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Volume  III  No.6 

August – September 2002  :  Mah  Shehrevar,  Fasal  Sal 1371   

Kada  Mazda,

mannaroish  naro  visente:

Kada  ajen,

muthrem  ahya  madahya:

Ya  angraya,

karapano  urupayeinti

Yacha  khratu,

dushe  xathra  dakhyananm. 

When, oh Mazda,

shall men of capable Intelligence come?

When shall they dispel

this Miasma of Infatuation?

Which with vehemence

the Karpano* do perpetuate:

And which the Intellect

of the evil Rulers of the Land also does.

(Spentamainyu 2-10 : Yasna 48-10)

*Priests who offer libations at a religious ceremony. 



            Dastur  Khurshed  S.  Dabu……………………………………………………………2

      JUST  SIT  QUIETLY…………………………………………………………………  2


            Flay  Flam……………………………………………………………………………… .3

      MY  LORD  GOD

            Thomas  Merton………………………………………………………………………….4


            Dorab  J.  Patel…………………………………………………………………………  5


            Maaneck   B.  Pithawalla……………………………………………………………… 6

      HEROINES  OF  ANCIENT  IRAN:  Story  of   Rushanak

            The  Marchioness  of  Winchester…………………………………………………… .7

      IN  GOD  WE  TRUST

            Shahriar  Shahriari………………………………………………………………8


            Borzoo  Nadjmi……………………………………………………………………………9



Dastur  Khurshed  S. Dabu 


rue religion cannot be divorced from life.  It is not a robe or garb to be put on and then discarded at one’s convenience.  It has to be woven into our daily behavior, and is not to be separated or shelved. It cannot exist in a water-tight compartment apart from all daily walks of life-even commerce, politics and industries.  “True behavior is the essence of religion”. 

      Religion is not religiosity, whereby some people ostentatiously display their piety and superior sanctity. The outer garb may deceive others. Truly religious people are humble, unassuming and shun popular applause. 

      Religion is not a drug acting as an opiate to bring self-satisfaction or to quell the pangs of remorse. It should rather stimulate one’s efforts to awaken the inner voice and judge things dispassionately.  The self-complacency induced by some religious practices is deceptive. 

      Religion is not concerned with social conventions that may change from time to time as we please, provided we do not transgress into the realms of immortality.  

(Abridged from the author’s book – Message of  Zarathushtra – A Manual of Zoroastrianism – The Religion of the Parsis.) 




ometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits,” says a wise saying.  The inner mind is surely marvelous. While we quietly sit back, it is ticking away. Consider for a moment some of the achievements which have  resulted from people being quiet and simply thinking. 

      Seeking peace for his troubled soul, Galileo sat quietly all those centuries ago, and the gentle rhythmic movement of a swinging lamp nearby gave him the idea of a pendulum swinging to and fro as a means of measuring the passage of time.  Isaac Newton was quietly resting when he saw an apple fall and thus began his law of gravity.  James Watt was relaxing in his kitchen when he saw steam lifting the top of the kettle and thus the idea of power to drive a steam engine was born. 

      So don’t feel guilty next time you want to “just sit quietly”.  Many problems are solved, new ideas come to mind, and vitality is often revived by doing exactly that!  

(Source – “The Friendship Book of Francis Gay – 2002) 


“Faith is not believing that God can.  It is knowing that He will”



Faye  Flam



an science divine the hand of God in the universe? Investment tycoon Sir John Templeton wants to know, and he is paying $ 1 million to fifteen scientists to look for a purpose in the cosmos.  The scientists, many with international reputation, have spent their careers studying the Big Bang, the origin of the stars and galaxies, the fundamental physical constants, and the origin of life. 

      Now they have set out to explore the question that intrigues Templeton, as it has philosophers and astronomers for centuries:  Is the universe the product of design or accident? 

      Templeton, 88, faxed his request for the meaning of it all from his home in the Bahamas to Randor, Pa., home of his Templeton Foundation.  Templeton, a devout Christian, sold his mutual fund empire in 1992 for $ 913 million and now devotes himself to philanthropy and his quest for common ground between science and religion. 

      The foundation executive director, Charles Harper, who is trained in physics and theology, crafted the grant program based on the question, “Is there a fundamental purpose in the cosmos?  What does “purpose” mean?  Harper said his faith – Christianity – holds that God created the universe for a purpose, which is connected to the notion of  goodness. 

      In the two years that the program has been running, science has not found any evidence for such a purpose.  Some of the scientists involved confided that they don’t think science can ever answer the question.  Still, those who received as a piece of the money say it is freeing them up to explore ideas that wouldn’t be supported by government funding because they touch on philosophy and religion.  And while a million dollars is small money for science, it can support a number of theorists developing unconventional ideas. 

      “The Templeton Foundation” felt that with a little money they could have a huge impact on what kinds of research are done,” said Max Tegmark, a physicist at the University of Pennsylvania who co-chaired the grant program and helped choose the recipients. 

      One of the major issues that the scientists are exploring is called “fine-tuning”.  Fine-tuning has to do with certain numbers that are “wired into nature,”  Tegmark said, such as 1831-1, which is the ratio of basic properties that govern the power of electrical and magnetic forces.  If the latter were changed by 1 percent, “the sun would immediately explode,” Tegmark said. 

      Changing these fundamental constants would render the universe uninhabitable --- either because matter would fall apart or stars wouldn’t shine, or the universe would collapse.  “It’s as if the universe has a bunch of knobs,” and you can’t twiddle them without disaster striking,” said  Tegmark. 

      Fine-tuning is often involved as evidence that an intelligent God designed the universe.  But fine-tuning in the world of plants and animals was also once used as evidence of God’s handiwork until Darwin came along with a scientific explanation of evolution. 

      Scientists also have several non-religious explanations for the cosmic fine-tuning.  One idea more and more widely discussed is that there are many universes born in many big bangs, the vast majority of them uninhabitable. “ Just as we shouldn’t be surprised to find we live on the one habitable planet in the solar system,” said Tegmark, “we shouldn’t find it surprising that our universe is one of the few livable ones.” 

      At a Templeton-sponsored conference in Princeton called “Science and Ultimate Reality”, Tegmark spoke about three different theories, some more speculative than the others, that lead to what he called universes.  “Even if there is one universe, observations made in the last decade seem to show that it’s infinite in all directions.” said Tegmark. 

      Harper said that while he doesn’t expect these scientists to prove God does or does not exist, or figure out why God created the world, he believes their work on the fine-tuning problem and the possibility of the other universes will enrich the discussion. 

      The Templeton Foundation is not without its critics in science.  Noble-winning physicist Steven Weinberg of the University of Texas has denounced attempts to make science and religion compatible.  “One of the greatest achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious,” Weinberg told the audience at a foundation-sponsored meeting.

(Source: “Wichita Eagle”) 


Thomas  Merton 


y Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.  

      I hope that I will never do anything apart from your desire.  And I know that If I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. 

      I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.      

“Be sure to learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow” 


Dorab  J. Patel 


e Parsis do not have a homeland of our own, but we are very adaptable.  Thus, it is natural that beliefs and practices of alien cultures, with whom we are living, will have influence on our own culture.  Dastur Dr. Dhalla wrote a booklet in Gujarati, titled “THE CHANGES IN OUR RELIGIOUS LIVES, IN THE LAST 100 YEARS, DUE TO TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCES.”  This booklet is pertinent to my subject. So, I have attempted to translate some of the passages, and I give them below:   

      “English education started in our community in the 19th century.  This new education spread it’s light all over the place, because of our long stay in this country.  Hindu and later on Muslim superstitious ideas and customs entered our community. 

      “In 1819, the Bombay Parsi Panchyat resolved that hence-forth: (1) No Parsi woman will go to Hindu temples to make vows or worship goddesses on the 6th day after delivery.  (2) Not to get amulets or charms made by Brahmans and tie them on children.  (3) Not to go to Jain ascetics, or astrologers’ houses.  (4) Not to believe in the evil eye, sorcery and witch craft.  Nasasalars will be deployed to patrol during the night to apprehend such superstitious women, and such women will be confined into nasakhana for the night. 

      “Hence forth nobody will make holias, and have Fatiha recited, or revere tazias.  Those found practicing such superstitious customs of other communities will be punished.  Such was declared by the Panchayat. 

      “It was a common practice to make offerings of small effigies of goats and poultry made of gold and silver in Agyarees and Atash Behrams.  In case of a death, professional lamenters were called and crying and weeping was carried on for ten days to a month. 

      “Such ideas which had entered our community from others slowly faded out. The superstition like Najar Lagvoo or casting of the evil eye were seen till the last century.  Soot was applied to small children’s eyes and spots of soot were applied outside the eyes and on the cheeks.  All this was done to ward off the evil eye so the child may not succumb to any kind of sickness or ill health.  Such superstitious practices are still visible in some form or the other.  One amongst them which draws attention is the practice of Ovarvoo to perform gestures to ward off sickness, pain and trouble.  This practice of Ovarvoo with eggs and coconuts, over the head on all small and big occasions is carried on in the houses even now.  This practice, embarrassing to the community is performed on every Navjote and wedding, where non-Parsi ladies and gentlemen are present…..Such an exhibition of this ridiculous practice, every day, in our educated community is certainly very grievous. 

      “As love and affection bring humans closer in relationships.  In the same way devotion makes a man thirsty of Dadar Ahura Mazda’s love and brings him together.  By offering flowers, fruits, grains etc., in ceremonies and remembering God with concentration man lights Parvardegar’s flame of love in his heart.  Offerings in ceremonies remind man to sacrifice his body, mind and heart to his spiritual father. 

      “As time went by a different thought entered into mankind.  He believed that ceremonies have such powers that by performing them desires can be fulfilled, and wishes can be granted.  This way ceremonies became means.  They became providers of every thing on earth and became the means of achieving eternal bliss in the next world. 

      “Prophet Zarathushtra, in his Gathas, teaches us: “As you sow so shall you reap”.  Such basic, root teaching is being forgotten.  Man does not care whether ceremonies have any effect on his mind and heart, whether it enhances his devotion or not or whether it builds and forms his character or not.  Man forgets that only his deeds are his only means of deliverance after death.  Ceremonies have now taken place for deeds.  Such an irreligious idea has taken birth that ceremonies can get man rewards, received otherwise, by good deeds; reduce his sins no matter how bad a life he has led on earth.  The ceremonies that are being performed for him will remove his soul from hell and take it step by step to heaven….unfortunately because of their obstinate ignorance, people cannot think about a matter of simple common sense, that if the rich can get deliverance from hell and buy heaven by having ceremonies done, and the poor because of their helplessness can not, then where is the justice of God”.

Thus wrote Dastur Dhalla. 

      In this short resume, I have ventured to show how much change has been brought about in the original philosophy of Zarathushtra.  From time to time old and new customs, observances and rituals have entwined with the teaching of Zarathushtra.  The introduction of such changes result in different interpretations of the scriptures.  And these groups believe that their interpretations are the only correct ones. 

      The question remains, “What is Zoroastrianism?”  Think over it and try to find out for yourselves.  While you  are at it, I suggest you keep this in mind that Zarathushtra’s message was universal – for all mankind ---so whatever you find that divides mankind is surely not Zoroastrian. (Abridged from “What is Zoroastrianism?” contributed by the author for ‘Meher Jamshed Patel Memorial Volume’ published by I.R.M. in 1990) 


The  Behistun


                  Of Ind, how oft my weary soul has run

                  On Northern hills or snowy Persian chains

                  Harboring the Titan height of Behistun.

                  Where Dara’s record-rock, a towering church,

                  Still lifts its hoary head o’er darvish towns;

                  How like a summer bird I’ve longed to perch

                  Upon its cloud-of old has cast but two Zoroastrian rays:

                  Full faith in Mazd and love for truthful ways.

(Maneck  B.  Pithawalla)     


The Marchioness of Winchester



hen Dara, or Darius III, King of Iran, lay dying after his third defeat by the Rumans, the news was brought to Sikander by two of the  Shah’s own ministers, who had stabbed him in the breast, thinking to gain favor with the Kisra.  Sikander, overcome with rage and grief, ordered the treacherous pair to lead him to the spot where the King was lying, which they accordingly did.  At the sight of Dara’s death-like countenance and the blood upon his breast, Sikander wept with anguish and despair.  Then, having set a guard over the two assassinators, he dismounted, and, taking the wounded monarch’s head on his lap, chafed it tenderly, removing the heavy crown and unclasping the mail from his breast.  He endeavored to speak words of comfort and hope, but Dara knew his end was approaching, and prepared to meet it calmly, commending his soul to God.  He besought Sikander to weep for him no more, but attend to his last request and fulfill the dearest wish of his heart.  Sikander thereupon replied that he had but to command him.  Dara then asked him to take his daughter in marriage.

