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Tappeh Mill – one of Iran’s oldest temples

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One of the oldest Zoroastrian temples of Iran – Tappeh Mill (literally – a mill hill), also known as the Bahram fire temple  – sits majestically on the hill near Ghal’eh Noe Village not far from the city of Rey. It was named ‘Mil Hill’ due to the distant similarity of the two main structures with the mill.

Archaeologists say that the temple was built during the Sassanid Dynasty (224 to 651 AD), but it is not possible to find out the exact time of its foundation. This is the reason why scientists cannot establish which Zoroastrian temple in Iran is the most ancient – perhaps it’s the Bahram temple. One way or another, there is an opinion that it was built even earlier – during the Achaemenid Empire (550 BC–330 BC), and was destroyed during Alexander the Great’s conquest of Iran.
The Zoroastrian temple is a place to keep sacred fire, which as attended by Zoroastrians wearing white clothes – a sign of their ritual purity. During the reign of the Sassanid Empire, Zoroastrianism became the state religion, as a result of which the number of such temples in Iran increased significantly. However, after the advent of Islam, Zoroastrian temples fell into decay.
The temple is built of brick, clay and egg white mortar. There was a large hall with columns inside, divided into three parts. The sacred fireplace burnt in the eastern part of the temple with high vault (iwan) and four round columns. After more than a thousand years, geometrically patterned plaster reliefs, reliefs with floral and animal motifs still can be seen on the walls of the temple. Such a choice of images was dictated by the traditional design of Zoroastrian temples of those times.
Despite the presence of protective structures, the temple was somewhat damaged due to strong winds in 2017. The temple was closed for reconstruction, and now it is – renewed and restored – ready to meet tourists again.

The Right Left Wing

Heyy,
Four of the best singers in the community have come together to form a band,
The Right Left Wing 🎤🎸 who will be debuting at Wings ‘19, at the Rustom Baug Grounds on the 17th of November, 7 pm onwards.
With food counters like SodaBottleOpenerWala, Quintessential Desserts, Dosas, Kebabs and more!🍕🧁
OPEN FOR ALL AND ENTRY FREE

Remembering the contribution of Indians (including Zoroastrians) in WWI

Presentation made by Malcolm Deboo to the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group on Monday 3rd December 2018 titled:
“Remembering the immense contribution and sacrifice made by Indians including Zoroastrians who served the King Emperor and Great Britain during the First World War”.
 
Courtesy : Malcolm Deboo and Marazban Giara
 
 
 
 

Sanjan Day – 16 November 2019

#Jame #Parsi #event

SANJAN DAY ON NOV 16

 

This year’s annual Sanjan Day celebrations will be held on Saturday, November 16, roj Bahman mah Tir, 1389 Y.Z., at Sanjan. All Parsis are invited!

 

Sanjan Day celebrations will start at 8 a.m. with a Jashan performed by the Mobeds of Nargol, Saronda and other areas. At 9 a.m. a second Jashan will be performed, followed by a Humbandagi of the all-powerful two Yatha Ahu Vairyo and one Ashem Vohu.

 

Thereafter, a short community programme will commence, ending with a sumptuous Parsi meal! 

 

Gujarat Express and Flying Ranee will halt at Sanjan on Sanjan Day in both directions (courtesy: Western Railway).

 

Do support with donations sent via cheque in favour of: ‘Sanjan Memorial Column Local Committee’ c/o Bapsy Daviervala, Khan Bahadur’s Bungalow, Sanjan 396150 (phone number: 0260-2576229).

Cyrus the Great – Father of the Persian Empire

The Bronze Statue Of
“CYRUS THE GREAT”
Father of Persian Empire,
Sponsored & Manufactured By:
 Behnam Abadian Saxton Industrial Inc.
& on Oct 27th, 2019 Was Dedicated To:
“Zoroastrian Cultural Center in Los Angeles”
Statue of The
GLORIOUS KING CYRUS
Who Freed Jews From Egypt & Sent Them Home to Rebuild Their Temple in Jerusalem, Is An
EMBODIMENT of HUMANITY’S EVOLVEMENT,
& A Source of Inspiration for Those Who Value
HUMAN RIGHTS
CYRUS HERITAGE COMMITTEE
Behnam Abadian President & Manufacturer of the Statue
Sholeh Shams Shahbaz: Committee Chair
Khayatbashi: Program Director

From A mobed’s heart to mobeds’ hearts

 

The following speech was delivered by Ervad Zarrir Bhandara at the Rippon Club Mumbai on Saturday November 2nd, 2019.  “Mobed’s Heart to Mobeds’ Hearts” event. This event was organized by the Global Health Guru and the Holistic Health Coach Dr. Mickey Mehta. The young and dynamic BPP trustee Mr. Viraf Mehta was the chief guest and Dr. Ervad Ramiyar Karanjia principal of Dadar Athornan Madressa was the guest of honor. This event was attended by about 20 mobeds which included the ex principal of Cama Athornan Madressa Ervad Kersi Karanjia.
Dr. Mickey Mehta thanked everyone and requested Mr. Viraf Mehta to introduce the speaker Mobed Zarrir.
Zarrir started his presentation by asking all present to hold each other’s hands and requested Ramiyar to lead the Hum bandagi of 2 Yatha and 1 Ashem Vohu.
Zarrir thanked everyone present and asked the audience how are you feeling? Then asked them to shake hands with the person on their right and left saying “I am a great Mobed and so are you”
He asked who are we. -Mobed which comes from the word Magu- Paiti, the word magic comes from the word the Magis- our ancestors who were able to perform super natural things due to the power of prayers combined with the knowledge of Astrology, Astronomy and Alchemy, we were  the teachers, leaders and role models of our Society what happened? What went wrong? How come the people who were once looked up to are looked down upon? How can we bring the faith of our community back into our own religion? We the priests are the back bone of our community.
 How do we shape the will of the community without shaking the spirit which will bring about the life time of transformation?
What is our role and responsibility? Before we examine our role, we need to start FEELING GOOD because when we feel good, we can do good. How do we feel good? He emphasized on the importance of mindfulness and the mental faculty as taught by our prophet Zarathushtra in the Gathas by quoting”For the uncontrolled, there is no wisdom, nor is the power of concentration without concentration there is no peace of mind and without peace of mind how can there be happiness.”- Zen in the Martial Arts, Bhadwad Geeta and Gathas
We have to realize that we are very privileged to be in this profession as this is the most noble profession “Mobedi Pesho, A ek dam uttam pesho che”. Provided it is practiced correctly. He asked many questions and fortunately or unfortunately it was only Dr. Ervad Ramiyar Karanjia was able to answer his questions. He asked which is the outer ritual in which, we enact the role of Ahura Mazda Himself, bringing about the blessings from the spirit world to the physical world. Namely, the Jashan/Afringan, what could be of more significance than this. (Thus boosting the self esteem of mobeds).
It is also a great responsibility as we are the mediator between the worlds by means of rituals.
Talking about ethics, he quoted “If you are true to the art the art will be true to you” Hanshi Vispy Bahadur Kapadia- my Karate teacher. Here instead of art I would say profession. Instead of chasing money, be a true service provider and the money will chase you. It is necessary to pray with proper pronunciation to create desire effect and initiate communication with the spirit world by means of vibrations.
We priests need to be steadfastly dedicated to proper performance and pronunciation, show that we care about what we are doing by being caring and loving by investing our feelings in our prayers  and performing rituals, rather than just performing mechanically and yes, there are no shortcuts to it. Do it right or don’t do it at all.
Also it is important to acquire correct knowledge of performing rituals, especially the higher inner liturgies- PavMahal ni kriya  and here in India you are blessed to have stalwarts likes Dasturji Dr.Firoze Kotwal a living legend, a reservoir of knowledge, Dr. Ervad Ramiyar Karanjia, Dr. Ervad Roointon Pir, Dr. Ervad Parvez Bajan, Mobed Aspandiar Dadachanji more.
 Further equip yourself with scholarly and Esoteric knowledge by reading Kangajis/ Taraporewalla’s, Daboo’s, JamaspAsa’s, Kotwal’s and also books on Kshnoom which will make the rituals more meaningful  to yourself and you can explain the significance of the same to others. Take the example of performing a Kusti which you know it’s a purification ritual, you can compare it with running a Virus scan before downloading any program in the hard drive. Essentially, you are cleaning your astral body- aura- removing impurities thus making room and becoming receptive to receive blessings from the spirit world by first reciting the 101 names of Ahura Mazda, which are His qualities which we download in ourselves thus becoming like Him as we all are made in His image. Further, when we make two loops reciting Manashni, Gavashni and Kunashni, which signifies the two worlds namely the physical and spiritual with a bridge in between signifying that when we traverse through this bridge of separator, we take with and leave in this world only the thoughts, words and deeds that we performed. Hence, it is so important to lead an ethical life.
Think priestly duties as divine privilege, even if charging money, put your best effort into it, be disciplined, be dedicated, be devoted. Do it from your heart (etekad sathe) thus breaking this vicious cycle of carefree priests which influences the community to be careless about their religion.
 Also if you are in any other profession apply the good things from those professions into your priestly duties to compliment your priestly duties to make you a better priest. For example I being in the field of Martial Arts, every time we block or punch has to be a better than the previous one similarly, every time I perform ritual it has to be better than my previous one. Also, being an ex model I know how important it is to look good. Hence, as a mobed you should look presentable and pleasant, so that you can be willingly and easily approached. Also, having a background in alternative medicine- helps me to do spiritual healing- combining Mathra and Mithra. Being an electrician, I know how important the connection is, which helped me to make sure that I am connected with the ground – Earthing and with the implements to be consecrated and at the same time also forming a connection between the laity-the physical world and their dear departed ones-the spirit world thus completing a circuit.
When you include ethics as the most important component in your priestly duties and in life, and live your prayers then you are the one more than anyone else, who is going to benefit the most by progressing in both worlds physical and spiritual.
He shared his success story and how his life was saved through power of prayers after a traumatic road accident and also his Journey as a priest giving credit to Athravan Education Trust.
Start educating people with simple yet important things like Sudreh and Kusti the golden tools as mentioned in Khorshed and Meher Niyaesh “Zarvanem Surem Yazamaide”
The key principle to follow is the principal of Asha- righteousness in all your endeavors to be full of Asha HOPE.
When you follow Asha for the sake of Asha Righteousness, you experience Ushta Happiness the Ashem Vohu prayer.
The physical entity or the creation that comes under Asha Vahishta is Fire son of Ahura Mazda. Fire is the manifestation of that energy which is present in all living beings, in other words God’s spark/ energy is present  in all living beings,  which gives us the notion of oneness  in the universe, which is unity in diversity in our community and in the world. Hence we celebrate our different calendars, sects beliefs even religions, as paths are many spirit is one.
 I am not saying it’s going to be a rosy path, you have to strive as you will still come across a lot of criticism and controversies, talking about criticism and controversies, the people who are often most criticized are the trustees who are performing a thankless job whether in US or in India, look at BPP trustees Noshir Dadrewalla, Kersi Randeria, Viraf Mehta Xerxes Dastur who are the most honest people yet they are challenged and criticized every day.  In such situation, you diffuse the issue with love and light rather than shove and light.
He asked what is common between past highly evolved souls like dasturji Kookadaru and many others of that status, Dasturji Daboo and our Mickey Mehta. It is the Ethical, responsible and compassionate eating which is very important for spiritual development, it is also good for you, the environment and animals.
We are the role models we have to practice extreme devotion and piety then we can expect at least a few, if not all, community members to be inspired by this.
He concluded the talk by expressing his gratitude to Xerxes Dastur, Viraf Mehta, Fr. Mickey Mehta, Dr. Ervad Ramiyar Karanjia and also his mentor and friend Dr. Huzan Kharas/Daver, his son Zerkxis Bhandara and his friend Meher Amalsad for helping him with this presentation.
Caption from left to right:
Ervad Kersi Karanjia ex principal of Cama Athornan Madressa, BPP Trustee Viraf Mehta, Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia principal Dadar Athornan Madressa, Dr. Mickey Mehta, Ervad Zarrir Bhandara

Newly-Found Petroglyph In Western Iran May Have Link To Mithraism

Anewly-discovered rock-carving in western Iran could have a link to Mithraism, a prehistorical religion inspired by Iranian worship of the Zoroastrian god Mithra. Some Iranian archaeologists suggest that the carving was created by a follower of Mithraism as it depicts a simple portrayal of a human with his right hand raised and an object in his hand. But, experts say it needs much more study in order to date the petroglyph.

The petroglyph was found in western Kermanshah province on a mountainside near Taq-e Bostan, an archaeological complex, which consists of a series of properties from prehistoric to historical periods such as imposing Sassanid-era bas-reliefs, Morad-Hassel Tepe, an ancient village, a Parthian graveyard and a Sassanid hunting ground.

It was found upstream of a spring, inside a niche measuring about two meters by two meters, carved some 50 centimeters deep into the mountainside, archaeologist Keyvan Moumivand told IRNA on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a local tourism official has said that various archaeologists and teams of experts must conduct researches on the rock-carving in order to determine its origins and to make a definitive comment on it.

Some experts say that the existence of some Mithraism symbols in parts of the historical zone, including one nearby the bas-relief of Ardashir II, reinforces a possibility that the petroglyph being associated with Mithraism, IRNA reported.

Bas-relief de l’investiture d’Ardashir II à Taq-e Bostan

 

Mithraism, was the worship of Mithra, an Iranian god of the sun, justice, contract, and war in pre-Zoroastrian Iran. Known as Mithras in the Roman Empire during the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, this deity, according to Britannica Encyclopedia, was honored as the patron of loyalty to the emperor. After the acceptance of Christianity by the emperor Constantine in the early 4th century, Mithraism rapidly declined.

