Mumbai Parsis divided on intermarriage

With numbers dwindling, young Parsis turn to organized social events to meet, and hopefully marry, others of their cultural group.
By Hanna Ingber Win — GlobalPost

A group of about a dozen young Parsi professionals gather around a table at the Parsi Gymkhana or social club at Marine Lines in Mumbai. They drink Pepsis and snack on toast topped with akuri, a spicy mixture of scrambled eggs and tomatoes, as they wait for others to arrive.

“What’s up, homies?” says 23-year-old Peshotan Kapadia as he makes his entrance. Sporting a goatee, jeans and T-shirt, Kapadia — like the rest of the group — looks like a typical modern young adult.

But despite the modern scene, the group’s underlying purpose is a reflection of their traditional beliefs: to foster marriage between young Parsis.

The group, Zoroastrian Youth for the Next Generation (ZYNG), was launched in mid-December and aims to provide social, cultural and employment opportunities for young people in their community. Zoroastrianism is the religion that the cultural group Parsis follow.

The main objective is “social interaction,” says Viraf Mehta, a good-looking 32-year-old who wears stylish glasses and a button-down shirt and has his hair gelled back. “We are hoping to have a Parsi meet another Parsi to …” Mehta clasps his hands together, interlocks his fingers and smiles widely.

The Parsi community fled Persia a millennium ago and has managed to prosper in India while maintaining its distinct religion and traditions. Parsis, who have coexisted peacefully with the Hindu majority, tend to be well-educated, financially successful and urban.

However, the population has decreased due to a low birth rate, and the community is deeply divided over how to fight off what some consider the threat of extinction. On one side, an orthodox contingent insists the Parsis will flourish only if more young people marry within the community and have more children. Opposing them, a smaller group of reformists insist the Parsis must open themselves up to intermarriage, adoption and even conversion. There are about 61,000 Parsis in India of which two-thirds live in Mumbai, according to Jehangir Patel, the editor of Parsiana Magazine. He said about 30 percent marry outside the community each year.

Both sides speak with a feisty sense of determination and conviction, adamant that their views are the only possible way forward for the community. Members of both contingencies used the word “rubbish” to describe the other’s arguments.

“We are not the Taliban … we are not fascists,” says ZYNG member Hoshedar Havewala, 24, as he explains why intermarriage is unacceptable to him. “We have survived only because we have not married outside.”

The organization, which is the youth wing of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), an elected group that governs the community’s religious affairs and oversees a trust, echoes the ideas of the older generation of orthodox Parsis. All seven members of the BPP espouse orthodox beliefs.

Marzban Giara, a soft-spoken author and publisher on Parsi history who wears a red velvet cap and a sudreh and kusti or traditional cotton undershirt and woven string, says the Zoroastrian religion forbids intermarriage. Many young Parsis, he says, have married outside the fold because they have become too focused on modern amenities like television and movies and have lost their grounding in the religion.

The reformists insist intermarried Zoroastrians should be welcomed into the community and deserve the right to worship at the fire temples, which are integral to the religion but are off-limits to non-Parsis.

“We’ve got to wake up to reality,” says Vispy Wadia, who co-founded the Association for the Revival of Zoroastrians and is in the process of setting up new fire temples for intermarried families. “We would love Parsis to survive. But if the community is dwindling, we would like the religion to survive.”

Wadia insists the religion never outlawed intermarriage and that such objections are due to social concerns that converted Zoroastrians would attempt to reap the benefits of the BPP trust, which provides subsidized housing and social services. However, converts would not have access to the services, he says, because the trusts are only for Parsis. While one can convert to the religion, he or she would not be able to convert to the ethnicity of Parsi, he says.

The reformist organization Association of Inter-Married Zoroastrians has successfully fought for the right of Parsi women who marry outside the religion to be allowed to worship at the fire temples. Men who marry outside have always been allowed to do so. Now, the organization is fighting for their children to be accepted, says Meher Amersey, the group’s president.

Another key issue that divides the orthodox and reformists is the disposal of the dead. Parsis have traditionally disposed of their dead by placing them on a dokhma, or Tower of Silence, and left them to be decomposed by the sun and vultures. However, a drug used in livestock has effectively killed off all of Mumbai’s vultures.

The orthodox insist the dead should be left on the dokmas and have installed solar reflectors to decompose the bodies. Khojeste Mistree, one of the BPP trustees, believes the bodies should be left for other birds of prey like crows. The reformists argue that those methods have not worked. They say the bodies should be cremated, and priests should be allowed to give prayers over those bodies.

Even the issue of dwindling numbers is controversial. Mistree says there has simply been a redistribution of the Parsi community as people have emigrated. At a recent Parsi wedding in Mumbai, Parsis living across North America and Canada were in attendance. Mistress says the reformists claim the population has dwindled to bolster their argument for intermarriage.

On one thing many from both sides agree — the infighting itself threatens to destroy the Parsis.
“It is so sad,” says Khursheed Narang of the Association of Inter-Married Zoroastrians. “They have reduced us into a close-minded, bickering community. We have lost sight of what we are supposed to stand for.”

The youth group ZYNG says they want to move beyond the fighting of the older generation and focus on group activities that bring people together. They are starting with a paint ball tournament scheduled for Jan. 10. And if paint ball leads to a new happy couple and eventually some Parsi babies, all the better.

  • While inter-faith marriages should not be openly encouraged, the youngsters need to be taught that marriage does not merely entail a wedding function and success of the same requires sacrifices more particularly materialistic sacrifices. Parsee females from last Century onwards found even eligible and qualified boys ‘unsuitable and incompatible’ because such Parsee men did not wish to get separated from their parents.
    Parsee females need to be more adjustable.
    As for those Parsee females who are inter married and desire to bring up their children into Zoroastrian faith, one sees no issues provided the non Parsee father gives a written consent.
    The self styled Orthodox are not saviours of our Religion. One has to be more practical to move with times and as the
    situation demands.This is more relevant with regard to disposal of mortal remains and it is indeed cruel and sadistic to deny prayer facilites to such full fledged Parsee Zoroastrians who choose alternate mathods of disposal. The arm twisting of priests is shameful and disgusting.If litigation is the only way out then so be it.

  • Insofar as my memory goes, the community in Mumbai was never so divided and suffering from fissiparous tendencies as it is since last 3 to 4 years thanks to an organization called WAPIZ.
    The end result is some other organizations that have cropped up to counter this fanatic group.

  • how true.. .how true.. its a nice unpolarized view of the community of today… but doesn’t go much beyond that.
    kudos! for being impartial to all 🙂

  • Dear Mr. Havewala,
    I do agree on what you said, but at the same time i would like to state that inspite of our rich Heritage we still do not allow inter caste marriages.
    Whats wrong in inter caste marriages i do not understand.
    First of all i would like to state that our young boys do not study hard as our young Girls & also the boys just stand at the entrence of All Baiugs & just do Romio Giri & dadagiri, where as on the other hand our girls study hard & gains Dgrees. our boys also do not want to work harder & attain fames where as our girls do work harder & also attains fames for their Families.
    The boys do not work harder so naturaly they would recieved less pay & the our girls recieved higher pays.
    The foremost of all oyur girls who wants to get married think about the security for themselves & also fo their childerns, our boys are not able to provide any kind of security so do we expect our young girls to get married with our lazy boys who do not take care of themselves. Then do we expect them to get married to our boys, who does not know how to take care of their families.
    First let all the learned men of our comunity trys to educate the lazy boys of our comunity & also implement the job opportunities for our boys.
    Also we get housings at the throw away Rates, then do ypou expect the boys to know the true Value of money.
    First consider all the pros & cons .
    Jai hind./
    Ronnie.

  • rustom

    The generation that has paved way for such chaos ironically were the biggest beneficiaries of assets of being a Zoroastrian. Whilst the whys and hows were neglected, forgotten and thus not passed on, the community lies at a corssroads with armchair philosophies.
    Hopefully the young like members of ZYNG who thirst to learn about their roots, see the dangers of being fused,and want to live and carry on their rich legacy will make Zoroastrianism rise yet like a Phoenix. All the best to them especially with regards to all the slandering they get from those who claim to revive and alert zoroastrians….

  • Tanaz cyrus Wadia

    We should allow non parsi womenwith her Child in Agari and Bodies should be cremated. I My self want to do and my Family in future.I dont want our bodies to stink.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    What is there to be “divided” about? The whole community is dying out. No, it is not only due to immigration but to a low birth rate, intermarriage, and those that sacrifice their lives for their careers. In 50 years’ time there will be few if any Parsees left in South Asia. Why not welcome those that intermarry into the community, as well as those that sincerely want to join the faith from the outside?

    Deekras, our community, culture, language and way of life is dying. This is the last chance. Very soon it will be too late.

  • E. Kanga

    > Bawaji’s Lament!

    > Why is our ‘PARSI POPULATION going . . . POOFT??”

    We are all somehow related,
    Often times even belated.
    At reproduction they’re not the best
    By working in banks, they get their rest.

    The community is rapidly dwindling
    The gene pool is tremendously shrinking.
    Eccentricities sure do abound
    Soon we will all be funny and round.

    The girls these days, don’t want to get married
    They say, “Oh no, we’d much rather be buried”
    ”This one, is not right for me”
    ”That one, doesn’t know how to make tea”

    ”That other one makes less money than me.”
    ”And I wish that, you-all would just let me be.”
    To fall in love they know not how
    They keep saying the time is not now.

    The boys are also just the same
    Now where does one put the blame?
    ”She is too tall” . . . ”she is too fat”,
    ”Oh my God! That one looks like a rat!”

    Will we all die and wither away?
    Or will someone come to save the day??
    My thoughts go out to all those who read
    Remember it is with you, I plead.……

    > Now it’s time, for all us Parsas to pray
    > To Dada Hormuzd, and fervently say;
    > “On our knees, to THEE we implore
    > Please do not wipe us off the floor”

    > To you new couples of the Faith
    > In the words “I Do” my advise lay’th,
    Just be Good and do your Best
    Mazda is Great and will do the rest.
    ————————————————~ Edited by E.J.Kanga, – with some >additions /modifications. (The original author unknown) 2001.*e.

  • sarosh

    Basically all the So called reformist have their children uncontrollably married outside the parsi community, therefore just for the sake of them that they are still called parsis and for their selfish motives they make organizations like Aza..

  • Sarosh,
    Do you seriously believe that our so called system of disposal of corpses ‘works’?
    AZA is not the outcome of requirements of inter married Parsees. The forum of inter married Parsees is AIMZ.

  • Delnavaz

    Hi,

    Anyone who is not convinced that the present system of dokhmenishi works, is free to avail other methods. For those who obviously think otherwise will continue to use the dokhmenishi method. There need not be any illfeeling if everyone respects & accepts the other group’s wishes.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    Can any one tell me how many ladies have travelled from iran with our ancestors who landed at sanjan!I think answer of all our question and guidence to our future lies in this answer search the history plese!!!

  • a.rustomjee

    Parsi definition of youth is a person aged up to 40 years! And a blogger claims that the new association “will make Zoroastrianism rise yet like a Phoenix.”
    His comment is fit for humor section.

  • Anti – Dhongidox

    Delnavaz,
    No body from the rational side prevents others who are ‘convinced/ committed’ like your goodeself to pursue the so called time tested methods. It is the other way round i.e. the self styled scholars who create obstacles in way of rationalists by fanatically pursuing their agenda by not allowing use of Bunglis for prayer facilities for those who decide on alternate methods of disposal. No body wants to scrap or discard the existing system of dumping corpses for those who believe that is the right ‘system’. But the arm twisting by the irrartionalist lobby is the root cause of all such controversies. Rationalists believe in the principle of live and let live unlike the fanatic group.

  • Why not take a Referendum to find out how many Bawas subscribe to your beliefs?. At present all Parsees are coerced into a ‘tradition’ in absence of proper Alternate facilities. So talk about majority opting for current system is patently stupid. Unless there are more than one system in place a one horse race can NOT imply majority.

  • Dilnavaz,.
    Parsi community is intelligent enough and does not need your consent or permission to know that they are free to opt for ‘other methods’.
    You are free to think and act in the manner you feel appropriate just as those who think otherwise are free to act and enlighten others. You are fully aware of the difficulties faced by those who think and act differently and the hurdles created by those whom you seem to untiringly admire.

  • Bemus

    I think this ZYNG is a good idea. I believe similar ideas popup from time to time. I have a suggestion for the people in this group like mr porus and mr viraf, if any of you know them, please forward this.

    I think you need to (apart from your other plans) set up a parsi matrimonial web-site, patterned along the lines of commercial sites like Shaadi.com. This means that:
    1. Visually friendly. I think a couple of our people have already tried this, but they make text heavy un-appealing interfaces. You are targetting a younger crowd, so make the web site snazzy and professional.
    2. Searchable for a limited number of times without registration (allows people to feel comfortable before registering, and is better than a registration only website that could be perceived as inaccessible).
    3. Allow basic registration to start communication and exploration.
    4. Have a final authenticated registration (where someone known from the community vouches for the person) to ensure that the profile represents an actual person and is not just someones idea of a timepass.
    5. It should be free and not restricted to India or to only Parsis and not irani zoros.
    6. Off this site and your other membership activities you could organize meetups, and perhaps over time expand your membership face to face activities to chapters outside mumbai.
    7. If you organize this way, and show some initial results you may be able to secure on-going funding from trusts etc… as there is no conflict and you are doing a service for the deen.
    8. Most important imo; give your website a facebook widget or connecting application so that users feel comfortable and connected.
    9. The application should be secure, so that users dont feel they will be ashamed by putting up their profile.
    10. Your first questions would be about the software etc… Amazingly there are a lot of open source database and page setups available that would get you off to a good start. It just requires a google search to start the inquiry process.
    11. Marriage can be daunting, brand your self as a community dating/matrimonial site.

    I decided to do a quick search on Shaadi.com before submitting this search. As per the results there are 326 parsi girls and 500+ parsi boys who have active profiles on the site with age 18-38(i didnt expect so many). It just shows the need very much exists for the service you want to faciliate, someone just needs to do it better.
    Shaadi.com seems to require money for their full range of services, if you could do the same (parsis looking for parsis) for free in a secure and attractive way, i see no reason why you wouldnt have atleast the same number signed up.

    Good luck with your project, I hope you see it through in whichever form you progress with.

  • E. Kanga

    MUSINGS ABOUT A CONFUSED TRIBE.

    From: The Confused Times*

    PARSI-ism

    The PARSI is considered enlightened – How? . . . . .
    Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers – Business Moguls, IT wizards & more;
    World renowned Scientists & Industrialists with acknowledged forte. . . . .
    Then lays the dearly-departed in an open pit; carrions to devour!
    Unmindful of millions living around. . . . . .
    Ancient petrified mind. . . . . pretending to be enlightened?
    —————

    * The Confused Times: Refers to a confused 21st century tribe,
    living with c.2000BCE mindset.

  • Delnavaz

    Hey Rustomjee,
    Pls read my post carefully. Like many others, I am expressing my opionion on the dokhmenishi controversy. I don’t see how you could have interpreted my post, as one where I am giving my consent/permission on the dokhmenishi or any other issue.
    cheers

  • Delnavaz,
    The tone, text and tenor of your post like the words ‘free to”, is to my mind,in consonance with the attitude of coterie who believe that they have sole monopoly over interpreting the Religion/and the properties left in trust for the community at large. The language of such posts create an impression of arrogance like words ‘free to to avail other methods’. Sorry, my teaching and interpretation of language makes me believe that it is trying to demonstrate display of false bigheartedness on part of those who are bigoted to set dogmas. The rational elements in our community are fully aware of their rights and do not require uncalled for advice or generosity from anybody.
    If the there was no implied authoritarian display, why have you conveniently ignored what has been stated by me about the hurdles created by the authoritarian group. FREEDOM can not be genuine when the hands of those who want to act differently than those with ritual mindset create conditions as good as trying to tie the hands and chain their feet of the rational and then proclaim that they are ‘free to avail other methods’’ This is nothing but a cruel joke.
    Any way ,if your post implied other than what I have inferred,then it is a mater of different perception/ interpretation.

  • I agree with Rustomje,
    The language of Delnavaz’s post dtd 7th inst gives an unmistakable impression of some element of ‘generosity’ of granting liberty to others. The properties ‘managed’ by BPP are vested in them by way of Trust and they are supposed to hold it in fiduciary capacity for the welfare of the entire community . It is not meant for a handful of individuals claiming ‘majority is with us’ Trustees are not owners and it is time their faithful followers realised this fact and stop behaving as if it is their family wealth.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    As per our rituals and systems Dead body is Treated as A NASO….
    or Impure thing which attrects all bad spirits to it self.
    While going through SACHKAR AND GEH SARNU Itis being protcted From such evil spirits that can take over the body.(Invisible Iron Field is created by using nail along with avesta chants)to keep evil away
    Then body is presented to Dohkma in its purest form as it was born.All this has one great support that is our dokhma it self.Dokhmu is not just a circular piece of construction it has its own system.The stone used in making the structure is highest heat absorbant.inside temprature is generally few degrees more then out side,which helps bodies to secret all fluids including fat. THIS IS ONE PART
    The secration flowing from body then goes to a smll well sort of storage (and is not allowed to mixed with the soil)& dehydreted and dry body dissolves by it self IS THE OTHER PART
    While preparing dokhma the structure goes through many rituals & its separation from rest of the good and fertile land. Mobed saheb have to perform 40 days or more day and night continuous ritual ,Fill Tano made out of various metal & to gear it up to use for those who have taken birth to the parents who had taken NAHAN and wearing Sudreh And Kusti and the body itself in its life have gone through NAHAN and wearing these gears. our rituals of Sachkar and geh sarnu have permenant support from dokhma that has been treated ritually for our departed ones. The
    body given to dokhma dissolves by it self without harming furtile land, water, or fire Eating body by birds and vluchers is all together a second part and is complimentry.
    WE who oppose to it have no proper knowledge of our ancient tradition and those who want to refuse accepting to do final gehsarnu or sachkar are very right but they fail to teach us that without dokhmenasini sachkar gehsarnu
    or any other kriya is not of any use.May I please request
    our elders and scholers to impart some more knoledge on the
    subject.It will change the thinking of community because zorastrianism is not just to born in parsi family and live as parsee but also depart as one and even after the departure manthravani of holy avesta helps one to rest in peace.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    AS a very young boy I have visited A working dokhma and have
    seen departed ones there_ DRY and disposed smell! yes within the tower there is, but across the wall nothing!Because of the heat generated there ,fluides vaporises. and hot air always travels upward to the atmosphere leaving no clues. Using Solar reflectors is one of very effective method , it enhances the process & due to direct rediation of UV even bones dissolves.
    All of us have personal choices while we are alive but when we leave this body let us surrender it to our tradition which has its own means and ways and if not please do not debet to put wrong Ideas in mind of fellow zorastrians!I have studid scince and i vote for dokhmenashini over any other mathod because when one human body is cremated amount of carbon dioxide and residues of medicine, toxins & chemicals consumed by us being emitted in air are far too bad gift that we give to the society in thanks giving on our last day!kindly think about it
    and Enjoy being Parsi Even after the depature…..

  • Anti -Dhongidox.

    Pestanjee,
    On how many days in a year the Sun is overhead to enable Reflectors to reflect heat?
    In Mumbai,how many months of monsoon has cloudy wheather?
    Thirdly a rocky land can not be fertile.
    No body has suggested to “refuse accepting to do final gehsarnu or sachkar.” It is only the final mode of disposal that has failed.
    As for your remark ‘please do not debet to put wrong Ideas in mind of fellow zorastrians!I have studid scince and i vote for dokhmenashini over any other mathod’ – well all educated persons have STUDIED science and your study of Science does not make you an Authority. As for your advice of not to debate and not to put what you term as wrong ideas, may I ask you, what makes you believe that your ideas ONLY are RIGHT? and those who are rational have wrong ideas.
    Again I repeat that prayers and last rites are very essential and that is precisely being denied by sadistic and cruel minded sewlf styled ORTHODOX who do not know that Orthodoxy does not imply cruelty, rigidity and disability to read the writings on the Wall.
    Lastly, can you elaborate how one can ‘enjoy’ being a Parsi even after departure, as stated by you?

    I may be wrong but your posts in quick succession on the same topic gives an impression that you are attemting to place before the community an apology for those who failed in their pet Aviary project.

    Our Community consists of high literacy rate and does not need counsel from either me or you to decide the issue.

  • Anti -Dhongidox.

    Pestanjee,
    On how many days in a year the Sun is overhead to enable Reflectors to reflect heat?
    In Mumbai,how many months of monsoon has cloudy wheather?
    Thirdly a rocky land can not be fertile.
    No body has suggested to “refuse accepting to do final gehsarnu or sachkar.” It is only the final mode of disposal that has failed.
    As for your remark ‘please do not debet to put wrong Ideas in mind of fellow zorastrians!I have studid scince and i vote for dokhmenashini over any other mathod’ – well all educated persons have STUDIED science and your study of Science does not make you an Authority. As for your advice of not to debate and not to put what you term as wrong ideas, may I ask you, what makes you believe that your ideas ONLY are RIGHT? and those who are rational have wrong ideas.
    Again I repeat that prayers and last rites are very essential and that is precisely being denied by sadistic and cruel minded self styled ORTHODOX who do not know that Orthodoxy does not imply cruelty, rigidity and disability to read the writings on the Wall.
    Lastly, can you elaborate how one can ‘enjoy’ being a Parsi even after departure, as stated by you?

    I may be wrong but your posts in quick succession on the same topic gives an impression that you are attempting to place before the community an apology for those who failed in their pet Aviary project.

    Our Community consists of high literacy rate and does not need counsel from either me or you to decide the issue.

  • Hai Rustomjee,
    Even i fully agree with what Delnavaz had written, First of all Let me remind you that we all are the citizens of a Demoractic country & not in a dictatorship country.
    In the Democracy anyone & everyone has the right to express her or his feelings.
    I presonaly do agree with her.
    First of all tell our young men to stop all Romeogiris & dadagiris before ever thinking of geting married to our highly educated & qualified girls.
    Also teach them & guide them to study & work harder like our girls.
    The foremost is that please do teach them all about security for their families if they do not want our girls & women to get married outside the community.

    My sincere request to all that please do allow our girls women & men to get married outside our fold than only we would be able to survive the current turmoil.
    I personely do not see anything wrong in getting married outside the fold.
    Please i would also like to remind those so called pure Parisis that why is the community greats keeping mum on the marriages of late JRD TATA, Neville wadia & nusli wadia,Adi Godrej. its because they belongs to the most richest Family. why are the Trustees keeping mum on this so called Riches intercaste marriages.
    When those Rich parsis can marry outside the fold than why cannot the girls & men get married outside.
    I do not understand the double standards adopted by all the high Priests & our Trustees.
    We are all living in a modern world, so please do all the girls & also accept thri offsprings to follow our Religion if they so desire than only our so called Great Parsi Race would be able to tide the present turmoil & would also see the increase in our fold.
    I also know that i am from nowonwards a hunted man within the so called Decent community once a upon a time, but now it is no more a decent community nowadays.
    I do not fear for my life if my harsh writings would open the eyes of the community people.
    Jai Hind.
    A Indian Fisrt, second a Hindu & lastly a Parsee.
    Ronnie Patel.

  • According to Gudi ‘ without dokhmenasini sachkar gehsarnu or any other kriya is not of any use”.
    This blogger is insulting not only our intelligence but insulting all those of previous generations who got their near and dear ones interred in burial grounds as in places like Bhopal, Indore, Neemuch, Delhi and many such places where there are no Towers.
    In fact it is as good as alleging that prayers recited by priests in cases where corpses were buried, the priests have cheated the relatives of the deceased. SHAMEFUL THINKING and more disgusting to propagate such fiction.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    you need not have intence sun light for a process,
    system has its own michenism if you have faith in it.
    I feel I did touch the paining nerve by writing the fact but I am honest to the last word. It works.!In your city of mumbai you have multiple towers to be used intermitantely, where as in a small hill station where a weather is cool 7 months a year single tower have been giving excellant service even during multiple events of use since decads.And it is in a military firing range where no birds can venture to feed.No we dont have to clean the remains it has a BHANDARIYU
    where undesroyed material remains and perishes without harming exept skull Tibia and femer bones .my father have renderd his services as A NASESSALAR and I do occassionally serve too to the community.in my early years i have worked to clean the agiary and to serve Chasni Door to Door.Knowledge what I have gatherd is from asking questions to my mobed sirs and my dad.I have done moust of my studies sitting at the otla of bungli which was just few meters away from the tower never i felt afraid or i felt any kind of bad odore even when paydust done very recently or any thing that had created fear in my mind .To day while writing this I got an answer of Many of my unanswerd questions for which i really am thank ful to this forum. Starting as humble chasniwalla to a ceo i have come long way with faith in the rituals taught to me by elders without questioning them.I am ask to pove kriyas work! sir agian i humbly put it that its a deviced michenism complimenting one another. Its like a yantras being formed by various chants and drawings as per ancient VEDAS of hindu science. our manthravani have got vibrations to create posetivity or to eradicate negetivity or to create a magnetic field which can take person to a trance and heal depression !but sir it has its own rules.(KINDLY WITNESS BAJ DHARNU ANY TIME AT ANY AGIYARI)and you have to have faith. Sir from a sweeper boy of agiari to day i have an ability to stand and voice my say to Hamdeens , and to be the provider of employment to many family is just because I trust my Deen.and act in accordance to. We are standing on a cross road from where only our faith in our Deen e mazdayasni its ritual & our solidarity can salvage us from being history I know I am Too harsh to put this but we were not like this throughout our hisotry. We were doners while alive and we were donors of our body when depated. Our first rule was to keep our tower area un inhabited which we have violated then why to blame system?
    it has its own pace since centuries and even today works perfectly wel ! As i have said our dead body is a Naso if any one wnts to offer a Naso or impurity to our padshah(even cremated elcetrically generates flames which is dadgah or simple fire Which we worship in agiaries) Kindly feel free to do so Insted of Sukad GIve Duruji as it is called !Want to bury !Buy a land in a coumtry where per capita land is already scarced & waste it .if not then salute our system ,come together and findout ways and means to improve it i am sure we can do it.and our padshah saheb who saved us from everything and brought us here,made us to flourish & keep us as one big family will bless us & keep us for generations to come.

