Answers to a Behdin's Questions

by Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha

Your question:-

1. Am I praying the correct Yasht to the correct Yazata, on a day, when the Calendars differ so much?

Answer: Our prayers are composed to "suit" our Urvaan and its "developmental stage" in this time of our life-cycle. Prayers are mystical compositions of Manthras that forms a particular environment if recited on a particular Roz, Mah, Geh and in particular time. That is why we can recite only certain prayers in certain Geh at certain time. Our last Rainedar Saheb Dastur Adarbad Mareshpand has composed our prayers to "suit" the developmental stage of our Urvaan. In short, no, we cannot recite prayers anywhere at anytime. Prayers are identified based upon a particular Ameshaspand and who are his coworkers in "running" this entire universe. There are prayers for certain specific occasion and preferable place to bring maximum effectivenes to its Manthras. Let me give you some examples: high liturgical ceremonies can be performed only in Pav-Mahal, Yazasne in Havaan Geh, Vendidad and Nirangdin only at night, Khorshed -Meher and Ava Ardvishur Nyaish cannot be recited after sunset, Sarosh Yast Vadi should be recited only after sun-set and so on. There is also a sequence in which one has to recite these Prayers. One cannot recite Yast first and then Nyaish or Geh before Sarosh Baj. One cannot omit any part of this sequence otherwise, the entire process of "activiting" / invoking a particular spiritual being/ activity will be ineffective. We have five different types of ceremonies: invocatory, dedicatory, and so on. Even we have different prayers recited for same ceremony under different circumstances. Not all Priests in North America are aware of these aspects of prayers. Example: Jashans are of different types and different Yazads and Ameshashpand has to be invoked to make an appropriate effect on that family or surrounding. Let me not take you any further.

There is also something called Tarikats that has to be followed to develop effectiveness of prayers. I remember, I asked an elderly person to do Kusti before lightening a Divo, and as I expected, that gentleman starting removing Kusti by reciting Kemna Mazda without even doing Padyab or facing a proper direction. This is the condition of our Zarathustris, and here, all these Alias members, calling themselves followers of Zarathustri religion. Please refer my Prayer Schedule on Trad. Zoro. website. Read the notes at the bottom of that schedule to follow its guidelines. If you have any question, e-mail me.

Our basic prayers in Khordeh Avesta were composed by our last Rainedar Saheb Adarbad Mareshpand. (In fact Patet Pashemani and Doa Nam-Setayasne along with many Pazand prayers were composed by him.) As you will see in every Geh, first paragraph is in Pazand followed by small Kshnoom and big Kshnoom of that Geh. You will also find repetitions in first and last few paragraphs and short prayers (Ahmai Rascha, Hazangarem, etc) in Geh's, Nyaish and Yasts. In short, our prayers were composed to get attuned with Hamkars, Yazads and Ameshaspands and certain spiritual beings. And it has power to invoke spiritual forces in nature however, each prayer has certain Manthras that are designed to effect a particular force or spiritual being at certain time of a particular Geh, Roz and Mah. There is too much to say about how, why, and when parts of our prayers. Follow my prayer schedule on the Traditional web site.I also recommend reading my other articles to give you some idea on practicing our religion. Hope this is clear.

2. Why are certain portions of the prayers not to be said in the normal tones but (in Baaj) 'silently' ? And how did different languages come into a single piece of a "Prayer"?

Answer: Those portions are in Pazand and not Avesta however, one must not disregard it's contents as these sections were composed by our Rainedar Saheb by understanding the very nature of our Urvaan and its needs in this ever-growing Drujih oriented material world. We recite prayers in Pazand and not every time it is prescribed to recite in Baj. For Example: in Kusti prayer Ahura-Mazda Khodai to Paa Patet Hoam is in Pazand but we recite in normal tone. Another example, when the Humata-Hukhta-Havarshta para of Stum-no-Kardo is recited by a Priest in Jashan ceremony, first time he recites in normal tone but second, third and forth time he recites in Baj. These are meaningful prescriptions unique for each prayer. Again, these are divine compositions to affect a particular function or outcome of that prayer. It is a deep science that will take me another two hours to describe.

3. Why do we turn to the South, at the end of most 'prayers' and say the last few lines? Does my nephew in Sydney have to turn to the 'North'?

Answer: There is a long explanation for this question which I would try to answer limited to your need and basic understanding. One has to understand the entire process of the creation of this universe in order to answer this question. However, I will do justice in my explanation to make you understand the true reason of your question. Science explains us something called terrestrial magnetism, which keeps two poles apart. In Avesta, it is called "Apaakhtar", and Athra that keeps Hasti apart from Nisti is called Aatare Mino Karko. When Ahura-Mazda created this universe with "Athra" as its main foundation, (fire) [Athro Ahureh Mazdao Puthra], HE send a portion of it (Athra) away from his world of immortality (Hasti ) through Fravashi to Nisti . In Avesta, this creation of Athra which is attracted towards the Ahura's Athra is called "Raochangha Vispo-Khathra" meaning, whatever has been created away from Ahura during the creation of this universe will always be attracted towards HIM by a certain force, which is called "Dadare Gehan". Raochangha means "shining source, place"; "Khathra" means, a divine force that attracts backs to Ahura and, "Vispo" is a repelling force between poles.

In short, the roots of all materialistic, earthly (Geti) creations and supporting ingredients which causes birth and death (life-cycles), which repels HIS creations to return back to HIS world is in North direction. Human mind is full of materialistic lust and "earthly thoughts". "Vathvo-Frado" (a form of energy inside human) that pushes out good and bad ingredients stored in that body through eyes. Vathvo-Frado is at its maximum when prayers are recited. If prayers are recited facing North (storage house of earthly lust), all materialistic, earthly attraction related to that person's body [one need to know the internal (spiritual) composition of human body] will be attracted, and that person will be tempted to commit bad things - {(restricted for that body (Urvaan) following a particular Path (religion)}. If that person is bad in his thoughts, words and deeds, Vatvo-Frado that comes out from his eyes, will attract the roots of those bad aspects placed in North. Whereas facing South (Abode of Ahura-Mazda), all good aspects of his life will attract its roots in South to provide him HIS food to nourish the progress of his Urvaan.

Please note, certain concepts in the above para were deliberately simplified for the reader's understanding. I hope, my explanation is helpful. Sorry, I have to cut short, there is much more to say about it but, my time is limited. As I said, one needs to know the process of HIS creation to understand the above concepts.

4. A Sadra and a Kushti is to be made only by the priest class? What if it is not? How long will the Kushti be available, the way it is to be made, and will it be affordable by the poor, in the home countries? Are any making/learning to make them, in the West?

Answer: Making of Sudreh-Kusti is not for any other than someone from a Priest family is because of certain spiritual and religious reasons. There are certain Tarikats that one need to follow before during and after making Kusti. It requires a Priest to consecrate the thread and perform certain prayers and Nirangs to release it from the Jantar (instrument). Since it is very important to follow certain Tarikats and prayers and a Priest is required to recite prayers for it's usage, this task was delegated only to the Priestly class. Today, many Zarathustris have learned this ancient art of making Sudreh and Kusti however, I would recommend anyone to buy one made by a known member of a Priest family. There is a specific method to follow for preparing Sudreh & Kusti. It is a common site to see Zarathustris wearing sleeveless Sudreh without Girdo at the back and, obviously very few are familiar with nine parts of Sudreh and its significance. It is hard to find someone other than a member from the Priest family, as maker of Sudreh-Kusti with such knowledge and zeal to prepare it as per prescribed rules. Nowadays, more than 50% of our younger generation is not wearing Sudreh and Kusti and, majority of older generation is though ignorant keep on challenging our religious authorities in what to do and what not to do. In such a state of community, there is no need to argue on who is authorized to make Sudreh and Kusti, as many of you Alias members have repeatedly challenged our learned Priests and supported some non-Zoroastrian scholar and rely on his/ her opinion. Remember, YOU can "activate" power in Kusti with your prayers, and wear a proper Sudreh to protect yourself from outside Drujih-filled environment.

5. A simpler "Khordeh Avesta" with meanings etc was proposed some time back, what happened to that proposal?

Answer: There is nothing like simpler Khordeh Avesta. If you need to learn correct pronunciation of our Manthras, contact a knowledgeable Priest to recite for you on the cassette, which you practice it daily. It is a very bad attitude of our Zarathustris to say "I will recite prayers only if it makes some sense to me or if it is understandable." That means if that meaning is not suitable to your preferences of thinking, you will stop praying? That's ridiculous. Stop asking for meanings of Avesta Manthras. Just recite it as per Geh, time, Roz and Mah, because that is what is expected from you; in fact that is what we all are obligated to do for the progression of our Urvaan.

If you are sincerely interested in learning about our prayers and its applications and want to know more about our scriptures and religion, you can e-mail me and, I will be glad to provide answers for it.

Hope my answers are helpful.

Atha Zamyat Yatha Afrinami

By Ervad Hoshang J. Bhadha, PH.D.

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