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Pahlavi Texts, Part V: Marvels of Zoroastrianism (SBE47), E.W. West, tr. [1897], at


1. About the marvellousness which is manifested from the acceptance of the religion by Vistâsp onwards till the departure (vîkhêzŏ) of Zaratûst, whose guardian spirit is reverenced, to the best existence, when seventy-seven years 2 had elapsed onwards from his birth, forty-seven onwards from

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his conference, and thirty-five years onwards from the acceptance of the religion by Vistâsp 1.

2. One marvel is this which is declared that, when Zaratûst chanted revelation in the abode of Vistâsp, it was manifest to the eye that it is danced to with joyfulness, both by the cattle and beasts of burden, and by the spirit of the fires which are in the abode. 3. By which, too, a great wonder is proclaimed, like this which revelation mentions thus: 'There seemed a righteous joyfulness of all the cattle, beasts of burden, and fires of the place, and there seemed a powerfulness of every kind of well-prepared spirits and of those quitting the abode (mân-hishânŏ), "that will make us 2 henceforth powerful through religion," when they fully heard those words which were spoken by the righteous Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas.'

4. And one marvel is the provision, by Zaratûst, of the achievement of ordeal, that indicator of the acquitted and incriminated for sentence by the judge, in obscure legal proceedings; of which it is said in revelation there are about (kîgûn) thirty-three kinds. 5. These, too, the disciples of Zaratûst kept in use, after that time, until the collapse of the monarchy of Irân; and the custom of one of them is that of pouring melted metal on the breast, as in the achievement of the saintly (hû-fravardŏ) Âtûrpâd son of Mâraspend, through whose preservation a knowledge

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about the religion was diffused in the world; and of the manifestation, too, through that great wonder, this is also said, on the same subject, in the good religion, that of those many, when they behold that rite of ordeal, it convinces the wicked ones 1.

6. One marvel is that which is afterwards manifested, after the former captivity of Zaratûs2 and his speaking about the religion to Vistâsp and those of the realm 3, such as the acceptance of the religion by Vistâsp and that which Zaratûst said to him at his original arrival, as regards the declaration of a ruler's religion, thus: 'Thine is this disposition, and this religion which is calling (khrôsakŏ) is a property of that description which thou puttest together, O Kaî-Vistâsp! so that if thou wilt accept this disposition of thine, thou wilt possess this religion which exists (that is, the learning of learnings), and be the ruler that shall cause its progress; thou wilt possess in this disposition of thine, as it were, a new support (stûnakŏ), and any one will uphold thee by upholding it, as thou art the possessor of the support of this religion.' 7. Also the victory of Vistâsp over Argâsp the Khyôn and other foreigners in that awful battle 4, just as Zaratûst explained unto Vistâsp in revelation; and much which is declared by revelation.

8. One marvel is the disclosure by Zaratûst, in complete beneficence, medical knowledge, acquaintance with character, and other professional retentiveness (pîshakŏ-gîrûkîh), secretly and completely, of what is necessary for legal knowledge and spiritual

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perception; also the indication, by revelation, of the rites for driving out pestilence (sêgŏ), overpowering the demon and witch, and disabling sorcery and witchcraft. 9. The curing of disease, the counter-action of wolves and noxious creatures, the liberating of rain, and the confining of hail, spiders, locusts, and other terrors of corn and plants and adversaries of animals, by the marvellous rites which are also relating to the worship of Khûrdad and Amûrdad 1, and many other rites which were kept in use until the collapse of the monarchy of Irân; and there are some which have remained even till now 2, and are manifested with a trifle of marvellousness by the sacred fires. to. And the disclosure to mankind of many running waters from marvellous streams (ardâyâ), and remedies for sickness which are mixed (fargardakŏ) by well-considering physicians; many are spiritual and celestial, gaseous (vâyîg) and earthy; and the worldly advantage of others, too, is the praise (lâfŏ) which ought to come to one for angelic 3 wisdom.

11. One is the marvel of the Avesta itself, which, according to all the best reports of the world, is a compendium of all the supremest statements of wisdom.

12. One marvel is the coming of this also to

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[paragraph continues] Vistâsp, which the archangels announced as a recompense for accepting the religion 1, as he saw Pêshyôtan the happy ruler, that immortal and undecaying son, not wanting food, large-bodied, completely strong, fully glorious, mighty, victorious, and resembling the sacred beings; the unique splendour of Pêshyôtan for the sovereignty of Kangdez in yonder world, as allotted to him by the creator Aûharmazd, is manifested even through that great wonder to the multitude 2.


73:2 The MS. has '57 years,' through '50' being written instead of '70'; but see Chap. III, 51 which states the interval of thirty years between his birth and conference.

74:1 The contents of this chapter and the next, as far as VI, 11, may be connected with the following summary in Dk. VIII, xiv, 9:—'Information also as to many other things which are marvellous, and as to a summary of the statements of these seven enquiries, which is derived from knowledge of every kind.' For the seven enquiries, see Zs. XXII.

74:2 Or, perhaps, 'make the abode.'

75:1 §§ 4, 5 are already translated in AV. p. 145.

75:2 See Chap. IV, 67-69.

75:3 See Chap. IV, 73.

75:4 See Chap. IV, 88-90.

76:1 These two archangels personify health and immortality, respectively (see Chap. II, 19), and are supposed to have special charge of water and plants.

76:2 The ninth century, unless this phrase be copied from one of the sources of the Dînkard.

76:3 The MS. has yazdânŏ-khiradŏîh which has the meaning given in the text; but this word can also be read gehânŏ-khiradŏîh, 'worldly wisdom,' though gêhânŏ is the more usual orthography.

77:1 See Chap. IV, 81.

77:2 It is singular that nothing is stated here about the death or departure of Zaratûst, which event, according to § 1, ought to have concluded this chapter. But in Chap. III, 39, Dûrâsrôb evidently foretells that Zaratûst will be killed by the evil eye of Brâdrôk-rêsh. In Dk. V, iii, 2, the killing of Zaratûst by Brâdrôk-rêsh the Tûr is merely mentioned. In Zs. XXIII, 9, it is stated that Zaratûst passes away (vidîrêdŏ) forty-seven years after his conference and preaching to Vistâsp. While the modern Persian Zaratûst-nâma does not mention his death, though it speaks of Bartarûsh as his chief enemy in his younger days. But compare Chap. III, 22.

Next: Chapter VI