Jiyo Parsi Holds Second ‘Jiyo Mobed’ Workshop

The 2nd Jiyo Parsi Jiyo Mobed Workshop was organized by the Jiyo Parsi team and PARZOR Foundation on 19th November, 2017 at the Sir H.N. Reliance Hospital’s auditorium, with fifty-six priests and four Behdin Pasbaans actively participating in the workshop. The aim of the workshop was to empower our priests with communication skills so they can impart values, ideas and guidance to the laity and help deal effectively with issues faced by the community.

Divided into three segments and moderated by Dinshaw Tamboly, Dr. Yusuf Matcheswalla and Armaity Tirandaz, the program commenced with Dr. Katy Gandevia welcoming the gathering and thanking Dean of the Sir H.N. Reliance Hospital, Dr. Gustad Davar for arranging the use of the auditorium on gratis. Commencing the first segment after a humbandagi by Er. Kaizad Karkaria, Dinshaw Tamboly said, “It is a tribute to our community that the Government of India, acknowledging the contribution of Parsis to the nation, introduced the Jiyo Parsi Program, which has resulted in the birth of 124 babies in the last three years.” Emphasizing on the strong need for mobeds capable of imparting guidance to the community, he continued, “A community needs a strong religious foundation and an enlightened clergy to survive, and it is with this objective that the Jiyo Mobed initiative has been undertaken.” He spoke on the importance of how knowledgeable priests could encourage other athornan boys to embrace priesthood as a full time profession.

He ended with two lines from the Ahunavad Gatha, which he humbly accepted were suggested to him by Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia, “Know this, Oh Lord of Mazda, those who have a negative frame of mind will not receive benefits, but those who have a positive mind will receive advantages.”

Dinshaw Tamboly introduced eminent professor and head of project, ‘Multimedia Yasna’ which will soon be under way at the Dadar Athornan Institute, Dr. Almut Hintze. Addressing the gathering, Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor stressed upon the importance of performing rituals respectfully, conscientiously reciting prayers correctly, being friends with the laity, learning from elders and mingling with children. Addressing the issue of job perspectives for young priests, full time mobed since the past twenty-five years, Er. Dadachanji, said, “Our priests are being recognized as pillars of faith. Mobedi is a well-respected profession,” adding that accomplished priests are even invited abroad to perform navjotes and other rituals.

Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia highlighted how learning never stops, adding, “From the beginning in ancient Iran, priests advised and helped kings. It was a priest who brought us to India and priests have preserved the Avesta scriptures.” Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia reminded the audience that in the scriptures, Ahura Mazda too calls Himself an Athornan and prophet Zarathushtra calls Himself a priest and king (Sheriar). Er. Karanjia defined that the title ‘Ervad’ means a teacher, so priests should know all the prayers and rituals. Encouraging the priests to read books, learn from scholars and be educated at the Madressas, Er. Ramiyar Karanjia affirmed that the best scholars, researchers and manuscript writers in the last century have been priests.

Tokens of appreciation were presented to Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia and Er. Hormuzd Dadachanji. Dr. Shernaz Cama and Pearl Mistry displayed the Jiyo Mobed presentation which stated the birth of 124 Zoroastrian babies and highlighted that facilities offered herewith are Assistance for Senior Citizens, a Child Care Creche for working parents and other Supportive strategies. The procedures of applying for aid and other facilities were explained. A maximum number of 100 applicants are permitted for each scheme. Dr. Cama emphasized the importance of having regular religious coaching by various methods.

Dr. Almut Hintze’s short presentation on the Global Importance of Priests made Priesthood aware of their importance for preserving the traditions and highlighted our Priests as experts of the ‘spoken word’ of the Avesta language.

The second segment moderated by noted Psychiatrist Dr. Yusuf Matcheswalla, commenced with Dr. Chavda’s presentation on stress management and how pastors could interact with the needy and change their way of thinking. Binaifer Sahukar dealt with ‘Anger Management’ and stated various methods through which our priests can encourage angry people to be calm and positive.

A vegetarian buffet was followed by the last segment moderated by Armaity Tirandaz. Farrokh Jijina’s presentation on listening skills included two-way communication, the art of listening and creating good public relations. Group discussions ensued which highlighted that financial security and respect by behdins were of paramount importance to mobeds. The function concluded with a vote of thanks followed by refreshments.

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