Roj Khorshed Mah Khordad, 1386 Yz.
It’s a tough world and many of us face a tough life. At such times, the feeble mind tries to fall back on some interesting ‘what if’ scenarios. What if I had this or that, what if I had married some person or the other, what if I had done this in my childhood days, what if a magical genie suddenly appeared and gave me three wishes…
Going through the Whatsapp status messages on the mobile, my eye caught an interesting one today. ‘I need a ‘varsa’’, a friend exclaimed. For those whose Gujarati is not up to the mark, varsa means inheritance. Who out of us has not thought about that what if scenario – the wondrous gift of a fabulous inheritance from some far off relative which would supposedly ease all our troubles…What a comforting and enchanting thought! Why not!
As I smiled inwardly and marveled at the imaginative audacity of my friend, years of reading suddenly put the mind into that most sobering ‘Khshnoom’ gear. What’s wrong with you, the mind exclaimed! Don’t you already have the greatest inheritance in the world?
Let me explain…
Many hundreds of years ago, as a past life ended, our Ruvan – the soul, began its journey towards the regions of Chinvat (explained in great detail in the series The Wondrous Circle of Life). It reached there and began to understand the enormity of the work that lay ahead of it, the intense education it had to receive, the many lessons it had to learn and the slow but steady undoing of the misdeeds of the physical body down on earth.
After many years of this relentless toil, interspersed with that oh so short visit to the earth during the 18 days of the Muktad each year, the Ruvan attained the state of Anushehi – a Spiritual Awakening and Mindfulness where it could truly comprehend the true working of the cosmos and experience the beauty and righteousness of Ahura Mazda’s creation. In this heightened state of Spiritual Awareness, the Ruvan proceeded to the higher regions of Chinvat where the Divine Trinity of Judges – Rashne, Meher and Sarosh awaited it.
Now as the state of Anushehi reached its full potency, the Ruvan truly understood the enormity of the physical body’s thoughts, words and deeds on earth and its ramifications. It realized that while much of the wrong had been undone by its toil at Chinvat, there still existed certain obligations and interactions which could only be fulfilled by going back to earth. And so, in its heightened state the Ruvan passed its own Judgement – that there would be no crossing the Chinvat to the other side this time – it would have to return to earth and try once more to cross out all the obligations that had been created with others there. That one more time, it would have a chance to finally conquer the physical senses and finish the cleansing of its adamant part.
As the Ruvan passed this judgement, its accompanying companions – the Baodangh (Divine Wisdom), the Fravashi (the part of Ahura Mazda in each of us), and the Anasers (the spiritual DNA collected from the physical body over many years by Dahm Yazad and transported to Chinvat by Khurshed Yazad) all separated from each other – causing the real death. Each of these constituents proceeded to their specific place in Chinvat and began their individual communion with Ahura Mazda.
After a period of time, the Department of Divine Logistics made sure that the right circumstances and conditions were in place for the Ruvan to descend on Earth. Gently, the Ruvan was awakened from its Divine Communion and informed about its downward journey to earth. Divinely Inspired and Spiritually Awakened due to its period of communion, the Ruvan promised to undertake the journey to earth and make no mistakes this time.
As it prepared for its descent, only one thing remained…the farewell. There is the presence of Ahura Mazda and His Amesha Spentas and the Yazatas, a grand function was held. A most precious gift was given to the Ruvan, a Spiritual Vestment, a sacred garment, Divinely Engineered, full of the sparkling light of the Celestial Stars of the firmament. Along with that garment was a special girdle, golden yellow and luminous. These sacred garments, which we know in the physical form on the earth as the Sudreh and Kusti were presented to the Ruvan in that special farewell ceremony, the physical form of which we call the Navjote on earth.
As the Ruvan was presented with these vestments, it cried out in Divine Ecstasy – Mazdayasno Ahmi, Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish! I am a follower of the Good Mazdayasni Zarathushtrian Daena. Thus armed, and full of the optimism of the new acolyte, the Ruvan began its descent to the earth, entering the womb on the 28th, 29th or 30th day of the 3rd month of pregnancy and giving the well-known kick to its mother to announce its arrival. Finally, at the end of the ninth month, the complete baby left the comfort of the mother’s womb and emerged out, back into the big bad world to begin a new life as a follower of Zarathushtra.
Readers of Frashogard, this is the greatest inheritance we have! To be born of Zarathushtrian parents, to be invested with the physical Sudreh and Kusti – a repeat of the sacred ceremony held in the celestial regions, to be armed with that spiritual armour to face the tough life that lies ahead…what more could we want? Truly that is the biggest ‘varso’ we have.
The Navjote is not an initiation ceremony – it is rather the confirmation and reminder to the now aware child – that it is responsible for its thoughts, words and deeds from now on. That he or she is a soldier of Ahura Mazda in the constant fight against the evil that resides both within and outside us and that Prophet Zarathushtra has presented us with this unique opportunity to make this life a true success, not in material terms, but in terms of achieving our spiritual salvation, Frashogard.
As each of us advance in life and celebrate our respective birthdays, it is an apt time to remember our true mission on this earth, to recall the promise we gave to ourselves, to our Prophet and to our Lord Ahura Mazda – that this time we shall not fail. It is up to us – whether we use our Divine Inheritance to further move towards our salvation or we squander it in the pursuit of all that glitters but is, in reality, fool’s gold.
May each one of us become worthy to be truly called a Parsi!
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram