Roj Avan Mah Ardibehesht, 1381 Yz.
Having understood the cosmography of Nisti, we can now continue with the Ruvan’s journey.
As the period of dawn starts and the priests begin the performance of the Daham Yazad ceremony, the Baodangh and Fravashi awaken the Ruvan. They all climb together in to the special vehicle fashioned out of the remnants of the Keherp body, which is now shaped like the outstretched wings of a bird, with a capsule in the middle, where the Ruvan, Baodangh and Fravashi sit. With the aid of the four boosters: the Sachkar, the Sagdid, the Geh Sarna and the four days’ ceremonies in honour of Sarosh, the Ruvan and its Guide and Protectors – the Fravashi and Baodangh, sitting in the Keherp body, begin the fantastic flight which will take them to their ultimate destination – the Gates of Chinvat.
As they rise above the confines of the earth, they gather speed and using the power of the four boosters, pull away, far from our visible solar system and in to the other dimensions of the Nisti cosmos. Their destination is Chinvat, which lies between the Upairi and Adairi Dakhyus. Our earth itself is between the Pairi and Aipi Dakhyus. Between earth and Chinvat lie several Zamrir planes, including those areas where the frightful Sefli Arvahi reside. These highway-robber-like sprites lie waiting, for that hapless Ruvan, whose physical mind had made use of them or communicated with them when alive.
In case they recognise such a Ruvan, they immediately stop the flight of the Ruvan, which they can, because of the obligation due to them, caused by the physical mind interacting with them during its lifetime. Such unfortunate Ruvan cannot continue on their flight towards Chinvat, and are waylaid in these terrible regions for many hundreds of years, before the Arvahi take recompense of their obligations and then release them. This is the terrible fate of those Parsi souls who communicate with spirits, using devices like Ouija boards, séances or other tactics, practice black magic or other satanic rites, or converse with “relatives” who are nothing but these evil spirits, mimicking the departed relative.
If the physical mind of the Ruvan has not indulged in these acts, the flight of the Ruvan through these regions is without incident. But before it can reach the doorstep of Chinvat, there is another obstacle to cross. At a certain point in the journey, the Ruvan vehicle comes across a river. Depending on circumstances on earth, this river can be peaceful, quiet flowing and somewhat pleasant, which the Ruvan can cross without much difficulty; or it is extremely wide, raging and impossible to cross. The Ruvan vehicle may not be able to cross the river in such circumstances. What determines the state of this ultra-physical river? The river’s flow and nature is determined by the behaviour of its relatives on earth. If relatives indulge in excessive lamentation, wailing and tears, the river becomes impossible for the Ruvan to cross.
It may come as a surprise to readers, but excessive lamentation in a serious sin in our religion. The Patet prayer lists excessive lamentation as “Shinmoi”. The loss of a loved one, especially in tragic circumstances or at a young age, can of course cause great grief. But our religion teaches us to accept the will of Ahura Mazda. Shedding tears and the outpouring of grief is definitely a cathartic process, which is important for the living to come to terms with their loss. However, excessive lamentation, wailing or worse, making such a show in front of others not only adds up to a sin in the books of the person doing so, but it also terribly harms the progress of the Ruvan towards Chinvat.
It is therefore always desirable to limit such grief as far as possible. We should be aware of the journey of the Ruvan ahead and the great duties which lie ahead for it. At such times, we must put our own grief to one side and desire the onward progress of the loved one who has now left us. At all times, silently praying the Ashem Vohu and concentrating our thoughts on the flight of the Ruvan will lessen our grief and stop us from committing the sin of Shinmoi. This is the least we can do for the successful flight of the Ruvan to Chinvat.
Thus the flight of the Ruvan carries it across our earth and solar system, crossing the lower Dakhyu and the Zamrir planes of the Sefli and Ulvi Arvahi, successfully swimming across the River of Tears. Soon it crosses the region of the Adairi Dakhyu and its lowermost (7th) Zamrir. From there it flies to the region between the 6th and 5th Zamrir, finally arriving at the very doorstep of the Chinvat region, in the specific area of lower Gangdez. I request readers to go through the map of Chinvat given in the earlier post to properly understand this great journey.
As its great flight ends, the Keherp vessel carrying the Ruvan, along with the Fravashi and the Baodangh lands gently in the lower Gangdez region. The longest flight of the Ruvan has ended. But the longest night of the Ruvan is now about to commence. Our next post will not be a pleasant one.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram