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A 90th Birthday

A tribute to Phiroz Mehta on the occasion of his 90th birthday by the Venerable Myokyo-ni

Long ago, when I had only just found the Buddhist Society, I went to an evening lecture. I knew nothing of subject and speaker. The room was quite full. A tall gentleman ascended the platform and without notes delivered his talk. This he did in language so consummate that it brought to mind a poem about the harmony between form and content — at best, form being a golden vessel for containing golden content. And surely it is this combination that excites, and that — perhaps even unconsciously — impressed and attached so many people to Phiroz and why he became a living example and expositor to many.

Phiroz, musician, scientist, author, teacher and spiritual guide, ever was a “cultivator”, of himself and of others. Having himself encountered all that is grave and constant in human experience, he distilled from it in a heart that is truly religious, the essence of the spirit. It is this essence that pervades his presence. This is a rare quality indeed, and is, I believe, what exacts love and respect from all who meet him. Still rarer is the natural warmth and humility that always radiate from him — he who never gives himself airs is truly great. Add to this a sense of gentle humour that never hurts anyone; and who has ever heard Phiroz speak ill of anybody?

Thank you, Phiroz, for all that you have shown and are showing us.

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Tim Surtell
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