PARSI AGIYARI OPENS DOORS FOR OUTSIDERS


In an unprecedented move to help Amdavadis better understand the culture and religion that is Zoroastrianism, the Parsi Panchayat in the city opened the doors of the Vakil Adariyan Agiyari to observe and quench the curiosity of those who will never set foot inside the religious halls of the Parsis. Non-Parsis are not allowed inside an Agiyari. However, since renovations are underway at the 90-year-old structure, and since it will have to be consecrated again with a new fire at the end of repairs, the officials though it would be a good time to open the doors of the religious hall to give us a peek inside.

As one enters the holy place of worship, the words Humata Hukhta Hvarshta are noticeable. Explaining the same, Brigadier (retd) Jehangir Anklesaria, the president of the Parsi Panchayat says that these words contain the core beliefs of Zoroastrianism in the Avesta language. He said, “The words mean Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds.” Anklesaria, explaining the character of this particular Agiyari and its importance, even showed the ‘Afringanyu’, the vessel which holds the holy fire in the ‘Keblo’ Sanctum Sanctorum of the Agiyari.

This is probably the first time in the 90 years of the Agiyari’s existence that even Parsis have entered this room, much less people from other religions. Only ‘Dastoors’ Parsi priests are allowed inside to keep the holy fire burning. The Agiyari, has not been renovated since 1986, and had developed cracks in one wall and had to be repaired. The wall was dug to its foundation and cement poured in to stop it from collapsing. The repairs cost Rs50 lakh.

Afringanyu

The Afringanyu is kept in a small room and also has a cover that is attached to the roof of the room with the help of the pulley. The holy fire that burns in an Agiyari is made up of four types of fire taken from the houses of a king, a pauper, a farmer and a blacksmith. A prayer is carried out on all of them individually before mixing them one by one and there is prayer after mixing each one into the main fire. Five times aday, the bell is rung thrice and there is prayer on the holy fire by the priests.

http://ahmedabadmirror.indiatimes.com/ahmedabad/others/parsi-agiyari-opens-doors-for-outsiders/articleshow/59797474.cms

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26 thoughts on “PARSI AGIYARI OPENS DOORS FOR OUTSIDERS

  1. Jamshed.Arjani says:

    The Trustees of the Parsi Panchayat of Ahmedabad have become ghouls and crooked destroyers of the sanctity of our pure religion. No true Parsi will ever set their foot in this place which has ceased to remain an Agiary. No faithful priest will tend the fire as it has been made unholy. The corrupt untrustworthy swine associated with the Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat have sold their souls to Satan in the garb of Non Parsi capitalists. These scoundrels should be excommunicated and rest assured that such action will be taken by the High Priests and the Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat will become defunct. It will probably be governed by the Surat or Navsari Panchayats. Certainly the photographs of the sinful persons should be circulated throughout the community so that the rascals can be ostracized and excommunicated immediately.

    • Sad Parsi says:

      What a sad & hate filled message. I feel really sad to see this and various other messages here. Though of course they have full right to give their views.
      Certainly does not follow the Good Words, Good Thoughts, Good Deeds, that all Parsis are proud of.
      As far as i am aware (ok i am far from being an expert), the non conversion and no entry rules were implemented due to the promise given to the Raja in Gujarat on arrival in India & have become ingrained into PARSI tradition & rules over centuries though the seeds might have started after the Muslim takeover of Iran. Original Zoroastrians in Iran did not have such rules and indeed those in Iran, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan in the present day do not even now.
      ..

      • Danesh Irani says:

        Sir J. J Jeejeebhoy , Sir RJD Tata, Sir Petit have statue’s and fire temple and schools, college’s in their names. These trustees carry out work in their name trying to do their best most times sometime they might err intentionally sometimes unintentionally, but they have been selected to lead the way the light and road layed out by our Avestha and the great priests and the learned men and women who had achieved great heights in their respective fields.
        We cannot question them or their motives, if you or I feel it is wrong buy a big mansion better still give up our homes make our own Agyari and start our own fire.
        Hatered is not what we preach, revenge is not what we stand up for, go back to Iran with bombs, swords rifles whatnot and take back our land, Persia from the Moghuls, donot talk of courage 90% fled to, ‘ save the holy fire from going into wrong hands ‘.
        Today 50% are getting married to Muslims, and Hindus and Christian boys and girls what did we run from to get diluted futher.
        Our community needs people of vision we need more Zoroastrians to marry within our community more children to carry it forward they need good education from primary level upwards, more help to get better jobs, pride and satisfaction of being cared for by the community, we need people who will bring in vision, advise youngsters make a better life for them, instill a sense of confidence, see some of them they have lost out on it because of non guidance, poverty and help not coming in at the right time, why go futher take my own case
        We applied for Loans/ scholarships to various places my eldest Son had finished his 12th ISC Board 94% PCM Science ( 90% ICSE 10th) did even get a letter saying loan / scholarship not granted for so n so reason. I mortgaged our house sent him to Canada he came back cleared and got selected in a private airline waited 5 excrutiating years since the airline said fresher’s are on wait listed no salary, worked in the ground School in India that he learnt from for free for 3 months since they didn’t need instructors for teaching, then there was a vacancy he started teaching and got his first salary of 5,000/ by cheque we deposited into his account he soon started getting more subjects to teach and salary rose upward not once did he ever go to teach unshaved or without formal ironed dress, this is up bringing don’t need to have pots of money for that, it instilled confidence, he got an offer of nightshift at the airport salary 10,000/ 12 midnight to 6am he took it up reason he had 2 more brothers whose education expense was mounting on us, sense of responsibility. Finally today he is with a leading airline of India when he lands at the airport the cargo loaders even recognize him and wish him his Commander told him I will call you Rustom since then whenever he spots him last was at Delhi airport a week back he shouted out to him Rustom and all his friends ask him for clearing doubts both personal and work related. He in those days used to also give tuitions to Young Parsi children for free when actually we were paying interest for the huge loan we had taken.
        Incidentally we have 3 son’s and benefitted from the 3rd child maintenance monthly 1,000/ help from the Bombay Parsi panchayat, that money all of it was invested in UTI children career growth scheme in all three children name’s.
        My wife who instilled this never give up attitude comes from a very proud family whose father served in the army, they may have been financially on the poor side but very well brought up taught to say what is right and to always think positive, she works in a multinational travel organization heading a team of 50+ workers many ladies, she saves her daily allowance and once a month feeds street children and children at construction site she started alone took alongwth her 3 girls from office in her car today they are a bunch of 6 dedicated ladies who feel it is their mothly duty, they now know many by their names, the person who makes the food in foil trays he adds his own contribution without them asking for one rupee discount he saw what they were doing accidentally, this determination n dedication what our Avesta prayers imbibe in us.
        My brother in law today settled in Canada had started after finishing his engineering a Solar water heating and LPG Fired water heater business got a large entrepreneur loan from the Bombay Parsi panchayat some trust his business flopped he couldn’t pay back his loan borrowed from me money applied to immigrate to Canada I thought my money as gone within one year he collected the amount he had borrowed from the panchayat returned it with interest more than what he had to give and when I asked him he said it would help another Parsi to start his business if I were to walk away without paying I would be doing injustice to the man’s vision of setting up that trust. This is what we should look up to not point fingers at others doing mistakes.
        Today we talk about the Agyari being seen by noon Zoroastrians, what is happening 50% or even more of our girls n boys are marrying, Muslims (the very reason we left Persia), Christians and Hindus why not have programs to get Parsi to marry Parsi incentivise it give them certain Privileges out of turn accommodation, subsidy for things they need push forward don’t pull back let us gain traction we need a harmonious, loving community.
        Pray hard, live long and cherish every moment.
        Evil thoughts, hatered, and revenge should never ever cross our minds let’s make our community grow bigger help the youngsters our and our neighbors let’s achieve what our ancestors wanted for us.

      • Danesh Irani says:

        Let’s leave controversy aside, let’s get the community moving forward, regular get togethers even if it is a community ghambhar why not .
        Subsidized wedding hall (90% off ) for Parsi marrying Parsi ( not gays n Lesis can discuss this on another forum).
        Let the couple know we appreciate you marrying a Parsi.
        1st wedding anniversary gift -corporates sponsor to a Tea / coffee estate, 2 days holiday paid for with stay at guest house anything that gives them something to look forward to.
        1st child gift monetary value long term investment, given at a community gattering organized by the panchayat.
        Out of turn allotment for persons having 2 kids or more, 5th , 10 th 15th wedding anniversary incentives, this should be the way forward not ostricisation ( like an ostrich putting head under the sand) we have a problem we have the brains, we have the money locked up in trusts unlock them or else there will not be many Parsi’s left to share it with. The elders gave it for the community service & not as their trustees inheritance.
        The controversy of this Ahmedabad 🔥 fire temple will be of no consequence if there are not enough to attend it daily to pray before the holy Atash.
        My request is let us form a group to find a more non controversial way of solving the immediate serious challenge’s before us.
        We should be the ones to start change we want, the fire should come from within not excuses.

      • Danesh Irani says:

        Parsi and Me – a short film by Ava Patel of UK – http://wp.me/p6TVE-5E2
        Check this out we all are proud to be Zoroastrians and love to debate and mull over our lovely religion.
        This makes us different and we would like to be unique not the runoff the mill.

      • Jamshed.Arjani says:

        The tenet of never converting a non Zoroastrian to a Zoroastrian is part of the commandments given by Dadar Ahura Mazda, not, as erroneously remarked by you, part of the promise given to King Jadi Rana.

      • Sad Parsi says:

        Dear Jamshed.Arjani: So where did the first Zoroastrians come from ? They did not appear out of thin air. (Even if there was a somewhat similar religion before). You need people to start the religion in the first place. Even then there MUST have been conversion for the religion to be so wide spread in the ancient world. Archaeologists have found ‘Fire Temples’ from deserts of China to Middle East to Turkey. The present day Zoroastrians in those regions do not have this restriction. It seems to be a purely “Parsi Zoroastrian” ruling.

  2. Kainaz Nitin Koli says:

    Good job. This step should have taken long time back. But never late. I am extremely happy on this decision. Dont worry people dont take changes too well. But will accept it sooner or later.

  3. Sharookh says:

    Need to verify the news .If true they should be hanged from the nearest tree for betraying the community s faith

  4. Adil K. Ghadiali says:

    Zoroastrianism is all inclusive, a great religion that must live on. We Parsis are destroying it by insulating ourselves in the garb of ‘purity’! Wake up, bring back the honesty & integrity of earlier generations instead of basking in past glory!

  5. JOHN DOE says:

    adil WHY R SO MANY IN FAVOUR OF PRESERVING OUR PARSI RACE (BY NON-PARSIS). THIS IS NOT JAMVA CHALOJI. HAVE U EVER READ ITEMS BY TAGORE, PROF. GADGIL, MAHATMA …………ON PARSIS. PARSIS R MENTIONED IN INDIA’S FIVE STANZA NATIONAL ANTHEM.

  6. Farida says:


    https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsZoroastrianism is the least misunderstood religion.
    Let me ask you guys one thing Why in Zoroastrian homes in their Prayer corner have photos of other prophets of other religions. Our Zoroastrian pray in Churches Temples etc. Do Novena Where as other people of different faiths do not.
    The Reason being that Zoroastrians are Confused Lot as we have no guidance Our high Priests themselves are disunited as to the Teachings of our Prophet. Ego & Pride reign supreme.
    Do not be meek little lambs & follow the herd or for that matter `The Shepherd in Wolf`s Clothing`
    USE your Judgement or Your Vohu Mano if one wants Zoroastrianism to survive or be gobbled by another religion.
    WAKE UP!!!!!!!

  7. Hufrish Jani says:


    https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsWhy is this incident such a big issue to you all. First and foremost all the renovations done are by non parsis who have to enter the Agiary. Secondly if you are so strongly offended by this bold step where a once in a lifetime apportunity has been given not only for non parsis but even for children from a Parsi mother who can atleast experience this holy place, then I’m sorry you all should first take dire steps in Iran where anyone of any caste creed or age is getting their navjote done. Don’t forget it is because of the ancestors of Gujarat we have a safe place we call our home.

  8. rustom1145 says:

    Congratulations on making a bold move. Do not worry about the ignorant few who cannot distinguish between the purity of Zarathustra’s thoughts and the rigidity of man made customs that have outlived their time

  9. sisodia dharampur says:

    I think there is no need to be worried about purity n pious aura of the agiari n the hoky fire n the faith itself. Because they r so pure n pious that no impure or sinful being can do any harm. Believe in the supreme n have faith. Nothing is going to harm such a great religion.

  10. Farida says:

    We were all of a mix breed. Our original land was Persia! So according to Pure Blooded Zoroastrians “along the way to Sajan must encountered other Zoroastrians”?

    Please talk sense

  11. Hoshedar Mehta says:

    We have lost what our religion stands for. Religion is how one lives ones life. First and foremost how we treat other humans and living beings, respect for nature and Anura Mazda’s creation comes next. We are co workers with Ahura Mazda to bring about Frashokereti, goodness, wisdom to all. We are a small part of the Devine and when we treat others who do great work for the community in a derogatory way, we are insulting The Devine .
    One can agree to disagree with what someone does, that is freedom of choice but being disagreeable by being hurtful is not part of what Zarathustra taught.
    We are not idol worshippers, we are not even fire worshippers, we revere the consecrated fire as the son of Ahura Mazda, it says so in our Atash niyayash, “Arthro ahuraye mazdao puthar”
    There is no fire in the kebla, there will be workers who do not belong to the community and they are going to go through the consecration ceremonies again so where is the problem.
    Let us work on bringing out the goodness in each other and not go in the opposite direction.

  12. Behram Deboo says:

    What a pity! Are we Parsis racist? How a fire that purifies everything can be unpurified by a non-Zoroastrian? Do we have a chromosome of purity? How can you despise with your immoral views that only Parsis are pure and the rest of human beings are without souls or divine essence (Fravashi)? Wake up. Our culture is degenerated. We are becoming endangered species. In ancient time, fire temples were open on four sides. This all happened after Islam to keep them out.

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