Religious Ceremonies Performed At ZAC

Even as the Pandemic spreads its vicious spread all over the globe, the USA seems to have taken the biggest hit, with the very unfortunate loss of over 34,500 lives. We increasingly look to the divine to forgive, save and relieve humanity from the clutches of the deadly COVID-19. The Zoroastrian Association of California (ZAC) has also been reinforcing that sentiment with religious ceremonies recently performed, seeking divine intervention to neutralize the evil and maximise the good. 

On 10th April, 2020, Dasturji Kookadaroo’s Birth Anniversary Jashan was performed by Ervads Zerkxis and Zarrir Bhandara. The Jashan was live-streamed, so that the community could avail the prayer ceremony by connecting remotely and partaking in the blessings of the Jashan. After the Jashan, Er. Zarrir talked about the miracles performed by Dasturji Kookadaroo and prayed to Ahura Mazda to help humanity by doing away with the evil affliction. Further, he advised the online congregation to not get consumed by the negativity, but to stay clear-minded and elevate their frequency to the level of abundance of all that is good, through the day. “Focus on what you want and stop thinking of what you do not want, as energy flows where attention goes. You are in control of your destiny, retune it, so it becomes your reality. I wish you all a destiny to live an amazing life,” said Er. Zarrir Bhandara. “The participants maintained the sanctity of the ceremony being performed, as if they were physically present at the ceremony, by performing a Kusti before joining and refraining from talking. The idea was to pray together for the wellbeing of our family, friends, community, society and for those fighting the virus, and for those that are on the front lines working tirelessly to help others in need,” he added. 

Earlier, on 21st March, 2020, the Vandidād Sādeh was recited by Er. Zerkxis Bhandara, 1:30 am to 6:30 am. The Vandidād or Videvo-dāt (Av.) means laws against the demons. As Zoroastrianism views any calamity as the work of Ahriman (demon) and his counterparts, it was more important than ever to recite this time-tested ancient prayer, to bring back the order of Āshā in our world and lives. It is believed that through the powerful mānthric vibrations of the sacred Vandidād, our world can be rid of this Ahrimanic calamity. 

Additionally, every Sunday, a Bui ceremony and Humbandagi are streamed online for the benefit of the faithful to participate. Last Sunday, on the 12th of April, 2020, consecrated water was poured into the earth/ground so that the vibrational blessings of our Mathrawani prayers reach and heal the whole world. This concept is similar to our mobeds pouring the consecrated water in the well at the end of the Yasna ceremony (commonly known as the Zor Melavani Kriya). In this, the spiritually charged Yajashni-nu-pani or Hom-nu-pani is returned to nature to spread its efficacy into the world. 

Speaking to Parsi Times, Er. Zarrir Bhandara says, “Considering the unprecedented times we are in, where our community members are not able to visit our Agiaries / Atashbehrams and participate in religious ceremonies, this is the best way our community can participate in religious ceremonies and pray together.  Thereby, we can quench our religious thirst, fulfil our religious needs, enhance our emotional health, and bring about healing around the world sooner. Praying together is so much more beneficial than praying individually, and hearing/ witnessing our religious ceremonies is incredibly powerful. So, at a time like this it would not be right to restrict people from participating just because we have to do it from electronic devices.” 

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