It’s All In The (Good) Mind
Yesterday, we entered the famous ‘Bahman Mahino’ of the Shahenshahi calendar, popular as the month where many Parsis try adhering to vegetarianism or avoiding meats. There’s much discussion and debate that precedes ‘Bahman Mahino’ – first there’s the heated Veg V/s Non-veg debate; then there’s the even more heated Veg-with-eggs (and fish) V/s the Righteously-Pure-Veg debate… Unfortunately, the very essence of this sacred month gets lost in the secondary details pertaining to one’s dietary intake.
‘Bahman’ signifies the original Avestan term – ‘Vohu Mana’ – or the Good Mind; it is the month where we conciliate and pay our respects to Bahman Ameshaspand – the guardian of animals. While it is commendable that our primarily carnivorous community chooses to forego consuming meat for a month, we must not lose the originally intended message here – that of dedicating ourselves towards fostering a ‘Good Mind’. Because if we stayed vegetarian all month, without giving a thought about how we could evolve our minds into greater goodness, then we would have, yet again, missed the woods for the trees.
So, what really constitutes a good mind? And how do we cultivate it? Through prayer? Or spiritual knowledge? Or service to others? Or focusing on one’s own self-growth? I believe the one quality that forms the seat of every goodness – in thought, word and deed – is kindness.
Kindness has never been in greater demand than it is today; in these times, when humanity battles for survival itself… where kind deeds have saved lives, and kind words have healed wounds and hearts. Every kind deed or consoling word is the produce of a good mind.
A good mind makes you live your life conscientiously and it guides you unto service for others, not because ‘they can’t’, but because ‘you can’. As Zoroastrians, we pray to Ahura Mazda, we worship the light of truth and wisdom. It is said, kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this truth is the beginning of all wisdom. May this reality stay with us and help us cultivate a good mind, through the Bahman Mahino and forever after, and may it be our guiding light, leading us into delivering the very tenets of our glorious religion – good thoughts, good words and good deeds.
Speaking of good deeds, we salute all our community members, who have been volunteering their priceless services during the pandemic, when so many of us, especially seniors, were left helpless due to the lockdown. They are as much our heroes as our frontline stars, who put the wellbeing of those in need, before their own. A special shout-out of gratitude to all our fabulous BPP volunteers, who, under the stellar leadership of the BPP Trustees, and unflinching support of the BPP staff, worked through the challenges of a lockdown and cyclonic rains, to deliver food, medicine and other essential items to all who were rendered helpless (Pg. 3 and Pg. 7). That was a magnificent exemplification of kindness in motion, the true magic of good minds!
Here’s wishing you an auspicious Bahman Mahino! May it further the journey of your Good Mind and foster greater compassion and consideration towards all of Mother Nature’s bounties – animals, birds, the environment, and each other! In the words of the genius, Abraham Lincoln, “Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.”
Have a good and safe weekend!