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Mazda Zoro Talk


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Mazda Zoro Talk

  1. 1. Zoroastrianism: A Thumbnail Sketch Farrokh Mistree <> 404-325-3300
  2. 2. Zoroastrianism – For the Lay Person <ul><li>Zoroastrianism is the religion in which God is viewed as Lord of Wisdom, Humans are given Choice and Free Will and are enjoined through the exercise of Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds to help Good triumph over Evil. </li></ul>&quot;Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.&quot; - Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979, p. 1) &quot;Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence....” - Mary Boyce, Op. Cit. p. 29.
  3. 3. Zoroastrianism - Background <ul><li>PROPHET – Zarathushtra … 1600 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>BIRTHPLACE - Somewhere near the Aral sea in ancient Iran </li></ul><ul><li>HISTORY </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zoroastrianism became the official religion of ancient Iran. Persecution by Muslims in 652 CE lead to emigration of a small number of believers to India in 936 CE. The religion has flourished in India. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NUMBER </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Total 130,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iran 35,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>North America 20,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.K. & Europe 5,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pakistan 4,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Australasia 1,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>India 65,000 </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. From: Zoroastrianism – An Ethnic Perspective by Khojeste Mistree, 1982 India Iran Saudi Arabia Aral Sea Khazahistan China Khirgistan Turkey Iraq Afghanistan Pakistan Israel Syria Egypt
  5. 5. The Zarathushti People <ul><li>Zoroastrianism: Religion of the people of the Iranian plateau from 6 th Century BCE to 7 th Century CE. </li></ul><ul><li>Past Luminary: Cyrus the Great … introduced the first Charter of Rights in History, and freed the Jewish people from captivity in Babylon. Xerxes & Esther … </li></ul><ul><li>Present Luminary: Zubin Mehta the music conductor. </li></ul><ul><li>Arab conquest of Persia: Many Zarathushtis were massacred, many were forced to convert to Islam, some escaped to safe havens in Iran and some fled to other countries, ranging from China and India in the East to Central Europe in the West. This migration constituted the first diaspora. </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome of the first disapora: Of all the descendents of Zarathushtis, two small pockets managed to survive. One remaining in central parts of present day Iran, and the other were the Zarathushti migrants to the West coast of India, known as Parsees. </li></ul><ul><li>Current situation: Today fewer than 135,000 are scattered around the globe. The majority still live in India and Iran, however, Zarathushtis can be found as far a field as Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, UAE, a few East Africans countries, and South Africa, many of the European countries as well as the United Kingdom, Canada & the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>North America: A number of Zarathushti professionals immigrated from India and Pakistan to North America for higher education and stayed. A number of Zarathushtis from Iran emigrated to North America after the Iranian revolution. It is estimated that there are around 20,000 Zarathushtis in NA. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Zarathushtra ~ 1600BCE <ul><li>Ahura Mazda - Lord of Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Battle between Good and Evil </li></ul><ul><li>Good will Triumph over Evil </li></ul>
  7. 7. Zoroastrian Doctrine <ul><li>Ahura Mazda </li></ul><ul><li>Lord of Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>A Way of Life </li></ul><ul><li>How do we live this life? Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds </li></ul><ul><li>What is the basis for determining “Good”? The Amesha Spentas. </li></ul>
  8. 8. God in Zoroastrianism <ul><li>AHURA MAZDA ... LORD OF WISDOM </li></ul><ul><li>1 God Is Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>2 God Is The Creator </li></ul><ul><li>3 God Is The First One => God Is Uncreated. No Beginning - No End And Therefore Cannot Be Destroyed...Is Immortal </li></ul><ul><li>4 God Is Omniscient => God Knows Everything </li></ul><ul><li>5 God Is Good And Perfect And Is Totally Good </li></ul><ul><li>6 God Is Eternal => Wisdom Is Eternal </li></ul><ul><li>7 God Is Virtuous </li></ul><ul><li>8 God Is Very Powerful And Mighty.. But Not All-powerful Almighty </li></ul><ul><li>9 God Is Our Friend </li></ul><ul><li>10 God Grows In Power...Through The Cumulative Power Of One’s Good Thoughts, Words And Deeds </li></ul>
  9. 9. God in Zoroastrianism - Paradigms <ul><li>The world is created by the one, eternal, all-knowing God ...Ahura Mazda ... who is wholly wise, good and just. </li></ul><ul><li>God is very mighty but not almighty...God grows through the cumulative power of our thoughts words and deeds. In this way we strengthen the power of God who, at the end of time, will be truly almighty ... when evil is vanquished by the possessors of the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>God is never to be feared. He is our ally. God is perfect and totally good. We are asked to serve God through a rational ethical structure rather than through the process of instinctive worship or blind faith. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Duality – The Concept of Good and Evil <ul><li>God’s creative and motivating spirit upholds the foremost principles of existence - those that are good and life enhancing whereas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the evil spirit, diametrically opposed to the good one, came into a transient existence in the relative world as the destroyer as well as the agency of excess and deficiency. Therefore evil is a deviation from the golden mean. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The concept of duality is founded upon the intrinsic contrasting natures of two opposing forces in the relative world. This does not mean we worship two spirits which are hostile to each other. We only worship the good spirit and always try and fight the evil spirit in thought, word, and deed. </li></ul><ul><li>The role of humans in this cosmic struggle is to assist Ahura Mazda by bringing about the eventual triumph of the force for good over the force for evil - for light is the triumph over darkness. We assist Ahura Mazda through the ethical power of cumulative good thoughts, good words and good deeds. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Nature of Evil <ul><li>Evil is the corruption of good resulting in all the imperfections of the relative world. Imperfections cannot come from God - one who is both perfect and good. </li></ul><ul><li>Evil is everything that is abhorrent to the good creation. </li></ul><ul><li>Evil is responsible for all the discord and destruction in the world. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Gatha Yasna 34.8 <ul><li>Ahura Mazda is the first and the last … </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra recognizes through the Mind that Ahura Mazda is the first and the last one. (Nothing can exist before Wisdom.) </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra recognizes that Ahura Mazda is the creator [father] of the Good Mind and of Truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra recognizes that Ahura Mazda is responsible for the deeds of being (existence). </li></ul><ul><li>Role of humans in this cosmic struggle … </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Seven Amesha Spentas <ul><li>The qualities of the Amesha Spentas exemplify: </li></ul><ul><li>Wisdom, Spenta Mainyu, </li></ul><ul><li>the Good Mind, Vohu Manah, </li></ul><ul><li>Truth, Asha Vahishta, </li></ul><ul><li>Power, Khashtra Vairya, </li></ul><ul><li>Devotion, Spenta Armaiti, </li></ul><ul><li>Completeness, and Haurvatat, and </li></ul><ul><li>Immortality. Ameretat. </li></ul><ul><li>These seven Amesha Spentas contribute to every, single facet of a Zoroastrian’s life thereby guiding his/her thoughts, word and action. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Amesha Spentas - Attributes of Ahura Mazda <ul><li>Gatha Yasna 47.1 </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Through a virtuous spirit and the best thinking, through both the action and the word befitting truth, they shall grant completeness and immortality to Him. The Wise One in rule is the Lord through piety&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra recognizes that through the Virtuous Spirit (Spenta Mainyu) and the Best Mind (Vohu Manah) shall come Perfection (Haurvatat) and Immortality (Ameratat). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Through good deeds and words anchored in Truth (Asha) will emerge Ahura Mazda’s dominion (Khshathtra). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Piety (Armaiti) is intrinsic to Ahura Mazda . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Gatha Yasna 30.2 <ul><li>Two choices … </li></ul><ul><li>Observe: Listen with your ears to the to the best things. </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect: Reflect with a clear mind for yourself upon the two choices offered. </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate: Be sure to let Ahura Mazda know of your preference to Him before day of judgment (great retribution). </li></ul><ul><li>The Observe-Reflect-Articulate (ORA) mode of learning was enunciated 3500 years ago. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Gatha Yasna 30.2 Commentary <ul><li>Free will is given by God to us - it is our right. It is to be used judiciously within an ethical framework laid down by the prophet himself. His seven principles were recognized as the task force of the Wise Lord - and later they came to be known as the Amesha Spentas or bounteous immortals. Each of the Amesha Spentas represents a specific quality which forms part of the ethical framework. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Gatha Yasna 35.5 <ul><li>We delegate the power… </li></ul><ul><li>We offer our power to the best Ruler [Khshatra], Lord of Wisdom [Ahura Mazda], and to the Best Truth [Asha Vahishta]. </li></ul><ul><li>We commit our power to the best Ruler, to Ahura Mazda, and to the Best Truth. </li></ul><ul><li>We delegate our power to the best Ruler, to Ahura Mazda, and to the Best Truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Note: We offer, then commit resources and with this empower people. </li></ul><ul><li>A role of an individual in a group setting … </li></ul>
  18. 18. Gatha Yasna 38.1 <ul><li>The practitioners respect women. </li></ul><ul><li>The practitioners worship this earth and the women who bear them. </li></ul><ul><li>The practitioners honor those women who are linked to Ahura Mazda. </li></ul><ul><li>The practitioners honor those women who are worthy and have been chosen in accordance with the Truth. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Gatha Yasna 28.2 <ul><li>Mind and Matter required for Bliss </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra asks Wisdom to grant him both physical and mental attainments. How can these be tied together? Through Truth. </li></ul><ul><li>One serves Ahura Mazda using the Good Mind </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize connection between the Good Mind and Matter based on Truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Matter and mind are to be founded in Truth that in turn will give bliss. </li></ul><ul><li>Bliss: Internal peace ... internal tranquility ... higher than happiness. Mind and body in harmony leads to happiness. </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarship … integrity … words have meaning … </li></ul>
  20. 20. Gatha Yasna 49.3 <ul><li>Truth has to be saved … . </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra recognizes through his communication with Ahura Mazda that the Truth has been fated to be saved. </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra recognizes that deceit is to be destroyed and the company of deceitful people is to be shunned. </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushtra seeks an alliance with the Good Mind in order to banish the deceitful ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarship … educating others … mentoring … scaffolding learning </li></ul>
  21. 21. Gatha Yasna 35.2 <ul><li>Good thoughts, words and deeds. </li></ul><ul><li>We are the practitioners of good thoughts, good words and good actions. </li></ul><ul><li>We are the practitioners of good deeds past and present. </li></ul><ul><li>We are those who do not attack good things </li></ul><ul><li>Critical analysis and critical thinking skills </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Soul and the Body <ul><li>The health of the body and soul are dependent on each other. It is sinful to deny the body for sake of the soul and vice versa. The right path is that of right action ... that which holds the body and soul in balance … the evil spirit constantly tries to drive a wedge between the soul (the spiritual world) and the body (physical world). A Zoroastrian is not this worldly or other worldly, but both worldly. An understanding and harmony of the physical world is the key to spiritual sustenance. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Hereafter <ul><li>Death is the temporary triumph of evil over good. A totally good and perfect being like Mazda cannot be held responsible for any destruction or cessation of life. If God was responsible for such an act he would cease to be totally good and perfect. </li></ul><ul><li>The soul is judged at the bridge of the separator. If judged righteous, then the soul moves to the house of song. If judged wicked, the soul relegates itself temporarily to the house of deceit. </li></ul><ul><li>Every time good triumphs over evil, God is made that much more powerful. At the end of time, the last judgment of all the souls will take place followed by the resurrection of man who once again will be re-united with a now-perfect body and soul. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Summary <ul><li>1. We are God’s finest creation and God is our ally and friend. </li></ul><ul><li>2. God is wisdom and the greatest gift of God to man is the mind. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Our role is to do good and thereby eventually defeat evil. We must recognize the ethical and moral dimensions of life and contribute to the wellbeing of other creatures and the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>4. The mind enables us to comprehend intellectually and discern correctly. We have been given free will - the right to choose between doing good and evil. This makes each of us responsible individually for our actions in the relative world. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Good is not defined explicitly. </li></ul><ul><li>6. It is sinful to deny the body for the sake of the soul and vice versa. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Our credo: good thoughts, good words, good deeds </li></ul>
  25. 26. Zarathushti Language and Texts <ul><li>Zarathushti scriptures are to be found in two main Iranian languages, Avestan and Pahlavi. </li></ul><ul><li>Avestan is the language of Zarathushtra’s revelations which were passed down orally, for nearly 2,000 years before the Avestan alphabet was invented by an unknown genius, and then transmitted through the written form during the 5th century CE. </li></ul><ul><li>Zarathushti prayers like the Yasna (which includes the Gathas ), Yashts, Nyaishes, Visperad and Vendidad are in the original Avestan language which, is the language used for liturgical purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>Pahlavi, is a Middle Persian language, which developed from the Old Persian language. Old Persian was immortalized by the Achaemenian kings through their rock inscriptions in cuneiform script, between the 6th and the 4th centuries BCE. A number of scholastic texts like the Bundahishn, Arda Viraz Namaq, the Denkard, Epistles of Manuschir, Dadestan-I-Diniq and Shayast-ne-Shayast were all compiled in the Pahlavi language between the 6th and 9th centuries CE. There are very few prayers in Pahlavi. </li></ul><ul><li>Today Zarathushtis from Iran speak Farsi (New Persian) and Dari within the community and English. The Parsees are generally bilingual, as they speak Gujarati and English. </li></ul>
  26. 27. Zarathushti Festivals <ul><li>NORUZ </li></ul><ul><li>The most important celebration in the Zarathushti calendar is NoRuz – New Day. This festival is linked to fire, the seventh creation of Ahura Mazda and heralds the beginning of spring. It represents the annual resurgence of life and is seen to be a day of renewal and joy. According to the texts, Rapithwan , the Lord of Noon, is said to emerge from underneath the earth after the cold winter months. Rapithwan is believed to keep the seeds warm and the waters flowing in preparation for the emergence of life with the advent of spring, the beginning of which is marked by the spring NoRuz festival. On this Noruz , a special table is laid out, by the Iranian Zarathushtis. The table is laden with food and other religious symbols and kept in their homes for several days. </li></ul><ul><li>GAHAMBARS </li></ul><ul><li>Every year, Zarathushtis celebrate the six gahambar festivals which are linked to the six creations with fire, the seventh creation being linked to NoRuz – the New Day. There are also gahambars (community dinners) which are institutionalized by the laity, in memory of the dead. Traditional food is served to both the rich and the poor, during the gahambar festivals, in order to imbibe the spirit of oneness within the community. </li></ul>
