Supplement No. 16
[Page 221] Mystic Powers of Avest a Holy Formulae
Regarding healing or curing by sacred formulae 'Manthrobaeshazo' it is stated in Ardibehesht Yasht; 6;
"(There are) healers by imparting purity, by (administering) justice, by surgery, by herbs, by holy formulae. Of all the healers, the one (healing) by sacred formulae is the best, because that pious person effects cure (right) from the source."
Though all Zoroastrian prayers are based on the laws of Staota Yasna, sublime vibrationary colours, sound, etc., still there are certain short prayers known as 'Nirang'" which are endowed with talismanic power of curing or mitigating the severity of ills or physical maladies arising from planetary influences (which constitute condign punishments). Similarly there are Nirangs for overpowering and counteracting witchcraft. For worldly Zoroastrians like ourselves who are naturally subject to misfortunes in life certain Nirang formulae have been prescribed which are framed from particular Nasks. There are also Pazand Nirangs, which when practiced with the observance of Zoroastrian, canons of purity_ including particularly the anti-microbe Baaj-rites, are efficacious for maintaining Khoreh, personal magnetism or aura, and in curbing passions etc. In Vandidad; 19,8-10 we are told that the functionary agents like the sacred mortar, sacred cup etc. employed in performing holy ceremonies, and the Yatha-Ahu-Vairyo and Ashem Vohu prayers are good for fighting against Satanic powers. The above Nirangs are recited for gaining varied kinds of boons, like purification of one's thoughts, killing a sepent or noxious animal; re-uniting husband and wife asunder and numerous others, in all 79. (P. S, Masani's book "Pazand Prayer Series No.3").
Iri Sarosh Yasht Hadokht there is beautiful description of how the Yatha Ahu Vairyo protects a holy person. Similarly, in Ardibehesht, Behram, Sarosh (nightly-major)" Farvardin, Hom (major) and Ashishvangh Yashts, besides in Hadokht Nask, there are references showing excellent benefits accruing from the practice of recitation of Manthra formulae, which are a Zoroastrian's richest treasure both in this world and in the next. These Manthra- Spenta have been recognized by the holy Pahlavi sages as 'The knowledge of knowledges'. Only those who practice the recitations can realize how very beneficial these Nirang prayers of Manthra can be.
[Page 222] Besides these there are rules regarding the practice of recitation of one or two single selected 'Ism', sacred names of the Creator, Ahura Mazda for desired boons. In Behram Yasht; 42 the reference to 'Nam-ajbaitish'" lit., invoking of names relates to the recitation of these 'Ism', sacred names. In the practice of this invoking by names, the Science of Numbers comes into play. Thus one or two name or names are repeated 101 times or 303 or 505 or 707 up to 2121 times, for keeping count of which, a rosary of amber beads is employed, since amber possesses magnetic power when rubbed on a woolen fabric. In certain, cases this practice of repeating names extends to 40 days as stated in Aban Yasht; 101, where the supplicator is allegorically referred to as a 'horse-rider'. In other cases, the period for operating the rosary is longer according to individual cases. In Vandidad (XIV, 8) we meet with the allegorical Khrafstraghna, the sledge-hammer for smiting the noxious animal, and Ashtra-mairya, (XVIII, 4 ibid.) weapon for killing the serpent. Khrafstra and Mairya are not actual animals, but the lust (or avarice) abiding in the body (Azush zarzdishto; Yasna; 53,7) is represented by those animals. Again, the smiting weapons of a holy priest are not of steel, but are the instruments like the sacred mortar, cup etc., employed in the holy ceremonies coupled with the chanting of Manthra-Spenta formulae.
No better reference could be cited in proof of this than what occurs in Vandidad (XIX, 8-10), where we read (S.B.E. Vol. IV) as under:
"Again to him said the guileful one, the Maker of the evil world, Angra Mainyu: 'By whose Word wilt thou strike, by whose Word wilt thou repel, by whose weapon will the good creatures, (strike and repel) my creation who am Angra Mainyu?"
Thus in answer to him said Spitama Zarathushtra:
'The sacred mortar, the sacred cup, the Haoma, the Words taught by Mazda, these are my weapons, my best weapons. By this Word will I strike, by this Word will I repel, by this weapon the good creatures (will strike and repel thee), O evil-doer, Angra Mainyu. To me Spenta Mainyu gave it, he gave it to me in the Boundless Time; to me the Amesha Spentas, the all ruling, the all beneficent, gave it.'
Zarathushtra Chanted aloud the Ahuna-vairya
In Yt. 13.89 the Prophet is referred to metaphorically as the first priest (Athrava), the first warrior (Rathaeshtao), the first husbandman of the land (Vastryo). An Athravan or the priest who tends the sacred fire (in a fire temple) dispels the evil effects [Page 223] in the atmosphere created by the evil forces in the dark of the night, and transmutes them into good or blissfulness by his chanting the Manthra Spenta, the holy formulae, in which the blazing flame is the principal medium. The prophet is called the first (foremost) Athravan because he employed his three spiritual powers which are real entities, created by himself with the aid of his "Kavaem Kharena", kingly glory (Yt. 19,79) and performed sanctifying rites in the dark of the night. These spiritual entities are allegorically called 'wives'. These spiritual entities possessed Baod (perfect divine knowledge), Urvan (soul), Kehrp subtle form) and Huraod. (luminous body). In Farvardin Yt. 139 the Farahars af such 'wife' Hvovi and others are revered. Thus these spiritual entities were neither abstract in character nor did these 'wives' possess physical bodies. The performance of these sanctifying rites in the dark of the night was of spiritual nature and was not associated with Druj (evil) as it happens in the case of wordly husband and wife.
Ratheshtar conveys the meaning of a warrior-sage armed with his steel weapons to fight against the dreadful Satanic farces or dangerous animals. The prophet is called the first (foremost) Ratheshtar in the sense that he fights against such farces not with steel weapons, but with spiritual implements like Havanim, Tashta etc., (mentioned in Yd. XIX, 8) coupled with the chanting of the Word Ahunavar. Vashtriyosh literally signifies 'Husbandman'. The prophet is called the first (foremast) husbandman because he unearths the evil farces rampant in the sail and sows the seeds of purity in the soil and in the world, by teaching humanity the laws of piety. It is easy to understand that a great Saviour does not go about with a plough an his shoulder to plough the land, or with a sward hanging by his side. His farm is the humanity to which he conveys his divine message and teaches God's laws of purity, and his weapons of smiting the Arch Friend are mostly theManthra-Spenta, sacred spells.
Difference between Witchcraft Practitioner and Blissful Healer
In Avesta 'Yatu', black magicians, i.e., sorcerers and 'Pairika', enchantresses or sorceresses have been condemned, because they are practitioners of black-art which is employed for numerous wicked purposes. These include robbing a person by temporarily rendering him senseless under 'Agha-Manthra', evil spell, keeping a person under one's subjection with an evil purpose_ inducing disease either physical or mental etc. etc. Besides evil spells a practitioner of such black art employs for his means 'Darujie- Hikhra', loose hair, nails, spit, urine, blood, pus and such other excreta. The employers of such excreta are never blissful healers, [Page 224] while the Magis who still exist in secret mountain recesses in Iran and elsewhere always Use Manthra-Spenta, blissful formulae, for healing or for developing spiritual powers for fighting against Satanic forces, which healing with the help of Manthra Spenta is misrepresented ignorantly or maliciously_ as witch doctoring by enemies of Zoroastrianism. In blissful healing, the spells are often written with saffron water on a very small saucer which writing is dissolved in a little water, which the patient is made to drink.
Holy scriptures of all principal religions contain blissful or healing formulae. This writer's late father was gifted by his Hindu peon with a Mantra, sacred formula, for healing affliction from scorpion sting in gratitude for an especial act of goodness done to him (peon). After five or six years when my father was transferred to Ahmedabad (310 miles north of Bombay), where in the city and surrounding villages scorpions are very common, he had occasion_ to use the above Mantra. The cure involved the healer to mutter the holy Mantra followed by drinking a mouthful of water. The process hardly took 5 or 6 minutes. With the aid of that Mantra my father had healed dozens of persons afflicted, who used to come wailing, and left over joyed.
Besides the above Mantra, a Moslem priest had also gifted a sacred formula to my father for the cure of serpent bite. While in Murud (60 miles south of Bombay) a person reported that he was bitten by a serpent. My father was having his bath, so he instructed to make the man chew some salt, which the latter said had no salty taste. He was then made to chew highly pungent chillies, which also were found tasteless. This proved the serpent to be poisonous. Thereupon my father muttered the formula, and gave the man a sharp slap on his face, which was part of the healing process. The test was repeated, when both salt and chillies gave their natural tastes much to the man's dislike, which proved the success of the sacred formula. To regain or revitalize the faded power, it was necessary to repeat the formula 1100 times or so, on a particular new moon night. The above instances took place between 1895 and 1905.
About 12 or 14 years ago, a Parsi girl aged 11 or 12 of an educated and respectable family was suddenly found to talk in a most strange and un-Parsi way, and when excited was quite uncontrollable. Her brother, an officer in a bank, sought Mr. Dinshah Masani's spiritual help for exocizing the evil spirit from her person. (Mr. Masani who is both a philologist and a Khshnoomist and who knows many Zoroastrian holy formulae for employment in various conditions is still alive – 1964). When he went to see the girl he found that some spirit had taken possession of her. He used certain formulae, which are more [Page 225] powerful than the black-magic spells, and commanded the spirit to quit the girl's body. On this the girl ejected from her mouth two pieces of an Indian sweetmeat (Barfi) which looked quite fresh though some two months had elapsed since she was the victim of somebody's witchcraft. The girl was reported to be normal since then. It is quite evident that the wicked black art practitioner had intended to take possession of the girl who was fair looking. This is an instance in which both the witchcraft practitioner and the blissful master of holy Nirang formulae had played their respective evil and good roles.
I have cited the above instances to show the difference- between witch-doctor and a holy benefactor. True Magis, holy sages, who are asexual i.e., in whom the erstwhile bifurcated sexes had blended together into one through Khaetvadatha, use blissful formulae. But enemies of Zoroastrian Faith and Western philological scholars of the same class not knowing the exalted and eminent position of a real Magi, call them witch doctors. A witch whether a woman or a man is a practitioner of evil art which is always employed for harming a person in one way or the other, while a true Magi is always a blissful healer, and as such he cannot be called a witch-doctor. For further information about Magi please refer- to Supplement No. 27 of this book.
since deceased 22-10- 1965.