Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ilm-e-Khshnoom & Esoteric Zoroastrianism


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Ilm-e-Khshnoom is a school of Zoroastrian philosophy, practiced by a very small minority of the Indian Zoroastrians (Parsis/Iranis), based on a mystic and esoteric, rather than literal, interpretation of religious texts....In 1875, an eighteen-year old Parsi named Behramshah Nowroji Shroff left Surat (Gujarat, India) for Peshawar (now in Pakistan) in search of employment. According to followers of the mystic philosophy, on Shroff's way there, he met a caravan led by members of the Saheb-e-Dilan ("Masters of the Heart"), who persuaded him to accompany them to their home in the mountains. The Saheb-e-Dilan, according to Shroff, were a group of about 2000 individuals led by 72 Mahgav (Magi) priests, called the Abed Saheb-e-Dilan, who lived in isolation in the recesses of Caucasus Mountains....Upon his return to India, Shroff gathered a following from among the Parsi community, who in due course began calling themselves the Ilm-e-Kshnoom after Khnoom."....

The word 'Khshnoom' occurs in the Gathas at two places Yasna; Ha 48-12 and Ha 53-2. Ha 53-2 declares: "Jamasp and Frashostar (Zarathushtra's great disciples) shall lead to the truthful path of Ahura's Daena (Religion) those who have faith, by thought, speech and deed, in khshnoom and Yasna"......"Khshnoom" means the knowledge of Daena (See Translation by Ervad Kavasji Kanga) and 'Yasna' denotes the deeds....."...

"Zoroastrians may identify the range with the dwelling place of the Peshyotan, and the Zoroastrian Ilm-e-Kshnoom sect identify Mount Davamand as the home of the Saheb-e-Dilan ('Masters of the Heart'). In his epic Shahnameh, the poet Ferdowsi speaks of the mountains "as though they lay in India."..... As recently as the 19th century, a peak in the northernmost range in the Hindu Kush system, just south of Balkh, was recorded as Mount Elburz in British army maps."...

"Behramshah Nowroji Shroff had learnt about what later came to be called Ilm-e-Khshnoom during his travels in Persia which he visited via Pakistan and Afghanistan. During his travels, he had come across a wandering community which followed a mystic interpretation of the teachings of Zarathustra."


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….April 2013


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