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Navjote – Fact & fiction

Navjote_Fact & Fiction

Courtesy : Behram P. Dhabhar

Parsis plan 2-yr ad blitz to increase numbers

In a first, Parsis are gearing up with a massive advertisement campaign to tackle the issue of their dwindling population. Ad veteran Sam Balsara and his team at Madison have designed a four-pronged campaign that urges Parsis to have early marriages, childbirth, provide the child a sibling and even have a third baby.

“The campaign will start next month in the Parsi and Gujarati press,” said Shernaz Cama, member of the executive council of Parzor, a team that runs a project to preserve Parsi Zoroastrian heritage and works with Madison. “The entire campaign will be spread over two years to motivate Parsis to have more children and increase our population,” said Cama. While Parzor will pump in funds of more than Rs 35 lakh, it is hopeful that the Union ministry of minority affairs will also provide funds to sustain the campaign and take the issue to the national press. “Balsara and his team have agreed to work free of charge,” added Cama.

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By Jyoti Shelar, Mumbai Mirror | Sep 15, 2014, 12.55 AM IST


Haft Keshvar Zamin

At the end of every Niyayesh and Yasht, we pray, “Daad din beh Mazdayasnan agahi ravahi goafrangani bad, haft keshvar zamin aedun baad”. Some Zarathushtis ask, “Do these words not advocate conversion? Are we not mandated to convert other followers of other religions from all the seven ‘continents’ of the Earth to the Mazdayasni Zarthushti Religion”?
Answer: It is true that we pray these words at the end of every Yasht and Niyayesh; also in the Kerfeh Mozda prayer the words “haft keshvar zamin” appear, but the connotation regarding conversion from religion to religion is incorrect. The sentence begins with the key word “daad”, meaning the laws of the good Mazdayasni Religion! “Agahi” means wisdom (of the laws of the religion). “Ravahi” means obedience (to the laws of the religion, also to the soul or “ravan”), and “goafrangani” means praise (to sing the praises of the laws of the Religion). No fewer words have been more misunderstood and misinterpreted than these words of sublime homage to our Din!

Continue reading

Calculations of each Gahs for doing Kasti

Tea making time & Calculations of each Gahs / Gehs for doing Kasti

This has been sent to me by the author/lecturer, Mr. Darius Umrigar. I attended his lecture at the Dadar Agiary on Sept. 6th, Saturday, Behram Roj. It was very interesting and I learn a lot!

What I liked the most was his mention of the morning tea! It is not just making the tea, but the thoughts that go with the making of this first cup of tea in the morning. While making the tea, we must think that we are attuning ourselves with all the Ameshaspands the first thing in the morning after our mandatory prayers!

  • The utensil is of metal and we think of Shehrevar Ameshaspand.
  • Water to make tea comes from Khordad;
  • the tea leaves remind us of Amardad!
  • The fire to boil the water is Ardibehesht;
  • the very thought to prepare tea represents Bahman!
  • The maker of the tea thinks of Ahura Mazda as we are His representatives on Earth.
  • And this earth on which the maker of the tea stands, which made the metal to make the utensil, which grew the tea leaves, carried the flowing waters to make the tea, makes it possible for the fire to be lighted, etc. is none other than Spenta Armaity or Asfandarmad Ameshaspand! What a lovely thought!

The times of each of the five Gahs is as under:-

Click her to continue reading : Calculations of each Gahs for doing Kasti

Courtesy : Kashmira Kapadia

Marzban Colony in Agripada, south Mumbai, gets a new lease on life

The story of ‘The Lal Chimney Compound’ begins in the 19th century, with Mancherji Marzban, who was a many-splendoured man. In 1892, he was elected to become an Executive Engineer of the Bombay Municipal Corporation over many competitors, including a European—quite a victory for a ‘native’ at the time! He sprang to many glories, including receiving the stately title of Khan Bahadur.

Marzban helped build many significant civic buildings in his lifetime. But what has gotten us talking today is his charitable work for the Parsis, particularly the Garib Zarthosti Rehethan Fund (Poor Zoroastrian Building Fund) that he created. From this fund were built two of south Mumbai’s lesser-known Parsi colonies, both called Marzban Colony—one in Gilder Lane, off Lamington Road and the other one in Agripada. Sadly, the former has unravelled with the vagaries of time. But the Marzban Colony in Agripada has had better luck.

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Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions -October 15 to 19, 2015

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Salt Lake City, USA – Sept 9, 2014 – The Parliament of the World’s Religions announced today that it will bring the world’s largest and most historic interfaith gathering to Salt Lake City in October 2015, marking its return to the United States for the first time in 22 years.

What: 10,000 attendees from 80 countries and 50 religious and spiritual traditions
When: October 1519, 2015.
Where: Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

“The Parliament is the largest summit of interfaith activists around the globe which provides listening, learning and sharing opportunities,” says Imam Malik Mujahid, Chair of the Parliament Board of Trustees.

Imam Mujahid further stated that, “at this juncture in human history when hate, fear and anger is rising in America and across the globe, It is important that faith communities, rise with a loving, caring relationships, even if we do not agree on some issues.”

