Parsis and religious adultery

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Roj Khordad Mah Fravardin, 1379 Yz.

 

 

A very happy and prosperous 1379 to all Parsis and a radiant Khordad Sal too!

 

My apologies for not updating the blog for the last few weeks since I was tied up in the Muktad preparations and prayers in our Daremeher at Jogeshwari. Now that the Muktad are drawing to a close and just one night’s prayers remain, I thought it apt to pen a few words on one of the most auspicious days of the Parsi calendar – Khordad Sal, the birthday of our Prophet Zarathushtra.

 

Many Parsis are not aware of the exalted spiritual status of the Prophet, and many seem to think of him as a common man, who was somewhat inspired by God to start a new religion. But that view is very far from how the Avesta portrays the Prophet. In our sacred scriptures, Prophet Zarathushtra is given the status of a Yazata – a Divine Being, worthy of worship. His thoughts, words and deeds are described as being of the Highest Inspiration (see Yasna 28.0) and he is venerated by the entire creation as well as the Amesha Spentas.

Every Parsi, at the time of his or her Navjote enters into a Divine Relationship with Zarathushtra. The Fravashi of the Prophet Zarathushtra is present at the time of every child’s Navjote (which is why the Navjote should be done in the early morning in the sacred precincts of an Agiary or Atash Behram and not in a hotel or a open Baug in the presence of non-Parsis), and blesses the child and enters into a lifelong relationship. As the child prays the ‘Jasa me avangahe Mazda’ prayer, he or she gives a solemn vow to the Fravashi of the Prophet Zarathushtra present there. The child undertakes to follow the Mazdayasni Zarathushtrian faith only and promises to uphold and practice the teachings of only our religion. Of course, given the sad state of religious education in our community today, all this is not imparted to the child (although I think it needs to be imparted to the parents first!)

 

 

In a sense, therefore, the Navjote is much like a marriage. In a marriage, two individuals come together in holy matrimony, and following the prescribed procedures are joined together in marriage. During the Ashirwad ceremony, both the bride and the groom promise to remain faithful to each other and to not be led astray by any external temptations. That is the reason why adultery is one of the most serious sins in our religion (as is true in most other religions too). In the same manner, every child undergoing the Navjote enters into a exclusive Divine Relationship with Prophet Zarathushtra whereby he/she agrees to follow the practices and traditions of the Zarathushtrian faith only and not to be led astray by any external short term temptations.

 

 

It is therefore most surprising to see that nearly 90% of Parsis practice religious adultery and infidelity!

 

 

What do I mean by that? Religious adultery means worshipping any God of another faith, keeping any idol or photograph of such God in the house of a Parsi, attending any religious ceremony or partaking of any holy food (prasad) of such ceremony. If we observe these conditions carefully, we can see that nearly 90% of Parsis are guilty of these practices. In my visits to hundreds of Parsi homes to perform Jashans or other ceremonies, my interaction with a large segment of the Parsi populations in Mumbai and other cities in India and abroad, I am most pained to see that a large and overwhelming majority of them practice some or other form of religious adultery.

 

 

My simple question to Parsis is: WHY DO YOU DO THIS? Why are we so lacking in our own faith that we have to take recourse to sundry other gods and godmen of dubious origin? Why is it that more Parsis are seen at certain shrines than their own Fire Temples, some of which don’t have a single visitor for days together? Why are Parsis so open hearted when it comes to donating for a Ganpati Mandal or a dargah but shrink away from buying good quality sandalwood for their Padshahs or to even buy a decent Kusti for themselves, preferring to wear worn out and tattered Kustis whose lars have disappeared ages ago?

 

 

The standard answer I get, even from well educated and pious Parsis: “ema su thayu?” (what’s wrong with that?) EVERYTHING IS WRONG WITH THAT. Any place of worship, of any religion, is a consecrated and sacred area, filled with certain Divine Vibrations which resonate at a frequency which is most suited to those BORN INTO THAT FAITH. A visitor of a different faith, whose soul vibrates at a very different frequency causes a GRAVE DISTURBANCE in the sacred area by his dissonance. THIS IS THE MAIN REASON WHY NON-PARSIS ARE NOT ALLOWED INTO FIRE TEMPLES. Every group of souls belonging to a particular faith have a specific spiritual bandwidth at which their souls exist. All the practices, beliefs, food habits, religious ceremonies, methods of worship, traditions, are built around the core reasoning of MAINTAINING, ENHANCING AND STRENGHTENING THEIR SPIRITUAL FREQUENCIES. Any person of alien faith, with however good intentions he may have, by entering their place of worship, or practicing their traditions, or by reciting their mantras or sacred chants, IS GUILTY OF CAUSING SPIRITUAL DISORDER.

 

 

Maybe some Parsis will not believe in this. For them a more crude example. We may have several friends of the opposite sex. Yet our relationship with our own spouse is unique and totally non-comparable to any other friendship or relationship. Can we replicate the deep relationship we share with our husband/wife on the physical/emotional/spiritual level with another friend and then keep on saying “ema su thayu?” WOULD YOUR OWN SPOUSE TOLERATE THAT? WOULD YOU TOLERATE YOUR SPOUSE DOING THAT? THEN WHY DO WE PRACTICE SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS ADULTERY EVERY DAY AND NIGHT OF OUR LIVES?

 

 

I am ashamed to see idols and photographs of other religious figures occupying the pride of place in Parsi homes. Are we not even aware that idol worship (“ozdist parasti” in the Patet Pashemani prayer) is one of the most serious and heinous of crimes in our religion? After non-Zoroastrian idols I now see a disturbing trend of statues/figures of Prophet Zarathushtra adorning Parsi homes and most Parsi car dashboards! THERE CAN BE NO IDOLS OF ZARATHUSTHRA! At the most a pictorial depiction is enough. The correct image for all Parsis to visualize and meditate on is the image of Shah Lohrasp, the white bearded saintly figure holding a bow in his hand, generally shown on the left of the photographs of Prophet Zarathushtra on the right and the Sacred Fire in the centre.

 

 

My anger and feeling of shame increased many bounds and I spent a restless night yesterday when a family with whom we have regular contact met my wife and mentioned in passing: “We are going to “pagey paro” at the Ganpati Mandal nearby…” Yet the same family has had no time to visit the Fire Temple on the occasion of Khordad Sal till the time of writing this blog entry! What kind of upbringing are we giving our children? Parsis see nothing wrong in sending kids to the Agiary only on the days of the exam! But hey, how about a thank you visit once the results come in! I mean, how much more opportunistic and downright insulting can we get? Have we reduced our sacred relationship with the Padshah and our beloved Prophet Zarathushtra to just a bargain and sale counter? Have we just totally lost it? If this is the state of affairs, I honestly feel that we as a community have no reason or justification to exist. It is better if we were to go extinct.

 

 

My fellow Parsis! We are living in difficult and trying times, which are going to get progressively worse, specially for our community. In these times we need to stick to our faith, cherish the special relationship we have with the Atash Padshah and Prophet Zarathushtra, help each other out, give correct religious instruction to our kids, keep the Manthras on our lips at all times and be more and more aware of our glorious faith, and its most exalted Prophet. Yet everyday brings more pain and heartburn for me when I see one family after the other go down the road to self-destruction, adopting the horrendous practice of religious adultery and infidelity. Our stupid media is adding fuel to the fire, by glorifying stories of so called “secular” Parsi families bringing home Ganpati idols for worship and eventual immersion. And more Parsis are drawn to this circus. Yet I wonder how come Parsis have forgotten to welcome the Fravashis of their own departed members to their houses during the 18 days of the Muktad, which earlier used to be observed in every Parsi household with great fervour and piety.

 

 

May this new year 1379 Yz. be one where Parsis give up these alien practices and remember the vow they gave to their Prophet Zarathushtra and come back to their own faith.

 

 

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

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Comments

  1. Hanoz Mistry  August 24, 2009

    Dear Marzban

    The most important thing to be tackled first is for the average Parsee to realise WHO he is, what goes into his creation, the different fire energies involved, the nine parts of a body, the meanings of the basic prayers and significance of the basic rituals etc. Only then can the ’ema su thayu’ attitude be tackled. As the elders had opined :”Nau maund tel chata andharu che”. “The average Parsee of today is as far away from his own religion as is a dog or cat from algebra and geometry.”

    Keep up the good work of educating people in your lucid style through your blog.

    Here’s wishing you and your family Khordad Sal Mubarak.

    Regards
    Hanoz

  2. Mahazareen  August 25, 2009

    What you say is very true. I am afraid many people will take offence to what you have said though. They would feel that they were just respecting other religions and so, what harm would there be in that? I too respect other religions, but I draw the line at bowing down at places of worship of other religions. If I do not do so, it does not make me disrespectful of the religion. If I were to imply (which I am *not* doing) that other religions are deficient and ours is the only outstanding one, *then* I would be being disrespectful (not to mention wrong).

    As a mother of two children, I take this issue very seriously. If we do not feel pride at being Parsis (and by pride, I do not mean looking down at people of other religions), then there is no hope for our kids either.

    Rightly or wrongly (for others), I personally see this as an extension of inter-marriage. Why would Parsi children think twice about marrying outside the community when they feel perfectly at home bowing down to other Gods? If they feel every religion is the “same”, then why bother about preserving the Zoroastrian identity?

    Look at the navjotes and lagans… Parsi mothers bear no thought of discarding their Sudreh and Kusti to show off certain styles of sari blouses and what have you to all and sundry. Likewise for the daughters. You can look good without looking indecent. Why does the sudreh and kusti have to be removed? If we as parents have no regard for our identity, our religion, our religious and cultural practices, why and how can our children? Children learn from their parents after all.

    Being a Parsi is an identity – it’s not about religion alone. We should guard that identity and be thankful for being who we are .

  3. Nazneen  August 25, 2009

    This is such an important and relevant issue. Since my moms lineage is from a priestly family, we as kids were well taught of all the above mentioned. But as we grew we realize only a handful of Parsis are aware of our religious history, significance, basic traditions & tarikats.
    Worst is when we try to explain thing to the ignorant section of people they label us as orthodox & give deaf hears.

    In today’s times humans have become so selfish & materialistic that everything one does is from the point of view of practicality. Even in case of religious behavior people do what they can at the ease and convenience and leave the rest saying “eto asal parsi karta hata ave ka koi na pase time che”
    Even the so called class who prays & bows to other deities is almost in 90% case out of selfishness than respect, as they hear & believe ohhh we go here on Monday here on Tuesday our wish will be granted immediately.

    For the present situation we have no one but the parents to blame, if they themselves don’t show any inclination towards our religious preaching’s if they don’t follow the traditions & tarikats how we can blame the kids. Not that all kids follow what their parents say but at least you would have tried and fulfilled your duties towards Lord Ahura Mazda & your Kids.

    My humble requests to all readers of this blog please take it as a personal responsibility to inculcate good religious behavior to our future generation or to any person that you can influence upon.

    May Dadar Ahura Mazda’s love & guidance be with us in these trying times & forever.

    Kshnothra Ahurahe Mazdao

  4. Nazneen  August 25, 2009

    There are so many Parsis who travel to Udwada by local train (forgot private car) and directly head to Pak Atashbehram without a bath.

    We make them aware that such a visit to Iranshah is pointless and detrimental to our pak Iranshah more than to you, but people just don’t care. They listen to us intently but in their next visit again repeat their sinful act.

    Please Ervad Saheb think of some way by which you can reach out to the masses & save them from making such blunders.

  5. Jasmin  August 27, 2009

    Very interesting reading Marzban. I see this all the time in the US also. People taking time off to go visit the various mandirs 100’s of miles away, but they in turn do not visit the daremeher which is located only 20 minutes away. Growing up in Wadia street (Tardeo), as a child I would see folks going to the mandir which was at the Tardeo circle to offer oil during exams, and my dear father (God fearing Zoroastrian that he was), would tell them “why dont you go to the Agiyari (I think it was Batliwala agiyari), and offer sukhad instead”.
    For as long as there is no honor in being born a zoroastrian, then this type of hypocrisy will continue. We must however, have reverence for every other religion, and be accepting of these religions. One cannot force another zoroastrian to follow his or her faith. That decision, comes from the soul and one has to want to be a practising zoroastrian.
    I might not agree with everything you say Marzban, but I hold your views in the highest respect. Thank you thoug for making me a better zoroastrian, though God knows I have a long way to go in being of “pure” mind.
    Regards to you and the family

  6. Dilnawaz  August 29, 2009

    Dear Sir,

    I came across this article of yours on a group called TMYZ(Traditional Mazdayasni Zarathushti), wherein, I have been a member since last 11 months. It was posted by one of the fellow memebers. In all this time that I have been on this group and have been reading the article’s put up …NONE has been more appealing…inspiring…and down right perfect as the one I have just read and that was YOUR blog! I have never responded to any of the articles before even if I have liked them. But the one I read today posted by you….compelled me to reply and tell you that it was too good. If only we could have more people like you who would reach out and guide the community in the correct ways!

    Sir, I agree to each and every point you have mentioned, and am truely in awe of your blog.

    May the goodness prevail and HIS will be done!
    Ahuramazda’s Blessings be with all of us!

  7. Vispi Jokhi  September 18, 2009

    Let me begin by saying that the laws of the universe are truly universal and apply to every cell living or non-living. In these circumstances how is it that we are so unique and different in our outward manifestation? Is this the reason that we have created man made boundaries of religion, language, nation,caste, colour etc.? If these boundaries were rigid and to be followed then God would not have universal laws applicable to all. On the other hand the difference and uniqueness of each one of can be explained as different stages of evolution of each one of us from gross to subtle manifestation from non living to plant to animal to human to divine.
    Coming to the aspect of religion. I feel that religion is simply mans interpretation of God i.e. Universal consciousness. Essentially all religions stem from one source and at different times the Lord manifested on earth and guided men to follow certain values. Without exception these values have been universal and have included truth, non-violence and purity in thought word and deed. Conflicts in the name of religion arise when one claims superiority over the other. While one religion actively seeks to coerce and convert the others to its faith, the other seeks to bar anyone knocking at the door of their faith. It is an insult to the memory of the prophets of the various religions to believe that the message given by a prophet was not universal. In my view it seems far fetched and perverse to believe that Zoaraster, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Mahaveer, Mohammed, GuruNanak and the countless prophets before them and the ones to come spoke only for their own sect or the ones to come will speak for the followers of the religion in which he is born. They all had a message and this message was for all at that time and for times to come. It is a matter of chance that we are born to a set of parents following a particular religion. We are taught the laws of this religion as interpreted by our parents and religious leaders. As we grow we learn about other religions and we use our discrimination and intellect to accept the good or reject the bad in ones religion.
    My view that while there is no need to headlong plunge on a course of conversion from one religion to another. However, there is a need to become a good hindu, muslim, sikh, christian, parsi, buddhist, jain etc. i.e. to accept the good values and reject the bad customs. If in this journey, one is attracted to the values of a faith different from the faith of ones birth, there should be no objection to voluntarily convert to that faith. Zoaraster, Christ, Krishna, Mohammed and all the prophets spoke to and spoke for humanity for all times. Laws of religion are open to change and interpretation and like everything in the universe change is essential and inevitable. A seed evolves and becomes a tree and a tree gives the seed. There is no beginning and no end to the universe there is only evolution and involution. Just as the message of the Gita Bible and Koran benefits all, let us allow the Khrodeh Avesta and Gathas benefit all. I am certain that entry of new adherents to Zoarastrianism will enrich both the original Parsi and the new convert. We are not superior to any of Gods creation on the basis of our religion, caste, race or colour. I am a father of a child born with Down’s Syndrome. My daughter does not understand the labels of man made religion so she loves universally. Let us all learn from these children to accept God as one love all our brethren unconditionally. Let us share and propagate the good in our religion and make it truly universal by the force of universal love and inclusion not hate and exclusion.

  8. Mehernosh  September 19, 2009

    Hello Dasturji,

    Well, the state of affairs you have mentioned are very much disturbing;

    I guess we will have to wait it out for our Saviour “BEHRAM VARZAVAND SAHEB”

    Untill then Hamazor;

  9. Dr Darius H Umrigar MD (Alternative Medicine) DNYS, ND Iriodologist, Graphologist  September 23, 2009

    Dear Merzban All our hamdins,

    Your article was forwaded to me and its was very good informative to read and u have rightly pointed out that who is our Paigamber saheb, now i wish to share the following with u all…..

    ARE WE AWARE :- WHO IS ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA ??

    THE WHOLE AVESTA VIBRATES WITH THE TRUTH THAT HE WAS A YAZAT IN HUMAN FORM.

    IS MANASHNI – GAVASHNI – KUNASHNI, A “SIMPLE” TEACHING ??

    To say, as many Parsis of this day do, that our Religion is “very simple” with its “just Manashni Gavashni Kunashni”, is a huge escapism and a sign of intellectual laziness. A Religion cannot be just “simple”. Its subject matter ranges from a speck of dust to God and therefore covers each and every branch of knowledge, science and art including the art of living. It teaches the rules of life, a human is required to adhere to on this temporary motel, a whimsical globe called earth.

    Even Manashni Gavashni Kunashni is not that simple. Definition of “good” is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Communist good was different from Nazi good, both of which in turn were different from democratic good. Autocratic good, whether from a king or military general, is far away from all these. The riddle becomes further entangled, when we hear the proclamation of all Religions that what is good can be decided only by God and not man. His decisions in that behalf are conveyed to the humans by His Prophets, Avataars, Sages and Saints. The Message is loud and clear in all Avesta, (for instance in Gatha – Yazashney Haa 45-3, 45-5, 30-2, 53-6, Meher Yasht (example Kardas 18, 23, 27) and other Yashtas, Patet Pashemaani – Kardeh No:- 3, yet to add insult to the injury the American Jafri Irani Caucus declares, with great pomp and ceremony that according to their Zoroaster, even the sinners and non-saintly humans can arrive at the good and the truth, by their own thinking!! THAT is the root of the conversion maniacs, inverted thinking; THAT is the accelerating doomsday clock of the Parsis.

