1. Education

Ahura Mazda

By

Ahura Mazda

Ahura Mazda

C.C. jcbmac @ Flickr.com
Definition: Ahura Mazda, the Iranian sky god, the Wise Lord or Lord Wisdom, and god of order, depicted as a bearded man on a winged disk, was the principal god of the ancient Zoroastrians. He was one of the Indo-Iranian spiritual lords who also included Mithra and Varuna. Achaemenid Persians worshiped him as Ahuramazda, giver of kingship. Later dynasties worshiped him as a perfect and omniscient spirit. He came to be depicted in human form. In relief sculptures you will see an image of him handing a large ring, a symbol of divinely-granted power, to the Persian king.

Ahura Mazda's chief rival is Angra Mainyu (Ahrimen), creator of evil. Daevas are other followers of evil.

Ahura Mazda is the creator of sky, water, earth, plants, animals, and fire. He upholds asa (rightness, truth). Persian Kings believed Ahura Mazda to be their special protector and equated him with Zeus. He was also equated with the gods Yahweh and Bel.

Resources:

  • Cotterell, Arthur and Rachel Storm. The Encyclopedia of World Mythology. Lorenz Books, London, 2004
  • Hornblower, Simon and Antony Spawforth. The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Third Edition Revised. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003
  • "Zoroastrian Traces along the Upper Amu Darya (Oxus)"
    D. A. Scott
    The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 2 (1984)
  • Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, by Glen Warren Bowersock, Peter Robert Lamont Brown, Oleg Grabar (1999).
Also Known As: Ohrmazd
Examples:
According to Zoroastrianism, Zoroaster received fire and laws from Ahura Mazda. In the Avesta (Zoroastrian scripture), Zoroaster is a manthran, a possessor of sacred formulas based upon asa (or asha, arta), which is opposed to druj (lie, deceit). It is occasionally doubted whether Zoroaster was a historical figure. More often debate centers on exactly when he lived.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.