Category Archives: Notable Zoroastrians

Fali Nariman

“There are some great minds that create a great mark. Fali Sam Nariman continues to be one such personality. He is a jurist, a true living prodigy of law.
Fali Sam Nariman has had a thriving career as a lawyer. He started his career at the Bombay High Court. He practiced law for 22 years and he was then appointed as ‘Senior Advocate’ by the Supreme Court of India. This was in the year 1971.
He is internationally recognized and continues to be a living legend. The renowned Fali Sam Nariman has been honoured with Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Gruber Prize for Justice.
He is best-known for his sense of humour and his great contributions to Indian law system. He is known for having a positive attitude, a witty mind, and a big smile on his face. He is a pleasing personality, who never fails to catch the attention of people.
To quote Fali Sam Nariman, “Our sense of humour has become zero today. Let alone be our sense of fun. Nobody appreciates anything.”
We need more personalities like Fali Sam Nariman. It is surely his positive attitude towards life that is still fit and fabulous!

Let us celebrate the 92nd birthday of this living legend, today (10th January 2021).”

JEHANGIR BISNEY

THE STORY OF SANT KUKADARU SAHEB

Sant Dasturji Jamshedji Ervad Sorabji Kukadaru Saheb was born at Surat on May 26, 1831, on Mah Avan, Roj Zamyad. Dasturji Jamshedji Kukadaru Saheb was a pious man who led a pure and righteous life. He remained away from worldly ways and personal publicity. His great­ness lay in his simplicity and humanity. His material needs were restricted to the bare needs and necessities of life.
Dastur Azar Kaiwan Bin Azar Gushasp, who was Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb’s spiritual guru, gave to Kukadaru Saheb the follow­ing Nirang.
“NAMAJ-VA-DARUD-VASE-TAYESH-VA-AFREEN
BARVAJE-E-KAIWAN-SAFRE- HAR FE-NAAM
RA VAN-E-LA-TEEMAR-TEEN-E- U
ARMAN-SAZ-HARDE NAMANE-HOM”
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb was the spiritual guide to Ervad Nadarsha Navroji Aibara and he gave him a special Nirang as under:
“YA NOORE DASTAGEER, YA DASTAGEERE NOOR
KARAM KAR KAREEMA RAHEM KARO YA PARVARDEGAR
MADAD KARO YA NABEE JARTHOST TARI PADSHAHI”
SIMPLE LIFE
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb led a simple and frugal life. He would spend the whole day in prayers. A strict vege­tarian, he would eat just one meal a day – usually khichdi and a little ghee. It is said that he used to cook the rice himself by placing the vessel in the sun while reciting cer­tain holy Maanthras or Nirangs.
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb served as Panthaky of the holy fire at Seth Shapurji Kappawalla Agiary in Mumbai. He commanded tremendous respect among the Behdins. Whenever he attended a wedding or Navjote, the whole gathering would stand up as a mark of respect.
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb set a living example of how powerful a true prayer can be and how the recitation of the Avesta, with a clean heart, can get one really close to Dadar Ahura Mazda. He based his whole life on the three main tenets of Zoroastrianism – Manashni, Gavashni, Kunashni, to be pure in mind, words and deeds. Such holy souls are born once in several cen­turies.
MIRACLES
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb performed several notewor­thy miracles. He had also made many accurate predic­tions. It is said that his third eye had opened, due to which he was able to foretell future events accurately He had predicted accurately the time of death of Dastur Peshotan Sanjana, Sir Dinshaw Petit, England’s Queen Victoria and several others.
His great miracles are remembered by people even today. During the life of Dasturji Kukadaru, Anjuman Atash Behram was being constructed at Dhobi Talao. The Trustees were short of Rs. 10,000. All the Trustees were in a quandary as to where to get such a large sum from Some Zarathushtis, who were true devotees of Kukadaru Saheb, thought of approaching him and said he would show the way He also had opponents. One of them said: “Kukadaru Saheb is a very poor Mobed. From where can he give us Rs. 10,000?” But those who had faith in him went to him one day at 5 p.m. One Zarathushti, who opposed him, also went along.
Kukadaru Saheb was engrossed in prayer at Kappawalla Agiary. After finishing his prayers, he asked the Zarathushtis the reason for their arrival. His devotees stated that Rs.10,000 was the deficit for building a Hall at the Anjuman Atash Behram. Kukadaru Saheb, by a sig­nal from his inner self, asked them to come next evening at 5 p.m. with a brick. He told them not to buy a new brick from a shop, but to bring one fallen by the wayside. The people went in search of a brick the next morning. From morning to noon and noon to evening, they could not find a brick on the road. By evening, the Zarathushti who used to speak against Kukadaru Saheb stumbled and fell on the road. When he got up with the support of a brick, the other Zarathushtis said: “We have found the brick. Now we must go before Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb.”
They all went to meet Kukadaru Saheb at the Kappawalla Agiary Dasturji Kukadaru was engrossed in prayers. After finishing his prayers, they showed him the brick. Dasturji Kukadaru told them to place the brick in a bounded square (Pavi) in the next room. Those people who had faith in Kukadaru Saheb said: “Tomorrow evening, surely there will be a mira­cle.” But the Zarathushti who used to criticize Kukadaru Saheb said: “Tomorrow Kukadaru Saheb will be put to shame.”
On the third day at 5 p.m., all the Zarathushtis went before Kukadaru Saheb. That day Kukadaru Saheb spent the entire day in prayer. After finishing, he told them: “Whatever you find in the bound square in the next room, take that.” Then the Zarathushti who was against him said: “We have come to collect Rs.10,000, not bricks and stones.”
Dasturji Kukadaru replied to that Zarathushti: “If bricks and stones are your destiny; you will get only that.” But those who had respect for Kukadaru Saheb went in and to their great surprise found that the brick had transformed into gold. This was a great miracle. Kukadaru Saheb had not even seen where the Zarathushtis had kept the brick in the adjoining room. But he had prayed to Dadar Ahura Mazda and urged that some path be opened to build a Hall at the Anjuman Atash Behram. The Zarathushti who used to speak against Kukadaru Saheb saw this grand miracle and bowed his head in shame. He sought forgiveness from Kukadaru Saheb.
Thereafter all the Zarathushtis took the golden brick to weigh it. It fetched exactly Rs.10,000; not a rupee more, nor a rupee less. Out of Rs.10,000, the Anjuman Atash Behram Hall was con­structed. That Hall was named Dasturji Jamshedji Sorabji Kukadaru Hall. There is a portrait of Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb in this Hall, below which is a large plaque. Devotees, even today bow there in rever­ence, pray and light divas.
From Jam-e-Jamshed 3-1-2021

