All Zarathustris belong to the Mazdayasnan community. We are also called Mazdayasnans because our ancestors were Mazdayasnans and those pious Kings of the Peshdadian Dynasty (First of the five dynasties - Peshdadian, Kyanian, Hakhamnian, Askanian, Sasanian) were all belong to a Mazdayasnan sect. In our prayers, those Kings were referred as "Poiryo-Takaeshanam Fravashinam" which includes all the souls that have advanced in holiness and are "premier law- abiding", who are co-workers of Adar, Sarosh, Behram with Asha Vahishta in the Law of Divine Moral Order of the Universe. One must not misunderstand when Shahname or stories call those Peshdadian Poiryo-Takeshe's as Kings. They were not really Kings but "Saosyants" (benefactors of mankind) to reveal Mazdayasni religion among the Iranians. It was around 11,000 BC, that is to say, prior to the advent of Prophet Asho Zarathustra Spitama's visit to this world with HIS Message, there were two kinds of groups: Mazdayasni and Devayasni. Devayasni's were primarily idol worshippers who believed in plurality of gods. They worshipped their imaginary gods who according to them presided over natural elements like fire, air, water etc. Asho Zarathustra raised His voice against it, and firmly declared that the unprecedented Omniscient (Harvispagah) Lord (Mazda Ahura) alone is to be adored. All Mazdayasnans are also known as Baste- Kustians. Our Prophet Asho Zarathustra Spitama arrived in the second Dynasty during the time of King Kai Gustasp. HE revealed Ahura -Mazda's message to those who were belonging to the Mazdayasnan sect. Thus we are also known as Mazdayasni Zarathustris and belong to Ahurian Zarathustrian religion revealed to us by our Prophet Asho Zarathustra Spitama. It is, at times, also known as "datem Zarathustri" meaning "the Zarathustrian Law", because Asho Zarathustra has given in His religion several laws regarding sanitation and hygiene, and the laws of material and spiritual life. Mazdayasni religion exists since the inception of this world, which ends after every 81,000 years. In Avesta, this process is commonly known as Zarvane Drego Khadhat.
We recognize our Supreme God as Dadar Ahura-Mazda who is the creator of this entire universe. HIS existence is divine, incomprehensive, and invisible for our five senses. He is Omnipresent (Avitanyo), Omnipotent (Harvisp-tavan) and Omniscient (Harvispagah) as HE is the creator and HE knows what is good for HIS creations and HOW to nurture them. In Avesta, HE is described with different names depending on HIS presence in a particular creation of event. Example: Ahu - Ahura Mazda - Ahura - Mazda - AhuraMazda - MazdaAhura - Baga Mazda - Anhuma - AhuraMazda Khodai etc. Stoat-Yasna, Baga-Ahunavar and Paorva- Fravashi are three intrinsic parts of HIS existence, which I will not elaborate at this time as it carries deeper meaning and connotation in reference to our life on earth. It is a false belief that Hormuzd Yazad and Dadar Ahura Mazda are two different divinities. There is nothing like Hormuzd Yazad anywhere described in our Avesta prayers and literature. Dadar Ahura Mazda is one of the seven Ameshaspands of the divine council looking after the entire universe. One must remember that, in nature, it is a spiritual phenomenon to register a divine process: when two divinities group together, the outcome is the third entity and, all three resides within each other. As a result, we have seven Ameshspands and their corresponding Hamkars or Coworkers attuned with each other and Ahura-Mazda in performing their assigned responsibilities as caretakers of HIS creation. Thus, HE has no multiple identity as Hormuzd Yazad. In Hormuzd Yast, it is said that HIS Soul is made of Manthra-Spenta and Fravashi resides within HIM and thus, HE is described as having "VashoKshathra" (authority) to create this entire Universe through Yazads & Ameshspands.