  27. 28. Zarathushti Fire Temples <ul><li>Since ancient times, fire has been associated with Order and Truth. In the Zarathushti religion, fire, the seventh creation is praised and venerated as it represents truth, purity and goodness. </li></ul><ul><li>IRAN – In early Iran, the Zarathushtis had no permanent fire temples but each home had its own hearth fire, which was tended and propitiated. During the reign of the Zarathushti King Artaxerxes II (404-359 BCE.), the fire temples were introduced in order to discourage the growing cult and worship of the water divinity, Ardevi sura Anahita. Ruins of these fire temples can still be seen in Iran today, at Nishapur and Takht-e-Suleiman. </li></ul><ul><li>The two oldest sacred fires in Iran are housed in the village of Sharifabad and in the city of Yazd. In Sharifabad, Adur Farnbag, one of the three great ceremonial fires, originally established on a hill in the province of Fars has been united with the sacred fire of Ishtakr, which was the Royal Sassanian fire. The other exalted fire is the Atash Behram fire housed in the city of Yazd, which is the ecclesiastical centre of Zarathushtis, in Iran. </li></ul>
  28. 29. Zarathushti Fire Temples … contd. <ul><li>INDIA </li></ul><ul><li>The largest community of Zarathushtis, known in India as the Parsees, built a number of fire temples with great rapidity, in direct proportion to the wealth they made. Today, there are eight cathedral fires ( Atash Behrams ) and over a hundred fire temples all over India. </li></ul><ul><li>The oldest cathedral fire in India, is in the village of Udwada in Gujarat, some 190 km north of Bombay. This fire has been continuously burning for over 750 years. According to Zarathushti history, the Iranian priests from Khorasan (a province in the north-east of Iran), brought with them the implements and sacred embers which were used to build this great fire in order to maintain the ritual continuity and link with the great sacred fires of Iran. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Three Zarathushti Ceremonies <ul><li>THE INITIATION CEREMONY- NAVJOTE </li></ul><ul><li>The navjote ceremony is the initiation of a Zarathushti child into the faith. During this ritual, a child is invested with a sacred under-vest ( sudreh which is seen to be the good path) and a sacred cord ( kushti which is seen to be the direction finder). The sudreh which is seen as the garment of the Good Mind is made of fine white muslin and is meant to remind the wearer of using the mind in one’s daily endeavor to stay on the good path. The kushti is made of 72 strands of lambs’ wool, which represents the Yasna liturgy and is woven into a hollow cord, which is symbolic of both the physical and spiritual worlds. A Zarathushti is required to wear the cord around the waist and over the sudreh . The kushti is meant to be tied and retied while reciting prayers, as the direction finder ( kushti ) redirects man onto the advantageous path. It is after the navjote ceremony that a child is considered to be responsible for one’s own thoughts, words and actions. </li></ul>
  30. 31. Three Zarathushti Ceremonies … contd. <ul><li>THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage, in Zarathushti religion is both a contract as well as a sacrament. The act of union is seen as righteous act, which makes the earth feel joyous and happy. Prior to the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom separately have to undergo a purification ceremony which includes a ritual bath, in order to receive the divine blessings of the Zarathushti tradition. The priest chants prayers for the purification of the souls of the couple, while the bath is being undertaken. During the marriage ceremony, the priests invoke the blessings of Ahura Mazda and the Amesha Spentas for a happy married life, with many children, lots of friends and good health. </li></ul><ul><li>THE JASHAN </li></ul><ul><li>The jashan is a Zarathushti thanksgiving ceremony, which re-enacts the moment of creation. It is usually performed on festival days and on auspicious occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries or when moving into a new home. In this ceremony, all the seven Bounteous Immortals are invoked in a prescribed format aimed at recreating the harmony at the time of creation. The laity attending this ceremony is meant to experience an inexplicable harmony of joy and wellbeing in both physical and spiritual worlds. </li></ul>
  31. 32. References <ul><li>Mistree, K.P., 1982, Zoroastrianism: An Ethnic Perspective, Zoroastrian Studies Publishers, Bombay, India. Available from Zoroastrian Studies <> </li></ul><ul><li>Mistree, K.P and Shahzadi, Mobed F.S., The Zarathushti Religion: A Basic Text. Published by FEZANA, Hinsdale, Illinois, 1998. . ISBN 0-9666985-0-9 </li></ul>
  32. 33. A Zoroastrian Tapestry <ul><li>A Zoroastrian Tapestry: Art, Religion and Culture, (Pheroza J. Godrej, and Firoza Punthakey Mistree, Eds.), Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., India. ISBN 81-85822-71-9 </li></ul><ul><li>Includes an extensive bibliography on doctrine, practice, belief, art and culture; Pages 727-733 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  33. 34. Selected Bibliography <ul><li>Doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>Helmut Humbach and Pallan Ichaporia, The Heritage of Zarathushtra: A New Translation of His Gathas, University of Heidelberg Press, 1994. ISBN 3-8253-02151-2 </li></ul><ul><li>Dastur Firoze M. Kotwal and James W. Boyd, A Guide to the Zoroastrian Religion, Harvard University Center for World Religions, 1982. ISBN 0-89130-573-4 </li></ul><ul><li>Beliefs and Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Rutledge and Keegan Paul Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-7100-0121-5 </li></ul><ul><li>Jivanji J. Modi, The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees, 1986. Available from Zoroastrian Studies <> </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting Commentaries </li></ul><ul><li>Jamshed K. Choksey, Evil. Good and Gender: Facets of the Feminine in Zoroastrian Religious History, Peter Land Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-8204-5664-0 </li></ul><ul><li>Jamshed K. Choksey, Purity and Pollution in Zoroastrianism, University of Texas Press, 1989. ISBN 0-292-7902-4 </li></ul><ul><li>Synopsis </li></ul><ul><li>John R. Hinnells, Zoroastrianism and the Parsis, Ward Lock Educational, 1981. ISBN 0-7062-3973-3Available from Zoroastrian Studies <> </li></ul>
  34. 35. <ul><li>The owner provides the complete text of the extant Avesta , the most ancient scriptures of Zoroastrianism, as well as many Pahlavi scriptures. He also includes information about the Avestan language, and other useful information for students of Zoroastrian religion. </li></ul>
  35. 36. FEZANA – Links - <ul><li>Visit the FEZANA Website </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Visit FEZANA Links </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>for information on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ZARATHUSHTI (ZOROASTRIAN) RELIGION </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ZARATHUSHTI ORGANIZATIONS WORLDWIDE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ZARATHUSHTI CULTURE & HISTORY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ZARATHUSHTI BUSINESS & COMMERCE </li></ul></ul>
  36. 37. Farrokh Mistree <> <ul><li>As an educator, Farrokh is committed helping to educate the Zoroastrian community – especially children. He established and taught Zoroastrian Sunday School in Sydney, Australia (1974-80), Houston (1981-1992) and Atlanta (1993-2001). Both the Sydney and Houston Sunday Schools have served as a focal point for their communities with diverse activities growing around the Sunday School, for example, in Houston, there are or have been sessions for pre-Navjote children to learn the prayers, a youth group for teen-agers, adult reading and discussion groups and sporting activities. In Sydney, there is a library, Gujrati classes, cooking classes, a mother’s group, etc. Farrokh has developed extensive material that he has used in Sunday School classes and he plans to turn this into a children’s book when he retires. Both the Sydney (in 2002) and Houston (in 1992) Zoroastrian communities have recognized Farrokh’s contributions over the years. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1976-1980 Farrokh was the Chair of the Building Fund Committee of the Australian Zoroastrian Association, Sydney, Australia. By March 1981, Sydney had its first Dar-e-Meher. In Houston, Farrokh was a member of the Building Fund for the Zoroastrian Association of Houston, 1988-1992 – the Houston Zarathushti Heritage and Cultural Center came into being in 1998. </li></ul><ul><li>Farrokh has been active in FEZANA and is serving his second term as Assistant Secretary for the FEZANA Executive and Board (May 2002 to May 2006). Farrokh has been an active member of the FEZANA World Body Working Group (2001 to 2003). Farrokh was a member of the FEZANA Awards Committee from 1995-1998 and held the position of FEZANA Parliamentarian July 1996, October 1997 and July 1998. </li></ul><ul><li>Farrokh is the editor and compositor of the book: Mistree, K. P. and Shahzadi, F., The Zarathushti Religion: A Basic Text, FEZANA, Hinsdale, Illinois, 1998. ISBN 0-9666985-0-9. </li></ul><ul><li>Farrokh is a professor of mechanical engineering. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>