THE EPISTLES OF MANUSKIHAR - APPENDIX
- Legends Relating To Keresâsp
- The Nîrang-I Kustî
- The Meaning Of Khvêtûk-Das
- The Bareshnûm Ceremony
- Finding A Corpse In The Wilderness
1. For all divisions of the translations into sentences or sections the translator is responsible, as such divisions are rarely made in the manuscripts.
2-6. (The same as on page 2.)
7. The manuscripts mentioned are:--
B29 (written A.D. 1679), a Persian Rivâyat, No. 29 in the University Library at Bombay.
BK, J, K35, M10 (as described on page 278).
L4 (written about A.D. 1324), a Vendidâd with Pahlavi, in the India Office Library in London.
M7 (written A.D. 1809), miscellaneous Parsi-Persian writings, No. 7 of the Haug Collection in the State Library at Munich.
THE Avesta informs us that Keresâspa was a son of Thrita the Sâman, and the brother of Urvâkhshaya 1. From the name of his father's family he is sometimes called Sâma Keresâspa 2, but his more usual title is Naremanau or Nairimanau, 'the manly-minded 3.' He is described as 'a youthful hero, wearing side-locks and carrying a club 4,' to whom the witch Knãthaiti 5 attached herself; she whom Zaratûst promised to destroy by means of the apostle Saoshyãs, who is to be born hereafter 6. And his body is watched over by 99,999 guardian spirits 7.
Of his exploits we are told that he 'slew the serpent Srvara, which devoured horses and men, which was poisonous and yellow, over which yellow poison flowed a hand's-breadth high. On which Keresâspa cooked a beverage in a caldron at the midday hour, and the serpent being scorched, hissed, sprang forth, away from the caldron, and upset the boiling water; Keresâsp, the manly-minded, fled aside frightened 1.' We are further told that he slew the golden-heeled Gandarewa 2; that he smote Hitâspa in revenge for the murder of his brother, Urvâkhshaya 3; that he smote the Hunus who are the nine highwaymen, and those descended from Nivika and Dâstayâni 4; also Vareshava the Dânayan, Pitaona with the many witches, Arezô-shamana, and Snâvidhaka 5; and that he withstood many smiters or murderers 6.
The details of these exploits, still extant in the Avesta, are very scanty; but some of them appear to have been more fully described in a legend about the soul of Keresâspa which formerly constituted the fourteenth fargard of the Sûdkar Nask, the contents of which are thus summarized in the ninth book of the Dînkard:--
'The fourteenth fargard, Ad-fravakhshî 7, is about
[paragraph continues] Aûharmazd's showing the terrible state of the soul of Keresâsp 1 to Zaratûst; the dismay of Zaratûst owing to that terrible state; the sorrowful speaking of Keresâsp as regards the slaying of multitudes, for which mankind extol him, whereby abstentions from sin occurred; and the recognition of him by the creator, Aûharmazd, as extinguishing his fire. The supplication of Keresâsp for the best existence from Aûharmazd for those exploits when the serpent (gaz) Srôbar 2 was slain by him, and the violence of that adversary; when Gandarep 3 with the golden heels was smitten by him, and the marvellousness of that fiend; when the Hunus of Veskŏ 4, who are
descendants of Nîvîk and Dâstânîk 1, were slain by him, and the grievous harm and disaster owing to them; and when the mighty wind 2 was appeased by him, and brought back from damaging the world to benefiting the creatures; and for that which happens when, owing to confinement 3, Dahâk becomes eager, rushes on for the destruction of the world, and attempts the annihilation of the creatures; and his being roused to smite him and to tame that powerful fiend for the creatures of the world. The opposition of fire to Keresâsp, through his causing distress to it and keeping away from it, which were owing to his seeking hell; the supplication of Zaratûst to the fire to have compassion upon him, which was owing to his sin; the compliance of the fire with that request; and the departure of the soul of Keresâsp to the ever-stationary existence 4. Perfect is the excellence of righteousness 5.'
Although the Sûdkar Nask has long been lost, the legend contained in this fourteenth fargard still survives in its Pahlavi form, though probably somewhat abridged, and a Persian paraphrase of this Pahlavi version is also to be found in the Persian
[paragraph continues] Rivâyats 1. The Pahlavi legend is included among a series of quotations, regarding the importance of fire, contained in a Pahlavi Rivâyat preceding the Dâdistân-î Dînîk in some manuscripts 2; and its close correspondence with the' above summary of the fourteenth fargard of the Sûdkar Nask will be seen from the following translation of it:--
. . . . 'And it is declared that fire is so precious that Aûharmazd spoke unto Zaratûst thus: "Of whose soul is it that the actions' 3, position, consciousness, and guardian spirit seem best when thou shalt behold it?"
'And Zaratûst spoke thus: "Of him who is Keresâsp."
'Aûharmazd summoned the soul of Keresâsp, and the soul of Keresâsp saw 4 Zaratûst and, on account of the misery which it had seen in hell, it spoke unto him thus: "I have been a priest of Kâpûl 5, which should be a power in support of me; and for the sake of begging life I have ever travelled through the world, and the world would have become hideous in my eyes, the world which should have feared my splendour 6."
'And Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Stand off, thou soul of Keresâsp! for thou shouldst be hideous in my eyes, because the fire, which is my son 1, was extinguished by thee, and no care of it was provided by thee."
And the soul of Keresâsp spoke thus: "Forgive me, O Aûharmazd! and grant me the best existence! grant me the supreme heaven! The serpent (azŏ) Srôvbar 2 is slain outright, which was swallowing horses and swallowing men, and its teeth were as long as my arm, its ear was as large as fourteen blankets (namadŏ), its eye was as large as a wheel, and its horn was as much as Dahâk 3 in height. And I was running as much as half a day on its back, till its head was smitten by me at the neck with a club made for my hand, and it was slain outright by me 4. And if that serpent had not been slain by me, all thy creatures would have been completely annihilated by it, and thou wouldst never have known a remedy for Aharman."
'Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Stand off! for the fire, which is my son, was extinguished by thee."
'Keresâsp spoke thus: "Grant me, O Aûharmazd! that best existence, the supreme heaven! for by me Gandarep 5 was slain outright, by whom twelve
districts were devoured at once. When I looked among the teeth of Gandarep, dead men 1 were sticking among his teeth; and my beard was seized by him, and I dragged him out of the sea 2; nine days and nights the conflict was maintained by us in the sea, and then I became more powerful than Gandarep. The sole of Gandarep's foot was also seized by me, and the skin was flayed off up to his head, and with it the hands and feet of Gandarep were bound; he was also dragged by me out to the shore of the sea, and was delivered by. me over to Âkhrûtrag 3; and he slaughtered and ate my fifteen horses. I also fell down in a dense thicket (aîsakŏ), and Gandarep carried off my friend Âkhrûtrag, and she who was my wife was carried off by him 4, and my father and nurse (dâyakŏ) were carried off by him. And I took under my protection (dinhârîgînîdŏ) and raised all the people of our pleasant place, and every single step I sprang forward a thousand steps, and fire fell into everything which was struck by my foot as it sprang forward 5; I went out to the sea, and they were brought back by me,
and Gandarep was taken and slain by me 1. And if he had not been slain by me, Aharman would have become predominant over thy creatures."
'Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Stand off! for thou art hideous in my eyes, because the fire, which is my son, was extinguished by thee."
'Keresâsp spoke thus: "Grant me, O Aharmazd! heaven or the supreme heaven! for I have slain the highwaymen 2 who were so big in body that, when they were walking, people considered in this way, that 'below them are the stars and moon, and below them moves the sun at dawn, and the water of the sea reaches up to their knees.' And I reached up to their legs, and they were smitten on the legs by me; they fell, and the hills on the earth were shattered by them 3. And if those fallen 4 highwaymen had not been slain by me, Aharman would have become predominant over thy creatures."
'Aûharmazd. spoke thus: "Stand off! for thou shouldst be hideous in my eyes, because the fire, which is my son, was extinguished by thee."
'Keresâsp spoke thus: "Grant me, O Aûharmazd! heaven or the supreme heaven! When the wind was weakened (rakhtŏ) and paralysed by me, the
demons deceived the wind, and they spoke unto the wind thus: 'He is more resisting thee than all the creatures and creation, and thou shouldst think of him thus, that "there is no one walks upon this earth more resistant of me than Keresâsp;" he despises demons and men, and thee, too, who shouldst be the wind, even thee he despises.' And the wind, when those words were heard by it, came on so strongly that every tree and shrub which was in its path was uprooted, and the whole earth which was in its path was reduced to powder (payangânŏîaîtŏ kardŏ), and darkness arose. And when it came to me, who am Keresâsp, it was not possible for it to lift my foot from the ground; and I arose and sallied forth (barâ yehabûnd) upon the earth, and I stood upon it, with both feet on an equality (mirîh), until a rampart (pûstŏ) of it was completed, so that I might go again below the earth; that which Aûharmazd ordered thus: 'Should I appoint a keeper of the earth and sky, they would not forsake me 1.' And if that thing had not been done by me, Aharman would have become predominant over thy creatures."
'Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Stand off! for thou shouldst be hideous in my eyes, because the fire, which is my son, was smitten by thee."
Keresâsp spoke thus: "Grant me, O Aûharmazd! heaven or the supreme heaven! for it is thus
declared by revelation, that, when Dahâk has escaped from confinement 1, no one is able to seek any other remedy against him but me; on that account grant me heaven or the supreme heaven! And if it be not possible to grant me heaven or the supreme heaven, give me again the strength and success which were mine during life! for when thou shalt give me again so much strength and success as were mine when I was produced alive, I will slay Aharman with the demons, I will eradicate darkness from hell, I will complete the beautiful light, and within its sole existence (tang-aê) 2 you shall sit and move 3."
'Aûharmazd spoke thus: "This I will not give thee, thou soul of Keresâsp! because men shall commit sin; and until men commit no more sin, it is not possible to make thee alive again, and thou wouldst also not be able to make other men alive again, for they produce the resurrection thus, when all men become quite innocent. When men shall die, and their souls are wicked, all comfort shall forsake them, and all the misery and discomfort occasioned by them shall remain."
'When Keresâsp and his exploits were spoken of in this manner, the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences wept aloud, and
[paragraph continues] Zaratûst the Spîtamân wept aloud 1 and spoke thus: "Though there should be no deceiver, I would be the deceiver in thy eyes 2, O Aûharmazd! as regards the soul of Keresâsp; for when Keresâsp should not have existed as a bodily and living existence, there would have been no remnant of anything whatever, or of creature of thine, in the world 3."
'When Zaratûst had become silent therewith, the angel of fire 4 stood upon his feet 5, and the sinfulness of Keresâsp unto himself was fully mentioned by him, and he spoke thus: "I shall not let him into heaven."
'And the angel of fire, having spoken thus many
words, desisted; and the angel Gôs-aûrvan 1 stood upon her feet, and spoke thus: "I shall not let him into hell, for the benefit produced by him for me was manifold,"
'Gôs-aûrvan, having spoken thus many words, desisted 2; and Zaratûst stood upon his feet, and homage was offered by him unto the fire, and he spoke thus: "I shall provide care for thee, and shall speak of thy exploits in the world, and I shall speak to Vistâsp 3 and Gâmâsp 4 thus 'Observe fully that a place is made for the fire as it were at once!' when Keresâsp has engaged in renunciation of sin, and you shall forgive him 5."'
The Pahlavi legend breaks off at this point, leaving
the reader to infer that Zaratûst's request was granted. It is succeeded, however, by the following further remarks about Keresâsp, which are evidently connected with the same legend:--
'Zaratûst enquired of Aûharmazd thus 1: "Whose is the first dead body thou shalt unite (varâzês)?"
'And it seemed grievous to Zaratûst, and he spoke unto Aûharmazd thus: "When the business of Keresâsp was the slaughter of men, why is his the first dead body thou wilt prepare?"
'Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Let it not seem grievous to thee, O Zaratûst! for if Keresâsp had not existed, and thus much work had not been done by him, which has been stated, there would have been no remains of thee, nor of any creature of mine."'
Besides the Persian paraphrase of this legend, in prose, the Persian Rivâyats contain another version in metre, which consists of 173 couplets 3. The exploits of Keresâsp are also mentioned in the Mainyô-i Khard (XXV II, 49-53) as follows:--
[paragraph continues] And also many other great actions, that were more valuable, he performed; and he kept back much disturbance from the world, of which, if one of those special disturbances had remained behind, it would not have been possible to effect the resurrection and the future existence.'
369:1 See Yas. IX, 30, 31.
369:2 See Fravardîn Yt. 61, 136. Hence he is often called Sâm in Pahlavi works (see Bd. XXIX, 7, 9, Byt. III, 60, 61); and, in a passage interpolated in some manuscripts of the Shâhnâmah, we are informed that Garsâsp was son of Atrat, son of Sam, which is evidently a reminiscence of Keresâsp being. a son of Thrita the Sâman (see also Bd. XXXI, 26, 27).
369:3 See Âbân Yt. 37, Râm Yt. 27, Zamyâd Yt. 38, 40, 44. Hence we have Sâm, son of Narîmân, as the grandfather of Rustam in the Shâhnâmah.
369:4 See Yas. IX, 33. M. de Harlez converts the side-locks into some weapon called gaêsus, but this word still survives in Pers. gês or gêsû, 'ringlet, side-lock.'
369:5 See Vend. I, 36. Or it may be 'the witch whom one destroys, or to whom one prays,' if we translate the name.
369:6 See Vend. XIX, 18.
369:7 See Fravardîn Yt. 61. For the reason of this watchfulness, see Dd. XVII, 6 n.
370:1 See Yas. IX, 34--39, Zamyâd Yt. 40 (translated in Haug's Essays, pp. 78, 179).
370:2 See Âbân Yt. 38, Zamyâd Yt. 41. A monster in the wide-shored ocean, who is also mentioned in Râm Yt. 28.
370:3 See Râm Yt. 28, Zamyâd Yt. 41.
370:4 See Zamyâd Yt. 41. For 'Hunus' some read 'sons:
370:5 See Zamyâd Yt. 41-44.
370:6 See Fravardîn Yt. 136.
370:7 The name of Yas. XLIV, being the first two words, ad fravakhshyâ, of that chapter of the Gâthas. In the detailed account of the contents of each fargard of the first three Nasks, given in the ninth book of the Dînkard, each fargard is distinguished p. 371 by the name of some section of the Gâthas. The names thus employed are composed of the first one, two, or three words of the Yathâ-ahû-vairyô, the Ashem-vohû, the YêNhê-hâtãm, Yas. XXVIII-XXXIV, the Yasna haptanghâiti, Yas. XLII-L, LII, LIII, which supply the twenty-two names required. When the Nask contains twenty-three fargards, as in the case of the Varstmânsar, the first fargard remains unnamed. Whether these words were used merely as names, or whether their insertion implies that the fargards of these Nasks used to be recited (somewhat like those of the Vendidâd) alternately with the sections of the Gâthas, can hardly be determined from our present information. It may be noted that the three Nasks (Sûdkar, Varstmânsar, and Bakô), whose contents are thus detailed in the Dînkard, all belong to the so-called gâsânîk or Gâtha class of Nasks; but whether that term implies that they were metrical, or merely that they were connected in some way with the Gâthas, is also uncertain.
371:1 Written Kerêsâspô, or Gerêsâspô, throughout the Pahlavi text of this paragraph.
371:2 The Srvara of Yas. IX, 34, Zamyâd Yt. 40.
371:3 The Gandarewa of Âbân Yt. 38, Râm Yt. 28, Zamyâd Yt. 41.
371:4 Reading Hunû Veskŏ, but it is also possible to read khûnŏ-dâkŏ, 'blood-producing,' which is fully applicable to these highway-robbers. The 'Hunus in Vaêska' are mentioned in Âbân Yt. 54, 57 as opponents of the warrior Tusa, but the Hunus in Zamyâd Yt. 41 have no country assigned to them.
372:1 The Nivika and Dâstayâni of Zamyâd Yt. 41.
372:2 The wind (vâdŏ), though an angel when moderate and useful, is supposed to become a demon in a gale or hurricane; and is mentioned as such in Vend. X, 24.
372:3 In the volcano, Mount Dimâvand (see Bd. XII, 31, XXIX, 9, Byt. III, 55-6 r). This exploit is expected to be performed hereafter.
372:4 The hamîstîkŏ ahvânŏ, intermediate between heaven and hell (see Dd. XX, 3).
372:5 The Pahlavi equivalent of the Av. ashem vohû, here translated, follows each summary of the contents of a fargard or Nask in the Dînkard, in the same way as ashem vohû follows each fargard of the Vendidâd and each section of the Gâthas in the Vendidâd sâdah or liturgy.
373:1 In B29, fols. 167-169, where it is quoted from a work called the Sad-darband-i Hûsh.
373:2 In BK and J; but in K35 this portion of the Rivâyat has been lost, with the first 71 folios of that MS.; it also appears to have been similarly lost from the older MS. belonging to Mr. Tehmuras Dinshawji Anklesaria.
373:3 J omits this word.
373:4 J omits the seeing.
373:5 Kâbul. One of the three most sacred fires, the Frôbak fire, is said to have been removed by Vistâsp from Khvârizem to Kâvulistân (see Bd. XVII, 6). The Persian version has 'would to God (kâskê) I were a priest!' and alters the rest of the sentence to correspond.
373:6 Reading rê-î li; J has 100 var, 'a hundred lakes (or ordeals or results).'
374:1 Fire is often called 'the son of Ahura-mazda' in the Avesta, as in Yas: II, 18, Vend. V, 9, &c.
374:2 The Srvara of Yas. IX, 34, Zamyâd Yt. 40. The Persian version has merely azdahâ, 'a dragon.'
374:3 Or it may be shâk, 'a bough.' The Persian version has 'eighty cubits.'
374:4 The Persian version adds 'and as I looked into its mouth, men were still hanging about its teeth;' which was evidently suggested by what is stated in the account of the next exploit.
375:1 The Persian version says 'horses and asses.'
375:2 For this clause the Persian version substitutes 'the sea was up to his knee, and his head up to the sun.'
375:3 This is merely a guess. The word can also be read khârvarag, 'thorny, or a thorny brake;' but it seems to be the name of some person, being followed by the word dôstŏ, 'friend,' in the next sentence. Âkhrûra, son of Haosravangh, is mentioned in Fravardîn Yt. 137, next after Sâma Keresâspa, as 'withstanding Hashi-dava (or daêva), the wicked and covetous one destroying the world.' The Persian version omits from the dragging out of the sea in this sentence to the slaying in the next (p. 376, line 1).
375:4 BK has 'by me,' which must be a blunder.
375:5 J omits these last seven words.
376:1 The Persian version says, 'I slew him, and as he fell down many villages and places became desolate.'
376:2 The 'nine highwaymen' of Zamyâd Yt. 41. The Persian version says 'seven.' BK has 'walked,' instead of 'slain.'
376:3 Instead of this sentence the Persian version has 'through fear of them people could not go on any journey, and every one whom they might see, on the road that he went, they would instantly eat up; and in three years they reckoned three hundred thousand men they had slain and destroyed. And I fought with them and slew all the seven.'
376:4 J omits the word 'fallen.'
377:1 The Persian version has 'and as it arrived near me, it was not able to bear my foot from the spot; and I seized the spirit of the wind, and overthrew him with my own strength, until he made a promise thus: "I will go again below the earth." And I did not keep back my hand from that work less than Aûharmazd and the archangels ordered me.'
378:1 See Byt. III, 55-61. The Persian version substitutes a legend about the gigantic bird Kamak (also mentioned in Mkh. XXVII, 50) which overshadowed the earth, and kept off the rain till the rivers dried up; it also ate up men and animals as if they were grains of corn, until Keresâsp killed it by shooting it with arrows continuously for seven days and nights.
378:2 That is, when there is only light, and no darkness.
378:3 J has 'I will sit and move alone within it;' and the Persian version has 'I will sit alone in that place.'
379:1 The Persian version does not mention the angels and the weeping.
379:2 This can also be translated thus: 'Though thou shouldst be no deceiver, thou wouldst be a deceiver in my eyes;' the words hômanâye, 'would be,' and hômanês, 'thou wouldst be,' being written alike.
379:3 The Persian version of this speech is, 'O good creator! I know that hatred and anger are not in thy path, and when any one indulges in hatred of another, there is no acquiescence of thine therein, yet now I see this matter as though some one maintained hatred against another.'
379:4 The Persian version says 'the archangel Ardîbahist,' who is the protector of fire (see Sls. XV, 5, 12, 13).
379:5 The Persian version proceeds, and concludes the sentence, as follows: 'and Keresâsp groaned unto Zaratûst the Spîtamân, and Ardîbahist, the archangel, said: "'O Zaratust! thou dost not know what Keresâsp has done unto me; that in the world, formerly, my custom and habit would have been so, that, as they would place firewood under a caldron, I would send the fire, until that caldron should be boiled, and their work should be completed, and then it would have come back to its own place. As that serpent that he speaks of was slain he became hungry, and because the fire fell one moment later upon the firewood which he had placed below the caldron, he smote the fire with a club and scattered the fire, and now I will not pass the soul of Keresâsp to heaven."'
380:1 Av. geus urva, 'the soul of the ox,' that is, of the primeval ox, from which all the lower animals are supposed to have been developed. This angel, who is usually called Gôs, is said to be a female, and is the protectress of cattle (see Bd. IV, 2-5); in this capacity she is supposed to be friendly to Keresâsp, whose exploits had chiefly consisted in slaying the destroyers of animal life.
380:2 The Persian version omits these words, and the preceding paragraph, proceeding in continuation of note 5, p. 379, as follows: 'And as Ardîbahist, the archangel, spoke these words, the soul of Keresâsp wept and said: "Ardîbahist, the archangel, speaks truly; I committed sin and I repent." And he touched the skirt of Zaratûst with his hand, and said: "Of mankind no one has obtained the eminence, rank, and dignity that thou obtainedst; now, through this grandeur and glory which is thine, do thou entreat and make intercession of Ardîbahist, the archangel, for me! so that it may be that I obtain liberation from this distress and torment."'
380:3 See Dd. XXXVII, 36.
380:4 See Dd. XLIV, r6.
380:5 The Persian version continues as follows: 'And as Zaratûst the Spîtamân made intercession, Ardîbahist, the archangel, said: "Thy reputation is immense, and thy will is great." And after that he made no opposition to the soul of Keresâsp, but pardoned it for Zaratûst the Spîtamân; and the soul of Keresâsp obtained liberation from that discomfort.' This version then concludes with an admonition as to the necessity of treating fire with proper respect.
381:1 J omits the following words as far as the next 'thus.'
381:2 Referring to the revival of Keresâsp from his trance, in order to destroy Dahâk, which is expected to take place before the general resurrection (see Bd. XXIX, 8, Byt. III, 59--61).
381:3 In B29, fols. 169-171, it is quoted from 'the book of Bahirâm Fîrûz.'
381:4 Written Pêhînŏ, or Pasînŏ, in the Pahlavi text.
381:5 See p. 378, note 1.
381:6 Or 'seducing,' or 'desolating.'
THE Nîrang-i Kustî, or girdle formula, is a religious rite which a Parsi man or woman ought to perform every time the hands have been washed, whether for the sake of cleanliness, or in preparation for prayer; but it is not always strictly performed in all its details.
The Kustî, or sacred thread-girdle, is a string about the size of a stay-lace, and long enough to pass three times very loosely round the waist, to be tied twice in a double knot, and to leave the short ends hanging behind. It is composed of seventy-two very fine, white, woollen threads, as described in Dd. XXXIX, 1, note, and is. tied in the manner there mentioned, but with the actions and ritual detailed below 1.
The ceremonial ablution having been performed, and the Kustî taken off, the person stands facing the sun by day, or a lamp or the moon at night; when there is no light he should face the south, as he should also at midday, even when the sun is northerly 2. The Kustî is then doubled, and the loop thus formed is held in the right hand, with the thumb in the loop; while the left hand holds the two parts of the string together, some twenty inches horizontally from the other hand; and the ends hang loosely from the left hand.
Holding the Kustî in this fashion, the person recites the following prayer in Pâzand, bowing and raising to his forehead the horizontal portion of the string at the name of Aûharmazd, dashing the string loosely and sharply downwards towards the left when mentioning Aharman, and repeating this downward jerk to the left, less violently, as each of the other evil beings is named:--'May Aûharmazd be lord! and Aharman unprevailing, keeping far away, smitten, and defeated! May Aharman, the demons, the fiends, the wizards, the wicked, the Kîks, the Karaps 1, the tyrants, the sinners, the apostates, the impious, the enemies, and the witches be smitten and defeated! May evil sovereigns be unprevailing! May the enemies be confounded! May the enemies be unprevailing!'
Bending forwards and holding the doubled Kustî up, horizontally, as before, he continues: 'Aûharmazd is the lord; of all sin I am in renunciation and penitent, of all kinds of evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds, whatever was thought by me, and spoken by me, and done by me, and happened through me, and has originated through me in the world.'
Then, holding the Kustî single with both hands near the middle of the string, but as far apart as before, while the loose ends of the string are shortened
[paragraph continues] (to prevent their touching the ground) by being partially gathered up in a large loop hanging under each hand, like a pair of spectacles, he proceeds: 'For those sins of thought, word, and deed, of body and soul, worldly and spiritual, do thou pardon this one 1! I am penitent and in renunciation through the three words 2.'
He then continues to recite the following Avesta phrases: 'Satisfaction for Ahura-mazda!' bowing and raising the Kustî to the forehead; 'scorn for Angra-mainyu!' jerking the Kustî to the left, without altering the mode of holding it; 'which is the most forward of actual exertions through the will. Righteousness is the best good, a blessing it is; a blessing be to that which is righteousness to perfect rectitude 3.' Applying the middle of the Kustî to the front of the waist at the first word, 'righteousness,' of the last sentence, it is passed twice round the waist during the remainder of the sentence, by the hands meeting behind, exchanging ends, and bringing them round again to the front.
The following Avesta formula is then recited: 'As a patron spirit is to be chosen, so is an earthly master, for the sake of righteousness, to be a giver of good thought of the actions of life towards Mazda; and the dominion is for the lord whom he has given
as a protector for the poor 1.' At the first word the long ends of the Kustî, hanging in front, are loosely twisted round each other at the waist, with a right-handed turn (that is, with the sun), and the reciter, holding his hands together, should think that Aûharmazd is the sole creator of the good creation, until he comes to the word 'actions,' after which the twist is drawn closer to the waist during the remainder of the recitation.
The same Avesta formula is then repeated. At the first word the second half of the knot is formed, by twisting the long ends of the Kustî loosely round each other with a left-handed turn (that is, against the sun), so as to complete a loose reef-knot, and the reciter, holding his hands together, should think that Mazda-worship is the true faith, until he comes to the word 'actions,' after which the complete double knot is drawn close during the remainder of the recitation.
Then, passing the long ends of the Kustî round the waist for the third time, from front to back, the previous Avesta formula, 'Righteousness is the best good,' &c., is recited. At the first word the ends of the Kustî are loosely twisted round each other behind the waist, with a right-handed turn as before, and the reciter should think that Zaratûst was the true apostle, until he comes to the first occurrence of the word 'blessing,' when the twist is drawn close. During the remainder of the formula the second half of the knot is formed, with a left-handed twist as before, while the reciter thinks that he must practise
good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, and avoid all evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds; the double knot being completed behind as the last word of the formula is uttered.
Afterwards, bending forward and holding the front knot of the Kustî with both hands, the person recites the following Avesta formula: 'Come for my protection, O Mazda 1! A Mazda-worshipper am I, a Zarathustrian Mazda-worshipper will I profess myself, both praising and preferring it. I praise a well-considered thought, I praise a well-spoken word, I praise a well-performed deed. I praise the Mazda-worshipping religion, expelling controversy 2 and putting down attack, and the righteous union of kinsfolk 3, which is the greatest and best and most excellent of things that exist and will exist, which is Ahurian and Zarathustrian. I ascribe all good to Ahura-mazda. Let this be the eulogy of the Mazda-worshipping religion.' And the reciter then repeats the formula, 'Righteousness is the best good,' &c., as before, bowing reverently, which completes the rite.
During the rite the person performing it must remain standing on the same spot, without stepping either backwards or forwards, and must speak to no one. Should anything compel him to speak, he must re-commence the rite after the interruption.
383:1 For most of the details which follow I am indebted to Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji Jâmâsp-Âsâ-nâ.
383:2 As it is, in Bombay, for about two months in the summer.
384:1 These two Pahlavi names are merely transliterations of the Av. Kavi and Karapan, the names of certain classes of evil-doers, traceable back to the earliest times, and, probably, to the Vedic kavi and kalpa, which would naturally be used in a bad sense in the Avesta (see Haug's Essays, p. 289). The Pahlavi translators of the Yasna explain these names by the words kûr, 'blind,' and kar, 'deaf,' which are merely guesses.
385:1 The Pâzand word is ukhê or aokhê, which the Gugarâti Khurdah Avesta translates by khudâtâelâ, 'most high God;' but it seems more probably a misreading of Pahl. hanâ-i, 'this one.' These phrases are a portion of the Patit or renunciation of sin.
385:2 That is, in thought, word, and deed. So far the phrases are recited in Pâzand, but the following recitations are in the Avesta language.
385:3 This last sentence is the Ashem-vohû formula (see Bd. XX, 2).
386:1 This is the Ahunavar, or Yathâ-ahû-vairyô formula (see Bd. I, 21, Zs. I, 12-19).
387:1 What follows is from Yas. XIII, 25-29, and is the conclusion of the Mazda-worshipper's creed.
387:2 The meaning of the original term fraspâyaokhedhrãm is rather uncertain, and the Pahlavi version is not easy to understand clearly; it translates this sentence, as far as the next epithet, as follows: 'I praise the good religion of the Mazda-worshippers, from which the disunion cast forth and the assault put down are manifest (this is manifest from it, that it is not desirable to go to others without controversy, and with that which arises without controversy it is quite requisite to occasion controversy):
387:3 This is one of the earliest references to hvaêtvadatha, or marriage among next-of-kin; the passage being written in the later Gâtha dialect.
THAT the term Khvêtûk-das is applied to marriages between kinsfolk is admitted by the Parsis, but they consider that such marriages were never contracted by their ancestors within the first degree of relationship, because they are not so permitted among themselves at the present day. Any statements of Greek, or other foreign, writers, regarding the marriage of Persians with their mothers, sisters, or daughters, they believe to be simply calumnies due to ignorance, which it is discreditable to Europeans to quote 1. Such statements, they consider, may have referred to the practices of certain heretical sects, but never to those of the orthodox faith.
The Parsis are, no doubt, fully justified in receiving the statements of foreign writers, regarding the customs of their ancestors, with proper caution; a caution which is quite as necessary when the statements are agreeable as when they are disagreeable to present notions. The Greeks, especially, had such a thorough contempt for all foreign customs that differed from their own, that they must have found it quite as difficult to obtain correct information, or to form an impartial opinion, about oriental habits as the average European finds it at the present time. On the other hand, the Parsis have to consider that the ancient Greek writers, whose statements they repudiate, were neither priests nor zealots, whose accounts of religious customs
might be distorted by religious prejudices, but historians accustomed to describe facts as impartially as their information and nationality would permit. It is quite possible that these writers may have assumed that such marriages were common among the Persians, merely because they had sometimes occurred among the Persian rulers; but such an assumption would be as erroneous as supposing that the marriage practices of the Israelites were similar to those of their most famous kings, David and Solomon, forgetting that an oriental sovereign is usually considered to be above the law and not subject to it.
Rejecting all statements of foreigners, as liable to suspicion, unless confirmed by better evidence, it seems desirable to ascertain what information can be obtained, on this subject, from the religious books of the Parsis themselves. This matter has hitherto been too much neglected by those best acquainted with the original texts, and must be considered as only partially exhausted in the following pages.
The term Khvêtûk-das 1 is a Pahlavi transcription of the Avesta word hvaêtvadatha, 'a giving of, to, or by, one's own,' and is sometimes partially translated into the form Khvêtûk-das, or Khvêtûk-dad, in which the syllable dâd, 'what is given, a gift,' is merely a translation of the syllable das (Av. datha).
The Avesta word hvaêtvadatha is not found in any of the Gâthas, or sacred hymns, that are still extant and are usually considered the oldest portion
of the Avesta. But its former component, hvaêtu, occurs several times therein, with the meaning 'one's own, or kinsman,' as distinguished from 'friends' and 'slaves.'
The earliest occurrence of the complete word is probably in Yas. XIII, 28 1, where it is mentioned as follows:--'I praise . . . . the righteous Hvaêtvadatha, which is the greatest and best and most excellent of things that exist and will exist, which is Ahurian and Zarathustrian.' This merely implies that Hvaêtvadatha was a good work of much importance, which is also shown by Visp. III, 18, Gâh IV, 8, and Vistâsp Yt. 17, where the Hvaêtvadatha (meaning the man who has accomplished that good work) is associated with youths who are specially righteous for other reasons. But there is nothing in any of these passages to indicate the nature of the good work.
In Vend. VIII, 35, 36 we are told that those who carry the dead must afterwards wash their hair and bodies with the urine 'of cattle or draught oxen, not of men or women, except the two who are Hvaêtvadatha and Hvaêtvadathi,' that is, male and female performers of Hvaêtvadatha. This passage, therefore, proves that the good work might be accomplished by both men and women, but it does not absolutely imply that it had any connection with marriage.
Turning to the Pahlavi translations of these passages we find the transcription Khvêtûk-das, Khvêtûk-dat, or Khvêtûk-dasîh, with explanations which add very little to our knowledge of the nature of
the good work. Thus, Pahl. Yas. XI II, 28 merely states that it is 'declared about it that it is requisite to do it;' Pahl. Vistâsp Yt. 17 1 asserts that 'the duty of Khvêtûk-das is said to be the greatest good work in the religion, that, owing to it, Aharman, the demon of demons, is becoming hopeless, so that the dissolution of Khvêtûk-das is worthy of death;' and Pahl. Vend. VIII, 36 speaks of 'the two who are a Khvêtûk-dat man and woman 2, that is, it is done by them.'
Another reference to Khvêtûk-das in the Pahlavi translations of the Avesta occurs in Pahl. Yas. XLIV, 4, as follows:--'Thus I proclaim in the world that [which he who is Aûharmazd made his own] best [Khvêtûk-das] 3. By aid of righteousness Aûharmazd is aware, who created this one 4 [to perform
[paragraph continues] Khvêtûk-das]. And through fatherhood Vohûman 1 was cultivated by him, [that is, for the sake of the proper nurture of the creatures Khvêtûk-das was performed by him.] So she who is his daughter is acting well, [who is the fully-mindful] Spendarmad 2, [that is, she did not shrink from the act of Khvêtûk-das.] She 3 was not deceived, [that is, she did not shrink from the act of Khvêtûk-das, because she is] an observer of everything [as regards that which is] Aûharmazd's, [that is, through the religion of Aûharmazd she attains to all duty and law.]' The allusions to Khvêtûk-das in this passage are mere interpolations introduced by the Pahlavi translators, for the sake of recommending the practice; they have no existence in the Avesta text, but they show that the Pahlavi translators understood Khvêtûk-das to
refer to such relationship as that of father and daughter, as will appear more clearly from further allusions to the same circumstances in passages to be quoted hereafter 1. Regarding the age of the Pahlavi translation of the Yasna we only know for certain that it existed in its present form a thousand years ago, because a passage is quoted from it by Zâd-sparam, brother of the author of the Dâdistân-î Dînîk and Epistles of Mânûskîhar, in his Selections 2, and we know that he was living in A.D. 881 3. But it was probably revised for the last time as early as the reign of Khûsrô Nôshirvân (A.D. 531-579), when the Pahlavi Vendidâd was also finally revised 4.
The Pahlavi versions of the lost Nasks must have been nearly of the same age as those of the extant Avesta, but of the contents of these versions we possess only certain statements of later writers. According to some of the modern Persian statements the Dûbâsrûged Nask contained many details about Khvêtûk-das, but this is contradicted by the long account of its contents given in the eighth book of the Dînkard, which was written more than a thousand years ago 5, and in which Khvêtûk-das is not once noticed. The practice is, however, mentioned several times in the Dînkard, as an important good work noticed in the Nasks, but no details are given, except in the following passages from the ninth book:--
First, regarding the latter part of the eighteenth fargard of the Varastmânsar Nask:--'And this, too,
that thereupon they shall excite a brother and sister with mutual desire, so that they shall perform Khvêtûk-das with unanimity, and before midday are generated a radiance which is sublime, centred in the face, and peeping glances (vênîkŏ Mils); and they make the radiance, which is openly manifest, grow up in altitude the height of three spears of a length of three reeds each 1; and after midday they have learned expulsion (rânakîh 2), and shall renounce the fiend who is before the destroyer.' This is clearly an allusion to the Khvêtûk-das of brother and sister, as it can hardly be considered as merely referring to the arrangement of marriages between their children.
Second, regarding the earlier part of the fourteenth fargard of the Bakô N ask:--'And this, too, that the performance of whatever would be a causer of procreation for the doers of actions is extolled as the perfect custom of the first Khvêtûk-das; because causing the procreation of the doers of actions is the fatherhood of mankind, the proper fatherhood of mankind is through the proper production of progeny, the proper production of progeny is the cultivation of progeny in one's own with the inclinations (khîmîhâ) of a first wish 3, and the cultivation of progeny in one's own is Khvêtûk-das. And he who extols the fatherhood of mankind, when it is a causer of the procreation of the doers of actions, has also extolled Khvêtûk-das. And this, too, that the proper nurture for the creatures, by him whose wish is for
virtue, has taught him to perform Khvêtûk-das. Virtue is its virtue even for this reason, because, for the sake of maintaining a creature with propriety, he reckons upon the proper disposition of the multitude, that which is generated in the race by innumerable Khvêtûk-dases 1. And this, too, that Spendarmad is taught as being in daughterhood to Aûharmazd by him whose wisdom consists in complete mindfulness. Even on this account, because wisdom and complete mindfulness 2 are within the limits of Aûharmazd and Spendarmad; wisdom is that which is Aûharmazd's, complete mindfulness is that which is Spendarmad's, and complete mindfulness is the progeny of wisdom, just as Spendarmad is of Aûharmazd. And from this is expressly the announcement that, by him who has connected complete mindfulness with wisdom, Spendarmad is taught as being in daughterhood to Aûharmazd. And this, too, the existence of the formation of that daughterhood, is taught by him whose righteousness consists in complete mindfulness.' This quotation merely shows that Khvêtûk-das referred to connections between near relations, but whether the subsequent allusions to the daughterhood of Spendarmad had reference to the Khvêtûk-das of father and daughter is less certain than in the case of Pahl. Yas. XLIV, 4, previously quoted 3.
Third, regarding the middle of the twenty-first
fargard of the Bakô Nask:--'And this, too, that a daughter is given in marriage (nêsmanîh) to a father, even so as a woman to another man, by him who teaches the daughter and the other woman the reverence due unto father and husband.' The reference here to the marriage of father and daughter is too clear to admit of mistake, though the term Khvêtûk-das is not mentioned.
Next in age to the Pahlavi versions of the Avesta we ought perhaps to place the Book of Ardâ-Vîrâf, because we are told (AV. I, 35), regarding Vîrâf, that 'there are some who call him by the name of Nikhshahpûr,' and this may have been the celebrated commentator of that name, who was a councillor of king Khûsrô Nôshirvân 1, so that we cannot safely assume that this book was written earlier than the end of the sixth century. It gives an account of heaven and hell, which Ardâ-Vîrâf is supposed to have visited during the period of a week, while he seemed to be in a trance. In the second grade of heaven, counting upwards, he found the souls of those who had 'performed no ceremonies, chanted no sacred hymns, and practised no Khvêtûk-das,' but had come there 'through other good works;' and it may be noted that the two upper grades of heaven appear to have been reserved for good sovereigns, chieftains, high-priests, and others specially famous. In hell, also, he saw the soul of a woman suffering grievous punishment because she had 'violated Khvêtûk-das;' but this passage occurs in one MS. only. We are also told (AV. II, 1-3, 7-10) that 'Vîrâf had seven sisters, and all 2 those seven sisters
were as wives of Vîrâf; revelation, also, was easy to them, and the ritual had been performed . . . . they stood up and bowed, and spoke thus: "Do not this thing, ye Mazda-worshippers! for we are seven sisters, and he is an only brother, and we are, all seven sisters, as wives 1 of that brother."' This passage, supposing that it really refers to marriage, seems to attribute an exaggerated form of the Khvêtûk-das of brother and sister to Vîrâf, as a proof of his extraordinary sanctity; but it can hardly be considered as a literal statement of facts, any more than the supposed case of a woman having married seven brothers successively, mentioned in Mark xii. 20-22. Luke xx. 29-32.
In another Pahlavi book of about the same age, which is best known by its Pâzand name, Mainyô-i Khard 2, we find Khvêtûk-das placed second among
seven classes of good works (Mkh. IV, 4), and ninth among thirty-three classes of the same (Mkh. XXXVII, 12); and the dissolution of Khvêtûk-das is mentioned as the fourth in point of heinousness among thirty classes of sin (Mkh. XXXVI, 7).
In the Bahman Yast, which may have existed in its original Pahlavi form before the Muhammadan conquest of Persia 1, it is stated that, even in the perplexing time of foreign conquest, the righteous man 'continues the religious practice of Khvêtûk-das in his family 2.'
The third book of the Dînkard, which appears to have been compiled by the last editor 3 of that work, contains a long defence of the practice of Khvêtûk-das, forming its eighty-second 4 chapter, which may be translated as follows:--
'On a grave attack (hû-girâyisnŏ) of a Jew upon
a priest, which was owing to asking the reason of the custom (âhankŏ) as to Khvêtûk-das; and the reply of the priest to him from the exposition of the Mazda-worshipping religion.
'That is, as one complaining about wounds, damage, and distress comes on, it is lawful to dispute with him in defence begirt with legal opinion (dâdistânŏ parvand), and the consummation of the accusation of an innocent man is averted; so of the creatures, the invisible connection of their own power to fellow-creations and their own race, through the propitiousness of the protection and preserving influence of the sacred beings, is a girdle, and the consummation of the mutual assistance of men is Khvêtûk-das. The name is Khvêtûk-das, which is used when it is "a giving of one's own" (khvês-dahisnîh), and its office (gâs) is a strong connection with one's own race and fellow-creations, through the protection and preserving influence of the sacred beings, which is, according to the treatises, the union of males and females of mankind of one's own race in preparation for, and connection with, the renovation of the universe. That union, for the sake of proceeding incalculably more correctly, is, among the innumerable similar races of mankind, that with near kinsfolk (nabânazdistânŏ), and, among near kinsfolk, that with those next of kin (nazd-padvandânŏ); and the mutual connection of the three kinds of nearest of kin (nazd-padvandtar)--which are father and daughter, so and she who bore him 1, and brother and sister--is the most complete (avîrtar) that I have considered.
'On the same subject the exposition of the obscure statements of the good religion, by a wise high-priest of the religion, is this:--"I assert that God (yêdatŏ) is the being, as regards the creatures, who created any of the creatures there are which are male, and any there are which are female; and that which is male is a son, and, similarly, a daughter is that which is female. The daughter of himself, the father of all, was Spendarmad 1, the earth, a female being of the creation; and from her he created the male Gâyômard 2, which is explained as the name for him who was specially the first man, since it is Gâyômard living who is speaking and mortal, a limitation which was specially his, because of these three words--which are 'living, speaking, and mortal'--two of the limitations, which are 'living and speaking,' were through the provision of his father, the creator, and one, which is 'mortal,' was proceeding from the destroyer; the same limitation is upon all mankind, who are connected with that man's lineage, until the renovation of the universe. And now I say, if the aid of the father has produced a male from the daughter, it is named a Khvêtûk-das of father and daughter 3."
'This, too, is from the exposition of the religion, that the semen of Gâyômard--which is called seed--when he passed away, fell to Spendarmad 4, the earth, which was his own mother; and, from its being united
therewith, Mashya and Mashîyôî 1 were the son and daughter of Gâyômard and Spendarmad, and it is named the Khvêtûk-das of son and mother. And Mashya and Mashîyôî, as male and female, practised the quest of offspring, one with the other, and it is named the Khvêtûk-das of brother and sister. And many couples were begotten by them, and the couples became continually 2 wife and husband 3; and all men, who have been, are, and will be, are from origin the seed of Khvêtûk-das. And this is the reason which is essential for its fulfilment by law, that where its contemplation (andâgisnŏ) exists it is manifest from the increase of the people of all regions,
'And I assert that the demons are enemies of man, and a non-existence of desire for them consists in striving for it when Khvêtûk-das is practised; it then becomes their 4 reminder of that original practice of contemplation which is the complete gratitude of men, and has become his 5 who is inimical to them. Grievous fear, distress, and anguish also come upon them, their power diminishes, and they less understand the purpose of causing the disturbance and ruin of men. And it is certain that making the demons distressed, suffering, frightened, and weakened is thus a good work, and this way of having reward and of recompense is the property of the practisers of such good works.
'And I assert that the goodness of appearance and growth of body, the display of wisdom, temper,
and modesty, the excellence of skill and strength, and also the other qualities of children are so much the more as they are nearer to the original race of the begetter, and they shall receive them more perfectly and more gladly. An example is seen in those who spring from a religious woman who is gentle, believing the spiritual existence, acting modestly, of scanty strength, who is a forgiver and reverential, and from a mail-clad (gapar) warrior of worldly religion, who is large-bodied and possessing strength which is stimulating (âgâr) his stout heart while he begets. They 1 are not completely for war--which is a continuance of lamentation (nâs-ravandîh)--and not for carefulness and affection for the soul; as from the dog and wolf--and not the ruin (seg) of the sheep--arises the fox, like the wolf, but not with the strength of the wolf like the dog, and it does not even possess its perfect shape, nor that of the dog. And they are like those which are born from a swift Arab horse and a native dam, and are not galloping like the Arab, and not kicking (padâyak) like the native. And they have not even the same perfect characteristics 2, just as the mule that springs from, the horse and the ass, which is not like unto either' of them, and even its seed is cut off thereby, and its lineage is not propagated forwards.
'And this is the advantage from the pure preservation of race. I assert that there are three 3 species
[paragraph continues] (vâg) and kinds of affection of sister and brother for that which shall be born of them:--one is this, where it is the offspring of brother and brother; one is this, where the offspring is that of 1 brothers 2 and their sister; and one is this, where it is the offspring of sisters 3. And as to the one of these where the offspring is that of 4 a brother, and for the same reason as applies to all three 5 species of them, the love, desire, and effort, which arise for the nurture of offspring of the three species, are in hope of benefit. And equally adapted are the offspring to the procreators; and this is the way of the increasing love of children, through the good nurture which is very hopeful.
'And so, also, are those who are born of father and daughter, or son and mother. Light flashed forth (gastŏ) or unflashed (aparvâkhtŏ) is always seen at the time when it is much exposed, and pleased is he who has a child of his child, even when it is from some one of a different race and different
country. That, too, has then become much delight (vâyag) which is expedient, that pleasure, sweet ness, and joy which are owing to a son that a man begets from a daughter of his own, who is also a brother of that same mother; and he who is born of a son and mother is also a brother of that same father; this is a way of much pleasure, which is a blessing of the joy, and no harm is therein ordained that is more than the advantage, and no vice that is more than the well-doing (khûp gâr). And if it be said that it is of evil appearance, it should be observed that when 1 a wound occurs in the sexual part of a mother, or sister, or daughter, and she flees (fravêd) from a medical man, and there is no opportunity for him to apply a seton (palîtŏ), and her father, or son, or brother is instructed in similar surgery, which is more evil in appearance, when they touch the part with the hand, and apply a seton, or when a strange man does so?