VAKSHUREH-VAKSHURAN PAIGAMBAR SAHEB ASHO ZARATHUSTRA SPITAMA
Zarathustri religion is known as "Faranghan Farangha" means science of all sciences. It explains how and when this universe was created and who is human and from where he comes from and where he is going to rest and many more of such topics that are beyond human understanding. Dadar Ahura-Mazda created seven Ameshspands and, two types of "Daat" (Laws) [Ahuradat & Mazdadat] to guide them to lead HIS creation. These two types were based on "Staot Yasna" (attunement with HIS vibrations) and, Mazdayasni Zarathustri Daena is HIS first secret exposed. He introduced Yazads (33 Ahu's and 33 Ratu's) in HIS Daena with Aiewyongana (Kusti) of the highest order. These Yazads includes leaders of the five Gathas where Asho Zarathustra is named as head of all Gathas, and thus, makes Him a Yazad and not an ordinary human with passion to have three wives and six children. In Avesta, we have a Kshnoomun ( a special attunement Staota for a particular spiritual entity) for all Yazads and Ameshspands. Like all Yazads and Ameshaspands, Asho Zarathustra also has His own Kshnoonum which make Him not only one of them but, our scriptures have described Him as the most exalted spiritual entity. Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra's soul was one of those to attain the advanced stage of the highest Naba-Nazdishtanam Fravashinam class. (We are not even remotely close to the first stage however, our soul will advance in the next plane only if the canons of Ashoi are religiously followed with no exceptions.) As one of the "Nabanazdishtanam" Souls and of the Seventh Order in that group Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra was divinely inspired to possess the power of understanding called "Asn-i-Vir" or "Heroic Consciousness", on account of which He was commissioned by Ahura Mazda for the Spiritual work of preaching the Law of Ahura Mazda for the Spiritual Progress and Unfoldment of Souls on the earth and of the entire creation. In the Gatha Ahunavaiti (29;6), Ahura Mazda clearly declares that no other "Ahu" (Spiritual Master) or "Ratu" (preceptor and preacher of the Universal Laws of Unfoldment in the physical world) perfectly attuned with Ashoi is in His cognizance except Zarathustra.
"Aem moi ida visto ye ne aevo sasnao gushata Zarathustro Spitamo hvo ne mazda vashti ashaicha Charekerethra sravayanghe hyat hoi hudemem duai vakhedrahya"
--"He who has alone has listened to the canons and is known to me as such is Spitama Zarathustra. He is willing to promulgate the duties and functions through Mazda for the sake of Asha, and hence I deliver unto Him the good power of utterance."
RELIGION & IDENTITY
Religion is a way of life Divinely designed by Ahura-Mazda to allow a particular Soul go through a spiritual process to release Drujis (evil, impurities) attached with it, so that, one day that Soul can return back to HIM (Hidden meaning of Yatha Ahu Vairyo Prayer). Thus, our birth as Zarathustri is a divine blessing that one has to honor and nurture by PRACTICING HIS GIVEN PATH to attend the above goal. Just your birth as Zarathustri is not enough for your Soul to attend salvation. Neither, it is appropriate or beneficial to any Zarathustri who tries to claim superiority over other religion or race based on his/her birth identity.
To CALL oneself Zarathustri and BECOMING one, is two different things. A person born by Zarathustri parents can CALL himself/herself Zarathustri but, BECOMING one is more like a battle against Aeshma-Druj, and evil in different forms to establish foundation of our spiritual identity which can be earned by PRACTICING Zarathustri faith in daily life. If simply by initiation or wearing Sudreh-Kusti designate oneself as Zarathustri then, anyone can buy or tailor these "Alaats" (spiritual weapons) from the market and earn this spiritual identity and, enter our holy places. Why a child of only Zarathustri parents can become Zarathustri ? The answer is much lengthy for this article however, for the readers interest, our identity is not just an outcome of some biological event but, a divine plan for our Urvaan to be born in a particular family at a particular place and time. Before justifying this fact by commonsense, one has to understand that, Avesta has Staotic (vibrationary colors) allegories that cannot be translated merely by grammatical twists or historical data. A Zarathustri life is a deep science of Urvaan's composition and elements of HIS world that has to be preserved and nurtured by following HIS PATH. A Medical Surgeon cannot witness any spiritual aspects of "tan" body neither, our senses are "made" to understand its effect on our Urvaan. There are many traditional-minded fanatics on the Internet and Alias groups who claim to be Zarathustris without even knowing the most basic tenets of our religion that are meant for practicing our prayers and Tarikats in daily life. Widespread ignorance of religion is what causes controversies within us.
Our prayers were written in Avesta, based on "Staots" (vibrationary colors) known as Maanthras. Our religious injunctions (Tarikats) were specially designed by Aso Zarathustra to help us energize Staots for its effectiveness and, to maintain sanctity of our prayers, rituals and ceremonies. Our Prophets' greatest spiritual gifts (Yaan) to us are Sudreh-Kusti, Avesta Manthras and rituals/ceremonies, without which, we have nothing to practice or to follow. In Avesta, His gifts are known as "Shengha" which is blessed upon us for the progression of our Urvaan. Prayers and Tarikats form a golden-link to help our Soul (Urvaan) to reach one step further towards HIM and attend salvation at the end.
EXPLANATION OF SIXTEEN CITIES IN VENDIDAD
If you have read our ancient Iranian History, there are numerous wars described between the Kings, Pahelvans of Peshdadian and Kyanian Dynasnies with Devs and evil-beings. The reader must understand that those Kings were not Kings but highly spiritual-beings attuned to Ahura-Mazda and, those Devs & Pari's were not human but "Arvaahe's" (evil spirits which were once part of our Urvaan - long explanation). All of those pious Mazdayasnan Kings and Pahelvans fought against those Arvahe's to destroy their evil influences on the human race. Those Arvahe's had tendency to take any form of human or wild animal to influence human to encourage Gana-Mino (evil) to rule over humans to stop their Urvaan's progression. According to Vendidad Pargarad One, when those Arvahe's entered 16 cities of Ahura-Mazda overpowering Mazdayasnan community, Dadar Ahura Mazda send Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra Spitama with Vidaevo-dat (Vendidad- Laws Against Evil) along with Alaats and Manthras to help our forefathers to win their battle against these Arvahe's to continue Urvaan's progression towards Minoi (HIS world). Those 16 cities are misinterpreted my many western scholars including our High Priests who are learned under them, as physical places on earth. We must not forget that Avesta is "Razeng". It has mystic meanings and connotation that has to be deciphered by ancient and recent revelations noted by Athravans & Zarathustri philosophers. These 16 Cities are nothing but 16 centres of spiritual energy popularly known as "Chakras" that are located differently in Kehrpa of our physical body and Kehrpa of the ultra-physical body. Kehrpa within the body is composed of these 16 Chakras which is linked with spiritual protection and enlightening of related body part. Outside Kehrpa is within Aipi (imaginary field) around our body which is a primary source of influencing human mind and thought process. For readers note: In Kusti Prayer, when do whipping of Kusti on side while saying "Ahereman Ava Deshan, Az Hama Gunah, & Az Aan Gunah," we are technically cleaning our "Aipi" full of "Druj" (evil) particles and influences. By doing so, we help ourselves by energizing our Kehrpa to absorb and emit divine energies through Sudreh & Kusti. This divine energy helps oneself to increase the power of Vohu-Mana "Good Mind" which is the origin of attuning oneself to HIS "rhythm of life," and thus, Good Words & Good Deeds. These sixteen ultra-physical centres in the Kehrpa also work in the animal kingdom, but they are located differently in men and different genera and species of lower animals.
All Mazdayasni Zarathustris wear Sudreh-Kusti, and thus, we are also known as Baste-Kustian. In Pahalvi, Sudreh is called Shabig, in Persian Shib, Nimak, Namak and Payrahan. In Avesta Kusti is called Aiwyaonghana. Sudreh means "beneficent Path". Sudreh-Kusti was introduced by King Jamshed who was the forth King of the Peshdadian dynasty, much before the arrival of our Prophet Asho Zarathustra Spitama. As per our literature, Sarosh Yazad and Bahman Ameshaspands has invested Sudreh and Kusti respectively to King Jamshed as spiritual weapons against Devayasni community and, to protect &enhance Urvaans of Mazdayasnans. To understand the purpose of Sudreh-Kusti, one has to explore the hidden fields and spiritual composition of Urvaan and effects of Manthras on ones spiritual and material existence. In simple language, there is something called "Aipi" around the body which has direct influence over mind and physical attributes of human body. We are constantly exposed to Drujih- filled atmosphere and evil influences whether or not we practice our religion. Though, Sudreh is seen as a simple white shirt, if it becomes a part of daily prayers (wearing it always), it develops power to absorb our Manthras (prayers) (Hizvo Daghanga) which gets attuned with "Aipi" to attract the blessings of Asho Zarathustra (Ukhdha). It is the power of "Ukhdha" that "makes" us recite Manthra with the spiritual powers of "Ahu". However, only a portion of our prayers "Arsh Ukhdha" gets into our "Aipi" which travels through our Kehrpa and gets stored into "Panje Zarvekash" through "Ushtan". However, the result (Ukhda) of "Stoats" (vibrations of prayers) which gets stored into Sudreh cannot be extracted in full by our individual "Aipi" that lacks spiritual energy. Our scripture defines Sarosh Yazad as the guardian and protector of "Panje Zarvekashe Batem"(treasury of each Urvaan - (explained later in this article). The "Staots" of Sarosh Yast Hadokht or Vadi are the Staots for attunement with Sarosh Yazad, it can be stored in "Aipi" in full, which travels with "Madhyavaongho Yazataongho" (powers of spiritual world) to Ganje-Dadar (HIS world).
Thus, every "Stoats" of our prayers gets recorded into nature for which we will be rewarded with interest when the time comes for our Urvaan to be judged by HIM. That is why it is wise to PRACTICE our Manthras and Tarikats rather than get swayed by materialistic possessions, desires and aspirations. Whatever good that we perform or recite prayers, all gets absorbed by Kusti and thereby Sudreh which slowly travels to Kehrpa where it remains for three days. In short, Sudreh-Kusti is the means & medium designed by Ahura-Mazda and regulated by Asho Zarathustra for our Urvaan to progress. It is a source of accumulating rewards for our Urvaan that will be judged by HIM one day for its journey to this world..
As per our scriptures, we have three kinds of consciousness. 1. Consciousness of Urvaan, 2. Consciousnes of Kehrpa (ultra-physical body), 3. Consciousness of Mind.
During our lift-time, we have only one consciousness that is given to us to understand the meaning and nature of this world and its attributes. Consciousness of mind is important for us to encounter every step of this material life however, that does NOT include expanding boundaries of our material aspirations through five senses and disregard Urvaan and its mission on Geti. The human mind is the only weapon to dissolve Drujih within and outside created by our five senses. On the other hand, consciousness of Kehrpa/ Urvaan remains covered during this life-time. The Urvaan's consciousness remains active for the first two to four years after birth. Thereafter it will be enclosed by Sarosh Yazad to allow Drujih to arise from within. Because, if our Kehrpa & Urvaan's consciousness remains active, Drujih will not arise during this life time, and our Urvaan will not be relieved from its attachment, and thus, ceases its progression towards Hasti (HIS WORLD). To enhance progression, Sarosh Yazad has authority to cover its Rae (light around Urvaan) with an imaginary veil to allow Druj to arise from within. That is why Humata preceeds Hukhta and Havarsta. It is our MIND that has to be "nourished" first to "awaken" Humata so that our five Senses will encourage Hukhta and Havarshta. This idea of Urvaans progression is clearly given in our short prayer Yatha Ahu Vairyo which has, unfortunately, several versions of translations that are not in compliance with its hidden meaning & implication.
The human consciousness is exposed to everything in this world that is material. In order to revitalize its ingredients to arise spiritual counterparts attached to ones Urvaan, one has to PRACTICE HIS assigned Path by birth. Whether a person is Zarathustri, Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindu, he/she will attain salvation through the Path "assigned" to him/her by birth. A person born as Zarathustri has Urvaan that has already pass through some rigorous processes, and as per our literature, a Zarathustri Urvaan has attained an elevated status in its progression cycle. Remember, our Urvaans were "chosen" to follow Zarathustri religion. Our Paigambar Saheb gave us various "prescriptions" in the form of prayers, tarikats (religious injunctions) and Alaats to PRACTICE in daily life to overcome Drujih's influencing our Mind (consciousness) so that we can be successful in attaining goal of this life. Unfortunately, very few realize the real meaning of life and, truly "work" for their Urvaans progression.
Our Body (Tan) is composed and surrounded by many spiritual weapons in aid of our consciousness to live according to HIS plan. We all live material life- some are fortunate to have all pleasures and privileges, whereas some are unfortunate ones to live without any daily necessities. We all strive for enjoying material pleasures that satisfy our five senses. In this modern world, our everyday activities are directed towards material and bodily pleasures. Very seldom we think about our mission in life. A typical Parsee humor and attitude is "humna majaa kari nakhye, tya jaiye tarne vaat tare." This is a perfect example of Drujih's success over that Urvaan's progression. For reader's reference, Sarosh Yast Hadokht is one of those powerful prayer that can provide nourishment to our consciousness (Mind), by adding "Aakhsti" (peace) and strength with "internal energy" to "think pure" and "Haamvainti" (energy to win over temptations).
The conscience (also called Daena) raises its inner voice when a person is about to perform an evil deed. A hardened conscience retards the individuals' spiritual progress. Our prayers and rituals are designed in such a way that it requires a step by step prescribed approach to make an appropriate effect on ones physical and spiritual life. Any type of shortcut or compromise because of some worldly restriction or man-made hurdle will vitiate the entire ritual or the effect of that tradition. Our traditions are not baseless or insignificant because some reformist could not find the justifiable explanation to His divine plan and His religion. Religion is not available for common sense or logical reasoning.
PANJEH ZARVEKASHE BATEN
When human mind is exposed to evil thoughts (source of Bud Manashni), "Aeshma Druj" takes leadership and makes that individual do exactly opposite of Ahu's plan for his/her Urvaan's progression. The five senses in Kehrpa (other than physical senses) where Baodic-Yazadic wisdom is stored, tries to gain control over that individual to destroy the strength of Aeshma-Druj to restore Ahu's will through Sarosh Yazad. By reciting Sarosh Yast Hadhokt , a person is asking Sarosh Yazad & HIS 14 Hamkars to help him preserve the "spiritual wealth" in Panjeh Zarvekashe Batem and give him strength and wisdom (from the above five senses) to win over Aesma-Druj. Panjeh Zarvekashe Batem is a form of energy that is a source of our Urvaan's progression. In common language, it is a "bag of good" accumulated by Urvaan in its life's cycle for its spiritual progression. The amount of such energy within us depends on each individual's rate of the Urvaan's progression, which is in Gatha called as "Raekhnao". This treasure of Urvaan is safely stored within one to four Chakras of Kehrpa. At the time of death this treasure will be moved to "Har Berez = Lahiyan" to safeguard it from Druj-e-Nasu that arises out of dead body. Sarosh Yazad is the protector "Paayu" of Panjeh Zarvekashe Batem, which remains under HIS (Sarosh) custody at the time of death. Druj always aim at destroying this treasure to stop that Urvaans progression and tries to keep it under its control. Every one of us do some good in a day, which gets stored in Panjeh Zarvekashe Batem. Life goes on whether in luxury or misery but a good deed performed, as a selfless duty will never go unpaid in this life and beyond. Lets start doing good turns in life and make this birth a step above for our Urvaan.
Panjeh Zarvekashe Batem is referred in Gatha as "Raekhnao" whose protector (Payu) is referred as Sarosh Yazad. This treasure is preserved within one to four Chakras of our body. At the time of death, all of it is transferred or accumulated in the first Chakra "Lahiyan" to protect its destruction from Druj-e-nasu emitting from the dead body that hinders Urvaan's progression. Why? In Sarosh Yast Hadokt, it is answered, "so that Urvaan can progress only after it pays its debt (of committing sins), and the accumulated wealth (Panjeh Zarvekashe Batem) can be of its benefit for its future progression." Just for the readers info, whenever we refer to the contributions of Sarosh Yazad in our life, we must understand that He (Sarosh) is not personally available to visit each one of us but, He does His work through His 14 Hamkars (Co-workers) and help us in times of need. These 14 coworkers are: Rashne Rast Yazad, Meher Yazad, Govad Yazad, Mazdayasni Daen, Aastad Yazad, Ashisvang (Ashish-Vanguhe), Chisti Yazad, Rajista, Vispe Yazad, Mathra-Spenta, Vidaevo-Dat, Upayan, Ameshanam-Spentanam, Sosyantam Yat Bipaitishtanam.
WE ALL have to work for our Soul's progression by PRACTICING HIS PATH. No matter how rich you are, having millions of dollars and property in your name to support your luxurious life style. No matter how westernized you are in your daily habits to "decorate" your body and its aspirations, a time will come when your Soul has to leave barehanded for HIS JUDGMENT DAY. At that time nothing but your contributions to your Soul by following HIS PATH will help. At that time, even a person who lived in poverty all his life on Geti following HIS PATH has a chance to stand much higher than, one who has abundant wealth but did not contribute a bit to his Soul during his life-time. It's a common humor that let's enjoy everything we can get and possess in this world; who knows and who cares what is going to happen 'up there'. Such people are obviously unfortunate ones to live with such perception, as they are obviously controlled by evil influences around them. My dear Zarathustris, religion is a Golden Path to earn benefits more for our Soul than body, which is subject to the evolutionary cycle of birth and death. Why body? because, Soul has to reside within a "shell" that has to be protected from the outside influences. If we do not follow HIS PATH in maintaining this "outside wall", we will lose this battle against Drujih in our surrounding environment and, the power of Angre-Manyu will prevail in corrupting our mental perception in favor all materialistic aspirations for bodily pleasures. Now, if you have a challenging question as to How & Why? - I suggest, make a commitment to recite at least an hour a day in Fire-Temple or at home in front of the Divo, Atash, or Sun and see how far you are successful in adhering to this daily practice!
My dear Zarathustris, it is certainly not easy to truly practice our religion. When you try to FOLLOW HIS PATH, you will face numerous obstacles in the form of events and circumstances that are deliberately created by Drujih in your surrounding environment to distract you or break your tasks that are meant for your spiritual progress. Raising a child is a deed that a couple should honor by making that new born Soul into a perfect Zarathustri Rathestar by becoming his/her guide, rather than making that individual a victim of their ignorance, compromises or personal problems. One must not forget that, our Avesta Manthras are very sacred and powerful in disintegrating any evil influence or event in favor of the person who practices it. If you have an opportunity to meet some of our Barehnoom Mobeds of Udvada and Navsari, ask them about their "spiritual experiences" when they perform Vendidad or Nirangdin ceremonies at night. Besides Athravans, many of our Behdin brothers and sisters have experienced miracles by reciting prayers and following HIS GOLDEN PATH. Now, that does not qualify a non-Zarathustri or Zarathustri married to a non-Zarathustri to practice our religion. Our Bagobakht (destiny), Avesta Manthras and Urvaans' journey to this world has direct connection with the spiritual composition within and outside the body. That is to say, there is a sacred link of Urvaan - Baodhan - Fravashi - Manthra - Tarikat - Ushtan - Tavishi - Kehrpa - Aipi - Bagobakht and many other spiritual elements attached with His world, that is established by birth, which "qualifies" an individual to be a Zarathustri. There is hidden truth in saying that, our birth is "predestined" to be a part of a particular land, parents, time and religion. Think about it.
My dear Zarathustris, your life is a divine plan. How to make use of it, is in your hands. You may destroy it by getting swayed by the fancies of this world and disregard your Souls mission or, follow HIS PATH and accumulate spiritual treasures for your Urvaan to advance in HIS World. The choice is yours but, remember, material wealth, fleshy temptations will not travel with your "Spiritual wealth" to choose your position in HIS World. There is too much of truth hidden in saying that FOLLOW HIS PATH, RECITE PRAYERS & FOLLOW TARIKATS everyday to witness miracles in life.
Atha Zamyat Yatha Afrinami
In His Service,
Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha
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