Is the worship of Paria Mai allowed in Zoroastrianism – part 3

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Roj Khordad Mah Ardibehsht, 1384 Yz.

Those who may still not believe in what is written above or who may still be drawn to these sprites can try one more test. The Sefli Arvahi always impress humans by being able to answer any query about anyone in the past. However, ask any specific question regarding the future – the headlines in next Sunday’s newspaper, the winning numbers of the next big lottery, or any other such query which can have only a specific answer – and there will be silence. This proves the thieving nature of the Sefli Arvahi – they can access the past information but the future is unknown to them.

What is the reason for the Sefli Arvahi’s behaviour? Why do they bear such animosity towards humans? A very deep and profound explanation for this was given by our Master, Ustad Saheb Behramshah Shroff. The revered Master spoke of a time when the earth was in a state of paradise. Humans of those times, many millions of years ago, had reached the stage of almost divine nature. There was very little grossness in their bodies and hence their spiritual development was very fast. It was a time when the waters of the oceans were sweet, not salty. In these hoary times, there was full communication and interaction between the human world and the Arvahi world. The Ulvi Arvahi resided on earth too and took human form to help other humans and their own development. At this time, the female Arvahi, which were of exceedingly beautiful form, also descended on the earth and interacted with humans. Some relationships also developed between the humans and the Arvahi. This was the time of Garo-nmana, or the Garden of Paradise.

But thereafter, the nature of souls descending on the earth began to get grosser. The severity of Druj in their bodies was higher. Such humans, born from the womb of the far advanced humans, now began taking charge of society. Some of these later-born humans became obsessed with the beauty of the female Arvahi and one thing led to another, and humans indulged in undignified behaviour with the female Arvahi, leading to violence and molestation. This misbehaviour caused great anger amongst the Arvahi and war broke out between humans and the Arvahi, a war in which humans lost. The oceans became salty, man lost the ability to break the laws of gravity and the Arvahi punished them severely and then left the earth. From this time, described in the Bible as the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve, earth lost its paradisiacal status and became material and full of pain and disease. The laws of the Vi-daeva-data had to be introduced.

Readers of Frashogard who may have read Tolkien or watched the epic Lord of the Rings, will find much to think about in the light of what has been written above. Indeed there was a middle age when elves, wizards and dwarves lived alongside man. Tolkien himself must have been a highly inspired person with some glance of the past to be able to record and write these tales, which are not merely tales.

Coming to the present times, when Prophet Zarathushtra descended on the earth and introduced the Vi-daeva-data, He also closed the avenues and pathways used by the Sefli Arvahi to enter earth. However, many thousands of years after His passing, some of the Sefli Arvahi have crept back into the earth and taken up various forms. Some of these Arvahi reside in plants and vegetables and take their forms. This is the reason that despite having a fully vegetarian diet, many communities display no real compassion or kindness in the personal lives. Some Arvahi crept into the ground and play their mischief from there. But the most sinister of the Arvahi befriended certain humans and took over their bodies and forms. Even today, there are innumerable such Arvahi in human shape who form the basest level of society. Some of them are at the top of their profession, many are highly creative and in those professions where creativity and art is highly valued. But in addition to their talent, they also display the basest form of passions, including the indulging of homosexuality and leading the LGBT movement.

Many such Arvahi in human form have their own rings of operatives – other humans who fall in awe of their powers and worship them, in return for sexual favours or other forms of inducement.

Many years ago, when Seth Jehangirji Chiniwalla was alive and the Parsi Avaz newspaper was being printed, there was a Parsi who used to work for Jehangirji. A simple man of average intelligence, this Parsi came to know that a group of persons were meeting at a house in south Mumbai, where allegedly, the Ruvan of late Dasturji Kukadaru was ‘appearing’ and giving messages. One such member persuaded this gentleman to accompany him to the séance. After much persuasion and some misgivings, the Parsi accompanied his friend. Sitting silently, the Parsi observed the common séance proceedings as people invited the Sprite and began asking questions about personal issues. When everyone had finally finished, they looked at the Parsi – motioning him to ask his question. Using his intelligence and the years of training under Jehangirji, the Parsi asked: ‘Dear Dasturji Kukadaru, can you please recite the Aa Airyema Ishyo prayer for us?’

Now readers of Frashogard may know that the Aa Airyema Ishyo is one of the most potent paragraphs of the Avesta and forms part of the 54th Ha of the Yazashne. This prayer is also recited by many Behdins looking for a happy married life. As such, it is a common prayer and quite easy to memorize. For a priest of the calibre of Dasturji Kukadaru, this question should have been child’s play. But there was complete silence. The question was repeated but there was no response. As everybody looked at each other, the Parsi got up, bowed down to the group and left them. It was quite clear who was being fooled. Pretty soon, ‘Dasturji Kukadaru’ stopped appearing…

The practice of Paria Mai is a direct borrowing from Shia Islam, which is prevalent in Iran. In Shia Islam, some of the Ulvi Arvahi have been accorded a place of respect. As such, many Muslims beseech these beings through stories, hold fasts (Roza) in their honour and follow many other such practices and religious disciplines. Over a period of time, these practices were also adopted by some of the Zoroastrians living in Iran and from there, this practice migrated to Indian Parsis. This is also obvious from the fact that the names mentioned in these stories, Bibi Sessumbi, Bibi Haziri and Bibi Murad are totally non-Zoroastrian and clearly Islamic. Today, there are several houses in Mumbai where ladies recite stories, hold Roza fasts, light large number of Divas and indulge in idol worship and consorting with sprites like Paria Mai.

