Zoroastrian Heritage: KE Eduljee 

Training to Become a Zoroastrian Priest in Mumbai, IndiaDadar & M. F. Cama Athornan Institutes

Zoroastrian Priesthood Levels

(Corrections are welcome)
There are three principle levels of Zoroastrian priests, Ervad (in India) or Herbad (in Iran), Mobed and Dastur. Traditionally, eligibility is hereditary.
Ervad or Herbad. Navar

Ervad (in India) or Herbad (in Iran) is the title given to those priests who have completed the first level of training as a Navar. Ervads act as assistants to Mobeds and Dasturs and can perform the ceremonies of the outer circle – the Dron, Afringan (part of the jashan / jashne ceremony), navjote, wedding and other outer ceremonies (see the page Liturgical Ceremonies) performed outside the sanctum of the fire temple called the pavi.
Mobed. Martab

Mobed is the title given to a priest who has completed training as a Martab. Mobeds are called the upholders of religion and are trained to perform liturgies of the inner circle – the Yasna, Visperad, and Vendidad ceremonies (see the page Liturgical Ceremonies) that are only preformed within the pavi areas (the inner sanctums) of a temple. Both, Navars and Mobeds are subordinate to Dasturs. 

Dastur (from the Pahlavi Dastabar) as a title means the upholder and promulgator of the law – the authority. Dasturs are high priests and in addition to being learned in the entire Avesta and proficient in conducting all the ceremonies. Dasturs are leaders, administrators, spiritual guides and teachers. There is no initiation ceremony to become a Dastur as there is with the Navar and Martab – only a public jashan / jashne ceremony. 
There are two institutes in India – both in Mumbai – that provide formal priestly training to the Navar and Martab levels: the Dadar Athornan Institute and the M. F. Cama Athornan Institute at Andheri West.
Also see http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/priests/index.htm#priests
Images. Credit: http://www.dadarathornaninstitute.org/

1. Ceremonial role training at the Dadar Athornan Institute.

2. Young trainees at the Dadar Athornan Institute.


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