About 3700 years ago, Ashu Zarathushtra pioneered the idea of teaching the Gathas so that his followers
could learn, practice, and go on to teach the Gathas. Following His foot steps, Spenta began its
operations in 1992 in Los Angeles, CA, USA. The mission of Spenta is to promote the Message of Ashu
Zarathushtra through higher education.
In order to appreciate our accomplishments one must know the starting point of Spenta.
To start any educational institute one needs at least: Text books and course material, full time teachers,
good investment, and community support. However when we started, we did not have any of the
above mentioned resources.
Investment: An average investment of 1,000,000 USD is required to start a new program (Chair) in a
University. (Note: not starting a University, but a branch of study in a University)Yet, we in Spenta
University, with an investment of US $ 400.00 (donated by Mr. Dariush Irani) commenced our
operations in 1992.
Text books and Course materials: The education industry is moving fast, text books are becoming
more education friendly: by converting them into videos and CDs to supplement the text book. Yet at the
beginning of Spenta we only had access to a few books from early 1900’s which were not presentable
text books or study material.
Faculty: Faculty is the key to the success of any institute. The Zarathushtrian community has many
scholars but no one who has a doctorate degree in Zarathushtrian Studies. Even among our scholars, no
one was available for a full time commitment.
Community Support: The Zoroastrian community is small compared to Islam, Christianity, Judaism,
Buddhism, and … With this small community of ours, there are three groups – Orthodox, Neutral, and
Liberal. Spenta has been, from very beginning, under heavy attack from Orthodox (Attach) denied by
the neutrals, and not supported by liberals!
With the above picture in mind we courageously started our academic operations and we accomplished
1. Prepared supplemental educational material like videos of scholars. This operation took us
about two years with the time and dedication of Dr. Jafarey and Major General Abdi Minu-Sepehr.
We made the following videos:
Introduction to the Zoroastrian Religion (set of 4 videos).
Gathas (set of 2 videos), Avestan (set of 2 videos)
Prof. Kaikhosrov Irani:
Philosophy of Religion (set of 2 video tapes)
Dr. Birtch :
Anthropology of Religion (1 video tape).
Note: For making the following tapes our Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Major General Abdi
Minu-sepehr, enrolled and studied film making at a college.
2. Trained and developed 5 highly qualified Hirbads. It takes only 3 seconds to utter the
aforementioned sentence. However it took us four years of hard work. With empty hands we offered a
dynamic, interesting, and unique program to attract and keep the students interested in studying
philosophy and religion.
(Attach) Please read the testimony of one of the parents (Attach) A total of 12 students enrolled and
went through at least one year of this program. Only five were able to complete the fourth year and
become Hirbads (Attach A, B)
It is with a great honor that we introduce to you our Hirbads- the future leaders of our religion:
Hirbad Nauzar Bharucha, Hirbad Afshin Azarmanesh, Hirbad Armina Kapadia,
Hirbad Behram Daruwalla. It goes without saying that wherever these Hirbads go they will be the leaders
and the best in the crowd.
3. Developed a multi-media CD called the “Good Religion”. This multi media CD as the fruit of 2
years of hard work and personal investment of staff and students of Spenta. This CD is now in the
process of distribution throughout the academic world. (Attach)
4 First in Africa. We spread our wings to Africa in pursuit of promoting the Message of Ashu
Zarathushtra through higher education. Hirbad Behram Daruwalla, a student of our Hirbad training,
courageously volunteered for this assignment and did an outstanding job in Africa. (Attach) The
hardships that Hirbad Daruwalla went through to accomplish this mission are indeed beyond words.(Attach A, B)
5. Developed many new ideas to promote the Message of Ashu Zarathushtra. Example the Gatha
club and Football team (Attach A, B)
6. Held Open House and Open Forums to promote the Message of Ashu Zarthushtra locally.
(Attach A, B)
7. Co-managed the Gatha Conference of 1996. This conference was held in Newport Beach,
California. This was Spenta’s first project which was a great success. (Attach)
8. Worked with Persian Clubs in colleges of US. Spenta strives to reach out to the future
generations. One of the strategies was to help the Persian clubs in USA colleges. (Attach )
9. Held an essay and painting competition among our youth. (Attach A, B )
10. Held short term courses on Zarathushtrian Studies for general public. We found out that the
General public is mostly interested in short term courses. Hence we developed fun and entertaining short
courses for the public to introduce to them the Message of Ashu Zarathushtra.
11. Revived our cultural events. As part of our public education- we have introduced the correct
way of celebrating the Gahanbars, introduced Jashne Sadeh, and other Iranian cultural events in India. (Attach)
12. Supported other organizations in promoting the Message of Ashu Zarathushtra. We have
worked with many local and international organizations in promoting the Message of Ashu Zarathushtra.(Attach)
13. Attracting our youth to understand and appreciate the beauty of the Gathas. One of the main
topics of the elders of the community is that our youth are not interested in our religion! Well, Spenta to
some extent has changed that too! By using many tactics such as internship programs, adventure
programs, football teams, and Gatha Club we have been able to attract and teach the youth to employ
Gatha’s principle in their daily life.
14. Promoted the Message of Ashu Zarathushtra through a monthly newsletter. (Attach)
15. Participated and cooperated (our students) in many international and local conferences. In
2003, a youth conference was held in Pune, India. Hirbad Armina Kapadia became a star with her
presentation there. Hirbad Nauzar Bharucha participated in the Australian youth conference.
16. We hosted a professor from Venezuela to study Zarathushtrian Studies. Professor Toro,
stayed with us for a period of three months. He studied Zarathushtrian Studies, Gathas, Customs and
Ceremonies of Zarathushtrian Religion. (Attach)
17. Developed Culture of Iran Course. For all those who are interested in the Persian heritage.
18. Pursued and received authorization to grant degree in Masters of Administration by Gatha
19. Pursued and received authorization from Board of Education of State of California to grant
Doctorate and Masters degree and certificate program in Zoroastrian Studies and Persian Culture.
20. Graduated the first ever doctorate in Zoroastrian Studies. Dr. Khalighi.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world, indeed,
they can and will.