Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. The twentieth question is that which you ask thus: How are the Kinvad bridge, the Dâîtih peak (kakâd), and the path of the righteous and wicked;
how are they when one is righteous, and how when one is wicked?
2. The reply is this, that thus the high-priests have said, that the Dâîtih peak 1 is in Aîrân-vêg 2, 2, in the middle of the world; reaching unto the vicinity of that peak is that beam-shaped (dâr-kerpô) spirit, the Kinvad bridge 3, which is thrown across from the Albûrz enclosure (var) back to the Dâîtih peak. 3. As it were that bridge is like a beam of many sides, of whose edges (pôstŏ) there are some which are broad, and there are some which are thin and sharp; its broad sides (sûkîhâ) are so large that its width is twenty-seven reeds (nâî), and its sharp sides are so contracted (tang) that in thinness it is just like the edge of a razor. 4. And when the' souls of the righteous and wicked arrive it turns to that side which is suitable to their necessities, through the great glory of the creator and the command of him who takes the just account 4.
5. Moreover, the bridge becomes a broad bridge for the righteous, as much as the height of nine spears (nîzakŏ)--and the length of those which they carry is each separately three reeds 5--; and
it becomes a narrow bridge for the wicked, even unto a resemblance to the edge of a razor. 6. And he who is of the righteous passes over the bridge, and a worldly similitude of the pleasantness of his path upon it is when thou shalt eagerly and unweariedly walk in the golden-coloured spring, and with the gallant (hû-kîr 1) body and sweet-scented blossom in the pleasant skin of that maiden 2 spirit, the price of goodness. 7. He who is of the wicked, as he places a footstep on to the bridge, on account of affliction (siparîh) and its sharpness, falls from the middle of the bridge, and rolls over head-foremost. 8. And the unpleasantness of his path to hell is in similitude such as the worldly one in the midst of that stinking and dying existence (hastân), there where numbers of the sharp-pointed darts (têzŏ mûk dûgŏ) are planted 3 out inverted and point upwards, and they come unwillingly running; they shall not allow them to stay behind, or to make delay. 9. So much greater than the worldly similitude is that pleasantness and unpleasantness unto the souls, as such as is fit for the spirit is greater than that fit for the world.
1. The twenty-first question is that which you ask thus: When he who is righteous passes away, who has performed much worship of the sacred beings, and many duties and good works, do the spirit of creation, the spirit of the sacred ceremony (yazisnŏ) and religion of the Mazda-worshippers, the water, earth, plants, and animals, make complaint unto Aûharmazd, owing to the passing away of him who is righteous, and is it distressing to them when he goes out from the world, or how is it?
2. The reply is this, that as to him who is of the righteous, in his transit of worldly pain in passing away, and also after passing away to the passage onwards 1 which is his limit (stâr) still in the perplexing account, and, after the account, in his own joy, and in what occurs when his gossips (hamvâkân) in the world--by whom the spiritual beings are also not unrecognised; nor his position unknown--are in worldly demeanour downcast and grieving, on all these occasions 2 his thoughts, procuring forgiveness, are about the sacred beings. 3. And the spirit of creation, and the good spirit of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers, which are in the worldly existence--of which 3 also, in the world, that righteous one is a praiser, an employer, a manager, a protection, and a forbearing friend--shall make an outcry to
the creator about him who is righteous, who is away from worldly protection, also for the granting of a promoter of forbearance, and for a restorer (âvôrdâr) of what is extorted 1; likewise a petition about the compensatory concomitants as to his new protection and disposer.
4. And the almighty creator responds, and allots a teacher 2 for smiting the fiend, for the satisfaction of the righteous, and for the protection of the good creatures. 5. As it is said, that in every age a high-priest of the religion and his managing of the creatures are made manifest, in whom, in that age, the protection of the creatures and the will of the sacred beings are progressing.
48:1 The Kakâd-i Dâitîk of Bd. XII, 7.
48:2 The primeval home of Mazda-worship (see Vend. I, 5, 6), which the Bundahis places 'in the direction of Âdarbîgân;' it is also stated to contain the Dâîtîk or Dâîtih river (which must not be confounded with the Dâîtih peak) and the Dâraga river (on whose bank Zaratûst's father is said to have dwelt), and to have been the scene of Zaratûst's first promulgation of the religion (Bd. XX, 13, 32, XXIX, 12, XXXII, 3). Its winter is likewise described as both long and cold (Vend. I, 8-12, Bd. XXV, 11, 16), which is the case in Âdarbîgân.
48:3 See Chap. XX, 3.
48:4 The angel Rashnû.
48:5 The nine spears of three reeds each, in length, making up the p. 49 twenty-seven reeds mentioned in § 3. As the reed appears to have been about 4 feet 8 inches (see Chap. XLIII, 5, note), the width of the bridge is supposed to be about 126 feet, and the length of a spear is taken as 14 feet.
49:1 So in the MSS., but hû-kihar, 'handsome,' is more probable.
49:2 Reading kanîkŏ, instead of the kanâkŏ of the MSS., as there can be no allusion to the evil spirit here. The reference is to a good conscience, which is symbolised by the handsome maiden who is supposed to meet the righteous soul on its way to heaven (see Chap. XXIV, 5).
49:3 Assuming that âgzast is equivalent to Pers. âgast. The allusion seems to be to a form of torturing punishment (running upon ground studded with sharp points) well known to the author.
50:1 The Kinvad bridge, near which the soul's account is rendered.
50:2 The sentence is clear enough in Pahlavi, but too involved to be readily understood in English without these extra words.
50:3 The worldly existences which those spirits represent.
51:1 These latter clauses of the outcry refer to their own wants, and the necessity of providing some one to take the place of the deceased; but the final petition seems to be for the deceased himself.
51:2 The word maybe either farhakhtâkŏ, 'preparing, educating,' or firîstâkŏ, 'sending, deputing,' and must be used as a substantive.