It is written in the Zoroastrian religious texts that; “Whoever care for all these seven creations does well and pleases the Bounteous Immortals.” Shayasht ne Shayast 15:6
The seven creations are sky, water, earth, plants, animals, humans and fire. These are the seven creations that we should care for, the Zoroastrian religion preaches ecology and care of the environment.
In the Zoroastrian creation myth, there are two realms; the light realm and the dark realm. Ahura Mazda lived in the light world, Ahriman in the dark. Ahura Mazda created out of his light realm the world that we live upon and all life on it. This world is a system; all life needs each other. This is a domain where all species survive together, all life is interconnected, it is a symbiotic system.
In the Gathas, the Zoroastrian hymns, it is written that Mother Nature went to Ahura Mazda and demanded an army from him, an army to protect her from the humans that were pillaging and plundering her domain. Ahura Mazda refused to give her an army, instead he sent a holy man to the humans to teach them the right way to live on the earth. That Holy Man was Zoroaster.
Zoroaster teaches that we must have respect for the lands, the seas, the air, in fact for all life on this planet.
Humanity has a role on this planet and that role is that we are supposed to oversee the creation, care for it, we are responsible for its welfare and prosperity. A Zoroastrian works in this life on his spiritual and material progress, the material world that we know is here for us to learn and is regarded as a means to help humans progress along their spiritual path. The goal in this life is spiritual salvation and one of the ways to that is in taking on the task of caring for one’s community & one’s environment.
Zoroastrians look at the world as a battle between two forces, the dark side and the light side. The dark side is led by Ahriman whereas the light side is the domain of Ahura Mazda. Ahriman’s dark side brings disorder and causes conflict whereas the light side brings harmony and peace. This is the conflict that goes on in the world and mankind is a pawn in that battle.
So, there is a constant battle against forces of deceit and enforcers of ignorance, encouraging humans to be the plungers of the earth. Neglecting the environment is considered a fail in one’s spiritual mission and if one does not have a good ecological outlook one is regarded as having succumbed to the forces of darkness and evil.
Agriculture is a way of promoting righteousness, and the Zoroastrian way is to cultivate the land with kindness, the ultimate mission being to make this earth into a paradise. The welfare of the planet and all life on it has been put into the hands of humanity. Zoroaster encourages us to work with the planet and help restore mother nature to the perfect state she had been back in the beginning times.
It is mankind that has despoiled the environment, possibly spurred on by the dark forces of Ahriman, who wants to tempt us from the spiritual path, It is humanity who has the responsibility to make the planet a paradise again.
Zoroaster encourages us to walk an ethical and righteous path which includes how we treat not just our fellow man but how we treat all creatures and by doing the right thing we help strengthen the power of the Ahura Mazda against the darkness of Ahriman.
If we do not follow a righteous and ethical path we are feeding the dark powers of Ahriman.
This is our personal responsibility; not to pollute the air and waters, not to poison the lands, not to treat other life badly. We are here to care for all the animals, all the waters, all the land and all the sky. Humans and nature can do good work together.