About us / ClubDNA™ / History / Zoroastrian / Mehrdad™ / News / E-Mail / MyDNA™ / ChatMusic / 4U! / Shopping / Travel / Downloads / Services / Links / Contact us







Prof. Jamsheed Choksy (U.S.A.)
Professor of Central Eurasian Studies, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, and Faculty Member of India and of Medieval Studies at Indiana University.

Prof. Choksy, graduated from Columbia University in 1985, in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. He obtained Ph.D. (1991) from Harvard University, in the History and Religions of the Near East and Inner Asia, with the major field of Iranian Studies. He was a teaching fellow at Harvard 1988, Visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford University 1991–1993, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, Princeton University, 1993-1994. Government of India Research Fellowship lecturer in 1998. He has been a recipient of fellowships and grants from a number of reputable organizations. Choksy is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He has made presentations at major International Conferences, and is the author of numerous articles. He is the author of three books: Purity and Pollution in Zoroastrianism: Triumph over Evil (1989), Conflict and Cooperation: Zoroastrian Subalterns and Muslim Elites in Medieval Iranian Society (1994), Evil, Good, and Gender: Facets of the Feminine in Zoroastrian Religious History (2002). As an authority on Iranian studies and Zoroastrianism, Choksy is listed in Who’s Who in the World, (2001) and Who’s Who in America, (2001).

Continuity and Change in Zoroastrian Praxis

The talk will look at transformations in the basic rules, rites, and settings of purity and devotion that occurred in a range of Zoroastrian communities during the twentieth century C.E. Special attention will be paid to issues of cleanness and piety during initiation via the navjote/sudra pushun, regular worship in fire temples, and funerals. Adaptations will be described and reasons for those changes elucidated in a range of Zoroastrian groups from Sri Lanka and Iran to North America.


Prof. Gernot Windfuhr (U.S.A.)
Professor of Iranian Studies,
Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan

Prof. Gernot Windfuhr studied at the Universities of Hamburg, Cologne, and Tehran, and received his Ph.D. in Iranian Studies from Hamburg in 1965. He has been Professor of Iranian Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, since 1966 (chair 1977-1987). His main fields of research are in two areas: Persian language/linguistics, Iranian dialectology; and Zoroastrian Studies (metaphysics, including the Amesha Spentas; ritual and calendar). His regular undergraduate courses include "The Religion of Zoroaster", "Persian Culture", and "Rumi and the Great Persian Mystical Poets". Forthcoming publications relating to Zoroastrianism include: a comparison between the Yasna and the Taoist ritual; a study of the celestial Hauma; and a study on Mithraic coding in a royal Sarmatian burial complex in the southern Ural steppes of the 5th cent. B.C.



The dialectic of Ritual acts and Ritual texts in the Yasna


In recent years scholarship has recognized that the liturgical texts recited during the Yasna are organized in form of ordered hierarchies, that are centered on the intricate symmetric structure of the section containing the Gathas and Yasna Haptanhaiti, and extend to the 72 chapters as a whole. Less focus has been on the internal structure of the ritual acts as such, which by and large continue to be seen as determined by the groupings of the text. Thus, there is the traditional division of the Yasna into 24 sections, which is reflected in the comprehensive description of actions/ texts by Kotwal and Boyd (1991). Other divisions include that by Duchesne-Guillemin (e.g., 1961), who posited 12 units.

This paper argues that it is the ritual action that determines the structure and sequential logic of Yasna. It suggests clearly defined criteria for identifying the crucial turning points from one main act to another; interprets their sequence and hierarchical structure; explores the intricate dialectic between the progressing acts and texts; and relates their assembly to larger conceptual frameworks in Zoroastrian thought and belief.

Mobed Kamran Jamshedi (Sweden)
An Iranian Mobed residing in Sweden, An engineer by profession, is the grandson of Dasturaan Dastur Ardeshir Azargushasp, late Chief Mobed of Tehran. In his zeal to do religious studies, to understand his Self and human Nature he gave up his chosen profession and followed the calling. He was ordained into priesthood as an adult. He saw the need to lead and dissemination of Zarathushtrian religion to the community in Sweden. He is also actively involved in the progress of the Zarathushtis of the Tajikistan area.


“A presentation of Tajiks and some of their traditions”

Tajikestan is a land of diversity. Diversity in culture, ethnicity and language. Tajiks are obviously the largest ethnic group in Tajikestan with their own history and culture. They have suffered oppression during the Russian domination and have suffered through the downfall of Communism. Their struggle for the identity in the world civilization as a proud Nation goes on. They live through their art and culture. Poetry has been the biggest consolation in hard times as well as happy ones. Ferdowsi, Roudaki and Lahoti are the prides of this nation. They are aware of their ancestral heritage and history. They consider themselves not only as a part of the ancient Iranian nation but their land as the birthplace of our prophet Asho Zarathushta and his religion. Let us try to feel them, know them, accept them and help them as they reach out.


Prof. Almut Hintze (London, England)
Zarathushti Brothers Lecturer in Zoroastrianism
SOAS. University of London

Prof. Almut Hintze holds degrees from the Universities of Heidelberg, Oxford, Erlangen and Berlin. After teaching and researching for six years as Assistant Professor at the Free University of Berlin, she was Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1996) and a Research Fellow at Clare Hall College, Cambridge (1997-2000). From 1998, she has lectured on Zoroastrianism at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where she was appointed Zartoshty Brothers Lecturer in Zoroastrianism in 2000.


"Prophetic and Priestly Authority in Zoroastrianism"


This paper investigates the dual role of Zarathushtra as a prophet and visionary on the one hand, and as a priest and initiator of a new type of ritual worship on the other. On the basis of Gathic passages, it will be argued that Zarathushtra derived his spiritual authority from the revelation received from Ahura Mazda. As a prophet, he provided the devotional model for every Mazdayasnian. As a priest, Zarathushtra established a new type of ritual worship, preserved in the Yasna Haptanhaiti. Zoroastrianism offers the rare, indeed unique example of a religion in which the prophet himself provides the mould and model for the institutionalized priesthood, as indicated by the Avestan priestly title zara˛u˛tr˛t˛ma. All religious authority of later priestly generations derives from the concept that they are in direct spiritual descent of the prophet.


Dr. Pallan Icha poria (U.S.A.)
Dr. Ichaporia has a B.A. in Avesta /Pahlavi from Bombay University, and a doctorate in Business Administration from Oklahoma. He has done post-graduate work in Iranian studies at Columbia University. He is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, member of the American Oriental Society and American Academy of Religion. He has delivered a series of lectures on Yashts as the Government of India Research Scholar at the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute. He has authored Gathas of Asho Zarathushtra and co-authored with Prof. H. Humbach The Heritage of Zarathushtra and Zamyad Yasht of the Younger Avesta. He is Associate Professor teaching Comparative Religions at Alvernia University, Pennsylvania, and is presently involved in joint project with Prof. Humbach on Concordance of the Gathas and with Prof. Panaino and Prof. Malandra editing and translating Dinkerd.


"Religion of Zarathushtra and Rituals”



A religion is a set of beliefs and rituals associated with supreme and supernatural power that shapes and directs human life and commitment to ideas that provides coherence for one's existence. Same can be said about the Religion of Zarathushtra which cannot be separated from its age old rituals and must be taken as whole because Zoroastrianism cannot exist without its profound rituals. The presentation will discuss how Zoroastrian Religion together with its Rituals bind Zoroastrian people into communities with common goals and values.


Ervad Pervez Bajan (India)
Ervad Bajan is a postgraduate (M.A.) in Avesta/Pahlavi Bombay University. A son of Chief Mobed of Mevawala Fire Temple in Mumbai, India, and an ordained priest serving the parsi Zarathushti community for several years. He also holds B.Sc. and L.L.M. degrees from Bombay University, and is currently a senior officer in a leading Bank. Ervad Bajan is a Trustee and Jt. Hon. Secretary of Athornan Mandal, Mumbai, India, and a member of the Governing body of K. R. Cama Oriental Institute. He has been a speaker at various Zarathushti conferences, including, 6th World Zoroastrian Congress, Tehran, 2nd and 3rd Indo-Iranian International Congresses, Parliament of World Religion, Cape Town, S. Africa, and 2nd International Avesta Conference in Calgary, Canada.


Historical Perspective of Zarathushti Rituals - Its Traditional Values, Spiritual Significance and Social relevance to the Past, Present and Future of the Faith.



The Parsis of today profess the ancient religion of Zarathushtra, the renowned sage and prophet of ancient Persia. This religion has survived many disasters and vicissitudes and flourished still, if not in all its pristine vigor and glory, yet with many of its distinctive features preserved practically intact. The repeated conquests of Persia by foreigners, and centuries of persecution and oppression have considerably reduced the number of its adherents. But small though its literature and insignificant the number of its followers, the religion and its ancient customs and rituals possesses certain striking and interesting features, which has always raised the admiration and respect of those who have studied this religion. The paper seeks to investigate the historical perspective and symbolize the moral ideas underlying Zarathusti rituals relevant to the past, present and future of the faith.










© Copyright 1998-2007  PersianDNA  All Rights Reserved.