After death, they do not even touch their loved ones, they leave the dead bodies in the open without a shroud. Creed, religion, faith, belief and worship… these are the heritage beliefs of folk life. That too around whom hundreds of customs and traditions are folded. Do not know how many ancestors and years. If you lift the layer, tear your eyes away in surprise. Recently, sitting in the office, we were planning to bring such customs to the fore. Then suddenly the news of the death of the country’s big businessman Cyrus Mistry came in a road accident. Earlier it was learned that Cyrus Mistry would be cremated according to Parsi tradition. That is, the dead body will be left in the open without any clothes. To eat the pecking of birds like vultures. After some time the news came that this would not happen. He will be cremated at the electric incinerator. It was decided here that the Parsis start the cult only with the customs of death. My name is Nikhil. So now today’s cult… I am at Churchgate station in South Mumbai. After exiting here, I reach Marine Drive. From there, a dense forest is seen in the corner across the sea. It took 20 minutes to reach there by car. This forest spread over 55 acres on the Malabar Hills is years old. This is Dungarwadi. That is, the last worldly position after the death of a Parsi. I reached here first by car and then on foot through the stone path. Silence spread. Few people among the trees bathed in greenery and raindrops. Small houses, they call them by the name of bungalows or funeral parlors. Before the funeral of a Parsi, his dead body is kept here. From here one gets to walk about 10 kilometers through the narrow road – Dakhma i.e. Towers of Silence. Instead of burning, burying or throwing them in water, Parsis leave the dead bodies in the Towers of Silence for vultures to eat. In two-three months, the vultures eat the flesh of the body and the remaining bones are buried by putting them in the pit. This picture of Towers of Silence is from 1880. Vultures are seen sitting on its walls. Non-Parsis are not allowed here. This picture of Towers of Silence is from 1880. Vultures are seen sitting on its walls. Non-Parsis are not allowed here. Now the question will be in your mind that why do Parsis do this, let’s understand. The last ritual in Zoroastrianism lasts for four days. On the first day the dead body is prepared and brought to the bungalow. The dead body is then left in the Towers of Silence for the vultures to eat. The fourth day is the day of the judgment of the spirit. Khojesti P Mistry, managing trustee of Zoroastrian Studies Center located in Colaba, Maharashtra, says that Ahurmazda i.e. God of Parsis knows everything, but he is not omnipotent. That is why death does not give Ahurmazda. To give death is the work of Satan. After the soul leaves the body, the nerves i.e. Satan resides in it. Due to this the dead body becomes impure. Parsis consider fire to be the Son of God, worship it. Water and soil are also sacred to them. That’s why Parsis do not burn or bury dead bodies after someone’s death. They believe that by doing this the nerves will enter the fire, water and soil and pollute it.
How does the devil get into the dead body?
Khogesti P Mistry is the only person in the world who counsels the Parsis about their customs and religious practices. It is said that the family members can touch the dead body, kiss it immediately after the death of someone. Nassallar is then informed of the death. Nasasalar goes to collect the body in his vehicle. These are the people who live in bungalows. After death, they do all the rituals. It is believed that Nasasalar keeps the nerves calm with his prayer. They first cut off the clothes of the dead body. Then bathe it with cold water. It is believed that after this the devil enters that dead body. That is, now no one can touch this body except Nasasalar. The relatives and relatives of the deceased also have to stay at a distance of 9 feet. After this, cow urine is applied on the body. Then he is dressed in white colored suede and pajama. Sadra is the inner wear of muslin cloth, which symbolizes purity. On top of this a loose kasti (a kind of thread) is tied like a waistband, which is made of goat’s wool of 72 threads. It gives right direction to life. It is called Direction Finder. After death, Nassallar wears white clothes and caps to the dead body. During this, the family members have to stand 9 feet away. After death, Nassallar wears white clothes and caps to the dead body. During this, the family members have to stand 9 feet away. The 72 tandas happen because, what should be the philosophy of life in the Zoroastrians, it has been told in their religious text Gatha, 72 Yasna (customs performed on different occasions). He is then put on a hat. Lastly, wrap it with a white sheet. After this the dead body is taken to the bungalow.
