Jashan-e Ardavahisht (Zoroastrian)
Jashan-e Ardavahisht is a celebration ceremony, a Jashan, performed on Ardibehest day of
Ardibehest month, in honor of Ardavahisht or Ardibehest, a Pehlavi name derived from the ancient Avestan term “Asha Vahishta” from the Gathas of Zarathushtra. Asha stands for “truth, order, righteousness.” Vahishta means ‘the Best’ or ‘the Highest’. So, Asha Vahishta is the Best or the Highest Righteousness which Zarathushtra attributes to Ahura Mazda. Asha is the universal law of righteous precision. It may best be explained by stating that it means “to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, and with the right means in order to attain the right result.” It should result in constructive and loving good not only for oneself but also for one’s fellow creatures and for God. It is the positive, beneficial and unselfish precision par excellence. In later Zoroastrian religious history,
the wise men/priests associated Ardavahisht with being the steward/guardian of all those forces that give light, and warmth to our world. To us, Fire is that symbol of light and warmth, and represents God’s Righteousness to us, that’s why a Zoroastrian prefers to pray in front of any form of light. In our temples, the priest keeps an eternal Fire burning on a large urn, adding wood to it five times a day. That holy fire in our temples serves as the medium of one’s concentration and communication with God. Zoroastrians are wrongly believed by many as Fire-Worshippers, when in fact, Fire is an element of great reverence to a Zoroastrian and reminds her/him of God’s Righteousness, and is beneficial to have in some form in front of the devotee, to use as a medium of meditative focus and
concentration, as the devotee worships God/communicates with God, through her/his prayers.