Aug 21

Why do Parsis worship the Fire?

One thing lead to another, you can click The Holy Fire and read about it… and One day I asked Guruji, why do Parsis worship the Fire?!

He replied, Look at the essence of Fire. If you put Gold with some impurities in Fire. What happens? The impurities are burned away and the value of the Gold is enhanced! So, not only does Fire burn away the negativity, it also enhances positivity!

He added gently that’s what the Parsis have done. Fearlessly defended the weak, stood against whats wrong and gracefully enhanced whats right and good… throughout the History of the Parsis in India, thats what this noble race has done!

For the first time in so many years, i was proud to be a parsi! πŸ™‚

He then continued, but thats not all… Parsis dont only worship the Fire, they worship Nature. They worship all the five elements! Fire is just the symbol. and I thought thats right! In every Fire Temple, of course there is the Fire, but there is also a well and a tree and some animals, which are also worshiped!

…You will have to wait till tomorrow for the Secret of the other Elements!…

Jai Gurudeva!

Aug 20

The Holy Fire

Parsis worship Ahura Mazda (our name of God) through revering and worshiping nature. And our symbol is Fire. Each Fire Temple has a consecrated holy fire that is kept (smoldering) burning night and day. Each fire is lit with a spark of the original Atash Badshah (now housed in Udvada in Gujarat), and so it is quite difficult to start a new Fire Temple. The Fire is fed ONLY with Sandal wood. 5 times in 24 hours special prayers are chanted and the Fire is restoked with the offerings of devotees.

I was born and grew up in Bombay in a very loving and a very Parsi family. Now, most people don’t believe this but right from the beginning i hated heat. Even though i was born in Bombay which can get very hot during the year… and so going to the Fire Temple during the blistering heat of Bombay (especially in summers) was not something i looked forward to πŸ™‚

As a small child i often asked mom why we worshiped the Fire. Why could we not worship ice! πŸ™‚ She would reply by saying that Fire burns away all the negativity, all things bad, and so we worship Fire. This was an acceptable answer until i started questioning it further…

One Diwali, i burned myself lightly and went to mom and said why did Fire burn me?

Fire is our friend, our God and supposed to burn away negative things! Did that mean i was negative or bad?!

We worship the Fire because we worship the Fire. Stop asking silly questions. Shut up and Pray!

And so, by the time i was 18 years old, Religion and Fire worship was a waste of time as far as i was concerned… until i did the Art of Living course and met Guruji… and my entire view of the Parsi faith changed!

One day I asked Guruji, why do Parsis worship the Fire… What He said, you will read tomorrow! πŸ™‚

Jai Gurudeva!

Aug 19

Saal Mubarak!!

Today is Parsi New Year. And Srividya from Poona called me yesternight and requested me to post some things about Parsis this week… so here goes…

The Parsis were a warrior race originating in ancient Persia a few thousand years ago. They were known for their bravery, their amazing intellectual achievements and their devotion to their religion which was given to them by their prophet Zarathustra.

The percepts of the religion are very simple: Humakta: Good Thoughts, Hukta: Good Words and Havarashtha: Good Deeds. Parsis worship God (Ahura Mazda) through His creations, all of nature is revered. And their symbol is the Atash Badshah, The Holy Fire.

The muslim scourge and many unfortunate betrayals forced this once mighty race to its knees and millions were butchered and entire libraries of intellectual thought, science and arts burned to the ground by the islamic fundamentalists and terrorists.

Just three boat loads of Parsis escaped Persia with their beloved Holy Fire and their one remaining Holy Book, The Zend Avesta and after a harrowing voyage on stormy seas landed on the shores of India, seeking sanctuary in the Kingdom of Sanjan in present day Gujarat.

The King of Sanjan received these hardy and battle worn Sanctuary seekers with respect and awe. However, when the Parsi High priest approached him and made a plea to him that they be allowed to make India their home, the King refused saying that his Kingdom was already full and though he would have loved to give sanctuary and welcome the Parsis, he had no choice but to turn them down… He symbolically showed the High Priest a glass of milk filled to the brim, saying that his Kingdom was like that… much as he would have loved to have them, there was simply no place.

The High Priest smiled and asked for some sugar. He added the sugar into the glass full of milk and stirred it in thoroughly without spilling a drop. And said, just like this sugar, we will blend into India. And we will make it sweeter for having us…

The delighted King immediately declared that the Parsis were welcomed in India. But he was fearful of their strong bodies bristling with muscles and their mean looking weapons, so he put a few conditions. That the Parsis surrender their weapons and embrace peace. And that they should not inter marry or convert people (of India) to their religion. The High Priest readily agreed asking in return only that no non Parsi should ever be allowed into their Fire temples where the Holy Fire would be kept, so that the Holy Fire would always be protected and secure. The King nodded his assent.

The Parsis dropped their warrior training and became peace loving farmers and business men… and so, till today that ancient promise made to the King of Sanjan has been honoured…

And we moved into the Holy land of India and right through history since, have lived up to our promise of blending in and making each place we go to, or are in, sweeter because of us!

Saal Mubarak!

May everyone have a Blessed New Year!!

Jai Gurudeva!!!

ps more posts about Parsis in this week…

Aug 18

A Roller Coaster!

Every time someone confronts us with anger or violence a game starts. A game between that persons anger and our love, between their violence and our peace…

And when we are stronger, then the opposite person has no choice but to drop their anger and love us! They have no choice but to let go of their violence and bask in the bliss of the peace we are!

Its a game we play with the world… pit the power of our Sadhana, the depth of our silence and the magic of Guruji’s Grace against their ignorance and apathy… We are yet but a few, but we are strong… and all that it takes for few to become many is time… and the will to make a difference and the shakti to follow through on that will and actually go ahead and make that difference!! and boy! we have that! πŸ™‚

Focus, Skill and Hard work allows us to score almost every time… Its quite an exciting game and the outcome is certain too… But the journey to our victory is really interesting, with many exciting twists and turns… a spiritual rollercoaster, but we have our seat belts fastened through our Sadhana, Seva and Satsang and so we are utterly safe and can really sit back and enjoy every moment of this wild ride called Life (with the Art of Living :))!

Couldn’t resist putting this other photo here as well… Would love to go on a ride on this one with all of you! πŸ™‚

Jai Gurudeva!

ps Bits of this post come from a Knowledge session in the TRM with Swami Pragyapad

Aug 16

An Illusion?

It’s called the Magic Tap

It’s at Aqualand in Cadiz

Can you figure out how it works? Don’t spoil it for yourself by googling it πŸ™‚

Jai Gurudeva!

Aug 15

The Little Devi

My niece Bhuvana … a real little Devi in our home πŸ™‚ wearing a t shirt that i absolutely adore!

She refused to smile for the camera πŸ™‚

Jai Gurudeva!

Aug 14

The Deccan Queen

From Kanyakumari to Mumbai to Poona in the space of a few hours… Then 3 superb courses in Poona and we were planning on how to go back to Mumbai… and decided that the weather was just simply too beautiful to go any other way than by train!

We traveled on the venerable Deccan Queen… The first train ever to run between Mumbai and Poona. Amazingly it still takes the same amount of time as it did back in the 1800s. The engine was not as powerful as the one used now, but the train size was very small… now its a powerful engine that pulls a very long train up the steep and gorgeously beautiful Sahyadri mountains… There was fog and rain and thunder and nature really flaunting herself in all her monsoon glory as waterfalls big and small crashed all around us… some splashing right into the train…

What a feast!

Here are some photos…

I have decided, we have to make this trip every year at this time… What a wonderful planet we live on! πŸ™‚

Jai Gurudeva!

Aug 13

A quick response

Just reached Bangalore, went home and got on the net to find all those lovely comments… got some nice things to share with all of you about our journey here and some great times in Bombay will keep that for another post… Also some really nice recipes brewing πŸ™‚

2 things i want to comment on:

1. A few people don’t like my crazy sense of humour… well, the jokes i posted here are the ones that i really liked… made me laugh out really loud and keep sniggering for some time after that.

