Infants And Our Faith

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 have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky” – Rumi

In recent times, parenting has become a major challenge for young couples. The adage, that it takes a village to raise a child, is long forgotten because we all live a nuclear existence. The days when large families all lived together are long past and we like our privacy more than ever before… notwithstanding that, every move, meal, holiday, celebration, death and all our little joys and sorrows are up on social media for public consumption! That is the strange paradox of our times.

However, for the average Parsi couple, the indoctrination of the child into the Zoroastrian faith begins with learning of the prayers and the Navjote. The years between infancy and up to the time of Navjote are merely reminiscent of visits to the Fire Temple on festive occasions with full emphasis on the celebrations that follow.

Little do we realise that when we become parents it is our duty to help our child understand the value of our faith and imbibe it into their day to day lives. This responsibility begins from the moment the child is conceived. The child of a French-speaking mother will grow up speaking French, an English-speaking mother will have English speaking children and so forth. It is a scientifically proven fact that babies who hear classical music in the womb, develop a higher level of intelligence.

Now let me ask you – can you imagine the impact on the foetus who hears the voice of the mother reciting our grand manthra? Even if it is only your kusti prayers or just a Yatha and Ashem, please make it a point to recite our prayers so that your child can experience the grand vibrations in your womb. And this is just the beginning…

When your child is born, recite one Yatha in each ear. Let the baby revel in the joy that is our Holy manthravani. As your child grows older, let them experience the calming powers of our manthras; use the Yatha at all times to calm your child. Maybe your baby will continue to cry but you won’t feel so helpless and lost when they do. A child finds security and warmth in the arms of the father and the voice of the father is a major force in shaping the child. Let your child hear you pray. Involve them even when they are babies in arms to look at a divo and help them see your connect.

All babies are deeply spiritual beings and they respond to subtle energy and vibrations. Let them experience and grow into the faith with every experience in their daily life. Show them how to overcome their tantrums, anger and pain by chanting our manthras.

The kind of stress that our children experience is completely different from anything that we can fathom. They seem to be born with the ability to work a computer and a mobile phone. They also attend play school and other classes online. Their identity needs to be clearly defined to them so that they can understand the difference between reality and virtual existence. A strong sense of belonging and knowing that they have the divine hand of Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda over their heads, keeps them grounded and real.

School is a preparation for the mind, good food is a preparation for good health, good relationships prepare us for human interaction, but it is only our prayers that truly prepares us for all that life throws at us. Finally, here is the truth, your child will not do what you say, it will do what you do! I think this is the bit about parenting that we forget all the time. If you pick up a book and read it, your child will read but if you are on the phone all the time, you can only guess what your child will do.

The single most important thing that you have to do as a parent, is to live the values that you want your child to imbibe. Live the life you want them to have. Follow yourself the faith you want them to follow.

Daisy P. Navdar
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