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


1. The thirtieth question is that which you ask thus: When a soul of the righteous goes on to heaven, in what manner does it go; also, who receives it, who leads 2 it, and who makes it a household attendant 3 of Aûharmazd? Also, does any one of the righteous in heaven come out to meet it, and shall any thereof make enquiry of it, or how? 2. Shall they also make up an account as to its sin and good works, and how is the comfort and pleasantness in heaven shown to it; also, what is its food? 3. Is it also their assistance which

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reaches unto the world, or not? And is the limit (sâmânŏ) of heaven manifest, or what way is it?

4. The reply is this, that a soul of the righteous steps forth unto heaven through the strength of the spirit of good works, along with the good spirit 1 which is the escort (parvânakŏ) of the soul, into its allotted station and the uppermost (tâyîkŏ) which is for its own good works; along with the spiritual good works, without those for the world, and a crown and coronet 2, a turban-sash and a fourfold fillet-pendant  3, a decorated robe (gâmakŏ) and suitable equipments, spiritually flying unto heaven (vahistô), or to the supreme heaven (garôdmân), there where its place is. 5. And Vohûman  4, the archangel, makes it a household attendant (khavag-î-mânînêdŏ) to Aûharmazd the creator, and by order of Aûharmazd announces its position (gâs) and reward; and it becomes glad to beg for the position of household attendant of Aûharmazd, through what it sees and knows.

6. Aûharmazd the creator of good producers

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[paragraph continues] (dahâkân) is a spirit even among spirits, and spirits even have looked for a sight of him; which spirits are manifestly above worldly existences  1. 7. But when, through the majesty 2 of the creator, spirits put on worldly appearances (vênisnŏîhâ), or are attending (sinâyânîkŏ) to the world and spirit, and put away appearance (vênisnŏ apadŏgênd), then he whose patron spirit (ahvô) 3 is in the world is able to see the attending spirits, in such similitude as when they see bodies in which is a soul 4, or when they see a fire in which is Varahrân 5, or see water in which is its own spirit 6. 8. Moreover, in that household attendance, that Aûharmazd has seen the soul is certain, for Aûharmazd sees all things; and many even of the fiend's souls 7, who are put away from those of Aûharmazd in spiritual understanding, are delighted by the appearance (numûdanŏ) of those of Aûharmazd.

9. And the righteous in heaven, who have been

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his intimate friends, of the same religion and like goodness, speak to him of the display of affection, the courteous enquiry, and the suitable eminence from coming to heaven, and his everlasting well-being in heaven.

10. And the account as to sin and good works does not occur unto the heavenly ones; it is itself among the perplexing questions of this treatise, for the taking of the account and the atonement for the sins of a soul of those passed away and appointed unto heaven happen so 1, although its place (gâs) is there 2 until the renovation of the universe, and it has no need for a new account. 11. And that account is at the time the account occurs; those taking the account are Aûharmazd, Vohûman, Mitrô, Srôsh, and Rashnû, and they shall make up the account of all with justice, each one at his own time, as the reply is written in its own chapter 3.

12. As to that which you ask concerning food, the meals of the world are taken in two ways: one is the distribution of water in haste, and one is with enjoyment (aûrvâzisnŏ) to the end; but in heaven there is no haste as to water, and rejoicing with much delight they are like unto those who, as worldly beings, make an end of a meal of luxury (aûrvâzisnîkîh). 13. To that also which is the spiritual completion of the soul's pleasure it is attaining in like proportion 4, and in its appearance to worldly beings it is a butter of the name of Maîdyôk-zarem 5. 14. And the reason of

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that name of it is this, that of the material food in the world that which is the product of cattle is said to be the best (pâshûm), among the products of cattle in use as food is the butter of milk, and among butters that is extolled as to goodness which they shall make in the second month of the year 1, and when Mitrô 2 is in the constellation Taurus; as that month is scripturally (dînôîkŏ) called Zaremêyâ 3, the explanation of the name to be accounted for is this, that its worldly representative (andâzako) is the best food in the world.

15. And there is no giving out of assistance by the soul of the righteous from heaven and the supreme heaven  4; for, as to that existence full

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of joy, there is then no deserving of it for any one unless each one is fully worthy of it. 16. But the soul has a remembrance of the world and worldly people, its relations and gossips; and he who is unremembered and unexpecting (abarmarvad) is undisturbed, and enjoys in his own time all the pleasure of the world as it occurs in the renovation of the universe, and wishes to attain to it. 17. And, in like manner, of the comfort, pleasure, and joy of the soul, which, being attained in proportion, they cause to produce in heaven and the supreme heaven, its own good works of every kind are a comfort and pleasure such as there are in the world from a man who is a wise friend--he who is a reverent worshipper--and other educated men, to her who is a beautiful, modest, and husband-loving woman--she who is a manager (ârâstâr) under protection--and other women who are clever producers of advantage 1. 18. This 2, too, which arises from beasts of burden, cattle, wild beasts, birds, fish, and other species of animals; this, too, from luminaries, fires, streams (hû-tagisnân), winds, decorations, metals, and coloured earths; this, too, which is from the fences (pardakânŏ) of grounds, houses, and the primitive lands of the well-yielding cattle; this 3, too, which is from rivers, fountains, wells, and the primary species of water; this, too, which is from trees and shrubs, fruits, grain, and fodder, salads, aromatic herbs, and other plants; this, too, which is

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the preparation of the land for these 1 creatures and primitive creations; this, too, from the species of pleasant tastes, smells, and colours of all natures, the producers of protections 2, the patron spirits (ahûân), and the appliances of the patron spirits, can come unto mortals.

19. And what the spirit of good works is in similitude is expressly a likeness of stars and males, females and cattle, fires and sacred fires, metals of every kind, dogs, lands, waters, and plants  3. 20. The spiritual good works are attached (avayûkhtô) to the soul, and in the degree and proportion which are their strength, due to the advancement of good works by him who is righteous, they are suitable as enjoyment for him who is righteous. 21. He obtains durability thereby 4 and necessarily preparation, conjointly with constant pleasure and without a single day's vexation (ayômaê-bêshîhâ).

22. There is also an abundant joyfulness, of which no example is appointed (vakhtô) in the world from the beginning, but it comes thus to those who are heavenly ones and those of the supreme heaven; and of which even the highest worldly happiness and pleasure are no similitude, except through the possession of knowledge which is said to be a sample of it for worldly beings.

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[paragraph continues] 23. And of its indications by the world the limited with the unlimited, the imperishable with perishableness, the consumable with inconsumableness are then no equivalent similitudes of it 1. 24. And it is the limited, perishable, and consumable things of the world's existence which are the imperishable and inconsumable ones of the existence of endless light 2, the indestructible ones of the all-beneficial and ever-beneficial space (gûng3, and the all-joyful ones--without a single day's vexation--of the radiant supreme heaven (garôdmânô). 25: And the throne (gâs) of the righteous in heaven and the supreme heaven is the reward he obtains first, and is his until the resurrection, when even the world becomes pure and undisturbed; he is himself unchangeable thereby, but through the resurrection he obtains what is great and good and perfect, and is eternally glorious.


63:2 It is doubtful whether the verb be yezrûn (a corruption of yezderûn) or dezrûn (a corruption of dedrûn), but both forms are traceable to the same Semitic root (‏ו ?D?B?R‎), one with and the other without the prefix 'ye,' and both, therefore, have nearly the same meaning.

63:3 Reading khavag-î-mân, 'servant of the house' (see also §§ 5, 8, Chaps. XXXII, 7, XXXVII, 16, 17, 21, XLIII, 1, XLVIII, 41). This word occurs in Pahl. Vend. XIX, 102, in a compound which is doubtfully read avîdamânkarânŏ, 'those acting without time, eternal ones,' in Haug's Essays, p. 388 (it should be 'those acting as household attendants'). It also occurs in the Pâzand tract called Aogemadaêkâ, from its initial word (see Geiger's ed. p. 23, § 11), where it is read añdimânî, and translated by Sans. pratîhâra, 'doorkeeper;' but in a Pahlavi version of this tract (which seems to form part of the Afrîn-i Dahmân, and differs considerably from the Pâzand text) this word is replaced by bôndak mânîk-i, 'a household servant,' which confirms the reading adopted here.

64:1 Probably the good Vâê, the spirit of air (see Chaps. XXVIII, 2, 5, XXIX, 4).

64:2 Reading rukhŏ vardîvanŏ, which words also occur in AV. XII, 16, XIV, 9. A most elaborate account of heaven and hell will be found in the Book of Ardâ Vîrâf with an English Translation, ed. Hôshangji and Haug, 1872.

