Also known as Zarthusht and as Spitama Zoroaster
circa 4000 bce [before the common era]

ZARATHUSTRA, also known as Zarthusht and Zoroaster, was the third of five sons. His mother was DUGHDHOVA (also known as DOGDO). His father was POURUSHASPA of the clan of Spitama. As a child, Zarathustra was taken care of by the spiritual teacher BURJIN-KURUS. He is said to have had three wives. His second wife was HUOVI (Havovi). He had three sons and three daughters. Among his sons were AUVARTAD-NAR and KHURSED-CHIHAR. His daughter by his first wife was POURUCISTA. Among his disciples were MAIDHYNIMAONHA (MEDHYOMAH), HUTAOS, ZAIN, ISFENDIR (ASPANDIAR), LOHRASP, ZARIR, JAMASP, CHANGRANGANCH, and VISHTASPA (GUSTASP), who was a king.

Zarathustra and Abraham were both incarnations of the Avatar, according to Meher Baba. The historians Plutarch and Diogenes believed Zarathustra lived 5000 years before the war of Troy (1184 bce). Plato and Aristotle dated him 6000 years before their time. Meher Baba said Zarathustra lived almost 6000 years ago, hence c.4000 bce.

According to Eruch Jessawala, Meher Baba explained that Abraham, who was a more recent incarnation of the Avatar, had a number of Zoroastrian followers who recognized him as the Prophet Zarathustra come again. Abraham was thus also called Zarathustra. Because of this, some historians believe there were two Zarathustras (some believe there were many Zarathustras). Historians generally date Zarathustra between 1400 and 500 bce, roughly 3000 years later than he actually lived. [See "Abraham and Moses" by John Page, Love Street Lamp Post, Apr.-June 1996, p. 20 ( KCB.]

"The light of Zarathustra has been extinguished by his followers themselves. His was the highest form of Sufism.

"If Zarathustra were born again in this material world, he would find it difficult to recognize his own religious tenets as practised by the present-day followers of his creed.

"The same is true of all religions. The Muslim mullas, Hindu pandits and Zoroastrian dastoors and Christian priests have mutilated the original religion for their own selfish ends."

Meher Baba, 8 October 1922, Juhu (Mumbai) LM2 p431
Another version: RD p93

Holy Zarathustra how much did he suffer for the world?
This Saviour's end came at the stroke of an enemy's sword . . .

The foundation of the Mazdiyasni religion was love.
The knot Zarathustra tied in the kusti is the bond of love.

Through love, Zarathustra proved the existence of Truth.
May Truth prevail in man's thoughts, words and deeds.

O Zarathustra, the Saviour, bestow love on your followers.
This is my prayer in the kingdom of Ahuramazd.

27 January 1939, Mathura/Gokul/Vrindavan, LM7 p2374

Perfection includes all perfections, but there is no need to express them.

Krishna was perfect spiritually. That means he was perfect in everything. But he never showed his perfection materially, because the material manifestation of perfection has no meaning, and is in the realm of illusion.

He could have shown himself a perfect drunkard, a perfect sinner, a perfect rogue. But that would have shocked the world. So he did not express that. He was a perfect drunkard, perfect sinner, perfect rogue, perfect in everything. He must have been, because he was, above all, perfect God.

Meher Baba, 1924? India, RD p306
(part of a poem written by Baba,
roughly translated into English)

Mazdiyasni = Zoroastrian
kusti = sacred thread of Zoroastrians
Ahuramazd = impersonal God

"Were someone to ask me who is greater, personal or impersonal God, Tukaram or Bhagwan, Zarathustra or Ahuramazd, Jesus or God the Father, I would definitely answer that Tukaram, Zarathustra and Jesus are greater.

"In fact, they are the greatest of the great, because by being a Sadguru or the Avatar they render infinite service to the universe, and suffer infinitely by taking upon themselves the burden of the world's infinite amount of sanskaras. Undoubtably a conscious divine person such as Tukaram or Zarathustra, compared to the unconscious Bhagwan or Ahuramazd (formless God) is definitely greater.

"Zarathustra was actually God in human form, an Avatar. In order to work in creation, he had to come down as man among illiterate, fanatical and hot-tempered humanity. Had Zarathustra told them to worship him, they would have denounced, harassed and murdered him. They would have thought him an enormous egotist and absolutely crazy.

"So he taught them to pray to formless God. But in reality, by worshiping formless God, they were worshiping him. And consequently they gained the impression that Ahuramazd was greater than Zarathustra, which was wrong."

Meher Baba, 27 May 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p802
Another version: SW p281

"The prayer books of all the religions, the Avesta of the Parsis, the Koran of the Muslims, the Bible of the Christians, the Vedas of the Hindus, and all other religious books are long treatises, and have nothing to do with the Truth.

"Zarathustra taught that you must burn your heart in love of God, and the dasturs thereafter changed the meaning of it and altered it to mean burning externally with sandalwood. The religious dogmas and doctrines of the Kusti and other prayers in the Avesta all have been changed from time to time.

"Take one name sincerely, lovingly, devotedly for a few minutes, without the thought of anything else, and that is worth more than hours of mechanical prayers.

"Zarathustra had fourteen disciples to whom he gave God-realisation. Thereafter there was only one God-realized disciple, and from him the knowledge and experience of God enlightened the community for 700 years. This knowledge came down from father to son.

