1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Ask Us About Zoroastrianism

Discussion in 'Zoroastrianism DIR' started by Rival, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    @shahz and I are willing to answer any questions you may have about our Religion. Since it doesn't seem to be very well understood outside of certain circles we've decided to open this thread to enlighten and spark interest.

    Thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Iti oj

    Iti oj Global warming is real and we need to act
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    13,689
    Ratings:
    +2,570
    Religion:
    RF cult leader & taosit black magician
    Could you start with the basics?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    18,928
    Ratings:
    +8,950
    Religion:
    Buddhistic Panenthetic Jesusonian
    Wasn't the story of Adam and Eve originally a Zoroastrian story?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.


    I: Zoroastrianism is based on the teachings of the Prophet Zarathustra (Hellenised to 'Zoroaster'). He rejected what we call the 'devas' (or: daevas) which were worshipped in a polytheistic sense throughout various indo-Iranian tribes.

    We read of the rejection of the Daevas in this part of the Avesta (Book of our Religion)

    (In the name of God)

    1. Ashem Vohu
    I profess myself a Mazda-worshipper and a Zoroastrian, opposing the Daevas, accepting the Ahuric doctrine.


    II: Thus, Zoroastrianism (also called 'Mazdaism' after the name of God 'Ahura Mazda' [Wise Lord] or Zarathustraism) is a Monotheistic Religion pre-dating the Abrahamic faiths. The birth of our Prophet has been dated to the 2nd millenium BCE. From Wiki:

    "The Gathas in contrast to the mythological Avesta place the chronology of Zoroaster much later in history, with the most conservative being dated to around the mid-sixth century BCE and the most liberal estimate being c. 1,000 BCE. Arthur Emanuel Christensen dates Zoroaster to c. 625 BCE, but Ebrahim Pourdavoud Herzfeld and Johannes Hertel date Zoroaster as existing between 550–523 BCE."

    III: We do not worship fire, though do congregate (as it may be said) in Fire Temples. The fire represents the light and wisdom of Ahura Mazda.

    IV: Our Religion is, in a way, related to Hinduism. More on this later. They are sort of 'two branches of the same tree', if thou wilt.

    V: The concepts of 'Heaven' and 'Hell' exist, but not as material places of eternal pleasure/eternal torture as Christianity and Islam have it.

    VI: Some observe five prayers a day, always facing a flame or the Sun &c. Simply put though, our Religion is not as dogmatic as, say, Islam.

    VII: No predestination.

    VIII: No literal Satan figure. We have Angra Mainyu/Ahriman, but this is literally 'bad mind' and can mean bad thoughts we as humans have that we need to overcome, because thoughts lead to actions and we take responsibility for all we do.

    IX: Texts are the Gathas and other writings in the Avesta [named after the language, Avestan] (as far as I know, not all Zoroastrians accept the whole Avesta, because some of it was written after Zarathustra, whereas it is believed that Zarathustra composed the Gathas, hymns, himself).

    X: We have the concept of a Messiah figure Saoshyant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    #4 Rival, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    There is a creation myth and I can accept that it had influence on Judaism, but wouldn't say the two are exactly the same or that one outright copied the other. In the myth Ahuramazda does create the first man. It is not to be taken as absolutely literal though.

    See here Zoroastrianism, Cosmogony Or Theories of Creation (it is a Hindu site but puts it well, IMO).

    Shahz may disagree :D
     
  6. Iti oj

    Iti oj Global warming is real and we need to act
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    13,689
    Ratings:
    +2,570
    Religion:
    RF cult leader & taosit black magician
    Can you go into more detail about V
     
  7. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    7,844
    Ratings:
    +8,145
    1. Do Zoroastrians have any special dietary rules?
    e.g. like Buddhist are often vegetarians because of the commitment to non-violence, Muslims on not eating Pork, etc.

    2. What is Zoroastrianism position on violence? Are you pacifists or do you have certain sects which are?

    3. Any generic views on sex and sexual orientation?

    4. Do Zoroastrians view Atheism as sinful (as happens in Fundamentalist interpretations of the Abrahamic traditions)?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Kirran

    Kirran
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    10,694
    Ratings:
    +6,386
    Are Zoroastrian beliefs the correct beliefs, and all others thus incorrect?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח

    1: No.

    2. We are opposed to violence apart from in self defence. Zarathustra opposed animal sacrifice and such. I am absolutely not saying individual Zoroastrians aren't violent. The texts don't promote any kind of 'Religious warfare'.

    3. The Parsis do, but others don't. I think this has been greatly influenced by culture, though. What is primary is 'Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.' In essence, if it doesn't hurt anyone or yourself, there shouldn't be a problem with it. But as I say, these things have been influenced by culture though (as far as I know) not mentioned in the texts themselves. I might get back to you on this :)

    4. YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM TO WORSHIP AHURAMAZDA! Haha, no. Traditionally Zoroastrianism has been tolerant. For example, the Persian Empire (of this faith) helped the Jews rebuild their temple and didn't interfere in other Religious practices unless they were undermining the Empire. It is believed by some that King Cyrus wrote (or inscribed rather) what could be said to be the first Human Rights document. Some say this view is antiquated. Cyrus was a Mazda worshipper.
    Cyrus Cylinder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    • Like Like x 4
  10. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    In a sense yes, BUT you won't go to 'Hell' for not worshipping Ahuramazda. You are judged by your deeds, conduct &c.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    7,844
    Ratings:
    +8,145
    that's very sensible.

    your reply was very interesting, so many thanks.:D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    8. Among these sinners, we know, Yima was included, Vivanghen's son, who desiring to satisfy men gave our people flesh of the ox to eat. From these shall I be separated by Thee, O Mazda, at last.

    @Red Economist This verse makes me think eating ox/beef may not be allowed, but I have come across no such teaching as of yet... Ask Shahz ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    @Red Economist, I know it's wiki, but this is very interesting Zoroastrianism and sexual orientation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The most sacred scripture of Zoroastrianism is called the Avesta. The oldest portion of the Avesta are the writings of Zarathustra himself and called the Gathas.[1] Within the Gathas, there is no mention of homosexuality, nor indeed, sexuality in general.[citation needed] Reformist Zoroastrians who reject the later writings in the Avesta as being corruptions of Zarathustra's original teachings believe this makes homosexuality not prohibited.[citation needed]

    [^This is my view^]

    However, most Zoroastrians of Asia accept the entire Avesta as their religious guide, including the Vendidad, a collection of 22 Fargards or precepts concerned with religious purity and moral codes. The traditional Zoroastrians argue that the Vendidad was always an inherent part of Zoroastrian oral tradition, only compiled later than other parts of the Avesta.[2][3][4]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח

    'Heaven' and 'Hell' are considered to be states of mind/consciousness. The good go to the realm of 'Asha' (righteousness, good thought &c) and the bad...don't. Eventually, however, all go to Mazda, or 'Asha'. Again, I think Shahz will be better to ask on this than me :)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    There is some info on the net suggesting that Zoroastrian Hell is a place of physical torment, but just to make clear: there are parts of the Scriptures that some consider 'not scripture' because they weren't written by Zarathustra (or around his time). There are 'Reform' Zoroastrians who discard the later part of the Avesta for this reason.

    Zoroastrianism probably does introduce the idea of final judgment or Apocalypse (Frashegird or Frashokereti ). The fate of wicked souls after the Frashgird evolved in Zoroastrianism. Scholars of Zoroastrianism find that in earlier texts, the souls would be subjected to everlasting punishment in hell, later the belief was that they would be destroyed in the molten metal of the Apocalypse, and even later belief holds that the molten metal will actually purify everything, allowing even the wicked to proceed to heaven. However, the ultimate fate of the wicked is not conclusively explained in any of the hell texts themselves.

    There you have it. :)

    Few texts describe Zoroastrian hell — a gloomy and fiery place full of stench. Only one, The Book of Arda Viraf, describes it in detail, and it is difficult to determine Arda Viraf’s perspective, whether he is looking down on, or passing though, the scenes he describes. This makes it difficult to get a sense of the geography of the place. However, in addition to the river and bridge, it mentions hills and four particular places by name: Dush-humat, the place of evil thoughts; Dush-hukht, the place of evil words; Dush-huvarsht, the place of evil deeds; and Chakat-i-Daitih, a desert below the Chinvat Bridge. In addition it describes the unnamed deepest region, the pit, of hell, which Manuschihr in Religious Judgments (Dadestan-i Denig) calls Drûgâskan, a place so dark that all who are sent there are as if blind.

    HOWEVER, this was written by an individual and not the Prophet, so could be rejected by the Reform Zoroastrians.
     
    #15 Rival, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  16. StarryNightshade

    StarryNightshade Aspiring Progressive Orthodox Jew
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    5,341
    Ratings:
    +1,779
    Religion:
    Judaism
    @Rival

    1.) How has your experience been as a (I'm assuming) western Zoroastrian?

    2.) How has the Zoroastrian community responded to your religious identity?

    3.) I asked @shahz this a few months ago, but what, in your understanding, is Zoroastrianism's stance on LGBT?
     
    #16 StarryNightshade, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Iti oj

    Iti oj Global warming is real and we need to act
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    13,689
    Ratings:
    +2,570
    Religion:
    RF cult leader & taosit black magician
    Stance on gay marriage, stem cell research, abortion, evolution and separation of church and state?

    What is you holy day? How many holidays?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    17,363
    Ratings:
    +1,773
    Religion:
    Syncretic, Personal Panentheism
    I believed that many Zoroastrians believed Ahriman to be a physical, bona fide opponent of Ahura Mazda -- often as the evil... 'twin brother', almost, equal in power, and so there would be some kind of war between the two.

    Is this just a subset of some Zoroastrians, or something?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    He has been 'literalised' but began life as a force. There isn't really a word I can use to describe it in English. Angra Mainyu means 'Destructive Spirit' and 'spirit' here doesn't mean something physical, it means something like when we say "He is full of spirit!" As I said, a force. But yes, I assume Zoroastrians of different beliefs will literalise the figure.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Rival

    Rival Noahide
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    16,024
    Ratings:
    +19,590
    Religion:
    בת נח
    1. Fine. It is easily explainable to Christians because we have similarities.

    2. Charitably :)

    3. See above posts. Also, Shahz's answer was probably correct. He has been a practicing Zoroastrian longer than I.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...