“Our Zarthosti Din is not a philosophy to follow or reject at will; this is a sacred inheritance, and these ancient institutions require a lifetime of devotion and adherence to the faith to survive.” – Vada Dasturji Firoze Kotwal.
How little we understand of what we have, by the chance of mere birth, inherited! What is the significance of the Mazdayasni Zarthosti Din in our minds? Is it the initiation of the faith by doing the Navjote, performance of the kusti, the visit to the Fire Temple – or is it something more intrinsic, more personal than that. For me, faith reflects in the way in which I conduct my life, my priorities.
If I work for ten hours a day, spend five hours on household/personal chores/entertainment and try and fit in eight hours of sleep, what am I left with? One hour! So, if we follow this pattern of existence, then what does this tell you about us? It means we prioritize work – hence money which is of course very important, then home and family – which is also very important and then health and relaxation – which is also vital. So, we have no time (or hardly any time) to devote to prayers.
Now, let us restructure this regime and prioritize faith – so if you decide, that without changing any of the things you do on a daily basis, or at least limiting the amount of time you spend on them, you can induct a few hours each day for your prayers.
Look around… right now is that crucial time to realise this! Rework your schedule to incorporate a substantial chunk of time to pray and to even study some of our sacred religious texts. They hold within them some invaluable knowledge which can deepen our understanding of our faith. Your faith is not a piece of precious jewelry to be stored safely in a locker and worn on special occasions. It is a work in progress, a daily commitment, a promise to yourself and a guiding light for your future. Follow it, practice it and revel in its glory.
This column is in continuation of my ongoing series on the 101 names of Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda, which are really His attributes or qualities. Chanting these names regularly creates a protective aura of their strength around us and keeps us safe. Reciting these names daily, post doing the kusti prayer, can remedy almost all ills and challenges we face. They are not a substitute for effort and hard work; these will augment your dedication and give it an added boost. Please note that each name is a prayer in itself and can be chanted to gain maximum benefit of its particular divine vibration.
- Afarmosh: From the dew drops on the leaves to the mighty mountains, all is created by Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda, and yet never once has He forgotten to change the seasons, or change night to day, or the color of the leaves, or the flowering of the trees or the bringing of the rain. Afarmosh is one who never forgets, not even a single grain is overlooked. This name holds within it the power of minute detail, the one who can examine the entire creation in the twinkling of an eye. This name is highly effective to recite if one is lost at sea or in a forest or even in a concrete maze. It will help you to find the way out.
- Hamarna: (Ashaum Hamarna Yazamaide): This angel keeps an account of the right and wrong that we do. The fruits of the good and the bad are rewarded to us after death. When this name is chanted sincerely, it makes our heart pure and shows us the right way to follow. It makes the chanter sincere and capable of following only the right path.
- Sanaia: The one who acknowledges and knows the goodness in others. ‘Ashaum Sanaia’- this name brings good health and a happy heart to the one who recites it. When you are introduced to a new person or are starting work with one, then reciting this name will bring about an abiding friendship. With this extended and seemingly never-ending lockdown, we are undergoing a state called ‘cabin fever’. This comes from living in close proximity for extended periods of time, without having any outlet for our frustrations. Chanting this name brings about a feeling of love and co-operation within family members. Every so often, there are fights over small silly things within our own home. Chanting this name over a piece of chocolate or fruit and then feeding that to the warring parties can bring about a renewed sense of peace and friendship. If there is animosity within a family, then reciting this name can bring about a reconciliation.
- Ataras: One who is fearless. We have so many real and imagined fears. A lot of our actions are also prompted by our fears and hence they are wrong. Fear of death of a loved one can cause you to be overly protective; fear of losing your job or status can make you put down others or attack their positions to secure your own; fear of infidelity causes you to constantly suspect every action of your spouse; fear of not performing well at school leads to absurd amounts of grief; fear of your peers and non-acceptance leads you to do all sorts of things to ‘fit in’. The one who recites this name loses all fear, his actions are the result of his faith, never his fear.
- Aabish: Time and again I marvel at the number of medicines that are sold not to cure the disease but to ease the symptoms. We have meds that bring down a fever or a swelling, that can stop vomiting and even those that ease the pain. However, none of these actually cure the root cause of the disease. This name brings relief from sickness and from pain. It brings good health to the one who recites it and it can also bring relief for the one who suffers from pain. It can be recited for someone sick who may be incapable of doing it for themselves.
- Afarajdum: This name means the moulder, the maker, the creator. It is particularly useful for any workmanship. If you wish to make something perfectly, then this is name will help you to be a good craftsman yourself or it will help you to find the perfect craftsman to complete your work.
- Hamchun: The one that surrounds all things, the one that forms a protective barrier around everything. The reciter of this name can protect his loved ones, his property and anything he owns with this manthra. This name has the vibration to stop all the wrong that could be working in your surroundings. It forms a force field which cannot be penetrated by the evil that men do.
- Mino-satihgar: Very frequently, life baffles us. We cannot fully comprehend what is going on around us. If there is something that is particularly mysterious and you need to seek answers, then you must recite this name as follows, – “Baname Yazade Bakhshayandeh bakshayashgare meherbaan ya yazad yazdaan Mino-satihgar ya ameh ayaaf yazamaide.” Dastoorji Kookadaru Saheb shared this powerful manthra and He himself was a deep practitioner of it. However, it is said that if this (or for that matter any) manthra is used wrongly, then the repercussions faced by the reciter can boomerang unpleasantly. Hence, please use this manthra judiciously, if at all.
- Aminogar: The one who is the beneficent to all; Who gives all according to their goodness, even the ones who have departed can gain the benefits of this name. It is the prolonger of life and of all the good things of life, the Farzand (rewards, gifts) to stay and on and survive in this world.
- Mino-nahab: The creator of all things that are secret, the knower of all mysteries. Whosoever prays this name will get acquainted with God and he will be able to comprehend His ways. This name will bring about a deeper understanding of the Cosmic Laws and the workings of God.
Look out for the continuation of ‘The 101 Names Of Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda’ Series in our next issue.