There are numerous laws, rules and regulations prescribed in our religion that are not well understood by the western scholars. That does not make our religious injunctions less effective or contradictory, if one believes in our scriptures and its interpretation from the learned Priests and scholars. Tarikats are the foundations of all tenets and prayers that are prescribed by our Prophet, and subsequently, Rainedars to help our spiritual part (Urvaan) to attain salvation. In shorts, without Tarikats, non-of our prayers and tenets will be effective and, neither our life would be considered meaningfully applied as per His prescription for our Urvaan.
Tarikats are the foundation pillars of Zarathustri religion. There is no religion without Tarikats; that is to say, Tarikat is well knitted with a Jzhirum or prescribed route to salvation. Thus, Tarikat is also referred as Path (in English). In Avesta, "Panth" or "path" (vowel 'a' is like 'u' in cut) is classified under different groups that includes the secrets of Tarikat and various Jzhirums (religions) of the world. All five major religions of the world are classified for different Souls and their progression cycle. In Zarathustri religion, Tarikats are based on three fundamental principles i.e. Humata, Hukhta, Havashta. Though one can find these principles prescribed in all religions, it does not mean that all are same, and thus a famous question arise, why do have different religions in the world? If every religion is based on the same three fundamental principles then, why conversion & mixmarriages are restricted in our religion? My dear Zarathustris, it is not these principles but "the way" it should be followed by a "particular Soul" of a "particular class", is what makes each one of us so "unique" in life. Besides, the above three principles are not just ideal teachings but, also relates to three worlds od Ahura Mazda - Hasti, Nisti and Geti and functioning of our Soul in this world and effect on its progression cycle. Somebody will question then, why there is a need to differentiate people from one sect, race, class & religion from another? We all have same physical structure and all of us have Soul, then why should we propagate laws that are contrary to human relationship? God has made us all equal than, why so much of discrimination? Though these questions will be answer by my folowing topics, let me enlighten you first by summerizing it one paragraph. Our Soul has to follow a specific PATH or religion based on its progression cycle in the spiritual world. As a result, it is destined to undergo certain spiritual and material processes which includes this life on earth and beyond for its emancipation to be a part of "divine light" Ahura-Mazda or One God. Different religions are for different levels of soul and it's progression. Thus, we all have to follow a particular Religion that is assigned to us by birth, and practice it in everyday life. It is the sole reason why, we all are different - spiritually, physically, mentally and socially. A constitutional right or laws of the land does not prevail in the presence of HIS DIVINE PLAN. No questions, no arguments.
AUTHORITY TO FORMULATE TARIKATS
Tarikats are time-tested religious injunctions given to us originally by Paigambar Saheb which were subsequently revised by our last Rainedar Saheb Dastur Adarbad Marespand. No one but such an individual of the highest spiritual power, has authority to prescribe Avesta prayers into a certain formula related to that time and, progression level (Soul) of its followers. What formula? Well, do you know, why there is a Pazand para on "Az Hama Gunah Paa Patet Hom" is repeated in every Geh, Nyaish and Yast? why our Kusti prayer is composed in Avesta and Pazand and its portions selected from Yazashne and Vendidad? Why do we recite small Kshnooman before big Kshnooman of a particular Yazad or Ameshaspand in each Geh, Nyaish and Yast? Why do we have certain paragraphs repeated in each prayer? My dear Zarathustris, those are called "divine formulas" designed in different times, depending on the emerging power of evil that is restricting progress of a particular class of Souls following a particular Path. And, the paragraphs that are repeated several times in our prayers are nothing but Nirangs, which were composed by our Rainidar Saheb to suite our spiritual and material composition. There is a truth in hearing from people from different religions talking about their Massiah to arrive soon.
Tarikat is a "Path" with a "specific journey" which is divinely guided by "ways" that are well supported by "facts". [Here, 'ways' and 'facts' are spiritual compositions and processes that were used by our last Rainedar Saheb in formulation of Tarikats. Such compositions are known ONLY to the arriving Rainedar Saheb i.e. Shah Behram Varzavand Saheb for Zarathustris.] The journey ends with Farshogard, which is elaborately explained, in the hidden meaning of Kshnaothra Ahureh Mazdao. A term "Farshogard" also applies to HIS (Dadar Ahura Mazda) goal, HIS prognostication "Mithra Bareen" in creating this world for our Soul, which is also described as "Kaam Anjaam Bed Chun Ahura- Mazda Khoda" - HIS happiness & success in leading us all back to HIS source of light, (taken from Afrin-e-Buzorg -Blessings prayer). Ahura's Tarikat or "Pant" is based on the canons of Ashoi, which is in compliance with the "perfection of results," aiming at the emancipation of Soul. It is the work of Gana-Mino that cause "Apant" whereby distorting the composition of Ashoi to restrict the rate of Urvaan's progression. This happens when a particular Tarikat is not attuned with the level of (Soul's) progression of Baste- Kustians, ruler (government), and Din Dastur. [Here ruler is not the King or government but, the influence of Gana-Mino or Spena -Mino over the Baste- Kustians.] Also 'time,' 'ways', & 'facts' (as given above) attached with a particular Tarikat prescribed, are equally significant factors in ascertaining the effectiveness of Ashoi principles in a particular Tarikat. If a particular Tarikat is not as per the prescribed definition, Gana-Mino will encourage "Sperezavant" (falsification, excuses, escapism, vices) in human, whereby causing serious damage to one's material and spiritual life.
Thus, it is NOT recommended to either follow or formulate any Tarikats other than given by our Rainedar Saheb. WE HAVE NO FREEDOM OF CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW WHAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US. The authority to guide the followers by recommending practice of Tarikats as per material conveniences, is NOT given to any western scholar or Harvard graduate Athravan who is nominated as Dastur by the community or some Behdin Anjuman. According to our scriptures, Saroshavarez Saheb in Demavand Koh monitors the life and progress of a true Athravan who is worthy of being Dasturan Dastur to revive Faith in people. In short, there may be many nominated Dasturs, but Dasturan Dastur can be only ONE, whose Soul is much advanced to receive, translate and transcribe spiritual currents from the 'nature' and its processes to design Tarikats for us to practice in daily life. Those nominated Dasturs, who are misusing their religious authority to affirm anti-Zarathustri Tarikats, must be opposed, as it generates nothing but a product of Gana-Mino that multiplies controversies, destruction and downfall of Zarathustri Religion.
In Gatha 53.2, it is said that the Saosyant Souls will continue to spread Tarikats among the mankind to help them walk on His prescription. That is to say, Saosyants will be born in every religion to guide those Souls made for that particular Path to salvation. Thus, all religions show us a Path with their corresponding Tarikats to follow. By following Tarikats of other religion, like doing Hindu idol worshipping (Pooja) or going to Church, a Zarathustri cannot earn spiritual perfection or materialistic benefits which many of us believe because, his spiritual composition is attuned with a "particular system" or Daena. A Zarathustri is spiritually qualified to generate a product of practicing a specific Tarikat only by following Zarathustri Religion. My humble request to those (Zarathustris) who are practicing other religion, having statues of Sai Baba and other Hindu and Christian Saints and Prophets at home, to stop those practices NOW and return those idols to their respective religious places. Its like a tailor trying to be a cobbler. MY DEAR ZARATHUSTRIS, YOU ARE ENDANGERING YOUR SOUL'S PROGRESSION. DO YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU INVEST THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME, MONEY AND DEDICATION IN PRACTICING AVESTA MANTHRAS, YOU CAN EARN A THOUSAND TIMES MORE THAN WHAT YOU WILL GET BY PRACTICING SOME OTHER RELIGION!! YES, BECAUSE YOUR URVAAN IS MADE FOR THAT TYPE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD AND NOT FROM IDOL WORSHIPPING. A ZARATHUSTRI URVAAN IS DESIGNED ONLY FOR THE TARIKATS OF ZARATHUSTRI DAENA. Wake up Zarathustris Wake up.
