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Pearl Tirandaz’s ‘Good Deeds Project’ Reaches Out To Frontline Warriors

Our community’s vibrant and popular youth icon, Pearl Tirandaz, known for her dedication to community-cum-social-service, and founder of the inspiring ‘Good Deeds Project’ (GDP), continues to inspire and make a difference in the lives of many. The Good Deeds Project is Pearl’s way of giving back to society, where she also highlights motivating stories of good deeds done by everyday people, who feel naturally compelled to help the less privileged. One of her more recent projects was reaching out to our frontline warriors who continue to protect us, at the risk of their own lives.

Pearl shares the moving experience, “The idea to do something for them came from a hoarding that caught my eye, which saluted hundreds of frontline warriors, especially our policemen who succumbed to Covid 19. My first thought was that while we tend to blame for things, we never really appreciate them, when deserved. So, I shared a message of doing a ‘Snack Box Drive’ for our policemen to show our appreciation. I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response! What started out as a heartfelt idea was soon becoming a logistical nightmare! I reached out to friends and well-wishers for their help. And so started the GDP’s First Snack Box Drive, where we delivered 150 boxes to our policemen and BMC workers, in and around Dadar.

Though it was the day of the storm in Mumbai, we set out to distribute our ready snack boxes. And we experienced the reality that our brave cops endure – doing their duty despite being soaked to the bone due to the rains. I remember thinking, while I was drenched and shivering – My God! how do they do it with a smile on their faces! They were cordial and thankful of being thought of during these times.”

GDP’s second ‘Snack Box Drive’ took place on a thankfully sunny day, where 350 boxes were distributed across Parel, Byculla, Mohammed Ali Road, Fort, Colaba, Nariman Point, Chowpatty, Malabar Hill, Teen Batti, Haji Ali, Worli and Dadar. The third drive had the GDP team delivering 500 snack boxes across Sion, Dharavi, Kalanagar, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Police Station, Santacruz Airport, Vile Parle, Jogeshwari, Juhu and Andheri.

“It felt wonderful to meet and speak with them and let them know that we are thankful for all that they do for us, especially during these times. They were happy to know of the Good Deeds Project. I couldn’t have done this without our volunteers. It was physically exhausting, with each drive taking up over eight hours constantly on the road, stopping at every corner or where we saw them patrolling, as also vising the police stations in the area. But the best part about this endeavour is that I saw a lot of people get motivated to take up such initiatives, and that’s the whole idea behind the Good Deeds Project! The more you lead by example, the more people get inspired to follow suit!”

So how does Pearl make the time for her passionate Good Deeds Project, despite her numerous other responsibilities as an employed, young mother-of-two, and a fitness enthusiast, amongst other roles? “Doing something for society and giving back is an innate instinct – I genuinely felt the need to be out there and do things. I just cannot see suffering. But, I’d be lying if I said my day isn’t exhausting… stretching from 7:00am to midnight, it’s a hectic daily schedule! I plan my day in advance, so I don’t wake up to wondering what to cook or what’s work engagements for the day. Right from working out, to my full-time job with Jiyo Parsi, to caring for my kids with online studies, to coming out with a story every week for GDP, and of course, spending quality time with family and friends – it’s all about managing your time well. It gets hectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!” says Pearl. Kudos to Pearl and all GDP volunteers and supporters for their efforts, and for setting the perfect precedent for all to follow!

Pearl Tirandaz’s ‘Good Deeds Project’ Reaches Out To Frontline Warriors

Settlement in Bombay and the Parsi Salon

Here you will learn about the settlement of Parsis in Bombay and the development of the China trade which lead to the growth of Parsi wealth.
Golden embroidery on deep pink silk depicting a typical Chinese scene with a couple surrounded by pavilions and bridges.

Painting of a large ship with multiple sails
A Wadia Ship, East Indiaman Earl Balcarres, built by Wadia and Company, 1810. Photograph courtesy of Rusheed Wadia in A Zoroastrian Tapestry: Art, Religion and Culture © Pheroza J. Godjrej, 2002

A black wooden cupboard. The upper half has mirrors and the lower half has the image of Zarathustra
Wooden cupboard with carving of Zarathushtra, from the Alpaiwalla Museum © 2013 SOAS, University of London – The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination Catalogue

Parsis and the British

Parsis were ideal trading partners for the British. They were not restricted to rules of caste regarding the work they undertook. There were no restrictions on the employment of women or religious bans on, for example, the growing of crops to make alcohol:

“There was the Paddy Goose, the Green Railing Tavern and the Parsi George, ‘reserved for the jolly Parsi who would like to have bouts, specially of his favourite ‘Gulabee Mowra’, liquor of rose and jungle flower in his own fashion’ ”(from A Zoroastrian Tapestry: art, religion and culture)

British officialdom from the Governor down enjoyed lavish hospitality from Parsi families such as the Wadias, the Jijibhais, the Banajis and the Readymoneys, who made fortunes from the opium trade. This arrangement suited the British when sanctions were imposed on the opium trade as it avoided their involvement with the export of illegal goods. Such interaction undoubtedly had its advantages for the Parsi community: ‘The monied classes generally are favourable to us, they enjoy a degree of security under our Government which they never experienced under native rule’, wrote Lord Elphinstone to Lord Stanley in 1859.

Hirjeebhoy Merwanjee Wadia (1817–83), Jehangeer Nowrojee Wadia (1821–66) and Dorabjee Muncherjee Nanjivohra, by J. R. Jobins, 1842. From the collection of Hameed Haroon © 2013 SOAS, University of London – The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination Catalogue

Parsi Calendar – 2021-22 – A Fresh New Look!

Welcome this year with a new look for the Parsi Calendar. See this new year differently, with happy illustrations and bright colors, made especially for kids and kids-at-heart!

Easy to read and understand, with gorgeous illustrations and inspirational quotes every month, this calendar helps kids familiarize themselves with the parsi months and days. Mark special days for the kids (especially birthdays of their friends and family) to help them stay connected to their roots. But most importantly, I hope this calendar brings you joy and fun with every passing month.

Delzin Choksey, Crispy Doodles


Should modern science deem it worthy and be able to understand the meaning of the spirit of Avesta, it would find out that Zoroaster knew all the laws and operations of Nature far better than all the Philosophers, Scientists and Astronomers of today. Galileo, Newton and Kepler would have had to learn from their Master Astronomer. Darwin would be put to shame if he understood the Theory of Evolution as taught by Zoroaster. Practically all his precepts of purity, all moral and religious exercises and healings were based upon the deepest and profoundest studies of Nature’s laws in all domains, physical, spiritual and intellectual.
— Dr. David Amman

‘Science,’ says Dr. Paul Carus, ‘is the methodical search for truth; and truth is a correct, exhaustive, concise statement of facts’. And Asho Zarathushtra accomplished just that. The whole burden of Yasna 44 is such ‘Methodical Search For Truth’ as clearly appears from the very refrain of its several stanzas: ‘This Do I Ask Thee, O Ahura, Tell Me The Fact About It’. And thus, he acquired firsthand knowledge concerning the glory of Creation, the eternal conflict between Right and Wrong, the secrets of Nature, the Paths of the Sun and the Stars, the waxing and waning of the Moon, the force of gravity, the yearnings of the soul, and so on.

He was indeed a super-scientist because his knowledge was all embracing and extended to almost all branches of science, even to spheres of knowledge which modern science has yet to traverse. He taught mankind what was till then NOT KNOWN = A (Not) + VID (to know) + TA. AVIDTA, AVISTA! Some examples follow.

(1) Zarathushtra even anticipated in those hoary times, the profound laws of the Science of Atoms and Alchemy as can be seen from the connotations of the 61st to 72nd Names of Ahura Mazda that we recite daily, wherein Ahura Mazda is invoked as the Transformer of:

Such Names of Divinity can be thought of and grasped only by one who is fully conversant with the hidden laws concerning the higher spheres of knowledge whereby the atoms constituting an existing element or object can be so re¬arranged as to form another element or object.

(2) How did the Creation come into being (Yasna. 28-11)? As a result of the pronouncement by Ahura Mazda of the Holy Word ‘AHUN’ which existed before all creation (Yasna 19). He through His Holy Word first decreed that Light shall stream forth through Heavenly Lights (Yasna. 31-7). Scientists now feel that ‘The Universe Begins To Look More Like A Great Thought Than Like A Great Machine’.

(3) The Universe is sustained by the continuing interaction of the Positive (Spenta) and Negative (Angra) Forces of Nature (Mainyus) (Yas. 30: 3-6, 45-2). In scientific parlance, it is called the Law of Polarity.

(4) Fire is hidden in all creation. It has 16 grades (types of energy). There is, therefore, nothing like ‘Dead Matter’. In fact, ‘Matter Is The Most Condensed Form Of Energy’ (Einstein).

(5) An allusion to the Law of Gravity and its working throughout the Cosmos is found in Yas. 44: 3.4 and in Fravardin Yasht.

(6) The source (Chithra) of the Earth (Gao) is the Moon, which is there¬fore referred to as ‘Gaochithra’. The rock samples brought by the American Astronauts from the Moon were found to be far older than the Earth rocks.

(7) The Earth is not stationary; it revolves like a screw, (Ranyo Skeretim Gam) (Yas. 44-6, 47-3, 50-2).

(8) Ninefold constitution of man, comprising of 3 mortal, 3 semi-mortal and 3 immortal parts (Yas. 31-11, 55-1).

(9) The Ecological basis of our unique mode of disposal of the dead as described in the Holy Vendidad, which is the most ancient text of the most modern Science of Ecology. Modern scientists have yet to learn some of the ecological laws propounded in that holy text.

(10) Laws of Transcendental Ecology to guard against psychic pollution and attack are the invaluable gifts of Zarathushtra to mankind:
(a) Human Aura (Khoreh): Great research is now being carried on in USSR and other Western countries on this unique Zarathushtrian teaching. Instru¬ments have been invented to see the aura as well as to photograph it. An examination of the aura and its colour arrangements enables scientists to predict approaching illnesses long before they manifest in the physical body.
(b) 16 Chakras: in our Etheric body (Vendidad).
(c) Science of Drawing Karsha: as a defence against evil vibrationary influences emanating from outside. A Karsha thus forms an invisible close circuit within which no base or evil influence can enter and from which in certain circumstances, no evil influence can reach out and harm others. Our Kashti, for example, if properly performed with requisite spiritual force (Zaothra Hadha Zaothrem Hadha Aiwiyaonghanem) brings into existence ‘3 Karshas’ around our Waist, and hence its name (Karsha-Thri, or 3 Karshas). (Cf. Gayartri. a 3-fold song.) Other examples are. ‘7 Karshas’ drawn around Wedding couples and ‘3 Karshas’ at ‘Sachkar’.

(11) Cymatics or the Science of Sound Vibrations is at the root of all Holy Maanthras. Sound produces forms, which can heal as well as destroy. See Ardibehest Yasht which declares that the best healer is he who can cure sickness ‘from within’ (Hacha Uruthwan) by means of Maanthras. This Zarathushtrian principle is the very basis of the modem ‘Psychosomatic Medicine’. See Vendidad 19, 4, 8-9, and the Pahlavi commentary thereon, which declares that when Lord Zarathushtra recited ‘Yatha Ahu Vairyo’, forms as big as houses came into being and destroyed the Evil Powers. See, again, Ashishvang Yasht, which records that ‘Ashem Vohu’ recital has the power of melting evil entities. In short, as modern science now declares, ‘Form is in some way a function of the frequency of vibrations’. Forms produced by sound can now be seen on films by means of ‘Tonoscope’. To bring about the desired effect the Maanthras have to be ‘woven’ (Yas. 28-3) according to the mystic Science of Sound Effects. For this reason, the Maanthras are aptly called ‘Garlands of Letters’.

