Zoroastrian Myths: The Doctrine Of Good And Evil – OpEd


Renowned astrologer P.P. Globa writes: “Nowhere, in any other teachings the problem of good and evil is not worked out so deeply, thoroughly and consistently as in Zoroastrianism. This question is central to any Zoroastrian “.

As we know, the initial idea of ​​creating peace and integrity in all myths, religion and philosophy was founded on the principles of good and evil. But these concepts are often addressed from different perspectives, separation of relations between them. Together with the opinion stating that these concepts of equal, and the triumph of evil in the material world is indispensable, there is an idea, observes them in the minds of anyone.

A human consciousness varies according to its height, that is, with the passage of time. In each of these representations are observed, on the one hand, the distortion of the concepts that lead to the search for the source of evil in God’s craft, on the other – the blur of their faces, do not allow to identify clearly their essence. In any case, all these statements are not only confusing the issue but also far from justice.

Therefore, in our opinion, should be seriously studied P. P. Globa that the problem of good and evil, the ratio achieved in Zoroastrianism was “deeply, thoroughly and consistently”. The cause of misunderstandings and obvious errors is not the original understanding of the principles of good and evil in the teachings of Zoroastrianism was subject to review, and later change the text, the misinterpretation of their rise to the so-called postulate of dualism in religion, which was the reason for taking it, as a pagan religion.

But a different view of N.B. Mechkovskaya, who writes that a “Zoroaster preached human moral freedom and is a responsibility of his choice in total opposition to the world forces of Good and Evil. This “higher teaching” (the words of Academician V.V Bartold of Zoroastrianism) had an impact on a number of Middle Eastern religious traditions (especially in the dissemination of ideas of monotheism – loyalty and service to the only God of Good, and the eschatological representations). The proximity of the Zoroastrian religion to monotheism is so great that A.V. Men ready to “recognize Zarathustra brother and associate of the prophets of Israel, pagan forerunner of Christ on Iranian soil” .

In principle, there may be different interpretations of the understanding of good and evil. But they must be based on a clear identification of objectives and aspects of (spiritual or material) consideration of the philosophical categories in the same relation of opposites and their distinguishing features.

In all the myths were the dual pair started (the good-evil, order, chaos, the god-devil) death is one of the components of the pair (life-death). In addition, the existing myths active element performed during “The idea of ​​time can be reduced to the idea of ​​death (or the end), understood in two different aspects, the negative and positive – namely, the impossibility of knowledge of the subject of the (own) death and the possibility of knowledge of the death from the point of view and in terms of the immortal (for example, the Samosty, the Atman).

Only at this point in time it may be introduced into the plot as the knowledge of something, “available” in the story, not only after the death of the actor, or after the end of this (and any other) plot “.

No less remarkable is the observation and other myths that tend to characterize the current, active time, as the carrier of a negative character compared to his opposition to eternity, the absolute beginning, which has a positive connotation. In the context marked by the very concept of truth is a different character, both for time and for eternity. On the other hand, in the phenomenal world time (the gods, humans, animals, luminary, etc.), subservient restriction (death), there is one. Therefore, it cannot be absolute and, being in the process of becoming permanent, cannot be true. Actually take that substance, which does not disappear, not a subject that changes. And it can be considered that who knows the truth.

Here we should mention a very remarkable reasoning of French scholar Henry Corbin of the “History of Islamic Philosophy”: “There is no doubt that in this case we are dealing with events, which take place in eternity. But why then are we referred to a specific event? Does not seem absurd to talk about the words or actions of Abraham and Moses before Abraham or Moses were given to earthly existence? This writes Semnani, insisting (here it is based on the verse of the Qur’an 41.53) at the technical differences between the zaman anfosi, quantitative time, the objective world, homogeneous and flowing in the external history, and Zaman anfosi, high-quality internal time of the soul. Before and after these two times had different meanings. There are very real events that had no place in empirical history.

Sayyid Ahmad Alavi also notes while faced with the problem that in the perception of the eternal structures of a sequence of forms inferior to them simultaneously. Time becomes space. These thinkers considered preferred form in space, rather than” in time.

But in this case begs the question: what is the basis of representations about the appearance of death in the world? The answer is determined by one of the objects of a mythological narrative chain: the knowing subject, the object of knowledge and the process of cognition. That is the subject of cognition, in our view, depending on the level and degree of knowledge of the object adjusts its process and perceives death by knowing the truth as no loss of immortality, and its acquisition. Only the knowledge of knowledge makes it possible to joyful acceptance of death of the subject of cognition, returning it to its source, to the resurrection of new life (reincarnation).

Among the myths and legends of the dualistic cycle, as the majority of scientists, a special place is occupied by the doctrine of the original confrontation between good and evil, spirit and matter, of life and death, allegedly dating back to ancient Iranian cosmogonic story about the opposition of the god Ahura Mazda and the evil spirit Anghri Main. One of today’s researchers in the field of comparative religion and religions Joseph Campbell said: “At the beginning of the first millennium BC, the religious ideas of Persia were converted by prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster), due to which there was a strict dualism of the principles of good and evil, light and darkness, angels and demons. This fracture is deeply affected not only in the Persians themselves, but also on the beliefs of the Jews, and later (centuries later) – and Christianity. It represents a significant departure from the usual mythological interpretation of good and evil as a result, caused the only source of existence that transcends and embraces all the opposition “.

On the influence of Zoroastrianism on all other religions and states the famous English Iranist Mary Boyce, “gradually … a lot of the basic beliefs of Zoroaster spread across countries – from Egypt to the Black Sea.”

It was the idea that there is a supreme God who is the Creator, and the forces of evil, resist and are beyond him. The Creator created this world for a purpose, and the present state of the world it has an end, which will be proclaimed the advent Saoshyanta (Savior). Meanwhile, heaven and hell exist, and every soul be subject to judgment after death. At the end of time there will be a resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment will be a complete destruction of all sinners. Then establish on earth the kingdom of God, and the righteous will enter into this kingdom, as in the garden (called the Persian word Paradise), and will enjoy eternal happiness in the presence of God, remaining immortal in body and soul.

These ideas were assimilated by various Jewish sects in the period after the Babylonian captivity, because the Jews were one of the nations that were most susceptible to the influence of Zoroastrianism “. The term “Paradise” (AVEST. P A R I D A I Z A), meaning literally from Avestan ‘fenced off’. The meaning of the word reveals its sacredness and, therefore, its inner, spiritual aspect, close to people far from their living solely earthly desires and animal passions.

*Professor Rafig Novruzov, Doctor of Philological Sciences, Vice Chancellor for Scientific Affairs, Baku Slavic University

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