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Pahlavi Texts, Part I (SBE05), E.W. West, tr. [1880], at


The term Bundahis, 'creation of the beginning,' or 'original creation,' is applied by the Parsis to a Pahlavi work 1 which, in its present state, appears to be a collection of fragments relating to the cosmogony, mythology, and legendary history taught by Mazdayasnian tradition, but which cannot be considered, in any way, a complete treatise on these subjects. This term is applicable enough to much of the earlier part of the work, which treats of the progressive development of creation under good and evil influences; but it is probably not the original name of the book. Its adoption was no doubt partly owing to the occurrence of the word bûn-dahisn, or bûn-dahisnîh, twice in the first sentence, and partly to its appropriateness to the subject. But the same sentence seems to inform

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us that the actual name of the treatise was Zand-âkâs, 'knowing the tradition.'

The work commences by describing the state of things in the beginning; the good spirit being in endless light and omniscient, and the evil spirit in endless darkness and with limited knowledge. Both produced their own creatures, which remained apart, in a spiritual or ideal state, for three thousand years, after which the evil spirit began his opposition to the good creation under an agreement that his power was not to last more than nine thousand years, of which only the middle three thousand were to see him successful. By uttering a sacred formula the good spirit throws the evil one into a state of confusion for a second three thousand years, while he produces the archangels and the material creation, including the suit, moon, and stars. At the end of that period the evil spirit, encouraged by the demons he had produced, once more rushes upon the good creation, to destroy it. The demons carry on conflicts with each of the six classes of creation, namely, the sky, water, earth, plants, animals represented by the primeval ox, and mankind represented by Gâyômard: producing little effect but movement in the sky, saltness in the water, mountains in the earth, withering in plants, and death to the primeval ox, and also to Gâyômard after an interval.

Then follows a series of chapters describing the seven regions of the earth, its mountains and seas, the five classes of animals, the origin of mankind, generation, the five kinds of fire and three sacred fires, the white Hôm tree and the tree of many seeds, the three-legged ass, the ox Hadhayôs, the bird Kâmrôs, and other birds and animals opposed to the evil creation, the rivers of the world, the seventeen species of liquids, the lakes, the origin of the ape and bear, the chiefs of the several kinds of creatures and creations, the calendar, lineal measures, trees and plants, the characteristics of various demons, the spiritual chiefs of the various regions of the earth, and the resurrection and future existence; all which descriptions are given on the authority of the Dîn, which may have been some particular

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book, or revelation generally. The concluding chapters give the genealogies of the legendary Persian kings and heroes, and of Zaratûst and certain priests, together with an epitome of Persian chronology from the creation to the Muhammadan conquest.

As the work now stands it is evidently of a fragmentary character, bearing unmistakable marks both of omissions and dislocations; and the extant manuscripts, as will be seen, differ among themselves both as to the extent and arrangement of the text. Many passages have the appearance of being translations from an Avesta original, and it is very probable that we have in the Bundahis either a translation, or an epitome, of the Dâmidâd Nask, one of the twenty-one books into which the whole of the Zoroastrian scriptures are said to have been divided before the time of Darius. This may be guessed from a comparison of the contents of the Bundahis with those of the Dâmdâd Nask, which are detailed in the Dînî-vagarkard as follows 1:—'It contained an explanation of the spiritual existence and heaven, good and evil, the material existence of this world, the sky and the earth, and everything which Aûharmazd produced in water, fire, and vegetation, men and quadrupeds, reptiles and birds, and everything which is produced from the waters, and the characteristics of all things. Secondly, the production of the resurrection and future existence; the concourse and separation at the Kinvad bridge; on the reward of the meritorious and the punishment of sinners in the future existence, and such-like explanations. Moreover, the Dâmdâd Nask is twice quoted as an authority in the Selections of Zâd-sparam (IX, 1, 16), when treating of animals, in nearly the same words as those used in the Bundahis.

The first manuscript of the Bundahis seen in Europe was brought from Surat by Anquetil Duperron in 1761, and he published a French translation of it in his great work on the Zend-Avesta in 1771 2. This manuscript,

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which is now in the National Library at Paris, was a modern copy, written A.D. 1734, and contained a miscellaneous collection of Pahlavi writings besides the Bundahis. And Anquetil's translation, though carefully prepared in accordance with the information he had obtained from his Parsi instructor, is very far from giving the correct meaning of the original text in many places.

In 1820 the very old codex from which Anquetil's MS. had been copied was had been brought to Europe, from Bombay, by the Danish scholar Rask, and was subsequently deposited in the University Library at Kopenhagen. This most important codex, which will be more particularly described under the appellation of K20, appears to have been written during the latter half of the fourteenth century; and a facsimile of the Pahlavi text of the Bundahis, which it contains, was very carefully traced from it, lithographed, and published by Westergaard in 1850. 1

In a review of this lithographed edition of the Pahlavi text, published in the Göttinger Gelehrte Anzeigen in 1854 2, Haug gave a German translation of the first three chapters of the Bundahis. And Spiegel, in his Traditional Literature of the Parsis 3, published in 1860 a German translation of many passages in the Bundahis, together with a transcript of the Pahlavi text of Chaps. I, II, III, and XXX in Hebrew characters. But the complete German translation of the Bundahis by Windischmann, with his commentary on its contents, published in his Zoroastrian Studies 4 in 1863, was probably toe most important step in advance since the time of Anquetil, and the utmost

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that could be done on the authority of a single MS. which is far from perfect.

In 1866 another very old codex, containing the Pahlavi texts of the Bundahis and other works, was brought to Europe by Haug, to whom it had been presented at Surat in 1864. It is now in the State Library at Munich, and will be more minutely described under the appellation of M6. In this codex the Bundahis is arranged in a different order from that in K20, and Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, and XXXI-XXXIII are omitted.

A second complete German translation of the Bundahis, with a lithographed copy of the Pahlavi text, a transliteration of the text in modern Persian characters, and a glossary of all the words it contains, was published by Justi in 18681. 1 Its author, having had access to other MSS. (descended from M6) at London and Oxford, was able to rectify many of the deficiencies in Windischmann's translation; but, otherwise, he made but little progress in elucidating difficult passages.

Other European writers have published the result of their studies of particular parts of the Bundahis, but it does not appear that any of them have attempted a continuous translation of several chapters.

Whether the existence of previous translations be more of an assistance than a hindrance in preparing a new one, may well be a matter of doubt. Previous translations may prevent oversights, and in difficult passages it is useful to see how others have floundered through the mire; but, on the other hand, they occasion much loss of time, by the necessity of examining many of their dubious renderings before finally fixing upon others that seem more satisfactory. The object of the present translation is to give the meaning of the original text as literally as possible, and with a minimum of extra words; the different renderings of other translators being very rarely noticed, unless there be some probability of their being of service

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to the reader. Some doubtful words and passages still defy all attempts at satisfactory solution, but of these the reader is warned; and, no doubt, a few oversights and mistakes will be discovered.

With regard to the original text, we have to recover it from four manuscripts which are, more or less, independent authorities, and may be styled K20, K20b, M6, and TD. The first three of these have evidently descended, either directly or through one or more intermediate copies, from the same original; but the source of TD, so far as it can be ascertained, seems to have been far removed from, that of the others. All the other MSS. of the Bundahis, which have been examined, whether Pahlavi or Pâzand, are descended either from K20 or M6, and are, therefore, of no independent authority.

K20 is the very old codex already mentioned as having been brought from Bombay by Rask in 1820, and is now No. 20 of the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the University Library at Kopenhagen. It consists now of 173 folios of very old and much-worn Indian paper of large octavo size, but five other folios are certainly missing, besides an uncertain number lost from the end of the volume. This MS. contains twenty Pahlavi texts, written twenty lines to the page, and some of them, accompanied by Avesta; the Bundahis is the ninth of these texts, and occupies fols. 88-129, of which fol. 121 is missing. Three of the texts, occurring before the Bundahis, have dated colophons, but the dates are A.Y. 690, 720, and 700, all within 36 folios; it is, therefore, evident that these dates have been copied from older MSS.; but at the same time the appearance of the paper indicates that the actual date of the MS. cannot be much later than A.Y. 720 (A.D. 1351), and there are reasons for believing that it was written several years before A.Y. 766 (A.D. 1397), as will be explained in the description of M6. Owing to its age and comparative completeness this MS. of the Bundahis is certainly the most important one extant, although comparison with other MSS. proves that its writer was rather careless, and frequently omitted words and phrases. The

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loss of fol. 121, though it has hitherto left an inconvenient gap in the text (not filled up by other MSS.), is more than compensated by the three extra chapters which this MS. and its copies have hitherto alone supplied. The text on the lost folio was supposed by Anquetil to have contained a whole chapter besides portions of the two adjacent ones; this is now known to be a mistake, Anquetil's Chap. XXVIII being quite imaginary; the end of Chap. XXVII has long been supplied from other MSS., but the beginning of the next chapter has hitherto been missing.

Only two copies of K20 appear to be known to Europeans; the best of these is the copy brought from Surat by Anquetil, No. 7 of his collection of manuscripts, now in the National Library at Paris; this was written in A.D. 1734, when K20 appears to have been nearly in its present imperfect state, though it may have had some 15 folios more at the end. This copy seems to have been carefully written; but the same cannot be said of the other copy, No. 21 in the University Library at Kopenhagen, which is full of blunders, both of commission and omission, and can hardly have been written by so good a Pahlavi scholar as Dastûr Dârâb, Anquetil's instructor, although attributed to him.

K20b consists of nineteen loose folios 1, found by Westergaard among some miscellaneous fragments in the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the University Library at Kopenhagen, and now forming No. 20b in that collection, The first two folios are lost, but the third folio commences with the Pahlavi equivalent of the words 'knew that Aharman exists' (Bund. Chap. 1, 8), and the text continues to the end of Chap. XI, 1, where it leaps at once (in the middle of a line on the fifteenth folio) to Chap. XXX, 15, 'one brother who is righteous,' whence the text continues to the end of Chap. XXXI, 15, which is followed by Chaps. XXXII, XXXIV, as in K20. This

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[paragraph continues] MS. is not very old, and contains merely a fragment of the text; but its value consists in its not being a descendant of either K20 or M6, as it clearly represents a third line of descent from their common original. It agrees with K20 in the general arrangement of its chapters, so far as they go, and also in containing Chap. XXXI; but it differs from it in some of the details of that chapter, and agrees with M6 in some verbal peculiarities elsewhere; it has not, however, been collated in any other chapter. The omission of nearly twenty chapters, in the centre of the work, indicates that some one of the MSS. from which it is descended, had lost many of its central folios before it was copied, and that the copyist did not notice the deficiency; such unnoticed omissions frequently occur in Pahlavi manuscripts.

