In 2021, our goal is to bring Iranshah’s presence in the United Nations by building a special project through Seva (service) for humanity, using the guiding principles of Asha in the light of Iranshah. And to initiate this noble endeavor, we tap into the hearts and spirits of our 5-Star Iranshah Dream-Team comprising Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, Noshir Dadrawalla, Homi D. Gandhi, Arzan Wadia and Tinaz Karbhari. To me SEVA stands for Service-Encouragement-Victory-Achievements and the light of Iranshah provides a brilliant, incomparable and a ‘5-Star’ service to humanity.
The Five-Star Iranshah Dream Team were all asked the Question:
“Spearheading the spread of this Light of Iranshah, Which is your Favorite Star of SEVA and how will its Valuable Energy (Love) transform the Spirit of Humanity?”
The following are their thoughtful, inspiring and motivating answers…
Answer by Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, the ‘GEM-STAR’: After the Arab conquest of Iran, Zoroastrians fled their ancestral homeland. History has it that one group of Zoroastrian refugees landed in Diu, India, and lived there for 19 years. Driven by faith and inspiration, they set out towards Gujarat when they were caught in a violent storm. They beseeched the angel of Victory, the Powerful Beheram Yazad to guide them to safety, vowing to consecrate an Atash Beheram (Iranshah) if they reached safe ground. Thus, came to Life a Spiritual ‘Light’ – Our HOLY IRANSHAH. Along with every other Zoroastrian, I remain eternally indebted to our ancestors who struggled with determination to preserve our faith. Our Dastur Sahebs and Mobed Sahebs, from the time of consecrating the Iranshah Fire, till date, have ferociously protected the sanctity of this Holy Fire. No achievement is more victorious than that of these dedicated Mobed Sahebs. The Selfless service of every Bouywala is a valuable contribution towards our sacred Iranshah, whose divinity kindles every Zoroastrian heart with Spirituality, Hope and Light. For me SEVA embodies the spirit of Raadhi (Charity) with Raasti (Trust and Righteousness).
Answer by Noshir Dadrawala, the ‘SHINING-STAR’: SEVA is about Service and Giving – of one’s Time, Knowledge, Skills and not just food, shelter, clothing and money. In fact, the highest form of SEVA or Service is dispelling the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is empowering for the receiver and ennobling for the giver. There is more joy in giving than in receiving and the gift of knowledge, in my opinion, is one of the highest forms of SEVA. Giving of Food, Clothing, Shelter or money can provide relief to the needy.
But giving of knowledge can empower the needy to overcome his needs and rehabilitate himself or herself in a sustainable and dignified manner. Therefore, I would consider SEVA as embodiment Sustainable Evolution with Value Added.
Answer by Homi Gandhi, the ‘WISE-STAR’: SEVA means selfless service or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. It resonates with our Ashem Vohu prayer. In ancient India, SEVA was believed to help one’s spiritual growth and simultaneously contributed to the improvement of a community. This is the art of giving with no need to receive, where the act itself is a gift to everyone involved. SEVA is the art of blessed action. Helping others does not require some special skill nor is it a birthright of some special individuals. We don’t need to wait for a calamity or an extraordinary event to help others. When we see a need – in any circumstances big or small – we must heed the call of that natural impulse within us and follow where it leads us.
Humans have unlimited capacity to connect and we may sometimes feel limited, especially in current lockdown circumstances, but we have natural impulse within ourselves to help others. Anonymous open giving makes one more comfortable with giving with no need for reward and thus one can expand the reach of one’s actions. So enjoy, in joy, the act of selfless action and all the wonderful energy that surrounds it! To me SEVA is Serve and Expand Valued Actions.
Answer by Arzan Wadia, the ‘SUPER-STAR’: Service to the faith and community should be inculcated from a young age. We have seen countless examples in our community. Be it the pioneers who took it upon themselves to preserve the faith, and then others followed and provided the means and methods, for generations to flourish. Building institutions both physical and non-physical allowed our community to have fire temples, educational institutions, housing, hospitals and a plethora of institutions. This happened because people felt that in doing their small or big bit, they were serving the community.
At different times in one’s life, one is presented with various ways to serve or do SEVA. The younger folks can give their time in service of the community. Giving in service is not only limited to monetary resources. For service to come a full circle, one needs folks to give their time to complement those who give their financial resources. It is only when both happen, that true service is realised. So today, when you think of how you can so SEVA, give whatever works for you. To the young adults who are starting out in life and in their professional careers, give your time to worthy causes, and later in life, someday, Ahura Mazda willing, you will be able to contribute financially too!
Answer by Tinaz Karbhari, the ‘RISING STAR’: SEVA, or the act of selfless service, should be performed by all individuals. The scale of the act can be as minute or grand as one chooses and can take many different forms – be it via volunteering one’s time, doing an act of kindness or simply donating to a cause close to one’ heart. The youth should have the importance of SEVA instilled from a young age, in order to be able to practice and apply it into their everyday lives, in turn developing an altruistic nature. This should then be shared with the next generation to continue the cycle.
I encourage everyone, particularly youth from all corners of the world, to serve others and causes they connect with. Unknowingly, the simplest service brings you the most happiness. And it doesn’t have to be difficult; helping out is not a hard task and doesn’t require any special skills. Service is essentially the expression of love. Serve in whatever manner possible. Take it upon yourself to inspire others and be the change that you want to see!
The Pahlavi Dinkard recommends cultivation of 5-STAR virtues which are of religious merit – Truthfulness, Charity, Skill, Endeavour and Giving encouragement to others in good deeds.
May we be inspired by these lofty ideals. May we imbibe these virtues in our day-to-day life and dedicate this transformation in our thinking, our speech and our deeds to Holy Iranshah!
Let’s join hands as we prepare to take the Light of Our Zoroastrian Vatican To The United Nations with the attribute of SEVA to humanity!