The Epistles of Manuskihar - Epistle 2

Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism

Translated by E. W. WEST

The Episties of Manuskihar - Index Page




Copy of an epistle of the priest Mânûskîhar, son of Yûdân-Yim, which was prepared by him for the priest, his brother, Zâd-sparam 1.

CHAPTER I. Scroll Up

1. In the name of the sacred beings who shall keep exalted the pre-eminent success of your priestly lordship, accomplishing your wishes in both worlds, I am longing for the children--formerly promoting health of body--and for activity, and fully desirous, and in every mode a thanksgiver unto the sacred beings, for the well-abiding eyesight, peace, and understanding of your priestly lordship.

2. The epistle that came from you in the month Âvân 2, which Nîvshahpûhar 3 was ordered to write,

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and . . . by me from 1 . . . . and would . . . . , have been quite desirable to increase my gratitude unto the sacred beings for the health and salutation of your priestly lordship, though it had been merely to write intelligence of your own condition; for your writing of the epistle is not such as that of the distant who write in duplicate, but like that of neighbours who think that everything new should always be really mutual information. 3. As to that, too, which you ordered to write about omens and such occurrences--for which my form of words is not as is twice specified within the epistle, and from henceforth one should order to write intelligence more clearly-moreover, on account of want of leisure on many subjects, my heart is not disengaged even for the understanding of omens.

4. I apprize your priestly lordship that in this

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interval (tâhîkŏ) 1 a written statement has come unto me that the good people of Sîrkân are, indeed, so enveloped by you in distress, despondency, and trouble that its counterpart was when there was a liberation of our glorified fathers from the state of material existence. 5. For such as the insufficiency of the whole life of such was then to me, so even is the wounding and damage which comes now to my understanding and intellect. 6. The whole life of such is on the confines of the pure existence, a contest with the complete incorrectness that remains contaminating the liturgy by which the greatest intelligence of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers is aided; a little also, finally, of sagacity and observance of the apportionment of the more grievous impostures and more frightful delusions.

7. And, first of all, as to when your completely vile idea first destroyed your own enlightenment, and quite subdued your seconding of me, is inopportune (avidanâ) for me; and that ordinance 2, which though it be also right, is then even grandeur, because it is a law of the realm and an opinion of the world. 8. When even in the mansion of various thoughts, the residence of the assembly of Pârs, and many other conventions to deliberate, and the united opinions of a thousand priestly men (magavôg) of the good religion thereon, it could remain unaltered, then, also, the various good thoughts and opposing considerations that, along with me, the

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minds of other heads of the religion have promoted, and shaped or altered decisions thereon, and settled and issued orders thereon, could not have seen a grievance (seg) therein. 9. And this, too, should be observed among your requirements 1, that when the fattiness 2 of the body is in wrinkles (kîn), so that four perfect ones of the period are provided, even then the opinion of a high-priest of the religion is greater than every opinion, but the law of the realm of various kinds 3 is only through the deliberation of the same perfect ones; to make him decide then is not proper 4.

10. And it would be desirable for you to take account of that which is said thus: 'Thou shouldst not practise that, O Zaratûst! when thou and three or four companions, in the village of a thanksgiver of the assembly, shall say this: "Such is an evil notion."' 11. These words of his are then not taken into account by you; and it is firmly and with acute observation determined by you, and thought preservative for yourself, that even the sin be not privately (andarg) declared by me unto the assembly which has deliberated at Shirâz 5. 12. You order this, and

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it is known that if it were a statement of yours in the assembly of the Tughazghuz 1, you would have been still less a speaker in private.

13. I consider that you are as much under-hand (aîr) about this, as regards yourself, as Zaratûst 2 the club-footed (apafrôbd) when he arranged his garments (vakhshakîhâ), and his club-foot is itself overspread thereby even to himself, so that he was then approved as good 3 by some of those of Kirmân 4 when they heard of it, and those of Râî 5 (Râzîkânŏ) wrote a reply that, if he should be appointed by you also at a distance, he would then be approved by them likewise as good. 14. This idea of yours is more heinous than that act of his, the reply from various sides is more mischievous, the disgrace among the people is more unslumberable, the load upon the soul is more consumingly heavy, and the

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severance from, and contest with, Aûharmazd and Zaratûst become more incalculably perplexing. 15. And this, too, is my summing up (khapîr) 1--when your own acquaintance with the religion and salvation of soul are in such force--by the parable (ângunî-aîtakŏ) of that physician of the body who, when they asked about destroying the toothache, thereupon gave his reply thus: 'Dig it out!' and they rejoined thus: 'He is always wanted as our physician, so that he may cure even a tooth which is diseased;' I would extract its teeth 2 more plentifully and with more suspicion than he.

16. And if, also, those of the good religion in the country of Irân be, therefore, always in want of the learning and acquaintance with religion of his priestly lordship, so that he disperses the profession and the preparation and management of the remedy 3 of many diseases, then he throws it away as a profession, and there is not much of a necessity for the wisdom and learning of his priestly lordship. 17. For there are some of the present time would never vouchsafe approval of a presiding fire 4, which is in many modes an advance of foreign habits; and of many things which are in writing, of a nature easier and more comfortable in a worldly sense, they offer and

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always give more than he who is a priest; and, at last, no one ever accepts any except him who is astute in evil and wicked 1.


325:1 See the heading to Ep. I.

325:2 The eighth month of the Parsi year, which must have been A.Y. 249 (see Ep. I, xi, 12, note). This month corresponded to the interval between the 11th November and the 10th December, 880; but it is evident from Chaps. VII, 2, VIII, 1 that this reply was written about the same time as Ep. III, that is, in the interval between the 14th June and 13th July, 881.

