Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. Henceforth I write 1 of the inconsistency of their twaddle, and of just observations (2) you should estimate with wise regard.
3. First, as to the full consideration of that one original evolution (4) which they state thus: 'The sacred being is one, doing good works, wise, powerful, compassionate, and merciful, (5) so that good works and crime, truth and falsehood, life and death, good and evil are 2 owing to him 3.'
6. Now do ye ask of them (7) thus: 'Is the sacred being always compassionate and showing mercy, doing good works and judicious, and does he know all that is, was, and will be; and is he advancing the desire of one's wishes in everything, even in this where judiciousness is interference, or when such is not so? 8. Because, if he be compassionate, doing good works, and showing mercy, why then are Aharman and the demons and all these evil faiths 4 of hell admitted 5
by him to his own creatures, through his own compassion, doing of good works, and showing of mercy? 9. If not known by him, where are that knowledge and omniscience of his? 10. If he did not wish to keep misery and evil away from the creatures, and to produce only happiness for every one, where are that judiciousness and interference of his? 11. If it were not possible that it should not be produced by him, for what is that omnipotence of his (12) which we 1 every one, as it were, observe and well consider?'
13. Whenever they say that every good and evil has arisen from the sacred beingexcept when they separate from him these four attributes (hûnar), requisite for divinity, which are omniscience, omnipotence, goodness, and mercifulness(14) there is then no possibility of it. 15. When, indeed, they separate from him only one of these four attributes, even then he is not complete in divinity. 16. For if a sacred being be he who is omniscient, omnipotent, good, and merciful, then he who is not omniscient, or not omnipotent, or not good, or not merciful is not a sacred being.
17. Again, observe this, that when he is a ruler, advancing desires in every person and thing, why are that country and empire of his own not so kept, without help, from every enemy and adversity apart from his own work, so that there would not be anything whatever of distress, oppression, injustice, and complaint for any one in his empire? 18. Since the
rule and empire of a man, who is ruler and emperor, are then commendable when it is possible for him so to protect and keep his own country and empire, through his own wisdom, that they may not assist his enemy to detract from his work, and to produce sin and harm. 19. Or, when his enemy covets some of his work, he is enabled to keep him away from his own thoughtful friends, and to make every one free from distress.
20. Again, observe this, that when he is triumphant, victorious, and prevailing, (21) over whom are that triumph, victory, and prevailing of his? 22. Since triumph and victory are over enemies, a competitor exists. 23. It is not expedient 1 to become himself a competitor and enemy to his own; (24) while when there is no enemy and competitor of his, over whom does he become triumphant and victorious? 25. That sort of triumph and victory is not spoken about, (26) because even cattle and sheep, when they have no opponent and injurer, are victorious and triumphant over themselves.
27. Again, observe this, is a wise being contented with his own divinity and grandeur, or not? 28. If the wise being be contented, then he has become contented to produce an enemy and criminal, and to admit all that is devastating into a country, through his own knowledge and will, for the benefit of the
country and creatures. 29. But why 1 is it expedient to seek a disposition of crime and evil, to become himself an enemy and curser as regards them, and to provide a hellish existence, becoming the misery of mankind?
30. Again, observe this, as to whatever he says, does he speak truly and credibly, or not? 31. If he speaks that truly and credibly which he states thus: 'I am a friend of good works and an enemy of crime,' (32) and always produces more crime and criminals than good works and doers of good works, (33) where is that truthful speaking of his?
34. Again, observe this, is his desire goodness, or vileness? 35. If his desire be vileness, whence is that divinity of his? 36. If his desire be goodness, then why are the vile and vileness more than the good and goodness?
37. Again, observe this, is he merciful, or not? 38. If he be not merciful, whence is that divinity of his? 39. If he be merciful, then why does he speak thus: 'The hearts, ears, and eyes of mankind are bent about by me, so that it is not possible for them to think, speak, or do anything but that which is wanted by me 2; (40) be it what has made them great and noble, through being without want; (41) or be it what has admitted them to eternal hell, slain and exterminated by death of many kinds. 42. So that while those whom I force back become good and more active in good works, (43) yet still those who
are forced back do only a little 1, (44) and are much more criminal and more sinful than those who are forward.'
45. Again, observe this, that if, whatever he does, he does wisely and for a purpose, (46) then, when no opponent and adversary of his existed, why did the first achievement which was prepared by him become servants to demoniacal disobedience, who are perverted thereby, among mankind, to wickedness and a hellish existence 2? 47. If it were not known by him that they would become perverted, it was expedient (sazîd) for him to order the making of a trial of them, (48) because now many thousands and myriads who are prepared by him, so that they may serve him and exhilarate (mastend) his rule, have become in every mode disobedient and unhappily advised. 49. for with that scanty knowledge that mankind possess, which is not so prepared and organized as is the wish of mankind, (50) if even anything arises, that they construct and prepare, which does not so come on and become 3 as is their wish, they do not stop again, a second time, for the preparation of that thing, but they refrain from it.
