Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Silverbackman, Aug 26, 2005.
What is the Zoroastrianism holy book that explains the aspects of Zoroastrianism?
The Holy Book is the Avesta. It was written in Pahlavi, an Indo-European language related to modern Persian. It contains:
-the Gathas: 17 hymns probably by Zarathustra himself, around 600 BC.
-other sacred texts: written in the next several centuries.
Interesting about Zoroastrism is the fact that it influenced several concepts in judaism and christianity.
-Ahura Mazda = Wise Lord = God
-7 Amesha Spentas = 7 angels in Job1
-Spenta Mainyu = Holy Spirit
-Angri Mainyu = fallen angel = satan
With due respect to the Queenofsheba. There are different schools of Zoroastrianism. Most accept the Avesta but recognise that the only AUTHENTIC (that is written by Zarathushtra himself) writings are the Gathas.
Those Mazdayaznis (followers of Mazda) who accept the Gathas but not the Avesta are called Gathas-Only Zoroastrians. They accept converts and do not believe that marrying outside of the faith is a disciplining offense.
Would you like me to post a link to the Gathas? Or would you prefer the Gathas themselves. (they are quite short.)
Link to the Gathas
The Gathas - A Glance
Hear the best with your ears
and ponder with a bright mind.
Then each man and woman, for his or her self,
select either of the two, the better or the bad mentality.
Awaken to this doctrine of ours
before the great event of choice ushers in.
(Zarathushtra's Gathas: Song 3.2)
Zoroaster's Gathas would make a small book of perhaps 60 pages, there are 241 stanzas & fewer than 6000 words. You can read them in an evening & yet still be pondering them in a 100 years from now.
They are written in Old Avestan, sister language to Old Sanskrit. They are poetry, written in an old persian style which can be memorised easily and thus transmitted onwards through the ages. This poetical nature of the Gathas has proven their saving for poetry is easily remembered and can be widely disseminated in pre-literate societies. Indeed this process has delivered the Gathas to us in the same dialect that Zarathushtra used.
Indeed Ali Jafarey (whose translation is given in the earlier link) calls the Gathas of Zoroaster ".... like a pearl in a cord of song, and each cord of song is a part of a necklace of the "divan," complete poetic works. This is what Zarathushtra wanted to leave for his present and future companions -- a thought-provoking message...."
I ask you to read them and ponder on them.
I see a lot of debate/discussion as to the time frame Zoraster lived. Some claim 600 BC and discussions with Greeks?
Others say as far back as 6000 BC, 'scholarly consensus' says between 1700-1200 BC?? Does this debate stem/differ with the various denominations?
Do any texts predate the ones written around 600 BC, as the Hebrew texts would predate them yes?
The earliest texts are the Gathas which were written in Old Avestan, a now-extinct language. Old Avestan and Vedic Sanksrit are very similar (so similar that it is the Sanskrit that modern scholars use to translate the Old Avestan.)
And it is these similarities which help place the Gathas at a time around 2000-1500 BCE, which fits with the 1700 BCE time period.
Did that help?
If old avestan is so similar to sanskrit, is there any remote link to hinduism?
Not that I'm aware of. Vedic hinduism and Zoroastrianism are about the same age and involve the same group of people, the proto-indo-aryans. While some concepts are shared, they have reversed. (Daevas in Zoroastrianism are evil, while Hindu Devas are good.)
Separate names with a comma.