Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism

Translated by E. W. WEST

The Episties of Manuskihar - Index Page


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A.D. 881.

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1. For all divisions into chapters and sections the translator is responsible, as the manuscripts are written continuously, with very few stops marked, and even those are often misplaced.

2-6. Italics are used for any English words which are not expressed, or fully understood, in the original text, but are added to complete the sense of the translation.

7. The manuscripts mentioned are:--

BK, an old imperfect copy of K35 written in Kirmân, but now in Bombay.

J (about 60 years old), belonging to Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji in Bombay.

K35 (probably written A.D. 1572), No. 35 in the University Library at Kopenhagen; upon the text of which this translation is based.

M10 (about 150 years old), a Persian Rivâyat, No. 10 of the Haug Collection in the State Library at Munich.

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THROUGH the name and assistance of the creator Aûharmazd and the whole of the sacred beings, all the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences.

A copy of the epistle of the priest Mânûskîhar 1, son of Yûdân-Yim, which was composed by him for the good people of Sîrkân 2, on the contents of the precepts (vigîr-kardŏ)) which the priest Zâd-sparam 3, son of Yûdân-Yim, prepared.

CHAPTER I. Scroll Up

1. In the name of the sacred beings, who sent you a soul with long life, with provision for proper progress, and with the protection of increase of righteousness and wisdom, may such works and

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mysterious dignity, encompassed with 1 happiness, now possess increasing prosperity and a complete share of pre-eminent welfare and great exaltation in both worlds.

2. The epistle 2 which was wisely, properly, and with religious demeanour ordered by you, and sent by a courier (paîkŏ), has come, and has enveloped and assailed (gastŏ) me, indeed, with appalling intelligence on other subjects; and if even a portion 3 of the vast importance and great value, as regards your heavenly concerns, arrangements, and natural and unpremeditated (avarîk) prodigies 4, which are for my knowledge, for the sake of courteous (drûdîk) information, be owing to intelligence for which the courteousness and proper courageousness are among you, special pleasure is received therewith. 3. And praise is, thereupon, recited by me to the sacred beings, as regards the conflicting affairs even of this disordered (gûmêzisnîkŏ) existence; worldly possessions, as much as are suitable for the assistance of wisdom, are proper 5, and the gift of virtuous pleasure is the gain of the undeserving good work or prayer they (the sacred beings) shall accept; it causes aggrandizement and is as deserving as even that which the decision of

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the wise has said about it, that even from the management of disordered possessions which are impaired there is advantage through the power of wisdom; and they (the sacred beings) select and cleanse and uplift the good works in such manner as a precious stone (sag khêl) from the water, and gold brocade 1 from the dust.

4. My pleasure, also, is as much increased through the information clue to the same courtesy, and I have a new and great desire for the arrival of information, continuously from henceforth, about the perfect courageousness, enduring humility, good works; worshipping, favouring position, and eagerness of soul of you who have recounted your great thoughtfulness for religion and have provided good works.

5. On account of the universal renown (aspôharakânîh) of the good people of Khvanîras 2, which is yours, owing to the favour that is your complete happiness, ardently and joyfully most desired, and constantly so, when there are opportunities of seeing you--though it is supposed to be the advantage of your own religion, joy of soul, courteousness, and proper constancy--since my will resides among you, you make known and command my actions, through the will of the sacred beings.

Footnotes - Chapter1

279:1 The high-priest of Pârs and Kirmân (see the heading to Dd., p. 3).

279:2 Written Sîrkân once, Sîrkânŏ twice, and Sîrgâno four times, in these epistles. It was a town of considerable importance in former times (see Ouseley's Oriental Geography, pp. 138-145), about thirty parasangs south of Kirmân.

279:3 He was high-priest of Sîrkân and brother of Mânûskîhar (as expressly stated in the heading to Ep. II), both being sons of the same father.

280:1 Or, 'sent down in,' according as we read parvastŏ or frôstŏ.

280:2 An epistle complaining of certain heretical teachings of their high-priest, Zâd-sparam, which is no longer extant.

280:3 Reading va hat vâhar-ik.

280:4 The epistle which he had received from his brother, Zâd-sparam, some time before, seems also to have mentioned certain omens (see Ep. II, i, 3).

280:5 J omits shâyedŏ, 'are proper,' because it follows the other shâyed, 'are suitable;' but it is not always safe to assume that the repetition of a word is a blunder.

281:1 Reading dîpakŏ-î zahabâ.

281:2 The central region of the earth, containing all the lands best known to the Iranians (see Dd. XC, 3).

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1. Then comes that itself 1 which is dictated in the middle of your epistle, and, thereupon, it lays hold of me, and, owing to its hellish gloom, pallid appearance, and hellish effect, benediction is perplexedly dispensed by me in terror for my heart and mind; I have, also, grievously repented, as regards my own former arrangements in my warfare of violence--which were undeceptive in the balance pertaining to Rashnû 2--of any real falsity of the co-existent one 3 I may have produced.

2. Responsible for the malice and annoyance of unjust kinds which are encountering us is the fiend of great strength, who is unobserving, seductive, astute in evil, eager for causing annihilation (gastokûn-varen), and full of deceit, so that it is possible for him to render doubtful, when so deceived, even him who is most a listener to essential righteousness, most desirous of steadfast truth, most performing proper religious customs, most acquainted with good ideas, most amazingly careful of his soul, most approved in the most wounding hell-brought conflict, and most at home (khânagîktûm) in truth of all kinds, and to show him a semblance of reality in unreality, and of unreality in reality. 3. Just as even that similitude which is mentioned in revelation thus: 'He intends righteousness and considers

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about it thus: "A good work is done by me," and he acquires fiendishness--that is, it becomes a source of sin for him--who shall bring forth water without holy-water to one contaminated by dead matter (nas-hômand), or who shall bring it forth without holy-water on a concealed or dark place in the night 1.'

4. And about this I have no doubt, that the wish of that spirit is not coincident with righteousness, for it is realised, understood, and known that, as regards his own creatures, he is not careful for the proper movement of body and for the long living of life; so that the furtherance and continuance of these, which are his original resources of body and activities (khapârânŏ) of life, become, for him who is among them (the fiend's creatures), an increase of the propitiation of the sacred beings, of the practice of religion, and of the advancement and benediction of the teachings of just high-priests 2. 5. It is also manifest from the constantly-operating arrangement of manuscripts and synodical statements, about which Afarg 3 wrote without falsifying the religion and apart from controversies; because among them (the fiend's creatures) is he who has said they are like unto that which is now written

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by him himself about it, and it has arranged much deliverance from sin 1.

6. Of this, too, I am aware, that, except there where a purifier is in no way reached, his great duty--which is just the purification in which there is a washer who is cleansed (masîdô) in the religious mode for the profession of the priesthood--is then a means which the high-priests should allow 2. 7. A washing which is not religiously ritualistic is ranked as an operation among the useless ones; it is vicious and grievously criminal, because the special means which, by preserving the soul 3, is the perfect happiness of men, is the purification

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of men. 8. It is said 1: 'The purification of men cleansingly is a something (aîtŏ) for the soul that should be after perfect birth; when they have been fully born the purification of others is the one thing which is good for the soul.'

9. And it is shown in another place that it is possible to obtain possession of purification also for the soul through purification of the body, even as it is said that a purifier is requested by him. to. And it is necessary for him to speak thus: 'I have thus stood close by the body of him who is dead; I am no wisher for it by thought, I am no wisher for it by word, I am no wisher for it by deed; which is the reason--that is, on account of pollution--it is not possible to seek good works by thought, word, or deed, and it demands purification for me, that is, wash me thoroughly 2!' 11. As it is thereby declared that when he whose body is not purified, until they thoroughly wash him, is not able to seek good works by thought, word, or deed, and is not able to purify his soul, it is then a matter for the truly wise to seek even for purification of the soul by the purification of the body, for whose religious purification are those things which are unsubdued (asikand) in the religious ritual.

12. When these are thus the statements of former upholders of the religion and high-priests of the religion, he who is more intelligent and more active

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in the religion of the Mazda-worshippers in every house, village, tribe, and province--and, very much more the man who is righteous, of fluent speech, speaking the truth, who has chanted the sacred hymns, acquainted with the ritual, trained for the work, of renowned disposition, and a friend of the soul--is competent for the purification which it is very important to prepare, to think of, and to promote.

