Puneet Varma (Editor)


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A mobed or mobad is a Zoroastrian cleric of a particular rank. Unlike a herbad (ervad), a mobed is qualified to serve as celebrant priest at the Yasna ceremony. A mobed is also qualified to train other priests.

In general (lay) use, the term is also used as an honorific to denote any priest, of any rank. For instance, Hormizd I appointed Kartir moabadan-moabad, which is frequently translated as 'priest of priests', but more precisely indicates 'high priest of high priests'.

The term 'mobed' is a contraction of Middle Persian magu-pati, the first half of the expression apparently deriving from Avestan maga- or magu- (of uncertain meaning), and with Avestan -paiti meaning "master" or "teacher". Through Old Persian magush and Ancient Greek μάγος magos, Old Iranian magu- is also identified as the origin of the Latin word magus, a "magian". Through the Greek adjective μαγικός magikos and Old French magique, 'mobed' is distantly related to the English language word "magic".

Zoroastrian priests in India are required to be male, but women have been ordained in Iran and North America as a mobedyar, meaning a woman mobed.


Mobad Wikipedia

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