51. As to him, that omnipotent and omniscient ruler, of the abundant and innumerable things he has hitherto made and prepared not even one comes on and becomes such as is his wish, yet still he never refrains from the preparation and production of many new things. 52. Just as when he was the creator of
that one of his first angels whom, on account of affection, he prepared out of fire, and for several thousand years, (53) as they say, they always performed his worship; (54) at last that one was undone by one command that was given by him (the creator) thus: 'Offer homage to this first of mankind, who is prepared by me out of clay.' 55. And deliverance, as to what is not expedient to offer, was expressly mentioned by him. 56. Then that one acted scornfully and contemptibly as to his clay and curse and wrath; (57) and, being perverted to devilry and fiendishness, he was forced out of heaven, (58) and was given a life of millenniums and an eternal dominion, (59) so that he said, 'I will go and make my servants and worshippers astray and deluded 1.' 60. And he was made an injurer and adversary at his own will.
61. At last also that man, to whom he, the supreme angel, was ordered to offer homage with many worshippers, for the sake of affection and respect, (62) is appointed to the garden of paradise (vahist), (63)
so that he may cultivate it and eat all the fruit, (64) except of that one tree of which it is ordered thus: Ye shall not eat of it 1.' 65. And with them (mankind) the deceiver, who is the deluder prepared by him (the creator), (66) is let into the garden. 67. There are some who say he is a serpent 2, and there are some who say he is Aharman 3. 68. And an inclination for eating and greediness is given by that same one himself to mankind. 69. Then, being deceived by that deluder saying: 'Eat of that tree'(70) there are some who say he spoke to Adam(71) they ate through that inclination for eating 4.
72. After eating they became so imbued with knowledge that good and evil were understood and known by them 5. 73: Deprived of that so-great respect and affection, through that one injunction which was forgotten by them(74) and that forgetfulness being likewise owing to that cause(75) they are forced out of the garden of paradise 6he with his wifeby grievous wrath and disrespect, (76) and are delivered into the hand of that enemy who is a deceiver and deluder; (77) so that he has propagated
his own will among them, and has fashioned it upon them.
78. Now which was unjust, the unreasonable command, the after-wisdom, or the scanty knowledge that was more faulty and more mischievous than these? 79. Also this, that is, why was that garden not made by him fortified and strong, so that that deluder could not have gone into it?
80. Even now he (the deceiver) has made and makes multitudes of his (the creator's) servants and worshippers deluded; (81) and, for the same reason, multitudes of apostles and prophets (vakhshvarân) are appointed by him (the creator) for the worldly existence at various times, (82) so that, as he says: 'They may save my servants from the hand of that deluder, (83) and bring them into the true path and way 1.' 84. And even those worshippers of his, in every way through their own will, have slain and subdued (khvâft), by a wretched death, his own apostles 2, whose diligence had brought mankind into the proper path and doctrine.
85. That original deluder and misleader is allowed an eternal life. 86. And, even till now, his will is more triumphant and absolute than that of the sacred being, through deluding and misleading, (87) because those deluded and astray are much more numerous than those in the true path and undeluded.
88. Again, observe this, does he do whatever he
does for a purpose, or not? 89. If he does it without a purpose, he is working foolishly; (90) and it is not proper to praise him who is working foolishly as a sagacious divinity. 91. If he does it for a purpose, (92) then, when no opponent and adversary of his existed, why is the production of all these creatures which are even like demons, disobedient men with the opposing will of that contentious deluder, and innumerable unprofitable creatures?
93. Again, observe this, that, if he knows all that is, was, and will be, it was not expedient for him to produce, through his own knowledge and will, anything of that of which he may be sorry, and which remains opposing his will and command, (94) and becomes an adversary of his apostles and the doers of his will.
95. If they say that this adversary was produced good and virtuous from the beginning, and afterwards became an evil and a misleading of the creatures, (96) that implies, you should say, that, when he is all-powerful, the purpose and will of the adversary, in changing into an evil and a misleading of the creatures, are more successful and more powerful than those of the sacred being; (97) because the evil in any period is stronger than the good.
98. Again, observe this, that when a criminal arises wholly through his will 1, (99) and the minds of criminals are defiled by him himself, (100) and the seed of crime is sown by him himself, (101) when 2 it has grown who has maintained its origin? 102.
[paragraph continues] And by what power of adjudication is one executed and one rewarded 1?
103. Again, observe this, was this world made and created by him (the creator) for a purpose, for his own pleasure and for the sake of the comfort and happiness of mankind, or without a purpose, for his own discomfort and the hurry, trouble, pain, and death of mankind? 104. For if made by him without a purpose, he was acting foolishly; (105) a thing without a purpose being not acceptable by the wise. 106. If made by him for a purpose, and created by him for his own pleasure and the comfort and happiness of mankind, (107) why was it not made by him prosperous and full of happiness?
108. If his pleasure and happiness arise from the preparation of mankind and the creatures, what is the advantage from their slaughter and devastation? 109. If thoughts of crime are not given by him himself to mankind, who is he who gives thoughts of crime different from his command and will? 110. If they are given by him himself, and he now considers them a fault, what is that justice and arbitration of his owing to? 111. For when mankind, with little knowledge and little wisdom, even then, so far as they are able, do not let the lion and wolf and other noxious creatures in among their own young ones and pregnant females, (112) so long as they can destroy them, (113) why has the merciful sacred being now let 2 Aharman and the demons in upon his own creatures, (114) so that they have
made them vile 1, defiled, wicked, and hellish? 115. If done for the sake of experiment, just as that which they assert, that evil was created by him for the sake of an experiment as regards the creatures, (116) why was it not understood by him before those men and creatures existed? 117. Because he whose custom 2 is experiment is not to be called omniscient.
