How to observe Jamshedi Navroze

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Roj Sherevar Mah Ava, 1387 Yz.

It was a glorious day that Spring, around 10,038 BC. The sun shone with added resplendence, the few clouds added to the sky’s splendour, the trees seemed to sway to some divine symphony, the birds chirped their happiness with a distinct exuberance. The air was heavy with the fragrance of roses and tuberoses, sandal and benzoin. It was Roz Hormazd of Mah Fravardin and in the capital city of Iran, the populace awaited with bated ...

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Goodbye, dear Gulamai

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Roj Gosh Mah Meher, 1387 Yz.

It was 9th March 2004. I was sitting on the steps of the Behram Baug Daremeher, outwardly calm but a whirlwind of emotions inside me. The Fasli Muktad began from the next day. All preparations were in place – fruits, flowers, utensils, kitchen items… all but the most important requirement – priests! Having taken up the responsibility and promised the Trustees that things would be done the way they should be…only to realize that those ...

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The importance of wells and well water in Zoroastrianism

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Roj Jamyad Mah Khordad, 1387 Yz.

The presence of clean, free-flowing water is an essential requirement in all our religious ceremonies. The foundation of all Zoroastrian ritual is the performance of the Kusti. Before the Kusti can commence, the hands, open arms, face, neck and exposed parts of the feet need to be washed with clean free-flowing water in a special manner, which is known as the Padyab ritual. The word Padyab is derived from Avesta paiti-apa – ‘to throw water ...

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Saying goodbye to Girija Devi

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Roj Avan Mah Khordad, 1387 Yz.

It was a normal evening, the sun had begun its descent into the Arabian sea and I was sitting with my teacher Ervad K. N. Dastoor, now the 17th Vada Dasturji Meherji Rana, at his Worli residence. As usual, the discussions moved from religion to Indian music to law and back with ease. The mugs of tea, replenished at regular intervals and some biscuits kept us company. Out of my bag I fished out a ...

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The Art of Happiness

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Gatha Ushtavad, 1386

The pursuit of happiness in a never-ending nightmare. We all want to be happy, or in other words, free from suffering. But how? Given the number of books written on this topic, it’s obvious that quite a few seem to know how it works, but given the amount of unhappiness in the world, it’s also obvious that their methods don’t seem to be working. As we step in to the New Year, here are a few of my ...

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Some thoughts on Bahman Mah

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Roj Ram Mah Bahman, 1386 Yz

I was just about to go to sleep the other day when a Whatsapp message from a friend arrived: ‘Hi, I’m at dinner with cousins at the Yacht Club, love the place, has a lovely old-world charm… good food, but I’m veg for Bahman Mahino…and watching them eat fish…eggs…prawns…salivating, but then mind over matter!’

My friend’s predicament brought to mind a very interesting story recounted by Paramhansa Yogananda in his epic Autobiography of a Yogi. He ...

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The scholar and the sanyasi

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Roj Amardad Mah Adar, 1386 Yz.

Very often we hear the phrases “I’m spiritual but I’m not religious; I don’t believe in rituals and ceremonies; God lives in my heart; just be a good person; it’s not necessary to wear Sudreh kusti…” These clever words are often used by celebrities and the general public. For many such persons, ceremonies and rituals are a later day addition to the pristine ‘Gatha only’ religion formulated by Zarathushtra.

But there also exists a number of ...

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May every day be Navroze

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Roj Spendarmad Mah Ava 1386 Yz.

Jamshedi Navroze is an auspicious day, not only for Parsis, but also for the entire Creation. A great cosmic event unfolds as the sun enters the sign of Aries and begins its perambulation of the Zodiac. How does this cosmic event affect us and what is the importance of the Navroze day? Why is it called Jamshedi Navroze?

The universe abounds with the blessings of the Lord Ahura Mazda. These blessings, called Asere Roshni, are essential ...

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The Navsari I knew and cherished

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Roj Aneran Mah Sherevar, 1386 Yz.

The recent events in Navsari have once again shifted the focus of the community to death and its aftermath. As before, the community is sharply divided into two factions – those for the traditional method of Dokhmenashini and those virulently against it. Once again, attempts have been made to offend the sensibilities of normal Parsis by the illegal, immoral and unethical practice of video shooting the insides of some Dakhma and widely sharing the clip ...

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A true Zoroastrian Thanksgiving

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Roj Mohor Mah Tir, 1386 Yz.

As our Parsi brothers and sisters in America join many millions of their countrymen in observing the festival of Thanksgiving over this weekend, it seems to be an apt moment to think about what would be a truly Zoroastrian form of thanksgiving. Originally, Thanksgiving was a post-harvest festival celebrated to thank God for the rich and abundant harvest. Over the years, the seasonal and religious aspect has been quietly replaced by the excessive importance to ...

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