Dear Zarathushti humdins,
we are pleased that a senior of our community, Mrs. Pervin J Mistry has continued to highlight the dangers which ARZ - Association of "Revival?" of Zoroastrianism impose on our community and religion.
Predictably, ARZ has paired with Ali Jafarey and others, we just saw a letter from Ali Jafarey yesterday on the internet, praising the move of ARZ. Well, that has always been Jafarey's forte - to divide the Zoroastrian community.
Mrs. Mistry clearly mentions: "Our religion does not accept proselytes or permit entry to juddins in our Agiaries and Atash-Behrams."
In hitting the nail on the head, we read that : "As a distinct Religious Community we may not stop the ARZ legally from building a place of their own where they admit juddins but we certainly can and must prevent them from using the name "Parsi-Irani Mazdayasni Zarthushti" in their title and also prevent them from calling their place of meeting for the so-called prayers as an "Agiary". "
ARZ also talk about "converting" juddins and juddin spouses.
What more of a mess they can create.
Please see Mrs. Mistry's letter below and spread it amongst all sincere Zoroastrians in India and overseas.
( Mrs. Pervin Mistry's letter follows below)
The ARZ has done it again! That is, they have put their foot in their mouth when one of the Wadia brothers, Kerssie, is reported in the Mumbai Mirror (8th February, 2007) as saying that the new proposed cosmopolitan Agiary near the Nirlon Colony on the Malad-Goregaon stretch of the Highway will permit entry to juddin spouses. Kerssie admits the ARZ will permit juddins to enter their proposed so-called consecrated Agiary but he denies that the ARZ will admit converts! The Wadia brothers desperately need some lessons in logic. No sane person will understand what they have in mind when they pompously state that they will permit entry to juddins (that is, to non-Zarthushtis) but not to converts! When will these two stop amusing the community with their gaffes? There is no difference between a juddin and a non-Zarthushti. Converts are non-Zarthushtis!Our religion does not accept proselytes or permit entry to juddins in our Agiaries and Atash-Behrams. Additionally, what Kerssie Wadia has omitted in this recent statement is the fact that the two brothers maintain they will first "convert" the spouse and then accept these "converts" into our Religious Community and in our Agiaries and Atash-Behrams.
First of all, who are the Wadia brothers to challenge the authority of the Din-Dasturs and "permit" juddins admission into our Agiaries? Even in remote times, there is evidence that we did not permit juddins to enter our consecrated places of worship such as Agiaries and Atash-Behrams. In addition to taking some lessons in basic logic the brothers should read and study our scriptures; alternately, if too busy with their ill-conceived plots against the religion, they should at least read what Kisseh Sanjan narrates. In case they cannot get hold of Kisseh Sanjan they should at least first educate themselves by reading Dasturji Hormazdyar Dastur Kayoji Mirza's book, "Outlines of Parsi History", Bombay 1987, page 233. Dasturji briefly cites from the Kisseh Sanjan that after the Parsis landed at Sanjan, the Dastur appeared before the Rana and requested for some land where the new Zarthushti immigrants could consecrate a Holy Fire (which they named "Iranshah"). The Kisseh Sanjan states, "The land must be cleared 3 fursangs (leagues), so that the sacred ceremonies may be properly performed there. No stranger should have access to that place, and none should approach it except the people of the faith. Not a single one of a different faith should come to that spot, Then only our (work) ceremony with the fire can be correctly observed." (Emphasis is added.)
If the building the ARZ proposes to build is going to be called, by them, an "Agiary", they are sadly mistaken! According to our scriptural tenets, our Agiaries and Atash-Behrams have notices posted that juddins are not permitted to enter! It is clearly stated that except for Parsis no one else can enter! The Wadia brothers are not divinely appointed Prophets to take matters into their own hands and go against what our time-honoured traditions, scriptures and rituals decree.
As a distinct Religious Community we may not stop the ARZ legally from building a place of their own where they admit juddins but we certainly can and must prevent them from using the name "Parsi-Irani Mazdayasni Zarthushti" in their title and also prevent them from calling their place of meeting for the so-called prayers as an "Agiary". This group cannot be called "Zarthushti" or "Zoroastrain" because they have nothing in common with the teachings of our Paigambar Saheb as revealed in the Sacred Avesta.
As a Religious Community we cannot follow different rites and traditions whether we live in different parts of the world or within India itself. Different groups cannot follow different doctrines and yet claim to be "Zarthushti". Asho Zarathushtra did not reveal different doctrines to different groups of his followers. His message is pure, straight and simple. His teachings are revealed in the 21 Nasks which are elaborated in the Pahlavi commentary, the Dinkard. The injunction in the Vendidad, Husparam Nask, Dinkard, Gathas, Chithrem Buyat and Patet against proselytism and interfaith marriage is mandatory for a Zarthushti to obey. We are religiously enjoined to abstain from proselytism and interfaith marriages.
