Today, 8th September 2007, Roj Behram Mah Fravardin is the Baj (death anniversary) according to the Shahenshahi calendar, of the pious Dastur Jamshed Ervad Sohrab Kukadaru (or Kukana, by some accounts).
Dasturji Kukadaru was born on 27th May, 1831 (Roj Jamyad, Mah Ava, 1200 Yz.) and passed away on 4th October, 1900 (Roj Behram, Mah Fravardin, 1270 YZ.)
Dasturji Kukadaru was one of the last great Zarathushtrian priests who had the spiritual power known as ‘Amal’ or spiritual potency which enabled him to bend the laws of nature to produce what we today call ‘miracles’.
The presence of the power of Amal is totally dependant on the lifestyle followed by the person. Dasturji lived a life of strict religious rigour, maintaining the intricate rules of purity, not even touching food cooked by anyone else, or wearing clothes directly washed by the ‘Dhobi’. His life was marked by simplicity, frugality and deep devotion accompanied by the scholarly study of old manuscripts and scriptures. The combination of these factors led to Dasturji achieving a very devout and high reputation within his lifetime. Of his many miracles, perhaps the most well known is the help he provided to the establishment of the Anjuman Atash Behram, by alchemising a normal brick into one of pure gold which was then sold and the money used to make up the shortfall in the construction costs. It is for this reason that the hall of the Atash Behram is named after him.
Dasturji was also acknowledged as an authority on ritual matters and he helped solved several of the controversies going on within the priestly circles in those times. A small monologue of his arguing over which ‘Karda’ should be recited in the Afringan – the ‘Yao Visad’ or ‘Tao Ahmi Nmane’ (which remains even today a most contentious point among the different Mobed tolas) is available at the Mahella Patel Agiary library at Grant Road. It is for this reason, that although Dasturji was a normal Ervad and not descended from a hereditary line of ‘Dasturs’ or High Priests, the title of Dastur was still bestowed on him.
The proof (if any is required) of Dasturji’s spiritual prowess is that even today, several individuals claim that the Ruvan of Dasturji has helped them in times of deep crisis. It is for this reason that many Parsis still have the Afringan and Baj ceremony performed in his name even 100 years after his passing away.
May the Ruvan of Dastur Jamshed Ervad Sohrab progress further and further and may it continue to guide and protect our troubled community!
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram