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Pahlavi Texts, Part I (SBE05), E.W. West, tr. [1880], at

p. 239


PART I.—The Original Treatise.


0. In the name of God, (yazdân) and the good creation may there be the good health, long life, and abundant wealth of all the good and the right-doers specially for him whose writing I am 1.

1. As revealed by the Avesta, it is said in the Vendidad 2 that these seven degrees (pâyak) of sin

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are mentioned in revelation, which are Farmân, Âgerept, Avôirîs1, Aredûs, Khôr, Bâzâî, Yât, and Tanâpûhar 2. 2. A Farmân is the weight of four

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stîrs, and each stîr is four dirhams (gûgan) 1; of Âgerept and Avôirîst that which is least is a scourging (tâzânŏ), and the amount of them which was specially that which is most is said to be one dirham 2; an Aredûs is thirty stîrs 3; a Khôr is sixty stîrs; a Bâzâî is ninety stîrs; a Yât is a hundred and eighty stîrs; and a Tanâpûhar is three hundred stîrs 4.

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In the administration of the primitive faith 1 there are some who have been of different opinions

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about it, for Gôgôsasp 1 spoke otherwise than the teaching 2 (kâstak) of Âtarô-Aûharmazd 3, and Sôshyans 4 otherwise than the teaching of Âtarô-frôbâg Nôsâî 5, and Mêdôk-mâh 6 otherwise than the teaching of Gôgôsasp 7, and Afarg 8 otherwise than the teaching

p. 244

of Sôshyans. 4. And all those of the primitive faith rely upon these six 1 teachings, and there are some who rely more weakly and some more strongly upon some of them.


239:1 See the note on B. Yt. I, 0.

239:2 Referring to Vend. IV, 54-114, where seven classes of assault and their respective punishments are detailed. In our text eight classes of sin are named, although only seven degrees are mentioned; the second and third classes being apparently arranged together, as one degree of sin in § 2. Or the inconsistency may have arisen from the addition of the Farmân, a class of sin or crime not mentioned in the Vendidad, unless, indeed, it be the farmân spôkhtanŏ, 'neglect of commandment' (referring probably to priest's commands), of Pahl. Vend. VI, 15. The other seven classes are thus described in Pahl. Vend. IV, 54-57, 79, 85, 93, 99, 106:—

'By the man whose weapon (or blow) is upraised for striking a man, that which is his Âgerept is thus implanted in him. When it has moved forward—that is, he makes it advance—it is thus his Avôirîst, that is, Avôirîst is implanted in him and the Âgerept merges into it, some say that it does not exist. When he comes on to him with thoughts of malice—that is, he places a hand upon him—it is thus his Aredûs, that is, Aredûs is implanted in him and the Avôirîst merges into it, some say that it does not exist. At the fifth Aredûs the man even becomes a Tanâpûhar; things at p. 240 sunrise (avar-khûrshêdîh) and in the forenoon (kâîtîh = kâstîh) are no more apart. . . . Whoever inflicts the Aredûs blow on a man it is one-fifth of a wound (rêsh). . . . Whoever inflicts that which is a cruel Khôr ('hurt') on a man it is one-fourth of a wound. . . . Whoever inflicts that which is a bleeding Khôr on a man it is one-third of a wound. . . . Whoever shall give a man a bone-breaking Khôr it is half a wound.... Whoever strikes a man the blow which puts him out of consciousness shall give a whole wound.'

This description does not mention Bâzâî and Yât, unless they be the two severer kinds of Khôr; but, Bâzâî occurs in Pahl. Vend. IV, 115, V, 107, XIII, 38, though Yât seems not to be mentioned in the Vendidad. Aredûs occurs again in Pahl. Vend. III, 151, and Khôr in Pahl. Vend. III, 48, XIII, 38, and Yas. LVI, iv, 2.

240:1 Also written avôîrist, avîrist, aîvîrist, avôkîrist, and avakôrist in other places.

240:2 Five of these names are merely slight alterations of the Av. âgerepta, avaoirista, aredus, hvara, and tanuperetha (peretôtanu or peshôtanu). The last seven degrees are also noticed in a very obscure passage in Farh. Okh. pp. 36, 37 (correcting the text from the old MSS. M6 and K20) as follows:—

'Âgerept, "seized," is that when they shall take up a weapon for smiting an innocent person; Avôirîst, "turning," is that when one turns the weapon upon an innocent person; when through sinfulness one lays the weapon on a sinner the name is Aredûs; for whatever reaches the source of life the name is Khôr; one explains Bâzâî as "smiting," and Yât as "going to," and the soul of man ought to be withstanding, as a counterstroke is the penalty for a Yât when it has been so much away from the abode of life. In like manner Âgerept, Avôirîst, Aredûs, Khôr, Bâzâî, and Yât are also called good works, which are performed in like proportions, and are called by the names of weights and measures in the same manner. Of peshôtanus tanûm pairyêitê the meaning is a Tanâpûhar; as they call a good work of three hundred a Tanâpûhar, on account of the three hundred like proportions of the same kind, the meaning of its name, Tanâpûhar, thereupon enters into sin. . . . A Khôr is just that description of wound from which p. 241 the blood comes, irrespective of where, how, how much, and wherewith it is inflicted; it is that which is a wound from the beginning, and that which will result therefrom.'

The application of this scale of offences is, however, not confined to these particular forms of assault, but has been extended (since the Avesta was compiled) to all classes of sins, and also to the good works which are supposed to counterbalance them.

241:1 The dirham has been variously estimated, at different times, as a weight of forty-five to sixty-seven grains, but perhaps fifty grains may be taken as the meaning of the text, and the stîr may, therefore, be estimated at 200 grains. The Greeks used both these weights, which they called δραχμή and στατήρ.

241:2 The amounts of these first three degrees of sin are differently stated in other places (see Chaps. XI, 2, XVI, 1-3, 5). It is difficult to understand why the amounts of Âgerept and Avôirîst should here be stated as less than that of Farmân, and some Parsis, therefore, read vîhast (as an irregular form of vîst, 'twenty') instead of vês-ast, 'is most,' so that they may translate the amount as 'twenty dirhams;' but to obtain this result they would have to make further alterations in the Pahlavi text. In a passage quoted by Spiegel (in his Traditionelle Literatur der Parsen, p. 88) from the Rivâyat MS. P12, in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, it is stated that Farmân is seven stîrs, Âgerept twelve stîrs, and Avôirîst fifteen stîrs. Another Rivâyat makes the Farmân eight stîrs.

241:3 All MSS. have Aredûs sî 30, 'an Aredûs is thirty (30),' leaving it doubtful whether dirhams or stîrs are meant; and the same mode of writing is adopted in Chap. XI, 2.

241:4 All authorities agree about the amounts of the last five degrees of sin. These amounts are the supposed weights of the several sins in the golden scales of the angel Rashnû (see AV. V, 5), when the soul is called to account, for its actions during life, after the p. 242 third night after death (see Mkh. II, 114-122). Its sins are supposed to be then weighed against its good works, which are estimated by the same scale of degrees (see the passage already quoted from Farh. Okh. in p. 240, note 2), and it is sent direct to heaven, or hell, or an intermediate place, according as the good works or sins preponderate, or are both equal. In the Avesta of the Vendidad, however, whence these degrees are derived, we find them forming merely a graduated scale of assaults, extending from first lifting the hand to smite even unto manslaughter; and for each of these seven degrees of assault a scale of temporal punishments is prescribed, according to the number of times the offence has been committed. These punishments consist of a uniform series of lashes with a horse-whip or scourge, extending from a minimum of five lashes to a maximum of two hundred (see Vend. IV, 58-114); each degree of assault commencing at a different point on the scale of punishments for the first offence, and gradually rising through the scale with each repetition of the offence, so that the more aggravated assaults attain the maximum punishment by means of a smaller number of repetitions. Thus, the punishments prescribed for Âgerepta, from the first to the eighth offence, are 5, 10, 15, 30, 50, 70, 90, and 200 lashes respectively; those for Avaoirista, from the first to the seventh offence, extend on the same scale from 10 to 200 lashes; those for Aredus, from the first to the sixth offence, are from 15 to 200 lashes; those for a bruised hurt (hvara), from the first to the fifth offence, are from 30 to 200 lashes; those for a bleeding hurt, from the first to the fourth offence, are from 50 to 200 lashes; those for a bone-breaking hurt, from the first to the third offence, are from 70 to 200 lashes; and those for a hurt depriving of consciousness or life, for the first and second offences, are 90 and 200 lashes. The maximum punishment of 200 lashes is prescribed only when the previous offences have not been atoned for, and it is to be inflicted in all such cases, however few or trifling the previous assaults have been.

242:1 In M6 pôryôdkêshîh, but pôryôdkêshân, 'of those of the primitive faith,' in K20; from the Av. paoiryôdkaêsha of Yas. I, 47, III, 65, IV, 53, XXII, 33, Fravardîn Yt. 0, 90, 156, Âf. Rapithwin, 2. It is a term applied to what is considered as the p. 243 true Mazdayasnian religion in all ages, both before and after the time of Zaratûst.

243:1 One of the old commentators whose opinions are frequently quoted in Pahlavi books, as in Chap. II, 74, 82, 119, Pahl. Vend. III, 48, 138, 151, IV, 35, V, 14, 121, VI, 9, 64, VII, 6, 136, VIII, 64, 236, XV, 35, 48, 56, 67, XVI, 5, XVIII, 98, 124, and thirteen times in the Nîrangistân. His name is sometimes written Gôsasp (as it is here both in M6 and K20) and sometimes Gôgôsôsp.

243:2 Probably a written exposition or commentary is meant.

243:3 This commentator is mentioned once in the Nîrangistân as Âtarô Aûharmazdân.

243:4 This commentator is mentioned in Chaps. II, 56, 74, 80, 118, 119, III, 13, VI, 4, 5; also in Pahl. Vend. III, 64, 69, 151, IV, 6, V, 48, 80, 107, 121, 146, 153, VI, 15, 64, 73, VII, 4, 136, 168, VIII, 28, 59, 303, IX, 184, XIII, 20, XVI, 7, 10, 17, 20-22, 27, XVIII, 98, and forty-six times in the Nîrangistân. He was a name-sake of the last of the future apostles and sons of Zaratûst (see Bund. XXXII, 8), and his name is often written Sôshâns and read Saoshyôs or Sôsyôs by Pâzand writers.

243:5 This commentator is mentioned once in the Nîrangistân, and may probably be the Âtarô-frôbâg of B. Yt. I, 7; compare also Nôsâî Bûrz Mitrô, the name of another commentator, in Chap. VIII, 18.

243:6 This commentator is mentioned in Chaps. II, 1, 11, 12, 89, V, 5, 6; also in Pahl. Vend. III, 151, V, 6, 58, 107, VIII, 48, 110, IX, 132, XIII, 99, XIV, 37, and four times in the Nîrangistân. His name is sometimes written Mêdyôk-mâh or Mâîdôk-mâh, and he was a namesake of Zaratûst's cousin and first disciple (see Bund. XXXII, 2, 3). The Vagarkard-i Dînîk professes to have been compiled by Mêdyôk-mâh, but there appear to have been several priests of this name (see Bund. XXXIII, 1).

243:7sasp in M6.

243:8 This commentator is mentioned in Chaps. II, 2, 64, 73, 88, 115, V, 5, 6; also in Pahl. Vend. III, 48, 115, V, 6, 14, 22, 58, p. 244 146, VI, 9, VII, 6, 61, 93, 136, VIII, 48, 64, 110, 250, IX, 132, XIII, 99, XIV, 14, 37, XIX, 84, Pahl. Yas. LXIV, 37, once in Farh. Okh., and thirty-eight times in the Nîrangistân.

244:1 Both MSS. have 'three,' although four teachings and six commentators are mentioned in the previous section, and a fifth 'teaching' is mentioned in Chap. II, 2. The original reading was more probably 'six' than 'four', as a Pahlavi 'six' requires merely the omission of a cipher to become 'three,' whereas a Pahlavi 'four' must be altered to produce the same blunder.

Several other commentators are mentioned in Pahlavi books, such Âtarô-pâd, son of Dâd-farukh, twice in the Nîrangistân; Âzâd-mard nine times in Nîr.; Barôshand Aûharmazd once in Nîr.; Dâd Aûharmazd in B. Yt. I, 1, 7, III, 16, Pahl. Yas. X, 57, XI, 22; Dâd-farukh in Pahl. Vend. V, 112, VI, 64, and twice in Nîr.; Dâd-i-vêh seventeen times in Nîr.; Farukhŏ thrice in Nîr.; Kîrâtanŏ-bûgêd in Pahl. Vend. V, 80, VI, 15, IX, 184, XIII, 20, he is called the Kirmânîk in Pahl. Vend. IV, 35, and Dastûr Hoshangji thinks his name is merely a variant of the next; Kûshtanŏ-bûgêd in Sls. II, 57, 81, 118, VI, 6, VIII, 17, Pahl. Vend. III, 64, 69, IV, 6, V, 48, VI, 53, 64, 73, VIII, 28, XVI, 17, 21, 22, 27, and twenty-two times in Nîr.; Mâh-Aûharmazd in Pahl. Vend. VII, 82; Mâh-gôsaspŏ, Mâh-gôsôspŏ, Mâh-gôspŏ, or Mâh-vasp in Pahl. Yas. IX, 33, Pahl. Vend. III, 138, and ten times in Nîr.; Mâhvand-dâd or Mâh-vindâd in B. Yt. III, 3, Pahl. Yas. IX, 33, X, 57, XI, 22, XIX, 27; Mard-bûd in Sls. II, 96, and twice in Nîr., where he is called the son of Dâdgun; Nêryôsang in Sls. VIII, 13, Pahl. Vend. V, 22; Nikhshâpûhar, or Nîshapûhar in Pahl. Vend. III, 151, V, 112, VI, 71, VIII, 64, XVI, 10, AV. I, 35, and twenty-four times in Nîr.; Nôsâî Bûrz-Mitrô in Sls. VIII, 18; Parîk or Pîrîk in Pahl. Vend. III, 138, V, 14, 134, VII, 82, 93, VIII, 64, and once in Nîr.; Rôshan or Rôshanô (which, as the Sikand-gûmânî states, was the name of a commentary written by Rôshan son of Âtarô-frôbâg) in Sls. II, 39, 86, 107, B. Yt. III, 3, Pahl. Yas. IX, 5, 14, Pahl. Vend. III, 48, V, 112, 134, 176, VII, 93, XVII, 11, and eleven times in Nîr.; disciples of Vakht-âfrîdŏ (possibly the Bakht-âfrîd of Sls. XX, 11, B. Yt. I, 7) are mentioned once in Nîr.; Vand-Aûharmazd in Sls. II, 2, 6, 44, XIV, 5, Pahl. Vend. VI, 73; and Vêh-dôst once in p. 245 the Nîrangistân. It must, however, be observed that the reading of some of these names is very uncertain.

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