A Zarthushti, a follower of Asho Zarathushtra will naturally obey and follow Asho Zarathushtra's teachings with faith and devotion. No follower ever accepts a teaching through negation, disobedience or disregard of the Teacher's authority. One cannot arbitrarily change the teachings which are Divinely Revealed and corrupt them to suit personal whims or the degrading moral standards of society. A Zarthushti NEVER justifies, rationalizes or accepts wrong as "right". A morally wrong act stems from angre-mainyu, and Zarthushtis actively condemn and speak out against wrong/evil whenever and in whatever form it exists. Din-dushmani is described as one of the worst sins. Religion is, above all else, a Divine Message from God brought by His Divine Messengers; it is a matter of FAITH. We cannot, as a microscopic community, accept changes and practises which are detrimental to our survival and which are religiously untenable.
It is logical to accept that we CANNOT have two Mazdayasni Zarthushti Dins! If the heterodox wish to act against the religious teachings and accept proselytes, intermarry, do away with some or all rituals, change the prayers and the language of the prayers, alter time-honoured traditions they are free to convert themselves to any other "progressive" religion of their choice. They are free to even set up a so-called "religion", a cult of their own. But! They cannot disobey the religious teachings and practices of the Mazdayasni Zarthushti Religion and yet be called "Mazdayasni Zarthushtis" or simply "Zoroastrians!" If "boonak-pasbani" is a scriptural injunction, then, no group or individual who disobeys this religious mandate has the right to be called Zarthushti or "Zoroastrian". None of the renegades have the Divine Authority to alter our traditions and religious mandates.
It is easy to find temporary peace by maintaining that as a community, now, after countless millennia, we split into two groups. As stated we cannot have two groups, each calling itself "Mazdayasni Zarthushti" or simply "Zoroastrians" following two divergent customs and ritual practices in our Agiaries. The better choice is for the ARZ to move out of the religious community and establish their own cult which they may call "Wadiaism" or any other "ism". As Zarthushtis, we emphasize the importance of preserving "tokham" or "boonak-pasbani". To safeguard our religion and our religious identity we sealed our fate in blood and came to India thirteen centuries ago. It was to preserve the RELIGION and not only the ethnic identity that we arrived at the shores of India and established our Agiaries, Atash-Behrams and Dakhmas; preserved our rituals; practised "boonak-pasbani"; and continued wearing our dini-alaat: the sudreh-kusti. Because we preserved our RELIGIOUS IDENTITY, we have survived for millennia through massacres and intense persecution. After arriving in India we did not discard or alter our religion the way the ARZ, AIMZ and other heterodox groups are doing.
So far we have escaped the hatred other religious communities experience within their rival groups. The different factions that exist within a particular religion such as the Christians and the Muslims kill individauls of rival groups and burn Mosques and Churches. The Sunnis burn the holy Mosques of the Shi'its; the Protestants kill the Catholics and destroy their Churches. Are the Wadia brothers under the banner of ARZ starting similar outbursts within our community that is united till now? They are not Prophets having established Divine Communion but they have proven themselves to be Leaders of Din-dushmans and disunity. After thousands of years of existence, our Religious Community now faces separation into different groups! Only One Group, the One that adheres to the time-honoured Teachings, has the righ to be called, "Zarthushtis"!
Our Agiaries and Atash-Behrams are a product of consecration that involve many hours, nay years of daily rituals performed according to the prescribed written rules. These rules are followed by the mobed sahebs in the consecration of every Agiary and Atash-Behram. Through the processes of consecration and through constant recitation of manthra (energy of sound), keeping the sacred Atash perpetually burning (energy of light), through rituals and the bui ceremonies, a magnetic "kash" or defined spiritual boundary is established within the marked area (within Agiaries and Atash-Behrams) in which non-Zarthushtis cannot enter. Our Agiaries and Atash-Behrams create a powerhouse of spiritual energy that houses the resonant vibes of our specific manthras and our rituals. Why should we let non-Zarthushtis enter our sacred consecrated places of worship which are only meant for Parsi-Irani Zarthushtis who are able to actually partake of these beneficent influences and help to enhance the power of this spiritual powerhouse through their own involvement through rituals and manthravani that a juddin is not entitled to and cannot participate in? Before a Zarthushti enters our places of worship, the first requirement is to perform kusti-padyab which non-Zarthushtis CANNOT perform! Hence, the question does not even arise whether or not juddins are permitted to enter our places of worship. The Wadia brothers may build their own structure but they cannot call it an "Agiary" because it does not meet with the religious requirements!
Pervin J Mistry