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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: 'Of the food which men eat, and the clothing which men put on, which are the more valuable and good?'

3. The spirit of wisdom answered (4) thus: 'Of the food which men eat, the milk of goats is produced good. 5. Because, as to men and quadrupeds, who are born from a mother, until the time when food is eaten by them, their growth and nourishment are then from milk, (6) and on milk they can well live. 7. And if men, when they withdraw from the milk of the mother, make thorough experience of the milk of goats, (8) then bread is not necessary for use among them. 9. Since it is declared, (10) that "the food of mankind, who are in Arzah and Savah, Fradadafsh and Vîdadafsh, Vôrûbarst and Vôrûgars3, is the milk of goats and cows; (11) other food they do not eat." 12. And he who is a milk-consuming man is healthier and stronger, and even the procreation of children becomes more harmless.

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13. 'Of grains wheat is called great and good, (14) because it is the chief of grains 1, (15) and even by the Avesta its name is then specified in the chieftainship of grains 2.

16. 'And of fruit the date and grape are called great and good. 17. When bread has not come, it is necessary to consecrate the sacred cake by means of fruit 3; (18) when the fruit to consecrate is the date or grape, it is allowable to eat every fruit; (19) and when those have not come, it is necessary to eat that fruit which is consecrated 4.

20. 'Regarding wine it is evident, that it is possible for good and bad temper to come to manifestation through wine 5. 21. The goodness of a man is manifested in anger, the wisdom of a man in irregular desire 6. 22. For he whom anger hurries on (aûsvêd)

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is able to recover himself from it 1 through goodness, (23) he whom lust hurries on is able to recover himself from it through wisdom, (24) and he whom wine hurries on is able to recover himself from it through temper.

25. 'It is not requisite for investigation, (26) because he who is a good-tempered man, when he drinks wine, is such-like as a gold or silver cup which, however much more they burn it, becomes purer and brighter. 27. It also keeps his thoughts, words, and deeds more virtuous; (28) and he becomes gentler and pleasanter unto wife and child, companions and friends 2, (29) and is more diligent in every duty and good work.

30. 'And he who is a bad-tempered man, when he drinks wine, thinks and considers himself more than ordinary. 31. He carries on a quarrel with companions, displays insolence, makes ridicule and mockery, (32) and acts arrogantly to a good person. 33. He distresses his own wife and child 3, slave and servant; (34) and dissipates the joy of the good, (35) carries off peace, and brings in discord.

36. 'But every one must be cautious as to 4 the moderate drinking of wine. 17. Because, from the moderate drinking of wine, thus much benefit happens to him: (38) since it digests the food, (39) kindles the vital fire 5, (40) increases the understanding and intellect, semen and blood, (41) removes vexation, (42) and inflames the complexion.

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[paragraph continues] 43. It causes recollection of things forgotten, (44) and goodness takes a place in the mind. (45) It likewise increases the sight of the eye, the hearing of the ear, and the speaking of the tongue; (46) and work, which it is necessary to do and expedite, becomes more progressive. 47. He also sleeps pleasantly in the sleeping place 1, and rises light. 48. And, on account of these contingencies, good repute for the body, righteousness for the soul, and also the approbation of the good 2 come upon him.

49. 'And in him who drinks wine more than moderately, thus much defect becomes manifest, (50) since it diminishes his wisdom, understanding and intellect, semen and blood; (51) it injures the liver 3 and accumulates disease, (52) it alters the complexion, (53) and diminishes the strength and vigour. 54. The homage and glorification of the sacred beings become forgotten. 55. The sight of the eye, the hearing of the ear, and the speaking of the tongue become less. 56. He distresses Horvadad and Amerodad 4 (57) and entertains a desire of lethargy 5. 58. That, also, which it is necessary for him to say and do, remains undone; (59) and he sleeps in uneasiness, and rises uncomfortably. 60. And, on account of these contingencies, himself 6,

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wife, and child, friend and kindred are distressed and unhappy, (61) and the superintendent of troubles 1 and the enemy are glad. 62. The sacred beings, also, are not pleased with him; (63) and infamy comes to his body, and even wickedness to his soul.

64. 'Of the dress which people possess and put on 2, silk is good for the body, and cotton for the soul. 65. For this reason, because silk arises from a noxious creature 3, (66) and the nourishment of cotton is from water, and its growth from earth 4; and as a treasure of the soul it is called great and good and more valuable.'


45:3 The six outermost regions of the earth, of which Arzah lies to the west, Savah to the east, Fradadafsh and Vîdadafsh to the south, and Vôrûbarst and Vôrûgarst to the north of the central region (see Bd. V, 8, XI, 3).

46:1 It is called 'the chief of large-seeded grains' in Bd. XXIV, 19.

46:2 Possibly in the Pâzag Nask, part of which was 'about the thirty-three first chieftainships of the existences around, that is, how many of which are spiritual and how many worldly existences, and which is the second, and which the third of the spiritual and worldly existences;' as stated in the eighth book of the Dînkard.

46:3 That is, when a cake cannot be made, fruit can be substituted for it in the ceremony of consecrating the sacred cakes. The sacred cake, or drôn, is a small, round, flexible pancake of unleavened wheaten bread, about the size of the palm of the hand, which, after consecration, is tasted by all those present at the ceremony (see Sls. III, 32 n).

46:4 Fruit and wine are usually consecrated and eaten, in the Âfrîngân ceremony, after the completion of the Drôn ceremony, but sometimes the Âfrîngân is celebrated alone. Both ceremonies are performed in honour of some angel, or the guardian spirit of some deceased person (see Haug's Essays, pp. 407-409).

46:5 TD2 has 'through the nature of wine;' but âs, 'wine,' is written mas.

46:6 TD2 has 'the good of a man is in anger, and the wisdom of a man in lust exciting viciousness.'

47:1 Reading agas, instead of afas (Pâz. vas); these two words being written alike in Pahlavi.

47:2 TD2 has 'he becomes more friendly, gentler, and pleasanter unto wife and child and companions.' It also omits § 29.

47:3 TD2 inserts 'hireling.'

47:4 Or 'must become intelligent through.'

47:5 The animal heat, called the Vohu-fryãn fire in Bd. XVII, 1.

48:1 Nêr. has 'at sleeping time,' and the word gâs means either 'time' or 'place,' but usually the latter. TD2 has basn gâs, probably for bâlisn gâs, 'bed place.'

48:2 Nêr. inserts the words 'greatly increase' in the Sanskrit version, but they do not occur in TD2.

48:3 These four words occur only in TD2.

48:4 The two archangels who are supposed to be injured by improper eating and drinking (see Chap. II, 34 n).

48:5 Bûshâsp (Av. Bûshyãsta), the fiend of slothful sleep.

48:6 Or it can be translated 'his own body.'

49:1 Meaning probably the evil spirit.

49:2 The Sanskrit version omits the former verb, and TD2 the latter.

49:3 Caterpillars are creatures of Aharman, because they eat and injure vegetation which is under the special protection of the archangel Amerodad.

49:4 Water and earth, being both personified as angels, would impart somewhat of their sacred character to the cotton arising from them.

Next: Chapter XVII