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Home > History of religion > Zoroastrianism > Origin of Zorastrianism
Origin of Zorastrianism
Vedic Hinduism was believed to be the oldest form of religion till very recently. But this view does not seem to be correct in the present time.zarathustra Even at the time of Rgveda, there were at least the Dasas/Dasyus who racially differed much from the Aryans, and certainly much more in their religious theories and practices. The Dasas/Dasyus had a god different from Indra and were linga-worshippers. They did not believe in the custom of animal-sacrifice and had rituals quite different from those of the Vedic Aryans.

It is not possible to know much at present about the Dasas and Dasyus. But certainly, we find Ajivikism, Jainism and Buddhism as three religions which did not share the Vedic Aryan religion called Brahminism which accepted the Vedas as the only religious scripture for it, and, keeping to the caste maintained the excellence and supremacy of the Brahmins over all other castes and people. The non-Vedic religions ef Ajivikism, Jainism and Buddhism did not accept the Vedas as their holy books and did not have castes.

Islam, later on appeared in India and also in Middle East Asia where Hinduism and Buddhism had considerable following. Many races other than the Aryans had entered India before the advent of Islam. They were all absorbed in the Indian people. When the Persian, Turks and the Buddhists converted into Islam, the Buddhists had to face a different kind of situation. When they wanted to return to Hinduism, they were accepted only as the Shudras and at times as outcastes. Many of the so-called Shudras and outcastcs took to Shaivisi-n and Vaisnavisin where there was no caste arid which were really non-Aryan cults. Nothing proves the fact that Jainism and Buddhism ever subscribed to Vedic sacrifioes, Vedic deities or caste.

They are parallel and native religions of India and have contributed much to the growth of even classical Hinduism of the present time. Neo-Buddhists are at present a remnant of Buddhismzarathustra But most of the Buddhists have taken the form of Kabirapanth, Natha-Sampradaya and the like. Sikhs belong to a different foreign race and these days they reuse to be called `Hindus`. Nonetheless, their faith doesnot differ from a wider definition of Hinduism. A person is called a Hindu who believes in the four pillars of Karma, Bhakti, Gyana, Mukti . It is this definition which separates the Hindus from the other types of religions called Prophetic religions of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Due to the invasion of Arabs and the destruction of the Iranian libraries, there are neither reliable sources available to indicate the time Zarathustra lived, nor are there any detailed information about the place where he worked. Some researchers believe that Zarathustra has been living about six hundred to one thousand years before the Christ. However, today some other researchers estimate the life of Zarathustra up to four thousand years before the birth of Christ.

The birth and living place of Zarathustra is not also certain, but some historians suppose that he has been living in one of the Khorasan cities, like Neishapour, Harat, or Balkh. It can be deduced from Gatha, the Divine Songs of Zarathustra, written by him that since he was persecuted by some of his contemporary theologians and religious traders, he escaped his birthplace and appealed to one of the sovereigns of his time, called King Goshtasb. The king was impressed by Zarathustra`s teachings and followed him.
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