Distortion of Avestan Texts
Prof. Yezdi Rustomji's Comment
Re: Mutilation of
the Ahmai Raescha Prayer
Still Hiding from Alias, Yet the Cat is Out
Remember the following posting:
<<From: Charlotte Kharas
Date: Monday, October 09, 2000 7:31 PM
Subject: Re: Mutilation of the Ahmai Raescha Prayer
In my post of October 02, 2000, titled Zoroastrianism is Dead, one of my points was that Jafarey has changed and distorted our prayers. Of the numerous Scriptural distortions, I put before you the mutilation of the "Ahmai Raescha" prayer.
In a self-published book, "Zarathushtrian Ceremonies," 1992, (Pg. 49) he replaces the word "Ahmai" with the word "Yuvaibya" throughout the length of the prayer. In the same book, on page 42 he replaces "ahmai" with "te" and in another instance, replaces it with "khshmaibya". He thus distorts the prayer thrice and then drops the lines "ahmai tanvo vazdavare" and "atha jamyat yatha afrinami" entirely!!!>>
And now read the following:
<<Jafarey's Distortion of AHMAI RAESCHA
I have already given in my previous article Jafarey's distortions of nine Zoroastrian Scriptures [sic] including Ahmai Raescha prayer. At that time I did not give the details of the distorted Ahmai Raescha prayer. Several of my friends requested for it and so here it is for your information:
Jafarey's Distortion: YUVAIBYA raes-cha khvarenas-cha . YUVAIBYA tanvo drvatatem. YUVAIBYA tanvo verethrem. YUVAIBYA ishtim pourush-khavathrem. YUVAIBYA asnam-chit frazantim. YUVAIBYA daregham daregho-jitim. YUVAIBYA vahistem ahum ashaona, raochanhem vispo-khavathrem.
Above is from- Ali Jafarey's "Zarathustrian Ceremonies, 1992", (concocted and printed by him), page 49- where he replaces 'ahmai" with YUVAIBYA' and then on page 42 he replaces "ahmai" with 'TE' and also recommends replacing ahmai" with KHSHMAIBYA, thus giving three distortions of Ahmai Raescha prayer. Please note that in his distorted versions, he drops two lines: "ahmai tanvo vazdvare" and "atha jamyat, yatha afrinami"
Correct AHMAI RAESCHA as prayed by the Zoroastrians since last three thousand years:- AHMAI raeescha khvarenascha . AHMAI tanvo drvatatem. AHMAI TANVO VAZDVARE, AHMAI tanvo verethrem. AHMAI ishtim pourush-khavathrem. AHMAI asnamchit frazantim. AHMAI daregham daregho-jitim. AHMAI vahistem ahum ashaona, raochanhem vispo-khavathrem, ATHA JAMYAT, YATHA AFRINAMI., Ashem Vohu (1).
The distorted AHMAI RAESCHA of Jafarey beside being grammatically incorrect, destroys the original prayer. It has different meaning when compared to the original one.
With kind regards,
Dr. Pallan R. Ichaporia >>
Do you see any similarity between the two? Who fed whom on this point? Let me tell you:
The day I read the posting by Mrs. Charlotte Daroga Kharas, I recalled an incident of early September while preparing for "A Conference on the Gathic," Anaheim (28-30 October 1994). Although turned off from the Zarathushtrian Assembly for obvious reasons, Dr. Ichaporia had not yet gone over to the Traditionalist camp with an advertised "repentance" on the Zoroastrian Alias. He even "shooed away" Mrs. Pervin Mistry, now a close "Hamdeen" of his. When she rose to ask a question at the end of his paper "Gathic Ideas & Their Reflections in the Younger Avesta" on 29 October, he recited in Avesta from the Sarosh Baj and wished the destruction of the demon Druj -- nase daevi drukhsh (We have a video of the scene).
On that occasion of turning off from the Assembly, Dr. Ichaporia happened to find some typographical mistakes on the first page of SPENTA, the Assembly bulletin, June/July 1994. The mistakes were in its Avestan script and its transliteration. He pointed them out by emphasizing in four places with exclamation (!!) and interrogation (??) marks and counting the mistakes in the two paragraphs to come to a total of eleven mistakes. He had mailed the ridiculing page without the sender's name and although addressed to the Editor of Spenta, the envelope bore my home address instead of the Assembly's.
In response to his ridicule, I wrote to him: "…. This prompts the reader to imagine that if there are 11 mistakes in the first two paragraphs, then the entire issue of 24 pages must be a beehive of them." I reminded him that if this could be a case of ridicule, what about "The Gathas of Asho Zarathushtra" by "Pallan R. Ichaporia" and published by FEZANA, 1993. A mutual friend had counted more than 200 mistakes in the first few pages of the book. My response concluded: "May I, as a departing statement, add that there are three general categories of people.  Those who live in glasshouses and throw stones at others.  Those who live in glasshouses and take every precaution not to get into a stone-throwing duel with others.  And those who confidently live in their solid, safe and secure homes and prove as good and helping neighbors to others. Let us, if we are worthy of it, continue to belong to the third category." He did not reply and the next issue of SPENTA said: "The Editorial Board is grateful to Ms. Fatane Farid and Dr. Pallan R. Ichaporia for pointing a recurrent typographical missing letter (thetha or th in English) in the Avestan script and the transliteration."
I thought the matter ended there, but in spite of his "Gathas" riddled with typographical mistakes, his COMPLETE SILENCE over his lengthy past in Karachi, Pakistan, and his faulty English noted by all (I have few specimens at hand), he continues to throw stones and supply others with stones to throw at me, mostly in personal attacks with cheap shots and foul language. Those whom he feeds evidently include Ervad Jal Birdy, Mr. Sarosh Maneckshaw, Mr. Poras Havewalla, Mr. Behram Atashband, Havewalla's uncle now operating under his third "nickname" Adil Agga, Mrs. Parvin Mistry, Mr. Maneck Bhujwalla (a pseudo-moderate), and now Mrs. Charlotte Kharas with new "discoveries" in my writings.
Earlier, he tried his "scholastic" comments but after a few postings on "Khvaetvadatha," "Zaotar" and other issues, he gave up. And sometimes back, he left the Zoroastrians Alias, only to avoid comments that were exposing his scholarship. But that does not mean he has given it up. He, I am certain, is operating under a "nickname" to read both the firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. While writing on the Traditional-Zarathushtris@tropica.com, with a new nickname of firstname.lastname@example.org and hiding from us, he prompts others to attack the Fundamentalists. The above two examples of his and Mrs. Kharas provide the idea how he operates.
It has one advantage. When the response proves the inaccuracy and falsity of an attack, it is the prompted who is held for it and not the hiding prompter. The prompter retains his "scholarship" intact!
The above explanation gives you a background of the whole affair of one type of attack -- mutilation of the Avesta. False allegations, blasphemy and lies are almost a routine work of the Traditionalists on the "Alias" newsgroups and are also sent to a long list of Parsis. Almost all at my back, only to spread rumors and lies. We have our "backbiters" in the "Realm of Asha"!!
In my posting of 11 October on this subject, I wrote: "The comments by the two [Mrs. Kharas, Ervad Birdy and now Dr. Ichaporia] naturally shows their utter ignorance of the Avestan grammar. However, if the President of NAMC and his colleague/s are honest, would they be brave enough to post my 'Note' on page 42 and again Note No. 36 on page 64 of my book 'Zarathushtrian Ceremonies, a reconstruction based on the Gathas,' 1992? If not then they are simply repeating their tactics of distortion and not giving the text in full and in its context? If they do, it should provide the answer."
They have not done it to this date -- after 10 days. That shows their honesty. I have more to test their honesty:
(1) The President of NAMC and Vice-President of TMZA, his scholar mentor and the new mouthpiece do not know that "Ahmai Raeshcha," as given in the Khordeh Avesta, is not an independent "single" piece of "revelation" chanted for the last "3000 years." It is stanza No. 11 of Yasna 68 and the sentence "atha jamyat …" is the last part of stanza No. 19 of the same Yasna which has a total of 24 stanzas. "Ahmai Raeshcha" forms a part of the Sorush (Sarosh) Baj in the Iranian Khordeh Avesta and incidentally, it does not have "atha jamyat …" attached to it.
In fact the entire Khordeh Avesta is made up of "cut and paste" from other parts of the Avesta, including the Gathas plus additions of Pazend pieces. It is not an original scripture. Although ascribed to Adarbad Mahraspandan of the Sassanian period, a closer look into scriptural chronology and lingual structure shows that it is a collection made after the 9th century CE during the Islamic period of Zoroastrian decentralization and decadence. It was devised to keep the flickering flame burning and never to SUPPLANT the Gathas or other guiding parts of the Avesta. It has done so simply because of the ignorance of the chanters by rote. The Khordeh Avesta still does not have a standard edition. Each edition differs from the other -- from six to 89 prayers! The entire Khordeh Avesta, ranging from 6,500 to 20,000 words in its different editions, has only 204 -- only two hundred and four -- words from the Gathas and the Haptanghaiti of 6,813 words!!! I have a 30-page research essay on it in Persian.
The questions are: Who took the liberty of picking and cutting out stanza 11 from an entire Yasna to carve a prayer as "Ahmai Raeshcha" for the laity? Why the difference between the Iranian mode and the Parsi mode of the prayer? Would these two questions have a single answer -- distortion, mutilation by some person/s at some time/s? Who is/are that/those person/s? When did he/they lived? What do have the three "defenders of the faith"-- Ervad Birdy, Dr. Ichaporia and Mrs. Kharas -- to offer in defense of the person/s who introduced the cut and paste policy hundreds of years ago?!!!
(2) My Note on page 42 says: "Replace TE with YUVAIBYA if there are two and KHSHMAIBYA if more than two." Note No.36 on page clarifies: "The original Avestan text has AHMAI, meaning 'to him.' It has been changed by the author to have TE (you singular), YUVAIBYA (you dual), KHSHMAIBYA (you plural), to suit the contexts and the occasion." That is the real reason for the changes, otherwise, one would be addressing and showering blessings on a lady, two persons or a congregation but saying all along "him" (third person masculine)! Would this wrong address be given by the officiant who composed Yasna 68 or who cut and created the "Ahmae Raeshcha" piece with or without "atha jamyat" if he was to officiate at a ceremony? Does it make any sense to make wrong addresses?
Here I should appreciate the comments made by Miss Hannah M.G. Shapero in her posting of 16 October in which she, without any show of her scholarship, has been able to recognize the true reason for the change. The suppression of the notes and lack of understanding the changes in Avesta by the "trio" speak for themselves.
(3) The missing of AHMAI TANVO VAZDVARE is typographical. The translation "May you have bodily strength" shows that it is not dropped. But where lies honesty that would present the truth? Just as notes were deliberately dropped, this too was covered up. I am still wondering at a person -- mentor of the Traditionalist camp -- whose translation of the Gathas is riddled with typographical mistakes, has the face to point a few of mine. It reminds one of a Persian proverb: The sieve ridiculing the skimmer: You have holes!!!
(4) A word about "The Gathas of Asho Zarathushtr;, Book I, Ahuvaiti Gatha; Book II, Vahistoishti Gatha; Transcription & Translation by Pallan R. Ichaporia; Foreword by Porf. Kaikhosrov Irani, City University of New York; Published in the United tstates of America by the Research and Preservation Committee of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America; 1993," which has only Yasna Hâitis 28-34 and 53:
The transliteration of 110 stanzas (out of 243 stanzas of the Gathas) has no
diacritics and therefore the book is simply riddled with such
typographical mistakes. Even if the diacritics are overlooked, there are 330
other typographical mistakes in 300 lines of the Ahunavaiti Gatha and 33 in 40
lines of the Vahishtâ Îshti Gatha. And this is the person who has
discovered less than a dozen typographical mistakes in my writings and has the
face to 'expose' them and then 'pass' them on to a new recruit, only to get a
'cheer' from the prime priest!
(5) Would Dr. Ichaporia come out to prove his statement <<RAESCHA of Jafarey beside being grammatically incorrect, destroys the original prayer. It has different meaning when compared to the original one?>> And would he explain how the Parsi version of "Ahmai Raeshcha," itself cut and pasted out of Yasna 68, has been there for the <<last three thousand years>>? What about the Iranian version? Also instead of "backbiting" postings, could he come out of his hiding and send me his <<previous article Jafarey's distortions of nine Zoroastrian Scriptures [sic]>> so that I too see the "holes" in my writings? And does he dare to elaborate when he claims that << The distorted AHMAI RAESCHA of Jafarey beside being grammatically incorrect, destroys the original prayer. It has different meaning when compared to the original on>>?
(6) After all, if one wants to distort a thing, one would make a real distortion that would pervert the very meaning of the message. One or more typographical mistakes in transliteration and not translation are not that disastrous as to make a President of a continental priests council, a "scholar of International Renown," and their aspiring followers go frenzied to raise a deafening uproar. A sober point-out would amicably solve the problem.
Then there would have been no reason to hide and hit. But with the posting of two similar postings and other promptings, the cat is out! We know who is behind the curtain.
(7) My books in which "Ahmai Raescha" is given without any typographical mistake are: (a) Golchini az Khordeh Avestâ (A Selection from the Khordeh Avesta), "Faravahar" the Zoroastrian Youth Organization, Tehran  pages 47-48; (b) Khordeh Avestâ, co-authored with Dr. Mehraban Khodavandi, California Zoroastrian Center, Anaheim, 1983, pages 5-6; (3) Fravarane, I Choose for Myself The Zoroastrian Religion, California Zoroastrian Center, 1988, pages 57-58, 74-75 plus Note No. 11 explaining the differences between Iranian and Parsi modes on page 94; and (4) as I wrote, Zarathushtrian Ceremonies, a reconstruction based on the Gathas, Ushta Publications, Cypress, 1992 has only a typographical mistake in the transliteration of the Avesta but the translation is alright.
And all the offciants of the Zarathushtrian Assembly recite "Ahmae Raeshcha" as it is given in the Avesta and give its meaning either in English or Persian in Initiation, Wedding and other relevant ceremonies.
Now should I ask why the "distortions" and "mutilations" are searched and publicized with ridiculing and insulting language after eight to twelve years at the approach of the World Zoroastrian Congress 2000 CE that behooves only the false in character? FEAR THAT MY APPEARANCE AT CONGRESS WILL FULLY EXPOSE ALL THE LIES THAT HAVE BEEN WOVEN AND SPREAD ABOUT ME?
Dear companions-in-Asha, I ask you: If the "real" discoverer of the typographical mistakes had, in a friendly manner, pointed them out and I would have expressed my gratefulness in public and corrected the mistakes, what would have been your reaction?
Ali A. Jafarey
20 October 2000
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Comments by Prof. Yezdi Rustomji
Mutilation of the Ahmai Raescha Prayer
7:16:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org (zoroastrians)
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To Return to the Relevant Original
Distortion of Avestan Texts
TABLE OF CONTENTS and Their Links
Introduction & the Gist of "The Plain Reality Behind The Intricate Falsity"
Analysis of the 26-page "Global Protest"