Symbol of spiritual cleansing

This symbol which is a cauldron type container with flames coming out the top, is a primary symbol for Zoroastrianism. The dichotomy of atar is in its symbolism; it is both invisible and visible fire and unburning and burning fire. It is the visible presence of Ahura Mazda, the one god of Zoroastrianism. He is the creator of Asha – truth and upholds truth.

Zoroaster, an Iranian prophet, was led to Ahura Mazda when Zoroaster was thirty years old. Ahura Mazda taught Zoroaster the basic principles of the “Good Religion,” later known as Zoroastrianism.

Zoroastrianism prayers are to be said in the presence of light, such as fire. The fire is purified 1,128 times a year. They pray toward the atar or their hearth to better achieve the righteousness and virtue they are striving for. Atar is considered a medium through which judgment is passed. Atar is also the light of revelation by which Zoroaster becomes a prophet. Atar radiates the essence of Ahura Mazda, from which wisdom and insight permeate the universe. Later texts have Atar being the son of Ahura Mazda.

There are five kinds of symbolic fire.
1. atar berezi-savah – highly beneficent atar, it is the fire burned in the highest grade of the fire temple
2. atar vohu-fryana – the fire diffusing goodness
3. atar urvazishta – the fire of happy life
4. atar vazishta – the atar most swift, like lightning
5. atar spenishta – the fire of prosperity- the spiritual fire burned before Ohrmuzd.

The sacred fire symbol was used on coins during the Sassanid era.

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