Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. As to the eightieth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What is the purpose of this ceremony for the living soul 3, and why 4 is it necessary
to order it? 2. And, whenever one orders it, how is it necessary then to order it, how is it best when they celebrate it, and what is its great advantage as a good work?
3. The reply is this, that worship with the ceremonial for those newly passed away, during the three days which they spend in the account 1, is suitable for the discreet, just as the protection with nourishment of those newly born, in their infancy, is also much more suitable for the discreet. 4. He is a truly discreet man through whom there is ceremonial for the three days, on account of his own father, and privileged wife, and infant child, and well-behaved servant, on their passing away; and it is indispensable to order the triple ceremonial of the three days.
5. This, too, is said: where it is not possible to solemnize his three days, or they solemnize them afterwards, when information of the death arrives 2, three days are to be solemnized as a substitute for those three. 6. For the good work of the ceremonial which is ordered by him himself, or bequeathed by him, or is his through consenting to it by design 3, exists--even though it is thus possible that it will be conducted afterwards--whenever it comes into progress; therefore he is exalted for it at his account
in the three days, and it comes on for his being exalted. 7. When that which is conducted afterwards comes on for aiding his being exalted in the three days of the account, that which was conducted by him himself beforehand is more hopeful and more certain of being exalted in that position.
8. On account of there being also a diminution (aîtŏ-k gahîdârîh) of risk about their own souls, in the event of (min zak aîgh hat) their children not ordering the three days' ceremonial, or it not being possible to solemnize it at that time, it is desirable to order, in their own lifetime and at their own convenience, the ceremony for their own living souls, advisedly, without doubt, and having appointed the mode of life of the three days, and also to appoint by will him who is to conduct it in the end. 9. And when both are conducted, the increase of good works and exaltation, though the end is not possible, or is not proceeded with--and the previous good works are commendable, and, therefore, preservatory--has reached even unto the most lordly wishes.
10. As to the man with great and powerful children, to whom the ceremonial of the three days for himself at the final day, and also the progress of many good works have seemed certain, but on account of yet another way to freedom from doubt effectually (frârâstîhâ) existing, he has bequeathed the conduct of the three days' ceremonial, and also other good works, unto his children, in order that the ceremony for the living soul may be conducted at the final day, with him the angels are in triumph, the glory of the religion in the most lordly glory, and the solemnizers of ceremonial worship are many. 11. Then, moreover, owing to the contest of the
demons--so unjust that on the day of his passing away it is due to the uncleanness (apâdyâvîh) which has attained unto its full extent 1--all the solemnizers in the country, of the acts of worship solemnized, may have become thoroughly doubtful of the worship, and until it goes on to the disciples, and the ceremony is prepared, it is not proper to perform the whole ceremonial; in that way is manifested the great advantage and commendableness which arises from that ceremony for his living soul.
12. The nature of the ceremony ordered for the living soul is a counterpart of the three days, so it is needful that at all times of the three days and nights, successively emancipative (avadîgînisnîk), a ceremonial in honour of Srôsh 2 be always conducted, and that it proceed; and a fire is lighted in the ceremonial, and the clean ligature of the limbs is to be tied. 13. As a rule it is so considered that 3 in the three days there are fifteen 4 ceremonies (yastanŏ) in honour of Srôsh, and three sacred cakes (drôn) 5 which are consecrated in each dawn (bâm-i) with various dedications; and the fourth day they solemnize the Visparad 6, the portion 7 of the righteous guardian spirits (ardâî fravardŏ). 14. And there
are fugitives of families of the period, and other still further diminishers 1 of good works, who have wished to produce the wealth which is necessary to perform advantageously, as a custom of the soul in those three days, one celebration of all the religious rites (hamâk dînô) in honour of Srôsh, and the consecration of three sacred cakes for Srôsh every day; and the third night, at dawn 2, the consecration of a sacred cake dedicated in three modes. 15. In accomplishing the consecration of the sacred cake specially for the righteous guardian spirits, on the fourth day, one is supposed to order a Dvâzdah-hômâst 3 in honour of the righteous guardian spirits, and the rest of the ceremonial.
