Selections from the Zend-Avesta

Selections from the Zend-Avesta

The Zoroastrian sacred writings, comprising the Avesta (the text) and Zend (the commentary).

Ahura Mazda (also known as Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, Harzoo and Hurmuz, Lord or simply as spirit) is the Avestan name for the creator and sole God of Zoroastrianism, the old Mede and Persian religion which spread across Asia predating Christianity, from whom came the Magi.

Magi Latin plural of magus) is a term, used since at least the 6th century BCE, to denote followers of Zoroastrianism or Zoroaster. The earliest known usage of the word Magi is in the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great, known as the Behistun Inscription. Old Persian texts, pre-dating the Hellenistic period, refer to a Magus as a Zurvanic, and presumably Zoroastrian, priest.

This translation of the Zend and the Avesta comes from James Darmestetter, french author, orientalist and antiquarian (Born: March 28, 1849, Château-Salins, France; Died: October 19, 1894, Paris, France).

This translation is found in Sacred Books of the East, translated by various specialists, with critical and biographical sketches by Epiphanius Wilson.

The study of religion, like the study of poetry, brings us face to face with the fundamental principles of human nature.
— Orly

THE ZEND-AVESTA

Introduction

Discovery of the Zend-Avesta

The Creation

Myth of Yima

The Earth

Contracts and Outrages

Uncleanness

Funerals and Purification

Cleansing the Unclean

Spells Recited During the Cleansing

To Fires, Waters, Plants

To the Earth and the Sacred Waters

Prayer for Helpers

A Prayer for Sanctity and its Benefits

To the Fire

To the Bountiful Immortals

Praise of the Holy Bull

To Rain as a Healing Power

To the Waters and Light of the Sun

To the Waters and Light of the Moon

To the Waters and Light of the Stars

 


SELECTIONS FROM THE ZEND-AVESTA


Translation by James Darmestetter

 

INTRODUCTION

The study of religion, like the study of poetry, brings us face to face with the fundamental principles of human nature. Religion, whether it be natural religion or that which is formulated in a book, is as universal as poetry, and like poetry, existed before letters and writing. It is only in a serious and sympathetic frame of mind that we should approach the rudest forms of these two departments of human activity. A general analysis of the "Zend-Avesta" suggests to us the mind of the Persian sage Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, fixed upon the phenomena of nature and life, and trying to give a systematized account of them. He sees good and evil, life and death, sickness and health, right and wrong, engaged in almost equal conflict. He sees in the sun the origin of light and heat, the source of comfort and life to man. Thus he institutes the doctrine of Dualism and the worship of Fire. The evil things that come unexpectedly and irresistibly, he attributes to the Devas: the help and comfort that man needs and often obtains by means which are beyond his control, he attributes to the "Holy Immortal Ones," who stand around the Presence of Ormuzd. As he watches the purity of the flame, of the limpid stream, and of the sweet smelling ground, he connects it with the moral purity which springs from innocence and rectitude, and in his code it is as reprehensible to pollute the fire by burning the dead, or the stream by committing the corpse to its waves, or the earth by making it a burial-place, as it is to cheat or lie or commit an act of violence. The wonders of Nature furnish abundant imagery for his hymns or his litanies, and he relies for his cosmogony on the faint traditions of the past gathered from whatever nation, and reduced into conformity with his Dualistic creed.

"Zend-Avesta" is the religious book of the Persians who professed the creed of Zarathustra, known in classic and modern times as Zoroaster. Zoroaster is to be classed with such great religious leaders as Buddha and Mohammed. He was the predecessor of Mohammed and the worship and belief which he instituted were trampled out in Persia by the forces of Islam in the seventh century of our era. The Persian Zoroastrians fled to India, where they are still found as Parsis on the west coast of Hindostan. The religion of Zoroaster was a Dualism. Two powerful and creative beings, the one good the one evil, have control of the universe. Thus, in the account of the creation, the two deities are said to have equal though opposite share in the work. This is indicated by the following passage—

The third of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda (Ormuzd) created, was the strong, holy Môuru (Merv).

Thereupon came Angra Mainyu (Ahriman), who is all death, and he counter-created plunder and sin.

This constant struggle of the two divinities with their armies of good and bad spirits formed the background of Zoroastrian supernaturalism. The worship of the Persians was the worship of the powers of Nature, and especially of fire, although water, earth, and air, are also addressed in the litanies of the "Zend-Avesta." The down-falling water and the uprising mist are thus spoken of in one passage:—

As the sea (Vouru-kasha) is the gathering place of the waters, rising up and going down, up the aërial way and down the earth, down the earth and up the aërial way: thus rise up and roll along! thou in whose rising and growing Ahura Mazda made the aërial way.

The sun is also invoked:—

Up! rise up and roll along! thou swift-horsed Sun, above Hara Berezaiti, and produce light for the world.

The earth was considered to be polluted by the burial of the dead, who are to be exposed in high places to be devoured by the birds of the air and swept away by the streams into which the rain should wash their remains. But the principal subjects of Zoroaster's teaching was the struggle between Ormuzd and Ahriman and their hosts "The Holy Immortal Ones" and the Devas, or evil spirits. This is the basis of all the activities of the world and, according to Zoroaster, is to result in a triumph of the good.

Zoroaster taught that the life of man has two parts, that on earth and that beyond the grave. After his earthly life each one should be punished or rewarded according to his deeds.

The "Zend-Avesta" cannot be dated earlier than the first century before our era. It consists of four books, of which the chief one is the Vendîdâd; the other three are the liturgical and devotional works, consisting of hymns, litanies, and songs of praise, addressed to the Deities and angels of Goodness.

The Vendîdâd contains an account of the creation and counter-creation of Ormuzd and Ahriman, the author of the good things and of the evil things in the world. After this follows what we may call a history of the beginnings of civilization under Yima, the Persian Noah. The revelation is described as being made directly to Zoroaster, who, like Moses, talked with God. Thus, in the second fargard, or chapter, we read:—

Zarathustra (Zoroaster) asked Ahura Mazda (Ormuzd):—

"O Ahura Mazda (Ormuzd), most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who was the first mortal, before myself, Zarathustra, with whom thou, Ahura Mazda, didst converse, whom thou didst teach the religion of Ahura, the Religion of Zarathustra?"

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"The fair Yima, the good shepherd, O holy Zarathustra! he was the first mortal before thee, Zarathustra, with whom I, Ahura Mazda, did converse, whom I taught the Religion of Ahura, the Religion of Zarathustra. Unto him, O Zarathustra, I, Ahura Mazda, spake, saying: 'Well, fair Yima, son of Vîvanghat, be thou the Preacher and the bearer of my Religion!' And the fair Yima, O Zarathustra, replied unto me, saying: 'I was not born, I was not taught to be the preacher and the bearer of thy Religion.'"

The rest of the Vendîdâd is taken up with the praises of agriculture, injunctions as to the care and pity due to the dog, the guardian of the home and flock, the hunter and the scavenger. It includes an elaborate code of ceremonial purification, resembling on this point the Leviticus of the Bible, and it prescribes also the gradations of penance for sins of various degrees of heinousness.

E.W.

 

DISCOVERY OF THE ZEND-AVESTA

The "Zend-Avesta" is the sacred book of the Parsis; that is to say, of the few remaining followers of that religion which reigned over Persia at the time when the second successor of Mohammed overthrew the Sassanian dynasty (A.D. 642), and which has been called Dualism, or Mazdeism, or Magism, or Zoroastrianism, or Fire-worship, according as its main tenet, or its supreme God, or its priests, or its supposed founder, or its apparent object of worship has been most kept in view. In less than a century after their defeat, most of the conquered people were brought over to the faith of their new rulers, either by force, or policy, or the attractive power of a simpler form of creed. But many of those who clung to the faith of their fathers, went and sought abroad for a new home, where they might freely worship their old gods, say their old prayers, and perform their old rites. That home they found at last among the tolerant Hindoos, on the western coast of India and in the peninsula of Guzerat. There they throve and there they live still, while the ranks of their co-religionists in Persia are daily thinning and dwindling away.

As the Parsis are the ruins of a people, so are their sacred books the ruins of a religion. There has been no other great belief in the world that ever left such poor and meagre monuments of its past splendor. Yet great is the value which that small book, the "Avesta," and the belief of that scanty people, the Parsis, have in the eyes of the historian and theologian, as they present to us the last reflex of the ideas which prevailed in Iran during the five centuries which preceded and the seven which followed the birth of Christ, a period which gave to the world the Gospels, the Talmud, and the Qur'ân. Persia, it is known, had much influence on each of the movements which produced, or proceeded from, those three books; she lent much to the first heresiarchs, much to the Rabbis, much to Mohammed. By help of the Parsi religion and the "Avesta," we are enabled to go back to the very heart of that most momentous period in the history of religious thought, which saw the blending of the Aryan mind with the Semitic, and thus opened the second stage of Aryan thought.

Inquiries into the religion of ancient Persia began long ago, and it was the old enemy of Persia, the Greek, who first studied it. Aristotle, Hermippus, and many others wrote of it in books of which, unfortunately, nothing more than a few fragments or merely the titles have come down to us. We find much valuable information about it, scattered in the accounts of historians and travellers, extending over ten centuries, from Herodotos down to Agathias and Procopius (from B.C. 450 to A.D. 550). The clearest and most faithful account of the Dualist doctrine is found in the treatise De Iside et Osiride, ascribed to Plutarch. But Zoroastrianism was never more eagerly studied than in the first centuries of the Christian era, though without anything of the disinterested and almost scientific curiosity of the earlier times. Religious and philosophic sects, in search of new dogmas, eagerly received whatever came to them bearing the name of Zoroaster. As Xanthos the Lydian, who is said to have lived before Herodotos, had mentioned Zoroastrianism, there came to light, in those later times, scores of oracles, styled "Oracula Chaldaïca sive Magica," the work of Neo-Platonists who were but very remote disciples of the Median sage. As his name had become the very emblem of wisdom, they would cover with it the latest inventions of their ever-deepening theosophy. Zoroaster and Plato were treated as if they had been philosophers of the same school, and Hierocles expounded their doctrines in the same book. Proclus collected seventy Tetrads of Zoroaster and wrote commentaries on them; but we need hardly say that Zoroaster commented on by Proclus was nothing more or less than Proclus commented on by himself. Prodicus, the Gnostic, possessed secret books of Zoroaster; and, upon the whole, it may be said that in the first centuries of Christianity, the religion of Persia was more studied and less understood than it had ever been before. The real object aimed at, in studying the old religion, was to form a new one.

Throughout the Middle Ages nothing was known of Mazdeism but the name of its founder, who from a Magus was converted into a magician and master of the hidden sciences. It was not until the Renaissance that real inquiry was resumed. The first step was to collect all the information that could be gathered from Greek and Roman writers. That task was undertaken and successfully completed by Barnabé Brisson. A nearer approach to the original source was made in the following century by Italian, English, and French travellers in Asia. Pietro della Valle, Henry Lord, Mandelslo, Ovington, Chardin, Gabriel du Chinon, and Tavernier, found Zoroaster's last followers in Persia and India, and made known their existence, their manners, and the main features of their belief to Europe. Gabriel du Chinon saw their books and recognized that they were not all written in the same language, their original holy writ being no longer understood except by means of translations and commentaries in another tongue.

In the year 1700, a professor at Oxford, Thomas Hyde, the greatest Orientalist of his time in Europe, made the first systematic attempt to restore the history of the old Persian religion by combining the accounts of the Mohammedan writers with "the true and genuine monuments of ancient Persia." Unfortunately the so-called genuine monuments of ancient Persia were nothing more than recent Persian compilations or refacimenti. But notwithstanding this defect, which could hardly be avoided then, and a distortion of critical acumen, the book of Thomas Hyde was the first complete and true picture of modern Parsîism, and it made inquiry into its history the order of the day. A warm appeal made by him to the zeal of travellers, to seek for and procure at any price the sacred books of the Parsis, did not remain ineffectual, and from that time scholars bethought themselves of studying Parsîism in its own home.

Eighteen years later, a countryman of Hyde, George Boucher, received from the Parsis in Surat a copy of the Vendîdâd Sâda, which was brought to England in 1723 by Richard Cobbe. But the old manuscript was a sealed book, and the most that could then be made of it was to hang it by an iron chain to the wall of the Bodleian Library, as a curiosity to be shown to foreigners. A few years later, a Scotchman, named Fraser, went to Surat, with the view of obtaining from the Parsis, not only their books, but also a knowledge of their contents. He was not very successful in the first undertaking, and utterly failed in the second.

In 1754 a young man, twenty years old, Anquetil Duperron, a scholar of the École des Langues Orientales in Paris, happened to see a fac-simile of four leaves of the Oxford Vendîdâd, which had been sent from England, a few years before, to Etienne Fourmont, the Orientalist. He determined at once to give to France both the books of Zoroaster and the first European translation of them. Too impatient to set off to wait for a mission from the government which had been promised to him, he enlisted as a private soldier in the service of the French East India Company; he embarked at Lorient on February 24, 1755, and after three years of endless adventures and dangers through the whole breadth of Hindostan, at the very time when war was waging between France and England, he arrived at last in Surat, where he stayed among the Parsis for three years more. Here began another struggle, not less hard, but more decisive, against the same mistrust and ill-will which had disheartened Fraser; but he came out of it victorious, and prevailed at last on the Parsis to part both with their books and their knowledge. He came back to Paris on March 14, 1764, and deposited on the following day at the Bibliothèque Royale the whole of the "Zend-Avesta," and copies of several traditional books. He spent ten years in studying the material he had collected, and published in 1771 the first European translation of the "Zend-Avesta."

A violent dispute broke out at once, as half the learned world denied the authenticity of this "Avesta," which it pronounced a forgery. It was the future founder of the Royal Asiatic Society, William Jones, a young Oxonian then, who opened the war. He had been wounded to the quick by the scornful tone adopted by Anquetil towards Hyde and a few other English scholars: the "Zend-Avesta" suffered for the fault of its introducer, Zoroaster for Anquetil. In a pamphlet written in French, with a verveand in a style which showed him to be a good disciple of Voltaire, William Jones pointed out, and dwelt upon, the oddities and absurdities with which the so-called sacred books of Zoroaster teemed. It is true that Anquetil had given full scope to satire by the style he had adopted: he cared very little for literary elegance, and did not mind writing Zend and Persian in French; so the new and strange ideas he had to express looked stranger still in the outlandish garb he gave them. Yet it was less the style than the ideas that shocked the contemporary of Voltaire. His main argument was that books, full of such silly tales, of laws and rules so absurd, of descriptions of gods and demons so grotesque, could not be the work of a sage like Zoroaster, nor the code of a religion so much celebrated for its simplicity, wisdom, and purity. His conclusion was that the "Avesta" was a rhapsody of some modern Guebre. In fact, the only thing in which Jones succeeded was to prove in a decisive manner that the ancient Persians were not equal to the lumières of the eighteenth century, and that the authors of the "Avesta" had not read the "Encyclopédie."

Jones's censure was echoed in England by Sir John Chardin and Richardson, in Germany by Meiners. Richardson tried to give a scientific character to the attacks of Jones by founding them on philological grounds. That the "Avesta" was a fabrication of modern times was shown, he argued, by the number of Arabic words he fancied he found both in the Zend and Pahlavi dialects, as no Arabic element was introduced into the Persian idioms earlier than the seventh century; also by the harsh texture of the Zend, contrasted with the rare euphony of the Persian; and, lastly, by the radical difference between the Zend and Persian, both in words and grammar. To these objections, drawn from the form, he added another derived from the uncommon stupidity of the matter.

In Germany, Meiners, to the charges brought against the newly-found books, added another of a new and unexpected kind, namely, that they spoke of ideas unheard of before, and made known new things. "Pray, who would dare ascribe to Zoroaster books in which are found numberless names of trees, animals, men, and demons, unknown to the ancient Persians; in which are invoked an incredible number of pure animals and other things, which, as appears from the silence of ancient writers, were never known, or at least never worshipped, in Persia? What Greek ever spoke of Hôm, of Jemshîd, and of such other personages as the fabricators of that rhapsody exalt with every kind of praise, as divine heroes?"

Anquetil and the "Avesta" found an eager champion in the person of Kleuker, professor in the University of Riga. As soon as the French version of the "Avesta" appeared, he published a German translation of it, and also of Anquetil's historical dissertations. Then, in a series of dissertations of his own, he vindicated the authenticity of the Zend books. Anquetil had already tried to show, in a memoir on Plutarch, that the data of the "Avesta" fully agree with the account of the Magian religion given in the treatise on "Isis and Osiris." Kleuker enlarged the circle of comparison to the whole of ancient literature.

In the field of philology, he showed, as Anquetil had already done, that Zend has no Arabic elements in it, and that Pahlavi itself, which is more modern than Zend, does not contain any Arabic, but only Semitic words of the Aramean dialect, which are easily accounted for by the close relations of Persia with Aramean lands in the time of the Sassanian kings. He showed, lastly, that Arabic words appear only in the very books which Parsi tradition itself considers modern.

Another stanch upholder of the "Avesta" was the numismatologist Tychsen, who, having begun to read the book with a prejudice against its authenticity, quitted it with a conviction to the contrary. "There is nothing in it," he writes, "but what befits remote ages, and a man philosophizing in the infancy of the world. Such traces of a recent period as they fancy to have found in it, are either due to misunderstandings, or belong to its later portions. On the whole there is a marvellous accordance between the 'Zend-Avesta' and the accounts of the ancients with regard to the doctrine and institutions of Zoroaster. Plutarch agrees so well with the Zend books that I think no one will deny the close resemblance of doctrines and identity of origin. Add to all this the incontrovertible argument to be drawn from the language, the antiquity of which is established by the fact that it was necessary to translate a part of the Zend books into Pahlavi, a language which was growing obsolete as early as the time of the Sassanides. Lastly, it cannot be denied that Zoroaster left books which were, through centuries, the groundwork of the Magic religion, and which were preserved by the Magi, as shown by a series of documents from the time of Hermippus. Therefore I am unable to see why we should not trust the Magi of our days when they ascribe to Zoroaster those traditional books of their ancestors, in which nothing is found to indicate fraud or a modern hand."

Two years afterwards, in 1793, was published in Paris a book which, without directly dealing with the "Avesta," was the first step taken to make its authenticity incontrovertible. It was the masterly memoir by Sylvestre de Sacy, in which the Pahlavi inscriptions of the first Sassanides were deciphered for the first time and in a decisive manner. De Sacy, in his researches, had chiefly relied on the Pahlavi lexicon published by Anquetil, whose work vindicated itself thus—better than by heaping up arguments—by promoting discoveries. The Pahlavi inscriptions gave the key, as is well-known, to the Persian cuneiform inscriptions, which were in return to put beyond all doubt the genuineness of the Zend language.

Tychsen, in an appendix to his Commentaries, pointed to the importance of the new discovery: "This," he writes, "is a proof that the Pahlavi was used during the reign of the Sassanides, for it was from them that these inscriptions emanated, as it was by them—nay, by the first of them, Ardeshîr Bâbagân—that the doctrine of Zoroaster was revived. One can now understand why the Zend books were translated into Pahlavi. Here, too, everything agrees, and speaks loudly for their antiquity and genuineness."

About the same time Sir William Jones, then president of the Royal Asiatic Society, which he had just founded, resumed in a discourse delivered before that society the same question he had solved in such an off-hand manner twenty years before. He was no longer the man to say, "Sied-il à un homme né dans ce siècle de s'infatuer de fables indiennes?" and although he had still a spite against Anquetil, he spoke of him with more reserve than in 1771. However, his judgment on the "Avesta" itself was not altered on the whole, although, as he himself declared, he had not thought it necessary to study the text. But a glance at the Zend glossary published by Anquetil suggested to him a remark which makes Sir William Jones, in spite of himself, the creator of the comparative grammar of Sanscrit and Zend. "When I perused the Zend glossary," he writes, "I was inexpressibly surprised to find that six or seven words in ten are pure Sanscrit, and even some of their inflexions formed by the rules of the Vyácaran, as yushmácam, the genitive plural of yushmad. Now M. Anquetil most certainly, and the Persian compiler most probably, had no knowledge of Sanscrit, and could not, therefore, have invented a list of Sanscrit words; it is, therefore, an authentic list of Zend words, which has been preserved in books or by tradition; it follows that the language of the Zend was at least a dialect of the Sanscrit, approaching perhaps as nearly to it as the Prácrit, or other popular idioms, which we know to have been spoken in India two thousand years ago." This conclusion, that Zend is a Sanscrit dialect, was incorrect, the connection assumed being too close; but it was a great thing that the near relationship of the two languages should have been brought to light.

In 1798 Father Paulo de St. Barthélemy further developed Jones's remark in an essay on the antiquity of the Zend language. He showed its affinity with the Sanscrit by a list of such Zend and Sanscrit words as were least likely to have been borrowed, viz., those that designate the degrees of relationship, the limbs of the body, and the most general and essential ideas. Another list, intended to show, on a special topic, how closely connected the two languages are, contains eighteen words taken from the liturgic language used in India and Persia. This list was not very happily drawn up, as out of the eighteen instances there is not a single one that stands inquiry; yet it was a happy idea, and one which has not even yet yielded all that it promised. His conclusions were that in a far remote antiquity Sanscrit was spoken in Persia and Media, that it gave birth to the Zend language, and that the "Zend-Avesta" is authentic: "Were it but a recent compilation," he writes, "as Jones asserts, how is it that the oldest rites of the Parsis, that the old inscriptions of the Persians, the accounts of the Zoroastrian religion by the classical writers, the liturgic prayers of the Parsis, and, lastly, even their books do not reveal the pure Sanscrit, as written in the land wherein the Parsis live, but a mixed language, which is as different from the other dialects of India as French is from Italian?" This amounted, in fact, to saying that the Zend is not derived from the Sanscrit, but that both are derived from another and older language. The Carmelite had a dim notion of that truth, but, as he failed to express it distinctly, it was lost for years, and had to be rediscovered.

The first twenty-five years of this century were void of results, but the old and sterile discussions as to the authenticity of the texts continued in England. In 1808 John Leyden regarded Zend as a Prácrit dialect, parallel to Pali; Pali being identical with the Magadhi dialect and Zend with the Sauraseni. In the eyes of Erskine, Zend was a Sanscrit dialect, imported from India by the founders of Mazdeism, but never spoken in Persia. His main argument was that Zend is not mentioned among the seven dialects which were current in ancient Persia according to the Farhang-i Jehangiri, and that Pahlavi and Persian exhibit no close relationship with Zend.

In Germany, Meiners had found no followers. The theologians appealed to the "Avesta," in their polemics, and Rhode sketched the religious history of Persia after the translations of Anquetil.

Erskine's essay provoked a decisive answer from Emmanuel Rask, one of the most gifted minds in the new school of philology, who had the honor of being a precursor of both Grimm and Burnouf. He showed that the list of the Jehangiri referred to an epoch later than that to which Zend must have belonged, and to parts of Persia different from those where it must have been spoken; he showed further that modern Persian is not derived from Zend, but from a dialect closely connected with it; and, lastly, he showed what was still more important, that Zend was not derived from Sanscrit. As to the system of its sounds, Zend approaches Persian rather than Sanscrit; and as to its grammatical forms, if they often remind one of Sanscrit, they also often remind one of Greek and Latin, and frequently have a special character of their own. Rask also gave the paradigm of three Zend nouns, belonging to different declensions, as well as the right pronunciation of the Zend letters, several of which had been incorrectly given by Anquetil. This was the first essay on Zend grammar, and it was a masterly one.

The essay published in 1831 by Peter von Bohlen on the origin of the Zend language threw the matter forty years back. According to him, Zend is a Prácrit dialect, as it had been pronounced by Jones, Leyden, and Erskine. His mistake consisted in taking Anquetil's transcriptions of the words, which are often so incorrect as to make them look like corrupted forms when compared with Sanscrit. And, what was worse, he took the proper names in their modern Parsi forms, which often led him to comparisons that would have appalled Ménage. Thus Ahriman became a Sanscrit word ariman, which would have meant "the fiend"; yet Bohlen might have seen in Anquetil's work itself that Ahriman is nothing but the modern form of Angra Mainyu, words which hardly remind one of the Sanscrit ariman. Again, the angel Vohu-manô, or "good thought," was reduced, by means of the Parsi form Bahman, to the Sanscrit bâhumân, "a long-armed god."

At length came Burnouf. From the time when Anquetil had published his translation, that is to say during seventy years, no real progress had been made in knowledge of the Avesta texts. The notion that Zend and Sanscrit are two kindred languages was the only new idea that had been acquired, but no practical advantage for the interpretation of the texts had resulted from it. Anquetil's translation was still the only guide, and as the doubts about the authenticity of the texts grew fainter, the authority of the translation became greater, the trust reposed in the "Avesta" being reflected on to the work of its interpreter. The Parsis had been the teachers of Anquetil; and who could ever understand the holy writ of the Parsis better than the Parsis themselves? There was no one who even tried to read the texts by the light of Anquetil's translation, to obtain a direct understanding of them.

About 1825 Eugène Burnouf was engaged in a course of researches on the geographical extent of the Aryan languages in India. After he had defined the limits which divide the races speaking Aryan languages from the native non-brahmanical tribes in the south, he wanted to know if a similar boundary had ever existed in the northwest; and if it is outside of India that the origin of the Indian languages and civilization is to be sought for. He was thus led to study the languages of Persia, and, first of all, the oldest of them, the Zend. But as he tried to read the texts by help of Anquetil's translation, he was surprised to find that this was not the clue he had expected. He saw that two causes had misled Anquetil: on the one hand, his teachers, the Parsi dasturs, either knew little themselves or taught him imperfectly, not only the Zend, but even the Pahlavi intended to explain the meaning of the Zend; so that the tradition on which his work rested, being incorrect in itself, corrupted it from the very beginning; on the other hand, as Sanscrit was unknown to him and comparative grammar did not as yet exist, he could not supply the defects of tradition by their aid. Burnouf, laying aside tradition as found in Anquetil's translation, consulted it as found in a much older and purer form, in a Sanscrit translation of the Yasna made in the fifteenth century by the Parsi Neriosengh in accordance with the old Pahlavi version. The information given by Neriosengh he tested, and either confirmed or corrected, by a comparison of parallel passages and by the help of comparative grammar, which had just been founded by Bopp, and applied by him successfully to the explanation of Zend forms. Thus he succeeded in tracing the general outlines of the Zend lexicon and in fixing its grammatical forms, and founded the only correct method of interpreting the "Avesta." He also gave the first notions of a comparative mythology of the "Avesta" and the "Veda," by showing the identity of the "Vedic Yama" with the "Avesta Yima," and of Traitâna with Thraêtaona and Ferìdûn. Thus he made his "Commentaire sur le Yasna" a marvellous and unparalleled model of critical insight and steady good sense, equally opposed to the narrowness of mind which clings to matters of fact without rising to their cause and connecting them with the series of associated phenomena, and to the wild and uncontrolled spirit of comparison, which, by comparing everything, confounds everything. Never sacrificing either tradition to comparison or comparison to tradition he knew how to pass from the one to the other, and was so enabled both to discover facts and to explain them.

At the same time the ancient Persian inscriptions at Persepolis and Behistun were deciphered by Burnouf in Paris, by Lassen in Bonn, and by Sir Henry Rawlinson in Persia. Thus was revealed the existence, at the time of the first Achaemenian kings, of a language closely connected with that of the "Avesta," and the last doubts as to the authenticity of the Zend books were at length removed. It would have required more than an ordinary amount of scepticism to look still upon the Zend as an artificial language, of foreign importation, without root in the land where it was written, and in the conscience of the people for whom it was written, at the moment when a twin language, bearing a striking likeness to it in nearly every feature, was suddenly making itself heard from the mouth of Darius, and speaking from the very tomb of the first Achaemenian king. That unexpected voice silenced all controversies, and the last echoes of the loud discussion which had been opened in 1771 died away unheeded.

 

 

SELECTIONS FROM THE ZEND-AVESTA
THE CREATION

Ahura Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathustra, saying:—

"I have made every land dear to its people, even though it had no charms whatever in it: had I not made every land dear to its people, even though it had no charms whatever in it, then the whole living world would have invaded the Airyana Vaêgô. The first of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the Airyana Vaêgô, by the Vanguhi Dâitya. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the serpent in the river and Winter, a work of the Devas. There are ten winter months there, two summer months; and those are cold for the waters, cold for the earth, cold for the trees. Winters fall there, the worst of all plagues. The second of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the plain which the Sughdhas inhabit. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the locust, which brings death unto cattle and plants. The third of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the strong, holy Môuru. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created plunder and sin. The fourth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the beautiful Bâkhdhi with high-lifted banners. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the ants and the ant-hills. The fifth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Nisâya, that lies [pg 68]between Môuru and Bâkhdhi. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the sin of unbelief. The sixth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the house-deserting Harôyu. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created tears and wailing. The seventh of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Vaêkereta, of the evil shadows. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the Pairika Knâthaiti, who clave unto Keresâspa. The eighth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Urva of the rich pastures. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the sin of pride. The ninth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Khnenta which the Vehrkânas inhabit. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created a sin for which there is no atonement, the unnatural sin. The tenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the beautiful Harahvaiti. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created a sin for which there is no atonement, the burying of the dead. The eleventh of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the bright, glorious Haêtumant. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the evil work of witchcraft. And this is the sign by which it is known, this is that by which it is seen at once: wheresoever they may go and raise a cry of sorcery, there the worst works of witchcraft go forth. From there they come to kill and strike at heart, and they bring locusts as many as they want. The twelfth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Ragha of the three races. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the sin of utter unbelief. The thirteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the strong, holy Kakhra. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created a sin for which there is no atonement, the cooking of corpses. The fourteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the four-cornered Varena, for which was born Thraêtaona, who smote Azi Dahâka. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created abnormal issues in women and barbarian oppression. The fifteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the Seven Rivers. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created abnormal issues in women and excessive heat. The sixteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the land by the sources of the Rangha, where people live who have no chiefs. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created Winter, a work of the Devas. There are still other lands and countries, beautiful and deep, longing and asking for the good, and bright."

This chapter is an enumeration of sixteen perfect lands created by Ahura Mazda, and of as many plagues created in opposition by Angra Mainyu. Many attempts have been made, not only to identify these sixteen lands, but also to draw historical conclusions from their order of succession, as representing the actual order of the migrations and settlements of the old Iranian tribes. But there is nothing in the text to support such wide inferences. We have here nothing more than a geographical description of Iran, seen from the religious point of view.

 

MYTH OF YIMA

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:—

"O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who was the first mortal, before myself, Zarathustra, with whom thou, Ahura Mazda, didst converse, whom thou didst teach the Religion of Ahura, the Religion of Zarathustra?"

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"The fair Yima, the good shepherd, O holy Zarathustra! he was the first mortal, before thee, Zarathustra, with whom I, Ahura Mazda, did converse, whom I taught the Religion of Ahura, the Religion of Zarathustra. Unto him, O Zarathustra, I, Ahura Mazda, spake, saying: 'Well, fair Yima, son of Vîvanghat, be thou the preacher and the bearer of my Religion!' And the fair Yima, O Zarathustra, replied unto me, saying: 'I was not born, I was not taught to be the preacher and the bearer of thy Religion.' Then I, Ahura Mazda, said thus unto him, O Zarathustra, 'Since thou dost not consent to be the preacher and the bearer of my Religion, then make thou my world increase, make my world grow: consent thou to nourish, to rule, and to watch over my world.' And the fair Yima replied unto me, O Zarathustra, saying: 'Yes! I will make thy world increase, I will make thy world grow. Yes! I will nourish, and rule, and watch over thy world. There shall be, while I am king, neither cold wind nor hot wind, neither disease nor death.' Then I, Ahura Mazda, brought two implements unto him: a golden seal and a poniard inlaid with gold. Behold, here Yima bears the royal sway! Thus, under the sway of Yima, three hundred winters passed away, and the earth was replenished with flocks and herds, with men and dogs and birds and with red blazing fires, and there was room no more for flocks, herds, and men. Then I warned the fair Yima, saying: 'O fair Yima, son of Vîvanghat, the earth has become full of flocks and herds, of men and dogs and birds and of red blazing fires, and there is room no more for flocks, herds, and men.' Then Yima stepped forward, in light, southwards, on the way of the sun, and afterwards he pressed the earth with the golden seal, and bored it with the poniard, speaking thus: 'O Spenta Ârmaiti, kindly open asunder and stretch thyself afar, to bear flocks and herds and men.' And Yima made the earth grow larger by one-third than it was before, and there came flocks and herds and men, at their will and wish, as many as he wished. Thus, under the sway of Yima, six hundred winters passed away, and the earth was replenished with flocks and herds, with men and dogs and birds and with red blazing fires, and there was room no more for flocks, herds, and men. And I warned the fair Yima, saying: 'O fair Yima, son of Vîvanghat, the earth has become full of flocks and herds, of men and dogs and birds and of red blazing fires, and there is room no more for flocks, herds, and men.'

"Then Yima stepped forward, in light, southwards, on the way of the sun, and afterwards he pressed the earth with the golden seal, and bored it with the poniard, speaking thus: 'O Spenta Ârmaiti, kindly open asunder and stretch thyself afar, to bear flocks and herds and men.' And Yima made the earth grow larger by two-thirds than it was before, and there came flocks and herds and men, at their will and wish, as many as he wished. Thus, under the sway of Yima, nine hundred winters passed away, and the earth was replenished with flocks and herds, with men and dogs and birds and with red blazing fires, and there was room no more for flocks, herds, and men. And I warned the fair Yima, saying: 'O fair Yima, son of Vîvanghat, the earth has become full of flocks and herds, of men and dogs and birds and of red blazing fires, and there is room no more for flocks, herds, and men.' Then Yima stepped forward, in light, southwards, on the way of the sun, and afterwards he pressed the earth with the golden seal, and bored it [pg 71]with the poniard, speaking thus: 'O Spenta Ârmaiti, kindly open asunder and stretch thyself afar, to bear flocks and herds and men.' And Yima made the earth grow larger by three-thirds than it was before, and there came flocks and herds and men, at their will and wish, as many as he wished."

 

THE EARTH

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the first place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place whereon one of the faithful steps forward, O Spitama Zarathustra! with the log in his hand, the Baresma in his hand, the milk in his hand, the mortar in his hand, lifting up his voice in good accord with religion, and beseeching Mithra, the lord of the rolling country-side, and Râma Hvâstra." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the second place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place whereon one of the faithful erects a house with a priest within, with cattle, with a wife, with children, and good herds within; and wherein afterwards the cattle continue to thrive, virtue to thrive, fodder to thrive, the dog to thrive, the wife to thrive, the child to thrive, the fire to thrive, and every blessing of life to thrive." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the third place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place where one of the faithful sows most corn, grass, and fruit, O Spitama Zarathustra! where he waters ground that is dry, or drains ground that is too wet." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the fourth place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place where there is most increase of flocks and herds." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the fifth place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place where flocks and herds yield most dung."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the first place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the neck of Arezûra, whereon the hosts of fiends rush forth from the burrow of the Drug." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the second place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place wherein most corpses of dogs and of men lie buried." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the third place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place whereon stand most of those Dakhmas on which the corpses of men are deposited." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the fourth place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place wherein are most burrows of the creatures of Angra Mainyu." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the fifth place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place whereon the wife and children of one of the faithful, O Spitama Zarathustra! are driven along the way of captivity, the dry, the dusty way, and lift up a voice of wailing."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the first that rejoices the Earth with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who digs out of it most corpses of dogs and men." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the second that rejoices the Earth with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who pulls down most of those Dakhmas on which the corpses of men are deposited. Let no man alone by himself carry a corpse. If a man alone by himself carry a corpse, the Nasu rushes upon him. This Drug Nasu falls upon and stains him, even to the end of the nails, and he is unclean, thenceforth, forever and ever." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What shall be the place of that man who has carried a corpse alone? Ahura Mazda answered: "It shall be the place on this earth wherein is least water and fewest plants, whereof the ground is the cleanest and the driest and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the faithful." 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? Ahura Mazda answered: "Thirty paces from the fire, thirty paces from the water, thirty paces from the consecrated bundles of Baresma, three paces from the faithful. There, on that place, shall the worshippers of Mazda erect an enclosure, and therein shall they establish him with food, therein shall they establish him with clothes, with the coarsest food and with the most worn-out clothes. That food he shall live on, those clothes he shall wear, and thus shall they let him live, until he has grown to the age of a Hana, or of a Zaurura, or of a Pairista-khshudra. And when he has grown to the age of a Hana, or of a Zaurura, or of a Pairista-khshudra, then the worshippers of Mazda shall order a man strong, vigorous, and skilful, to cut the head off his neck, in his enclosure on the top of the mountain: and they shall deliver his corpse unto the greediest of the corpse-eating creatures made by the beneficent Spirit, unto the vultures, with these words: 'The man here has repented of all his evil thoughts, words, and deeds. If he has committed any other evil deed, it is remitted by his repentance: if he has committed no other evil deed, he is absolved by his repentance, forever and ever.'" O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the third that rejoices the Earth with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who fills up most burrows of the creatures of Angra Mainyu." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the fourth that rejoices the Earth with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who sows most corn, grass, and fruit, O Spitama Zarathustra! who waters ground that is dry, or drains ground that is too wet. Unhappy is the land that has long lain unsown with the seed of the sower and wants a good husbandman, like a well-shapen maiden who has long gone childless and wants a good husband. He who would till the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him will she bring forth plenty of fruit: even as it were a lover sleeping with his bride on her bed; the bride will bring forth children, the earth will bring forth plenty of fruit. He who would till the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him thus says the Earth: 'O thou man! who dost till me with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, here shall I ever go on bearing, bringing forth all manner of food, bringing corn first to thee.' He who does not till the Earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him thus says the Earth: 'O thou man! who dost not till me with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, ever shalt thou stand at the door of the stranger, among those who beg for bread; the refuse and the crumbs of the bread are brought unto thee, brought by those who have profusion of wealth.'"

O maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the food that fills the Religion of Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"It is sowing corn again and again, O Spitama Zarathustra! He who sows corn, sows righteousness: he makes the Religion of Mazda walk, he suckles the Religion of Mazda; as well as he could do with a hundred man's feet, with a thousand woman's breasts, with ten thousand sacrificial formulas. When barley was created, the Devas started up; when it grew, then fainted the Devas' hearts; when the knots came, the Devas groaned; when the ear came, the Devas flew away. In that house the Devas stay, wherein wheat perishes. It is as though red hot iron were turned about in their throats, when there is plenty of corn. Then let people learn by heart this holy saying: 'No one who does not eat, has strength to do heavy works of holiness, strength to do works of husbandry, strength to beget children. By eating every material creature lives, by not eating it dies away.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the fifth that rejoices the Earth with greatest joy?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"It is he who kindly and piously gives to one of the faithful who tills the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! He who would not kindly and piously give to one of the faithful who tills the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! Spenta Ârmaiti will throw him down into darkness, down into the world of woe, the world of hell, down into the deep abyss."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall not disinter it within half a year, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Five hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, five hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall not disinter it within a year, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahê-astra, a thousand stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall not disinter it within the second year, what is the penalty for it? What is the atonement for it? What is the cleansing from it?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"For that deed there is nothing that can pay, nothing that can atone, nothing that can cleanse from it; it is a trespass for which there is no atonement, forever and ever."

When is it so?

"It is so, if the sinner be a professor of the Religion of Mazda, or one who has been taught in it. But if he be not a professor of the Religion of Mazda, nor one who has been taught in it, then his sin is taken from him, if he makes confession of the Religion of Mazda and resolves never to commit again such forbidden deeds.

"The Religion of Mazda indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! takes away from him who makes confession of it the bonds of his sin; it takes away the sin of breach of trust; it takes away the sin of murdering one of the faithful; it takes away the sin of burying a corpse; it takes away the sin of deeds for which there is no atonement; it takes away the worst sin of usury; it takes away any sin that may be sinned. In the same way the Religion of Mazda, O Spitama Zarathustra! cleanses the faithful from every evil thought, word, and deed, as a swift-rushing mighty wind cleanses the plain. So let all the deeds he doeth be henceforth good, O Zarathustra! a full atonement for his sin is effected by means of the Religion of Mazda."

 

CONTRACTS AND OUTRAGES

"He that does not restore a loan to the man who lent it, steals the thing and robs the man. This he doeth every day, every night, as long as he keep in his house his neighbor's property, as though it were his own."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How many in number are thy contracts, O Ahura Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"They are six in number, O holy Zarathustra. The first is the word-contract; the second is the hand-contract; the third is the contract to the amount of a sheep; the fourth is the contract to the amount of an ox; the fifth is the contract to the amount of a man; the sixth is the contract to the amount of a field, a field in good land, a fruitful one, in good bearing. The word-contract is fulfilled by words of mouth. It is cancelled by the hand-contract; he shall give as damages the amount of the hand-contract. The hand-contract is cancelled by the sheep-contract; he shall give as damages the amount of the sheep-contract. The sheep-contract is cancelled by the ox-contract; he shall give as damages the amount of the ox-contract. The ox-contract is cancelled by the man-contract; he shall give as damages the amount of the man-contract. The man-contract is cancelled by the field-contract; he shall give as damages the amount of the field-contract."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the word-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"His sin makes his Nabânazdistas answerable for three hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the hand-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"His sin makes his Nabânazdistas answerable for six hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the sheep-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"His sin makes his Nabânazdistas answerable for seven hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the ox-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"His sin makes his Nabânazdistas answerable for eight hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the man-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"His sin makes his Nabânazdistas answerable for nine hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the field-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"His sin makes his Nabânazdistas answerable for a thousand years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the word-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Three hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, three hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the hand-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Six hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, six hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the sheep-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Seven hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seven hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the ox-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Eight hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, eight hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the man-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?[pg 78]

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Nine hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, nine hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the field-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahê-astra, a thousand stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If a man rise up with a weapon in his hand, it is an Âgerepta. If he brandish it, it is an Avaoirista. If he actually smite a man with malicious aforethought, it is an Aredus. Upon the fifth Aredus he becomes a Peshôtanu.

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! He that committeth an Âgerepta, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Five stripes with the Aspahê-astra, five stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the second Âgerepta, ten stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ten stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the third, fifteen stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifteen stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the fourth, thirty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, thirty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the fifth, fifty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the sixth, sixty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, sixty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the seventh, ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If a man commit an Âgerepta for the eighth time, without having atoned for the preceding, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If a man commit an Âgerepta, and refuse to atone for it, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Avaoirista, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Ten stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ten stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the second Avaoirista, fifteen stripes with the [pg 79]Aspahê-astra, fifteen stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the third, thirty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, thirty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the fourth, fifty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the fifth, seventy stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the sixth, ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Avaoirista for the seventh time, without having atoned for the preceding, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Avaoirista, and refuse to atone for it, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Aredus, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Fifteen stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifteen stripes with the Sraoshô-karana.

"On the second Aredus, thirty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, thirty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the third, fifty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the fourth, seventy stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; on the fifth, ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Aredus for the sixth time, without having atoned for the preceding, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Aredus, and refuse to atone for it, what penalty shall he pay?[pg 80]

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another and hurt him sorely, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Thirty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, thirty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; the second time, fifty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; the third time, seventy stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; the fourth time, ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If a man commit that deed for the fifth time, without having atoned for the preceding, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If a man commit that deed and refuse to atone for it, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so that the blood come, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Fifty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; the second time, seventy stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; the third time, ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If he commit that deed for the fourth time, without having atoned for the preceding, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so that the blood come, and if he refuse to atone for it, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so that he break a bone, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Seventy stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraoshô-karana; the second time, ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If he commit that deed for the third time, without having atoned for the preceding, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so that he break a bone, and if he refuse to atone for it, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so that he give up the ghost, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

If he commit that deed again, without having atoned for the preceding, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so that he give up the ghost, and if he refuse to atone for it, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana.

"And they shall thenceforth in their doings walk after the way of holiness, after the word of holiness, after the ordinance of holiness.

"If men of the same faith, either friends or brothers, come to an agreement together, that one may obtain from the other either goods, or a wife, or knowledge, let him who desires goods have them delivered to him; let him who desires a wife receive and wed her; let him who desires knowledge be taught the holy word, during the first part of the day and the last, during the first part of the night and the last, that his mind may be increased in intelligence and wax strong in holiness. So shall he sit up, in devotion and prayers, that he may be increased in intelligence: he shall rest during the middle part of the day, during the middle part of the night, and thus shall he continue until he can say all the words which former Aêthra-paitis have said.

"Before the boiling water publicly prepared, O Spitama Zarathustra! let no one make bold to deny having received from his neighbor the ox or the garment in his possession.

"Verily I say it unto thee, O Spitama Zarathustra! the man who has a wife is far above him who lives in continence; he who keeps a house is far above him who has none; he who has children is far above the childless man; he who has riches is far above him who has none. And of two men, he who fills himself with meat receives in him Vohu Manô much better than he who does not do so; the latter is all but dead; the former is above him by the worth of an Asperena, by the worth of a sheep, by the worth of an ox, by the worth of a man. This man can strive against the onsets of Astô-vidhôtu; he can strive against the well-darted arrow; he can strive against the winter fiend, with thinnest garment on; he can strive against the wicked tyrant and smite him on the head; he can strive against the ungodly fasting Ashemaogha.

"On the very first time when that deed has been done, without waiting until it is done again, down there the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: even as if one should cut off the limbs from his perishable body with knives of brass, or still worse; down there the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: even as if one should nail his perishable body with nails of brass, or still worse; down there the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: even as if one should by force throw his perishable body headlong down a precipice a hundred times the height of a man, or still worse; down there the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: even as if one should by force impale his perishable body, or still worse; down there the pain for this deed shall be as hard as any in this world: to-wit, the deed of a man, who, knowingly lying, confronts the brimstoned, golden, truth-knowing water with an appeal unto Rashnu and a lie unto Mithra."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! He who, knowingly lying, confronts the brimstoned, golden, truth-knowing water with an appeal unto Rashnu and a lie unto Mithra, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Seven hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seven hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

 

UNCLEANNESS

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Here is a man watering a corn-field. The water streams down the field; it streams again; it streams a third time; and the fourth time, a dog, a fox, or a wolf carries some Nasu into the bed of the stream: what is the penalty that this man shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"There is no sin upon a man for any Nasu that has been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies. For were there sin upon a man for any Nasu that might have been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies, how soon all this material world of mine would be only one Peshôtanu, bent on the destruction of righteousness, and whose soul will cry and wail! so numberless are the beings that die upon the face of the earth."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does water kill?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Water kills no man: Astô-vîdhôtu binds him, and, thus bound, Vayu carries him off; and the flood takes him up, the flood takes him down, the flood throws him ashore; then birds feed upon him. When he goes away, it is by the will of Fate he goes."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does fire kill?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Fire kills no man: Astô-vîdhôtu binds him, and, thus bound, Vayu carries him off; and the fire burns up life and limb. When he goes away, it is by the will of Fate he goes."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the summer is past and the winter has come, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"In every house, in every borough, they shall raise three rooms for the dead."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How large shall be those rooms for the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Large enough not to strike the skull of the man, if he should stand erect, or his feet or his hands stretched out: such shall be, according to the law, the rooms for the dead. And they shall let the lifeless body lie there, for two nights, or for three nights, or a month long, until the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth. And as soon as the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth, then the worshippers of Mazda shall lay down the dead on the Dakhma, his eyes towards the sun. If the worshippers of Mazda have not, within a year, laid down the dead on the Dakhma, his eyes towards the sun, thou shalt prescribe for that trespass the same penalty as for the murder of one of the faithful; until the corpse has been rained on, until the Dakhma has been rained on, until the unclean remains have been rained on, until the birds have eaten up the corpse."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Is it true that thou, Ahura Mazda, seizest the waters from the sea Vouru-kasha with the wind and the clouds? That thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the corpses? that thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the Dakhmas? that thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the unclean remains? that thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the bones? and that then thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow back unseen? that thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow back to the sea Pûitika?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"It is even so as thou hast said, O righteous Zarathustra! I, Ahura Mazda, seize the waters from the sea Vouru-kasha with the wind and the clouds. I, Ahura Mazda, take them to the corpses; I, Ahura Mazda, take them down to the Dakhmas; I, Ahura Mazda, take them down to the unclean remains; I, Ahura Mazda, take them down to the bones; then I, Ahura Mazda, make them flow back unseen; I, Ahura Mazda, make them flow back to the sea Pûitika. The waters stand there boiling, boiling up in the heart of the sea Pûitika, and, when cleansed there, they run back again from the sea Pûitika to the sea Vouru-kasha, towards the well-watered tree, whereon grow the seeds of my plants of every kind by hundreds, by thousands, by hundreds of thousands. Those plants, I, Ahura Mazda, rain down upon the earth, to bring food to the faithful, and fodder to the beneficent cow; to bring food to my people that they may live on it, and fodder to the beneficent cow.

"This is the best, this is the fairest of all things, even as thou hast said, O pure Zarathustra!"

With these words, the holy Ahura Mazda rejoiced the holy Zarathustra: "Purity is for man, next to life, the greatest good, that purity, O Zarathustra, that is in the Religion of Mazda for him who cleanses his own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! This Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathustra, by what greatness, goodness, and fairness is it great, good, and fair above all other utterances?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"As much above all other floods as is the sea Vouru-kasha, so much above all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathustra. As much as a great stream flows swifter than a slender rivulet, so much above all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathustra. As high as the great tree stands above the small plants it overshadows, so high above all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathustra. As high as heaven is above the earth that it compasses around, so high above all other utterances is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Mazda. Therefore, he will apply to the Ratu, he will apply to the Srao-shâ-varez; whether for a draona-service that should have been undertaken and has not been undertaken; or for a draona that should have been offered up and has not been offered up; or for a draona that should have been intrusted and has not been intrusted. The Ratu has power to remit him one-third of his penalty: if he has committed any other evil deed, it is remitted by his repentance; if he has committed no other evil deed, he is absolved by his repentance forever and ever."

How long shall the piece of ground lie fallow whereon dogs or men have died?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"A year long shall the piece of ground lie fallow whereon dogs or men have died, O holy Zarathustra! A year long shall no worshipper of Mazda sow or water that piece of ground whereon dogs or men have died; he may sow as he likes the rest of the ground; he may water it as he likes. If within the year they shall sow or water the piece of ground whereon dogs or men have died, they are guilty of the sin of 'burying the dead' towards the water, towards the earth, and towards the plants."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If worshippers of Mazda shall sow or water, within the year, the piece of ground whereon dogs or men have died, what is the penalty that they shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"They are Peshôtanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If worshippers of Mazda want to till that piece of ground again, to water it, to sow it, and to plough it, what shall they do?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"They shall look on the ground for any bones, hair, dung, urine, or blood that may be there."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If they shall not look on the ground for any bones, hair, dung, urine, or blood that may be there, what is the penalty that they shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"They are Peshôtanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as the top joint of the little finger, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Thirty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, thirty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as the top joint of the fore-finger, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Fifty stripes with the Aspahê-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as the top joint of the middle finger, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Seventy stripes with the Aspahê-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as a finger or as a rib, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Ninety stripes with the Aspahê-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as two fingers or as two ribs, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He is a Peshôtanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead [pg 88]man, as large as an arm-bone or as a thigh-bone, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Four hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, four hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as a man's skull, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Six hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, six hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on the ground the whole body of a dead dog, or of a dead man, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahê-astra, a thousand stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a worshipper of Mazda, walking, or running, or riding, or driving, come upon a corpse in a stream of running water, what shall he do?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Taking off his shoes, putting off his clothes, while the others wait, O Zarathustra! he shall enter the river, and take the dead out of the water; he shall go down into the water ankle-deep, knee-deep, waist-deep, or a man's full depth, till he can reach the dead body."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If, however, the body be already falling to pieces and rotting, what shall the worshipper of Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He shall draw out of the water as much of the corpse as he can grasp with both hands, and he shall lay it down on the dry ground; no sin attaches to him for any bone, hair, grease, dung, urine, or blood, that may drop back into the water."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of the water in a pond does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Six steps on each of the four sides. As long as the corpse has not been taken out of the water, so long shall that water be unclean and unfit to drink. They shall, therefore, take the corpse out of the pond, and lay it down on the dry ground. And of the water they shall draw off the half, or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth part, according as they are able or not; and after the corpse has been taken out and the water has been drawn off, the rest of the water is clean, and both cattle and men may drink of it at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of the water in a well does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"As long as the corpse has not been taken out of the water, so long shall that water be unclean and unfit to drink. They shall, therefore, take the corpse out of the well, and lay it down on the dry ground. And of the water in the well they shall draw off the half, or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth part, according as they are able or not; and after the corpse has been taken out and the water has been drawn off, the rest of the water is clean, and both cattle and men may drink of it at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of a sheet of snow or hail does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Three steps on each of the four sides. As long as the corpse has not been taken out of the water, so long shall that water be unclean and unfit to drink. They shall, therefore, take the corpse out of the water, and lay it down on the dry ground. After the corpse has been taken out, and the snow or the hail has melted, the water is clean, and both cattle and men may drink of it at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of the water of a running stream does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Three steps down the stream, nine steps up the stream, six steps across. As long as the corpse has not been taken out of the water, so long shall the water be unclean and unfit to drink. They shall, therefore, take the corpse out of the water, and lay it down on the dry ground. After the corpse has been taken out and the stream has flowed three times, the water is clean, and both cattle and men may drink of it at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the Haoma that has been touched with Nasu from a dead dog, or from a dead man, be made clean again?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"It can, O holy Zarathustra! If it has been prepared for the sacrifice, there is to it no corruption, no death, no touch of any Nasu. If it has not been prepared for the sacrifice, the stem is defiled the length of four fingers: it shall be laid down on the ground, in the middle of the house, for a year long. When the year is past, the faithful may drink of its juice at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Whither shall we bring, where shall we lay the bodies of the dead, O Ahura Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"On the highest summits, where they know there are always corpse-eating dogs and corpse-eating birds, O holy Zarathustra! There shall the worshippers of Mazda fasten the corpse, by the feet and by the hair, with brass, stones, or clay, lest the corpse-eating dogs and the corpse-eating birds shall go and carry the bones to the water and to the trees."

If they shall not fasten the corpse, so that the corpse-eating dogs and the corpse-eating birds may go and carry the bones to the water and to the trees, what is the penalty that they shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"They shall be Peshôtanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Whither shall we bring, where shall we lay the bones of the dead, O Ahura Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"The worshippers of Mazda shall make a receptacle out of the reach of the dog, of the fox, and of the wolf, and wherein rain-water cannot stay. They shall make it, if they can afford it, with stones, plaster, or earth; if they cannot afford it, they [pg 91]shall lay down the dead man on the ground, on his carpet and his pillow, clothed with the light of heaven, and beholding the sun."

 

FUNERALS AND PURIFICATION

If a dog or a man die under a hut of wood or a hut of felt, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"They shall search for a Dakhma, they shall look for a Dakhma all around. If they find it easier to remove the dead, they shall take out the dead, they shall let the house stand, and shall perfume it with Urvâsna or Vohú-gaona, or Vohú-kereti, or Hadhâ-naepata, or any other sweet-smelling plant. If they find it easier to remove the house, they shall take away the house, they shall let the dead lie on the spot, and shall perfume the house with Urvâsna, or Vohú-gaona, or Vohú-kereti, or Hadhâ-naêpata, or any other sweet-smelling plant."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If in the house of a worshipper of Mazda a dog or a man happens to die, and it is raining, or snowing, or blowing, or it is dark, or the day is at its end, when flocks and men lose their way, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"The place in that house whereof the ground is the cleanest and the driest, and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the faithful."

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?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Thirty paces from the fire; thirty paces from the water; thirty paces from the consecrated bundles of Baresma; three paces from the faithful;—on that place they shall dig a grave, half a foot deep if the earth be hard, half the height of a man if it be soft; they shall cover the surface of the grave with ashes or cow-dung; they shall cover the surface of it with dust of bricks, of stones, or of dry earth. And they shall let the lifeless body lie there, for two nights, or three nights, or a month long, until the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth. And when the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth, then the worshippers of Mazda shall make a breach in the wall of the house, and two men, strong and skilful, having stripped their clothes off, shall take up the body from the clay or the stones, or from the plastered house, and they shall lay it down on a place where they know there are always corpse-eating dogs and corpse-eating birds. Afterwards the corpse-bearers shall sit down, three paces from the dead, and the holy Ratu shall proclaim to the worshippers of Mazda thus: 'Worshippers of Mazda, let the urine be brought here wherewith the corpse-bearers there shall wash their hair and their bodies.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the urine wherewith the corpse-bearers shall wash their hair and their bodies? Is it of sheep or of oxen? Is it of man or of woman?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"It is of sheep or of oxen; not of man nor of woman, except a man or a woman who has married the next-of-kin: these shall therefore procure the urine wherewith the corpse-bearers shall wash their hair and their bodies."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the way, whereon the carcasses of dogs or corpses of men have been carried, be passed through again by flocks and herds, by men and women, by the fire of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the faithful?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"It cannot be passed through again by flocks and herds, nor by men and women, nor by the fire of Ahura Mazda, nor by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, nor by the faithful. They shall therefore cause a yellow dog with four eyes, or a white dog with yellow ears, to go three times through that way. When either the yellow dog with four eyes, or the white dog with yellow ears, is brought there, then the Drug Nasu flies away to the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras. If the dog goes unwillingly, O Spitama Zarathustra, they shall cause the yellow dog with four eyes, or the white dog with yellow ears, to go six times through that way. When either the yellow dog with four eyes, or the white dog with yellow ears, is brought there, then the Drug Nasu flies away to the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras. If the dog goes unwillingly, they shall cause the yellow dog with four eyes, or the white dog with yellow ears, to go nine times through that way. When either the yellow dog with four eyes, or the white dog with yellow ears, has been brought there, then the Drug Nasu flies away to the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras. An Âthravan shall first go along the way and shall say aloud these victorious words: 'Yathâ ahû vairyô:—The will of the Lord is the law of righteousness. The gifts of Vohu-manô to the deeds done in this world for Mazda. He who relieves the poor makes Ahura king. What protector hast thou given unto me, O Mazda! while the hate of the wicked encompasses me? Whom but thy Âtar and Vohu-manô, through whose work I keep on the world of righteousness? Reveal therefore to me thy Religion as thy rule! Who is the victorious who will protect thy teaching? Make it clear that I am the guide for both worlds. May Sraosha come with Vohu-manô and help whomsoever thou pleasest, O Mazda! Keep us from our hater, O Mazda and Spenta Ârmaiti! Perish, O fiendish Drug! Perish, O brood of the fiend! Perish, O creation of the fiend! Perish, O world of the fiend! Perish away, O Drug! Rush away, O Drug! Perish away, O Drug! Perish away to the regions of the north, never more to give unto death the living world of Righteousness!' Then the worshippers of Mazda may at their will bring by those ways sheep and oxen, men and women, and Fire, the son of Ahura Mazda, the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and the faithful. The worshippers of Mazda may afterwards prepare meals with meat and wine in that house; it shall be clean, and there will be no sin, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw clothes, either of skin or woven, upon a dead body, enough to cover the feet, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Four hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, four hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw clothes, either of skin or woven, upon a dead body, enough to cover both legs, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Six hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, six hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw clothes, either of skin or woven, upon a dead body, enough to cover the whole body, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahê-astra, a thousand stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man, by force, commits the unnatural sin, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Eight hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, eight hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man voluntarily commits the unnatural sin, what is the penalty for it? What is the atonement for it? What is the cleansing from it?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"For that deed there is nothing that can pay, nothing that can atone, nothing that can cleanse from it; it is a trespass for which there is no atonement, forever and ever."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the man that is a Deva? Who is he that is a worshipper of the Devas? that is a male paramour of the Devas? that is a female paramour of the Devas? that is a wife to the Deva? that is as bad as a Deva? that is in his whole being a Deva? Who is he that is a Deva before he dies, and becomes one of the unseen Devas after death?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is the man that is a Deva; [pg 95]this one is the man that is a worshipper of the Devas, that is a male paramour of the Devas, that is a female paramour of the Devas, that is a wife to the Deva; this is the man that is as bad as a Deva, that is in his whole being a Deva; this is the man that is a Deva before he dies, and becomes one of the unseen Devas after death: so is he, whether he has lain with mankind as mankind, or as womankind."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Shall the man be clean who has touched a corpse that has been dried up and dead more than a year?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"He shall. The dry mingles not with the dry. Should the dry mingle with the dry, how soon all this material world of mine would be only one Peshôtanu, bent on the destruction of righteousness, and whose soul will cry and wail! so numberless are the beings that die upon the face of the earth."

 

 

CLEANSING THE UNCLEAN

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:—

O most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! To whom shall they apply here below, who want to cleanse their body defiled by the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"To a pious man, O Spitama Zarathustra! who knows how to speak, who speaks truth, who has learned the Holy Word, who is pious, and knows best the rites of cleansing according to the law of Mazda. That man shall fell the trees off the surface of the ground on a space of nine Vibâzus square; in that part of the ground where there is least water and where there are fewest trees, the part which is the cleanest and driest, and the least passed through by sheep and oxen, and by the fire of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the faithful."

How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the consecrated bundles of Baresma? How far from the faithful?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Thirty paces from the fire, thirty paces from the water, thirty paces from the consecrated bundles of Baresma, three paces from the faithful. Then thou shalt dig a hole, two fingers deep if the summer has come, four fingers deep if the winter and ice have come." How far from one another? "One pace." How much is the pace? "As much as three feet. Then thou shalt dig three holes more, two fingers deep if the summer has come, four fingers deep if the winter and ice have come." How far from the former six? "Three paces." What sort of paces? "Such as are taken in walking." How much are those three paces? "As much as nine feet. Then thou shalt draw a furrow all around with a metal knife. Then thou shalt draw twelve furrows; three of which thou shalt draw to surround and divide from the rest the first three holes; three thou shalt draw to surround and divide the first six holes; three thou shalt draw to surround and divide the nine holes; three thou shalt draw around the three inferior holes, outside the six other holes. At each of the three times nine feet, thou shalt place stones as steps to the holes; or potsherds, or stumps, or clods, or any hard matter. Then the man defiled shall walk to the holes; thou, O Zarathustra! shalt stand outside by the furrow, and thou shalt recite, 'Nemaskâ yâ ârmaitis izâkâ'; and the man defiled shall repeat, 'Nemaskâ yâ ârmaitis izâkâ.' The Drug becomes weaker and weaker at every one of those words which are a weapon to smite the fiend Angra Mainyu, to smite Aeshma of the murderous spear, to smite the Mâzainya fiends, to smite all the fiends. Then thou shalt take for the gômêz a spoon of brass or of lead. When thou takest a stick with nine knots, O Spitama Zarathustra! to sprinkle the gômêz from that spoon, thou shalt fasten the spoon to the end of the stick. They shall wash his hands first. If his hands be not washed first, he makes his whole body unclean. When he has washed his hands three times, after his hands have been washed, thou shalt sprinkle the forepart of his skull; then the Drug Nasu rushes in front, between his brows. Thou shalt sprinkle him in front between the brows; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the back part of the skull. Thou shalt sprinkle the back part of the skull; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the jaws. Thou shalt sprinkle the jaws; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right ear. Thou shalt sprinkle the right ear; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left ear. Thou shalt sprinkle the left ear; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right shoulder. Thou shalt sprinkle the right shoulder; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left shoulder. Thou shalt sprinkle the left shoulder; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right arm-pit. Thou shalt sprinkle the right arm-pit; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left arm-pit. Thou shalt sprinkle the left armpit; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the chest. Thou shalt sprinkle the chest; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the back. Thou shalt sprinkle the back; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right nipple. Thou shalt sprinkle the right nipple; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left nipple. Thou shalt sprinkle the left nippíe; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right rib. Thou shalt sprinkle the right rib; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left rib. Thou shalt sprinkle the left rib; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right hip. Thou shalt sprinkle the right hip; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left hip. Thou shalt sprinkle the left hip; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the sexual parts. Thou shalt sprinkle the sexual parts. If the unclean one be a man, thou shalt sprinkle him first behind, then before; if the unclean one be a woman, thou shalt sprinkle her first before, then behind; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right thigh. Thou shalt sprinkle the right thigh; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left thigh. Thou shalt sprinkle the left thigh; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right knee. Thou shalt sprinkle the right knee; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left knee. Thou shalt sprinkle the left knee; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right leg. Thou shalt sprinkle the right leg; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left leg. Thou shalt sprinkle the left leg; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right ankle. Thou shalt sprinkle the right ankle; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left ankle. Thou shalt sprinkle the left ankle; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right instep. Thou shalt sprinkle the right instep; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left instep. Thou shalt sprinkle the left instep; then the Drug Nasu turns round under the sole of the foot; it looks like the wing of a fly. He shall press his toes upon the ground and shall raise up his heels; thou shalt sprinkle his right sole; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left sole. Thou shalt sprinkle the left sole; then the Drug Nasu turns round under the toes; it looks like the wing of a fly. He shall press his heels upon the ground and shall raise up his toes; thou shalt sprinkle his right toe; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left toe. Thou shalt sprinkle the [pg 98]left toe; then the Drug Nasu flies away to the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras. And thou shalt say these victorious, most healing words: 'The will of the Lord is the law of righteousness. The gifts of Vohu-manô to deeds done in this world for Mazda. He who relieves the poor makes Ahura king. What protector hadst thou given unto me, O Mazda! while the hate of the wicked encompasses me? Whom, but thy Âtar and Vohu-manô, through whose work I keep on the world of Righteousness? Reveal therefore to me thy Religion as thy rule! Who is the victorious who will protect thy teaching? Make it clear that I am the guide for both worlds. May Sraosha come with Vohu-manô and help whomsoever thou pleasest, O Mazda! Keep us from our hater, O Mazda and Spenta Ârmaiti! Perish, O fiendish Drug! Perish, O brood of the fiend! Perish, O world of the fiend! Perish away, O Drug! Rush away, O Drug! Perish away, O Drug! Perish away to the regions of the north, never more to give unto death the living world of Righteousness.'

"Afterwards the man defiled shall sit down, inside the furrows, outside the furrows of the six holes, four fingers from those furrows. There he shall cleanse his body with thick handfuls of dust. Fifteen times shall they take up dust from the ground for him to rub his body, and they shall wait there until he is dry even to the last hair on his head. When his body is dry with dust, then he shall step over the holes containing water. At the first hole he shall wash his body once with water; at the second hole he shall wash his body twice with water; at the third hole he shall wash his body thrice with water. Then he shall perfume his body with Urvâsna, or Vohû-gaona, or Vohû-kereti, or Hadhâ-naêpata, or any other sweet-smelling plant; then he shall put on his clothes, and shall go back to his house. He shall sit down there in the place of infirmity, inside the house, apart from the other worshippers of Mazda. He shall not go near the fire, nor near the water, nor near the earth, nor near the cow, nor near the trees, nor near the faithful, either man or woman. Thus shall he continue until three nights have passed. When three nights have passed, he shall wash his body, he shall wash his clothes with gômêz and water to make them clean. Then he shall sit down again in the place of infirmity, inside the house, apart from the other worshippers of Mazda. He shall not go near the fire, nor near the water, nor near the earth, nor near the cow, nor near the trees, nor near the faithful, either man or woman. Thus shall he continue until six nights have passed. When six nights have passed, he shall wash his body, he shall wash his clothes with gômêz and water to make them clean. Then he shall sit down again in the place of infirmity, inside the house, apart from the other worshippers of Mazda. He shall not go near the fire, nor near the water, nor near the earth, nor near the cow, nor near the trees, nor near the faithful, either man or woman. Thus shall he continue, until nine nights have passed. When nine nights have passed, he shall wash his body, he shall wash his clothes with gômêz and water to make them clean. He may thenceforth go near the fire, near the water, near the earth, near the cow, near the trees, and near the faithful, either man or woman.

"Thou shalt cleanse a priest for a blessing of the just. Thou shalt cleanse the lord of a province for the value of a camel of high value. Thou shalt cleanse the lord of a town for the value of a stallion of high value. Thou shalt cleanse the lord of a borough for the value of a bull of high value. Thou shalt cleanse the master of a house for the value of a cow three years old. Thou shalt cleanse the wife of the master of a house for the value of a ploughing cow. Thou shalt cleanse a menial for the value of a draught cow. Thou shalt cleanse a young child for the value of a lamb. These are the heads of cattle—flocks or herds—that the worshippers of Mazda shall give to the man who has cleansed them, if they can afford it; if they cannot afford it, they shall give him any other value that may make him leave their houses well pleased with them, and free from anger. For if the man who has cleansed them leave their houses displeased with them, and full of anger, then the Drug Nasu enters them from the nose of the dead, from the eyes, from the tongue, from the jaws, from the sexual organs, from the hinder parts. And the Drug Nasu rushes upon them even to the end of the nails, and they are unclean thenceforth forever and ever. It grieves the sun indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! to shine upon a man defiled by the dead; it grieves the moon, it grieves the stars. That man delights them, O Spitama Zarathustra! who cleanses from the Nasu the man defiled by the dead; he delights the fire, he delights the water, he delights the earth, he delights the cow, he delights the trees, he delights the faithful, both men and women."

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:—

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What shall be his reward, after his soul has parted from his body, who has cleansed from the Nasu the man defiled by the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"The welfare of Paradise thou canst promise to that man, for his reward in the other world."

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:—

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How shall I fight against that Drug who from the dead rushes upon the living? How shall I fight against that Nasu who from the dead defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Say aloud those words in the Gâthas that are to be said twice. Say aloud those words in the Gâthas that are to be said thrice. Say aloud those words in the Gâthas that are to be said four times. And the Drug shall fly away like the well-darted arrow, like the felt of last year, like the annual garment of the earth."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man who does not know the rites of cleansing according to the law of Mazda, offers to cleanse the unclean, how shall I then fight against that Drug who from the dead rushes upon the living? How shall I fight against that Drug who from the dead defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Then, O Spitama Zarathustra! the Drug Nasu appears to wax stronger than she was before. Stronger then are sickness and death and the working of the fiend than they were before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"The worshippers of Mazda shall bind him; they shall bind his hands first; then they shall strip him of his clothes, they shall cut the head off his neck, and they shall give over his corpse unto the greediest of the corpse-eating creatures made by the beneficent Spirit, unto the vultures, with these words: 'The man here has repented of all his evil thoughts, words, and deeds. If he has committed any other evil deed, it is remitted by his repentance; if he has committed no other evil deed, he is absolved by his repentance forever and ever.'"

Who is he, O Ahura Mazda! who threatens to take away fulness and increase from the world, and to bring in sickness and death?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"It is the ungodly Ashemaogha, O Spitama Zarathustra! who in this material world cleanses the unclean without knowing the rites of cleansing according to the law of Mazda. For until then, O Spitama Zarathustra! sweetness and fatness would flow out from that land and from those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and growth, and a growing of corn and grass."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When are sweetness and fatness to come back again to that land and to those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and growth, and a growing of corn and grass?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Sweetness and fatness will never come back again to that land and to those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and growth, and a growing of corn and grass, until that ungodly Ashemaogha has been smitten to death on the spot, and the holy Sraosha of that place has been offered up a sacrifice for three days and three nights, with fire blazing, with Baresma tied up, and with Haoma prepared. Then sweetness and fatness will come back again to that land and to those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and growth, and a growing of corn and grass."

 

SPELLS RECITED DURING THE CLEANSING

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:—

O Ahura Mazda! most beneficent Spirit, maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How shall I fight against that Drug who from the dead rushes upon the living? How shall I fight against that Drug who from the dead defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"Say aloud those words in the Gâthas that are to be said twice. 'I drive away Angra Mainyu from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness. I drive away the Nasu, I drive away direct defilement, I drive away indirect defilement, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which are those words in the Gâthas that are to be said thrice?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"'I drive away Indra, I drive away Sauru, I drive away the Deva Naunghaithya from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness. I drive away Tauru, I drive away Zairi, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the holy world.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which are those words in the Gâthas that are to be said four times?

Ahura Mazda answered:—

"These are the words in the Gâthas that are to be said four times, and thou shalt four times say them aloud: 'I drive away Aêshma, the fiend of the murderous spear, I drive away the Deva Akatasha, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness. I drive away the Varenya Devas, I drive away the Wind-Deva, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness.'"

 

TO FIRES, WATERS, PLANTS

We worship thee, the Fire, O Ahura Mazda's son! We worship the fire Berezi-savangha (of the lofty use), and the fire Vohu-fryâna (the good and friendly), and the fire Urvâ-zista (the most beneficial and most helpful), and the fire Vâzista (the most supporting), and the fire Spenista (the most bountiful), and Nairya-sangha the Yazad of the royal lineage, and that fire which is the house-lord of all houses and Mazda-made, even the son of Ahura Mazda, the holy lord of the ritual order, with all the fires. And we worship the good and best waters Mazda-made, holy, all the waters Mazda-made and holy, and all the plants which Mazda made, and which are holy. And we worship the Mâthra-spenta (the bounteous word-of-reason), the Zarathustrian law against the Devas, and its long descent. And we worship Mount Ushi-darena which is Mazda-made and shining with its holiness, and all the mountains shining with holiness, and of abundant [pg 104]glory, and which Mazda made. And we worship the good and pious prayer for blessings, and these waters and these lands, and all the greatest chieftains, lords of the ritual order; and I praise, invoke, and glorify the good, heroic, bountiful Fravashis of the saints, those of the house, the Vîs, the Zantuma, the Dahvyuma, and the Zarathustrôtema, and all the holy Yazads!

 

TO THE EARTH AND THE SACRED WATERS

And now we worship this earth which bears us, together with Thy wives, O Ahura Mazda! yea, those Thy wives do we worship which are so desired from their sanctity. We sacrifice to their zealous wishes, and their capabilities, their inquiries, and their wise acts of pious reverence, and with these their blessedness, their full vigor and good portions, their good fame and ample wealth. O ye waters! now we worship you, you that are showered down, and you that stand in pools and vats, and you that bear forth our loaded vessels, ye female Ahuras of Ahura, you that serve us in helpful ways, well forded and full-flowing, and effective for the bathings, we will seek you and for both the worlds! Therefore did Ahura Mazda give you names, O ye beneficent ones! when He who made the good bestowed you. And by these names we worship you, and by them we would ingratiate ourselves with you, and with them would we bow before you, and direct our prayers to you with free confessions of our debt. O waters, ye who are productive, and ye maternal ones, ye with heat that suckles the frail and needy before birth, ye waters that have once been rulers of us all, we will now address you as the best, and the most bountiful; those are yours, those good objects of our offerings, ye long of arm to reach our sickness, or misfortune, ye mothers of our life!

 

PRAYER FOR HELPERS

And now in these Thy dispensations, O Ahura Mazda! do Thou wisely act for us, and with abundance with Thy bounty and Thy tenderness as touching us; and grant that reward which Thou hast appointed to our souls, O Ahura Mazda! Of this do Thou Thyself bestow upon us for this world and the spiritual; and now as part thereof do Thou grant that we may attain to fellowship with Thee, and Thy Righteousness for all duration. And do Thou grant us, O Ahura! men who are righteous, and both lovers and producers of the Right as well. And give us trained beasts for the pastures, broken in for riding, and for bearing, that they may be in helpful companionship with us, and as a source of long enduring vigor, and a means of rejoicing grace to us for this. So let there be a kinsman lord for us, with the laborers of the village, and so likewise let there be the clients. And by the help of those may we arise. So may we be to You, O Ahura Mazda! holy and true, and with free giving of our gifts.

 

A PRAYER FOR SANCTITY AND ITS BENEFITS

I pray with benedictions for a benefit, and for the good, even for the entire creation of the holy and the clean; I beseech for them the generation which is now alive, for that which is just coming into life, and for that which shall be hereafter. And I pray for that sanctity which leads to prosperity, and which has long afforded shelter, which goes on hand in hand with it, which joins it in its walk, and of itself becoming its close companion as it delivers forth its precepts, bearing every form of healing virtue which comes to us in waters, appertains to cattle, or is found in plants, and overwhelming all the harmful malice of the Devas, and their servants who might harm this dwelling and its lord, bringing good gifts, and better blessings, given very early, and later gifts, leading to successes, and for a long time giving shelter. And so the greatest, and the best, and most beautiful benefits of sanctity fall likewise to our lot for the sacrifice, homage, propitiation, and the praise of the Bountiful Immortals, for the bringing prosperity to this abode, and for the prosperity of the entire creation of the holy, and the clean, and as for this, so for the opposition of the entire evil creation. And I pray for this as I praise through Righteousness, I who am beneficent, those who are likewise of a better mind.

 

TO THE FIRE

I offer my sacrifice and homage to thee, the Fire, as a good offering, and an offering with our hail of salvation, even as an offering of praise with benedictions, to thee, the Fire, O Ahura Mazda's son! Meet for sacrifice art thou, and worthy of our homage. And as meet for sacrifice, and thus worthy of our homage, mayest thou be in the houses of men who worship Mazda. Salvation be to this man who worships thee in verity and truth, with wood in hand, and Baresma ready, with flesh in hand, and holding too the mortar. And mayest thou be ever fed with wood as the prescription orders. Yea, mayest thou have thy perfume justly, and thy sacred butter without fail, and thine andirons regularly placed. Be of full-age as to thy nourishment, of the canon's age as to the measure of thy food, O Fire, Ahura Mazda's son! Be now aflame within this house; be ever without fail in flame; be all a-shine within this house; be on thy growth within this house; for long time be thou thus to the furtherance of the heroic renovation, to the completion of all progress, yea, even till the good heroic millennial time when that renovation shall have become complete. Give me, O Fire, Ahura Mazda's son! a speedy glory, speedy nourishment, and speedy booty, and abundant glory, abundant nourishment, abundant booty, an expanded mind, and nimbleness of tongue for soul and understanding, even an understanding continually growing in its largeness, and that never wanders, and long enduring virile power, an offspring sure of foot, that never sleeps on watch, and that rises quick from bed, and likewise a wakeful offspring, helpful to nurture, or reclaim, legitimate, keeping order in men's meetings, yea, drawing men to assemblies through their influence and word, grown to power, skilful, redeeming others from oppression, served by many followers, which may advance my line in prosperity and fame, and my Vîs, and my Bantu, and my province, yea, an offering which may deliver orders to the Province as firm and righteous rulers. And mayest thou grant me, O Fire, Ahura Mazda's Son! that whereby instructors may be given me, now and for evermore, giving light to me of Heaven, the best life of the saints, brilliant, all glorious. And may I have experience of the good reward, and the good renown, and of the long forecasting preparation of the soul. The Fire of Ahura Mazda addresses this admonition to all for whom he cooks the night and morning meal. From all these, O Spitama! he wishes to secure good care, and healthful care as guarding for salvation, the care of a true praiser. At both the hands of all who come by me, I, the Fire, keenly look: What brings the mate to his mate, the one who walks at large, to him who sits at home? We worship the bounteous Fire, the swift-driving charioteer. And if this man who passes brings him wood brought with sacred care, or if he brings the Baresma spread with sanctity, or the Hadhâ-naêpata plant, then afterwards Ahura Mazda's Fire will bless him, contented, not offended, and in its satisfaction saying thus: May a herd of kine be with thee, and a multitude of men, may an active mind go with thee, and an active soul as well. As a blest soul mayest thou live through thy life, the nights which thou shall live. This is the blessing of the Fire for him who brings it wood well dried, sought out for flaming, purified with the earnest blessing of the sacred ritual truth. We strive after the flowing on of the good waters, and their ebb as well, and the sounding of their waves, desiring their propitiation; I desire to approach them with my praise.

 

TO THE BOUNTIFUL IMMORTALS

I would worship these with my sacrifice, those who rule aright, and who dispose of all aright, and this one especially I would approach with my praise (Ahura Mazda). He is thus hymned in our praise-songs. Yea, we worship in our sacrifice that deity and lord, who is Ahura Mazda, the Creator, the gracious helper, the maker of all good things; and we worship in our sacrifice Spitama Zarathustra, that chieftain of [pg 108]the rite. And we would declare those institutions established for us, exact and undeviating as they are. And I would declare forth those of Ahura Mazda, those of the Good Mind, and of Asha Vahista, and those of Khshatra-vairya, and those of the Bountiful Âramaiti, and those of Weal and Immortality, and those which appertain to the body of the Kine, and to the Kine's soul, and those which appertain to Ahura Mazda's Fire, and those of Sraosha the blessed, and of Rashnu the most just, and those of Mithra of the wide pastures, and of the good and holy Wind, and of the good Mazdayasnian Religion, and of the good and pious Prayer for blessings, and those of the good and pious Prayer which frees one from belying, and the good and pious Prayer for blessing against unbelieving words. And these we would declare in order that we may attain unto that speech which is uttered with true religious zeal, or that we may be as prophets of the provinces, that we may succor him who lifts his voice for Mazda, that we may be as prophets who smite with victory, the befriended of Ahura Mazda, and persons the most useful to him, holy men who think good thoughts, and speak good words, and do good deeds. That he may approach us with the Good Mind, and that our souls may advance in good, let it thus come; yea, "how may my soul advance in good? let it thus advance."

 

PRAISE OF THE HOLY BULL

Hail, bounteous bull! Hail to thee, beneficent bull! Hail to thee, who makest increase! Hail to thee, who makest growth! Hail to thee, who dost bestow his part upon the righteous faithful, and wilt bestow it on the faithful yet unborn! Hail to thee, whom the Gahi kills, and the ungodly Ashemaogha, and the wicked tyrant.

 

TO RAIN AS A HEALING POWER

"Come, come on, O clouds, from up above, down on the earth, by thousands of drops, by myriads of drops"—thus say, O holy Zarathustra! "to destroy sickness, to destroy death, to destroy the sickness that kills, to destroy death that kills, to destroy Gadha and Apagadha. If death come after noon, may healing come at eve! If death come at eve, may healing come at night! If death come at night, may healing come at dawn! And showers shower down new water, new earth, new plants, new healing powers, and new healing."

 

TO THE WATERS AND LIGHT OF THE SUN

"As the sea Vouru-kasha is the gathering place of the waters, rising up and going down, up the aërial way and down the earth, down the earth and up the aerial way: thus rise up and roll along! thou in whose rising and growing Ahura Mazda made the aerial way. Up! rise up and roll along! thou swift-horsed Sun, above Hara Berezaiti, and produce light for the world, and mayest thou, O man! rise up there, if thou art to abide in Garô-nmânem, along the path made by Mazda, along the way made by the gods, the watery way they opened. And the Holy Word shall keep away the evil. Of thee, O child! I will cleanse the birth and growth; of thee, O woman! I will make the body and the strength pure; I make thee rich in children and rich in milk; rich in seed, in milk, in fat, in marrow, and in offspring. I shall bring to thee a thousand pure springs, running towards the pastures that give food to the child."

 

TO THE WATERS AND LIGHT OF THE MOON

As the sea Vouru-kasha is the gathering place of the waters, rising up and going down, up the aërial way and down the earth, down the earth and up the aërial way: Thus rise up and roll along! thou in whose rising and growing Ahura Mazda made the earth. Up! rise up, thou Moon, that dost keep in thee the seed of the bull; rise up above Hara Berezaiti, and produce light for the world, and mayest thou, O man! rise up there, if thou art to abide in Garô-nmânem, along the path made by Mazda, along the way made by the gods, the watery way they opened. And the Holy Word shall keep away the evil: Of thee, O child! I will cleanse the birth and growth; of thee, O woman! I will make the body and the strength pure; I make thee rich in children and rich in milk; rich in seed, in milk, in fat, in marrow, and in offspring. I shall bring to thee a thousand pure springs, running towards the pastures that give food to the child.

 

TO THE WATERS AND LIGHT OF THE STARS

As the sea Vouru-kasha is the gathering place of the waters, rising up and going down, up the aërial way and down the earth, down the earth and up the aërial way: Thus rise up and roll along! thou in whose rising and growing Ahura Mazda made everything that grows. Up! rise up, ye deep Stars, that have in you the seed of waters; rise up above Hara Berezaiti, and produce light for the world, and mayest thou, O man! rise up there, if thou art to abide in Garô-nmânem, along the path made by Mazda, along the way made by the gods, the watery way they opened. Thus rise up and roll along! ye in whose rising and growing Ahura Mazda made everything that rises. In your rising, away will the Kahvuzi fly and cry; away will the Ayêhi fly and cry; away will the Gahi, who follows the Yâtu, fly and cry.

FINIS

Friendship

Friendship

Confucian Analects

Confucian Analects