Culture

Zoroastrianism: Its Founder, Origin, Beliefs, Practices & Rituals

Jan 29 2020 By Akbar Shekh

If we look around, we can see a variety of religious people who follow different religions. It sounds surprising but Religion is always there since the existence of the human being. Religion was always meant to make stability and balance in life. Today’s topic is about one of the ancient religions on earth, Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism was first reported to have introduced by the Iranian-speaking spiritual leader, Zoroaster aka Zarathushtra.

Since the 5th century, people are continuously practicing the Zoroastrianism religion. The old religion, Zoroastrianism is centered on a dualistic cosmology of good and evil. The origin of this religion found before Islam where people used to survive in isolated areas. It captures both monotheistic and dualistic features and is similar to the major Western religions.

Let’s find out the founder, origin, beliefs,

Founder of Zoroastrian Religion

One of the oldest religions in the world, Zoroastrian was first defined by the Iranian-speaking spiritual leader, Zoroaster or Zarathushtra. It prays the uncreated deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda as its supreme being. The meaning of the word Ahura is ‘lord’ and Mazda is ‘wisdom’.

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The statue of Ahura Mazda
The statue of Ahura Mazda presenting the diadem of sovereignty Image Source: Wikipedia

The act of worship in the Zoroastrian religion is called Yasna. The religion itself is also pronounced as Mazdayasna which is created from the mixture of two words; Mazda and the Avestan language word, Yasna which means worship or devotion.

Origin of Zoroastrian Religion

As we mentioned earlier, the Zoroastrian religion came into existence during the 5th century, as per the records. Zoroastrians used to live in most parts of India and Iran. Similarly, Ahura Mazda, the highest deity of Zoroastrianism, delivered the religion to Zoroaster. Well, Ahura appeared in the Achaemenid period (c. 550 – 330 BCE), during the First Persian Empire. Mazda was the one who taught all the cardinal principles for the Zoroastrian religion to Zoroaster.

As per this religion, Angra Mainyu was the destructive spirit who was the source of all sin and misery in the universe. Although religious literature and other facts about the Zoroastrian religion slowly started to get extinct, we came to know about the religion due to the remaining statues and stories.

Beliefs in Zoroastrian Religion

Just like any other religion, Zoroastrianism is also based on beliefs. The most necessary and important scripture of the religion is Avesta which talks the writings of Zoroaster including ritual poems. The people of this religion believe that Ahura Mazda is their creator and everyone should be responsible for their choices. Also, the followers of this religion take Angra Mainyu as the source of an evil thought.

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Zoroastrians believe Ahura Mazda to be their creator
Zoroastrians believe Ahura Mazda to be their creator
Image Source: History

Similarly, Zoroastrians believe in the threefold path of Asha which is Humata, Huxta, and Huvarshta (Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds). The people of this religion inspires others to align themselves back to follow this path. Also, they assume that Zoroaster only reached the highest devotion to Ahura Mazda.

Moreover, they have essentially two factors in their religion, ‘Good and Evil’ which creates everything in the universe. As per their belief, these ‘Asha and Druj’ were the two factors that resulted in the cosmic conflict creating all mental, spiritual and material components in our life. Concluding, after the clash of two opposite energies, everything came into existence.

Practices of Zoroastrian Religion

The Zoroastrian religion teaches to have active and ethical participation in life which is only possible through good deeds. The followers of this religion practices to convey good words which will form good thoughts that will automatically lead us to do good deeds. The human life is mortal and human must battle between Asha and Druj, that’s what everyone is expected to practice in this religion.

Most of the Zoroastrians don’t believe in reincarnation, however, sees life as a temporary state. The followers of this religion mostly practice on active participation in Zoroaster’s concept of free will and reject the extreme forms of asceticism and monasticism.

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Rituals of Zoroastrian Religion

In the Zoroastrian religion, the two components for ritual purity are water (aban) and fire (atar). The associated purification ceremonies are the basis of their ritual life. As per them, Water and Fire are the essentials to sustain human life.

Water and Fire are two essential elements to purify your life in Zoroastrianism
Water and Fire are two essential elements to purify your life in Zoroastrianism
Image Source: Delhi Parsis

So, the Zoroastrians mostly pray in the presence of these two elements. They consider Fire to be their medium to reach spiritual insight and wisdom. Besides, they take Water to be the source of wisdom.

For more interesting articles like this, visit Wikye.

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