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Index / Religions / Iranian / Zoroastrianism /
Ahura Mazda



Ahura Mazda, the supreme god in Zoroastrianism.
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Ahura Mazda, the supreme god in Zoroastrianism.

Ahura Mazda, the supreme god in Zoroastrianism.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

The supreme god in Zoroastrianism.
While there are historical sources indicating that Ahura Mazda comes from Indo-Iranian religions, in which there were two categories of gods, ahuras and daivas, Ahura Mazda only appears in connection with Zoroastrianism, the religion that has its origins in the preaching of Zarathustra, around 600 BCE.
Ahura Mazda is not the only god in the universe of Zoroastrianism, and he is not the sole creator of the world. Ahura Mazda is the father of two twin spirits, Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu. The former is the holy spirit, the latter, the destructive one, and is also known as Ahriman. It appears that Ahura Mazda came to be identified with Spenta Mainyu.
The conceptions of Ahura Mazda changed dramatically over time, probably with an orientation away from the dualism of early Zoroastrianism, into monotheism. From the earliest period, it was believed that Ahura Mazda had created heaven and earth, and that he was the creator of social structures, protector of kings and all righteous people.
The other deities belonged to the same pantheon from which it is believed that Zarathustra once took Ahura Mazda, positioning him in an elevated state. These other deities were now considered to be the creation of Ahura Mazda. This is to some extent a monotheistic view, in which exisitence is credited to one god alone. Yet the world is administered through the powers of several other gods.




By Tore Kjeilen