Ahura Mazda

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Ahura Mazda/Ahriman

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Ahura Mazda is the Zoroastrian high god of light. According to tradition, he is using humankind to defeat Ahriman, or Angra Mainyu, the devil figure of darkness, who has come to Earth to tempt humans away from the light. A battle of light and darkness, good and evil, is being waged that will end at the last judgment, when light will triumph and a new, purified Earth will enter into its prophesied eternal age of destiny.

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ahura Mazda


the supreme god in a number of ancient and early medieval Iranian religions in Southwest and Middle Asia, as well as in the ancient Armenian pantheon, some syncretic Hellenistic cults, and so forth. Today Ahura Mazda is still recognized by the Parsees and the Gabars. In the ancient Persian religion the supreme (but not the sole) god Ahura Mazda was the creator of the sky, the earth, and man, and also the protector of the king and the guarantor of public law and order. In the Gathas by Zarathustra, Ahura Mazda is a single god with the functions of the principal ancient gods, and in the Young Avesta he is the head of a new pantheon of gods. With the development of dualistic notions about the age-old struggle between the principles of good and evil, Ahura Mazda came to be associated with good, in opposition to Angra Mainyu. The modern Zoroas-trians, the Parsees, recognize only the one good god Ahura Mazda (Ormazd) and understand Angra Mainyu (Ahriman) to be essentially only a symbol of the evil tendencies in man.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ahura Mazda

(Ormuzd, Ormazd) the spirit of good and creator of all things. [Zoroastrianism: Payton, 11]
See: God
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Manichaeism, Ahuramazda (spirit) is self-content and, therefore, passive.
Under him came a host of lesser priests who combined administrative, judicial, ritual and educational responsibilities.(53) Carsten Colpe remarked on this similitude by saying that "the relationship between a hierarchically structured religion, which Zoroastrianism had become through the subordination of other gods to Zoroaster's Ahuramazda, and a hierarchically organized state, which is what the Sasanian empire developed into by a series of economic and social circumstances, must be of mutual dependence and mutual assistance."(54) A consolidated Zoroastrianism not only transformed its priesthood into a major property-holding institution, but also insisted on the divine character of creation, including that of political institutions.
B.C.) representing the hierarchical relationship between the king and the members of the upper class.(100) Thus, various forms of expression were employed to stress that on top of the social and administrative hierarchy was the king who had a 'quasi-personal relationship' with the great god Ahuramazda,(101) but also distanced himself from his nobles whom he called 'his slaves' irrespective of their true social status.(102) The latter would pride themselves on the services, which they owed to their king: he was the source of power, influence, honour, status, important administrative posts, top military assignments, and grants of land.
(51)DB 16, 22, 49, and in particular 52: 'By the favour of Ahuramazda I defeated them and captured nine kings' and 53: 'These (are) the nine kings whom I have captured within these battles'.
4, where she analyses the rock-cut tomb of Darius at Naqsh-i Rustam as a source of information on the relationship between the god Ahuramazda and the Achaemenid king.
(80) Darius, for all his devotion to Ahuramazda, spoke of "Ahuramazda and the other gods that exist" (81) and "Ahuramazda, the greatest of the gods." (82) Mary Boyce has suggested a motive for this elevation of Ahura Mazdah, called "the god of the Iranians": the close contact of Iran with the powerful civilizations of Babylonia, Assyria, Elam, and Urartu, where religion had developed monotheistic tendencies.
Note that in one of the Aramaic inscriptions from Arebsun in Cappadocia (from the late Achaemenid or early Arsakid period) Ahuramazda's name appears "translated" in Aramaic as Bel.
In point of fact, at least four of the nine liar kings are closer to Ahuramazda than Darius himself; one of them (number three) is so close to the divine that his later-added caption had to be written on his waist, rather than above him, as was the case for the others.