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Why do Zoroastrians venerate and respect nature?
by Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia

1) Respect and veneration of nature and all natural creations has been a part of all ancient religions including Zoroastrianism.

2) Respecting natural creations is part of Zoroastrian religious philosophy. Zoroastrian religion has special prayers to individually invoke and thank most natural creations. However it especially values all luminescent shining creations like the sun, stars, moon, fire, light and water as they are also the holders and transmitters of God’s divine energy.

3) All the seven creations have a special divine being – Ameshaspand (Amesha Spenta) presiding over it. Venerating and taking care of the creations makes the Ameshaspands beings happy. In rituals like the Jashan all seven creations are represented.

4) All creations are for man’s use, but they should not be abused or misused. Even during rituals when priests have to use goat’s milk or date palm leaf, they pray to the goat and the date palm tree before taking the milk and leaf.

5) The basic Zoroastrian principle of veneration of natural creations ensures that environmental problems like global warming, ozone layer depletion, pollution of water and depletion of land covers do not arise. It is for this reason that Zoroastrian religion is regarded as the first and the most ecological and eco-friendly religion in the world.

6) It should be noted that Zoroastrians do not venerate natural creations as objects by themselves, but they respect the divinity presiding over them. They believe in the age old adage “From Nature to nature’s God.”