Ahura Mazda Model - 3D Print Ready
This project involved the creation of the Ahura Mazda a famous symbol in Persian iconography. The archaeological model was initially sculpted in Zbrush, and refined, for 3d printing. It was then rendered photorealistically in Vray. We regularly work with clients to create sculptural, and archaeological models for 3D print. Putting in the time and effort to fully research the concept, gather appropriate reference, and to create a model, that accurately reflects the artifact.
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What is the Ahura Mazda
The Ahura Mazda is said to be, the supreme deity, in Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism, was the ancient religion, in old Persia, modern day Iran. This was prior to Islam, being brought there by the Arabs. (550-330BCE)
The term Ahura Mazda, in Avestan, literally means "The lord of wisdom". He is depicted as an old man, with a flowing beard, his body is half eagle and half man. In his hand he holds a ring. The wings depict flight, or enlightenment. The ring represents eternity. This symbol, is also prevalent in old vedic wisdom. The "sunyata", or zero, or infinite. Ahura Mazda, is sometimes also known by the terms "Faravahar". This symbol, is found on ancient archemenid tombs, and is still in use today. In the Zoroastrian religion practiced by a small minority, in Iran, India and the rest of the world. Though the religion may have widely been wiped out. Its symbolism, still runs strong in Iran.
The symbol of the Ahura Mazda/Faravahar. Reflects the quality, that goes beyond time, eternal, wise, the supreme principle. The Ahura Mazda, creates the spirit of creation/good (Spenta Manyu)and destruction/evil (Angra Mainyu). These are the principles that balance each other out in the world. Though the spirit of "good" is said to triumph.
Ahura Mazda, is said to have been manifested along with two other entities: Mithra and Anahita. The other dominant figures in Zoroastrianism.
Ahura Mazda, is said to have been "revealed" to Zartosht (Zoroaster), in a vision. This led him to propagate the religion of Zorastrianism, across much of Iran, Afghanistan and beyond.
Zartosht (Zoroaster) and Ahura Mazda
At the age of 30, Zartosht, (his name as used in Farsi). Had a vision, while performing a religious ritual, by the banks of a river. He saw a vision, in that vision he was led by the deities, Amesha Spentu, and Vohu Manah, to Ahura Mazda. Part of the story, involves denouncing other Persian Gods "Daevas", in favour of the worship of Ahura Mazda, who represents the supreme good.
This story is interesting. If we look at many major religions that have come after. The prophet, is led to a revelation, in a vision, to the presence of a supreme entity. In the Bible, Moses has revelations. In the Bhagvad Gita. Arjuna, has a vision, of Krishna as the supreme being.
These visions, may not be myths. Anyone who has tried Ayahuasca, or any other hallucinogenic substance, can attest, to seeing entities, that make revelations. leading to some sort of enlightenment. Which the prophet then shares with masses. In Zoroastrianism, they speak of the "haoma" plant. Which could be modern day Soma. The priest consumes the Soma, and the Ahura mazda is revealed to him.
The Ahura Mazda and the passage of time
During the reign of Darius (I) the, Zoroastrain religion was known to be practiced. This was during The Archaemenid era (c. 550 – 330 BCE). Evidence of this can be seen in the Behistun inscription by the King. Inscriptions written in Greek, can also be found at Persepolis.
Ahura mazda was also revered during the Parthian, and Sassanid empires. And with the passage of time, like all religions it evolved and changed.
It was not until the Islamic conquest of Persia (CE 636–651). That Zoroastrianism was the dominant releigion. At that point, a handful of Persian Zoroastrians fled to India. They still live there, in their small communities. Practicing the religion. Having established temples, and shrines.
The symbolism of the Ahura Mazda in the modern world
This symbol of an entity with eagle wings, has been used in the West to depict power. The Nazis used this, along with the Swastika, in their iconography. The Americans use the Eagle.
Though both the symbol of the Ahura Mazda, and Swastika (Hinduism/Buddhism), represent non violence, peace, wisdom and the quality of good.
It is interesting to note how signs and symbols carry through time and disparate civilizations. If one looks upon the Sphinx, or other ancient Egyptian symbols. Or the symbol of Garuda the eagle God in Hinduism, or even the ancient Mayans. There runs a parallel.
Carl Jung had some interesting things to say on symbols:
"Every psychological expression is a symbol if we assume that it states or signifies something more and other than itself which eludes our present knowledge"
The unconscious mind, interprets, what cannot be put into words as symbols. Is it not amazing, that through time, these symbols are seen, in dreams, visions, altered states, by people on different geographic locations. In different points in time. And there is a parallel. Symbols that point to a higher meaning. Symbols that lead to transformation.
Jung’s interest in symbols, lay in their transformational nature. How symbols direct energy.
"How are we to explain religious processes, for instance, whose nature is essentially symbolical? In abstract form, symbols are religious ideas; in the form of action, they are rites or ceremonies. They are the manifestation and expression of excess libido. At the same time they are stepping-stones to new activities, which must be called cultural in order to distinguish them from the instinctual functions that run their regular course according to natural law. "
These symbols though external. Are formed in the psyche. They are part of us all. Our shared consciousness.
The Ahura Mazda, is one of the oldest symbols revealed to mankind, over 6000 years ago. The iconography, is still in use today, whether it represents power, enlightenment, peace, hope. Or evil (Nazi use). We are all bound, in Spirit, though our bodies may differ. This speaks of the vedic principle of "one-ness". This is the power of the Ahura Mazda. You can check out more archaeological models here.