Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Sacred Books of the East by Various

Part 2 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Gnostic, possessed secret books of Zoroaster; and, upon the whole, it
may be said that in the first centuries of Christianity, the religion of
Persia was more studied and less understood than it had ever been
before. The real object aimed at, in studying the old religion, was to
form a new one.

Throughout the Middle Ages nothing was known of Mazdeism but the name of
its founder, who from a Magus was converted into a magician and master
of the hidden sciences. It was not until the Renaissance that real
inquiry was resumed. The first step was to collect all the information
that could be gathered from Greek and Roman writers. That task was
undertaken and successfully completed by Barnabe Brisson. A nearer
approach to the original source was made in the following century by
Italian, English, and French travellers in Asia. Pietro della Valle,
Henry Lord, Mandelslo, Ovington, Chardin, Gabriel du Chinon, and
Tavernier, found Zoroaster's last followers in Persia and India, and
made known their existence, their manners, and the main features of
their belief to Europe. Gabriel du Chinon saw their books and recognized
that they were not all written in the same language, their original holy
writ being no longer understood except by means of translations and
commentaries in another tongue.

In the year 1700, a professor at Oxford, Thomas Hyde, the greatest
Orientalist of his time in Europe, made the first systematic attempt to
restore the history of the old Persian religion by combining the
accounts of the Mohammedan writers with "the true and genuine monuments
of ancient Persia." Unfortunately the so-called genuine monuments of
ancient Persia were nothing more than recent Persian compilations or
refacimenti. But notwithstanding this defect, which could hardly be
avoided then, and a distortion of critical acumen, the book of Thomas
Hyde was the first complete and true picture of modern Parsiism, and it
made inquiry into its history the order of the day. A warm appeal made
by him to the zeal of travellers, to seek for and procure at any price
the sacred books of the Parsis, did not remain ineffectual, and from
that time scholars bethought themselves of studying Parsiism in its own
home.

Eighteen years later, a countryman of Hyde, George Boucher, received
from the Parsis in Surat a copy of the Vendidad Sada, which was brought
to England in 1723 by Richard Cobbe. But the old manuscript was a sealed
book, and the most that could then be made of it was to hang it by an
iron chain to the wall of the Bodleian Library, as a curiosity to be
shown to foreigners. A few years later, a Scotchman, named Fraser, went
to Surat, with the view of obtaining from the Parsis, not only their
books, but also a knowledge of their contents. He was not very
successful in the first undertaking, and utterly failed in the second.

In 1754 a young man, twenty years old, Anquetil Duperron, a scholar of
the _Ecole des Langues Orientales_ in Paris, happened to see a
fac-simile of four leaves of the Oxford Vendidad, which had been sent
from England, a few years before, to Etienne Fourmont, the Orientalist.
He determined at once to give to France both the books of Zoroaster and
the first European translation of them. Too impatient to set off to wait
for a mission from the government which had been promised to him, he
enlisted as a private soldier in the service of the French East India
Company; he embarked at Lorient on February 24, 1755, and after three
years of endless adventures and dangers through the whole breadth of
Hindostan, at the very time when war was waging between France and
England, he arrived at last in Surat, where he stayed among the Parsis
for three years more. Here began another struggle, not less hard, but
more decisive, against the same mistrust and ill-will which had
disheartened Fraser; but he came out of it victorious, and prevailed at
last on the Parsis to part both with their books and their knowledge. He
came back to Paris on March 14, 1764, and deposited on the following day
at the _Bibliotheque Royale_ the whole of the "Zend-Avesta," and copies
of several traditional books. He spent ten years in studying the
material he had collected, and published in 1771 the first European
translation of the "Zend-Avesta."

A violent dispute broke out at once, as half the learned world denied
the authenticity of this "Avesta," which it pronounced a forgery. It was
the future founder of the Royal Asiatic Society, William Jones, a young
Oxonian then, who opened the war. He had been wounded to the quick by
the scornful tone adopted by Anquetil towards Hyde and a few other
English scholars: the "Zend-Avesta" suffered for the fault of its
introducer, Zoroaster for Anquetil. In a pamphlet written in French,
with a _verve_ and in a style which showed him to be a good disciple of
Voltaire, William Jones pointed out, and dwelt upon, the oddities and
absurdities with which the so-called sacred books of Zoroaster teemed.
It is true that Anquetil had given full scope to satire by the style he
had adopted: he cared very little for literary elegance, and did not
mind writing Zend and Persian in French; so the new and strange ideas he
had to express looked stranger still in the outlandish garb he gave
them. Yet it was less the style than the ideas that shocked the
contemporary of Voltaire. His main argument was that books, full of such
silly tales, of laws and rules so absurd, of descriptions of gods and
demons so grotesque, could not be the work of a sage like Zoroaster, nor
the code of a religion so much celebrated for its simplicity, wisdom,
and purity. His conclusion was that the "Avesta" was a rhapsody of some
modern Guebre. In fact, the only thing in which Jones succeeded was to
prove in a decisive manner that the ancient Persians were not equal to
the _lumieres_ of the eighteenth century, and that the authors of the
"Avesta" had not read the "Encyclopedie."

Jones's censure was echoed in England by Sir John Chardin and
Richardson, in Germany by Meiners. Richardson tried to give a scientific
character to the attacks of Jones by founding them on philological
grounds. That the "Avesta" was a fabrication of modern times was shown,
he argued, by the number of Arabic words he fancied he found both in the
Zend and Pahlavi dialects, as no Arabic element was introduced into the
Persian idioms earlier than the seventh century; also by the harsh
texture of the Zend, contrasted with the rare euphony of the Persian;
and, lastly, by the radical difference between the Zend and Persian,
both in words and grammar. To these objections, drawn from the form, he
added another derived from the uncommon stupidity of the matter.

In Germany, Meiners, to the charges brought against the newly-found
books, added another of a new and unexpected kind, namely, that they
spoke of ideas unheard of before, and made known new things. "Pray, who
would dare ascribe to Zoroaster books in which are found numberless
names of trees, animals, men, and demons, unknown to the ancient
Persians; in which are invoked an incredible number of pure animals and
other things, which, as appears from the silence of ancient writers,
were never known, or at least never worshipped, in Persia? What Greek
ever spoke of Hom, of Jemshid, and of such other personages as the
fabricators of that rhapsody exalt with every kind of praise, as divine
heroes?"

Anquetil and the "Avesta" found an eager champion in the person of
Kleuker, professor in the University of Riga. As soon as the French
version of the "Avesta" appeared, he published a German translation of
it, and also of Anquetil's historical dissertations. Then, in a series
of dissertations of his own, he vindicated the authenticity of the Zend
books. Anquetil had already tried to show, in a memoir on Plutarch, that
the data of the "Avesta" fully agree with the account of the Magian
religion given in the treatise on "Isis and Osiris." Kleuker enlarged
the circle of comparison to the whole of ancient literature.

In the field of philology, he showed, as Anquetil had already done, that
Zend has no Arabic elements in it, and that Pahlavi itself, which is
more modern than Zend, does not contain any Arabic, but only Semitic
words of the Aramean dialect, which are easily accounted for by the
close relations of Persia with Aramean lands in the time of the
Sassanian kings. He showed, lastly, that Arabic words appear only in the
very books which Parsi tradition itself considers modern.

Another stanch upholder of the "Avesta" was the numismatologist Tychsen,
who, having begun to read the book with a prejudice against its
authenticity, quitted it with a conviction to the contrary. "There is
nothing in it," he writes, "but what befits remote ages, and a man
philosophizing in the infancy of the world. Such traces of a recent
period as they fancy to have found in it, are either due to
misunderstandings, or belong to its later portions. On the whole there
is a marvellous accordance between the 'Zend-Avesta' and the accounts of
the ancients with regard to the doctrine and institutions of Zoroaster.
Plutarch agrees so well with the Zend books that I think no one will
deny the close resemblance of doctrines and identity of origin. Add to
all this the incontrovertible argument to be drawn from the language,
the antiquity of which is established by the fact that it was necessary
to translate a part of the Zend books into Pahlavi, a language which was
growing obsolete as early as the time of the Sassanides. Lastly, it
cannot be denied that Zoroaster left books which were, through
centuries, the groundwork of the Magic religion, and which were
preserved by the Magi, as shown by a series of documents from the time
of Hermippus. Therefore I am unable to see why we should not trust the
Magi of our days when they ascribe to Zoroaster those traditional books
of their ancestors, in which nothing is found to indicate fraud or a
modern hand."

Two years afterwards, in 1793, was published in Paris a book which,
without directly dealing with the "Avesta," was the first step taken to
make its authenticity incontrovertible. It was the masterly memoir by
Sylvestre de Sacy, in which the Pahlavi inscriptions of the first
Sassanides were deciphered for the first time and in a decisive manner.
De Sacy, in his researches, had chiefly relied on the Pahlavi lexicon
published by Anquetil, whose work vindicated itself thus--better than by
heaping up arguments--by promoting discoveries. The Pahlavi inscriptions
gave the key, as is well-known, to the Persian cuneiform inscriptions,
which were in return to put beyond all doubt the genuineness of the Zend
language.

