Aim of this Blog
There is something very wrong with the world that we are made to see around us. Human Society is not happy, there is
protest, discontentment, poverty, inequality, greed, corruption, Ego, Fanatics’, Agnostics’, natural calamities occurring with frightening regularity and above all Global terrorism which just does not want to call it a day.In short there is chaos everywhere. One word that can describe all this is “Qayamat”. In Jamasphi” and at many places in our Zoroastrian scriptures like“Chithrem Buyaat” prayers, it is mentioned that time is near for Shah Behram Varjawand our Saviour to come in this Qayamat and revive us and our Deen. The Saviours from other religions will also appear and will work together with a common goal for grooming mankind and his spiritual revival.
The Western Astrology call this as Aquarian age and phenomenon that we see today are occuring with lightening quickness. For we never knew that Communist USSR will disintegrate one day and fragment into many small nations, that Germany will one day be united, the revolution in Egypt, Syria, the fall of dictators, and China a sleeping giant awakening to technological boom are all an indicator that we are very much in this Aquarian age. The transition from the Age of Pisces to Aquarian Age is already taking its toll till we roll into Age of peace and calm. We are looking forward to being Optimistic and not being fatally Pessimists. Please see the link provided:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Aquarius
More than 100 years before in past when faith was at its lowest Nadir in our community without caring for deep religious significance when there was idle talks about futility of our time tested customs like Dokhmenashini, Rituals, Sudreh Kusti being only a symbol, Avesta Manthra prayers being considered as waste of time, faulty myopic thinking that offerings of sandalwood to Atash Padshah being waste of sound monetary resources which could have been better utilized for betterment of our community, lack of faith was the reason behind these ignorance’s. Ignorance coupled with arrogance was, and still is the main reason stymieing our spiritual progress.
The Zoroastrian hidden Masters in Demavand who are very much concerned about our community’s spiritual progress saw the need of sending a forerunner before the advent of Shah Behram Varjawand Saheb, and they chose Behramshah Nawroji Shroff whom his followers lovingly call him as Ustad Saheb. He brought amongst us Zoroastrian Mysticism called as Zarathosti Ilme-Khshnoom.
The word Khshnoom can be found even in our scriptures, so it is not something alien that is thrust on us. It is the revival of the lost knowledge called as Ilme-Khshnoom that our forefathers had with them that kept the flame of faith burning in their hearts, that Ustad saheb brought for us. The literature is penned down by his chosen and authorized disciples late Dr. Saheb Faramroze Sohrabji Chiniwala, and Late Jehangirji S. Chinwala.
Late Ervad Phiroze Shapurji Masani had for so many years maintained his publication “Frashogard” all under guidance of Ustad Saheb. Today we see that day by day our faith is again going downhill. The need of Saviour can only be felt when all seems to be lost towards Traditional cause. It is to rekindle that hope and faith and iron out unwarranted fear of our religion dying a premature death that this Blog will be looking forward to. The aim for starting this Blog is to translate the majority of Khshnoom literature that is in Gujarati writings of Late Chiniwala brothers and Late Phiroze Masani for the benefit of those genuinely interested in Zoroastrian Mysticism .
When there is too much of chaos nature allows it only up to a certain threshold limit, once it crosses the limits it puts a
full stop to it, for nature has its own ways of bringing Order out of Chaos.
So in mean time what are we Zarathosti Bastekustian supposed to do that will hasten the advent of Shah Behram Varjawand Saheb ? Are we supposed to look skywards and wait for him eternally ? His advent will much depend upon us also.
In nature there is a law of “Supply and Demand”. If the demand is there, supply is guaranteed. In Bible it is said that "Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find it, knock and the doors will open to you." ….. Mathew 7:7 Niv. Unfortunately the much needed knock never seems to happen and everybody is busy enjoying their fun filled moments and warns us to keep off limits of their rights and Freedom. But they seem to forget that behind every right that one asks for, there is a responsibility which is conveniently forgotten.
"RTI" also known as "Right to information"is blatantly misused in today's world of so called Freedom . Some want Freedom to enjoy whatever is appealing to them, but is considered as Taboo in Society. Not before all these false ideology will be swept away by fury of nature and realization of folly will dawn naturally aftermath,nevertheless too late by then, but the road will be paved for introducing Shah Behram Varjawand to the world.