118. The conclusion is this, that the sacred being, if there existed no opponent and adversary of his, was able to create all those creatures and creations of his free from misfortune; why did he not so create them? 119. Or was it not possible for him to wish it? 120. If it were not possible for him to wish it, he is not completely capable. 121. If it were possible for him not to wish it, he is not merciful. 122. If it were known by him that he might say: 'Something or some one will arise, from these creatures and creations which I create, that will not be according to my will,' (123) and ultimately he made them, (124) then to attach now all this wrath and cursing and casting away for punishment in hell, discontentedly to his own performance, is unreasonable.
125. Again, observe this, that if all the crime-meditating and crime-committing sin which mankind think and speak and do, as well as pain, sickness, poverty, and the punishment and misery of hell, cannot arise, except by the will and command of the
sacred being(126) the will and power of the sacred being being eternal 1, (127) because his self-existence is also eternal(128) the hopelessness of eternally saving any one whatever from misery and punishment is now certain. 129. For it is repeatedly declared that there is no learned teacher whatever who keeps one away from these mischievous evil desires, (130) if the worshipper be even of the same kind as those worshippers and high-priests who have issued to mankind this admonition: 'Commit no crime and sin.' 131. Because they wish to set aside the will and command of the sacred being 2. 132. Observe this, too, that, as both are his will, alike crime and alike good works, it is not manifest whether he approves the good works of doers of good works more, or the crimes of criminals.
133. Likewise observe this, those physicians who, on account of the hope of the soul, prepare the medicine of the sick, (134) and remove and dismiss their pain and disease, (115) so that merit is possessed by them (the physicians) owing to that practice; (136) yet they 3 are prepared for the punishment of hell. 137. And those who, on account of affection for the soul, give something to poor, begging, suffering people, (138) and thereby scatter 4 and dismiss their want and poverty, (139) so that merit is possessed by them (the charitable)
owing to that practice; (140) yet it becomes grievous sin for them 1, through anxiety. 141. If they say that those physicians and the remedies which they offer, and also those who give something to the poor and suffering, all exist by the will of the sacred being, (142) it is easier, more reasonable, and more adapted to divinity, when the sacred being is without an adversary and without an opponent, for him not to create that disease and poverty (143) than that, as to those that he himself is to make sick and poor, he should have commanded mankind thus: 'Ye shall make them healthy and free from want.' 144. If they say that his desire is this, that he may occasion the happiness of those physicians and givers by the recompense for it, (145) and make them proceed 2 to the eternal happiness of heaven (vahist); (146) you should observe, as to that, since he acts injudiciously and incapably when, on account of the existence of a complete desire for happiness and prosperity 3 among others, he is an attainer of misery for multitudes of the innocent who are distressed, poor, necessitous, and sick, (147) this may also be said, that if it be not possible for him to occasion happiness and prosperity 4 as regards one, except by the distress, pain, and vexation of some other, (148) that shows that his absolute power and freedom from opposition are not adapted for effectual operation. 149. If they say
that he makes those sick and poor proceed to the eternal happiness of heaven in the spiritual existence, as a recompense for it, (150) that implies, if it be not possible, or not completely possible, for him to give the recompense in the spiritual existence, except through the misery of the worldly one, (151) also this, thathis production of distress in the worldly existence arising unquestionably and unreasonably, through its previous occurrence, (152) and the recompense of the spiritual existence arising doubtfully and incredibly after the production of the distress(153) just as the previous distress is unreasonable, the after recompense occurs alike unreasonably and foolishly. 154. This also may be said, that no after nobility is obtained for previous distress without a cause.
155. Again, observe this, that the existence of one of these three doctrines is inevitable:(156) Every single thing that is, or was, or will be in this world is all by his will, or it is not, (157) or there are some that are by his will and there are some that are not. 158. Because nothing whatever is found which is not good, or evil, or a mixture 1 of both.
159. If they say that all things are by his will, the good and evil are both his desire. 160. If good and evil are both his desire, he is not of perfect will; (161) it is not perfect even as to a single thing. 162. And he who is of imperfect will must be himself imperfect, (163) as is shown above 2.
164. If nothing be by his will, (165) on account of nothing being by the will there is no will. 166. He in whom there is no will is working constitutionally 3,
[paragraph continues] (167) and he who is working constitutionally is constituted and made.
168. If there be some things which are by his will, and there be some which are not by his will, (169) and nothing is found in the world which is not good and not evil, (170) from that it is known that, if the sacred being be of good will, he is not desirous of that evil of it, (171) and that which is evil is not by his will. 172. If his will be evil he is inevitably not desirous of that good of it, (173) and that which is good is not by his will. 174. If that which is good be by the will of the sacred being, it is known that that which is evil arose from another will. 175. If that which is evil be by his will, that which is good arose inevitably from another will. 176. And the inevitability of a rival of the will of the sacred being is manifest.
177. If one says the evil springs from mankind, (178) that implies the inevitabilitysince mankind is not perpetually a self-existencethat evil either arose before mankind, or after, (179) or it arose with mankind. 180. If they say it arose before mankind, (181) that impliessince, apart from the sacred being, there was no other creator and producer (182) that either the sacred being produced that evil, or it produced its own existence itself, or it was itself eternal. 183. If they say it arose after mankind, (184) as to that, when human nature is likewise a production of the sacred being, (185) and the sacred being did not produce evil in the nature of mankind, (186) how has it sprung into action from them? 187. If the evil was set in action by them, apart from the will of the sacred being, (188) and a knowledge, as to their setting about it, existed in
the sacred being, (189) that implies that the sacred being is imperfect in his own will, (190) and mankind are victorious and triumphant in setting aside the will and command of the sacred being, and doing the evil competing with the will of the sacred being. 191. Also the power of the sacred being in his own will and his own servants is manifestly unprevailing. 192. If they say that he makes them proceed afterwards to the awful punishment of hell, (193) as to that 1, if the sacred being be a powerful doer, and not to allow the committal of crime, but to convey it away from their minds, be more advantageous and more adapted to the compassion of a sacred being than if he allowed the committal, (194) yet he has become helplessly contented with it, (195) and, afterwards, contentedly punishes his own creatures, (196) then, as to the one matter I am well considering, either incapability, or scanty knowledge, or scanty goodness is thereby manifested.
197. If they say that the sacred being produced and created evil for the reason that so mankind may fully understand the value of goodness, (198) as to that you should observe that, if evil be requisite and advantageous for understanding goodness, that evil exists by his good will. 199. And if evil exists by his good will, and is requisite and advantageous for him of whom they say that evil is not his wish, it is inconsistent.
200. As to that also which they say, that death, pain, and poverty are produced by him for the reason that so mankind may much better understand the value of life, health, and opulence, (201) and become more grateful unto the sacred being, (202) as to that
you should observe that it is as it were acting unreasonably, in the mode of him who gives poison to mankind for the sake of increasing the value and price of an antidote, (203) so that he may sell the antidote dearer and more costly. 204. To what is this intermeddling action owing, that, for the sake of an understanding of the value of the goodness of other things, he allows pain, death, and misery in some one else?
205. Again, as to that which a multitude of them say, that the sacred being is a ruler over every creature and creation, (206) because his creations are all his own. 207. And he acts about them as is desirable for him, because it is desirable for him, and he is not a causer of distress. 208. Since distress is that which they inflict upon anything that is not their own, (209) then the who, all things being his own, acts about them as is desirable for him, is not a causer of distress 1. 210. As to that you should know that, if, on account of sovereignty, he who occasions distress is not to be called a causer of distress, (211) that is as though even he who is a sovereign and tells a lie is speaking truthfully, (212) and he who, on account of sovereignty, commits crime, sin, theft, and plunder is not to be called a sinner. 213. Such as that which the glorified Rôshan 2, son of Âtûr-frôbag, related as a parable (ângunî-aîtak), (214) that they saw a man who was defiling an ass, (215) when they enquired of him
thus: 'Why dost thou commit this execrable action?' 216. And he spoke thus, in excuse: 'The ass is my own.'
217. Again, you should ask this of them, (218) that is: 'Is the sacred being a friend, or an enemy, to these creatures and creations which are made by him?' 219. If he be a friend of the creatures, that implies that it is not proper for him to desire and to produce the evil and misery of the creatures; (220) yet, as regards the devastation and misery of his own achievements, he has never even become tired of them. 221. If he be an enemy of the creatures, that implies that it is not proper for him to create and produce, through his own competent knowledge, that thing which is his enemy and disablement 1, and struggles against his will.
222. This, too, you should ask, (223) that is: 'Is the sacred being always a well-understanding, good sovereign, occasioning prosperity 2, (224) or an evil-understanding, bad sovereign, occasioning distress? 225. Or is there a time when he is a well-understanding, good sovereign, occasioning prosperity, (226) and is there a time when he is an evil-understanding, bad sovereign, occasioning distress?'
227. If he be always a well-understanding, good sovereign, occasioning prosperity, (228) that implies that there are not, in his country and sovereignty, any oppression, distress, and complaint; (229) and his affection for the creatures and the affection of the creatures for him are pure. 230. Owing to the
same reason he is merciful as regards his own creatures, (231) and his creatures are recounting his praise, utterers of thanksgivings and pure friends towards him. 232. His title of divinity, moreover, is worthily his own.
233. If he be an evil-understanding, bad sovereign, occasioning distress, (234) that implies that he is himself a pure 1 enemy to the creatures, and his creatures are also of a like nature towards him. 235. Owing to the same reason he is an injurer, destroyer, and deluder of the creatures, (236) and his creatures are complainers of him, strugglers concerning him, and pure enemies. 237. His title of divinity, moreover, is the equivalent of an unworthy name; (238) and, even on account of his eternity, the creatures are hopeless of becoming free from the risk of distress and misery for an unlimited time.
