The Vedic Religion in Ancient Iran andZarathushtraSubhash Kak
August 5, 2003
Scholars generally agree that before the advent of Zarathushtra, the religion of the Zoroastrian.There was in fact pre-Zoroastranian
The similarities between the pre-Zoroastrian Persian religion and the Vedic religion are too many to give it any other name.The term Zoroastrian is after the Greek version of the name of the prophetZarathushtra (zarat, like Sanskrit harit, golden; us. t.ra, Sanskrit or Old Persian for camel)estimated to have lived either around the time 1200 BC or perhaps half a millennium laterwho has been variously . A Greek assigns him to an age 258 years prior to Alexander, that is the 6th century BC.
Zoroastrians call their own religion is Mazdayasna, the
religion of Ahura Mazda (Sanskrit Asura Medh¹a, \Lord of Wisdom"). The Rigveda 8.6.10 has the expression
medh¹am rtasya, \wisdom of truth".
Zarathushtra presented his religion as rival to the religion of the
daevas,that is Daevayasna. Zarathushtra came from Bactria in northeast Iran, near Afghanistan.
The Avesta speaks of several lands that include the Sapta-
Sindhu (Sindhu-Sarasvati region of North and Northwest India). The scripture of the Zoroastrians is the Avesta. It includes the Yasna (Sanskrit Ya-jna) with the G¹ath¹as of Zarathushtra, Videvdat or Vendidad (Vi-daeva-dat,\anti-Daeva"), and Ya·st (hymn), which are hymns for worship. During the Sasanian period the Avesta was translated into Pahlavi and this version is called Zend Avesta.
The Zoroastrians speak of mathra (Skt.mantra) as utterances that accompany meditation. Like the Vedic tripartite division of society, the Zoroas-trians have the classes priests (zaotar), warriors (nar), and pasturers (v¹astar).It has been assumed for some time that the
daevas of the Mazda faith are the same as the Vedic devas and therefore Zarathushtra inverted the deva-asura,dichotomy of the Vedic period. In reality, the situation is more complex and the Vedic and the Zarathushtrian systems are much less different
From Kashmir, which belongs square within the Vedic world, comes crucial evidence regarding a three-way division consisting of devas, asuras, and daevas, that is basic to Vedic thought. These three divisions in the outer realm are the earth, atmosphere,and the sun; in the inner world they are the body, breath (pr¹an. a), and con
sciousness or ¹atman.This tripartite classi¯cation is mirrored in the gunas ofIndian thought:sattva, rajas, and tamas.
Deva or devata (heavens, sattva): power related to understanding
Asura (atmosphere, rajas): power related to activity
Daeva (earth, body, tamas): power related to acquisitiveness
kashmiri folklore has many tales where
daevas are counterpoints to devasand asuras. Sometimes the term r¹aks.asa is used as a synonym for daeva. This term r¹aks.asa occurs very frequently in Sanskrit literature. The word raksas appears in Rigveda,the Aitareya Br¹ahman. a and other texts; it is also considered equivalent to Nirr.ti. The r¹aks.asa form of marriage is the violent,seizure or rape of a girl after the defeat or destruction of her relatives.follow many practices that are prescribed for Zoroastrians.To read more- Download below-
Vedic Religion in Ancient Iran