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What is Parsi? Who are Parsis? What is the Parsi community?

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What is Parsi? Who are Parsis? What is the Parsi community?

 The most well known Parsi today is Ratan Tata, head of the TATA group. Other well known Parsis today are Adi Godrej & Nusli Wadia (of Bombay Dyeing). The chosen successor to Ratan Tata when he retires, Cyrus Mistry, is also a Parsi. Other very well known Parsis (no longer alive) were: Jamshetji TATA founder of the TATA empire ; Homi Bhabha founder of B.A.R.C. (=Bhabha Atomic Research Center) ; H.N. Sethna – famous scientist ; Dadabhai Naoroji – first Indian member of British parliament. Nani Palkhiwala famous Jurist. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. Bejaan Daruwala who writes your future in Times of India every week.  And of course Lt. Col. A.B. Tarapore who won Param Vir Chakra for his bravery in the Indo-Pak war of 1965. There are many others – too numerous to be mentioned here.

Parsi people are originally people from Iran, who follow the Zorastrian religion which was established in Iran by their Prophet Zarathustra (also called Zoraster) who lived around the same time that The Buddha lived in India and Confucius lived in China, which is @ 2600 years ago. Their god is called Ahura Mazda (no connection to Mazda cars of Japan). Their holy book is called the Zend Avesta.

Iran was invaded by Arab muslims @ 641 A.D. and people were being forced to convert or be killed. Some people did not want to convert – nor wanted to die, and ran away from Iran – then known as Persia – known to us in India as Paras – from where the name Parsi came. They landed at Sanjan in Gujarat. Some say they landed in 689 A.D., some say they landed in 721 A.D. In any case, they have been here in India for @ 1300 years.

The Parsi people worship Fire. When they ran away from Iran 1300 years ago, they brought their sacred fire (flame) with them, and the same flame continues to burn even today at their sacred fire temple in Udwada in Gujarat.  0ver the last 1300 years the Parsi people have adopted almost all Gujarati customs & traditions. Their mother tongue is Gujarati. Their women wear Saree like Hindus. They have no connections with Iran any more.

Since all religions which originated in India are considered Hindu – whether Sikh (Guru Nanak was Hindu), Jain, Buddhist (The Buddha was Hindu) or any other – I consider the Parsis also as Hindu, since they brought their God=Fire=Flame with them, which is in Udwada in Gujarat in Hindustan. Their god is in India.

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