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Transcript of Zoroastrianism Presentation
Nivedita Mandal and Claire Zaro Zoroastrianism
Presentation Doctrines History Ethics Social Myths Ritual Experience Material Dualism Monotheism:
Zoroastrians believe in one God, called Ahura Mazda (meaning 'Wise Lord')
Everything created by him is pure and should be treated with love and respect Monotheism Dualism: Two types
Refers to the ongoing battle between Good and Evil within the universe
Refers to the opposition of good and evil in the mind of mankind
Free will: Men have the choice to follow the path of Good(Asha) or the path of Evil (Druj) Afterlife Determined by the balance of the good and evil deeds, words, and thoughts of the whole life
For those whose good deeds outweigh the evil, heaven awaits.
For those whose evil deeds outweigh the good, hell awaits
There are several levels of hell corresponding to levels of evil
Two ways of erasing evil deeds:
Transfer of supererogatory merits Amesha Spentas Translates as ‘Holy Immortals’
Seen as divine characteristics of God
The six Amesha Spentas and their qualities:
Vohu Manah- Good mind and good purpose
Asha Vahishta- Truth and righteousness
Spenta Ameraiti- Devotion, serenity, and kindness
Khashathra Vairya- Power and just rule
Hauravata- Wholeness and health
Ameretat- Long life and immortality Coming of Age Children aged 7 to 10 receive the sadre (shirt) and the kusti (girdle) which they are supposed to wear their entire life. Purification Padyab
Washing hands and feet
A ritual carried out over many days and involves a dog who scares off evil spirits Yasna The chief ceremony
Sacrifice of haoma (sacred liquor) and other offerings in fire with recitation of the Avesta
The fire must be kept burning and offerings must be made five times a day Festivals Festivals are based on feasts
Gahambars (Six seasonal feasts)
Noruz (New Year festival) Weddings First, the bride and groom sign a marriage contract.
A complicated service follows after which there is a feast lasting from 3 to 7 days. The Creation Story In the beginning, there was only Ahura Mazda and the evil spirit Ahriman. One day, Ahura Mazda decided to make different creations. He created the First Man, called Gayomard. Ahriman decided to destroy Ahura Mazda and his creatures. Ahura Mazda knew of his plan and made six spirits from his own soul to guard His creations. Ahriman and his demons attacked God's creations one by one. Finally they attacked Gayomard and gave him sickness and death. When Gayomard died, a rhubarb plant grew from his bones. After 40 years, a man and a woman, Mashya and Mashyana, grew out of the plant. They then gave birth to fifteen twins and every pair scattered around the world and became a race. Zoroastrianism is a home and community oriented religion.
No monasticism or celibacy.
Zoroaster himself was married.
Most worship happens in the family home.
Zoroastrians put much importance in improving society
Give generous amounts to charity
Work for better education
Parsis in India are particularly known for their contributions to Indian society Demands and Principles Connected to the land: caring for livestock and fields and lead a simple life
Always tell the truth and do what is right.
Avoid those on the side of evil. Main Belief Good thoughts, Good words, and Good deeds. Sacred Text Avesta
Yasna-Sacred Liturgy and Hymns of Zarathushtra
Khorda Avesta-Book of Common Prayer
Visperad-Extensions to the Liturgy
Venidad-Myths, Code of Purification, Religious Observances Fire Temples Closed society
Conversion is generally not allowed
Marriages outside the faith are denounced
Very few Zoroastrians live in Iran; most live in India and call themselves Parsis. Once constructed, the fire inside should not be put out.
If the fire is put out, a long ritual is used to begin the process of lighting it again.
Most temples were destroyed through successive conquests throughout the years. Burial Ritual The Tower of Silence:
The interior has three concentric circles:
One for men, one for women, and one for children
The top is exposed to the weather and nature Zarathustra's Vision His vision is what started Zoroastrianism. He had an encounter with Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, whom he recognized as the one, true God. After this experience, he began preaching what is now known as Zoroastrianism. The Founding Zarathustra (called Zoroaster by the Greeks) founded Zoroastrianism within the 6th century BCE. It began in a region now occupied by Iran and Afghanistan. It started with Zarathustra and the experiences he had. The Spread of Zoroastrianism During the Persian Empire, Zoroastrianism began to spread throughout Iran. After Alexander the Great conquered Persia, many aspects of the Persian culture, including Zoroastrianism, traveled through to other nations. After death, a dog is brought to the corpse five times. Then the body is taken to the Tower of Silence where vultures strip the flesh off the bones and the bones are later preserved in a central well. Any questions
comments? The End! Works Cited http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/zoroastrian/beliefs/god.shtml
Brodd, Jeffrey. World Religions A Voyage of Discovery. Thrid Edition. Terrace Heights: Saint Mary’s Press, 2009. Print.