Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. This, too, I am begging of you, that you may be desiring the truth, and that Vohûman 2, who,
when a ruler (shah) of yours, is an interpreter (pâkûkŏ) about the writing which 1 I write, may as regardfully and accommodatingly observe and direct as the variety of dispositions permits. 2. For you are of like opinion with me, to inform again the most initiated 2; so that I am more steadfastly-determined (aûstîkânŏ-minisntar) thereon. 3. And if there be anything that seems to you otherwise, direct some one to point it out again, with the reason for maintaining it which occurs to you, just as a household companion is a responder and has spoken again for the sake of pointing out again; for there are many reasons, on account of which your kindly-regardful observation is needful, which are to be written about.
4. The first is this, that the penmanship of the spirits is not the profession of me and others 3; and as to him by whom a theory (farhâng) not universally operating is disseminated, which is distinct from his more indispensable occupation, there is then no command for his teaching and apostleship therein. 5. On that account, too, the wise and the seekers for truth uphold the' body of opinion about the statements of the writing of the spirits 4, and, therefore, direct less of the ingenuity of preparing again the penmanship of various tidings.
6. The second is this, that, in the distress (dahyakŏ) of this grievous time, he to whom
adherence and much indebtedness even as to his forefathers have remained, is well-lamenting, owing to the proposals (dâdanŏ) of the unfriendly, and much harm has occurred through the conflicting (ârdîkŏ) offer of remedies and lawful provision of means, full of trouble, except, indeed, to the upholder of religion who is more worldly-managing and investigation by opponents is grievous danger full of things inopportune and unnecessary for accomplishment 1.
7. The third is this, that a wise man who is a high-priest of the spirit-retaining 2 religion and acquainted with opinions, when also himself properly humble, fearless, and benedictive in the world, is then even, owing to his estimating 3 pardonings and long-continued dexterity (dêr zîvakakîh), united with the good creations in affliction and vexation. 8. And, on account of information about the worldly and spiritual misery of former evils of many kinds--always as much in the religion, and in the thoughts of others 4, as one delivers up his heart to ingenious verbiage and for the preparation of phrases--he speaks as in the question in revelation, thus 5: '"Who in the bodily existence
is more quickly fortunate?" and it is answered thus: "The youth who is observant and humble, O Zaratûst! who, as regards both that which has happened and that which happens, also sees that which is evil and good with gratitude, just like that also which happens unto another;"' because he knows this, that from this is a benefit, for he knows happiness and also misery 1. 9. The glorified leader of those of the good religion, Hêr-Frôvag 2, son of Farukhûzâd, wrote: 'It is he understands the consequence of his own action; and it is his great household attendant, and the worldly desire provided at the Kinvad bridge 3 becomes less watchful.'
10. The fourth is this, that I am more universally hoping about the property of the profession and the much duty fit for the truly wise, in such manner as even that in which the glorified and greatly-learned leader of those of the good religion, Yûdân-Yim 4, son of Shahpûhar, always urged on a priestly man with many sons and equally clever 5 discourse.
11. That was through my instigation, alone and with little assistance, in the beginning; and, on account of the deficiency of warriors 1, the abundance of opponents, the very rapid arrival of disturbance, and the fourfold supplication for keeping away the ruin or hasty unlawful maintenance of the fires of the Mazda-worshippers, my constant distress is such that most of my time speaks of the same subject 2. 12. They may leave the abundance of despondency and thoughtfulness of the bodily existence to such remedial writing of his, unto whom the pleasantly comfortable thought of an evaded (vîrikhtô) seizure is requisite, but there is little worldly leisure for me for writing more in this direction (hanâ-runtar). 13. And specially in this passing time--when, alike limited by the coming of the period of giving daily supplies to the performers of worship, and by the ever-triumphant fire and its produce 3, it was necessary for me to go to Shirâz 4 on account of some indispensable provision of means--the work was much and the leisure little.
14. The fifth is this, that the custom of providing for all the duties even of the sacred fire (âtûr) by me, and my own desire 1, trained hand 2, unhardened mind, and unhardened heart for managing many things should have become the joy of my mind. 15. Then, too, from having read such writing and such news the healer of distress would be thoroughly connected with my heart and mind, owing to which my intellect would have become quickly fatigued (mândakŏ) by a limited preparation of phrases.
16. The sixth is this, that even he who is a rescued 3 and better-operating (hû-dâgtar) man--when, owing to the writing of a learned man of the realm who is desiring the truth, he is so perplexed 4 on account of a doubt of increasing the after-tearing of the same perplexity--has no doubt of the falsity and little training existent in the worldly.
17. The seventh is this, that if none of these six of which I have written should exist, even then your approved cleverness (sîvagdârîh), extolled freedom from strife, hereafter-discerning and complete mindfulness,
practised 1 attention to the good, and much affection 2 for the faithful--so kindly regarding, truly judging, and with a liking for praising (srîdanŏ), as regards whatever I write truly and with true conviction--are, I consider, to make provision, and have realised a preparation striven for.
286:2 The archangel personifying 'good thought' (see Dd. III, 13).
287:1 Reading î instead of va, 'and.'
287:2 That is, to severely admonish their high-priest, as he does in Ep. II.
287:3 That is, he disclaims all pretensions to inspiration on the part of himself and his contemporaries.
287:4 The inspired scriptures.
288:1 Referring to the risk of unfriendly and destructive criticism of the scriptures.
288:2 J has 'spirit-observing,' by changing gîrisnŏ into nigîrisnŏ.
288:3 Reading andasîh; the reference being to the sympathy acquired by a high-priest through performing his duty of appointing atonements for sins confessed to him.
288:4 Assuming that aîsanŏ stands for aîsânŏ.
288:5 J. has only 'as one speaks out his heart for ingenious verbiage and phrases, thus.' The question and reply here quoted seen to be no longer extant in the Avesta.
289:1 It is doubtful whether this last clause be a portion of the quotation, or not.
289:2 This name is corrupted into Hê-Fôrvag in the MSS., but Âtûr-Frôbag is probably intended. He was the compiler of a great part of the Dînkard, and is also mentioned in Dd. LXXXVIII, 8. The names Atûr and Hêr are synonymous, both meaning 'fire.' The passage quoted in the text has the same form (beginning with the word hômandŏ, 'it is') as nearly all the sections of the third book of the Dînkard, but it has not yet been discovered among them.
289:3 Here written Kis-vidarg (see Dd. XX, 3).
289:4 So written in J, but K35 and BK have the syllable din somewhat corrupted. The person meant, both here and in Chap. VII, 5, was probably the author's father, though Bd. XXXIII, 11 seems to make Yûdân-Yim the son of Vâhrâm-shâd.
289:5 Reading ham-gôkŏ, but J has ham-dûdakŏ, 'of the same family;' it also omits several other words by mistake.
290:1 From this and Ep. II, v, 14 it would appear that the priests at that time maintained a body of troops for the protection of their followers.
290:2 That is, regarding the proper maintenance of the priesthood, which had already engaged his anxious attention during the life-time of his father.
290:3 The word var may either mean 'ashes' (see Sls. II, 49), alluding to clearing out, the fire, or it may mean 'ordeal' (see Sls. XIII, 17).
290:4 See Dd. I, 17. This name is written Shirâzŏ once, Sîrâzŏ thrice, and Sirâzŏ four times in K35. Mânûskîhar appears to have come to Shirâz on this occasion to hold a general assembly of the priests and leading members of the community, and he wrote this epistle from that city (see Ep: II, i, 11;. v, 10).
291:1 Reading kâmakŏ, instead of the unintelligible kâmûn.
291:2 The MSS. omit the last letter of yadman.
291:3 That is, delivered from contamination or sin; virikhtô is probably to be traced to Av. vi+irikhta, rather than to vi+rikhta (Pers. gurêkht).
291:4 K35 has a blank space here, and again a few words further on, but it is doubtful if any words be missing, The spaces are filled up in J and BK, apparently by guess, as follows: J has 'he sees so perplexing a chance, concerning which, owing to the increase of after-tearing of the same perplexity and the arrival of evil, he is doubtful, has no doubt,' &e. And BK has 'he is so perplexed on account of no doubt of the falsity and little training that existed in the worldly for increasing the after-tearing of the same perplexity, has no doubt, &c.'