13. When the period is so unworthy, the fiend so abundantly contentious, and the hasty preparer of holy-water of such base origin (dûs-vêkh) 1--which happens, moreover, when the good are equally low-minded (ham-bâstŏ-mînisnŏ)--we strive for what encourages the preparation of that even which is a collectively virtuous profession. 14. Then, too, there remains such rising in strength of many new things from very many countries, which is particularly grievous distress and danger to us; they deliver tokens of them to us applaudingly, and the expansibility of the words of the delivering diffuser of these and also other religious customs, as the sacred beings' own persistency and complete glory, is a great and powerful capability.

Footnotes - Chapter 2

282:1 J has 'the writing.'

282:2 See Dd. XIV, 4.

282:3 The evil spirit who is supposed to be, for a time, co-existent with the beneficent spirit of Aûharmazd.

283:1 Quoted from Pahl. Vend. VII, 194-196, with some slight variations from the existing text. The meaning is that it is quite possible to commit sin by doing a good action in an improper manner.

283:2 That is, even the wicked, when they seek welfare, have to take to religious practices.

283:3 A commentator whose opinions are frequently quoted in the Pahlavi translations of the Avesta (see Sls. I, 3). J has 'about which the splendour (afrand) of the religion is without falsehood.'

284:1 That is, any one who explains the scriptures in a new fashion to suit his own purposes, which he thereby represents as beneficial, is merely carrying out the wishes of the fiend, The author is here, referring to the heretical teachings of his brother, regarding purification, which are further described in the sequel.

284:2 That is, whenever a properly-qualified purifier is procurable, the priests should require him to purify any one who happens to be defiled by contact with dead matter by means of the Bareshnûm ceremony (see App. IV). It appears from the sequel, and from Eps. II and III, that the heresy of Zâd-sparam consisted chiefly of a misinterpretation of Vend. VIII, 278-299 (see App. V), which passage directs that a man in the fields, who has touched a corpse not yet eaten by dogs or birds, shall wash himself fifteen times with bull's urine, that he shall then run to some village, asking three different men on the way to cleanse him with the proper ceremony, and if they decline they each take upon themselves a share of the sin; when arrived at the village he shall ask a fourth time to be cleansed, and if no one will perform the ceremony he must wash himself with bull's urine and water in the ordinary manner, and shall be clean. The erroneous teaching of Zâd-sparam was that the fifteen times' washing was sufficient, without the subsequent ceremonial cleansing; and the object of these epistles was to combat that view of the law.

284:3 The ceremonial purification is supposed to cleanse the soul, p. 285 whereas ordinary washing cleanses the body only, and is spiritually useless.

285:1 In Pahl. Vend. V, 65, X, 35, being a translation of a quotation from the Gâthas or sacred hymns (Yas. XLVII, 5, c).

285:2 Quoted, with some variation, from Pahl. Vend. VIII, 283, 284 (see App. V).

286:1 This seems to be an allusion to the unworthiness of some of the priests of the period (compare Ep. II, i, 13; y, 14).


1. This, too, I am begging of you, that you may be desiring the truth, and that Vohûman 2, who,

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when a ruler (shah) of yours, is an interpreter (pâkûkŏ) about the writing which 1 I write, may as regardfully and accommodatingly observe and direct as the variety of dispositions permits. 2. For you are of like opinion with me, to inform again the most initiated 2; so that I am more steadfastly-determined (aûstîkânŏ-minisntar) thereon. 3. And if there be anything that seems to you otherwise, direct some one to point it out again, with the reason for maintaining it which occurs to you, just as a household companion is a responder and has spoken again for the sake of pointing out again; for there are many reasons, on account of which your kindly-regardful observation is needful, which are to be written about.

4. The first is this, that the penmanship of the spirits is not the profession of me and others 3; and as to him by whom a theory (farhâng) not universally operating is disseminated, which is distinct from his more indispensable occupation, there is then no command for his teaching and apostleship therein. 5. On that account, too, the wise and the seekers for truth uphold the' body of opinion about the statements of the writing of the spirits 4, and, therefore, direct less of the ingenuity of preparing again the penmanship of various tidings.

6. The second is this, that, in the distress (dahyakŏ) of this grievous time, he to whom

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adherence and much indebtedness even as to his forefathers have remained, is well-lamenting, owing to the proposals (dâdanŏ) of the unfriendly, and much harm has occurred through the conflicting (ârdîkŏ) offer of remedies and lawful provision of means, full of trouble, except, indeed, to the upholder of religion who is more worldly-managing and investigation by opponents is grievous danger full of things inopportune and unnecessary for accomplishment 1.

7. The third is this, that a wise man who is a high-priest of the spirit-retaining 2 religion and acquainted with opinions, when also himself properly humble, fearless, and benedictive in the world, is then even, owing to his estimating 3 pardonings and long-continued dexterity (dêr zîvakakîh), united with the good creations in affliction and vexation. 8. And, on account of information about the worldly and spiritual misery of former evils of many kinds--always as much in the religion, and in the thoughts of others 4, as one delivers up his heart to ingenious verbiage and for the preparation of phrases--he speaks as in the question in revelation, thus 5: '"Who in the bodily existence

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is more quickly fortunate?" and it is answered thus: "The youth who is observant and humble, O Zaratûst! who, as regards both that which has happened and that which happens, also sees that which is evil and good with gratitude, just like that also which happens unto another;"' because he knows this, that from this is a benefit, for he knows happiness and also misery 1. 9. The glorified leader of those of the good religion, Hêr-Frôvag 2, son of Farukhûzâd, wrote: 'It is he understands the consequence of his own action; and it is his great household attendant, and the worldly desire provided at the Kinvad bridge 3 becomes less watchful.'

10. The fourth is this, that I am more universally hoping about the property of the profession and the much duty fit for the truly wise, in such manner as even that in which the glorified and greatly-learned leader of those of the good religion, Yûdân-Yim 4, son of Shahpûhar, always urged on a priestly man with many sons and equally clever 5 discourse.

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11. That was through my instigation, alone and with little assistance, in the beginning; and, on account of the deficiency of warriors 1, the abundance of opponents, the very rapid arrival of disturbance, and the fourfold supplication for keeping away the ruin or hasty unlawful maintenance of the fires of the Mazda-worshippers, my constant distress is such that most of my time speaks of the same subject 2. 12. They may leave the abundance of despondency and thoughtfulness of the bodily existence to such remedial writing of his, unto whom the pleasantly comfortable thought of an evaded (vîrikhtô) seizure is requisite, but there is little worldly leisure for me for writing more in this direction (hanâ-runtar). 13. And specially in this passing time--when, alike limited by the coming of the period of giving daily supplies to the performers of worship, and by the ever-triumphant fire and its produce 3, it was necessary for me to go to Shirâz 4 on account of some indispensable provision of means--the work was much and the leisure little.

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14. The fifth is this, that the custom of providing for all the duties even of the sacred fire (âtûr) by me, and my own desire 1, trained hand 2, unhardened mind, and unhardened heart for managing many things should have become the joy of my mind. 15. Then, too, from having read such writing and such news the healer of distress would be thoroughly connected with my heart and mind, owing to which my intellect would have become quickly fatigued (mândakŏ) by a limited preparation of phrases.

16. The sixth is this, that even he who is a rescued 3 and better-operating (hû-dâgtar) man--when, owing to the writing of a learned man of the realm who is desiring the truth, he is so perplexed 4 on account of a doubt of increasing the after-tearing of the same perplexity--has no doubt of the falsity and little training existent in the worldly.

17. The seventh is this, that if none of these six of which I have written should exist, even then your approved cleverness (sîvagdârîh), extolled freedom from strife, hereafter-discerning and complete mindfulness,

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practised 1 attention to the good, and much affection 2 for the faithful--so kindly regarding, truly judging, and with a liking for praising (srîdanŏ), as regards whatever I write truly and with true conviction--are, I consider, to make provision, and have realised a preparation striven for.

Footnotes - Chapter 3

286:2 The archangel personifying 'good thought' (see Dd. III, 13).

287:1 Reading î instead of va, 'and.'

287:2 That is, to severely admonish their high-priest, as he does in Ep. II.

287:3 That is, he disclaims all pretensions to inspiration on the part of himself and his contemporaries.

287:4 The inspired scriptures.

288:1 Referring to the risk of unfriendly and destructive criticism of the scriptures.

288:2 J has 'spirit-observing,' by changing gîrisnŏ into nigîrisnŏ.

288:3 Reading andasîh; the reference being to the sympathy acquired by a high-priest through performing his duty of appointing atonements for sins confessed to him.

288:4 Assuming that aîsanŏ stands for aîsânŏ.

288:5 J. has only 'as one speaks out his heart for ingenious verbiage and phrases, thus.' The question and reply here quoted seen to be no longer extant in the Avesta.

