Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. As to the sixty-fifth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: There is a man of wealth of the good religion who fully intends to order a celebration of all the rites of his religion; and a priest of it, to whom the five chapters (fragardŏ) of the Avesta ('text') of the correct law of the Nîrangistân ('religious-formula code') 3 are easy through the Zand commentary'), is ever progressing in priestly manhood (magôî-gabrâîh). 2. And he (the man) goes unto him, and he (the priest) speaks thus: 'All the religious rites are performed for 350 dirhams 4, as a gift always given beforehand by them who give the order unto me, so that I may come to them.'
3. A man of the disciples 5, to whom the five
sections (vîdag) of the Avesta are easy, and no-thing whatever of its Zand is easy 1, then says unto him--unto that man who intends to order all the religious rites--thus: 'For this gift I will conduct all the religious rites for thee twice, with the appliances in the land of Pârs 2, shouldst thou give the order unto me. 4. For it is quite possible for me to pray so many sections through my own exertion (dastŏ), but for him 3 it is necessary to order again of an officiating priest (pavan zôtakŏ), who is himself not able to pray any section, or does not himself pray; and it is not necessary for him to go for the control (parvâr) 4 of all the religious rites when a stipend (bâhar) is the one consideration within him, and the matter is that he 5 may receive again. 5. He who has always himself prayed is better than he who shall accept readily and orders the work again, and is not able to pray it himself, when a fulfilment is tedious to him; when it is I who 6 receive, I always pray myself better than he who would accept readily and orders again, and it brings on my business to a closing point.'
6. The priestly man speaks thus: 'The consideration
of stipend is more necessary to arise with me than 1 other men, owing to the position of religion, not the other portion (sânŏ) of all religious rites; therefore, it is more authorisedly received and conducted by me when I accept readily and again intrust the work; but I direct so that they pray thoroughly, and it brings on much business to its closing point; moreover, if I seize upon it, even then I should be authorised, for this is the stipend of religion.'
7. Should they seize this that is authorisedly theirs, or not? And is it the custom of a man who is frequently ordering all the religious rites to reduce his gift for the ceremonial, or not?
8. Order some one to decide for us clearly, when they do not dispute the gift for the ceremonial, or when they do dispute it, how is then its great advantage; and the harmfulness that exists therein, in many ways and many modes, when they give an insufficient gift for the ceremonial. 9. Is the property which is given up as a gift for the ceremonial--so long as it thus becomes the remuneration which one gives to a receiver of remuneration (mozdô-bar)--that property which they can seize? 10. And is the work which is done, or deputed, and its great advantage, more than they would perform when, in the period of the evil millenniums 2, they diminish the gift for the ceremonial; and in how many modes
does its harm then proceed therefrom? 11. Of whom are all the religious rites always more authorisedly ordered; of that priestly man, or of that disciple? 12. For what reason, also, is it proper to diminish the gift for all the religious rites of him who is a priestly man, or to give it in excess? 13. When they do not diminish the gift for the ceremonial, and it is given in excess, in what manner does its great advantage then arise therefrom; and why and through what source (bêkh) is it possible for advantage to arise therefrom? 14. When they diminish the gift what harm to it (the ceremonial) is then possible to arise therefrom, and how is it better when they give the gift for the ceremonial?
15. For when the family householders, with those of the good religion of Irân, are early (pês) with every single celebration of all the religious rites with holy-water, in the land of Pârs, unless they are in distress, their gift is then 400 dirhams 1; and we have given more than this, even 450 dirhams 2, for it. 16. And now should it be needful, when we diminish anything from the 400 dirhams, or from the 450 3 dirhams, of their gift, they would then not accept it from us, and they speak thus: 'For 400 dirhams, or at least for 350 dirhams 4; nothing less do we
accept.' 17. But there are needy men 1 who always come to us and speak thus: 'For 350 dirhams we will twice conduct all the religious rites with holy-water 2, as you have always ordered us before for 400 dirhams; order it only of us, for shouldst thou have it managed by priestly men, they always say that they should always perform a curtailment (kâstârîh) of the religious rites and ceremonies of the sacred beings, and that all the religious rites are not authorisedly ordered except of them.'
18. Although a priest (aêrpatŏ) who becomes a ruler of the ceremonial should be doubly a decider, yet order some one to explain to us clearly concerning these questions, as asked by us.
