Answers To Your Religious Queries

Parsi Times is delighted to present a column where we get all our readers’ questions pertaining to religion, answered by our Community’s religious most respected and learned religious scholars and priests. PT invites and encourages all our readers to send in any queries or uncertainties you may have, related to our religion. Mail us at

 In this issue, PT Reporter, Jamshed Arjani, facilitates the answer to the query of PT reader, Zarine Arya, by our revered Vada Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal.


Zarine Arya: In our Parsi wedding Aashirwaad ceremonies, I have heard that some parts are in Sanskrit, perhaps out of deference to the King and people of Gujarat who gave us shelter, centuries ago. Please could you shed some light on this? How mandatory, essential, desirable and/or common is this practice of incorporating Sanskrit chants among Avestan Prayers? How does its use or omission affect the solemnity/sanctity of the ceremony?

Vada Dasturji Kotwal: In olden times, the Aashirwaad prayers were recited twice all over India, once each in the Pazand language and in Sanskrit. Thereafter in Mumbai, reciting the Aashirwaad prayer in Sanskrit became optional and is recited very rarely. However, in religious centres of Gujarat, the Aashirwaad prayers are still recited after being recited in the Pazand language.

It is true that the Aashirwaad prayers are recited in Sanskrit side by side with the same prayers being recited in Sanskrit on account of the promise given to the Hindu King Jadi Rana, who gave asylum to the Parsis.

In olden times it was considered quite essential to recite the benediction in Sanskrit and the promise has been kept up by the Parsi community in Gujarat. It should be noted that there are few priests who may be able to recite the Aashirwaad prayer in Sanskrit in Mumbai.

The solemnity and sanctity of the marriage ceremony cannot be vitiated by omitting the recitation of the Sanskrit Aashirwaad prayer, since this practice has come into force only in India and the Irani practice of reciting the Aashirwaad prayer in Pazand language has been maintained intact.


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