Why should the Sadra be made of nine parts? (TMY – Jame Jamshed of 4, 11 & 18-3-2018)

  1. The Sadra, is an essential religious garment, along with the Kasti, which a Zoroastrian wears right after the Navjote. The word Sadra comes from the Avesta and Pahlavi word vastra which means “a spiritual garment”. The Persian word for Sadra is sud rāh which means “the beneficial path.”
  2. Technically, the Sadra is a ritual implement necessary to offer prayers and do the Kasti ritual. As a ritual implement, the Sadra needs to have certain specifications regarding the colour, size and number of seams (Sāndhās in gujarati). The Sadra is made up of nine seams out of which the two sleeves constitute two seams.
  3. Symbolically, the Sadra is a road map that leads a Zoroastrian towards his duties and obligations. The nine parts/seams are to remind him of different teachings. These are:
  4. i) Gireban: It is a small pocket like pouch with a perforation in the inner side situated at the font of the Sadra. It is also referred to as kisseh-kerfeh, which means “the pocket of good deeds”. It is symbolic of the goodness and meritorious deeds that a person has to do in life.
  5. ii) Girdo: It is the seam on the nape of the neck in the shape of a crescent moon. It looks like a yoke and reminds man of his responsibilities to God, prophet, nation, society, family and his own self. There is a wron idea that only men’s Sadras should have Girdo. All Sadras, either for men or women, should have a Girdo.

iii & iv) Two sleeves, one on each side: Sleeves are made of pieces of cloth stitched on the sides of the Sadra. The Sadras of ladies and gents, both have sleeves, but for purposes of convenience, the sleeves of a ladies sadra are smaller and thinner. The sleeves are symbolic of the Zoroastrian religious injunction of being industrious and hardworking.

v & vi) The two sides: The large piece of cloth at the front and the back, stitched at the sides, form the 5th and 6th parts of the Sadra. The two sides remind us of the two worlds – the spiritual world from where we have come and the material world where we are living presently.

vii & viii) Two slanting seams (tiris) on the either side at the bottom of the Sadra, on the right side in gents and on the left side in ladies. They teach us to live in harmony with and to care for and use but not misuse or abuse vegetables and animals. The opposite positions of these Tiris indicate that ladies and gents should complement each other in life, as each have different strengths and capabilities which are required by the other.

ix) One straight seam (Tiri): This seam is parallel to the left side bottom stitch, on the left side in the Sadra of gents and on the right side in ladies. It teaches us to care for the mineral kingdom.

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