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Iranian Religions: Zoroastrianism

Angel in Zoroastrian Religion


 

 

Zoroastrianism recognizes various classes of spiritual beings besides the Supreme Being (Ahura Mazda): The Amesha Spentas, Yazatas, and Fravashis. In practice (cf. Sad Dar, chapter 26), Zoroastrians pick a patron angel for their protection, and throughout their lives are careful to observe prayers dedicated to that angel.

 

 

Amesha Spentas (Phl. Amahraspandan) ("Archangels")

Literally, "Beneficent Immortals", these are the highest spiritual beings created by Ahura Mazda. Their names are:

Vohu Mano (Phl. Vohuman): lit. Good Mind. Presides over cattle.

Asha Vahishta (Phl. Ardwahisht): lit. Highest Asha, the Amahraspand presiding over Asha and fire.

Khshathra Vairya (Phl. Shahrewar): lit. 'Desirable Dominion', the Amahraspand presiding over metals.

Spenta Armaiti (Phl. Spandarmad): lit. 'Holy Devotion', the Amahraspand presiding over the earth

Haurvatat (Phl. Hordad): lit. 'Perfection or Health'. Presides over water.

Ameretat (Phl. Amurdad): lit. 'Immortality', the Amahraspand presiding over the Earth.

Fravashis (Phl. Farohars) ("Guardian Angels"):

 

 

Also known as Arda Fravash ("Holy Guardian Angels"). Each person is accompanied by a guardian angel (Y26.4, 55.1), which acts as a guide throughout life. They originally patrolled the boundaries of the ramparts of heaven (Bd6.3, Zs5.2), but volunteer to descend to earth to stand by individuals to the end of their days. Ahura Mazda advises Zarathushtra to invoke them for help whenever he finds himself in danger (Yt13.19-20). If not for their guardianship, animals and people could not have continued to exist, because the wicked Druj would have destroyed them all (Yt13.12-13).

 

The Fravashi also serves as an ideal which the soul has to strive for and emulate, and ultimately becomes one with after death (Y16.7, 26.7, 26.11, 71.23, Yt22.39) (See Dhalla, History of Zoroastrianism, pg 232-243, 375-378)

They manifest the energy of God, and preserve order in the creation. They are said to fly like winged birds, and are represented by a winged disk, often with a person superimposed (as in the above representation).

 

Yazatas (Phl. Yazads) ("Angels"):

Lit 'adorable ones', a created spiritual being, worthy of being honored or praised. Like the Amesha Spentas they personify abstract ideas and virtues, or concrete objects of nature. The Yazatas are ever trying to help people, and protect us from evil (cf. Dk3, ch. 66). See below for some specifics of the more important Yazatas.

 

 

Aban:

See Aredvi Sura Anahita.

Ahurani:

Female Yazads presiding over water

Airyaman:

Yazad of friendship and healing. (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Akhshti:

Yazad personifying peace

Anaghra Raocha (Phl. Anagran):

Yazad of the 'endless light' (Var. Aneran)

Apam Napat:

Yazad of waters (Indo-Iranian in origin). aka Ahura Berezant (Phl. Burz Yazad)

Aredvi Sura Anahita (NP. Aban):

lit. 'strong, immaculate Anahita', female Yazad personifying water. She resides in the starry regions (cf. Yt5.85, 88, 132). Her hymn is preserved in Yasht 5. Also known as Aban Yazad. (Var: Arduisur)

Arshtat (Phl. Ashtad):

Female Yazad personifying rectitude or justice

Ashi Vanghuhi (Phl. Ard):

lit. 'good blessings, rewards', female Yazad presiding over blessings (Var: 'Ashishwangh, Arshishwang')

Asman:

Yazad presiding over the sky.

