Vedic roots of Iran

Srila Prabhupada nibbled on various pieces of local fruit, appreciating their flavors. Telling Atreya Rsi to distribute some to all the devotees he asked if the people in Iran ate much meat. Dayananda told him that according to an old epic poem, people were formerly all vegetarians. Atreya Rsi added however, that due to western influence, they are now eating beef.

Prabhupada told us about the Vedic roots of Iran. "It is Aryan culture. Iranian means Aryan. It is an apa-brahmsa of Arya, Iraya. And they are called Parsis. Parsis still, those who fled away from this place, they are just like Hindus. They have got sacred thread in India."

Parivrajakacarya agreed and said that their language was very similar to Sanskrit, adding that the Caspian sea, which Srila Prabhupada mentions in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as the place where Kasyapa Muni had his asrama, is only ninety kilometers from Teheran. Prabhupada nodded and said, "Formerly, from Kashmir to central Asia, it was known as bhu-svarga, especially Kashmir; bhu-svarga, heaven on the earthly planet."

Looking toward his two local followers Prabhupada asked if they had an inquiry. Atreya Rsi explained that Mustafa and Hussein are both following the regulative principles and chanting regularly.

Hussein has been chanting sixteen rounds for several months and, in fact, was a vegetarian and already chanting the names of God he found in the Koran before meeting the devotees, so he quickly became attracted to Srila Prabhupada's mission. Speaking through Atreya Rsi, he expressed his desire to translate Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is into Parsi. Srila Prabhupada encouraged him, giving him the simple advice that he should not change anything.

- From "A Transcendental Diary Vol 4" by HG Hari Sauri Prabhu
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