The Zend Avesta, Part I (SBE04), James Darmesteter, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
This chapter and the following ones, to the end of the twelfth, deal chiefly with uncleanness arising from the dead, and with the means of removing it from men and things.
The subjects treated in this Fargard are as follows:--
I (1-7). If a man defile the fire or the earth involuntarily, or unconsciously, it is no sin.
II (8-9). Water and fire do not kill.
III (10-14). Disposal of the dead during winter.
IV (15-20). How the Dakhmas are cleansed by water from the heavens.
V (21-26). On the excellence of purity and of the law that shows how to recover it, when lost.
VI (27-38). On the defiling power of the Nasu being greater or less, according to the greater or less dignity of the being that dies.
VII (39-44). On the management of sacrificial implements defiled by the dead.
VIII (45-62). On the treatment of a woman who has been delivered of a still-born child; and what is to be done with her clothes.
1. There dies a man in the depths of the vale: a bird takes flight from the top of the mountain down into the depths of the vale, and it eats up the corpse of the dead man there: then, up it flies from the depths of the vale to the top of the mountain: it flies to some one of the trees there, of the hard-wooded or the soft-wooded, and upon that tree it vomits, it deposits dung, it drops pieces from the corpse.
2 (7). Now, lo! here is a man coming up from the depths of the vale to the top of the mountain; he comes to the tree whereon the bird is sitting; from that tree he wants to take wood for the fire. He fells the tree, he hews the tree, he splits it into logs, and then he lights it in the fire, the son of Ahura Mazda. What is the penalty that he shall pay 1?
3 (11). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘There is no sin upon a man for any dead matter that has been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies.
4 (12). 'For were there sin upon a man for any dead matter that might have been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies, how soon this material world of mine would have in it only Peshôtanus 2, shut out from the way of holiness,
whose souls will cry and wail 1! so numberless are the beings that die upon the face of the earth.'
5 (15). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Here is a man watering a corn field. The water streams down the field; it streams again; it streams a third time; and the fourth time, a dog, a fox, or a wolf carries a corpse into the bed of the stream: what is the penalty that the man shall pay 2?
6 (19). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘There is no sin upon a man for any dead matter that has been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies.
7 (20). 'For were there sin upon a man for any dead matter that might have been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies, how soon this material world of mine would have in it only Peshôtanus, shut out from the way of, holiness, whose souls will cry and wail! so numberless are the beings that die upon the face of the earth.'
8 (23). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does water kill 3?
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Water kills no man: Astô-vîdhôtu 1 ties the noose around his neck, and, thus tied, Vaya 2 carries him off: then the flood takes him up 3, the flood takes him down 4, the flood throws him ashore; then birds feed upon him, and chance brings him here, or brings him there 5.'
9 (29). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does fire kill?
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Fire kills no man: Astô-vîdhôtu ties the noose around his neck, and, thus tied, Vaya carries him off. The fire burns up life and limb, and then chance brings him here, or brings him there 6.'
10 (34). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the summer is past and the winter has come, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do 7?
Ahura Mazda answered: 'In every house? in every borough 1, they shall raise three small houses for the dead 2.'
11 (37). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How large shall be those houses for the dead?
Ahura Mazda answered: ‘Large enough not to strike the skull, or the feet, or the hands of the man, if he 3 should stand erect, and hold out his feet, and stretch out his hands: such shall be, according to the law, the houses for the dead.
12 (41). ‘And they shall let the lifeless body lie there, for two nights, or for three nights, or a month long, until the birds-begin to fly 4, the plants to grow, the floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the waters from off the earth 5.
13 (44). ‘And as soon as the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the waters from off the earth, then the worshippers of Mazda shall lay down the dead (on the Dakhma) his eyes towards the sun.
14 (46). 'If the worshippers of Mazda have not, within a year, laid down the dead (on the Dakhma),
his eyes towards the sun, thou shalt prescribe for that trespass the same penalty as for the murder of one of the faithful. And there shall it lie until the corpse has been rained on, until the Dakhma has been rained on, until the unclean remains have been rained on, until the birds have eaten up the corpse.'
15 (49). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Is it true that thou, Ahura Mazda, sendest the waters from the sea Vouru-kasha 1 down with the wind and with the clouds?
16 (51). That thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow down to the corpses 2? that thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow down to the Dakhmas? that thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow down to the unclean remains? that thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow down to the bones? and that then thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow back unseen? that thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow back to the sea Pûitika 3?
