Sacred Texts  Zoroastrianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


1. As to the seventy-sixth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: Will you direct some one then to make the heinousness of this sin of unnatural intercourse clear to us?

2. The reply is this, that the first material creature was the righteous man, the smiter of the fiend, the righteous propitiator; so, also, in the world he is more recognising the sacred beings, more completely (hamâktar) for the production of creatures,

p. 225

and with more provision for the creatures 1. 3. And with the manifestation of knowledge the best duty is that which exists in lawfully practising procreation, and the complete progression of righteous men arose therefrom.

4. In like manner he who is the omniscient creator formed mankind in the first pair, who were brother and sister, and became Mashyâîh and Mashyâyôîh 2, and all races of material life exist by means of acquiring sons and his omnisciently causing procreation. 5. The man and woman were also made to lust (gâmînidŏ) by him, and thereby became the father and mother of material men; and he naturalized among primitive man the qualities of a desire (âlûdanŏ) for acquiring sons together through glorifying. 6. And the law and religion authorised it as a proper wish, so long as they proceed from those who are their own relations, not from those who are not their own; and with those whom next-of-kin marriages 3, original duties, and desires for other sons have formed, complete progress in the world is connected, and even unto the time of the renovation of the universe 4, it is to arise therefrom. 7. And the birth of many glorious practisers of the religion, those confident in spirit, organizers of the realm, arrangers of the country, and even accomplishers

p. 226

of the renovation of the universe, which arises from those same to whom that practice shall be law--and when it occurs lawfully--is a miracle and benefit of the world, the will of the sacred beings and the utmost good work discernible, because the complete progress of the righteous arises therefrom, and the great female faculty (nekedîh) is manifested.

8. So when the opponent of the same, by whom the source of seed and procreation is spoiled, is intent upon a way for the death of progeny--and the intention is certain--its annihilation is owing to him 1; and he is the devastating fiend 2, whose will is a desire of depopulation and ruin, and by the power of his Nîyâz (demon of 'want') 3 he turns imperceptibly the esteem of the very indispensable production of men from the position of wishing for sons to a creature 4 who is opposed to it, through whom have arisen its ruin and corruption. 9. And the nature and power which are his cherishing of progeny are not suitable for receiving seed, and misrepresented (drôkînîdŏ) by him is the accompanying evil intercourse, so that emitting the seed (shûdak), in delivering it at that time into that burning place, full of stench, is to produce its death, and no procreation occurs.

10. The dupes 5 turn the living seed from mingling with women and seeking for births, just as in the like vice of any demon, connected with a longing

p. 227

for the dupes 1, they shall abandon that advantage of the world, the delights (vâyagânŏ) of a son 2. 11. He who is wasting seed makes a practice of causing the death of progeny; when the custom is completely continuous, which produces an evil 3 stoppage of the progress of the race, the creatures have become annihilated; and certainly, that action, from which, when it is universally proceeding, the depopulation of the world must arise, has become and furthered (frârâstŏ) the greatest wish of Aharman 4. 12. Such a practiser is the greatest wish of Aharman, through the demon's excretion 5 of doubt in the practice, owing to intercourse with the emitter, which is most filthy and most fetid, and the emitting member, which is causing death; and the demoniacal practice 6 is perceptible even from the same practice, and whatever is the heinousness of the sinfulness is clear to observers of the dead body.


224:1 Reading vinâsânŏ, as in M14, instead of the doubtful word vashkisn, which might perhaps be compared with Pers. buzhis, 'opposition.'

224:2 The meaning is that no one is bound to put such sinners to death until they are condemned by the authorities, but should one do so upon his own responsibility, entirely for the good of the faith, and certain of the impenitence of the sinners, he is not only free from blame, but has done a meritorious deed.

225:1 Reading val-dâm-nîvârisnŏîhâtar; the syllables -âtar being written separately M14 has val dâm-nîvârisnîh aîyyâdtar, 'more remembering the provision for the creatures.' Promoting the increase of, and providing maintenance for, good creatures are considered to be important good works.

225:2 Here written Mashyâ and Mashyâyâôîh, but see Chaps. XXXVII, 82, LXIV; 2.

225:3 See Chap. LXV.

225:4 See Chap. II, 8.

226:1 A free translation of agas lôîtŏ, which phrase is placed at the end of the section in the Pahl. original.

226:2 The evil spirit.

226:3 See Chap. XXXVII, 52.

226:4 M14 has 'to a member.'

226:5 Of the fiend.

227:1 Such men are said to become paramours of the demons (see Vend. VIII, 10e-106), as further alluded to in § 12.

227:2 M14 has 'seeking a son.'

227:3 Reading dahêd vad, but M14 has yâîtyûntô, 'brought a,' and may be right.

227:4 See Chap. XXXVII, 10.

227:5 Reading rîkhîh, but M14 has râsîh, 'course.'

227:6 In hell.

Next: Chapter LXXVIII