Hamaysht Ceremony


Hamaysht ceremony in Surat Atash Behram Saheb

 

Attached here is a brief explanation of the Hamayasht ceremony being performed in Surat. This ceremony has not been performed for several years and those who can go across to Surat or are the local residents there can consider themselves fortunate to witness such a one-off kriya.

 

The Hamayasht ceremony is a long-winded ceremony in the Zoroastrian religion similar to the “Mahayagna” of the Hindus. There are 2 types of Hamayasht ceremonies, the “Motti” Hamayasht and “Nani” Hamayasht. On enquiries with High priests and scholars it has been observed that this ceremony has not been performed in India since the past several years. This ceremony comprises of the Yazashne, Vendidad, Baaj and Afringan in reverence of the following Yazatas.

 

Dadar Ahuramazda.

Teshtar Tir Yazad.

Khorshed Yazad.

Meher Yazad.

Avan Ardivisur Banu.

Adar Yazad.

Khordad Ameshaspand.

Amardad Ameshaspand.

Asfandamard Ameshaspand.

Govad Yazad.

Sarosh Yazad.

Farokh Farvardin.(Arda Fravash).

 

The Surat D. N. Modi Atashbehram is a prominent fire temple for most Pav Mahal ceremonies. Just as the Iranshah Atashbehram at Udwada is popular as the King of fires, and Navsari is termed as “Dharam ni tekri” or Mantle of religion, so also Surat is the preferred place for all Pav Mahal ceremonies. With due permission of the High priest of Surat, Dastur Noshirwan Manchershah the “Motti” Hamayasht ceremony has already commenced on Shenshahi Roj Adar, Mah Dey, i.e. 26th May 2003.

 

As per the information collected from senior mobed sahebs of the Atashbehram, the “Nani” Hamayasht ceremony had been performed 40 years ago in the memory of Daulatbanoo Jehangirji Gheewala. The “Motti” Hamayasht which is now being performed will comprise of 144 Yazashne, 144 Vendidad, 144 Afringan and 144 Baaj with the kshnuman of each of the 12 fareshtas (Yazatas) listed above. The expenditure for this will run into lakhs of Rupees. This ceremony is being conducted by a chust Bombay based Zarathushtri by the name of Hoshang Bengali in memory of his dear departed wife Homai. This ceremony will last for 70 days ! The Hamayasht requires 5 pairs of Yaozdathregar mobeds with proper Bareshnum Nahn.

 

The Mobeds selected for this gigantic task are Ervad Farokh B. Turel, Ervad Noshir B. Turel, Ervad Nairyosang J. Turel, Ervad Faredun J. Turel, Ervad Harvespa A. Sanjana, Ervad Adil A. Sanjana, Ervad Dara J. Bharda, Ervad Zubin P. Rabadi, Ervad Burjor F. Aibara, Ervad Kobad J. Bharda, and Ervad Porus S. Zarolia. These mobeds will perform for 70 days continuously with all tarikats of purity.

 

We hope and are confident that with the performance of this gigantic religious ceremony our Parsi Zarathushtri brothers and sisters will once again live in happiness, peace, unity and unflinching faith towards our deen and wish that the blessings of all the fareshtas descend on us in plenty to eradicate ahrimanic influences now prevalent with the help of the strong manthravani that emanate from this ceremony.

 

The trustees of the Modi Atashbehram, Vada Dasturji Saheb of Surat, Naib Dasturji Saheb and the 10 yaozdathregar mobed sahibs performing the ceremony cordially invite one and all humdin of Surat and outside towns, cities, countries to witness this kriya and be fortunate enough to receive the blessings of all the fareshtas and Pak Dadar Ahuramazda.

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What does the Kasti Symbolize?


What does the Kasti symbolize? How is it made? (Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia)

1) The Kasti is the thin woollen waistband worn over the Sadra, which passes thrice around the waist. It is made by weaving together 72 fine threads of lamb’s wool. In the past it was prepared by ladies from priestly families while chanting manthravani prayers. Wool is known to have the inherent property of absorbing and retaining vibrations.

2) The word kasti means a boundary, and it reminds one to keep within the boundary of religious duty. The word Kasti comes from Avesta aiwyāonghana “that which is girded around” and Pahlavi kosht “boundary (of religious duty).” The word is also derived from Avestan word karsha “spiritual boundary which keeps evil away.”

3) The Kasti is to be worn thrice round the waist. The number three, among other things, represent the principles of humata, hukhta & hvarshta “good thoughts, good words and good deeds.” While tying the three rounds, two reef knots are tied, one at the front during the second round and the second one at the end of the third round. Each reef knot includes the tying of two knots – two in the front and two at the back.

4) Hence, in the Kasti there are in all four knots. Each knot is connected to the one of the four promises given by a child while saying the Din-no-Kalmo prayer on the day of the Navjot. The four promises are; I will consider Ahura Mazda as my only God. ii) I will consider Zarathushtra as my only prophet. iii) I will consider Mazdayasni Zarthoshti as my only religion. iv) I will be faithful to my God, prophet and religion all my life.

5) The Sadra and Kasti are the religious implements of the Zoroastrians. They form an invisible circuit of prayers around physical body, which if properly kept, protects one from negative forces, and leads one on the path of piety and duty.

6) Making of Kasti: Lamb’s wool is first woven on a spindle. Then threads from two spindles are combined together in one ball. The double yarn is then twisted and passed 72 times around the loom (Gujarati jantar). These 72 threads are then divided into 6 sets of 12 strands each. It is in a circle, which is then cut by a priest while saying a particular prayer. The rest of the weaving is done by hand. 1 lar and 3 laris are made on each end. Then the Kasti is flattened, washed, dried and fumigated and folded, ready for use.

7) Most of the parts of the Kasti symbolize something and remind us of a religious teaching. Lamb’s wool symbolizes innocence. The 72 threads remind us of the 72 chapters of the holy text of the Yasna which are recited in the Yasna ritual. Hence, the number 72 represents all the sacred Zoroastrian texts and the lofty Zoroastrian rituals. The six laris (three on each side) reminds us of the six Gahambars – the seasonal festivals and teach us to be in sync with the seasons and nature.

Jam-e-Jamshed of 22 & 29-4-2018

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Kusti, Kushti

Parsi New Year 2018


The Parsi community across India is looking forward to celebrate the Parsi New Year on 17th August 2018. Parsis may be a small community, but they have contributed to Indian culture over the years, alongside other religions and communities

Parsi New Year 2018: Date, Significance, Celebrations And Feast During Pateti

The Parsi community across India is looking forward to celebrate the Parsi New Year on 17th August 2018. In August, Parsis commemorate their arrival and acceptance on their new homeland. Originally from Persia, Parsis follow the religion Zoroastrianism, which was founded by Zarathustra in Persia. This day is also known as Jamshed-i-Nouroz, after the name of the Persian king Jamshed, who is believed to introduce the Parsi calendar. People in India follow the Shahenshahi calendar, which does not take into account leap years, and as a result of which the Parsi New Year is celebrated in India and Pakistan about 200 days after it is observed across the world. Parsis may be a small community, but they have contributed to Indian culture over the years, alongside other religions and communities.

 

Parsi New Year 2018: Date, Significance And Celebrations Of The Festival

 

Also known as Pateti, the celebration of Parsi New Year is said to have begun some 3000 years ago. It falls in the month of August, as per the Gregorian calendar. On this day, people pray for prosperity, health and wealth. It is known as the day of remittance of sins and repentance. People clean their homes, decorate their houses with rangoli and flowers, adorn new dresses, and visit Fire Temple to ask for forgiveness for any mistake committed in the past and start afresh. The celebrations also include feasting over an elaborate meal, where friends and families come together and celebrate the auspicious occasion with much fervour.

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Parsi New Year: Also known as Pateti, the celebration of Parsi New Year is said to have begun some 3000 years ago

Parsi New Year 2018: Feast Prepared During Pateti

On the big day, people usually prepare delicacies like meethi sev dahi, mora dal chawal (also called dhan daar), machchi no patio, mutton pulao, saas ni machchi, marghi na farcha (crispy fried chicken), patra nu machli, sali boti, berry pulao, jardaloo chicken, kid gosht, cutlets, mawa ni boi, lagan nu custard, et al. Preparations start a day in advance to ensure that all the dishes are prepared perfectly and are full of flavour.

Delicious Recipes To Enjoy During Parsi New Year

1. Sali Boti (Parsi Meat Dish) Recipe

Parsi mutton curry, with prominent flavours of tomatoes, onions, jaggery and vinegar, makes a special delicacy during special occasions like the Parsi New Year. This one’s going to be a star-dish among your family and friends.

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Parsi new year: This one’s going to be a star-dish among your family and friends

2. Parsi Mutton Cutlets

Celebrations are incomplete without the much coveted Parsi mutton cutlets. To prepare this dish, you need minced mutton, potatoes, bread crumbs, eggs and a host of spices. Don’t forget to serve it with sliced onions and chutney.

3. Chicken Farcha

Chicken farcha is a delicious Parsi recipe that is a blend of spices and a tang of lemon. It is served with your choice of dip or chutney.

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Parsi New Year: Chicken farcha is a delicious Parsi recipe that is a blend of spices and a tang of lemon

4. Lagan Nu Custard

Lagan nu custard is a dessert, which is usually prepared on weddings or Parsi New Year. Made with simple ingredients like milk, eggs, butter and nuts, it is a perfect dessert to celebrate occasions.

5. Patra Ni Machchi

Pomfret fillets coated in coconut chutney, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection, that’s patra ni machchi for you. Once unwrapped, add a dash of lemon juice to enjoy the tanginess.

6. Kid Gosht

Lamb cooked in a burst of masalas, rich cashew paste and coconut milk essence, kid gosht is a festive special.

Happy Parsi New Year 2018!

https://www.ndtv.com/food/parsi-new-year-2018-date-significance-celebrations-and-feast-during-pateti-1900440

Celebrating Muktad in the House


Celebrating Muktad in the House
(Er. Dr. Ramiyar P. Karanjia)

Zoroastrians all over the world celebrate the last ten days of their religious calendar year, as the Muktad. Generally Muktad is viewed in a very limited way as the days of remembering the dead. This is not so. The Muktad is a joyous occasion for welcoming the souls and the Fravashis to this world and in our houses,remembering them and offering them hospitality. It’s the time to show them our love and gratitude,for all the unseen help they provide us.
During these days, the souls and Fravashis of dear ones visit to their respective houses. Hence, it is necessary to create a pious and pleasant atmosphere in the house and celebrate the Muktad in the house, even in a small way, irrespective of whether regular Muktad of the family are done in the Agyari or not. Muktad can be observed in the house in a very simple and small way as follows:
1. Select a small corner in the house, which has to be kept relatively clean.
If necessary it can be covered by a curtain.
2. Keep a small table there.
3. On the table keep a small clean metallic glass, karasya or vase with clean water
and one or two flowers in it, preferably roses.
4. Clean the glass, karasya or vase daily and change the water daily.
Yu can even wash the flower/s and re-use them till they are fresh.
5. Have a continuously burning diva on the table, if possible.
6. Members of the house can do their Kasti and daily prayers there.
7. Each member of the house, young or old, should devote some time, at least a
few minutes, in prayers there. One can select from among the several prayers,
either or multiple of which can be done in that corner, from the simplest to the
elaborate, after doing the Kasti, like:

a. Praying 12 Ashem Vohu (especially for children)

b. Praying ‘Muktad no namaskar’ (from the Khordeh Avesta)

c. Praying ‘Satum no Kardo’ (after farajyat prayers).

d. Praying Framraot Ha (first 5 days) or Gathas (later 5 days).

e. Praying ‘Farvardin Yasht’ (after farajyat prayers).

f. Pray 570 Yatha ahu vairyo + 210 Ashem vohu + 120 Yenghe hatam
daily (especially for elders in the house if they have time.)

This will create a very fragrant and pleasant atmosphere in the house which is necessary for welcoming the souls and Fravashis and conducive for them to be guests in the house. Whenever the souls and Fravashis are pleasantly remembered and prayed to during these days, they return back, showering blessings, which bring
success and prosperity to the house and blessing its inhabitants with health, strength,happiness, protection and abundance.

Explanation of Muktad Rituals and Prayers


Technical aspects of the rituals, etymology of certain words, appropriate and inappropriate methods not to be taken as a fatwa, calender variations Talk given By: The living Zoroastrian encyclopedia, Dasturji Dr Firoze Kotwal On : 22 nd July 2018 At: The Empowering Mobeds program

 

MY ENGLISH TRANSLATION SUMMARY OF DASTURJI FIROZE KOTWAL’S GUJERATI LANGUAGE TALK ON MUKTAD & RELATED ITEMS AT EMPOWER MOBEDS PROGRAM ON JULY 22, 2018 IN MUMBAI, INDIA

by   Maneck Bhujwala

“Today I am going to talk to you about Muktad, and whatever subject I am talking, do not understand it as some kind of Fatwa, but according to religious books what things should be done, some understanding about it, I want to give you.

The word Muktad that we use, that word was first used in the 12th century by the famous scholar of Pahlavi and Sanskrit, Nairyosangh Dhawal. For the Asho Farohar in Sanskrit he used that word in Muktad. That means liberated souls from the Ashoi world. What all rituals that we do are for the Asho Farohars and Asho souls (ruvaans), and through the Farohars those rituals that we do are to benefit the souls and through the rituals we wish rest and happiness for the souls. And we say that this is the main goal of the rituals. And when the souls become happy, they bless those who sponsor the rituals.

When we read chapter 55 of the Ijashne, then in the first line it tells us that a person’s structure is made of nine parts. The first line says “Vispao gaethaoscha, tatvascha, azdibishcha, ushtaanascha, keherpascha, tevishi, baodhascha, urvaanimcha, farvashimcha. The first three parts are material parts, which means they are destined to be destroyed, like our skeleton, our bones, and our flesh. These three things, when a person dies, should be disposed right away as soon as possible, because there is Druje Naso in them, meaning evilness of corruption, putrefaction that enters, increases, so they should be disposed as soon as possible. Keeping this material part stored by saying that some relatives are coming, so keep these for two days, is a very sinful action, that should not be done, according to our religion. The other three parts are half material and half spiritual. When a person is born, after a while these three parts disappear. Our vitality, vigor, astral body or keherpascha are half material and half spiritual. And the third part – baodascha, urvaanimcha, and fravashimcha. Baodhascha means consciousness, Urvaanimcha means Soul (Ravaan), and Fravashimcha means Fravashi (Guardian Spirit). Baodhascha, Urvaanimcha, Fravashimcha, these three parts when a person is living become useful to the person. When something is bad, the Fravashimcha gives a message to the Urvaanimcha, through the Baodhascha. The soul (ravaan) is the ruler of the body which may or may not obey the advice of the Fravashi (guardian spirit). If it follows the advice of the Fravashi, it obtains the highest happiness. If it does not follow the advice then the result is bad in the spiritual world, so the message of the Fravashi is brought by Baodhan (Consciousness). So the Fravashi does the work of an advisor, the Soul does the work of the (decider?) and the Baodhan does the work of a messenger. Our religion gives us an understanding of our structure.

