Back to Home Page or Contents or Persian Mythology or Article Index
Amesha Spentas, Holy Immortals, take ancient Iranian theology into the realm of myth, for they are gods without being gods, created without being creatures, and preside over great natural features without being identified with them. In Zoroastrianism the doctrine of the seven Amesha Spentas and the seven creations was to inspire in man a deep sense of responsibility for the world around him. Each Spenta is chief of his creation, but is bound to the other six by a shared sense of purpose, which, for all Spentas, is striving for a common goal, man consciously and the rest naturally, for which they were brought into existence for to utterly defeat evil.
These entities are called the Yazatas, venerables, and are six in number. It must be noted here, in order not to cause confusion, that Ahura Mazda is believed not first in rank and outside of the group of six, but at the same time is considered the first of seven, which is proven by the fact that his "worldly" equivalent is the "just" man, over whom this god presides as his own particular domain, while the equivalent for Vohu Manah is the bovine (the bull or cow which provides the urine or milk to be mixed with the homa of the sacrifice).
The six entities are Vohu Manah, Asha Vahishta, Khsathra Vairya, Haurvatat, Armati, and Ameretat. A.G.H.
Boyce, Mary, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and
Practices, New York, Routledge, 2002, p. 24
Grimal, Pierre, Larousse World Mythology, Secaucus, New Jersey, Chartwell Books, 1965, p. 190
Settegast, Mary, Plato Prehistorian, Cambridge, MA, The Rotenberg Press, 1986, p. 221