'And, when it is desirable to effect their union, which is the less remarkable (kam hû-zanâkhîktar) in evil appearance, when they are united (hamdvâdî-hênd) by them in secret, such as when the hearing of their written contract (nipistŏ) of wifehood and husbandhood 2 is accomplished in the background (dar pûstŏ), or when the sound of drums and trumpets acquaints the whole district, where
these people are renowned, that such an Arûman 1 intends to effect such a purpose with the daughter, sister, or mother of such a Pârsî man?
'On this account of less evil appearance is even the good appearance which is to be mutually practised; and after the mode is seen, even the advantageousness in the accomplishment of the daily duty of concealing disgrace, the mutual desire, the mutual advantage and harm, and the contentment which arise as to whatever has happened are also mutual assistance. Some, with a husband and faint-heartedness, have a disposition (sânŏ) of incapability, and the diligence which is in their reverence of the husband, who is ruler of the family (bûnag shah), is due even to the supremacy which he would set over them through the severity of a husband. Very many others, too, who are strange women, are not content with a custom (vag) of this description; for they demand even ornaments to cover and clothe the bold and active ones, and slaves, dyes, perfumes, extensive preparations, and many other things of house-mistresses which are according to their desire, though it is not possible they should receive them. And, if it be not possible, they would not accept retrenchment; and, if they should not accept retrenchment, it hurries on brawling, abuse, and ugly words about this, and even uninterrupted falsehood (avisistak-ik zûr) is diffused as regards it; of the secrets, moreover, which they conceal they preserve night and day a bad representation, and unobservantly. They shall take the bad wife to
the house of her father and mother, the husband is dragged to the judges, and they shall form a district assembly (shatrô angêzŏ) about it. And lest he should speak thus: "I will release her from wifehood with me 1," vice and fraud of many kinds and the misery of deformity are the faults which are also secretly attributed to him.
'A wife of those three classes 2 is to be provided, since they would not do even one of these things 3; on which account, even through advantageousness, virtuous living, precious abundance, dignity, and innocence, mutual labour is manifestly mighty and strong.
'And if it be said that, "with all this which you explain, there is also, afterwards, a depravity (darvakh) which is hideous," it should be understood in the mind that hideousness and beauteousness are specially those things which do not exist in themselves, but through some one's habit of taking up an opinion and belief. The hideous children of many are in the ideas of procreation exceedingly handsome, and the handsome forms of many are in the ideas of a housekeeper (khânŏpânŏ) exceedingly ugly. We consider him also as one of our enemies when any one walks naked in the country, which you consider hideous; but the naked skins of
the country call him handsome whose garments, which seem to them hideous, have fallen off. And we are they in whose ideas a nose level with the face is ugly, but they who account a prominent nose ugly, and say it is a walling that reaches between the two eyes, remain selecting a handsome one 1. And concerning handsomeness and ugliness in themselves, which are only through having taken up an opinion and belief, there is a change even through time and place; for any one of the ancients whose head was shaved was as it were ugly, and it was so settled by law that it was a sin worthy of death for them 2; then its habits (sânŏ) did not direct the customs of the country to shave the head of a man, but now there is a sage who has considered it as handsome and even a good work. Whoever is not clear that it is hideous is to think, about something threatening (girâî), that it is even so not in itself, but through what is taken into themselves they consider that it is hideous.
'Then for us the good work of that thing 3, of which it is cognizable that it is so ordained by the creator, has its recompense; it is the protector of the race, and the family is more perfect; its nature
is without vexation (apîzâr) and gathering affection, an advantage to the child--the lineage being exalted--gathering (avarkûn) hope, offspring, and pleasure it is sweetness to the procreator, and the joy is most complete; less is the harm and more the advantage, little the pretence and much the skill of the graceful blandishments (nâzânŏ) which are apparent, aiding and procuring assistance (bangisnŏ), averting disaster, and conducting affairs; less is the fear, through itself is itself illustrious, and the steadfast shall abandon crime (kam). And all our fathers and grandfathers, by whom the same practice was lawfully cherished, maintained it handsomely in their homes; and to think of mankind only as regards some assistance is the enlightenment of the steadfast, a reason which is exhibiting the evidence of wisdom, that no practice of it 1 is not expedient.
'And if it be said that the law 2 has afterwards commanded as regards that custom thus: "Ye shall not practise it!" every one who is cognizant of that command is to consider it current; but we are not cognizant of that command, and by an intelligent person (khapârvârakŏ) this should also be seen minutely, through correct observation, that all the knowledge of men has arisen from Khvêtûk-das. For knowledge is generated by the union of instinctive wisdom and acquired wisdom 3; instinctive wisdom is the female, and acquired wisdom the male; and on this account, since both are an achievement by the creator, they are sister and brother. And
also of everything worldly the existence, maturing, and arrangement are due to union in proportion; water, which is female, and fire, which is male 1, are accounted sister and brother in combination, and they seem as though one restrains them from Khvêtûk-das, unless, through being dissipated themselves 2, seed--which is progeny--arises therefrom; and owing to a mutual proportionableness of water and fire is the power in the brain, for if the water be more it rots it away, and if the fire be more it burns it away.'
This elaborate defence of Khvêtûk-das shows clearly that, at the time it was written (about a thousand years ago), that custom was understood to include actual marriages between the nearest relatives, although those between first cousins appear to be also referred to.
In the 195th 3 chapter of the third book of the Dînkard we are told that the eighth of the ten admonitions, delivered to mankind by Zaratûst, was this:--'For the sake of much terrifying of the demons, and much lodgment of the blessing of the holy 4 in one's body, Khvêtûk-das is to be practised.'
And the following chapter informs us, that 'opposed to that admonition of the righteous Zaratûst, of practising Khvêtûk-das for the sake of much terrifying
of the demons from the body of man, and the lodgment of the blessing of the holy in the body, the wicked wizard Akhtŏ 1, the enemy of the good man on account of the perplexing living which would arise from his practising Khvêtûk-das, preferred not practising Khvêtûk-das.'
The practice is also mentioned in the 287th chapter of the same book, in the following passage:--'The welfare of the aggregate of one's own limb-formations--those which exist through no labour of one's own, and have not come to the aid of those not possessing them (anafsmanân) owing to their own want of gratitude--even one of a previous formation has to eulogize suitably; and this which has come, completely establishing (spôr-nih) the Avesta, one calls equally splendid, by the most modestly comprehensive appellation of Khvêtûk-das.'
In the sixth book of the Dînkard, which professes to be a summary of the opinions of those of the primitive faith 2, we are told that, 'when the good work of Khvêtûk-das shall diminish, darkness will increase and light will diminish.'
In the seventh book of the Dînkard, which relates the marvels of the Mazda-worshipping religion, we are informed that it was 'recounted how--Gâyômard 3 having passed away--it was declared secondly, as regards worldly beings, to Masyê and Masyâôê 4, the first progeny of Gâyômard, by the word of Aûharmazd--that is, he spoke to them when they
were produced by him--thus: "You are the men I produce, you are the parents of all bodily life, and so you men shall not worship the demons, for the possession of complete mindfulness 1 has been perfectly supplied to you by me, so that you may quite full-mindfully observe duty and decrees." And the creativeness of Aûharmazd was extolled by them, and they advanced in diligence; they also performed the will of the creator, they carved (parkâvînîdŏ) advantage out of the many duties of the world, and practised Khvêtûk-das through procreation and the union and complete progress of the creations in the world, which are the best good works of mankind.'
The following passage also occurs in the same book:--'Then Zaratûst, on becoming exalted, called out unto the material world of righteousness to extol righteousness and downcast are the demons; and, "homage being the Mazda-worship of Zaratûst, the ceremonial and praise of the archangels are the best for you, I assert; and, as to deprecation (ayazisnîh) of the demons, Khvêtûk-das is even the best intimation, so that, from the information which is given as to the trustworthiness of a good work, the greatest is the most intimate of them, those of father and daughter, son and she who bore him 2, and brother and sister."It is declared that, upon those words, innumerable demon-worshipping Kîks and Karaps 3 disputed (sârisidŏ) with Zaratûst and strove for his death, just like this which revelation states:--"It is then the multitude clamoured (mar barâ vîrâd) who are in the vicinity of the seat of Tûr, the
well-afflicting 1 holder of decision; and the shame of the brother of Tûr arose, like that of a man whose shame was that they spoke of his Khvêtûk-das so that he might perform it. This Tûr was Tûr-î Aûrvâîtâ-sang 2, the little-giving, who was like a great sovereign of that quarter; and he maintained many troops and much power. And the multitude told him they would seize the great one from him who is little 3. But Tûr-î Aûrvâîtâ-sang, the little-giving and well-afflicting, spoke thus:--'Should I thereupon smite him, this great one who mingles together those propitious words for us--where we are thus without doubt as to one thing therein, such as Khvêtûk-das, that it is not necessary to perform it--it would make us ever doubtful that it might be necessary to perform it.' . . . . And Zaratûst spoke to him thus: 'I am not always that reserved speaker, by whom that I have mentioned is the most propitious thing to be obtained; and inward speaking and managing the temper are a Khvêtûk-das 4, and the high-priest who has performed it is to perform the ceremonial.'"' This passage attributes to Zaratûst himself the enforcement of next-of-kin marriage, but it is hardly necessary to point out that the Dînkard only records a tradition to that effect; which
record may be quoted as evidence of the former existence of such a tradition, but not as testimony for its truth. It is also worthy of notice that this tradition clearly shows that such marriages were distasteful to the people in general but this might naturally be inferred from the efforts made by religious writers to assert the extraordinary merit of Khvêtûk-das, because customs which are popular and universal require no such special recommendation from the priesthood.
In the Dâdistân-î Dînîk (XXXVII, 82, LXIV, 6, LXV, 2, LXXVII, 4, 5) allusions are made to the Khvêtûdâd 1 of brother and sister, formed by the progenitors of mankind. We are also told that Khvêtûdâd is to be practised till the end of the world, and that to occasion it among others is an effectual atonement for heinous sin 2 (Dd. LXXVII, 6, 7, LXXVIII, 19); but it is not certain that the term is applied in these latter passages to marriages between the nearest relatives.
For later particulars about Khvêtûk-das we have to descend to the darkest ages of Mazda-worship, those in which the Rivâyats, or records of religious legends, customs, and decisions, began to be compiled. Of the earlier Rivâyats, such as the Shâyast Lâ-shâyast and Vigirkard-î Dînîk, which were written in Pahlavi, few remain extant; but the later ones, written in Persian, are more numerous and very voluminous.
A Pahlavi Rivâyat, which precedes the Dâdistân-î Dînîk in many MSS. of that work, devotes several
pages to the subject of Khvêtûdâd, which fully confirm the statements of the defender of the practice, quoted above from the Dînkard (III, lxxxii). The age of this Pahlavi Rivâyat is quite uncertain; it is found in MSS. written in the sixteenth century, but, as it does not mention the marriage of first cousins, it was probably compiled at a much earlier period, more especially as it is written in fairly grammatical Pahlavi. The following extracts will be sufficient to show how far it confirms the statements of the Dînkard:--
'Of the good works of an infidel this is the greatest, when he comes out from the habit of infidelity into the good religion; and of one of the good religion, remaining backward (akhar-mân) at the time when his ritual is performed, this is a great good work, when he performs a Khvêtûdâd; for through that Khvêtûdâd, which is so valuable a token of Mazda-worship, is the destruction of demons. And of Aûharmazd it is declared, as regards the performance of Khvêtûdâd, that, when Zaratûst sat before Aûharmazd 1, and Vohûman, Ardavahist, Shatvaîrô, Horvadad, Amerôdad, and Spendarmad 2 sat around Aûharmazd, and Spendarmad sat by his side, she had also laid a hand on his neck, and Zaratûst asked Aûharmazd about it thus: "Who is this that sits beside thee, and thou wouldst be such a friend to her, and she also would be such a friend to thee? Thou, who art Aûharmazd, turnest not thy eyes away from her, and she turns not away
from thee; thou, who art Aûharmazd, dost not release her from thy hand, and she does not release thee from her hand 1." And Aûharmazd said: "This is Spendarmad, who is my daughter, the house-mistress of my heaven, and mother of the creatures 2." Zaratûst spoke thus: "When they say, in the world, this is a very perplexing thing, how is it proclaimed by thee--thee who art Aûharmazd--for thee thyself?" Aûharmazd spoke thus: "O Zaratûst! this should have become the best-enjoyed thing of mankind. When, since my original creation, Mâharîyâ and Mâharîyâôîh 3 had performed it, you, also, should have performed it; because although mankind have turned away from that thing 4, yet they should not have turned away. Just as Mâharîyâ and Mâharîyâôîh had performed Khvêtûdâd, mankind should have performed it, and all mankind would have known their own lineage and race, and a brother would never be deserted by the affection of his brother, nor a sister by that of her sister. For all nothingness, emptiness 5, and drought have come unto mankind from the deadly one (mar), when men have come to them from a different country, from a different town, or from a different district, and have married their women; and when they shall have carried away their women, and they have
wailed together about this, thus: 'They will always carry our daughters into perversion 1.'"
'This, too, is said, that Khvêtûdâd is so miraculous that it is the preservation of the most grievous sin--such as witchcraft and that worthy of death--from hell. And the want of protection (avîpâharîh) from hell of one unprotected from Aharman and the demons arises at that time when, owing to what occurs when he is begged by some one to exercise witchcraft, he is made worthy of death. And when they shall perform Khvêtûdâd, when the Khvêtûdâd is owing to him 2, the unprotected one is preserved from the prison of hell, from Aharman and the demons; so miraculous is Khvêtûdâd.
'In a passage it is declared, that Aûharmazd spoke unto Zaratûst thus: "These are the best four things: the ceremonial worship of Aûharmazd, the lord; presenting firewood, incense, and holy-water to the fire; propitiating a righteous man 3; and one who performs Khvêtûdâd with her who bore him, or a daughter, or with a sister. And of all those he is the greatest, best, and most perfect who shall perform Khvêtûdâd. . . . When Sôshâns comes 4 all mankind will perform Khvêtûdâd, and every fiend will perish through the miracle and power of Khvêtûdâd.'
It is then explained why the several merits of the
three classes of Khvêtûdâd are considered to stand in the same order as that in which the classes are mentioned in the preceding paragraph; also that the third class includes the case of half brothers and sisters, and the second that of an illegitimate daughter. After this we find the following legend:--
And Khvêtûdâd is so miraculous, that it is declared, regarding Yim 1, that, when the glory of his sovereignty had departed from him, he went out to the precincts (var) of the ocean with Yimak, his sister, in order to flee from the people, demons, and witches of the assembly of Dahâk 2. And they were sought by them in hell and not seen; and others sought them among mankind, water, earth, and cattle, among trees, in the mountains, and in the towns, but they were not seen by them. Then Aharman shouted thus: "I think thus, that Yim is travelling in the precincts of the ocean." And a demon and a witch, who stood among them, spoke thus: "We will go and seek Yim." And they rushed off and went; and when they came unto those precincts where Yim was--the precincts where the water of Tîr 3 was--Yim spoke thus: "Who are
you?" And they spoke thus: "We are those who are just like thee, who had to flee from the hands of the demons; we, too, have fled away from the demons, and we are alone. Do thou give this sister in marriage to me, while I also give this one unto thee!" And Yim, therefore, when the demons were not recognised by him from mankind, made the witch his own wife, and gave his sister unto the demon as wife. From Yim and that witch were born the bear, the ape, Gandarep 1, and Gŏsûbar 2; and from Yimak and that demon were born the tortoise (gasaf), the cat, the hawk (gaving), the frog, the weevil (dîvakŏ), and also as many more noxious creatures, until Yimak saw that that demon was evil, and it was necessary to demand a divorce (zan-takâ) from him. And one day, when Yim and that demon had become drunk with wine, she exchanged her own position and clothing with those of the witch; and when Yim came he was drunk, and unwittingly lay with Yimak, who was his sister, and they came to a decision as to the good work of Khvêtûdâd; many demons were quite crushed and died, and they rushed away at once, and fell back to hell.'
The fact, that the zealous writer felt that he had to force his opinions upon an unwilling people, is betrayed by the exaggerated language he uses in the following statements:--
'This, too, is declared by the Avesta, that Zaratûst enquired of Aûharmazd thus: "Many thoughts, many words, and many deeds are mentioned by
thee--thee who art Aûharmazd--that it is necessary to think, speak, and do; of all such thoughts, words, and deeds which is the best, when one shall think, speak, or do it?" Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Many thoughts, many words, and many deeds should be proclaimed by me, O Zaratûst! but, of those thoughts, words, and deeds which it is necessary to think, speak, and do, that which is best and most perfect one performs by Khvêtûdâd. For it is declared that, the first time when he goes near to it, a thousand demons will die, and two thousand wizards and witches; when he goes near to it twice, two thousand demons will die, and four thousand wizards and witches; when he goes near to it three times, three thousand demons will die, and six thousand wizards and witches; and when he goes near to it four times it is known that the man and woman become righteous 1."
'. . . . Owing to the performance of Khvêtûdâd there arises a destruction of demons equivalent to a stoppage of creation; and though, afterwards, some of those men and women shall become wizards, or unlawfully slaughter a thousand sheep and beasts of burden at one time, or shall present holy-water to the demons, yet, on account of that destruction and vexation of the demons, which has occurred to them owing to the Khvêtûdâd, it does not become comfortable to them while completed; and it is not believed by them that "the souls of those people will come to us."
'Whoever keeps one year in a marriage of Khvêtûdâd
becomes just as though one-third of all this world, with the water, with the trees, and with the corn, had been given by him, as a righteous gift, unto a righteous man. When he keeps two years in the marriage it is as though two-thirds of this world, with the water, trees, and corn, had been given by him unto a righteous man. When he keeps three years in the marriage it is as though all this world, with the water, with the trees, and with everything, had been given by him, as a righteous gift, unto a righteous man. And when he keeps four years in his marriage, and his ritual 1 is performed, it is known that his soul thereby goes unto the supreme heaven (garôdmân); and when the ritual is not performed, it goes thereby to the ordinary heaven (vahistŏ).
'Zaratûst enquired of Aûharmazd thus: "As to the man who practises Khvêtûdâd, and his ritual is performed, and he also offers a ceremonial (yazisnŏaê), is the good work of it such as if one without Khvêtûdâd had offered it, or which way is it?" Aûharmazd said: "It is just as though a hundred men without Khvêtûdâd had offered it."
'Zaratûst enquired this, also, of Aûharmazd, that is: "How is the benediction (âfrînô) which a man who practises Khvêtûdâd shall offer?" Aûharmazd spoke thus: "As though a hundred men without Khvêtûdâd should offer the benediction."
'And this, too, was asked by him, that is: "As to them who render assistance, and one meditates and attains to Khvêtûdâd through them, and one
performs Khvêtûdâd on account of their statements, how is their good work?" Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Like his who keeps in food and clothing, for one winter, a hundred priests--each of which priests has a hundred disciples--such is his good work."
'Zaratûst enquired this, also, of Aûharmazd, that is: "As to them who keep a man back from performing Khvêtûdâd, and owing to their statements he shall not perform Khvêtûdâd, what is their sin?" Aûharmazd spoke 1 thus: "Their place is hell."
'In a passage it is declared that, wiser than the wise, and more virtuous than the virtuous is he in whose thoughts, words, and deeds the demons are less predominant; and Aharman and the demons are less predominant in the body of him who practises Khvêtûdâd, and his ritual 2 is performed.
'It is declared by revelation that at the time when Zaratûst came out from the presence of Aûharmazd, the lord, into a worldly place where he travelled, he spoke this, that is: "Extol the religion! and you should perform Khvêtûdâd. I speak of the good and those existing in the religion; as to the negligent, the vile, and those in perplexity, this is said, that a thing so wondrous and important as that which is in our law of Khvêtûdâd could not be for performance. This is a sublime (kîrag) custom, and, as the best of all things, one asserts that it is necessary to perform it. To me, also, this is manifest when, through all faith in the law of those existing in the religion 3, that which is called by
them a very heinous sin, through faith in this law of the good, is that which is called the most perfect and best good work of Mazda-worship."
'This, too, is declared by revelation, that Aûharmazd spoke unto Zaratûst thus: "You should cause the performance of duties and good works." And Zaratûst spoke thus: "Which duty and good work shall I do first?" Aûharmazd spoke thus: "Khvêtûdâd; because that duty and good work is to be performed in the foremost place of all, for, in the end, it happens through Khvêtûdâd, when all who are in the world attain unto the religion 1."
'This, too, is declared by revelation, that Zaratûst spoke unto Aûharmazd thus: In my eyes it is an evil (vadŏ) which is performed, and it is perplexing that I should make Khvêtûdâd as it were fully current among mankind." Aûharmazd spoke thus: "In my eyes, also, it is just as in thine; but for this reason--when out of everything perfect there is some miserable evil 2 for thee--it should not seem so. Do thou be diligent in performing Khvêtûdâd, and others, also, will perform it diligently. '
The unpopularity of the practice advocated could hardly be more fully admitted than in this last paragraph, nor the objection more irrationally and dogmatically disposed of. As for the numerous quotations, which the compiler of this Pahlavi Rivâyat
professes to take from the Parsi scriptures, it is hardly necessary to remark that their authenticity must be accepted with great reserve.
Persian Rivâyats, copied in the seventeenth century, advocate the marriage of first cousins, and allude vaguely to those between nearer relatives as long extinct, though most of their remarks merely recommend the performance of Khêdyôdath 1, without explaining the meaning of the term. Thus, we are informed that a person worthy of death can perform Khêdyôdath as a good work, but it is better if followed by the Bareshnûm ceremony 2. An unclean person can do the same, but the Bareshnûm should precede the performance, so as to avoid sins arising from the uncleanness. The performance also destroys demons, wizards, and witches; and if arranged by any one, at his own expense, for another person, it is as meritorious as if performed by himself. But the following quotations are more descriptive of the practice 3:--
'Again, whereas the great wisdom of the king and of the assembly of priests fully understands that the ceremony of all the religious rites 4 is a great good work, besides that which is called Khêdyôdath, yet, in these days, both have fallen out of their hands; but they will make an endeavour, so that they may form connection with their own, and on account of
the Musulmâns the connection is a medium one 1, better than that of an infidel. And Ormazd has said that by as much as the connection is nearer it is more of a good work; and they display their endeavour and effort, and give the son of a brother and daughter of a brother to each other. And just as this is said: I establish the performer of Khêdyôdath, I establish the patrol of the country 2," even on this account they certainly display an endeavour.
'Query:--"How are the connections that relations form?" Reply:--"A brother's children with a brother's children and a sister's children, and relations with one another form connections, and it is proper for them."
Khêdyôdath is that which is a great good work, and has fallen out of their hands, owing to the reason that there is no king of the good religion; and if it be so they will make an endeavour, and will form connections with their own, and will give the son of a brother and daughter of a brother to each other, and if not it is not proper; and every such connection as is nearer is more of a good work. And the mode they will act who are at first without a king will be an infidel one, and to form connections among themselves will be very difficult now he (the king) is a Musulmân, but that which is nearer is better and more of a good work.'
These quotations indicate that a great change had crept over the meaning of Khvêtûk-das since the dark ages of the Pahlavi Rivâyat, previously quoted, although a tradition of the old meaning still lingered in the minds of the writers. The modern meaning is, however, most completely explained in a passage, appended to a Persian version of Aêshm's complaint to Aharman, regarding the difficulty of destroying the effect of the season-festivals, the sacred feast, and Khvetûk-das (Sls. XVIII). After Aharman has confessed his inability to suggest a means of destroying the merit of the last, the Persian writer adds the following particulars:--
'Therefore it is necessary to understand, that the chief Khêtvadat is that of a sister's daughter and brother's son; a medium Khêtvadat is that of a brother's son and a younger brother's daughter, or of a sister's son and a younger sister's daughter; and inferior to a medium Khêtvadat is that of a sister's son and a younger brother's daughter. It is necessary to know that any person, who performs Khêtvadat, if his soul be fit for hell, will arrive among the ever-stationary 1; if it be one of the ever-stationary it will arrive at heaven. Another particular is to be added: if any one, in departing, settles and strives for the connection of Khêtvadat of a next brother it is a good work of a thousand Tanâpûhars 2; if any one strives to break off the connection of Khêtvadat he is worthy of death.'
With this quotation, which occurs in a MS. 1 written A.D. 1723, we may conclude our examination of all passages in the Parsi scriptures referring to Khvetûk-das, the result of which may be summarized as follows:
First, the term does not occur at all in the oldest part of the Avesta, and when it is mentioned in the later portion it is noticed merely as a good work which is highly meritorious, without any allusion to its nature; only one passage (Vend. VIII, 36) indicating that both men and women can participate in it. So far, therefore, as can be ascertained from the extant fragments of the Avesta--the only internal authority regarding the ancient practices of Mazda-worship--the Parsis are perfectly justified in believing that their religion did not originally sanction marriages between those who are next of kin, provided they choose to ignore the statements of foreigners, as based upon imperfect information.
Second, when we descend to the Pahlavi translations and writings of the better class, which, in their present form, probably range from the sixth to the ninth century, we find many allusions to Khvêtûk-das between those next of kin, and only one obscure reference to the marriage of first cousins 2. Marriages between the nearest relations are defended chiefly by reference to mythical and metaphorical
statements regarding the creation, and to the practice of the progenitors of mankind; they are also advocated with all the warmth and vehemence that usually indicate much difficulty in convincing the laity, and this zealous vehemence increases as we descend to the dark ages of the Pahlavi Rivâyat 1, the compilation of which may perhaps be attributed to some writer of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Unless, therefore, the Parsis determine to reject the evidence of such Pahlavi works as the Pahlavi Yasna, the book of Ardâ-Vîrâf, the Dînkard, and the Dâdistân-î Dînîk, or to attribute those books to heretical writers, they must admit that their priests, in the later years of the Sasanian dynasty, and for some centuries subsequently, strongly advocated such next-of-kin marriages, though, probably, with little success. That a practice now reprobated by all Parsis should have been formerly advocated by their priests, as a religious duty, need not excite the surprise of those who consider how slavery has been advocated by many Christians, on scriptural grounds, within the present generation, and how the execution of supposed witches was similarly advocated a few generations ago.
Third, as we come to the modern writings of the Persian Rivâyats, which may have commenced about the fifteenth century, we find the present form of Khvêtûk-das, the marriage of first cousins (which was only slightly mentioned in the Dînkard of the ninth century), the only form in use; though obscure allusions are made to the other forms as being long extinct.
At whatever period the practice of next-of-kin marriage may have originated there were evidently two reasons for its establishment and continuance; one was the indispensable necessity of offspring 1, unfettered by duties towards any other family, for the purpose of maintaining the necessary periodical ceremonies for the souls of those passed away; the other was the wish of preventing any risk of religious perversion consequent upon marrying into a family of strangers or infidels. Both of these reasons must have become intensified as the Mazda-worshippers diminished in numbers, hence the increasing vehemence of priestly advocacy, until the foreign conquerors probably interfered, and put a stop to the practice.
That such marriages were not unusual among other races, in ancient times, we learn from many tales in Greek and Roman mythology, from the usual practice of the Greek dynasty of the Ptolemies in Egypt, and even from the laws prohibiting such connections in Lev. xviii. 6-16, which, as laws are not made to prohibit practices that do not exist, would hardly have been written unless the children of Israel had at one time adopted the custom to some slight extent. That Parsis now deny the existence of such marriages among their ancestors proves that they no longer approve the custom, but does not affect the historical evidence of its former
existence. Christians no longer approve the persecution and execution of women for the imaginary crime of witchcraft, but it would be both childish and useless for them to deny that their ancestors committed hundreds of such judicial murders less than two centuries ago.
389:1 See Dastûr Peshotanji's translation of the Dînkard, D. 96, note.
391:1 See p. 387, note 3.
392:1 The age of this Pahlavi version of the Vistâsp Vast is doubtful, and it is even possible that it may have been composed in India. The only MS. of it that I have seen belongs to Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji, who kindly gave me a copy of it, but seemed doubtful about-the age of the translation. He was aware that his MS. was written some forty years ago, but he did not know from what MS. it was copied. This version is, however, mentioned in the list of Pahlavi works given in the introduction to Dastûr Peshotanji's Pahlavi Grammar, pp. 18, 31, so that another MS. of the Pahlavi text probably exists in the library of the high-priest of the Parsis in Bombay.
392:2 Or, perhaps, 'man and wife;' as gabrâ, 'man,' is occasionally used for 'husband,' though shûî is the usual word, and nêsman means both 'woman' and 'wife.'
392:3 Written Khvêtvadas or Khvêtûdas in the very old MS. of Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji, the text of which is followed in this translation. The phrases in brackets have no equivalents in the original Avesta text, and, therefore, merely represent the opinions of the Pahlavi translators.
392:4 Spendarmad apparently, as indicated by the sequel.
393:1 The Pahlavi translator seems here to understand Vohûman not as the archangel (see Dd. III, 3), but as a title ('good-minded') of the primeval man, Gâyômard, who is supposed to have been produced by Aûharmazd out of the earth (compare Gen. ii. 7), represented by the female archangel Spendarmad. The term vohû-manô is used in Vend. XIX, 69, 76-84 for both a well-intentioned man and his clothing.
393:2 The female archangel, a personification of the Avesta phrase spenta ârmaiti, 'bountiful devotion;' she has special charge of the earth and virtuous women (see Bd. I, 26, Sls. XV, 20-24). She is called the daughter of Aûharmazd, even as the fire and Vohûman are called his sons, because devotion (representing the earth), fire, and good thought are considered to be his most important creations. And, as the earth is also, metaphorically, the mother of man, and the creator Aûharmazd is figuratively his father, this unfortunate combination of anthropomorphisms has induced later superstition to take these statements literally, and to quote them as a justification of marriage between father and daughter.
393:3 This seems the most probable nominative to the verbs in this sentence, but it is by no means certain.
394:2 See Zs. V, 4.
394:3 See Ep. III, 2, 17, 21.
394:4 See Ep. I, iv, 17, note.
394:5 This is proved by the long quotation from Dk. VI contained in Dd. XCIV, 1-11.
395:1 A height of about 42 English feet (see Dd. XLIII, 5).
395:2 That is, the capability of expelling the, fiends that try to take possession of man.
395:3 Reading gâm (= kâm), but it may be dâm, 'creature:
396:1 That is, the useful peculiarities of a particular breed of domestic animals are maintained and intensified by keeping up the purity of the race.
396:2 'Complete mindfulness' is the usual Pahlavi explanation of Av. ârmaiti, 'devotion,' the latter component of the name Spendarmad.
397:1 See Ep. I, iv, 17.
397:2 The word translated 'all' is the ordinary Huz. kolâ, equivalent p. 398 to Pers. har, but a Parsi critic has suggested that it ought to be read kanîk, 'virgin,' so as to get rid of the idea that the sisters were married to Vîrâf. This suggestion is ingenious, because the difference between kolâ and kanîk is very slight, when written in Pahlavi characters; but it is not very ingenuous, because the substitution of kanîk for kola, both here and in the similar phrase at the end of the passage quoted in our text, would render the sentences quite ungrammatical, as would be easily seen by any well-educated Parsi who would translate the phrases literally into modern Persian words, which would give him the following text: ân har haft ‘hvâharân Vîrâf kûn zan bûd and for the first phrase, and har haft ‘hvâhar ân birâdar zanî êm for the second. To substitute any Persian word for 'virgin' in place of the pronoun har, in these two phrases, would evidently produce nonsense. The really doubtful point in these phrases is whether zan and zanî are to be understood as 'wife' and 'wifehood,' or merely as 'woman' and 'womankind;' but it would be unusual to use such terms for the unmarried female members of a family.
