Category: Blog

Indonesia

On my various trips around the different countries and across waters and different parts of India my memoirs and my camera have been my constant companion. This time it’s a slightly funny but a hugely humbling, grounding, and heart touching experience on my travel time spent touring the length and breadth of Indonesia.

Since ASA Convention was going to be held in Indonesia I decided to take a 15 days tour throughout Indonesia prior to the Convention. Before setting out as usual I always buy forex of the country I am visiting so went to the forex branch I always go to but was told we only give USD for Indonesia you will have to exchange USD in Indonesia with Indonesia Rupaiyya (IDR). I thought it was a bit strange but then again I needed the forex so I said yes.

On landing I checked in and didn’t have any local currency so gave a 1 USD coin the person who brought my luggage in to my room and he almost fainted in happiness and I suddenly remembered the forex branch saying they can’t give IDR but dismissed the thought but dismissed the thought and didn’t think much about it. However during check in I had seen a sign on the reception saying money exchange done here so I went to the reception to exchange my 100 USD note and the receptionist said sorry mam you will have to go to the bank we are not allowed to exchange anything above 50 USD. I was a bit tired but needed local currency so I went to the bank with the directions provided by the reception. I went to the counter and said I wanted to exchange a 100 USD note the woman at the counter said please wait the manager will meet you in a few moments. I was like its just 100 USD why the manager needs to meet me but they insisted so I took a seat. In a few seconds the manager came out smiling almost gushing with happiness. I told him I needed to exchange USD 100 note and a very elated manager just said sure. In a few minutes he got IDR notes and said here thank you so much for using our bank services. I was thinking in my mind its only 100 USD why is he thanking me so profusely but then dismissed the thought and went to the hotel room and started counting the IDR and it shocked me as the manager had given me literally several million IDR and not thousands or hundreds as I expected. I had never seen a million in my hands ever in my entire life and was so shocked seeing a million IDR note and I had quite a few of them that my mind went numb I was very scared and called my mum immediately using the room phone. My mom got really wild as to how much did I exchange but I assured her I had only exchanged a single 100 USD note that’s when she said please go to the bank immediately and point out the error as the manager must have made a grave mistake if you don’t go back the poor fellow will have to pay millions. I agreed and immediately set out for the bank clutching the millions in my hands very tightly and with a pounding heart I went to the bank really scared as I was carrying so much money and I had never seen so much in my entire life. I told the manager that there was a big error made as I exchanged only a single 100 USD and I received millions of IDR the manager assured me he hadn’t made a mistake but I was holding millions literally MILLIONS in my hands so I made the manager count again not once but twice and he assured me it was the correct amount. I was not sure what to do with millions that I had in my possession. I went to the hotel room still seriously scared that I had millions and because of that I could not sleep the whole night.

It was only the next day I realized why the bank manager said he had not made a mistake despite giving me millions. I needed to buy water but I did not have any note less than a million denomination. I was absolutely certain that I would be shooed away as I had nothing less than a million Rupaiyya note. The 2 litre water bottle normally costs only 15-20 INR in India and I was wondering what to do how to buy. But I needed water so I nervously entered a shop which was selling water bottles. I picked a 2 litre water bottle which showed 3,5 I did not see the coma and thought it was 35 IDR but I had nothing less than a million IDR note and very timidly and sheepishly gave one million IDR note to the lady at the counter bracing myself for her ridicule and anger. I was absolutely sure that she was going to tell me to get lost as I was going to exchange a million IDR for just 35 IDR water bottle. But to my utter surprise she simply smiled and immediately exchanged the million IDR note and gave me change. In the car I counted my money and realized that I was short by a few thousand as she took 3500 IDR instead of 35 IDR but I thought maybe she did not have so much change so gave me what she had and didn’t say anything. On seeing my troubled look the driver inquired what had happened and I told him. He stopped the car and with a very shocked look and asked if he can see the price tag on the bottle. I gave him the bottle and he said no mam its 3500 and not 35. He pointed out that see there is a coma between 3 & 5 so it reads as 3,5 that means 3500 IDR. Now it was my turn to be utterly shocked as I had just paid IDR 3500 for a 2 litre bottle!!! I was thinking OMG I have to be very careful with my consumption of water because it is so expensive!!! Looking at my shocked expression the driver said this was very cheap and I was thinking in my mind CHEAP I just paid IDR 3500 for a 2 litre water bottle. The driver must have seen a very bewildered look on my face and he explained to me why the bottle cost IDR 3500 and yet it’s cheap and why the bank manager gave me millions when I had exchanged only 1 single USD 100 note. He explained to me that Indonesia was unfortunately sitting on 3 natural disaster belts ie volcanoes, flash floods, and earthquakes. Natural disasters were a very frequent and constant part of their lives having an omnipresent presence at all times no matter what. Every alternate day there is either a volcano exploding or a flash flood gushing or an earthquake shaking Indonesia and yes I had seen flash floods, I had felt tremors and my volcano flight was cancelled as there was a thick black smoke coming out of the volcano when I was touring Indonesia. This situation unfortunately is a perfect recipe for creating havoc literally to the Indonesian
economy as everything they strive for is destroyed by nature on almost on a daily basis.

After that humbling experience I was a completely changed person. After careful calculation I realized that 1 IDR = LESS THAN HALF A PAISE INR!!! After that throughout my trip I never took the change back and always insisted on overpaying because I realized that a tiny single INR 5 coin can provide a single person 2 square meals a day for a full week. Despite living in the shadow of constant natural disasters they are still satisfied with their life and are so peaceful, calm, and serene. I realized how much pampered, spoiled, and lucky we are in India are and yet we take so much prosperity for granted. We fight over petty things like religion, caste, reservations, etc. Then there is a country like Indonesia which is so devastated by nature almost on a daily basis and yet doesn’t fight. I was a completely changed person after my Indonesia trip and never took a single thing or a single moment for granted and was always grateful for what I have.

Mohnaz Balsara

Sole Proprietor – DeiaMo Paradiso

Outlook

 

OUTLOOK

 

 

Teach me to see in things, only positive.

And ignore things bad, mean or negative.

Since You have made me so sensitive;

Frequently I am touchy and emotive.

See I must, the good side in every circumstance.

Make a decision wise; to take the right chance;

Be it connected to society, Country, relationships or finance.

Help me O Ahura to keep a mind positive n balanced.

Armin Dutia Motashaw

 

Intolerance Through The Eyes of a Parsi – By: Mr. Marzban Ardeshir

Intolerance Through The Eyes of a Parsi

By: Mr. Marzban Ardeshir

Zoroastrianism has a proven history of being the most tolerant religion worldwide. By most accounts, Cyrus the Great was a tolerant ruler who allowed his non-Iranian subjects to practice their own religions. He ruled by the Zoroastrian law of Asha (truth and righteousness), but didn’t impose Zoroastrianism on the people of Persia’s conquered territories. The tenets of Zoroastrianism helped to shape the major Abrahamic religions—including Judaism, Christianity and Islam—through the influence of the Persian Empire. The expansion of Zoroastrianism was spread to three continents and for many centuries. This was possible through strong value systems, which included “tolerance” as one of the main principles.

Below is an excellent Video Blog, by an enthusiast Zarathusti, Mr. Marzban Ardeshir, who explains how tolerance is retained in the value system of Parsis, in the era where so called “intolerance” is hyped. A very good message to all the citizens across cultures;

“Be like a Parsi and make an impact to your country”.