In Gatha, it is given as "Atcha Hoi Schantu" meaning, they (Saosyants) will teach them; "Arejush Patho Yaam Daenam" meaning, true Tarikats of His Daena; "Ahuro Saosyanto Dadaat" meaning, given to them (Saosyants) by Ahura. Tarikats hold a very unique characteristic that will enable a person practicing it to attain His goal, whether or not one likes to be moved in that direction (true Path). Whether or not one can control or win over Mind, a person will only benefit by following Tarikats of his/her religion. To establish control our Mind and Body, our religion prescribes Nirang from Nirangdin ceremony to drink for energizing internal strength and spiritual wisdom, not to commit any sin or act to put oneself into the "disadvantages" position, which is equivalent to going further away from Ahu, i.e. to say, becoming a volunteer of Gana- Mino.
SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCES ON TARIKATS
The most controversial version of Gatha Ha 30.2, has been misused several times by the liberals in their message to convey an idea of Freedom of Choice in Zarathustri religion. The following Avesta quotation "Sraota Geushaish Vahista Avaenata Sucha Manangha" signifies that by following Tarikats, Geushaish (many ears) i.e. to say, sixteen energy circles in Kehrpa (non physical body) will be enlightened through "Sucha Manangha" divine knowledge, that will brighten up a portion of the mind which is perfectly attuned with HIS world. It denotes that "Sucha Manangha" will be enlightened ONLY by following a particular Tarikat. In Hadokht Nask, Pargarad II, the consequences of not following Tarikats in this lifetime and, what happens to the Soul after death has been elaborately described. According to this Nask, when an Ashavan dies, his Soul can recite Ushtavad Gatha wishing for all in Geti as well as Nisti to follow his route to Frashokereti (renovation). Ashavan is such a person whose male and female elements of the Soul has united (Khaethvodat), who has no worldly needs, desires or aspirations. We cannot even come closer to such an individual but, we can always aim to be one and thus, follow Tarikats as far as possible.
It is also explained as how an Ashavan has mastered three "Gaam" steps Humata-Hukhta-Havashta to come up to that level of divinity. In the first stage "Humata Paiti", he is declared (Nidadaat) fit to enter Heaven. In the second stage "Bitim Gaam Frabarta Yo Narsh Ashaono Urva Hukhte Paiti Nidadaat" he saw peace in paradise. Successfully passing through the second stage provides him an opportunity to enter the third stage "Thritim Gaam Frabarta Yo Narsh Ashaono Urva Havarshte Paiti Nidadaat," which ends with successfully practicing all Tarikats. After completing Humata-Hukhta- Havarshta, he enters the fourth stage "Tuerim Gaam Frabarta Yo Narsh Ashaono Urva Anagraeshva Raochohva Nidadaat", entering Hasti where there is Abode of Ahura Mazda. My dear Zarathustri, it is beyond our imagination to understand those spiritual processes designed for our Soul at the end of its life-cycle. The philosophy behind these processes of Humata-Hukhta-Havashta is much more complex than its literal meaning. Just for your knowledge, they are related to three worlds, Haste (Divine World), Nisti (Intermediate stage), and Geti (earth). Now, coming back to the effects of Tarikats on Urvaan, we are not Ashavans or even come closer to their status. They are far advanced Souls in their progression cycle. They are free from any Druj (evil) influences, worldly needs, aspirations, and temptations, as they have mastered the art of attuning themselves with the spiritual world by practicing the Zarathustri Daena. All of these above three stages are simplyfied expressions of highly technical subject with spiritual processes that are purposely omitted from this topic.
Tarikats are composed in three "Gaam", (three steps) Humata-Hukhta-Havashta. Only after a Soul has completed these three stages and attained Kaethvodat where both, male and female parts of that Soul becomes one, it is qualified to proceed for the final journey to AnagraRaochao (Endless Lights) in Hasti. My dear Zarathustri, our religion is no joke. It is the science of all sciences "Faranghan Farangha" with highly mystical components that has to be deciphered by careful understanding of the rules of Staota Yasna (vibrationary colors) which is the basis of Avesta compositions. Forget about the above three levels, we are defined as belonging to a Dravandi stage, where power of Asha is out of question but, "Aj Anae Khurshund Haom" meaning, we have not even slightest Baodhic (spiritual) intelligence to understand Ahura-Mazda and be thankful to HIM for HIS gifts that could be in the form of good or bad. For those who understand, - Every Soul is attached with its Baghobakht and Farshogard; regardless of what our Soul is destined to, we have to practice HIS given Path without any complains or requests. In short, we haven't work that hard to energize Baodhang for controlling Druj and have knowledge and opprtunity to use HIS strength and wisdom to get over it. If someone is born with physical deformities, who knows, that Soul has to complete its life in that stage with sufferings to advance further. Also, never make fun of such individuals, as they may turn out to be spiritually more superior than you after the end of their Karma. There is truth in saying that, respect a Priest, help the needy, practice HIS GIVEN PATH, and be humble, honest and faithful individual in life.
EXAMPLES OF TARIKATS
There are Tarikats for different time and different occasion. There are prayers, Nirangs and practices to deflect (Drujih) evil forces that tries to control our mind and stop us from following Tarikats. Wearing of Sudreh, Kusti and Cap at all time, and recite Kusti prayers in all Geh's are some of the basic requirements of following Tarikats. There are many intrinsic details relating to how, what, when, and where we are authorized to recite prayers? What injunctions are prescribed and/ or related to a particular ritual or practice that makes a Tarikat effective? The following are ONLY few Tarikats that are given in our scriptures to supports our life on earth.
1. Morning Prayer (Nirang-e-Abe-Zar, in Khordeh Avesta - Sekashte Shekashte Shaitaan.)
2. Prayer after coming out from the Toilet (Kusti Prayer).
3. Prayers before food intake and rules to follow during that time. (Baj - Etha Aat Yazamaide)
4. Use of Taro for purifying body from outside.
5. Use of Nirang Only during Nahn Ceremony.
6. Padyab Kusti & Farzyat prayer a must.
7. Kusti prayer during change of Geh's.
8. Practices before and after removing hair and nails. (Refer Nirangs in Khordeh Avesta)
9. Practice of taking Nahn without Priest.
10. Recite Patet Pashemani
11. RecitePatet for the deceased Urvaan
12. Recite Sarosh Yast Vadi for the deceased person.
13. Recite Cherag-no-Namaskar
14. Recite at least Khorshed and Meher in Farzyat Prayers. At night, Sarosh Yast Vadi and Atash Nyaish.
15. Prayers for the deceased during Farvadighan time.
16. Cover head while reciting Avesta Manthras.
17. Never recite prayer in the presence of a non-Zarathustri.
18. Night Prayer (Sarosh Yast Vadi Nirang)
This list of Tarikats is incomplete without detail explanation of its corresponding prayers and practices in detail. This is just to give you a general idea of the types of Tarikats as given in our religion. The specifics of each Tarikat are full of rules & regulations to follow while reciting Manthras and related practices. The laws of Ashoi are the basis of all Tarikats. "Yaozdao Masyai Aipi-Zathem Vahista" - Purity and Piety is the Most Excellent Fundamentum Naturalis for mankind. My dear Zarathustri, all of our rituals and ceremonies are based on Tarikats. Without Tarikats, a Priest cannot undergo Bareshnoom, perform Yazashne, Vendidad, or Nirangdin; without Tarikats, your everyday prayers are unacceptable in nature for completing the attunement (Yasna) process; without Tarikats, Navzote, wedding & death ceremonies are null and void. It is a divine plan of Ahura Mazda that everything MUST happen as per the laws of nature with its link with a particular religion. That link is Tarikat.
TARIKAT & ASHOI FOR SPIRITUAL PROGRESSION
Tarikats are based on the laws of nature in relation to a particular Jzhirum (religion) and its followers. They were designed for the Urvaan's of a particular class and progression level. No one else but a Zarathustri by birth only, can activate spiritual effects of Tarikats by practicing it everyday. Tarikats are made for humans to control their Mind and Body for its benefit to the Soul. We have Nirangs and small prayers for every function of our bodily needs to protect our Soul from getting victimized from its end results. Our Soul is in search of Truth; a truth that one day it will rest in peace and attain salvation through HIS wisdom. We have to cultivate that portion of our soul, which is worthy of practicing Truth and disown Druj to avoid accepting obstacles for our spiritual progression. A truth (or final Goal) is much divinely attached with the roots of our Soul and its existence. Only way, we can attain such a stage is through following Ashoi principles enjoined in Tarikats. Ashoi is the fundamental principle in Ashem Vohu prayer, which is one of the three basic prayers (Ashem, Yatha & Yanghe Hatam) often, repeated in our scriptures. The power of these prayers is so great that, if all three prayers are keep on one side of the scale, and rest of the Zarathustrian scriptures on the other, one with these three prayers will overweigh another. All our rituals, ceremonies, laws and traditions are based on the principles of Ashoi, which is well knitted with Tarikats. Thus, without Ashoi and Tarikats we have no religion, as our religion is based on all of the above. Whenever, the principles of Ashoi is interpreted as purity, holiness, cleanliness, you must always remember that those references are not just referring to the benefits and effectiveness of religious injunctions in physical life but, also relates to our Urvaan's progression cycle. Those interpretations are incomplete without its indepth meaning relating to Hasti, Nisti, Geti and its attunement process that brings that Urvaan closer to HIS Goal.
Every one of us has to pass through a series of spiritual tests to bring our Urvaan upto the stage where it can merge into Anagra-Raochao, (endless lights). There are two ingredients attached with human body: Druj (land of stones) & Das Andarz (seeds of salvation). We have to work hard to destroy the former to fertilize 'seeds of salvation' for our Urvaan's progress. This test is only meant for humans, and not Fravashis, as they are made of Das Andarz, and thus, they do not have a threat of Druj or work hard to earn any form of superiority in their spiritual status. Understanding the deficiencies in humans in those days, HE send Paigambar Saheb Asho Zarathustra Spitama (HIS Noor) to devise laws, Maanthras and Tarikats for Mazdayasnians to help them advance in their spiritual life. HE prescribed and formulated Tarikats based on Ashoi principles, and proclaimed that "Aevo Pathao yo Ashahe, Vispe Anyaesham Apantaam", means the only way to attain Ashoi is through following Tarikats, and all other paths are no paths (or human-made that has foundation of non-Ashoi evolving Daevic (evil) practices). We have to work hard on cultivating the "seeds of truth" (salvation) attached to our Kehrpa (non- physical body) by practicing His given Path to make our Soul worthy of HIS blessings.
MITHRA-MANTHRA-TARIKATS --- A DIVINE FORMULA
Our Mind & Body plays a very important role in making HIS PATH (Religion) more practical as per the given tenets. To make them work in attunement with the spiritual world, HE has developed spiritual counterparts Baodhang for Mind & Kehrpa for Body, through which we can get nourishment to keep us on HIS track. In fact HE made HIS place within us to encourage spiritual progress of our Soul. Tarikats are the driving force that keeps our Mind-Body-Manthra on track for its desired outcome. Tarikats are like reservoir of "talismanic," spiritual food designed by our Prophet for those who are destined to access it by taking birth in Zarathustri religion. We have to keep our Mithra (thoughts) attuned with His thoughts and practice prayers and tarikats as often as we can. Jealousy, ill feeling for others or multiplying destructive Mithra's will only deteriorate one's capability to access HIS "treasures." We should happily take anything that is destined for us, whether it is happiness or sorrow, peace or misery, richnesss or poverty. Nothing is worth enough for the spiritual rewards, if we maintain consistency in living an honest and truthful life by practicing his Deana. An act of honestly and truthfulness are ideal conditions however, one should not use that as an excuse but to practice it AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE and so does Tarikats. We are incapable of following all Tarikats as given in our religion but, we should attempt and practice as much as possible within the surrounding parameters without entertaining any exception or compromise. It is also very dangerous to make false show of practicing religion by wearing cap or keeping long beard and present oneself as a religious personality because, such a fake human makeup does not help the Soul in its progression. A point is for those who abuse our religious practices, trying to prove themselves coming straight from the seventh heaven. Spiritually, we all are imperfect, that is to say, our thoughts and actions are corrupted by the surrounding materialistic environment. We are supposed to be in process of developing the "inner voice" by following the above formula.
We should constantly share our good deeds with someone and contribute our gifts of life for those who are unfortunate ones, as that is why HE IS WITHIN YOU to help you do the right thing. We should not blame, accuse or curse anyone or anything as that goes against our Soul's progression. In fact, it is anti-Zarathsutri and considered sin in our religion. We have a part of HIM (Baodhang) within us that has "sharing" characteristics to "help you and those who need your help". Help I mean, not just for this material life but, that knowledge and wisdom which helps to realize spiritual counterpart of Soul and elements of Havarshta in the final journey. This process of spiritual development starts from you, i.e. to say it happens only if YOU "cultivate" that "characteristic" first, which will then help you, to realize your role as a helper, to help those who need your help. We can cultivate that power only through following Tarikats, and that is what our Zarathustri religion teaches us. However, merely helping, without practicing Maanthras and necessary Tarikats is NOT beneficial or recommended. There are some people in our community who are thinking on those lines saying that "I will give you money to do (something) for the community", "I am too old to learn religion". The power of wealth and material intelligence leave such unfortunate Zarathustris far behind practicing our prayers and Tarikats at home. Excuses like "Avesta is too difficult to pronounce" or " how do I know, I am doing correctly?" are easily resolved by making a little effort in finding a source of knowledge in your area. My dear Zarathustri, if by sharing money to help people or community would help our Soul to reach Garonamana then, all wealthy people in the world, who earned money, honestly or dishonestly, will start making donations and "buy" their happiness in this world and secure their place in the world beyond. The bottom line is, no matter how much you help or contribute selflessly, if you fail to practice Mithra-Manthra-Tarikats, you have accumulated nothing for your Soul. If people start ignoring our Tarikats, a time similar to that of Sassanian Dynasty will come when our people will give up their Faith by adopting alien Tarikats. Let me draw your attention by giving you an example of such a time in our history. It was a time when Kaikobad, father of Noshirwan was ruling over Iran, when a person name Mazdaak created a disbelief in our eighteen basic tenets based on the above three principles (Humata-Hukhta-Havarshta.). As a result, a large group of Zarathustris became, what we call "ultra- Liberals", and there was a widespread disbelief in our religion. In the midst of this diversity, the only people who survived with Zarathustri religion in its entirety were our forefathers who later settled in India. Unfortunately, today we face the similar facts, our High Priests are giving us different versions of following Tarikat or practice that is an outcome of nothing but social, time-related compromises, political favoritism or out of sheer personal benefit. Our Priests are not educated in the intrinsic values, customs and traditions related to ritualistic laws and regulations affecting our daily life. An ordinary Zarathustri perceives his/her religious responsibilities as the meaningless imposition on his/her life. On the other hand, we have western scholars promoting their version of our religion to those who are seeking compromised definitions of our stringent laws, rules and regulations. The remaining ones are orthodox and ultra-orthodox groups who are abused and neglected by the majority. Where there are some who simply remain "ignorantly fanatic" in religious matters and believe in what we call it as Blind Faith. Very few Zarathustris are sincere and dedicated to learn and PRACTICE our religion in daily life. If this trend remains current for the next 100 years, though we will survive in India because of the sacred powers of Adarans and Atash Behrams, it would be hard to see a Zarathustri "by Tokham" practicing religion in the western hemisphere. My dear Zarathustris, PRACTICE, PRACTICE & PRACTICE our Tarikats, as that will only help you to achieve something "invaluable" that you can "own", "possess" and "carry" with your Soul when you leave this world.
We have to pass through several material and spiritual processes in life to develop Baodhang (spiritual knowledge) by practicing Tarikats related to the above three stages. We have to WORK HARD FOR OUR URVAAN and do the best we can to maintain consistency with religious practices as prescribed in our scriptures. No material excuses or worldly circumstances should let us give up our PATH. Think about those sacrifices of our forefathers to preserve our religion from the Muslims persecution in Iran. If they had given up their Faith and cowardly surrendered to Muslims in those days, you and I won't be here today, trying to learn and practice this "Golden Path," with all those sacred scriptures and Tarikats in inheritance. Think about it.
Those of you who are not familiar with the basics of our life, I recommend reading my articles on Zarathustri Identity & Zarathustri Soul, to understand the reason of our birth and its effect on our Soul's progression.
Atha Zamyat Yatha Afrinami
In His Service,
Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha
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