7 hours in a Rickshaw, Part II – The Pune Fire Temple


The fire has been burning in this temple since 1844.  I thought it would be a fascinating place to visit.  When I got to the temple I was told that only Zoroastrians can visit the fire.  Only male Zoroastrians.  I had two strikes against me.

I can be very persistent and kept presenting numerous reasons, to the very patient security guard, why I should be allowed to enter the temple.  There must be a way for me to see this fire that has been burning for over a 170 years.

Finally he gets up and signals for me to wait.  He walks toward the temple and begins speaking with an older gentleman who was sitting in a chair in front of the temple entrance.  The man listens, gets up, and comes over to me.  He greets me and tells me his story.

This is a very important place for the Zoroastrian people. I am Zoroastrian and have spent many years praying inside the temple.

It is a deeply spiritual place, a holy place, a pure place, and the fire has been kept burning by priests who have never let the fire die out, not once.  I watched this for many years.

Then I got cancer, the doctors took one of my kidneys, part of my stomach, and most of my intestines.  I now have a bag where all of my ‘impurities’ from inside my body flow into this bag.  I am not pure and I am no longer allowed to enter the temple.  So I sit on the porch daily to pray and I am content to do so because the temple must be kept clean from impurities.

So you see, this is why you cannot enter.

I thanked him and took a photo of this wonderful man who told me about his family, his life and struggles, and shared with me the depth of his faith.

This meant more to me than seeing the fire that has been burning for over a 170 years.

‘God Bless’, he said.

‘God Bless and thank you’, I said.


About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta Dell'Anno E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer Owner EssentialYoga Studio. Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and teaching yoga since 2004. She has studied extensively under master yoga teachers Patricia Walden, Zoë Stewart, Sri Arun H.S., Elise Browning Miller, and others. She completed a two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training program with Sr. Iyengar Teacher, Peentz Dubble in June 2017. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014, attended Abhijata's 2-week intensive in Pune, India, December 2016 and BKS Iyengar's Centenary 10-day intensive taught by Prashantji & Geetaji, December 2018. She completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as a 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor in 2014, completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center in 2005 and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. The studio provides individual & specialized privates, semi-privates, group private sessions, and yoga workshops. Roberta conducts local and out of town workshops. She specializes in yoga for scoliosis and back care. She uses props to help students and teachers of all levels transform their backbends, twists, standing and seated postures, as well as inversions like sarvangasana (shoulderstand). She also works with individuals who have physical challenges, specifically individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, CMT, Parkinson's Disease, scoliosis, and amputees in private, semi-private and group sessions.​​​
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