The following is an extract from the teachings of Mobed Fariborz Shahzadi of CIMNA (Council of Iranian Mobeds of North America), San Diego, CA USA.
This is the picture of a Fravahar, or a guardian soul. Literally translated it means "Forward pulling force". Each of its parts signifies an idea or a philosophy.
It is winged, signifying the ascent of the soul or upward progress. The wing is in three major segments, representing Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds.
The ring in the center symbolizes the eternity of universe or the eternal nature of the soul. As a circle, it has no beginning and no end.
The figure inside is that of an old man, representing wisdom of age. One of the hands points upwards, telling us that there is only one direction we should choose. The other hand holds a smaller ring, the ring of promise. This means when a Zoroastrian gives a promise, it is like a ring. It cannot be broken.
The feathered tail below is also in three parts. It represents the opposite of the wings, namely, Bad Thoughts, Bad Words, and Bad Deeds. It is at the bottom, because such choices weigh us down and impede our ascent.
And finally the two curly threads from the waist signify the duality of our experiences. Through our Good Mind we can make the Good choices, and through its lack or opposite, we will make Bad choices.
© Shahriar Shahriari
For other definitions of the symbol of Fravahar please see below:
This page was last updated on Thursday, November 01, 2001.