Parsi Charity and Philanthropy
Parsi Thy Name Is Charity
By Noshir H. Dadrawala
“Parsi, thy name is charity” is a common expression that probably traces its roots to the time of the British Raj. No less a person than Mahatma Gandhi has acknowledged, “I am proud of my country, India, for having produced the splendid Zoroastrian stock, in numbers beneath contempt, but in charity and philanthropy, perhaps unequalled, certainly unsurpassed.”
The driving force behind a Parsi’s charitable instinct is his religious ethos. From a religious point of view, Parsis consider poverty, suffering and want as an affliction of evil. To remove poverty, disease and suffering is not only a religious duty, but an act of spiritual merit, depriving “evil” of sustenance. If Christ asked his followers to love their neighbours, Zarathushtra asked his followers to attain happiness by making others happy. (Yasna 43.1)
Dear Noshir, You are in your element once more. Carry on the good work .Bringing happiness through charity is the highest good as per Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda.
Just as in the Jewish New Year’s liturgy –” Prayer, Charity and Acts of Kindness defeat death.” Parallel tracks.