Aṣ̌əm Vohū – Kahan Taraporevala – 2021


Aṣ̌əm Vohū Aṣ̌əm vohū vahištəm astī uštā astī uštā ahmāi hyat̰ aṣ̌āi vahištāi aṣ̌əm Truth is best (of all that is) good. True, as desired, as desired, truth is for her who (represents) best truth.

– Ancient Zoroastrian Prayer

The Ashem is one of three ancient prayers in our religion. Its theme is that Virtue or Righteousness is the basis of a good life of purity of thoughts, purity of speech and purity of actions. This text is from the religion I grew up in, Zoroastrianism. Large numbers of our people migrated to India from Ancient Persia. The central pillarstone to this religion is a path of good thoughts, good words and good deeds. Writing this piece has been a great joy as it has been a very personal piece for me. This piece was written without an audience in mind – solely for the performers in the ensemble. It is an attempt at a reflection on our own sense of self.

Choral ensemble: Wynton Gage, Marcus Peterson, Sergey Tkachenko, Nolan Synder, Madeline McCarthy, Miggi Angangco, Ashlyn Brown, Catarine Hancock, Anthony Josep, Jason Edelstein, Charlie Banta, Elijah Bowen, Jake Cozza, Sophia Romaine, Lara Van Vuuren, Sami Copeland, Perri Smith, Zac Leung, Howell Petty, Carmela D’Agostino.

Conductor: Kahan Taraporevala


  • Wonderful

  • The vibrations were mesmerizing! Can’t imagine how powerful it must be LIVE!

  • Wonderful. Enjoyed it . The prayer is not complete. Two words ( yat asai) were left out.

  • Sorry the words ( Usha ham mai) were left out my mistake in the earlier comment.

  • Beautiful composition. Beautiful presentation. We need more of such music but I wish the words ushta ahmai had not been left out.

  • I did not hear “USHTA AHMAI” even once. Is this word left out on purpose? Kahan, will you please explain?

    Pervez Patel, Head Priest
    ZAGNY, New York


      I too thought the same.
      I feel the prayer should be prayed in it own manner and not creat a music out off it. The vibrations are to cleans your soul.

      • Paurusaspji,et el, God has not nominated how exactly a prayer should be said or prayed;you can even pray it as a song, with music,as well as at or from any place on our Planet; and this does not make it less holy or effective. Besides, please tell me who has made the rule that it should be prayed, ” …in its own manner… ” I can’t find in our prayer book where it says so.Prayers can be said in any way one chooses. You can even sing it. To state that prayers can only be said in a certain matter is hypocrisy and egotistical. Really, prayers are SUNG, NOT SAID.Next time listen to yourself pray, and you will hear the ups and downs of it, like in a song.The vibrations of prayers go right round our Planet, no matter how or where you choose to say it;and that is as IT SHOULD BE.
        Kersi Rustomji

  • Erv. Noshir Kanga

    As a song it’s fine, but not as a prayer.
    Prayer is to be recited & not to be sung.
    Again it’s not complete. (Two words USHTA AHMAI are missing) &sung by non Zorastrian, instead of recited by Zorastrian wearing SUDREH KUSTY. iIt should be taken as a concert & not prayer.

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