ALL ZARATHUSHTI FESTIVALS are a landmark in Nature and should be celebrated on the exact day it occurs in Nature irrespective of which calendar is followed.
Ancient Zarathushtis respected Nature and celebrated the landmarks in Nature with accuracy. This is evident from the names of the Gahanbars which indicate the exact day of celebration. Two of the Gahanbars are named after the two seasons of Aryana Vaejah in the Arctic region where they originally lived. In the Arctic, there are two seasons Summer and Winter. They celebrated the middle of the Summer and called it Maidhyo-Shahem (Mid-Summer). Summer in the Arctic is for 216 days so Mid Summer falls on the 108th day. Which is 15 of Tir corresponding to 5 July. Winter being too cold for celebration they celebrated the Coming of Winter–Ayeh-Threm (Sarem) on the day before the winter started on 30 Mehr/ 21 October.
When they migrated to the Tropics, they celebrated the four seasons of the new home with four Gahanbars each of their name indicating the exact day of celebration.
Maidhyo-Zarem (Mid Spring) 15 Ardibesht 4 May
Paiti-Shahem (End of Summer) 31 Shahrivar / 21 Sept.
Maidh-Yarem (Sarem) (Mid- winter) 15 Bahman/4Feb.
Hamas-Path-Maedem (Equality of day and night) 28/ 29 Espand/March 19/20.
So also, they celebrated the four natural phenomenon’s that indicated the change in seasons.
Vernal Equinox – Now Rooz
Summer Solstice – Tirgan
Autumnal Equinox – Mehregan
Winter Solstice – Yalda
In the Avesta, we are repeatedly told of the importance of the Solar Year.
‘The coming of the season at the proper time of the solar year.‘ ‘Haptan Yasht’ Ha-3
‘I learn about and I work with the solar year, the righteous period.” Yasna Ha 1.9, Ha 3.11, Ha 4.14 Visparad Karda 1.4
All these festivals are landmarks in Nature and should be celebrated on the exact day that it occurs in Nature irrespective of what calendar is followed.
How has making sudrehs and kustis changed in the centuries since Zoroastrians first started making and wearing them?
Nothing has really changed. We are weaving kustis with our hands, as per the ancient process. That ancient information has been passed down from one generation to another to make sure that it’s done properly, that it’s done the same as it was anciently.
The sudreh and kusti were worn by the Mazdayasnis even before the age of Zarathushtra. But it is believed that the prophet Zarathustra started teaching this knowledge to his followers. He is believed to have said that we should wear the sudreh and kusti to protect ourselves from the evil energy. So, from that ancient time forward, the people started wearing these.
It’s been said that the next generation of Zoroastrians may be unwilling to take interest in knowing how kustis are made. Do you foresee a time when these will only be made by machine because nobody is willing to craft these by hand, as you currently do?
Yes, actually. And as far as the kusti is concerned, it needs a dedicated time every day to make one. And, as lifestyles evolve, people don’t really have time that they’re willing to dedicate to something like this because, in India, we have a very fast paced life. So, if you want to make kustis, you need to dedicate significant time, and people just aren’t willing to do that anymore.
A sacred Alat (or “spiritual instrument”) like the sudreh can never be stitched by a non-Parsi, a non-Zoroastrian. Unfortunately, however, today most Parsi shops sell sudrehs which have been outsourced to non-Zoroastrian tailors. They justify this by saying that Zoroastrian women are unavailable to stitch the sudrehs or that the ones made by non-Parsis are more economical. All of this just shows that the sacred craft of making sudrehs and kustis is dying among the rising generation.
What else should a person know about these two sacred articles of clothing that might help them to better understand Zoroastrianism?
Probably that people really should wear the sudreh and kusti. They are legitimate, and people must know that, when you wear them, there is a sense of protection that comes to you. Angra Mainyu, or the devil, is kept away from you when you wear these.
The sudreh and kusti are such intrinsic elements of the Zoroastrianism that many (in the faith) would consider one who no longer wears them as not a “true Zoroastrian.”
It was the first time in recent times that all of the 5 High Priests/Vada Dasturs came together to give blessings and a message of love, peace, joy health, long life, and prosperity. They addressed the Global community after the Behram Yazad Jashan performed by Ervads Jal Birdy, Zerkxis & Zarrir Bhandara at the ZAC LA Atash Kadeh on Saturday, September 4th, 2021.
My impetus to write this post is to address the recent posting by Bhujwala. He has very cleverly crafted his piece by including items such as inequality, environment, violence, which nobody could disagree with, and then sandwiching in between misinformation on our religion thus making his post palatable by the “gullibles”. Here is my viewpoint:
Many would agree that the phrase “history repeats itself” is true in most situations. As it pertains to our religion, history is most definitely seen to repeat itself. Zoroastrianism was a full-fledged state religion during the Sassanian Dynasty and according to various literature, our beautiful religion was practiced by most in the way that it was supposed to. However, evil’s head was raised during this era in the form of Mazdakism and Manichaeism, but they were all thwarted back by the passionate Zoroastrian kings of the time.
Fast forwarding to the period when we settled on the shores of Gujarat, our religion under the leadership of Dastur Nairyosang Dhaval was still completely intact with its rules, customs, traditions, and rituals. But history repeated itself when schism erupted between the Zoroastrian priests of the time, as to who should take care of the Fire and who should cater to Behdins’ various liturgical ceremonies. This further resulted into the divisions of Bhagarias and Sanjanas. The religion still seemed stable enough to have its rules and rituals in place.
Now, in the 15th century, the concept of Rivayats came into being when a Parsi from Navsari by the name of Changa Asa sent a person named Hoshang Nariman to go to Iran to consult with Iranian priests on religious matters. From this point one can easily identify the inception of the weakening of our religious leadership in India, where they thought that the Mobeds of Iran are better qualified in religious matters than themselves. Hoshang Nariman came up with the news that there was a difference of one month in the calendar between Iranians and Zarathushtis in India. This was a key point that started our religion to crumble apart as it saw a violent fight within the Parsis in India, some vying for the Iranian calendar and others for the one that they already had. People were even killed in this fight for the calendar!
This also started the advent of even more Persian Rivayats which were nothing more than the answers by Iranian priests to a list of questions brought to them from Parsis in India. Thus, Persian Rivayats gained popularity in the minds of both the priests and laities in India without much evidence that the answers brought forward were the truth. In fact, the concept of “mobedyar” got emanated from one of the Rivayats. This farfetched concept allowed history to repeat itself, where evil’s head was raised once again to harm the purity of our religion. The ugliness through this concept, unfortunately, is being propagated by an unknown reformist, Bhujwala, and others in the same camp.
Little do they realize that the tenets of our religion cannot be changed simply due to their own inconveniences, but somehow their claim is now being presented very shrewdly under the guise of “adapting to the modern world”.
Little do they realize that the disciples of Zarathushtra, and the sages during the Sassanian times, were way more spiritual and wiser than any of us, including the ones who are enthroned with the high status of “Dasturs” in our society today.
Little do they realize that those wise followers of Zarathushtra were fully qualified to lay down the rules and rituals of our religion, but the pathetic pretenders of today simply cannot change those rules and rituals, as they are neither spiritual nor qualified in any way, shape or form.
Little do they realize that religions are created with specific rules, traditions, and rituals. If the rules, traditions, and rituals are changed, then we simply do not have the specific religion that was created. Yes, one can completely change all the rules and rituals of Zoroastrianism, but then they simply cannot term their religion as Zoroastrianism.
Perhaps from the time that Persian Rivayats were considered the be-all and end-all on everything from proselytism to rituals, the “Dasturs” (the high priests) in India have been quite silent and have appeared to go along with the Rivayats, or perhaps they themselves are convincingly having the same opinion as the Rivayats. This behavior of the Dasturs is quite evident today when you see our religious leaders such as Dastur Kotwal of Mumbai and Dastur Ravji of Navsari not entering the arena to put these reformists in their places. This again is history repeated for our community where we saw people such as Dastur Dhalla in the early 1900s displaying the same type of behavior. He had no issues with proselytism and was openly demonstrating a very liberal viewpoint.
So, what’s the problem with the Persian Rivayats?
You will find below the arguments on this topic that I had posted a couple of years ago. No wonder, history repeats itself, I have to do it one more time.
There are differences in practices and beliefs between Parsee Zarathushtis and the ones from Iran, but one cannot categorically imply all the justifications given by the Rivayats as the gospel truth.
Also, clinging on to the Rivayats as some sort of strong evidence for a specific viewpoint is debatable at best. It is deplorable to believe the Rivayats on its face value, simply because they surfaced a cool 900 to almost 1000 years after the fall of our religion in Iran. During this time period, one can only imagine, the generations of Zarathushtis that went through the persecution and severe oppression by Islam. It is highly likely that somewhere in the lineage, those Zarathushtis were greatly influenced by the Islamic beliefs, thereby adapting many of the Islamic traditions as well, and unknowingly considering and incorporating them as Zarathushti practices. The bottom line is that it becomes totally ludicrous to think that the group we left behind in Iran, and who after undergoing tremendous amount of religious persecution are still able to articulate the original Zarathushti practices even after some one thousand years. This thinking forms the basis of the Rivayats. There may be an ounce of truth in its contents, but to consider Rivayats as the whole truth is utterly naive and foolish.
Caving in to the Rivayats as a mean to justify the authenticity of different rituals and practices, or for that matter a lack of them, simply undermines whatever was taught by our ancestors since they landed on the shores of Sanjan, 1387 years ago. The reality is that the Parsees escaped from the influence of Islam, whereas our Zarathushti brothers and sisters of Iran were not fortunate to do so.
However, this should not deter the Parsees to welcome the Zarathushtis from Iran, but their incorporations into the Parsee Zarathushti community ought to be done on the basis of the religious rituals and beliefs, as taught by our forefathers, starting with Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval, and not by what is considered as Zarathushti rituals and beliefs as currently practiced in Iran.
No matter, how a reformist spins it – through Rivayats, or, through the concept of equality, or, through the need to change with the times, or through the need to be inclusive, or for that matter, through blatantly implying that our forefathers were wrong in their teachings – nothing works!
The fact remains that:
If you are in the liberal/progressive camp, you will hopefully learn from this response.
If you are in the orthodox/traditional camp, then this may come as no surprise to you!
The message sent by reformists such as this guy Bhujwala works on the “gullibles” and guilt redeemers. The former because they tend to accept things on their face value and are easily trapped by the conniving ways these people promote their message. One can’t be fooled into accepting proselytism on the basis of equality or mentioning that Zarathushtra accepted any and all into our religion. While this may be so, this reformist doesn’t tell the whole story – in those days, the people were mainly Mazdayasnis or had no religion. Therefore, in no way, shape, or form this ought to be considered as proselytism. The other one, the guilt redeemers, simply because they are feeling guilty and fooling themselves into thinking that they are still Zoroastrians despite having a non-Zoroastrian spouse.
I would like to conclude by capturing the central theme of our Prophet in Gatha Spenta-Mainyu, verse 49.3. It is in this verse we find that Zarathushtra asks Ahura Mazda to keep Him away completely from associating with people of untruth.
If Zarathushtra has asked for Ahura Mazda’s help to ensure that He does not associate with people who are untruthful to their religion and their souls, shouldn’t you?
The five Gatha recitation days are starting tomorrow (Wednesday, August 11) according to the Shahenshahi calendar used by most Parsis. And, it is best to recite the Avesta words and at least read the meanings (translations are also available online free at websites like www.avesta.org) yourself at home, in order to help us determine which traditions are properly following the principles laid down by Prophet Asho Zarathushtra, in today’s times and society that we and especially our youth are living in. So I am forwarding an article that was published on pages 77-79 of the latest Spring/March 2021 issue of the FEZANA Journal for your information:
A ROAD MAP TO NAVIGATE, FACT CHECK, AND DECIDE ACTIONS IN TODAY’S NEWS SATURATED GLOBAL SOCIETY – By Maneck Bhujwala
We live in a society which is very different from the times when Prophet Zarathushtra founded his religion and when his followers developed an institution with rules, customs, traditions and rituals in the Persian empire, and different from when our ancestors settled in India among the Hindus and Muslims. Our communities are faced with different opinions about changes to adapt to the modern world. The original timeless teachings embedded in the Gathas of Zarathushtra offer us inspiration and guidance to deal with complex issues and realities that cannot be managed with the current status quo on rules and traditions.
