How to do the right Kusti

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Roj Ardibehesht Mah Spendarmad, 1382 Yz.

The foundation of every Zoroastrian ritual, every ceremony and every prayer is the Kusti. The act of tying the Kusti on the waist is what sets apart a Zoroastrian from another person. In effect, it is the most visible and well-known symbol of the Zoroastrian religion. It is therefore, also the most misunderstood.

In our series on What is Zoroastrian Yoga, carried a short while ago, we had delved deep into the theory behind the performance of the Kusti, the wearing of the Sudreh and the manifold benefits which accrue from them. But in that series, we had not spoken on how to actually perform the correct Kusti.

In my daily work at the Ustad Saheb Behramshah Nowroji Shroff Daremeher, I see hundreds of people performing the Kusti in a myriad different ways. Unfortunately, most of the methods are wrong. For an overwhelming percentage of devotees, performing the Kusti is a mindless, mechanical ritual. They untie and tie the Kusti but their thoughts are somewhere else. Their eyes are focussed elsewhere, their Manthra pronunciations are hopeless. Is this the right way to treat our most sacred assets, our most precious gift from the Lord Ahura Mazda and His Prophet Zarathushtra?

Writing in the columns of the Parsi Avaz newspaper, late Seth Jehangirji Chiniwalla made a most profound observation. Seth Jehangirji came into contact with the Master when he was only about 12 years old. Right from that age, he writes, there was something about the Master which set him apart. In normal times, he was like a perfectly normal Parsi. He would mingle with all and sundry, he would laugh and joke, he would share meals with all that were with him, he would talk the basic street talk as if he had no other knowledge. But Jehangirji writes, the Master would become a changed person when he would perform his Kusti. He would stand apart in such a way that he would not be disturbed. His focus would be on some point in the cosmos, as if he were receiving a great gift. His eyes would blaze with devotion, his gaze would be inward. Every word of the sacred Manthras would be pronounced perfectly, each action would be accompanied by the relevant thought. It was only when someone saw Ustad Saheb performing the Kusti, that they could perhaps get a glimpse of his greatness and stature of his advanced Ruvan.

As I have written earlier, one right Kusti can take us to salvation. But before we can develop that kind of power, we have to pass many stages of evolution.

What is the right method of performing the Kusti? How should a devotee focus his thoughts on the meaning of the Kusti prayers? What thoughts should we pass when we loop the Kusti, tie the front knots and then the back? What is the right method for snapping the Kusti? In what direction should we face when we perform the ritual? There are so many intricacies behind such a small performance.

As part of the observances to mark the 86th Baj of our beloved Ustad Saheb, I gave a talk on precisely these points. This talk is available as an MP3 file for download at the end of this post. Along with the talk, I also distributed a worksheet, giving in brief the thoughts that should be passed at each paragraph of the Kusti prayers and the right method for holding and tying the Kusti. This worksheet is shown below and is also available as a downloadable PDF file.

I encourage readers of Frashogard to download both the audio and the PDF file and try an implement the correct, righteous thoughts (Mithra) while doing their Kusti. You can take a printout of the thoughts and stick them up in a place where you stand to perform the day’s main Kusti. While doing the prayers, the thoughts accompanying them can be easily read from the printout. Over a period of time, the thoughts will become embedded in your consciousness and there will  be no need for the printout.

Banubai Mody was a devout lady who used to sit at the feet of the Master and transcribe his lectures into Gujarati. She also wrote a very small booklet on the Sarosh ni Kusti and the thoughts to be passed while performing it. The book is available on the Ilm-e-Khshnoom SkyDrive. Banubai writes that within 12 months of performing the Kusti with the righteous thoughts, one should be able to hear the Divine Voice of Sarosh Yazad in your ear. If not, then the Kusti is not being done properly. May we all become fortunate to achieve that level of perfectness and hear the Divine Voice of Sarosh Yazad through the proper performance of the Kusti.