                                               “Thou mayst,” he said, “see born to her a youthful prince,

                        Who will revive the name of Asfandiyar,

                        Relume the altar of Zardusht, take up

                        The Zandavesta, heed the presages,

                        The Feast of Sada and the Fanes of Fire,

                        With glorious Nauruz, Urmuzd and Mihr,

                        And lave his soul and face in wisdom’s stream,

                        Restore the customs of Luhrasp and follow

                        The doctrines of Gushtasp, maintain both high

                        And low in their degree, illume the Faith

                        And see good days. 

Sikander promised faithfully to carry out the Shah’s wish.  Dara extended his hand to grasp that of the other, then fell back dead. 

      The throne therefore passed to Sikander.  Mindful of his pledge to Dara, he lost no time in bringing about its fulfillment.  He summoned a scribe, and instructed him to indite a preliminary letter to Dilarai, the mother of Rushanak, also one to the Princess herself.  Dilarai, on receiving her letter, mourned bitterly the death of her husband, and returned a grateful reply to Sikander; Rushanak also wrote, accepting his offer.  Sikander then requested his mother Nahid, to go to Dilarai’s palace and see the Princess Rushanak, taking with her loads of gold brocade and tapestry, numberless gems, three hundred Ruman damsels and many more gifts.  Nahid departed to do her son’s biding, and Dilarai came forward in royal array to meet her, amidst much pomp and rejoicing.  Gorgeous wedding gear had been prepared for Rushanak, and, when she rode forth to meet the Shah, none had ever looked on such splendor. 

                        They raised triumphal arches in the cities:

                        All lips were smiling, all hearts full. 

And Sikander, beholding the Princess, her beauty, her sweet and modest mien, fell in love with her at sight, and forthwith made her his queen. 

      The  arrangement made between King Dara and Alexander that the latter should marry Roxana, or Rushanak, appears in the Pseudo-Callisthenes, in all it versions, but is not historical.  We have seen that, according to Firdausi, she was the daughter of Dara, or Darius III, but according to the earlier accounts, she was the daughter of Oxyartes, a Bactrian chief, whose stronghold Alexander escaladed.  We are told, in these writings, that Alexander was enamored of her at sight, and married her in the year 328 B.C.  


Shahriar  Shahriari 


few days ago, as I was driving, I heard the radio announcer talk about a poll in which 52% of Americans thought they would see the end of the world, or more accurately Armageddon, within their life times.  As I was pondering this, I realized that the bigger news was not so much the fact that those who were polled thought this way.  The more important news was the fact that  somebody thought of asking this question in the first place, and then the responsible people in the media thought it would be appropriate to conduct the survey and announce it over the airways. 

      If I were a conspiracy theorist, I could have blamed it on the self-serving media who were bought by the defense industrial complex, trying to instill fear in people.  But more sincerely, I think the media bosses believe that this sort of fear mongering actually sells, and is profitable.  Thus, fired by greed, they are willing to sell fear.  Also in the wake of the recent exposure of financial corruption in some of the American conglomerates, we are witnessing how numerous people are losing their jobs and/or life’s savings.  Again, this is only fueled by the greed of the few who have manipulated the loopholes of the Free Enterprise legal system.  

      It is not surprising that the short-sellers are making more money on the stock markets than the investors.  Whenever we see unchecked growth that dishonors other souls, we can be certain that the parasitic forces of destruction and decay are deployed to restore balance and honor to the system.  Since I believe that the outer reflects the inner, and vice-versa, I have been given the wake up call to look at my habits carefully – yet once again. 

      These events, in an exaggerated way, embody the worship of the God of Greed and sacrifice of others at the alter of the God of Fear.  So the question is where am I succumbing to greed, and where do I sacrifice others out of my own fear.  Could it be that when I receive more change at the grocery store than I should, I think about pocketing it?  Is it that I am willing to play politics at work and stab my colleagues in the back because of the fear of losing my job?  Am I expediently finding shortcuts in delivering my promises? 

      It is interesting to note that in a country that epitomizes Free Enterprise, the words “In God We Trust”: are inscribed on every bank note and every denomination of the dollar.  Yet we find ample examples – among others as well as ourselves – where we are tempted to sacrifice other souls at the alter of Fear and in the worship of the God of Greed.  The Iron Curtain collapsed from within because of dishonoring the individual souls that comprised those nations.  Perhaps the unraveling of the Free Enterprise system is also imminent, unless we are willing to put aside our greed and overcome our fears, and truly live by the words “In God We Trust”         


In  the  Past,  Present  and  Future

Borzoo   Nadjmi, M.D. 

