Is Sudreh a religious garment or a meaningless tank-top (sleeveless shirt)? - I have been seeing Zarathustris of various groups: traditional, orthodox, liberals, Kadmi, Fasli, Shenshahi wearing Sudreh of different shape and size, but wonder how many of them are wearing Sudreh with nine parts. We have Sudreh's with different alterations from sleeveless to one with missing Girdo, missing Tiri (seam), Girban hanging on the stomach level etc. We have females wearing Sudreh made of handkerchief size non-cotton material in front and back hanging on two shoulder strings. My dear Zarathustris respect our religion and these powerful Alaats given to us by Prophet Asho Zarathustra. Practice it in its original form because this same white piece of cloth is going to contribute towards your spiritual progression and help you live a Druj-free life in this material world. Stop wearing Sudreh made as per your style and convenience, and make it one as prescribed in our scriptures to gain benefits from its possession.
In this article, I have tried to describe the significance of nine parts of Sudreh. Sudreh, a divine Alaat for spiritual progression, is meaningless if it is not designed as per our scriptures. The Avesta word of Sudreh is "Stehar" and Kusti is "Aevyonghan". 'Sudreh' is a Persian word meaning 'the Path of Bliss' where, 'Sud' stands for Bliss or beneficial and 'Reh' meaning Path. If you consider Sudreh & Kusti as simple material objects or a part of your physical identity then any white T-shirt and woven string will serve the purpose. You don't need to be religious for that reason. Now, if you question about the meaningful role & contribution of Sudreh in your life and how it affects your spiritual progression then, there is some sense in explaining the reason why every Zarathustri is duty-bound to wear Sudreh and Kusti. Since generations, Zarathustris wear Sudreh & Kusti, but a question is, how many have practiced or practicing our daily Kusti prayer wearing proper Sudreh? In Bombay, there are females and even non-Zarathustri tailors stitching Sudreh of different styles and material. Just a quick note, Sudreh has to be of pure cotton and cotton ONLY, and a non-Zarathustri should be debar from tailoring our religious garment. Tomorrow, we will have non-Zarathustris weaving Kusti and selling commercially, would that be acceptable? No, absolutely not.
Why Sudreh has to have nine parts and Kusti has to be woven in certain manner and by a designated person? I will describe Kusti and its spiritual connection with our Urvaan and related intrinsic values & its making in the separate article. The following points will describe the names and meaning of all nine parts of Sudreh:-
1. FIRST PART is Girdo, a half moon shape bag on the neck portion of Sudreh. This bag is the storage place of all earthly obligations the Urvaan bears at the time when it arrives in this world. The Urvaan has to WORK for its reduction by following Tarikats of the Zarathustri Daena before it goes back to Minoi world. A thought of returning back "Man Aano Avayad Shudan" to HIS world keeps our thoughts attuned with HIS teachings, where Girdo helps oneself in this attunement process. Today, most females are wearing Sudreh without this bag. I wonder who is their fashion-oriented tailor or is it just an outcome of their ignorance? Whatever the reason is, from now onwards please wear proper Sudreh. The design for Sudreh is consistent for all Zarathustris, whether it is male or female. Females are no exception to exclude Girdo in their Sudreh.
2. SECOND PART is Girebaan, a square box at your chest level. Gireban in Avesta "Gereva" means "to grasp", "one who holds" or, "adhere to". It is meant for storing Khoreh (Avesta Kharenah meaning, "aura" "divine light") around Sudreh, which helps in Urvaan's progression. Gireban is like a 'store house' or 'battery' for our divine counterpart. We express our need for Khoreh (divine glory) in every prayer for our Urvaan - "Gorze Khoreh Avazayad" meaning, "may Khoreh multiply for me." Gireban helps to restore such pious Mithra (thoughts) for Urvaan's journey and thus, one will be tempted to follow Tarikats to "repay" the earthly obligations (Kehsas or laws of Ashisvang). This process helps illuminate Khoreh which in turn "energizes" the inner (Ahu) conscience whereby aiding Urvaan for its progression. All these takes place with the help of Gireban in front of Sudreh. A rule is, Gireban should be approximately two inches above the solar-plexus or, put your right hand thumb over the v-bone below the Adam's-apple and extend your last finger straight down and that is the place where your Gireban should be located. Never expose the upper chest portion while doing prayers. Wear some T-shirt or shirt over Sudreh; even Yaozdathregars performing high liturgical ceremonies has to wear a short shirt (Badiyan) while performing prayers. ALWAYS WEAR SUDREH NEXT TO THE SKIN. Even during ceremonies like Afringhan, Farokhshi, Stum, the Priests has to wear proper clothing (Jama) to cover the exposed parts. It is very prominent among young and adults having Gireban hanging almost near the belly button. My dear Zarathustris, wearing Sudreh is not for your convenience or to stop you showing the beauty of your upper body. It is a sacred shirt, which only you as Zarathustri can energize it for your spiritual progression. Respect your Soul and HIS presence within you.
3. THIRD & FORTH is TWO TIRIS (seams). For male on the right side and for female on the left side. These seams are based on three basic principles Humata-Hukhta-Havashta. One has to understand these concepts not from its surface meaning but its relative products, effects and its compositions. Here we can designate Humata for Hasti (Minoi World), Hukhta for Nisti (Transitional world), and Havashta for Geti (Material World). These two vertical seams form a traingular shape, which denotes that we have to work for our Urvaan on Geti (Havarshta) by practicing Zarathustri Tarikats, Ashoi. This happens when we attune our Mithra (thoughts) and speech (Manthravani) to improve our "Khoreh" to reach the transitional stage (Hukhta) to ultimately aim at getting attuned with the 'nature' (Humata). Sounds complicated, alright. The shape of those two seams is triangular because, when we practice Humata-Hukhta-Havashta in its true meaning, the shape of our inner conscience transforms into a triangular shape, and thus, we establish a truthful, obedient conscience that can attune with Urvaan for its progression.
My dear Zarathustris, no one is perfect in all three tenets however, one must not forget that our religion has resources to teach you how to be perfect someday. We have to WORK for providing enough nourishment to "Ahu" (inner conscience with HIS presence), which is the main source of Asare-Roshni (elements help in Urvaan's progression) by practicing Ashoi-Mithra-Manthra-Tarikats (divine exercises) to help Urvaan in its progression. Remember that the reason of our birth is to WORK for our "Ahum-Mashim" (meaning, Ahu inside us) by practicing Humata-Hukhta-Havashta and help HIM in HIS mission. Today, majority is unaware of these Tiris & its meaning. Look at your Sudreh and check if it is present at the right place. If not, spend some money to buy or get stitched by a Zarathustri tailor. One proper Sudreh will cost you a lunch but it can provide a million times more spiritual nourishment to your Soul than what you feed your body from that lunch. Think about it.
4. FIFTH & SIXTH are two Sleeves. Two sleeves corresponds to two opposite forces in nature: SpenaMino (Avesta - Spenta Mainyu) and GanaMino (Avesta - AngreMainyu). The work of SpenaMino is to increase the power of 'Asare-Roshni' to help Urvaan to return to Minoi world. Whereas, it always remains the efforts of GanaMino to mislead Urvaan toward darkness (Asare-Tariki) and hold it in this world and stop its progression. We, Baste-Kustian Zarathustris were given Tarikats to practice for destroying the forces of Ashare-Tariki and build the products of Ashare-Roshni. That is why we have prayers to recite before the food intake, before & after visiting rest-room, to bath, or coming in contact with pollution, unhygienic element or Druj around us. Those who follow all given Tarikats will attain "Ushta" a divine bliss and immortality of soul.
Our scripture dictates that the sleeves on both hands should extend till the elbow. The upper half of our hand is always under the influence of Khurshed (Ravi)Chakra. Because the top portion of both hands remains under cover, it slows down the continuous flow of invisible, anti-nature elements ventilating from our body. The long sleeves does help such anti-nature ventilating products to be directed towards earth, leaving our Aipi and Khoreh unharmed by its "spiritually unhealthy" contents. The portion from elbow to fingers is under the mixed influence of the remaining six planets and thus it does not require covering, however one has to clean those parts before engaging in any task or religious duty. That is one of the reason why it is recommended to wash the exposed parts of hand (elbow to fingers) while doing Kusti-Padyab so that the disturbances of mixed planetary conditions on Aipi (field around our body) will be neutralized by "Shaeto Frado" from water. Shaeto Frado is a form of energy in water that causes changes in the spiritual composition of any earthly elements in existence.
5. SEVENTH AND EIGHTH are Front & Back parts of Sudreh. This reminds us of two worlds Hasti and Nisti from where we (Urvaan) have come from and will be returning to Ahu through these worlds. Our Urvaan is helplessly under our custody waiting for our Baodhang (divine consciousness) to WORK for its (Urvaan) progression by following the divine formula Mithra-Manthra-Yasna-Tarikats based on the laws of Ashoi. It is the ultimate wish of every Urvaan to give-up this life-cycle of birth and death and be a part of Minoi world "Man Ano Avayad Shudan" meaning, I have to go there one day." With that thought in mind we must remember that front portion of Sudreh corresponds to a veil of Nisti and back portion relates to the veil of Hasti.
6. NINTH PART is a Parallel Tiri (seam): For male on the left side and female on the right side. This is to remind us of the final event "Khaethvodath" ("Khaetva" means 'individuality', and "Dath" means 'to give away.' This Tiri reminds us of our origin, why are we here in this world? and what is expected from us?, and what do we have to do to "earn" better position for our Urvaan for the 'final event'?. It also reminds us of Hasti & Nisti world and the need of Yazadic forces penetrating into our Aipi to provide "spiritual nourishment" for Humata-Hukhta-Havashta proceeding towards final Khaethvodath. At the time of Khaethvodath, all counterparts (male & female) of our soul scattered in various creations will merge and earn salvation. Yes, our soul has to 'earn' salvation by releasing all impurities attached with our Urvaan by following Tarikats of Jhirem assigned with its destiny to be born and marry for speedy progression. According to Vendidad, a married person is preferable to the one who is single. It is a divine fact that every Urvaan is eager to meet its counterpart and get freed from these life cycles to proceed towards Dadare Gehan (Minoi World).
Today, there are some Zarathustris who believe that wearing Sudreh & Kusti as given by our Prophet is for showing their physical identity. If that establishes your identity as Zarathustri then every non-Zarathustris who were initiated by Dastur Bodh, Kersi Antia and several others in India & elsewhere are also a part of our religious constitution. My dear Zarathustri, one cannot become Zarathustris simply by wearing Sudreh & Kusti. There are many spiritual elements of life which exists within and outside our body, and its connection with Urvaan (Soul) that relates oneself to a particular Jhirem or religion that 'makes' someone a Zarathustri by HIS WISDOM- a topic, I have exhaustively described in my previous articles. First evaluate your daily obligations towards your own Urvaan and HIS Daena, and correct those mistakes you are doing everyday abusing our sacred Alaats, before searching resolutions for the existing socio-religious controversies.
Hope this article will help those Zarathsutris who are eager to wear proper Sudreh, and respect our sacred Alaats for their spiritual progression.
Atha Zamyat Yatha Afrinami
In His Service,
Ervad (Dr.) Hoshang J. Bhadha
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