How to attend a Paidust – some queries answered

Posted by:

Roj Mahrespand Mah Sherevar, 1378 Yz.

A lady has asked the following queries after reading yesterday’s post on the Paidust.

1. Can pregnant women attend any of the other ceremonies performed for the deceased (at Dungerwadi or at the Agiary) – like Sarosh nu Patru or Uthamna or the later ceremonies like Dasma, Masiso, Chamsi, Varsi, Muktad prayers, etc?

2. Ahunavaiti Gatha is also prayed during the Gatha days by many – may it be at home or in the Agiary – what happens to pregnant women then? What is to be done/observed at that time?

3. Can the Ahunavaiti Gatha or any of the other Gathas for that matter be prayed on any other day of the year also?

My answers are as under:

1. Pregnant women can attend ALL ceremonies being performed by the deceased as mentioned in the query EXCEPT for the Paidust, for the simple reason that the Ahunavaiti Gatha is recited ONLY during the Geh Sarna ceremony.

A further query can be raised by some critical minded persons that if the effect of the Ahunavaiti Gatha is such as described in the earlier post, should pregnant women also not attend the Yazashne, Vandidad and Nirangdin ceremonies where also the Ahunavaiti Gatha forms part of the prayers?

The answer is definitely pregnant women can attend these ceremonies, even though Ahunavaiti Gatha is recited as some part of the ritual. The reason is this: The Avesta prayers are arranged according to the laws of Staota Yasna (the Divine Science of Vibrations, which arise through the recitation of Avesta prayers). Thus what comes before as well as after a particular prayer is also very important as it has an effect on the overall Staota produced during the ceremony. Thus in the Geh Sarna ceremony, the Ahunavaiti Gatha comprises almost 99% of the total prayer and hence the Staota of this prayer is very strong. On the other hand in case of ceremonies like the Yazashne or Vandidad, the Ahunavaiti Gatha does not form even 5% of the overall prayer and is sandwiched between other prayers of equal or greater Staota. Hence the precautions to be taken by pregnant women during the Geh Sarna do not apply to the other ceremonies mentioned.

2. Ahunavaiti Gatha is definitely prayed by many Parsis during the Gatha days. However, pregnant women should NOT pray this Gatha. They can resume the following year.

3. Any of the Gathas can be prayed even on the non-Gatha days. However, there is a long standing tradition that the Ahunavaiti Gatha is NOT prayed on a regular basis. In addition it is advisable for a Parsi to recite the Vahishoisti Gatha everyday.

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram



  1. Hootokshi Thanawalla  February 17, 2010

    Reverend Ervad Hathiramsaheb,
    Please enlighten me whether Sarosh no Kardo can be recited if the body is kept in the cold storage awaiting arrival of relatives from abroad to witness Paidast to be performed on the next day (uthamna day)? Thanks.

  2. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  February 17, 2010

    Hi Hootokshi,

    First of all, the very concept of putting a body in a morgue and awaiting relatives to arrive from abroad is WRONG. As per our religious traditions, the body MUST be consigned to the Dokhma, preferably in THE SAME GAH OF DEATH. The process of Geh Sarna and Dokhmenashini reduce the attack of Druj Nasu on the soul of the deceased.

    The Trustees of the BPP have been told time and again that the morgue or freezer is a wrong and totally un-Zoroastrian thing by the High Priests but they refuse to remove this infernal thing. So much for so called religious teachers who are now Trustees of the BPP!

    To answer your query, it is TOTALLY RIGHT to have a Sarosh no Kardo done even though the body is in the freezer. Even if a body is being brought from abroad, the Sarosh no Kardo should begin in Mumbai from the day of death.

    Best regards,
    Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

  3. Hootokshi Thanawalla  February 22, 2010

    Reverend Saheb Hathiram
    Thank you very much for enlightening me. However I am slightly confused and will be greatful if you will clarify this misunderstanding. If Sarosh No Kardo can be performed before Paidust why is it that our mobeds are not doing the same when the body is kept at the bangli due to unopportune time for its disposal? If Sarosh no Kardo cannot be performed because of the presence of the body in the bangli, can it be performed in an Agyari on the first day?
    With Regards,

    Hootokshi Thanawalla

  4. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  February 23, 2010

    Dear Hootokshi,

    The Kardo cannot be done in the same place where the body has been put. So technically the Kardo can be done in the Agiary. But it is best to have prayers said on the same spot where the Sachkar has taken place. If the Bhoi nu Bhantar is properly said in front of the body there is really no need for the additional Kardo.

    If you wish, the prayers of the Kardo can be recited in another place.

    Best regards,
    Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

  5. Hootokshi Thanawalla  March 2, 2010

    Reverend Marazbansaheb

    I am highly obliged to receive your reply clarifying the position.

    Best regard

  6. rohinton  May 26, 2011

    Sir can the gatha prayers as you said can be recited on any day .i would like to know if the gathas can they be recited after sunset ? if they cant all 5 gathas should be recited during day only?thank you.

  7. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  May 27, 2011

    Gatha prayers can be recited in all the five Gahs

  8. rohinton  June 20, 2012

    Sir if gatha prayers can be recited in all 5 gahs than why is the geh sarnu not performed after sunset . Can i pray the ahunavad gatha after sunset? as its a part of the geh sarnu . iam asking this because at night can i pray the ahunavad gatha next to the body which is called bhoi agal bhanwanu. pls guide me ? if not can the remaining gathas be prayed after sunset.

  9. rohinton  June 20, 2012

    Would also like to know when death occurs there is a old tradition of not consuming meat for 3 days, on charum one can eat meat. Now my question is many ask me is that can one eat fish or eggs ? some say we can eat chicken as its a bird ? . Please need ur advise. Also correct me if wrong can one eat meat from charum day or is it after 4 days . pls guide me if wrong?

  10. rohinton  June 20, 2012

    dear marazban have 1 more query as its come to my mind bit out from topic but asking u since its the bahman month in progress.
    Ques is almost similar to above can one eat chicken during this bahman month as its a bird ?
    can one eat fish or can one eat eggs during this bahman mahino ?
    I need ur personal advise on this . PLs revert my 3 ques above highly obliged.ty.

  11. rohinton  July 23, 2012

    Dear sir kindly please respond to my above 3 question eagerly waiting for your response at the earliest. Thank you.

  12. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  July 24, 2012

    Just because one prayer can be said in all five Gahs does not mean everything else related to it can be done. I have explained this question earlier in depth. Please read the archives.

    Your query as to eating meat on the fourth day has been answered in the essay ‘Death and Beyond’.

    There is no restriction on eating anything in Bahman Mah. If you do not eat meat in Mah Bahman, then you should not drink water in Mah Ava, not use fire or electricity in Mah Adar, no metals in Mah Sherevar, no plants and vegetation in Mah Amardad.

  13. rohinton  July 27, 2012

    Thank You sir for your posts.