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Transcript of Zoroastrianism
Derived the concept of being monotheistic after realizing polytheism didn't meet the needs of people in Iran..
Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal and transcendent God, Ahura Mazda. He is said to be the one uncreated Creator to whom all worship is ultimately directed. Angra Mainyu represents the devil. Both these figures symbolize good vs. evil. Seven Dimensions of Religion Video There is a Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago
There is an estimated 140,000 Zoroastrians today. Most live in India, where they are known as the Parsis.
Freddie Mecury, the lead singer of Queen, was a Zoroastrian
Today, Zoroastrians bury the dead at a funeral near the Tower of Silence, as opposed to exposing them to the vultures Zoroastrianism Today Commonly seen as an ancient cult of fire-worshipers
They don't worship fire but recognize it as a powerful natural element like earth and water. All of the religious rituals are solemnized in the presence of fire.
Zoroaster's teachings compose a small segment in the Avesta, NOT the entire collection.
Zoroaster's teachings are for everyone who wants to follow them, not a special race of people - all people are special. sources http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/zoroastrian/
http://www.avesta.org/zfaq.html Experiential Mythic Ritual 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Ethical Doctrinal Social Material Zoroaster's vision of Ahura Mazda
Creation of the universe: Coming of age ceremony
Follow the Zoroastrian Calender, which is full of holy days, feasts, and festivals
Calendar is split into 12 months, each day and month is named after Ahura Mazda
Purification rituals to keep minds and bodies free of evil The main scriptures are known as the Avesta.
based on an orally transmitted tradition eventually written down in the fifth or sixth century CE, which exists today exist as only about a quarter of their original material.
The Avesta has five parts:
The Yasna- includes seventeen Gathas, or hymns of Zarathushtra.
The Yashts-compositions addressed to the yazatas/yazads.
The Vendidad (or Videvdat)- a book of rules and laws.
The Visperad- supplements the Yasna and is used in the gahanbar festivals of Zoroastrianism which celebrate the powers of creation.
The Khordeh Avesta- an extract from the Avesta. Faced with choosing between good and evil: ethical dualism
Zoroastrians unite ethics with human destiny- we determine our own destiny by choosing either truth, goodness, and life, or falsehood, evil, and "not-life."
Moral principles: good words, good thoughts, good deeds Fire: they worship in fire temples, which represents the energy of the Creator. The temples include a fire that is never allowed to go out
Faravahar-winged symbol An angel called Good Thought appeared before Zarathustra and brought him before Ahura Mazda. It was after this experience that Zarathustra went around preaching monotheism to his polytheistic society.
Unlike some religions where man is God's child or servant, in Zoroastrianism man is considered more as God's helper.
Men and women, rich and poor, and young and old are all seen as equal. One only surpasses the other through their righteousness. Coming of Age: Navjote Ceremony: children symbolically take on the responsibility to uphold the ideals of their religion
The child receives a shirt called a sudre and a girdle called a kusti, which they are expected to wear the rest of their lives.
occurs at the age of 7 in India
occurs at the age of 10 in Iran Weddings Prayer is mostly private- It is a home and community oriented religion.
Zoroastrianism is also about action. Zoroastrians work towards improving the local community and society in general. They tend to give generously to charities and are often behind educational and social initiatives.
Communal worship is usually centered around season festivals 2 steps:
1. The bride and groom, as well as their guardians sign a marriage contract.
2. The service followed by feasts and the celebrations, which traditionally last from 3 to 7 days. Funerals Death is considered to be the work of Angra Mainyu, the embodiment of all that is evil.
Instead of burying the corpse, Zoroastrians traditionally laid it out on a purpose built tower (dokhma or 'Tower of Silence') to be exposed to the sun and eaten by birds of prey such as vultures. Vultures circling over
Mumbai's Tower of Silence Zoroaster http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iPLXnteRDO4#t=2884s Explanation of the Faravahar: