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Vendidad

This digital edition copyright © 1995 by Joseph H. Peterson. All rights reserved.

Translated by James Darmesteter (From Sacred Books of the East, American Edition, 1898.)

I (1-7). On the uncleanness of women during their sickness.

II (8-12). What is to be done if that state lasts too long.

III (13-18). Sundry laws relating to the same matter. See Introd. V, 12.


FARGARD 16. Purity laws regarding menstruation

I.

Notes:
1. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If there be in the house of a worshipper of Mazda a woman who has the whites or sees blood, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?
2. Ahura Mazda answered: 'They shall clear the way1 of the wood there, both plants and trees2; they shall strew dry dust on the ground3; and they shall isolate a half, or a third, or a fourth, or a fifth part of the house4, lest her look should fall upon the fire.' 1. The way of the Dashtânistân.

2. Lest the wood shall be touched and defiled by the woman on her way to the Dashtanistan.

3. Lest the earth shall be touched and defiled by her. Cf. Farg. 9.11.

4. Nowadays a room on the ground-floor is reserved for that use.

3. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the consecrated bundles of Baresma? How far from the faithful?

4. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Fifteen paces from the fire, fifteen paces from the water, fifteen paces from the consecrated bundles of Baresma, three paces from the faithful.'

5. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How far from her shall he stay, who brings food to a woman who has the whites or sees the blood?

6. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Three paces5 from her shall he stay, who brings food to a woman who has the whites or sees the blood.'

In what kind of vessels shall he bring her bread? In what kind of vessels shall he bring her barley-drink?

'In vessels of iron,5b or of lead, or of any common metal6.'

5. The food is held out to her from a distance in a metal spoon.

5b. Dar: brass. -JHP

6. Earthen vessels, when defiled, cannot be made clean; but metal vessels can. See Farg. 7.73 seq.)

7. How much bread shall he bring to her? How much barley-drink shall he bring?

'Two danares7 of dry bread, and one danare of liquor, lest she should get too weak8.

'If a child has just touched her, they shall first wash his hands and then his body9.

7. A danare is, according to Anquetil, as much as four tolas; a tola is from 105 to 175 grains.

8. 'Soshyos says: For three nights cooked meat is not allowed to her, lest the issue shall grow stronger.

9. A child whom she suckles. The meaning is, Even a child, if he has touched her, must undergo the rites of cleansing. The general rule is given in the Commentary: 'Whoever has touched a Dashtan woman must wash his body and his clothes with gomez and water.' The ceremony in question is the simple Ghosel, not the Barashnum, since the woman herself performs the former only (see below, § 11 seq.)

II.

8. 'If she still see blood after three nights have passed, she shall sit in the place of infirmity until four nights have passed.

'If she still see blood after four nights have passed, she shall sit in the place of infirmity until five nights have passed.

9. 'If she still see blood after five nights have passed, she shall sit in the place of infirmity until six nights have passed.

'If she still see blood after six nights have passed, she shall sit in the place of infirmity until seven nights have passed.

10. 'If she still see blood after seven nights have passed, she shall sit in the place of infirmity until eight nights have passed.

'If she still see blood after eight nights have passed, she shall sit in the place of infirmity until nine nights have passed.

11. 'If she still see blood after nine nights have passed, this is a work of the Daevas which they have performed for the worship and glorification of the Daevas10.

'The worshippers of Mazda shall clear the way11 of the wood there, both plants and trees12;

10. Abnormal issues are a creation of Ahriman's (Farg. 1.18).

11. The way of the Barashnum-gah, where the cleansing takes place.

12. See Farg 9.3 seq.

12. 'They shall dig three holes in the earth, and they shall wash the woman with gomez by two of those holes and with water by the third.

'They shall kill Khrafstras, to wit: two hundred corn-carrying ants13, if it be summer; two hundred of any other sort of the Khrafstras made by Angra Mainyu, if it be winter.'

13. Cf. Farg. 14.5.

III.

13. If a worshipper of Mazda shall suppress the issue of a woman who has the whites or sees blood, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered: 'He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraosho-charana.'

14. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall again and again lasciviously touch the body of a woman who has the whites or sees blood, so that the wlutes turn to the blood or the blood turns to the whites, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

15. Ahura Mazda answered: 'For the first time he comes near unto her, for the first time he lies by her, thirty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, thirty stripes with the Sraosho-charana.

'For the second time he comes near unto her, for the second time he lies by her, fifty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraosho-charana.

'For the third time he comes near unto her, for the third time he lies by her, seventy stripes with the Aspahe-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraosho-charana.'

16. For the fourth time he comes near unto her, for the fourth time he lies by her, if he shall press the body under her clothes, if he shall go in between the unclean thighs, but without sexual intercourse, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered: 'Ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraosho-charana.

17. 'Whosover shall lie in sexual intercourse with a woman who has the whites or sees blood does no better deed than if he should burn the corpse of his own son, born of his own body and dead of naeza14, and drop its fat into the fire15. 14. A disease (Vd7.58). There is another word nâeza, 'a spear,' so that one may translate also 'killed by the spear' (Asp.)

15. 'Not that the two deeds are equal, but neither is good' (Comm.) The sin in question is a simple tanapuhr (Vd15.7), and therefore can be atoned for by punishment and repentance, whereas the burning of a corpse is a crime for which there is no atonement (Vd1.17; Vd8.73 seq.)

18. 'All wicked, embodiments of the Druj, are scorners of the judge: all scorners of the judge are rebels against the Sovereign: all rebels against the Sovereign are ungodly men; and all ungodly men are worthy of death16.' 16. Literally, 'is a Peshotanu;' 'he is a tanapuhr sinner, that is to say, margarzan (worthy of death),' Comm.


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