Going the Parsi way - Livemint
Parsis began settling in the city more than 85 years ago. According to Subbaiah, Bangalore has the largest population of Kodavas ranging from marrying outside the community to Kodava cuisine. thebluetones.info is the largest website for Parsi singles looking for dating for long- term Religion. Parsi. Mother Tongue. Gujarati. Profession. Company Secretary.
Parsees have seen Karnataka from the days of Mysore Wadiyars. They migrated to the city between and and kept alive their race and religious roots. While business prospects attracted a few to Bangalore, those who were working for the British Army landed in the cantonment area and later settled here. Zoroastrian refugees from Fars and Khorasan provinces of Iran came to India seeking asylum. They landed in Gujarat and their elders met with the local ruler, King Jadi Rana.
They approached the king with a bowl of milk and added sugar to it, demonstrating to him that just as the sugar sweetened the milk without the bowl overflowing, they would assimilate within the state.
They were granted permission to live there on the condition that they adopt local language, give up arms and do not convert people from other religious beliefs. They accepted the conditions and founded their settlement in Sanjan. The Holy Fire was enthroned in various places in Gujarat, including Navsari and Surat and ultimately in Udvada where it has been blazing in glory for the past years.
Prophet Zarathushtra realised the importance of protecting nature centuries ago. Fire, earth, air and water — the four elements are considered as sacred and should not be defiled even by the dead. Historians say the contact between Indians and Iranians was well-established even prior to the Common Era and both the Puranas and Mahabharatha use the term Parasikhas to refer to the people who reside in the west of Indus River. The veteran of more than one-act plays and 42 full-fledged three-act productions says like everything Parsi, the popularity of their brand of theatre is also on the wane.
Before the refugees could make Gujarat their home, Jaditya Rana, the local monarch, quizzed the Parsis. The story goes that Rana questioned the head priest on how they planned to reside in an already overpopulated place. Nairyosang Dhawal, the leader of the refugees, called for a bowl of milk filled to the brim and a spoonful of sugar.
He carefully blended the sugar into the milk, without spilling a drop. Like sugar in the milk, Parsis will blend with the population and sweeten society, said Dhawal. We were asked to surrender all weapons and to hold Parsi wedding processions after sunset.
These traditions are followed in Surat and other parts of Gujarat even today," adds Dotivala. Once they found their feet, the industrious and business-minded Parsis flourished in the state.Bangalore Parsi find difficulty to dispose the dead bodies
They installed the holy fire called the Iranshah and inhabited the towns and villages of Gujarat making their living as farmers, weavers, carpenters and bakers. The origins of Jamshedi Navroz, date back to more than years when Jamshed, the king of Persia, ascended the throne on the day of the vernal equinox, when the length of the day equals that of the night. The Parsi community of Surat turns out in large numbers at its fire temples for the festival.
In the religious pecking order, the most revered fire temple is called the Atash Behram. On the second rung is an Agyari fire temple and on the third, the Daadgah.
At the Atash Behram in Sayyadpura — one of the four traditional Parsi neighbourhoods in Surat along with Shahpur, Nanpura and Rustampura — a steady lot of worshippers wearing shiny new clothes and cheerful dispositions, keeps streaming in through the day to offer prayers.
His wife Kashmira is busy browsing through a cart brimming with trinkets, diyas, framed photos of Lord Zoroaster, bangles and other assorted Navroz memorabilia that an enterprising Parsi lady is peddling outside the fire temple.
So, the Haft-Seen is a table-ful of seven articles that start with the letter S or Sh. At the Chichgar household, the honour of decorating the table is given to Maharukh Chichgar 47, a teacher, mom and actor.
The first two objects to be placed, she says, are a silver bowl and coin. Then a pomegranate, around which there are flowers. There is a diya lit in the tradition of fire worship and the photograph of Zoroaster the prophet.
Traditionally, Parsis invite family and friends over on Navroz. There are prayers earmarked for the morning, afternoon and evening. In the evening, everyone prays at the Navroz table and eats from it. A mirror is placed in such a way that you can see the reflection of the pomegranate, a diya and the photograph of Zoroaster in a straight line. We believe that this movement is caught in the mirror and the pomegranate moves at the same moment. The mirror catches that lucky moment in the reflection.
That is why looking into the mirror on Navroz brings you good luck," she adds. But just as a year-old Tower of Silence looms over Mumbai's busy Kemp's Corner, a Parsi Bawdi towers over a sprawling 14 acre orchard just off Hebbal flyover. The vultures, the carrion that feed off the dead - the Parsi ritual of excarnation - no longer circle above the sacred spot where the Parsis laid out their dead.
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It's the fire from the sun and the heat of the earth that reclaim the dead. It's a ceremony that few get to see men and women dressed in long white robes singing the song of silence in a temple. Around their waist is a silken thread and in the white sanctorum is a flame that burns days of the year.
Allowed into this holy place are members of a small community of or so in the city. Though few in number, the Parsi families in Bengaluru preserve the world's oldest religion, the religion of fire, Zoroastrianism.