Unity Without Uniformity

3Did you know all our revered Atash Behram fires are made up of 16 different fires? Yes, fires from 16 different sources – including the fire from lightning (the highest source) and a fire from cremation (the lowest source) – are collected. They are then purified and consecrated with an elaborate process, by about 1000 pairs of Yozdathregar priests, before enthroning the king (Padshah) in the purified and consecrated sanctum sanctorum.

Now, when we stand in front of this highly exalted fire, which is Dadar Ahura Mazda’s son (Athro Ahurahe Mazdao Puthra Tav Atrash Puthra Ahurae Mazdao) and pray, it restores the balance within us, by invigorating the 16 energy centers (Chakras) within us, which improves our emotional, mental and physical well-being. It further helps us to connect with the higher, super ultimate consciousness. This spiritual connection gives us the ability to bring about solutions and healing, on the physical and psychological levels, thus maintaining balance in our lives. It also guides and facilitates us into practicing moderation – the key principle of our religion in our lives.

What do we learn from Padshah Saheb? Though there are 16 different sources, still the fire is one, united. He takes infinite different shapes and forms, never uniform, yet always united, symbolizing unity in spirituality through religiosity. I am sure we can imbibe this quality of our holy fire by letting go of our ego and negative emotions like hatred, anger, vindictiveness and maliciousness, which we may have experienced in the old year, and get united in the New Year 2022, with greater introspection and less inspection.

Be Mindful – The energy Flows Where The Attention Goes… Our thoughts, being the most powerful instrument, affect not only our whole bodies, but also the whole world. And what affects the world affects us because we are as much part of the world as the world is part of us. It is an endless cycle. Hence, Prophet Zarathustra said you have the power to make your own destiny.

Speaking about power, one of the strongest powers we have, is our prayers. Two of the oldest prayers – ‘Yatha Ahu Vairyo’ and ‘Ashem Vohu’ – essentially emphasize on helping one in need. Ashem Vohu translates to doing righteous deeds, because it is the right thing to do, without any kind of expectation… as there lies true happiness. When you throw a pebble in the pond, you don’t know how far the ripples could go, they could perhaps even encircle you eventually! So, friends, let’s throw the pebbles of love and kindness in the pond of life, so that when it comes back to us, it brings us happiness and immense satisfaction for providing a service of unconditional love.

Zarathustra introduced the unique idea that we worship Ahura Mazda with His own divine qualities, as we are made in His image. We worship God’s truth by being truthful, focusing on the truth of love rather than the love of truth. We worship what is right by doing what’s right. We worship His good thinking with good thinking. We worship His benevolence by being benevolent. In short, we worship Ahura Mazda in the material world by infusing His divine and benevolent qualities into each thought, word and action, in the temple of life – in our homes, in the business world, in academia, in government, in the practice of our professions, in our treatment of the environment, in the way we relate to each other, and to all life forms… a ‘living’ worship in every sense of the word – serving the Creator by serving His creations with love. 

We do not have to be uniform to be United; we can be our different selves and yet be United. Look at the environment, everything is different – animals, birds, rivers, oceans, seas, plants and trees. Yet, they all work synergistically for the betterment of our world. The same goes with our ‘in-vironment’ – all our organs perform different duties – the heart pumps blood, the kidney filter toxins and so on. Yet, they all work for the common goal of keeping their universe – the body – healthy.

Kindness reminds me of the by the Persian Sufi poet, Hafiz, “Even after all this time, The sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me’; Look what happens with a love like that – It lights the whole sky.”

As we welcome the New Year, I sincerely pray to Dadar Ahura Mazda: ‘Please take command and remove / transform all negativities; Protect and enlighten us so we can identify the negative vibrations in and around us. Manifest Your Positive Light, Love and Power within me, and around me and in this world. Enlighten me so that I can see through the negative dualistic beliefs, ignorance and fears in all religious, non-religious organisations, governments, educational and corporate institutions and their leaders, that makes them play power games so we ALL at all levels (micro and macro) ONLY become ONE with You Ahura Mazda. We are Co-Creators of Your Divine Will, help us to use our energy and our Divine given power for only good for ALL. To always Love and Respect All.’

Finally, I quote the following blessings from the Afrin of the Bozorgs: “May your wishes be fulfilled like those of Lord Ormazd, with regard to his own creation. Be fortunate and more excellent like Kaikhusro.  Be more friendly like Mihir Yazata. Be a smiter of enemies like Zarir. Be handsome like Syavakhsh. Be illustrious like Vijan. Be righteous like King Vishtasp. Be robust like Sam Nariman. Be equipped with arms like Rustam. Be a lancer like Aspendyar – the prop of religion. Be a wise man like the valiant Jamasp, the Chief of the realm. Be overpowering like the holy fravashis. Be charitable like Tishtar. Be sweet like rain-water. Be clear-sighted like the sun. Be a practitioner of many meritorious deeds like Zarathushtra. Be long-lived like the powerful Zurvan (Time). Be fertile like the earth Spendarmat. Be widely connected like a navigable river. Be profusely stored up just as in winter. Be blooming like the spring. Be sweet-scented like musk. Be desired like gold. Be current like a Deram (the Iranian silver coin). Be occupied like the Lord Ormazd in his own creation.

May these blessings be so as the moon, the sun, waters, and the fire and just like wine, the myrtle, musk, the jasmine, the rose and the mouse-ear, and for a thousand years, may their various perfumes be charming and exhilarating, together with pure food, pleasant wine and the sweet-scented basil, and with a spouse having the same vision as yourself, may there be born a righteous offspring to you who may protect the community, who may desire name and fame, who may smite the enemies and may be a multiplier of (his family)! Peace!”

Atha Zamyad Yatha Afrinami – May it be so, as I wish!

Happy New Year to all!

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