Aim of this Blog
There is something very wrong with the world that we are made to see around us. Human Society is not happy, there is
protest, discontentment, poverty, inequality, greed, corruption, Ego, Fanatics’, Agnostics’, natural calamities occurring with frightening regularity and above all Global terrorism which just does not want to call it a day.In short there is chaos everywhere. One word that can describe all this is “Qayamat”. In Jamasphi” and at many places in our Zoroastrian scriptures like“Chithrem Buyaat” prayers, it is mentioned that time is near for Shah Behram Varjawand our Saviour to come in this Qayamat and revive us and our Deen. The Saviours from other religions will also appear and will work together with a common goal for grooming mankind and his spiritual revival.
The Western Astrology call this as Aquarian age and phenomenon that we see today are occuring with lightening quickness. For we never knew that Communist USSR will disintegrate one day and fragment into many small nations, that Germany will one day be united, the revolution in Egypt, Syria, the fall of dictators, and China a sleeping giant awakening to technological boom are all an indicator that we are very much in this Aquarian age. The transition from the Age of Pisces to Aquarian Age is already taking its toll till we roll into Age of peace and calm. We are looking forward to being Optimistic and not being fatally Pessimists. Please see the link provided:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Aquarius
More than 100 years before in past when faith was at its lowest Nadir in our community without caring for deep religious significance when there was idle talks about futility of our time tested customs like Dokhmenashini, Rituals, Sudreh Kusti being only a symbol, Avesta Manthra prayers being considered as waste of time, faulty myopic thinking that offerings of sandalwood to Atash Padshah being waste of sound monetary resources which could have been better utilized for betterment of our community, lack of faith was the reason behind these ignorance’s. Ignorance coupled with arrogance was, and still is the main reason stymieing our spiritual progress.
The Zoroastrian hidden Masters in Demavand who are very much concerned about our community’s spiritual progress saw the need of sending a forerunner before the advent of Shah Behram Varjawand Saheb, and they chose Behramshah Nawroji Shroff whom his followers lovingly call him as Ustad Saheb. He brought amongst us Zoroastrian Mysticism called as Zarathosti Ilme-Khshnoom.
The word Khshnoom can be found even in our scriptures, so it is not something alien that is thrust on us. It is the revival of the lost knowledge called as Ilme-Khshnoom that our forefathers had with them that kept the flame of faith burning in their hearts, that Ustad saheb brought for us. The literature is penned down by his chosen and authorized disciples late Dr. Saheb Faramroze Sohrabji Chiniwala, and Late Jehangirji S. Chinwala.
Late Ervad Phiroze Shapurji Masani had for so many years maintained his publication “Frashogard” all under guidance of Ustad Saheb. Today we see that day by day our faith is again going downhill. The need of Saviour can only be felt when all seems to be lost towards Traditional cause. It is to rekindle that hope and faith and iron out unwarranted fear of our religion dying a premature death that this Blog will be looking forward to. The aim for starting this Blog is to translate the majority of Khshnoom literature that is in Gujarati writings of Late Chiniwala brothers and Late Phiroze Masani for the benefit of those genuinely interested in Zoroastrian Mysticism .
When there is too much of chaos nature allows it only up to a certain threshold limit, once it crosses the limits it puts a
full stop to it, for nature has its own ways of bringing Order out of Chaos.
So in mean time what are we Zarathosti Bastekustian supposed to do that will hasten the advent of Shah Behram Varjawand Saheb ? Are we supposed to look skywards and wait for him eternally ? His advent will much depend upon us also.
In nature there is a law of “Supply and Demand”. If the demand is there, supply is guaranteed. In Bible it is said that "Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find it, knock and the doors will open to you." ….. Mathew 7:7 Niv. Unfortunately the much needed knock never seems to happen and everybody is busy enjoying their fun filled moments and warns us to keep off limits of their rights and Freedom. But they seem to forget that behind every right that one asks for, there is a responsibility which is conveniently forgotten.
"RTI" also known as "Right to information"is blatantly misused in today's world of so called Freedom . Some want Freedom to enjoy whatever is appealing to them, but is considered as Taboo in Society. Not before all these false ideology will be swept away by fury of nature and realization of folly will dawn naturally aftermath,nevertheless too late by then, but the road will be paved for introducing Shah Behram Varjawand to the world.
In middle of face-off between two warring sides and Chaos, we will come to know the time of Varjawand Saheb's arrival automatically. As a Mother knows intuitively the time of delivery of the baby, we will feel the desperate pangs of labour like a Mother feels before her delivery.
Right now only a few are longing for his arrival but just as "A lone sparrow does not herald a spring" similarly one requires a collective thought force to set everything in motion. For that I had started a short exercise every 7.30 a.m. in morning but unfortunately we don’t seem to realize its importance. Till we are all vibrating with one frequency, other word is called as Hum Mithra, Varjawand Saheb’s advent will be a distant dream only. The exercise is as under to be followed by a Mithra every 7 a.m. or around that time frame. No need to be very rigid about time. The Mithra is as under:-
What is Hum Mithra:-
Man proposes and God disposes. Hence we requires Dadar Ahura Mazda’s blessings all the time for success and that is known as “Daham Afriti”. Without it we cannot move forward even an inch. But for his Daham Afriti to be assessable to us we require to think with one vibration in Hamoi, only then can we succeed in our purpose. Dadar Ahura Mazda is not happy when there is infighting so how can we receive his Daham Afreeti. This one thought force having selfless single pure vibration is known as Hum Mithra. The Law of cause and effect governs this universe so whatever incidents we see bad or good its cause has to be there. Every action has its reaction. The bad precedent that we are facing now after a crematorium is announced in Worli where innocent public are falling prey to it. Those encouraging Aramgah and such ashmogi are themselves the victims of their own deeds so we have to pity them instead of contempt for them and a calming thought has to be passed by us at a particular time collectively. If love is the language of angels then why should we be harsh to even our so called enemies. For in life there are no enemies, and everything is Karmic. The Bhali Dua is as under:-
Bhali Dua at 0730 am every morning:-
2 Yatha , 1 Ashem Vohu.
Those ignorant brothers and sisters opposing our age old customs of Dokhmenashini and believe in universality of our religion by inviting all to our holy places and Iranshah need our pity and not contempt for they are bitten by the demon of ignorance and arrogance. O Paak Dadar Ahura Mazda shower your choicest blessings upon them that they regain their lost faith and begin realizing that the true nature of religion is humility.
"Let no harm come upon the Traditional Zoroastrian flag and its values which are so dear to us. Let the reformists agenda and their nefarious plans never succeed. Let no harm befall upon Pavmahal of India that is - our Iranshah of Udwada and all Atash Behram, Atash Adran and Dadgah of India. Let not one day pass without Atash Parasti and our reverence towards Holy consecrated Fire(Pavmahal),Dokhmas, Sudreh Kusti, Mathravani which acts as a weapon to thwart evil. Enable us to protect our racial traits of Parsi Panu through Boonak Pasbani. Enable us to maintain our true “Zarathosti Khandani” by not intermarrying and continue with our Aryan Lineage intact. May the advent of Shah Behram Varjawand come soon, and before him may his forerunners arrive at the earliest and grant us spiritual strength to withstand evil around us. Let my Kusti Padiav and my Tarikats be helpful to nature to fight for the cause of righteousness against the evil negative forces of Drujis, and may it protect us all Zarathustis and entire humanity who live by their religion and its tenets. "Phiroj baad Khureh avizeh Vehdin e Mazdiyasnan" - Let the Khoreh of Mazdiyasni Zarathosti deen protect its faithful followers"
1 Yatha, 2 Ashem Vohu
Firdosh K Sukhia
Friday, April 13, 2012
The Zoroastrian Priesthood
The Zoroastrian priesthood is divided into 2 classes. One is called Magvans, the other is called as Athravans. Magvans do not marry as they are whole and complete with male and female counterpart combined as one. They are very few as could be counted on finger tips. They do not live amongst us but have a separate place known as Firdaus or paradise to be precise. We cannot enter in that Shangri-La nor do we know about its whereabouts, as they are intangible to us as they live in another dimension, but are yet living on this earth. The bulk of the priests are that of Athornan. They have to marry. To be technically precise an unmarried priest cannot be an Athravan. The whole Zoroastrian priesthood of Magavs and Athravan is divided into eight grades. The highest grade of Shrozaverez is of a Magav. The rest seven grades are of Athrawan. The names are:- 1) Fraberetar 2) Ab-beretar 3) Asnatar 4) Rathvishkar 5) Havanan 6) Athravax 7) Zaota 8) Shrosha Varez. The priests of all these seven grades are given special duties to perform ceremonies. These grades are nominated from the affiliations that they have to the Pav-Mahel deities of those names.
In every Pavmahal Yasnas there are seven commissions or duties to be performed under the auspices of those seven invisible angelic commissioners. The Athravan who does that duty of the commission under the auspices of its special angelic commissioners is known by the name of that angelic commissioner. Let us elaborate in detail the seven grades of Athravan:-
The angelic entity of “Fraberetar” is the general manager of the whole Pay Mahel, keeping the Gaas in proper order divine. The Âthravan under his auspices is also the general manager who sees to the needs of the ceremony and the other Âthravans who is at the bid and call service of the Âthravans.
The “Ab-beretar” is the angelic entity who turns to use the electo magnetic forces of the waters joining them with Khordad Amesaspant and the intervening link. The Âthravan under his auspices does all the management concerned with waters.
The “Asnatar” is the angelic entity who presides over the ceremonies of different kinds of purity giving baths. The Âthravan under his auspices is authorized to give different kinds of baths and to keep the talismans of Barashnum Gah in order. All about the baths of Barashnums and about the baths of pollutions is under his charge and lookout.
The “Rathvishkar” is the angelic entity who keeps up the sanctity and utility of the Alats specially when they are arranged on the stand during the Yasn. The Âthravan under his auspices does all the work that relates to Alats and their arrangement on the stand for ceremonies.
The “Havanan” is the angelic entity who is in connection with Hom Yazat and all the different departments managed by that Yazat upto the tree of Hom. This deity serves the Hom Yazat during the Yasn in his multifarious works concerned in the Yasn. The Âthravan under his auspices manages all about Hom which is to be used in the ceremony to be performed. He is thought fit to conduct the Yasn in the absence of Âthravax and Zaota.
The “Âthravax” is the angelic entity who conducts the fire energies in the Yasn to their legitimate end. The Âthravan under his auspices keep the fire energies working in proper order and brings the Yasn to the successful end. He is the one who conducts the Yasn becoming an assistant to the Zaota who is the chief conductor of the Yasn.
The “Zaota” is the angelic entity who brings about the attachment of the Yazat with the forces created during Yasn from the Alats. He sees that the purpose of the Yasn is well performed. The Âthravan under his auspices has reached the age of 52 who is the chief conductor of the Yasn, who manages the Yasn most successfully. He is fully attuned with forces created in the Yasn from the Alats and the Yazats that are invoked there.
The eight grade of Athravan is highest grade known as “Srosha Verez” is the angelic entity of Sarosh Yazat who is in direct communion with Ahûrmazd. He is ever anxious to get attuned with the consciousness and conscience of humanity so that humanity may tread on the proper path of piety. The Ashvan who is under his auspices is the head of the Magavs who all are holiest of holy. He is the highest of the Zoroastrian priesthood. He is constantly attuned with Sarosh Yazat. He keeps an eye over the management of the Pav Mahel and especially upon the Yasnas that are being performed. He can easily perceive any mishap which might occur in the ceremony which he can set right by many means at his command. His powers are absolute and unbounded which are utilized in the most equitable manner. He is justice incarnate and master of Ashoi. He has even the authority of forgiving sins, which is used rarely and in just cases. In the empire days great emperors acted according to his advice in matters spiritual or temporal…… Reference:- A Sequel to Essentials of Zoroastrianism Page 42, 43
There are 16 qualities of an Athravan. They are as under:-
……………………..Reference:- See Chart in Parsee Avaz dated 6.9.1970
A Zarathosti Dharma Guru before he can obtain 16 qualities of an Athravan has to pass through vigorous procedures of Graduations leading to two Spiritual degrees known as “Navar” and later “Marateb”. Such a Dharma Guru who has passed through Navar and Marateb can also be described as 1) Magav 2) Mubed 3) Yozdathregar 4) Dregu-Mard 5) Daham-Nar 6) Ashvan 7) Dastur etc. Zarathosti Deen has 72 steps of Ashoi that one has to pass through. Gradually one proceeds further step by step and after every 8 steps he has passed through one “Karsh”. Thus when we say that he is a three Karsh Ashvan which means that he has passed through 24 steps of Ashoi ( 8 x 3=24). In Zarathosti Deen a Mazdiyasni Bastekustian Zarathosti can be described technically in two ways. Namely 1) “Mashya” 2) “Nar” . Today we the Zarathosti’s of India and Iran who follow Zarathosti Farmans can be described as belonging to class of Mashya. Our Karma and Keshash is such that we all can be called as “Mazdiyasni Darvand” Bastekustian Zarathostis. Because of our Karma we cannot remain well balanced on Putman= Golden mean of Ashoi. Although our souls belong to Zarathosti Burjisi Jzhirum (where our religion comes in jurisdiction of planetary effects of planet Jupiter), we do not practice our religion as is intended to be followed in its true sense.
Our forebears who first stepped on soil of Sanjan on West coast of India had come with a specific purpose of preserving our Race and Religion till advent of Rainidar Shah Behram Varjavand Saheb in future. As mentioned in “Kisseh Sanjan” we Parsees are called as Srira, Dhura, Shura meaning that belonging to pure Aryan race were cream of the cream of original Aryan race and now under able leadership of Nar Asho Naryosang Dhaval this special Anjuman set sail for India from Province of Khurasan in Iran. For spiritual guidance there were nine Ashwan or Zarathosti Saints including a female Banoo Ashwan who accompanied the special Anjuman from Khurasan. As per Ustad Saheb Behramshah N. Shroff an Ashwan is one who has obtained salvation of Khetvodat for himself. Khetvodat means one who has Male and female counterparts merged into one having no sex drive and hence no need to marry because they are complete Unisex whole Souls. Apart from paying its dues of small left over personal Karma, the only purpose of such great Souls being born on this earth is to help needy society to spiritually progress further. All Ashwan can be termed as belonging to Magav class. Same is case for a Banoo Magav also and other peculiar thing is that she does not menstruate. There can be exceptions as is the case with any rule. Such Ashwans after passing through certain steps of Ashoi reach stage of Daham-Nar.
In Zarathosti Deen there is mention of 72 steps of Ashoi, Karsh, and 16 qualities of Athrawan developed as special power is applicable to Ashwans only. The Male and female Ashwans thus fulfil their subtle Keshash and are true Athrawan in nature, who tend to holy Fire. They are functioning even now in hidden way in Iran. Till fall of Sassanian Empire they operated openly and were recognized by the empire. Ashwan and Magav were rightly considered the pillars and strength of the empire and highly respect and were consulted in all matters prior to any important decision taken by the emperor. They knew art of Alchemy and when needed could manifest treasures before feet of the Emperor and the Government. Our forebears when they arrived in India our Anjuman was never in penury and the narration in Kisseh Sanjan is very true that these Zoroastrian saints produced vast treasures by Alchemy for our Anjuman and Deen to function smoothly.
