Threads of Continuity
by Ashdeen Z Lilaowala
The Sudreh and Kusti have become universal symbols of the Zoroastrian faith. While there are no written records of when the kusti originated and it is not certain who wove or wore the first kusti, it is clear that it is a part of the Indo-Aryan sacred tradition. It is seen in the janoi of the Hindu tradition and in the cord worn over priestly garments in the Orthodox Church.
A kusti is made up of lamb’s wool or camel’s white hair representing the animal world. This white wool is considered to be an emblem of innocence and purity.
According to oral tradition, the 72 strands, from which the kusti is woven, represent the 72 chapters of the Yasna.. So, a Zoroastrian who ties his kusti with piety is said to have acquired the merit of performing the yasna ritual. In the Hormazd Yasht, 72 names of God are recited; the ritual then also becomes equivalent to its recitation.
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Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney
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