Ritual -- Superstitions

Main Entry: 1 rit·u·al

Pronunciation: 'ri-ch&-w&l, -ch&l; 'rich-w&l

Function: adjective

Etymology: Latin ritualis, from ritus rite

1 : of or relating to rites or a ritual : CEREMONIAL (a ritual dance)

2 : according to religious law (ritual purity)

3 : done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol (ritual handshakes) (ritual background checks)
- rit·u·al·ly adverb


" All superstitious beliefs in false gods, goddesses and similar imaginary beings, and the performance of rituals to appease them should be abandoned. All irrational ideas and practices should be given up (Song 5)."

" What is good can best be understood by studying nature, learning, harmonizing with all that is good and beneficial, and promoting not only the environment, but our society and the rest of the living world (Songs 7.3, 8.6, 9.12, 13, and 15.3)."

" Mankind may, if it chooses, develop all the above divine attributes and become creative, in fact the renovator, maintainer and promoter of its endowed environment. Also become spiritually perfect and eternally godlike (Songs 4.16, 8.3, 9.9, and 13.3). "

...the Gathas never indulge in details of what one must do and must not do in a society. The Gathas do not interfere into the details of one's daily life. They do not make life cumbersome. They do not prescribe what to eat and what to reject, what to wear and what to tear, what to build and what to wreck, when to work and when to retire, when to celebrate and when to mourn, what is disease and what is cure, or what observances to show for the dead or how to dispose the corpse.

Any instruction on daily life would grow old, or be inappropriate at another location. If it becomes a tradition to be adhered to, it would only prove an obstruction in a changing and progressing world. That does not mean that the Gathas advocate abandoning or discarding any good, logical and useful tradition. In fact, they favor maintaining and promoting a rich and enriching heritage (Song 9.2). What they disdain are obsolete, confining, useless, unintelligible, and superstitious customs


The rewards and reprimands are more mental than physical and are meted out through one's conscience. The Gathas do not give the slightest chance of interpreting the common notion that those not crossing the bridge go to hell. The context of the Gathas on this particular subject is such that it points to one's existence in this living world and not leading to a hell beyond. Zoroaster, divinely logical as he always was, does not describe a vivid picture of a state from which no one has experiences. He does not draw a line between life death. In fact, "life does not part with death". It is indeed continuity. Death, a natural process, is a transitory passage, to eternity, finality."

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