?????=====ARE WE TREATING OUR MOBEDS RIGHT=======????
I stood there for long, watching the aged priest chant the beautiful “Avesta” words which filled the hall. Besides me, there were only 2 other persons, but the priest prayed loud and clear, enunciating each word which filled the space therein. While droplets of sweat trickled down my back and face, my mind was urging me to go out where there was breeze and get on with my other chores for the day. But a part of me kept in holding on inside the inner space where the “Boi” ceremony was going on.
The aged priest bent down and picked up the few paltry coins in the tray and dropped them in the box. From a distance I could see a few one rupee coins and maybe a couple of five rupees. That was all that was there. Out of the collection, he would get a part of this as his share of earnings, as it would be shared amongst all the priests on duty at the Atashbehram.
I was witnessing all this in a sort of disinterested stupor, when a thought suddenly flashed in my mind which made me feel very small. I recalled that when we order something from the grocer round the corner, or the vegetable vendor, or when we order burgers from McDonalds, or a pizza, we very graciously dish out a five rupee note or more often ten rupees to say the least as a tip to the delivery boy for his service. Sometimes this happens more than a couple of times a day to different vendors rendering different services. When we go to a restaurant, a fifty rupee or a hundred rupee tip for the waiter is considered in order. All this for a task done for us. Perhaps this is because anything less than this would invoke scorn from the receiver.
Then why do we save the least for our priests who tend to our holy fires? Why do they have to be the last on our minds? Why must there be only “one person among a hundred” to put a hundred rupee note in the ‘ Ashodad box’ ?
In the sweltering heat, at unearthly hours, 24X7, they serve the community. Despite their long hours of prayers, they do not gorge on all the blessings of the Lord. They tend to the fire, keep it burning day and night. Often we wait for the machi bells to be rung and leave the fire temple. While they toil through the hour on their feet in the heat of the sacred fire and fill the air with the resonance of the beautiful prayers even if there is no one around to hear them chant. Still, in our minds, they do not deserve more.
How callous can we be, how low can we stoop, how small can we get. I looked around, almost hoping that others around would feel just the way I felt at that moment. I didn’t get a response. As I was about to leave, I saw someone else enter. I stopped, hoping from this moment onwards, there would be a stretch in the generosity; but the struggle began… to find a coin of the least denomination.
Courtesy : Farah
Filed under: Agiaries and Atash Behrams, Collective Giving, Miscellaneous | 11 Comments »