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'NIRANG' WATER OF LIFE
By (late) Sohrabji H. Kutar, U. K. (1969)
Nirang is obtained from the consecrated varasyaa and from other bulls maintained on a hygienic diet. The vessels which receive the bulls' urine are not only thoroughly scoured, but are themselves purified and consecrated; and the liquid is then sanctified for holy purposes, through the long, intricate, complex and exalted ritual ceremony and prayer service of the Nirangdin. Thereafter imbued by these prayers and blessings, it becomes an agent of purification. These are the tenets of traditional Zoroastrian observance and belief; but in this scientific age it seemed desirable to reinforce them with scientific proof.
In 1963, Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal brought, for the use of the community in London, some Nirang by air from India which had been consecrated in a Nirangdin ceremony performed at the Vadi Dar-e-Meher of Navsari. Six years later, I submitted a small quantity of this Nirang for chemical analysis to the London firm of Henner and Cox Ltd., analytical and consulting chemists, together with a control sample taken at that time from an ordinary bull on an English farm in Kent.
As was to be expected, chemical analysis failed to identify the unknown quality in the Nirang which would give a physical indication of its sanctifying and healing nature; for this quality necessarily transcends the physical; but the photographs taken in the strictly controlled conditions of a bacteriology laboratory of a London teaching hospital, showed the striking contrast between the two liquids. The control sample appeared distinctly contaminated with impurities, whereas the Nirang was flawless. This degree of purity is what I myself, as a priest, had faith in and looked for in the Nirang; but the evidence produced by this objective scientific inquiry may be of interest to the more sceptical.
Much has already been written by so many scholars of our religion, so much more competent than my humble self, about Nirang, Taro, Abezar, Gaomez, as the consecrated urine of the sacred Bull is called.
There are two schools of thought:
1) The ORTHODOX (like me) with full faith in our religion with belief in the efficacy and usefulness of Nirang.
2) The Un-Orthodox or Reformists: Their aversion to Nirang arises from the fact that urine is a waste product of metabolism to be excreted by the body. They therefore disparage Nirang as something unclean, totally useless and un-Zoroastrian.
But Nirang as known to Zoroastrians is not ordinary urine. It is the urine from some specially selected and an Bull, collected by elaborate aseptic technique and converted by rituals and ceremonies into an aseptic liquid and consecrated through the power of our Maanthra-vaani by an elaborate ceremony of Nirang-Din.
This consecrated Nirang has healing properties found efficacious in skin diseases by local applications and some internal diseases like Peptic ulcers, urinary calcuti etc. when administered orally in minute quantities associated with prayers and Nahaan ceremony.
It is known that ordinary urine left to itself soon decomposes and emits offensive odour. That is due to quick growth of millions of germs in it of both pathogenic (disease-causing) and non-pathogenic (relatively harmless) organisms. By the modern bacteriological methods the presence of these germs could be detected under a microscope and they can also be grown over suitable nutrient media maintained sterile in special containers called Petri dishes. These sterile media contain no organisms but if a material containing organisms be spread in minute quantities over its surface they multiply and grow and collect on the surface as visible patches known as colonies of growth of bacteria, bacilli, cocci etc. as classified by Bacteriologists for identification. But they must be there in the sample tested, because the test conditions are rigid to prevent extraneous contamination.
In order to satisfy myself and if successful to show and prove to the disbelievers the sterile and clean nature of Nirang I submitted two specimens of Nirang I had with me for normal use during the preliminary Nahaan ceremony of Navjote, or wedding) to Dr. Saunders with a request to test them in the Pathology Laboratory for any growths.
Dr. Saunders is the Consultant Bacteriologist to St. Nicholas Hospital, London. I explained to him what I wanted done and why! He agreed to oblige me by culturing both the specimens. Not being a Zoroastrian he firmly believed that the specimens of Nirang one six years old, which was with me in use and was about to finish and another one six months old sent to me from Bombay by Ervad Dr. Peshotan Anklesaria, Principal of Cama Athornan Institute, would both contain large number of bacteria, would show many colonies of all kinds of bacteria, pathogenic and non-pathogenic.
He did not know or suspect the power and the efficacy of our prayers. When he examined the Petri dishes of the cultured specimens he was profoundly surprised that both specimens did not grow a single colony or germ of any kind. Both the specimens were completely and absolutely sterile. When I went to collect the reports of the cultures he said, "Dr. Kutar! This is astonishing. I expected samples of urine 6 years and 6 months old to be stinking to high heaven and full of bacteria of all kinds. I have never seen anything like this in all my long professional life! Here are your Petri Dishes."
I got pictures taken of the Petri Dishes, showing no growth of any kind. In contrast the picture of the control Petri Dish of the culture of ordinary urine shows growths of colonies of Pathogens and non-Pathogens.
This revelation I hold to my co-religionists as power of our Maanthravaani and the efficacy of the Nirang-Din ceremony and leave the non-believers to refute with empty words what scientific inquiry confirms.
Dasturji Dr. Sohrabji H. Kutar, U. K. (1969)