first Zoroastrians to enter India arrived on the Gujarati
coast in the 10th century, soon after the Arabian conquest
of Iran and by the 17th century, most of them had settled
in Bombay. Zoroastrian practice is based on the responsibility
of every man and woman to choose between good and evil,
and to respect God's creations. The religion's founder,
Zarathustra, who lived in Iran in 6000 BC was the first
religious prophet to expound a dualistic philosophy,
based on the opposing powers of good and evil.
Most Zoroastrians can be seen in Bombay today where
they are known as Parsees. They have no distinctive
dress and few houses of worship. Five daily prayers,
usually hymns uttered by Zarathustra and standardized
in the religious text Zenda Avesta, are said in the
home or the temple, before a fire, which symbolizes
the realm of truth, righteousness and order.