M6 is the very old codex brought to Europe by Haug in 1866, and now No. 6 of the Haug collection in the State Library at Munich. It consists of 240 folios of very old, but well-preserved, Indian paper of large octavo size (to which thirteen others, of rather later date, have been prefixed) bound in two volumes. This MS. contains nineteen Pahlavi texts, written from seventeen to twenty-two lines to the page, and some of them accompanied by Avesta; eleven of these texts are also found in K20, and the Bundahis is the fourteenth of the nineteen, occupying fols. 53-99 of the second volume. Two of the other texts have dated colophons, the dates being fifty days apart in A.Y. 766 (A.D. 1397), and as there are 150 folios between the two dates there is every probability that they are the actual dates on which the two colophons were written. The arrangement of the Bundahis in this MS. is different from that in K20, giving the chapters in the following order:—Chaps. XV-XXIII, I-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX, XXXII, XXXIV, and omitting Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, and XXXI. These omissions and the misplacement of Chaps. I-XIV render it probable that the MS., from which the Bundahis in M6 was copied, was already in a state of decay; and this supposition is confirmed by upwards of fifty peculiar mistakes, scattered over most parts of the

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text in M6, which are evidently due to the illegibility of the original from which it was copied, or to its illegible words having been touched up by an ignorant writer, instances of which are not uncommon in old Pahlavi MSS. Eliminating these errors, for which the writer of M6 cannot be held responsible, he seems to have been a more careful copyist than the writer of K20, and supplies several words and phrases omitted by the latter. The close correspondence of K20 and M6 in most other places, renders it probable that they were copied from the same original, in which case K20 must have been written several years earlier than M6, before the original MS. became decayed and difficult to read. It is possible, however, that K20 was copied from an early copy of the original of M6; in which case the date of K20, is more uncertain, and may even be later than that of M6.

Several MSS. of the Bundahis descended from M6 are in existence. One is in the MS. No. 121 of the Ouseley collection in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and contains the chapters in the following order:—Chaps. XV-XXIII, I-VII, 17 (to 'Arag river'), XII-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX, VII, 12-XI; followed by Sls. Chap. XX, 4-17, also derived from M6. Another is in the library of Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji at Bombay, and contains the chapters also in a dislocated state (due to the misplacement of folios in some former MS.) as follows:—Chaps. XV-XXIII, I-XI, 5 (to 'and the evil spirit'), XII, 2 (from 'Sikidâv')—XII, 2 (first word), XI, 5 (from 'produced most for Khvanîras')—XII, 2 (to 'and Kôndras, Mount'),—XXX, 32 (from 'the renovation arises in')—XXX, 33, XXXII, XXXIV, Sls. Chap. XVIII, Bund. Chaps. XII, 12 (from 'Aîrak')—XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX. A third is in the library of Dastûr Nôshirvânji Jâmâspji at Poona, and contains the text in the same order as M6. A fragment of the Pahlavi text of the Bundahis, also descended from M6, occupies eight folios in the Additional Oriental MS. No. 22,378 in the Library of the British Museum; it contains Chaps. XVIII, XIX, 17, and XX, 1-2 (to 'one from the other').

There are also several Pâzand manuscripts of the Bundahis,

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written in Avesta characters, and likewise derived from M6. One of the best of these is No. 22 of the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the India Office Library at London; it is old, and has the date A.Y. 936 (A.D. 1567) in a Pahlavi colophon on fol. III, but this may have been copied from an older MS.; its contents are arranged as follows:—Chaps. XVIII-XXIII, I-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX, XXXII, XXXIV, followed by several short Pâzand texts, only part of which are derived from M6, and the last of them being left incomplete by the loss of the folios which originally formed the end of the volume; instead of these lost folios others, containing Chaps. XV-XVII, have been added and bound up with the rest. Another MS., No. 7 in the same collection, which is dated A.Y. 1174 (A.D. 1805), is a modern copy derived from No. 22 through one or more intervening MSS. 1; it contains precisely the same text, but with many variations in orthography, indicative of the very uncertain character of Pâzand spelling. Two fragments of the Pâzand text are also contained in the MSS. No. 121 at Oxford, already mentioned; they consist of Chaps. V, 3-7 (to 'would have known the secret') and XXV, 18-22. Another fragment, evidently copied from an old MS., is found on fols. 34, 35 of the Rivâyat MS. No. 8 of the collection in the India Office Library; it consists of Chap. XVIII, 1-8.

The Pâzand text of the Bundahis, derived from M6, is also written in Persian characters in M7 (No. 7 of the Haug collection at Munich), dated A.Y. 1178 (A.D. 1809). It is interlined by Persian glosses, word for word, and consists of Chaps. XVIII-XXIII, I-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, and XXX on fols. 81-119, with Chaps. XV-XVII on fols. 120-126, a repetition of Chap. XV and part of XVI on fols. 223-227, and Chap. XXXII on fol. 232.

Thus far, it will be noticed, we have two good independent authorities, K20 and M6, for ascertaining the text of the Bundahis in the fourteenth century, so far as Chaps. I-XXVII,

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[paragraph continues] XXX, XXXII, and XXXIV are concerned; and we have also, in K20b, a second authority for so much of Chap. XXXI as occurs in K20; but for Chaps. XXVIII and XXIX we have nothing but K20 to rely on, and part of Chap. XXVIII is lost in that manuscript. Such was the unsatisfactory state of that part of the text until Dec. 1877, when information about the MS. TD was received, followed by further details and a copy of Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, and XXXI-XXXIII in Oct. 1878 1.

TD is a manuscript of the Bundahis which contains a much more extensive text than the MSS. already described, but whether it be an extension of the hitherto-received text, or the received text be an abridgement of this longer one, is likely to be a matter of dispute among Pahlavi scholars until the whole of the new text has been thoroughly examined. At any rate, the contents of this MS., combined with those of some MSS. of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk, afford a means of fixing the date of this recension of the Bundahis, as will be seen hereafter.