(12) The important legal principle that ‘Strictest Justice Should Be Done To Both Parties Alike’ (Yas. 33-1).

(13) Formation of Avestan alphabet from ancient Hieroglyphs and Pictographs.

(14) The Sun is the prime source of all energy including the Vital Life Force and is the greatest purifying agent (Khurshid Niyaesh). The Moon influ¬ences growth of vegetables (Mah-Bakhtar Niyaesh).

(15) Farming (Yas. 34-14; 48-6; Vendidad, Mah Niyaesh). According to Mazdaznan teaching, it was Holy Zarathushtra who ‘Produced Wheat By Crossing Rice And Barley’.

(16) The Darwinian Theory of Evolution that man has descended from apes is not accepted by all scientists. In fact, Darwinism itself is struggling for its very existence! Our own ancient teaching is that ‘The Tailed Ape And The Bear Are The Descendants From Union Between Human Beings And Devils’ (Bundahesh 23-1).

(17) The teaching of Zarathushtra (as recorded in Bundaheshn 30-3) that at death parts of our body and spirit are entrusted to fire, Spendarmad, etc. and that the same will be used for a new body at Ristakhiz, i.e. rebirth, is indeed unique in world religious literature. This is supported by the occult teaching that at death the ultimate atoms constituting parts of our body are kept intact for future birth. Modern scientists are veering to the view that ‘we are our own ancestors’. It is very interesting to note here that this concept is exemplified in the life story of our revered Prophet himself wherein it is recorded that Zarathushtra’s ‘Gohar’ etc. entered the womb of his mother through the instrumentality of the juice extracted from ‘Haoma’ twigs mixed with cow’s milk drunk by his parents. In sum, such ultimate atoms, in some mysterious way, enter the mother’s womb along with the food eaten by the parents and constitute the nucleus of the embryo.

(18) The fire from heaven, one of the 16 fires used in consecration of Atash-Behrams, is called ‘Atash-e-Vazisht’, i.e. the swiftest fire. How could the speed of electricity have been measured unless the ancients had inventions like the telephone, radio and TV?

(19) While exploring a 2,000-year-old Parthian town in present-day Iraq. German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig discovered an earthenware vase con¬taining an iron rod set inside a copper cylinder. The arrangement reminded him of a dry-cell battery, a notion supported by the discovery of rods apparently corroded by acid (possibly vinegar or wine). Konig’s conclusion: the Parthians had generated electricity 1,600 years before 1800, the date of the first battery (manufactured by Alessandra Volta). See the Readers Digest publication: INTO THE UNKNOWN, p. 43. Further, among the rich engravings in Persepolis we can see figures of even modem articles such as tables, chairs, spectacles, etc.

(20) Fixed Plan of Creation, its 7-fold division and appointment of an Ameshaspend over each of them. 7 Jirams. 7 Rays.

(21) The totality of our actions during earth life appear before us as our ‘Kerdar’ during the inter-life period of 57 years (Yas- 31-14, Hadokht Nask and Pahlavi Books, and Patet Pashemani 12). Modem parapsychological investi-gations show that all our thoughts and emotions are recorded in our subconscious mind and can be recalled under hypnosis.

(22)  The fixation of the Geh periods on the astronomical basis of the diurnal arcs formed by the Sun with reference to the place of observation, measuring from Ushahin onwards 90, 0, 90, 135 and 180 degrees, all multiples of 45, an evil aspect. At the connecting points of these Gehs evil influences pre¬ponderate in the psychic atmosphere around us. For this reason, Asho Zarathushtra reminds the devotees to perform Kashti rituals at such times (See Yas, 44-5. See also Dinkard, which gives a similar direction. Vol. 2, p. 102.)

