Sign in to follow this  
Marblehead

Zoroastrianism

Recommended Posts

Last night while my internet service was down I was going through some of my text files and wandered upon my files regarding Zoroastrianism.

 

This morning it was still on my mind so I thought there must be a reason for that.

 

I have determined that the reason is that Zoroastrianism has been mentioned here by myself as well as a few others.

 

Perhaps there is enough interest to have a random discussion of this religion.

 

I just looked at Wikipedia's entry regarding the religion, found it to be accurate based on other writings I have viewed regarding it so I will start the discussion (maybe eventually a study) with that Wiki article.

 

Although I would like this to be a random discussion I, at the same time, will try to establish a flow for the various discussions in order to give a fair hearing to the religion.

 

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The following is an edited version of the Wikipedia article found at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/zoroastrianism
 
Zoroastrianism, or more natively Mazdayasna, is one of the world's oldest extant religions, "combining a cosmogonic dualism and eschatological monotheism in a manner unique  among the major religions of the world".  Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), as its Supreme Being.  Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death, heaven and hell, and free will have, some believe, influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam.

With possible roots dating back to the second millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism enters recorded history in the 5th-century BCE.  Along with a Mithraic Median prototype and a Zurvanist Sassanid successor, it served as the state religion of the pre-Islamic Iranian empires for more than a millennium, from around 600 BCE to 650 CE.

The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, which includes the writings of Zoroaster known as the Gathas, enigmatic poems that define the religion's precepts, and the Yasna, the scripture.  The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is: Ahura, The Lord Creator, and Mazda, Supremely Wise.  Zoroaster proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe, and that human beings are given a right of choice.  Because of cause and effect, they are responsible for the consequences of their choices. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called Angra Mainyu, or angry spirit.  Post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, which was effectively a personification of Angra Mainyu.

Zoroastrianism's creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu (Good Spirit, "Bounteous Immortals") is an all-good "father" of Asha (Truth, "order, justice"), in opposition to Druj ("falsehood, deceit") and no evil originates from "him".  "He" and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom worship of Mazda is ultimately directed. Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto "truth", oppose the Spirit's opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah ("evil thinking").

In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to "be among those who renew the world...to make the world progress towards perfection".

Its basic maxims include:

Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean:  Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.

There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.

Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.
 
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please understand, this is very much generalities to start dialog. I am hoping that those much more learned will now start educating me.

 
  Buddhism Zoroastrianism
  Buddhism Zoroastrianism
Place of worship Buddhist monasteries, temples, shrines. Dar-e Mehr (Persian) or Agiyari (Gujarati) or Fire temple
Practices Practices of the Threefold Training: Virtue, Concentration, and Wisdom, a.k.a the Noble Eightfold Path. Fire is used in Zoroastrian worship? Zoroastrians also pray 5 times a day. 
Place of origin Indian Subcontinent Persia (Iran)
Goal of religion To attain enlightenment and be released from the cycle of rebirth and death, thus attaining Nirvana. To serve God, by good deeds towards others. To acquire and cultivate divine attributes, particularly “ good mind and righteousness; to elevate themselves in harmony with God and to listen to God’s guiding voice within them.
Belief of God The idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator is rejected by Buddhists. The Buddha himself refuted the theistic argument that the universe was created by a self-conscious, personal God. One main God.
Use of statues and pictures Common Permitted, there are several drawings regarding Prophet Zoroaster and symbolic images of God (Ahura Mazda).
Followers Buddhists Zoroastrians.
Founder Gautama Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha) Zarathustra Haechataspa Spitama or Zoroaster (Greek) or Zartosht (Parsi)
Means of Salvation Following the Noble Eightfold Path. Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.
Scriptures Tripitaka The Zend Avesta.
Human Nature Ignorance, as all sentient beings. In the Buddhist texts, it is seen that when Gautama, after his awakening, was asked whether he was a normal human being, he replied, "No". equal ability to do good or evil.
     
Literal Meaning Buddhists are those who follow the teachings of the Buddha in order to become like the Buddha. Follower of Zoroaster.
     
     
Life after death Rebirth is one of the central beliefs of Buddhism. We are in an endless cycle of birth, death and re-birth, which can only be broken by attaining nirvana. Attaining nirvana is the only way to escape suffering permanently. Eternal life in Heaven, or in Hell.
     
