The Ethical Religion of Zoroaster

By Miles Menander Dawson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X THE LIAR IS THE DIREST ENEMY

THE Persian religion is famous for its proscription of the liar. It is the fact that, in the writings that are clearly the earliest, the person that speaks falsely is found the most despicable and is first condemned; while it is only in later literature that most other forms of sin are singled out and quite as roundly put under ban.

It is this fact which has impressed the stranger and which has been noted in the earliest sayings concerning Zoroaster; the fact that the liar is condemned, is everywhere patent, and ever because he is the foe of truth.

And all the passages in which the sin of reliance on the false is plied with condemnation as being the opposite of the right, are found in the passages of the Gathas, which are deemed much the earliest of the literature, mainly spoken by the mouth of Zoroaster himself; as, for instance:

"When these two spirits came together at the beginning, then they se; up Life and Not-Life; and at last the worst shall be for them that follow the lie but the best for them that pursue the Right. Of these two, he that followed the lie chose to do the worst; the sanctified pursued the Right, he that clothed him with the massy heavens as a robe" ( Yasna XXX, 4 and 5).

Right, it should be premised, means first and foremost the truth; it may mean more, but always that at least.

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