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


1. The eighteenth question is that which you ask thus: When the souls of the righteous and the souls of the wicked go out to the spirits, will it then be possible for them to see Aûharmazd and Aharman 2, or not?

2. The reply is this, that concerning Aharman it is said that his is no material existence (stîs); and Aûharmazd, as a spirit among the spirits, is to be heard by those who are material and those also who are spiritual, but his form (kerpô) is not completely visible except through wisdom. 3. And a semblance of his power is seen, as was told unto Zaratûst the Spîtamân when he saw the result (zah) of his handiwork, and he (Aûharmazd) spoke thus: 'Grasp the hand of a righteous man! for the kindly operation of my religion through 3 thee thyself is as

p. 45

much as he shall grasp, and thou mayst see him whose reception (mâhmânîh) of my wisdom and glory is the most.

4. And about the souls of the righteous and wicked, in the spiritual places they see the throne (gâs), which they deem a sight of Aûharmazd. 5. And so also those who are domiciled with (hamnemân) Aharman, through that wisdom with reference to whose creator they shall suffer, will understand minutely as regards Aûharmazd and the nature of Aharman (Aharmanîh). 6. And he who is of the righteous is delighted at escaping from Aharman and coming to the existence pertaining to Aûharmazd; and they shall offer homage to the glory 1 of Aûharmazd. 7. And he who is wicked, through being deceived by Aharman, and turning from the direction (pelag) of Aûharmazd, becomes more vexed and more penitent; the hope (zahîsnŏ) and forgiveness which he possesses, and the retribution and manacling which are his among the fiends and spirits through his own handiwork, are by the permission which comes from the most persistent of the persistent 2 at the period of the resurrection.


44:2 The evil spirit (see Chap. II, II), whose nature and powers differ very little from those ascribed to the devil by most Christian writers.

44:3 Or 'on;' or, perhaps, it 'is as much as he shall grasp at thee thyself.'

45:1 The word 'glory' is always to be understood in its material sense of 'radiance, effulgence.'

45:2 That is, from Aûharmazd. The epithet khvâpar, here translated 'persistent,' appears to mean 'self-sustaining' in the Avesta (see Sls. XXII, 21); traditionally it is supposed to mean 'protecting, cherishing,' but this is merely a guess, though it seems related to, Pers. khapârah, 'active,' and may, therefore, often mean 'persevering.'

Next: Chapter XX