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What is “Farvahar”: The Iconic Symbol of Zoroastrianism

What is “Farvahar”: The Iconic Symbol of Zoroastrianism

Among the Most Ancient Religions that still survive in this day and age is the Zoroastrianism. The iconic symbol of Zoroastrianism is the Faravahar. In this blog post, we are to decipher the meaning behind the symbol of Zoroastrianism, the Faravahar.

Generally, the Faravahar symbol is the depiction of a human soul under the divine guidance of god. The principle of this religion revolves around “Good Deeds, Good Thoughts, and Good Words”.

Image of the Faravahar symbol
Faravahar symbol
Image of the Faravahar symbol
The Faravahar symbol on the stone

The symbol of Zoroastrianism consists of 6 key features all of which serve to support the principle of this religion:

  1. The man within the symbol: By looking at the man, we know that he is old with the beard. This indicates the wisdom of the elderly. And indeed, wisdom really comes with age.
  2. The hand gesture of the old man: He raises one hand upward which presents the direction of life – only upward and forward under the guidance of the spiritual tradition of Zoroastrianism. Meanwhile, the other hand of this man holds a ring meaning the faithfulness and loyalty to the religion. It is similar to the wedding ring which confirms the commitment between two parties. So, the hand holding the ring means the man accept the light of the religion to shine on his life. And he is willing to devote his mind and time to learn and practice the teachings. E
  3. The wings: the wings in the symbol are spreading. This indicates that ascent of the soul, the progress of the humanity, and the firm belief in the thriving of this religion. Each wing consists of three layers which are the Good Deeds, Good Thoughts, and Good Words. These three elements (also the principles of the religion) are the pillars making the flying wings also enabling the ascent of the soul.
  4. The circle in the middle: Circle is the symbol without beginning and ending. This indicates the infinity of the universe and the continuous cycle of life. Also, it means that our soul is immortal and death is not the end. Furthermore, the circle tells that the way one treats other will return in their life. The man with Good Deeds, Good Thoughts, and Good Words will get himself rewards while the man without them will face the punishment.
  5. The tail of feather: The feathered tail below also consist of three parts. They indicate the opposite sides of the wings: Bad Deeds, Bad Thoughts, and Bad Words. It suggests that we should drop and abandon negative forces out of our life.
  6. The two lower loops: Two loops appear in the Faravahar. They indicate the Good Mind and Angry Mind. Both of them exist in one person’s mind. And they are supposed to store the former while ridding the later.

The word “Faravahar” means “I choose”. It is associated with “Fravashi” the guardian angel and pure human soul. And the Fravashi is the one that will enter the Heaven after the life on earth comes to an end. So the symbol generally indicates that the more one tries to live under the guidance of the teachings, the more likely their soul will be lifted to the Heaven when they are dead.

Image of the Faravahar symbol of Zoroastrianism
Faravahar Royal tombs detail of the Zoroastrianism, symbol on the remains of old city Persepolis.

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