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Some of the regions, for instance, Sanjān and Navsari, long predate that period. The problem was a delicate one, because Parsi priests then (and now) are not paid a salary for rites performed.As the Parsis moved around the region, disputes, sometimes violent, erupted over priestly rights and privileges. When the lay people of Navsari requested Sanjana priests to perform their family ceremonies, bitter disputes arose. It was a long-lasting conflict involving appeals to secular courts.Then the Ghaznavid ruler, Sultan Maḥmud, pledged to add Sanjān to his kingdom.His army advanced on Sanjān “like a black cloud.” The Parsis stood alongside the Hindus. The sultan’s forces included not only horsemen but elephants “…
The Parsi leader, Ardašir, rushed on to the field like a lion and roared out a challenge. riding a swift horse, charged at Ardašir with his lance … When tragedy beckons even marble becomes soft as wax” (, tr., pp. The Hindu-Parsi alliance was defeated and Muslims ruled the land. Fearing for its safety in the face of the Muslim invasion of Sanjān, Parsi priests took it to the mountain of Bahrot, south of Sanjān, and hid it in a cave for twelve years before taking it to the village of Bansda; the dates are again disputed. There were two major Muslim conquests of Gujarat in the approximate period referred to in the in 14; it is not clear which of the two dates is relevant. The first (the poll tax levied on non-Muslims), but there is no mention of the transfer of Irān-šāh to Navsari through his proposal, a momentous event which would have been mentioned if it had occurred by then (, tr., p. Such events shape community identity and their memory is generally carefully preserved, but precisely because of their importance the stories can be subject to later “elucidation.” Sanjān was at the turn of the millennium a thriving port, and it is plausible that it was a major Parsi settlement as the , tr., pp. The early settlements were in locations with harbors, some of which could accommodate large ships that crossed the oceans, for example Cambay and Broach, while others, such as Navsari, were harbors used by ships pursuing the coastal trade.
“At last a wise dastur, who was also an astrologer, read the stars and said: 'The time Fate had allotted us in this place is now coming to an end, we must go at once to India.’” They sailed to Diu in western India, where they settled for nineteen years: “[t]hen a priest-astrologer, after reading the stars, said to them: 'Our destiny lies elsewhere, we must leave Diu and seek another place of refuge.’” But a storm came while they were at sea, endangering their lives, so they prayed “O Almighty God! “Their prayers were heard; the victorious fire of Bahrām abated the storm,” so they arrived safely in India (, tr., pp. There they sought permission to settle from the local ruler, Jadi Rana.
After a hundred years they moved on to Hormuz, but still remained under threat of oppression. Come to our aid” and they vowed to consecrate a Bahrām fire if they arrived safely in India.
Oral tradition relates that Jadi Rana felt apprehensive about granting sanctuary to people of such warrior-like appearance, but the priests convinced the king that they would be 'like sugar in a full cup of milk, adding sweetness but not causing it to overflow’ (a variant relates the placing of a gold ring in the cup of milk; see Axelrod). They emphasized the points where their religion was consistent with Hindu tradition, but some details do not reflect Hindu practice; for example, there was no reason why weddings should be held at night.
Tradition states that the Parsi affirmations of their religion were delivered in sixteen statements (Skt. It has, therefore, been plausibly argued (Eduljee, 1995, pp.
It is plausible that there were several groups who migrated over the years.