Many Parsis who cannot do this in their own houses or do not have the time to do such things contact these ladies who then recite the prayers for them for a fee. Through word of mouth, the lack of capable Priests to guide them and the general high level of religious ignorance – all lead to this herd mentality. However, it needs to be reiterated, that this practice is wrong, un-Zoroastrian, and brings no benefit to the Parsi indulging in it. It is in fact, fraught with danger, causes spiritual regression and will definitely hamper the Ruvan of the persons following these practices during their journey after death. It is the bounden duty of our Head Priests as well as the Panthakis of Agiaries to guide their devotees on the right path. It pains me to say that they are failing in their duty by turning a blind eye towards these practices and only concentrating on activities that generate revenue for them.

It is my sincere request to such Parsis to stop indulging in this kind of un-Zoroastrian idolatry.

In conclusion, we should remember the advice given by our revered Master: the Arvahi are a separate class of beings, whose spiritual development is very different from ours. Because of their knowledge of the science of manipulating the elements, these beings can give some temporary benefit to humans who may be attracted to them. However, the penalty for such association is very severe and greatly hampers the onward progress of the Ruvan of that person after death. As such, humans in general, and Parsis in particular should totally avoid participating in any activities where such beings are invited. They should not ask for any boon or favour from such beings. If a Parsi is in need, he can always pray to Ahura Mazda and His Yazatas and His Prophet Zarathushtra and they will definitely give the fair share of what is due to the person at that point of time.

Our precious Avesta has hundreds of Nirangs and prayers which cover the entire range of human needs and wants. Even our most basic prayers have the power to bring for their reciter the best blessings of Ahura Mazda. As such, there is no need to gravitate towards any form of idol worship, sprite worship or engaging in supernatural behaviour. Patience and contentment are great virtues. Modern life is so competitive and bench-marking is so rampant that the urge for material possessions is very great. We all feel the need to own something better and bigger than everyone else has. This unhealthy trend of conspicuous consumption, rank materialism and media displays of vulgar wealth and flashy lifestyles all lead to a feeling of inadequacy amongst normal middle class citizens who then rush for magic cures, fake Babas and the worship of supernatural wonder-workers.

God is not oblivious to our needs, but He knows best as to when someone deserves something and in what quantum. Thus it is best to pray with a clean conscience, ask for whatever one may want but accept the Will of God with contentment and deep faith. This is the only way to survive and prosper spiritually in this world. It is my earnest request that readers of Frashogard will forward this article with as much, if not more intensity among their Parsi friends so that this unhealthy and un-Zoroastrian mode of worship is not encouraged in our community.

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram



  1. Dara  September 22, 2014

    This story was really riveting. Than you Ervad Saheb.

  2. Aspy  September 22, 2014

    Wonderful informative article. Simply enlightening.

    Thank you.

  3. Phiroze Panthaki  September 23, 2014

    Dear Ervad Marzban,

    Could you also give your comments on the books “The laws of the spiritual world”.

  4. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 23, 2014

    I have not read the book but have heard about it. Given what I have written about the Sefli Arvahi and their antics, even if some of what is written in the book may be true, it still breaks the cardinal rule of our religion that no Parsi should have any contact with the other world. Hence I cannot recommend anyone reading the book.

  5. Mehernosh  September 23, 2014

    Dear Dasturji Saheb,

    Thank you for completing this wonderful article on Sprites. Deeply interesting and knowledgeable.

    Take care.

  6. Shireen Dordi  September 23, 2014

    Hi Ervad Saheb, Thank you very much for this article, but this may sound humorous and strange but you started to mention about this article on the 4th of Sept 2014, and I have a non parsi friend of mine who on the 5th of Sept 2014, suddenly starts talking about the Rustom Baug Couple and how Khorshed Bhavnagri starts with autowriting and talks to her 2 sons lost in an accident for 20yrs, she pursuades me to read the book ” The Laws of the Spiritual World”, to which I reply that I have heard about the book but never had the chance to go through the same and would avoid it. But when I returned back home on the same day I just could not stop myself from searching for the book on the net and I searched entirely about the life of the author on you tube, I kept getting goose bumps and my heart beat went for a toss, there was a voice in me that told me to stop, finally with much effort I put an end to reading about the author of the above mentioned book. As I said this may sound very humorous and creepy but I had Khorshed Bhavnagri coming in my dreams on the first day asking for immense help and crying and also some force scaring me, this has been going on for the last 3 days now and the intensity of the same has decreased, the entire episode does not last for more than 3 to 4 mins and during the same I am awake with my eyes open and everyday for the last 3 days the timing remains more or less the same between 4 to 5 am, also the moment I am awakened at this particular time I continuously start praying Yatha Ahu Vairyo, Yenge Hatham and yesterday I started with Ya Beshtarna and also Ya Ashaonam Vangoish Surao Spentao Fravashyo Yazmaide, somehow all this just starts flowing from my mind and in a matter of mins I am again relaxed and go off to sleep, I also pray a lot to Ahura Mazda to rescue the author of the book during these 3mins that I am awakened from my deep sleep. All this was really bothering me but now I think I will be quite at rest.

