Mankind in its quest for Spiritual truth continually tries to analyze and distinguish truth from the untruth. For some it may take a whole life time and for others it may come early in their lives. So how do we proceed in our own search for truth- especially when we are bombarded daily with massive amounts of information, much of which is misinformation? We have to be selective in what we consume and we have to be objective- which means looking at both sides of the coin or an issue. That's hard to do sometimes, because we all have our own personal biases and leaning towards scholars and their teachings. That in itself is a test that we all have to undergo in order to satisfy our spiritual needs. Ervad Dr Jehan Bagli was invited to Perth on behalf of the Zoroastrian Association of Western Australia. The lecture tour of Australia which included Sydney, Perth and Melbourne required a great deal of co-ordination and planning between the three associations. The ZAWA committee showed tremendous maturity and commitment in their decision process. In the welcoming speech at the AAA hall on 24th September 2005 it was reinforced that the office bearers of the committee were the real leaders of the community by virtue of their position in not adopting either a left wing politics or the politically right mentality. This virtue we hope transcends our youth and the committees of tomorrow. That we should be guided by the needs of the community, rather than our own personal ego and ideology. A humble and yet a powerful message that penetrated the mind and hearts of the small group that had come to listen to Ervad Bagli was simple and yet relevant in today's global village.
Quote "Every individual has his or her own differing spiritual needs just like we have the physical needs. Religions and faiths are like different pathways leading to the same point or goal- i.e. Creator Ahuramazda. Therefore some people may require more than others to satisfy their spiritual needs. To adopt further interfaith needs - going to Baba, or to a church or whatever, in addition to your own religiosity is, what some individual may well need to fulfill his or her inner self" Un-quote.
Another message that came through loud and clear was that we should not reject as nonsense or skeptical anything that we are not sure about. That, we must first find the truth and not be arrogant in our rejection. There are highly evolved souls living amongst us in this corporeal world and we must give careful consideration before we make a judgment. Ervad Jehan Bagli's explanation of conversion threw a new light and perspective on the whole concept of the Universality of Zoroastrian religion. We think of conversion in today's sense of thinking as forced conversion or conversion through other means. But in Zarathushtrian concept- conversion is acceptance from within ones own self without the need of others. Friday 23 September was an informal Meet and Greet evening. His wife Freny Bagli also enjoyed the informal gathering. As Dr Jehan often proudly tells that all that he has achieved would not have been possible without the sacrifice, encouragement and support from his wife. He also loves food and as his wife would say- he eats like a horse.
Jehangir Mehta Introduces Jehan Bagli
Dr. Ervad Jehan Bagli begins his Lectures
Saturday 24 September
The talk began at about 11am and many members and non members of the community attended the talk.
Three main topics were discussed in great details by Ervad Jehan Bagli and most of the people who attended listened with great interest. Hats off to this brilliant scholar, who spoke tirelessly for hours.
Two of these topics were discussed before lunch Time Homeland and Teachings of Zarathushtra Universality of Zarathushtrian religion- is conversion a reality The committee members had contributed and cooked lunch "Masala Dal Chaval, Chicken liver, kachumber, wafer and Lagan nu custard". Everyone ate to their hearts content and were promptly back on their seats.
Religiosity and Spirituality was the last topic of the day.
After the Coffee break "Question and Answer session" began. Many people asked their queries and received good answers.
Sunday 25 September
After the AGM many enthusiastic listeners sat back to ask more of there queries. As it was Ervad Jehan Bagli's birthday the committee had organised a cake cutting ceremony and many photos were clicked.
Monday 26 September
Picnic at Hyde Park was organised and many people attended it.
At the end of the first day of his deliverance of lectures he seemed to attract a flock of people who followed him in his footsteps- listening to his simple and yet clear messages about how one should lead a joyous, peaceful and truthful life and that there is only one Creator Ahuramazda.
Ervad Bagli exuded humbleness, simplicity and the power of listening to others. After listening to everyone he gently gave his opinion and not a dictate. He always insisted that you make the choice through your good mind Vohu Mano and that in turn would lead you to Asha- the Righteous path. He left a mark on some of us - There was freshening of the mind, there was strengthening of individual's conviction and beliefs, and there was personal satisfaction and joy of receiving knowledge that may have seemed impervious to them. Even if a few children or families were able to benefit from the visit of Ervad Bagli, then that small cross section of the Zoroastrian community has indeed benefited. And if that little stirring in ones heart has improved the quality of life of a few, then we can humbly conclude that his visit was worth the effort. The committee members would like to thank all the people who attended and also to Mr Noshir Buhariwala for sound recording at short notice, Behram Cooper for photos and also Jehangir and his wife for accommodating and organising the wonderful event.
The following questions were put forth to Ervad Jehan Bagli and he has been kind enough to send us the answers.
Jehan Bagli lectures on the Time, Homeland and Teachings of Zarathushtra
Slideshow presented by Jehan Bagli at Perth Western Australia
Gathering of Zoroastrians to listen to Dr. Ervad Jehan Bagli
Ervad Bagli lectures tirelessly
ZAWA Youth Group Listens Intensely to Jehan
And so does Shernavaz Cooper
1. Who are Zarathushties?
Zarathushties are the Aryan descendents, and followers of the teachings of the first prophet of mankind - Zarathushtra.
Zarathushtra proclaimed the first monotheistic faith - believing in one God or one single Creator of Universe and proponent of the first revealed religion of mankind. A religion revealed to him by the Wise Lord - Ahura Mazda, through his spiritual consciousness.
2. What is the importance of wearing SUDREH and KUSTI?
Sudreh is an apparel that directs one to the Right and pure path. By definition:
Sud - means Good or Pure and reh - means path.
These are more than just symbols. They are tools through which we refresh and renovate our mind and our thinking constantly. Sudreh has areas that symbolically store our Good actions. Kusti on the other hand is a tool which involves in its tying three times brings to mind Good Thoughts, Good Words & Good Actions. In tying the front knots at the words Shyothnanam renovates our thinking towards Good Actions, and in tying the Kusti in the back, reminds us that Righteousness in life is the best faith that should be followed not for a reward but for the sake of being righteous.
These used daily while reciting with Holy manthras with concentration keep the human mind calm and peaceful for the ensuing activities of the day and relieves the mind at the end of the day of all the flaws and pollution it has experienced during that period.
3. Which basic prayers are important to be recited daily?
Prayers are a way of Meditation. Prayers should be recited in a peaceful and tranquil state of mind, focusing one's concentration on the flame of a candle or an oil lamp in a dedicated location for the communion with Ahura Mazda.
It is through prayers that commune with the Creator of the Universe, and what we recite is a binding pledge that a person makes to the Creator to live and follow by that.
The most important and fundamental prayers, in this regard are our Kusti prayers using Sudreh Kusti.
Nirang-i- Kusti or Ahura Mazda Khodai prayer. We recite prayers that help us to find the path of the truth and righteousness and move away from evil thoughts, words and deeds. In the process of this recital we tie our Kusti around our waist. This is generally followed by Jasa-me- Avangahe Mazda prayer. This prayer is also known as 'confession of faith'. It is here that we dedicate ourselves to the religion of Mazda worship and to live by it.
If one desires one can add the prayer of Sarosh Baj, Roz-nek-nam and Tandorosti - a prayer of blessings.
The Discourse Goes On
Jehan Bagli with Phyrooza Mehta
Jehangir Mehta conducts the Q&A Session
The Lectures go on
ZAWA Chairperson Farida Madan Felicitates Jehan at the end of the Day's Activities
Jehan and Freny take some time-out
Jehan and Freny with some of the ZAWA Administrative Committee
Left to Right: Farida Madan, Jehan Bagli, Freni Bagli, Vizak Irani, Armin Ghaswala,
Maharukh Bhamgara and Perlin Salaskar
Jehan and Freny with Jehangir and Phyrooza Mehta
Jehan and Freny with Darius and Zenobia Pavri
Jehan cuts his birthday cake and poses with Freny on 25 September. Looking on are Parina Randeria(left)
Shayaan Irani (centre) and Kaizen Madan (right)
With some Zoroastrians on his Birthday
Q & A Session in progress even on Jehan's Birthday
Firoz and Sheroo Vakil and Perlin Salaskar listen on as religion does not stop at the picnic
Freny strikes a pose at the Hyde Park Picnic
Neville Amaria and Jehangir Mahta
The venue of the picnic at hyde Park in Perth
Always energetic, always smiling - Jehan Bagli