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Flashcards in Zoroastrianism Deck (87):
1

When and where did Zoroastrianism begin?

Began around 3,000 years ago in Persia

2

Who founded Zoroastrianism?

Zarathustra

3

When was Zoroastrianism the state religion of the Persian Empire?

6th through the 4th centuries B.C.E

4

Zoroastrianism was the state religions of ____ and ____ from the 6th through the 4th centuries BCE

1. Persian Empire
2. Sassanid Empire

5

What is Zoroastrianism like today?

only about 250,000 followers, mostly in Eastern Iran

6

What are Zoroastrians today called?

Gambars or "infidels", esp. in Mumbai, India

referred to as Parsis (Persians) by the Hindu Population

7

What are the three main stages of Zoroastrianism?

1. The religion prior to the arrival of the prophet Zoroaster. The Endo-European/Aryan culture that he reformed
2. The early faith, promulgated by Zoroaster himself
3. Zoroastrianism of the Persian Empire espoused by the monarchs from Cyrus and Darius onward, which introduced elements into the religion mostly via a priestly group called the Magi, considerably tempering its monotheistic character

8

When was Zoroastrianism of the Persian Empire?

559-330 CE

9

What are examples of the parallels between Zoroastrianism and Judaism, Christianity, and Islam?

-Monotheistic
-Creation Stories
-prophets
-figure of Shaoshyant
-world ages/aeons
-the armageddon-like final battle
-angels/demons
-bodily resurrection
-final judgement
-heaven and hell

10

What is a major reason why we look at Zoroastrianism?

Radical Dualism that gives a moral dimension to the afterlife that not only strongly encourages and rewards virtue, but by doing so gives humanity a role in extinguishing evil from the world

11

The term Aryan is a ____ word that means _____

Sanskrit word that means "the noble ones"

12

What did the term Aryan refer to?

It referred to the group of migrants who moved into the Indus Valley in the second Millennium BCE from what is now Iran

13

What happened to the Aryans that did not migrate into India?

They became founders of the ancient Iranian religion Zoroastrianism

14

(True/False) There are many similarities between the religion revealed in the Indian Vedic Literature and the Gathas of Zoroastrianism.

True

15

When did the Persian Empire rule the Middle East?

From the 6th to 4th centuries BCE

16

When modern Persians caught a name for their nation, what did they call it?

Iran, which means land of the Aryans

17

Profits, reformers, those that benefit the community, restorers of truth and purity

Saoshyants

18

Where was Zoroaster born?

Born in Northeast Iran or Southwest Afghanistan

19

When was Zoroaster born?

Either between 1200-900 BCE or 600-400 BCE

20

Zoroaster was born into a warrior clan called _____.

Spitama

21

Who was Zoroaster's father?

Pourushapsa- "Possessor of Horses"

22

Who was Zoroaster's mother?

Dughdova- "One who has milked"

23

Zoroaster received his Kusti/Sadre at what age?

15

24

When did Zoroaster leave home?

When he was 20

25

When did Zoroaster have his pivotal religious experience?

When he was around 30

26

What happened to Zoroaster around the age of 40?

He is imprisoned and he ends up converting King Vishtaspa in Bactria

27

What happens when Zoroaster is 70?

He is killed while tending the sacred fire during a battle

28

What are the important elements of Zoroastrianism?

1. Dualistic/ Ethical Monotheism (the relationship between good, evil, God, and ethical action)

2. Eschatology: the expectation of a transfiguration of life and existence at the end of time

29

the relationship between good, evil, God, and ethical action

Dualistic/Ethical Monotheism

30

The expectation of a transfiguration of life and existence at the end of time

Eschatology

31

Who is worshipped as the one Supreme God in Zoroastrianism?

Ahura Mazda

32

Who is Ahura Mazda's prophet?

Zoroaster

33

What accounts for the presence of good and evil everywhere?

Cosmological Dualism

34

the modes of good action

Spenta Mainyu

35

the modes of evil

Angra Mainyu

36

What are the divine manifestations of Ahura Mazda's power called?

Beneficent Immortals

37

The soul as the scene of struggle

Ethical Dualism

38

What are the main teachings of Zoroastrianism?

1. the soul as the scene of struggle; ethical dualism
2. honor and husbandry vs. deceit and plundering
3. the final victory of Ahura Mazda and the Rennovation of the World (Frashno-Kereti)
4. The judgment of individual souls; humans will be judged in the afterlife for their good or evil thoughts, words, or deeds

39

What was an important ethical aspect of Zoroastrianism?

Understanding of the sacredness of the elements of earth, fire, water, and air, and maintaining their purity

40

Major literary source for early period of Zoroastrianism

The Gathas

41

What does Gathas mean?

Hymns, a collection analogous to the Torah for Jews

42

Considered to be the word of the prophet Zoroaster; all other scriptural works are based upon this

The Gathas

43

The ____ instructs the believer in the basic teachings of Zoroaster on good and evil

The Gatha

44

What does Ahura Mazda literally mean?

