Zoroastrian parallels

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by mojobadshah, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. mojobadshah

    mojobadshah Interfaith Forums

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    I know Zoroastrianism has many parallels to the myths and religions of other cultures. Please use this thread to list Zoroastrian names, concepts, and rituals that resemble names, concepts, and rituals in other cultures e.g. Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Indo-European, Judaean.
     
  2. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    Welcome to the site, mojo.

    Just started reading a book by by Hazrat Inayat Khan (sufi) and in passing he mentioned thought, speech and deed as particular areas requiring attention and discipline (don't remember exactly what he said but could look that up) which he then off-handedly linked back to Zoroaster. This also reminded me of the Jewish idea in which thought, speech and deed represent garments of the soul.
     
  3. mojobadshah

    mojobadshah Interfaith Forums

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    Is the Jewish idea mentioned in the Old Testament? "Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds" seems to be related to the triinity. I know the trinity appears in Hinduism and Christianity, too. What is so special about the number 3? I vaguely recall other elements of Zoroastrianism that were incorporated into Sufism, but I don't remember them off hand. In general there appear to be allot of parallels between Zoroastrianism and the Judeo-Christian and Muslim tradition.
     
  4. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    We tend not to refer to it as the OT as we don't consider there to be a new one. There's no explicit mention of garments of the soul that I know of in the Tanach (an acronym for Torah, neviim (prophets) and ketuvim (writings)). I came across the idea via hasidism, most recently during my study of Tanya by Reb Shneur Zalman of Liadi. Essentially, the soul isn't generally perceived at its essence. Only its garments are perceived. That's similar in a sense to the relationship between God and the manifest world as a result of involution according to hasidic and kabbalistic cosmologies.

    Not sure. Most things of importance in Judaism are numbered in other ways eg 10, 12, 4, 7, though there are also 3 patriarchs (4 matriarchs). It may be of note that in Hebrew there is a dual ending. Three is when the plural ending first gets used. If you mean more generally, I'm not sure. It seems most likely that the trinity in Christianity was influenced by Roman religion, not Judaism.

    I don't agree with the implications of the term Judeo-Christian. Theologically and in practice the two religions tend to be very different. When the term is used, frequently it's to refer to Christian values and concepts. It also minimizes the connection of Islam to the other two religions by placing it outside of a supposed Judeo-Christian tradition. imo it would be better to use the term Abrahamic or, if you prefer long words, Judeo-Christian-Islamic.
     
  5. mojobadshah

    mojobadshah Interfaith Forums

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    That's what I meant Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. Often I've read or heard that, initially, the Jews worshipped many gods? If this is true, when did they begin to acknowledge only one God? And, how come I hear, mainly, Christians, I guess, refer to this one god as Yahweh, but my Jewish friends use another name, like, I think, Hashem, and maybe other names?
     
  6. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    It's not clear when the transition occurred from polytheism to henotheism, but the transition from henotheism to monotheism seems like it may have occurred after the babylonian captivity when a theology was necessary to explain why the Israelite god hadn't been defeated by the babylonian deities.

    There was a time when it appears to have been commonplace to pronounce YHWH. By the time of the 2nd temple period it was pronounced only by the kohein gadol or high priest and only at designated times. Hashem literally means "the name" and is a substitute for YHWH. Other substitutes are Adonai or "Lord" and Havayah (a permutation of YHWH) which means "Being." There are also other titles for God such as HaMakom (The place), Avinu (our father), Ayn Sof (without end) and more specific terminology like shechinah which refers to the in-dwelling presence of the Divine. In our present day YHWH has taken on a lot of layers of symbolic meaning.

    This wikipedia page might prove to be useful further reading: Names of God in Judaism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    In doing some research for another thread I find Mithraism was a spin-off of Zoroastrianism, and another spin-off of Zoroastrianism was advocated by a prophet named Mani (Manicheanism). Even in Roman times Manicheanism was considered heretical, even though Mithraism was very popular among Roman soldiers for quite awhile. Mithraism also shared a lot of incidental similarities with modern (post Nicea, 325AD) Christianity. As Christianity gained acceptance, Mithraism faded away. It has been suggested by some, and I am inclined to agree, that Christianity merged with some form of Mithraism during the reign of Constantine and was pretty well solidified and given an official okey-dokey at Nicea.

    Mithraism included baptism, by blood, with special emphasis on washing away sins.

    Mithraism included a Divine man-god savior, Mithras.

    Mithriasm included an almighty G-d, Ahura-Mazda.

    Mithraism included a devil or Satan-like character, Ahriman(?), whom believers needed protection from.

    Mithraism was very male focused, no women were allowed to partake in any ceremonies.

    There were other similarities, these are the ones that jump to mind right now.

    Google "Mithraism" and you'll find plenty of info out there.
     
