Mixing money with sandalwood

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Roj Asman Mah Fravardin, 1381 Yz.

Devotees carrying sticks of sandalwood as offering to the Padshah Saheb is a common sight in our Agiaries and Atash Behrams. Behdins having prayers for their dear departed also carry sticks of sandalwood to handover to the priest before he begins the ceremony. This is a good practice, much recommended. Offering good quality sandalwood is the prime method of approaching the Padshah Saheb.


But a disturbing trend is seen in all our Agiaries over the last few years – the practice of wrapping currency notes along with the sandalwood sticks and then putting the same in the metal tray at the doorstep of the Kebla. The same practice is also seen when devotees handover sandalwood for their family prayers, along with currency notes wrapped around the sticks towards the Ashodad for the priests performing the ceremony.


To make it very clear – this practice is totally wrong and doctrinally invalid. One can never mix sandalwood with currency notes. Why?

Firstly, from the view point of hygiene, this is a disgusting practice. A recent newspaper report revealed that tests conducted by a reputed private health laboratory found traces of coliform, E coli and Staphylococcus aureus on currency notes. Traces of pseudomonas, another family of bacteria, too were found. The laboratory studied the microbes which stayed on a currency note from a random sample of notes collected from shoppers. Notes of all denominations from Rs. 2 to Rs. 1000 were tested. E coli, coliform and pseudomonas were swarming on Rs.10 and Rs.100 notes (which are the most common and most heavily transferred denomination of notes). The Rs.50 and Rs.10 notes also had Staphylococcus aureus.


The head of the laboratory which conducted this study pointed out that finding pseudomonas on the notes was alarming since it can cause severe infection if it enters an open wound. He also cautioned against that most unfortunate practice of wetting the fingers using the tongue while counting notes, since it greatly aids in spreading the infection. Another doctor remarked that people must wash their hands thoroughly after counting notes to avoid infection. It is also observed that many banks have now equipped their cashiers with hand sanitizer bottles.

This detailed study should immediately alert Parsis that mixing notes and sandalwood is very wrong. We take great pains to ensure that sandalwood is dry, has not been touched by any person in an impure state or is not mixed with noxious items. Then why do we insist of wrapping notes around the pure sandalwood? The notes would have passed through several hands, which may have been contaminated through various deeds. Worse, the imprint of someone’s saliva, while counting the note might still be remaining (in a minute quantity) on the note. How can we wrap such a dirty, impure and contaminated object along with the sandalwood? Does it not totally destroy the purity and negate the value of the offering to our Holy Padshah Saheb?

There is also a great and deeply spiritual reason to stop this practice. Our religion has explained the concept of Aipi, or personal aura, which is carried by every person. The Aipi is like a blank canvas on which imprints of our daily thoughts, words and deeds are pasted every second. The Aipi needs to be cleansed of these undesirable imprints on a regular basis, through the performance of the Kusti ritual. This is the main reason why there is a Baj prayer to be recited along with the Kusti ritual before and after each toilet visit. Ustad Saheb cautioned that Parsis, before starting their personal prayer routines should always perform the Kusti ritual, so as to cleanse their personal Aipi of such negative imprints. Once in that state of heightened purity, a person should avoid any contact with any object which can reduce the level of high purity obtained by performing the Kusti. This is the reason why we do not touch old clothes, the bed, unwashed vessels etc. after performing the Kusti or starting prayers.

When we enter the Daremeher and perform the Kusti, our Aipi is relatively much cleaner than it was when we were outside. It is therefore desirable not to touch anything which can reduce that level of purity. When we touch our wallet and take out the currency notes, we are totally destroying the purity which had been built up by the Kusti ritual. Wrapping the notes, which are abounding not only in physical impurities but which may also have the Aipi imprints of undesirable persons left on them along with the sandalwood is akin to spiritual suicide.

Notes and coins should NEVER be placed in the Chamach or the tray in which the sandalwood is placed. The Head Priests of Agiaries and Atash Behrams should ensure that there is a separate box in which currency notes and coins can be deposited by the Devotees. Similarly, Devotees wishing to offer Ashodad to Priests doing their family prayers should not mix the money with the sandalwood, but can always handover the cash after the prayers are completed. Better still, the Ashodad can be placed in a small 3×2 envelope and then presented to the Mobed Saheb. It is a much more dignified way of offerring Ashodad. The current practice debases the sacred role of the Priest and brings him down to the level of a car parking valet, being handed over a tip. Such crude practices should be avoided.

A better option would be to make it a practice of having a separate bundle of new currency notes at home in a separate, clean place. These notes should be used only in the Agiary. This would lessen the impurity to some extent, although even such notes should not be mixed with the sandalwood.

Dear readers, the bedrock of our religion is purity – physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. But the basic physical purity is the foundation on which everything else can be built. In our modern times, we Parsis seem to have lost our sense of chokhai which was so prevalent in our grandparents and which was drilled into by our elders. The present generation does not have the benefit of that advice and hence we fall prey to such simple, but grave spiritual errors.

It is hoped that readers of Frashogard will think twice before mixing a pure, holy offering to the Padshah Saheb with the bacteria laden and spiritually inappropriate currency note.

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram



  1. sherry chhapgar  September 14, 2011

    Very nicely explained Mr. Hathiram. Will follow your advice from now and ensure the money is not kept along with the sandalwood in the tray.
    In fact what you have suggested is a excellent idea of giving the ashodad money to the priests in a envelope. Thank you for your advice.
    I am always looking forward to reading your posts as I get to learn many things from you.
    Thank you and God bless you and your family.

    Warm regards,

  2. Farrokh Umrigar  September 14, 2011

    Thank you dasturji saheb. That was very enlightening and we will certainly follow what you have taught us.
    Farrokh Umrigar

  3. rita  September 15, 2011

    Interesting article Ervad Saheb. Will follow your suggestion from now onwards.
    Rgds Rita

  4. Meher Kabraji  September 15, 2011

    Excellent! Thank you for sharing this piece of information….practical to implement too.

  5. Homi Dalal  September 15, 2011

    I wonder if Dasturji knows the fact that what we call as Sandalwood is nothing but a piece of wood. I am sure that he must be aware of this fact. Why to fuss on this petty matter & create controversies?

  6. armaity n.daruwala  September 15, 2011

    Dear Ervad Marzban Hathiramji,

    Thank you so much for your continously guiding and sharing different information on our religion. I hope the message is spread far and wide and more zorastrians get the oppourtunity to read Frashogard

  7. Kashmira Baji Khambatta  September 15, 2011

    Ervad Saheb, thank you for drawing our attention. Absolutely correct. I shall follow your advice and share it with my Zoroastrian friends.

  8. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 15, 2011

    @Homi Dalal
    There are many Parsis who still offer pure sandalwood to Padshah Sahebs. Whether it is pure sandalwood or even bawal kathi, the practice of mixing money with it is wrong. If it is a petty matter for you, then why comment?

  9. Nozer  September 15, 2011

    We take great pains to ensure that sandalwood is dry, has not been touched by any person in an impure state or is not mixed with noxious items.

    Rev. Dasturji Saheb,
    With due respect your concern for maintaining the purity of the sandalwoood is laudable, the question is – is it practical ? How many non- zarthosti men and women ( in a pure state?) handle that piece of sandalwood which finally reaches the holy kebla.? Which Parsi/Zarthosti is a sandal wood cutter and has anybody noticed the cleaniness of those who handle the sandalwood and the way it is transported to its ultimate destination. ? Are you sure that these pieces of sandalwood are genuine or just pieces of wood dipped in sandalwood scented oil ? A quick reality check of the vendors (again are they in a pure state?) and their shops which sell these so called sandalwood pieces outside our holy places and those people who store sandalwood at homes will be quite educational regarding the purity and other matters.
    Which Zarosthosti household practises absolute chokhai these days ? With rooms the size of matchbox and housemaids and women (in menses) roaming freely within the house – it is almost next to impossible to maintain the purity as practised by our forefathers. The only place to maintain the purity will be in our hearts. If we Zarthostis can do that – it will be a solace.

  10. Burjor Bharucha  September 15, 2011

    Dear Ervad Marzban,

    You have highlighted a very important but unhealthy practice followed by most of the community members viz. offering sukhad wrapped in dirty contaminated old currency notes. Although you have suggested that the correct method would be to place the currency notes in a separate bod and sukhad in the tray separately, unfortunately this is not a practical solution as there is no separate box kept presently in any of the Agiary where the moneys could be deposited. Hence the worshipper would be compelled to place the money in the same tray (Thal) as the currency notes and coins.

  11. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 15, 2011

    Dear Nozer,
    Whether something is practical or not, we must know the original objective. Knowledge about doing something wrong is important, rather than doing it in ignorance. It is totally impractical to travel to work like animals, packed in trains, with persons of differing cleanliness. But we do it – it is a question of our job and our livelihood. In the same manner, even though it is impractical with small rooms and modernity, many families still practice various Tarikats because for them that way of life too is a question of survival. Where there is a will there is a way. Regardless of whether there are any Parsi sandalwood cutters, regardless of the state of the shop, why should we personally add to the accumulated pollution by wrapping notes around the sticks? Is it not an easy thing to avoid? That is the point I am making. Take small steps towards practicing the tenets of the faith and God will help you take more important steps. But if you just throw your hands up and say its not possible, then there is no hope.
    And lastly, let me assure you that it is easier to maintain purity outside rather than in the heart. If everyone’s heart were as pure as you make it out to be, Frashogard would take place tomorrow. That it has not happened itself shows that persons hearts are far from being pure. It is the impurity in our hearts which manifests itself outwardly as our own thoughts, words and deeds.

  12. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 15, 2011

    Separate boxes have been put in many Daremehers and Atash Behrams, but Behdins still insist on putting the two together. I can state that from my personal experience at my Daremeher and at Wadiaji Atash Behram.

  13. Shaheen Taraporewala  September 15, 2011

    Thank you for sharing this knowledge we were not aware of. Would ensure this is being practised regularly and would spread this message to my family & friends.

  14. Burjor Bharucha  September 15, 2011

    Ervad Marzban,

    Thanks for your prompt response. Hopefully with awareness created more and more Agiaries and Aatashbehrams would adopt this system and the community members would also learn to follow the appropriate method of offering Sukhad. Thanks again.
    One tarikat which is followed by some of the members before commencing their kushti prayers is to wash their face and hands which is OK. What is a bit abhoring is they remove their footwear and wash the souls of their feet and with the same dirty hands continue to do their kushti prayers. As you would agree the souls of our feet are quite dirty having been to the most unhealthy places like the toilets or dirty market places and then without washing them with soap or detergent continue to do prayers and touch the pak khorde avasta and also the sacred rakheeya seems inappropriate to me atleast. Ofcourse, I must say, this practice is adopted by a very small percentage of worshippers. All the same, does not seem very religious to me. Your views please.

    Burjor Bharucha.

  15. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 15, 2011

    when doing Padyab, the right procedure is to wash the hands, the face, then the soles of the feet, then the hands again and then dry everything. Only after that the Kusti prayers can commence. If this sequence is followed properly there should be no problem.

  16. Mahabanoo Murzban Dalal  September 15, 2011

    Ervad Marzban Saheb,
    Indeed good awareness. We must try to mitigate pollution if it is not possible to eradicate it completely. Have been trying to carry new notes for asodad. I keep a new bundle for this purpose and if new one is not on hand, then try to cover up the next time. To avoid contact with contaminated notes, the payment for sukher which needs to be put in the box, also try to put it at the time of leaving or before washing and doing Kushti. May God bless you and yours and the community and God’s creation. Thank you

  17. xyz  September 15, 2011

    This is not at-all practical. There are many more important things about religion which our learned priest can preach to young parsis to make them a firm believer in religion.

  18. Homi Dalal  September 15, 2011

    It is hoped that readers of Frashogard will think twice before mixing a pure, holy offering to the Padshah Saheb with the bacteria laden and spiritually inappropriate currency note.—– The following suggestion appears to be great but not practical. The bacteria laden currency notes impure the so called sandalwood but when it goes into the pockets of Mobeds -what happens? How many Agiaries & Ateshbehram are selling the pure sandalwood? The wooden sticks which are sold & offered as sandalwood are not at all Baval wood. You are asking me why comment? The reason being to expose hollowness of your impractical theories. Please also enlighten the readers how many Zoroastrian families are following the Tarikats. I have seen you and practically all mobeds entering Kebla in Sapat made out of leather which is Naso . Why don’t you wear Pavri. Please practice before preach. Please stop fooling the community.

  19. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 15, 2011

    @Homi Dalal,
    You can keep on arguing about points, but the tone of your writing displays a grudge towards priests earning. Behdins can buy the finest sandalwood they want and offer it to the Padshah Saheb. They are not compelled into buying what is on sale at various Agiaries. If you find my points impractical, please do not follow. Instead set up a blog of your own and educate Parsis as to what they should do. It may surprise you to know how many Parsis ARE following Tarikats. But they do so discreetly and without making a show. Naso is of two types – sukko and leelo. Fresh leather hides are definitely naso. They are then treated with chemicals, dried, layered and then fashioned into Sapats. The leather present in sapat is therefore sukko naso and not leelo. When floors of Daremehers were made of rough stone, Pavri were used and are still used in Pavmahel areas. But Pavris slip on marble and are hence avoided. We are not fooling the community. Only those who are delusional, harbour a grudge due to some past experiences, and whose sole aim in life is to criticize without a paisa’s contribution to the community are those who are fooling themselves into thinking they are doing something good. I will not respond to you further.

  20. Delnavaz  September 15, 2011

    Dear Ervard Saheb, thank you for your article. i always look forward to your posts. Sandlewood has become expensive, but so has everything else. If we can spend on eating out , holidays, then why become misers when it comes to religion. genuine people interested in buying pure sandlewood know places where you can procure the same or will make an effort to find out. As for tarikats, i try my best & do as much as i can. It is silly not to follow any tarikat simply because you cant follow them all.

  21. Homi Dalal  September 16, 2011

    Please let me know firstly why Agiaries sell fake sandalwood? What behdin can do ? Why you are selling this cheap wood of Rs. 150 per Kg as sandalwood. Moreover do not twist matter. Where did I say about Mobeds’ earnings ? You fool & loot community by selling cheap wood as sandalwood & blaming me for your deeds. Your theory of lilo nasho & suko nasho is all fooling business. Once nasho is always a nasho. Firstly it is not possible that wood can slip on marble. You can fool some people for some time…….Your attitude of saying that you will not respond to my mail shows your hollowness of your claim. You know it fully well that there is no substance in your defense of Sapat. How can Lilo nasho becomes pure by chemical treatment . Please explain? My main contribution to community is to expose fake theories which people like you propagate. Please note that my yearly budget for charity is Rs. 50000/- per year. Now let me know your contribution? I should not have said this but you have provoked me to disclose.

  22. Dilnavaz Malbari  September 16, 2011

    Nice article, lovely insight..will share with kids, family and fellow Zoroastrians. thank you

  23. Nozer  September 16, 2011

    Rev. Dasturji Saheb,
    Your sentiments and reply to my comments is deeply appreciated.
    Thank you,

  24. Percy Madon  September 16, 2011

    Dear All,
    I agree that money should not be mixed with sandal wood. But the explanation seems a bit hypocritical. First of all, in almost every religious place there is a Box for money. Why? Does God want you to put money? or the place bearers?. Regardless of all the scientific explanation, fire burns everything and purifies it, So where is the bacteria now? The worst of all statements by our own religious clergymen ( mobeds) ” I offer prayers for money, if behdins pay well we pray well”. Try to blend in, between a small group of mobeds sometimes, ask them why do you attend muktads? a bold answer will pop… MONEY honey…Many dastoor families encourage kids to become mobeds, a few speak the least words ” If he doesnt get a good job, atleast he can run his livelyhood by being a priest” again MONEY honey. Sometimes it is heard aloud from boywalas, ” hardly any notes are seen these days, only coins, what will happen to us(sobs sobs)” MONEY honey. So you see…I do agree with the tarikat, but not the reality, because the reality differs tarikat. The tarikats may have not foreseen the economical circumstances because of MONEY honey….. (sorry if I have offended the feeling of people) But this is my experience… you can bribe anyone but not GOD… atha jamyat atha afrimani.

  25. Homi Dalal  September 16, 2011

    Well Said– Mr. Percy Madon. These people are talking of Tarikat & fool the gullible. When they cannot argue -they say i am not going to respond. This Hathiram thinks that we are all Gadharam to tolerate his nonsense. He is talking of Lilo Nasho & Suko Nasho -the terms used for rotting bodies in Dokhma. These mobeds are not interested in putting pure sandalwood but interested in Ashodad /Boywala money & openly fool the community by selling wood (not Baval) as Sandalwood & talk of Tarikat. They are not interested in Tarikat. The list of tarikats is very long. I wonder how many Tarikat this Marzban Hathiram is following?

  26. Homi Dalal  September 16, 2011

    Please Mr. Marazban please let me know how many tarikats you are following.

    1) We are supposed to cover heads with Topi & Mathabana.I used to wear till I was 16– even in night. Today even those who are Navar & Martab –are not wearing it?????

    2) We were supposed to do Kasti -first thing in the morning as we get up & in the night before going to bed. Kasti was must after going to loo.

    3) Women were supposed to observe certain Tarikat during their periods. How many Priest’s homes follow this custom today?

    4) Muktads were of 18 days not 10 as we practice now.

    5) We during Gathas were not supposed to Shave.or stitch. Today even during Muktad. we find dasturs clean shave. During Muktads dasturs were not supposed to go out of Fire Temples & supposed to stay within.

    6) Every Parsi house used to keep Atash in their house

    7) Loban-Pani as we used to called was done every morning & evening.

    8) Wearing of only white clothes was other custom.

    9) Dagli Feto & Paghri are things of the past.

    10) Dagli & white clothes was must during Navjots Weddings & funerals. Navotes & weddings were performed in Fire Temples.

    11) Observing Bohman Mahino was a must.

    12) Praying of all the five gathas was compulsory.

    13) Wearing of Sadra & Kusti was considered pious. Today we see strapless sadra? I am sure our Lord never designed such sadras.

    14) Smoking was considered to be a sin.

    15) Dasturjis used to wear wooden -pavri specially in Kebla.Now they wear leather Sapat made up of leather (Which is considered Naso since leather is of dead skin of animals )

    16) Keblas were cleaned by dasturjis with old mulmul cloth–nowadays they use Brooms -surprisingly even in Atashbehrams also.

    17) Navjots are to be performed before the age of Puberty. –How navjots of Wadias were performed for consideration is known to the world. Senior Wadia ( in Eighties) had renounced his religion & adopted (Converted) religion of his wife. So junior Wadia can never be treated as Parsi since both his parents were Non Parsi. At the time of his birth . So this is 100% case of conversion –
    The above mentioned are some of the changes we have adopted.
    18) To be a Navar martab –the candidate was supposed to know 72 Haa- Nowadays instances of Navars are made by reciting 1 or 2 haas.

    When a priest can pray in Mumbai – for the souls of dead-even if he is buried or cremated else where why it is not permitted if the dead is person is buried or cremated in Mumbai

    When a navjot of child of Parsi father & non parsi mother is no problem but why navjot for child of Parsi Mother & non parsi father is not allowed? Please throw some light on this sex discrimination.

    I have known Dasturs married outside community. I known a Dasturs couples adopted a child & did Navjots. –why no Fatwa for them (Personally I don’t see anything wrong)

    Now it is for the community to draw line-

  27. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 16, 2011

    @Homi Dalal,

    I had said I would not respond but since you persist, I must expose your total ignorance of religious matters. Mr. Dalal, for thousand of years, our ancient Avesta Manthra were written on cow hides. If you have ever read the introduction to Arda Viraf Nameh, which I doubt since you have not studied Avesta or Pahlavi, it is mentioned that the total 21 Nasks of Avesta were written on thousands of cow hides in golden ink. Moreover, if you have ever seen a real manuscript or had the good fortune to hold a real Avesta manuscript (which fortune you will never have) you would know that almost all such manuscripts were written on individual sheets of paper and then bound in vellum (calf leather) or normal leather. If you visit the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, you can see some of the manuscripts there. Now were the Dasturs of old all ignorant about the Naso or are you the only clever man in the community? If you come to my Daremeher, I can give you a pair of wooden pavri and please wear them and walk on the wet marble floor for me for a few steps. I am not responsible for your broken hip bone of course!

    Mr. Dalal, your posts on other Zoroastrian sites and your private emails to some other members of our community are in my possession. You have been warned by a respected Parsi lady of a police complaint for harassment, which is the only time you stopped sending her filthy mails. Please take out your frustrations and anger in some other way. Stop your hatred of priests. Please do not ever write on Frashogard or to me again. It will go straight to the bin.

    Please follow what you can and stop pointing fingers at others. It is my sacred duty to educate people and I will continue to do so on Frashogard. If you do not like what I write, please move on. May Ahura Mazda bless you and your family.

  28. Percy Madon  September 16, 2011

    Respected Dastoorji and Respected Sir Mr Dalal,

    @ Mr Dalal, please relax, calm down. I didnt mean to add fuel to fire, but just added my few chaar anna (25 paise). Even our dastoorjis are human beings and full time dastoors are quite poor in some places. But the main idea is, if our community practices the religion punctualy, then why would any dastoor be poor? Why would any Vada Dastoorji want to spread knowledge on the net? Just take this example. When we go to Banaji’s fire temple for hum bandagi, what do we see today?. A few old and dedicated parsi’s only, a recorded prayer, and a few realy depressed parsis in their 40’s trying to apease god for bringing down their miseries. IMO-The community is equaly responsible for the ignorance and apathy. This Khordadsaal, Wadiaji and Anjuman, both had only 13 Parsis in the morning and when I asked the Sandalwood vendor how much sale he did, he said ” I havent sold anything worth Rs 300/-” Sad. Lets practice first… Only then “MAY BE”! we will preach.

    @ Dastoorji Saheb,

    I am extremely sorry for the notings above, its not in my nature to hate my religious people or the clergymen, its just that sometimes, I hate their attitude. What you said is quite right, we should make the best of what we have and remember that we left our mother land to save the religion first and then survive as a community.

    Please both of you calm down and shake hands and lets party…..Yewwwwwwwwwooooo. 🙂

  29. PARSI_PORYO  September 16, 2011

    Marzban ji, SIR I THOUGHT YOU WOULD NOT RESPOND HIM, its sick to see you argue with him, in fact it makes us like them, so just thought to remind you, leave that all to us, n fact I am like them but on the right side of the view, we are busy keeping them busy on various other platforms…
    But I still Fail to understand why are they scared from you, man hats off to you knowledge.

  30. Dharyaman Anklesaria  September 17, 2011

    Well here we are in this century still looking to take care that our religion is safe and the moral is still in it’s place. We are Parsi. We are people who are known best for patience. Here I see Mr. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram warning and fighting with Mr. Homi Dalal. To both of you I just ask a simple question. Whatever happened to the Parsis who were to be patient. In early days the Parsi community was famous for helping out other fellow Parsis but I see that this is not practiced anymore. In fact there are Parsis who are looking to insult each other, step on each other and all of this just to prove one point. How many times have people in our community been taught to hold each other and walk together. Fare there are Parsis still on this planet who are helping the unfortunate ones however is it true that we are still one? No offense meant to both of you but we here are just showing the youth of today that we are going to warn and fight and point out mistakes. Well guys it’s time to grow up. Chew over this and think what your actions are doing. So there is now soon going to be a team of people who are going to take your sides and then LET THERE BE WAR. This is not going to solve anything. Our population is going down day by day and guys walking together is the best thing we can do to keep it. Just a small piece of advice definitely the ball is in your court now. Hit it or Miss it.

  31. PB  September 17, 2011

    To all the readers and Revered Salutations to Ervad Hathiram Saheb.

    I am shocked and pained to note the comments of some shallow people, whose only business is to grab public attention by abusing others. It is their legacy and habit to wish evil for all and vent their personal frustration elsewhere. Unfortunately we have to live with such community daroojis.

    My sincere naman to Hathiram saheb, that even in these time of kalyug, we are able to get the light and knowledge of the true Zarthosti Din and Revaj. I have not come across such dedicated writing and guidance. I am grateful Ervad Saheb.

  32. kfkeravala  September 18, 2011

    One more religious use of leather is that for 1200 to 1300 years we(i.e. all”mobedi tolas”) in India have used leather mattress and leather sheets(“Chakra”) during the 9 nights purity ablution(“Bareshnoom Nahan”) .

  33. Farrokh Umrigar  September 18, 2011

    Mr. Homi Dalal and Mr. Percy Madon, the two of you seem to be more interested whether the others of the community are following the tarikats ? Of course many, many of them do so and they dont have to go on advertising aboout it. Why dont you two take care of your own conscience which certainly seems to be bothering you. We have full faith in Dasturji saheb and once again for your ignorant information, he is just teaching us the proper takikats to be followed. If you dont want to do so you are welcome but let us be educated by the Dasturji saheb.
    Also kindly change your names to Mr. Rude and Nasty. Seems to be more appropriate and matches your tone.
    Farrokh Umrigar

  34. Persis Mistry  September 18, 2011

    Thank you very much Dasturji saheb for enlightening us, as always. Sometimes we do not realise the implications of what we are doing, thanks to you we can now mend our ways. Even though it is not practical to follow all tarikats, we can at least try to make an effort to follow as much as possible. I look forward to your articles and am extremely grateful that we have someone in our community to explain the various aspects of our religion and reasoning behind our practices. Please continue to guide us.

  35. Percy Madon  September 18, 2011

    More important is “FAITH”. If you have faith, even 1 single name from 101 names can be effective. But, if your bad Karmas are following you, even god cant help you. What you sow that you reap. Then however strongly you follow the TARIKAT, nothing can happen, except if you repent and ask for forgiveness from god. Following tarikats require sincerity, devotion, dedication, faith and appropriate “ENVIRONMENT”. When we buy sandalwood, we change hands, one hand delivers money and other hand accepts sandalwood in exchange. Regardless of being offered with money, that sandalwood will surely have some impurities around it because of polluted environment.

  36. K.Tamboli  September 18, 2011

    Dear sir I had tried contacting you long time back, But could not succeed, please if you dont mind I need your email to communicate certain religious matter that is if you permit, which I hope you will, waiting for your reply…

    You can even give me any messanger Id, its regarding one of your articles.

  37. Delnaz T.  September 19, 2011

    Respected Ervad Saheb,
    Firstly, thank you once again for enlightening us. Each and every post on this pious site throws light on numerous religious issues and we all, who believe in Ilm-e-Khshnoom and truly make efforts to follow the Tarikats of our Religion, thank you and bless you from the bottom of our hearts for such a wondrous effort on your part. I was disappointed and deeply hurt on reading the comments of some people. I wish that every true Zoroastrian makes the best use of all the knowledge on Frashogard and tries to implement the same in his day to day life instead of arguing on why and how it can be implemented. Ervadji, we respect you and appreciate your efforts. Eagerly waiting for another article. May Dadar Ahura Mazda shower his blessings on you always and I wish to have more priests like you in our community.
    Regards and best wishes,
    Delnaz Taraporewala.

  38. Nazneen  September 19, 2011


    IF ONLY, The time, effort and energy drawn towards removing faults in others was directed towards learning and thinking how best can we modify our ways to maintain the tarikats in these modern times,, would be an act appreciated by Ahura Mazda.

    Afterall, we are here to please our Lord and not the Mobeds and Behdins, SO STOP GENERALISATION.
    Agreed that we Parsis are flawed over the years and have kept religion as least priority, however, charity begins at home, right?? so each one of us takes onus of our own acts.

    Hypothetically, in future if mobeds start eating humans, are we behdins going to follow ?? NO i guess,, so wether they follow the tarikats or not, our duty towards our religion doesnt change based on what others are doing. TO EACH HIS OWN!!

    Read, if you like adhere, if not ignore, But please lets be respectful and human and appreciate that we have few Mobeds who are different and still have the desire to follow the right path.

  39. Phiroze Panthaki  September 19, 2011

    Dear Ervad Marzban,

    Kindly continue with your educative posts. Those who want to read and follow will do so and those who do not can take a long walk away. Idiots like homi dalal do not understand that we may not be able to follow all tarikats but that does not mean we should not what we can, as many as we can. Just ignore such ignoramuses.

    Regards and best wishes,
    Phiroze Panthaki

  40. Sharukh Taraporewala  September 19, 2011

    Extremely informative article Ervad saheb, thanks to you the community is waking up from its deep slumber and misconceptions about our religion.
    I would urge all the readers of Frashogard to share this blog. Tweet about it to your Parsi friends, share it on FaceBook with you Parsi Groups, send the link to all your Parsi email contacts.
    I have already done it….
    Do the things that matter and make a difference….ignore things that dont matter at all.

  41. Vispi  September 19, 2011

    Respected Ervad Saheb
    In future please totally ignore mails from idiots like Homi Dalal. There will always be people who would like to draw attention to themselves, with their destructive behaviour. I think Homi dalal just wanted to show the amount of charities he is doing. He should understand that, Charity should be such, that the left hand does not know what the right hand does.

    There are many other Zarathushtis, who long to learn from you, and appreciate the service you are rendering to the ‘religious minded’ people of our community.

  42. Khushnaz Rashid  September 19, 2011

    Dear Ervad Saheb,

    It was a great pleasure reading this article. Will surely follow this when visit Agiaries or Atash Behrams.

    Thank you very much for enlightening us in this matter.

    Looking forward for more such posts.

  43. Saroosh Yazdani  September 20, 2011

    Hello Mubed! I would like to ask that is it okay to offer other sweet smelling woods to the Atash? I have read in translations by Ervad Kanga and Modi that any sweet smelling fragrant wood is offered during the Nirang-e- Buydedan(boi). Where i live we have many pine trees that are very fragrant. I had some of the frees in my garden cut, and I chop the wood thereafter by hand, and dry it as well. You see because Sandalwood is a tropical wood and in ancient Iran the trees would not be found. So how would they pay libation to the Atash without it in Iran? thank you and God Bless!

  44. Percy Madon  September 20, 2011

    HMMM! What a turn-out today at ANJUMAN ATASH BEHRAM, and to my delight, all the NOTES were going into the dabbas…. good job Dastoorji Saheb. Today is Anjuman Atash Behram’s Salgeri, and My Masiji called me to remind me that its an auspicious day. I am not very keen to see the ROJ wala calenders daily to find such days, so for me my elders help. SEE! if we have the will to follow, automatically god helps us and reminds us… THANK YOU DASTOORJI, and well done members of Community for turning out today. GOD BLESS US ALL and ALWAYS.

  45. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 20, 2011

    @Saroosh Yazdani
    It is totally OK to offer dried pine wood, which is really fragrant. The Avesta specifies that the wood offered should be dry, well inspected and free of any dead matter. Fragrant wood is specially recommended. In the Vandidad different species of trees are mentioned which are to be used for different types of fumigations prescribed for specific ailments or pollutions. In India we use sandalwood, which is most fragrant. On my trip to Iran I saw that pine wood was used at many places. It is a good and correct practice. Please continue.

  46. Phiroze Panthaki  September 20, 2011

    @ Dharyaman Anklesaria,

    Ref to your post of Saturday 17th, the intent is right but your content is flawed. homi dalal is anti-Parsi. He has the habit of shooting his mouth off but gets constipated when asked for proofs, gets personal and resorts to foul language. The Parsis can do without the likes of him and would be better off not walking with him. The ball is now hit out of Parsi court. We know this very well and do not need your advice. Parsis are patient but not afraid to go to war if required.

  47. Burzin  September 20, 2011

    Respected Ervad Hathiram,

    I thank you deeply for the knowldge that you are imparting to our humdins. It is commendable in this day and age.

    Just as a child first learns to crawl and then takes baby steps, so must we ‘spiritual dwarfs’ first start with the simple measures you recommend – this is important. ‘Gebi madad’ will surely come to the true seeker. (On occasions, we sometimes experience that subtly)

    As we pray at the end of every Niyaesh / Yasht – “man ano awayad shudan, man ano awayad shudan, man ano awayad shudan” – “I aught to reach there, I aught to reach there, I aught to reach there”

  48. Saroosh Yazdani  September 21, 2011

    Thank You very much Mubed. I really appreciate your efforts because in America; especially in the Irani community we do not have knowledge of all these traditions. Many of the Zarthustis in America are originally Muslim but change their name so they can get out of the islamic Republic easily. My family is from Yazd and we used to follow many of these traditions, we respect the Parsi priest because they perform the ceremonies correctly. We have one Parsi priest here who sings the Avesta and is very nice man. Sadly, many of the Persians say that his prayers are too long and there is lot of smoke wen he prays, but i really enjoy his voice and his son’s too. Sorry i can not remember his name but he has prayed in India, may be you know him. I still enjoy seeing him perform the prayers the traditional and proper way. thank you Parsis for up holding the traditions!

  49. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  September 21, 2011

    May be you are referring to my old friend Peshotan Unwalla of Houston. Yes indeed he has a very sonorous voice. But his father was even better. A great student and close disciple of Ustad Saheb Behramshah Shroff.

  50. Saroosh Yazdani  September 22, 2011

    No Mubed I am not in Texas I am in California. I will let you know as soon as I learn his name. Thank you