This is an email forward received from Behram P. Dhabbar on a newslist.
Our forefathers had come to India and settled here with the prime objective of keeping the fire of our religion burning eternally. Hence it was but natural that soon after settling down in Sanjan their biggest desire was to consecrate a Holy Fire without which their religious life would be incomplete. Further they had fulfill the undertaking given by them to Pak Dadar Ahuramazda and to Firozgar Behram Yazad who had come to their aid in their hour of grave plight. So they immediately put in motion the necessary programme and within five years of their arrival here, Pak Iranshah Saheb was duly established by them in accordance with the ancient rites and procedures.
Firstly, a delegation of scholarly mobeds and true behdins under the leadership of Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval went to the court of King Jadi Rana to take his permission and ask for his assistance to establish in Sanjan, a Sacred Fire according to the tenets of our religion. They even requested the king to give them a large piece of quiet land, completely aloof from dwelling houses for this purpose. King Jadi Rana had a feeling of affection for this group of people who he had allowed to settle in his land. He had noticed that this group’s culture was identical to the ancient Aryan culture. He was very pleased with their noble qualities and the loftiness of their religion and admired them because they had made splendid sacrifices for the sake of their religion. He gladly gave them permission and directed to give them the land and other assistance they sought. All arrangements for The Enthronement were made there.
The “Dini Alats” had to be brought from the then existing Atash-Kadeh in Iran . “Alat” means an instrument. Hence “Dini Alats” means things without which no religious rites can be performed, e.g. : –
1. “Rakhiya” or Holy Ash.
2. Duly consecrated hair from the tail of a calf, which has not a single black or coloured hair on its body (Varasiyaji) .
3. Duly consecrated cow’s urine – Nirang.
According to ancient customs and usages : –
1. No ceremony requisite for the Enthronement of a New Fire can be commenced without these “Alats” from an already existing Atash-Kadeh:
2. Such “Alats” cannot be brought from abroad by sea-route.
There is no difference of opinion on these points. And our forefathers had not, and truly could not have brought with them by sea-route any “Alats”. Therefore they had to depute to Iran, by land-route, two competent Athravans to bring, again by land-route, the requisite “Alats” from the Atash-Kadeh at Nishapur in Khorasan which was linked by an unbroken line of succession with The Celestial Fire, ?dar Burzin Meher consecrated by Asho Spitama Zarathushtra Saheb over 8,300 years ago.
Y? ?dar Burzin Meher : – This Fire was created by Asho Zarathushtra Spitama. In order to prove the powers of ‘m?nthrav?nis’ He had acquired, He recited the nirang ? Airyam? Ishyo and created the Fire in His hand (Airyaman? Angel is the Giver of joy, courage and happiness, banishes suffering, gives peace and for the marriage aashirwad His grace is sought as He also has a relationship with the life of the bridal couple). This Fire was named after Asho Zarathushtra’ s Guru, Dastur?n Dastur Burzin Meher Kurush, from whom He acquired Knowledge of this world and the Spiritual world between the ages of seven to fifteen. Asho Zarathushtra Paigambar was a Noor from the Noor of D?d?r Ahuramazda (Light out of Light).
Thus the “Alat” required for the religious ritual was brought from Khorasan and the sacred work for establishing the Atash Behram was started with Its use. The ritual commenced with a large number of pious mobeds under the leadership and guidance of the scholarly and righteous Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval.
As per the tenets of our religion, in order to consecrate a Fire Temple 16 different types of fires have to be first obtained and they have to pass through various purificatory ceremonies. Thus the mobeds got engrossed in collecting the different types of fires and began purifying them to bring the spiritual element into those fires through the power of religious rituals and Manthra prayers.
Of these 16 different fires, one of Them, which is obtained from lightning, is directly connected with the Higher Planes of Existence known as the Dakhyus and It plays an important part in the Light of the Altar in the Atash Behram. Through the power of This Atash, the Atash Behram’s Light is able to have greater relationship with Spiritual Forces. Hence the main purpose of making It form a part of the Atash Behram Fire is to enable the devotees to establish a link with the Spiritual Elements and Forces and become at-one – “yaz” – through the Holy Fire on The Altar, with those Dakhyus and the Yazatic Beings There, by means of Holy Manthras. This is the one and only one reason why the great authors of our Pehlavi texts insist upon spending our leisure hours near the threshold of an Atash Behram and especially remain present there at the change of Gehs and offer prayers standing before The Enthroned Fire. This Lightning Fire (electricity) , through Whose Great Force/Energy, the entire bright world is sustained and maintained, is known as “Atash Vazisht” or “Atar-e-Vazisht” i.e. The Swiftest Fire. Its status in the Spiritual World is very high.
