The passing of Zoroastrian ideas and values from one person to the next is symbolized by a new flame being lit from an existing one. At the heart of a Zoroastrian place of worship burns a fire - and where possible the fire burns continuously symbolizing an eternal flame. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / (Compare Avestan ûrvar with Latin arbor.). (Also see Early Zoroastrian Worship, Zoroastrian worship page) This belief system held that there were many gods, ruled by Ahura Mazda, who guided and protected humanity from the threats and influences of dark forces, led by the spirit-deity Angra Mainyu. Zoroastrians hold that the effectiveness of a person's beliefs is demonstrated in that person's deeds. The Early Iranian Religion was polytheistic with Ahura Mazda as the king of the gods presiding over a pantheon of many others. The sacred fire, which was common to Indian and Iranian traditions even before Zarathushtra, is the central icon of the faith. Instead, mortal man joins with the Immortal ahûrás in the struggle against all limitation, stagnation and chaos; projects himself into the immensity of eternity, and becomes a bridge into the supernal realm. Zoroastrianism Rises in North America ... Now he finds refuge at his community’s fire temple, the Zoroastrian house of worship, which hosts a gas flame that never goes out. Greek historian and visitor to ancient Persia, Herodotus, described (c. 430 BCE) the worship customs of the Persian Zoroastrians of his day as follows: "The customs which I know the Persians to observe are the following: they have no images of the gods (a Greek manner of speaking), no temples nor altars, and consider the use of them a sign of folly. Our lives are the temples of our souls. 371D; Isoc. "... separated the priesthood from other folk that God be adored in quietude." It is the symbol of Ahura Mazda, along with the sun, stars and light and is also a physical representation of an illuminated mind. When they wished to worship as a community, they did so in open air gathering areas around a podium where a fire was lit. In the Zoroastrian sacred poetry fire/luminous energy is the visible son or prodigy pûthræ of Ahûrá Mazdá. Muslims have also taken the concept of praying five times a day and using a prayer cap or head-covering while praying from Zoroastrianism. Our bodies are the temples of the spiritual flame - the mainyu athra that resides within us - and our lives are the temples of our souls. The polytheistic faith of the early Persians was most likely already developed in some form prior to their arrival in the region of Iran sometime around the 3rd millennium BCE and then was influenced by the Elamites and people of Susiana who were already established there. Although the exact date Zoroastrianism was founded is unknown, archaeological evidence and linguistic comparisons with the Hindu text Rig Veda suggest that it emerged around 1200-1500 BCE. Through the gift of “fire” and “courage, spirit, creative imagination” manö, mortal man is no longer enchained to doom and oblivion. These hymns are believed to be the original words of Zarathushtra, faithfully preserved as an oral tradition through the generations. The verse is about the realization of “an eternal age of progress and a spring with no end” through a “molten, flowing” ḵšûstá “metal/iron” aii.aηhá which “gives or establishes” dávöi the “sign, indication” daḵštem of “a god-like existence” ahv.áhü. The Shahnameh goes on to state that King Jamshid: This overcoming of limitations times and again, the rising above the mundane and the attainment of the infinite through the act of becoming ever better, is called “eternal progress” in the Zoroastrian sacred literature. Nowadays, even with the advent of temples, worship or praying for Zoroastrians is primarily an individual endeavour at home or in the open, by the sea, on hill tops, or in some other suitable open setting. The terms “Fire Worship” and “Fire-Worshippers” were always associated with Zoroastrianism and Zoroastrians throughout history. Persia is now a Mohammedan country. Silk Road Spread. and made its place of service in the mountains, There are indications that dried shrubs, twigs and wood from Camel Thorn, Juniper and Plane (Chenar) trees were traditionally used for the atash-gah fires.]. Fire is a source of light and light represents wisdom while darkness represents ignorance. The temporal fire represents the spiritual flame (mainyu athra) within us and the ethical values of Asha: order, beneficence, honesty, fairness and justice. A fire temple, Atashkadeh (Persian: آتشکده ), Atashgah (آتشگاه) or Dar-e Mehr (در مهر) is the place of worship for the followers of Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of Iran . In temples the source of light is a flame maintained in a fire urn. The chief symbol of Zoroastrianism is fire. The unity of “will-power, spiritual wisdom, and action” ḵratü makes manifest a greater becoming. Find high-quality stock photos that you won't find anywhere else. Nature worship - Nature worship - Fire: Worship of fire is widespread, especially in areas where the earthly fire is believed to be the image of the heavenly fire. First is the “lofty, auspicious fire” bərəzi.sava, “the Exalted, Victorious fire of the eternal flames.” (Compare Avestan bərəzi “high, lofty” with proto Germanic bergaz, berg,“mountain.”), The good/beautiful fire of “love, fertility” vôhü fryán is the “life force of men and beasts.” The fire of ûrvázištá animates the “plants and trees” ûrvar. 2. The gathering areas were on hillsides and hilltops. 4th century CE, Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus makes the following observations in his Rerum gestarum libri When these ideas and values are passed from one generation to another without interruption, we have the notion of an 'eternal' flame, one that will endure the passage of time. It was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Iran … Fire temples are places of worship in Zoroastrianism. In the eastern (and perhaps original) regions of the Zoroastrian homeland, there are older (3,000 BCE?) By mimicking the cosmic order ašá/arthá, mortal man becomes a “divine artist” aša.van/artha.van and finds the everlasting fire within. This is a natural progression of the ethical creed of good thoughts, words and deeds, where good deeds are held to be most meritorious. Further, as the spiritual fire will be diminished with bad or negative thoughts, the temporal fire is kept free from anything that will sully the flame. Devotees young and old at pilgrimage site Pir-e Sabz / Chak-Chak, Yazd, Iran. Besides the many goods traded on the Silk Road, beliefs and cultures were also exchanged between nations. A flame always burns upwards, so are the paths toward the horizons of a yet unrealized future. Pak Yazdan, the purest Divinity)." In as much as the spiritual fire - the mainyu athra - is to be fed the fuel of good thoughts and a life led according to the principles of Asha (s… Strabo, a Greek writer from the first century ACE, confirms the observations of Herodotus and other writers that "the Persians do not erect statues or altars, but 'offer sacrifice' (worship) on a high place," and that the worship ceremonies were officiated by the Magi, (the legendary Zoroastrian priests discussed further in the Priesthood Page). The terms “Fire Worship” and “Fire-Worshippers” were always associated with Zoroastrianism and Zoroastrians throughout history. Szwenta “auspicious, holy, increasing” is the same as the Avestan speñtá. The temporal world therefore is the battle-field in which the warrior fulfills his divine destiny, cherishing life as a cultivator and farmer, where plants, animals and men are each called to grow and ripen into powerful forces asserting themselves within the creative order of ašá/arthá. The Zoroastrian scriptures are called the Avesta, and they are written in an ancient language Avestan, that is closely related … Over time, Zoroastrians developed the concept of worshipping in temples, sometimes called fire temples. In as much as the spiritual fire - the mainyu athra - is to be fed the fuel of good thoughts and a life led according to the principles of Asha (scriptural reference: Gatha 31.3), the temporal fire is fed pure fuels so that it too may burn with vigour and brightness. Fire is an extremely important symbol in Zoroastrianism as it represents God's (or Ahura Mazda's) ultimate wisdom and eternal light, as well as is a symbol of purification and Ahura Mazda's presence. tot en met de 7e eeuw n. Chr. The fire temple or places of worship are consecrated for prayers and sacred ceremonies. However, fire is not worshipped, but is seen as sacred force which is the source of all energy and the sy… 23.6.31-32: "They have also as many cities as Media, and villages as strongly built as towns in other countries, inhabited by large bodies of citizens. In Zoroastrianism, fire symbolizes the Struggle between being and becoming, the pure transformative energy, the WILL POWER that drives mortal man forward towards godhood and becoming infinitely better. Fire does play a symbolic central role in religious ceremonies. Fire is also recognized as a powerful purifier and is respected for that reason. The temples contain an inner sanctum (pavi) or platform where a fire is maintained or placed. English - fire, Greek pyr, Sanskrit pu). The word namaz is now also used by Persian and Indo-Pakistani Muslims to mean prayer. Zoroastrianism, ancient pre- Islamic religion of Iran that survives there in isolated areas and, more prosperously, in India, where the descendants of Zoroastrian Iranian (Persian) immigrants are known as Parsis, or Parsees. Zoroastrians are not fire-worshippers, as some Westerners wrongly believe. Avesta talks of 5 kinds of fires (See Yasna 17.11). Zoroastrian temples keep a fire burning at all times to represent Ahura Mazda’s eternal power. ], Zoroastrians turn towards a flame (atarsh/athra/atash) or a source of light while praying. The oldest fire temple, which is in Sistan, goes back to the 4 th century BC. ), In Zoroastrianism the “family hearth” is sacred and never suppose to go out or be extinguished. Zoroastrians are sometimes mistakenly believed to worship fire. Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest world religions and arguably the first monotheistic faith in the world. The “most vigorous” or lively fire of vazištá is identified with lightening. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. In Indo-European languages, there were two concepts regarding fire: that of an animate type called *egni- (cf. Zoroastrianism at a glance. God made them not with dust and water. Zoroastrians are not fire-worshippers, as they are sometimes called. een belangrijke, door de staat gesteunde religie in Iran geweest. Zoroastrian's worship in places known as fire temples and it is there that an eternal flame is kept burning with sandalwood and frankincense oils. » Top, • © Author: K. E. Eduljee, Zoroastrian Heritage, 2005-17 (researched from 1979 onwards) • Contact • Page validated by W3C.org, Jashan / Jashne - Thanksgiving Ceremonies. For cosmos is actively in the state of becoming infinitely better. The temporal fire represents the spiritual flame (mainyu athra) within us and the ethical values of Asha: order, beneficence, honesty, fairness and justice. It was probably founded sometime before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran. The purpose of human life was to choos… In certain temples, this fire is kept burning continuously, representing an eternal flame. In the Zoroastrian religion, fire (see atar), together with clean water (see aban), are agents of ritual purity ), The Avestan áthar is related to Czech vatra, Romanian vatrā “fire,” Latin āter “blackened by fire,” atrium “chimney, space over hearth” come from the same root, (Courtesy of Didier Calin. This is because Zoroastrians face a source of light when they pray. In Zoroastrian sacred lore, like in the Norse mythology, the end of the mundane world comes first with 3 harsh, most severe winters and then with fire. These fire-keepers are priests of the Zoroastrian religion. Zarathushtra proclaimed the worship of Ahura Mazda (the Wise Lord or the Lord of Wisdom) who is believed to have created a good world consisting of seven elements of creation: the sky, waters, earth, plants, cattle, humans, and fire. Change ). outdoor worship sites in Tajikistan (see photo at the right). Despite this early tradition, Zoroastrians did develop the concept of worshipping in temples. At the heart of a Zoroastrian place of worship burns a fire - and where possible the fire burns continuously symbolizing an eternal flame. Zoroastrianism became the state religion of Persia. ( Log Out / Pingback: Mazda, Odin and the Sacred Fire of Zoroaster – rainwindandwolf. Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd, Iran Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd, Iran. Moreover, people keep the fire inside the fire temple going forever, never letting it get extinguished. 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