Have you ever wondered what the Spread-Eagle sign is?
It's a well-known ancient Egyptian symbol which was redesigned by many ancient nations like Assyrian, Persian and Roman, Representing perspicacity, courage, strength and immortality, also the eagle is considered a symbol of messenger of the highest Gods and king of skies.
It comes from Tutankhamen treasures which have a bird's body with a human head. But what is the Fravashi, this reputed symbol of Persia?
The closest design to the Egyptian spread-eagle is the Fravashi. It is a famous symbol of Zoroastrianism. Fravashi is an ancient Iranian word which means "I choose".
Zarathustra was born about 1000 BC or 1500 B.C. Pre- Islamic era in ancient Iran. He was the prophet of Persia. They believe that there is just one universal and supreme God which name is Ahura Mazda or the wise God. Fravashi (guardian angel or guardian spirit) symbolizes Fravahar, the purest part of the human soul which is the divine and reaches Ahura Mazda after death. Zoroastrians respect the sincerity of four elements: "Water, Earth, Air and Fire."
It is the Zoroastrian belief to encourage choosing between God and evil. In the present days, the Fravashi is meant to be a reminder for a way of life and progress to the best part of the human spirit. But what is inside the symbol?
Let's explore the Fravashi. When we look at the head, we can see an old man who is representing wisdom. There was a belief that the head of the eagle is the most important part of its body. Everything started from the head. In the concept of Fravashi, it means that we need to consult with wise people.
On the other side, the right hand points upward. It seems that the old man wants to show us something. He is saying that we must always be in one way or direction. But the left hand has absolutely different story. Our guide has a ring. It looks like today's wedding ring. It is the ring of promise which embodies respect for our promise.
The old man is in the eagle's body. Eagles are quick hunters. All their power comes from the wings. As a result, the wings are very vital in the Fravashi, they try to show us the progress of the human soul. Each wing contains three pieces, depicting Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds.
Middle of the Fravashi has a circle. The circle connects everything together. This circle has no beginning and no end. It symbolizes the cycle of life and shows that our spirit is immortal and the universe is endless as well. It has the same meaning as the Spread-eagle in ancient Egypt.
As we focus more on the eagle's body, we reach to the feathered tail; the design is entirely different from the wings. But why? To be specific, Bad Thoughts, Bad Words and Bad Deeds. It shows the fact that we always should avoid bad choices.
You must be heard about the unity of God and evil. The two lower loops in the Fravashi represents the same belief but in another way. They indicate the Good mind and the Evil mind and all humans are responsible for seeking Good and avoiding Evil.
The Fravashi is the highest individuality that outreach to paradise after human being's life on the Earth. The Farvahar depict the conflicting forces of good and bad.
Zoroastrians believe that Ahura Mazda to be transcendent, spiritual and without physical form, but mostly in the history of it, Zoroastrians did not artistically depict him at all. So even now in the modern time, the exact meaning of Ahura Mazda is a secret.
It's still a debatable subject, is the Fravashi the same as Ahura Mazda or not?