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....
Esoteric Exposition of Sudreh, the Zoroastrian Sacred Shirt
(Condensed from the book (in Gujarati) entitled "Tawil-eSudreh", Exposition of Sudreh published by the Master in 1913).
Sudreh, literally means in Persian 'Path of Benefit leading to Salvation'. Ordinarily it means 'a tunic reaching to the knee or mid-thigh'. A person is marked out as one belonging to the Zoroastrian Faith from the Sudreh and Kusti donned by him or her. It (Sudreh) is not an ordinary upper garment but a specially designed apparel to help the soul of a Zoroastrian in its upliftment. Among the many existing materials and means, the one unmistakable and closest to a Zoroastrtian and having the most intimate connection every moment in life and at death is the pair of Sudreh-Kusti.
This pair of Sudreh-Kusti, Atash Behram and the all-white Bull (Varasio) are the three most important and efficient functionary agents. They remind us that we are born in the Zoroastrian Faith and belong to 'Daena berezishta', i.e., the sublimest religion for us. Just as liver is the connecting link between the physical body and the food, so Sudreh-Kusti is the connecting link between the religious rites observed by a person and the soul. The religious observances act as food for the soul.
For the advancement of the soul a Zoroastrian must observe the religious rites for accomplishing which object the Holy Prophet has prescribed the use of Sudreh-Kusti during life-time on earth and has given full description of its inner deep exposition. Therefore, with thousands of praises for him, we shall first try to understand the function allotted to Sudreh. The exposition of Kusti follows under Appendix No.8.
Making Of Sudreh
Sudreh ordinarily means (in Persian) 'a tunic reaching to the knee or mid-thigh'. The subject of Sudreh falls under the chapter of "Vastra" (clothing) in the Zoroastrian Faith. Vastra is an Avesta term, and means dress or apparel. The dress for priests prepared in conformity with the tenets of the religion, tile 'Siaav' meant for use in ceremonies after the departed souls, different types of dress and of different colours a Zoroastrian must wear according to the tenets of the religion, and effects, good or bad, different types and colours produce on the wearer's mind, aura and the soul and such like subjects are contained in the chapter on 'Vastra', dress.
According to the Zoroastrian doctrine, a Sudreh must be made in conformity with the following points:
- of cotton cloth;
- of white colour only;
- made from one piece;
- of prescribed nine seams;
- length - reaching knees;
- completely circular at the bottom; and
- completely rim-sewn at bottom.
Sudreh- must be of Cotton
Different types of material such as wool, silk, cotton, etc., have different characteristics. The all-woolen garment when warn next to skin creates hindrance in emitting waste-matter from the body. The sun's rays enter straight into the body through wool and create strong friction with the heat of the body, which destroys the aura. Similarly there are disadvantages in silken and hempen fabrics.
Cotton cloth helps in maintaining emanation (aura) unimpaired, because it (cotton) has the inherent characteristic of allowing the Sun's rays to pass through it indirectly in a refracted condition into the physical body. This physical body composed as it is, of the four elements - fire, air, water and earth - constantly gives out waste matter. Thus there is friction between the Sun's rays entering the body, and the waste matter emitted by the body. This friction creates electricity which impairs the personal emanation (aura). But since the Sudreh is made of cotton cloth, the sun's rays enter the body in a refracted condition as stated above so that strong friction is not caused, and hence harmful electricity is not produced, and the person's aura is not impaired.
Scientific Object of Covering The Head
Just as the physical body emits waste-matter, so do the hair on the head also give out harmful current called Tafoon. This current coming into friction with the sun's rays and the atmosphere creates effect of Darkness, i.e., process of spiritual disorder and impairs the aura. This is averted by keeping the head covered with white cotton cap or a white cotton head covering.
Holy Vibrationary Colours of Avesta Manthra Formulae
We have seen already that the cotton Sudreh helps in maintaining the personal emanation (aura). Let us now consider the same question from the standpoint of the effect of vibrationary colours of our holy Avesta prayer formulae. The law of vibrationary colours permeates through the whole Nature. In attunement with these natural vibrationary colours, the holy Prophet has framed the Avesta prayer formulae. When a devotee practices the Zoroastrian laws of purity and offers Avesta prayers he or she becomes attuned with the Yazadic (angelic) current coming from above, whereby his soul gets elevated.
The sun's rays spread their vibrationary colours everywhere. But the cotton Sudreh prevents those rays from entering the body direct, i.e., these rays enter the body indirectly, whereby they become mild. Owing to this the sublime vibrationary colours of our Avesta prayers keep around us in close vicinity like a spiritual fortification, which helps the soul in ascending back to the immortal world, in effecting which the Sudreh plays an important role. All these effects take place invisibly and hence it may be difficult for a sceptic mind to give credence to the same.
Sudreh Helps in Transmuting Effects of Darkness into Light
We know fire returns like for like, i.e., if sandalwood or incense is put on fire, it gives fragrance, and if some unclean thing is burnt, it spreads bad odour. In other words, fire proclaims the characteristic of the thing it comes in contact with. Similarly the sun's rays also create blissful effects or those of spiritual disorder according to the quality of the thing with which it comes into contact. But a Zoroastrian who is invested in Sudreh and Kusti is enjoined to practice Zoroastrian rites in daily life and thereby turn the effects of spiritual disorder into those of order. In our basic Ashem-Vohu prayer, it is said: "the bliss of immortality is for one who is holy only for the sake of the Law of Holiness - the Law of Asha - the great law of moral and spiritual Order divine". To attain this great boon it Zoroastrian must don the spiritual armour of the Sudreh in obedience to the Holy Prophet's behest and his Promises (Akwal).
Thus according to Zoroastrian science for keeping good health and for advancing the soul, the Sudreh must be worn next to skin. Khshnoom teaches that all rites and rituals prescribed in the religion have their own efficiency and are not meaningless dead symbols.
Efficacy of White Colour in Sudreh
The foundation of the whole Universe is on Staota, the vibrationary colours. It is explained in Zoroastrian religion how intimately connected are thought, sound, form (shape), vibration, energy and colour. The Holy Prophet has explained the whole science of Chromatics and its branches such as the creation of visible and invisible colours and their varied effects in different matters. How and why does the red colour give heat, how the green colour helps in healing wounds by magnetizing the sun's rays, how the sky-blue colour is cooling and is the colour of animation, and the yellow is of moderate effect; how the white colour softens and moderates: the sun's rays; how the varied colours of the whole talismanic prayer formula of Yatha Ahu Vairyo are created _ all this is included in Staota Yasna, the law of vibrationary colours. Chramopathy, which is said to be the advancing science of late, falls under a chapter on 'Manthrabaeshaza', i.e., the laws of health through the recital of prayer formulae. This also is included in Staota Yasna, the science of Chromatics.
White is the original and balancing colour. In life, we are likely to be surrounded by various types of hives of microbes referred to in Khordad Yasht. In counteracting these and transmuting them into light, the white colour gives valuable help. Similarly for transmuting clouds of harmful effects, i.e., of Darkness collected in the atmosphere above, into light, also the white colour plays an important part. Besides this, the white colour being 'pure' and can merge into other colours by mixing with them, it possesses the property of keeping the effect of Sun's rays in even potentiality. Owing to this characteristic of the white colour, it possesses the quality of permitting only essential colours suitable for human body to absorb, on account of which preference is given to the white colour in our religion.
In order to enable the soul in advancing to the immortal worlds, through the observance of Zoroastrian laws of purity, the Holy Prophet has prescribed 33 grand functionary agents. Amongst these 33, the pair of Sudreh and kusti is the functioning agent that efficiently helps in uplifting the soul. Our physical body being composed of elements, waste-matter like perspiration is naturally created. The white colour of Sudreh helps sun's rays in drawing out this waste-matter. In Meher Yasht; 31 it is said "White (colour) is the symbol of the Mazdayasnian Faith", so the Sudreh must be made of no other colour except white.
Sudreh must be made from One Whole Piece
When a whole soul trails down from the immortal world to this known material world, it is divided into numerous parts and particles. So every man and every woman in this world has to keep in mind the thought that he or she has one day to return to the immortal world as a perfected individualized whole soul by the final blending together (khaetvadatha) of correlative spiritual masculinity and spiritual femininity into one asexual whole soul called Magavan. For keeping this thought ever present in mind, a devotee thrice repeats the Pazand sentence at the end of every Nyaesh and Yasht prayer as "Man ano-avayad-shudan" meaning "I must go there", i.e., to the paradisiacal station of Dadare Gehan. To remind a Zoroastrian of this great verity of Nature it is enjoined to make the Sudreh from one whole piece of white cotton cloth.
