Doongarwadi Forest Cover

Since the Doongerwadi and Aviary are the hot topics concerning our community , Dr. Homi Dhalla writes about the ground realities.

Click here to read all about the Doongarwadi Trees 

Click here to read his views on the Aviary Project 




Tata is India’s top brand followed by Reliance and Airtel

Tata tops the list in the first edition of Interbrand’s ‘Best Indian Brands’ study, with a valuation of $10.9 billion. It is followed by Reliance at $6.24 billion and Airtel at $6.22 billion. Tata also happens to be the brand that Jez Frampton, the global chief executive of Interbrand, is most familiar with, given that Tetley is his preferred brand of tea and he drives a Range Rover. “Technically, I drive an Indian car,” he says.

Click Here for the full story

Celebration of Cyrus the Great’s Contribution to Humanity


co-sponsored by
Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago,
Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
at the
Zoroastrian Center of Chicago,
8615 Meadowbrook Drive, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
Sunday August 4, 2013
In 559 BCE, the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great, a charismatic, military genius overthrew the Medes, conquered the Lydians and the Babylonians and went on to build the greatest empire known up to that time – the first Great Persian Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched across central Asia, west towards Rome and Greece and east into India. Unlike his contemporaries, Cyrus showed respect for the nations he conquered, and allowed them to govern themselves and follow their own religious beliefs – a tolerance very much in accordance with his Zoroastrian faith. The Old Testament hails Cyrus as a Messiah for freeing the Jews from captivity in Babylon and allowing them to rebuild their temples. These generous acts are recorded in cuneiform on the Edict of Cyrus, a clay cylinder discovered in 1879, which is acknowledged as the world’s first declaration of human rights.
The original cylinder, which is housed at the British Museum, with a replica at the United Nations, is currently on a tour of five US cities. Although Chicago is not one of the cities, the Zoroastrian Association of Chicago, FEZANA and the Oriental Institute are collaborating to celebrate this gift to humanity, symbolizing multi-culturalism and respect for each other the world over.
Zoroastrian community members, members of the Oriental Institute and all interested persons are invited. A special invitation is extended to the Chicago interfaith community, members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) and associates of the Council for a Parliament of World’s Religions (CPWR.)
Sunday August 4, 2013, 11 am – 5 pm
Emcee Mehrab Deboo.
11:00 Registration and refreshments
11:30 Welcome by ZAC President, Dinaz Weber
Unveiling of the replica of the Cyrus cylinderand poster 
by ZAC, Children’s Religious Education Class
Presentation of replica of the Cyrus cylinder to the Oriental Institute
by Afreed Mistry, FEZANA UN – NGO Committee,
on behalf of FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America
Opening remarks and acceptance of the Cyrus Cylinder 
by Matthew A.Stolper, John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies,
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Presentation of the special issue of FEZANA Journal on Cyrus the Great
by Dolly Dastoor, Editor in Chief, FEZANA Journal
12:30 Vision of an Ecumenical World order
by Margaret Cool Root, University of Michigan
1:30 Lunch
Legacy of the Achaemenids to the world
by ZAC Children’s Religious Education Class
2:30 Jewish Connection with Cyrus the Great.
by Rabbi Herman Schaalman, Chicago Board of Rabbis
3:00 The Time Period of Cyrus the Great, an introduction to Xenophon’s “Cyropedia,”
and summary of the talk “What the US Founding Fathers Learned from
Cyrus the Great
” by Professor Caroline Winterer, Stanford University.

by Jehan Bell
3:30 Papers on Cyrus the Great written by Dastur Dr. Kersey Antia
To be read in abstentia (TBD)
4:00 Musical renditions on the theme of Cyrus the Great
by Tina Siganporia
4:30 Tea
Cost $7, children free. RSVP no later than July 29, to Jehan Bell at: or 1-559-274-5627.

FEZANA Bulletin – July 2013

Attached please find the FEZANA Bulletin for July 2013 –

Please share it with your association members, family and friends.

All the FEZANA Bulletins are available on-line at Bulletin Archives:
You can subscribe for a free copy of the FEZANA Bulletin by adding your e-mail address at Wishes
Katayun Kapadia
FEZANA – President

How to wear the Sudreh

How to wear the Sudreh

Roj Khorshed Mah Spendarmad, 1382 Yz./Kadmi Khordad Sal
A Happy and resplendent Khordad Sal to all Kadmi readers of Frashogard!
A few days ago we saw the righteous thoughts (Mithra) which need to be passed while performing the Kusti ritual. Many readers may be surprised to know that there is a similar procedure to be followed even while putting on the Sudreh. Just as the Kusti ritual should be performed with devotion and mindfulness, the very act of putting on the sacred Sudreh too should be done mindfully and intently. This practice of passing the Mithra while putting on the Sudreh not also ensures that the Sudreh about to be worn is technically correct, but also that it is always worn the right way.
Before we see the Mithra, it would be worthwhile to really understand what the Sudreh is. For many Parsis, the Sudreh is merely a symbol of the Zoroastrian faith. But the question is – if it were a symbol, why do we wear it such that nobody can see it? Should we not then wear it over our clothes so that it is always visible?

