History: Noble Eightfold Path and Primary Sources Essay

Submitted By YankhinPt1
Words: 1552
Pages: 7

Before I took this history class, I did not know anything about primary sources. What are primary sources? What do we use them for? Why are they important to us? Now, I know how primary sources are important in the world of history. Primary sources are documents; recordings or stories that were created or written in the past. Primary sources are created by the people involved, in the time or event being studied. Primary sources give us facts and answer historical questions. The best way to study the pass is to use primary sources. In my history class, we use The Human Record and Traditions & Encounters to know the early societies through their religions and philosophies: Zarathustra, The Gathas; The Buddha, Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Law; and The Quran. These primary source, each have a different meaning, they tell us about the societies they come from and are very significant in the world today. The Gathas are hymns that were composed in honor of the various deities around 1200 BC by Zarathustra, who is a founder and a prophet of the religion this source is associated with, which comes from ancient Iran. The life of Zarathustra was not clear until now, but “according to a late Persian tradition, he lived 285 years before Alexander the Great, or around the first quarter of the sixth century B.C.E” (Andrea, 80). The Gathas of Zarathustra is also known as The Hymns of Zarathustra. This source tells us about the society. One way it does this is that it shows the struggle between good and evil by relating Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu and the pristine doctrine of Zarathushtra's "heaven and hell.” An example of this struggle can be seen in the source when it states “In immortality shall the soul of the righteous be joyful, in perpetuity shall be the torments of Liars. All this does Mazda Ahura appoint by his Dominion” (Andrea, 82). It is very interesting because according to Zarathustra, he opposes anything wrong or evil and wants to remind us that we will receive the rewards or the punishment of our choices in the human life. The Gathas tell us about a free, peaceful and progressive society and use it to make good rules to guide the human to the perfection like “…he, Mazda Ahura said, “They who at my bidding render him obedience, shall all attain Welfare and Immortality by the actions of the Good Spirit.”
Through The Gathas we can say one thing that Zarathustrian society is led by the very politic. The significance of this source is not only that it tells us the beliefs of Zoroastrianism, but it is also similar to Judaism, Christianity and Islam about the heaven, hell and final judgment concepts and. “its doctrines strongly influenced the fundamental teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam” (Bentley, 146). His teachings were based on the simple formula "good words, good thoughts, good deeds"(Bentley, 143) and “Zarathustra's teaching took hold in Persia, especially with the rise of the first Persian Empire” (Andrea, 81). This is interesting because it attracted many followers in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt, and other parts of Achaemenid Empire during the 6th century B.C.E. I really interesting about the righteousness in Zoroastrianism, which is much like Christianity and Catholicism (my religion). In those religions tell us that we may choose what to believe, what to do, but we must to remember that we are supposed to choose right, if not, eventually we will suffer the consequences of choosing wrong. Today, this religion is still around. The next source is Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Law by Buddha. Who is the Buddha? Where did Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Law come from? Siddhartha Gautama (563 – 483 B.C.E) was an Indian prince and a founder of Buddhism religion in 520 B.C.E in Northeastern India. He lived in affluence until he saw the poor life of humans. He was shocked and distressed at the suffering in the world. Then he left his family and wealth behind to seek enlightenment and eventually…