In the increasingly messy melee of the oncoming BPP elections, with anonymous messages circulating on Whatsapp and the Net, and rivalries at fever pitch, not enough note has been taken of a truly auspicious, momentous and historic occasion – the 250th Salgreh of the Navsari Atash Behram on October 3, 2015!
To our mind, this Atash Behram is perhaps the only edifice we have that comes close to a cathedral – so majestic and resplendent is its makaan that houses the Holy Fire, and so mystical and magical are the images of our revered saints that have appeared on its marbled walls!
The Atash Behram has put out an appeal (carried in our Jame this week on Page 17), which fervently pleads for funds. In our humble opinion, it is the duty of every Parsi to send whatever sum they can afford to. Such occasions come but rarely and if we don’t help maintain our own religious places of worship then who will?
After all, what did we come to India for but to uphold and preserve our religion and race? Generations of our ancestors put the faith first and this is what has sustained the community.
The BPP was set up to protect the Doongerwadi lands in perpetuity and ensure that Dokhmenashini is not threatened. Our Agiaries and religious institutions are on covenanted lands meant exclusively for the use of Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians and all this was done by our forefathers to ensure that the faith and community stay secure.
Today, it has become fashionable to shrug off religious responsibility. Many aspiring BPP Trustees are glibly saying religion is a “personal” issue to justify their ‘sitting-on-the-fence’ attitude towards ensuring the sanctity of our time-honoured practices and faith.
Yes, religion is a deeply personal quest– but as co-religionists our responsibility towards both religious observance and adherence is collective.
As the Navsari Atash Behram's Padshah Saheb celebrates 250 years of enthronement and efficacious glory, may the flame of faith be reignited in us – especially those who aspire to lead our flock.