Gathas tell us that Zarathushtra offered his teachings to all men and women who will listen attentively, ponder on them, ask questions, understand them with their open mind, and make decisions after thinking for themselves what is right. He does not discriminate based on race, and we should do the same, especially today, as past stereotypes about racial differences have been disproved in all areas of work and play. Neither is there any mention about discrimination between rich and poor people or between people born in different professional classes. In the Irach Taraporewala, Ahunavaiti Gatha Yasna 31.1, 31.2 and 31.3 this is made clear by our prophet.
There is no mention of discrimination based on gender. In the Gathas Y.53.5 Zarathushtra tells brides and bridegrooms to love each other. He even holds up his daughter Pouruchista as an example of a righteous person. There is no excuse in today’s times to discriminate against women, seeing how they have proved themselves capable of all positions in industry, police, military, religious ministry, education, business.
In the Parsi community we practice separation between priest class and non-priest class, restricting priesthood to male children of priest class parents, in spite of acute shortage of practicing priests in India and abroad. Many of the handful of adult lay persons who had the calling to serve as priests, and who were trained to perform ritual prayers, are still excluded from equal participation and respect in the very few places where they are available. Executive committees and Trustees can change this discrimination by educating the community, resisting pressure from some orthodox groups, and stopping such behavior which is already leading to a decline in prayer ceremonies done at private homes.
Iranian Zarathushtis follow Asho Zarathushtra’s policy against any kind of discrimination and do not discriminate against Mobedyars, men and women. At their community functions they invite all Mobeds and Mobedyars with equal respect. The late Dr. Ali Jafarey wrote an article about how in Iran, with the blessings of their Mobedan Mobed (Chief Priest) Rostam Shahzadi they trained and gave equal respect to Mobedyars, who after five years of practice were made full Mobeds. Parsis who discriminate can learn to follow the Gathas from the Iranians.
In the Gathas, we see Zarathushtra promoting the farmer and settled life in society. The farmer depends on the natural environment being in good condition for sustainable growth of his crops, year after year. This means timely rainfall without contamination from polluted air (from burning of fossil fuels in homes, automobiles, industrial factories, power plants) and plenty of trees in nearby forest areas (that attract rain and absorb carbon dioxide), clean water from rivers and underground sources and good soil with natural nutrients, both undefiled by chemical or excess animal wastes (like from meat factories).
Zarathushtra tells his followers to take proper care of animals, especially those domestic animals who are beneficial to our lives. Cows and goats provide milk from which butter, cheese and other products are made. Horses and bulls provided ecology friendly help in farming. Camels provided ecological transportation in desert areas. Dogs provide companionship and guard duty. Zarathushtra also condemns people who kill animals for sport. Reference – Ervad Kavasji Kanga, Ahunavaiti Gatha Y.31.15, Y.32.10, Y.32.12, Y.33.4.
Individuals can do many things to reverse the damage being done to the environment. By recycling paper, metals, plastics, we can reduce the need for cutting down too many trees, limit the amount of mining for metals that destroys land, and reduce pollution of land and waters from plastic shopping bags thrown out instead of recycled . We can reduce or stop eating meats produced by factory farms where animals are often mistreated and create huge amounts of animal wastes that poison the land and underground water. We can reduce the use of our gas driven cars by walking for short distances, taking public transportation, combining several errands on one trip, or buying an electric car. Installing solar panels on homes, Daremehers, community centers, etc. can lower electricity bills and reduce fossil fuel use at power plants.
In Gathas we can see how Zarathushtra treats other people and animals with a sense of equal respect for all creations of Ahuramazda. Although he teaches respect for authority and for ownership rights of property owners, he does not approve of inherent superiority or inferiority of individuals based on their economic class – rich or poor, ruler or subject, high or low caste, occupational class – priest, warrior, trader, carpenter, business owner, or gender – male or female, racial or ethnic origin. He preaches his new religion to anyone who is willing to listen attentively with an open mind and follow a righteous life. Taraporewala, Ahunavaiti Gatha Y. 31.1 an Y. 32.2 mention this.
