As far as I know, Zoroastrian is the closest among all to the Vedic religion.

There are many similarities like:

Both have fire and fire rituals as its core.

Deities like Soma, Mitra, Varuna etc are in both faiths.

Avestan resembles vedic to an extent.

Both have similar customs of sacred thread.

It should be noted that "asura" is not "demon" which is in many later day Hindu texts like Puranas. Many vedic deities are referred to as "asura" in the Vedas Eg: Mitra, Varuna, Indra etc.

In the Purānas and other of the later writings of the Hindus, and also in the popular mind, the Asuras are powerful evil beings; in translations the word is represented by such terms as demons, giants, etc. As the Asuras * were the gods, the asuras were not-gods, and therefore the enemies or opponents of the gods. In the Vedas the name asura is applied more frequently to the gods themselves than to their enemies, whilst it is also used very much in the same manner as in the later writings. In the Rig-Veda, Varuna is accosted as follows: "King Varuna has made a highway for the sun to go over. O thou wise asura and king, loosen our sins!" Again: "The all-knowing asura established the heavens, and fixed the limits of the earth. He sat as the supreme ruler of all worlds. These are the works of Varuna." "Asura stands for the Supreme Spirit," in another verse, and "also as an appellative for Prajāpati or creation's lord." † Again and again Varuna alone, and also in conjunction with Mitra, is called an asura. "All the Vedic gods have shared the same title, not excepting even goddesses."

"Varuna was the all-knowing asura, Prajāpati the Supreme Being; Indra, the Maruts, Tvastri, Mitra, Rudra, Agni, Vāyu, Pushan, Savitri, Parjanya, the sacrificial priests, were all asuras. In fine, Deva (god) and asura were synonymous expressions in a multitude of texts." *

On the other hand, in the Rig-Veda, Indra is the destroyer of asuras. "The same Veda which speaks of the asuras as celestial beings supplies its readers also with the Mantras, by means of which devas overcame asuras. The texts which are condemnatory of the suras as impure and ungodly are far less in number than those which recognize the term as applicable to gods and priests." Dr. Banerjea, in the most interesting and ingenious article from which the above extracts are made, suggests a means of reconciling these contradictory uses of the word "asura." Before the Indo-Aryans arrived in India, they had lived in close proximity to the Persians, the original worshipers of fire. "What could be more natural," he asks, "than that the Asura-Pracheta, or Asura-Viswaveda of the one branch, was but the translation of the Ahura-Mazda (the Wise Lord, according to the 'Zend-Avesta') of the other branch; and that the word 'Ahura,' which the one used in a divine sense, would become a household word in the other branch, in the same sense?" the word "Ahura" being changed into "Asura," in a way common to many other words. He then goes on to say, that as "Assur" was the term used in Assyria for the Supreme Lord, and the Assyrians were for some time the rulers of the Persians, it was natural that this word should find its way into Persia; the only change being this, that the Persians added


  • 1
    Possible reason for worshipping Soma Mitra Varuna is tarakamya war where asuras faught alongside these devtas, and Zoroastrian Ahura Mazda is said to be asura. Plus their sacred thread is really different, it is known as kushti and it is tied on waist. Btw no one can deny similarities but actually Zoroastrians worship asuras instead of devtas.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushti?wprov=sfla1 A similar version of sacred thread in native American culture (similar to aryans)en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izze-kloth?wprov=sfla1 – Yogi Mar 1 '17 at 13:54
  • @Yogi I think in vedic literature asura is not demon .. – Rakesh Joshi Mar 1 '17 at 14:34
  • Why do you think like that? We should check Sanskrit dictionary for its meaning. – Yogi Mar 1 '17 at 15:12
  • I believe this question is too broad to be answered in the Q and A format of Hinduism SE. But here is a good read which may quench your curious mind - ece.lsu.edu/kak/zoro.pdf – Pratik Bhat Oct 8 '17 at 18:14

Vedic gods like Mithra, Varuna and Indra might be found in Zoroastrianism. But it doesn't mean any plagiarism is there between these two religions as many anti-Hindus told today. I am writing this answer from the Vedic perspective.

The Avestan religion was formed during the political and cultural spirit happened soon after the battle of ten kings. It resulted in the lost of a certain tribes. The losers went to west and spread there. They started Zoroastrianism. Since then everything the Aryans of India had connection with Persia were removed by the tribes who migrated to west. The reactions of the tribes were well known seen in their Avesta itself. Devas especially Indra were responsible for them to retreat of them, So, these Devas became a cheater in Zoroastrianism. But still, the older name for God, Asura(also means omnipotent) remained a divine name in Iranian culture. This may be because Asura not only means omnipotent, but also demon in our religion. That is why their god is called as Ahura Mazda.

So, the core religion of Zoroastrianism should be Anti-Vedic. It is a great myth that Avestan resembles Vedic religion.

Let's discuss about the similarities given by you between both religion.

  1. Both have fire and fire rituals as its core:

Fire rituals are not its core. There is a concept of Yasna(Sanskrit equivalent-Yajna) in Zoroastrianism. But it is usually done using waters.

  1. Deities like Soma, Mitra, Varuna etc are in both faiths:

I think we already discuss about it.

  1. Avestan resembles Vedic to an extent:

You can even say Avestan and Sanskrit are 100% similar. But there is a main huge difference. Language used in the Vedas has no script at all. It is actually like music. Music can be learnt by anyone since there is no language used in it. It all deals with seven Swaras. By learning Swaras, anybody can learn music. Likewise in Vedas too we have 3 Swaras.

  1. Both have similar customs of sacred thread:

No both of them don't have similar customs of sacred thread. The Avestan custom is that it can be worn by anyone who has crossed puberty and there is no upper limit. Along with thread, there is a shirt also worn. And finally it is more like waist string than thread.

| improve this answer | |
  • "You can even say Avestan and Sanskrit used in Vedas are 100% similar. " Really? – user1195 Oct 9 '17 at 7:20
  • 2
    @moonstar2001 100% is over, but you can even understand Avestan somewhat if you know Sanskrit. – user9554 Oct 9 '17 at 8:43
  • I think this split is also visible in Buddhism, wherein the Swastika became Sauastika (reversed Swastika), a shift from Sanskrit to Pali etc. – MathGod Mar 29 '18 at 19:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .