The Role of the High Priests of Parsis in India

This article is written by Kersee Kabraji of Pune, India and published with his permission.

At the outset, I like to make it clear that I am neither a priest nor a scholar of our religion. With some grace, I can perhaps pass off as a ‘student’ of our religion.

I am an engineer by training and have worked for many years as a professional manager.

This article is written as a professional manager, trying to find out the structure and the management of our religion and religious institutions. I have tried to be totally rational. There is no hidden agenda or any motive. The idea is to make the community members aware of the situation and hopefully generate a healthy dialogue which should result in a better future for the community and the religion.

To start with we asked a few questions and got the answers from the fellow community members (which may or may not be 100% correct and are open to corrections) as given below:

Q 1. Who appoints the high priests ? How does one become a high priest ?

A1. Generally the Dasturjis of the Atash Behrams (there are 6 of them) are considered as a high priests. Also understand that any Anjuman can present a shawl and appoint the Dastur as the high priest (as it happened in Bangalore)—perhaps with the consent of the other high priests.

This position is hereditary and the son of the high Priest can automatically become the high priest.

Q2. Is it necessary that one must have proven record of having studied religious literature or published essays, books on the religion etc. to qualify for being a high priest ?

A2. It appears no such requirements are mandatory.

Q3. Do other priests ‘report’ to the high priests and are bound to follow their diktat ?

A3. All the priests are independent and are supposed to follow the diktat of their conscience.

Q4. Whom do the high priests ‘report’ to ?

A4. Again, to no one in particular. It appears that they are like ‘un-crowned kings’ .They can decide for the community what is right or wrong. Their decision may or may not be based on our religious scriptures. They are supposed to be responsible to the community but no one can ‘sack’ them or de-throne them. Appears to be a case of all authority without any responsibility. They are also free to make exceptions. For example, a few years back, a high priest, Dasturji Kotwal performed Navjote of Nasli and Neville Wadia, who had been Christians. The grandfather of present Dastur Jamasp Asa, who was also a high priest, preformed Navjote as well as the wedding of a French lady Susan. This was done even though all high priests have jointly

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proclaimed that this is not allowed as per our religion !—cases of practicing double standards.

Q5. Are they the high priests of the community or the high priests of Zoroastrianism? Is it not a case of lack of ‘clarity of role’ ?

A5. It appears they serve the community and take their stand based on the interest of community—as per their understanding or misunderstanding of it. The interest of religion seems secondary.

For example on two burning issues facing the community :

1. In absence of scavenging birds, adopting an alternate method of the disposal of the dead,

2. Performing Navjotes of children of inter-married couples,

the stand taken by them is neither based on any religious scriptures nor on common sense– which is seen as ‘fatwa’s’ by some of the community members.

Q6. It is said that they are responsible for dividing the community between ‘the orthodox’ and ‘the reformists’. Is this a justifiable statement?

A.6 Depends on how a community member looks at this statement. Based on the reality of the situation and based on scriptures, if they were to come out openly and state;

1. That it is not proper to deny anyone the right to follow our religion and we will perform the Navjotes, as accepted in all our religious scriptures (please see appendix A).

2. Since there are no scavenging birds, any alternate method can be adopted and we will perform all the required ceremonies. In any case, in towns where there are no dokhmas, an alternate method is used and the priest performs all the ceremonies—why should we have double standards ? And actually Vendidad prohibits the use of Dokhma in absence of birds (see appendix B).

Their stand will certainly result in fostering the unity and harmony in the community.

Q7. Why are they not doing it?

A7. Difficult to answer. The possible reasons could be:

a. Though unlikely, but perhaps, they have not studied our religious scriptures,

b. They genuinely believe in what they are saying, not withstanding double standards,

c. Why should they worry about the community being divided—how does it affect their income or bother them?

d. Having taken the opposite stand earlier, it may be difficult for them to take back their spit?

Q8. Do the High priests and other priests work towards educating the ‘behdins’ about our religion—do they give series of lectures or run the religious classes ?

A8. Nothing seems to be done in this area –such activity is rather thin.

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Q9. Do the high priests and other priests explain the meaning of the prayers chanted by them, either before or after the ceremony?

A9. A big flat No. How can they, when they themselves do not know the meaning of what they are praying?

Q10. Does this not amount to following some kind of ‘blind faith’—whereas Zarathushtra’s proclamation as seen in his Gathas is an ‘enlightened way of life’?

A10. Which high priest or other priest knows about Gathas or is bothered about knowing them? It is a sad situation that the only Holy Scripture that has come directly from Zarathushtra’s mouth is perhaps un-known to our priests, put aside the community members !

Q11. If the situation requires to be changed, what can be done and who will do it?

A11. Perhaps to start with, the education being imparted whilst grooming the would-be dasturs in Madaresa’s, needs to be drastically changed. Instead of churning out ‘commercial prayer chanters’, as they are doing now, they have to groom a priest based on:

a. Selecting a person genuinely desirous of serving the religion, he need not be from priest family,

b. Understanding and spreading the religion of Zarathushtra as given in his Gathas, should be his life’s mission,

c. Understanding that the priest has to be self-less person, dedicating his life in furtherance of the religion, to work not for money but for the love of the religion—that he has to be a friend-in-need of his clients in their difficulties,

d. That he has to be a religious teacher to the laymen, conduct religious classes etc.

Q12. Some of these seem to be interesting ideas. Is there no forum for discussions on this subject? Why not organize one, where such matters can be discussed, deliberated and resolved?

A.12 Who will call for such a meeting and provide a forum for a healthy dialogue and expression of views? Doubt even Ahura Mazda can help this community which refuses to help themselves.

Kersee Kabraji,

Pune,

15th august, 2009

Continue on next pages for Annexure

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Appendix A

Re: Acceptance into Zoroastrianism

The following extracts from our religious scriptures throw light on the subject of acceptance into Zoroastrianism.

The first two are from Zoroastrian Theology by Dr. Maneckji N. Dhalla, the late High Priest of the Parsis of the North Western India and a very eminent scholar of our religious scriptures. Both extracts pertain to Avesta Period i.e. around 800 BC. (pg 74, 75)

1. “These Zoroastrian missionaries travelled to distant lands for the purpose of promulgating the religion, and their homeward return from their sacred mission is celebrated by the faithful (Yasna 42.6)”

2. “The Fravardin Yasht commemorates the Fravashi of Saena, an illustrious convert to Zoroastrianism. We learn from the Pahlavi works that this apostle of faith left behind him 100 disciples who preached Mazdayasnian faith in the land of Siestan. Armenia came under the Zoroastrian influence at a very early date and a corrupt form of Zoroastrianism prevailed in the country for several centuries. Cappadocia, Lydia and Lucia was the scene of active Zoroastrian propaganda………..The proselytizing work on the part of Zoroastrian ministers of the faith was carried on with a considerable amount of success.”

Let us see the extracts from the Pahlavi scriptures (pg198).

3. “Zarathushtra first preached his new religion to the people of Iran where he was born; but Ormazd has commanded that the excellent religion should be spread among all the races of mankind throughout the world (Dinkard Vol 10, bk.5.14, pg 12)

4. “It is said that the act of highest merit that a non-believer can perform in his life is to renounce his religion and embrace the Mazdayasnian faith (Sacred Books of the east, Vol.18, appendix, pg 415)”

4. “The great Sassanian monarch Shapoor II zealously worked for the restoration and promulgation of the faith among the un-believers with the aid of his illustrious Dastur Adarbad (Dinkard, Vol.9, pg 579).”

