Zoroastrian Prayers and Their Meanings Zaf Class May 2016

Zoroastrian Prayers and Their Meanings Zaf Class May 2016

ZOROASTRIAN PRAYERS AND THEIR MEANINGS ZAF RELIGIOUS CLASS MAY 2016 DR. HOVI SHROFF Rules and Procedures for Visiting a Fire Temple Agiary/Atash Behram 1) A fire temple may not be entered without covering the head. 2) Wash hands before entering usually with well water. 3)

Perform the Kushti facing the Sun during daylight hours. 4) Shoes are removed before entering the inner hall. 5) Only the priest enters the chamber where the fire is kept. 6) On entering in the presence of fire one bows to it with respect and offers a gift of sandal wood. 7)

One may place a pinch of the ashes of the fire on ones forehead. These ashes are kept on a ladle on a large tray, the ledge of the door or window of the room in which the fire is kept. 8) On leaving the presence of the holy fire, one bows to it once more and walks out without turning ones back to the fire as a sign of respect. THE BASIC KUSTI PRAYERS ASHEM YATHA VOHU AHU VAIRYO KEMNA MAZDA AHURA

MAZDA KHODAI JASHAME AVANGE MAZDA LANGUAGES OF OUR PRAYERS GATHIC. The oldest language is the one in which the Gathas are written. It is the language that our prophet Zarathushtra used when he was alive. It is a sister language of Sanskrit, an old Indian language in which the religious literature of Hinduism and Buddhism is written. AVESTA. It is a later form of Gathic. It is the language in which all the Yashts and Nyaeshs are written as is the Jasa Me Avanghe Mazda prayer. The language used by Persian kings Cyrus and Darius (Old Persian) was very similar to Avesta. PAZEND- Used the Avestan alphabet but technically is not a language. It was used for writing religious commentaries.

PAHLEVI. The prayers written in the Sasanian period, from 226-600 CE are in this language. This language is the precursor of modern Persian. The Ahura Mazda Khodai and the Doa Tandorosti prayers are in Pahlevi. Ashem Vohu & Yatha Ahu Vairyo Ashem Vohu speaks of Righteousness. The belief is that Righteousness is the best path that leads us to happiness. The significance of the term `Righteousness' is to be understood as truth, holiness and purity. In our Holy Avesta `Righteousness' is highly praised. For this the words "Staomi ashem : (i.e., I praise Righteousness) are introduced. Purity of the mind and the body is the most excellent wealth and happiness of this world. That happiness which is highest in the matter of truth is attained to that person. The foremost thing which mankind ought to acquire after having born in this world is Truth.

Yatha Ahu Vairyo Just as is the will of the lord God and his Righteousness The gifts of good mind (Vohu Mana) are for those who work in this world and follow the will of Ahura Mazda. The kingdom of Ahura's heaven is for those who nourish and give to the poor. Kemna Mazda Kemna Mazda translates into O Hormazd! When wicked persons torment me and my followers, who is our protector from such a torment? There is none other than Thee, who will grant family happiness and peace of mind. The possession of body and mind in healthy condition increases righteousness. There is no protector other than Thee, O Hormazd! do Thou evoke, give rise to such a thought in my mind so that I may get courage and strength in executing any work

It is about protecting oneself from Evil in the form of thoughts, words and deeds. Ahura Mazda Khodai This prayer from its beginning to the words above "Pa se gavashni pa patet hom" is in Pazand language; The remaining final portion is in Avesta. Hormazd is the Creator of the entire world and is the ruler over it, there is none equal to Him. May Ahriman and all his daevas, drujas, sorcerers, tyrants, etc., be shattered and defeated ! O Holy Protector -For whatever sins have been committed by me, For whatever wicked thoughts I have harbored for whatever wicked word I have spoken and for whatever wicked actions I have done or have been

executed by me unknowingly - for all these types of sins I sincerely repent and atone for. Jashame Avangeh Mazda Meaning of the the Jashane Avangeh Mazda Prayer Do Thou come to my help O Creator Hormazd I am a Mazd-worshipper I profess myself to be a Mazd worshipping follower of Zarathushtra, a devotee and an ardent-believer in this Mazd-worshipping Faith I praise the true-conceived thought I praise the true-spoken word, I praise the well-done deed I praise the excellent religion Zoroastrian Prayers MANTHRAS

These are prayers in poetic form. They have a deeper meaning than what we can understand just by translating the Avesta words. Manthras have a power to help a person but to be fully effective the words must be pronounced clearly and properly. Examples of Manthras: Yatha Ahu Vairyo, Ashem Vohu and Yenghe Hatam. PRAYERS FOR HELP AGAINST EVIL The first duty of a Zoroastrian is to fight against evil both from outside and from within us and to work for the good. The prayers of the Kushti ritual the Kemna Mazda and the Ahura Mazda Khodai prayers are such prayers. A Zoroastrian who wears the Kushti and Sudreh and performs these prayers is protected from evil by Ahura-Mazda. PRAYERS OF ALLEGIANCE

TO THE RELIGION In these prayers we recite what the religion teaches us, what we believe in as Zoroastrians and how we should live our lives. By reciting these prayers we remind ourselves that we are Zoroastrians, we always speak the truth, we work for the good, we fight evil, we learn the difference between good and evil and we try to perfect ourselves. Examples of these prayers are Jasa Me Avanghe Mazda and Din No Kalmo PRAYERS OF PRAISE In our religion we have a large number of prayers in praise of Ahura Mazda, the Amesha-Spentas and the Yazatas who are in charge of his creations. Some of these are very long and some of them are used in our ceremonies. These are: The Yashts: These are very long prayers.

Examples are: Ahura Mazda Yasht in praise of God Khorshed Yasht in praise of sun-light Haptan Yasht in praise of the Amesha-Spentas. And there are many more. The Nyaeshes: These are shorter than the Yashts Examples are: Atash Nyaesh in praise of fire

Khorshed Nyaesh in praise of sun-light The 5 Gahs: These are prayers in praise of the five Beings in charge of the 5 different periods of the days. PRAYERS FOR ASKING FOR BLESSINGS The Tandorosti prayer is recited for the good health of a person, it can be recited for the good health of oneself or for the good heath of another. There are four short prayers , the Ahmai Rascha, the Hazangaram, the Jasa Me Avenghe Mazda, and the Kerfeh Mazda, which are recited at the end of the longer prayers such as the Yashts and Nyaeshes. They ask for various kinds of blessings for the person who has recited the longer prayers. PRAYERS FOR RITUALS & CEREMONIES

Rituals and Ceremonies These are groups of prayers which are recited in a particular way for a definite purpose. Examples; Navjote Ceremony; To accept a child into the Zoroastrian religion. Marriage Ceremony: To join a couple in marriage Jashan Ceremony: To celebrate happy and sad occasions, by inviting the Fravashis of all good Zoroastrians to be with us and bless us and to help us lead our lives as true Zoroastrians.

CHOICES GAME & SUMMER ACTIVITY LETS PLAY WOULD YOU RATHER SUMMER ACTIVITY FOR THE SUMMER ZAF WOULD LIKE YOU TO CREATE A PROJECT THAT WILL BE DISPLAYED AT THE NEW YEARS FUNCTION IN AUGUST THE PROJECT IS CALLED DID YOU KNOW

YOU WILL WRITE A FEW SENTENCES ABOUT WHAT WAS THE MOST INTERESTING FACT/FACTS ABOUT ZOROASTRIANISM YOU LEARNED OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST YEAR(ALL THE POWERPOINTS ARE ON zafonline.org) ADDITIONALLY YOU WILL DRAW A PICTURE TO ACCOMPANY YOUR ESSAY. THIS PROJECT IS NOT MANDATORY BUT APPRECIATED AND IS DUE THE FIRST WEEK IN AUGUST. HAMA ZOR Hama Zor, Ham Asho Bd May we be United,

May we be United in Righteousness Any questions: [email protected] www.zafonline.org

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