289:1 It is doubtful whether this last clause be a portion of the quotation, or not.

289:2 This name is corrupted into Hê-Fôrvag in the MSS., but Âtûr-Frôbag is probably intended. He was the compiler of a great part of the Dînkard, and is also mentioned in Dd. LXXXVIII, 8. The names Atûr and Hêr are synonymous, both meaning 'fire.' The passage quoted in the text has the same form (beginning with the word hômandŏ, 'it is') as nearly all the sections of the third book of the Dînkard, but it has not yet been discovered among them.

289:3 Here written Kis-vidarg (see Dd. XX, 3).

289:4 So written in J, but K35 and BK have the syllable din somewhat corrupted. The person meant, both here and in Chap. VII, 5, was probably the author's father, though Bd. XXXIII, 11 seems to make Yûdân-Yim the son of Vâhrâm-shâd.

289:5 Reading ham-gôkŏ, but J has ham-dûdakŏ, 'of the same family;' it also omits several other words by mistake.

290:1 From this and Ep. II, v, 14 it would appear that the priests at that time maintained a body of troops for the protection of their followers.

290:2 That is, regarding the proper maintenance of the priesthood, which had already engaged his anxious attention during the life-time of his father.

290:3 The word var may either mean 'ashes' (see Sls. II, 49), alluding to clearing out, the fire, or it may mean 'ordeal' (see Sls. XIII, 17).

290:4 See Dd. I, 17. This name is written Shirâzŏ once, Sîrâzŏ thrice, and Sirâzŏ four times in K35. Mânûskîhar appears to have come to Shirâz on this occasion to hold a general assembly of the priests and leading members of the community, and he wrote this epistle from that city (see Ep: II, i, 11;. v, 10).

291:1 Reading kâmakŏ, instead of the unintelligible kâmûn.

291:2 The MSS. omit the last letter of yadman.

291:3 That is, delivered from contamination or sin; virikhtô is probably to be traced to Av. vi+irikhta, rather than to vi+rikhta (Pers. gurêkht).

291:4 K35 has a blank space here, and again a few words further on, but it is doubtful if any words be missing, The spaces are filled up in J and BK, apparently by guess, as follows: J has 'he sees so perplexing a chance, concerning which, owing to the increase of after-tearing of the same perplexity and the arrival of evil, he is doubtful, has no doubt,' &e. And BK has 'he is so perplexed on account of no doubt of the falsity and little training that existed in the worldly for increasing the after-tearing of the same perplexity, has no doubt, &c.'


1. I have also seen the spiritual life 3 in the writing which is in such statements of incompleteness 4, and owing to the same reason they should not cease from the operation 5 of washing you--whom may the angels protect!--with the Bareshnûm ceremony 6. 2. Because the ancients have said that, when it shall be discarded from use, every water, fire, plant, righteous man, and animal, and all the creatures of Aûharmazd are afflicted, diminished, and made to leap away. 3. As it is said in revelation that, as to him who stands by a dead body upon which the Nasûs 7 has rushed 8, 'anusô zî, Spitama Zarathustra!

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aêsha yâ 1 paiti-irista avad 2 hvare â-tâpayêiti 3, anusô hâu mau, anusô avê stârô 4--discontentedly, moreover, O Zaratûst the Spîtamân! does the sun shine upon him who has been by the dead, so discontentedly [does the moon] 5, thus discontentedly do the stars--khshnâvayêiti zî, Spitama Zarathustra! aêshô nâ yô yaozdâthryô, yad aêtem 6 paiti-iristem frâ-nasûm kerenaoiti--the man who is purifying propitiates them, O Zaratûst the Spîtamân! when he operates on him who has been by the dead, on whom the Nasûs is put forth, and he has become parted from the sacred twigs 7--he propitiates fire, he propitiates

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water, he propitiates animals and plants 1, he propitiates the righteous man 2, he propitiates the righteous woman, both of them,' as in the Avesta 3 of it:---khshnâvayêiti âtarem, &c.

4. When there is no purifier all the angels of the worldly existence become afflicted and dissatisfied; and religious purifiers who are intelligent are even now not to keep backward the work of purification, just as it has come to them by practice from those of the primitive faith, and are not to diminish it. 5. To change a good work properly appointed they shall not accept a law which is not right, a good work not properly appointed 4; not to do the work thereof is accounted very sagacious and perfectly wise; and through your freedom from inferiority 5 the glorifying, commendation, praise, and blessing are your own. 6. For it is said that in all the work of forming and maintaining the law (dâdistânŏ) those of the primitive faith were very greatly particular about every single thing; and as to the whole operation of that proceeding into which they have entered, those of the primitive faith have become aware of the power which resides in true authority. 7. But, otherwise 6, the routine which is brought out

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from revelation 1 and the teaching of the high-priests is then not authorisedly changed by that priestly man whose decree of the fifteen 2 washings is written in your epistle 3; because, on account of the whole and any perversion (gastakîh) of the same writing, not of similar utterance with revelation, before which the custom did not exist, I am without doubt as to that decree.

8. And in it 4, moreover, is written, declared, and contained (vangîdŏ) that once washing is mentioned 5, until a purifier comes who is acquainted with the ritual, who washes just as declared in revelation. 9. To be so washed I consider just as a thing for which he is even now as it were a purifier who is a good washer 6, that of which it is written below and clearly realised that it should not be decreed; and through the scanty deliverance written therein 7 it is manifest it would not be the statement above 8.

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10. If learned knowledge, relating both to that about inferior matters (agîrtarîhâ) and that about superior matters, be 1 true authority praised and declared by the great primitive faith, former high-priests and those newly arisen (navakgandakânŏ) would be and would have been similarly forward; then, too, it would exist not so much with the priestly men of the time as with the learned officiating priests (magôpatân) of Aûharmazd who have been before. 11. And when, moreover, all the Avesta and Zand are easy to a priest 2, pre-eminently acquainted with the liturgy and a supreme Zaratûst, he has attained unto, and should remain with, Aûharmazd and 3 the officiating priestship of Aûharmazd, and the supreme, world-managing, religion-observing (hû-dîn nikah) sovereignty as to religious treatises 4. 12. To change then their practice in the law would be entirely an outcry apart from deliberation, and a like violation of the unanimity of the spirits who are the heads and guardians 5 of the religion, and of the unanimity of the source of opinion of the good themselves, for the sake of what is not acceptable.

13. But the statement above 6 is, was, and will be that which remains a good idea well considered by them with the centre of thought, as to its well-operating

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characteristics, just contention, and complete powerfulness. 14. Also from the teaching of just high-priests, through the preservation of much evidence, and ascertained for the members of the assemblies of various provinces (shatrô shatrô), are shown the opinion and experience of most priestly men; and to make the various districts (kûstakŏ kûstakŏ) thrivingly steadfast, an unperverted one should be set up in all four quarters (pâdkôs) of the same province.

15. And a semblance of it is apparent even from that which the glorified Nîshahpûhar, the supreme officiating priest 1, and also other officiating priests of Aûharmazd have said, that one is not to change any teaching of theirs thereon after it is provided, and not to render useless the statements of other authority thereon. 16. But that which they should accept from them as a certainty is to maintain the statements of other high-priests as pre-eminent; and not to change the operation of statements of another description has appeared lawful. 17. Even so it was as that same Nîshahpûhar, in the council of the glorified (anôshakŏ rûbânô) Khûsrô 2, king of

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kings and son of Kavâd,--by preserving old things (ligânŏ)--showed that way on whose thoughts they are established, and wrote them unaltered, so that such thoughts thereon became as it were decided; and their thoughts thereon, after such decree of his, have so become unanimous. 18. Through the importance of his assured rank, and the rest which was said by him in the work of sustaining the faithful, he maintains as much as the other statements, one by one, from the deliberative teaching of those high-priests.

Footnotes - Chapter 4

292:1 J has bûrzîdakŏ, 'extolled,' instead of varzîdakŏ, 'practised.'

292:2 Reading dûkhsharmîh as in J; the other MSS. have m instead. of û.

292:3 Reading dîd ahvôîh; but it can also be read stihânŏîh, in which case the translation would be:--'And my worldly condition.'

292:4 Meaning the incomplete kind of purification which their statements complained of, or his referred to.

292:5 K35 and BK omit the r in kardakŏ.

292:6 See App. IV.

292:7 The fiend of corruption (see Dd. XVII, 7).

292:8 The three Avesta passages here quoted, with their 'Land (Pahlavi translation), are from Vend. IX, 161-163, and are freely translated (trans. D) thus:---'It grieves the sun, indeed, O Spitama p. 293 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 those whom she has defiled; 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.' The Avesta text is given according to the standard edition of Westergaard (IX, 41, 42), and all variants of any importance, in the three MSS. here used, are mentioned in the notes. These passages are also referred to in Ep. II, iii, 5.

293:1 K35 and BK insert the last three words, anusô âvâ stârô, here.

293:2 J inserts yâ here.

293:3 J has â-tâpayaêta, but K35 and BK omit the word.

293:4 K35 and BK have khshathrô-chinanghô, 'of a desire of authority' (which occurs in Fravardîn Yt. 112 as the name of a man) instead of avê stârô, which they have inserted earlier. They also leave a blank space for the words maman akhûrsandîhâ, 'moreover, discontentedly' (which begin the Pahlavi translation), as if they were descended from a damaged original.

293:5 B All three MSS. omit the words in brackets, which are necessary to complete the Pahlavi version.

293:6 K35 and BK omit aêtem.

293:7 J has 'who has become polluted,' which separation from the sacred twigs (see Dd. XLIII, 5), or other ceremonial apparatus, implies. The phrase is omitted in Pahl. Vend. IX, 162.

294:1 J has 'he propitiates plants,' as in Pahl. Vend. IX, I63.

294:2 Literally 'male.'

294:3 The initial words of which here follow their Pahlavi translation, instead of preceding it.

294:4 J omits these six words.

294:5 Reading afrôtarîh, as in BK; K35 had originally avartarîh, 'pre-eminence,' as in J, but the copyist wrote afrô (= aparva) over the avarta, as a correction, leaving it doubtful whether he meant afrôtarîh or aparvarîh, 'want of education.'

294:6 That is, unless confirmed by the decisions of the ancients.

295:1 J has 'which is brought out with knowledge of the purifying cup (tâstîk), with preservation of faith, and with manifestation from revelation.'

295:2 All three MSS. have 'sixteen' in ciphers, but it is evident that Zâd-sparam and his erroneous teaching of the sufficiency of fifteen washings (see Ep. III, 1, 2) are here referred to.

295:3 Reading semag, a Huz. hybrid for nâmak.

295:4 The decree of Zâd-sparam, apparently.

295:5 Referring probably to Vend. VIII, 299, which provides a washing for the pointed person by himself, if he can find no one willing to purify him (see App. V).

295:6 That is, for such a purpose any ordinary washer would be sufficient.

295:7 In Pahl Vend. VIII, 299, which states that, although pure enough for ordinary purposes, he must still abstain from engaging in ceremonies for others (see App. V).

295:8 That is, it is very different from the propitiation mentioned in § 3.

296:1 J has 'because if even for that about superior matters, acquaintance with religion, and learned knowledge there be,' &c.

296:2 That is, when he knows all the scriptures and commentaries by heart.

296:3 J omits 'Aûharmazd and.'

296:4 That is, he has full authority to interpret the scriptures.

296:5 Reading saran sardârân, but in K35 the two words overlap, so that sar-sardârân, 'head guardians,' might be intended.

296:6 Probably referring to the quotation from the Vendidâd in § 3.

297:1 This môbad of môbads is mentioned in Pahl. Vend. III, 151, V, 112, VI, 71, VIII, 64, XVI, 10, 17, AV. I, 35, and twenty-four times in the Nîrangistân (see Sls. I, 4 n). His name is spelt in various ways.

297:2 King Khûsrô, son of Kavâd, who is best known by his title Nôshirvân, or Anôshirvân, 'immortal-soulled,' reigned A.D. 531-579; and the statement that Nîshahpûhar was one of his councillors (made little more than three centuries after his death, and, therefore, probably correct) is of considerable importance for fixing a limit to the age of those Pahlavi books in which he is mentioned. These books are the Pahlavi Nîrangistân, a late recension of the Pahlavi Vendidâd, and the Book of Ardâ-Vîrâf, in which last it is p. 298 stated that Vîrâf was called by the name of Nikhshâpûr by some. From the statements made in our text it seems probable that the council was employed in revising the Pahlavi Vendidâd, in which they were careful not to erase the opinions of older commentators, and thus confirmed their statements by their own authority. It is possible that this council was that mentioned in Byt. I, 7, where the name Nishâpûr also occurs, but whether it refers to a man or a city is not quite certain. This council, which seems to have been summoned for condemning the heresy of Mazdak, was held probably two or three years before Khûsrô came to the throne (see Nŏldeke: Geschichte der Perser and Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden, p. 465).

CHAPTER V. Scroll Up

1. That writing which comes amid the writing of your epistle is a correct fragment 1 as regards the nothing in which one is to change the operation properly maintainable, and it is becoming; because, if it be even for him, by whom it is written from the

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statements of Mêdyôk-mâh, Afarg, and Sôshâns 1, the several statements and teachings of the same high-priests, yet then the elaboration and publication thereof are not such as that which is sent down by his further elaboration 2. 2. And thereby it has seemed manifest that it is sent so that a wish for the spirit may proceed from the truth of its minister (padŏ), or from his thought for the desired decision; or his understanding may be of that kind which is warped (vukôstŏ), as though he believed it as other than the exposition of the religion and the teaching of the high-priests. 3. But until the unparalleled arrival of Sôshâns 3 any one not sharing in complete knowledge is not appointed unto a patron spirit (ahvŏ), and the fiend specially contends more experimentally with the thoughts of the high-priests of the religion for a religious decision.

4. And even the recompense of community 4 of property is that when one gladly observes pure thoughts; and the swift action of voluble (pûr) speakers and kind regard of religious characters for deliverance 5 and for the noticeable undeceitfulness of the same spirit 6--which is itself the desire of settled observation that is in it for the sake of the

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same kind of full religious diffusion--are the swift action of the patron spirit, which, for the sake of preparing him for a deliverance that is not falsifying revelation and is without disputants, is a kind regard for the deliverance itself of him whose spiritual life (hûkŏ) it is.

5. As to that which is thought by him 1 of those deliverances sent down, completed, and announced, I consider more particularly about the meaning of one thing, which is their solemnized observance. 6. The solemnized observance of Mêdyôk-mâh is in the teaching 2 of Mêdyôk-mâh, and those of Afarg and Sôshâns are each one meditated and indicated in a teaching; and the pointedly superior position of each one of them is mentioned by him in his statement of any teaching and of the decision set up. 7. Also with a kind regard for his own choice he has thought it (the former teaching) imperfect, and, on account of what was not attained by it--which was a re-explainer of the same good ideas provided--its dissimilarity to it is not unnoticed 3. 8. But when one hears the re-explainers of a true reply he is well protected (hû-zinharîdŏ) by complete mindfulness 4, and is himself confident that the teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh is not the whole statement of Mêdyôk-mâh, for there are many opinions of

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[paragraph continues] Mêdyôk-mâh 1 which have decided in another manner; not that whatever Mêdyôk-mâh said is not good, but in the teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh it is certain that even what is not proper is mentioned many times as a possibility 2.


298:1 Reading bangisnîh, but it may be bûgisnîh, 'deliverance from contamination.' The reference is to the decree of Zâd-sparam mentioned in Chap. IV, 7, the 'writing' alluded to in Ep. II, ii, 1; iii, 1.

299:1 The names of three of the commentators whose opinions are most frequently quoted in the Pahlavi Vendidâd (see Sls. I, 3). Each of them appears to have written a complete 'teaching' or dissertation upon the ceremonial laws, from which the quotations are taken (see § 6).

299:2 That is, in collecting the opinions of the ancients, he has twisted them so as to suit his own views.

299:3 The last of the future apostles (see Dd. II, 10), not the commentator of the same name mentioned in § 1.

299:4 Literally 'fraternity.'

299:5 From pollution or sin.

299:6 See § 2.

300:1 Zâd-sparam the writer of the decree mentioned in § 1.

300:2 The word kâstakŏ means usually a written course of teaching or exposition, a commentary, dissertation, or manual of instruction.

300:3 Implying that Zâd-sparam had been more inclined to enforce his own opinions than to examine those of the commentators.

300:4 The Pahl. translation of Av. ârmaiti, 'devotion,' which is usually personified as a female archangel protecting the earth.

301:1 J inserts 'rules which are mentioned in the special teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh.' It appears probable that the author had access to much more complete commentaries than the fragments now extant in the Pahlavi version of the Vendidâd.

301:2 Meaning, probably, that Mêdyôk-mâh was disposed to relax the rigid enforcement of the law in cases of doubt or difficulty, as the Avesta itself does in several cases.


1. As to that which is written in that epistle, that in the teaching of Sôshâns he thus states, that 'of both the purifiers necessary he is suitable by whom the ritual is performed 3,' they have been similarly very unanimous that when one is incapable (atû) 4 it is the other that is suitable, who is written of in connection with him; and that, moreover, because the statement of Afarg is in a teaching of his 5, and, on

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that account, that declaration of his seemed to be from him, which is as though it were decided by him. 2. Then, when one reaches the eulogistic (afrâsînâkŏ) reply of his re-explainer, owing to his just will it is itself well perceived that Afarg comes into account as one of the high-priests; and that which is the special teaching of Sôshâns has mentioned that they have been very unanimous that when there is one he would be suitable 1.

3. That evidence, too, which many high-priests, and especially one teaching, are alike diffusing, is stated also in the teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh, that when he who is washing 2 understands the profession, then one purifier is plenty for him. 4. When it is abundantly declared, in particular by two teachings, that when there is one he is suitable, it is then not to be rendered quite inoperative through the solitary statement of Afarg; for Afarg only said, as it appeared so to him himself, that 'two purifiers are requisite 3.' 5. The customs of another high-priest are not declared to exist with like evidence; and this is set aside (spêgîdŏ) even by him himself, that another custom is not suitable to exist, because his own view is mentioned as it appeared to him.

6. Those of the primitive faith have been fully 4 of the custom that other one selected, as to this, where it is the performance of the Vîkaya ('exorcism') 5; because its explanation is this, that an

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opinion upon which the priests (magavôgânŏ) are without dispute is that which he says is the custom of a priest, and the business of the two priests, of whose other custom he speaks as much, is a performance by those two witnesses indicating the same as the priest.

7. This, too, is evident, that, by confession of Afarg, when there is only one purifier he is to be considered as being suitable 1; and an attainment to more evidence is that which is written by you, that Mêdyôk-mâh has said that every customary part (pîsakŏ) is to be washed three times 2, and now the purifiers do it once. 8. That teaching remains in the same manner as written by him, but the three-fold washing of Mêdyôk-mâh is not a washing to be striven for, but one to be well considered, of which he spoke; and this, too, is not said by him, that when one shall not wash three times it is not proper 3. 9. Afarg said that when one shall 4 wash once it is proper, and about this once the opinion of Mêdyôk-mâh is the after statement, and the opinion of Afarg is the prior statement; and since in the life of man the first thing to be considered is about purity, not the indispensability of washing, and, further, the

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pollution diminishes, about which it speaks in the religious cleansing, during so many times washing as is declared, then the consideration of it is a consideration about the one time which is the first computation 1. 10. That which mentions more than once washing is a contradiction of the prior deponent, not a declaration; and the consideration of that operation, so long as it is declared, is about the statement of him who has mentioned once washing with the opinion of a prior deponent 2, owing to the same reasons. 11 . But if it be even that much washing which is the merit of the operation, then the statement of Afarg about these times 3 is manifestly very preservative, and that of Mêdyôk-mâh is a necessity for declaration.


301:3 Quoted from Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, where it may be read either as an opinion of Afarg (as mentioned in our text), or as a statement of the Pahlavi translator, who would, therefore, appear to have been Sôshâns. A complete translation of the Pahlavi version of Vend. IX, 1-145 and the commentaries relating to the Bareshnûm ceremony, which are frequently alluded to in these epistles, will be found in App. IV.

301:4 Perhaps 'impotent,' as the Rivâyats (M10, fol. 103 a) provide that a purifier shall be neither aged nor youthful, not less than thirty years of age.

301:5 See note 3, above; from this it appears that Afarg was the earlier commentator.

302:1 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, but the earlier part of the section refers to statements no longer extant.

302:2 That is, the person undergoing the purification.

302:3 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, Ep. II, ii, 7.

302:4 J inserts 'of the same opinion.'

302:5 That is, they have considered one purifier sufficient for reciting p. 303 the passages from the Avesta (see Vend. VIII, 49-62, IX, 118) which are supposed to drive away the fiend (comp. Ep. II, ii, 7).

303:1 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b.

303:2 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132,i, where, however, the statement as to three times washing is attributed to Afarg, who is the prior authority quoted (as mentioned in § 9), and that as to once washing is attributed to Mêdyôk-mâh, who is the after authority.

303:3 Reading lâ khalelûnêdŏ-ae lâ shayedŏ instead of lâ khalelûnêdŏ a-lâ shâyedŏ.

303:4 Reading aê instead of va a. This statement is attributed to Mêdyôk-mâh in Pahl. Vend. (see note 2, above).


1. And as to that which is written 4, that 'in the teaching of Afarg it is thus declared, that "for every single person, at the least 5, one cup of water and

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one cup of bull's urine, which are well alike (vêhmâl) 1, are requisite;" and in the same manner it is said in the teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh, that "the water and bull's urine, when it is possible, are all to be thoroughly consecrated; when not--and, at the lowest, one cup of water and one cup of bull's urine, which are well alike, for every single person--they are to be set down in that place, and are afterwards to be mingled together 2." 2. And since two teachings have so stated, are we to perform the operation more preservatively 3 and according to a more correct opinion than this?'

3. Also, 'a correct apportionment is not understood by us, and clear reasons have not come to our knowledge that a less measure of the thing is proper.' 4. But I well imagine (hû-minam) this. is not the operation of the purifying cup (tâstîkŏ), where a less thing is not proper, because the information with which they have existed--owing to that information of theirs, of which a former high-priest and deliberator was the communicator--is that which was heard by me, that there are some who, for the sake of diminishing the measure of water and bull's urine, speak of this apportionment thus: 'Vîkithrekid', in everything the operation

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which accomplishes this, that is, when there is as much as is discernible from his body 1, is proper.' 5. And the saying is not perceived by me as a correct apportioning, because the judgment of the greatly-learned leader of those of the good religion, the glorified Yûdân-Yim 2, and of other deliberators, the opinion of good thinkers, was thus, that that saying is spoken about that of which the measure is not declared as the least by the high-priests' teaching of revelation. 6. Finally, when it is really of the same origin and suitable, then less than the least of that, of which the measure is declared as the least, is not proper, if, owing to much evidence in the teaching which has mentioned it as suitable, it be more of a blessing, and the operation performed thereby be more legitimate; because that teaching is for confessing that the statements of high-priests are most evidence of the practice.

7. This is that which is equally perpetual: it is very important for the purifiers to keep the intellect of life in operation, and for the good to become mentally a powerful giver of aid to them; and now, too, a purifier is ordered to keep in use his own most universal equal measure. 8. That which is perceived by me, and has come to my knowledge, more particularly when washed by myself, is the keeping in use an equal measure 3. 9. And even if there be a purifier who does not completely keep in use the

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consecrated water and bull's urine, still then it is not worse than when it does not really arise from the same origin 1, and its religious rite also does not take place.

10. Also the words of both the solemnization of the Vendidâd and the recitation of the Avesta are likewise to be uttered by him; because 2 'Zaratûst enquired of Aûharmazd about it thus: "How shall I purify 3 where he does not attain unto the Airyemâ 4--there are some who say where everything is anusô ('discontented') 5? 11. How as to the fire, how as to the water, how as to the earth, how as to animals, how as to plants, how as to the righteous man, how as to the righteous woman, how as to the stars, how as to the moon, how as to the sun, how as to the endless light, how as to the independent light 6, how as to all the prosperity, created by

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[paragraph continues] Aûharmazd 1, which is a manifestation of righteousness?" 12. And Aûharmazd spoke to him thus: "Thou shalt chant the purification liturgy, O Zaratûst!--that is, fully solemnize a Vendidâd service--then he becomes purified, &c.,"' as mentioned by me above 2. 13. Where they do not make them solemnize a Vendidâd so that they keep in operation that which is written of it as a rite, this does not drive pollution from any one; and then, too, they should abandon the commands of a decree of leaders who are not over them 3.

14. Keep the Bareshnûm ceremony 4 in operation, so that the consecrated water and bull's urine are in the proportion which is taught by the high-priests of the religion, unless a scarcity occurs as regards these. 15. Then together with it, also, this is to be observed, that what is mentioned in two teachings is certainly more correct; afterwards, too, where a possibility for it is not obtained by them, there is what is mentioned as suitable by one teaching, and I do not decide that it is not an expediency.

