By Dr. Darius Homi Umrigar
There was an elaborate procedure to be followed when a Parsi got up from the bed in the morning. This include Kushti prayer and taking of Aab-e-Zar (that is “Taro” or “Nirang” - bull or cow's urine) I do not set out here this tarikat in full, I am suggesting a substitute, rather poor one, but which is in consonance with our present life, particularly in Mumbai and other cities and towns.
The correct time to wake up is within 36 minutes before sunrise. This is the time when the Havan Gah sets in. There is a reason for this. During this time, certain white forces, energies and fields are whirling in the air, and you can infuse them within you. The rule is that:- come out of the bed, turn your face to the east, bow down and touch the floor with your right hand (or both the hands), reciting one Asheym Vohu.
Mind! This is not a mechanical exercise. You are performing a tarikat, which is for your spiritual evolution. You have therefore to pass certain thoughts in your mind while touching the ground and reciting Asheym Vohu.
Whilst touching the floor o fyour home, you are bowing down to the earth on which your house stands. Earth is Ahuramazda's creation. Every object or thing which enters in our mental experience that is which is registered in our consciousness, is a condense form of Ahura's divine light. Imagine Ahura as a sphere of light pouring out His Rays, which in our world of experience, are condensed as physical objects. The emanating pure rays are called “Yazats or Amehshaspend's” and the things of our experience on the earth are the material forms of their light.
Earth is the physical manifestation of Sfandarmad Ameshaspand, also called Spenta Aarmaiti. The functions of our earth are to provide food for us and bear all the burdens. Spenta Armaiti is therefore the Yazata of selfless service and humanity. Therefore as you bow down and touch the ground, think this:-
Oh Spenta Armaiti, the Yazat of this earth, I offer you my homage to You my mother; You feed me and I live on You; I throw dirt on you; but You with your divine light alchemise the dirt to fertility. You teach me, inspire me to be humble and selfless like inspire me to be humble and selfless like You. Oh Mother!!
Alchemise the dirt within me to your Light; turn my ego into extreme humility; my hatred nto love; my greed into selflessness' dissolve all my pride and envy. I bow down to You oh Armaiti, on this beautiful morning when the fields of “Yazat's are whirling around, when the trees, intoxicated by the cool breeze are murmuring Ahura's divine song, when the birds too join in His divine tune...
Pass these thoughts in your mind. It is not difficult. Thoughts have tremendous velocity. All these can pass like lightening within you. With daily practice, they will automaticlaly germinate with you' the morning hour is the sweetest time of the day. Your mind is as fresh as a green tree and as calmly flowing as a gentle stream. It wil be intoxicated by these thoughts of devotion. It will dance with joy, and that divine joy, bliss, ecstasy is called: Ushta in Avesta. That is why you recite that small 12 words prayerof Asheyan Vohu, where the word Ushta occurs twice.
All these are exercises to gneerate protective rings around you in this Kyamat time.
Find time to recite your manthra in form of Farajiyat prayers, Kushti, Sarosh Baj, Gah, Khorshed Niyaish, Meher Niyash, Doaa Nam Setayashney and Char Dishano Namaskar are the fompulsory prayers.
You can curtain your television timings.
Visit Agyaris, Atash Behrams and recite an Atash Niyaish before the Padsha Saheb. If not feasible, pray before a 'Oil Divaa only” - a small flame.
'When the world is on top of a volcano these are the protective meausres you “must adopt”. Even in the present chilling times, you may be saved.
On the brink of disaster – not merely Parsi community but whole of humanity.
The first Kayamat of the present cycle of darego Khadaat has struck.
Saviours will surely arrive but before that, large part of humanity will be dead.
What thoughts would you pass while reciting Ashem Vohu:
The ultimate component of Ahura's universe and whole creation is “Staota Yasna”. It means Vibrations. Vibrations means motions, movements, something flowing, whirling, gyrating, reeling. Everything is a vibrationary motion, be it an electron or cell or drop of water or leaf or animal or man or star or even Yazat, the Ray of Ahura's Light. The whole creation is a Yasna that is Kriya, action, of Staota that is vibrations. These are very subtle motions. The ordinary human consciousness can catch them only when they attain physical forms. But the humans are gifted with speech, which can relfect the subtle vibrations whirling in nature. Reflect means that the human tongue can move in such a way that it can generate vibrations in the atmosphere which are a replica of divine Yazatic vibrations. Tha tis the principle on which every manthra or mantra is founded. All our manthra prayers better termed Manthravaani – are such vibrationary reflections and replica of the whole machinery of nature. (“Vaani” - in Gujarati means speech, language, spoken word). One of the most important Manthra compositions is the small twelve worded Asheym Vohu. When you recite “Ashem Vohu, Vahishteym Asti, Ushta Asti, Ushta Ahmai Hyat Ashaai Vahishtaai Ashem”, you are absorbing within you certain Yazatic (angles) vibrations of Ahura's Light, through the movement of your tongue. Those vibrations set in motion certain thought currents in your subconscious mind. You have to bring out these thoughts in your conscious mind. For that you should now the elementary meanings of the words that you are reciting.
Ashem Vohu prayer is a vast ocean of vibrations. Its full meaning and message is beyond our infinite consciousness. We can just have a very primitive surface idea.
Remember, we are doing our first morning exercise as we got up from bed. Time at our disposal is short. Our daily duties are waiting. Therefore while speaking Asheym Vohu let your thoughts be as under:
I am on this earth by Ahuramazda's Law, Will and Commnad (ASHA). My ultimate aim is to go back in HIS presence, which will be my ultimate joy and bliss. (USHTA). Give me strength to act according to Your Law of Truth and Righteousness as taught by my Din, so that every moment of my life be a moment of USHTA, and I can infuse USHTA in others.
Every word of Ashem Vohu has deep mysticl meanings. For example “ASHA” in the word “Ashem”, “Ashaai”, means:- Ahura's Law, Order, Beauty, Truth, Righteousness, Purity, Freedom, Each of these contains vast and profound meanings. So also “Vahishta”, “Asha Vahista”,”Ushta”, “Asti”. You can delve into this, if you have patience to study “Khordeh Avesta Baa Khshnoom” by Dr. Framroze Chiniwalla. However in you rmorning exericse, you do as elaborated above.
Asheym Vohu is to be followed by a Kushti where Kushti is a profoundly powerful meditational and devotional exercise. So in short, in this time of Kyamat, this is the first exercise. Then during the couse of the day, do a Kushti every time you answer the ntaure's call that is while one goes to toilet (WC). If, in the sitaution you are, you are not able to do so, recite in your mind five Yahta Ahoo Vario and three Ashem. While dealing with people, be honest, selfless, loving, obliging. Avoid hatred, hypocricy, cunning, envy, anger.