17 (53). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘It is even so
as thou hast said, O righteous Zarathustra! I, Ahura Mazda, send the waters from the sea Vouru-kasha down with the wind and with the clouds.
18 (55). ‘I, Ahura Mazda, make them stream down to the corpses; I, Ahura Mazda, make them stream down to the Dakhmas; I, Ahura Mazda, make them stream down to the unclean remains; I, Ahura Mazda, make them stream down to the bones; then I, Ahura Mazda, make them flow back unseen; I, Ahura Mazda, make them flow back to the sea Pûitika 1.
19 (56). ‘The waters stand there boiling, boiling up in the heart of the sea Pûitika, and, when cleansed there, they run back again from the sea Pûitika to the sea Vouru-kasha, towards the well-watered tree 2, whereon grow the seeds of my plants of every kind by hundreds, by thousands, by hundreds of thousands.
20(60). 'Those plants, I, Ahura Mazda, rain down upon the earth 2, to bring food to the faithful, and fodder to the beneficent cow; to bring food to my people that they may live on it, and fodder to the beneficent cow.'
21 (63). 'This 1 is the best of all things, this is the fairest of all things, even as thou hast said, O righteous Zarathustra!'
With these words the holy Ahura Mazda rejoiced the holy Zarathustra 2: 'Purity is for man, next to life, the greatest good 3, that purity that is procured by the law of Mazda to him who cleanses his own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds 4.'
22 (68). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! This law, this fiend-destroying law of Zarathustra, by what greatness, goodness, and fairness is it great, good, and fair above all other utterances?
23 (69). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘As much above all other floods as is the sea Vouru-kasha, so much above all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this law, this fiend-destroying law of Zarathustra.
24 (70). ‘As much as a great stream flows swifter than a slender rivulet, so much above all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this law, this fiend-destroying law of Zarathustra.
‘As high as the great tree 5 stands above the small plants it overshadows, so high above all other
utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this law, this fiend-destroying law of Zarathustra.
25, 26 (73-81). ‘As high as heaven is above the earth that it compasses around, so high above all other utterances is this law, this fiend-destroying law of Mazda.
'Therefore, when the Ratu has been applied to 1 when the Sraoshâ-varez has been applied to 2; whether for a draona-service 3 that has been undertaken 4, or for one that has not been undertaken 5; whether for a draona that has been offered up, or for one that has not been offered up; whether for a draona that has been shared, or for one that has not been shared 6; the Ratu has power to remit him
one-third of the penalty he had to pay 1: if he has committed any other evil deed, it is remitted by his repentance; if he has committed, no other evil deed, he is absolved by his repentance for ever and ever 2.'
27 (82). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If there be a number of men resting in the same place, on adjoining carpets, on adjoining pillows, be there two men near one another, or five, or fifty, or a hundred, close by one another; and of those people one happens to die; how many of them does the Drug Nasu envelope with infection, pollution, and uncleanness 3?
28 (86). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘If the dead one be a priest, the Drug-Nasu rushes forth 4, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the eleventh and defiles the ten 5.
‘If the dead one be a warrior, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the tenth and defiles the nine.
‘If the dead one be a husbandman, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the ninth and defiles the eight.
29 (92). ‘If it be a shepherd's dog, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the eighth and defiles the seven.
‘If it be a house dog, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the seventh and defiles the six.
30 (96). ‘If it be a Vohunazga dog 1, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the sixth and defiles the five.
‘If it be a young dog 2, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the fifth and defiles the four.
31 (100). ‘If it be a Sukuruna dog 3, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the fourth and defiles the three.
‘If it be a Gazu dog 4, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the third and defiles the two.
32 (104). ‘If it be an Aiwizu dog, the Drug
[paragraph continues] Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the second and defiles the next.
'If it be a Vîzu dog, the Drug Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathustra! she falls on the next, she defiles the next.'
33 (108). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If it be an Urupi dog 1, how many of the creatures of the good spirit does it directly defile, how many does it indirectly defile in dying?
34 (110). Ahura Mazda answered: 'An Urupi dog does neither directly nor indirectly defile any of the creatures of the good spirit, but him who smites and kills it; to him the uncleanness clings for ever and ever 2.'
35 (113). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the dead one be a wicked, two-footed ruffian, an ungodly Ashemaogha 3 how many of the creatures of the good spirit does he directly defile, how many does he indirectly defile in dying?
36 (115). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘No more than a frog does whose venom is dried up, and that has been dead more than a year 4. Whilst alive, indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! that wicked, two-legged
ruffian, that ungodly Ashemaogha, directly defiles the creatures of the good spirit, and indirectly defiles them.
37 (119). ‘Whilst alive he smites the water 1; whilst alive he blows out the fire 2; whilst alive he carries off the cow 3; whilst alive he smites the faithful man with a deadly blow, that parts the soul from the body 4; not so will he do when dead.
38 (120). 'Whilst alive, indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! that wicked, two-legged ruffian, that ungodly Ashemaogha, never ceases depriving the faithful man of his food, of his clothing, of his house, of his bed, of his vessels 5; not so will he do when dead.'
39 (122). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When into our houses here below we have brought the fire, the baresma, the cups, the Haoma, and the mortar 6, O holy Ahura Mazda! if it come to pass that either a dog or a man dies there, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?
40 (125). Ahura Mazda answered: 'Out of the house, O Spitama Zarathustra! shall they take the fire, the baresma, the cups, the Haoma, and the mortar; they shall take the dead one out to the proper place 7 whereto, according to the law, corpses must be brought, to be devoured there.'
41 (128). O Maker of the material world, thou
[paragraph continues] Holy One! When shall they bring back the fire into the house wherein the man has died?
42 (129). Ahura Mazda answered: 'They shall wait for nine nights in winter, for a month in summer, and then they shall bring back the fire to the house wherein the man has died.'
43 030. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! And if they shall bring back the fire to the house wherein the man has died, within the nine nights, or within the month, what penalty shall they pay?
44 (134). Ahura Mazda answered: 'They shall be Peshôtanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahê-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraoshô-karana.'
45 (135) 1. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If in the house of a worshipper of Mazda there be a woman with child, and if being a month gone, or two, or three, or four, or five, or six, or seven, or eight, or nine, or ten months gone, she bring forth a still-born child, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?
40 (139). Ahura Mazda answered: 'The place in that Mazdean house whereof the ground is the cleanest and the driest, and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by Fire, the son of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of baresma, and by the faithful;'--
47 (143). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the consecrated bundles of baresma? How far from the faithful?
48 (144). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘Thirty paces from the fire; thirty paces from the water; thirty paces from the consecrated bundles of baresma; three paces from the faithful;--
49 (145). 'On that place shall the worshippers of Mazda erect an enclosure 1, and therein shall they establish her with food, therein shall they establish her with clothes.'
50 (147). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the food that the woman shall first take?
51 (148). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘She shall drink gômêz 2 mixed with ashes, three cups of it, or six, or nine, to wash over the grave within her womb.
52 (151). 'Afterwards she may drink boiling 3 milk of mares, cows, sheep, or goats, with pap or without pap 4; she may take cooked meat without water, bread without wafer, and wine without water 5.'
53 (154). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long shall she remain so? How long shall she live only on that sort of meat, bread, and wine?
54 (155). Ahura Mazda answered: 'Three nights
long shall she remain so; three nights long shall she live on that sort of meat, bread, and wine. Then, when three nights have passed, she shall wash her body, she shall wash her clothes, with gômêz and water, by the nine holes 1, and thus shall she be clean.'
55 (157). O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long shall she remain so? How long, after the three nights have gone, shall she sit confined, and live separated from the rest of the worshippers of Mazda, as to her seat, her food, and her clothing?
56 (158). Ahura Mazda answered: 'Nine nights long shall she remain so: nine nights long, after the three nights have gone, shall she sit confined, and live separated from the rest of the worshippers of Mazda, as to her seat, her food, and her clothing. Then, when the nine nights have gone, she shall wash her body, and cleanse her clothes with gômêz and water 2.'
57 (160) 3. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can those clothes, when once washed and cleansed, ever be used either by a Zaotar, or by a Hâvanan, or by an Âtare-vakhsha, or by a Frabaretar, or by an Âbered, or by an Âsnâtar, or by a
[paragraph continues] Rathwiskar, or by a Sraoshâ-varez 1, or by any priest, warrior, or husbandman 2?
58 (162). Ahura Mazda answered: ‘Never can those clothes, even when washed and cleansed, be used either by a Zaotar, or by a Hâvanan, or by an Âtare-vakhsha, or by a Frabaretar, or by an Âbered, or by an Âsnâtar, or by a Rathwiskar, or by a Sraoshâ-varez, or by any priest, warrior, or husbandman.