(23)  Zarathushtrian Religious Year schematized with reference to the two Equinoxes and the two Solstices. These four points form the four corners of the Dini Sal, which is made to start from the Spring Equinox. There is a clear stipulation for a Day of Correction or ‘Ruz-e-Vahizkik every 4 years. This was achieved centuries before Pope Gregory XIII was born.

Incidentally, it is not our religion, which has to conform to modern science; it is rather the ever-changing science, which has to toe its line to the ancient precepts, which are as valid today as when they were first propounded. Our humble salutation to the Prophet of Prophets, Asho Spitama Zarathushtra.

From: IN SEARCH OF DIVINE LIGHT- BEHRAMSHA Pithawala Pgs. 129 to 132


As a community we may be small in number, but, always ready and big on celebrations! For a ‘True Blue Bawaji’ everyday is a celebration and every event or occasion is an excuse to feast. But, some days are extra special and call for extra celebrations. Take for example our birthday – celebrating just one is not enough! We celebrate what we like to call our ‘Roj nu Birthday’ and also our regular Birthday by date! And, when it comes to New Years it’s a year round bonanza. We celebrate three of our own (Jamshedi Navroz on 21st March, the Kadmi New Year and the Shehenshahi New Year) and add to that, the universal, 1st January and also the saganvantu (auspicious) Hindu New Year after Diwali!!

But, who or what is Shehenshahi and, who or what in Ahura Mazda’s name, is a Kadmi? Are they not both Zoroastrian? When and how did these two sects within the community emerge? The root of this division goes back in history to our calendar. Hence, first let’s understand our Zoroastrian calendar – it dates back to the coronation of the last Zoroastrian King (Yezdazard III) of Zoroastrian (Sassanian dynasty) Iran. Thus, when we say that currently the year is 1386 YZ, it means 1,386 years ago our last monarch Yezdazard Shariyar or Yezdazard III ascended the throne of Iran.

The Zoroastrian calendar is a fairly simple, yet meaningful, calendar. Each month of the Zoroastrian calendar is of thirty days and each of these thirty days is dedicated to a divinity, which presides over a good creation of Ahura Mazda. The twelve months of the Zoroastrian calendar are also dedicated to different divinities that preside over a good creation. Thus, we have twelve months multiplied by thirty days, giving us a calendar of 360 days to which are added the five days of the ‘Gathas’ at the end of the year, aggregating to 365 days.

Since Zoroastrians traditionally do not add a leap year, the New Year slips by a day, every four years. The Zoroastrian tradition in ancient Iran was to add a whole month of thirty days, every 120 years, to keep the calendar in tune with Nature and the seasons. The Zoroastrians who stayed back in the province of Yazd in Iran discontinued this tradition after the fall of the Sassanian Empire and even the Parsis who came to India (from the province of Khorasan) intercalated a month only once after their arrival in India. This explains the difference of one month between the Kadmi (ancient) calendar followed by some Iranian Zoroastrians and some Parsis of Gujarat and the Shehanshai (Imperial) calendar, followed by the majority of Parsis in India.

Of course, the community also celebrates Jamshedi Navroz as ‘Nature’s New Year’ on or around 21st March since it also marks the spring equinox. The Fasli (Fasal = seasonal) calendar was introduced in India by the renowned scholar K R Cama around the beginning of the twentieth century with 21st March as the New Year and adding an extra day every four years called Ruz-i-Vahizak. It has never gained much popularity in India. However, the community in Iran and the USA has largely embraced it.

The Kadmi movement emerged in eighteenth century India mainly over disagreements among priests whether to adjust the one-month discrepancy between the calendars of the Indian Zoroastrian (Parsi) and the Iranian Zoroastrian (Irani) communities. The Kadmis considered the Irani calendar as ‘Kadim’ or old and therefore original, while most Parsis, who did not change their Imperial calendar (followed from the time of Yazdazard III) came to be known as Shehenshahis. The fact remained that both were going wrong!