  7. Farzaan  September 24, 2014

    @ Shireen Dordi

    Your post gave me goosebumps. What Er. saheb has written has come true. Khorshed Bhavnagris ruvan has been trapped by the Arvahis.

  8. Adil F. Bhesania.  September 24, 2014

    An excellent series of posts. It has shown us all the right direction to approach Almighty GOD when
    in dire needs.

  9. Aban K Wadia.  September 25, 2014

    An extremely interesting article with detailed explanation. The power of OUR prayers are immense. Thank you very much Ervad Saheb for enlightening us with these thoroughly interesting topics.

  10. J. Mistry  September 25, 2014

    Dasturji, please she’d some light on the Mushkel Asan story.

  11. J. Mistry  September 25, 2014

    Dasturji, also please shed light on the various stones which are recommended for various people.

  12. Maneck  September 26, 2014

    Thank you very much Ervad Saheb for your guidance. It is indeed an eye opener for our community.
    One question I would like to ask. Many a times we have heard people narrating (especially our grandmothers, etc.) that whilst they were either in prayer or were doing their daily chores, a form in white appeared before them. In some cases, it said to the human, “don’t worry, I am here to protect you” and in some cases, they just walk round the house and vanish. What is to be understood by this Ervad Saheb ?
    IIf something like this happens to anyone today, is it right to talk to that form? In case the form says it can heal you or cure you of any disease or hardship you are facing, is it right to interact with them?
    What would you do if you are faced with such a situation ?

  13. Ruby Sanjana  October 23, 2014

    As always, a very enlightening post. THANK YOU. TANDAROSTI.

  14. Garothmaan  December 8, 2014

    Fantastic, very well written. Why do these Dark side souls only influence the earthlings, why dont the bright side stop them while they do so?

  15. garothmaan  December 8, 2014

    @ Phiroze Panthaky & Marazban, even I have read all the 4 books on “Laws of the spirit world”. Even I had lite many divas and refered my problems by email, received instruction to pray Yatha Ahu vairyo etc. Many events which they had projected vide their instructions regarding Divas, performed true. many instances like, the firki turning upside down, black sooth on diva flame, diva oil turning red/black, crackling of diva loudly while extinguishing, was happening, while experiencing negativity. Atleast these books and instructions helped us to be aware of what was happening around us. However when we went to find spiritual solutions from our parsi priests we got 1 single answer Yatha Ahem Bhanya karo, avesta Bhanya karo. Behram Yasht Bhano, and to pray Behram yasht there is a heavy procedure. Then tarikat is very important. So we started taking holidays from office and one day got badly insulted by our bosses. Nothing happened, we remained in trouble and sorrows. The money for diva oil expenditure Rs 3000/- per month only to know that we were being exocised, which put us in more worries and more negativity. The only thing brought us out from all the negativity, was a lady practicing a certain form of Reiki and verses of Bible. She aligned our chakras and brought us back to normal. I had earlier written about another lady who was victim of Black Magic also got treated by a Priest at Church at Dhobitalao/Marinelines church. But sorry to say, Zorastrianism has tools to repair but not the weapons to fight. We have to remain hoplessly devoted, keep burning expensive sandalwood, pay for,Sukhar diva (Rs 50/- per day) sadra (Rs 500/- each), Kusti (Rs 1600/- each) priest for muktad (Rs 50000/- each)and jashan (Rs 2500/- each) and machi (Rs 8500/-each) and faresta, it all amounts to approximately Rs 85000/- per year – but what do we get? receding parsi population, no vultures at dungerwadi, huge amount of unattended parsi property, mc/bc in our youths mouth, false pride in our women, ego in our priests, hospitals and homes full of old suffering parsis, flats and homes locked and some are destitute at this rate of population We do kusti also with heartfelt devotion but nothing. 1day I prayed Hanuman Chalisa, it worked. why didnt behram yasht work?

  16. zubin D  December 23, 2014

    Dear Marazban have a query regarding idol worship is it allowed as per our scriptures ?If No than what about photographs of zarathushtra is that allowed ? Even in Iranshah Udwada they have a Big photo of zarathushtra and even in so many agiaries and atashbehrams? Want your view on this ?