The Ethical Religion of Zoroaster

By Miles Menander Dawson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIX RIGHTS OF THE MARRIED

"EARNESTLY will I lead her to the faith, that she may serve her father and her husband, the farmers and the nobles, as a righteous woman serves the righteous. The glorious heritage of the Good Mind . . . shall the Lord ( Ahura Mazda) give to her good self for all time" ( Yasna LIII, 4).

Thus speaks Jamaspa in the Gathas concerning a bride of Zoroaster.

Life, and the actual living of it, Zoroaster identified very particularly with the family and with the perpetuation of mankind.

Unto the Amesha Spenta, Piety, were committed "virtuous women" ( Shayast-La-Shayast, c. XV, 4) and the same book (c. XXII, 5) contains this prayer:

"May Piety grant thee credit and honor among men through thine offspring and bestow upon thee, as wife, a woman from a strong race!"

The family, therefore, became the special care of Piety and the morals of sex were thus raised into a prominence rarely, if ever, equaled in other ancient religions.

The ethical import of sexual conduct was judged l severely by their consequences or, more accurately stated, by the consequences fairly to be expected.

The Vendidad ( Fargard III, c. 1) records this reply of the Almighty to Zoroaster's question:

"'Oh Maker of the material world, thou Holy One,

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