Ardibehest Yasht – II (The Yasht Series)


Daisy P. Navdar is a teacher by profession and a firm believer in the efficacy of our Manthravani. She is focused on ensuring that the deep significance of our prayers is realized by our youth. She credits her learnings and insights, shared in her articles, to all Zoroastrian priests and scholars whose efforts have contributed towards providing light and wisdom for all Zarthostis.


I invite you to join me as I journey through the wonderful teachings shared in a Khordeh Avesta, which was printed in 1902 – more than a 100 years ago! Authored by Dinbai Sohrabji Engineer, the teachings, stories and notes in this book speak about the various powers of our prayers, while sharing anecdotes of people who have used these prayers and the tremendous achievements that each has accomplished.

Today, our day begins with a hot cup of chai in the early hours of the morning. It is a routine built into our system and almost by rote, we light the gas, put the kettle on and our morning cuppa is on the way! 

Now let me take you back a couple of thousand years… here is what the mornings would look like.  You wake up, do your padyaab kusti and complete your morning ablutions. You then stand before the grate where you want to kindle your fire and put the vessel on the it. Then you start praying, most probably, the Ardibehest Yasht. As you finish, the fire lights up and your morning meal is underway. You have not kindled it from an already burning flame, you have not preserved embers and rekindled them, you have not struck a match or one stone against another. The fire in the grate has simply manifested on the strength of your prayer! Even more amazing is the fact that after the meals were prepared and the fire was no more necessary, it just disappeared! This means that not only did the manthravani create the flame and manifest it, but the flame was such a divine being, that once its work was done, it retracted by itself.

This technology was the sacred knowledge of the practitioners of the Mazdayasni faith. No one else had the know-how of these escalated manthras that we had and indeed, some stories tell us of how people borrowed fire from their neighbours (they were probably Zoroastrians!). However, here comes the twist in the tale…

Jehan Pehlwan Kersasp was a mighty man. One day he went hunting and killed a big game. Then being a devout Mazdayasni, he made a grate, put the kindling and prayed for the fire to start up. He then put a pot with the meat, to cook on the fire. However, the pot had holes in it and the water from the pot fell on the fire. The fire fizzled out and died. He rekindled the fire a couple of times but each time the water from the pot fell on the fire and it fizzled out. This angered Kersasp and he struck the fire with a Guraj (a weapon which is quite like a mace). When he struck the fire, it retreated underground and permeated the earth, the mountain, the rocks and the metals. It then became available to all the humans on the planet. The fire would remain in all these places till the end of time. It was probably around this time that mankind ‘discovered’ fire. 

Sometimes it only takes one single moment of anger to destroy everything that is precious. So even though you may be devout and sincere, if you don’t have control over your emotions, you will invariably and systematically destroy your relationships; and the people around you will only perceive you as a difficult person. 

A manthra that can manifest fire out of nothing is not a gift to be taken lightly. Today, we don’t need to stand before a grate and light a fire, we have the convenience of a stove top and lighters. But imagine the brilliance that you can create with this manthra within yourself! 

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