"The last true dastur was Azar Kaivan. Ever since, there have been false priests among the Zoroastrians who have given their own versions of the Avesta. From that period until today there has been no Realised saint among the Zoroastrians. Whatever religious books the Zoroastrians have today are the works of those dasturs, and not of Zarathustra. However, to his special fourteen disciples he gave real knowledge and experience, and to the world he gave a way of life.

"As changes were made by the dasturs in the teachings of Zarathustra, so were similar changes made by the priests in Christ's Bible and Muhammad's Koran. Sometimes these changes came about inadvertently. Members of the Avatar's Circle would go out to different parts of the world and address masses of people. These lectures would be taken down by scribes, and later attributed to the Avesta, Bible, Koran and the Vedas. As time passed, the changes became so complete that the original teachings were lost.

"I therefore once again repeat that instead of wasting your time on religious discussions, reading and listening to doctrines and dogmas of different religions, love God and think of God. Meditation, concentration, and the creation of a feeling of love in the heart are the essence and substance of all religions. All else is illusion.

"The alphabet is taught to the beginner with a view to making him master of the language. But if the student merely learns the alphabet, and does not make an effort to form words, he has learned nothing. Similarly, if an aspirant sticks to religious doctrines and dogmas, he will never achieve his ultimate aim, realisation of the Truth. God and Truth are far above religions."

7 February 1928, Meherabad, to Abbas Ali
and two dasturs (Parsi priests), BG p1-3

Another version of the same explanation:

"Zarathustra had fourteen disciples whom he Realized. There was one whom he Realized after the fourteen. From him the knowledge and experience of God descended from father to son for 700 years.

"After that, the last one, Dastoor Azer Kaiwan, was false, and obtained the sacred seat and started collecting money. Those who followed him decreed as they thought. After them, until the present, there has been no Realized person among the Zoroastrians.

"Whatever religious books the Zoroastrians have now got are books of these false dastoors, and not of Zarathustra. Zarathustra taught and gave out gems of truth, gems of Sufism, but they are not known to the people. There were tremendous changes in the doctrines set down by Zarathustra made by the false dastoors.

"So my best advice to you is to create love for God. Earn something in my contact. Otherwise, if you spend your time in discussions on religious doctrines and dogmas, it will take you nowhere toward Truth. It is all rigamarole, and will waste your precious time, which might better be used in thinking of God, meditating and creating love. Love is the sum and substance of all religions, and the only essential of all creeds. Leave the rigamarole alone.

"For example, this alphabet board which I use may be given to a child to make him begin the ABCs. But if he merely learns the alphabet without any efforts at proceeding further, he will learn practically nothing. It is the same in religion. The shariat, doctrines and dogmas are given as a preliminary beginning, like the alphabet, to reach the ultimate aim of the realization of the Truth. After one learns to master the fundamentals, one advances. But if a person merely sticks to religious ceremonies and rituals, and believes that religion is that alone, then he does not advance at all. God and Truth are far, far above shariat, doctrines and dogmas, ceremonies and rituals."

Meher Baba, 7 February 1928, Meherabad,
to two Parsi priests, LM3 p1020

"Prophet Zarathustra lived some six thousand years ago. His Master was a Hebrew. But what the world knows about the religion that came from him is practically nothing. All these Zoroastrian rites, rituals and ceremonies have come down from the dastoors (priests) and Zarathustra's followers, who began them centuries after his death.

"For example, those ornaments of the Zoroastrian religion, the sadra and kusti, are the outcome of the preachings of the dastoors centuries after Zarathustra's advent. The sadra and kusti have no connection with his teachings. They are nothing but after-creations. I am revealing to you the absolute truth.

"Zarathustra was the greatest Sufi. He was the father of Sufism, and its very foundation owes its creation to him. Sufism began with Zarathustra and ended with Muhammad."

Meher Baba, 7 August 1929, Harvan, Kashmir, LM4 p1196

"On the day of Jarthoshtno-diso many Parsis fervently pray, 'May the soul of Zoroaster rest in peace.' Surely these Parsis are utterly ignorant of the spiritual position of their Prophet, or are impudent to the last degree. No greater insult can be hurled at Yezdan Zoroaster than by offering such a prayer."

Meher Baba, before 1933, Sa p12

"The Shah Nameh [a Zoroastrian holy book] is almost total fiction. Zoroastrianism is very old, almost 6000 years. The reigns of the famous kings Jal, Rustom and Jamshed, were before Zarathustra, almost 100,000 years ago. Who could authentically document such ancient history?

"Religion as the Parsis practice it today has nothing in it. All the original teachings of Zarathustra were buried and destroyed. Hence what they have is an afterthought, and quite different from what Zarathustra actually said and taught. It is a pity, but true."

Meher Baba, 5 January 1931, Meherabad, LM4 p1352

"At the time of Zarathustra, humanity was hesitant and lacked equilibrium. They were neither complete materialists nor really attracted towards the spiritual light. He taught them to be good householders, to marry, and abstain from desiring the wife of another, and to worship God. His own life was based on this principle: good thoughts, good words and good actions. Zarathustra was married."

Meher Baba, before April 1940 MJ 2:6 p354-355, also HM p443

"Zarathustra gave the masses shariat, as in those days they could well understand good thoughts, good words and good deeds. He did not say in clear words, 'Act, and don't care about the result,' since they would not have been able to accept it."

Meher Baba, 17 May 1943, Meherabad, LM8 p2887
A more complete version of this quote is in the chapter  
The Avatar

Index - Incarnations of the Avatar