North American Zoroastrian Religious Tele – Class -
Sunday April 29th 2012 11 AM EDST
Ervad Soli P. Dastur
A Zoroastrian Religion Class was held by Telephone on April 29th 2012 by Jo Ann Dastur & Ervad Soli P. Dastur from their home, Hira Villa, in Sarasota, Florida. About 47+ people joined in by calling a Tele-meeting phone number. The people were from both Canada and USA, from NY to Dallas/Los Angeles, Montreal to Miami. The class material was a PowerPoint Presentation sent ahead of time to all participants in PDF format.
At the popular request of the previous Tele Class attendees, this Tele Class covered the Answers by Ervad Dastur of the Questions submitted by the Tele Class attendees. There were in all 14 different people who submitted multiple questions. Ervad Dastur answered them all and sent out the final PowerPoint Presentation in PDF format to all attendees ahead of time which included 106 slides in total.
From the very beginning of the class, it was decided that it will be too formidable and hurried up to cover all these 106 slides and so we only covered in this Tele Class half of the slides and the other half will be covered in the next Tele Class on June 10th.
Jo Ann and Soli started the class by greeting all participants. Then, Soli surprised this class by announcing the presence of Udwada Dasturji Dastur Khurshed Dastur Kaikobad Dastur with his wife Havovi, daughters Parinaz and Sanaya and son Daraius attending from the home of Nauzar Vimadalal in Boston. Dasturji spoke briefly to the attendants and wish all attendees good health from Iranshah! He was very happy to see in NA a Religious class conducted in such an innovative manner and wish this can be followed up in India.
Soli started the class by congratulating the Humdins of the Dallas Zoroastrian Association who will be celebrating their first anniversary of enthroning their Atashkadeh Dadgah next week. Jo Ann and Soli were fortunate to be there last year exactly on the same day, April 29th when the Vendidad Sade was recited followed by a Baj Ceremony, Jashan Ceremony and the final enthronement of the Dadgah fire. In its memory, Soli presented a portion of the first Boi Ceremony performed in the Atashkadeh complete with the resonating peels of the bell!
The material covered in this class were the answers for the questions submitted by the participants. A wide variety of subjects were covered by these questions: a) Was arriving to Sanjan by our fore fathers an accident or a design? B) a different format suggested by Yazdi Tantra to deliver the material of the Tele Class; c) future topics to discuss like Wedding and Death Ceremonies, Boi and Baj Ceremonies, etc.; d) acquiring a complete Kadmi Khordeh Avesta in Gujarati and English from as far away as Sydney Australia and Mumbai; e) difference in Jashan Flower Ceremony in Iran versus in India; f) what plants and vegetation should be planted in the compounds of our Atashkadehs? etc.
Due to the time constraint, we only covered half of the slides. The remaining slides will be covered in the next class.
Finally, as it is becoming our custom, the permanent question: “We do not understand what we are praying in our daily prayers” was answered by suggesting some alternatives. The final prayer in English, from Dr. Dhalla’s book: Homage Unto Ahura Mazda: “Faith works wonders”,was scheduled to be recited by all together ending with our signature Zoroastrian greeting of: “Hamaa Zor, Hamaa Asho Bade” (May we be united in righteousness) performed by all attending the Class, a cyber Hamaa Zor all over North America! However, in the rush of closing the Presentation at the half way point, I sincerely regret that we forgot to do these two signature ceremonies of our Tele Classes. We will do a better job next time.
The PowerPoint Presentation slides and all documents covering the answers to the questions are attached to this message. In most homes, families gathered in front of their computers following slides of this presentation as I spoke about them from my home.
Please note that the next Tele Class will be on Sunday June 10th and we will cover the rest of the Questions and Answers.
Hope you all can join us in this Tele Class.
We also request all of you to suggest what topics we should cover in the next Tele Classes.
Many of the interested Humdins want us to place this one hour class as an Internet video. We have done that already and placed it in 6 segments on YouTube as listed below.