Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Summary of Zoroastrianism




Introduction
This religion is one of the oldest religion in the world but now very few followers remain in some countries especially in India. This is the religion of Persia
This religion also has prophet like Islam, Christianity. The prophet is Zarasthustra, also known as Zoroaster who was regarded as the founder of this religion.

There it is related that confused and distracted humanity approaches God, the supreme creator. The supreme Load thereupon asks the angels arounf him whether they could name any soul who could undertake this task. When the angels show their inability in this regard, the Lord himself names Zoroaster as the savior of mankind and sends him on earth.
The most important teaching that Zoroaster imparted to his people was his incipient ethical monotheism.
Basic features of Zoroastrianism as a religion.
1- Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion with a kind of internal dualism in godhead.2- Ahura Mazda is the one supreme God.
3– God is subtle and he is not to be given to ordinary knowledge of human being. 4- the world is pictured as a battleground of two forces the force of good as represented by Spenta Mainyu and the force of evil as represented by Angra Mainyu. 5- Man has been granted free will and he is to exercise his freedom of choice preferably by choosing the side of the force of good fighting against that of evil. 6- Zoroastrianism believes in a future life. 7- Zoroastrianism promises an ultimate happy and good life to all. 8- it also believe in the existence of angel. 9- there are also evil spirits who accompany Ahriman in his spreading of evil in the world. 10- it is the religion of perfect ethical purity and dedication devoid of petty ceremonialism. 11- worship of Ahura Mazda is prescribed in Zoroastrianism religious life. 12- Fire is regarded as very pure and is treated as a symbol of Divine purity.
God
Zoroaster preached a strict monotheism and according to him Ahura Mazda is the only God whom people should adore and worship. Ahura means Lord Mazda means all wise.
And the six modes can be regarded as the six aspects of the supreme god. These six aspects are named as Asha, Vohu Mano,Kshathra, Armaiti, Haurvataf and Ameretat.
World
The world is created by God and is also sustained and ruled by him. Zoroastrianism world is perfectly real world. The god has made the world with a perfectly ethical purpose. The present world is a ground for the exercise of man’s free moral free. This world is very real and very vital for man.
Man
The world is a ground of struggle between the force of good and evil and man has to play his role in it. He is born pure and sinless and is free to choose either the path of good or of evil.
Man is taught an active ethical conduct in Zoroastrianism. It teaches man to lead a healthy natural life and not to resort to secluded jungle life. Zoroastrian conception of man is free from all such burdens of original sin or past karma.
Evil and Suffering
Zoroastrianism is best known for its solution of the much discussed problem of evil. It attributes all evil and suffering of the world to the evil spirit Ahriman. The explanation for evils in Zoroastrianism will be the same as it is later on to be found in Judaism and Christianity. Ahura Mazda is fundamentally responsible for all evils.
Life after Death
This religion also same other religion the concept of life after death that believes in human soul which is not destroyed with bodily death. Man has an afterlife in accordance with  the righteous or evil deeds performed by him during his earthy life.
Zoroastrianism point out that the soul after the physical death of man remains for three days with the body and meditates upon its deeds. The fourth day the sour parts with the body and makes a journey to the place of judgment.
The allotment of heaven or hell to the souls is not eternal according to it. In this world all souls will remain forever without growing old or facing decay. In this world there will be only good and no evil.
Ultimate Destiny
We have seen in the Zoroastrian eschatology that in this after-life man finds a place of happiness or suffering strictly in accordance with his deeds. The destiny of man clearly seems to consists in an abode either in heaven or in hell in accordance with his deeds. The idea of ultimate destiny of man is full of a high optimism. Zoroastrianism promises a very happy and elevated life for all its followers in the ultimate analysis.
Ethics and ways of prayer
Zoroaster preached good thought, good word, and good deed to be the essential virtues or duties for every religious man. Zoroastrian worship mainly consists in offering prayers to Ahura Mazda requesting him to offer help for living a righteous life.
Sects
The only surviving group following Zoroastrian faith is that of the Parsees living in India. These Parsees are supposed to be descended from a group of Zoroastrians who were banished from Persia by Muslim persecutors in about 716 A.D.
Two sects of Parsees may be distinguishing the Shahanshahis and the Kadmis. Their chief difference lies in that of a fact of history. The day of the fall is observed by the Parsees as the Day of Yazedegard, the New Year’s Day.

Sources: Class note


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