The Sandalwood Controversey at Udwada Atash Behram

A few years ago, our entire family was at Udwada to offer prayers after my wedding. Just as we were about to give the “sukhad” to the “boiwala” dasturji, he refused to take it saying that its not original. We were completely taken aback, both by the dasturji’s pronouncement and his harsh and rude tone. We informed him that the sandalwood had been bought at the Banaji Fire Temple in Bombay. He refused to accept it, even threatening to throw it away in the garbage. This deeply hurt us but keeping in mind the place we were in, and with due respect to the Iranshah, we let it go.

Since then we have spoken to a few people and have heard similar stories about the same attitude of the dasturs in Udwada.

Below is a more detailed account circulated via email by Bakhtyar Vazifdar. He also poses the same questions.

I have yet to hear a plausible religious arguement that sounds convincing. The one point that someone made was that this was a way for people to buy sandalwood from the locals in Udwada and hence help the local economy. While that can be a valid plan of action, the execution of it leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

Have any of you had a similar experience? Can someone throw more light on the issues at hand ?

Bakhtyar Vazifdar writes…

Dear Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian Friends. (I think this is now the politically correct greeting within the members of our community).

Those of you who know me, know one thing for sure, that I cannot accept anything at face value.  I need proper reasoning (and ofcourse a lot of dialogue… read argument….). before I accept something.  The last thing I can accept is when I am told to follow or accept something unquestioningly, just because no one else bothers to question it, or just because people want me to believe / accept it because it have gone unquestioned for years and hence has become an accepted norm within our community.

Now I don’t profess to have extensive knowledge of our religion, but I do know enough to ask pertinent questions.

I don’t profess to be totally religious, but I do believe in the tenets of ‘Humata Hukhta and Huvarashta.’

And I do respect the Priests of our community who I feel are doing a tremendous job in these present times, when there are so many more like me who have pertinent questions to ask at every stage, before accepting thing that were previously being forced down our throats .

I am not a regular Fire temple visitor like most Parsi and Irani Zoroastrians, and on rare occassions that I do visit our Fire Temples, I humbly offer my Sandal wood at the Kebla and am off without a backward glance.

I also follow this practise at our Iranshah in Udvada.

Recently, I have regularly been hearing whispers, and lately this whisper has become a agitated topic of conversation between Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian friends whom I know, that, when we offer our sandalwood especially those pieces that are purchased elsewhere other than from Udvada, the priests in charge at the moment at the Iranshah, duly segregates the sandalwood peices and only those pieces which are purchased from Udvada are duly offered to the Iranshah and that the "other" pieces are later offered at the Adarian fire.

I sincerely hope this is not true and is just a rumour started by some unsatisfied brethren.

But, if per chance this is true, I would definitely like to know when and why this custom has developed and with whose authority.

I do not believe that there is not enough Sandalwood for the Adarian Fire, as each and every person leaves some quantity of sandalwood at each of the fires.

I would also not believe, that the Sandalwood sold in Udvada is of better quality than that sold elsewhere because there has been a composite ban of Sandalwood harvesting in India for years.

I also cannot accept that the sandalwood sold in Udvada is "Purer" because I have seen non Parsis / Iranis handle the wooden sticks in Udvada.

I also believe, that the Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian selling the Sandalwood pieces door to door in Mumbai and other cities is as poor or infact poorer that the Sandalwood sales people in Udvada.

So unless there is a Non-Questionable Religious Tenet which so dictates this move, I would like this issue to be discussed, clarified and settled by our small but educated community in an amicable manner.

If such a Non-Questionable Religious Tenet does exist, then my apologies, but I would like to know about it and any such other Tenets which may exist which discreminate between religious articles from place to place, so that I may not commit sacrilege unknowingly.

If there is no such tenet, then I question my Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian friends, why they have taken this lying down and not raised their voice at the first instant such a custom was introduced by these beneficiaries who have vested interest.

I know raising these type of question at present times of religious stress when we have bigger topics to discuss like conversion etc., may not go down well with most of my brethren, who believe in letting sleeping dogs lie.  But I want us to at least think and question these so called customs which will slowly become an unwritten law.  Do you not feel the need to check the dog before it gets up and bites you?

Friends, I know that in present times of chain letters, most of you may delete this letter, But I fervently appeal to you to forward it to your Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian friends only, because only if this is networked then I am sure we will all be satisfied with a proper educated answer.

No bad luck will befall you if you you do delete, but only good will come if we come forward and question any doubts, for our religion is definitely going to be present in the next millenium.

I also fervently request any and all editors of newspapers, magazines and periodicals, to not publish this letter without prior approval as this is not an open letter to one and all and I do not wish these matters going out of the community.

I do not intend to make this a controversial topic and if the responses are cordial, I do have a lot more questions to ask, on objectionable (in my opinion only.) matters being practised with our community.  If we want our religion and our community to prosper, we have to be bold enough to raise these questions and demand proper answers because the next generation is not going to be a mute spectator in the functioning of our religion / community.

Without malice to all.

Yours Sincerely

Bakhtyar Vazifdar.

  • Farzana

    Is offering Sandal wood to Atash a Religious Tenet?

    Sandalwood trees are tropical trees… and are not found in Iran.. So where is the question of it becoming a ‘Religious Tenet’?

  • Shahnaz

    Very well said. And so rightly concluded that the next generation is not going to be a mute spectator n the functioning of our community.

  • Arzoo Irani

    I have never come across any such unpleasant experience in Udvada. In fact, everytime we go, within minutes the sandalwood offered piles up and is offered to the holy fire as soon the `tandorosti’ prayers for the requesting family are completed. We go often to Udvada, once every two months at least since over 20 years now. Yes, I have heard this story doing the rounds indiscriminately.

  • Rémi

    Hello everyone!

    It seems that today all religions struggle with the hard task of draw the line between what is religious (based on scriptures) and what is traditional/cultural.
    For instance, the celibacy of priests in the Catholic Church has no religious justification, and was imposed during the Middle Ages. I don’t think that my Catholic faith would be shaken if priests could marry (if they felt so)! But the Church just doesn’t want to move because it has been so for 1000 years! That’s plain “cold-feeted-ness”!!
    I don’t mean that everything traditional is bad and should be discarded, but if something exists for no particular reason, then there is nothing wrong in putting it into question. I don’t find it irreligious or rebellious to just ask “why?”.

    I have also found on http://www.tenets.parsizoroastrianism.com an article by Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha entitled “Diclosing the Wealth of Z tarikats” in which it is stated :
    “Those promises given by our forefathers to Jadi Rana was for abiding by the local customs and traditions of that time. Though anti-Zarathustri in its contents, they were accommodated and followed to meet the local demands. Now, the time has changed.”
    and
    “We deeply respect those promises but one must not forget that they were purely political and out of obligation and conveniences WHICH DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A PART OF OUR SACRED TARIKATS.”
    So I guess that if such an orthodox priest agrees that traditions can be changed to fit our time, orthodoxs and progressits have some kind of common ground.

  • rustom jamasji

    Question is if you guys are so hurt by the rules( surprisingly all and any rules) and your egos brandished, your pride made to be swallowed since you were told to adhere to such rules and since your modifications to suit your personal opinions and agendas are not met with, why bother to in the first place visit such places?

    These places do not belong to you personally and IF following any rules belittles you, avoid such an hassle.

    Many on the other hand have no problems respecting and adhering to rules laid down by the ones who preserve, maintain and uphold traditions that has seen zoroastrianism being passed on after holocausts.

    After these rules and sancitity adhered for a 1000 years and its sucess highlighted by us having an atash behram and us being Zoroastrians, I think it rather amplifies ones dimunative nature to then critisize such regulations put by those directly responsible for Zoroastrianism surviving and us enjoying many freedom.

    Infact there are those who mistake their freedom to do away with anything not liked by them.

    I sincerely hope that those who think they are above any rules and regulations without contributing towards thoughts, words and deeds and especially when always having a negative opinion build their own agairies and atash behrams as they had claimed.
    That way they can have the priviledge again of fighting whatever system is founded in their places , creating another rift therin also . It may also help them to understand the importance and have the humility to let us respect and hence follow the rules laid down by our instituions.

    I wonder if all those who are hurt by following rules and regulations of Zoroastyrian Institutions would have the morality to disfigure rules laid to other instituions, irrespective if such are religious, social or cultural in nature.

    I think the priests are doing a magnificient Job looking after those assets that are invaluable to Zoroastrianism yet always belittled by those who ironically have little time to take interest in such except when they are faced with the task of humility and adhering to rules looked after and maintained by people who may not be economically on a high strata.

  • Rustomji Edulji Sethna

    Rustom Jamasji

    For once, can you stop putting your foot in your mouth and making an ass of yourself on this website.

    Arzan asked a simple question.

    Is there a validity in this procedural diktat of the Iranshah fire accepting sukhad procured from an Udvada shop?

    If you cannot answer that question, or add to it, how about just reading and waiting for someone to do so. You don’t need to be a player in every game. Sometimes its nice to sit back and just listen/watch.

    As has been expressed in the article, the concerned people did obey the rules. And still do (i presume) everytime they go to Udvada. However where does it say in Zoroastrianism that one cannot question the rules or seek the true meaning/answer of religious rituals.

    Please do not reply back if you have nothing to add to the discussion.

  • Rohinton

    Yes, we have faced it too… this has been going on for atleast 5+ yrs to the best of my knowledge

    Mr Rustom Jamasji – the pt here is not following rules or not – it is about whether there is fact in wot our high priests tell us, and I don’t see any wrong in questioning. Does any of us question why torch / cameras are not allowed, why should one not wear beach wear / short skirts to Iranshah – No. And this is because we all see reason in it… I am sorry but you are on a completely different tangent here

  • ANTI – Dhongidox.

    Congrats Mr. Sethna, we need more persons like you on this portal to put some ‘know alls’ in their rightful place.
    As for the incident narrated above, there are different qualities of Sandalwood and their prices differ according to variety. On my recent visit to Udwada last month, I carried Sandalwood from Mumbai – price Rs.3,000/ a k.g.
    This is the second highest quality available. I also made some purchase of Sandalwood from shop outside Iranshah. The sandalwood from Udwada shop was reddish in colour and I believe it was of Tanzanian variety. My sandalwood offering from Mumbai was of a superior quality and I DID NOT encounter any issue from the priests in accepting the same and placing it in Iranshah.
    The quality of Sandalwood available in Udwada shops is not that superior. Rumors do make rounds of vested interests in selling sandalwood, in Udwada.
    The sandalwood sold in Mumbai Agiaries is of lowest quality and sold at Rs. 300/ or 600/ a k.g. One K.g. gives approximately 170 to 180 perias of the size we see in Mumbai Fire Temples and are sold at Rs. 5/. per peria by Agiaries. The Agiaries/Panthakies make a neat profit from such sale.
    I am not defending the priests of Udwada but if one places Sandalwood of lower quality in the fire, a foam appears. One may purchase a peria from an Agiary and try this out by vertically placing such lower quality sandalwood in the dadgah type of fire placed in most Fire Temples.
    I may add that sandalwood merchant from whom I make purchases has more than five ranges starting from Rs. 300/ a kg to Rs.5,000. a k.g.
    The sandalwood in Udwada is procured from Mumbai, if my information is correct.

  • Yazdy Palia

    In my opinion, it is high time, The Parsi Panchayath take up the maintenance of all the Agiaris and Atash Behram, and pay the priests a monthly salary which ensures that the priests could live a dignified life. In the first place, we do not pay them any salary and leave them to take care of the expenses of the Agiary, maintain their families, take care of the education of their children. All these problems would never arise if they are assured of a decent and comfortable life.

  • Nilufer

    It is totally wrong to point out Udwada Dasturjis for not accepting sukhad, they are doing their duty. If the quality of sukhad is not good, it is the right of Dasturji not to accept the same. When you are going all the way from far distance to pray to Iranshaw, you might as well observe the rules and regulations of Iranshaw Atashbehram and the Dasturjis of Udwada. No one achieves anything by simply stopping. they have to abide by the rules. And if you believe in Iranshaw you might as well believe and obey Dasturjis of Udwada. Yes, it is insulting, but at the same time they do not want you to do sin by worshipping poor quality of sukhad. At least one gets to learn a lesson. If you don’t get good quality from you are coming, might as well buy from Udwada Atashbehram. then there is no question of any problem. Also when we can spend so much of money traveling, staying in hotel, eating etc. we can surely buy good quality of sukhad, right my friend. so don’t take it to heart and come to any conclusion. Why do our parsees make a big issue of a small thing.
    God bless Dasturjis of Udwada, as in near future what is going to happen of our Iranshaw as all youngsters have stepped out of Udwada. worry ab
    out those problems rather then wasting time on such matter.

  • Tinaz

    We did face this problem but not at Iranshah.It was at the Pandol Adarian. The first reaction was that of anger but then Atash Padshah gave us the good sense of keeping calm & we decided to leave our offerings there itself. It was given by us with full faith. It was for the priests to then decide what to do with it.To conduct their duty to be a bridge between the Atash Padshah & the laity or to offend God by coming in between.
    Satyagraha as taught by Gandhiji is the best way to handle this problem ,I think. After all if everybody continues offering sandalwood as per their capacity without being troubled by the attitude of the dastoors , they will have to offer it to the fire someday.

  • N.T.FEKAMFEK.

    Palias suggestion seems to be unworkable.
    1. From where will Punchayets pay Salary for priests of Fire Temples.
    2.Most Fire Temples age governed by their own Trust Deeds. So how can Punchayet come in the picture.
    3) Which Puchayet can be in held responsible for Udwara? BPP/SPP?
    4) Panthakies are earning very well and many of them are crorepatis having a luxrious life. Why they can not pay Mobeds well. Afer all it is their fraternity.
    5) The most disgusting part one sees in Udwara is Mobeds begging alms within the main Hall of Atash behram and that includes young men. A Mobed can easily migrate to another Town or City where there are vacancies and learn to earn a honest living rather than beg? Its just shameful sight.
    As for Pundole Adrian my experience some years back was astonishing. Late one evening, I visited this Adrian and placed a Sandalwood in Box earmarked for Aivishathrum Geh.Mine was the solitary offering. Next morning on visit to this Adarian, I found the same Sandalwood intact in the same box. And I was the first vistor the next morning.
    As for quality of sandalwood, ‘lillo’ Sandalwood can not be offerred.When devotees purchase a glass of “Diva” do we question the quantity of Oil and consider the price of oil.? The sandalwood sold in Udwara is available in Bombay ar around Rs. 1500/ a k.g. and the locals in the village make a profit and I would consider it an act of charity or rather encouragement to those who want to make a living by doing some amount of labour unlike the Mobeds, including young, occupying chairs in the main Hall of Iranshah and expecting Ashodad for doing nothing. nor desiring to do anything despite shortage of priests in other parts of the country.

    SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT:
    I have commented as above just to state the facts and NOT out of any aim to get my name entered in some BOOK OF RECORDS for number of blogs/messages posted on
    Parsi Khabar.I am ready for exchange of intelligent exchange of views and experiences but NOT for sermons from ‘faltoo’ ‘freelance’ boarders on unrealted issues.If advice of such faltoo bloggers that one should not visit places of worship if they are not going to obey the whims of priests is genuinely practiced, all priests will be seen seeking ashodad only as avenues for recting prayers on behalf of will dry up.

  • N. T. Fekamfek

    Palia is way off the mark.
    1) How Punchayets come in the picture when Fire Temples have their own Trust Deeds?
    2) In case of Udwara, which Punchayet can come in the picture, BPP or Surat?
    3) Panthakies do earn very well and if they do not pay Mobeds well who is responsible?
    4) The quality of Sandalwood sold in Udwara is available in Bombay at Rs. 1,500/ a kilo. Locals do make a killing by charging an arbitrage but do we question the person who sells Divas about the quantity of Oil and its price?
    Obviously, ‘liloo’ sandalwood can not be offered.
    As for those fully faltoo ‘freelance’bolggers advice thaT ONE SHOULD NOT VISIT A PLACE OF WORSHIP IF THE DEVOTEE IS UNWILLING TO ACCEPT THE DICTATES OF THE PRIESTS, IF THIS IS PUT INTO PRACTICE, ALL PRIESTS WILL BE WITHOUT WORK, AND WILL BE FORCED TO BEG FOR ASHODAD.
    It is a shameful scene to see young priest in the main Hall of Iranshah expecting tips for doing NOTHING nor having a desire to earn a living by honest day’s work. Why such ordained Navar’s can not not relocate them selves and perform priestly duties for which they became Navars when there is shortage of priests elsewhere in the country.
    As for Pundole Adarian, I visited the same a few years ago late in the evening and placed sandalwood in the slot of the box marked Aivishthrum Geh and left for Iranshah. Mine was the only Sandalwood in this slot in Pundole Adarian.
    Next morning, I was the first devotee to Pundole Adarian and saw my offering lying unused in the same slot.

    SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT:
    My message is meant for genuine exchange of experiences and is NOT INTENDED TO CREATE SOME SORT OF A RECORD FOR SAY LIMCA BOOK AS A ONE WHO POSTED MAXIMUM MESSAGES ON VARIOUS PORTALS.

  • N.T.Fekamfek.

    I may just add that the Sukhad I placed in Pundole Adarian in the incident narrated in my above post was purchased from Udwara itself.

  • To Anti Dhongeedox.
    Not all Agiairies in Mumbai sell inferior quality Sandalwood.
    You will find Patel Agiari in Andheri selling reasonably good quality S/.Wood at same price as south Mumbai Fire Temples.
    Thats just for your information.
    To: Tinaz, Palia and Nilufer: When we place divas at Iranshah do we carry Oil from Surat or Mumbai or from the place we go to Iranshah.? Just give a thought.

    Thanks.

  • Farokh Kanga

    I have never come across any hostile attitude from the priest at any fire temple.
    Sandalwood is not necessary.In fact offering a Kathi will help in keeping the fire going for a longer time.
    But at the same time the priest cannot afford to be rude.By doing so they loose respect. We need to concentrate on larger issues to keep the fire within the community alive.

  • a.rustomjee

    It is true that there is an element of arrogance and a false sense of superiority amongst the Parsees of Udwada. It is not restricted only amongst Boiwallas and even a proprietor of an Hotel is known for high handed atitude. I have made it a point never to enter the portal of that particular hotel.Hospitality is not known to this particular hotelier.
    Farokh Kanga is right, such persons lose respect by their arrogance. Respect is to be EARNED and NEVER DEMANDED.
    It is rightly said that when one’s downfall is nearing that person thinks no end of himself.

  • Keki Guard

    Hello,
    I have never come across such incidents, infact the sandal wood is offerred to the Iranshah almost immediately. Now where is the question of the Dasturji seggerrating the sandalwood offered. I think this is some baseless argument started out by someone which has spread like fire, this needs to be crubbed immediately.

    In my opinion our very own community news paper can explain this and stop this at once.

    Guys, Lets work towards the betterment of our community and stop this nonsence, our forefathers did so much great things for which they are remembered and respected even today, it is up to us to live up their expectations and keep the Flag flying higher.

  • Delnavaz

    My family very often visits Udwada. We purchase sandalwood from Bombay & also from Udwada. Fortunately, we have never come across even a semblance of rudeness from the priests. As Farokh mentioned, in case a person cannot afford sandalwood, offering kathi is another option.

  • a.rustomjee

    Kathi is required to be kept separately and is not offered to the Holy Fire instantly in the presesence of the devotee offeror.

  • a.rustomjee

    Kathi is required to be placed separately outside and not in the Khumcha. Kathi is not offered by the Boiwalla in presence of devotee offerer.

  • rustom jamasji

    Mr Rustomjee Sethna…
    From your post it seems that all those who have either not come across such incidents and also those who do not mind adhering to rules laid down by those who look after the subject in disscussions are supposed to make an ass of themselves. Well maybe in your wisdom it does.

    Whilst in many other’s wisdom, it does not need a lot of humility in acknowledging the fact that the Atash Behram and even other agiaries are functioning and are in a welcome mode for visitors everyday only due to the workings of those whom we try and describe as arrogant..Suah ofcourse errupts out due to arrogance that does not allow one the humility to adhere to rules laid down.

    Perhaps many of those who are creating a storm in a tea cup would be awed by the same rule if put up by the russian converted proests..after all the grass is always greener on the other side…..especially for those who have never been on the other side…

  • NEMESIS.

    I am certain that if asses could sue for libel they would easily win because of the derogatory way in which we unfairly equate them with those ‘freelance’ individuals who claim to be in constant contact with Professors of Dharwar University.

  • dinshaw irani

    Please read parsi Avaz to enlighten your small brains and get rid of your ego , so that you may progress further in the limitless circle of eternity. Ilme xnoom is the only answer to your ignorance . we would have been lost by now without xnoom and the holy Iranshah and other atash beherams and adran sahebs. If you dont like the rules then go to restaurants eat pork vindaloo, beef steak and leave a big tip so that the waiter opens the door for you.,if not , get a kick in your pants.. Reformists and liberals are doomed any way.

  • So according to another torch bearer of Zoroastrianism, even those who visit Iranshah but use their brains are REFORMISTS AND LIBERALS.
    Mr. Irani, many Adarians and even AtashBehrams have few devotees.Recently, it is learnt that Uran Fire Temple is now of dadgah status. This is happening despite your ‘xnoom’.
    I am not trying to ridicule your concept.The community is already on brink of extinction and giving heritage status to Fire Temples is counter productive. Amalgamation of Fire Temples is the only answer.Otherwise we will have only dilapidated structures left as archaeological ‘proofs’ of a Neanderthal Community despite your Parsi Awaaz/Voice/ etc.
    The earlier you guys give up your false sense of ‘superiority’ and sermonising, the better it will be for the residual members of the community.
    Blame game is not the answer to problems of this community but inability to accept realities is the biggest challenge.

  • N.T.Fekamfek.

    To curse others and pray for their doom is the hallmark of those who think that they alone are responsible for ‘saving and preserving’ Zorastrian religion.
    It is very easy to be didactic. Even assuming that liberals are anti religion as implied (which is NOT A FACT) and are ‘doomed’, what about the principal advocates of Ilme Xnoom who are facing inter Religion marriages in their OWN FAMILIES. How does one explain for such aberrations?
    It is easy to preach without setting ones own establishment in order. As the old saying goes, those who live in a glass house should not pelt stones at others. Then decide whose brains are ‘small’?
    Learn to unite others and be considerate instead of berating. The days of behaving like small town School masters are over long ago and if persons cannot reconcile to this reality it is their shortcoming.Who suffers from egotitis can be seen from the language of calling others having ‘small brains’ and talking of ‘doom’ of others.

  • Mehernaaz

    My family has also borne the brunt of this discrimination a few years ago and it was done in an unreasonably rude manner. So there is some truth to the “buy sukhad from udwada for the iranshah” story.
    I am not questioning why we put sukhad, i love the fragrance and its in my bones so i dont want to know why it was used and why it may or may not be used. But my question is that if i’m putting sukhad, it doesnt matter from where it came? It shouldnt. I may have the money to buy sukhad at Rs. 3000/- a kilo and i want to use that pure variety for the Iranshah. Does the sukhadwala outside the iranshah buy his sukhad at such prices and purity?
    And if someone is conning me by selling me regular wood laced with the fragrance of sandalwood, well, may he burn in hell. Surely my intentions are clear as long as i’m completely ignorant of such an act.
    There is no justification for saying that only the sukhad in udwada is pure. They procure it from somewhere too. Obviously out of udwada. Well tell us where that is from and let us choose the level of purity we’re willing to spend for. This is monopolising, except if someone comes up with a real cogent explanation to justify this nonsense.

  • Keki Guard

    Hello All,

    I do not understand the points made by you all, Why are we going tangent from the topic. For the sake of Ahuramazda behave like good Zorastrians and stop individual comments and baseless arguments, we are not heading any where.

    Why do you want to make a fool of your selfs, am sure none of you would even come forward in the time of difficulty.

    So stop this cowardy act and work towards the betterment of the Zorastrian community.

    The respect which are community has today is because of our forefathers good deeds, good work and actions, we need to take this torch forward a long way. so i plead to all please please stop this mud slaking at each other and work togather as one.

  • N.T.FEKAMFEK.