Tychsen, in an appendix to his Commentaries, pointed to the importance
of the new discovery: "This," he writes, "is a proof that the Pahlavi
was used during the reign of the Sassanides, for it was from them that
these inscriptions emanated, as it was by them--nay, by the first of
them, Ardeshir Babagan--that the doctrine of Zoroaster was revived. One
can now understand why the Zend books were translated into Pahlavi.
Here, too, everything agrees, and speaks loudly for their antiquity and
genuineness."

About the same time Sir William Jones, then president of the Royal
Asiatic Society, which he had just founded, resumed in a discourse
delivered before that society the same question he had solved in such an
off-hand manner twenty years before. He was no longer the man to say,
"_Sied-il a un homme ne dans ce siecle de s'infatuer de fables
indiennes?_" and although he had still a spite against Anquetil, he
spoke of him with more reserve than in 1771. However, his judgment on
the "Avesta" itself was not altered on the whole, although, as he
himself declared, he had not thought it necessary to study the text. But
a glance at the Zend glossary published by Anquetil suggested to him a
remark which makes Sir William Jones, in spite of himself, the creator
of the comparative grammar of Sanscrit and Zend. "When I perused the
Zend glossary," he writes, "I was inexpressibly surprised to find that
six or seven words in ten are pure Sanscrit, and even some of their
inflexions formed by the rules of the Vyacaran, as yushmacam, the
genitive plural of yushmad. Now M. Anquetil most certainly, and the
Persian compiler most probably, had no knowledge of Sanscrit, and could
not, therefore, have invented a list of Sanscrit words; it is,
therefore, an authentic list of Zend words, which has been preserved in
books or by tradition; it follows that the language of the Zend was at
least a dialect of the Sanscrit, approaching perhaps as nearly to it as
the Pracrit, or other popular idioms, which we know to have been spoken
in India two thousand years ago." This conclusion, that Zend is a
Sanscrit dialect, was incorrect, the connection assumed being too close;
but it was a great thing that the near relationship of the two languages
should have been brought to light.

In 1798 Father Paulo de St. Barthelemy further developed Jones's remark
in an essay on the antiquity of the Zend language. He showed its
affinity with the Sanscrit by a list of such Zend and Sanscrit words as
were least likely to have been borrowed, viz., those that designate the
degrees of relationship, the limbs of the body, and the most general and
essential ideas. Another list, intended to show, on a special topic, how
closely connected the two languages are, contains eighteen words taken
from the liturgic language used in India and Persia. This list was not
very happily drawn up, as out of the eighteen instances there is not a
single one that stands inquiry; yet it was a happy idea, and one which
has not even yet yielded all that it promised. His conclusions were that
in a far remote antiquity Sanscrit was spoken in Persia and Media, that
it gave birth to the Zend language, and that the "Zend-Avesta" is
authentic: "Were it but a recent compilation," he writes, "as Jones
asserts, how is it that the oldest rites of the Parsis, that the old
inscriptions of the Persians, the accounts of the Zoroastrian religion
by the classical writers, the liturgic prayers of the Parsis, and,
lastly, even their books do not reveal the pure Sanscrit, as written in
the land wherein the Parsis live, but a mixed language, which is as
different from the other dialects of India as French is from Italian?"
This amounted, in fact, to saying that the Zend is not derived from the
Sanscrit, but that both are derived from another and older language. The
Carmelite had a dim notion of that truth, but, as he failed to express
it distinctly, it was lost for years, and had to be rediscovered.

The first twenty-five years of this century were void of results, but
the old and sterile discussions as to the authenticity of the texts
continued in England. In 1808 John Leyden regarded Zend as a Pracrit
dialect, parallel to Pali; Pali being identical with the Magadhi dialect
and Zend with the Sauraseni. In the eyes of Erskine, Zend was a Sanscrit
dialect, imported from India by the founders of Mazdeism, but never
spoken in Persia. His main argument was that Zend is not mentioned among
the seven dialects which were current in ancient Persia according to the
Farhang-i Jehangiri, and that Pahlavi and Persian exhibit no close
relationship with Zend.

In Germany, Meiners had found no followers. The theologians appealed to
the "Avesta," in their polemics, and Rhode sketched the religious
history of Persia after the translations of Anquetil.

Erskine's essay provoked a decisive answer from Emmanuel Rask, one of
the most gifted minds in the new school of philology, who had the honor
of being a precursor of both Grimm and Burnouf. He showed that the list
of the Jehangiri referred to an epoch later than that to which Zend must
have belonged, and to parts of Persia different from those where it must
have been spoken; he showed further that modern Persian is not derived
from Zend, but from a dialect closely connected with it; and, lastly, he
showed what was still more important, that Zend was not derived from
Sanscrit. As to the system of its sounds, Zend approaches Persian rather
than Sanscrit; and as to its grammatical forms, if they often remind one
of Sanscrit, they also often remind one of Greek and Latin, and
frequently have a special character of their own. Rask also gave the
paradigm of three Zend nouns, belonging to different declensions, as
well as the right pronunciation of the Zend letters, several of which
had been incorrectly given by Anquetil. This was the first essay on Zend
grammar, and it was a masterly one.

The essay published in 1831 by Peter von Bohlen on the origin of the
Zend language threw the matter forty years back. According to him, Zend
is a Pracrit dialect, as it had been pronounced by Jones, Leyden, and
Erskine. His mistake consisted in taking Anquetil's transcriptions of
the words, which are often so incorrect as to make them look like
corrupted forms when compared with Sanscrit. And, what was worse, he
took the proper names in their modern Parsi forms, which often led him
to comparisons that would have appalled Menage. Thus Ahriman became a
Sanscrit word ariman, which would have meant "the fiend"; yet Bohlen
might have seen in Anquetil's work itself that Ahriman is nothing but
the modern form of Angra Mainyu, words which hardly remind one of the
Sanscrit ariman. Again, the angel Vohu-mano, or "good thought," was
reduced, by means of the Parsi form Bahman, to the Sanscrit bahuman, "a
long-armed god."

At length came Burnouf. From the time when Anquetil had published his
translation, that is to say during seventy years, no real progress had
been made in knowledge of the Avesta texts. The notion that Zend and
Sanscrit are two kindred languages was the only new idea that had been
acquired, but no practical advantage for the interpretation of the texts
had resulted from it. Anquetil's translation was still the only guide,
and as the doubts about the authenticity of the texts grew fainter, the
authority of the translation became greater, the trust reposed in the
"Avesta" being reflected on to the work of its interpreter. The Parsis
had been the teachers of Anquetil; and who could ever understand the
holy writ of the Parsis better than the Parsis themselves? There was no
one who even tried to read the texts by the light of Anquetil's
translation, to obtain a direct understanding of them.

About 1825 Eugene Burnouf was engaged in a course of researches on the
geographical extent of the Aryan languages in India. After he had
defined the limits which divide the races speaking Aryan languages from
the native non-brahmanical tribes in the south, he wanted to know if a
similar boundary had ever existed in the northwest; and if it is outside
of India that the origin of the Indian languages and civilization is to
be sought for. He was thus led to study the languages of Persia, and,
first of all, the oldest of them, the Zend. But as he tried to read the
texts by help of Anquetil's translation, he was surprised to find that
this was not the clue he had expected. He saw that two causes had misled
Anquetil: on the one hand, his teachers, the Parsi dasturs, either knew
little themselves or taught him imperfectly, not only the Zend, but even
the Pahlavi intended to explain the meaning of the Zend; so that the
tradition on which his work rested, being incorrect in itself, corrupted
it from the very beginning; on the other hand, as Sanscrit was unknown
to him and comparative grammar did not as yet exist, he could not supply
the defects of tradition by their aid. Burnouf, laying aside tradition
as found in Anquetil's translation, consulted it as found in a much
older and purer form, in a Sanscrit translation of the Yasna made in the
fifteenth century by the Parsi Neriosengh in accordance with the old
Pahlavi version. The information given by Neriosengh he tested, and
either confirmed or corrected, by a comparison of parallel passages and
by the help of comparative grammar, which had just been founded by Bopp,
and applied by him successfully to the explanation of Zend forms. Thus
he succeeded in tracing the general outlines of the Zend lexicon and in
fixing its grammatical forms, and founded the only correct method of
interpreting the "Avesta." He also gave the first notions of a
comparative mythology of the "Avesta" and the "Veda," by showing the
identity of the "Vedic Yama" with the "Avesta Yima," and of Traitana
with Thraetaona and Feridun. Thus he made his "Commentaire sur le Yasna"
a marvellous and unparalleled model of critical insight and steady good
sense, equally opposed to the narrowness of mind which clings to matters
of fact without rising to their cause and connecting them with the
series of associated phenomena, and to the wild and uncontrolled spirit
of comparison, which, by comparing everything, confounds everything.
Never sacrificing either tradition to comparison or comparison to
tradition he knew how to pass from the one to the other, and was so
enabled both to discover facts and to explain them.

At the same time the ancient Persian inscriptions at Persepolis and
Behistun were deciphered by Burnouf in Paris, by Lassen in Bonn, and by
Sir Henry Rawlinson in Persia. Thus was revealed the existence, at the
time of the first Achaemenian kings, of a language closely connected
with that of the "Avesta," and the last doubts as to the authenticity of
the Zend books were at length removed. It would have required more than
an ordinary amount of scepticism to look still upon the Zend as an
artificial language, of foreign importation, without root in the land
where it was written, and in the conscience of the people for whom it
was written, at the moment when a twin language, bearing a striking
likeness to it in nearly every feature, was suddenly making itself heard
from the mouth of Darius, and speaking from the very tomb of the first
Achaemenian king. That unexpected voice silenced all controversies, and
the last echoes of the loud discussion which had been opened in 1771
died away unheeded.

[Footnote 9: A century ago, it is said, they still numbered nearly
100,000 souls; but there now remain no more than 8,000 or 9,000,
scattered in Yazd and the surrounding villages. Houtum-Schindler gave
8,499 in 1879; of that number there were 6,483 in Yazd, 1,756 in Kirman,
150 in Teheran.]

SELECTIONS FROM THE ZEND-AVESTA

THE CREATION[10]

Ahura Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathustra, saying:--

"I have made every land dear to its people, even though it had no charms
whatever in it: had I not made every land dear to its people, even
though it had no charms whatever in it, then the whole living world
would have invaded the Airyana Vaego. The first of the good lands and
countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the Airyana Vaego, by the
Vanguhi Daitya. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he
counter-created the serpent in the river and Winter, a work of the
Devas. There are ten winter months there, two summer months; and those
are cold for the waters, cold for the earth, cold for the trees. Winters
fall there, the worst of all plagues. The second of the good lands and
countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the plain which the
Sughdhas inhabit. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he
counter-created the locust, which brings death unto cattle and plants.
The third of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created,
was the strong, holy Mouru. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all
death, and he counter-created plunder and sin. The fourth of the good
lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the beautiful
Bakhdhi with high-lifted banners. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is
all death, and he counter-created the ants and the ant-hills. The fifth
of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was
Nisaya, that lies between Mouru and Bakhdhi. Thereupon came Angra
Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created the sin of unbelief.
The sixth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created,
was the house-deserting Haroyu. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all
death, and he counter-created tears and wailing. The seventh of the good
lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Vaekereta, of the
evil shadows. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he
counter-created the Pairika Knathaiti, who clave unto Keresaspa. The
eighth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created,
was Urva of the rich pastures. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all
death, and he counter-created the sin of pride. The ninth of the good
lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Khnenta which the
Vehrkanas inhabit. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he
counter-created a sin for which there is no atonement, the unnatural
sin. The tenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda,
created, was the beautiful Harahvaiti. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who
is all death, and he counter-created a sin for which there is no
atonement, the burying of the dead. The eleventh of the good lands and
countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the bright, glorious
Haetumant. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he
counter-created the evil work of witchcraft. And this is the sign by
which it is known, this is that by which it is seen at once: wheresoever
they may go and raise a cry of sorcery, there the worst works of
witchcraft go forth. From there they come to kill and strike at heart,
and they bring locusts as many as they want. The twelfth of the good
lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was Ragha of the
three races. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he
counter-created the sin of utter unbelief. The thirteenth of the good
lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the strong, holy
Kakhra. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he
counter-created a sin for which there is no atonement, the cooking of
corpses. The fourteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura
Mazda, created, was the four-cornered Varena, for which was born
Thraetaona, who smote Azi Dahaka. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is
all death, and he counter-created abnormal issues in women and barbarian
oppression. The fifteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura
Mazda, created, was the Seven Rivers. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who
is all death, and he counter-created abnormal issues in women and
excessive heat. The sixteenth of the good lands and countries which I,
Ahura Mazda, created, was the land by the sources of the Rangha, where
people live who have no chiefs. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all
death, and he counter-created Winter, a work of the Devas. There are
still other lands and countries, beautiful and deep, longing and asking
for the good, and bright."

[Footnote 10: This chapter is an enumeration of sixteen perfect lands
created by Ahura Mazda, and of as many plagues created in opposition by
Angra Mainyu. Many attempts have been made, not only to identify these
sixteen lands, but also to draw historical conclusions from their order
of succession, as representing the actual order of the migrations and
settlements of the old Iranian tribes. But there is nothing in the text
to support such wide inferences. We have here nothing more than a
geographical description of Iran, seen from the religious point of
view.]

MYTH OF YIMA

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

"O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world,
thou Holy One! Who was the first mortal, before myself, Zarathustra,
with whom thou, Ahura Mazda, didst converse, whom thou didst teach the
Religion of Ahura, the Religion of Zarathustra?"

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The fair Yima, the good shepherd, O holy Zarathustra! he was the first
mortal, before thee, Zarathustra, with whom I, Ahura Mazda, did
converse, whom I taught the Religion of Ahura, the Religion of
Zarathustra. Unto him, O Zarathustra, I, Ahura Mazda, spake, saying:
'Well, fair Yima, son of Vivanghat, be thou the preacher and the bearer
of my Religion!' And the fair Yima, O Zarathustra, replied unto me,
saying: 'I was not born, I was not taught to be the preacher and the
bearer of thy Religion.' Then I, Ahura Mazda, said thus unto him, O
Zarathustra, 'Since thou dost not consent to be the preacher and the
bearer of my Religion, then make thou my world increase, make my world
grow: consent thou to nourish, to rule, and to watch over my world.' And
the fair Yima replied unto me, O Zarathustra, saying: 'Yes! I will make
thy world increase, I will make thy world grow. Yes! I will nourish, and
rule, and watch over thy world. There shall be, while I am king, neither
cold wind nor hot wind, neither disease nor death.' Then I, Ahura Mazda,
brought two implements unto him: a golden seal and a poniard inlaid with
gold. Behold, here Yima bears the royal sway! Thus, under the sway of
Yima, three hundred winters passed away, and the earth was replenished
with flocks and herds, with men and dogs and birds and with red blazing
fires, and there was room no more for flocks, herds, and men. Then I
warned the fair Yima, saying: 'O fair Yima, son of Vivanghat, the earth
has become full of flocks and herds, of men and dogs and birds and of
red blazing fires, and there is room no more for flocks, herds, and
men.' Then Yima stepped forward, in light, southwards, on the way of the
sun, and afterwards he pressed the earth with the golden seal, and bored
it with the poniard, speaking thus: 'O Spenta Armaiti, kindly open
asunder and stretch thyself afar, to bear flocks and herds and men.' And
Yima made the earth grow larger by one-third than it was before, and
there came flocks and herds and men, at their will and wish, as many as
he wished. Thus, under the sway of Yima, six hundred winters passed
away, and the earth was replenished with flocks and herds, with men and
dogs and birds and with red blazing fires, and there was room no more
for flocks, herds, and men. And I warned the fair Yima, saying: 'O fair
Yima, son of Vivanghat, the earth has become full of flocks and herds,
of men and dogs and birds and of red blazing fires, and there is room no
more for flocks, herds, and men.'

"Then Yima stepped forward, in light, southwards, on the way of the sun,
and afterwards he pressed the earth with the golden seal, and bored it
with the poniard, speaking thus: 'O Spenta Armaiti, kindly open asunder
and stretch thyself afar, to bear flocks and herds and men.' And Yima
made the earth grow larger by two-thirds than it was before, and there
came flocks and herds and men, at their will and wish, as many as he
wished. Thus, under the sway of Yima, nine hundred winters passed away,
and the earth was replenished with flocks and herds, with men and dogs
and birds and with red blazing fires, and there was room no more for
flocks, herds, and men. And I warned the fair Yima, saying: 'O fair
Yima, son of Vivanghat, the earth has become full of flocks and herds,
of men and dogs and birds and of red blazing fires, and there is room no
more for flocks, herds, and men.' Then Yima stepped forward, in light,
southwards, on the way of the sun, and afterwards he pressed the earth
with the golden seal, and bored it with the poniard, speaking thus: 'O
Spenta Armaiti, kindly open asunder and stretch thyself afar, to bear
flocks and herds and men.' And Yima made the earth grow larger by
three-thirds than it was before, and there came flocks and herds and
men, at their will and wish, as many as he wished."

