Zoroastrianism – World Atlas

By | September 19, 2023

Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic faith much like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It carries comparable ideas, together with perception in a single God and the battle between good and evil. In truth, it’s mentioned that Zoroastrianism might have influenced these three religions. Zoroastrianism is called after its founder, Zoroaster, who has the standing of a prophet within the Zoroastrian faith. Over time, Zoroastrianism got here to dominate successive Persian dynasties that constructed huge empires. Islamic conquest 7y Nevertheless, this century introduced an finish to the dominance of Zoroastrianism within the Persian world, though the faith nonetheless exists to at the present time.

Prophet Zoroaster

Inside view of the Zoroastrian fireplace temple of Echkadi in Iran with a picture of the Prophet Zoroaster and three of his followers in Iran. Editorial credit score: Kanyalsen/Shutterstock.

There is no such thing as a common consensus on when Zoroaster, also referred to as Zarathustra, was born. Based on Zoroastrian custom, Zoroaster lived 258 years earlier than Alexander the Nice conquered Persepolis, which was the capital of Persia underneath the Achaemenid dynasty, in 330 BC. However Zoroastrian custom additionally says that Zoroaster was 40 years previous when he transformed Vishtaspa, most probably a Central Asian king, in 588 BC, making Zoroaster’s beginning date 628 BC. Nevertheless, some students counsel that Zoroaster might have lived round 1200 BC, whereas others assert that the founding father of Zoroastrianism was alive a full thousand years earlier than conventional dates.

In any case, Zoroaster was born someplace in what’s now northeastern Iran or southwestern Afghanistan. The society he was born into was largely polytheistic, that means that folks worshiped many gods. However Zoroaster rejected polytheism. He additionally rejected the category construction, which he discovered oppressive, in addition to the facility that princes and clergymen had over atypical folks on the time. Based on Zoroastrian custom, on the age of thirty, Zoroaster had a divine imaginative and prescient whereas bathing in a river throughout a pagan purification ritual. He noticed a “brilliant being” that exposed himself to be Foho manh (“Good thoughts”). Foho manh Zarathustra led to ahura mazda, It’s the Zoroastrian title for God. Ahura Mazda And he was accompanied Amisha Spentas (Holy Immortals). These visions had been the primary of many who Zoroaster had. He requested about each imaginative and prescient Ahura Mazda And the Amisha Spentas Questions. The solutions he obtained are thought-about by Zoroastrians to be the teachings of Zoroastrianism.

Initially, Zoroaster’s teachings weren’t effectively accepted, both by the spiritual leaders of the time or by atypical folks. Thus, after 12 years, Zarathustra determined to depart his homeland in search of people that would hearken to him. His journey took him to Bactria, a kingdom that included elements of present-day Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The King and Queen of Bactria had been the primary leaders satisfied by Zoroaster to transform to his new faith. These kings subsequently made Zoroastrianism the official faith of their kingdom.

Rules of Zoroastrianism

Chak Chak, Yazd, Iran
A Zoroastrian lady lights incense on the Zoroastrian pilgrimage web site of Chak Chak in Yazd, Iran. Editorial credit score: Andrew Naga / Shutterstock.com

On the coronary heart of the brand new faith of Zoroaster is the assumption in a single God, which is talked about above Ahura Mazda, who’s all-knowing, omnipotent, and all-existent. Zoroastrians contemplate it superior to all the things else. Furthermore, it’s Ahura Mazda That created all life. Every part He created is taken into account pure by Zoroastrians. Due to this fact, Zoroastrians search to not hurt the Earth’s atmosphere Ahura Mazda This is the reason some have referred to Zoroastrianism because the “first ecological faith.”

One other fundamental tenet of Zoroastrianism is the assumption that Zoroaster is a prophet Ahura Mazda. Zoroaster himself is just not worshipped, however Zoroastrians consider his visions had been divine, together with the beforehand talked about holy immortals whom he encountered similtaneously he encountered God. There are six of those Holy Immortals, every representing totally different virtues. Fuhu mana Represents good thoughts and good function; Asha Vahishta Represents reality and righteousness. Flip off the American Represents holy devotion, serenity and loving kindness; Khashatra Vaeria Represents energy and simply rule; Horavavat Represents perfection and well being. And Amritat It represents lengthy life and immortality.

The duality of fine and evil can also be vital to Zoroastrianism. Based on Zoroastrian teachings, God has a so-called adversary Agra MainuWhich interprets as “destroying spirit.” He’s the one who created dying and all evil on this planet. whereas Ahura Mazda resides in heaven, Agra Mainu He resides in hell. It’s the actions that an individual performs throughout his life that decide which of those worlds he’ll enter after his dying.

Growth and decline of Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrian Tower in Silenc
Ruins of the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence in Yazd, Iran. Editorial credit score: Kanyalcin / Shutterstock.com

Zoroastrianism unfold throughout Asia by way of the historic Silk Highway, a community of commerce routes that unfold from China, throughout Asia, all the best way to Europe. It will definitely turned the official faith of the mighty Persian Achaemenid Empire, an empire that prolonged from Anatolia and Egypt to northern India and Central Asia. Cyrus the Nice, who based the empire, was himself a religious Zoroastrian. However he didn’t attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on the peoples he conquered. In truth, he was a tolerant ruler by the requirements of the time, permitting the folks he conquered to proceed practising their faith. Based on Jewish custom, for instance, it was Cyrus the Nice who freed the Jewish folks imprisoned in Babylon and allowed them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild Solomon’s Temple.

Zoroastrianism would proceed to flourish over the following thousand years. It was the official faith of the Persian dynasties that succeeded the Achaemenid Empire, together with the Parthian and Sassanian empires. Nevertheless, the faith’s dominance over the Persian world would stop within the seventh centuryy century AD. Between 633 and 651 AD, Muslim Arabs invaded Persia, bringing an finish to the Sassanian Empire. Once they conquered Persia, they imposed extra taxes on Zoroastrians in trade for permitting them to proceed practising their faith, amongst different measures that made life troublesome for Zoroastrian practitioners. Finally, most Iranian Zoroastrians transformed to Islam.

Zoroastrianism as we speak

Parsi Navjoti spiritual ceremony in Mumbai, India. Zoroastrians in India are referred to as Parsis. Editorial credit score: AnilD / Shutterstock.com

In the present day, Zoroastrianism has an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 followers. The biggest communities of Zoroastrians are present in India and Iran. Within the first, there are an estimated 60,000 Parsis, the title given to followers of Zoroastrianism in India. There are about 25,000 Zoroastrians in Iran, however they’re severely persecuted by the nation’s Shiite Islamic fundamentalist regime. Different massive communities of Zoroastrians could be present in Iraqi Kurdistan, america, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Canada, the UK, Australia, Azerbaijan, the Arab international locations of the Persian Gulf, Pakistan, and New Zealand.

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