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Tuesday, 11-Jul-2006 17:49 Email | Share | Bookmark
Yazd Fire Temple

They are NOT Fire worshipper
Holy Fire
They worship God NOT Fire
Iranian - Chinese Girl
This Phtos was not taken by me
Fire Temple (also Dar-e Mihr in Persian در مهر, or Atash Kadeh آتشکده in Iran, Agiary in India, Atəşgah in Azerbaijani, and various names in North America) is a place of worship for Zoroastrians. It is typically a building with a hall and various rooms or chambers, the most holy of which houses a sacred fire, which laymen make offerings to and priests perform rituals before. In Zoroastrianism, fire is revered as the son of Ahura Mazda, and represented by the Amesha Spenta Asha Vahishta, or "Best Righteousness." There are three grades of fires: the Atash Dadgah, Atash Adaran, and Atash Behram, sometimes called a "Fire Cathedral
The Iranians come from the prehistoric Indo-Iranian group, which included what was to become the Vedic culture in India. Being a nomadic people in the Central Asian steppes, fire was a source of not only warmth, but protection at night. Therefore, it became revered, as can be seen in the Rig Veda, where Agni is the first word and remains prominent throughout the Rig Veda. In Hinduism, ceremonies can still be seen in the yajña ceremony. The pre-Zoroastrian equivalent of Agni was the god Ātar, whom was propitiated at the home's hearth and on hill-tops during seasonal festivals, similar to the ancient Greek's worship of Hestia. During this time, usage of familiar ritual implements, such as the barsom, and the sacrament of haoma can be recognized.
Originally there were no fire temples. There is no mention of fire temples in Zarathushtra's Gathas, nor is there even an Avestan word for 'fire temple'. The only mention in the Avesta of a place for a stationary fire is in the Vendidad. By the time of the Parthian, and possibly as early as the Achaemenid dynasty, the first fire temples were being built atop artificial earthen mounds, but their architecture was open and had no roofs, as Herodotus, Strabo and Pausanias reported. It was the belief of Zoroastrians at the time that the essence of God could not be shut into walls. An example of this style can be found at Tappeh Meel near Tehran, Takht-e Suleiman, and Nishapur. Though four miles west of Isfahan is the Atashgah ('place of fire'), harkening back to the earlier tradition of ascending hills to be closer to the heavens. The oldest archaeological site found of what would be recognized as a fire temple today is the Kuh-e Khwaja, near Lake Hamun in Sistan. The remains suggest an inner sanctum where the fire was housed and corresponds with what the Muslim writer Qazvini observed at the site in the 13th century. Features that all these writers observed which correspond with the Zoroastrian scriptural edicts are the ever-burning fire in a stone ceremonial vessel, the cloth mask worn over the nostrils and mouth to prevent pollution from the breath, a bundle of twigs (barsom) held by the priest, and special silver tongs for tending the fire. These basic features are still prevalent today, though slightly changed.

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