Ahura Mazda, the supreme god of Zoroastrianism, the God of “learning, wisdom, discovery, and memory”


Mazdá Ahûrá is the Supreme God of ancient Zoroastrianism. The ancient Aryan Prophet Zarathustra called his Supreme God Mazdá Ahûrá “the god of learning, wisdom, discovery, imagination, mind, memory” or the “Mindful Ahûrá.”

Mazdá Ahûrá of the Old Avestan lore has become Ahûrá Mazdá in later Young Avestan literature. The earliest reference to Ahura Mazda in archaeological records appears to be in an Assyrian text, probably of the 8th century B. C. E, in which assara mazaaš is named in a list of foreign (Indo European or ancient Aryan) Gods.

The reference to Ahura Mazda in the Assyrian document suggests that by 8th century B.C.E, Zoroastrianism in its later Young Avestan form was prevalent in Western Iranian plateau, and was well known to powerful foreign powers/nations such as Assyria and Babylonia.

The Supreme God of Prophet Zarathustra Mazdá and/or Ma(n)zdá (*mensdheh-) incorporates the Indo European noun *mens of the stem ménos “mind-force, passion, spirit, will power, determination, resolve” and the verb dheh “to set, establish, do, create.”

Mazdá is thus “power of the spirit/mind to establish, create; passion to learn, discover and innovate.”

Avestan Mazdá “creativity through power of mind, imagination” is a cognate of Old Norse munda “strive for aim,” Welsh mynnu “intention, aim,” Old High English muntrī “passion, zeal,” German münther “lively, passionate,” Gothic mundōn “be mindful of” Lithuanian mañdras “lively, awake, mindful,” Latvian muôdrs “awaken, lively, passionate,” Old Church Slavonic módró “wise, and Vedic medhā “wisdom.”

The root *mensdheh “inspiring creativity, power of mind, imagination, vision to create” also appears in the following poems in the gathas/sacred songs:

Yasna 28.4: mén gairæ vôhü dadæ hathrá man.aη.há,

Yasna 31.5, mén-čá daidiiái,

Yasna 44.8, mén daidiiái,

Yasna 45.1, ma(n)z.dáv. aη..düm,

Yasna 53.5, ménčáî mánz.daz.düm.

While the etymology of Mazdá is closest to the Inspiring Muses in Greek mythology, yet Germanic or Old Norse Wōđan and/or Óðinn as God of “learning, wisdom” is the closest, if not identical to Mazdá of ancient Zoroastrianism in both the idea and intention.

The Old Avestan gathic formula mazdávs.čá ahûráη “mazda and his ahuras,” reminds one of the Old Norse Skáldskaparmál 41: Óðni ok öllum ásum “to Odin and all the æsir,” Skáldskaparmál 23: Óðins ok ása “of Odin and the aesir,” Hávamál 143: Óðinn með ásum “Odin with the Æsir,” also Baldr” Gylfaginning 49: Baldrs ok asana, (See Didier Calin, Dictionary of Indo European Poetic and Religious Themes page 139.)

I shall add that ahûrás “the original god-powers-forces” and æsir are cognates.

Edison called his first light bulb Mazda, after the “God of light, discovery” of ancient Zoroastrianism. Also, Matsuda the owner of Mazda Company like many other Japanese was fascinated with ancient Persian mythology. He named his cars Mazda instead of Matsuda.

ardeshir

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