325:3 This appears to have been the original form of the name Nîkhshahpûhar or Nîshahpûhar, applied both to a man (see Ep. I, iv, 15, 17) and to a city in Khurâsân, and in this place it is not quite p. 326 certain whether a man or a city is alluded to. The text, as it stands in the MSS., is as follows:--'Nâmakŏ zîtanŏ dên bidanâ Âvânŏ mûn Nîvshahpûhar nipistanŏ farmûdŏ va madŏ.' This can be translated as in our text, if the word va be omitted; but, if this word be retained and mûn be changed into min, the translation would be as follows:--'The epistle which some one was ordered by you to write in the month Âvân from Nîvshahpûhar, and which came.' Now it is evident from Ep. I that Zâd-sparam must have been in Sîrkân for some time previous to the date of that epistle, 15th March 881, and, therefore, probably in the previous November; but, at the same time, it must be noticed that there are allusions in this second epistle (see Chaps. I, 12, V, 3) to his having been formerly at Sarakhs and among the Tughazghuz, that is, in the extreme east of Khurâsân; it is, therefore, just possible that he may have been at Nîvshahpûhar, on his way to Sîrkân in the south, in November.

326:1 J and BK attempt to fill up the blank with the words kêshvar arg, the value of the realm;' but the original text probably stood thus:--'and was received by me from so and so,' the names having been torn off in some intermediate MS.

327:1 Since he heard from his correspondent. The word cannot be tîsgakŏ, 'nine days,' as that would not tally with the dates of Eps. I and III.

327:2 Referring probably to the Bareshnûm ceremony which Zâd-sparam wished to dispense with in many cases.

328:1 J omits this phrase.

328:2 Reading mêsakh or miskha; but it may be masagîh, 'squeezing.

328:3 J has merely the words, 'even then the opinion of the high-priest for the realm,' which gives a reverse meaning to the text.

328:4 It appears from this, that when a supreme high-priest became very old, his worldly duties were put in commission, by being intrusted to a committee of four of the most learned priests; but the opinion of the superannuated high-priest was still supreme in spiritual matters, though not to be trusted in worldly affairs.

328:5 Whither Mânûskîhar had specially gone to hold this assembly before writing Ep. I (see Ep. I, iii, 13).

329:1 The MSS. have Tughzghuz in Pâzand. Mas’âudî states (A.D. 943) that the Taghazghaz were a powerful Turkish tribe who dwelt between Khurâsân and China, in and around the town of Kûsân, and not very far from the supposed sources of the Ganges. They had become Manicheans, having been converted from idolatry to the heretical form of Mazda-worship taught by Mazdak (see Mas’âudî, ed. Barbier de Meynard, vol. i, pp. 214, 288, 299, quoted at length in a note to Sls. VI, 7). It would seem from the allusion in our text that Zâd-sparam had recently been among these Taghazghaz, and might have imbibed some of their heretical opinions, so as to lead to this controversy with his brother and the orthodox people of Sîrkân. That he had recently been in the extreme north-east of Khurâsân is further shown by the allusion to Sarakhs in Chap. V, 3.

329:2 Evidently some recent pretender to the supreme high-priesthood, who had endeavoured to conceal the deformity that disqualified him for that office.

329:3 That is, fit for the dignity he aspired to.

329:4 Here written Gîrmân (see Dd. XCIV, 13).

329:5 Near Teherân.

330:1 J converts the phrase into 'very heinous to me,' by reading avîr and adding girân.

330:2 That is, he would drive the morbid ideas from his brother's mind.

330:3 Meaning the practice of the Bareshnûm ceremony, for which the priests were specially required.

330:4 Probably because they saw no necessity for the presence of the fire at the sacred ceremonies. He is warning his brother that his heretical teachings would soon make the people imagine that they could dispense with the priesthood altogether.

331:1 That is, some priest who teaches such heresies. These terms are those applied to the demons themselves in Pahl. Vend. XIX, 140, 141, 147.


1. I have also examined that writing 2 in detail, and it is very unprepared for the remarks of the learned and those acquainted with the religion, for the sentences concocted have to be divided, and the slender demonstration is disconnected (aparvandîdŏ); so I consider that it is not sent to be seen, as regards which such a course would, indeed, be a cause of terror to purifiers. 2. It is so written that, while on account of that same terror they are very much alarmed, and are thorough in maintaining the duty of the continuance of care for water and bull's urine 3, and of the formula of the operation, they shall more fully perform it as a duty provided for high-priests; even from that I am more fully of opinion that your like judgment and own concession have produced this explanation.

3. When I saw in the decree, such as that which you have written, that each time one comes unto a purifier who washes in such manner as is declared

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in revelation--which is evident, indeed, from his existence when he is a religious purifier, and also from your priestly lordship's knowledge of the rite; indeed, there is no use of that same decree unless the scripture of revelation, likewise, be so--he is to do it with very strict observation, now, since, owing to the reception of terror by the purifiers, that preparation is evidently to produce, as regards their own disposition and movements, much harm and irregularity, and perplexed thoughts among the people, the discredit of the decreer is generated therefrom, and it would have been more reasonable to consider the terror and doubt of the purifiers in another way.

4. That which is so explained by you as though it would remain accomplished and would be in notice--and this is written by you like as it were from a teaching of some description--is not proper; because, thus, every rite in the performance of the desired operation, even by one single teaching, is suitable, which, like the preparation for the statements of lying litigants, is very like, but not correct. 5. For when there are some who have furthered Mêdyôk-mâh 1 better than the teaching of Afarg 1, it is well when every single rite in the teaching is right; and as to his rite it is not very clear that deliverance 2 is promoted by maintaining it. 6. Even on that occasion when Mêdyôk-mâh has mentioned threefold washing, and Afarg once washing 3, Mêdyôk-mâh is the after deponent and Afarg the prior

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deponent 1; and, on that account, the statement is to be made as long as Mêdyôk-mâh is preserved, but as regards the opinion of the words of Afarg it is to be maintained in a state of preservation.

7. As to that which Afarg has said 2, that 'two purifiers are requisite,' Mêdyôk-mâh has also said that one is plenty; and, since the teaching of Sôshâns 3 is similar evidence to his, as to that which is said by him, they have thus been more unanimous that when there is one it would be proper; and as several high-priests have announced just the same evidence, and Afarg himself and other priests have been of the same opinion where it is the performance of the beginning of the Vîkaya ('exorcism') 4, Mêdyôk-mâh is preserved. 8. Not on this account, that Afarg is more preservative 5 through once washing, is the operation to be performed according to the teaching of Afarg, but the once washing from Afarg who is the prior deponent, and the one purifier from Mêdyôk-mâh who is the most corroborated are to be accepted and to be conducted.

9. And even the computers of the stars would make the position of the stars which exists when that of the sun and moon is from the direction (min zîk) of Satvâharân 6, that of Saturn from the direction

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of Avênak, and that of Mars from the direction of Padramgôs, a position which sends much good, and is said to be capable of undoubtedly (anârangak) bringing on maturity of strength. 10. That this is to be seen as an occurrence (gastŏ) is a conjunction (nazdakŏ) which is not possible 1, because, if the conjunction of Satvâharân be exact, yet, since Saturn and Mars are not at their conjunctions (min nazdak), its effect is not a good configuration (khûp tanû); if the conjunction of Avênak be exact, yet, since the sun, moon 2, and Mars are not at their conjunctions, its effect is not good; and if the conjunction of Padramgôs be exact, yet, since the sun, moon, and Saturn are not 3 at their conjunctions, the effect is

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not good; on account of 1 which, in any conjunction which is not exact, they believe it possible for a firm mind also to accomplish this auspicious labour (sukh-varzisnŏ), but they say the just and wise should make the decision 2. 11. So that this one is a very good position, because that which is truly issuing (râst-tag) through the conjunction of Satvâharân, is from that mighty Satvâharân 3, and that of Satvâharân being better through the conjunction of Padramgôs, that is done 4.

12. You should understand that of the same kind is the similitude of the three teachings, of which you have written, with this similitude which I have portrayed 5 and ordered to form and scheme, so that you may look at it more clearly, from a proper regard for your own deliverance 6, for the sharp

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intellectuality of the re-explainers of what is not well-considered in connection with its purpose (âhankŏ), and for the accumulation of opinions that is steadfast in the law of the ancients and orders you to heed it. 13. For, owing to the miraculousness and pre-eminence of that 1, he who thinks to restore the good ideas of the ancients does not himself understand the knowledge in that wisdom of the ancients, and does not keep his own presumption (mînîh) lowly and teachable; much, too, which is through his own learning is declared to be out of it (the law), and how he orders us to understand it is by his own opinion 2.


331:2 The decree of Zâd-sparam. a copy of which had been sent to him by the people of Sîrkân (see Ep. I, iv, 7).

331:3 The two liquids used in the purifying ceremony of the Bareshnûm (see App. IV).

332:1 See Ep. I, v, 1.

332:2 From pollution.

332:3 In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, j (see App. IV), where the threefold washing is connected with the name of Afarg, and the once washing with that of Mêdyôk-mâh; but Ep. I, vi, 7--9 agrees with the statement here.

333:1 The words pasîmal, 'after deponent,' and pêsmâl, 'prior deponent,' are here written alike (see Ep. I, vi, 10, note).

333:2 In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b (see App. IV and compare Ep. I, vi, 1-4).

333:3 See Ep. I, v, 1.

333:4 See Ep. I, vi, 6.

333:5 From pollution (see § 6).

333:6 The high-priest of the Parsis in Bombay is of opinion that the names of the three 'directions' mentioned in this section are the Pahlavi forms of the names of three of the lunar mansions, whose p. 334 Pâzand appellations are given in Bd. II, 3; and he identifies Satvâharân with Kahtsar, Avênak with Avdem, and Padramgôs with Padêvar. The reading of all these names is, however, very uncertain. Satvâharân is written Satâharân three times out of the five occurrences of the name, and the first syllable might easily be read Gaht = Kaht, so as to correspond with the Pâzand; on the other hand, the reading Sat corresponds with Sata-bhishag or Sata-târakâ, the Sanskrit name of the 25th lunar mansion, Kahtsar. As Pâz. Avdem seems to be merely Pahl. afdûm, 'last,' I prefer identifying Avênak (which can also be read Avêrak) with the ninth lunar mansion, Avra (Avrak in Bd. VII, 1, Avrak in Zs. VI, 1), the Sans. Âsleshâ. Padramgôs is also written Padramgôs twice out of the three occurrences of the name; its identification with Padêvar makes it the first lunar mansion, the Sans. Asvinî. The aspect of the heavens, therefore, which is here mentioned as very auspicious, has the sun and new moon in the latter part of Aquarius, Saturn in the first part of Aries, and Mars in the latter part of Cancer, that is, twice as far from Saturn as the latter is from the sun and moon.

334:1 That is, it very rarely happens; as rarely as the exact agreement of three different commentators, whom these three conjunctions are intended to represent.

334:2 Reading mitrô mâh, instead of Mêdyôk-mâh.

334:3 The MSS. omit lâ, 'not,' by mistake.

335:1 Reading râî, as in J, instead of the lâ, 'not,' of K35 and BK.

335:2 That is, the circumstances are too unpropitious for any one to come to a decision without consulting those who are better qualified to judge, as is also the case when commentators disagree.

335:3 Reading min zak rabâ Satvâharân, but this is doubtful, because K35 has min rabâ âharân with zak Sat written above min rabâ; BK has min zak Satŏ (or dâdŏ) rabâ âharân (or khârân), which is merely reading the same characters in a different order; while J omits most of the doubtful phrase, having merely min zak-î, which, with the alteration of râst-tag into râsttar, changes the meaning into the following:--'because that which is through the conjunction of Satvâharân is more correct than that of Satvâharân, and that which is through the conjunction of Padramgos, that is done.'

335:4 Or 'that remains the effect.'

335:5 Reading nîsânînîdŏ; K35 and BK omit the first letter so as to convert the word into dîhânînîdŏ, which might mean 'presented.'

335:6 From pollution. There is some temptation to use the word 'salvation' for bûgisn, but this would introduce ideas that were, no doubt, foreign to the author's mind.

336:1 The ancient law, as contained in the difficult language of the Avesta.

336:2 That is, commentators are apt to attribute to the scriptures many opinions which really originate in themselves.


1. It is disquieting about this, too, which is declared in your writing 3, as regards your vehement desire and embarrassment (rûzdîh) for a new law, and your wish and longing. for the establishment of the law of the apostles 4; as also that which you have done about the gathering of the details of statements from the three teachings 5, and about

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causing the rapid bringing of the new law. 2. And on account of your embarrassment and wrong-doing (vadag) they would give up the Frasnâteê ('washing upwards 1) and Upasnâteê ('washing downwards'), to bring the fifteen times which are without ordinance (barâ âînakŏ), that are after it 2, back to the fifteen which are a portion of the ordinance (âînakŏ vâî).

3. As to the three times, each of which times one runs a mile (hâsar) even until he obtains a purifier 3, since peradventure thy mile (parasang), too, might become more, all the good work is written purposely (ag-karîhâ) of three miles and more 4. 4. And that, too, which the high-priests have so appointed, when he has striven in that manner for three persons 5, or that sin and retribution of his is apportioned unto them and brought to the balance (sangag-âînîdŏ), is because that commission and retribution of sin might now, peradventure, be

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allotted unto the priest 1; for if he were impure (palistŏ) there would be no one whatever who would properly perform the purification as it is necessary.

5. Then it has become indispensable for you to perform the purification, for that operation--so suitable for the discreet where 'he who has been by the dead 2,' so that he has become polluted, and even 'the stars and moon and sun shine upon his life discontentedly'--is just as fit for the exalted when there is great 'propitiation of fire, water, earth, cattle, righteous males, and righteous women' thereby. 6. So great is its value that where there is no purification of the body it is not possible to purify the life and soul; and when there is a man in a realm who is able to perform it, that man is not justifiable except when he shall perform it.

7. Finally, when that pre-eminent operation is being accomplished, over which there is in revelation and the perfect information due to revelation that supreme 3 control which you are so disputing in the religion--which even through your trifling (khûrdakŏ) in the name of authority is becoming a struggle (patkâr-yehevûn)--then, though it may not be possible for you to perform it yourself, it should thereupon be the duty of some one of your disciples to perform it in your sight, so that you may be aware of the rite, even apart from the great resources in that most learned (âztûm) acquaintance

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with revelation which is associated with you 1. 8. Also from that which is repeatedly written by you with understanding of the rite, as regards all three teachings 2, it is manifest those rites are mentioned even as those which are more maintained, and are not those which are unnecessary to perform. 9. You are a something therein that tends to preserve 3 a little of what it is not possible for thee to attain fully in any mode; when thou shalt obtain the operations of the voice 4, and the water and bull's urine, as well as the three men 5, or thou shalt give a man 6 to wash therein, the intellect of those controlling is then, indeed, not preservative therein.

10. It is proper also for you to consecrate the water and bull's urine by that ritual which is in all three teachings, to prepare your own ritualistic liquid and other things which are approved among you with mutual assistance, and to appoint a purifier who has performed fully acceptably and been wanted. 11. Then, to give out properly to the country that the purification, is according to my order, I always

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perform it more acceptably than that of other purifiers. 12. For the water and bull's urine are all consecrated by me, and the three hundred pebbles (sang 1) are cast into them (aûbas) by me, just as it is directed; the operation is also directed by me in the three days 2 when it is performed, and all the customary parts are washed three times by me 3; the ablution seats (makŏ) are also arranged by me anew for every single person, and the use of washed seats is not ordered by me therein 4; every rite of the washing by the purifier is also so performed by me as all three teachings have mentioned as perfection. 13. You become the best of the district, as regards the minutiae (bârîkîdôân) of the purification that is within your duty, so long as they excite the sight 5, but which are curtailed (kazd) by you in the way of washing disclosed to me 6, while, when it should be performed by you in this manner, your performance would be equally constantly extolled and your writing praised.

14. When, then, you write of it that they should always perform it just as now, the falsity therein is

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grievous (yagar), and I know none worse; for this washing and professional purification which one is to keep in operation--as is declared by revelation, the teaching of high-priests, and those of the primitive faith who are esteemable 1--you withdraw (madam dârêdŏ) from the midst of us. 15. That which you understand yourself is that unto Aûharmazd the confederate good creatures are as it were defiled and in the eyes of the good and wise they are as it were propitiatory towards the mischievous Vâê 2. 16. And your words about it are just as they say concerning a beggar 3, where a garment is given to him, thus: 'Wash the dirt (âlûg) on him thoroughly clean;' and that garment they shall take is put upon the fire and burnt; and he spoke thus: 'My dirt was a comfort.'


336:3 The decree mentioned in Chap. II, 1.

336:4 That is, the new law which the future apostles, Hûshêdar, Hûshêdar-mâh, and Sôshâns (see Dd. II, 10) are expected to bring, so as to restore the religion in preparation for the resurrection.

336:5 Those of Mêdyôk-mâh, Afarg, and Sôshâns (see Ep. I, v, 1, 6).

337:1 These terms are quoted from Vend. VIII, 276, 279 (see App. V), and are thus explained in Pahlavi in Chap. IV, 2.

337:2 Referring, apparently, to the second mention' of the fifteen washings, in Pahl. Vend. VIII, 281, which does not occur in the Avesta text ('the ordinance'), but refers to its previous occurrence in § 279 of the Avesta. But, perhaps, the author means that they would confound the final washing appointed in Vend. VIII, 299 with the preliminary washing appointed in the previous § 279.

337:3 See Vend. VIII, 280, 287, 295 (compare App. V and Ep. I, ii, 6, note).

337:4 After the polluted person has thrice run a mile, he is to run further (see Vend. VIII, 294) to some inhabited spot; from which directions the author concludes that any excess of distance is immaterial. K35 and BK have 'four miles and more,' but this seems to be a copyist's blunder.

337:5 To purify him, and, if they refuse, they each take a share of his sin (see Vend. VIII, 280-293),

338:1 Who is to purify him finally with the Bareshnûm ceremony.

338:2 Referring to Vend. IX, 161-1 63, quoted at length in Ep. I, iv, 3.

338:3 Reading mahîstô, but it can also be read Mazdayastô, 'Mazda-worshipping.'

339:1 That is, even when not performing the ceremony himself, his presence would be desirable, for the sake of securing due attention to all the details, with which his superior knowledge must make him better acquainted than his subordinates.

339:2 See § 1.

339:3 Reading bûkhtanŏ; the MSS. divide the word, so as to convert it into barâ tanû,' without a body.' The meaning is that by his presence he is, at all events, able to secure some efficiency in the ceremony, when he is compelled to intrust its performance to subordinates who are not fully competent.