19. The reply is this, that the man of the good religion who intended to order all the religious rites is he whose desire is goodness, and he should be a decider of questions about it.
20. As to the priest who spoke thus:--'Thou shouldst order it of me for 350 3 dirhams, as you have always given before your business was arranged; and it becomes your own non-religious share of the duty, to be authorisedly given, because you have proceeded with the alleged demeanour of the country, and for the purpose of intercession; and all the
religious rites with holy-water are such as they solemnize repeatedly (pavan dôr), among which there are many in which 1 I act and am very well performing'--the gift of 350 dirhams is then not excessive remuneration for him.
21. As to the disciple who spoke thus:--'For 350 dirhams I will twice 2 conduct all the religious rites in the land 3 of Pârs'--such of them as they then conduct repeatedly are not many in the aggregate (kînakŏ), and they certainly damage his (the man's) property, and all the religious rites of fire, through that deficiency. 22. And they would accept it on this account, that through a love of righteousness they might cause an advantage (khangînakŏ) unto all those religious rites by their own inferior eminence 4. 23. And he extends and impels the ceremonial of the sacred beings into much progress who promotes it through that eminence which is owing to his own wealth, and which is thus more possessed of a share (bôn) of the ceremonial of the sacred beings and of the good work of praise--except, indeed, a like good work of praise of his--when they shall cause that manifestation of eminence 5. 24. So that the orderer of the good work understands that that which is diminished by him 6 is the eminence
of the disciple, which his own wealth has to order for those who are not able to give wealth which is their own property for it; and he makes no curtailment (bangisnŏ) of those scanty remunerations.
25. And if that disciple should accept as remuneration less than is the custom for all the religious rites, the orderer is not undiminished in wealth 1, for the reason that the good effect owing to the advantage of holy-water is such as when they conduct them repeatedly, unless it be necessary to conduct them in a manner as if unpaid (pavan agazîd). 26. That curtailment of the good effect is not afterwards demandable (pasîn-sakhunîkŏ), if it has to be accepted by him; and if that acceptance of less remuneration by him be an opposing of him to the malice and ill-temper (vushâî) of the priests, this also is not the way that they should cause progress as regards their own business.
27. And the proximity (nazdîh) of a master of the house 2 who keeps away from all the religious rites requested and accepted--more particularly when the accepter accepts all the religious rites of the requester for that remuneration--is itself necessary; he may not be of a religious disposition, but it is yet requisite for him to be where this is requested
and accepted for that scanty remuneration of his, owing to the extent and impetus of his share of the duty.
28. Moreover, it is perceived by us in Pârs that they who would accept the work for half the remuneration which was requisite as profit for it formerly would seize the remuneration. 29. And the reason of it is this:--The peasants relied upon the corn of the field (khânŏ) which has not come, and they said: 'We are hurried; we never obtain anything even on a single one of various debts, and by this payment we shall save our lives for the time; so we calculate that whatever we seize in the manner of a debt or two, when the corn arrives and we sell the corn, we shall make as profit on that business 1;'--and it seemed to me very desirable for such a man.
30. If, also, they should approve that scanty remuneration of that disciple, it is an injury of all the religious rites, of which the forgivers 2 have to cast the consideration of the unequally-shared advantage out of the body 3. 31. All the religious rites ordered of him who is a better performer, owing to not diminishing the proper remuneration, having proceeded unaltered, the remuneration of righteousness one does not approve is important as regards such as they solemnize and conduct in the period 4.
32. Since, for the 350 dirhams, all the religious rites which they conduct once with holy-water are, it is affirmed, all the religious rites caused to be conducted twice with holy-water in that same place and with the same good effect, it is more important to order of them who shall allow all the religious rites twice; for, with as much wealth, as much efficiency, and as much good effect, more ceremonial is good.
33. The worthiness of the disciple, which is owing to himself, is the preparation; and the priest is worthy, of whose performance in the religion you have spoken 1; therefore, supreme worthiness is unattainable by either of them; so it is more significant when the disciple is the preparer, and the priest, as director, becomes a demander of good effect; both strive for good progress, and through many kinds of participation they may be worthy. 34. And both of them, praising together--whereby the participation is brought to an end--may authorisedly seize 2; but that worthiness of theirs is owing to the duty and the praise therein--this one in preparing, and this one in superintendence (avar-madîh) of the recital--and the after discourse and petitioning, and other good done.