Prayer Action Thought
Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdao Ashem Vohu 1 Wash the hands, face and other exposed parts with water and dry them May this water wash away all physical impurities and prepare my body and soul for this important spiritual exercise
  Stand in a place where no person can pass in front of you
Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdao Ashem Vohu 1 I begin my performance of the Kusti so that evil is destroyed and goodness is increased, thereby making Ahura Mazda happy.
Kem na Mazda … didareshta aenanghe When the passions within me arise and tempt me to do evil, who else, but You, O Mazda will help me, will save me?
Anyem thwahmat …daenayai fravaocha Reveal to me, O Ahura, the wondrous true knowledge of the religion, which will purify my mind and activate the hidden Atash in me!
Ke verethrem-ja thwa … vashi kahmaichit Provide for me, O Lord, an able Guide, who shall deliver me from this world to the other and from there to salvation, through Sarosh and Bahman, and your powerful Avesta Manthras.
Pata-no tbishyantat pairi Mazdaoscha Armaitishcha spentascha Point both your hands towards the ground O most beautiful Armaiti! Make me taste the true knowledge of Mazda! Protect my body, my mind and my soul from all attacks of the wicked ones!
Nase daevi druksh … apakhedre apa nasyehe Point your face towards the north All the filth, spiritual evil and seeds of evil which may have gathered in my aura from the time of my last Kusti, may they all be driven away from myself to the north!
Ma merenchainish gaethao astvaitish ashahe So that the 16 Chakhras (Spiritual Centres) in my invisible body may function perfectly and hasten my spiritual progress.
Nemascha ya Armaitish izacha Place the index finger of the right hand on the navel and bow down to the earth using the left hand Homage to you, O Spenta Armaiti, Mother of the Earth! Our Protector! May I imbibe your qualities of obedience, bearing the load of others and humility.
Ashem Vohu 1 May the cool blue Staot vibrations of the Ashem pass through my entire body and grant me spiritual prosperity!
  Untie the Kusti, double up and loop the Kusti in the left hand index finger (not the thumb)
Hormuzd, Khuda O Lord of the Universe! My personal Khuda! May I always be engrossed in your thoughts!
Ahiriman avadashan … zad shikaste bad. Gently shake the Kusti three times in the North May the entire army of the evil Ahriman be defeated! May all the clouds of evil gathered by him and his helpers, all types of evil persons be defeated.
Dush padshahan avadashan bad…dushamanan avadashan bad Gently shake the Kusti three times in the North May the rule of all evil be gone forever! May the evil thinkers be destroyed! May the effect of the evil ones be dissolved
Hormazd, Khuda O Lord of the Universe! My personal Khuda! May I always be immersed in your thoughts!
Az hama gunah patet … bud ested, az an gunah While reciting dushmata, duzhukhta, duzhvarshta, gently shake the Kusti three times in the North For all my evil thoughts, words and deeds which I may have committed, I offer humble Patet – I repent for the sins and with fully active thought, word and deed I promise not to commit them again.
Manashni gavashni kunashni Make two loops on either side of the Kusti, first on the right, then the left May I pass from this world and into the next world and enter the eternal word of happiness!
Tani ravani geti … pa patet hom All my sins relating to my body, this earth, the other world, for all my sins I offer humble Patet, so that I may pass from this world and progress through the next world to enter into the world of eternal happiness
Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdao O Ahura! May I please You with the practice of Holiness and Truth!
Taroidite angrahe mainyeush Gently shake the Kusti three times in the North (without opening the loops) May I be forever away from all evil and see through its fake temptations!
Haithyavarshtam hyat vasna ferashotemem Tie the Kusti around the waist and bring it back to the front May I pass my entire life in the pursuit of righteousness and hoping for the protection of the Abed Sahebs!
Staomi Ashem, Ashem Vohu 1 Through this Kusti on my waist may I catch the sky blue, spiritual prosperity giving Staot vibrations of the Ashem Vohu!
Yatha Ahu Vairyo 1 Tie the first knot in the front with the right hand You, O Dadar Ahura Mazda, are the Only Truth
Yatha Ahu Vairyo 1 Tie the second knot in the front with the left hand Prophet Zarathushtra is Your True Messenger! May we always bear Him in our hearts!
Ashem Vohu 1 Tie the two knots at the back, first with the right hand and then with the left May I always follow the commandments of the religion as revealed by our Prophet Zarathushtra! May I always be able to honour my promise to Him!
Jasa me avangahe Mazda! (3 times) Take the index fingers of both hands and place them within the two front knots of the Kusti and place your eyes on them O Mazda! May my thoughts words and deeds be such that I am always immersed in your thoughts!
Mazdayasno ahmi mazdayasno Zarathushtrish fravarane astutascha fravaretascha I am a Mazdayasni, a follower of the truth as delivered by Prophet Zarathushtra! I declare myself as a follower of that Noble Path, which will take me from this world to the other, and from there to the World of Eternal Happiness!
Astuye humatem mano…hvarshtem shyaothnem May my thoughts, words and deeds always be in consonance with the laws of the Zoroastrian religion.
Astuye daenam vanghuhim … khaetwadatham Ashaonim I dedicate my life to this religion, which forever ends the battle of the mind, which breaks the shackles of this physical body, and which will finally unite me with my whole Ruvan and the Lord.
Ya haitinamcha … ya ahuirish Zarathushtrish Of all roads that lead to God, my religion is the greatest, the most majestic, the most beautiful. I offer my life for my religion.
Ahurai Mazdai vispa … astutish. Ashem Vohu 1 With this Ashem Vohu, I offer thousands and thousands of salaams to my religion and its Prophet Zarathushtra! May all the blessings and benedictions of Ahura Mazda enter into my body and my soul and remain there forever!
  Release the index fingers from the front knots.