The wise lord

45

How does the wise lord connect with the material world?

Through six/seven emanations, each of which has guardianship over a human virtue and a sector of creation

46

The emanations of Ahura Mazda are called?

Amesha Spentas, or "Beneficient Immortals"

47

Zoroastrians pray to Amesha Spentas (true/false)

FALSE. Zoroastrians do not pray TO the Amesha Spentas, but THROUGH them to commune with God.

48

The later Zoroastrian tradition is radically different from its predecessor (true/false)

True

49

Why might the later Zoroastrian tradition be so radically different?

Not sure whether Zoroaster's initial influence made its way out of eastern Iran into the Mesopotamian Basin, or whether a parallel reform took place and the Zoroastrian influence came later.

50

A priestly group that was a main part of stage three of Zoroastrianism

The Magi

51

Through their efforts, the faith was extended throughout the world that was influenced by Iranian thought. They permitted older Zoroastrianism to be mixed with both Iranian and foreign religious concepts and practices. They emphasized dualism in both cosmic principles and in the conflicts of each human life.

The Magi

52

Zoroastrians who changed the faith to incorporate more of the elements rejected by Zoroasthra and the Persian Kings of the Achaemenid dynasty that began with Cyrus.

Sassanids

*their essential refoundation of Zoroastrianism consisted of a revival of the concept of royalty that well served the monarch, the warrior aristocracy, and the priesthood.

53

Zoroaster's monotheism was replaced with dualism, a fight between two equally powerful forces and a later heretical group of priests, the _______, caught a theology to answer problems raised with such a strict dualism.

Zurvanites

54

The ancient scriptures of Zoroaster were known as

Avesta

55

The meaning of the word Avesta is uncertain. What does it most likely mean?

Most likely derives from the middle Persian word avestag, meaning "law"

56

(True/False) The term avesta is broad enough to encompass all of the commands of Zoroaster.

True

*To serve good and to turn from evil
*To be both morally and ceremoniously pure

57

Some scholars refer to the Avesta as what?

"miscellany, without cohesion"

*That is a group of separate, various, michellaneous, writings, collected into one volume; a mixture of things.

58

Main ceremony, focuses on 17 hymns in syllabic meter

Yasna

59

Constituting a type of verse distinguished primarily by the syllables rather than rhythmic arrangements

Meter

60

Concerned with purity laws

Vendidad

61

What are some other pain books besides the Avesta?

Vendidad (purity laws), Bundahishisn, Wizidagiha, and Zadspran

*largely based on interpretations lost in the Avestan books

62

variously translated as “Authoritative Utterance” “injunction,” “wisdom,” and “scripture”; the name of Zoroastrian scriptures.

Avesta

63

“Sacrifice”; hymns for worship; the first and foremost division of the Avesta.

Yathas

64

a collection of seventeen hymns in the Yasna, which Zoroastrians hold to be the words of Zarathushtra.

Gathas

65

The Law Against Demons; a division of the Avesta containing myths and codes of religious law.

Vendidad

66

“All the [Divine] Lords”; a twenty-chapter collection of hymns in the Avesta.

Visparad

67

“Hymns”; hymns of praise to twenty-one divinities, angels, and human heroes of ancient Persia; a division of the Avesta.

Yashts

68

The earliest and most important section of the Yathas is the ____.

Gathas

69

How are the Gathas distinguished from other Yasna hymns?

by their emphasis on ethics and their lack of attention on ritual concern

70

the juices of the haoma plant are ground out and mixed with milk and herbs

haoma ritual

71

Priests daily recite all seventy-two chapters (True or False)

True

72

What is the final consummation?

Ahura Mazda destroys Angra Mainyu and his evil work, frees and purifies all of the souls in hell, resurrects the pure souls from heaven, and they all dwell in a restored world of riteousness.

73

How many times per day must a Zoroastrian pray?

5 times per day (sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight, and dawn)

74

A Zoroastrian must pray in the presence of _____?

Fire

*Symbol of richeousness

75

Describe the gown worn by Zoroastrians

Gown called a Sedra, wrapped by a Kusti

76

Sacred cord, which should be worn constantly

Kusti

77

Sacred shirt

Sedra

78

What must a Zoroastrian do before praying?

Must perform ritual ablutions, for the faith makes cleanliness a part of godliness

79

The ancient veneration of fire among the Iranian people most likely centered on the ____.

ever-burning hearth fire

80

When was the temple cult of fire instituted?

4th century BCE

81

Monthly feasts

The Jasans

82

No Ruz

New Year's Day

83

Gahambar's

Seasonal Feasts

84

Muktad

All soul's Day

85

Stone tower, tower of silence

dakhma

86

What happens to the body after death?

The body is given to charge of professionals, who live to some extent segregated lives, as unclean persons.

87

What happens to a person on the fourth day after death?

They must pass the Chinvat Bridge

*The soul on a scale (either pass a bridge to heaven or cross a knife-sharp bridge and fall to hell)