Dasma day observed for Dasturji Meherji

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Roj Sarosh Mah Sherevar, 1379 Yz.

Today marked the Dasma (10th day after death) of Dasturji Meherji. A series of ceremonies was held, both in Navsari and at the Ustad Saheb Behramshah N. Shroff Daremeher in Jogeshwari to mark this occasion. On the previous day, a complete Vandidad ceremony was also performed at Jogeshwari by young Ervad Sahebs Kurush Dastur and Yazad Mandviwala, currently studying at the Dadar Athornan Institute.

A few days ago, I went on a one-day trip to Navsari to meet Mrs. Meherbanu, the wife of late Dasturji Meherji.

In the course of discussions with her, I managed to get some more insights into the caring and intimate relationship which both of them enjoyed over nearly 50 years of married life. On the day preceding his death, Dasturji got up early as usual, and made tea for both of them. As they finished tea, Dasturji decided not to have breakfast since he was feeling uneasy. This uneasiness worsened and he was taken to a doctor, who advised that Dasturji be shifted to a cardiac care unit. A cardiac ambulance was requisitioned and Dasturji was taken to Surat where emergency treatment was given. Even the next morning, Dasturji was conscious and asked his wife whether she had had dinner the previous night and tea that morning! His conditioned worsened thereafter and in a short time it was all over.

I have already described to my readers the events which happened during the evening Uthamna of Dasturji Meherji. An important clarification which needs to be made is that contrary to what I had written earlier, there was no written request from Dasturji Meherji for making Ervad K. N. Dastoor as the next Vada Dasturji. However, Ervad K. N. Dastoor being one of the closest lineal descendants of the original Dastur Meherjirana, the post was offered to him by the Anjuman and he accepted.

Moreover, I also gathered some additional information regarding the events which happened after the dawn (Padruz) Uthamna which I would like to share with you. At the conclusion of the Uthamna, a procession of senior Mobeds led by Dasturji Firoze M. Kotwal accompanied Ervad K. N. Dastoor to the Vadi Daremeher – the second oldest Fire in India after Iranshah, and the Sanctum of the Bhagarsath Anjuman. It is in this sacred and hallowed place that over the last 800 years, thousands of Yazashne, Vandidad, Nirangdin ceremonies and the initiation of well over 8000 priests has been performed. There, in the presence of the Sacred Fire, and in the hall whose walls are infused with the vibrations of those millions of hours of Avesta Manthravani, Ervad K. N. Dastoor was given a simple cotton Pichori by Khurshed Desai as the final step in his confirmation as the 17th Dastur Meherjirana. The occupants of this oldest Gaadi have always put on the simple cotton Pichori over their shoulders as a mark of their humility and frugality of living, and the near seclusion in which they spend their lives.

After my meeting with Mrs. Meherbanu, I requested for a meeting with the new Vada Dasturji, Dastur Kaikhushroo, which was very graciously granted by him at very short notice. Over nearly half a hour, we discussed the events of the last few days and Dasturji’s plan for the future. There was lots more to talk about, but there was a steady stream of visitors anxious to meet with him and hence we decided to meet later at more leisure.

The next day Dasturji Kaikhushroo returned to Mumbai and was received and felicitated at the Mumbai Central Station by a group of close friends and associates. A more formal felicitation has been organized on the 4th of February, 2010 which happens to be the Baj of late Ervad Dosabhai Desai, the teacher and very close friend of Dasturji Kaikhushroo at the Mahella Patel Agiary at Grand Road.

In this manner, the affairs of the Bhagarsath Anjuman have resumed their normal course after a few days of excitement and hectic activity. The next important occasion will be the Siroza (30th day) and Masiso (31st day) of Dasturji Meherji which will fall on 21st and 22nd of February. Details for the program on these days will be announced later on.

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram