The dogmatic teaching is that in the beginning there was one all-wise and all-powerful god called Mazda (which means simply the wise one, something like Lao tze) with the attribute of Ahura. Ahura is the Iranian version of the Sanskrit word Asura, which is the name of the spiritual god in the oldest parts of the Rigveda.
You know the Rigveda is a collection of poems or hymns, part of the sacred literature of the Hindus, which goes back to an extremely remote age, perhaps to the time of the primitive Aryan invaders of India.
One of the oldest parts contains the so-called frog songs of the priests and they are supposed to date back to five thousand B.C. though I don’t know whether that estimate is correct.
In those old frog songs, as I have told you, the priests in their rain charms identified themselves with the frogs; when there was a drought the priests sang the frog songs as if it had rained.
They imitated the frogs as they sing after the rain, because they feel well then in their ponds, but when there is no water there is nothing to sing about-as primitives also, in order to produce rain, imitate the fall of rain-drops, or they sprinkle blood or milk, or they whistle, imitating the sound of the wind that brings clouds.
This Asura is the highest god and he is different from the concept of the deva. (Deva or devs, the plural, is the root word from which, for instance, Zeus is derived, and Deus, and Ziu, and from that our word Tuesday.)
The devs are the shining gods of the day, of the clear blue sky, of things visible in the daylight, while Asura is a god within, a god of chiefly spiritual and moral character.
Now in the later development-in the later parts of the Rigveda-Asura disintegrated into a multitude of asuras, and they are demons of a definitely evil nature.
And you find the same thing happening with the devs in Persia.
The Zoroastrians had that concept of Asura, the highest god, that very ancient idea of the Rigveda, and they chose the name in the Persian form, Ahura, as an attribute for Mazda, so their god was called Ahura Mazda.
Ahura Mazda, the greatest god, the wise man, is generally supposed to be Zarathustra’s creation, and he came to that formulation probably through inner experiences of which his story tells.
These experiences are called in the old literature, “Meetings and Questionings”; that is, he met Ahura Mazda, or his spoken word called Vohu Mana, meaning the good attitude.
The German word for Vohu Mano would be: die gute Gesinnung, the good attitude, a good intention, a good word, the right word.
We could easily translate it, with no particular philosophical difficulty, by the Christian concept of the Logos; the spoken word represents God in the incarnated form, the Logos as incarnated in Christ would be the exact counterpart of Vohu A1ani.
One finds the same concept in Islam in the mystical Sufi sect, where Allah, because he is unnamable, ineffable, and therefore formless, appears in tangible form
in Chidr, the green one, who is called “the first angel of Allah,” “the Word,” “the Face of Allah.”
“The Angel of the Face” is a similar conception in the Old Testament, a sort of tangible representation of an absolutely intangible and indefinable deity.
So Ahura Mazda, or Vohu Mano, became experiences to Zarathustra, the so-called Meetings and Questionings.
He had, I think, seven Meetings with the good spirit of the god Ahura Mazda. (There is also a bad spirit of which we shall talk presently.)
He received the revelation, he was taught the truth by that spirit.
I mention that now because it is a parallel to Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Pages 5-7