Recognition- Seeing the dog, it is known whether the devil has left the body or not
The dog has a special significance at the time of funeral among the Parsis. It is believed that these dogs only confirm whether the person has lost his life or not. The dog has a special significance at the time of funeral among the Parsis. It is believed that these dogs only confirm whether the person has lost his life or not. After being taken to the bungalow, the dead body is placed on three marble slabs. After that Nasasalar recite his mantras while walking clockwise three times around the body with nails in his hand. The body is then lifted from the slab and placed on a stretcher. During this, Nasasalar rotates anti-clockwise with nails in his hand. So that the devil remains within the limits of the nail. After this the dog is brought there. Which attests to whether the dead man is alive or not, whether he has lost his life or not. If the dog barks, it means that the man is alive. During this, two Parsi priests i.e. Athornan keep praying. Both of them bind themselves to each other by means of white cloth, so that the devil is afraid of seeing the power of the two people and cannot get out. According to Mistry, there was a time in the 50s, when the dog started barking after seeing the dead body. It was later discovered that the man was in a coma. Dadar East houses the Athornan Institute, a center of Parsi religious education. It is only in Mumbai in the whole world. The principal here, Dr. Ramier P Karanjia, tells that if the death has happened in the evening, then the body is kept in the bungalow overnight. During this, fakeaat (Parsi prayer) keeps happening. Flowers, sandalwood and fire are lit near the dead body. It is believed that Satan is controlled by the scent of sandalwood and runs away from the fire. Parsis consider fire sacred and also worship it. Until the last rites of the dead person are performed, these people keep praying continuously by keeping a fire near his dead body. Parsis consider fire sacred and also worship it. Until the last rites of the dead person are performed, these people keep praying continuously by keeping a fire near his dead body. Sunlight is of great importance to the Parsis. Therefore, only after the sun rises, the next day the dead body is taken to the Towers of Silence i.e. Dakhma for the Funeral. The height of Dakhma is 21 feet. It is circular and has three grooves around it. The first slot is for men, the middle slot is for women and the third slot is for children. There is a deep pit right in the middle of it. It is fortified by putting 301 nails in 16 directions of the pit. It has only one gate which is open from above, so that the vultures can eat the flesh of the dead body and the rays of the sun can fall on it. After bringing the body to the Towers of Silence, the family members of the deceased get a chance to see them for the last time, but from 9 feet away. Here the clothes of the dead body are removed and burnt in a pit. The body is kept without clothes. During this, the family of the deceased does not even eat non-veg for 4 days. Nassallar carrying a dead body for the funeral procession at the Towers of Silence. Nassalar only performs the last action. Nassallar carrying a dead body for the funeral procession at the Towers of Silence. Nassalar only performs the last action. Parsis believe that for the first three days the soul stays outside the body in the same place. After that she becomes like a small child gets scared. The fourth day is the Day of Judgment. That is, the day of the Judgment of the Spirit. The fraud that happens on this day is called High Prayer. It is necessary for the family of the deceased to be present on this day. On this day the four judges of Ahurmazda decide whether that spirit is good or bad. These judges are called Yajd. The judgment is based on the good and bad deeds of the deceased and the good and bad words spoken. When the soul has done good deeds, it is sent along with the rays of the sun to heaven, that is, the House of Song. If you have done bad deeds, then that soul himself has to go to Hell i.e. the House of Deceit. After this the dead body is left there. Now the work of the vultures begins. As soon as they see the dead body here, they come down and start eating it. As far as time is concerned, it depends on the size of the body. Earlier, vultures used to eat dead body meat within ten to fifteen days, but now the number of vultures has reduced significantly, so it takes two to three months. In this way the dead body is kept in the Towers of Silence. Whose meat is eaten by vultures in 2-3 months. In this way the dead body is kept in the Towers of Silence. Whose meat is eaten by vultures in 2-3 months. The bones left over after the vultures have eaten meat are left to decompose in the sun and rain. In the end, whatever part of the body is left, Nasasalar dumps it in a dry well built between the Tower of Silence, which contains lime and black salt. Its powder is made in the well in eight to ten months. Nevertheless, the large bones that remain are buried with lime and salt in a crater near the Nassallar Tower of Silence. This is how Parsis complete the funeral procession.
Earlier, Parsis used to worship Satan, Zarathustra explained
The Egyptians say that the Iranian people worshiped ‘Deva Yasna’ before the Zoroastrian prophet Zarathustra (the founder of the Zoroastrians) came to earth. Here deva does not mean deity, but devil. They believed that worshiping Satan gives immediate relief from any trouble. Zarathustra explained to the people that we do not have to worship the god Yasna, he is the devil. We have to worship the intellect i.e. Wisdom. He asked to worship Ahurmazda (God of the Parsis). Which is called Lord of Wisdom. Zarathustra did not write any scripture, but told the people about right and wrong by singing (humming) five sagas. Ahunawaiti (a kind of prayer) of the first saga is performed at the time of death and after bathing the dead body.
10% Parsis now perform last rites in electric crematorium
Industrialist Cyrus Mistry, who lost his life in a road accident on September 4, was cremated at the Electric Crematorium in Worli instead of the Parsi tradition. Dr. Ramier P Karanjia, principal of the Parsi Religious Education Center, says that about two months before the death of Cyrus Mistry, his father died. His funeral took place in the Towers of Silence. In fact, Cyrus’s wife is a Muslim. Her sons were not convinced that their mother would not be able to see her dead husband closely. According to Karanjia, many Parsis of the new generation do not want the body of their loved one to remain in the open for many days. Now around 10% of Parsi families perform last rites in Electric Crematorium. During Kovid, only one tower in the Towers of Silence was open to those who died of Kovid. This is also a major reason for the adoption of electric incinerators.
In the 7th century, the Parsis reached India on three boats
Iran was known as Persia in the 7th century. Then there was the rule of the Sassanian Empire and Zoroastrianism was the official religion there. The story of the arrival of the Parsis in India comes to us from the Zoroastrian saga named Kissa-e-Sanjan. It was written by Dastur Bahaman in 1600 AD. In fact, the last emperor of Iran, Yazdegard, was defeated by the Arabs in the battle of Nehavand in 641 AD. It was only after this that the Parsis started running away to escape the tyranny of the Arabs. Some people settled in the hills of Khorasan. By the 8th century, the Parsi kings who settled on the hills of Khorasan started getting defeated. After this most of the people reached the port of Hormuz and lived there for about 30 years. When the atrocities against them did not stop here too, they boarded three boats and reached Diu Island in Kathiawar, Gujarat. From here he reached Valsad. Then Raja Jadhav Rana of this area of Gujarat allowed the Parsis to stay here with some conditions. Where the Parsis settled a small town named Sanjan.
40% of the world’s Parsis live in Mumbai, with a total population of less than 1.25 million
According to the Zoroastrian Studies Center of Mumbai, the total number of Parsis in the world is 1 lakh 15 thousand. Of these, 40% Parsis live only in Mumbai. South Mumbai’s Dadar East, Colaba, Bhaikalla, Parel and Malabar Hills are the hideouts of Parsis. Here the large bungalows of Parsis and the special British architecture of their houses tells that the Parsi family lives here.
One third of Parsis do not marry, the population is decreasing
Among Parsis, 30% of men and 28% of women do not marry, as they do not find perfect matches due to their small community. Due to the declining population of Parsis, Parjor, an organization of Parsis in Delhi, runs a fertility program in collaboration with the Government of India. In which he gets the treatment of Parsi couples who cannot have children. This treatment is free. Due to this, 261 Parsi children have been born in the last 6 years.