Today, 15th October, 2022 (Roj Hormazd, Mah Khordad) and 20th October will be the parab of Khordad (Roj Khordad, Mah Khordad) according to the Shehenshahi Calendar. Khordad is the third month of the Zoroastrian calendar and it brings blessings of purity and perfection.
Khordad (Avesta Haurvatat) is not only an Amesha Spenta presiding over the purifying waters, it also embodies the quality of perfection. Theologically, Khordad and Ameredad (Avesta Haurvatat and Ameretat) are twin concepts, representing the final goal of human life – Perfection and Immortality!
Lord Of The Seasons:
In the Khordad Yasht, Khordad is referred to as ‘the Lord of the coming of the season at its proper time’. In other words, Khordad is responsible for the delicate ecological balance and the precision of the changing seasons.
In the Khordad Yasht we pray, “Mraot Ahurō Mazdāo Spitamāi Zarathushtrāi azem dadhām Haurvatātō narām ashaonām avāoscha, rafnāoscha baoshanāoscha, khvītāoscha; avōi fracha yaokhmaide, yō te jasāiti ameshanām spentanām, yatha jasāiti ameshanām spentanām vohū manō, ashem vahishtem, khshathrem vairīm, spentām ārmaitīm, haurvatāoscha ameretatāoscha”!
Translated, this means: “The Creator, Ahura Mazda told Spitamān Zarathushtra that He created Khordād for the happiness and joy and to help righteous men and one may invoke Khordād and Amardād for help, just as one would the other Ameshā Spentas – Bahman, Ardibehesht, Sheherevar and Spandārmad.”
Perfection Through Piety:
The Khordad Yasht also affirms that one who invokes the Holy name of Khordad would not only be protected against attacks from the forces of evil, but also that invoking His help would smite these negative forces. This Yasht lays great emphasis on chanting Avesta manthra in order to attain purity and perfection.
However, what one prays must be matched equally with good actions. Every Zoroastrian is expected to adhere to the principle of Asha, which embodies truth, righteousness and divine order and Khordad or purity and perfection can be attained only through Asha.
Is Perfection Possible?
The renowned physicist Stephen Hawkings believed, “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist. Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.” Indeed, we live in a ‘perfecting world’ and we, as Zoroastrians, believe that human beings find happiness or sorrow according to moral and ethical choices made at an individual level. No human being is perfect and no human being’s life is absolutely ‘perfect’.
As one deconstructs what an ideal human should be, it becomes clear that there is no universally-accepted standard of an ideal or perfect human. The ideal or perfect human is culturally and socially bound and therefore there can be no universal agreement upon the qualities of the ‘perfect’ individual. The status of absolute perfection is subjective and virtually impossible to attain. Yet, perfection is an ideal worth our aspirations for it in only the pursuit of perfection that leads to excellence. In other words, excellence is what mankind gets in its endeavour to become perfect.
In a sense, imperfection is life. It is due to imperfection that dynamic growth is possible. If one is perfect, there would be nothing further to do or to attain. There would be no further growth. Therefore, is the goal of life stagnant or dynamic? From a Zoroastrian point of view, life is to live, to grow and attain happiness. Of course, being happy doesn’t mean that everything has to be perfect. It is about looking beyond the imperfections and looking at imperfections perfectly.
To Be Perfect Is To Be Happy:
The philosopher Aristotle believed that happiness is the central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. This is what Zarathushtra also sang in the Gatha.
According to Aristotle, happiness is about achieving, through the course of a whole lifetime, good health, wealth, knowledge and good friends that leads to the perfection of human nature and to the enrichment of human life. This requires us to make choices, some of which may be very difficult. Once again this resonates with Zarathushtra’s message of exercising the right choice.
Aristotle equates happiness to perfection. To be perfect is to be happy and to be happy is to be perfect! May you have a blessed Khordad month ahead!