The sixteen qualities of Athrawan that mature into power pack tools that are used against ignorance are applicable to Ashwan, Magav and Daham-Nar etc. only. Also above mentioned 8 grades of Zoroastrian Priesthood are exclusively applicable to Ashwan and Magav only. Dregu Mard which literally means poor= Dregu, and poor in sense of Ashoi are of lower grade than Ashwan but are “Riyazat Mand”= having Patience, Faith, Humility (Olia= Not having worldly know how, but inclined more towards spirituality), Ahu- Parast, and having “Adab” respect to nature for whatever that comes his way be it sorrow or happiness, besides having iron will to bear with a smile whatever difficulties that comes his way by willingly embracing it for he knows that it is for his own salvation. ……. See Nikiz Vol. 1 Page 834; & Khordeh Avesta Ba Khshnoom Page 537.
When our forefathers arrived in India besides Magavs amidst the Anjuman there were many ordinary Athravan having family but were spiritually well advanced Souls belonging to Burjish-Dae category. There are various stages a soul can be divided they are Burjis – Khur and Burjis- Dae just as Hindus have Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi class amongst them. ( Khur= Sun, Dae= Moon, Burjis= Jupiter). Many of them were “Dregu-Mard” also. The special Anjuman that arrived from Khurasan had 81 known types of Khandani. We the decendants of such a Anjuman are souls that have inherited some of the qualities if not all, but due to passing of time we have to catch up with our complicated Keshash or Karma that we ourselves have manifested our own destiny. Today those who are in profession of Athornan by hereditary right, having passed through Navar and Marateb ceremony as per their own Karma nature does not recognize them to be truly belonging to Athornan group. There are four Karmic groups a Bastekustian zarthosti can belong to, and are as follows:- 1) Athornan 2) Rathestar 3) Vastriyosh 4) Hutox which means as Athornan= Priest, Rathestar= warrior, Vastriyosh= Farmer or tiller of land, Hutox= Humble Servant.
Para 17) Beresad in afrin aoy tane shuma vehan Hunjaman Vehdinan ……………….Anoshe ravan bad Rvane zarthuste spitaman asho farohar, ava hama Athornan,Rathestaran, Vastrosan, Hutoxan. ……………….Afrin e Haft Amesaspand
Reference:- Pazand Afrin Series No 1 by Late Ervad Phiroze S. Masani Page 38 to 42
Translation:- The blessings in this Afrin let it be passed to the noble who serve nature, and the anjuman belonging to good Deen…… …….. let the Farohar of Asho Spitaman Zarathustra Ruvan be blessed along with all= hama, Athornan, Rathestar, Vastriyosh, and Hutox who will one day reach salvation of Anoshe Ruvan stage
Out of these four karmic groups the last one which is called as Hutox is translated as per Philology as those belonging to Artisans or having talent for craftsmanship or as humble servants who serve his Master and thus maintain means of earning their livelihood. Out of these four Karmic professions an Ashwan Athrawan has powers developed and he knows art of alchemy and is not dependant on anybody for his livelihood whereas Hutox is servant who serves for his livelihood. Thus Hutox is lower karmic group and their profession is allotted as per his own karmic debts to be settled. And as they repay their old karma form a new improved karma where they are given opportunity to serve their religion as Priests, and simultaneously earn their livelihood. So we can say that today’s Priests actually belong to Hutox category and are not in sense real Athravan. Nature recognizes Ashwans as real Athrawans whereas today’s priests are of Hutox category only, who earn livelihood by making Priesthood as their Profession. Such Athravans of Hutox category can, by making a sincere effort of following Tarikats and by meticulously maintaining laws of Ashoi cultivate those 16 qualities of Athravan as mere qualities only and not convert it into power which only an Ashwan can manage to do it so. An ordinary Athravan of Hutox category can with his sincere efforts reach stage of “Dregu-Mard” only. When load of his Keshash is lightened or when he is nearer Salvation then he reaches stage of Keshash e Sade” or “Ankarib -ül- Bokhtagi” = very near Salvation, then maximum the first quality of an Athravan called as “Avizeh-Heem” is developed as Power. Such a Athornan remains immune to any illness and even if he is poisoned remains unaffected but when such a person’s breathe are numbered and his end is imminent then he limps his lifeless body on the ground.
………………………to be continued