In Zoroastrianism and Parsiism, the divine being who is the messenger of Ahura Mazda and the embodiment of the divine word. He serves as the mediator between the human and the divine. Zoroastrians believe that no ritual is valid without his presence. He is depicted as a strong and holy youth who lives in a celestial thousand-pillared house. He chastises the demons that harass people every night, and he leads the righteous soul through the ordeal of judgment three days after death. At the end of time, he will be the agent of the extermination of evil.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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