Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fwd: Remembering late Mr. Roni K Khan - on his 5th Baj today

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: TZML Admn <>
Date: Aug 1, 2007 9:28 AM
Subject: Remembering late Mr. Roni K Khan - on his 5th Baj today
To: TZML <>

Dear friends,    
[cc: Mrs. Sherena R Khan, Mr. Noshir H Dadrawalla, TMYZ officials, prominent Zarathushtis ]
Today on roj Sarosh, mah Asfandardmad YZ 1376 (1st Aug 2007) is the baj of late Mr. Roni K Khan, one of the founding members of TZML.
Mr. Roni K Khan passed away on roj Sarosh, mah Asfandarmad, YZ 1371 (2nd Aug 2002).
Mr. Khan was a sincere and devout orthodox gentleman, well versed in the scholarly study of the religion. He had himself penned several articles and books.
He firmly believed that intermarriage was a strict no-no in the Zarathushti religion, be it male or female.
He also took great pains in explaining the true meaning of conversion, which definitely does not imply converting a person born in one religion into another.
In the footnote we have summarised the sources of some of Roni Khan's writings.
His greatness was acknowledged by many Zoroastrians in their tribute to him, which we reproduce below.
On his 5th baj (death anniversary), we pay homage to his soul and express our sincere gratitude to him for guiding the community on important matters and sharing his wisdom and insights with members of the community.
TZML Admins
(Apologies if we have missed reproducing any tributes here)
(Apologies if we have missed any tributes here)
I just learnt that our beloved and most respected Roni Khan passed away this afternoonand his body is being brought to Mumbai for final rites.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
I will personally miss you very very dearly Roni, my friend.
- Adil J. Govadia (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

This comes as a rude shock to all of us. But our dear RONI KHAN is no more.

I just got the news from Ervad Aspandiar Dadachanji.

To think only the other day he wrote Behram Pithavala's obit.

A GIANT among traditionals has moved to the great beyond.
- Noshir H. Dadrawalla (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
With Roni's sudden transition we are all in a state of shock and some of us can hardly think straight.

But as memories come rushing in I can remember that the Historic Vada Dasturjis Meeting was his brain child and he worked very hard behind the scenes often driving Karl and me to tears. He was a hard task master and a perfectionist. He would think of the smallest detail and when he took on something he would eat, drink and  breathe the subject.

The traditionals feel bereft. Please pray an ASHEM for the spiritual progress of his soul and let us stop all arguments on TZML for atleast 4 days in his honour.

- Noshir H. Dadrawalla (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
Dear members,
It is with a very heavy heart that I write to inform you all that our most respected and loved member is no more with us!
Roni Khan has departed from this Earth and he leaves behind his dear parents, wife and two sons.
He was especially a close friend of mine since many years, and I take this as  a personal loss.
The community has lost a true son, a true Rathestar! I cannot write more but pray and know that his immortal Soul will find Bliss and Peace in the Abode of Light, near Asho Zarathushtra and Ahura Mazda to whom Roni had dedicated his whole life!

- Mrs. Pervin J Mistry (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
A colossus loss to the Zoroastrian community, specially to the Trads Section.
Just this morning I was reading his articles on various subjects. Very sad and shocking. May Lord Ahura Mazda guide his soul speedily to his heavenly abode.
Deepest condolences and sympathies to the bereaved members of the family.

 - Burjor Bharucha (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

Roni Khan, our traditional stalwart and board member of TZML expired
today at Nasik Roz Sarosh Friday. Paidust likely tomorrow Saturday at
- Marzban Giara (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

Dear Friends,

It comes as more than a shock to hear this news. 

Having said a silent prayer for a very good man, I extend my families condolences to his family
and pray that they have the strength to bear his loss.

- Mehelly Bam (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

It was very shocking to hear about the untimely death of our dear Roni.
I and my family send our deepest condolences to the parents, wife Shireena and sons Nadir and Darab, for their dear departed, RONI KHURSHEDHER KHAN.

May his soul rest in eternal peace. He expired on 2nd August 2002 in the afternoon.
The Paydast will be tomorrow, 3rd August 2002, in the morning at 7.45, at Albless Bungli, Bombay Doongerwadi, Kemp's Corner.
- Mehernosh Fitter (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
Tribute to Our Dear Brother Ronnie 
May Dadar Ahura Mazda give strength to our dear Ronnie's family, Wife Shirinbanu,Sons  Darab and Nader, and Mother and Father,  for their sorrow to bear, that we all share.

Dear Dadar Ahura Mazda,
I am so scared to even put my computer on, and  let  reality hit me in the face,
To find that it is not a dream, as even that I couldn't bear ,
For all you did for us, your family, with so much care.
Even though we haven't met, our souls have, on that I can bet,
You my dear sweet humble brother  with your parting touch have reached us so  deep inside, just yesterday with your mirth, as just to remember that, it chokes my throat like a girth.
The grief is too much to bear, as I write this with tears rolling down my face,
they just won't stop, so please excuse me for not thinking straight.
I will not be selfish and ask you why ! oh dear Dadar Ahura Mazda  why !did you shut the beacon of my life, without even letting me say a little hi!
You need him more than us, I am sure ! but his silence will be, so difficult to endure.
He was such a great soul that is also for sure , As You my dear Lord oh! Great Ahura, chose to  send your closest 'Sarosh Yazad '  as you always do, for only the very pure !
God speed, dear sweet brother, your place is assured, Amin ! Amin ! Amin! you touched so many of our hearts , that even death cannot do us apart.
We salute you, oh great one, you shall certainly be missed by one and all.
This one I made just for you
"The Heavens shall Herald and Angels will amass to sprinkle flowers and make way for a great soul to Pass"
With deepest Condolences from all at TZML, &
 - Taronish, Meherab, Shahnaz and Hushang Vakil (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

It is with a heavy heart that I write these lines. I could not believe the news when Karl phoned me and told me that my good friend was no more.
What an untimely departure, just when we need him most.
Maybe Ahura Mazda needs him there more than we need him here.
Maybe the evil one has managed to successfully get rid of him as he was a real threat to him.
Anyway let us all pray an Ashem Vohu and pray for the progress of his soul. May Ahura Mazda and Sarosh Yazad take good care of him.
And may his guiding light be upon us always.
I suggest we dedicate the next months TZML messages to his memory.

- Mr. Rustom Chothia (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

Our beloved Mr Roni K Khan is no more.

Expired in Nashik in a car accident on  3rd august 2002.


Noshir Chinoy

- Mr. Noshir Chinoy (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

It is with deep sorrow I have learnt  today, about  the passing away of  Mr. Roni Khan !
Though I was not lucky enough to ever meet him in person, it was through his books and articles on TZML that I felt  I knew him intimately.
May Dadar Ahur Mazda keep his soul in Garothman Behest and may He give his family courage to bear this irreparable loss !
Indeed we on TZML have lost a great teacher and a guiding star on our Dine-Zarathosht !
Cawas Pardiwalla
New Zealand
- Cawas Pardiwalla (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
Dear Noshir
I am still in my office and have just read the email from SDAC informing us
of the sad passing away of our dear Roni Khan.
Roni was a great patriot of the Zoroastrian faith. By the power of his  erudition and his flair, and despite ill health, he kept the flame of  traditional Zoroastrianism burning brightly. At ZTFE we were very privileged to have him do a full-day seminar on his favourate topic of the HOLY ATASH. I can even now remember the large public meeting he
masterminded at Framji Institute in 2001 where you brought all the High Priests on one platform in the cause of Dokhmenashini and where you spoke so forcefully. His passing away is a huge loss to our community.
On behalf of the Trustees and the Managing Committee of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe, I request you to please extend our deepest condolences to the family of our dear Roni. May his soul always bless us, his beloved extended family, from Garothman Behesht.
- Dorab Mistry (relayed on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
Goodbye Roni
Death of a near and dear one is always very painful. If the person who has died is relatively young or dies suddenly the shock and anguish, especially for the parent, is even greater. Rightly did Thomas Mann say, "a man's dying is more the survivor's affair than his own".
To the aged parents of Roni Khan who has moved on to the Great Beyond, I first of all offer my heartfelt condolence. At the same time I may assure them that their son has not died. He has simply made a transition or to put it more simply, "moved on". You see, death is like the sunset. The sun never really sets. What appears to set in one part of the world, simply rises in another place. In like manner, the soul or spirit, which is immortal, simply leaves the physical world and enters the spiritual world.
It is important to realize that on planet earth, human beings are essentially "spiritual beings" having a physical experience. A human being is not a body that has a soul, but rather a soul that has a body. What dies is the physical body and not the spiritual soul.
We all come into this world with an "expiry date". In fact death is the only certainty in a human being's finite physical life. Some come into this world for a season and some for a reason. Often it is not important how long one has lived. What is important is how intensely one has lived. Roni was intensity personified.
 I draw considerable comfort and strength from the following verse:
If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others – sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust and weep.
For my sake – turn to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand
To do something
To comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you.
One of physical life's inexorable tenet is, nothing lasts forever.  All good things come to an end. Physical life ends, sooner or later. And yet those who survive must find new meaning to life and make a new beginning.
The happy part of this sad story of parting in life is that God continues to remain with us. Because He loves us. The others (including parents, children, brothers, sisters and friends) He lends us to love.
Roni was a good friend of mine. But more important than that is the fact that he was a friend of our community and friend of our religion.
We will miss you Roni.
- Noshir H. Dadrawalla (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
                   BANAME KHOODA - TANDORASTI
My dearest brother and sisters,
I sit here in Toronto at 4.oo a.m. in mourning the untimely and sudden passing away of my dearest friend Rona, as I used to call him.  The e-mail that I sent him is I believe self-explanatory.  His passing away has left a huge vacumn in my life and in the life and soul of us Jarthostis.  His passing away is totally and utterly irreplaceable, and to think that only a few weeks ago, I pleaded with him to chair this TZT trust, and even then when he declined, I still lived in forlorn hope that he will one day take over the running of this Trust.  Pervin, mentioning his name somewhere, somehow, is the least that I can do, in the furtherance and the cherishing of his memory.  I am just too damn devastated to even think straight, and I am just totally lost for words.  The Zarathushtrian world has lost a true religious stalwart, and it is to this end that I wish as a Board member to make a humble suggestion, and this should in no way detract or take anything away from our brother Ervad Jalbhai Birdy.
We should dedicate 2 months of a 'footer message' in the cherished memory of our dearest brother Roni K. Khan, instead of the footer for Ervad Jalbhai Birdy.  I am sure Jalbhai you will understand and wholeheartedly agree with my suggestion.
May our Rona's soul lie in the highest abode and 'Garothman Behst'. amin amin amin
Filly K. Maravala
- Mr. Filly K. Maravala (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

I am shocked to hear about the Sad Demise of our Dear Roni.
I still can't believe that Roni is NO MORE with us.
Today morning only I was again reading the Foreword by Late
Behramsha Pithavala to Roni's book "IS ZARATHUSHTRIA RELIGION
UNIVERSAL". Little did I know that in the Afternoon when I
will surf the Internet, I will read "RONI KHAN IS NO MORE"
Roni's untimely demise is a huge loss to his family and to
the Zarathushtri Community.
Our Heartfelt Deepest Condolences to his bereaved family.
- Neville S. Gandhi & Family. (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)
Fellow Traditional Mazdayasni Zarathushtris,

This is a temporary victory of the evil one, in that death
has snatched away a great spiritual warrior of our faith -
our fellow Board member and spiritual guide Roni Khan.

Roni Khan was the chief inspiration and main moral
supporter of the Traditional Zoroastrianism Home Page
and the Mailing list, throughout the past decade.
His moral support has been immense.

Ever since his "Closing the Coffin of conversion"
appeared in the Jame, I have admired his tough
stance against the liberals and AGAINST INTER-MARRIAGE.
I sent those articles many times to the liberal alias
of Mehrdad, upsetting the liberals who could never
argue with Roni's arguments and scholarship.

Roni was also the chief architect of the SEVEN
PILLARS that binds the TZML together.

In an unprecedented step, and in his honour,
I am asking for 12 HOURS SILENCE ON THE
TZML. During this time, no messages will
be permitted.

The TZML will rise again after 12 hours
to uphold our religion and its SEVEN PILLARS
against the liberals and the outsiders, as Roni
Khan would have wanted.


- Porus H. Havewalla (on TZML, 3 Aug 2002)

Fellow Traditional Mazdayasni Zarathushtris,
The 12 hour message silence in honour of Roni Khan
has passed.
The TZML arises once again, to uphold our religion
and its SEVEN PILLARS against the liberals and
the outsiders, and STAND STRONG AGAINST THE
AND INTER-MARRIAGE, as Roni Khan would
have wanted.
Roni Khan has passed away, but his inspiration stays
with us, his vision of UNITY of all Traditional Zarathushtris.
Let us strive to unite ourselves, whether we are Kshnoomist,
Pundolite, or just believe in classical scriptures, whether
we belong to Khojeste's school or not, whether we believe
in mysticism or not, whether we believe in omnipotence or
not, whether we believe in rebirth or not. The Seven
Pillars are what unites us all:
- Porus H. Havewalla (on TZML, 4 Aug 2002)
Message from Ervad Birdy

Thank you, Khurshed, Porus and all dear co-religionists who have
thought of bestowing this profound honor on me. 
I would be much happier if you would instead switch this honor to our friend, Roni
Khan instead, who was snatched away from us prematurely. 
Roni has done infinitely more for our community than I would ever hope to
achieve.  Thank you all once again.  With kind regards and a heavy
heart at the news of Roni's passing away.

Jal Birdy.

- Ervad Jal n Birdy (on TZML, 4 Aug 2002)

I was away from my computer for a few days and have only just heard about the sad passing away of our dear friend Roni Khan.  It came as a great shock to me as only a few messages previously he had written a Memoriam about his friend and mentor Behramshah Pithawalla, whom he revered very much.
I had never met Roni personally but have always felt very close to him through his writings and personal interaction through cyberspace.  He was a great inspiration to me and I will miss his sagasious advice and positive influence greatly.  He was a true Parsi-Zarathushti and also the mainstay of this alias, steering it effectively through many a near crisis.
Although he was not in perfect health lately, I am grateful to Ahura Mazda that he did not suffer a long and debilitating illness.  May his soul progress quickly and find a place in Ahura Mazda's highest heaven from where we hope he will continue to guide and inspire us.
We will all miss you, Roni.
With the deepest sympathy to Roni's family,
Ervad Jal N. Birdy.
- Ervad Jal n Birdy (on TZML, 4 Aug 2002)
As we get the TOI late it was only  yesterday evening that  I discovered the
terrible news of Ronnie Khan's passing.
He was such an asset to us at TZML he will be sorely missed.  Our
condolences to his immediate family & the TZML family.
As a tribute to his memory, we must stay UNITED & not let any issue divide
us.  We must refrain from passing nasty remarks even against those we
disagree with.  We must remember that anger, hatred, etc. only pollute our
minds & cause us harm.

In sorrow,

- Maki Kapadia (on TZML, 4 Aug 2002)
A very shocking news indeed for all of us. May Ahura Mazda grant his family
the strength to bear this irreplacable loss and I on behalf of the emirates
parsees offer our heart felt condolences to his family.
May God bless his soul. I for sure will miss his writings on this alias
which I used to look so eagerly towards, I never knew the man but his
thoughts through his writings speaks for the man that was.
- Mahrukh Sutaria (on TZML, 4 Aug 2002)
Fellow Traditional Mazdayasni Zarathushtris:
I was always told not to shed our tears for the
departed ones ;but, feel happy that they have gone to
a better place.  It is very hard to do that for you Roni
Khan, as you have touched the heart of all of us.
My sincere condolence to Roni Khan's family, his
parents and all close to him.
- Aspi Maneckjee (on TZML, 4 Aug 2002)
Hello Noshir,
Please also convey my sincere condolences to the family of our dear Roni Khan.
I enjoyed communicating with him on the internet, and learned some useful things from his writings.
May Ahura Mazda bless his eternal soul in the spiritual world.
- Maneck Bhujwala (on TZML, 5 Aug 2002)
Dear friends,
I was really shocked when Karl rang me up to convey to me the sudden and unexpected news of Roni's passing away.
I met him for the first time only during the Vada Dasturjis' historic meeting and later once more. But we used to share some private mails with me, when we used to answer each other's queries. I used to read his detailed exposes very carefully and with interest. It is a coincidence that I too used to share a special relationship with late Mr. Behram Pithawalla.
I pray to God that Roni's Soul progress continuously from whichever Markaz it may be with the guidance of Sarosh Yazad. I also pray that his aged parents, his dear wife and his children get the strength to withstand this sudden loss.
In sympathy,  Gushtasp Forbes. 
- Gushtasp Forbes (on TZML, 5 Aug 2002)
Dear Mehernosh,
I got the sad news about Roni Khan. sorry i was unable to come for the
Paydast, since i was in Udwada.
I personally never met him, but learned some useful things from his writings.
Roni's untimely demise is a huge loss to his family and to the Zarathushtri
Community. Please convey my sincere condolences to his family.
May Ahura Mazda bless his eternal soul in the spiritual world.
- Benaifer   (on TZML, 5 Aug 2002)
On Roni's Charrum
Thank you & Aurevior Dear Roni, 
Gratitude is a memory of the mind
Remembrance is homage of heart
All the days that has passed behind
To warm our thoughts, 'ere we part
Even as I think of those by-gone days
Fulfilled in memory of your helpful ways.
Unless you had given me support and encouragement
Lesser would have been my understanding of true religious knowledge
And self-satisfying accomplishments!
No words can I summon to adequately express
Except to say a sincere   "THANK YOU".
And, with this…
               ...I bid you a simple adieu,
Till Providence brings us together once again!  
Pray that your immortal soul finds eternal Bliss and Peace in the Abode of Light.
- Adil J. Govadia (on TZML, 5 Aug 2002)
The Board Members, and all those who knew Roni Khan
I was able to read the TZML postings today, after a gap of 4 days, and although I do not know anybody on the list personally, I have come to know so many brothers and sisters by becoming a member of TZML. 
It is very shocking to learn of the sad demise of such a great stalwart of our Zarthoshti din.  My sincere condolences to all those who have known him personally, and to his dear family members. 
May Ahura Mazda give courage to his dear ones, to bear the loss.
He will surely be missed by all of us.
In sympathy,
Goolcher Navdar
Dubai, UAE
- Goolcher Navdar (on TZML, 6 Aug 2002)
Greetings in the name of Ahura Mazda.
Can say Noshir or someone who knows Roni's family please write a
condolence letter to the parents on behalf of the TZML because most
of us do not know the family.
Make mention of how grateful we are to Roni for the support,
education and guidance he has given TZML.
Also specially for the bringing of the 8 Vada Dasturjis
together (A feat which no one has done).
- Mr. Rustom Chothia (on TZML, 6 Aug 2002)
My dear members,
I am back online but it pains me to be here since the vacuum of my dear board member and friend is hurting me.
Beyond the rainbow's end, there lies
The land of love and light,
Where shadows never dim the skies,
For there ~~ there is no night.
And though the loss is hard to bear
Of loved one, or of friend,
We know that we shall find them there ~~
Beyond the rainbow's end. 

My friend is now resting peacefully in a land of comfort where no pain will be inflicted on him. Roni, May you rest in eternal peace in Ahura Mazda's abode.
In grief
- Zenobia Patel (on TZML, 6 Aug 2002)
A True Ratheshtar Passes Away
Death of a near and dear one is always very painful. If the person who has died is relatively young or dies suddenly, the shock and anguish is even greater. Rightly did Thomas Mann say, "a man's dying is more the survivor's affair than his own".
When noted scholar, author and orator Roni K. Khan passed away suddenly on Friday, August 2, 2002 (Roj Sarosh Mah Aspandarmad) the news sent a shock wave not only among community members in India but all over the world. Friends from the U.K. (including the President of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe), U.S.A. and Canada started sending condolence messages to me by e-mail to be forwarded to members of the Khan family.
I had known Roni for about a decade and both of us shared a common interest in religious research and writing. Both of us also shared a common interest in good food. I remember travelling with him a few years ago from Nasik to Mumbai and polishing off between the two of us four double omelets, at Igatpuri railway station. I also have happy memories of a dinner we both had at a restaurant in Colaba on the eve of a historic Parsi public meeting that was to take place in Mumbai. Both of us were exhausted after weeks of planning and the running around. We ate like there was no tomorrow and he generously picked up the bill on agreement that the next time we repeat the celebration it would be on my account. Sadly there was never a "next time".
Roni's scholarly articles in Jam-e-Jamshed and other publications were always a joy to read. When his book "Is the Zarathushtrian Religion Universal?" was published last year, he insisted that only I should review it in Jame, which ofcourse, I did with pleasure.
While researching and writing he would go into great detail, often burning midnight oil. And the finished product would always be a work of art. There are very few scholars in this world with the ability to combine depth with simplicity of expression. But Roni was such a wonderful wordsmith that he could blend the heavy pedantry of scholarship with the simplicity of words. He was doubtlessly a gifted man and he used his skills wisely, effectively and for the good of the community.
He was a true 'Ratheshtar' (soldier) and whether it was the controversial issue of 'conversion', 'intermarriages', 'dokhmenashini' or some pretender in the U.S.A. calling himself a 'Ratu', he would wield his pen to demolish the lie and restore the truth. And he always wrote with such grace and felicity of the pen. He could make his adversary see the lightening without feeling the bolt.
When DDD – AG was playing havoc with the religious sentiments of the Parsi community, it was Roni Khan who originally thought of organizing the historic All Vada Dasturjis Meeting at the Framji Cawasji Hall in Mumbai. He worked tirelessly for this historic meeting, often ringing me up past midnight and going into minute details. I would often feel stressed but I knew that this was a price one had to pay for working with a perfectionist. And what a meeting that was! But it couldn't possibly have been anything less under Roni's baton.
Roni held Late Behramshah Pithavala in great esteem and wrote a soulful obituary on the passing away of this simple and humble sage. Ironically Roni passed away exactly a year and one day after the passing away of his guru.
To the wife, two sons and aged parents of Roni Khan I offer my heartfelt condolence. At the same time I may assure them that Roni has not died. He has simply made a transition or to put it more simply, "moved on". Roni's spirit survives in the works of scholarship that he has left behind for posterity.
His family and close friends may perhaps draw comfort and strength from the following verse:
If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others – sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust and weep.
For my sake – turn to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand
To do something
To comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you.
One of physical life's inexorable tenet is, nothing lasts forever.  All good things come to an end. Physical life ends, sooner or later. And yet those who survive must find new meaning to life and make a new beginning.
Roni was a good friend of mine. But more important than that is the fact that he was a true friend of our community and a great friend of our religion.
We will all miss you Roni. And I wonder if I will ever find the stomach to eat an omelet at Igatpuri railway station or biryani at that restaurant in Colaba.
- Noshir H. Dadrawalla (on TZML and elsewhere, 6 Aug 2002)
Roni's spirit lives and will always live in TZML- although none will fit in his shoes.
- Mr. Sam Billimoria (on TZML , 6 Aug 2002)
Belated Condolences to the family of the Late Mr. Roni Khan, a person whose
work I admired.
So well read, so well informed, here yesterday, and today he is gone !
May Almighty Ahura Mazda Grant the Highest Heaven to his Ruvan.
Amin !
I hope his children will take up where he left off, and carry on his mission.
Thank you.

- Pashmina M Contractor (on TZML , 6 Aug 2002)
My husband and I truly regret the untimely demise of dear Mr Roni Khan.
We happened to meet him at one of the lectures we attended and had
appreciated the book he had just written. 
All he said that he is doing a duty towards our religion and is happiest
when he does this.
How wonderful. 
My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family for his untimely demise
- Khursheed and Behram (on TZML , 6 Aug 2002)

