|Avesta -- Zoroastrian Archives||Contents||Prev||dk5s||Next||Glossary|
This digital edition copyright © 1998 by Joseph H. Peterson. All rights reserved.
Edited by Peshotan Dastur Behramjee Sanjana, 1900.
NOTE: Also available as PDF and EPUB versions.
The Denkard is a ninth-century encyclopedia of Zoroastrianism, but with extensive quotations from materials thousands of years older, including (otherwise) lost Avestan texts. It is the single most valuable source of information on the Zoroastrian religion aside from the Avesta itself. The first author of the Denkard was Adurfarnbag i Farroxzadan, the highest leader of the orthodox Zoroastrian community at the time. The final version of the text was edited by Adurbad Emedan.
The work of publishing a complete edition of the Pahlavi text, with translations into Gujarati and English, was undertaken by Dastur Peshotanji Behramji Sanjana (1828-98), and completed by his son Darab Dastur Peshotan Sanjana (1857-1931). Both were prominent Zoroastrian head-priests, and among the best Pahlavi authorities of their time.
Unfortunately, this masterpiece has been largely neglected. Copies of it are extremely rare, fragile, and voluminous, running to nineteen volumes. In making this edition available to a wider audience, I have confined it to the English translations, and frequent valuable footnotes.
I have taken the liberty to normalize the spelling in this edition, in order
to be consistent with other documents in this series, and to facilitate
searches. Wherever possible I have used the spellings of
F.M. Kotwal and J. Boyd, A Guide to the Zoroastrian Religion, Scholars Press, 1982.
Comments set in , or marked “-JHP” have been added by me, mainly to facilitate searches.
1. Kay Loharasp at Jerusalem, and descent of the religion
2. Parentage, birth, and life of Zartosht. Future apostles
3. On the revelation of all events by the holy Zartosht gifted with prescience and thorough excellence.
4. On the greatness and distinction of the Iranian race
5. The admonitions of the prophet, the holy Zartosht
6. On the good recompense of Worship
7. On what pleaseth the Lord
8. On (the Mazdayasnians) preserving themselves (i.e. from becoming deteriorated)
9. On the Nature of Heaven and Hell on the mode of the Resurrection
10. On Good Name
11. A Description of Sins
12. On the Expiation and Lustration of Sins
13. On the Sin of causing Injury to a man without cause
14. On washing the Body and keeping it free from impurities
15. On the Authority of the priests
16. On the Food suitable for consumption
17. On Garments
18. On Women
19. On Charity
20. On contracting Matrimony
21. On Worship or Adoration
22. On not injuring Men and Animals
23. On Fire
24. On Metals
25. On the Earth
26. On Water
27. On the Vegetable Kingdom
28. On keeping at a distance from dead men and dogs
29. On Truthful Men
30. Questions asked by Bukht-Masareh
31. Replies of Adurfarnbag
1. May the Light (i.e. the blessed Rule) of Ohrmazd, who
is the Life of all the wisdom contained in the Mazdayasnian Religion,
be ever prevalent.
2. This is the fifth volume of the writings of Adar Frobag son of Farroxzad, a practicer of virtue and a guide of the good Religion. And it is known as the writing about the Selamis.
3. The guide of the good Religion, Adar Frobag son of Farroxzad, who was a leader of the faithful, has expressed in this writing his views about the answers to some of the good, mysterious, and pleasing questions put by those who were all known as the tribe of the descendants of Selam.
|4. This writing was sent to Adar Frobag by a venerable chief of Iranian descent. His ancestors had, for the purpose of dethroning a ruler perverse, evil doing, and following a gross devil-worshipping and harmful religion, gone under the leadership of and as the allies of Bakhtenarsiya1 into the midst of that martial tribe. And king Kay Loharasp had sent them with Bakhtenarsiya from Iranshehr to Arumemukaddas, where the faithful who had a conception of the good religion were believers in, and had a knowledge of the tenets of the religion of Jamshed of the noble race. After many fights, in order to induce, by various arguments and by exposition of religious points, those devoted adherents of the religion of Jamshed to believe in and to adopt the other (i.e. the Mazdayasnian Zartoshti religion), and after expounding the tenets (of the latter faith) and discussing the same by way of questions and answers, they had purified the students of the religion by imbuing them with a yearning for the precepts thereof.||1. Bakhtenarsiya is the other name of the Iranian Warrior Reham Godrez. On Loharasp's succeeding Kay Khosraw to the throne of Iran, he appointed Reham Godrez as one of the commanders of his army and sent him to fight with the idol-worshipping ruler of Jerusalem. And the said warrior, after defeating the heathen king took the kingdom under his charge, and by the order of king Loharasp ruled over it. Bakhtenarsiya was living till the reign of Behman. The Shah-nameh makes no mention of "Bakhtenasriya," but we find details given in the Tarikhe Tabari, in the portion which treats of the history of Jerusalem and of Bakhtulnasriya from the time of Loharasp to that of Behman. Behman had during his reign brought about the prosperity of Jerusalem.|
|5 . Before the advent of the holy Zartosht (descendant) of the devout Spitaman in what way had the preceding prophets been initiated into this religion? In this way: -- The messages brought by the angels, who revealed this pure good religion from time to time, had induced them to adopt the religion everywhere. An account of the thoughtful followers of religion, who had adopted this religion (is as under). The (first) man to have faith in this religion was Gayomard; and after him Mashye, Siyamak, Hooshang, Takhmorup, Jamshed, Faridoon, Minoshchihr, Saman, and the Kayanian kings. Besides them there were many other leading men, who used to propagate the religion by expounding it to the people, and by the help of the same (i.e. the religion) used to ward off the calamities overhanging the people, and to rule the world in prosperity.|
|6.  Furthermore, God, in order to give joy to the good creation, had, from the beginning of the world, created, in pure and luminous essence, the holy Zartosht as an associate of the Amahraspands, endowed with all their good qualities, thoughtful, and fully attentive. And his essence was made in the Spiritual World fitted for (the task of) proselytism, and of propagating the religion throughout the world. And at the right time he was sent down to the world as a man, invested with the earthly body. At that time (i.e. when the pure Spirit of Zartosht entered this tenement of clay), a superior kind of light and effulgence began to flash forth from his house, through the medium of a star (in the heavens). And he was born of his father Pourushasp -- a descendant of (the Peshdadian King) Jamshed -- and of his mother Dukdaub. Further, when he (the prophet) was born, there was a light like the blaze of fire-a glare and a twilight --irradiating from his house in all directions, high in the air, and to great distance on the earth, as a token of his greatness and exaltation. And there (in the house of the holy Zartosht) were (gathered together) the sorcerers, the paris [i.e. pairikas, fairies], the teachers of the religion of Ahriman, those that turned their eyes and ears away from the Divine Religion, and other evil-doers, desiring to do him mortal injury at his birth and in his infancy, and to cause harm (to his pure soul). So much so that the evil doers collected there wanted by any means to make his soul inefficacious through death, or to disable him otherwise, and to obscure the dawning intellect in him. And for the purpose of contriving the destruction of Zartosht, they sent (to the house of Pourushasp), in the forms of wolves and other beasts of prey, such of Pourushasp's relatives as were addicted to sorcery and devil-worship. In reference to this it is mentioned (in the religious books) that as (the Amahraspand) Vohuman had an abode in the heart of Zartosht, the latter laughed at the time of birth. And when he (the holy one) went into the presence of Ohrmazd to crave for an insight into and to accept the faith, Ahriman, and many devils, and evil spirits came to him to frighten him, to trouble him, and, by fighting with him, to crush his aspirations about the religion. But he defied them all, and they retired routed and overcome by that weapon -- the chanting of the sacred Avesta (of the Ahunwar), embodying the sublime goodness pleasing to Ohrmazd.2||2. See an account of it in the holy text, Vendidad 19.1-10.|
|And he won the final victory in the cause of God. And he became worthy of the manifest good recompense, and a wielder of the power pertaining to God's Dominion. And he showed to the people the way to mar the blemish-giver, (Ahriman), and he kept in progress the work pertaining to the final triumph of God. He destroyed the material frames in which the evil spirits before his time used to move about openly. And thus harm was done to their bodies (i.e. their physical manifestations in this world), and the evil spirits being enfeebled lost their power of visibility. And owing to the holy Zartosht they became helpless, vanquished, despairing of misleading (the people), and incapable of assuming a visible shape.3||3. Before the time of Zartosht, evil spirits used to come into this world in the form of men, and this power of assuming human form was destroyed by Zartosht by means of the glory of his prophetic mission. The evil spirits were thus disabled from coming into this world in visible shapes. This is borne out by Yasna 9.9.]|
|7. When (the holy Zartosht) after having thoroughly received his mission from Ohrmazd went to the Kayanian King Vishtasp for the purpose of winning over the people of the world to the belief in the religion, for the sake of their own happiness, he wrought many glorious deeds of smiting the evil spirits:4 and he enlightened the mind of Vishtasp by unfolding to him many of the sublime mysteries. And he brought his august person into unison with the good of the people of the created world; while with his own animated body he withstood the antagonism of the various sorcerers, devil-worshippers, devil-seekers, demoniacal impostors, and stubborn fighters.||4. That is he performed in the presence of King Vishtasp and his courtiers, for the purpose of convincing them of the truth of the Mazdayasnian Zoroastrian Religion, many sublime miracles and stupendous marvels, superhuman, awe-inspiring, and influenced by spiritual agencies.|
|8. To him came all wise men versed in the prognostication of events from the twelve zodiacal signs, that is those who were called astrologers; (they came) with the evident desire (of attaining to truth), sent by the rulers of Khwaniras [= Xwaniratha] to put to him certain questions. He convinced them by explanatory arguments, by making everything clear to them with logical evidence exoteric and esoteric, and by illustrating the same with similar tenets from the previous religion of (king) Jamshed. Moreover, Vohuman (the Amahraspand) connected with him, Ardwahisht, Adar, and other good Heavenly Yazads, becoming manifest, finally came to the court of King Vishtasp to testify to (the truth of) the religion of Ohrmazd, to instill (into the minds of men) the comprehension of it, to express their views about it, and to expound it.5||5. See the Srosh Yasht for the night, 10.23 and 24.|
|9. Further, debaters of the highest class, who entered into discussion with the prophet Zartosht, acknowledged him, from the way in which he confuted their contradictory arguments, to be (a possessor) of transcendent qualities and a giver of wonderfully excellent judgments.6 In the same way the holy Zartosht, by means of his glorious deeds came safely out from all conflicts. In him were manifest all the traits and characteristics of the prophets and of the glorious messengers (the Yazads). And owing to this supreme testimony and evidence, the people acknowledged him to be the prophet of God.||6. Changranghas and Vias, two Hindu savants had come to the court of Vishtasp to discuss religious subjects with the prophet. Ere the pandits announced what questions they had to ask, the holy Zartosht, who had already got the questions and their answers written out beforehand, got the same read out to them by Maidok-mah. Changranghas was so much struck with this that he apologized to the prophet Zartosht, and adopted the Mazdayasnian Zartoshti religion. For authority relating to this see the Persian Changranghas Nameh of Dastur Zartosht Behram, wherein these lines occur: (Persian quote omitted).]|
|10. Afterwards the Kayanian Vishtasp willingly undertook the work of enforcing observance of the Religion (in the world), so that there might be no danger of its being overtaken by degeneration and decay. When Zarir, Aspandyar, Frashostar, Jamasp, and several rulers of the provinces saw the sublimity, the gloriousness, and the mysteries of the religion, they all became thorough embellishers of their good deeds-men after the heart of Ohrmazd and the Amahraspands. And they promulgated religious mandates to be observed by the people of the world. Moreover, from the (aspect of) the twelve Zodiacal signs they learnt that the devs (i.e. the evil beings who opposed the religion) would ultimately be overcome and destroyed; that the faithful would be preserved by God in their conflict with the opposing innumerable devil-worshippers; that men would become pure after much fighting and bloodshed; and that in the world wherever the people should have remained (adherents) of their impure faiths Ushedar, Ushedarmah, and Soshyant, the re-introducers and the propagators of the religion, would make them followers of the pure faith. By means of this pure Ohrmazd-given Religion Soshyant would make the people free from afflictions, and everlastingly happy.|
|1. On the revelation of all events by the holy Zartosht gifted with prescience and thorough excellence.|
|2. Be it known that he (the prophet Zartosht) had predicted with full details and in concatenation all the circumstances as to how the Kayanian Vishtasp, King of Iran, and his innumerable army would obtain a victory over (the Turkish [=Turanian] King) Arjasp and his hosts, and over other (kings). Similarly had he made revelations about King Vishtasp's supremacy over rulers of other countries; about his own self (i.e. of the holy Zartosht's) being killed by the Turkish warrior Baratarurish [Bradrok-resh], about the Yazad-bodied cow Nagirpan1 having foretold to (the warrior) Thritun [Faridoon] the advent of the holy Zartosht; about the events which would happen in successive ages; about the doers of harm to his religion, such as Alexander; about Malkus [Mahrkus],2 the perverter of the high order of intelligence; about Zohak; about men and women who believe in the faiths of the other evil-workers, Jesus and Mani; about the confused times of the steel age and the iron age; and likewise about the embellishers, reformers, and renovators of religion, such as Ardeshir, Adarbad, Noshirwan, Peshutan, Ushedar, Ushedarmah, Soshyant, and others.||
1. Nagirpan was a cow of angelic body in the time of the Kayanian
King Kaus, and she foretold future events. After the great battle
between the Iranians and the Turanians in the time of the said
King it was decided that the Iranian monarch Kaus and the Turanian
Afrasiyab should make peace, and abide by the decision of the
above mentioned cow of Yazadi glory, regarding the demarcation
of their territories. The Turanian King not willing to abide by
the decision of the cow, gave wrong advice to Kaus, and the latter
sent one of his warriors, Thritun, and had the cow killed. An
account of this is given in the biography of the prophet Zartosht
in the 7th volume of the original Pahlavi Denkard.
2. A legendary sorcerer.
|Jamasp had been instructed by Zartosht in the understanding of all things connected with the future, and in the indications of the changes to be wrought by Time, and he was thus able to foretell future events. And the details of every such event were registered The Avesta and its commentary were written on (smooth) cow-skins with golden ink, and thus preserved in the Royal Treasury. And the kings and the Dasturs had many copies of them made; for they had been warned beforehand of (the religion) receiving harm from the maleficent, and of its being misrepresented and misinterpreted.|
|1. On the greatness and distinction of the Iranian race.|
|2. Moreover, it was mentioned by the holy Zartosht that when the evil of the blemish-giver (Ahriman) got mingled with the good creation, the progeny of Fravak, one of the sons of Siyamak, turned out preeminent, highly intellectual, good-natured, affectionate, faithful, deserving of good consideration, honestly acting, charitable, truthful, prosperous, enjoying the good friendship of God, endowed with other good qualities, working on the same lines as the renowned Fravak, and like him devoted to the good religion. The races of other countries (non-Iranian) are not endowed with such goodness and glory, but are of unclean origin. They belong to the adverse creation which, owing to its absorbing the various blemishes of the evil spirits, is regarded as being not of a high order but of the order of pernicious things. Among the sons of Fravak, Hooshang, of good essence, had become a ruler of the world by means of his superior excellence. And he was the giver of happiness and of the means of subsistence to the people of the world. And among his descendants those that attained to good fortune and renown were of kingly descent and of auspicious royal birth.*||[* It is for this reason that the holy Zartosht has commemorated in the sacred text of the Frawardin Yasht the holy souls of Gayomard, Hooshang, Tehmurasp, Jamshed, Faridoon, Erach, Minochehr, Kay Kobad, Kay Kaus, Kay Syavaksh, Kay Khosraw, Kay Loharasp, Kay Vishtasp, and other Kings of the Kayanian dynasty, and of Iranian warriors, and of worthy Dasturs and Mobeds.]|
|3. Men of the glorious and good race (above mentioned) had from time to time acquired, by their wisdom, greatness among the people, and had kept up their connection with sovereignty, and had suppressed the descendants of Tur -- the people of the bad territories. To mention in detail, they were Tehmurasp, Jamshed, Athavian, Faridoon, and the ancestors of the succeeding Iranian Kings -- from the progeny of Erach, Manush Arvar, and Minochehr down to the present exalted and glorious King (Anoshehrawan) -- and other kings. All the wise kings of the royal dynasty to which belong the Kayanian kings* should be regarded as the protectors of their subjects; because it was only in the illustrious scions of this dynasty that the Divine glory and the radiant Nairyosangh had their abode, and consequently their connection with the glory of God was manifest in them.||[* Here the expression "Kayanian Kings" signifies not only the Kings of the Kayanian dynasty, but the subsequent renowned Kings of Iran, to whom was vouchsafed by Ohrmazd the gift of the "Kayanian glory" called in the Avesta "Kavaya Khwarenangh" and in Pahlavi 'Kayanian Khwarrah']|
|4. In like manner the Zoroastrian high priests had, and have, in the same proportion a glory+ pertaining to religion. Of this there is frequent mention in the Avesta. The sacred Avesta also contains a description of the world-renowned, preeminently well-born worshippers of God, to the effect that the highly renowned and virtuous persons, learned in religious lore, and belonging to the family of the same religious opinion, had become famous for supplying the ever recurring wants of men.||
[+ The glory or halo of the Zoroastrian high priest is called
in Avesta 'Airyana Khwarenangha," and a description of it
is given in the Pahlavi commentary of the Atash Niyayesh as under:
"The 'Airan Khwarrah' created by God is the name of a fire called Adurfarnbag. This fire-like light has special care of the Athornan class. Wherever the Dasturs and Mobeds attain to wisdom, greatness, and renown, it is through the help of this fire-like radiance. The victory which king Faridoon (whose title was 'Mobed') obtained over (king) Zohak in battle was through virtue of this fire."]
|5. Furthermore, those that are called the inhabitants of Saemali* have, for the sake of performing the proper acts (of religion), applied to us from all places, and at every opportune time, for elucidation of religious points; and they abstain (from sin) as far as it hes in their power. And their thoughts are all in accordance with the dictates of religion. Moreover, many of them have, owing to their having received from us frequently instruction in the true religion, become learned in religious lore, performers of religious rites, and cherishers of the soul. And they have taken to coming to this place for learning the complete duties pertaining to the religion. Moreover, whenever they are there in want of a learned Ratu (Dastur), he is deputed to them (from here) at the proper time, and the people of this tribe take him with them from here.||
[* Saemali [Selamis]. -- In the same way as the Persian 'srq' is formed
from the Avesta 'suxra', the Pahlavi is formed, in lieu of (...)
from the Avesta 'sairima'. This is the original name, derived
from Selam the eldest son of Faridoon, given to the country over
which he ruled, According to the Shah-nameh, king Faridoon had
conferred on Selam the sovereignty of Rum and Khawar. In Avesta
occurs the word 'sairima' the name of Syria as well as of Selam.
In the Tarikhe Tabari and in the Denkard, the
'Saemali' country is said to be situated near Jerusalem, to which
place king Loharasp had sent Reham Godarz, called by the Arabs
'Bakhtulnasar,' to propagate the God-worshipping religion.]
1. The admonitions of the prophet, the holy Zartosht.
2. The prophet, the holy Zartosht admonished (the Zoroastrians) to control all their desires in accordance with the ordinances of Ohrmazd, and thereby to smite every description of evils and to annihilate all the vices of the blemish-giver (Ahriman); also to show to good men the full benefit of every virtue, and to make the people of the world comfortable in every way, and to teach them to earn their livelihood by honest means. Man in this world can obtain comfort (i.e. happiness) in three ways. Firstly by regulating himself in accordance with all the ordinances of Ohrmazd, secondly by guarding the soul from all sorts of harm, and thirdly by attaining to the comprehension of the happiness of Tane-pasin (i.e. of the coming spiritual world).
1. On the good recompense of worship.
|2. The thought of adoring the one Life-giver (i.e. God) is due to living in accordance with His laws. This consists of the undermentioned four divisions. The first whereof is the doing of deeds which ought to be done; the second treats of doing three things and eschewing three things -- viz. indulging in good thoughts, good words, good deeds, and eschewing the ways of evil thoughts, evil words, evil deeds; the third part deals with the division into the four classes (the Athornan, the Arthreshtar, the Vastriyosh and the Hutokhsh); and the fourth part treats of the giving of frequent and sufficient donations* to all the great Dasturs and Mobeds who from time to time enlighten the people on the Avesta and its meaning, and who perfect, from the beginning to the end, the good work of religious instruction.||
[* To every Zoroastrian who follows the four ways of worshipping
God as mentioned above, the gift is vouchsafed by the Lord of
Creation, of his getting in the next world the recompense of his
worship, through the agency of and in proportion to the good works
done for and by him in this world. Some Zoroastrians express an
opinion that a Zoroastrian gets in the next world the reward or
the punishment of his own deeds only, done during his lifetime,
but that the deceased gets no recompense for the good deeds done
after him by his relatives in accordance with the religious observances,
and for the deeds enjoined by him, in his will, and for the works
set going in this world by himself. Such statements are not in
accordance with the principles of our religion. According to our
religion a Zoroastrian on the dawn of the fourth day of his demise
is given, in the court of Divine justice presided over by Vohuman
Amahraspand, Mihr Davar, Rashn Yazad, and Srosh, a reward of all
the good deeds done by himself in his lifetime, and of all the
good deeds of which he had made a beginning but was overtaken
by death ere he could finish them, and which were subsequently
completed according to his wish from the money left by him for
the purpose, and of all good deeds enjoined by him in his will,
and of the good deeds, in consonance with the dictates of the
religion, which after his death his heirs, or relatives, or friends
do on his behalf -- all these deeds, with their results up to
the day of resurrection being fully estimated in the assignment
of the reward. The Yazads and the Amahraspands who dispense justice
in the spiritual world are not judges possessed of the limited
earthly understanding that they should mete out justice whether
right or wrong, as they think best, after weighing only the evidence
produced; but the judges of the Spiritual world are endowed with
the understanding imbued with the Light and the foreseeing Omniscience
of Ohrmazd, by which reason they know all the events that have
happened, and have the occult knowledge of futurity, whereby their
judgment is accurate, and capable of giving every one his exact
Hadokht Nask II & III;
and Afrin-e Ardafravash.)]
1. On what pleaseth the Lord.
2. The Lord delights in persons who on all occasions conduct themselves in accordance with His wishes and behests; and He is displeased with persons who on all occasions transgress his wishes and commands. Of such contumacious persons it is stated in the Religion that they observe not His behests and wishes.
1. On (The Mazdayasnians) preserving themselves from debasement (i.e. from becoming deteriorated).
2. (Every Mazdayasnian), in order that he may not degenerate, and may be able to preserve himself on all occasions, should have a knowledge (of the ways of) Ahriman and the evil spirits who guilefully try to win him over; because they imperceptibly enter into the good creation, and secretly do harm to the path of rectitude. They are the unseen destroyers (of good people). And by stealth they make the thoughts, words, and deeds of men the habitations for destructive vices. The advent of true prophets in this world is for the purpose of revealing to the people the mystery of the spiritual world (i.e. the Religion), with the view of checking their longings for sinful acts, and of confirming their resolve for striving after good deeds. (The prophets) should be recognized and their ways followed; the evils wrought by the Devs should be guarded against; and whatever is profitable to them (i.e. to the Devs) should be cast away from one's essence. And they should not be given admittance into one's nature. And one shall constantly wage war with the Druj (i.e. the malignant influences) within oneself, and hold in abhorrence and keep in subjection the devil of devils Ganamino and his law-breaking evil powers, such as Akoman, Andar, Soro, Naogas, Tarich, Zarich, Akhdehash, Az, Hesham, and other (vicious) devils, the violators of the (Divine) Law. Of all the devils those several (mentioned above) require to be particularly guarded against (by the Mazdayasnians). Especially should they preserve themselves from the perverse ways of Akoman, i.e. (the devil) of perverse thoughts. The intelligence of the perverting devil should be opposed by the intelligence pertaining to good wisdom. Man should improve himself by constantly being on his guard, and it behooveth him to try to improve others.
3. For similar reason the Creator has made the human body an abode for Vohuman to withstand Akoman, and for other good angelic powers to withstand the Drujs, where by the Mino Yazads (are enabled to) keep good watch and ward within the living man.
1. On the Nature of Heaven and Hell and on the mode of the Resurrection.
|2. Of what manner now are Heaven and Hell? Heaven begins with the exalted Satarpaya, and Hell is below the surface of the earth. Heaven is luminous, fragrant, bliss-giving, and possessed of all sorts of brilliancy and charm. Hell is dark, full of wretchedness, stinking, lusterless, and given to every misery. In these (Heaven and Hell) there are many sort, of double bliss and double misery respectively. (Such bliss and misery) exist not on the earth that lies between. In the abodes of Satarpaya and Hamistagan are (the souls) both (of) the departed and the dead* having in them an admixture (of merits and sins.) Of them he that has the preponderance of righteousness has the passage to Heaven (i.e. to Satarpaya), while he whose sins are in excess is on the pathway to Hell; and he whose sins and meritorious deeds are in equal proportion has his abode in Hamistagan. What sorts of abodes are there in these three places of different grades? Of these sorts — the first full of bliss and charm, the second devoid of happiness and full of misery, and the third having a combination of the (awards of) righteous purity and sin.||[* "Dead" signifies "afflicted and suffering."]|
3. The explanation of the (mode of) Resurrection is of this nature:
Finally there will be a decrease of afflictions (i.e. injuries),
and the Preserver — the Creator Ohrmazd — will restore to life the
men (that have departed this life). The sinners will be purified
of their sins and the vicious dissociated from their vices; and
men, defiled with sin, will, after being made pure by the purificatory
(laws), and being exempted from (further) punishment, become beings
of a high order. Pious men, by the merit of their works will obtain
the good everlasting recompense. And owing to all men abstaining
from sinful acts, punishment will be done away with, and good
recompense will be their portion. And all men will live in the
condition of immunity from afflictions. (At that time) Ahriman
and the other Devs will not remain (in this world); and Druj (i.e.
the powers of evil) will be repulsed, overthrown, and slain.
All harm or blemish will be removed from the good creation. And
all people will continue to be in the state of innocence, -- pure,
faultless, connected with the supreme glory, free from affliction,
ever joyful, and progressive.
1. On Good Name.
2. The man that in this world obtaineth salvation (from Hell), and in the next world a recompense for good deeds, and who in both the worlds secureth good name by the excellent means of performing the laborious (i.e. meritorious) work for Tane-pasin, is the obtainer of the best recompense, is everywhere held in noble estimation and respect, is devoid of any sinful resolve, and has a longing for the doing of righteous deeds.
1. A Description Of Sins.
2. (This is) a description of the sins that (according to the Zoroastrian religion) are productive of much suffering. These (i.e. the undermentioned sins) involve antagonism to God, to the Yazads, and to the other good beings, and are, moreover, the source of encouragement to the Devs. Their names are given in this section,: -- e.g., animosity towards the master, not regarding the master as one's Chief, not obeying the commands of the King, not having due regard for the authority of the chiefs, and not acknowledging their lordship over oneself. Other sins besides these, worth noting, that lead to wretchedness and are pertaining to disobedience towards God, are:
3. Contempt for the religion, speaking ill of it, disobeying the dictates thereof, and self willedness. Similarly other offenses are: thinking of matters pertaining to a wicked religion, accepting anything from those professing a wicked religion, not fighting with the Devs and the wicked persons, becoming related to unbelievers by giving them children in marriage, not giving good help to other people in the virtuous pursuit of their callings in the world, disloyalty to partners, sordidness, doing wrongful acts, harboring enmity towards the good people who constantly invoke God, pleasing the wicked; also, worshipping the Devil, doing harm to pious men, impairing (their) sanctity, committing sodomy, practicing sorcery, highway robbery, committing adultery, decreasing the progeny, (i.e. not caring to increase one's progeny by timely marriage), and impairing the other Dominion (i.e. that pertaining to the next world), doing injustice, false teaching, depriving the adopted son or the heir of his rights, depriving a family of its guardian, loving the wicked, giving false evidence, helping the untruthful, &c. -- also putting out the Atash Behram [= Warharan] fire, eating of putrefying animal matter, throwing the same into fire or water, burying the dead under the ground against the law (of the religion), not within the distance prescribed by the religion), and single-handed, which is a sin deserving of death.
4. Every sin that is not repented of (i.e. which is not expiated by countervailing good deeds) entails a condemnation to punishment. Other capital offenses are: killing the water-dog and other species of dogs, prostitution, sexual intercourse with women during menstruation, Avarun Marzi (i.e. unnatural intercourse with a woman), drunkenness, theft, oppression, sordidness, back-biting, deception, doing dirty acts, eating or drinking without the Vaj (i.e. saying grace), moving about without the Sudre and the Kusti (the sacred shirt and girdle), making water in a standing posture) obscene speech, doing every sort of immoral deeds, and other such acts.
5. In like manner mention is made of the meritorious deeds involving noble thought, which are all of great worth. These deeds of great worth are of the following description: Acquiring the friendship of God and of the Yazads and the Amahraspands (by invoking and worshipping them), obtaining the favor of the master, that is the employer under whose orders one works, obedience to the master, submissiveness to the ruler, behaving respectfully towards everyone, becoming virtuous through religion (i.e. through observance of religions precepts, gaining the goodwill of the virtuous, and winning the affections of the people.
6. Other meritorious deeds of noble thought, antagonistic to sin, that are mentioned (in the good religion) are as under: One should remain staunch (i.e. with firm faith) in the good religion. This is attainable through the worship (of God and of the Yazads and the Amahraspands); and the worship is through three kinds of conscientious regulation -- (firstly) having belief in God, (secondly) obedience to the good religion, (thirdly) worshipping God and the Yazads and the Amahraspands by the recital of the Avesta, with a view to putting oneself into relation with them. One should perform, with the object of giving gratification to the good Yazads and the pious people, the ceremonies pertaining to the Gahambars and pertaining to the celebration of other festivals about the respective chiefs (of the creation.) One should smite, oppose and restrain the Devs, the noxious animals, and the wicked men. One should repent of each sin separately. The instruments of salvation from hell consist of liberality, truthfulness, thanksgiving to God, and of attending to the essential purity of the soul.
1. On the Expiation and Lustration of Sins.
2. The first requirement for the expiation of sins, and for becoming pure through the expurgation of them, is to implore forgiveness, to express contrition, and to repent -- in the presence of the Lord. As the sins are many in number so are likewise their atonements various. And they are as follows: For disobeying the behests of the king, for other acts of insubordination, for speaking ill of the religion, for praising the new-fangled false faiths, for killing men without justice, for the (acts of) the sodomites, the sorcerers, the highwaymen. those who cook putrefying animal matter, and the perpetrators of other capital offenses, the punishment in accordance with justice is death. The expiation of all other sins is by pecuniary fines. For him who commits adultery secretly and with out injury, and for the highwayman, the penalty for their offenses is a fine. For those who commit acts of various degrees of sinfulness, the punishment is incarceration, and imprisonment with hard labor.
1. On the Sin of causing Injury to a Man without Cause.
2. It is a sin (according to the tenets of the Mazdayasnian religion) to strike or to confine a man without cause, to do harm to any good female, and to leave any sin unrepented. A thief, and a person suppressing a will are sinners. Likewise he who suppresses his progeny (i.e. disowns the offspring of his seed) (is) guilty of an immoral act. And injury to mothers, the doing of filthy acts, going back (from a promise), intimidation, telling a lie, using abusive language, breaking a single palisade of a fence or the whole fence of a boundary, striking with the butt end of a stick, (all these) are called sins, the penalty whereof is in various ways expressly mentioned (in the religion). All these punishments are to be inflicted by the head Dastur by the order of the judges, and in accordance with the dictates of justice. Moreover the penalties of death or of mutilation are not to be inflicted until the ruler so decrees. It is set forth (in the religion) that whosoever takes upon himself to punish of his own will, is like a highway robber. The punishment for various other sins that have not been atoned for in this world (by the man), is dealt out to him on the third night after his decease, and at the time of the Tane-pasin (i.e. after his passing into a spiritual condition). And his soul is kept in torments in the nether hell.
1. On Washing the Body and Keeping it Free from Impurities.
2. The body should be kept pure by washing it (i.e. by means of ablution and bathing) of all nasus (i.e. pollution and filth), and by giving it the barashnom. And it should be preserved by keeping it everywhere out of the reach of impurity. (The body) should be preserved from coming into contact with two kinds of (polluting things) viz. (1) the nasa (i.e. putrefying matter) of the dead, and (2) other eher-nasas (bodily excretions), such as menstrual discharge, semen, blood, urine, and perspiration, and from contact with (impure) men, dogs, and other unclean animals. With the help of the purifying yozdathregar, the body should be purified of the sinful act of touching a corpse during life. Water should not be defiled. And in order that it may not become the breeding ground of disease, its substance should he kept out of the reach of defiling matter. Moreover those men who have come into contact (with any nasa) should refrain from touching any substance whatsoever, keeping in mind their contaminated state. In order that water may not be defiled, the person, (who is in a state of pollution and uncleanliness), should (first) wash (the body) as ordained by religion, with cow's urine and the roots of trees (i.e. with the juice of the roots of trees). The details hereof are these: A woman in menses should wait for three nights, on account of (menstrual) impurity, and after further passing one day and one night should purify herself, making use of the Avesta (formulae) and other ceremonies. On one's coming into contact with injurious (i.e. disease-breeding) nasa, on one's becoming riman (i.e. polluted), or on one's becoming defiled by contact with a person who has touched nasa, and on one's unconsciously partaking of nasa, all such impurity, whether within the stomach or on the outward parts of the body, should be expurgated. In like manner at the break of day the hands should be cleansed of overnight impurity. Furthermore, prior to taking one's meals, to praying (to God), and to invoking and propitiating (God, the Yazads and the Amahraspands, and the holy Farohars) by means of the barsom (i.e. bundle of sacred twigs), new clothes should be put on, after having the whole body and the clothes washed of all impurity and of begrimed appearance consequent on labor. And the body, the clothes, the place of worship, and all other things should be kept at a distance from impure things.
1. On the Authority of the Priests.
2. Everywhere good deeds are due to (the influence of) the priests; and a description of these is as under: It behooves one to know the prophets of the religion, to do as bidden (by the religion), as many meritorious deeds as possible, and to refrain from sinful acts. One should follow any avocation (that is in accordance with its mandates). One should pass his life in industry as bidden (by the Dasturan Dastur); one should, as directed by him, irrigate the land, promote the growth of vegetation, and endeavor, under his direction, to do the deeds conferring other blessings on the world; one should follow a noble occupation and not a mean one; and one should not be idle. At the proper age one should take a wife, have sexual intercourse with her, and increase progeny. For promoting certain good deeds (it is necessary that) man and flocks, and other things of good creation, should as far as possible be multiplied, and kept in comfort. Well earned wealth should be bestowed on the suppliant poor, and on pious men deserving of charity; and, the good people should be fed. He (the Dasturan Dastur) should make the people acquainted with (the right distinction between) acts righteous and sinful, with the existence of the Creator and the magnitude of His marvelous creation, and with the greatness of the heavenly Yazads. And he should make the Mazdayasnians believe in the necessity of keeping at a distance from certain objects of this world. And he should enlighten the people on the goodness leading to God, on the belief in Him, on the sufferings caused by Ahriman, and on the comprehension of his evils.
3. The Mazdayasnians should receive (from the Dasturan Dastur) instruction as regards the abhorrence of the demons, the rejection of idolatry, the yearning for the recompense of righteousness, the punishment of sins, and as regards Heaven and Hell, and the Resurrection.
4. He who is unable to perform his devotions by the recital of the Avesta, (i.e. he who is unable to read and recite the Avesta), should recite the "Yatha ahu vairyo" [Ahunwar] and the "Ashem vohu". And he should also, as mentioned in the religion, recite the "Yatha ahu vairyo" in place of the other Avesta passages.
1. On the Food suitable for Consumption.
2. Be it known that the food that is the staple of Life is that which is suitable to our needs, pure, promoter of good looks, appropriate for all functions, and beneficial to the world. And the food that is in accordance with the requirements of the body consists of vegetables and edible fruits. In the great religious ceremonies (i.e. of the Jashans and the Gahambars), the flesh of five species of domestic animals is allowed (as food). As regards the use of birds as food, the flesh of the three species -- the vulture, the dark raven, and the owl -- is forbidden. Moreover, the food that is innocuous to the body and is the promoter of morals, is the harmless one consisting of the pure milk of the female domestic animals. Among other foods, that which is indigestible should not be partaken of. That is to say, the diet should be such as can admit of repetition (i.e. as can be assimilated) Because the food prepared from men, dogs, animals of the fox species, and other carcasses, and from noxious animals, is poisonous, and generates wickedness (in man). All such food is injurious (to man), and renders him polluted.
1. On Garments.
2. Garments or clothing are (essential) for persons of a high order. For instance, next the body should be worn the excellent garment of the Sudre (the sacred shirt), and over it be put on the Kusti (the sacred girdle). As far as possible one should not expose (the body), nor should he move about without the Sudre and Kusti on. The pudenda (i.e. the private parts of men and women) should be kept covered. Cold winds and hot winds should be guarded against (by suitable garments). And besides this a clean dress, protecting the body, should be put on according to the requirements of one's work or occupation. The body should be kept pure (undefiled); nor should it be put to unnecessary exertion. Nor should one put on a dress that is out of vogue (i.e. other than the habitual dress) and is strange. For certain acts and for certain things there should be no fighting. To conduct oneself on the right path, one should be full of pure resources, and be virtuous.
1. On Women
2. The wife of one's choice (i.e. to whom one is tied by the marriage ceremony) should always be treated with much affection and without the tinge of niggardliness (i.e. with liberality in the conferring of favors). One should strive for the increase of progeny by going in to her. She should be made a sharer in the recompense for righteous deeds. One's Shah-zan (i.e. a maiden wife) should be given a good dowry. A Chakar-zan (i.e. a wife who was previously a widow) should not be given the same amount as the Shah-zan. One should keep up (intimate) relations with one's wife, and have sexual intercourse with her several times. There is no limit (i.e. reckoning) of this (i.e. of the number of times one should have the sexual congress), but thrice in a month would be reasonable. As far as possible, (i.e. unless through necessity), a woman should not wed a second husband, nor a man a second wife, because such act, (according to the religion), is not a meritorious one.
1. On Charity.
2. There are various ways of ascertaining where charity is deserved, and a description of this is given below. A way should be opened for the happiness of worthy and excellent people, for the good of the souls of the devout people, and for (the relief of) every follower of the good religion, who may be unable to preserve himself against hunger, thirst, and (the rigors of) summer and winter. (The poor) should be supported for a long time from the interest on the capital and from the receipts of the income.
3. Charity should be extended towards those among men, who are worthy of being taken care of. In like manner one should be charitable to the poor of superior worth, who are, for years together, without (proper) sustenance. People of evil religions, who may be in danger of suffering from hunger, thirst, and cold, should be saved from these (hardships). Also Margarzani sinners (i.e. those deserving of capital punishment), who may be in dread of religious justice and be unable to help themselves, should be protected. As far as possible one should not partake of food till after feeding the needy. Moreover it is proper for one to be liberal towards the creatures, who, from a religious point, are under his control And other good men, who are the reciters of the Avesta and are the doers of good deeds, should be given the means of sustenance.
1. On contracting Matrimony.
2. If anyone tries with evil intent to sever the matrimonial tie, complaint regarding it should be lodged (in a court of justice), with the view of obtaining State interference in the matter; and if then, in accordance with the judgment, he re-accepts the conjugal relationship (i.e. the enjoyment of marital right), he should in no wise be punished with imprisonment. Because, in like manner, every such living creature is regarded by the Creator as the accused (in the above case), but finally, in the comprehensive test from the beginning to the end, he is given an exalted position as belonging to the good creation. Frequent repetition of the act of propagating the offspring is an act of great worth, and glorious, and it holds a noble and exalted position among other good, superior functions of men; and therefore they (the men) should do this act frequently with the view of ensuring the perpetuity of their progeny. (Men) should form good connections for the purpose of increasing the progeny, and should live a harmless virtuous life. And children should be properly brought up, -- which entails good care on the part of the parents. It is through the marriage tie that men become related to each other and live contentedly. They remain adherents of the good religion, and so no occasion arises for their harboring wicked jealousy of one another. And they, with their children, live together in the same abode, in the same place, dwelling together in one locality, with affectionate regard for one another, and taking a watchful care of their families. Again, owing to their unanimity on religious points, their views (on other points) are similar, and from a sense of honor they preserve one another from falling into avarice. In like manner they refrain from approaching a stranger. And they carefully guard themselves against the inimical demons harmful to men, by being very much in dread of them. By observing such precautions men attain to super-excellence, and can aspire to many other virtues; and by the exercise of like carefulness they come to know of the advantage of stability, and acquire occult virtues, and attain to the glory of possessing a keen desire for the perfect improvement of their posterity, and of securing for them high positions. And the procreation of worthy noblemen generation after generation is due to this cause only. And especially by faith in the acceptor of the (Divine) mission -- (the Prophet) chosen (by God) -- can a man obtain salvation in every particular (i.e. from every sort of sin). In this way every well-known pious man remains addicted to truthfulness, following in every particular the sincere admonitions of the prophets and the bearers of the Divine revelation (i.e. the invisible Yazads). But the ordinances of the holy Zartosht are those that were obtained by him on his receipt of the Religion from the Creator Ohrmazd.
1. On Worship or Adoration.
2. It behooves us, as far as it lies in our power, to pay homage to, that is to worship, Spenamino Ohrmazd, the Creator of the good creation, with thought, word, and deed, for His gift of Life and Body. And for the providence underlying all His creations, we ought to sing His praises, render obeisance unto Him, and be thankful to Him as it behooves His creatures to be. And in order to propitiate Him (the Zoroastrians) should with one accord worship and glorify Him, (firstly) by means of the Yazashne or invocation. Three times a day -- at sunrise, at noon, and in the afternoon -- while rendering obeisance to the Sun, the Creator Ohrmazd should first of all be praised and invoked, and afterwards His supreme creations (i.e. the Yazads and the Amahraspands). Secondly -- the Gahambars should be celebrated for five days with highly virtuous thought and good devotion, and by means of the recital of the propitiatory formula of "Rathvo Berezato." The holy Farohars should be invoked with the Yazashne [=Yasna] ceremony during the ten sacred days of the Frawardigan. In the twelve months of the year the rozgar ceremony of the deceased should be performed on the respective dates. The year has twelve months, and each month has thirty days. The five days of the Gathas are the accumulation of the surplus day-fractions. One should always take his meals before praying. Moreover, according to the details of the other prayers given in the Avesta, one should perform separately, with feelings of devotion and sincerity, the act of propitiating the (Divine) creations (i.e. the Yazads and the Amahraspands), and of the good things bestowed by God. And also their miraculous powers and greatness should be praised and remembered; and their great and marvelous gifts (to us) should at the same time be alluded to. And an open acknowledgment should be made of the fact that these gifts have been given by the Lord for the love of us. And in prayers the face should be turned towards every luminous object worthy of obeisance. And for that purpose one must seek the presence of the objects shining with pure light. Also, one should offer due praise to men, domestic animals, fire, metals, land and water, and vegetation, and should do reverence to them. And, as ordained in the religion, these substances should be kept preserved from impurity, while (to the animate beings) proper food should be given according to the dictates of the religion. Moreover pain should not be inflicted on mankind, but as far as possible good should be done unto them. One should have regard and affection for (people of) one's community, and should visit them, and should live with them in one abode. And one should hold other relationship with them, especially that pertaining to communion. Relationship (i.e. communion) is of four kinds: (1) Personal (or direct) relationship, (2) relationship through humility, (3) relationship through good conduct, and (4) relationship through religion. Of these the highest connection is that with the king (of the country), because it confers respectability on a man, though he may not belong to the good creation. Every man and every substance ought to be properly estimated. From (the man or substance) that is invisible or incomprehensible we should form a very high idea of the providence of the Creator who brought into being such invisible and marvelous objects, and we should render thanks to the Lord for this act of His. And one should offer to him praise, prayer, and supplication. If these thoughts do not pervade a man he cannot claim to be a virtuous man or a believer in Ohrmazd, nor should he expect to realize the various sorts of bliss mentioned in the religion that enjoins good conduct.
1. On not injuring Men and Animals.
2. Pain, injury, or hardship should not be inflicted on virtuous men. A promise or plighted faith should not be broken, nor should obligation be forgotten. Niggardliness and other demoniacal traits should not be adopted. Animosity should not be entertained towards, nor injury done to anything belonging to the good creation. One's inferior should be treated as equals, and taken care of. Domestic animals should be kept out of harm's way, and should be attended to in the matter of the supply of water and forage, and should be guarded in other legitimate ways. And when they reach maturity they should be slain for (the use of) the men of superior wisdom and of exalted position (i.e. the priestly class who perform the religious ceremonies), and for smiting the demons, and for the great rites performable in connection with the Atash-Bahram (i.e. for the fat-offering on the occasion of the religious festivals). They should not be slaughtered unlawfully and without cause. And they should be preserved from (going into the hands of) unworthy men, from a disproportionate allowance of food and drink, from being kept tethered, from being harmed by thieves and wolves, from hunger and thirst, from (the rigors of) summer and winter, and from being afflicted with other woes. And they should not be unlawfully overburdened with work and labor. And bad men should not be allowed to ride over them. There should be no undue exercise of power over them. And they should be treated with kindness, and as required by the law.
1. On Fire.
2. Fire is a thing differing from other principal shining bodies (i.e. the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, &c.) which give luminosity to the things on this Earth; and it is the original principle of water, of air, and of every visible matter. To it is due the existence and sustenance of men. One should abstain from extinguishing it. It should be kept 30 paces off, each pace being equal to three steps (i.e. foot-lengths), from decaying animal matter; and it should not be seen except from a distance of 15 paces by women during menstrual should be kept at a distance of three paces from (the source of) offensive smell and from bodily excretions. Moreover it should be kept clear of ashes, and out of reach of wicked men, of fluids, of contaminating substances, and of immoral men. It should be protected from the rays of the Sun, and prevented from going out through lack of fuel, be preserved from hot or cold blasts, and it should not be made use of in any work involving dishonest labor. Good, worthy people (i.e. the Athornans) should carefully tend it (i.e. take care of it). Dry, pure, and clean wood, and incense, that are suitable for feeding the fire, should be placed on it; and it should be preserved and kept with reverent care. It should be scrupulously guarded, and be held as the symbol of worship, according to the dictates of the religion. And further, as is done by the heads of the religion, it should be cherished as the giver of intensive force to religious rites and proper devotions.
1. On Metals.
2. Metals, whether serving for ordinary use or ornament, should be kept properly clean, and apart from defiling matter. They should be made into implements of various kinds. Gold and silver should not be given to atheistic and immoral men, who might, by keeping the same lying uselessly underground, cause the metals to tarnish and rust. Nor should these be given for use to the wicked, lest they might serve for the ornamentation of these unworthy men.
1. On the Earth.
2. The earth should be kept in a regular (i.e. proper) condition. It should be guarded from (the defilement caused by) the interment of nasa (i.e. corpses), and by the habitation of the devs (i.e. evil beings), noxious animals, and wicked people. It should be made teeming with produce, and an object of suitable enterprise. It should be purchased from bad men at (even) twice its value, and should be wrested from the evil-thinkers, and protected from other disturbing evils. It should be brought under the occupation of men and domestic animals; water and vegetation should be made to spring therefrom, and embellishment should be given to it by the settlement thereon of the beneficent things, and it should be constantly utilized for the leading of a pious life and the doing of good actions.
1. On Water.
2. Water has no affinity with light-giving matter. Like fire it should be kept out of the way of defilement, and it should be preserved from all impurities. And when it is foul in any degree, no thought should be entertained of drinking it, or of washing the body with it, (i.e. no kind of impure water should be used for drinking or other purposes); and it should not be used for ablutions or for bathing. Unworthy people should be retrained from touching or using it. Water should be kept pure and efficacious according to the dictates of the religion.
1. On the Vegetable Kingdom.
2. The Orvars (i.e. the trees and plants), owing to their connection with the earth are of uniform design and uniform combination (of elements). Likewise owing to their connection with water they are of uniform design and uniform combination. And in the same manner owing to their connection with Fire they are of uniform design and uniform combination. Fire should not be allowed to be their working medium. It should be glorified for its maturing the vegetation; and its (importance) should be recognized in the various other needs that its supplies. Further, it is enjoined in the religion that the invocations to God and the Heavenly Yazads should likewise be addressed in the presence of this holy symbol. We should abstain from regarding the Fire as an insignificant thing, and treating it with irreverence and obloquy (i.e. desecrating and profaning it). And it behooves us as God's creatures to return thanks to Him and glorify Him for the marvels that He has wrought through the creation of Fire. Moreover, women in menstruation, and evil people should refrain from looking at light-giving objects; and good people should keep these luminous creations in sight when offering their devout homage and prayers.
2. One should keep away from the place where there is a dead man or a dead dog. And the corpse (whether of man or dog) should be taken to its final resting place by two men (joined hand to hand) after it has been exposed to the gaze of a dog. The corpse (of a man) should not be carried by a single man, and without the religious rites. The Vendidad enjoins repeated exposition of it to the gaze of a dog. When a human corpse is being borne to its resting place, all the co-religionists should pay reverence to it with much humility and with bent heads. And for the good of the soul (of the deceased), they should recite a Niyayesh prayer. Such prayer is the means of securing the welfare of those men endowed with life by the Creator. During the prayer homage should be rendered unto God with bent head and lowered hands. No contrary word should be uttered at the time, nor should any other defect be allowed in the prayer. This obligation is incumbent on those who are in any way connected with the deceased, so that all those concerned may remain out of the reach of anxiety and trouble. One should offer supplications and prayers on behalf of any (deceased person) with whom one had acquaintance. And that acquaintance only is recognizable here which pertains to (community of) religion (i.e. the above ceremonies are obligatory only when the deceased is a Zoroastrian).
1. On Truthful Men.
2. The truthful people amongst us are devoid of insincerity, and are worthy to be associated with the followers of the good religion; because whatever act they do is, on all occasions, full of wisdom. (3) From the holy Zartosht had proceeded acts bearing the glory of being testified to by the Amahraspands, and other acts marvelous and matchless, (i.e. those which could not be compared to anything on this earth). And all things that contained sublime mysteries were made know by him. And after him similar feats were displayed from time to time by the ancient Dasturs of the religion. The devout Adarbad Mahraspandan, in the reign of King Shapur Ormazd, in order to redeem the dissentious people of Khwaniras [=Xwarenatha] from heresy, poured molten bronze over his own body, and thus corrected their heterodoxical views about the religion. And various other ceremonies and glorious deed that he performed, involving the unfolding of similar marvels, will continue to be in force henceforth up to the reign of king Yazdegard son of Shehryar. And similar other well organized public ceremonies will continue to be performed efficiently. And by means thereof every man (i.e. every Zoroastrian) will be able to keep his soul, during its sojourn in the body, in a befitting and exalted condition; whereby the soul will be enabled to enjoy felicity. In these days, whatever doubts about the comprehension of the tenets of religion are expressed by the controversialists on religious matters, are due to their want of faith. Generally, the writings embodying the excellent precepts in the Avesta books are replete with wisdom as regards the commandments of justice and religion, and admit of no diversity of opinion regarding the sense thereof. The pious Dasturs should rewrite correctly the (Avesta) texts that have become antiquated through age; and then if there be any perverse dissentients, the present glorious king Noushirwan, the preserver of the souls (of men) from evil, should issue mandates for the severe punishment of those harm-doers to religion, and of those practicers of evil ways through perverseness. And all those that cherish a desire for improving themselves by means of the religion, should have their pure natures thoroughly inculcated in the right understanding of the Avesta texts of the highly glorious Mahraspand, which is endowed with the strength of the true Mazdayasni religion, so that they may acquire understanding of a very high order.
Complete Questions of Bukht-Masareh and their Answers.
Now a townsman, one who was friendly-disposed (towards us Zoroastrians), as well as most eager for religious knowledge, and inquisitive about what was strange to him, a Christian man whom they call Bukht-Masareh, inquired thus:
1. From what is the existence of God evident? And that of the competitor (or adversary)?
2. And whence came that competing spirit?
3. And for what purpose did he come?
4. And for what reason did he strive for corrupting?
5. And why did he not come before?
6. (1) And was it possible for God to keep that adversary away, [or not? (2) And if He could keep (him) away,] then why did he not keep (him) away? (3) And if He could not keep (him) away, how would it be possible to keep (him) away at last?
7. And why did He let him in?
8. And why did He approve harm for the creatures?
9. And with what power will He cast him back?
10. And is his return possible or not?
11. (1) And if not possible for him, why is it not possible? (2) And if it be possible for him, why will he not come?
12. Why did God utter this Revelation (daena) in an unfamiliar and obscure language, the name whereof is Avesta?
13. And why did He not think of its original (text being preserved only) in a written form, but ordered (also) to learn (it) by heart for recitation?
14. (1) And why does God send the Religion only (aê-vâch) to the country of Iran, thereby abandoning the rest to the teaching of the demons. (2) And (is it that) the rest do not consider that God (ân Yêzat) as worthy, nor are (they) able to represent (nimûtan) Him (so)?
15. And why is homage to be offered not only to God, but even to the Sun and several other luminaries?
16. And why is the walking about without having put on the kusti (or, the sacred girdle) regarded as sin?
17. For what reason are the consecration ceremonies with regard to the barsom and the dron (or, darun, draona) different?
18. And what advantage is there to the Deity from invocation and worship?
19. And why is the (material) body when dead more polluted than when alive?
20. And what is the pollution of menstruation owing to?
21. And when it passes out from an outlet, why is the whole body polluted, and to be avoided at a distance.
22. And how are injurious effects [lit. 'demons'] produced by eating without saying the Baj formula, and by walking barefooted and making water [urinating] standing, and by other things which happen from these?
23. And if demons take birth (so), why do they not devour the whole world?
24. Why should a woman wash herself after coition?
25. And if it is necessary (for such a woman) to wash herself, why should not another woman wash herself (so) who is without a husband?
26. And while slaughtering a gospand [livestock] what is the reason of striking it with a stick before the knife?
27. Why should the barsom be kept at a distance from impure matter and from menstruation?
28. And when the dron is consecrated and the praise of God is uttered before eating that superior meal, and after that the praise is uttered a second time, why (is one) to continue the error.
29. And how do the dead come back during the Frawardigan days?
30. And what is the reason of cleaning the hands with cow's urine and green vegetables?
31. And what is the object of showing the dead matter to the dog?
32. And why is the existence of the halo (brâza î nismô) of the soul and wisdom and learning in the body and the neck (or, throat), and the abundance of wealth and of other kinds of happiness of the worshippers of God, not more manifest than among the demon-worshippers?
33. And why is it necessary to keep one's own Religion and (indeed) to believe in anything?
(1) The Answers to Bukht-Masareh, of scanty knowledge, which owe their origin (min) to religious deliberations by him, are (here) offered in the form of a memorandum, as a demonstration of abundant originality of the words and citations of the questions and (their) solutions which, for the information of sages, are edited [or published] in the manuscript, the name whereof, as established by us, is the Denkard, exactly as these ought wholly to appear in an explicit language. (2) besides, as a friendly token from an humble servant (of God), it (viz., the memorandum) is just so written and revised [or compiled] as is also now approved by him. (3) So that whatever is that which is an assertion (based) on intelligible evidence, is inevitable; and whatever is that (which is based) on persistent information, whatever is that which is (based) on a circumstance, certain; and whatever is that which is within the bounds of belief, even resembling a speculation, (it is) the principle to accept freely and unhesitatingly. (4) And that token is (herein represented) as follows:
1. The manifestation of the existence of God is from the several unifications of the material world.
2. The one cause of the appearance of the evil spirit (or the opponent) is the necessity or due [or, 'worthiness, requirements'] of the creatures.
3. The rival or competing spirit came through an abyss, from a place in empty space. [Compare the following answers with Dk3.139, Dk3.172, Dk3.192, Dk3.206, Dk3.291, Dk3.399, Bd1, Zs1, SGV2, SGV3, SGV5, and SGV9.]
4. (1) The opponent rushed from the beginning without any cause (into the material world) for the object of destruction and to cause agitation as much as he could. (2) And he (also) came not with any particular motive within the limits of this Essence of Light; and towards Him also he was an opponent without a cause, and behaving foolishly. (3) And when witlessly he received a discomfiture, he became acquainted with (the weakness of his) perverse essence. (4) And (thereafter) it has been his practice to strive or struggle for commingling (evil) with the world, (namely) maliciousness and avariciousness and stinginess and lasciviousness and jealousy and destitution and pillage and quarrelsomeness and arrogance and contempt and ignorance, and falsehood that is liable to produce or cause annihilation of the original creation, the Essence of Light, and a desire for evil and unlawful character, and silly struggling, and every conduct of this nature.
5. (1) And the reason for (his) not coming before is that it was not necessary. (2) But if you wish (me) to speak freely this, too, is not observed with minuteness that the statement is (only) about (God) being able to extirpate (the competing spirit), and not about His not doing (so); (but) you will consider this circumstantially. (3) Not doing anything (is here) the design consequent upon doing something. (4) Then also that not coming of him (i.e., of the evil spirit) before, as possible, is the (right) way of speaking ; and even afterwards many a one will question about that previous circumstance (of having come), when at the end it will not be possible for the competing (spirit) to retire across the Boundless Time.
6. (1) And the Deity was powerful to keep away the opponent from the sphere [lit. limit] of His own confederates (hamdast); and several times (danar) he has (actually) kept the antagonist (hamaesta) away; and again (tanid) he came back for conflict. (2) Even now to any one for whom it be necessary to put him out, (it is) not allowed to disturb him within the limited time as much as possible (tuban bara jumbayitan), whose distant limits (are) as far as the coming forth for meeting together. (3) So there is no necessity for being inside (baen yehvuntan), nor for being unable; besides, it is not through necessity that he should exist while he has any strength in him. (4) It is to be considered (hangarishn) how and for what purpose (there should be) powerful strength from the necessity for (his) being, and powerless strength when there is no such necessity for (his) existence; (so) there is no necessity for removing (him at once).
7. (1) The explicit (vijarishnig chim) reason of allowing the opponent to commingle (in this world), therefore (azash), is the benefit derived by His own creatures even from undergoing the test (auzmayishn) of virtue. (2) As regards that opponent (spirit), even during the allotted period, while the opponent seemed to carry off thereby (patash) the victory through deceitful falsehood, the end of the mutual conflict, and of the painful satiety or excess which exists in (his) commingling, (i.e., pollution), was apparent from our observation of all kinds. (3) And the victory of the good spirits is in not rendering him help again at the end of the conflict. (4) And the rest of the statement is also published in the manuscript [in the sacred (religious) writings] of the Denkard. (5) And the one cause of not driving him out before that (fixed) time is the undisturbance of the mutual final good results (aimed at by Providence). Hence the cause, too, of letting him in.
8. And the coming of harm into the commingling is as unavoidable (acharig) as it is even impossible not to reckon upon stench when one is commingling (baen gumizishni) with dead matter (nasa).
9. The throwing and falling (ranituntan va aufditan) of him back into empty space will be owing to (his) complete attempt or trial, and complete stupefaction and inability, and completely dreading and defeated appliances (zat afzariha); and (owing to men's) traversing molten metal [or, ordeal of molten brass] despite the equipment (or guises, patmugiha) of the most grievous, swiftest (aushtavtum), and most awful (shkifttum) fears; and (owing to) that stronghold of victory (which must be) called defeat (apiruzih); cowardly and worn out, desperately and hopelessly for (obtaining) the same power as the Deity (possesses).
10. (1) And it is not fit that he should be helped to come again to the conflict, and for this one reason that he has previously rushed back (into conflict with creation); hence it is not fit to help him again in any way, and there is nothing like a chance (baharih) (of victory) for him. (2) And here will not abide any exciting fear and anxiety from him; and as a consequence victory (will turn into) failure, the stronghold of prosperity and glory and absolute chieftainship and abundance (pishn) and intellect (baodih) will become enthralled and fettered (for him). (3) In nowise is there a reason that he should be helped.
11. And the question as to the cause and the very origin (hamich-buni) of that able (becoming) unable and the comer not coming, is manifest from what has been written above as to how and in how many ways.
12. (1) And the omniscience in these Manthras (Sacred Texts) and the Avestic [Avestan] Revelation, (is) as the most brilliant garb of the good spirits, among all the glorious peoples of the world, so much so that the evil earthly knowledge has passed away from all the attainments of human beings.
(2) And the Zand which, in a manner, is oral, is more current amid the world, and is more known or familiar in the world. (3) And the Avesta itself is highly remarkable owing to the teaching thereof by Zarathushtra from Ohrmazd. And therein no falsehood, absurdity and demoniacal desire (subsist); but all truths are spoken of (therein) with superior principles of judgment (mas-datistaniha) and propitiations of the Deity. (5) Nor is any respect for the fiends maintained therein; nor do the demons entertain therein any hope for diverting any individual whatever (from Religion). (6) And as to all such (existences) as are called druj there is decay (unto them) from it; while as to the good spirits there is joyfulness (to them) on account of it [that is, from the Avestic Revelation], as also through (its) truths.
(7) And in every direction (or district) necessarily there should be the advent of (such) a spiritual guide, as holds a professorship (ashnak-gas) of the Avesta and of the intermediary languages of the world [reading 'the languages spoken by the people of the world', which should be used by the preacher as his media for interpreting the Avesta.], (and such a one) should be likewise missioned [shedrunishnih, the 'sending' of a spiritual guide as a missionary for the purpose of propagating the Religion. for the object that, in any one (of the languages) whatever, the meaning [called Zand] of the Avesta would be manifest with complete freedom.
13. (1) And this (Avestic) Revelation and the Manthras, and whatever (had been preserved) in the written language, were so ordered to be copied out (or edited) in the original, that even now (in this age) they are preserved, likewise, in a large number of manuscripts (or redactions). (2) And, as it is manifest in the religious intelligence, (these) shall be learnt by heart, (since) the benefits are many and consequently good vigor for the worship, extolling, and proclamation of the One (Lord) of hosts; even the thorough understanding of natural phenomena is from it; and it is, therefore, befitting to devote oneself truthfully and zealously to such profound sayings and customs, so that the recitation of the (religious) decisions (and) the oral delivery of the original (texts) are more (effective) than the manifold writings; (thereof). (3) And even for several other reasons it is important (chimig) to conclude as more essential (matakvartar) the lively recitation of the words than the (mere preservation of them in) writing.
|14. (1) And the Creator Ohrmazd sent this religion (for) its proclamation not only in the country of Iran, but in the whole world, (and) among all races (of mankind), and has caused (it) to be propagated in the entire world whatever (there were) purities and (even) wherever (there were) impurities; spiritually through (its) surpassing philosophy and truthful thoughts and truthful words, and materially through truthful deeds. (2) In each (of those countries and tribes) it (became) so current that even as to him who was the most skeptical person (aga-daenatar aish) this religion with (its) sublime essentials, became current with all purities extraordinarily in that life of corruption. (3) Persecution is, moreover, unnecessary (for it). (4) And this religion has been ever progressing; and the Evil Spirit will become languished on account of it (azash), so that the religion will attain to complete currency and, thereby, the world will attain to purity. (5) And the Deity would not leave anybody to the teaching of the demons. (6) And the reason why the people of the world, those who do not accept purely the Revelation of God, nor propagate it, in other words (ayuf) forsake it, turn away from it, lay (vakht) not in (any) unworthiness of (its) unique nature, nor in (any) general defectiveness of the religion wherein truth (adarugi) of every kind subsists; but in the temptations (bara niyazanih) from the demons within and in the part (bahar) played by those fiends in bodily forms in (their) struggle for victory; and (it lay) in not aspiring to, nor seeking the ways of propriety and the gifts of body (tan-dahishnih), but in the disintegration (vashutagih) caused by illnesses, in the idle living caused by the slight of commandments, and in the evil repose of indolent habits, etc. (va avarig).||[Compare with Shaul Shaked's translation: "The Creator Ohrmazd sends this religion not only to the Kingdom of Iran but to the whole world and to every variety [of human beings]. In the whole he has made widespread pure things, where mixed things [are found]; in menog [[unseen realm]], through the nature of a wise man, who thinks and speaks truth, and in getig [[material realm]], through doing truth; he [has made it] current in every one in such a manner that even a person who is most attached to bad religion [[ag-den]] has within him the great tenets of this religion. But in order that all purity should be current in this mixture which is such, it is meet to struggle: [then] all this religion will become increased and its adversary diminished, until the religion will attain complete propagation and the world will come by that to purity."]|
15. (1) As to Reverence, it is the custom (ainin) to bow (to God)
before the Sun, the Moon, the Fire, the Water, and other luminaries
and all good creations. (2) There is even a usage (of making obeisance)
among fraternal and near relations, and sometimes among the nobility
as well as among superiors, and sometimes even among fellow-citizens,
such as the mutual salutations and inquiry among men, and especially
that (obeisance) from those who are superior to us is much endearing
or graceful (nazak freh). (3) Nor is that one (kind) of worship
and reverence (minitarih-i) only due to the Highest Good Spirit
[Or, 'to the Highest One and the good spirits (reading yezat),
or the Law (dat)'.], which should be always (hamai) done verbally
and personally [it may mean 'awfully' or 'meditatingly'.] (by
man). (4) Whereas (chigun) the infidels (aga-daenan) [ak-den,
'those of the evil religion'] dislike us, who themselves are anxious
(austuk), according to the original usage, to be worthy of divine
reverence and offering (debruna) among men.
16. (1) And that the putting on of the kusti and of other superior (garment, viz., sudre) has been mentioned in the special comprehensive [or, 'summary'] reply to the question relating to it, in a sermon on the nature of the faith which was wisely accepted by one [Referring to the Prophet Zarathushtra] whose fundamental steadfastness (in opinion) was such that Ahriman, too, could not break down the material world by fighting (against it); nor so (could he break down) even (the efficacy of) a formula in the Avesta and Zand with a charming metrical recitation, (nor) the sound effect of the proclamation of the same words in the proper place, just like the twofold effect of the Revelation in the books of the peoples of the world. (2) One (is) the knowledge of whatever ought to be physically understood. (3) And one is the publicity of the path in reference to what is not to be physically understood, (but) what is fit to be believed in. (4) Always when the fundamental Revelation is explained by steadfastness (therein), it is thence manifest as to how to act when it is not possible to understand. (5) That path towards religious faith is, likewise, superior which, in such an inquiry, is declared to be that of the faithful ones, even when it is not possible to exhibit completely the knowledge regarding the twelve constellations [Dvazdak danishnig nimutan: meaning thereby, the knowledge of the moral and religious duties to be performed during each of the twelve Zoroastrian months. Perhaps the writer means the knowledge of universal theology and cosmogony.]. (6) Then, again, the fit path for the performance of its duties (at the proper time) is as disclosed by it (viz. by the Revelation) as the doubt-dispelling knowledge of the permanency of the religious order or constitution. (7) And lastly, moreover, in connection with the answers to these questions the creed is not at all difficult; but you might say there are clear expositions (in the Avesta and Zand) of all knowledge. (8) Then, too, the path of manifold designs, which is so manifold for the designed faith as food is in its tastes, and it is written (or described) as the coexisting means of (eternal) life. (9) The kusti, even by its sign, is an indication of the central boundary of the two abodes, that is, it is on the body of man in a similitude of this world, since it is more located (vakht) on the upper half, and since it is no little thing to keep (or, maintain) a semblance of it in the lower half. (10) And that for which it is enjoined that it shall be put on, is not put on, it is an unworthy act and a suppression (or violation) of the (religious) commandment.
17. (1) The barsom and the draona and other (sacred) objects which are chiefly used in the worship of the Deity [It can be read Yehan or Yazdan, 'God, or the Worshipful Spirit'], are a representation (nisang-i) of the comprehensive bearing of the creatures -- all the creations of the material world which are entrusted unto mankind in chieftainship. (2) And the demons endeavor highly to dwell in them; and the thought, the word and the deed of the demons are condemned by (those) men who individually are for the elevation (fraz-dashtan) of their own body and life entirely with perfect thoughtfulness and pre-eminent love in communion with God, and for the extolling of the Deity thereby, and, in consequence of that (patash), for the detestation (nikuhitan) of the demons, (3) Especially the excellent sovereignty of God and the non-sovereignty of the demons are manifest from it (viz., from the Revelation).
18. (1) And the benefit to the good spirits on account of the yazishn [Yasna] (ceremony), and (consequently) the cry of the vanishing ability of the demons, (are manifest from it). (2) If He, Who is the Creator, is superior Himself, then also from His excellent sovereignty we should suppose the world to be without want (aviniyaz). (3) And (likewise) the pollution by the entire fiendishness of the demons, and the pollution wherever the demons more abide, is excessive.
19. When the body is dead, there is the overpowering attack upon it of the death-causer and inactivity-producer druj, Astwihad, and the distressful separation of life from it and its (painful) withdrawal from the different recesses of vitality, and the dragging into the body, as guests, of those demons (of corruption) who are the separators (or destroyers) of brotherhood, the separators of filial (relationship), and others that cause a lack of progeny (in a family); and, likewise, the subjugation (anavtan) of those different coexisting (ham-butig) objects of life (nism) such as good intellect, piety, virtuous endurance (huburtih), and good moral courage (hu-chiharih), and other worthy (accomplishments) of an embodied existence. (2) And notwithstanding that the latency [Varitan, lit. 'to cover', 'to conceal'] of their abiding in the very body is to so great an extent, there break out from it entire stench and contamination, and all causes of illness. (3) And there where the demons (of putrefaction) dwell in that manner (aivinak), pollution would be manifested, and there should be no struggling (avi-patkar) against it; and hence there is said to be contamination and excess of corruption whereby the parts that were the essentials of life in the body, become separated by the dying of the body. (4) Not only on account of there being fat, but also semen and blood and even other objects which are called hikhra, and then (on account of) the liquid corrupt menstruation of the dead which gets (more) putrid (vinast) because of the (dead) embryo (ham-bunigih) of an offspring (in the womb) ['is the dead body more polluted']. (5) For which reason therein [Namely, in the body.] obtains a dwelling, in company with those fiends that are mentioned above (ajpar-nipisht), also the druj of non-procreation (anzakih), the destroyer of birth, (the fiend) who drags it out (yezluntarash), the confiscator of (the offspring of) females, and the (druj) most antagonistic (towards them). (6) Their kinds are, hence (azash), also many more.
20. (1) As to the reasons of the objects which sting the heart of a lewd woman, the one is the terrible and violent over-influence of the fiend (or, passion) of the harlot species, and the strengthening of her in much satiety, such as pertains to the worldly (vicious) women; that (imperceptible vice) which, it is doubtful to behold physically, is manifest, however, to the spiritual existences. (2) Other spiritual vices (besides), the spiritual seers are capable (of observing). (3) For this reason by recognizing (the fiend) and abstaining from her (i.e., from the immoral person), there subsists (for mankind) the help (avastan) towards the knowledge of the spiritual wealth and of the Revelation which is full of select philosophy, (and) is an exposition of what is said to be the formation out of nothing (min levitih). (4) And whatever belief is said to embody the original faith (of mankind), (and) is associated with (levata) this (Revelation) which is identified with the select wisdom, and which is accepted by means of spiritual perception -- the Religion, the existence whereof is manifest from it -- ought to be well preserved.
21. (1) And owing to much satiety of that fiend (i.e., vice) in the entire person (abnormal) menstruation came out from an opening; and from its pouring out, her own stench and pollution, material and spiritual, burst forth (birun yehvunet). (2) And for that reason as much (there is) the strength of pollution so much (there should be) the invigoration (or, energy of the living ones) for abstaining (themselves) far away from it; and whatever is purer in point of purity, on account of its much delicateness, should also be so much the more cared for (or, preserved) from pollution; and especially more so the particular (sacred) implements (including Haoma, aiwiyaonghana, etc.) which are used in the yazishn [Yasna] ceremony (performed in honor) of the Deity. (3) The menses also differ in color from the other (kind) of blood which adorns or vitalizes (vairae) the (physical) essence; and they blemish eatables and render them tasteless, and even themselves corrupt the body wherein they are produced. (4) The waters and trees which come into contact with them (valich) also degenerate, so also the eatables become tasteless and are altered in (their) flavor. (5) And even in a conference or controversy owing to it, there is manifold harm (done) to the helpful (avakan) understanding, intellect and wisdom, which is, consequently, manifest unto the intelligent philosophers (shnasaga rushan).
22. (1) And when the birth of demons seems perplexing, first of all the nature of even any birth whatever must be observed, that is, the growth of an essential substance from stage to stage; so that this (is manifest) that the waxing of the demons is most in that place where lawlessness and indecency are covertly most cherished. (2) And the covert seed of adultery, and the hatred of the Deity, and the restless grumble and other vices (lit., 'demons') are said to be begotten hence; (for) through indecency and lawlessness one (becomes) doubtful as to the satisfaction of law and propriety.
23. (1) Demons of multifold kinds have been damaging the world, but the defense against them is greater than the strength of the demons, and (so) they are not left to engulf things overwhelmingly. (2) For, as much as the demons advance further with audacity owing to the practice of men according to that manner of lawlessness, so much, likewise, does there reach them therein a blow from the lawful practices of men, and they are flying back gloomily (siyakiha) from men, and all throughout the world there is a greater desire for the work of the good spirits than for that of the demons.
24. (1) Hence, a woman who has had coition [The Pahlavi word also means 'miscarriage'], and a man who suspects pollution (in himself), must wash themselves when contamination of dead matter is so manifested. (2) And (there are) numberless (such) things of the world about whose evidence there is nothing remarkable; consequently, then, one has to religiously reason out the appropriate belief more or less as to the essentials of precautions; and if the expression seems indecent (still) it is not to be doubted, but it is to be adopted in its own place or nature. (3) And wise men contemplate that the cause of a most essential thing is its proper nature and not adoptions [or, 'practices']. (4) And (as to) that medium of begetting children, even though people do not (actually) regard it, still (its) nature is as clear to the prudent sages as if they were also seeing it (with their open eyes). (5) And though philosophers approve of the observations of the majority of physicians regarding the ailment therein (viz., in immoral sexual intercourse), still a much more excellent mode of purification from such a harmful pollution is not (yet) discovered.
25. (1) And the reason for that purification is that the method (thereof) is to be frequently practiced not by a woman, but by a man and the moral courage of the pious man more dreadfully causes destruction of the demons; (and), consequently, the diverse females [i.e. Drujs] of even the opposition are fallen headlong; (and) owing to the demons being of male nature, they have to fear less from women; whereas, in other affairs which are not so constitutional, the man ought not to be considered better than the woman. (2) And the enumeration of what is considered unseemly [or, 'obscene'] is such as is written above, wherefrom one should by all means abstain, and should not contract a pestilence.
26. (1) The reason of carrying forth the stick before the knife to the sheep, and of all other things that should be done in the matter (of slaughtering it), which refer to (sheep) other than that used for a ceremonial offering, is to remove from the body (of the sheep) the prevalence of several evil influences (Drujs), namely, the much unpleasantness [lit. 'malignancy'] and bad flavor of an uncastrated (animal). (2) As regards those (sheep that are used) in ceremonial offerings [Nirangiha] the practice also is not to slaughter a sheep unlawfully and oppressively, and (then) to ask for forgiveness about the (slaughter of the) sheep. (3) Also by that process there is no terror and no pain unto a person from slaying (the animal) with the knife; but not oppressively, frequently, (and) at all times should there be a desire to butcher sheep with dispatch.
27. And as to the keeping of the barsom far off from pollution, the one (reason) in addition to what is stated above, is this that a twig (of the Haoma) which is as a symbol of the seven Amahraspands (who preside) over material existences and (a symbol) of the entire world, is dedicated to the good spirits in the yazishn [Yasna] ritual according to the custom mentioned above; and on that account it is a custom (ainak) regarding the tree (viz., the Haoma) that it should be kept exceedingly pure.
28. (1) And the reason for similarity of custom even in a myazd (ritual) is this that as the motive is for the praise and adoration of the Deity, it is also befitting to love life exceedingly. (2) From the very reason, it is ordained in the Religion to perform the yazishn [Yasna] (ritual) without distortions; and this is accompanied (hamband kart yegavimunet) with perfect solicitations [or, 'full development'] to the Preserver of bodily existence, and also with all other means of perpetuating the body. (3) And, likewise, all those practices for the continuity of material existence are so related (angun parvast yegavimunet) to the adoration and extollings of, and devotion to the commandments of the Deity, that from every quarter the body and its endurance are well helped on account of the adoration and praise of God; more especially during the approval of perfect solicitations, where adoration and extollings take place in the household with complete devotion. (4) And even with the desire for food is coupled the utterance of praise and thanksgiving with perfect sincerity; and the same original idea is handed down in the repetition, in the same manner (after eating), of the utterance of thanksgiving and praise and renewed glorification and other appropriate duties. (5) And even with delightful taste, the perfect cleaning of foods and drinks, and the management of the sacred feast (myazd) becomingly, and all practices of a non-luxurious kind are much approvable among the intelligent people [or, 'experts'].
29. (1) And during the Frawardigan and also other periods (of the year), the souls of the pious are capable of coming (into this world), by whom are likewise observed the existing objects in this (world); so that, as is manifest, even the coming and going back afterwards of us, who are (now) commingled with the bearing of the body and with some partaking of the demons with bodily forms, should not be considered as wonderful. (2) And him who devotes (his) body and soul unto the good spirits, the souls of the pious also regard as preeminent; so that, now for us who are among the numberless inquirers, [whereof an example is (this) very reply,] this is the best that the period of Frawardigan shall be (at) the end of the year, just at the gathering (or harvest time) of the year. (3) And even regarding the doers of meritorious acts they shall during the days of gathering (corn) worship the good spirits, and praise those good creations among which man is one of the essential beings. (4) For that reason, during that season, the souls of the pious and also other good spirits approach (us) most for the acceptance of mutual gifts.
30. (1) And the hand that is polluted by blood, or semen, or any dead matter of the body, (such as) the hikhra, should not be washed first of all with the most kindred (element of) water, (and) be least washed (with anything else) except with the pure gomez of a bull. (2) And after that it should be washed with that best and most purifying object (viz., water). (3) The one reason (for it) is to keep the pure water much distant from the (zak) impurity of the nasa [nasu]; even that (ghal-ich) water (should be far) from fire, the essence of all objects [kada guhar might also mean 'the principal or primeval essence'.]. (4) And (there are) several customs of our (i lena) fathers and mothers (stated) in the treatise upon (their) functions (regarding us); namely, the wholesome preservation of their own race or family, also (pavan-ich) through our (afaman) pure or unmixed condition.
31. (1) And as to the reason for the ritualistic (nirangik) exhibition of the dead body to the (gaze of the) dog, one is this that those evil influences (drujan) which render the body useless or inactive, and which are themselves also nasa [nasu], hold a place [that is, 'remain confined'.] in that (dead) body, and until the change (of the body) from the condition of a nasai and (until) its [viz. of the body] coming again a second time into rise (by its consumption by vultures), the advantage; (or protection) of the world (i.e., of the living humanity) is requisite. (2) and owing to that reason fire, the purifying element created by God and the pure earth [lit. clay] should be (kept) (at a distance) from the vicinity of the dead body. (3) And it is exceedingly necessary for the influence which reaches a new offspring of progenitors, and for much amplitude [or refinement] and great benefit of creatures that it (viz., the dead body) should reach the appropriate (lawful) place for (its) consumption and digestion in the bodies of dogs and birds. (4) And, likewise on that account, it (viz., the corpse) is regarded as their means of nourishment, and (the act of its consumption) is manifested as their function, and it is delivered over to them [Namely, the vultures] for causing cleanliness; whereby the duty of the kinsman is done. (5) As soon as (ham-chigun) dogs or birds cast forth (their) gaze upon the corpse, then those evil effects (drujan) they calculate, cannot hold a lodgment in it, and they sustain injury and degenerations (nishipishn). (6) And from their lodgment therein [that is, in the corpse.] the filth decays, and the nasa [nasu] macerates in the same proportion; and also the (dead) body (gets) deformed, (and) its improvement is not (possible) in that aspect (or condition).
32. (1) Associated with (levata) the perfect devotion (to the Deity) day by day, there is the meritoriousness (sazakih) of being thus reformed; and, besides (bara) as its fruit, there is also much lodgment (vesh mahmanih), in the worshippers of the Deity, of the goodness of the soul [Nism, 'spirit'] of self-duty, and the beneficial good wisdom's, and the straightforward learning, and much abundant (vesh frakhishnig) wealth and other excellent blessings [lit. 'goodnesses']. (2) And as to that which Bukht-Masareh has recounted for much prosperity of the worldly existences, this, too, we say that if the victorious ones wish to persevere in obtaining the diadem and other decorations of the winners of victory, and to wear (them) on the head and the neck, no battle should be waged with the object of returning to the presence of sovereigns (to win applause); but, on the battlefield, they should do the best they can for (protecting) the Law. (3) Then that one Law of the manifestations of goodness is even the most preeminent one in this world; if that be not so, there is nothing to be worthy of Heaven. (4) In the final period the worshippers of God will have no grievance for want of intercession, [on account of the defects and maceration which are from much distress to the soul, owing to much paucity (in virtue)]; and they (the good spirits) will allow them (viz., the worshippers) the plenty that is through perpetual needlessness and (through) the hope which is also devoid of terror, fear, fate and the peaceless death which one might meet (in this world). (5) To (teach one to) meditate on the sublime, to regard as poison the plunders which even at times the demon-worshippers gather, to be contented with straightforward exertion, and to exert in one's own avocation -- (these) are preeminent reasons to prove the worthiness of the good learning (hudanagih) of Religion, and of the good faith and inquiry of the orthodox people (daenig) who, in regard to the spiritual authority of wisdom, are curiously desirous for the learning and faith in Religion and the manifestations surrounding it. (6) Among those who observed it closely and understood it, (and) consequently also looked (on it) as (the means of) salvation, that Butkht-Masareh was not deficient.
33. (1) And, moreover, the (physically) blind ones with the (help of the) knowledge of Religion, do not fall into the abyss of the wicked ones; and the honestly faithful individual is (like) an agricultural implement, a deliverer from (that) abyss. (2) In the midst of them (i.e., the people named above) the deceitful and greedy ones are opponents. (3) Whosoever has the strength of natural wisdom -- certainly, (coupled with) knowledge -- and is also on the path of the faith of the creation -- certainly, (on) the miraculous path -- shall maintain it before the non-seekers of the wealth of pious selectors, and shall, thereby, blow off (vayinend) what is a perpetual harm (unto the creatures), and thus that person becomes acquainted with, and a guide in, the embellished wisdom of the Mazdayasnian Revelation.
(End of Book 5)
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