Webinar – Timeless Zoroastrian Legacy
The need for human rights is now greater than ever. Many of you are aware of the greatest ancient Persian Dynasty-The Achaemenian dynasty -started by Cyrus the Great, followed by his successors Darius the great, Xerxes and Arta Xerxes. All of them are highly revered in the Hebrew Bible. They ruled as super powers, ruling 44 % of the world’s population, and have left an indelible, timeless Zoroastrian legacy on History and Civilization that has globally shaped world democracies, human rights, piety, and equality through History. They were millennia ahead as benevolent emperors. Their ancient administration, based on the highest Zoroastrian practices of Asha, have served as a foundation for constitutions across Europe and the United States.
You know the deep and sad fissures within our community. We stand on burning platforms pelting pejoratives to our fellow humdins followed by social ostracization. I have witnessed this with sadness and concern having lived in the U.S. for the last forty years. It is no different in Mumbai and India.
Recently, in one of our association meetings in California, our community youth voiced concern of relating Zoroastrian doctrine in simple terms to their college/school peers. This set me on a path of rich discovery of our great Zoroastrian legacy, which the Western Historians have utterly failed to highlight. Further, we as elders, have not been diligent enough in pointing out this Great Zoroastrian Legacy to our youth. For example, why is a Replica of Cyrus the Great Cylinder, the greatest icon of human freedom, displayed proudly in the United Nations Building in New York? Just that reference along with the notable references in the Bible is ample evidence to explain the Zoroastrian doctrine of noble deeds.
So come, let us share our timeless Zoroastrian legacy that really unites us much more than it divides us. I would earnestly request our precious and smart youth to watch these 3 discussions I will be sharing, with pride.
Fellow Zarathushtis “Proud to be a Parsi,” will really resonate with your soul. Especially our youth who will be inspired (hopefully) to carry on our torch into posterity.
1st Discussion Presentation
The Cyrus cylinder and Human Rights. Prophecies of Cyrus in the Bible.
- With All Zoroastrian practices of Asha and virtues of Amesaspands
- This presentation will discuss how Human rights was pioneered by Cyrus.
- Cyrus Tablet
- Cyrus was the “anointed one” by God
- His prophecy was made in the Bible 150 years before he captured Babylon,
- Set the Jewish slaves free and returned them to Jerusalem
- Allowed Jews to practice their own religion.
- Cyrus followed by rules of Darius, Xerxes and Arta Xerxes
- Cyrus 23 times, Darius 25, Xerxes 14, and Arta Xerxes 11 times in the Bible.
- Cyrus is also highly praised in sura verses of the KORAN as “Dhul Karnyan.”
- Presentation ends how the Three Maggi’s (ancient high Zoroastrian priests)
- Blessed Baby Jesus
My interest in our Daena started in 1984, after moving to the U.S by receiving a religious newsletter “The Mazdayesnie Connection” every two months from my religious mentor and teacher Sillloo Mehta. Soon, I started attending her religious weekend classes and my interest grew exponentially. These were greatly fortified by frequent visits of late Vada Dasturji K.N. Dastur who held 3-4 days religious “Master Camps” every two or three years. He always stayed with Silloo. In 1993, I was able to get an audience with then U.S. congressman Ed Royce to provide him the evidence of copious mention of Cyrus the Great and The Achaemanian Dynasty in the Old Bible as the “anointed one of God,” pioneering the first Human rights in History. Based on that evidence the Hon. Congressman, after due process, was very pleased to issue a Proclamation which stated “The immense and timeless contribution of the Zoroastrian community to Human Rights, Democracy, History and Civilization.” He was also pleased to forward “The Dawn of consciousness,” a video made by Silloo, on basic understanding of the Zoroastrian religion, to the Library of Congress. It was readily accepted and placed in the Congress Library by the Chief Librarian. I was also appointed to the Hon. Congressman’s advisory sub-committee on Human rights and South-East Asia following the 9/11 tragedy in 2001.
I have listened to the 3 sessions my friend Sam Billimoria delivered over Zoom to our Zoroastrian community in Southern California. All I can say is ……it was an eye opener for me. I did not have a clue of how our forefathers influenced people around the whole world from time memorial in the most positive way. I have heard lots of people talk on our religion but no one touched the core message that Sam has delivered. This message and knowledge needs to be propagated amongst our youth. In USA & CANADA we have lots of religious Zoroastrian organizations which have never taken time to bring out this message that we can all relate to. Kudos to Sam and all who helped him bring this to light. We need this information to be on all our Associations home page not just here but across India, Pakistan, UK, Australia, NZ…..
Excellent Information of our Zorastriasm. PARSIS OF WORLD should unite on one Platform to increase awareness of our religion to our Parsi youth so that Zorastriasm flame shines for ever and no or minimum Inter caste Marriage.
Thanks for sharing.
I have gone through Mr. Sam Billimoria’s presentation on the early Achaemenian kings, and found it very interesting and informative. It can serve as a good resource for the youth who want to know their rich heritage, especially the lives and times of kings Cyrus and Darayus the Great. Ramiyar Karanjia.
Inspiring, informative and invigorating. The presentation by Sam Billimoria is a must-see for everyone – especially the Zarthosti youth. Truly makes us proud to be Zarthostis and of our priceless and “timeless Zoroastrain Legacy”. The principles embodied in our scriptures and propagated by our forefathers since millenia, have resonated throughout the world and have found global acceptance and credence through the ages. Zarthosti youth and adults must view it and share it with their non-Zarathushti friends. It will give them many talking points. Well-researched and embellished with pictures and videos, the presentation has achieved its purpose to impart knowledge in an interesting format for informed as well as lay viewers. Looking forward to your future presentations.
Very inspiring and informative.
Many of us, during our school days, might have dreaded history as a subject. Many adults often find it boring. But, in truth, history can be quite fascinating.
The history of ancient Iran is all the more important for every member of our community, young or old to know, for it is a heritage we can be truly proud of, and hopefully, imbibe some of the values that our ancient monarchs and leaders stood for. History helps us understand the world, and how it became what it is today.
Scholars and historians across the world and across centuries have referred to King Cyrus, King Darius and King Xerxis as ‘The Great’. This is not because they were great world conquerors or ruled vast empires. They earned this universal tag of Greatness based on their high values, just systems of governance, immutable laws and kingly contributions to the economic prosperity, and celebration of the cultural diversity of nations that they brought together, two and a half millennia ago
Hi! I have viewed the first two parts of the presentation “Timeless Zoroastrian Legacy” painstakingly prepared by Mr. Sam Billimoria. It traces the roots of Zoroastrianism back to the Achaemenid Dynasty of the Persian Empire. Although Zoroastrianism was officially declared a “State Religion” during the Sassanian Dynasty, Mr. Billimoria provides ample evidence to prove that Zoroastrian principles and religious beliefs were practiced by Cyrus the Great; and the succeeding Achaemenian (Darius, Xerxes, etc.), Parthian and Sassanian rulers. Mr. Billimoria then goes on to show how basic Zoroastrian principles of Truth (Asha), Equality and Justice later made their way through succeeding western civilizations into the present-day “Bill of Rights” (USA) and into “Human Rights” as defined by the United Nations (UN). These two presentations are a must-watch for all Zoroastrians world-wide, to understand the legacy of their prophet, Zarathushtra. I am anxiously looking forward to the third part of this very interesting and inspiring trilogy. Ushta Te!