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and the story of the strange and protean changes of radium into helium, men and argon, according to the environment in which it is placed have given the death blow to the old idea of the immutability of the elements. Still while we have been allowed this peep into the store house of nature's secrets, and are growing to believe that in course of time the various different elements may have been evolved, successively from one another, the power to provoke this change at will, and in a brief space of time is as yet withheld from us and may never be given to us, just as little as the power to send messages to the distant spheres, whose bulk density and composition we can estimate with a considerable degree of accuracy."

The Kainunga Indians of Paraguay are known to mutter incantations over the bodies of the sick and take out stones from their own mouths. The stones are regarded as the seat

of the malady.

Mr. Kunz argues that Lithomania or Pebble mania is innate in mankind. Even in modern times in the U. S. A. the collecting of pebbles of various kinds has so far developed as to give it the turn of business.

Pebble mania attacks birds too. It is believed that the magpie picks up and hides bright pebbles in the nest. The quality of stones called the Ætites were said to be found in the Eagle's nest. Again, it is a convention in some places that hens swallow bright pebbles for digestive purposes. In the 16th Century an Italian goldsmith Benvenuto cellivi remarks that he shot cranes frequently and found in their entrails emeralds as well as other precious stones.

It is curious to note that the burying of white stones with the dead was customary in Ireland in early times. W. F. Wood Martin in his "Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland describes this custom at length. The legend about Columba Columba--a great Irish Saint-mentions the curative effect of white pebbles.

Crystal balls are worn as amulets against illness. In some places in Japan they are believed to ward off dropsy.

In Yucaton quartz crystals were not only used for divining but also to ensure the success of crops.

In Tasmania rain makers use white stones in their magical performances; but the stone has no talisman before it be dipped in the blood of a young girl.

Regarding Amber and its curative effects, Pliny states that in his day the female peasants used to wear amber necklaces as ornaments having remedial powers-against diseases of the throat. Rev. Mr. C. W. King believes that amber is a preventive of erysipelas.

There are tales to show that ships were attracted by mountains of Load Stone. Palladius relates that this stone was produced on Ceylon Islands.

Robert Norman in the 16th century writes the following verses: The Mariner's Judgment :

"The Road Stone is the stone, the only stone alone. Deserving praise above the rest, whose virtues are unknown."

The Merchant's Verdict:

The diamond bright, the sapphire have, are stones that bear the name,

But flatter not and tell the truth, Magnes deserves the same. Loadstone had the power to heal wounds, cure ruptures and burning wounds; it as well possessed many therapeutic virtues, as believed by many in the middle ages in Belgium and other parts of Europe. In Persia, there was a Stone called Shahkenheren or king of Jewels which attracted all other stones, just as the loadstone did iron. It is said that Khushree II (590-628) had lost a ring of great price in the river Tigris, near the modern Bagdad. He fished for the ring with the help of the Shahkenheren and recovered the lost ring.

Alexander the Great, it is said, found many strange stonestwo of which are noted with care. One of these appeared on the surface of water during the night; while the other appeared during day time. If the day stone was tied round the necks of horses, they would not neigh; the contrary effect was seen in the case of the night stone.

It is necessary to stop here and finish the first part of the treatment; for, celestial Stones will form the subject matter of the next attempt.


B.A., Ph.D., C.I.E.

(Read on 29th September 1920. )

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At the monthly meeting of the Society held on 28th April 1920, I had the pleasure of reading my paper on


"The Liturgical Services of the Parsees. The Yaçna. Its liturgical Apparatus." I was glad to find, that most of the members present, kindly gave expression to their appreciation of the paper and wished, that advance proofs of the Paper may be sent to some Hindu members to enable some one to prepare a similar paper from the Hindu point of view. The paper has been so printed and advance proofs sent to several Hindu members interested in the comparative study of rituals. My paper to-day speaks of the Outer Liturgical Services, by which, I mean, as I said in my previous paper, "those religious services which may be, but need not necessarily be, performed in a Dar-i-Meher or a place specially allotted for the purpose. They can also be performed in any ordinary or private house or place. Again, they may be performed by any priest, even by one who does

not observe the Bareshnûm, or by one who has only gone through the Nâvar and not the Martab initiation." These Outer Liturgical Services are:

I. The Afringân.

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II. The Farokhshi, and

III. The Satûm.


The word Afringân comes from the root fri, Sanskrit pri, to

The Afringan of the Parsees and the Apri of the Brahmins.

love to praise. So an Afringân, is a prayer expressive of love or praise. Perhaps, it has received this name from the fact, that that part of it which is common to all Åfringâns begins with the word Afrinámi. (Åfrinâmi Khshathrayân danghu paiti, etc.) i.e., I pray for, etc. According to Dr. Haug, "in the Afringân ceremony of the Parsees there may be discovered a trace of the Brahmanical Apri ceremony...... The name is the same: d-pri in Sanskrit, d-fri in the Avesta, which literally means to invite;' with which invitation the name of the being or beings, in whose honour the ceremony is being performed must always be mentioned."1

The Participants. The Zoti and the Râthwi.

The Afringan prayers may be recited by all priests, even by those not observing the Bareshnûm and even by those who have not gone through the second degree of Martab. They are performed generally by two or more priests, At times and that very rarely when a second priest is not available--they are recited even by one priest. The senior, who begins the ceremony with the recital of the Dibâche, is called Zoti or Joti which is the later form of Avesta Zaotar, lit., one who performs the ceremony. He is so called, because he is the principal performer of ceremonies. The other is called Atra-vakhshi, i.e., one who keeps up or feeds (,vakhsh) the fire (Âtar ).

1 Haug's Essays, second edition, p. 284.

He is so called, because he sits near the fire vase and feeds the fire. He is also called Râspi, i.e., assistant, from Avesta root raç to help. He is also spoken of as Râthwi, i.e., an offerer from râ or râd, to give. The two priests who officiate at the Yaçna, the Visparad and the Vendidâd ceremonies are also similarly called the Zaoti and the Atravakhshi or Râspi or Râthwi. Any number of priests can take part in these ceremonies. Only one can act as Zoti, the rest who join the Atravakhshi act as Râspi. Even laymen can participate in the prayer as Râspis. Again, the Afringâns can be recited anywhere, even in private residences and need not have any special or Enclosed space. Their recital must begin, as in, the case of all prayers, with Pâdyâb-Kusti. Though any number of priests can take part in an Afringân ceremony, it is only two who perform the actual ceremony.

Each Afringân is divided into three parts. I. The Pâzend Dibâchê, II. The Afringân proper in the Avesta language and III. The Pâzend Afrin.


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Of these three parts, the Zoti recites all the three and the Atravakhshi, Râthwi or Râspi recites with him only the second part. We will describe these three parts:

1 The Dibachê.

In the matter of all liturgical services, the Dibâchê is the principal part. One must clearly understand what the Dibâchê is, so that he may have a clear grasp of the object of the Liturgical services1. The word Dibâchê (s) is Persian and means 'preface.' It is made up of dibâ (s) brocade and the diminutive particle

So, literally it means "the lesser brocade." As brocade, which is a kind of silk stuff, is superior to other stuffs, so, the preface (dibâchê) which precedes a book is superior to other

1 Vide for translation, Spiegel, translated by Bleeck, Khordeh Avesta,

p. 172. Spiegel is wrong in speaking of it as "Prayer after the Afergans." It is "Prayer before the Afergâns."

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