Roj Ashishvangh Mah Bahman, 1378 Yz.
In this manner, young Behramshah began his eventful journey to Iran under the protection and guidance of Rashidji Saheb. From Peshawar, the caravan moved towards Kafiristan (now Nurestan). From Kafiristan, the caravan reached the boundaries of Afghanistan and moved north on the road to Khorasan. From Khorasan, the caravan moved south towards Azerbaijan before finally reaching the plains of the Elburz mountain range near Mount Demavand in Iran. There was a hidden reason behind taking this circuitous route rather than going straight to Demavand. At this point the caravan divided into two, one part moved on towards the mountain ranges, while the other part comprising Behramshah and Rashidji Saheb, along with a few other members of the caravan began a slow climb on to the high pathways towards Mount Demavand.
At a certain point the caravan was met by a saintly looking, elderly man, resting amongst the rocks, as though waiting for their arrival. The group proceeded towards a spot marked by a small hillock of boulders. The elderly stranger waiting for them now moved a particular boulder, which caused the other boulders to move, till Behramshah was greeted by the sight of a massive stone door. The elderly man recited some words which caused the door to swing open to reveal a long tunnel. Now all members of the caravan, including the horses entered the dark passage through the door and began walking slowly in the darkness. The door swung shut behind them and for a few minutes they walked in complete darkness. Behramshah noticed that there was a subtle difference in the air in the tunnel compared to the air outside. As they neared the end, the tunnel rose slightly and they saw the beginning of the end of the tunnel as sunlight began to gradually creep into their passage. Soon the tunnel ended and they entered into a bright and airy valley whose atmosphere was different from anything Behramshah had ever experienced. It seemed to be a place perfect enough to be called paradise. And indeed it was.
As the caravan members went off to their individual residences and helpers unloaded the cargo and rested the animals, Rashidji Saheb led young Behramshah into the presence of a man whose saintly personage was such that it made one fall immediately at his feet. Very tall, very old, but straight, with a long flowing beard reaching to his navel, dressed in pure white and with an aura and radiance around him. When he walked, every square foot of the earth seemed to call out to him, inviting him to lay his feet on that spot, so that the very earth may be blessed by his footfall. Even the saintly stature of Rashidji Saheb was dwarfed by this august saint. Rashidji bowed to him, smiled and gently introduced the saintly man to Behramshah: ‘This is Sraoshavarez Marzbanji Saheb, our leader’.
As Behramshah fell at his feet, the great saint closed his eyes and his thoughts went back to many hundreds of years ago, to an earlier life, where he was a pious priest living in Iran. A fellow Iranian, who had some deep grudge against the priest had planned to murder the holy man as he was praying in his Fire Temple. He gathered a group of thugs and approached the temple to carry out their nefarious plan. The priest, with his spiritual powers, immediately caught their evil thoughts and sent out a silent prayer for help. By some coincidence, this thought was picked up by an Iranian warrior, a Master of 30,000 soldiers, who happened to be passing by. Arriving in the nick of time, the brave warrior single-handedly managed to chase away the murderous thugs and saved the priest’s life. As they stood facing each other, the blood stained warrior and the aged priest, both felt as though this was the beginning of a unique friendship which would transcend this life and extend in to the next. They parted, after a few words of thanks and gratitude, wondering when they would see each other again… The great saint opened his eyes, smiled warmly and tenderly greeted Behramshah: ‘So we meet again! Welcome to Firdaus, my son!’
In this manner, the debt of gratitude owed by the priest to the brave warrior, was to be now repaid by Sraoshavarez Marzbanji Saheb to the young Behramshah. It was this repayment which would transform the stammering lad of 18, to the future Ustad Saheb Behramshah Nowroji Shroff.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram