Pahlavi Texts, Part V: Marvels of Zoroastrianism (SBE47), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. About the marvellousness which is manifested after the birth of that most auspicious of offsprings from his mother, till his coming to a conference with Aûharmazd 1.
2. One marvel is this which is declared, that on being born he laughed outright; the seven midwives (dayah) 2, who sat around him, were quite frightened thereby; and those terrified ones spoke thus: 'What was this, on account of grandeur or contempt? when, like the worthy man whose pleasure is due to activity, the man's child so laughs at the birth owing to him.' 3. Pôrûshâspô also spoke thus: 'Bring out this manchild to the sheepskin clothing which is soft; the affair was owing to thee, owing to the virtue of thee who art Dûkdâûb, that the advent of glory and coming of radiance to this manchild was openly seen when he laughed outright at his birth.'
4. One marvel is this which is declared, that Pôrûshâspô afterwards went to a Karap, Dûrâsrôbô by name, who was the most renowned for witchcraft in that district, and informed him of the birth of Zaratûst and the wonders which were manifested
therein; he also brought him to the house for the purpose of seeing Zaratûst. 5. That wizard, owing to the coming on of vexation at that glory in Zaratûst, desired with evil intention a really mischievous deceit (shêdŏ), to compress with his paws (gôv) the tender head of that full-glorious child, to cause his death. 6. And here is manifested a great wonder to the multitude, just as revelation mentions it thus: 'Thereupon the paws of that deadly one (mar) are driven back to behind him (that is, reversed (aûskûn) backwards); nor ever after did that deadly one become again a devourer of meat with his jaws by means of those paws.' 7. That Karap also, besides that, examined the marks and evil specks on Zaratûst 1; and Pôrûshâspô, in awful alarm as to the dispersion of the emanation of splendour (âp-dihîh) from Zaratûst, hastened (sârînîd) to make Zaratûst invisible.
8. One marvel is this which is declared, that the Karap Dûrâsrôbô, through witchcraft, cast such fear of Zaratûst into the mind of Pôrûshâspô, and so injured the mind of Pôrûshâspô, that, owing only to that very fear as regards himself, he asked the Karap for the death of Zaratûst. 9. Also about 2 the mode of putting to death for which Pôrûshâspô, owing to the distraction (vishôpisnŏ) by which he becomes helpless, asks Dûrâsrôbô; and that Karap is bringing much firewood together, and to shelter (nipâyîdanŏ) Zaratûst amid that firewood, to stir up a fire, and to make it blaze with the wood were the remedy he arranged (vîrâstŏ); and Pôrûshâspô acted accordingly.
[paragraph continues] 10. And here is manifested a great wonder to the multitude, just as revelation mentions it thus: 'Neither was fire among the vegetation on a tree (that is, it does not come on), nor has fire seized upon plants; but on rushed, at dawn 1, that son-loving mother, and she came forth to him intelligently (hûshûmônd), and seizing him, thereby removed him with her right hand aloft as he sat 2.'
11. One marvel is this which is declared, that after Pôrûshâspô spoke to the Karap Dûrâsrôbô about the fire not burning the child, he asked anew about putting Zaratûst to death; then to ensconce (nipâyîdanŏ) Zaratûst in a narrow path, and despatch many oxen on that path, so that he may be trampled on by the feet of the oxen at night, were the remedy that Karap proposed (girâyîdŏ) to Pôrûshâspô; and Pôrûshâspô acted accordingly. 12. Here also is manifested a wonder of grandeur to the multitude, just as revelation mentions: 'It was that ox walked on which had become sorrowful (that is, its sorrow was great owing to another ox) and it was aged and walked before that one (before the leading ox), it also hastened before that other (that is, it stood up before Zaratûst), and he was greatly pitied by it for the whole day, so that it kept away the oxen from him, being the first that walked thither and the last that walked away; on rushed at dawn that son-loving mother, forth to him she came intelligently,
and seizing him, thereby removed him with her right hand aloft as he sat 1.'
13. One marvel is this which is declared, that Pôrûshâspô came a second time (îdanŏ) to that Karap also about the oxen not trampling on Zaratûst, and asked anew about the mode of putting Zaratûst to death; then to ensconce Zaratûst near a drinking-pool (âvkhûr) in the domain (gêhân), and to drive many horses to that drinking-pool, so that he may be trampled on by the hoofs of the horses, were the substituted 2 remedy that Karap proposed; and Pôrûshâspô acted accordingly. 14. And here is manifested a great wonder to the multitude, just as revelation mentions thus: 'That horse walked on which had become fully-hoofed (that is, its hoofs were very thick); it is yellow-eared and it walks before that one (before the leading horse), and it hastens before that other (that is, it stood up before Zaratûst), and was the first that walked on thither, and the last that walked away; on rushed at dawn that son-loving mother, forth to him she came intelligently, and seizing him, thereby removed him with her right hand aloft as he sat 3.'
15. One marvel is this which is declared, that Pôrûshâspô came again to that Karap, spoke also about the horses, too, not trampling on Zaratûst, and asked anew as to what may be the mode of putting
[paragraph continues] Zaratûst to death; then to have Zaratûst carried off into the den (sûrâk) where a wolf's cubs (hûnûskân) are slaughtered, so that when the wolf arrives and sees the slaughtered cubs, she will wrathfully growl and mangle Zaratûst in revenge for those cubs, was the remedy that Karap proposed; and Pôrûshâspô acted accordingly. 16. And here is manifested a great wonder to the multitude, just as revelation mentions: 'It is when that wolf came on, several Yûgyâsts 1, towards Zaratûst, the wolf was struck dumb by the assistance of the sacred beings, so that its mouth was down at the cubs, one with the other.'
17. One marvel is this which is declared, that Srôsh 2 the righteous and Vohûmanô proceeded to him, and a woolly (kûrûsak) sheep was brought by them unto him; the nurses (dâyagân) 3 also were terrified, apart from him, the whole night. 18. Then on rushed at dawn that son-loving mother, forwards from the position of that woolly sheep she walked, and she, the mistress of the domain (zan-î gehân), spoke thus: 'Thou runnest on violently (ûtayûtŏ) in excess;' for she considered in this way, that 'the wolf is so much better to that son than thou art 4 good to me, when I shall show his 5 bone or blood in thy sight 6.' 19. Forwards to him has she come
intelligently and, seizing him, she thereby removed him, through the grace (dahisnŏ) of the sacred beings, aloft as he sat; and she, the mistress of the domain, spoke thus: 'I shall not give thee up again, my son, not even though both Râk and Nôdar should arrive here together 1.'
20. And it is declared that, afterwards, the Karap Dûrâsrôbô, with a malicious disciple, came to the same district and noticed about the advancement of Zaratûst; and they saw no means for injuring or putting him to death, but his condition (mindavam) was a marvel as full of vigour as this which is declared, that Brâdrôk-rêsh, the Karap, growled thus:—21. 'Then I, who am the most far-seeing of the people in that district of ours as to witchcraft, see upon their district that well-directing (that is, he understands good commands) produce of development (that is, the increase which continually becomes more, which has come and which will arrive), with good flocks (that is, he understands to keep good sheep), with good herds (that is, he understands to keep a herd which is better than another's), the well-exerting (that is, he understands to do work which is better than another's), well-fighting (that is, he understands to do battle well), and perfectly liberal (that is, he understands to exercise beneficial liberality) bantling (hûnûskŏ) of Pôrûshâspô 2, in the three nights while he was begotten out of
his parents. 22. Unto him will Vohûmanô come in the embodied world (that is, Vohûmanô will come unto Zaratûst), and conducting him unto a conference, his good religion will extend into the seven regions of the earth; and so I shall not even let him produce in his mind (that is, he will not know) where and how I shall murder him; and a token of this matter, that one speaks truly, is this, that I state it beforehand, promptly after the full hearing of the statement of the matter, when you heard this statement.'
23. Pôrûshâspô advanced, conveyed in a four-in-hand chariot 1; then, on hearing that statement, and when they had heard that statement, Pôrûshâspô started forth, conveyed in that four-in-hand chariot. 24. And Pôrûshâspô spoke to Brâdrôk-rêsh, the Karap, thus: 'Brâdrôk-rêsh, thou Karap! whatever men they shall behold, cry out when at birth; even the offspring of that secluded person they behold in death, cry out when at birth 2; but what was that which they beheld at the birth of my son? 25. When at birth he laughed outright; was that also beheld in thy son, when at birth did he laugh outright? 26. When Vohûmanô comes unto him, into this embodied existence, it is also said by him on his return: "O Pôrûshâspô! where is thy servant 3?" So, O Karap! concerning him who is my son, it is beheld that he was seen sagaciously by thee.'
27. And 1 when Pôrûshâspô enquired of him thus: 'What was the matter with thee when, through bringing thee unto that son of mine, he was thereby offered; and thou lookedst long up away from him in height, and thou lookedst long down away from him in depth, and thou lookedst long out away from him in different directions?' 28. The Tûrânian, Brâdrôk-rêsh the Karap, spoke in reply thus: 'When through bringing me unto that son was thy offering of him, and I 2 looked long up away from him in height, then the radiance and glory out of him kept together up to the sun, and through him 3 I have accompanied them on the boundary of its radiance and glory; so that I saw this, that mankind through speaking to the soul may attain to the firmament of the sun; but this, namely, how the routine (dâdistânŏ) is in the supreme heaven, was not seen by me. 29. When through bringing me unto that son of thine was thy offering of him, and I looked long down in depth away from thy offering of him, then the radiance and glory out of him kept together unto the sky which is below this earth, and through him 4 to the boundary of its radiance and glory; but this, namely, how the routine is in that sky, was not seen by me. 30. And when through bringing me unto that son of thine was thy offering of him, and I looked long out away from him in different directions, then the radiance and glory from him kept together for adorning this earth, and
through him I have accompanied them on the boundary of its radiance and glory; so that I saw this, that only from the action of this one the future existence will arise; but the routine of the future existence was not seen by me. 31. This son of thine thinks thus: "I will make a grander material existence than that of any other;" so he will also make thy spiritual one, where thou goest; and this son of thine will remain in the great protection of Vistâsp, not in thine.'
32. One marvel is this which is declared, that when Zaratûst was seven years old, that Dûrâsrôbô being joined by Brâdrôk-rêsh the Karap at the village of Pôrûshâspô, on account of the little previous seeing of Zaratûst by the latter, they saw Zaratûst in that neighbourhood when a hut (kâdakŏ) was constructed by him with the children; and they sat with evil intention to injure the mind of Zaratûst through witchcraft, and for that reason fear and terror were cast by them upon the children. 33. Here a great wonder became manifest to them, owing to the powerful intellect, cautiousness, and practice of Zaratûst, just as revelation mentions thus: 'When the other children were excessively terrified at their own silliness of speech, Zaratûst did not quite close the eye in his mind as regards them.'
34. One marvel is this which is declared, that when these two Karaps came to the dwelling of Pôrûshâspô, he ordered the preparation of food for their eating; and his prepared food is chewed up (frâz khayâî-aît), with a gobletful (pûr dôlakŏ) of mare's milk. 35. He also spoke to Dûrâsrôbô thus: 'Thou art the most spirit-worshipping 1 of mankind
in our district; do thou worship this of mine.' 36. A great marvel, owing to the sagacity of Zaratûst at a childish age, is just as revelation mentions that Zaratûst spoke thus: 'I worship this, O father! it is not that which it is necessary for me to worship that he should worship.' 37. And Pôrûshâspô spoke thus: 'It is not that of mine thou worshippest, and it is that of mine he should worship.' 38. As many as three times those persons (gabrâân) carried on those assertions; when up stood Zaratûst and spoke concerning them, and he broke forth with that eternal statement 1, namely: 'The righteous I reverence, men or women; the poor I reverence, men or women; not the wicked, men or women; when any one whatever shall join Pôrûshâspô, where he shall be celebrating worship, the worship shall then be suitable to the worshippers, that is, he shall worship that which it is necessary to worship.'
39. One marvel is this which is declared, that afterwards Dûrâsrôbô the Karap shouted to Zaratûst thus: 'Evil was thy reckoning 2 which, owing to the conduct of fate (bâhar), I, the foremost of the existences embodied in Râk and Nôdâr 3, bring to thee; I am made further worthy where thy fate is carried away from me; now is the joy (parkân) which I convey to him 4 through bringing it on, and this
will occur, so that I may observe he will kill thee with the evil eye in the house.' 40. And here is a great wonder which became manifest about Zaratûst, in the sagacity of his reply to that deadly one at that childish age, which was just like this which revelation mentions, that Zaratûst spoke thus: 'Without the joy of a murderer I observe, with propitiousness and complete mindfulness, that it is thee I notice in that house which is thine 1.'
41. One marvel is that which, after this reply of Zaratûst to Dûrâsrôbô, became manifest in that Karap, just as revelation mentions thus: 'The deadly one became disabled and stupefied as long as the milking of ten mares in milk whose milker is only one.'
42. One marvel is this which is declared, that when that wizard emerged from that stupefaction, he then shouted again to Zaratûst in the same manner, Zaratûst uttered that same reply, and the deadly one became anew disabled and stupefied as long as the milking of twenty mares full of milk whose milker is only one.
43. One marvel is this which is declared, that again when that wizard emerged from that stupefaction, he then shouted to Zaratûst in the same manner, Zaratûst uttered that same reply, and the deadly one becomes anew disabled and stupefied as long as the milking of thirty mares full of milk whose milker is only one.
44. One marvel is this which is declared, that when that wizard emerged from that stupefaction, he
then grumbled thus: 'Do ye have the horse driven for us, and turn round the chariot wherein you harness it; for really this smiting one (ganâk) will destroy me through the arrival of the sacred text and through his possession of authority.' So they had the horse driven, and it was harnessed to the chariot by them. 45. And here is manifested a great wonder to the multitude, just as revelation mentions thus 'When he had proceeded several Yûgyâsts 1 in driving, he stopped in his distress through being terrified, and this occurred which I mention for a warning 2, his semen was expelled, so that it arose in his skin and burst it 3, and his loin thereby broke from his thigh; he then died outright, then his progeny, and then the offspring of his progeny.'
46. One marvel is this which is declared that, even before the coming of Zaratûst to a conference 4, there is manifested in him a mind which is more capacious than the whole world, and more exalted than every worldly possession, with an understanding whose strength is perfectly selected, an intellect of all-acquiring power, and a sagacity of all-deciding ability also with the much heedfulness of the kingly glory, and the full desire for righteousness, the efficacious diligence and authority, and even the superiority in mightiness and grandeur of the priestly glory. 47. Also the handsomeness of body and completeness of strength which are in the character of these four classes of his, which are priesthood,
warriorship, husbandry, and artisanship; besides a perfect friendship for the sacred beings and the good, and an awful enmity for the demons and the vile. 48. That is the nature by which the habits (dâdŏîh) of mankind and bipeds, the perfection and completeness of the sacred beings through the creativeness of Aûharmazd, and its own commemoration of them are provided. 49. So that the sacred beings shall bring a report, as to his superiority, from every one of those who are and were and will be, and of his coming for reminding us of Aûharmazd and of the lord-and-mastership (a hû-va-radîh) of the world, also of the preservation of the creations therein (ayîpŏ-dahisnân), from the destroyer, by the tongue of the many-mannered (kabed-sarâdakŏ) sage, the fully-virtuous one of the age producing no harm (avazand-dahîg) in the world. 50. And the demons on this account, that this is he whom many Kîgs 11 and Karaps have to influence the good to confound and destroy, then also kept their promise and practised friendship.
