The difference lies in the conception of the cosmic forces of Ahuramazda and Ahriman
, good and evil, respectively.
Currently, there is a wide diversity of opinion among Zoroastrians themselves as to what their prophet originally taught and how later generations of his followers understood what he taught regarding Ahura Mazda, Ahriman
, Spenta Mainyu, Angra Mainyu, the Amesha Spentas (or Amahraspands), the Yazatas, the Fravashis, and life after death.(24) Some repudiate the concept of "cosmic dualism" and insist that the basic teaching of Zoroaster, and hence of Zoroastrianism is monotheistic.
In fact, Zoroastrianism is the first of the world's monotheistic religions, although it is often seen as dualistic because it recognizes the existence of an evil force (Ahriman
) that fights the good God (Ahum Mazda).
That dualistic sect alleged that there were two ultimate principles in the world: that of light and good (Ormuzd); and that of dark and evil (Ahriman
In Steiner's doctrine, Christ is a sun god come to earth, not to redeem humanity from sin, but to help the human race balance between the influences of the Zoroastrian gods of light and darkness, Lucifer and Ahriman
. Steiner's revelations typically blur religious, scientific, and historical topics.
The Hostile Spirit, Angra Mainyu (Ahriman
), residing in eternal darkness, created all that was bad and became the Hostile Spirit.
According to the myth, Ahriman
, a Zoroastrian demon, tricked Zahak, an ancient Persian king, into letting him prepare a delicious meal.
The writer in her explanation of the source of evil maintains that it is the devil spirit of Ahriman
who also was uncreated and used his formidable power to oppose Ahura Mazda.
It was also the first religion to posit a single source of evil, the devil spirit Ahriman
, who was also uncreated, and who, with great malice, used his formidable powers to oppose Ahura Mazda and all that was good in this world.
I know I will not receive justice in this world; the light of Ahura Mazda, the god of fire, sunlight and life has been extinguished by Ahriman
, the lord of darkness, death and destruction.
One of the best known Now Ruz stories was recorded in the 11th Century by the philosopher and scientist Abu Raihan Biruni in his book Assar al-Baghieh ("Surviving Monuments"): "Ahriman
, the evil spirit, removed the blessing and abundance from the land in such a manner that people could find neither food nor drink.