Prof. Ervad Pervez Firoz Pavri of Navsari has written a Gujarati article on KHOREH OR KHVARENANGH, that appeared in the Jam-e-Jamshed newspaper (Navroze 2001). The following is a free translation of the Article by Khurshed Noshir Pastakia.
UNDERSTANDING THE TERMS OF KHVARENANGH OR KHOREH
Khoreh is the Pazand version of the Avesta word Khvarenangh, one of the technical religious terms. Khvarenangh or Khoreh means light, halo, aura, glory, &c.. Due to the spiritual strength of kind and holy men, their features display a brightness (noor) or halo, which is their Khoreh. Every man has, in some measure, a good or bad Khoreh. A man's Khoreh is pure, clear and bright in proportion to the goodness of his thoughts, words and deeds. It is impure, opaque and dull in proportion to a man's bad thoughts, bad words and bad deeds. We see the image of a light around Prophet Asho Zarathustra Saheb's face in his pictures. That is his brilliant Khoreh, resulting from his utmost holiness and Ashoi. Prophets and holy men of all religions have miraculous spiritual powers and soul force due to their elevated purity which, according to Zarathusti teaching, is due to their pure aura. Sinful men and women have impure Khorehak-Kherethra or Dush-Kherethra or Dush-Khvarenangh. In Ardibehest Yasht it is said: Jahi kaherdhaine apa dravata meaning "May the woman possessing a bad Khoreh and bad morals perish."
WIDE USE OF THE TERM "KHOREH" IN ZARATHUSTI RELIGIOUS TEXTS
Avesta:Airyenam khareno Mazdadhatram yazamaide, Udhrem kavem khareno Mazdadhatram yazamaide Udhrem akhretrem khareno Mazdadhatram yazamaide Zarathustrahe khareno Mazdadhatram yazamaide (Siroja Yasht)
Meaning:We remember the Mazda-created Aryan (Irani) Khoreh We remember the Mazda-created powerful Kayanian Khoreh We remember the Mazda-created powerful Endless Khoreh We remember the Mazda-created Khoreh of Zarathustra
In Zarathusti religious texts, the use of the term Khoreh has been made in a wide sense. Just as a man possesses a Khoreh, due to his soul's purity, a community or country also possesses its Khoreh due to its purity.
Siroja Yasht mentions Aryan Khoreh, which represents the glory of the Iranian people due to their goodness, character and greatness.
The Khoreh of famous and holy Padshahs who ruled Iran before the advent of Asho Zarathustra Saheb is generally known as Kavem Khareno which means Kayanian Khoreh or, Khurrehi Izdi ie. Yazadi Khoreh. Kayanian Khoreh is not only the Khoreh of the Padshahs of the Kayanian Dynasty like Kai-kobad, Kai-kaush, Kai-khushru, &c., because according to Jamyad Yasht, even Padshahs of the Peshdadian Dynasty: Hoshang, Tehmurasp, Jamshed and Faredoon possessed Kayanian Khoreh.
When athornans, deeply steeped in religious knowledge and living a holy life, are blessed with Kayanian Khoreh it is called Akhretrem Khareno or Endless Khoreh.
Asho Zarathustra Saheb, due to the purity of his soul and Ashoi, possessed Endless Kayanian Khoreh. In Fravardin Yasht, Asho Zarathustra Saheb has been described as possessing Hataam Khvarenangh Stramrem meaning, "one with the highest Khoreh among the living." For that reason, in Siroja Yasht, Asho Zarathustra Saheb's Khoreh has been termed Zarathustrahe Khareno.
MODERN SCIENCE SUPPORTS ZARATHUSTI BELIEFS ABOUT KHOREH
Presently, scientists have proved that not only man but even minerals and vegetables, trees, fruit, &c., throw out a kind of warmth or light. Kirlian photography is today able to capture human and other auras (Khoreh) on film.
In several of our kriyas (rituals) like Afringan, Farokshi, Jashan, Faresta, &c., we are enjoined in the Bundahishn (a Pahlavi text) to use certain flowers. We, Zarathustis, use certain flowers only - and if they are not available, we use pomegranate leaves - in the aforesaid kriyas. We do not use just any type of flowers that grow in the garden. Besides, even the utensils used in kriyas are of certain metals only, which could also be due to the good or bad Khoreh of those metals. For this reason we never use metals like aluminum in kriyas. Science has proved that brighter metals have brighter Khoreh.
Moreover, fire, earth, sun, moon and stars also have their own Khoreh. Additionally, Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda, the Amesha Spentas and Yazadas also possess their own Khoreh (Jamyad Yasht paras 2, 3 and 4). Zarathusti texts declare that Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda Himself and all His creations in Geti (corporeal world) and Minoani (spiritual world) possess their Khoreh. This gets support today from modern science.
THE HEROIC DEEDS OF IRANI PADSHAHS, PAHELVANS AND SAINTS BLESSED WITH KAYANIAN KHOREH
Per the teachings of Jamyad Yasht, the extremely bright and glorious Khoreh possessed by Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda, the Amesha Spentas, the Yazdas of Geti and Minoani dimensions, the kind and just Padshahs and holy men and prophets is the Kayanian Khoreh, which is the most exalted Khoreh.
Jamyad Yasht tells us that the Padshahs, Hoshang, Tehmurasp, Jamshed and Faredoon possessed Kayanian Khoreh. Hoshang, Tehmurasp and Jamshed, with the help of spiritual strength of their Kayanian Khoreh, ruled the earth for many long years defending the good men and good creations from bad men and bad creations. Likewise, with the spiritual strength of his Kayanian Khoreh, Peshdadi Padshah Faredoon successfully fought and liberated the people of Iran from the torments of the un-Aryan Zohak.
With the help of spiritual strength of their Kayanian Khoreh, the Padshahs of the Kayanian dynasty like Kai-kobad, Kai-apiveh, Kai-kaus, Kai-ares, Kai-pashin, Kai-byaresh and Kai-shiavux proved themselves to be famous, strong, healthy, holy, enterprising and victorious. With the help of the same Kayanian Khoreh, Kayanian Padshah Kai-khushru defeated and brought to justice evil kings like Aurvasaar and Afrasiaab and crafty men like Kasrevaj and saved the world from their evil cruelty. Again, with the help of the same Kayanian Khoreh, Kai-gushtasp (Kai-vishtasp) defeated evil kings like Arjaspa and his cohorts of Hun country in battle to prevent them from stopping the spread of the Zarathusti Din.
Sassanian Padshah Ardeshir Bageban, who was also blessed with the Kayanian Khoreh, established the Parsi Kingdom in Iran to strengthen the Zarathusti Din.
By possessing Kayanian Khoreh, religious leaders can receive the highest levels of spiritual knowledge in order to guide their people. Holy men, with the help of their spiritual strength, can perform amazing deeds that ordinary men cannot understand. The Bible tells of Lord Christ curing people suffering from terrible illnesses and evil spells.
Jamyad Yasht paras 80 and 81 tell us that, due to the spiritual powers possessed by Asho Zarathustra Saheb, as reflected in his Khoreh, Devs (black magicians) used to flee for their lives under his stare and people suffering from evil spells cast by Gins (evil spirits) were freed of the spell even as he looked at them. He could cure people of their malignant illnesses by just a glance. Moreover by just reciting the Ahunavar manthra (Yatha Ahu Vairyo) in a loud, singing voice, he buried into the earth forever all the evil Devs who then tormented mankind.
The examples in Avesta and Bible telling us of the amazing spiritual abilities possessed by Asho Zarathustra Saheb and Lord Jesus Christ illustrate the immense power of the Kayanian Khoreh.
TEACHINGS FROM THE VENDIDAD FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE PURITY OF KHOREH
Every human being possesses Khoreh. This ethereal Khoreh or Aura is spread out around his physical body. The human Khoreh is constantly influenced by man's thoughts, words and deeds and is ever-changing. Purity of the mind is intrinsic to the purity and brightness of Khoreh. The mind influences the body. The purity or impurity of the mind echoes upon the body. The Zarathusti Din, which is founded on the principle of Ashoi, gives detailed rules for maintaining the purity of both, the mind and the body. By observing these rules, man's Khoreh becomes strong and bright. Based on what is said in Jamyad Yasht, we know how men with strong and bright Khoreh can perform amazing feats.
