Passage of the Parsi into Hindusthan – Lessons

It appears common amongst Hindus to assume an unbridgeable and deep chasm between Hindu and non-Hindu religious systems and their carriers. Many a time such an understanding is obviously right. However, there are other times when it is not so right after all. Importantly, it is realistic and well grounded assessments made by caretakers of Hindu polity; appropriate and timely actions taken by them that have averted possible future disasters.

A very important event that occurred in this country’s relatively recent history was the self imposed exile of Zoroastrians from a Persia conquered by Islam, into Hindusthan. This event should be important, I think, to Hindu Nationalists not just because of the fact that Hindusthan became home to a beautiful and peaceful race that had lost its own home to Muslim invaders, but because of the manner in which their entre’ into Hindusthan was handled by the first Hindu king and kingdom these exiles encountered. In the following narration taken from The Qissa-i Sanjan , an account of the flight of the Parsis to Hindusthan, the reader cannot fail to notice the compassion, yet seriousness with which King Jadi Rana views these unexpected and strange guests. It must be astounding for a modern and proud Hindu (don’t miss the irony), reared on a poisonous liberal diet of non-discrimination and love for multi-culturalism for its own sake, to think that one of his old kings should have laid down the conditions he did, keeping in mind the safety and health of his realm.

It’s possible to argue that Zoroastrians have been our cousins and not that different after all. The point is not that but the good King’s reasoning and presence of mind which, there is no reason to suppose he would not have applied to any other foreign immigrant people, including Muslims and Christians.

The hope is that modern, proud Hindus disabusing themselves of false liberal premises, quickly imbibe important lessons from this and such episodes in our nation’s history and help avoid blunders that have been and are being committed.

Please read the portions I thought were so relevant –

In that region was a virtuous Raja who had opened his heart (lit. head) to holiness. His name was Jádi Rana; he was liberal, sagacious, and wise. A Dastur renowned for learning and prudence went to him with gifts and invoked blessings upon him and said: “O Raja of Rajas, give us a place in this city: we are strangers seeking protection who have arrived in thy town and place of residence. We have come here only for the sake of our Religion, for we heard that there was in this place a Raja descended from the beneficent Shillahras,—–23 ever renowned throughout Hindustan, who gave people shelter in his town and kingdom and regarded them with the eye of compassion. We were cheered by these tidings (lit. thoughts) and have approached thee under favourable auspices. We have now reached thy city in the hope of escaping from the Miscreants.” The hearts of all the followers (lit. men) of the virtuous Raja were gladdened and their souls charmed by these words. But when that prince beheld them—–24, a terror suddenly fell upon his heart. Fears for his crown entered his mind and [he thought] that they might lay waste his kingdom. Frightened by their dress and accoutrements, he questioned the Dastur about their religious mysteries (lit. inner secrets). “O thou devout Dastur”, he at last said, “Tell us, first of all, the gist of the matter (lit. the secret of the business). What are the customs of your Creed, which of them are open and which concealed—–25? Let me first of all see what your beliefs are and we will then arrange for your residence here. Secondly, if we give you shelter, you must abandon the language of your country, disuse (lit. cast aside) the tongue of Iran and adopt the speech of the realm of Hind. Thirdly, as to the dress of your women, they should wear garments like those of our females. Fourthly, you must put off all your arms and simitars and cease to wear them anywhere. Fifthly, when your children are wedded, the marriage knot must be tied at evening time. If you first give a solemn promise to observe all this, you will be given places and abodes in my city.” When the Dastur heard all this from the Raja, he could not help agreeing to all his demands.—–26

Then the old Mobed addressed him thus, “O sagacious king, hearken now to what I say of our Creed. Do not be heavy-hearted on our account, for never shall any evil [deed] proceed from us in this land. We shall be the friends of all Hindustan and everywhere scatter the heads of thy foes. Know then for certain that we are the worshippers of Yazdan (One God) and have fled from the Miscreants only for our religion’s sake. We have abandoned all we possessed and borne many hardships on the road. Houses and mansions and goods and chattels we have all forsaken, O auspicious prince. We strangers are of the seed of Jamshed and reverence the Sun and the Moon. Three other things also out of Creation—–27, we hold in honour, viz. the Cow, Fire, and Water. Thus we adore the Fire, Water, Cows, and the Sun and the Moon likewise. It is the Lord who has created all those things that are on earth and we pray to them, because He Himself has preferred (lit. chosen) them.—–28 Our sacred girdle (Kusti) is made of seventy-two threads and we repeat (lit. make) when we tie it on, solemn professions of Faith. Our women when in their manner behold not either the sun or the sky or the moon, because they are the sources of light in excelsis; nor do they touch fire or water. They stand strictly aloof from everything, whether during the radiant day or the darksome night and sit apart, until the catamenia have ceased. They look at the fire and the sun only when they have washed from head [to foot]. So also, the female who gives birth to an infant must live apart for forty days. She ought to keep aloof [all the while] just as if she were in her manner and if this rule is not observed, it is vile. [Similarly], when a child is born of a woman before its time (lit. in a few months only) or when the babe is still-born, the mother (lit. she) does not [among us] go or run about hither and thither, nay does not even hold converse with any one. A female in that state also must keep severely aloof for forty-one days.” All their other rites and customs also he described one by one to the Raja. When the mysteries of the Good Faith were thus expounded and the pearls of discourse strung in this most elegant manner, and when the Hindu Raja heard the oration, his mind regained perfect ease.

That good king forthwith commanded that they should reside in his dominions. Then some persons who were intelligent, good-natured and resourceful surveyed the land, discovered a spacious plain and informed the Mobed. A spot in this wilderness was chosen, of which the soil was excellent and there they made their abode. The people also liked the place and a city appeared where there had formerly been a jungle, desolate and uncultivated, but there they all descended, old as well as young. When the Dastur beheld that fine spot, he chose a site for their dwellings. The Dastur gave it the name of Sanjan and it was soon flourishing even as the realm of Iran. From that day the surname Sanjana came into vogue; know that the town is named after them.—–29 There they remained in joy and comfort and every one prospered in the end according to his wish.

One day,—–30 they happened to have some business with the Raja, and all of them went with cheerful hearts (lit. thoughts) to him. The Dastur then addressed him thus: “O Prince, you have given us a dwelling spot in this land. We now wish to install in the Indian clime the Fire of Bahram [Warharan]. [But] the land must be cleared for three farsangs,—–31 so that the ceremonies [connected with the consecration] of the Nirang—–32 may be duly performed. No alien should be there present, save and except the Wise Men of the Good Faith. No person belonging to another creed might be there. Then only will the Fire be consecrated. If any strange person make a noise there, the religious rites will doubtless, be all of a sudden interrupted.” Quoth the Raja then, “I have given you the permission. I am disposed to be very liberal in this matter. I rejoice (lit. prefer, choose) with all my soul that such a Prince (shâh) should be installed in my time. Indeed O sage, than this [act] what can be better? Go then speedily after his business, and gird up thy loins.” That very instant, the Prince issued his commands and gave the Dastur a pleasant site. The Hindu Rana Jadi had the land at once cleared on every side. All the Unbelievers within three Farsangs were removed and no one remained there except the People of the Good Faith. No one dwelt around within three Farsangs of it, and no one stayed there save Zoroastrians (lit. men) of knowledge. Round the Aurvisgâh,—–33 on all sides [stood] Dasturs, every one of whom shone, in virtue of his sanctity, like the sun himself. They watched there day and night, for to do so was the command of the Lord. In those days, they were all men full of knowledge and capable in matters relating to the Faith. For several days and months they recited Yazashnes [Yasnas] and Yashts and worked with great energy. The laymen also were preoccupied in the business and provided, out of [their zeal for] the Faith, all various things necessary. The Prince Jádi Rana also sent offerings of every sort. In those days, all the arts and industries (lit. workshops) were in the hands of the People of the Good Faith. Things were everywhere easy for them for they had brought along with them all the tools (or means) from Khorasan. With all those resources derived from Khorasan, they were able to accomplish their task without any trouble. The reason was that several parties of Dasturs and Laymen of holy lives had also arrived at that spot. In their company were several alchemists also and the favor of the Lord thus made things easy for them. They had brought along with them ample resources and they thus consecrated the Fire according to the dictates of religion. The aged Dasturs thus installed the Iranshah—–34 beaming with light, in conformity wit the rites [prescribed] in our creed. In those times, men were [deeply] versed in spiritual matters and were able to observe religious precepts on account of their wisdom. In our own age, the Lord only knows what True Religion is; [men do not], and [all religious] action is, [after all], only a matter of personal satisfaction.—–35

A sensitive mind will be able to perceive the subtlty of this Hindu action which not only ensures that the minority conforms to the Nation’s Will but is also allowed its space and freedom to live in its ways.

– Namaste

2 Responses

  1. Beautiful! How ignorant are we of our own history. It makes me incredibly mad that our “education” consisted of half-truths and falsehoods concocted by Marxist historians and Congress-wallahs. Hindus need to reclaim the Academy for the nation from the Marxists in order to re-cultivate a native, authentic historical, literary and intellectual tradition which the people can look upto and seek guidance from.

  2. Thank you for this post !
    When the sagacious and kind Hindu Ruler Jadhav Rana granted the Parsis some land and freedom to practice their religion – he asked the Dastur – what will you do for your country that you have adopted?
    The Dastur asked for a bowl of milk and some sugar. He stirred the sugar in the bowl of milk and said – we will be like the sugar – insignificant and invisible but will add sweetness where we go.
    This maybe a myth -but like all myths – somewhere embedded is the truth
    What is often unknown is that , when the Muslims arrived in 1465 and sacked Sanjan, the Parsis fought bravely alongside the Hindu benefactors.
    Till date, the Parsis in India honour the commitment made to the Raja – who was a symbol of Hindu human kindness.

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