Zarathushtra’s philosophy is ideal for modern civilization, with its social unrest, economic crises and religions upheaval.  Zarathushtra has been the hope for our society in the past, as he is now, and will be in the future 


arathushtra’s birth date reaffirmed.  Around 150 years ago, the discovery of over 4,000 tablets and writings in the western part of China known as Turfan, helped to reaffirm the accurate birth date of Zarathushtra. The discovery of the Turfan findings clarified many facts which were previously unknown.  Zarathushtra was born 2715 years after “the great storm”.  The great storm occurred 6482 years ago.  Thus, using these dates, Zarathushtra was born 3767 years ago.  (6482-2715 = 3767) or in 1767 BCE.  Moses was born in 1500 BCE (267 years after Zarathushtra) and Plato’s birth date is 1400 years after Zarathushtra. 

      Approximately 200 years ago, in response to inquiries from the Parsis in India, 72 Iranian mobeds and mobed-e-mobedans of Yazd, along with Zarathushti scholars validated this birth date of Zarathushtra as they have done for over three millennia. 

      At the age of 30, Zarathushtra proclaimed his enlightenment.  At the age of 42, he founded the first and the oldest observatory, in the city of Nimrooz (presently in the province of Seistan, in Iran).  Zarathushtra changed the old system of the lunar calendar to a new, totally accurate solar calendar.   Sadly, his calendar and dates have been tampered with many times, once during the 3rd or 4th centuries CE, and then many subsequent times.  Al Biruni, an astronomer, historian and philosopher, mentioned Zarathushtra’s calendar and its accuracy repeatedly in his book Asaar-Al Baghieh. 

      Zarathushtra’s holy book is called Manthra or “thought-provoking “ by Zarathushtra and Gathas by his immediate followers.  Zarathushtra called himself Manthran or “composer of the Manthra or Gathas,” and his religion daena vanghu (i.e. the best ethical religion).  Manthra and Gathas are two Gathic words which are used in English and possess the same meanings. 

      Zarathushtra’s message.  Since Zarathushtra first gave the message of Mazda to the people of Iran, exactly 3739 years have elapsed.  Millions of human souls have lived a happy life and died a peaceful death under the shadow of  the protective wings of Zarathushtra’s pristine, simple and ethical faith.  His immortal triad of good thoughts, good words and good deeds has kindled the religious zeal, intensified  the desire and enlightened the thoughts and minds of his followers. 

      Bright and dark days.  Throughout history, the religion of Zarathushtra has seen its bright and dark days.  During these ages, great and mighty kings have ruled over Iran.  However, Zarathushtra’s spiritual teachings were stronger than the king’s power over people.  Thus, Zarathushtra ruled over people’s hearts and minds while the kings affected physical rule over the people.  Zarathushtra’s ever optimistic teachings and the ever cheerful spirit of his sublime doctrines have saved his followers from falling into the depths of despair and gloom after the Arab invasion of Iran 1400 years ago. 

      Although the number of practicing Zarathushtis has diminished from 30 million during the Sassanian period to just over two hundred thousand at the present, they have proven themselves to be the true bearers of the great name and fame of their illustrious forefathers.  The history of noble deeds of the forefathers still thrills their dutiful descendants who have faithfully reflected their past national glory in their small community.  Unfortunately during this long period of time, the deceivers have bribed, lied, proselytized, distorted the facts and preyed on people with little religious knowledge, as Zarathushtra had predicted:

                        “Listen to these clear truths which I teach.

                        Remember well and bear in mind lest the

                        evil teacher destroys the people’s life once

                        again and the followers of untruth lead

                        them astray with wrong teachings. (Ys. 45.1) 

      Defending the religion.  The only way to defend our religion against the followers of untruth is to increase our religious knowledge by studying the Manthra of Zarathushtra and utilize it at the time of need.  Modern civilization is fraught with discontent and restlessness and renders people exceedingly sensitive to suffering.  Zarathushtra’s philosophy is ideal for those times. 

      Zarathushtra’s teachings will continue to be applicable during future social unrest, economic crises and religious upheavals.  Zarathushtra has been the hope of our society in the past, as he is now, and as he will be in the future.  

(This is the English translation of the original article in Farsi. Courtesy Fezana Journal: Summer 2002) 


      “I think we would be able to live in this world

      more peaceably if our spirituality

      were to come from looking not just

      into infinity but very closely at the

      world around us---and appreciating

      in depth and divinity.” 

      (Thomas Moore) 

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