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


1. That writing which comes amid the writing of your epistle is a correct fragment 1 as regards the nothing in which one is to change the operation properly maintainable, and it is becoming; because, if it be even for him, by whom it is written from the

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statements of Mêdyôk-mâh, Afarg, and Sôshâns 1, the several statements and teachings of the same high-priests, yet then the elaboration and publication thereof are not such as that which is sent down by his further elaboration 2. 2. And thereby it has seemed manifest that it is sent so that a wish for the spirit may proceed from the truth of its minister (padŏ), or from his thought for the desired decision; or his understanding may be of that kind which is warped (vukôstŏ), as though he believed it as other than the exposition of the religion and the teaching of the high-priests. 3. But until the unparalleled arrival of Sôshâns 3 any one not sharing in complete knowledge is not appointed unto a patron spirit (ahvŏ), and the fiend specially contends more experimentally with the thoughts of the high-priests of the religion for a religious decision.

4. And even the recompense of community 4 of property is that when one gladly observes pure thoughts; and the swift action of voluble (pûr) speakers and kind regard of religious characters for deliverance 5 and for the noticeable undeceitfulness of the same spirit 6--which is itself the desire of settled observation that is in it for the sake of the

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same kind of full religious diffusion--are the swift action of the patron spirit, which, for the sake of preparing him for a deliverance that is not falsifying revelation and is without disputants, is a kind regard for the deliverance itself of him whose spiritual life (hûkŏ) it is.

5. As to that which is thought by him 1 of those deliverances sent down, completed, and announced, I consider more particularly about the meaning of one thing, which is their solemnized observance. 6. The solemnized observance of Mêdyôk-mâh is in the teaching 2 of Mêdyôk-mâh, and those of Afarg and Sôshâns are each one meditated and indicated in a teaching; and the pointedly superior position of each one of them is mentioned by him in his statement of any teaching and of the decision set up. 7. Also with a kind regard for his own choice he has thought it (the former teaching) imperfect, and, on account of what was not attained by it--which was a re-explainer of the same good ideas provided--its dissimilarity to it is not unnoticed 3. 8. But when one hears the re-explainers of a true reply he is well protected (hû-zinharîdŏ) by complete mindfulness 4, and is himself confident that the teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh is not the whole statement of Mêdyôk-mâh, for there are many opinions of

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[paragraph continues]dyôk-mâh 1 which have decided in another manner; not that whatever Mêdyôk-mâh said is not good, but in the teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh it is certain that even what is not proper is mentioned many times as a possibility 2.


298:1 Reading bangisnîh, but it may be bûgisnîh, 'deliverance from contamination.' The reference is to the decree of Zâd-sparam mentioned in Chap. IV, 7, the 'writing' alluded to in Ep. II, ii, 1; iii, 1.

299:1 The names of three of the commentators whose opinions are most frequently quoted in the Pahlavi Vendidâd (see Sls. I, 3). Each of them appears to have written a complete 'teaching' or dissertation upon the ceremonial laws, from which the quotations are taken (see § 6).

299:2 That is, in collecting the opinions of the ancients, he has twisted them so as to suit his own views.

299:3 The last of the future apostles (see Dd. II, 10), not the commentator of the same name mentioned in § 1.

299:4 Literally 'fraternity.'

299:5 From pollution or sin.

299:6 See § 2.

300:1d-sparam the writer of the decree mentioned in § 1.

300:2 The word kâstakŏ means usually a written course of teaching or exposition, a commentary, dissertation, or manual of instruction.

300:3 Implying that Zâd-sparam had been more inclined to enforce his own opinions than to examine those of the commentators.

300:4 The Pahl. translation of Av. ârmaiti, 'devotion,' which is usually personified as a female archangel protecting the earth.

301:1 J inserts 'rules which are mentioned in the special teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh.' It appears probable that the author had access to much more complete commentaries than the fragments now extant in the Pahlavi version of the Vendidâd.

301:2 Meaning, probably, that Mêdyôk-mâh was disposed to relax the rigid enforcement of the law in cases of doubt or difficulty, as the Avesta itself does in several cases.

Next: Chapter VI