Gratitude, Glory and Good Health!

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.

When we are grateful or we wish to express deep joy for all the abundance of Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda, we perform a Jashan ceremony, or in some instances, a Fareshta ceremony. The Fareshta ceremony expresses Joy and Gratitude to all the holy Ameshaspands and the Yazatas. There are 33 Yazatas in all and they are represented symbolically with the offerings that we place during the ceremony. (I have briefly here described each of the 33 Fareshtas / Yazatas excerpted from ‘Zoroastrianism – An Ethnic Perspective’ by Khojeste P. Mistree.)

  1. Spenta Mainyu: This bounteous spirit is God’s active, creative and motivating force and the protector of man. Man must learn to integrate the physical and spiritual world in order that he may recognize the essence of God.
  2. Vohu Mana: The Good Mind that enables man to comprehend intellectually, in order that he may discern and choose wisely. He is the protector of cattle. Man must recognize the ethical and moral dimensions of life, in order to care for the wellbeing of other creatures and his environment.
  3. Ashavahishta: The Best Order – truth and righteousness that regulates order on a physical level, truth on a psychological level and righteousness on a spiritual level. Man must imbibe the truth to bring about harmony and happiness through the recognition of the principle of Asha, which is pure and undefiled, like the fire – the symbol of Zoroastrian veneration.
  4. Kshathra Vairya: The Desirable and Sovereign Kingdom that represents the power and strength in the Kingdom of God. Man must learn to draw from within the strength and power of God’s Kingdom so as to use his discernment to perform good deeds, in accordance with proper authority and justice.
  5. Spenta Armaiti: Bounteous piety and devotion that maintains the receptive, beneficent and devotional qualities within the Lord’s creations. Man must learn to demonstrate devotion by caring for the earth and all that is in it, with piety, so that he can be virtuous, sensitive and just.
  6. Haurvatat: Perfection, Health and Completeness. This reflects the goodness, perfection and completeness of God in this world. Man must strive for perfection, both within himself and in all of God’s creations. This will expel all evil and it will result in the perfect state, originally created by God.
  7. Ameretat: Immortality – that which is eternal. Bestows the gift of eternal existence to triumph over death and maintain the wellbeing and continuity of God’s creation. Man must realize the continuity of life in all spheres of his existence and work towards ‘Making Wonderful’ all creation, to continue in a state of perfect peace and harmony.
  8. Adar: Protector of man’s dwellings. Grants wellbeing, knowledge, valour, abundance and good memory.
  9. Aredvi Sura Anahita: Guardian of the waters. Grants wisdom, knowledge and powers to smite evil. Giver of health and wealth. Eases childbirth for women.
  10. Hvar Kshaeta: Protector of the Universe. Defeats the evil of uncleanliness, impurity, disease, darkness and death. The giver of light.
  11. Mah: Protector of the seed of the bull. Giver of warmth, wisdom, thoughtfulness and prosperity.
  12. Tishtriya: Protector of the rains. Brings rain, gives fertility to the field and vanquishes drought and the wicked ones.
  13. Geush: Protector of cattle. Bestows good health upon all cattle and watches over them from afar. Brings welfare and friendship.
  14. Mithra: Guardian of pastures, the truth, the light and of all creatures. Listens to appeals, causes waters to flow, rules over districts and supervises contracts.
  15. Sraosh: Protector of prayer and of man.
  16. Rashnu: Guardian of Truth and presiding celestial judge at ordeals.
  17. Verethragna: Guardian of victory and of travellers. Helps armies to win in battle. Brings victory to the righteous and defeat to the ignoble. Bestower of victory over all odds.
  18. Raman: Protector of the good pastures. Giver of joy, guides the righteous soul in paradise, giver of fertile fields and thick foliage. Bestows peace and security.
  19. Vata: Protector of the Breath of life. Giver of life, and one who conquers all.
  20. Daena: Protector of the cows, of Mazda and of man. Acts as a moral guide and guides the soul to the Bridge of Separator.
  21. Ashi: Guardian of fortune, wealth, fertility and prosperity. Fills the barns with grain and cattle and the coffers with gold. Bestows bounty upon her worshippers and also her divine grace.
  22. Arshtat: Protector of Truth. Represents all judicial functions.
  23. Asman: Protector of the Sky. He contains within Himself all other creations.
  24. Zam: Guardian of the Earth. Nurtures, nourishes and makes plentiful.
  25. Mathra Spenta: Protector of all manthravani. Wards off evil, exorcises those possessed by demons, gives succour and help to mankind.
  26. Anagra Raocha: Protector of the House of Ahura Mazda. Repels darkness and invoked at sacrifices.
  27. Haoma: Guardian of plants and animals. Giver of illustrious sons, giver of good harvest and fertility, furthers asha and possesses wisdom.
  28. Apam Napat: Guardian of the waters. Distributes the waters of the earth and brings good fortune.
  29. Chista: Guardian of knowledge and religion. Grants clear vision and righteousness of thought, word and deed.
  30. Parendi: Guardian of wealth. Giver of plenty and profitable activity to man. Brings prosperity to the earth.
  31. Vanant: Guardian to the gates of the mystical mountain in the centre of the world, through which the sun passes daily. Helps smite the noxious creatures of angreh mainyu. Giver of strength and victory and removes tyranny and brings peace of mind.
  32. Airyaman: Protector of health and the Lord of Friendship. Prevents sickness and disease. Will be invoked by the saoshayants for help in healing the world from evil.
  33. Khvarenah: Guardian of good fortune and bestower of Divine Grace. Giver of health, wisdom and happiness.

Gratitude is like a youthful bursting spring, which has its source in deep faith and the true acknowledgement that Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda is the keeper and the sustainer of our existence. When we get the Fareshta prayers done, we bow to the eternal glory and strength of Ahura Mazda. The Fareshtas / Yazatas are the co-workers of Ahura Mazda and it is through them that He exercises His Will.

Today, as we enter the Spring Equinox, let us give deep gratitude firstly to all those around us, in our immediate sphere, for they have been the bulwark of support and of love. Let us spread our feeling of gratitude for our sustenance, the food on our table, the money in our bank and the health in our bodies. Let us send our prayers to our planet, our beautiful world and all the Divine Creations that bring us health and joy.

I leave you with these very wise words and encourage you to dedicate the forthcoming days to focus your thoughts and your prayers on Gratitude, Glory and Good Health… ‘Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance’ – Ekhart Tolle.

Daisy P. Navdar
Latest posts by Daisy P. Navdar (see all)

Leave a Reply