According to our religion, when a Zarathushti is living, there are six duties to be performed by the person. The first duty is to perform Gahambars, to participate in them. The second duty is Farvardegan or the praise of the Fravashis in the Muktad. The third duty is to do Rapithwan always, this is very important, that should be remembered. The fourth duty is to do Zinde Ravaan, the ritual which is four days long because in the old times when a Zarathushti went somewhere, whether the person will return home was a big question, so if the Sarosh Zinde Ravaan is done before going, then no matter under what calamity, may God forbid something happens to the person, so if that Sarosh is kept in reserve then that would be beneficial after death to that person. Our religion has decreed that the Zinde Ravaan ritual should be done by Zarathushtis. The fifth duty is to do the Khorshed and Meher Nyayesh. Every day the Khorshed and Meher Nyayesh should be done three times. This is an obligatory prayer. The sixth duty is to do Mahbakhtar Nyayesh which is to be done at night in the Aiwisruthrem and Ushahin gehs, and that duty is such that in a month you do it three times on full moon, new moon, and Dark night (Amaavasya). What we say Mahbokhtar, the real word is not Mahbokhtar but it is Mahbakhtar. Bakhtar means giver of luck. You know that the moon size grows for fifteen days and reduces for fifteen days, so what have the priests of Iran said about this is that Mahbakhtaar is the giver of luck, and when it grows for fifteen days then it gets the merit from the Yazatas and Amesha Spentas, and when its size decreases for fifteen days, it distributes that merit to those Zarathushtis who do good deeds in this world. That is why the Zarathushtis in Iran do not call it Bokhtaar, but even if you read in their Persian language books, they call it Bakhtaar. That is why, in our place the recital of Mahbakhtaar, what we call Chandrama (Mah) whose function is to distribute merit, we use the proper word Bakhtaar which is also used that way in the Pahlavi scriptures, that I should inform you.

Now, in these six duties, the one which is also included for Farvardegan, which is about remembering the Asho Fravahars. The word “Muktad” that we use, is called Farvardegan by Iranian Zarathushtis, so that word Farvardegan is more appropriate, because this is about the importance of the Fravahars. Farvardegan in which we perform the Jashan for the Fravahars or Parabh, that is of the great function of the Fravahars. Now these days of Farvardegan come in the month of Spendarmad. The first five days, from Ashtaad through Aneraan, are called Panche geh in our religion, meaning five days, and then the Gathaa days which come in Farvardegan, the Gathas do not have any connection with any month, they are included. We do not recite the month in the Roz nek naam, so in Pahlavi, Gatha is called Vihezakeek. Meaning that in any month the Gathas can be placed after the end of the month. If you look at the calendar, after the end of the Spendarmad month, five Gathas which we recited, in the old calendar they were recited after the month of Abaan (Ava). After that when this calendar was adopted, then they were placed after the month of Spendarmad.  In those times we used to do an intercalation (kabiso) of one month that was done so that Navroz would come as much as possible in the Spring, that was one of our practices. In those times when it was our kingdom we used to do one more month as intercalation. The last time this intercalation was done then five Gathas were placed after the month of Ava. After that when the intercalation was done again, then they were placed after Spendarmad month, because between the months of Ava and Spendarmad, many intercalations had passed that were not done in Iran. So, in the twelfth century when the month of Spendarmad came in Spring, then the Gathas were placed at the end of Spendarmad, so that the month of Farvardin could start in Spring. So, you have to remember that Gathas were placed after different months, and that today we are not doing that intercalation (kabiso). We had done that intercalation in Hindustan in the twelfth century, when our whole group was in Sanjan. In the twelfth century the Sanskrit scholar Naryosangh Dhawal was living, and we can make a guess that at that time when our whole group was in Sanjan, we must have done that intercalation (kabiso). And, in order to do that intercalation there was a difference of one month between our calendar and the Iranian calendar which we call “Kadimi” which continues today.  Another thing I would say about the word Kadimi, do not think that because we did the intercalation in Hindustan that we call the Iranian calendar Kadimi.

In the year 1079 in Iran when Jalaluddin Malekshah was Sultan, and Omar Khayyam was his vizier who in order to make revenue collection convenient, started making March 21 as the New Year (Navroz) and even today that event is celebrated with great pomp and happiness. However this calendar change was not at all liked by the Iranian Zarathushtis, because March 21 is such that every four years if you add one day, then it would mess up our ritual ceremonies, because the last five days are for the Gathas and when you add one day then where will you bring the sixth Gatha?  Hamspadmaidyem Ghahambar has five days for Gathas, so how will you make six out of five. If a person dies on the sixth (leap year) day then should we do his anniversary prayers every fourth year when that additional day comes again? We who are knowledgeable are opposed to that calendar change even today, and the Iranians did not accept that calendar change and called their calendar Kadim. In Surat when Nusserwanji Koyaji started the new Fasli calendar there was a lot of trouble. It is OK to celebrate Navroz according to the Fasli calendar but you should keep in mind that if you change our calendar then our ritual ceremonies will be messed up. You should know that the establishment of Iranshah temple was done according to the Kadimi calendar. It is important to know these facts, so that we can claim that we are doing things based on research. We don’t want to say that what we say is the only truth, and others should follow that. You can make your own decisions based on your thinking.

We call Farvardin roz as Farvardegan, and according to our scriptures three Farvardin rozes are of great importance – one in month of Adar, one in Aspandard and one in month of Farvardin. Our Zarathushtis have a belief about the Farvardin roz in the month of Aspandard, that the righteous (Asho) souls (ravaans) and Asho Farohars come here to this earth on that day, and after the Farvardegan, the souls and Farohars depart from this earth on Farvardin roz and Farvardin month. So the first Farvardin roz is to welcome them and the second Farvardin roz is to bid them farewell. Now the Farvardin roz of the month of Adar is remembered because at the time of the last intercalation that was the first Farvardin roz, and we want to keep that memory alive.

Another thing, that Khordad roz of Aspandard month which is the Pateti of the Iranians, that day we recognize as Avardaad saal gah, there is a Jashan on that day that many people don’t know about, was started by the Shehenshahi people in India to remember the day when we separated from the Kadimi calendar, because we had done the intercalation in India on that day (not the Iranians). Avardad is the Persian Fardad meaning abandoned (stopped observing it), and Gah means Gatha because in the Khsnuman of the Jashan, besides the Khordad roz there are also the names of the five Gathas. This fact is not generally known, but it is found in our Pav Mahal prayer books.

Now you may know that there were arguments about the number of days of Farvardegan. In the old days about ninety percent of our Zarathushti used to observe eighteen days. According to our religious books, ten days were mentioned for Farvardegan. So, how did we start observing eighteen days in Hindustan ?  Because we could not observe all the six annual duties (mentioned earlier) in Hindustan, these were included in our ritual ceremonies. For example after death we do certain Nyayishes including Mahbakhtar, and Rapithwan was connected with Muktad. Khordad Sal was an important day when great events had happened in Iran, and there is a whole Pahlavi text by the name Roz Khordad and Mah Fravardin. Rapithwan has such importance. You must have heard the name of the Pahlavi book Bundahishn which means Beginning of Creation, so how creation started in the spiritual world. Dadar Hormuzd wears Paymojokisped meaning White Garment. In Pahlavi it is mentioned as PragiAshroni, or the garment of priests. So it is not good for priests to wear multicolored garments. Dadar Hormuzd wears the white garment and with the six Ameshaspands performes Ijashne in Rapithwan geh in the spiritual world, and then created the material world. So we Mobeds forgot this celestial garment and due to British influence started wearing multicolored   shirt and pants. You should remain proud of your garment.  When the Atashbehram was established in Navsari, then in the Rapithwan Jashan it was resolved that in order to have the ash it was necessary to establish an Atashbehram in Navsari, and the knowledgeable priests created a scheme on how to establish an Atashbehram (because the Sanjana priests did not have it due to the passage of 800 years, and this scheme was later followed for establishment of three other Atashbehrams in India. (37.04 minutes stop in recording)During the Jashan in Navsari, a Tandarosti prayer was recited in the name of Khurshedji Bapa who was living at that time and who had sent letters to Surat, Bharuch and other institutions from whom very encouraging replies were obtained, and the Atashbehram was established with the help of the anjuman (public) as Khurshedji Bapa has written “Atashbehram Prathhaa anjumannaa Navsari maa”. So, the Atashbehram was established with help of the public, and in which the largest share was from Bhagaria Seth family. This Maneckji Seth Agiary is from that family. Maneckji Seth had two daughters, he did not have a son, and his daughters also married in the Seth family, so he adopted his son-in-laws as his sons. And, in that time, the Seth family had given much help, giving land (jagir) to the Atashbehram, so the Bhagarias should never forget the name of the Seth family. So I told you about the eighteen day Muktad.

Now, even though we write and talk about it, you Mobeds are not doing, is that when someone dies during the five days of the Gathas, what Roz should be taken, because Gathas don’t come every month, but only once a year. In our Pahlavi books, in Rivayats, our prominent Dasturs, like Kaikhushru Kutar as I remember last, have written that for such people who die during Gatha days, we should take the Roz as Farvardin because these are days of Farvardegan. And, then Sirozo will come on Rashne roz in month of Shehrevar, Chhamsi will come on Farvardin roz.  If death happened on Ushtavad Gatha then do Sirozo on Ahunavad Gatha, do Varsi (yearly ritual) on Ushtavad Gatha. This is the way our religion instructs us.

It is not that Ahunavad Gatha is taken as Hormuzd roz and Ushtavad Gatha is taken as Bahman roz. Although this is how it is being done, that is not how our religion instructs us.

Now our Zarathostis, and Mobed class is included in that, what should they do during Muktad ?  For all the five days from Ashtad to Aneran, we are instructed to recite Framrot naa Ha and twelve hundred Ashem Vohu prayers, which you will find in the complete Khordeh Avesta book, and during the five days of the Gathas, in every Gatha day we have to recite the Gatha and twelve hundred Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayers. Those who are not Mobeds and Osta can do the prayers in this way. Reciting Gatha prayers may be difficult for some people, but if they practice by reciting one Gatha every day, then slowly they will be able to pick up speed, and be able to recite them. Where there is a will there is a way.

Now what I am saying is especially for the Mobeds. We have seen that rituals are done without proper order, even in the small towns. In Bombay, there are all five groups of Mobeds, and the High Priests of Atashbehrams have control over the other Mobeds, and sometimes the Dasturs give Fatwas, instructions according their personal beliefs, that we should only pray this way, which may not be according to the religion. I am telling you all this according to religion. I don’t have any connection with any Panth (group) nor with any Agiary (temple). So, let us put that story on the side, what they all pray. But, Mobed Sahebs think according to our religion that there are eight Kardas in the Afringan. Let me count them – Yao Visadh’s first kardo which is the thirteenth karda which comes from Farvardin Yasht, Yao Visadh’s second kardo which is only recited in Ardafarvash Afringan, and which is joined with the thirteenth karda “Ashaonam Farvashinam” (the whole kardo is recited in our daily Afringans “Ashaonam Vanghuinam …”), the third kardo is in Dahman Afringan, that is “Tao Ahmi namaane…”. Do not say “Dahm”, say “Dahman”. Dahm Yazad is only one and that is when we do Dahm Yazad prayer with seven Yatha Ahu Vairyos in Chahrum prayer or in Fareshta prayers. Today what you pray Dahm Yazad with two Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayers is not there in any Pav Mahal rituals. There is no kardo with Khshnuman “Dahm Yazad berasad” but it has been created in Mumbai.  Dahman means celebration of the Fareshtas of thirteen days, Dahman means about the Fareshtas. For example if today is Ava roz, then in the Khshnuman we recite “Aspandarmad, Ava, Din, Ard, Marespand Vispesa Ardafarvash beresaad” in the Pazend khshnuman, and together with that is the “Tao ahmi namaane…”. Now can someone tell me about the Yao Visadh kardo , that in the Khshnuman we did for all these Fareshtas, but you are not praying the Vadi khshnuman for these Fareshtas in Avesta, but in Dahman Afringan there is one main kardo of Tao ahmi namaane, and there is such a principle that nobody knows about or only a few may know, that after “vidhvao marotu” if the vadi Khshnuman of Dadar Hormuzd is recited, then we have to recite the thirteenth kardo of Yao Visadh. So, if we pray in that way in the Afringan of Dahman, then we cannot recite Tao ahmi namaane, because with the Ahuremazdao khshnuman we would have to recite the Khshnuman of all the Fareshtas. That is why the elders and in our books Dahman Dahmayao vanghuyao meaning the good Fareshtas, so the remembering of the Fareshtas is done in brief, and after “Vidhvao mrute” we recite “Tao ahmi namane”. That is the rule of our rituals. So, I told you that two kardas of Yao Visadh, Tao ahmi namane, two kardas of Sarosh, then karda of Ghambar “Datache…” which is taken from one of our old Nask, then karda of Rapithwan “Atha jimro” which is taken from Nirangistan, you can see how these kardas have been taken from the big Nasks, and the eighth karda which is of the Navar Afringan “Ahuremazdam Huthonghe” that is the sixteenth Ha. In this way the whole arrangement of our outer ceremonies is done with the eight kardas. So, if we pray in that way, it is better. According to all those rules if we pray, it is so good. If you pray the vadi khshnuman of Dadar Hormuzd then you should pray Yao Visadh kardo. So if you think like that and pray, nobody can complain. Other things are done for show. I only tell you what is according to religion. Some people may do what they want and say that Dasturji is giving us Fatwa, but I do not give Fatwas. Then it is upto each person to believe me or not.

Now what I have to say is that the second Afrin that we recite “Iranshahr…name of thecity” then some people will say “what is he praying”. Phiroze Masani had published several books on Afrins which is good, but in that this line is put in by doing a wrong translation after Baname Dadar Hormuzd. The true translation which is also given in the old books, is . Baname Dadar Hormuzd afreen thi aay sharoo karu chhu. Choon Pishgaah …….meaning that the manner in which the leaders in Iran had prayed (dua guzareli) in that manner we are doing the Afrin prayer in this city.  The other thing is that “Dinyaavar gooyaa.  Tehmuras Anklesaria was a scholar of Pahlavi. First of all he was a disciple of K.R. Cama. He put the word “gooyaa” in brackets because he did not understand it. This word is put in Pazend wrongly, but even so all Mobeds are using it. In Pahalavi books it is not “gooyaa” but “goondaar” which means “soothsayer”  teller of future, which is related to remembering Jamasp who was a soothsayer to whom Zarthost saheb had made him smell a flower with which he gave him the gift of knowing the future.

The last thing I have to tell you is that (in the Afrin-e-Haft Ameshaspand) the paragraph “Dahman ke pa in myazd fraj-rasid hend …” Dahman refers to the people attending the Jashan and says that you are welcome and if you take one step to protect the religion then twelve hundred steps will come to greet you. And after that what we recite “ravaan garosmani baad” that is for the living that after your death may your soul be deserving of heaven. Many people believe that we are praying this for the departed souls, and they may be shocked to know the true meaning. That is the end of my lecture, and you may adopt whatever you think is right. “

How to clean your Ses


A Ses is a tray of traditional Zoroastrian items having symbolic importance, and used during various ceremonies and occasions. Most are made of silver or stainless steel, and is usually cleaned during Nowruz and the Parsi New Year. A pure silver Ses can tarnish easily, so here is my very easy and quick way to clean your items. This is great to do before lacquering, but will only work on a pure silver, uncoated Ses. This method of cleaning also works well with pure silver cutlery and jewellery.

The significance of Ses


“Ses” is the most prominent auspicious symbol among Parsis. It is a round metallic tray of varied shapes and sizes, present at all times in a Parsi house, especially on auspicious occasions. The Ses for general occasions is a small one and the Ses for special occasions, like weddings and Navjotes, is a big one.

The Ses has a wonderful collection of auspicious items in it:

▪Divo : Symbolises light – to dispel darkness and evil.

▪Paro / Soparo : It is a conical metallic utensil in which patasha and/or rock sugar (khadi sakar) is kept. It is a modification of the Iranian kalleh ghand, a cone of rock sugar wrapped in green gold foil, embossed with a Farohar motif.  It’s reminiscent of the conical sweets wrapped in green paper in Iran till this day. – Symbol of sweetness.
▪ Pigani: It is a small metallic utensil  (wine glass shaped) with a lid in which Kanku (vermilion) is kept to put an auspicious red mark/tila on the forehead. The Parsis generally put a vertical mark on the forehead of a man and a round one on the forehead of the woman. The former signifies rays of the sun, the latter signifies the moon. Rice is placed on to the red mark to signify plenty.
▪ Gulabaz: It’s a metallic sprinkler-cum-container, which has rose water (Gulaab-jal) in it. In Iran it was used to sprinkle on guests while welcoming them and saying: Khush amadid or “welcome”.
▪ Miscellaneous items: Coconut (a symbol of resourcefulness and Utility), betel leaves (paan), betel nut (sopari), almonds (badaam), dried dates (khaarak), rice, (symbolising fertility and productivity) curd and fish (fresh fish or sweet meat in the shape of a fish)(for good luck).  There can be water for purity; eggs – life-giving force; sugar crystals (khari saakar) -sweetness; rose petals – happiness; silver and gold coins – wealth and prosperity are also placed. A garland of fresh flowers is twisted around the ses. Nowadays, metallic replicas of some of the above things are placed in the Ses instead of real ones.

At the time of the Navjote and marriage, a special Ses is prepared. The tray is bigger, since a special set of clothes are kept, which differ for a boy and girl. If the Navjotee is a boy, then shirt, pant, dagli, socks and shoes are kept. If the Navjotee is a girl, a sari is kept. This sari will be most probably the first sari that the girl would wear when she grows up.

 

Ceremony on the 6th day (CHHATTHI) after the baby is born.


Ceremony on the 6th day (CHATHI)  after the baby is born.

On the 6th day Light a Divo in the evening at around Dusk time (late evening).

What you need to keep ready:

Ful ses with khoomchi, soparo, pigani, kankoo dani, floweres, glass for batti, Karek, sopari, badam,  sakar, rice grain.

Plain Sheet of white paper, and new Red Pen (keep the pen open do not put on the cap)

Preferably Red Dress, panty/Baba Suit.

Cap/Bonnet/Topi

If  Baby Girl preferably small red 3-5, bangles to be kept on the Sopara

Loban  or  agarbatti would do

What to do:

In the evening take a head bath. Clean the place, put chowk (optional if you are abroad)

In big Plate/Khoomchi put the Red clothes for the child, you may put any  jewelry if you like chain, pendent, Gold/Siver coin etc.  On the top of the Sopara put Bangles if girl (it is a sign of good luck for the girl child)

On the Sheet write with a red pen (not the new one) ‘Chaathimai mara dikara/dikri ………(write name of the parents) bachaa na sara lekh/nasib lakhi jasoji  you may write what you wish for the child eg. Long, happy, successful life with good health etc… Take ovarna with rice

Place the White plain sheet next to it and light the Divo, Agarbatti.  Leave the paper and open pen on  the sheet overnight.

Say a small prayer wishing the parents and child well.

Let everything be there, once the Divo extinguishes you may pick up everything and put away the clothes to be worn by the baby after the 40th day Nahan and going to Agiary.

Courtesy : Thrity Tantra

Popular Parsi Myths


As an ethnic community, Parsis have lived in India for over a millennium and myriad myths have been cherished and closeted which require to be brought out and given an occasional dusting. We realised the need for doing this in the course of a recent interaction with some elders of the community. It dawned on us that some of our elders are unintentionally ignorant of so many truths…. hence, what can we expect from our youth?

Last year from the Shehenshahi month of Meher we started a monthly series on Parsi Parab or the day when the Roj coincides with the Mah. Our readers found the series both insightful and inspiring. In keeping with our motto to inspire and inform, we are pleased to kick off, with this issue of Parsi Times, yet another interesting series titled ‘Popular Parsi Myths’, by our Community luminary, a Zoroastrian scholar and visionary and a writer par excellence, Noshir H. Dadrawala. The object of this series is not to debunk closely but wrongly held beliefs, but to shed the light of truth on myths and fables and sift the facts from fiction. Read on…

Myth # 1: The Holy Fire – Iranshah was brought by our ancestors over a thousand years ago from Iran to India.

Fact: Iranshah was consecrated in Sanjan, India and according to tradition, on the ninth day of the ninth month of Samvat 777. However, the Aalaat or the sacred ritual requisites including the holy ash of the AtashBahram in Khorasan, was brought from Iran, reportedly on horse-back and on foot via Afghanistan and what is modern-day Pakistan. Hence, the first Atash Bahram consecrated by the Parsis in India is named Iranshah as it has a spiritual and ritual link with Iran.

Myth # 2: The leader of the group of Parsis who left Iran and came to Sanjan had promised the local king Jadi Rana that they (the Parsis) will not convert any Hindu to the Zoroastrian religion.

Fact: Very little is known or documented about the advent of the early Parsis to India. The earliest record is the Qissa-e-Sanjan written in 1599 A.C. In other words the earliest so called history of the Parsis was documented several centuries after their arrival in India. And, if one were to go by the Qissa-e-Sanjan there was no such promise made to Jadi Rana who was probably a local chieftain and not the King of India as popularly believed.

The Qissa-e-Sanjan refers to five conditions laid down by Jadi Rana before the Parsis – (1) Adopt the local language (Gujarati); (2) Disarm yourselves of all weapons; (3) Let Parsi women wear the saree and bangles; (4) Tie the thread in the marriage ceremony; and (5) Explain the Zoroastrian religion.

However, having said this, Justice Dinshaw Davar of the Bombay High Court in the celebrated Parsi Punchayet case (Petit V/s Jeejeebhoy 1908) was consistent in holding the view that no evidence existed to warrant any claim that in the history of the Parsis in India had the conversion of an individual born in another religion been known to the Zoroastrians of India.

Myth # 3: A very powerful demon by the name Zohak is tied by chains in a cave at Mount Demavand and one day he will set himself free and he will unleash untold havoc in this world.

Fact: We pray in the “Afreen-i-haft Ameshaspandan”: “Hamazor Daemavand koh ke dravand Bivarasp andar oye basta ested.” (Be in accord/attuned with Daemavand Koh (mountain) (which has the power and) in which is enchained the demon – Bivarasp, the demon (with power) of ten thousand horses”. The demon Bivarap is also known as Zohak or Azi Dahak (i.e. one who possesses or is the epitome of all the ten evils known to man like anger, arrogance, greed, ingratitude, jealousy, lust etc.).

According to legend, Zohak is the living embodiment of evil and is still chained to that great spiritual mountain, Demavand. It is said every night when the forces of evil gain strength the chains weaken. However, at the crack of dawn when the cock crows and the sun comes out, the chains are again secured and the evil one is rendered powerless. This is an important truth in nature wrapped in an easy-to-understand legend.

Only light exists. Darkness is simply the absence of light. In like manner, evil is the absence of Good. Zohak is the personification of evil in the form of a legend. Darkness gains strength in the absence of light, but vanishes in the presence of light. In like manner evil cannot be encountered with evil. Only good can dispel evil just the way light dispels darkness.

In our oncoming parts to this Series, we will share…

1) Should we stand or should be remain seated during the Boi ceremony?

2) Are Zoroastrian’s fire worshippers?

3) Is the winged human-head really a Zoroastrian symbol and does it represent the Fravashi or the Holy Spirit?

 

Noshir Dadrawala

http://parsi-times.com/2018/03/popular-parsi-myths/