51. And on the completion of thirty years beyond his birth 2 the archangel Vohûmanô came on in commemoration of Aûharmazd, when he was bringing his Hôm-water (mayâ-î Hômîgân) 3 from the
river Aêvatâk 1, just as this which revelation mentions thus: ‘When Zaratûst came forth to the third effluent (barâ-tagisnîh), that of the good Dâîtî, he further proceeded through that; and when he marched onwards from that, a man was seen by him, who marched from the southern quarter. 52. That was Vohûmanô, and it seemed to him that Vohûmanô was of early form (so that he is more discerning as to a person) and foreseeing (that is, he was beforehand in everything); it seemed to him that Vohûmanô was as much in height as three men's spears; and it seemed to him, as to Vohûmanô that a glossy twig (arûs tâk) was brought by him in his hand, through carrying off which branch the plant was not injured by him; that became the spiritual twig of the religion, and this was indicated by it, that it is necessary to proceed as uninjuriously by the religion. 53. There is some one who says that it became a reminder of the spiritual existence, and this was indicated by it, that it is necessary to proceed as uninjuriously in the world, so that peace may exist with every one.
54. When he came onward to the fourth effluent, as far as the Aûshân-rûd of the good Dâîti (which was the name of it) and he was in it, Zaratûst was bringing the Hôm-water from the middle of it; and on the ascent Zaratûst, bringing his right foot out of the Aûshân-rûd, covered himself with his clothes, and upon that Vohûmanô, advancing, joined him in front.
55. And that man enquired of him thus: 'Who art thou; from whom of them art thou 1?' He replied: 'I am Zaratûst 2 of the Spîtâmas.'
56. The words of Vohûmanô were: 'O Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas! about what is thy foremost distress (that is, for what is thy need when thou becomest quite distressed); about what is thy foremost endeavour; and for what is the tendency of thy desire (lak kâmakŏ-dahisnîh)?' 57. The reply of Zaratûst was thus: 'About righteousness, I consider my foremost distress; about righteousness my foremost endeavour; and for righteousness the tendency of my desire (that is, my need is for that thing, and I am a distressed seeker of righteousness).'
58. The words of Vohûmanô were: 'O Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas! that which is righteousness is existing (that is, a real thing is, as it were, that which is righteousness), so that whatever is that which is righteousness is thus what is one's own.' 59. And Zaratûst spoke thus: 'That which is righteousness exists, and concerning that I am completely clear and aware; but where and how is that radiance which is that whose arrival is through Vohûmanô.'
60. And Vohûmanô spoke to him thus: 'O Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas! deposit this one garment which thou carriest, so that we may confer with him by
whom thou art produced and by whom I am produced, who is the most propitious of spirits, who is the most beneficent of existences, and who is he that I, who am Vohûmanô, am testifying (that is, I am a reminder of him).'
61. Thereupon, Zaratûst thought thus: 'Good is he who is the creator, who is better than this reminder.' 62. Then they proceeded in company, Vohûmanô and Zaratûst; Vohûmanô first and Zaratûst after.
35:1 The contents of this chapter refer chiefly to 'the rearing of Zaratûst.' For the other matters mentioned in Dk. VIII, xiv, 2, see Zs. XIV, .6-12.
35:2 Sls. X, 15 prescribes 'ten women.' Zs. XIV, 13 mentions 'seven wizards (yâtûkŏ)'.
36:1 Compare Zs. XVI, 1-3.
36:2 Pahl. madam-mâ, where mâ = ki, 'what? whatever,' is used for -ik, 'also,' as often happens.
37:1 Reading pavan aûsh, but it might be pavan hûsh, 'with sense,' here and in § 14, where there is nothing to indicate that the child was out all night, but in § 12, 18 he is evidently rescued the next morning.
37:2 Pahl. 'madam pavan aûstakŏ.' Compare Zs. XVI, 7.
38:1 Compare Zs. XVI, 5.
38:2 Possibly 'supplementary' or 'gratuitous.' The word is nîrmatŏ which, as a noun, means the gratuity or honorarium paid to a priest for acting as a substitute for another. Its etymology is obscure, unless it be an abbreviation of nirûmandî, 'strength,' used in the legal sense of 'refresher.'
38:3 Compare Zs. XVI, 6.
39:1 The Yûgyâst is a distance of sixteen Roman miles of a thousand paces each (see Dk. VIII, xx, 19, note). But the writer of the scripture here quoted could have had no idea of the distance he was mentioning.
