What is the position of rooster in Zoroastrian religion? (TMY, JJ of 4-11-18)

1. In the Avesta, the rooster is known as paro-darsh, which literally means “he who foresees the coming dawn.” Its main function is to crow at dawn to scare away Bushyãsta, the demon of sloth and laziness.

2. While the demon Bushyãsta makes people drowsy and puts them to sleep, the rooster wakes up people by crowing. While crowing at dawn it seems to say “Oh men! Wake up. Sleeping for long is not good for you.” However, lazy people do not appreciate the rooster waking them up. So they rebuke it by calling it Kahrkatas “a croaker.”

3. Being an opponent of an evil being, a rooster naturally becomes an ally of the good divine forces of the Universe. It has a special connection to Sarosh Yazad. It is said to be the keenest and most faithful follower of Sarosh Yazad, and is considered one of his closest allies.

4. It is believed that the rooster protects the world from the evils of Zohak, who is bound under the Demavand mountain and is waiting to unleash his evils on the world by trying to free himself. Tradition has it that throughout the night Zohak tries to free himself by licking at his chains making them thin, but as they are about to snap, dawn draws near, and the crowing of the rooster foils his attempts to escape and his chains resume their thickness. Actually the crowing of the rooster indicates the rising of the sun, and it is the good energy of the sun that neutralises the strength of evil collected during the night.

5. Another oral tradition associated with the rooster in Parsi culture is that one should not eat a rooster, the reason being that it is a representative of Sarosh Yazad and an opponent of Bushyāst dev.

6. The rooster is highly regarded at the Pier-e-Banu Pars in Yazd, Iran. When princess Banu Pars was fleeing the Arabs, night came on, and the exhausted princess went to sleep on the mountains. In the morning, the tired Banu Pars was not able to wake up and the pursuing Arabs came close to her. It was at that time that the rooster crowed and woke her up, and she was able to escape the clutches of the Arabs.

What is the significance of performing Vendidad for departed souls? Why is there a high cost for performing it? (TMY JJ of 28-10-18)

1. As to the significance of the Vendidad ritual, the meaning of the word Vendidad, is indicative of its purpose. The word Vendidad means “regulations against evil.” The performance of the Vendidad is expected to curb the power of all types of evils in the world, especially the spiritual. Thus, its performance renders great service to God and nature as it strengthens the good forces and weakens the evil. The benefit of the performance of the ritual goes to the soul in whose memory the ritual is performed. Hence it is very meritorious to have a Vendidad ritual performed in memory of a departed person.

2. The Vendidad ritual is performed for various purposes.  It is mainly performed in memory of the deceased. It is also performed as the culmination of the Nirang-din ritual, for the Maratab initiation and in several sets of rituals like consecration of Agyaris and Atash Behrams and performance of the Hama Yasht. 3. There are several reasons why the Vendidad ritual seems expensive. One is that it requires the services of two priests of the highest calibre.  Secondly, it takes 24 hours of the priests’ time. And lastly its actual performance takes almost six hours at an unusual time after midnight. h

What is the Vendidad ritual? (TMY JJ of 21-10-18)

1. The Vendidad is the longest and the most exalted of the present Zoroastrian rituals. In this ritual, the text of the Vendidad scripture is recited along with the texts of the Yasna and Visparad.

2. The Vendidad ritual takes about 6 to 7 hours to perform. It can be performed only in the Ushahin geh, that is after mid-night. It is an inner ritual and hence can be performed only within the pāvis (furrows) in a ritually clean precincts of a Daremeher, Agyari or Atash Behram.

3. Though the actual Vendidad ritual requires about 6 hours to perform, its preparation starts right from the morning. Two priests of the highest calibre are required for 24 hours each for the performance of the Vendidad ritual.

4. The preparation for the ritual starts by the performance of a Yasna ritual in the morningby two priests. This is called the khub and is meant to give ritual and spiritual power to undertake the higher ritual of Vendidad at night. After performing the Yasna ritual, the priests are expected to stay in the fire temple throughout the day, and observe certain restrictions, so as not to vitiate their ‘ritual power’.