59 (164). ‘But if there be in a Mazdean house a woman who is in her sickness, or a man who has become unfit for work 3, and who must sit in the place of infirmity 4, those clothes shall serve for their coverings and for their sheets 5, until they can withdraw and move their hands 6.
60 (168). ‘Ahura Mazda, indeed, does not allow us to waste anything of value that we may have, not even so much as an Asperena's 1 weight of thread, not even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning.
61 (170). ‘Whosoever throws any clothing on a dead body 2, even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning, is not a pious man whilst alive, nor shall he, when dead, have a place in the happy realm 3.
62 (174). 'He shall go away into the world of the fiends, into that dark world 4, made of darkness, the offspring of darkness 5. To that world, to the
dismal realm, you are delivered by your own doings, by your own souls, O sinners!'
49:1 For defiling the fire by bringing dead matter into it, see Farg. VII, 25 seq. The Vendîdâd Sâdah has here, 'Put ye only proper and well-examined fuel (in the fire).' For the purification of unclean wood, see Farg. VII, 28 seq.
49:2 'People guilty of death' (Comm.; cf. Introd. V, 19).
50:1 After their death, 'When the soul, crying and beaten off, is driven far away from paradise' (Comm.) Possibly, 'Whose soul shall fly (from paradise) amid howls' (cf. Farg. XIII, 8).
50:2 For defiling the earth and the water: 'If a man wants to irrigate a field, he must first look after the water-channel, whether there is dead matter in it or not . . . . . If the water, unknown to him, comes to a corpse, there is no sin upon him. If he has not looked after the rivulet and the stream, he is unclean' (Saddar 75; Hyde 85).
50:3 Water and fire belong to the holy part of the world, and come p. 51 from God: how then is it that they kill? 'Let a Gueber light a sacred fire for a hundred years, if he once fall into it, he shall be burnt.' Even the Mobeds, if we may trust Elisaeus, complained that the fire would burn them without regard for their piety, when to adore it they came too near (Vartan's War, p. 211 of the French translation by l’Abbé Garabed). The answer was that it is not the fire nor the water that kills, but the demon of Death and Fate. 'Nothing whatever that I created in the world, said Ormazd, does harm to man; it is the bad Nâi (lege Vâi) that kills the man' (Gr. Rav. 124).
51:1 Literally, 'binds him;' see Introd. IV, 26; cf. Farg. XIX, 29.
51:2 'The bad Vâi' (Comm.); see Introd. IV, 17.
51:3 To the surface.
51:4 To the bottom.
51:5 Or perhaps, 'When he departs, it is by the will of Destiny that he departs' (Comm.)
51:6 See preceding note.
51:7 In case a man dies during the snowy season, while it is difficult p. 52 or impossible to take the corpse to the Dakhma, which usually stands far from inhabited places. The same case is treated more clearly and fully in Farg. VIII, 4 seq.
52:1 In every isolated house, in every group of houses.
52:2 Thence is derived the modern usage of the Zâd-marg, a small mud house where the corpse is laid, to lie there till it can be taken to the Dakhma (Anquetil, Zend-Avesta II, 583). The object of that provision is to remove the uncleanness of the dead from the place of the living. An older form of the same provision is found in Farg. VIII, 8.
52:3 'Being in life' (Comm.)
52:4 To come back.
52:5 'Until the winter is past' (Comm.)
53:1 The sea above, the clouds. See Introd. IV, 11.
53:2 Zoroaster seems to wonder that Ormazd fears so little to infringe his own laws by defiling waters with the dead. In a Ravaet, he asks him bluntly why he forbids, men to take corpses to the water, while he himself sends rain to the Dakhmas (Gr. Rav. 125).
53:3 The sea where waters are purified before going back to their heavenly seat, the sea Vouru-kasha (see § 19). Pûitika, 'the clean,' is very likely to have been originally a name or epithet of the sea Vouru-kasha. When the mythic geography of Mazdeism was reduced into a system, the epithet took a separate existence, as it gave a ready answer to that question, which, it may be, was raised first by the name itself: 'Where are the waters cleansed which have been defiled her below, and which we see falling again to us pure and clean?'
54:1 In later mythology, the sea Vouru-kasha and the sea Pûitika were assimilated to the Arabian sea and to the gulf of Oman: the moving to and fro of the waters from heaven to earth and from the earth to heaven was interpreted as the coming and going of the tide (Bund. XIII).
54:2 The tree of all seeds (Harvisptokhm), which grows in the middle of the sea Vouru-kasha; the seeds of all plants are on it. There is a godlike bird, the Sinamru, sitting on that tree; whenever he flies off the tree, there grow out of it a thousand boughs; whenever he alights on it, there break a thousand boughs, the seeds of which are scattered about, and rained down on the earth by Tistar (Tistrya), the rain-god (Yt. XII, 17; Minokhired LXII, 37 seq.; Bundahis XXVII; cf. Farg. XX, 4 seq.)
55:1 The cleansing, the purification.
55:2 'When Zoroaster saw that man is able to escape sin by performing good works, he was filled with joy' (Comm.)
55:3 As uncleanness is nothing less than a form of death (see Introd. V, 3).
55:4 That is to say, 'Who performs the rites of cleansing according to the prescriptions of the law.'
55:5 'The royal cypress above small herbs' (Comm.)
56:1 'To take the rule' (Comm.), which probably means, 'to know what sort of penance he must undergo;' as, when a man has sinned with the tongue or with the hand, the Dastur (or Ratu) must prescribe for him the expiation that the sin requires. The Ratu is the chief priest, the spiritual head of the community.
56:2 'To weep for his crime' (Comm.), which may mean, 'to recite to him the Patet, or, to receive at his hand the proper number of stripes.' It is difficult to say exactly what were the functions of the Sraoshâ-varez, which seem to have been twofold. The cock is compared to him, as being 'the one who sets the world in motion,' and wakes men for prayer (Farg. XVIII, 14, text and note), which would make him a sort of Zoroastrian Muezzin; at the same time he is the priest of penance. His name may refer to either of his functions, according as, it is translated, 'the one who causes hearing,' or 'the executor of punishment;' in the first case he would be the priest who pronounces the favete linguis, the srâushat; in the other case he would be the priest who wields the Sraoshô-karana (see Introd. V, 19).
56:3 A service in honour of any of the angels, or of deceased persons, in which small cakes, called draona, are consecrated in their names, and then. given to those present to eat.
56:4 When it ought not to be.
56:5 When it ought to be.
56:6 The meaning of the sentence is not certain; it alludes to p. 57 religious customs which are not well known. The Commentary interprets it as amounting to, 'Whether he has thought what he ought not to have thought, or has not thought what he ought to have thought; whether he has said what he ought not to have said, or has not said what he ought to have said; whether he has done what he ought not to have done, or has not done what he ought to have done.'
57:1 When the Ratu remits one-third of the sin, God remits the whole of it (Saddar 29).
57:2 Cf. Farg. III, 21.
57:3 See Introd. V, 3.
57:4 In opposition to the case when the dead one is an Ashemaogha (§ 35), as no Nasu issues then.
57:5 Literally, 'If she falls on the eleventh, she defiles the tenth.' The word if refers to the supposition that there are eleven persons at least, and the words 'she defiles the tenth' must be understood to mean 'she defiles to the tenth.' In the Ravaets, the Avesta distinctions are lost, and the defiling power of the Nasu is the same, whatever may have been the rank of the dead: 'If there be a p. 58 number of people sleeping in the same place, and if one of them happen to die, all those around him, in any direction, as far as the eleventh, become unclean if they have been in contact with one another' (Gr. Rav. 470).
58:1 A dog without a master (see Farg. XIII, 19).
58:2 A dog not more than four months old.
58:3 According to Aspendiârji, a siyâ-gosh, or 'black-eared' lynx, the messenger of the lion.
58:4 This name and the two following, Aiwizu and Vîzu, are left untranslated, not being clear, in the Pahlavi translation.
59:1 A weasel. The weasel is one of the creatures of Ahura, for 'it has been created to fight against the serpent garza and the other khrafstras that live in holes' (Bund. 47, 8).
59:2 Not that the unclean one cannot be cleansed, but that his uncleanness does not pass from him to another.
59:3 See Introd. IV, 10; V, 11.
59:4 The frog is a creature of Ahriman's, and one of the most hateful; for, in the sea Vouru-kasha, it goes swimming around the white Hom, the tree of everlasting life, and would gnaw it down, but for the godlike fish Kar-mâhî, that keeps watch and guards the tree wherever the frog would slip in (Bund. XVIII; cf. Orm. Ahr. § 146).
60:1 By defiling it (a capital crime; see Introd. V, 8, and Farg. VII, 25).
60:2 He extinguishes the Bahrâm fire (a capital crime; Introd. V, 9).
60:3 As a cattle-lifter.
60:4 As an assassin.
60:5 By defiling or by stealing them.
60:6 In order to perform a sacrifice.
60:7 The Dakhma.
61:1 §§ 45-54 = Farg. VII, 60-69.
62:1 The Armêst-gâh (cf. Farg. III, 15 seq., and Introd. V, 15).
62:2 Urine of the ox: it destroys the Nasu in her womb (Introd. V, 5). The ashes work to the same end, as they are taken from the Bahrâm fire (Comm.), the earthly representative of the fire of lightning, and the most powerful destroyer of fiends (see Introd. V, 8, and Farg. VIII, 80 seq.) Three cups, or six, or nine, according to her strength' (Asp.)
62:5 See Introd. V, 13. 'The water would be defiled;' cf. Farg. VII, 70 seq.
63:1 She shall perform the nine nights’ Barashnûm, for the details of which see Farg. IX.
63:2 The modern custom is somewhat different: 'If a woman brings forth a still-born child, after a pregnancy of one month to ten months, the first food she shall take is nîrang (= gômêz) . . . fire and ashes; and she is not allowed until the fourth day to take water or salt, or any food that is cooked with water or salt: on the fourth day they give her nîrang, that she may cleanse herself and wash her clothes with it, and she is not allowed to wash herself and her clothes with water until the forty-first day' (Gr. Rav. 568).
63:3 §§ 57-62 = Farg. VII, 7-22.
64:1 These are the names of the different priests who were engaged in the sacrifices. The Hâvanan strains the Haoma; the Âtare-vakhsha kindles the fire; the Frabaretar brings all that is necessary for the sacrifice (Anquetil); the Âbered brings the water (Anquetil and Zand-Pahlavi Glossary, 21); the Âsnâtar cleanses the vessels. Those are the priests who are entrusted with the preparatory or accessory proceedings; the essential duties are performed by the Zaotar and the Rathwiskar, the former chanting the hymns and saying the prayers, the latter performing the various operations during the sacrifice. Nowadays there are only two priests, the Zaotar (Zûtî) and the Rathwiskar (Raspî), the latter performing all the accessory services formerly performed by several priests. As to the Sraoshâ-varez, see above, § 25, note 2.
64:2 In short, by any of the faithful, when in state of purity.
64:3 An Armêst; literally, 'an infirm person,' that is to say, one who is unclean, during the time of his uncleanness (Farg. IX, 33 seq.), when all work is forbidden to him (cf. Introd. V, 15).
64:4 The Armêst-gâh (cf. Introd. V, x5).
64:5 The clothing defiled by the dead can only serve for Dashtân women, even after it has been washed and exposed for six months to the light of the sun and of the moon (Saddar 91, cf. Farg. VII, 10 seq.)
64:6 Until they are clean. The unclean must have their hands p. 65 wrapped in an old piece of linen, lest they should touch and defile anything clean.
65:1 See Farg. IV, 48, note 4.
65:2 Cf. Farg. VIII, 23 seq. It appears from those passages that the dead must lie on the mountain naked, or 'clothed only with the light or heaven' (Farg. VI, 51). The modern custom is to clothe them with old clothing (Dadabhai Naoroji, Manners and Customs of the Parsis, p. 15). 'When a man dies and receives the order (to depart), the older the shroud they make for him, the better. It must be old, worn out, but well washed: they must not lay anything new on the dead. For it is said in the Zend Vendîdâd, If they put on the dead even so much as a thread from the distaff more than is necessary, every thread shall become in the other world a black snake clinging to the heart of him who made that shroud, and even the dead shall rise against him and seize him by the skirt, and say, That shroud which thou madest for me has become food for worms and vermin' (Saddar 12). The Greeks entertained quite different ideas, and dressed the dead in their gayest attire, as if for a feast. Yet the difference is only in appearance; for, after the fourth day, when the soul is in heaven, then rich garments are offered up to it, which it will wear in its celestial life (Saddar 87, Hyde 64).
65:3 The Behesht or paradise.
65:4 'Where darkness can be seized with the hand' (Comm.; cf. Aogemaidê 28); something more than the 'visible darkness.'
65:5 The Commentary has, 'the place of those who impregnate p. 66 darkness, for the Drug who conceives seed from the sinner comes from that place' (cf. Farg. XVIII, 30 seq.)