Dastur Nadershah P.Unvalla
In Mumbai Samachar weekly one Commodore Z.S. Mehta, I.N. (Retd.) has written a letter in which he has tried to humble Mr. Noshir Dadrawalla for his article which appeared in Jame weekly of 15th.December2002
In our community there are some reformist who wish to bring drastic changes in the customs , practices and ceremonies prescribed in our sacred books. Disposal of the dead through the Crematorium and burial and mixed marriages are serious problems of the community and are not accepted by a majority of the community nor allowed by our religious scriptures. If any Parsi knowingly opts for such acts nobody stops them but they cannot impose such changes on the others to suit their views and convenience. In our daily prayers, it is clearly mentioned that a Parsi Zoroastrian should not displease the Almighty, Kshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdao (Ahura Mazda be pleased).
In one of our holy books it is clearly mentioned that a Muzdayasni Zarthusti, by mixing his semen with a non- Muzdayasni displeases the Almighty God. These people go against these very fundamental principles and then claim to be good Zoroastrians.
The writer ,in an attempt to stir up emotions and mislead the members of our community tries to justify the need to perform the Navjote of the children of those who have opted to marry outside the religion,merely on the ground that their fore-fathers had donated large sums to the community and its various causes. Does this give the powers- that- be the right to make such exceptions only because of their fore-fathers' generosity? Will it not form a precedent? Obviously the writer has chosen to astutely avoid this logic.
May I request him and his supporters, to read the translation of the Para 5 of Atash Niyaish wherein a devotee prays, before the Holy Fire. "O' Holy Fire grant me a child steadfast in ones own duty, watchfulness, nourishing of innate wisdom, ruling over the regions, sitting in the assembly, thoroughly developed, possessed of good respect, delivering from distress, as powerful as a Hero, such an off spring, O Fire of Ahura Mazda do thou grant me, who as the offspring, may render my house , my clan, my town,my country and the religion of my country prosperous"
Surely the forefathers of the well-known families, all good and devout Zoroastrians, referred to by the writer must have sincerely prayed in front the Holy Fire that their progeny would continue to perform such charitable acts and follow the faith,and wed within the Faith . That this has not come to pass must sadden them as much as it has all true believer, of the religion.
Another point to my fellow Zoroastrian. We the Priests do remember these grand Parsees. The Petits,Tatas Wadias, Godrejs,Jeejeebhoys in our public prayers.We are grateful to them for their philanthropy and generosity. There is no lack of gratitude as the writer tries to make out. Our members must be able to see through this move that smacks of ulterior motives and not get lead away by this propaganda.
It would be pertinent to know how many of these heterodox Parsis who accept mixed marriages and insist that Navjote be performed of their progeny by maverick priests, wear the Sudreh and Kusti at all times and are never without them? This would clearly reflect their commitment to the faith.
Religion is not a game of Cricket or golf. The said writer proudly claims that he has married a non- Parsi and yet she is a strict Zoroastrian.I wonder how? This may be his perception, but certainly not to thousands of followers of the Zoroastrian Religion . She may respect and cherish the goodness of the Zoroastrian faith, but under no circumstances can she ever claim to be a part of it. That much is clear.
Reference is made too the method of disposal of our dead. If the Dokhmeneshini is not acceptable to them, so be it. They would be well advised to follow their own misdirected path. But their attempts to change a long and time honoured custom which even today is hailed as most nature friendly by scholars of all faiths cannot be changed by these misguided few.
Dastur Nadershah P.Unvalla
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