|Ethical Dualism||Human Destiny|
Ahura Mazda(one God) Belief in universal forces of ggood/evil Ressurection/Judgment
Ahura is the Wise Lord The religion's most key feature Heaven and Hell
-Universal goodness Morals After death-judgement
-Opposed by the Lie Ahura has twin children -good go to paradise
*Lie is an evil,cosmic force 2children-benefitial/hostile spirit -evil go to abyss
He controls.... -free to choose between good/evil Final bodily ressurection
- the cosmos and Benefitial chose truth Heaven-in sunshine
-human destiny Hostile(Satan)chose Lie Hell-foul-smelling/dark
Derived from the ancient world -asha(truth)
Those who live by 'asha' are ashavan and who live by 'druj' are dregvant
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"Listen to the best things with your ears, reflect upon them with an unbiased mind. Then let each man and women for him or her self choose between the two ways thinking. Awaken to my doctrine, before this great event of choice comes upon you" .
[Avesta: The Gathas: Song 3:2]
The fire burns in a sanctuary within a temple. Zoroastrians turn to the eternal flame while reciting the mantha form of Zoroastrian prayer. During prayer, a priest carefully tends to the fire while maintaing ritual purity by covering their mouths with cloth and special fabric. The cloth is used to prevent contaminating the fire. Before prayer, worshippers wash themselves, like Muslims do in prayer. After washing themselves they offer money and sandalwood and then receive ashes, which they rub on their faces (Brodd 184).
The eternal fire that represents Ahura Mazda's spiritual purity.
Fire also represents the ideas and basic beliefs of Zoroastrianism. Fire is a source of light which represents wisdom while darkness represents ignorance. The passing of Zoroastrian ideas and values from one person to the next is symbolized by lighting a new flame. When beliefs are passed from one generation to another without interruption, Zoroastrians have the notion of an 'eternal' flame, one that will endure the passage of time (Heritage Institute 1).Today, there are three grades of fire:
the atash bahram
Agiary (India), Atashkadeh (Iran)
(Heritage Institute 1)
Ancient Zoroastrian Prayer
Open Air Fire Platform at Naqsh-e-Rustam, Iran
Reign of Darius 522-486 BCE (Heritage Institute 1)
Modern Zoroastrian Prayer
Outdoor Zoroastrian worship platform
overlooking Khorog (capital, Gorno-Badakhshan Province)
& Panj (Amu Darya) River,
Tajikistan - 3000 BCE (?) (Heritage Institute 1 )
Watch the video below to learn more about Zoroastrian Worship in Iran. Enjoy :]
Life and Death
When a Zoroastrian dies, it is the body that dies and the soul continues to exist in the spiritual existence. The soul, fravashi and spirit are the three primary spiritual components that depends on the way in which a person lives their life from the age of reason starting at age fifteen. This includes the person's store of thoughts, words and deeds, how well the person has kept her or his word, the person's conscience and sense of justice. Zoroastrians believe that they can approach death without fear if they have led a truly good life according to the triple motto that Zoroaster set forth and if they have helped others, and if they have led a life of honest worth (Heritage Institute 1). Shortly after a person has died, they undergo judgment which requires individuals to cross the Bridge of the Separator, which goes over an abyss of horrible torment but then eventually leads to paradise. During judgment, all ethical records in a persons life are read and reviewed carefully. People who have led good lives, are allowed to enter into paradise and those who have not lived a true Zoroastrian life are cast down to the abyss. In the Avesta, it states that Zoroastrians are responsible for their own soul and their own final outcome. (Brodd 183) In other words, the persons’ individual soul creates its own heaven or hell, both of which are a state of spiritual existence and not places ( Heritage Institute 1). After resurrection, all Zoroastrians will be tested by fire and molten metal. The outcome of this test is that the evil will burn and the good will be protected and unharmed (Brodd 183). In spite of the person’s fate, the soul does not perish after death and the spirit and the soul will continue to exist until the end of time. At the end of time, all souls will go to God after a special spiritual cleansing. Those who have led good lives, are the souls of ashavan (asha-goodness) and they will unite with the fravashi and spirit to form a united fravashi, who then can become a guardian angel. Zoroastrians goal in life is to achieve ushta which means abiding peace and happiness(humanity at peace with itself and an individual at peace with oneself) (Heritage Institute1).
Zoroastrians at the age of fifteen (Iranian age of maturity) are initiated by ordained priests to declare their spiritual responsibility.Relatives and friends of the family are invited to celebrate the initiation. All are encouraged to wear white, because it symbolizes light and purity which in turn represents the unity of mankind into an enlightened fellowship. A table is covered with white cloth and on the tabe, a fire-vase is lit with sandalwood or incents. The table is also showered with flowers, rice, rose pedals and fresh fruits to represent the future beautiful environment for the Zoroastrian who is about to be initiated. During the ceremony, a sacred white undershit (Sadra) and a sacred girdle (Kustig). The sacred clothing represents their membership in the Zoroastrian community. After the ceremony, traditionally Zoroastrians must untie and tie their sacred girdle every time they pray or when they perform the Padyab Kushti, to ensure purity of the body and soul. They must wear the Sadra and the Kustig everyday and night. It is cosindered a sin, if the sacred clothing is not worn. The sin is reffered to as, "Scrambling around Naked". (Tenets. Zoroastrianism.cc)
Take a look at this article to gain further knowledge on the background and significance of the ceremony.
During the Parsi New Year (Nowruz,Norooz), one of the many ways that Parsi Zoroastrians celebrate is by cooking food and sharing it with loved ones. Some ingredients of Parsi food include: chopped onions, mint, lime juice, different spices, just to name a few . Below, is a recipe for a famous Persian dish made during the year, but especially on Norooz.