339:4 In the prayers and exorcisms.

339:5 See § 4.

339:6 That is, one thoroughly qualified (the priest mentioned in § 4) who requires no special supervision.

340:1 See Ep. I, vii, 16.

340:2 The 'three washings' mentioned in Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, o (see App. IV); referring probably to those after the third, sixth, and ninth nights (see Vend. IX, 136, 140, 144), that is, on the fourth, seventh, and tenth days of the Bareshnûm ceremony. Most of this clause is omitted in J.

340:3 As said to have been directed by Mêdyôk-mâh (see Chap. 71, 6, Ep. I, vi, 7), though the extant Pahlavi Vendidâd (IX, 132, j) attributes the order to Afarg.

340:4 Compare Ep. I, ix, 7, Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, o, s.

340:5 J has 'so long as they advance the purification as much as possible by a resemblance so approved,'

340:6 In the heretical decree under consideration.

341:1 That is, by the Avesta and Zand.

341:2 Reading anâkŏ Vâê; he is the demon that carries off the soul (see Dd. XXX, 4). Even the best creatures are imperfect in the eyes of Aûharmazd and the righteous.

341:3 Reading niyâzkar, instead of the niyâzar, of the MSS.


1. It 4 is both explained again and summarized thus:--If the decree be from a law of Zaratûst, is it so decreed as he spoke it? and if they should never perform by that, do not bring the Avesta and its exposition into the midst of it. 2. For the fifteen times of which you have written, if from the revelation of Zaratûst, are his mode of washing fifteen times upwards and fifteen times downwards 5, a rule

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which is fulfilled. 3. It is said, if one's defilement be owing to depositing any bodily refuse (higar-1), then nothing of this is ever necessary for him, for one reckoning (mar-1) 1 will smite that which he takes hold of with a finger and it is clean, or it will smite a golden yellow clean, or whatever 2 it shall smite is clean; but nothing merely clean is purified, unless a demon be clean 3.

4. And this, too, is very amazing to me, that when this is not taken into account by you, that when there should be, and one should obtain, no purifier 4 it would then be necessary for him to operate himself 5, how then is this knowledge obtained by you, on which information (âgahîh) has reached you, that the purifying of all the purifiers of the country of Irân is just as they should always perform it. 5. When, as I consider, there is then no complete acquaintance with the management of a house in you, its own master, in what manner then is our account of the gossip 6, and your information, about all the purifiers of the country of Irân

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obtained? 6. If your people should abandon that which is most indispensable, and your account of the gossip, as regards that which the whole realm has done, be not according to the commands of religion and to sound wisdom; and if it has not come completely to your knowledge as the washing of the purifiers of the country of Irân--because, when you do not fix the number even of their footsteps 1, it is certain that your understanding of their disposition and virtuous practice is even less--then it was necessary for you to determine the reason that all the purifiers in the country of Irân always wash that way that is declared as improper, with whatever certainty it be uttered or written.


341:4 His own line of argument.

341:5 See Chap. III, 2.

342:1 That is, a single washing, which is sufficient for ordinary defilements unconnected with the dead.

342:2 This is doubtful; the word seems to be kîkê in Pâzand, but, as the Av. î and û are much alike in Iranian MSS., it may be read kûk-ê, and the phrase would then be 'or it will smite a penis clean.'

342:3 That is, cleanliness can no more be considered purification than a demon, who is supposed to be an embodiment of impurity, can be considered clean.

342:4 J has 'when there should be no purifier it would be necessary to beg the help of a chief of the religion, and when one should not obtain that.'

342:5 As directed in Vend. VIII, 299 (see App. V).

342:6 Reading vak sakhûn, but this is uncertain.

343:1 Referring probably either to the distance of the Bareshnûm place from pure objects, or to the distances between the holes or ablution seats, and from them to the furrows, mentioned in Vend. IX, 12, 24, 18, 22 (see App. IV).

CHAPTER V. Scroll Up

1. If this which is said by you be a knowledge that is replete (avkâr) with advantage, why was it then necessary for you to keep it as it were concealed 2 from me, when I thus consider that, if a knowledge should be rightly obtained by you, it should then have been needful for you to report unto me on the first rumour 3 from every one who is well-enlightened (hû-bâm)? 2. If this decree

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seemed so to you before, between when you have been in Pârs and this time when in Sîrkân, it was not well considered with those acquainted with the religion, the wise and the high-priests, and not even reported. 3. If not conceived by you before, then what learned acquaintance with the religion was acquired by you in Sarakhs 1 and Shirâz, about which you are enlightened? 4. And before it was to be well considered amid observation and meditation 2 what high-priest was obtained by you in Shirâz, who, when it was well considered with him, in completely securing himself, kept you away from deliberation to be decided with me and other priestly men and high-priests?

5. If not decided by you in Pârs on account of breaking away from me, that is as though you yourself understand that I am to keep, in my own person, not even in the rank of discipleship unto you, but in that which is like servitude; and my coming 3, which is on your account, is even an accumulation of harm and distrust (tars) which you have amassed for yourself by having written and acted, and has made me suffer sorrow (vîdvarînîdŏ) in my own person. 6. If it had been shown to me by you that it would be the preservation of the religion, it would then have incited me to accept it steadfastly. 7. If,

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for the sake of co-operation with me, a lawful decree had been even more privately propagated by you, and if the religious demonstration about it were conservative and correct, it would then have been less vexatious for you to explain it to me than to others who have less acquaintance with the decrees and declaration of revelation; and if a difference had arisen thereon, a correct reply would then have come to you more fully from me. 8. And if you conceive that it is not necessary to demonstrate it to me through the declaration in revelation, that deliverance which it is not necessary to announce is not to be so decreed, even in another place. 9. And, just as even in Pârs, if it were not decreed by you in Sîrkân on that account, when your conception was that they would not accept it from you, it was necessary for you to know that, because it was not possible for you to provide much interval for demonstration.

10. If its purport be now considered by you, when you are moving as to the writing from Shirâz 1--which writes fully of your acquirement and interpretation of it, and of a mutilated deliverance 2--the arrangements for iniquity on this subject are many. 11. And one of them is the erroneous writing 3 which is with me, for you conceive that they would accept from me your view, as it were swearing (sôkandîkŏ) that it does not go to the filth accumulated for 4

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[paragraph continues] Zaratûst, and does not contend with him; and that the opposition (hamêmalîh) does not strive for a new law, and does not increase the evil of the spirit and the world, since it labours for the hoard of the soul.

