Today is Bahman Mahino ne Bahman Roj. Never in the history of mankind have we needed the good graces of Bahman Ameshaspand more, than we require them today. He is the one that presides over our thoughts, hence mind. He is also the one who looks after the animal kingdom.
Many of us observe abstinence from meat during the holy month of Bahman. However, if we look at the evolution of man, when he was a hunter-gatherer and then a warrior, he needed the animal protein, hence the digestive tract was much shorter, so that the food was processed faster and there was no putrefaction in the gut. But as we settled down, grew our own food and learned to live off the land, the size of our intestines lengthened so that we had more time to process the vegetables and grains that we ate.
Indian culture has long been an advocate for a vegetarian diet. My personal opinion is that as we evolved, we ate locally. This means that in the freezing temperatures where there was no vegetation, we had to eat the meat of animals. But in the tropical countries, we have a bounty of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts and animal protein is a mere habit. However, the non-vegetarian diet of us Parsis is legendary in all communities. We are voracious non-vegetarians and proudly proclaim the same. Maintaining a vegetarian diet during this month is a personal choice and I leave you to it.
The things that pain me the most is the utter disregard that us humans have for the wealth, which is our animal kingdom. We shatter their natural habitat to pave the way for our settlements, highways, et al. We have encroached upon their spaces and we hunt them for pleasure. The sad death of the pregnant elephant is fresh in my mind – a heinous crime against all of the animal kingdom.
Today, let us take a moment to pray for all animals, let us worship Bahman Ameshaspand by revering his creations. Let us pray that Vohu Mana – the Good Mind – helps us to keep the delicate balance of our planet in sync with the laws of nature and nurture. May Vohu Mana prevail in and guide the minds of all who are in positions of government and power, so that they may do whatever is best, for the larger good.
Given below is the Setayesh of Bahman Ameshaspand. Please do take the time to recite this short but extremely powerful prayer after doing your Kusti, Sarosh Baaj and Geh. It is a version which can be recited in place of the entire Bahman Yasht, which is a lengthy prayer, and which is difficult to find.