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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4

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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11

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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Our greatest inheritance

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Roj Khorshed Mah Khordad, 1386 Yz.

It’s a tough world and many of us face a tough life. At such times, the feeble mind tries to fall back on some interesting ‘what if’ scenarios. What if I had this or that, what if I had married some person or the other, what if I had done this in my childhood days, what if a magical genie suddenly appeared and gave me three wishes…

Going through the Whatsapp status messages on the mobile, ...

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Can we attend such ‘Navjotes’?

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Roj Jamyad Mah Ardibehesht, 1386 Yz: Baj of Seth Jehangirji S. Chiniwalla

The season for weddings and Navjotes will soon begin. Already the first invites have started trickling in. As is the case, many invites are for functions where, in case of marriages one party is non-Zoroastrian, or in the case of Navjotes, one of the parents is non-Zoroastrian.

What should we do? For many Parsis unfortunately, the question doesn’t even arise today – why, it’s an invite, so we have to ...

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