When he was thirty years old, one early morning, he went to fetch some water from the river. It was around dawn. The sky had just turned color and the sun was about to rise. As he had gone into the waters of the river, Vohu Mana (the angel of the Good Mind) appears to him, and opens the portal to the Divine Light of Ahura Mazda. This was the first moment of Illumination and the first Revelations of Zarathushtra.
In his vision, he perceived Ahura Mazda as the Wise Lord of Creation, and the six emanations of Ahura Mazda, the Amesha Spentas as the guardians and artisans of this physical world. He perceived the laws upon which the universe operated, and understood the inter-relationship between Ahura Mazda, the Amesha Spentas, and the Creation.
Perhaps we try to personify these images and abstract notions, and try to think of them as angels, but in truth, Zarathushtra understood them as the abstract notions that they were.
After his illumination, Zarathushtra wanted to share his acquired wisdom with the world, yet he did not know where to start. He made a decision to invite all his family and relatives to listen to his teachings. And then in a family gathering, he explained his understandings to them.
When he finished explaining, his cousin, Maedyoimaha, decided to join him, and became the first follower of his teachings. And his wife Hvovi also embraced his teachings becoming his second follower. His children, one by one, decided to accept his philosophy as their way of life. (According to another record, it took his cousin ten years before he accepted to follow Zarathushtras teachings and become his first convert.)
Zarathushtra then decided to share his teachings with his fellow citizens. When he started teaching others in the street of the city, he met with a deeply rooted resistance from the priests, who had based their entire life and livelihood on the old religions. Zarathushtra tried many different techniques, and every time he met with renewed opposition and greater resistance. In fact, over the next twelve years, he only managed to win 22 people over to his philosophy, including his wife and children, and his first disciple, his cousin.
Having met such frustration, and such vehement opposition from the rulers and priests of his own land, he decided to leave his homeland for other countries. He then mobilized his followers, and the group of 23 people started their migration.
To whichever land they came, and in whatever city that stayed, he tried to teach others about his philosophy, yet in every place they met with predictable opposition, partly due to the self-interested preemptive strikes of the rulers and priests, and partly because of the ignorance of the people, and their unwillingness to change.
Finally, they had heard that a of the King of a nearby country, King Vishtaspa, was a wise and just man and if there was one person in the whole world who might be open to listen to new teachings, it would be him. And they set off in that direction.
© Shahriar Shahriari
This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.