12-yr-old can now perform rituals at Udvada fire temple

At the age of nine, while his friends spent their evenings playing computer games and watching cartoon shows, Dinshaw Magol was memorising religious texts and learning Zoroastrian priestly rituals.

By Reetika Subramanian, Hindustan Times

In a span of three years, Magol, now 12, completed the three degrees of Zoroastrian priesthood study including ‘Navar’, ‘Maratab’ and ‘Shamel’ at the Dadar Athornan Institute. This makes him the youngest priest in the country to become eligible to perform rituals at the 270-year-old fire temple in Udvada.

According to Zoroastrian traditions, it is essential to clear the first two degrees to be qualified as a Parsi priest. However, to perform the rituals in Udvada’s fire temple, the priests have to clear the third degree as well.

“There are not more than ten qualified priests currently living in Udvada,” said the Carmichael Road resident, who is the fifth generation of Udvada’s priestly Magol family. “I was afraid that the traditions and rituals in the temple would suffer because of the absence of qualified priests.”

The class eight student juggles his time between memorising physics and revising religious texts everyday. “I plan to pursue automobile engineering and simultaneously practice priestly rituals,” said Magol, who has posters of swanky cars and holy texts all over his room. “Since I wear the traditional cap worn by Zoroastrian priests to school, my friends call me ‘Topi’.”

At Dadar Athornan Institute, Magol’s teachers refer to him as a “bright and gifted child”.  "It takes about five years to learn these prayers. Dinshaw completed it in three." said Ramiyar Karanjia, principal of the institute that enrolls children of Parsi priests at the age of six.

His parents are now waiting for him to grow up to perform the big rituals. “He has achieved a great feat, but he will understand the seriousness of his achievement only when he grows older,” said Maharokh Magol, 42, his mother.

  • Rumi_wadia

    Congrats May God Bless you more power

  • Rumi_wadia

    Congrats May God Bless you more power

  • Jerou Panthaki Rammohan

    Dinshaw Magol I bow before you and seek Ahura Mazda’s Blessings to be showered upon you to become a perfect Priest to propogate the beautiful teachings of our beloved Prophet Zarathushtra  a
    nd the Mazdeyasni deen, without any rigid walls. May God grant you good health and strength of character to carry out all your duties honestly to the best of your ability, and help our people to understand the true underlying meanings ofthe prayers you recite

  • Jerou Panthaki Rammohan

    Dinshaw Magol I bow before you and seek Ahura Mazda’s Blessings to be showered upon you to become a perfect Priest to propogate the beautiful teachings of our beloved Prophet Zarathushtra  a
    nd the Mazdeyasni deen, without any rigid walls. May God grant you good health and strength of character to carry out all your duties honestly to the best of your ability, and help our people to understand the true underlying meanings ofthe prayers you recite

  • Noshir M. Khambatta

    Congratulations Master Dinshaw Magol for taking the time to becaome a full fledged Zarathushtrian priest.
    May Dadar Ahura Mazda bless you and give you strength and wisdom to lead our community in the future.

    There is one point in the article that bothers me a bit.  Is it just that the author of this article Ms. Reetika Subramaniam has made a slip or are you truly “memorising physics”. 

    Physics is an explanation of space, time, matter and the various interactions between them.  It is the last subject on this planet that needs any memorization.  One must always be able to derive any formula or equation from first principles by straight forward logic and physical analysis.  Of course a few basic facts needs to be memorized, but not the formulae and the operating equations.  Memorization of facts and formuale is detrimental to the developmental of one’s logical faculty and creativity and will certainly not help you become a better physicist, mathematican nor an engineer.  Dont believe me! refer to the views of Albert Einstein on rote and blind memorization.

    All the very best.

  • Noshir M. Khambatta

    Congratulations Master Dinshaw Magol for taking the time to becaome a full fledged Zarathushtrian priest.
    May Dadar Ahura Mazda bless you and give you strength and wisdom to lead our community in the future.

    There is one point in the article that bothers me a bit.  Is it just that the author of this article Ms. Reetika Subramaniam has made a slip or are you truly “memorising physics”. 

    Physics is an explanation of space, time, matter and the various interactions between them.  It is the last subject on this planet that needs any memorization.  One must always be able to derive any formula or equation from first principles by straight forward logic and physical analysis.  Of course a few basic facts needs to be memorized, but not the formulae and the operating equations.  Memorization of facts and formuale is detrimental to the developmental of one’s logical faculty and creativity and will certainly not help you become a better physicist, mathematican nor an engineer.  Dont believe me! refer to the views of Albert Einstein on rote and blind memorization.

    All the very best.

  • Pashjehan

    Congratulations Dinshaw Saheb.  I thank u for achieving this tremendous feat on behalf of all us Humdins, Your Prophet n Pak IranShah ! I look forward to the day that I will be in attendance when u perform the Boi Ceremony at our Pak IranShah Saheb Atash Bahram. AJYA….

  • Pashjehan

    Congratulations Dinshaw Saheb.  I thank u for achieving this tremendous feat on behalf of all us Humdins, Your Prophet n Pak IranShah ! I look forward to the day that I will be in attendance when u perform the Boi Ceremony at our Pak IranShah Saheb Atash Bahram. AJYA….