398:1 Or 'the womankind.'
398:2 From a facsimile of the only known MS. of the original Pahlavi p. 399 text of this work, recently published by Dr. Andreas, it appears that its Pahlavi name was Dînâ-î Mînavad-î Khard (or Maînôg-î Khird), 'the opinions of the spirit of wisdom.'
399:1 See Sacred Books of the East, vol. v, pp. liii-lvi.
399:2 See Byt. II, 57, 61.
399:3 The name of this editor was Âtûr-pad, son of Hêmîa, as appears from the last chapter (chap. 413) of the same book. He was a contemporary of the author of the Dâdistan-î Dînîk (see Bd. XXXIII, 11).
399:4 Chap. 80 in the recent edition of Dastûr Peshotanji Behramji, because his numbers do not commence at the beginning of the book. His translation of this chapter (see pp. 90-102 of the English translation of his edition) differs considerably from that given in our text. This difference may be partly owing to its being translated from the Gugarâti translation, and not direct from the original Pahlavi; but it is chiefly due to the inevitable result of attempting a free translation of difficult Pahlavi, without preparing a literal version in the first place. The translation here given is as literal as possible, but the Pahlavi text is too obscure to be yet understood with absolute certainty in some places.
400:1 Literally 'bearer' (bûrdâr), which is not the usual word for 'mother,' but equivalent to the Av. baretar that is used in that sense.
401:1 See p. 393, note 2.
401:2 See Dd. II, 10, XXXVII, 82, LXIV, 5.
401:3 It is uncertain whether the high-priest's statement continues beyond this point, or not.
401:4 See Bd. XV, 1, 2, Dd. LXIV, 6.
402:1 See Dd. XXXVII, 82, LXIV, 2, LXV, 2, LXXVII, 4, where these names are spelt differently.
402:2 Literally 'have become and have become.'
402:3 See Bd. XV, 22, 24-26.
402:4 The demons’.
403:1 The offspring of such a match, which the apologist evidently considers an ill-assorted one, as tending to deteriorate the warlike qualities of the warrior's descendants, although he himself is no advocate for war.
403:2 As their parents.
403:3 Dastûr Peshotanji has 'four,' because the Pahlavi text seems p. 404 to speak of four species in the next sentence; here it seems to have 'six' in ciphers, but the first cipher can also be read aê, the conditional suffix to the verb which immediately precedes the ciphers in the Pahlavi text, and the second cipher is merely 'three,' which corresponds to the three possible kinds of first cousins that are about to be detailed in the text.
404:1 Reading zak-î instead of zîs (which might be read zakîh if there were such a word).
404:2 Literally 'brother.'
404:3 Literally 'sister:
404:4 Reading zak-î instead of zîs, as before. This is Dastûr Peshotanji's fourth species of cousinship, which he understands as meaning second cousins.
404:5 Reading 13, by dividing the Pahlavi cipher for 'four' into two parts, both here and near the end of the sentence. This paragraph can hardly be understood otherwise than referring to the present form of Khvêtûk-das, the marriage of first cousins.
405:1 Reading amat instead of mûn, 'who,' (see Dd. LXII, 4 n.)
405:2 Showing that the practice advocated was understood to be a regular marriage (performed in private probably on account of the authorities being of a foreign faith) and not any kind of irregular intercourse. It is here approvingly contrasted with the noisy celebration of a marriage with a person of foreign faith, in accordance with foreign customs.
406:1 A native of Asia Minor, or any other part of the eastern empire of the Romans.
407:1 That is, lest he should pronounce her divorce.
407:2 The three nearest degrees of relationship must be meant, as the sequel admits the possibility of the union being considered objectionable; otherwise, the three kinds of first cousins might be understood.
407:3 As a special pleader for marriage between near relations the apologist feels himself bound to argue that all bad wives must have been strangers to the family before marriage.
408:1 That is, those who admire flat noses select their beauties accordingly. Beauty being merely a matter of taste, which varies with the whim of the individual and the fashion of the period.
408:2 This law was evidently becoming obsolete at the time the apologist was writing, and is now wholly forgotten. All Parsi laymen have their heads shaved at the present time, although the priests merely have their hair closely cut. This change of custom, in a matter settled by religious law, should warn the Parsis not to deny the possibility of other complete alterations having taken place in their religious customs.
409:2 Perhaps the law of the foreign conquerors is meant.
409:3 See Dd. XXXVII, 35, XL, 3.
410:1 See Dd. XCIII, 13 n.
410:2 Into the forms of moisture and warmth in the body. Water and fire in their ordinary state being incapable of combination.
410:3 This will be the 193rd chapter in Dastûr Peshotanji's edition, because his numbers do not commence at the beginning of the book. A similar difference will be found in the numbering of all other chapters of the third book of the Dînkard.
410:4 The technical name of Yas.
411:1 Av. Akhtya of Âbân Yt. 82, who propounded ninety-nine enigmas to Yôistô of the Fryâns (see Dd. XC, 3).
411:2 See Dd. XCIV, 1 n.
411:3 The sole-created man (see Dd. II, 10, XXXVII, 82).
411:4 See p. 402, note 1.
413:1 The word hû-nôsakŏ is the Pahlavi equivalent of Av. hunustâ (Yas. L, 10, b), but the meaning of both words is uncertain. This Tar seems to have been more friendly to Zaratûst than the Tûrânians were in general, but he appears not to be mentioned in the extant Avesta.
413:2 As this epithet has not been found in the extant Avesta, the reading is uncertain.
413:3 Meaning that they demanded possession of Zaratûst in an insolent manner.
413:4 In a figurative sense.
414:2 This is also stated in Sls. VII, 18.
415:1 As he is said to have done in heaven, when receiving instruction in the religion.
415:2 The archangels (see Dd. XLVIII, i n), of whom Spendarmad is said to be a female (see p. 393, note 2).
416:1 This legend is an instance of the close proximity of superstition to profanity, among uneducated and imaginative people.
416:2 She being a representative of the earth.
416:4 That is, from marriage of the nearest relations, which is admitted, throughout these extracts, to be distasteful to the people; hence the vehemence with which it is advocated.
416:5 Literally 'air-stuffing' (vâê-âkînîh).
417:1 This fear of perversion to another faith was, no doubt, the real cause of the vehement advocacy of family marriages by the priesthood.
417:2 That is, when he has arranged the next-of-kin marriage of others, before his death.
417:3 That is, a priest.
417:4 Shortly before the resurrection (see Dd. II, 10).
418:1 The third sovereign of the world, after Gâyômard (see Dd. II, 10). This legend is also mentioned in Bd. XXIII, 1, as explaining the origin of the ape and bear.
418:2 The foreign king, or dynasty, that conquered Vim (see Dd. XXXVII, 97 n).
418:3 Evidently intended for Tîstar, a personification of the star Sirius, who is supposed to bring the rain from the ocean (see Dd. XCIII, 1-17). Strictly speaking Tîr is the planet Mercury, the opponent of Tîstar, whose name is given to the fourth month, and thirteenth day of the month, in the Parsi year (see Bd. V, 1, VII, 2, XXVII, 24); but the confusion between the two names is not uncommon in the later books (comp. Sls. XXII, 13 with XXIII, 2).
419:2 Not identified, and the reading is, therefore, uncertain.
420:1 Or, as stated in the Appendix to the Shâyast Lâ-shâyast (Sls. XVIII, 4), they 'will not become parted from the possession of Aûharmazd and the archangels.'
421:1 The proper ceremonies after his death, or for his living soul during his lifetime (see Dd. XXVIII, LXXXI).
422:1 The Pahlavi text is imperfect.
422:3 That is, the general law of Mazda-worship, as distinguished from what he is advocating as a peculiarly religious law sanctioned p. 432 by the priests ('the good'). This is evidently an admission that the practice advocated was contrary to the ordinary laws of Mazda-worship itself.
423:1 As Pahlavi writers expect them to do before the resurrection.
423:2 Reading vadŏ-î vêsht; but it may be 'something is difficult and hard' (tang va sakht).
424:1 The Persian form of the word Khvetûk-das. It is also written Khetyôdath in some passages, and Khêtvadat in others.
424:2 The great ceremony of purification (see App. IV).
424:3 The Persian Rivâyat from which all this information has been extracted is M10 (fol. 50 a).
424:4 See Dd. XLIV, 2 II.
425:1 This seems to be an allusion to some interference of the Muhammadan government with marriages of those next of kin. A similar allusion occurs in the next paragraph but one, which, with most of this paragraph, is also found in M7, fols. 229 b, 230 a.
425:2 This Avesta quotation, from Visp. III, 18, 19, is as follows 'hvaêtvadathem âstâya, daNhâurvaêsem âstâya;' and the meaning of the last term is uncertain.
426:1 See Dd. XX, 3.
426:2 See Dd. LXXVIII, 13. Geldner in his Studien zum Avesta, I, pp. 3-12, suggests that the original meaning of Av. tanuperetha and peshôtanu was outcast;' but, although these words are translated by Pahl. tanâpûhar, it is doubtful whether this last p. 427 word be a mere transcript of tanuperetha (which ought to have been tanûpûhar), or whether it expresses the different idea of tan-apûhar, 'a person without a bridge to heaven,' which might have been that adopted by the Pahlavi translators of the Vendidâd; an outcast in this world being very liable to be considered as an outcast from the next.
427:1 M5, fols. 54, 55.
429:1 The oriental feeling of such a necessity, for the mere purpose of perpetuating the family, is abundantly manifested in the story of Lot's daughters (Gen. xix. 30-38), which is related without reproval by its writer. Also by the exceptional law requiring a man to marry his brother's wife, when the brother has died childless (Deut. xxv. 5-10).
THE great ceremony of purification for any Parsi man or woman who has become unclean by contact with the dead, or through any other serious defilement, lasts for nine nights, and is called the Bareshnûm, which is the Avesta name for the 'top' of the head, the first part of the body appointed to be washed in the ceremony, after the hands. The description of this ceremony, given in Pahl. Vend. IX, I-145, which does not differ very materially from the rite still in use, is as follows 1:--
Pahl. Vend. IX, 1. Zaratûst enquired of Aûharmazd thus: 'O Aûharmazd, propitious spirit! creator of the material world! who art the righteous one [of righteousness!' that is, Aûharmazd is the righteous creator through invocation, and the rest through praise]. 2. 'How, when in the material existence they see a [clean] man together with [that which is polluted], (3) how shall they purify him clean who
is with that fraught with corruption [together with pollution] owing to that dead body? [that is, how should they make him thoroughly clean?]'
4. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'A righteous man, O Zaratûst the Spîtamân! [a purifier], (5) who is a speaker [that is, it is possible for him to speak], a true-speaker [that is, falsehood is little spoken by him], an enquirer of the liturgy [that is, the ritual is performed by him], and righteous, (6) he who specially understands the purification of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers [that is, he knows the rite], (7) such a one shall cut up the plants on the fruitful earth, (8) for a length of nine separate reeds 1 in every one of the four directions, (9) at a place on this earth which is most devoid of water, most devoid of trees, land most purified [from bodily refuse] 2, and with the driest ground [that is, there is no damp in that extent of it]. to. Even where least upon the paths do cattle and beasts of burden step forth, and the fire of Aûharmazd, the sacred twigs 3 spread forth with righteousness, and the righteous man 4 do least exist.'
11. 'Creator of the material world! thou righteous one! how far from the fire? how far from the water? how far from the sacred twigs spread forth
with righteousness? how far from a man of the righteous?'
12. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'Thirty steps 1 from the fire, thirty steps from the water, thirty steps from the sacred twigs spread forth with righteousness, and three steps 2 from the men of the righteous. 13. The cutting out for the first hole [for bull's urine] 3, after the coming on of summer, is two finger-breadths in excavation; after the coming on of hail-fraught (sôngagân-hômand) winter it is as it were a cup of four finger-breadths 4. 14. So also for the second hole, for the third hole, for the fourth hole, the fifth, and the sixth.'
'How much is one such hole from another hole 5?'
'As much as one step onwards.'
15. 'What kind of one step?'
'Just like three feet.'
6. 'The rutting out of the three other holes [which are for water, (17) after the coming on of summer, is as much as two finger-breadths in excavation; after the coming on of hail-fraught winter it is as much as four finger-breadths.'
18. 'How much from those former ones [for bull's urine]?'
'As much as three steps.'
19. 'What kind of three steps?'
'As much as the steps one plants in walking with the steps he would take.'
20. 'What kind of walking with steps?'
'Just like nine feet.'
21. Thou shalt also plough up a furrow with the blade due to Shatryŏvair 1.'
22. 'How much from the holes?'
'As much as three steps.'
'What kind of three steps?'
'As much as in walking with the steps one would take and plant.'
23. 'How much is the walking with steps?'
'As much as nine feet.'
24. 'Then, afterwards, is the ploughing up of the twelve furrows. 25. By the ploughing up of three from among them three holes are separated within them. 26. Thou shalt plough up three from among them with six holes separated within. 27. Thou shalt plough up three from among them with nine holes separated within. 28. And thou shalt plough
Click to enlarge
PLAN OF BARESHNÛM GÂH.
O, O, O, three southern holes, for water, one step apart and three steps from the others.
S, S, S, three loads of stones on the three spaces of three steps.
D, place for collecting fifteen handfuls of dust for drying the body.
up three, within which are the [three] holes that are apart, [which are for water, and] beyond [those within, which are for bull's urine] 1.
29. 'Thou shalt carry three loads of stones on to those spaces of nine feet 2, as an approach to the holes; (30) or potsherds, or knotty and massive blocks, or a clod of the earth of Vistâsp, or [a pot or something of] any hard earth whatever.
31. 'Afterwards, he who has been by the dead shall come to that approach, which is the approach to the holes. 32. Thereupon thou, O Zaratûst! hast to stand up more aside, by the furrows 3.
[paragraph continues] 33. Then these words are to be murmured [by thee, that is]: "Praise to Spendarmad 1, the propitious!" 34. And he who has been by the dead shall speak in reply to it thus: "Praise to Spendarmad, the propitious!" 35. Then the fiend becomes disabled by every word [of each repetition]; (36) the smiting of the evil spirit, the wicked one, is owing to it; (37) the smiting of Aeshm 2, the impetuous assailant, is owing to it; (38) the smiting of the Mâzînîkân demons 3 is owing to it; (39) the smiting of all the demons is owing to it.
40. 'Afterwards, thou shalt sprinkle bull's urine upon him with an iron, or with a leaden, ladle. 41. If thou shalt sprinkle upon him with a leaden one 4, thou shalt strongly demand, O Zaratûst! the stem of a reed whose nine customary parts (pîsak) you have mentioned 5 [as nine knots]; (42) and one should tie that leaden ladle strongly on its foremost part 6.
43. 'He shall first wash over his hands [even to the elbows]. 44. When he does not wash over his hands, (45) he then makes all his own body impure [and polluted]. 46. When he shall have washed over his hands for three times, (47) then, when thy hands
shall have been washed over, (48) thou shalt sprinkle him on the front of the top of his head, [as far as the hair has grown.] 49. Then the fiend of corruption 1 rushes in front, upon some of the space between the brows of that man.
50. 'Thou shalt sprinkle in front, on some of the space between the brows of that man, [from the place where the hair has grown, as far as to the ears backwards, and both cheeks at the bottom.] 51. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon the back of his heat).
52. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on the back of his head, [from the place where the hair has grown, casting (stunak) one-fourth to the spine.] 53. Then the fiend of corruption rushes in front upon his jaws.
54. 'Thou shalt sprinkle in front, on his jaws, [both cheeks as far as to the ears backwards, casting one-fourth unto the throat.] 55. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right ear.
56. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right ear. 57. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left ear.
58. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left ear, [just as the ear is turned, casting one-fourth to the liquid 2.]
[paragraph continues] 59. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right shoulder.
60. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right shoulder. 61. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left shoulder.
62. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left shoulder, [on the side in front, just as it is turned, even unto the elbow.] 63. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right armpit.
64. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right armpit. 65. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left armpit.
66. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left armpit, [as far as the hair has grown.] 67. Then the fiend of corruption rushes in front upon his chest.
68. 'Thou shalt sprinkle in front on his chest, [half the liquid to the shoulders, and half to the region of the throat, within three finger-breadths of the face 1.] 69. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his back.
70. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his back, [from the slender part of the spine unto the anus.] 71. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right nipple.
72. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right nipple. 73. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left nipple.
74. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left nipple, [just as the nipple shall be turned; and those of women (zanagânŏ) are to be held up.] 75. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right side.
76. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right side. 77. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left side.
78. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left side; [this, moreover, is because one specially recites for ever on that side.] 79. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right hip 1.
80, 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right hip. 81. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left hip.
82. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left hip, [just as it is turned, as far as to the hollow 2 of it (gûyak-î valman) below the thigh.] 83. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his sexual part.
84. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his sexual part. 85. If it be a male, thou shalt sprinkle behind it before-hand and in front of it afterwards; (86) and if it be a female, thou shalt sprinkle in front of it before-hand, and behind it afterwards; [on this occasion half is for the front and half for behind, and it is rubbed in in front.] 87. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right thigh.
88. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right thigh. 89. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left thigh.
90. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left thigh, [from the prominence (gôhâk) below the thigh to the knee.] 91. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right knee.
92. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right knee. 93. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left knee.
94. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left knee, [above just as it is turned, and below the slender part; there are some who would say thus: "As much above it as below."] 95. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right shin.
96. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right shin. 97. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left shin.
98. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left shin, [from the knee unto the place where the leg and foot unite.] 99. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right ankle 1.
100. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right ankle. 101. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left ankle.
102. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left ankle, [just as the leg and foot unite, that is, while the ten toes are back to the ground.] 103. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his right instep.
104. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his right instep. 105. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left instep.
106. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left instep, [from the place where the leg and foot unite, to the end of his toes.] 107. Then the fiend of corruption turns dejected under the sole of the foot, and its likeness is as it were the wing of a fly's body.
108. 'The toes being held quite in union with the ground, his heel is held up from the ground. 109. Thou shalt sprinkle on his right sole. 110. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left sole.
111. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left sole. 112. Then the fiend of corruption turns dejected under the toes, and its likeness is as it were the wing of a fly.
113. 'The heel being held quite in union with the ground, his toes are held up from the ground. 114. Thou shalt sprinkle on his right toes. 115. Then the fiend of corruption rushes upon his left toes.
116. 'Thou shalt sprinkle on his left toes. 117. Then the fiend of corruption returns dejected to the northern quarter in the shape of a raging fly, bandy-legged, lean-hipped, illimitably spotted, so that spot is joined to spot, like the most tawdry 1 noxious creature, and most filthy.
118. 'Then these words are to be murmured, which are most triumphant and most healing 2:--
'"As is the will of the patron spirit [as is the will of Aûharmazd], so should be the earthly master [so should be the high priest], owing to whatever are the duty and good works of righteousness; [that is, he is always to perform duty and good works as authoritatively as the will of Aûharmazd] That which is the gift of good thought is the work of both existences [and the work] of Aûharmazd; [that is, the reward and recompense they give to good thought, they give also to him; there are some who would say thus: 'It is the possession of good thought.]
[paragraph continues] The sovereignty is given to Aûharmazd, [that is, Aûharmazd has made the ruler for himself,] who has given protection and nourishment to the poor, [that is, he would provide assistance and intercession for them.] 1
'"Who is given to me by thee, O Aûharmazd! as a protection? [when 2 I shall do duty and good works, who would provide me protection?]--when I am in custody of the malice of that wicked [Aharman, that is, he retains malice with me in his thoughts]--other than thy fire and good thought? [this I know, that they would do so on account of you; but, apart from you, who would provide me protection?] When in their employ I invoke righteousness, O Aûharmazd! [that is, I shall do duty and good works, who would provide me protection?] That which thou shalt proclaim to me as religion through a high-priest [this I say, that is, preach religion through a high-priest] 3.
'"Who is the smiter with triumph, through this thy teaching of protection? [that is, so far as is declared by the revelation of scripture, who should inflict the punishment for sinners?] With clearness the superintendence (radîh) of the creation in both existences is to be taught to me, [that is, it is necessary for thee to give unto me the high-priesthood here and there 4.] The arrival of virtuous obedience (Srôsh), with good thought (Vohûman), is here,
[paragraph continues] [that is, it is necessary for thee to give Vistâsp 1 unto me as assistance.] O Aûharmazd! [the arrival of] that one [is according to my wish], who is he according to the wish of every one, [that Sôshâns 2 that shall be necessary for every one, so that they may thereby convey away their misery, the misery it is possible he should convey away from every one. 3
'"Let us be guarded from the most afflicting one [here, and apart from the sinners], O Aûharmazd and Spendarmad 4! [that is, keep us away from the harm of the evil spirit!] Perish, thou demon fiend! [as I speak in front of thee.] Perish, thou race of the demons! [that is, their race is from that place.] 5 Perish, thou work transformed by the demons [for uselessness]! Perish, thou work produced by the demons [heretofore and hereafter! this produced without the sacred beings, and produced by them (the demons) even for uselessness]. Perish utterly, thou fiend! [that is, mayst thou become invisible!] Perish utterly, thou fiend! [that is, rush away from here, and mayst thou become invisible on any path!] Perish utterly and apart, thou fiend! [that is, stand not again on any path!] Thou shalt perish again to the north! [the path was mentioned thus: 'Go in the direction of the north!'] do not destroy the material world of righteousness 6!"
119. 'At the first hole the man becomes freer from the fiend of corruption, [that is, it shall depart a little from his body, like a flock when they disperse it.]
120. 'Then these words are to be murmured by thee, &c. [as in § 33-118. At] the second [hole, &c., as in § 119. And the same routine is to be followed at] the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth [holes] 1.
'Afterwards he shall sit--he who has been by the dead--within the precinct (sitrâ.) of the holes 2 apart from those holes [which are for bull's urine]. 121. So much from that [of the previous ones for bull's urine] as four finger-breadths 3. 12 2. They shall also dig up those full diggings up of this earth, [they should accomplish this well.] 123. They shall scrape together fifteen handfuls of the earth, [so that they shall quite dislodge the damp purely.] 4 124. And they shall remain about it the whole period from that time until the time when the hair on his head shall become dry, (125) and until the time when the wet earth on his body shall become dry.
126. 'Then he who has been by the dead shall come to that approach to those other holes [which are for water]. 127. At, the first hole he shall then purify over his own body once with water. 128. At the second hole he shall then purify over his own
body twice with water. 129. At the third hole he shall then purify over his own body thrice with water.
130. 'Afterwards, he who is perfumed with sandarac (râsnŏ) 1, or benzoin, or aloes 2, or any other of the most odoriferous of plants, (131) shall then put on his clothes. 132. Then he who has been by the dead shall come to that approach, the approach to his abode 3.'
[a. The clothing is always cleansed by the Khshvash-maunghô ("the six-months’ process") 4.
b. Afarg 5 said two purifiers are requisite 6, and of the two he is suitable who has performed the ritual; thus they have been very unanimous; when he scores the furrow, washes that unclean person in the customary places, and utters the Avesta he has performed it; the other, when he has not performed it,
is unsuitable; when there shall also be one who is suitable 1 he fully solemnizes a Vendidâd service, for this purpose, with a dedication (shnumanŏ) to Srôsh.
c. For every single. person, at the least, one cup, alike of water and bull's urine, is to be set down in that place 2, and at the beginning of its consecration it is to be thoroughly inspected, and at the Vendidâd it is to be thoroughly inspected 3; afterwards, when it is covered, it is also well; the pebbles cast into it 4 they should carry back to the holy-water, there is no use for them; when thoroughly consecrated it is always suitable, until it becomes quite fetid 5.
d. For the avoidance of an unsecluded (agûbâl) menstruous woman nava vîbâzva drâgô ('the length of nine fathoms') 6 from her is necessary, when she stands nearest; in a wild spot the herbage is to be dug up 7; when they shall make the purifying place in the town, and a path, or a stream, or a wall does not extend into it, it is suitable; and the cleanly plucking up of its small trees, extracting them in the daytime with recitation of the Avesta of Zaratûst 8--those which are thick not existing among the holes--is proper.
e. And every one who digs the holes, with whatever he digs, and whenever he digs, is suitable; four finger-breadths and two finger-breadths 9 is no matter;
each hole is at a minimum distance of three feet 1, at a maximum as much as one thoroughly purifies his body in; and they are to be formed in it from the north, and are to. be dug in the direction towards its more southern side.
f. In the daytime is the purifier's scoring of the furrows and with a blade they are to be scored; with the recital of the Avesta 2 they are to be scored; in the day they are to be scored 3; in that day they are to be scored, when a furrow is scored, three Ashemvohûs 4, the Fravarânê 5, whatever period of the day one considers it to be, the dedication to Srôsh 6, and its inward prayer 7 are to be taken up inwardly.
g. It is also to be done inside it from the north, and its end is to be passed back at the end; for every single furrow there is one Yathâ-ahû-vairyô 8 at the least, and at the most as many as are possible for it; a furrow is not to be scored again for a furrow, until it is to be put into use; whenever it is fully disturbed it is to be scored again with the recital of its Avesta; when prepared for use and one scores it again it is no matter.
h. Once the outside of the body is to be made quite clean from the bodily refuse 1 of the world; and the hair being tied up--it is no use to cut the pubes (nihânŏ)--he is also to be brought into it (the precinct) from the north to the holes.
i. The purifier stands up on the right-hand side, and when he retains the inward prayer from scoring the furrows 2 it is proper; when not, the prayer to be taken inwardly by him--which is his utterance of Nemaskâ yâ ârmaitis îzâkâ ('and the homage which is devotion and nourishment') 3--is also that which is to be uttered by the unclean person; and when he is not able to speak, it is both times to be uttered for him.
j. And his hands are to be thoroughly washed three times, not in the inside; as to the other customary parts (pîsak) Afarg has said three times, not in the inside, but Mêdôk-mâh 4 one time; also the water and bull's urine, such as are necessary for him, are to be conveyed on to him; and a portion (bahrak) is to be preserved for him away from the body, and, when anything comes upon him, a little bull's urine is to be dropped down upon him; likewise,
any customary part, while being washed by him, is to be preserved from that which is not washed; when it comes upon it, it is improper.
k. When a drop of water (âv yûgakŏ-1) shall remain upon him, his hand is to be thoroughly rubbed over it; when at the same hole and he becomes doubtful as to a customary part 1, when he knows which, it is to be washed by him again, and from that onwards they are always to be washed again by him; when he does not know which, the beginning of the washing at the hole is to be done again by him, and when he comes unto that which he did before, when he knows it, he is also to go again to that after it, from his doing again of the beginning of the washing at the hole; when he becomes doubtful as to the hole, he is to go back to that which is not doubtful.
l. And when they go from hole to hole, the dog 2 is to be held once, the Avesta 3 of the purifier is to be spoken, and it is to be done by him thus:--When he arrives at the place, it is done by him; when not, the head is to be done thoroughly--there are some who would say thus: 'In the same hole the head is to be done thoroughly'--and all four feet of the dog are to be put by him into the hole; he is also to sit down within four finger-breadths 4, and the Pankadasa zemŏ hankanayen ('fifteen times of earth they shall
scrape together') 1 are to be well completed by him, it is also to be thoroughly done by him, and he is to be fully guarded while he properly and thoroughly well perseveres.
m. And, after it, he is to go unto the holes for water; the different times with water are just like the different holes for bull's urine, except holding the dog; the dog, too, works for him inside.
n. When he seeks for it, it 2 is to be thoroughly warmed for him; when he hungers for it, bread is to be given to him; when the necessity of making water arises, something is to be held unto him; when, on account of his imperfect strength (vad zôrîh), he is quite unable to wash, some one is to sit down inside with him; when he is only just 3 washed, he is to come into his position therein before, the inward prayer is to be spoken out by him, and the inward prayer is to be again offered by him, his customary parts are also washed, and are to be considered as washed.
o. When he shall keep on for three washings 4, though not clean, it is not improper; when he does not attain three washings, it is not proper; when the enclosure is not to be formed to the north 5, it is not proper; when one shall not solemnize the Vendidâd service 6, it is not proper.
p. When the purifier shall not have performed the ritual, it is not proper; when the purifier is not a man, it is not proper.
q. When he shall not wash on the customary parts, it is not proper; when he does not utter the Avesta, it is not proper; and when the dog 1 is not held, it is not proper; when there is no digging of the holes, it is not proper; when he does not perform the Pankadasa zemô hankanayen (fifteen times of earth they shall scrape together') 2, it is not proper.
r. When it is not the purifier who scores the furrows, and he does not score them with a blade 3, nor does he score them with the recitation of the Avesta, nor does he score them in the daytime, it is not proper.
s. When he shall see anything impure in the hole, it is not proper; when they shall cause rain to come within a hole for bull's urine, it is not proper; when night shall come in upon him, it is not proper; when in everything there is suitableness, but as to one thing doubt arises, through that suitableness it is not proper.]
133. 'He 4 is to sit down in the place of the secluded (armêstânŏ) 5, within the precinct (sitrâ) of his abode, apart from the other Mazda-worshippers. 134. He shall not come with authorization to fire, nor to water, nor to earth, nor to animals, nor to plants, nor to a righteous man, nor to a righteous
woman, (135) at all from that time, until the time when his three nights shall fully elapse.
136. 'After those three nights he shall wash over his body, and his clothes are purified over in such a way as with bull's urine and also with water. 137. He shall sit in the place of the secluded, within the precinct of his abode, apart from the other Mazda-worshippers. 138. He shall not come with authorization to fire, &c. [just as has been written in § 134], (139) at all from that time, until the time when his six nights shall fully elapse.
140. 'After those six nights 1 he shall wash over his body, and his clothes are purified over in such a way as with bull's urine and also with water. 141-143. He shall sit in the place of the secluded [just as has been written in §§ 133-135] until the time when his nine nights shall fully elapse.
144. 'Then, after the nine nights, he shall wash over his body, and his clothes are purified over in such a way as with bull's urine and also with water. 145. Then he shall come with authorization unto fire, unto water, unto earth, unto animals, unto plants, unto. a righteous man, unto a righteous woman.
Besides. the above fully detailed description of the Bareshnûm ceremony we find two other accounts of the rite, in the Vendidâd, Of these the most detailed is contained in Vend. VII I, 117-228, which mentions the use of the dog 2, the nine holes, the washing with bull's urine and water, and all the
detail of driving the fiend of corruption from one part of the body to another (by sprinkling with 'the good waters') till it flies away to the north as in Vend. IX, 117. But it omits the description of the purifier, the dimensions of the purifying place, the scoring of the furrows, the placing of the stones, the exorcism 1, the seclusion for nine nights, and all the washings after the first day.
The other account, which is much shorter., is given in Vend. XI X, 67-84. It specifies that the urine must be that of a young bull, and that the purifier must score a furrow; it mentions the recitation of a hundred Ashem-vohûs and two hundred Yathâ-ahû-vairyôs, four washings with bull's urine and two with water, nine nights' exposure, followed by attention to the fire and fumigation, when the man clothes himself while paying homage to the sacred beings, and is clean; but no other details are given.
431:1 Observing that the passages in brackets do not occur in the Avesta text, but are added by the Pahlavi translators; and that the sections are numbered to correspond with the alternating Avesta and Pahlavi sections in the MSS., which is the division adopted in Spiegel's edition of the texts. The readings adopted are those of L4, wherever they are not defective; this MS. was written about A.D. 1324, and differs occasionally from Spiegel's printed text; it begins the ninth fargard with the following heading:--'May it be fortunate! may it destroy the corruption (nasûs) which rushes on from a dead dog and men on to the living! May the pure, good religion of the Mazda-worshippers be triumphant!'
432:1 Which would be 42 feet (see Dd. XLIII, 5 n); but the phrase gvîd nâî (which, in Pahl. Vend. VII, 90, has become gvîd hanâ by misreading gvîdŏ-aê, and then substituting Huz. hanâ for Piz. aê) is merely an attempted translation of Av. vîbâzu, which latter appears to mean the 'two arms' outstretched, or a fathom. So the 'separate reed' should be understood as a longer kind of reed, equal to a fathom, instead of 4 feet 8 inches.
432:2 See Dd. XLVIII, 19 n. L4 omits this clause altogether.
432:3 See Dd. XLIII, 5 n.
432:4 Any priest not engaged in the purification.
433:1 As the step is three feet (see § 15), and the foot, being fourteen finger-breadths (see Bd. XXVI, 3 n), may be taken as 10½ inches, these thirty steps would be nearly 79 English feet.
433:2 That is, 7 feet 10½ inches. This diminution of distance enables a purifying priest to stand near enough to an unclean person to hand him the purifying liquid in a ladle tied to a stick (see §§ 40-42), without going within the furrows traced around the holes or ablution seats at the same distance of three steps (see §§ 21-23).
433:3 That is, at which the unclean person is sprinkled with the urine (see §§ 48-116). The urine should he that of a bull, according to Vend. XIX, 70; but Vend. VIII, 35, 36 state that it mat be that of cattle or draught oxen, generally, or even that of those who perform Khvêtûk-das (see p. 391). At the present time the term magh, which means 'a hole' in the Avesta, is applied to the stones which are used as ablution seats for squatting upon.
433:4 The greater depth of the hole for catching the ablution droppings in the winter, would provide for the larger quantity of liquid that could not sink into the soil, or evaporate, during the tedious washing, owing to the soil and air being damper than in summer.
434:1 That is, made of metal, which is under the special protection of the archangel Shatryŏvair or Shatvaîrô (see Dd. XLVIII, 17 n).
436:1 The arrangement, here described, is that of six holes in a row, one step apart; then an interval of three steps, followed by three more holes, one step apart, in the same line. This row of nine holes, from north to south (see § 232, e), is surrounded by three furrows, the first six holes and the last three are both surrounded by a second series of three furrows, and the first three holes are surrounded by a third series of three furrows. And these furrows are not less than three steps from the holes in any place, except where they separate the three series of holes from each other. The object of the furrows, which are scored during the recitation of certain formulas (see § 132, f, g), is to prevent the fiend of corruption from forcing its way from the unclean person within the furrows to any other person outside them. And, as the fiend is supposed to be strongest at first, and to become gradually weakened by the progress of the purification (see § 119), the first three holes are surrounded by the strongest barrier of nine furrows.
436:2 There were three such spaces, one between the furrows and the first hole, one between the sixth and seventh holes, and one between the last hole and the furrows (see the plan). It is not distinctly stated that these stones were to be distributed, as ablution seats, to each of the nine stations, as at present; but this was probably intended. At the present time an additional group of stones is placed outside the furrows, at the entrance to the north, as a station for the preliminary washing.
436:3 That is, the priest is to stand outside, to the right (see § 132, i), but close to the furrows.
437:2 The demon of wrath (see Dd. XXXVII, 44).
437:3 See Dd. XXXVII, 81, This passage (§§ 36-39) is quoted from Yas. XXVII, 2, LVI, xii, 5.
437:4 These words are omitted in the Pahlavi text, but occur in the Avesta.
437:5 Or, perhaps, 'murmured over' with prayers.
437:6 This nine-knotted reed, or stick, must be so long that the ladle, tied to its end, can easily reach the unclean person at the holes, when the stick is held by the priest who stands outside the furrows.
438:1 The Nasûs fiend (see Dd. XVII, 7).
438:2 The word, both here and in § 68, must be Av. ifs, 'water,' and not a Pâzand term for any part of the body, as any such term would be inadmissible in § 68. It would seem as if a smaller supply of liquid were requisite for the ears than for the other customary parts, so that a quarter of the supply is directed to be returned to the vessel holding the liquid. The remarks made by the Pahlavi translator, upon the sprinkling of the left-hand members of the body, are evidently intended also to apply, in nearly all cases, to the sprinkling of the right-hand members.
439:1 Reading dîmak, but it may be gâmak (compare Pers. gâm, jaw'). L4 has gîmak.
440:1 Reading srînak, as in Pahl. Vend. VIII, 178-182; but here the word is four times written sînak.
440:2 Or, perhaps, 'prominence' is meant, as in § 90; although the two words gûyak and gôhâk are written differently, they refer Probably to the same part.
441:1 The word zang means rather 'the lower part of the leg.'
442:1 Reading bôg-âkîntûm, 'most stuffed with ostentation,' as in L4. In AV. XVII, 12 the word can be read bazak-âyîntûm, 'most sin-accustomed.'
442:2 Only the initial and final words of the Avesta of the following passages are given in the MSS. here, but they are given at length, with their Pahlavi translation, in Vend. VIII, 49-62, whence the Pahlavi version is here taken.
443:2 Reading amat, instead of mûn, 'who,' (see Dd. LXII, 4 n.)
443:3 This paragraph is the Pahlavi version of the Kem-nâ-mazdâ stanza of the Gâthas (Yas. XLV, 7).
443:4 Both in this world and the next.
444:1 The king in the time of Zaratûst (see Dd. XXXVII, 36).
444:2 The last of the future apostles (see Dd. II, 10).
444:3 This paragraph is the Pahlavi version of a passage in the Gâthas (Yas. XLIII, 16, b-e).
444:5 From hell, the place of the demons.
444:6 It appears from what follows, in § 120, that the whole of the sprinklings and exorcisms, detailed in §§ 33-118, are to be repeated at each of the first six holes.
445:1 This paragraph is omitted in the Pahlavi text, being merely given in the Avesta (for the sake of brevity) so far as the words are not included in the brackets.
445:2 The three holes for washing with water.
445:3 That is, three English inches south of the six furrows which separate the first six holes from the last three, at the point D on the plan.
445:4 That is, the person undergoing purification shall be rubbed with dust until he is quite dry.
446:1 Av. urvâsna (which is translated by Pahl. râsnŏ) is supposed, in India, to mean sandal-wood.
446:2 These are supposed, in India, to be the two substances meant by the Av. vohû-gaona and vohû-kereti, which are merely transcribed by the Pahl. hû-gôn and hû-keret. The Avesta text adds a fourth perfume, named hadhâ naêpata, which is understood to mean the pomegranate bush, although that plant seem s. to yield no perfume.
446:3 For the continuation of the instructions see § 133; the text being here interrupted by a long Pahlavi commentary on the whole of the foregoing description of the ceremony.
446:4 This sentence is evidently incomplete in the Pahlavi text. The process is thus described in Pahl. Vend. VII, 36: If it be that it is woven, they shall wash it over six times with bull's urine, they shall scrape together six times on the earth with it [so that they quite dislodge its moisture purely], they shall wash it over six times with water, and they shall perfume over it six months at a window in the house.' For the Avesta version of this description, which is nearly the same, see Sls. II, 95 n.
446:5 See Ep. I, v, 1.
446:6 See Ep. I, vi, 4, II, ii, 7.
447:1 See Ep. I, vi, 7.
447:2 See Ep. I, vii, 1.
447:3 L4 has 'it is to be taken up,' by omitting the first letter of nikîrisnŏ.
447:4 See Ep. I, vii, 16, II, iii, 12.
447:5 See Ep. I, viii, r-6.
447:6 See § 8.
447:7 See § 9.
447:8 These twelve words do not occur in L4.
447:9 See § 13.
448:1 See §§ 14, 15.
448:2 The Ahunavar or Yathâ-ahû-vairyô (see § g).
448:3 So in L4.
448:4 See Dd. LXXIX, 1, note.
448:5 That is, the profession of faith (Yas. I, 65), which is as follows:--'I will profess myself a Zarathustrian Mazda-worshipper, opposed to the demons and of the Ahura faith.' This is followed by the dedication to the period of the day, which is given for the first period only in Yas. I, 66, 67; the dedications for the other periods will be found in Gâh II-V, 1.
448:6 Sir. I, 17.
448:7 See Dd. XL, 5, note. All the prayers here detailed are to be murmured merely as a preliminary spell, but while each furrow is being scored a further formula is to be recited (see § g).
449:1 See Dd. XLVIII, 19 n.
449:2 That is, when he has not broken its spell by talking, since he began the scoring.
449:3 These are the Avesta words from Yas. XLVIII, 10, c, of which the Pahlavi version is given in §§ 33, 34.
449:4 Written Mêdyôk-mâh in Ep. I, v, 1. The statement here attributed to Mêdôk-mâh is ascribed to Afarg in Ep. I, vi, 7, 9, II, ii, 6, but Afarg is there said to be 'the prior deponent,' as he is here; we should, therefore, probably transpose the 'three times' and 'one time' in our text; the blunder having originated from the frequent substitution of liana for aê in Pahlavi, both meaning 'this,' while aê also means 'one' and is the cipher for '3.'
450:1 That is, when he is doubtful which he washed last.
450:2 The dog is not mentioned in the Avesta account of the Bareshnûm in Vend. IX, but it is ordered to be brought before the unclean person in another such account in Vend. VIII, 120, 123. The use of the dog is that its sight or touch is supposed to destroy or drive away the Nasûs, or fiend of corruption.
450:3 The exorcism in § 118.
450:4 See §121.
451:1 The Avesta version of § 123.
451:2 The. water, apparently.
451:3 Perhaps it should be kand tâk, 'several times,' instead of kîgûn tâk, 'only just.'
451:4 See §§ 136, 140, 144.
451:5 See § e.
451:6 See § b.
452:1 See § l.
452:2 See § 123.
452:3 See § f.
452:4 He who has been by the dead, as stated in § 132, in connection with which this sentence is to be read; the foregoing §§ a-s being interpolated by the Pahlavi translators.
452:5 The original meaning of armêst was probably 'most stationary,' as it is a term applied to water in tanks, helpless cripples, and insane people, as well as to unclean persons who have to remain apart from their friends (see Sls. II, 98 n).
453:1 The MSS. omit several words, when sentences are repeated, for the sake of brevity.
453:2 See .§ l above.
454:1 That is, the exorcism is not found in the Pahlavi version, but is introduced in the Vendidâd sâdah in an abbreviated form, possibly copied from Vend. IX, 118.
THE controversy between Mânûskîhar and his brother, Zâd-sparam, of. which the Epistles of Mânûskîhar are the only portion extant, turned chiefly upon the meaning to be attached to Vend. VIII, 271-299 1, and whether the mode of purification therein detailed was a sufficient substitute, or merely a preparation, for the Bareshnûm ceremony. The following is a translation of the Pahlavi version of this passage 2:--
Pahl. Vend. VIII, 271. 'O creator! how are those men purified, O righteous Aûharmazd! who shall stand by a corpse, in a distant place, upon a wild spot 3?'
272. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'They are purified, O righteous Zaratûst!'
273. 'But when so? [that is, how will such a one become clean?]'
274. 'If a corpse-eating dog, or a corpse-eating bird, has attacked that corpse, (275) the man shall then purify over his own body with bull's urine, (276) thirty times by washing forwards [with the bull's urine], and thirty times by washing over 4, [and
his hand shall rub over it.] 277. Of the topmost part of him is the washing over, [that is, the washing of his head is that regarding which there is a mention through this study-causing (hûshkar) exclamation.] 1
278. 'If a corpse-eating dog, or a corpse-eating bird, has not attacked that corpse, (279) he shall purify fifteen times by washing forwards, and fifteen times by washing backwards, [and his hand shall rub over it:]
280. 'He shall run the first mile (hâsar) 2. 281: He shall then run forwards, [when the Pankadasa ("fifteen times") shall be performed by him.] 282. And when he shall thus stop opposite any one whomsoever of the material existence 3, he shall be prepared with a loud issue of words, (283) thus 4: "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, [that is, it is not possible for me to be as though washed.] 284. It demands purification for me, [that is, wash me thoroughly!]" 285. When he runs, the first he shall reach, (286) if they do not grant him purification, share one-third of that deed of his, [that is, of all that sin, not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, one part in three is theirs at its origin.]
287. 'He runs the second mile [while he runs for
it]. 288. He runs, and a second time he reaches people. 289. If they do not grant him purification, (290) they share a half 1 of that deed of his, [that is, of all that sin, not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, as it were a half is even for them at its origin.]
291. 'He shall run the third mile [while he runs for it]. 292. When he runs, the third he shall reach, (293) if they do not grant him purification, share all 2 that deed of his, [that is, all that sin which it is not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, is ever theirs at its origin.]
294. 'He shall then run forwards 3. 295. He shall thus stop opposite some people of the next house, village, tribe, or district, and he shall be prepared with a loud issue of words, (296) thus: "I have thus stood close by the body of him who is dead; (297) I am no wisher for it by thought, I am no wisher for it by word, I am no wisher for it by deed, [that is, it is not possible to bear without washing.] 298. It demands purification for me, [that is, wash me thoroughly!]" 299. If they do not grant him purification, he shall then purify over his own body with bull's urine, and also with water; thus he shall be thoroughly purified over 4.'
[a. He shall go three miles; it is not allowable to walk back to his district, until he has fully striven
with three persons, and all that sin, not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, is theirs at its origin.
b. When thus thoroughly washed by himself, his duty even then is the work frakairi frakerenaod, vâstrê verezyôid ('he should accomplish with perseverance, he should cultivate in the pastures 1); there are some who would say thus: 'He is always for the performance of work, and abstinence from the ceremonies of others is for him 2.]
455:1 See Sacred Books of the East, vol. iv, pp. 116-118.
455:2 Subject to the same observations as those detailed in p.431 n.
455:3 Reading pavan vaskar, but the MSS., by omitting a stroke, have pavan sikar,' on the chase.'
455:4 So here, but 'washing backwards' in § 279; and in Ep. II, iv, a we find 'upwards' and 'downwards,' instead of forwards' and 'backwards.' The Pahlavi translators were evidently doubtful whether the Av. upasnâteê (see Ep. II, iii, 2) meant 'washing over, backwards, or downwards.'
456:1 Implying that the Pahlavi translators had found the use of Av. aghrya for 'head' rather perplexing.
456:2 The hâsar was 'a thousand steps of the two feet' (see Bd. XXVI, s, note), and was, therefore, about an English mile.
456:3 That is, any human being.
456:4 See Ep. I, ii, 10.
457:1 That is, half of the two-thirds remaining with him, or one-third of the whole original trespass.
457:2 That is, all the remaining one-third of the original trespass.
457:3 See Ep. II, iii, 3.
457:4 What follows is a commentary, by the Pahlavi translators, on the whole passage.
458:1 'Quoted from Vend. XIX, 140, where the words 'sheep's food and food for oxen' are added.
458:2 A person so purified by himself, after vainly seeking a proper purifier, is, therefore, only fit for the ordinary labours of life, and must avoid all religious celebrations till properly purified by the Bareshnûm ceremony. This was the opinion of Mânûskîhar, but it is based upon a Pahlavi commentary, and not upon the Avesta text, which is not clear upon this point.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Part I: Avesta- Vendidad
- Part II: Khorda Avesta: Book of Common Prayers Part 1
- Part II: Khorda Avesta: Book of Common Prayers Part 2
- Part II: Nyayis Avesta: Book of Begging Prayers
- Part III: Avesta: Yasna
- Part III: Avesta: Visperad
- Part III: Avesta Fragments
- The Bundahishn
- Shayest Na-Shayest
- Zand-i Vohuman Yasht
- The Epistles of Manuskihar
- Dadestan-i Denig
- Menog-i Khrad
- Sad Dar
- The Yatkar-I-Zariran Or Memoirs Of Zarir
- The Epistles of Manuskihar, Introduction
- THE EPISTLES OF MANUSKIHAR, Part1
- The Epistles of Manuskihar, Part2
- The Epistles of Manuskihar, Part3
- The Epistles of Manuskihar, Index
PAHLAVI TEXTS Translated by E. W. WEST Part II The Dâdistân-î Dînîk and the Epistles of Mânûskîhar Clarendon: Oxford University Press 
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