‘Homaji ni Baj’ – Paying a Tribute

Today, 4th June, 2016, marks ‘Govad Roj’ of ‘Dae Mahino’, and is observed as the day of ‘Homaji ni Baj’, marking the death anniversary of the pious and saintly, Homa Jamshed Zaahiaa. Homaji is believed to be the patron saint of those who are timid, falsely accused and those who are troubled inspite of being innocent. In the ‘Afringan’ prayers, his honorable name is mentioned as Behdin Homa Behdin Jamshed, in the litany of names of pious persons. This day is commemorated as a religious day bearing testimony to a life of absolute righteousness and truth.

Homaji was the son of Jamshed, a weaver in Bharuch – a strong Parsi enclave in Gujarat. His father Jamshed Zaahiaa was a poet and a prominent citizen of Bharuch. An Agiary at Palia Street in Nanpura District of Surat is named after Jamshed Zaahiaa. Homaji was a victim of the unfortunate Kabiseh controversy which divided the community very bitterly and violently, around the middle of the 18th century. The controversy flared up seriously in Bharuch in 1782. A pregnant lady falsely accused Homaji of kicking her and causing a miscarriage. Homaji was brought to trial before the Nawab of Bharuch and then to Bombay before the British court. Homaji pleaded his innocence but incensed by the Kabiseh controversy, a false testimony was given against him, based on which Homaji was given the capital punishment – he was hanged to death at the corner of Bazaar gate at Fort on Govad Roj of Dae Mahino i.e. in 1152 YZ [1783 AD]

Before Homaji was hanged, he declared that he was innocent of the charge brought against him and that his sentence was not just. He reportedly added that the person who had leveled the false charge against him would be found dead on the fourth day (Chahrum) after his death. He is also believed to have said that all those who will remember him for his honesty and innocence will receive his blessings. It is recorded in history that the lady who wrongly accused Homaji and the person who gave the false witness testimony against Homaji, were both found dead in their houses, on the Chahrum day of Homaji’s death. To this day, devout Parsis observe Govad Roj in Dae Mahino as ‘Homaji Ni Baj’ – a solemn occasion for remembering this martyr of the Kabiseh controversy. There are religious prayers held in Agiaries and at Parsi homes in his pious memory.

Prayer For The Day: Panthaky of Mevawala Agiary, Byculla, Er. Dr. Parvez Bajan said, “Today being the death anniversary of this saintly main, one can perform the ‘Afargan Baj’ prayers in the Agiary. One can also pray the ‘Stom No Kardo’, taking his name, in praise of departed Homaji, while offering our usual fruits and flowers”.

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