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Ahura Mazda in Megami Tensei II.

Ahura Mazda (also known as Ohrmazd) was the first widely-worshipped monotheistic deity and the central figure in the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism for nearly 2000 years, from approx. 1000 B.C. until 650 A.D. when Islam became the dominant religion in the Middle East. In that span Zoroastrianism would have far-reaching impacts across the ancient world, including the Persian/Vedic split that would define early Hinduism, kickstarting the Mithraic cult in Rome, and influencing and nurturing Judeo-Christian monotheism and ethical dualism during the Jews' time in Babylonian exile. The benevolent Persian and Zoroastrian king Cyrus the Great was given the title of "messiah" in the Bible for allowing the Jews to return to Israel.

The Vision of Zarathustra

Zoroastrianism was developed from a singular vision of Ahura Mazda to the prophet known as Zarathustra (or Zoroaster). Zarathustra is thought to have lived in a range from 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C., though ranges of 1200 B.C. to 1000 B.C. are also common. Zarathustra lived in Persia, modern-day Iran, and was born into a family of Vedic priesthood. The polytheistic Vedic religion of his time included such figures as Varuna, Indra, and Mitra.

However, Ahura Mazda revealed the tenets of Asha, Holy Truth, to Zarathustra, leading him to challenge the status quo of his time. In his lifetime Zarathustra would proselytize the beliefs of his namesake religion and convert family and friends. From there Zoroastrianism would spread across the Middle East.

This would also cause a great schism between the Zoroastrians and the Vedic religion that evolved into Hinduism. Regional competition lead to opposing definitions for similar terms, such as "Ahura" becoming the corrupt Vedic Asuras, and the term for the Vedic gods of light, "Devas," becoming Daevas, or evil spirits, in Zoroastrianism. Both religions still share divinities such as Indra and Vayu.

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