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Zoroaster or Zoroastrianism
Zoroaster was an Iranian religious leader and reformer, philosopher and poet. He taught his followers that existence is the battlefield of the forces of good and evil, and the man is free to choose his place in this struggle. His teachings are the core of Mazdisna.
The exact time of Zoroaster’s life is not known. Traditional writings suggest that he lived “258 years before Alexander” or “5000 years before Xerxes”. However, New scholars date him to about 1000 BC. His living location is also unknown. Sources mention Azerbaijan, Sistan and Rey as his birthplace, but it is not easy to determine exactly and it is only clear that he lived in northeastern Iran. The contents of Mazdaean sources about Zarathustra are divided into two groups: historical and mythical. Historical material includes his own poems, the Gathas, which form the oldest parts of the Avesta. Legendary sources that have been written about him throughout history, have moved far away from historical Zarathustra. These writings have been reflected in later sections of the Avesta and Pahlavi books. In the Gathas, Zarathustra appears in the guise of a wise man who finds himself on a great mission. In these poems, he prevents people from worshiping the court that created them, the devil and the destroyer of life, and promises them the victory of the righteous. Zarathustra believed that man is a free being and has authority in his decisions. He can choose to stand among the forces of light or to be among the forces of darkness. Zarathustra considered this freedom as a gift from Ahuramazda, which was given to human beings from the beginning; At the same time, he was well aware that this freedom could also mean freedom to believe in the forces of evil.
Zarathustra has been named as the first known philosopher in the world. The battle between the forces of good and evil is the main theme of his philosophy, which has had a significant impact on many philosophical schools and has influenced Iranian thought to this day. In addition, the philosophy of Zoroaster influenced Greek philosophy and, through it, Western philosophy. Zarathustra is mentioned as the first person to provide a logical answer to the problem of evil. Zoroaster has always been a prominent figure throughout history; People from different civilizations and cultures, such as Greeks, Romans, Christians, Muslims, and Westerners, have attributed things to him, depending on their own ideas and goals. However, most of these writings have no historical evidence. In addition to Mazdisna, several other religions consider Zarathustra to be one of their revered or holy figures, including the Ahl al-Haqq, Manichaeism, Babism, Baha’iism, the Ahmadiyya religion, and new movements such as the Mazdaznan. Mani claimed to complete the mission of Zoroaster.
Zarathustra from the point of view of Persian literature
Dealing with Zoroaster has been a challenging subject in Persian literature; As probably the murder of Daqiqi, which was at least in appearance Muslim, was probably due to his inclination to the religion of Mazdisna and with religious motives. In Shahnameh, Ferdowsi has written sections related to Zoroaster and the spread of his religion directly from Daqiqi poems. Ferdowsi himself stated that the reason for this was the dream Daqiqi. But probably the main reason for Ferdowsi’s action was to shy away from composing on such a controversial subject that could have been dangerous to him. In Shahnameh in general, a positive image of Zarathustra is embodied.
In Persian literature, the religion of Zoroaster is also associated with love and drunkenness. In Persian literature, it is narrated that Zarathustra, after accepting the religion by Goshtasp, brought a survey from heaven and that “free cypress” was planted near the first fire temple in Kashmar. Accurate poems in the Shahnameh are the oldest source that narrates this, but this story has its roots in the Zoroastrian tradition.