Monday, 27 April 2009

Superficial Ceremonies

I was reminded of Baba's message to me on the day I had my Navjote ceremony yesterday - my cousins' 4 kids had theirs done all together in Nagar and I was talking to the family at the ceremony and the meal after, on the phone.

For those of you who don't know - Zoroastrian children have a Navjote ceremony around the ages of 6 to 8, where they are given the sadra and kusti (a string woven of 72 strands of handspun wool clumped in 6 groups of 12 or 12 groups of 6, I'm not quite sure) which confirms them formally as full Zoroastrians. Catholics have the first holy communion, which is similar, I think. Baba had fixed the date for mine and though I had been taught all the Zoroastrian prayers by my grandfather, Baba only wanted the 3 main prayers recited, O Parvardigar, Prayer of Repentance and Beloved God. He then gave me the sadra and kusti, a silver glass full of sweets, and a picture of Himself with this message: "Dearest Baby Mehera, May Ahuramazda, Zoroaster and Meher Baba help you to get rid of all superficial ceremonies. Meher Baba."

Well, the Navjote can be a very superficial ceremony. You learn prayers in a dead language, pray mechanically each time you go to the toilet, wake up, bathe and go to bed. The kusti keeps coming undone at awkward times, and it really has no meaning unless you know the full meaning of why you wear a sadra and kusti. After the third time it came undone at school, I took off the sadra and kusti and put them away. Why then did Beloved Baba go through performing my Navjote? And the Navjotes of other children through the years? He performed a superficial ceremony and gave each of us almost identical messages, invoking His help to get rid of them. I have often thought about this. As far as I understand, it was His participation in the ceremony that gave it meaning.

When the Avatar performs a ceremony, it cannot be superficial. The true purpose of the ceremony then is realized. The Zoroastrian credo of Manashni Gavashni Kunashni - Good thoughts, good words, good actions, is brought into play when Baba performs the Navjote. Or maybe its effect is magnified many times over. I don't know. All I do know is that I have taken to heart the getting rid of superficial ceremonies bit, and do my best to not participate in any ceremony - religious, social, financial or political - unless it is more than superficial. It has helped me to do things meaningfully, or not at all. Perhaps that is all the meaning I need. Perhaps not. I would be grateful for any insights anyone who reads this has to offer, either from personal experience or their thoughts on what it all means. Jai Meher Baba!

1 comment:

  1. Choti, why not bring the Monkey DVD's and we can watch them together, hai na?

    Blessings of the Beloved be upon thee.

    M dd


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