    The necessary corollary which follows from these poisonous propositions – viz. think out your own truth and do what your mind prompts you to do – is that this nice fellow, Zoroaster, was such a simple man as to give us licence and liberty to believe and do what we want to; it is so amazing that in a pastoral primitive age he came out with such “truths” which “modern” science has arrived in the progressive 19th century. Parsis hardly know that the progressive 19th century has retrogressed into a bottomless pit in the 20th and 21st centuries and the humanity’s doomsday clock goes faster every day. All the theories and thinkings as also progresses and practices of the 19th century are now tolling the bells of the erasure of the humans off the globe. Wake up ye dreamy Jafris, Iranis, Farhangs and their mentally lazy satellites. What Zoroaster has said, according to this cult and Caucus, has proved to be frightfully wrong.

    In addition to the riddle of the definition of “GOOD”, the words Manashni Gavashni Kunashni are equally puzzling. What is a THOUGHT? Where does it come from into our head?? The brain is loosely described as a house of thought. But what is brain?? It is said that the brain is the darkest continent in the geography of man. It is actually and physically placed in a pitch dark room in our head. And figuratively too, it is in the dark that is does not know much about itself. What do you think about your thinking? Think over this question. Thought and thinking point towards “consciousness” and what is conscousness, is another question which has confused philosophers, physicists, psychologists, psychiatrists, theologians and even yogis since hundreds of years. Not a “siple” affair, this GOOD THOUGHT.

    And “word” and “deed” are also not “simple”. We won’t go in the science, physical as well as an esoteric, of these two words except stating that the holy Avesta has half a dozen different words for tongue and speech; and the deed is another wrapped mystery. Add to it our experience that “word” and “deed” emerge from thought which itself is a great enigma, and the simplicity of this simple Manashni Gavashni Kunashni explodes away with a big bang.

    Humans are manifestly spiritual beings, so said the Australian sculptor Peter. Life is not a “simple” occurrences. From Mummy’s tummy to the death yard it is a most complicated affair, and as regards before – birth and after-death, we are completely in the dark. What “simple”??

    We are on this globe, in a motel, on our way to God. Therefore “follow the Path of your Dharma”, said all Prophets and Saoshyants. That is the real, right and the truth, “Thus Spake Zarathushtra; and not the Nietzche’s or Gatha Alone Cultwallas’s or conversion fanatics.

    All Avesta proclaims that Zarthushtra was a “Yashtey – Yazdaan” and “Ham Kherpiey Ameshaspandan”, that is, “Yazat” who was given a human-form by Ahura to carry out His divine mission of “Daenaao” – Religions. Mazdaa’s divine plan of “Daenaao” is set out in Gatha Haa 31-11 and elaborated in 33-13, 34-13, 46-6, 49-9. Yashtey Yazdaan Zarathushtra has been assigned the task of helping Nature in executing that plan. Not a nice simple common-sense man, this Mr. Zoroaster from a pastoral age, who was so verile as to have three wives; (thirty would have been more virilous) and six children (sixty would have been better) . What balderdash from the self appointed ratus and messiahs, who thrive on the Community’s ignorance and unawareness, lethargy and laziness.

    WHO IS A YAZAT??

    Imagine Ahura to be a sphere of divine Light, emanating and spreading numerous RAYS of Light all around His Creation. Each of these Rays is a divine conscious living entity, who is assigned a certain specified task. They are called the Yazats. They carry out the task assigned to them in a holistic fashion. This means, each is aware of the other Yazat’s assignments and help them, so as to work in unision for the final aim of taking the whole Creation back to Ahura. This is described in Farvadin Yashta, Kardeh 23, by the words “Hameym Mano, Hameyam Vacho, Hameym Shyothnem”.

    There is a main assemblage of 33 Yazats (set out in Sirojaa Yashta), 5 Gathas and the 6th Zarathushtra Gatha. Of these 39 Yazats, 7 are specially named as “Ameshaaspands – Ahura Mazda to Amardaad, on our calendar”. These seven are the members of Ahura’s chief cabinet. The others are their co-workers. There are then numerous sub-channels emanating from each Yazat and each sub-channel itself is a Yazata.

    Each Yazat manifests itself into three divisions of the Creation. They are:-

    1. The Divine called Hasti, composed of the Rays of pure Yazatic Light.
    2. The Ultra-physical, called Nisti, which is constituted of ultra-material Energies and Forces.
    3. The material world constituted of physical energies and physical matter, a part of which can enter into our conscious experience.

    What ever things and objects we, the normal humans can see, observe and experience through our five senses are the physical or material manifestations of the Yazat’s divine Light. For instance, when we see a tree, we are looking at the materialization of the Yazatic Light of Amardad Ameshaspand; a mountain, of Zamyad Yazat, water of Avan Yazad, Sun – Khurshed Yazata, Moon – Mah Yazat, wind – Govaad Yazad, and so on..

    The first assemblage of 29 yazats is collectively called “Ahuraaonghho” (the word occurs in Gatha Haa 30-9, 31-4) Gathas are also Yazatic Channels. (Yazashney Haa 55, Gatha Ha 28-0) .

    ZARATHUSHTRA GATHA IS ONE OF THE YAZATS AND THE PROPHET ZARATHUSHTRA IN THE HUMAN FORM IS A CHANNEL FROM THAT GATHA.

    These mystical truths are spread out all throughout in the Avesta, and elaborated by Ilm-e-Khshnoom. The subject is treated at various places in the Khshnoom writings. For instance in Framraoze Chiniwalla’s “Khshnoom Nileeh-e-vehdin” Volume I, Gatha 28, Yazashney.

    In Khordaad Yashta, Zarathushtra is referred to as of the rank of Ameshaspend. One who reaches Zarathushtra, reaches the seven Ameshaspends, the very first passage declares.

    Farvadin Yashta, Kardeh 24 (92) says :-

    “AMESHASPENTA’S ACCEPTED HIM, WITH UNFLINCING FAITH AND DEVOTION, AS THE AHU (THE LORD) AND RATU (THE LEADER), WHO CAN LEAD THE EARTH AND EVERYTHING ON IT TO IMMORTAL EXISTENCE.

    In Tir Yashta, Kardeh 13 (44), proclaims that :-

    AS THE DIVINE STAR TISHTRA IS THE LORD OF ALL STARS, ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA, THE DIVINE HUMAN HAS BEEN APPOINTED BY AHURA AS THE LORD OF MAN. ANGRAMINO (THE MASTER OF EVIL) CANNOT KILL ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA, SO ALSO, NEITHER ANY EVIL SPIRIT OR FAIRY OR ANY WORSHIPER OF EVIL BEINGS OR ANY MAN CAN KILL HIM.

    Similar pronouncement is made in Vendided Pargarad 19 (3), to the effect:-

    THAT NOBODY CAN KILL ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA.

    ( Then what about that Toor-baraa-toor who is reported to have killed Him? That is another fascinating narrative. A short version is given in Ed. K N Dastoor’s “Zarathushtra, the Yazata” – Zarthoshti Dini Sahitya Mandal, 2001 0 Chapter No :- 13 )

    The most effective piece of Scriptural evidence for the Truth that Asho Zarathushtra was Yazat in human form, is (as pointed out by Khurshedji Cama) that a KHSNOOMAN is assigned to Him in the Holy Avesta. In Yazashney Haa 3-2, 21; 4-23; 7-21, the following words occur:-

    KHSHNOOMAINEY ZARATHUSHTRA SPITAMANAHEY ASHANAO FRAVASHAHEY AAOKHTAO NAMANO YAZATAH.

    Meaning:-

    EXULTATION (JOY, DELIGHT) TO THE FRAVASHI OF ASHO SPITAMAN ZARATHUSHTRA, THE YAZAT OF THE RENOWNED NAME.

    The word Khshnooman is a technical term used in Avesta Prayers and Kriyaa-Kaam as a Manthric formula for invocation of and attunement with a Yazat. This subject calls for a separate treatment and we have already read / seen and learned above (few pages back) .

    ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA’S “GAAS”, THE TRANSMITTING STATION OF YAZATIC BLESSINGS

    ( MYSTICISM IN THE GATHA )

    The following Truths are presented below:-

    • Ahura is the source of the Light Divine. He emanates from Him the Rays of His Light. These rays or beams or channels of Ahura’s Light are collectively called :- “AHURAONGHA-HO” . They are divided into six categories viz:- Ameshaspand, Yazat, Daey, Mino, farrokh, Gatha – as we prefix or suffix their names in the passage “Roj Nek Naam….” occurring in every Niyaish and every Yasht. The term Yazat is also used for all the six categories collectively in place of Ahurangha-ho. In what follows, we shall use the word Yazat or Yazatic in that collective sense.
    • There are five Gatha’s as the five Yazatic channels, headed by Zarathushtra Gatha as one of the six channels of Ahura’s Light, and the five “Gatha’s as sub channels emanating from Zarathushtra Gatha.

