FARŌḴŠI, the name of a Zoroastrian ceremony for departed souls (Av. fravaši-, q.v.), also called Farošīn (Av. genitive plural fravašīnąm-), in Irani Zoroastrian dialect Parošīn. The text of the ceremony consists of the recital of Farvardīn yašt (q.v.), whereby the souls of the just are reverenced and offerings consecrated for their enjoyment. It is first mentioned, with other traditional ceremonies, in Saddar Bondaheš (chaps. 49, 53). In chapter 53 (ed. Dhabhar, p. 126; Persian Rivayats, tr. Dhabhar, p. 543) it is enjoined that Farošīn should be performed on the memorial days of the departed (rōzgār ī widardagān), with every kind of food to be had—meat, eggs, fish, sweetmeats, fruits, and herbs—so that the fravašis might find what pleased them. In the Rivāyat of Kama Bohra, 896 Yazdegerdi/1526 C.E. (Persian Rivayats, ed. Unvala, I, p. 502.1-4; tr. Dhabhar, p. 337) it is enjoined that on the anniversary days of parents and close relatives, “at their (former) home” (dar ḵāna-ye īšān), a Drōn (service; q.v.) and Parošīn are to be consecrated, and an Āfrīnagān (q.v.) is to be recited. If the Drōn (see Boyce and Kotwal, pp. 62-66) cannot be consecrated (presumably, that is, if no priest were available) the behdīns (q.v.) are to put incense on the fire, “renew” the sacred girdle (kūstī), and recite Yasna 26, that is the Staomi or Satūm (see DEATH). According to the Rivāyat of Bahman Punja, 996 Yazdegerdi/1626 C.E. (Persian Rivayats, ed. Unvala, II, p. 12.8-10, tr. Dhabhar, pp. 400-1) the greatest merit was from a recital of Farōḵši “with zōr and barsom,” that is, with animal sacrifice (on zōr in this sense see Boyce, 1966, pp. 100-2) and the Drōn service. This service, which may be performed by a single priest for Farōḵši, then has a barsom of seven twigs and is dedicated to ardā fravaš, that is, the fravašis of the just. After it the celebrant recites through closed lips (basta) the following words in Pazand: “Praise to the Creator Ohrmazd and the immaterial and material Yazads. With good omen and augury I recite the Avesta of Farvardīn yašt (vastā ī frōharą yašt). May there be good health and good omen through the contentment of the fravašis of the just, on such-and-such a day, month and watch (gāh).” These same words are said if the recital of the yašt is preceded by that of Staomi (as is now the general custom). If there is only one priest, he recites an āfrīnagān of ardā fravaš as a separate service, usually first; if there are two priests, one may recite this while the other recites the Staomi and Farōḵši.
In living traditional usage, during the first year after a death Farōḵši is regularly performed on the fourth day, the memorial days, and during Farvardīgān. Some very pious families used to have it performed daily, others still have it on the 19th day of each month (dedicated to the Fravašis), and on all feast days. Thereafter it is performed on the anniversary day for thirty years. It may be solemnized in any watch (gāh), but morning and afternoon are preferred. Nowadays among the Parsis only drōn and fruits are consecrated as offerings.
Bibliography: T. D. Anklesaria, Bājdharnun fravašīnun (Consecration of the Drōn for the Fravašis), Bombay, 1883. M. Boyce, “Ātaš-zōhr and Āb-zōhr,” JRAS, 1966, pp. 100-18. M. Boyce and F. Kotwal, “Zoroastrian bāj and drōn I,” BSO(A)S 34/1, 1971, pp. 56-73. B. N. Dhabhar, ed., Saddar Naṣr and Saddar Bundaheš, Bombay, 1909. E. N. Meherjirana, Fravašī mōtā bājdharnā sāthēnī (Farōḵši with the larger consecration of the Drōn), Bombay, 1865. R. D. Meherjirana, Āfrīngānō, āfrīnō, frawaši stōmnā kardā temaj bājdharnā sāthē (Āfrīnagāns, Āfrīns, Farōḵši with the karda of Stōm and Drōn), Bombay, 1954, repr. 1988, pp. 410-612. J. J. Modi, The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees, 2nd ed., Bombay, 1937, repr. 1986, p. 385.
(MARY BOYCE and FIROZE KOTWAL)
(Mary Boyce and Firoze Kotwal)
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: December 15, 1999