Taq-e Bostan is known for its bas-reliefs of Sasanid origin (3rd to 7th century CE). The carvings, some of the finest and best-preserved examples of Persian sculpture under the Sasanians, include representations of the investitures of Ardashir II (reigned 379-383 CE) and of Shapur III (383-388), the latter in a man-made cave carved in the form of an iwan (three-sided, barrel-vaulted hall, open at one end).

Samvaad Fellowship 2019

Samvaad Fellowship 2019 is a chance for tribal youth to undertake a project, through a research proposal or a social action initiative, to work on cultural aspects concerning their tribal community. Application form is enclosed.

Here is the application form:

T A T A  S T E E L  C S R

SAMVAAD FELLOWSHIP 2019

A P P L I C A T I O N  B R O C H U R E

YOUR CHANCE, FOR YOUR TRIBE

PURPOSE

Samvaad, a platform for exchanging ideas and thoughts on tribalism in India, turns 6 this year. Over these years, tribal communities from the length and breadth of the country and overseas have converged on this platform and have taken the lead in initiating discourse on issues that govern them. Each edition has been a meeting ground from over 1,200 tribal artists, development practitioners, social activists and experts from different walks of life.

Samvaad is now fast growing as an eco-system where tribal thoughts and voices manifest in various forms – be it a discourse, documentaries, music collaboration or a work of research. A platform that it offers is supporting unique initiatives in preserving tribal culture through the Samvaad Fellowship.

The past four years of Samvaad, a pan-India tribal conclave, organized by Tata Steel Corporate Social Responsibility division, have brought us in contact with simple yet profound problems and solutions articulated by tribal people themselves. This is why we launched the Samvaad Fellowship that seeks to extend Samvaad footprints across the nation through promoting tribal culture as ideated by the tribal communities themselves.

The fellowship will encompass initiatives which are aligned towards conservation of any indigenous practice from tribal culture particularly on language, art, rituals and customs which are vulnerable to being lost and will adversely impact the unique identity of the community. There can be an array of proposals but focusing on culture preservation and promotion. The key is to let the artists bring out their dreams for preserving and promoting their cultural practices and provide the same with initial financial support and mentoring.

Samvaad Fellowship is in its Third year, and over the last two years, it has extended support to projects working on preservation of tribal language, culture, artet al . In 2107 the fellowship was awarded to three individuals who worked on preservation of their languages through development of the scripts, creation of primers as well as dictionaries and magazines for promotion. Further in 2018 we were able to extend support to more individuals who brought in ideas which were highly important and vulnerable like Peace Building and conflict resolution through Morung building, Preserving and promoting Oraon art, documenting Dehvali Bhil Folktales, rediscovering Kharam tribe language.

PROCESS

The attached application form should be submitted by all interested in pursuing their contribution to their community through the fellowship. The finalists will be selected on the basis of alignment to the purpose of fellowship.

A boot-camp to understand the dynamics of cultural entrepreneurship, the mechanics of innovation, theory of change, budgeting and revenue models and project management will be conducted for the finalists from November 13-19, 2019 during Samvaad 2019.

This will be followed by a simple pitch by the finalists for selection of the best by eminent jury, which will be then supported by Tata Steel.

SUPPORT

  1. A grant of max Rs. 6 lakhs for one year for five teams given in installments as per the proposal
  • Mentoring support throughout the year through training programs and linkages with experts

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Idea: The uniqueness and creativity in the project idea to preserve and promote tribal cultureNeed: The vulnerability of the heritage that is to be promoted or preserved
  • Impact: The change that the project idea is capable of making for the tribal community at large
  • Sustainability: The long-term contribution that the project plans to be a part of
  • Team: The passion, dedication and expertise in the individuals and partners for achieving the project’s objectives

RULES

  1. The awardee must belong to the tribe for which he/ she is proposing the idea
  • One member of the awardee team must dedicate their full time to the implementation of the idea
  • The project must be a means to preserve or promote tribal culture and must not have any religious or political affiliations, whatsoever
  • Registered not-for-profits in existence for more than three years are requested not to apply for the fellowship
  • Applications are to be submitted by email to samvaadfellowship@tribalculture.org or post to Tata Steel CSR, 3E-Road, Northern Town, Bistupur, Jamshedpur-831001, Jharkhand, India. Anyone facing any trouble in completing the application form may contact us at 8637384843/8144029212
  • Finalists will need to be present for the boot-camp and award ceremony at Samvaad 2019 from November 13-19, 2019. TA/ DA for the same will be organized by the Tata Steel CSR team
  • The grant amount and period will be decided by the jury with respect to the need of the project
  • Monthly progress reports and quarterly meetings would need to be submitted to justify utilization of funds
  • Outcome of the project in terms of research document, film or videotapes, etc. will have to be shared with Tata Steel CSR at the end of the project period
  • Decision of the Tata Steel CSR Management in extending or withdrawing the Fellowship will be final and binding
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