PT: Why is Sarosh Yazad entrusted with the responsibility of protecting us, especially at night?
Er. Karanjia: Sarosh Yazad is the most powerful Yazad against evil, especially at night (Paschahu frashmodaitim from Sarosh Yasht – Vadi). His protection can be asked for and wished for at night by either praying the short Nirang of the Sarosh Yasht Vadi thrice or by saying the words Sarosh Yazad Panāhbād, meaning “May Sarosh Yazad protect you” before going to bed. Hence, the Nirang of the Sarosh Yasht Vadi describes him as ‘Pasban’, the protector. The words ‘Ahunem Vairim Tanum Paiti’ describe the Ahunavar prayer as his weapon with which he protects our human body during our lifetime and after death.
PT: Why is Sarosh Yazad believed to have sung the Gathas before the advent of Prophet Asho Zarathushtra in the world?
Er. Karanjia: Sarosh Yazad is the angel who brings Divine guidance and revelation, and is our source of connection to the Divine intelligence. As the Gathas of Zarathushtra were communicated to him by Sarosh Yazad, it is stated in the third Karda of Sarosh Yasht Vadi, that Sarosh Yazad was the first to sing the five Gathas.
PT: Please explain how Sarosh Yazad protects the soul after the demise of a Zoroastrian.
Er. Karanjia: Sarosh Yazad is the protector of the souls of the living as well as the dead. Immediately after death, when the soul leaves the body, its state is like that of a new born child. Sarosh Yazad looks after the soul for the first three days and nights, till the Judgement of the soul takes place on the dawn of the fourth day after death. On the fourth day after death, Sarosh Yazad guides the soul of the deceased across the Chinwad Bridge, a figurative spiritual bridge which links the material world to the spiritual world. The Chinwad Bridge resembles a beam of which one side is broad, while the other narrow and sharp. The souls of the righteous cross the bridge without difficulty to heaven but the souls of the wicked people plunge into the abyss of hell. Sarosh Yazad is also present at the time of the Judgement. Hence all rituals performed for the soul for the first three days and nights are done with the invocation of Sarosh Yazad. Sarosh Yazad is also invoked in all Afringan prayer rituals for the departed ones.
PT: Which are the main prayers to elicit the protection of Sarosh Yazad?
Er. Karanjia: The main prayers and rituals dedicated to Sarosh Yazad are the Sarosh Baj, Sarosh Yasht Hadokht and Sarosh Yasht Vadi, the Baj of Sarosh specially prayed before a bath or a funeral, the Baj Dharna ritual of Sarosh Yazad which is different from all other Baj ceremonies and requires 6 ‘Darans’ and the Sarosh No Kardo orthe Sarosh Nu Patru. The Vahishthoisht Gatha says that Asho Sarosh Yazad has taken the responsibility of fulfilling Pak Ahura Mazda’s mission to create a Universe of goodness!