Persian Ideology > Daeva



In Zoroastrianism, the ancient Iranian religion founded by the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra), the term "Daeva" refers to malevolent, demonic entities or evil spirits. The concept of Daeva is central to Zoroastrian theology, representing forces of darkness, chaos, and falsehood that oppose the principles of truth, light, and goodness embodied by Ahura Mazda, the supreme god.

Daeva are often depicted as malevolent spirits or demons that seek to harm humans and disrupt the cosmic order. In Zoroastrian cosmology, Daeva are adversaries of Ahura Mazda and the principles of righteousness (asha). Daeva are followers or minions of Angra Mainyu (Ahriman), the principle of evil and chaos in Zoroastrianism. They are aligned with Angra Mainyu's destructive and deceptive nature.

Types of Daeva

Various Entities: The term "Daeva" encompasses various evil spirits, demons, and malevolent deities within Zoroastrian mythology.

Aka Manah: Aka Manah, meaning "evil mind" or "evil intent," is one of the principal Daeva associated with corrupting human thoughts and intentions.

Indra: In Zoroastrian tradition, the Vedic god Indra, who was revered in ancient India, is often depicted as a Daeva, representing the negative aspects of his character.

Zoroastrianism espouses a dualistic worldview in which the forces of good (Ahura Mazda) and evil (Angra Mainyu) are engaged in a cosmic struggle. The existence of Daeva underscores this dualism. Zoroastrian doctrine emphasizes the importance of combating evil and promoting righteousness through righteous thoughts, words, and deeds. Devotees are encouraged to resist the influence of Daeva and align themselves with the principles of truth and virtue.

Influence and Legacy

The concept of Daeva has had a significant impact on Persian culture, literature, and art, influencing narratives of cosmic struggle, heroism, and moral integrity. With the spread of Islam in Iran, the concept of Daeva was assimilated into Islamic theology, where it was often equated with jinn and other malevolent spirits. The term "Daeva" continues to be used in modern Persian (Farsi) to denote demons or malevolent beings, reflecting its enduring legacy in Iranian culture. In Zoroastrian theology, Daeva represent the dark forces that oppose the light of truth and righteousness, embodying the eternal struggle between good and evil that permeates the cosmos.

Persian Ideology

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