12. And, persistently concealed, that was done by thee, owing to which is the anguish of my life; for it is annoying when a wound of the soul is not actually realised by means of the decree; but if, too, it should be really avoidable, it is then even said that ignorance itself would be regenerative (navazûdârîhâ), since it is not dubious to me, unless a matured knowledge of creation and some of that even of the angels should be in sight 1. 13. Also through their much talking, which is like Vîsaris 2, and much affliction, which is like the eradication of life, there is a perpetual demonstration then in every place of the country of Irân, where this information about its religion shall arrive, that they then consider thee as an apostate and an enemy of the religion.

14. And through this eager procedure of yours many troops in the provinces, who have to horse (aspînîdanŏ) themselves, have joined Âtûrŏ-pâd 3;

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for, inasmuch as those most mounted on horses 1 are the washers 2 of Sîrkân, who would have always thought about their abundance which is due to the archangels, they have spoken with opponents about this interpretation of the section of scripture (vîdak) 3, and so become similarly testifying 4, thus: 'We do not conceive it is necessary to demand thy reason for this most grievous disaster 5, a thing which is more complete through your elucidation of doubt and the power of the enemy, owing to this way which is appointed by thee.' 15. And on that account, too, it is more disquieting unto me, when I am aware both of the origin of this perplexity and the surpassing contamination which is possible to arise from it.

16. And you always so observe as not to leap (la aîyyûkhtanŏ) without looking before; but temporary observation is nothing really of that which, by a well-stinging similitude, is what one observes, with the eyesight looking well forward, when dust of many kinds is domesticated with the sight of the

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eye; and if his intellect be not judicious he is wonderfully deceived by it; and should it be even when he mentions the existence of two moons, has it become more proved thereby? 17. It is a custom of the most provoking in itself, and presented disquietingly when I, who believe with a fervent mind, would have delivered the life even of my body over to the perplexing bridge 1 for your happiness and enjoyment. 18. Also, on account of my want of leisure, even the information which is presented, asking peace, is information I believe with a generous mind; and being aware regarding my want of leisure is both an advantage and harmful, and the heart to write of them 2 is, therefore, miraculous. 19. Then it is always necessary for me, who am in want of leisure, to write unto you so much writing of the harassing of annoyers and against disputes, of whose end there is no conception in my heart.


343:2 Reading nîhânŏ, as in J, but K35 and BK omit the first letter.

343:3 Assuming that mayâg is a pseudo-Huzvâris equivalent of âvâg (Pers. âvâ); mayâ being the true Huzvâris of âv, 'water.'

344:1 A town in the extreme north-east of Khurâsân, between Nîshahpûhar and Marv, but nearer the latter city. When in this town Zâd-sparam probably came in contact with the Tughazghuz mentioned in Chap. I, 12.

344:2 J inserts the words 'by you, and through your good consideration it was more properly undeceiving, if done, then.'

344:3 Referring to his intended visit to Sîrkân, mentioned in Chaps. VI, 4, 6, VII, 3, Ep. I, xi, 4.

345:1 Referring probably to Ep. I, which appears to have been written from Shirâz after holding as general assembly (see Chap. I, x, Ep. I, iii, 13); but this epistle, judging from the remark in the text, was probably written after Mânûskîhar had left Shirâz, as was also Ep. III (see Chap. VIII, 1).

345:2 From pollution.

345:3 See Chap. II, 1.

345:4 Assuming that the Pâz. pgsâhu stands for paz sâkh-î: but, p. 346 as Av. g and d are much alike, it may be pdsâhu, which, when written in Pahlavi letters, can also be read pad gêhan, 'protector of the world;' or pdsâhu may be merely a corruption of padshâh = pâdakhshah, 'sovereign.'

346:1 Meaning that he should have preferred being ignorant of such a decree, unless it exhibited far more knowledge of the truth than it actually did.

346:2 So written here in Pâzand; but, no doubt, the demon Vîzaresha (the Vîzarâsh of Dd. XXXII, 4, XXXVII, 44), who carries off the souls of the wicked, is meant.

346:3 The name, apparently, of some rival of his in authority, who is also mentioned in Chap. IX, 11.

347:1 Reading asp-vârakântûm, and this meaning tallies well with the previous mention of troops horsing themselves; but J, by pre-fixing a stroke, changes the word into vâspôharakântûm, 'those most renowned among the spheres.'

347:2 The ceremonial washers or priests.

347:3 The term vîdak is applied to sections or chapters of the Avesta in Dd. XLVII, 1, 5, 6, LXVI, 4; and here it must be applied to the Avesta of Vend. VIII or IX, to which the misinterpretations of. Zâd-sparam specially referred.

347:4 J has 'and so given similar testimony, which is written by them of a priest of your fame, and written by them to me.'

347:5 The diminution of their means of livelihood by the decrease of ceremonial washing, more than their apprehension of the sinfulness of such decrease.

348:1 The Kinvad bridge, or passage to heaven (see Dd. XX, 3); meaning that he would have been ready to lose his life for the sake of his brother.

348:2 The heart to write of the 'happiness and enjoyment' of § 17.


1. When at any time I write more pleasantly, this directs you to understand that still with the steadfast, are my affection and natural lowly-mindedness; afterwards, too, that which happens when you have kept me wide away from the way of brotherhood, and higher even than a father, master, leader, ruler, or high-priest, is due to the fame and happiness of

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my body and life, not to affection of character, but the position of religion and the command of the sacred beings. 2. On that account, when you have seen the pure religiousness, the learned knowledge, and the repose-promoting truth of the invisible (avênâpîh) of which my 1 heart is leaping with evidence, so that you are steadfast even unto the nôid asta-ka ('not though the body') of which Zaratûst the Spîtamân spoke 2--and, because, turned by me to the religion which is thy passport (parvânakŏ) to the best existence, you have understood that it is the organizer of the greatest protection, even that is supposed by me--I undergo all the terror of the period in hope of the supreme recompense.

