What are the distinctive religious duties of a Zoroastrian according to texts? (TMY, JJ of 16-12-18)

1. The distinctive religious duties of a Zoroastrian are mainly outlined in two religious texts. One is the 17th century Persian book, Faraziyāt Nāmeh by Dastur Darab Pahlan of Navsari. The other is the Pazand Benedictions for Iranian Marriages. These duties are:

i. To wear the Sadra and Kasti, and regularly perform the Kasti ritual.

ii. Recite the Khorshed and Meher Nyāish three times in the day, or at least once.

iii. Recite the Māh Nyāish at least thrice a month, that is, on Amās (No moon day), Chāndrāt (New Moon day) and Poonam (Full Moon day).

iv. Perform regular worship of Sarosh Yazad. This can be done by reciting the Yasht for Sarosh Yazad or by reciting the Sarosh Baj at least once daily.

v. Observe the Farvardegan (Muktad) days by remembering all the Fravashis, and especially the Fravashis of the departed ones.

vi. Monthly and annually remember the souls of near and dear departed ones on the day of their passing away, one of the chief ways for this being the performance of rituals in their memory.

vii. Celebrate the six Gahambars, the seasonal festivals for thanksgiving of the six creations, or at least participate in their performance.

viii. Have the Rapithwin consecrated, or attend the performance of ceremonies to welcome it.

3. The above duties point out three distinctive Zoroastrian features : a. A person always has to be in touch with divine beings and the divine world. b. He has to show gratitude to divine beings and ancestors. c. A person has to live in harmony with the creations and nature.

4. One may notice that these duties deal more with rituals and not with virtues or ethics. However, the idea was that the regular performances of rituals inculcate the virtues of obedience to religion, gratitude to divine beings, respect to nature, a sense of obligation to the ancestors and acceptance of the sovereignty of Ahura Mazda. These duties also emphasise the Zoroastrian belief in the existence of the two worlds and two spirits.

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