239. If there be a time when he is a good sovereign, well-understanding, and occasioning prosperity, and there be a time when he is turned away from this; (240) that implies that his affection for the creatures is mingled. 241. From a mingled affection arises mingled action, (242) and from mingled action a mingled individuality is also manifested. 243. And his creatures also are mingled friends to him. 244. Of one's associates there is none who, if a friend, is not one's enemy, no praiser who is not complaining of one, no glorifier even who is not scorning one; a character of this description is manifest among all creatures.
245. Again, observe this, that since all things which are in the world are not outside of these two terms,
good and evil, (246) that implies, if good and evil are both said to arise from the sacred being and through the will of the sacred being, (247) that the troublesome Aharman is unreasonably defamed; that, being innocent and without an original evolution, he never was, nor will be, evil and headstrong 1. 248. That which is mentioned in scripture (nipîk) 2, that Aharman became headstrong, and was put out of heaven by them, is unreasonable, (249) because even that headstrongness and disobedience were likewise through the will of the sacred being.
250. If even it be said that the good arises from the sacred being and through the will of the sacred being, and the evil from mankind, still Aharman is without an original evolution and innocent, and curses and scorn for him are unreasonable. 251. If all this misery and evil be sent down, not from a different nature, but from the individuality and individual nature of the sacred being himself, (252) that implies that the sacred being is an enemy and adversary to his own tendencies (rûn).
253. Observe this, too, that to speak of the existence of criminality apart from a nature of crime is very deluding; (254) and as it is deluding to imagine a nature of crime that is good, is it more deluding to imagine Aharmanwho is the origin and original evolution of every crimeapart from the creation and achievement of the sacred being?
255. The conclusion is this, that if at first there be anything which is not within the will of the sacred being, provided everything be through the will of the sacred being, no one whatever is a sinner; (256)
and the apostle 1 and religion were appointed without a purpose. 257. If it be expedient to ruin any one for sinfulness, it is more expedient to ruin him who is the original doer, maintainer, and creator of every evil and crime. 258. And if it be said that evil and crime arise from Aharman or mankind, that implies, as they are likewise created and produced by the sacred being, that he is the source of them; in like manner, he who is the cause of the origin of evil (259) is worse than evil.
260. This, too, you should observe, that sects (kêshân) of every kind assert this maxim, handed down by their own high-priests, when it is mentioned and prescribed by them to their own congregation (ram), that is: 'Perform good works and abstain from crime.' 261. On account of delusion they do not consider this, that is, from where and what origin ought the crime to arise, about which it is thus commanded: 'Ye shall not commit it, and I will cast him who commits it into eternal hell.' 262. So that, if that same be owing to the sacred being, it would be easier for him not to produce it, than, after its production, to have brought it to notice and commanded us to abstain from it. 263. So far, indeed, I do not understand any advantage and motive in the production and creation of evil.
264. Again, in their scriptures, he speaks inconsistently about good works and crime (265) thus: 'Good works and crime are both owing to me. 266. Neither demons, nor wizards, are unrestricted in causing the ruin of any one. 267. No one has accepted the religion and done good works, and no one has walked in infidelity and committed crime, except through my will.'
[paragraph continues] 268. In the same scripture he adduces many things which one has to connect, and inflicts curses on the creatures, (269) thus: 'Why do mankind desire and commit that crime which I design for them?' 270. It occurs concerning the will and work of his own hand, and yet he frightens them with punishment in body and soul. 271. In another place he speaks thus: 'I myself am the deluder of mankind, for if it should be my will they would then be shown the true path by me, but it is my will that they go to hell 1.' 272. And in another place he speaks thus: 'Man himself is the causer of crime.'
273. In these three modes the sacred being gives evidence of different kinds about his own creatures. 274. One is this, that he himself is Aharman 2; (275) one is this, that he is himself the deluder of the creatures 3; (276) and, in the other, he makes his own creatures confederates involved with Aharman in deluding 4; so that he implies: 'There are instances when I occasion it, and there are instances when Aharman does.'
277. Through that which he states, that mankind themselves occasion crime, they are made by him confederates with Aharman; he himself being at a distance from the crime. 278. For if mankind commit crime owing to their own nature and their own delusion, that implies that the sacred being, with
[paragraph continues] Aharman, is far from the criminality, (279) because it is as it were not owing to the sacred being, nor yet owing to Aharman.
280. Again, you should ask of those whom they call Mûtazalîk 1 (281) thus: 'Is it the will of the sacred being for all mankind to abstain from crime through their own free will 2, to escape from hell, and to make them proceed to heaven, or not?' 282. If one says that it is not, (283) that implies that an 3 opinion is formed by him as to the little goodness of the sacred being and the evil of his will; (284) and, for the same reason, it is not fitting to glorify him as the divine existence. 285. If one says that it is his will, (286) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the good will of the sacred being; (287) and, for the same reason, it is fitting to glorify him as the divine existence.
288. Ask this, too, that is: 'If it be his will, is he capable of performing it, or not?' 289. If one says that he is not, (290) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the incapability of the sacred being as regards that will of his; (291) and, for the same reason, it is not fitting to glorify him as the divine existence which is almighty. 292. If one says that he is capable of performing his will, (293) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to his
capability for that will of his; (294) and, for the same reason, it is fitting to glorify him as the divine existence which is almighty.
