On June 4th, 2019, the Parsi Community mourned the loss of our most pious, cherished and globally revered Dasturji of the Bhagarsath Anjuman, Vada Dasturji Kaikhashru Navroji Dasturji Meherjirana, the 17th Dastur Meherjirana. Born on 16th January, 1927, he passed away at 2:55 am, at D N Mehta Hospital in Navsari, Gujarat, after being hospitalized for a few weeks, at the age of 92. He was a resident at the WZO Senior Citizens Centre, Navsari for the past five years. His death comes close on the heels of the passing of the world renowned Avestan Scholar and priest, Dasturji Kaikhusroo JamaspAsa, who passed away in London just last month.
Having completed his Navar and Martab initiations from the Vadi Daremeher in Navsari, Vada Dasturji Meherjirana was a graduate in Science and Law. The 17th heir to the historic Dasturji gaadi, he was a solicitor and General Manager Legal with Bank of India. He was also a leading exponent of the Ilm-e-Kshnoom, the esoteric science of Zoroastrian religion. He was at the forefront of all community campaigns, and vehemently respected and protected the traditional aspects of our religion and community. In January 2010, at the age of 83, he was anointed as the 17th Dastur Meherjirana in Navsari, where he lived out the rest of his pious life. His late father, Er. Navroze Dinshaw Dastoor was an accomplished senior priest who had served as the Nayab Dastoor (Assistant to the Vada Dastoor) under Dasturji Kekobad.
Vada Dasturji Meherjiranawas a mesmerizing orator, a passionate educator and an accomplished author. Well known for his encyclopaedic knowledge and sharp wit, his innumerable articles and speeches on Zoroastrianism have been well received globally. An accomplished Indian classical musician and flautist, he was a follower of the Kirana gharana and would frequently perform his musical recitals on All India Radio in Vadodara.
His paidast was held at the Navsari Doongerwadi on 4th June and his Uthamna prayers were performed at the Navsari Atash Behram as well as in Mumbai at the Mithaiwala Agiary on the 5th of June.
In Navsari, it was held at the Mody Hall of the Navsari Atash Behram and was attended by numerous senior priests including Vada Dasturji Khurshed Kekobad Dastoor of Udwada; Er. Aspandiar Dadachanji and Er. Dr. Pervez Bajan. Dinshaw Tamboly, Chairman – WZO Trust Funds, as also Yazdi Desai – BPP chairman, with wife Anahita Desai, CEO of WAPIZ, graced the occasion which was packed to capacity by devotees.
Speaking to Parsi Times on the sad occasion, Vada Dasturji of Iranshah (Udvada) Khurshedji Dastoor, said, “It is indeed very sad to lose two of our Community’s most cherished and pious spiritual leaders and religious visionaries, in such quick succession. Dasturji Meherjirana had immense knowledge about our religion and its practices and always provided great insights into Zoroastrianism. I convey heartfelt condolences to his family on behalf of the Udvada Anjuman and we stand by them in this sad hour. His loss is deeply mourned by the Zarthostis in India and all over the world.”