THE EARTH

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the first place
where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place
whereon one of the faithful steps forward, O Spitama Zarathustra! with
the log in his hand, the Baresma in his hand, the milk in his hand, the
mortar in his hand, lifting up his voice in good accord with religion,
and beseeching Mithra, the lord of the rolling country-side, and Rama
Hvastra." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the
second place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It
is the place whereon one of the faithful erects a house with a priest
within, with cattle, with a wife, with children, and good herds within;
and wherein afterwards the cattle continue to thrive, virtue to thrive,
fodder to thrive, the dog to thrive, the wife to thrive, the child to
thrive, the fire to thrive, and every blessing of life to thrive." O
Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the third place
where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place
where one of the faithful sows most corn, grass, and fruit, O Spitama
Zarathustra! where he waters ground that is dry, or drains ground that
is too wet." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the
fourth place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It
is the place where there is most increase of flocks and herds." O Maker
of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the fifth place where the
Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place where
flocks and herds yield most dung."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the first place
where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the
neck of Arezura, whereon the hosts of fiends rush forth from the burrow
of the Drug." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the
second place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered:
"It is the place wherein most corpses of dogs and of men lie buried." O
Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the third place
where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the
place whereon stand most of those Dakhmas on which the corpses of men
are deposited." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is
the fourth place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda
answered: "It is the place wherein are most burrows of the creatures of
Angra Mainyu." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is
the fifth place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda
answered: "It is the place whereon the wife and children of one of the
faithful, O Spitama Zarathustra! are driven along the way of captivity,
the dry, the dusty way, and lift up a voice of wailing."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the first that
rejoices the Earth with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he
who digs out of it most corpses of dogs and men." O Maker of the
material world, thou Holy One! Who is the second that rejoices the Earth
with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who pulls down most
of those Dakhmas on which the corpses of men are deposited. Let no man
alone by himself carry a corpse. If a man alone by himself carry a
corpse, the Nasu rushes upon him. This Drug Nasu falls upon and stains
him, even to the end of the nails, and he is unclean, thenceforth,
forever and ever." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What
shall be the place of that man who has carried a corpse alone? Ahura
Mazda answered: "It shall be the place on this earth wherein is least
water and fewest plants, whereof the ground is the cleanest and the
driest and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of
Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the
faithful." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How far from
the fire? How far from the water? How far from the consecrated bundles
of Baresma? How far from the faithful? Ahura Mazda answered: "Thirty
paces from the fire, thirty paces from the water, thirty paces from the
consecrated bundles of Baresma, three paces from the faithful. There, on
that place, shall the worshippers of Mazda erect an enclosure, and
therein shall they establish him with food, therein shall they establish
him with clothes, with the coarsest food and with the most worn-out
clothes. That food he shall live on, those clothes he shall wear, and
thus shall they let him live, until he has grown to the age of a Hana,
or of a Zaurura, or of a Pairista-khshudra. And when he has grown to the
age of a Hana, or of a Zaurura, or of a Pairista-khshudra, then the
worshippers of Mazda shall order a man strong, vigorous, and skilful, to
cut the head off his neck, in his enclosure on the top of the mountain:
and they shall deliver his corpse unto the greediest of the
corpse-eating creatures made by the beneficent Spirit, unto the
vultures, with these words: 'The man here has repented of all his evil
thoughts, words, and deeds. If he has committed any other evil deed, it
is remitted by his repentance: if he has committed no other evil deed,
he is absolved by his repentance, forever and ever.'" O Maker of the
material world, thou Holy One! Who is the third that rejoices the Earth
with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who fills up most
burrows of the creatures of Angra Mainyu." O Maker of the material
world, thou Holy One! Who is the fourth that rejoices the Earth with
greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who sows most corn, grass,
and fruit, O Spitama Zarathustra! who waters ground that is dry, or
drains ground that is too wet. Unhappy is the land that has long lain
unsown with the seed of the sower and wants a good husbandman, like a
well-shapen maiden who has long gone childless and wants a good husband.
He who would till the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm
and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him will she bring
forth plenty of fruit: even as it were a lover sleeping with his bride
on her bed; the bride will bring forth children, the earth will bring
forth plenty of fruit. He who would till the earth, O Spitama
Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the
left, unto him thus says the Earth: 'O thou man! who dost till me with
the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, here shall
I ever go on bearing, bringing forth all manner of food, bringing corn
first to thee.' He who does not till the Earth, O Spitama Zarathustra!
with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto
him thus says the Earth: 'O thou man! who dost not till me with the left
arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, ever shalt thou
stand at the door of the stranger, among those who beg for bread; the
refuse and the crumbs of the bread are brought unto thee, brought by
those who have profusion of wealth.'"

O maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the food that
fills the Religion of Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It is sowing corn again and again, O Spitama Zarathustra! He who sows
corn, sows righteousness: he makes the Religion of Mazda walk, he
suckles the Religion of Mazda; as well as he could do with a hundred
man's feet, with a thousand woman's breasts, with ten thousand
sacrificial formulas. When barley was created, the Devas started up;
when it grew, then fainted the Devas' hearts; when the knots came, the
Devas groaned; when the ear came, the Devas flew away. In that house the
Devas stay, wherein wheat perishes. It is as though red hot iron were
turned about in their throats, when there is plenty of corn. Then let
people learn by heart this holy saying: 'No one who does not eat, has
strength to do heavy works of holiness, strength to do works of
husbandry, strength to beget children. By eating every material creature
lives, by not eating it dies away.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the fifth that
rejoices the Earth with greatest joy?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It is he who kindly and piously gives to one of the faithful who tills
the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! He who would not kindly and piously
give to one of the faithful who tills the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra!
Spenta Armaiti will throw him down into darkness, down into the world of
woe, the world of hell, down into the deep abyss."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the
earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall
not disinter it within half a year, what is the penalty that he shall
pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Five hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, five hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the
earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall
not disinter it within a year, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahe-astra, a thousand stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the
earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall
not disinter it within the second year, what is the penalty for it? What
is the atonement for it? What is the cleansing from it?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"For that deed there is nothing that can pay, nothing that can atone,
nothing that can cleanse from it; it is a trespass for which there is no
atonement, forever and ever."

When is it so?

"It is so, if the sinner be a professor of the Religion of Mazda, or one
who has been taught in it. But if he be not a professor of the Religion
of Mazda, nor one who has been taught in it, then his sin is taken from
him, if he makes confession of the Religion of Mazda and resolves never
to commit again such forbidden deeds.

"The Religion of Mazda indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! takes away from
him who makes confession of it the bonds of his sin; it takes away the
sin of breach of trust; it takes away the sin of murdering one of the
faithful; it takes away the sin of burying a corpse; it takes away the
sin of deeds for which there is no atonement; it takes away the worst
sin of usury; it takes away any sin that may be sinned. In the same way
the Religion of Mazda, O Spitama Zarathustra! cleanses the faithful from
every evil thought, word, and deed, as a swift-rushing mighty wind
cleanses the plain. So let all the deeds he doeth be henceforth good, O
Zarathustra! a full atonement for his sin is effected by means of the
Religion of Mazda."

CONTRACTS AND OUTRAGES[11]

"He that does not restore a loan to the man who lent it, steals the
thing and robs the man. This he doeth every day, every night, as long as
he keep in his house his neighbor's property, as though it were his
own."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How many in number are thy
contracts, O Ahura Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"They are six in number, O holy Zarathustra. The first is the
word-contract; the second is the hand-contract; the third is the
contract to the amount of a sheep; the fourth is the contract to the
amount of an ox; the fifth is the contract to the amount of a man; the
sixth is the contract to the amount of a field, a field in good land, a
fruitful one, in good bearing. The word-contract is fulfilled by words
of mouth. It is cancelled by the hand-contract; he shall give as damages
the amount of the hand-contract. The hand-contract is cancelled by the
sheep-contract; he shall give as damages the amount of the
sheep-contract. The sheep-contract is cancelled by the ox-contract; he
shall give as damages the amount of the ox-contract. The ox-contract is
cancelled by the man-contract; he shall give as damages the amount of
the man-contract. The man-contract is cancelled by the field-contract;
he shall give as damages the amount of the field-contract."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
word-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"His sin makes his Nabanazdistas answerable for three hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
hand-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"His sin makes his Nabanazdistas answerable for six hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
sheep-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"His sin makes his Nabanazdistas answerable for seven hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
ox-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"His sin makes his Nabanazdistas answerable for eight hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
man-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"His sin makes his Nabanazdistas answerable for nine hundred years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
field-contract, how many are involved in his sin?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"His sin makes his Nabanazdistas answerable for a thousand years."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
word-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Three hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, three hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
hand-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Six hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, six hundred stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
sheep-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Seven hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, seven hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
ox-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Eight hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, eight hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
man-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Nine hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, nine hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man break the
field-contract, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahe-astra, a thousand stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

If a man rise up with a weapon in his hand, it is an Agerepta. If he
brandish it, it is an Avaoirista. If he actually smite a man with
malicious aforethought, it is an Aredus. Upon the fifth Aredus he
becomes a Peshotanu.

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! He that committeth an
Agerepta, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Five stripes with the Aspahe-astra, five stripes with the
Sraosho-karana; on the second Agerepta, ten stripes with the
Aspahe-astra, ten stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the third, fifteen
stripes with the Aspahe-astra, fifteen stripes with the Sraosho-karana;
on the fourth, thirty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, thirty stripes with
the Sraosho-karana; on the fifth, fifty stripes with the Aspahe-astra,
fifty stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the sixth, sixty stripes with
the Aspahe-astra, sixty stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the seventh,
ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

If a man commit an Agerepta for the eighth time, without having atoned
for the preceding, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

If a man commit an Agerepta, and refuse to atone for it, what penalty
shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an
Avaoirista, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Ten stripes with the Aspahe-astra, ten stripes with the Sraosho-karana;
on the second Avaoirista, fifteen stripes with the Aspahe-astra, fifteen
stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the third, thirty stripes with the
Aspahe-astra, thirty stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the fourth,
fifty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, fifty stripes with the
Sraosho-karana; on the fifth, seventy stripes with the Aspahe-astra,
seventy stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the sixth, ninety stripes
with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an
Avaoirista for the seventh time, without having atoned for the
preceding, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an
Avaoirista, and refuse to atone for it, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Aredus,
what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Fifteen stripes with the Aspahe-astra, fifteen stripes with the
Sraosho-karana.

"On the second Aredus, thirty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, thirty
stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the third, fifty stripes with the
Aspahe-astra, fifty stripes with the Sraosho-karana; on the fourth,
seventy stripes with the Aspahe-astra, seventy stripes with the
Sraosho-karana; on the fifth, ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra,
ninety stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Aredus
for the sixth time, without having atoned for the preceding, what
penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man commit an Aredus,
and refuse to atone for it, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another and
hurt him sorely, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Thirty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, thirty stripes with the
Sraosho-karana; the second time, fifty stripes with the Aspahe-astra,
fifty stripes with the Sraosho-karana; the third time, seventy stripes
with the Aspahe-astra, seventy stripes with the Sraosho-karana; the
fourth time, ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

If a man commit that deed for the fifth time, without having atoned for
the preceding, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

If a man commit that deed and refuse to atone for it, what is the
penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so
that the blood come, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Fifty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, fifty stripes with the
Sraosho-karana; the second time, seventy stripes with the Aspahe-astra,
seventy stripes with the Sraosho-karana; the third time, ninety stripes
with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

If he commit that deed for the fourth time, without having atoned for
the preceding, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so
that the blood come, and if he refuse to atone for it, what is the
penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so
that he break a bone, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Seventy stripes with the Aspahe-astra, seventy stripes with the
Sraosho-karana; the second time, ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra,
ninety stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

If he commit that deed for the third time, without having atoned for the
preceding, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so
that he break a bone, and if he refuse to atone for it, what is the
penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so
that he give up the ghost, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

If he commit that deed again, without having atoned for the preceding,
what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man smite another so
that he give up the ghost, and if he refuse to atone for it, what is the
penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana.

"And they shall thenceforth in their doings walk after the way of
holiness, after the word of holiness, after the ordinance of holiness.

"If men of the same faith, either friends or brothers, come to an
agreement together, that one may obtain from the other either goods, or
a wife, or knowledge, let him who desires goods have them delivered to
him; let him who desires a wife receive and wed her; let him who desires
knowledge be taught the holy word, during the first part of the day and
the last, during the first part of the night and the last, that his mind
may be increased in intelligence and wax strong in holiness. So shall he
sit up, in devotion and prayers, that he may be increased in
intelligence: he shall rest during the middle part of the day, during
the middle part of the night, and thus shall he continue until he can
say all the words which former Aethra-paitis have said.

"Before the boiling water publicly prepared, O Spitama Zarathustra! let
no one make bold to deny having received from his neighbor the ox or the
garment in his possession.

"Verily I say it unto thee, O Spitama Zarathustra! the man who has a
wife is far above him who lives in continence; he who keeps a house is
far above him who has none; he who has children is far above the
childless man; he who has riches is far above him who has none. And of
two men, he who fills himself with meat receives in him Vohu Mano much
better than he who does not do so; the latter is all but dead; the
former is above him by the worth of an Asperena, by the worth of a
sheep, by the worth of an ox, by the worth of a man. This man can strive
against the onsets of Asto-vidhotu; he can strive against the
well-darted arrow; he can strive against the winter fiend, with thinnest
garment on; he can strive against the wicked tyrant and smite him on the
head; he can strive against the ungodly fasting Ashemaogha.

"On the very first time when that deed has been done, without waiting
until it is done again, down there the pain for that deed shall be as
hard as any in this world: even as if one should cut off the limbs from
his perishable body with knives of brass, or still worse; down there the
pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: even as if one
should nail his perishable body with nails of brass, or still worse;
down there the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world:
even as if one should by force throw his perishable body headlong down a
precipice a hundred times the height of a man, or still worse; down
there the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: even
as if one should by force impale his perishable body, or still worse;
down there the pain for this deed shall be as hard as any in this world:
to-wit, the deed of a man, who, knowingly lying, confronts the
brimstoned, golden, truth-knowing water with an appeal unto Rashnu and a
lie unto Mithra."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! He who, knowingly lying,
confronts the brimstoned, golden, truth-knowing water with an appeal
unto Rashnu and a lie unto Mithra, what is the penalty that he shall
pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Seven hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, seven hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

[Footnote 11: This chapter is the only one in the Vendidad that deals
with legal subjects.]

UNCLEANNESS[12]

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Here is a man watering a
corn-field. The water streams down the field; it streams again; it
streams a third time; and the fourth time, a dog, a fox, or a wolf
carries some Nasu into the bed of the stream: what is the penalty that
this man shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"There is no sin upon a man for any Nasu that has been brought by dogs,
by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies. For were there sin upon a
man for any Nasu that might have been brought by dogs, by birds, by
wolves, by winds, or by flies, how soon all this material world of mine
would be only one Peshotanu, bent on the destruction of righteousness,
and whose soul will cry and wail! so numberless are the beings that die
upon the face of the earth."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does water kill?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Water kills no man: Asto-vidhotu binds him, and, thus bound, Vayu
carries him off; and the flood takes him up, the flood takes him down,
the flood throws him ashore; then birds feed upon him. When he goes
away, it is by the will of Fate he goes."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does fire kill?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Fire kills no man: Asto-vidhotu binds him, and, thus bound, Vayu
carries him off; and the fire burns up life and limb. When he goes away,
it is by the will of Fate he goes."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the summer is past and
the winter has come, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"In every house, in every borough, they shall raise three rooms for the
dead."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How large shall be those
rooms for the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Large enough not to strike the skull of the man, if he should stand
erect, or his feet or his hands stretched out: such shall be, according
to the law, the rooms for the dead. And they shall let the lifeless body
lie there, for two nights, or for three nights, or a month long, until
the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow,
and the wind to dry up the earth. And as soon as the birds begin to fly,
the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up
the earth, then the worshippers of Mazda shall lay down the dead on the
Dakhma, his eyes towards the sun. If the worshippers of Mazda have not,
within a year, laid down the dead on the Dakhma, his eyes towards the
sun, thou shalt prescribe for that trespass the same penalty as for the
murder of one of the faithful; until the corpse has been rained on,
until the Dakhma has been rained on, until the unclean remains have been
rained on, until the birds have eaten up the corpse."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Is it true that thou,
Ahura Mazda, seizest the waters from the sea Vouru-kasha with the wind
and the clouds? That thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the corpses?
that thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the Dakhmas? that thou,
Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the unclean remains? that thou, Ahura
Mazda, takest them down to the bones? and that then thou, Ahura Mazda,
makest them flow back unseen? that thou, Ahura Mazda, makest them flow
back to the sea Puitika?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It is even so as thou hast said, O righteous Zarathustra! I, Ahura
Mazda, seize the waters from the sea Vouru-kasha with the wind and the
clouds. I, Ahura Mazda, take them to the corpses; I, Ahura Mazda, take
them down to the Dakhmas; I, Ahura Mazda, take them down to the unclean
remains; I, Ahura Mazda, take them down to the bones; then I, Ahura
Mazda, make them flow back unseen; I, Ahura Mazda, make them flow back
to the sea Puitika. The waters stand there boiling, boiling up in the
heart of the sea Puitika, and, when cleansed there, they run back again
from the sea Puitika to the sea Vouru-kasha, towards the well-watered
tree, whereon grow the seeds of my plants of every kind by hundreds, by
thousands, by hundreds of thousands. Those plants, I, Ahura Mazda, rain
down upon the earth, to bring food to the faithful, and fodder to the
beneficent cow; to bring food to my people that they may live on it, and
fodder to the beneficent cow.

"This is the best, this is the fairest of all things, even as thou hast
said, O pure Zarathustra!"

With these words, the holy Ahura Mazda rejoiced the holy Zarathustra:
"Purity is for man, next to life, the greatest good, that purity, O
Zarathustra, that is in the Religion of Mazda for him who cleanses his
own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! This Law, this
fiend-destroying Law of Zarathustra, by what greatness, goodness, and
fairness is it great, good, and fair above all other utterances?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"As much above all other floods as is the sea Vouru-kasha, so much above
all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this Law,
this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathustra. As much as a great stream
flows swifter than a slender rivulet, so much above all other utterances
in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying
Law of Zarathustra. As high as the great tree stands above the small
plants it overshadows, so high above all other utterances in greatness,
goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of
Zarathustra. As high as heaven is above the earth that it compasses
around, so high above all other utterances is this Law, this
fiend-destroying Law of Mazda. Therefore, he will apply to the Ratu, he
will apply to the Srao-sha-varez; whether for a draona-service that
should have been undertaken and has not been undertaken; or for a draona
that should have been offered up and has not been offered up; or for a
draona that should have been intrusted and has not been intrusted. The
Ratu has power to remit him one-third of his penalty: if he has
committed any other evil deed, it is remitted by his repentance; if he
has committed no other evil deed, he is absolved by his repentance
forever and ever."

How long shall the piece of ground lie fallow whereon dogs or men have
died?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"A year long shall the piece of ground lie fallow whereon dogs or men
have died, O holy Zarathustra! A year long shall no worshipper of Mazda
sow or water that piece of ground whereon dogs or men have died; he may
sow as he likes the rest of the ground; he may water it as he likes. If
within the year they shall sow or water the piece of ground whereon dogs
or men have died, they are guilty of the sin of 'burying the dead'
towards the water, towards the earth, and towards the plants."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If worshippers of Mazda
shall sow or water, within the year, the piece of ground whereon dogs or
men have died, what is the penalty that they shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"They are Peshotanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If worshippers of Mazda
want to till that piece of ground again, to water it, to sow it, and to
plough it, what shall they do?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"They shall look on the ground for any bones, hair, dung, urine, or
blood that may be there."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If they shall not look on
the ground for any bones, hair, dung, urine, or blood that may be there,
what is the penalty that they shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"They are Peshotanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as the top
joint of the little finger, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to
the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Thirty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, thirty stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as the top
joint of the fore-finger, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the
ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Fifty stripes with the Aspahe-astra, fifty stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as the top
joint of the middle finger, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to
the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Seventy stripes with the Aspahe-astra, seventy stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as a finger
or as a rib, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what
penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as two
fingers or as two ribs, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the
ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He is a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two
hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as an
arm-bone or as a thigh-bone, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to
the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Four hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, four hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground a bone of a dead dog, or of a dead man, as large as a man's
skull, and if grease or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what
penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Six hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, six hundred stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw on
the ground the whole body of a dead dog, or of a dead man, and if grease
or marrow flow from it on to the ground, what penalty shall he pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahe-astra, a thousand stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a worshipper of Mazda,
walking, or running, or riding, or driving, come upon a corpse in a
stream of running water, what shall he do?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Taking off his shoes, putting off his clothes, while the others wait, O
Zarathustra! he shall enter the river, and take the dead out of the
water; he shall go down into the water ankle-deep, knee-deep,
waist-deep, or a man's full depth, till he can reach the dead body."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If, however, the body be
already falling to pieces and rotting, what shall the worshipper of
Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He shall draw out of the water as much of the corpse as he can grasp
with both hands, and he shall lay it down on the dry ground; no sin
attaches to him for any bone, hair, grease, dung, urine, or blood, that
may drop back into the water."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of the water in
a pond does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and
pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Six steps on each of the four sides. As long as the corpse has not been
taken out of the water, so long shall that water be unclean and unfit to
drink. They shall, therefore, take the corpse out of the pond, and lay
it down on the dry ground. And of the water they shall draw off the
half, or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth part, according as they
are able or not; and after the corpse has been taken out and the water
has been drawn off, the rest of the water is clean, and both cattle and
men may drink of it at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of the water in
a well does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and
pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"As long as the corpse has not been taken out of the water, so long
shall that water be unclean and unfit to drink. They shall, therefore,
take the corpse out of the well, and lay it down on the dry ground. And
of the water in the well they shall draw off the half, or the third, or
the fourth, or the fifth part, according as they are able or not; and
after the corpse has been taken out and the water has been drawn off,
the rest of the water is clean, and both cattle and men may drink of it
at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of a sheet of
snow or hail does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and
pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Three steps on each of the four sides. As long as the corpse has not
been taken out of the water, so long shall that water be unclean and
unfit to drink. They shall, therefore, take the corpse out of the water,
and lay it down on the dry ground. After the corpse has been taken out,
and the snow or the hail has melted, the water is clean, and both cattle
and men may drink of it at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of the water of
a running stream does the Drug Nasu defile with corruption, infection,
and pollution?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Three steps down the stream, nine steps up the stream, six steps
across. As long as the corpse has not been taken out of the water, so
long shall the water be unclean and unfit to drink. They shall,
therefore, take the corpse out of the water, and lay it down on the dry
ground. After the corpse has been taken out and the stream has flowed
three times, the water is clean, and both cattle and men may drink of it
at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the Haoma that has
been touched with Nasu from a dead dog, or from a dead man, be made
clean again?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It can, O holy Zarathustra! If it has been prepared for the sacrifice,
there is to it no corruption, no death, no touch of any Nasu. If it has
not been prepared for the sacrifice, the stem is defiled the length of
four fingers: it shall be laid down on the ground, in the middle of the
house, for a year long. When the year is past, the faithful may drink of
its juice at their pleasure, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Whither shall we bring,
where shall we lay the bodies of the dead, O Ahura Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"On the highest summits, where they know there are always corpse-eating
dogs and corpse-eating birds, O holy Zarathustra! There shall the
worshippers of Mazda fasten the corpse, by the feet and by the hair,
with brass, stones, or clay, lest the corpse-eating dogs and the
corpse-eating birds shall go and carry the bones to the water and to the
trees."

If they shall not fasten the corpse, so that the corpse-eating dogs and
the corpse-eating birds may go and carry the bones to the water and to
the trees, what is the penalty that they shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"They shall be Peshotanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra,
two hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Whither shall we bring,
where shall we lay the bones of the dead, O Ahura Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The worshippers of Mazda shall make a receptacle out of the reach of
the dog, of the fox, and of the wolf, and wherein rain-water cannot
stay. They shall make it, if they can afford it, with stones, plaster,
or earth; if they cannot afford it, they shall lay down the dead man on
the ground, on his carpet and his pillow, clothed with the light of
heaven, and beholding the sun."

[Footnote 12: This chapter deals chiefly with uncleanness arising from
the dead, and with the means of removing it from men and things.]

FUNERALS AND PURIFICATION

If a dog or a man die under a hut of wood or a hut of felt, what shall
the worshippers of Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"They shall search for a Dakhma, they shall look for a Dakhma all
around. If they find it easier to remove the dead, they shall take out
the dead, they shall let the house stand, and shall perfume it with
Urvasna or Vohu-gaona, or Vohu-kereti, or Hadha-naepata, or any other
sweet-smelling plant. If they find it easier to remove the house, they
shall take away the house, they shall let the dead lie on the spot, and
shall perfume the house with Urvasna, or Vohu-gaona, or Vohu-kereti, or
Hadha-naepata, or any other sweet-smelling plant."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If in the house of a
worshipper of Mazda a dog or a man happens to die, and it is raining, or
snowing, or blowing, or it is dark, or the day is at its end, when
flocks and men lose their way, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The place in that house whereof the ground is the cleanest and the
driest, and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of
Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the
faithful."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How far from the fire? How
far from the water? How far from the consecrated bundles of Baresma? How
far from the faithful?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Thirty paces from the fire; thirty paces from the water; thirty paces
from the consecrated bundles of Baresma; three paces from the
faithful;--on that place they shall dig a grave, half a foot deep if the
earth be hard, half the height of a man if it be soft; they shall cover
the surface of the grave with ashes or cow-dung; they shall cover the
surface of it with dust of bricks, of stones, or of dry earth. And they
shall let the lifeless body lie there, for two nights, or three nights,
or a month long, until the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the
hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth. And when the
birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and
the wind to dry up the earth, then the worshippers of Mazda shall make a
breach in the wall of the house, and two men, strong and skilful, having
stripped their clothes off, shall take up the body from the clay or the
stones, or from the plastered house, and they shall lay it down on a
place where they know there are always corpse-eating dogs and
corpse-eating birds. Afterwards the corpse-bearers shall sit down, three
paces from the dead, and the holy Ratu shall proclaim to the worshippers
of Mazda thus: 'Worshippers of Mazda, let the urine be brought here
wherewith the corpse-bearers there shall wash their hair and their
bodies.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the urine
wherewith the corpse-bearers shall wash their hair and their bodies? Is
it of sheep or of oxen? Is it of man or of woman?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It is of sheep or of oxen; not of man nor of woman, except a man or a
woman who has married the next-of-kin: these shall therefore procure the
urine wherewith the corpse-bearers shall wash their hair and their
bodies."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the way, whereon the
carcasses of dogs or corpses of men have been carried, be passed through
again by flocks and herds, by men and women, by the fire of Ahura Mazda,
by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the faithful?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It cannot be passed through again by flocks and herds, nor by men and
women, nor by the fire of Ahura Mazda, nor by the consecrated bundles of
Baresma, nor by the faithful. They shall therefore cause a yellow dog
with four eyes,[13] or a white dog with yellow ears, to go three times
through that way. When either the yellow dog with four eyes, or the
white dog with yellow ears, is brought there, then the Drug Nasu flies
away to the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with
knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the
foulest Khrafstras. If the dog goes unwillingly, O Spitama Zarathustra,
they shall cause the yellow dog with four eyes, or the white dog with
yellow ears, to go six times through that way. When either the yellow
dog with four eyes, or the white dog with yellow ears, is brought there,
then the Drug Nasu flies away to the regions of the north, in the shape
of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end,
and like unto the foulest Khrafstras. If the dog goes unwillingly, they
shall cause the yellow dog with four eyes, or the white dog with yellow
ears, to go nine times through that way. When either the yellow dog with
four eyes, or the white dog with yellow ears, has been brought there,
then the Drug Nasu flies away to the regions of the north, in the shape
of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end,
and like unto the foulest Khrafstras. An Athravan shall first go along
the way and shall say aloud these victorious words: 'Yatha ahu
vairyo:--The will of the Lord is the law of righteousness. The gifts of
Vohu-mano to the deeds done in this world for Mazda. He who relieves the
poor makes Ahura king. What protector hast thou given unto me, O Mazda!
while the hate of the wicked encompasses me? Whom but thy Atar and
Vohu-mano, through whose work I keep on the world of righteousness?
Reveal therefore to me thy Religion as thy rule! Who is the victorious
who will protect thy teaching? Make it clear that I am the guide for
both worlds. May Sraosha come with Vohu-mano and help whomsoever thou
pleasest, O Mazda! Keep us from our hater, O Mazda and Spenta Armaiti!
Perish, O fiendish Drug! Perish, O brood of the fiend! Perish, O
creation of the fiend! Perish, O world of the fiend! Perish away, O
Drug! Rush away, O Drug! Perish away, O Drug! Perish away to the regions
of the north, never more to give unto death the living world of
Righteousness!' Then the worshippers of Mazda may at their will bring by
those ways sheep and oxen, men and women, and Fire, the son of Ahura
Mazda, the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and the faithful. The
worshippers of Mazda may afterwards prepare meals with meat and wine in
that house; it shall be clean, and there will be no sin, as before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw
clothes, either of skin or woven, upon a dead body, enough to cover the
feet, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Four hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, four hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw
clothes, either of skin or woven, upon a dead body, enough to cover both
legs, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Six hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, six hundred stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall throw
clothes, either of skin or woven, upon a dead body, enough to cover the
whole body, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"A thousand stripes with the Aspahe-astra, a thousand stripes with the
Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man, by force,
commits the unnatural sin, what is the penalty that he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Eight hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, eight hundred stripes with
the Sraosho-karana."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man voluntarily
commits the unnatural sin, what is the penalty for it? What is the
atonement for it? What is the cleansing from it?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"For that deed there is nothing that can pay, nothing that can atone,
nothing that can cleanse from it; it is a trespass for which there is no
atonement, forever and ever."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the man that is a
Deva? Who is he that is a worshipper of the Devas? that is a male
paramour of the Devas? that is a female paramour of the Devas? that is a
wife to the Deva? that is as bad as a Deva? that is in his whole being a
Deva? Who is he that is a Deva before he dies, and becomes one of the
unseen Devas after death?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman
lies with mankind, is the man that is a Deva; this one is the man that
is a worshipper of the Devas, that is a male paramour of the Devas, that
is a female paramour of the Devas, that is a wife to the Deva; this is
the man that is as bad as a Deva, that is in his whole being a Deva;
this is the man that is a Deva before he dies, and becomes one of the
unseen Devas after death: so is he, whether he has lain with mankind as
mankind, or as womankind."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Shall the man be clean who
has touched a corpse that has been dried up and dead more than a year?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"He shall. The dry mingles not with the dry. Should the dry mingle with
the dry, how soon all this material world of mine would be only one
Peshotanu, bent on the destruction of righteousness, and whose soul will
cry and wail! so numberless are the beings that die upon the face of the
earth."

[Footnote 13: A dog with two spots above the eyes.]

CLEANSING THE UNCLEAN

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

O most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! To
whom shall they apply here below, who want to cleanse their body defiled
by the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"To a pious man, O Spitama Zarathustra! who knows how to speak, who
speaks truth, who has learned the Holy Word, who is pious, and knows
best the rites of cleansing according to the law of Mazda. That man
shall fell the trees off the surface of the ground on a space of nine
Vibazus square; in that part of the ground where there is least water
and where there are fewest trees, the part which is the cleanest and
driest, and the least passed through by sheep and oxen, and by the fire
of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the
faithful."

How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the
consecrated bundles of Baresma? How far from the faithful?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Thirty paces from the fire, thirty paces from the water, thirty paces
from the consecrated bundles of Baresma, three paces from the faithful.
Then thou shalt dig a hole, two fingers deep if the summer has come,
four fingers deep if the winter and ice have come." How far from one
another? "One pace." How much is the pace? "As much as three feet. Then
thou shalt dig three holes more, two fingers deep if the summer has
come, four fingers deep if the winter and ice have come." How far from
the former six? "Three paces." What sort of paces? "Such as are taken in
walking." How much are those three paces? "As much as nine feet. Then
thou shalt draw a furrow all around with a metal knife. Then thou shalt
draw twelve furrows; three of which thou shalt draw to surround and
divide from the rest the first three holes; three thou shalt draw to
surround and divide the first six holes; three thou shalt draw to
surround and divide the nine holes; three thou shalt draw around the
three inferior holes, outside the six other holes. At each of the three
times nine feet, thou shalt place stones as steps to the holes; or
potsherds, or stumps, or clods, or any hard matter. Then the man defiled
shall walk to the holes; thou, O Zarathustra! shalt stand outside by the
furrow, and thou shalt recite, 'Nemaska ya armaitis izaka'; and the man
defiled shall repeat, 'Nemaska ya armaitis izaka.' The Drug becomes
weaker and weaker at every one of those words which are a weapon to
smite the fiend Angra Mainyu, to smite Aeshma of the murderous spear, to
smite the Mazainya fiends, to smite all the fiends. Then thou shalt take
for the gomez a spoon of brass or of lead. When thou takest a stick with
nine knots, O Spitama Zarathustra! to sprinkle the gomez from that
spoon, thou shalt fasten the spoon to the end of the stick. They shall
wash his hands first. If his hands be not washed first, he makes his
whole body unclean. When he has washed his hands three times, after his
hands have been washed, thou shalt sprinkle the forepart of his skull;
then the Drug Nasu rushes in front, between his brows. Thou shalt
sprinkle him in front between the brows; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon
the back part of the skull. Thou shalt sprinkle the back part of the
skull; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the jaws. Thou shalt sprinkle the
jaws; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right ear. Thou shalt sprinkle
the right ear; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left ear. Thou shalt
sprinkle the left ear; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right
shoulder. Thou shalt sprinkle the right shoulder; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left shoulder. Thou shalt sprinkle the left shoulder;
then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right arm-pit. Thou shalt sprinkle
the right arm-pit; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left arm-pit. Thou
shalt sprinkle the left armpit; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
chest. Thou shalt sprinkle the chest; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
back. Thou shalt sprinkle the back; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
right nipple. Thou shalt sprinkle the right nipple; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left nipple. Thou shalt sprinkle the left nippie; then
the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right rib. Thou shalt sprinkle the right
rib; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left rib. Thou shalt sprinkle
the left rib; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right hip. Thou shalt
sprinkle the right hip; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left hip.
Thou shalt sprinkle the left hip; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
sexual parts. Thou shalt sprinkle the sexual parts. If the unclean one
be a man, thou shalt sprinkle him first behind, then before; if the
unclean one be a woman, thou shalt sprinkle her first before, then
behind; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right thigh. Thou shalt
sprinkle the right thigh; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left thigh.
Thou shalt sprinkle the left thigh; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
right knee. Thou shalt sprinkle the right knee; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left knee. Thou shalt sprinkle the left knee; then the
Drug Nasu rushes upon the right leg. Thou shalt sprinkle the right leg;
then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left leg. Thou shalt sprinkle the
left leg; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right ankle. Thou shalt
sprinkle the right ankle; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left ankle.
Thou shalt sprinkle the left ankle; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
right instep. Thou shalt sprinkle the right instep; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left instep. Thou shalt sprinkle the left instep; then
the Drug Nasu turns round under the sole of the foot; it looks like the
wing of a fly. He shall press his toes upon the ground and shall raise
up his heels; thou shalt sprinkle his right sole; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left sole. Thou shalt sprinkle the left sole; then the
Drug Nasu turns round under the toes; it looks like the wing of a fly.
He shall press his heels upon the ground and shall raise up his toes;
thou shalt sprinkle his right toe; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
left toe. Thou shalt sprinkle the left toe; then the Drug Nasu flies
away to the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with
knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the
foulest Khrafstras. And thou shalt say these victorious, most healing
words: 'The will of the Lord is the law of righteousness. The gifts of
Vohu-mano to deeds done in this world for Mazda. He who relieves the
poor makes Ahura king. What protector hadst thou given unto me, O Mazda!
while the hate of the wicked encompasses me? Whom, but thy Atar and
Vohu-mano, through whose work I keep on the world of Righteousness?
Reveal therefore to me thy Religion as thy rule! Who is the victorious
who will protect thy teaching? Make it clear that I am the guide for
both worlds. May Sraosha come with Vohu-mano and help whomsoever thou
pleasest, O Mazda! Keep us from our hater, O Mazda and Spenta Armaiti!
Perish, O fiendish Drug! Perish, O brood of the fiend! Perish, O world
of the fiend! Perish away, O Drug! Rush away, O Drug! Perish away, O
Drug! Perish away to the regions of the north, never more to give unto
death the living world of Righteousness.'