5. “The Dinkard sanctions even the use of force for the conversion of the aliens. (Sacred Books of the East, Vol.37, bk.8.26 pg 88, 89)”

6. “A Pahlavi Treatise devoted mostly to the Zoroastrian rituals attests the practice of admitting outsiders into the Zoroastrian fold (Nirangistan ed.Sanjana folio 16a, 17a)”

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7. “Another Pahlavi tractate treating of the social and legal practices of the Sassanians lays down that if a Christian slave embraces the faith of his Zoroastrian master, he should be given freedom”

8. According to Fargard IV, 40(137) and 41(142) of Vendidad, the grave sins committed by a non-believer are pardoned if he accepts the religion of Mazda and resolves not to commit such deeds again.

Coming closer, we have the Rivayats or the codes of usages and rituals compiled between 1478 to 1766 AD. These are in Persian and in question and answer form. These provide a wealth of information on liturgical and social matters. Let us see what they have to say on this subject.

9. “ 237. On peaceful and forcible conversion:

Kaus Mahiar:

Q: Can a grave-digger, a corpse-burner and a darvand (one of foreign faith) become Behdin (i.e. be converted to Mazdayasnian religion) ?

A: “If they observe the rules of the religion steadfastly and (keep) connection with the religion, and if no harm comes on the Behdins (thereby), it is proper and allowable.”

Nariman Hoshang:

“If slave –boys and girls have faith in the good religion, then it is proper that Kusti should be (given to them to be) tied, and when they become intelligent, attentive to religion and steadfast, they should give them Barashnom and it is also proper and allowable to eat anything out of their hands.

All the above extracts show that there is simply no bar against acceptance / conversion in our religious scriptures.

It is a matter of interest that these extracts were published in Parsiana and in Jam-E-Jamshed some time ago but failed to invoke any response from any of our high priests! What does one infer from their silence?

Kersee Kabraji

Pune

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Appendix B

OUR DOKHMA SYSTEM—WHAT DOES VENDIDAD SAY ?

EXTRACTS– FARGARD VIII

II

4(11). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If in the house of the worshipper of Mazda, a dog or a man happens to die, and it is raining, or snowing, or blowing, or it is dark, or the day is at its end, when flocks and men lose their way, what shall the worshipper of Mazda do?

5(14). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘The place in that house whereof the ground is the cleanest and the driest, and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the faithful; —

8(18). ‘On that place they shall dig a grave, half a foot deep if the earth be hard, half the height of a man if it be soft; [ they shall cover the surface of the grave with the ashes or cowdung]; they shall cover the surface of it with dust of bricks, of stones, or of dry earth.

9(21). ‘And they shall let the lifeless body lie there, for two nights, or three nights, or a month long, until the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the winds to dry up the earth.

10(23). ‘And when the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth, then the worshippers of Mazda shall make a breach in the house, and two men strong and skillful, having stripped their clothes off, shall take up the body from the clay or the stones, or from the plastered house, and they shall lay it down on a place where they know there are always corpse-eating dogs and corpse-eating birds.’

Our community members believe that according to our scriptures the only way to dispose off the dead body is by dokhma system. This is half the truth.

The other half of the truth is that our scriptures prohibit the use of dokhma system when there are no corpse-eating dogs and corpse-eating birds. It recommends that a special temporary grave be made and the dead body kept there till one is sure of the scavenging animals and birds are present to eat up the body.

Will our High Priests, the Trustees of Panchayets and Anjumans and Parsis at large take note of the full Truth as given in the scriptures and stop this most unhygienic practice under the absence of scavenging birds? When will they stop defaming the religious scriptures to justify this most anti-social practice ?

Kersee Kabraji

Pune

  • Anti Dhongidox

    Dear Kersee,
    We have some members in our community with a fixed mindset. They believe that our self appointed “High” priests are God Sent and can do no wrong. They conveniently ignore the lapses / exceptions made by such priests.
    The nut cases in our community believe that dumping a dead body of a Zoroastrian in a dakhma and then sprinkling ‘herbal powder’ is Dokhmenashni. They belive that Vultures can be reared in captivity.Such nut cases forget that vulture population can not survive in this megaplois with pollution and lack of greenery.To such nut cases, banning of Diclofenac for veterinary use is enough to save the Vultures.
    That besides opposition from animal welfare groups, flying of birds of prey will cause hazards for Airlines can not be understood by such ‘Religious minded”. They believe that conditions prevelent 50 years back can be broght back.They want to feed Vulture Chicks animal meat while in Aviary,little realising that once the birds have tasted meat of healthy sheep and buffaloes, they would not touch diseased bodies of dead humans which would have consumed even Diclofenac during their living days. Reaering birds in captivity can mean that birds will never learn to fly but holier than thou Zoroastrian wants to give “back” to Religion – whatever that means.For them symbols of Religion are not Prayers or Fire Temples but Dakmas.Such a person will quote archaelogy little realising that archaelogy is graffitti ofv the living conditions of the earlier centuries and do not amount to Rules to be followed even when conditions have undergone a metamorphosis. As the saying goes,Devil also quotes scriptures to support his vested interest and so do such specimens in our small community. With Hitler type mindset,they blackmail rational thinkers as Anti Religious.Such elements though a handful, want to conduct Aviary Experiment at the cost of Charity Funds meant for human beings, just to satisfy their obstinacy. A sad state of affairs for a tiny community.

  • rustom jamasji

    I guess if the author starts by reading about the achievements of Dr Jamasasa and Dr Kotwalm he might get an insight to their research.

    He can als get in touch with Hraward, Mainz, Colorado etc universities and ask if these univs take on idiots on scholarship programes.

    The author can also ask himself why Dr Boyce, Hinnels, Kreyenbroek and others have co authored books by such.

    This in itself also goes on to show that not only have the studied but also promoted books so that the likes of us can study.
    Wether we find loop holes in such, or loopholes to try and discredit them, depends on us..

  • Anti Dhongidox

    Even Lalu Prasad was being called to deliver talks at IIM’s, when he was Railway Minister.

  • Truth is Bitter.

    “He can als get in touch with Hraward, Mainz, Colorado etc universities and ask if these univs take on idiots on scholarship programes” : Rustom Jamasji.
    Fantastic rhetoric!
    Going by this logic, since
    Dr. Kersey Antia regularly speaks at various foreign forums and universities and since he holds a Doctorate will the community accept and follow his liberal views without reservations whatsoever?

  • Behram Dhabhar

    Vendidad Paragarad VIII has been misunderstood.

    This Pargarard refers to instances where there are hailstorms, snowfall, heavy thundershowers and it is not possible to carry the corse to a Dakhma or up on the mountain top for scavenger birds or animals. This is a typical scenario in ancient Iran.

    In this case a “Kat” or temporary enclosure be made. This Kat has to be away from civilization, away from fire, away from holy men such that the Druji Nasu pollution may not spread. Deatiled procedures for preparing this Kat is explained such that the Druj be contained within a temprary Kash and a Cherag (Divo) be kept burning continuously near the corpse. In such cold climate decomposition of the body is very slow, hence the farman to wait until the weather improves which is denoted by the “birds begin to fly, trees begin to grow and the snow starts melting”. The corpse then be taken to a Dakhma or to a location where there are scavenger birds and can be bathed in Khurshed Nagirashni.

    Nowhere does it state in the entire Paragarad that if there are no scavenger birds or animals, the corpse should be left in the Kat or be buried. On the contrary, Khurshed Nagiarashni is an important aspect to deliver the 4 Anasars to Daham Yazad with the help of the Talesams of the Dakhma. Fortunately in India we do not have such extreme climatic conditions and therefore this question does not arise.

  • Arzoo Irani

    One more tries to make a good attempt to get noticed and not remain insignificant and unheard of. Anything and everything will do – as long as it gets any kind of curiosity aroused. Keep us updated if there is any charity to be funded on a later date, hence the call to get noticed.

  • Farzana

    RJ- “I guess if the author starts by reading about the achievements of Dr Jamasasa and Dr Kotwalm he might get an insight to their research.”

    Only if you start reading better authors like Ali Jaffery …and
    Maneckji Nusserwanji Dhalla you might get better enlightened on Zoroastrianism.
    May be you can pass on this references to Kotwal and Jamaspa too…they need some enlightment too.

  • Delnavaz

    Hi

    You may disagree with another person’s views & ideas, but it is incorrect to refer to them as ‘nut case’ , ‘Hitler type of mindset’ etc. People who think of others as a nut case are very likely giving an acurate description of themselves.

  • Yazdy Palia

    Kersi Kabraji; from the above article appears to me to be a serious student of our religion. He has cited from several manuscripts.
    I am a layperson who does not know much about our scriptures. The question I would like to ask from the scholars is; “Are they aware of the work The Zoroastrian Theology by Dr. Manekji Dhalla?”
    If the study does exist and if the it refers to our ancient manuscripts where provisions are provided for actions under difficult situations, then do we have the right to overrule our ancient provisions?
    It is not my intention to take one side or the other. However, we must not keep our minds closed to dialogue.
    We all know that Zoroaster, while He lived was well ahead of His time. His teachings were far ahead of His times. I wonder what would be His teachings if He were a contemporary Prophet?
    I do not agree with the aggressive stand of Anti dhongi dox, nor do I agree with the the logic of Mr. Rustom Jamasji.Mr. Jamasji has cited Dr. Jamasasa and Dr. Kotwal. I would like to read their works before making any comment. However, I think we should all keep our minds open to the study of our ancient scriptures or whatever is left of it before making a rigid stand. I do not prescribe to the urging of people who go blindly for change. I would first of all request anybody who makes his comment on the article by the author to first ascertain whether what Mr. Kersee Kabraji has cited are authentic documents. Mr. Kersee Kabraji has put in a lot of effort and has studied what appears to be authentic documents relating to our religion and the provisions provided therein. Provisions that have been forgotten as hundreds of years have gone by. If these provisions are really there in our ancient documents, we should all study it and come to a knowledgeable conclusion.
    We must remember that Zoroaster was the first to talk about Monotheism. We must remember that He was far ahead of His times in His thinking. We must ask ourselves what would be His advise for us today if He were a contemporary?

  • Behram Dhabhar

    Those who have read “A Zoroastrian Theology” by Dastur Dr.M. N. Dhalla should also read the book “Zoroastrianism Ancient and Modern” by Ervad Phiroze Shapurji Masani. This text refutes each and every statement, quote and conclusion drawn by Dastur Dhalla in a very scholastic way supported by scriptural references, and quotes from other learned scholars.

    This book had been printed to challenge academically all the reformist ideas propunded by Dastur Dr.Dhalla. The then trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayat had entrusted the task of presenting accurate and authentic religious information to the laity and no better person than Ervad Phiroze Masani was apt for this task. The amount of knowledge that can be derived from this book knows no bounds. This is highly reccomended for all those Parsi who wish to learn the truth and not be waylaid by liberal minded zoroastrians who wish to bend the rules “to suit the times”.

    This book is also available online at http://tenets.parsizoroastrianism.com/.

  • Anti Dhongidox.

    Dear Mr. Behram Dhabhar,
    As you must be aware Khurshed Nagiarashni is not available during rainy season, besides the Sun rays do not fall directly on corpses for even 6 hours even duringf remaining months. Therefore the necessity of supplementing Khurshed Nagiarashni.
    As for Yazyd’s remark about me being aggressive, in changed circumstances how long do we have to ‘study’. I am not for change for the sake of it nor would I like to impose any system on those who are content with the current system but to deny prayer facility to those who want to opt for alternate method of disposal in the name of ‘package deal’ is cruel,sadistic and unbecoming of spiritual leaders. Once again I repeat that besides sun light it is essential to have a supplementary energy and sadly, the Aviary experiment can never be a solution.

  • Voice of Reason.

    If solar energy was adequate as stated by Dhabhar there would have been no reason to install solar Panels. Cloudy, whether during monsoon months only aggravates the problem. One has to admit that there is a problem since last more than a decade and one can not brush it under the carpet.
    If Mr. Y can go to one Atashbehram and Mr. Z to Rustom Fram Agiary and I can go to Karani Agiary, then why make an issue about disposal of mortal remains.How the religion is going to be compromised if facilities for reciting Zoroastrian prayers are provided, can not be comprehended.Even this blog is read by sister communities and we should refrain from controversies.We appear silly in the eyes of others. Palia is correct. Probably if the Prophet was a contemporary, he would have given appropriate directions considering the current conditions. A Christian is a Christian whether in India or in USA or UK and follows identical religious practices. A Jew is a Jew throughout the world then why seperate rituals for Zoroastrians of Mumbai and West Coast of India is the moot question.But Palia, scriptures were relevant for the relevant era and perhaps scriptures did not envisage the “KalYug” as of to -day.We can not postpone taking a remedial action indefinitely.By their silence, the high priests seem to have led many to believe that they are unable to defend the charges of double standards against them.Obstinacy only generates confrontation and adverse publicity which we as a community can ill afford. Time for corrective measures is overdue. The earlier all realize this the better.

  • Kudos to “Truth is Bitter” for an excellent riposte. Keep it up.
    Yazdy Palia, Sir, how much further time does one need to study and study what?
    As for Anti Dhongi, I for one feel that he/she is speaking from his/her mind and the fact that the contents of his/her post of 10/9/2009 not only make sense but the fact that not a single boarder has even attempted to counter the issues made out is a tribute to AD’s vision.He/she is obviously not a NUT case.
    The entire controversy has arisen due to a failed system and the cussedness of some individuals who want to be ‘law makers’ without accountability. The messages on this blogs leads me to following conclusions:
    1. That Parsees, by and large, are not in favour of conversions;
    2. The community is indifferent to the issue of inability of Parsee females who are inter-married and who are unable to get Navjote of their children performed;
    3. When it comes to disposal of mortal remains, the community seems to be in favour flexibility and therefore allowing prayer facility irrespective of method of disposal would end this bitter controversy. Those who feel that exposure to Sun is essential should be allowed to pursue their wish and similarly others who find the system as having failed be allowed prayer facility at the Towers and allowed disposal of mortal remains in the manner deemed fit by the deceased. Let us end this fruitless controversy for once and for all.Let no group impose their fatwas on one another.Pulling each other down will lead the community no where.

  • rustom jamasji

    On reading authers like Ali Jaffery..

    Whilst the real scholars have time and again stated that the ‘Gathas go hand in hand with the avesta, the gatha alone cult rubbishes such.The gatha aone cult’s biggest contradiction is in doing the sudreh/pooshi ceremony though the gathas do not talk of such

    It does not take too much to understand the importance of the avesta..time and again it was destroyed by those who wanted to extinguish zoroastrianism and time and again efforts to save it and preserve it was undertaken by zoroastrians including after the last holocaust and subsequent coming to india. If such was not zoroastrianism, why did the zoroastrians from the achmenid times preserve such.
    THE HIGHLIGHT IS THAT SUCH TEACHINGS COINCIDE WITHT HE PROPOGATION OF THOSE WHO WANTED ZOROASTRIANS TO FORGET THE AVESTA, thus impacting the faith negatively.

    I guess for some like Farzana, cutting the nose to spite the face is a motto and ofcourse Dhongidox’s wisdom once again is highlighted as he fuses the recognition showered by renowned hisotrians around the world and universities with Lalu prasad yadav…

    But then such wisdom is promoted by the group who would go to any lengthes to discredit systems, and individuals who do not see eye to eye with them, even thugh they are not forced or asked to follow it.This is proved by their own doings. for ex…
    They have their own so called agiary,they have their own priests who wud do their ceremonies, they are not forced to adapt to zoroastrian principles as left by the saviours of zoroastrianism; Yet their thirst to be provd right and to force others to follow their understandings compell them to discredit systems and individuals, no mater what!

