Significance And Relevance Of Jasans

As we enter the ‘Dae’ month, which is one of thanksgiving to the Creator and is usually expressed by Jasan ceremonies either at home, office, Aatash Behram or Agyari, Parsi Times Reporter, Khushroo Mehta, speaks with Panthaki of Godrej Baug’s Shapoorji Fakirji Jokhi Agiary Ervad, Harvesp Madon, who elucidates the relevance and significance of one our religious, pious ritual – the Jasan.

PT: What is a Jasan?

Er. Harvesp: A Jasan is a religious thanks giving ceremony that commemorates an important event.  Generally, Jasans are performed as a thanksgiving for happy and auspicious occasions like an anniversary, an engagement, house warming, graduation, birthday etc. Jasan or Fareshta are also performed to remember our departed souls on important days like the 10th day after they have passed away or 1st, 6th, 12th month after their heavenly departure. Jasan is also performed on the birthday and yearly death anniversary of the departed soul. This ritual not only helps the soul but also enables us to receive their immense blessings.  Jasans are also performed to commemorate important historical events. A Jasan can be a community, a family or a personal ritual. In this ritual Ahura Mazda, the Fravashis, Daham Yazad and Sarosh Yazad are invoked by the recitation of certain prayers. This ritual lasts for about an hour and can be performed in any ritually clean place.

Participation in a Jasan by Zoroastrians is considered as an act of great merit. Participants not only receive divine blessings but also imbibe teachings by witnessing the performance of ritual acts. Behdins participating have to first perform the Kusti ritual and offer sandalwood to the fire.  After the ritual is over, offerings referred to as chashni is distributed.

PT: What is the difference between a Jasan conducted on a Salgreh of an Agiary and Jasan conducted at home?

Er. Harvesp: There is not much of a difference. In both the rituals Ahura Mazda, the Fravashis, Daham Yazad and Sarosh Yazad are invoked by the recitation of certain prayers. The only difference is that in an Agiary Salgreh celebration Jasan, some more prayers are performed to invoke more angels for their blessings.

PT: Can a Bedin perform the Jasan prayers at his own house without a Dasturji? If not, then why?

Er. Harvesp: It is advisable that a mobed should perform a Jasan ritual as they have been initiated into priesthood through Navar and Martab ceremonies. Since the availability of mobeds is scarce now, in some places if there are no mobeds available, a Pashban Behdin can perform this ritual.

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