"Afterwards the man defiled shall sit down, inside the furrows, outside
the furrows of the six holes, four fingers from those furrows. There he
shall cleanse his body with thick handfuls of dust. Fifteen times shall
they take up dust from the ground for him to rub his body, and they
shall wait there until he is dry even to the last hair on his head. When
his body is dry with dust, then he shall step over the holes containing
water. At the first hole he shall wash his body once with water; at the
second hole he shall wash his body twice with water; at the third hole
he shall wash his body thrice with water. Then he shall perfume his body
with Urvasna, or Vohu-gaona, or Vohu-kereti, or Hadha-naepata, or any
other sweet-smelling plant; then he shall put on his clothes, and shall
go back to his house. He shall sit down there in the place of infirmity,
inside the house, apart from the other worshippers of Mazda. He shall
not go near the fire, nor near the water, nor near the earth, nor near
the cow, nor near the trees, nor near the faithful, either man or woman.
Thus shall he continue until three nights have passed. When three nights
have passed, he shall wash his body, he shall wash his clothes with
gomez and water to make them clean. Then he shall sit down again in the
place of infirmity, inside the house, apart from the other worshippers
of Mazda. He shall not go near the fire, nor near the water, nor near
the earth, nor near the cow, nor near the trees, nor near the faithful,
either man or woman. Thus shall he continue until six nights have
passed. When six nights have passed, he shall wash his body, he shall
wash his clothes with gomez and water to make them clean. Then he shall
sit down again in the place of infirmity, inside the house, apart from
the other worshippers of Mazda. He shall not go near the fire, nor near
the water, nor near the earth, nor near the cow, nor near the trees, nor
near the faithful, either man or woman. Thus shall he continue, until
nine nights have passed. When nine nights have passed, he shall wash his
body, he shall wash his clothes with gomez and water to make them clean.
He may thenceforth go near the fire, near the water, near the earth,
near the cow, near the trees, and near the faithful, either man or
woman.

"Thou shalt cleanse a priest for a blessing of the just. Thou shalt
cleanse the lord of a province for the value of a camel of high value.
Thou shalt cleanse the lord of a town for the value of a stallion of
high value. Thou shalt cleanse the lord of a borough for the value of a
bull of high value. Thou shalt cleanse the master of a house for the
value of a cow three years old. Thou shalt cleanse the wife of the
master of a house for the value of a ploughing cow. Thou shalt cleanse a
menial for the value of a draught cow. Thou shalt cleanse a young child
for the value of a lamb. These are the heads of cattle--flocks or
herds--that the worshippers of Mazda shall give to the man who has
cleansed them, if they can afford it; if they cannot afford it, they
shall give him any other value that may make him leave their houses well
pleased with them, and free from anger. For if the man who has cleansed
them leave their houses displeased with them, and full of anger, then
the Drug Nasu enters them from the nose of the dead, from the eyes, from
the tongue, from the jaws, from the sexual organs, from the hinder
parts. And the Drug Nasu rushes upon them even to the end of the nails,
and they are unclean thenceforth forever and ever. It grieves the sun
indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! to shine upon a man defiled by the dead;
it grieves the moon, it grieves the stars. That man delights them, O
Spitama Zarathustra! who cleanses from the Nasu the man defiled by the
dead; he delights the fire, he delights the water, he delights the
earth, he delights the cow, he delights the trees, he delights the
faithful, both men and women."

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What shall be his reward,
after his soul has parted from his body, who has cleansed from the Nasu
the man defiled by the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The welfare of Paradise thou canst promise to that man, for his reward
in the other world."

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How shall I fight against
that Drug who from the dead rushes upon the living? How shall I fight
against that Nasu who from the dead defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Say aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said twice. Say
aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said thrice. Say aloud
those words in the Gathas that are to be said four times. And the Drug
shall fly away like the well-darted arrow, like the felt of last year,
like the annual garment of the earth."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man who does not know
the rites of cleansing according to the law of Mazda, offers to cleanse
the unclean, how shall I then fight against that Drug who from the dead
rushes upon the living? How shall I fight against that Drug who from the
dead defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Then, O Spitama Zarathustra! the Drug Nasu appears to wax stronger than
she was before. Stronger then are sickness and death and the working of
the fiend than they were before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the penalty that
he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The worshippers of Mazda shall bind him; they shall bind his hands
first; then they shall strip him of his clothes, they shall cut the head
off his neck, and they shall give over his corpse unto the greediest of
the corpse-eating creatures made by the beneficent Spirit, unto the
vultures, with these words: 'The man here has repented of all his evil
thoughts, words, and deeds. If he has committed any other evil deed, it
is remitted by his repentance; if he has committed no other evil deed,
he is absolved by his repentance forever and ever.'"

Who is he, O Ahura Mazda! who threatens to take away fulness and
increase from the world, and to bring in sickness and death?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It is the ungodly Ashemaogha, O Spitama Zarathustra! who in this
material world cleanses the unclean without knowing the rites of
cleansing according to the law of Mazda. For until then, O Spitama
Zarathustra! sweetness and fatness would flow out from that land and
from those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase
and growth, and a growing of corn and grass."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When are sweetness and
fatness to come back again to that land and to those fields, with health
and healing, with fulness and increase and growth, and a growing of corn
and grass?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Sweetness and fatness will never come back again to that land and to
those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and
growth, and a growing of corn and grass, until that ungodly Ashemaogha
has been smitten to death on the spot, and the holy Sraosha of that
place has been offered up a sacrifice for three days and three nights,
with fire blazing, with Baresma tied up, and with Haoma prepared. Then
sweetness and fatness will come back again to that land and to those
fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and growth,
and a growing of corn and grass."

SPELLS RECITED DURING THE CLEANSING

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

O Ahura Mazda! most beneficent Spirit, maker of the material world, thou
Holy One! How shall I fight against that Drug who from the dead rushes
upon the living? How shall I fight against that Drug who from the dead
defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Say aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said twice. 'I drive
away Angra Mainyu from this house, from this borough, from this town,
from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from
the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the
house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the
lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness. I drive
away the Nasu, I drive away direct defilement, I drive away indirect
defilement, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from
this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the
very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the
house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the
lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which are those words in
the Gathas that are to be said thrice?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"'I drive away Indra, I drive away Sauru, I drive away the Deva
Naunghaithya from this house, from this borough, from this town, from
this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the
very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the
house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the
lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness. I drive
away Tauru, I drive away Zairi, from this house, from this borough, from
this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the
dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the
master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the
town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the holy world.'"

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which are those words in
the Gathas that are to be said four times?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"These are the words in the Gathas that are to be said four times, and
thou shalt four times say them aloud: 'I drive away Aeshma, the fiend of
the murderous spear, I drive away the Deva Akatasha, from this house,
from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of
the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by
the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough,
from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of
the world of Righteousness. I drive away the Varenya Devas, I drive away
the Wind-Deva, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from
this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the
very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the
house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the
lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness.'"

TO FIRES, WATERS, PLANTS

We worship thee, the Fire, O Ahura Mazda's son! We worship the fire
Berezi-savangha (of the lofty use), and the fire Vohu-fryana (the good
and friendly), and the fire Urva-zista (the most beneficial and most
helpful), and the fire Vazista (the most supporting), and the fire
Spenista (the most bountiful), and Nairya-sangha the Yazad of the royal
lineage, and that fire which is the house-lord of all houses and
Mazda-made, even the son of Ahura Mazda, the holy lord of the ritual
order, with all the fires. And we worship the good and best waters
Mazda-made, holy, all the waters Mazda-made and holy, and all the plants
which Mazda made, and which are holy. And we worship the Mathra-spenta
(the bounteous word-of-reason), the Zarathustrian law against the Devas,
and its long descent. And we worship Mount Ushi-darena which is
Mazda-made and shining with its holiness, and all the mountains shining
with holiness, and of abundant glory, and which Mazda made. And we
worship the good and pious prayer for blessings, and these waters and
these lands, and all the greatest chieftains, lords of the ritual order;
and I praise, invoke, and glorify the good, heroic, bountiful Fravashis
of the saints, those of the house, the Vis, the Zantuma, the Dahvyuma,
and the Zarathustrotema, and all the holy Yazads!

Book of the day: