Zoroastrianism Essay, Research Paper
Today Zoroastrianism is the smallest world religion, it is also known as Zarathushtra Din. No one really knows the exact number of people currently practicing Zoroastrianism. It is estimated that the number of believers is fewer than 200,000. This is a very tiny minority when compared to other large world religions, such as Islam and Christianity. They are still a proud and active group united to keep they’re religion alive and strong.(Hartz, Paula 8)
World Wide Religion~Although Zoroastrianism has a rather small group of followers, it is very wide spread. This religion can be found all over the world, New Zealand, England, Singapore, Germany, Australia, India, Pakistan, Canada, Iran, and the U.S. Many of the religious practices differ from country to country though. (Harts, Paula 8)
World Wide Pressures~There are many pressures on such a small group of followers, that is so widely spread apart . The pressure of living in other cultural societies without other people who have the same religious beliefs may likely pull believers from Zoroastrians. Another problem is being surrounded by millions of people with a variety of different religious beliefs.(Hartz,Paula 8)
Future Of Zoroastrians~Zoroastrians actually question whether their religion can make it in the long run. Due to the scattered and lost amount of believers, all the pressure of the larger world religions, and cultures almost force Zoroastrians to give up Some traditional rituals and practices.(Hartz, Paula pg.111)
Sacred Fires~The ritual of a sacred fire is one that is still commonly used. Only highest of priests known as Dasturju Dasturau, and most purified is allowed to conduct these sacred burns. Sacred fires are traditionally seen at weddings, funerals, and initiations. The fire represents Ahura Mazda, and his goodness, and righteousness. (Hartz, Paula pg.94)
Keeping The Fire~There are rituals for purifying the sacred fires. The process is performed 1,128 times before a fires is completely pure, which is about a year. This is because the only time the fires are supposed to be tended to is at prayer time. The most sacred of Zoroastrian fires, though reside in consecrated temples in Iran and India. They have been burning continuously for centuries.(Hartz, Paula pg.92)
Boi Ceremony~There is a ceremony that accompanies the regular tending of the fire. Boi-Machi is the ceremony that is practiced five times a day, prayer is also. Which coincidentally is very similar to Muslims five time a day prayer ritual. Once at morning, another at mid morning, another at noon one at mid after noon and the last at evening.
Navojote~Navojote is the ceremony in which youths are initiated into Zoroastrianism. Among Iranian Zoroastrians the age of initiation is age 15. Elsewhere ages are normally ages 6 or 7. The Navojote is the coming of age for youths that are considered mature enough to understand and practice principles of the faith. There are some prerequisites to be initiated though, kids must learn the ways of Zarathushtra and what it means to be a Zoroastrian.(Harts, Paula pg.99)
Weddings~It is expected of Zoroastrian couples to marry and have children. All participants wear white, it is the traditional color worn for all religious occasions. Zoroastrian weddings are usually held at the home of one the participants parents’. There are other places where it would be appropriate, such as a hotel and other meeting places. “The groom enters in a procession of musician and guests, led by a priest”(Hartz, Paula pg.101). Two priests at the least will lead the ceremony. All weddings will take place with the presence of fire. The ceremony will begin with a benediction. The senior priest will ask if witnesses agree that the couple should be married, when answered “yes”, he will proceed to ask the couple if they have agreed “with in a righteous mind” to be married until there deaths. (Hartz, Paula pg.102)Each individual will separately say their answer “We have agreed.” The couple is then showered with rice, symbolic of joy and prosperity.(Hartz,Paula 101)
Zoroastrinism is a small religion made up of about 140,000 people. even though there is only a small amount of people practicing this religion, Zoroastrinism has made a great impact on the religious world. it has brought beliefs such as god, satin, the soul, heaven and hell, saviors, final judgment and resurrection to many other world wide religions. it is one of the oldest religions still alive, and was the first monotheistic religion. the religion was founded by zoroasthra. no one knows exactly knows when zoroasthra lived, but historians generally date his life to be sometime between 1000 and 1500 BC on the basis of his style of writing. he lived in Persia, which is modern day Iran. he started out preaching monotheism in a polytheistic world, and was attacked by his preachings. he finally won support by the king, and in various parts of Persia zoroastrinism became a state of religion in the 7th century CE. when follower’s of Islam invaded Persia in 650 CE, most of the Zoroastrians fled to India, where they are now located today.
The Zoroastrian holy book is called the “avesta.” this book includes the original works of their founder zoroasthra, and a series of five hymns called “gathas.” the five gathas are sacred poetry, directed towards the worship of their one god. at a later date the remaining parts of the avesta were written. these deal with the laws of ritual and practice, with the traditions of faith.
Hartz,Paula “Zoroastrianism world religions”