16. And he who has intended much more laudably is declared as the more devout and more judicious of worshippers; and for the sake of the ceremonial he is cleansed by the Bareshnûm ceremony 4, and is to practise other descriptions of cleanliness as regards his body and clothing. 17. While in the performance of the ceremonial, bread made from corn which is ground by those of the good
religion, wine from that made by those of the good religion, and meat from the animal 1 which is slaughtered in the ceremonial are eaten; and one is to proceed into the abode of fires 2 and of the good, and to abstain from the rest of the other places which are dubious 3 and food which is dubious. 18. And with that thorough heedfulness one is to conduct and order that ceremonial in the abode of the ever-growing fire, or other fire of Varahrân 4; whereby his numerous good works are effectual, and the path of good works 5 is very broad. 19. Concerning 6 the suffering of him whose capability in that which is his preserving efficacy 7 is less, it is thus revealed, that not he who is righteous is overwhelmed, as it were unwilling, by incapability 8.
237:3 Dastûr Peshotanji Behramji, the high-priest of the Parsis in Bombay, informs me that every Parsi is bound to perform, or get performed, every year during his or her lifetime, ceremonies for three days in honour of his or her soul, analogous to those performed during the three days after a death These Zindah-ravân, or Srôsh, ceremonies are generally ordered on the first three Fravardîgân holidays, extending from the twenty-sixth to the twenty-eighth day of the last month of the Parsi year.
237:4 Reading maman râî, as in M14; K35 has lâ 'not,' instead of râî, 'for.'
238:1 See Chaps. XXIV, XXV.
238:2 M14 has 'or they do not solemnize them, after which the information arrives,' which is clearly inconsistent with the context. When a person dies away from home, and the ceremonies are not performed on the spot, they must be performed at his home immediately after information of his death arrives, and the three succeeding days are considered as representing the three days after the death (see Sls. XVII, 6).
238:3 Comp. Chap. VIII, 5.
240:1 The corpse being considered utterly unclean.
240:2 See Chap. XIV, 4.
240:3 The following clause, about the three days, is omitted in M14, which skips from 'that' to 'the fourth day.'
240:4 The Pers. Rivâyats merely say that four priests are employed, two at a time, so as to relieve each other in the continuous series of ceremonies for three days and nights.
240:5 See Chap. XXX, 1.
240:6 Here written Visparêdŏ (see Chap. XLV, 6).
240:7 Reading bôn, instead of nûb; M14 omits the word.
241:1 M14 has 'there are ghostly observers of the families of the period, and many other teachers.' But the original meaning was, no doubt as in K35, that there were many persons at that period who would have been glad to possess the means of ordering even a small portion of the proper rites for the dead.
241:2 That is, at dawn on the fourth day. The rites here mentioned seem to have been considered as the minimum that could be approved.
241:3 See Chap. XLVIII, 25.
241:4 A tedious ceremony of purification, lasting nine nights and detailed in Vend. IX, 1-145 (see App. IV). Its name is the Av. word which commences the instructions for sprinkling the unclean person (Vend. IX, 48), and means 'the top' of the head.
242:1 A goat or sheep is meant by gôspend here.
242:2 The fire temple, in, or near, which the priests ('the good') reside.
242:3 Or, var-hômand may mean 'open to choice,' but it is generally used as the opposite of aêvar, 'certain:
242:4 Sacred fire (see Chap. XXXI, 7).
242:5 Over the Kinvad bridge (see Chap. XXI, 5).
242:6 Reading râî, instead of lâ, 'not,' here, and vice versa further on in the sentence, as in M14.
242:7 That is, in good works. M14 omits the word 'less.'
242:8 The construction of this quotation is suggestive of its being a literal translation from the Avesta.