THE STORY OF GOD: Robert Winston explains Zoroastrianism

THE STORY OF GOD: Robert Winston explains Zoroastrianism
by Darius Kadivar

Historian Robert Winston takes a look at the origines of the first and most ancient monotheist religion. 

Zoroastrianism Or Zarthushti is a very Old Faith in Iran.Many believe. Justice day and resurrection came from this religion to Judaism and Christianity. Robert Winston speaks about Zoroastrianism and (Zarathushtra) a prophet of Zoroastrianism.

The Story of God:

Dr. Farhang Mehr ( prominent Zoroastrian and former minister of education under Pahlavi rule) questions President Khatami on the predicament of his community in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Boston University 1990's:


more from Darius Kadivar

We should embrace the good

by MikeThomson on

We should embrace the good in our past and reject the bad. It is just
being stubborn to refuse to acknowledge the bad in our past. I reject
the cruelty inherent in Islam from its inception. I have studied life of
Muhammad and the Quoran. I base my opinion on historical facts not
emotion. I am not going to repeat all the fact that are well known and
easily accessible. Anyone who want is able to read about Islamic
practices and decide on their own whether they want it to be their path


Note: this is Zoroastrianism through and through

by Nur-i-Azal on

…For the Imams, bara’a (or tabarri) is the indispensable complement to, and opposite of, walaya (or tawalli). If we translate walaya (or tawalli) by “faithful, tender love” of the Imam, then bara’a (or tabarri) would be “wild, implacable hatred” of the Enemy of the Imam. We should be simultaneously mindful of everything that involves this opposition of “Imam/enemy of the Imam” or “the imams’ faithful believers/the partisans of the imams’ adversaries,” as well as all the corresponding pairs of opposites: the Hiero-Intelligence (‘aql) and those of the counterpowers of ignorance (jahl), the battle waged between the two from before the beginning of the creation of the physical world, the People of the Right and those of the Left, the People of Paradise and those of Hell, the continuation of the universal battle throughout the cycles of sacred history between the Imams and their faithful, on the one side, and the adversaries of the Imams and their partisans on the other, the Guides of Justice and the Guides of Injustice (a’immat al-‘adl/ a’immat al-jawr), the Guides of the Good and those of Evil (a’immat al-khayr/a’immat al-sharr), the Guides of Light and those of Darkness (a’immat al-nur/a’immat al-zalam), the initiated Masters and their disciples as opposed to the counter-initiated and their masters, the People of the exoteric and the esoteric as opposed to those of the exoteric alone, and so on. According to the Imams, one cannot fully love the Imam and his Cause without simultaneously hating the Enemy opposed to him and to his Cause since the time of creation; the “believer” who is faithful to the Imams should pledge Love and Obedience to the Master who initiates him into the Divine Sciences, and hatred and disobedience to him who stands for the opposite of this Initiation. If the world is the way it is, invaded by evil and darkness that will only increase until the triumphal return of the Mahdi, it is because the Masters of Injustice and the mass majority (‘amma) that follows them is dominant, condemning the Sages and the chosen minority (khassa) that follows them to isolation and suffering…

From Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi. The Divine Guide in Early Shi’ism: The Sources of Esotericism in Islam (Trans.) David Streight (SUNY: Albany, 1993) 87-88.



by Nur-i-Azal on

Hatred of the lie and untruth is an article of faith in Shi'ism, as it was in Zoroastrianism as well. In Shi'ism it is called Tabarri'.

As such I confess to despising Bahaism, fundamentalist Islamism and the entire foundation of the IRI and what it represents because I love the Truth, I love Asha Zarathushtra and the Fravashis, I love the Ahl-i-Bayt and I love the Bab and Subh-i-Azal, because I love the NUR Who is the Eternal Fatima! That indeed is my creed and my pride.



From Zoroaster to Baha'ullah

by hooshie on

For an authoritative and scholarly work on this subjetc please read theseminal book written by the great Italian and Bahai Iranologist the late Professor Alessandro Bausani:

Religion in Iran: From Zoroaster to Baha'ullah


Also by the same author and Dr Mojan Momen:

An Introduction to Shi'i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism







Mr. Nur a Baha'i?

by capt_ayhab on

Stand corrected sir, Mr. Nur is no Baha'i, Only a Baha'i hater.

Your are welcome Mr. Nur ;)




by capt_ayhab on

R. C. Zaehner, The Teachings of the Magi, London, 1956,
p. 101

The name is also mentioned in the Avesta Frawardin Yasht: which translates literally to: We worship the Fravashi of the holy Atare-pata.

Solomon Alexander Nigosian, The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research, Published by McGill-Queen's University Press
- MQUP, 1993, ISBN 077351144X, p. 17.

Sources of the same period and the same region of historical Persia
consider Azerbaijan as the birth place of Zarathustra.

-YT <<< Azari


Me, a Baha'i? LOL! On contributions of Persian Islamicate

by Nur-i-Azal on

I am to Bahaism what Salman Rushdie is to Islam. Dig? They call me a murtad (apostate), and I wear such designation by them as a personal badge of honor!

A civilization that built art and architecture such as the mosques in Isfahan, Mashhad and elsewhere is a civilization that is divine. A civilization that produced literary figures of the calibre of 'Attar, Hafiz, Mowlana and thousands similar is a civilization that is divine. A civilization that produced philosophers and scientists of the rank of Abu Rayhan Biruni, Abu Ali Sina, Abu Zakarriya Razi, Sohravardi and thousands similar is a civilization that rivals the greatest the world has ever seen and will ever see!

To destroy, reject, deprecate or otherwise put down this culture, yes, is fascism because it is kulturkampf. It is akin to the Nazis attempting to de-Semitize their culture and Germany of the influence and presence of Jews who had been in Germany as a culture for almost 1000 years before Adolf and his thugs showed up on the scene! The thinking and reasoning of contemporary Iranian anti-Arabist anti-Islam pre-Islamic Persian revivalists is exactly the same, and the Iranian conspiracy theorist in me says that this regime was brought to power by dubious forces on the outside  precisely to facilitate this end under the (questionable) garb of Islam!

But because of this un-Islamic theocracy it has become fashionable for Iranians in exile to think emotionally and so uncritically about the greater issues involved in understanding the bigger picture of what the Persian Islamicate civilization is all about, especially its massive, inestimable contributions to Iranian and Persian civilization,  and so to who we are today. It has also become an argumentative tack to close all ears and eyes to evidence. Be that as it may, this is exactly the flip side of the coin of what the mullahs themselves did in the so-called Culture Revolution (enqelab-i-farhangi) because it is the same sort of ideological malady but just wearing a different garb.

Note my Prophets are Asha Zarathushtra, Muhammad and the Essence of the Seven Letters! To me, the third name in there is both Zarathushtra and Muhammad in One Person, and this is the meaning (ma'na) of the heart of Iran to me. This is also, among other reasons, why I call my own personal religion NUR.

VPK: unless you know classical Arabic, you would have digested next to nothing of the sublimity of the Qu'ran, let alone understood any of it, just like without Avestan most people have barely scratched the surface of what the Mazdaean faith is really talking about. I don't say this to insult or put you down. I am pointing out a fact here, and a crucial one.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Nur Jan

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I respectfully disagree. To me all religions are most definitely not the same. The world is full of people coming up with religions. In recent times these include Scientology; Moonies religion and so on. The only difference is that some are new and some are old. Just being old or having a large following does not make a religion divine. It is the message that matters. I have read the Gathas and I have read Quoran. These are not the same philosophy. Not remotely so. True, some of the much later parts of Avesta such as Vandidad bear resemblance to Islamic tradition. But I would hardly call Vandidad the basis of Zarthoshti religion. 

We should embrace the good in our past and reject the bad. It is just being stubborn to refuse to acknowledge the bad in our past. I reject the cruelty inherent in Islam from its inception. I have studied life of Muhammad and the Quoran. I base my opinion on historical facts not emotion. I am not going to repeat all the fact that are well known and easily accessible. Anyone who want is able to read about Islamic practices and decide on their own whether they want it to be their path. 

By the way I am not bypassing our history. I want to learn from it: both the good and the bad. However I refuse to embrace the bad and will not follow it. If that means going off the beaten track then so be it. Maybe someone needs to beat a new track. In this case it is going to a very old long forgotten track.

Lastly, I find the charge of "fascism" quite unacceptable and reject it out of hand. There is nothing fascistic about honoring the good in our past and rejecting the bad. This charge is frequently used by some to silence people who criticize Islam. It may work against Westerners who bear a cultural guilt since WWII. It does not work against me since I have no such guilt.

Best of Regards,



Zartosht an Iranian Prophet

by zamyad on

What a beautiful religion. Nur ul Azal(ugly arabic name), you being a Bahai, unfortunately have to support Mohammad the chil rapist as your religion is a continuation of the Tazi religion of Saudi Arabia.

Advice to all Bahais, drop the arabic culture your religion cultivates in you like yor greetings Allah o abba or Jamal e this and that.

Some poor Zartoshti peasernts from Yazd who have converted to Bahaism were asked to change their beautiful persian name to arabic names like Ezzatollah, Azeezullah etc. Its a shame.

Bahais are Internationalist first and Iranian second and thats the irony.


VPK. Zarathushtra & Muhammad

by Nur-i-Azal on

A phenomenon like Shihabuddin Sohravardi would completely disagree with you, and point out that wholsesale rejection is just another species of the very problem you're decrying. We don't need to reject 1400 years of our collective memory because of the nature of corrupt political and ecclesiastical power. We need to transmute the negative of this 1400 year history while keeping the good. In other words, we need to be simultaneously inclusive of the shared Mazdaean as well as the shared Islamic heritage of our people and its collective memory. To do anything else is to seriously go off the beaten track and get even more lost. Bypassing histories or whitewashing them is a project persued by cultural sanitizers and political fascists. The IRI did it in its own context, and look where that got us. Besides Iranian Islamic (or Islamicate) civilization is Zoroastrianism in an Abrahamic garb, anyway, which is what a Sohravardi would immediately point out. 

Asha Zarathushtra and Muhammad (sws) must be honored together, not one rejected over the other. Herein is where the patent failure of the mullahs (and totalitarian thinking in general) lies, and herein is precisely where we need to learn from such myopia and misguided cultural knee-jerkisms.



Veiled prophet

by mullah-kosh on

Very well said! You are truly a prophet of Khorasan. Wasn't Zartosht from the greater khorasan area?



I enjoyed this. Thanks.

by Gavazn on

I enjoyed this. Thanks.


To Theosopher

by Nur-i-Azal on

Please see my comment to you on the blog, here.

Great blog, Darius. The book is even better!



thanks DK and VPK - great video and comment

by MM on




by Theosopher on

Religions are all well designed (yet twisted/deformed) systems of ideas (ideologies) emanating from the Center of Consciousness of Existence in the unfolding New Program of Creation to fulfil the purposes of the undergoing program.

 They are all sweet and bitter at the same time. The sweet side of each and every religion is their ontological/aeschatological attempts to explain Existence/Truth, albeit their shortcomings and deformities.

Enjoyed the first video.






Enjoyed it very much,

by Rea on

.... part 1, that is. :)

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


The Zartoshti religion was probably the greatest gift to the Iranian/Persian people. It was the inspiration for all the good governance of the Hakhamaneshies. The loss of original Avest after the fall of Persia to Alexander was a great tragedy. 

The original writings never really got recovered. The Sassanids recovered some but much of it got changed due to time. In addition influence of clergy did not help. The real blow came with the coming of Islam. 

That robbed us of much of our identity and generated a schism that remains to this day. It took until the Safavids for Islam to really take root. It was the utter barbarity of Safavids that forced this on us. They managed to even out do the Arabs. 

But fortunately we has also managed to preserve a lot of it. Our celebrations; beleifs and much of our habits  go directly back to Zoastoshi days. From the belief in "Pol e Sarat" to the concept of "saviour" these all come from Zarthoshti times.

To find ourselves we need to look back at where we came from and how we got here. Forget about Ashura and Tasua and Ali and Hossain. Think of Gordafarid and Siavash to find the real Iranian in you. 

When you go to Iraq do not visit Navaf or Karbala instead look to Ctesiphon and Tage Karsa. Remember the past and learn from it. Until we find our past we are going to be a lost people. Searching for meaning in wrong place.


DK jan

by AsteroidX on

Loved this informative blog. Thanks for posting it.