    @ Bahram Dabhur

    Your points are worth noting,and so are the books mentioned.Yet I submit to you that those with an agenda to stop dokhmenishini will stoop to any levels.Take the example of Dhongi, he thinks that the saviours of zoroastrianism felt that SUNS RAYS are nOt present during the rainy season and thus went ahead with following the zoroastrian system…yet science’s opinion on the sunrays covering the stratas differ from such…

  • Do not place words out of context. Nobody even remotely suggests or have an agenda to “to stop dokhmenishini”. Those in favour of the defunct system are free to follow it but those who are not in favour of letting their corpses rot for months on end, clamour for a choice. Do not mix up issues. Those who want to opt for alternate methods do not want to compel persons like RJ to dictate terms by denying prayer facility to self stle bogus “orthodox”. The arm twisting and emotional blackmail in denying prayer facilities is from the fundamentalist and not from moderates. All moderates are not Reformist as is being falsely propagated. Learn to distinguish facts and do not spice your blogs with distortions to stir up emotions of the gullible.
    I fully agree with other post of RJ about AZA but to the misfortune of the community both WAPIZ and AZA have done nothing concrete for the community barring creating controversies to divert the attention from their shortcomings.By felicitating Priests high and low by offeing them Cash is not an achievement. Perhaps AFP lost was due to their candidates being not good actors and unable to shed crockodile tears to stir up emotions of the electorate.

  • Anti Dhoingidox.

    Can the ‘Torch bearer” of Zorastrianism enlighten me what distinguishes the Paterson Navjote performed by Dr. K Antia in US and Navjotes of non Parsi industrialists sanctified by Dastur Kotwal and Jamaspa Asa.besides Uthamna of another Industrialist.Author of “Trust is Bitter” post is very pertinent, why sholuld we ignore advice of Dr.Antia and heed advice only of Dasturs Jamaspassa and Kotwal as all three have acted similarly while performing non Parsee Navjotes.
    My reference to Lalu Prasad was to state that just because some foreign University calls a person to give a discourse does not
    ipso facto make such a speaker an “Authority” on the subject.
    As for the meaningless comment”Take the example of Dhongi, he thinks that the saviours of zoroastrianism felt that SUNS RAYS are nOt present during the rainy season and thus went ahead with following the zoroastrian system…yet science’s opinion on the sunrays covering the stratas differ from such…” Are we expected to believe that Sun Shines at 90 degrees on the horizon 24 hours every day for 365 days at Malabar Hill/ Cumballa Hill? Ridiculousness has some limits.Some boarder falsely assume that others are dimwits and cry like spoilt brats when their canards are exposed by rational logic.

  • Yazdy Palia

    The meaning of the reference to Lalu Prasad is understood by everyone and those who interpret it differently are only trying to make an argument for the sake of an argument.
    I think we will all have to handle ourselves in a civilized manner and not make rude remarks.
    Whether we like it or not we are all Zarthostis. There is definitely a problem and we will all have to find a solution by being rational and mature.
    If we all believe that Ahuramazda created us and has created us as thinking people, He has not given us the faculty of volition just for fun. He had a plan for us and He wanted us to chose our path or make corrections wisely as and when necessary.
    The reasoning behind The tower of silence as explained by our learned forefathers is to ensure that none of the five elements of nature be polluted.
    Today when the vultures are non existent and the corpse is laid down and if it putrifies for want of vultures, are we not going against the teachings of Zoroaster? Are we not polluting the air? Is this not against the teachings of Zoroaster?
    I once again reiterate, I do not belong to any group. I do not wish to go against the wishes of our orthodox brothers.
    I think we should all sit down and debate like civilized people and come to a decision that is good for the community.
    I would urge each and every one to ask himself/ herself, what would Zoroaster advise if He was a contemporary? Would He who was so much wise for His time and so much ahead of His time; have allowed the corpses in the Tower of silence to lie there putrefying? He would have given us fresh instructions.
    The orthodox and the reformists should sit down and debate the matter in a civilized manner and come to a decision. They owe it to the Zoroastrian community. If they get on to the limbs and make a rigid stance, history will never forgive them.

  • Anti Dhongidox.

    Yazdy,
    It is the fundamentalist few who are holding the entire community to ransom. These funadamentalist state that the issue is ‘not negotiable’. With such cussed attitude what can be discussed by moderates? No tangible outcome is possible when Trustees treat ancestral property as thir ‘own’.
    In a one horse race,(we have only one ‘system’ in practice) how arrogant can one be to state that ‘majority are with us” How does one conclude that ‘ majority’ prefers existing ‘arrangement’ when NO ALTERNATIVE is made available. Is this not hoodwinking?.Is not the community being fed distorted information.
    LASTLY, IF KHURSHED NAGIARASHNI IS IMPERATIVE CAN SOME ENLIGHTENED INDIVIDIUAL CLARIFY WHY AT SOME PLACES EVEN IN INDIA WE HAVE ARAMGAHAS? WHY DID PREVIOUS GENARATIONS ADOPT THIS DICHOTOMY?

  • Phiroz

    “They have their own so called agiary,they have their own priests who wud do their ceremonies, they are not forced to adapt to zoroastrian principles as left by the saviours of zoroastrianism” Quote from Jamasji dtd 12/09/2009
    This is a case of a typical mindset.
    The aim is to intentionally and deliberately confuse the reader by mixing up those in favour of entry of inter married into our fold WITH those Parsee Zoroastrians, whose both parents (maternal & paternal) were Parsees and whose children too are Parsee Zoroastrians but find the present method of disposal deficient.
    To simplify matters for ‘thinkers’ like Jamasji,an illustration is given herebelow.
    There is say, one Mr ABC, a devout Parsee Zoroastrian,(opposed to inter faith marriages) whose grand parents as well as parents, maternal & paternal were Parsee Zoroastrians. The children of Mr. ABC too are married within Parsee fold. Mr ABC who regularly visits a fire temple finds that present method of disposal is deficient. WHY SHOULD RELATIVES OF Mr. ABC approach Fire Temple of Inter married for performance of ceremonies in event of demise of Mr. ABC.?Is it clear to you Mr. R.J.?
    How is Mr. ABC responsible for collapse of a system?.

  • rustom jamasji

    Phiroz, read previous comments on other topics within Parsi Khabar, and it is quite apparent that the ones who want ‘change’ cling together and try and portray that majority wants such changes that are actualy detrimental.
    Also look at the position you guys put on to those who want to GIVE back to systems instead of ‘wanting’ from it…the common line is that the ones who want to preserve are labeled as ‘Fundamentalists, Talibanistic etc etc…when Not even ONCE was principles of zoroastrianism as left by the saviours of zoroastrianism been forced down on ANYONE.
    I had stated the examples of the followers of guru rani who come in the firetemples arrogantly displaying a badge of a snake though politely asked not to as it goes against zoroastrian principles.Even they wud take refuge in calling zoroastrians who understand the philosophy and thus ask them to maintain the sanctity of the place as talibinistic, though they display such arrogance.

    In case of your example of ABC, the solution is simple…Hu mata, Hukhta n Huvarashtra which is generally fused with social manners should be seen as it is.
    That is 1)good words from the book should be read so misapprehnsions such as asking for proof and material about zoroastrian systems which are battled against ..dissapear n also statements such as having no tools and thus dokhmenishni in zoroastrianism would be cleansed with reality,
    2)then proceed towards good thoughts and these would envisage thinking and findng out ways to counter the weakening of systems USING MODRN TECNOLOGY AND SCIENCE ETC..
    3)and lastly good deeds i.e. moving towards implementing such…i.e good work

    I have maintained that the system has been weakened, mainly by neglect, nill forsight, and not taking actions when required.Instead infighting to an extent of asking for proof if the system is zoroastrian(due to not going thru the good words..i.e (why and hows of in this case dojkhmenishini)n thus..basically hampering moving forward using modern technology to preserve the system.

