Zoroastrian Afterlife

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Zoroastrianism (see Zoroastrianism) preaches the idea that Death is the work of the evil Angra Mainyu (see Angra Mainyu). The religion also asserts the existence of the soul (Fravasi) and the resurrection of the body at the time of the Great Renewal that will come one day. The soul, created by Ahura Mazda (see Ahura Mazda), is immortal and will be judged immediately after the death of the body. At the time of death, the soul must pass over a narrow bridge. At the entrance to the bridge stands the daenā, or conscience, a maiden who becomes identified with the individual soul. The good souls see a beautiful and dignified woman, while the evil souls see a witch. The good, led by the maiden, will pass over to the “House of Songs” or Paradise as angel-like beings who will serve as guardians of the living good people. The souls of those who have lived evil lives will be attacked by the witch and will fall as demons into the dark cold ravine or “House of Lies” that is Hell. According to some sources, it is the bridge itself, Chinvat, that decides on the fate of souls. Other sources say Ahura Mazda himself makes the judgment, and still others say that Mithra (see Mithra) presides over an actual trial of the individual, who must plead his or her own case.

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