by Jayaram V
The history of Indian thought commences only when the Aryans of Central Asia separated themselves into two groups, the one making through Afghanistan to India and the other spreading over the territory called Iran. (Gilbert Murray)
The Avesta is nearer the Veda than the Veda to its own epic Sanskrit. (Dr. Mills)
Varuna is the god of sky...He is identical with the Greek Ouranos and the Ahuramazda of the
Like the Rigvedic Aryans, the ancient Iranians worshipped gods like
Verutraghna. They also wore the sacred thread and worshipped fire. They had a social organization that was in some ways similar to the Vedic occupation based social system.
Zoroastrian religion was practiced mostly in Iran, or the ancient Persia. Its founder Zarathushtra was born in ancient Iran. The ancient Iranians were Aryans and the world Iran is actually a corrupt form of the word Aryan. The Iranian Aryans were cousins of the Indian Aryans and the language spoken by them was similar to Sanskrit in many ways. They came from the same stock and probably might have even lived together for sometime before parting ways.
However apart from these similarities, there was little else common between Zoroastrianism founded by Zarathushtra and the Vedic Religion that took shape in India. Some differences also seemed to have cropped between Zoroastrians and the Vedic people during the later period as is evident from the use of certain epithets which denote some degree of animosity. The Iranian Ahura (God) became the Indian asura (demon) and the Indian devas (gods) became the Iranian equivalent of evil spirits.
Zoroastrianism ended its long hold over Iranians in the seventh century AD, with the invasion of Arab Muslims who defeated the Sassanids and destroyed their empire. Many native Iranians submitted to the invaders and changed their religion to save themselves from further destruction. A few escaped to India and sought asylum in the province of Gujarat from a local ruler. This happened around 700 AD.
In course of time, the Iranians who fled their country and settled in India became famous as Parsees. Today the Parsees are an integral part of India's multi religious and multi ethnic society and though they generally do not mingle much with other communities, they have contributed richly to the heritage of Indian society.
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