
peace of mind)? Through the action of which two, O [God]! righteousness
increases. Do Thou declare that knowledge of the religion to me (O Ahura
Mazda!). Who (shall be) the smiter of the foe by the help of Thy
(Avestan) words which (by reciting at the time of calamity) are
protecting? Do Thou reveal clearly unto me a wise leader for both the
worlds (O Ahura-Mazda).”

“O [Ahura-Mazda]…protect us from the envious
ones…Perish thou, O devil’s spawn…Perish thou, O follower of devil’s
law…Disappear utterly, vanish and entirely perish…Homage (be) unto right
thought and prosperity!”

“Ahura-Mazda (is) the Lord (of the entire
Universe) (and)….keeper at a distance of the wicked and powerless
Ahriman [Satan], May (that Ahriman) be smitten and defeated! May (all
these)…sorcerers, wicked ones, tyrants, sinners, impious ones, enemies,
[and] witches be [struck down] and defeated! May the wicked rulers
cease to exist! May the enemies be confounded! May the enemies be
non-existent and perish.”

“O Lord! I am in renunciation of, and desist
from, all sins: wicked thoughts which in (this) world I have thought,
wicked words which I have spoken, wicked deeds which I have committed,
(and) which have occurred through me and which have originated by me –
(all these sins mentioned above) relating to thought, relating to word,
and relating to deed, pertaining to (my own) body, pertaining to (my
own) soul, pertaining to this world, pertaining to the world beyond from
all these sins, O [Lord]! I am in renunciation and keep myself away,
(and) with the three words (Good thoughts-words-and deeds) I repent.
(May there be) [atonement] of Ahura Mazda (God)! (May there be) contempt
of [Ahriman] the Evil Spirit! Whatever is the wish of the doers of
righteous deeds, is superior (to all other wishes). I praise

“O Creator! Do Thou come to my help. I am a
Mazdā-worshipper; I profess myself (to be) a Mazdā-worshipping follower
of [Zoroaster] a devotee and an ardent-believer (in this
Mazdāworshipping Faith). I praise the true-conceived thought, I praise
the true-spoken word, I praise the well-done deed. I praise the
excellent religion of Mazda-worship, (which is) quarrel-removing,
weapon-lowering, self-dedicating (and) holy, which of those that are and
of those shall be (hereafter) (is) the greatest, and the best and the
most excellent, which is the religion of Ahura revealed-by [Zoroaster]. I
acknowledge all good (things) (which are) from [God]. Such is the
praise of the religion of Mazda-worship”

“In the Name of God and with His help (I begin
to recite this prayer) (who is) the Lord, the bestower of all good
things, the forgiver of sins and loving. Thus here we revere Ahura Mazda
who created the animals and the grain, who created water and good
vegetation who created lights (of the sky) and the earth and all (other)
good things (over and above these).”

“Just as we are (the praisers and meditators)
of good men, (in the same way) we are the praisers and meditators of the
doers of good thoughts, good words and good deeds for this world and
for the world beyond, and of those who have performed (good deeds) in
the past.”

“(May there) verily (be) sovereignty for the
best ruler (Ahura-Mazda)! We devote our mind to (God) who (Himself) is
the Best. We acknowledge (Him) (and) regard (Him) as our own.”

“I renunciate, and desist from all sins; all
wicked thoughts which in this world I have thought, wicked words which I
have spoken, wicked deeds which I have committed (and) which have been
caused through me (and ) which have been originated by me (all these
sins mentioned above) relating to thought, relating to word and relating
to deed, pertaining to (my own) body, pertaining to (my own) soul,
pertaining to this world, pertaining to the world beyond, all these
sins, O [Ahura-Mazda]! I discard and keep myself away (and) with the
three words (good thought, good word and good deed) I repent.”

“I profess myself to be a worshipper of
[Ahura-Mazda], follower in accordance with the religion revealed by (the
prophet Zoroaster), abstainer from (the path of demons) and act
according to the Law of Ahura-Mazda.”

“May there be health a thousand times.”

