Owing to its position, the Persian state, when it from time to time became a conquering empire, overlapped Asia Minor, Babylon and India, and hence acted as an intermediary for transmitting art and ideas, sending for instance Greek sculpture to India and the cult of Mithra to western Europe.
The first part of Mihiragula seems to be the name of the Persian deity Mithra, but his patron deity was Siva, and he left behind him the reputation of a ferocious persecutor of Buddhism.
Other powers of light, such as Mitra the god of day (Iranian Mithra), survived unforgotten in popular belief till the later system incorporated them in the angelic body.
The authentic doctrine of the Gathas had no room either for the cult of Mithra or for that of the Haoma.
Thus, in the later Avesta, we find not only Mithra but also purely popular divinities such as the angel of victory, Verethraghna, Anahita (Anaitis), the goddess of the water, Tishrya (Sirius), and other heavenly bodies, invoked with special preference.
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