Resolution Passed By The High Priests Of The Parsi Zoroastrian Community
We, the undersigned Parsi Zoroastrian High Priests, are pained to observe the potential threat to the very survival of the Parsi Zoroastrian community due to increasing number of intermarriages within the community and the so-called initiation of the progeny of such intermarried couples into the Parsi Zoroastrian faith. This is against the tenets of the religion. If this trend continues, the day is not far when the unique `Parsi Zoroastrian' identity which the community has zealously preserved since centuries will be diluted and subsequently wiped out.
We are also pained to observe that certain priests are performing the "ashirwad" ceremony of couples where only one partner to the marriage is a Parsi Zoroastrian and the other is not. Subsequently these renegade priests also perform the "navjote" of children born of such intermarriages.
Taking a serious view of the above stated circum-stances and with a view to safeguard the survival of the community and prevent further damage to the Parsi Zoroastrian identity, we the undersigned High Priests hereby resolve as under.
1. The High Priests are strongly of the view that our Religous Scriptures disapprove the marriage of Zoroastrians with members of other communities and faith and consider it to be a transgression of the tenets of the religion. The Parsi community recognizes only the marriage between two Parsi Zoroastrians where both the marrying individuals are born of Parsi Zoroastrian parents, and where the "ashirvwad" ceremony which includes the "Nahn", Holy sacrament, and prayers specific to the ceremony are duly and properly performed.
2. The High Priests hereby declare that marriage of a Parsi Zoroastrian man or woman with a person of another faith cannot be considered as religiously valid marriage under the Parsi Zoroastrian faith.
3. The High Priests hereby declare that the marriage of a Parsi Zoroastrian, male or female, with a member of another community or faith under any civil law of the country, is a civil contract. However, marriage from the Zoroastrian point of view is a sacrament and, therefore, such civil marriages may be valid from the point of view of civil law, but such marriages cannot be considered lawful from a religious point of view.
4. The High Priests hereby declare that the performance of "navjote" of children where only one of the parent is a Parsi Zoroastrian, cannot give religious rights of the Parsi Zoroastrian faith to such children.
5. The High Priests hereby declare that the children born of Parsi Zoroastrian father with the mother belonging to another community or faith are not accepted in the community as per the Religious tenets of the Zoroastrian Faith.
6. The High Priests hereby declare that no Parsi Zoroastrian priest should perform the marriage ceremony where only one of the marrying partner is a Parsi Zoroastrian and the other is not. Also, no Parsi Zoroastrian priest should perform the `navjote' ceremony of children of such mixed marriages.
7. There have been stray instances in the past of mixed marriages in the community and `navjote' of children of Parsi fathers and mothers belonging to other communities and faith. However, this was never accepted by the priests or the community at large. In fact, the community at Samast Anjuman Meetings has, from time to time, condemned such acts. The High Priests reaffirm the resolutions passed at these meetings.
The High Priests request the Panthakies, Priests and the Trustees of all the Atashbehrams, Agiaries and all other institutions of all the Anjumans in India to take note of these Resolutions.
The High Priests have, by hand, forwarded a copy of this Resolution to the Office of the Trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet with a request to safeguard the interests of the Parsi Zoroastrian Community, as they are the custodians of the Funds and Properties of the community.
Dasturji Dr. Hormazdyar K. Mirza (Udwada),
Dasturji Dr. Firoze Meherji Kotwal (Mumbai),
Dasturji Dr. Kaikhusroo M. JamaspAsa (Mumbai),
Dasturji Meherji K. MeherjiRana (Navsari),
Dasturji Khurshed Dastur Kekobad Dastur (Udwada),
Dasturji Noshirvan Dastur Manchershaw Dastur (Surat),
Dasturji Nadirshah P. Unvalla (Bangalore)
Mrs. Pervin Mistry writes:
The NAMC (North American Mobed Council) should also take due notice of this Resolution passed unanimously by all the High Priests and enforce this resolution instead of setting up a new "cult" in NA suited to those who prefer to disobey religious tenets.
There are many traditional mobeds in the NAMC such as our TZML member, Mobed Saheb Jal Birdy, and others. This resolution should be enforced by all mobeds and associations worldwide who claim to be "Zarthushti" and have the word "Zarthushti" or "Zoroastrian" in their title!
Asho Zarathushtra did not reveal different doctrines to different groups of his followers according to different geographical locations! All Zarthushtis follow only One Prophet and One Religion as Revealed by our Holy Prophet Asho Zarathushtra. Any deviation from the revealed teachings leads to formation of a cult devoid of any spiritual communion! Renegades are free to form a cult but they do not have the right to call themselves "Zarthushtis".
Yazdan panah baad!
Ervad Bomansha Dorabji Kotwal writes:
I strongly suggest and recommend that all matters regarding Zarthusty religion our vada Dasturjis committee has a final say and not Panchayat. Those Mobeds who perform this type of ceremony i.e. of mixed couples and perform Navjotes of theirs should be barred from community and taken away their Pagri & Padan.
We have a big problem in Canada because their child/children have married out of the fold and have no final say to stop this nonsense.I sincerely wish that our Vada Dasturjis jurisdiction applies even out of India.
Now it is the hightime that we all Traditional Zarathustis get united and preserve the religion of Zarathushtra,its traditions,rituals.
Wishing you all a very Happy,Healthy and prosperous Navroz,
Yours Truly in His Services,
Ervad Bomansha Dorabji Kotwal
Kudos to the High Priests for this powerful resolution, this needs to be put up on the notice boards of all our Agiaris, Atash Behrams, Community centres etc. and should be given as much publicity as possible.
All Traditionals should stand behind and support this historic resolution of the High Priests.
AT LONG LAST A VERY GOOD DECISION TAKEN BY OUR LEARNED COMMUNITY PRIESTS. THIS IS MOST HEARTENING - A WELCOME STEP.
Regards... Mehroo Parvaresh.
Kersi Kapadia said:
"FULLY AGREE IN TOTO WITH THE RESOLUTION PASSED BY HIGH PRIEST
"THOSE WHO FAIL TO FOLLOW THE RELIGION -- HAVE NO RIGHT TO ENTER -- TIME HAS COME TO THROW ALL THOSE PEOPLE OUT WHO ON ONE SIDE WANT TO BREAK ALL COMMANDMENTS [RITUALS] AND WANT TO FOLLOW THEM TOO, AT THEIR CONVENIENCE. THIS IS NOTHING BUT THE VIOLATION OF ALL OUR ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION`S RITUALS .
"NOT ONLY THAT BUT IT AMOUNTS TO DOUBLE STANDARDS.
"THOSE WHO DO NOT WISH TO FOLLOW RITUALS LAID DOWN BY OUR RELIGION CAN LEAVE AT ONCE. ANY AMOUNT OF ARGUMENTS BY THEM TO TAKE THEM BACK AS ZOROASTRIAN IS IN VAIN.
"ONCE AGAIN RESOLUTION PASSED BY HIGH PRIEST IS PERFECT, AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE ANY THING.
"WE FULLY SUPPORT RESOLUTION PASSED BY THEM. IN FACT SAME SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE YEARS BACK."
Rustom Chothia said:
Greetings in the name of Ahura Mazda.
This is good and timely.
You can also make a note that the controversy has not "divided" the Community. Only a handful of intermarried people have opposed it because of their own wrong involment.
Most of the community is silent though they fully welcome the edict.
Zenobia Patel said:
I happened to touch upon the In Mumbai channel whilst swapping television channels last night. The news was on and the camera was interviewing a few teenaged kids regarding the resolution. They may have interviewed plenty of people but when I hopped in I heard 6 kids. Of the 6, 4 favoured the resolution strongly (the kids were both Parsis and non Parsis). The 2 who did not favour the resolution spoke of love marriages. One young Parsi girl who must not be a day over 14 yrs said to the effect if we really favoured inter faith marriages why did we leave Iran to come to India. We would have stayed there itself. We came to India to preserve our religion!!!!!!! Friends, if a 14 year old is well informed I give credit to her parents. God Bless them.
MEHERNOSH FITTER said:
Subject: A bold decision in preserving our religion.
Dear TZML, TZT, SDACF, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today our Respected High Priests in our respect have taken a bold decision in preserving our religion for our young further. I in my one thought today welcome it and congratulate the wordings of our High Priests in great pain for those who have taken advantage of our kindness and of our good faith has always been an opportunist hanging in both ways they like because of their mistakes why we in large suffer and give untruth guidance to our youth to follow.
We believe in the truth and the practice of the old has been our faith and believe why have we to change because you bettered us can we not know if our Sahibs have today said it in good faith for tomorrow let us obey them with greater spirit then see what you have done yesterday and for the same mistake to be done by your children tomorrow.
The Mazdayasni religion, as taught by Prophet Zarathushtra Spitama has been surviving since several millennia on the strength of its own greatness. It has survived several calamities. Today the enemy is worse, it is within, in the form of misinformed Zoroastrians who are trying to do what the Greeks and Arabs did not succeed in.
However, we Paris have nothing to worry if we steadfastly stick to the Seven Pillars of our religion, That we and our forefathers have practiced till yesterday given to us by our Dear PROPHET. Practice the following:
1. ASHA or ASHOI ETHICS AND VIRTUES.
2. BUNAK-PASBANI MARRIAGE WITHIN THE RELIGION(PARSI ZOROASTRIANS)
3. NAVJOTE (INCLUDING WEARING OF SUDREH-KUSHTI)(PARSI ZOROASTRIANS)
4. ATASH-PASBANI AGYARIS AND ATASH BEHRAMS (PARSI ZOROASTRIANS)
5. DOKHMAS AND THE SYSTEM OF DOKHMENASHINI (PARSI ZOROASTRIANS)
6. KRIYA-KAM (RITUALS)
7. AVESTA MANTHRAVANI PRAYERS.
Faithful ones, rise. Today the system of BUNAK-PASBANI is in great danger, not because there is scarcity of Parsi boys or Girls, but because some Zoroastrians who prescribe to other modes of Religion and would like to legitimize it.
All faithful Zoroastrians! Unite together to strengthen the system of BUNAK-PASBANI, which includes not giving encouragement to those prescribing inter-marriage.
Our forefathers had steadfastly stuck to these practice of Seven Pillars under the worst of circumstances, including danger to their own lives, and saved them for us. Now it is the bounden duty of all of us to save them for not only the future generations, but for the future millennia.
ONLY IF WE TAKE CARE OF OUR RELIGION TODAY, CAN OUR RELIGION TAKE CARE OF US TOMORROW.
Dadar, East, Mumbai: 400 014.
Cell. 989 2301 884.
Just a few thoughts and views all my own as regards the present controversies about intermarriages.
I can say with great authority and undisputable proof that the people who are for intermarriages fall in any one of the following categories.
a. They have married or plan to marry outside our Zarthosthi religion.
b. Their children or very close family members/friends have married or plan to marry a member outside our Zarthosthi religion.
c. Children of Zarthosthi parent who are non Zoroastrians by default and
d. Non-Zarthosis of other religious beliefs envious of our great accomplishments and the honorable place we command within this country and beyond.
All Zarthosthis that do not fall in the above category are against Inter-Marriages.
The point I wish to make is Yes I do believe that only if a great awareness and a will to marry only within our community together with each couple giving birth to at least 4 children the day is not far away when Zoroastrians will be all but extinct from this earth.
Having said that I still continue to Believe that in spite of this trend towards extinction we should NOT NOW OR EVER ALOW OUR PURITY to get diluted and not allow Inter-marriages in any form for then all that our forefathers struggled and sacrificed their lives for, will come to naught. Alas, if we allow OUR PURITY TO GET DILUTED SO WILL OUR VALUES and then in the not so distant a future there will be nothing to Differentiate a Zartosthi from the rest.
This leaves us with just one question on why a, b, c or d wish to allow intermarriages. To put it rather bluntly in all religions of the world some religions have scant respect for other religions BUT HISTORY HAS NEVER RECORDED EITHER THE HINDUS, MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS, JEWS, BUDDHISTS, JAINS OR and another religious community NOT HOLDING US ZARTOSTHIS IN THE GREATEST POSSIBLE ESTEEM and it is because of this one single factor that none of a, b or c as mentioned above would like to loose - RESPECT/PRIDE OF THE WORLD and people of group D? What can I say, they are just plain JEALOUS.
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