- Significance of Khordad Sal
- The Life Story of Zoroaster
- Zoroaster - Colouring activity
- A Zoroastrian Fable, The King’s Favourite Horse
- A Zoroastrian Fable, The King’s Favourite Horse - Colouring sheet
- Zoroastrianism - Worksheet
- Maze Activity Easy , Medium, Complex
- Word Puzzle Question , Answer
- Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds - Balvikas Class Activity
- Fire Centrepiece Paper Craft Demo
- Rangoli of Ahura Mazda, the God of Zoroastrianism
- Zoroastrian Prayer
- Eggless Caramel Bread Pudding Recipe
The Life Story of Zoroaster
There was a time in ancient Persia when evil doers were on the rise. It was then that Zoroaster’s grandfather Frahimurva was born, glowing with a celestial light. This light was passed on to his daughter Dughdova, which emanated as a glow all around her body. The demons recognized that this was a divine happening and tried to kill her. Alas! To save her life, both, Frahimurva and his daughter had to part. Dughdova was sent to the home of her father’s friend who had a son called Pourushaspa. Soon, Dughdova married Pourushaspa . The divine light also entered Pourushaspa. One night when Dughdova was sleeping she had a terrible dream about wild ferocious animals being chased away by a powerful holy man. Next day the wise men interpreted the dream and said that Pourushaspa will have a son who will become a great man, a messenger of God, but , will suffer because of jealous men.
One fine day, a baby was born to Dughdova. The baby was named Zoroaster. Usually babies cry when they are born, but this baby was laughing. The head priest, who was really a demon, took baby Zoroaster and tried to kill him. First he threw the baby in the path of a herd of cattle and later in the path of horses. But Zoroaster was protected by divine forces and so remained unharmed. Next, the demon priest took Zoroaster to a forest and lay him in the den of a wolf, thinking that the animal would kill the baby, but once again he was protected . Later the priest threw Zoroaster on to a pile of burning embers. The baby was unscathed and the fire turned into a bed of fragrant roses! When Zoroaster was one year old he became ill. His father Pourushaspa asked the priest to help, not knowing that he was a demon. The priest made some poisonous medicine which baby Zoroaster spit instead of swallowing and his fever came down without any remedy.
Zoroaster grew up to be a strong, intelligent, handsome boy and was the best pupil his teacher ever had. One day, his father Pourushaspa who was becoming old, asked Zoroaster what he would like to have as a gift. Zoroaster replied that he would like Pourushaspa’s girdle – the belt he tied around his waist. When Zoroaster tied the girdle around his waist,he said that it made him feel confident and that he would always do what was righteous and proper. As an adult Zoroaster led a simple life, helping the poor, sick and needy. He was especially fond of animals and was kind to them. Every day he prayed for strength. One day, his father invited the demon priest to his house, who desired to say a prayer before eating food. Immediately Zoroaster objected to the prayer being said by the demon. The priest became furious and insulted Zoroaster . Later he fell dead while riding away on his horse.
One day, Zoroaster left home in search of truth. As he wandered through the countryside he came to a river ,where there was neither a bridge nor a boat to get to the other side. But this did not pose a problem for him as with the help of his Divine powers, he was able to walk across the surface of the water to the other side. However, when he came across another river, things happened differently. He walked slowly into the water until it was up to his neck, and when he stepped out onto the otherside, he was glowing with a new light. This miraculous event marked the birth of the new religion Zoroastrianism founded by Zoroaster. The angel of the Good Mind came to him and commanded him to go out and spread God’s message of truth, justice and respect for his creation. He was given the symbol of fire as it burns away all evil, keeping the rest pure. And so Zoroaster went back to the people to teach the new religion of good thoughts, good words and good deeds. He reminded everyone that God resides in their heart as pure divine love. Zoroastrians are also known as Parsees.
Ref : The Great Ones by Joy Lynette Parker
A Zoroastrian Fable, The King’s Favourite Horse
Long ago there lived a king in Persia, named Vishtaspa . One day, he had a strange dream. He dreamt that Zoroaster appeared in his room and handed him the Zend Avesta, explaining that it was God’s Holy Book. Next morning, one of the King’s Counsellors brought the message that there was a man named Zoroaster outside, who wished to speak to him. King Vishtaspa was very surprised as he remembered the dream he had, the night before. When Zoroaster came to the king he blessed him with wisdom, power and long life. Vishtaspa said he would believe in Zoroaster’s God if he could answer the questions of his wise men. Zoroaster answered all the questions they asked him about God, Heaven and Earth. Vishtaspa was so impressed that he asked Zoroaster to teach him the truths of the Zend Avesta and also gave him a house to stay in the palace grounds.
The King’s counsellors became extremely jealous of the favours the King Vishtaspa was showering on Zoroaster. They made plans to tell lies about Zoroaster so that he would be sent away from the palace. One night, they left some bones and skulls in Zoroaster’s house. Next morning, they went to the King and told him that Zoroaster was really a sorcerer making spells to destroy the King and his kingdom. Vishtaspa did not believe them and ordered them to visit Zoroaster’s house for proof of this wickedness. Before long, a guard returned with a tray holding the bones and skulls. The King became angry with Zoroaster who replied that he was innocent. Nevertheless, the king ordered Zoroaster to be sent to jail. The evil counsellors then laughed and made fun of Zoroaster’s plight, feeling triumphant that their wicked plan had worked.
One week later, King Vishtaspa was very heartbroken as his favorite horse Aspisiya had fallen ill. The King did not eat for three days. All of the four limbs of the horse were folded up beneath its stomach which prevented it from stretching its legs out and standing up. That evening, Zoroaster’s prison guard came to the king to bring him a message from Zoroaster that he could cure the horse. Zoroaster was brought to the king who demanded that he prove his greatness by curing Aspisiyah. Zoroaster replied that the horse required Vishtaspa to have faith in him as well as fulfilling four conditions. The king agreed.
The first condition was that King Vishtaspa would follow Zoroaster’s teachings and recognize him as a messenger of the one and only true God. The King agreed whole heartedly, and to everyone’s surprise the first leg of the horse became free and stretched forward. The second condition was that King Vishtaspa’s son would support the Zoroastrian religion and spread God’s message. When his son agreed with a promise, the horse’s second leg became free. Next the queen was called for, and when she also agreed the horse’s third leg stretched out. Zoroaster also called for the keeper of his house who, when questioned, admitted that it were the counsellors who had placed the bones and skulls in Zoroaster’s house. The fourth condition was that these evil counsellors were to be banished from the kingdom forever, after which the horse’s fourth leg was cured. Then Aspisiyah leapt up on its feet, to the delight of everyone present. The king was overjoyed to see his favourite horse completely cured and asked Zoroaster to forgive him . He also thanked him again and again for healing Aspisiyah.
Ref : The Great Ones by Joy Lynette Parker
Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds - Balvikas Class Activity
Khordad Sal is the birth anniversary of Zoroaster, the ancient Iranian speaking prophet whose teachings led to the formation of the religion Zoroastrianism. Apart from a grand feast, special prayers are held on this day. Interestingly, this festival offers the Parsis the opportunity to review their lives and actions and accordingly make resolutions for the future,that includes good thoughts, words and deeds.
Here is a video that shows a wonderful activity for the Balvikas class. By making a chart with colourful pouches to collect the good actions of students, the Balvikas Guru can encourage students to come forward with their good deeds and actions. This activity will definitely motivate the students to think before they act !
Fire Centrepiece Paper Craft Demo
Kordad Sal falls on the sixth day of the first month of the Parsi calendar. It is the birth anniversary of Zoroaster. During the festival of Kordad sal, the Parsis like to decorate their homes with coloured patterns and intricate rangolis. They prepare authentic dishes and visit the fire temple. They dress up in traditional Parsi attire. The most distinct attire for women, is the Gara saree that is known for exquisite embroidery and is draped in a unique style. The Parsis are the most urbanized and westernized community in India. The Parsi population is concentrated in Mumbai.
The symbol of Zoroastrianism, the sacred fire tells us to offer all our bitterness into the fire and to emerge as a divine human being. Here is a video that shows us how to make a striking fire centre piece with vibrant colour papers!
Eggless Caramel Bread Pudding Recipe
No festival celebration is complete without mouth watering delicacies.
It's a tradition for having a sweet dish for breakfast during any Zoroastrian celebration or festival. This tradition is known as Mitthu Monu which means "sweet mouth". Starting the day with a sweet dish is meant to bring good luck.
During any Parsi festival the kitchen is filled with the fragrance of sweet dishes. Delicious dishes like Parsi ravo - a sweet semolina dish, Parsi sev served with nuts and sweet yoghurt, bread puddings, fallooda, kulfi etc are hot favorites.
During this festival of Kordad sal we are happy to share a video on making a mouth watering eggless caramel pudding!
Along with this pudding let's spread lot of sweetness with our actions!
Rangoli of Ahura Mazda, the God of Zoroastrianism
Rangoli is a traditional art where beautiful patterns are drawn using coarse rice powder, sand powder, chalk , rice paste etc. Other than adding beauty, drawing Rangoli has a spiritual significance. It brings auspiciousness and positive energy.
During the festival of Kordad Sal, Parsis clean their house and draw beautiful rangolis. Here is a video that shows us how to draw a pristine white Rangoli of Ahura Mazda, the God of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda also means The Lord Of Wisdom.
Here is an opportunity to make this unique Rangoli during this festival season . All you need is a little Rangoli powder, a brush to fine tune and loads of enthusiasm!
Rangoli by Janani Raghavan
The Divine Law of Zoroastrianism is Asha or Righteousness. A true Zoroastrian strives to follow the path of Righteousness to become close to God.
Here is an Audiovisual that depicts Zoroastrians praying to the fire which represents the light of God (Ahura Mazda) and is their symbol of purity. The fire carries the principle of faith in dispelling darkness which is ignorance and bringing light which is wisdom.
The visual imagery of this video combined with the soul stirring audio of the Zoroastrian prayer, brings out the true essence of the religion, Zoroastrianism!
During this festival of Khordad Sal, let's make a resolution to light the lamp of wisdom within us and to follow the path of Righteousness!