Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. The forty-seventh question is that which you ask thus: How is a liking for the desirableness, joy, and pleasure arising from the sacred ceremony (yazisn) friendly to Aûharmazd, the archangels 2, and the guardian spirits of the righteous 3; in what manner is the perfection of him by whom the ceremony is ordered and the people of the country then exalted by them; and how and in what manner does it become the vexation, defeat, anguish, and discomfort of the evil spirit, the demons, and the fiends? 2. How is the purpose of the ceremony, what is the ceremony, where is the place 4 when they shall perform it, what is good when they shall
perform it, and how is it good when they shall perform it?
3. The reply is this, that the great satisfaction of Aûharmazd and the archangels arising from the sacred ceremony is in the purity of its formulary (nîrang), and also in this, that it is completely fulfilling his own blessed commands; because he ordered that entire goodness for the complete procedure of those of the good religion (bûndakŏ hitdînakânakîh), as the recompense and full allotment of the sure upholder of religion among those who rightly recite it. 4. From the performance of the ceremonial of the sacred beings are the propitiation of the good spirits, the destruction (drûgisnŏ) of violence, the increase of digestiveness, the growth of plants, the prosperity of the world, and also the proper progress of living beings, even until the movement of the renovation of the universe and the immortality of the creatures arise therefrom. 5. It became so, it is expressly said, because the sacred beings are great; and unitedly opposing it the demons are particularly undesirous of it, and owing to it their defeat and vexation are severe; its consecrated cup (tâstîkŏ) 1 also becomes the express preservation of the ceremony.
6. And its purpose enquired about is this, that religion is transmitted clearly to the intelligent, that is, it is not the wisdom whose comprehension exists in worldly beings; and as, moreover, even that which is not understood by worldly wisdom is really the
creature of the spirits, that also which is the spiritual formulary (nîrang) is for making it intelligible to worldly beings through the body 1. 7. That religion which is comprehensible by the world and authoritative (nikêzakŏ) is rightly connected with that which worldly beings are quite able to understand through worldly wisdom; and the understanding about its evidence as to that which is spiritual and powerful, apart from the worldly evidence of superiors (avarîkânŏ), is the right way of the intelligent. 8. That proper (kânŏ) purpose--in which, more-over, the ceremonial, owing to timely memory for its own completion, is unique--is this unique exhibition of purity in the pure glorifying of the heavenly angels, as is commanded; just as the purpose of the ceremonial of a season-festival being before the season-festival, and of maintaining (dârân) the exposure of the body of a jackal (sakhâl) 2 or a man, is to make the body clean from the corrupting (nasûsîkŏ) pollution 3, and also from outward contamination.
9. That also which might be written, as to the much retribution appointed as regards washing the limbs outside with clean moisture from clean
animals 1 and plants, and then completely washing the body with the purifying water streaming forth; as to the clean scents among those which they rightly perceive, and making the body and clothing 2 sweet-scented; and as to the putting on of the white and proper garment of Vohûman 3, and supposing the power 4 of avarice to be the sight of distress, is all superfluous. 10. But it is needful still as regards these matters, that is, while engaged in the ceremonial it is not to be hurried owing to any hunger or thirst, owing to liability of punishment for religious practices 5, or even owing to deficiency 6 of vacant space. 11. And before the ceremonial one is to eat at the appropriate time, and such food, too, as is preparable and only moderately troublesome (navâs); and any of that which one has to perform aloud in leaving the heavenly-minded, yet moderate, duty in the abode of fires 7--which is perpetual light--is proper, pertaining to good works, and good for him, and thereby lodging in him. 12. And they, that is,
the gloomy ones 1, thereby see the service (yasâk) for them themselves is short; and good are they 2 who come into the world glorified by praise.
13. The position of the ceremony-holders 3 themselves, that is, the position of the officiating priest (zôtŏ) and his co-operators, is the Aûrvês 4 place; and, if it be the precinct (dargasîh) of prayers 5, one should wash it over (madam pasâyâd) with the water of purification, to make it clean. 14. The apparatus of the ceremonial, together with its own man, who is a solemnizer, and the two creatures which are solid 6 out of these four: fire, metal, water, and plants, just as one has to bring them together in readiness, the stone Aûrvês, the stone and mortar Khân 7, and the Hôm-mortar 8 (hâvanîh), cups, and crescent-shaped (mâh-rûpŏ) stands 9 set upon it, are all ceremoniously washed (pâdyâvînîd) with the water of purification. 15. The
bright fire on the clean fire-stand (âtîstŏ) 1 is increased by the dry firewood delivered to it purified, and one is to put upon it at appropriate times the wholesome perfumes of various kinds of plants; and the water of purification, which is ritualistically produced 2 by reciting the words of revelation, is in the clean metal cups. 16. The well-grown Hôm 3 through which the world is possessed of creatures 4, the Hôm through which the production of Zaratûst occurred 5, is a symbol of the white Gôkerânô 6 as
regards the immortality of the renovation of the universe manifest therefrom, and the resting-places of its vengeance 1 are the various demons; and with it one is to put attentively (sinvisnŏ-dahak) in its appropriate place the pomegranate (hadanapag) 2 plant of the Aûrvarâm. 17. The vegetable 3 sacred twigs carefully girded with the vegetable belt (parvand) and girdle, and the metallic 4 crescent-shaped stands--which are in the position of those who are sovereigns of the worldly creatures who are interpreted as the sacred twigs 5 of the treatises--are prepared.
18. When arranged (stôrdŏ) by the bringing together of clean worldly productions, so much the more purely as is possible, the arrival of the pure renders all the symbols reliable. 19. Those celebrators of whom the outside of their own bodies is defiled with their bodily refuse and in clean clothing, and their disposition--if 6 in the religion of
moderate eating in which is a thirst for lawfully drinking--is customarily sleep and lethargy through the tendency (rûnŏ) to falsehood of their wisdom, are to consider, even from their innermost hearts and minds, the retribution of the body of wrath, the falsehood, and bad thoughts in that disposition of infamy, and the recompense of their own renunciation of it; they are to atone for their sinfulness, and to seek great purification of mind. 20. And having acquired eyes speaking 1 forth, hands in a state of ablution, and every other member of the body--especially there where well-accomplishable--free from its bodily refuse and covered with the clean clothing, the tongue is preserved and guarded from falsehood and the hand from sin, the mind is established by little preparation with good consideration for knowledge of the sacred beings, and even the good are to recite by direction (radîhâ) the verbal renunciation of sin 2.
21. The officiating priest (zôtŏ), having directed and purified the place 3 of the fire with liturgical words 4, is to go and walk unto the place of the officiating priests 5 while glorifying the sacred beings,
and to consider invokable the glory given to the luminaries and the guardian spirits of the good. 22. Of those 1 also who, co-operatively, conjointly, and interspersed (ham-rês), have each separately remained in their own places and thought of the sacred beings, with propitiation of Aûharmazd and scornful notice (tar dahisnŏ) of the evil spirit, the employment stands forth prominently at the ceremonial. 23. As to the position of others co-operating with him who is an officiating priest of good leadership, there are some who are for the Avesta 2, there is the solitude (khadûîdârîh) by the fire, there are some who are bringers 3 forward of water, there are some who are for carriers away, there are some who are solitary ones, there are some who are gregarious ones, there are some who are directors of duties, and their own needful arrangement in the place is arranged in the ceremony.
24. In cleanliness, purity, and truth, as much as there is in this mingled existence 4, if one has to commence a ceremony glorifying the sacred beings,
when the righteously-disposed temperament is purified along with the apparatus the abundant ritualism (nîrangakîh) of the spirit is a symbol and reminder of the will of the sacred beings, undesired by the fiend 1, and remains a blessing deservedly unto those come together. 25. Then is explained the text (avistâk) of that great scripture (naskô) which is called the Hâdôkht 2, that is itself the best of the chiefs of the scriptures, and of the sublime Dvâzdah-hômâst 3 that is not recited by any voice with falsehood (âkadbâ) 4, and is called the origin of every truth 5.'
26. The pure glorification of the sacred beings is in the light, this is in the morning time (frâyar gâs) 6; and even until night the ritualistic and true
recitation of revelation (dînô) is unchangeably proceeding, undivided and faultless. 27. This, too, is in benediction of the angels; this, too, is producing restraint of the fiends; this, too, is in praise of the glorious ones, the mighty doers; this, too, is as an admonition. for creatures subject to command; this is in the true words of the ancients who have passed away; this, too, is as a suitable servant for the righteous, these good doers; this, too, is to obtain a permanence (patîstân) of requisites; this, too, is suitable for the discreet and is merciful; this, too, is as another way in which the promoters of good (vêh-yâvkârân) are pardoned, as soon as the Hôm-juice (parâhôm) is digested, through not having eaten from dawn till night during the pure utterance of the pure glorification. 28. And, moreover, one performs no work 1, nor is even a word uttered; one does not go to sleep, nor should they allow any pollution to the body; the sequence (patîsârîh) of the religious formulas is, likewise, not changed from that ordered, nor is even a detached thought away from that truth and purity; but always with phrases rightly consecutive and properly worded (hû-sakhunagânŏihâ) the Avesta is uttered; and even the manner of response of one's co-operators is in modes contributing to good (hû-padâyâkŏ), or they utter the scripture (nask).
29. Since the production of stench is needing something essentially purifying, many formulas in the ceremonial are tokens and signs which, while they
are strongly manifested, are terrifying and vexing to the demons, and inviting and rejoicing to the angels. 30. Such as, indeed, the pure Hôm, which is squeezed out by four applications of holy-water (zôrîh) 1 with religious formulas, is noted even as a similitude of the understanding 2 and birth of the four apostles bringing the good religion, who are he who was the blessed Zaratûst and they who are to be Hûshêdar, Hûshêdar-mâh, and Sôshâns 3. 31. As also the metal mortar (hâvan) which is struck 4 during the squeezing of the Hôm, and its sound is evoked along with the words of the Avesta, which becomes a reminder of the thoughts, words, and deeds on the coming of those true apostles into the world. 32. As also the proper rite as regards the water, that they should perform three times 5, which is showing the world the glorious seizing of water 6 and formation
of rain, and the healthfulness of the production of rain 1. 33. And as the purification of the milk, by the glorious ritualistic product (nîrang) 2 taken from the purifying cattle, is divided in two, by means of which the token is that which is great, glorious, and good; one being for the daughter of Pâûrvâgîryâ 3 the Mazda-worshipper, and from her was Aôshnôr full of wisdom; and one being Farhank, daughter of Vidhirisâ 4, and from her came Kaî-Kavâd 5.
34. And, as to the high-priests of the glorious religion, it is said many concomitants (padvandîhâ) are obtained; such as, much discrimination of scripture (nask), the holy-water which is indispensable as a remedy, the healthfulness which is given in that ceremonial to the sacred fire 6 which the world destroys, that pre-eminent-strength which is given at the end of the world from the ox Hadhayãs 7 unto the good people scattered about (fravaftân)--it is
mingled with the fire of men's bodies 1, and they, therefore, become perfect and immortal through it--and there are also other things. 35. There are also in the ceremonial many tokens and signs of spiritual mysteries, glorious matters, and habitual practices of which statements would be very tedious.
36. And if the wish (ayûpŏ) should be this, that they should be engaged in a single ceremony of the length of a day, a man who is righteous in purification, inside and outside the body, should stay away from all his relations and the worldly transaction of business, from malicious actions and covetous practices, separated from all lying and falsehood of relatives; and his words are to be all those which are serving the angels, glorifying, and begging favours. 37. Then, indeed, the way of the spirit and the harmoniousness 2 of the sacred beings are manifest therefrom; and those which are as much the means due to the primitive good creations as is more purely possible are strengthening as regards the utility (bûn) for offering, encouraging for purity, confounding for the confusers (gûmêgakân), terrifying for the fiends, and propitiating for the sacred beings.
38. The ceremonial which is good is when they shall perform it for a pure disposition and assured wisdom, a minder of the religion of the sacred beings of the spheres, and with pure thoughts, just thoughts 3, wise deeds, a purified body, a tongue worthy of good
[paragraph continues] (vêh-sazâk), a scripture (nask) made easy 1, a true text (avistâk), ablutions performed, proper rites, undivided, and faultless. 39. Near which fashion, with like abilities, and innumerable times, it is very purely solemnized in the abode of the ever-growing fire, then in the abode of the other sacred fires 2, then in the abodes of Mazda-worshippers and other good people, and then in other places pronounced clean. 40. That of the three days 3 is in the abode of the fire-place which is nearest to that of the departed; the ceremony of the guardian spirits of the righteous 4 is solemnized in purity there where the dwelling is which is nearest that of the departed whose soul is honoured. 41. And that for victories in war is then at its times of battle, the husbandry of Sâm 5 and other offenders (vinâsagân) who were for keeping away husbandry, the household attendant's place for a warrior of another rank, the occasion of the outcry of those not possessing (adârigân) a lodging, unto the rest of the same temperament (mûnôkŏ), expressly to produce and maintain a proportional resemblance 6.
159:2 The archangels are usually reckoned as seven in number, because Aûharmazd, their creator, is considered as presiding over the six others, whose names are Vohûman, Ardavahist, Shatvaîrô, Spendarmad. Horvadad, and Amerôdad. These names are merely corruptions of Avesta phrases meaning 'good thought, perfect rectitude, desirable dominion, bountiful devotion, health, and immortality,' respectively, and the archangels, or 'immortal benefactors,' are personifications of these ideas. They are said to have been the first creatures created, after the guardian spirits or prototypes of creation, the light, and the sky (see Bd. I, 8, 23-26).
159:3 See Chap. II, 5.
159:4 Or gâs may mean 'time.'
160:1 Referring probably to the cup of Hôm juice, the preparation, consecration, and use of which are essentially characteristic of the Yazisn or sacred ceremony, and are, therefore, supposed to be very repulsive to the demons.
161:1 That is, the purpose of the ceremonial is to afford an outward symbol of the spiritual mysteries of the religion.
161:2 This reading is uncertain, but the reference appears to be to the exposure of the dead. M14 has the sentence altered as follows:--'just as the ceremony of a season-festival is exhibited more royally (or more joyously) before the season-festival, and a man who is a judge is for the purpose of making the body clean from the corrupting pollution, and also from contamination which is even outside the body, as much as is proper.'
161:3 That is, the pollution due to the Nasûs, or fiend of corruption, who is supposed to seize upon all corpses (see Chap. XVII, 7).
162:1 Referring to ceremonial purification by washing with bull's urine.
162:2 Or the clothing of the body.'
162:3 The sacred shirt (see Chaps. XXXIX, 19, XL, 2).
162:4 Reading va zôrîh, but it may be nizôrîh, 'weakening.'
162:5 This seems to be the meaning of min pâdafrâhîh-î dinôîkîh. At the time this was written the religion was often persecuted, and its ceremonies were liable to interruption; but even when such a misfortune was apprehended, they were not to be hurried over.
162:6 The word is kamîh in the MSS., but it may possibly have been kâmîh originally, in which case the meaning would be: 'or even owing to wishing for evacuation.'
162:7 The fire temple, where the sacred fire is kept perpetually burning.
163:1 The demons. In M14 the sentence, already obscure, is altered so as to be unintelligible.
163:2 The angels. The meaning is that, by the utterance of the proper formulas at the proper times, the demons are discouraged, and the angels are induced to come to the ceremony.
163:3 Perhaps we should read sâkhtârân, 'preparers,' as in M14, or else yastârân, 'solemnizers,' instead of dâstârân, 'holders.'
163:4 This is the name of the consecrated space within which the ceremony is performed. It is often written Arvîs, but is probably to be traced to the Av. urvaêsa, 'goal.'
163:5 That is, when the place is about to be used for a ceremony.
163:6 Literally 'material;' meaning the metallic and vegetable portions of the ceremonial apparatus.
163:7 The slightly raised platform or table upon which all the apparatus, except the fire and unconsecrated water, is placed.
163:8 In which the twigs of Hôm are pounded and mixed with water.
163:9 For the Baresôm or sacred twigs (see Chap. XLIII, 5).
164:1 A small stone platform on which the fire vase is placed, now usually called âdôst.
164:2 Reading nîrangîkîhâ dâd instead of the unintelligible nîrang ashâyâd of K35, which is very similarly written in Pahlavi; M14 has 'which one is to keep pure by the ritual of words of revelation.'
164:3 A plant said to grow among the mountains in southern Persia, which has not yet been botanically identified, but Anquetil Duperron was told that it resembled a vine without fruit. Twigs of this plant are brought to India 'by traders and are, therefore, considered impure until they have been purified, laid aside for a year, and again purified' (see Haug's Essays, p. 399). A few fragments of these twigs are pounded and mixed with water in the Hôm-mortar, and the juice is tasted by the priest who performs the ceremony. The Avesta Hôm and the Sanskrit Soma must have been originally the same plant, but both Parsis and Hindus now use plants which are no doubt mere substitutes for that original. In southern and western India the Soma plant now used by the Brahmans is the Sarcostemma Brevistigma, a leafless bush of green succulent branches, growing upwards, with flowers like those of an onion; when not in flower it can hardly be distinguished from the Euphorbia Tirucalli, or thornless milk-bush, commonly used for hedges in many parts of India.
164:4 Reading dâm-hômand; or it may be sem-hômand, 'renowned.'
164:5 Zaratûst is said to have been begotten in consequence of his parents drinking Hôm-juice and cow's milk infused, respectively, with his guardian spirit and glory (see Zs. XI, 10 n). K35 has hôman, and M14 has hômand, instead of hôm, in this clause.
164:6 Av. gaokerena, sometimes called gôkard in Pahlavi, the p. 165 mythic white Hôm-tree which is said to grow in the wide-formed ocean, and from which the draught of immortality is prepared for mankind at the resurrection (see Vend. XX, 17, Bd. XVIII, 1-4, XXVII, 4, XXX, 25).
165:1 Reading ayêngîh nisîm, but this is uncertain.
165:2 Av. hadhânaêpata, to represent which the Parsis now use a twig of the pomegranate bush, but it must originally have been some sweet-scented plant (see Vend. VIII, 7). The Aûrvarâm (Av. ace. urvarãm) consists of this twig, a small fragment of which is pounded with the Hôm-twigs when preparing the Hôm-juice.
165:3 From this it would appear that the practice of using metal wires, instead of twigs of trees, for the baresôm (see Chap. XLIII, 5) was not in use a thousand years ago.
165:4 Literally 'Shatvaîrian;' the archangel Shatvaîrô (Av. khshathra vairya, 'desirable dominion') having special charge of all metals (see Bd. XXX, 19, Sls. XV, 14-19).
165:5 Reading baresom; K35 has basom and M14 bîm-ik.
165:6 M14 substitutes yôshdâsarînîdŏ for denman hîgarînîdŏ, p. 166 and padmûkht for va khîm hat, so as to read 'the outside of their own bodies is purified and attired in clean clothing,' but this can hardly be reconciled with the context. The term hîgar or hîkhar (Av. hikhra), here translated 'bodily refuse,' is applied to any refuse or dirt from the living body, or any liquid exudation from a dead one.
166:1 Reading gôvak, but it may be yûvâk, 'wishing,' or dûvâk, 'flowing: M14 alters it to vênâk, 'looking,' which suits the eyes well enough, but hardly seems to express the author's idea.
166:2 See Chap. XLI, 5.
166:3 M14 has 'having purified around the place.'
166:4 The Âtas Nyâyis (see Haug's Essays, p. 403).
166:5 This place is at the end of the ceremonial area farthest from p. 167 the fire. Here the priest first invokes the spirits in whose honour the ceremony is about to be performed, by reciting their several propitiatory formulas (see Chap. XXIX, I).
167:1 Referring to any other priests who may be present.
167:2 M14 has 'for carriers,' omitting the three clauses about the Avesta, fire, and bringing water.
167:3 Or, perhaps, 'there is he who may be a bringer;' and similarly in the following clauses. The plural suffix -îhâ being identical in form with the Pâz. conditional form of the verb 'to be,' which seems to be the origin of the adverbial suffix corresponding to -ly in English when added to an adjective; occasionally it is added to a substantive, as is probably the case here, and can then be only translated by 'may, or would, be' (see Chap. XLIV, 11).
167:4 This first clause may belong to the preceding section.
168:1 K35 has drôn, 'sacred cake,' instead of drûg.
168:2 The twentieth Nask, which is said to have chiefly treated of religious ceremonies and texts (see Byt. III, 25). Two Avesta fragments, published by Westergaard as Yt. XXI and XXII, are traditionally ascribed to this Nask.
168:3 Another name for the Dâmdâd Nask, from which the Bundahis appears to have originated (see Zs. IX, 1). The name is also applied to a particular series of ceremonies, continued for twelve successive days in honour of each of the twenty-two sacred beings whose names are given to the 1st-7th, 9th-14th, 16th-22nd, 24th, and 26th days of the month; these ceremonies last, therefore, for 264 days (see Byt. II, 59).
168:4 It can hardly be akadbâ, as that would imply that it 'is not recited by any undeceitful voice.' The use of the prefix â- in the sense of 'with' is rare, but it occurs in âpastanû, 'pregnant,' (whence Pers. âbistan), and is noticed by Dastûr Jâmâspji in his Pahlavi Dictionary, p. 2.
168:5 Reading bun-î kolâ râstîh, apparently a forerunner of the modern name Bundahis.
168:6 The frâyar period of the day corresponds to the Hâvan Gâh or morning (compare Farh. Okh. p. 42 with Bd. XXV, 9), at which time the Yasna ceremonial should be performed when not accompanied p. 169 by the Vendidâd; or, according to the text, it must be performed by daylight.
169:1 During the ceremonial.
170:1 In preparing the Hôm juice fresh holy-water (zôr) is added four times to the Hôm-twigs which are each time pounded anew, while reciting the Ahunavar formula, and their liquor strained into a cup (see Haug's Essays, p. 402).
170:2 There is no authority for translating sinvisnŏ by 'conception,' otherwise that meaning would suit this sentence better. M14 has yehevûnisnŏ, 'existence,' which differs by only one extra stroke of the pen in Pahlavi.
170:3 See Chap. II, 10.
170:4 The word sikâvî-aîtŏ really means 'is split.' During the pounding of the Hôm-twigs the pestle is struck several times against the sides of the mortar, so as to produce a ringing sound (see Haug's Essays, p. 401).
170:5 Reading vidanâg, instead of gûn-aê, by transposing the first two Pahlavi characters. After the first series of poundings of the Hôm-twigs holy-water is added to them three times while reciting, each time, the Ashem-vohû formula (ibid.).
170:6 The evaporation from the ocean, said to be effected by Tîstar for the production of rain (see Chap. XCIII, 2, 3).
171:1 The delightfulness of rain after an eight-months' drought cannot be adequately appreciated by a dweller in Europe.
171:2 That is, bull's urine.
171:3 The reading of this name, as well as that of Aôshnôr, is doubtful; but if these names occur at all in the extant Avesta, they may perhaps be found in. the Aoshnara pouru-gîra of Fravardîn Yt. 131, Âf. Zarat. 2; the epithet pouru-gîra, when it occurs after the name, would naturally be considered a patronymic, whence a father or grandfather could be easily created, if he did not exist already in legendary history.
171:4 This name is written in Pâzand, and is evidently meant for the same person as the Pâz. Vîdharg-âfrâstaka of Bd. XXXI, 31.
171:5 M14 has 'from him she came unto Kaî-Kavâd,' which would tally better with the statements in Bd. XXXI, 25, 31.
171:6 Literally 'the fire of Varahrân (Bahrâm).'
171:7 See Chap. XXXVII, 99.
172:1 The vital heat or Vohu-fryãn fire (see Bd. XVII, 1, 2).
172:2 Reading âhankânakîh, as in K35; M14 has khadûkânakîh, 'unity,' which is a much commoner word, nearly identical with the other in its Pahlavi form.
172:3 So in the MSS., but it was probably 'true words' originally, so as to complete the triad of thought, word, and deed.
173:1 That is, learnt by heart.
173:2 Literally 'fires of Varahrân.'
173:3 The three days after a death, during which ceremonies are performed in honour of the angel Srôsh, who is supposed to protect the departed soul from the demons during that period, while it is still hovering about the body (see Chap. XXVIII, 6).
173:4 On the fourth day after a death (see Chap. XXVIII, 7).
173:5 That is, Keresâsp the Sâman (see Chap. XVII, 6); having been a famous warrior, his husbandry is said to be battle, the destruction of all ordinary husbandry.
173:6 That is, the ruin of people by war leads them to demand a share of the property of those more fortunate, so as to produce an equality. The whole section seems to be a bitter sarcasm upon the effects of war, representing the generals as cultivators of p. 174 slaughter and rapine, with the soldiers as their domestic servants, driving the people into social democracy.