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Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. [1882], at


1. The fifth question is that you ask thus: Why does evil always happen more to the good than to the bad?

2. The reply is this, that not at every time and every place, and not to all the good, does evil happen more--for the spiritual welfare of the good is certainly more--but in the world it is very much more manifest 1. 3. And the reasons for it are many; one which is conclusive is even this, that the modes

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and causes of its occurrence are more; for the occurrence of evil is more particularly appointed (vakhtŏ) by two modes, one by the demons, the appointers of evil, and one by the vile, the doers of evil; even to the vileness of creation and the vile they cause vexation. 4. Moreover, incalculable is the evil which happens to the vile from the demons, and that to the good from the demons and also from the vile, and the mode of its occurrence is in the same way without a demon.

5. This, too, is more particularly such as the ancients have said, that the labour and trouble of the good are much more in the world, and their reward and recompense are more certain in the spiritual existence; and the comfort and pleasure of the vile are more in the world, and their pain and punishment in the spiritual existence are more severe. 6. And this, too, is the case, that the good; through fear of the pain and punishment of hell, should forsake the comfort and ease in the world, and should not think, speak, or do anything improper whatever. 7. And through hope for the comfort and pleasure in heaven they should accept willingly, for the neck 1, much trouble and fear in the practice of virtue in thought, word, and deed.

8. The vile, through provision with temporary enjoyment 2--even that enjoyment of improprieties for which eventually there is hell--then enjoy themselves

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therein temporarily, and lustfully on account of selfishness; those various actions also, through which there would be a way to heaven, they do not trouble themselves with.

9. And in this way, in the world, the comfort and pleasure of the vile are more, and the anxiety, vexation, despondency, and distress of the good have become more; the reason is revealed by the stars 1.


23:1 M14 and J have 'but the worldly evil and bondage are in-calculably more manifest about the good, much more in the season (zêmânîh) of Srôsh.' The 'season of Srôsh' may perhaps mean the night-time, or the three nights after death, when the protection of the angel Srôsh is most wanted; but Dastûr Peshotanji Behramji, the high-priest of the Parsis in Bombay, prefers reading zîmânash (with a double pronominal suffix), and has favoured me with the following free translation of the whole passage:--'At every time and every place much evil does not happen to all the good; for the good, after having been separated from this world, receive (as a reward for their suffering evil) much goodness in the next world, which goodness is (regarded as) of a very high degree in religious doctrines (srôsh).' Perhaps, after all, Srôsh is a miswriting of saryâ, 'bad, evil.'

24:1 The word can be read either garêvan, 'collar,' or gardûn, 'neck,' and is the usual Pâz. of the Huz. kavarman (Chald. ‏ו ?Cַ?W.ַ?Rָ?A‎), 'the neck,' though 'neck', is often expressed by gardûn. The meaning is that the yoke of trouble and fear should be accepted.

24:2 M14 and J have 'through provision with the enjoyment of improprieties which is temporarily theirs.'

25:1 That is, it is dependent upon destiny.

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