Yazd, the towers of silence1

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YOU CAN WATCH THIS PRESENTATION IN MUSIC HERE (You have a link on the first slide): http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/michaelasanda-1375732-yazd6/ …

YOU CAN WATCH THIS PRESENTATION IN MUSIC HERE (You have a link on the first slide): http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/michaelasanda-1375732-yazd6/

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On the southern outskirts of Yazd, there are two hilltop circular building, known as Dakhmeh-ye-Zartushtioon or Towers of Silence. To preclude the pollution of earth or fire, the bodies of the dead are placed atop a tower—a tower of silence—and so exposed to the sun and to birds of prey. Thus, "putrefaction with all its concomitant evils... is most effectually prevented.“

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  • În afară de caravanseraiele de tip Drumul Mătăsii sau casa puterii, Yazd-ul este şi centrul religiei zoroastriene, probabil, prima religie monoteistă a lumii, religia vechilor perşi. După cucerirea arabă şi impunerea islamismului, în Iran au supravieţuit credincioşi de-ai lui Ahura Mazda până în ziua de astăzi. E drept, au existat şi perioade de restrişte în urma cărora mulţi au emigrat, mai ales în India, la Mumbai sau Gujarat unde sunt cunoscuţi sub numele de "parşi", mulţi ajungând bogaţi şi celebri. Printre cei mai faimoşi parşi sunt familia Tata, Feroze Gandhi, soţul Indirei Gandhi, Rattanbai Petit, soţia fondatorului Pakistanului Muhammad Ali Jinnah, dar şi Freddie Mercury. În Iran, mai există comunităţi zoroastriene care îşi păstrează credinţele religioase, dar cei mai mulţi dintre ei sunt concentraţi în Yazd unde se află unul din ultimele (dacă nu ultimul) Turnuri ale Tăcerii, unde zoroastrienii sunt aşezaţi după moarte. Zoroastrianismul este o religie foarte ecologistă, una din principalele lor preocupări este să nu polueze. De aceea nu sunt îngropaţi pentru a nu polua pământul şi nici arşi, pentru a nu polua aerul, aşa ca după moarte, corpurile lor sunt lăsate vulturilor pentru a-i devora.
  • Atashkadeh (Fire Temple) The sacred flame of the temple, which is considered to be the symbol of the God of Light, has been burning for the past 3000 years, which makes the place one of the most important fire temples for the Zoroastrians, so that the believers from the whole world come to venerate the sacred and eternal fire. This fire temple is located on a hill in a small garden and is surrounded by evergreen trees. There is also a large round pool in the courtyard, which offers a vivid reflection of the temple for artistic photography. A couple of paintings, including the Zoroaster's, can be pointed out as another attraction of the place. The initiated meet at the fire, but nobody apart form the Grand Priest, who is a descendant of the Magi, has access to the Saint of Saints. There exists a winged figure atop the facade as well. This figure is the visual representation of the supreme god in Zoroastrianism. (Irpedia)
  • Fire temple The fire inside is said to have been burning since about AD470. Visible through a window from the entrance hall, the flame was transferred to Ardakan in 1174, then to Yazd in 1474 and to its present site in 1940. Above the entrance of this building, there is symbolic bird-man symbol of Zoroaster. One hand holds a ring, which symbolizes loyalty, while the other hand is held up to indicate respect. The wings have three layers of feather, reflecting the Zoroastrian belief that you should think, speak and act decently. Address : Kashani St
  • In ancient Iran, construction of Dokhmaa commenced after setting of Fasli Fravardin Mah, i.e. advent of Jamshedi Nowroze which marked beginning of summer. The place selected for Dokhmaa is elevated ground, far from crowds, preferably of isolated state suitable for dwelling of vultures. While on the matter, this bird is gifted by Nature with divine power, which serves to smell and see the corpse from miles away – its massive potential of consumption enables to devour flesh within a few minutes and found to be ever hungry. Secondly, “Khurshed Negirashni”, i.e. sun rays play key role in disposal of dead bodies. The super power of solar energy dries up body in expeditious manner leaving no odour behind. It is with this reasoning that our Dakhmaa remains open from above. The land initially gains sort of three kinds of Nahan at interval of nine days. When the ground is cleaned and wastage burnt, – it gets “Atashi” i.e. fiery Nahan. It then gets purificatory bath in form of sprinkling of “Taro”. After the soil totally dries up, it gets thorough wash which serves as ritual cleaning in form of watery Nahan. The purified area is then completely cordoned with curtains for commencement of ceremonies within the enclosure, thereby preventing a non-Zerthosti’s presence.
  • The ceremonies an observances can be divided into two parts: I. Those that relate to the disposal of the body. II. Those that relate to the good of the soul. For a proper appreciation of the ceremonies of the first kind, one has to look to the Zoroastrian or Parsi ideas of sanitation, segregation, purification , and cleanliness , as expressed in the Vendidad , one of their Avesta Scriptures. To these must be added the idea of simplicity observed in these ceremonies which inculcates a lesson in the mind of the survivors, that, as the Persian poet sings:-- "Death levels everybody, whether he dies as a king on the throne or as a poor man without a bed on the ground." To understand clearly the funeral ceremonies pertaining to the soul, one must look to the notions of the Zoroastrian belief about the future of the soul.
  • The soul of a man thus remains within the precincts of this world for three days. The number three is a sacred number, because it reminds one of the three principal precepts of the Mazdayasnian religion upon which the whole of its moral structure rests. Humata, Hukhta, and Hvarshta, i.e., good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, form as it were a pivot upon which the moral philosophy of the Zoroastrian religion turns. Think of nothing but the truth, speak nothing but the truth, and do nothing but what is right, and you are saved. Your good thoughts, good words, and good deeds will be your saviors in the next world. Therefore, it is, that, three days after death, the soul of a man directs itself towards the paradise with three steps of Humata, Hukhta, and Hvarshta. On the other hand, the soul of a wicked man directs itself to hell with three steps of Dushmata, Duzhukhta, and Duzhvarshta, i.e., evil thoughts, evil words, and evil actions.

Transcript

  • 1. http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/michaelasanda-1375732-yazd6/
  • 2. On the southern outskirts of Yazd, there are two hilltop circular building, known as Dakhmeh-ye-Zartushtioon or Towers of Silence. La periferia sudică a oraşului Yazd există două enorme turnuri circulare construite pe vârful celor două coline, cunoscute sub numele de Dakhmeh-ye-Zartushtioon sau turnurile tăcerii.Recognized by UNESCO as holding one of theoldest architecture all over the world Internet images
  • 3. Zoroastrians have always been populous inYazd. Even now roughly ten percent of thetowns population adhere to this ancientreligion, and though their Atashkadeh (FireTemple) was turned into a mosque whenArabs invaded Iran, a dignified new firetemple was inaugurated thirteen hundredyears later.Adepţii Zoroastrismului au fost totdeaunanumeroşi în Yazd, chiar şi acum depăşind10% din populaţie. Templul lor a fosttransformat în moschee de către invadatoriiarabi şi abia după 1300 de ani au putut să-şi
  • 4. Zoroastrianism (or Mazdaism) is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster (also known asZarathustra, in Avestan) and was formerly among the worlds largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the6th century BCE in Greater Iran.Zoroastrismul, una dintre primele religii monoteiste din lume, este o religie veche a popoarelor din Asia Centrală, Iran șiAzerbaidjan, caracterizată prin dualismul binelui și răului, religie fondată la începutul mileniului 2 î.Hr. de profetul persanZarathustra (Zoroastru).
  • 5. Zoroastrian tradition considers a dead body—in addition to cut hair and nail-parings—to be nasu, unclean, i.e. potential pollutants.Specifically, the corpse demon (Avestan: nasu.daeva) was believed to rush into the body and contaminate everything it came intocontact with, hence the Vendidad (an ecclesiastical code "given against the demons") has rules for disposing of the dead as"safely" as possible.Zoroastrismul consideră cadavrele - ca şi părul tăiat sau unghiile – impure (nasu) şi deci contaminante, poluante. În specialdemonul cadavrelor (Avestan: nasu.daeva) poate contamina tot ce intră în contact cu el până când Vendidad, codul ecleziasticcuprins în marele compendiu Avesta, s-a împlinit pentru a face cadavrul cât mai puţin nociv posibil.
  • 6. Constructions for ritual death and mourning customsConstrucţii destinate ceremoniilor şi riturilor de pregătire şi jelire a morţilor
  • 7. To preclude the pollution of earth or fire (see Zam and Atar respectively), the bodies of the dead are placed atop a tower—atower of silence—and so exposed to the sun and to birds of prey. Thus, "putrefaction with all its concomitant evils... is mosteffectually prevented.“Pentru a exclude poluarea pământului sau a focului (sacru) cadavrele sunt aşezate în aşa numitele turnuri ale tăcerii, expusela soare şi oferite vulturilor ca hrană. În acest fel „putrefacţia, cu toate relele sale” este prevenită cel mai de eficient
  • 8. In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from Him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good andevil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it.În zoroastrism, Creatorul Ahura Mazda este creatorul binelui, şi nimic din ce e rău nu provine de le el. Astfel, în Zoroastrismbinele şi răul au surse diferite, răul (druj), încearcând să distrugă creaţia lui Mazda (Asha), iar binele încearcă să o susţină.
  • 9. The earliest reference to ritual exposure comes from Herodotus (Histories i.140), where the historiographer describes the ritesto have been secret, and "vaguely" that these first occurred after the body had been dragged around by a dog or bird. Further,the Magi (a term that eventually came to signify a Zoroastrian priest but may not have meant that in Herodotus time) practicedthis quite openly, before they finally embalmed the corpse with wax and laid it in a trenchCea mai veche referinţă despre ritualul expunerii cadavrelor vine de la Herodot (Istorii i.140), unde descrie riturile secrete alemagilor (preoţii zoroastrieni)
