Tuesday, January 23, 2007

AHURA-MAZDA - still worshipped by Zoroastrians as the Creator of the Universe

As Godchecker.com states, "With its monotheistic concept of GOD and ideas of good and evil spirituality, Zoroastrianism had a huge impact on subsequent religions such as Judaism and Christianity, who appear to have stolen many of its spiritual notions..."

Zoroastrians still exist today and small communities of adherents can be found worldwide, especially in India, Pakistan, Iran and also in major urban areas of the U.S., Canada, UK and Australia. When studying mythology, one can see just how many religions there are in the world, and in many cases one religion/mythology evolves into another as time goes on. Christianity today is far different than what it was only a few centuries ago. Also, Christianity combined with tribal religions gives us beliefs such as the kind of Voodoo that is practiced in Haiti and the southeastern U.S., for instance.

The point is, when one studies world religions and their histories along side world mythologies and cultural traditions, it is quite obvious how one culture borrowed parts of mythologies from previous religions and mythologies to form new belief systems. I encourage all people, whether you have a belief system or not, to study world religions and mythology to understand your fellow humans on the planet we are all forced by nature to share.

From Godchecker.com: As The Wise Lord and God above all other Gods, AHURA-MAZDA was — and still is — worshipped by Zoroastrians as the Creator of the Universe and Source of All Good Things. With the light bulb reference seeming so appropriate, we fondly imagine he created the Universe by flipping a cosmic light switch. 'Let there be light', in fact.

With the holy AMESHA-SPENTAS and also his sons ATAR and MITHRA providing backup, AHURA-MAZDA wages permanent war with AHRIMAN, a deity of unspeakable repulsiveness. AHRIMAN aims to devastate the universe by filling it with pure evil.

Much like GOD and SATAN, they've been battling it out for millennia, but AHURA-MAZDA has a trump card tucked up his sleeve; SAOSHYANT will show up at the last minute and put everything to rights.

Zoroastrianism was founded by Zoroaster (also known as Zarathushtra) squillions of years ago, and flourished despite being such an awkward religion to spell. Its sacred scripture, the Vesta, unfortunately perished in the Great Fire at the Library of Alexandra, and only a remnant of this fascinating text remains. This is called the Zenda Vesta, which means 'Scrap of Vesta Which Is Somewhat Charred But Still Jolly Good'.


BaconEating AtheistJew said...

There is a debate of when Zoroastrians first came about. Some say 500 BC, some say 1500-2000 BC. I think Judaism usurped it...I think Judaism only goes back to around 650-800 BC.
I think Zoroastrians were the first true monotheistic religion of an INVISIBLE god.

And of course, then Christianity usurped a pile of religions and beliefs.

The Zoroastrian populations of Iran were pretty much finished off by the Muzzies in the 7th Century. I got that from Atheist Girl.

Andrea said...

Coincidentally, I'm reading a pretty interesting book called "In Search Of Zarathustra." It's part investigation into the origins of Zorastrianism and part journal of exotic travels into Iran and Central Asia. Has some cool photos too.

Like atheistjew said, it now seems pretty clear that the Hebrews lifted the bulk of their beliefs from Zoroastrians.

Tommy said...

Yeah, when you think about it, the Persian Empire was the best thing that ever happened to the Jews in ancient times. The Persian king Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to Israel and he tolerated different religions. Prior to the Babylonian Captivity, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were under constant threat from attack from their neighbors, having little in the way of natural geographic barriers to protect them. The Jews lived under the protection of the Persian Empire for almost 250 years, during which time the Jewish population could grow and Judaism developed into the religion we recognize today without the threat of foreign invasion.

Living under Persian rule for some 250 years, it is not surprising that Judaism was influenced by Zoroastrianism.

And that's the problem with Biblical literalists. They tend to be ignorant of history, thinking that everything that happened in the Middle East revolved around the Israelites, when in fact the history of the region was dominated by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Arameans, Persians, and Babylonians.

Hopefully in a few days I will have my Chosen People of the Supreme Being Test series up. Yeah, I know, I keep saying that!