In the Zoroastrian version of the end times the Big Event will happen 3,000 years after Zoroaster/ Zarathustra introduced the world to the belief system that bears his name. For those who date Zoroaster’s birth to around 1,000 BCE that means the end could come any year now, but for those who date his birth closer to 600 BCE the world still has hundreds of years to go.
The approaching climax to the ancient battle between the chief deity Ahura Mazda/ Ohrmazd and his evil archenemy, the demonic Ahriman/ Angra Mainyu, will be kicked off when the sun and moon are no longer seen in the sky and a long dark winter results. Literalist fools insist on interpreting that as the dust cloud from a nuclear winter blotting out all light and heat. We’re also told religious devotion and family ties will wane, so you can insert your own “family values” gibberish here.
Next the demon Azi Zahhak/ Dahaka (picture above right) will break free from the lion-pelt bonds that have kept it bound in a cavern beneath Mt Damavand, where it has been imprisoned for untold years thanks to one of the heroes of Zoroastrian myths (accounts vary as to which one). This creature has three heads and will devour one third of the world’s population.
The good guys finally get in the game when a virgin bathes in a lake containing the ejaculated seed of the long dead Zoroaster (accounts vary as to where this lake is and what it is called now). She becomes impregnated by this seed (you know mythology) and gives birth to Saoshyant, the final saviour figure of Zoroastrian beliefs. Saoshyant raises all the dead and passes final judgment on their souls. All the living and dead are submerged in a river of molten metal, which will burn and purge all their evils from them, with each soul suffering only to the degree that its “sins” warrant. By the time they reach the other side they will all be purified to the point that the molten metal no longer hurts them at all.
Now Ohrmazd leads purified humanity and all the lesser deities in a final battle with Ahriman and the lesser demons resulting in the permanent defeat of the forces of evil, which are rendered inert and powerless after they are vanquished. Ohrmazd and Saoshyant accept the death of the last domesticated animal (or animals) to die in the service of humanity as the final sacrificial offering. The meat is shared with all the souls as a true last supper.
Next begins the Renovation, in which the mountains are laid low and the valleys are filled up until the Earth is a perfectly smooth sphere, as we’re told it was before Ahriman screwed up everything eons ago. The heavens descend to the Moon, then the Earth rises up to blend with the heavens and all souls will forever after dwell with Ohrmazd in a state of perfection.
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