3. And the position that that religion has given, which on that account is mine, you have that way considered as supremacy 3; and if, sent from you or another person, the opposition of one of the same religion is seen to be the dispersion and disruption of the appointed profession, I act against the continuance of the opposition, and as steadfastly as the series (zarah) of submissiveness and gratification of your priestly lordship has done to me. 4. And this will be undoubtedly realised by you, that if you do not turn away from this decree which is not preservative, but, being appointed, I reach out from

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the country of Irân 1, then I shall become its greatest attacker of you. 5. And so I consider that from my opposition it is possible for more harm to happen unto you than from many accusers who are like the leader of those of the good religion, the many who are as it were of like fame with me.

6. And also from my departure, and the non-existence of one that is a friend of yours, who, like me, is less able to be for your harm than he who is one of the many accusers of whom it is I who am the restrainer, you know this, that my coming is on account of the affection of some and the reverence of others. 7. From the exercise of religion I do not at all fall away, and for the sake of the position of the religion I am maintaining opposition 2 to any one; even when he is a friend who is loved by me, I am then his antagonist 8. Fate (zîkŏ) 3 is the great truth of the vacant, the form (andâm) 4 which has procured the light of life.


349:1 The MS. J ends at this point, but the continuation of the text, as far as the word 'important' in Chap. IX, 7, is interpolated in Dd. XXXVII, 33 in the same MS.

349:2 In Vend. XIX, 26, 'not though the body, not though the life, not though the consciousness should part asunder,' would he curse the good, Mazda-worshipping religion.

349:3 He now proceeds from persuasion to an assertion of his authority, accompanied by threats.

350:1 Referring to his intended visit to Sîrkân (see Chaps. V, 5, VII, 3, Ep. I, xi, 4),

350:2 J has 'I am an opposition.'

350:3 Or 'living.'

350:4 Or 'the time (hangâm).'


1. A well-reflecting person, moreover, is able to understand that which is written by me, in private, in writing unto the good people of Sîrkân, as perhaps a legitimate copy 5 of a writing of that kind from

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me may be near you; and it was like the production of some one for the tearing and rending of his own limbs, and for the purpose of bringing on that remedy--the burning, torturing medicine that is religious 1--whose purpose is to remain away from the steadfast while abiding by the commands of religion. 2. This same epistle 2, which was one of very great incompleteness, and one as it were thinking very severely, was similar to the decision (azad 3) to which I have come on the same subject, which is written of below and again; and accompanying this epistle was a man of my own with a further epistle 4. 3. I am discharging (vigârakŏ) my own duty as regards it 5, where I so arrange affairs of every kind which it is possible for me to complete for a period of three months 6, and come myself to where you are, and that mastery (kîrîh) which is prepared is again arranged when it is wanted by them 7.

4. You have already become a reserver (khamo-sîdâr) and rapid preparer of the adaptation of words in which cogency exists, and have clearly explained

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as much as is in sight about the reason of altering that decree, concerning which your opinion is written with great judiciousness. 5. But as to the understanding which prompted you to write properly, and not to alter the rites and purifications of the Avesta, and about the duty of purifying the purifiers 1, such as has entered into the practice of the good, the propriety is declared in the teaching of the high-priests; and to do it better, so far as is possible, is to strive forwards in goodness.

6. Also, as regards changing the law of the fifteen times washing 2, just as it is for Irân in which purifiers are to be found, it is ordered for places to be found without purifiers; and it is in the countries of Irân that the order is given regarding purifiers not thus appointed for the work.


350:5 The MSS. have pînŏ, instead of pakînŏ. This copy of Ep. I is mentioned in Ep. I, xi, 10.

351:1 Probably meaning 'remorse.'

351:2 Ep. I.

351:3 Chald. ‏ו ?Aֲ?Zַ?D‎, referring to his general mandate (Ep. III) mentioned again in Chap. VIII, 1.

351:4 The temporary epistle to Zâd-sparam (mentioned in Ep. I, xi, 1, 5), of which no copy has been preserved.

351:5 J begins as follows:--'And I will come later on and more combatively, when it is requisite for the sacred beings (or for them); I am also myself in possession of an opportunity as regards it.'

351:6 This period for his visit to Sîrkân is also mentioned in Ep. I, xi, 4.

351:7 Or 'by the sacred beings;' the words yazdân and sân being written alike.

352:1 J has 'and not to alter the purification in the rites of the Avesta.'

352:2 See Chaps. III, 2, IX, 2, Ep. I, ii, 6, note.


1. To arrange again for approval the other matters, of which a portion is written about by you, an epistle 3 is again prepared in advance for Sîrkân, Shirâz, and other places, so as thus to make your decree a writing of bygone offence. 2. Because, if your despatch (firîst) prepared this new .proceeding, and you do not turn away from it, and do not recede through opposition and accumulation of vexation, and these others, too, like thee, shall

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not now abandon routine of that kind, then your children, your own precious ones who are beloved--of whom I know that you make them love you, and do not, moreover, diminish in your protection of them--shall be your accusers; and they shall abandon confidence in me as refuge and guardian, and in the sacred beings, through want of advice and want of guardianship. 3. The fires of the sacred fires whose manager is a guard and protection such as I, lest they should not obtain such an officiating priest (zôtŏ), will have in defence and guardianship of themselves to make back to their Shirâz abode. 4. And I myself shall have to retire (agvirazîdanŏ) from the countries of Irân, and to wander forth to far distant realms where I shall not hear a rumour about your evil deeds. 5. In my occupation, moreover, my fortune (sukûn) may be to wander forth by water even to China, or by land even to Arûm 1; but to be carried off by Vâê 2, that uplifter, is much more my desire than when I am there where, owing to you, I hear that, as regards the glorifying of the sacred beings, which, because of my reply obtained above, would then be as much as death to me; it would also be the ending of that internal strife, so distasteful (aparvârakŏ) to me, which is like his who has to struggle with his own life.


352:3 Ep. III, also mentioned as a 'decision' in Chap. VII, z.

353:1 The eastern empire of the Romans, that is, Asia Minor and the neighbouring regions.

353:2 The bad Vâê, who carries off the soul (see Dd. XXX, 4).


