Tribute To Vada Dasturji Peshotan Mirza

Dr.Peshotan Dastur Hormazdyar Mirza copyOn Sunday, 26th June 2016, (Roj Gosh, Mah Bahman) our beloved Vada Dasturji Dr. Peshotan Dastur Hormazdyar Mirza of Shri Iranshah Atashbehram, passed away at the age of seventy-two years, after a long, brave battle with cancer, at the Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai. His will be missed by all in our community for a very long time, as he was a friendly, helpful soul and commanded love and respect from all – friends, family, fellow-priests, colleagues and the community.

Vada Dasturji Dr. Peshotan Mirza was born in a celebrated priestly family in Udvada in November 1944. He undertook his priestly training alongside his academic studies at The MF Cama Athornan Institute, Andheri and was ordained into the Zoroastrian Priesthood of Navar, Maratab, Samel, and also performed higher liturgical and bui ceremonies of Iranshah Atash Behram, Udvada. He pursued the Science stream, acquiring a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Mumbai. He also studied Avesta Pahlavi and Ancient Iranian History at Sir J.J. Madressa, Mumbai. His appointment as the exalted position of Vada Dastur (High-Priest) of Iranshah Atash Behram; Samast Anjuman, Udvada took place on 13th May, 2004. He held various senior positions in the academic and corporate sectors in Iran and India, and was passionate about gaining religious knowledge and performing religious duties.

In an earlier interview with the Parsi Times, Vada Dasturji had said, “By sheer dint of their faith in Religion, Prophet Zarathustra and Almighty Lord Ahura Mazda they not only trounced difficulties but flourished practically in all walks of life and inspite of their small number contributed handsomely in the development of our country. Thus, it becomes our Religious Duty to emulate our forefathers. My sincere wish and prayer for our community is that Parsis work hard and flourish in their chosen field; marry within the fold at the right age and expand the families to the right size. We must strive to maintain our religious identity, and at the same time treat members of other communities with respect, justice and friendship – just as our forefathers did. May Lord Ahura Mazda shower His divine blessings upon every member of the Parsi/Irani Zarothosti community in particular and Humanity at large! Amen!”

Not many may be aware that he was also a lecturer in Chemistry at St. Xavier’s College and at Mumbai Development and Documentation Scientist at International Draxon Industries, Tehran, Iran. Invited to the ‘World Conference on Spiritual Regeneration and Human Values’ at Bangalore in January 2003, he addressed the gathering on ‘Spirituality and Science’. Known for his great oratory skills, he held many lectures on the Zoroastrian religion and history in India and globally – including Singapore, Dubai, Karachi and Iran.
Surely his absence will be felt greatly by our community, and the void he leaves behind will remain for a long time… but perhaps not as much as it would be felt by his fellow Vada Dastur, Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, who spent years together as joint religious mentors of our community and who spent those crucial moments by the bedside of Vada Dasturji Dr. Peshotan Mirza, as he breathed his last. Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor shares the following beautiful and touching eulogy, as a tribute to our beloved departed…

A Tribute to Vada Dasturji Peshotan Mirza by Vada Dasturji Khurshedji Dastoor

“Ashaaonaam vanghuhish suraao spentaao fravashayo; Staomi zbayemi ufyemi yazamaide. Nmaanayaao vîsayaao zañtumaao, dâkhyumaao zarathushtrôtemaao”. This prayer means, ‘I praise, remember and invoke the good, heroic and the beneficent Fravashis of the brave and righteous people and I sing their glory. We worship those Fravashis belonging to the house, to the street, to the town, belonging to the province and the highest priests.’

maxresdefault_thumb copyI had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Dasturji Peshotan, in 2002, when I was ordained as High Priest of Udvada. Due to his father’s ill-health, Dasturji and I would meet to discuss matters of the Anjuman and various other issues regarding our religion. Thus, a new relationship blossomed between us – that of brotherhood. In the inspiring fourteen years that we worked together, we were nearly always sharing the same opinion on most everything – the extremely rare occasions when we thought differently, we always resolved the differences amicably, as I loved and revered him as an elder brother.

Being a Ph. D in Chemistry, his technical knowledge in Science enabled him to explain and view the practical aspects of our religion with greater insight. He was extremely knowledgeable about our religion, customs and practices. It was always a pleasure traveling with him to Udvada, for our monthly meetings. During the journey he would regale me by imparting unique and researched facts about our Iranian history, religion and it’s practicality in today’s world.

Vada Dasturji Peshotan Mirza was a gentle, humble, noble, soft-spoken human being, who lived out all his capacities to their fullest realisations – a devoted husband to Maharukh; a loving father to Aban and Darius; a highly respected Vada Dasturji of Udvada Anjuman and our community; and lastly a friend, guide and supportive elder brother to me. Dasturji Peshotan left for his heavenly journey and leaving behind a void in our community, to unite with our Maker, on Roj Gosh Mah Bahman 1385 Y.Z. May his pious soul progress in Garothman Bahest and may his blessings be on our Anjuman and our Community at large.

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