Roj Fravardin Mah Ardibehesht, 1384 Yz.
[Editor’s Note: I have received this detailed eulogy from a person who was very close to Adi Doctor and who prefers to remain Anonymous. Rather than posting as a comment, I felt that it deserved to be another post all by itself. In his eulogy, Adi’s friend sheds more light on the mental strength and the deep study of Khshnoom which Adi possessed and also some interesting tit-bits of his life. Readers of Frashogard are requested to go through this post very carefully to realize the stature of a remarkable man who has now left us.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram]
My friend Adi
Our beloved Adi Doctor passed away on 27th September,2014. There are people who truly leave their footprints on the sands of Time. Adi was an M.A. in Avesta Pahlavi (gold medalist) and an M.Com from Sydenham College. Adi worked as a Faculty Member in the Banker’s Training College of Bank of India for several years before taking a responsible post in the Publicity Department of BOI. Teaching was his forte and when the time came to impart the invaluable knowledge of Khshnoom to the members of his community, he took the historic decision of resigning from a lucrative bank job in July, 1986 and dedicated 28 years of his life entirely to the study and propagation of Khshnoom.
He had a natural ear for music and trained himself to become a freelance but professional critic on Western Classical music. His columns appeared frequently in the Indian Express, Mid-Day and Afternoon papers. It is interesting to note that Adi had twice flown to Austria to attend music concerts there. It was not surprising, therefore, that any attack on our Zarthoshti Din and Dini institutions struck a discordant note and Adi wholeheartedly dedicated himself to restoring order and harmony.
Today, if one is ambitious, people say one is career minded; if one is after money, one is called business minded but if one is dead serious about his/her religion, people dismiss one as a fanatic! Adi was serious about protecting his Din and Dini institutions. He would take great pains to explain how our Agiaries, Atash Behrams. Dakhmas, etc. were sacrosanct, delicate machinery of Nature, not meant to be trifled with. When some people started usurping the expanse of the grounds originally provided by wise benefactors to an Agiary/Atash Behram, he first tried to explain how our ancestors were wise in maintaining a reasonable distance between the structure housing a Holy, consecrated fire and any human habitation or business activity to protect it from Druj influences/vibes radiating therefrom. We keep saying “Give me space” but don’t hesitate to encroach upon, and usurp the open spaces allotted to our Holy Fires under the pretext of providing cheaper(sic) accommodation. We even bulldoze our way into basic structure sweep away holy Bareshnum Gahs and other vital enclosures.
Similarly, he would not have so- called wise men tinkering with our consecrated Dakhmas. When he saw that opulent people doled out large sums to renovate the structures housing our Holy Fires at the drop of a hat and without any dire cause to shift Padshah Sahebs like furniture items, he put on his boxing gloves and pulled no punches in championing the cause of protecting our Holy Fires. He ruffled many feathers and invited a lot of undeserved criticism upon himself for being too blunt. Yet, when someone tries to assault or violate the chastity of any lady member of one’s family, one cannot be expected to indulge in the niceties of language! And here, it was our own Mother Din under threat from some greedy persons who presumed to understand the secrets of multidimensional Nature with their puny three dimensional intellect! It would be impossible to forget how he galvanized members of our community in public meetings he organized at Framji Cawasji and Patkar Halls. He roped in Vada Dasturjis and religious scholars who pitched in to make the community see religious sense. Thus, he successfully blocked wrong trends that were a threat to our traditional religious tenets and to our Holy Prophet’s teachings.
Adi was never one to respect chairs and personalities at the cost of Truth and religious conviction. Like a true Rathestar / warrior, he always sallied forth without fear or favour. Often, his dastardly opponents ganged up on him to bully, browbeat and muzzle him. Their egos could not take the bruising of his forthright views and their fear of taking him on, on an intellectual one to one basis, made them resort to such petty methods. Some passed strictures, others issued legal notices while others even summoned the Law to scuttle his protest meetings. Then there were the wiseacres who tried to humiliate him in the Press by irresponsibly bandying terms like “fruitcake” and “lunatic fringe” but through it all, Adi was never one to be daunted and always emerged the successful Teacher with a large following of Parsees who had come to know that here was a Teacher who really KNEW!
His book,”101 Questions and Answers” is indispensable for any Parsee, young or old, who genuinely seeks answers to questions on religious problems. One cannot but be awed by the body of his writings and lectures on a vast range of subjects starting from basics like the significance of Sudreh Kusti and moving on to lofty topics like our 16 astral Chakras, Ardaviraf Nameh, Cosmo genesis, Iranian History and innumerable themes he took pains to explain lucidly and convincingly. He delivered such impressive talks on the talismanic effect of our Niyashes, Yashts and Setayeshs that he got his students praying with faith and devotion. He cautioned his students to concentrate on the application of religious knowledge in day to day life rather than just pursue the same academically.
Adi’s classes were avidly attended, be they in South Mumbai or Central Mumbai. At times when lofty topics like Cosmogenesis appeared to weigh heavily, Adi would himself enliven the atmosphere with some humorous, witty remarks or draw some metaphors from current TV serials or Bollywood films. Some students would naively ask such questions that the mood would drop from the sublime to the ridiculous, thus giving a breather to take in more heavy water. He was even known to cater to thirst of smaller groups, craving for the esoteric knowledge of Khshnoom by conducting private sessions at far flung areas of Mumbai.
Another principle he always stressed was not defaulting in our duty to others, be it towards family, friends or our DIN. “Faraz na chor na bano”, he would emphasize. It was, therefore, impossible for him to be a mere onlooker when community members with self-interest, misused their power or position to assault the delicate esoteric infrastructure of our consecrated fires, Dakhmas or to wrongly encourage violations of core Zarthoshti values such as preservation of the Parsee tokham or seed. Some believed that Adi went overboard in criticizing such din dushmans. However, can one really ever go overboard in preventing damage to the religious fabric of the community?
When this frail, self-effacing figure appeared on a public platform, few dreamt that a dynamo of spiritual energy was about to charge and galvanize minds towards achieving a lofty religious goal. He just refused to be a bystander and let us remain mere onlookers – faraz na chor!
When the end came, it was his childhood enemy – chronic asthma which took such a heavy toll on his lungs that he was beyond recovery.
His Paidust was an assembly of students and grateful Humdeens, united in their thoughts like one big family with the same pain in their hearts but with a lofty tribute for their Teacher who was always humble, self-effacing and quiet.
The shepherd has gone but the sheep need not stray. The path has already been shown to them.
May his Ruvan progress early from Tanasak to Tanpasin.
[Editor’s Note: After publishing the above, we have received another short dedication to Adi by our veteran Khshnoom friend Mr. Rustom Patel. Rusi bhai (as we all call him) is one of the most energetic, but silent workers of Khshnoom. Over the years, he has maintained the Khshnoom library at Mahella Patel Agiary and taken care of the sale and distribution of Khshnoom books. Rusi bhai was also very fond of Adi and in fact handed over his rough handwritten manuscript to me during Adi’s Paidust. Due to pressure of work, I was not able to publish this earlier. I am printing it here in his own language, without any edition. I thank Mr. Rusi Patel for his sincerity and hard work and dedication towards Khshnoom.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram]
Last Man standing no More!
by Rustom K. Patel
An orthodox religious activist Mr. Adi Furrokh Doctor expired on 27th September, 2014 after battling a brief illness as well as a long battle against the various religious no-holds-barred campaign against the reformists bent on destroying the pristine pure spirituality of the Zoroastrian religion.
A simple, unassuming, honest man; a scholar in Avesta and Pahlavi, after his retirement as a bank officer dedicated his whole life towards the propagation of Zoroastrian religious principles and practices as propounded by the science of Ilm-e-Khshnoom. Exposing regularly the switching of loyalties of the politicians of today by community newspapers formerly espousing religious orthodoxy and the so called High Priests just propagating the western viewpoint without understanding the vital elements of the Zoroastrian religion.
It is pertinent to note that he was the last Parsi who displayed the fearlessness with which he furthered the campaigns, irrespective of the might, money power and muscle power of the so-called religious scholars, the Trustees of the apex BPP and others for their inability to maintain the sanctity of the Towers of Silence in Mumbai for disposal of the dead of the Parsi community. Similarly his campaigns against the land mafia and builders in eyeing the lands around the religious places like Atash Behrams and Agiaries in Mumbai. He was perhaps the only lone voice against the development of Udvada, where the loftiest Iranshah Fire burns, as he felt that the commercialization of the village would destroy the spiritual atmosphere.
He did not hesitate to take on the Head Priests of Mumbai, Udvada, Surat and Navsari who were bent upon doing away with the religious ceremonies which were instrumental is preserving the characteristics and religious fervour for over 1200 years after our coming from Iran.
These campaigns were in the nature of publishing the Parsee Voice for over 20 years, conducting religious classes and holding Anjuman meetings. He held regular classes for over 40 years explaining the principles and practices of our religion. Parsis are not aware or they turn a blind eye to the money and muscle power of the so-called Heads of the Community.
He was also a member of the ‘Council of Vigilant Parsees’, along with Noshir Dadrewala, Vada Dasturji K. N. Dastoor Meherji Rana, Curset Patel, among others. He was one of the few exponents of Zarthoshti Ilm-e-Khshnoom, the occult science explaining the spiritual aspects and meaning of the religion’s principles, practices as explained by the Abed Sahebs to the late Ustad Saheb Behramshah Nowroji Shroff and later on by the Chiniwalla and Masani brothers.
Adi was always available to anybody, including persons living abroad 24 hours, 365 days on the phone for clarifications and advice on religious questions regarding death, after death ceremonies, prayers and any other matter connected with the religion.
May the Ruvan of Behdin Adi Behdin Furrokh progress ahead!
[Editor’s Note: I am deeply thankful to Adi’s friend and Mr. Rustom Patel for allowing Frashogard to share their tributes to a much wider audience, all over the world.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram]