Letter to Mid-day: A few MISGUIDED souls

By Mehlli Bhagalia


The Sunday Mid-day Newspaper

Kimi Dangor,
Group Editorial Director "Bachi Karkaria" E-mail: bachi@mid-day.com
Chief Editor "Aakar Patel" E-mail: aakar@mid-day.com
Director - Operations "Arindam Mitra" E-mail: arindam@mid-day.com
Reporters E-mail: manoj@mid-day.com, mailbag@mid-day.com

CC: TraditionalZarathushtris@yahoogroups.com, Jame Jamshed; Bombay Parsi Punchayet

Subject: Ire in the temple

Dear Ms Bachi and Mr Aakar and Mr Arindam,

You will see from my address that this comes to you all the way from the US where I live with my family and a few thousand Zarthusties. I am a Zarthusti and a Yoga/ Ayurved Teacher of some repute here.

I have been a student and Teacher of Yoga for over 30 years, having studied the Hindu scriptures at the feet of great Yogi masters and having the greatest respect and admiration for your scriptures. I am therefore very surprised that from the land of the great Rishees, who were at one with the Laws of Nature and Religion, come these thoughtless comments of Mr. Nair and others recently, in the name of investigative journalism, about a sister Religion of India-- the Zarthusti religion.

Out of all the religions of the world, none are so close in their Philosophy, Mysticism, respect for the Earth and all things in Nature and their form of prayers as Hinduism and Zarthustianism. The Hindu religion has great Manthras which sing the praises of the Gods and Godesses and the forces of Nature. Our Zarthustrian prayers are also in a unique form of Manthravani. Just as all the five elements - Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether in Nature are revered in the Hindu religion, so are they in the religion of Asho Zarathustra. Hindu Astronomy and Astrology run a parallel course with Zarthustrian Astronomy and Astrology. In Hindu Cosmogenesis , we have Purusha as the Lord of the Universe in many forms. In Zarthustrian religion, we have AHU from which everything arises. It is the Divine breath of Parusha and AHU which created the Universe. I can go on and on.

In the Hindu religion and in Yoga, we have the 7 Pillars or Steps which lead to Salvation or Samadhi. In the Zarthustrian religion we too have the Seven Pillars of our Religion, which are the Foundations of our Religion and lead us to Farshogard. These are :

  1. Asha (Rightousness in thought word and deed)
  2. Atash (the Holy Fire which to us is a living spiritual entity)
  3. Bunak Pasbani (Preservation of the intrinsic spiritual and physical genetic qualities of the Mazdiyasni Zarthustrian race in the process of procreation)
  4. Dokhmenashini (Disposal of the Zarthusti dead body without defiling any elements in Nature and to enable the physical, non- physical and spiritual components to return to the source)
  5. Kriyakam (Religious rituals and ceremonies to be performed for the good of every living being or spirit in the Universe - seen and unseen)
  6. Manthrvani (Zarthustrian sacred prayers which have beneficial vibrational effect on All beings in Nature).
  7. Sudra and Kusti (Talismanic spiritual instruments given to the Mazdiyasni race by Ahuramazd through our great ancient of ancient Mazdiyasni Avatar King Jamshed and confirmed by Asho Zarathustra. These instruments are useless for anyone else and only useful to a Zarthusti following the Seven Pillars of our religion.

As you can see from the above, Bunnak Pasbani is an intrinsic part of our religion and religious law. Hindus have similar religious laws -- the laws enshrined in the Vedas and the Upanisads, and Laws of the Great Sage Manu who speaks of the differences between man and man and against the intermingling of races. This Law in it's pristine form is described by the great present day Saint and Sage Satya Sai Baba in his Geeta Vahini as the most perfect system for mankind. Unfortunately, mortal man over-civilized, and not understanding ancient wisdom, has begun to subvert the Laws of the Vedas and of Lord Manu and the laws of the Zarthustrian religion. The Resolution of the Seniormost Dasturs of our religion have only reaffirmed what is already enshrined in our religious laws, as mentioned in the Vandidad and other Zarthustrian scriptures. This has to be respected by all Zarthustis and all other religious communities without interference in our community matters.

Please allow me to give you a simple example. Suppose you are a member of a club named Bombay, in which there is a rule that if you become a member of any other club, you automatically lose your membership of the Bombay club. Now knowing this rule, you decide to become a member of another club named Madras. Can you then in all fairness insist that club Bombay change their rules and allow you the privileges to both clubs? You cannot allow breakers of rules and laws to decide what rules they will follow and which not. This would lead to chaos and anarchy.

You will agree that the Hindu and Zarthustrian religious Laws are not subject to negotiation and tempering by ordinary men and women, just to suit their convenience. Such changes if any, can only be made by the great Avatars like Lord Krishna and Asho Zarathustra, who come down to earth, when they feel it is for the good of mankind.

Hindus at this time, in view of their large numbers, may not be concerned with the dilution of their race. However Zarthustrians are in such small numbers, that they are in a life and death struggle against being diluted to extinction.

It is now over 1500 years since, with the gracious consent of a Hindu Raja, the the Zarthustrian religion was planted in the sacred soil of India. During this time, in gratitude to the country of our adoption, we fought side by side with our Hindu brothers against the Mohomedan invaders in western India. Zarthustrians have fought in all wars with extraordinary distinction; we have been captains of industry and business, which has brought untold benefits to Mother India; we have embarked on projects of Charity unknown before; we have been in the forefront of the thickest battles for our independence from foreign rule, our sons have commanded regiments into battle and led our armies to victory and made the supreme sacrifice for our country. In fact, Zarthustrians have represented India with pride and distinction in every field of human endeavor.

In return, we request only this of our Hindu and other Indian brothers - Please help us to protect our religion and our race, as you have done for the last 1500 years. Please do not allow Zarthustrians and others, uneducated in our Religion and our religious laws, to do what the Arab invaders to Ancient Iran could not do 1500 years ago. For 1500 years our pristine and ancient religion has been embedded in the heart of India. Our sacred Holy fires in our Fire temples have, during this time, showered their special blessings and protection on this sacred land and its people. Please do not allow these Holy flames to be extinguished by the ignorance and acts of a few misguided souls.

I would respectfully request you , in fairness to the worldwide Zarthustrian community, to print this in your MID DAY newspaper, so that all people get the other side of this story.

If you have any questions, please call me at my telephone number or by email

Thanking you.

Mehlli Bhagalia.

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