Temptation of Zarathushtra



In his empire of evil, Angra Mainyu, the Evil Spirit, laid a wager that whoso of the host of hell successfully tempted Zarathushtra to his fall would be raised high in rank in the region of darkness. Buiti, the adept in the art of luring man to apostasy, took it. With a hundred devices and mischievous machinations he endeavoured to lure Zarathushtra from his constancy, but failed ignominiously. The prophet of Ahura Mazda frightened him out of his wits. Foiled in his mission, howling in terror did Buiti flee from the blessed one and precipitately took to his heels towards hell.

Burning with wrath and jealousy, Angra Mainyu resolved to wreak vengeance upon the messenger of Mazda. With sweet and beguiling voice of temptation, he accosted Zarathushtra and told him, with cunning smile on his lips, that a mere man was he, born of human parents and hopelessly incapable of withstanding his onslaughts. He, on his part, would award him with wealth that defied calculation and give him the sovereignty of the world if, in his turn, he renounced the faith of Ahura Mazda. Unto him did retort Zarathushtra that neither for the riches of the world, nor for the love of his life, nor if his breath were torn away, would he desist from the good Mazdayasnian religion.

The king of the world of wickedness, thereupon, let loose his legions of demons to assail Zarathushtra, but found him to be an impregnable rock, not to be moved. The holy one humbled them all in the dust and scattered them in flight. Howling and weeping, headlong to hell did they huddle.

Zarathushtra stupefied Angra Mainyu. The Evil Spirit groveled before Zarathushtra and crouched in abject servility to him. With heart-rending agony he bewailed and cried that Zarathushtra accomplished what all the heavenly Yazatas together were unable to do. He alone of all men, though earthy of earth, baffled him and his infernal crew.

Life, my Lord, is struggle with temptation. Temptation rages all around me and all throughout my life. Temptation compels me not. Victim of my weakness and ignorance willingly I succumb to its beguilement and allow it to drag me down from the pedestal of honor to the degradation of shame.

Let me not yield to temptation, Ahura Mazda. Let not the mettle of my heart melt before the fire of temptation. Let not my power of resistance to temptation be weakened. Let not temptation corrupt my morals. Let it not overcome me. Strengthen me to control and subdue my unruly passions that I may not fall an easy prey to temptation. Enable me to steel myself to fight temptation. When temptation assails me, give me courage, Ahura Mazda, to fight it and vanquish it and tread it beneath my feet, even as was done in his day by Zarathushtra.


Obviously here, Dastur Dhalla is using a mythical story to make a point about the power of choice when faced with temptations in life. He is illustrating Zarathushtra's resolve to defy the devil himself, and never to run astray, even if the price to pay is life itself. In other words, goodness transcends life itself, or put another way, devoide of goodness, life becomes worthless.

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This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.