How to do the Kasti ritual?

At the outset, the person performing the Kasti recites khshnaothra ahurahe mazdaao ashem vohu 1, and washes his face, hands upto wrists and the sole and upper part of the feet, if the feet are open. The water used for the ablution should preferably be flowing water. In the olden times only water from well or stream was used for this purpose. Then the hands and face are wiped dry, a position is taken facing the direction of the sun or at night time any direction (except north) where there is light, preferably natural light. The person should stand in such a manner that nobody should be able to pass in front of him at least for a distance of about three feet.

Then the entire Kem nā mazdā is recited and the Kasti is untied. the Kasti is taken in hands after folding it in the middle. The middle portion is taken round the thumb across the open palm of the left hand, fingers facing outwards. The other end of the folded Kasti is held in the right hand, palm facing downwards. The two loose ends hang down but should not touch the ground.

While reciting ahura mazda khodāi the person bows down, and while reciting ahreman avādashān strikes the Kasti with the right hand. This striking is done by some people towards the north. Again some people strike the Kasti thus on all the words associated with evil in the first part of the prayer. On the second ahura mazda khodāi in the same prayer, the reciter again bows his head. While saying the word manashni the Kasti is held in both the hands at the middle and a loop is formed with the right hand. The action is repeated on the word gavashni with the left hand. On the word kunashni the reciter bows his head while holding the two loops formed in his two hands. Holding the Kasti in the same position he finishes this prayer.


Then while praying khshnaothra ahurahe mazdaao the reciter bows his head and while praying taroidite angrahe mainyeush he moves his hands away from his body (to express disgust). While reciting haithyāvarshtām, he encircles the Kasti once around his waist and brings the two tassels in front and holds them in his two hands. While praying the two yathā ahū vairyō, a reef knot is are to be tied in the front, the first knot of which is to be made with the right while reciting the word shyaothananām in the first Yathā ahu vairyo, and the second knot with the left hand  while reciting the word shyaothananām in the second Yathā ahu vairyo.

Then the ends of the Kasti are taken back and once again a reef knot is tied, this time at the back, the first knot with the right hand, and the second knot with the left, while reciting one ashem vohū.

While reciting the jasa me avanghe mazda, the hands are joined in a prayer gesture, while holding the front knots of the Kasti.

After the Kasti ritual is finished, the devotee touches the ground which is a gesture signifying  acceptance of sovereignty of God.

Now let us see the ritual gestures of the Kasti, along with the Kasti prayers:

Khshnaothra ahurahe mazdāo. Ashem vohu 1.

Recite this line while washing face, hands upto wrists and the sole and upper part of the feet (if open). Then stand at one place and recite the whole Kem nā Mazdā.

KEM NĀ MAZDĀ

Kem nā mazdā, mavaite pāyum dadāt,

Hyat mā dregvāo,  didareshatā,

Aenanghahe anyem, thwāhmāt,

Āthraschā, mananghaschā,

Yayāo shyaothnāish, ashem thrāoshtā ahurā,

Tām moi dāstavām, daenayāi  frāvaochā.

Ke verethrem jā, thwā poi senghā,

Yoi henti, chithrā moi, dām ahumbish, ratum chizdi,

At hoi vohu, sraosho jantu mananghā,

Mazdā ahmāi, yahmāi,  vashi kahmāichit.

Pāta no tbishyantat pairi,

Mazdāoschā, ārmaitishchā, spentaschā,

Nase daevi drukhsh, nase daevo chithre,

Nase daevo  frakarshte, nase daevo fradāite,

Apā drukhsh nase,  apā drukhsh dvāra, 

Apā drukhsh vinase,  apā khedhre, apā nasyehe, 

Mā mairinchainsh gaethāo, astavaitish ashahe,

Nemaschā yā, ārmaitish izāchā. Ashem vohu 1.

Untie the Kasti. Fold the Kasti into half. Hold the middle of the Kasti in left hand and about eighteen inches away hold the other side of the Kasti in the right hand, the two strands dangling.

AHURA MAZDA KHODĀY

Ahuramazda khodāy (Bow down),

ahreman awādashān (Strike with right hand),

Dur awāz dāshtār, zad shekasteh bād,

Ahreman, devān, drujān, jāduān, darvandān, kikān,

Karafān, sāstārān, gunehgārān, ashmoghān,

Darvandān, dushmanā, friyān, zad shekasteh bād.

Dush pādshāhān, awādashān bād, Dushmanā stoh bād, dushmanā awādashān bād.

Ahuramazda khodāy (Bow down),

Az hamā gunāh, patet pashemānum, az harvasten, Dushmata, duzukhta, duzvarshta. (Click with right hand on each of the 3 words)

Mem pa geti manid, oem goft, oem kard,

Oem jast, oem bun, bud ested.

Az ān gunāh, manashni, gavashni, kunashni (Form a loop), Tani ravāni, geti minoāni, okhe awākhsh,

Pashemān, pa se gavashni, pa patet hom.

Khshnaothra ahurahe mazdāo,

Taroidite anghrahe mainyeush.

Haithyāvarshtām hyat vasnā,

Frashotemem, staomi ashem.  Ashem vohu 1.

Yatha ahu vairuo 2. Tie the first knot of the reef knot with the right hand on the first shyaothananām, and the second knot of the reef knot on the second shyaothananām.

Ashem vohu 1. While reciting the ashem vohu, tie both the knots of the reef knot.

JASA ME AVANGHE MAZDA

Hold the front reef knot of the Kasti with thumbs or fore fingers.

Jasa me avanghe mazda!

Jasa me avanghe mazda!

Jasa me avanghe mazda!

Mazdayasno ahmi, mazdayasno zarathushtrish,

Fravarāne astutascha fravaretascha.

Āstuye humatem mano,

āstuye hukhtem vacho,

Āstuye hvarshtem shyaothnem.

Āstuye daenām, vanghuhim māzdayasnim.

Fraspāyaokhedhrām, nidhāsnaithishem,

Khaetvadathām ashaonim,

Yā haitināmcha, bushyeintināmcha,

Mazishtāchā, vahishtāchā, sraeshtāchā,

Yā ahuirish zarathushtrish.

Ahurāi mazdāi, vispā vohu chinahmi.

Aeshā asti daenayāo mazdayasnoish, āstuistish.

Ashem vohu 1.

Bow down to the ground with reverence, remembering and thanking Ahura Mazda.

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