Category Archives: History

 Ērmān ī uzvān ī pārsīg (The Society of Friends of the Pārsīg Language)

Dear Parsi Zarthosthi readers, My fellow Humdins, Sahebji to all,
I am Esfandyar Patrawalla, and I am here to speak to our community as a young, concerned Zarthosthi and an enabler of action to reverse the crisis we are facing.
As no culture or people survive without a spiritual hinge, we too must always be conscious of the fact that the Mazdayasni Zarthosthi tradition is the foundation of our entire culture and cultural consciousness. Should it disappear, so do we.
We must also recognise that our culture and spirituality are in grave danger of being lost to the sands of time.
As was noted by different eminent Parsi scholars and personalities, like Shehnaz Cama in her recently published piece in The Times of India titled “Time is running out for Parsi culture. Race to save it from extinction is on”, the time is running out and most Parsis are entirely unaware of what constitutes their spiritual system and the cultural and linguistic elements that bind them all together, in essence, like the Pārsīg language (also called Middle Persian or Pahlavi) in which many of the most important of our texts and our intellectual heritage are preserved, as well as our prayers, many of which we utter every day while doing our sudro-kusti prayers, but are unaware of the language as well as their meaning.
As Shehnaz Cama noted in the article:
“It is a crisis of memory as well as memory-keepers. The loss is at once urgent and historical. They fear that the tangible and intangible threads of their history, culture, philanthropy, and memory would vanish as well. It was the history of an entire community simply vanishing.”
The grammatical tense structure of the sentence is present-continous. As in, we are living through this decay, and this must make us tensed.
To reverse this decay and revitalise one of the pillars of the Ēr (= Mazdayasni, Iranic) spirituality, we have the great pleasure to announce the launch of “Ērmān ī uzvān ī pārsīg”, an independent project in Iranian Studies that emphasises public education and authentic practice of the Pārsīg language by using a Natural and Immersive Method.
The project, which owes its foundations to renown behdēn scholar Raham Asha, is currently coordinated and directed by Ario Sedaghat, a fellow young Iranian humdēn and a researcher in philosophy based in Milan, Italy.
For an introduction to the current work on the project, see:
The website, set to expand over the coming year, not only features materials from the Pārsīg classical corpus transcribed to the highest orthographic standards, but also presents new texts freshly written, translated, and retro-translated into Pārsīg, each serving a distinct purpose, made by our colleagues.
As for education, we have a comprehensive teaching plan involving both self-study and online lessons.
For online courses, see:
For an initial (and not final) edition of online self-study, see:
For other schedules that students can opt for based on their preferences, contact
The core purpose of Ērmān is the meticulous rehabilitation of this highly misunderstood and wrongly dismissed language as the main key to the entire spirit of Ērīh and the enormous heritage associated with it. As a group of young Iranian scholars and students, Ērmān seeks to build an online school for the Iranian public and intellectual frahang, i.e., education, that has the Daēnā Mazdayasni and its teachings as its core. This project has been in the testing phase for two years, and it is part of a larger effort in Iranian Studies (Perso-Aryan Studies) to transcend the conventional orientalistic naiveté that pervades academia and ignores many contexts and the richness of our intellectual and spiritual heritage.
There is a serious danger that the Zoroastrian community, and the Parsi community in particular, might forget everything that our ancestors and ourselves have stood for over the course of thousands of years. There will be nothing left of “Parsipannu” once the spiritual aspect of it is lost to time. We simply then devolve to the very Karapan vapid ritualists that mumbled prayers without understanding their meanings & against whom our very dear Asho Zarthost stood so defiantly to keep intact the spiritual essence of Asha and Mazdayasni Daēnā.
Thus, it is my kind request to all my fellow Parsi readers here to kindly get involved with the project and, if you find it useful, make contributions to it, either as patrons or as students enrolling to learn the language, so as to understand the contextuals of our holy Daēnā and culture.
I thank everyone for reading and supporting.
Yazdān panāh bād ud ahlāyīh bē abzāyād!
For contacting Mr. Ario Sedaghat, director and coordinator of Ērmān, email at:
The website address
For questions email
For joining in on online lessons see:
Esfandyar Patrawalla
I am also attaching images below that help navigate through the website more readily & help understand the structure:

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Learning the Pārsīg Language:
Here you will find information about our periodic online classes, the “Pārsīg in 30 Lessons” self-study program, A Concise Grammar, Dictionary and exercises for learning Pārsīg.
Mādayān | Texts:
Here you will find a selection of Pārsīg texts, from classical literature to new works written, translated or retrotranslated to Pārsīg.
Among the present works we have: The Book of the Deeds of Ardašēr, the Memorial of Vazurgmihr, the Jāmāspīg; stories from Aesop, ʿAwfī’s Collections of Stories,…
Māhrōz | History:
Here you will find historical works such as Pārsīg inscriptions and texts relating to the traditional history of Iran, and research about the historical narrative in relation to the religious & royal institutions, and Iranians’ bipartite ideology to these two institutions.
Dānišn | Sciences:
Here you will find works about the sciences in Ērānšahr, ranging from encyclopedia-writing, logic and philosophy to cosmology, astronomy and medicine.
 āfrīn ud jašn | Benedictions and Feasts:
Here you can find texts and researches related to benedictory formulas and rituals of Iranian festivities, banquets and such.
A selection of extant Pārsīg poems; a set of translations into Pārsīg from modern Iranian languages like Farsi, Luri, Ādari etc., and more.

Bhikha Behram Well in Mumbai


Bhikha Behram Well in Bombay.
The story goes that a Parsi named Bhikhaji Behramji, came to Mumbai on foot from Broach (Bharuch in Gujarat) to seek his fortune sometime around the year 1715. A penniless Bhikhaji was captured by the Marathas who mistook him for a Muslim. At that time, the Marathas were at war with the Sultans of Gujarat.  He was imprisoned in a fortress called Pandegad. He was later released when he convinced his captors that he was a Parsi.  In the course of time Bhikhaji became a successful merchant having his business at “Angrez Bazaar’’ now known as Horniman Circle. As a token of his gratitude, he sank the well named after him in 1725. The nearly 300-year-old Bhika Behram well near Churchgate station in south Mumbai is a landmark heritage religious site and perhaps the oldest sweet water well in the city.

Chronicles of Cyrus the Great

Greetings Friends and Colleagues,

Rahavard ( ره آورد ) Persian-English Quarterly Journal has published its Fall 2023 as a special issue on Cyrus the Great (October 29 is Cyrus the Great Day).

I am glad to say that my article (“Chronicles of Cyrus the Great”) is included in this special issue of the journal. I am attaching the article for your information. Hopefully you will find it informative and interesting.

Thank you very much for your attention  and best wishes,

Rasoul Sorkhabi

Rasoul Sorkhabi, Ph.D.

University of Utah

Tel. 801-587-9070



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Iraq dig unearths 2,700-year-old winged sculpture largely intact | AFP

A dig in northern Iraq has unearthed a 2,700-year-old alabaster sculpture of the winged Assyrian deity Lamassu, which was found largely intact despite its large dimensions. Only the head was missing, which was already in the collection of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad after being confiscated by customs officers from smugglers in the 1990s. The sculpture escaped destruction by Islamic State jihadists which overran the area in 2014, thanks to the city’s residents who hid it before fleeing to government-held areas.


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Chilpak Dakhma – Uzbekistan

Zoroastrian Tower of Silence – 2200 Years OLD !
The Zoroastrian sky burial of the dead.
Chilpak is an architectural monument of the ancient Khorezm period,  situated on the banks of the Amu Darya river in the Chilpik region of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.
MR.Farrokhi Bengali visited this Dakhma driving down on his way from Khiva to Nukus – a distance of approx 200 kms – 4 hours drive.
Located 45 km away from Nukus City, and 160 kms from Khiva City,
a rough 4×4 wheel drive thru the desert, is an expedition in itself, specially if you visit it in summer, in the scorching heat of 40+ deg.
It is an ancient Zoroastrian Tower of Silence thought to be the earliest example of the traditional funerary ritual, constructed somewhere between the 1st century BCE and 1st century CE.
The Zoroastrians used it for burial of the dead.
The age of this ancient Zoroastrian monument – Dakhma is more than 2200 years.

Zoroastrianism, The Great Deluge, Human History I Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia I The iRonik Show

We have done a few episodes on Hinduism and our spiritual history, going ahead we do want to understand about other religions from the experts. We have Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia with us who is one of the foremost spokesperson on Zoroastrianism and a researcher on ancient Iranian languages. Dr. Karanjia is a M.A., Ph. D. in Avesta-Pahlavi from St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai, and serves as the Principal of Dadar Athornan Institute. In this podcast we spoke about the history of Zoroastrianism, where and how the religion began, the great flood which wiped out the human race. We also discussed about the Parsi community, their declining population. We tried to understand Zoroastrian belief when it comes to god, meditation, spirits and procreation.

Why are Parsees called ‘BAWA’ or BAWAJI?’

*Khan Bahadur Nasarvanji Rustomji Vatcha (1866-1931)* of Surat was a Jail Superintendent posted at Sabarmati Jail. He would give kind and sympathetic treatment to prisoners transforming them into honourable men. Thus, he won the hearts of prisoners. Once Vatcha saheb protected a prisoner from Death Sentence on the occassion of the coronation of King George V. The prisoner was also released. Mr. Vatcha would enter prisons without police baton & revolver even during his night shifts. During such visits any cry of pain or complaint that reached his ears used to receive immediate and best attention. Prisoners looked upto him as a *Father-figure” each time bending down, laying their heads on his feet calling him *Bawaji* to show their affection. This humble Parsee left such a magnificent impression of his compassionate nature that members from other communities began addressing every Parsee as ‘Bawaji’ meaning ‘Father-figure’

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