    The word Zarathushtra has two notations. One is the Zarathushtra Gatha and the other is the Paigamber Asho Zarathushtra, who comes out from the Zarathushtra Gatha and adopts a human form. The distinction is supported by the passage in Hoshbam Prayer:-“Hakhshya Azemchit…. (which also occurs in Yazashney Ha 8 and Ha71) .
    • Asho Zarathushtra, the Prophet, is thus Himself a Yazata in human form and receives the “Highest Inspiration”, “Yaan” from Ahura, through Zarathushtra Gatha. It is therefore said in the preamble of the first Gatha Ahunavad that the Thought, the Word, and the Work of Asho Zarathushtra are the receipients of “Yaan”, Ahura’s highest award.

    We now proceed further:-

    As a result of receiving Ahura’s Yaan, Asho Zarathushra established a divine power station in the non-physical world called “Nisti”. We shall call it Zarathushtra Power station.

    Let us divert a little to the mystical geography of Ahura’s Universe – better called his “Creation”.

    There are two main continents of the creation:- Hasti and Nisti.

    Hasti is the region of Yazatic Light, Nisti is mainly made up of subtle non-physical matter or say ultra-matter. Nisti has seven planes called “Dakhyu’s. We get their names in Meher Niyaish as :-
    1. Aivi
    2. Antarey
    3. Aa
    4. Upairi,
    5. Adairi
    6. Pairi and
    7. Aipi

    All are composed of subtle ultra-matter extending in many more than the three dimensions of our earthly experience. Our earth is situated somewhere between the sixth Pairi and the seventh Aipi Dakhyu’s and is apparently made up of about ninety-two kinds of natural elements or atoms. The earth and man on earth have special spiritual position assigned to them by Ahura Mazda.

    Going back to Asho Zarathushtra, His Zarathushtra Power station is on the plane of Upairi Dakhyu. If focuses and stores within it the Yazatic currents of AHura’s light and sends them down to earth and man. The technical name of the power station is “Gaas” of Avizeh-Veh-Din”

    The Gaas was Asho Zarathushtra’s main seat. He did not have any material form whenever he was there. Roughly speaking it was the form of Yazatic Light. He took up a human form whenever he had to come down to earth. His body, then, was not composed of ordinary matter. It was like condensation of the Yazatic Light in the shape of a human, made up of extremely subtle matter – a transition between the divine light and the ultra physical matter.

    The students of Ilm-e-Khshnoom will find a technical narration of Asho Zarathushtra’s human form in Dr. Faramroz Chiniwalla’s first Neekiz-e-Vehdin, where an astonishing account of the ultimate composition of the matter in earth is set out. This was written in 1932, much before the modern physics was lost in the clouds of elementary particles, and yet there are some truths revealed in Dr. Chiniwalla’s treatment, which seem to formulate a bridge between the Zarathustrian Mysticism and the most modern theories and speculations prevalent in the world of physics in this last decade of the twentieth century. The scenario is that the empirical science has come to an end and the search for truth is no longer amenable to the usual scientific method of observation-experiment-inference-verification. Science has now entered the arena of unverifiable guessworks and surmises. In other words, it is knocking the door mysticism. Of course, the door will not be opened unless the scientist alchemise themselves into saints. Here in Khshnoom – the Zarathushtrian Mysticism – however, certain truths are revealed which can at least point a finger to the mysrical regions beyond the reach of the ordinary non-saintly humans. They indicate very faintly some mystical facts which may tend to provide some explanation to the perplexing riddles in which the sciences of matter, universe, life, man and mind find themselves hopelessly entgangled.

    The composition of matter is related to the components of life. A grain of sand and a cell of life have something in common. What the great Religions have taught the humans is that the whole creation is like successive condensation, stage by stage, of the divine (Yazatic or Minoi) Light of Ahura. From Ahuramazda to a speck of dust, that Light takes up successive forms and formulations. The matter of our experience is a much lower form. In between, are covered all forms of subtle matter and life, as also mind and consciousness. Therefore what we find as a world external to our own self and our own internal world both have a common under current, namely Ahura’s Light in different stages of condensation. Therefore an unseen world does exist and has various regions; and man has in him unseen regions in varying stages of spiritual development. As a human so develops, the Light of Ahura within him or her, gradually looses its condensation. The whole compositon physical, mental, spiritual changes. The cells change. The mind expands, the range of senseds expands, the consiciousness expands.

    Asho Zarathushtra was not an evolving soul like us. He was a direct descendent from Ahura. He was specially, differently and exceptionally made. Yazashney (Gatha) Ha 29 says so. The Zarathushtra Nameh in Pahalvi DInkard says so. The Yasht’s namely Farvadin, Tir, Ashishawang, Khordad, Ghosh, Din, Zamyad, Hom say so that Paigamber sahibs Khoreh, Fravahar and Gohae-e-Tanu were brought down by very special methods.

    The above treatment gives us some idea of the Yazatic stature of Asho Zarathushtra; the special and subtle composition of His human form; His emanation from Zarathushtra Gatha, the formulation of the “Gaas”; His exceptional attunement with Ahura reflected in the word “Yaan”, occurring as “Yannim” in the preamble to the first Gahta – Ahunavad.

    Religion is a many splendoured science. Science means search for truth. Truth has infinite dimensions. Man’s “common sense” that is his wakeful consciousness, has just four dimensions – length, breath, height and “time”. Life is meant to expand his consciousness. RELIGION IS THE WAY. The Paigamber’s and saints tell us something about the “Beyond” within us and outside us. Theirs is the science of God. And they teach us the art of living the life on earth based on their mystical science. If you have unshakable faith in them, you need not bother about that science; but once you claim to take an intellectual interest in Religion, you have to exert for the search of truth and that is not easy.

    A SUBJECT THAT COVERS ALL SCIENCES OF MATTER, LIFE, MIND AND SOUL, REQUIRES HARD LABOUR TO FOLLOW IT AND LIVE BY IT. ABOVE ALL, IT REQUIRES A SINCERE TEMPERAMENT TO PURSUE THE TRUTH WHEREVER IT LEAD US, AND COURAGE TO BE OUT OF OUR PRIDE AND PREJUDICES, IF THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH SO DEMANDS. IT IS A BOLD AND BRAVE EXERCISE, WHICH DEMANDS SHUNNING OF INTELLECTUAL LAZINESS.

    So, please read all these with patience. Once your mind becomes familiar with these matters, it will be easy to grasp them, and once you begin to grasp them, your heart will dance with inexplicable joy and bliss, and your view of life and your mode of taking life will be radically altered; you will face life and its ups and downs bravely and smilingly. That is what “Khushnoom means and is meant for and above all we all will march towards Ahura ….

    ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA HAS BEEN ASSIGNED A “KHSHNOOMAN” IN AVESTA

    “KHSHNOOMAN” MEANS A MANTHRIC COMPOSITION TO ESTABLISH DIVINE ATTUNEMENT WITH A YAZAT.

    A Holy Scripture of any Religion is not a piece of literature or poetry or essay or drama. It is a divine compositon of Manthra or Mantra, which generates spiritual forces and energies within one who chants it as also out in the universe.

    All our Prayers are such Manthra. They are structured and designed by Asho Zarathushtra and His Deputies and Disciples. The Manthra Prayers are founded on “STAOTA”, the Divine vibrations , which are the basic ingredients of the whole creations of Daadaar Ahura Mazda. This Science of Staota is elaborated in our Holy Scriptures at several places; so also the working and operation of Manthra. The late Phiroze Masani has in Chapter VI of his “Zoroastrianism, Ancient and Modern” quoted and explained a large collection of those scriptural references on Staota and Manthra (On Staota:- 13 references from the Gatha and 27 from the other Avesta. On Manthra, 12 from Gatha, 58 from other Avesta) (1917-2000 – Parsi Vegetarian and Temperate Society) – On page 127 of the same book, while narrating 10 Fundamental Laws of Zoroastrian rituals Phiroze Masani gives an excellent meaning of the word Manthra as:-

    MANTHRA :- the law of efficacy of the Mystic words of charms composed by the Prophet in unision orattunement with the Original Universal Musical Note – the creative Word – Ahun Var – the law whereby the Urvan or soul can be en rapport with the Music celestial”.

    Apart from the evidence in the Avesta, the internal structure of our Manthra Prayers shows that some Mystical rules and cannons are followed in their compositions. Some passages or some sentences are required to be repeated specified number of times. Certain small prayers like Asheym, Yatha, Yenghey haataam are found in the beginning or the ending parts of the most of the Prayers. There seems to be some science of numerology, like Yatha is to be chanted one or two or five or ten or twenty-one times at different places; Ashem one or three or ten or twelve times. In Afringaan and Yazashney Kriyas two, four, five, seven, eight, ten, twelve Yahta’s are chanted at different points. In Vendidad two-hundred Yatha’s and one-hundred Ashem’s are to be recited in Pargarad (Chapter) nineteen. Prayers Ahmai Raeshcha, Hazangarem, Jasa-mey Avanghahey Mazda and Kerfeh Mozded always occur together in a quartet. Vandidad Pargarad ten specifically narrates Manthra passages to be chanted twice or thrice or four times and describes their respective effects. Each of the five Gatha’s has one passage to be repeated twice.

