Happiness be to you
A talk by Ervad Zarrir Bhandara representing FEZANA – delivered at the Parliament of World Religions on October 16th
There is nothing more important in life than life itself. This does not just refer to human lives but all life forms as the well-being & future of all living beings are intertwined. Today, what we know as ecology, was taught by our prophet Zarathushtra thousand of years ago.
In order to achieve success in preserving, healing, and sustaining our environment for the benefit of our current and future generations, we need to come together and use our good minds to form a collective consciousness.
In Zoroastrianism, there are 7 Amesha Spentas, bounteous immortals, each having a beneficient quality and a responsibility of overlooking each of the wonderful creations of God.
This heptad is also considered as the seven steps or commandments, when followed benefits individuals and collectively to bring about progress in improving ourselves and others in terms of physical and emotional health, to bring about prosperity and happiness.
The first Amesha Spenta is Spenta Mainyu, the beneficent spirit. The quality is innate Wisdom/God’s will and the creation looked after/represents is Human Beings. Hence, it is important that we realize God’s will by connecting ourselves with our superconscious through meditative prayers and caring for each other through wisdom.
The second Amesha Spenta is Vohu Manah – the good mind or the rational mind which helps us to make decisions in our daily life. The creation being looked after is Animals. It is important that we use our good minds to further goodness in this world and also take care of animals. According to Shahnameh, (Book of Kings), it is this tradition, which was introduced to the people first time ever in human– history by ABLIS, A PERSONIFIED DEVIL “AHRIMAN” WHICH IS KILLING ANIMALS FOR FOOD.
Surely, we have followed this tradition until this day without realizing, whose tradition we are following? In addition, in what way it affects our environment and us.
The output is in direct proportion to the inputs “Garbage in garbage out” what food you eat affects our (mental and physical health) thinking and disposition to a very great extent.
God gave us dominion over animals to take care of them not harm them. Factory farming of animals creates more fossil fuels, pollutes our environment, and depletes natural resources more than any other industry. Hence, it is important that we transition to a healthy plant-based diet that is good for our health and our environment.
The third Amesha Spenta looks after/represents Fire, which is the purest form of energy that is present in all living beings and the physical manifestation of that energy is the holy fire that we can physically see and also represents the energy that is not visible to the human eye. Possessing the qualities of righteousness, truth, and order. It is important that we use renewable energy from natural and clean sources like Sun and Wind. It is also essential that we follow the path of righteousness by practicing truth and orderliness in our lives to bring about peace & happiness.
The fourth beneficent spirit is Kshthravairya which looks after the sky and metals. The quality possessed is of moral strength, power, and conviction. In this step, we have to take care of our birds who fly in the sky and make the best use of metal objects. A knife in a surgeon’s hands can save a life and in a murderer’s hands can end a life. Kshthravairya helps us not to give up; when you are treading the path of righteousness, you are bound to come across a lot of obstacles and distractions, you need to gather courage, moral strength, and conviction to overcome those obstacles and distractions.
The fifth archangel is Spenta Armaiti, she looks after Mother Earth and has the qualities of holy piety, devotion, and love. Hence, it is extremely important that we take care of our Mother Earth in the most loving way we can, be devoted to the cause of taking care of our environment, and also invest feelings of love in all our work that we do on a daily basis.
When we follow these 5 steps, we arrive at the 6th step Haurvatat or perfection, she looks after the waters. We need to conserve water by reducing our use of natural resources, which are becoming scarce. Also, we must be mindful to not pollute water by using less plastic and more reusable items. Only about 10% of recyclable items around the world are actually recycled, the rest goes into landfills & eventually makes their way into bodies of water, which is extremely harmful to marine life.
The last one in the heptad is Ameretat, she looks after the Plant kingdom and possesses the quality of immortality or long life. And that what is righteous will be remembered for a long time. Thus, we become immortal through thinking good thoughts, speaking good words, and performing good deeds wherever we go. Our thoughts, words, and deeds affect not only ourselves of course, but the whole universe as well. We are as much a part of the universe as the universe is a part of us because God’s energy is present in all living beings and we all are made in the image of God.
Until about 2 years ago, many of us did not realize the importance of the air that we breathe and the fact that Plants give us this life-sustaining force throughout our lives. We took this for granted. Our lives depend on plants, hence we need to grow more plants (mainly trees). Furthermore, we must take care of our environment – with the 7 Ameshaspands in mind, as mentioned before – to revive our planet & secure the future for generations to come.
THE PLEDGE TO MAKE HEAVEN ON EARTH
How about we make a pledge today to learn practice and imbibe the qualities of these Amesha Spentas in our lives namely the Wisdom the higher consciousness, the superintelligence, the righteousness and order, the moral strength, the holy piety/devotion/love, Perfection and good deeds that would be helpful for our future generations and also let us make a sincere effort to take better care of our environment and each other. Thus, we can create Heaven on Earth here and now.
Some Relevant questions and answers:
What is the importance of nature in Zoroastrianism?
Nature is an integral part of our Zoroastrian religion, we revere all the elements of our nature, and what we revere we may use it but we do not misuse it or abuse it. Today what we know as ecology was taught to us by our prophet Zarathushtra thousands of years ago to take care of our environment.
Are there any prayers or ceremonies dedicated to the environment?
Yes, there are many prayers and rituals dedicated to nature and one of them is a Jashan ceremony. It strengthens that particular element of nature that is prayed upon and it also invokes the blessings of the divinity in charge of that particular element.
What is the Jashan ceremony?
Jashan is a Pahlavi (old Persian) word that comes from an Avestan word Yasna, which means religious service. There are many types of Jashans, some are performed on joyful occasions and some are performed on not so joyful occasions. For example, there are Thanksgiving Jashans which are performed six times a year seasonally as Thanksgiving Jashans which are called Gahambar Jashans.
What is the significance of each item placed in the Jashan ceremony?
In the Jashan ceremony, the Representatives of the seven Amesha Spentas the bounteous immortals, the deputies of Dadar Ahura Mazda are present, Spenta Mainyu, who looks after mankind is represented by the priests. Bahman Amshashpand or Vohu Manah the Good Mind who looks after the animal kingdom is represented by milk. Asha Vahishta or Ardibehesht Amshashpand looks after the fire and energy are represented by fire. Kshthra Vairya or Sherevar Amhashpand looks after the sky, and all the minerals and metals are represented by all the metal elements in the ceremony. Spenta Armaiti or Spandarmad Amshashpand who looks after the mother earth is represented by the earth on which we sit and perform the ceremony. Haurvatat or Khordad Amshashpand who looks after the waters is represented by the beaker of water placed in the ceremony. Ameretat or Amardad Amshashpand who looks after the Plant kingdom is represented by the fruits and flowers placed in the Jashan ceremony.
What is the importance of fire in Zoroastrianism?
God’s energy is present in all living beings and the physical manifestation of that energy is the holy fire. Fire is a very important element in Zoroastrian religion and it is present in all our ceremonies and rituals, the holy fire is also considered as a receiver and also a transmitter, who receives the energy from the spirit world and transmits to His devotees who are present.
In the pantheon of Zoroastrian divinities, Bahman Amshaspand ranks next to Ahura Mazda. Bahman is an Amshaspand or Amesha Spenta (variously translated as Bountiful Immortal or Arch Angel) and is doctrinally seen as the guardian of one of Ahura Mazda’s good creations, namely animals – particularly Goshpand like cow, goat, sheep, etc. It is for this reason that devout Zoroastrians abstain from eating meat throughout the entire month of Bahman. Although, on a lighter note, a Zoroastrian foodie recently retorted that by this logic, during the month of Amardad, one should not be eating vegetables because Amardad Amshaspand is the guardian of one of Ahura Mazda’s other good creations – namely vegetation!
Observing The Month Of Bahman:
In the Zoroastrian calendar of three hundred and sixty-five days, there is not a single day for total fasting from food. The only fast that is traditionally observed is the fast from eating meat through the Bahman Mahino. No special prayers or ceremonies are performed during this month. One is simply expected to switch to a simple vegetarian diet, as an act of religious discipline.
There is no Yasht (Hymn) or Niyaesh (Litany) dedicated to Bahman. There probably was an Avestan Vohu Manah or Bahman Yasht, but it is now lost to us over the vicissitudes of time. What we have is a Pahlavi commentary called, ‘Zand-e-Vohu Manah Yasna’. However, unlike Avesta and Pazand, Pahlavi is not Manthravani or the traditional language of prayer. Regardless, many do recite it.
Historically, Zoroastrians do not seem to have been a vegetarian community. In fact, one of the strongest arguments supporting the non-vegetarian theory is the observance of Bahman Mahino. It is often argued that if Zoroastrians are mandated by religious tradition to be vegetarian all year round, why does the community kick up all this fuss during the month of Bahman?
