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RELG 2020 Chapter 10
Terms in this set (29)
the sacred cord that will serve as the visible symbol of full membership in the Zoroastrian community
ancient Iranian (Persian) prophet and poet; the Greeks call him Zoroaster; Zoroastrianism is sometimes called Mazdaism
one of Zoroastrianism's most sacred texts. It has 72 chapters.
"Wise Lord"; the one God in Zoroastrianism; later called Ohrmazd; worshiped by Zarathustra as the only eternal deity, responsible for the creation of the world. Taught that Ahura Mazda will eventually overcome evil. It is the realm of the physical world that the embodied forces of order/good do battle against the forces of chaos/evil
Spirit and Matter
Zoroastrianism teaches that reality is divisible into two realms: that of spirit/thought and matter/physicality. Human beings must orient themselves toward the spiritual realm to live righteously. Ultimately, the triumph of good over evil depends on this duality
"order", the true, cosmic order that pervades the natural and social spheres of reality, encompassing the moral and religious life of individuals. Symbolized by light, and therefore by sun and fire
"lie"; opposes Asha; gives rise to evil thoughts, words, and deeds.
"Benficial Immortals"; angels who help Ahura Mazda govern creation; Chief among these is Mainyu; function together as semi-independent powers, all of them in service to Ahura Mazda; Each constitutes and element of the cosmos. For example, Asha Vahishta ("Best Order"), constitutes fire.
Ahura Mazda's Holy Spirit;
"ones worthy of worship"; deities that assist the Amesha Spenta; Eventually swelled to 30, so that each day of the month was represented by a different one; One important one was Mithra, a god of light who works to keep human beings in harmony w/ asha; later worshiped by the Greeks/Romans; Another was Sraosha ("Obedience"), the caretaker of the souls of the dead and also oversees certain rituals
"Foul Spirit"; AKA Ahriman; Done battle with Spenta Maiyu since the beginning of time; This battle is the basis of the cosmic duality of asha and druj;
"gods"; demonic powers that serve Ahriman; these became demonic because they
Zoroastrianism cosmology posits three progressive phases: creation of physical world; the mixing in the physical world of the embodied spirits of evil forces w/ those of good forces; and the final transformation in which the world will be cleansed from all evil
7 Steps of Creation
1) Created Sky as a defence, 2) water to defeat the demon of thirst, 3) created the all-solid Earth, 4) created the Plant to help the beneficent Animal, 5) created the beneficent Animal to help the Just Man, 6) created the Just Man to smite the Evil Spirit together w/ the devs and make them powerless, and 7) created Fire and linked its brilliance to the Endless Light
preexisting higher souls and guardians spirits of individual human beings. Distinct from the lower souls that exist together with human bodies, these were to descend into the material world once it was created, where they combat the forces of evil and gently guide human beings toward ethical lives and realizations of their true nature.
Time Span of Cosmic Struggle
According to the account of creation, the entire time span between creation and final triumph, will be 12000 years
a feminine being who embodies the individual's ethical quality and who appears to the soul after death. If the individual has lived in harmony w/ asha, appears to be a beautiful young woman. To the soul of an evil individual, appears as an ugly old hag
needs to be crossed by the soul in order to reach the afterlife. For the good individual, it is wide and easy to cross. For the evil, it is razor-thin, causing the soul to plummet down into hell.
According to Zoroaster's original teachings, the combined efforts of each individual's striving will would eventually overcome evil. Later, new teachings arose, asserting that a savior figure, named Saoshyant, a son of Zarathustra, will appear to usher in the events that will transform the world.
a sacred drink made from the sour, milky juice of the soma plant; believed to support the cause of good in early Indo-Iranian religion
The oldest and most important Zoroastrian text, written in a language called Avestan because this text is the main example of the language that has survived from antiquity. Preserves the teachings given to Zarathustra by Ahura Mazda. Has five parts: Yasnas, Gathas, Visperads, Vendidads, and Yashts. There is also a final part called Khordeh Avesta.
consists of material recited by priests when performing their liturgical functions. At the core of it are the Gathas.
hymns attributed to Zarathustra; Written in a very ancient dialect and thought to be the most accurate depiction of the life and thought of Zarathustra
a collection of texts recited along w/ the Yasna in order to solemnize seasonal celebrations, such as the Zoroastrian New Year's Day. Its primary purpose is to describe the many ways in which the daevas work evil in the world and various means of confounding them
contains stories about creation of the world, the first human being, and the temptation of Zarathustra by Angra Mainyu
constitute a collection of hymns that venerate Zoroastrian virtues such as wisdom, truth, justice, and obedience and the angels associated w/ them. Originally there were 30 (one for each day of the month), but only 21 survive today.
sometimes called the "concise Avesta"; consists of selections from the rest of the Avesta that are used by laypeople in the course of their daily lives.
later texts such as the Denkard and Bundahishn that are written in the Pahlavi dialect.
a compendium of materials relating to Zoroastrian beliefs and customs, some much older than the actual writings. Also includes doctrines, instructions for ethical behaviors, the writings of Zoroastrian sages, observations on the arts and sciences, as well as on philosophical and theological topics, a history of the world up to the time of Zarathustra, and substantial material on the prophet himself.
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