What is a Zoroastrian?
A Zoroastrian is a person or follower of the religion or philosophy called Zoroastrianism. This religion began with the teachings of the prophet named “Zoroaster” (also called “Zarathustra”) in what is now called Iran (formerly Persia) during the 6th century BCE. As of today, there are about 150,000 Zoroastrians and most of them come from India and Iran. And just like most other religious organizations and philosophies, Zoroastrians also believe in one God, which they call Ahura Mazda.
Ahura Mazda translates to “Lord Wisdom” in English and he is referred to as the God Creator or the supreme divine authority by Zoroaster himself. The Zoroastrianism philosophy revolves on the basic concept of good and evil, which are said to be controlling people’s minds. The positive energy is called “Spenta Mainyu” and is responsible for giving the good character traits of people. The negative energy called “Angra Mainyu” represents the bad side of people and is responsible for all the imperfections in the world. Based on the teachings of Zoroaster, followers are allowed to follow either side or energies as long as they take responsibility for their choices.
But as with all things, the good side is the preferred choice for Zoroastrians. Doing good and positive things are encouraged as these are considered important in one’s quest for a chaos-free and a happy life. When it comes to marriage, Zoroastrians are also urged to marry a person with the same faith. And just like other religious beliefs, Zoroastrians believe that life on earth is temporary and that while still alive, people must fight for the truth and rightful things. In terms of symbolisms and ceremonies, the element of fire is seen with great importance. For Zoroastrians, fire is a sacred element and the symbol of truth from which energy is created. Because of this great respect for fire, Zoroastrians typically do prayer and worship services in front of a fire or some other source of light.