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Chapter XXVI

1. WHEN the king was restored, he was as another man, having su'is, and believing with a full conviction; and he asked Zarathustra p. 238b what now he should do that he might escape the fires of hell after death.

2. I'hua'Mazda spake through Zarathustra, saying: Think not what thou canst do to escape hell fire, for that would be laboring for self. Think what thou canst do to save others. For which reason thou shalt practice the Ormazdian law. One year shalt thou dwell with the poor, carrying the alms-bowl, according to the Zarathustrian law. After that thou shalt preach the I'hua'Mazdian law, of the denial of self for the good of the city, teaching the turning away from earthly things, and striving for spiritual things, having faith in Ormazd.

3. The king said: All these things can I do, yet one thing I cannot do, which is having faith in Ormazd. If He be a Person, and created all the creation, is He not the foundation of evil as well as good? If He heretofore created evil, or by incompetence suffered it to enter into creation, may He not do so in after time, even after death?

4. I'hua'Mazda said: When a potter hath a pot half made, sayest thou it is an evil pot? Nay, verily, but that it is not yet completed. Even so are all men, created by Ormazd. Those who are good are completed, but those who are evil are unfinished work. But the Creator also gave to man knowledge, that he might see himself in the unfinished state, and the Creator gave to man power and judgment, that man might turn to and help complete himself, thereby sharing the glory of his creation. The man that doeth this is already clear of hell fire; he that doeth it not shall not escape.

5. The king inquired concerning animals, to which I'hua'Mazda answered, saying: Animals are of the earth creation, and are completed in the place of their dwelling. Neither hath any animal aspiration to make itself better or wiser, that it may contribute to the creation. And some men have no more aspiration than an animal serving the beast (the flesh-man) only. Only the torments of hell can stir them up.

6. When I'hua'Mazda explained the Ormazdian law, the quarter of which is not here related, the king comprehended, whereupon he took the vows on the altar, and under the eye, according to the Zarathustrian law. p. 239b So when those people were restored, Zarathustra left one of his traveling companions with them, as God-ir in Chief, and Zarathustra departed, taking his other companions with him.

7. Whereof it is recorded in the libraries of heaven, showing that the next city kingdom was likewise delivered, and the people became Zarathustrians.

8. And again Zarathustra departed, and came to another city, which was overthrown and delivered also. Until it came to pass that Zarathustra overthrew and delivered twenty and four cities and kingdoms in Jaffeth.

9. After that he departed to the upper lands of Shem, where he also overthrew and delivered many cities and kingdoms, establishing the Zarathustrian law. For two whole years he labored in Shem; and so great was the power of Ormazd upon Zarathustra that all the cities and kingdoms of Shem threw off the bondage of the Sun Kingdom of Parsi'e.

10. After that Zarathustra traveled toward Ham, which was called Arabin'ya. But in those countries Zarathustra had not so great success, because the people were not learned in books, nor in the stars, nor tablets. Nevertheless, Zarathustra delivered many cities.

11. So I'hua'Mazda said to Zarathustra: Go back, now, to thine own country; and thou shalt overthrow yet seven cities and seven great kingdoms; and after that thou shalt return to Oas, and it shall fall before thy hand, that the prophecies of thy childhood be fulfilled.

12. So Zarathustra returned to Parsi'e and went to the seven great cities and kingdoms, and overthrew them; and many of them were destroyed utterly by fire and by war; but Zarathustra delivered the faithful and established the Zarathustrian law with all of them.

13. And now he returned to his native city, Oas, according to the commandment of I'hua'Mazda.

Next: Chapter XXVII