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Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. [1885], at


1. The sage asked the spirit of wisdom (2) thus: 'How is heaven, and how many? 3. How are the ever-stationary (hamîstân), and how many? 4. And how is hell, and how many? 5. What is the decision about the righteous in heaven, and from what is their happiness? 6. What are the misery and affliction of the wicked in hell? 7. And what and how is the decision about those who are among the ever-stationary?'

8. The spirit of wisdom answered (9) thus: 'Heaven is, first, from the star station unto the

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moon station; (10) second, from the moon station unto the sun; (11) and, third, from the sun station unto the supreme heaven (garôdmânô), whereon the creator Aûharmazd is seated. 12. Of heaven the first part is that of good thoughts (hûmatô), the second is that of good words (hûkhtô), and the third is that of good deeds (hûvarstô).

13. 'The righteous in heaven are undecaying and immortal, unalarmed, undistressed, and undisturbed. 14. And, everywhere 1, they are full of glory, fragrant, and joyful, full of delight and full of happiness. 15. And, at all times, a fragrant breeze and a scent which is like sweet basil come to meet them, which are more pleasant than every pleasure, and more fragrant than every fragrance. 16. For them, also, there is no satiety owing to the existence in heaven. 17. And their sitting and walking, perception and enjoyment are with the angels and archangels and the righteous for ever and everlasting.

18. 'Regarding the ever-stationary it is declared, that they are from the earth unto the star station; (19) and its affliction for them is then 2 nothing whatever except cold and heat.

20. 'Of hell the first part is that of evil thoughts (dûs-hûmatô), the second is that of evil words (dûs-hûkhtô), and the third is that of evil deeds

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[paragraph continues] (dûs-hûvarstô) 1. 21. With the fourth step the wicked person arrives at that which is the darkest hell; (22) and they lead him forwards to the vicinity of Aharman, the wicked. 23. And Aharman and the demons, thereupon, make ridicule and mockery of him (24) thus 2: "What was thy trouble and complaint, as regards Aûharmazd and the archangels, and the fragrant and joyful heaven, when thou approachedst for a sight of us and gloomy hell, (25) although we cause thee misery therein and do not pity, and thou shalt see misery of long duration?" 26. And, afterwards, they execute punishment and torment of various kinds upon him.

27. 'There is a place 3 where, as to cold, it is such as that of the coldest frozen 4 snow. 28. There is a place where, as to heat, it is such as that of the hottest and most blazing fire. 29. There is a place where noxious creatures are gnawing them, just as a dog does the bones. 30. There is a place where, as to stench, it is such that they stagger about (barâ larzênd) 5 and fall down. 31. And the darkness

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is always such-like as though it is possible for them to seize upon it with the hand 1.'


30:1 Nêr. has 'at all times,' which may be correct, as gâs means both 'time' and 'place.' It should be noticed, however, that the word used in § 15 is damân, which means 'time' only.

30:2 Nêr. has 'their affliction is otherwise,' by mistaking Huz. adînas-sân, 'then its . . . for them,' for a supposed Pâz. ainâsã, 'otherwise their,' which seems to have no real existence, as wherever he reads ainâ, 'otherwise,' the Pahl. text has adînas, 'then its.'

31:1 These names, as here written, mean literally 'evil good thoughts, evil good words, and evil good deeds,' as if they implied that these places are for those whose best thoughts, words, and deeds are evil; but it is not quite certain that the Pahlavi names are spelt correctly.

31:2 As already stated in Chap. II, 183-186.

31:3 L19 has 'he is experienced' in §§ 27-30, owing to Nêr. having read dânâk, 'knowing, experienced,' instead of dîvâk, 'a place.'

31:4 Literally, 'stone-possessing, stony' if we read sang-dâr, as seems most plausible; but we might read sôkhâr and consider Pers. khasâr or khasar, 'ice,' as a corruption of it, by transposition. L19 has 'ice (yah) and snow.'

31:5 L19 has be rezend, 'they vomit up,' which is evidently a misreading.

32:1 'Even darkness which may be felt' (Ex. x. 21).

Next: Chapter VIII