Search Results for: Fravahar

Jahanian and Rose to Speak at NAZC 2014

What do a ZAKA founder and a Zoroastrian Studies professor have in common?
–   Among other things, they will both share a unique perspective on Zoroastrian existence at the XVII North American Zoroastrian Congress.

In keeping with our Faith and Unity theme, the Congress brings together diverse speakers to share their perspectives on various subjects of interest to Zoroastrians.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Daryoush Jahanian and Dr. Jenny Rose will speak at the Congress.

Dr. Jahanian will present the History of Zoroastrians through Political Analysis and Historical Letters.

Dr. Rose will engage the audience with a presentation on Zoroastrian connection with other cultures.

In the coming weeks, we will provide more information about the Congress’ Program.  Be sure to take advantage of our current Early Bird Discounts and register to attend the Congress!

We look forward to hosting you this December.

Best wishes,

The XVII North American Zoroastrian Congress Committee

Dr. Rose teaches Zoroastrian Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California.  Her latest books – Zoroastrianism: An Introduction and Zoroastrianism: A Guide for the Perplexed – were both favorably reviewed in the US and abroad. To learn more about Dr. Rose, click here.
A founder of the Fravahar Zoroastrian Youth Organization in Iran and the Zoroastrian Association of Kansas, Dr. Jahanian has published a book entitled The Zoroastrian Doctrine and Biblical Connections, and several other articles on Zoroastrianism.  To learn more about Dr. Jahanian, click here.
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Organ Donation Debate

Whose Body is it anyway! – Noshir H. Dadrawala

Parsis thrive on controversy and debates; sometime I think that’s what keeps us alive. If we are not debating on whether to consign our dead to the dakhma or the crematorium, we would be debating on whether we should be eating at least fish and eggs during Bahman Mah. There are also milder debates on reincarnation and whether the head on the fravahar symbol should face left or right or whether we should sit or stand during the boi ceremony? Oh we just love to argue!

Now the latest ‘seasonal’ debate is over ‘organ donations’.

I read Ervadsaheb Marzban Hathiram’s article published in the Jam-e-Jamshed with interest.

Ervadsaheb states: “charity can be done only with that which is ours, not that which belongs to someone else. …. The moot question is this – is the human body ours or does it belong to the All mighty?”

My moot response would be; does anything really belong to us? Theologically, everything belongs to God. So if this argument is to be taken seriously even our wealth (or our knowledge) does not belong to us and therefore if God has blessed us with wealth or knowledge, we should keep it only to ourselves.

According to esoteric theories the visually impaired are challenged due to some “karmic” debt. However, in like manner some are poor, hungry and roofless, also due to “karmic” debt. And, therefore by this logic, Jejeeboy, Petit, Tata, Godrej and the Wadia families should all have kept their God given wealth to themselves and let the poor and roofless endure their “karmic” fate! Who are we to lessen the burden of those who suffer due to their past or present karma? By being charitable are we not putting a spoke in the karmic wheel of Divine Retribution?

Ervadsaheb also feels that “real charity means giving away something even though we may need it”. I agree with that. But just as we give of our wealth when alive and also leave much of our estate after we depart in our will, we could contribute blood or plasma while alive to save lives and organs when we are no more! Charity can be done as much during life as after death.

Ervadsaheb says, “It is a well-known fact that in case any part of the human body is amputed or severed it is never thrown away but is always consigned to the Dakhma, after performing the GehSarna ritual.” Well, I had my tonsils removed when I was a child, but, I am not sure what the doctors did with that. An uncle had his gall bladder and appendix removed. I am not sure if the priests would have done a GehSarna ritual over it and then consign it to the dakhma?

There is high incidence of breast and ovarian cancer among Parsi women and prostrate and testicular cancers among Parsi men. I can’t think of priests performing ceremonies over these body parts and consigning them to the dokhma.

If one goes strictly by the scriptures, the Dakhma should be situated far away from where people live. But do we follow that? No, in fact we built a Parsi colony where there was once a jungle! According to esoteric Zoroastrianism the body should be fully disposed by the fourth day and the ‘anasaar’ (‘spiritual components’) handed over to Daham Yazata. But, it is a fact that today the bodies take months to decompose. Would you rather have a crow or a kite peck out your loved one’s eyes or a surgeon gracefully taking out the cornea and put light in someone else’s eye and life.

I have a dear Parsi friend (now 80 years young) who lost vision in one eye 37 years ago. From a super active and creative Bank executive he suddenly became a helpless and dependent individual. 17 years later he lost vision in the other eye. To his good fortune and thanks to a donor, he underwent surgery and his life not only returned to normalcy but he began to do a lot of social work. Thanks to him more than a thousand Parsis have visited Iran over the last two decades. Think about it; should he have accepted blindness as karmic retribution or undergone surgery and make a difference in this world with the gift of sight? Thanks to this experience, several members of his family (including his mother and wife) have already donated their eyes after death.

The Zoroastrian scriptures are silent on the subject of organ donation because surgery was not so advanced in those days. When scriptures are silent, tradition is often invoked. I am all for tradition. But, higher than tradition is the Truth. And, the Truth is, our religion is based on Ushta or happiness and happiness comes to one who makes others happy. Let us never stray away from this fundamental precept.

To conclude, let’s not make an issue out of this. If you feel like donating blood to save a life go right ahead and donate. If you wish to donate your cornea, kidney, liver or heart after death, go ahead. You could also donate your skin and bring relief to a person who is badly burnt and in agony. But, if you do not wish to do so, that also would be alright. After all, whose body is it anyway?

This response is neither written with the intent to fan the flame of this latest controversy nor to offend any orthodox/traditional sentiments. To each their own … for those who wish to donate their organs after death, no coaxing will ever be needed and those who do not wish to, no argument will be possible.

From dust I came and to dust I shall return or from life I came and to life I shall give back and live on in someone else’s eye or heart. That choice is entirely yours!

(Published in today‘s Jam-e-jamshed)


Marriage Ceremony – As performed in Iran for Zarthushti couples

“Educate and be informed, then
Reform upon clear Reflection and
make a Choice to Transform.”
[Yasna 30.2]
My Dear Zarathushti Sisters and Brothers:
Respected Mobed Mehraban Firouzgary, Tehran, Iran ;
Dr. Ardeshir Behi, Vancouver, Canada;  and I
to embark on a very special communal service
for our Global Zarathushti and Non-Zarathushti community.
Together we have tried to encapsulate the essence of:
Andarze Gavah Giri, as the Wedding Ceremony of Iranian Zartoshtis is called, literally means Counseling during the Witness Collecting Ceremony.
In essence an Iranian couple undergo the Wedlock by taking not only the Almighty God, the Fravashi (Soul) of our Prophet Zarathushtra and all the Yazatas who supervise over Fidelity, Love and Promise keeping; but consider each and every one present in that ceremony as a witness to their mutual promise of staying Loving and Faithful to each other Until Death Do Them Apart. 
Please note that OUR collective purpose is to:
1. Enlighten OUR present and future generation 
   with topics related to our ancient oral and written 
   Zarathushti customs and traditions in our Mother Land, Iran .
2. Update this article with Q&A from people from our Global community.
For instance, you may want to know why the bride
provides her consent after the third repetitious asking,
but the groom provides his consent promptly after the first asking.
Please send your Q&A to Dr. Ardeshir Behi  at;
Dr. Behi will coordinate this endeavor with me and our Respected Mobed Firouzgary.
We intend to publish an updated version with your Q&As on March 21, 2014.
It is our Hope that you will benefit from this special endeavor
with the same spirit in which it is shared.
And as you do, please pay close attention to the significance of
THE SCISSOR as well as
With Love, Light, Appreciation and Gratitude from
Meher Amalsad
“Andarze Gavah Giri”
Marriage Ceremony
As performed in Iran  for Zarthushti couples
Translated by: Respected Mobed Mehraban Firouzgary, Tehran , Iran
Coordinated by: Dr. Ardeshir Behi, Vancouver , Canada
Edited by: Meher Amalsad, Westminster , California , USA

Bestoor – A Zarathushti Sensation


Dear Zarathushti Friends:

It is my distinctive pleasure to share with you the latest work of my talented son Bestoor. This video is a culmination of Zarathushti talent: the song is written by a Zarathushti, the music is composed by a Zarathushti, and it is sung by a Zarathushti.

As you watch this music video, check out the beautiful Fravahar on him. He is proud to demonstrate our Zarathushti spirit to the world, for which I commend him. So, put on your headphones, fasten your seat belts, and get ready for a journey to enlightenment and enjoy – click on the following link :


Bestoor is the son of our family friends Dr. Kurosh and Margit Behizadeh from Kerman, Iran. He has performed at the California Zoroastrian Center, Westminster, California, USA on numerous occasions. Blesssed with a gifted voice, he has a promising future in the music industry. This is his first official music video. More songs (in English and Persian) to follow in the near future. We are really proud of his accomplishments as a Zarathushti.

Bestoor, keep on shining…

For more information about our outstanding Bestoor please visit his website at:


Please  note  what we call  as FAROHAR,IS  REALLY THE  KHERP.

The Fravahar can be used to illustrate the basic elements of Zoroastrianism.
The Fravahar can be used to illustrate the basic elements of the Zoroastrian religion. Each part of the Fravahar signifies an idea or a philosophy:
1- The male upper body springing out of the central disk represents the human soul or, as some would say, the wisdom of age.
2- His upper hand extended in a blessing, pointing upwards, is a reminder that the path to heaven lies in higher things or that the path of righteousness is the only path to choose.
3- The other hand holds the covenant ring urging Zoroastrians to remember to hold true to their promises. When a Zoroastrian gives a promise, it is like a ring. It cannot be broken.
(Bisotun Fravahar) Some scholars believe the torso does not represent Ahura Mazda as god has no image in the Zoroastrian faith.
4- The ring in the center symbolizes the eternity of universe or the eternal nature of the soul. As a circle, it has no beginning and no end.
5- Two streamers which extend outward from the central disc illustrate Zoroastrian ethics. They symbolize the two choices humans have between good or evil, or that one should proceed toward good and turn away from bad.
6- The three-layered wings symbolize “good thoughts, good words, and good deeds”, the Threefold Path of Zoroastrianism.
7- The lower part of the Fravahar consists of three parts representing “bad reflection, bad words and bad deeds” which cause misery and misfortune for human beings.
The Fravahar on the façade of a fire temple, Yazd, Iran
The symbol reached its finest and final form in the rock-carvings of Persepolis and it is the Pers epolis Fravahar which has become not only a graphic symbol of the Zoroastrian faith but also a folk motif.
Today the Fravahar decorates Zoroastrian fire temples, has been made into jewelry, woven into wall hangings, carved into marble and semi-precious stones and even glazed onto ceramic heirlooms.

Fravahar has become part of the cultural legacy of every Iranian regardless of their relig ion. The positive meanings this emblem embodies have made it worthy of its prominence as a national symbol.

Courtesy : Jehangir Gilder

Faravahar or Farohar, Zoroastrian Symbol.


Interpretation of the Faravahar


Explanation of the Faravahar Symbol




Fravahar, pictogram of Persian past may be viewed at 

since then, we have come across many beautiful & informative explanations which may be read by clicking on the links below :


The Significance of FRAVAHAR








Our thanks to all who have contributed in enlightning us.




Adil Writer

SIMIN RISHAHR spends two days in the quaint town of Pondicherry, and visits the studio of architect-turned-ceramist, ADIL WRITER in Auroville. She saw an image of a Farohar sculpture of his on a webpage, which led her to this meeting. Discovering that he has visited Iran led to this interview.


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