Friday, July 9, 2010

Zoroastrianism


Zarathushtra (Zoroaster), was an ancient Iranian prophet and philosopher, and the founder of the Zoroastrian religion.It is now generally thought that he lived about the 10th or 11th century BCE, though some scholars believe that he lived sometime between 1750 and 1500 BC or between 1400 and 1200 BC, and Iranian tradition places him at about 570 BC. The traditional Parsi people of Pakistan and India place the Prophet as older than 6000 BC.

In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from Him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good and evil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it. Mazda is not immanent in the world, and His creation is represented by the Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom the works of God are evident to humanity, and through whom worship of Mazda is ultimately directed. The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, of which a significant portion has been lost, and mostly only the liturgies of which have survived. The lost portions are known of only through references and brief quotations in the later works of (primarily) the 9th-11th centuries.

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