64:3 Reading vâs va kahârakŏ bâlak.

64:4 Vend. XIX, 102-107 (trans. D.) states as follows: 'Up rises Vohu-manô from his golden seat; Vohu-manô exclaims: "How hast thou come to us, thou holy one, from that decaying world into this undecaying one?" Gladly pass the souls of the righteous to the golden. seat of Ahura Mazda, to the golden seat of the Amesha-spenta's, to the Garô-nmânem, the abode of Ahura Mazda, the abode of the Amesha-spentas, the abode of all the other holy beings.'

65:1 Implying that Aûharmazd can hardly be considered visible, except by the eye of faith (see Chap. XIX, 2).

65:2 Assuming that rabâ-vânagîh is equivalent to Pers. buzurgânagî, 'magnificence.'

65:3 The ahvô (Av. ahû) seems to be a spiritual protector, somewhat similar to a patron saint; as, according to the Ahunavar, the most sacred formula of the Parsis (see Bd. I, 21. Zs. I, 12-19), both an ahû and a ratu are to be chosen, that is, both a patron spirit and a high-priest.

65:4 That is, he sees the spirits by means of their material manifestations.

65:5 The old Pahl. form of Vâhrâm, the angel whose name is applied to the sacred fire (see Bd. XVII, 1, 2, 9); he is the Av. Verethraghna of the Bahrain Yt.

65:6 The female angel of water is the Av. ardvî sûra Anâhita of the Âbân Yt.

65:7 The souls in hell.

66:1 As in Chap. XXIV, 5, 6.

66:2 In heaven.

66:3 See Chap. XIV, 2-5.

66:4 This sentence is rather ambiguous in the original.

66:5 Said to be the food of the souls in heaven (see Hn. II, 38, p. 67 Mkh. II, 752); it is to be distinguished from the draught of immortality, called Hûsh, which is prepared from the fat of the ox Hadhayôs and the white Hôm at the time of the resurrection (see Bd. XXX, 25).

67:1 If the writer refers to the correct solar year of Bd. XXV, 27, beginning at the vernal equinox, the second month would be 19th April-19th May when the sun is in the conventional sign of Taurus; but the ordinary Parsi year in his time commenced in the middle of April, and its second month would be May-June when the sun (about A.D. 880) would be in the actual constellation of Taurus. So that the statements in the text afford no certain indication of the particular calendar used by the author.

67:2 The angel of the sun's light, here used for the sun itself.

67:3 The fifteenth day of the second month of the Parsi year is the season festival called Maidhyô-zarensaya, 'mid-verdure,' in the Avesta; being also the middle of the second month, the author assumes that the name of that month was originally Zaremaya, The Pahl. word can also be read Zar-mâh, 'the month of gold, or the green month.'

67:4 That is, there is no intercession of saints for those still in the world. The only interceders are the angels and guardian spirits, and they go no further than to obtain strict justice for every one according to his worldly merits.

68:1 Reading sûd âz kârânŏ, and identifying the second word with Pers. âz.

68:2 That is, the pleasure.

68:3 This clause is omitted in M14 and J.

69:1 It is doubtful whether we should read le-denmanshânŏ, a rare plural form of denman; 'this,' or whether it should be le-denman yazdânŏ; in the latter case the translation would be 'for these creatures of the sacred beings'

69:2 Assuming that zinharânŏ stands for zinhârânŏ, otherwise we must read zôharânŏ, 'holy-waters.'

69:3 The chief objects benefited by good works.

69:4 Reading hangâmîh-ash, but the construction is unusual.

70:1 Meaning that no adequate conception can be obtained of the enjoyments of heaven by contrasting the earthly objects which most resemble it with those most opposed to it.

70:2 The place of Aûharmazd, or heaven in general (see Bd. I, 2), where things which are perishable on earth become everlasting.

70:3 The 'constantly-beneficial place' of Pahl. Vend. XIX, 122, 'which is self-sustained, (its constant beneficialness is this, that, when it once became so, all of it became thereby ever-beneficial).' The Avesta version (trans. D.) merely calls it 'the sovereign place of eternal weal;' and it appears from Chap. XXXVII, 22, 24 that it is here understood as the unlimited space of heaven, contained in the 'endless light.'

Next: Chapter XXXII