The Zoroastrian Occult Knowledge
by Phiroz Nasarvanji Tavaria | 1971 | 160,667 words
An introduction to the mysteries of Khshnoom, an ancient occult movement. Khshnoom stands for 'Divine' or 'Spiritual' knowledge and originated from Zarathushtra. This book contains knowledge not to be found in Zoroastrian religious works. The second part contains documentaion of the life of Prophet Zarathushtra....
Since many years past I was earnestly desirous of seeing a book published for acquainting the philological school and the lay reader with the Zoroastrian Occult Knowledge of 'Khshnoom', which would give genuine knowledge of the philosophy of the Faith beginning with AHU; the impersonal, un-nameable, inconceivable, Absolute One in oneness; show how and why the Universe has been created Where man came from and Why, and What is the finality of human existence; explain what Ahriman, the Satan, technically is, how and when he came into being; and how and when he would be extinct; give true idea of the unparalleled life of the holy Prophet Spitama Zarathushtra; his enigmatical phantom-bodied wives, daughters and sons; explain the parabolical narration in Pahlavi of the passing away of his sin-free soul by the greatest ordeal of the paradisiacal station in the Space without his physical body falling on the ground; show how his real Birth-date is B.C 7,551 based on the true history of ancient Iran and calculations of the heavens, unknown to scholars, and moreover, elucidate the allegory, metonymy, numerological mysticism, etc., with which all Avesta and Pahlavi abound.
The need of such a book has become imperative in the absence of the genuine knowledge of the above topics, and of the intricacies of Avestan and Pahlavi texts; philological scholars often totally misinterpret solemn abstruse technical terms in an abominable manner, which may be like rendering the term 'church' as a disreputable place. Thus Prof. Zaehner diabolically renders the sublime Avestan term 'Khaetva-datha' as 'consanguineous' or 'incestuous marriage' (Zurvan p. 151) which is not only imaginary, but also un-etymological, besides being incorrect and false, since in the Avestan derivatives 'Khaetu' ('own relative') and '-datha' (giving up') i.e. 'giving up to own relative', there is no indication directly or indirectly, of 'blood' (as in, 'consanguineous') nor of 'unchastity' as in 'incestuous'). The term correctly refers to post- Salvation blending of sanctified, erstwhile bifurcated, masculine and feminine counterpart SOULS forming one asexual perfected whole soul called MAGAVAN, who is. I-e-Su, a passionless birth. From this it will be understood that the said author's above rendering is not based on the Avestan derivatives, but is the outcome of his misconceived and misconstrued notion. I have treated in greater detail the antecedent stages to Khaetvadatha under Cosmography of the Space in part I, Chap. XII, and hence it is not necessary to give these details here.
The word 'KHSHNOOM' occurs in the Gathas (Ysn. 48,12 & 53.2), and from its derivative Khshnu, to rejoice, means the heartrejoicing Occult Knowledge in commentary form, referred to in Pahlavi as 'Zand-akas' (Bd. 1,1). Khshnoom also means divine or spiritual knowledge (Sans. kshna, Pers. Shanakhtan, to know). This knowledge was made known in Bombay in about 1908 by our spiritually enlightened Master, the late Seth Behramshah Naoroji Shroff, who derived it from the holy Zoroastrian sages in their paradisiacal seclusion in the recesses of Mt. Demavand in Iran. Full information regarding how he was fortunate in getting into their fold and by what novel methods he received the knowledge in the short span of 3 years, is all narrated further on.
This Occult knowledge of Khshnoom has come down as a sacred heritage from Holy Zarathushtra to Zarathushtrotema, i.e., those most like the Prophet in the practice of holiness, from Zarathushtratema to Raenidars, resuscitators of the Faith, from Raenidars to Sraoshavarezs, supreme Ecclesiastical heads, and from the present Sraoshavarez Saheb to our spiritually enlightened Master, Seth Behramshah Shroff above mentioned. Hence there is no conjecture or speculation or guesswork needed in this immaculate Teaching.
Our Master published in 1911 a gem booklet entitled Ilm-i- Khshnum series No.1, which in its miniature compass of a "Bird's eye-view" of the knowledge is still the veritable fountain from which scholars and other writers on the Zoroastrian religion may drink inspiration, far in its nine small chapters, it marvelously conveys beatific recondite knowledge of the Faith in its every line of five or six simple wards.
This booklet even in its extreme brevity contains knowledge not to be found in any of the Zoroastrian religious works published during the last hundred years. Thus in the beginning it expounds two or three points in extremely few words, yet conveying essential idea of the point or points treated under a particular head, and intimating that full knowledge of the topic concerned has been expounded in the chapter on 'Mazdayasni Daena', the fundamental law of 'Infoldment of Spirit into Matter', according to which a soul from its original subtle state trails down to this earth infolded in material body; or that a particular subject has been expounded in the chapter on "Zarthoshti Daena", the great law of 'Unfoldment of Spirit from Matter'; according to which a soul infolded in its material body becomes exalted and regains its original subtle state. In like manner, principal topics of the philosophical teachings of the whole religion have been given in a succinct and lucid language . So what is needed is a suitable amplification of this booklet of the Master.
In 1932 the late learned Dr. F. S. Chiniwalla, the great prolific writer of Khshnoom literature, published, his large authoritative volume entitled "Khshnoom Nikize Vehdin", which deals with the occult exposition of the life of the Holy Prophet together with the delineation of the Zoroastrian philosophy. Dr. Chiniwalla, who was a philologist as well as a Khshnoomist, has published numerous works which are most authentic, for he had received "aata", gift of technical writing, on account of which his voluminous, works are the veritable Encyclopaedia of Khshnoom for an ardent and honest searcher after that knowledge. But unfortunately the diction is too difficult to understand owing to very free use made of Avestan, Pahlavi, Pazand, Persian words together with Khshnoomic technical terms. Thus his priceless works are of too high a standard for a learner. In this way my original idea of the amplification of the Master's model booklet was confirmed. I have drawn deeply without mentioning the source from his numerous works enlisted in Bibliography, compared to which (works) this book is but a dwarfish and frail attempt, though in a simple and sequential style.
In vain did I argue with the learned Doctor (in 1935) for expanding the Master's booklet; in vain did I approach other students of Khshnoom, whom I thought capable, but met with disappointment. In my frustration I fervently sought divine help in my selfless task, and since no one was prepared to undertake the work, I prayed for giving ME the strength to carry out my devout desire for penning the recondite knowledge myself in facile language. Thus several years passed away without any signs of the book I wished to see published.
While I was thus ruminating over my plan, a letter addressed to my late learned friend Mr. Dinshah S, Masani was received in 1948 from a Mr. Kaye Hyde of San Francisco, desiring to be acquainted with some knowledge of 'modern Zoroastrianism'. Mr. Masani was both a philologist and a highly advanced Khshnoom pupil of the Master. At this juncture I approached him with the earnest request for aiding me in my longing desire for producing a modest sized book on Khshnoom. He willingly agreed and soon commenced by initiating me into the mysteries of the "description of the Pre-Cosmo-Genesis World". His great and wholehearted encouragement and expert help, coupled with the art of expounding the difficult lore in a simple and succinct manner have played the most important role in the compilation of this book, which I present to the learned readers and to the ardent votaries of that divine knowledge, with whatever imperfections – whether linguistic or technical or any other – which may have escaped my notice, in spite of all the care and unsparing labour – devoted to the cause of faithful presentation of the recondite teachings to the best of my ability. To Mr. Masani and to Dr. Chiniwalla the only two stalwarts in the scholar-world possessing the double proficiency of philology and Khshnoom, are due my most respectful and sincere thanks.
Since 1947 a Gujarati weekly entitled "Parsi Avaz" edited by the learned Mr. J. S. Chiniwalla, the 'torch-bearer ('Roshan Cherag) of Khshnoom has been brought into circulation with the double object of propagation of that Occult Knowledge together with Firdausi's Shah Nameh, and of giving publicity to the voice of the orthodox Parsis. Very illuminating expository articles have been regularly published in simple Gujarati. Thanks to this weekly the scope of the spread of this esoteric knowledge has increased considerably, since it has become possible for the votaries of that Teaching in Bombay as well as in other places outside, to derive the benefit of imbibing the same through post, which otherwise was confined to the lecture classes in Bombay only. It will thus be understood that the religious knowledge which was formerly restricted to the microscopic number of the students pursuing scripture study, has, since the propagation of Khshnoom through the "Parsi Avaz" been imbibed by hundreds of Zoroastrians.
In the chain of commentary of Khshnoom Teachings numerous incidental topics or technical terms etc., occur which themselves require elaborate expositions. These are treated in the book separately under respective "Supplements" with a view to avoid digression from the main track of the theme. Thus these supplements form part and parcel of the main delineation. Besides these, topics not directly connected with the principal chain of expositions are given under respective Appendices in the book. Regarding the arrangement of the subjects treated, this book is divided into two main parts. Part I deals with the study of the religion including the account of the Master. Part II of the book deals with the Life and Date etc. of holy Zarathushtra. Most of the Pahlavi writings on his Life in Dinkard and Bundehesh have been written in highly enigmatical style. In many cases plain looking language bears hidden meanings. These have been elucidated compatible with the modest size of the book.
In the matter of acknowledgment of my thanks for the new light of Khshnoom, I humbly make an obeisance to the holy sage, the Sraoshavarez Marzban Saheb in seclusion in Mt. Demavand in Iran, who is the original source of the entire knowledge, both esoteric and exoteric, about the Zoroastrian Faith and about its Prophet, Holy Zarathushtra and his distant Date based on the History of ancient Iran, unknown to philological scholars; and I offer most reverently my deepest sentiments of gratitude to our spiritually enlightened Master; the late Seth Behramshah Naoroji Shroff, who brought the knowledge from Iran, and who was the direct source of all this knowledge in Bombay for nearly two decades in the beginning of this century.
Regarding the history of ancient Iran and the Date of Zarathushtra, I have drawn the Khshnoomic materials of these two topics chiefly from two sources, viz., (1) the exhaustive writings on the subject in the "Parsi Avaz" weekly by the late learned Dr. Chiniwalla, mentioned above, and (2) the detailed article by the late learned Mr. M. P. Katgara on the system of the calculations of the heavens for finding approximately the eras of great Law-Givers of the world taught by our Master, published in the "Frasho-Gard" Memorial Volume in honour of our Master.
I have drawn freely from the above two sources mostly without mentioning their names, and to their learned authors as also to Mr. J. S. Chiniwalla, the learned editor of the "Parsi Avaz" weekly mentioned above, I express my most sincere thanks here. But for the help from the above two sources, it would not have been possible far me to write on the subjects of the history of ancient Iran and the Date of Zarathushtra.
I am highly thankful to my learned philologist friend, Ervad Burjor R. Panthaki who helped me in my work on the philological side. I am also indebted to him for bringing to my knowledge Rehetseck's Appendix II to MSS Dinkard, Volume XI mentioned in this book referring to the testimony of the Huafrit dynasty in Pahlavi, clues to which dynasty and its founder were first furnished by our Master, and which Pahlavi writing was brought to light by the great Avesta - Pahlavi scholar, the late learned Ervad Sheheryarji D. Bharucha to whom we are grateful for his research.
Similarly, I cannot fail to thank my learned nephew Mr. T. D. Tavaria far enlightening me on the method of calculations of the Vedic Yugas given in Tilak-Sukhthankar's "Gita-Rahasya", which furnishes an authority for the ratification of the comparative calculations of the huge Zoroastrian and Vedic Time cycles given by Dr. Chiniwalla in his great work entitled "Khshnoom Nikize Vehdin", Vol. 1.
I must also express my thanks to the late Mr. P. B. Desai, the learned author of "History of the Kings of Iran" (in two volumes and "The History of the Kaianians". Having heard about the Kudurvand dynasty from the Master, my attention was drawn to its mention at the end of the last named book.
Again, my thanks are also due to Ervad Mahiar and Ervad Faramarz N. Kutar, the learned translators of Firdausi's Shah Nameh in Gujarati.
It must be stated that this book is not intended to be a comprehensive work on Khshnoom, but only a manual of its teachings, in the publication of which the writer, has no monetary interest, either direct or indirect. It is solely the outcome of labour of love dedicated to the altar of service and just exaltation of the Zoroastrian Faith through the propagation of its Occult Knowledge.
In conclusion, if the learned readers find that I have at least partially succeeded in presenting the noble teachings of the Faith in their pristine purity, through the occult knowledge of Khshnoom and in vindicating the honour of its ancient pious priesthood from the base imputation of incest ignorantly leveled against them by many Western philological scholars, I shall feel my object of writing this book fully served and my long labours fruitfully employed.
F-5, Cusrow Baug,
P. N. Tavaria.