Nine Seams of Sudreh
A Sudreh must comprise nine prescribed seams as stated above. These nine seams are as under:
(a) Nape piece
(c-d) Front and rear main parts
(e-f) Two sleeves
(g) Parallel seam
(h-i) Two triangular seams
(a) Nape Seam
The nape seam which is a small crescent shaped patch on the nape of the neck, shows that man comes to this world with the weight over the head, of the obligations of the past life to be fulfilled in this life, i.e., next life. A Zoroastrian confesses to balance these obligations by the observance of Zoroastrian rites. This law of fulfilment of obligations is called Paityoget (Ysn.46,8) or Kisas i.e., Retributive compensation and universal adjustment with every visible and invisible object and force in the universe. "
A Zoroastrian is fully answerable for every thought, word and deed in this world, and vows to observe the tenets of the Faith, and to bear the load of the same_ so as to gain in the end repatriation to the immortal world. Hence the first seam which is on the nape of the Sudreh reminds the devotee of the above great desideratum.
While wearing the Sudreh the head must first be inserted in the opening at top, and a glance at the nape or a thought of it should remind the wearer of the confession of the Faith mentioned in the Avesta sentence:
"Fravarane Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish vidaevo Ahura tkaesho",
"I (who am) Mazdayasni Zoroastrian vow to follow the anti-demoniacal Law of Ahura".
In order ever to remind the wearer of this thought of confession and of the load of the observances, the Holy Prophet has given the command for the nape-seam. The right hand which indicates Light must be inserted in its sleeve first, and then the left, indicating Darkness. In this way_ the two sleeves help in reminding that we have to lead life on the path of Light. The sleeves must extend from shoulder to elbow. This part is under the influence of the Sun and hence there is more forceful effect of Sun's rays, on account of which they would penetrate the body more forcefully. But the body emits waste-matter incessantly, so the arm from shoulder to elbow is to be covered with white cotton sleeves, so that the sun's rays may enter indirectly, whereby the waste-matter may be drawn out without impairing the aura. The portion from elbow to fingers is under the mixed influence of all planets, and hence left open.
(b) Gereban, The Store-house of the Aura
Of all the nine seams, the most wonderful and the one attracting attention is the Gereban, the tiny bag-like receptacle over the chest, which distinguishes the Sudreh from any other ordinary shirt or similar garment, and functions like the storehouse (battery) for collecting the aura (derivative Gerev, to grab). Gereban reminds that the aura or personal subtle emanation must be brought to its highest grade and glowing, by practicing the laws of the origin or source of Truth (Erejoish-Khao; Yt. 14,29) and its minute concomitant laws of the abstinence from breach of promise (Mithra-druji; Yt. 10,2), whereby the soul may be enabled to proceed towards the immortal worlds. For attaining this desideratum, a Zoroastrian must take Nirang Abe-Zur (the water possessing purifying power passed by the cowkind, to be applied on open parts of the body as the first thing in the morning before touching water), partake of pure food, practice the Zoroastrian anti-microbe Baaj-rites at meals, bath and while attending Nature's calls etc., and observe other rules of purity relating to hair, nails, menses, semen etc.
The Gereban is closely connected with the plexus of Kehrp, the invisible body having 16 invisible centers from which every organ and every limb of the material body are developed.
We need not enter into the details of this intricate and abstruse subject here, some idea of which is given under Supplement No. 20 in this book. Gereban reminds the devotee the Pazand sentence Gorje Khoreh avazayad_ i.e., may the light of the aura increase.
- Ashoi, purity;
- Khoreh, aura; and
- Kisas, retribution.
In our daily life on earth we create 'obligations', in which there is give-and-take with others. This is called Kisas, the law of compensative retribution and universal adjustment with every visible and invisible abject and farce in the Universe. The paint relating to Kisas referred to under the head 'Nape Seam' concerns the obligations with which a soul takes birth in the next life. The rules for give-and-take in accordance with Nature's laws are referred to in Avesta enigmatically as Ashishvangh and Parendi. It is explained in the religion how our obligations are balanced by keeping every creation pure and without defiling and by using the same in conformity with Nature's Economy.
Gereban, the Mediumfor Testing Holy Soul's Grade of Aura
We now came to the most wonderful part of the Gereban, which relates to testing the grade of piety of a devout holy person's soul. The test is taken by holy Sraoshavarez (lit., worker for Sarosh Yazad who is an asexual soul, one that can hold communion with that angel). The pious devotee is made to recite special powerful holy formulae, by which he is thrown into sleep. Due to the special thought-forces accompanying the formulae and the sublime vibrationary colours produced by the recital and the purity observed by the pious devotee, one or two or three seeds (red with pulp, i.e., fresh seeds) of pomegranate are found to have been farmed in the Gereban when the devotee awakens. From the number of the seed or seeds, the grade of the glory called 'Farreh Yazadi' of the pious person is determined. .
Firdausi has recorded numerous instances of holy Kings and warrior-saints of the Peshdadian, Kayanian and other dynasties of ancient Iran shining with such Farreh-Yazadi glary. Thus Iran was unaware of this birth and existence of King Kae Khushraw in Turan when he was yet a boy. One night, Gudarz, the premier of Iran, saw in a dream that a cloud full of water was coming from Iran. On the cloud was seated Sarosh Yazad who informed Gudarz that in Turan is a young prince whose name is Kae Khushraw. Gudarz sends his (warrior-saint) son in search of him.
Gev finds a boy with a glorious face seated on the bank of a lake, about which Firdausi mentions as under:
"Ze bala-e-oo Farre Izadi" Padeed aamado rayate bekhradi",
on account of his exaltedness, the lustre of aura of Farre Yazadi and signs of wisdom were visible on his face.
In the above instance, Firdousi has mentioned Farreh Yazadi though there is still a higher-class glory called 'Kavaem Khareno' which (glory) belonged chiefly to kings. In numerous paragraphs of Jamyad Yasht is detailed the list of divine Intelligences and holy kings and warrior-saints who possessed this glory till it cleaved to holy Zarathushtra. In Pahlavi Dinkard Vol. VII also nearly the same list is to be found. Thus this little Gereban pouch is the most mysterious and most wonderful device in the making of the Sudreh. Since its practical function comes into effect only in the case of saintly souls, who remain usually secluded, it may be difficult for skeptic minds to give credence to the spiritual marvel referred to above.
(C-d) Front and Back of the Sudreh
A Sudreh has two sides – the front and the back – which are joined together by the two main side-seams (below the sleeves). These two sides remind us that the universe comprises Hasti and Nisti, i.e., the immortal and mortal worlds. The former (Hasti) consists of the top two heavens, the empyrean (9th) and the zodiac (8th) and the seven revolving heavens of the planetary world. The latter (Nisti), the mortal world is made up of Miswane Gatu, the intermediary region between Hasti and Nisti, the immortal and mortal worlds. The mortal worlds comprise the seven invisible ultra-physical planes (called Dakhyus) of the Space, and at the bottom the earthly globe.
A soul trails down from the immortal world according to Mazdayasni Daena, the deified Law of Infoldment of Spirit into Matter, and gets repatriated from Nisti, the mortal world to Hasti, immortal world according to Zarthoshti, Daena, the deified Law of Unfoldment of Spirit from Matter after gaining Salvation, and other higher states.
So the two sides, front and back of the Sudreh, remind us that we have come to the Nisti, the mortal world (including the space and this earthly globe) for the Reformation of the soul, i.e., for the transmutation of the Evil into Good, and after effecting Reformation of the soul have to go back to Hasti, the immortal world.
The front of the Sudreh indicates Nisti (mortal worlds), and the back, Hasti (immortal worlds), where we must endeavor to go by the observance of the Zoroastrian laws of purity, whereby deliverance from the body can be achieved, which body belongs to Nisti, the mortal worlds.
(E-f) Two Sleeves
The two sleeves (extending from shoulder to elbow) remind us of the laws of ‘Jooz’ and ‘Jooft’. The former is the law of Polarity i.e., producing effect by opposition, and the latter of Duality, i.e., producing effect by co-operation. Both can give results, which may either be of 'Asare Roshni', meaning the issue ending in Light under Spenamino, the Blissful Principle, which means co-operating with Nature in expediting the divine Ahunavar Plan for the Reformation of the souls; or the result may be of 'Asare Tariki', the issue leading to Darkness under Genamino, the destructive or retarding Principle, i.e. temporarily retarding the divine Plan.
It is enjoined in the religion that a Zoroastrian must take the path of light and shun that of Darkness, and wherever the effects of the latter arise-as arise they must-the same must be transmuted into Light by practicing the Zoroastrian laws of purity, whereby the advancement of the soul may result. For instance, while partaking of meals, taking bath, attending Nature's calls etc., effects of Darkness naturally do arise; but these must be transmuted into Light by practicing the anti-microbe Baaj rites enjoined in the religion. In donning the Sudreh, the head must first be inserted in the opening at top, and then the right hand must be inserted in its sleeve first and then the left, because the former indicates the principle of Light and the latter of Darkness. In this way the two sleeves remind us that we have to fallow the path of Light.
(G) Small Vertical Seam
We now came to the single small seam (about 3 to 4 inches in length) sewn at the bottom, a little apart from, and parallel to the vertical main seam. In the case of males, this small (vertical) seam is sewn on the front left side, and in that of females, on the front right side. This is meant to remind the wearer of 'Khaetvadatha', the noumenon of (Post-Salvation) blending of the correlative counterpart souls as explained below.
Khshnoom teaches that when a soul in its long journey from the 8th heaven of the Zodiac, arrives on the top of the Space (below the heaven of the Moon), it is bifurcated into two grades of sexes in which the greater part of the essential of the soul is caught in one which makes it superior, and the smaller, inferior. This means that every male and every female soul must have its respective counterpart soul existing somewhere in this world or in the Space above. The grades above mentioned remain constant, i.e., the masculine never changes into feminine, and vice versa, throughout ages and ages during the numerous rebirths etc., in this material world or in any of the ultra-physical regions above.
Owing to the bifurcation into sexes each of the two counterparts loses a certain portion of the 'essential' ('Sarshoak') of its soul, because the same goes to the opposite sex. Owing to this loss of the 'essential', both male and female counterparts on this earth, who are already deficient in divine knowledge, are still again heavily veiled with the Veil of Darkness at the time of bifurcation on account of which when the two counterparts take birth in this known material world, neither of them knows where it came from and why, what it brought with it at birth, what it takes with it at death, and where it has to go to in the end. Hence it is attracted to sensuous enjoyments, and dies and the soul goes to the sky.
Owing to its having passed a sinful life on earth, it (soul) cannot cross the Chinvat (Requiter) Bridge, and comes back to this material world at the proper time; again passes a sinful life and dies. Thus the soul gets caught in the vicious circle of birth and death, during which it undergoes condign punishments, which may be as severe as the pouring of molten metal on the body (Yasna 53.7).
At long last wisdom dawns on the soul, partly through sufferings and partly through the observance of Zoroastrian laws of purity, and it (soul) takes the path of virtue. From this stage starts true Reformation of the soul. When finally the soul becomes Ashim-ashai, i.e., holy for the sake of holiness, it is able to crass the Chinvat Bridge and advances higher and higher till it reaches the top of the Space where ages ago the bifurcation had taken place, and awaits the arrival of its tardy counterpart soul. When the latter comes up likewise sanctified and the two meet, each 'gives itself up' (-'datha') to its 'own relative' (Khaetu) counterpart soul, i.e., bath intermingle, which act is called 'Khaetvadatha', The asexual holy whale soul formed by Khaetvadatha is called Magavan.
To remind the wearer of the Sudreh, that he or she has to attain one day the exalted state of Khaettvadatha, the Holy Prophet has prescribed the small vertical seam on the Sudreh.
(H-i) Two Right-angled Triangular Seams
Two right-angled triangular seams are to remind that in order to leave off permanently all connection with the earth, a Zoroastrian has first to practice properly the laws of Retribution (Paityoget), which constitute Hvarshta, true Good deed. Secondly, to practice strict Truthfulness (Erejolsh-khaa), representing Hukhta, true Good Work, and thirdly, create Moral Order Divine (Ashahe khao), i.e., holiness, so that Humata, the true Good Thought, in Nature fixed for mankind may be developed. (It may be noted that Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta of angelic Existences are quite different). This development of Humata is also spoken of "as that of 'Ahu', the nature of the heart or conscience. By such practices one can be in tune with what is in Nature.
From the above it will be understood that for spiritual advancement, a Zoroastrian has firstly to practice the laws of purity enjoined in the religion; secondly, to observe strict truthfulness, whereby the Thought created would be holy. In other words, the practice of the true Good Deed comes first, then the Good Word and then the Good Thought.
It must be remembered that the terms Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta occuring in Avesta are used there in their sublime technical significances. They do not mean ordinary good thought, good word and good deed; in Avestan terms 'Hu-' does not mean 'good' taken from Sanskrit Su, but Hu refers to Ahu, the Light of lights; the Absolute Deity. So Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta refer to most holy thoughts, holy words and holy deeds for Ahu only.
Ordinarily people in this world are under the Veil of Darkness, i.e., they are guided by likes and dislikes. Besides they are not practitioners of Zoroastrian laws of purity. Hence their thoughts are not in tune with Nature, i.e., their thoughts are not Humata. Hence it is necessary to take an idea of how true Humata, i.e., true 'Good Thought as it is in Nature' can be developed.
When a devotee practices all the Zoroastrian laws of purity referred to above, the fire-energy called 'Atash-e-Vohu-Frayan' operating in the body becomes bright, and then the stroke (or the sound of falling) of the original life-energy (Ushtan) coming from above falls simultaneously with the beating of the heart. This results in the heart becoming triangular (and hence the two right angled triangular seams). At this stage the desire-forces (Tewishi) get transmuted from selfish or destructive to blissfu1. With the desire-forces turning blissful, is developed the consciousness of the heart. As the result of the last two, Ahu, i.e., the nature of the heart is elevated. Due to this elevation of Ahu, the nature of the heart_ that holy devotee becomes attuned with the Intonation or Sound (Naada) of Sarosh Yazad pervading throughout Nature. The stroke of Sarosh Yazad that is drawn to the properly developed Ahu is alone technically called 'HUMATA'.
Length of Sudreh
In the making of a Sudreh, the length should extend from the neck to the knees. In this the idea is of connecting the invisible plexus operating on the neck with that on the knees. The neck is under the influence of Saturn, which (influence) extends up to the knees including the internal organs whereby the latter perform their function smoothly. A Zoroastrian is enjoined always to observe the principle of 'Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdaa' i.e., May Ahura Mazda be glorified.
This means that at every stage and at all times in our life, we have to co-operate with the Blissful Principle of Ahura Mazda and defeat the destructive principle of Ahriman, the Satan, as stated already, by transmuting the effects of spiritual disorder into that of order, for which the Zoroastrian laws of purity must be observed. Our internal organs emit waste-matter which come into friction with the rays of the Sun. By overcovering the internal organs with Sudreh, the Sun's rays enter these internal organs in a refracted manner. Hence the length of the Sudreh should extend from neck to knees so that the waste-matter emitted by the internal organs may not interfere with the flow of Saturnian current from neck to knees.
Completely Circular At Bottom
It is stated already that the back of the Sudreh represents the immortal worlds, and the front, the mortal worlds. The two sides of a Sudreh, front and back, combinedly form a circle which reminds us that we come from the immortal worlds represented by the back of the Sudreh, to the mortal worlds, its front; and that we have to ascend to the immortal worlds again after purification of the soul, i.e., after the transmutation of our Evil into Good. All processes of Reformation of the soul function in the mortal worlds. The nine seams represent these processes which are effected in the mortal worlds, and the front of the Sudreh, which we are able to see remind us of our duty to co-operate with Nature in its function of reforming the soul by the observance of the religious tenets. Hence un1ike the modern shirt, which has a cut on both sides, the Sudreh is enjoined to be made perfectly circular, i.e. without any cut or break at the bottom. Moreover, the completely circular battom of the Sudreh reminds us that we have trailed down to this material world according to Mazdayasni Daena, the deified law of Infoldment of Spirit into Matter, and have to repatriate to the planetary world according to Zarthoshti, Daena, the (deified) law of Unfoldment of Spirit fromMatter.
We have already seen that a Sudreh forms a veritable spiritual fortification around the body against pollution. This fortification is called 'Naf-e.Bavra', i.e., the Butt of a Shield, in terms of Khshnoom. To remind us of this, Sudreh is ordered to be made completely circular at the bottom.
Sudreh must be Completely Rim-Sewn.
In order to save the Sudreh from tearing easily, all hems and the rim must be fully sewed. If this is not done and the Sudreh gets torn requiring to be mended, it would create an extra seam over nine, which strictly speaking require that Sudreh to be discarded. But this would mean wrong waste in Nature, which is against the law of Economy of Nature, thereby creating a retributive obligation. This puts us in mind of the need for making the Sudreh completely rim-sewn.
Summary Idea of Seams
In the above description of the Sudreh, we have seen that each seam has connection with and is reminiscent of, certain great principle in Nature.
This may be shown as follows:
|Serial No. of Seam||Name of Seam||Thought associated with respective seam|
|1||Nape Sea||Retributive compensation by the observance of Tarikats (Canons|
|2||Gereban||Preservation of Khoreh (aura)|
|3-4||Two triangular seam||
(i) observance of religious canons which constitute Hvarshta;
(ii) observance of Truth which constitutes Hukhta; and.
(iii) development of Humata through Hvarshta and Hukhta
|5-6||Left sleeve and right sleev||Overpowering the effects of 'Darkness' through effects of 'Light' (Asha)|
|7-8||Front and back side||From mortal state to rise to immorta|
|9||Parallel seam||Blending of masculine and feminine counterparts of a sanctified soul.|
The angel Mino Ram has special function in (Nature. Thus, the shaping of the border of the leaf of a tree or shrub or the healing of a wound is through the electro-magnetic function (Khastra) of Mino Ram. Mino Ram has the power of cohesion, i.e., of prevention from disintegration or of restoring the original shape of a thing, such as, preventing upto a certain stage the tearing of a leaf of a tree by the wind. Mino Ram has the power of modeling and shaping things. Besides, he performs the function of arranging the elements in their varied forms, while they are transiting from the regions above to this earth.
Why Ramano Khasthrahe Sentence omitted from Funeral Recital
In Yt. 24,21 there is reference to Ramano Khastrahe as under in which the cohesion power of Mino Ram is referred to:
"Ramano Khastrashe vayoish upero kairyahe taradato anyaish daman aetat te vayo yat te asti Spento Mainyom"
We have shown above that the function of Ramano Khastrahe is to hold together elements and to preserve a leaf from tearing. But in the case of a dead body, it is quite the reverse. The elements of the dead body are required to be dispersed quickly and easily and therefore, the electro-magnetic force of cohesion of Mino Ram would negative that object and hence the deletion of the above sentence.
Need for Investing Zoroastrian Corpse with Sudreh
It is enjoined in the religion that a Zoroastrian corpse must also be invested with Sudreh, which holds the collective effect of the tenets of the religion observed during life and for this purpose the Sudreh must be the one used by the deceased during life.
From the inner exposition of the different seams and other particulars of the Sudreh, we have seen that the Holy Prophet has prescribed the Sudreh of a specific material, design, colour and shape, in doing which he has, as it were, reduced the very macrocosm into the microcosm of the Sudreh, This shows what a Master-Scientist - the Scientist of Scientists - Holy Zarathushtra was.
In modern times in the making of our dresses we consider the matter from the standpoint of smartness, beauty etc. and whether that style or the making of that dress would look nice in the eyes of the people or not. But_ the question of benefit or otherwise arising from a particular apparel, like a Sudreh, and still more important, as to whether it would be beneficial to the SOUL or not, is never considered. Up to the end of the last century, the Sudreh was treated with great reverence and it was not trifled with to suit the shifting fashions as it is done today. However, after receiving the knowledge of the exposition of Sudreh with all its details and the mysterious spiritual significances of its various seams etc. we learn that Sudreh is not to be treated like other garments that may be altered or mutilated according to the whims of fashion-designers as in the case of other dresses.
In all that has been stated above with regard to the details of the Sudreh, we have seen how the seams etc. produce practical effects for the upliftment of the soul. In Zoroastrian religion all the tenets and things used in the sacred ceremonies possess practical scientific effects and they are not as empty symbols; nor is the donning of pair of Sudreh-Kusti meant merely to be marked out as Zoroastrian. But the Sudreh i:e recognized by the Holy Prophet as an Efficient Instrument. We have seen how a Sudreh helps the soul in spiritual advancement during life, at death and also in the invisible worlds above.
The exposition and philosophy of the making of the Sudreh are entirely unknown to the Philological School and therefore before closing this subject of the Sudreh, we cannot forget our duty of thanking most reverently the Ustad Saheb, Behramshah Shroff and his holy Master-Sages for enlightening us on this most important topic of the Sudreh, with which every Zoroastrian is intimately connected for the upliftment of the SOUL.