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


1. If this which is said by you be a knowledge that is replete (avkâr) with advantage, why was it then necessary for you to keep it as it were concealed 2 from me, when I thus consider that, if a knowledge should be rightly obtained by you, it should then have been needful for you to report unto me on the first rumour 3 from every one who is well-enlightened (hû-bâm)? 2. If this decree

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seemed so to you before, between when you have been in Pârs and this time when in Sîrkân, it was not well considered with those acquainted with the religion, the wise and the high-priests, and not even reported. 3. If not conceived by you before, then what learned acquaintance with the religion was acquired by you in Sarakhs 1 and Shirâz, about which you are enlightened? 4. And before it was to be well considered amid observation and meditation 2 what high-priest was obtained by you in Shirâz, who, when it was well considered with him, in completely securing himself, kept you away from deliberation to be decided with me and other priestly men and high-priests?

5. If not decided by you in Pârs on account of breaking away from me, that is as though you yourself understand that I am to keep, in my own person, not even in the rank of discipleship unto you, but in that which is like servitude; and my coming 3, which is on your account, is even an accumulation of harm and distrust (tars) which you have amassed for yourself by having written and acted, and has made me suffer sorrow (vîdvarînîdŏ) in my own person. 6. If it had been shown to me by you that it would be the preservation of the religion, it would then have incited me to accept it steadfastly. 7. If,

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for the sake of co-operation with me, a lawful decree had been even more privately propagated by you, and if the religious demonstration about it were conservative and correct, it would then have been less vexatious for you to explain it to me than to others who have less acquaintance with the decrees and declaration of revelation; and if a difference had arisen thereon, a correct reply would then have come to you more fully from me. 8. And if you conceive that it is not necessary to demonstrate it to me through the declaration in revelation, that deliverance which it is not necessary to announce is not to be so decreed, even in another place. 9. And, just as even in Pârs, if it were not decreed by you in Sîrkân on that account, when your conception was that they would not accept it from you, it was necessary for you to know that, because it was not possible for you to provide much interval for demonstration.

10. If its purport be now considered by you, when you are moving as to the writing from Shirâz 1--which writes fully of your acquirement and interpretation of it, and of a mutilated deliverance 2--the arrangements for iniquity on this subject are many. 11. And one of them is the erroneous writing 3 which is with me, for you conceive that they would accept from me your view, as it were swearing (sôkandîkŏ) that it does not go to the filth accumulated for 4

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[paragraph continues] Zaratûst, and does not contend with him; and that the opposition (hamêmalîh) does not strive for a new law, and does not increase the evil of the spirit and the world, since it labours for the hoard of the soul.

12. And, persistently concealed, that was done by thee, owing to which is the anguish of my life; for it is annoying when a wound of the soul is not actually realised by means of the decree; but if, too, it should be really avoidable, it is then even said that ignorance itself would be regenerative (navazûdârîhâ), since it is not dubious to me, unless a matured knowledge of creation and some of that even of the angels should be in sight 1. 13. Also through their much talking, which is like Vîsaris 2, and much affliction, which is like the eradication of life, there is a perpetual demonstration then in every place of the country of Irân, where this information about its religion shall arrive, that they then consider thee as an apostate and an enemy of the religion.

14. And through this eager procedure of yours many troops in the provinces, who have to horse (aspînîdanŏ) themselves, have joined Âtûrŏ-pâd 3;

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for, inasmuch as those most mounted on horses 1 are the washers 2 of Sîrkân, who would have always thought about their abundance which is due to the archangels, they have spoken with opponents about this interpretation of the section of scripture (vîdak) 3, and so become similarly testifying 4, thus: 'We do not conceive it is necessary to demand thy reason for this most grievous disaster 5, a thing which is more complete through your elucidation of doubt and the power of the enemy, owing to this way which is appointed by thee.' 15. And on that account, too, it is more disquieting unto me, when I am aware both of the origin of this perplexity and the surpassing contamination which is possible to arise from it.

16. And you always so observe as not to leap (la aîyyûkhtanŏ) without looking before; but temporary observation is nothing really of that which, by a well-stinging similitude, is what one observes, with the eyesight looking well forward, when dust of many kinds is domesticated with the sight of the

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eye; and if his intellect be not judicious he is wonderfully deceived by it; and should it be even when he mentions the existence of two moons, has it become more proved thereby? 17. It is a custom of the most provoking in itself, and presented disquietingly when I, who believe with a fervent mind, would have delivered the life even of my body over to the perplexing bridge 1 for your happiness and enjoyment. 18. Also, on account of my want of leisure, even the information which is presented, asking peace, is information I believe with a generous mind; and being aware regarding my want of leisure is both an advantage and harmful, and the heart to write of them 2 is, therefore, miraculous. 19. Then it is always necessary for me, who am in want of leisure, to write unto you so much writing of the harassing of annoyers and against disputes, of whose end there is no conception in my heart.


343:2 Reading nîhânŏ, as in J, but K35 and BK omit the first letter.

343:3 Assuming that mayâg is a pseudo-Huzvâris equivalent of âvâg (Pers. âvâ); mayâ being the true Huzvâris of âv, 'water.'

344:1 A town in the extreme north-east of Khurâsân, between Nîshahpûhar and Marv, but nearer the latter city. When in this town Zâd-sparam probably came in contact with the Tughazghuz mentioned in Chap. I, 12.

344:2 J inserts the words 'by you, and through your good consideration it was more properly undeceiving, if done, then.'

344:3 Referring to his intended visit to Sîrkân, mentioned in Chaps. VI, 4, 6, VII, 3, Ep. I, xi, 4.

345:1 Referring probably to Ep. I, which appears to have been written from Shirâz after holding as general assembly (see Chap. I, x, Ep. I, iii, 13); but this epistle, judging from the remark in the text, was probably written after Mânûskîhar had left Shirâz, as was also Ep. III (see Chap. VIII, 1).

345:2 From pollution.

345:3 See Chap. II, 1.

345:4 Assuming that the Pâz. pgsâhu stands for paz sâkh-î: but, p. 346 as Av. g and d are much alike, it may be pdsâhu, which, when written in Pahlavi letters, can also be read pad gêhan, 'protector of the world;' or pdsâhu may be merely a corruption of padshâh = pâdakhshah, 'sovereign.'

346:1 Meaning that he should have preferred being ignorant of such a decree, unless it exhibited far more knowledge of the truth than it actually did.

346:2 So written here in Pâzand; but, no doubt, the demon Vîzaresha (the Vîzarâsh of Dd. XXXII, 4, XXXVII, 44), who carries off the souls of the wicked, is meant.

346:3 The name, apparently, of some rival of his in authority, who is also mentioned in Chap. IX, 11.

347:1 Reading asp-vârakântûm, and this meaning tallies well with the previous mention of troops horsing themselves; but J, by pre-fixing a stroke, changes the word into vâspôharakântûm, 'those most renowned among the spheres.'

347:2 The ceremonial washers or priests.

347:3 The term vîdak is applied to sections or chapters of the Avesta in Dd. XLVII, 1, 5, 6, LXVI, 4; and here it must be applied to the Avesta of Vend. VIII or IX, to which the misinterpretations of. Zâd-sparam specially referred.

347:4 J has 'and so given similar testimony, which is written by them of a priest of your fame, and written by them to me.'

347:5 The diminution of their means of livelihood by the decrease of ceremonial washing, more than their apprehension of the sinfulness of such decrease.

348:1 The Kinvad bridge, or passage to heaven (see Dd. XX, 3); meaning that he would have been ready to lose his life for the sake of his brother.

348:2 The heart to write of the 'happiness and enjoyment' of § 17.

Next: Chapter VI