This MS. belongs to a young Mobad named Tehmuras Dinshawji Anklesaria in Bombay, and was brought from Persia a few years ago by a Mobad named Khodabakhsh Farod Abadan. It occupies the first 103 folios of the volume containing it, and is followed by 112 more folios containing the Nîrangistân. The first original folio, which contained the text as far as Chap. I, 5 (to 'endless light'), has been lost and replaced by another (which, however, is now old) containing some introductory sentences, besides the missing text. The last original folio of the Bundahis, containing the last five lines of the last chapter, has also been lost and replaced by another modern folio, which contains the missing text followed by two colophons, both expressing approval of the text, and asserting that the MS. was written by Gôpatshah Rûstâm Bôndâr. The first of these colophons

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is undated, but gives the testimony of Dastûr Rûstâm 1stâsp Ardashîr, who is known to have written another MS. dated A.Y. 1068 (A.D. 1699). The second colophon is by Dastûr Jamshêd Jâmâsp Hakim, and is dated A.Y. 1113 (A.D. 1743), which was probably the date when this last folio was supplied to complete the old defective MS.

With regard to the age of the older part of. this MS. we can arrive at an approximation in the following manner:—A valuable MS. of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk, which also belongs to Tehmuras Dinshawji, was written (according to a colophon which it contains) by Gôpatshah Rûstôm 2 Bândâr Malkâ-mardân in the land of Kirmân, who was evidently the same person as the writer of TD. Another MS. of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk was written by Marzapân Frêdûn Vâhrôm Rûstâm Bôndâr Malkâ-mardân Dîn-ayâr, also in the land of Kirmân, in A.Y. 941 (A.D. 1572). Comparing these two genealogies together it seems evident that Gôpatshah was a brother of Vâhrôm, the grandfather of Marzapân, and, therefore, a grand-uncle of Marzapân himself. Allowing for these two generations, it is probable that Gôpatshah wrote TD about A.Y. 900 (say A.D. 1530); although instances have occurred in which a son has written a MS. at an earlier date than that of one written by his father.

The introductory sentences on the first restored folio are evidently a modern addition to the text, after it had acquired the name of Bundahis; but they seem to have been copied from some other MS., as the copyist appears to have hardly understood them, having written them continuously with the beginning of the text, without break or stop. The spelling is modern, but that may be due to the copyist; and the language is difficult, but may be translated as follows 3:—

‘The propitiation of the creator Aûharmazd, the radiant,

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glorious, omniscient, wise, powerful, and supreme, by what is well-thought, well-said, and well-done in thought, word, and deed, and the good augury of all the celestial angels and terrestrial angels upon the virtuous creation, I beseech.

‘Written at the second fortunate conjunction (akhtar) in the high-priestship (dastûrîh) of the God-devoted, all-sagacious cultivator of righteousness, the lover of good works who is God-discerning, spirit-surveying, and approved by the good, the high-priest of the good religion of the Mazdayasnians, the glorified 1 Spendyâd son of Mâh-vindâd, son of Rûstâm, son of Shatrôyâr.

‘The writing 2 of the Bûndahis was set going by the coming of the Arabs to the country of Iran, whose heterodoxy (dûs-dînîh) and ignorance have arisen from not understanding the mysteries of Kayân 3 orthodoxy (hû-dînôîh) and of those revered by the upholders of the religion. From their deep seats it draws the purport of benedictions, and from dubious thinking of actions it draws words of true meaning, the disclosure of which is entertaining knowledge.

'On account of evil times, even he of the undecayed family of the Kayâns and the Kayân upholders of the religion are mingled with the obedient and just of those heterodox; and by the upper class the words of the orthodox, uttered in assembled worship, are considered as filthy vice. He also whose wish was to learn propriety (varâg) through this treatise (farhâng), might provide it for himself, from various places, by trouble and day and night painstaking, but was not able.'

The text of Chap. I then commences (without any intermediate stop) with the words zak zand-âkâsih, 'that knowledge of tradition.' As the whole text of the Bundahis occupies about 203 pages in TD, and each page contains

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seventeen lines rather longer than those in K20, it is evident that the text in TD must be more than twice the length of that in K20, which occupied originally about eighty-three pages of twenty lines each. This additional text consists not only of additional matter in many of the chapters, but also of extra chapters, which give the work a more complete appearance than it presents in the manuscripts hitherto known. The whole number of chapters in TD appear to be forty-two, the general character of the contents of which may be gathered from the following list of the headings of each chapter, with the space it occupies in TD, and a reference to the corresponding chapter of the translation in this volume (such chapters as seem to be entirely wanting in K20 being marked with an asterisk):—

1. The knowledge of tradition, first about Aûharmazd's original creation and the antagonism of the evil spirit, afterwards about the nature of the creatures of the world, from the original creation till the end; 19 pages; see Chap. I.

2. On the formation of light; 11 pages; see Chap. II.

3. The rush of the destroyer at the creatures; 6 pages; see Chaps. III, IV.

4. On the opposition of the two spirits, that is, in what manner the arch-fiends have come spiritually in opposition to the celestial angels; 10 pages; see Chap. V for two of the middle pages.

5. On the waging of the conflict (ârdîk) of the creations of the world, encountering the evil spirit; 1 page; see Chap. VI.

6. The second conflict the water waged; 3 pages; see Chap. VII.

7. The third conflict the earth waged; 1 page; see Chap. VIII.

8. The fourth conflict the plants waged; ½ page; see Chap. IX.

9. The fifth conflict the primeval ox waged; ⅓ page; see Chap. X.

* 10. The sixth conflict Gâyômard waged; 1⅓ page.

* 11. The seventh conflict the fire waged; ⅓ page.

* 12. The eighth conflict the constellations waged; ⅓ page.

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* 13. The ninth conflict the celestial angels waged with the evil spirit; three lines.

* 14. Tenth, the stars practised non-intermeddling (agûmêgisn) ½ page.

15. On the species of those creations; 2⅓ pages.

16. On the nature of lands; 1⅓ page; see Chap. XI.

17. On the nature of mountains; 4½ pages; see Chap. XII.

18. On the nature of seas; 2½ pages; see Chap. XIII.

19. On the nature of rivers; 5 ⅓ pages; see Chaps. XX, XXI.

20. On the nature of lakes; 1¼ page; see Chap. XXII.

21. On the nature of the five classes of animals; 5⅓ pages; see Chap. XIV.

22. On the nature of men; 7½ pages; see Chap. XV 1.

23. On the nature of generation of every kind; 5 pages; see Chap. XVI.

24. On the nature of plants; 3½ pages; see Chap. XXVII.

25. On the chieftainship of men and animals and every single thing; 2⅓ pages; see Chap. XXIV.

26. On the nature of fire; 4⅔ pages; see Chap. XVII.

* 27. On the nature of sleep; 2⅓ pages.

* 28. On the nature of wind and cloud and rain; 9⅔ pages.

* 29. On the nature of noxious creatures; 4½ pages 2.

* 30. On the nature of the wolf species; 2 pages.

31. On things of every kind that are created by the spirits 3, and the opposition which came upon them; 7¾ pages; see Chaps. XVIII, XIX.

32. On the religious year; 4 pages; see Chaps. XXV, XXVI.

* 33. On the great exploits of the celestial angels; 17½ pages.

34. On the evil-doing of Aharman and the demons; 7 pages, as in Chap. XXVIII.

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35. On the body of man and the opinion of the world 1; 7 pages.

36. On the spiritual chieftainship of the regions of the earth; 3½ pages, as in Chap. XXIX.

* 37. On the Kinvad bridge and the souls of the departed; 5⅔ pages.

* 38. On the celebrated provinces of the country of Iran, the residence of the Kayâns; 5 pages 2.

* 39. On the calamities of various millenniums happening to the country of Iran; 8⅔ pages 3.

40. On the resurrection and future existence; 6⅔ pages; see Chap. XXX.

41. On the race and offspring of the Kayâns; 8⅔ pages, as in Chaps. XXXI-XXXIII.

42. On the computation of years of the Arabs; 2¼ pages; see Chap. XXXIV.

Comparing this list of contents with the text in K20, as published in Westergaard's lithographed facsimile edition, it appears that TD contains, not only fifteen extra chapters, but also very much additional matter in the chapters corresponding to Chaps. I, II, V, XVI, XXVIII, and XXXI of the translation in this volume, and smaller additions to those corresponding to Chaps. III, IV, XV, XVII, and XXXIV. The arrangement of the chapters in TD is also much more methodical than in the Indian MSS., especially with regard to Chaps. XX, XXI, XXII, and XXVII, which evidently occupy their proper position in TD; and so far as Chap. XX is concerned, this arrangement is confirmed by the insertion of its first sentence between Chaps. XIII and XIV in the Indian MSS., which indicates that the whole chapter must have been in that position in some older copy. In fact, the Indian MSS. must probably be now regarded merely as collections of

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extracts from the original work; this has been long suspected from the fragmentary character of the text they contain, but it could hardly be proved until a more complete text had been discovered.

Whether TD may be considered as a copy of the text as it stood originally, or merely of an after recension of the work, can hardly be determined with certainty until the whole contents of the manuscript have been carefully examined; it is, therefore, to be hoped that its owner will be induced to publish a lithographed facsimile of the whole, after the manner of Westergaard's edition. So far as appears in the lengthy and valuable extracts, with which he has kindly favoured me, no decided difference of style can be detected between the additional matter and the text hitherto known, nor any inconsistencies more striking than such as sometimes occur in the Indian MSS. On the other hand, it will be noticed that heading No. 25 in the list of contents seems to be misplaced, which is an argument against the text being in its original state; and the style of the Bundahis is so much less involved and obscure than that of the Selections of Zâd-sparam (see Appendix to the Bundahis), which treat of some of the same subjects, that it may be fairly suspected of having been written originally in a different age. But the writer of the text, as it appears in TD, calls Zâd-sparam 1 one of his contemporaries (see Chap. XXXIII, 10, 11 of the translation); it may, therefore, be suspected that he merely re-edited an old text with some additions of his own, which, however, are rather difficult to distinguish from the rest. No stress can be laid upon peculiarities of orthography in TD, as they are, in all likelihood, attributable to copyists long subsequent to Zâd-sparam's contemporaries.

Any future translator of the Bundahis will probably have to take the text in TD as the nearest accessible approach to the original work; but the present translation is based, as heretofore, upon the text in K20, corrected in many places from M6, but with due care not to adopt

p. xxxix

readings which seem due to the illegibility of the original from which M6 was copied, as already explained. In Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, XXXI, XXXII, and XXXIII, however, TD has been taken as a principal authority, merely checked by K20, and having its additional passages carefully indicated; and in Chap. XXXI, K20b has also been consulted.

Since the present translation was printed, any lingering doubts, as to the genuineness of the text in TD, have been, in a great measure, dissipated by the discovery that a small fragment 1 of an old MS. of the Bundahis, which has long been in Europe, is evidently a portion of a text of similar character to TD, and of exactly the same extent. This small fragment consists of two folios belonging to an old MS. brought from Persia by the late Professor Westergaard in 1843-44, and which is evidently the codex mentioned by him in the preface to his Zend-Avesta, p. 8, note 3. These two folios, which are numbered 130 and 131 in Persian words, now form the commencement of this old mutilated MS., of which the first 129 folios have been lost. They contain very little more than one page of the Bundahis text, namely, the last sentences of the last chapter (corresponding to Bund. XXXIV, 7-9), followed by a colophon occupying less than two pages. This fragment of the text contains some additional details not. found in the Indian MSS., as well as a few other variations of no great importance. It may be translated as follows:—

‘[. . . . Sâhm 2 was in those reigns of Aûzôbô, Kavâd, and Mânûskîhar.] Kaî-Kâyûs, till his going to the sky, seventy-five years, and after that, seventy-five years, altogether a hundred and fifty years; Kaî-Khûsrôbô sixty

p. xl

years; Kai-Lôharâsp a hundred and twenty years; Kai-Vistâsp, till the coming of the religion, thirty years; [total (mar) one thousand years 1. Then the millennium reign came to Capricornus, and Zaratûhas2 the Spîtâmân, with tidings (pêtkhambarîh) from the creator Aûharmazd, came to King Vistâsp; and Vistâsp was king,] after receiving the religion, ninety years.

‘Vohûman, son of Spend-dâd, a hundred and twelve years; Hûmâî, daughter of Vohûman, thirty years; Dârâî, son of Kîhar-âzâd, that is, of the daughter of Vohûman, twelve years; Dârâî, son of Dârâî, fourteen years; and Alexander the Rûman 3 fourteen years.

'The Askânians should bear the title in an uninterrupted sovereignty two hundred and so many 4 years; and Artakhshatar, son of Pâpak, and the number of the Sâsânians bear it four hundred and sixty years, until the withering Arabs obtained a place 5 [as far as the year 447 of the Persians; now it is the Persian year 527] 6.'

The colophon, which follows, states that the MS. was finished on the thirteenth day of the ninth month A.Y. 936 (A.D. 1567), and was written by Mitrô-âpân, son of Anôshak-rûbân, son of Rûstâm. This MS. is, therefore, of nearly the same age as TD; but there has been no opportunity of collating the fragment of it, which is still extant, with the corresponding portion of TD. That it was a MS. of the same character as TD (that is, one containing the same text as K20, but with much additional matter) appears clearly

p. xli

from the fragment translated above. Regarding its original extent, it is possible to make an approximate estimate, by calculating the quantity of text which the 129 lost folios must have contained, from the quantity actually existing on folio 130. According to this calculation, the original extent of the text of the Bundahis in this MS. must have been very nearly 30,000 words; and it is remarkable that a similar calculation of the extent of the text in TD, based upon the actual contents of ten folios out of 103, gives precisely the same result. This coincidence is a strong argument in favour of the absolute identity of the text lost from Westergaard's MS. with that actually existing in TD; it shows, further, that the original extent of the Bundahis may now be safely estimated at 30,000 words, instead of the 13,000 contained in K20 when that MS. was complete.

That this fragment belonged to a separate MS., and is not the folio missing from the end of TD, is shown not only by its containing more of the text than is said to be missing, but also by the first folio of the fragment being numbered 130, instead of 103, and by its containing fifteen lines to the page, instead of seventeen, as would be necessary in order to correspond with TD.

Regarding the age of the Bundahis many opinions have been hazarded, but as they have been chiefly based upon minute details of supposed internal evidence evolved from each writer's special misinterpretation of the text, it is unnecessary to detail them. The only indication of its age that can be fairly obtained from internal evidence, is that the text of the Bundahis could not have been completed, in its present form, until after the Muhammadan conquest of Persia (A.D. 651). This is shown not only by the statements that the sovereignty 'went to the Arabs' (Chap. XXXIV, 9), that 'now, through the invasion of the Arabs, they (the negroes) are again diffused through the country of Iran' (Chap. XXIII, 3), and that 'whoever keeps the year by the revolution of the moon mingles summer with winter and winter with summer' (Chap. XXV, 19, referring probably to the Muhammadan year not corresponding with the seasons), but also, more positively

p. xlii

by the following translation of an extract from Chap. 39 in TD:—

'And when the sovereignty came to Yazdakard he exercised sovereignty twenty years, and then the Arabs rushed into the country of Iran in great multitude. Yazdakard did not prosper (lâ sâkaftŏ) in warfare with them, and went to Khûrâsân and Tûrkistân to seek horses, men, and assistance, and was slain by them there. The son of Yazdakard went to the Hindûs and fetched an army of champions; before it came, conducted unto Khûrâsân, that army of champions dispersed. The country of Iran remained with the Arabs, and their own irreligious law was propagated by them, and many ancestral customs were destroyed; the religion of the Mazdayasnians was weakened, and washing of corpses, burial of corpses, and eating of dead matter were put in practice. From the original creation until this day evil more grievous than this has not happened, for through their evil deeds—on account of want, foreign habits (Anîrânîh), hostile acts, bad decrees, and bad religion—ruin, want, and other evils—have taken lodgment.'