     
Population 300-350 million. Approx. 100,000 Zoroastrians in the world.
Time of origin 2,500 years ago, circa 563 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) 600 B.C.E.
Concept of Deity Subject to debate Zoroaster proclaimed that all of the Iranian daevas were bad spirits and deserved no worship. These "bad" spirits were created by Angra Mainyu, the hostile and evil spirit. The existence of Angra Mainyu was the source of all sin and misery in the universe. Zoroaster claimed that Ahura Mazda was not an omnipotent God, but used the aid of humans in the cosmic struggle against Angra Mainyu. Nonetheless, Ahura Mazda is Angra Mainyu's superior, not his equal.
   
     
     
   
Edited by moment
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Marblehead said:
The following is an edited version of the Wikipedia article found at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/zoroastrianism
 
Zoroastrianism, or more natively Mazdayasna, is one of the world's oldest extant religions, "combining a cosmogonic dualism and eschatological monotheism in a manner unique  among the major religions of the world".  Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), as its Supreme Being.  Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death, heaven and hell, and free will have, some believe, influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam.

With possible roots dating back to the second millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism enters recorded history in the 5th-century BCE.  Along with a Mithraic Median prototype and a Zurvanist Sassanid successor, it served as the state religion of the pre-Islamic Iranian empires for more than a millennium, from around 600 BCE to 650 CE.

The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, which includes the writings of Zoroaster known as the Gathas, enigmatic poems that define the religion's precepts, and the Yasna, the scripture.  The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is: Ahura, The Lord Creator, and Mazda, Supremely Wise.  Zoroaster proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe, and that human beings are given a right of choice.  Because of cause and effect, they are responsible for the consequences of their choices. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called Angra Mainyu, or angry spirit.  Post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, which was effectively a personification of Angra Mainyu.

Zoroastrianism's creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu (Good Spirit, "Bounteous Immortals") is an all-good "father" of Asha (Truth, "order, justice"), in opposition to Druj ("falsehood, deceit") and no evil originates from "him".  "He" and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom worship of Mazda is ultimately directed. Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto "truth", oppose the Spirit's opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah ("evil thinking").

In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to "be among those who renew the world...to make the world progress towards perfection".

Its basic maxims include:

Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean:  Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.

There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.

Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.
 

 

:)     ... you probably knew I would contribute here .

 

My most recent research has been with Media (place) and Medians . They had a lot of 'native Iranian' stuff that was incorporated into Zoroastrianism, like elements of the early 'Aryan' religions ; worship and offerings to the forces of nature, water and especially fire. They knew the value of offerings and sacrifice (yasna)  but also its detrimental effect in certain areas  (eg, they banned the traditional Aryan Horse sacrifice and the  bull sacrifice). 

 

One of their main principles I like is their view on the purpose of life ..... is it to 'fear God'  or even obey his laws , is to make more Zoroastrians, is it to go to heaven ?  Nope ... it is  primarily 'to have a good life and enjoy it .

 

How is this to be achieved ?  By living a certain way, doing certain actions and avoiding others thus building a healthy psychology .  Its a great system and has the roots in it of many later developed systems . It has a great system of 'psychic anatomy', which I hope to highlight n a latter post .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, moment said:

Please understand, this is very much generalities to start dialog. I am hoping that those much more learned will now start educating me.

 
  Buddhism Zoroastrianism
  Buddhism Zoroastrianism
Place of worship Buddhist monasteries, temples, shrines. Dar-e Mehr (Persian) or Agiyari (Gujarati) or Fire temple
Practices Practices of the Threefold Training: Virtue, Concentration, and Wisdom, a.k.a the Noble Eightfold Path. Fire is used in Zoroastrian worship? Zoroastrians also pray 5 times a day. 
Place of origin Indian Subcontinent Persia (Iran)
Goal of religion To attain enlightenment and be released from the cycle of rebirth and death, thus attaining Nirvana. To serve God, by good deeds towards others. To acquire and cultivate divine attributes, particularly “ good mind and righteousness; to elevate themselves in harmony with God and to listen to God’s guiding voice within them.
Belief of God The idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator is rejected by Buddhists. The Buddha himself refuted the theistic argument that the universe was created by a self-conscious, personal God. One main God.
Use of statues and pictures Common Permitted, there are several drawings regarding Prophet Zoroaster and symbolic images of God (Ahura Mazda).
Followers Buddhists Zoroastrians.
Founder Gautama Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha) Zarathustra Haechataspa Spitama or Zoroaster (Greek) or Zartosht (Parsi)
Means of Salvation Following the Noble Eightfold Path. Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.
Scriptures Tripitaka The Zend Avesta.
Human Nature Ignorance, as all sentient beings. In the Buddhist texts, it is seen that when Gautama, after his awakening, was asked whether he was a normal human being, he replied, "No". equal ability to do good or evil.
     
Literal Meaning Buddhists are those who follow the teachings of the Buddha in order to become like the Buddha. Follower of Zoroaster.
     
     
Life after death Rebirth is one of the central beliefs of Buddhism. We are in an endless cycle of birth, death and re-birth, which can only be broken by attaining nirvana. Attaining nirvana is the only way to escape suffering permanently. Eternal life in Heaven, or in Hell.
     
     
Population 300-350 million. Approx. 100,000 Zoroastrians in the world.
Time of origin 2,500 years ago, circa 563 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) 600 B.C.E.
Concept of Deity Subject to debate Zoroaster proclaimed that all of the Iranian daevas were bad spirits and deserved no worship. These "bad" spirits were created by Angra Mainyu, the hostile and evil spirit. The existence of Angra Mainyu was the source of all sin and misery in the universe. Zoroaster claimed that Ahura Mazda was not an omnipotent God, but used the aid of humans in the cosmic struggle against Angra Mainyu. Nonetheless, Ahura Mazda is Angra Mainyu's superior, not his equal.
   
     
     
   

 

Well, they seem some copied and pasted  vague comparative stats ... what do you want education with ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

 

I did not know that Zoroaster and Zarathustra were the same person. 

 

The 2nd is closer to the original Avestan , the first closer to the Greek rendering .

 

Zoroaster (/ˌzɒrˈæstər ˈzɒrˌæstər/; from Greek Ζωροάστρης Zōroastrēs), also known as Zarathustra (/ˌzɑːrəˈθstrə/; AvestanZaraθuštra), Zarathushtra Spitama or Ashu Zarathushtra,  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Nungali said:

 

The 2nd is closer to the original Avestan , the first closer to the Greek rendering .

 

Zoroaster (/ˌzɒrˈæstər ˈzɒrˌæstər/; from Greek Ζωροάστρης Zōroastrēs), also known as Zarathustra (/ˌzɑːrəˈθstrə/; AvestanZaraθuštra), Zarathushtra Spitama or Ashu Zarathushtra,  

 

Oh, it's like the whole Zeus and Pluto thing! ... silly languages ... ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

 

I did not know that Zoroaster and Zarathustra were the same person. 

Yeah, although not really important, Zarathustra is the name of the man, Zoroaster is how the Greeks translated his name and Zoroaster is the root name for the religion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also  'Zardusht'   I think is another version.

 

One thing that arises in in depth study is the uncertainty of the dating .  

https://www.jstor.org/stable/615820?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

... and the general articles like Wiki on dating .   (my vies is that he was a reformer of an earlier  'Zoroastrian like ' religion (and this was a reformation of a similar earlier 'Aryan religion' . )   so elements of both original and reformation get confused and re-dated.

 

Also the phenomenal amount of lost or destroyed records ; Alexander and the Islamic/Arab invasion  - about 90% of what they had ... lost .

 

Most of their record is 'mytho-scriptual'  it ends before history ... then there is a giant gap in the record  (possibly war or disruption with other Indo-Iranian Aryans that did not accept Zoroastrianism ).

 

The record resumes with early history of Assyrians who first reported 'Parsa or Parsua ' (later Persians )  who were emerging out of the Zargos Mts and moving into Media plains and lowlands .  (Eventually the people to the east of Assyria  banded together against Assyrian raids and warfare, Parsa got the upper hand, eventually taking over the Medians and Persia 'Empire' came into existence  that extolled many Zoroastrian principles  ( like allowing the  conquered people to have their own religions , supporting and building their temples,  releasing the Jews from captivity .... all smart moves to make for a stable empire. )

 

... Aside ; this supposedly goes back to the old pre historical principle of Zoroastrian 'good kingship'  which supposedly made their  first centre or 'homeland' - Aryana Vaeja  one of the best places to live .    We also have there,  beginnings of a  4 fold 'caste system' with them as well, but more like a system of 'trades and occupations' .  I was recently reading where Ahura Mazda  supposedly represented some wise ancient king that gave out teachings, thats why such principles were embedded so strongly in the culture.

 

One never knows  perhaps the 'shining radiant being'' that communicated all this too him was a metaphorical flattery ? 

 

Edited by Nungali
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Lost in Translation said:

 

Oh, it's like the whole Zeus and Pluto thing! ... silly languages ... ;)

 

 .. Hang on ...   do you mean   Zeus and Jupiter  ... or    Pluto and Hades ?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Nungali said:

One thing that arises in in depth study is the uncertainty of the dating .  

 

Yes, much of the history of Zoroastrianism has been lost.  But this is openly admitted by the scholars when they speak to the history of the religion and do their best to not inject information that cannot be verified.

 

It likely goes back further than 600 BCE but supporting evidence is absent.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also, being originally an oral tradition ... who knows when that started ?

 

The 'Pishdadian Era' is very interesting . but pre-historical  and perhaps speculative ?

 

https://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/legendary/index.htm

 

Even in pre historical ancient times they seemed to know about lands from  Indus valley all the way over to Anatolia  ... but not Mesopotamia , that is , apparently not south of the Zargos (until Persua emerged )  .

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't recall having been to that site before.  Looks like a pretty good and accurate of the pre-history of Zoroastrianism.

 

I think it would be fair to say that Zarathustra had many influences when he established what became Zoroastrianism.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will post this here for context   (in relation to future posts ).

 

 

1. Some scholars[8] such as Mary Boyce (who dated Zoroaster to somewhere between 1700–1000 BCE) used linguistic and socio-cultural evidence to place Zoroaster between 1500 and 1000 BCE (or 1200 and 900 BCE).[7][24] The basis of this theory is primarily proposed on linguistic similarities between the Old Avestan language of the Zoroastrian Gathas and the Sanskrit of the Rigveda (c. 1700–1100 BCE), a collection of early Vedic hymns. Both texts are considered to have a common archaic Indo-Iranian origin. The Gathas portray an ancient Stone-Bronze Age bipartite society of warrior-herdsmen and priests (compared to Bronze tripartite society; some conjecture that it depicts the Yaz culture[25]), and thus it is implausible that the Gathas and Rigveda could have been composed more than a few centuries apart. These scholars suggest that Zoroaster lived in an isolated tribe or composed the Gathas before the 1200–1000 BCE migration by the Iranians from the steppe to the Iranian Plateau.[6][26][7][27][28] The shortfall of the argument is the vague comparison, and the archaic language of Gathas does not necessarily indicate time difference.[5][23]

 

2. Other scholars[8] propose a period between 7th and 6th century, for example, c. 650–600 BCE or 559–522 BCE.[23][24] The latest possible date is the mid 6th century, at the time of Achaemenid Empire's Darius I, or his predecessor Cyrus the Great. This date gains credence mainly on the thesis that certain figures must be based on historical facts,[24] thus some have related the mythical Vishtaspa with Darius I's father Vishtaspa (or Hystaspes in Greek) with the account on Zoroasters life. However, in the Avesta it should not be ignored that Vishtaspa's son became the ruler of the Persian Empire, Darius I would not ignore to include his patron-father in the Behistun Inscription. A different proposed conclusion is that Darius I's father was named in honor of the Zoroastrian patron, indicating possible Zoroastrian faith by Arsames.[29]

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroaster

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Nungali said:

 

Well, they seem some copied and pasted  vague comparative stats ...what do you want education with ?

 

On the first part of your comment, obviously, that was what it was intended to be. You need not worry about the education part though, you have been doing very well on that and I thank you for asking.I also thank you for all of your above in this thread. I appreciated this line of yours: "One never knows  perhaps the 'shining radiant being'' that communicated all this to him was a metaphorical flattery ?"  I suspect that has happened often through out history in all things religious.

Edited by moment
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I think that as a result of the information Nungali is presenting we find that the roots of Zoroastrianism reach back much further than Zarathustra himself.

 

I have an attachment to Zoroastrianism because it is the one religion that states specifically that God created man with free will.  And this free will allows us, each individual, to make choices in our life.  How Taoist is that?

 

Edited by Marblehead
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Yes, I think that as a result of the information Nungali is presenting we find that the roots of Zoroastrianism reach back much further than Zarathustra himself.

 

I have an attachment to Zoroastrianism because it is the one religion that states specifically that God created mad with free will.  And this free will allows us, each individual, to make choices in our life.  How Taoist is that?

 

I agree.  You saw this quote before:   "With an open mind, seek and listen to all the highest ideals. Consider the most enlightened thoughts. Then choose your path, person by person, each for oneself." --Zoroaster

 I apologize for the cut and paste coming in so bold.

 

That is so much what much of this site is about.  Learning and figuring out what is best individually.  Zoroaster was so far ahead of his time.  He was amazing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Boundlesscostfairy said:

I heard that the occult aspect of Zoroastrianism is like Alchemy..

 

Follows the Compass..of position.. and the elements.. as well..

You are ahead of me here.  I tend to over-look the occult and alchemy.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Boundlesscostfairy said:

I can genuinely see Zoroastrianism in your Signature even..

Great observation.  I hadn't noticed that myself.  But it is there, isn't it?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I suppose that I should mention that I have to give Nietzsche credit for introducing me to Zoroastrianism through his book "Thus Spoke Zarathustra".

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this