16. And as to that, also, which is written concerning the three hundred pebbles 5 that, sprinkled

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in ceremonial ablution (pâdyâvŏ), are cast into (val) the bull's urine and water, that is taught even in the same manner; the inward prayer (vâgŏ) 1, even for when one does not cast them, is in the existing teaching, which is proper. 17. Then, too, on account of the cheapness 2 and harmlessness of the pebbles the purifiers are less curtailing as to them, and to drink the thing so is well-curative in performance. 18. In the existing teaching of imperfect purifiers it should be very advantageous to maintain it as easy; moreover, it is not said of it that it is not suitable, and in the teaching of Afarg it is said that it is proper.


304:1 In Vend. IX, 48-117 the washings of the several parts of the body are mentioned only once, which is 'the first computation' here mentioned.

304:2 Reading pêsmâl, as equivalent to the pêsmâl or pêsîmal previously used; but the word can also be read pasîmal, 'after deponent,' which would be inconsistent with the context. The two terms are very liable to be confounded in writing Pahlavi, and in Ep. II, ii, 6 they are again written alike, though put in opposition to each other. The 'prior deponent' is Afarg.

304:3 That is, 'about this one time,' as J has it.

304:4 In the epistle to which he is replying.

304:5 The words pavan kâmîstîh, both here and in §§ 5, 6, would be better translated as 'a desideratum, or desired quantity;' but in p. 305 Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, c the phrase is pavan kamistîh, which can mean only 'at the minimum, or least.'

305:1 In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, c, where this statement occurs, the first letter of this word is omitted, which converts it into shumâr, 'alike: Either word may be correct, but vêh-mâl occurs twice in this section.

305:2 This statement of Mêdyôk-mâh seems no longer extant in the Pahlavi Vendidâd.

305:3 That is, in a way more delivering from pollution and sin.

305:4 This word, which probably means 'in whatever is varied,' was p. 306 evidently the beginning of an Avesta phrase whose Pahlavi translation concludes the sentence. The phrase does not appear to be extant elsewhere.

306:1 That is, just sufficient to wet the body.

306:2 His father (see Chap. III, 10).

306:3 That is, the two liquids should he provided in equal quantities, p. 307 which differs from the present practice, as stated in the Persian Rivâyats; thus, M10, fol. 104 a, mentions 3¼ mans of water and 1¼ man of bull's urine as suitable quantities to be provided. This section is omitted in J, probably by mistake.

307:1 Apparently deprecating the use of mingled liquids derived from various sources.

307:2 The passage quoted here is from Pahl. Vend. XI, 1-6, with a few variations.

307:3 Pahl. Vend. inserts 'as to the abode.'

307:4 The Airyemâ (written Airyêmê in the MSS.) is Yas. LIII, which commences with the words 'â airyemâ ishyô,' and is the last of the Gâtha spells mentioned, in Vend. X, 22, as having to be recited four times in order to exorcise the fiend. The meaning of the question in the text, therefore, is: how is the purification to be effected when all the spells are not recited?

307:5 Referring to Vend. IX, 161--163 (see Chap. IV, 3).

307:6 This clause is omitted in Pahl. Vend., being merely a repetition of the preceding one, the Av. anaghra raokau being first translated by asarag rôshanŏîh, and then partially transliterated by p. 308 anagrag rŏshanŏ. As sar means 'head, end' in Pahlavi (hardly ever 'beginning'), the only meaning common to the two terms asarag and anagrag seems to be 'without a head or superior, independent,' that is, in this case, independent of the light of other luminaries.

308:1 K35 has 'righteousness, created by Aûharmazd,' but this is evidently a mistake, as 'righteousness' does not translate the original Av. vohû.

308:2 That is, as to the fire, &c. mentioned in § 11.

308:3 Referring to the heretical decree about which he is writing.

308:4 See App. IV.

308:5 See also Ep. II, iii, 12. The word generally used in these p. 309 epistles is sang, 'stone,' but Chap. IX, 6 has sagîkakŏ, and Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, c mentions sagkak, 'a pebble,' as being cast into (dên) the consecrated water and bull's urine, without specifying any number. The practice appears not to be mentioned in the Persian Rivâyats, and seems now obsolete; the addition of a small quantity of the ashes of the sacred fire to the bull's urine, which is tasted at the beginning of the rite, is, however, mentioned in the Rivâyats.

309:1 See Dd. LXXIX, 2. The prayer or grace has to be taken inwardly, that is, murmured, before the drinking mentioned in § 17. According to this text provision seems to have been made for not using the pebbles, by means of a special prayer.

309:2 Or 'value,' as argânîh means both.


1. As to that which is written 3, that it is declared in the Sakâdûm Nask 4, that the consecrated bull's

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urine, when it becomes fetid, is to be stirred up (barâ agârdŏînisnŏ), and they should not carry it forth so to the fire, so that the stench extends to the fire; because, if that stench extends to the fire, on account of the moisture and through carrying bodily refuse (hîgar) 1 on and forth to the fire, it overwhelms it; that is taught in like manner lest, and owing to what is said, it then seemed to one that the bodily refuse and pollution of fetid bull's urine is on account of the stench. 2. But it is proper to observe it more fully mindfully, perfectly completely, and with better understanding, because that which is said by it, that the carrying of bodily refuse forth to the fire overwhelms it, is not on account of the pollution of the bull's urine, but the proportion of the sin through this; so that it becomes the origin of as much sin for him as that pollution of the bull's urine; but the stench, on account of moisture, is like him even who shall bring clean and purified water into the fire, and thereby becomes sinful 2

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3. This, too, is a saying, that the proportion of the sin is mentioned not on account of the pollution of the bull's urine; it is said to be a counterpart even of that which is declared of the care of the flesh of the ass and pig, so that when they shall now carry unto the fire more than the proportion which is ordered, it overwhelms it through carrying bodily refuse forth to the fire, and even then that flesh, investigated as to purity, is mentioned as a supply for the season-festival 1.

4. The fetid bull's urine is itself likewise prepared, so that on this account it is ordered that it is to be stirred up, that so long as it is stirred up they may thereupon order the use of it; if then it is to be rendered quite useless, there is afterwards no necessity for stirring it. 5. The stirring is declared a purification as regards polluted things, where bodily refuse is only such that it is not endless, and so pure that it purifies even that of another.

6. When it is written of it itself, that it is thus declared in the Sakâdûm Nask, that consecrated bull's urine which is fetid is to be stirred up for the fire, it is afterwards declared that it is not speaking only of the bull's urine which is provided those three days 2; but that, too, which is old and consecrated,

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become fetid and is stirred again, when they keep it in use, is proper. 7. And that which the Sakâdûm has declared is, specially, that one of the high-priests has individually said: 'That stench is mentioned with reference to the occasion when a stench reaches it of a different kind from that which exists naturally in it.'


309:3 In the epistle to which he is replying.

309:4 This was the eighteenth of the lost books of the Mazda-worshippers (see Sls. X, 25, note). It was one of the seven law books, and treated of many legal matters. Among the contents of its first thirty sections the following items are mentioned by the Dînkard, p. 310 and one of these passages probably contained the statement quoted in our text:--'On carrying forth the holy-water and also the pot (dîgŏ-k) to the fire, that is, with purified and thoroughly-washed hands; and the sin of carrying them forth with unpurified and imperfectly-washed hands. On preserving the pot and the other things, whose use is with the fire, from defilement with bodily refuse; when, through want of care, defilement occurs, and any one shall carry it unawares to the fire, he who is careless overwhelms it thereby. . . . On lawfully warming the bull's urine on the fire, and the sin when it is not done lawfully.'

310:1 See Dd. XLVIII, 19, note.

310:2 The argument is that the urine being a consecrated liquid, its corruption is not contaminating (provided it be not occasioned by foreign matter, as alluded to in § 7); but if the stench be sufficient to extinguish or injure the fire, it is as sinful to expose the fire to its influence as it would be to injure the fire with holy-water.

311:1 So the damage to the fire is not occasioned by any impurity of the flesh of the ass or pig (which could be used for a sacred feast), but by the excessive quantity brought to it. The pig was formerly domesticated by the Parsis (see Sls. II, 58), but they have long since adopted the prejudices of the Hindus and Muhammadans as regards its uncleanness.

311:2 Referring probably to the times of the three washings, subsequent to the chief ceremony, which take place after the third, sixth, and ninth nights, respectively, (see Vend. IX, 136, 140, 144.)


1. And as to that which is written 1, that 'the teachings of Mêdyôk-mâh, Afarg, and Sôshâns 2 have all three come and remained, and, on that account, whoever has washed just as they always wash therein is certain that he is worthy.' 2. Also, 'should it have been as it were proper to them, would Mêdyôk-mâh have said that "not even the purifier is single?"' 3. And the rest as written an that subject, which, on account of its acute observation, has seemed to be from their statements; they, however, have not decided it so by the teaching which is in their names, as was indicated by me before 3.

4. But I do not so understand that 'if those should have been all the particulars of the peculiarity of all three teachings, would the teachings of Mêdyôk-mâh and Sôshâns have said, concerning any one who should have so washed that the purifier was single, that it is suitable, because the high-priests have been thus very unanimous that when

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there is one he is unsuitable 1? 5. And when it should be to them as it were proper that, apart from the hands, the other 2 customary parts (pîsakŏ) should be washed once by them, would Afarg have said it is proper 3, because washing them three times is not mentioned in the Avesta? 6. And when it would have been as it were proper that the three hundred pebbles (sang) should not be cast into the water and bull's urine, would Afarg's teaching have said that it is proper 4, because there is not a single use for a pebble (sagîkakŏ)? 7. And when it would be as it were proper that he who is washed at the ablution seats (mak) at which any one has been washed during the length of a year, is not injured thereby--only they shall take them away and they are again deposited 5--would Mêdyôk-mâh's teaching have said that it is proper, because, when the stones (sagŏ) are again deposited by one, it is to effect the cleansing (vistarisnŏ) of some one,

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and when a shower of rain occurs thereon so that the whole place shall be thoroughly wetted, inside and outside, it is proper? 8. And if some one says that this is the case of a rite by a teaching of authority, and the rule is by a teaching of private authority, is not the whole rite by any teaching proper, that consists in this washing which is thoroughly preserved as they keep it in practice 1?'

9. The reply is even this, that every rite (nîrông) is to be performed in such manner as that which is said to be most preservative, and most connected with the declaration of revelation and the testimony of the high-priests concerning it. 10. And not for the reason that Mêdyôk-mâh's teaching is more preservative 2 as to one rite, and after that some-thing of Afarg is more preservative, is the operation to be performed by the statement of Mêdyôk-mâh; but whatever is the more preservative of Mêdyôk-mâh's is collected from Mêdyôk-mâh, all the more preservative of Afarg from Afarg, and that which is the more preservative of any other high-priest from that which has the most preservative approval of the high-priest. 11. That which those high-priests have said, which they decide by just authority, is the commandment of the learned of the realm, which has lawfully arisen over the provinces (shôhârânŏ); but even that statement opposing it which is much testified and manifestly more of a deliverance, or which is declared as an exposition

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of the teaching of high-priests of the religion in a dissimilar case, they shall then 1 wholly accept, and they are to perform the operation authorisedly and preservatively thereby.

12. This, too, I so consider, that even if each separate teaching should be as it were proper, it would then not be determined by them as to the impropriety of the purifying cup, for Mêdyôk-mâh has stated, only as it was apparent to him, that every single customary part is to be washed for three times 2, and has not specifically determined that when all shall be so once it is not proper. 13. By the special teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh and the washing which is in the law that says--concerning those interpreting revelation--that whoever becomes quite polluted shall thoroughly wash by that law, so that his being washed is to be considered as being washed, it (the rite) is not performed by me if, also, that other high-priest has said, that every one who becomes quite polluted, and washes not by the law of the primitive faith, is not to be considered as washed. 14. Then, too, in the special teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh it is not said, of that washing which is washed by the law of those of a portion of the religion (pârak-dînôân), that it is note proper.

15. He who washes by the law of those of the primitive faith, which many high-priests maintain as excellent, because it is suitable, and imagines that regarding the threefold washing it should be said that it is not proper, even he--when he also

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has become of the same opinion as to this, that the statements of the high-priests are on an equality, and the most evidence of the high-priests is the right course--would have attained to confidence about this, that in a doubtful matter there should be a high-priest 1, and also that of which Afarg and Sôshâns have alike understood a similar thing is proper.


312:1 In the epistle to which he is replying.

312:2 See Chap. V, 1.

312:3 See Chap. VI, 2-4.

313:1 The writer says he does not understand this argument of his correspondents, because it differs from the view he takes in Chap. VI, 2, but it must be confessed that the meaning of the passage in dispute (Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b) is not very clear, as the word ashâyed, 'he is unsuitable,' can also. be read ae shâyed, 'he would be suitable,' both there and in our text.

313:2 K35 has one line blank here, but this was probably owing to the state of the paper, or some inadvertence of the copyist; as it is evident that none of the text is omitted.

313:3 Compare Chap. VI, 9-I1.

313:4 Compare Chap. VII, 16-18.

313:5 This shows that the places for ablution during the Bareshnûm ceremony were, a thousand years ago, the same as now, namely, stones deposited on the ground, not holes dug in the ground, as directed in Vend. IX, 13, 14, 16. They are, in fact, the stones or hard material directed to be deposited at the holes in Vend. IX, 29, 30, but they go by the old name for the holes (magh).

314:1 This string of arguments appears to be quoted from the epistle to which the writer is replying, but as they are separated from their context it is difficult to understand the exact line of argument. or to be sure that they are translated correctly.

314:2 From pollution or sin.

315:1 That is, when the dissimilar case arises, or when it is manifestly more efficient.

315:2 See Chap. VI, 7.

316:1 To consult about the matters in doubt.

CHAPTER X. Scroll Up

1. And as to the many other matters to which an explicit reply is not written by me--be it the determinableness of it, be it, the flow of inward prayer 2, be it the pouring of the water, and likewise the rest which is written to me--the statements, when de-liberation and conjecture about such arrangements become needful, are not to be made unto the multitude, but unto the priestly at once 3. 2. And this much, also, which is written by me is on this account 4, that when a writing has come to you which is the purport of my re-explanation, and it has seemed that it is written after well-weighed (sakhtakŏ) observations 5, even so they would cause some of those of good desires to understand, who are thoughtful friends of the soul and observers of

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well-weighed ideas, in whose heart and mind, owing to that other writing 1, the existence of doubtfulness may fully remain; and, owing to that, this much re-explanation has, indeed, seemed to me good.

3. And then the desire 2 to sprinkle 3 in many modes is also an incorrect presentation 4, on which same subject there is this in consideration, that afterwards, peradventure, the same priestly man 5 by whom it is written may come--whose assured wisdom 6 may the angels make steadfast! and whom my approaching causing a purifier to travel for various quarters has occasioned to write it--so that while they are, therefore, awed by him, and shall provide more completely for use the full measure of water and bull's urine, the complete words of the Avesta, and other proper rites, they shall proceed more approvably. 4. And if it be even not auxiliary for the same purpose (âhanŏ) that it was written by him--except, indeed, through consideration of its details--no reason for a writing of that kind is to be assigned.

5. But if for the reason it was written by him it be manifest as an existence which is very little threatening, then I consider his opinion, which is in his decree, not so perplexing; and, till 7 now, the perplexing consideration was more particularly as

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to that, when, owing to the great learning thereof to be seen by me, this was not doubtful, that as to the great opinion of the world about the existing law of the profession of the priesthood, and the practice of all those of the good religion of the realm, they should make a decree only by the deliberation of me and other priestly men and religious observers 1. 6. For if even he retorts a further statement 2 as to the appointed observance, its origin is then also a propagation from the diverse teachings of those great high-priests of those of the primitive faith, who were they who have been formerly great.

7. On account of the depth and much intricacy of the religion they mention many opinions and well-considered decrees which were likewise formed devoid of uniformity, and the utterance of the different opinions of the priests is with the reciters of the Nasks; but even among themselves the most supremely just high-priests were of a different opinion, different judgment, different teaching, different interpretation, and different practice only in the peace, mutual friendship, and affection which they had together. 8. Just as that even which was prominent about these chief priests (magôpatânŏ magôpatŏ), whose names were Âtûrŏ-Frôbagvindâd and Âtûrŏ-bûgêd, who have been, each separately, the high-priest of the realm of the true religion and the scholar of the age.

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9. To many, when an opinion is afterwards so obtained, pertaining to the high-priests in the spiritual existence 1, it is as is said about Zaratûst the Spîtamân, that 'the first time when the arch-angels are seen by him, the Spîtamân, it is then supposed by him that they are Aîndar, Sârû, Nâkisîyyâ, Tâûîrêv, and Zâîrîk 2, who are most mighty 3.' 10. From such as those the decree and its original perversity (bûn-gâstîkŏîh) and scanty preservativeness are so written and prepared, and afterwards, also, your opinion is that way irritated by the habit of good thinking--of which there is so much manifest 4 from those of the primitive faith and the high-priests--because even its words and those written with it, and the completeness of will and religion which is written, inclined the mind away from the teaching of the high-priests.