    If ABC who has reaped the bnefits of being a good zoroatrian now is the time to act for it..not against it..if he thinks that only by praying and getting his children into the fold he has done his duty, he misunderstands…by praying he helps himself..by going to the agiary he again actually helps himself cause if everyone stopped then there wud be no agiary…so now its time he woke up and did some researching and thus implemetning such that would enable Zoroastrianism to be passed on to the next generation and thus aiding in zoroastrianism surving and his grandchldren surviving as Zoroastrians

  • Mr. Jamasji,
    A birth can be postponed by adopting methods of Family Planning but not Death. No one can decide when the call from Almighty will come. When the system as it earlier was,has collapsed, what can Mr.ABC do. Can he ask the almighty not to call him till a proper method for disposal of mortal remains is set up?
    People like you 1)fail to admit: that system has collapsed. Calling the CD’s as doctored only convinces NONE.
    2)Persons like you try to brand those who find the present state of affairs deficient as though such persons are in favour of conversions. When in my example Mr. ABC who has during his lifetime opposed conversions, why should his family approach Agiary meant for Interfaith married Parsees AS SUGGESTED BY YOU IN YOUR EARLIER POST of 12th Sept?.The CHANGE you are averse to is not out of choice but out of compulsion by factors beyond the control of persons like Mr.ABC.
    YOU ARE JUST EVADING THE TOPIC AND GO ON ENDLESSLY TALKING ABOUT GIVING & TAKING.MORE OVER NO OTHER BOARDER HAS COME FORTH TO GIVE A COGENT AND A LOGICAL REPLY TO MY POST.

  • Vahbiz

    I am a Zoroastrian living in Toronto area (Canada) for the past 38 years. My dad is a Mobed as was his dad (and so on).
    The close-mindedness and prejudice of many of the supposed followers of Zoroaster is mind-boggling. We are a sanctimonious lot who look down on others while our religion dies and we ‘in-breed’ until we run out of people to marry!!!
    I was brought up to respect our faith; it was one of the first monotheistic religions, it was inclusive, we shared our faith (that’s how we grew). Now, we hang our hat on the ‘glory days’ and do nothing to spread our faith and include others in the message that our prophet gave us. It is shameful! Why would I want to bring my children up with that nonsense? Zoroastrians in India seem to forget that there are others in the world and we are seen as second-class. I think if you want to see what Zoroaster would have done in the present time, you need to get out of your comfort zone and see the world as the very different place it is today (not thousands of years ago)
    We must never forget our prayers and the basic tenets of our faith, but I believe that if we don’t move forward in other areas we are like the walking dead!

  • Anti Dhongidox.

    Now it will be clear to the author of “and it is quite apparent that the ones who want ‘change’ cling together and try and portray that majority wants such changes that are actualy detrimental” that opinions exprssed on this blog are spontanoeous and from different gographical destinations.No body is clinging to one another.WHO IS IN MAJORITY AND WHO IS IN MINORITY CAN BE FOUND OUT ONLY IF WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE SYSTEM IN PLACE.
    The noise makers, who want to silence the ‘thinking segment’ of our community will talk of “USING MODRN TECNOLOGY AND SCIENCE ETC” to justify going back to 17th Century practice -practice which can not be implemented due to force of nature.It is useless to argue with one solitary individual who wants to impose his views on a vast majority and wants those holding rational beliefs to subscribe to his superstition that Sun Shines brightly even during Monsoon season and even at night.
    No body wants to ‘bend the Rules’ to suit the times.The rules have to be bent to be consistent with natural conditions that are prevalent.
    Mr Dhabhar your quote “On the contrary, Khurshed Nagiarashni is an important aspect to deliver the 4 Anasars to Daham Yazad with the help of the Talesams of the Dakhma” TRUE BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE ZOROASTRIANS WHO WERE CONSIGNED IN ARAMGHAS ?

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  • Delnavaz

    Hi Anti D,
    U say “opinions exprssed on this blog are spontanoeous and from different geographical destinations”, well sure they are, but you must have noticed that the opinions expressed on controversial issues are always varied. hence, the people who you consider as “noise makers” obviously feel the same about you.
    Cheers

  • Anti Dhongidox.

    Ms.Delnavaz,
    Let some boarder (including you) give a cogent pointwise reply to my first post dated the 10th instant as well as to my post of the 14th instant.How many on this PKhabar agree with the Noise maker you can surely observe yourself. If you feel I have made NOISE, please give me clarifications on issues raised by me in my above referred posts.
    It is not my practice to repeatedly refer to some one stray case of a devotee entering a Fire Temple with some symbol of another Religion to exemplify all other Zoroastrians.This Noise Maker conveniently forgets the incident in the same Fire Temple, when a lady who had renounced Zoroastrian faith and embraced Judaism entered this Fire Temple.
    As for my post of 17th, it was in response to the post of a lady by name Vahbiz.
    I shall be too please to stand corrected by you if you can answer , with logical reasoning. the issues raised by me in my 3 posts.Even if you are unable to clarify the issues raised by me, you are free to call me a Noise Maker, if you so choose. I will continue to expose illogical pontification of DHONGIS and FAKE ORTHODOX.regardless of your solitary opinion.

  • piloo

    Dilnavaz.
    Madam,
    It appears that you are not conversant with the tactics of those fanatics and fundamentalists who go to any extent to disturb a meeting held by avowed Reformists. You ought to have been present at the venue when Dr. K Antia from U.S.gave his speech on Acceptance more than a year back in Mumbai. Not that I agree with views of
    Dr. Antia but the way in which a handful of individuals wanted to disrupt the meeting compels me to call them anti democratic.There was shouting and plain Noise. No body invited these fundamentalist few to attend this meet.They knew that what was to be spoken would not be palatable to their level of thinking.But was it necessary to disrupt a meeting? Is that not disgusting? Then why take exception to terms like Hitler type mentality if one behaves as such. And as the saying goes, empty vessels make the most Noise.
    On this Message Board too, one Boarder endlessly paints other boarder like Phiroz, Voice of Reason,Farzana, myself,and Anti Dhongi as though all others except himself, are
    anti Zoroastrianism.Do you find the language such as ‘Cutting the nose to spite the face'(See post of 12/09 at 9.35) very polite? It is easy to condemn but extremely difficult, nay impossible to contradict inconvenient facts.
    One can not go against the Laws of Nature and change is an inevitable consequence of TIME.
    Extremely aplologetic for inconevinence caused by my plain speak.

  • Yazdy Palia

    I think this is going round and round. If there has to be movement, we should get more Parsis to get invoved in the discussion.
    I am forwarding this page to all my Zoroastrian friends. So should every one else, if they are indeed interested in doing good for the community.
    Regards
    Yazdy.

  • Religious but Rational.

    Delnavaz finds the Word Noise Maker objectionable but does not find any thing wrong in the ‘directions’ of Jamasji to others (who do not agree with his tirade) to approach Fire Temple being set up by those Inter- married. This clearly demonstrates where her sympathies are. Delnavaz, Jamasji is not the OWNER OF FIRE TEMPLES and has no locus standi to issue directions or guidelines. Objectivity suggests that such bigoted directives need to be condemned by persons with a judicious mind.To me the word Noise Maker is certainly less offensive then language of such Fatwas.
    Similarly Delnavaz, do you want serene environment of Towers to be disturbed and polluted by Butchers who will have to bring freshly slaughtered meat to feed Vulture Chicks in their proposed Aviary Experiment?.

  • rustom jamasji

    @ Vabhiz, I think your apprehensions are misplaced if you think Indian zoroastrians treat every one else as second class, be it zoroastrians or not.

