The Religious Texts
The religious texts of Hinduism and Zorastrianism have several ideas, concepts and symbols in common.
The Sun symbolises Wisdom, Order and Truth in both religions. Its emblem, Fire, is a sacred witness at ritual ceremonies. Both in the Gathas of Zorastrianism (a collection of seventeen hymns that embody the core of the Zorastrianism faith) and the Vedas of Hinduism, the sun is worshipped as the primordial source of life and as the spiritual light. In Hinduism, Fire or Agni is used extensively for sacrificial purification.
The Cow is considered holy in both cultures. In Zorastrianism, cows represent not just cattle but all living, suffering things, the poor and the down trodden. According to the legend, only Zarathrushtra can save these marginalised creatures.
In one section of the Gathas, Creation itself is symbolised by the joy-giving cow. In Hinduism, the cow is sacred and regarded as a symbol of prosperity and plenty.
The linguistic similarities between Pahlavi and Sanskrit are startling.
The sacred word for power is mantra in Sanskrit and manthra in Pahlavi.
In Sanskrit, the word for milk is dugdha. In Pahlavi, the word for milk is dughdova which derives from Zarathrushtra`s mother who was a milkmaid named Dughdova.
The word for cow in Pahlavi was Gava or Guaush in ancient Persia., In India, the word is Gau or Gai.
Rishi is the Sanskrit word for a holy person or seer. In Pahlavi, Zarathrushtra calls himself Ereshi (Vedic rishi).
The words Devi and Asura, however, present an interesting reversal. Daevas in the Zend Avestha (the holy book of the Zoroastrians) are false gods. The Ahuras, the Persian gods of truth and justice became Asuras (evil demons) in post- vedic literature.
Amazing but true. So the next time Mrs. Sharma runs into Mrs. Mistry or Rohit runs into Cyrus or Neeta runs into Anahita, remember you`re more closely related than you think!