Behman Sohrabji Banaji (1874-1956)
Mr. Behman Sohrabji Banaji left Bombay in June 1923 on a world tour to deliver lectures and returned to Bombay on 8th September 1924. He toured London, America, China, Japan travelling 25000 miles by sea and delivered 35 lectures at various cities and on steamers. All lectures were in English on the following subjects:
- Oriental and Occidental ways of finding God.
- How to hold communion with the Infinite spirit.
- The Direct Method of Holding Communion (Illustrated with lantern slides).
- How to Unfold the Mighty Powers of Man (with lantern slides).
- The Kingdom of God within Man (with lantern slides).
- The Civilization of the Ancient Persians.
- Ancient Persia and the Modern Parsees (with 100 lantern slides).
- The Zoroastrian Symbolism of Spiritual Worship.
- Discovery of 16 Fire Energies in Zoroastrianism.
- The Position of Women in Zoroastrianism.
- Freemasonry in Oriental Symbolism.
- The Virgin Birth of Christ.
He delivered 5 lectures at spiritual Mission Church at London, one lecture at Utopian Club one lecture under the auspices of Parsi Mandal at Hotel Cecil, in all 7 lectures at London.
He delivered 15 lectures as under at New York, U.S.A.:
11 lectures at The League For The Larger Life
3 lectures at The Oasis society
1 lecture at The Sufi Centre
One lecture at The Royal Asiatic Society organized b the Zoroastrians at Shanghai (The local Zoroastrian Anjuman presented him a valuable silver inkstand).
At Hong Kong – one lecture for the local Zoroastrian residents.
At Colombo – one lecture for the local Zoroastrian residents.
9 Lectures delivered on the following steamers:
One lecture on board “Majestic” steamer (during the voyage from London to New York).
Four lectures aboard “President Pollock” Dover Line (during the voyage from New York to Colombo).
Four lectures on board “Sicilia” (during voyage from Colombo to Bombay).
(Source: Parsee Prakash Vol. VI p. 101 Jame Jamshed 23rd September, 1924)
He devised a scheme for a Parsi industrial colony at Uran. Sir Hormusji Cowasji Dinshaw Adenwalla laid the foundation stone after a jashan ceremony at Dhunwadi before a large gathering on 5th March, 1936. (Parsee Prakash Vol. VII p. 292)
Obituary: Mr. Behman Sohrab Jehangirji Banaji
A sympathetic servant of the Parsi community who sincerely helped his poor destitute community members. He served for several decades organisations such as Iran League and Rathestar Mandal. After his voyage to America he designed several schemes for the progress of the community one of which was to establish a Parsi colony at Uran. He persevered for the success of this scheme.
Unfortunately it did not see the light of day during his lifetime. He successfully managed for some time a scheme to feed unemployed Parsis once a day. He would manage to get aid for poor families. He was a good author in English and Gujarati. He was also famous as a prolific orator.
He passed away at age 82 on Roz 8 Daepadar Mah 3 Khordad 1326 Y.Z. 7th November, 1956. Jame Jamshed 15-11-1956 Kaiser-e-Hind 18.11.1956.
He authored many books:
- Bandaginu Bal bandagina malela janva layak javabo 1909, 1910, 1923
- The Coming World Savior A wonderful vision 1943
- Dikrane Baapni Khangi Salah 1919, 1929
- Gupt Manshaktini Shodh Ek Manas dukh dard, mot ane naseeb upar kabu rakhee shake 1927
- The Life and Faith of Ancient Persia – lectures on Iranian subjects delivered round the world tour in 1923-1924 published in 1928
- Motno Bhed – Gujrelani Duniya Ruhona Sandesha 1917, 1929, 1931
- Dikrine Matani Khangi Salah 1921, 1932
- Ek Mahan Shodh – Marji Pramanena Balako Boy or Girl at will 1908, 1914, 1924
- Strino Madadgar Firesto 1904, 1928
- The Greatest Discovery of Psychology enabling man to control death, disease and destiny.
- Parsi Komni Halni Halat – teni behtarine maate agatyani yojna
- The Great Pyramid and Freemasonry 1938
- Coordinating Council of Zarthoshti Religious Bodies – “Humata” – Good thoughts March 1944, June 1944, Sept. 1944.
Courtesy : Marazban Giara