The agiary will soon have an elaborate religious ceremony to have the sacred fire back in the Kebla, where it will burn 24 hours.
Article by Ashutosh M Shukla | Free Press Journal
Mumbai News: Come Friday, Dadysett Agiary to open once again |
Mumbai: Come Friday, worshippers from the Parsi community will again be able to pray at the original hall used by devotees to offer their prayers at the Dadysett Agiary. The restoration of the fire temple is almost over with finishing touches being given. Said to be the second oldest Atash Adaran (agiary) in the city, its restoration took nearly three months. It included having original Burma teak wood beams in place of those that had rotten and were bending, wiring, plastering and painting, and polishing of floor.
The agiary will soon have an elaborate religious ceremony to have the sacred fire back in the Kebla, where it will burn 24 hours. It is through the sacred fire that the Parsis worship Ahura Mazdā, the supreme god. During the restoration, the fire was moved to another structure in the compound and the community prayed there.
Parsis History With The Fire Temple
“At present, it is kept inside the agiary complex,” said a trustee of the Dadysett Charity Trust, which looks after the agiary.
First built in 1771, the fire temple was first close to the space where it currently stands. “It was built by the Dadysett family in Shahenshahi rights on a plot they owned,” said Ervad Darayesh Katrak, trust secretary.
The Parsis are subdivided into three groups. The Shahenshahis, the Kadmis and the Faslis. Each group differs marginally from one another due to the different period in which they came to India, the calendars they follow and the rituals they perform. When the temple was moved to its current location in 1803, it was consecrated under Kadmi rights. The agiary, however, is open to all Zoroastrians.
“For a long period we had Persian Zoroastrian priests overseeing the religious affairs of the agiary. It is believed to be the only one to have Persian Zoroastrian priests. Even some of the Atash Behrams (highest grade fire temples) did not have them,” said Katrak of the over 250 year temple, which will celebrate its anniversary on August 2,2023.
Local priests took over the religious affairs only later on. It catered to a booming Parsi population that lived in the vicinity and continues to do so.
“The last family member of the Dadysett family passed away a month ago. When she was alive, she gave some money and asked that from its interest, prayers be performed for her family and her. On July 7, when Muktads start, we will be having prayers for the deceased family members of Dadysett who have no descendants now,” said the trustee.
Muktads is a period when the departed are remembered.