  9. mojobadshah

    mojobadshah Interfaith Forums

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    Though I'm not perfectly clear on the matter, the Jews seem to have made a few ideological changes after the Babylonian Captivity. I'm also aware of a significant number of Persian loans into I think the Hebrew language, but it might have been to the Septuagint. It would be nice to know what they are. Finally, it was around the Babylonian Captivity that a sect of Jews known as the Pharosees "separator" arose. I'm curious about this designation because of its near resemblance in sound and meaning to the words like Parsi and related words like Persia, Farsi which ultimately hypothesized to mean "border people." If I'm not mistaken there was a Pharosee named Zorobabel, an architect of the Second Temple, which brings to mind the Persian word zarbol "ancient parable," and the name Zoroaster which according to one etymology is rooted in the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction *ger lV "grow old." Any idea what Zorobabel means? And from Zorobabel descended Jesus.
     
  10. mojobadshah

    mojobadshah Interfaith Forums

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    In doing some research for another thread I find Mithraism was a spin-off of Zoroastrianism, and another spin-off of Zoroastrianism was advocated by a prophet named Mani (Manicheanism).

    I agree with you there.

    I have notions that like Zoroaster was born to the virgin Dughdova, Mithras was born to the virgin Anahita. Mithras comes from the Avestan name Mithra. And Anahita comes from the Avestan name Ardvi Sura Anahita, and is likely related to the Sumerian Inanna, and the Greek Athena, all sharing similar attributes.

    I know there are other connections, but its been a while since I've studied Mithra in depth. I'd definitely be interested in seeing an extensive list of Mithras parallels to other cultures. Though I guess one has to be careful because I have come across articles that like to refute these connections.
     
  11. mojobadshah

    mojobadshah Interfaith Forums

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    I have notions that Christmas is really rooted in Mithraism and was supplanted by Christianity.

    1. Mithras' was born on December 25
    2. He wore a Phrygian cap like Santas
    3. The Christmas tree is shaped like a Phrygian cap
    4. Mithreums were found in Germany

    There are several parallels between Mithras and Jesus, too. What are the details of the pre-Christian paganist practices of Germany? Might they not have been paganists, but instead followers of the cult of Mithras? Would a follower of the cult of Mithras be considered a paganist?
     
  12. mojobadshah

    mojobadshah Interfaith Forums

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    5. One etymology for Christmass that I came across said the -mass part of the word is derived from the word Mithras...
     
  13. FriendRob

    FriendRob New Member

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    The parallels between Mithraism and Christianity are, for the most part, overblown. When you read stuff like this you should always ask, What is the source for this claim? For instance, where is it written that Mithras was born on Dec 25?

    There is at least one clear case where Christian beliefs owe a large debt to Zoroastrianism, and that is the beliefs about Satan and the afterlife. I have written up the evidence here.
     
  14. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Can't find much archaeological detail on Mithraism - seems to be little in any textual reference.

    Hence I've not seen a date of 25th December proposed - but it is worth bearing in mind one reason for Christmas being celebrated then by Christians is because it falls very much in line with a whole range of major cultural festivals sourced from the Winter Solstice.

    The Christmas tree is a very late addition to the festival - think it was only in the 19th century that use became widespread?

    Also, Germany for the most part was the boundary of Roman influence, rather than within the Roman Empire. Think it was the Rhine that was the physical border? Around the start of AD, Germans were still very much into killing Roman soliders, cf, Varus.

    I thought the source was "Christ-Mass"?
     
  15. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Well my own recollection from the various sources I've read were that Mithraism was popular among the Roman Legions hence it spread around the Empire... Tarsus the birthplace of Paul the Apostle was a center of Mithraism.. Yep I've heard about the birth of Mithras as being around December 25th and there was a popular Roman holiday about the time so the church adopted it as the birth of Christ.. Mithras origins go back to Indo Iranian religion to the Vedas where Mitra is mentioned.

    A good article can be seen at

    Mithraic Mysteries - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    as mithras wore a phyrgian cap this signified a freed slave in Roman times hence its popularity among the soldiers who increasingly were former slaves from other colonies...the goddess Cybele ['mountain mother'] was worshipped there [mithreum[?] underground cave, bull sacrifice]..mithriasm may have been an amalgamation of various cults for the purposes of cohering the Roman army in an Empire whose civilization was already in the process of dissolution by 2nd century AD, and a 'universal' need at that time for salvation, overcoming fate through mysterious rites.

    Phrygia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    What l had read and was interested in previously was, so far as Tarsus is concerned mythologically, that their patron was Phoebus ['the shining one'] and they had coins struck with him on it [an epithet of Apollo or Adonai].

    :: SANDAN ART :: Where ancient spirit meets new creativity
     
  17. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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