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Where does Zoroastrianism diverge from Hinduism?

spiritualhitchhiker

neti, neti, neti
I know you people worship what we, Hindus consider bad beings like Asuras, what other differences are there?

What meditative practices does Zoroastrianism have?
 

Saint Frankenstein

Wanderer From Afar
Premium Member
You might as well ask what similarities does Hinduism and Christianity have with each other because Zoroastrianism is way more similar to Christianity than it is to Hinduism.

- They're monotheistic in the tradition of ethical monotheism similar to the Abrahamic religions
- They believe in dualism and that there is a cosmic war going on between good and evil
- They don't have a concept of Dharma or caste, as far as I know
- Don't have meditation as found in the Dharmic religions, as far as I know
- They generally don't believe in reincarnation, as far as I know
- They have a messiah figure that is to come at the end of days
- They believe in the resurrection of the dead to glorified bodies at the end of days
- They believe in the end of the world and its recreation unto perfection
- Don't use icons or statues to depict Ahura Mazda (i.e. God)
- Don't believe in avatars
- Don't have a belief in a concept like Brahman, as far as I know
- They believe in hell but it's not viewed as eternal

(I know this is the Zoroastrian DIR, so I hope my comment is okay.)
 
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Rival

Si m'ait Dieus
Staff member
Premium Member

1. I curse the Daevas.
I declare myself a Mazda-worshipper, a supporter of Zarathushtra, hostile to the Daevas, fond of Ahura's teaching, a praiser of the Amesha Spentas, a worshipper of the Amesha Spentas. I ascribe all good to Ahura Mazda, 'and all the best,' Asha-endowed, splendid, xwarena-endowed, whose is the cow, whose is Asha, whose is the light, 'may whose blissful areas be filled with light'.

15. And I desire to approach with the Yasht of the Mathra Spenta, the holy, the effective, the law composed against the Daevas, the Zarathushtrian, and with that of the long descent of the Religion which Mazda gave.

18. And to the Mathra Spenta, the holy, the effective, the law against the Daevas, the Zarathushtrian statute, and to the long descent of the good Mazdayasnian religion


AVESTA: YASNA: (English)

The two Religions come from the same root Religion, which is Indo-Iranian polytheism. As in other polytheisms, there were two “houses” of Gods (as the Hellenes have the Titans and the Olympians, the Norse have the Aesir and the Vanir); in this Indo-Iranian Faith there were the Daevas (or Devas) and the Ahuras (or Asuras).

“The Avestan Aryans called their gods daevas (the shining ones) and amesha (the immortals) In Sanskrit these terms became devas and amrita […] The Avestan Aryans called this order [of natural forces, seasons and so on] asha, while the Sanskrit speakers called it rita.”

Karen Armstrong: The Great Transformation, pg 4.

There were three very popular Gods whose names are still familiar for us: Indra, Mithra and Mazda. Eventually, the Aryans became warriors, taking them away from their more peaceful, farming ways.

“Indra was now the divine model to whom the raiders aspired.
‘Heroes with noble horses, fain for battle, selected warriors call on me in combat,’ he cried, ‘I, bountiful Indra, excite the conflict, I stir the dust, Lord of surpassing vigour!’ When they fought, killed and robbed, the Aryan cowboys felt themselves one with Indra and the aggressive devas who had established the world order by force of arms.”

The Great Transformation, pg 7.

The daevas were the warrior Gods, while the Ahuras were not. The rise of the warrior had torn apart the traditional, non-fighting civilisation and in our Scriptures it says even the very cows cried out for help from the warriors of Indra and the daevas.

“But the more traditional, Avestan speaking Aryans were appalled by Indra’s naked aggression, and began to have doubts about the daevas. Were they all violent and immoral? Events on Earth always reflected cosmic events in Heaven, so, they reasoned, these terrifying raids must have a divine prototype. The cattle rustlers, who fought under the banner of Indra, must be his earthly counterparts. But who were the daevas attacking? The most important Gods –such as Varuna, Mazda, and Mithra, the guardians of order – were given the honorific title ‘Lord’ (Ahura). Perhaps the peaceful Ahuras, who stood for justice, truth, and respect for life and property, were themselves under attack by Indra and the more aggressive daevas? This, at any rate, was the view of a visionary priest, who in about 1200 [BCE] claimed that Ahura Mazda had commissioned him to restore order to the steppes. His name was Zoroaster.”

The Great Transformation, pg 8.


This is how the divergence happened, according to Zoroastrians.

We don't really have any meditative practices, but we can meditate if we want. It's not an integral part of the faith as it is in, say, Buddhism.

SF nailed it.
 
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MD

qualiaphile
I know you people worship what we, Hindus consider bad beings like Asuras, what other differences are there?

What meditative practices does Zoroastrianism have?

We are monotheistic, we see all other gods as either non existent or false.

However our language which we pray in is very similar to Sanskrit and both Zoroastrianism and Hinduism came from a proto Indo European religion. We also place a lot of emphasis on the mental similar to the Dharmic faiths.
 

Jumi

Well-Known Member
Has there ever been meditative practices specific to or associated with Zoroastrianism?
 

spiritualhitchhiker

neti, neti, neti
“The Avestan Aryans called their gods daevas (the shining ones) and amesha (the immortals) In Sanskrit these terms became devas and amrita […] The Avestan Aryans called this order [of natural forces, seasons and so on] asha, while the Sanskrit speakers called it rita.”

So "asha" has that meaning in Avestan. Does it not mean "hope"?

I have a phone which has "Asha" in it's name, I used to dislike it but it helped me uncover a sinister plot against me so I'm actually starting to like it.
 
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Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
Hindus consider bad beings like Asuras, what other differences are there?
All Vedic Gods, Vishnu, Indra, Agni, Rudra, Varuna, etc. are mentioned in the RigVeda as Asuras.

तवमग्ने रुद्रो असुरो महो दिवस्त्वं शर्धो मारुतं पर्क्ष ईशिषे l
तवं वातैररुणैर्यासि शंगयस्त्वं पूषा विधतः पासि नु तमना ll
Tvamaghne rudro asuro maho divastvaṃ śardho mārutaṃ pṛkṣa īśiṣe l
tvaṃ vātairaruṇairyāsi śaṃghayastvaṃ pūṣā vidhataḥ pāsi nu tmanā ll

Thou, O Agni, art Rudra, the Asura of the high Heaven; thou, being the host of the Maruts, rulest over nourishment. Thou goest along with the flame-coloured Winds, bringing happiness to our home. Thou, being Pûshan, protectest thy worshippers by thy own might.
The Rig Veda in Sanskrit: Rig Veda Book 2: Hymn 1
 

Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
- They don't have a concept of Dharma or caste, as far as I know.
The Zoroastrians have the same four-fold division of the society as the Indo-Aryans had. For Dharma, they have six Amesha Spenta. Asha (Truth/Righteousness) is one of them.
 
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Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
Separation of Iranian Aryans and Indo-Aryans: When: Some 4,000 years ago. Where: Perhaps in Kazakh steppes. Why: They headed for different regions. Why Zoroastrianism: Same as why Christianity. I do not think Karen Armstrong's made-up theory is correct.

There is not much of old Aryan lore in Avesta. Zoroaster changed it heavily. Zoroastrianism became the official religion of the Iranian empire from the time of Cambyses II (529–522 BCE). It may be noted that Ahur Mazda (Mazdakku) was respected from the time of Medes even before Iranian empire adopted Zoroastrianism. It was something like Christians accepting YHWH. A History of Zoroastrianism: Volume II: Under the Achaemenians - Mary Boyce - Google Books
 
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spiritualhitchhiker

neti, neti, neti
All Vedic Gods, Vishnu, Indra, Agni, Rudra, Varuna, etc. are mentioned in the RigVeda as Asuras.

तवमग्ने रुद्रो असुरो महो दिवस्त्वं शर्धो मारुतं पर्क्ष ईशिषे l
तवं वातैररुणैर्यासि शंगयस्त्वं पूषा विधतः पासि नु तमना ll
Tvamaghne rudro asuro maho divastvaṃ śardho mārutaṃ pṛkṣa īśiṣe l
tvaṃ vātairaruṇairyāsi śaṃghayastvaṃ pūṣā vidhataḥ pāsi nu tmanā ll

Thou, O Agni, art Rudra, the Asura of the high Heaven; thou, being the host of the Maruts, rulest over nourishment. Thou goest along with the flame-coloured Winds, bringing happiness to our home. Thou, being Pûshan, protectest thy worshippers by thy own might.
The Rig Veda in Sanskrit: Rig Veda Book 2: Hymn 1

I haven't studied Vedas thoroughly but I think "Asura" in this hymn has the meaning of "not having drunk the Amrit" or some other meaning. If you read the mythology, you'd know that Devas are referred to as Suras because they drank the Amrit and their cousins as Asuras because they didn't.

I know there are few hymns for Asuras in Vedas but I don't think those Devas you mentioned are referred to as Asuras. The hymn you quoted has only Agni, where are the other hymns referring other Devas as Asuras?
 

Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
I know there are few hymns for Asuras in Vedas but I don't think those Devas you mentioned are referred to as Asuras. The hymn you quoted has only Agni, where are the other hymns referring other Devas as Asuras?
Here is the result of my search at 'Sacred-texts.com' for 'Asura RV' where RV stands for RigVeda. Kindly check it. In the earlier books of RigVeda, 'asura' denotes Gods, but in the later books it has been used both for Gods as well as demons: Asura RV - Google Search

Here is the result of a general search on Google for "Gods as Asuras" which also may be interesting: Google
 
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spiritualhitchhiker

neti, neti, neti

Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
How come I find spiritual, divine, good spirit, supreme spirit, sun, in the meaning of 'Asura' in your link?
 

Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
No, it does not surprise me. Many Vedic Gods are referred in RigVeda as Asuras.
But it should surprise you since you said: "Hindus consider bad beings like Asuras"
They don't. We are going to have an Asura King Bali (Mahabali) as Indra in the next Manavantara (next epoch). Lord Vishnu has promised that.
 
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