Since time immemorial writers, poets, philophers, artists, and craftspeople among others have documented and passed on from generation to generation facts, truths, legends, even myths – for today and the future to discover, enjoy, and pass on to the future.
In many forms we all gain from the knowledge and learnings of our people, our culture, beliefs, religion, and our history. Unfortunately, for various reasons that include war, conversion, mass migration, and near decimation of our people, most of the original documentation of Zoroastrian history and culture has been lost in the sands of time – leaving us with perhaps some basic information, and plenty of hearsay.
But over the years, many Parsis, Zoroastrians, and others around us are painstakingly researching, cross referencing and re-documenting Zoroastrian history and all the things that make us who we are. However, these are few and far between, and many aren’t even aware of their existence.
Which brings us to this unique effort by Asha Gupta, who has compiled an annotated bibliography of Zoroastrian studies, and it is available for all of us to see online, with a Foreword by P.N. Jungalwalla, and Introduction by Kapila Vatsayan.
Here’s an excerpt, followed by a link to the actual site and list.
“History tells us that around 4,000 B.C. due to some catastrophe not known to us, the Aryan tribes living in the region north of the Caucasus mountains, forsook their homeland and spread out in different directions. The South-bound hordes headed for the Iranian tableland and settled there and others slowly found their way through the Hindu kush Mountains into India. This split of the tribes appears to be due to Zoroaster’s teachings of just one supreme God Ahura – Mazda, Lord of Life and Wisdom, who controls the universe, in contrast to the many Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism.
Two great national disasters were responsible for the destruction of Zoroastrian texts. The first was the invasions of Iran by Alexander in 323 B.C. when religious texts and Fire Temples were destroyed and learned priests put to death.
The second great national disaster was even worse than the first. This was due to Iran being conquered by the Islamic tribes in the 7th century A.D. Fire temples and religious texts were burnt and learned priests killed. Arabic replaced Persian. It is a miracle that any text survived.
Eventually, around 950 A.D, a small group of Iranian Zoroastrians found asylum in India where they…