Understanding Bahman Or Vohu Manah:
In the Zoroastrian calendar, the second day of every month as well as the eleventh month of every year is dedicated to Bahman Amshaspand. Bahman is the Persian form of the Pahlavi word, ‘Wahman’ and the original Avestan term – Vohu Manah, which most scholars translate as ‘Good Mind’.
In the Gatha, Asho Zarathushtra asserts that the path leading to Ahura Mazda is through Vohu Manah. In other words, propitiating Bahman Amshaspand takes one closer to Divinity. Interpreted at an ethical level, exercising the right moral choices with the help of the good mind alone can take one closer to Ahura Mazda – the Lord or Master of all Wisdom.
In later texts, the Sudreh is referred to as Vohu Manah Vastra or the garment of Bahman; just the way the Kusti is referred to as the girdle of Sarosh Yazata. It is believed that wearing the Sudreh, which is the garment of Bahman Amshaspand, bestows the wearer with wisdom, while tying the Kusti over it, gives the wearer Sarosh Yazata’s divine protection and enhances the devotee’s higher consciousness.
So, Why Abstain From Eating Meat?
While at a moral and ethical level, Bahman represents the ‘good mind’, Zoroastrians abstain from eating meat on every Bahman Roj as also Roj Mohor, Gosh and Ram, as a mark of respect to the four Guardian Divinities of all Goshpands. Abstaining from eating meat throughout the month of Bahman is considered an act of religious merit to acquire wisdom through internal cleansing and exercising non-violence towards the Good Creation of Ahura Mazda. Even those who do not observe fasting from meat for the whole month try to avoid eating meat on Bahman Roj of Bahman Mah and the days dedicated to Bahman’s Hamkara (co-workers) – Mohor, Gosh and Ram.
Strictly speaking, throughout the month of Bahman, a Zoroastrian is expected to live on a simple diet of grain, fruit and vegetable. However, most Zoroastrians find it challenging to survive on what they call ‘ghaas-phoos’ and therefore most consider eating eggs quite acceptable, while some go further to believe that eating fish or even fowl would be perfectly legitimate. Aquatic creatures with fins and two legged fowls are not Goshpand, it is argued!
Abstain From Mental Violence:
It is said that we are what we eat and a vegetarian diet is generally considered good for spiritual development. However, in our opinion, there is no point in being a vegetarian and observing the month of the ‘good mind’ if it is observed only from the dietary point of view. It is not just a month to abstain from eating meat but a month to abstain from all forms of violence in thought, word or deed.
While observing a vegetarian diet for a month or for four days every month is a good and healthy change, there is no point abstaining from eating meat but making mincemeat of all rational thought, word and deed!
False Sense Of Superiority:
We have observed that vegetarians usually carry a certain sense of ‘false superiority’ and treat non-vegetarians with a sense of contempt, mentally, and sometimes vocally with their ‘holier than thou’ attitude! Some even castigate meat-eaters as ‘murderers’!
What one chooses to eat or not eat is a personal choice and there is absolutely no need for those observing a vegetarian diet to harbour a false sense of superiority or piety. Historically, some of the most notorious serial killers across the world have been vegetarian! By contrast, the gentle and compassionate Dalai Lama is not vegetarian. Jesus Christ, the apostle of love and forgiveness drank wine and mostly ate and served his followers bread and fish, including, at the last supper.
Also, let us not forget that towards the end of his life, Adolf Hitler followed a vegetarian diet. It is not clear when or why he adopted it, since some accounts of his dietary habits prior to the Second World War indicate that he consumed meat as late as 1937. However, by 1938, Hitler’s public image as a vegetarian was already being fostered, and from 1942, he self-identified as a vegetarian. The point is, did Hitler’s change in diet make him a better human being, let alone a non-violent human being? If anything, his vegetarian diet made him aggressive in his thinking, violent in his speeches and culminated in brutal acts of atrocity. The irony is, Adolf Hitler, in his private conversations with dinner guests, used to refer to meat-eaters as murderers!
Focus On Wisdom:
The point we are trying to drive home is please refrain from making a virtue about what you eat or do not eat during this month or throughout the year. Focus on the mind because all thoughts begin in the mind leading later to words and finally, to actions. There is no point being a vegetarian without first exercising temperance of the mind!
In the Gatha, Asho Zarathushtra urges us to acquire happiness through wisdom, which in turn can be acquired by reflective thinking and exercising moral choices within an ethical framework. Much later, the Chinese philosopher, Confucius echoed the same thought, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First – by reflection, which is noblest; Second – by imitation, which is easiest; and Third – by experience, which is the bitterest.”
May Bahman Amshaspand Bless our community with Wisdom!
The religion founded by Iranian Prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster as called by Greek philosophers like Plato) over five thousand years ago, as described in his five Gathas (songs), give us the basic guidelines that are mostly timeless.
His followers added rituals, prayers and traditions that serve as tools which can help to structure our lives according to the guidelines. Just as we constantly improve tools that we use with the latest technologies, these tools which help us to apply the general guidelines may be modified if and as needed to be relevant for the time and society in which we live.
Understanding the connection of all creations of God, Zarathushtra proclaims that true happiness comes to them who create happiness for others (Y.43).When we are not content with our honestly obtained wealth, position, status, etc., we are tempted to resort to unethical means to gain more than we have. With this realization, Zarathushtra tells us that Contentment is the greatest virtue.
Practice of Zarathushtra’s Teachings in the Present Times Ultra-Conservative PracticesLike in other religions, some individuals follow the teaching of the founder more closely than others, and there are groups like orthodox, reformists, and mainstream who follow their preferred practices in a group setting.As the focus of Zarathushtra’s teachings is on ethical living in this world that would promote peace and happiness for all creations on earth, we should examine if we are following and prioritizing his ethical guidelines in our practice of religion.
Among the Zarathushtis from India and Pakistan, we have a small but vocal population of ultra-conservative and a much smaller group of ultra-reformist individuals. The majority of Zarathushtis are not rigid in their religious beliefs and observances.
Most ultra-conservatives, especially from India/Pakistan, emphasize racial and ritual purity and do not think it important or necessary to learn the meanings of the prayers.
They believe that prayers in Avesta and Pahalavi were composed in a special way and have intrinsic beneficial effects from the vibrations emanating during their recital, and that there are many different translations of the prayers resulting in difficulty to know which one if any, is the correct translation. Their focus is on performing the rituals according to traditional rule as suggested by their Guru, a nineteenth century Zarathushti who claimed to have been given the knowledge by spiritual masters who live in the mountains in Iran.
Comparing this belief to Zarathushtra’s teachings, we can observe that it does not appear to be in agreement with his teaching that each person should use his/her good mind and freedom of choice gifted by Ahuramazda, to think and freely choose what is right. The ultra-conservative belief that Zarathushtra’s religion is restricted to the Persian race is also contrary to his Gatha verses in which he mentions the soul of the world asking God for a Savior and Ahuramazda choosing him for that role.
Most ultra-conservatives believe that women during their menstrual period should be isolated at home and should not enter prayer areas. They believe that even a male person who is bleeding cannot enter prayer areas. This belief is not supported by Gatha teachings leading us to think whether under the availability of current hygiene practice and products this rule is still necessary.
The ultra-conservative belief in a rigid class system (similar to the Hindu caste system) separating priest class (Athravans) from non-priest class (Behdins), and not allowing Behdins to serve as priests (called Mobedyars), is also against Zarathushtra’s teachings of equality of all human beings. While the Iranian community is not against Mobedyars, the Parsi priests resisted training of Mobedyars until some open-minded priests were convinced of the need to break the roadblock for Behdins, considering the growing shortage of practicing priests.
Not accepting people who voluntarily choose to learn and adopt the teachings of Zarathushtra, without evaluating each case, is another practice of ultra-conservatives, that is against Zarathushtra’s teachings of equality.
Most ultra-reformists claim to restrict their prayers and beliefs to the Gathas only, but even some of them interpret what is written in the Gathas without questioning, thinking independently, and understanding in the proper context.Some ultra-reformists justify their choice without thinking about the rightness of their choice, claiming that there is no specific restriction related to their choice in the Gathas.
For example, choosing not to cover the head and remove shoes in the prayer room of a community center in violation of posted rules would be wrong in the spirit of the Gathas, if done without questioning and understanding that the rule helps retain cleanliness by preventing loose hair falling and dirt from shoes worn outside.
The largest populations of Zarathushtis are generally flexible and more open-minded about racial and ritual purity. However, not having adequate knowledge about Zarathusthtra’s teachings in the Gathas, historical practices of the religion in Iran, they often tend to go along in public, with the opinions of the vocal ultra-conservatives or ultra-reformists in order to avoid controversy and ostracism.
Even those from priestly families who were trained in ritual performances as children (due to the wishes of the parents), and decide to practice priesthood, usually tend to go along with the preferences of whoever is in power socially or of giving compensation for their services. Due to poor compensation and lack of benefits for most priests, only those who lack adequate education and opportunity to pursue lucrative careers become practicing priests and that too part-time with a second job outside. Last year, two new Daremehers were inaugurated, and Mobedyars were not invited to sit with the Ervads (from priest families) to perform Groundbreaking Jashan and Inauguration Jashan rituals, and the mainstream community kept quiet about it.
This is against the teachings of Zarathushtra about speaking up against injustice and blind faith. Training of priests in India/Pakistan has been limited to some basic religious education and memorization and recital of ritual prayers without understanding the meanings of the prayers. Most recently there has been some additional information being offered to priests called EmpoweringMobeds in the form of seminars. There are only a handful of priests who have learned Avesta and Pahlavi languages and appointed as High Priests of Atashbehrams in India/Pakistan. Not knowing the meaning of what one is reciting in prayers goes against Zarathushtra’s teachings of gaining a thorough understanding of his teachings.
Zarathushtis have generally retained basic ethics of honesty and charity that have earned them high respect and trust from the people in India, Pakistan and Iran. There is a general belief in good thoughts, good words, and good deeds that is carried forward to the children, and a continued observance of festival days like Nowruz, Ghahambars, etc. that brings the community together on those occasions. Involvement in interfaith organizations and events is helping educate other communities about our faith.
In order to motivate our youth to continue the practice of the Zarathushti religion, we need to teach our history, so that they know that we are not some small cult but inheritors of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic faiths that once was the majority religion of Iran. We also need to welcome Mobedyars (Behdin Pasbans as known in India) and encourage anyone (man or woman) who wishes to serve the community as priests. We need to develop scholars who study Avesta, Pahlavi, and share their knowledge with the community via periodic lectures. We need to develop pastoral service by priests who can provide religion based counseling to individuals experiencing high stress situations.
And, we need to accept non-Zarathushtis who come to us and wish to learn about our religion and wish to practice our religion, after some screening.
Maneck Bhujwala was born in Bombay, India, to Navroji and Meherbai. He got his Bachelor in Engineering from India, and M.S. and M.B.A. in USA. He co-founded the Zoroastrian Association of California in Los Angeles in 1974, and Zarthushti Anjuman of Northern California in 1980. He currently works as a licensed real estate consultant, serves the community as a priest, and is President of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council.Maneck has contributed articles in FEZANA Journal and WZO’s Hamazor magazine, and coordinated religion classes for adults. He also transliterates and translates the Shahnameh to English poetry form and distributes a page a month on the internet with Persian, Gujerati and English versions. Maneck lives in Huntington Beach.
Posted 8th December 2018 by California Zoroastrian Center
Published in Chehrehnama 188
Fravardin is the first month of the Zoroastrian calendar and very appropriately so because the month is dedicated to the Fravashi or Farohar, which is the prototype of all creation. In the Zoroastrian tradition while invoking Fravardin, we use the epitaph Farokh which means fortunate and happy. In our prayers we recite, “Mah Farokh Fravardin” meaning the happy and fortunate month of Fravardin. Indeed, what a wonderfully appropriate epitaph for the very first month of the year. A month of good fortune, happiness and dedicated to Holy Fravashis, often described as the guardian spirit.
Fravashi is somewhat similar to the Pitri of the Hindus or the Manes of the Romans and Greeks – the Beneficent Spirit. Zoroastrians view Fravashi or Farohar as a Divine Essence, which is wholly pure and good. It is not to be confused with the Ruwan or soul. The Avestan word Fravashi comes from the word “Fra” (to take forward) and “vaksh” (to grow). In other words, Fravashi is that spiritual essence or power that takes every good creation of Ahura Mazda forward and helps it to grow.
Fravashi is also a prototype, which is believed to have existed before the material creation. Even Ahura Mazda and His Divine Energies, the Amesha Spentas and the Yazatas, are said to have their own fravashi. Plants, animals, mountains and rivers also have their own fravashi. They are guardian spirits of the souls of the dead and protect and guide the souls of the living, as well.
The Parab of Fravardin
Roj Fravardin of Mah Fravardin marks the day when devout Zoroastrians head for the Dokhma or Aramgah in their city, town or village to offer prayers to the Fravashi of their dear departed. One could say it is observed as the Zoroastrian “All Souls’ Day” or more appropriately the day dedicated to the collective ‘Holy Spirit’ of all creation.
Prayers Offered: Usually a Jashan is performed where members of the community participate, often in very large numbers. This is usually followed by a Hum Bandagi or a mass congregational prayer to propitiate the Holy Fravashis. Individually, devotees usually pray the Stum no Kardooffering fruits and food items to the Fravashi of their dear departed. Many also pray the Fravardin Yasht or hymn to the Holy and Righteous Fravashis.
In the very first week of the month of Fravardin there are several significant days:
In the Zoroastrian religious tradition, the day of twenty-four hours is divided into five watches called Gah. The first watch of the day from sunrise to noon for example is the Havan Gah. The second watch of the day from noon to early evening is Rapithwan Gah and so on. Rapithwan is the second watch of the day. However, it is observed only from the first day of the New Year (Roj Hormuzd of Mah Fravardin) to the last day of the seventh month (i.e. up to Roj Aneran of Mah Meher). From Roj Horuzd of the eighth month of Avan to the day of the last Gatha we observe the second Havaninstead of Rapithwan. In other words, we observe the Rapithwan Gah for only seven out of the twelve months of the Zoroastrian calendar.
It is an old tradition from the time when we lived way up north and the days were shorter and hence we prayed the ‘Second Havan’ or Havan extended right through Rapithwan. Currently with our calendars gone haywire and our living in various Zones, North to South, all this would seem out of context. However, traditionally, starting from the month of Fravardin we can pray Rapithvin Gah till the month of Avan which earlier in history was autumn and Rapithwi (The energy of warmth) symbolically went underground to protect roots and life through the cold winter.
Also, although we observe the Rapithwan Gah from New Year’s Day, the consecration (Eejavanu)ceremony of this Gah is generally performed on the third day of the New Year, (or Roj Ardibehest of Mah Fravardin). The ceremony involves the regular Ijashne (or ‘Yasna’ of 72 chapters) with emphasis on the Lord/Divinity of Rapithwan and omission of certain phrases invoking the Lords/Divinities of the other Gahs.
One of the reasons why this ceremony is performed on Roj Ardibehest is because the Khshnuman (dedicatory formula) of Rapithwan is quite similar to the Khshnuman of the day of Ardibehesht.However, the Boiwala Priests of Atash Behram consecrate the Rapithwan on Roj Hormuzd itself to acquire amal (ritual power) for performing Boi during the full seven months in the Rapithwan Gah. Consecrating the ‘Rapithwan’ is considered an important religious duty.
Among Zoroastrian Yashts (hymns) Fravardin is the longest with 158 verses. It mainly propitiates the Righteous Fravashis. Throughout the Yasht we pray: “Ashaaunaam vanguhish suraao spentaao fravashayao yazamaidé” which means: “We remember with reverence the holy, good, brave, prosperity giving Fravashis of the Holy”
In the Fravardin Yasht, Fravashi is described as a purifier and a powerful helper of Ahura Mazda in protecting all good creations. In the Fravardin Yasht we also pray: “We worship the good, strong, beneficent Fravashis of the faithful; whose friendship is good, and who know how to benefit; whose friendship lasts long; who like to stay in the abode where they are not harmed by its dwellers; who are good, beautiful, afar, health-giving, of high renown, conquering in battle, and who never do harm.”
Cosmically, Fravashis are divided into three groups — the living, the dead, and the yet unborn. They are the force upon which Ahura Mazdā depends to maintain the cosmos against demonic forces. They protect all sacred fires and symbolically keep darkness imprisoned in the world.
We would conclude with a verse from the Fravardin Yasht which affirms: “May (they) who (are) the Fravashis of the righteous keep love over us here (i.e. in this world) quickly and verily! (And) may they come to our help! (Also) may those (Fravashis) save us, the living ones with (their) powerful help at the time of calamity! (Besides, may those Fravashis be) (our) helpers through Ahura Mazda, through the brave righteous Sraosha Yazata, and through the learned Mānthra Spenta! Which (Mānthra Spenta) is opposed to the doctrines of daevas and the messenger of Ahura Mazda, whom (the Prophet) Zarathushtra saw with the sincerest vision in the corporeal world.”
by Noshir Dadrawalla