What are Monajats? (TMY -Jame Jamshed of 9-7-17)

  1. Monajats are Zoroastrian devotional songs. The word Monajat is from the Persian language, and the earliest Monajats were in Persian, many of them composed by Dastur Mullan Firoz bin Kaus.

 

  1. Later, Monajats were composed in Gujarati, the language understood by the majority of Zoroastrians. The earliest Gujarati Monajats were published in the mid 19th century on historical and religious subjects.

 

  1. Some well known Parsis who composed Monajats are: Kaekhushru N. Kabraji, Jivanji Modi, Behramji Malbari, Savaksha Shroff (Firozgar), Ardeshar Khabardar, Dosabhai Desai, Dara Printer, Kariman Adajania, Parvez Katrak, Kersi Mistry, Vistasp Balsara and Irach Kuka.

 

  1. Some popular Monajats are Khudavind Khavind, Nekini Kharidi, O Daadgar O Daavar, Sanjan March etc.

 

  1. What is the meaning of the song ‘Chaiye Ame Zarthoshti’, which is generally regarded as the community anthem. (JJ 11-6-17)
  2. The song Chaiye Ame Zarhtoshti is based on an English tune “Blue bell” composed by Theodore F. Morse in 1904. Later that tune was adapted in a song for a Parsi play. It has four verses and a chorus. The Gujarati song was written by poet Firoz Batliwala. His first name appears as the last word of the last line of the lat stanza of the song.
  3. The first verse of the song eulogises the characteristics of good Zoroastrians who live with dignity as friends of the whole world. Though being just a handful, they adorn the whole world, and hence all men and women are expected to sing its praises.
  4. The 2nd stanza talks about the world famous Zoroastrian virtue of charity. It praises the Parsis as active and efficient who did not forsake their religion even amidst great calamities, which in fact was their secret of receiving God’s help. The 3rd stanza is about education among Parsi girls, which brings out the best in them. It is a combination of skills and goodness, which helps keep her family happy. Even her sense of dress is well appreciated in the world, and these qualities make them proud ladies of this Community.
  5. The last stanza lauds the faithfulness of the Parsis to their rulers. The Parsis would fight like lions for their country. They would be grateful to their benefactors and sympathetic to a right cause. The poet Firoz says that the community is happy today because of its sterling qualities.
  6. The chorus is the most powerful and meaningful verse of all. It talks about the world famous Kayani lineage (Guj. tokham) of the Parsis is the cause of their virtues, and which has led them to prosperity. The poet exhorts the Parsi Community to always maintain its strength and vigour and remain prosperous.
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