A Day of Celebration
The 7th Salgreh of the Zoroastrian Association of California‘s (a FEZANA Member Association) Atash Kadeh was celebrated with great religious fervor and Parsi gusto on the 12th of November. The celebration started a day in advance with deep cleaning of the premises by volunteers Freny Bacha, Vira & Burjor Santoke, Dhun & Ketty Alamshaw, Jimmy Colabewala, Firoze Avari, Xerxes, Zane & Zara Commissariat, Ruzbe, Zubin & Farzan Daruwalla, Mehernosh Pithawalla, Kerman & Annu Dangore, Khushroo Dubash & Zerkxis & Zarrir Bhandara.
On the day of Salgreh, in the wee hours of the morning, the Chowks were done by Annu & Kerman Dungore, the hars and Torans were made by Rukshana Colabewala. A Hama Anjuman maachi was offered to Atashpadshah in all five gehs. A Jashan was performed in the morning by Ervads Ardaviraf Minocheherhomji, Kian Arzan Lali, & Zerkxis, and Zarir Bhandara which was attended by about 75 Zoroastrians.
The ZAC Cleaning crew
The Importance of Service
After the Jashan, Zarrir thanked the donors Hootoxi and Dr. Ervad Ardaviraf Minocheherhomji who also sponsored the celebrations, and gave a brief talk explaining the terms:
· Agiyary: A Sanskrit word meaning “Agni rakhvani jagya” which means Atashkadeh in Persian, which can store either of the three grades of fires Dadgah, Adaran and Atash Behram fire.
· Dadgah fire: The ZAC Ataskadeh which houses the dadgah fire, which was duly consecrated under the guidance of Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal.
He stressed the importance of service, saying serving our community and humanity in general is serving God. Further, he stressed the importance of focusing on our feelings, emotions, that we derive from experiences, as we are living, feeling beings, by transforming our feelings, we can transform our thoughts, words, deeds, and our life.
A Time for Reflection
After which, he invited Ervad Dr. Minocheherhomji to speak, who said:
Anybody can donate money, but the important thing is the serving, which these ervads do so devotedly and the community coming here to pray. By quoting the Jasameavanghe Mazda prayer, he said:
We are peace-loving, bridge-building community. Hence, it is important that we stay united and spread peace in the world by decreasing the negativity and increasing the positivity quoting from the Haft Amshaspand Afrin. Further, he spoke about “Ossmoi oozaresva Ahura” Which means “You unfold to me, be with me Ahura, and if God is with you, you don’t need anyone else”and Ushtano Zato Athrav Yo Zarathushtra” meaning “the whole creation rejoiced at the birth of Asho Zarathushtra, that is how great our prophet is” engraved in Rustom Framna Agiyary Dadar, Mumbai
A Community Comes Together
At the conclusion, ZAC President Mrs. Rooky Fitter thanked the then President Mrs. Tehmi Damania and the ZAC community for their stupendous team work and that we have come a long way and we can continue to progress further unitedly.
A Delicious Feast
Afterward, the chashni was served along with the delicious compassionate Pulav Dal prepared by Reshma Rustomi, Ravo by Xerxes commissariat, and Flan by Dhun & Ketty Alamshaw, Fruits- Freny Bacha. The afternoon ended with merriment and laughter by the ZAC members. Everyone had a great time, and it was the perfect way to end the event.