According to the Zoroastrian texts, there are five basic forms of fire, these are;
- Barezi-Savangh ( The ultimate purpose),
- Vohu-Frayan(Good propagator),
- Urvazisht(most useful),
- Vazisht(most supporting), and
- Spenisht (Most beneficent and most brilliant).
In the ancient times when the “Zoroastrians” had no temples and had no religious images nor books that can be used to teach and propagate their faith, The symbolisms of their religion were carried by the fire as well as the light that is produced from such. These fires and lights propagate most of the essential principles of the religion or faith. For instance, the Zoroastrians believed that carrying a fire into a dark place will dispel any form of darkness in the place, and the principles of order and justice were derived from the wisdom and knowledge of different forms of fire. The Zoroastrians believed that the temporal fire remains the symbol of the cosmic fire that pervades all elements of creation.
The five different fires, also referred to as energies in the book of the Zoroastrians – “Avesta Yasna” chapter 17 vs 11, are explained below;
#1: TheBarezi-Savangh (The ultimate purpose) – This is the type of fire that was discovered in the material creation, including the materials for the creation of life. The materials of the earth which are known as inorganic comprises of a self-sustaining one, hence, the Barezi-Savangh type of fire is regarded as a self-sustaining one. The energy in this type of fire is that of the original creation of the world, hence it cannot be extinguished.
#2: Vohu-Frayan (Good propagator) – This is the type of fire that is mostly found within the human and animal bodies. It is the kind of energy that will require both food and water to sustain, hence it is referred to as the propagator type of fire or energy.
#3: Urvazisht (most useful) – This is the type of energy or fire found in plants. This type of fire or energy will require water but no food is required, in order for its sustainability.
#4: Vazisht (most supporting- This is the type of fire that is mostly found in clouds, and it manifests itself as lightning. This form of energy will require neither water nor food to be sustained, however, it is pure and self-sustaining.
#5:Spenisht (Most beneficent and most brilliant)- This is regarded as the most brilliant because of its vibrant colour and power. It is the type of fire found in flames. It is also referred to as the temporal fire and it is a type of fire that will require food but doesn’t require water in order for it to be sustained.
These five types of fire or energies are regarded as the remnants of the original cosmic fire used in the creation of earth , These fires have continued to pervade all other elements in creation some thousands , if not millions of years ago.
The fire of creation can be regarded as the only element of creation that has come to be referred to as “Child of God”. According to the book of the Zoroastrians, God did not created the world with water and dusts, but with fire, and commanded King Vishtasp to look upon the heaven and the Earth and behold how they were created with fire. The cosmic fire of creation is intimately unified with “Asha”, which is the cosmic order or law in which the universe is maintained and sustained. There are several quotes in the Asha that confirms that the five different kinds of fire were created by God, and they were all created out of the fire of creation. It was also believed that some materials in the universe coalesced and form the fire or energy used in creation. Furthermore, the energy or fire used in creation has continued to pervade all the elements of the earth as well as all other living creations through the five different forms of fire explained above.
It is also believed that Fire, has remained the transition between all material and spiritual creations in the world today.
The Eternal flame
In the Zoroastrian values and ideas that has been passed to hundreds of generations, new flames can be lit from an existing one, and it is also believed that the possibility of lighting a new fire from an existing one without any interruption means there is an eternal flame that will possibly endure the passing of time. The Zoroastrians have come to believed that God has a system of maintaining an ever-burning fire that is eternal and those who do not believe in God’s existence or perverse will be thrown into the eternal flame.
According to the” Mainyu Athra”, we humans do possess the ability to fuel the temporal fires, by fueling or feeding it with goo thoughts as well as living a life that is governed by the principles of “Asha”. By fueling the temporal fire, it will burn with vigour and brightness. Our spiritual fires may become diminished with bad thoughts and negative choices if we do not fuel the temporal fire of our spirit with good deeds and thoughts.
Fire represents numerous ideas in faith, while darkness always represents ignorance. Fire is the source of wisdom and light, while ignorance and darkness are a complete absence of light or fire. Approaching light will help us focus or mind on serving God and humanity, in the best possible way we can.
Flame, also referred to as “athra or atarsh” is the source of light for the Zoroastrians when they worship, however, light can also come from any natural source, including the sun, oil lamp and even natural gas made from wood. Most Zoroastrians do worship in the private comfort of their homes or in the open, and fewer people make use of temples because they want some sources of light and fire. Oftentimes Zoroastrians will light fire on burning wood, in the heart of their worship.