Zarvan – The Creator of God






Humans have always looked at the mysteries of the universe and wondered about its origin, and visualized its creator. In our short documented history we can see that God has taken various forms. In the ancient days when communication and travel were limited each civilization had its own set of gods. They fought their neighbours for having a different God, they even sacrificed their own child to the God in order to earn respect and favour with that God. While people lived in thatched housed and in poverty, all the national resources were put towards building huge temples to house the gods and these temples have out lasted those civilizations. They sacrificed their best food to the Gods while they themselves slept hungry. (We humans of the modern era cannot distance ourselves from such guilt for it happens even today. While the Muslims in Bangladesh and Africa die of hunger each year mountains of sheep, goats, cows and camels are sacrificed during the Hajj in Mecca and left to rot.)

The Egyptians had their unique system of beliefs and gods, for them death and after life was more important than life. The Sumerians, Elamians and Babylonians each had a different set of gods; they would fight each other in the name of their gods and the gods of the defeated nation would lose its Godliness. The victor would take the various attributes of the defeated God and give it to its own God. The Babylonian God Marduk had 51 such attributes when Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylonia, and for the first time in history a victor did not destroy the temples and the gods but instead restored it to its glory and paid homage to it. He did that for the Jews too who had a different God from that of the Babylonians. Cyrus was a true follower of the philosophy and teachings of Zarathushtra, which was based on truth and reality.

Zarathushtra who lived around 1750 BCE is unanimously attributed with the title of the creator of Monotheism. He called his God “THE CREATOR OF WISDOM” Ahura Mazda. His God did not create the world in seven days but rather created the “WISDOM IN CREATION” Mazda-Ahura. The universe is formed according to this Wisdom in Creation (the truth in nature) by way of evolution. Today we know that it takes billions of years for a galaxy to form.

The God of Zarathushtra is unique and as such the most misunderstood God even among his present day followers. According to the Gathas of Zarathushtra this God “Ahura Mazda” is not to be blamed for the things that happens to us humans. He says it is ASHA (the Laws of Nature) that is at work and it can hurt us if we do not use our mind to be out of its path and protect ourselves against it.

These, you, not Ahura Mazda

Asha(em) also brings fury

And that Mind is the best

Which strives’ to give good guidance

For you to be worthy

Mighty, satisfied, also worthy of praise

Zarathushtra – Gatha – Yasna HA 28.9 (FR)

And how true, earthquake is an good example of the fury in nature, it is the course that nature takes and can hurt humans very badly, but today the people in Japan have learned to live with it. They have rules and guidance’s, which have been formed with the help of the GOOD MIND and by understanding nature, where these rules are followed there is minimum damage to life and property when there is an earthquake. The people of Japan have knowingly or unknowingly followed the ancient teachings of Zarathushtra.

Under the God of Zarathushtra, man is master of his fate. We see the effects of this belief during the 220 years (550-330 BCE) that the Persian Empire was a super power. During that period human history takes a different course, there is progress all around, the Persians did not built temples but instead they built a 1500-mile long highway connecting Sush to Sardis near the Mediterranean and kept it safe for trade and commerce. They connected the Mediterranean to the Red Sea a forerunner to the Suez Canal. They mapped the waterways from Ganges to the Red Sea. They wrote the first charter of Human Rights………


In 438 BCE Ardeshir II the king of kings signed a peace treaty with Rome the other super power who had as many gods as there were conceivable powers in nature. Trade commerce and exchange of ideas flowed between the two powers. A new breed of thinkers immerged among the Greeks, which went against the very bases of the religious system of the Western civilizations. Most of the Greek philosophers lived during that century and the majority of them were born in the Persian Empire and latter settled in Athens. Knowledge and wisdom flourished but not with ease, Socrates who understood Zarathushtra was put to death for believing in powers alien to the Roman Gods.

Zarathushtra deals with the reality of life. He is more engrossed with the progress of humans towards perfection rather than heaven or hell or the attributes of God. He has less to say about God and more to say about the right use of the human mind. During the contact of the Persians with the west and in the height of philosophical discussions the question of “Who Created God” must have been up for discussion. The most likely answer to which is – he created himself out of nothing or he is self-created, but then the next question is; for him to create himself there has to be some sort of SPACE and TIME. A school of thought is therefore born which calls its theory ZARVANISM. Zarvan is the Eternal Time into which God is self-created.

