Roj Adar Mah Khordad, 1381 Yz.
Fasli Ava Parab
Of all the many creations God put on this earth, water occupies a preeminent place. Man can live without many things, but cannot survive without water. In a sense, the history of man and his civilization is also a history of water. Space probes sent by man to other planets primarily look first for water. Modern science explains water as a combination of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. But science is unable to explain the mystery as to why the joining of these two atoms creates a substance which is responsible for our very existence. Where do the miraculous powers of water: to cleanse, to quench our thirst, to enable plants and food to grow, to sustain our life and civilization, come from?
The mystic science of Ilm-e-Khshnoom, presented to us by our Master, Ustad Saheb Behramshah N. Shroff, revealed for the first time the answers to the questions put above. The Zoroastrian mystic science explains that water is merely the physical manifestation of a Divine Entity working in the Cosmos. This is the reason why water is invariably linked to the Yazatic Being Ava Aredvi Sura. It is therefore easy to understand that the many powers of water described above flow from the specific spiritual work entrusted to Ava Aredvi Sura. What are these powers and how do they manifest themselves? Where in the Avesta are these powers mentioned?
Ustad Saheb revealed to us for the first time, the existence of these miraculous powers contained within the physical water. These spiritual energies are called ‘Frado’ (pronounced Fraado). Their names appear in the Ava Nyaesh and Yasht prayers as:
1. Adu Frado
2. Vanthwo Frado
3. Gaetho Frado
4. Khshaeto Frado
5. Danghu Frado
In addition, Ustad Saheb explained that the five Frado work under the supervision and spiritual guidance of their superior energy, called Zantu Frado. Some very old Khordeh Avesta books mention this name, although most Khordeh Avesta books do not have this name.
In the Ava Nyaesh, the Frado are called ‘Ashaonim’ – working for the righteous cause of creation and are suffixed with ‘yazamaide’ – worthy of being attuned with. Thus every time a devotee prays the Ava Nyaesh, he expresses a desire to attune with these Divine Forces and to understand their mystic functions. But besides giving the names, the Ava Nyaesh and Yasht prayers are silent as to the meaning, function and work of these entities. For that, we have to turn to the knowledge revealed by Ustad Saheb.
Ustad Saheb explained that every source of clean, free flowing and naturally occurring water has these six Frado energies. Depending on the use to which that water is put to, one or the other Frado energies become active and help the physical molecules of water perform the desired function. Let us briefly explain the function and work of each of these Frado.
Adu Frado: the primary function of this Frado is the dissolving power of water. It is observed that water slowly but surely dissolves or wears down whatever is put in it, or even the container it is stored in. Although not all objects are soluble, even then, water, over a period of time imbibes the properties of the object it is placed in. In early times, water was carried through pipes made of lead or iron. The dissolution of these elements in the water over a period of time gave rise to genito-urinary tract disorders in many persons.
The ancient Zoroastrian practice of washing hands before eating and then drying them also activates this Frado. The contact of the food with the washed hands (which is why food should be always eaten with the hand) and its subsequent passage in the throat activates the Frado which helps in the digestion process. However, the process of eating also activates the formation of saliva in the mouth (my mouth is watering). Saliva, although essential for digestion, gives rise to a spiritual pollutant called Hariri. This Hariri must be properly controlled. The sacred Manthras of the Jamvani Baj ensure that the Hariri arising out of the saliva are properly controlled and used only for the digestion process and do not give rise to spiritual pollution. Readers of Frashogard! This is the level of intricacy in our religion!
One of the wondrous functions of Adu Frado is used by very advanced sages and Abeds who are able to see and hear things and conversations happening thousands of miles away from where they may be sitting. These very advanced adepts take the help of Adu Frado present in the moisture of the atmosphere to be able to see and hear things at great distances.
Vanthwo Frado: the second divine energy working in water is called Vanthwo Frado. This Frado is concentrated mainly in the eyes of men and other creatures. (To be remembered that the eye is over 90% aqueous). The Frado coming out of the eyes of humans and animals has the power to attract others towards themselves. This Frado is the reason for the saying ‘love at first sight’. Those who have a cosmic connection and obligation spread over thousands of years need but one glance, one momentary meeting of the eyes to rekindle that intense longing and yearning for each other. This is the way the Master attracts his true student, and this is how the wandering student finally finds his Master and falls at his feet.
