Firuza Parikh: In Conversation

As a devout Zoroastrian, I try to live by our prophet’s adage of ‘good thoughts, good words and good deeds.’ I have learnt the profound truth of this guiding principle.

By Times News Service

firuza_parikh Good thoughts are important for filling ourselves with positive energy. Good words make our interactions with the world pleasant. Good actions such as work and charity are what make our time on earth worthwhile.

I begin my day with prayers to God thanking Him for all the happiness my family and I have been blessed with. I know that God listens to all our prayers. That is the foundation of my spirituality.

My husband Rajesh is the most secular human being that I have come across. Curiously, we started discussing religion and spirituality in one of our earliest evenings together when we were teenagers. Over 35 years of close friendship and 25 years of marriage that discussion still continues.

Swappy, Manu and Nikki our three children and our numerous friends have over the years often contributed towards these conversations. Rajesh has an in-depth knowledge of the major religions. We dwell not just on the similarities between religions but on their differences as well. We believe that these differences should not only be respected but celebrated as well. Hence, as a family we celebrate all festivals. Our friends tease me that Parsis just need any excuse for celebration!

We are often puzzled and sometimes amused at the arrogance of some of our fellow humans. Sometimes, on account of wealth or knowledge or power — men behave as though they were God themselves. Ordinarily, this would be so amusing were it not to have tragic consequences on the lives of others. We thank God for granting us humility and pray for His guidance in ensuring that we never become arrogant.

Rajesh believes that God has a great and sometimes naughty sense of humour. He believes that God created megalomaniacs who go about strutting their wealth and power for His own amusement as well as for ours. Sometimes when I try to coax Rajesh into sneaking out for a movie, he says, “Life is such an ongoing spectacle full of entertainment, let’s enjoy it instead!”

Secularism permits us to live in harmony and we should celebrate our similarities as well as our differences. Besides, we should treasure the sanctity of every moment and show gratitude to God.

(Dr Firuza R. Parikh, director, department of assisted reproduction and genetics, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai)

  • Farzana

    Dr Firuza and her hubby have proved beyond doubt that there is really only one race—the human race, and only one religion that binds us together — Humanity.
    I wish them all the best.

  • Farida

    Truly there is just one and only one thing that matters — being a good human being. It does not matter what race or caste one is. Humanity is the only religion to survive. . She was one of my ideal person as she was from my building and her mom was a dear friend of my grandmother. Marrying outside the caste does not matter as long as we live with our ideals taught by our parents which remain with us for life.

    Wish Dr and her family all the best

  • Rohinton

    Yes , we should celebrate and TOLERATE the wonderful differences of all the different Religions . It leads to great harmony between the followers of every religion , and it also allows each precious religion to flourish with its own set of values and ethics.

    After all , why would God have allowed so many religions to
    take hold in one world of human beings, had he not wanted the concept of religion ?

  • Ronnie Patel

    Yes i am Proud of my cousin sister, she was always bold & secular even in our childhood days.
    she & her Hubhy Rajesh are the most secular among our dear cousins.
    I really feel proud that she is the nly Doctor among we cousins.
    Jai Hind.
    Ronnie Patel (Muscat).

  • Farzana

    Rohinton,

    Irreligious, Agnostism and Atheism is the fastest growing group in the human society today, ie approximately 850 million.

    So why do you think God would allow these NON-BELIEVER groups to grow and flourish; if God really exists and has any say in the matter?

  • Farzana

    The link for confirm the numbers

  • Rohinton

    Farzana,

    So, from discussing what is wrong with the Zoroastrianism practised by Parsis , you have now jumped to ” if God really exists ” !!!!!!!

    Would you have us believe that you are an atheist or an agnostic or a Zoroastrian or just plain confused ?

  • Farzana

    I don’t know what you mean by ‘from discussing what is wrong with Zoroastrian way of worship’ [?] Plz enlighten me….

    Again, this is my personal belief, that ALL religions/belief systems are creation of man… men like you and me.

    If there was a God sending messengers with messages, why would they contradict each other??

    Is Ahura Mazda the God of Zarathushtra the same as Allah the God of Muhammad?
    [ if youve read the Koran, you would know the difference]

    Is Allah, the God of Mohammad the same as God of Jesus?
    God of Jesus wanted ppl to love their enemies …
    Allah on the other hand loves those who fight their enemies [ie Jihad-the holy war]

    Is God of Jesus the same as 6,000+ Devas of Vedas? no…none of the 6,000 Devas themselves ever agreed with each other…

    Who is Buddha’s God?…
    no one… Buddha thought – believing in gods was not useful for those seeking to realize enlightenment.
    http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/buddhaatheism.htm

    Who sent Mahavir with the message??
    no one… Mahavir was an atheist. He preached salvation and ABSENCE of GOD. Jainism does believe in God.
    http://www.jainpushp.org/introduction.htm

    This im replying to your statement – why would God have allowed so many religions to
    take hold in one world of human beings, had he not wanted the concept of religion ?

    I would like to know which God are you talking about?

  • Farzana

    And yes Rohinton, im indeed confused, can you help me out of it?

  • Rohinton

    Farzana,

    We are discussing Zoroastrianism and the Parsi community
    here !!!

    I am certainly not going to get into a discussion about other religions or your opinion of ” if God does exist ” !

  • Farzana

    These are your words===> “Would you have us believe that you are an atheist or an agnostic or a Zoroastrian or just plain confused ?” ===> to which i was replying.

  • Rohinton

    Farzana,

    I was writing these words in response to YOUR words
    ” if God does exist ” .

    Thank you, very much !!!!

  • piloo_2

    Speaking of assisted reproduction, one of the methods is artificial donor insemination. One does not know the RELIGION of the sperm donor and if a Parsee female conceives by this method, how do the Ervard priests verify the antecdents of such a child while performing Navjote. How many children born in such a method would have got their Navjotes performed?

  • Zarathushtra Zarthosti

    Thanks
    Mr. Rohinton (guardian of the Zoroastrian religon) as you agreed on
    (16 March 2010 at 3:55 am # Yes , we should celebrate and TOLERATE the wonderful differences of all the different Religions . It leads to great harmony between the followers of every religion ) Now make your friends understand this at BPP and where ever to do the same and not interfer and storm in other peoples lives, houses, functions, or religious institute and also destroyed furniture and assaulted people desecrating the holy fire. So my dear friend tell one and all to live and let live.

    KHSHNAOTHRA AHURAHE MAZDAO