 

Marry Boyce very aptly said: “Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.” Mr. Ardeshir has proved the same through this excellent video.

We thank Mr. Ardeshir to have shared this video with us and hope he continues to contribute more such blogs in the interest of the community and mankind as a whole.

USHTA TE !

****

Mr. Marzban Ardeshir is an enthusiast Zarathusti, a columnist and a patriot. He retired in 2012 from an IT company. He was working as Global Head Mobility for HR division. He is passionate about writing articles on community and have been writing for Jame Jamshed and Parsi Times. His column in Jame was “Through the eyes of a Parsi” and “Just out of my mind” in Parsi Times. He has also directed plays in TV and have acted in them as well. Currently he is based in Toronto with his daughter Farah Ardeshir, who is a well known culinary artist and the owner of M5 Bakes.

Seven Ameshaspentas on Navrooze Table – By: Farzana Cooper

Seven Ameshaspentas on Navrooze Table

By: Farzana Cooper

Zurvan : not really an Amshaspand, but the divinity of time. ‘Time’ where the whole universe thing is believed to have started.  Ancient Zoroastrian texts say, the time has no start in Mazda Yasna, nor an end but sometime along the way, a divinity of Time comes into the picture to give a better explanation about eternal Good v/s Evil conflict and its impact on natural phenomena like two equinoxes. Today a clock is a good representative of time . In old times when they did not have a clock, they would place an egg on a mirror and watch it very carefully to see when it would move because they believed that the world was placed on one horn of a cosmic Bull that stood on the back of a cosmic turtle and that the turtle swims in a shoreless ocean of time. At each exact time of Novrooz, the Bull would get tired of keeping the earth on one horn and shift it from one horn to the other. This would cause the Spring and winter Equinox and that could be detected if you watched the egg on the mirror very carefully and registered its shaking! ( Good stuff to keep kids busy!)

The mirror reflects the time ( Zurvan) and infinite possibilities that in store for future. The egg is a representative of creative powers of Mother nature and of constant renewal. This is the principle why a Mirror and colorful Eggs decorate Novrooz tables.

Spenta Armaiti/ Spandārmad:  A female Amshaspand. Reflects modesty. Represented by the Earth – Soil/Mud/ Stones on Novrooz table also by the decorated eggs.  Symbolizes fertility of Earth and all living world, which is a mighty force and progress.

Color of this Ameshaspenta- Deep Blue.

Haurvatat /Khordad: A female Ameshaspenta. Reflects wellbeing and perfection. Represented by Water/ Wine on the Novrooz table. Symbolizes robust health, peace, harmony, and balance in life.

Color- Light Blue.

Ameretat/Amardad :  A female Ameshaspenta. Reflects immortality. Represented by plants/ grass /fruits on the Navroze table. Symbolizes defiance to extinction by shedding their seeds and procreation. Also keeping alive good memories as a reflection of immortality.

Color- Green.

Kshetra Vairyu / Shahrevar:   A male Ameshaspenta. Reflects dominion/control over self. Represented by metal/coins on the Novrooz  table, preferably gold coins because it resists rust most. Symbolizes Mind over matter. Dominion over one’s own mind and Self-reliance.  Has the same attributes as ‘Khoddawand’ ie. Khod= Self, therefore Khoddawand is Self-realization. (This idea is dramatically different from that in the Abrahamic Faiths where nothing should come from the self and everything should come from Above.)

Color- Yellow

Vohu Manah/ Bahman: A male Ameshaspenta. Reflects good mind and compassion. Represents soul of the animal kingdom and on the Novrooz   table, it’s again eggs/ live fish in water.

Color- Orange.

Spenta Mainyu / Ahura Mazda :  Gender neutral  Ameshaspenta. Reflects wisdom and knowledge. Represented by a book on the Novrooz   table that has the ability to impart good knowledge.  Many Zoroastrians display a book of Zend Avesta.

Color- White.

Asha Vahishta /Ordibehesht: A male Ameshaspenta. Reflects Justice, truth and Universal Order. Represents  “The Best Asha” and on the Novrooz   table it’s an oil lamp or candle lights.

Color- Red.

All Ameshaspentas together make up all colours that reflect out of prism when white light passes through it… So Spenta Mainyu is the white light that breaks into various colours of Ameshaspentas because they are the attributes of Spenta Mainyu also called Ahura Mazda.

*****

This is article is written and illustrated by Mrs. Farzana Cooper, an enthusiast Zarathusti. We thank her for contributing this article.

RESONATE WITH GOD – By: Cyrus Mahernosh

Resonate With GOD

By: Cyrus Mahernosh

I am not a philosopher or a mystic, but just a regular guy.   I had a persistent voice in my head asking me to share my learnings that have been acquired through varied life experiences. The lessons of my life, helped me believe in a very sacred magic of life. It put my life on a wonderful journey of self-discovery & creative productivity. I hope this write up helps you understand & move to a better place in your lives…

In no way I claim to totally know or understand “GOD” .but over the years of my life experiences, I have come to understand myself in more light. Have been able to relate to The Infinite Supreme Almighty Energy in every possible way.

We all differ in our ways of perceiving people, things, situations, events, life & Universe.

My way of resonating with the most powerful word “GOD” on this planet is by relating to  its very name as follows…

G ~ GIVING: In its true essence relates to Receiving.

This law of the universe is very prominently prevalent in the wonderful sayings…

·         As you sow, so shall you reap.
·         What you give to nature, nature gives it back to you.

As we have all have experienced in our lives through varied life situations or with varied people, whatever we give out, we tend to receive back viz… when we share our love, joy, happiness & peace with the situations or others, we receive the same, infact more in return. The same goes for negative emotions as well, when we pass on our anger, hatred, jealousy, mistrust, & low energy or depression to the situations we face, we tend to receive the same in return. This same rule also applies with your relationship with your ownself, ie. If you’re true to yourself or love yourself, you’ll find meeting up with people & situations, which relate same kind of feelings to you…who’d be true to you & love you.

O ~ ONENESS: Experiencing Oneness with one & all. All are connected.

This word has got a very unique meaning in my way of thinking. It encourages feelings of oneness with everyone & everything. It means to consciously be aware in experiencing being one with all kinds of humans, i.e. to see ourselves or part of ourselves in all humans. Even with the humans with all kinds of defects (blind, deaf, dumb, handicapped, varied kinds of disabled / differently abled people, etc)… This understanding leads to experiencing equality between everyone i.e. sects, tribes, genders, rich & poor, mighty & weak , young & old, etc. It further leads to have a connection in being one with All Living beings (animals, birds & all kinds of creatures) &  the mesmerizing ALL nature around you, i.e. the Trees, plants, lakes, Ocean, etc…. the ever evolving beautiful Mother Earth. The Oneness I’m talking about is, that which has a feeling of inclusiveness for ALL things that permeate on this planet. The theory that “Universe already belongs to us & we to it”, is even supported by science as well. When we observe that we are very similar to our planet. As our Earth is made of 70% water & remaining of mass, so are we.

On more simple way to understand our relation with Universe is to observe the expanding ocean along the coast. The single droplet of ocean water when separated from the ocean, retains it true quality of the ocean, or we may also term it as though the entire ocean manifest itself in a single droplet of water.

We need to feel that strong faith of being one with The Infinite Supreme Energy/Universe, even though we have chosen to individually manifest on this physical realm. There is connectedness everywhere in everything, we just need to open our eyes to. The emotion of Oneness is nothing but love moving beyond selflessly & multiplying into thousand fold, which would result in experiencing “Bliss”.

D ~ DESTINY:  Life is an unopened present, what you do with it is totally your call. Accordingly, the consequences you face will be based on the decisions you take in your life. This Universe always demands an exchange of energy for everything that you would want or desire to happen. To truly experience unfolding of your Destiny,….is to have yourself totally immersed in practicing the earlier 2 important & valuable aspects of “Giving & Oneness”.

Once you start truly respecting, appreciating & honouring the values of “Giving & Oneness” then the Infinite Supreme Almighty Energy/Universe begins to shine upon you the true essence of “Destiny”.  Entire Universe starts to conspire in working towards opening paths & channels in helping you to claim your higher purpose. “Destiny” is the real true purpose of your existence. To fulfill it, it starts by revealing our hidden talents & honouring us with sacred unique gifts in all its might & true essence. It does all of this to empower us in productively creating something extremely wonderful & sacred on this planet. It makes our existence meaningful & joyfull in its truest form.

This purpose defines your true existence at the soul level, the purpose for which your entire life should be dedicated to.

The above mentioned perception of “GOD” may be taken as guidance, but it is in no way a defined meaning to influence anyone.

I’m grateful to everyone, for reading this article.

******

Curious what a small shift in consciousness can bring to you…This blog is one of my attempts to share my experiences & learning. I’m based in Mumbai, currently working as a Sr. Marketing Manager in International Trade of a Shipping line. I learn & evolve daily. The best blessing one can have is to be a blessing to & for others.
Warm Regards,
Cyrus Mahernosh

To Surrender To A Higher Intelligence – By : Adil Firoze Rangoonwalla

To Surrender To A Higher Intelligence

By: Adil Firoze Rangoonwalla

“WORSHIP” implies superiority of the deity over the worshipper; an idea of higher and lower seems to come in. In the Zoroastrian religion, there is thanksgiving Jashan wherein we profusely thank Dadar Ahura Mazda and other Sacred Beings for their Grace and Benevolence.

Cicero has said, “The whole universe is one commonwealth of which both gods and men are members.” Sounds good but we do not enjoy anything like the power of gods. We know it is not easy to progress either materially or spiritually. There are obstacles in the paths. We cannot know as many things as we want or need to know. We cannot acquire the amount of wisdom we wish to acquire. Of course, the most common desire, “money”, always leaves us craving for more. So human beings have made it a habit to pray to God to acquire things which do not come with their own efforts.

We realize we cannot solve all our problems without someone’s help. When that help fails, we turn to God and seek His help. The problem that we face today is not just of gross evil but also a lot mischief and skulduggery of other to spoil the shape of our lives. People harm others even if there is no direct or real benefit. The harm itself seems a source of pleasure for many people. Life is hard.

When we are overwhelmed with any strong emotion like despair, grief, helplessness or hopelessness, we are often advised by wise people to surrender to what is happening to us. Many people say this is the Will of God. Many others however do not believe that God, our Benevolent Creator will throw us in a ditch. Intellectual people feel compelled to ask why would God have us fall prey to evil. The present discussion is not about why bad things happen to us but to the idea that we surrender to something higher than us.

Many people are not happy to hear the word ‘surrender’. They feel the loss of their own free will to the will of some other person. It suggests submissiveness. That is bad. We cannot do what we want; rather we have to dance to his tunes. Let us see all that the word ‘surrender’ suggests:

  1. Acceptance of despair.
  2. A verbal act of admitting defeat.
  3. The actual physical act of giving yourself up to your adversary.
  4. To give up or agree to forego something precious to the power or possession of another.
  5. To relinquish possession or control over.
  6. To relinquish to the power of another; yield to the control of another.
  7. To hand over to the authorities of another country.

Even in the practice of religion, surrender to God is important but the underlying notion is that HE is Omnipotent and we have but little power hence surrender. The idea is that of inferiority. ‘Surrender’ may even be presented as a compulsory thing to start with. Most people who blindly worship God, may imply ‘no surrender, no worship’.

The true reason for the surrender is not inferiority but equality and oneness. The sooner we come out of all our faulty conditioning and preconceived notions, the sooner we shall be united with God. That union is something that religion suggests. Every time we chant the word “yazamaide” we wish for that unity with Amesha Spentas and Ahura Mazda. We wear sudreh and kusti to keep that bond with Dadar Ahura Mazda. There should not be any lapse in this contact with God.

Obstacles in the Path

If Ahura Mazda has made a whole system that we can always be with Him, they why do we drift away? Obviously we do not come up to the mark. The first biggest problem is our EGO.

Ego tells us we know better. We do not see the need to see or hear the truth. Love is often sacrificed at the alter of ego. Ego leads to self love; we have seen people obsessed with themselves. Such persons may find themselves abandoned by their family and friends.

Second big obstacle: desires. We have so many desires we do not know where to start and what to strive for. Fulfilling them never brings them to an end. In fact, they grow bigger and fancier. They take up all our time and energy. Some spiritualists look upon desire, vasana as they cal it in other languages, as an enemy. Your desire can be your friend if it propels you into hard work; to earn righteously what you wish to have in your life.

Much spiritual instruction tells us that we are already born in ignorance or delusion. We do not enjoy an awakened state of consciousness this life in. We are in a slumber. We have to make a conscious effort, a concerted deliberate effort to change this clumsy existence and lead a glorious life.

Our thinking and life must be wrong as we face so many problems. We  cannot blame others for everything. We seek Dadar’s help in our prayers e.g., “jasa me avanghe Mazda”, that is, come to my aid Mazda.

Our own self image, ego and self awareness prevent us from developing a divine chakshu (sight or vision) to see Him as He is. Whose loss is it? So it is better we drop all that we carried in the past and approach Him in a spirit of self surrender. Remember, there is no right time to surrender. Everything happens in the now. Do not worry what you did in the past. That can be overcome. Surrender in a flash, in one moment. It does not take hours. Just the thought can do the trick if it is strong enough. Let that thought be the conviction; only conviction in life now.

The moment I step out of myself and go to Him, self love and ego are left behind. If they do not go away in a moment, they will keep melting away like snow in the heat of Sun. That should happen because that is our true nature. We are spiritual beings.

To surrender needs obedience to our senior and superiors. Too much intellect and worldly knowledge makes this difficult. We have lost our simplicity and innocence. The people in past were different. They lived under spiritual righteous kings. They were in tune with the laws of spirit and the law of the world. They lived in harmony. We will not be regarded as simpletons if we are obedient. You see the trait of obedience in developed and advanced nations. Without it people can only live like wild lawless people.

Self consciousness and ego are troublesome things. They stay glued to us no matter what we do. They do not get off our backs even when we worship. They are right there. Sometimes some people rise after their prayers more egoistic people. They think they are closer to God, worse, His chosen ones as contrasted from “others”.

The first important thing any Zarathoshty will try to understand well is the revered Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayer. It is called “AHUNAVAR”. Literally, it is as we say in Gujarati: “Ahu no var”. Ahu’s Will. Ahu means Lord. It refers to Ahura Mazda, the Lord Supreme. His Will is in His Divine Intelligence. In it lies the creation of all the worlds and galaxies and universe and more. His Will prevailed before creation and His Will shall prevail after Frashokereti.

