The passing away of Zarathushtra
With the weight of seven and seventy years on his hoary head, Zarathushtra was seated in his oratory one summer morn, communing and conversing with his father in heaven, when the fell hand of Bratraresh fell upon his sacred person and he received his martyrdom by the sword of the Turanian.
The sepulchral silence of desolation and death descended on earth and rested, forsooth, on Airyana Vaeja, where the blessed one breathed his last. Nature now donned the dark funeral garb. Trees dropped their leaves as though untimely autumn had superseded summer. Flowers faded and withered like weeds and the sweet rose faded before it bloomed. The nightingale neglected wooing the rose and cared not to drink its sweet perfume. Listlessly lowing, the cattle crouched with tears running over their chins. The wind sobbed and sighed, moaned and wailed in sullen silence through the woods. Thus passed the dreary day.
Hvare Khshaeta's sinking sun shed his fiery tears on the horizon and died his daily death. The shades of the eventide deepened. The dark mantle of the night fell over the earth. The stars were invisible, for dismal and dark clouds had swallowed them. Darkness in hell that Viraf beheld was such as could be grasped by hand, he says. Such dense darkness now fell upon the unhappy earth.
Then, on a sudden, the weeping nature flung aside her brooding silence and the elements declared war upon man. The angels of earth and wind and water and fire expressed their wrath in thunder and lightning. They spoke through spears of Vazishta's lightning and thundered through the black, breaking clouds of Tishtrya. The storm that was sullenly brewing now broke in all its fury. The sky was overcast and the earth groaned and grumbled. The winds of Vayu howled and hissed and uprooted and rivened giant trees. Aloud did roar the thunder in the sky and onward it rolled. The rumble of the rain clouds convulsed the earth and the dark and disconsolate clouds wept bitter torrential tears and deluged the earth.
The angel hosts of Ahura Mazda sounded the trumpet call and Vayu's storm abated. The watchman of the night on high kindled a million myriad silvery candles in the sky. Then in the midst of the brilliance of the starlit sky came the bright and beautiful dawn flying on the white wings of peace and rest. A gentle wind from the regions of the south blew with fragrant perfumes. The sublime soul of the messenger of Mazda now winged its way to Garonmana to sit enthroned in the celestial council of the divine Judge.
Zarathushtra is deathless in death. He lives. When the men and women of birth and rank and valour of his day will be forgotten, when the names of his revilers and persecutors will be lost in oblivion, Zarathushtra's holy name will be revered and remembered with devotion and love till time without end. When everything all around will be dust and ashes, Zarathushtra's words will live.
Zarathushtra is even the same to us as was to our ancestors. He is our ideal today as he was to our fathers of old and as he will be to our children. He moulded the lives of our fathers and so may he mould and make our lives today and make our dear community patterned after his sublime life, Ahura Mazda.
This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.