Er. Tehemton Mirza Appointed Second Vada Dasturji At Iranshah Atashbehram

On 11th February, 2024, (Roj Aneran, Mah Shehrevar: 1393 YZ), the Udvada Athornan Anjuman instated Er. Tehmton Burjor Mirza as the second High Priest (Vada Dasturji) of the holiest of holy, Iranshah Atashbehram, in Udvada, alongside Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor. The ordainment, which took place at the Shreeji Pak Iranshah Atashbehram Hall, was announced earlier by the Udwada Nine Family Shehenshahi Athornan Anjuman and The Udwada Samast Anjuman.

43-year-old Vada Dasturji Tehemton Mirza is the sixth High Priest of Iranshah Atashbehram and his ordainment puts an end to the eight-year wait of the tradition of having dual high priests at the Atashbehram, post the passing away of Vada Dastoorji Peshotan Mirza, in 2016. This dual arrangement, established to ensure democratic principles within the Anjuman, has been ongoing for over 300 years, since the settlement of the Sanjana priests in Udvada.

The members of the Anjuman, who had been trying for years to convince Dasturji Mirza to take on the mantle of the second high priest at Udvada were delighted when he finally conveyed his acquiescence. Hailing from a lineage of priesthood on the maternal and paternal side of his family, he shared that his family took great pride in their affiliation as practising priests catering to the world’s most sacred fire temple which housed the most sacrosanct fire which has been constantly aflame, for over a millennium now. He possesses first-hand knowledge of several issues, having earlier served on the Managing Committee of the Udvada Athornan and Udvada Samast Anjumans, and looks forward to resolving the same.

Sharing his views on the decline in priesthood, he acknowledged that the community had been struggling with this issue for a while, mainly because of poor compensation and societal stigma surrounding priesthood. He added that merely funding would still not solve this problem as the concept of priesthood transcended monetary considerations, and that it was a vocation of the heart and soul. He shared that there was a need to cultivate an encouraging environment for priests, within the Parsi community.

Born into a middle-class Parsi family, Vada Dasturji Tehemton pursued his priestly education at Mumbai’s Dadar Athornan Institute, and established a strong career in the field of sales and marketing. In addition to his age which facilitates his connecting with Parsi youth, his friendly and kind demeanour and sense of humour will prove effective in him sharing his indepth religious knowledge and influencing the younger generation. We wish him the very best!

Leave a Reply