The Wisdom of the Zend Avesta
We review the sacred texts known as the Zend Avesta and consider some of the occult truths to be found within it
The book known as the Zend Avesta consists of a collection of the sacred texts of the Zoroastrians or Parsees. The name should properly be rendered Avesta and Zend, or Law and Commentary, for this is what the book consists of. But these are not earthly or man-made laws, but the occult or hidden Laws of the Universe to which both Gods and men are subject. Regular readers will recall that we discussed some of these Laws in our investigation of the origins of Hermeticism and the true teachings of Hermes Trismegistus published during 2021. Likewise, the word 'commentary' should not be regarded as speculative opinions about these Laws but rather as an analysis, explanation and application of them.
Whatever be its source, or whoever wrote it first — we are in no doubt that the Zend Avesta was directly inspired from the Higher Realms of Light. The Teachings it contains are Holy Teachings, for as we shall see when we come to discuss some portions of the book, no man could possibly imagine them, much less invent them. On the other hand, it is true to say that in many places in the book these Teachings are very well hidden indeed, and in others distorted almost out of all recognition by the many hands it has passed through over the centuries. It is not our purpose to unveil these Teachings to you; for that would take countless books and leave most readers none the wiser. Nor were the teachings in the book intended for the general seeker or even average mystic, who would not understand them in any case. Moreover — to be effective a teaching must be complete; for of half-truths there is no end as we discussed in our three-part examination of the lives and teachings of Philo, Epictetus and Proclus. As we have no wish to add to this mass of misinformation and speculation we must content ourselves with examining a very few portions and leave it up to you whether to study the Zend Avesta on your own using the many articles we have published over the years as a guide on how to read and interpret sacred texts. To help such readers further we have included a brief glossary of some of the terms used in the book in our afterword.
The Zend Avesta was originally written in Avestan, a language closely allied to Sanskrit and translated into Pahlavi about the 3rd century A.D. What exists of the book today is regarded as a fragment, the rest having been destroyed during the conquests of Alexander, 330-327 B.C., and the Arab invasion of Persia (modern Iran) in A.D.651. Attributed in part to Zoroaster or Zarathustra as he is also called, the texts that have come down to us were compiled about A.D. 320, and these include various liturgies for the use of priests and hymns, etc., for the laity. Despite these shortcomings, it is no exaggeration to say that the Zend Avesta is one of the most important sacred texts of all times, though, as we shall see later on the profound metaphysical truths it contains are as carefully concealed as those to be found in the Bible, if not more so.
In our Afterword we discuss the content, arrangement, history and origins of the book in some depth, showing how and why it has come down to us in such an incomplete and distorted state. Despite these shortcomings, the Zend Avesta remains one of the few extant great religious testaments of the past when real Wisdom still held sway among mankind. Moreover, as a record of a great Faith containing many occult truths it is worthy of our careful consideration and deepest respect. It is for these reasons that we have decided to discuss the book with you, for no occult education can be considered complete that ignores this most valuable and important collection of sacred texts. As we proceed we shall find that these sacred texts comprise a complete system of occult philosophy and metaphysical instruction, carefully concealed in the first place by Zarathustra, and then almost destroyed by later copyists, imitators, commentators, translators, and any other person who may have thought that he knew better than the Master himself, or wished to 'improve' the original Teachings in some way; or, what was more often the case, who copied the Teachings without knowing what they meant, and then made alterations or additions according to the state of their own ignorance. We say this so that you will be on your guard should you wish to study the book yourself and are perplexed by the many contradictory interpretations given by past and modern translators. Before we commence our task, we would like to say a brief word about the translations of the book.
The principal texts of the Zend Avesta were translated by James Darmesteter and published in three volumes (Nos. 4, 23 and 31) in a 50-volume series of books called The Sacred Books of the East, edited by Max Müller and issued by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. These are now difficult to obtain. Fortunately, the advent of the Internet has now made it possible for all to read The Sacred Books of the East online. See further reading list in the sidebar.
