Zoroastrism: key points – BBC – Summary


Zoroaster: born in afghanistan 1200 bc in polytheistic environment 98

The Vision of Zoroaster : rejection of polytheism and class structure. 98

The Bare Essentials of Zoroastrianism
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Zoroaster: born in Afghanistan 1200 BC in polytheistic environment

  1. Zoroaster was born in Northeast Iran or Southwest Afghanistan in approximately 1200 BCE. He was born into a Bronze Age culture with a polytheistic religion (the worship of many gods), which included animal sacrifice, and the ritual use of intoxicants. This religion was quite similar to the early forms of Hinduism of the Indus Valley.
  2. The precise date of the founding of Zoroastrianism is uncertain. An approximate date of 1200 BCE has been established through archaeological evidence and linguistic comparisons with the Hindu text, the Rig Veda.
  3. The name Zoroaster is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra. He is known as Zarathusti in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati.

The Vision of Zoroaster : rejection of polytheism and class structure

  1. Zoroaster’s birth and early life are little documented. What is known is recorded in the Gathas – the core of the Avesta, which contains hymns thought to be composed by Zoroaster himself. Born into the Spitama clan, he worked as a priest. He was a family man, with a wife, three sons and three daughters.
  2. Zoroaster rejected the religion of the Bronze Age Iranians with their many gods and oppressive class structure, in which the Karvis and Karapans (princes and priests) controlled the ordinary people. He also opposed animal sacrifices and the use of the hallucinogenic Haoma plant (possibly a species of ephedra) in rituals.
  3. When Zoroaster was thirty years old he had a divine vision of God and his Amesha Spentas during a ritual purification rite. This vision radically transformed his view of the world, and he tried to teach this view to others. Zoroaster believed in one creator God, teaching that only one God was worthy of worship. Furthermore, some of the deities of the old religion, the Daevas (Devas in Sanskrit), appeared to delight in war and strife. Zoroaster said that these were evil spirits and were workers of Angra Mainyu, God’s adversary.

The Bare Essentials of Zoroastrianism

  1. Approximately 3500 years old.
  2. Began in Iran.
  3. Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s first monotheistic religions.
  4. God is called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord) and he created the world. Ahura Mazda revealed the truth through the prophet, Zoroaster.
  5. The Zoroastrian book of Holy Scriptures is called the Avesta.
  6. The Zoroastrian building for communal worship is known as a Fire Temple or Agiary.
  7. Zoroastrians traditionally pray several times a day.
  8. Zoroastrians are roughly split into two groups: a) the Iranians; b) the Parsis


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