“For the expiation of sins I obtain the reward
of meritorious deeds, and for the sake of the love of the soul, may
complete righteousness reach all the doers of good deeds and all the
faithful…May there be long life of the righteous (man).”

“I praise good men and women who are, who were,
and will be, of the entire creation of Holy [Ahura-Mazda]. I praise
[those] who come for help (and is) the protector for a long time, the
friend (of good man) and herself the willing follower (well-)instructing
companion, and keeper of all healing virtues, for waters, cattle and
plants and the destroyer of all evils of the daevas [demons], wicked
men1 (who are) the tormentors of this house…”

“(I praise) good charitable works, and
righteous deeds (which are) of a very exalted dignity (and) superior
(and which) subsequently (are) attaining to (our help) (and) affording
shelter for a long time, so that the greatest, best and excellent
righteousness may reach us.”

“At Thy will and with happiness Thou, O Ahura
Mazda! Rulest over Thine-own creations; (Thou rulest) at (Thy) will over
waters, over trees and over all good things, the seeds of
righteousness. Thou appoint the holy (man) a ruler (but) not the infidel
(i.e. the sinful man). May the righteous (man) be ruling-at-will (but)
may the infidel, fallen into calamity, cast out of the creations of the
Holy Spirit, having failed (in his schemes) be not-ruling-at-will.”

“I who am [Zoroaster] will guide the leaders of
the house, of the clans, towns and lands, to think, to speak and to act
in conformity with this Religion which [was revealed by] Ahura… so
that our minds (be) full of joy (and) (our) souls (attain) the best,
(our) bodies be full of heavenly glory (may be fit) for the best world
(i.e. Heaven) O Ahura Mazda may (all these good wishes) reach (us)
openly Through the best righteousness, excellent righteousness, (O Ahura
Mazda) may we catch sight of Thee and may we come near Thee (and)
attain t Thy eternal friendship!”

“In the name of the Creator, I praise and
invoke [Ahura-Mazda] (who) is the Keeper of treasures, Glorious,
Omniscient, the Perfector of all deeds, the Lord of Lords, King over all
Kings, the Protector, the Creator of (all), things created, the Giver
of the daily bread, the Natural and the Powerful, without beginning or
end, the Bestower of good things, the Forgiver of sins, the Loving,
Omnipotent, Wise and the Nourisher (of all creations). May the Majesty
(and) Glory of (God) (who is) the Lord and the Producer (Creator of the
whole world) be on the increase! May the immortal, brilliant and the
swift footed horse Sun come (to my help)!”

“I praise (all) good thoughts, good words and
good deeds through (my) thoughts, words and deeds. I uphold all good
thoughts, good words and good deeds. I renounce all evil thoughts, evil
words and evil deeds. I dedicate unto you, ye Holy Immortals, worship
and praise (and) with the very life of my own body through thoughts,
words and deeds (and) with (my) conscience. I praise righteousness.”

“All good thoughts, good words (and) good
deeds, (are) produced with (good) intelligence. All evil thoughts, evil
words (and) evil deeds (are) not produced with good intelligence. All
good thoughts, good words (and) good deeds lead (the doer) to heaven.
All evil thoughts, evil words (and) evil deeds lead (him) to hell. (The
result) of all good thoughts goods words (and) good deeds (is) heaven.
Thus (it is) manifest to the righteous (person).”

“This highest light amongst the high (lights)
(which is called the Sun; we regard it as Thy most beautiful body, O
[Ahura Mazda].”

We praise the Boundless (eternal) Time, the
Time appointed-for the-long-period, the Wind, bountiful (and) of good
creation. We praise Wisdom, the most upright, righteous, created by
Mazda, the good…Religion, the chosen (path) amongst other paths, the
terrible weapon, and the Mount created by Mazda.”

“We praise the immortal, radiant (and)
swift-footed horse, the Sun. When the light of the Sun is warmer, when
it shines, there stand hundreds and thousands spiritual yazatas [“Those
worthy of worship or veneration”]. (These yazats) gather together that
glory, (and) send it down. (And) distribute that glory upon the earth
created by Mazda.”

“(What does it increase or make prosperous?) It increases the world of righteousness, the creation of righteousness.”

“When the Sun rises it becomes the means of
purifying the earth created by Ahura-Mazda, (it becomes) the means of
purifying flowing waters, springwaters, waters of the seas, stagnant
waters (and), it becomes the means of purifying the righteous creation,
which is of the Holy Spirit.”

“If the Sun were not to rise the demons here would kill all (things and lives) that are in the seven regions.”

“Whosoever worships (or praises) the Sun that
is immortal, radiant, swift-footed horse, in order to withstand
darkness, the demons, the brood of darkness, the thieves and robbers,
the wizards and witches (and) the deadly destruction, he (as it were)
worships Ahura Mazda, he worships the Holy Immortals, he worships his
own soul. He who worships the Sun, [pleases] all heavenly and earthly
yazatas [spiritual beings].”

“I praise…the lord of wide pastures, of a
thousand ears (and) of ten thousand eyes, I praise the mace of Mithra,
the lord of wide pastures, sufficiently made ponderous, weighty (for
smiting) against the skull of the Demons. I praise the best friendship
of friendships which is between the Moon and the Sun.”

“Among the living beings whoever (is) better in
acts of worship, of which Ahura Mazda (Himself) is aware, on account of
His holiness, all such men and women we revere.”

“O Lord (of the entire world), (the Creator)!
And the Increaser of man and mankind (and of the creation) of all
(other) species! O! Bountiful (Lord) of all the faithful of the good
Religion! May the faithful amongst the Mazda-worshippers (gain) the
knowledge (of the Religion) and may I become steadfast on the Religion
and may goodness reach (me)! May it be so!”

“Whoever worships thee, the immortal, radiant…
Ahura Mazda and pertaining to Ahura Mazda with best oblations, with
excellent oblations, (and) with oblations filtered by the pious people,
radiance and glory unto that man; do thou grant him soundness of the
body (i.e. health), happiness, victory of the body, wealth, full of
happiness, progeny, naturally intelligent, do thou grant him, long life;
(and do thou grant) him the bright (and) happy heaven of the righteous.
May it be so as I pray.”

“(I offer) thanks to that Exalted (Lord)
(amongst the existing ones) who is the Creator (of the entire creation)
(and) is the designer of its end; (and) who with his own self-hood,
strength and wisdom created most sublime Heaven…the revolution of the
sky, the shining Sun, the brilliant Moon, Stars of many kinds, the
winds, atmosphere, water, fire, the earth, trees, beneficent cattle, the
metals, and mankind.”

“I worship and pay homage to that virtuous Lord
who made mankind the greatest among all worldly creatures through the
faculty of thinking and (by bestowing) intellect for combating the
demons (or wicked lust), for opposing them (and even) abstaining away
(from them).”

“(With a bow I pay) homage unto that Omniscient
and Compassionate Lord, who through [Zoroaster] sent the trustworthy
knowledge of the Religion for the people of the world with a view to
attracting friendship (towards Himself), (which can be acquired) by
means of innate wisdom, and wisdom acquired through the ears. For the
knowledge and guidance of all persons who are, were, and will be, (He)
sent the Science of…[and] the ennobler of the soul helping to cross
the…Bridge with ease, the deliverer from hell (and) the indicator of
the way towards the Best abode (i.e. Heaven) of the righteous, the
bright, sweet-smelling and all-good.”

“O! Merciful and Compassionate Lord! O! Lord,
Forgiver of sins! I accept, think, speak, and practice the pure religion
(of Zoroaster sent by you) in accordance with Your Command, Order and
bidding. I am steadfast upon performing every meritorious deed and I
return having repented from all sinful acts. I keep pure my personal
conduct, having abstained (from wicked lusts) the six powers of (my)
soul (which are) the power of thought, the power of speech, the power of
action, the power of logic (discriminating good and evil), intelligence
and wisdom.”

“O Virtuous One! According to Thy will can
perform Thy worship with good thoughts, good words and good deeds. (And
for the sake of my own soul) I keep open the brilliant (righteous) path
(i.e. the path of gaining Heaven) so that (after my death) the grievous
punishment of hell may not befall upon my (soul). I shall pass over the
[Bridge to the Afterlife] and attain the Paradise full of fragrance
all-adorned and all comfortable.”

“(I sing the hymn of) praise of that Lord, the
Forgiver of Sins, who bestows rewards for meritorious deeds, on those
who obey (His) Commands with the will to perform meritorious deeds; and
at last (i.e. after the period of Resurrection) will liberate the
sinners from hell, and will embellish the entire (world) with purity.”

(Zoroaster speaks to the Creator Ahura Mazda):
Who (else) (is there) other than Thee through whom the Moon waxes (or)
wanes? (Reply: – there is none).”

“When the light of the Moon shines, the
green-coloured plants grow on the earth through the mist. We praise the
days after the new moon and the days after the full moon, the destroyer
(of the darkness) of the night. We praise the new moon. We praise the
full moon, the righteous (and) the lord of righteousness. We praise (the
full moon), the destroyer (of the darkness) of the night, righteous and
lord of righteousness.”

“(Let) no (these efficacious) waters of ours
(be) for a man of wicked thoughts, wicked words and wicked deeds! (Let)
not (these efficacious) waters of ours (be) for the man of wicked
religion. For the tormentors of a friend, a priest and workmen! (Let)
not (the waters be) for one who torments his own kindred! (Let) not our
efficacious effective, best pure waters created by Ahura Mazda (be)
profitable to that (person), who desires to empty out (destroy) our
abundant settlements. (Let) not our efficacious, best, pure waters
created by Ahura Mazda (be) beneficial to that (person) who desires to
empty out (harm) our healthy bodies! (And all those) who (are) thieve,
robbers, murderers. Killers of righteous persons, addicted to sorcery,
buriers of dead bodies, the wicked, (the greedy), heretic (and)the evil
tyrannical persons (may not get the benefit of the efficacious waters…)
May injuries come upon the (persons) mentioned above) May their evil
desires lead them to destruction.”

“O Fire, the purifier (of all things)
pertaining to Ahura Mazda! I praise Thy worship, invocation, good
health-giving and friendly gift. (O Fire), thou art worthy of worship
and invocation…May there be greatness (or happiness) unto that man who
shall always worship thee… O Fire, the purifier (of all things) pertaining to Ahura Mazda! Mayest thou be15 provided with food for a long time.”

“O Fire, the purifier (of all things)
pertaining to Ahura Mazda! Do thou grant me (that thing) which may be
the instructor for me, may guide me now and forever, about the best
world, of the righteous (people), bright (and) all-comfortable. (And)
may I obtain that paradise in good rewards, in (return for the good
homage and in (exchange of) holiness of (my) soul for a long duration.”

“That Fire of Ahura Mazda carries [counsel] unto all for whom that (fire) cooks the evening and noon meals…”

We revere all the sacred verses of (the
Prophet), and all well-performed deeds (religious ceremonies), which
have been performed and shall be performed hereafter.”

“We praise the righteous woman, richest in good
thoughts, good words and good deeds, well and properly instructed,
obedient to her husband (and) truthful.”

“I keep the internal (and) the external
treasure which I have, owing to (due to my) kinship with God. Keeping
with the kinship of God, if anything happens I shall give, dedicate, if
necessary, this (my) body for the sake of (my) soul.”

“I praise the best righteousness (and) I smite
the demons for the sake of or in the hope of the Resurrection, I am
grateful and contented with the goodness of the Creator…”

“For that way (if I have deviated from the
above mentioned commandments) I repent (those) sins and I am penitent of
(these) sins.”

