Jashan is one of the 'Hosmordi Kriya' or common ceremony that can be performed anywhere outside the vicinity of our sacred Atash Adaran and Atash Behram on a clean place. Like PavMahal (high liturgical), Hosmordi Kriyas are also divine exercises that has to be performed by our Priests under extremely concentrated environment to make appropriate effect of our Avesta Manthras. It is a ceremony to invoke certain fravashis depending on the occasion (Gahambar, Rapithvan, Farvardighan, for living or deceased, house-warming etc). During this ceremony, two Priests recites certain chapters dedicated to certain Yazads & Ameshspands (out of 33 Yazads & Ameshaspands) to invocate blessings to the living and those present or requested the ceremony. With the help of Avesta Manthras they construct a form of attunement channel with those Y&A's to help the living and those departed souls who are remembered in the ceremony to advance in this world and beyond. When the Priests are in process of building up a fortress of attunement, everyone in the audience should recite Avesta Manthras to help in building up such an environment to invite blessings from those spiritual beings. No one should disturb or interrupt this process by any noise or physical approach to the Jashan area which is safe under PaviKat. There are many intrinsic details on each aspect of Jashan which I prefer to explain in detail to the interested audience only. The following article will highlight ritual-related Tarikats that one need to follow before, during and after the performance of the Jashan ceremony. The Priests and Behdins attending the Jashan ceremony must observe the following guidelines to make the ceremony a meaningful presentation to the divine world of Ahura Mazda.
Duties & Responsibilities of a Priest:
1. Must take shower before going to Jashan. If the Jashan is in Afternoon, do take shower before leaving regardless of your morning shower.
2. Abstain from coming in contact with bed or any other Drujih-generating objects, clothes and activities.
3. In the house, the prayer clothes should be stored untouched by a women in mensus or any outside, Drujih generating objects or people including non-Zoroastrians. All Zarathustris including Priests should keep a separate Kusti for attending ceremonies and our sacred Agiary and Atash Behram.
4. A Priest married outside cannot perform or even recite Avesta Manthras and thus debarred from his spiritual duties. Any ceremonies performed by such a person is null and void.
5. On reaching the place of worship or place where the Jashan is scheduled, the Priests should not involved in cleaning floor or any other Drujih-generating activities because such involvements defeats the purpose of taking bath and preserving Ashoi principles. It also affects his role as 'Joti' or 'Rathvi' in the invocation & attunement exercises by Manthric compositions that he is involved during the Jashan prayers. If at all he has to do that cleaning work, he has to take shower once again and wear clean clothes before doing Jashan.
6. The Priests should do Padyab Kusti, Sarosh Baj and appropriate Geh (Farzyat) before starting the Jashan.
7. When stepping from the leather sleepers to the carpet, he should not touch his feet anywhere inbetween. He must maintain the Paiwand (connection) and practice Ashoi Tarikat before coming in contact with the place where he is going to perform ceremony.
8. The Priest should abstain from talking to anyone including his 'Jor' (Partner) during the ceremony.
9. No interference should be allowed or permitted during the ceremony. Help the Priest to strengthen the PaviKat and Manthric vibrations to generate favorable atmosphere.
10. Make sure that sun rays are not falling directly on the fire. Cover the window by fixing a large sheet.
Duties & Responsibilities of All Behdins:
1. A Behdin member must help the Priest in washing and arranging Jashan Alaats. The ground where the Jashan is going to be performed should be sanctified by reciting three Ashem Vohu. A volunteer should clean the floor with water making it a quasi-Pavi for the Jashan. In Agiary, these arrangements are set prior to the arrival of the Priests. If similar practice is followed outside, and a Mobedyar or volunteer is available to make preparations prior to the coming of the Priests, one should make sure that he/ she has taken bath and covered head and clean clothes to consecrate the land by reciting Ashem Vohu while washing the floor. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, A PRIEST SHOULD BE MADE TO CLEAN THE FLOOR. HIS ENGAGING IN SUCH DRUJIH-GENERATING ACTIVITY WILL DEFEAT THE PURPOSE AND SANCTITY OF HIS INVOLVEMENT AS 'JOTI' OR 'RATHVI' IN THE PRAYER. OUR ZARATHUSTRIS MUST UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF ATHRAVAN (PRIEST) IN NATURE AND IN PERFORMING DIVINE EXERCISES FOR SPIRITUAL ATTUNEMENT AND SOUL'S PROGRESSION.
2. Each Association Committee member should take responsibility of making arrangements for the Jashan area including spreading carpet, leaving cleaned Jashan Alaats, fruits, flowers on the carpet to avoid the Priests coming in contact with any uncleaned, Drujih-generating elements or items in the vicinity. Each Association must acknowledge Mobedyars (Priests aid) and educate them to help the Priests in maintaining the appropriate atmosphere for each ritual and ceremony performed.
3. Sukhad and names of the departed soul and living souls for the Tundorosti must be given before the starting of Jashan.
4. Jashan should be performed in the absence of electricity, telephone (including cellular phone), smoke detector, Fire Alarm and any other electronic equipment working in the vicinity.
5. Everyone attending Jashan must do Padyab Kusti, Sarosh Baj, Geh, Atash Nyaish and Nam Setayasni during the ceremony. Only Kusti is not enough. Talking during the ceremony should be prohibited. A Kusti you did after coming out from the rest-room should not be compensated for your Kusti for the Farzyat prayers. Farzyat prayers for the Jashan or any such occasion requires an additional Padyab-Kusti.
6. Both male and female should wear proper Sudreh of 10 parts, and Kusti tied as per the Tarikats. Both male and female must cover the head with proper cap (Cotton/ or double layered Skarf for female) wearing from the forehead without displaying hair style in the front.
7. Someone should guard the door and make sure that no non-Zarathustri or inter-married couple attends the ceremony. Even a sight of such people will vitiate the entire ceremony. To safeguard the benefits of sanctified place and ritual is in your hands.
8. Everyone must cover their head at the time of the ceremony and while eating Chasni. No style, no excuses, no exceptions. Those consecrated fruits emits certain Staotic vibrations affecting your physical and spiritual parts by its consumption. Physically prepare yourself to receive such divine emissions with a respect and devotion rather than eating for the taste of it.
9. DO NOT throw skins of the consecrated fruit in the regular garbage or dispose off Jashan Atash anywhere in the trash. Both should be buried in the fertile ground that is inaccessible to non-Zoroastrians.
Please don't treat our rituals and ceremonies as ordinary social function or celebration. CALL YOURSELF TRADITIONAL ZARATHUSTRIS BY PRACTICE AND NOT JUST BY ASSOCIATING YOURSELF WITH A NAME OF THE GROUP. Also establish same 'religious pride', loyalty and dedication among your children and Zarathustri acquaintances. We need people who can help our Priests and stand firm by their side to establish religious Tarikats and related issues in the community. Our sophisticate-minded Zarathustris have to learn that, our rituals and ceremonies are not meant to make them feel religious or acknowledge their social status and presence in the group. I REQUEST YOU ALL TO HELP OUR PRIESTS TO HELP YOURSELF IN GAINING THE MAXIMUM BENEFITS FROM THEIR RELIGIOUS DUTIES.
Atha Zamyat Yatha Afrinami
In His Service,
Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha
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