"Ormuzd" redirects here.
For the kingdom of Ohrmuzd, see Ormus.
"Hormazd", "Hormozd", and "Hurmuzd" redirect here.
For persons with these names, such as several Sasanian kings, see Hormizd.
Ahura Mazda (/əˌhʊərə ˈmæzdə/; Avestan: 𐬨𐬀𐬰𐬛𐬁 𐬀𐬵𐬎𐬭𐬀, romanized: Mazdā Ahura also known as Oromasdes, Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, and Hurmuz)(Modern Persian: اهورا مزدا) is the creator and highest deity of Zoroastrianism.
Ahura Mazda is the first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna.
The literal meaning of the word is "lord," and that of is "wisdom."
Until Artaxerxes II of Persia (405–04 to 359–58 BC), Ahura Mazda was worshipped and invoked alone in all extant royal inscriptions.
In the Achaemenid period, there are no known representations of Ahura Mazda at the royal court other than the custom for every emperor to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses, to invite Ahura Mazda to accompany the Persian army on battles.
Images of Ahura Mazda, however, were present from the 5th century BC, but were stopped and replaced with stone carved figures in the Sassanid period and later removed altogether through an iconoclastic movement supported by the Sassanid dynasty.
"Ahura" is synonymous with the Vedic word "Asura" which means "lord".
Even though it is speculated that Ahura Mazda was a spirit in the Indo-Iranian religion, he had not yet been given the title of "uncreated spirit".
According to Zoroastrian tradition, at the age of 30, Zoroaster received a revelation: while fetching water at dawn for a sacred ritual, he saw the shining figure of the Amesha Spenta, Vohu Manah, who led Zoroaster to the presence of Ahura Mazda, where he was taught the cardinal principles of the "Good Religion" later known as Zoroastrianism.
As a result of this vision, Zoroaster felt that he was chosen to spread and preach the religion.
He stated that this source of all goodness was the Ahura worthy of the highest worship.
He further stated that Ahura Mazda created spirits known as yazatas to aid him, who also merited worship.
Zoroaster proclaimed that some of the Iranian gods were daevas who deserved no worship.
These "bad" deities were created by Angra Mainyu, the destructive spirit.
The existence of Angra Mainyu was the source of all sin and misery in the universe.
Zoroaster claimed that Ahura Mazda was not an omnipotent God, but used the aid of humans in the cosmic struggle against Angra Mainyu.
Nonetheless, Ahura Mazda is Angra Mainyu's superior, not his equal.
Angra Mainyu and his daevas, which attempt to attract humans away from the Path of Asha, would eventually be defeated.
Whether the Achaemenids were Zoroastrians is a matter of much debate.
However, it is known that the Achaemenids were worshipers of Ahura Mazda.
The representation and invocation of Ahura Mazda can be seen on royal inscriptions written by Achaemenid kings.
Artaxerxes III makes this invocation to the three deities again in his reign.
In Vedic texts which predate these inscriptions by thousands of years, the Vedic gods Mithra and Varuna are frequently mentioned together.
In the earliest layer of the Rigveda, Varuna is the guardian of moral law, the ruler over Asuras, one who punishes those who sin without remorse, and who forgives those who err with remorse.
He is the Guardian deity of the West, meaning regions west of India.
He is mentioned in many Rigvedic hymns, such as 7.86–88, 1.25, 2.27–30, 8.8, 9.73 and others.
His relationship with waters, rivers and oceans is mentioned in the Vedas.
Vedic poets describe him as an aspect and one of the plural perspectives of the Agni, one of the Primary deities.
Further, both have wrathful-gracious aspects in Indian mythology.
The early Achaemenid period contained no representation of Ahura Mazda.
The winged symbol with a male figure who was formerly regarded by European scholars as Ahura Mazda has been now speculated to represent the royal xvarənah, the personification of divine power and royal glory.
The use of images of Ahura Mazda began in the western satraps of the Achaemenid Empire in the late 5th century BCE.
Under Artaxerxes II, the first literary reference as well as a statue of Ahura Mazda was built by a Persian governor of Lydia in 365 BCE.
It is known that the reverence for Ahura Mazda, as well as Anahita and Mithra continued with the same traditions during this period.
The worship of Ahura Mazda with symbolic images is noticed, but it stopped within the Sassanid period.
However, Ahura Mazda remained symbolized by a dignified male figure, standing or on horseback which is found in Sassanian investiture.
Under the reign of Shapur I, Zurvanism spread and became a widespread cult.
Zurvanism revokes Zoroaster's original message of Ahura Mazda as the uncreated spirit, and the "uncreated creator" of all, and reduces him to a created spirit, one of two twin sons of Zurvan, their father and the primary spirit.
Zurvanism also makes Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu of equal strength and only contrasting spirits.
Other than Zurvanism, the Sassanian kings demonstrated their devotion to Ahura Mazda in other fashions.
All devotional acts in Zoroastrianism originating from the Sassanian period begin with homage to Ahura Mazda.
Zoroastrian prayers are to be said in the presence of light, either in the form of fire or the sun.
In the Iranian dialects of Yidḡa and Munǰī, the sun is still called "ormozd".
In 1884, Martin Haug proposed a new interpretation of Yasna 30.3 that subsequently influenced Zoroastrian doctrine to a significant extent.
According to Haug's interpretation, the "twin spirits" of 30.3 were Angra Mainyu and Spenta Mainyu, the former being literally the "Destructive Spirit" and the latter being the "Bounteous Spirit" (of Ahura Mazda).
Further, in Haug's scheme, Angra Mainyu was now not Ahura Mazda's binary opposite, but—like Spenta Mainyu—an emanation of Him.
Haug also interpreted the concept of a free will of Yasna 45.9 as an accommodation to explain where Angra Mainyu came from since Ahura Mazda created only good.
The free will made it possible for Angra Mainyu to choose to be evil.
Although these latter conclusions were not substantiated by Zoroastrian tradition, at the time Haug's interpretation was gratefully accepted by the Parsis of Bombay since it provided a defense against Christian missionary rhetoric, particularly the attacks on the Zoroastrian idea of an uncreated Evil that was as uncreated as God was.
Following Haug, the Bombay Parsis began to defend themselves in the English-language press, the argument being that Angra Mainyu was not Mazda's binary opposite, but his subordinate, who—as in Zurvanism also—chose to be evil.
Consequently, Haug's theories were disseminated as a Parsi interpretation, also in the West, where they appeared to be corroborating Haug.
Reinforcing themselves, Haug's ideas came to be iterated so often that they are today almost universally accepted as doctrine.
In other religions
Some scholars (Kuiper.
IIJ I, 1957; Zimmer.
According to William W Malandra both Varuna (in Vedic period) and Ahura Mazda (in old Iranian religion) represented same Indo-Iranian concept of a supreme "wise, all-knowing lord".
In Manichaeism, the name Ohrmazd Bay ("god Ahura Mazda") was used for the primal figure Nāšā Qaḏmāyā, the "original man" and emanation of the Father of Greatness (in Manicheism called Zurvan) through whom after he sacrificed himself to defend the world of light was consumed by the forces of darkness.
Although Ormuzd is freed from the world of darkness his "sons", often called his garments or weapons, remain.
His sons, later known as the World Soul after a series of events will for the most part escape from matter and return again to the world of light where they came from.
Manicheans often identified many of Mani's cosmological figures with Zoroastrian ones.
This may be in part because Mani was born in the greatly Zoroastrian Parthian Empire.
Via contacts with Turkic peoples like the Uyghurs, this Sogdian name came to the Mongols, who still name this deity Qormusta Tengri (Also Qormusta or Qormusda) is now a popular enough deity to appear in many contexts that are not explicitly Buddhist.
In modern-day Armenia, Aramazd is a male first name.
See also: 101 Names of God
In popular culture
- Ormazd and Ahriman feature in the 2008 video game, Prince of Persia.
- Ormuhzd and Ahriman are two characters in the Warhammer 40,000 Franchise. Ahriman has a model, whereas Ormuhzd is only referenced in the book A Thousand Sons
- Ormazd and Ahriman feature heavily in the Philip K. Dick novel The Cosmic Puppets.
- In the 2001 video game Severance: Blade of Darkness, Ahura Mazda was the god who created the entire world in which the game takes place.
- General Electric exploited the association of the name with light for their brand of Mazda light bulbs.
- One of the inspirations for the name of the Mazda Motor Corporation is Ahura Mazda, with homophone similarity to founder Jujiro Matsuda.
- A statue of Ahura Mazda is built to contain the Djinn in the film Wishmaster.
- In the 2013 Amish Tripathi novel The Oath of the Vayuputras, Ahura Mazda is shown as the God of Pariha.
- Ahura Mazda is mentioned in the Immortal Technique song "Sign of the Times" from the album The Martyr.
- In the novel Battle Royale, a student named Mizuho Inada believes she is a warrior for the god Ahura Mazda.
- Ahura Mazda appears as a character in the Lucifer's Halo miniseries of Joseph Michael Linsner's comic Dawn.
- Ahura Mazda was the name of a late 1960s, early 1970s psychedelic and fusion prog-rock band from the Netherlands.
- Ahura Mazda is featured in the book Kushiel's Avatar, the third novel in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series.
- In the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, Ahura Mazda is the ultimate move of the third god of the Warring Triad, Zurvan.
- Ahriman appears as a character in the television show Highlander: The Series.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahura Mazda.