Zoroastrianism

The “Faravahar,” is the symbol of Zoroastrianism.
The “Faravahar,” is the symbol of Zoroastrianism.

Prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra) founded Zoroastrianism in ancient Iran.

“The doctrine of pure Zoroastrianism was monotheistic. The Supreme Being was called Ahuramazda, and Haug says that Zoroaster’s conception of him was perfectly identical with the Jewish notion of Jehovah. He is referred to as “the Creator of the earthly and spiritual life, the Lord of the whole universe, at whose hands are all the creatures.” He is wisdom and intellect; the light itself, and the source of light; the rewarder of the virtuous and the punisher of the wicked.

The dualistic doctrine of Ormuzd and Ahrimanes, which has falsely been attributed to Zoroaster, was in reality the development of a later corruption of the Zoroasteric teaching. But the great reformer sought to solve the puzzling question of the origin of evil in the world, by supposing that there existed in Ahuramazda two spirits, inherent in his nature, the one positive and the other negative. All that was good was real, existent; while the absence of that reality was a non-existence or evil. Evil was the absence of good as darkness was the absence of light.

Zoroaster taught the idea of a future life and the immortality of the soul. The doctrine of the resurrection is one of the principal dogmas of the Zendavesta. He also clearly inculcated the belief of a heaven and a hell. The former was called the House of Hymns, because the angels were supposed to sing hymns there; the latter the house of destruction, and to it were relentlessly consigned the poets and Priests of the old Aryan religion.

The doctrine of sacred names, so familiar to the Hebrews, was also taught by Zoroaster. In one of the Yashts, a portion of the Zendavesta, Ahuramazda tells Zarathustra that the utterance of one of his sacred names, of which he enumerates twenty, is the best protection from evil. Of these names, one is ahmi, meaning I am, and another, ahmi vat ahmi, I am who I am. The reader will be reminded here of the Holy Name in Exodus, Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, or I am that I am.

The doctrine of Zoroaster was not forever confined to Bactria, but passed over into other countries; nor in the transmission did it fail to suffer some corruption. From its original seat it spread into Media, and under the name Magism, or the doctrine of the Magavas, that is, the mighty ones, was incorporated at Babylon with the Chaldean philosophy, whence we find its traces in the Rabbinism and the Cabalism of the Hebrews. It was carried, too, into Persia, where it has Jeell developed into the awoder and still existing sect of the Parsees, of whom we now find two divisions, the conservatives and liberals; the former cultivating the whole modified doctrine of Zoroaster, and the latter retaining much of the doctrine, but rejecting to a very great extent the ceremonial instructions.” -ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES by ALBERT G. MACKEY

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