Dear TZML members,
Some members have evinced an interest in the procedure for taking a 'sadu' Nahn at home. Following Pervin Mistry's request, I give below the procedure and a brief explanation for the same.
Your feedback and questions are welcome.
Ervad Marzban Hathiram
We normally have a bath every day to keep our body physically clean. But the human body is composed of more than just the physical parts which we see. The Avesta says that the human body is made up of nine parts (for those eternal quote wallahs, doubting Thomases, and 'we believe it only when we see the scriptural reference' guys out here on theTZML, here is the reference: Yasna 55.1) - which are grouped in three parts of three bodies each: The physical group comprises of :
1. Tanu - the fleshy body and skeletal system
2. Gaetha - the internal organs
3. Azde - the various liquids and circulatory systems.
The ultra physical group comprises of :
4. Keherp - the energy body where the 16 divine energy receiving, processing and transmitting centres known as Chakhras are located
5. Ushtan-Ap - the life breath which is joined with the life breath of Zarathushtra during the Navjote ceremony
6. Tevishi - the emotions body
The divine group comprises of :
7. Urvan / Ruvan the original part of the Lord in us
8. Baodangh - divine wisdom (this is Vohu Mano personified and not what many believe to possess in their physical minds)
9. Fravashi - the spirit of implicit obedience to the will of the Lord (unlike many on this alias who seem to do what they want just because they perceive themselves to have a very good mind.)
The ultra physical group can also collectively be called the aipi of a person - his own personal space. Just as we have the normal bath for cleansing our physical bodies, the Zoroastrian religion enjoins different types of 'Nahns' for the cleansing of the ultra physical parts. Of these, the most simple one is called the 'Sadu Nahn' or just simply the 'Nahn'.
Every thought, word and deed of ours is recorded at three parts in Nature. One of those three parts is our aipi or the personal space where our ultra physical bodies reside. If we stand with our arms bent at the elbows and the hands on our hips the expanse between the ends of the two elbows is our aipi. This aipi stores the records of all our thoughts, words and deeds, and several advanced Tibetan lamas can let you know what you have been up to by reading this aipi space.
As the day goes by, our aipi becomes more and more polluted with the stamps of our not so good thoughts words and deeds. Some of this is remedied by the performance of the kusti at several times - for example after we visit the toilet. However, some part of this pollution remains and it is to cleanse this spiritual pollution that the Nahn is recommended to be taken preferably every few months.
Now we see the procedure.
1. On the day preceding the day when you want to take the nahn, get another person to collect the following ingredients:
a) 6-7 leaves of the pomegranate tree
b) 3-4 drops of the Nirangdin nirang (consecrated Nirang from the Nirangdin ceremony - ask your local Agiary to give you just this very small amount. Take a well washed and thoroughly dried small bottle to get it in. Do not take more, only as much as you can drink in three sips.)
c) A small quantity of normal urine of the Varasyaji (again to be obtained from the Agiary where the Varasyaji is kept. Go in the evening, but before sunset with a clean, washed and dried glass bottle. Take enough to rub over your body - about 100 ml.)
2. Arrange all these items on a copper tray (kalai ni khumchi), emptying the nirang and the taro in small kalai fulias. Place a clean handkerchief also. Cover with a clean mul mul cloth and keep in a segregated place.
3. Wash and completely dry the bathroom where you will take the Nahn. This is important. the bathroom should not be used during this time. The Nahn person should be the first one to use the bathroom in the early morning. The tray containing the ingredients should now be placed near the bathroom. Fill a bucket with clean water. Place a small mug filled with water next to the bucket.
4. On the night preceding the Nahn, have a light meal. Do not have anything in the morning. Not even water. This is very very important.
5. Get up early in the morning before the hustle and bustle of daily life begins (but after Sunrise). After the normal bodily functions are over, wash the face etc. then do one kusti. Pray the Sarosh Baj and the Havan gah. Then sit down in a clean place and with full devotion and humility recite the Patet Pashemani prayer. While saying this prayer, occupy your mind with just one thought - may my aipi be purified through this prayer and subsequent Nahn, and may I have the strength to withstand the onslaught of evil.
6. Now go over to the bathroom, and standing near the tray of ingredients, first recite the 'Jamvani baj' prayer for taking food, given in any normal Khordeh Avesta. Now using the clean handkerchief as a paivand, or connector, lift the fulia containing the Nirangdin nirang in your hand, and recite in baj: 'In khuram, in paaki - i - tan, yaozdastri i ravaan raa' ('I take this for the cleansing of the body and the purification of my soul') Running this thought constantly in your mind take one sip from the fulia, and chew 2 leaves of the pomegranate tree. Swallow the juice and spit out the pulp. Now recite this small formula again and take a second sip of the Nirang and chew another 2 leaves and spit out the pulp. Finally recite the formula a third time and take the final sip of the Nirang from the fulia and chew the final two leaves and spit out the pulp. Now keep the fulia down (not in the plate, but on the bathroom ground). Now finish off the remaining part of the Jamvani baj (4 Yatha, 2 Ashem, Ahmai raescha...Kerfeh Mozd).
7. Now untie the kusti silently and reciting the Hormazd khodae tie the kusti again.
8. Now take off all the clothes, and step into the bathroom proper and apply the normal taro all over the body, again running the thoughts of cleansing the aipi in your mind.
9. Now recite the 'Nahvani baj' (prayer for taking the bath).
10. Now wash your hands using the small mug filled with water the previous day. Then use the water in the bucket to have a proper bucket bath.
11. Now wear a fresh set of clothes, and finish off the Nahvani baj.
12. Now wash your face, hands upto the elbows and the exposed parts of the leg again (that is, do the Padyab) and untie and retie the kusti again including the Sarosh baj. Then recite the Havan gah, and sit down and recite the Patet once again, running the thought in the mind that 'may I have the good fortune to take such a Nahn again and again in my life'.
Here ends the Nahn ceremony.
Please bear in mind that this is a solemn ceremony and not some casual thing to do. Invest your time properly and make sure you follow all the rules given above. Please do not run down this solemn ceremony into a spectacle for others to see and chat about.
Your questions and feedback are welcome.
Ervad Marzban Hathiram.
Chapters of the Saga
Saga of the Aryans Home Page
Traditional Zoroastrianism Home Page
How to get the Saga in book form