Zoroastrianism: Ethics and Business

EENI- School of International Business

Subject Subject (Course): Zoroastrianism (Parsees) and business (India). Syllabus:

Zoroastrianism Business

“Good Thoughts, Words, and Deeds.”

The subject “Zoroastrianism” is composed of two parts:

  1. Introduction to Zoroastrianism
  2. Zoroastrian businesspeople

1- Zoroastrianism

  1. Introduction to Zoroastrianism.
  2. Zarathustra
  3. Principles of Ethics of Zoroastrianism
  4. Non-Violence
  5. Respect for animals and the environment
  6. The 3H (Good thoughts, words, and deeds) and business strategy
  7. Parsees in the World.
  8. Influence of Zoroastrianism in the economic area of the Hindu Civilisation

2- Case Study - Zoroastrian businesspeople.

  1. Adi Godrej
  2. Dr Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Director of Serum Institute of India
  3. Wadia family
  4. Tata Group: the Zoroastrian business connection in India


Subject “Zoroastrianism: Ethics and Business” is studied...
  1. Doctorates: Religion and Business, Asia
  2. Master's Program (e-learning): Asia, BRICS Countries, Economic Relations, and Global Business
  3. Course: India

Learning materials in English or Spanish Zoroastrismo French Zoroastrisme

  1. Credits of the subject “Indian Religions - Zoroastrianism”: 4 ECTS Credits/2 AC Credits
  2. Duration: 4 weeks
  3. Download the module syllabus: “Religions of India” (PDF)

Sample of the subject - Zoroastrianism: Ethics and Business
Zoroastrianism ethics

The objectives of the subject “Zoroastrianism” are:

  1. To understand the fundamentals of Zoroastrianism
  2. To know the ethical principles of the Parsees
  3. To analyse cases of “Zoroastrian” companies and businesspeople
  4. To understand the influence of Zoroastrianism in Hindu Civilisation

Ahimsa Business Harmony of Religions

Description Subject Description: Zoroastrianism: Ethics and Business:

What do they share the owners of the TATA conglomerate, with the famous music conductor Zubin Mehta, with the top model Nauheed Cyrusi, with Freddy Mercuri, with Ardeshir Darabshaw Shroff (author of the Bombay Plan), with the owner of the largest brewery of Pakistan, with the prominent Indian family Wadia, Dr Poonawalla or with the Godrej Group?

The common factor in all of them is their religion: Zoroastrianism, the religion of Zarathustra, the great reformer. The Parsees have played a major role in the creation of the modern India.

Today we can consider that the Gatha, part of the sacred books of Avesta, is surely the first ethical treaty of the humanity.

If we should summarise Zoroastrian ethics this would be:

“Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds” (3 H Zoroastrian).

Everything created by Ahura is good, the badness and the goodness are generated in the human being, in his thoughts, and through their words converted in deeds. That is, the kindness should be practised in three areas: in thoughts, in words which express them, and deeds they generate.

Perhaps this concept, together with the respect for animals and the environment and the principle of freedom that we find in the Gatha is a crucial contribution to our research for the principles of a global ethic.

“Goodness and Badness, twin spirits, in the beginning of the universe
They are in the thought, in the deeds and the words,

The wise men will choose goodness and fools will be diverted. The ignorant will choose the worst attitude

Oh, Ahura! I want to be part of You. Among those who renew and make thrive the world” Gatha 3,30

Ethical Principles of Zoroastrianism

  1. Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds
  2. Truthfulness, honesty, justice, and righteousness.
  3. Universal love
  4. Tolerance
  5. Non-violence (Ahimsa). Respect for the environment and animals

The principle of non-violence is large enough, and a vital significance for humanity. Moreover, of course, is one of the principles of global ethics. Derived from the principle of non-violence; we will find an enormous respect of the Parsees to animals and the environment.

Arising from the above principles, we can identify another feature of ethics of Zoroastrian: honesty and uprightness (righteousness), the guarantee to achieve happiness. Justice is also a core value of Zoroastrian people.

Perhaps the core of Zoroastrianism is the capacity of the decision of the man between the goodness and the badness.

Many of the ethical principles of Zoroastrianism can be found (adapted or modified) in other religions. The principle of non-violence, the need for good thoughts, words, and deeds or truthfulness are present in the Indian religions like Hinduism and Jainism. In Buddhism, especially Mahayana, there are influences of Zoroastrianism.

It is hard to know the influence of Taoism or Confucianism, but what is certain is that they share many values. It is also crucial the influence on Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Ahimsa Marketing


  1. Prophet: Zarathustra (568 BCE)
  2. Country of Origin: Persia (Iran)
  3. Holy book: Avesta. Gatha
  4. Zoroastrian Community: Parsees (India)
  5. Good: Ahura Mazda
  6. Followers: between 145,000 and 250,000.
  7. The main cities: Gujarat and Mumbai (India). Parsees communities are also significant in Mumbai.

Some famous Parsees Businessman: Sir Dinshaw Maneckji Petit, Jehangir Hormusjee Ruttonjee, Ardeshir Darabshaw Shroff (co-author of the Bombay Plan of post-independence India, former Director of Tata), Byram Dinshawji Avari, Keki Dadiseth, or Minocher Bhandara.

Sacred Symbol of Zoroastrianism: Faravahar

Faravahar Parsees

Samples - Zoroastrianism

Cyrus Poonawalla Parsee Businessman

TATA Group (Zoroastrian, India)

Nusli Wadia (Indian Zoroastrian Businessman)

Adi Godrej (Indian Zoroastrian Businessman)

Religions and Ethics - Sikhism. Religions of India

U-EENI University