Sunday, November 4, 2007

ARZ advert - another instance of pushing "conversion"

From: TZML Admins
Date: Nov 4, 2007 6:15 PM
Subject: ARZ advert - another instance of pushing "conversion"
To: TZML <>

Dear fellow Zarathushtis,


Vada Dasturjis,
Ervad Sahebs,
The Parsee Voice,
Zoroastrian Studies,
Parsi Pukar,
Prominent Zoroastrians,
TMYZ officials
it is a fact that the Zarathushti religion does not permit
"conversion" in any manner.

The only "conversion" mentioned in the Gathas is the conversion of
one's sins into virtues.

Yes, again and again, some misguided groups like ARZ, talk about
"conversion" in the Zarathushti religion.

Each person has a religion entrusted to it by Ahura Mazda when he/she
is born, and hence one should worship God only in the religion he/she
is born.

It is wrong to say that the Zarathushti religion is for all mankind.
If that were the case, why would the Creator have sent other religions
after Zarathushtra. We have other religions like Hinduism, Judaism,
Christianity, Sikh, Buddhism, etc - all of them providing a spiritual
path for its followers to walk on to.

We wonder why are ARZ so fixed in promoting an alien concept of
"conversion" onto the Zarathushti behdins. Is it to promote
intermarrieds into our community? Is it to allow children on non-Parsi
spouses and the non-Parsi spouses themselves into our community.

According to our Zarathushti religion, and amply explained by our Vada
Dasturjis now and again, we do not have "conversion" into our
religion, whether the person is a non-Parsi spouse or the children of
such marriages.

ARZ have once again misquoted Kangaji's translations and tried to push
"conversion". However they have not quoted Kangaji in full, only a
partial quote has been reproduced to further their agenda.

We also reproduce Mrs. Pervin J Mistry's fine letter on the repeated
advert of ARZ in today's Jame weekly of Sunday 4th November 2007.

Fellow Zarathushtis, please go through the accompanying email and
forward it to all the good Zarathushtis you know of. This way, our
religion and dear community, will be protected from misguided ideas of
a select few.

With best wishes

TZML Admins.

==================== Letter of Mrs. Pervin J. Mistry =========================

Dear Friends,

This is a repeat posting.

In today's weekly issue of Jam-e, November 4, 2007 and earlier copied
in the issue of Jam-e dated 3-4-2005, as usual, the ARZ gives a
deceptive translation from the Din-no Kalmo to mislead the gullible
into believing that our religion actively propagates conversion "for
all mankind"!

If we take a few minutes to find out for ourselves what Kangaji's
translation of Din-no Kalmo reveals from "Khordeh-Avesta-Ba-Mayeni",
English version, which the ARZ frequently uses, we come to know that
the ARZ is deceiving the gullible into believing what they want them
to believe and that is that a) throughout the Pak Avesta there is no
other teaching imparted except to convert the followers of other
established revealed religions to our religion; and b) instead of
marrying within the community it is good to choose a partner from any
other religion!

ARZ quotes the words: "Din beh rast va darost, ke khodae bar khalk
ferastadeh in hast, ke Zartosht avordeh hast; Din Dine Zartosht Dine
Ahurmazd, dadeh Zartosht Spitaman."

ARZ's translation reads: "The one & only great religion sent down by
Ahura Mazda for the salvation of the entire world, which is noble as
well as lofty, is the religion of Zarathushtra." The words highlighted
are added by the ARZ to indicate "conversion" of "all mankind" from
other revealed religions to ours.

What does Kangaji reveal? He explains that the first part of the
Din-no Kalmo which is not quoted here, "Razishtayao chistayao
Mazdadhatayao ashaonyao daenayao vanghuyao Mazdayasnoish", is taken
from the "khshnuman" of Din Yazad and is in Avestan language. As is
evident, there is no mention of conversion here, only an offering of
praise to the great Mazdayasni Din!

The second part, the one we are dealing with, is in Pazand. It was
composed not during the Avestan time when the Pak Avesta was composed
but is a much later edition included by Dasturan-e Dastur Adarbad
Marespand during the Sassanian Dynasty. The Pazand composition reads:
"Din beh rast va dorost, ke khodae bar khalk ferastadeh in hast ke
Zartosht avordeh hast; din din-e Zartosht, din-e Hormazd dadeh
Zartosht Spitman, ashaone Ashem Vohu (1)." Kangaji has translated "bar
khalk ferastadeh" as "sent for the people of this world". Here, it is
the great Mazdayasni Din that is referred to, which Asho Zarathushtra
accepted and propagated, and which came to be called the Mazdayasni
ZARATHUSHTI Din after Asho Zarathushtra revealed what He personally
heard from Ahura Mazda Himself regarding Ahura Mazda's Own Hormazdi
Mazdayasni Din. The Mazdayasnis accepted Asho Zarathushtra and his
Divine Revelations as the Mazdayasni Zarathushti Din. The above
reference, "sent for the people of this world", may only indicate the
conversions that took place from the path of Devayasni to the
Mazdayasni Zarathushti Din, the first monotheistic religion! It is the
moral conversion that is taught and not proselytism.

Kangaji's exact translation reads, "(That) Religion is the Religion of
Zarathushtra (and) the Religion of Hormazd, which (the Creator
Hormazd) gave to Holy Zarathushtra (for propagating in this world)."
Please note that "for propagating in this world" is an addition that
Kangaji has put into brackets; it is not included in the original
words of Din-no Kalmo recited in Pazand! The original words only
affirm that the Mazdayasni Din is the Religion of Ahura Mazda which HE
revealed to Asho Zarathushtra. Where does it say in the "Kalmo" that
Asho Zarathushtra propagated conversion? Nowhere!

As also stated by Kangaji there are two Din-no Kalmo, one is in
Avestan, commonly referred to as Yasna Ha 12 or "Naismi Daevo". The
last two stanzas, 8 and 9 of this Yasna Ha 12 or the Avestan Din-no
Kalmo are included in the Jasa Me Avenghe Mazda recital. In fact,
Yasna 12 (the Din-no Kalmo recited in Avestan), only sings the praises
of the Great Mazdayasni Din, Din Yazad and Chista, the Yazad who is
the co-worker of Din Yazad. The last two stanzas beginning with
"Mazdayasno ahmi; Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish fravarane astutascha………
Aesha asti daenayao Mazdayasnoish astuitish" are translated by Kangaji
as "I am a Mazda-worshipping follower of Zarathushtra I like to be the
praiser of the Zoroastrian Religion and to keep full faith on that
good Religion. I praise good thoughts, good words and good deeds. I
praise the good Mazda-worshipping Religion which is, promoting peace
and concord, fostering brotherhood and just. The religion of Ahura
Mazda revealed by Zarathushtra is the best amongst those religions
that are, that shall be hereafter, and I accept it with sincere
heart." This is how Kangaji has translated these words that occur at
the end of the Din-no Kalmo recited in Avestan and which is also
included in the Jasa Me Avanghe Mazda prayer. To promote peace and
concord, to foster brotherhood, as taught in the Avestan Din-no Kalmo,
Ha 12, is antithetical to convert the followers of other revealed
religions! Throughout the history of mankind, the act of proselytism
has led to religious wars killing innumerable innocent lives. Our own
Parsi-Irani history reveals that Cyrus the Great and other Great Kings
of Iran did not convert the followers of other religions but in fact
propagated religious tolerance and freedom. Our ancestors always
respected the right of other religions to coexist.

It is also important to note that the Mazdayasni Zarathushti Din is
the root of all other revealed religions. Vendidad, fargard 5 (stanzas
22-24) reveals that just as the Sea of Vouru-Kash is the greatest of
all the other seas and just as a great tree overshadows other small
plants and just as the sky encompasses the entire Earth, in the same
way the Mazdayasni Zarathushti Religion in its greatness, goodness and
excellence encompasses all other religions! Just as the Mazdayasni
Zarathushti Din encompasses all the other religions, Asho Zarathsuhtra
is the Leader of all the Yazads (Avan Yasht karda 21), and is the Ahu
and Ratu of all the 7 "regions" (Farvardin Yasht, karda 11). As such,
being the Ahu and the Ratu of all the "regions", Asho Zarathushtra is
the Leader of all the other Religions and Prophets that exist in the 7
"Regions". Yasna 19.16, a commentary on the manthra of Ahunavar,
states that Ahura's Word (Ahunavar), when it manifested, it produced 3
steps or stages, 4 professions and 5 Ratus (Leaders/Prophets) to bring
about good thoughts, good words and good deeds. The 5 Prophets lead
the 5 main Religions and their respective followers towards the Divine
Event of Farshogard. If 5 "Ratus" are Pre-Appointed and Pre-Willed by
Ahura Mazda, as Yasna 19.16 reveals, then it is against the Will of
Ahura Mazda to convert other followers who obey the other 5 Ratus who
lead their respective followers to Resurrection and Renovation! Ahura
Mazda has not willed that all of mankind must follow only one
religion! HE Himself has created the 5 Ratus who lead their respective
religious groups to the same Divinely Appointed Event of Farshogard
(Renovation, Moksha, Nirvana, etc.). As indicated by Kangaji, Yasna Ha
44, stanza 10 also extols the greatness of the Mazdayasni Zarathushti
Din without propagating conversion! To be taught to convert vices to
virtues is different from being asked to disown the religion of birth
in order to embrace a new one, as the ARZ is doing.

It is evident that just as the wisdom of the laws of the Great
Mazdayasni Din are to be obeyed and praised throughout the world as so
stated at the end of every Niyayesh and Yasht, the two Din-no Kalmo
too, praise the greatness of the Mazdayasni Din which Ahura Mazda
revealed to Holy Asho Zarathushtra and which later came to be
identified as the Mazdayasni Zarathushti Din. The word "to proselyte"
is absolutely non-existent in any of the two Din-no Kalmo or in any of
our scriptures; it is non-existent in the entire Sacred Avesta!

May the ARZ accept the Divine Will and accept other Religions and
Prophets as Appointed by Ahura Mazda Himself. May they accept the fact
that changing the mere name of one's religion is in no way spiritually
beneficial to any individuals. True conversion is from within and not
from religion to religion. Hope every Zarathushti will, with knowledge
and obedience, spread the fame of the laws of our religion to all
others to likewise convert their own Angra-Mainyu to Spenta-Mainyu,
convert vices to virtues, ignorance to wisdom!

Atha jamyat yatha afrinami!

Pervin J. Mistry