Why idol-worship is wrong in our religion

by Mrs. Pervin Mistry

Mrs. Mistry writes on why idol-worship is wrong in our religion
Being One with Ahura Mazda, just as we do NOT have any statue of
Ahura Mazda, we also do NOT have any statues of Asho Zarathushtra!
In ALL of Ancient Iran, there is NOT a single portrait, statue or
confirmed bas relief of Asho Zarathushtra!

Mrs. Mistry writes:

We believe Ahura Mazda is the Supreme Creator and as such He is Everywhere and in All things, from the tiniest atom to the biggest star. As He is Spirit, He is not seen with our physical eyes and so it is with Asho Zarathushtra as well! Asho Zarathushtra is defined as a Yazad in Yasna 3 and 7 and the Khordad Yasht even defines Him as an Ameshaspand! He is One with Ahura Mazda, united with Him through His Thoughts, Words and Deeds! So say the Gathas too where Ahura mazda Himself refers to Asho Zarathushtra as The Only One Who Has Heard Ahura Mazda Completely, i.e. the Only One who could unite His conscience with Ahura Mazda in order to know His Thoughts, Words and Deeds!

Being One with Ahura Mazda, just as we do NOT have any statue of Ahura Mazda, we also do NOT have any statues of Asho Zarathushtra!

In ALL of Ancient Iran, there is NOT a single portrait, statue or confirmed bas relief of Asho Zarathushtra! The figure on the bas relief at Taq-e Bostan, near Kermanshah, is believed by some to be that of Meher Yazad (Mithra), whereas some believe it to be that of our Prophet. But, we do not know for sure that that is the carved picture of our Prophet!

Hence, even in the Sassanian times, we cannot prove for sure that our forefathers ever kept a portrait of Asho Zarathushtra! Spirit or Spiritual Beings cannot be given a shape as they are beyond confinement! Our aim is to develope our spirituality and spiritual senses and not restrict even sacred and Spiritual Beings in a definitive shape, form and confinement. God is everywhere and so is His Only Direct Messenger! Why should we degrade everything to the physical senses and sense perceptions?

Zarthushtis never were "murti" or idol worshippers. To them, spirituality or communion was between the Divine Spirit and their own urvan. We worship Ahura Mazda not through idols or give him any shape and form but we worship Him through Fire, His Son! Asho Zarathushtra also tells us to worship the Divine Spirit through His Sacred Fire which is His Own Divine Energy that pervades every atom and propells it to spiritual perfection. We do not worship Divine Beings through idols and it follows that we also do not worship or pay homage to our Prophet, a Yazad, through an idol or statue.

- Mrs. Mistry

There is no idol-worship in our religion. The very idea of small statuettes of Zarathustra is repugnant to our religion. We are NOT "buut-parast" (idol-worshippers). We do not worship idols.

We worship Ahura Mazda and his Holy Forces, the Ameshaspands and Yazatas, and these include the elements created by God such as the Holy Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, and so on.

We do worship the Holy Fravashi of Zarathushtra and all the forefathers of the Aryan faith, starting with Gayomard. However we worship the Fravashi - which is the formless, spiritual higher soul. We do not use form for worshipping the Fravashis. Therefore there are no idols in our religion.

Nor, in the strictest sense, should there be pictures or photos of Zarathustra. (These pictures only started after a Parsi, in the mid 19th century, started to draw pictures of Zarathustra, since the British had pictures of Christ. It was a case of the Parsis copying the British.) The so-called "German" Zarathusthra was from the imagination of a non-Zoroastrian European of earlier years, and has no connection with our religion. Non-Zoroastrians can imagine anything they want.

Pictures of our Prophet are tolerated now by most Zarathustris, indeed they are in most Agiaris. But idols cannot be tolerated, they are a wrong representation of the Fravashi which is formless. Idols are against the essential spirit of our religion. We are not idol-worshippers.



Zubin wrote:

"One question for you ….Can you show me one article or a write-up in any book where its mention specifically that Idol Worship is not allowed in our religion."

Sure, have a look at the ARDA VIRAF NAMAH :

Chapter 68.

1. I also saw the souls of a man and a woman (2) whom they ever DRAG, the man to heaven and the woman to HELL. (3) And the woman's hand was caught in the knot and sacred thread [kusti] of the man, (4) and she said thus: 'How is it when we had every benefit in union, among the living, (5) now they are dragging thee to heaven, and me to HELL?'

6. And the man said thus: 'Because whatever things I received of the good and worthy, I also gave them back to the poor; (7) and I practised good thoughts and good words and good deeds; (8) I also heeded God, and disregarded the demons; (9) and I have been steadfast in the good religion of the Mazdayasnians.

10. But you despised the good and poor and worthy and travellers; (11) you also disregarded God, and YOU WORSHIPPED IDOLS; (12) and practised evil thoughts and evil words and evil deeds; (13) and you have been steadfast in the religion of ahriman and the demons.'

- THE BOOK OF ARDA VIRAF, a holy book of our religion.

Is that enough reference for you, Zubin?

You wrote:

"Should you need any further clarification regarding this issue, I will be please to let you have more information through our scholars as well."

Which scholars are you talking about? Every true scholar knows that our Sassani forefathers were very much against idols which had crept into our religion even in Iran, under the Greek influences (the Greeks and Romans were idolaters and erected idols everywhere they went). Our Zarathushtri Kings such as ARDESHIR BABAKHAN removed the idols from our religion in Iran (leaving the idols of other religions, such as Buddhism, alone). We are proud of our Sassani Kings who rejuventated our religion in Iran - our last great RAINIDAR Aderbad Marespand was born in Iran in the Sassanian age.

If some "scholars" have told you the contrary, then I would ask you to be very careful of such people.



Idol Worship is considered as a transgression of Zoroastrian commandment. For Scriptural verification,please refer to Patet Pashemani Manthra, Kardeh 10 word 21 (ozdist parasti).


Page 652,“Khordeh Avesta Ba Khnoom Tavil”, By Dr Faramroze S Chinivala.


K. F. Keravala

Dear Zubin,

Your opening line to Porus , "I think we are making a mountain out of a mole" floors me. Simply put, the subject matter, above, forms the fulcrum of Zarathustras teaching. The following is my understanding, why.

Hindu and Roman catholic theology expresses devotion through idolatry, for a reason, Catholics believe man is made in the image of God hence they make saints to venerate, Hindus believe that God is in everything that occurs naturally in nature, hence all their religious idols are of clay. As a lad (in Calcutta) during some Hindu Puja festival, I asked an attending Priest why they make and worship Idols of clay, and he answered "is mea Bhagvan hey". Very recently we have learnt that man is made of the same materials that fills our universe, namely matter, and when we go even deeper into what matter is made of , we find twelve components therein, is all there is in the make up of our visible universe, the key word here is "Visible", hence of a period after space time came into being, and ultimately relating to mankind (including the earlier races of) and all we perceive. Hence the Hindu Bhagvan is primal matter, in essence Hinduism relates(in detail) to matter, but only at sub-atomic levels. (mind boggling as it is)

Asho Zarathustra explained, for the very first time, of an existence before space time came into being. That is above and beyond anything we know or presume to know about high energy physics today. Effectively Zarathustrianism is about the veneration of energies that exist beyond our perception. The only authentic method prescribed for such venerations is through a consecrated Fire. Never idolatry (things of matter) in any shape or form.

Photographs, of family and friends are mementos of times shared . Since not one Parsee can claim he/she has a memento of Zarathustra, where is the point in printing, painting, & sculpting an image of nobody in particular to pass off as Zarathustra.

No offence to you personally, Zubin.

Best always


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