295. Again, ask this, that is: 'When he is capable of performing his will, does he perform it, or not?' 296. If one says that he performs it, (297) that implies that the abstaining from sin, escaping from hell, and bringing to heaven 1 would be manifested unto all mankind; (298) but this is that which is not manifest by his existence, and is falsifying even his own revelation (dînŏ). 299. If one says that he is capable of performing his will, but does not perform it, (300) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the unmercifulness of the sacred being, his enmity to mankind, and the inconstancy of his will. 301. For if he performs it, it is no harm to him himself and is an advantage to mankind; his own will is also continuous thereby. 302. But if he does not perform it, it is no advantage to him himself and, is harm to mankind; his own will is also discontinuous thereby.
303. Again, ask this, that is: 'Does he not perform it through will, or without will?' 304. If one says that he does not perform it through will, (305) that implies that an opinion is formed by him that the sacred being is good-willed, but has no will to do good; (306) and this is even to consider him faulty through inconsistency. 307. If one says that he is without will, and therefore does not perform it, (308) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the weakness of the sacred being in his own self, or the existence of an injurer of his will.
309. The conclusion is this, that, with a manager
of this worldly existence who may be without an opponent, without competition, and perfect in sagacity, goodness, and capability, there should not be all these unworthy actions, trouble and misery, pain and vexation, especially of mankind and the other creatures. 310. Because, when a manager, without an opponent, is perfect in sagacity, he knows means for evil not to occur and also remedies for carrying off evil. 311. When he is perfect in goodness and merciful, he has no wish for the occurrence of evil at first, but a wish for its extinction. 312. When he is perfect in capability, he is capable of not really becoming equally the origin of evil.
313. Now, as in the worldly existence, whose manager is the sacred being, the existence of evil is unquestionably visible, then thus much is not separable from this, either where the manager is provided with an opponent, or is without an opponent:314. If he does not know means for evil not to occur, and remedies for carrying off evil, the imperfect sagacity of the sacred being is thereby 1 manifested. 315. Or the evil exists with his good will, and the imperfect goodness of his will is manifested. 316. Or he is not capable of not allowing the occurrence of evil, and of carrying it off, and the imperfect capability of the sacred being is manifested. 317. And when he is imperfect even in onein sagacity, or goodness, or capabilityit is not fitting to glorify and worship him as the divine existence who is almighty, all-good, and all-wise.
318. This, too, you should know, that since any existing thing, which is acting, is provided with a will, but its nature has not become unrestricted, (319) that
shows that, if the original existence of the creator be divinity, and his nature be light and beauty, fragrance and purity, goodness and sagacity, then such things as darkness and ugliness, stench and pollution, vileness and ignorancethe demoniacal nature itselfought to be far from him. 320. If his original existence be anything demoniacal, and his nature be darkness or stench, ugliness or pollution, vileness or ignorance, then the nature of divinity remains strange to him.
321. If there be any one by whom indecision about all this is insinuated into his own self, that implies that, owing to his indecision about it, there is no discrimination in him as to goodness, amid his own evil. 322. Now, moreover, the hope of the hopeful is absorbed, (323) for even he who goes to heaven through doing good works is, even there, in evil and misery, (324) because there is no distinct discrimination of good from evil, even there, (325) if there be the goodness which is devoid of evil, and there be also the evil which is devoid of goodness, represented as really of the same origin. 326. This is known, that the difference of good and evil is owing to difference of nature. 327. When the two origins of their difference and distinction from the other of different nature are manifest, that hope of the hopeful is just, (328) and sagacity is their passport (parvânak).
329. This, too, you should know, that every statement which is not unconfused by its own limits is unenquiring (apad-khvâh) 1. 330. Likewise this, that the limit of divinity is specially sagacity. 331. And also this, that 2 the limit of sagacity is only 3
advantageous action. 332. Advantageous action is not doing injury; (333) and the modes of doing injury are three. 334. One is that which, being no advantage to oneself, is the injury of another also. 335. [One is that which, being no advantage to another 1], is the injury of oneself also. 336. And one is that which is the injury of oneself and the injury of another also. 337. And from the creation of Aharman and the demons there is no advantage to a wisely-acting sacred being himself, and there is injury of others also; (338) the non-advancement of even his own will, owing to his own work, is always manifested thereby.
339. This, too, you should know, that if the will of the sacred being be goodness, (340) his will is also eternal. 341. And he should be capable of a suitable will, (342) so that, from the beginning even to the end, all the goodness and virtue of the will of the sacred being would have proceeded in the world. 343. Now it is manifest that vileness and vice always proceed much more. 344. Therefore the cause is one of these, either they always proceed through the will of the sacred being, or without his will. 345. If they always proceed through some will of the sacred being, it is evident that his will is also for vileness as well as for goodness, (346) or he is inefficient and changeable in will. 347. Since a will does not change, unless owing to a cause, or unless owing to a changer, (348) that implies one of these two, either it is through some cause, or there exists some other being with him as a changer of his will. 349 If they always proceed not through the will of the sacred being, (350) from that it is evident that the
sacred being is suffering in his own will, and his will is not perfect, (351) or there exists some diminisher of it who is a possessor of will.