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram



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Download the MP3 file: (78 minutes, 46 MB)


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Download the Kusti Mithra PDF (3 pages,  115 KB)


Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

16 July 2013




  1. Nekdad  July 16, 2013

    Respected Ervad Marzban Hathiram Saheb,
    The article on How to do the right kusti is very very important for each and every Zoraostrian being and I profusely thank you for making it available.
    However, since I was born in Kadmi and recite the Kadmi Kusti and proyers, I would request you to also make available the Kadmi Kusti and the Mithra as well as the actions to synchronise with the Kadmi Manthra (with Sarosh Baaj), where it differs from the Shahenshahi Manthra.
    Warm regards and wishes for Good Health and a Long. Happy, Peaceful life, Yours truly, Nekdad Cama

  2. Mary  July 17, 2013

    Dear Ervad Marzban,

    Thank you very much for this beautiful post. It is essential that, in every phase of our prayer, we must possess full understanding of the text, as well as deep piety and devotion as we pray. Rituals should never be performed mechanically, but rather with comprehension of their significance. And intense love of Ahura Mazda is an element which should be present at every moment of our lives, most especially when we communicate with Him in fervent prayer.


    Sir, I am deeply grateful to you for this important illumination. I do not know whether I will be able to follow the Ritual correctly but this knowledge has certainly awakened me towrads the proper thoughts behind the Kusti Ritual which otherwise, as you said had been a mechanicalone.
    May the Almighty preserve you for many more years to guide the lay Zoroastrian with satisfaction to himself and advantage to the Community.

  4. Hutoxi Irani  October 2, 2013

    Dear Er. Marazbanji,
    I have a question about the praying in Bista and praying in Kushade. Could you please explain why we need to do this several times in a Nyaeshes and Yashts when we pray. I know that when part of the prayer is in Pazend we need to pray in Bista. How does vibrations work when we pray in bista and in kushade? Why do we have pazend script in our prayers?
    You must be busy, no hurry, whenever you get sometime, could you please explain this?