Zarathustrian Religion

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1 Sahil Badruddin = ""More than a thousand years before Christ, Zarathustra preached the existence of a heaven and a hell, the idea of a bodily resurrection, the promise of a universal savior who would one day be miraculously born to a young maiden, and the expectation of a final cosmic battle that would take place at the end of time between the angelic forces of good and the demonic forces of evil. At the center of Zarathustra’s theology was a unique monotheistic system based on the sole god, Ahura Mazda (“the Wise Lord”), who fashioned the heavens and earth, the night and the day, the light and the darkness. Like most ancients, however, Zarathustra could not easily conceive of his god as being the source of both good and evil. He therefore developed an ethical dualism in which two opposing spirits, Spenta Mainyu (“the beneficent spirit”) and Angra Mainyu (“the hostile spirit”) were responsible for good and evil, respectively. Although called the “twin children” of Mazda, these two spirits were not gods, but only the spiritual embodiment of Truth and Falsehood. By the time of the Sasanians, Zarathustra’s primitive monotheism had transformed into a firmly dualistic system in which the two primordial spirits became two deities locked in an eternal battle for the souls of humanity: Ohrmazd (Ahura Mazda), the God of Light, and Ahriman, the God of Darkness and the archetype of the Christian concept of Satan. Although a non-proselytizing and notoriously difficult religion to convert to—considering its rigid hierarchical social structure and its almost fanatical obsession with ritual purity—the Sasanian military presence in the Arabian Peninsula had nonetheless resulted in a few tribal conversions to Zoroastrianism, particularly to its more amenable sects, Mazdakism and Manichaeism."-No god but God, Reza Aslan"