Charity is an important teaching of ‘Yatha Ahu Vairyo’ prayer. It speaks of giving charity to the ‘drigu’ (literally beggar). What beggar? There are so many. We need to understand we all are in need of something. We lack something. We spent our life trying to fill up that emptiness but we failed. Our inner resources are depleted; our inner strength is exhausted. We can acquire many things but for some inscrutable reason one particular thing always evades us. Some do not get money, some do not get love and so on and so forth. In that sense, we are all drigus; we all want something. It is quite clear we will not get it on our own. We need help. Someone outside of us, a totally different type of person, with different set of skills has to help us.

Spiritually how are we drigus?

We all have three qualities in us in varying proportions. They are, tamas, rajas and Sattwa. There is lot of tamas in us. Tamas means indolence, sloth, indifference, tendency to delay and procrastinate. A very young child sleeps a lot. And boy, does that slumber go! If we were 90% tamas, we would be so lazy we would hardly take care of our body and physical needs but we are not like that. Then rajas represents activity and hyperactivity we indulge in for the selfish fulfillment of our desires and to acquire objects of our desire. Rajas is better than tamas.

We earn, live properly and take care at least of ourselves and our families. Rajas keeps a man selfish and entangled in the pursuits of this world leaving almost no time for higher spiritual pursuits.

Sattwa of course then appears to be the best part. We cannot be without tamas and rajas. However, we need a lot of Sattwa less of rajas and little of tamas.  Sattwa represents truth and purity. Finally, we have to develop Sattwa to make proper sense of this world.

Just as a beggar can hardly do anything to help himself, a man drowned in too much tamas cannot lift himself by himself. that is where spiritual help comes in. we can help him by way of giving knowledge and awakening him to a better way of life. He improves a little and then slips back into old patterns of behaviour. And we have to start all over again.

Likewise, another man caught up in rajas, also needs help to go toward Sattwa. As he progresses, he slips back slips back into old patterns of behaviour. And we have to start all over again. We have to help them no matter what. That is our duty on the path of righteousness.

GREATNESS OF GOD

We do all this and more for His Glory. In Hormazd Yasht, Ahura Mazda says He is Self Existent. No one created Him. HE is Supreme. If there is any other source that created Him or existed with Him, then he would not be Supreme. But He is! Zarathosht Saheb acknowledges him as the first one at creation. Then He calls himself as our Protector.

He declares Himself as the cause of all holiness or righteousness.

GOD HAS SIX OPULENCES

WEALTH (meaning abundance, prosperity), POWER, FAME, BEAUTY, WISDOM AND RENUNCIATION (He is in His creations but not limited thereby).

GOD TELLS US WHAT NOT TO DO

  1. “Stop Worrying”: Have u forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you?
  2. Put it on List: – not yours but My List. I cannot help you until you turn it over totally to me.
  3. Trust Me: Once you’ve given me your burdens quit trying to take them back or trying to handle the clumsy way you did in the past before. Have faith that I will take care of all your needs, problems and trials. I am always glad to help u but you have to ask, and come to me.
  4. Leave It Alone. You gave me your burdens, I am taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Leave them with me and forget about them. Just let me do my job
  5. Talk to Me: I want you to never forget this one thing-please don’t forget to talk to me often. Include me in all things going on in your life. Look upon me as your dearest friend and I also look upon u as my dearest friend.
  6. Have Faith. From my station, I can see much more you can almost see nothing from the ground level where you are entangled in your problems.
  7. Share: Share with lesser fortunates. Rajasik man thinks others wealth is for my pleasure; Sattwic man thinks my wealth is for the welfare of others. Give encouragement to those who need it. Share your happiness, your laughter, your tears, your FAITH with those who need it.
  8. Be Patient: Trust in my timing for that is perfect. Your sense of time, that is what to get when is based on emotions, mine is based upon perfect knowledge of your Karma. I give and with hold; both are to your advantage.
  9. Be Kind: To others I love them as much as I love you. his problems bother him as your problems do you.
  10. Love yourself. Stop blaming and being angry with yourself. You are precious to me.

BENEFITS OF THE SURRENDER

Ego becomes less

We are more at peace

Imagined differences between people become less

You drop your faulty vision, u can see truth as it is.

We pray to be attuned to HIM. We are attuned to HIM in thought, word and deed. If this union becomes perfect and perfectly irrevocable, then the Creator and the Creation are one. We carry His holiness in ourselves. We are as pure as Him. In this world, we forget that purity and fall prey to evil and pollute our lives. Otherwise, we are totally pure.

At the level of an individual the plan is of Humata-Hukhta-Hvarshta so that a person can do good, become righteous, contribute to  making the world better and merit his place in Light in the hereafter.

The mention of good deeds generally brings “charity” to mind.

Surrender can only bring humility. We often review the traits and virtues represented by the Amesha Spentas. Spenta Arimaity, so called feminine divinity, represents devotion or piety. We should be receptive or we will not get divine knowledge or intuition. All these Amesha Spentas give us some spiritual power. We grow with them, under their Grace. That Grace is but an extension of the Grace of Dadar Ahura Mazda.

If we dissolve ego and become pious, we become kind and compassionate. These are the virtues of the brave. Kind forgiving people are not weak but powerful people. If we tread the path with perfect unflinching devotion, we will be more powerful; we will receive the Grace of Kshathra Vairya, Shahrewar Ameshaspand.

*****

We thank Mr. Adil Firoze Rangoonwalla, for sharing this article and giving us the permission to publish it, in the larger interest of the community.

The Lost Meaning of TRUSTEES

trustees.jpg

The Lost meaning of TRUSTEES

The Parsi community members of Mumbai are witnessing social media fight between the Trustees of the grand old institution, The BPP. The New Year fire crackers over social media are much louder, of longer duration and spectacular, than even the Burj Khalifa fire crackers, which holds the world record. To most of the community members, it is absolutely disgusting, ridiculous and shameful.

It seems the role of a trustee is unclear to most stakeholders, including many trustees & leaders of BPP. Trustees are supposed to be the lead actors in the founding stories of every institution. Trustees are also understood to have a duty of loyalty, a duty of care, and a duty of obedience. The duty of loyalty requires directors and trustees to put aside their personal interests in favor of the interests of the community they serve. A trustee ethic begins with trust being extended and with the acceptance of that trust. Those who are chosen, selected, or elected as trustees respond in trust, fidelity, loyalty, and care. In the reciprocity of trust, a moral relationship to the community members is aroused. A relationship rooted in trust is the motive force in engendering a sense of moral accountability and stewardship. It is precisely because trustees are entrusted that a sense of moral responsibility for community is created.

The moral responsibilities of trustees extend beyond legal obligations. It is important to state that ethics is not a matter of simply enunciating rules or moral codes, rather it is the application of moral understanding to situations and contexts. Community members look forward to each Trustee as their role model and look for true leadership qualities.

Let me list down some of the points, what we understand and expect from our Trustees/Board:

Definitions of Trustee:

  • Group of members who manages money of the community
  • One to whom everything is entrusted
  • One occupying a position of TRUST
  • One who has fiduciary duty to act in best interest of beneficiary (community)
  • One who ensures no misuse of community assets

Moral Duties:

  • To be role model for the community they serve.
  • To be morally bound to handle matters in responsible and productive manner
  • Under absolute moral obligation to act solely for the benefit of community and not for personal interests.
  • Morally accountable to preserve faithfully the institution’s founding purposes.

