Farvardin, Fasal Sal 1372
May joy, love, hope, and peace
brighten your Nauruz and every
day of the New Year
A PERSIAN TALE
nce upon a time, Ahura
Mazda, the Wise One, the Creator who dwelt in the realm of eternal light and
boundless time, decided to be creative, to explore the darkness and spread light
everywhere. From this thought there burst forth, with a big bang,
countless sprays of shining gems, which filled the once dark, empty space with
light. Each gem twisting and turning and evolving in space and newborn
time, Zamyad, our Earth was one of these.
Along a clear blue sky the sun, sitting in a
golden chariot driven by golden horses, drove by from East to West every single
day, watching with a million eyes what went below. Then, while the sun rested
with gentler eyes the moon appeared along with a blanket of stars, so that where
once there was only darkness now there was constant light.
Daylight and moonlight danced to the true harmony
of Asha. And the words Ashem Vohu, Vahistem Asti floated
down to the earth and was received by a cool breeze, which blew over the green
land and kept each plant fresh as the daisies. And the Earth sprouted
flowers of every color and shape as an offering of love to the Creator Ahura
Mazda. Upon the happy Earth evolved creatures great and small.
Fearlessly they frolicked while others explored the sweet waters. And
birdsong filled the air. The variety of life was infinite as the
imagination of the Original Mind of Ahura Mazda. And so, in time, upon
this earthly paradise evolved also the human mind.
People looked around them and agreed that life was
good. They spent their sunny days and moonlit nights celebrating eternal
spring and knew nothing of hunger, suffering, old age and death. They knew
only joy of new birth and contentment of being alive, and they multiplied. From
amongst this happy lot one youth, Jamshed was his name, was chosen by Ahura
Mazda to be their king. His halo shone brighter than any golden crown and
all who saw him held up their hands in reverence and in one voice thanked Ahura
Mazda for this grace. Five times each day the people gathered round their
King and he taught them how to pray.
Each day, from sunrise to sunset, King Jamshed
taught the people that along with prayer, they must care for the land, the
waters and all living beings that shared the Earth with them. Good
thoughts and words were not good enough. Good actions must become a way of
life. They learnt to till the land. The trees bore fruits and the
bees made honey, and each shared what they had, and praised the Creator and
their good King Jamshed also.
But, the all-knowing Ahura Mazda knew that the
evil spirit, Ahriman would one day swell with jealousy and greed and when he
could swell no more, explode! Polluting the space where the stars were
shining and our Earth was happily spinning.
And so it came to pass that Jamshed woke up from a
disturbed sleep one day and planned to build a shelter from a foe called Ahriman
whom he had never met. A warning bell in his good mind told him what to do
and he did what he was told. Singing hymns to Ahura Mazda and songs of
praise to their beloved King, the people willingly put their labor of love to
build the shelter and the result was indeed wonderful.
Inside the solid dome of clear blue rock they
embedded countless sparkling stones, which shone like the stars above. The
largest stone was as bright as the sun and a silver globe waxed and waned like
the moon outside. On the land below each plant was carefully arranged and
watered by the many waterfalls and streams in whose sweet waters the fish
played. And birds of every color flew here and there and sweet birdsong filled
the air. Here in the shelter which King Jamshed built all creatures great and
small marveled at their new abode and their energy was as undying as the flame
which King Jamshed instructed them to install in every home to keep at bay the
Ahrimanic darkness and the chill of death yet to come. Ahirman? Darkness? Death?
What are these? No one, not even King Jamshed knew the evil nature of this
unexpected foe. Nor did they for a moment feel the violence that had
already gripped the outside world. Screaming tornadoes and torrential rain
lashed the Earth to demolish the creation of Ahura Mazda. This was the
destructive Ahrimanic goal. Ahriman’s evil crew fouled the air with
stench, and made bitter the sweet waters. With hateful violence the
Ahrimanic lot threw up the once level land and with a deafening groan the
mountains rose. And from their deep wounds red-hot lava, like blood
spilled upon the already weeping Earth. When this awful fiery scene was
done, this black smoke blocked out whatever light there was and darkness
swallowed up the Earth like a dense black hole. Only then did the
half-witted Ahriman realize that no human was lost as all were safe inside King
Frustrated and exhausted, for a while the
Ahrimanic crew went away, no doubt to think out another evil plan. Soon
the silence was more deafening than the violence before and they
Evil laughter tore through the fragile sky when at
last they found Jamshed’s hiding place. The Ahrimanic gang hurled
themselves against the shelter’s dome again and again. For many years
Ahriman tried to enter King Jamshed’s shelter but in vain. Thunderous
noises deafened the ears of those inside and the very first time fear entered
their minds. The strong stone sky resisted every blow struck at it and King
Jamshed was convinced that safety was assured.
But alas, one awful night, like a thief,
Pride entered his once humble mind, and a voice he did not recognize, he
scoffed: “Stronger, much stronger than Ahura Mazda am I.”
Fascinated by this new declaration from the King, the people stared and
stared for they could see what their King could not. An awful change had
taken place. He was a different man. The next day King Jamshed awoke from
a troubled dream. Heavy-hearted and light-headed, he touched his head and found
that he had lost his precious crown.
“Where’s my crown? Where’s my crown?” He shouted,
and. shaking with anger, he ordered all work to cease and a search be undertaken
to catch the thief who had stolen his kingly glory, his shining crown.
Each became suspicious of the other as they searched again and again each
other’s homes. All belief in honesty was lost, gone forever was Jamshed’s
crown and with it trust. Day after day the search continued. No other work
was done, and none found time to pray. The land was silent as a tomb and sadness
came to stay. Unable to rest, or sleep or pray, one awful day the
uncrowned king uttered the fatal words of blasphemy, which even to this day
plagues the minds of some.
“Forget God,” he shrieked, “it’s an old-fashioned
thought. It is absurd to glorify someone you cannot see. Praise
me! I am the architect of all you see. You must
And so it was that the holy songs of the Golden
Age changed by order of the King to ungodly themes. Bewitched by these
evil chants and drunk on rotten grapes, the people worshipped an uncrowned
Jamshed as their god. Some in hushed tones, dared to question where things
had gone wrong. “Was Ahura Mazda angry? Where had those happy times gone?”
Some wondered, was it their drunken eyes, or what they were seeing was true? Two
bumps on Jamshed’s shoulders appeared and grew to four or more. Why was
Jamshed so distant, so, yes, sly? What was he hiding beneath his
cloak? Something there, that moved. Those who served him had a closer look
and spoke of something under those sly bumps having the same sly
What was happening? The King had aged. Weary
with the weight he carried on his shoulders, he groaned with pain. Ill-tempered,
stooped and wretched he stalked the once happy land of his carefree youth.
Or was the gentle Jamshed dead, and. were they
ruled by a demon king?
The din of Ahrimanic rattling on the dome was
nowhere as frightening as the demonic rattle coming from Jamshed’s throat.
And then, from somewhere deep within this possessed man came forth a bellow as
he fell upon the ground. Aghast, the people who came to his aid stood
back. They saw the bumps on his shoulders open wide and two, then four,
then more and more serpents leaped hissing at them with hungry, bloodshot
eyes. In a voice, which shook the once happy land, he announced to all
that gathered there that Jamshed of the Golden Age was no more. Instead he was
Azi Dahaka, who ruled their land.
“Ha, ha, ha, I Azi Dahaka! Zohak! The greedy
friend of Ahriman am now the ruler of your land.” Falling to break through
the hard stony sky, a much sinister entry to the shelter had been made.
Ahriman had found a new door. Yes, Ahriman’s henchman, Pride, had entered the
world through Jamshed’s mind.
Since that time it has been so. When we are
careless with our own mind’s door, do we not welcome a host of un-welcome
guests? What are their names? Let’s see, there’s Az- Greed,
Aeshma- Anger, Jahi-Envy, Bushyansta- Laziness, to name
just four leaders of a legion of familiar fiends, whose prompting make us do
most nasty things.
Azi Dahaka, the Greedy Fiend, who had invaded
Jamshed’s land ordered all the friends of light to get back to work. This
time not a labor of love, oh no, but it was slavery they had to bear. No
songs were heard, only the weary shuffling sound of feet moving back and forth
from the slaughter house to those ever-hungry mouths of snakes that ate and ate
but were hungry still. Greed indulged can only grow greedier still. No
longer satisfied with the flesh of beasts, birds and fish, Azi Dahaka announced
the most evil wish. “No more a diet of animals, birds and fish, be quick.
Bring me a new dish. What shall it be? Let’s see. Ah yes, bring me the
fresh brains of men!”
A bewildered people sent up a cry of horror to
their Creator and to their once beloved king to make this nightmare cease.
But the Creator seemed so out of reach. Was the Golden Age of King Jamshed a
dream? Fiends of hunger, disease and death now stalked the land, which
once seemed a paradise, now lost and consigned to memory.
As time went by, each family had lost at least one
son. And day-by-day and night-by-night, those that lived carried those
they had themselves killed to the ever-hungry mouths of those evil snakes, who
swallowed whole of their brains. The only wish of those still living was
to die. And madness ruled the bloodstained land.
But wait, Ahura Mazda had, of course, foreseen
King Jamshed’s folly and this sad event, and so it came to be that Faredoon was
chosen next to lead the living out of this unholy mess. Faredoon an orphan
child, like so many babies of the evil reign, and starved of his mother’s milk
was raised by a cow. With the nourishment of good creature’s milk, he grew
strong in body and with Ahura Mazda’s grace he had the will to overthrow the
evil reign and bring about a new era of good. First Faredoon removed the
people’s fear of Ahura Mazda and proclaimed the truth. He explained that
the Evil One, Azi Dhaka had slipped into their good King Jamshed’s mind. A
devilish trick which the poor man himself was unaware of. That is how he had
lost his glory, his sacred crown to Azi Dhaka who now ruled their
Next, Faredoon forged a cow-headed mace a
gurz, of a metal as strong as his determination to use the strength of
both to overthrow the Evil One. Then he gathered round him a team of
volunteers and holding high their spirits and the gurz, they strode as
one to Azi Dahaks’s place.
Now, no hapless wailing filled the air.
Instead the thunder of determined marchers and their uplifting words of prayer
reached the sharp ears of Azi Dahaka. Evil gets desperate when faced with
good. And, true to his cowardly nature Azi Dahaka bolted with great speed
into the darkest corner he could find, defended only by the stink of his own
fear. Trembling, he hoped that the foul odor of death would drive this
threatening, living force away. But the power of prayer like darts of
light penetrated the darkness to view the Evil One who was in a deep state of
Brave Faredoon and his band of men then fastened
Azi Dahaka with those chains, which bind him still. With fresh hymns of
praise to Ahura Mazda and new songs of victory, with dancing feet, with laughter
and joy, Faredoon’s army carried Azi Dahka off to an appointed place, far North,
where only chill winds blow. There, high up on Mount Demavand, in no man’s land,
it is believed lies to this day a powerless Azi Dahaka and his starving
snakes. To the North, where no good person must ever turn to offer prayer,
they say a rooster stands guard and when at each dawn it crows, the chains
loosened by stealthy fiends at night are drawn tight again. A time of
light and darkness, of good and evil will be with us until such time when all of
us have fought and won the battle with the Azi Dahaka of each
So, all of you out there, watch out! We must
always be on look out for the many fiends that roam the Earth waiting for that
unguarded moment to creep into the minds of men, and of course women and
cheer up! The promise is that if we all join the forces of Good we can and
will bring back the happy Golden Age. Meanwhile, Happy Noruz to you all!
Who can forget Thee, O Zarthost, who can
When sure, like one awhile of souls bereft,
The parent Sun returns to where he left
The Aries point* in earth’s revolving plan,
Thou tak’st Thy birth on ev’ry Khordad Sal,
When trees and waters, birds and beasts rejoice,
And pious people Gathic verse
In thousand blended notes of joy withal?
Yes, welcome Thou to Thy old race, O sun
Of Truth, we all meet Thee with open arms,
And, like unto Thy darling babes well-won,
We come and clasp Thy garments of great charms.
We ne’re forget. O Master-spirit, Thee,
We are but Thou and Thou, O Lord art
[Dr. Maneck B.
*First point of Aries:
THE VERY SPECIAL ROYAL SEED - a story for children
long time ago, there was a
wise old king who did not have any children of his own, and often worried about
who would sit on the throne after he died. One day, he sent his messengers far
and wide to invite all the boys and girls of his kingdom to his
When they had gathered, the king looked at the
young faces eagerly waiting to hear what he had to say. “Today, I am going
to give each of you a very special royal seed. I want you to take it to
home with you, and plant it and carefully look after it. Twelve months
from today, bring me the plant you grow from this seed. I will judge your
plants and choose who will be the next ruler of my kingdom.”
Rashnu was very excited when she went home with
the seed. Her mother helped her find a colorful, hand painted pot and they
planted the seed together. Every day, Rashnu would water it and make sure
it was facing the sun.
One day, when Reashnu was at the market place
buying some fruit, she overheard the other boys and girls talking about how well
their plants were growing. When Rashnu went home, she looked in the
painted pot to see if she could see any green sprouts, but all she saw was dark
soil. One month, two months, three months passed. Still
nothing. Now whenever Rashnu heard the others talking about their plants,
she quietly left the group. She didn’t want to tell them that her pot was
only filled with dark, moist soil.
Twelve months went by and finally the day came
when the young people of the kingdom gathered at the palace to show their plants
to the king. Rashnu looked at the amazing variety of plants in the grand
hall. There were ruby red flowers, lush green leaves, and glossy brown
berries. When the others saw Rashnu’s empty pot they laughed at
Rashnu was embarrassed and tried to hide behind a
tall plant with big shiny leaves, hoping that the king would miss her during the
There was a hush in the hall as the king slowly
walked around looking at all the plants, stopping from time to time to touch a
leaf or smell a flower. When the king spotted Rashnu’s empty pot, he
stopped and stared at it for a long moment. Then he asked his courtiers to
bring Rashnu and her pot to the front of the hall.
The king looked at the crowd in front of him, and
then at Rashnu’s frightened face. He smiled kindly at her and asked her
name. Then holding her trembling hand in his, he turned to the crowd and
announced, “People of my kingdom, I want you to bow your head to my heir. Her
name is Rashnu.”
Rashnu could not believe her ears. How could
that be? The king continued, “Twelve months ago, I gave each of you a
seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it and bring it back to me today.
What you did not know was that I had boiled the seeds so they would not
grow. When you found that the seed you had been given would not grow you
switched another seed for the one I gave you. Rashnu was the only one with
courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, she
is the one who will be the next ruler!”
In his message, our prophet Asho Zarathushtra told us that we
must always choose the path of Asha, which is the path of truth and
righteousness. In Yasna 72, it is said, “There is but one path, that of
Asha. All others are false paths.”
In this story Rashnu was given a reward for being
honest; she was chosen to be the next ruler. But Asho Zarathushtra tells us in the
Ashem Vohu prayer that we must speak the truth, live an honest life and
behave in the best possible way not for the sake of any rewards or praise but
because it is the right thing to do. There are many reasons why telling
the truth is always the best policy:
* When you always tell the truth, people learn to trust and respect you.
* Telling the truth protects innocent people from being blamed or punished.
* When you tell the truth, you don’t have to keep on adding more and more lies to keep your story straight.
* Telling the truth may be difficult sometimes, but it makes you feel
happy and peaceful inside.
So, the next time you are tempted to cheat on a
test, tell a lie to get out of trouble or exaggerate a story to make it more
interesting, think of Rashnu.
[The author says, I remember the story cuddled against my
grand-mummy, who was a wonderful story teller. At that time I thought it might
have been a Chinese folktale but now it is retold with a Zarathushti touch by
naming the heroine Rashnu – the angel of truth.]
ashnu is the spirit of
Truth and Justice, is closely associated with Mithra or Meher and with
Sarosha. The three stand together at the Chivat Bridge—the Bridge of
Judgment or literally the Bridge of Discrimination---to assess the worth of the
life of every human being who passes through and out of this world. Rashnu
is depicted as holding the scales of justice, and weighing each person’s good
against his evil.
As we sow, so we reap—the law of cause and effect
is ever at work. None can circumvent or evade it. It is in our hands
to seek real inward happiness and gain it or to run after seeming pleasures and
be miserable at heart. We cannot influence Rashnu to tip the scales in our
favor unless we have lived worthily.
Give us, O Ahura Mazda, an understanding of the
real secret of happiness, and enthuse us to keep to the straight path of
Rashnu’s goodness. May we keep all worldly influences around us under control,
live in moderation, and share with others all the bounties with, which You have
blessed us, and join together in our worship of You.
Help us to be true to the inspired teachings of
our Prophet and lead our lives of Asha and goodness, in accordance with Your
will and Your requirements in life.
[Source: “Teach me to
Pray – A Second Book of Prayers for Zoroastrians”: Noshir F.
he Persian Rivayats contain
the questions asked by Parsi Mobeds and the answers given by Iranian Mobeds
between 15th and 17th CE. The following excerpts are from
“The Persian Rivaytas of Hormazdyar Framarz and Others” (English translation and
notes) by Ervad Bamanji Nuserwanji Dhabar, Bombay 1932.
Dastur Borzu [of Iran in reply to a question asked
by the Parsi priests]:
Varas [hair taken for making ritual for the
Yasna liturgy] can be taken from the bull, but it is impossible (to prepare it)
in these (evil) times. We possess varas (which is prepared) from
ancient times and you should put into practice the institution followed by your
predecessors (this should be so) up to the coming of Varjavand, Peshotan of Kai
Vishrasp and Hoshedar of Zartosht. (Page 418)
The Shedaspians (Christians) and those with
disheveled hair will arrive and will overpower the Iranian countries, which I,
Ormazd created. Each of the three enemies will infest Iran, and there will
be so many banners of the Turks, Arabs and Arumans (Byzantine Christians) that
Iran will be under the hoofs of the beasts of burden and the third (battle) will
be at (the end of) the millennium. That night Varjavand is born and the
token of it is that the same night a star will fall on the ground from the sky
and this will be manifest on day Ormazd of the month Aban (17th
October). They will bring him with the damsels of the city and a woman
will be the ruler of the city and that woman will nourish him. For him an
army will approach from the west of India, which will have many Hindus and
Chinese, They will attack the Arabs. (Page 468)
At that time will be born Oshedar, son of
Zartosht, who is son from among (your [Zarathushtra’s]) offspring.
This is said to be near the (lake) Kiyanseh, or his bringing up will be on the
frontier of Kabulistan. When he will be thirty years old, he will come to
Me who am Ormazd in conference. At that time there will be a king in
Chinsitan or Hindustan, a descendant of the Kayans who, when ten years old, will
have a desire for women. A child will be born to him, whom they call
Then Oshder comes to Bahrm Varjavand for
apostleship. He performs a miracle and cries out to the sun: “Stand
still.” The sun stands still in the midst of the sky for ten days and
nights. All men abide by the religion of Oshedar. Then Meher of the
wide pastures (Avsetan Mithra Vouru-gaoyoiti) cries out: “O Oshedar, the
Zarthushtrotemo, restorer of the true religion! Cry out to the sun (to move on);
for it is dark in (six regions of the earth). Then Oshedar, son of Zartosht
cries out to the sun: “Move on!” Then on all men believe in the good
religion and they accept it. (Page 470)
(Speaking about the calamities that will befall Iran). Every person will conquer a place of his own and will rule with wickedness and will not by any means administer justice to man for the reason that he himself will not be in safety. After this angel Meher sends a man to the shores of the sea of Padashkhargar near Vrajavand, saying: “Thou art such a king that all men are in difficulty and distress. Rule in such a way, as was done by your fathers and grandfathers. If the inhabitants of the world are under oppression and distress, then what answer will you give to God, and Varjavand answers, “but I have neither treasury nor army, and the sovereignty can be exercised (only) with money.” That man caries back the message of Vrajavand to angel Meher. (He) says: “Go take up the treasure of Afrasyab and bestow it on his (Varjavand’s) army.” He then shows him the treasury and opens it. A great army collects near Varjavand and he again conquers the cities in a few days. The world comes under the sway of a king from amongst the (different) nations. The glory of Iran, the Kayanian glory, and the good Mazdayasnian religion resides in that city, and the world turns towards virtue and security becomes manifest. (Page 480)
From Jamasb Nameh
O king, know that the most terrible period of time
will be the wolf progeny of Turkestan will rush into the country of Iran, that
is, they will enter with wickedness, and the religion will turn extremely weak
and low. Then the Turks, Arabs and Rumans (Byzantine Christians) make
warfare on the banks of Euphrates and on the frontiers of Shuristan
(Syria). At that time, the king, with the religion will arrive, who is
called Varjavand Hamavand (i.e. the glorious and victorious) and his prayers
will be accepted by God the Great and the Glorious. (Page 490)
The “savior” story in its Persian version predicts
in simple words that a king of the Kayanian descent, named Bahram will carry the
title of Vrajavand. He will be born on 17th October (year not
given) in the eastern part of Iran, he will be residing somewhere in China/India
without any financial resources. That will be reason for not undertaking the
conquest of Iran. Meher Izad will show him the Turanian King Afrasiab’s
treasury. With that procured, he will collect an army of Iranians and
Chinese and will vanquish the three enemies of Iran –Byzantine Christians, Arab
Muslims and Turk (invaders). He will be approached by the first, Saoshyant
(Ukhsyat-ereta), for apostleship. It is the apostle who will then work
miracles that will restore to its perfection. Shah Bahram Varjavand is not
predicted to play any further part.
This brings our survey to its end. It shows
how the passage of time has added to a general term, coined and defined for
selfless active, creative and promotive members –geniuses of human society in
the Gathas. It has snowballed into fanciful Pahlavi and Persian dimensions
of wait and wait, and wait for three miracle-born miracle workers, and the
miraculous heralding hero.
However, let us keep in mind the following two
To repeat, the points reveal how the broad general
term of “benefactors” confined to three persons of miraculous births and
miraculous accomplishments. The translator or translators of the Avestan
text were different in person and time from those who commented and wrote on
“Soshyans”. One account belongs to the period when Zoroastrianism flourished as
the major religion in the world and the other was improvised during the worst
disaster that had befallen it. One has ‘saoshyants’ zealously serving the
cause and the other is looking hard for a restorer of the lost grandeur.
What else the disparate leaders in charge could do except console themselves and
the laity by hoping for a miracle that would re-float the sunken
To return to Saoshyant in the Gathas and the coherent Later Avestan instances, we see the logic of Zarathushtra’s statement that the human society produces prominent persons who devote themselves in furthering and promoting the good life on this earth. He himself was one, an extraordinary personality, whose Divine Doctrine stands as a unique guideline for proper progress through time. It is ever promoting, never retarding, ever up-to-date and never outdated. Always fresh, always refreshing.
It guides devoted persons to grow into
Saoshyants. That is why we see that those who followed its guidance,
aspired to become Saoshyants, persons benefiting mankind and its natural
environment. They knew well that such a person had to be fully competent
in his/her field of service. A person was only recognized as a
benefactor when the service rendered proved so. Gathas, the Yatha
Ahu -- the master stanza, Song 2 and a few more are clear instances, that a
“Ratu”, a good gracious guide and “Saoshyant”, an outstanding dutiful
benefactor, is to be elected on the basis of his competency in knowledge
and experience. This makes it quite clear that no one can ever claim to be
a Saoshyant or a Ratu. It is a person’s outstanding qualifications and
service that make him/her qualify for the duty and the titles, and even that
recognition is left to people who are aware and awake.
Keeping in mind the “refreshing” stanza of the
Gathas, let us join our righteous predecessors and pray: “May we be the
BENEFACTORS, may we be victorious, may we be the friends of Ahura Mazda, we the
righteous and the most helpful companions, who are the righteous persons
practicing good thoughts, good words and good deeds.” And then translate
our prayer into practical services, concrete works and real results in every
field of mental science ad physical comfort – Ushta and radiant happiness to
Let the soul banish all that disturbs,
let the body that envelopes it be still,
and all the feelings of the body,
and all that surrounds it;
let earth, sea and air be still,
and heaven itself.
And then let the man think of the spirit as streaming,
powering rushing and shining into Him
from all sides while he stands quiet.
PSYCHOLOGY OF PEACE-MAKING
veryone according to his or
her temperament, considers some virtue as a great blessing, and some persons are
very much blessed, but the more we think about the matter the more strongly do
the words of the Prophet come uppermost in our mind: “Blessed are the
peacemakers in the world.” I have often pondered over the various
sentences given out as great messages by the Lords of Wisdom and Love.
