Mah Dae Dadaar The Month For Offering Gratitude To Our ‘Best Friend’ (Ahura Mazda)

Parsi Times brings you our monthly ‘Religion Special: Parab Series’, by our religious scholar and cultural expert, the erudite Noshir Dadrawala. Every month, we share with you a deeper understanding of this auspicious day of the month – the Parab – when the mah (month) and the roj (day) coincide. Here’s celebrating this month’s Parab – ‘Mah Dae Dadaar’.

In the Zoroastrian calendar every month is dedicated to either an Amesha Spenta (Arch Divinity) or a Yazata (Hamkaar or co-worker of the Amesha Spenta). The month of Dae is dedicated to the Supreme Amesha Spenta, Dadaar Hormuzd – The Creator, Dae Dadaar. It is a month of thanksgiving to the Creator and one way in which gratitude is ritually expressed is by performing Jashan ceremonies either at home, at the office or at an Aatash Behram/Agyari.

It is considered most meritorious to perform Jashan on each of the four special days of this month (Day One – Hormuzd, Day Eight – Dae Adar, Day Fifteen – Dae Meher and Day Twenty three – Dae Deen) which are dedicated to the Supreme Creator and the Yazata having the Creator’s aspect, presiding over fire (Dae-pa Adar), light and justice (Dae-pa Meher) and the religion (Dae-pa Deen). Each of these four days is referred to as Jashan of Dadvah (Creator).

It is said that in ancient time, when Zoroastrianism was the state religion of Iran, on Roj Hormazd of Mah Dae, the great kings of yore used to descend from their throne, dress in simple white garb, suspend for the day the duties of all royal attendants and make themselves available to any common citizen who wanted to interact with the king. The kings would hold meetings with small landowners and farmers – even share simple meals with them. This tradition was an annual reminder that to the Supreme Divinity, Dadaar Hormuzd, the king and commoner are all one and the same. It celebrated friendship with God and all his creations – particularly friendship among human beings, rich or poor, royal or commoner.

In certain religious traditions, God is perceived as a fearsome divinity (the adjective – God-fearing is quite common in the English lexicon) or as the Lord or Master. However, in the Zoroastrian tradition Ahura Mazda is neither to be feared nor worshipped because He is the Lord or Master. In the Zoroastrian tradition and particularly in the Gatha, the Supreme Divinity is referred to as ‘Frya’ or ‘Friyai’ which means friend or beloved. In other words a Zoroastrian’s relationship with God is built not on the basis of awe or fear but of friendship and love.

God is to be loved, not feared for his wrath. God is to be considered as a friend and not as a demanding or domineering Lord who constantly put’s his subjects to tests and sacrifices. In the Zoroastrian tradition, God is not to be pleased with sacrifices or fasts. In fact as a ‘friend’, Ahura Mazda wants all His friends to enjoy Ushta or happiness. In the Zoroastrian calendar of 365 days there is not a single day set aside for fasting – all that Ahura Mazda wants His friends to fast from is from doing wrong, in thought, word or deed.

So, how best can we befriend Dadaar Hormuzd? Those who pray the Hoshbam at dawn would recollect praying, “Asha vahishta, asha sraeshta, daresāma thwā, pairi thwā jamyāma, hamem thwā hakhma”, which means, “Through the best righteousness, excellent righteousness, O Ahura Mazda, may we catch sight of Thee and may we come near Thee and attain Thy eternal friendship.”

From the above, one can see that we can earn God’s eternal friendship simply by walking on the path of Asha (righteousness). Therefore, in this Holy month of Dae, may each one of us endeavor to earn Ahura Mazda’s friendship through our daily endeavor to walk on the path of Asha. For indeed the Colophon to Yasna asserts, “There is but one path, that of Asha. All other paths are false”.

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