For a Zarathusti to preserve due purity, the Zarathusti Din prescribes kriyas like Padyab Kushti, Nahn and Barshnum. Every Zarathusti man and woman is enjoined to constantly keep his/her head covered. So, we should always wear a cap or scarf / mathabanu or cover the head with the sor of one's sari. Since the flow of Khoreh is forever escaping from the head, covering of the head contains this flow.
Moreover, women experiencing menses or during the days immediately following childbirth are required in the Vendidad to remain a certain number of steps away from water, fire, barsam and holy men. As already discussed, the ethereal glow or Khoreh projects from every being and every thing. When secretions ooze from one's body during such periods, the naso (impurity) causes that person's Khoreh to become defiled. When that person enters the personal space of another person or thing (ie. when her defiled Khoreh infiltrates or clashes with the latter's clean Khoreh), she contaminates the latter's Khoreh too. That is the reason why it is enjoined for menstruating women to keep a distance away from others. The Vendidad says that if proper care is not taken, the druj-e-nasush (naso) from a person who is rimaan (impure) attacks and contaminates those who are not rimaan.
From experience, we know that when a menstruating woman looks upon pickles, papads or vinegar they lose their preservative ability and soon get spoiled. In several European countries, care is taken to keep menstruating women away from beer and wine manufacturing facilities. It has also been found that perfumes lose some of their scent when touched by such women. Scientific experiments have determined that flowers picked from the same plant at the same time by normal and menstruating women are affected in different ways: the ones picked by the latter wilt much sooner than ones picked by the former.
A knowledge of Khoreh also helps us to understand why menstruating women should ensure that they do not cast their eye upon those performing kushti or prayers, upon dharmic kriyakam or darun-baj. While orthodox Zarathustis are anxious to follow these rules, some liberated Zarathustis call them "junglee" or idiotic. They ridicule and scorn at these customs. But later, they suffer because of God's infallible justice.
There is a story in the Bible of when Lord Jesus Christ was at a camp curing those suffering from the most malignant diseases. A woman touched his robe. At once, Lord Christ demanded of his followers as to who had touched him? The followers said: Lord, you are surrounded by people, many of whom are touching you! Lord Christ said: I perceive that my virtue is gone out of me. (This means: he said that the strength of his Khoreh had got reduced.) The woman who had touched him stepped forward and said: I have been suffering for the past twelve years from unabating menstrual flows. All my money has been wasted on doctors, but to no avail. Today, as I touched you, I felt cured at last. Lord Christ blessed her and said: Your Faith has cured you. Go in peace.
From the above story it is clear that there is much merit and logic in the rule given in the Vendidad that a distance of a certain number of steps must be kept by holy men from menstruating women. It is for preservation of the cleanliness and purity of their Khoreh.
On this auspicious occasion of Jamshedi Navroze, I give below the ten divine declarations given by our Pak Nabi Asho Zarathustra Spitaman Saheb:
1. Such faith and devotion should grow within us that we are forever in communion with His loving presence and holy name. We should always live by good thoughts, good words and good deeds so that our Khoreh becomes cleaner, clearer and brighter.
2. Such divine joy should burst forth within our hearts that, once tasted, all the joys of the material world seem to be but fodder before it.
3. Such peace should bloom within us that the anger or insults of others do not touch us nor make us angry or hurt.
4. We should acquire such humility that we ourselves experience and realise our faults and misdeeds.
5. We should have such patience that we can take all difficulties and pain in our stride.
6. We should have such strong determination to abandon bad habits that we never break our pledges. We must shun bad thoughts, words and deeds.
7. Such mercy must glow in our hearts that we make those suffering happy, we feel pained by their suffering and we treat them as lovingly as we treat ourselves and protect them.
8. Our soul should be so pure that no outside impurity can affect it.
9. There should be such divine love within us that we become one with God and all his creations.
10. We should have such wisdom that we can at once distinguish between good and evil.
I pray that, on today's auspicious and holy day of Jamshedi Navroze, the Zarathusti community living all over the world adopts and puts into practice the above ten divine declarations and thereby attracts the love of Asho Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda to live in eternal peace, eternal fulfillment, eternal good health and eternal happiness.
Amin! Amin!! Amin!!!
Ervad Pervez Firoz Pavri
(This is a free translation. Inaccuracies or errors in translation, if any, are regretted.)
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