From the Editor’s Desk
A few days ago, an elderly lady called up to voice her concern about a community trait that she found increasingly disturbing. “Isn’t it a little selfish that these days an increasing number of community members seem to pay visits to Agiaries and Atashbehrams only on special days and occasions?” she asked. “Some come only because they are facing hardships and they hope that our divine energies will help in the recovery and restoration of their unfortunate situations. And rarely do our divine energies disappoint when we ask for their help, immaterial of whether we pray from a temple or our homes, as long as we pray with a clean heart,” she continued.
“Have we as a community become so selfishly busy that we only manage to pay our respects to the holy fire in our temples on particular occasions? This is ingratitude. And this is definitely not why our forefathers risked their lives to save the holy fire and fought against all odds and limitations to resurrect our religion in another country! Will you please write on this?” she insisted.
She definitely made a strong point. Unlike our previous generations, who habitually (even daily) visited the fire-temple, the current generations seem to be missing out. But life has become too hectic and stressful today… and between handling the work front and the home front, there’s precious little time remaining for much else! Which unfortunately is the even greater irony, because this is when those visits, however short, would provide much ‘re-charge’ to one’s exhausted body, spirit and soul!
There is no denying the very palpable feeling of positivity and peace that simply embraces you when you set foot inside a place of worship. You can feel the exhaustion and pain and negativity drain away from within, even as the positive vibes take over. You feel more connected to your Maker and just a few moments of that focused meditation renews your sense of hope – it helps you uncover a deeper meaning to life and shows you the temporary nature of your current problems or dark moments.
The powerful divine energy in our fire-temples rejuvenates your sense of purpose and your identity as a Zarthosti, washing away all doubts, dilemmas and purposelessness. A sense of peace comes over, strengthening your spiritual growth. No one has ever left a place of worship feeling as despondent or depressed or confused as when they entered. Going often to the Agiary also fosters a sense of community and belonging – and it keeps you in touch with our ever helpful priests!
Many faiths have a weekly ritual of visiting their place of worship. As followers of Ahura Mazda and worshippers of the ultimate truth, light and wisdom, having a ‘weekly mandatory day’ of visiting our fire-temples was not considered necessary. It was assumed our better senses would ensure regular, if not daily, visits. But somewhere, in this rat race, we have forgotten, and therefore forfeited, the various, unconditional benefits we reap – physically, mentally and spiritually – when we set foot inside an Agiary or Atashbehram.
What stops us then, from continuing the wonderful tradition of paying our respects more regularly to our Agiaries? Like they say, “Find a way, not an excuse!”
Have a wonderful weekend!