    As far as the statement of inbreeding goes, now the group who had previously blame all illness in zoroastrian to inbreeding claim that we had converted others and thus mixed up and thus should convert.Its high time,such made up their minds whilst levelling charges.
    I add here that if one goes to a parsi hospital he will see many parsis there with sickness yet it is akin going to Punjab and inferring that all men have turbans in the world.
    Again whilst resecrhing such, the consequences of an environment and social culture and diets have been left out.
    Alzheimiers plays a major factor in americans, though the americans can be said to be the most mixed up with regards to genes.
    As is the case of the anti dakhma group who still havent realised that the thumb rule of decomposition is oxidisation…Oxidization plays a large role in decomposing a corpse and a well recognized THUMN RULE of DECOMPOSITION is that a corpse will decompse TWICE AS FASTER IN AIR THAN WATER AND 4 TIMES FASTER IN AIR THAN BURIED.The ill effects of burial systems are visible and now is that they have vertical burials. Since lack of space and decomposition being very slow. This in spite that europes population is on a decline.Deep burial increases decomposition time and with the formation of Adipocere making it impossible to use the same graves again.

    I do value your opinion of prayers and promoting the faith, yet what is highlighted is that many who want to convert others to zoroastrianism wanto to first change it without understanding the principles of it!!

    @ Phiroz and dhongi..
    You could not fathom a simple trait that is used in any system be it business or normal planing.i.e.read about it, find ways to implement it and then Implement it. Thus in you example of ABC i mentioned Humata , hukhta and huvarashtra..find out the whys of the subject, ponder ways to achieve it and lastly implement it. You can feel free to go off on a tangent with family planning etc..
    On your statement of going to another agiary, it is not the zoroastrians who want to preserve the faith as left by the saviours that have decided this, it is you guys who do not like, condemn, and shout on roof tops and shelter in any loopholes to demand a change as if its ure birthright. Since you guys do not like and claim its all talibinatic etc,though not being shoved down your throats, you guys yourself have chanellised such.Ocourse once again here too you highlight the thirst to eat the cake and have it too…i.e demand a change, if not found suitable malign everything, when not asked to follow, demand a shut down of the whole system..so when are you gonna be satisfied, you are not when we do not ask you to follow zoroastrianism as left by the saviours
    you are not asked to contribute towards it, pray do not hamper process of strenghteming systems, yet that does not suit you
    You want rules set by the makers of agiaries to be nulified just because the donors of such are dead, you denounce the systems as left by the savours of z’ism and then want a piece of it too..c’mon guys atleast find out what u guys want..

    @ Dhongi dox..On your quote of me wanting you going back to the 17th century..
    Firstly if you think using moderrn technology, scientific methods, world expertise in preserving anything , be it flora, fauna, structures, systems cultures etc is pushinhg you backwards, well that highlights your wisdom..
    Secondly dokhmenishini system is much older than the 17th century. I thought you’d read the quotes and books after u demanded proof of such existing. But ofcourse you deny archelogical existence as being proof..
    Lastly Zoroastrianism is also much older, please feel free not to follow it if you think its pushing you to the dark ages, but please do not demand things be changed, shut down due to your feelings.

    I shall make this a bit more lenghtier but shall quote from Zoroastrian texts . In the Gathas and other texts it s quoted that Life and its promoter Ahura Mazda has nothing in common with Death, pain sickness etc.Nor wil these 2 spirits have anything in common nor shall have in thought, they are opposing entities and death is seen as a temporary victory of evil over good.The role of demon AtahiWad comes in then,.
    To counter or contain evils victor then with regards to Zoroastrianism, certain do’s n donts again with regards to zoroastrian philosophy come in play.
    It seems so true today that the temporary victory of anti Mazda with reg. to death really makes some mazda worshippers promote practises that go contrary to mazdayasny philosophy. All in the name of alerting and reforming Zoroastrianism.

  • rustom jamasji

    RNR. I HAVE never stated I am the owNer of Fire Temples. Infact I have always stated that ‘AS WE ARE NOT THE OWNERS OF SUCH, we DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to nullify the rules set by the donors of such..as well as lands and praqctises passed on thru sacrifices by teh saviours of zoroastrianism

    As far as you loop holes to stop strenghtening the dokhmenishini system thru aviary you also had previously stated that there shud be no sudeh as there was no cotton productiion during zarathushtra’s time..

    Your armchair rationalism is shattered by scientific reaserch that u guys are averse of and as dhongi claims archelogical evidence is not evidence…

    ‘This suggests that spinning (and presumably weaving practices)
    began in the later Neolithic during the early to mid-Second Millennium BC.’

    ‘The evidence from Inamgaon in Maharashtra,suggests a similar pattern of increasing importance of spinning in the late Second Millennium BC’

    ‘Almost all spindle whorl finds come from Southern Neolithic Phase III, which dates from
    1800-1300 BC’

    ‘Fibre-adapted forms were developed later,but even so use of fibres had begun before the end of the Neolithic in Southwest Asia, i.e. by ca. 7000-6000
    BC’
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/silva/archaeology/staff/profiles/fuller/PDFs/TextilesbeyondIndus.pdf

    Ofcourse since you think conservation of fauna thru its diet is butchery, your wisdom may allow you to contact vaious scientists, science bodies, conservationists, National geography and ask them to put a stop to al such that aid conservation of species.

    The loopholes found by you guys to stop zoroastrian systems and meet your demands have the same results as those who tried and extinguish Zoroastrian practises and records and books by Alexander and thosen who wanted to convert Zoroastrians to the faith of the Byzantines and later on the Arabs

  • Kersee Kabraji

    First of all I wish to thank ‘Parsi Khabar’ for publishing my article which other Parsi Press did not.
    I have also seen the reactions from various readers and have the following to comment:
    1.The main theme of my article was about the role of our high and other priests. Is the community satisfied and happy with the role of ‘commercial prayer chanters’—prayers of which they themselves do not understand a word ?
    2.If some of the high priests have great knowledge of our religion (being highly respected in USA), what use is it to the community, if they do not give regular discourses on various aspects of our religion ? Can other Dasturs also hold classes on religious matters ? can they play the role of helping the Behdins—like the Christian missionaries do for their laytee ?
    3.Instad of discussing these aspects I find that the discussion has come down mainly to discussing ‘the Dokhma system’.
    4.As I can see, the community is divided into 2 groups:
    A, the blind believers of rituals and ceremonies and
    B. those who think rationally.
    I do not think it is possible to reconcile the differences. I had written an article ‘The Greaat Divide’ some time back and those wanting to read it, I shall be only too happy to send it by E-mail.
    Lastly, those who believe in ‘the powers of rituals and ceremonies’ I had posed the following question to a dastur—(of course I did not get any reply)
    “Does Ervard Kapadia think that a person who has religiously followed good thoughts, good words and good deeds in life and not followed any of the tarikats, mantras and kriyas will not progress in the spiritual world? Conversely does he think that a person who has practiced bad thoughts, bad words and bad deeds but has scrupulously practiced tarikats, mantras and kriyas will progress into spiritual world? I look forward to his honest answer”.
    I also find it rather strange that ‘Zarathushtras Gathas’—these 238 stanzas—which is the only scripture which has come directly come from our Asho Zarathushtra, is not known to our priests and large majority of the community members. If we were to resolve all our problems based on teachings in gathas, there would be no problem in the community. Are we game for it ?
    Whilst on the subject of ‘Dokhma System’ I like to bring out two quotes from two of the most eminent scholars of our religion. .
    The first one is from ‘The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees’ by Dr. Sir Jivanji Jamshedji Modi. This book which may be considered as our Bible on rituals and ceremonies has a full chapter on Death Ceremonies. What is rather interesting in our today’s situation are the Authors own comments on page iv of the Preface:
    ‘The times are rapidly changing. The ‘new’ has been springing rapidly upon the ‘old’. As often said, the heresy of today becomes the orthodoxy of tomorrow: the liberalism of this year, the conservatism of the next. The reader will find that many a ceremony, ritual and custom has been spoken of as having become obsolete or as being more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Many more will be obsolete in the course of next few years. Customs are often as despotic as fashions, but they also change as fashions.’
    Does this not bring out clearly, the acceptance of the fact that customs and rituals can not be permanent and that they will have to keep changing as per needs of the time and other compulsions?

