Date: Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 9:24 PM
Subject: More Criticism Received On The Crude Alterations Done At Pak Iranshah Atashbehram, Udvada
To: TZML <TraditionalZarathushtris@yahoogroups.com>
HUMATA HUKHTA HAVARASHTA!
5 February 2009
Dear Zarathushti humdins,
cc: Vada Dasturjis,
cc: Ervad Sahebs,
cc: The Parsee Voice,
cc: Zoroastrian Studies,
cc: Parsi Pukar,
cc: Prominent Zoroastrians,
cc: TMYZ officials
Just one of the growing reactions to the appalling renovation work at the Iranshah Atashbehram. This one below is from my friend Sarosh Bana, a senior journalist based in Mumbai.
The sanctity of Iranshah certainly has been devalued and the place now looks like a cheap movie set from Film City. When one descends the steps, one is confronted right in the face with the 'manhood' of these bulls and it presents a real ugly sight. I have taken photographs also of this.
There certainly was no need for this work, but then what does one expect with the sort of "Vada Dastur" who reigns over Udvada with no one to question him?
It would be important to go into the cost of this entire renovation - including any trumped up cost - and determine why this work was at all necessary when the Iranshah was in perfect condition, having been extensively refurbished just some years ago at considerable cost and over a prolonged period. Even if this was done by private funding, it is an uncalled for drain on finances that could have been better spent on more worthwhile activities for the community.
Unless accountability is fixed with more seriousness by those concerned, these brazen elements within our community will keep on rising from strength to strength.
As you will be well aware, our most revered Iranshah Atash Behram has come in for renovation and ornamental Zoroastrian symbols added to the building exterior, a new gate with a pair of guards, and two Guardian Oxen on either side of the building steps.
These are, as most of you certainly know better, in very poor imitation of Zoroastrian iconic symbols and bas reliefs surviving in Persian sites in Iran-
My thoughts in the matter are, if these are put up, in poor imitation, at some Zoroastrian centre for any of our multifarious activities-schools, dharamshalas, even at an agiary which is not a great Zoroastrian icon, etc., this can be considered lightly.
But, here we have the sad occurrence, of this "film set" additions (as some people are already calling it) on the premises of our most holy of holies, the most sacred, and world renowned Iranshah.
Please visit my blog, especially created, to get Zarathustris to realise what is happening, detailing the issue and providing pictures of the additions, pictures from ancient Iran (and Assyria), pictures of two agiaries where these additions are done correctly, and pictures of how other faiths take such work seriously and go to great lengths to embellish their temples to enhance their dignity and sanctity.
I have also said, in my blog, if we had limited funds for such work, we should not have gone in for these additions.........just repaired the structure, if so required, renovated in good taste within the budget available.
Please visit my blog: udvadarenovation
I have requested that these garish additions be dismantled, at least redone with better art, in white stone, marble, or bronze, funds permitting.
But we all need to get together in such a situation..........a lone crusade is useless
This is our most sacred site, we cannot treat it with such poor work and then remain indifferent.
For example.......and many of you know better, the two bulls/oxen, actually Assyrian in origin, but in Zoroastrian tradition represent Guesh Urvan, the Soul of the Kine, who cried out for a Saviour in the Gathas.......and also seen to uphold the world.
Is there any way you all can support this sad but fully reversible issue, by inclusion of my blog and your comments in your websites, journals, and refer to my blog, asking your readers to visit the blog and "vote."
If other course of action in this matter is underway, I would like to have details of this, so I can join and lend my support.
We should solve this issue as Zoroastrians, not as liberals, traditionalists, Kshnoomists, but as followers of the great Prophet Zarathusht.
Your response will be very greatly valued by me.
Requesting the Athornan Anjuman of Udvada to please see to it that the material used for the construction of the Achaemenid Bull Men(1) should be of natural origin and not synthetic plastic..... These Achaemenid Bull Men are going to be placed on the enterance of the Wadia Makaan(i.e.building) . The reason for this request is that, if they are made of any synthetic material then they can never be made Paav (i.e.concecrated) .For reference please refer the Holy Vendidad Pargarad 7.(2)
Late Eruchshah Karkaria of Navsari (disciple of Late Dr.Faramroze S Chinivala and Late Jehangirji S Chinivala) use to call plastic as " Ayokhshasta a Yozdaai"(i.e. it can never be made pure) and should never be used in Agiaries and AtashBehram Saheb Makans.
'If they be of silver, you shall wash them twice with gomez, you shall rub them twice with earth, you shall wash them twice with water, and they shall be clean.[75. 'If they be of brass, you shall wash them thrice with gomez, you shall rub them thrice with earth, you shall wash them thrice with water, and they shall be clean.
'If they be of steel, you shall wash them four times with gomez, you shall rub them four times with earth, you shall wash them four times with water, and they shall be clean.
'If they be of stone, you shall wash them six times with gomez, you shall rub them six times with earth, you shall wash them six times with water, and they shall be clean72.]
'If they be of earth, of wood, or of clay, they are unclean for ever and ever73.' >>>
What will be consecrated for sure is the Whole Wadia Makan (i.e. building) as it was desecrated. Only after the consecration of the Wadia Makan will Shreeji Paak Iranshah AtashBehram Saheb be shifted from the Petit Makan. After the Padshah Saheb is shifted to the Wadia Makan no Non Parsi will be allowed to even touch the building.Do not know if the gate and the other area, which have been desecrated will also be consecrated. Late Jehangirji S Chinivala (in "Parsi Avaz") has given details on how to consecrate a building, which is going to house a spiritual Monarch (AtashBehram Padshah Saheb). In one of his "Parsi Avaz" articles he has mentioned that the compound surrounding the Padshah Sahebs Makan should have gospands, trees and flowering plants belonging to the Barjisi (Jupiter) genus.Will try to give the "Parsi Avaz" article dates for those who want to study more and repent .
May the sordid aims of these people, who are aiming to denigrate an ancient people's belief, be ever defeated and come to naught, by the Grace of Dadar Ahura Mazda. Destructive acts of such people are not inspired by God, since it is not God who destroys in our religion, but it is God who creates (Ardibehest Yasht Nirang). May these modern day destroyers be defeated in their evil aims, and may they learn to respect an ancient people's pride in their heritage and beleifs.
I agree it is distasteful and inappropriate.
The Iranshah Atash Behram structure had its own simple style and therein lies its elegance. To have these ugly additions and funny men on the entrance gates makes it look so cheap! I remember a very beautiful photo of the Iran Shah Entrance on a cover of a book with boganvilla flowers. That was beautiful !
There is a segment of individuals who are out to destroy our holy place & turn it into a tourist spot that it will ultimately result in non-Parsis entering the Atash-Behram.
The pristine atmosphere has been destroyed beyond repair. At the very sight of what was taking place I had feelings of sadness run through my mind, spine & heart.
Absolute sacrilege is taking place in the phony name of repairs.