Disclaimer and Notes

The true meaning of the word Aryan

The Saga of the Aryans is a literary work pertaining to the ancient Zoroastrian religion of Iran, and is not connected in any way to any political organization or society in the West that may or may not bear the name "Aryan". The Aryans mentioned in the story, set in a time frame of twenty thousand or so years ago, were the original Aryans or Indo-European people of the days of yore. They were noble and tolerant people who considered all races equal and maintained that the righteous men and women of every country reached God - as was proclaimed by the ancient Avestan scriptures such as the Fravardin Yasht.

This can also be seen in the Proclamation of Khushru (Cyrus), one of the great Aryan Kings of Iran, more than 2500 years ago. The Proclamation is today enshrined in the United Nations because it promised equal rights to all his diverse subjects, in the world's first multi-cultural empire which abolished slavery thousands of years before the modern nations of the world even existed. This Zoroastrian King and his descendants, who proudly called themselves Aryans, freed the Jews from their unhappy bondage in Babylon and re-built their Temple in Jerusalem, and for that Cyrus is even praised in the Hebrew Old Testament as the "Anointed of the Lord". This is history. This indeed was the action of a true Aryan - protection of the weak, and benevolence towards different peoples and religions.

In the ancient Indian Mahabharata, a large epic Saga written by the Rishi Veda Vyasa, and in the earlier Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki, the right behaviour and moral conduct of the Aryan is explained in great detail. It is here that we gain a real understanding of what the word "Arya" really meant - nobility in its purest form. From these two epics held in high reverance by the millions of Indians, we can understand the high moral code and chivalrous noble behaviour of the Aryan - how he never raised a hand against the unarmed, how he never hit below the belt, how he protected women and children, how he never fought at night, how he never pursued a fleeing foe, how he respected his parents and cared for them, how he respected ALL righteous people, how he protected the weak - the one who came to him for protection, the "Sharanagat" ie. the one who askes for protection, how he respected and worshipped the elements of God such as the earth, the sky, the wind and the ocean, how he lived his life according to "Dharma" - the high code of morality or righteousness, akin to the Iranian "Ashoi". Indeed in India, the word "Aryan" is still synonymous with nobility and tolerance - as indeed it should be.

As to my own Mazdayasni Zarathushtri religion, the word "Aryan" appears many times in our holy scriptures. Two occurrences which spring to mind are: in the Atash Niyaesh (prayer), the Holy Fire is extolled as:


O Fire Son of Ahura Mazda,


In you shines the Glory of the Aryans, created by Mazda !

In the Fravardin Yasht, we remember and revere our holy ancestors. We take the name of Gaya Marethan (Gayomard) first, the first man on earth:

"We revere the Fravashi (immortal soul) of righteous Gaya Marethan

Yo pairyo Ahurai Mazdai manascha gushta sasnaoscha -

Who first heard (gushta) Ahura Mazda's intentions (manascha)

and commands (sasnaoscha),

Yahmat hacha frathveresat nafo Aryanam Dakhyunam,

Who lead, who fixed the lineage (nafo) of the Aryan Countries,

Chithrem Aryanam Dakhyunam -

He was the Seed, the Origin of the Aryan Countries!"

Such occurrences abound. Needless to say, the ancient Iranians were proud that they were Aryans. They named their country "Iran" after the word (the ancient name of India too is AryaVarta or land of the Aryans. So too for Ireland). The Iranian kings inscribed on stone, "I am an Aryan, son of an Aryan." It was one of these Aryan kings, Cyrus the great, who worshipped at the temples of his diverse subjects and taught the world the true meaning of the words *multi-culturalism* and *tolerance*. The West recognizes that Cyrus's empire was the first true multi-cultural empire in recorded history - that too at a time when the Greeks used to look down with evident hatred on other races as "barbarians".

Lastly but not least, the word "Arya" is linked to the word "Ereta" or righteousness in Avestan, "Rita" in Vedic Sanskrit. This meant the great law of righteousness, and an Aryan was one who followed the law. "Ritu" in Sanskrit meant the cycle of seasons which was an integral part of that moral, physical and spiritual law of God. A "Rishi" was one who explained the law, in Avestan the word "Ratu" was a spiritual teacher of the law of righteousness. The very word "Right" in English could be derived from "Ereta" or "Rita". As such, being an Aryan in both Iran and India, meant following the path of Righteousness as well as being a proud member of the Aryan people.

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