According to tradition, This Fire is taken from the natural fire started by lightning in the rainy season, but, according to legend from our ancestors, Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval decided to bring down the lightning for This Atash Behram by the strength of his knowledge and righteousness.
All arrangements were made for the Miraculous Action. Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval and other skilled mobeds were engaged in that act : –
? For “nine” days Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval became engaged in prayer and obtained strength and competence for this act through “nine” days of various rituals thereby preparing himself for the great spiritual feat he was called upon to perform.
? After the ritual was completed, “nine” logs of sandalwood were placed on a stone platform in an open place.
? Four other Manthra-Masters – Mobeds, placed themselves in the four directions around the platform and they continuously recited Avesta prayers alongwith certain rituals.
? Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval himself stood facing the altar and fixing his eyes at a certain portion of the sky started reciting Manthra prayers. A constant stream of uninterrupted Manthras flowed forth in a loud and sonorous voice. Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval’s heart was in tune with the natural elements and his soul had lost touch with worldly consciousness and was in unison with the Spiritual Forces. His sacred aura was shining and around his radiant face was a bright glow like that of a great sacrificing angel. By the splendid vibrations of Manthra prayers and the effect of religious rituals, the environment became supernatural.
? Suddenly there was a change in the environment. The sky became overcast with dark clouds, the Sun disappeared, darkness spread all around and the environment assumed an increasingly serious scene. But the Manthric recitations continued.
? Finally when the ritual had reached completion and as a result of the Manthric Vibrations a great shaft of lightning flashed across the sky, piercing the darkness and filling the whole Universe with Light and Joy.
? From the spot where Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval had fixed his gaze a shining ball full of light came out and as Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval shifted his gaze It moved along as if pulled by his gaze and approached Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval and fell on the logs of sandalwood, igniting them immediately.
? Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval and the Anjuman assembled there most solemnly and with great devotion bowed before The Heavenly Fire and paid homage to the Glowing Element of Nature.
? Thereafter, The Fire was taken to the ‘urvisgah’ where rituals were carried out over It as per directives of the religion.
? Thus all Atashes prepared were assembled and on the “9th” roz Adar Yazad of the “9th” month Adar Yazad, in the 90th year after Shah Yazdezard Sheheryar, the enthronement of The Greatest among all Atash-Kadehs of the present age throughout the world, which reminds us of The Victorious ‘Firozgar’ Behram Yazad who saved our Pilgrim Fathers from being swept away in the fierce storm was enthroned at Sanjan in the presence of thousands of devotees, took place.
? A huge assembly of Zarthoshtis congregated and the righteous Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval enthroned Shree Atash Behram with his own sacred hands and performed the first buoi ceremony. The entire Zarthushti anjuman, bowed with reverence to that glowing light with joyful hearts and thanked Pak Dadar Ahuramazda for having guided them to successfully complete this difficult task of bringing such a bright altar into existence.
? Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval declared that since we have lost our Shahenshah and have no Iranian Shah of our own, the entire Zarthoshti anjuman should consider this sacred Atash Behram as our ‘King’ and that this glowing kebla will always be known as “Iranshah”. Its attraction will always pull us towards Iran ’s Greatest Prophet Asho Zarathushtra and Hisa Splendid Religion with faith and fervour and will always remind us of our motherland Iran and our famed Iranian Shahs. The name of Iranshah will remain immortal as a remembrance of the extraordinary sacrifice made to protect our religion and a memorial column as witness to the hardships we have endured.It will also through Its Lustre, Truth and Power continue to guide the entire Zarthoshti community and will always be considered as our Spiritual Umbrella.
For the preparations, it is worth noting that there is a frequent recurrence of the figure “nine” which has purposefully been put into inverted commas : –
? 9 days of Dasturji Nairyosang Dhaval’s prayer and inner preparation.
? 9 logs of sandalwood.
? 9th Roj of the
? 9th Mah, of
? 90th Y E.
This is because “9” is never destroyed – It is immortal. This denotes that our Great Pak Iranshah Saheb will survive with all Its Splendour and Glory till the very day of Farshokereiti. “9” also indicates our Prophet Asho Spitaman Zarathushtra Saheb Whose great Fravashi is thus connected with Pak Iranshah Saheb and also the nine parts of Zarathushtra were highly developed and He had reached the ninth Aasm?n. This is indicated by the staff with the nine nodes, also known as the nav-gareh-ni- lakree, which He holds in His hand – see picture given.
Parts of the above text have been compiled and extracted from various references and from the following books
1. The history of the Holy Fire Iranshah by Ervad Faramroze Phiroz Mirza
2. In Search of Divine Light – A Handbook on Daily Prayers by Late Mr. Behram D. Pithavala.