Thoughts on “the One True Zoroastrianism”

When I first became a Zoroastrian, I was really obsessed with practicing a “true Zoroastrianism”, a singular pure form of the faith that I imagined had been lost through the vagaries of time. This, I learned through continual study (academic and not) and experience, was a fallacy I had imported through my own previous religious experiences and even my upbringing which emphasized following a singular and exclusive path.

The reality is that the trap is encoded in the English language because Zoroastrianism implies only one singular teaching and tradition while Mazdayasna, the more accurate name for our tradition, does not and actually implies diversity of thought focused on one singular factor: the worship of Mazda.

Therefore, I now definitely approach our wonderful and vast tradition with a generous, accepting, and multifaceted lens due to the fact that, historically, there has never been one singular Mazdayasna. Rather, it exists as an umbrella reality, a big tent where we hold some touchstones in common (Zarathushtra, the Gathas, etc.) with a vast adaptability and flexibility that has allowed us to survive no matter where we are and through any calamity. We are stronger through our diversity than we are weaker and, as we will see once we open the gates of conversion even wider, we are also enriched massively by that diversity especially when we sit down and discuss and learn from each other with open minds united by Vohu Manah and Asha towards Ahura Mazda and the eternal teachings for all conscious beings.

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