Today, Saturday, 17th September 2022 is Roj Ardibehesht of Mah Ardibehesht, or what we call the Parab (festival) of Ardibehesht.
Ardibehesht is the second month and the third day of every month in the Zoroastrian calendar. It is a day of utmost significance since Ardibehesht is Ahura Mazda’s Divine attribute of Truth, Divine Order and Healing.
Truth is Divine… In the Avesta, Ardibehesht is referred to as Asha Vahishta. Asha is variously translated as Truth, Righteousness and Divine Order. Vahishta mean ‘the Best’. The Hebrew equivalent of Asha is emet, which means truth, firm, stable, and faithful. The Greek equivalent is aletheia, which denotes being truthful or upright or having nothing to hide.
In Sanskrit there is a term – Sat-Chit-Ananda where Sat is Truth, absolute being or existence or that which is enduring and unchanging, Chit is Consciousness, understanding and comprehension and Ananda is Bliss, a state of pure happiness. To Hindus, Sat-Chit-Ananda is the source of all consciousness and all perfection. To experience Sat-Chit-Ananda is to achieve the ultimate goal of the spiritual journey. Similar to Sat-Chit-Ananda is Satyam (Truth), Shivam (Divinty), Sundaram (Beauty). The mystical meaning of Satyam Shivam Sundaram is: when Truth is experienced, Divinity manifests out of that experience and Beauty becomes the flowering of consciousness of the person who experiences the Truth.
In the Zoroastrian sacred texts, Truth is seen as a moral and ethical attribute of God or the Supreme Divinity. Ardibehesht embodies Ahura Mazda’s Truth, Righteousness and the Divine Order, with which Ahura Mazda created and sustains this Universe. Thus, the Parab of Ardibehesht celebrates Truth, Righteousness, Divine order and Healing.
The Energy Or Essence Of Ardibehest… Ardibehesht is the Amshaspand (Archangel) or Amesha Spenta (Bounteous Immortal) presiding over the energy of fire. Adar Yazad is a Hamkara or helper of Ardibehesht. It is for this reason that many fire temples were consecrated in this month, the most notable being the Anjuman Atash Bahram which was consecrated on Roj Ardibehesht of Mah Ardibehesht (1897) and the Navsari Atash Bahram, which was consecrated on Roj Sarosh of Mah Ardibehesht (1765).
Every Zoroastrian household has a prayer nook at home where one lights a diva (oil lamp). Over time this becomes the abode of Ardibehesht – reminding us be truthful and conduct our life righteously. More importantly with Ardibehesht, one also ushers healing and life-giving energy into one’s home. Indeed, keeping a diva burning at home is to keep the energy of life and good health flowing at home.
What To Pray?
On this auspicious day praying the Ardibehesht Yasht would be considered most meritorious. Of course, this Yasht (litany) can also be prayed every day. It is one of the best prayers for healing all kinds of ailments.
In the Ardibehesht Yasht we pray: “Ādim framraomi Ashem Vahishtem; yezī framraomi Ashem Vahishtem, āat anyaēsham Ameshanām Spentanām hvāyaonem; yim pāiti Mazdāo humatāish, yim pāiti Mazdāo hūkhtāish, yim pāiti Mazdāo hvarshtāish. Garō-nmānem Ahurahe hvāyaonem. Garō-nmānem nereyō asti ashāvaoyō. Naēchish dravatām ayene paitish garō-nmanem, ravohu ashāyonem chithrem Ahurem Mazdām.”
Translated, it means: “I like him (i.e., Ardibehesht); when I like Ardibehesht, then (he) of (all) other Ameshāspands (becomes) a helper, whom (the Creator) Ahura Mazda nourishes with good thoughts, and good words, and good actions. The Garothmān (Paradise) is Ahura Mazda’s own abode. The Garothmān (Paradise) is for righteous persons.”
The essence of this verse is that only a righteous person can be in the abode or presence of Ahura Mazda.
Prayer Is Best Form Of Healing… The Ardibehesht Yasht refers to five types of healers: “Ashō-baēshazō, dātō-baeshazō, karetō-baēshazō, urvarōbaēshazō, mānthrō-baēshazō; baēshazanām baēshazyōtemō yat mānthrem-spentem-baēshazyō; yō narsh ashaonō hacha uruthwān baēshzyāt, aeshō zī asti baēshazanām baēshazyōtemō” or “One who heals by means of purification rites or through his own Ashoi or piety (Ashō-baēshazō), one who cures (social ills) by law and justice (dātō-baeshazō), one who heals with the knife like a surgeon (karetō-baēshazō), one who restores health by means of herbs and vegetation (urvarōbaēshazō), and one who heals by means of reciting the mānthra or prayers (mānthrō-baēshazō)”.
The Yasht affirms that the “best among healers is the one who heals reciting the mānthra”.
The Nirang Of Ardibehesht…
The Nirang of Ardibehesht is a very powerful capsule prayer which should be recited three times after the recitation of Ardibehesht Yasht:
“Dādāre jehādār tavānā O dānā, O parvartār O āfarīdegār, O kerfehgar, O avakhshīdār. Ahereman hīch, nādān, O natavānad ba hīch chīz nashahed. Ahura Mazda dādārī, ahereman marochīnīdārī. Dādār pāk, ahereman nāpāk; ahereman khāk shavad, ahereman dūr shavad, ahereman dafe shavad, ahereman shekasteh shavad, ahereman halāk shavad. Avval dīn Zarathushtī pāk; Ahura Mazda buland kavī, beh, awazūnī.”
Which means: “The Creator, the keeper of the world, (is) omnipotent and omniscient, and the Nourisher of all, and the producer, and the Doer of meritorious deeds and overseer. Ahriman is nothing whatsoever (and is) ignorant, and cannot do anything. Hormazd (is) the Creator (and) Ahriman the destroyer. The Creator (is) Holy and Ahriman (is) wicked. May Ahriman perish, may Ahriman be far away, may Ahriman be vanished, may Ahriman be defeated and may Ahriman be overcome. The foremost Religion (is the) pure Zoroastrian (Religion); Hormazd (is) Exalted, Powerful, Good (and) the Increaser.”
Airyaman Isho… The Ardibehesht Yasht also refers to the prayer of Airyaman Isho, which is actually Yasna 54. It is very efficacious and powerful, and should be prayed just before the chanting of Ardibehest Yasht. Airyaman Yazad is a co-worker of Ardibehesht Ameshaspand and therefore, it is considered very meritorious and beneficial to recite this manthra before the Ardibehesht Yasht.
Yasna 54.1 is recited 4 times. It has the power to drive away diseases, physical, mental as well as spiritual. Part of it is composed in the Gathic dialect and it is affirmed that this specific Yasna 54 will be recited at the time of the future restoration of the world.
Invoking Airyaman Yazata… One may invoke Airyaman Yazad every day. However, it is considered particularly meritorious to invoke this Yazata during the month of Ardibehesht and the Parab of Ardibehesht. This short but very efficacious prayer should be recited after reciting the Ardibehesht Yasht and its Nirang.
“Banaame yazade bakshaayandeh bakshaayazgar meherbaan
Yaanim mano, yaanim vacho, yaanim shyaothnem ashaono zarathushtrahe.
Aa Airyemaa ishyo rafedhraai,
jantu nerebyaschaa naairibyaschaa,
zarathushtrahe vangheush rafedhraai manangho,
yaa daenaa vairim hanaat mizdem,
ashahyaa yaasaa ashim yaam ishyaam,
Ahuro masataa mazdaao.”
The above verse should be recited four times followed by reciting the Ashem Vohu thrice and reciting:
“Airyamanem ishim yazamaide,
amavantem verethraajanem vitbaeshanghem,
majishtahe ashahe sravanghhaam,
gaathaao spentaao ratukhshathraaoashaonish yazamaide,
staota yasnya yazamaide,
yaa daataa angheush pauruyehyaa.
Yenghe haataam aat yesne paiti vangho,
mazdaao ahuro vaethaa ashaat hachaa,
yaaonghaamchaa taanschaa taaoschaa yazamaide.”
Conclude with reciting one Ashem Vohu!