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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Ahura Mazda

(Zend). Ancient Zoroastrianism named the Creator God, emanated from Zeruan Akerna (“Boundless Time”), Mazda (i.e., Omniscient, All-Wise). To this Zarathustra Spitama (also known as Zoroaster; c. 660-583 BCE) added the title Ahura (“Governor”). In other words, Ahura Mazda is the wise and beneficent creator and sustainer of the universe. This title is sometimes given in reverse, i.e., Mazda Ahura, and is known as Ormazd or Ormuzd in Persian. In the Hormazd Tasht, his name, among twenty other titles, is merely Ahu (“I am”). From Ahura Mazda a series of dualities emanated, the first being Spenta Mainyu (expansive or good thought) and Angra Mainyu (constrictive or bad thought). It is interesting to note that the beneficent beings in Zoroastrianism have a parallel with malevolent beings in Vedic Sanskrit. For example, Ahura is cognate with the Vedic Asuras, opponents of the devas, and Indra, one of the chief Vedic gods, appears in Zoroastrianism as a demon (the spirit of apostasy). These malevolent beings, however, should not be thought of as independent, powerful beings, but merely as the misuse of our inherent divine force. In other words, Zoroastrianism is unequivocal in its claim that human beings are essentially divine and, therefore, have free will.

See also ZOROASTRIANISM.

 

R.W.B.

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