They may have a slightly adult theme, but i don’t really think there are many 6 year olds reading this blog! So for all you appalled people out there, lighten up… and join the laughter… coz once in a while there are going to be some jokes like this on the blog πŸ™‚

2. Ivan is real… very much so… he is NOT someone i created… he is an Art of Living teacher, works in IBM and lives in Sydney in Australia with his very lovely wife Sarah who is also a teacher and incidentally sings opera at the Sydney Opera house. You can write to him at … Most probably he and Sarah should be here for Navaratri this year and for all you doubters out there, come see me then and i will introduce him to you!

and now for another laugh (another one of Vikram’s, click to read up his blog)…

Ralph and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool, Ralph suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there. Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled Ralph out. When the Head Nurse became aware of Edna’s heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable. When she went to tell Edna the news she said, “Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you’re being discharged; since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of another patient, I have concluded that your act displays sound mindedness.

The bad news is, Ralph, the patient you saved, hung himself with his bathrobe belt in the bathroom. I am so sorry, but he’s dead.”

Edna replied “He didn’t hang himself. I put him there to dry. How soon can I go home?”

TRM starts tomorrow for all us Indian teachers, i don’t know if i will be able to post anything till monday… (i may sneak in somethings tonight, but no promises) so take care everyone… and read up stuff dinesh and i have written on the blog over this weekend, and definitely cook something from all the recipes that are here… AND DO COMMENT!!

Jai Gurudeva!

Aug 12

Cheers to the Breath and Sudarshan Kriya

One fine morning, I woke up at Anjana’s house with a song in my head. I took a deep breath in and a couple of hours later, the song took birth. It came out in rap (or ‘rapchick’) style. I asked one of the best song-maker I knew, to set it to music and sing it (lyrics are below). Click That thing you do with your nose to listen to the song and please write to the classy Daniel Moss and tell him how you liked it.

That thing you do with your nose

Breathe Breathe Breathe away
To the rhythm of your soul
The solution to your woes
Flows right under your nose.

So get ready with you bows
And your red rose arrows
Love truly flows and grows
When you dissolve big fat egos.

Deal with life’s highs and lows
Vanquish all your silly foes
Drown the rest of your sorrows
If only, You do that thing with your nose!

Love even they who oppose
That’s the best of all mottos
He reaps as he sows
Says the wise one who knows.

Breathe Breathe Breathe away
To the rhythm of your soul
Its easier that licking your elbows
That thing you do with your nose.

The birds, the bees and all of those
Do their naughty things with close windows
And even when they doze
They still do that thing with their nose.

Very little poetry and some prose
Has been composed on blowing your nose
Yet the best pleasure nature bestows
Flows right under your nose.

You can dig into those cheesy tacos or sinful chocos
And yet shed those extra kilos,
If the discipline you impose
Gets you to do that thing with your nose.

When come calling the head honchos
Your paycheck can add extra zeroes
If in between the his and hellos
You disclose
You do that thing with your nose

Those that smartly used their nose,
The world labeled them weirdoes or psychos
Before long their glory arose
As they joined the march of the heroes

Whether you dwell in borrows or chateaus
Anyone from Librans to Virgos
Breathe in the fragrance of the rose
And do that thing with your nose.

So kick in to some new clothes
Plus add some attitude that shows
That nothing can shake those
Who do that thing with their nose.

Breathe in in let go go go…
Breathe in in let go go go…

I am the Libran and Bawa is the Virgo…
Goes without saying, I am inspired by all your comments;-)

Aug 11

Ice Cream and the Present Moment

I needed a photo of delicious ice cream for this post… just couldn’t find it, so i made dinesh pose for it, and we started today morning with dinesh eating gooey, tasty, full of sugar (!) ice cream… after taking the photos there was some left over, so i had a few bites as well!!! πŸ™‚

And then, we noticed that the photos didn’t come out good, so dinesh had to eat ice cream all over again! *sigh* πŸ™‚

Ahh well… Sugar day today!

This is from a few years ago…

Dinesh and i were walking along a beautiful shady lane in the dadar parsi colony of Bombay. We were both eating ice cream… and suddenly he got very excited… his eyes were shining, he had had a realization!

He said Do you see how we feel that the last bite of the ice cream is special? We eat the whole thing, but then really, really savour the last bite… Why don’t we eat each bite as if it’s the last one?!

Why can’t we live life, each moment to its fullest? Savouring it, relishing it… Like its our last…

Living in the present moment means eating each bite of ice cream as if it were the last one!!!

We really enjoyed our ice creams after that… πŸ™‚

Jai Gurudeva!

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