Zoroastrianism, is a faith begun in Iran by the prophet Zarathustra. Its followers worship just one God, Ahura Mazda. Zoroastrianism teaches that the world is the location of a battle between good and EVIL. It additionally maintains that there will probably be a fi nal judgment after loss of life.

History

No one is aware of when Zarathustra lived. Some date him shut to 1000 B.C.E. Others date him within the sixth century B.C.E. In any case, he lived in jap Iran and reformed the standard Iranian faith. He advocated the worship of Ahura Mazda (Lord of Wisdom) because the one true God. He additionally conceived of the standard daevas—a phrase associated to the English phrase “deity”—not as gods however as evil spirits. He eradicated the SACRIFICES that the daevas initially acquired.

Zoroastrianism flourished beneath the Persian emperors often known as the Achaemenids. The emperors Darius (dominated, 522–486 B.C.E. and Xerxes (dominated, 486–465 B.C.E.) made it the offi cial faith of their empire. The exact relations between Zoroastrianism and the standard Persian monks often known as MAGI are disputed.

After the conquests of Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.E.), Zoroastrianism adopted a really low profi le. Little was heard of it once more till the Sassanids got here to energy in Persia (dominated, 224–636 C.E.). At that point, Ahura Mazda grew to become often known as Ormazd; the evil spirit opposing him grew to become Ahriman. Several offshoots of Zoroastrianism additionally appeared. These included MANICHAEISM, a as soon as outstanding faith whose adherents have been unfold from the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North Africa all the best way to the Pacifi c coast of China.

Beginning about 635 C.E. Muslim armies invaded after which conquered Persia. The overwhelming majority of Persians transformed to Islam. As a end result, maybe solely 25,000 Zoroastrians, often known as Gabars, stay in Iran at this time. They are concentrated within the distant cities of Yazd and Kerman.

By 1000 C.E. Zoroastrians from Persia started settling within the western Indian area of Gujarat. There they're often known as PARSEES, as a result of they got here from Persia. For centuries the Parsees practiced agriculture, however beneath British rule within the 19th century they entered business, schooling, and the professions and have become very infl uential. In the 19th century Parsees started to depart India and settle in buying and selling outposts of the British Empire. In the interval after Indian independence in 1947 signifi cant Parsee communities have been established in London and Toronto.

Beliefs

The sacred assortment of writings of the Zoroastrians is often known as the Avesta or ZEND AVESTA. Among different writings it accommodates hymns by Zarathustra often known as Gathas. Because Zoroastrianism has suffered all through its historical past, solely a part of the Avesta survives at this time.

The central fi gure of Zoroastrian worship is Ahura Mazda, often known as Ormazd. He is everlasting and uncreated and is stated to have seven heavenly attendants, led by Spenta Mainyu, typically translated as “Holy Spirit.” Opposed to Ahura Mazda is Angra Mainyu, “Evil Spirit,” often known as Ahriman.

Zoroastrians consider the world as a battleground between these two sides. The heavenly attendants of Ahura Mazda have chosen to comply with Truth. Angra Mainyu and the daevas have chosen to comply with the Lie. Human beings at the moment are referred to as upon to select Truth over the Lie, goodness over evil.

Zoroastrians additionally train that there will probably be a fi nal battle on the finish of time. In that battle Ahura Mazda will defeat Angra Mainyu as soon as and for all. They additionally train that human beings are judged after loss of life. They should stroll across the Bridge of Recompense, which traverses an abyss. For a deceased one who has adopted the Truth, the Bridge is extensive. He or she crosses simply and enters the presence of Ahura Mazda. But if the deceased has adopted the Lie, the Bridge turns into as slender as a razor’s edge, and she or he falls into the abyss.

Practices

The commonest image of Zoroastrianism is fi re, for Zoroastrians suppose that fi re is supremely pure. Indeed, Zoroastrian temples are often known as fi re temples. They include fi res that burn repeatedly in giant steel vessels. Five occasions a day monks have a tendency the fires. They add gasoline and recite prayers from the Avesta.
Observant Zoroastrians bathe ritually for functions of purity. Their day by day life is additionally divided into fi ve totally different PRAYER durations. The most essential Zoroastrian pageant is New Year’s. Known as No Ruz or “New Day,” it is a joyous celebration held across the time of the spring equinox.

At the age of seven for Parsees, 10 for Gabars, girls and boys develop into members of the group by a ritual often known as navjot, “new birth.” On this event they obtain a white shirt and a sacred thread. They put on them for the remainder of their lives.

The Zoroastrian observe greatest identified to outsiders is in all probability the funeral, though it is merely one aspect of a wealthy non secular life. Zoroastrians consider that it is mistaken to pollute any of the 4 components, earth, air, fi re, or water. Therefore, they've historically not buried or cremated their lifeless. Instead, they've placed the corpses in specifically constructed wells often known as “towers of silence.” Relatively rapidly, vultures eat the fl eshy elements of the corpse. The bones are then dried by the solar and gathered into particular holding areas or ossuaries.

In current a long time this observe has been the topic of some dialogue inside Zoroastrian communities. Those who stay in areas the place there is not a big focus of Zoroastrians fi nd it diffi cult to keep the custom. Some bury the lifeless. Others advocate electrical cremation as a viable different to publicity.

Organization

One could be a Zoroastrian provided that one’s father is a Zoroastrian. The group doesn't settle for converts. Parsees say that that they had to agree not to settle for converts so as to achieve permission to stay in India.

A person could develop into a priest if his father was a priest. He receives particular instruction, historically from his father. He additionally undergoes particular RITUALS to make investments him with the offi ce of the priesthood.

Significance

The variety of Zoroastrians on this planet is not giant, maybe 150,000. Nevertheless, Zoroastrianism is a significant and historical faith. In addition, signifi cant components of JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, and ISLAM could also be of Zoroastrian origin. These components include beliefs in ANGELS, within the satan, in a fi nal judgment, and in a RESURRECTION of the lifeless.


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