The Shehenshahis and Kadimis are generally in agreement with regard to Zoroastrian theology and doctrines, and there are not any social or religious restrictions between the two sects. However, there are a few minor differences in their rituals, apart from the different calendars and the subsequent discrepancies between their festivals.

In the Khordeh Avesta, Shehenshahis and Kadimis use different opening and closing phrases for most prayers. In the Ahem and Yatha prayers, the Shenshahis say ‘vohu’ and ‘ahu’ whereas the Kadmis say ‘vahi’ (or ‘Vohi’) and ‘ahi’. There are also minor differences in other rituals, such as the Afringan, Ijashne and the Boi at the change of the gah. Navjote, marriages and death ceremonies too, are conducted slightly differently.

Ancient, imperial or seasonal, it’s yet another excuse to feast and celebrate. Let’s not be embarrassed that we have three New Years.  Let’s celebrate the fact that we are thrice blessed!


The Kadmi Or Ancient New Year

Noshir Dadrawalla

Spendarmad nu Parab

Friday, July 16, 2021, mah Spendarmad, roj Spendarmad is Spendarmad nu Parab.

Spendarmad (Avesta Spenta Armaiti) is the Amesha Spenta specifically designated to look after Mother Earth.

On this day, Parsees traditionally write (or ask their family priest to write) a Pazend Nirang, which they then affix above their front door to protect their home from evil influences.

On this day, you may also recite the Spendarmad ni Setyash to seek her blessings.

To know more, read on…attachment

Silloo Mehta

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Rare “Divine” Ancient Fire Temple Found in Iran

Altar in the Zoroastrian Chak-Chak fire temple in the mountains near Yazd, Iran.  
Source: Konstantin / Adobe Stock
The remains of an ancient mountain fire temple have been discovered in Iran. While archaeology knows of almost 200 fire temples around the world this one is special because it displays a rare ancient Iranian “divine” architectural format.

A team of Iranian archaeologists unearthed relics at the ancient fire temple in Savadkuh county, in the center of the Alborz mountain range. The temple was discovered about five kilometers from the historical Espahbod Khorshid Cave and Professor Mehdi Abedini Araqi, the leader of the archaeological survey, told the Tehran Times that the fire temple dates from the Sassanian Empire (224-651 AD) period.

While there are many fire temples that have been unearthed in Iran, this temple is very special because it was designed around an ancient Iranian building format that is most often seen attached to larger buildings, and seldom seen standing alone.

Burning fire in the Zoroastrian fire temple of Yazd, Iran. (Adam Jones / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Burning fire in the Zoroastrian fire temple of Yazd, Iran. (Adam Jones / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

The Special Chartaqi Fire Temples Of Ancient Iran

The recently discovered Iranian fire temple stood in a region known as the “cradle of civilization.” A 2017 Tasnim News Agency article explained that human settlement in the Mazandaran (also known as Tabarestan) region of modern-day Iran dates back at least 75,000 years.

The fire temple was found about five kilometers from “Dej-e-Afsanehie,” an ancient cave that was first discovered by archaeologists in 1956 on the route from Qaemshahr to Tehran. Archaeology News Network explain that the recently unearthed fire temple was constructed in the Chartaqi form, which was a prominent element used in ancient Iranian architecture . The Chartaqi architectural style literally meaning “having four arches,” and is an architectural unit consisted of four barrel vaults, and a dome.

Before we look at the special Chartaqi design and explore the function of fire temples, let us first explore the cave near where it was unearthed to put the new discovery in historical context. The vast Espahbod Khorshid Cave site was at one time a ruined castle and tower created with stone and mortar. At 15 meters (49 feet) high, with a 115-meter (377-foot) corridor and stairway connecting the existing two floors, the structure has 10 rooms covered with a timber roof structure. People lived in this cave during the Sassanid era.

According to the Tasnim News Agency it was “probably the defense center of the Espahbodan of Mazandaran in the past.” The Sassanian Empire was the main Iranian dynasty from 224 to 651 AD, and after the Sassanid era in Mazandaran, the Muslims would come to rule over entire province.

