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Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. [1882], at

p. 46


1. The nineteenth question is that you ask thus: To what place do the righteous and wicked 1 go?

2. The reply is this, that it is thus said that the souls of those passed away and of the dead 2 are three nights on earth; and the first night satisfaction comes to them from their good thoughts and vexation from their evil thoughts, the second night come pleasure from their good words and discomfort and punishment 3 from their evil words, and the third night come exaltation from their good deeds and punishment from their evil deeds 4. 3. And that third night, in the dawn, they go to the place of account on Albûrz 5; the account being rendered they proceed to the bridge 6, and he who is righteous

p. 47

passes over the bridge on the ascent (lâlâîh), and if belonging to the ever-stationary (hamîstânîkŏ) 1 he goes thither where their place is, if along with an excess of good works his habits are correct (frârûn-dâd) he goes even unto heaven (vahistô), and if along with an excess of good works and correct habits he has chanted the sacred hymns (gâsânŏ) he goes even unto the supreme heaven (garôdmânŏ). 4. He who is of the wicked falls from the lower end (tîh) of the bridge, or from the middle of the bridge; he falls head-foremost to hell, and is precipitated (nikûnî-aîtŏ) unto that grade 2 which is suitable for his wickedness.


46:1 As K35 inserts the relative î here, some such phrase as 'who are dead' has probably dropped out of the Pahlavi text.

46:2 The Parsi books speak of the righteous dead as 'departed,' a term very rarely applied to the wicked (see Chap. XXXII, 4), who are nearly always said 'to die;' the latter verb is, however, occasionally used when speaking of the righteous. This distinction is made even in the Huzvâris logograms, which express the death of the righteous by forms allied to Chald. ‏ו ?Oֲ?Bַ?R‎ 'he passed over,' and the death of the wicked by forms allied to Chald. ‏ו םִ?Y?Tה‎ 'he died.'

46:3 So in all MSS., but the 'punishment' seems superfluous here.

46:4 The Avesta merely states that the soul remains three nights near the body, chanting a particular hymn, and experiencing as much pleasure or uneasiness as it had in the world (see Hn. II, 3-17, III, 3-16); and much the same account is given in AV. IV, 9-14, XVII, 2-9, Mkh. II, 114, 158-160.

46:5 The mountain chain which is supposed to surround the world (see Bd. XII, 3); the Av. Hara-berezaiti.

46:6 The Kinvad bridge (see Chap. XXI, 2-7), which is said to p. 47 rest upon the Dâîtih ('judicial') peak, and to 'pass over to Albûrz (see Bd. XII, 7). According to the Avesta (Vend. XIX, 100, 101, trans. D.) his conscience, in the form of a maiden, 'makes the soul of the righteous one go up above the Hara-berezaiti (Albûrz); above the Kinvad bridge she places it in the presence of the heavenly gods (angels) themselves.' See also AV. V, 1, 2, Mkh. II, 115.

47:1 The intermediate place for those not good enough for heaven and not bad enough for hell, where such souls remain in a passive, immovable state till the resurrection (see Sls. VI, 2). It is divided into two parts, according to the author, one for those nearly righteous (see Chap. XXIV, 6), and one for those nearly wicked (see Chap. XXXIII, 2).

47:2 Four grades of heaven and four of hell are mentioned in AV. and Mkh, (see Sls. VI, 3, note).

Next: Chapter XXI