A Deck of Cards..Zorarstrian Style…
A Priest saw a young man on the otla of an Agiary thumbing through a deck of cards.
He reported the matter to the Vada Dastur who called for the man and reprimanded him for playing cards in a holy place.
The young man apologised, and promised not to do it again, but said he could explain.
The High Priest warned him that his explanation better be good, or he would punish him like he was never punished before.
The young man replied that he was a soldier just returned from Kargil, and for more than a month out there he had no prayer book or calendar,but only this pack of cards which a dying colleague had left behind. He then continued to explain:
When I look at the ‘Ace’ I know there is only one GOD AHURA MAZDA.
The ‘deuce’ tells me there are two spirits, one good and one bad. They are Spenta Mainyu and Anghre Mainyu.
When I see the ‘three’ I am reminded to have only good thoughts, speak only good words and perform only good deeds.
The ‘four’ teaches me not to defile or pollute God’s 4 elements. They are air, water, earth and fire.
The ‘five’ tells me that the day is divided into 5 watches. They are Havan, Rapithvan, Uziran, Aiwisruthrem and Ushehin. It also brings to my mind the 5 holy Gathas of Prophet Sahib Zarathushtra. They are Ahunavad, Ushtavad, Spentomad, Vohu-Khshathra and Vahistoisht.
When I see the ‘six’ I am reminded of the six Ghambar Holidays. They are the Hamaspathmaedaya, Maidyairya, Maidyoizaremaya, Paitishhahya, Maidyoishema and Ayathrima.
When I see the ‘seven’ I know there are seven Amesha Spentas.They are Bahman, Ardibehest, Sherevar, Spendarmad, Khordad and Amerdad who together with Ahura Mazda’s Bounteous Spirit Spenta Mainyu form a heptad.
When I see the ‘eight’ I know that there are eight Victorious Fires (Atash Behrams) in our country, India One in Udvada, one in Navsari, two in Surat and four in Bombay.
When I see the ‘nine’, I picture the priest offering boi to the holy fire He rings the bell nine times. Three times at the word Duzmata, three times at the word Duzukta and three times at the word Duzuvarashta.
The ‘ten’ tells me of the ten forms in which Behram Yazad appeared to prophet Sahib Zarathushtra. They are as the wind, a bull, a horse, a camel, a boar, a youth, a raven, a ram, a buck, and a man.
When I see the ‘King’ I see AHURA MAZDA, the King of Heaven and Earth.
When I see the ‘Queen’ I see Spenta Armaiti, the Queen of the Amesha Spentas.
And the ‘Jack’ is Ahreman the devil.
On my deck of cards there are 365 spots, the number of days in a year.
There are 52 cards, the number of weeks in a year.
There are 4 suits, the number of weeks in a month.
There are 12 picture cards, the number of months in a year.
There are 13 tricks the number of Kardas in the Sarosh Yashta.
So Dasturjee, my deck of cards serves me both as a prayer book and an almanac, and I do not mean any insult in the “Holy Fire Temple”
Needless to say the Vada Dastur was awestruck !
Courtesy : Kyrus Antia
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