Category Archives: Religion

THE STORY OF SANT KUKADARU SAHEB

Sant Dasturji Jamshedji Ervad Sorabji Kukadaru Saheb was born at Surat on May 26, 1831, on Mah Avan, Roj Zamyad. Dasturji Jamshedji Kukadaru Saheb was a pious man who led a pure and righteous life. He remained away from worldly ways and personal publicity. His great­ness lay in his simplicity and humanity. His material needs were restricted to the bare needs and necessities of life.
Dastur Azar Kaiwan Bin Azar Gushasp, who was Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb’s spiritual guru, gave to Kukadaru Saheb the follow­ing Nirang.
“NAMAJ-VA-DARUD-VASE-TAYESH-VA-AFREEN
BARVAJE-E-KAIWAN-SAFRE- HAR FE-NAAM
RA VAN-E-LA-TEEMAR-TEEN-E- U
ARMAN-SAZ-HARDE NAMANE-HOM”
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb was the spiritual guide to Ervad Nadarsha Navroji Aibara and he gave him a special Nirang as under:
“YA NOORE DASTAGEER, YA DASTAGEERE NOOR
KARAM KAR KAREEMA RAHEM KARO YA PARVARDEGAR
MADAD KARO YA NABEE JARTHOST TARI PADSHAHI”
SIMPLE LIFE
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb led a simple and frugal life. He would spend the whole day in prayers. A strict vege­tarian, he would eat just one meal a day – usually khichdi and a little ghee. It is said that he used to cook the rice himself by placing the vessel in the sun while reciting cer­tain holy Maanthras or Nirangs.
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb served as Panthaky of the holy fire at Seth Shapurji Kappawalla Agiary in Mumbai. He commanded tremendous respect among the Behdins. Whenever he attended a wedding or Navjote, the whole gathering would stand up as a mark of respect.
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb set a living example of how powerful a true prayer can be and how the recitation of the Avesta, with a clean heart, can get one really close to Dadar Ahura Mazda. He based his whole life on the three main tenets of Zoroastrianism – Manashni, Gavashni, Kunashni, to be pure in mind, words and deeds. Such holy souls are born once in several cen­turies.
MIRACLES
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb performed several notewor­thy miracles. He had also made many accurate predic­tions. It is said that his third eye had opened, due to which he was able to foretell future events accurately He had predicted accurately the time of death of Dastur Peshotan Sanjana, Sir Dinshaw Petit, England’s Queen Victoria and several others.
His great miracles are remembered by people even today. During the life of Dasturji Kukadaru, Anjuman Atash Behram was being constructed at Dhobi Talao. The Trustees were short of Rs. 10,000. All the Trustees were in a quandary as to where to get such a large sum from Some Zarathushtis, who were true devotees of Kukadaru Saheb, thought of approaching him and said he would show the way He also had opponents. One of them said: “Kukadaru Saheb is a very poor Mobed. From where can he give us Rs. 10,000?” But those who had faith in him went to him one day at 5 p.m. One Zarathushti, who opposed him, also went along.
Kukadaru Saheb was engrossed in prayer at Kappawalla Agiary. After finishing his prayers, he asked the Zarathushtis the reason for their arrival. His devotees stated that Rs.10,000 was the deficit for building a Hall at the Anjuman Atash Behram. Kukadaru Saheb, by a sig­nal from his inner self, asked them to come next evening at 5 p.m. with a brick. He told them not to buy a new brick from a shop, but to bring one fallen by the wayside. The people went in search of a brick the next morning. From morning to noon and noon to evening, they could not find a brick on the road. By evening, the Zarathushti who used to speak against Kukadaru Saheb stumbled and fell on the road. When he got up with the support of a brick, the other Zarathushtis said: “We have found the brick. Now we must go before Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb.”
They all went to meet Kukadaru Saheb at the Kappawalla Agiary Dasturji Kukadaru was engrossed in prayers. After finishing his prayers, they showed him the brick. Dasturji Kukadaru told them to place the brick in a bounded square (Pavi) in the next room. Those people who had faith in Kukadaru Saheb said: “Tomorrow evening, surely there will be a mira­cle.” But the Zarathushti who used to criticize Kukadaru Saheb said: “Tomorrow Kukadaru Saheb will be put to shame.”
On the third day at 5 p.m., all the Zarathushtis went before Kukadaru Saheb. That day Kukadaru Saheb spent the entire day in prayer. After finishing, he told them: “Whatever you find in the bound square in the next room, take that.” Then the Zarathushti who was against him said: “We have come to collect Rs.10,000, not bricks and stones.”
Dasturji Kukadaru replied to that Zarathushti: “If bricks and stones are your destiny; you will get only that.” But those who had respect for Kukadaru Saheb went in and to their great surprise found that the brick had transformed into gold. This was a great miracle. Kukadaru Saheb had not even seen where the Zarathushtis had kept the brick in the adjoining room. But he had prayed to Dadar Ahura Mazda and urged that some path be opened to build a Hall at the Anjuman Atash Behram. The Zarathushti who used to speak against Kukadaru Saheb saw this grand miracle and bowed his head in shame. He sought forgiveness from Kukadaru Saheb.
Thereafter all the Zarathushtis took the golden brick to weigh it. It fetched exactly Rs.10,000; not a rupee more, nor a rupee less. Out of Rs.10,000, the Anjuman Atash Behram Hall was con­structed. That Hall was named Dasturji Jamshedji Sorabji Kukadaru Hall. There is a portrait of Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb in this Hall, below which is a large plaque. Devotees, even today bow there in rever­ence, pray and light divas.
From Jam-e-Jamshed 3-1-2021

Monthly lectures on Zoroastrianism

Institute of Zoroastrian Studies

Public Lecture Series

The North American Mobeds Council (NAMC) is a consortium of Mobeds of North America dedicated to service the Religious and Spiritual needs of the North American Zoroastrian Community,

The Institute of Zoroastrian Studies is an Educational Arm of NAMC with an objective to train Mobeds and impart knowledge of Zoroastrianism to fellow Zoroastrians and to the general public.

These monthly lectures by learned Mobeds is an initiative of the Institute of Zoroastrian Studies for the enlightenment of the general public.

Please visit

http://namcmobeds.org/wp-content/uploads/NAMC-Institute-Lecture-Series.pdf

for more information.

The first lecture will be next Sunday December 20th at 2 PM ET (11 AM PT) by Mobed Soli P. Dastur.

His subject:  Life of Prophet Zarathushtra

The ZOOM Link for this lecture is:

                  https://zoom.us/j/95671042784?pwd=bkNNaDVQVG9CcjRXeXE2ZUVUaGpUdz09

We hope to see you all next Sunday.

Love and Tandoorasti, Soli

 

A TREASURE-COVE OF PRAYERS BY OUR VADA DASTURJI KEKI RAVJI HIGH PRIEST OF NAVSARI ATASH BEHRAM

FEATURING A TREASURE-COVE OF PRAYERS BY OUR VADA DASTURJI KEKI RAVJI HIGH PRIEST OF NAVSARI ATASH BEHRAM, INDIA

By: Meher Amalsad, Westminster, California, USA

I believe that: Prayer Changes Things In You, Not Just For You.

With that sentiment and immense pride, I would like to feature this very special Treasure Cove Of Prayers beautifully recited by our respected Vada Dasturji Keki Ravji – High Priest Of Navsari Atash Behram in India.

This special endeavor serves as a landmark of dedication for providing easy access to our special prayers – an outstanding service to our Global Zarathushti Community.

This TREASURE COVE OF OUR ENTIRE AVESTA PRAYERS comprise of Everyday 40-Prayers, Navjot Prayers, Mobedi (Navar/Martab) Prayers, The Pao Mehel Prayers (Baaj Dhurnu, Vendidad, Visparad, Yasna) as well as all the Yashts and Nirangs.

For impeccable clarity, these prayers have been recorded in a recording studio.
The vibration of his pristine pronunciation is remarkable.

As a special bonus he has also provided a pdf version of:

Khordeh Avesta (English and Gujrati
Vendidad (English)
Yazashne (Gujrati)
Lagana Na Ashirwad (Wedding Prayers)

Our Vada Dasturji Ravji has a stellar record of performing 70-Nirangdin Ceremonies,
over 5000 Ijashnes and over 3000 Vendidad Ceremonies in India.

He has served our Zarathushti community in India for the past 60-years.
And as a boewalla saheb at the Navsari Atash Behram for 19-years.
He has consecrated two varasyajis (the sacred white bull)
as well as the Gumbad of Navsari Atash Behram.

Thank you Dasturji Ravji for your selfless dedication towards promoting the bounty of our Zarathushti prayers through the gift of your valuable commitment.

With All My Love, Light, Grace, Joy And Peace To You And Your Family.

Please Click The Following Link To Access And Download these prayers and books

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aqse8-oXUaiBabKxNfmWRStA549ayItA

🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️🙏♥️

PRAYER
IT CHANGES THINGS IN YOU
NOT JUST FOR YOU

~ Meher Amalsad ~

North America Zoroastrian Studies launched

Attached, for your information and circulation, is a Press Release announcing the establishment of the North American Institute of Zoroastrian Studies, as an educational arm of the North American Mobeds Council (NAMC).

A debt of gratitude goes to Rohinton Rivetna for his initiative in drafting the initial charter, and to NAMC (President Er. Arda-e-viraf Minocherhomjee) for their resolution to carry the proposal forward.  NAMC Vice-President Er. Tehemton Mirza has been tasked by NAMC to set up this organization, create a curriculum and manage its operations.

This is an important milestone for Zoroastrians in North America, marking our coming of age and taking our rightful place as an established religion, among others, in North America.

Best,
Roshan Rivetna

 

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“THE PARSIS”, A TRANSLATION BY M M MURZBAN OF MLLE. DELPHINE MENANTS “LES PARSIS”.

THE HIGH PRIESTS OF THE COMMUNITY IN 1917 AS PICTURED IN THE BOOK “THE PARSIS”, A TRANSLATION BY M M MURZBAN OF MLLE. DELPHINE MENANTS “LES PARSIS”.

Mlle. Delphine Menant wrote her work on the Zoroastrian Communities in India in 1897. The first 3 Chapters were first translated from the original French by Miss Ratanbai Ardeshir Framji Vakil, B A. The entire work was later translated by M M Marzban in 1917. “The first part comprises chapters devoted to the civil life of the Parsis, from birth to death, under the customs described by old travellers, and the changes of the present century”.
“The second part is a treatise on the religious duties of the Parsis”.” A succinct account is submitted on the labour of scholars of the ancient Persians”. She takes the reader from the Parsis of ancient Persia to the Parsis in India today.
The date of this book 1917 is important as it was the time of learning, and a time of rediscovering the forgotten connection the Parsis in India had with the Parsis in Persia. It highlights the Head Priests of the communities as scholars having studied under foreign savants and authors on books of Religion.

 

Shams-ul-Ulama Dastur Darab Dastur Peshotan Sanjana,B.A. Present Dastur (High Priest of the Wadiaji’s Shahanshahi Atesh-Beherum, in Bombay, since 1899. Born 18th Nov 1857 A D

A scholar and linguist; Principal of the Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy”Zarthoshti Madressa” (Seminary) since 1899: Fellow of the University of Bombay. Author of: “The Doctrine of the Soul in the Avesta”: “Next of kin Marriages in Iran”, “Position of Zoroastrian Women in Remote Antiquity”. Translator, in English of “Zarathustra in the Gathas and in the Classics”, from Dr.W.Greiger’s German work. ‘The Age of Avesta and Zoroaster”, from Dr.W.Geiger and Von Spiegels works. Editor of : “The Pahlavi Nirangistan and Minu-i-Khrat” (with notes and commentaries): “The Dinkart”, (Vols X-XVI) (with translations into Gujrati and English):”The Pahlavi Karnamak-I Artakshir-i-Papakan”,(Pahlavi text with English and Gujrati translations): Author of a number of Papers, Lectures, and Sermons, in English and Gujrati.

These are Dastur Darab’s views on acceptance of people born in another religion and converted to Zoroastrianism as recorded in the court case Saklat vs Bella:
EXHIBIT 54.
Extract from pages 24-25 of Zarathushtra in the Gathas by Darab Dastur Peshotan Sanjana, filed before Commissioner. EXHIBIT 54 Suit No. 91 of 1915 OF CHIEF COURT, LOWER BURMA.
R. S. DADACHANJI, Commissioner
18th March 1916.
First, it is regarded as a sacred obligation to convert the infidels by means of words and doctrine (Yasna XXVIII, 5). The religion of Zarathushtra is a religion of culture, of spiritual and moral progress and proficiency. It penetrates through all conditions of human life, and it considers every action of life, as for instance, the clearing of the soil, the careful tending of herds, and the cultivation of the fields, from the standpoint of religious duty. Such a religion, or such a philosophy, cannot be confined to a narrow circle; the propagation of it and the conversion of all men to it, are ideas which are at the basis of its very essence. We, accordingly, find complete hymns, as Yasna XXX and XLV, which were evidently intended to be delivered before a numerous audience, and in which Zarathushtra, or one of his friends, expounds the essential points of the new doctrine for the approval of the hearers.
Ratan Tata asked for Dastur Darab’s opinion before converting his wife Susaune to Zoroastrianism. This is Dastur Darab’s reply:

Bombay 8 February 1903
Gracious Seth Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
Respected Sir, we have received your letter dated February 7. 1 would like to thank you for your gracious invitation to participate in this Navjote ceremony that is going to take place today. For this invitation consider that you have kind feelings for me. Because of certain items, I am sorry that I will not be able to attend the gathering
You have said in your letter that you had read the public sermon which we have published, and that you are planning to act accordingly. I am very happy to know this.
If a pious man or woman with firm belief is accepted into the Zoroastrian religion and taken into the community, then the Zoroastrian religion has no closed-door policy. This is our humble opinion that we have expressed in our sermon
Signed
Darab Dastur Peshotanji Sanjana

 


Shams-ul-Ulema, Dr Dastur Peshotanji Beheranji Sanjana, (father of Dastur Darab Peshotan Sanjana), M.A., Ph D., Late Dastur of Wadiaji’s Shahanshahi Atesh-Beheram, in Bombay. (Died on 26th December 1898).

 

A ‘Fellow’ of the University of Bombay, and a member of the German Oriental Society. Editor of the ‘Dinkart (Vols I to IX),’ with Pahlavi text, transliteration in Avesta characters: and translations into English and Gujrati: of ‘Vijirkard-i-Denik;’ ‘Karnamak of Ardesher Babagan,” in Pahlavi : and author of a voluminous Pahlavi Grammar.
“His works, connected with Pahlavi literature were both numerous and important, all indicating as competent a knowledge of that complicated language as any contemporary scholar possessed….” Dr E W West, Editor of the Sacred books of the East Series.
He wrote ‘Nirang-i-Zawitdinan”, an explanatory treatise, with regard to the kind of ceremonies that should be performed for admission of Jud-dins(aliens) into the Mazdayasna Zoroastrian Religion. As recorded in the court case of Saklat vs Bella

BOOK BY DASTUR PESHOTAN SANJANA ON THE CEREMONIES TO BE PERFORMED TO CONVERT JUDDINS

 

 

 


Dastur Dr. Jamaspji Dastur Minocherji Dastur Edalji Jamaspasana, D C L,(Oxford), M A (Germany). Late Dastur of the Anjuman’s Shahanshahi Atesh Beheram, in Bombay. Died on 26th September 1898, in Bombay.
Author of: “Old Zend and Pahlavi Glossary”. Pahlavi, Gujrati and English Dictionary; the “Pahlavi text of Ayibatkar-i-Zariran”. Translalator of “Sardar=e-Behere Tavil,” from Persian to Gujrati, and author of many Gujrati Sermons and Controversial pamphlets. Translator, into Gujrati of the Pahlavi “Vendidad”, with translations.

 

 

 

Dastur Kaikhusru Dastur Jamaspji Jamaspasana. Late Dastur of the Anjuman’s Atesh-Beheram, in Bombay. (Died on 23rd June 1916 A D).

Editor of the “Arda Viraf Namah”. In the original Pahlavi (with introduction and Notes: Gujrati translation and Persian version of “Zarthost Behram” in verses
Dastur Kaikhusru and Dastur Minocher (next Picture) performed the Navjote of Susaune Braire and her wedding to Ratan Tata by Parsi rites under the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act. Dastur Kaikhusru was also the Head Priest of Calcuttas Banaji Agiari, the Banaji Atash Behram and the Camay Bay Agiari, Soda Water Wala’s Agiari, and the Godiwala Agiari. He was in charge of the Agiaris in Aden,Colombo, Lahore and Lunoul.
The opinions of the Dasturs was sought by the sub-committee which was appointed by a committee chosen by the Zoroastrian Anjuman Council on the question of a non- Zoroastrian being accepted into the Zoroastrian Religion.
This is the reply given by Dastur Kaikhusru Jamaspji

Sir,
September 14, 1903
You have asked your opinion of whether or not to accept people of other faith into our religion, according to the teachings of our religion. You want to know whether this is acceptable or not. I am taking the permission to reply to you that according to our religion there is absolutely no restriction against accepting a non-Zoroastrian into the Zoroastrian religion. This is what the religion says. In the daily prayers of the Zoroastrian such as “Khurshid and Meher Niayesh”, the person prays that May the Mazdayasna religion be spread on seven continents. (Hafta Keshvar Zamin). In the olden times the Athornan (Priest) class did not only pray this and sit around, but they went into far off countries in order to spread the Mazdayasna religion or the religion of Ashoi. (See Yajashne Ha chapter 41 paragraph 6). In several instances tyrannical people used to create problems when these Athornans went out to spread the religion. (Yajashne Ha 9 paragraph 24) We would like to point out above instances only: from the instructions or the ruling found in the Zoroastrian religion we can say that it is perfectly alright to accept non-Zoroastrians into the Zoroastrian religion.
We agree completely with the second publication of the booklet by Ervad Temurasp Dinshawji Anklasaria with the necessary proof for accepting non-Zoroastrians into the Zoroastrian religion. (Judeen No Ne Mazdayasni Din Ma Dakhel Karwa Rava Chhe Te Vishaynee Shahdato). In this, the learned Ervad points out examples from Avesta, Pahlavi, and Farsi books.
Also, our late respected Dastur Jamaspji has pointed out in the book “Pasokhay Nirangeh Javit Deenan” published in 1252 Y.D. that to accept non-Zoroastrians into the Zoroastrian religion is perfectly alright, and he has given examples. From the examples of the above booklet by Ervad Temurasp Anklesaria, as well as our late Dastur Jamasp, one can say that for any new student there is nothing left to search for. For this reason, we are pointing you to the examples in these booklets and are presenting them to the sub-committee. Signed,
Kaikushru Dastur Jamaspji.

 

 

 

Dastur Minocher Dastur Jamaspi Jamaspasana. Present Dastur of the Anjuman’s Atesh-Beheram, in Bombay. (Born 2nd November-1870 A D)
Editor of an “Epitome in Gujrati prose, (in four volumes), of Firdausi’s Shah Nameh” He together with Dastur Kaikhusu did the navjote of Susaune Brair and her Parsi wedding to Ratan Tata.

 

 

 

 

 


THE PARSI WEDDING CERTIFICATE OF RATAN TATA AND SUSAUNE BRAIRE. OFFICIATING PRIESTS KAIKHUSRU JAMASPJEE AND MINOCHER JAMASPJEE

 

 

 

 

Shams-ul-ulama, Khan Bahadur, Sirdar, Dr Dastur Hoshangji Jamaspji Jamaspasana C I E., Ph.D.
(Died on 23rd April 1908 A D)

 

Late High Priest of the Shahanshahi Parsis in the Deccan. A scholar and linguist, Professor of Persian, in the Deccan College, in Poona. Author and Editor of several works, of which the principal are: “Pahlavi Pazand Glossary: Shikana-Gumanik Vijar, (co-edited with the scholar Dr E W West.): “The Book of Adar-Viraf Nameh, with an English translation, (co-edited with Dr Martin Haug): “The Vendidad in Avesta text, with Pahlavi translation and commentary and Glossorial Index.”. Editor of : “Zend and Pahlavi Izashne”, and the “KHORDEH AVESTA” : “The Minokherd”, etc. Author of a number of Sermons on the Zoroastrianism and many contributions on Avesta and Pahlavi literature.
Dr E W West and Dr Martin Hauge were 2 of the famous foreign scholars on Zoroastrian Religion. They established Zoroastrianism as a monotheistic Religion with the belief in one God, Ahura-Mazda.
The Dastur Hoshang Memorial Volume, papers on Iranian subjects in honour of the Late Shams-ul-ulama Sardar Dastur Hoshang Jamaspji was published in his honour by the Gatha Society of Bombay. Eminent Iranian scholars of the East and West answered the call of the society and contributed more than 75 articles for the Memorial Volume. Dastur Sheriarji Bharucha’s article on the universality of the Zoroastrian Religion is published here titled “Is Zoroastrianism Preached to All Mankind or to a Particular Race”.

 

 

 

 

 

Shams-ul-ulama, Sirdar Dastur Kaekobad Adarbad Dastur Noshirwan Jamaspasana (born 3rd November1861 A D) Present High Priest of the Shahanshshi Parsis in the Deccan, Calcutta and Madras and Malwa and had 23 Panthaks under him. (High Priest of the D B Mehta Zoroastrian Anjuman Atash Adaran Calcutta)
Editor of: “Kar-na-mak-I Ardeshir Babukan”, in the original Pahlavi text, transliteration, (with comparative passages from the Shah-Nameh), with notes and translation in Gujrati: “Dana va Mino-i-Khirad”, with notes and translations in Gujrati.
He represented the Community at the Parliament of World Religions where he spoke about the universality of the Zoroastrian Religion. Of a belief in one God Ahura-Mazda and that the religion was meant for all mankind
Dastur Kekobad Aderbad Dastur Noshirwan went from Calcutta to Rangoon to perform Bellas navjote. Bella was the orphan child of a Parsi mother. He accepted Bella as a Parsi as “she was born of a Parsi mother”. (Saklat vs Bella)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DASTUR KEKOBADS TELEGRAM TO MERWANJI SAYING HE HAS PERFORMED NAVJOTES SIMILAR TO BELLA’S.
‘I AM AN INDEPENDENT DASTUR’
A report was published in the Jame Jamshed when Dastur Kaikobad took office as High Priest:
(Jame Jamshed: 21st July 1908)

In the Parsi community presently there are three Baronets, two Knights and a Sardar and to that there is the addition of one more Sardar. The Honourable position of the Head Priest of the Parsis of Deccan and Malwa has been graced since many years by the descendants of Dastur Jamasp Aashana. Two Dastur Sahebs – the last of this clan – Dastur Nosherwanji Jamaspji and his brother Dastur Hoshangji held the position of the first grade of the Dasturs. Presently their successor, the new Dastur Kekobad Adarbad has also been conferred with the honour of being decorated as the Sardar of the first grade by the Honourable Government and has spread joy and cheers in the community. We have been observing that this Dasturi family of Poona has won the laurels and honours because of their wisdom, ability and determination. The native place of that family is Navsari and as a rule, the Athornan tribe of Navsari has been a success wherever they have been because of the wisdom of their heart. However, the Jamasp Aasha family of Poona have gained their fame due to their knowledge of the religion, their progressive habits in keeping with the current trends, and considering it as their ardent duty to make their fellow tribesmen achieve progress. Dasturs could be found in plenty today, but those that guide their tribe in accordance of the advanced knowledge of their religion to stride on the true path, are not known to us to be found except – those daring Dasturs from Poona”.

 

 

= Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha. Born in March 1843. Died 2nd September 1915A D).

 

More than once he refused to accept the offer of a Dastur’s office.
Late Instructor, of Zend, in Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy Madressa(Seminary), in Bombay, from 1865 to 1870: of Zend, Pahlavi and Persian, in Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Zarthosti Madressa, in Naosari, from 1877 to 1884. Author of “An Outline of Zend Grammar, Compared with Sanskrit”: of a Series of 6 Brochures on Zoroastrian Morals,(in Gujrati): of “Nirange Rististan (A Complete Account of Zoroastrian Customs and Ceremonies of the Dead): A Brief Sketch of Zoroastrian Religion and Customs, ( Specially ritten for the Religious Congress in connection with the World’s Colombian Exhibition , of 1893, at Chicago): of an essay on the Distair, ( especially written in the Oriental Congress in 1895 at Geneva): of “Collected Sanskrit Writings of the Parsis, in seven parts (some being still unpublished): of a “Scheme for the Education of Parsi Children in the tenets of the Zoroastrian Religion”: of “Lessons on Avesta and Pahlavi Pazand”: of Pahlavi-Pazand-English and English-Pahlavi-Pazand Glossary”: Translator of the “Pahlavi of Aderbad Marespand’s Pand-Nameh: Co-edited the Pahlavi “Dadestan-i-Dinik”, with the late Ervad T D Anklesaria. He has published numerous Lectures and Sermons on behalf of the “Rah-numane Mazdayasnan Sabha”. The “Gayan Prasarak Mandli” and the Fasli Sal Mandli”.
Note-To his personal, valuable assistance The Parsis in India are highly indebted.
Ervad Sheriarji Bharucha was one of the members of the Expert Committee on Religion appointed during the case Petit vs Jeejeebhoy to determine if conversion was a tenet of the religion. He gave evidence in favour of Ratan and Susaune. He wrote a” Brief Sketch of the Zoroastrian Religion and Customs” which was presented at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893. Swami Vivekananda made his historical speech at this Parliament of World Religions.
His opinion on acceptance of a person born in another faith and converted to Zoroastrian Religion is expressed in the letter he wrote to the Trustees of the Anjumans Atash Behram.
Sir.
I have received your letter of this current month dated the 16th, and I am taking the liberty to answer the questions being asked in it
Any person of another faith, man or woman, who with a firm belief, free will, and a desire, wishes to enter our religion to perform his Navjote and accept him into the Zoroastrian Religion
If once an individual either born to people of another faith or born to a Zoroastrian has a Navjote performed, and has made the necessary solemn declaration in the presence of the priest thereby being accepted into the Zoroastrian Religion, from that point that person should be considered for all the rights as a Zoroastrian. This is my humble opinion
Signed
Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Dastur Maneckji Nusserwanji Dhalla, Ph. D.

Present High Priest of North-Western India. (Born on 22nd September 1875 A D).
Author of: “Zoroastrian Theology, from the Earliest times to the Present Day”,(in English) : “Nyaneshis, or Zoroastrian Litanies

Dastur Dhalla says in his Autobiography, The Saga of a Soul, in 1942,
“It is possible that after decades the community may create an enlightened and educated priest-class and a popular understanding that to spread the good faith and to increase our strength is not only commensurate with the precepts of our religion but also in the interest of our social well-being.” Dastur Dhalla.

 

 

 

DASTUR DARABJI DASTUR MAHYARJI MEHERJIRANA HIGH PRIEST OF NAOSARI

 

The Anjuman’s Atash Behram wrote a letter to experts on Religion whether it was alright to accept people of other Religions into the Zoroastrian faith. Dastur Mahyarji’s reply:
January 3, 1904
Navsari
Received your letter in which you have written, “Kindly express your opinion at your earliest with examples and arguments on the question of whether according to the teachings of our religion is it alright to accept people of other religions into the Zoroastrian religion”. I am taking the liberty to answer this question. According to the writings of our religious books, any person of another faith with a true belief, and who is anxious to enter our noble religion, has no restrictions shown him. There are certain proofs in favour of acceptance as found in:
Jashne Ha (Chapter) 30 Paragraph 11 Jashne Ha (Chapter) 43 Paragraph 6
Jashne A (Chapter) 46 Paragraph 13
Jashne A (Chapter) 45 Paragraph 1
Yajashne Ha (Chapter) 8 Paragraph 7
The final paragraph of the Vendidad Progress, etc.
Signed,
Dorabjee Dastur Maheeyarji

 

Courtesy: Prochy Mehta

 

 

Muktad Prayers – Ramiyar Karanjia

These are prayers which any Parsi Zoroastrian in a state of ritual purity can recite at the fire temple or in the house, at any time of the day or night during the 10 days of the Muktād. The Local Time from midnight to 2 am should be avoided for all prayers, except for the Kasti.

Contents

Muktad no Namaskar 1

Frāmraot Hā. 1

1200 Ashem Vohu. 2

Five Gatha Prayers. 3

Gatha Ahunavad. 3

Gatha Ushtavad. 13

Gatha Spentomad. 21

Gatha Vohu-Khshathra. 27

Gatha Vahistoisht 29

1200 Yatha Ahu Vairyos. 31

Stum-no-Kardo. 32

Fravardin Yasht 35

Lākhi nu Bhantar 49

Muktad no Namaskar

(Introduction: This Namaskar is done during the days of the Muktād. It can either be done at the Agyari where the Muktād are observed, or it can be recited even at home.)

FAz hamā gunāh patet pashemānum. Ashāunãm vanguhish surāo spentāo Fravashayo yazamaide. Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu. E (From F to E recite thrice).

Ahmāi  raeshcha  khvarenascha,  ahmāi  tanvo  drvatātem,  ahmāi  tanvo  vazdvare,   ahmāi  tanvo  verethrem,  ahmāi  ishtim  paourush-khāthrãm,  ahmāi  āsnãmchit  frazantim,  ahmāi  dareghãm  daregho-jitim,  ahmāi  vahishtem  ahum  ashaonãm,  raochanghem,  vispo-khāthrem.  Atha  jamyāt  yatha  āfrināmi.  Recite fully 1 Ashem  vohu.

