Untitled Essay Research Paper Introduction

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Untitled Essay, Research Paper Introduction Some time in the history of the universe, no one is quite sure when, there was born a man. This man would eventually be the first to found a monotheistic religion. The name of this man is Zoroaster; the name is actually a corruption of Zarathushtra. Zoroaster’s birth date, along with whether his religion is actually monotheistic, is a subject of great debate. The opinions concerning his birth, and consequently about the beginning of this great religion, range from as early as 6000 years before Plato to as late as 500 B.C.E. In any case he was born somewhere in Iran, although whether in the East or West is also arguable. In the early writings the people belonging to this religion are called Zarathustris; the system he taught is

called Mazdaism. The present day followers are called Parsees. Zoroaster removed the multiplicity of deities from religion and created a faith in which there were two, or perhaps, one God. All other higher beings were regarded as demons, or evil spirits. No one knows for sure the different stages of popularity that Zoroastrianism experienced. We do know that at the time of Darius I, 558?-486 B.C.E., it was protected by royalty. Later, however, Zoroastrians were continually chased by the members of the Islamic religion through Kathiawar in India, and Surat, and finally they settled again in Bombay. The universe is the battleground. The opponents are Mazda Ahura, later to be known as Ahura Mazda, and Anra Mainyu, later call ed Ahriman. Ahura Mazda is the good force and the bad is

Ahriman. The battle will last till Ahura Mazda defeats Ahriman in the year 12,000 (we are now presumably around 11,500). This is the world and its future in accordance with Zoroastrian beliefs. Zoroaster Zoroaster had a very non-conforming mind and was forced to flee his parents’ house without his parents’ consent because of the rebuking he gave to those who sacrificed cattle or drank intoxicating haoma. He fled to the mountains and gave himself to God. Sometime between the ages of thirty and forty an angel appeared to him and brought him to the throne of the highest God, Ahura Mazda. After this occurred, the prophet tried for twelve years to convert people, but to no available. During this period many visions were revaled to him. A milestone in the progression of the

religion occurred when Zoroaster converted Vishtaspa,the king of Persia. He also converted the king’s son, brother, counsellor, and grand vizier. Zoroaster married, along with two other women, the counsellor’s daughter. Zoroaster was killed at the age of seventy-seven by Ardshataspa, a neighboring prince, who invaded Vishtaspa’s capital. According to the Parsees, Vishtaspa is the father of Darius, who reigned from 521-485 B.C.E. Another view holds that Zoroaster lived 258 years before Alexander the Great; he would have therefore lived between 570 and 500 B.C.E. The Greeks tend to place him six thousand years before Plato. Ahura Mazda, while not necessarily discovered by Zoroaster, was found on an inscription dating around 714 B.C.E. In ancient Persia, before Zoraoster’s

reforms, religion was polytheistic. Zoroaster objected to these dieties and referred to them as demons. Many of the rituals and Gods that he removed were later reinstated due to the fact that the people were still emotionally attached to them. We can see this from the fact that on the epigraphs of Artaxerxes II Mnemon (404-358 B.C.E.) the Mithras and Anahita, ancient gods, are mentioned. Temples and images of God were also introduced into the religion at a later date. Zoroastrian Beliefs The Zoroastrian religion is based on the fundamental concept of a constant battle of good against evil. The good is represented by Ahura Mazda while the bad is represented by Ahriman. Ahura Mazda created this world as a trap for Ahriman. Human beings draw Ahriman into this world; he will jump at