    The second one is from the Autobiography of Dastur Dr. M.N. Dhalla, Late High Priest of Parsees in Sind and North-West Provincies (page 601).
    ‘Dokhminishi is not a system created by Almighty—it is a man-made system. The system of disposing the corpse has been rendered sacred custom because of its practice for three thousand years. Yet, even its three-thousand-year-old tradition of sanctity has not endowed it with immortality. With the change of times and circumstances its sway has come to an end. Dokhminishi is merely a tradition. The demolition of tradition is not destruction of religion. Tradition is not religion. In understanding, digesting and acknowledging this fact lies the wisdom of all concerned.’
    So, my dear ‘Traditionalist’ friends, let us be clear that time-tested or otherwise, tradition is not religion and non-observance of tradition does not mean non-observance of religion.

    I am sorry his has turned out to be rather long but I thought of reacting to the messages rather than keeping silent

  • Religious but Rational.

    I HAVE NEVER STATED THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO SUDREH. THATS A FALSE STATEMENT ATTRIBUTED TO ME. WHAT I SAID THAT SOME TIME BACK WAS THAT WE HAVE CHANGED FROM MAN MADE GARMENT TO TEXTILE MADE MULMULL. THE EMPHASIS WAS ON CHANGE. PL REFRAIN FROM DISTORTIONS.
    1)PL CLARIFY HOW MANY YEARS IT WILL TAKE TO “STRENGHTEN” THE SYSYEM?
    2)PL ALSO STATE WHO WOULD BEAR THE COST IN EVENT OF FAILURE OF THE SO CALLED “STRENGHTENING EXERCISE”.
    3) WHAT WOULD BE THE COURSE OF ACTION AFTER YOUR PROPOSED EXPERIMENT FAILS.A VISIONARY LIKE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER SUCH A POSSIBILITY AS WELL.
    LASTLY EVEN I TOO FEEL THAT ARCHAELOGICAL EVIDENCE SHOWS CONDITIONS OF LIFE AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME (HISTORICAL) HOW DOES THAT BECOME A DIRECTION/ RULE FOR THE FUTURE?

  • rustom jamasji

    Dear Kersee
    You have answered your 2nd question with the 1st question..

    Your second question is that ‘If some of the high priests have great knowledge of our religion (being highly respected in USA), what use is it to the community, if they do not give regular discourses on various aspects of our religion
    The answer is that regular classes were/are held..yet why did or do they fizzle out…look into your 1st question..where in you pass a judgement ‘Is the community satisfied and happy with the role of ‘commercial prayer chanters’—prayers of which they themselves do not understand a word ?’..!!

    Now if they didnt understand a word, why are they respected in circles of universities and scholars(real ones not pseudo ones that claim they are ‘Ratus’..)
    Secondly do you think anyone wud waste time in being labeled by people who claim to be students yet pass negative judgement on teachers respected in scholarly circles and renowned world univs.

    So again its the routine of eating the cake and having it too with yiou guys…when the scholarly priests say something..banish their words by armchair philosophy, find loop holes in maligning systems, when contradicted with proofs, malign the people and priests, when they walk away from such, blame them for not distrubuting knowledge..!!
    kudos to your endevaours..
    Mr Kersee Heres a question to you, how many books of Dr Kotwal, Dr Jamasasa, Dr Karanjia who are trying to distribute wealth of knowledge have you read before passing such Judgements..ironically as a student..

    As far as you statements on man made system on dokhmenishini…one can claim that to zoroastrianism itself, infact any systems…but as a student you have missed the pages wherein the whys of dokhmenishini are stated with regards to zoroastrianism ….

    Lastly take resort in change being arbitaraly good and new overwhelming the old and try and float a boat after changing archimedes principles since its old..or newtons law etc..

    Interestingly your new and old concept for changing zoroastrianism has the same message that was passed on by Alexander, The byzantines and the Arabs as they all had newer versions, though the man called zarathushtra and his message has relevance today…refer to the thumb rule of decomposition..for example..or the message of lighted beings surounding the earth during dawn n dusk —called Glenn effect..or the message in Mahbokhtar that explains the mooncycles and effects…

    Surprisingly again you claim to be a student of zoroastrianism yet once again pass Judgement and even want to change it at such an early stage…

    Also in the endeavour of changing zoroastrianism since change is yuor mantra…I wonder how you guys keep on the road and stick to your agenda of changing zoroastrianism as your own agendas should keep changing…

    Please feel free to start Kabraji’ism if you feel Zoroastranism does not meet the times…feel free to ask people to follow you, but please do not take such a freedom to change Zoroastrianism as it wud then not be Zoroastranism but a workshop of peoples taste…

  • Voice of Reason.

    By slaughter of Cattle we are made to believe that it is “CONSERVATION of FAUNA” How gullible we are taken for granted? This is Rustomji’s concept of GIVING(!) to nature. Me totally confused, rushing to a English Teacher to understand the diffrence between GIVING & TAKING.

    AND we are told our ‘System’ will be Eco Friendly(!) Blood and Naso will ADD to Sacredness of Doongerwadi we are expected to believe?
    Some body urgently requires crash course in Environmental Studies.

  • Shirin Mistry

    After I wrote my reply, I was requested to enter the same at the relevant blog so that more people could be taught some simple truths about our religion. (If I knew how, I would have acceded to the request immediately! So if anybody knows how, please do place our words on the Parsi Khabar blog.)

    The Youth need our adult support and in fact this person was actually holding us responsible for not teaching their generation the right way to go! I wasn’t trying to blame-shift when I replied that ours was indeed the Lost Generation for it was ours who were unfortunate enough to have lost out on real religious knowledge unless some of us were lucky enough to have mothers who read to us Tales from the Shahnameh as they did from Shakespeare, as bedtime stories!

    The Kabrajees of this world and as we have now foiund out, are merely trying to open up newer war fronts to support their Spenta University and jaffu’s intentions to destroy us all. Why don’t these ‘students’ tell us openly which University they are learning all this religious stuff at? And why don’t they tell us who exactly their professors are? As to that obviously loaded questionnaire with its made up answers, one doesn’t need to be a Rhodes scholar to realise that there was something definitely stinky rotten in the State of Denmark!

    With some grace, (I) can perhaps pass off as a ‘student’ of our religion,
    Now that we all can look deeper at the real truth and the intentions behind such attempts at destruction by dilution, no amount of grace would ever help this Kersee person to be classified as even a student of Zoroastrianism! He’d be thrown out of pre-nursery!

    Now I cannot quite fathom this Diana Doctor’s place in all this nor can I understand why Working Zoroastrians who have always claimed to not be interested in religious matters, have allowed this sort of article to be published at their site – specially since it is so heavily anti-establishment like some teenaged renegade rebel without a cause! Time to wake up admins/owners and stick to your oft stated intentions!
    ShirinMAI!

  • Anti Dhongidox.

    Are the self styled up holders of our Religion so devoid of talent that one solitary individual alone has taken upon himself to be the sole spokesperson as the SELF APPOINTED SAVIOUR & INTERPRETER OF OUR RELIGION?
    Secondly,I fully agree that Objects of Trust Deeds have to be observed. Therefore, it will be necessary to complain to Office of Charity Commiissioner when Fire Temples sell Well Water to Water Tankers and others misutilize land meant for resting place of departed souls for Aviary (as and when this Experiment is conducted). The Settlors never provided for deviation for such purposes.
    Physician heal thyself with your own medication.

  • Yazdy Palia

    I have tried to make some sense out of Shirins’ blog but I have failed.
    It would be worth the while if she could part with a fraction of the knowledge she claims she has.

  • Ms. Shirin Mistry,
    I believe that on Yahoo group _ Working _Zoroastrians several articles have been appearing on RELIGIOUS ISSUES in the past. It is just an Opportunity to elicit views. You do not seem to have objected to earlier Religious themes, including that on Vandidad. I believe that on the subject issue some person wants to elicit views of the Community.
    You refer to establishment, what establishment?
    How do you conclude that the Community at large supports the views of your elusive “Establishment?
    Is it your aim to muzzle even discussions because the facts are embarassing to some some holy cows of our Community.?

  • This refers to Comment of R. Jamasji in his post dated 18th instant “Alzheimiers plays a major factor in americans, though the americans can be said to be the most mixed up with regards to genes.” HOW MISLEADING IT IS IS ESTABLISHED BY THE FOLLOWING QUOTE AS IT APPEARS ON THE Website Wrondiagnosis.com :_
    “WARNING! EXTRAPOLATED STATISTICS ONLY! Not based on data sources from individual countries. These statistics are calculated extrapolations of various prevalence or incidence rates against the populations of a particular country or region. The statistics used for prevalence/incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease are typically based on US, UK, Canadian or Australian prevalence or incidence statistics, which are then extrapolated using only the population of the other country. This extrapolation calculation is automated and does not take into account any genetic, cultural, environmental, social, racial or other differences across the various countries and regions for which the extrapolated Alzheimer’s Disease statistics below refer to. The extrapolation does not use data sources or statistics about any country other than its population. As such, these extrapolations may be highly inaccurate (especially for developing or third-world countries) and only give a general indication (or even a meaningless indication) as to the actual prevalence or incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease in that region. These statistics are presented only in the hope that they may be interesting to some people.” Unquote.ONE HAS TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AND NOT JUST THE BANNER BEFORE QUOTING SOMETHING. CONCLUSIONS ARE BOUND TO BE MISLEADING.

  • rustom jamasji

    Exactly Phiroz.you strenghten my points…
    Infact once again you contradicted your self..
    You have taken only parts of what ive writen..
    I stated that that by going to parsi hospitals and thinking all parsis are sick is akin to thinkin all men wear a turban by going to punjab..
    Please also quote the full as to what ve written…
    I have also stated that environment, social culture, food habbits due to the area, demography etc all play a part, yet you guys on one hand blame for inbreeding and on the other hand for us being mixed up..

    You guys one one and take bits and pieces for showcasing that the zoroastrians are sickly lot cause they inbreed though we have one of the longest life spans, have the same illness’s as any other community be it sikhs, christians muslims, jains, ladakis, tibetans,or small groups from the andamans…then you guys go and and contradict tat by saying the zoroastrians of India are already mixed up cause they couldnt have go the population s high wihiout converting..!!!!
    So which one is it?

    It was your cotoire that said that there were no tools in Persia to dig, Archelogical evidence is not real proof, Cotton was not there during Zarathushtra’s time, the ignorance of how muktaad days are 10 DAYS and yet passed judgements, oppose any move for strenghtening any system using modern technology and comPare this to colecting old news papers and starting an aviary project to butchery..also passed on judgement and then asked for books and references which again you guys banished..

    I hope you guys have fathomed a simple trait and solution of learning the whys of a subject, then finding out ways to achieve a goal and then implementing it instead of chanellisng such to family planning.

    By the way.. according to WHO–AMERICA REPRESENTS 25% OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE though they represent only 4.6% of world population!!

  • Reproduced for your benefit ONCE AGAIN the quote. If you do not comprehend the meaning of word INACCURATE, I can not help it.”As such, these extrapolations may be highly inaccurate (especially for developing or third-world countries) and only give a general indication (or even a meaningless indication) as to the actual prevalence or incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease in that region”
    Do you have statistics of the prevelence of same disease in Parsee Zoroastrian Community to make such comparisions? HOW MANY CAES GO UNREPORTED? Pleae also note that Parsees are mostly in India and India is a DEVELOPING COUNTRY AND NOT DEVELOPED LIKE UK OR USA where reporting of medical cases is higher.IF YOU WANT TO BLOG JUST TO READ YOUR NAME, GO ON DOING IT.

  • Religuous but Rational.

    “the ignorance of how muktaad days are 10 DAYS” WHAT A REVELATION.
    During the Six decades of last century, Muktaads used to last for 18 Days in ALL Fire Temples. Even now, some Fire temples have Muktaads which last for 18 days. So my you concede that Mobeds deceived the laity by prolonging Muktaads by 8 additional days and Panthakies of some Fire temples still ‘deceive’ the laity even now to line up their pockets.Before blogging, consider the implications of your arguments.

  • rustom jamasji

    RNR…justify what you have to say, yet history doesnt change…also it wont change the fact that nor did you have knowledge of the subject, nor did you bother finding out, yet you passed judgement..

    As far as decieving the laity due to this, it again shows yor thirst to find loop holes..abd againd devoid of historical knowledge..
    I had earlier pointed put how the muktaad days came to becoming 18 during the sasanian times due to calender being destroyed/lost during the burnin of the library and other exts and killing of priests by Alexander and byzantine wars thereafter.
    The importance is of observing the practise and to get te calender back on track….as the chineese saying goes as long as the cat cathches mice, it does not matter weather its back or grey…Here in you missed the point again or purposefully do so to encourage your ignrance and also find loop holes..
    I hope atleat now you are satisfies that cotton was present during Zarathushtra’s time and hope you have found out about the Zoroastrian Persian kingdom maintaining ice n thus cold water also about the architecual wonders in Persia during the aechmenid times…i mean how coudl one be so ignorant when it is a known gact that complex road systems were known to exist during Daraus’s time and also the term Dinar could have come from Darays’s system of coinage..and you blame them of not haing digging tools!!

    As far as personal comments about me wanting my name appearing and thus I write..well atleast it does appear with facts, history, and evidence and also at tmes submitting to history and other view points …and not taking shelter in such after passing judgement without knowing about the subject..
    Atleast some readers may get an insight to history and knowledge thru my lenghty posts though at times having typological erors..which again you guys find solace in..As i have previously written that m aim is not to convince you guys but to dissemitate facts to others and you help by passing negativity without reading about the subject..
    I guess as you malign every effort, and history, facts and evdence pointing the other way, your last recourse is to atack people personally..

  • Anti Dhongidox

    For the kind information of other boarders, I have to inform that even till date Muktad days are 18 as practiced in Udwada.For the information of one who claims to know everything under the Sun and believes in criticising others, it would be better if he visits http//tenets.parsizoroastrian.com/ 101Answers.DiniAvaz.pdf

  • Anti Dhongi has now exposed the ‘depth’ of knowledge of Jurassic mind by pointing out that even to day in Udwada, Muktads last for 18 days. After reading Anti Dhongi’s post, I recollect a recent Advert in the Parsi news papers about the same.
    In essence there are two set of practices and most Agiaries in Mumbai have curtailed the duration to 10 days looking to the practical aspect. This constitutes a
    C H A N G E a departure from PAST PRACTICE.NOTHING IS PERMANENT.
    The names of AUTHORS quoted by Jurassic mind is just to show off the his knowledge and in all probabilty apart from seeing the outer cover HE may not have even seen the INDEXES of Research Books referred to by him.
    AND we have to accept disseminated knowledge(!)(1) that textile mills existed in ancient Persia before the spinning jenny was invented.
    AND that (2) Iranian soil is suitable(!) for growing cotton.
    Dadar Ormazd help/rescue the community from such Research Scholars and Historians.

  • Are these NOT PERSONAL ATTACKS ?
    Example 1)”the fact that nor did you have knowledge of the subject, nor did you bother finding out, yet you passed judgement..”
    Example 2)”abd againd devoid of historical knowledge.”
    Sorry, do not wish to acquire misinformation from anybody.

  • Thanks to all for the breadth of commenting on this post.

    I will close commenting on this post. If you have anything else to add that has not already been said, please send it to us via the “Contact” page and if appropriate, we shall add it as a comment.

    Thanks

    arZan