    Some Prayers have changing rhymes and rhythlms and meters. Some sound like poems. In the voice of a competent mobed, they flow and flower like musical passages. Each prayer has specific title, like Geh or Niyaish or Yasht. They are like songs addressed to Nature and its divine forces and energies. Mostly they are the invocations to different Yazats, like Khorshed Niayish, Meher, Mah, Avan, Atash Niyaish’s. There are twenty three Yashts for different Yazats, some long, some short, some heavy, some light; some hard some soft. The very composition, the structure and design, form and fabrication, construction and conformation of words, sentences and passages inspire within us a blissful feeling that here is a divine edifice of letters and words enabling us to communicate with Mother Nature and God Himself. Here is a beautiful garden of colorful roses and flowers with bulbuls and cuckoos singing the Raga of divine love and carrying a wind of fragrance towards that Ultimate Source of all fragrances of human devotion and divine Ishq.

    Every Niyaish and every Yasht is a dedication to a particular Yazat. It invokes and brings towards the one who chants, a flow of the Yazat’s Light. Each Yazat is a ray of Ahura’s own Light emanating from Him. The Niyaish or Yashta, through its chanting, attunes the chanter with the Yazat. The Manthric Power in the words of the Prayer does this.

    Every prayer contains specified Manthric sentences for such attunement, communion and divine communication with the Yazat, set out in a set pattern. This is called “KHSHNOOMAN”. One illustration will make this clear. Khorshed Niyaish is meant to attune us with the Yazat Khorshed. Our visible sun in the sky which is a sphere of atomic particles, is the physical manifestation of the divine unobservable Light of Khorshed Yazat, which emenates from Hasti, the divine world of Yazatic Light. The aim of chanting Khorshed Niyaish is to get attuned with the Khorshed Yazat of the Hasti world, through the physical sun which we see from our earth.

    Somewhere in the middle of the Khorshed Niyaish the following passage occurs:-

    “Fravaraney Mazdaysno Zarathushtrish Veedaevo Ahura Takeysho (1)
    Haavanne-ye Ashaonahey Ashahey Rathway (2)
    Yasnaaicha Vahmaaicha Khshnaothraaicha Frasastayecha (3)
    Saavanghahey Veeseeaaicha Ashaoney Ashahey Rathwey (4)
    Yasnaaicha Vahmaaicha Khsnaothraaicha Frasastayecha (5)
    HAVAREY KHSHAEYTAHEY AMESHAHEY RAE-VAHEY AURVAT ASPAHEY (6)
    Khshnaothra Yasnaaicha Vahmaaicha Khshnaothraaicha Frasastayecha (7)

    The line in BOLD ITALICS above is the special invocation to, and attunement with Khorshed Yazat; it is termed as Khshnooman of that particular Yazat.

    The passage proceeds as under:-

    Yathaa Ahoo Vairyo Zaotaa Fraa Mey Mrootey (8)
    Athaa Ratush Ashaat-chit hacha Fraa Ashava Veedvaao Maro-too (9)

    We will not for the time being go into the rich spiritual meaning and translation of these Avesta sentences. They are the Manthric formulae having the power to attune the chanter with Khorshed Yazat, and we shall confine ourselves to that aspect alone. You will find that every Niayish and Yasht has in it this passage starting with “Fravaraaney Mazdayasno… All of them contain the same lines, except line :- six, which is the special invocation formula for the particular Yazat. That line (No:- 6) is called the “KHSNOOMAN” OF THAT YAZAT.

    The word Khshnooman has the root “Khshnoo” or “Khshanaa” . Several meanings are indicated. The allied word “Khshnoom” is translated as :-

    • Propitiating or stimulating worship
    • Divine joy
    • Bliss
    • Ecstasy
    • Mystical Knowledge
    • Ilm
    • Religious lore
    • Spiritual satisfaction or contentment.

    “Khshnooman” can therefore mean a Manthric Formula which brings in or impart all these.

    In this context Framroze Chiniwala has explained the word thus:- AVESTA HAS A KHSHNOOMAN OF ZARATHUSHTRA. What does Khshnooman mean??

    AVESTA HAS A KHSHNOOMAN OF ZARATHUSHTRA. What does Khshnooman mean??

    In the Prayers of Niyash’s and Yashta’s to various Yazats, at the beginning while invoking them they are offered praise (homage, supplication, petition) in a special Manthric way. An earnestness is expressed to join with them in communion through a unique manner. An ecstatic joy is proclaimed towards the communion…. Such a Khshnooman is assigned to Prophet Zarathushtra in Avesta.” ? (Nikeez Volume :- I – Page No:- 233).

    There is no separate Zarathushtra Niayish or Yashta. However a Khshnooman is recited for Him in a Kriya called “Para-grava” or “Paragroo”, which preceeds the major Yazashney Kriya.

    There the special line No 6 for the Zarathushtra Yazat for His Khshnooman recites:-

    ZARATHUSHTRAHEY SPITAAMAHEY ASHAOONO FRAVASHEY (KHSHNAOTHRA YASNAAICHA…)

    This Kriya has a subtitle “Varas ni Baaj Levaani Kriya”.

    Hence now the question comes as :-

    WHO IS SPITAMA ZARATHUSHTRA ??
    ( Testimony from the Gatha – Ahoonvad – Haa 29-6 – based on Gujarati Translation of Framroze Chiniwalla ):-

    “THE ALL-WISE, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-PERVADING WEAVER OF EVIL INTO GOOD, AHURA MAZDA, PROCLAIMED HIS UNALTERABLE PREDICTION:-

    NONE OTHER THAN ZARATHUSHTRA, THE POSSESSOR OF THE POWER OF ASHA, IS, AT THIS TIME, DESTINED TO BE THE RATU, AHURA MAZDA’S DEPUTY, WHOM MY YAZATS HAVE PREDETERMINED AS THE FARMER OF TRUTH AND HARBINGER OF MINOI WEALTH”.

    (Another Testimony from the Gatha – Ahoonvad – Haa 29-8 – based on Gujarati Translation of Framroze Chiniwalla):-

    “Said Mazdaa:-

    SPITAMA ZARATHUSHTRA IS THE ONLY EXCEPTIONAL ONE WHO ALONE CAN GRASP MY “SAASNAA” ( TEACHINGS, DIRECTIONS, DOCTRINES, CANNONS, PRECEPTS). IT IS HIS WISH TO ABSORB AND IMPART, ON BEHALF OF US, MAZDAA AND ASHA, ALL THE MANDATORY PRESCRIPTIONS, TARIKATS, PRACTICES, EQUIPMENTS, SACRED COUNSEL MOULDED (FORMULATED) BY US FOR TILLING (ALCHEMISING) THE GROUND OF DRUJ (THE EVIL), SO THAT ONE WHO PUTS THEM IN PRACTICE SHALL ATTAIN AND PRONOUNCE THE WORD OF TRUTH AND THE ABODE OF THE MINIO YAZATIC LIGHT”.

    THE DIVINE STATUS OF HOLY ZARATHUSTHRA

    STATE OF AFFAIRS BEFORE ZOROASTER’S BIRTH

    Till the advent of Zarathushtra, there were only two groups of people inhabiting the earth. One belonged to the White Side of Nature and were known as the Yazdan Parast Mazdayasnis. The other belonged to the Dark Side of Nature and were called the Daevayasnis, that is, those who worshipped the Dark and Evil Forces of Nature. These were the pagans and heathens. There was no organized religion before the coming of Zarathushra.

    There were, therefore, constant fierce feuds between these two camps. The White Side of Nature was represented by the Peshdadiyan and Kyanian Kings and paladins, who fought relentlessly and bravely against the Daevas and their followers. This struggle went on for a long time between these two forces.

    After some time, however, it was realized that the forces of the Dark Side were gaining an upper hand. A great fall seemed imminent. It was then that Geush Urva that is literally, the Soul of the Earth implored Lord Ahura Mazda, to send a Saviour. Ahura Mazda showed Geush Urva, the subtle invisible body of Zarathushtra and assured him that he would create him who would show to mankind the path of purity. This appeased Geush Urva. ( The true meaning of Geush Urva, is not the “soul of the Ox’ as rendered by Professor Zaehner and others, but the sub-angelic potentiality. It is allegorically called Geush, because it possesses the blissful characteristics in common with the cow-kind ).

    At last when the proper time arrived, preparations were made in the heavens for the descent of Zarathushtra.

    THE BIRTH OF ZARATHUSHTRA: ?

    For three days before Zarathushtra was actually born, the surrounding place became illuminated. Yet another marvel, which is recorded, is that Zarathushtra laughed outright at his birth. According to Professor Jackson, “ The tradition is recorded by Pliny, who observes in his “Natural History”, that “Zoroaster was the only person who ever laughed on the same day on which he was born. We hear, too, that his brain pulsated so strongly that it repelled the hand when laid upon it, as presage of his Wisdom”. This was, because the holy Prophet’s soul was FARROKHTUM that is MOST AUSPICIOUS, being sin-free, and was not subject to the vicissitudes of life, for he took birth as a Saviour.

    According to the Farvardin Yasht, in the birth and progress of Zarathushtra, the waters and the plants rejoiced, in his birth and growth, all the creatures of the good creations cried out, “Hail, Hail, to us!! For He is born, the Athravan Spitama Zarathushtra”.

