MYTH MONDAYS: A is for "Ahuramazda"
In the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism, Ahuramazda (meaning “Lord of Wisdom”, also refered to as Ahura Mazda or Ohrmazd among other names) is the supreme deity who created the spirit and physical worlds. He is a benevolent being, as well as the upholder of truth and justice, very important principals in Zoroastrianism. Generally depicted a man with a long beard, wearing a robe and tall golden crown, he has often been misrepresented with two wings on his back, resembling the angelic yazatas (divine entities) who assist him in governing the universe. Ahuramazda is not omnipotent, however, and welcomes the help of humans to ward off the evil forces of Angra Mainyu (also called Ahriman), the spirit that embodies destructive thought. This can be achieved through good and peaceful feelings, not by deceit and betrayal, the home of Angra Mainyu. Garo Demana (the Abode of Song) is sometimes said to be where the Lord of Wisdom dwells, but heaven in Zoroastrianism is a concept, not a place. In the past, it was customary for Persian Emperors to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses when riding to war, an invitation for Ahuramazda to accompany them to prove their cause was just.