Neither the God of Zarathushtra nor the freedom of thoughts and the discussion on Zarvanism last long for Alexander who was a forerunner of Hitler attacked the Persian Empire and systematically destroyed that noble culture by killing the old and learned and taking the youth to Greece and training them in Greek culture. A Greek historian writes, “30,000 Persian youth were taken to Greece and trained in the ways of the Greek and brought back and given important positions in the administration of Iran.” He destroyed libraries and took the original copy of the “Avesta” to misuse it to the benefit of the oracles and pagan Gods. He destroyed Persepolis (Takht e Jamshid), which was a work of art and architecture representing the united effort of a multicultural force of paid laborers and artists and had no military significance. His performance was worse than that of Hitler but since he was the victor, history is kind to him and even calls him “The Great” and the father of western civilization.

The freedom of discussing and defining God was taken away by Alexander. He reversed the trend. His first act of benevolence was to rebuilt pagan temples in Babylonia, which according to Herodotus people had stopped using. The Romans also helped revive Mithraism a pre-Zarathushti pagan religion, in North Western Iran. Mithra or Mehr the Sun God was worshiped and temples were built and called “Dar E Mehr”. The more ancient Sun God – Mehr partially replaces the God of Zarathushtra and also pushed back philosophic theories such as the theory of Zarvan. The Roman garrisons that were left behind by Alexander to guard his empire soon became followers of Mithra and along with the Roman traders introduced the religion to Europe and very soon Mithraism was a European religion.

As time passed Persian philosophers once again became active with new theories and experimentation with human psychology became common in private circles. They looked at the teachings of Zarathushtra from a different angle.

Truly the knowledge derived

By the good mind

Never before known

Among the Wise and Creations

With it form good rule, never waning

And make society Righteous

Leading us towards perfection

Zarathushtra – Gatha – Yasna HA 28.3 (FR)

They were out to make the world righteous, with never waning rules. Persian presence and influence is seen all over the known world and in every important transformation. According to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, Menahem a Magi is said to have greeted a young boy called Herod, slapped him on his backside and prophesied that he would be king of the Jews. Herod a half Jew ruled the Jews for 40 years.

According to the Dead Sea Scroll the Jews were expecting a prophet at the close of the millennium but nothing had happened. Then they were introduced to the solar calendar, which had more days in a year and so the millennium was extended and the time was made ripe for the advent of Jesus Christ.i Today the fact that the Magi’s the Wise Men who took gifts for Baby Jesus were Persians is played down and the meaning of the gifts (Vohu-Mana, Asha-Vahista and Khash-Atra-Vairyu.ii) misinterpreted although the real meaning is available in the Bible by way of the three questions put to Jesus by the devil in the wilderness. Another important fact is about Simon Magus (Hebrew for Magi) being the head of the church in the days of Christ. This too is not widely discussed.iii

Jesus introduces the God of Zarathushtra in the New Testament but the SEMITIC GOD of the Old Testament was firmly established in the human mind and became the ruling God. Although he is shown as a confused and feeble God, who creates the heaven and earth in seven days but then looses control of it. He repents and destroys his creation saving only Noah and a pair each from the rest of his creation. The next generation of Noah also does not live up to the wishes of this God who than sends Prophets to intervene. Powerless defenseless Prophets who are stoned and crucified.

In search of never waning rules Zarvanism once again becomes active. The son of light and darkness is discussed in the Dead Sea Scrollsiv. In Iran at the beginning of the Sasanian dynasty Zarvanism reaches its height and later becomes the bases of the religion of Mani and Mazdak. The Sasanian mobeds ban Zarvanism, Mani and Mazdakism but their theories creep into Zoroastrianism Ahura Mazda becomes the creator of all that is good and Ahriman the creator of all that is bad. Unfortunately modern scholars while translating the Gathas have it at the back of their mind and have made the Gathas look dualistic with Zarathushtra professing the existence of two paths and the freedom to choose the evil path.