None of these passages could have been written before the Muhammadan conquest; but the writer, or editor, of the text as it appears in TD, supplies the means of approximating much more closely to the date of his work, in a passage in Chap. 41 of TD, in which he mentions the names of several of his contemporaries (see Chap. XXXIII, 10, 11). Among these, as already noticed, he mentions 'Zâd-sparham son of Yûdân-Yim,' who must have been the writer of the Selections of Zâd-sparam, a translation of which is added as an appendix to the Bundahis in this volume. This writer was the brother of Mânûskîhar son of Yûdân-Yim, who wrote the Dâdistân-i Dînîk 1, and from colophons found in certain MSS. of the Dâdistân (which will be more particularly described in the next section of this introduction) it appears that this Mânûskîhar was

p. xliii

high-priest of Pârs and Kîrmân in A.Y. 250 (A.D. 881). This date may, therefore, be taken as a very close approximation to the time at which the Bundahis probably assumed the form we find in TD; but that MS., having been written about 650 years later, can hardly have been copied direct from the original. Whether that original was merely a new edition of an older Pahlavi work, as may be suspected from the simplicity of its language, or whether it was first translated, for the most part, from the Avesta of the Dâmdâd Nask, in the ninth century, we have no means of determining with certainty. Judging, however, from Chap. I, 1, the original Bundahis probably ended with the account of the resurrection (Chap. XXX), and the extra chapters, containing genealogical and chronological details (matters not mentioned in Chap. I, 1), together with all allusions to the Arabs, were probably added by the revising editor in the ninth century. The last, or chronological, chapter may even have been added at a later date.

A Gugarâti translation, or rather paraphrase, of the Bundahis was published in 1819 by Edal Dârâb Jamshêd Jâmâsp Âsâ, and a revised edition of it was published by Peshutan Rustam in 1877 1. In the preface to the latter edition it is stated that the translator made use of two MSS., one being a copy of a manuscript written in Iran in A.Y. 776 by Rustamji Meherwanji Margabân Sheheriâr 2, and the other a MS. written in India by Dastûr Jamshêdji Jâmâspji in A.Y. 1139 3. It is also mentioned that he was four years at work upon his translation. The editor of the new edition states that he has laboured to

p. xliv

improve the work by collecting all the further information he could find, on the various subjects, in many other Pahlavi works. The result of all this labour is not so much a mere translation of the Bundahis, as a larger work. upon the same subject, or a paraphrase more methodically arranged, as may be seen from the following summary of its contents:—

The headings of the fifty-nine chapters, which form the first part of the work, are:—Ahuramazd's covenant, account of the sky, of the first twelve things created, of Mount Alborg, of the twelve signs of the zodiac, of the stars, of the soul, of the first practices adopted by the creatures of the evil spirit Ahereman, of Ahereman's first breaking into the sky, of Ahereman's coming upon the primeval ox, of Ahereman's arrival in the fire, of Ahereman's coming upon Gaiomard, of the coming of Ahuramazd and Ahereman upon Gaiomard at the time of his creation, of the lustre residing in both spirits; further account of the arrangement of the sky, another account of all the mountains, of depressions for water, of great and small rivers, of the eighteen rivers of fresh water, of the seven external and seven internal liquids in the bodies of men, of the period in which water falling on the earth arrives at its destination, of the three spiritual rivers, of the star Tehestar's destroying the noxious creatures which Ahereman had distributed over the earth, of the prophet Zarathost's asking the creator Ahuramazd how long these noxious creatures will remain in the latter millenniums, of driving the poison of the noxious creatures out of the. earth, of the divisions of the land, of the creator Ahuramazd's placing valiant stars as club-bearers over the heads of the demons, of all the things produced by the passing away of the primeval ox, of the 282 species of beasts and birds, of the bird named Kamros, of the bird named Karsapad and the hollow of Vargamkard, of the birds who are enemies opposed to the demons and fiends, of the bitter and sweet plants among the fifty-five kinds of grain and twelve kinds of herbs, of the flowers of the thirty days, of the revolution of the sun and moon and stars, and how

p. xlv

night falls, and how the day becomes light, of the seven regions of the earth, of depressions, of the creatures of the sea, of the flow and, ebb of the tide, of the three-legged ass, of the Gâhambârs, of Rapithvan, of the revolution of the seasons, of the production of mankind from the passing away of Gaiomard, of the production of offspring from the seed of men, of all fires, of all the clever work produced in the reign of King Jamshed and the production of the ape and bear, of the production of the Abyssinian and negro from Zohâk, of the splendour and glory of King Jamshed, of the soul of Kersâsp, of Kersâsp's soul being the first to rise, of the names of the prophet Zarathost's pedigree, of his going out into the world, of his children, of the orders given by Ahereman to the demons when the creator Ahuramazd created the creatures, of the weeping and raging of the evil spirit Ahereman, of the weeping of the demon of Wrath in the presence of Ahereman when the prophet Zarathost brought the religion, of the computation of twelve thousand years.

The headings of the thirteen chapters, which form the second part, are:—Account of the last millenniums, of the appearance of Hosedar-bâmi, of his going out into the world, of the appearance of Hosedar-mâh, of Sosios, of the fifty-seven years, of giving the light of the sun to men on the day of the resurrection, of the rising again of the whole of mankind on that day, of the resurrection, of the means of resurrection, of the annihilation of the evil spirit Ahereman and the demons and fiends on the day of resurrection, of the creator Ahuramazd's making the earth and sky one after the resurrection, of the proceedings of all creatures after the resurrection.

The third part contains an abstract of the contents of the hundred chapters of the Sad-dar Bundahis, and concludes with an account of the ceremonial formula practised when tying the kusti or sacred thread-girdle.


xxii:1 When this work forms part of a collection of Pahlavi texts, the whole manuscript is sometimes called 'the great Bundahis.' There also exists a Saddar Bundahis, or Bundahis of a hundred chapters, which is a comparatively modern compilation, detailing the chief customs and religious laws of the Parsis; in a hundred sections.

xxiv:1 See Haug's Essays, &c., second edition, pp. 127, 128.

xxiv:2 Zend-Avesta, ouvrage de Zoroastre, &c., par Anquetil Duperron; Paris, 1771. Tome seconde, pp. 343-422, Boun-dehesch.

xxv:1 Bundehesh, Liber Pehlvicus. E vetustissimo codice Hayniensi descripsit, duas inscriptiones regis Saporis Primi adjecit, N. L. Westergaard; Havniæ, 1851.

xxv:2 Ueber die Pehlewi-Sprache und den Bundehesh, von Martin Haug; Göttingen, 1854.

xxv:3 Die Traditionelle Literatur der Parsen in ihrem Zusammenhange mit den angränzenden Literaturen, dargestellt von Fr. Spiegel; Wien, 1860.

xxv:4 Zoroastriche Studien. Abhandlungen zur Mythologie und Sagengeschichte des alten Iran, von Fr. Windischmann (nach dem Tode des Verfassers herausgegeben von Fr. Spiegel); Berlin, 1863.

xxvi:1 Der Bundehesh, zum ersten Male herausgegeben, transcribirt, übersetzt, und mit Glossar versehen, von Ferdinand Justi; Leipzig; 1868.

xxviii:1 I am indebted to the late Professor N. L. Westergaard for all information about this MS., and also for a tracing of the Pahlavi text of so much of Chap. XXXI as is contained in it.

xxxi:1 This is proved by an omission in fol. 40, which clearly indicates the loss of a folio in an intermediate MS.

xxxii:1 I am indebted to Mr. Khurshedji Rustamji Cama, of Bombay (who is well known for the interest he takes in all matters relating to the ancient customs and history of his fellow-countrymen), for obtaining this information, and to the owner of the MS. for his liberality in supplying me with all the details and extracts mentioned in the text.

xxxiii:1 This Dastûr is said to have sprung from the laity, and not from a priestly family.

xxxiii:2 The vowels â and ô (or û) often interchange in Pahlavi MSS. from Persia, probably owing to peculiarities of dialect, and the very broad sound of Persian â, like English a in call.

xxxiii:3 English words in italics are additions to complete the sense.

xxxiv:1 Literally, 'immortal-soulled,' a term implying generally that the person is dead; but it seems to have been applied to King Khûsrô I (Nôshirvân) during his lifetime. The time when this priest lived has yet to be discovered.

xxxiv:2 Reading zektîbûn-i, equivalent to Pâz. nivîs-i; the MS. has zak tîbnâ.

xxxiv:3 The hero tribe or princely race of the Kayânian dynasty, from which later Persian rulers have fancied themselves descended.

xxxvi:1 TD contains half a page more near the beginning, and a page and a half more at the end.

xxxvi:2 Probably Chap. XXIII of the translation forms a put either of this chapter or the next.

xxxvi:3 This word is doubtful.

xxxvii:1 The meaning is doubtful and must depend upon the context.

xxxvii:2 This chapter begins with a translation of the first fargard of the Vendidad, and concludes with an account of buildings erected by various kings.

xxxvii:3 Containing an account of the kings reigning in the various millenniums, and concluding with prophecies similar to those in the Bahman Yast.

xxxviii:1 He writes the name Zâd-sparham.

xxxix:1 I am indebted to Professor G. Hoffmann, of Kiel, for directing my attention to this fragment, and also for kindly sending me a facsimile of it. It had been recognised as a portion of the Bundahis by Dr. Andreas some years ago, and probably by the owner of the MS., the late Professor Westergaard, long before that.

xxxix:2 See Bund. XXXI, 27. As the beginning of this sentence is lost in translation is uncertain. Details not found in K20 and M6 are here enclosed in brackets, and words added by the translator to complete the sense are printed in italics.

xl:1 From the beginning of Frêdûn's reign, when the millennium of Sagittarius commenced.

xl:2 The usual way of spelling Zaratûst in old MSS; excepting K20 and a few others.

xl:3 Here written correctly Alaksandar-i Arûmâî.

xl:4 Reading va and; as the final letter is d and not d it cannot be read nâvad as a variant of navad, 'ninety.'

xl:5 The words are, vad gînâk ayâft khûskô-i Tâzîkânŏ, but the exact meaning is rather doubtful.

xl:6 The last date is doubtful, as the Pahlavi text gives the ciphers only for 'five and twenty-seven,' omitting that for 'hundred.' These Persian dates must either have been added by some former copyist, or Chap. XXXIV must have been appended to the Bundahis at a later date than the ninth century, when the preceding genealogical chapters were probably added to the original work (see p. xliii). The Persian year 627 was A.D. 1158.

xlii:1 It is quite possible that Mânûskîhar was also the reviser of the Bundahis; see the note on Dâdakîh-i Ashôvahistô in Chap. XXXIII, 10.

xliii:1 Bundehes ketâb, iâne duniâ-ni awal-thi te âkher sudhi pedâes-ni sahruât-ni hakikat; bigi-vâr sudhârine khapâwanâr, Peshutan bin Rustam; Mumbai, 1877.

xliii:2 There is no doubt whatever that the writer of the preface is referring to M6, although his description is incorrect. M6 was written at Bhrôk in India A.Y. 766 by Pêshôtan Râm Kâmdîn Shaharyâr Nêryôsang Shâhmard Shaharyâr Bâhrâm Aûrmazdâyr Râmyâr; but some portion of it (probably not the Bundahis) was copied from a MS. written A.Y. 618 (A.D. 1249) by Rûstam Mihirâpân Marzapân Dahisni-ayâr, who must be the copyist mentioned in the preface to the Gugarâti translation.

xliii:3 This is probably the copy derived from M6, and mentioned in p. xxx as being now in the library of Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji.

Next: 4. The Selections of Zâd-sparam