Click here to learn more with pictorial depictions


Courtesy : K F Keravala




Zarathushtis in the News_June 2013

               Following Zarathushti individuals or institutions were in the news recently:
Maneck Bhujwala
* Vistasp Karbhari takes over as President of University of Texas, Arlington, Texas, USA 
As reported in India West of June 14, 2013, “Vistasp Karbhari, the former provost and executive vice-president for academic affairs at The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a renowned engineer and researcher in composite materials and structural engineer, began his tenure June 1 as the eighth president of the University of Texas at Arlington…….Karbhari earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Poona, and his doctorate from The University of Delaware, where he served on the faculty of the College of Engineering and as a scientist at the Center for Composite Materials.  In 1995 the Indian American joined the University of California, San Diego, and served as a professor of structural engineering and of material science and engineering. He was appointed UA Huntsville provost and executive vice-president for academic affairs in 2008.”
* According to India West report of June 14, 2013, Marzi Pestonji is one of two judges for Zee TV’s brand new dance platform series “Dance India Dance” which brings to the spotlight several women who gave up their dream of becoming dancers and instead, settling for other careers or focusing on motherhood.  According to India West of July 12, 2013, Marzi Pestonji recognized a dancer on the show, Rajni Ganguly, as the mother of television and film actress Rupali Ganguly, since he had worked with her son Vijay  while he was with Shiamak Davar’s dance group earlier, and her ran up on stage to touch her feet out of respect.
* According to India West Business Briefs column of June 21, 2013,  “Interfaith Council Appointment – Maneck Bhujwala, and Indian American from the Zarathushti (Zoroastrian) community, has been unanimously reelected to a second term as president of the Greater Huntngton Beach Interfaith Council in Southern California. Founded in 1996 in response to hate crimes against minorities, GHBIC has 33 representatives from various religious groups.”
* According to India West of July 12, 2013, ” The husband-wife team of Kerman Dungore and Arnavaz Dungore has brought Woodlands back to Little India. Located in the same Pioneer Artesia Center as it was prior to closing for renovation, Woodlands officially welcomed customers back June 28…….. Woodlands markets itself as the prime destination for South Indian and vegetarian-friendly cuisine…..”
* According to Zoroatrian News Agency (ZNA), “Singapore:  Promising Indian shooter and a multiple gold medallist at junior nationals, Kynan Chenai clinched the trap gold medal in the Singapore Open Shooting Championship here.
22-year-old Chenai, a gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games, shot 10 in the final to pip local lad Zain Amat by three scoring points for the yellow metal. Amat shot seven in the final.
Chenai shot an impressive 121 to enter the semifinals as leader, before a steady 14 out of 15 saw him advance to the gold-medal round.Known to be an expert swimmer, Chenai put his skills to use and saved a life while camping in Uttarakhand last year.Chenai was the gold medallist at the Junior National Shotgun Championship in 2007. He retained the medal the following year, besides winning a silver at the Asian Clay Championships.”
* According to email posts by Sam Billimoria (see links to below) there were four Parsis among India’s top 100 chief executives for 2013 – Adi Godrej, CEO of Godrej Industries, Nusli Wadia, CEOand majority owner of Bombay Dyeing, Ratan Tata, businessman of the Tata Group of industries and former chairman, and Ms. Meher Pudumjee, chairperson of Thermax Ltd.

Cyrus the Great was no Zoroastrian

Cyrus the Great was no Zoroastrian.

Dr. Pallan Ichaporia, Mainz University.


Cyrus the Great does not make mention of Ahura Mazda in any of his inscriptions. In fact many of his inscriptions betray a sense of plurality that is not found in the texts of later kings of the Achaemenid dynasty. A very famous inscription of his illustrates this. This is the Cyrus Cylinder, found in  Babylon, which contains a decree justifying his rule in the city of Babylon. In it he relates how Marduk, the local god of Babylon and chief god of Babylonia, appointed him to be king over Babylon. Later in the text he commands that temples be rebuilt and the various local cults be started up again. He then asks that these gods bless him. This text has a parallel in Ezra 1:1—4 in the Hebrew Bible. The portion of the text reads: “May all the gods whom I settled in their sacred centers ask daily of Bel that my days may be long, and may they intercede for my welfare. May they say to Marduk, my lord, As for Cyrus, the king who reveres you, . . .'” 1


This inscription betrays in Cyrus a plurality which the later Achaemenid kings rejected. In this inscription he invokes Marduk and Bel, a title for Marduk, to bless him, and mentions a number of other gods. Mary Boyce, once again trying to fit this text into her interpretation of the Achaemenid kings’ religion has observed, “Doctrinally, it is impossible to reconcile his acknowledgment of alien great gods with his own acceptance of Ahura Mazda as the one true God.” for supposing for a later Zarathustra, because there is no textual evidence for his existence or his religion until after the reign of Cyrus the Great, in the mid sixth century b.c.e. Cyrus does not seem to be a worshiper of Ahura Mazda, at least not exclusively, nor does he seem to be an adherent of the teachings of Zarathustra.

Click Here to read the full article



The Parsi baugs of Mumbai

Kaizad Bhamgara takes a closer look at some of the popular Zoroastrian settlements in the city and discovers that they are a lot more than just places to live for this closely-knit community.

With names like Rustam, Malcolm, Godrej and Wadia, it’s easy to mistake a Parsi baug for an individual. You wouldn’t be far from the truth though, as over the years these housing colonies have developed a personality of their own. Safe havens, secluded and peaceful, they remain beyond the vision of most Mumbaikars.

They were created with the purpose of providing affordable accommodation to its community members and also nurture the Zoroastrian culture and traditions. Most of them are located in Mumbai’s prime real estate zones but rent remains extremely affordable averaging between Rs 40 to Rs 500! The widow’s chawl at Navroze baug is priced at approximately Re 1 a month, while flats in south Mumbai baugs go up to Rs 3,000 a month.

Click Here for more

A Palatable Parsi Spread

The Parsi community is small but its cuisine has travelled far and wide. Cooking up a Parsi delicacy can be easy if you know the secret ingredients invariably present in every dish – onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and coriander. The traditional lip smacking bawa fare is a must-try for foodies who can get their hands on it. And for those who can’t, we’ll help you prepare some yourself. Here we bring you three favourites of every Parsi household.

Click Here for some interesting recipes for Akoori, Dhansak and Chaapat