What is the proper way to attend the Pāy-dast? (TMY, JJ of 10 to 24 -11-19)

1. After a Zoroastrian passes away, the first major after-death-ritual is the Pāydast, which includes the Geh-sārnā and the walking to the Dokhma following the dead body. When the Geh-sārnā finishes and the Sezdo (paying respects by bowing down) is done, the corpse is prepared to be taken to the Dakhma. Its face is covered with the white shroud in which the body is covered, and it is taken out of the Bangli.

2. At this point of time, non-Zoroastrians sitting in the pavilion come and stand outside the Bangli, at least three paces away from the portico, waiting for the corpse-bearers to bring the corpse out. Then they pay their last homage from a distance to the body which is completely covered, including the face, in white cloth.

3. The Zoroastrian mourners, after doing the Sezdo collect outside the Bangli and stand in pairs holding paiwand (ritual connection) behind the two priests who have performed the Geh-sārnā ritual. The priests are connected with a pichori and the mourners are connected with a white handkerchief. Then the priests followed by mourners walk behind the corpse, which is carried by 4 or 6 nase-sālārs (corpse bearers). Those who do not wish to follow the corpse upto the Dakhma do the Kasti and leave.

4. Either before starting to walk, or while walking, the priests and the mourners have to recite the Baj of Sarosh upto the point astavaitish ashahe. This baj is completed from the point nemaschā yā, after the corpse is laid down in the Dakhma.

5. When the procession reaches the assembly area outside the Dakhma, it is kept on one of the rectangular stone platforms there. The nase-sālārs uncover the face of the deceased. The attendants, still maintaining the paiwand, come close to the corpse and perform the final sējdō, keeping a distance of about two to three steps. At this point, the final Sagdīd takes place. Then, the nase-sālārs cover the face, lift the bier and carry it into the dakhma.

6. The mourners who are waiting, after getting a signal from the nase-sālārs at the Dakhma, leave the paiwand of the handkerchief and complete the bāj of Sarosh. They then recite the Namaskār of mountains and Namaskār of Dokhmas.

7. The Bāj of Sarosh gives ritual protection from the Nasu to those following the corpse. Nowadays, though priests take the Bāj meticulously, most Zoroastrians who go for the Pāy-dast and follow the corpse, do not take the bāj, mostly out of ignorance. Most people, though, recite the full bāj after the procession is over, since they are given books at this point of time.

8. After this, a few drops of Taro, is given, which is applied by the mourners to the face and hands, and allowed to dry for a few seconds. Then they wash their hands and face, do the full Kasti, pay homage to the Dadgah fire at the Sagdi and return from the doonger-wadi.

9. The BĀJ OF SAROSH, to be taken by the mourner when they participate in the Pāy-dast procession is as follows. It has to be taken at the beginning when the procession is about to start. It could also be recited while walking in the procession towards the Dakhma:

Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdao Ashem vohu 1.Yatha ahu vairyo 5. Ashem vohu 3. Fravarāne Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish vidaevo Ahura-tkaesho (Recite the appropriate short Geh) Sraoshahe ashyehe, takhmahe, tanu mānthrahe, darshi-draosh, āhuiryehe, kshnaothra yasnāicha, vahmāicha, khshnaothrāicha, frasastayaecha, yathā ahu vairyo zaotā frā me mrute, athā ratush ashāt chit hacha frā ashava vidhvāo mraotu.  Ahunem vairim tanum pāiti, Ahunem vairim tanum pāiti, Ahunem vairim tanum pāiti.  Yathā ahu vairyo 1. Recite Kem-nā Mazdā  till Astavaitish ashahe.

After the nase-sālārs give the signal by clapping, indicating that the body is laid down in the Dakhma, the Bāj of Sarosh is to be concluded as follows:

Nemaschā yā ārmaitish izāchā (3 times) Yathā ahu vairyo 2. Yasnemcha vahmemcha aojascha zavarecha āfrinami Sraoshahe ashyehe, takhmahe tanu mānthrahe, darshi-draosh ahuiryehe.  Ashem vohu 1.

Hazanghrem  baeshazanam baevare baeshazanām, Hazanghrem  baeshazanam baevare baeshazanām, Hazanghrem  baeshazanam baevare baeshazanām.  Ashem vohu 1.

Jasa me avanghe Mazda!  Jasa me avanghe Mazda!  Jasa me avanghe Mazda!  Amahe hutāshtahe  huraodhahe, verethraghnahe ahura-dhātahe, vanaintyāoscha uparatāto, thwāshahe khvadhātahe, zravānahe akaranahe, zravānahe daregho-khadhātahe.  Ashem  vohu  1. After this, Taro is applied to the face and hands, and allowed to dry. Then the hands and face are to be washed and the full Kasti has to be done, followed by paying homage to the Dadgah fire at the Sagdi.