Akhenaten Built A New Monotheistic Capital 180 Miles North At Amarna
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Akhenaten built a new monotheistic capital 180 miles north at Amarna. There served as high priest to the Aten with his beautiful wife Nefertiti. (http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/moses-the-exodus-and-akhenaten-faq.htm)
His bold attempts to turn his subjects away from the state pantheon of gods and turn Egypt to the worship of a single God known as the Aten – represented by a disk of the sun, met with mixed feelings.
The people of Egypt were not ready to listen to one God, alone. Very soon they were openly henotheistic. At first, giving the Aten a status above mere gods, as is the case where belief in one God deteriorates over time, similar to Brahman’s followers, who eventually had a temple and celebration for just about anything under the sun.
An early inscription likens the Aten to the sun as compared to stars, and later official language avoids calling the Aten a god at all. Besides Egypt and India, the Greeks, Romans and others have wandered down this trail.
In the end monotheism was rejected. After Akhenaten’s death, polytheism was gradually restored. Soon, rulers without clear rights of succession from the Eighteenth Dynasty founded a new dynasty. They discredited Akhenaten and his immediate successors, referring to Akhenaten himself as "the enemy" or "that criminal".
Today Akhenaten is famed for his son, Tutankhamun, and the majestic beauty of his wife, Nefertiti. We also admire his love of style, and the high quality of the pictorial arts he encouraged. But his most impressive achievement was his dedication to changing the hearts and heads of the Egyptians from fancying idols, to the worship of a single, enigmatic God.
Zoroaster was said to be the son of a priest, in a pastoral tribe...
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...raditional worship sites are fire temples in which the sacred flame burns eternally in a consecrated chamber. It is a symbol of divine purity where sandalwood is offered. Zoroastrians sometimes apply the cold ashes of the altar to their foreheads and wear them as a sign of humility.
The Sash, or Kushti is made of 72 threads as a symbol of the 72 chapters of the Yasna texts. Zoroastrians are urged to live active, productive honest and charitable lives. The dead are placed in the towers of silence where the flesh is eaten by birds, so the bodies will not pollute the earth, or water.
Ahura Mazda said, “He who performs charity knowingly and discriminately is like me, I who am Ahura Mazda. And he who performs charity ignorantly and without understanding and indiscriminately is like Ahriman … Whatever charitable men give, I give them twofold in return, and I store it up.”