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 for our existence, spiritual development and the ultimate aim of Frashogard – complete salvation. They are brought down to us through the agency of Zravan – time. The Zoroastrian religion categorizes this blessing-carrying time into two main types. The first type are the universal blessings, for the entire cosmos and our earth, called “Yairya”. They herald climate and the seasons, the carriers of rain and spring, snow and sleet. They bring about changes that affect all mankind.
The second type are the individual blessings, called “Sareda”. These are the micro currents of destiny for each person, bringing him happiness and sorrow, riches and penury, peace and worry. The Sareda blessings flow to each individual as per his past thoughts, words and deeds. It is the responsibility of every Zoroastrian to properly channel these blessings onto the Earth and himself. Thus for the macro, Yairya blessings, we use the agency of Fire Temples, which are living entities, properly consecrated to attract, catch, and distribute them amongst the devotees and Nature. The religious practice of wearing the Sudreh and Kusti and the recitation of Avesta prayers help Parsis properly channel their individual Sareda blessings. A Zoroastrian therefore, prays not for material riches or boons, but an entreaty to his personal god, called Khuda (remembered in our Kusti prayers as Hormazd Khodae) to rain on him his Sareda blessings in the most compassionate manner – mixing good with bad, so as to be able to shoulder the travails of life.
Apart from this, Parsis are empowered with another very potent instrument – the Gahambars. Today, any function where a group of Zoroastrians gather together to meet or eat is termed as Gahambar. But this is not correct. The word Gahambar is made of two parts: Gah – meaning a period of time; and Ambar meaning a ‘collection, something precious’. Therefore the word Gahambar can be understood to be the ‘period of time which is precious’. Now why would a particular time be precious? It would be so when some events happen in that period, which are unique to that time – those events do not occur during the regular period.
Commonly termed as seasonal festivals, the 6 Gahambars which occur in specific months are occasions when man joins Nature in collecting the special blessings that the Lord showers during those days. A tributary of this Sea of Blessings flows by the Earth, anxious to offload its prosperity-bringing grace. The correct observance of the Gahambars is essential for man and Nature to collect these very important currents. The five days preceding Jamshedi Navroze form the last Hamaspathmaidyem Gahambar, which rains certain cleansing blessings on the Earth, giving her a new coat after the cold and dreary winter. The last Gahambar also refreshes the Earth’s fertility, leaving her, as the Avesta says, aspinacha yavina “with an abundance of corn (i.e. goodness)”.
The great Peshdadian monarch Jamshid was the first human to be made aware of these cosmic events and their significance through the agency of Asho Sarosh Yazad. It was King Jamshid who guided his subjects to correctly follow the rules of catching the Yairya and Sareda blessings by putting on the Sudreh Kusti and reciting Avesta prayers and performing the great Gahambar Jashan, called Jashan-e-Bahar. It is for this reason that this Hingam (religious festival) is called Jamshedi Navroze (and not Jamshedji Navroze).
Our Master, Ustad Saheb Behramshah N. Shroff revealed that the main carriers of the Asere Roshni on earth are the sun and its rays. Without them, life on the earth would not exist. On Jamshedi Navroze, the sun and its rays help to descend on earth the very wondrous Asere Roshni currents which are most prolific and long lasting. To catch these rays on normal days, we recite the Khorshed and Meher Nyaeshes. However, on Jamshedi Navroze, the blessings are so prolific and of such vital spiritual importance that merely reciting one Khorshed Meher would not be enough. On this day, a total of 18 Khorshed and 6 Meher Nyaeshes, spread through the first three Gahs are recited. This effort bears dividends that accrue throughout the year.
This is the real spiritual significance of Navroze, a day which comes only once a year, which is unique and most essential for our spiritual progress.
It is my pleasant duty to wish all readers a most happy, joyous, prosperous and spiritually radiant Jamshedi Navroze. May you live long and prosper, in whichever corner of the wide world you may be with your family and friends! In the memorable words of a Monajat (devotional hymn) written by late Dastur Minocherji Edulji:
Ae Khalek-i-Jehan in saalam kuni mubaarak!
Ba Mah o Roz o shab in saalam kuni mubaarak!
Har Mah i saal-i inam kun meh chun Farvardinam
Ba nojah taa mahinam saalam kuni mubaarak!
Har Roj-i man chu Navroze pur khurrami o firuz
Ba farrokhi-i anduz saalam kuni mubaarak!
O Lord and Creator of this World, make this year one of spiritual bliss!
Each month, day and night – may they all be full of spiritual bliss!
May every month of this year be as joyous and great as Fravardin;
May this year be great and full of spiritual bliss for me!
May every day of this year be for me as exuberant and bountiful as the day of Navroze!
May this coming year be full of success and resplendent with spiritual bliss and contentment!
May it be so as we wish for and may we deserve all that we wish for!
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram