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Zarathushtra, Zoroaster's Creator


  • The Zoroastrian religion is named after a Persian poet named Zarathushtra who lived during the early 1st millennium BCE. His work was met with such reknown that he eventually was called a prophet of a new religion, which was named after him. Zoroastrians are followers of Zarathushtra. The core philosophy of the religion centers on a single God. This God created the cosmos. There is a profession of faith where one asserts devotion to God and opposition to demons. Zarathushtra likely lived in the 6th century BCE but his religion gained prominence in all of Iran and Central Asia until the eventual rise of Islam in the 9th and 10th centuries CE. Historically, Zoroastrianism influenced Judeo-Christian belief while later Judeo-Christian tenants equally influenced later Zoroastrian tenants. Today there are less than a half-million Zoroastrians in the world. Many of them are Parsis who either live in India and Pakistan or have gone to the West and still identify ethnically with South Asia.
  • Zarathushtra wrote poems, called Gathas, from which Zoroastrians derive their spiritual dogma. Essentially, in Zoroastrian worldview as found in the Gathas of Zarathushtra, religion is the primary means to combat disorder with order. Religious wisdom lays out what is right and what is wrong while what is called Ahura Mazda is the heavenly father of wisdom and the creator of the cosmos. On the other side of order, the demon of disorder, or a disorderly mentality at the very least, is Ahriman (sometimes also called Angra Mainyu).
  • Christian and Jewish hagiographies of famous mystics, saints, and prophets influenced the Zoroastrian religions creation of their own saintly, prophetic figure. Historians find it difficult to accept the historicity of Zarathushtra and find that his biographies are products of a later devotional tradition heavily influenced by the development of Christianity and Judaism. Nevertheless, even though the historical Zarathushtra is difficult to locate chronologically, the poems called Gathas that were ascribed to him are still revered as the blueprint for wisdom and just practice leading to the heavenly paradise.

Zoroastrian Symbols