    As Zarathushtra grew up, the demons tried all sorts of tricks and artificies in their stock to destroy him, but failed miserably.

    Besides possessing great Wisdom and other Spiritual Powers, Zarathushra also possessed AOJ, whichis the special divine power or potentiality possessed by Ameshaspands (Archangles). He also possessed the Kyan glory.

    In short, Zarathushtra was an angelic being among man. He was a YAZATA in the garb of a man. His body was not made of the earthly element like us mortals, but was of the fiery element.

    He was a scion of the Ameshaspands in human form, whose mode of life radically differed from the rut of humanity. Zarathushtra’s birth took place under exceptional circumstances and the law applicable to him for birth was a unique, exceptional one (Aves, aevo-datahe).

    HE WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO LISTENED TO THE REVELATIONS AND COMMANDMENTS OF AHURA MAZDA. ZARATHUSHTRA IS THE ONLY BEING ON EARTH FOR WHOM THERE IS A GLORIFYING FORMULA (KHSHNOOMAN – we have already seen earlier stated above). Otherwise, such Khshnoomans are reserved only for the blissful divine forces – Yazatas and Ameshaspands. Zarathushtra, is therefore, the only true “Superman” in a long epoch.

    In many pictures / paintings, purported to be those of the Vakhshoor-e-Vakhshooran that is Prophet of Prophets, Holy Zarathushtra is shown with a ball of fire in his hand. In reality, this indicated that the Prophet’s body was composed of the most subtle element of fire, it was transparent and had no shadow. The current of the fire-energy in him flowed as aura through his right hand, which gave the appearance of the Prophet holding a ball of fire in his hand.

    In the Ahunavad Gatha ( Yasna Ha 28 ) in the very first strophe, it is said, “YAANIM MANO, YAANIM VACHO, YAANIM SHOTHNAI…..” , “The thoughts, words and deeds of Holy Zarathushtra contain the benedictions of Ahura”.

    In yasna Ha 51:12 – (Gatha Vohukhshthra), the Prophet is called Ururaosta Asto “the most advanced messenger in the evolution towards perfection”.

    The Pahlavi Writers have called our Prophet, “RAMZ-GU” one who speaks in cryptic terms.

    In the Gathas, Zarathushtra is depicted as the only one (aevo) who has been sent to the earth for the guidance of Ahura Mazda’s creations. He is the exceptional one who has heard the advices and admonitions of Ahura Mazda ( Yasna 29-8 ).

    It was Zarathushtra who laid the foundation for the growth and development of all the major religions of the WORLD.

    As Zarathushtra was not an ordinary mortal, he did not die like one. The Pahlavi writers have used the word, VIKHIZ to indicate his passing away. It means that after the Prophet destroyed Tur-bara-tur, the phantom form of the Zenith of grossness, he took the brunt of the reaction of such a violent destruction on himself, thereby dispatching the elements in his “body” to their respective regions.

    NOTE:-

    NO SINFUL MORTAL, THEREFORE, CAN IMPERSONATE THE PROPHET, EITHER ON SCREEN OR ON STAGE. IF ANY ONE DOES, HE AND HIS ASSOCIATES, WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRODUCTION, COMMIT A CARDINAL SIN IN MOTHER NATURE.

    THE DISCIPLINES AND DOCTRINES OF THE ZARATHUSHTRIAN DAENAA

    • Sudreh – Kushti is NOT just a symbol. It is an ALAAT, absorbing and emanating divine Energies, a spiritual discipline, a yoga for the Parsis.
    • Navjote is NOT an Initiation or baptisim like ceremony. It is a confirmation of the promise given to Asho Zarathushtra before arriving on the globe.
    • Manthra Prayers are NOT grammatical, historical or geographical treatises of the alleged primitive times; they are the means of attunement with the Yazatas, the Divine Conscious Channels of Ahura Mazda’s Light.
    • Atash Padshah is NOT a dry symbol. He is the Divine Entity watching the karmic cycles of our journey towards Ahura Mazda and helping us in numerous mysterious ways.
    • Yasna and ceremonies are NOT some “Primitive” rituals; they are to be performed with strenuous precision; they generate powerful Fields of Divine Energies which carry our certain specified mystical tasks in Nature.
    • Dokhma is NOT just a method of physical disposal of corpses; it is a Divine Power House in transition between this world and the next, and actively assists the journey of the Ruvaan.
    • The Moral Code of Zarathushtra is NOT just a social or worldly necessity. It is a spiritual exercise for the life on earth; every thought, word and deed, good or bad, is registered and recorded at several places in Nature and has a crucial part to play during our journey in this world and the world after death.
    • The Zarathushtrian code of life guides us to revere all the elements of Nature; to use them just adequately and not excessively, and with a profound feeling of thanks giving to Ahura Mazda and His Yazatas.
    • Meher-Patet, truth and repentance, is the code to deal with the humans, animals, vegetation and matter.
    • Boonak Pasbani is NOT a mere survival exercise, it is, in addition, a spiritual discipline for onward journey to Ahura Mazda
    • Different Religions (Daenaao) are sent by God as a plan of His Divine Plan to draw the humans and through them the whole creation towards Him.

    In Gatha 34-1 – Yaa Shyothnaa … states that we dedicate all our deeds, utterance, devotion, energies to Thee Oh Mazda Ahura.

    MANTHRA AND YASNA, IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE ZARTHOSHTI DAENA

    Paigamber Saheb has bestowed on us several bounties of which Manthra – the Avesta Prayer – and “Yasna” – Kriyaa-kaam (rituals) are specially important. The bounties of Paigamber Saheb are known as “Sengha”. As Gatha 28-0 declares, He is the recipient of “YAAN” the Highest Inspiration from Ahura. “Senghaa” emanate from that “Yaan”, and provide the best form of training leading to the progress of the Ruvaan.

    BASIC PRINCIPLES EMERGING FROM STAOTA YASNA

    1. The yearning for the KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF STAOTA YASNA, to the Summum Bonum i.e. the greatest good or heavenly bliss meant for the Soul.
    2. The love of Mazda, ATTUNEMENT WITH AHUARA MAZDA, friendship of Ahura Mazda, adoration, glorification and propitiation of Ahura Mazda are possible only by means of the Staota Yasna
    3. One must always have the one yearning for becoming a SKILLED PRACTITIONER OF STAOTA.
    4. The practice of Staota if well directed results in the FRESH AWAKENING OF THE SPIRITUAL ( AHU ) within man.
    5. One who is not well-versed in Staota Yasna CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LIBERATIONS OFFRED UNTO YAZADS and other apparatus meant for producing forces of attunement with Yazads.
    6. PROPHET ZOROASTER THE HOLY ONE WAS THE FIRST PRACTITIONER OF STAOTA, since he was the first to comprehend the manifestation of the entire universe in accordance with the Celestial Tune of Ahuna Var by means of the Staota Yasna Laws, and to formulate the word Yatha Ahu Variyo in rhythmic parallelism with that Ahuna VAr, and thence to expand the Yatha Ahu Variyo into the 21 Nasks of Avesta Manthra having their special rates of acceleration and intensity, for to Zoroaster the progress of the Soul implied genuine absorption of higher Manthric vibrations and colors by the Soul through the medium of Ashoi – Principles which help to promote the subtleness of the physical and the ultra-physical tenements of the Soul – the physical, comprising tanu or body proper, Gaetha or vital organs, Azda or etheric and nervous body; and the ultra – physical including Kehrpa or invisible counter-part of the physical body, Ushtana or life or vital heat, Tevishi or desire-shell, the root cause of thought-activity, all of which are mentioned in the very first line of Yasna – Ha – 54:1.
    7. The Staota produced by the Manthra and Ashoi principles of the law of Zarathushtra are very powerful and capable of disintegrating the graphs of vibrations and forms unseen created by Daevas or people of evil thoughts and mal – practices.
    8. The Staota or vibrations-colors belonging to and generated for Ahura Mazda are the most supreme of all vibrations and colors.
    9. Only offerings of Staota or higher vibrations and colors can reach Ahura Mazda and Asha Vahishta.
    10. The followers of Zoroastrian Law must be the practitioners of the Staota produced by the Avesta Manthra, and must stick to this practice at any cost.
    11. Staota yasna is the protector, defender and promoter of the entire existence of the holy, guiding the whole creation to that “ONE DIVINE EVENT” or “FRASHO-KERETI” i.e. RENOVATION.
    12. The Staota Yasna are the FUNDAMENTAL LAWS in accordance with which the Original THOUGHT VIBRATION, or Primum mobile the VERY FIRST MOTION is given by the CAUSER OF ALL CAUSES, for the INFOLDMENT AND UNFOLDMENT OF SPIRIT INTO AND FROM MATTER.
    13. The SUN IS THE CENTRE OF STORE-HOUSE OF STAOTA OR ALL THE HIGHER VIBRATO-CHROMATIC EFFECTS. HENCE THE SUN IS ALSO DESIRED IN ATTUNEMENT BY MEANS OF THE STAOTA YASNA AND THE CLOSE RELATION BETWEEN THE SUN WHICH IS THE LIGHT OF ALL VISIBLE LIGHTS AND THE STAOTA YASNA IS INDICATED VERY EASILY.
    14. The inter-relation of Ahuna Var, Asha Vahishta, Staota Yasna, Gathas, Aggregate Words, Soul, Fravashi, Havonim, Baresman, Haoma, Thought, Word and Deed of Mazdayasnyan Law – establish a very strong proof of the effect of Staota present every – where lying at the bottom of everything. The Gathas and all the collective Words of the Avesta Manthra are based on the Laws of Staota and have correspondence to the Original Staota of the Song Celestial and of the archangel Asha Vahishta presiding over Divine Moral Order of the Universe. The soul (Urvan) can have the glimpse of the Fravashi through attunement with Baodhangha (higher spiritual consciousness) only by means of Staota. The ceremonial efficacy produced by the aggregate forces of the Havonim or metal tumbler, Baresman or sacred twigs and Haoma or sacred plant is entirely based on the grand Laws of Staota which establish telepathic and Staotic connection between the visible and the unseen planes of the universe. And lastly the underlying element of the Mazdayasnian Law being also the Staota of Ahuna Var, it is quite evident that the Thought, Word and Deed expounded in that law should be closely connected with the Staota yasna.
    15. Staota yasna stand as the MOST EXCELLENT SEEDS or bases of the entire Universe, and the universal unfoldment is possible only through the attunement of all by means of these basic laws of Staota yasna. THE HIGHER STAOTA MUST BE THE CHIEF DESIDERATUM OF EVERY ZOROASTRIAN SOUL.
    16. The Universal Attunement of Brotherhood is possible only through the media of Staota, and the one Staota of Ashem practiced holily and in accordance with the Law is equal in its potential or power to the vibration of Ahura Mazda, to the vibration of waters, plants, land and the living creation, for the Staota of Ashem is itself the FUNDAMENTUM OF THE LAW OF ASHA VAHISHTA. Hence only Staota will achieve the Universal Frasha Kereti or Renovation of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

