When the highest of the high liturgical prayers are conducted in our Fire Temple, there are a series of instruments used. These are referred to as ‘Alat’. They are the means through which our priests transmute and communicate the energies of our manthra into the vast cosmos. They are intrinsic to the performance of the Baaj, Vendidad, Ijashni, Boi or even the Afargan, Farokshi and Jashan. And while some of us may feel that these prayers remain largely beyond the comprehension of us common people, they are the soul and the substance of our faith.
Out of all the vital instruments used, the most important and the most vital is the Dasturji himself! The manthras – that arise from his lungs, emanate from his voice, have resided in his soul for as long as he can remember – become the channel through which Holy energies are transmuted. He has spent years practicing to perfection the exact time he must breathe in and when he must exhale. Buildings have lightning rods installed in them when they are constructed. In case of a storm, the lightning cannot destroy the building for the rod conducts it safely into the earth. Similarly, our Dasturjis stand guard over us, in such storms. They have the wherewithal and the knowledge to not just keep our faith alive but also to guard and protect it from the ravages of time. As children, these Dasturjis are trained in this craft and very few are blessed to pursue it for the rest of their lives.
The number of young boys taking to a life of priesthood is fast dwindling. It is looked upon as a last resort profession, never a first choice. The career prospects of a priest and his position in society is a big question mark, even today. A lot of attempts are being made to make this a more viable and financially stable profession but nothing real has materialised so far. This is the truth of what lies ahead. In our lifetime, we have seen the Boi ceremony being performed and we have the good fortune to have witnessed a Jashan, etc. We still have the protective shield of the invaluable manthra recited by our priests, but I don’t know whether our children will be as fortunate. Today is the time to value what we have before we lose it forever.
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.
- Gael Vadgar: One who converts earth into air. Today, air pollution is such a big monster that we face. Pollution causes illness and disease in the upper respiratory tract; now we are seeing pollution-related deaths. This name is particularly effective for purifying foul air. Chanting it can bring relief from gas related ailments and chest pain. It also brings relief to the conscience in case you are suffering from guilt pangs or want to repent for past errors.
- Gael Namgar: One who converts earth into water. Water shortage is the reality of the world in which we live. It is said that the greatest war will be fought over who controls the waters of the world. While people will foolishly argue on this point, there is no denying that it is only Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda who gives us our resources. In ancient times, people travelling through forests and deserts used to recite this name and their thirst would be quenched. Today, we must recite this name for all humanity to continue receiving precious, life-sustaining water.
- Gargar: One who grants boons. This name has the authority to fulfil your deepest desires. One who recites this name with piety 101 times will be granted a special boon. However, we must only ask and leave the giving to the higher wisdom of God.
- Garogar: The one who creates special persons. It is in the final moments of our life that we most seek the grace of God. Reciting this name regularly will help us pass those moments with ease and dignity intact. The vibration of this name helps us keep the faith in our philosophy. Those who are childless can recite this name for bearing offspiring.
- Garagar: The Creator of all creation. Very often we put in a lot of work and effort to achieve our goals, but we find that we don’t get the required and expected results. This name is beneficial for achieving your purpose, it will help you get what you have worked for.
- Agar-aagar: This name means the gatherer of all the elements. The Air, the Earth, The Water and the Fire. This name is particularly powerful to recite as you choose a new home or buy a plot to construct one. It can also be beneficial to recite as you rework the interior of your old home. It is important to get the right balance of elements for any home and this name helps you to achieve this.
- Agar-aagar-gar: Creator of the sky and the stars. It also means the Grand old King of the world. This name has the ability to extend your age and it helps you to live up to a ripe old age. It keeps you wise up to your last day.
- Aguman: This is such an important name to recite in todays’ context. So often we fall prey to the false image of our own ego. Ego clashes in any sphere of influence can cause a lot of pain and harm. This name destroys the ego, it means the one who has no false pride. It brings peace and realisation to the one who recites the name and brings to an end all the false projections of the ego. It’s wonderful how much we enjoy the protection of these powerful names!
- A-zamaan: One who is ageless and everlasting. If this name is recited after your daily prayers 101 times, then it has the power to lengthen your life. This name also brings relief from any kind of eye ailment.
- Akhuaan: One who is always alert and awake. Sometimes, as we advance in age, our energy levels dip during the hot summer afternoons. The dreaded angel of the siesta is upon us in the middle of a working day. This is the time to recite this name to bring you back into a state of wakeful alertness and help you find focus on your work. This name has the power to cure all ailments associated with sleep.
Look out for the continuation of ‘The 101 Names Of Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda’ Series in our next issue.