Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Zoroastrianism

FaravaharImage via Wikipedia
I just love the word...

Zoroastrianism has nothing to do with Zorro, the masked avenger. It's actually the world's oldest monotheistic religion. I'm sure some of you have heard of it. Sometimes the religion is referred to as Mazdaism. (Parsi for my friends in India.) Still not ringing a bell?

Here's the skinny:

In ancient Persia, a man named Zoroaster went into the river and came out enlightened. He then focused his worship on the Ahura Mazda, or the creator. All good comes from the creator, who will reward followers on the last day with immortality and lots of other desirable things. Meanwhile, the evil Angra Mainyu is ever upsetting the tranquility of man.

Zoroastrians worship in a fire temple, as fire is the medium for spiritual wisdom and insight. Worshippers offer sandalwood and frankincense to the flames there. In fact, the temple fire (eternal flame) in Yazd has been burning continuously for 1,500 years.

If some of this sounds familiar, it may be because the ideas of heaven, demonology and fire show up in later monotheistic religions.  Parallels extend even to the holy spirit and the flame of enlightenment it bestowed on the disciples.

For me, the whole idea of getting to the root of things is what matters because, for my djinn, fire is the source of life.

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4 comments:

Jules said...

I had heard the word but never look into the meaning. It now makes perfect sense. Thanks for enlightening me :)

Can I still like zorro :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Christopher said...

i've always been so fascinated by the development of religion throughout history,

Laura Pauling said...

I've learned something new today! And thanks for commenting today!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

There are lots of Parsis in India, and though I knew about the fire temple, and their death rites, I never knew much about the origin of the religion. Thanks.

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