North American Zoroastrian Religious Tele – Class

North American Zoroastrian Religious Tele – Class  –

Sunday April 29th 2012 11 AM EDST

Ervad Soli P. Dastur

            A Zoroastrian Religion Class was held by Telephone on April 29th 2012 by Jo Ann Dastur & Ervad Soli P. Dastur from their home, Hira Villa, in Sarasota, Florida. About 47+ people joined in by calling a Tele-meeting phone number. The people were from both Canada and USA, from NY to Dallas/Los Angeles, Montreal to Miami. The class material was a PowerPoint Presentation sent ahead of time to all participants in PDF format.

At the popular request of the previous Tele Class attendees, this Tele Class covered the Answers by Ervad Dastur of the Questions submitted by the Tele Class attendees. There were in all 14 different people who submitted multiple questions. Ervad Dastur answered them all and sent out the final PowerPoint Presentation in PDF format to all attendees ahead of time  which included 106 slides in total.

From the very beginning of the class, it was decided that it will be too formidable and hurried up to cover all these 106 slides and so we only covered in this Tele Class half of the slides  and the other half will be covered in the next Tele Class on June 10th.

Jo Ann and Soli started the class by greeting all participants. Then, Soli surprised this class by announcing the presence of Udwada Dasturji Dastur Khurshed Dastur Kaikobad Dastur with his wife Havovi, daughters Parinaz and Sanaya and son Daraius attending from the home of Nauzar Vimadalal in Boston. Dasturji spoke briefly to the attendants and wish all attendees good health from Iranshah! He was very happy to see in NA a Religious class conducted in such an innovative manner and wish this can be followed up in India.

Jo Ann and Soli Dastur Greeting Tele Class

            Soli started the class by congratulating the Humdins of the Dallas Zoroastrian Association who will be celebrating their first anniversary of enthroning their Atashkadeh Dadgah next week.  Jo Ann and Soli were fortunate to be there last year exactly on the same day, April 29th when the Vendidad Sade was recited followed by a Baj Ceremony, Jashan Ceremony and the final enthronement of the Dadgah fire. In its memory, Soli presented a portion of the first Boi Ceremony performed in the Atashkadeh complete with the resonating peels of the bell!

The material covered in this class were the answers for the questions submitted by the participants. A wide variety of subjects were covered by these questions: a) Was arriving to Sanjan by our fore fathers an accident or a design? B) a different format suggested by Yazdi Tantra to deliver the material of the Tele Class; c) future topics to discuss like Wedding and Death Ceremonies, Boi and Baj Ceremonies, etc.; d) acquiring a complete Kadmi Khordeh Avesta in Gujarati and English from as far away as Sydney Australia and Mumbai; e) difference in Jashan Flower Ceremony in Iran versus in India; f) what plants and vegetation should be planted in the compounds of our Atashkadehs? etc.

Due to the time constraint, we only covered half of the slides. The remaining slides will be covered in the next class.

Finally, as it is becoming our custom, the permanent question: “We do not understand what we are praying in our daily prayers” was answered by suggesting some alternatives. The final prayer in English, from Dr. Dhalla’s book: Homage Unto Ahura Mazda: “Faith works wonders,was scheduled to be recited by all together ending with our signature Zoroastrian greeting of: “Hamaa Zor, Hamaa Asho Bade” (May we be united in righteousness) performed by all attending the Class, a cyber Hamaa Zor all over North America! However, in the rush of closing the Presentation at the half way point, I sincerely regret that we forgot to do these two signature ceremonies of our Tele Classes. We will do a better job next time.

The PowerPoint Presentation slides and all documents covering the answers to the questions are attached to this message. In most homes, families gathered in front of their computers following slides of this presentation as I spoke about them from my home.

         Please note that the next Tele Class will be on Sunday June 10th and we will cover the rest of the Questions and Answers.

Hope you all can join us in this Tele Class.

We also request all of you to suggest what topics we should cover in the next Tele Classes.

Many of the interested Humdins want us to place this one hour class as an Internet video. We have done that already and placed it in 6 segments on YouTube as listed below.


20120429 NA Zoroastrian Religious Tele Class 08 Qus and Ans Summary

20120429 NA Tele Class 08 Qus with Ans 001

Suggested Atashkadeh plant life Jehan Bagli

20120429 NA Tele Class 08 Prayer Dhalla Homage Unto Ahura Mazda background

20120429 NA Tele Class 08 Prayer Dhalla Homage Unto Ahura Mazda Faith






Kushti Making Video Frohar Films

This is a video in 2 segments describing the intricate and very specialized art of weaving a Kushti, the sacred thread worn by Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians. The process involves gathering wool from sheep, cleaning it, drawing fine thread from it, winding it on a Chaatardi (spindle) by hand, combining two such fine threads into one, and making 72 threads for the final sacred thread on a specialized instrument, Jantar. These 72 threads are then woven into a hollow tube, which is then cut by a Zoroastrian Mobed (priest) by praying a special prayer. The cur Kushti is then finished by creating 3 braids at each end, washed in soap and water, and then bleached by placing it under a clay pot with embers and sulphur, washed again, wound tightly around a Saraiyu (a smooth wooden round pole wrapped with a Sudreh) and dried to flatten it out. It is then tightly wound around itself in a neat circle. It is then pressed between two wooden blocks to flatten it out in a neat circular form. This completes the intricate weaving process of a Zoroastrian Kushti (sacred cincture).
This video was sponsored by Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) and created by the creative artists of the Frohar Foundation Films, Mumbai.

I am attaching a short PowerPoint Presentation in PDF format that I created from the snap shots of this video which can be used by anyone to lay a foundation for the video before showing it.
Love and Tandoorasti, Soli

Papeta per Eedu and others…..

So you see, I was absolutely serious when I said it in this article…we, the Parsis, love our eggs and not just for eating purposes.

This brings me back to the topic of food…Well-beaten eggs spread over Indian-style vegetables (called ‘per enda’ which literally means ‘eggs on’) is a common Parsi delicacy, enjoyed with crusty or toasted bread. We have a ‘per enda’ version with potatoes, tomatoes, okra, spinach, fenugreek leaves…and a kiddies’ favorite, eggs on chips.

Click Here for this and other recipes..

Parsi Surnames

I Have Made an Extant list of PARSI IRANI SURNAMES, about 2482 & Counting, ALPHABETICAL as Well as GROUPWISE, To make it more interesting, now  I have
made it along with some Comments on their ORIGIN.

Surnames ending in ‘WALA’ (mainly – OF) could be either of Place or  Of that Trade. The same way, ‘GAR’/’GARA’ too could be ‘A MAKER’, or it could show ‘OF A PLACE’ {Actually it is GAR / GARA – To Make} & {GHAR / GHARA – Stayer} It shows that the Parsis were everywhere,From Zaiwala to Madraswala to Adenwala To Mombassawala, adopted from the place they lived. They Were Masters at the Trade done, from Roowala, to Workingboxwala to Wadiwala , to Ghaaswala etc. Some surnames were dropped & only father’s name adopted. Dadabhai Naoroji (DORDI) & Jamshedji Jeejjeebhoy (BATLIWALA) are famous instances.

Certain TITLES have adorned the Parsis like Desai, From Navsari. A Changa Asha of Navsari was first made ‘Desai’ (District Officer In Charge); Similarly Talati (Village Accountant), Munshi (Secreatary), Daftari (RecordKeeper), Etc. Certain Traits also became surnames Like Mari NI Goon, Bhoot, Waugh, Rupala Etc.

First printed in PARSIANA of March-1997 & in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003 & 2005 Online Published On 23rd February 2008 @, in category ~ NAMES SURNAMES & MORE ~ Copy the Link Given to View the Surnames.

~ OR To The Alternate Site
Below: ~

Parsees have Generally adopted Surnames From:~
1) TRADE / PROFFESSION ~ Vakil, Doctor, Wadia, Ghaaswala, Pithawala,  Engineer, Major, Subedar etc
3) POSITION & TITLES ~ Desai, Munshi, Munsaf, Khansaheb, Davar, Patel, etc.
4) CHARACTERISTICS / DISCRIPTIVE NAMES ~ Bhoot, Waghmar, GhooKhaoo, Batki, Motigaanwala etc.
5) RELIGIOUS TERMS ~ (Many No longer used) Daadaar, Yatha-Ahu-Vairyo, Dregubyo, Khodayji. etc.
6) GENEOLOGY: (Name+Father’s Name as surname) ~ Dadabhai-NAOROJI, Sam-MANEKSHAH, Homi -DINSHAJI, etc. {Some Double Barrled}:- Meherji+Rana,
Dada+Chanji, Jamasp+Asa, Dady+Seth, etc.
7) EUROPEAN NAMES ~ Devitre, Boyce, Grant, Noble, Forbes, Polson, Nicholson, Morris, Wykes, etc.
8) IRANI ~ Mondegari, Yegatabadi, Yazadi, Felfeli, Khobiyaar, Khodavandi, Yaganegi Most common being, Irani itself.


CHICHGAR :- Maker of Special Wooden Toys. CHICH =Wooden Toy. GAR = To make.
PAAJNIGARA :- One Who Makes a Very Fine Silk Cloth. PAAJ = Very Fine Silk Cloth, GARA = maker.
RAO :- A TITLE. Meant for an Honourable person, A local king type, specially in Maharashtra
TATA :- Inherited By Jamshedji , whose ancestor was Very Hot Tempered, Like a Tartar. A more appropriate Coinage – could be from Gujarati RAATA -TAATA, Originally RAATAD = Red faced (with Anger like a Tartar).
DOKAWALA :- Originally Taken From DOKA-WADI-WALA Shortened to DOKAWALA. Named from a Maidan near the GOTI ADRAN In Surat,- originally Known as DOKA-WADI, as There was a fierce Battle between the Marathas & the Moghuls & as many Heads had rolled there, – so it was Known as DOKA = HEADS. WADI = Place, Area. The Palia Family who owned the land Adopted the Surname DOKA WADI WALA..
PANDEY / PANDAY:- One who is a Learned Man. From Sanskrit PANDITYA=Learned Man. Bhikhaji Behramji (Of Bhikha Behram Well) -while coming to Mumbai from Bharuch, was arrested on suspicion of being a spy. He was kept in a ‘PANDERGADH’ Fort Near ‘Valsad.- Popularly known as ‘PANDAY’ Fort. Thus This Surname stuck as PANDAY.

Your Comments and Criticism is welcome.
Burjor M. Daboo

A brief synopsis of Atash Niyayesh

By Pervin J. Mistry

The 1st karda begins with “O Fire, the purifier of all things pertaining to Ahura Mazda! I praise Thy worship, invocation, good health-giving and friendly gift. O fire, thou art worthy of worship and invocation, mayest Thou be worthy of worship and invocation in the abodes of men. May there be greatness (or happiness) unto that man who shall always worship thee with fuel, baresman, milk and mortar in hand.”

Click here to continue reading Atash Niyayesh_a brief synopsis


Anu Aga joins the league of Sachin, Rekha in Rajya Sabha

Sachin Tendulkar, Rekha anAnu Aga to grace Rajya Sabha

Economic Times 
The President nominated the batting legend, along with film actress Rekha and businesswoman and social worker Anu Aga, to the upper House on Thursday.

Sachin Tendulkar, Rekha and Anu Aga nominated to the Rajya Sabha 


Tendulkar, Rekha, Anu Aga Nominated to Rajya Sabha

‎ Outlook
President approves nomination of Sachin, Rekha and Anu Aga to 

WZO Trust Funds 26min Video

Since the 1990s, The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust, based in India, has been working in the villages of Gujarat, specifically in the villages of Navsari and Surat, to uplift the lives of poor Zoroastrians and their families. The Promise Of A New Day, highlights some of the organisation’s most notable work over the last two decades!

You may be interested in viewing on youtube, ‘Promise Of A New Day’, a 26 minute presentation by WZO Trust / WZO Trust Funds on the welfare activities undertaken by them in 2011.

Candid feedback will be welcome.

Dinshaw Tamboly

Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra – Jansons/BRSO(2007Live)

As proud Zarathushtris:

This is YouTube of Richard Strauss’s symphonic tone poem Thus Spake Zarathustra played by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Munich) conducted by Mariss Jansen.

This tone poem by Richard Strauss is based on Nietzsche’s great work Also Sprach Zarathustra. Nietzsche, that great German philosopher realized that Zarathustra was the first human who saw in the working of the Universe a great conflict between good and evil.

This YouTube I find excellent recording and superb camera shots that capture the musicians and conductor at the right moments, surely the work of a musician and film editor who understands this work………….a real pleasure to watch for 35 minutes.

Courtesy : Geve Narielwalla