Atar (Phl. Adar - NP. Azar):

lit. fire; yazad presiding over fire. He is referred to as 'the Son of Ahura Mazda' in the Avesta. (Var: Pah. 'atash, atesh, adur', Av. 'Atar')

Chisti (or Chista):

Female Yazad personifying religious wisdom. Her name probably means 'Instruction'. Also known as Razishta Chista ('Most Upright Chista')

Daena (Phl Den - NP. Din):

Female Yazad presiding over the religion, also, Inner Self or Conscience.

Dahm (Phl.):

Yazad honored on the fourth day after death

Dahma Afriti (Dahman Afrin):

embodiment of power of benediction

Damoish Upamana:

Yazad personifying anathema

Drvaspa:

Female Yazad personifying cattle

Erethe:

Female Yazad personifying truth

Gaw (Phl.):

Yazad personifying cattle.

Geush Urvan (Phl. Goshorun):

lit. 'the soul of the cow (or settlement)'. Personification of animal life

Gowad:

See Vayu.

Haoma (Phl. Hom):

Yazad presiding over the haoma plant, which has medicinal and spiritual properties. (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Haptoiringa:

A star Yazad, associated with Ursa Major.

Havani (Phl. Hawan):

Yazad presiding over the second watch (gah) of each day (sunrise to midday, i.e., 12 noon).

Hvare-khshaeta (Phl. Khwarshed - NP. Khorshid):

lit. 'the shining sun', the Yazad presiding over the Sun (var. Parsi Pers. Khorshed)

Khwarenah (Phl. khwarrah, farrah - NP. Farreh):

Yazad presiding over Divine Grace or Fortune.

Maonghah (Phl Mah):

Yazad presiding over the Moon.

Manthra Spenta (Phl. Mahraspand - NP. Mehr-Esfand):

lit. 'Holy Word', Yazad who embodies the Holy Word

Mithra (Phl. Mihr - NP. Mehr):

Yazad presiding over the contract, personification of light. (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Nairyosangha (Phl. Neryosang):

Yazad who acts as messenger of Ahura Mazda, associated with prayer. (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Paoiryaenis:

Star Yazad associated with the Pleiades.

Parendi:

Female Yazad of 'Abundance' or 'Plenitude'. (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Paurwanya (NP. Parvin):

Star Yazad associated with a constellation of uncertain identity.

Raman (Phl. Ram):

Yazad presiding over Joy or Felicity

Rapithwin:

Yazad presiding over the period of the day (gah) from noon to mid-afternoon

Rasanstat:

Female Yazad personifying truth

Rashnu (Phl. Rashn):

Yazad of Justice

Rata:

Female Yazad (Indo-Iranian in origin) personifying charity

Satavaesa:

A star Yazad, perhaps of Fomalhaut

Sraosha (Phl. Srosh - NP. Sorush):

lit. 'Hearkening'; a spirit being who guards the soul for three days after death

Tishtrya (Phl. Tishtar - NP. Tir):

Yazad presiding over the star Sirius. Tishtrya also directs the rain.

Tishtryaeinis:

Star Yazad associated with Canis Minor.

Upa-paoiri:

41 Arietis

Ushah:

Female Yazad of the dawn (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Ushahin:

Yazad presiding over the first watch (gah) of each day (from midnight to daybreak).

Uzerin:

Yazad presiding over the fourth watch (gah) of each day (from 3 p.m. to sunset).

Vanant:

Star Yazad, associated with Vega.

Vayu (Phl. Wad):

Yazad personifying the wind or atmosphere (Var. Gowad, Govad) (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Verethraghna (Phl. Warharan - NP. Bahram):

lit. 'victory', Yazad personifying victory (Var: Pers. Bahram, Behram.) (Indo-Iranian in origin)

Visya:

Yazad associated with the settlement, invoked along with Savanghi

Zamyat (Zam - NP. Zamyad):

Female Yazad presiding over the earth

Zantuma:

Yazad presiding over the tribe.

 

Other spiritual beings, not classified with the above:

 

Thwasha:

Personification of 'Infinite Space'

Zrvan Akarana:

Personification of 'Boundless Time'

 

 

 

 

 

 

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