352. As to this, too, which they assert, that the sacred being commanded Adam thus: 'Thou shalt not eat of this one tree which is in paradise (vahist) 1,' (353) you should ask of them (354) thus: 'Was the command which the sacred being gave to Adam, thus: "You shall not eat of this tree," good or evil?' 355. If the command were good it is evident that the tree was evil; (356) and it is not befitting the sacred being to create anything that is evil. 357. If the tree were good the command was evil, and it is not befitting the sacred being to give an evil command. 358. If the tree were good, and the command as to not eating were given by him, it is not 2 adapted to the goodness and mercifulness of the sacred being to allot a benefit away from his own innocent servants.
359. As to this, too, which they assert, that the sacred being brings every one whom he wills unto faith and the true way, and, as the recompense, he makes him proceed to the happy progress which is eternal; (360) and him whom he does not will he leaves in irreligion and ignorance of the sacred being, and, for that reason, he casts him into hell and eternal misery 3; (361) you should ask of them (362) thus: 'Is he good whose desire and will are for the religion and faith of the sacred being and the true way, or he whose desire and will are for going astray, irreligion, and ignorance of the sacred being?' 363. If one says that he is good whose desire and will
are for the religion of the sacred being and the true way, (364) now as to that man about whom this is the will of the sacred being, that he shall leave him in irreligion, going astray, and ignorance of the sacred being, and to whom an apostle, or some other person who is a friend, recites the revelation (dînô) of the sacred being and the true way, (365) does that show that the sacred being is thereby better and more beneficial to him, or are that apostle and that person so? 366. If one says that the will of the sacred being about him 1 is good, it is thereby asserted by him, that not understanding the sacred being, not accepting the religion, and going astray are good; but this is not acceptable [and not to be taught 2], on account of error. 367. If one says that his coming to the true religion and understanding the sacred being are thereby better and more beneficial, (368) it is thereby obviously asserted by one that the apostle and person are thereby better to him than the sacred being. 369. Because a person through whom the true way and an understanding of the sacred being are wanted among mankind, and his will is bent upon it, is much better than he who is a sacred being (370) by whose will backsliding (avâzrâsîh), misunderstanding, and irreligion exist among them; and the sacred being is much worse than that person.
371. Observe this, too, that if the criminal thought and criminal action of man are by the will of the sacred being, that already implies that the sacred being produced criminal thought, and sowed crime
in his mind, (372) and Aharman merely invites and instigates him to the committal of crime; that shows that the criminal thought traced to the sacred being and also his desire for it are more violent and worse than the invitation of Aharman. 373. When, too, his listening to what proceeds from Aharman, as to the committal of crime, is likewise due to the criminal thought which the sacred being produced, and so also is his desire for it, it is already obvious that the sacred being is much worse and more sinful than Aharman.
374. As regards these statements, which are enumerated by us, (375) one of these two opinions must arise, (376) either that all are true or that all are false, (377) or there are some which are true and there are some which are false. 378. If all be true, every statement that is not adapted to these statements is false, or something of the two, truth and falsehood. 379. If all be false, every statement that is not adapted to these statements is true, or something of the two together 1. 380. If there be some that are true and there be some that are false, (381) then of those which are truederived from the nature and nucleus (nâf) of truth(382) and of those which are falsederived from the nature and nucleus and original evolution of falsehood(383) the origins are two, one from which arises truth, and one from which arises falsehood.
173:1 Pâz. 'I have written.'
173:2 Sans. and JE insert 'all.'
173:3 Most of this statement can be found in the Qurân in isolated texts, such as 'God there is no god but he . . . He knows the unseen and the visible; the mighty, the wise . . . verily God is forgiving, compassionate . . . It is God who created you . . . and then will make you die.' (Qurân LXIV, 13, 18, 14, XXX, 39; SBE. vol. ix.)
173:4 Assuming that Pâz. vîrôsaa (Sans. âmnâya) is a misreading of Pahl. virôyâk.
173:5 Tracing Pâz. awagad (Sans. avâkirat) to Av. aiwi + gata.
174:1 So in Sanskrit; but, as the two Pâz. verbs end in -un, the original Pahlavi termination may have been -yên (3d pers. optative). and we might read 'which every one may, as it were, observe.'
175:1 K28 inserts shâyad, 'and possible,' and JE inserts Pâz. tvã, which has the same meaning; but these insertions have probably originated in a blunder of the writer of AK, who first wrote Sans. saknoti, the usual equivalent of Pâz. shâyad, but afterwards interlined Sans. samyugyate to correspond with sazed, 'it is expedient,' the word he had written in the Pâz. text.
176:1 Assuming that Pâz. ki, 'what?' stands for kim. Sans. has 'how?' (Pâz. kun.)
176:2 'Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day' (Deut. xxix. 4).
177:1 Assuming that Pâz. khvazâr stands for khûgârak; but, as Sans. has 'injury,' the Pâzand may be a misreading of âzâr.
177:2 Referring probably to the fall of man, detailed in §§ 61-77.
177:3 So in Sans. and JE, as in § 51; but AK and MH19 have 'go' here.
178:1 'And we did create man from crackling clay of black mud wrought in form. And the ginns had we created before of smokeless fire. And when thy lord said to the angels, "Verily I am creating a mortal from crackling clay of black mud wrought into shape; and when I have fashioned it, and breathed into it of my spirit, then fall ye down before it adoring." And the angels adored all of them together, save Iblîs, who refused to be among those who adored. . . . He said, "Then get thee forth." . . . Said he, "O my lord! respite me until the day when they shall be raised." He said, "Then, verily, thou art of the respited." . . . He said, "O my lord! for that thou hast seduced me I will surely make it seem seemly for them on earth, and I will surely seduce them all together, save such of thy servants amongst them as are sincere."' (Qurân XV, 26-40; SBE, vol. vi.)
179:1 'And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it "' (Gen. ii. 15-17).
179:2 'Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made' (Gen. iii. 1).
179:3 'That old serpent, called the Devil and Satan' (Rev. xii. 9, xx. 2).
179:4 Compare Gen. iii. 1-6.
179:5 'And the eyes of them both were opened' (Gen. iii. 7):
179:6 'Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man' (Gen. iii. 23, 24).
180:1 'For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake; because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people . . . but I (Samuel) will teach you the good and the right way' (1 Sam. xii. 22, 23).
180:2 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute' (Luke xi. 49).
181:1 The will of the adversary is probably meant (see § 95).
181:2 So in Sans. and JE, but AK has 'so that.'
182:1 That is, why is the sinner punished while the adversary, who occasions the sin, remains unmolested and triumphant?
182:2 AK has 'let' written above 'admitted.'
183:1 Pâz. khôr, which Nêr. seems to have identified with Pers. kar, as his Sans. gives 'deaf.' It may, however, mean 'blind' (Pers. kûr), as in Chap. XII, 64, 70.
183:2 The Sanskrit takes Pâz. dastûr in its more usual sense of 'high-priest.'
184:1 Sans. has 'the will of the sacred being being powerful and eternal.'
184:2 Without whose will and command the sin and evil cannot arise, as assumed in § 125.
184:3 The sick are probably meant, but the original text is ambiguous.
184:4 Assuming that Pâz. hugârend stands for Pahl. aûkâlend.
185:1 Probably the poor, but the original text is ambiguous.
185:2 Assuming that Pâz. gâmined stands for Pahl. gâmînêd. The old MS. AK ends with this section, and the remaining half of the extant text has been found only in modern copies, having been formerly separated from AK and lost
185:3 So in JE, but JJ has 'nobility,' and MH19 has 'pleasure.'
185:4 JJ has 'nobility.'
186:1 Assuming that Pâz. hamekhtaa stands for Pahl. âmîkhtak.
186:2 Compare Chap. VIII, 108-116.
186:3 That is, 'instinctively.'
188:1 So in MH19 and Sans., but JE omits 'that.'
189:1 Compare Rom. ix. 20, 21: 'Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, "Why hast thou made me thus?" Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour?'
189:2 See Chap. X, 53.
190:1 Assuming that Pâz. apadvâh stands for Pahl. apatûgîh; the two words being nearly alike in Pahlavi letters.
190:2 Reading âvâdîh-kar instead of Pâz. âzâdîgar, 'producing freedom, or nobility,' which two words are alike in Pahlavi writing.
191:1 The word avêzak, 'pure,' is here used idiomatically for 'mere,' precisely as 'pure' is often used in English.
192:1 Literally 'with averted head.'
192:2 Probably referring to the Qurân XV, 26-40 (see § 59 n).
194:1 Texts to this effect are numerous in the Qurân, such as 'whom he pleases does God lead astray, and whom he pleases he places on the right way . . . God leads the wrong-doers astray; for God does what he will . . . in hell they shall broil' (Qurân VI, 39, XIV, 32, 34; SBE, vol. vi).
194:2 As deduced from the passage quoted in § 269.
194:3 As stated in the passage quoted in § 272.
194:4 As implied in the passage quoted in § 272.
195:1 Which is doubtless the original Pahlavi form of Pâz. muthzarî. It is an adjective, meaning 'seceding, schismatic,' derived from Ar. muhtazil, and applied specially to Muhammadan schismatics.
195:2 Assuming that Pâz. âwâd-kâmî stands for Pahl. azâd-kâmîh, which would be identical with the former word in Pahlavi writing.
195:3 JE has 'no' in Pâz. but not in Sans., which negative is evidently a modern blunder.
196:1 JJ has 'saving from hell and escaping to heaven.'
197:1 Reading agas instead of the similarly-written afas, 'and by it.'
198:1 Sans. has 'undesirable.'
198:2 JJ and Sans. omit these four words.
198:3 Literally 'one.'
199:1 The words in brackets are omitted, both in Pâz. and Sans., by JE and JJ, the only two MSS. available.
200:1 See § 64.
200:2 Reading Pâz. ne instead of Pâz. be, 'quite,' as the Sanskrit has a negative participle.
200:3 See § 271.
201:1 The man mentioned in § 364.
201:2 The words in brackets have no equivalent in the Pâzand text, but are indicated by âsvâdyañka in Sans.
202:1 Sans. has 'something mingled twofold.'