Zoroastrian Scriptures: Sad Dar

Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism

Translated by E. W. West

"As its name implies the Sad Dar is a treatise on 'a hundred subjects' connected with the Zoroastrian religion. The word dar, literally 'door, or gate,' being also applied to the chapters of a book, and to the 'matters, or subjects,' of which it treats. This work is not a Pahlavi text, being written in Persian with an admixture of about four per cent of Arabic words; it is, however, more quoted than any other work by the Parsi compilers of the Persian Rivayats, or religious 'traditions,' in the seventeenth century.

In one of its recensions it is also found written in Avesta characters, and the Avesta-Persian sentences alternate with an old Gujarati translation, in imitation of the Pazand-Sanskrit versions of Pahlavi texts compiled by Neryosang. In consideration of the existence of this pseudo-Pazand recension, together with the general acceptance of the work as an important authority, and its being a convenient summary of many of the religious customs handed down by Pahlavi writers, this work may be offered as a suitable appendix to the true Pahlavi texts, connecting them with the Persian writings that are too modern to be accepted as authorities in religious matters.

It may ... be concluded that the prose Sad Dar had the reputation of being a very old work in the early part of the sixteenth century." (from introduction by E. W. West)


Chapter 0. Introduction

Chapter 1. Necessity of unwavering faith in the religion

Chapter 2. Sin not to be committed

Chapter 3. Advantage of perseverance in industry

Chapter 4. No one should despair of the mercy of Ohrmazd

Chapter 5. Advantage of Navazud and Geti-kharid

Chapter 6. The six indispensable good works

Chapter 7. Why we should recite certain formulas after sneezing

Chapter 8. Why high-priests must be obeyed

Chapter 9. The sin of unnatural intercourse to be punished, by any one, by death on the spot

Chapter 10. Reasons for wearing the sacred thread-girdle and tying it with four knots

Chapter 11. Why a household fire should be properly maintained

Chapter 12. Why the clothing of a corpse should be scanty and old, though many people must follow the bier.

Chapter 13. Why ceremonies in honour of the souls of the departed should be properly celebrated

Chapter 14. How nail-parings should be treated, and why

Chapter 15. How we should salute anything agreeable, and why

Chapter 16. A pregnant woman and new-born infant require the protection of a fire or burning lamp, with other precautions

Chapter 17. Why a toothpick must be cut free from bark

Chapter 18. People should marry early, to benefit by children's good works; and a childless man must have an adopted son

Chapter 19. Advantage of attending to agriculture

Chapter 20. Advantage of feeding the worthy

Chapter 21. How grace must be said before and after eating, and why

Chapter 22. Advantage of performing Jadangoi

Chapter 23. Tethered animals must be restrained

Chapter 24. Why and how Hom juice must be given to a new-born child

Chapter 25. Why promises must not be broken

Chapter 26. Every man of fifteen years must select a patron spirit and a priestly guide whom he must obey

Chapter 27. When it is doubtful whether an action be right or wrong a high-priest must be consulted

Chapter 28. Why the Avesta must be properly learnt and remembered

Chapter 29. Why liberality must extend only to the worthy

Chapter 30. Water must not be poured away, or drunk, in the dark

Chapter 31. Dogs must be fed and well-treated

Chapter 32. Why a hen or cock must not be killed for crowing

Chapter 33. Why search must be made where a corpse is supposed to be buried

Chapter 34. Animals must not be often killed, and some never; also certain parts should be consecrated

Chapter 35. Prayers to be used when washing the face

Chapter 36. Necessity of the Barashnom for both men and women

Chapter 37. Why the ten days of the guardian spirits [farohars] must be celebrated

Chapter 38. We must not drink from the same cup as those of a different religion, until it is purified

Chapter 39. The sacred fire and its attendant must be properly maintained (see Chap. 92)

Chapter 40. Parents and priests must be obeyed and not vexed

Chapter 41. The care and prayers necessary for menstruous women

Chapter 42. Why slander and seduction, sins producing accusers, are specially injurious

Chapter 43. Noxious creatures must be killed, especially five kinds

Chapter 44. Walking barefoot is a sin, and why

Chapter 45. How repentance must be accomplished for every sin

Chapter 46. The proper age for tying on the sacred thread-girdle (kusti)

Chapter 47. Ceremonies must be celebrated after the death of a child of seven, to liberate its soul from those of its parents

Chapter 48. A cooking-pot must not be more than two-thirds full, for fear of boiling over

Chapter 49. A fire must be cold before the ashes are removed

Chapter 50. How the morning ablutions must be performed

Chapter 51. Why it is necessary to send a child to school

Chapter 52. Why a sacred cake must be consecrated every year on the day Hordad of the month Farvardin

Chapter 53. Any one travelling twelve leagues must have a sacred cake consecrated before he goes and every Warharan day during his absence

Chapter 54. If a man's serving wife has a son, he may adopt it; but if only a daughter, he must adopt a relation's son

Chapter 55. When a sacred cake cannot be consecrated at a Navazud, bread must be eaten with the Ohrmazd Baj

Chapter 56. Precautions and prayers necessary when evacuating water

Chapter 57. A hedgehog must not be injured, and why

Chapter 58. Advantages of a ceremony for the living soul

Chapter 59. The only Niyayesh for women is obedience to their husbands

Chapter 60. Steadfastness in the religion leads to heaven, and helping others to be steadfast is the best good work

Chapter 61. Evils of falsehood

Chapter 62. Advantages of truth in word and action

Chapter 63. Regarding the sin of adultery

Chapter 64. Penalties for theft with and without violence

Chapter 65. Duties of thanksgiving and doing good

Chapter 66. All women must have the Dvazdah-homast celebrated

Chapter 67. Why women must abstain from adultery

Chapter 68. Precautions to be taken by menstruous women

Chapter 69. Allowing the sun to shine on a fire, even through holes, is sinful

Chapter 70. Precautions to be observed in carrying the dead

Chapter 71. Punishment for eating dead matter as medicine

Chapter 72. Bringing dead matter to water or fire is a deadly sin

Chapter 73. Any cow, goat, or fowl that eats dead matter is impure, and its produce cannot be used, for a year

Chapter 74. Morning ablutions

Chapter 75. Cultivators must be careful that irrigation water is not defiled with dead matter

Chapter 76. Period of purification after childbirth

Chapter 77. Purification and precautions after still-birth

Chapter 78. Why meat must not be eaten for three days after a death in the house

Chapter 79. Advantages of liberality

Chapter 80. Different values of Ashem-vohu on different occasions

Chapter 81. Ohrmazd admonishes Zartosht not to postpone to-day's duties and good works till tomorrow

Chapter 82. The sacred thread-girdle must be re-tied when dressing before moving from the spot

Chapter 83. Proper fasting is from sin, not from food

Chapter 84. Prayers before sleeping and when restless

Chapter 85. Advice must always be asked of the wise and relations

Chapter 86. Water-dogs must not be killed

Chapter 87. Ceremonies to be celebrated after a death

Chapter 88. Polluted wood must not be used or burnt

Chapter 89. Any one eating dead matter, or polluting another with it must be purified

Chapter 90. Nothing is to be given to a sinner

Chapter 91. How to purify articles of various materials when polluted by dead matter

Chapter 92. The sacred fire must be properly maintained, and attendant provided (see Chap. 39)

Chapter 93. Slander a sin, and how to atone for it

Chapter 94. Benefits must be reciprocated

Chapter 95. The merit of performing the Niyayeshes, and the sin of neglecting them.

Chapter 96. Mourning for the dead is improper

Chapter 97. Priests' instructions must be treated with respect

Chapter 98. Priests must teach the Avesta to laymen correctly

Chapter 99. Pahlavi must be taught to priests only

Chapter 100. Anyone molesting a harmless person in this world will be delayed on his way to the other world.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Source: (Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East, volume 24, Clarendon Press, 1885.)

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