Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Iran | Yazd | Zoroastrian Fire Temple

After visiting the Towers of Silence in Yazd I wandered by the Zoroastrian Fire Temple. Zoroastrianism is still practised in Iran and may be experiencing a Revival in Iraq.  A dozen or more people came to worship at the Yazd temple while I was there. 
The Fire Temple Grounds (click on photos for enlargements)
The Fire Temple
Faravahar, shown above on roof of the temple porch is one of the best-known symbols of Zoroastrianism. Below is an Explanation of the symbol: 

1. The figure inside is that of an old man, representing wisdom of age. 2. There are two wings in two sides of the picture, which have three main feathers. These main feathers indicate three symbols of "good thoughts, good words, and good deeds," which are at the same time the motive of flight and advancement. 3. The lower part of the Faravahar consists of three parts, representing "bad reflection, bad words and bad deeds" which causes misery and misfortune for human beings. 4. There are two loops at the two sides of the Faravahar, which represent positive forces and negative forces.  The former is directed toward the face and the latter is located at the back. This also indicates that we have to proceed toward the good and turn away from bad. 5. The ring in the center symbolizes the eternity of universe or the eternal nature of the soul. As a circle, it has no beginning and no end. 6. One of the hands points upwards, indicating that there is only one direction to choose in life and that is forward. The other hand holds a ring and some interpreters consider that as the ring of covenant and used in wedding ceremonies representing loyalty and faithfulness which is the basis of Zartosht's philosophy. This means when a true Iranian gives a promise, it is like a ring and it cannot be broken. 
Meanwhile, the American rapper, Roaster, and serial stoner Snoop Dogg has managed to Seriously Annoy Zoroastrians by appropriating this symbol. Also see Parsis Miffed. They claim Snoop is “insensitive towards the religious beliefs of one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world.” Snoop Dogg being insensitive toward religions, imagine that! This is a guy who says he celebrates “Bong Kippur”. 
Snoop chillin’ with Faravahar. And I thought he was a Rastafarian!
The Sacred Flame in the temple. Reportedly it has been burning continuously since A.D 470, although not always at this location. It is behind glass, so it is difficult to get a photo without reflections. That’s me taking the photo.
The Sacred Flame
Inside the small museum attached to the temple is an artist’s rendering of Zoroaster, founder of Zoroastriansim (no one knows what he really looked like) with the holy texts of Zoroastrianism below. 
One of the tenets of Zoroastrianism

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