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Index / Religions / Iranian / Zoroastrianism /
Other spelling: Zoroaster

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Iranian artistic representation of Zarathustra.

(Around 600 BCE) Iranian prophet, founder of the religion Zoroastrianism.
There are several conflicting stories about Zarathustra, and many of these are too young to be historically acceptable. In short, we do not have an ideal starting point in order to understand who Zarathustra was, where and when he lived.
More serious of course is the fact that researchers have big problems finding out how much of the teachings and theology of Zoroastrianism that is from Zarathustra himself.
There is good reason to believe that Zarathustra lived and worked in Eastern Iran, considering the language used in the gathas, religious texts. We learn that Zarathustra was of the lineage of Spitama. He worked as a sacrifice priest but held a low social status.
Zarathustra's teachings can be seen in connection with old Iranian cult of sacrifice, where he fought the ancient sacrifice of murder, where life comes from the repetition of the cosmogonic murder. Zarathustra did not go against the institution in itself, but he shook his time with opposing the traditional intentions with the sacrifice.

Baha'i view
Zarathustra is in the religion Baha'i considered a true manifestation of God, but the according views appear not be much elaborated. Baha'i seems to accept Zarathustra in much the same shape that Zoroastrianism perceives him.

By Tore Kjeilen