In Zoroastrianism, the demon of wrath, rage, and fury, who is opposed to Asha Vahishta, the Amesha Spenta, or good spirit, who embodies Truth. The demon Asmodeus of Hebrew lore is sometimes equated with Aeshma.
Aeshma is described as one of the fiercest demons in Hell, responsible for all acts of aggression and malice, whether committed in war or drunkenness. He has no physical form but yields a hurtful weapon or lance, which he uses for the destruction of humanity.
Aeshma is attributed with seven powers of evil and devastation, and his chief adversary is Sraosha (Obedience), the principle of religious devotion and discipline.
Aeshma commands an army of fierce demons who help him perform his infernal duties, which include distracting people from proper worship, interfering with the souls of the dead as they approach the Chinvat Bridge to the underworld, inciting violence and war, and overthrowing the moral order in the world.
Aeshma can be driven away by the recitation of a prayer from the Vendidad, a Zoroastrian text.
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Sources: (1) Masello, Robert, Fallen Angels. . . and Spirits of the Dark, The Berkley Publishing Group; (2) Belanger, Michelle, The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Damned, Llewellyn Publications; (3) Guiley, Rosemary Ellen and Zaffis, John, The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology, Checkmark Books; (4) Lewis, James R., Angels A to Z, Visible Ink Press; (5) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing.
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