Much noise over names at Towers of Silence

goolrukh Bombay Parsi Panchayet declares that funerals of woman married outside community will not be allowed at towers.

After refusing permission to an inter-caste married Parsi woman to let her body be consigned to the Towers of Silence after her death because she had assumed a ‘Hindu’ name, the Bombay Parsi Panchayet (BPP) has declared that funerals of women married outside the community will not be allowed at the towers if they have adopted non-Zoroastrian names.

By Manoj R Nair / Mumbai Mirror

The resolution which was passed at a meeting two weeks ago will be applicable even if the women continue to be practising Zoroastrians.

On March 18, the board of the BPP, the community’s apex representative body, met to discuss an application made by Goolrookh Gupta who also uses her adopted name Neha.

The Napean Sea Road resident whose maiden name was Contractor wrote to BPP that manages the Towers of silence at Malabar Hill, after she was recently denied permission to enter a fire temple in Valsad, her home town in Gujarat.

Goolrookh who married a transport-firm owner Mahipal Gupta in 1991, has also filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court asking the court to issue directions to a trust in Valsad to let her pray at their fire temple and also allow her to attend her parents’ last rites in future at the local Tower of Silence.

She said in her petition that though she married a non-Zoroastrian, she continued to follow her old faith.

The Valsad Trust has said that their rules do not allow women married outside the community to pray at fire temples or participate in funeral rituals of their parents.

Goolrookh claims that this restriction violated her constitutional rights to practice the religion of her choice. The petition will be heard again on April 28.

Goolrookh, 44, a mother of two, said she approached the BPP in Mumbai and the Gujarat court after a friend who married a non-Zoroastrian was denied entry to the Tower of Silence in Valsad when her mother died. In Mumbai, the BPP allows funerals of women married outside the community at the Towers of Silence if they continue to be Zoroastrians after marriage.

“Since the Mumbai trust has been liberal, I was not worried whether my funeral will take place at the Towers of Silence. But after the incidents in Valsad, I wanted to make sure there will not be a problem and decided to write to the BPP,” said Goolrookh. She added that the change in her name had nothing to do with her marriage. “I changed it before my wedding because Goolrookh was a difficult name to spell and pronounce,” she said.

BPP chairperson Dinshaw Mehta said, “We think that if a woman has changed her name on the eve of a marriage to a non-Zoroastrian, it is presumed that she has converted to the religion of her spouse. Unless there is a clarification that she has not converted to another religion, how do we know that she is still a practising Zoroastrian?”

But when told that Goolrookh had mentioned in the letter to the BPP that she followed her old religion.

Mehta said, “She has written back with this information. We will look into the matter again.”

Community members said the resolution was confusing because while Parsis in general use names that are of Persian origin, they have also adopted names from outside. For instance, Neville and Malcolm that are popular names in the community are of European origin. Others share names and surnames with groups from Gujarat. Jehangir Patel, editor of community weekly Parsiana said, “The resolution is absurd. My father’s name Ratan is also used by Hindus in Gujarat.”

Vispy Wadia of the group, Association for Revival of Zoroastrianism said that historically, Parsis used names that were common among Gujarati Hindus.

“During the British rule, many adopted names and surnames like Nicholson and Richardson. There is nothing like a Zoroastrian name.” said Wadia.

  • berozm

    The very third line of this article is erroneous. There are no castes among Parsis or Zoroastrians so how can he say ‘inter caste married’. A journalist ought to use correct expressions.

  • Rohinton Kadva

    The trustees of the Bombay Parsi Panchayet, as also those of other Panchayets, seem to be lacking in focus. Either they should summarily disallow or totally allow ceremonies pertaining to Parsi women married outside the community. Criteria relating to (i) practice of the religion (ii) adoption of names by the women concerned are simply ludicrous and impracticable.

  • Jeannie Antia

    What discrimination in 2010 ! We need to file a case in front of the high-court for human-rights in India. The Indian law should be higher than any petty religious pecking.

    As far as I am informed India forbids discrimination of religion, race, status and colour. The former have turned … and if this could happen, I’m sure that Zoroastrian women of India should be strong enough to fight for the freedom of their rights.

    Freedom for the Zoroastrian Women!

    Jeannie

  • Jeannie Antia

    … The former Untouchables have turned Touchable … and if this could happen, I’m …..

  • Mehr H

    Many Muslims have Persian names similar to those of Parsees.

    In regard to BPP issuing the fatwa disallowing bobies of Parsi women married outside the community to be consigned to the Towers of Silence after her death, I would like to point out that since all marriages have God’s will, by issuing such fatwas, BPP is actually questioning God’s wisdom.
    I think BPP has to first clarify their stand, whether they are believers or non-believers.

  • a.rustomjee

    The Trustees are supposed to be far sighted. What about the right to Vote in B.P.P. elections.
    Do such Parsee ladies figure in the Voter’s List of B.P.P.? THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT.
    If the Trustees were really interested in the religious identity and preventing misutisation of assets meant for Parsis,then why no action has been taken against Tenants of Baugs who though Parsis by name have ceased to be Zoroastrians by faith after getting baptized. I do not think, I have to name such persons since these non practicing Parsis are too well known to the concerned persons. Are such persons not outcasts?
    Are such reverse converts not availing of Charity funds meant for Parsis?
    Those who talk about scrupulously observing the wishes of donors mentioned in the Trust Deed should take steps to evict such non Zoroastran Parsis from spacious flats meant for Parsis.
    We are living in an age where aping the Western habits is considered as being ‘in thing’.
    I view this decision of B.P.P. in light of the legal recognition pronounced with regard to
    Live-in relationships. The step by B.P.P. may give an indirect impetus to Parsi females to go for such Non institutionalized/non formal form of relationships. Can it be said that B. P.P. is serious about protecting tenets of religion?
    And which priest, high or low can even think of refusing to recite the name of a person in such a live in relationship, while reciting ‘Farmaiyasni’ i.e. in prayers?

  • Keki Guard

    It is high time that we Parsees think more pratical and sensibly. I hope all are aware that our religion has been formed by the teachings of Lord Zathustra, these means our great great great …….great forefathers were all desciples of Zathustra, they may be following some other customs / religion before.
    So why is there such a big hue and cry if some one marries somebody other than a parsee. how can they be simply outcast.
    why is there a descrimination between men and women, if a men marries a non-parsee he is still alound in our agiaries but his better half is not, even his child can be brought into our religion but if a women marries a non parsee she is simply outcaste, what kind of attitude is this.

    I fail to understand why this stand when our religion itself is desciple driven, Can anyone ensure that the first Zorastrian was not a non-zorastrian.

  • Ratheshtar

    Any Zarthushtri marrying outside the community is not a Zarthushtri anymore whether the person is a man or a woman.

    Inter-marriage is a very big sin.

  • Rashna_M

    Dear Rathestar,
    I am not at all for inter religious alliances but your statement that such alliances are a ‘big sin’ needs a bit of elaboration.
    Firstly, who can prevent this ‘sin’. Relatives, friends or Parents?
    Secondly, is it mentioned in any Religious texts that it would be sinful to have inter-religious alliance?
    Lastly,to the best of my knowledge, Vandidad has not made even a passing reference in this regard rather from whatever little knowledge I have, this scripture makes it mandatory to get married and raise a family. This scripture has not made any specific reference that marriage has to be necessarily within the religious denomination – has it?
    Nor has this scripture provided for divorces and separations.
    And how about debarring Ervards from practicing if they are 1.not married,
    2.Divorcees?
    After all it is the priests who have to set an example for the laity. Isn’t it?

  • Beroz

    Wrong Rashna, Rathestar has not even uttered the word alliance. He has categorically mentioned the ‘marrying outside the community’ as sin. READ PROPERLY. He has clearly used the word MARRIAGE.
    Any way, the institution of marriage is now considered obsolete. Look at President of Republic of France, P.M. of Russia.
    In to-days world having boy friend or girl friend status is quite common. Marriage has become cumbersome given the tiresome process of making false allegations for obtaining judicial separation. Such process is time consuming, and waste of money over Lawyer fees and ultimate alimony payment life long. Even the pharma companies are allowed to promote on T.V. oral contraceptives. What does all this show.
    In such arrangement of boy friend/ girl friend there is no commitment and so no religion is affected. One just has to pray daily and seek Behram Yazad ni madad hojoji.

  • piloo

    I believe that more than inter religious marriages, extra marital relationships are more sinful as per religious tenets.

  • Ratheshtar

    Hi Rashna,

    In the Pazend prayer of Patet Pashemani there are 2 kinds of sins mentioned.One is the sin of ‘Gunahe-Ravani’ and other is the sin of ‘Doode Vehan-Vasovashi’.

    The former is a sin relating to the soul,to contract any inter-communal & inter-religious marriage as the progress of such soul is deterred by such marriage.

    Whilst the later is a sin relating to the ancestral family of the person contracting such a marriage ,as the original family of the person contracting such a marriage is broken.

    The ‘Bunyad’ of male Zarthushtris is deteriorated and the ‘Buniyad’ of female Zarthushtris is destroyed.

    Now coming to the Vendidad

    Vendidad (7-V) states that purity is the best thing for men.And the best way of preserving the purity is by keeping our genes pure.

    If a Zarthushtri falls in love with a person from another religion such should be his/her faith in our deen that he/she should not let such an emotion overpower him/her.His/her love towards our beloved Vakshur-E-Vakshuran Asho Zarthushtra Spitaman should be so strong and deep rooted that such earthly love should not matter to him/her.In fact if a Zarthushtri is deeply rooted in our deen then he/she will not even think of marrying or falling in love with a juddin.

    The problem lies in the upbringing of our youth.Most parents don’t impart proper religious education to their children.

    You must have noticed how Zarthushtris have photos of divinities of other religions in their homes,how they believe in non-zarthushtri saints,go to buvas and peers for materialistic gains etc etc.

    Agar maai-baap aj ava hoy toh pacchi baccha keva udharvana?

    I request all Zarthushtris to stop indulging in such irreligious practices.

    For us ‘The path of ‘Asha’ is the only path.All others are non paths’

  • Patrawalla

    Thank God B.P.P did something good in the end, it was very necessary to take these kind of actions, we cant be sleeping all the time when someone is stealing us of what we are, it is a perfect sin to not obey the rules of our community, hope the traitors are given their malt.

  • Voice of Reason.

    Excellent is the appropriate word for candid post of Rathestar.
    I cannot agree with him more when he says that ‘The problem lies in the upbringing of our youth. Most parents don’t impart proper religious education to their children.’ And he supports this with scriptural reference.
    AND.
    “Agar maai-baap aj ava hoy toh pacchi baccha keva
    udharvana?’

    CONCLUSIONS:

    1.) Inter-marriage is a very big sin……. One has to
    AGREE.

    2) Parents are responsible for not )
    giving proper upbringing. )
    AND . ) LETS ASSUME IT
    NOT IMPARTING RELIGIOUS ) TO BE CORRECT.
    EDUCATION. )

    SO, if children of Ervards and Dasturs get married out of the Parsi fold, their parents are to be responsible for improper upbringing and not giving religious training.

    SO MY NEXT QUESTION: IF THOSE ERVARDS AND DASTURS CAN NOT “TEACH” THEIR OWN
    FAMILY MEMBERS, DO THEY QUALIFY TO DELIVER SERMONS?

    B.P.P. get ready to enlarge the List of ‘Renegades’

  • Mehr H

    Ratheshtar, You say, most Most parents don’t impart proper religious education to their children, but what about the Off springs of High Priests who are intermarried?

    List of RENEGADE priests will have to be expanded. For better explanation one has to read current issue of PARSIANA dated the 7th instant page 27 “A PARSI IN SPIRIT.”

    (MONEY DOES MAKE THE MARE GO AND HELPS COLLECT MORE VINTAGE CARS. AND THE SUPPORTERS OF SUCH HOLINESSES ARE ALLERGIC WHEN DOUBLE STANDARDS ARE POINTED OUT. If the list of RENEGADES is not expanded then it is a clear case of DOUBLE STANDARDS.)

  • Boman Patel

    There is an element of truth in what Rathestar has mentioned. I has also to be conceded that such a clean up operation has to begin from top down approach.Simply giving inducements in form of housing to couples who want to marry within the community is not sufficient. There must be deterrent penalties for going against the tenets as mentioned in Vandidad.
    Top down approach means first the errant priests must be penalised. Purging is essential for purity of the race.
    a)Say, a bachelor or single priests must be demoted in rank,
    b)A priests married but without an extended family, should be shifted to a smaller accommodation if he is occupying a charity flat;
    c) A priest whose children have gone astray and have intermarried should not only be forced to give up accommodation in Charity flats but also demoted in rank.
    Example is better than precept, so goes the saying.

  • Saru

    GOOD JOB B P P WAY TO GO, KEEP IT GOING, PLEASE ALSO PROVIDE CERTAIN FINANCIAL AND LEGAL HELP TO PARSIS ANJUMANS WHICH ARE NOT RELATED TO BOMBAY AND TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT RELATED TO BOMBAY. ……

  • Farzana

    Boman, i totally agree with you.

    Selective application of rules is DOUBLE STANDARDS.
    I stand for laws of Vendidad to be applied evenly to all sections of the community including the Priests, starting with demotion of single/divorced priests.

  • Keki Guard

    I can’t beleive that we have such orthadox people in our community, i would once again ask a basic question to them ” Can you tell me who was the first Zaroastrian “.

    As far as i understand our religion is based on the teachings of Lord Zarthurtra, and hence people from different religions, caste and creed who agreed to his teachings became his diciples.

    Our religion talks about Live and let live but am ashamed by the remarks by some of our community members.

    I would like to understand from them have they understood what Zarthustra has preached.

    Our forefathers were a respected lot but sorry to say the parsees of today are nothing but a Laughing stock.

    It is high time we wake up and regain our dignity and respect.

  • Farzana

    Exactly Keki Guard, i fully agree with you.

    The biggest ‘Gunahe-Ravani’ is to deliberately mislead and misinforming the gullible…yet some neo-Nazisin the community conveniently twist ‘Gunahe-Ravani’ to suit their own racist mindset.

  • Khushnaz

    Farzana, what acording to you is the sin of ‘Gunahe-Ravani’ and the sin of ‘Doode Vehan-Vasovashi’?

    I like your mindset and am curious to know your thoughts…

    Thank you

  • Keki

    Hi Khushnaz, with the little knowledge i have and understand. Leave our Prayer books, just focus on the Life of Zarthustra, as per the message from AhuraMazda he had to spread Good Deeds, Good words and Good Thoughts.

    When he started his teachings King Vistasp was the first to join him and become his diciple. Was King Vistasp Zorastrian prior to that ?

    I beg to all please don’t complicate things and be so orthodox. The present situation of our community is because of this attitude. I am not saying start converting anybody on the road but atleast do not close doors to our own near and dear ones, if they have married a non parsee.

    I beg to all please allow them in our religion if they so wish, and Yes if they accept it they need to follow the religion in totality.

    Thanks

  • farzana

    Interestingly since Ratheshtar has taken pains to quote from -” SAVE OUR SOULS: Prohibition on Mix marriage from a Spiritual perspective, by Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha, im quoting from the same article –
    http://tenets.zoroastrianism.com/sos33.html

    “DIVORCE IS A NON-ZOROASTRIAN PRACTICE, which is nothing but a compromise to give up material obligations and responsibilities. People fail to understand that marriage ties does not end with death but continues till the time of “Khaethvodat” of that soul. If both parents were familiar with this “process” and “Kuvate Aekhlaki” (Ethical Training … one of the six training as per Ashirwad Prayer), there is no need to have MatrimonialCourts or Divorce. In Patet Pashemani prayer, “Doode Vehan-vasovashi” is regarded as a sin relates to the ancestral family of the person who engages in such marriage, if the marriage is broken by the original family. Thus, “Bunyad” of male Parsee is deteriorated and the “Bunyad” of female is destroyed. ”
    —————————————————————-

    Therefore in my humble opinion Vendidad should be applied evenly to all sections of the community .
    Im sure Khushnaz, you love my mindset :)

    If Mix Marriages are Gunahe-Ravani, so are DIVORCES.
    Hence we should expect operation clean up from the top, ie. all those ERVADS who are DIVORCED should be added to the list of RENEGADE priests. I am told that SOME such SINNERS have manipulated to become Trustees of certain holy places Fire Temple. Are such priests then not observing the Tenets more in breach?

    So Khushnaz do let me have your E Mail address so that we can exchange our thoughts to our mutual benefit.

  • Rashna

    Keki Guard,
    Please do not take every word of what is stated here as uttered by actual bonafide Orthodox. Here persons who are disallowed printing space by print media want to take others for a ride.They want to create a sense of fright in the minds of simple folks and make such simple folks their followers.
    Ask these pseudo scholars, if there is anything mentioned in Gathas about “Gunahs”. Their stock reply will be Gathas ALONE do not constitute religious texts.
    Have those ‘authors’ who use esoteric terms any supportive textural evidence?
    Have they undergone experience of life after and returned?

  • Khushnaz

    Thank you Farzana. I am not comfortable leaving my email ID on a public site..but I would surely like to connect with you Already I feel I connect with your thoughts:)

    Personally, I am born Zoroastrian Parsee married to a non-Parsee. I want my children and spouse to be aware of my faith and feel welcomed. It is a real shame that some members of our Parsee community have usurped our rights to guit free prayer even. The fact is the only prayer I ever learnt to say in time of peril is yatha and ashem. The only prayer I know to teach my children is the same. How can anyone dictate a person’s faith?

  • Firoz adas

    farzAna From your illiterate point of views, you mean that our priest should be punished??? Mind you the priest themselves do disqualify their children who are defiant…. Sooo now lets learn from that and make it a rule that all marrying outside should be disqualified from the community…..isnt it? Your own set of logic and rules, should be applicable to all as you said sooo…….

    And Please farzana our community does not need your worthless advise, so please keep it to yourself for god’s sake.

  • farzana

    Rashna, i agree with you.
    TinPaat self styled religio-scholars think they have some divine authority to oversee lives of others based on their deliberate misinterpretation of OUTDATED OBSCURE TEXTS.On the other hand these very TinPaat scholars unashamedly live their own lives in a manner contrary to the contents of those very texts they expect others to rely on and follow as if it were gospel truth. Different strokes for different persons?

    What are the qualifications of likes of Rathestar to scare others? Who gave them the qualifications to judge karma of others? As far as I go,such incomrehensible fatwas are a human rights issue.
    Does anyone have the right to impose their concocted beliefs and deprive others the right to lead their lives the way they their conscience directs?

    Vendidad was penned by some unknown authors (if any) thousands of years ago to suit their convenience. THEY ARE NOT ZARATHUSTRA’S OWN WORDS, Now the question is, should such a’scripture’ be allowed to override GATHAS which are Zarathustra’s own pronouncements ?

    And if Vendidad is to be applied it has to be applied evenly to ALL, not selectively just to suit hidden agendas of few FAKE ORTHODOX ERVADS.

    Can likes of Rathestar get endorsement of such views from any of the High Priests?

  • a.rustomjee

    Firoz adas.

    How do you assume the role of spokesperson of the entire Parsee Community when you say ‘our community does not need your worthless advise,……”This attitude is typical of those who want to suppress Freedom of expression. Even I may or may not agree with the views of any person but that does not mean I will ask that person not to express his or her views.One is free to express a divergent opinion with logic.
    Has anybody suggested what should be the contents in
    FP Journal every fortnight.?

  • farzAna

    So Firoz Adas, according to your knowledgeable point of view, Priests comprising of ERVADS and MOBEDS are above the Tenets & LAWS of VENDIDAD so they can’t be held accountable for their deeds!!! lovely!

    Well according to RATHESTHAR ‘parents’ are responsible for not imparting religious education which entails children going astray causing spiritual damage tskk tskk!! Why don’t you both Choost Zarathustis sort it out yourself about who is responsible for what !! And also about those DHONGI ERVADS who SHAMELESSLY themselves break the laws of VENDIDAD while pretending to be PIOUS in public domain.

    Besides dahling, for GOD’s Sake, I am no school going kid and you are no school master to tell me when to say what!!

    THANK YOU
    -farzAna

  • Yezdyar Kaoosji

    The rulings and decisions of the Bombay Parsi Panchayet would be considered absolutely silly, if they were not so sadly damaging to both the Zarthushti faith and the Parsi community. The trustees should understand that they are “property managers” and not religious leaders. They have been acting like the “Vatican of the Parsi community”. Sorry guys, you are not the leaders of the community or the interpreters and custodians of the faith. You are merely the property managers. No one among the trustees is a “pope” of the Parsi’s either!

    Having said that I must concede that as property managers the trustees are “duly elected”, albeit by a grossly uninformed electorate, and can prohibit anyone from using the properties they manage, like the Doongerwadi, any way they choose! They can even discriminate with silly rules like someone having a “non-Zoroastrian name”.

    Speaking of names, will someone show me the surname “Mistree” in the Zoroastrian scriptures? I note there is a guy with that surname who seems to believe he is the “pope of the Parsi’s”.

    However, on the positive side, there is an intelligent alternative to all this nonsense! When denied the privilege to the toss the cadavers of our beloved dearly departed relatives into the towering dumpsters of the Doongerwadi, we could choose the more aesthetic municipal crematoriums, while also acting as civic and caring citizens of our society, who do not toss dead bodies to rot in the middle of a metropolis!

  • piloo

    Glad to know that the Community still has sane voices remaining and expressing on this portal. An antidote and a ray of hope after an overdose about imaginary Sins, Gunahe-Ravani and Doode Vehan-Vasovashi. and such stuff fit for dark ages. We live by the teachings of our
    Lord Zoroaster and NOT from obscure texts conjured by priests to dominate over the Behdins.
    And compliments to likes of Yezdyar for down to earth views.
    Looking forward to more from you, Yezdyar. And I will not be alone in my compliments.

  • Firoz adas

    Farzana , Its seems my attempt was wrong, a person with deficiency of upper organs or no will to understand a true point should not be talked with much, & yes I am no school master, but surly am a true parsi & not like you!! isn’t it Vercy…….. so PLEASE, talk but don’t contaminate..

  • Burzin

    Well Keki, first lets answer on whether King Vishtasp was a Zoroastrian or not?

    Well our revered Spitman Asho Zarathushtra was a prophet for the Mazdayasnis. Before him our great Iranian Kings like Gayomard, Hoshang, Tehmurasp, Jamsheed, Fareedun, Lohrasp, Vishtasp practiced the Masdayasni tarikats. By the way the Kasti has been worn by these Masdayasnis since time of Shah jamsheed (who existed a thousand years before Spitman Asho Zarathushtra himself.

    Let be clear that he preached the pure tenets of our religion only to the Masdayasnis and did not go around converting.

    Keki, to your earlier question – the First Zoroastrian after Zarathushtra was his cousin Maidyomah (also his first deciple). As for the first Masdayasni – that was Shah Gayomard the first Peshdadian / Maha Abad (also said to be the first mortal)

    Farzana, I want to correct you when you say that only Gathas are the true words of the holy prophet and not vandidad, I guess here you are just repeating what the false ‘preacher’ Ali Jaffery says. Hopefully we should learn to trust the beliefs of our ancestors as opposed to some false ‘preacher’ whoes credentials are suspect and who seems to have caught the fancy of few Zoroastrians worldwide.

    Mind you Zarathustras true words are in the entire 21 nasks (volumes) most of which are now unavailable to us since they were destroyed by Alexander the ‘Accursed’ (who by the way was an born of a wedlock between Nahid a Greek princess and Prince Dara, an Iranian) and the arab hoardes after him. The vandidad forms part of these Nasks and gives laws around purity and cleanliness and addresses environmental concerns thousands of years before çaring for the environment’ became a fad.

  • yas

    Burzin
    Most of the points which you have mentioned in your post
    are nothing but story telling which you can use to ensure kids get a good sleep. All you have done is copied some points written in Tenets Zoroastrian websites and you expect others to listen to your story telling copy and paste fables.
    Please educate yourself with Ancient Iranian history, how Zoroastrian religion spread throughout the middle east, central asia and how it got virtually absorbed in a new faith.

  • a.rustomjee

    Burzin,
    All those who believe in Gathas only are NOT the followers of Jaffer Biryani- so please eliminate that misconception.
    Yes there is something beyond the realm of Science and which no science can explain. But can you convince even a small child to accept and “trust the beliefs of our ancestors’ to use your own words, without proof, reasoning, why and how?
    You say that there were 21 Nasks, fine but if they are destroyed then how can one substantiate that there were 21 nasks. I may look stupid but can you name the author of Vandidad.?
    Cleanliness and environment care is one thing but tyrannizing
    the community in the name of religion is altogether a different game plan.

    I am not here to run you down nor do I encourage mixed marriages. I am for teaching true religion to the new generation in contrast to those who want to create a scare and instill superstitious beliefs in young minds.
    And I definitely disagree with false claims of purity. So please remove from your mind that all those who believe in Gathas are followers of a Jafferbhai.

  • farzana

    Burzin, Thank you for taking trouble to reply. You will agree with me that any ‘Truth’ stands on credible evidences provided, absence of which, everything said or believed is considered FALSE. Right? Our ancestors believed the Earth was flat, in the centre of Universe and Sun and Moon revolved around it, do you still continue believing the same just because our ancestors thought so? I hope not.

    Coming straight to the point, it would be nice to see some PROOFS from you that would be helpful in forming a fair judgement

    Starting with the evidence of any religion by the name of ‘MAZDAYASNI’ that existed in times before ZARATHUSTRA.

    And also any HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS to establish that AHURA MAZDA was worshiped before Zarathustra, from unbias source of cause.

    Just to brief you, in Ancient times, when Kings entered alliances or signed treaties, they used to make their GOD/GODS partners or witnesses. There are number of archaeological engravings and other evidences of historical records from ancient times of such edicts and treaties found from parts of Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran, Indus, Punjab etc that belong to TIMES BEFORE ZARATHUSTRA .. They carry the names of pre Zoroastrian divinities. As you said- King Gayomard, Hoshang, Tehmurasp, Jamsheed, Fareedun, Lohrasp, practiced the Masdayasni tarikats. It would be nice if you substantiate your claim with ARCHEOLOGICAL evidence or EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT of any one of those KINGS who had lived in times before Zarathustra and has left behind records to show he was the worshipper of that ONE God -AHURA MAZDA and followed MAZDAYASNI faith.
    Thank you.

    Regarding Vendidad, there is no mention of Vendidad during the Achaemenid period nor is there any mention of laws present in it. Historians are of opinion that it was compiled during the times of Parthians that is roughly 1500 years after Zarathustra. Judging from its content and language used, its no where closer to Gathas. Hence to say Vendidad was authored by Zarathustra is baseless. It was authored by latter mobeds, who as Piloo pointed out, had their self interest in furthering their own version of religion on the gullible illiterate Behdins much like the way Brahmins used Manu Smiti to suppress lower caste.

    But lets say hypothetically Vendidad are words of Ahura Mazda penned by Zarathustra, even than its hard to comprehend why Ahura Mazda who urges his followers to exercise their freedom to CHOICE between Good and Bad using their good mind in Gathas, would suddenly back tract, warn HIS followers to ‘BLINDLY FOLLOW’ or else face eternal damnation if they dare to do anything other than whats told to them in Vendidad … What kind of a “choice” is that?

  • Beroz

    Our “High” Priests who these days are adopting Ayatoolah approach and banning anything that is not to their liking and also things disliked by their Ahmedabad benefactor should clarify one point.
    Can recital of a funeral prayer be interrupted midway and started all over again. Is this as per Tarikats, Tenets of Zoroastrian faith. etc etc.
    And what type of sin has been committed by the concerned priest who interrupted this ceremony for reasons of his EGO.
    Can any of ‘High’ priests or their admirers like the person who calls himself as Rathestar reply on these 2 issues?

  • a.rustomjee

    Firoz Adas,
    I personally find nothing ‘contaminating’ in the post of Farzana. What she has tried to say is that if “LAWS” of Vendiad are to applicable, they should be observed even by the priestly class. Whats wrong in that? Are ordained priests something above other Zoroastrians. You surely may be a true Parsee but what are the ‘qualities’ that distinguishes you from others who do not agree with your views.?

  • Mehr H

    Kersi, A.Rustomjee, Farzana and Yas, I’m fully in agreement with you.

    Burzin, just as Greeks and Hindus have mythological tales with mythological kings, Persians also have them. Its one thing to read them as coffee table fictions its quite another to pass it off as valid historical facts. You should think before judging someone as a ‘false preacher’ , where is the guarantee that your opinion is ‘true’?

    Even otherwise I fail to see how an issue of conversion to Zoroastrianism is remotely connected to all these Kings following Mazdayasni religion or not. Does any Book say- Zoroastrianism is only for a certain section of people in the world or conversion to Zoroastrianism has disapproval from Ahura Mazda? Please show me if it says so.

    Take it as a friendly advise, dikra, – In this age with internet opening up so much of information on every subject, its not easy to con people by distorting facts. Mobeds are no longer sole keepers of knowledge as it used to be in dark ages.

  • farzana

    Firoze Adas,
    will you tell me which of my comments is ‘Contaminating’ according to you.. so that I CAN ELABORATE ON IT!!!

    And this language of yours about ‘Organs’ is perhaps the symbol typical of a representative of ‘Choost’ Orthodox Stalwart, Ha? interesting!!

  • Rustom Jamasji

    In all the ‘me, my right and myself…Gupta and gang forgets the rights and wishes of the makers of Zoroastrian Institutions.The rules are the wishes of the makers and givers of such, ironically Gupta and gang demand to uitlise the foundations given to us free whilst having no responsibility towards respecting the wishes of those whom they want to take from.!

    Using the agiaries, dakhma is not ones right of birth, but a service used free!..
    Sadly those who want to blackmail the community and its funds canot even respect those whom they take from

  • a.rustomjee

    ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING EXAMPLES OF “RESPECTING THE WISHES” OF THE SETTLORS IS ERSTWHILE DIU FIRE TEMPLE PREMISES.

  • Mazdil

    @.Rustumjee: Please do give me the details about diu, what has happened there, I request you sincerely. Whatever details that you have, also if there are any issues there which need help, related to property or agyari so that parsis can benefit.

  • mazdak bamdadan

    dorud(hi)
    in first i should have to say that i born in a muslim family in iran but now im a zartoshti and i dont need panchait permission to wordshiping the ahuramazda(urmazd in farsi) stop DISTORTIONing of religion.the faith is important not the race.panchait have to remember that even ashu zarathushtra
    was not a parsis.blonging to witch fargerd of avesta thay said that nobudy can changing his religion.all humans are created
    by ahura mazda and all of them shoud have wordship him.
    mas o vah o piruz bad khore avizheye mazdisnanan
    eydun o eyduntar bad

  • Yezdyar Kaoosji

    Dear Mazdak Bamdadan…you have defined the spirit of The Prophet Zarathushtra very well. While the panchayetis try to push their racist agenda you have very clearly demonstrated that someone who has made an adult decision to convet to the faith, certainly has a greater claim to its practice, than those who are Zoroastrians by accident of birth! The real future of our universalist faith will be through conversions like yours. Welcome!

  • farzana

    Durood Mazdak,

    Im happy that you made the choice to Join Zoroastrianism. Only an informed and unbiased mind is capable of making a truly righteous choice and this is precisely, the invitation of Zarathustra in Gatha.
    Zoroastrianism is an universal religion open to all who wish to live by their “Good Conscience”. Mazdak, you should fear none. No Parsi worth his salt has right to question your choice. So be happy!

    Besides Bombay Parsi Panchayat is a trust body thats elected to manage Parsi Charity only. They are not sole arbiters of Zoroastrianism nor are they in any position to give judgement on religious matter.

  • farzana

    I agree with Yezdyar Kaoosji.

  • Dorab Unwalla

    Can any body – Self styled Orthodox,Traditionalist throw some light on the ceremonies held in the previous month at a Fire Temple opposite Khareghat Colony after the demise of a lady who was a Parsi but had married a Hindu gentleman and had changed her name to a Hindu name. Any justification for this type of two types of standards i.e. one for whom the ceremonies were conducted and another for persons like Smt. G Gupta?

  • Burzin

    Farzana, apologies I was away and did not have a chance to reply to your post dated 17 April 2010 at 7:11 pm, earlier.

    You mention that ‘Our ancestors believed the Earth was flat’. This misnomer pertains to wrong beliefs of the Church during the middle ages. Do not apply those alien thoughts to our forefathers (Persians). Be aware that Persians had mastered Astronomy as well as Astrology during ancient times.

    Visit these links (just one of many)
    http://dooroodiran.blogspot.com/2003/08/status-of-astronomy-in-ancient-iran.html

    They were aware of the existence of planets and other heavenly bodies much before the telescope was invented,

    To your next point around the MAZDAYASNI religion. In the Jasame Avanghe Mazda prayer we say ‘Masdasyasno ahmi, Mazdazasno Zarathushtris’ means we affirm that we are Mazdayasni Zarathushtris.

    Lokmanya Tilak in his tresties ‘Arctic Homeland of the Aryans’ draws a lot of parallels between the ancient Indo-Iranian Aryans who although having originated from the same stock had fundamental differences around beliefs. While the indo aryans also called ‘Daevayasnis’ worshipped the daevas; the Iranian Aryans worshipped ‘Mazda’ and were called ‘Mazdayasnis’.

    But above all of this one thing stands tall above the rest – ‘faith’. Our ancestors firmly believed and adfhered to the traditions and beliefs. I for one implicitly trust our beliefs and I do not need any ‘PROOFS’ to get me going.

    After the arab invasion our group was not the only one to leave Iran for a foreign land. Similar groups had gone to different regions including China (under leadership of Yazdizard Sheheriar’s son Piruz). But what happened of them?

    have we ever though why did we survive and why didn’t they after more than a 1000 years?

    The answer is that we stuck to our beliefs and traditions and managed tro maintain and preserve them.

    the other groups did not manage to survive beyond 2-3 generations (prince Piruz was a general in the Chinese army under the Tang Dynasty). His son Narsieh however married into Chinese Royalty and alas the story was over, they assinilated into the larger Chinese masses.

  • Delnavaz

    Hi Burzin,
    Thanks for your post. I will definitely visit the links provided by you. thanks again

  • farzana

    Dear Burzin, No where in the sites you gave shows any source to prove Persian Astronomers had known the earth was a Globe. There were well known astronomers in other cultures too, including Vedic astronomer Aryabhatta who had mastered Astronomy and written detailed notes on existence of planets and heavenly bodies as well. But none had attested the fact that the world is a globe. Therefore our ancestors just as others, believed this earth was flat, when you know today its not. Period. If you want to continue believing in myths you are welcome to do so. And yes dear Burzin, Its perfectly alright to say, you have faith in what you believe, and you need no PROOF as long as you keep your belief to yourself. However if you are trying to prove to others that what you believe is TRUE, than it becomes important that you have a CREDIBLE PROOF to attest your claim. Im sure you too agree on this.

    Next, I requested you to quote an Archeological evidence or Eye witness record or any scripture that talks of worship of Ahura Mazda or a religion named MAZDAYASNI predating times before Zarathushtra, since you CLAIMED it did.

    Lokmanya Tilak was an Indian nationalist and a social reformer not a qualified historian. Writing essays glorifying historical events in Aryan society could be for him more of an exercise at reviving Aryan supremacist passion amongst Indian Nationalists to counter White supremacist attitude that prevailed amongst the colonist during the independence struggle. Have you read Nehru’s The Discovery of India? Today such works written by non historians without citing credible sources are referred as fictions. You will find such works by hundreds. But for any statement to become a Historical Fact, it has to quote a source. What is Tilak’s source for his statement?

    Its known that practicing Proto-Hindu polytheists were refered to by Zarathushtra as Daevayasni- worshipers of false Gods. Zarathushtra taught for the first time that there is only one God, Ahura Mazda (this was a new term which was never used before Zarathushtra, it has been translated as Lord of Wisdom, hence he named his new-founded religion Mazdayasna, the worship of the Great Wisdom).
    From early on in his life, Zarathushtra began to question things. He had a deep desire to understand the true nature of reality. Zarathushtra became aware of the corruption which existed in the ritualistic activities of the Daevayasni priests, who through the ignorance and fear present in the population of the uneducated laity, these corrupt priests were able to scare and manipulate the masses for their own worldly benefits. Zarathushtra was very upset and distressed by this, so he began to speak against it.
    “do not chose the rule of tyrants and deceit rather than truth [asha].” (Y32.12).

    The religion of Mazdayasni started with Zarathushtra. And those opposed to Zarathustra’s Mazdayasna faith were referred as Daevayasni.
    Much like when Mohammad carved out Islam from Paganism, he called his followers Muslims while the rest were referred to as Kafirs.

    All those Kings that are believed to have followed Mazdayasna faith before Zoroashter are mythological and fictional characters from Aryan folk tales. The first Zoroastrian tribes to establish an Empire were Medes, from Central Asia several millennia after Zarathustra, in 600 BCE. http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/medians/index.htm#empire

    Before that the areas of Iran were under Elamittes, who were nonAryans and followed a religion that was nothing close to Mazdayasna. They had a belief system of their own, they had temples dedicated to their Gods and had no similarity with Zoroastrianism.
    http://www.iranchamber.com/history/elamite/elamite.php
    So how did Iran become Zoroastrian if there were no Zoroastrians there before Medes?

    While Mesopotamia to valleys of the Zagros were under the rule of Mitanni kings who had conflict with Hittites kings of Asia Minor [appox in 1450 BC] These kingdoms followed what is termed as ‘Mithraism’ or the old Aryan religion that worshiped proto- Vedic Indra, his son Mithra and set of assorted divinities. But none of their correspondences states the name of God called -AHURA MAZDA. http://www.angelfire.com/nt/Gilgamesh/hurrian.html

    Arabs in the Middle East followed Paganism and Egyptians had their indigenous religion with King as a representative of God.

    Our Human civilization is approximately 60,000 years old, there were hundreds of different religions and thousands of Gods that predates Zoroastrianism, and many that were invented after.

    Now regarding your statement that practice of Zoroastrianism has survived ONLY in India due to stress on Traditions and exclusiveness. But contrary to your statement, here is a site of Persian Rivayats http://www.avesta.org/rivayats/rivayat2.htm that categorically state that – ” In the 15th & 16th centuries, the Zoroastrians of India had lost much religious knowledge due to their isolation. Therefore, they sent messengers to IRAN seeking proper guidance from the priestly authorities who had maintained the orthodox traditions, The Persian Rivayats are a collection of epistles documenting their correspondence about a wide variety of topics, including marriage, divorce, juddins or darwands (i.e. non-Zoroastrians), ritual, and conversion. Some of the dates can be identified as follows: around CE 1528 (Kama Bohra), CE 1594 (Kaus Kama), and CE 1570 (Shapur Bharuchi).”… So Burzin, this shows that those who migrated to India were in constant touch with Zoroastrian Priests in Iran for matters of Religion and even today there are Zoroastrians in Iran and other Central Asian republics who still practice Z’ism with much tradition and reverence than those in India. http://amordad6485.blogfa.com/post-4538.aspx
    Btw as per the Rivayats, Conversion is very much a part of the parcel of Zoroastrian tradition… read it!!

  • farzana

    Dear Burzin,
    No where in the sites you gave shows any source to prove Persian Astronomers had known the earth was a Globe. There were well known astronomers in other cultures too, including Vedic astronomer Aryabhatta who had mastered Astronomy and written detailed notes on existence of planets and heavenly bodies as well. But none had attested the fact that the world is a globe. Therefore our ancestors just as others, believed this earth was flat, when you know today its not. Period. If you want to continue believing in myths you are welcome to do so. And yes dear Burzin, Its perfectly alright to say, you have faith in what you believe, and you need no PROOF as long as you keep your belief to yourself. However if you are trying to prove to others that what you believe is TRUE, than it becomes important that you have a CREDIBLE PROOF to attest your claim. Im sure you too agree on this.

    Next, I requested you to quote an Archeological evidence or Eye witness record or any scripture that talks of worship of Ahura Mazda or a religion named MAZDAYASNI predating times before Zarathushtra, since you CLAIMED it did.

    Lokmanya Tilak was an Indian nationalist and a social reformer not a qualified historian. But even otherwise, for any statement to become a Fact, it has to quote a source. What is Tilak’s source for his statement?
    Fyi, Its known that practicing Proto-Hindu polytheists were refered to BY ZARATHUSTRA as Daevayasni- worshipers of false Gods. Zarathushtra taught for the first time that there is only one God, Ahura Mazda (this was a new term which was never used before Zarathushtra, it has been translated as Lord of Wisdom, hence he named his new-founded religion Mazdayasna, the worship of the Great Wisdom).
    From early on in his life, Zarathushtra began to question things. He had a deep desire to understand the true nature of reality. Zarathushtra became aware of the corruption which existed in the ritualistic activities of the Daevayasni priests, who through the ignorance and fear present in the population of the uneducated laity, these corrupt priests were able to scare and manipulate the masses for their own worldly benefits. Zarathushtra was very upset and distressed by this, so he began to speak against it.
    “do not chose the rule of tyrants and deceit rather than truth [asha].” (Y32.12).

    The religion of Mazdayasni started with Zarathushtra. And those opposed to Zarathustra’s Mazdayasni faith were referred as Daevayasni.
    Much like when Mohammad carved out Islam from Paganism, he called his followers Muslims while the rest were referred to as Kafirs.

    All those Kings that are believed to have followed Mazdayasna faith before Zoroashter are mythological and fictional characters from Aryan folk tales. The first Zoroastrian tribes to establish an Empire were Medes, from Central Asia several millennia after Zarathustra, in 600 BCE. http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/medians/index.htm#empire

    Before that the areas of Iran were under Elamittes, who were nonAryans and followed a religion that was nothing close to Mazdayasna. They had a belief system of their own, they had temples dedicated to their Gods and had no similarity with Zoroastrianism.
    http://www.iranchamber.com/history/elamite/elamite.php
    So how did Iran become Zoroastrian if there were no Zoroastrians there before Medes?

    While Mesopotamia to valleys of the Zagros were under the rule of Mitanni kings who had conflict with Hittites kings of Asia Minor [appox in 1450 BC] These kingdoms followed what is termed as ‘Mithraism’ or the old Aryan religion that worshiped proto- Vedic Indra, his son Mithra and set of assorted divinities. But none of their correspondences states the name of God called -AHURA MAZDA. http://www.angelfire.com/nt/Gilgamesh/hurrian.html

    Arabs followed Paganism and Egyptians had their indigenous religion with King as a representative of God.

    Our Human civilization is approximately 60,000 years old, there were hundreds of different religions and thousands of Gods that predates Zoroastrianism, and many that were invented after.

    [Cont]

  • farzana

    And now dear Burzin, regarding your statement that practice of Zoroastrianism has survived ONLY in India due to stress on Traditions and exclusiveness. But contrary to your statement, here is a site of Persian Rivayats http://www.avesta.org/rivayats/rivayat2.htm that categorically state that – ” In the 15th & 16th centuries, the Zoroastrians of India had lost much religious knowledge due to their isolation. Therefore, they sent messengers to IRAN seeking proper guidance from the priestly authorities who had maintained the orthodox traditions, The Persian Rivayats are a collection of epistles documenting their correspondence about a wide variety of topics, including marriage, divorce, juddins or darwands (i.e. non-Zoroastrians), ritual, and conversion. Some of the dates can be identified as follows: around CE 1528 (Kama Bohra), CE 1594 (Kaus Kama), and CE 1570 (Shapur Bharuchi).”… So Burzin, this shows that those who migrated to India were in constant touch with Zoroastrian Priests in Iran for matters of Religion and even today there are Zoroastrians in Iran and other Central Asian republics who still practice Z’ism with much tradition and reverence than those in India. http://amordad6485.blogfa.com/post-4538.aspx
    Btw as per the Persian Rivayats based on Z-Scriptures, Conversion is very much a part of the parcel of Zoroastrian tradition… read it!!

  • Ratheshtar

    Conversion is NOT a part of our Deen.

  • Voice of Reason.

    RATHESTAR: Pl give logical reply with backing of texts to contradict what has been stated by the person who contends that Conversion is very much a part of the parcel of Zoroastrian tradition.
    Just because you say that ‘Conversion is NOT a part of our Deen’ does NOT mean that everybody must accept whatever you say. Stop behaving like a K.G. Class teacher.

  • farzana

    Ratheshtar, for you!!

  • Firoz ADAZZ

    CONVERSION, sound a ugly word to our religion, so guess who supports the same? I think people like those who are busy pasting in FAke and biased web addresses that are of no true quality at all..
    Zoroastrianism has survived ONLY in India due to stress on Traditions and exclusiveness, I completely agree with the same, How wonderful, and how sad that certain parasites cant bear that.

  • Hosi.Pardiwala

    Assuming Rathestar that what you state is an absolute truth, then do you want to imply that:
    That a century back,those High Priests who performed Navjotes of French lady were RENEGADES? Shame on you to suggest so obnoxious about the High Priests who are now in Heavens.

    Furthermore, it is an admitted fact that workers in FireTemples are mostly CONVERTS. So according to you the Orthodox are ‘selectively flexible‘ ?

    JUST APPLY YOUR MIND BEFORE PREACHING YOUR FRUITFUL IDEAS. ALL ARE NOT GULLIBLE TO ACCEPT WHATEVER IS STATED BY ANYBODY.

  • Darayas Malegam

    What amazes me is why are we limitting Zoroastrianism to India , why are we so reluctant to embrace the lacs of zoroastrians from other nations , A few years ago a delegation had come from Tajekstan and Abarjaizan and were sent back !! our own fellow zarthushts were sent back saying they were not ” real ” zoroastrians and that they were wanting acceptance only for the sake of the community property and money ?!!!!!! I am amazed , is this how a so called intelligent community acts and behaves ??? Was the first zoroastrian born with a sudreh and kushti ? NO the first zrorastrian was the first conversion into this great religion . But what do we have today one against the other ..Before you are a member of any community you are FIRST a child of GOD never forget that ….without tolerance there can be no acceptance and without acceptance oneness is but a myth …..Pray all you want , go to agyari as much as you want but till you accept all of creation for what it is , you will be nothing more than a dead plant in stagnant waters ..

  • Nemesis.

    Believe me , this Firoz Adazz is as genuine a ID as Mazda and Delnavaz.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    It seems the original author of Firoz Adazz has a special license to use various pseudonyms incl those of Irani restaurant owners but he expects other boarders who mention their FULL names to also mention their residential addresses, cell number etc. Different rules for different folks is the principle of ‘divine’ ORTHODOX. If one does not agree with what such a person says then those having opposite view are automatically anti Religion.!

  • Dorab Unwalla

    Rathestar contends that conversion is not a part of our ‘deen’. It is an ‘ugly’ word, he says. May be he is right. So for whom is his opinion aimed at? Surely not at those ‘high’ priests who convert the rich and famous. When can we expect illuminating answer/ oopps clarification from Rathestar alias Firoz Adazz alias Mazda?. Hosi can wait till eternity.