Category Archives: Navjote

Remembering our departed on auspicious occasions

Article by  Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

As the season of weddings and Navjotes gathers steam, an important part of the festivities needs to be reinforced into the Parsi consciousness. It is our age old custom, that on all festive and important occasions like Navjotes, Weddings, Births, Navars, Betrothals, etc. we always begin the festivities by remembering the Ruvans and Farohars of our dear departed relatives, generally called ‘Hama Asho Farohar’. What is the reason for this practice and what is the proper method to be followed?

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Parsi Paghdi

The Paghdi is a majestic looking headgear worn by the Zoroastrians at the time of their wedding and other social events. The groom wears white trousers with traditional Iranian overcoat called “Dugli” also white in color and carries a shawl over his arm. On his head he wears traditional Parsi “Pughdi” or “Pheta”. In ancient times the Paghdi was also worn by boys after their Navjote Ceremony.

This ancient heritage of wearing the Paghdi is followed by most of the well known members of Zoroastrian families like Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy, Pirojsha Godrej, Jamsetjee Nassewanji Tata, Jamsetjee Bomanjee Wadia, Dadabhoy Navrojee and others.

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20120311 Z Parsi Navjote and Irani Sedreh Pushi Ceremonies

North American Zoroastrian Religious Tele – Class  –

Sunday March 11 2012 11 AM (EDST)

Ervad Soli P. Dastur

                    A Zoroastrian Religion Class was held by Telephone on March 11th2012 by Ervad Soli P. Dastur from his home, Hira Villa, in Sarasota, Florida. About 41+ people joined in by calling a Tele-meeting phone number. The people were from both Canada and USA, from NY to Dallas, Montreal to Miami. The class material was a PowerPoint Presentation on The Zoroastrian  Parsi Navjote & Irani Sedreh Pushi Ceremonies. We followed Dr. J. J. Modi’s famous book: The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees which is now available on Internet at: to my very good friend Joseph Peterson. We also introduced the excellent NAMC book – Understanding and Practice of Navjote and Wedding Ceremonies by our own Mobeds Jehan Bagli and Adi Unwalla. We also introduced Roshan Bharucha’s book on Parsi Wedding, Navjote & Other Traditions. A new book by my own nephew, Ervad Cyrus Dastoor of Frohar Foundation – Zoroastrian Saga – was also introduced. We also demonstrated Kusti weaving using snapshots from the excellent video – The Sacred Cincture The Kushti – sponsored by FEZANA under the leadership of Arnavaz Sethna of Houston and put together by The Frohar Films under the direction of Ervad Cyrus Dastoor.

Class Material Covered

The class covered the details of Navjote and Sedreh Pushi Ceremonies from initial preparations to the actual performance of ceremonies like Nahan, Aachhoo Michhoo,  Navjote Proper with Sudreh and Kusti investitures, final Tandoorasti Benediction, and final dressing up of the child and the ensuing music and dinner. 

For the Sedreh Pushi Ceremony, we approached my very good friend and tutor Dasturji Mobed Mehraban Firouzgary of Tehran. He sent us a Persian document on Sedreh Pushi which with the excellent help from Farzad Aidun of Washington DC was translated in English and used in this class. We want to thank Dasturji and Farzad for their help, as well as Behram Pastakia for referring us to Farzad.

Finally, as it is becoming our custom, the permanent question: “We do not understand what we are praying in our daily prayers” was answered by suggesting some alternatives. The final prayer in English, from Dr. Dhalla’s book: Homage Unto Ahura Mazda: “The Family Prayerwas recited by all together ending with our signature Zoroastrian greeting of: “Hamaa Zor, Hamaa Asho Bade” (May we be united in righteousness) performed by all attending the Class, a cyber Hamaa Zor all over North America!

The PowerPoint Presentation slides and all documents covering Navjote Ceremony, its prayers, items required, etc. were sent out to all participants ahead of time. In most homes, families gathered in front of their computers following slides of this presentation as I spoke about them from my home. These files are attached to this message.

Please note that the next Tele Class will be on Sunday April 22nd and due to popular demand we will have a Questions and Answers Class. The questions will be sent to me by participants, deadline set to April 1. I will collect them, select some so as to cover one hour Class duration and send them out with my answers to all participants ahead of time. Hope you all can join us in this Tele Class.

We also request all of you to suggest what topics we should cover in the next Tele Classes.

20120311 NA Zoroastrian Religious Tele Class Summary

20120311 NA Tele Class Ceremonies 002

Tele Class 7th Prayer Dhalla Homage Unto Ahura Mazda background

Navjote Requirements

Navjote Nahan Baj Prayers

Jamwaani Baaj

Navjote Prayers with translations


Navjote Ceremony Prayers Step By Step

Sedreh Pushi Ceremony Farzad Aidun Translation


Navjote Ceremony

Initiation ceremony of Zoroastrians

Irani Zoroastrians term this ceremony as (Dari) SEDRA PUSHAN =”Putting on the sacred undershirt” while Parsi Zoroastrians refer it to as (Ps.Guj) NAVJOTE=”New Born”

By.Dr. Pallan Ichaporia, Ph.D.

(Copy righted No parts to be reproduced except with author’s permission)

Zoroastrians must be properly initiated by ordained priests into the religious community. In the ancient times this occurred at the age of fifteen, the ancient Iranian age of maturity to become responsible for his or her religious, moral and communal life (See: Yast 8[Tir],13-14 and Videvdat 18.54)

According to Videvdat (Vendidad): “Then the she-demon who is the Lie replied,” O Sraosha, truthful and well formed one, of these males indeed this the fourth one, a male whore who after his fifteen year walks forth without either the sacred girdle or undershirt” (Videvdat 18,54). This warning from the Spirit of Evil underscores the emphasis placed on the proper initiation into the Zoroastrian faith.

During the initiation ceremony the candidate wears a sacred white undershirt (Phl. SHABIG; N.P. SHABI,SUDRA; Dari.SEDRA; Parsi Guj. SUDRA, SUDRE), and a sacred girdle (Av. AIWYANGHANA; Pz.AIWAYANGHANA; Pahl. KUSTIG; N.P and Parsi Guj.KUSTI) (Note: Av. AIWYANGHNA (AIWI+YANGHANA(AIWI+YAH)) =to girdle). The initiation seems to be based on the ancient Indo-Iranian custom of investing only the male members of society with a sacred girdle as a sign of their membership within the community.

A similar practice persists to-day among Hindus where male members of the three upper castes (Skt. VARNA) are ceremonially invested with a sacred cord at the time generally called the ceremony of the Second Birth (Skt. UPANAYANA) conducted between the ages of eight and twelve (See: Gonda: Vedic Ritual, 1980, 42, 153-154). The sacred cord is knotted by an ordained Hindu priest and worn under the clothes diagonally around the body over the right shoulder and under the left arm. Hindus never untie this cord but slip it aside and step out of it when necessary.

The pre-Zoroastrian origin of the rite of initiation is found in ‘Dadestan-i-Denig’, where it is clearly stated that king Yima Xshaeta (Jamshid) introduced the sacred girdle, centuries before Zarathushtra (See D-i-D:39, 18-19). This initiation rite has been practiced since the the earliest years of the faith and there can not be any second opinion about it. The age of initiation into the faith of Zarathushtra was gradually lowered with the present day Irani Zoroastrians undergoing it between twelve and fifteen and with Parsi Zoroastrians initiating their children at the age of seven. This may be due to influence of Hinduism. Irani Zoroastrians term this ceremony as (Dari) SEDRA PUSHAN =”Putting on the sacred undershirt” while Parsi Zoroastrians refer it to as (Ps.Guj) NAVJOTE=”New Born”

As in Hindusim, the Zoroastrian initiation symbolizes spiritual rebirth or second birth. After their initiations, Zoroastrians must ritually untie and tie the sacred girdle very time they pray or perform Padyab-Kushti. Sadra and Kustig must be worn every day and night during the life time of each and every individual. It is a grievous sin for an initiated Zoroastrian to abstain from wearing the girdle (Kustig) and undershirt (Sadra), a condition termed “SCAMBLING AROUND NAKED” (Phl. AISHAD DWARISHNIH). According to SHAYEST-NE SHAYEST (4:10): “The sin of scrambling around naked, up to three steps, is a FRAMAN [for] each step; at the fourth step [it becomes] a TANAPUHL.

The Padyab-Kustig is performed before a Zoroastrian can engage in any religous activity as it ensures the purity of his body and soul. It is enjoined that this ritual be performed early each morning on rising from sleep, prior to religious act of eating, before ablutions, at the beginning of each of the five periods of the day and after urination and excretion. (Although this may be hard to follow but one will still find most ordained Zoroastrian priests and devout Zoroastrians still true to this ancient tradition). ALL ZOROASTRIANS do undergo the ablution on entering the premises of a fire-temple, to ensure that every religious act they perform is done so in the state of purity of body and soul. The Padyab-Kushti ritual, because it involves the performance of a purification rite, differs from the simple Kushti ceremony, in which a ritually clean person unties and reties the KUSHTI without first performing ablutions; the simple Kusti ceremony is referred as “MAKING NEW THE SACRED GIRDLE” (N.P.:KUSTI NAW KARDAN ) or “TYING THE SACRED GIRDLE” (PGj.: KUSTI BASTAN).

The main principle underlying this ceremony is to providing religious purity for the performance of religious functions as praying, approaching the sacred fires, attending funeral ceremonies (before and after), eating etc. This simple and beautiful rite thus ensures a Zoroastrian to maintain a state of socio-ritual purity of his/her body and soul at all time.

Best regards,

Dr. Pallan R. Ichaporia.

Initiation ceremony of Zoroastrians

By.Dr. Pallan Ichaporia, Ph.D.

(Copy righted No parts to be reproduced except with author’s permission)

Reproduced With permission from the Author

Shoma Beramji

To give you a brief about myself, I am married to Yezdi Beramji and he is working as a Manager in a Training & Development Organization.We are living in Greater Noida.  Wife n a mother of 3 daughters and a fulltime atrist..thats what i am.

I am an artist by profession and love to learn and teach different forms or paper and color art.. My In-laws live in Mumbai and have been a real support and inspiration in my life.  I started in 2004 with designer candles that I made at home and soon added things like paper flowers, stamping, wedding albums, scrapbooks, card making, paintings, personalized gift items etc , and Now from past 2 years I am trying to promote the art of Paper Quilling in the common masses through exhibitions and classes. I also sell some art products online you can visit my online store.  Through this I even take online orders n get the things couriered to my clients.

I had taken part in an exhibition at Delhi Anjiman on the 13th Feb 2011 where people really loved this art form. I am keen to do exhibitions in Mumbai or any place where there is a Parsi fest. I have also seen that there are lots of events happening so if there’s a way we can get to know about these to take part in it, would be a g8 help for people like me. Please help me where ever you can into promoting my blog and products..
Thank You

Shoma Beramji

North American Navjote

Our community is small, shrinking and delightfully eccentric. Staying alive–basic survival–is our greatest challenge. That is why the /navjot/ ceremony is vital for children within the community, as only those who have performed the ceremony are considered ‘in’; the discourse of ‘insider’ vs ‘outsider’ is animated in our community as in other South Asian communities.

This narrative briefly describes and analyzes Parsi ethnic identity as a background to the main thread of the chapter—organizing a /navjot/ (Zarthusti initiation ceremony) in Vancouver Canada. To be a Parsi is essentially to be a Zarthusti in India. The word Parsi means from Pars—Persia–so we are Persians/Iranians in India who have been there for less than 1000 years depending on the time of migration. As a Kenyan born Parsi raised in Canada I was brought up to be a feminist and activist, having a supportive father and strong female role models—quite common in our community.

Click Here for the full article by Farah Mahrukh Coomi Shroff

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