Roj Khorshed Mah Tir, 1379 Yz.
At the beginning of the 20th century, under the influence of the western studies of our religion and the so-called advances of science and technology, some Parsi reformers advocated that the community should give up the Shahenshahi calendar and instead adopt the Fasli calendar – that based on the seasons, wherein the New Year fell on 21st March (popularly called Jamshedi Navroze) and the other months fell correctly as per the seasons. This was a very controversial move and aroused great debate.
When Ustad Saheb emerged and began his mission, the question of the calendars was put to him, and it was only the Master who was able to correctly guide the Parsis. Ustad Saheb first of all explained the rationale behind having a calendar. The calendar was not just to measure time or to keep track of taxation. If that was so what was the need to name the days of the month after Divine Beings? Ustad Saheb explained that the Divine Machinery works constantly all throughout nature, both visible and invisible. The Divine Machinery is composed of Ahura Mazda and His Divine Cabinet consisting of the 7 Amesha Spentas and other hierarchical levels known as Yazatas, Mino, Dae, Farrokh and Gathas. Each of this living Divine Entity is given a specific function to perform at a specific place in the Cosmos. Thus the work and function of a Yazata in a particular part of the universe known as Hasti is called His Humata. The functioning of the Yazata in a different part of the universe called Nisti is called His Hukhta, whereas the function and role of the Yazata on our earth is called His Hvarshta. Ustad Saheb thus explained that Humata, Hukhta and Hvarshta have nothing to do with good thoughts, word and deeds as wrongly believed by most Parsis. Our own thoughts, words and deeds are merely called Manashni, Gavashni and Kunashni, and it should be the aim and objective of every Parsi to raise his own thoughts words and deeds to the level of the Humata Hukhta and Hvarshta of the Divine Beings!
Ustad Saheb further revealed that the functioning of this Divine Machinery gives rise to a Spiritual Output, in the form of various blessings and spiritual rewards which are called Fasal. This Fasal arises at different parts of the Cosmos where the Yazatas and other Divine Beings are performing their allotted functions. This Fasal is then directed down to the Earth, for the creation, preservation and sustenance of all the life on earth. Thus the type of Fasal descending on the Earth on a particular day depends on which particular Yazata or Divine Being is performing which specific function in which part of the Cosmos and at which time. To enable humans to follow this Divine functioning, Prophet Zarathushtra devised the calendar which gave at an easy glance an idea as to which Yazata would be in charge of a particular function on the Earth or anywhere else in the Cosmos on any particular day! Thus in order to properly catch the Fasal which descends on the earth, it is necessary to attune to that particular Yazata, so that his specific Fasal blessings can be suitably caught and disseminated. The instruments or power houses that attract these blessings are known as Atash Behram or Atash Adaran or Atash Dadgah! The Fasal descends into the Holy Fire enthroned in these Spiritual Powerhouses and a part of it is given to each Devotee who bows down before the Padshah Sahebs! More details on this are given in th eearlier post on Are our Padshah Sahebs mere Fire?
Thus Ustad Saheb explained the divine and inner reasons behind the Zoroastrian calendar for the first time. He further explained that when we landed on the shores of Sanjan and setup the Divine Iranshah Atash Behram under the guidance and leadership of Dasturan-Dastur Nairyosangh Dhaval (who was himself a very senior Abed of Demavand specially deputed to India for this purpose), the calendar followed by these saintly men and women was correctly attuned to the working of Nature and the Divine Machinery and was hence called the ‘Fasli’ calendar – that is, not meaning something based on the seasons, but rather that which gives rise to seasons! This very accurate calendar was maintained by performing the Kabisah, or intercalation not once in 120 years, but once every four years, so that the spiritual accuracy of the calendar was not compromised. Ustad Saheb explained that at the time of the Zoroastrian monarchy in Iran, two different calendars were in use. Once calendar, which was for the exclusive use of the advanced Priests and for religious purposes was the calendar where the intercalation or Kabisah was done once every four years. On the other hand, the calendar for normal day-to-day use and for the government machinery was the calendar where the intercalation was done once every 120 years. This is somewhat like today where we use the normal calendar from January to December for daily use. However for taxation and other corporate purposes, the financial year from April to March is used.
Ustad Saheb also revealed that the process of intercalation was not a simple matter of adding one day every four years or one month every 120 years. It was a gigantic spiritual task which required the services of thousands of very advanced priests and millions of rupees which could only be done at the time of the Zoroastrian monarchy. Hence, after the fall of the last Zoroastrian emperor Yazdegard Sheriar, this was just not possible. However, the priests within the hidden fortress of Demavand were able to perform the Kabisah with accuracy and regularity. When Dasturan Dastur Nairyosangh Dhaval lead the chosen group of Parsis to Sanjan, he along with the other very advanced priests who accompanied him established the Pav Mahel – the Spiritual Foundation of the Zoroastrian ritual within Iranshah based on this accurate Fasli calendar. However, the advanced Abed Saheb also knew that it would be impossible for the coming generations to undertake this Kabisah intercalation ceremony. Therefore, under the specific guidance and instructions left behind by Dastur Nairyosangh Dhaval, a series of ceremonies was conducted in 1006 AD, when the Fasli and Shahenshahi calendars’ new year fell on the same day, i.e. 21st March, to turn the Fasli calendar and Pav Mahel into the normal, non-intercalation based Shahenshahi calendar, based on the date of the coming on throne of the last Zoroastrian monarch Yazdegard Sheriar. This complex series of ceremonies lasted for a period of thirty days, which is the real reason for the difference of one month between the Parsi Shahenshahi calendar in India and the Zoroastrian calendar of Iran.
So what could be done? Ustad Saheb explained that changing the calendar was not just a matter of passing a resolution and starting a new calendar! No! Priests of great spiritual caliber were required and the restarting of the Fasli calendar was a task which was the responsibility of the coming saviour Shah Behram Varzavand! Once his advent had happened Ustad Saheb explained, the Yazdezardi calendar would be replaced with the Varzavandi calendar which would be based on the correct Fasli calculation. However, there was an important role which the Parsi community had to play before the advent of the Promised One. Ustad Saheb revealed that regardless of when the Saviour appeared and started the correct calendar, Parsis should begin to observe all Fasli festivals (Hingam). For example, as per the Fasli calculation, November 24th of every year is Roj Adar Mah Adar, and the true anniversary of the sacred Iranshah, which should be observed. Similarly all the other Parabs, Gahambars and other religious festivals should be observed. How is this to be done? Ustad Saheb explained that people should get together on the appointed day of the festival and priests, maintaining the Roj and Mah of the normal Shahenshahi calendar should do the specific prayer for the Hingam, which is readily available. For example, on Fasli Roj Tir Mah Tir, a special Jashan should be held to invite the rains and pray for an adequate monsoon. The method of doing this Jashan is well known. However, it should be done on the real Roj Tir, Mah Tir, which falls on 1st of July every year. The same principle would apply to all the other festivals in the Zoroastrian calendar.
Enthused by this rational and well reasoned explanation of Ustad Saheb, the PVTS members who had many years earlier formed a separate society called the Farrokh Fravardin Fasal Sal Jashan Mandal to observe the Fasli calendar, changed the name of this society into the Zoroastrian Radih Society and began the observance of the Fasli Hingam on a regular basis.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram