Arjun Rampal and the desecration of an Agiyari

The image you see below is from a recent issue of GQ Magazine published in India. Arjun Rampal actor/model answers some candid questions and one of his answers is a boastful “I am one of the few people who have gone into the Agyari pretending to be a Parsi”.

This is really pathetic and obnoxious of Arjun Rampal. A little background. Arjun Rampal is married to Meher Jesia, ex Miss India. Arjun-small

Current rules state that only Parsis are allowed entry into their holy places, the Agiyaris and the Atashbehrams. And Arjun is not a Parsi. What right does he then have to break the rules of a community, just to satiate his own personal curiosity and boast about it.

Rules in religion are not always agreed upon. But as long as they exist one needs to respect them.

Parsi fire temples are not guarded securitized places. Over the centuries there has been a certain respect/trust within the society, which respects the wishes of the Parsi community and not venture into their fire temples.

I am not a legal maven, but I wonder if a criminal case of trespass can be filed against this Arjun Rampal. He has knowingly desecrated a consecrated place, an agiary.

It also makes me wonder what sort of a person Arjun is, what moral standards he must have to take credit in publicly admitting such an act.

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  • Shame on him. I rt’d it, Arzan-ji.

  • Okay I TRIED to retweet it…thrice. Twitter not working for me. Sorry. 🙁

  • k f keravala

    A criminal case of trespass should be filled against Mr.Arjun Rampal, during the case proceedings the name of the Paak Agairy or Paak AtashBehram Saheb should be found out.
    In consultation with the High Priest, Priest and Religious Scholars purification ceremonies should be done to try to minimize the spiritual damage.
    Sad to know, that civilized people behave in such an insensitive way!!!

    Hope Mr.Berjis Desai,Mr.Jejeebhoy( JeeJee),ARZ, AIMZ start their Universal Agiary(?) in Borivali soon.They could give High Priest(dastur) and Head Priest(panthaky) post to K Madan and F Mirza.
    Does anyone know what happened to the Colaba Universal Agiary?

  • Delnavaz

    Hi

    It is a pity that Arjun is taking pride in doing something that is illegal. Parsis are known to be a peaceful community, however that does not entitle anyone to break a cardinal rule & then brag about it. It certainly does not say well about his character & the character of the person who helped him do this.

  • You guys can make fuss of such a small issue.. unbelievably insecure you are.

  • I am sure Meher must have introduced him to it..otherwise why would he be intrested ??

  • Arzoo Irani

    I suggest we gain mileage out of this untoward incident by projecting the reason we don’t allow outsiders into the agiary instead of trying to run down Arjun Rampal and hurting Meher Jesia’s family. We need to highlight that we ourselve cleanse ourselves and do out kusti, while performing which, we call upon the one God we worship, and promise Ahura Mazda good thoughts good words good deeds good body good mind and a good aura from our end. We ask forgiveness for any of our mistakes and ommissions. We denounce the devil. We promise we will give our best towards the path shown to us by Ahura Mazda. Without doing the kusti, we don’t go before the only symbol we worship, the fire, which we consider the best representation Ahura Mazda our creator. Let our children learn a new meaning, because their curiosity will be aroused with the mention of a film star. Let us project we are positive people always looking at the brighter side of everything by requesting non-Zoroastrians to please not go directly before a consecrated fire, with or without permission. Yes, there are many places that have a glass to prevent any negative energy from non-consecrated areas from where non-Zoroastrians may view the fire. They can most certainly avail the facility where available. Let us not hype up this issue negatively. People get more curious wanting to know what is so secretive, that we don’t want others to know. Let us be open since we have nothing to hide. We have absolutely positive reasoning behind our practices. Let us throw light on this for all, young and old, to learn.

  • Homiyar Bilimoria

    What a shame! I would put blame on Meher Jesia, to whom he is married and in whose company Arjun Rampal might have visited the Agiyari. If I am correct in my assumption, then its Meher Jesia, who has brought the shame on her community and religion! And as for Arjun Rampal, if he had any culture or moral standard, he would not have visited an Agiyari in the first place, leave aside boasting about it later.

    As for legal action against Arjun Rampal, its upto the trustees of the Agiyari or BPP, who should look into it.

  • shehzad irani

    It is indeed a dark day for us parsis when a person of celebrity status takes the opportunity to latch on to a taboo to boast about his multi-cultural view of his decadent world. I simply don’t understand what would he have got out of making such preposterous comments, which (i hope to GOD) he can’t substantiate. In this glorious country of india, where our non-parsi citizens have showered us with the trust and faith that we can keep our doors open and not opt out for private and demeaning security, he has violated a very thin line – and in doing so, has bought shame on him, the citizens of india and to those people who instigated or allowed him in….

  • I am not a Parsi, but a Gujarati. Not only the Gujaratis, but also the people of India have respected the sanctity of Agiyari and Atashbehram since the advent of this great community in India. What Mr. Rampal did is insensitive and shameful. He should tender public apology.

    As for the comment of Ms. Choudhary, what right does she have to pass such a rude comment on the community? Right of freedom of speech does not mean that one should be uncivil.

  • Vahbyz daruwalla

    Being a Parsi Zoroastrian myself, I realize There seems to be some topic or the other to harp on by Parsis n loners alike. this seems to be a favourite towards some debate or the other. What Arjun rampal did years ago or recently desanitising the atash is if a sin he would bear the brunt eventually, there is THE superior power to deal with it aptly. Why waste breath on irrelevant banter when there are far more important things in life to cater to!!

  • Arzan Raimalwala

    This is typical senseless journalism. First you spark a flame by using words out of context to create a stirring headline. Obviously from the article it can be seen that he said this to stress on his multi-cultural background. As for breaking and respecting rules, can someone provide details on the source and origin of these “rules.”

  • piloo

    Arzan Raimalwalla questions the source and origin of the Rules. Well every Firee temple is governed by A Trust Deed and the Trust Deed specifies the beneficiaries.As to whether such restrictions hava any relevance in present times is another issue. Obviously Rampal had no business to brag about what he did when he was a kid as he now claims as an after thought.He has given an opportunity to bigoted individuals to heap criticism on other respected ‘pure’ Parsees holding liberal views.
    It is another thing that most Parsee Fire Temples have to resort to employing as manual workers, half Parsees.
    What Rampal did needs to be condemned. But I stll can not fathom the meaning of the Words “Entry for Parsees only” displayed outside Fire Temples. According to me, it should read as Parssee Zoroastrians Only. There are many Parsees who have renounced their faith and are practicising other faiths.They would then be entitled to enter fire temples, whether they do do or not is another issue.
    On my recent visit to 3 Atahbehrams of Mumbai, I found no body to verify who was entering the Atasbehrams and if the entrant had performed Kusti. In fact in one Atasbehram, I found a worker merrily talking over his cell phone.Even in Navsari Atashbehram, I have found no checks.

