Friday, October 9, 2015

Iran - People of the Flames Zoroastrians - Zarathustra. History Documentary: Zoroastrianism or Mazdaism, Ahura Mazda and prophet Zoroaster, full documentary

In search of the Zoroastrians an ancient people who have tended a holy flame for the last 2500 years.

Zoroastrianism or Mazdaism is the religion ascribed to the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster, whose Supreme Being was Ahura Mazda. It is one of the world's oldest religions, "combining a cosmogonic dualism and eschatological monotheism in a manner unique... among the major religions of the world." For a thousand years, forms of Zoroastrianism (including a Mithraic Median prototype and Zurvanist Sassanid successor) were the world's most powerful religion, serving as the state religion of the pre-Islamic Iranian empires from around 600 BCE to 650 CE. Zoroastrianism was suppressed or otherwise integrated into Islam from the 7th century onwards following the Muslim conquest of Persia. Recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians at around 2.6 million, with most living in India and Iran. The change over the last decade is attributed to a greater level of reporting and open self-identification more so than to an actual increase in population; however, precise numbers remain difficult to obtain in part due to high levels of historic persecution in Islamic regions.

Leading characteristics, such as messianism, the Golden Rule, heaven and hell, and free will influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam.[4] Liberality is emphasized in the scripture, and—like the Roman religion—the religion generally showed tolerance to conquered peoples, with Cyrus the Great, who is though to have been a Zoroastrian, annexing Babylonia in the name of its God Marduk. In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to "be among those who renew the make the world progress towards perfection". Its basic maxims include:

    Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.
    There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.
    Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.

The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, which includes the writings of Zoroaster known as the Gathas, enigmatic poems that define the religion's precepts, and the Yasna, the scripture. The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is: Ahura, The Lord Creator, and Mazda, Supremely Wise. He proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe. He also stated that human beings are given a right of choice, and because of cause and effect are also responsible for the consequences of their choices. Zoroaster's teachings focused on responsibility, and did not introduce a devil, per se. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called Angra Mainyu, or angry spirit. Post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, which was effectively a personification of Angra Mainyu.

By the 3rd century, Zoroastrianism and Zoroaster's ideas had spread throughout the Middle East. Zoroaster pointing to the sky.
 Zoroaster (/ˌzɒrˈæstər/ or /ˈzɒrˌæstər/, from Greek Ζωροάστρης Zōroastrēs), also known as Zarathustra (/ˌzɑrəˈθstrə/ Zaraθuštra); Persian: زرتشت‎‎ Zartosht, زردشت Zardosht),

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