SHERNAAZ ENGINEER's blog on the Parsi community

Monday, April 25, 2011

Will Iranshah's Grace Be Wasted Upon Us?

Iranshah, refurbished recently...

Iranshah, the way it was...

April 24.
A supremely sanctified day has dawned upon us! Today, the ninth day of the ninth month of the Parsi calendar, Roj Adar Mah Adar, is the perfect occasion to humbly venerate the beneficent glory of our Atash Padshah Sahebs. Generations of devout Parsis have invested their faith in the Holy Fires.
Today, we also celebrate the 1290th Salgreh of our Iranshah Saheb. Can one even fathom the sheer span of this sweeping time frame, extending over close to 13 centuries? Rare is the Parsi who in all these 1290 years would not have bowed his or her head before this King of Holy Fires.
While Iranshah has undoubtedly bestowed untold blessings upon us, perhaps it’s pertinent to reflect upon our present-day worthiness for His grace. Are we acting in a manner that does justice to the benedictions being showered upon us by our ancient and efficacious fires?
Well over 1000 years ago, our journey of faith commenced with one objective: to preserve the religion and the race. All those who left Iran for unknown shores, our noble and fore-sighted ancestors, put the preservation of our Parsi legacy above personal comfort and convenience. They willingly staked everything – their homes, their fortunes, their friends and all things familiar – and set sail to keep the faith.
Once here, with much dedication and discipline, they stuck to time-tested principles that guaranteed our survival. Pioneering and forward thinking in their approach, they also reinforced the foundation of the faith. Realising that we would always be a small and stand-alone sect within the Indian mainstream, they endowed us with enough Trusts to take care of all of our worldly needs, so we’d never be wanting for anything: housing, medicine, education and so much more.
They integrated seamlessly into the cosmopolitan framework of society, contributing in many ways that enriched public life, earning the sort of glittering goodwill that still holds us in good stead. Yet, they took care to assiduously safeguard the Parsi identity. They saw no shame in preserving and perpetuating our Parsipanu, as it’s something that is uniquely our own. You can discard your destiny only at your own peril.
So, is it that our generation has suddenly stumbled upon insurmountable challenges? Is it that we have miraculously come upon the wisdom to debunk the spiritual sagacity of generations of seers and scholars? Obsessed as we are with the here and now, are we forgetting to look at the larger picture? Should we focus on long term survival or short term expediency?
An occasion like the 1290th Salgreh of Iranshah raises these questions. What if our forefathers hadn’t been steadfast and single-minded when it came to sticking to the straight path? What if they had veered away, for one reason or another – and there are so many reasons one can find when it comes to wanting to do one’s own thing!
Iranshah has bountifully blessed us over 1290 years. How can we ensure that 1290 years hence, Iranshah will still be able to bless our flock?
Many noble Fravashis, over 1000 years ago, sacrificed a lot to give us this day. Gentle reader, wont Iranshah’s grace be wasted if we don’t promise to do as much?