Global Interfaith Leaders Joined Us in Sharing Today’s Momentous News

Dr. Arun Gandhi, Grandson of Mohandas Gandhi and Parliament Trustee

Recalling the vision of his grandfather said, “’A friendly study,’ Gandhi believed,’ of all the scriptures is the sacred duty of every individual.’ He made the friendly study and found that none of the religions of the world had the whole Truth. The Truth can only be realized when one has an open mind and a willingness to learn from all different religions the bits of Truth they have. This essentially is what the Parliament is encouraging on a mass scale.”
Representatives of several global interfaith initiatives gathered today in Salt Lake City also to hear leaders of the Charter for Compassion and the United Religions Initiative voice their partnership to the upcoming summit.

Creating Compassion with the Parliament

Andrew Himes, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion

In his comments today, Andrew Himes, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, highlights that “The Charter for Compassion, a vision of Karen Armstrong when she accepted the TED Prize in 2008, has today inspired a global compassion movement aimed at focusing the world’s attention on how to bring the principle of the Golden Rule to life in concrete, practical, measurable ways in our communities, institutions, and relationships worldwide. A central thought motivating the Charter from the beginning was that communities of faith can play a significant leadership role in creating a thriving, sustainable, peaceful world. Today, we join with our friends and partners in the Parliament of the World’s Religions in calling for a gathering of people from many different religions to declare that compassion is at the center of our common dream for a world of peace and justice.”

Connecting Our Interfaith Communities
Chair of the North American Region of the United Religions Initiative Sande Hart
Chair of the North American Region of the United Religions Initiative Sande Hart says her experiences serving as an Ambassador to the Melbourne Parliament were invigorating to her leadership in multiple peace initiatives. Envisioning the 2015 Parliament summit today, Hart drew upon the shared values linking those across the interfaith communities, stating, “Today more than ever, it is critical that we know one another and come together, united shoulder to shoulder to heal all that threatens justice, our homes, our communities, our countries, Earth and all living beings.”

A Warm Welcoming from Salt Lake City
Scott Beck, President and CEO of Visit Salt Lake
The opportunity to host the world’s faiths in Salt Lake is a prospect Scott Beck, President and CEO of Visit Salt Lake, says he is glad to support. “The world is no stranger to Salt Lake, and we are no stranger to the world. Salt Lake has hosted various international gatherings, including the 2002 Olympic Games and Rotary International. We are excited to again welcome a national and international audience to experience what Salt Lake has to offer, both physically and spiritually,” said Beck.

“Here, Parliament attendees will find a welcoming and religiously diverse community. And they may just feel a little bit at home as they explore a region where more than 100 languages are spoken in our schools and businesses.”
Previous Parliament guests have included the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Queen Noor of Jordan, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Karen Armstrong, Swami Vivekananda, Rabbi David Saperstein, Dr. Hans Kung, Deepak Chopra, and Amma the Hugging Saint.Learn more about the 2015 Parliament here.
The Parliament
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M&SM Railway building by the Wadia Family of Porbandar.

The PALATIAL M&SM Railway building – now known as the Southern Railway Headquarters building was built of Porbandar stone by the Wadia  Family of Porbandar. 


As Madras celebrates its 375th anniversary, I wish to draw your attention to the connection Porbandar  and the Parsi community has with the city of  Madras.


The M&SM Railway building – now known as the Southern Railway Headquarters building was built of Porbandar stone by the Wadia family of Porbandar.  


Mr. Manchershaw Wadia who bid for the contract to build this edifice and together with his brothers executed the project. I have a photo of the Porbandar building stone being tested in Madras for its tensile strength.

Following are the details 


  1. H. Wadia Bros, founded by Hormusji Hirjibhoy Wadia, were the pioneers in quarrying Porbandar stone and later played an important role in popularising its use in many parts of the country. When this small, unknown firm bid for the contract to construct the M&SM Railway building in faraway Madras (presently the Southern Railway Headquarters,  at Madras) they must have surely faced an uphill task. 


How they bagged the contract and successfully completed it, as also just escaped bankruptcy due to the innate fair-play of the British are tales by themselves.


Hormusji, the natural leader, and younger brother Manchershaw, a competent builder and meticulous organiser, camped in Madras for almost a decade from 1913 to 1922. They took along their team of skilled masons from Porbandar under the leadership of master mason Pitambar Hira.


The foundation stone was laid by Lord Pentland, Governor of Madras on 8th February, 1915, and the offices were formally inaugurated on 11th December,1922 by Lady Willingdon, wife of the  Viceroy. The majestic edifice is constructed with Porbandar stone which was transported for 8 years via sea to Kerala and then by rail to Madras. The building stands as a living tribute to the entrepreneurial traits of  the INDUSTRIOUS PARSIS OF THE PAST WHO WERE DEVOUT PARSIS AND PRACTICED OUR RELIGION AS PER THE LAWS OF OUR RELIGION .


[Southern Railway headquarters, Chennai]
Southern Railway HQ.jpg
Southern Railway headquarters, Chennai
alt           alt                 enlarge photo
Hormusji Wadia     Manchershaw Wadia     Southern Railway Headquarters





Courtesy : Hushang Vakil


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