After a long wait, finally, the ZAC (Zoroastrian Association of California) opened its doors to devotees on the auspicious 21st March – Jamshedi Navroze. Earlier, the premise was thoroughly cleaned and decorated with chowk by ZAC members Arnavaz and Farhang Poorvafadari, Dhun and Ketty Alamshaw, Fardoon Dungore, Jimy Colabewalla, Navaz Modi, Rooky Fitter, Ruzbe Daruwalla, Ers. Zarrir and Zerkxis Bhandara.
At 11:30 am, a Jashan was performed by honorary priests – Zarrir and Zerkxis Bhandara, celebrating Jamshedi Navroze and the Spring Equinox, at the ZAC Atash Kadeh. 86 ZAC members attended (30 people inside the Atash Kadeh, 5 in the Arjani hall and 51 over Zoom) the prayers, post which the humbandagi was led by the children of ZAC’s religious/prayer class. Er. Zarrir then thanked everyone for their participation and briefly spoke about the gifts that we have inherited from Shah Jamshid, besides the festival of Navroze – he talked of Shah Jamshid’s gift of the golden tools (Zarenumatem Surem) the Sudreh and Kusti and the Mathrawani prayers, which he received from Sarosh Yazad in his heightened state of enlightenment.
He shared an inspiring anecdote of his good acquaintance – a Christian lady who was a frontline worker and contracted COVID. As she lay fighting for her life in the ICU, she questioned God why she was made to suffer despite her good deeds, a nurse came up to her asking if she’d like to pray with her from the Bible. As she prayed along, she felt some relief, and she recovered in two months. She realised the importance of prayers.
Zarir further expounded, “Friends, there are a few Parsis/Zoroastrians who believe that as long as we live a good life, do not harm anyone, help everyone and practice good thoughts, words and deeds, we don’t need to pray. While everyone should follow good thoughts, words and deeds, it is of prime importance to follow the tenets of their own religion and in our case, we have to use the tools given to us by our prophet Zarathushtra and highly evolved souls like Shah Jamshid, Shah Faridoon, Dasturji Kookadaru and so on. One of our main tenets is reciting our daily prayers. I request you to pray daily – at least perform your Kusti and recite short prayers. When you pray, you receive/attract infinite blessings for yourself and your loved ones.”
The celebration concluded with Dr. Deenaz Coachbuilder reciting her own beautiful poems over Zoom, aptly based on Navroze and our Prophet Zarathushtra.
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