    Mehernaaz.
    The issue here is more of indirectly coercing the devotees to patronise the local seller of sandalwood seller. There are vested interests.The quality if Sandalwood sold in Udw is not that high.One does not mind encouraging the local seller but the arbitrage is huge.Thats where one feels conned.This has nothing to with not having ‘humility’ or being a Reformist.(!)
    Now some person refers to Rules. Now who can frame RULES and where are they codified?
    Raising legitimate questions can NOT be branded as absence of humility. Yes if the sandalwood is really of poor quality the Boiwalas can decline to place it in the Holy Fire but WITHOUT BEING RUDE. Is that asking too much.

  • K. Tamboli

    Been there regularly, never has something of such kind happened with me(thnk gd), if it does then my nature would surly force me to ask loads of questions there, no matter to whom.
    I have seen them take it in big bundles, I wonder when would they get time to segregate them from the once that are sold in udvada or vis-versa

    God bless all..

  • manek

    udwada iranshah ni madad hojoji,
    some people is coming in udwada pak iranshah and contrivarsi for sendlewood but the all parsis is coming near aatashbehram and eat the icecream purchase the papad biscuite first jane ke rahi javana hoi tem . to sukhad ni mamari karta pahela tame khvanu ane purchase karvanu jaruri che ke iranshah na ashish levanu ? mate mari all jarthosti ne araj che ke pahela iranshah na asish lev ane pachithi feriyano ne tuch karo..

  • Rashna_M

    Manek.

    Though I agree with you that we visit Udwada to pray before Iranshah and not for shopping, I can not but help asking you a few questions?
    1) I have not seen any devotee carrying biscuit or papad packers inside the Iranshah.So it means that such items are purchased after the visit to Atashbehram.

    2) Who makes Sandalwood perias, cutting from the main block? Parsees?

    3) Even if the Sandalwood is purchased from A Parsee vendor, who has actually cut the same into perias?

    4) In one small bungalow, a local Hindu guy sells sandalwood ‘perias’ on weight basis.

    5) When Parsee Sandalwood vendor hands over change of money, are the currency notes washed?

    6) Why does the Udwada Anjuman not impose a ban on hawkers around Iranshah?

  • Zerxes.

    So according to Manek, a Jarthosti will get polluted by touching some one else. So Manek can you tell us what happens when one carries Flower Toran in to the Fire Temple? Do you come to know who plucked the flowers and who made the Toran.?
    Same way about oil for Diva. Neither there are Parsee florists nor any Parsee manufacturing and supplying Diva Oil.
    Any what about the vehicles viz SUV’s in which we travel.

  • farzana

    Manek, which soap/detergent you use to wash the currency notes before placing them in the KHUMCHA towards BOI in the Udwada Atashbehram? Just asking!!!

  • Goolu

    This Manek is talking utter rubbish. Majority of bawas like him need to get their upper storey examined immediately. Not only is the community dying, majority are getting insane and senile.

  • Darayas Malegam

    My family and I were recently at Udwada Atash Bheram , wife had booked a Machi , the bundle of sandalwood was given to the dastoor along with Rs 100 asodad , to our utter amazement the dastoor put all the sandalwood straight into the atash , without any prayers and when reminded it was a machi he replies that he does not pray machi for such a small sum of money . Less said about the purity of such persons the better . Purity is in the heart , cleanliness is the mind when Parsis will understand this GOD TOO DOES NOT KNOW !!!! Wearing white does not clean the stains within , claiming to know does not make one wise .

  • Zerxes

    Goolu,
    You happen to one of the few sane voices on this portal. It seems to be a trend to utter and mutter whatever was told by one’s grandparents as if the same is unchangeable and relevant. Such retrograde elements believe falsely that if they express ideas, discarded in 20th century (but practiced in 16 & 17th Centuries) that they will be considered religious minded and “Bhunnar gunnar” if they talk such nonsense like ‘druj’ ‘juddin’ & ‘darvand’
    Of course it is another thing that these ‘bhunnar gunnars’ employ juddins and darvands as domestic helps as well as cleaners in Fire Temples.
    Ahura Mazda overlooked to instill ability of reasoning in such
    Religious minded Orthodox”