Dance pioneer Astad Deboo passes away in Mumbai

‘His works represent an important segment in contemporary dance expression in India,’ the Sangeet Natak Akademi had said.

Dance pioneer Astad Deboo passed away in the early hours of Thursday, his family said in a brief announcement. He was 73.

“He left us in the early hours of December 10, at his home in Mumbai, after a brief illness, bravely borne,” the announcement on social media said. “He leaves behind a formidable legacy of unforgettable performances combined with an unswerving dedication to his art, matched only by his huge, loving heart that gained him thousands of friends and a vast, number of admirers.”

The announcement added: “The loss to the family, friends, fraternity of dancers, both classical and modern, Indian and international, is inestimable.May he rest in peace. We will miss him.”

Deboo is noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian.

He “has created a dance-theatre style which successfully assimilates Indian and Western techniques”, said the citation for the the Sangeet Natak Akademi he received in 1995 for his contribution to contemporary creative dance and a Padma Shri in 2007.

“He has experimented with a variety of forms, themes, concepts and performance spaces, and has collaborated with other dancers, composers and designers to create innovative works of aesthetic value,” it said. “His works represent an important segment in contemporary dance expression in India.”

Deboo, who was born on July 13, 1947, in the town of Navsari in Gujarat, began to train in kathak under Prahlad Das in Kolkata and in kathakali under EK Pannicker.

“Later, he attended the London School of Contemporary Dance, learning Martha Graham’s modern dance technique, and learnt Jose Limon’s technique in New York,” the Akademi said. “He has also trained with Pina Bausch in the Wuppertal Dance Company, Germany, attended workshops of the Pilobolus Dance Company, and attended American Dance Festival classes in the United States.”

He was noted, among other collaborations, for his work with hearing impaired people and with street children.

In an interview with Ranjana Dave in Scroll.in in 2018 looking back on his 50-year career, Deboo said that he drawn in influences not only from dance but other artistic disciplines too.

“My main problem was that there were no dancers who wanted to work with me,” he said. “Indian classical dancers would come to me in order to start exploring their own language, but they were always afraid of being rusticated by their gurus. So, I turned to other performing arts disciplines – puppetry, thang ta and pung cholom. I liked that they had a vocabulary of movement I could create with.”

Read the interview here:

Astad Deboo looks back on his 50 years in dance and the time he travelled on a ship with goats

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

https://scroll.in/latest/980798/dance-pioneer-astad-deboo-passes-away-in-mumbai

How PARSIS of India Contributed to build India a world leader?

 

The first thing people say when speaking of PARSIS before we go How “PARSIS of India contributed to India”, is “How tiny the community is”.

In the whole Indian subcontinent, there are about 70,000 Parsis alive the day I am writing this article.

Click Here for the full article

Naoroji, India’s forgotten first nationalist

#SoftCover Speaking on his new book “Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism” at ThePrint’s new collaboration with Harper Collins called ‘SoftCover’ and online launch, historian Dinyar Patel talks about the man who inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru – Dadabhai Naoroji. Patel points out in this eminently readable biography that Naoroji is far more important to the idea of India than a man who first thought up the “drain of wealth” theory — how the British were sucking millions of pounds out of India every year — or the fact that he was the first Indian to be elected to the British Parliament, that he was the co-founder of the Indian National Congress along with Surendra Nath Bonnerjea and Allan Octavian Hume and that it was he who first thought up the idea of ‘Swaraj’. Watch :

Jivanji Jamshedji Modi’s speech at the Parliament of Living Religions

Sir Jivanji Jamshedji Modi’s Speech at the Parliament of World Religions.1893 at Chicago

The glory of the Parliament of World Religions was most obvious in the opening ceremony, on Sept. 11, 1893. More than 4000 people had gathered in the Hall of Columbus, when at 10oclock a dozen representatives from different faiths marched into the hall hand in hand. At the same time, the Columbian Liberty bell, in the Court of Honour tolled ten times, honouring the ten great world religions—Confucianism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Among the speakers Swami Vivekananda’s three speeches drew the most attention.

The aim of the conference was to bring together in conference, for the first time in history, the leading representatives of the great historic religions of the world and to set forth, by those most competent to speak, what are deemed the important distinctive truths held and taught by each Religion.

Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha was requested by Dadabhai Navroji to prepare a paper on the Zoroastrian Religion to present at the Parliament. In the published report of the Parliament of Religions 1893 (Vol 1, p. 58) the President writes “Hon. Dadabhoy Navrojee, M.P., of London, Jivanji Jamshedji Modi, Dastur Dr. Jamaspi Minocher Jamasp Asa, M.A. Ph.D., and Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha, took active interest in the Parliament and enlisted the cooperation of the Parsis of India “However, Ervad Sheriarji Bharucha was unable to attend the Parliament.

Sir Jivanji  Jamhedji Modi addressed this historic Parliament of World Religions in 1893.

He gives a detailed account of the religion, manners and customs of the Parsis. On the lighter side, he mentions, that the qualifications for a good husband are that he should be young, handsome, strong, brave, healthy, diligent, industrious, truthful, wise and educated. A good wife must be wise, educated, modest, courteous, obedient and chaste”. “According to the sad-dar, a wife who gives herself to her husband three times a day-in the morning, afternoon and evening performs as meritorious an act as that of saying her prayers three times a day”.

He explains, “Zoroastrianism or Parsism, by whatever name the system may be called is a monotheistic form of Religion. It believes in the existence of one God Ahura Mazda”. We might hardly conceive what human belief would be now had Zoroaster never existed.

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beliefs and customs of thr religion of Zarathustra by JJ MODI

Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy

Birthday Salutations to
Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy
(15th July-1783 to 14th April 1859)
The biggest Philanthropist — Maker of Modern Mumbai
His wife Lady Jeejeebhoy by making Mahim Causeway contributed to biggest wealth creation in Indian History Development of city of Mumbai
Today is the 237th  Birth Anniversary of Sir JJ. His contribution towards building this great city is unparalleled and he could be rightly called founding father of Mumbai.
Following are the contributions of this great person and his family:
1) Before 1845 people beyond Mahim were traveling to city by ferries causing lot of hardships, deaths and other problems. To resolve this hardship faced by poor people Lady Jamshetji contributed full amount to construct the Mahim causeway bridge with a condition that there would be no toll.
In last 165 years the city has grown leaps and bounds unimaginably due to this great contribution.
Can we imagine anyone doing this today when even governments do not build anything without toll?
2) Sir JJ group of Hospitals and Grant Medical College.
Since 1845 this Institution is one of the oldest and best Institutes in Asia Ranked always in first 10 in India and one of the 8 institutes recognized by Singapore Medical Council is built on large Grant from Sir JJ.
This treats 1200000 OPD and 80000 indoor patients every year .
Must have treated at least 30 Crore patients in last 160 years
This is done before start of Mumbai University which means Sir JJ was a pioneer in education and he provided best health services almost FREE of cost to poor people.
3) Sir JJ Dharmashala running for last 150 years takes care of old and destitutes till today.
4) Sir JJ school of Architecture: One of the best in country and produced some of the best architects in India
5) Sir JJ school of Arts from where some of our finest artistes have emerged.
6) Sir JJ school of Commercial Art
7) He built innumerable schools hospitals and Agyaries.
Above all we all use Charni Road Railway Station. Do we know that all this precious land belonged to Sir JJ? He donated this land, again free of cost, to build Charni Road Station.
All these contributions could run into thousands of crores of rupees in today’s valuations. Mumbai owes a lot to this great person  who was an orphan, completely self made , practically educated and knew what troubles the common man goes through.
My humble tribute and salute to this great Mahamanav who contributed towards modernity , growth and happiness of the
Common man.
For his outstanding contributions Queen Victoria conferred baronetcy on India’s first Knight
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