Zoroastrians in Patna
The city of Patna is a place of reverence not only for the Sikhs but closely associated with the Parsi community in India, as well. The great Zoroastrian saint Dastur Azar Kaiwan of the 16th century, lived and spent the major part of his life in Patna.
From a well researched treatise of Ervad Dr. Jivanji Modi, it is gathered that Dastur Azar Kaiwan was born around 1533 in Iran in an illustrious family of priests who traced their genealogy right upto the Mai Abad dynasty. Azar Kaiwan was drawn to things spiritual right from early childhood and it is said that he reduced his food and sleep from the age of five and started practicing severe spiritual experiments and penances. One of the strict rigours he undertook at a very early age was to live within a “khumb” or large earthen vase or pot for a period of 28 years.
Dastur Ajar Kaiwan, voluntarily left his abode in Mount Demavand in Iran and came to Patna, India along with a group of close disciples. A saintly soul, he chose Patna as his spiritual centre. Dastur Azar Kaiwan, was well known in his time. Both Dastur Azar Kaiwan and his disciples were believed to possess enormous spiritual powers and various miracles and near-impossible feats were attributed to them. News of his spiritual prowess reached the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605), who invited Dastur Azar Kaiwan to his court. The Dastur however refused to appear in front of him and finally it was Akbar who travelled to Punjab to meet hime.
His teachings were universal in nature and open for all to follow. People of all religion respected him. He instructed his followers to remain faithful to their religion. He advised his followers to follow the threefold path of Asha (Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds) . He urged his followers that:
* The best way of keeping one’s soul aligned with God is by helping others and by spreading happiness;
* The spiritual equality and duty of men and women are alike;
* Being good for the sake of goodness and without the hope of reward.
He had a large following, and was renowned throughout Asia. Dastur Azar Kaiwan died around 1618 at the age of 85, and was buried in Patna itself. His relics are preserved in a Dargah near Patthar ki Masjid and worshipped by the people of all religion. This is the brief, but remarkable outline of the life of this extraordinary Master.
Till recently the Parsi community in India, though knowing that Ajar Kaiwan is buried somewhere in Patna did not know it’s exact location. On the request of some Parsi friends from Mumbai, SKILL Foundation did extensive research and reconnaissance and finally located the holy shrine of this renowned Parsi saint. So now Skill Foundation regularly organises and host the visit of Parsi outstation guests. The students enjoy and learn while taking the guests out on a historical walk to the holy shrine.
A few days back a group of Parsi guests from Mumbai came to pay their homage at this holy shrine of this great Zoroastrian saint. Sharing some snapshots of the recent visit of these Parsi guests from Mumbai.