Zarvan or Zurvan means Time, and time is an important factor in the universe. Zarvanism or Zurvanism has no prophet know to us by name. It was a belief that was discussed among philosophers who were discussing the origin of God. It could have started around 438 BCE when Persian philosophers and their Roman counterparts discussed the nature of God. The Romans had many gods while the Persian had only one whom they called Ahura Mazda. Roman gods were more of a super human type with all the human attributes. There were stories about their birth and life, they had failings and virtues, and they had a love life and also had enemies against whom they went to war. When it came to Ahura Mazda there were no such stories. Zarathushtra was more concerned with the real world and with how humans should progress and have a better life without going against the environment and nature.

To fill in the void someone somewhere must have come up with the explanation that before God came into being there had to be Time and Space into which God could come into being. They called it “Zarvan Akarneh” the Eternal Time. Then they wanted to examine the failing of Ahura Mazda and they saw that Zarathushtra had said that it is the human mind that creates happiness and pain. (Gatha 30.11) That it is the human mind that has to find ways to protect itself against the furies of nature. (Gatha 28.9) Since Ahura Mazda was not like the Roman gods and was all virtue and had no failings, they in their weakness of mind could not grasp and explain the phenomena so they came up with a counterpart and called it Ahri-Mana. It is important to note that the word Ahri-Mana or Zarvan does not appear in the Gathas at all.

The story of Zarvan giving birth to twins, is in the narrative style of the stories of Roman gods. The story goes that Zarvan was childless and that space was void. He then performs Yasht (prayers) to conceive a child who would create the universe. He prays for a year with no results and just when his prayers are about to be answered he starts to doubt and thinks he is striving in vain. In the process twins are conceived. One was the result of his prayers and patience, the other the result of his doubt. He promises himself that the one that is born first from among the two shall have power over the world. Knowing well that the result of his prayers will be the first-born. This information reaches the unborn children. The result of his doubt who was evil decides to take advantage of the situation and pushes his way past the other and becomes the first-born. When Zarvan sees the child he is shocked for he was anticipating a brilliant, clean and sweet smelling baby instead this child was a dirty and foul smelling one whom he names Ahriman. Next Ormazd is born who is clean and bright and with sweet scent. Zarvan has no choice but to keep his promise, but knowing very well that after the remaining 9 thousand years of the initial 10 thousand years are over there will be a fight between the twins and Ormazd will win by destroying Ahriman and then rule the world forever in peace and tranquility. In this story Zarvan like the Roman gods does not have absolute power, although he is the God of God.

From a more serious theological point of view Zarvan the infinite time had to exist for God to self create himself. Time does not do any thing but facilitate the coming into existence of God. Zarvan is not the creator of the universe but necessary for the creation growth and progress of the universe. It is a delicate issue and the Bible does not tackle it in its creation story. In the Bundahisn and Denkart, which were thesis of the Sasanian era this topic has been discussed at length. The discussion of time and space is more of a science than religion at times in these theses.

Compiled by Phil (Phiroze) Masters


IRAN ZAMIN By  Fariborz Rahnamoon


  • One of the best articles I have read in a long time.
    Makes any true Persian/Iranian really proud to be one. Thank you

  • Himangsu Sekhar Pal

    Earlier it was impossible for us to give any satisfactory answer to this question. But modern science, rather we should say that Einstein, has made it an easy task for us. And Stephen Hawking has provided us with the clue necessary for solving this riddle. Actually scientists in their infinite wisdom have already kept the ground well-prepared for us believers so that one day we can give a most plausible and logically sound answer to this age-old question. Let us first see how Hawking has helped us by providing the necessary clue. In his book “A Brief History of Time” (Chapter: The origin and fate of the universe) he informs us that there are 1080 particles in the region of the observable universe. Then he raised the question regarding the origin of these particles, and gave the answer himself. According to quantum theory particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But there the question does not stop. Another question props up regarding the origin of that energy. But when it is said that total energy of the universe is exactly zero, then all is said and done. So this is the clue: if we can somehow arrive at zero, then no further question will be raised, and there will be no infinite regression. What I intend to do here is something similar to that. I want to show that our God is a bunch of several zeroes, and that therefore no further question need be raised about His origin. And here comes Einstein with his special theory of relativity for giving us the necessary empirical support to our project.
    God is a Being. Therefore God will have existence as well as essence. So I will have to show that both from the point of view of existence as well as from the point of view of essence God is zero. It is almost a common saying that God is spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, and all-pervading. Here we are getting three zeroes; space is zero, time is zero, change is zero. But how to prove that if there is a God, then that God will be spaceless, timeless, and changeless? From special theory of relativity we come to know that for light both distance and time become unreal. For light even an infinite distance is infinitely contracted to zero. The volume of an infinite universe full of light only will be simply zero due to this property of light. A universe with zero volume is a spaceless universe. Again at the speed of light time totally stops. So a universe full of light only is a spaceless, timeless universe. But these are the properties of light only! How do we come to know that God is also having the same properties of light so that God can also be spaceless, timeless? Scientists have shown that if there is a God, then that God can only be light, and nothing else, and that therefore He will have all the properties of light. Here is the proof.
    Scientists have shown that total energy of the universe is always zero. If total energy is zero, then total mass will also be zero due to energy-mass equivalence. Now if there is a God, then scientists have calculated the total energy and mass of the universe by taking that God into consideration. In other words, if there is a God, then this total energy-mass calculation by the scientists is God-inclusive, not God-exclusive. This is due to two reasons. First of all, even if there is a God, they are not aware of the fact that there is a God. Secondly, they do not believe that there is a God. So, if there is a God, then they have not been able to keep that God aside before making this calculation, because they do not know that there is a God. They cannot say that they have kept Him aside and then made this calculation, because by saying so they will admit that there is a God. They cannot say that the behind-the-picture God has always remained behind the picture, and that He has in no way come into the picture when they have made this calculation, because by saying so they will again admit that there is a God. At most they can say that there is no God. But we are not going to accept that statement as the final verdict on God-issue, because we are disputing that statement. So the matter of the fact is this: if God is really there, then total mass and total energy of the universe including that God are both zero. Therefore mass and energy of God will also be zero. God is without any mass, without any energy. And Einstein has already shown that anything having zero rest-mass will have the speed of light. In other words, it will be some sort of light. So, if God is there, then God will also be light, and therefore He will be spaceless, timeless. So from the point of view of existence God is zero, because he is spaceless, timeless, without any mass, without any energy.
    Now we will have to show that from the point of view of essence also God is zero. If there is only one being in the universe, and if there is no second being other than that being, then that being cannot have any such property as love, hate, cruelty, compassion, benevolence, etc. Let us say that God is cruel. Now to whom can He be cruel if there is no other being other than God Himself? So, if God is cruel, then is He cruel to Himself? Therefore if we say that God is all-loving, merciful, benevolent, etc., then we are also admitting that God is not alone, that there is another being co-eternal with God to whom He can show His love, benevolence, goodness, mercy, compassion, etc. If we say that God is all-loving, then we are also saying that this “all” is co-eternal with God. Thus we are admitting that God has not created the universe at all, and that therefore we need not have to revere Him, for the simple reason that He is not our creator!
    It is usually said that God is good. But Bertrand Russell has shown that God cannot be good for the simple reason that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will. (Book: A History of Western Philosophy, Ch: Plato’s Utopia). Therefore, if God is the ultimate Being, then that God cannot be good. But neither can He be evil. God is beyond good and evil. Like Hindu’s Brahma, a real God can only be nirguna, nirupadhik; without any name, without any quality. From the point of view of essence also, a real God is a zero. Mystics usually say that their God is a no-thing. This is the real God, not the God of the scriptures.
    So, why should there be any need of creation here, if God is existentially, as well as essentially, zero?
    But if there is someone who is intelligent and clever enough, then he will not stop raising question here. He will point out to another infinite regression. If God is light, then He will no doubt be spaceless, timeless, etc. Therefore one infinite regression is thus stopped. But what about the second regression? How, and from whom, does light get its own peculiar properties by means of which we have successfully stopped the first regression? So, here is another infinite regression. But we need not have to worry much about this regression, because this problem has already been solved. A whole thing, by virtue of its being the whole thing, will have all the properties of spacelessness, timelessness, changelessness, deathlessness. It need not have to depend on any other external source for getting these properties. Thus no further infinite regression will be there.

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