Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. As to the eighty-seventh question and reply, that which you ask is thus: As family householders we of the good religion of Irân, before each celebration of all the religious rites with holy-water 3 which they have provided in the land 4 of Pârs, have then always given for it a gift of 400 dirhams, or 350 dirhams 5 at least. 2. And now if we should be needy, when we deduct something from the 400 dirhams, or from the 350 dirhams, of the gift for them, they would then not accept it from us, and speak thus: 'Less than 400, or than 350, dirhams we do not 6 accept.' 3. But there are needy men
who always come to us themselves and speak thus: 'For 350 dirhams we will always twice conduct all the religious rites and ceremonial with holy-water such as those which you have always ordered before for 400; only order us.' 4. Would a needy one, apart from the priestly men who always say that they are not, be authorised, or not?
5. The reply is this, that the priest to whom your predecessors have given a gift of 400 or 350 dirhams, for all the religious rites with holy-water, it is proper to consider particularly virtuous and faithful, when there is nothing else about him, on account of which he is otherwise: 6. A celebration of all the religious rites with holy-water, in which they shall use four pure animals 1--and just according to the teaching of the high-priests they present to every single fire from one animal and one holy-water--and the offering of holy-water unto the fire whose holy-water it is, and bringing it on to another fire apart from that holy-water, and the ceremonial cleansing of the holy-water they maintain by agreement in thy name, the superiors solemnize with approval, faithfully, and attentively; and the remuneration of 350 dirhams would be a balancing of when they conduct the religious rite at the place of undertaking it, and when it is undertaken as regards a distant district 2.
7. In Artakhshatar-gadman 3, within my memory,
they who would accept less than 300 dirhams 1 for it made a memorandum (farhâng), to keep in remembrance that 350 dirhams for all the religious rites performed was to be the rule declared by those of the religion in Artakhshatar-gadman. 8. Likewise, the glorified Atûr-frôbag 2, son of Farâkhûzâd, who was the pre-eminent leader of those of the good religion, decided in the same manner.
9. And now, too, they always conduct those rites which are without holy-water for 150 dirhams, or even for 120 dirhams 3; and the reason of it is the neediness of the disciples who, owing to that need, and in hope of obtaining more employment, always diminish their demands, and through deficient remuneration always become more needy, more importunate, and more moderate in desiring remuneration; and, in the course of the employment of resources and requesting the charge of all the religious rites, the labour and endurance of discipleship are exhausted.
10. And as to him who undertakes to conduct all the religious rites twice for 350 dirhams, if he be properly working and thoroughly reliable for the 350 dirhams which are always given him for the ceremonial of all the religious rites--just like those who would always undertake them once--and all the religious rites are conducted and secured twice, on
account of the merit due to the continuous ceremonial of the sacred beings it is more authorisedly ordered of those who solemnize all the religious rites twice 1. 11. But as to him who would under-take all the religious rites twice for 350 dirhams, but is not able to conduct them unless he puts to it some of his own wealth, so that the progress may be acceptable to him as they conduct them through repetition, he should not undertake them owing to the reasons written in another chapter of ours 2, since it tends much more to neediness.
12. And more like unto the ancient sceptics (vimânakŏ) have become the disciples, among whom disagreement and enmity are produced, as is written in the same writing (khadû-gûn nâmakŏ) 3; and, owing to admonishing words, these become enviousness and maliciousness unto the disciples, and trouble and disagreement less becoming among you and more contentious about you. 13. And at the time in which a great stipend existed, they contended with him through whose greatness and abundance of stipend their conflict was caused, one with the other, through envy; and now, too, they always squabble about his deficient stipend, by which they will tempt them, on account of its inadequacy, for the sake of a way for preserving life, as was shown by my metaphor in the other chapter 4. 14. When those who, through need of employment in the rites of religion, or the recitations 5
which are its wisdom, would at once produce enmity, and the friends of religion, are for each of two sides, it is important to look to the procuring of forgiveness, kind regards, and the progress of the elect (pasandakânŏ) in the duty of the faithful.
250:3 See Chap. LXVI, 17.
250:4 Reading bûm, as in M14, instead of the barmanŏ; 'son,' of K35.
250:5 About 140 or 122½ rûpîs (see Chap. LII, 1 note). As in Chap. LXVI, the actual value of these sums of money depended upon the price of the necessaries of life in the ninth century.
250:6 K35 repeats the negative, but whether this is a blunder, or intended to intensify the negation, is uncertain.
251:1 Sheep or goats.
251:2 That is, it is a fair average charge.
251:3 The Huz. form of Ardashîr-khurrah, the name given by Ardashîr son of Pâpak, the first Sasanian king, to the city and district of Gôr, subsequently called Pîrûzâbâd (see Nŏldeke's Geschichte der Perser and Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden, pp. 11, 19), about seventy miles south of Shîrâz.
252:1 About 105 rûpîs.
252:2 The name of an early editor of the Dînkard, whose selections from various religious writings form the fourth and fifth books of that extensive work in its present form. He lived after the Muhammadan conquest of Persia, and probably in the eighth century of the Christian era.
252:3 That is, 52½ or 42 rûpîs.
253:1 This is also stated in Chap. LXVI, 32.
253:2 See Chap. LXVI, 24-26.
253:4 See Chap. LXVI, 28, 29.
253:5 It is uncertain whether these are the correct technical meanings of kêsh and dôr.