  • Roxana Khushrushai

    What can one expect from a person who claims to have “KIND OF” grown up in a Multicultural environment. Mr Rampal before using such big words you should have at least looked up the dictionary so that you don’t look like a “KIND OF” idiot.
    Multiculturalism does not mean you intrude into other peoples privacy and then put it on the media.
    Hope you did not KIND OF person who would eat pork with the nice people who shared their big plates with you. Basically you are the “KIND OF” person we Zoroastrians would like to keep away from, for the simple reason, YOU ARE a PERFECT moron not just “KIND OF”

  • Roxana Khushrushai

    Why is everybody blaming Meher. She already has a lot on her plate. Her husband openly tells the media that he is embarrassed of her. OUCH!!!!!! Meher does that hurt? PLEASE LET US KNOW WHERE?

  • rustom jamasji

    Yes Padmaja Choudhary, we can be termed insecure. But then with the same logic you could
    1)term the israeli’s as insecure as after a holocaust where in not many chodharies were burnt alive or gassed , they wanted to protect their faith and pass it on to their next generations as left by the saviours of Judaism.Especially after more than a million jews were butchered and after ww2 didnt have a lace in the world to go to.

    2Yes we feel a bit purturbed when it comes to out faith cause many a rustomjee’s who you portray as funy characters in bolywood movies were butchered and many of my clansmens and clanladies fought barbarians yet did not succumb to barbarian deeds starting from the thirst to christianise Persia and then Islamise it.

    3) You can term us insecure in a pseudo fashioon though After outnumbering the majority, the second largest majorty and all the rest and probably afer putting al other comunities of India to gether we still outnumber ratio wise when it comes to Philanthrophy, Serving in the armed forces etc…yet to be portrayed as bollywood laughs …perhaps shoes the insensitivness on parts of such…

    4)Padmaja you can term us insecure though we lost many a brave women when t came to protecting Indian lands against Taimur lang.. Zoro women tied their hair and fought against his armies as against other moguls as they wanted to capture lands where we were given refuge..and also as zoroastrians were given a special place in these barbarians minds..

    5)In Whole of Persia that stretched to PUNJAB , the Lnds of POROS though being claimed Indian..there remain less than 1 lakh Zoroastrians…due to the thirst to wipe us ut due to our faith…and we want to protect it…
    6) In Iran our brethern with time are subject to scenarios where in it makes it condusive to forget our roots and adapt to others.

    7) In India because of riots and insessant fighting OF REALLY INSECURE Communties, we do feel scared of being wiped out…

    8) In an amalgamation of religuous communties and fervour, our next generation do have a peer pressure of forgetting our rrots and adaptn gto others..naturally.!!!and so we have a duty to preserve it and not fuse it..

    and lastly..if you feel that by breaking, nullifying , dismantling and mutilating the wishes of those who gave institutions for free one becomes insecure…my guess is that the Parsis in India wil be forgotten and street names and our deeds overwritten ..just because your thinking would allow such to be forgoten..

    No wonder that the Indian race is also blamed for fogetting their war heros..

    yes historical banckruptcy would term as being Insecure when one is sensitive towards the deeds..and meritious deeds and wishes of ones history..

  • phiroz

    Comments of K.F. Keravala, particularly the conculding paras are in equally bad taste as the action and boasting of Rampal. While act of Rampal is uncondonable, Keravalas caustic comments about two priests raise some issues.
    Why deny prayers to a departed soul of a Parsee Zoroastrian just because the departed wanted quicker and efficient disposal of mortal remains?
    Does Keravala and those having similar thinking clarify why they respect self styled “High Priests” notwithstanding that they performed/ allowed performance of Wadia Navjotes and JRD’s Uthamna. Even Hitler’s Nazism had some uniform principles but the same is lacking in some of our Parsee Zoroastrians. Even if one reads history books,no body talks of Parseeism. Only religions are discussed and therefore Zoroastrianism is discussed.

  • Arzan Raimalwala

    I personally would love to see fire temples opened up to everyone. It would be for the betterment of our own community. I can’t fathom or understand why everyone wants to be so seclusive and protective. There is something above religion and its called humanity. Its easy to blindly follow rules. But to question what has not worked, to embrace change and to evolve are the keys to our survival and prosperity. Everyone is convinced about not allowing non-Zoroastrians in to fire temples but so far not one person on any forum has been able to provide a convincing argument that satisfies me that my faith is put in to danger by someone else entering a fire temple. A classic dog in the manger situation. A home of God should be open to anyone and everyone. Think beyond your emotions and open your eyes to reality. Let your answers be guided by your heart and not by what has been fed in to you all your life.

  • Mahafrin Variava

    Mrs. Choudhury,

    Your comment is appauling. You’re on a website where parsi’s have been hurt by the actions of one idividual , yet within the midst of all of us you have the guts to call us INSERCURE? Do you have any idea what you’re saying? I myself cannot tell whether it is wrong or right to ENTER the agiyari if you’re a non parsi. There is not much concerete proof in the religious texts about this (not that I know of). Nevertheless it is frowned down upon by the majority of us. THERE MUST BE A REASON WHY. It is not a small issue. To do it is one thing. To speak of it in front of the media and so openly makes it another. He himself said he was ‘pretending ‘. For crying out loud woman, think before you speak. Its a sensitive issue. We’re throwing an outburst for a reason. Whether it should be open to people of all faiths or not, is a completely separate issue. Currently, it isn’t. And that should be respected. Rest assured, when we’re all convinced that the Agiyari should be a place for everyone, then i’m sure we wont mind letting people in. We don’t stop people from being a part of Navroze or Papeti we don’t stop people from coming to our Navjotes. We’re open minded people. The couple of things we’re limited towards, need to be respected. And thats all we’re asking. If you openly broadcast your actions in the media, for the entire Parsi population to see. Then you should also openly apologise. His wife is a Parsi, she knows its not right to do, im sure, he is well aware that it isn’t right. Yet he spoke of it, and thats wrong. In reference to another another article, Ms.Mistree may be taking this a bit too far by asking the Agiyari to be purified again. Im sure there have been various non-parsis entering the Agiyari before this. And no one has known. In which case all Agiyaris should be purified, right ? Just to be safe? … If we want to settle this, just leave it at an Apology. Its wrong. We know it. And once more Ms.Choudhury, this is one of the few times, we’ve thrown an outrage over something, respect it, and stop calling us insecure. If you’re a part of us, then thats fine, if its not a big deal to you, thats fine, but do not get personal. When the line gets crossed, we won’t hesitate in getting personal too.

  • farzana

    Guys, you need a purpose in life – channel your fervour to some more deserving issue.
    Zoroastrianism was the first faith to advocate EQUALITY OF HUMANITY and FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Ive not come across a single verse in Gatha that endorses discremination of nonzoroastrians in any walk of life. To this day Fire temples in Iran are open to peoples from all races and culture. The ancient Fire temple in Baku has inscription of vedic slokas on one of its walls praising Lord Ganesh. There are number of examples though out the history which can be quoted to show Zoroastrianism was always associated with inclusiveness of all cultures it has come across.
    We are an ‘educated’ community – and take pride in declaring our rich culture and inheritance yet we often degrade ourselves on issues like this reeking racist fundamentalism forgetting all logic and reason. Its not Arjun who needs to apologize but those Parsis who are rampantly mis-representating the wonderful ancient faith with their narrowly perceived agenda of racial superiority and communal hatred

  • rustom jamasji

    On Arzans Ramaiwallas point of allowing everyone in the agiaries since humanity is above religion implies that all those philanthropists that built agiaries were lesser humanists as they put down laws regarding seclusion of zoroastrians and zoroastrian principes in an agiary..

    One would learn the why’s and hows if they went thru the denkard, bundaishn, the vendidat,etc instead of trying to portray as lesser humans those who gave so much that generations enjoyed it be it within the community or outside it..
    This logic also puts the Giovtes of Dubai, Agu dhabi, Muscat, Saudi,Japan etc as being les humanist as they would not give anyone a citizenship to their country…

    Being a good religionist does not make one lesser humanist or Sir PM Mehta, Dr Dadabhoy Navroji, Sir Jamshetji Jeejebhoy etc who were fervour in their religionistic duties would be termed lesser humanists..

    Surprisingly those who have keenly studied Zoroastrianism like Prof Mary Boyce, Prod Hinells, Prof James Rusell, Dr Kotwal, etc have no issues undestanding the why’s of certain laws cause they have studied Zoroastrianism..

    Those who put in place these laws after zoroastrianism was butcherd, and made Zoroastrian institutuions and contributed towards such were termed intelects by internaional standards..the likes of Jeevanji Jamshed Modi for example…and many More…they were never termed as lesser humanists!!! just because they ut back and founded zoroastrian institutions and its laws in Indo -Pak…

    Ritualistic part of Zoroastrianism is its core as explained by those who have studied Zoroastranism…its the lack og understanding due to neglect and not studying it, that makes it look dogmatic, especially when then armchair philosophy and everyday logic cannot fathom and thus justify the whys of Zoroastrianism..

  • Kayan ghyara

    Shame on Arjun Ramphal, He is very aware of the sanctity of the agyari and the non admittance of non-zorastrians to our holy temple.
    what is he going to tell his daughters….He is over 21 he can think for himself, why put Meher in a spot….

  • Arzan Raimalwala

    Rustom Jamasji,

    I welcome your feedback to my post. However, I would like to point out that preventing someone from gaining citizenship is not a question of humanity but a question of sovereignty. As to the humanity of Middle East nations, well I leave that to you to judge for yourself. As for the humanity of philanthropists, I do not question theirs either as they have played a great role in the history of our community. But yes if they claim that the agyari will be made impure by the presence of non-zoroastrians then I fail to see how that is not inhumane. Making comparisons based on religion is senseless and this is my “opinion.” You are free to disagree.

  • shehzad irani

    on Farzana’s comment that Zoroastrainism was a “EQUALITY OF HUMANITY and FREEDOM OF CHOICE” i would like to add – if you ACTUALLY have read the GATHAs (which i think you haven’t) then you could also do best read the vendidad and the Bundahishn (which i am sure you shall be saying vendi-who?). Because if you really know what the religion is about you wouldn’t be proposing such a simplistic view of the same…

    Do you even know what process we go through to establish an agiyari fire – much less an atash behram fire? Do you know that it took over a 100 years to consecrate the last atash behram fire and, i hasten to add – would be impossible today – because we neither have the alaat, the will – or that level of priests? You thought we pray to just a match-stick fire???

    What you are essentially saying, that we parsis should give up all this just because someone needs to be secular??? Heck you wouldn’t give away your mothers cutlery if it was a hundred years old… here we are talking about a spiritual entity – that is living… is it so easy???

    IT just shows how less you know about the religion – and just shows how much respect you have for the same…

  • phiroz

    Shehzad,
    I fully agree with you about the sanctity of our Holy Fires but how do you explain for presence of
    Cleaners/ Chasniwallas in Fire Temples, particularly during Muktad days, persons who are apparently not Parsees and will not be able to recite even a Yatha or Ashem? When our ancestors fled Persia,they did so to protect Zoroastrianism not Dhansak Kachubar Parseeism. I do not want to dwell on the sham Navjotes of wealthy Non Parsee industrialist and Uthamna of another ‘sanctified’ by our materialistic “Popes”.The blame for the current state of affairs lies on the doorstep of our self styled, autocratic ‘high priests’ living in ivory towers who think that they can do no wrong and even their wrong act should be construed as righteous.Merely being ordained Priests is not enough.Manashin, Gavashni & Kunashni are more important and can not be compromised for materialistic gains.

    Just ponder, if our ancestors had remained in Persia, would there have been even a term Parsee?

  • Homiyar Bilimoria

    Having gone through so many comments (incl. my own) generated by Arjun Rampal’s statement; I now feel that some comments have gone too far by getting personal and disrespectful to eachother and we are losing focus from the main issue.

  • rustom jamasji

    Arzaan…The rules laid down for the agiatries n atash behrams were laid down bythe philanthropists who built them and also contributed heavily to a cosmopolitan society….If I were to adhere it, you with your logic would condemn me as being less humanist….but in the same breath say you do nt condemn the makers of such and layers of such laws as less humanist….thats a bit contradicting..

    As far as citizenship laws, I have also quoted Japan…and G.Q would provide sight into the same laws governing India..Himachal , J N K, Andamans ETC WHERE IN A PERSON NOT indegenious to the sate canot buy land there.. it may seem the reasons differs but lets ponder why they have such laws…? To protect the culture of the smaller in number ‘ people…The same way where in if all are allowed in an agiary there will be fewer Zoroastrians and larger people who will see Zarathushtra’s philosophy the same as Hinduistic philosophy though they difer or the gahs with namaaz…those who rubsh such as paranoia!! havent heard of demographic change and leading to a cultural change ending up of fusing of the smaler into the larger which is very prevalant in all forms…

    Secondly when u talk of impurity, it definately doesnt mean that the non zoro is unclean, impure as a person or human…it has refernce in accordance with zoroastrian philosphy…for example a hindu devotee from its phiosophy claim that God is respionsible for death too, where in from the bundaish, the vendidat, the 1st Gatha and denkard all stress very effectively that the basis of mazdayasnism is the segmentaion of evil and death is a prime respinsibility of evil…or for example a good buddhist will not differentiate between a snake and a cow..wherein noxiuos creatures are suposed to be miscreation according to zoroastrianism and it has refernce in the haptan yasts as elsewhere…The difference between deva and yazatas clearly implified in mazdayasnism as a negative force whilst godly in some…so do we actually consecrate a fire and then to be Pseudo secular insult zoroastrianism…
    another example is hair colection may be good for some…whilst dead hair, nails etc are pollutants in zoroastrianism….should we fill up agiaries with banal stuff like hair etc just to be proved secular…

    Also is the vatican less humanist since it wouldnt give the holy comununion to non christians or jaganath temples since they do not allow non hindus to worhsip there…

    The laws governing such are present in all faiths to protect their distinct philosophies…

    ………

  • rustom jamasji

    WHO IS THE TALIBAN>!!!!

    Many people refer zoroastrians respecting laws laid down by the SAVIOURS OF ZOROASTRIANISM as Taliban… it indirectly imples that the saviours of Zoroastranism themselves were Talibanistic, Ill cite an exampke of yesterday 9th aug 09 at the rustomframna agiary…

    The agiary has positively put up a notice to respect the zoroastrian philosophy whilst entering a zoroastrian temple..It als advises and urges people not to bring stuff banal to zoroastrianism into an agiary…and has in it mentioned the naag devi badge..
    Noxious creatures have a negative aproach with regards to Zoroastrianism…yet some people think eing a zoroastrian gives them a right to unhold the zoroastrian value, discredtit the agiarys appeal which is in tune with the maker of the agiary’s wishes thru Zoroastrianism.

    Now with the Muktaad days, the fravashies are suposed to visit us and according to mazdayasnan phiosophy we thru pur zoroastrian prayers and vibrations thru them are supposed to console these souls..It is amply clarified in zoroastrian texts that the fravashies make ther he for these days where mazdayasnan laws are followed and suitable are not at peace in a place where in opoosite or banal practise are performed….

    So here is the whole comunity waiting for thses 10 days in a year, priests leaving their jobs and doing their duyt, the laity wth devotion doing the prayers etc and the followers of the naag devi without remorse, couldnt careless about zoroastrian principles think it their birth right to vitilate the zoroastrian atmoshpere…

    The atash yasts asks us’ what does the standing friend bting for the sitting friend?..we pass on wood as to the dadgah, the adrian and the ATASH VAHRam..whilst such bring in front of it pictures of something anti to zoroastrian phjilosophy…???

    If I were to tell these guys to remove the batch…you would call me a TALIBAAN but it has always been the talibaan who couldnt careless of respecting and abiding with rules!!!!

  • Delnavaz

    Hi
    Ref Farzana’s post that Zoroastrinism advocatees “EQUALITY OF HUMANITY and FREEDOM OF CHOICE”, well ofcourse it does, but certainly not in the way Farzana wants to interpret it. Farzana, which religion does not advocate the above ? Why do you think we left Iran ? We left everything, material wealth, our homeland, memories to arrive in a far off country just to preserve our faith. We could have stayed back, retained all our pocessions & converted to Islam, which like all relgions, also advocates equality for all & freedom of choice. Every religion has certain dos & don’ts,for eg. Isalm does not allow any Muslims to enter Mecca during the holy month, this is not meant to cause offence to non Muslims. I really liked Shehzad’s rejoinder, it was pretty good.

  • Arzan Raimalwala

    Rustom,

    So you claim that “The laws governing such are present in all faiths to protect their distinct philosophies…”

    So now please explain to me how my entering a church, a temple and a mosque, all of which I have done, has harmed their distinct philosophies? Are their philosophies now in danger because a non-hindu entered a temple, a non-christian entered a church and a non-muslim entered a mosque?

    Protectionism does more bad than good be it in religion, economy, technology or any field. Just because someone does it, does not mean its right. So saying that what I do is justified because x and y do the same is baseless.

  • shehzad irani

    @ Arzan,
    Buddy you make one glorious mistake in your argument – all the places of worship you mention are “NON-CONSECRATED” places of worship – meaning they didn’t take a long to build those (many of the mandirs, masjids, or the churches you went to were consecrated in a matter of hours). Try going to some of their consecrated places of worship – like Mecca or the Jagannath temple in orissa… heck – in mecca, they don’t even allow converted muslims beyond a point…

    You don’t understand the point that ALL our fire-temples are extremely spiritual entities made after a lot of prayers and consecration, they are not match-stick household fires. If you want, then you can have as many dadgah (household) fires and allow as many people as you want to visit those, because it doesn’t matter – they wouldnt be desecrated.. but agiyaris? atash behrams??? Get a life…

    regards,

  • Mahafrin Variava

    Farzana,

    We werent the ” Superior ” Race when we were forced into conversion, we are not the superior race if we are diminishing by the minute, neither are we the superior race if members within our own community are so fickle minded as to convert into another religion. We are not A superior race, if we don’t force people into conversion ourselves, or for that matter, go out preaching 24/7 to people who don’t want to listen. We do not emphasise that we ARE superior in any form or way. We acknowledge that we are one of the oldest religions in the world, we take pride in our history and culture, we want to preserve whats left of our pasts. Had we not COME to India, we would have lessened in number more than we could imagine, we’ve spread the faith to different parts of the world BECAUSE we are open to change. Had we been limited in our thinking , such an expansion around the world would not have happened. There are today, agiyaris around the world, and parsis and iranis are everywhere. The only ONE thing we ask, is not to enter the Fire Temple. That, with time and concerete proof, may change as well. We call ourself Zoroastrians, we look forward to Navroze, for Papeti, for the Sadhra Kasti, we even go as far as wearing the Farohar pendants on our NECKS ! BUT when it comes to discussing our religion , we divide? That doesn’t make us a superior race.. A SUPERIOR race , has strenght within its community. People within the race would want to stick to the religion rather than convert into some other. We are strong as a community, unfortunately not strong enough. Good change, is a slow process. If agiyaris have to be opened to the rest of the world, they will in their own time. No one is opposed to change, frankly, i think we’d do whatever it is we could to save the religion and help it flourish. There is freedom of choice and equality of humanity within our religion and we treat all other religions equally and respect every other religion, we dont frown down upon other religions or even force people from other religions into conversion. We just ask for respect of our Holy Place of Worship and that involves them not entering. If we allow non-Zoroastrians to be a part of everything else, and restrict them to one thing, there must be a reason why.

  • Homiyar Bilimoria

    So sad to see the usual bickring and mud slinging amongst the few community members, this issue Of Arjun Rampal has created! Can we move on please, with more important issues? Is there anyone at Parsi Khabar, who can use his/her authority and close this subject?

  • shwetank sinha

    context:
    He did it when he was an 8 year old boy!!!!
    my understanding is he was picked up and dragged inside by the priests who mistook him for a parsee.

    Accidents do happen last year a muslim army officer accompanying his superior inadvertandly entered the jagannath temple while accompanying his superior officer,there was some hue and cry he apologized and that was the end of it.

    Arjun Rampal has said he is deeply sorry if his actions as a 8 year old hurt a community which he respects ,his wife is a zoroastrian for god’s sake!

  • rustom jamasji

    Arzan, you would be surprised if you think you can have the holy communion, or visit certain consecrated hindu temples, Even Indira Gandhi was not allowed. Not all Buddhist manasteries allow everyone amd entry is restricted in certain parts of certain churches…n the whole of mecca including its radius..

    Anyways there is quite a point here to ponder…and that is those of the other faiths that do not allow entry to Zoroastrians or others, Those that do not entertain non muslims, most dont ave a problem with that too, nor do they have a problem wth zoroastrian place of worship’s seclusion rules, nor do any feel humiliated by such,
    The point is that most do not feel humiliated by the other’s seclusion rules, but only those who want to break rules especially after contributing nothing feel it is their birthright to do so…probably cause they think they are superior n dont need to follow rules or have the rght to arbitarily amend tem

    Do you feel lesser of a human being or is the Andaman’s, Himachal’s Jammu’s etc indegenious tribes less human cause they wnt grant you certain liberties..

    Also in many ancient chUrches Men are not allowed to cover their head…WOULD WE UNDER BEING greater humanist ask the muslims, hindus the buddhists, thechristians, the ladhakis etc to change their laws or are we blaming everyone of being a less humanist…?

    On a social level, The implication for a small community has been shown, demographical change’s existence has been pointed out..weather in a temple, or in a state or a whole country..it basically boils down to protect the minority’s culture and religion from getting fused..

    On a religionistic level, zoroastranism is incomplete withuot rituals, the ones that culdnt destroy the religion by massacring priest( deeds of Alexander, then THE FAMOUS Saint Vartan—-PUT BURNT SKINS OF mOBEDS ON THE WALLS OF FIRE TEMPLES–ARMENIAN wars, and then by the islamists–who if a zoro cudnt pay tax, rel books of the man’s weight wud be burnt or a priest kiled) had then made practising our rituals very difficult, thus fading off zoroastrianism in practise…n we came to India only to restart the rituals so zoroastrianism can be practised again…

    Under the pseudo secualrism, we shudnt let what was built over a milenia die out due to negligence of the why’s and hows under the garb’ everything is the same’

    Coming back to the talibanmistic shouting, I have cited examples of the Nag Devi n her followers at the rustom framna agiary..and i once again state the vanant yast, the mino i xrat, the denkard, the bundaishn and more show that according to zoro philosophy the snake is a miscreation,… anti ahura, yet many feel iit is their birthright to bring it into an agiary…n break its laws…

    If the zoro philosophy stands, arnt we insulting the fravashies by actually inviting them and then actually doing things that are banal to zoroastrianism in an zoroastrian institute given totally free of charge..

    Am i not eligible to have a zoroastrian ceremony without the Pseudo secular excuse that vitilates the zoroastrian atmosphere?

    Who is the taliban here? would these same take a picture of a pig to a mosque or a temple, would they take Khusro Parviz’s picture into a church..? under being humanists ior secular..

    Also if religion was supposed to change according to a democracy we would have been following Islam or christianity as many outnumbering the zoroastrians wanted us to and when resisted, kiled our clansmen n clanladies?..under the pretext of being secular and godly!! also it wud hardly remain zoroastrianism as it wud turn at best into a workshop of personal ideas..

    ARZAN one WUDNT BE ALLOWED TO PLAY Wagnar in Israel nor Finlandia in Russia…sentiments you would call it …boils back to religion n sentiments in some way…50 years back u wud probably be lynched if you did it , now one wud be held as a idiotic, ignoranat, arrogant person n stopped and ignored and deported…and perhaps the death sentence may still stand!!! even if one did it under being a more humanist….

    Humanist also means adhering to rules espeiclly of things built aftr and by those who suffered holocaust and we suffered 3…and what was built FOR us , rules laid down by those WHO HAVE given to us FREE….perhaps one wud be a better humanist to follw such..rather than break such under pseudo secualr laws…

    Otherwise why wud the king of guj allow us TO 1st build a dakhma n then a agiary where he himslself wudnt be allowed to enter…especialy after taking fire from a hindu corpse…?

  • Mahafrin Variava

    Shwetank ,

    Yes, hes apologised. But no , i can’t believe he was 8 years old, and ” pretended ” to be a Parsi to enter a fire temple. Like there was a hue and cry then, theres a hue and cry now. Its not like we’re hating on him anymore after the apology, but discussions are still open about the issue. Right? The fact that his wife is Parsi, gives him more of a reason not to say these things openly infront of the media, come on, hes a mature man with 2 daughters, how can some one be so stupid as to openly broadcaste it. Especially knowing what the rules are. Had he not known the rules, he wouldn’t say ” pretending ” .. If the priests picked him up, then it was not him who was mistaken, it was them. Therefore, he shouldnt have said ” I’m one of the few, who have pretended…” Its the media, hes a film star, he should think and talk.

    Homiyar,

    Not everyone here is Mud slinging, they’re only discussing. There have been a few instances where people have gotten personal, this is a sensitive issue, heads will roll, opinions will clash.. Everyone has their own right to speak. Places like Parsi Khabar, are exactly what we need to put our view points accross. There will be constant misconceptions about certain issues, if they’re not cleared up. We do divide, i completely agree, we’re not exactly the strongest when it comes to religion and commuinty. Can’t help it if we’re so lost about our own culture and history , seeing as its hundreds of years old. Those who know so much, insult others for their lack of knowledge, and those who know less, follow the bandwagon without a clue. Its sad.

  • arnavaz havewala

    hi guys,
    slow down…cool it!
    why dont you read arjun rampals interview which came in the times of india a few days ago?
    he has explained that this happened when he was 7 or 8 years old and very unknowingly.he has also apologised in print for hurting the sentiments of a community he repects a lot.
    i would request all to give him a break, stop analysing and making a big thing of this.
    how many people do you know who would go into an agiary in remote towns, knowing that they arent supposed to, and own up to “the act of desecration” as you call it?
    lets spend our energies on constructive work, like encouraging our young to educate themselves more and be entrepreuners and achievers.
    may i add, and be like arzan, if its the same arzan who is mehernaz wadias brother?
    dr.arnavaz m. havewala.

  • Eric Surkari

    After reading some of the comments above I am convinced that we are acting like a avery insecure bunch.Please stop stretching this irrelevant incident any more and get on with other serious issues that concern our community.

  • I love arjun.i realy love arjun,iam iranian,i cant speak english.can you say farsi.me diwaanapan dhomse phyar.you mujhse dosti garoghi.pleas

  • Exuberant Parjaat

    How cute. Such a big lawara over such a silly issue. So WHAT if he entered an agyari. so WHAT if he said it. One statement can be misconstrued in infinite ways. It is upto us whether we choose to dismiss the statement or we choose to take offence and make a big noise. I can imagine our dingleberry orthodox bawajis making a noise about it but honestly the best remedy is to ignore their kaklaat and let everyone be. Even I in the 1st grade pretended to be christian and attened the bible class in my convent school but that didn’t offend the chuch. So really, people are silly, its not like they MEAN OFFENCE. Just be and let be. I guess tomorrow parjaat boys like me will come under fire – 1)because I love spitama zarthosht and I wear farohar, know the prayers etc. 2) I am in a relationship with a bawaji which means I stole one away from the lot.

    So really, please grow up, please hog on berry pulao, please just be nice fun bawas and bawis and play nice.

    oh and, xo to all.

  • shehzad irani

    Dear Exuberant Parjaat,
    Firstly, its a bawa affair – so you really wouldn’t understand how serious it is. Secondly it is sacrilegious – not merely a trivial random incident (like a person XYZ reading a bible in an undisclosed location – hell we have those incidents day-in and day out – and never babbar-faffar about it ever).

    and FINALLY – Who are you to tell us to GROW UP?

    wearing a farovar, ‘stealing’ a person, or learning our prayers doesn’t make you any bit a parsi – just like worshiping the rockefeller’s doesn’t make me eligible as their heir – its a lineage thing – but then – how do we expect a khichdo who doesn’t want to appreciate and respect his own religion / roots / lineage – respect another…

  • Exuberant Parjaat

    Lmao. I think I touched a nerve here. Shehzad malido, you are nobody to judge whether I consider myself a parsi or not. Mind your own business and stay out of my face please. I believe in being nice just once. 🙂 🙂

    Secondly, instead of venting at me, a parjat/khichdo etc, why don’t you do something constructive and grow up for once? It will do you a world of good, I promise. Whether I wear a farohar, beg/borrow/steal one of our bawas is entirely my business, my motives are my own and not yours to judge. I will do as I please. And you can’t stop me. Now go be a good dhongidox and fix some sali par eedu for yerself ok? good boy.

    ps: Mahafrin, Arzan and co. , cretins like Shehzad(what an irony of a name for him) really spoil the name of bawafolk and make all of u look like a bunch of racists, which a lot of you aren’t. x

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    Rampal said he was deeply upset that an innocent remark by him had hurt the Parsis. “Let me bring it into context. It was when I was around eight years old and playing with my friends that I wandered into the compound (garden) of a fire temple. The caretaker mistook me for a Parsi and caught hold of me, and then let me go. I would never disrespect any community. I have always thought of the Parsis as respectable and enterprising people and would not change my opinion on this. If the actions of an eight-year-old boy have hurt the sentiments of anyone, I deeply apologise for it.”

    Chairman of the Parsi Punchayet Dinshaw Mehta said, “Even if he says it happened when he was eight years old, why is he boasting about it now? We want an apology.”

    Is it any wonder Bawajis have a reputation for being mad? Are these people listening to themselves? “Firoza Mistree, a researcher of Zoroastrian studies. Mistree says that the actor should apologise and identify the temple so that it can be purified.” The incident happened when Ramphal was 8 years old i.e. more than 30 years ago. Is Mistree implying that the faithful have been visiting an “impure” temple for 30 years and, by implication, their prayers have all been in vain? Can’t she see how ridiculous that sounds. And is our sacred fire so vulnerable that it can be defiled by a eight-year old boy?

    As if that wasn’t ludicruous enough, our honourable BPP trustees are talkig about ethics. An 8-year old boy briefly stepped into a temple, more as a prank or a dare than any intention to “attack” a religous dogma. I’m sure ethics was the last thing on his mind.Why are mature people, who should be credited with a little common sense, making such a big deal out of it – that too three decades after the event. Ramphal has already apologised. Did the earth move?

    The problem is that the original purpose and teachings of Zoroastrianism – and this is true of all religions – have become obscured by rituals and dogmas. We have forgotten that the true and sublime purpose of religion is to lead us to the ONE God, Supreme Being or whatever you choose to call Him. Whether the path you choose is through Ganesh, or Mohammed, or Zoroaster is – or should be – irrelevant. We are all trying to reach the same destination. Instead, religions hace become personal fiefdoms of priests and ‘scholars” who would have us believe that they alone have the knowledge and authourity to interpret the teachings of the Prophet. Even more ludicruous is the reality that – as in the present case – religion is reduced to farce.

  • Homi Mistry

    For hurting the sentiments ot our great community, Ramphal and Meher Jesia should both apologise. In fact Meher Jesia is more to blame regarding this incident. She probably egged him on to do this dastardly deed to prove a point to our community. Ramphal should also apologise for lying about being 8 years old when this incident took place.

  • Burzin

    Kudos to Rustom, Shehzad, Mahafrin and others who have steadfastedly defended our stand on this issue. (I guess I am late, nevertheless)

    Please understand that we Parsis do not imply that we are ‘Superior’ to any other race / community. All we ask for is consideration and regard for our customs and traditions (which as a matter of fact most of our co-religionists in India respect). There are reasons why we do what we do.

    As Shehzad mentioned our Fire Temples are consecrated places of worship where the purificatory ceremonies have taken months and sometimes years to accomplish. Even Parsi Zoroastrians cannot enter a Fire temple without first performing the Padyab-Kasti (untying and tying the sacred girdle around our waist). This is possible only for a person who is a Zoroastrian by birth and who has undergone the Navjote ceremony at an appropriate age as a child – leave aside a non-Parsi who would not be wearing the sacred girdle.

    Ok lets see this from a different scenario:
    So how many of you have actually seen radio waves circulating / flowing through our atmosphere? No one I am sure – but we still know they do exist, correct. This is true I guess even for the ones who normally claim that ‘seeing is believing”.

    We also know that inorder to receive these radio waves, the receiver should be set to a specific frequency else it will not receive the same, correct? There are different amplitudes set to receive different frequencies.

    Similarly let’s understand our fire temples are places where the chants of our sacred Avesta Manthras constantly reveberate. The vibrations and energies generated prove beneficient for other Zoroastrians present there and who perform the prescribed prayers and ceremonies – but not for others.

    I guess this brings the discussion to a close. So let’s all learn to be tolerant and sensitive to these sentiments. Let’s learn to recognise that there are truths beyond what can be seen and respect that.

    Thank you everyone.

  • Rashna_M

    Burzin Bawa,
    Please explain if presence of half and quarter Parsees as Chasniwallas DOES NOT AFFECT VIBRATIONS AND BENEFICENT ENERGIES. or NOT IF NOT THEN HOW?
    No, I am not justifying trespass of our Fire Temples by non Zorastrians. I am only pointing out to inconsistencies in your remarks.
    Thanks.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    “Even Parsi Zoroastrians cannot enter a Fire temple without first performing the Padyab-Kasti (untying and tying the sacred girdle around our waist). This is possible only for a person who is a Zoroastrian by birth and who has undergone the Navjote ceremony at an appropriate age as a child – leave aside a non-Parsi who would not be wearing the sacred girdle.”

    It amuses me that self-styled religious “experts” like Burzin speak with such authority. Can he give me the context of anywhere in the Avesta or the Gathas where entering an agiari without a kasti is proscribed. And even assuming it is true, does he honestly believe that the one kasti-less person (Parsi or otherwise) has such power that his mere presence can defile the sacred fire? The “infidel” Ramphal visited the fire temple 30 years ago which, according to these zealots, automatically desecrated the agiari in question. So what was the result? Why didn’t a vengeful and outraged Zarathustra strike him down? Becuase the Prophet whose praises these people champion preached, above all, tolerance and acceptance of others’ point of view.

  • Burzin

    Hi Phiroz / Rashna – Thanks for your comments.
    Lets not get agitated here, this needs to be reasoned debate.

    Firstly, I am no expert of the religion (even a lifetime is small to gain its expertise).

    Also I understand what has happened has happened and our Atash Padshah will spread his glory for all eternity, nevertheless.