My hearfelt condolences to the family and friends of Roni Khan.
I never meet Roni Khan personally but through his writings. 
He was a beautiful writer and captured the subtleties and
feelings of religious philosophy. He is also an inspiration and
role model to me and will be missed.  He brought pride to his
Zarathushtrianism and will revere the love and strength with
which he stood up for it. 
I cannot thank him enough for the enlightenment or the conviction
of his beliefs that inspire to even this day.  I give thanks to 
Kshnothra Ahura Mazda for blessing me with this Faith and the
men and women that have carried it through and may there be
more Roni Khan's in this world.
And yes Roni I agree one can only be righteous for the sake of righteousness.
Thank you and once again please accept my humble respect and condolences.
- Pakzaad N Mavalwalla (on TZML , 6 Aug 2002)
My Dearest Roni,
Where your caravan has rested,
Flowers I leave you on the grass.
Till we meet again,
- Khurshed Pastakia (on TZML , 6 Aug 2002)
Please refer where you will find many of Roni Khan's writings stored and quoted.
One of the most informative and authoratitive works was "Is The Zarathushtrian Religion Universal ?"  (see review on
Other articles of Roni that clearly showed the true meaning of conversion in the Zoroastrian religion can be found at:
His other well researched article was Pak Vendidad on Mixed Marriages ( see )

"THE GATHIC RATU" - an expose of the outsider (mis)leader of the Zoroastrian liberals: by Roni K. Khan  








SAVE THE PARSI: by Roni K. Khan  




BOOK REVIEW: 'Is The Zarathushtrian Religion Universal ?' by Roni K. Khan


Saga of a Great Soul: by Roni K. Khan


Did Asho Zarathushtra Convert?: by Roni K. Khan








Fwd: IN MEMORIUM - of Behramshah D. Pithawalla

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tehemton B. Adenwalla <>
Date: Jul 31, 2007 4:08 AM
Subject: IN MEMORIUM - of Behramshah D. Pithawalla

Baname Khuda!

Dear friends,

the following is a tribute to Behramshah D. Pithawalla, which appeared
on TZML on his first baj in the year 2002.

Behramshahji passed away on 31 July 2001, which also happens to be his


Tehemton B. Adenwalla

----- Original Message -----
From: "G.B. Forbes" < >
To: < >
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 9:49 PM
Subject: RE: [Traditional Zs] IN MEMORIUM

Yesterday, at his first Baj anniversary, which was well attended, late
Behramshah's family released a compilation of some of his thoughts
which were incorporated in the book, IN SEARCH OF DIVINE LIGHT and
this book was distributed free of cost to those who attended the
function. It was really a good gesture on their part and they have
also agreed to take out the second part of this book later on.

I have personnaly benifited a lot from the rich knowledge of
Behramshah with reference to Astrology and his notes on RAMAL will be
of great help to me when I take up this matter in detail for study. He
fondly used to tell me that 2002/03 would be the ripe time for the
rainidar or His Peshrav (forerunner) to come in our midst. BUT HE

May his Soul progress from whatever realms it may be under the
protection of Sarosh Yazad and may it continue to guide us from time
to time.


-----Original Message-----
From: pervin mistry [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: [Traditional Zs] IN MEMORIUM

Dear Roni,

I just finished reading the Memorium you have so beautifully penned
for late Behramshah D. Pithavala. I am sure his immortal Soul will be
pleased that you display so much fidelity even after his transition.
Indeed, he was a great savant and sage, and how fortunate that you
knew him intimately!

I have read both the volumes of "In Search of Divine Light" and find
them very inspiring.

Sincerely hope that what you have quoted at the very end, comes true very soon.


Fwd: Baj or Death anniversary of Behramshah D Pithawalla (1905 - 2001) & a tribute by late Mr Roni K Khan

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tehemton B. Adenwalla <>
Date: Jul 31, 2007 3:50 AM
Subject: Baj or Death anniversary of Behramshah D Pithawalla (1905 - 2001) & a tribute by late Mr Roni K Khan

Baname Khuda!
Dear friends,
today on 31st July 2007 is the 6th death anniversary of Mr. Behramsha D. Pithawalla, a great Zoroastrian soul. (This observance is per the English calendar, and I apologise to readers for missing out on the correct roj and mah.)
He expired on 31st July 2001.
Behramshahji has revealed to us Zoroastrians many wonderful mysteries of the Zoroastrian religion.
His book, In Search of Divine Light - The Zarathushtrian Way, has many of his writings appearing in Jame and elsewhere summarised. It consists of two volumes and is available at Mazdayansi Monastrie of Mrs Meher Master Moos, or perhaps through his family members.
Though I personally found his vehement insistence on the Fasli calendar and vegetarianism to be a bit contradictory to what has been preached by other great Zoroastrian saints, scholars and holy men;  this solemn occasion is not the time to go in great details on these subjects. Perhaps sometime in the future we could delve into these more objectively and dispassionately.
Behramshahji was one who had inspired and guided our late Roni K Khan in many aspects of Zoroastrianism. Late Roni's witnessing of a miracle at Behramshahji's death some years ago was shared  by him amidst us on TZML.
I reproduce it below for all of us.
Readers who came in contact with Behramshahji may write about their encounters on TZML and we will all be enriched by it.
In humble respect to Behramshahji, a silent prayer.
Tehemton B. Adenwalla
(see enclosed write-up by late Roni K Khan)



Roni K. Khan

There were three unexpected and unusual mourners at the Paidust on the sad morning of August 1, 2001 at Mumbai's sacred Doongerwadi. The body of the dear deceased had been laid for the last 'sezdo' on the raised stone platform in a paved clearing in the forest. For the last time his face was uncovered for the last goodbye, and then the pall-bearers swiftly bore his mortal shell into the consecrated Dokhma ('Tower of Silence') standing hardly a stone's throw away.

Within two or three minutes of his family and friends vacating the clearing, the unexpected mourners emerged from the forest and stalked into it. Three peacocks! While two of them kept a vigil walking around the clearing, one unfurled his gorgeous tail into a huge fan and danced, danced, and danced for at least fifteen minutes directly facing the stone platform which the dear deceased had just occupied!

Even Nature recognizes and pays tribute at the passing of a great soul. After all, this was the Paidust of the Zarathushtrian sage, savant and scholar, Behramshah Dinshahji Pithavala.

Behramshah, born on November 13, 1905, was 95 years of age (96 running) when he left his body at 10:15 P.M. on July 31, 2001 in the I.C.C.U. ward of the Sheth Bomanji Dinshaw Petit Parsi General Hospital, with his close ones taking turns to continuously whisper the blessed 'Ashem Vohu,' our maanthra of salvation, into his ear. He transited (he always preferred the word 'transition' to 'death'!) this life as gracefully and peacefully as he had lived it. It was all over within a mere four hours.

What a remarkable life! Without doubt, he was one of the most advanced Zarathushtrian souls of the past century. The noted scholar and educationist, Ervad Bejonji N. Desai of 'Boys' Town,' Nasik, correctly calls him a 'salek' and a 'drigu.' It was my great good fortune and privilege to be close to him during his lifetime as well as during his transition. To some of his relatives he had predicted the period of his death and also that I would be at his side during his passing.

It is therefore my duty, through the courtesy of your columns, to record for posterity a few facts about this great Parsi's life. These comprise not only my personal impressions but also some of his own words culled from hundreds of letters written to me over the years – note that all textual matter in double-quotes is from the latter.

Despite (or rather, because of!) his deep spiritual realizations and vast knowledge, he was modest and humble to the core. To the casual acquaintance he would appear to know little or nothing. Humility is one mark of the spiritually great, and an absence of craving for material tinsel is another. Behramshah possessed both. On occasion, however, he would give a flash of his real stature. I recall the time I had engaged in a discussion with him, at the scholarly philological level, about some verse from the holy Gathas. After patiently hearing me out and then explaining to me the true inner meaning of the verse he quietly added in his gentle way: "You see, Roni, you read only the lines. But I read also between the lines." Touché!

The hallmark of his writings is a unique combination of high scholarship with amazing spiritual insights obviously drawn from direct inspiration from Above. As he candidly wrote to me once, "I am very much convinced that some hidden source, some Invisible Master, has come to my help by way of inspiration given to me," and he similarly also wrote to me of "some kind hidden Entity who wanted to help me."

His magnum opus 'In Search Of Divine Light' (Mazdayasnie Monasterie, complete edition Bombay 1995), which he said comprised his "allotted lifework" and is a masterpiece that is almost an encyclopedia on our Religion, is a case in point. Although a product of meticulous and brilliant scholarship it is not dry as dust as such tomes often tend to be, because it is also a product of divine inspiration and this is why it has the power to change the lives of ordinary folks like you and me. With his unaffected modesty, Behramshah would feel embarrassed when called a scholar, and would remonstrate, "No, no. I am only a student!" But despite his protests, a scholar he truly was, and a true sage as well – all rolled into one rare package. The perceptive reader will comprehend the real stature of the man who could write a masterpiece like 'In Search Of Divine Light' when I inform you that he was a 'Matric-fail' – in short, he failed to pass out of High School! As he put it, "Fortunately or unfortunately (I cannot say now) I failed. And there ended my formal education. I was so disappointed that I did not even care to find out what were the total marks obtained by me nor in which subject I had failed."

The writing career of this 'Matric-fail' began in his native Navsari, spurred by his lifelong tryst with Astrology over which he later attained renowned mastery. "I became deeply engrossed in this Divine Science. This eventually led me to rev. Ardeshir N. Billimoria who became the master and guru of my boyhood days. He also edited a monthly journal, 'Cherag.' I got my first 'job' under him at the princely salary of Rs. 15 per month. Ardeshir gave me a small para in English and asked me to translate it into Gujerati. He was so very pleased with my translation that he gave me a piece in English on Hazrat Ali and my Gujerati rendering appeared in 'Cherag.' "

Thereafter, Behramshah came to Bombay from where he wrote for the famous 'Wynn's Astrological Magazine' of the U.S.A. "Such a fruitful period," he recalled. But all that ended with World War II. "Thereupon, I started contributing articles, original and research-based, to Dr. B. V. Raman's astrological magazine." In addition, he wrote some brilliant pieces on Zarathushtrian topics, e.g. his monograph on the derivation of the Sanskrit alphabet from Avestan characters, etc., now preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford courtesy his great admirer Prof. Ms. Meher Master-Moos.

