How Old is That Religion? Taoism & Zoroastrianism


If you’ve ever seen, heard, or possessed an interest in Yin and Yang, then you may appreciate the information contained in this article, which also touches upon a bit of background pertaining to Zoroastrianism, a religion with roots in Persia.

Taoism: Around 550 BC, Lao-Tzu founded Taoism in China, which has attracted millions upon millions of adherents to this day. This belief system follows a pantheism religious structure, where adherents believe that the Tao permeates through all. The symbol of the yin and yang represent the unity that opposites can create. A follower sees their purpose in achieving harmony from within, peace, and longevity, which is accomplished by living a life that is in line with the Tao.

3 Facts About Taoism

1) The ethics behind the Tao religion places emphasis on what is known as the Three Jewels of the Tao –
humility, moderation, and compassion.

2) Traditional activities associated with Taoism includes telling fortunes, astrology, and I Ching, which is referred to as the ‘Classic of Changes,’ or ‘Book of Changes’ , one of the oldest classic texts of the Chinese culture. The book essentially presents a system of symbols that are used to identify random events.

3) In southern China and Taiwan, you may encounter Taoist temples that hold significant identifying features on their roofs, such as the Chinese dragons and phoenixes that are crafted from ceramic tiles consisting of many different colors.

Zoroastrianism: Found in parts of Western India, Central Iran and Southern Pakistan, the official religion of ancient Persia is known as Zoroastrianism , a belief system attributed to Zoroaster, who founded it around the 6th century BC. It is believed that Zoroastrianism served as an influence for Judaism and Vedic religion. Today, it is estimated that about 200,000 people follow this religion. One of the aspects of Zoroastrianism was the belief in One God, Ahura Mazda. While humans are free to do good or evil, the religion stresses the importance of choosing to live on the side of goodness.

3 Facts About Zoroastrianism

1) In Greater Iran days, Zoroastrianism was known as the dominant religion and held a powerful hold over the history and traditions of the region. The reason the number of Zoroastrianism followers suffered a decrease is due to the slaughtering of members after the Islamic conquests (also known as Jihad) that took place in the middle of the 7th century. Nowadays, the largest population of adherents can be found in India, where they boast a number close to 70,000.

2) Religious texts associated with Zoroastrianism, include the Yasna (an important liturgical collection that may display the word of Zoroaster), the Visparad (collection of supplemental text to the Yasna), the Yashts (hymns that pay homage to the divinities), and the Vendidad (gives a description of various forms of evil spirits).

3) One of the main symbols connected to Zoroastrianism is Faravahar (also called Ferohar), which his often times linked to the portrayal of a Fravashi (guardian spirit).