    The point I am trying to make is that we need to follow certain deciplines and tarikats before we go in the presence of the holy fire.

    Our revered prophet Spitman Asho Zarathushtra definitely preached tolerance, moderation reason and above all righteousness – but all within the framework of morality and utmost goodness.

    In that case I wonder how you keep defending those kind of people that enter our fire temples without any noble intentions of reverence or veneration – but just out of the urge to create mischief and satiate their egos or plain curiosity.

    There are so many hindu temples in India that do not allow non-hindus or take Mecca as an example where no non-muslim can even enter the city. I wonder if you would you still try to justify if someone deliberately tresspassed into one of these places.

  • piloo

    Likes of Burzin, who earlierr endlessly blogged their “preachings’ seem to have a problem. They assume that they are the “Gifts to the Community’ from the Almighty.

  • Rashna_M

    Burzin,
    We are not discussing other faiths and religions and the admission procedure they observe. So lets restrict ourselves to our own places of worship. Firstly, I have not advocated unrestricted entry of persons of other regions into our places of worship. I also do not condone trespass in our places of worship.
    Secondly, my question to you “Please explain if presence of half and quarter Parsees as Chasniwallas DOES NOT AFFECT VIBRATIONS AND BENEFICENT ENERGIES. or NOT. IF NOT THEN HOW ?” is very specific. This question to you is based on your own earlier statement based on your belief system. To this question you seem to have no reply let alone a convincing one.
    I do not undermine or underestimate the power of holy fires. It is for you to justify your own earlier statement.

  • Burzin

    Dear Piloo mai, I though this was an objective discussion but your posts definitely are in bad taste – your making personal comments and passing needless judgements. God bless you.

    Rashna, you make a valid point around Chasniwallas, however many agiyaris I know do employ only Parsis for the job. Though myself have seen that in some places this is doubtful and is therefore wrong. I agree and accept.

    ideally, all agitaris should employ Parsis as Chasniwallas – agreed but that becomes difficult in a community like ours. Endeavour should still be to get unemployed / not optimally educated Parsi youth to work in agiyaris while simultaneously sponsoring their education etc (the way some of our youth abroad don’t mind working in Mc Donalds while studying in some University)..

    But tell me one thing one wrong cannot justify aother wrong that is committed, right? So on the original argument, it is still wrong for Mr. Ramphal to trample our sentiments for the sake of his curiosity.

  • Voice of Reason.

    Dear Burzin
    I too do believe that one wrong can not be quoted to justify another wrong.Which Agiaris employ only Parsee workers. I assume one can count on one’s fingers. Most Agiaris in Mumbai have have at best bhel puri aulad. So does that NOT affect the sanctity of the Holy Fire. or VIBRATIONS AND BENEFICENT ENERGIES. ? I think otherwise. The Holy Fire is unaffected by presence of individuals irrespective of the parentage.
    I know of many cranks complaining of entry of Parsi females entering Fire Temples despite being married to men belonging to another religion. But such cranks do not have the guts to ask the Priests present to ask such ladies to leave. Why? The priests themselves express a fear that Trustees of the Fire Temple may disapprove of such action of the priests.
    We have a tendency to have different rules for different persons ands mere complaining does not add any substance.

  • farzana

    Burzin,
    You say its wrong for a NonParsi to enter the agiary or even a half Parsi to work there as chasniwala,

    Can you cite any verse from any Zoroastrian Scriptures that says so.

    Thank you

  • rustom jamasji

    Probably the guys who made and donated the agiaries and were responsible for passing on zoroastrianism and saving it from extinction knew more about rules than the ones who think it is their birthright to demand the nullification of rules made by the ones from whom everything is taken yet their rules sidelined…

    Classic example is that of the chasniwallas.
    well 50 years back the modernists saw working towards the agiaries as backward and was shunned though using its assets was maintained….today another step in that direction and using the agiaries are deemed a birthright whilst sidelining the rules laid down by the givers of such…

    Let us know where in it is mentioned that all and sundry and allowed in an agiary….it is clearly the wish of the donors of such that in the places made by them, only Zoroastrians are allowed

  • Meher J. Havewala

    Mr Burzin, FYI, daughter of one of the BPP Trustee- Arnavaz Mistree, is married to a Muslim, and as per the khabar, she is said to have entered the Agiary escorted by Panthaky himself. Well, a group of ppl here, including an Ervad, seem to discuss it and wait for others to take action while bemoaning how the religion is coming to an end. http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2204577503&topic=6199
    Now tell me something, if BPP can ban priests who go against the tradition, why can’t they ban their fella Trustee for doing the same?
    And if this BPP Trustee is not bigoted, then why is she supporting the WAPIZ duo iin their absurd Fatwas?
    And I understand that one of the Trustee of this particular Agiary also happens to be a BPP Trustee and went to the extent of saying that he would extend the BAN on Madon & Mirza for that particular Dadar Fire Temple as well.
    In the same Agiary a sister of yet another BPP Trustee who has become a Jew by virtue of her marriage has entered and attended a Religious ceremony.
    Where is the Orthodox brigade now? Where is Khojestee mistry and his cheerleaders?? Oh btw, I have heard Khojestee Mistry’s brother is married to a Christian American who is spotted wearing Sudreh-Kusti!! Strange Dhongees these Traditionals are, ney? Btw, since you said Parsis should volunteer to work as chasniwalas as a part time job, how about practice before preaching?

  • a.e.rustomjee

    I for one would like to know where it is stated that ONLY A PARSI is allowed entry in to the Agiaries. Such places of worship were bequeathed to the practicing Zoroastrians and not to a tribe called Parsees, for if that were so, Iranees would also get excluded.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    As far as I know, the Koran is the only holy book which specifically enjoins its followers to shun the practioners of certain other religions. I am apalled at the nonsense I’ve been reading here about half-Parsis and full-Parsis and god knows who else. I would imagine that the holy prophets – Zarathustra prime among them – were tolerant and compassionate beings whose philosophy was based on love for all human beings. As Farzana rightly points out, there is nothing in the Gathas or Avesta which preaches exclusion. All these rules and “religious” ceremonies – down the centuries – have been the creation of priests and rulers who wanted to inspire awe and reverencein the general populace. They refined this canard to such an extent that people started believing their man-made rituals were the intentions of Prophet Himself. They also fostered this myth of consecration and desecration, as if Zarathustra and Ahura Mazda are so puny and petty minded that the mere presence of a “parjat” or “half-caste” would distress Them.

    I believe a simple and sincere prayer from the heart would have a better chance of being heard by Him than the mechanical observance of rituals.

  • Agp

    Burzin I fully agree with your points, infact they dont need any support. Regarding chasniwallas I just came across this article, which answers many questions all over.
    http://traditionalzoroastrianism.blogspot.com/2007_08_31_archive.html

    Hope this chap is punished.

  • Dorab

    I think Rustom Jamasji is right. First thing to be done is to get a copy of the Truste Deeds of various Fire Temples and if need be invoke Right To Information Act and if it is mentioned in the comcerned Trust Deeds that entry into Fire Temples is only for Parsees then, WAPIZ Trustees should get a Resolution Passed thru BPP BOARD for providing for issuance of Identity Cards to be shown at the gate of concerned Fire Temples. The Identity Cards should be issued after the Mobed who performed the Navjote of the concerned person certifies date and place where he performed such a Navjote. In case it is claimed that the performing priests is no longer alive, such a person should be denied entry into Fire Temples.These days like Chasniwallas any body can put on sudreh kusti. I support you fully Rustom.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Addressed to Rustom & Meher,
    Meher, I have read the apge on the Facebook and after reading the same beg to ask Rustom one simple question. You Rustom and your friends have proudly proclaimed VICTORY of traditional forces since 2 members of WAPIZ camp scraped through.in BPP elections. Now that your representatives are in saddle for 18 months, why are they hesitant in taking suitable action to stop entry of non Zoroastrians in to Fire Temples.If a farcical navar ceremony could be stopped, what is the reason for not taking ACTION on similar lines much nearer home?
    Just words on this blog wont solve the problem.

  • Adarbahman

    What ever Rustom says is correct. Just as the staunch stalwarts could prevent mockery of our Religion by their timely action at Sanjan, we should organise a brigade to visit all venues like Albless Baug, Cama Baug, Jejeebhoy Dadabhoy Agiary and verify the antecedents and parentage, grandparentage of child whose Navjote is to be performed. This brigade should include all the staunch saviours like Sleater Road based Prof. Munnabhai.
    There will be two benefits. Such unemployed will do some constructive work and also get a chance to enjoy a four course meal since fresh elections to BPP are five years away and during this period free loaders are having a hard time.

  • Boman

    Burzin your suggestion to induct Parsee boys into serving as Chasniwallas is impractical.
    Have you not seen young Navars in Udwada openly asking for alms within the Iranshah premises.?
    You ask thm to come down to Bombay for doing priestly duties and will they be willing. Just try.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Agp.
    Can you inform us the qualifications and standing of one Pervin Mistry whose article you have cited?
    Is she an authority on Religion?. If I mistake not, her speech at some seminar was reproduced on this portal a month and a half back or so. Many boardersraised questions about the views that she uttered. SHE DID NOT REPLY A SINGLE QUESTION. So much for her ‘MASTERY’

  • Zerxes

    Pervin Mistry has been writing about religious matters for many years. Her views may or may not be liked by people. That is each individual’s choice.

    At the same time, the article you mention was published here after it was forwarded to us via email. Pervin Mistry did not send it to us per se.

    I dont know if she reads Parsi Khabar and hence to take it for granted that she did not reply, hence what she writes is devalued is wrong.

    You may want to get her email address from other sources and email her directly if you are really interested in probing deeper into her writings.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Arzan:
    Aince it is Agp who is relying on the write up of Pervin Mistry, I think, it will be in the fitness of things, if Agp can establish the credentials of Ms.Pervin as an authority in the matter of Zoroastrianism. As for the Article which was displayed on this blog, even if Ms. Pervin has any followers, they too could at least have contributed on her behalf on the issues raised by many posts on her speech in some conference. If not then the person who took the pains to E Mail the article to your portal could have made an attempt to rebut many of the pertinent issues raised by many a blogger.
    The majority of Parsee population resides in India and if,as you like us to assume that Ms.Pervin may not be reading Parsi Khabar, then I fail to understand how she can lay claim to be spokesperson of a faith whose majority population is sidelined and ignored by her advertently or otherwise.
    Thanks.

  • Dorab Unwalla

    While Zerxes may have his own reasons about asking questions to another person called Agp., my experience has made me learn some hard facts. I am not talking about Agp or some Ms. Mistry unknown in this part of the world.
    I am referring to claims being made by certain mediocre persons and expect that they be called scholars. This is not in the subject of our Religion alone. Some unethical persons lift paras and chapters from Thesis and other literary works of other genuine Research Scholars, change the words here and there and palm it off as their own Thesis and have even earned Doctorates.
    Similarly it is possible to hold an audience spell bound and even earn a round of applause after delivering a talk on a subject of a religion whose details are unknown to the audience.

  • Zinob

    Sir,
    I am no member of any Association promoting conversion. I am just a Parsee Zoroastrian brought up in traditional values. I can not accept the argument that it is O.K, if a half Parsee is employed for menial work in a Fire Temple and Vibrations and beneficent energies are not affected by presence of such a person but if a child born out of marriage of one Pasee parent is present there will be deleterious affect on energies and vibrations in the place of worship. This ‘theory’ assumes that a reader is a dim wit and an outright imbecile. According to me presence of both, is not good for the place of worship.

  • piloo

    If we read the last line of http://traditionalzoroastrianism.blogspot.com/2007_08_31_archive.html quoted by Agp, we find that there were no comments made thereon. Does that not suggest that such views are not read by anybody except a small coterie?

  • farzana

    According to Mrs. Pervin Mistry, sexual exploitation of tribal women by Parsi landlords is not a stigma on the prestige of the community, it is the Navjots of Vansda kids from such unions by Ervad Bode that is a stigma that has tarnished the name of the community. I’m impressed with her logic!!
    I wonder who gave this babe the authority to speak for the community? Who is she to decide whats sinful and whats not for rest of us?

    On the link provided by AGP…she rants about the Vansda episode and calls it a sin. Any idea, on basis of which Z -scripture is she calling it a ‘Sin’ ? According to Persian Rivayats , such navjots of servants are supposed to earn Priests spiritual merits.

    The Itthoter Rivayat of 1773 that are the last exchanges between India and Iran, the question is asked if servants can be converted and their remains consigned to dakhma. The reply given states that converting servants earns great merit!

    In another exchange of the Persian Rivayats, “a grave-digger, a corpse-burner and a darvand are mentioned (but nothing is mentioned about their religion), and a question is posed whether they can become Zoroastrians. The reply is again in affirmation.

  • Hosi.Pardiwala

    Pervin Mistry has condemned in no uncertain terms the act of Vansda Navjotes. The Dastur who performed the same is not alive to reply Pervin. But how is it that Pervin ignores similar act of ‘initiation’ into Zoroastrian fold of father son Industrialists-Wadias and Uthamna of another non Parsi industrialist performed/ authorised by living Scholar High Priests. The subsequent acts of such Scholar Priests ratifies rather then question the earlier Vanda Navjotes.Why this selective condemnation??

  • Rashana_M

    Among Parsees there is a surname Ghorkhodu,
    So as Farzana insinuates, grave diggers were allowed in Zoroastrian faith. And that also means that burial was a Zoroastrian practice.

  • Behram Aga

    I stumbled upon a very interesting write up on scriptural references prohibiting intermarriage. Worth a read.

    http://zoroastriansnet.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/scriptural-references-prohibiting-mixed-marriages.pdf

  • farzana

    Righto Rashna. I too knew of one Ghorkhodu earlier living in Tata Co op Housing Society, Elphinstone Road, Parel where one another pious [?] parsi individual here with hundred pseudonyms also reside