The outlines of the discovered remnants of an ancient Iranian fire temple in Savadkuh county, recently unearthed in the heart of Iran’s Alborz mountain range. (Tehran Times)

The outlines of the discovered remnants of an ancient Iranian fire temple in Savadkuh county, recently unearthed in the heart of Iran’s Alborz mountain range. ( Tehran Times )

A Unique “Stand Alone” Zoroastrianism Fire Temple

The archaeologists discovered the fire temple was built in the shape of a “ chartaqi,” which was a prominent element in Iranian architecture for around 1,500 years. The Chartaqi divine building unit essentially comprised four barrel vaults and a dome, symbolically representing the four corners of Earth and the heavens above. The most celebrated example of a chahartaq in Iranian architecture is found at the Palace of Shapur I at Bishapur in Pars.

However, this newly discovered fire temple is special in another way. While many pre-Islamic chahartaqs have survived, they are generally parts of larger complexes, but in the latest discovery the chahartaq stands alone.

What happened at ancient Iranian fire temples? Under Sasanian rule the territory that is today Iran was swept by nationalism and Zoroastrianism became the state religion. According to Michael Shenkar in his 2007 paper, Temple Architecture in the Iranian World before the Macedonian Conquest , the fire temple was known as the “ Agiary,” where followers of Zoroastrianism brought together water and fire as a powerful purifier of the ritual environment. But fire was also connected with the future happiness of the worshipers.

A relief at Naqsh-e Rustam in modern-day Iran showing Ardashir I and an unidentified cavalier. This Persian rock relief depicts Ardashir I's coronation scene, as the first king of the Sassanid Empire of Iran. Ardashir I receives the cydaris ring of power, the Zoroastrian symbol of kingship, from the spirit of Darius the Great of the Achaemenid dynasty. The inscription in Persian, Parthian, and Greek, reads: This is the image of the Hormizd-worshipping Majesty Ardashir, whose origin is of the gods. (Ginolerhino 2002 / CC BY-SA 3.0)

A relief at Naqsh-e Rustam in modern-day Iran showing Ardashir I and an unidentified cavalier. This Persian rock relief depicts Ardashir I’s coronation scene, as the first king of the Sassanid Empire of Iran. Ardashir I receives the cydaris ring of power, the Zoroastrian symbol of kingship, from the spirit of Darius the Great of the Achaemenid dynasty. The inscription in Persian, Parthian, and Greek, reads: This is the image of the Hormizd-worshipping Majesty Ardashir, whose origin is of the gods. (Ginolerhino 2002 / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The Zoroastrian Yasna Texts and Ceremonies: Fire, Ash, Water

The “ Yasna” is the Avestan name of Zoroastrianism’s principal act of worship and the word also represents the primary liturgical collection of Avesta texts, which are recited during yasna ceremonies. This religious doctrine states “Clean, white ash for the purification ceremonies [is] regarded as the basis of ritual life.”

Furthermore, the rites conducted at fire temples were designed around “the tending of a domestic fire, for the temple [fire] is that of the hearth fire raised to a new solemnity.”

Getting personal, the Yasna states that the “one who sacrifices unto fire with fuel in his hand …, is given happiness.” Therefore, we can conclude that the ritualistic goings on at this ancient site probably culminated with a dampening of the flames and a sense of having cleansed the past and prepared the future, for bringing happiness into one’s life.

All this said, don’t you be thinking for as second that ancient temples are secular to Iran, as archaeologists have discovered 177 different fire temples around the world. In each instance, the mystical orange ghostly element, fire, was associated with purification rituals and the coming of future light, universally across the Sasanian Empire, and personally within the hearts of the individual fire worshippers.

By Ashley Cowie

ashley cowie's pictureASHLEY

Ashley is a Scottish historian, author, and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems in accessible and exciting ways.

He was raised in Wick, a small fishing village in the county of Caithness on the north east coast of… Read More

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