  • So now Gudi says that even the direct Solar energy needed. How wonderful to learn this ‘fact’ from a person who claims to be a CEO?
    It would have done you credit, if you had answered the issue of ineffectiveness of Prayers in case of bodies that have been buried.
    Gudi, better reply my earlier post as also those of Voice of Reason instead of expecting others the have blind faith in what you say. ‘Voice of Reason’ has suggested that you advise the proponents of Aviary not to proceed further since according to your first post Solar Reflectors are very effective and now you say that even direct energy from Sun is not necessary. At least be consistent in your fiction.

  • I thank INDIA and the Very tolerant HINDU’s of this freedom loving democracy and pray to AHURA MAZDA TO BLESS THIS LAND for allowing us to step on it’s shores and practice our faith anyway we see fit.If we are to survive as a religion, a community ,a culture ,there are certain basic’s to follow some are written ,some are doctrinal,and some are practices.Nobody but Nobody no matter how big or small,rich or poor,weak or mighty has the right to change,modify or alter this in any way .I understand that in today’s world every body with a little religious knowledge and the threat of freedom of choice like’s to play GOD.I would love to see my beutiful religion continue and survive the way it has in our INDIA….JAI HIND…INDIAN FIRST…then PARSI.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    Dear piloo,
    I have said what i have experanced and grown up with.
    Kriyas Start with sachkar and end at amardad saal when muktads are concluded.it also have a support of the creas done during sachkar& making of dokhma.thats what i was given to understand.Even aram gah are treated before putting to the mass use of community(Need haelp of learned mobed sirs in this matter as how Pavi is created ritually around aram gah ) far as project of aviery concerns to proceed with due caution as bird ‘s low life ratio attributes to ingestion of medicine/chemicals/drug that their sysyem can not sustain & which comes to them from human source.
    unless genetic structural altration of these spicies are done to sustain allthis or immunity genetically created in this vulchers
    breeding will have to be constant like a poultry.
    and they should not become nuissance to surrounding population still no gaurantee that these vulchers do not do
    mass exudos due to adversed urban living condition
    Piloo i do not have faintest idea of how it will be done but if we succeed we will have the supporting system.which we donot get at my home town due to school of arty’s firing range. I have learned all this from elders and my father it is sad that we donot get explainatory litrature to these subjects in our vernacular lenguage to teach our young ons Many a time i had been shooed away by my mobed sirs also when they did not want ato answer My question. I am not any scolar or learned person but i have tried to explain what i have practically gone through following deen and its rituals,and am told by elders.
    Lets prey dadar & pak padshah to guide us the way and to grant us his blassings to succeed.

  • Ahsan Rafique Butt

    Not intermarriages but early and more marriages. If women folk is more one male must marry more than one female it will work for increasing the number.

  • Behram Dhabhar

    Dear Gudi Pestanjee,

    We are indeed happy to read about your comments on the Dokhmenashini issue specially so as it has come from the pen of a Nasasallar’s family. Thank you for having the courage and conviction to speak the truth. This message has already been sent out to thousands of Zarathushtris across the world and has been widely appreciated.

    In case you wish to learn in detail about the journey of a zoroastrian soul after death and the why and hows of the associated kriyas for four days and thereafter, please do send me you email ID and I shall post the relevant articles over to you. Alternatively you may choose to be part of our religious mailing list where such issues and many more are discussed threadbare with our religious scholars.

    You could send me an email on behram24@yahoo.com.

    With Best Regards.

    Behram

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    Bhai Ahsan,
    Our Bawis Will Be Ater Your Blood for Suggesting us so!!!.
    We are equal in ratio and such a step just to increase the numbers will back fire on us with pavority and lack of education apart from other socio economic problems & problem of housing.Our trust however encoureges young couples to have third child and have achieved success.
    Our main problem in urban india is housing for young couples
    which our entire community is actively trying to find solution
    and will succeed in very nearest future. With this may I ask all our ladies to permit us to impliment Bhai Ahsans suggestion?

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    To
    Piloo A D VOR and Hamdeens
    Bhai behram have sent me a kowledge must for us from his
    archaive for the subject we were debeting on. please request him for the same and read it.all our answers are there bhai behrams id is on his post dated Jan 17th.By any means I donot wish to change your thinking but i fell must we know
    what our books says and you will enjoy reading much as i did

  • rustom jamasji

    On some one stating that [Why not take a Referendum to find out how many Bawas subscribe to your beliefs]

    This hints at changing Zoroastrian principles on basis of votes…well in that case many wanted the zoroastrian empire to crumble and so armenia broke up and many more wanted Zoroastrians to follow islam…

    Changing principles of any faith is not a democratical choice ..just as some people may think one can change einsteins law, or Newtons principles or that of christianity or hinduism just by vote…

    Clearly the author wears horseblinds n cannot envisage that then Zoroastrianism or any subject would not be zoroastrianism but render itself to a vote bank!!!…

    Piloo, even if 2 people want to follow Dokhmenishini and a million dont, doesnt mean that dokhmenishini is not enjoined according to zoroastrioanism and also does not acknowledge academicaly or on basis of faith that whats a no no according to zoroastrianism( not ure vote bank) remains so…

    Why dont you guys start “Piloism” OR Kersism or Jafferism instead and let those who r comfortable with zoroastrianism follow that –eh? will such a freedom of choice which you have n can excersise and which we have n would like to to maintain and thus pass on zoroastrianism to the next generation as passed on by the saviours of zoroastrianism amount to your cotories favorite..last resort…tear jerking blackmailing…by falsly brandishing everyone else as Taliban whilst actually following the taliban footsteps of degrading,maligning, forcing to change!!! something not liked by you, even if you are not forced to abide by it…though not being enforced on anyone including yourself…

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    The debet have gone through many sharp curves and hairpin bends to reach here.Can we take count of how many of us were there when we landed at sanjan? I think we are much more now then that time. can we not start afresh?and
    multiply?(This time we have everything that was not avilble to us then )We can. and process is on ,othervise who had time and energy to focus on these subjects and to put his or her say? More we will say more we will come clser to one another,
    and learn.Its a need of time to crete solidarity amongs ourseves & Platform like this forum needs to be appriciated to bring us closer and share what s in our minds and share the knowledge of deen.
    I know parsees have
    survived many difficult time in past history, emerged and re emerged as a victor and so will be this time

  • piloo

    Firstly, you seem to forget that present Trustees got ‘elected’ i.e. ON BASIS OF VOTES which system you now dispprove. You therefore are a rank opporunist.When it suits you accept that method and discard it when you find it not suitable.
    You seem to be scared that in reality persons like you are in minority and majority are aware of the non functional erstwhile method. Religion is one thing and Custom altogather another which issue confuses you to no end.
    Just answer one point.
    ARE OUR PRAYERS INEFFECTIVE IN CASE OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN CONSIGNED TO ARAMGHAS? YES OR NO. I am not interested in a lengthy sermon.Face facts like a gentleman and do not run away from them.

  • Religious but Rational

    Jamas,
    If views of others, according to you, are other than Zoroastrianism i.e. according to you they are Kersiism, Pilooism etc then what makes you believe that your views represent true and authentic Zoroastrianism and that your mumbo jumbo should not be treated as Jamas ni jilooism?
    I may add that suffixing the words “ji” after names like JamshedJI is alien to Parsis. It is Hindu way of showing false respect.
    Lastly, since you are so intellectual to ‘academically challenge” others who are rational, do display your intellectual prowess by answering Anti Dhongidox’s question , i.e. whether a Scholar of Status of Dr. Antia is a HIGH Priests or not. Your answer will be an indicator of your intellectual integrity or double standards – an allegation much repeated against you.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    Dear piloo.
    Zorastianism is not a fast food centre serving you instant dishes of which we have become very use to of. and you will not get reply of your question ARE OUR PREYERS INEFFECTIVE IN CASE OF THOSE WHO HAVE CONSIGNED TO AARAMGAH.? to your satisfaction till you understand entire process,Which starts many hours before of physical deth
    and goes on & One ‘s own preyers done during life time also becomes part of this process. We have to prey Srorsh Yazad
    ritually and…. (Iam typing from a litrature Ihave) IT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND CONSIDERD A GRAVIOUS SIN
    TO EITHER BURY OR BURN THE BODY OVER A FIRE OR CREMATE OR PUT CORPS IN WATER OF A ZORASTRIAN
    AS IT IS EXTREMELY HARMFUL FOR A SOUL OF A DEAD WHICH IS AT A GREAT DISADVANTAGE BECAUSE OF THE
    PREYERS PERFOMED IN THE NAME OF SAROSH YAZAD
    DO NOT REACH THE SOUL.FOR A VERY VERY LONG TIME. IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT IT IS MENTIONED IN
    THE HOLY SCRIPTURE Vendidaad THAT THE CORPS OF A ZORASTRIAN SHOULD BE PUT IN DOKHMA ONLY BECAUSE
    THE POWERFUL CIRCUITS WHICH ARE FORMED WITHIN
    AT THE TIME OF CONSECRATION OF THE DOKHMA HELPS THE SOUL TO RELASE TRAPEED ” Azda “,Kehrp,
    Ustan AND Tevishi FROM THE CORPS TO BE PUT IN CHARGE OF Daham Yazat WITOUT WHICH THE SOUL CAN NOT PROGRESS ON THE CHINWAT.
    Meaning of
    AZDA : OILY BODY
    KEHRP : ULTRA PHYSICAL BODY
    TEVISHI : DESIRES BODY
    USTHAN : ULTRAFINE POWER OF LIFE FORCE

    “(Ritual remains incomplete without the circuit of dokhma” book says) and in short our all creas that we do for dear one does not reach or does not reach in time when soul needs it moust. this is for your knowledge from holy book of vendidad
    Originally translated by By Dr.Faramroz Chiniwalla in gujrati
    and tranlated by Bhai Minoo Irani in english
    Bhai behram has the same in his archive as i told you and others ,and its worth reading for all zoastrians
    Pardon me for being irritated at the outset but this isJust a minor part answer of your question
    :Gudi

  • Gudi Pestanjee,

    Which of my post are you replying. Or are you replying on behalf of some one else.My last message dated 25th was not addressed to you.
    As for the Books quoted by you, what you say may be relevant when the system was fully functional and not now.No religious literature can propound allowing the corpses to rot for months. Earlier it was said that by the fourth day, physical body should be no more. The same is not the case now, despite whatever you say.
    I can not agree with you that bodies consigned in Aram ghas did not get the blessings of prayers. You are hurting the sentiments of relatives of those buried in places other than
    west coast of India. In fact in countries like Canada,USA & UK
    there is major Parsi population but the corpses are buried or cremated after Prayers. Are you trying to suggest that souls of Parsis dying aboroad do not progress.Going by your statements,Manashni,Gavasni, Koonashni are irrelevant and a crook who led a debased life will get blessings of prayers but an upright and righteous individual breathing his last in Canada, UK or US will suffer?
    You and your admirers can believe this.

  • Voice of Reason.

    I believe that it is also stated in the Venidad that a Zoroastrian must necessarily get married and have a family.
    So by that standards,souls of all bachelors and those married but without offspring will be consigned to …………???? That inspite of leading a straightforward life. This is how obscurantists want to spread the message of ‘enlightenment’ and claim to be true Zoroastrians.
    People stoop to a level of posting Messages with deliberate spelling mistakes and a humble tone thinking that their true identity will remain unknown. In the other avtar the same blogger will write another post in another name in a caustic language WITHOUT any spelling mistakes. Such
    intelligent(?) individuals take intelligence of others for granted.

  • Confused Reformist.

    All Bawas,
    When u stand before a barbecue think twice of ordering Tandoor food. A Scientist (!) and a “Authority on our Religion’ with knowledge acquired ‘first hand’ hereabove states that it is SIN to burn body (flesh) over fire.
    And even if you eat non tandoor non veg item, where will you throw the bones. You will be defiling the soil.
    If you happen to have a pet dog, covert him at vegetranism as well.
    Become Shruddh Shakaharis fast by to -morrow at least.
    One wonders why ‘farchas’ are served after Meetings organised by “Orthodox” Trustees.

  • rustom jamasji

    R n R
    On your partnering my stating that those who want to change zoroastrianism should try and start their own and you comparing this to me starting my own or my version..shows you have really missed the point.
    For you again in your fervour forgot, oversee, nullify that I have never asked Zoroastrianism to change to suit me nor anyone.So if i read and academically make a point, I am stating Zoroastrianism nor my own philosophy , whilst you and ure group desperatly try and portray Zoroastrianism system being outdated and you being more modern.So in fact there is no real argument here or debate but one more of your ilks wayy iof chanellising the argument away!.

    In any case if I do ever think Zoroastrianism should change I would not succumb to irrationality even under pseudo names to claim the part of zoroastrianism I want to change was never Zoroastrianism nor that it does not make sense nor stoop to levels to deride Zoroastrianism since it does not suit me.
    For now I am a Zoroastrian and find no fault with the faith of my ancestors nor their genes! If ever I was to start a Jamasji’sm Id invite you with others, yet would not thrive to change /malign what I do not like..

    Like for dokhmenishini system..with all the dis and mis information, the thumb rule of decomposition doesnt change and that is oxidisation….deeper the burial, the longer the time…and cremation would in philosophy go against Zoroastrianism….even if I wantd to be cremated…

    Piloo….u can in ure wisdom mix ure manashni gavanshi kunashni or humata , hu khta, Hu Varashtra with moral science taught in school. That is arbitary for being a good human being.
    Zoroastrianism goes a bit more than further here and the Hu’s are in relation to the good words read in the avesta, then pondered or thought about and then deeds as in acted or worked towards….
    So if the dokhmenishini or any zoroastrian system has weakened, read why it is important, then think how to rectify it and lastly act FOR it instead AGAINST it.!

    As far as souls of good persons not following Zoroastrianism. I am too small to answer that, yet I would be brave enough to state that zoroastrians who have taken tangible and untangible assets of being a zoroasrian and having gained immensly from the sacrifices of our immediate ancestors and especially those of the Sasanian dynasty n those who revived the faith in India and now are betraying the same faith stand morally very low!

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    piloo,
    I am Trying to find answers of all that you asked not for you but for myself if need be i will visit a community on the west coast and places you mentioned,and find out the system. VOR if vendidad says so it has to be a fact.and iam sure some hum deen will want to remove those pages from holy book because it dosent work ! where are we reaching with all this guys? is this a sharing platform of interactive learning
    or a boxing ring where one who donot agree with your point of wiew is a punching bag ! take it lightly guys!we R not a god or a prophet intelactually, we R all human and who knows what time has in store for all of us?Piloo you have rightly said azda kehrap tevishi and usthan are being separeted before Chahrum and that is the zorastan inside us and that becomes Asho Ruwan rest is only naso which nature takes care of.. :GUDI

  • Religious but Rational

    Mr. Jamas:
    Why do you evade, yes evade replying contents of my last para which I reproduce for your READY REFERENCE.
    “Lastly, since you are so intellectual to ‘academically challenge” others who are rational, do display your intellectual prowess by answering Anti Dhongidox’s question , i.e. whether a Scholar of Status of Dr. Antia is a HIGH Priests or not. Your answer will be an indicator of your intellectual integrity or double standards – an allegation much repeated against you”
    Till such time you reply this issue, all others will continue to feel that you have DOUBLE STANDARDS.
    As for your argument that you represent authentic Zoroastrianism, everybody else think that their brand of beliefs are ALONE correct. I do not belong to a category of persons who are blind followers of propaganda unleashed by vested interests like you.If you do not want to adapt with tiomes does not mean that you will prevent others by coercion to change and go back to dark ages. Your word in respect of Religion can never be considered as FINAL or genuine.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    Dear C R
    That reminds me of smashans also where same smell of burning meat is in the air and alog with wood it smells something like Hardeep da Tndoor!!! There shold be limit of everything including making mockery of your deenPublically!
    you r saved because you did it to bavas if miyas were taunted in a manner god kows what type of new biryani would have sreved on next bakra Eid? No we are not restricted to roast marghis bakries and reformist only few things like parsis are
    restricted to burn themselvs because the shit and pee that is in their body along with many more things that can not be offered to their atash padshah Samjhe?

  • piloo

    GUDIBHAI.
    I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU THAT THIS DEBATE HAS BECOME ACRIMONIOUS AND LEAVES A BAD FEELING.YES NONE OF US IS A PROPHET AND THERE IS SCOPE FOR EXCHANGING VIEWS IN A DECENT MANNER BUT BEFORE THAT YUOR SIDE MUST REALIZE THAT:
    1)not to indulge emotional blackmail and resort to psychological warfare by saying that those whose corpses were buried as per Zoroastrian rites did not receive any advantage from prayers recited for their benefit.It hurts feelings of their family members and Aramghas are permitted by our clergy and no priest who recited prayers at Aramghas has, to my knowledge been ostracized by Athornan Mandal.

    2) This type of propaganda started since the Aviary lobby has realized that their pet project is not feasible. To assume that an average reader will get nervous of the unknown after the soul has left the body and will join your ranks because of propaganda unleashed by a couple of individuals, is absurd.
    Ahura Mazda has given faculties of reasoning to all of us and so to ‘convert’ somebody by generating fear is an Ahrimanic deed. Purusuing an agenda has its limits.
    3) One individual Ervard (and I know his good intentions and his genuine deep commitment to our religion and honesty of purpose), has gone on an overdrive after knowing that Aviary project is not feasible. This gentleman seems to undermine the intelligence of other readers. I need not elaborate further. Another person, by name Voice of Reason has expressed doubts about the original author of certain posts. That says it all. I too feel that mere change in style and language can not hide the true identity of the actual author Whatever it is,let us not digress.
    4) Spewing venom does not win over anybody. It is convincing an opposite person with reasoning, without losing one’s temper that one can win over another. I believe you will agree that creating element of fear n=only results in hatred.
    5) As rightly said by you, none of us is God, so Gudibhai, be kind enough to spare all those on this portal such messages as if the so called Orthodox are representatives of the Almighty Pak Dadar AND I AM SURE OTHERS WHO HAVE THINKING CAP AND ARE ON YOUR OPPOSITE SIDE WILL EXERCISE GREATER RESTRAINT AND DESIST FROM COUNTER ARGUMENTS.
    Let us not resort to TRADE UNION TYPE MENTALITY THAT ONE WHO SHOUTS THE LOUDEST IS CORRECT.
    There are more pressing problems for the Community than disposal of corpses
    To cool down the mental embers please ensure an end to this debate not just for now but even after any verdict is obtained from any Legal Forum. It has not helped any of us to reach a conclusion.Let all agree not to be unpleasant with those who do not agree with each others perception and impose our personal views on each other.
    Yazda Panahbad.

  • Voice of Reason.

    So G Pestanjee, you seem to agree with Piloo’s contention for importance of corporal remains to get disintegrated before Chahroom .AND
    – SO IF THAT DOES NOT TAKE PLACE AND THE CORPSE ROTS, WHAT IS THE UTILITY OF PRAYERS?

    -CONVERSELY, IF YOU CHOOSE THE EASY WAY OUT TO SAY THAT PRAYERS ARE FOR THE SOUL AND NOT THE CORPSE, THEN GOING BY YOUR OWN LOGIC THE MANNER IN WHICH CORPSE IS DISPOSED BECOMES IRRELEVANT.
    Be rest assured, do not have intention to remove any pages from any book and in any case there are more than one copies of Venidad.

  • GUDI PESTANJEE

    Dear piloo
    you have rightly said we are reaching no where with this debate,& giving chance to others to make mockery of deen.
    Purposely i did not want to hurt any one but regrate if it is done.As i have said i will be visiting places where aaram gahs are functioning to learn for myself. GUDI

    .

  • Behram Dhabhar
  • Behram Dhabhar

    Are you an Orthodox, Heterodox or Reformist ???
    http://tenets.parsizoroastrianism.com/IfYouAreAnOrthodoxThreeCheers.pdf

  • saf

    Well those who have read Gatha of Zarathustra, will know that he only prescribes one prayer – ahem Vaho in it. There are no complicated prayers… No mention of any specific method of disposal… no mention of evil…. no mention of heaven or hell….. All he says is their are twin forces at work…One which is the outcome of Good progressive thinking = Vahu Mainyu and other that is anti progressive ie- Angra Mainyu…[In avesthan angra mainyu is ‘Anti progressive/ retardant… and Mainyu is mind]..He clearly says every individual gets rewarded as per his/her deeds. That automatically means each person has individual freedom of choice… and no one is allotted the special position to judge others.

    Therefore no Behram, no Rustom no Gudi… is in any special position to say what is right or wrong as per Zarathustra’s teachings.. Those who want to choose any method of disposal and any partner to marry is free to do so.
    If there is Ahura Mazda to judge us as per our deeds… its his domain… and that previlege is not assigned to any mortal… therefore all those who think its their religious duty to police others are fooling none but themselves.

  • Rational but Religious.

    My simple reply is I am Religious but not irrational. The Prophet himself was the greatest Reformist of his time. The only job of Parsees without avenues of fruitful pastime is to divide this tiny community in to factions and imaginary classifications. They can outdo even the petty politicians in this field.
    a) REMEMBER, we are All Zoroastrians in the first place
    after being citizens of respective countries;
    b) Even after the Reformation, it is the Protestants who are
    more prosperous;
    c) If being a Reformist means being followers of Jafooism,
    NO we do NOT want that LABEL;
    d) If somebody’s BRAND of being Orthodox, means blindly
    following fake Messiahs and being slaves of unworkable
    Customs, yes many Zoros will be more than willing to be
    misclassified as REFORMISTS.
    e) Does somebody who does not want to follow a particular
    custom due to failed infrastructure, means, he/she ceases
    to be a Zoroastrian or becomes a lesser Zoro? IS THIS
    NOT BIGOTISM?
    f) Did the Prophet asked his followers to be slaves of
    Customs?
    g) If a custom was discussed by some Authors a couple of
    century ago and praised does it mean that it should be
    adhered to even after its mechanism is utterly defunct?
    AND if one does not follow that custom and is falsely called
    REFORMISTS then yes, the Rational are REFORMISTS.
    h) History texts record Reformation under Martin Luther was
    meant to purge the malpractices of Papacy and if our
    community can put an end to senseless bickering by
    division on lines of Orthodox and Reformists howsoever
    absurd, then let us have it and live happily.

    GARV SE KAHO HUM BARBARIANS ATYACHARI NAHIN HAI.

  • Anti – Dhongidox

    Well said Saf or who so ever you are.I am not keen to know your identity so long as you speak out your mind.
    Some fake Scholars want their brand of Zoroastrianism to be the only authentic brand. After Surf Ultra, we will have Zoro Ultra.
    Ultra obscurantist falsely posing as Orthodox. As rightly said these DHONGIES who preach Vendidad but not practice it in their own life would have made superior Disinformation Ministers in the Reich. Hitler’ loss/envy but not Zoros pride.

  • Anti – Dhongidox

    Belated admission that Aviary project has been abandoned. Right.?

  • toh

    saf,

    there is freedom of thought and action followed by divine judgement and there is taking that concept too far. Not sure what you intend to advocate. if everyone were to follow their own interpretation and define their own boundaries then there is no religion and only individuals following their own path.

    it will be judged by ahura mazda not us, you are right about that. however if you were to come to my house and try to sell me on other than my beliefs it would be a tough sell, specially if you had no basis other than your own interpretation of our shared religion.

    like it or not, the conservative or orthodox are a majority of our minority religion. your views are in a minority, and are also shared by juddin charlatans who are misusing them to further there own financial gains.

    there is no policing in this thread, just differences of opinion, and as per your own interpretation of our religion and freedom to opine, that should be dandy.

  • Toh,
    Whose brand of interpretation is ORIGINAL & AUTHENTIC?

    1. Rightly said by you, you will buy a product, WHICH SUITS YOUR REQUIREMENTS. Correct? We do not have authorised representatives of Ahura Mazda.
    How do you lay claim about majority or minority. Do you have results of a survey?
    2.How do you identify charlatans. Read R but R’s post above before reaching premature conclusions. Middle of road Parsis are in greater numbers than over-conservative and down right Reformists.

