Origins of the Zoroastrian Priesthood

On the Origins of the Zoroastrian Priesthood


Dear friends,


Some queries have been raised regarding the origin of Priesthood in India and the division of the various ecclesiastical jurisdictions.


All Parsi priests of India draw their origin from Mobed Shahpur Mobed Sheriar, who is believed to be one of the Ashavan level priests [see my earlier posts as to what an Ashavan level person means] who brought the original Parsis to India by boat, the other being Mobed Hormuzdiar Ervad Ramiyar, both under the guidance of Dastur Nairyosangh Dhaval, who was the leader of the contingent of nearly 2000 men women and children.

  Continue reading Origins of the Zoroastrian Priesthood


Parsi Milestones

Tatas : branch descendants of the High Priest Dastur Meherji Rana of Navsari who so impressed Akbar, Mogul Emperor, that the latter kept a sacred fire in his palace. Jamshedji Nusserwanjee Tata, a branch descendant of Meherji founded this business and philanthropic family.

Tata family with, anti clockwise,…Jamshedji, right seated , his sons Sir Dorab and Sir Ratan, and Ratan Dadabhoy Tata, a cousin, seated left.

JRD Tata, son of Ratan Dadabhoy, above, founded Air India and many more industrial businesses. (the late JRD was quietly accepted as a Parsi by the orthodox although his mother was French!!!)

Ratan Tata, left, present Chairman of the group, conceptualized the new tata cars,

the group is buying Jaguar and Land Rover, and has already acquired Tetley Tea, Corus Steel etc etc

Continue reading Parsi Milestones

Superb virtual tour of the ancient ceremonial capital of the Achaemenids

Dear all,

this LINK takes you on a very superb virtual tour of Persepolis……..the palaces and interiors were breathtaking and majestic beyond compare, real thanks to the creators of this virtual reconstruction site………let us remember ‘Persepolis’ as is shown here.

can any one here, try and throw some light what the Achaemenids themselves called their capital………………as far as I know Persepolis is coined later, and even the Iranians called the site takth-i-Jamshid …..throne of Jamshid…….because, by the time this name was coined 
the Iranians themselves had lost memories of this being capital of the Achaemenids and mistook it as the site of Jamshid’s capital.

This reconstruction is superb and one must go through the sub-links to see reconstruction of each palace etc …………….surely one will then forget it is “a city of the dead.”

Is there any clue/research what the ancient Achaemenids themselves called their capital…………..was it Parsa or is this latter name reserved for Pasargadae…………capital of Cyrus.

Please see the LINK
anyone who misses seeing this, it is his/her loss. 

Geve Narielwalla

Dear all,
very very sorry for the duplication here, but I had written an article on Google Earth Community on the reconstructed Persepolis, article  written on on 21st January 2008 with pictures and link to another superb website that shows more pictures of a reconstructed Persepolis.

Here is the LINK

hope you all like it.

Geve Narielwalla

Divine Message: Journey through Zoroastrian Scriptures

Seminar Report : Divine Message: Journey through Zoroastrian Scriptures

The North American Mobed Council (NAMC) held a very successful Seminar in Houston on Saturday April 11, 2009. The Zoroastrian Association of Houston (ZAH), under the dynamic leadership of Aban Rustomji, hosted the seminar at their beautiful Zoroastrian Heritage and Cultural Centre (ZHCC) in Houston.

The subject matter was “The Divine Message: Journey through Zoroastrian Scriptures”

Click here to read the entire report with Photographs

The Videos of the Entire Proceedings are presented in 22 segments below with summaries.

1. NAMC Houston Seminar – Welcome and Introductions

The seminar started with 5 young Ervads leading all in the Hum Bandagi with the Vainit Ahmi Nmāne prayer followed by 2 Yatha and one Ashem Vohu. The Kershaw Khumbatta, ZAH President, welcomed all NAMC Members, the four speakers who will present this seminar, as well as all participants. On behalf of Ervad Kobad Zarolia, President NAMC, its Vice President Noshir Mirza welcomed all to this seminar and gave a brief overview of the NAMC objectives and projects.


2. Session I Khordeh Avesta – Ervad Behram Panthaki

Rustom Engineer introduces the first speaker, Ervad Behram Panthaki who spoke on the subject of Khordeh Avesta. In explaining the Avesta scriptures, he noted that there is no word in Avesta for reading or writing but only for comprehending and memorizing. Hence our scriptures were preserved by memorizing from generation to generation. The 21 nasks dealing with all subjects were kept in 2  Royal Treasuries during the Achaemenian dynasty. One was destroyed by Alexander in 330 BCE when he burnt down Persepolis and the other was stolen by Greeks. The scriptures were in complete disarray until King Valakhsh of Parthian Dynasty tried to gather its fragments from different sources. This was continued by Dastur Tansar in the reign of Sasanian king Ardeshir Babakan and completed by Dastur Adarbad Marespand in the reign of Shahpur II who translated them in Pahlavi language since Avesta language was obsolete then. The scriptures were again destroyed by Arab conquest of the last Sasanian king Yazdegard Sheheryar and there was a dark period of 2-3 centuries until Dastur Neryosang Dhaval in India translated some of them in Pazand and Sanskrit from original Avesta and Pahlavi. Avesta is used to refer to the total scripture as well as for the language. Khordeh Avesta was compiled during Sasanian times from the main scriptures for the daily use by all Zarathushtris. Khordeh Avesta literally means abridged Avesta. He gave examples of some of our daily prayers as compilation from Yasna, Visperad and Vendidad, the greater Avesta.


Continue reading Divine Message: Journey through Zoroastrian Scriptures

North American Mobeds’ Council – Seminar in Chicago

On behalf of the North American Mobed Council (NAMC), it is ZAC’s distinct pleasure to invite you to the NAMC Lecture Series – Divine Message: Journey through Zoroastrian Scriptures. Three speakers will present unique insights into the pillars of our Religious prayers and inner liturgies on Zoroastrian Scriptures. This seminar will be held at the Arbab Rustom Guiv Darbe Mehr on Saturday, May 16th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. followed by dinner
 We hope that this will be an exciting seminar for our local community and look forward to many members benefiting from the wealth of knowledge NAMC brings together for this event. We especially invite Mobeds from all over North America to join us in this worthwhile event. 

11:00 a.m. – Welcome: NAMC & ZAC 
11:30 a.m. – Session 1: Ervad Brigadier Behram Panthaki will begin the seminar with the Khordeh Avesta, the commonly known and most widely used universal book of Zarathushti prayers. 
12:30 p.m. – Lunch 
2:00 p.m. – Session 2: Ervad Jehan Bagli will present a discourse on Yasna Ceremony, its theory and practice. 
3:30 p.m. – Session 3: Ervad Soli P. Dastur will elucidate the inner liturgy of VisperadCeremony, especially performed during 6 Gahambar festivals, Now Ruz Day, Navar Ceremony and Geti Kharid Ceremony. 
 4:30 p.m. – Question and Answer Session: A unique opportunity for interactive dialogue between participants and presenters 
 5:00 p.m. – Social Hour followed by Dinner 
This event is offered to our community free of charge although registration is requested.
There will be a nominal cost of $5 per person for the dinner.
Please contact Ervad Pesi or Aban Vazifdar (630-739-3507) by May 8th if you plan to attend.
Volunteers Needed
We are looking for host families for out of town guests as well as volunteers to cook for Saturday evening. If you can volunteer to help with this event, please contact Ervad Pesi or Aban Vazifdar (630-739-3507).


Courtesy : Behram Pastakia

Best NGO Award for Gram Seva


Over the years many of us have known and admired  the work of  Dr Roda Patel and Dr Khushro Patel of illinois with the Gram Seva Trust in Gujarat.

I am forwarding you the information which has been received from  Roda

We congratulate her and her team for their dedicated  work in Gujarat,  spending countless hours of  committed time, effort and finances in promoting the health of children

Dolly Dastoor


Dear friends,

Gram Seva Trust has been the recipient of the Government of Gujarat’s 2008-2009 Award for Excellence in the pursuit of Health maintenance amongst the NGOs (Non Government Organization) in the State.

We are very grateful to all the members of our Gram Seva Team for their hard work and dedication which has made this possible. In addition, we thank all our valued donors/partners as it is through their generosity that we are able to carry on these wonderful services.

With Gratitude Love & Blessings,
Very affectionately,
Roda K. Patel, M.D.
Honorary Director of Child Health & Trustee, Gram Seva Trust, India

President, Gram Seva Foundation, USA

Mumbai To China on Motor Cycle

From the Gateway of India to the Great Wall of China. This was one hell of a trip!

Partly on a bike and partly in the train, that’s how Dara Anklesaria and Soli Cooper traveled from the Gateway of India to the Great Wall of China. Needless to say, it was one hell of a trip…We journey with Dara Ankleseria and Soli Cooper on their momentous bike ride from Mumbai to Lhasa astride their Honda Unicorn 150cc bikes. And, onwards to Beijing on an epic train journey traversing Tibet-the roof of the earth, with some of the most pristine and picture perfect views on offer!

They recount their experiences for us…  Click here

Plastic Design Contest

You DREAM, THINK and we will CREATE anything which is possible in Plastic. This April, The Economic Times, along with OK Play India Ltd, brings to you “The Economic Times & OK Play Plastic Design Contest 2009” – A first and unique interactive platform for all you design enthusiasts. A contest completely dedicated to never-seen-before designs in Plastic, for the first time in India. Designers can participate in five categories, namely Plastic Innovation, Home in 2020, Children’s Products, Infrastructure and Wellness category……. Click Here for more

Dadar Parsi Colony

This may  interest those  who lived  in  the DPC.  Probably it has a  picture
of the  building you once  stayed in.  Or  like me, may be surprised finding a bench dedicated in the memory of a dear  uncle & aunt. Fifty years ago, I was there with them for a  short time. It was beautiful then.

Jer & Commander Noshir D. Irani,  –Parents of  Gool, Mahrukh, Ivy & (forgot her name as I write) –lived near the band stand.  Noshir was the cousin of Dinshaw J. Irani, ( Songs of the Gathas ) and also the uncle of  Prof. Kaikushroo D. Irani of  New  York.

May I request  you guys  “Down Under” who  know  Gooloo Shiraz Katrak to pass on the links to her.  I do not have her current email address.

Courtesy : Rusi Sorabji

Click on each picture to see a bigger view

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