Zoroastrian / Mazdayasnian Symbolism: the Sudreh

The symbolism of the sudreh, the Mazdayasnian shirt, is as follows. Its white color symbolizes purity. It is made out of two separate pieces of cloth, front and back, the sewing together of which symbolizes the meeting of past and future in the present. The front represents the past, presumably because our eyes are in the front and we can see the past more clearly than the future. It symbolizes the Mazdayasnian’s duty to remember, honor, and respect the departed and their righteous works. The back represents the future, and symbolizes the Mazdayasnian’s duty to care for future generations. On the front of the sudreh is the giriban, a small, vertically rectangular pouch which is located in the lower center of the chest or immediately below the chest. Above the giriban, the chest-area of the sudreh is open, showing the upper-center of Mazdayasnians’ chest, though this is not problematic because Mazdayasnians wear other clothes over the sudreh. Sometimes the top of the sudreh’s chest-area is open, then closes above the breasts, then has a slit-shaped opening of at least a few inches, beneath which the giriban in situated. The giriban is quite small, and symbolizes the need to be industrious, filling one’s spiritual purse with righteous deeds.

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