These sentences become applicable to every state of life, in every age and at
all times and places. Even where children quarrel there are always some in
the group who are generally peacemakers. In a family relationship also you
will find such mentality in one or two of the elders, who make matters simpler
for every one wherever there is a rift in the family. In private life and
in public work too you will find certain persons with that mission in
These persons often give cause for annoyance or
mistrust to many, because it is difficult to understand them. The reason
is that they are keen on peace, come what may, that to them right, justice,
reason, argument, logic and evidence are all less important; whilst people
generally think of settlement of quarrel only on the basis of justice and right
and therefore they are not able to appreciate the work and mission of
peace-makers. The peacemakers believe that it is impossible exactly to
judge what is right and what is wrong, in attempts to do so they themselves must
take sides. Then they express their opinions as judges, and judges cannot become
peacemakers in the world. Therefore the first lesson, which any person who
intends to be a missionary of peace has to learn, is not to judge either of the
quarreling parties, but to find the path of peace between
When the Prophet lays it down as law, that the
peacemakers are blessed, it must be applicable generally. Just as
certainly as the earth goes round the sun, or the moon goes round the earth, in
affixed time according to a fixed law, so also does God’s blessings pour down
when attempts for peace are being made. It may also mean and it does mean,
that the Prophet has expressed His own attitude of mind, viz., that He himself
blessed all peacemakers wherever they may be and whatever the time. Thus,
in either case, as a natural law, or as a gift of the Prophet himself, the life
of a peacemaker has something rich and valuable to contribute to the
world. The Prophet’s expression “Be blessed” becomes a power for the man
to whom and for whom it is used. Each blessing of the Divine Power is a
force, which helps the world and becomes a factor of happiness and joy wherever
it goes. So, the person whose mission and goal is peace becomes an
instrument of joy and happiness in life. However, lacking in learning, he
becomes an attraction of power wherever he moves or goes.
The real person is not far to find. The root of his mission is in Love. It is his love for all created beings that make him a missionary of peace, that makes him blind to party feelings and emotions.
He believes in the unity of heart and in that
union, he wants every one to be immersed. All this proceeds from his sense
of the oneness regardless of sex, color, creed, right or justice. And
therefore many a times he stands alone to struggle and become a
center for that blessing. Thus peacemakers become blessed.
[The article initially appeared in the magazine “The Light Bringer.” And subsequently reproduced in “Jamshed’s Memorial Volume”, with a view to represent Jamshed Nusserwanjee’s cardinal instinct to act as a peacemaker]
MIRACULOUS BOMAN YASHT?
Dastur Dr. Maneckji
t is perfectly
comprehensible that the devotee derives a feeling of elation after reciting a
prayer. But this joyous experience is the consequence of the influence of
the strength of his faith. When a man wrapped up in prayer with absolute
faith that God will be pleased and will hear his pleadings and grant all his
desires, that He will be his helper in difficulties, his faith brings solace to
his disturbed soul and serenity to his mind. When he completes his
worship, he feels that a fresh hope and strength fill his being and he faces
life’s problems with renewed courage. This welcome attitude is born of the
psychological effect of good thoughts, high ideals, noble emotions and divine
love that pervade his being during devotion.
The Avestan language of the prayer as such has
no part in it nor has the magical utterance of its vocabulary. Instead of
the Avesta, should the devotee recite something that has no stretch of
imagination could term as prayer, with the same faith, absolute belief, complete
credulity and loving feeling, he would experience a similar exaltation and
light-heartedness. At first this may sound like an exaggeration but a
cursory examination will immediately reveal that it is no so. Let us
take an example.
Three decades ago a Pahlavi book entitled Boman Yasht was prescribed by the University in the syllabus for the study of Persian languages. In our existing Avestan literature the Boman Yasht is not to be found, but all sorts of stories about its miraculous powers have been prevalent amongst the superstitious section since ancient times. It is said that formerly the magical power of the Boman Yasht was so great that anything could be achieved by merely reciting it. But people began to misuse it and to utilize it to destroy the enemies and to derive selfish benefits through it, so the Almighty retrieved that Yasht. When this text was first printed and published for college students, some enthusiastic publishers of the Khordeh Avesta began to include this Pahlavi Boman Yasht also in their Gujarati version of the Khordeh Avesta. No prayer that is written in Pahlavi, which has a mixture of the Semitic tongue is ever recited, nor is this a prayer. It is an essay wherein its authors write about the rise and fall of the Persian Empire, of the evil days that are to befall it at the hands of the Romans, Turks and Arabs, and they write as though they are foretelling the coming end of existence. In sheer ignorance many recite this Pahalvi document as a prayer and believe that they are reaping a harvest of virtue. Without the slightest doubt and with complete conviction many innocent co-religionists recite this narrative as a miraculous prayer, hence it is not at all surprising that they derive thereof a mental relaxation and a sense of physical well-being. Blind faith can move mountains.
[Source: “Dastur Dhalla
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