    Besides these, the epithets of Staota or Staota Yasna namely its worth chanting, worth singing, worth attuning, worth remembering, worth practicing, worth learning, worth teaching and capable of withstanding, canceling and crushing the vibration and color of EVIL THOUGHT, EVIL WORD AND EVIL DEED such as are hinderances to Spiritual Unfoldment, and again having a special rhythmic, harmonic arrangement – only stamp on the mind of a sincere student of the Avesta that there is nothing so very desirable during life on earth but the one thing namely the knowledge and practice of Staota Yasna for achieving the Progress or Unfoldment of the Soul, and that more things are wrought by the Avesta Manthric prayers then the philologists dream of.

    These are some of the references from the extant meager Avesta that has been spared to us, for the proof of the fact that “MANTHRA IS NO ORDINARY LANGUAGE” of everyday use in practical life for social, economic and other means of communication between one person and another. The fact that Manthra or the entire Avesta which has its root-cause the “YATHA AHU VARIO” is formulated entirely on the laws of subtle vibrations which pervade throughout the entire Cosmos. There is not one thing in the entire universe from the greatest to the smallest, visible or unseen, which is not subject to this Fundamental law of vibration or local energy, and of the color generated by both vibration and sound combined together. All the Avesta passages quoted above will clearly show to a patient individual that there is produced very powerful efficacy of the mere sound of Avesta Manthra, and the strength of that efficacy depends on the holiness – requisite with the Avesta Manthra recital – of the reciter’s physical, mental, moral and spiritual constituents – the efficacy of the Manthra recital varying directly with the power of Ashoi possessed by the practitioner of the Manthra. This efficacy is the greatest in the case of the holy prophet Zoroaster who as we know that who is able to clear this earth of the “Daewas” or worst possible vibrations, formulated by the most abominable demoniac men who practiced the worst form possible of Black Magic, merely by means of the one word of Ahuna Var. The efficacy of Manthra recital varies with different individuals in proportion to the Ashoi observed by them, for Manthra or sound based on the law of meditation always co-operates with the Mithra or thought energy of the reciter, and the Vohu Managha or healthy thought energy is to be found only in one who observes all the canons of Ashoi.

    The Ashoi Principles aggravate the intensity of subtle RIGHT THOUGHT POWER allied with which the Avesta manthra produces its own desired effect. Thought and word always co-operate in Zoroastrian prayers, and although Thought vibrations have their own function, and Word vibrations have theirs, yet when both are combined together and when the thought-force is as supreme and elevated as the Manthric energy, it produces the precise effect which ought to be produced. Unless these fundamental laws of thought-waves and word-colors are understood by a student of Avesta it is quite impossible for him to account for so many Avesta references to Staota and Manthra and the efficacy of Ahunavar and the names of Ahura Mazda. The Avesta student must know that vibration is at the BOTTOM OF THE UNIVERSE, and that life or thought-force or energy or Divine Fire by whatever name we call it, is all-pervading and the Eternal Song Celestial which is ever chiming is the ORIGINAL CREATIVE FORCE OF AHUNAVAR parallel to which Celestial note runs the powerful word of Yatha Ahu Vario the key-note to all the Avesta Manthra in its final efficacy of leading the Soul on to Unfoldment whereby to attain GARONMANA THE ABODE OF SONG.

    VIRTUES OF A ZOROASTRIAN HOUSEHOLD

    As depicted in the Avesta, an ideal Zoroastrian man or woman is one who observes Asha, who is healthy in mind and body, who is advanced in good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, with a sincere, devoted heart, reciting the holy words of prayer, self-sacrificing, leading a good life of wisdom, and one who prospers the world by good deeds.

    Zoroastrianism inculeates active virtues of life. It is the duty of a Zoroastrian to lead a good life of virtue and industry, and to find spiritual happiness in such a virtuous life; and also to teach and instruct others to lead a similar life. To be good and happy is essential, but it is not enough. We have to be good, virtuous, and happy, and also to make others good, virtuous and happy.

    According to Zoroastrian religion, marriage is a pious duty, and a married life is preferable to an unmarried life. It is incumbent on all able-bodied Zoroastrian to marry, and to establish a happy home, where a husband and his wife may live happily with their children and the members of the family. Happy married life depends on virtue, duty and devotion to each other. In the words of Prophet Zarathushtra (Y- 53-4):-

    These holy words of admonition
    Do I utter unto you –
    The bride and the bridegroom,
    Do you engrave them in mind;
    “Being girded with religious virtues,
    Do you lead a life of Good Mind;
    With holiness and virtue.
    Do you love devotedly –
    That indeed shall lead you both
    To a good, happy married life !”

    Zoroastrianism teaches dignity of labor. Proper use of hands and feet is advocated. To till and cultivate land “with the left hand and the right, with the right hand the left”, and to grow corn is as good as to increase holiness. Work is worship, and idleness is sin against against religion and society. It is stated that an idle man is a burden on human society and he has to wander from door to door in search of food.

    Thrift and economy are also the important virtues of Zoroastrian daily life. It is enjoined that one must not waste even a trifling thing (Vendidad 5.60).

    “Not, indeed, Ahura Mazda has given acquired property to waste – neither of full value, nor even a trifle as much as spinster is rejecting while spinning”.

    While thrift and economy are virtues, stinginess and miserliness are vices. Charitable disposition is specially extolled. Charity is an essential virtue of a Zoroastrian. The Divine gifts of Good Mind are specially meant for those who work for welfare and uplift of the poor and needy. It is specially enjoined (Visparad 1.S.1).
    “LET US HERE DO GOOD INDUSTRY TO RENDER THE NEEDY UNNEEDY!”

    Among other virtues of a Zoroastrian household may be mentioned; sincerity respectability, obedience, peace, liberality, and humility. The Zoroastrians pray to God for these household virtues.

    Hope u all will enjoy reading and learn something.
    But,
    Dear Merzban, you are very well aware of all the things written above its for our hamdins to learn and get close to our Mazdayasni din….
    Yatha Zamyat atha afri nami….. Humaktam Huktanam Huvarastnam….

  10. Jeannie Antia  October 31, 2009

    This is very impressive. I agree with the author above. We do not need to pray to Sai Baba … like many Parsis do … or to Jesus Christ … we are Zorastrians and believe in Ahura Mazda, The Almighty God, and need not look left or right and get all confused in doing so.

    I am living in Germany as a Parsi born daughter from a religious Parsi family. I need not pray to Jesus … I pray to Ahura Mazda … even though I have no fire-temple around!

    Best – Jeannie

  11. Arzan  July 26, 2010

    This is the most retarded post I have seen so far on the internet. It is people like you who cause segregation and hate in this world. We are ONE RACE living on ONE PLANET breathing the SAME AIR. Do you have any idea how SMALL the Earth is in relation to the Universe. And you want to divide this tiny dot even further? You are blinded by egoistic chauvinism and you have NO RIGHT to tell others what to believe and what not to believe.

    A hundred years ago, white people thought they were superior to black people by birthright. Were they correct?

    Seventy years ago, Nazis thought they were superior to other races by birthright. Were they correct?

    Today you think your religion is more superior to others by birthright. Are you correct? In God’s name NO!

    If you think the community is neglecting its responsibility of maintaining itself, you are sure doing a great job of pushing the current and future generations even further away.