11. But as the same decree, or that which is resembling the same decree 5, is appointed (vakhtŏ)

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and specially decided, and is not to be accepted from him, and the operation is not to be performed thereby, its position is then to be considered, by those steadfast in the practice of the pre-eminent religion, with the most advanced understanding and discernment, which are the thought of its true station in the religion of the Mazda-worshippers. 12. And other religious decrees, intelligently preservative of the soul, which are made known and declared from the teaching of truthful high-priests of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers, are to be suitably accepted and fulfilled. 13. And since this opinion (dâstakŏ) of mine is, moreover, from the writing of Afarg, even about the preservation of different interpretations and different teachings, not specially owing to unobtainable statements of this shattered 1 religion of the Mazda-worshippers, nor even to distress through simultaneous strife, but owing to the desire of true opinions which has existed, there is safety abundantly, but temporarily, from the scribbling of the opposing, partial, and injurious writing of that priestly man 2.


316:2 Reading vâg-rêgisnŏîh; but J omits the first letter, and thereby converts the word into apardazisnîh, 'want of leisure.'

316:3 J has merely 'the statements are when deliberation and conjecture become at once needful.'

316:4 Reading hanâ râî, as in J; the other MSS. have hanâ lâ.

316:5 Or, perhaps, 'strict observations' here, and 'strict observers' further on.

317:1 To which he is replying.

317:2 Reading adîn gâm, but this is doubtful.

317:3 The Huz. verb zerîkûntanŏ, 'to sprinkle,' is not found in the glossaries, but is readily traceable to Chald. ‏ו ?Zְ?Rַ?Q‎.

317:4 Reading arashnîkŏ-kŏ-dahisnîh.

317:5 Meaning his brother, Zâd-sparam.

317:6 The usual Pahlavi phrase for the Av. âsnô khratus or instinctive wisdom (see Dd. XL, 3).

317:7 Assuming that val stands for val.

318:1 Implying that the more learning there is manifest in an erroneous teaching, the more necessary it is to submit it to careful examination.

318:2 Reading frâgŏ vak patŏ-yekavîmûnêd, and assuming that the last word stands for patŏ-îstêd.

319:1 That is, such as have passed away.

319:2 These are the last five of the arch-demons who are the special opponents of the archangels, being corruptions of the Avesta names Indra, Sauru, Naunghaithya, Tauru, and Zairika (see Bd. I, 27). The name of the first arch-demon, Akôman, is omitted here, probably by the mistake of some copyist, as six names are wanted to make up the number of the archangels exclusive of Aûharmazd himself.

319:3 J continues as follows:--'"of the demons." 10. Written with the wretchedness (vakhârîh) and savageness of such as those, the oppressiveness and disaster of a decree of that description, and its original perversity,' &c. (as in the text).

319:4 In the decree, which was so written as to appear to be directly derived from the teachings of the commentators, but, at the same time, so warped their statements as to lead astray. Hence, it might be compared to the conversion of an archangel into an arch-fiend through a mental hallucination, as mentioned in § 9.

319:5 J omits these last eight words.

320:1 Reading hanâ giring, but it can also be read ân adarog, 'that undeceitful.'

320:2 Zâd-sparam.


1. For completion little is observed by me; and a man of my own, in a position of authority (sông gâh), comes with a second epistle 3 for that priestly man, opposing, disputing, showing the harm, making

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aware of the deliverance 1, and applying for arrangement. 2. And the man who comes as a co-operator is announced by me, and the rite which is accomplished by him is so till further notice, which is for my further epistle 2; because a double elucidation about that which it is necessary to arrange from afar is a custom more suitable for the discreet.

3. If that same priestly man 3 should have been in the vicinity, then interviews with me, with a few words, would have been more preservative than trying to convert that wretchedness (vakhâr) into that which is customary (pîsakŏ) even by further writing and much information. 4. And even now my prospect is a well-considering demand for explanation, so that, if the duties which are suitable for the discreet be really disposable for it, it is proper so to arrange what it is possible for me to complete for three months; and I may go myself into the presence of that same priestly man for the arrangement of the indispensable duties, and may diffuse this arrangement properly 4. 5. But there are many reasons for private reflection (nâhîdŏ) on account of which a descent from position is an evil resource; and this once a temporary epistle is written by me to him, and comes with this epistle 5. 6. And

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[paragraph continues] Yazdân-pânak 1, a man who is instructed 2, shall come to him, who is friendly to custom (âînag-îyâr), and of like rank with his own man who is faithful; and I will write further and more controversially to him, and give the information advisedly with which I shall acquaint him, so that it may be more explanatory to him.

7. But if through this which is written by me, or through myself 3, he should come immediately (digandyîs) unto Pârs, I shall then be seeking an opportunity even for the retirement of him himself; I do not abominate it (madam lâ mansôm) when it is necessary for them and private, as is better.

8. As to these other diffusions of arrangements which are pre-eminently the resources of that priestly man, and the acquaintance with revelation which is sought by him, for the sake of the advantage of the religion they should not be molested before 4.

9. May the arrangement and restoration and benediction of the revelation (dîn 6) of the Mazda-worshipping religion reach a climax! and may the

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eminence of you listeners 1 to the primeval religion consist in long-continued, supreme prosperity, through all happiness! then, through such thoughtful friends, the acquaintance with its difficult teaching and mighty words, which is to increase that gratitude of yours to me for my decisions, is made a blessing to you, if you observe therein a good idea which seems to you important, when it reaches your sight.

10. The correct writer and scribe is ordered that he do not alter any of 2 the words (mârîk), while he writes a fair copy of this epistle of mine, which is written by me to you, and he orders some one to give it to that same man, Yazdân-pânak, along with that epistle, so that it may come to him 3, for there are times when I seem aware that it is better so. 11. And may the angels increase and enlarge your many new things with full measure and complete exaltation! the pleasure, peace 4, righteousness, prosperity, commendation, and happiness of the powerful 5 who are all-controlling and happy-ending.

12. Mânûskîhar, son of Yûdân-Yim, has written it in the day and month of Spendarmad 6, in the

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enjoyment of righteousness, the glorification of the religion, trustfulness to the angels, and gratitude unto the creator Aûharmazd, the archangels, and all the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences. 13. Praise to the month (mâh) of like kind which is exalted in its name with this.


320:3 Not Ep. II, but one which preceded it (see § 5, note).

321:1 From pollution, by means of the Bareshnûm ceremony.

321:2 Probably referring to Ep. II, till the arrival of which (or that of Ep. III) they were to act as directed by the priest he sends with this epistle.

321:3 His brother Zâd-sparam.

321:4 This intended visit to Sîrkân is also mentioned in Ep. II, v, 5; vi, 4, 6; vii, 3.

321:5 Being apprehensive that personal interference might lead to altercations derogatory to his dignity, he prefers trying the effect of writing in the first place. The temporary epistle, here referred to, p. 322 could not have been Ep. II, as that was written after Ep. III, and was the further epistle promised in § 6.

322:1 Or, perhaps, Yazdân-pahnak. This was a common Parsi name in former times, as it is found in two of the Pahlavi inscriptions in the Kanheri caves, dated A.D. 1009 (see Indian Antiquary, vol. ix, pp. 266, 267), and the very similar name, Yazd-panâh, occurs as the name of a Parsi convert to Christianity who was put to death about A.D. 541 (see Hoffmann's Auszüge aus syrischen Akten persischer Märtyrer, p. 87).

322:2 Assuming that dinhârdŏ stands for zinhârîdŏ.

322:3 If I should come personally.

322:4 Referring probably to further matters of complaint, which he did not think it advisable to notice seriously until the present controversy was settled.

323:1 Reading nyôkhshîdârânŏ, as in J, instead of avakhshîdârânŏ.

323:2 Reading min, instead of mûn, 'who.'

323:3 To Zâd-sparam. This copy was that mentioned in Ep. II, vii, I.

323:4 Reading slam, as in J; the other MSS. have shnuman, 'propitiation,' the two words being nearly alike in Pahlavi letters.

323:5 Reading patûgânŏ; J has padvandânŏ, 'connections,' by inserting a stroke.

323:6 The fifth day of the twelfth month of the Parsi year; and, as Ep. III (which was evidently written after further consideration) is dated in the third month of A. Y. 250, this must have been written in A.Y. 249. The date of this epistle, therefore, corresponds to the 15th March, 881.

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PAHLAVI TEXTS Translated by E. W. WEST Part II The Dâdistân-î Dînîk and the Epistles of Mânûskîhar Clarendon: Oxford University Press [1882]