This speculation is clearly a development of that which the Iranian cosmology has to tell about the battles between Ahura-Mazda and Angro-Mainyu (Ormuzd and Ahriman).
It is impossible to deny Persian influence in the development of this conception, and that the Persian Ahriman (Angromainyu), the evil personality opposed to the good, Ahura Mazda, moulded the Jewish counterpart, Satan.
In Zoroaster's eyes this is an abomination: for the cow is a gift of Ormazd to man, and the religion of Mazda protects the sacred animal.
This freedom of the will is clearly expressed in Yasna, 31, I I: "Since thou, 0 Mazda, didst at the first create our being and our consciences in accordance with thy mind, and didst create our understanding and our life together with the body, and works and words in which man according to his own will can frame his confession, the liar and the truth-speaker alike lay hold of the word, the knowing and the ignorant each after his own heart and understanding.
Every young believer in Mazda, after having been received into the religious community by being girt with the holy lace, had to choose a confessor and a spiritual guide (ratu).
He preserves a strange and significant silence with regard to Ahura-mazda, the supreme God of Zoroastrianism, and in fact can hardly have been a Zoroastrian believer at all.
If such a one says ` I am an Athravan ' he lies, call him not Athravan, noble Zarathustra, said Ahura Mazda, but thou shouldst call him priest, noble Zarathustra, who sits awake the whole night through and yearns for holy wisdom that enables man to stand on death's bridge fearless and with happy heart, the wisdom whereby he attains the holy and glorious world of paradise."
470, descriptive of the conflagration of the world, we read of how, after Az and the demons have been struck down, the pious man is purified and led up to sun and moon and to the being of Ahura Mazda, the Divine.
This idea has its original source in the apocalypses of Iran, for these are based upon the conflict between Ahura-Mazda (Auramazda, Ormazd) and Angro-Mainyush (Ahriman) and its consummation at the end of the world.
Considered to have gone back to Ahura-Mazda, who gave him, as pure as he entered into this world, having not reached the age: of accountability.
" the Good Mind " of Ahura Mazda; or the Bodhisattva Avalokitegvara, who vowed not to enter into final peace till every creature had received the saving truth; sometimes supreme, like Brahma, or Prajapati (" lord of creatures ") in the early Brahmanic theology; or Adi Buddha, or the Zervan Akarana, " boundless time," of a kind of Persian gnosticism; or the Oths whose worship appears among other syncretistic cults of the Roman empire.
Its form is more personal, for Asha is one of the six Holy Immortals round the throne of Ahura Mazda (Auramazda).
Now this name was the invention of Zoroaster himself; and he who names himself after Mazda thereby makes a confe~sion of faith in the religion of Zoroaster whose followers, as we know, termed themselves Mazdayasna, worshippers of Mazda.
Whole strophes of the m Lths can be turned into good old Sanskrit by the application of Ia rtain phonetic laws; for example as mat vo padaish y frasrfltk izhayao F pairijasai mazda ustnazast, as at vo ash aredrahyaca nemangha at vo vangehush mananghO hunarett, ~comes in Sanskrit mana vah padaih y pracruta ihayh it parigachai medha uttanahastah at va rtena radhrasyaca namasg m at v vasor manasah sun~-tayA.
Burnouf, and has is With verses of my making, which are now heard, and with syerful hands, I come before thee, Mazda, and with the sincere th~ mility of the upright man and with the believers song of praise.
The Parsis adore fire as the visible expression of Ahura-Mazda, the eternal principle of light and righteousness; the Brahmans worship it as divine and omniscient.'
In the Gathas the Good Spirit of Mazda and the Evil Spirit are the two great opposing forces in the world, and Ormazd himself is to a certain extent placed above them both.