دین زرتشت - Iran old religions -Zoroastrian


By pouya monsefi 

 is the oldest of the revealed world-religions

دین زرتشت
دین باستانی ایرانیان ، قدیمی ترین دین یکتا پرستی در جهان

The Prophet Zarathushtra Beliefs and Religious education for Better life to the people was Based on Three Principles   

Speak Well  .Act Well.   Think Well

آموزشها و اعتقادات حضرت زرتشت برای زندگی بهتر به مردم بر سه چیز استوار بود :

اندیشه نیک  -  گفتار نیک   - کردار نیک

Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.
" - Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians:Their Religious Beliefs and Practices
 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979, p. 1

Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence....”
Mary Boyce, Op. Cit. p. 29

A brief overview

Zoroastrianism is a religion founded in ancient times by the prophet Zarathushtra, known to the Greeks as Zoroaster.
Zoroastrianism was the dominant world religion during the Persian empires (559 BC to 651 AC), and was thus the most powerful world religion at the time of Jesus. It had a major influence on other religions. It is still practiced world-wide, especially in Iran and India. To quote Mary Boyc
The prophet Zarathushtra, son of Pourushaspa, of the Spitaman family, is known to us primarily from the Gathas, seventeen great hymns which he composed and which have been faithfully preserved by his community. These are not works of instruction, but inspired, passionate utterances, many of them addressed directly to God; and their poetic form is a very ancient one, which has been traced back (through Norse parallels) to Indo-European times. It seems to have been linked with a mantic tradition, that is, to have been cultivated by priestly seers who sought to express in lofty words their personal apprehension of the divine; and it is marked by subtleties of allusion, and great richness and complexity of style. Such poetry can only have been fully understood by the learned; and since Zoroaster believed that he had been entrusted by God with a message for all mankind, he must also have preached again and again in plain words to ordinary people. His teachings were handed down orally in his community from generation to generation, and were at last committed to writing under the Sasanians, rulers of the third Iranian empire. The language then spoken was Middle Persian, also called Pahlavi; and the Pahlavi books provide invaluable keys for interpreting the magnificent obscurities of the Gathas themselves." - Zoroastrians, Their religious beliefs and practices,
London, 1979, pg 17

آتشکده روشن یزد -محل نماز خواندن زرتشتیان - 
 اتش این اتشکده 2 هزار سال است که روشن است
Active fire place in Iran - Yazd
Prayer place

Some of the major tenets of Zoroastrianism include
God : Ahura Mazda

The supreme being is called Ahura Mazda (Phl. Ohrmazd), meaning "Wise Lord." Ahura Mazda is all good, and created the world and all good things, including people. He is opposed by Anghra Mainyu (Phl. Ahriman), meaning "Destructive Spirit," the embodiment of evil and creator of all evil things. The cosmic battle between good and evil will ultimately lead to the destruction of all evil.

Holy Prophet : Zarathushtra

The religion was founded by Zarathushtra. His date is uncertain, but is probably somewhere around 1200 BC. He lived and preached in the Inner Asian steppes. Zarathushtra received his revelations directly from Ahura Mazda, and from his Archangels (Amesha Spentas).

Scripture : Avesta

The central scripture is the Avesta. The most sacred sections of the Avesta are the Gathas or Hymns of Zarathushtra; they are also the most enigmatic. Later sacred literature includes the Pahlavi Texts, which contain extensive quotations and paraphrases from lost Avesta texts.

The creed is summarized in Yasna 12. It is likely to have been composed by Zarathushtra himself, and to have been used as an avowal of faith by early converts (Cf. Boyce, Zoroastrianism, It's Antiquity and Constant Vigour, p. 102-4).

Two sacred garments, the sudreh (shirt) and kusti (cord) are the emblems of the religion. Zoroastrians perform a short cleansing ritual (Padyab), and retie the kusti several times a day with another short ritual (Nirang-i Kusti) as a sign of their faith. Other prayers are recited daily from the Khorda Avesta. Prayer is largely done in the Avestan language. The faithful should also participate in seasonal communal festivals ("Gahambars") during the year.

Fire and "Asha"

Fire, as a symbol of "Asha" and the "original light of God," holds a special place of esteem in the religion. Prayer is often done in front of a fire, and consecrated fires are kept perpetually burning in the major temples.

Tehran fire place


?What scriptures are sacred to Zoroastrianism

AVESTA has five book's
The oldest Zoroastrian scripture is the Avesta. It is about a thousand pages long. Some portions, including the Gathas, are in an older dialect called 'Old Avestan' or 'Gathic Avestan'. The major surviving divisions are:

Yashna & Yasna

Sacred Liturgy and Gathas/Hymns of Zarathushtra

Khorda Avesta

(Book of Common Prayer) including Yashts (hymns to the sacred beings), Niyayeshes (litanies to the sun, Mithra, Water, Fire, and the Moon), Gahs (prayers for the five periods of the day), Afrinagans (ceremonies of blessing), and other prayers


Extensions to the Liturgy


Primarily purity laws, myths, and some medical texts

Me and Mobed (Zoroastrianism priest ) in fire place -Iran - Kerman
من با موبد  مهران غیبی در آتشکده کرمان سال 1380 خورشیدی
(به راهنمای دینی زرتشتیان موبد می گویند)
    Zoroastrian religious leaders
رهبر مذهبی زرتشتیان ( موبد ) عکس زیر دکتر کورش نیکنام موبد آتشکده تهران و یزد هستند.

?When did Zarathushtra live

According to Bruce Lincoln,
"At present, the majority opinion among scholars probably inclines toward the end of the second millennium or the beginning of the first, although there are still those who hold for a date in the seventh century." (Death, War, and Sacrifice, 1991, pg 150)

Humbach and Ichaporia seem to favor the Xanthos date of 1080 BC but mention the 630 date also.
(Heritage, 1994, pg 11).

A commonly given date is the seventh century B.C.E. I think Boyce has convincingly shown the seventh century date to be an error. Humbach also discounts the basis of this calculation in his Gathas 1991 (pg 30). Boyce has wavered on an actual date: between 1400 and 1000 BC (1975), between 1700 and 1500 (1979), around 1400 BC (1988), between 1500 BC & 1200 BC "with the latter more likely" (1992).

سرچشمه   :Source

Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism
Mary Boyce (Editor)

Introduction to Zoroastrianism with selections from original texts, historical details and thoughtful analysis. Traces the development of the traditions, doctrines and writings up to the modern era.

Phoenix: The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism

R.C. Zaehner

Written by one of the most respected Zoroastrian scholars, this is probably the most comprehensive account of Zoroastrianism available.

The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research

Solomon A. Nigosian

Survey of Zoroastrianism and its role in the development of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices
Mary Boyce

زرتشتیان : موبد اوشیدری
اوستا : موبد رستم شهرزادی


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