What the community looks for in each one of them:

  • Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds from each member.
  • Leadership Qualities, create good examples and resolve their issues
  • Teamwork between the Board members demonstrating UNITY.
  • Creating congenial environment in the society
  • A Role Model for the future generations.
  • One who will passionately stand by for the community rights.
  • Most importantly one who demonstrates the teachings & principles of Zarathustra, in their day to day interactions.

What is our community witnessing now?:

  • Mud Slinging, Naming & Shaming and ridiculing each other on daily basis
  • Allegations of criminal offenses
  • Cross allegations and defamation threats
  • Police threats and what not.

As many community members said, it is nothing less than washing the dirty linen in public. While some advice ‘Please don’t hang your dirty laundry on social media”. It also gives a feeling that probably no community in the recent past has washed more dirty laundry in public than we have.

It seems we have forgotten Zarathushtra’s prime objectives, and we judge ourselves and others by the prestige of our positions, the size of our bank accounts, the make of our cars, the size of our houses. In the light of all the above, we may say BPP today needs the true spirit of Zoroastrianism for revitalizing itself. There seems to be restlessness and fights due to loss of spiritual and ethical values.

Wordsworth put it well when he said:

“The world is too much with us, Late and soon, getting and spending, We lay waste our powers. Little we see in nature that is ours….,.”

To sum up, it is my humble suggestion to all the stakeholders/trustees/board members, to absorb the wise words of Zarathustra in true spirit, who said: Think creatively, constructively, rationally, originally and independently with your head; love fully, universally and joyously with your heart; and live dynamically in total goodness by using your hand to serve mankind in the cause of unity and peace.

Ushta Te

Yashan Jokhi

This post is not meant to demean, insult or ridicule any individual, group, or institution.

 

ZOROASTRIANISM ALPHABETS

ZOROASTRIANISM ALPHABETS (with a Persian touch)

A is for Afrinagan

Afrinagan is a blessing ceremony for the congregation or a memorial service for the departed members of the community. Afrinagan ceremony is also known as the flower ritual because flowers play an important role in this ceremony.  Afrinagan is also the name of a vessel for holding the sacred fire.

B is for Bahman

Bahman or Vohuman means Good Mind. Bahman is one of God’s sixth qualities or aspects. These aspects are collectively known as Amesha Spentas or Bountiful Immortals. Good Mind helps us decide what’s good or evil. If we choose to live our life based on Bahman (Vohuman), then we will get closer to God and we will be blessed with happiness and immortality. ​
Bahman is also the name of the second month of winter in the Zoroastrian calendar. Some Zoroastrians believe that Bahman is the protector of animals.

C is for Chahar Shanbe Suri

Chahar Shanbe Suri is celebrated every year on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year. On this day, people set up bonfires at their homes or parks and jump over them to be healthy and happy. Another ritual is to cover oneself in a white sheet to look like a ghost and go door to door banging on the pots and pans asking for money and treats (much like the Halloween).

D is for Denkard

The Denkard is a Zoroastrian medieval text written in the 10th century CE. It contains many different myths and stories about Zarathushtra’s life and birth. The   Denkard had nine volumes originally, but the first and the second volumes have   been lost. The Denkard is an important book because it gives us a lot of information about Zarathushtra’s life.

E is for Ervad

Ervad or Herbad is a title for Zoroastrian priests. Another name for a Zoroastrian priest is mobed. A Mobed teaches the Zoroastrian beliefs. Mobeds usually perform prayer services in a fire temple in front of a sacred fire. A fire temple is a Zoroastrian place of worship. Fire is important for Zoroastrians because it is God’s seventh creation, and it is the symbol of light. Zoroastrians honor fire but they never worship it.

F is for Faravahar

Farvahar is a symbol of Zoroastrianism and its history goes back to ancient Egypt and Persia. Farvahar represents good thoughts, good words and good deeds. The symbol shows a man holding a disc in his hand and having two wings. The man is the symbol of wisdom, while the wings represent good and evil. Today Farvahar represents Iranian nationalism and identity. Many non-Zoroastrians use the Farvahar to show their love of Iranian ancient history and culture.

G is for Gahambar

Gahambars are seasonal festivals celebrated in honor of God’s six creations: Sky, Waters, Earth, Plants, Cattle and People. There are six different Gahambars in a year. Gahambars are good occasion for Zoroastrians to get together for prayers and feasting. Gahambars are usually celebrated for five days.

H is for Haurvatat

Haurvatat (Khordad) means perfection and it is one of God’s six aspects. Haurvatat is always accompanied by Amartat (immortality), and they are both members of the Amesha Spentas. The Gathas tell us that we should try our best to gain perfection and immortality by being truthful.
It also tell us that the truthful people will be rewarded with perfection and immortality. Traditional Zoroastrians consider Haurvatat as the guardian angel of waters. Haurvatat (Khordad) is the third month of spring and it starts on May 22nd.

I is for Iran

Iran is an ancient country in the Middle East. Although majority of Iranians today are Muslims, Iran has a rich pre-Islamic history which goes back to 7000 BCE. Zoroastrianism started in Central Asia among the Iranian tribes more than 3500 years ago, but it eventually became a dominant religion in the Iranian plateau.
​From Iran, Zoroastrianism spread to Mesopotamia and Asia Minor.  Zoroastrianism has influenced Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Ideas such as belief in one God, the afterlife and good and evil have all originated from Zoroastrianism.

J is for Jashan

Jashan is a Zoroastrian thanksgiving ceremony. It is conducted to celebrate the birth of a child, a graduation, an engagement or some other happy occasion. The ceremony can take place in a temple or at home. A Jashan is usually led by one or more mobeds.
Jashan is usually performed around a white tablecloth set with various items such as flowers, fruits, milk, water, fire or a divo (oil lamp) among other things. The ceremony starts with a prayer service and ends with a reception accompanied by food and music.

K is for ​Koshti/Kushti/Kasti

Devout Zoroastrians always wear a white shirt known as Sadreh under their clothing, and they tie a sacred cord around their waist. This cord is known as Koshti. The Sadreh is the symbol of purity and Koshti symbolizes the commitment to service and truth. A Koshti has 72 strands which symbolizes the 72 chapters of Yasna (a section of the Avesta).

L is for Loban

Before bedtime, some traditional Zoroastrians burn a small fire with incense, sandalwood or frankincense.  They take this fire and walk around their homes fumigating the entire home while reciting prayers. This ceremony is called Loban. It is said that Loban helps with sleeping and disinfect the house at the same time.

M is for Mashya and Mashyana

According to the Zoroastrian creation story Ahura Mazda created the First Man named Gayomard (Kiyomars). The First Man was attacked by the Evil Spirit, Ahriman and was killed.
From his dead body grew a rhubarb plant and from this rhubarb plant came out a man called Mashya and a woman Mashyana who were connected together. They were exactly the same and equal.
According to this myth, Mashya and Mahyana promised God to follow good thoughts, good words and good deeds, so God gave them body and soul. After that, they went on to have 15 twins who scattered all around the world and made various races.

N is for ​Nabor

Zoroastrians do not believe in fasting. However, they avoid eating meat 4 days a month. These 4 days are called Nabor which means “don’t cut.”  In the Zoroastrian calendar each day of the month has a name. Nabor always falls on Gush, Ram, Mah and Vohuman, which coincides with  2nd, 12th, 14th and 21st day of the Zoroastrian month.

O is for Ohrmazd

​Ohrmazd is another name for Ahura Mazda the Zoroastrian God. Zoroastrians believe in one God who is the Creator of the world. They believe that people have been created to help Ohrmazd make the world a better place to live. That’s why destroying poverty, protecting the Earth, and fighting injustice is very important for Zoroastrians.

Ohrmazd (Ahura Mazda) has created the freedom for people to worship and live their lives as best as they can. That’s why Ohrmazd does not get angry, take revenge or hate. God is kind, peaceful and generous to everyone.

P is for Pir-e Sabz

Pir-e Sabz is the most sacred Zoroastrian shrine. It is located beneath a cliff near the desert city of Yazd. The legend says that a daughter of Yazdigird III, the last Zoroastrian King of Iran, fled to these mountains and took refuge there from invading Muslim army. Zoroastrians visit this shrine every year on June 14th to 18th.

Q is for Qissa-i Sanjan

Qissa-I Sanjan in Persian means the Story of Sanjan. This story was written by Bahman Keikobad in the 17th century. The Story of Sanjan tells the story of those Zoroastrians who migrated to India in the tenth century to escape Muslim persecution. These Zoroastrians are known today as the Parsis. Many Parsis became successful businessmen and contributed greatly to the development of India. They built factories, hospitals, schools and many orphanages.

R is for ​Rivayat

The Rivayat are a collection of letters in Persian sent from Iran to the Parsis of India. These letters were composed between 15th to 18th centuries. The letters consist of answers from Iranian mobeds to Parsi mobeds’ various religious questions.

S is for Soshyant

Soshyant is someone who is a benefactor. Zarathushtra calls himself a Soshyant. Anybody who makes the world a better place to live is a Soshyant.  Later tradition, however, says a Soshyant is a future savior who will appear at the end of the world to save the people from injustice. Traditional Zoroastrians believe in three different Soshyants who will appear in future.

T is for Topi

Topi is a prayer cap worn by Zoroastrian men and youth when they want to pray. Topis are usually white and made of cotton. However, some people wear colorful satin or velvet topis. Zoroastrians believe wearing a topi will strengthen their prayers. ​

U is for Ushahin

Zoroastrians traditionally divide a day to five different periods or gahs and pray at each gah. The gah (period) between midnight to dawn is called Ushahin. Devout Zoroastrians clean themselves. Then they stand toward the sun or a light and pray.
The Ushahin prayer says, “We worship Ahura Mazda who is highest in righteousness. We honor all the teachings of Zarathushtra. We honor all the good deeds done in the past, present and future. We honor all the good people, both men and women, whom Ahura Mazda knows best. We honor them as well.”

V is for Vishtaspa

Vishtaspa was a powerful king who helped and supported Zarathushtra. After King Vishtaspa converted to the Zoroastrian religion, his minister Jamaspa and his wife Queen Atoosa followed.  King Vishtaspa’s conversion to the Zoroastrian religion helped Zarathushtra spread his Message. The tradition says that Jamaspa later married Zarathustra’s youngest daughter, Pourchista.

W is for Wadia

Wadias are a successful Parsi family originated from Surat, a city in Western India. Wadia means shipbuilder. In the 18th century, the Wadias started a company making ships and later buildings, bridges and dams.
​One member of the Wadia family was Ness Wadia who established the first wireless company which connected India and Britain for the first time. In 1919 he became the first Indian to be awarded the Knighthood of the British Empire. Today Wadia family members contribute greatly to India’s culture and economy.

X is for Xerxes

Xerxes was a Zoroastrian king who lived in the fifth century BCE. Xerxes’s grandfather was Cyrus the Great. Cyrus conquered many places and freed the Jews from captivity in Babylon. Cyrus respected the conquered people’s religions, customs and language. His human rights charter is knowns today as Cyrus Cylinder and it’s the oldest declaration of human rights in history.

Y is for Yazatas

Yazatas are the divine beings worthy of worship. Traditional Zoroastrians consider them as guardian angels while other Zoroastrians see them as God’s different aspects.  The Gathas do not mention the Yazatas by name, but today some Zoroastrians pray to them for help.
​One of the most important Yazatas is Anahita who was a divine water goddess before Zoroastrianism.  People today consider Anahita as an guardian angel,  and they pray to her for health and happiness. ​

Z is for Zarathushtra

Zarathushtra Spitaman is the founder of the religion of Zoroastrianism (Din e Behi). The ancient Greeks knew him as Zoroaster. In Iran today, people lovingly call him Ashu Zartosht (the righteous Zartosht). Zarathushtra was the first monotheist. This means he was the first person who believed in one God. He was also the first environmentalist because he asked his followers to protect the environment.

The above Alphabetical representation is compiled by Rebecca Cann and we thank her for giving us the permission to publish it here, in the larger interest of the Zoroastrian Community.

We hope our children will benefit from this wonderful pictorial compilation.

Ushta Te.

 

TALENT UNLEASHED – “PARSI CRICKETER SHINES”

TALENT UNLEASHED – “PARSI CRICKETER SHINES”

Arzan Rohinton Nagwaswalla, in an exclusive interaction with Zoroastrian Connection, reveals an interesting insight to his success story.

Parsi cricketer, Arzan Nagwaswalla made our community proud, with a stupendous bowling performance, representing Gujarat, that bamboozled Mumbai in their own den Wankhede Stadium. Arzan (Bawa to his teammates) came up with a five-wicket haul (5/78) and also indicated with resonating conviction that it is a long way to go as far as cricketing legacy of the Parsis is concerned.

I just don’t want to play for India, but become a regular member of the squad” says the cool & composed Arzan to Zoroastrian Connection. Below are the major excerpts of his interaction with us:

Ques : A little about yourself.

Ans : I am Arzan Rohinton Nagwaswalla, born on 17th Oct 1997, in Shahpore area, Surat, son of Mr. Rohinton Ratanshah Nagwaswalla and Mrs. Maheru Rohinton Nagwaswalla. I belong to a small village called Nargol in Valsad near Umergaon.

Ques : What motivated you to play professional cricket and since what age?

Ans :  My passion towards cricket motivated me and I started playing since 16 years of age, which is probably quite late.

Ques : Who are your role models and your coach?

Ans : My role models are Zaheer Khan and Wasim Akram and yes I have a personal coach whose name is Kiran Tandel who himself is a Ranji Trophy Player.

Ques : What is your practice schedule and where do you practice?

Ans : Due to my college timings I could not go for practice in the morning, but in the evening hours I practice for about 2 hours followed by gym or running . During vacation I practice 2 times a day.

Ques : What are your future goals and ambitions?

Ans : Every cricketer wants to play for India but I don’t just want to play for India but become a regular member of the squad.

Ques : Do you see any challenges to achieve your goals ?

Ans : We will find a new challenge everyday, but my plan is just to remain calm and give sincere efforts towards cricket.

Ques :  How about your studies ?

Ans : I am studying in T.Y.B.B.A in SSR college Silvassa.

Ques : What is your message to the youngsters?

Ans : I would just like to say that enjoy yourself in whatever you are doing.

Arzan is very focused and clear on his way to the Top. Parsis have played an important part in Indian cricket history. Parsis were the first Indian side to visit England in 1886. Parsis such as Farrokh Engineer, Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor, have played for the Indian cricket teams over the years. The last big name being India women’s captain Diana Edulji. At Gujarat state level, the last name we heard was Jal Unwalla way back in late eighties/early nineties.

