Sunday, February 17, 2008

Priests can bar intermarried Parsi men and his child from entering a Fire temple - Religious law more important than legal law

From: TZML Admins
Date: Feb 17, 2008 8:49 PM
Subject: Priests can bar intermarried Parsi men and his child from
entering a Fire temple - Religious law more important than legal law
To: TZML <>

(An excerpt from a recent article in Jame by Homi Dorabji Bana. Some
of the points in the article did not make sense when Mr Bana writes
that Parsis started wearing sudreh-kusti only after coming to India
and that they did not do so in Iran. But apart from that some other
points are well made and we reproduce them here.

He is correct - the Parsi priests have EVERY RIGHT TO BAR INTERMARRIED
fact, all agiaries should be strict and bar these erring people entry

(excerpts reproduced here)

By: Homi Dorabji Bana

Some time ago a Parsi man who was married to a non Parsi woman came
with his child to the Iranshah Fire Temple in Udwada. At the gate
stood the priest in charge, who refused to allow the man and his child
into the fire temple. The priest reasoned that the child was
considered to be a Parsi only by the court of law but as a priest he
did not recognise this and did not consider the child to be a Parsi,
being of a non Parsi mother. The priest, the spiritual guardian of the
temple, was concerned only about the religious laws and not what was
decided in the court. Here was a case of material law versus
religious/spiritual law and hence the priest, the custodian of the
religious laws and tenets, resisted the material/secular force.

The priest class in the Zoroastrian religion has the duty to guard the
laws pertaining to it as well as to conduct the rites and rituals. My
mother always used to tell me, "Give respect to the White Cap!" by
which she meant of course the priest's cap. The religious
understanding of a community is influenced by its priests and their
judgement is based upon their study of the religious texts and
experience in performing various ceremonies. Our Fire Temples are the
sacred places of worship and their sanctimonious atmosphere must be
preserved. Those who have learnt the Avesta prayers come to the Fire
Temple to worship. In Islam, those who do not belong to the religion
are called Qafir; in our religion, those who are not Zoroastrians are
called Durvan or Juddin and are not permitted to enter our Fire
Temples and encroach upon the religious rights of the followers of our
religion. Therefore one should respect the sentiments of the majority
in our religion. Our holy Avesta scriptures, our holy rites and
rituals of olden times, being entirely of a spiritual nature, cannot
be modernised as science (material). Without adequate knowledge, to
introduce new and adverse ideas is a sin and it is for the priests to
uphold the sanctity of the Good Religion.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is absolutly true. Its a fallacy to think that men can marry out but women cant.