1. This, too, this aged one (aûzvârdŏ 1) orders, that, as to the polluted of the countries of Irân, when they do not obtain another washer, their way is then through thoroughly washing themselves 2. 2. For you who are understanding the rite and capable of washing, and are the most forward and intelligent of the religious, so long as your previous washing is a way of no assistance, there is this tediously-worded epistle; moreover, all their sin you assign for your own affliction 3, whose after-course is thus for their Pankadasa fifteenfold') washing', at the time they shall abandon, as distasteful, that sin which is a new development by way of Upasnâteê ('washing downwards') 4; and the sinfulness is his who established that law for them.

3. And yours are truly creatures of a fetid pool (gand-âvŏ), who, as regards my motive, always speak about it just as they spoke thus to a priest 5: 'Why has the savoury meat-offering not become forgotten by thee, while the firewood and incense, because it is not possible to eat them up, are quite

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forgotten?' 4. Also, as a similitude of your affairs, they are saying that it is as though the stipend of guardianship were always to be demanded just in accordance with omissions of duty (avâg mânîdîhâ) 1. 5. So that even while the trifle of trifles which exists as an interval from the title of leadership unto that of high-priestship--in which, except a title that is no joy of the strictly religious, there is nothing whatever--is, that way, to prepare a source of dispute as to the work which you do for the guardianship, it should, therefore, be a sufficiency (khvâr-bâr), where your own supreme work is purification itself; and to do either what is taught, or is advantageous, would be withdrawing from the country a demand which has caused disturbance (balûbâkînîdŏ); to subdue it thou shouldst always so decide the daily allowances 2.

6. And, to-day, I have, on that account, written everything sternly, because that which another person arranges and speaks so opposed to me in evil appearance--which is little fit to be prepared--when I write seasonably, and with friendly and brotherly exaltation, you direct and persevere more expressly in preparing, so that portion upon portion is thus brought forth. 7. In good old age 3 the great law of after-restoration is a harsh remedy, and, on that

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supposition, where a rule is shown to descend from their three teachings 1, and is itself regarded as true, and the wisdom of the period as impotent (anôzôharîkŏ), you yourself fully imagine (hû-minêdŏ) 2 that further restoration is not an important 3 and foremost thing. 8. Those of different faiths of various kinds have many usages and perplexing kinds of doubt, even about the accomplishment and explanation of the statements of the high-priests 4, for on this subject, about old age (gûnânîh), and even about sprinkling and about yourself accomplishing the religious rites, you are wisely for a preservation of the equally wise experience of the profession; and as to the heterodox, that writing which realised that even now memory is opposing you is itself evil-wishing 5, and you know it is your own arrangement.

9. This, too, they 6 say that, if it be on that account that the purifiers shall not always so perform the purification by all three teachings, or every rite which is proper according to one teaching, it will be necessary that the purifiers shall abandon purification. 10. Then about old age, the performance of the ceremonial 7, and the many times of this which

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are mentioned as though this were proper, it is stated as regards how it is proper that, when on account of those of the good religion they always proceed just as is mentioned in the Zand teaching of the Avesta 1, it will then be necessary that they shall abandon the religion. 11. And many other sayings of things like unto these are scattered about (zerkhûnî-aîtŏ), and are named near Âtûrŏ-pâd 2 as hints from you; for this reason they are reckoned (khaprag-aîtŏ) in the thoughts of men.

12. And this much is written by me in distressing haste I consider it complete, and may peace and every happiness perpetually become hospitably attainable and accomplishable for you thereby, through the severe anguish and discomfort, and the eternal distress and despondency of the healer of affliction, Mânûskîhar, son of Yûdân-Yim, director of the profession of priests of Pârs and Kirmân 3.

13. Written in propitiation, praise, and benediction of the creator Aûharmazd and the archangels, all the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences, and every guardian spirit of the righteous. 14. Homage to the exalted pontiff (radŏ) sent from the creator Aûharmazd, the most heavenly of the heavenly, Zaratûst the Spîtamân. 15. The

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most prayerful and gainful of things is righteousness; great and good and perfect is Zaratûst; and one only is the way of righteousness, all the others are no ways 1.


354:1 From this it appears clearly that Mânûskîhar was an aged man when these epistles were written, though not too old to travel. The previous allusion to old age, however, in Chap. I, 9, may not have referred to himself.

354:2 As provided in Vend. VIII, 299 (see App. V).

354:3 omits alag, 'affliction;' and in K35 it is doubtful whether it be struck out, or not.

354:4 See Chap. III, 2 for both these terms.

354:5 Implying that the laity were inclined to attribute his own strict enforcement of ceremonies, requiring the employment of the priest hoot, to interested motives.

355:1 That is, the laity attributed his brother's laxity, on the other hand, to sheer neglect of duty, and had, therefore, begun to consider his supervision hardly worth paying for.

355:2 Meaning that by adherence to long-established custom, as regards both priestly work and priestly allowances, the laity would be better satisfied and more easily managed.

355:3 Reading hû-kahôbanîh; J has merely kahôbanîh, 'old age, antiquity.' He appears to be referring rather to the antiquity of the Avesta law, than to his own old age.

356:1 See Chap. III, 1, Ep. I, v, 1, 6.

356:2 J has khavîtûnêd, 'you know.' He deprecates all further investigation into the meaning of the scriptures, which had already been explained by three old commentators, as he doubted the religious wisdom of the age in which he lived.

356:3 The continuation of the text in J ends at this point.

356:4 The commentators.

356:5 That is, the decree of Zâd-sparam, though itself objectionable, was opposed to the heterodox who wished for further innovations.

356:6 The heterodox.

356:7 Referring perhaps to the performance of the Vendidâd service p. 357(which includes the Yasna ceremonial) as directed in Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, o (see App. IV).

357:1 It is possible also to read 'in the teaching of the Avesta and Zand;' but this would ignore the fact that the 'teaching' is the Zand itself.

357:2 The same rival as is mentioned in Chap. V, 14.

357:3 According to Dd. XLV, g the farmâdâr or 'director' of the profession of priests of Pârs was the pêsûpâî or 'leader' of the religion.

358:1 Compare Dd. XCIV, 14, Ep. III, 23.

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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]