Our discussion of the book will be based upon Professor Spiegel's German translation of the original manuscripts made in 1864, so far as these were available to him. This German translation is again based upon the best translation which the Parsees possess, the so-called Gujarati manuscript. As these two translations agree in all the essential points we have taken every precaution to get as close to the original texts as possible. The reconstruction of the parts of the book we shall quote however is entirely our own. This differs markedly from translations to be found in published books and on the Internet. The reason for this will not be lost on our regular readers. New readers are referred to our several articles on The Mystery Language which discuss and explain the keys required to uncover the true meaning of sacred texts. Having set the scene as it were let us now begin our task of uncovering and elucidating a few of the occult truths concealed in the book.
The kernel of the Zend Avesta consists of the two opposing Principles of Light and Darkness; of good and evil, personified in parts of the book by the good God Ormuzd, and the evil God Ahriman. Zoroaster, like all Messengers from God to man, aimed at the reformation of the lives of those of the people who were ready and eager for the Light and Liberation from rebirth; but not of the whole of mankind, for every Messenger knows that this is an idle dream and a fallacy, for the reasons we have discussed in many of our articles, most recently in our investigation of the difference between the psychic and the spiritual. But for the benefit of the masses he taught hospitality, philanthropy and benevolence toward all just as Jesus did many centuries later. His Teachings were essentially monotheistic, directed against the polytheism of the Turanians, and their brigandage, idolatry and licentiousness, which evils applied to the whole of the primitive peoples of those days. We may say that the selfsame evils still apply today, despite the trappings of so-called 'civilized behaviour' which is mostly superficial. Zoroaster's work was persuasive, or passive, rather than propagandist, but he was not a 'fire-worshipper' as some people think. The only fire he knew and revered was defined by Madame Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine as "the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on Earth, of the One Flame. It is Life and Death, the origin and the end of every material and spiritual thing. It is 'Divine Substance.' " Zoroaster also knew that the fiery Sun was a symbol of God and the glorious spiritual realm described so beautifully and truly in The Golden Star. If this makes him a fire-worshipper, then the writer and all who study the occult sciences are fire-worshippers too!
Zoroaster's hymn to God
We begin our discussion of the book with a prayer by Zoroaster found in the first few verses of the Gatha Ahunavaita numbered chapter 28 in James Darmesteter's translation. This needs little explanation for the sublime sentiments of the Messenger speak for themselves.
"I desire by my prayer with uplifted hands this joy to be of good disposition and peaceful mind, that I may find favour in the sight of God.
"Thus I approach thee, O Ahura-Mazda, Supreme Lord of the great Lords and Angels and all those who dwell with thee, that I may become worthy of both the corporeal and spiritual worlds, thus receiving joyful gifts of life, and light, and purity from thy hands, as is becoming to him who worships thee.
"I praise ye first, O Asha and Vohu-mano, thou great Lords and Principles of perfect righteousness and wise and kindly thought; and I praise Ahura-Mazda, the Supreme God of the Heavens, whose Kingdom exists for the Ages of the Ages, imperishable; may Armaiti, He who watches over this Earth in utter Wisdom, hear me and grant unto me my prayer.
"And I, the Messenger, whose Soul resideth in the Heavens, know the Laws of Ahura Mazda, the Lord Supreme, and will teach the Laws on Earth under the protection and inspiration from on high unto all those whose minds turn in purity unto the Word of Truth and Light.
"Let righteous illumination enter into me, O Asha, Lady divine, and grant unto thy Messenger abundance of years, that he may spread the Word of Light and Truth unto those who wish to listen. The Laws of Truth are melodies of Light, O Lord Supreme, and the heart of thy Messenger is filled with joy untenable when he heareth their sweet resonances within his heart. And grant unto us too, O Ahura, Lord Supreme, the power to destroy the deeds of the evil ones who dwell upon this earth; and to all who desire truly thy Light and Wisdom, their due reward.
"Give thou, O Armaiti, unto the rulers of this earth the power to reign with justice; and Wisdom to Zarathustra, thy Messenger; and to those who hearken to his words give understanding. To thee I pray that thou wilt regard with thy Benevolence all those who aid me in the task with which I came to Earth in thy Name, and to all that shall carry on the Torch of Truth in the ages of the ages, so long this Earth endures.
"And grant unto us that we shall ever do thy Will and the Will of thy Viceroy of the Earth who dwelleth in Heaven, that we may find favour in the sight of Thee and Him; and may all those who listen to thy Word, as uttered by the mouth of thy Messenger Zarathustra, receive thy Blessings and dwell in righteousness, singing thy Songs of Praise; for thine is the Will, and the Power, and the Wisdom which ruleth thy Universe for the salvation of all those whose hearts are turned unto thee.
"And those whom thou knowest as the creatures of Vohu-mano, all those who dwell in Truth and Light, hearken to their prayers, O Asha, divine Lady, and grant them their desires if this be thy Will. For my heart knoweth that Thou dwellest in Abundance and all good gifts are thine to bestow, who art beyond all praise.
"I pray that purity, and a Mind which turneth to the good may be mine by thy inspiration; teach me, therefore, thy Messenger, the fullness of thy Wisdom; Thou upon whose uttered Word the Universe and all which it contains was first created."
What a wondrous recitation this is! Such is the prayer of every true messenger, be he or she the humblest of heavenly servants or a great Sage like Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha or Hermes Trismegistus. For without the aid of the Great Ones who dwell Above the servant of God on Earth can do nothing. These verses tell us that Zoroaster clearly knew the place the Earth occupied in the Scheme of the Heavens and Hells described in the books of J Michaud and others, and the great Laws which govern life here and elsewhere in God's Universe, some of which we discussed with you in articles on Hermes. To return to the point we made earlier, all the books of the Zend Avesta are more or less in the obscure sort of style found in the translation made by Darmesteter and others, if we may call it a style at all. We will give you the first verse of Zoroaster's prayer as rendered by Darmesteter to show what we mean.
"With venerating (desire) for this (gift) of gracious help, O Mazda, and stretching forth my hands (to Thee) I pray for the first (blessing) of (Thy) bountiful Spirit; (that is, I beseech of Thee that my actions (toward) all (may be performed) in (the Divine) Righteousness; and with this I implore from Thee the understanding of Thy Benevolent Mind, in order that I may propitiate the Soul of the Kine (our herds and folk, which cries so bitterly to Thee)."
The words in parenthesis are the translator's, not ours. Well, dear reader, what do you make of this translation? What would it mean to you if you hadn't read our reconstruction first? What are the 'Kine' or 'herds', which some translators call an 'Ox-Soul' that the Messenger refers to? Without our explanation that these zootypes are all allegories for the various classes of humanity, learned and ignorant, instructed and uninstructed with which the Teacher has to deal would you be any the wiser? It is the same with the swine mentioned in the Bible, with the 'sheep and the goats'. None of these terms are to be taken literally. Have we said this before in our many articles on symbolism? Then it is worth repeating. And how could any of the translators of the book understand the inner meaning of these mangled remains of a once glorious Teaching unless they happen to be trained occultists? Having emphasised this important point let us continue with our reconstruction and look next at some verses from chapter 30 of the Gatha Ahunavaita.
The two Paths and the two Heavenly Twins
"For there are Two Paths to the understanding of the laws of God — who is Dual in his Personality, so that some men call him good, and others evil in their lack of understanding of His Wisdom. For that Twin Personality of God sends forth out of Itself, a Twofold Self, and only the wise may distinguish between these two, for most men are blind in their self-created illusions, caused by false interpretation of that which is Good and Evil to their minds.
"When both these Heavenly Twins were still One God of Right and Left, Light and Darkness, Wisdom and Folly Supreme. Creating Life and Death as understood by ignorant man, and decreed that for the man of evil there should be prepared a place of Darkness, but a Spiritual Home of Light for the pure in heart and mind, in thought, and words, and works.
"Of these Heavenly Twins the Bad chose evil, and the Good purity, according to their separate natures, combined in One. And those who find favour in the sight of Ahura, believing in Mazda, the Good: they will find a firm and everlasting Heaven of pure delight and beauty.
"But the evil ones, who listen to the demon inspirations of Him who chose the left-hand Path which leads unto Perdition, will find a Home of Darkness. And when the Evil Twin had chosen his Domain, the wicked Ruler of that Realm taxed Him with many questions, and was questioned in return by Him who had embraced the Shadow — He who chose Perplexity instead of Wisdom. And both took counsel together, the Spirit and the God of Darkness, how they might compel the men of Earth to defile the world with evil thoughts, words, and works and so might join themselves unto the Kingdom of Wrath, from whence there is no escape.
"But to Ahura came the Royal Governor who acts in His behalf within the Worlds of Light, together with Vohu-mano and Asha — which are Good Thoughts, and the Love of the Mother. And they created the Strength which comes with pious modesty, that the vehicle of the Higher Self, which men call 'The Body' on Earth, might be justified in everlasting Glory.
"Even as the evil-doers meet their self-engendered Fate, so the men of goodly thoughts, and words, and works, are led unto Thee, O Mazda, by means of the Royal Governor's Messenger and the pure God of this Earth, even Vohu-mano.
"And Ahura will command that the evil spirits, together with the men who give them residence within, the better being able to listen to their councils, shall be turned away to their rightful place of wailing. But the evil spirit may be expelled from the within of man by means of prayer and good works, that even he who hath hearkened to the wicked whisper may find Salvation in the end.
"May we, who live according to thy Laws, O Mazda, be guided by the Wisdom of the Lords of Light and with the aid of Asha, that thou shalt find no cause for our rejection from thy Heart. For it is thy Law that whoso is obedient unto thee whilst still on Earth, shall be united with thy blissful Wisdom and thy Beauty in the World to come.
"Teach Thou unto men by the mouth of thy Messenger, Zarathustra, the Two Perfections which are the Holy Scriptures of the Law and thy Messenger's interpretation, which Mazda hath given unto him that good may conquer evil.
"These Laws be a profit to the pure, and lead them to the happiness and bliss of Paradise."
In this chapter Zoroaster reprises all we have told you about the Higher and lower minds in our various articles. In addition, he reveals something of their origins, and how their thoughts, words, and works determines their individual and joint fate, as well as humanity as a whole and conditions on Earth. This is clearly a fragment of what must once have been a complete teaching, or series of teachings about the principles of man which has been lost. There is an immortal splendour and supernatural Wisdom in these words which can only have sprung from the highest Realms of Light and descended upon the inspired Seer, Zarathustra. It is for this reason, more than any other, that we said in our introduction that no man could possibly imagine these sublime Teachings, much less invent them.
Behold the great chain of Seers, from the far distant ages, beginning with Enoch, and stretching right through the fleeting centuries, ever proclaiming the glory of God and the delights and splendours of the Heavens, pointing the Way to whoever will follow it, and having found it, can return no more if he is faithful and true. The one who wanders from the path like a stray sheep, and returns again to the miseries of earthly life, is lost indeed, though it is to be hoped that he too will turn again at last, to find eternal Liberation. But what a dreadful waste of time it is to turn away from the Light, and how dangerous for the erring one who forgets his dedication to the Holy Word of the Father, the Love of the Great Mother, and the Light of the Divine Son, known as Mithra in the book, Horus in Egypt and Krishna in India. And how marvellous a picture Zarathustra draws of that Son — the Young Bull — showing too that both Gods and men have a beginning, and that no God springs into full-grown splendour without a previous fall as we explained long ago in the sidebar to our occult studies course article on Evolution, as well as in many other articles published since then.
Having given you a brief but we hope representative view of the Gathas, must now have a general look at the First Book of the Zend Avesta, which is called the Vendidad; this consists of 32 Fargards or chapters (see sidebar).
In Fargard 1 Ahura-Mazda tells Zarathustra of the Creation of Delight by the will of Ahura. Unsurprisingly, the commentators tell us that it is impossible to know this place of delight, for it cannot be found on any map. Truly, there is none so blind as a learned fool! Permit us to say at once that this illusive place is minutely described in Vision 11 of The Golden Star by J Michaud PhD in which luminous book it is called the 'Nirvanic Clime', 'Great Ashram' and many other good things. The fact that Ahura-Mazda Himself created this Place, shows us that here we have to do with the Ahura who is the Supreme Deity, for those below Him in rank cannot create such a Place, their work having to do with the realms called 'astral' by occultists.
Ahura tells Zarathustra of another creation of delight, not so delightful as the First. In fact the very opposite, for it is the place of Eternal Death, whereas Ahura's Place is one of Eternal Life. Both these places and the realms of Light and darkness connected with them are described in another of Dr Michaud's works — The Book of Sa-Heti. This shows that the Teachings of Zarathustra differed in no wise from those of the primitive Aryans preserved in the sacred texts of India, proving if proof were needed, that this occult knowledge and these sublime truths were once known all over the Earth, having been carried to all parts of the globe by the Great Teachers from Atlantis as we discuss in our several articles on the Lost Continent.
Hence, it should not surprise us either that the translators and interpreters of the Zend Avesta think that all the 'Places' mentioned in the book are earthly regions, many of which they mention by name, though they admit that in later times the first created 'place', became a purely fabulous region. We need not add that these eminent writers are wrong, and we think it best to point this out to you here, so that if you should choose to study the book yourself, you will not be led astray. At the same time it is only right to tell you that in parts of the Zend Avesta some earthly place names are given correctly, but these have nothing to do with the real Teachings of Zarathustra, and were placed there by later writers, who added to the Master's work, and as usual, spoiled it.
Sixteen Regions or Realms are mentioned in the first Fargard, with descriptions of their beauties; and each of these sixteen has its opposite realm of evil and ugliness, making 32 in all. Now both Dr Michaud and Madame Blavatsky write about seven realms, not sixteen, as you can read in chapter 17 of The Quest of Ruru and in The Secret Doctrine. Including the Earth this makes 13 realms or planes in all. The difference is easily accounted for when we consider how many hands the Zend Avesta has passed through since the Sage delivered it to his followers. Hence the number sixteen is probably an interpolation by some meddling priest who did not know the truth. It is also possible that the number sixteen is a blind to conceal the truth as we find so often in occult and mystical writings. Sixteen reduces numerologically to seven thus giving us the seven and thirteen realms we find in the aforementioned books. Whatever the truth of the matter, the system of 13 realms or planes is correct and we feel sure that Zarathustra knew and taught this as did the Sages of India as we can read in the Vedas.
We mention all this as the Vendidad is full of similar contradictions and misstatements, showing as we said in our introduction that it consists of fragments of real Teachings, mixed up with additions from other, and wrong sources of information, and this is especially true of the Fargards. A good example of what we mean is found in Fargard 16 which deals mainly with the rules for treating woman during menstruation. We are told that if the period of menstruation lasts for nine days, that is a sign that the demons are against the woman, and also that she has had some contact with them. As a penance she must sacrifice two-hundred ants, together with other ceremonies to ward off the evil. Moreover, she must be punished with two-hundred blows with the horse-goad for it is a sign that she has committed some heinous sin. A man who disobeys the injunction to avoid a woman at such times is punished with thirty strokes from the same instrument. From all this we may infer that the ancient Persians knew how to punish those who broke their laws just as well as the Jews and Muslims!
Now, we haven't told you all this because we believe in such ingenious and cruel superstitions but so that you will recognise them for what they are when or if you read the Zend Avesta for yourself. For clearly these are not the true words of Zarathustra, but of his ignorant imitators and copyists. In this connection, we cannot resist repeating an anecdote attributed to Pythagoras' wife, Theano which we quoted in our article about the Greek Sage. One day this inestimable and modest lady was asked what length of time should elapse before a woman was pure again after intercourse with a man. The Sage's wife replied: "If it is with her husband, she is pure all the time; if with another man, she is never pure." Here, in a nutshell we have the true and simple laws of Purity such as Zarathustra himself taught and there is nothing that can be added to them.
We must now turn to the Vispered of the Vendidad, but for a very brief review only, for, as we said at the outset, it is quite impossible to reconstruct and discuss the entire book. The best we can hope for is to give you a general overview and leave it up to you whether to study it on your own using the many articles we have published over the years as a guide on how to read and interpret sacred texts. The Vispered is very short, consisting of just 23 chapters, and for this reason it has been linked with the Yasna of 72 chapters, which include the Gathas as we explain in our afterword. It consists almost exclusively of invitations to Ahura-Mazda and the good Genii and other Lords of Purity to be present at the ceremonies about to be performed. Thus the Vispered is a book of liturgical invocations recited for the most part by the priest alone during the performance of certain religious ceremonies during which the presence of the laity was neither required nor expected. The principal ceremonies had to do with the consecration of the Zaothra or holy water and with the preparation and consecration of the Haoma, or Soma, the sacred drink of the Hindus and Greeks. We should point out here that Haoma was not only a drink but also a most important personage in the old Iranian Mythology.
Much of what we find in the liturgy of every religion is entirely false, and based upon the non-understanding of the Wisdom of the real Teachers and great Messengers, who always spoke guardedly, even to the few chosen disciples, none of whom were on the same level of enlightenment as their Masters. We would remind you of the words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament here. "Unto you [the chosen disciples] it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables, that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them" (Mark 4:11-12). For this reason it is not difficult to imagine what happens when these disciples in turn pass on the little they have understood of the Teacher's words to their even less enlightened or illuminated followers. Thus, from the very moment the great Messenger ceases to speak, and answer all the questions put to him by his disciples, his work is on the downward path, until in the end there is so little left of the original Teachings that a new Messenger becomes necessary, or an old one returns once more to earth, so that a new Torch will be kindled, to spread a little more Light in this dark world. Thus it was in the times that Zarathustra taught and so it remains today and in times to come.
We must now turn our attention to the Yasna proper. This, as we explain in our afterword, is the chief liturgical work of the book and consists principally of praises and prayers. In chapter one mention is made of the Fravashis of various beings. Now, this word is generally rendered 'soul' or 'spirit' by the translators. Here we encounter a serious difficulty for what we call the Soul and Higher Mind are often mistaken for one another in the Zend Avesta. Hence we have to be very careful how we interpret Fravashi when we encounter it. Often (but not always) the context will provide a clue, such as in chapter 47 wherein the Fravashis of the pure, the strong, the mighty; the Fravashis who have true Faith, and the Fravashis of the nearest relations are mentioned. In this instance it is the Higher Mind that is meant.
Among the many prayers in the Yasna, the following six verses from chapter twelve may be used by anyone with profit.
I praise the well-thought, well-spoken, well-performed thoughts, words, and works.
I lay hold on all good thoughts, words and works.
I abandon all evil thoughts, words, and works.
I bring to you, O Amesha-Spentas (Holy Angels),
Praise and adoration,
With thoughts, words, and works, with heavenly mind, the vital strength of my body.
Chapter 26 contains a prayer to the Angels which contains the verse: "Of the Amesha-Spentas, the kings, beholding at will." We quote this as an example of the dangers of literal interpretation we referred to in our introduction. The word rendered 'kings' has been leaped on by generations of commentators, who think it means the rich and liberal, who — these wise pundits tell us — are, as it were, fountains at which the poor and needy may quench their desires. Of all the stupid interpretations of the many similar 'obscure' phrases in the book, this takes the biscuit for absurdity. If there ever were any 'rich' and 'liberal' kings who succoured the poor and needy we have yet to hear of them; such potentates invariably suck their subjects dry! The true interpretation of this verse is that the Amesha-Spentas consist of those great spiritual beings who are able to behold mankind and all things and conditions on earth whenever they wish to do so.