In middle of face-off between two warring sides and Chaos, we will come to know the time of Varjawand Saheb's arrival automatically. As a Mother knows intuitively the time of delivery of the baby, we will feel the desperate pangs of labour like a Mother feels before her delivery.
Right now only a few are longing for his arrival but just as "A lone sparrow does not herald a spring" similarly one requires a collective thought force to set everything in motion. For that I had started a short exercise every 7.30 a.m. in morning but unfortunately we don’t seem to realize its importance. Till we are all vibrating with one frequency, other word is called as Hum Mithra, Varjawand Saheb’s advent will be a distant dream only. The exercise is as under to be followed by a Mithra every 7 a.m. or around that time frame. No need to be very rigid about time. The Mithra is as under:-
What is Hum Mithra:-
Man proposes and God disposes. Hence we requires Dadar Ahura Mazda’s blessings all the time for success and that is known as “Daham Afriti”. Without it we cannot move forward even an inch. But for his Daham Afriti to be assessable to us we require to think with one vibration in Hamoi, only then can we succeed in our purpose. Dadar Ahura Mazda is not happy when there is infighting so how can we receive his Daham Afreeti. This one thought force having selfless single pure vibration is known as Hum Mithra. The Law of cause and effect governs this universe so whatever incidents we see bad or good its cause has to be there. Every action has its reaction. The bad precedent that we are facing now after a crematorium is announced in Worli where innocent public are falling prey to it. Those encouraging Aramgah and such ashmogi are themselves the victims of their own deeds so we have to pity them instead of contempt for them and a calming thought has to be passed by us at a particular time collectively. If love is the language of angels then why should we be harsh to even our so called enemies. For in life there are no enemies, and everything is Karmic. The Bhali Dua is as under:-
Bhali Dua at 0730 am every morning:-
2 Yatha , 1 Ashem Vohu.
Those ignorant brothers and sisters opposing our age old customs of Dokhmenashini and believe in universality of our religion by inviting all to our holy places and Iranshah need our pity and not contempt for they are bitten by the demon of ignorance and arrogance. O Paak Dadar Ahura Mazda shower your choicest blessings upon them that they regain their lost faith and begin realizing that the true nature of religion is humility.
"Let no harm come upon the Traditional Zoroastrian flag and its values which are so dear to us. Let the reformists agenda and their nefarious plans never succeed. Let no harm befall upon Pavmahal of India that is - our Iranshah of Udwada and all Atash Behram, Atash Adran and Dadgah of India. Let not one day pass without Atash Parasti and our reverence towards Holy consecrated Fire(Pavmahal),Dokhmas, Sudreh Kusti, Mathravani which acts as a weapon to thwart evil. Enable us to protect our racial traits of Parsi Panu through Boonak Pasbani. Enable us to maintain our true “Zarathosti Khandani” by not intermarrying and continue with our Aryan Lineage intact. May the advent of Shah Behram Varjawand come soon, and before him may his forerunners arrive at the earliest and grant us spiritual strength to withstand evil around us. Let my Kusti Padiav and my Tarikats be helpful to nature to fight for the cause of righteousness against the evil negative forces of Drujis, and may it protect us all Zarathustis and entire humanity who live by their religion and its tenets. "Phiroj baad Khureh avizeh Vehdin e Mazdiyasnan" - Let the Khoreh of Mazdiyasni Zarathosti deen protect its faithful followers"
1 Yatha, 2 Ashem Vohu
Firdosh K Sukhia
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Avan Ardvi Sura Anahita
By Silloo Mehta
This female Divine Being is in charge of flowing waters. The benefits accrued by the recitation of the Avan Niyaesh and Yasht vindicate the strong faith of modern Parsees in Avan Yazad
Avan Yazad is the female deity presiding over waters. Zarathushtis worship the divine element in all physical objects. The physical water on earth contains invisible divine light or energy, which are the blessings of Ahura Mazda. This energy is more prevalent in the flowing water of rivers, oceans, streams and springs. Thus, we attune ourselves with the divine light or energy of Ahura Mazda while praying to the flowing waters.
Avan Yazad is called Avan Ardvi Sura Anahita. Ardvi is the name given to one of the powers of Avan Yazad. It is also the name of a river flowing through ancient Iran. She generally represents all flowing water. She possesses ‘sur,’ weapons, to fight spiritual pollution. Anahita describes the function of the deity, as cleansing physical and subtle contamination. The waters of Ardvi Sura are undefiled and righteous and are the best of all the waters created by Mazda. Thus, the waters of Ardvi are the blessings of Ahura Mazda that descend on earth. “I Ahura Mazda created the powerful force of Ardvi Sura.” (Avan Niyaesh, 7) It is, therefore, considered a great sin to pollute the flowing waters.
The Avan Niyaesh and Avan Yasht are the two prayers for attunement with Avan Ardvi Sura. Avan Yasht is Ha 65 of the Yasna ceremony, recited during the culminating rites of the Ab-Zohr, the "offering to the waters." The Avan Niyaesh and the Yasht share many common passages.
Ahura Mazda asks Asho Zarathushtra to attune with Ardvi Sura who, cleanses pollution (outside us and within us, such as, ego, greed, passions, Druj) is wide-flowing, (flows through the entire creation in the various forms, divine light in the spiritual world and physical waters in the material world) health-giving, (life-giving) and opposed to the Demons. For the people of the corporeal world, she is a worthy object of attunement and devotion. (Avan Niyaesh, 2) Verse 2 also enumerates the five Fradhos - Adhu-fradho, vanthvo-fradho, gaetho-fradho, khshaeto-fradho, danghu-fradho. Ancient manuscripts reveal a sixth fradho – zantu-fradho. Fradhos are the electro-magnetic forces found in flowing waters. These forces give waters their specific qualities and functions such as giving birth (khshaeto-fradho supplies the force needed to burst the water bag surrounding the baby in the mother’s womb at the time of birth), life-sustaining, cleansing, thirst-quenching, growing food and foliage, aiding digestion, cooking, helping digestion, healing, (the science of hydrotherapy) etc.
Thus, water is a miraculous gift of nature without which, life on earth cannot survive. There are 300 million cubic miles of water on earth. The human embryo, when conceived, has 90% water, a newborn 78% and adults 63%. No wonder then, that water is termed as the ‘blood of the earth’ and as the ‘sense organ of the cosmos.’
The Fradhos are more active in flowing waters such as well or spring waters than in bodies of stagnant waters such as pools, lakes, etc. For this reason, well or spring waters are used in the performance of religious ceremonies. In the Yasna ceremony, the performance of the actions and the recitation of the Avesta manthras during the ritual awaken the Fradhos in the water. At the culmination of the ceremony, the priests pour this energized water into the well (this is called Ab-zohr). The energy released into the well water spreads to the other underground sources such as springs, streams and channels thus the good energies are proliferated throughout the earth.
Avan Ardvi Sura purifies the seed of all males and the wombs of all females. She facilitates childbirth in pregnant women and provides milk in the breasts of all mothers. (Avan Niyaesh, 3) For this reason, it is a tradition among pregnant Zarathushti women to pray the Avan Niyaesh or Yasht for forty consecutive days.
Ardvi Sura originates in the Mount Hukairya and flows into the Vourukasha Sea. All rivers merge into the Vourukasha. Wherever they go, the clear flowing waters, spread prosperity, which are as big as a thousand rivers and a thousands rivulets, and which take a rider mounted on a swift horse forty days to cross. (Avan Niyaesh, 4, 5)
The above verses seem rather strange and need some elucidating. Mount Hukairya and Vourukasha are objects in the divine world, Hasti, and in the non-physical world, Nisti. They must not to be confused with their namesakes on earth. The waters of the allegorical river Ardvi originate in the Hukairya mountain in the spiritual world as Divine Light and collect in the reservoir, Apam Napat, also in Hasti. From the reservoir of Apam Napat, they flow into a huge ocean of energy in the non-physical world, called Vourukash. These subtle waters then enter the material or physical world, Geti, in the form of flowing waters. As the subtle waters traverse the divine, non-physical and material worlds they gradually change their form. The Divine Light gradually becomes denser – spirit being converted into matter - till it appear as physical waters, H2O, on earth. Thus, the flowing waters on earth are the condensed form of the Divine Light of Avan Yazad, which originated in the Divine world, Hasti.
As they descend from the divine world to the physical world, the sublime waters of Avan Yazad spread their benevolence through 1001 channels or mediums or agencies. These are depicted as the thousand rivulets and rivers. The number 1001 has a metaphysical significance in Zoroastrian numerology. 1001 can be split into ‘10’ and ’01.’ ‘10’ represents the perfected souls or entities, such as the Yazatas and the Amesha Spentas. ‘01’ represents the imperfect souls and those struggling to attain perfection. The former, with the help of Ahura Mazda’s blessings, will lead the latter to perfection.
Each of these channels takes a rider mounted on a swift horse forty days to cross. This is another example of an Avesta statement with deep underlying meanings. A horse indicates spiritual progress. A rider mounted on a swift horse indicates one who is making swift spiritual progress by following the precepts of the Zarathushti religion. Having reached an advanced stage of righteous, this great soul is now fit to ask Avan Yazad for a boon. Through rituals, he attunes himself with Avan Ardvi Sura and makes his request. In the Avan Yasht, spiritually advanced kings and heroes of Iran pray to her and supplicate her for boons. The boons are granted to the good to vanquish the evil in the struggle between good and evil. We too, can supplicate Avan Yazad for a boon by praying the Niyaesh or Yasht for forty consecutive days. This is allegorically depicted as taking forty days to cross one channel.
 Mount Hukairya is the highest summit of Alborz (a mountain chain in Iran) and Vourukasha, ‘sea with wide shores,’ has been compared to the Caspian Sea. See English translation of Ervad Kavasji E. Kanga, Khordeh Avesta Ba Maeni, p.64 footnote.
In the Avan Yasht, in a vivid description, Ardvi Sura Anahita is compared to a fair maid with a strong body, tall, pure and nobly born of a glorious race, wearing: a mantle fully embroidered with gold, four-cornered dangling golden earrings and necklace; ever holding the baresma, bundle of consecrated twigs (Avan Yasht, Kardas 16, 19 and 30). Students of philology conjecture that such personal description of the deity as a comely, alluring maiden is a poetic flight of fancy of the composer of the Yasht. They, therefore, speculate that the second half of this Yasht must have been written much later than the first half! This, they opine, is the same idea as that of the Anahita cult that grew in the West, and from where it was borrowed by the Iranian scribe! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Our scriptures abound with words pregnant with esoteric meanings. We shall illustrate this with one example from her description - her wearing the dangling four-cornered earrings. Behind such seemingly simple statements lie the deepest mysteries of Nature.
The apparent physical description of Ardvi Sura pertains to the description of her Kehrp (subtle invisible body). The ‘dangling earrings’ refers to the ebb and flow of tides, and the influence and pull of man's fortunes and destiny due to the gravitational attraction of the moon to the Earth. They are ‘four-cornered;’ that is, Ardvi Sura performs these functions on the earth and its environs, which are governed by the four elements (fire, air, water and matter.) The earrings are golden, which means that all these changes and mutations contribute to the advent of Frashogard, the golden age. The above is just one example of how our scriptures are littered with such allegorical and hidden state¬ments.
Avan Ardvi Sura is known as the granter of boons. In the Avan Yasht (Kardas 6 thru 20 and 22) great exalted Kings and saints like Hoshang, Jamshid, Faridoon, Kersasp, Kai Kaus, Kai Khushru, Jamasp and even Asho Zarathushtra among others appealed and supplicated Avan for boons. These boons, being beneficial for the universe, were granted. Yet, the boons asked for by Zohak (Karda 8) and Afrasiab (Karda 11) were not considered beneficial, and hence, not granted.
The association between water and wisdom that is common to many ancient cultures is also evident in the Avan Yasht, for here Ardvi Sura is the divinity to whom priests and pupils should pray for insight and knowledge (verse 86). It is stated that libations offered to Avan Ardvi Sura after sunset are excepted by demons. (Avan Yasht, Karda 6, verses 94-95). Thus, prayers to this Yazad are offered only during the three day watches (Havan, Rapithwan and Ujiran) and never in the two night watches (Aiwisruthrem and Ushahin). She is seen to ride a chariot drawn by four horses named "wind", "rain", "clouds" and "sleet" (120). Aredvi Sura Anahita is bountiful to those who please her, stern to those who do not, and she resides in 'stately places' (101).
Many Zarathushtis have experienced the benefits of praying the Avan Niyaesh or Yasht consecutively for forty days. The Avan Niyaesh itself tells us of the benefits that accrue by the recitation of Avesta prayers with clear, good intonation and understanding. The reciter attains Garothman behesht (Avan Niyaesh, 17).
Reference:- The Mazdiyasnie Connection Winter 2009 Volume 28 Issue 4