In the world we live in, we can see inequality being practiced in all spheres of society in all countries, some more than others. Many rich people look down on the poor, exploit the poor, humiliate the poor. Majority religion followers in some countries discriminate, humiliate, persecute and even kill followers of minority religions. Priest caste members look down on others including those who become priests from non-priest caste (like Mobedyars in our Parsi community who do not even have a vote in the North American Mobed Council, and are mostly excluded from participating in community prayers with the Ervads). Parsi women who marry non-Parsi husbands and their children are not allowed to enter our temples or attend public prayers. Women in many societies including our Parsi community are not allowed to become priests.
Individuals can change such practices of inequality by speaking out at community meetings, conferences, writing articles and educating community members how they go against the teachings in the Gathas, and how they break the hearts of the victims of unequal treatment, and displease our common Creator, Ahuramazda.
In the Gathas Zarathushtra condemns those who kill even animals for sport, and promotes a settled life and the farming occupation that provides vegetables and fruits, instead of the hunter gatherer life style. He stretches out a welcoming hand even to his detractors to listen to his teachings and follow a peaceful righteous life. He does not advocate violence against those who decide not to follow his new religion but leaves it to Ahuramazda to judge them. In Taraporewala Spentamainyu Gatha Y.48.7 Zarathushtra speaks out against hatred and violence and promotes love.
As Mazdayasni Zarathushtis we can also do things as individuals and as groups like community associations to speak out and support others in opposing and ending violence. We can join local, County, State, National, and International interfaith organizations and collaborate with them to work against violence. We can sign on online petitions from other groups that are working to end violence. We can contact our government representatives to ask their help via legislation that would end violence.
In our technological society there are all kinds of opinions from scholars and non-scholars, orthodox, reformists and middle of the road members, that are posted on email and social media, besides lectures and discussion groups, educating and supporting different ideologies about what is religiously right and wrong. So, what can we as individuals do to choose what is right ? Whereas, rules and regulations and traditions that were established by our ancestors in ancient times may have been valid in those bygone days, how do we know which ones are still right in today’s times and societies we live in ?
Zarathushtra founded his religion by laying down basic principles that apply in all ages, such as equality, justice, compassion, charity, etc., somewhat like scientists who do basic research and discover scientific principles. His followers developed rules and traditions that would help people to carry on their daily lives during their times, in accordance with the basic principles, like how product developers come out with tools and products within constraints of available materials in their applied research.
Just as reporters and news analysts do fact checking to determine which news coming from politicians and their staff members are factual to differentiate from fake news, by verifying them against trusted sources, we as individuals can compare the rules and traditions against the basic principles to see if they will satisfy the principles within the constraints and realities of today’s society.
Mobedyar Maneck Bhujwala is The co-founder of two California Zarathushti Associations, past-President, Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, Board Member, North American and Orange County Interfaith Networks, Advisory Council Member, The Guibord Center, AdCom Member, Center for Religion, Loma Linda University, Director, World Zoroastrian Organizaion, Zarathushti priest and pastor.
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
ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA – A SUPER SCIENTIST
‘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:
(a) FIRE INTO AIR (AADAR-BAAD-GAR),
(b) FIRE INTO WATER (AADAR-NAM-GAR).
(c) AIR INTO FIRE (BAAD-AADAR-GAR),
(d) EARTH INTO AIR (GEL-VAAD-GAR.
(e) EARTH INTO WATER (GEL-NAM-GAR), etc.
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
I do not know whether you have seen this magazine before.( National Geographic Magazine December 1905 issue). It gives full information about Parsee-Community such as History, Immigration, Religious beliefs, culture , personal traits, Last rites etc and importance of fire temple, etc. This exhaustive write-up (30 pages ) is written by William Thomas Fee the then (1905) Consul General of USA at Mumbai. I am attaching this rare copy of magazine which is not only worth reading but also worth preserving.