The sixth salgreh of Zoroastrian Association of California’s (ZAC) Atashkadeh was celebrated with great religious fervor and Parsi gusto on 12th November, 2022. Preparations started a week in advance with a deep cleaning of the premises. On the salgreh day, chowk was done by Vira and Barjor Santoke, a Hama Anjuman Maachi was offered to Atashpadshah in all five gehs. Also, two Hama Anjuman Jashans were performed by Ervads Zerkxis and Zarir Bhandara – in the morning and the evening – for the convenience of about 75 community members who attended the auspicious occasion.
After the Jashans, blessings in the form of messages, from Vada Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal, Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, and Vada Dasturji Cyrus Noshirwan Dastur, were read out. The following message from the High Priest of Iranshah Udvada – Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor – was read by Rooky Fitter (in the morning) and Daisy Pithawalla, ZAC Youth Coordinator (in the evening): “Dear Humdinds, Greetings from the land of Iranshah! I would like to express my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to my dear friend and a sincere Mobed, Er. Zarir Bhandara on this auspicious occasion. In many of my talks, I have expressed the need and importance of a religiously pious and scripturally knowledgeable Mobed who is willing to share his learning and insight with the community. This is the one way, our religious traditions will be protected and our religion, preserved. This is what Zarir has believed in and has made every effort in the direction of preservation. He continues to take the trouble to play a contributory role in organising and being a part of as many religious gatherings as he possibly can. What strikes me as very impressive is that he has not only encouraged and motivated his son Zerkxis but has mentored him to follow his passion. I am grateful to you Zarir, though so far away from your roots, you have in the past 50 years, helped lay a strong foundation of religious wealth for the Zoroastrians in the U.S. May the Light of the Sacred Fire strengthen the Faith, bring Harmony, and Guide our community towards preserving our traditions and ethnicity eventually leading us towards enlightenment.”
ZAC Secretary Vira Santoke (morning) and ZAC Treasurer Phiroze Gundevia (evening) read the following message from Vada Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal: “I am pleased that the Association of California has deemed it fit to felicitate a worthy priest (Er. Zarrir) who is involved in the service of the whole Parsi community. Felicitations on the 6th Anniversary (Salgreh) of the Atash Padshah installed by the Zoroastrian Association of California (ZAC)… It is our sincere prayer that our Holy Fire may continue to shower his choicest blessings on the faithful devotees of California… and lead them always on the path of Truth and Righteousness. It is very gratifying that ZAC is fortunate to have a good and sincere priest such as Ervad Zarrir Bhandara who has been helping community members in all spheres of life… It is my sincere hope that he and his son Zerkxis will continue to serve the faithful and devout members of the Good Religion… May this father and son team live a long and healthy life and may the divine blessings of Ahura Mazda be bestowed upon them and the devout members of the Parsi Irani Zarthushti community of California.”
ZAC’s past president Mobedyar Houtoxi Contractor read the following message from Vada Dasturji Cyrus Noshirwan Dastur: “I wish and pray to Dadar Ahura Mazda that the divine fire that was enthroned in California six years ago, may eternally keep burning and keep blessing the Zarthosty devotees with an abundance of happiness, success, progress, and prosperity. I also congratulate Ervad Zarrir F. Bhandara, my guru, on his 50 years of dedicated, selfless, and honorary service to our Zarthosti community in the US, North America, and globally. Zarrir you have been guiding our community with your expansive knowledge about our religion and I commend you for the same, may Ahura Mazda’s blessings be showered upon you forever.”
After which a note of thanks was delivered by Ervad Bhandara, thanking the ZAC executive committee and Er. Zerksis for working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly and to the Commissariat family and Yashmin Pithawalla for the Parsi food and snacks, respectively, relished by all.