North American Zoroastrian Religious Tele – Class –
Sunday December 2nd 2012 11 AM EST
A Zoroastrian Religion Class was held by Telephone on December 2nd 2012 by Jo Ann Dastur & Ervad Soli P. Dastur from their home, Hira Villa, in Sarasota, Florida. There were about 38 callers with multiple people listening together in some homes by calling a Tele-meeting phone number. The people were from both Canada and USA, from NY to Dallas and Los Angeles, Montreal to Miami. The class material was a PowerPoint Presentation sent ahead of time to all participants in PDF format.
This Tele Class covered the basic Zarathushtri Religion Core Beliefs. Ervad Dastur was asked to present an interactive discussion of the same subject by North American Zoroastrian Congress (NAZC) held in Rye NY under the auspices of Zoroastrian Association of Greater NY (ZAGNY) and FEZANA. In this 30 minute presentation, Ervad Dastur used a question/answer approach between 6 young Zarathushtris, 3 male and 3 female, representing 6 Amesha Spentas. They were: representing three female Amesha Spentas – Ms. Freya Motafram, Ms. Behrose Taraporewalla, Ms. Monaz Mistry, and representing three male Amesha Spentas – Ervad Viraf Nariman, Ervad Karl Khambatta and Mr. Sam Merchant. I am truly grateful for their help and I am grateful to ZAGNY and NAZC for giving me this opportunity to discuss this important subject.
This Tele Class is an expanded version of this talk to cover one hour. Soli started the class off by thanking all the participants especially FEZANA President Katayun Kapadia and Vice President Homi Gandhi who took time of their busy schedule to attend and support our Tele Classes.
The agenda covered the topics: Who do we profess to be?; The statement: Our Core Beliefs are the original teachings of Zarathushtra; What are our basic Core Beliefs of today?; Core Beliefs and Amesha Spentas; and a few verses from Zarathushtra’s Gathas and later scriptures. Soli explained why Zarathushtra was brought to the earth by Dadar Ahura Mazda, what were his basic teachings, how did he communicated with Ahura Mazda, How do Amesha Spentas point to our Core Beliefs, how do we attain Wholeness and Deathlessness using his teachings and the Amesha Spentas attributes of Ahura Mazda, How did Parsi Thy Name Is Charity came about, etc. In the end, Soli pointed out how Zarathushtra wanted to work in harmony with his people to follow the Zarathushtri Religion (Hoshbam Prayer). In order to explain the origin of our Hama Zor Greeting, he explained the first few Paras of Ardafravash Afrin which teaches us to work in harmony with all Mazdayasnian Zarathushtrians!
Finally, as it is becoming our custom, the permanent question: “We do not understand what we are praying in our daily prayers” was answered by suggesting some alternatives. The final prayer in English, from Dr. Dhalla’s book: Homage Unto Ahura Mazda:
“We pray for unity, communal, national and international”,
was recited by all together ending with our signature Zoroastrian greeting of: “Hamaa Zor, Hamaa Asho Bade” (May we be united in righteousness) performed by all attending the Class, a cyber Hamaa Zor all over North America! Read more