201:3 This was the name of one of the first thirty sections of the Hûspârûm Nask (see Chap. LXI, 3), and a portion of it, containing the Pahlavi commentary (or Zand) of three chapters, with many Avesta quotations, is still extant.
201:4 The word gûganŏ, 'dirham,' is here omitted, but occurs in §§ 16, 20. The sum of 350 dirhams would be about 122½ rûpîs (see Chap. LII, 1 n).
201:5 That is, those who are still learning their priestly duties (see Chap. XLV).
202:1 It being far easier to learn the Avesta by heart than to understand its meaning by aid of the Pahlavi commentary; a competent knowledge of the latter being sought only by advanced disciples, and rarely attained by any but the most learned priests.
202:2 Reading pavan bûm-i Pârs, as in § 15; K35 has here pavan bûn-frâs, 'for opening the beginning,' which might be understood to refer to the preliminary ceremonies for preparing. the ceremonial apparatus, if the phrase were not otherwise written elsewhere. In § 21 K35 has pavan bûn-î Pârs.
202:3 K35 omits the last letter of valman.
202:4 Or, it may be 'to the precincts.'
202:5 Literally 'I.'
202:6 Reading li mûn, instead of lanman, 'we.'
203:1 Reading li min, instead of the imperfect word lanm.
203:2 Of the twelve millenniums of time, mentioned in Chap. XXXVII, 11 n, the most evil one is said to have been that in which the author lived, the millennium of Hûshêdar (about A.D. 600-1600 according to the chronology of Bund. and Byt.), for 'mankind become most perplexed in that perplexing time' (see Byt, II, 62, 63), a period of great tribulation for the religion of the Mazda-worshippers.
204:1 About 140 rûpîs (see Chap. LII, 1 n). M14 has 300 dirhams.
204:2 About 157½ rûpîs. M14 has 350 dirhams. The actual value of all these sums depends upon the cost of the necessaries of life in Pârs in the ninth century.
204:3 M14 has '350.'
204:4 About 122½ rûpîs. K35 has ângûn, 'so,' instead of gûganŏ, 'dirham' (the two words being nearly alike in Pahl. letters); this would alter the phrase as follows:--'or less; as to 350, so paltry a thing we do not accept.'
205:1 The disciples, who are represented as applicants for employment.
205:2 That is, in the most solemn manner, and with all appliances. It appears from Chap. LXXXVIII, 9, that the religious rites without holy-water were then performed for 120 to 150 dirhams, or little more than one-third the fee demanded for those with holy-water; whereas the merit of some rites with holy-water is said to be a hundred times as great as that of the same rites without holy-water (see Sls. XVI, 6).
205:3 M14 has '400' here, but see § 2.
206:1 Reading mûn, 'which,' instead of amat, 'when' (see Chap. LXII, 4 n).
206:2 The cipher '2' is omitted in the Pahl. text here, but see §§ 3, 17.
206:3 K35 has bûn, instead of bûm (see § 3).
206:4 Or, it may be 'by the eminence of their own wealth,' as air, 'inferior,' and khêl, 'wealth, property,' are alike in Pahlavi; but neither reading is quite satisfactory here.
206:5 By a proper disbursement of wealth.
206:6 When he diminishes his payment.
207:1 M14 has 'it is not eminence in wealth;' but the meaning is evidently that there is no real saving when the expenditure is reduced, because the good effect of the rites is also diminished when they are insufficiently paid for.
207:2 Or, khânŏpânŏ may mean 'a keeper of the sacred table,' or low stone platform on which the ceremonial vessels are placed, which is often called khân. In either case the orderer of the ceremony is meant, and the author evidently contemplates the probability of the order being given as a mere formal matter of duty, without any really religious feeling.
208:1 This parable justifies the taking of religious stipends by force, in cases of necessity, by a practical appeal to the sympathies of the enquirers; but it really evades the question proposed in § 7, which refers to seizures not justified by necessity.
208:2 Probably the priests who appoint atonements for sins confessed and renounced (see Sls. VIII, I, 2, 5, 6).
208:3 Of those who have obtained a disproportionate share of the profit of the good works by not paying properly for them.
208:4 There are several doubtful points in the construction of this section.
209:1 See § 1.
209:2 Probably the remuneration, if it be withheld; provided always they do their duty thoroughly, as mentioned in the concluding clause.