By George Piggott
The lighthouse with its attendant keeper provides a guiding light for travellers on a specific journey. The keeper along with the lighthouse work as one, in the sense that the purpose is to provide a constant beacon of light, to indicate position and to warn of possible dangers en route. A feeling of gratitude is present by those in need of this service. With the introduction of modern technology, the beacon will still shine, even without the master of the light being present. The main feature is movement and observation, but most important “awareness”.
Our master of the light, Phiroz Mehta, passed away on Monday 2nd May 1994, aged 91 years. Phiroz always referred to himself as a fellow-student; he was a scholar, an academic, author and an authority on world religions.
For the writer to comment on the professional achievements of Phiroz Mehta would be inappropriate, this is best left to those most qualified to do so. As one of many who were on a journey of enquiry into a deeper understanding of life, it was a privilege to find a person not only of great insight and wisdom, but one whose warmth, patience, humour and humility were unique in that they touched the hearts of all those persons destined to share his thoughts and moments. There was a warm personal greeting on arrival at the meetings, and on departure, his genuine caring concern for each individual’s well being was selfless, as was his gratitude for the journeys travelled by his fellow-students to the talks and discussions he gave over a period of twenty five years or more, most of which were recorded on audio tape for future reference. A mammoth achievement, a dedication of compassion to humanity.
Phiroz Mehta, the master of the light, has bidden us a final farewell. His peaceful, utter stillness may be complemented by our own ongoing movements. Movement is the clouds, sea, the universe, our own ongoing thoughts and memories.
The best way we could show our affection, gratitude and appreciation would be to try to emulate his selfless contribution. He has lightened our darkness. We have a personal choice, by mindful observation and attentive listening we may heighten our own awareness to become a light unto ourselves. This could ignite a spark of light in others, leading to his ultimate and sincere wish that we all lead our daily lives as true Human Beings, an Illumination of conscience, an openness for All.
Phirozshah Dorabji Mehta is at rest. We in movement become his beacon. This was the man.