Author Topic: Zoroaster  (Read 3526 times)

thomas

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Zoroaster
« on: March 21, 2011, 04:14:30 PM »
In same vein as my other post. I recently have been reading bits and bobs about zoroastrianism. What are people's views on its teachings?

It seems like a pretty major religion of it's time... so strangely marginalised now. Apparently in part due to Islamic conquests.

Again.. which books are best on the topic...?
back to the breath... and back to the breath....  and back to the breath.... and back to the breath..... and back to the breath

ivana

Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 06:52:36 PM »
Dear Thomas
it is interesting to read your posts. After I had to go to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism
and after I continued on reading http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/06/us/06faith.html?_r=1.
And I will have to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thus_Spoke_Zarathustra
Take care
Ivana
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 07:08:34 PM by Ivana »

thomas

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Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 07:26:48 PM »
hi ivana

funnily enough it was nietzsche - thus spoke zarathustra that drew my attention to it. Theres also thus spake zarathustra - classical piece by strauss - famously used in 2001 space oddessey.

Got me wondering who zarathustra was. Then found out it was a massive dominant persian religion.. more than 3000yrs old that i knew nothing about. then i had lots of thoughts about it. Must have been dominant in Jesus's time... in that area.. but nothing about them in the bible... how was it forgotten.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 07:39:31 PM by thomas »
back to the breath... and back to the breath....  and back to the breath.... and back to the breath..... and back to the breath

Jeeprs

Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 08:26:46 PM »
I have not studied it in depth, but I did study comparative religion, and one of the things I remember is that the Zoroastrian ideas of the afterlife, heaven and hell actually had a big impact on Jewish and Christian doctrine. It is not obvious, because it was absorbed into their teaching, which is why it is not singled out for mention. But it became part of the fabric of the faith.

The Zoroastrian community is called the Parsi (roughly equal to 'Persian') and are mainly in India. But they are a dying faith. I think you have to be born into it, I don't think they accept converts.

thomas

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Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 08:39:19 PM »
jeeprs - One of the links ivana put in talks about population decreases due to not accepting conversions.
back to the breath... and back to the breath....  and back to the breath.... and back to the breath..... and back to the breath

Jeeprs

Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 02:50:53 AM »
Yes, the Wikipedia article is quite good, really, although I am bemused by the comment that Zoroastrianism 'rejects all monasticism'. But many of their basic tenets ring true to me.

Matthew

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Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 03:11:42 AM »
Their basic tenets are clearly foundational in the theistic religions. They don't ring true to me except for the idea of good thoughts, words and deeds.
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chintan

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Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 05:59:25 AM »
This is a religion which has always intrigued me. A very closed sect they dont allow marriage outside their religion and due to dwindling population and intermarriage within a small community have been facing genetic issues.

Less than 70,000 Parsis remain in India and they are socially / culturally / educationally at the forefront and have contributed a lot to India despite their small numbers.

All I know is that they worship fire and leave their dead to elements to be taken care by nature...

Jeeprs

Re: Zoroaster
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 08:33:08 AM »
Quote from: Wikipedia
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.  Ahura Mazda's creation—evident as asha, truth and order—is the antithesis of chaos, which is evident as druj, falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict.

The religion states that active participation in life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in Zoroaster's concept of free will, and Zoroastrianism rejects all forms of monasticism. Ahura Mazda will ultimately prevail over the evil Angra Mainyu or Ahriman.

All sounds perfectly feasible to me. The current manifestation of 'Ahriman' is scientific materialism, which systematically denies any kind of objective morality, purpose or meaning in the cosmos. I am doing my bit for Ahura Mazda. :)