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Understanding Zoroastrianism as Nowruz approaches to be celebrated by Parsis in India on March 20
In India, Nowruz will be celebrated by the followers of Zoroastrianism, the Parsi community, on March 20, at 9.45 pm as their New Year. This is also the time to revisit the ancient philosophy of Zoroastrianism propounded by Prophet Zoroaster.

Zoroaster was an ancient Iranian-speaking prophet in the ancient Persian region whose teachings got developed into the religion of Zoroastrianism which was more considered as a way to life. Many historians have estimated it to be in practice prominently since about 3000 years ago by a large population in ancient Persia. However, most of the followers of Zoroastrianism converted to Islam when invaded by the Muslims.

Prophet Zoroaster describes the human condition as the mental struggle between the truth and the falsehood. The cardinal concept of pursuit and realisation of the truth is at the foundation of all Zoroastrian doctrines. The deity Ahura Mazda is seen as the representation of the truth of creation, existence and condition for free will.

The precept of human 'free will' emphasizes the freedom of the individual to choose right or wrong and individual responsibility for one's deeds and thoughts. This personal choice to accept the truth as the divine order and shun ignorance and chaos as the falsehood is one's own decision and not a dictate of Ahura Mazda deity.

According to Zoroastrianism, by imbibing good thoughts, saying good words, and doing good deeds to others, we increase this divine force of the Truth in the world and in ourselves. In other words, by realising the divine order of the Truth, we get a step closer on the everlasting road to being one with the Creator.

Thus, Zoroastrianism believes merely worshipping Ahura Mazda is not enough, but by exercising free will or a personal choice to be His co-strivers, we must refresh the world and ourselves.

The purpose of human life, as understood by me by revisiting Zoroastrianism, is being summarised as an ABC verse as follows.

A: Avoiding falsehood to attain and sustain the Truth

B: Being good in thoughts, words and actions to get closer to the Truth

C: Cultivating a spontaneous habit of self-reflection for rational ethics or wisdom

D: Deity of wisdom to be installed within

E: Exercising free will is unique to humans to pursue the Truth

Many philosophers and scholars have found that some features of Zoroastrianism have influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam. Many philosophers find Zoroastrianism close to Vedic philosophy.

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