In his middle years, Behramshah's literary career underwent a hiatus due to family responsibilities, but took a sharp upswing one fateful day, when, praying at the Dadisett Agiary in Bombay, he received "just a stray thought" to write an article on our key Daily Prayers ('Rojindi Bandagi') which was published in the 'Jam-e-Jamshed' newspaper on January 20, 1976. The rest, as they say, is history. "As time passed on new ideas came like flashes and it went on for years together." What "went on" were "flashes" that spanned a quarter of a century, involved close to 300 articles, and ended precisely two days(!) before his death when the last section of his final four-part article was published in the 'Jam-e' of July 29, 2001. The master's very last words in that last section speak for themselves: "If there is any other solution to this moot question, please let me know. I would like to learn something new even at 96. Thank you." Shaabaash, Behramshah, shaabaash!

What was the man behind the mighty pen really like? Well, to start with, may I assure you that never was there a gentler soul, at least in my experience. A cruel or vindictive thought or word or action was alien to his nature. To those who had wronged him, he tried to make them understand their error, but he still continued to offer them his love. To those who helped him he gave his heartfelt gratitude, and to those who hurt him he gave his heartfelt forgiveness. He bore no ill-will to anyone.

His aura was so serene and pure that to bask in it for an hour or two in his company was a spiritual therapy in itself. His equanimity was remarkable. He could take the thick and the thin of life, the "wheel of happiness and misery" (a phrase he was fond of quoting from the holy Gathas), without undue fuss in either of the two cases. Not that his life was a bed of roses. Of his six children, he lost three during his lifetime – one an infant girl, another a teenaged boy who has just finished his school-leaving S.S.C. examination, and then an adult son. Also, his adored wife.

Besides, as he disclosed to me in one of his letters: "I was born in a very poor family. My very beloved father worked in Bombay as a sort of kitchen supervisor, bringing articles from the bazaar, etc. Of course, I stayed with my rev. mother at Navsari till I had to come to Bombay very very reluctantly in search of work." And yet, he never ran after money and not a penny went into his pocket either for his hundreds of articles in the 'Jam-e,' or for his magnum opus, or for the astrological readings, the wise advice, and the precious nirangs that he disbursed to supplicants. These were all freely given as a service to his beloved Community and Religion. He was unpurchasable, and his integrity on all other counts was equally unimpeachable.

A perfect gentleman of the old school, he was grace and kindness personified. Staunchly orthodox (Grk. 'orthos' = right, upright, straight + 'doxa' = doctrine, opinion) in his views as well as in his personal lifestyle, it is but natural that he sometimes came under fire for some of his beliefs. These he defended to the hilt, but in a most dignified manner at the high level of 'issues' and not at the petty level of 'personalities.' When attacked he fought, but he fought righteously and without the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness, venom or any form of impropriety towards his opponents either in his spoken or written word. In every way he was the ideal Zarathushtrian, 'nar asho.' Truly, he lived his Religion just as much as he preached it.

What did Behramshah do for a living? What was his working life? In his tender youth he left Navsari for ever in search of employment. "Overnight I found myself in Bombay. My brother who was a local train guard in the G.I.P. Railway Co. sent a wire to immediately come down to Bombay for some job. But after a full year's wandering from V.T. to Matunga I failed to get a job with the Railway Co. Fortunately, I had done the theory of Dutton's 24-Hour Shorthand System, so I joined the Bamji Class Course for three months."

In the early days he was employed by Mr. R. P. Mehta "in whose firm I worked for 27 long years…I remember Mehtasheth with deep gratitude." But then came another association that lasted even longer – for almost 45 years. This was with the eminent lawyer Mr. Nani A. Palkhivala. Behramshah recounted: "I joined Nanisheth as his personal stenographer and worked at his place of residence. But at no time did he ever interfere with my religious views." And then he added, with his innate modesty and greatness of heart: "I do not know of any other employer who has done so much for his employee in return for so little done by the latter."

I close with placing on record two more snippets from Behramshah's personal letters to me. The first is the comment of a man who was the epitome of service that is truly selfless, being devoid of all self-publicity and self-promotion. The second is the comment of a man who had penetratingly observed the goings-on in our Community for almost the whole of the twentieth century.

"If you sincerely offer yourself to render selfless service of any form or nature, the Great Ones do come forward to guide and assist you."

"The Community is going to the dogs: our only consolation is the covenant of Ahura Mazda given to his chosen Prophet Asho Zarathushtra that He will send Rainidars from age to age to restore our exalted Daena to its pristine purity."


Roz Behram / Mah Spendarmad 1370 A.Y. Ä 05 August 2001 A.C.

Published in 'The Jam-e-Jamshed Weekly' of 12 August 2001 A.C.