Q: What is Asha?
A: Asha is the religious expression for those who enter and live the New Mithraic Covenant.
Q: Do you worship Mithra?
A: No. While there are some sects throughout history that took to worshiping Mithra, that was never Mithra’s wish or intent. In fact, that is against the express wishes of Mithra, Himself.
While our covenant is called “The New Mithraic Covenant” and Ashavan (disciples of Asha) are sometimes referred to as Neo or New Mithraists, we are not worshiping Mithra as God.
We are Zurvaniyasni or Worshipers of Zurvan, the One True God outside of Creation, the Divine Source of all Life.
We believe the Godhead consists of Zurvan (the Divine Source), Anahita (The Divine Mother of Life) and Mithra (The Celestial Son or Living Spirit).We love and revere Anahita and Mithra but we only worship Zurvan alone. That worship is for God alone.
We love Mithra, we follow Mithra, in the fullest sense, in our Natural State, we are Mithra. But we do not “worship” Mithra.
Q: Is Asha a New Age Cult?
A: No. Asha is not a New Age cult. The New Mithraic Covenant is new in the world. And the means to express this New Covenant are also new. But that does not define it as “New Age”. There is a difference between a new religion and a New Age religion. For those who make this mistake, then, in the time of the Buddha, the appearance of his teachings and his disciples would have been considered “New Age” simply for being new. In the time of Christ, the appearance of the Gospel and the apostles and disciples, would have been condsidered “New Age” simply for being new.
So, the recent appearance of a Divine Messenger, A New Message, an New Covenant and a New Faith based on a New Covenant, are simply than: New. And this does not define such a covenant and faith as “New Age”.
Q: Is Asha a “Death Cult”?
A: No. Every world religion has teachings on the beginning of creation and also the ending of creation, and life beyond creation. There is nothing new in this. Some religions, depending on when they appeared in the world, focused less on the conclusion of the physical universe than others, which is normal. Many people, when given an expansive teaching of life and the universe, can end up focusing on what impacts them in the moment.
But as all this has unfolded, time has moved forward. We are no longer at the beginning of the physical creation. We are now, closer to the ending than we are to the beginning. In Asha, we are very open about this. We do not seek to hide this fact. We do not shy away from it. It is what it is, nor more and now less.
What we try to do is take this information in context and try to focus our minds on how best to procedd with this information in our lives.
We do not believe the end of physical matter is the end of life at all, only a transition from a gross state to a more subtle state of being.
So, simply because we speak of life, death and life eternal, does not mean we are a “death cult”, only a religion with a comprehensive belief system.
Q: Who is Mir Fratama?
A: Mir Fratama is the final Manifestation of Mithra on earth and the spiritual leader of the Religion of Light and its various communities. He has many different names, but Ashavan mostly know him as “Mir Fratama.”
Q: Is Mir Fratama a physical or spiritual being?
A: Mir Fratama is both a spirit being and a physical being. What this means is that Mithra is originally a spirit being but that he has the ability to appear in various places in a physical form on earth. He walks among the community members and speaks to them, giving sermons and talks at times, while other times he is with the community in spirit form.
Mir Fratama has the ability to manifest in different forms. Just as His Divine Presence has many names and titles, he has many forms. For example, he can appear in one form to one person or community, and another time he can appear in a completely different form with different hair or eye colour. Mir Fratama is not limited to the physical forms he can take in order to carry out a mission.
One of the most commonly manifested forms made by Mir Fratama in recent times is through Mir Eresh Zademir in Iran. In November of 2013, Mir Fratama’s visual appearance disappeared from before several onlookers who were present with Him and with Mir Eresh Zademir. It is recorded that:
At that time, a great light shone forth from the countenance of Mir Fratama and it rose to the heavens and in the blink of an eye, Lord Mithra’s physical appearance disappeared from the earth.
Numerous angelic beings came down to the riverside and began blessing the Tarendrans and Mir Eresh Zademir. The angelic beings placed a wreath upon the head of Mir Eresh Zademir and said, “Blessing and honor is given to you, O King of the Religion of Light, for you have been blessed by Zurvan and by Mithra.”
The Tarendrans bowed before Mir Eresh Zademir and blessed his name; and Mir Eresh Zademir bowed before the heavens and said, “According to Your will, Zurvan, according to Your words and all that You instruct through Your Son Mithra, I shall do.”
And a voice came out of the heights of the heavens, saying, “I am with you always, in times of goodness and in times of trials, for I am within my beloved one, Nir Eresh Zademir. His soul has merged with that of my spirit and you shall give unto him the same honor with which you have honored me.”
Thus it was Mir Fratama’s outward appearance that is currently not present in the world, and because he is additionally a spirit being he is able to speak from heavens.
Mir Fratama has not left us; he is both in heaven and on earth at the same time. In his service on earth, he is within Mir Eresh Zademir, and he will have a physical appearance at a later time when other events in the future are to be accomplished.
Some of the brethren will want to know if it is proper to continue using the few photographs of Mir Fratama in his appearance as a Persian that they have on their altars or tables and shelves. While it is not inappropriate, the brethren should be reminded that such could be viewed a form of attachment to the physical rather than focusing on the spiritual.”
Q: Is Mir Fratama or any Manifestation of Mithra worshipped as gods?
A: No one other than Zurvan is worshipped as God. Ashavan have disdain for all forms of idolatry and reserve worship only for Almighty God. Mir Fratama teaches his disciples to “abandon all forms of idolatry… worship the One God who is outside of time and creation; abandon idolatry.”
“Man shall worship Zurvan alone, and no image or likeness of Him shall take His place, ever. Nothing in the likeness of His image should ever be used as an idol. God alone, the Highest God of all the universe, deserves full worship. Anything less is idolatry… Hear this, my children, run far from idolatry, for it is a trap that will keep you chained to the world of darkness for eternity.”
Q: What is a Food-Offering?
A: This is where Ashavan bring food offerings to the Elder Intercessors for propitiation of sins and other violations of the Precepts or Teachings.
Q: Is Food Offering the same as tithing?
A: No, a food offering and tithing are two completely different practices. Ashavan offer ten percent of their income to the Temple for purposes such as missionary work, various costs of travelling, etc. Tithes can also be paid in the form of labor in behalf of the Temple.
A Food Offering on the other hand, is specifically a form of sacrifice with food items that contain no type of animal products. If one is unable to offer fruits, vegetables, grains or breads, the Ashavan (who are not Intercessors) can provide funds so that food may be purchased. The food is then presented to the Elect at a sacrificial table where it is consumed.
Q: Do Ashavan believe in Jesus Christ and the crucifixion?
A: Ashavan believe in Jesus Christ as a Manifestation of Mithra, as such we believe he is the Son of God and as the Saviour and Light of the world. We believe that Christ, whom we often refer to as “Isha Masiha”, is a perfect reflection of Zurvan and that belief in the Lord and His Gospel, along with proper application of the same, is rewarded with eternal life.
Q: What are the Twelve Virtues?
A: In Asha, one often hears of the “Twelve Virtues.” These Virtues are listed below. The Holy Tablets of Light says, “you shall seek to perfect yourself and the soul by practising the Virtues.” (Teaching of Mir Fratama) The Holy Tablets also says, that “liberation is achieved through the worship of the One God, acceptance of His Divine Messenger, and cultivation of the Twelve Virtues and Holy Maxims… The cultivation of the Twelve Virtues will draw you closer to Zurvan.” (Teaching of Mir Fratama)
The Twelve Virtues are:
Q: What does it mean that humans have free-will?
A: Free-will is the ability for each individual human to choose its own direction without being coerced by any angelic, godlike or celestial influence. In other words, a man or a woman has the ability to choose to do right or wrong, according to the dictates of their own mind. Manichaeans believe that there are consequences to one’s choices and if one chooses the wrong path and commits sinful acts, then one must pay for those actions.
Ashavan understand “free-will” to be a gift from God to humanity. What this means is that when humanity was first created, it did not have much of a choice in anything. God was compassionate and through Mithra, He granted humanity the gift of free-will. This way, humanity could not be controlled entirely by demoniac force. But at the same time, God Himself would not interfere with the choices humanity makes. God allows a man or woman to make their own choices, even if those choices are wrong.
This does not mean, however, that God will not assist humanity. From the Scriptures we read that God “does not always involve Himself in the affairs of creation; instead Almighty God has appointed celestial servants unto Himself who assist humanity in various functions.” (Teaching of Mir Fratama)
So, when we need help, God is there for us, but He will not force us to make a decision, whether it is right or wrong. He shows us the correct way, according to His righteous principles, but it is our choice to follow that proper way.
Q: What holidays do Ashavan celebrate?
A: Ashavan observe numerous days of celebration. Some of holy days observed by Ashavan include:
The seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath called “Haspin)
New Moon (Andarmah),
Naw Ruz in Spring
Q: What is the Maethana Asha and where is it?
A:The Maethana Asha means the Central Temple of Asha.
Each Assembly in the Religion of Light has a central headquarters.
For Asha, the Maethana Asha is the spiritual headquarters of Asha and serves as the governing body. Currently, that would be here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. (i.e. Portland, Oregon).
This can shift as needed. If and when H.H. Mir Eresh Zademir, is feeling better, the Maethana Asha could be relocated to where He is working from or those He assigns to do so. Also if Mir Fratama or the Teacher of Light or another Celestial Servant announces a stationary Temple to be established, that will happen at that point.
But for now, the Maethana Asha is here in Portland, Oregon till further notice.
There is no brick and mortar facility, at least, not at this stage. If and when there are enough Ashavan in a given area, the Maethana Asha could relocate to the local temple in that area, for example.
Q: Why do so many efforts to bring life-saving Gnosis into the world, always seem to end up getting corrupted?
A: We live in a world of light and darkness. The evil one does not want a single soul liberated. The corruption happens because people forget the words of the Divine Messenger, they forget the directives of their covenants and they wind up creating false doctrines for people to follow. When what is important is forgotten and all that is remembered are man made rules and teachings, the evil one has succeeded in obstructing souls from finding that path back to Bahisht (The Kingdom of Light).
Q: Do Ashavan practice excommunication and shunning?
A: Excommunication is a form of spiritual chastisement when a member has committed a wrong doing that he or she was clearly aware of. Excommunication includes not being permitted to participate in religious activities of the Community.Excommunication is only enacted when a person is unrepentant. It is enacted in order to prevent the rest of the congregation from becoming spiritually unclean by too much association with the sinner. One might be excommunicated for any number of sins, but always because the person has chosen not to repent of that sin.
Members shun all persons who practice different types of magic or the occult or New Age beliefs and practices.