“The sins of worse degrees are:- Namely, to
harm someone by (doing) injustice and to interfere in his good work, to
admonish someone falsely, to tell utter lies and to point out a wrong
path; – not to act or to act contrary to the will made by any person at
the time of his death or while going on a journey to a foreign country,
in favor of his children or some other persons, – to steal human beings
or cattle and to sell them, to spoil a set of good clothes and to spoil
purposely pure and tasty edible, not to nourish the poor and the needy
in spite of being rich and prosperous, instead cause affliction and harm
them and to keep the beneficent animals under his control hungry and to
strike them,– to hold a weapon in hands in order to smite or wound
someone – or to [hit] it on the head of a person opposite him, the sin
of inflicting a wound on a person which heals after three to four days,
the sin of inflicting a wound on hand, – or foot – the sin of inflicting
a wound in such a way as to render the foot lame and to prevent it from
doing work19 – the sin deserving the punishment of death- the sin of
practicing derision or mockery of anyone beyond limit – the sin of
having physical relations with a prostitute or with a woman in [in
menstruation], the sin of committing unnatural intercourse with a man,
or woman – the sin of formation with a woman unlawfully – the sin of
destroying sperm by one’s own hands – the sin of sexual intercourse with
a woman of another faith, the sin of criminal intimacy with another
person’s wife and of stealing property of another person – and such
other sins as not performing the compulsory meritorious deeds enjoined
in the Zoroastrian Religion, which cause difficulty in crossing the
Chinvat Bridge after death.”

“I repent and renounce for not thinking about
the wish of the Creator Ahura Mazda, as I ought to have thought, for not
speaking about as I ought to have spoken and for not doing as I ought
to have done.”

“I ought not to have thought according to the
wish of Ahriman [Satan] and yet I have thought of : I ought not to have
spoken and yet I have spoken and I ought not to have done and yet I have
done I repent for all these sins with penitence.”

“I repent for the pride, haughtiness, speaking
ill of the dead, avarice, getting angry beyond limits, practicing
jealousy, casting an evil eye on anyone, casting a glance shamelessly,
with evil intention, casting a glance with contempt, self-willedness,
being discontented of my own condition, acting according to my own will
only, slothfulness, scandals, revenge, distrust—doubt, hearsay, giving
false evidence, delivering false judgement, idol-worship…running about
naked, moving with a shoe in one foot and with another foot bare, saying
grace at the time of meals and thereafter [spoiling] it by speaking
[too loudly], partaking of the meal without saying grace, theft,
robbery, whoredom, magic or uttering spells of the demons, worship of
witchcraft, prostitution, whorishness, permitting unnatural intercourse
with oneself, performing unnatural intercourse with others, weeping
loudly after the departed ones and lamenting beyond limit, and (besides
these) other sins of every kind, which have been remembered…”

“For the delight of (my own) soul I approve (or I desire) good Righteousness more seemly.”

“I remain steadfast on good thoughts through
(my) thinking good (thought) till the existence of (my) life, I remain
steadfast on good words, through (ray) utterance. I remain steadfast on
good deeds through action, (and) I remain steadfast on good Religion… I
am in agreement with all meritorious deeds (or virtuous deeds); (and) I
do not agree with all sins.”

“[I accept all that lies in the Afterlife]:
retribution at the (Chinvat) Bridge, severe [chains and irons, atonement
(and a) fine for the sins (prescribed by) the religion, punishment of
the three nights (first after death) (of which every night will be as
long as) fifty-seven years. If any of my sins (remain unatoned, (and) if
I am not yet absolved from them, (then) I am contented and in agreement
with the punishment of (the first) three nights (after my death) for
committing them.”

“I am the relative of [Ahura-Mazda] (and) I regard [Him] as the Most Pious.”

I have taken hold of all just and virtuous paths: I renounce all false and wicked paths. (May Ahriman be) annihilated.”

“We praise all holy mountains created by [God].”

“Homage (be) unto the good (and) holy plants created by (God).”

“Zoroaster then said: O Holy Ahura Mazda! Tell
me indeed that name of Thine which is the greatest, best, [and most]
excellent. Ahura Mazda then replied: (My) first name, O Holy Zoroaster!
is “I exist”; (My) second (name) is pertaining to herd (or protecting
herds of cattle and multitudes of men): (My) third (name) the All
Pervading; (My) fourth (name) Supreme Righteousness; (My) fifth (name)
All Good Things created by Mazda, containing the seed of righteousness;
(My) sixth (name) is that (I) Myself am Wisdom; (My) seventh (name)
Endowed with Wisdom; (My) eighth name, (I Myself) am Knowledge; (My)
ninth (name) Endowed with Knowledge; (My) tenth (name) is (I myself) am
Increase (growth) (or Prosperity); (My) eleventh (name) the Increaser;
(My) twelfth (name) Ahura (i.e. the bestower of life): (My) thirteenth
(name) the most Beneficent; (My) fourteenth (name) without Opponent:
(My) fifteenth (name) the Invincible; (My) sixteenth (name) the One Who
maintains account of (the deeds of) men; (My) seventeenth (name) the
All-Seeing; (My) eighteenth (name) the Healer; (My) nineteenth (name)
(I) am the Creator; twentieth, Omniscient.”

“I am the Non-deceiver, I am Far from the
Deceiver: I am the Equable Protector. I am the Destroyer of Malice: I am
the [killer] at one stroke: I am One who smites everybody every wrong
doing: I am the [Craftsman] of all. I am All-Light (or Comfort): I am
Full-Light (or Comfort-happiness): I am One Possessing Light by name…”

“Just as a thousand men keep watch over one
man, (in the same way) these names (of the Creator mentioned above)
serve as admonition and support and protection (for the reciter) against
the invisible, wicked, and the sinful person, bent on destruction, and
against the wicked fiend, full of plagues…”

“O Zoroaster! Thou should worship Me by day and by night…”

“Know thou now that (it is through My Sense and
Wisdom the world was (created in the) beginning, will remain up to the
end in the same way…”

“O [Ahura Mazda]! Will the righteous (man)
smite the follower of untruth (i.e. wicked and sinful man)? The answer:
(Yes) the righteous (man) shall smite…the follower-of-untruth.”

“We praise the Divine-Intelligence of (the
Creator) Ahura-Mazda for comprehending the Holy Word. We praise the
Divine-Wisdom of Ahura Mazda for remembering the Holy Word. We praise
the Divine-tongue of Ahura Mazda for reciting the Holy Word. We praise
this Mountain…the giver of intelligence, every day and every night.”

“We praise wisdom…”

“O Creator! I overthrow Ahriman the destroyer
of righteousness (and) the demons; I am absolutely, without doubt, on
the (path of Resurrection of the Dead) (and the final existence).”

“If (any) man or woman really knows some good
things, let him declare them, let him practice them, (and) inculcate
them upon (those) others who wish to act properly in that manner.”

“[If he] desires to live the best life in both the worlds, (he should then be) generous.”

“Through…this fire, O most beneficent Spirit
Ahura Mazda! We first approach Thee and Thee only. Thou takes away (O
Fire!) (that) filthiness to whom the filthiness (is attached). You are
the purifier of all evils.”

“We praise this earth which nourishes us (and)
Feminine Powers and Moral Virtues along with it; O Ahura Mazda! We
praise Feminine Powers and Moral Virtues of Thine which (are) agreeable
on account of righteousness. We praise (all these) – comfort, purity,
increase, perfect mindedness, along with good humility, wish, [and]

“We praise the waters that are showered down,
(gathered together) collected and flowed forward. (O Waters) of Ahura
Mazda (pertaining to Ahura Mazda!) We regard you possessing intrinsic
merit, wide, well-flowing (and) the purifiers of both the worlds.”

“Here we worship the soul of the universe and
(its) fashioner, (and) the souls of the cattle as well, who desire to
live for us; for (us) they, and (we) are for them.”

“We worship the souls of the travelers and the
cavaliers. Here we worship the souls of the righteous men and women born
at any time who revere, or will revere or have revered the better laws.
Thus we praise here good men and women (and) the [divine beings],
ever-living (and) ever-profiting, who…dwell in the good mind.”

Just as Thou, O Ahura Mazda, hast thought,
spoken, created and worked what (is) good, in the same way we regard
Thee, (so do) we recognize Thy excellence, (so do we) and worship Thee. O
Ahura Mazda! Thus we bow to Thee, thus we are indebted (to Thee). (O
Ahura Mazda!) we may come near Thee through the relationship of good
kinship, [and] Righteousness…”

“O Ahura Mazda! Do Thou create great wisdom and
abundance in these creatures. O Lord of Wisdom (do Thou grant us) as
much reward as Thou hast given to the religionists, like myself by means
of Thy Charity, O Ahura Mazda17! Do thou Thyself grant (that gift) (O
Ahura Mazda!) for this and for the spiritual world; thereby we may
attain Thy friendship and Righteousness for ever. Do Thou grant us the
bestowers of joy, truthful men, desirous of righteousness, dexterous and
diligent, long enduring prosperity (and) powerful friendship. (May it
be to (our) kinsmen, and workers, as well as, to (our) friends. O Ahura
Mazda! (all) these we ask for from Thee. Moreover may we become truthful
and pure and through charity (may we become) endeared (to Thee).”

“We dedicate (an offering) to Thee the Lord of
good wisdom, worthy of adoration, follower of righteousness; so mayest
Thou be to us the limbs of life and body, O Wisest One, amongst the
existing ones, in both the worlds!”

“O Ahura Mazda! May we become worthy of long
life in gaining joy in Thy (remembrance), and may we succeed (in this
good wish)! May we be lovers of Thine and, of Thou mighty, Wisest One
amongst the existing ones, Thou should rejoice us with prosperity for a
long time. O Ahura Mazda! We call ourselves (we cry aloud), we accept
and agree to be Thy praisers and reciters of Holy Spells. O Ahura Mazda!
Do Thou Thyself grant us for this and the spiritual world (as much)
reward as Thou has given to the religionist like myself whereby we may
reach the chieftainship and Righteousness of Thine for eternity.”

“We praise the flowing of the waters; the
flight of the birds; the advent of the priests, who go to distant places
desiring (to promote) purity of the countries.”

“O Sickness, do you perish; O (untimely) death!
O demons!; O opponents! O Wicked heretics!; O oppressor of men! O brood
of the snake! and the brood of the wolf! perish; O the brood of (wicked
man)! do you perish; O ye refractory; O proud men!; O ye hot-tempered!;
O ye slanderous (or calumnious!) O ye inimical O evil-eyed! and O ye
liars! you perish; O wicked woman addicted to sorcery! you perish; O
wicked woman of evil lustre and O wind blowing straight from the north!

“He will smite and vanquish the deadliest of
the deadly…he will smite the unholy apostates (and) will vanquish them;
he will smite and vanquish the most oppressive of the oppressors of

“The Creator, the keeper of the world, (is)
omnipotent and omniscient, and the Nourisher of all, and the producer,
and the Doer of meritorious deeds and overseer. Ahriman [The Devil] is
nothing whatsoever (and is) ignorant, and cannot do anything. [God] (is)
the Creator (and) Ahriman the destroyer. The Creator (is) Holy and
Ahriman (is) wicked. May Ahriman be perished, may Ahriman be far away,
may Ahriman be vanished, may Ahriman be defeated, may Ahriman be
overcome. The foremost Religion (is the) pure Zoroastrian (Religion);
[God] (is) Exalted, Powerful, Good (and) the Increaser.”

“The Creator Ahura Mazda spoke: If (any person)
recites aloud My holy spell (and becomes) the memorizer or the reciter
(of that Holy Spell)…(that person) protects his own body (from the
attacks of the demons…and from the path of wickedness).”

“(The prayer) (is) a shield against the
powerful and wicked that (prayer) (is) covering all around the eyes,
intelligence (and) the ears of the wicked male and female (and) acts as a
fetter for (their) hands, feet (and) mouths. The prayer which is
perfect, performed with the conscience and far away from wicked
intention (is) a protection, a shield against the repeller [of truth].”

“We worship (the Holy Prophet) Zoroaster (who
is) the lord and the leader of the entire corporeal world….Holy
Zoroaster is the wisest of (all) living beings, the best ruler of living
beings, the brightest and most glorious of living beings, most worthy
of worship, of adoration, (and) glorification….”

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