Why do we mention the names of  the departed souls & living persons? By Er Karanjia


Why do we mention the names of departed and living persons in our rituals and prayers? (Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia)
1) Almost all Zoroastrian rituals can be performed for the living as well as dead.

 2) In rituals, the souls of the living and departed ones are mentioned by name. The word naamcheshti means “individually.”

3) The living person’s soul is referred to as Zindeh ravaan and the departed person’s soul is referred to as anusheh (immortal) ravaan.

4) In this context the names are mentioned with their religious title (behdin, khud, osta, osti, ervad, mobed or dastur) as the prefix and the name of the father / husband as the suffix.

5) Another place where the name of a living person is mentioned with the religious title is the Farmaayasne, which is to indicate the person/s who has taken the responsibility or is bearing the cost of the ritual. In the past only the name of the head of the family was mentioned in Farmaayasne, but nowadays the names of almost the entire family is mentioned, here which is not necessary.

6) The other place where names of living persons are recited is in the Doa Tandarosti prayer. Here too the name of the living person is mentioned with the religious title.

7) According to Zoroastrian customs and traditions the name of ladies in menstruation is not mentioned in prayers and rituals. When one is in doubt or is unaware, the mention of the name has to be avoided. The reason for this is that such ladies are not in a ritually pure state and are thus not able to absorb the divine energy and blessings which are asked for in the prayers and rituals.

8) Names of non-Zoroastrians are not mentioned in prayers and rituals, because their religious traditions does not require them to observe rules of ritual purity. Moreover, they do not even have a Zoroastrian religious title, which is necessary for mentioning names in Zoroastrian prayers. Good health can be wished for them by mentally remembering them after prayers.

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