ADOPTION: What a Panthakey or Any Parsi / Irani Priest should do.
Let us not ask what the law can do for us but let us do the Right Thing when in doubt what the law on the subject is.
In the absence of clear laws, one has to follow the age-old customs and practices, and not change anything, to suit the fancies of some individuals. WHY SHOULD YOU DO WHAT YOUR FOREFATHERS WOULD NOT HAVE DONE.
Whether it is a Panthakey, or a Priest in a city or a Remote Place, he is Duty bound, to make sure that he performs The Holy Navjote Ceremony only if he is convinced that the child is born of both Zorastrian Parents, or if a child is adopted then he MUST make sure that he is FULLY convinced that the adopted child is born of Both Zorastrian Parents. (When in doubt he should ask for further information WITHOUT ANY HESITATION WHATSOEVER) IF HE IS NOT CONVINCED THEN HE SHOULD NOT PERFORM THE CEREMONY AT ALL NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS. VERY SIMPLE. If someone has adopted a child and wish to have the Navjote performed then it necessary that they be able to provide the necessary proof. Their inability to do so should not automatically mean that the priest should go ahead and perform the ceremony.
Now let me step in and give my personal opinion as to what any Priest should do if placed in such circumstances as a Priest.
Let this serve as the best guidelines for anyone who has questions. We cannot escape as Priests by saying that there are no proper guidelines or that there is an absence of a Chief Dasturji.
(Also being an Ex-Cop. I know that when confronted with a situation one has to take instant decision to the best of one's ABILITY and TRAINING and that one cannot always run away from situations saying that I am not sure what the law on the subject is or I will wait till I ask my chief of police.)
I therefore call upon all brother Parsi /Irani Priests to use their mind and apply the most basic knowledge and training that was imparted to us. Just as, when a Police Officer is Sworn in to Serve & to Protect and is then awarded his Shield, Uniform and a Gun, so in the same thought process when we all priests were ordained as Navar, we were awarded our title of Ervad, and were given the ceremonial GHURAJ (mace), and Jamo & Paghri, and from that time on we have taken upon ourselves to Serve & to Protect our dear Mazdayasni Zorastrian Religion till death do us part. Using one's mind in the right direction is the key.
We are duty bound to do things that are a FARMAN upon us and NOT TO DEVIATE and do things differently than what our forefathers would have done.
1) No Priest should perform any Navjote ceremony if he is personally NOT convinced that both parents are Zorastrians.
2) No Priest should perform any Navjote ceremony of an adopted child unless he is convinced that the both the parents of the adopted child are Zorastrians by birth.
3) Just because both parents are Zorastrians is just not reason enough that he should go ahead and perform the Navjote ceremony which in today's age has become a joke, as parents just come out and book the services of a priest like some "STAGE CLOWN" to do an act to please their guests. WHENEVER A PRIEST IS REQUESTED TO PERFORM A NAVJOTE CEREMONY, HE IS DUTY BOUND THAT AFTER HE IS CONVINCED ABOUT THE HEREDITARY BACKGROUND OF THE CANDIDATE, HE SHOULD ALSO ARRANGE TO HAVE AN INTERVIEW WITH THE POTENTIAL CHILD, AND MAKE SURE THAT THE CHILD KNOWS THE BASIC NAVJOTE PRAYERS BY HEART. IF THE CHILD DOES NOT KNOW THE BASIC PRAYERS, THEN HE SHOULD MAKE AN ATEMPT TO TEACH THE CHILD THE BASIC PRAYERS, OR MAKE SURE THAT SOME ARRANGEMENT IS MADE TO PREPARE THE CHILD FOR THE CEREMONY. THERE IS NO NEED TO RUSH THE CEREMONY IF THE CHILD IS NOT PREPARED. IT CAN BE DELAYED UNTIL THE CHILD KNOWS THE BASIC PRAYERS.
Any perfomance of the so called navjote without proper verification, or the child being fully prepared for the sacred ceremony, is a direct sin on the priest who performs the navjote. If you are Not able to withstand the heat that comes with the territory then step out gracefully, and do not continue to make a mess of our religion.
LET THERE BE SOME DIGNITY IN THIS CEREMONY JUST OUR FOREFATHERS OBSERVED. TO ME IT IS A FARCE IF WE PERFORM A CEREMONY AND ON THE DAY OF THE NAVJOTE THE MOTHER OF THE SAME CHILD IS WEARING A FASHIONABLE BLOUSE WITH NO SADRO AND KASTI, THEN IT IS A TOTAL JOKE OF THE ENTIRE CEREMONY.
AS WE SOW SO SHALL WE REAP: If we as priests STOP deviating from the Basic Core of our age old traditions, things will be very simple. Let us not dance to the tune of every individual that wants us to do things to their fancies, and stand firm on our commitment to safeguard the traditions of our forefathers.
Just like in every profession there are certain individuals that give a bad name to their profession, whether it be doctors, politicians, lawyers, etc, similarly we have individuals who give a bad name to our priests, and we are ashamed of them. We should make every attempt to see that another priest does not follow the path of the rogue mobeds.
Just because in some town or village the trustees/priest are liberal and break our religious customs and practicies does not mean that it is right for others to follow their path.
An extension of this thought also reminds me to inform all my brother priests that they should not perform any weddings of mixed marriages, or continue professional relationship with any priest who breaks this traditional custom.
LET US PRESERVE WHAT IS LEFT AND NOT FOLLOW WHAT IS GONE.
LET US NOT TAMPER WITH OUR RELIGION JUST BECAUSE IT IS SO OLD, AND SAY THAT IN MODERN TIME WE SHOULD ADOPT CHANGES.
FOR THAT MATTER EVEN "A CIRCLE" IS VERY OLD. TRY TO CHANGE IT'S SHAPE IN MODERN TIMES AND SEE HOW YOUR CAR RUNS. DO NOT CHANGE WHAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND AND LEARN TO RESPECT AND FOLLOW THAT YOUR FOREFATHERS DID IN THE PAST AND HAVE BROUGHT US TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY SO THAT WE CAN PROUDLY LEAD OUR CHILDREN JUST AS OUR ANCESTORS HAVE DONE IN THE PAST.
DO NOT BE LOST IN AN ATTEMPT TO CREAT A NEW PATH JUST FOR THE HECK OF DOING SO.
LET US SERVE AND PROTECT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN SWORN IN TO DO AS PRIESTS.
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