Hazanghrem baeshazanãm, baevare baeshazanãm, Hazanghrem baeshazanãm, baevare baeshazanãm, Hazanghrem baeshazanãm,  baevare baeshazanãm. Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu.

Jasa  me  avanghe Mazda, jasa me avanghe Mazda, jasa  me  avanghe  Mazda !  Amahe  hutāshtahe  huraodhahe, Verethraghnahe Ahura-dhātahe, Vanaintyāoscha uparatāto, Rāmano  khāstrahe,  Vayaosh  uparo-kairyehe,  taradhāto  anyāish  dāmãn,  aetat  te  Vayo,  yat  te  asti,  Spento-mainyaom, thwāshahe khvadhātahe, Zravānahe akaranahe, Zravānahe daregho-khadhātahe.  Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu.

Kerfeh  mozd,  gunāh  guzāresh-nerā  kunam,  ashahi  ravãn  dushā-ram-rā,  ham  kerfeh  hamā  vehāne  hafta keshvar  zamin,  zamin-pahānā, (here, pay homage to mother earth by taking your hand towards the ground, but not touching it)   rud-darānā,  khorshid-bālā,  bundehād  beresād,  asho  bed  derji.  Atha jamyāt yatha āfrināmi.  Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu.

Frāmraot Hā.

(Introduction: This prayer has to be done only during the first 5 days of the Muktād, that is, from Āshtād roj to Anerān roj of Aspandād māh. It is actually the 20th Hā of the Yasna, which is a commentary on the Ashem Vohu prayer. It one is not able to pray it, then one can pray the 1200 Ashem Vohus as given later on. It can either be done at the Agyari where the Muktād are observed, or it can be recited even at home.)

Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdāo. Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu.

Pa nãme yazdãn Hormazd khodāe awazuni gorje khoreh awazāyād, Ardā-fravash be-rasād.

Az hamā gunāh patet pashemānum, az harvastin dushmata duzhukhta duzhvarshta, mem pa geti manid, oem goft, oem kard, oem jast, oem bun bud ested, az ān gunāh manashni gavashni kunashni, tani ravãni, geti minoãni, okhe avākhsh pashemān, pa se gavashni pa petet hom. Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdāo, taroidite Angrahe Mainyeush, haithyā-varshtãm hyat vasnā frashotemem. Staomi Ashem. Recite fully 3 Ashem vohu.

Fravarāne Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish vidaevo Ahura-tkaesho (Recite the appropriate short geh) frasastayaecha. Ahurahe Mazdāo raevato khvare-nanghato, Ameshanãm Spentanãm, ashāunãm fravashinãm ughranãm aiwi-thuranãm Paoiryo-tkaeshanām fravashinãm, Nabā-naz-dishta-nãm fravashinãm, khshnaothra yasnāicha vahmāicha khshnaothrāicha frasastayaecha, yathā āhu vairyo zaotā frā me mrute, athā ratush ashātchit hachā, frā ashava vidhvāo mraotu.

Ahurem Mazdām raevantem kharenanghantem yazamaide, Ameshā Spentā hu-khshathra hu-dhāongho yazamaide. Ashāunãm vanghuhish surāo spentāo fravashayo yazamaide.

 (1) Frāmraot Ahuro Mazdāo. Ashem Vohu vahishtem asti, para ahmāi vohu vahishtem chinasti, yatha khvaetave khvaetātem; vohu vahishtem asti atha tkaeshem kārayeiti.

(2) Ushtā asti ushtā ahmāi, ushtatāitya vispem ashavanem vispāi ashaone para-chinasti, yathanā stāitya vispem ashavanem vispāi ashaone para – chinasti.

(3) Hyat ashāi vahishtāi ashem, para – chinasti vispem māthrem vispem māthrāi, yatha ashāi khshathrem chinasti, yathacha zbayente ashaone ashem chinasti, yathacha khshmāvoya ashem chinasti yat Saoshyantaeibyo; thrāyo tkaesha. vispem vacho fravākem haurum, vacho Ahurahe Mazdāo.

(4) Mazdāo frāmraot; chim frāmraot, ashavanem mainyaomcha gaethimcha.  Chvās frāmraot fravākem, vahishto khshayamno. Chvantem ashavanem, vahishtemcha avaso-khshathremcha.

(5) Baghām Ashahe Vahishtahe yazamaide; Ashahe Vahishtahe yazamaide frasraothremcha, framerethremcha, fragāthremcha, frāyashtimcha.

Yenghe hātām āat yesne paiti vangho, Mazdāo Ahuro vaethā ashāt hachā,  yāonghāmchā tāschā tāoschā yazamaide.

Ashem Vohu 1.

(To recite in Bāj, i.e. mentally) Ahura Mazda khodāe, awazuni-e mardum, mardum sardagãn, hamā sardagãn, ham-bāyaste veãān, oem behedin Māzdayasnãn, āgāhi, āstavāni, neki rasānad, aedun bād. (To recite aloud) Recite fully 2 Yathā ahu vairyo.

Yasnemcha vahmemcha aojascha zavarecha āfrināmi, Ahurahe Mazdāo raevato khvare-nanghato, Ameshanãm Spentanãm, ashāunãm fravashinãm ughranām aiwi-thuranãm, Paoiryo-tkaeshanãm fravashinãm, Nabā-naz-dishta-nãm fravashinãm. Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu.

Ahmāi raeshcha, Hazanghrem, Jasa me avanghe Mazda, Kerfeh mozd. (Recite fully these 4 short prayers.)

1200 Ashem Vohu

(Introduction: This prayer has to be done only during the first 5 days of the Muktad, that is from Āshtād roj to Anerān roj of Aspandād māh. It has to be done if one is not praying the Framraot Hā prayer. If one is doing the Framraot Hā prayer, there is no need to do this prayer. It can either be done at the Agyari where the Muktād are observed, or it can be recited even at home.)

Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdāo. Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu.

Pa nãme yazdãn Hormazd khodāe awazuni gorje khoreh awazāyād, Ardā-fravash be-rasād.

Az hamā gunāh patet pashemānum, az harvastin dushmata duzhukhta duzhvarshta, mem pa geti manid, oem goft, oem kard, oem jast, oem bun bud ested, az ān gunāh manashni gavashni kunashni, tani ravãni, geti minoãni, okhe avākhsh pashemān, pa se gavashni pa petet hom. Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdāo, taroidite Angrahe Mainyeush, haithyā-varshtãm hyat vasnā frashotemem. Staomi Ashem. Recite fully 3 Ashem vohu.

Fravarāne Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish vidaevo Ahura-tkaesho (Recite the appropriate short geh) frasastayaecha. Ahurahe Mazdāo raevato khvare-nanghato, Ameshanãm Spentanãm, ashāunãm fravashinãm ughranãm aiwi-thuranãm Paoiryo-tkaeshanām fravashinãm, Nabā-naz-dishta-nãm fravashinãm, khshnaothra yasnāicha vahmāicha khshnaothrāicha frasastayaecha, yathā āhu vairyo zaotā frā me mrute, athā ratush ashātchit hachā, frā ashava vidhvāo mraotu.

Ahurem Mazdām raevantem kharenanghantem yazamaide, Ameshā Spentā hu-khshathra hu-dhāongho yazamaide. Ashāunãm vanghuhish surāo spentāo fravashayo yazamaide.

Recite fully 1200 Ashem Vohu.

Recite fully 2 Yathā ahu vairyo. Yasnemcha vahmemcha aojascha zavarecha āfrināmi, Ahurahe Mazdāo raevato khvare-nanghato, Ameshanãm Spentanãm, ashāunãm fravashinãm ughranām aiwi-thuranãm, Paoiryo-tkaeshanãm fravashinãm, Nabā-naz-dishta-nãm fravashinãm. Recite fully 1 Ashem vohu.

Ahmāi raeshcha, Hazanghrem, Jasa me avanghe Mazda, Kerfeh mozd. (Recite fully these 4 short prayers.)

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MUKTAD (Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia)

MUKTAD (Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia)
Zoroastrians all over the world celebrate the last ten days of their religious calendar year, that is, from roj Ashtad mah Spandarmad to the Vahishtoisht Gatha, as the Muktad.
The word Muktad is also referred to as Muktāt, which is closer to the Sanskrit word ‘atman’ = soul from which it is derived – mukt ātmān. It is the Sanskrit rendering of the Avestan word ashāunām.
Muktad is a joyous occasion for remembering and welcoming the Fravashis. We need to show our love and gratitude to them, as they help us in many ways. We have to thank both the types of Fravashis – those helping Nature and those helping human souls (living as well as departed ones).
In the old books, among the list of duties of a Zoroastrian, the duty of celebrating the Muktad is foremost.
According to Saddar Bundahishn, during these days the souls of the departed come down to the earth. The Fravashis, who are the guardians of the soul, accompany them. All souls are liberated, from wherever they are, even from hell. The souls of the pious make merry as if a traveler has returned home. The souls of the evil do not experience much joy as they are in the dread of returning back.
Zoroastrians erroneously believe that Muktad are the days of remembering just their departed ones. In fact, Muktad are the days for the collective worship of all Fravashis, followed by the individual remembrance of souls and Fravashis of one’s dear departed ones.
During the days of Muktad, the Fravashis come collectively to this world and go to their respective houses. Whenever the Muktad are properly celebrated and the Fravashis are duly propitiated, the affairs of those people are successful, and there is all round prosperity. People are blessed with health, strength, happiness, protection and abundance of waters. The Fravashis even bless the city and nation in which they are remembered.
Preparation for Muktad:
In the past, especially when Muktad was mainly celebrated in the house, preparations were made in the house. The full house or a particular room was cleaned and white-washed. Provisions and fuel were stocked at least to last the days of Muktad and new Year. This was done so that one did not need to go shopping during these days. People, as far as possible do not go out of the house, as souls and Fravashis are at home, and it is not proper to leave them and go out.
Sometimes, a night-long vigil was also kept by people. Members of the house, especially women, were actively involved with preparations, and took a Nahan (ritual bath).
All family members used to contribute their share towards buying house-hold items. This sharing gave rise to the term Behru, a Persian word, which means “share”.
Today, what we understand by the term Behru is the consecrated vase or karasya in which water and flowers are kept during the days of Muktad. The Behru is symbolic of the unity of the family and does not necessarily represent the departed person.
Muktad in the house:
It is advisable to observe the Muktad in the house. If not the prayers, at least some arrangement can be done to welcome the Fravashis home. The main requirements for observing Muktad in the house are fresh water, flowers, a metallic vase or a Karasyo, a metallic or stone table, fire, divo and chanting of prayers. Flowers can be arranged in a vase filled with water and kept in the prayer room or a secluded corner of the house. Water and flowers in the vase have to be changed daily. Flowers and water are the visible emblems and symbolic reminders of the invisible souls and Fravashis.
Water and flowers are representatives of Khordad and Amardad Ameshaspand. They are the carriers of reward for the soul of the deceased . They also uphold life and so do Fravashis. Moreover, all the three are also carriers of divine blessings. Hence water, plant and Fravashis are remembered together at several places (Yasna 26, Farvardin Yasht 23 etc.)
Duration – 10 or 18 days :
Today generally we celebrate 10 days of Muktad, starting from Roj Ashtad of Mah Spandarmad and ending at Vahishtoisht Gatha. Zoroastrian texts have references to 10 Farvardegan days. (dasa pairi khshafnao in Farvardin Yasht XIII, Phl Vd.VIII.22, Sdr Bnd, 52.1-3, Persian Revayats, Dhabhar).
For several centuries in India, Muktad was celebrated for 18 days. It started on Roj Ashishwangh of Mah Spandarmad and ended on the dawn of roj Amardad mah Fravarden. The earliest evidence of 18 days Muktad is through references in a book which relate such celebrations since the 15th century.
The reason Muktad were lengthened to 18 days was that the 7 days after Vahishtoisht Gatha are important since they belong to 7 Amshaspands.
Hormazd Roj is Navroz, Ardibahesht roj is Rapithwin consecration, Khordad roj is Khordad sal. Hence these six days were clubbed together to form 18 Muktad days.
In the early seventies, especially due to the initiative taken by Dasturji Khurshed Dabu and others, Muktad were once again gradually reverted back to 10 days.
Hamaspathmaedhem Gahambar: The later five days of the 10 day Muktad are also the days of. the sixth and the last Gahambar, Hamaspathmaedhem.
According to Zoroastrian religion, each of the 6 creations was created during one of the Gahambars. Mankind was created on the last Gahambar.
Purpose of Muktad :
In most religious traditions, the departed ones are specially invoked once a year. The Hindus refer these days as Shradh and the Christians as Lent (before Good Friday). According to Zoroastrian tradition the Fravashis descend at the end of the year.
During the Muktad, one should avoid routine work, and devote time to the remembrance of Fravashis and do works of charity and social service.
Fravashis come whenever they are invited. However, during the days of Muktad all the Fravashis descend. When they come to the house they should be welcomed and worshipped. If they are happy, they will give blessings of prosperity and happiness. They should not go back dissatisfied. Great rewards can be obtained by the observation of Muktad.
Muktad is a time of REPAYING the debt of gratitude to our ancestors – those whom we know and the countless others whom we don’t know, but who have made a difference to our lives.
These days also help us to renew the MEMORY of our dear departed ones. They also help us realise our RESPONSIBILITY for the future generations. Just as we reap the rewards of the actions done by our past ancestors, we should do something for the future generations.
Special prayers for Muktad, especially for laity:
1. For the first five days, Framraot Hā (commentary of Ashem Vohu)
2. For the five days of Gathas, each Gatha on the respective day has to be recited.
3. Muktad no namaskar.
4. Lākhi nu bhantar 570 Yatha + 210 Ashem + 120 Yenghe (total 900) in the khsnuman of Sarosh – is to be recited daily for 10 days.
Customs for Muktad :
1) Not to cut hair and nails, so as not to create naso and impurity.
2) Not to stitch clothes or other such avoidable chores, so that one could devote time to prayers and remembrance of Fravashis.
Men should not engage in work except doing their duty and performing meritorious deeds, so that the Fravashis may return with delight and pronounce benedictions.
3) To keep fire in the house and offer fragrance to it, praise Fravashis, recite the Fravarden Yasht, perform Afringan and recite Avesta prayers so that the Fravashis experience comfort, joy and delight and confer blessings.
Some customs arose out of ignorance and were later discontinued. For instance, a Jama (long white robe) was hung on sugarcane sticks to remind of the presence of the souls of departed persons. There was also a custom of cleaning the corners of the house with a broom immediately after Muktad to make sure that all the souls and Fravashis depart, lest some may stay back and take back the soul of a living person as company.
Presently there is a practice of going from Agyari to Agyari to pay homage to Muktad. This practice is not in agreement with the spirit of Muktad, wherein we need to stay at home, pray and invite the Fravashis in our houses. Moreover, in the past Muktads were mostly celebrated at home and not in Agyaris.
Important days during Muktad :
1. Roj Marespand – Din Beh Mino Marespand: On this day Asho Zarathosht was accepted as a prophet by King Vishtasp.
2. Hamaspathmaedhem Gahambar days: To consecrate Gahambar preferably on Ahunavad Gatha or any of the five Gathas.
4. Vahishtoisht Gatha is known as Pateti – day of Repentance. On this day, preferably in the Ushahin Gah, Patet has to be recited to seek forgiveness for sins committed knowingly or unknowingly during the year.
The night of Vahishtoisht Gatha is also referred to as Valāvo, that is, send off (for the Fravashis).
Muktad are the days of heightened communication between the material and spiritual worlds– our need of health, happiness, peace and prosperity is fulfilled through the blessings of the souls and the Fravashis, and their need for our remembrance is fulfilled by our sincere prayers and invocations.

Jivanji Jamshedji Modi’s speech at the Parliament of Living Religions

Sir Jivanji Jamshedji Modi’s Speech at the Parliament of World Religions.1893 at Chicago

The glory of the Parliament of World Religions was most obvious in the opening ceremony, on Sept. 11, 1893. More than 4000 people had gathered in the Hall of Columbus, when at 10oclock a dozen representatives from different faiths marched into the hall hand in hand. At the same time, the Columbian Liberty bell, in the Court of Honour tolled ten times, honouring the ten great world religions—Confucianism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Among the speakers Swami Vivekananda’s three speeches drew the most attention.

The aim of the conference was to bring together in conference, for the first time in history, the leading representatives of the great historic religions of the world and to set forth, by those most competent to speak, what are deemed the important distinctive truths held and taught by each Religion.

Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha was requested by Dadabhai Navroji to prepare a paper on the Zoroastrian Religion to present at the Parliament. In the published report of the Parliament of Religions 1893 (Vol 1, p. 58) the President writes “Hon. Dadabhoy Navrojee, M.P., of London, Jivanji Jamshedji Modi, Dastur Dr. Jamaspi Minocher Jamasp Asa, M.A. Ph.D., and Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha, took active interest in the Parliament and enlisted the cooperation of the Parsis of India “However, Ervad Sheriarji Bharucha was unable to attend the Parliament.

Sir Jivanji  Jamhedji Modi addressed this historic Parliament of World Religions in 1893.

He gives a detailed account of the religion, manners and customs of the Parsis. On the lighter side, he mentions, that the qualifications for a good husband are that he should be young, handsome, strong, brave, healthy, diligent, industrious, truthful, wise and educated. A good wife must be wise, educated, modest, courteous, obedient and chaste”. “According to the sad-dar, a wife who gives herself to her husband three times a day-in the morning, afternoon and evening performs as meritorious an act as that of saying her prayers three times a day”.

He explains, “Zoroastrianism or Parsism, by whatever name the system may be called is a monotheistic form of Religion. It believes in the existence of one God Ahura Mazda”. We might hardly conceive what human belief would be now had Zoroaster never existed.

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beliefs and customs of thr religion of Zarathustra by JJ MODI

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