By Noshir Dadrawala

ZARATHUSHTRIAN SAINTS AND MARTYRS series in the Jam-e-Jamshed Weekly

Dastur Azar Kaiwan Azar Gushasp Zardushi according to account was born in village of Istakhar near Shiraz in Iran. According to believers of llm-e-Kshnoom, Dastur Azar Kaiwan was a saintly soul who voluntarily left his abode in Mount Demavand to lead humanity to salvation.

According to Dabistan, he was the descendent of the Royal Peshdadian family of Shah Jamsheed, Shah Faridoon as also Shah Gushtasp, Shah Lohrasp of Kaeyanian dynasty. His mother Shireen belonged to the family of Noshirwan-e- Adil. He is said to have been a married man with a son named Kaikhushroo.

Born sometime during the middle of the sixteenth century, he had an ascetic bent of mind from very early childhood. From the tender age of five he would engross himself in prayers and meditation and lead a frugal lifestyle. His intake of food per day was as little as one ounce. He is said to have meditate 28 years sitting in a 'Khum' (jar). He was a strict vegetarian and instructed all his followers to be kind to animals.

Dastur Azar Kaiwan is said to have come to India from Iran with 12 disciples. He first came to Surat moving on to Navsari then to Patna, which became his main spiritual centre. India was under the Mughals during his stay. It is said Akbar the Great had invited Dastur Kaiwan to his court. The Dastur, however, did not accept the invitation. Knowing the ways of the Great Masters, Akbar, far from being offended himself went to meet him at Patna.

His disciples spread far and wide. However the chosen few lived in seclusion with him. Dastur Azar Kaiwan believed that "worldly knowledge", however vast is not true knowledge. It is spiritual awareness that brings wisdom, peace and salvation for the soul. He also instructed his disciples who came from different walks of life and belonged to different religions to remain faithful to their own faith. The ethics of living, which he advocated, were universal in nature and open for all humanity to follow.

Dastur Azar Kaiwan and - some of his close disciples had amazing spiritual powers which they had acquired as a result of their constant devotion to God and service to humanity. Among other spiritual powers they could easily read other people's thoughts, walk over water and over fire, change ordinary metals to gold and disappear at will.

Dastur Azar Kaiwan was particularly famous for his power of bilocation or the power of bodily being in two or more places at the same time. Paramhansa Yogananda in "Autobiography of a Yogi" states. "Being attuned to God and free from the limitations of time and space, a spiritually advanced saint through his, divine knowledge of the phenomena of light and using his creative will bestowed on him by God, can arrange the atoms of light, the basic structure of the universe." Mystics believe Dastur Azar Kaiwan could manifest himself simultaneously in more than two places with the power of his thought forces. Astral projections of his thought forces at times could manifest in as many as nine places.

Amazing and extraordinary as these "miracles" may appear, the famous English Scientist, Alfred Russell, believed, "a miracle is nothing but certain laws of Nature which we neither know nor understand." Mystics like Dastur Azar Kaiwan, Dastur Meherji Rana and Dastur Kukadaru understood and knew these Laws of Nature and used them for righteous purposes.

One may wonder what exactly is this phenomenon, called "mysticism". Frankly, the term is rather broad and multifarious. It has its roots in the Greekword "myein" - meaning, "to close eyes".

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines mysticism as "the endeavour, of the human mind to grasp the Divine essence or the ultimate reality of things and to enjoy the blessedness of actual communion with the highest."

Mystics like Dastur Azar Kaiwan had indeed grasped the divine essence and truly enjoyed the blessedness of actual, communion with the ultimate reality.

May the Holy Fravashi of Dastur Azar Kaiwan bin Azar Gushasp bin Zardushi lead all humanity to that final goal we human beings commonly call "salvation".

Dastur Azar Kaiwan is believed to have passed away at the age of eighty-five years in Patna. His relics have been believed to have been preserved at a village called Azim Abad situated about ten miles away from Patna. In the tradition of all mystics, his disciples continue to carry out their work in seclusion and generally communicate only with those who have been initiated into the "inner circle".

"Ashaunam Vanguhish Surao Spentatao Fravashayo Yazamaide" ("We praise the good, courageous, progressive fravashis of pure righteous people").

Traditional Zoroastrianism Home Page

Chapters of the Saga

Saga of the Aryans Home Page

How to get the Saga in book form