Please Note that Seasons are not of equal length.
Listen with your ears to the best
Consider with open mind
From among the paths
Person by person for his own self
Before greatness of the message
Is truly spread understand each one
Zarathushtra – Gatha – Yasna 30.2 (FR)
- Add your comments SUPPORT THE MAZDAYASNI CALENDAR – A UNIFIED CALENDAR
- Some dear friends raised a few questions regarding the Naming of Days so here below is a general explanation. ================================================== PHILOSOPHY BEHIND NAMING THE DAYS IN THE MONTH ==========================
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How will this calendar work for those Zarathushtis in the Southern Hemisphere ??
- Dear Arzan The good thing about the Mazdayasni Calendar is that it is controlled by nature that is the Equinox’s and Solstice’s which happens all over Earth at exactly the same time. So they will celebrate all the festivals exactly at the same time as the northern hemisphere but with opposite season. So Now Rooz will be in Autumn and Mehregan in Spring. Just like they celebrate Christmas in Summer.
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Gday Rustom, Behnam, Pouya & ArZan – Thanks for your comments. Please inform your friends and family to read and enquire. Do start discussions on other subjects also. When we communicate and share knowledge, everyone benefits. Enjoy life . Firoz Pestonji
Some friends had some questions about the Naming of the Days so here is a general explanation. Hope it is satisfactory.
PHILOSOPHY BEHIND NAMING THE DAYS IN THE MONTH
The Gathas the ancient teachings of Zarathushtra, is all about Wisdom (Mazda), for the word Mazda appears 164 times in the Gathas. No other word has been repeated as many times as Mazda.
The ancient Iranians were true to the Gathas, their culture was based on Wisdom. In the ancient world, they were known for their wisdom, the Bible acknowledges that over and over again. They studied nature and copied it, for they recognized that truth was in Asha. Superstition and fantasy cannot be part of Asha and we do not find any of it in the Gathas. The Gatha does not promote a Belief, it promotes the Truth, it promotes the use of Wisdom, it promotes Research, it teaches how to progress towards Perfection. It shuns Belief and Tradition but promotes Culture. For Culture is progress and Tradition is stagnation.
Therefore, if a Zarathushti practice is based on superstition it should be considered null and void. If a practice is based on wisdom, then that practice should evolve with the increase in knowledge and information. If a practice based on wisdom does not keep up with the progress in knowledge it becomes a tradition, and tradition is stagnation.
The Persians introduced various systems to help enhance the use of Wisdom. The practice of naming the days of the month introduced during the Sassanian period seems to have been based on Wisdom. Although in times of weakness superstitions values have been attached to a few of the names by personifying them, but the majority are free of superstitious. So, with the help of modern research lets endeavor to rediscover the embedded science in this ancient practice, the science that was lost to atrocities committed against the Zarathushtis to the point of their annihilation.
The National Science Foundation in the US has come to the conclusion that a regular person has about 70 thousand thoughts in a day. The result is a waste of the brain power. None of the thoughts can mature because the mind has less than one second to delve on each thought.
That is where the ancient practice of meditation comes in to clear the clutter. When one sits in front of the flickering flame and concentrates on it, the mind gets relaxed. When one prays in a language that one does not understand that process is quickened. It slows down the mental activity until the mind gets to a meditative stage also known as the Alpha stage. In the Alpha stage, the mind is known to solve complex problems and be innovative.
Recently science has realized that if a group of people, over a period, collectively think about a single subject or single problem, or a single project, they can find solutions and advance in their research at a faster pace. Many hi-tech companies have started to put this into practice.
The Mazdayasni Zarathushtis were aware of this mental downside and had a solution; they named the days to promote a unified thought and action during each day. For example, on days named Peace, Life, Moon, and Good Thoughts, “Life” is revered by not slaughtering animals and not eating meat. The collective action of not slaughtering and not eating meat on four specified days had a dual effect, one on the health of the population and two it helped preserve the animal species.
Naming the days, Water, Wind, Fire, Justice, Victory, Love; were not to ask for boon and blessings from them but to work towards preserving and promoting them. Just like, today we have Earth Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day etc.
In this scheme, the first seven days of the month are named after the Amesha Spentas, a reminder of the Gathic path to Perfection (28.3), Immortality (28.10) and Spirituality (28.4).
Truly, the Asha (Ultimate Truth) (2) derived
By the Good Mind (1)
Never before known
Among the wise and all creation
With it, make Good Rules (3) and never waning
Increasing Righteousness (4)
Leading us towards Perfection (5)
Zarathushtra – Gatha -Yasna Ha 28.3 (FR)
And those who are righteous are known for
Good deeds and use of the wise mind
In a righteous way in tune with Wisdom in Existence
Their aim achieved
Their desire assuredly happiness
Their Reward knowledge, and being known as righteous,
faithful and are praise worthy (6)
Zarathushtra – Gatha – Yasna HA 28.10 (FR)
Truly, the spiritual result is exalted (when)
Goodness leads to harmony in thoughts
Which results in good deeds
In harmony with the Wisdom in Creation
As long as we have will and strength
So long we will teach to strive for Truth
Zarathushtra – Gatha -Yasna Ha 28.4 (FR)
1- BAH MAN – Good Mind– Use your Good Mind to inquire and learn the
2- ARDIBESHT – Ultimate Truth- the Laws of Nature- Use them to make
3- SHAHRIVAR- Good Rules – Good Laws- Good Products – Which will lead to
4- ESFAND- Lawful Desire – Righteousness – that will pave the way toward
5- KHORDAD- Perfection – Mental, Physical and Spiritual – which will lead to
6- AMORDAD- Immortality –(a) In Death being remembered for your good work for generations
(b) In Life by losing the fear of Death –resulting in oneness with
7- AHURA-MAZDA – The Creator of Wisdom – Khod Ah
through Self Realization- KHOD = Self AH = to come.
The Amesha Spentas are followed by reverence to Fire, Water, Sun, Moon, Rain Star, and Life. This group seems to be made up of those elements that affected their daily life. In those days, the star Tir / Tishtrya was an important guiding star and so was the moon.
The third group is formed to promote and revere Love, Hearkening, Justice, Progressive force, Victory, Peace, and Wind. These are things that are felt just like the wind.
The fourth and the last group leads to enlightenment and is formed by Conscience, Recompense, Truth, Sky, Earth, Divine Words, Enlightenment.
Thus, the collective thoughts and deeds of a population, with respect to that what is named for the day, combines and leads to the desired result. There is nothing Holy about that, the teaching of Zarathushtra is not about asking for boon and blessing but is all about doing and achieving, about respecting the environment and learning from nature, about respecting the Truth and being Just. The names of the days are a reminder, an organizer of the mass, a mental director, of collectively progressing towards Perfection – Hurvatata.
To think of the names of the day as Holy, to think of them as tradition and to personify them, defeats the original purpose of naming the days, it converts science into superstition. It is even worse when few of the days are made holier than the rest.
If we understand the philosophy and the purpose we will proudly be able to share it with the world and help the world progress in the right direction in their quest towards perfection.
NAMES OF DAYS IN MAZDAYASNI CALENDAR
The Mazdayasni Calendar based on the Bundahishn divides the total days in each season into months. Thus, it has 31 days in the first six months because Spring (92.8 days) and Summer (93.6 days) are longer than Autumn (89.9 days) and Winter (88.9 days). The traditional names of the days are limited to 30 and there is no name for the 31st day, but there is “Avardad” to cover the extra day in a leap year. So, Avardad can be used for the 31st day for now, in the hope that the future generations will see the light and agree on a name that suits modern times.
In the Mazdayasni Calendar, the year starts with Ormazd / Hormazd and so does every season. This does not happen with any of the three traditional calendars.
None of the traditional calendars follow the seasons accurately, even the Fasli calendar loses one day every month for the first six months. Thereby it starts summer 3 days early and the festival of Tirgan which was the celebration of the Summer Solstice, the longest day, has lost its ancient link to the first day of the month of Tir and is therefore celebrated 10 days later when the name of the month and the name of the day coincide.
Come Autumn the Fasli calendar is six days earlier than when the season actually starts on the Autumnal Equinox. Again, because the Fasli month starts earlier than the actual season (Fasl), instead of celebrating the Equinox like it is done on Now Rooz, the coinciding of the name Mehr is celebrated as Mehregan.
How can a coinciding of the name be more significant than a phenomenon in nature, is beyond comprehension? If the coinciding of the name of the day and the month are so important then why do we not celebrate Nou Rouz on Farvardin month and Farvardin day instead of on the Vernal Equinox? Or Yalda on Dey month and Dey day instead of the Winter Solstice, the Longest Night. In fact, Now Rooz and Yalda are celebrated correctly because the general Iranian population also celebrates them.
This shows that the generations after the Genocide of the Zarathushtis lost their way. Let us not forget that there were only 7711 Zarathushtis left in Iran when Maneckji Limji Hatari found them and rescued them in 1854. As for the Parses, they were so disoriented by their migration that they celebrate Nov Roj in August.
It is time to unify the calendar see the scientific significance of the festivals and look for the answer in science and nature (Asha), not in superstition. The information in the Bundahishn should not be sacrificed at the altar of a disoriented tradition. The reason and purpose of naming the days should be sought in science and psychology. The Gathas are very clear in advocating the harmonizing of our deeds with nature. The Mazdayasni calendar has been recognized as a perfect calendar from the 2nd millennium BCE. It needs no correction for 110,000 years when 1 day has to be added.
ANOTHER POINT TO CONSIDER.
The division of the month and years into weeks is well established in the modern international culture and all activities are closely integrated with them. All three Zarathushti Calendars have borrowed the names of the days of the week from the dominant cultures. In the proposed Mazdayasni Calendar the days of the week are named after the Amesha Spentas and will be a weekly reminder of the Gathic path, in the right order, to Perfection, Immortality, and Spirituality.
Zarathushti culture is a culture that believes in enjoying the life on earth. All the festivals and holidays are for happy occasions and even festivals that have lost their original significance have not been discarded, like the two Arctic Gahanbars. Thus, it would not be out of place to add a few more festivals by celebrating the coinciding of the names of the week with the names of the days. That is when the names of the Amesha Spentas in the week coincide with that of the day. This can happen one or two times a year. In addition, when the names of the day the week and the month all three coincide a super festivity can be held.
May Wisdom Prevail
Gday Fariborz – Thanks a lot for your enlightening topic. Read it with great interest. Am sure others around the globe will find it of interest also. Do keep posting topics of interest to create the awareness required. We hope many others will take up such discussions also and follow your initiative
It is time we Zoroastrians worldwide accept a single valid calendar for our Global Religion. Zoroastrians are spread across most continents. In our fast changing environment, it is best if we start focusing our traditions to be in line with the ongoing culture & technology. This calendar has been recognized by TimeAndDate.com as the PERSIAN Calendar from the 2nd Millennium BCE.
The souls of our departed relatives do not follow any calendar. They have moved on beyond our worldly physical realm. Religious calendars help us humans on this earth, remember when to perform specific rituals on an annual basis. Can anyone prove how a calendar relates to the betterment of the souls of our departed relatives? Let bygones be bygones and now move on with the current times, re-embracing a calendar that makes logical & technological sense with our times.
Thank you Fariborz Rahnamoon for highlighting this practical aspect of our universal religion.
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