    To Anti Dhongidox, , Religious but Rational, A Rustomjee, Saf,Voice of Reason and others like minded. YES you have exposed the double speak and not practice what one preaches of the self labelled Orthodox. Job well done. But please realise that those arguing with you and whom you have outscored do not possess the calibre even to convince a School going child. These ‘divinely appointed interpreters” as some call them, are incapable of even breaking a baked Pappad. Do they possess any authority to settle issues? These cretins are using this forum just to ascertain their support base and adopt all means to project that they have backing of many.Only 3 – 4 months ago, the same duo were vociferous about breeding birds of prey in captivity and denying all press reports about its impracticality
    Now having realised that they CAN NOT fool everybody any longer, they are trying to project virtues of Status quo.
    None can defy Laws of Nature.
    These Bourbon characters forget nothing because they have learnt nothing.
    Just ignore rantings of such Sudreh Kasti wearing Rasputins . Thats my view.

  • saf

    Toh,
    There are no boundaries in nature…Boundaries are work of your mind… They are prisons created by ppl suffering from insecurities and ignorance. When i read Zarathustra’s words i see no obstacles… no dividing boundaries…no ideological prisons … its an open space, inviting each to believe in her/himself. There is unlimited freedom of choice in Kingdom of Ahura Mazda.

    Ahura Mazda doesnot reside detached in the skies like an Abhrahmic God… He resides besides you like a friend, … in you in your mind,… around you like a guide,…Just as his twin Angra mainyu too resides close to us. Its our thoughts, our words, our deeds that determines who we choose to guide us.

    No where in Gatha, Zarathustra tries to impose his thoughts on us… He has given us the guidelines to think good, say good and do good to others… as it all comes back to us in some form or the other. This is according to him are the rewards equivalent of living in heaven by doing good or bringing hell to ourselves by doing bad to others…
    He has not appointed any judges… he has not defined the way to dispose dead bodies… no where has he spoken of retaining bloodline.

    C’mon Toh… you use derogatory words like -‘juddin charlatans’ for those who dont agree with your personal beliefs. Whatever happened to ‘ use of Good words and thoughts’ that the religion propagates?
    Yes, you may be in majority… but are you a true follower of Zarathustra? think about it.

    According to Gatha, Angra mainyu is ‘anti progressive mind’..And Vaho Mainyu is ‘progressive mind’ that assist Ahuramazda. Its up to us to choose which way we want to stir our mind.

    And no i have no intention to visit your place to sell my thoughts…why should i? I respect your ability to make your own choice…Ustate

  • rustom jamasji

    The only problem with safs statement is that the gathas are interwoven in all the yasnas etc and rituals….
    Ofcourse saf n the gatha alone cult can negate everything else (though the gatha alone cult does the sudreh pooshi ceremony which is missing in the gathas) which is in tune with what the destroyers of zoroastrian books did in the first place..
    The point is not the evidence and scholarly studies of how significant the gathas are to the other books and rituals to the gathas but to think that the saviours o zoroastrianism were wrong and saf n the gatha alone cults are right..!

  • puff

    Wow ! We have a scholarly personality in our midst. What better can we ask for. The so called scholar is not even aware that this blog is not for discussion of disposing the dead, its about intermarriage. Never mind, he is desperately trying to show us that he has read the Gatha translations for the first time and is experiencing difficulties even in prouncing the various words.(ahem vaho, Vahu Mainyu)

    saf ==>”That automatically means each person has individual freedom of choice… and no one is allotted the special position to judge others”
    So true, then how is he using hs mental faculty to judge those who disagree with his line of thought ?

  • piloo

    What has been said by Rational but Religious makes eminent sense. Once upon a time Kadmis and Shenshais were at loggerheads. Then we have Faslis. With three divisions and further divisions of Behdins and Athornans, lets have still further sub classification of Moderates and Classical.
    It is an archaeologically admitted position that Burial was practiced by Zorastrians. We have tombs of Monarchs of that period.
    Barring Surat, Navsari, Mumbai & Pune we have practice of Burial in places such as Kanpur, Agra,Delhi, Meerut and innumerable other places. Then why not in Mumbai, Surat, Pune?
    The answer why there is reluctance to allow burials is that if burials are allowed Trustees will not be able to give an excuse of ‘surplus’ land and will be unable to make money by joining hands with Builder lobby to dispose off precious lands.

    TOH can you tell us how juddin charlatans will make financial gains.? When children of High Priests are inter married and that fact is not a disqualification from someone becoming a High Priests (and rightly so) why talk of juddin charlatans when there is no shortage of Dhanshak brand charlatans who pretend to be Scholars by referring to Harvard by misspelling it as HarWard. W instead of V. Possibly under influence of Haywards whisky.

  • piloo.

    Behram,
    It was hardly a few months ago that you were very vociferous about the need for breeding Birds in captivity. If you consider that Vultures are not essential one can not fathom the endless discussion on breeding in captivity. Lastly if the Birds are superfluous as you expect an average reader to swallow then the very concept of “Parsi thy name is Charity”( i.e. offering copses as food) is rendered superfluous.
    Readers expect some consistency and not contradictions in such a short span of time. Public memory is short but not that short.

  • Behram Dhabhar

    Piloo,

    Show me just one post of mine from all my previous posts where I have been vociferous in supporting breeding birds in captivity. To the best of my knowldge I dont recollect any such instance.

    To answer the questions you keep asking every now and then here are a few simple answers :

    1. Does Dokhmenashini require scavenger birds for its operation ? YES.

    2. Why do we offer our corpses to scavenger birds ? Is it only as an act of charity ? NO
    The Why is a long explanation and an esoteric one but I have no intentions to explain it here considering the “Maddo” of other members on this forum.

    3. Now that there are absence of scavenger birds, is the system functioning fully ? NO.

    4. Khurshed Nagirashni, the rays of the sun do help in a major way and under the present circumstances is the only alternative available.

    5. Since the system is not operating in its strictest sense fully, can we opt for burial or cremation ? NO.

    6. Why so ? Ans : Dokhmenashini is the only process that can give back to nature all 9 counterparts of what nature has gifted us. Again long explanation. Besides the Vendidad has strict injunctions against burial and cremation.

    7. What happens if we dont follow Dokhmenashini, does the soul not go to heaven even if the person has lived a righteous life ?
    The soul remains in a state of suspended animation for an unduly long time and in captivity of the Arvahi alam sprites.

    8. What happens to the soul of a wicked person who has undergone Dokhmenashini and all the 4 day Sarosh ni kriyas.
    It is the responsibility of the Yazata Sarosh to ensure that on the dawn of the fourth day the soul reaches the realms of Chinvat even if it is wicked if all kriyas are carried out as per norms.

    9. What is the next best procedure to strengthen the process of Dokhmenashini ? Ans :Open up all unused Dakhmas.

    10. In other towns and cities there are Aramagahs and priests do perform the 4 day ceremonies. Why is it that in Bombay there is a restriction of not allowing them ? Ans. An Aramgah is not a Zoroastrian mode of disposal. It has been devised by the local Anjumans and is under their jurisdiction for want of a better alternative. Since the Anjuman governs all functioning they have allowed priests to perform since they cannot provide their humdins any alternative.For those few who can afford and are extremely religious they transport the body to the nearest Dakhma in Bombay or Gujarat. Read the Paidust columns in Jame where this is mentioned.

  • toh

    my post to saf dealt exclusively with the Gatha only concept; which I have only heard of in connection with jafry and the preachings of his cohorts.

    no, i do not have a survey to prove that a majority of the Z community believe in more than just the Gathas, but I can say that almost all of the Zs i have interacted with in my life feel the same way. its up to you to ascribe merit to this experience or choose to ignore it.

    juddin charlatans make financial gains by going to the down & out and religiously confused or fettered and presenting this free for all philosophy with no boundaries but with a fee for conversion. i dont see the merit in this, specially when the movement is led by a person who has not himself taken the step of converting to our religion.

    i feel no anguish about death and its modalities. i would prefer the traditional method, but realize that the facility is not available in every corner of the world where Zs reside. what can be done to bring these people in line with tradition is out of the scope of my abilities.

    with respect to intermarriage, i personally dont believe it should be encouraged as (again from life experience) a majority of the people who intermarry have descendants who leave the fold in the next 1 or 2 generations. whether it is religiously allowed or not is debatable and we have different views. again I would say that most of the Zs i know are against it, but there seems to be a greater acceptance of it in the younger age groups; and that richer Zs tend to get it done more successfully.

  • rustom jamasji

    The one thing ironicle of the gatha alone cult and its supporters is that they ussurp the right to change and nullify what they do not like and demand the changes to be followed by everyone..

    Their claim goes hand in hand with those who burnt our texts and killed zoroastrian priests and thus the sasanians and our imemdiate ancestors in India had to undergo the process of preserving once again…their endevour met a 100 percent sucess rate only to be defiled by piloo and his group as if they deem that they have cracked the case of zoroastrianism and the saviours of Zoroastrianism and those who have preseved it were wrong…

    They call all those who want to preserve Zoroastrianism as passed by the saviours of the subject as taliban though the zoroastrians never have enforced Zoroastrianism on any one..!! Infact the ones who want to change zoroastrianism want others to convert to something the want to change!!..This may even bafle the hard core evangelist.

    Academic refernces are nullified and the cotories main scheme is to perform in unision..keep on insisting that no refernces were quoted …(would do that even of page numbers of the texts are quoted) and lastly claim that these texts preserved by the saviours of zoroastrianism are not zooastrian at all!!.ha thats a laugh..

    Substitute their claim that all texts that do not suit them are not Zoroastrian with armchair philosophy….no tools in Persia so dakhmas were carved out!!! just one example…

    Will not exercise their option of following zoroastrianism or not, but want to enforce that Zoroastrianism should be changed to suit individuals.on everone..

    piloo also suggests to take a voting account….ofcourse divorce from the fact that according to a voting account, many wanted us to be converted out..and also that changing anything including zoroastrianism or einsteins theory wud render it away from the philosophy…and chanellise it towards a personal workshop…

    Ofcourse they are free to follow any workshop but their self righteousness demands that all should follow their change otherwise their right will deem everyone else taliban!!!( May be te taliban would sue them one day as they wrongly thrust talibanisation on those who do not want to convert others but want to be left alone to preserve their faith–yet their end result goes hand in hand with the talibans…end Zoroastrianism sometign their forfathers thirsted to do)

    Belittle everyone they do not like..( claims that Dr Kotwal got his Doctorate in foreign univs ,as well , due to WAPIZ!!! then blame that we do not recognise foreign univs–dhongi…, then blame we are showing off about foreign univ…gosh they did this same game of jumping from excuse to excuse with the dokham issue too…)

    But alas i am happy…piloo found an excuse to gain browny points since he typed a university’s spelling correct…now i hope he has also enlightened himself and his group on not who paid for the expenses of Dr Kotwals and other’s education but them excelling in their fields and gaining world recognition…

    Piloo, saf, dhongi and the various, Do u think you shud now challenge Sir Modi, Phirozshah Mehta, Dasturan Dastur Meherjirana, Hataria, the makers of agiaries, dakhmas and other zoroastrian institues and the so many many of our ancestors and their recognition, as according to you guys, they never followed Zoroastrianism…and you after nullifying textual refernces , practises etc claim to have cracked the case…

    Shamefull..whatever ure guys next excuse or recourse or nit pick is..

    Infact on every site, on every u tube video or any forum that talks of history of Zoroastrians sucesfully preserving Zoroastrianism n the sucess our ancestors met and the assets they gave, I shall endevour my best to take your and your groups writings and post it to let everyone know how defiling your tactics are and how dispicefull the thirst to change Zoroastrianism is..

  • rustom jamasji

    On intermarriage

    Here is a factual data compiled of intermarriage and the next generation….

    Piloo, Dhongi and the various…you cud nit pick and find faults or try and subue this link and study by yor groups many posts so that it cannot be seen by others…

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/will-your-grandchild-be-jewish-chart-graph.htm

    @ Behram
    On the dakhma issue, everyone forgets the real scientific fact that decomposition is fastest in air than in water or when buried.
    Infact twice as faster in air then when in water and upto 8 times faster in air than when buried..

    Ofcourse cremation also has its pros and cons, though most people who want to end dakhmenishini system close their eyes to the cons…

    From a Zoroastrian aspect, it wud be ironical to do exactly opposite to what one wud pray or practise.. From a zoroastrian perspective a fire from a burning corpse is consecrated the most implying the decission….so one wud then cremate a body and then go to an atashbehram where in the importance of keeping a dead body away from a fire is highlighted. Also asking Sroash etc to aid the zoroastrian afterlife…whilst ding exactly opposite to what sraosh and zoroastrian principles talk of….

  • “Show me just one post of mine from all my previous posts where I have been vociferous in supporting breeding birds in captivity. To the best of my knowldge I dont recollect any such instance.”
    Behram,please refer your own post dated 30th Oct 2009 on the topic”Parsi Body plans vulture breeding……” Your post is in reply to what has been stated by Ms. M. Sorabjee and Ms. Sorabjee’s post is on the topic of Vulture.breeding which is Topic of the Article.
    Secondly,in the areas in rest of Indian sub continent where burial is adopted the prayers are recited by the priests from the same group of Athornans and no high priest in the past or present have disapproved of the same. If it were unZoroastrian then surely it would have been discarded a century back and denounced besides the concerned local priests would have been BANNED. Earlier in the previous century the community was more conservative then now.

    Even in Western countries where Parsis reside, burial is practiced and the same High Priests from India who visit these countries on invitation from local Zoro Associations do not seem to have expressed disapproval of the said method adopted.
    Furthermore, the tombs of Monarchs of Zoroastrian kingdoms are a testimony- ARCHAEOLOGICAL testimony to practice of burial system.
    I express my appreciation of what you have candidly said under items numbered 1 & 3.

  • Behram Dhabhar

    Before I am showered with a volley of abuses and snide remarks like
    –Therefore no Behram, no Rustom no Gudi… is in any special position to say what is right or wrong as per Zarathustra’s teachings
    –We do not have authorised representatives of Ahura Mazda,
    I wish to state as below :

    DISCLAIMER : I am no religious scholar or an authority on religion. I am a plain simple Parsi Zarathushtri humdin who has been following and practicing the Zarathushtri religion as practiced and handed down by my father, forefathers and ancestors vide long standing traditions and customs. While following the prescribed tarikats, I have never questioned the WHYs and HOWs but have accepted everything at face value with utmost faith and devotion. Curiosity compelled me to find out a few details of the complexity of what I practice, in which case I took up reading books, attending lectures, visitng websites and discussing with people whom I felt were more spiritually advanced and knowledgable than me. Even after this excercise I still know very little maybe a small fraction of the lofty Zarathosti Deen and feel that one lifetime is too short a period to grasp the various intricate laws of nature. My limited human intellect does not permite me to see beyond three dimensions but I do understand that nature posseses more than 24 dimensions which I am unaware of. Whatever I write is what I have understood and feel is right to the best of my knowledge and grasping ability. It is yours to accept or reject and there is no compulsion either way. With all humility I state that I maybe completely wrong and off the mark in which case I apologize in advance.
    Yours Truly,
    Behram

  • saf

    Rustom,

    Zarathustra never wanted his followers to behave like mindless robots. Gatha is not ‘ Z’ism for Dummies’ spoon feeding on things to wear or eat or do or not do…He expected us to use our own thinking faculty and make up our own minds on things which are good for us and which are not. Gatha is a book based on Zarathustra’s philosophy of ethic of reciprocity.. why should it talk about dress codes, pray?

    Any way, wearing a white vest [ Sudreh] and a waist band [kushti] or celebrating Navroze were some of the PRE-ZOROASTRIAN ARYAN TRADITIONS and for your kind information, you have no patent rights over them.

  • Behram Dhabhar

    I have referred to that post and copying-pasting my own words dated 30th Oct 2009

    <<>>

    What is so vociferous about this post ? What I am trying to imply is be unbiased and hear both sides of the story before you take a stand. This was in reference to the speech on the Aviary given by trustee Khojeste Mistree.

    I have already given reasons as to why those priests are “allowed” to undertake 4 days ceremonies where Dakhmas are not available. The High priests also understand the dillema faced by our humdins who stay in places where Dakhmas are absent. Bombay is a different story altogether. The facility is available, some people dont want to use it, fine, sure enough adopt alternate means, but make your own arrangements, this is the BPP stand

  • Behram Dhabhar

    “If you were there at the BPP meet this Sunday you should have heard Khojeste refute each of Jame’s claims. Always hear BOTH sides of the story before jumping to conclusions”

    These words have not appeared in the previous post, I dont understand why. I am copying them again here.

  • Behram Dhabhar

    I have referred to that post and copying-pasting my own words dated 30th Oct 2009

    “If you were there at the BPP meet this Sunday you should have heard Khojeste refute each of Jame’s claims. Always hear BOTH sides of the story before jumping to conclusions.”

    What is so vociferous about this post ? What I am trying to imply is be unbiased and hear both sides of the story before you take a stand. This was in reference to the speech on the Aviary given by trustee Khojeste Mistree.

    I have already given reasons as to why those priests are “allowed” to undertake 4 days ceremonies where Dakhmas are not available. The High priests also understand the dillema faced by our humdins who stay in places where Dakhmas are absent. Bombay is a different story altogether. The facility is available, some people dont want to use it, fine, sure enough adopt alternate means, but make your own arrangements, this is the BPP stand.