A group called "Disposal of the dead with dignity Action Group" approached the Trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) to pass a resolution, which was passed and kept in abeyance allowing the use of bunglis at the doongerwadi for ceremonies even though the corpse was not to be consigned to the sacred dokhmas. A gross religious gunah (sin)!
Taking in view the gravity of the situation, the Traditional Zarathushtris Mailing list (TZML) sponsored a Vada Dasturjis Public Meeting. Our religious heads are obviously the right persons to guide us and explain our religious tenets as they should be. The Vada Dasturjis Public Meeting was held on April 21, 2001 Mah Adar Roj Shehrevar at the Framjee Cawasjee Hall at Dhobi Talao, Mumbai. It was a large gathering of devout Zarathushtris almost 750 in numbers(many had to be turned out due to lack of accommodation).
The Vada Dasturjis Public Meeting (VDPM) was a grand event. Just close your eyes and portray this picture. Zoroastrian High Priests seated by each other on a stage. All white turbaned (safed paghdi) gentlemen. How elegant, how majestic! The feeling of pride that here is someone who has the AUTHORITY to speak about our sacred religion.
At the dot of 6:10 all the Vada Dasturjis made an entrance on the stage. The Master of Ceremonies Noshir Dadrawala welcomed the crowd that had gathered and requested the Dasturjis to lead us all in a humbandagi of 2 yathas and 1 ashem which all of us prayed with devotion.
The stage comprised of 6 Vada Dasturjis as follows:-
The stage also comprised of our Naib Dasturjis as well. A Naib Dastur is one who is a successor to his father as a High Priest.
The community was hence assured of the continuity of the lineage of the Vada Dasturji sahebs.
Noshir briefly introduced each of the Vada Dasturji sahebs and thanked them for having travelled long distances as far as Bangalore to attend this meeting.
Vada Dasturji saheb Dr. JamaspAsa then gave a wonderful educative talk on the dokhmenashini system. His speech was accompanied by cheerful applause from the audience who were totally enraptured by his thoughts which left a marked impression in the minds of many. He was given a standing ovation with immense respect.
Vada Dasturji saheb Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal gave a scriptural reference talk in gujarati. He explained the meaning of the term Nassesalar. We are all aware that a dead body is the highest rank of naso. Naso is putrefied matter. Hence, Nassesalar is the person who handles the Naso. It is therefore incorrect for anybody to have access to the dokhmas besides the Nassesalars and therefore nobody can peep in as if it were their bawa no bagicho (father's flower garden) and comment on what is the state of affairs in there. He also received a standing ovation and a thunderous applause from time to time during his speech.
This was followed by Vada Dasturji Saheb Nadirsha Pestonji Unvala (Bangalore) who explained that such situations on religious matters in Bangalore get resolved very easily because the Trustees of the Bangalore Anjuman always consult him on religious doctrinal issues and also IMPLEMENT his advice only.
Naib Dasturji Dr. Peshotan Mirza with a PhD in chemistry then explained that it was a misconception that a body when cremated is reduced to ashes. Only 5% is ash and the rest of it pollutes the air.
A resolution was subsequently passed by the Vada Dasturjis themselves asking the BPP Trustees to call for a Samast Anjuman Meeting having heard them and then making a final decision.
Zenobia's comment: After hearing the religious heads if the Trustees do not rescind the controversial resolution they need to step down because if they cannot respect a religious body then they cannot hypocritically say "We are good Zoroastrians" BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT! They should hang their heads in shame.
I would like to thank various people who made this meeting successful.
- Report by Ms. Zenobia Patel
Kudos to all the brave warriors of our religion, who have stood up and defended our religion in this evil age. All of us are indeed proud, that there are such LIONS in our midst, it is our good fortune to be among such worthy people.
This historic meeting shows, once and for all, that the Zarathushtri community stands solidly behind our VADA DASTURJEES, who are the true spiritual representatives of Asho Zarathushtra in the world today. This is as it should be - every religion needs a powerful voice of authority down the ages. A religious authority such as the Vada Dasturjees is every important for our religion, to prevent it being diluted away (God forbid) as the liberals want it to be.
May the Vada Dasturjees, with the Zarathushtri communitity's full backing and support, ably defend our religion till the arrival of the Glorious Rainidar. Atha Jamyat Yatha Afrinami, May it happen so as we wish.
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