39:2 A sacred being who personifies 'obedience,' and is a special protector of man, particularly at night.
39:3 It may also be read dehîgân, 'the country-folk.'
39:4 Or 'she would be.'
39:5 Or 'they show my.'
39:6 This seems to be a bitter reproach addressed to her husband; but the ambiguity of the Pahlavi makes its exact meaning rather uncertain.
40:1 See Chap. II, 51. Compare Dk. V, ii, 4; Zs. XVI, 8-13.
40:2 The Pahlavi version of an Avesta text, here translated, is a fair specimen of the complication produced by appending a gloss to every epithet. It is useful as a combination of translation and lexicon, but it is apt to be perplexing, unless all the glosses are carefully omitted by the reader who can dispense with a lexicon. p. 41 For restoring the original Avesta, the Pahlavi translation, without the glosses, is usually the best guide.
41:1 Pahl. 4-ayûgisnô râê (Av. kathruyukhta and ratha).
41:2 This seems to be the meaning of Pahl. 'zag-îk tanŏ armêstôdahisnîh pavan frâz khadîtund margîh, amat pavan zerkhûnisnŏ, barâ bekhûnd.'
41:3 Pahl. 'Pôrûshâspô! aêghat bandakŏ?'
42:1 The first five words of § 28 are here inserted in the MS., so as to combine the two sentences in a perplexing manner.
42:2 The MS. has afat for afam by mistake.
42:3 Or 'that.'
42:4 The differences of form in §§ 28-30 are probably due to errors of copyists.
43:1 Literally 'demon-worshipping;' it is not clear that idolatry is p. 44 intended, but rather some form of worship antecedent to Zoroastrian Mazda-worship which latter had not yet been established. The author of this legend must have supposed that it differed very little from the religion of Pôrûshâspô.
44:1 Reading sakhûn-i leyalmin which is written in Pahlavi exactly like dashinô rigelâ, 'the right foot.'
44:2 Pahl. marakŏ, possibly for marg, 'death.'
44:3 See Chap. II, 51, note.
44:4 Probably referring to his companion Brâdrôk-rêsh who, according p. 45 to most accounts, was the murderer of Zaratûst in his old age. This tradition is mentioned in Dk. VII only here and in § 22.
45:1 Alluding to Dûrâsrôbô's own fate, see § 45.
46:1 See §§ 16 n.
46:2 Pahl. 'avŏ pês yemalelûnam.'
46:3 Or 'in his back and broke it,' if we suppose that pôst, 'skin,' stands for pôst, 'back.' Compare the same legend in Zs. XIX, I-8.
46:4 With the sacred beings.
47:1 See Chap. II, 9 n.
47:2 The remaining contents of this and the following chapter are thus summarized in Dk. V III, xiv, 3, 4:—'His attainment on maturity, at thirty years of age, to a conference with Aûharmazd; and the occurrence of seven conferences in ten years. Many marvels, owing to him are published therein, just as there are some which, collected and selected, are noticed by the Dînkard manuscript,' that is, in this seventh book, in which, however, the details of the seven conferences do not occur; but some are mentioned in Zs. XXI, 8-XXIII, 13.
47:3 See Visp. XI, 2.
48:1 Literally 'single-flowing.' In Bd. XXIX, 4, 5, it is Nâîvtâk which has been translated as 'navigable' in Bd. XX, 34. and as 'flowing in a channel' in Dk. VIII, xxxvii, 38, 42; IX, xvi, 16.—From § 54 it appears to have been a channel of the good Dâîtî river which flows from Aîrân-vêg (see Bd. XX, 13).
49:1 See Pahl. Yas. XLII, 7 c (Sp.).
49:2 According to the numbering of the folios in the old Bombay MS., written in 1659, nine folios were here separated from it last century. They contained the text as far as the end of Chap. IV, and the first eight of them were found at Naosâri about twenty years ago and copied. But all Indian copies, written before that time, omit this mislaid text. See S.B.E., vol. xxxvii, pp. xxxvi, xxxvii.