  • 10. While general exposure of the dead isattested from earliest accounts, the ritualcustoms surrounding that practice appear tofirst date to the Sassanid era (3rd — 7thcentury CE). They are known in detail fromthe supplement to the Sayest ne Sayest, thetwo Rivayat collections, and the twoSaddars. The use of towers is first attestedin the 16th centuryÎn timp ce expunerea generală a morţiloreste atestată din cele mai vechi timpuri,obiceiurile rituale privind aceste practici aparprima dată în epoca Sassanidă (sec3lea-7lea). Ele sunt cunoscute în detaliu fiindpublicate. Folosirea turnurilor este atestatăpentru prima dată în secolul 16
  • 11. In the Iranian Zoroastrian tradition, the towers were built atop hills or low mountains in desert locations distant from populationcenters. In the early twentieth century, the Iranian Zoroastrians gradually discontinued their use and began to favour burial orcremation.
  • 12. In Zoroastrianism, water (apo, aban) and fire (atar, adar) are agents of ritual purity,and the associated purification ceremonies are considered the basis of ritual life.În zoroastrism, apa (apo, aban) şi focul (atar, Adar), sunt factori de puritate rituală,iar ceremoniile de purificare asociate lor sunt considerate baza vieţii rituale.
  • 13. The soul of a man thus remains within the precincts of this world for three days. The number three is a sacred number,because it reminds one of the three principal precepts of the Mazdayasnian religion upon which the whole of its moralstructure rests. Humata, Hukhta, and Hvarshta, i.e., good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, form as it were a pivotupon which the moral philosophy of the Zoroastrian religion turns. Think of nothing but the truth, speak nothing but the truth,and do nothing but what is right, and you are saved. Your good thoughts, good words, and good deeds will be your saviors inthe next world.
  • 14. Therefore, it is, that, three days after death, the soul of a man directs itself towards the paradise with three steps of Humata,Hukhta, and Hvarshta. On the other hand, the soul of a wicked man directs itself to hell with three steps of Dushmata,Duzhukhta, and Duzhvarshta, i.e., evil thoughts, evil words, and evil actions.
  • 15. Water reservoirs, or ab anbars as they are locally known, form the terminal end of extensive traditionalwater supply systems that make urban settlements possible in the Kavir desert region of Central Iran.Rezervoarele de apă numite ab anbar de localnici sunt terminalele unor tradiţionale sisteme de aducţiunea apei care au făcut posibilă existenţa aşezărilor umane în regiunea deşertică din centrul Iranului.
  • 16. The typical ab anbar consists of four key elements: the underground reservoir, thepasheer or platform, the dome, and the badgir or wind catcher shafts.Un ab anbar tipic este format din patru elemente: rezervorul subteran, platforma,domul şi turnul vântului (badgir)
  • 17. The semi-circular brick lined dome, visually much alike a Buddhist stupa, haveescape vents in the center to cool water by air convection while protecting it from dustand other pollution.Domul semicircular căptuşit cu cărămidă care pare mai degrabă o stupă budistă areguri de ventilaţie pentru răcirea apei prin convecţia aerului şi asigură protecţiaîmpotriva prafului şi a altor forme de poluare
  • 18. Iran Text: Internet Pictures: Sanda Foişoreanu Nicoleta Leu Arangement: Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasandaSound: Hanoozam - Very sad iranian song