Category Archives: Good Minds

Invitation – The Good Mind – Nurturing Nature – A Zoroastrian Perspective on Sustainable Development




Please join us on the Sun, 18 Sep 2022 at 8am PST, 11am ET, 4pm UK, 8.30pm IST, 11pm SGT Meeting ID: 820 3398 4161 Passcode: GOODMIND

We will highlight the concept of the Queen’s Green Canopy project

There will be an address by Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL


The Good Mind – Nurturing Nature, a reciprocal relationship for the Good of Individuals and the Collective The Nurturing Nature is the nature of the ‘Fravashi’ – that essence of Ahura Mazda in every aspect of Creation.

Dr. Shirin Madon is an Associate Professor at the London School of Economics and teaches courses on technology in the development and humanitarian sectors. She carries out research studying community health governance structure, and on digital identity platforms for refugee management. She seeks to understand the value of the innovation for organisations managing humanitarian assistance, for partner organisations and affected communities.

In this session Shirin will draw on her ongoing research on primary healthcare in Karnataka to highlight the importance of community engagement during acute crises such as COVID-19 and routine public health priorities while improving understanding of the term ‘resilience’.

Ervad Tehemton Mirza: volunteers religious and spiritual services to Zoroastrians in South Western Ontario and Michigan. He has published articles on Zoroastrianism, spoken on Zoroastrian topics and teaches courses at the NAMC Institute of Zoroastrian studies. He currently serves as the President of the North American Mobeds Council and heads the NAMC Institute of Zoroastrian Studies. CPA by profession, he is also a marathoner.

In this talk Ervad Tehemton will discuss some of the concepts of Sustainable Development (UN 17 SDGs) in the light of the Zoroastrian Faith.

The Zoroastrian Faith includes timeless time-tested messages that inspire good actions for Happiness and Harmony which encompass all aspects of life including different aspects of Sustainable Development. These principles guide material progress while promoting Mental and Spiritual development at the Collective and Individual levels for the Good of All. The Good of All – at the Collective and Individual Level is also appreciated as the essence of all Faiths, the UN 17 SDGs, Science and good Governance among other groups of Good Thoughts and Actions. Previous webinars have formed programmes at the Parliament of the World’s Religions Recordings available.

Webinar – The Good Mind – Nurturing Nature

The Good Mind – Nurturing Nature – Zoroastrianism and Sustainable Development

Enabled by Mr. Yazdi Tantra

Co-ordinated and moderated by Dr. Karishma Koka (PhD, Neuroscience)

The Good Minds – Er. Dr. Jehan Bagli

 Ervad Dr. Jehan Bagli is Scientist and a Priest. He has been a leader in both areas of his life. He has been a Teacher of the Zoroastrian Faith both through his lectures and writing. He has made contributions to the Scientific Community and was a Distinguished Research Fellow of Wyeth/Ayrest Pharmaceutical Research.  He was the founding President of Zoroastrian Association of Quebec and the editor of Gavashni, a North American Zarathush ti publication, for 16 years and was the founding editor of FEZANA journal.   Amongst his many other distinguished contributions, most recently he was the author of ‘Zoroastrian Theology and Eschatology’ as well as the section editor for ‘Zoroastrian Religion’ for the volume “Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism” of the ‘Encyclopedia of Indian Religions’ published by Springer in 2018.

Ervad Jehan begins with his early life in Bombay and early education.
2.00  Arrival in London and Studying at the London School of Pharmacy. Moving to the USA for Post-Doctoral studies and then to Canada.
7:20  How the Force works for one if …..    On to Montreal, Back to the USA and Professional life
18:50 Role of the Fravashi.  Journey with the Zoroastrian Community – Becoming the President of the Zoroastrian Association in Montreal. Evolution of the Gavashni Journal. Making choices and commitment to learning to fulfil responsibilities.
25:53  Zoroastrianism – a Faith to be lived.
29:41 On studying different translations of the Gathas while thinking of the Prophet   Zarathushtra within the Gathas
35:39 Marriage in India and children
44:40 Journey with the NAMC

Dear Respected Karishma: 

Since you made this interesting recording a thought has been haunting me.That is about some major milestone that I overlooked in the conversation.  It was in 1999 that the then president of FEZANA Framroz Patel requested me to take over as Chair of the Research and Preservation Committee of FEZANA and I served as the Chair of that Committee for the next 16 years. It was during that tenure that myself in collaboration of Ervad Adi Unwala produced the four books of the series Understanding and Practice, for Jashan, Navjote and Wedding,Obsequies, and Concise Naavar Ceremony. It was in 2017 that i relinquished as Chair of the committee.

I was fortunate to be selected for the FEZANA Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. I was interested not only to serve our community but also humanity at large. So when I retired in 1997I immediately started volunteering at the hospital. I have volunteered at Princeton Medical Centerin New Jersey, Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, and Toronto East General in Toronto. I stopped volunteering in 2019 when my wife needed care and attention.

The Good Minds – Bachi & Dinshaw Tamboly



Starting with  – Early childhood, Mr. Dinshaw Tamboly on meeting his wife Bachi – his childhood sweetheart. 

3:30   Professional lives. Research and Philanthropy: Forming teams.

13:50  Progressing and ACTION: working collaboratively with people 

18:00 Solving problems – with foresight for future development with flexibility.

21:00  An idea — over a thousand cups of tea…  Discussion to outcome – building communities. 

24:10  The growth of poverty and a loss of population

27:30  The development of interconnected care-centres. Further growth.

30:20  The role of Divinity – the Sanjaan sanitorium; Belief, Vision to mission Self -sustaining. 

33:50  Dinshaw explains further – the role of transparency in working with public funds.

36:31  The role of the International organisations – due-diligence towards furthering welfare.

41:33 Making others stronger – a satisfying journey. 

44:40 On criticism – ‘If you throw a brick at me – it lands as a rose’; Working with the Athornan Mandal for for our Respected full time Mobeds. 

49:52 Forward thinking, practical approach and team spirit …watch this space. 

51:32 Responding in the Now – Science and Knowledge.

56:44 Facilitating a World wide approach. 

57:49 On overcoming challenges and building a Fellowship; From adversity creating opportunity. 

1:00:45 The Legacy and onwards – being Dinshaw Papa and Bachi Mama to the family and the World Zoroastrian Community. 

BA (Economics), B.Com (Accounting & Audit),
Partner in family business Mazda Elevator Co for many years,
Proprietor of three textile showrooms at Navsari.
Trustee in WZO Trusts and Mancherji E. Joshi Education Trust.

Masters in Sales & Modern Marketing Management.
Served in corporate sector for many years and thereafter started consultancy services providing management and marketing related business consultancy services, to various leading Indian corporations in developing and promoting exports to the sophisticated markets on the continents of North America & Europe.
Trustee in WZO Trusts and various other Trusts.

Both believe they have been truly blessed by divinity to have been given the opportunity to get involved in uplifting lives of those challenged in various ways.

Grateful thanks to Dr. Karishma Koka for her enthusiastic and tireless efforts always!

Comment from Maharukh Chichgar –

The Good Mind – Nurturing Nature – Zoroastrianism and Sustainable Development

Please find attached the invitation and poster for the special webinar in the Series ‘The Good Mind – Nurturing, Nature – A Zoroastrian Perspective on Sustainable Development for Progress Together at 8am PST, 11am EST, 4pm BST, 8.30pm IST on Sunday 25 July 2021.

Passcode: GOODMIND

As I understand it Prophet Asho Zarathushtra  shows us a holistic manner of Progressing Together with Happiness and Harmony, while taking good action with the wisdom of the Good Mind to please the ‘Soul of the Universe’.  

The Good Mind – Nurturing Nature – A Zoroastrian Perspective on Sustainable Development seeks to understand this further with the help of Scientists, Scholars and Priests, who are requested to share their understanding with us.

With much gratitude to you for your kindness in helping to share the Knowledge given by Asho Zarathushtra and increase awareness of the Zoroastrian Faith in the World, so that we can achieve a Fellowship with All and with Nature.

Look forward to your kind presence at this event.

Also, kindly share as you deem suitable with all including Universities, Inter-Faith organisations.

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Abstract: The great strength of the Zoroastrian faith is that it enjoins the caring of the physical worldnot merely to seek spiritual salvation, but because human beings, as the purposeful creation ofAhura Mazda, are seen as the natural motivators or overseers of the Seven Creations, namely,sky, water, earth, plants, animals, humans and fire. As the only conscious creation, humans have theultimate task of caring for the universe. The faith endorses the caring of Seven Creations, as part of asymbiotic relationship. Zoroastrianism sees the physical world as a natural matrix of Seven Creationsin which life and growth are interdependent if harmony and perfection are to be the final goal. Thisgoal is to be achieved by recreating the primeval unity of a perfect world, unpolluted and unsullied,as was first conceived by Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord.

In the context of the Good Mind – Nurturing Nature our panelists will share their thoughts:

Khojeste, will highlight some principles, anchored in Zoroastrian doctrine and practice, that are foundational to sustainable development when harmony and perfections are to be the final goal.

Farrokh, will relate what Khojeste shares by way of natural matrix of the seven creations to UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how these are put into practice by a Social Entrepreneur, Ashok Das, of SunMoksha in India.

The Good Minds Project – Roshan & Rohinton Rivetna

Today, we start a series of interviews with stalwarts in our community – those who have worked hard and done us proud over the years.

The Good Minds project celebrates the people of good action who have brought happiness to the lives of others through their work. We seek to share the inspiration from their progressive thought, acknowledge the good work and inspire future generations to continue in their footsteps. It is our way of showing gratitude for their colossal work, sacrifices and successes to grow the community in more ways than one.

Our first episode features Roshan & Rohinton Rivetna of Chicago. Come, enjoy & appreciate their journey!

Start to 9:21 – Roshan Rivetna: Growing up.
9:21 – 14:12 – Rohinton Rivetna: childhood and academic journey. Perseverance and what a monkey can teach us.
14:12 – 19:40 – On meeting each other, overcoming challenges, marriage, early quiet leadership
19:40 – 23:14 – Rohinton’s inspiration, early quiet leadership
23:12 -29:52 – Rohinton furthering his academic journey -decisiveness … turning point… on to London.
29:52 – 35:10 – Cycling through Europe and camping – losing a passport.
35:10 – 45:10 – Applying for jobs – interviews.  Moving to Calcutta. Motorcycle ride to through Europe in Winter…through passes in the mountain… unforeseen circumstances.
45:10 onwards – Calcutta – job in a manufacturing industry, back to England, then… Thoughts to serve the Community.

Start to 12:57 – Roshan Riventna on arriving in Chicago 1966 and an experience with salesmanship.
12:57 – 17:26 – Difficulties and Happiness. Doing what you like is freedom  – liking what you do is happiness
17:26 – 19:26 – Roshan on Community and the Diaspora
19:26 – 27:41 Rohinton on ‘A Privilege to serve the Community’ and Leadership in the Community. Living the Zarathushti Religion in Actions. Leadership Disarming opposition and working together
27.41  – 34:29 – working in line with Asho Zarathushtra’s guidance – Finding ways to Harmonise/ welcoming difference in opinions to improve one’s own viewpoint and solution finding. Implementing Yasna 29.3, 30.2 and 51.5
34:29 – 37:30 – Respecting peoples self-esteem and working together, and dealing with negative opinions- learning from everything. SEEK COOPERATION NOT CONFRONTATION.
37:30 – 48:00 –  Roshan on the details of Community effort structure. Rohinton on finding peace among religions. POWR details. Learning and understanding and respect for each other.
48:00- 51:25 – Different organizations. Plant the seed, nurture it .. step back and let it grow and flourish. Nudge at appropriate times not tinker/disturb. Start the system right…for it to last: from ASHA to AMEERATAT – the Amesha Spentas in action
51:25 – 58:30 – Congress 1973 Bringing the World community together. Proper pyramid. Then realized in 2005 – Coming together RoundTable London. Finally in Dubai – meeting to organize -floated the idea of Global Working Group – Building organically – formalizing. Bringing people together with Vohu Manah – The Good Mind in action.
58:30 – 1:05:30 American story brief and formalizing things within. Global Council of Zoroastrians Trust. Formation of the Atash Kadeh. Importance of building a property rather than transforming. Dar-E-Meher – errors and corrections. Absence of sanctosanctorum. Subtle messages to the next generation through structure of the Dar-E-Meher if religion rituals are given only a small area, while main hall is given for Community activities – how to make that change… discussed to transform people’s thinking. Aatash Kadeh – nomenclature – getting it right.
1:05:30 – 1:09:30 – clarification of Aatash Kadeh vs Dar-E-Meher – What do you want future generations to understand about the Zarathushti Daena. Dar-E-Meher is the proper term whether Dadgah, Adaran or Aatash Behram. While the Community Centre is kept for Community events the building of places of Prayer need to be built. Hamonising rather than sameness.
1:09:30 – 1:13:56 – Clarification of the name Dar-E-Meher further. Levels of consecration of fire also needs to be recognized within the overall nomenclature. Respecting Specificity despite different names. Houston is going to be a Dadgah. Ceremonies in the future – the nomenclature.
1:13:56 – 1:26:11 – WZCC: With Homi Davier, Kobad Zarolia and Sarosh Collector writing the WZCC charter. World congress 2000- officially announced and had first meeting ZCC. Concept of chaordic organization. Pervez Varzavand organized Iran chapter. Meeting Yazdi Tantra and working together.
1:26:11 – 1:33:42 – The Core of the Community – When priests are well respected – everything else falls into place. A model for the Community – Hong Kong and Neville Shroff for sustaining activities. Strengthening the Core of the community the Priests need to be well looked after with respect. The Resident Priest is the Key Person in the Community – care and respect is important. Engaging people the Potential, the drive and the philanthropy
1:33:42 – 1:38:20 – A discussion on infrastructure and services.  Tapping into the potential of the young Zarathushtis. Feeling the Responsibility and growing the Community. Collective giving and the tradition of respect.
1:38:20 to end –  Demographic study and the future : Roshan Rivetna explains.

0 – 4:54 – Roshan Rivetna explains the initial journey – theirs and the Zoroastrian Community.
4:54 – 13:38 – Rohinton’s vision : Five major institutions of Human kind – and how to implement what we build into these building blocks. Governance – associations …  Religion – Rituals, scriptures, Ministry. Business and Commerce – WZCC; Education – SSZ – vision for the American Academy of Religions. Peace through Religion, Interfaith work.
13:38 – 23:00 – Roshan : Demographics, the Diaspora and making a home away from home and ….Badam ni Boi
Working on matching people – an effort at helping people make homes.
23:00 to the endOn their wonderful children – the Legacy being carried forward.

Grateful thanks to Dr. Karishma Koka for her enthusiastic and tireless efforts to bring this to reality!

Webinar – The Good Mind – Nurturing Nature

Biographies of speakers:
Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia, is a Zoroastrian priest, author, teacher, speaker and researcher. He presently serves as the Principal of Dadar Athornan Institute, a training school for Parsi priests. He has done his MA and Ph.D from Bombay University in Avesta-Pahlavi languages.
Noshir Dadrawala is the CEO Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy (CAP) through which he offers compliance related advisory to nonprofits and corporate social initiatives and has several international affiliations. He has authored several books. He is a trustee of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet and the Boyce Agiary and has been writing in Parsi publications on matters of religion, history and culture, and giving talks.
Mrs. Jerou Panthaki RamMohan is an alternative medical practitioner, educator and Life Coach. Working honorarily for several decades for the good of Health and Humanity, she spreads happiness and good health. As a Learning and Development Mentor, Jerou works to catalyse the growth of individuals.
Dr. (Ms.) Rashneh N. Pardiwala is an Ecologist from the University of Edinburgh having specialized during her MSc and PhD in the field of Climate Change. She is the Founder & Director of the Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE), a Mumbai-based not-for-profit organization that works to promote environmental sustainability through formal education, government collaborations, corporate partnerships and public awareness campaigns.
Ervad Zarrir Bhandara: Humanitarian Zoroastrian Priest Serving the Community since the last 49 Years on an HONORARY Basis, who also Happens to be a 5th degree Karate Black belt, who has Saved over 1,380 Lives by Donating his own Blood Platelets and Plasma
Ervad Zerxis Z. Bhandara is a 25 year old ordained navar (2006) and martab (2007). He is wel versed in the practice of all Zoroastrian outer liturgies and additionally performs the inner liturgical baj ritual regularly. His Life’s passion has always been the study and understanding of religion. Other than mobedi he has perused an education in the fied of religion and completed his BA in Religions Studies from UC Santa Barbara in 2018.
Dr. Hanoz Santoke is a professor of chemistry at California State University, Bakersfield. He is active in the Zoroastrian community in California, helped organize the 7th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress in Los Angeles in 2019, and is the co-chair of FEZANA’s Information Technology committee.
Ervad Dr. Jehan Bagli is an ordained Zoroastrian priest. He was a founding member and President of Zoroastrian Association of Quebec. He has lectured extensively on numerous topics of Zoroastrianism at North American Zoroastrian Congresses in Toronto, Chicago, California, Vancouver, and Philadelphia and at various Anjumans in N.America and abroad.
Edul Daver is a Powder Metallurgist by education. Owner/President/ Entrepreneur by profession. His passion is extolling the virtues of Entrepreneurship to the next generation. Currently Global President of WZCC, ZFN Core Team and Trustee of Zarathushti Entrepreneurship Development Foundation (ZEDF). He believes that todays global warming & environmental challenges and UN’s sustainable development goals can only be solved by entrepreneurship.
Mobed Mehraban Firouzgary is one of the most highly respected senior most Zarathushti Priests and also teaches students and Priests of the Faith. He is an Industrial Electronics Engineer by Profession. He is lauded for his articles on several aspects of Zoroastrianism and serves as the Marriage Registrar for Zarathushtis in Iran. He has been a most respected representative at InterFaith events Globally

Co-ordinated by Karishma Koka (PhD, Neuroscience), founder Ba Humata