To revert to the point we made earlier when discussing Fravashis, in the same chapter we read: "We praise the place, the law, the consciousness, the souls [meaning Higher Minds], the Fravashis [which are here, the true Souls], of the pure men and women here" [meaning on earth]. Another possible explanation of the meaning of this verse, suggested by a writer long after Zarathustra, is that by 'consciousness' he means what we call the Soul; by 'soul' the Higher Mind, and by Fravashis the lower mind. It is often difficult to be sure what these people had in their minds, so we give you two versions in this instance. Writing so long after the revelation of the true Teachings, and after they had been lost again, that particular writer may have meant anything at all. Hence our previous warning about this misleading term. However, one thing we can be sure of, and that is that the real meaning of 'Fravashis' was lost fairly soon after the great Sage passed on to his well-earned rest. But yet another explanation is also possible, for the translators may have been wrong again for 'consciousness' in this instance is a translation of the word 'Baodho', or spiritual activity; Urvan, called here 'the soul', is really a word for 'will'; whilst Fravashi is often applied to that power which holds body and 'soul' together — and this is our old friend lower mind!
The next section of the Zend Avesta to be discussed is the Khorda-Avesta, which constitutes the remaining portion of the Sacred Books of the Parsees, and the title means: 'Little Avesta', consisting mainly of prayers and the so-called 'Yashts', or Invocations (see afterword). We would add here that all the parts of the Zend Avesta we have discussed so far were intended for the priesthood whereas the Little Avesta was intended for the use of the laity, and all the daily prayers are contained in it.
Among the many errors in this part of the book is the statement that the demons have no Fravashis. Demons as we have pointed out long ago in several of our articles are simply evil human beings, whether in the body or out of it. We would especially refer you to the many demons depicted in Symphonie Fantastique, none of whom are soulless. This most remarkable book is sadly neglected by many admirers of Dr Michaud's work for reasons best known to themselves. Perhaps this gentle admonition will encourage them to read it. In any event therein we read of the frightened demon Quaver who is rescued by Madelon who tells the devil Iambus: "If God permits I'll save at least one soul from you — and his name shall be Maxima in Heaven, for there he shall become a steady 'Note' of long duration and his brief and curtailed Quaver of fear shall be transposed into a lasting note of JOY in the never-fading light of eternal Goodness."
Hence we must enter the strongest possible objection to the dogma of soulless demons, for it is entirely untrue. All those who will be humans on earth, or have been, or are, no matter whether they were, are, or will be demons of the future, have the Higher Mind Principle in them. Now, you may object to this term in connection with demons, and there is something to be said for such an objection, for we are accustomed to regard the Higher Mind, or Fravashi, as a Principle of the Light, or at any rate as something higher than the lower mind. But we do not know of a better term for the Higher Mind of a demon, for, like the beings we call Angels, they are threefold, comprising body or lower mind, Higher Mind and Divine Soul. Perhaps we might resolve this contradiction by saying that the Higher Mind of a human being has in it the possibilities of evolving towards the Light and that the Higher Mind of a demon has in it the possibilities of evolving towards Darkness, though the reverse applies as well, as all have the free-will to gravitate to the Light or the Darkness. This is the best definition we can think of. But what a terrible road lies in front of those, who like the poor unfortunate demon Quaver whom Madelon befriended, dwell in darkness, yet feel an inner urge to forsake that great and terrible hell, and turn towards the Light! Pity those poor travellers, and should you ever meet one, which is more than possible, then help him all you can, for that is the sacred duty of the man or woman of Light.
The rest of the book contains all sorts of repetitions, and a number of prayers, such as a prayer to prevent the sport of Satan; a Lamp prayer; a Mountain prayer; a prayer on beholding water, or on seeing trees, and so on, none of which concern us for they are liturgical compositions bereft of any occult meaning. So we have reached the end of our discussion of the Zend Avesta, yet we hope that you have reaped some benefit and pleasure from this investigation, brief as it has necessarily been. That the book, fragmentary as it is, is one of the most remarkable of any ever written is beyond all doubt; at least to us. It contains more true Teachings than anything else we know, even the Bible, or the Vedas. Whether all this Wisdom comes from Atlantis as we suggested earlier does not really matter; the main thing is that the work has survived, however incomplete and fragmentary it may be. Let us, then, give thanks that God sent to earth such a Guide as Zarathustra, to aid and help us in our dire perplexities, that we may hearken to his holy message of Light and Love and liberate ourselves from further servitude on earth.
© Copyright occult-mysteries.org. Article published 12 March 2022.