The youngster has not played club cricket, but he has trained under former Ranji Trophy players. “There are no clubs. My village Umbergaon is on the border of Maharashtra. We had a few Ranji players at our place and I worked under them. I got interest and then the opportunities one after another.” said Arzan to the media earlier.

Arzan isn’t aware if whether Parsi cricketers still play cricket in domestic circuit. “Mine is not a cricket background. I knew there were Parsi players, who played for India and I know some names. However, I don’t know about the current situation…who is playing or not.”

“I am the youngest player in my town. Not many from my community are left back there and they have either moved to Mumbai or migrated elsewhere,” said Nagwaswalla to the media earlier.

Arzan Nagwaswalla is the youngest member of the well-populated Parsi community in the village of Nargol, situated a few kilometers from the border town of Umbergaon in Gujarat. In fact, he’s the only one of his entire generation who’s stayed back. The rest, he reveals, left for the greener pastures of Mumbai a long time ago. The family’s reason to not follow suit was his cricket. It’s a sport that the left-arm medium-pacer had picked up at an early age from his elder brother Vispi. It’s a sport that his community once dominated and pioneered in the country before losing ground to such an extent that Parsis in cricket became a misnomer.

Nagwaswalla’s decision to stay put paid dividends as he emerged rapidly through the junior ranks in Gujarat. And then last week, he landed up in a city, where Parsis incidentally once held major sway over what was their sport, to send back half the Mumbai batting line-up on Day One. But it was Nagwaswalla who came back to put an end to it, on a day a Parsi dominated Mumbai in Mumbai, to rekindle one of Indian cricket’s oldest love affairs.

Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer, who was the last Parsee cricketer to represent the country, expressed his concern over Parsees losing interest in playing serious cricket. However, Engineer would be delighted to note that Gujarat’s Umbergaon-based left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla became the first Ranji Trophy Parsee cricketer after Mumbai’s Zubin Bharucha, who played from 1992 to 1995. The last Parsi gentleman from Gujarat, who played all major tournaments including for Gujarat University, which makes players eligible for Ranji selections was Jal Soli Unwala, now a noted High Court lawyer.

Arzan brings in lots of god gifted talent, is determined and very passionate towards his love for the game. We wish him all the success for his future and look forward to seeing him play for our motherland India soon.

May Ahura Mazda Bless him always! USHTA TE.

******

A few photos of Arzan:

 

SPENTA MAINYU – By : Anamitra Dasgupta

mainyu.jpg

Spenta-Mainyu

By Anamitra Dasgupta

 

Introduction

  1. What is “Spenta-Mainyu”? Let’s meander first into an introduction.
    Let’s take it for granted that Ahuramazda is unknowable; and we as formed, human beings, are without that hinge upon which to relate to Ahuramazda.

 

  1. So then let us say that Ahuramazda is beyond Form; beyond Definition. Let us say that Mazda-Ahura is beyond emotion, rationale, nature, ability; beyond any form even in the realm of imagination.

 

  1. One may superficially relate with Ahuramazda as “Supreme Consciousness”. Yet, let us say that to attempt and define Ahuramazda as “Supreme Consciousness” is but an expression of our own limits of what we think Ahuramazda to be; just our “ideas” of what “Supreme Consciousness” implies. So it would seem that Ahuramazda cannot be described even; how can It? How do you describe that which reposes beyond every definition? God does not conform to human terms of intellectual measuring tapes.

 

  1. So it follows that it wouldn’t be wrong to say, that Ahuramazda is “All, Everything and Nothing” through time and timelessness. Ahuramazda is One and All; the All within One and the One within All. Ahuramazda is beyond classification; even the terms largest or vast are infinitesimally tiny points within Ahuramazda; so tiny as to be non-existent. Ahuramazda is “Everything”; and that possibility includes “Nothing at All”.

 

  1. Ahuramazda indeed is beyond measure. Large, larger and largest; defined; indefinite; non-existent – are all “nothing” in the face of Ahuramazda.

 

 

  1. I believe that this was the very first manifested truth that Zarathushtra encountered in His first path of Realisation. He found “nothing” to relate to. How does one relate to nothing?

 

  1. Zarathushtra used his “Mind”, therefore. What “Mind”?

 

  1. The original, primordial mind that reposes in all life forms; the everlasting mind that exists on its own, and which we perceive through our experiences. Ancient Indians called it “Manas”; in Avesta, it is “Manah”. The Manas as a rational concept is “Medha” in Sanskrit. In Avesta, it is known as “Mazda”. It is the first eternal concept seen as tangibly present and thus existent within every Seeker; as it is amongst all, even the most ignorant. We cannot limit and measure the Manas. But we all encounter it. The Hindu name “Sumedha” would be the Avestan “Humazda” without losing either outer meaning, or inner implication.

 

  1. So, Manas; or Mazda. This is the “Eternal Mind” that reposes beyond every physical, intellectual, emotional, and etheric definitions of Mind. We experience the same mind from our lower, limited perspective; which is the brain-centric- mind that yet is rooted at the basic, lower, logical strata of consciousness, always in ceaseless search for rationale and the rational; incessantly seeking logic and form and evidence for the existence; in short, always in the quest of relatable reason – while being unaware of the Manas or Mazda, which is Eternal Consciousness; and which is the fount of all life.

 

  1. Ahuramazda is the “Eternal Consciousness”. To experience Ahuramazda is to be realised of the Consciousness and to be in that “Eternal State of Being” – which is the Vohumana within. And yet, What have we done here? Through all our meanderings, we have again defined the indefinite; and thus we have yet again reduced Ahuramazda within an attribute of Itself!

 

  1. From the human standpoint, what we describe as our “Mind” and the “Centre of Our Reason” are in fact just evidences of our brains working and perceiving – as brains normally are fashioned to do. Incarnate physically, for us to be able to relate to anything at all, we need to perceive. Without that ability of perception, we would be akin to vegetables. Yes, Reason needs to be perceived; and thus experienced. Living with our brain, we start by perceiving though our “senses”.

 

  1. Consequently, what is sensually perceived and experienced becomes our “truth”. Such truth, rooted in the brain, is merely a reflection of physical phenomenon. Truth, then, is transitory; it is limited. My brain will burn one day; vaporise. All that I stand for today, will be nothing one day. So what is true? What is consciousness? And what am I, then?

 

  • The truth then is that Creation is as it is and not how we perceive it to be, from our base, mental, emotional and tactile To be precise, Eternity is greater in ways that we cannot ever perceive. Speaking from the perspective of physical size, Creation is so large, that we can never measure it; never intellectually know its scope. But to realise the nature of Creation, we may first be “realised” of ourselves – that we are not finite creatures, but incarnations of the infinite; the incredible. That we are eternal in every way that is beyond measure. We are Creation. Within us – from the lowest to the highest, exists the same Universe which is our Source and Destination! We are Life. We are the Glory!

 

Spenta-Mainyu

 

  1. To know the “Primordial Nature of Life” from the all-embracing standpoint of “Higher Rationality” is to know the “Spenta-Mainyu”. The word “Spenta” is the Vedic “Svintha”. While it may denote “holy”, it is holy in a way that is impossible for any contemporary language to ever communicate.

 

  1. So let us go back to Ahuramazda’s unknowable Nature. Unknowable, and yet, Ahuramazda has created life in such a manner that nothing is “closed” or “secret” to the life form that may desire to know Ahuramazda, reach, It, touch It; claim It; and merge into this Absolute Beloved – this only source, fountain, Alpha and Omega of Love and Light.

