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Lladro Lithophane Votive Light - Zarathustra
Nearly every Parsi home has an image, always the same one, of gentle Zarathustra with long hair and a flowing beard, as imagined by a 19th century Parsi artist. Zarathustra belongs to such remote antiquity that we don't even know for certain exactly when he was born and where, much less what he looked like. But what has miraculously survived is the religion that he was inspired to reveal. His date of birth is said to have been between 1700 and 1500 BC and it is generally believed that he was born in Eastern Iran, in what is now the Russian Steppes. Like Buddha after him, Zarathustra wanted to know the mystery of life. He turned his back on the world and retreated to a cave on a mountain, where he meditated for ten years. Communing with nature and his inner self he finally received enlightenment from Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord. He left his life of seclusion and descended from the mountain. He was thirty years old and brought with him a new hope, a new way of life, which still has relevance to us four thousand years later.