  12. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  July 26, 2010

    @Arzan
    Thanks for writing in. Whether you like it or not, segregation is present in the world. When you say we are one race on one planet, why do we have different countries? Why do we have states within countries and further subdivisions? You tell me that I do not have the right to tell others what to believe or not, but hey, you just said the same thing to me!

    Wake up, my dear Parsi! Whether you like it or not, humans have always identified themselves on basis of race, religion, colour, ethnicity and many others! This is not something 100 years old – it has existed since the dawn of mankind!

    Being different has nothing to do with being superior or inferior! Nowhere in my post have I even mentioned these two words! (You have mentioned superior three times. Being different means just that – we are different from one another – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and so on.

    Every religion leads to God – as long as the person who is born into that religion practices it. No member of another faith can achieve salvation by disregarding the teachings of his own Prophet and “choosing” in his “infinite wisdom” the practices, Manthras or customs of another faith.

    My job is to educate and awaken those like you who slumber in some preconceived notions of oneness and anything goes! First read your scriptures, study your religion and learn to practice it, then have the temerity to classify this post as retarded, lest others apply that adjective to yourself.

    Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

  13. Arzan  July 27, 2010

    Thank you for the prompt response. With all due respect, I would just like to clarify three points.

    “Being different has nothing to do with being superior or inferior! Nowhere in my post have I even mentioned these two words!”

    “other gods and godmen of dubious origin” – To me this implies a sense of inferiority and hence a sense of superiority to Zoroastrianism as the one religion of non-dubious origin.

    “why do we have different countries? Why do we have states within countries and further subdivisions? ”

    These are all man made. I would rather try to break these walls and barriers rather than add support to them and construct new ones.

    “You tell me that I do not have the right to tell others what to believe or not, but hey, you just said the same thing to me!”

    I am not telling you what to believe. I am telling you not to tell others what to believe and especially not to insult their beliefs by calling it adultery. It is your right to practice Zoroastrianism exclusively as it is my right to worship Ahura Mazda and at the same time venerate Saints such as Sai Baba. You have no moral authority to call this an act of adultery.

  14. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  July 27, 2010

    Hi Arzan,

    The last few years have seen a series of incidents where Godmen of dubious origin and veracity have been exposed as sexual predators or money swindlers. It is these persons who I warn against. Regarding Sai Baba, no doubt he was a pious and advanced soul. But can we say the same about those who have hijacked his legacy of simple living and ideals by creating mammoth temples and using the money donated there for political purposes? Would Sai Baba have himself approved of silver and gold thrones, CCTVs and pay-per-view darshan arrangements? Is this not commercialization of the highest order, and therefore something which goes against the very teachings of simplicity, honesty and frugality which Sai Baba preached? If you study closely the teachings of this saint, you will realize that even he has advised his students to follow their own faiths.

    Again I say, there is no feeling of superiority or inferiority. Every person is born into a religion – he can never choose one over the other – it creates great spiritual disturbances, both within himself and outside. All religions are of Divine Origin. But God has chosen which religion a particular soul needs to be born into and it is our sacred duty to follow the tenets of the faith we were born into. That is the solemn promise we give to Ahura Mazda when we pass through the Navjote. Your act of “veneration” breaks that vow and is therefore akin to adultery.

    My moral authority to instruct you comes not only from my Priestly lineage and as the Head Priest of an Agiary but also from my deep study of our religion over two decades. Religion is not something where one can do as he or she pleases. Religion is a set of rules and regulations, worship and devotion and single minded pursuit of salvation, which can never come through the appeasing or veneration of divine entities outside our faith.

    Best regards,
    Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

  15. Ruby Percy Sanjana.  August 11, 2010

    Dear Ervadsaheb Marzban J. Hathiram,
    Re read this article again after a years time. Each time I learn somsthing new from it. Please keep these priceless articles forever on this site. Tandarosti, Ruby

  16. AMARIA Lt. Col.(Retd.) BOMAN E.  December 12, 2011

    Dear Ervadsaheb Marzban J Hathiram,
    Though the article was posted long ago, it was just today I came across the same and found it most revealing.
    As a young officer I used to wear our Sudreh-Kushti as convenient but as I went through constant difficulties and challenges in nature of our duties I realised that I was being protected by some invisible powers above and took to wearing our sacred sudreh-kushti seriously. We led a life which cannot be imagined by a non-service person. Therefore, when our behdins do not follow the tarikats and are very casual about it due ignorance and not having gone through fire like our predecessors I feel very sorry for them.
    May your teachings reach out wide and far.
    May Blessings of AHURA MAZDA be showered on you!!!

  17. xyz  December 27, 2011

    I read this article to-day for the first time and I fully agree with you one hundred percent. To-day’s generation of parsees 14 to 30 year olds have become so rebellious that they do not obey their parents. They do not wear sudreh-kusti. They follow all religions and they do not practice zoroastriansism at-all. Most of them are becoming atheists day by day. Due to bad company of friends, they disobey everyone. Only God will show them the right path. I suggest, all our scholar priests and vada dasturs should find a solution to start teaching zoroastrian religion to these young zoroastrians who have lost their way in life. Please find a solution at the earliest and bring all of them into our zoroastrian faith by guiding them properly. May Lord Ahuramazda show them the right path at the earliest.

  18. Rajan Gala  November 5, 2012

    Dear Marzban,

    I respect to all viewpoint you just said in this blog.. & i respect ur feelings but dont you think that God there sitting up cries when people talk about their religion & other religion. Dont you think that god cries when people hates other people just because we bitch about each others religion and community. Did God ever said that there should be 100 religion and communities and i will be in different forms in all religion. In short i want to say… if god is there, there can be only 1 god & he wants all religions to be one

  19. Shahin  December 17, 2012

    Hathiam people like you are worse than Almal Kasab. You are one of the same set of people who segregate people on the basis of caste creed etc. You talk about salvation, why dont you leave for the mountains how much does salvation costduring the muktads. How much do you charge, Now you will say that is my profession or compulsion. There is no compulsion to anything. Its in you.
    Now in one post you spoke about knowing all cause of your research and on the basis of being a high priest. Who made you so high, trust me you have a lot to know about God, I am not saying I know a lot but I can assure you I am better of than you. You bloody priests are nothing but parasites, for you people a death in someones family is a business opportunity to earn money.
    Dont talk crap.

  20. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  December 18, 2012

    @Shahin/Percy Master
    You are entitled to your opinion. We do not sell salvation during Muktad. If you read my article on Muktad properly [see http://www.frashogard.com/how-long-should-we-do-the-muktad%5D you will realize that you can do the prayers yourself without any cost. But that would involve cleaning your mind, and cleaning your tongue of the filth that keeps coming out of it. I am not sure whether you can manage that. Hate is a bad thing, which eats you away from inside. You may be better off than me, but I definitely feel much better than you. Thanks for stopping by…

  21. Ruzbeh  June 25, 2013

    A very major assumption you have made is that God exists.

    You have not provided the basis of your article. Did you cook up these “rules” yourself? Or did you read them from a 1000 year old book, the author of which you are unaware of?

    Is the “God” that you talk about, so petty minded, jealous and irrational? Or is it just a figment of your imagination?

    Your article tries to show that you are very learned and have a right to command your fellow community members to do whatever you please, without any basis or practicality.

    You need to read the book “The God Delusion”.

  22. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  June 26, 2013

    @Ruzbeh
    Frashogard is devoted to God and Zoroastrianism. If you question the very basis of the site, why visit? Thanks.

  23. kfkeravala  June 26, 2013

    @ruzbeh
    you need to read the book “The Science Delusion” by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake.

  24. Percy  June 27, 2013

    Myaaaan! I missed these bouts. Upto a certain extent I agree with Marzban and those who have agreed with the article.

    But excluding Marzban, a small question upahead.

    Anyone got the strength to clearly find (1st of all) and cast-out “BLACK MAGIC” from affected person with all these mighty explanations and posts?

    We have 1 example in our locality. This woman went to a church to a “father” and got herself cured…. but ONLY after tremendous efforts applied from the above, which went futile.

    When she went to our so called dedicated bouywala (she works in their house you see) once complaining of such doubt of being cursed with Black Magic, she was told ” Su mai beeya karoch? Yatha Ashem aakkho vakhat bhanya karo badhu saaf thai Jasay”.

    Infortunately nothing happened by doing that ” AAKHHO VAKHAT”.

    1 Day, it was so severe that, she, with all her inner strength went to a nearby church and fell there.

    The father didnt even know then, what was wrong. But his prayers casted out the evil. She is normal now.

    Can I say this Marzban?, that Ahuramazda has definately created all the other religions also. So that, if my path to Mazdayasni is blocked, other religions can help me remove my block and get back to my path.

  25. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  June 27, 2013

    @Percy
    Please read the story ‘The Miracle of Dastur Pesuji’. Even till a few years ago, there were priests who could perform what you ask. They may still be around…Your last point is not correct.

  26. J. Mistry  October 7, 2014

    I believe in following/ believing the tenets of the religion we are born in while respecting those of other religions. But unfortunately, we respect our religion and follow/ believe in other religions. We tend to confuse respect with belief.

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