 

  1. Let us say that the only Divine Attributes to Ahuramazda is the “Reality of its Existence” – and we shall call it the First Principle, or the “Word of God”. Let us term this, for our edification alone, as the “Primordial Vibration”. To us, it means nothing; this is a concept that we cannot relate with. Going on further, if there is a primordial vibration, then it follows that it should be perceivable. Which means, that it should be accompanied always, by “Primordial Illumination” – “The Light of God”. So, in very superficial terms, Ahuramazda’s unknowable attributes are hinged upon the Holy Vibration” – the “Word of God” which is nothing but the Seed of Creation; and the Light with which it Illuminates Everything – the “Light of God”. These two primordial concepts are inseparable in relation to each other; and the conceptual entity formed out of this inseparable Union is known as Spenta-Mainyu. Spenta-Mainyu is a perfect Balance between the Holy Word, which is Ahuramazda’s Holy Name; and the Holy Light; which is Primordial Illumination; manifested out of Ahuramazda. Personified through later usage, we also know this illumination to be “Mithra”. So, the very primordial Manifestation of Ahuramazda “through a relatable idea” is the Spenta-Mainyu.

 

  1. So, to be precise, the two absolute concepts of primordial vibration and primordial illumination mingle in absolute perfection. And out of this Holy Union, is formed the first Primordial “Relatable” Being; this is the Spenta-Mainyu.

 

  1. The Spenta-Mainyu superficially termed “Holy Spirit” by a limited scholarship that has tended to relate with and decipher the Daena Vangehui using Abrahamic yardsticks of measure evolved by Judeo-Christian methodology.

 

  1. Spenta-Mainyu is not “Holy” as we understand it. Rather, it is “God’s Manifestation in Spirit”, if such terminologies are appropriate; and Spenta-Mainyu works only as Ahuramazda’s Unknowable and Eternal Life-Force; and it must work out here, in created time-bound physical universes, as knowable events. The only way to be “aware” of that “idea” is to be Conscious of it; such a Consciousness is “Realised”; and thereby, we know it as the “Vohumana” – “Brahman”, as we call it amongst us Hindus; it implies “Total Rationale”. Vohumana is beyond tangible experience lower forms of the rational, such as logic, logical positions; Vohumana is beyond knowledge itself – for it is “Realisation”.

 

  1. If Spenta-Mainyu is the first Manifestation of Ahuramazda in Its totality, then Vohumana is Ahuramazda’s Rationale. Vohumana and Spenta-Mainyu are inseparable in Principle; so are all the Amesha-Spenta, though we have termed Them and know of Them in Separation. But that may form a different discussion.

 

Angre-Mainyu

 

  1. Where exists Spenta-Mainyu, as “An Idea“, an “Opposing Idea” must also exist. A coin must have two sides. If we can’t decipher any one side in relation to the other, then we’re either seriously unwell, or dead.

 

  1. Anyway, this apparent insurmountable reality is known as “Dualism”. The formed Universe can never be free from duality. Unity can only be found in the unformed Consciousness; it reposes beyond the limits of the formed Universe; Duality then, is an Illusion – Maya as we Hindus call it. Angre-Mainyu is the Principle that animates Maya.

 

  1. So “Angremainyu” is the “idea”: the antitheses of “Spenta-Mainyu”. Where the Spenta Mainyu is representative of Total Balance, Angremainyu is then, the Essence of Chaos. If Spenta-Mainyu expresses the deeper, impersonal Good, then Angremainyu illustrates, personal negation of that Good; if Spenta-Mainyu is “Light” then Angremainyu is the negation of Light; it is then, absolute darkness. But then, once expressed, these ideas, though in negation, must “live” together”, for they too, in this Universe, must bow to the Laws of Creation, and be expressed in duality – as Good and Evil, and as Light and Darkness; wherein, in truth, they are One; and simultaneously, the Antitheses of that One; depending purely upon perception alone. However, the truth is that there are not Two Principles, but only One, and that is the Father and Mother of them all – Ahuramazda. This is why good and bad are subjective only; and repose in the senses; and this is why it is said that good and bad are the two sides of the same coin.

 

  1. Ahriman in my humble opinion, is the “devolution” of Angremainyu into an “entity” closer to the Judeo-Christian Satan. In short, and superficially Ahriman may be called the “Devil”. Interestingly, though, the “Devil” here is not the Devil of Possessions; but rather, it is the entity that acts to manifest and accentuate hurt, pain, fear, horror; in effect, acts to perpetuate the darkness of ignorance. To understand this, I had to take for granted that the idea of Angremainyu is impersonal; and unknowable. But Ahriman is an entity, which is an “expression” of what Angremainyu is supposedly representative of.

 

  1. So in short, “Angremainyu” is the same Spenta-Mainyu seen as its Own Antitheses while Ahriman is just a poor Devil. People relate to poor devils; no one can relate to Angremainyu. Ahriman is a “formed” entity to keep people in thrall; Angremainyu does not inspire fear; this is because it cannot be related to. Does Spenta-Mainyu instigate feelings of love? No. It cannot be related to. All we can relate to is the Consciousness – Vohumana; surrender to it; and then –

 

“Humatem Mano; Huktem Vacho; Hvarashtem Sayothanem”.

 

Note

  1. My Zoroastrian brothers and sisters who read this may conclude that I have utilised Hinduism to explain the Daena Vangehui. There may be creeping suspicion even that I peddling Hindu ideas disguised in Zoroastrian terminology. I may assure them that this is not at all the case. To these brothers and sisters I do say that Zoroastrianism, as we tend to relate to it today and understand it, is a formed religion structured very carefully and evolved jealously in Sassanian times – a very Abrahamic religion – we shall not go into political reasons here. The Sassanians shaped their religion to serve the Sassanian Empire; its geo-political mandate; and its diverse body-polity.

 

  1. To us seekers, then, it becomes doubly pertinent to realise, that to know the Path of Zarathushtra, we must go back to the Teachings at Source – and these repose in hoary, ancient, fantastic antiquity – beyond the reach of both religion or scholarship as they are at present established. These teachings are non-binding and unitary; and known as the Daena Vangehui. They serve not an Empire, but forever serve the intensely personal, individual self, which seeks to realise itself and merge into Ahuramazda’s illumination. The Path of Zarathushtra is Universal!

 

  1. The Daena Vangehui is Vedic; and shall not be deciphered in any form by the empirical, evidentiary intellectual-scholarship that is evident today; nor shall it be rediscovered in literal dissertations of Zoroastrian liturgy created as recently as 2000 years ago. However, a reflection of the Daena Vangehui shall be found in the holiest of all insights, which are reverently preserved in the Holy Gathas; in the Ahunavar; the Ashem Vohu – and in the simplest of all timeless precepts as enshrined within the simple words – Humata, Hukhta, Hvarashta.

 

  1. Unto my noble mother do I pledge the above knowledge; she, who has taught me much of what I know. Unto her, Barakat Ba’shad.

 

About the Author: Anamitra Dasgupta

Anamitra Dasgupta lives in Bombay. He’s a writer, film maker, research scholar and musician. He’s a family man who in his free time likes nothing better than to fly model airplanes with his daughter and eat dhun-daar-patiyo with the rest of his family. His wife is Parsi of illustrious lineage. Anamitra Dasgupta draws his inspiration from the Noble Zarathushtra, whom he considers as his own Guru.

Anamitra with his soulmate Rashna Sethna Dasgupta

Bombay

25 October 2018