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Mehr: The Sun of Benevolence in the Realm of Mithraism
  • Moein Azimi
Moein Azimi
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

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Mehr is associated with Mithra, a deity in ancient Indo-Iranian religion and later in Zoroastrianism. Mithra, sometimes spelled as Mehr or Mithras in different contexts, was a god of the sun, light, and contracts in ancient Persian and Vedic mythology. Mehr in Persian has multiple meanings and associations. It primarily refers to the Sun in Persian and symbolizes light, warmth, vitality, and divine illumination. Mehr also carries connotations of kindness, compassion, and benevolence. This may be due to cultural or linguistic nuances, where the concept of the Sun's warmth and radiance is metaphorically extended to represent acts of kindness and generosity. Mehr is the name of the seventh month in the Persian calendar. It falls roughly between mid-September and mid-October in the Gregorian calendar. As we reflect on the multiple meanings of Mehr in Persian culture, the profound interconnectedness between nature's splendor and the human capacity for kindness will be reminded. May we, like the radiant Sun, strive to illuminate the world with the warmth of our compassion and the brilliance of our deeds, embodying the timeless virtues that have defined Persian civilization for millennia.