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Angra Mainyu

Angra Mainyu (Pahlavi Ahriman). The ‘Destructive Spirit’ or ‘devil’ in Zoroastrianism. He is thought to have existed ‘from the beginning’, independent of Ahura Mazda (i.e. he is coeval). Angra Mainyu is the source of all that is evil, of pollution (e.g. the smoke afflicting the good flame of the fire), of that which destroys (e.g. decay and rust), of misery, suffering, and death. By instinct his will is to destroy. To aid him in his conflict with the Good Creation he (mis-)created the demon forces, the daevas, such as Wrath, Greed, Procrastination. In the material world, his work is carried out by the creatures who embody his destructive aims, the khrafstras. Azi Dahaka is the personification of the Lie, often depicted in mythology as a terrible dragon with three heads, six eyes, and three jaws, whose body is full of khrafstras. In modern Zoroastrian thought, Angra Mainyu is commonly demythologized and interpreted as an evil tendency within human nature.

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