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Angra Mainyu

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Angra Mainyu
Angra Mainyu (also: Aŋra Mainiiu) is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit". The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman (Anglicised pronunciation: ).

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Encyclopedia Mythica Dictionary

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Angra Mainyu
[Persian] In ancient Persian (Iran) religion and books of Zoroastrianism, Angra Mainyu is the god of darkness, the eternal destroyer of good, personification and creator of evil, bringer of death and disease. He is also known as Ahriman, and his name means "fiendish spirit". He is seen as the personification of evil, he leading the dark forces against the hosts of Spenta Mainyu, the holy spirit, who assisted Ahura Mazda, the wise lord, and final victor of the cosmic conflict. Ahriman introduced the frost in winter, heat in summer, all manner of diseases and other ills, to thwart Ahura Mazda, and he also created the dragon Azi Dahaka, who brought ruin to the Earth. When Ahura Mazda created the heavens, Azi Dahaka sprung into the sky like a snake, and in opposition to the stars formed the planets. Both Ahriman and Ormazd were offspring of Zurvan Akarana, who had vowed that the firstborn should reign as king. Ahriman thus ripped open his mother's womb, and Zurvan pronounced that he should...

Rakefet Dictionary

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Angra-Mainyu (Avestan) The personification of evil of the later Avesta. In the Gathas, Zarathustra speaks of two spirits that Mazda created who revealed themselves as twin co-workers, constantly at war with each other -- one created life, the other nonlife; one truth, the other falsehood (druj). These opposing forces that maintain the visible universe are Spenta-Mainyu and Angra-Mainyu, the root cause respectively of all good and of all evil. Angra-Mainyu being taken for Ahriman has made some scholars arrive at the conclusion that Spenta-Mainyu must also represent Ahura-Mazda. In Mazdean philosophy Ahura Mazda is the supreme creator whereas Ahriman is a created being. In the Avesta, Angra-Mainyu is described as the fiendish Druj, the Daeva of the Daevas, the leader of the evil powers; he is all darkness and ignorance, dwelling in the infinite night.
Whatever the good spirit makes, the evil spirit mars, even though "the two Spirits created the world, the Good Spirit and the Evil One" (Yasht 13, 76). When the world was created, Angra-Mainyu broke into it, and for every creation of Ahura Mazda's, he counter-created by his witchcraft a plague; he killed the firstborn bull that had been the first offspring and source of life on earth, created 99,999 diseases, etc.
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