Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. Another subject is about the deliberating of the deliberators on unity, from which even the preparation of the duality is manifested.
2. It should be known, that whoever wishes to understand a creator, except when he gives trouble to his own life, (3) should meditate reverently 1. 4. First, he fully understands his own body and soul, (5) that is, who produced them, out of what, and for what purpose? 6. Also, who is his accuser and adversary; (7) and who is his friend and helper? 8. Likewise, who instigates him to commit crime, (9) of what nature is he, (10) and how is it possible to escape him?
11. Then he is not able to understand him 2 as the creator through his nature and his coming to himself. 12. For when he bore the name of creator, then, with it, he brought these three creations 3:(13) creation, religion, and soul. 14. Because the name of creator is known from the occurrence of creation. 15. This implies that the creator of the creation created the creations for duty, (16) but does not release them from duty. 17. And the duty of the creatures is to understand and perform the will of the creator, (18) and to abstain from what is disliked by him. 19. To act by the will of the creator, and to abstain from what is disliked by him, is to preserve the soul. 20. The will of the creator is not understood,
except from the religion of the creator. 21. And the religion is appointed by the creator free from doubt.
22. Now it is expedient to know that the sacred being appointed the religion for the understanding of his will, (23) and from the understanding of his will for the preservation of the soul are manifested the compassion and mercifulness of the sacred being. 24. From the preservativeness of the religion for the soul are manifested the grandeur and valuableness of the religion; (25) from the necessity of preserving the soul are manifested the defilement and delusion 1 of the soul; (26) and from the defilement and delusion of the soul is manifested a defiler and deluder of the thoughts, words, and deeds of mankind. 27. On the whole a corrupter of souls is manifest.
28. And now it is expedient for us to well recognise 2 and know, as to that defiler who is a corrupter of souls, of what nature he is. 29. Because, if the creation and achievement of the sacred being are said to be of a like nature, then how did the sacred being appoint the religion for the preservation of the soul? 30. That is not expedient for himif a defiler and deluder of soulsto produce 3 as his own creation and will 4. 31. For if he be himself the creator, and be himself the defiler and corrupter of souls, and nothing occurs except by his will, (32)
then, when it is necessary for us to write of preservation from the sacred being 1, whom shall we make as a refuge 2?
33. Now it is necessary for every intelligent person to understand and to know thus much, (34) that is, from whom it is necessary for us to flee and to abstain, (35) and with whom is the hope, and with whom the maintenance, of our protection. 36. The method for this acquisition is nothing else but to understand the sacred being in his nature, (37) because, as I wrote above 3, it is not only to know his existence, but it is necessary to understand his nature and his will.
38. And I have observed, in the world, the sectarian belief of all maintainers of sects who hold [the two fundamental doctrines] 4. 39. One is that which asserts that all the good and evil, which are in the world, are owing to the sacred being. 40. And one is that which asserts that all the good of the world, besides the hope of preserving the soul, is owing to the sacred being; (41) and the cause of all evil of the body, besides the risk of the soul, is owing to Aharman; (42) and all things have started from appointment by these two origins into various formations and various subdivisions.
43. Now I have been an enquirer everywhere, for understanding the sacred being, as written above 5,
fervent-minded in the investigation of his religion and will; (44) as likewise I have wandered, for the sake of investigation, to the region without and the land of the Hindûs, and to many different races. 45. Because, as to religion, I did not admire that which was in supremacy 1, (46) but I sought that which was more steadfast and more acceptable in wisdom and testimony. 47. I went also into association with many different races, (48) until a time (49) when, owing to the compassion of the sacred beings, and the strength, glory, and power of the good religion, I escaped from much gloomy depth and ill-solvable doubt.
50. By the united power of knowledge of the religion (51) and the well-reflecting writing of the wise, (52) the marvellous allegorical 2 writings of the learned Âtûr-pâdîyâvand 3, (53) and by that writing which the glorified Rôshan 4, son of Âtûr-frôbag, prepared(54) for which he appointed the name of the Rôshan manuscript (nipîk)(55) and likewise that for which the supremely learned and righteous Âtûr-frôbag 5, son of Farukh-zâd, (56) who was the
leader of those of the good religion, (57) appointed the name of the Dînkard manuscriptowing to its explaining the religion 1(58) I am saved from the many doubts, delusions, deceits, and follies of sects, (59) and, especially, from those of the deceivers, the very great and very mighty, very evil-teaching and empty-skulled 2 Manicheans 3, (60) whose devotion is witchcraft, whose religion is deceitfulness, and whose teaching is folly and intricate secret proceedings.
61. I have been deliberately confirmed by the power of wisdom and the strength of knowledge of the religion, (62) not through obstinate faith 4, but by the pure revelation opposed to the demon 5, which is the decision of Aûharmazd (63) that was taught by the creator Aûharmazd to the righteous Zaratûst 6.
64. Zaratûst came alone, on a true mission, to the lofty portal of Kaî Gustâsp 7, (65) and the religion was taught by him, with a powerful tongue, to Kaî Gustâsp and the learned, through the speech of wisdom, through manual gestures, through definite words, through explanation of many doubts, and through presentation of the visible testimony of the
archangels, together with many miracles. 66. And a greatness in power which is not the destiny of worldly existences was theirs who saw him of the vehement guardian spirit. 67. And Kaî Spend-dâd 1 and Zargar 2 and other royal sons (zâdak), instigating the many conflicts and shedding the blood of those of the realm, accepted the religion as a yoke 3, (68) while they even wandered to Arûm 4 and the Hindûs, outside the realm, in propagating the religion.
69. Owing to progress onwards it came in succession to the descendants of the divinities 5, the rulers who were those of the Kayân race who were exalted ones. 70. And still onwards even until the achievement with melted metal pouring upon the chest of the glorified Âtûr-pâd 6, son of Mâraspend, in the reign of that divinity (bagh) Shâhpûr, the king of kings who was the son of Aûharmazd 7, in a controversy with apostates of different species of many kinds. 71. He was preserved from those most
mighty apostates, who are called even by the name of their desires 1.
72. And the Arûmans 2, who have been, at various periods, termed untruthful 3, have asked many ill-solvable questions of this religion; (73) but there has been no doubtfulness of any question that is explained by this religion, (74) and the learned of the country of Irân have always been sustainers of victory among them. 75. Not like other sects whose religion is secretly progressive and deceiving, delusively for the deceived, and undutifully among the customs and assemblages of the less-informed, unintelligent, and demon-natured whose information was nothing whatever of knowledge and understanding of wisdom. 76. Then, so far as the assemblages that are very secretly deceived and deluded by them, nobody is presented for detection (âskârâkîh); (77) but afterwards, owing to the capture of the many of little knowledge and unintelligent opinions who are deluded by them, it is discovered they are provided with much mutually afflicting speech, falsehood, and disconnection, which are their religion.
78. So that I here 4 notice some of their much inconsistency and disconnection, for informing the judgment of new learners, (79) for the reason that when the writings of the learned ancients have specially minutely and reverently 5 discoursed of
what is most astute in evil, to impel one to good knowledge, (80) you should observe with kind regards what is ordered.
166:1 See Chap. VIII, 137 n.
166:2 His accuser and instigator.
166:3 All MSS. have 'he bore these three names;' but Nêr. has evidently misread sem, 'name,' instead of dâm, 'creature,' both words being written alike in Pahlavi.
167:1 Pâz. vyâwãnî (see Chap. III, 22 n).
167:2 Assuming that Pâz. huzvârdan (Sans. samsodhayitum) is a misreading of Pahl. hû-zinhârdanŏ.
167:3 Sans. 'to announce.'
167:4 Because it (the religion) is opposed to his supposed work as a deluder.
168:1 As it would be, if he were the corrupter of souls.
168:2 The exclamation of the wicked soul after death, derived from Yas. XLV, 1 (see Mkh. II, 159).
168:3 See Chap. V, 6-9.
168:4 The words in brackets are omitted in AK, PB3, MH19, but occur in Sans. and the later MSS.
168:5 Chap. I. 36, 37.
169:1 Probably a guarded allusion to Muhammadanism which it was then unsafe to disparage openly, as is evident from the rarity of its name in Pahlavi writings.
169:2 Or 'the miracle-resembling.'
169:3 See Chap. IV, 106.
169:4 A commentator whose opinions are often quoted in Pahlavi writings (see Sls. I, 4 n). His father was probably the early editor of the Dînkard mentioned in §§ 55-57, though it is hazardous to rely upon a single name for identifying an individual. In that case he must have been a younger brother of the Zaratûst-î Âtûr-frôbagân who succeeded his father as 'leader of the good religion,' and revised the Dînkard, as mentioned in the last paragraphs of its third book.
169:5 See Chap: IV, 107.
170:1 The probable meaning of dînkard is 'acts of the religion.' See also Chap. IV, 107 n.
170:2 Reading rat-mastarg. For rat Nêr. has read rad, 'pontiff,' which is written in the same manner; his translation being Sans. guru, while his Pâz. rad has become raê in AK, PB3, MH19, but has again become rad in JE.
170:3 See Chap. XVI.
170:4 Assuming that Pâz. sakht-vîrôdasnihâ stands for Pahl. sakht-virôyisnîhâ.
170:5 That is, the Vendîdâd.
170:6 See Mkh. I, 10.
170:7 See Mkh. XIII, 14, XXVII, 68-76.
171:1 Misread Spudâkht by Nêr. He was a son of Kaî Gustâsp, and called Spentô-dâta in the Avesta, and Isfendiyâr in Persian.
171:2 Av. Zairivairi, Pers. Zarîr, a brother of Kaî Gustâsp (see Bd. XXXI, 29).
171:3 Literally 'for the neck,' assuming that Pâz. ô-ka ôi is an erroneous reading of Pahl. val kavarman, as in Mkh. XXXIX, 30.
171:4 Asia Minor was so called from having been a portion of the Roman empire in Sasanian times.
171:5 Pâz. bayãnã, (Sans. mahat) is evidently a misreading of Pahl. bagânân, a term referring to the Sasanian kings who adopted the title of bagî, 'divinity,' in their inscriptions (see also § 70), and claimed to be descended from the old dynasty of Kayân kings.
171:6 The supreme high-priest and prime minister of king Shâhpûr II (A.D. 309-379), who underwent the ordeal of melted metal for the sake of proving the truth of the religion.
171:7 King Aûharmazd II (A.D. 300-309).
172:1 That is, they are called âshmôg (Av. ashemaogha, 'perplexing righteousness').
172:2 The Greeks of the eastern empire of the Romans.
172:3 Pâz. anâst may be either 'irreverent,' or else stand for Pahl. arâst, 'untruthful.' Sans. has 'atheistical.'
172:4 In the next chapter.
172:5 Or, perhaps, 'modestly' (see Chap. VIII, 137 n).