Roj Dae-pa-Adar, Mah Khordad 1378 Yz.
Some friends have inquired about the Jindeh Ruvan ceremony that was recently conducted in our Daremeher by an overseas Parsi. I have prepared a small write up explaining the same.
The practice of Jindeh Ruvan ceremonies is very old and finds a mention in the Revayats. A learned paper by Ervad Jivanji Modi on the “Disa Pothi” (book containing the names of the deceased of a particular family, such as used today in Agiaries) of Navsari priests also gives details of this exercise as it was in existence over 350 years ago.
The practice of Jindeh Ruvan is a sort of prudent planning on the part of an individual to prepare for his onward journey in the spiritual realms. Our ancestors firmly believed in the efficacy of our prayers in helping the Ruvan reach its correct destination after death and the onward progress from there over the many years after death. Hence when circumstances were such that it was uncertain whether ceremonies could be done after the death of an individual, that person would take steps to have the ceremonies performed when alive. Hence the Jindeh Ruvan. For example, a spinster, or a widower without an offspring would be in serious doubt as to who would perform his after death ceremonies. Sometimes, they would “adopt” (make a “palak”) another individual and entrust him with the responsibility of doing the after death ceremonies. However, in many cases, as a measure of additional safety and prudence, many individuals would have a palak as well as perform the Jindeh Ruvan.
This practice is supported by our scriptures, wherein it is clearly mentioned that the benefits of any ceremony done for any individual or group first goes to the “Ganj-i-Manthran” or the ‘Treasury of Manthras’ maintained by Ahura Mazda. As and when the Ruvan of the deceased advances in its spiritual journey, the fruits of the ceremonies performed are released from the Treasury by certain Yazatas who are entrusted with this task, after deducting a certain percentage, which is used for the benefit of those souls whose relatives did not perform adequate ceremonies for them. (This does not of course absolve relatives from not performing their sacred spiritual duty towards their dear departed!) At the same time, the benefit of early storage in the Ganj-i-Manthran makes available the benefit of compounding (much like a savings account) to the soul of the concerned person.
The basic rule for ceremonies for the Jindeh Ruvan is that all ceremonies, except those requiring the presence of a physical body can be done. Thus except for the Geh Sarna, the Sachkar and the Sagdid, which require a dead body, all other ceremonies relating to the first four days as well as ongoing ceremonies can be performed for the Jindeh Ruvan.
The person having the Jindeh Ruvan done can choose any Roj of his liking, or Roj Fravardin, by default (since it relates to All Souls Day) as the day he wants to commence the Jindeh Ruvan from. This Roj would then be considered as the Roj of “death” and all ceremonies and their timings would hinge on this Roj. For sake of convenience we shall take the Roj as Hormazd. Starting from the first day, the ceremonies would be as under:
1. A “Baj of Sarosh” with 6 Chitia (small Daran) in every Gah, beginning with the Havan Gah of Roj Hormazd, stretching to the Aiwisruthrem Gah of Roj Ardibehest.
2. The recitation of Khurshed-Meher Nyaesh and Sarosh Yasht Hadokht in the Havan, Rapithwin and Uzirin Gahs of Roj Hormazd, Bahman and Ardibehest, with the name of the Jindeh Ruvan.
3. Recitation of the Haftan Yasht and Sarosh Yasht Hadokht in the Ushahin Gah of Roj Hormazd, Bahman and Ardibehest with the name of the Jindeh Ruvan.
4. 3 Yasna (Yazashne) ceremonies in honour of Sarosh on each of the three days (Hormazd, Bahman and Ardibehest ) in the Havan Gah.
5. 1 Vendidad in honour of Sarosh on any one of the three days (Hormazd, Bahman and Ardibehest) in the Ushahin Gah.
6. 3 Sarosh na Patra in the Aiwisruthrem Gah of each of the three days.
7. The consecration of 5 separate Bajs in the Ushahin Gah of the third day (Roj Ardibehest) along with the complete Syav, copper vessels and other implements. (Known as Chaharum ni Baj)
8. The Pad-Ruz (Uthamna) ceremony performed in the last 80 minutes of the Ushahin Gah of the third day (Roj Ardibehest).
9. The Daham Yazad Afringan ceremony performed on the dawn of the fourth day (Roj Sherevar).
10. The Ardafravash ceremonies on the fourth day proper (Roj Sherevar), again with full Syav.
11. Machi in the Havan Gah of Roj Sherevar.
12. Performance of the Yasna (Yazashne) ceremony in honour of Ardafravash in the Havan Gah of Roj Sherevar.
13. Stoom prayers in each of the Gahs of Roj Sherevar.
14. Performance of the Vendidad in honour of Ardafravash in the Ushahin Gah of Sherevar Roj.
15. Performance of the ancient (and today almost forgotten) “Baj Dharna ni Farokshi” in the Ushahin Gah of Roj Sherevar.
16. Performance of daily Afringan, Baj, Farokshi and Stoom prayers on all days till the tenth day.
17. Performance of the special “Dasma” day ceremonies on the 10th day (Roj Ava) with full Syav.
18. Performance of the Siroza prayers on the 30th day (Roj Aneran) with Syav.
19. Performance of the Masiso prayers on the 31st day (Roj Hormazd).
20. Performance of “monthly” prayers on every Hormazd Roj for 1 year.
21. If required, prayers may be said on the Fravardin Roj, Parab Roj of every month for the first year, along with ceremonies on any of the Gahambar days.
22. Performance of the Chamsi Siroza prayers on the 180th day, and Chamsi prayers on the 181st day. (with Syav)
23. Performance of the Varsi Siroza prayers on the 365th day and the Varsi prayers on the 366th day. (with Syav)
24. Thereafter, the person may continue with normal prayers as per his liking or financial strength till as long as he is alive.
As readers will observe, this is a very comprehensive and long list with high costs. Just the four days ceremonies would cost in excess of Rs. 45,000, (US$ 1,000) if everything is done correctly, completely and competently.
Please note that no amount of Jindeh Ruvan ceremonies can compensate for the accurate and complete ceremonies done when the real death happens. It is NOT a substitute, merely an additional safeguard, like an insurance policy.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram