“The prayer performed with sincere heart and pure intention serves for us a very powerful weapon against the wicked, and against superstitious and frightful thoughts. True prayer produces in us a sort of heroism and thereby we become powerful to prevent, to a great extent, hardships arisen against us. When all the daevas and drujas came to kill the Holy Zarathushtra, with an evil intent, the greatest remedy which was applied by the Holy Prophet at the time was to recite and chant aloud the efficacious hymn, “Yathā Ahū Vairyō.”
– Sarosh Yasht Hadokht
While communication is simply talking and listening, Prayer is communication with God and higher spiritual beings. When a community comes together in prayer, it is called Hum-Bundagi.
When an individual recites a prayer, it resonates with the vibrational intensity of a single person. But, when two people pray together, the vibrations multiply a thousand fold! In Hum-Bundagi or a community prayer, the efficacy of the prayer intensifies and the devotees’ wishes and boons are granted, as tremendous power lies in this unison, when we pray together in unity and harmony.
Prayers can be verbal or non-verbal. The Avestan Prayers are verbal prayers. Do you wonder why we say prayers in the Avestan language? We recite prayers in Avestan, Pahlavi and Pazand languages, to maintain the link between our prophet and our ancestors, because this is the language in which our prophet received the revelation from Ahura Mazda; and also because Avestan language has powerful and beneficial vibrations, which are good for the whole universe.
Non-verbal prayers are expressed as gestures – when we raise our hands, when we join our hands, when we bow our heads down while are reciting Hormazd Khodae and flick our kusti, and snap our fingers gesturing for all the bad things to go away from us.
Translations And Interpretations Of Prayers:
It is good to have a general idea of what a prayer means, but translations are just the tip of the iceberg; the real efficacious essence lies in the vibrations of the sound created by the utterances of the holy words of the Mathravani, as our prayers are made on the rules of ‘Stoat Yasna’ or the formula of vibrations. The power of a prayer is enhanced when recited from your heart, by investing your feelings into it with proper Mithra – thoughts or no thoughts – ‘Tushnamaiti’ – 4th Gatha, thus calming your conscious mind to connect with the super conscious.
‘Yasna’ literally means a religious service. Performing the basic Kusti ritual, which is one of the four purificatory rituals, is akin to running a virus scan or running a virus removal software on your device! When we perform the Kusti ritual, we cleanse ourselves of the negative and bad qualities, imperfections, and impediments from our mind and astral body – the invisible aura that surrounds our bodies. Just like showering or bathing cleanses our physical body, performing the Kusti ritual cleanses our Astral body.
Performing our Kusti ritual puts us in a receptive mode. When we recite Dadar Ahura Mazda’s 101 names, which are the adjectives of Ahura Mazda, we are communicating with Ahura Mazda, “I am open to the flow of your spirit, Mazda Ahura express yourself through me.” Thus, we are downloading Ahura Mazda’s spirit in us and at the same time updating ourselves! As we are made in the image of our Maker, what could be better than this?
After performing our Kusti ritual, we recite the daily obligatory prayers. In Zoroastrianism, one is encouraged to pray the obligatory prayers five times a day. If you cannot pray the long prayers which consume time, then you are recommended to perform the kusti prayers 5 times daily and recite ‘Yatha’ and ‘Ashem’ as often as you can.
When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you should do is recite just 1 Ashem Vohu – it is equivalent to reciting 10,000 Ashem Vohus! Do the same when you go to bed at night.
Remember to recite the Yatha Ahu Vairyo, especially when you start any new work or new venture or you are getting out of your home or starting your car or bike. It is a powerful prayer of creation to energize, to rise. Ashem Vohu is a prayer that calms you and should be prayed as a conclusion. We usually recite 21 Yatha Ahu Vairyos and 12 Ashem Vohus as each prayer has 21 and 12 words, respectively, to strengthen the vibration of each word uttered.
Is Practicing Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds not enough? Why do I have to recite prayers?
I have a personal story of a good acquaintance of mine, who is Christian and a frontline worker, who contracted Covid 19 and was in the ICU for 23 days, fighting for her life. The virus was ravaging her lungs and other organs too. She was on the verge of dying. One night, she felt like she was nearing her end and she began questioning God – Why me? I have a family, children, I lead a good life, helped everyone, never did anything wrong, then why was I not saved from this deadly disease? During the wee hours of dawn, she was losing her consciousness and could barely breathe even with the help of the ventilators. In her words, she felt as though “elephants were pounding on my chest”.
At that moment a nurse came to her and asked, “Would you like to pray with me?” She agreed, although she couldn’t speak, she followed along mentally. For the first time, she felt some relief. That is when she realized, “I lead a good life but never prayed much.” She recovered in two months. That is why it is so important my friends to recite prayers and the prayers of your own religion as that is the best prescription for you to create that IMPACT in your life which can only be experienced and cannot be explained in words!
May we all draw strength, solace, protection and happiness from our prayers in the New Year!!
- સામ બહાદુર ફિલ્મની સ્ક્રીનિંગનું આયોજન પારસી ફર્મ્સ કરશે - 2 December2023
- પારડીવાલા પરિવાર દ્વારા ડુંગરવાડીના વિશાળ પેવેલિયનનું નવીનીકરણ કરવામાં આવ્યું - 2 December2023
- મુંબઈની પારસી હેરિટેજ બિલ્ડીંગબીજેપીસીઆઈ સ્કુલ પુન:સ્થાપિત - 2 December2023