torsdag 10 februari 2011

Why Reincarnation is not a Zoroastrian belief

Dear Brother

I have never encountered any belief in personal reincarnation among Indo-Europeans. Death is rather "the return to the world-as-one", not some kind of bridge to a new individual existence.
It seems rather obvious that the reason why reincarnation popped up and became popular in India was because it was an import from Dravidian religious beliefs. Which makes it the main difference between Iranian and Indian religious beliefs. Zoroastrians do not believe in reincarnation. Except for some old Parsi ladies with a fablesse for Hindu folk beliefs, I have never heard Zoroastrians speak about this.
It would certainly help if you could supply some FACTS that strengthen your claims. Otherwise they look rather like wild fantasies and not a proper history of ideas or theology. Zarathsuhtar certainly does not mention reincarnation even once in The Gathas. Applying Hindu beliefs on to Zoroastrianism when they were never there in the first place is no better than trying to turn Zoroastrianism into an Abrahamic religion (which it clearly is not either).


2011/2/10 Syn

--- In, Alexander Bard wrote:
> No, Zaneta, the Hindus do not.
> They creamate their dead because they have done so for thousands of years.
> It is an efficient way of getting rid of human remains, both for nomads and
> for people living in heavily populated areas.
> The idea that this custom has anything to do with reincarnation was
> introduced much much later and then in folk Hinduism only. Reincarnation was
> instead a Dravidian idea that Indians picked up when Indo-Iranians arrived
> on the Indian subcontinent.
> This is why you find no belief in reincarnation in Iran or in European or
> Central Asian Paganism.
> Ushta
> Alexander

I have often wanted to discuss the subject of reincarnation with Zoroastrians as it is one of the main subjects in which I personaly seem to disagree with the main body of the Zoroastrian community. Having searched to see if the subject has been discussed before I came across this particular comment [above] which has motivated me to reply.

Though a belief in reincarnation has many different versions, ie some believe one is only born as human, others as animals also, some that we remain as one sex, others that we are only born again due to some specific unfinished reason or mistake and some that we simply transmigrate through the whole of existance untill we eventualy achieve enlightenment [or from a Zoroastrian/Behdin perspective untill the 'good' prevails], the concept of reincarnation does seem to have been quite universal within many different cultures throughout the world and certainly a concept well known amongst some Indo-European peoples, so is certainly not a belief system that was restricted soley to pre-Vedic Indians.

One notable example of a group of Indo-Europeans that believed in reincarnation were the Celts, the Romans and Greeks noted their belief in reincarnation very specificaly. The Classical Greeks and Thracians thesmelves were were also known to believe in reincarnation. Even the Poetic Edda of the Norse peoples mentions their belief in reincarnation and their similarities to the Iranian peoples is often noted by others.

Thus my question is can one be Zoroastrian and believe in Reincarnation [as with Ilm-e-Kshnoom] or do modern Behdin now believe that the very belief in reincarnation immidiately put one at odds with the main thrust of Zoroastrian philosophy and how many people here actualy believe in reincarnation as I do.

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