Those of you who have read the series on the life of the Master, would recall that when Behramshah first met the Abed Sahebs at Peshawar, Behramshah was unable to withstand the attraction coming out of the eyes of the Abeds. It was the Vanthwo Frado emanating from the eyes of the two Abeds specifically sent out to contact the lad Behramshah and get him to the tent of Rashidji Saheb.
It is the power of Vanthwo Frado which enables a sage meditating in the deep jungles in the presence of so many carnivores to remain safe. It is this Frado which emanates so strongly from the eyes of the spiritually advanced that can cause a prostitute to forget her trade and fall at their feet and redeem herself. Blessed are those whose eyes meet the Frado coming out from the eyes of such advanced Masters!
The quantum of Vanthwo Frado is very much greater in women that in men. This is the reason why in ancient Iran, women of noble houses always covered their eyes with a very light veil, to safeguard their Frado energy. This good practice later degenerated into the veil we see associated with other religions today.
A very important function of Vanthwo Frado is in full play during the last ten days of the year, when the Ruvans of our dear departed come down to our earth. The Vanthwo Frado present in the pure, sanctified water poured in the Muktad karasyas and vases helps the Ruvans during their stay on this earth. Those Agiaries where this sacred function of washing the Muktad Karasyas with well water and then pouring chokhu pani into the vases in a particular manner has been substituted by plastic pipes and electric pumps do not know the grave disturbance they are causing in nature.
Gaetho Frado: This sacred divine energy gives water its most important function – of being able to quench our thirst. No other drink can give us the satisfaction that a simple glass of water can give. Why is this so? The Gaetho Frado in the water we drink not only satiates our physical thirst but also provides much needed sustenance to the Gaetha body within our physical body. It is only when the Gaetha body is satiated that our longing and thirst is quenched. No other liquid can perform this function.
Khshaeto Frado: This divine energy gives water its incredible ability to cleanse and break down any dirt or pollution. This energy performs a breaking function. It is this property which enables water to be used as a cooking medium. The Khshaeto Frado present in water is the reason why pulses soaked in water cook faster. It is also observed that water from some wells cooks food faster whereas water from other wells takes longer to cook. This is due to the varying proportion of Khshaeto Frado present in different places. This breaking function also serves the most important role of causing the seed to break and give rise to the sapling which finally becomes the plant or vegetable. Thus watering of plants and crops is essential.
Another uniquely Zoroastrian practice is of washing the exposed parts of the body after coming out of the toilet. This action is not just for personal hygiene. Rather the washing of the exposed parts activates the Khshaeto Frado. This Frado then breaks the Gashak or spiritual pollution attached to our body when we entered the toilet. This action, accompanied by the prayers of the Hajat ni Baj (Baj for going to the toilet) and the subsequent Kusti succeeds in removing all traces of Druj and pollution.
One of the most fascinating roles of Khshaeto Frado occurs during pregnancy. As we know, the foetus is housed in a sack of liquid called the Amniotic fluid, which is again mostly water. When the times comes for the foetus to start its journey down the uterus and enter in to this bad world, the Khshaeto Frado in the Amniotic fluid becomes activated and starts its process of breaking up. This breakage of the sack (the waters have broken) is the starting point for the baby to begin its new life.
Readers of Frashogard, these are some of the few functions of these divine energies present in water. How ignorant we are of all these wondrous things in our religion! And we would have remained ignorant had our revered Master Ustad Saheb Behramshah not revealed these details to us! On this Fasli Ava Parab, we respectfully bow our heads in appreciation of his services to our religion. Our minds wander to the secluded Abed Sahebs of Demavand who gave Behramshah this knowledge to spread to the Parsi community. Friends, as you know, water spreads everywhere and in its spread it cleanses. That is why in the Pazend Ashirwad prayers, when the bride and groom are joined in holy matrimony, the Priest blesses them with the benediction: ‘padiyavi Aredvi Sura!’ – ‘may you both be as cleansed and pure as Ava Aredvi Sura!’
Those who are born on Ava Roj have the divine function in this life to cleanse themselves of their past sins. Nature has given them this life for the sole purpose of climbing to a higher level of purity and spirituality. I am blessed to have been born on this very day – Fasli Ava Roj and Ava Mah. The writing of this blog is part of my own process of cleansing the accumulated sins of my past lives and moving on to something higher. With the good wishes of you, my readers, and with the blessings of my most beloved Ustad Saheb and the beatific oversight of the Abed Sahebs of Demavand, I feel confident that I will perhaps pass the many hurdles and heartbreaks which lie ahead and emerge victorious. Padiyavi Aredvi Sura!
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram