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دوشنبه 25 آذر 1398
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Sight seeing of Iran

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Mithraism

There are no followers of Mithra in Iran anymore, but the traces of this ancient cult are numerous, and the Mithraist cave of Niasar (pp190-191) is only one of them. Mithraism was the worship of the ancient Indo-Iranian god of light, Mithra. Mithraism had a great impact on Zoroastrians, Buddhism, and Christianity. Mithra’s followers celebrated December 25 as the date of Mithra’s birth. Because Mithra was associated with the sun, Sunday was chosen as the day of his worship. Among the ceremonies of the Mithraist cult were baptism in holy water and partaking of a sacred meal of bread and wine. The most important ritual was the slaying of the bull, a reenactment of Mithra’s killing of the cosmic bull of creation, which symbolized the conquest over evil and death.

After passing several ordeals, the converts were “reborn” in Mithra. There were seven grades of initiation into the cult, completion of which conferred immortality. For a long time, Mithra was widely worshipped in the Roman Empire, though whether it was the same cult as in Iran is still unproved.

 

Refrence(s):

- Beheshti, Oksana (2003). Travel guide to Isfahan, Kashan and more. Iran. Tehran. Rozaneh publication.

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